Sands of Burning Time - (5)
Disclaimer and Distribution notes are listed on the Index page of this story.'Single' quote marks surround thoughts in this story. "Regular" quotes are around spoken words.
"Why didn't you tell us your past counterpart would be here in Cairo?" Giles demanded. He took his glasses off to polish the lens on his shirt tail. He knew that a whole slew of problems could land on their doorstep with two Spikes roaming around Cairo.
"Because he's not suppose to be, you pillock," Spike answered from between gritted teeth. "Dru dragged me to Paris when I couldn't find the Slayer. I don't have a bloody clue what happened."
"So we have Dru to deal with, too," Giles grumbled. "That's just great, Spike."
"No! The Slayer and I went to check out the hotel I know we stayed at." The blond vampire threw himself into a nearby chair. "Dru got on the boat to Paris two nights ago. I checked out just before dawn."
"What changed?" Giles asked. He put his glasses back on to study the vampire.
"Buffy's here," Spike shrugged eloquently. He refused to look at the Watcher.
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"It's like this, Watcher." Spike jumped to his feet, and he paced up and down the room. "Lookin' back, I knew the very second Buffy was Chosen. I felt it happen."
"How is that possible?" Giles managed to look perplexed.
"I don't know. I only realized it this past summer while talking with Nibblet." Spike stopped his pacing. "There's a chance that my counterpart felt her enter the timeline."
"How is that possible?"
"You're repeating yourself, Rupes," Spike chuckled. "Buffy is the only Slayer I've actively pursued to the degree that I did. Most of the Slayers were like the little bint belongin' to your grandmum. If I couldn't find her, I didn't try all that hard to sniff her out."
"What made Buffy different? I mean beyond this 'bond' you seem to have with her." Giles was very curious about what Spike apparently felt for Buffy, and he wondered if it had anything to do with the fierceness that the blond vampire protected Dawn.
"Hmmm." Spike shrugged carelessly. "I guess it was 'cause I started to know her on a personal level. I knew her friends ... by name, no less. I met Joyce and the Nibblet. Buffy changes everyone she meets. She has a way of making a monster feel like a man." He said the last sentence a bit sadly.
"When did it happen?" Giles rolled his eyes at Spike's puzzled look. "When did you fall in love with her, Spike?"
"I suppose that first night at the Bronze," Spike said softly. "There is something about Buffy that's mesmerizing."
Spike woke suddenly. It was time. His Slayer was once again in the world. It was time for him to travel to the Hellmouth with Giles to get things ready for his girl.
"Did you feel it when Willow resurrected her?" Giles was curious about Spike's response about this question.
"Yes, but there was so much chaos that night, I didn't realize what I was feelin' till I saw her at home," Spike answered. He remembered the feelings that had coursed through him when he realized that it truly was Buffy and not that damned 'bot that Dawn was leading down the stairs. Spike was so lost in his memories that he barely noticed what he said next, "It'll be a long time b'fore I forgive the Scoobs for pullin' her out of heav..." He looked up in horror at the Watcher when he realized his slip.
"Please finish what you were going to say, Spike," Giles said in a steely tone. "The Scoobs pulled Buffy out of where?"
"What Spikey inadvertently let slip is that I wasn't in a hell dimension, Giles." Buffy entered the room. She went to stand by the embarrassed and contrite vampire, who was now looking down at the floor. Buffy laid a hand on his shoulder. "I didn't feel comfortable telling anyone except Spike about being in heaven. Dawn already carries the burden of me dying in her place, and you were so glad to see me back. I just couldn't hurt either of you. The Scoobs expected me to be all happy Buffy."
"And Spike didn't," Giles replied. He stared at the guilty looking vampire. "He was the only one of us that didn't expect you to be exactly the same after your experience, wasnít he? He really does love you, despite the absence of a soul." Giles felt something so profound and right slip into place inside himself. He wished Tara was there at that moment to tell him what Spike and Buffy's auras were like.
Buffy smiled down at Spike's lowered head, and answered, "Yes, he really does, and... and I'm starting to love him back." She bit her lip and winced when both Brits stared at her in disbelief. Spike, because he never thought he'd hear such a thing from her, and Giles because he never thought that Buffy would have the courage to admit such a thing to him, not after Angel anyway. "Don't worry so much, Giles. Spike isn't anything like Angel. Besides Spike and I are something that Angel and I could never be."
"What's that?" Giles' curiosity was piqued.
"Friends." Buffy pulled the shocked vampire to his feet. "I actually came to tell you that your grandmother is here. I'm gonna take blondie here out on the terrace to talk. I think I need to give him his crumbs." She pulled Spike along behind her as she left the room the same way she came.
Giles only had a few minutes to regroup before his paternal grandmother entered the room. He had always adored his grandmother and still felt a twinge of guilt at the trouble he'd caused as a young adult with Ethan and the others. As a child he'd never realized how beautiful Edna Giles had been, but he could see it now. Giles greeted the woman with a warm smile and a hug.
"I do believe that time travel is one of the most farfetched stories I have ever heard," Edna said sharply as she stepped away from the man hugging her. "How do I know this isn't some fabrication just to gain my trust?"
"Always the cynical one, grandmother," Giles replied archly. "Believe me, if you live on a Hellmouth for enough years, you come to realize that time travel isn't all that farfetched at all." He waved Edna over into the chair that Spike had vacated just minutes before.
"Yes, I suppose." Edna took the offered seat. "Not to mention, you are allowing your Slayer to cavort with that creature."
"Buffy has always had a mind of her own," Giles sighed. "The spell used to find potentials somehow overlooked her. She had no idea what she was until she was called. Buffy lost her first Watcher within a few weeks of becoming the Slayer."
"That is sometimes the way of things," Edna replied. She did however have a twinge of pity for the younger woman. Losing a Watcher that soon into a Slayer's calling didn't always bode well for the girl's future.
"It was Lothos, grandmother," Giles said. He sat in the opposite armchair and crossed his legs. "Buffy defeated him. She died at the hands of the Master but was revived, and she killed him. She has fought vampires, zombies, giant snakes, a man made demon, and the Hell-god Glorificus. She has sent her first love to Hell and has had her father desert her. Buffy's had two lovers leave her because they couldn't deal with the fact that either they couldn't have a physical relationship or because she is the Slayer, therefore didn't need to be protected. She has gained a sister, lost her mother, died to save the world, and has been torn out of heaven. Yet, she hasnít even seen her twenty-first birthday, grandmother."
"That doesn't explain her consorting with that creature out there," Edna sneered. "Don't think I don't know his reputation."
"Yes, Spike does deserve his rep," Giles sighed. "He is an evil, vicious vampire. He spent several years attempting to kill Buffy."
"He's proved himself an invaluable part of our team." Giles leaned back in his chair. "He likes the world just the way it is."
"Yes, even if it's just for the dog racing, Manchester U, and the happy meals on legs." Buffy rolled her eyes as she strolled back into the room. "That's the excuse he gave me when he came for the truce against Angelus. Spike and that Logan guy are gonna go check out the local demon haunts. They want to see if they can come up with any rumors." She turned to study Giles' grandmother. "Spike's part of the Scoobs, Mrs. Giles. He's an annoying, disgusting pig of a vampire, but he's ours, and the Scoobs protect their own. The last person to hurt one of my boyfriends was Spike. He spent several months in a wheelchair as the result."
"Buffy, please don't threaten my grandmother," Giles admonished. He didn't want to alienate his grandmother before he was even born.
"Giles, you know I don't make threats. I make promises," Buffy said in a hard tone. "I just came in to tell you that Evy and I are gonna go shopping." She looked down at her feet and wrinkled her nose. "Why do all the slimy demons like to explode on my shoes?"
"Have fun, Buffy," Giles laughed. "Try not to find any trouble."
"It's just shopping goodness, not that I want to jinx myself or anything," Buffy chirped. "Anyway, gotta go." She strolled back out of the room the way she had come.
"She is a very cheeky young woman," Edna muttered. "How can you stand it?"