Title:  Because I Said So  (3/24/05)

Rating: G

Season: VII

Word Count: 1336

Disclaimer – I just took Joss’s characters and made them behave better

Summary: An explanation of how Buffy might have been able to persuade Xander to let Spike stay in his apartment….Season Seven filling in between the lines drabble.

 

BECAUSE I SAID SO

 

         “Buffy, this is just…No way! I don’t care how many souls he got – he’s evil, undead and crazier than Drusilla was!”  Xander was not budging on his refusal to allow Spike to stay at his apartment.

 

         “Xander, I know he’s crazy – that’s the point – he needs to get out of that basement.  He can’t hurt anyone.  He still has the chip and the soul besides.”  She took a deep breath.  “I need you to do this for me, please.”

 

        Spike just stood quietly behind Buffy; not indicating he had any interest in the answer one way or the other.  Anya busied herself in the kitchen, but listened carefully.

 

         “I don’t understand you, Buffy.  You should have as many issues with Spike as I do.  Why do you want to help him?”’’

 

         Buffy was silent for a moment, then she looked Xander in the eye.

 

          “Because I’m as responsible for those issues as he is,” she said softly.  “I owe him this.”

 

          Spike’s body jerked, but he didn’t respond in any other way to the surprising declaration.

 

          “You don’t owe him anything!” Xander began his thousandth rant against Spike and why he should be dust.

 

           Buffy let him vent for a while, then grabbed his arm and said firmly, “Come with me,” pulling him toward the bedroom.  She slammed the door, leaving Spike and Anya to avoid looking at each other and pretending they weren’t trying to listen.  She shoved Xander down on the bed and glared at him.

 

        “Okay, we are going to have our first, last and only conversation about these ‘issues’ you think we have.  Name one.”

 

         In the living room, Spike and Anya glanced at each other and then quickly away.  Spike sat on the couch and hunched his shoulders miserably.  Anya sat upright in the chair furthest away from him and stared at the closed door.

 

         “”Fine!” Xander snorted, “Let’s start with the obvious.  Although, more my issue than yours, I guess.  He seduced – had sex – with my girl friend…on a table…on camera!”

 

         Buffy took a deep breath and keeping her voice low, she began.  “Okay, FYI, trust me when I tell you that hurt me as much as it hurt you.  I was just more surprised that it did.  But you KNOW how much pain they were both in – because of things WE did to them – and how drunk they were at the time.  So if you want to stake Spike because he got drunk and comforted the woman you left at the altar, just keep in mind that from my point of view, that woman got my…got Spike drunk and seduced him with her tears.  So, guess who I wanted to kill?”

 

         Xander stared at her in amazement.  “You wanted to kill Anya?  Over Spike?”

 

           Spike snuck a look at Anya to see if she heard what Buffy said about killing her, but she didn’t give any indication she had.  He breathed an unnecessary sigh of relief that only vamp hearing could pick up the conversation.

 

          “Well, both of them, actually,” she admitted, shamefaced. “It’s a Slayer thing – get mad – slay something.  I got over it.  The point is,” she growled, quickly changing the subject, “here are the people who put them in that situation.”

 

           She pulled Xander to his feet and turned him toward the dresser where he could see their reflections and held him there until he dropped his gaze and turned away.

 

          “Okay, okay, fine,” he grumbled reluctantly. “Blocking the image of Spike and Anya from my mind.  But, here is the one I REALLY don’t get.  He tried to rape you, Buffy.  He hurt you!”

 

          Buffy bit her lip and turned away from the mirror.  “Yes,” she said softly, “he did.  And that hurt me more than you can imagine because I trusted him not to…”

 

         Out on the couch, Spike squeezed his eyes shut to keep the tears in.

 

         “Then, how….”?

 

         Keeping her head turned from him, she continued as though he hadn’t spoken, “But, in all fairness to Spike, he had no way of knowing I really meant ‘no’.”

 

          Xander stared at her defiantly, “The word pretty much speaks for itself, seems to me.”

 

         She glanced sideways at him, her face reddening.  “Okay, I’m about to tell you waaaay more about my…love life…than you ever needed or wanted to know.”  She took another breath.  “Spike had no reason to believe I wouldn’t respond, because fighting was such a big part of our…our…the sex we had.  I would tell him, ‘no,’ tell him he was evil and disgusting, and ten minutes later I would be ripping his clothes off.  I was the queen of mixed signals for months.”

 

        Buffy shook her head, remembering Spike’s words that night.

 

        “He thought if he just got me to respond physically, I would see that I was…that I…cared about him and we would…” Her voice trailed off.  “Well, I don’t know what he thought would happen next, but I know he wasn’t trying to hurt me.  In his own warped way, he was trying to mend what was broken.  When I realized he was out of control, I stopped him.”

 

           She looked her friend in the eye again.   “Xander, I saw his face when he realized what he’d done.  I had the same look on my face when I beat….Let’s just say I understood what he was feeling and how shocked and disgusted with himself he was.

 

          “That’s what drove him to get his soul back.  I was still upset when you found me, and I didn’t want to talk about it.  But I should never have let you go on believing what you saw was anything more than another episode in the ongoing train wreck that was Buffy and Spike last year.”

 

            There was an uncomfortable silence in the room for several minutes while Xander digested the things she’d been saying.  Finally, he blew out the breath he’d been holding and asked, “So, you and the evil undead – where do you stand now?  You’re forgiving him?”

 

           “I forgave him by the next morning.  But he had already left and I couldn’t tell him.”

 

           Spike’s eyes flew open in shock at her words.

 

           “I don’t know that we stand anywhere.  But I know I’m the reason he got that soul and I’m going to take care of him until he learns to live with it.  And getting him off the hellmouth and out of that basement is the first step.”

 

           “All right,” Xander sighed, “He can stay here.  But I refuse to be nice to him!”

 

          Outside, Spike snorted, causing Anya to look at him questioningly.  He just shook his head to indicate it wasn’t important and went back to listening.

 

         Buffy smiled at Xander.  “He’d think the real Xander had been stolen by aliens if you were.”

 

         They emerged from the bedroom to Anya’s, “Well, is he going to stay here? Will he pay rent?  Cause I think—“ Seeing Buffy’s eyes narrowing as she looked at Anya, Xander quickly silenced her and said, “Okay, Evil Undead.  You can stay in the walk-in closet.  Just don’t get blood on my clothes.”

 

        “Thank you,” Spike whispered, effectively rendering Xander speechless for several minutes.

 

         Buffy took advantage of that silence to touch Spike’s arm and tell him it would be okay.  She tried not to notice how he flinched when she touched him, and pretended it wouldn’t have hurt if she did notice.  But, somehow, the thought that he didn’t want her touching him made an ache in her chest and caused her eyes to prickle.

 

         Shaking off the momentary sadness, she practically ran out the door, promising to bring blood to put in the fridge in the morning.

 

the end

 

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