Just One Moment

Long time, no see!

Hello, all! Well, it's been a long time since we wrote this fan fiction (12 years, to be exact) and thanks to a a sleuthing fan who tracked down my updated email address, asking for access to it, I've spent a long time trying to find any version that might've still been alive. We didn't post this one on the regular boards because of the subject matter, so there's not a lot who can read it. I remember a few sites came to us to ask permission to use it and that was fine with us, but I don't think those sites exist anymore. I have spent time adding those who requested it - many of those requests 5+ years old (I am so sorry about that!). I'd love to say I'll be adding people regularly, but my LJ presence in the last 10 years has been less than zero, so if you or anyone you know would like access to this, feel free to comment here and I'll try to check back periodically. If you stumble upon this post 10 years from this posted date, no promises ;-). Thank you, all of you, for being such loyal fans! I can't believe there's still such interest in a small, taboo fanfic this many years later. It's sure a blast from the past — Alli and I were both so young when we wrote it, I'm almost terrified to read it again, myself :D. Much love to all of you!


~Ashlee

Just One Moment

Shades of Gray - Chapter 25

Chapter 25 – Out With the Old, In With the New

Sitting down at the small table, Buffy stared through the glass partition, her eyes never focusing on anything as she waited.

Hearing a loud buzzing sound a moment later, she turned in time to see a guard leading Hank Summers into the narrow room. Sitting down at the table, he stared at his daughter for a moment before lifting the phone to his ear.

“You came.”

“Well, when your father gets arrested for tax evasion, it’s a little hard to miss.”

“What are you doing here, Buffy?”

“Funny you should ask,” she said, staring at him unflinchingly through the glass. “I’ve come to tell you that you won’t see me again.”

“Because I was arrested on a trumped-up charge?” he asked angrily.

“No,” she said, shaking her head slightly. “Because you’re you.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“It means exactly what it sounds like,” Buffy said, leaving a mask of cold indifference on her face. “I should have severed ties with you long before this. You never wanted a daughter. Or if you did, you sure as hell didn’t want me. I was always the inconvenience.”

“You think that’s true?” he asked, his voice not letting on to what he was feeling.

“Maybe not,” she said with a shrug. “Maybe in the earlier years, I was a perfect matched set to the family. You had the wife, the daughter, and the money, and I’m sure there were the women on the side. But then Mom died, and you actually had to be a responsible adult.”

“I was always the responsible adult,” he said loudly.

“Shut up, Hank,” Buffy said in a calm voice. “I know exactly the type of man you are… I’ve always known. I should have done this a long time ago.”

“You think you can just turn your back on your family-”

“Why?” she asked, staring into his eyes. “Because you’re in trouble? Because you need my help now, more than ever? Because you’re scared? Well, guess what? You didn’t help me when I needed it, and you haven’t shown me a damn thing to make me want to help you now. You were never a father… You were a sperm donor. I was closer to the servants than I was to you.”

“You know I’m not going to be in here forever,” he growled.

“I’m terrified,” she said dryly. “You’ve never shown me an ounce of attention in the past- I’m sure this actually comes as quite a relief to you. Have a nice life, Hank.”

“What will people say when you don’t help your dad out of prison?” he asked in a smug voice.

“Fortunately, for me, I don’t care what people think. You forget that I know more about you, Hank. Be glad you’re not in here for murder,” she said, dropping the phone on the table with a loud clatter. Standing up, she tore her eyes away from her father and walked toward the door. “Guard!”

Putting her past behind her, once and for all, she walked through the door.

* * * * *

Spike was waiting for her once she walked outside and embraced her as she approached him with a wide smile on her face. She buried her face in his chest and sighed happily, feeling as though a large weight had been lifted from her shoulders.

“How did it go?” he asked curiously as she looked up at him.

“It went exactly the way I wanted it to,” she answered. “I had the chance to tell him everything I’ve dreamt of saying for a very long time, and he had no choice but to listen.”

“How’d he react to that?” he asked, smirking, and she giggled.

“He was as angry as I had anticipated, but I don’t care,” she replied, shrugging. “He’s out of my life now, and I couldn’t be happier about that.”

“Well, your dad did one good thing, didn’t he?” Spike asked, and she raised an eyebrow, confused. He wrapped his arm around her waist and kissed her temple as they began to walk to his car. “He brought us together, pet.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” she said, nodding. “But I fell for you on my own, no help from Hank.”

“And then left me for a few months,” he pouted. “After I was an absolute bastard to you.”

“Well, absence makes the heart grow fonder,” she replied, smiling, and he chuckled, opening her car door for her.

“But that doesn’t mean you’re going to return to L.A. permanently, does it?” he asked, becoming worried, and she shrugged.

“Is there really any reason for me to stay here?” she asked jokingly, grinning when he growled.

“You’d better be kidding, love,” he said, walking around the car and getting in on his side as she shut her door. “I know I can’t offer you much, but I-”

“What makes you think that?” she asked, cutting him off. “I think you can offer me everything I need.” He looked at her, seeing the sincerity in her eyes.

“I’m not good enough for you, Goldilocks,” he said sadly, and she grazed his cheek, leaning over to kiss him.

“You’re a lot better than you think you are,” she replied, looking into his eyes. “And I want to try having a real, normal relationship with you.”

“One where you live freely with me?” he asked, and she tilted her head.

“Are you implying that you want to live together?” she asked, and he smirked.

“We’ve already had enough practice for it,” he answered, and she nodded, smiling. “I want to make a go of this, Buffy, if you want it, too.”

“I do,” she said firmly, looking outside as he started the car. “I can make arrangements to transfer back to UC-Sunnydale and move here again, if that’s okay with you.”

“You don’t know how much I want that,” he said, looking at her for a long moment before beginning to drive away. “I want to live with you and prove to you how well things can be between us.”

“I already know how well things are for us,” she replied, smiling. “But are you sure you want me to live with you? I’ve been told I can be messy, and whiny, and-”

“That’s all a part of the Buffy Summers package,” he said, and she giggled. “I want all of it, even the bitchy mood-swing moments in your life.”

“Aww, how sweet,” she joked, leaning over to kiss his cheek as he stopped at a stoplight. “Then I guess you just earned yourself a roommate.”

“So you’re really okay with us being together and starting over?” he asked.

Buffy smiled brightly before kissing him softly. “I’ve never wanted anything more.”



~The End~





A/N We would like to thank everyone who has read and reviewed this story- we really appreciate it! Thank you to Noa for such awesome art and Whitelighter354 for the idea! We hope that you enjoyed this last chapter, and feel free to leave any final comments!

Ashlee and Allison
Just One Moment

Shades of Gray - Chapter 24

Chapter 24 – Making Up Is Fun To Do

“So, this is my apartment,” Spike said, letting her inside, following behind her as he carried her stuff inside. She looked around with a smile on her face. “What?”

“It’s quite… I don’t know if posh is the right word,” she said, looking at him.

“Comfy?” Spike supplied, and she giggled, nodding. “Think you’ll be okay here?”

“Much nicer than the hotel room,” she replied, beginning to walk around and look at things.

“Aren’t you tired, pet?” he asked, and she shrugged, finding a framed photo in his living room. She picked it up and looked at it, studying the man standing with Spike, both men grinning. “That was Xander.”

‘That’s the man my father killed,’ she thought, swallowing a lump in her throat as she put it back down.

“Yeah, I guess I’m tired,” she said, putting her hands in her pockets. “Where am I sleeping? The couch?”

“If you really think I’d let my guest sleep on the couch, you’re very wrong,” he replied, leading her down a hallway and into his bedroom. “You can have the bed- I’ll take the couch.”

“It’s a big bed- we could split it,” she said, and he looked at her, tilting his head. “Come on- we both know you’re thinking the same thing.”

“Don’t want to make it seem like I’m pressuring you into something,” he said. “I figure we should start over and make sure things are… right.”

“I’m too tired to care if it’s right or not,” she said, yawning. “Going to bunk with me?” He smiled and put her bags down. “Thanks for this- it’s really nice of you.”

“Not going to let you stay out in the cold,” he said before frowning. “Well, out in the heat, but you get what I mean.”

“Yep,” she replied, smiling and going to her bags, pulling out her pajamas. “Almost seems like old times.”

“Yeah, but these are much better, aren’t they?” he asked, and she nodded, looking at him. “I’m never going to let things get as bad as they were before.”

“Not going to make me your live-in love-slave?” she asked, and he grinned.

“Well, when you put it that way-” he began, but she walked past him and slapped his arm. “You know you’re not against the idea.” She walked into the bathroom and winked at him before closing the door. “Minx!”

“But you love it,” he could hear her reply, and he chuckled.

“That I do, baby,” he said loudly. “That I do.”

* * * * *

He stripped quickly and laid down on his bed, pulling the sheets over him as he waited for her. She came out of the bathroom and walked into the room, moving to the bed and laying beside him. He switched off the lamp on his bedside table and laid on his side, looking at her. She looked at him as he grazed her cheek and smiled softly, enjoying how sweet the situation was between them.

‘This should’ve happened more often,’ they both thought.

“How long are you in town?” he asked quietly, and she sighed.

“Less than a week,” she answered. “I have to go back to work in L.A.”

“There isn’t a way you could stay longer?” he asked, and she shrugged.

“How much longer are we talking about?” she asked, and he smiled.

“Indefinitely?” he said, and she giggled, shaking her head. “No?” She noticed the pout on his lip and gently ran a finger over his lower lip before his tongue poked out and licked it, pulling it into his mouth and sucking on it gently. They locked eyes as he continued his assault on her finger before she pulled it away and replaced it with her mouth, beginning to kiss him as passionately as she could, wanting to make up for lost time.

‘It’s been too long,’ she thought. ‘I’ve wanted this since the day I left.’

He pulled away after a moment to breathe, looking into her eyes, grateful that moonlight was pouring into the room, allowing them more visibility. “We don’t have to do this tonight. You’re tired and-”

“Doesn’t matter,” she whispered, kissing him softly. “We deserve to do this after being apart for the last few months.”

“Couldn’t agree more,” he said, capturing her mouth with his again, moving so that he was covering her body with his. She arched her back up as he slid off her shirt before she leaned up and kissed his collarbone and shoulders, happy that he was already nude.

‘I just wish I could’ve been the one to take off his clothes,’ she thought. ‘His naked body is magnificent, and most of it’s covered by a sheet.’ She smirked and pulled the sheet off, watching as every inch of his skin was revealed to her hungry gaze. ‘Just what my therapist ordered.’

“Itching to see the goods again?” he joked, and she ran her hands down his abdomen, watching as he tilted his head back slightly, groaning in pleasure. “Play nice, pet- don’t want this to end before it starts.”

“Fine, ruin my fun,” she replied, pouting, and he swooped down to kiss her, cupping her breasts in his hands and delighting in the feel of them. She arched her back up, craving more contact, and looked at him as he moved down her body, kissing a trail from her collarbone to the waist of her pajama bottoms. They locked eyes as he pulled them down her legs, tossing them onto her shirt. When he noticed that she hadn’t been wearing anything beneath her pajamas, he grinned.

“Well, love, I definitely wasn’t expecting that,” he said, and she giggled, pulling him up her body and kissing him, running her hands over his muscular back as he settled between her thighs. He looked down at her and took a deep breath. “What I said to you in the police station that day, I didn’t mean any of it. I-”

“Don’t,” she said quietly, managing a small smile. “Fresh start, remember?” He nodded, smiling, and kissed her as he slowly moved inside her body, stilling as their hips met. He leaned down and rested his face against her shoulder, mentally calming himself down to keep from coming early.

She arched her hips up, signaling him to continue, so he began to thrust inside of her, getting as deep as possible and making her moan in pleasure. She grasped his biceps as they began to work together, their hips touching on every thrust.

It wasn’t long before Buffy could feel telltale signs of her impending orgasm and leaned up to kiss him, trapping her moan in his mouth as she came, which triggered Spike’s release inside of her, pumping at a quicker rate as he released his seed. Once he had finished, he pressed his forehead against hers and looked into her eyes.

“That was amazing,” he whispered, his breath coming out in sharp pants.

“And no one can interrupt us,” she added, grinning, her chest heaving. He chuckled breathlessly and kissed her.

* * * * *

When Buffy woke up, she slowly opened her eyes and grinned when she saw that her body was still entwined with Spike’s, their position not much different than how it had been before they fell asleep. She placed feathery kisses all across his face and gasped when he pulled her tightly against his body and kissed her, his eyes never opening.

When they broke away to breathe, his eyes flicked open and focused on hers.

“Good morning, Goldilocks,” he said quietly. “How’s my girl doing?”

“A little tired still,” she answered, yawning. “And sore.”

“Was I rough on you last night?” he asked, concerned, and she smirked.

“Only as much as I asked you to be,” she answered, and he chuckled, sitting up and resting back on his pillows as she laid her head on his chest. He began running his fingers through her hair and looked down at her as she danced her fingers over his torso. “This is how it always should have been.”

“I wish it would’ve been,” he said genuinely. “You deserved more than what I gave you.”

“But it will be better now, right?” she asked, and he nodded vigorously. “What time is it?” He looked at his clock and sighed.

“Eight in the morning,” he answered, pouting. “Way too early for people who were shagging until three.”

“Let’s watch cartoons,” she suggested cheerfully, reaching over him to grab the remote that was beside his bed. She turned on his TV and froze when she saw her father on the screen, apparently on the news. “What’s going on?”

“Hank Summers, one of the most successful businessmen in Sunnydale, is being charged with tax evasion,” a female reporter said, seemingly surprised. “It appears that Mr. Summers has not been properly paying his taxes over the last decade and has been arrested for the crime. No word yet on a trial date, but things don’t look good for one of the town’s wealthiest men.”

Buffy turned off the TV and continued to stare at the black screen, her jaw dropped.

“Buffy?” Spike asked quietly, looking at her, concerned.

“I… I need to see him.”
Just One Moment

Shades of Gray - Chapter 23

Chapter 23 - Giving It A Real Try

Buffy had been in the hotel room less than a minute when she heard the knock on the door. Assuming it was Riley coming back early, she quickly opened the door, her face going blank when she saw Spike on the other side.

“What do you want now?” she asked through gritted teeth.

“We’re not finished.”

“Wrong. We never began,” she replied, moving to close the door on him. Her eyes widened when he easily blocked it, pushing his way into her room. Knowing that he wouldn’t leave, Buffy angrily slammed the door behind him. “You know I’m not a hostage now, right?” she asked, glaring at him. “You can’t just come barging in my room at all hours of the night and… how did you know I was here?” she asked, realizing that the room was registered under Riley’s last name, which Spike didn’t know.

Turning around to smile at her, Spike watched as she rolled her eyes.

“I don’t really care for stalkers,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest. “They’re second on my list of things that piss me off.”

“Let me guess the first,” he said with a heavy sigh. “Kidnappers.”

“No,” she replied in an even tone. “You.”

“I’m touched.”

“Don’t be,” she muttered, watching as he sat down on the bed.

“Only one bed, love?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.

“What are you insinuating, Spike?”

“I think you know.”

“If you want to know whether I’m sleeping with him or not, just come out and ask me!” she cried, her nerves setting her on edge. “Stop playing these stupid games.”

“Are you sleeping with him?”

“None of your business.”

Spike smirked, raising an eyebrow in amusement. “That’s my girl.”

“Not yours,” she said, self-consciously crossing her arms over her chest when he looked her up and down.

“You’ve always been mine,” he replied, standing up and slowly walking over to her.

Buffy backed away, feeling her foot hit the wall behind her. Glancing around, she sighed, hating the feeling of being cornered.

“What do you want, Spike?”

“I think you know.”

“Go home,” she said in a strong voice, not backing down when he took another step toward her.

“I’ve missed you, Buffy,” he whispered, biting his lip as he looked at her.

“I don’t know why,” she replied, her resolve wavering the closer he got to her. “Nothing I felt for you was real, remember? According to you, I was just romanticizing you into a different person or something to that effect.”

“Do you even remember anything that happened that day?” he asked, his brow furrowing as he stared at her.

“I remember waking up in your arms,” she said softly, her true feelings coming out for a split second before the mask fell back into place. “Then it all went to hell.”

“It did,” he agreed with a nod. “Because of me.”

“Yeah,” she murmured, blinking back the tears that materialized in her eyes. “But I’m over it.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Therapy is a remarkable thing, Spike.”

“You’re in therapy?” he asked, feeling his stomach churn in response. “Because of me?”

“Because of… not you,” she said, shaking her head. “It was just a lot to take in, and then Angel attacking me and nearly succeeding… it doesn’t do a girl good.”

“I’m sorry,” he said, genuine warmth layering his voice. Taking a step forward, he slowly reached out, cupping her face in his hand.

Closing her eyes at his touch, Buffy leaned into his hand, breathing a sigh when he gently kissed her forehead.

“Missed you,” he murmured, moving a little lower to kiss her nose. “Missed you, so much,” he said, kissing her cheek.

Buffy’s heartbeat skyrocketed when his lips met hers in a tender kiss. Whimpering against his lips, she grabbed the collar of his duster, eagerly holding onto it. She brushed her tongue against his, trembling against him when he pulled her closer, fervently returning the kiss.

So caught up in the moment, they never noticed when the door opened, revealing Buffy’s boyfriend.

Riley stared at the couple in front of him with a pained look on his face before angrily slamming the door.

Jumping at the sound, Buffy guiltily pushed Spike away, trying to ignore the guilt that surfaced when he looked at her.

“Riley, this isn’t… I mean it… I…”

“Care to form a sentence, Buffy?” Riley replied, covering up his hurt feelings with anger.

“Watch it, pillock,” Spike growled, moving to take a step forward, stopping when he felt Buffy’s hand against his chest.

“Spike,” she said in a soft voice that Riley couldn’t hear. “Can you go?”

“Buffy-”

“Please,” she said, looking up at him with pleading eyes. “Please just go.”

Glaring at Riley as he walked past, Spike left the room, closing the door behind him. Stepping to the side, he listened intently, not willing to leave her alone in a room with an angry man… as hypocritical as that sounded to him.

“What the hell is going on?” Riley asked, clenching his fists. “Why were you kissing him?”

Spike rolled his eyes, clenching his jaw.

‘Because she’s mine, not yours, mate,’ he thought.

“William and I used to… be together,” she said carefully, not wanting to let anything slip. “And when we saw each other before, things just kind of… clicked again.”

“So you brought him back to our hotel room?” Riley asked loudly, furious.

“He followed me- I didn’t tell him to come here,” she answered, looking down. “I’m sorry, Riley- I didn’t mean for it to happen.” Spike stared at the door, angry.

‘You kissed me back, Goldilocks,’ he thought. ‘Don’t you dare blame this only on me- you wanted it, too.’

“Do you still have feelings for him?” Riley asked, and Spike held his breath, waiting for her to answer.

“Yes,” she managed to get out, taking a step back as Riley clenched his fists, looking up at the ceiling and groaning loudly in frustration. “I’m sorry!”

“I thought we were happy,” he replied, looking at her. “I thought we were doing well!”

“We were, but Spike and I were-” she caught her mistake and froze as his eyes widened, realizing who ‘William’ really was.

“Are you telling me that you and your kidnapper hooked up?” he asked, stunned, and she looked away. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” He ran his hand over his face, shutting his eyes.

“We had feelings for each other,” she replied. “Still do.”

“I’m just… going to go,” he said, managing to seem calm. “Out for a walk, I think. If you’re here when I get back-”

“I won’t be,” she replied, and he looked at her. “It’s probably best if I leave.”

“Where will you go?” he asked, and she shrugged, managing to smile bravely.

“I’ll figure it out,” she said, and he nodded, looking down. “I really am sorry, Riley.”

“Me, too,” he said before walking to the door and looking at her one last time before leaving. Spike quickly moved until he was shrouded in shadows, watching as Riley walked away from the hotel.

When Buffy emerged from the room minutes later, he looked at her with a hopeful expression, and she nodded, handing him her luggage. He smiled softly and led her towards his car, taking her hand in his, before putting her things in the trunk.
Just One Moment

Shades of Gray - Chapter 22

Chapter 22 – Another Surprise Encounter

“You don’t mind if I meet up with Forrest and Graham?” Riley asked as he looked at Buffy, who was sitting on the bed in their hotel room, painting her toenails.

“Go ahead,” she replied, smiling. “You’ve wanted to see them for a while.” He tilted his head, crossing his arms. “What? I really don’t mind, Riley. I’ll be fine here on my own.”

“You could always go meet up with some of your old friends,” he suggested, and she shrugged. “It might do you some good, help you gain some closure.” She raised an eyebrow. “Sorry, that’s the Psychology major in me coming out.”

“Go out and have a good time,” she said. “I’ll be here when you get back.” He was about to say something, but she waved him out. “Shoo! Have fun!” He chuckled and kissed her forehead before leaving. She watched the door close and frowned, wishing for the millionth time that day that they hadn’t returned to Sunnydale.

After she finished doing her nails, she turned on the TV but quickly grew bored with it.

‘There’s nothing to do,’ she thought, standing up and grabbing her room key. ‘Might as well go out for a while- he won’t be back until after midnight probably.’

She walked out into the cool night air and made her way into town, aimlessly walking around and trying to find if anything had changed in her absence. When she came up short, she sighed.

‘No surprise- Sunnydale’s always the same,’ she thought, letting herself inside the Espresso Pump to get another hot chocolate. ‘And maybe it won’t be ruined this time.’

She walked up to the counter and ordered, taking her cup from one of the employees before sitting at a table and grabbing a newspaper off of the table beside hers. She opened it up and began reading, catching up on the local news, when she felt as if someone was watching her. She looked above the paper and spotted Charles Gunn walking toward her, smiling. She couldn’t help but smile in return, realizing she didn’t have any issues with him.

‘He was the nice one,’ she thought. ‘He was the one who always seemed to have a good head on his shoulders.’

“Hey, Buffy,” he said, stopping at her table, surprised when she stood up and hugged him. “Look at you, Miss Summers- you look different.”

“Maybe it’s all that pollution in Los Angeles,” a familiar voice offered, and Buffy tensed up as she turned to see Spike, standing behind her. “Twice in one day, pet- that’s pretty coincidental.”

“Unless you’re following me,” she replied, crossing her arms, angry to see him again.

“Just making sure you and Captain Cardboard are on the up-and-up,” he said, smiling. “And fancy seeing you here, Gunn- it’s been a while.”

“Well, we’ve both been working,” Gunn said, sitting down across from Buffy. “Why don’t you join us?” Buffy looked at Spike with wide eyes, shaking her head. “No?”

“Come on, love- we’ll all catch up,” Spike said, grinning as he sat down beside Gunn. “Seems like old times, doesn’t it? All we need is Angel.”

“He’s locked up for a while,” Gunn said, looking at Buffy’s annoyed expression. “Your dad made sure of it.”

“How is dear old Hank?” Spike asked curiously, and she shrugged.

“How would I know? I haven’t spoken to him since I moved to L.A.,” she answered.

“What prompted the move?” Gunn asked, and she looked away.

“It was just too much for me here,” she said quietly. “Everyone always looked at me and asked questions, Dad went back to ignoring me, except for whenever he’d blame me for the problems in his life, and… the memories of everything became too hard to handle.”

“I’m sure it was difficult,” Gunn said sadly. “I’ve been meaning to thank you for months now, Buffy. You didn’t have to let us walk free- we deserved to be sent away for what we did.”

“Some more than others,” she replied, shooting a pointed look at Spike, who raised an eyebrow. “You helped me, Gunn- I wasn’t about to get you in trouble after everything you said to me and did to help.”

“Well, I don’t like watching women get hurt,” he said, and she nodded, looking down, not wanting to mention that Spike had hurt her even more than Angel ever had.

“So, what’s the story with your boyfriend?” Spike asked, and Gunn looked at her, surprised. “He seems like a simpleton.”

“So what?” she asked, crossing her arms. “I’d rather be with someone simple than someone who treated me like I was nothing.”

“I did no such thing,” he replied sharply, and Gunn looked between them, confused.

“You two clearly have things to discuss,” he said, standing up quickly. “It was nice seeing you again, Buffy, and once again, thank you.” She offered him a smile, which he returned before walking out. Buffy turned her attention back to Spike, who looked upset.

“What?” she asked, not backing down from his gaze. “I have nothing to say to you, Spike.”

“Do you know what Stockholm Syndrome is?” he asked, and she shook her head, not getting what the point of the question was. “In simple terms, it’s when a person held captive by someone else forms an attachment to them, starts to like being around them. It would be like a prisoner falling for their warden.” He paused. “Or like a hostage falling for her kidnapper. Well, one of them, at least.”

“What’s your point?” she asked, tilting her head. “Are you suggesting that’s what happened between us?”

“When we were at the police station, one of the officers said you were exhibiting signs of it, and I-” he began to say, cutting himself off when he noticed her crestfallen expression.

“You believed him, didn’t you?” she asked, and he looked down, nodding. “You know that I wasn’t attached to you because of some syndrome I’ve never heard of, Spike- we made a connection. We both felt something- it wasn’t just one-sided.” He looked at her. “You were the one who expressed your feelings first. If anything, you were the one who had that syndrome thing.”

“Maybe you had it, is my point,” he replied, becoming irritated. “You might have adopted behavior like that because it’s what some people in your situation do.”

“This is ridiculous,” she said quietly, standing up. “If that’s why you wanted to end things, because you didn’t believe I truly had real feelings for you, then it’s your own problem. I’m a lot happier now, and I have a boyfriend who genuinely cares for me and understands me.” She looked at him. “One who would never kidnap a girl in a ploy to get monetary reimbursement for stuff that went wrong in his life.”

“Tread lightly, little girl,” he said in a low tone, and she glared at him.

“Don’t follow me anymore, and let me live my own life,” she replied sternly. “You’re the one who let me go back then, so just get over it.”

“Are you over it?” he asked curiously, and she smirked.

“I’ve been over it for months,” she answered, turning and walking out of the building. Spike watched her for a moment, frowning.

“Like hell.”
Just One Moment

Shades of Gray - Chapter 21

Chapter 21 – Confronted By the Enemy

3 Months Later


Walking through the streets of Sunnydale for the first time in months, Buffy tried to keep a positive disposition. Holding her boyfriend’s hand, she offered him a slight smile when he playfully tugged on her hand, trying to get her attention.

“What is it, Riley?” she asked.

“You alright?” he asked, giving her his trademark concerned look.

“I’m not going to break,” she said, looking at the ground for a moment before raising her gaze to the Christmas lights that decorated the town.

“It’s just… this is the first time you’ve been home since-”

“Since I transferred schools,” she interrupted, turning to look at him.

“Actually, I was going to say since the kidnapping.”

Rolling her eyes, Buffy pulled her hand away from his, knowing that she was being unusually irritable, but the memories that were threatening to wash over her were being held away by a very thin wall that was rapidly cracking. She didn’t even want to be in this town, but Riley insisted they visit for the holidays.

“I don’t even know what you’re planning on doing here,” she said, wrapping her arms around her body.

“I have a few friends here,” he said vaguely. “It’s not UCLA, but it’s a nice little town.”

Buffy didn’t respond as they walked across the street to the Espresso Pump. “Want anything?”

“Hot chocolate,” she murmured, not bothering to walk into the small café as she watched him disappear into the holiday crowd.

Sitting down on the bench next to one of the entrances, Buffy shifted uneasily. Hearing a group of carolers nearby, she closed her eyes. The town was like a Norman Rockwell painting around the holidays, and it seemed to overload her senses.

“This seat taken?”

Buffy’s eyes snapped open at the sound of the voice she only heard in her memories. Raising her eyes to his, her mouth opened in shock. Regaining her composure, her eyes narrowed slightly. “As a matter of fact, it is.”

Spike shoved his hands in the pockets of his duster, shifting nervously on his feet. He knew it was a bold move to walk over and attempt to talk to a woman he hadn’t seen or heard from in months, but he couldn’t resist the temptation.

“How’ve you been?” he asked, attempting to make conversation.

“What are you doing?” she asked, looking up at him in confusion.

“Making conversation. It’s what people do.”

“Not when you hate each other,” she said, narrowing her eyes.

“Never said I hated you,” he said, feeling his stomach flip at the very thought.

“What did you expect, Spike? A happily ever after?” she asked, throwing his words to her back in his face. “It’s not like we were a match made in heaven.”

“Buffy-”

“I’ve had your voice running through my head for three months,” she said slowly. “You dismissed me. You practically spat on me, and now you want to sit down and pretend we’re old high school buddies?”

“About what I said-”

“Oh, let me guess,” she said in a sickeningly sweet voice. “You didn’t mean it. Once you realized that you weren’t going to get locked away for the next few years and you’d simultaneously just thrown away your little fuck toy, I’m sure you were extremely remorseful.”

“Now, wait just a damn minute-”

“Why should I?” she muttered to herself, standing up and walking toward the entrance of the café, only to feel Spike’s hand on her shoulder, turning her to face him. “What’s the matter, Spike?” she asked, feeling the need to hurt him as much as he’d hurt her. “It was fun… That’s all it was. You were there, you were available, and I used that to my advantage.”

“Do you remember everything I said that day?” he asked in exasperation.

“Do you?” she countered, crossing her arms over her chest.

“I don’t know what to say…”

“Apologizing might be a good start.”

“I’m-”

“But not just to get back in my good graces,” she said, biting her lip as she looked at the ground. “I don’t even know if that’s possible anymore.”

“There was a reason,” he said, looking at her with a pleading gaze. “There was a reason for all of it.”

“I’m sure there was,” she said, swallowing the lump in her throat. “That doesn’t mean it excuses any of it. It doesn’t make me less of an idiot for believing that you actually felt something for me when all you wanted was to get laid.”

“Buffy-”

“Here you go.”

Closing her eyes for a moment when Riley walked out of the café, she tried to graciously accept the steaming cup of hot chocolate.

“Who’s your friend?”

Spike stared in stunned silence at the other man, unsure of what to think.

“Riley, this is Sp-William,” she corrected, knowing that he associated the name Spike with her kidnapper.

“Nice to meet you,” he said, holding out his hand.

Spike merely raised an eyebrow, not willing to get any closer to the other man than he was already.

Barely put off by the dismissal, Riley took a step back, wrapping his free arm around Buffy’s waist, causing Spike’s glare to intensify. “So, how do you know Buffy?” Riley asked, taking a sip of his drink.

“We dated,” he replied, wanting Riley to feel as uncomfortable as he did. Seeing Buffy’s eyes widen, he offered her a smile.

“Really?” Riley asked, looking at his girlfriend. “Buffy never mentioned it.”

“Well, I’m sure you haven’t known each other that long,” Spike replied, keeping his gaze on the woman in front of him. “And how do you two know each other?” he asked, his voice carefully disguising everything he was thinking.

“We met at UCLA,” Riley said, looking at Buffy with a bright smile.

“So that’s where you’ve been, is it, love?”

Buffy turned to look at Spike, glaring at him as she stepped closer to Riley. “I’m feeling a little tired- I think I’m ready to go back to the hotel.”

“Let’s go,” Riley said, turning her away from Spike.

“I’ll see you soon, Buffy,” he called after her.

Turning around to face him, she shook her head. “No, you won’t.”
Just One Moment

Shades of Gray - Chapter 20

Chapter 20 – Free to Go

Spike zoned out as the police officer sitting across from him continued to ask him questions, instead remembering what had happened before the police arrived at the house.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Gunn asked quietly as he handed Spike his cell phone. “There has to be another way to profit from this. Is it really worth it to quit at this point in the game?”

“I think we lost before we even began,” Spike replied, dialing a number he always knew he would have to use. He looked at Gunn as someone answered the phone.

“Hello, Sunnydale Police Department,” a woman said on the other line.

“I know where Buffy Summers is,” Spike said, sighing, proceeding to give her the address of the house. After he hung up, he handed the phone back to Gunn. “Now all we have to do is wait.” He paused. “I’ll be upstairs.”

“How do you think Buffy will take it?” Gunn asked, and Spike looked at him sadly.

“I guess we’ll find out.”


“Mr. Blake, are you paying attention?” the police officer asked, now joined by a fellow colleague. Spike looked at them both with a confused expression. “Just as I suspected. You might want to hear what I’m about to tell you.”

“And what’s that?” Spike asked flippantly, pretending as if he didn’t care.

“After a bit more questioning, you’re free to go,” the officer said, and Spike’s jaw dropped as he stared at the older man.

“What?” he asked, stunned. “What’re you talking about?”

“Miss Summers isn’t pressing charges against either you or Charles Gunn,” the cop said, crossing his arms. “Apparently, she’s placing all of the blame on your other cohort.” Spike looked down, trying to sort through all of the thoughts that were running rampant in his head.

‘She’s not going to press charges?’ he asked himself. ‘Why the hell not? I deserve to be blamed for this, punished. If she’s doing this because of what she and I have… had, then she’s incredibly stupid.’

“Do you have ADD or something, Mr. Blake?” the cop asked, smirking in amusement. “I just said that today really must be your lucky day.”

“Yeah, I’m real lucky,” he mumbled, standing up as both officers led him into a room for more questioning.

* * * * *

“Who told you about what happened to Xander Harris?” Hank asked as he and Buffy entered his house, Buffy still upset over what had transpired at the police station with Spike.

“I was stuck in a house with the three men who witnessed it- you didn’t think one of them would fill me in on all of the details?” she asked, raising an eyebrow. “That bit of information would sell for a pretty penny.”

“You wouldn’t dare!” Hank bellowed, instantly becoming angry. “I just saved you from those monsters!”

“You didn’t save me!” she shot back. “All you did was pick me up, which wasn’t heroic, by any means. You wouldn’t pay them the ransom to get me back, Dad! What kind of father does something like that?”

“Honey,” Hank said in a patronizing tone, but she put her hand up, stopping him from continuing.

“The only reason I’m free is because one of my captors had a change of heart, a guilty conscience,” she said, trying not to think too much about Spike, knowing she’d get even more furious. “And one of his friends was just as kind and compassionate. The only one that was a monster was Angelus, and he’s nowhere near as vile as you!” She stormed off, going upstairs and into one of the guest bedrooms, slamming the door behind her and laying down on the bed, beginning to sob into a pillow.

* * * * *

Once they were free, Gunn and Spike left the police station, ignoring several of the reporters who were still milling around outside.

“So, where should we go now?” Spike asked, looking at his friend. “Back to the house?”

“I want to thank your girl first,” Gunn said, and before Spike could tell him what had happened between he and Buffy, his friend continued, “I owe her quite a bit for letting me off, scott-free.”

“I don’t think she wants to see me right now,” Spike said quietly, looking down, but Gunn waved it off.

“We’re free men right now, Spike- the least we can do is pop over to see her and say thanks,” he said. “She’s probably at Hank’s, which isn’t good, but we can spare a few minutes to see her, can’t we?”

“Do you really think she wants to see us?” Spike asked, putting his hands in his pockets. “We kept her locked in a house with us for days- we’re the last people she wants to see right now.”

“Even you?” Gunn asked, and Spike nodded, looking away.

“Especially me.”

“Fine, we’ll give her a day, then,” Gunn said. “I’m going to call a cab and go home. Want to split one with me?”

“I think I’m going to walk around for a while,” Spike answered. “But if you’ll let me crash there later, I’d appreciate it.”

“I’ll leave the back door open,” Gunn said, smiling at his friend. “See you later.” Spike nodded and watched his friend walk away before spotting a telephone booth a block down.

‘Even if she doesn’t want to see me, I need to see her,’ he thought. ‘Right now.’

* * * * *

After finding out where Hank lived by using the phone book in the telephone booth, Spike called himself a cab and took it to Hank’s mansion, hesitantly walking up to the door and ringing the doorbell, grateful that there weren’t any reporters camped out, waiting to interview either Hank or Buffy.

When Hank opened the door, Spike’s eyes widened, surprised to be faced with him instead of a servant. Hank’s expression darkened quickly as he studied the man standing on the other side of the door.

“What are you doing here?” Hank hissed. “Haven’t you caused enough damage, you worthless piece of trash?”

“I should be asking you the same question,” Spike said in a low tone, crossing his arms. “You killed my best friend, and you think that I should have any respect for you? You sent my friends and I to jail for five years- I don’t consider you as anything but a monster.”

“You have that in common with my daughter, then,” Hank replied, tilting his head, and Spike looked past Hank, hoping to see Buffy somewhere. “I’m not going to let you near her again.”

“Why? I thought you said I could keep her?” Spike asked, smirking. “She’s mine, after all.”

“Get away from here before I call the cops and have them cart you off… again,” Hank replied, smiling evilly.

“If you won’t let me see her, then I’m going to meet with every news station and newspaper in town to tell them what happened that night in your office five years ago,” Spike said. “And then, I’ll figure out a way for you to pay damages to Xander Harris’ fiancé, along with having you sent to jail, as well.”

“No one’s going to believe you,” Hank said. “You’re a criminal, Blake- no one respectable will believe your story.” Spike shrugged and looked at the older man with an indifferent expression.

“You’re clearly holding a few more cards than me, but here’s the question- are my cards better?” he asked, and Hank raised an eyebrow. “The information I know about you and what Buffy has told me is enough to help my case whenever I try to screw you over, Hank, and believe me- I will do everything in my power to see you wind up as someone’s bitch in prison.”

“Idle threat,” Hank said, grinning. “Like I said- no one will believe you.”

“Your daughter believes me,” Spike said, shrugging. “And when reporters ask her why we had our motives for kidnapping her, what’s saying she won’t tell them about Xander Harris’ murder?” Hank began to pale a bit, and Spike chuckled, pleased with Hank’s sickened expression. “This isn’t over, Hank- this is just day one. I’ll be here for a very long time, until I see you get exactly what you deserve.” With that, Spike turned and began to walk away, not noticing that Buffy was watching him from an upstairs window, a confused expression on her tear-stained face.
Just One Moment

Shades of Gray - Chapter 19

Chapter 19 – A Stupid Mistake

Walking into Buffy’s room an hour later, Spike smiled at the sight of her napping on the bed. His heart ached as he watched her, wanting nothing more than to walk over to her and pretend that they were leading relatively normal lives.

Slowly crossing the room, Spike sat down on the edge of the bed, tenderly running a hand over her hair as he watched her sleep.

‘You deserve more than me,’ he thought, tears burning his eyes. ‘You deserve someone better. Someone who can give you everything you want.’

Lost in thought, Spike never noticed when her eyes opened, jumping slightly when she stretched and gave him a soft smile. “Hi,” she said in a groggy voice, moving to sit up in the bed. “Everything okay?”

“It is now,” he said, hesitantly nodding his head. “There’s, uh… there’s some things that we need to talk about.”

Moving to straddle his waist, Buffy wrapped her arms around his neck, nibbling along his jaw. “Later,” she said with a smile. “Right now, I just want to relax and not have to worry about someone barging in on us.”

Spike didn’t have the willpower to stop her when she pressed her lips against his. Running his hands along her back, he pulled her closer, deepening the kiss until Buffy was rocking her hips against his.

Hearing the sound of the door slamming downstairs, Spike gently pushed Buffy off of his lap until she was standing.

“Buffy,” he said, moving to stand in front of her. “There’s a lot that… I don’t really know…”

“Shhh,” she murmured, putting a finger over his lips before tenderly kissing him, feeling his hands wrap around her back. “There’s plenty of time for everything-”

Jumping at the sound of the wood around her door cracking, Buffy clung to Spike when she saw a group of police officers storm into the room. Her eyes widened when they immediately grabbed Spike, spinning him around and roughly putting a pair of handcuffs on him.

Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. She stared in shock as an officer approached her, holding up his hands as if that was supposed to prove he was a good guy. She could barely make out the words he was saying, staring at his mouth for a moment, long enough to realize he was trying to put her at ease.

White noise seemed to fill every part of her brain as she watched them lead Spike away, his eyes trained on her.

* * * * *

‘This can’t be happening,’ she thought, staring out the window of the police cruiser. ‘It just… can’t. It’s too surreal to be true.’

Closing her eyes, she pressed her head against the glass, trying to will away the headache that was forming.

“Your father is eager to see you.” The officer who was driving the car turned toward her, trying to smile at the young woman in the passenger seat.

“I’ll bet,” she muttered, never looking at him. “Did he pay the ransom?”

“Um… no,” he said after a moment. “There was an anonymous tip that was phoned in. Told us where you were.”

Turning toward him finally, Buffy’s brow furrowed as she tried to understand what he was saying.

Unable to question him anymore, she saw the crowd of reporters huddled around her father as they stopped in front of the jail. Nearly jumping out of the car, Buffy rushed forward, feeling the violent churning in her stomach as her father approached her with a fake smile on his face.

Rushing past him without a second look, Buffy ran into the police station, stopping at the first desk she came to. “William Blake,” she said, looking around the building. “Where is he?”

“You’re…”

“I know who I am,” she replied in an angry tone. “Where is he?”

“Second floor,” the man replied. “But-”

Buffy didn’t stick around to hear anything else. Turning and running up the stairs, she slammed against the doors that led into the main building. Seeing Spike talking to an officer, his hands still cuffed behind his back, she eagerly approached him, watching as he turned toward her and then shamefully looked away.

“Miss Summers, you shouldn’t be-”

“I want to talk to him,” she said, interrupting the policeman who approached. “Alone,” she added when he stayed where he was.

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea-”

“Lucky for you, I don’t care what you think. I want to talk to him… Since you all are too incompetent to really do your jobs, I think I’ve earned that.”

Waiting until the officer walked away, Buffy turned toward Spike with an unreadable expression. “What happened?” she asked, her tone immediately softening as the stress of the situation came back to her.

“You have your freedom back, pet,” he said, wishing that he could reach out and touch her. Hold her.

“Gunn and Angel?”

“They’re somewhere around,” he said, looking around the building.

“Who else knew?” she asked, stepping forward, gently resting her hand against his stomach.

“No one,” Spike mumbled, avoiding her eyes.

“No one knew? But they said… You set this up,” she whispered, blinking back the tears in her eyes when she realized what happened. “I…I can’t believe you would…”

“Buffy, you have to understand, love-”

“No,” she said softly, shaking her head. “I don’t have to understand anything. An ‘anonymous tip’ was phoned in and… God, Spike, how could you? How could you practically turn yourself in?”

“For you,” he whispered, desperation in his voice as Buffy choked back the sobs in her throat.

“I didn’t want this,” she whispered, letting the tears spill down her cheeks. “I wanted to have choices and freedom- I didn’t want you to lose yours!”

Stepping forward, she wrapped her arms around him, feeling the tension in his body, practically sensing how much he hated the handcuffs that bound his wrists.

Spike stayed where he was, closing his eyes at the feel of her body pressed against his. Letting his head fall until his forehead was resting against her shoulder, the sounds of Buffy’s quiet sobs were soon replaced with the sounds of two nearby policemen.

“Stockholm Syndrome,” one of the officers said to his coworker, causing Spike to narrow his eyes as his stomach clenched. “I’ve seen quite a few cases over the years. This is a clear example.”

And just like that, he turned into a completely different person.

Buffy pulled away, seeing a person that she had never met and never knew he possessed.

“What did you expect, pet? A happily ever after? It’s not like we were a match made in heaven.”

His icy tone sent dread spiraling through her body. “What are you saying?”

“It was fun… That’s all it was. You were there, you were available, and I used that to my advantage.”

“No,” she whispered, shaking her head in disbelief. “That’s not true- everything we did, everything you said, I…”

“It was all an act,” he said, his cold eyes looking over her shoulder. “Just a bit of cold comfort when there was no one else around.”

Running her hands through her hair as if it would erase his words, Buffy shook her head, letting the tears spill down her cheeks. “This isn’t you.”

“This has always been me.”

Feeling her chin trembling, she hated herself for showing him this weakness.

And she hated him for causing it.

“That’s it? That’s all it was?” she finally asked after a moment.

“Thanks for the memories, Goldilocks.”

Not bothering to respond, Buffy backed away, nearly knocking a chair over in her hurry to get away from him. She could have sworn that there was a flash of remorse on his face, but she couldn’t be sure. Turning around and pushing her way through the police officers, frantically trying to fight her way through everyone, she stopped when she saw the chief talking to her father.

Pausing in front of them, Buffy ignored her dad when he turned toward her with a bright smile.

“Chief Roberts? The three men you arrested…I only want to press charges against one of them.”

“Miss Summers, I don’t think that’s the wisest decision,” he said, shaking his head.

“I’m over eighteen, and I’m the only one who knows what happened in that house. Gunn and Spike didn’t do anything… Angel was the worst.”

“Buffy-”

Spinning around, Buffy interrupted her father before he could finish the sentence. “Fight me on this and I will make it known exactly what happened to Xander Harris. The true story.”

Seeing his face pale, she nearly allowed a smug smile to form on her face. Glancing over her shoulder, she caught Spike’s eyes as he sat at the desk, an unreadable expression on his face.

Turning around and walking away, Buffy fought the tears in her eyes as she left the police station.

‘Why am I doing this? The man who just brutally shattered every memory I had is now being protected by me, and why?’ she asked herself. ‘Because even if it was a stupid scheme…even if it backfired…even if I had a horrible experience while I was there, he showed me a side of myself that I didn’t know I possessed. A side with more compassion and strength than I ever thought possible. And as unforgivable as his words were, I couldn’t let him suffer for something that was simply a stupid mistake.’
Just One Moment

Shades of Gray - Chapter 18

Chapter 18 – Dissention in the Ranks

When Buffy woke up later on, she practically felt relief flood through her when she saw Spike’s arms wrapped around her, his face nuzzled into the crook of her neck as he continued to sleep.

‘This feels right,’ she thought. ‘I know it shouldn’t, but being in his arms seems like it’s right, like he and I were supposed to have this chance together. Even if it wasn’t the best situation to begin with.’ She sighed wistfully. ‘I just wish this would have happened under different circumstances. But I’ll take what I can get- that’s all I really can do.’

She ran her hand over his arm and smiled softly when he opened his eyes, letting them lock with hers.

“Hi,” she whispered, and he smirked, kissing her neck before grazing her cheek with his hand.

“Sleep well?” he asked, and she nodded, leaning over a little to kiss him.

“Thank you for staying in here with me,” she said, and he ran his hand down her side slowly, which caused a thrill to go through her. “Spike-”

Before she could continue speaking, someone knocked loudly on the door.

“Sod off!” Spike shouted, glaring at the closed door.

“We need to talk,” Angel said, sounding angry. Spike ran a hand over his face, trying to refrain from becoming frustrated.

“Give me a few minutes,” he replied before hearing Angel scoff and storm off. Spike looked at Buffy apologetically and kissed her temple before sitting up.

“It’s alright- I understand,” she said, and he frowned. “I’m not being sarcastic, Spike. We’ve been in here for a long time, and I’m sure your friends want to work out some more kinks in the plan.”

“What makes you think there are kinks?” he joked, smirking, and she giggled.

“There have to be,” she said, stretching her arms out as she yawned. “You’re a kinky kind of guy.”

“Oh, you have no idea, pet,” he said, getting dressed before returning to the bed and laying down beside her, pulling her close to him and leaning over to kiss her. “Can we talk later?”

“Sure,” she answered. “You know where I’ll be.” He nodded and kissed her one last time before getting out of the bed and leaving the room, smiling at her before shutting the door.

Once he closed the door, he leaned back against it and sighed, knowing that things were only going to get worse from that point on.

* * * * *

“So, why was I interrupted… again?” Spike asked as he walked into the kitchen, seeing Angel and Gunn in there, talking.

“You’re shirking your responsibilities as a leader to go screw the blonde upstairs,” Angel said sharply, crossing his arms. “When we really need to spend time figuring out what the hell we’re going to do now.”

“What did Hank have to say before?” Gunn asked, looking at Spike, who scowled.

“That he won’t pay us any money and that we can keep Buffy,” he answered, noticing the look on Gunn’s face, clearly feeling sorry for Buffy, too.

“So what should we do, then? Just let her go and say screw it to the plan?” Gunn asked after a moment, and Spike shrugged.

“Are you two insane?” Angel asked, his eyes wide. “We’ve come way too far to just give up right now.”

“Do you seriously think we’re going to make any money from this?” Spike asked, becoming annoyed. “Hank’s not going to pay, and honestly, I’m not even that surprised anymore by it- he’s an asshole who doesn’t give a damn about anyone besides himself.”

“But you don’t think Buffy’s going to press charges against us?” Angel asked, and Spike raised an eyebrow. “Just because she’s sleeping with you doesn’t mean she won’t turn you in, too.”

“Then I’ll turn myself in and get it over with,” Spike suggested, and both men looked at him, shocked.

“What?” Gunn asked loudly. “Don’t be stupid, Spike.”

“No, turning myself in would be smart,” he replied. “I’ve done enough stupid things in my life, and this wouldn’t be considered one of them.”

“If you turn yourself in, I’m going to say I had nothing to do with this, then,” Angel said sternly. “I don’t need to be sent to jail again over nothing.”

“Bullshit!” Spike shot back, furious. “You don’t think she’ll press charges against you? You tried assaulting her twice, you pillock!”

“I’m not getting locked up for something I didn’t do,” Angel replied, stepping closer to Spike and looking down at him with fire in his eyes. “This was your plan, so you should take the blame, not me.”

“If you claim that you weren’t involved, I’ll turn you in faster than you can blink,” Spike said in a low tone. “And I’m sure Buffy will completely back me up on that.”

“Yeah, because your Bonnie will stand by her Clyde as soon he lets her go,” Angel said, shoving Spike back. “She doesn’t owe you anything once she’s out of here.” Spike clenched his fists and jaw, rage flowing through him. “Don’t be an idiot, Spike- you don’t think she’s playing you? Sleeping with you so that you’ll be nicer to her, letting her get away with more stuff, ensuring she’ll be safer here? She doesn’t care about you, man! She’s just using you!”

“Don’t talk about stuff you don’t understand,” Spike growled, punching Angel’s left eye, watching as Angel stumbled back, his hands covering his eye as he groaned in agony. “I’m going to do what’s right, and if you two won’t be by my side, believe that I’ll turn you in myself, got me?”

“I wouldn’t expect anything less,” Gunn said, and Spike looked at him. “I helped, so I’ll take the blame.” He looked at Angel. “And you, out of anyone, deserve a punishment, too.”

“I should never have helped you two,” Angel said, angry, still coddling his eye. “You both had no idea what you were doing in the first place, and I’m not about to serve time for kidnapping her.”

“Whatever you say,” Spike said, grabbing his cell phone out of his pocket and looking at it, taking a deep breath. Preparing to dial the number, his eyes widened when the phone was jerked out of his hand and thrown across the room, breaking against the wall. Looking at Angel with pure rage in his eyes, Spike took a deep breath, restraining himself from giving him a matching set of black eyes. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he growled.

“We’ve come too far to give up now,” Angel said, glaring at the other man. “We’re not going to blow this just because you want to follow whatever conscience you have left.”

“Then what’s your bright idea, Angel?” Gunn asked, looking back and forth between his friends.

“Anything but calling the cops,” he replied. “I’ll think of something, but getting arrested is not an option.”

Spike watched Angel walk into the next room before turning to his friend. “Any ideas?” he asked with a sigh.

“None that make sense,” he said, shaking his head. “We could always let Buffy go without telling Angel.”

“And have him lay the blame on us out of spite,” Spike replied, shaking his head. “Then we’re in worse shape than we are now.”

“We’ll think of something.”

Looking up at the ceiling, Spike nearly closed his eyes, wishing that he’d never brought up getting revenge on Hank Summers in the first place.
Just One Moment

Shades of Gray - Chapter 17

Chapter 17 – Was it Worth it?

 

 

Spike glanced at the door before looking at Buffy, seeing the insecurity in her eyes.

 

“I… I have to take this call, love,” he said, his brow furrowed. “You understand, right?”

 

“Do what you have to do,” she murmured, climbing off the bed and walking toward the bathroom.

 

“Buffy-”

 

Flinching when he heard the sound of the bathroom door slam, Spike looked up at the ceiling. “Bollocks,” he muttered.

 

“Spike! Take the call, man.”

 

Walking out of the room, Spike shut the door behind him with a soft click. Walking down the stairs, he grabbed the phone out of Gunn’s hand. “What?” he asked, easily slipping into an American accent, not wanting to give himself away.

 

“You weren’t there. Where the hell were you?”

 

“I was there,” he said, narrowing his eyes at a distant spot down the hall. “It’s a little hard to return your daughter when you’re planning on having me arrested. That’s not exactly on my agenda tonight.”

 

“Who said anything about having you arrested?” Hank asked, an innocent tone in his voice.

 

“Listen to me,” Spike growled. “The next spot will be at a place I choose-”

 

“No,” Hank replied, his voice lowering to a menacing whisper. “You listen to me. You’re not getting one cent of my money.”

 

“Need I remind you that we have your daughter?”

 

“Keep her.”

 

Spike felt short of breath when he heard the dial tone beeping in his ear. Staring straight ahead in shock, he felt the urge to truly kill someone for the second time since the plan started. Hanging up the phone, he saw Gunn looking at him expectantly. Not saying anything, he tossed the phone at the other man before turning and walking up the stairs, opening the door to Buffy’s room and nearly slamming it behind him.

 

Sitting on the edge of the bed for several long minutes, he felt his heart ache, listening to the quiet sobs that she was obviously trying to muffle. He let his head fall into his hands, knowing that he had caused her to cry. He couldn’t tell her what her father had just said, confirming every child’s worst fear.

 

Taking a deep breath, he stood up, nervously rubbing his palms against his pants. “Plan B,” he muttered, walking toward the bathroom door.

 

Silently pushing it open, he studied the woman huddled in the corner of the room. Tears burned his eyes as he watched her rock back and forth, her hands pressed against her face. Her nerves were obviously setting her on edge, overwrought from being held captive.

 

Crossing the room, he knelt in front of her, pulling her into his arms and resuming the rocking motion as he stroked her hair. Feeling her slowly relax against him after a moment, Spike kissed her forehead before moving to her cheeks, silently kissing her tears away until there were none left.

 

“Was it worth it?” she asked, swallowing hard.

 

Unsure of whether she was asking about the phone call or the kidnapping in general, Spike shook his head. “No… Not worth it.”

 

“What happens now?” she asked, leaning against his touch when he began caressing her cheek.

 

“Plan B,” he murmured, kissing her forehead once again.

 

“And what’s that?”

 

Studying her face for a moment, Spike took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. “I’m working on it. Are you alright?” he asked after a moment.

 

“Just stress, I guess,” she whispered, resting her head against him.

 

“You need rest, love.”

 

“Stay with me?” she asked, looking up at him with pleading eyes.

 

Brushing the hair away from her face, Spike gave her a tender smile, letting his thumb gently caress her cheek.

 

“Come on,” he murmured, hooking one hand under her legs and supporting her as he stood up, carrying her into the bedroom.

 

Gently laying her on the bed, he crawled in next to her, covering them both with a blanket.

 

Exhaustedly resting her head against his chest, Buffy let her hand play along his abdomen, raising an eyebrow when his hand soon covered hers. Looking up at him with a questioning gaze, Spike gave her a gentle smile.

 

“Gettin’ me a little worked up, love,” he said, pressing a kiss to her temple.

 

“I wasn’t doing anything,” she said with a smile.

 

Loosely holding her hand in his, he brought it to his lips, brushing a gentle kiss to her palm. “Don’t have to. You do a pretty good job of it just by being here.”

 

Slowly pushing herself away from his chest, Buffy brought her lips to his in a tender kiss, letting her free hand play along his cheek. Pulling away after a moment, she could see the sadness in his gaze.

 

“Hey,” she murmured, trying to give him a smile. “What’s with that face?”

 

“It’s nothing,” he whispered, trying to blur out everything around him as he focused on her.

 

“You’re sure?” she asked, tilting her head in concern.

 

“I’m sure,” he replied, meeting her lips for another kiss. Letting her lips play over his, Buffy moved to deepen the kiss, pulling away in confusion when she felt Spike gently push her away.

 

“You need some rest,” he said, trying to control his growing arousal.

 

“What if I need something else?” she asked with a smirk.

 

Unable to resist any longer, Spike rolled them over, eagerly kissing her.

 

* * * * *

 

Buffy screamed, dragging her nails across his skin as her orgasm ripped through her.

 

Thrusting into her, Spike’s body froze as his hips continued to move with hers, feeling as if he exploded inside of her. Gasping for air, he took a few minutes to catch his breath before pulling her closer and rolling them until Buffy was lying on his chest, still breathing heavily.

 

Brushing the hair away from her forehead, Spike gently kissed her. “Go to sleep,” he said, letting his head fall back on the pillow.

 

Looking at him with an unreadable expression, Buffy snuggled against his chest, wrapping her arms around him as if she was afraid he was going to disappear. “Will you still be here when I wake up?”

 

Spike took a deep breath, unsure of whether he would or not. Gently threading his hand through her hair, he continued the movements until he noticed her relaxing against him. “I’m gonna try, baby,” he whispered, feeling her slight nod against his chest as she drifted off to sleep.