Ch 6 – Rough Visits, Part II
“Spike, this isn’t a good time for one of your cranky fits,” Tara whispered harshly after closing the door between the basement and kitchen. “That’s a social worker up there and it’ll be hard enough covering for ‘Buffy’.”
“Forget that for a minute,” Spike turned halfway in her direction, stopping them both on the stairs.
Tara gasped in surprise to see the Buffybot lying in a twisted heap on the stairwell landing. Her head was turned in an unnatural manner, her face pressing into the floorboard, despite her lying mostly on her back. From her mid-section, wires and cabling poked even worse than when she was on the sofa.
Spike ignored her reaction, “Xander drank that potion to banish Hyena, and it was a mess. What the hell was in that?”
He turned and continued marching down the stairs, stepping over the robot remains without a second glance.
“Xander told me. You should have waited for me,” she said, stopping to brush Buffybot’s hair as she sighed. “Poor ‘Bot. You could have been more gentle with her… and put her somewhere out of the way.”
“You think I threw her there?! Must have been Rick. And, Its not important. Xander is. And, I’m already pissed at myself for not waiting for you – I should have known that we needed a witch here.”
Tara stepped gingerly over the robot to join Spike on the cement floor. “Well, you need to pick her up please, and put her somewhere else until Willow can take a look. And, I spoke with Xander this morning, he seems fine. In fact, he’s outside right now working.”
“He’s here?! Now?” Spike looked disturbed and discomfited.
“Right, so you see, there’s nothing to worry about. Whatever the effect was, it seems to have done its job and he’s no worse for wear.”
“Except for the part where he rushed out of the house this morning, and then came back and didn’t bother stopping in to let me know he was here.”
“I’m sure he thought you were sleeping Spike… as you should be – it’s very late for you. Is there a specific problem?”
“I don’t need to be told how late it is,” he responded irritably. “And the problem, specifically, is I think he’s upset that we’d been fucking.”
“Spike,” Tara said harshly. “You don’t have to be graphic.”
“I think he’s upset ‘cause we did the hot, horizontal tango,” Spike sneered. “Christ, I need a cigarette.”
“And, a nap. Look, I’ll talk to him, but I’m not sure what you want me to do. I mean, I’m not sure what to say.”
“I want… I want things between us to be like they were before the potion. That’s all,” Spike grumped. “I wanted to get rid of the psycho-animal, not my bedmate.”
Tara shrugged and sighed. “You had to expect that without the Hyena personality, things might change, Spike. And, until I talk to Xander, I’m not sure that you’re not overreacting just a little bit.”
“I’m not. I can tell. Fix it,” Spike stomped past her to head back upstairs. Pointedly, Tara was sure, not stopping to move the heap that was the robot.
Willow led the way through the swinging door from the kitchen into the large living room, nearly squinting her eyes shut. She was afraid of, and expected, a scream when Mrs. Sinclair got an eyeful of Adam standing in his demonic-robotic glory.
Imagine her surprise when the lumbering former menace was no where to be seen. She stumbled to a stop, staring wide-eyed as not only was Adam missing, so were the Buffybot and Faithbot.
She turned to see Dawn standing behind the social worker, also looking around the room for the missing beings. When she caught the look on Willow’s face, she gave her a puzzled shrug. Xander? Spike, maybe?
“Well. This does look bad,” the Sinclair woman needlessly pointed out. The room was in a dark gloom, thanks to the board now hanging where there used to be a picture window. There was more than enough light however, to see the sofa with its large burn mark and the soot covering the ceiling above it. “Yes, yes, definitely in your favor that you didn’t have Dawn staying the night here,” she clucked to herself, making a note of some sort in her binder.
Dawn scowled at her back, her arms crossed at her waist, angrily. She went to say something, but Willow nudged her into closing her mouth.
“We’re just lucky to have gotten the fire extinguished as quickly as we did,” Willow murmured, though behind Golda Sinclair’s back, she also wore a displeased scowl. This was quickly replaced by a small smile as the social worker turned in their direction. Dawn, however, didn’t bother to hide her irritation.
“We’re not complete idiots,” she said.
“Dawn, I think it would be helpful if you went upstairs to collect your things for the Steins. Remember, you have a week of school left, so you’ll need appropriate clothes for that,” Willow said. “I don’t want to see a suitcase full of nothing but shorts,” she phony smiled, trying to keep things light and friendly for their visitor.
“Sure.” Dawn rolled her eyes before heading up the stairs.
Once they’d watched her go up, Willow turned again to the problem at hand, “You wanted to see the dining room damage? It’s right over here, opposite the living room.”
“She seems very angry to me. Very defensive.”
“She’s had a rough time,” Willow said with as much neutrality as she could manage. “Her mother’s only died a few months ago, after all. Now, this. We’re all still trying to cope with the fact that Joyce won’t be in the kitchen making us waffles.”
“You’ve been close with the family,” Mrs. Sinclair questioned, her pen hovering over the opened binder.
“Very close. Mrs. Summers… well, let’s just say that I miss her every single day,” Willow shared, before taking a deep breath. “Here, let’s take a look… you can see the damage isn’t as bad in here….”
Spike was headed for the stairs to the second floor, when he stopped for a moment, resting his hand against the front door… now plywood standing in. He tried to feel Xander, willing for the young man to come in from the harsh sunlit world for just a minute, but though he could hear his bootfalls on the porch, he didn’t sound like he was sensing anything.
The clumsy meatsack in the hideous outfit cleared her throat from the ruins of the dining room, catching his attention and he fought not to give her a demon-snarl. Despite his temperamental behavior in the kitchen, it wasn’t lost on him that this woman could cause a truckload of problems if not delicately handled.
“Yes, Ma’am,” he gave her his swaggering smile, hearing her heart beat faster for a moment. Not even if you knew how to dress, Sow.
“Ah,” he saw her face flush pinkish for a moment. It wasn’t an unusual reaction to his looks, and he’d used this very reaction more than once throughout his existence to get what he wanted. “I-I just need some information… for my file… to-to help Dawn,” she managed to stutter out.
Leaning on the aura of his vampiric nature, he gave her a friendly and just slightly predatory smile; just enough to give her subconscious mind some very naughty images of the possibilities. It was one of the gifts of being turned, though the longer you were associated with an individual, he’d found, the less impact it actually had.
“I’d love to help,” he said easily. “What can I provide to you,” he winked and grinned. He was sure that she’d be spending the rest of the day trying hard not to picture what he looked like without his clothing. Another trick he’d picked up among the years was the way he stood, with his hips ever so slightly thrust forward, allowing her unconscious to visualize what may be tucked in the front of his tight jeans.
Behind the lady, Willow rolled her eyes at him and silently mouthed, “Don’t over do it, Slut.”
“W-well, first, of course, would be a last name. I-it seems that no one knows who you are, here,” Golda nervously laughed, before clearing her throat. “I’m sure that at least Buffy must know it?”
“Smyth. William Randall Smyth,” he replied smoothly with another smile that seemed to carry something vaguely dirty underneath. “That would be with a ‘y’, luv.” (1)
“Oh, yes… wonderful,” she said, jotting in her notebook. “A-and, I understand you work nights? I’d like a copy of your paystub… the latest one you have. W-we need to see what sort of income is coming into the household… I’m sure you understand,” she glanced up through her bangs and seeing him looking at her, immediately gave her undivided attention to her binder, again.
Spike was thrown off for a second… ‘Paystub?’ ‘Employer’… just what exactly had the girls been making up off the cuff?!
You don’t keep your paystubs, but you’ll get her one, he suddenly heard Willow’s voice in his head. You work… I don’t know… some sort of night job! And, don’t say at the bloodbank!
“I’m working security,” he said to the woman, waiting to jot her little notes. “I’m afraid I don’t have any paystubs,” he said with a devilish grin. “Tend not to keep that sort of thing,” he looked away bashfully… just so… for her benefit. “I know I’m supposed to…, but…..
“I’ll get one from work and make sure you get a copy. Whatever you need.”
“Y-yes. That would be fine.”
“Then, if you’ll excuse me ladies… I need to get to bed.”
In the room at the top of the stairs, he found Dawn angrily throwing clothes into a suitcase.
“Hey, you alright,” he gave a concerned look.
“Yeah, sure,” Dawn shrugged, pouting. “I don’t need that bitch downstairs judging my family. I’m so pissed at Ms. Portlynn for starting this whole thing!”
“Yeah, well… we’ll get through it,” he shrugged lazily.
“Spike,” Dawn said with exasperation. “I kind of need you to be on my side on this one and, you know, be angry along with me.”
He gave her a smirk before taking the few steps into her room that it took to reach her. Giving her a quick peck on the forehead, he brushed her hair back with those cool, cool fingers.
“I’m always on your side, Pint. Always. But, wishin’ and hopin’ ain’t going to make her go away. So, let’s just try to be civil to her, so she jots down more good stuff than bad stuff and get through this, okay?”
She sighed, reaching for a small make up case. “I’ll try. But, I’m not going to let them take me anywhere! I don’t care what she thinks.”
“If it comes to that, we’ll go on the run… like a regular Bonnie and Clyde. I promised your Sis I’d do whatever it took to look after you. I’m keeping that promise. But, it’s not the time to go off half-cocked. Now, you finish what you’re doing… I gotta get some sleep before I forget I’m not supposed to bite people anymore. You goin’ back to Rick’s?”
“Yeah, I guess that’s the plan. Carole is nice enough, but this is my home. I don’t wanna stay with them.”
“You’ll be back before you know it.”
End Ch 6
(1) Yes, I know I gave Spike a different last name in Hunting Our Needs. Spike is unnecessarily lying here.