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Pari
07/04/18 10:05 pm
I have added some coding to deter hem from trying to post links. We shall see how it goes
Pari
07/04/18 10:01 pm
I have added some coding to deter hem from trying to post links. We shall see how it goes
Pari
07/04/18 08:20 pm
Sorry for the spammage, I am looking into a fix. Until I find a solution I can only advise if you see spam just delete it. Again, I am researching a fix, besides removing the reviewing feature
Passion4Spike
06/28/18 03:25 am
Is there seriously nothing you can do to stop these spammers , Pari?? Like, how about not allow links on reveiws? This is the only site I have this problem with. soon there will be nothing but spam
Lilachigh
04/23/18 09:08 am
I'm back! Have you missed me? Uploading chapters from new fics, starting with Everyone Has Secrets.
slayee
04/14/18 09:08 pm
I really wihs Fetching Mad Scientist would come back to do an update. :( after all these years it seems a bit impossible but...
SeaPea
03/31/18 02:39 am
So good to get an update, twilight child.
twilightchild
03/15/18 08:54 pm
Hey everyone. It's been a real long time. I've missed the fanfiction world.
Pari
03/15/18 02:02 pm
@Passion4Spike, thnx and spam reviews deleted
Passion4Spike
03/15/18 01:48 pm
ok, will do, Pari

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Authors Chapter Notes:
Due to a rude and nasty reviewer that insisted on posting a new nasty review every two minutes calling me a "Bitch", I took the story down. I was encouraged to repost so as to not let this nasty person win. I decided to do so, but to only let members only review me. And as one friend told me, I got rid of the negativity and started fresh. I hope you'll read the new chapters, thank you!


Chapter One



Her mother was dead. She'd died of an aneurism. Buffy couldn't even spell aneurism. She'd tried working it out in her journal before finally looking it up. Even having the correct spelling of the thing that killed her mother was no comfort to her. Didn't even give her a sense of accomplishment that she'd learned something new. All it left was an empty feeling in her. And then of course she feared she'd one day get that thing that made your brain go ‘pop' and your body just stop. Since she'd gotten the call from Spike - the last person she'd ever think to hear from - every headache she'd gotten, she thought, Well, this is it.



Except it wasn't it. She had to live. To trooper on and bear it. Unfortunately. Now she really had barely a family. Well, unless she counted the father that dropped her once he deemed her ‘of no use to him', and Spike, who...yeah, that wasn't going to happen. The day she considered him as anything but the pain in the ass that had driven the wedge in her family, would be the day the sky would turn orange and frogs would start dropping from the sky. And he was the person she had to see back in Sunnydale. He was the person she hoped didn't kick her out of the house once the funeral was over because hell, she didn't have a home anymore. She'd used last month's rent to charter the plane out for her mother's funeral. She was broke now, only able to swindle a hundred out of her father, and she had gotten the distinct impression he only gave that to her so she'd just go. Anything to get her out of his sight faster. She had no place to stay, no money to pay for a place to stay and no way to get back to her job that didn't pay well to begin with.



Buffy Summers was stuck and in the worst possible way. Closing her eyes, she thought back to her life and how it'd all unraveled as she settled in for the last leg of her flight from Boston to Sunnydale, California.



Flashback



Buffy arrived at her childhood home at the time her mother had requested her to arrive. Joyce Summers had been secretive on the phone and yet bubbly. Something was up all right and Buffy could only hope it had to do with her father, her poor father Hank, who had been trying his hardest to get back in Joyce's good graces for some time now. He was out of rehab, going to regular AA meetings, had given up his womanizing on the side ways, and wanted his family back.



Buffy had put the good word in for him and Joyce had flat out told her it wasn't going to happen. That didn't stop Buffy from trying though. This was her father. This was her family. She had to fight for them. She had to make the things right that had gone so incredibly wrong.



It wasn't as if Buffy suffered the delusion that she'd somehow made her family fall apart. She certainly didn't make Hank drink or tell him to cheat on her mother, but she saw how he tried, saw the pain behind his eyes that told her he was a changed man and he was sorry for what he'd done, so desperately sorry. And now that he'd gone from not even being a presence in her life to someone that encouraged her and wanted to be there for her, Buffy felt she had to help him.



She just wished her mother wouldn't be so damn difficult about it.



Hoping that her mother was going to tell her that she was going to give her father a chance, Buffy rang the doorbell.



"Hello."



Buffy stared back at the slender man with the bleached blond hair and stepped back, looking up. Yep, this was her house.



The man chuckled, his blue eyes full of merriment, his smile broad. "Hi, you must be Buffy. Your mother told me you had quite a sense of humor."



He was British, she noted. "Who are you?" she asked, having a funny feeling suddenly about why she was invited over, who this guy was, and why Joyce sounded so happy on the phone. She could be quite perceptive when she wanted to be.



"Honey, you've come!" Joyce came to the door then, placing a hand on the guy's arm and beaming at him for a minute before focusing her brilliant smile on her.



Joyce appeared years younger. It was amazing what a smile could do for a person. The right smile at least-a real smile. Her wavy, shoulder length hair even seemed a lighter brown, she was wearing makeup, and her clothes were more stylish than usual. She seemed twenty years younger to her thirty-eight.



"Hi," the guy said, extending his hand. "I'm Spike."



"Spike?" Buffy repeated back, finding that something a person named their dog, not their child.



His smile faltered a bit. "It's a nickname. My real name is William Pratt."



Buffy thought perhaps she could ask where he got the nickname Spike, but decided she really didn't give a shit as she took his hand daintily and shook it.



She stepped in the house and the scent of pot roast wafted to her. Her favorite. This did not bode well.



"So, who exactly are you?" Buffy questioned Spike, not even bothering to settle herself in.



"I work with your mother at the gallery. Would you like me to take your jacket?"



"I still technically live here, even if I dorm at the University." Buffy told him. "I know where the closet is and you know what? My room is still upstairs when I come home from school for holidays."



Spike shut his mouth and Buffy turned to Joyce. "What's going on?" She knew she was being a bitch and until someone told her that what she thought was going on wasn't, she was going to continue to be one. Her visions of a happy family were starting to disintegrate before her eyes.



"Buffy, why don't you sit, dear," Joyce tried calmly. "You're being very rude and I think maybe if you just relaxed a bit--"



"Just tell me what's going on, Mom," Buffy said, sighing.



"Spike and I are getting married."



"How old are you?" Buffy demanded of Spike.



"He's twenty-eight, Buffy," Joyce answered for him.



"Jesus Christ!" Buffy exclaimed and her mother admonished her for her language. "What about dad?"



"Buffy, you knew that was never going to happen."



"What could you possibly have in common with him. He has a dogs name for fuck's sake!" Buffy shouted, tears streaming down her face. Hank was going to be so upset...



End Flashback



What followed was a series of accusations and insults that were said in malice and in response to a little girls dreams falling apart at the seams right before her very eyes. Buffy and her mother had barely spoken after that. When Joyce asked her to be her maid of honor, Buffy told her she wasn't even going to be attending the wedding. And she hadn't. Instead, she'd followed a heartbroken Hank to Boston, transferring her credits from Sunnydale University in which she was a sophomore, to Boston University and finishing out school there.



She had soon learned what a mistake it was to follow Hank. He didn't want much to do with her after Joyce had gotten married. He claimed that she reminded him too much of his "Joycey" and the family they once had been. He made it seem like her fault, as if she had failed him, them, and instead of looking to her mother for comfort from a father who no longer wanted her, Buffy became embittered toward her instead and it would be four years and eleven months before she would begin to talk with her mother.



One month later, Joyce died at forty-three, Spike became a widower at thirty-three and Buffy became motherless at twenty-five.



Chapter Two



October 24, 2005


When I see people around me complaining about this or that, I want to walk up to them and say, "My mother just died." Just to see what they'd say, just to see if I'd get sympathy. I think I want the sympathy. I want someone to tell me it's all right for me to feel like shit even if I was the one that moved away and pulled back. But I don't have to tell them that. They don't need to know that at all. I wouldn't get their sympathy then and there would be no justification any longer. I highly doubt Spike will be giving with the sympathy. I'm just his bitch of a ‘stepdaughter' that blew off his wife for nearly five years. Nearly. What's that? It was five years. That last month doesn't count for shit. Especially since she didn't even tell me she had been sick.

Why is it so hard for someone to admit they've fucked up?



Closing her journal, Buffy slid it into her purse and watched as the cab pulled onto her tree-lined road. She was home. If she could even call it home. She was in a former residence of a former life. In a place she once considered home. Tears formed and she sat still, unwilling to move for fear they would drop. She held her breath, willing for them to pass and once they did, she took a shuddering breath.



Then the cab pulled up to her old house and fear gripped her. Normally, she wasn't afraid of much, but having to see Spike gripped her in ways she never thought possible. She was at his mercy right now and if there was one thing Buffy hated, it was being at anyone's mercy.



********



Spike watched from the window as Buffy gathered her things from the cab and paid, struggling not to drop the ten thousand bags she had with her. He supposed he could help her, but he wasn't much in a helping mood. Not after he'd just had to start making arrangements for the funeral. It was enough that he'd waited for Buffy before choosing a casket. He could cut her that one small slack.



He opened the door to her and said nothing as she passed through. She looked up at him and let her things slide to the floor unceremoniously. "Hi," she said.



"Hi," he said grimly, staring at her. She'd grown. He couldn't really put his finger on it, but she appeared older to him. Her hair was longer and more golden now than bleached blond, her green eyes held some pain and the weight of experience in them, her skin was paler and she had thinned out a bit. She was dressed in jeans and a tank top and he could see muscle definition in her bare arms.



"What needs to be done?" she asked.



"I saved the casket for you."



She nodded. "I'll just put my stuff upstairs."



He figured maybe now he could help after having watched her struggle and gaining some perverse joy from it.



Hauling her things upstairs, Buffy felt choked when she got to her bedroom door. She could smell her mother still. Memories of her childhood came back: her mother smiling, laughing, sharing stories, making cookies, and kissing her boo-boos.



"Can you just leave my stuff here?" Buffy asked Spike, not able to turn to him, not able to face him.



"Why?"



"I need a minute; can you give me a minute?"



She heard him drop her things and then pad down the hall and run down the stairs. Heaving a sigh, she placed her hand on the doorknob.



Mommy, I wish I could kiss your boo-boo now.



Stepping inside, Buffy found her room as she'd left it. It was as if she herself had died and her mother had preserved her memory by not touching a thing. The only thing out of place was photo album on the bed. Moving slowly toward it as if it were going to attack her, Buffy choked back more tears. Her baby book. The image of her mother sitting on her bed and flipping through her baby book alone caused Buffy to let out a strangled cry. The tears came then, hard and uncontrollable, rocking her tiny frame to the floor where she knelt and sobbed.



Spike heard the anguished cry and took a step toward the stairs, ready to run up and comfort the crying girl, but then stopped. Did she deserve comfort and sympathy after how she'd abandoned her mother? Did she deserve to have someone hold her and tell her that it was going to be all right and that Joyce knew she loved her and that it was all forgiven?



Or did she deserve instead to wallow?



"I know you don't understand, Spike, but you've never had a child before so you don't know what it's like. I can't disown her as she's done me. I love her. I carried her in my womb for nine months; I was there when she got her heart broken for the first time-and do you know who did it? Her father. Her father was the first man to break her heart and she doesn't even remember it. Ever since then, she's carried this torch for him and sought his approval. Remember William: Only the one that's hurt you can take it away."


That was Joyce all right. All forgiving, all knowing, all understanding. He had to admit: It drove him crazy. He wanted to curse himself for thinking it, but there it was and it didn't make it any less true the fact that he didn't want it to be true. Joyce had always been such a calming force when he at times could be a downright volatile force.



He supposed that was one instance in which he and Buffy had something in common: Both of them had tempers that couldn't be assuaged by a simple kiss or nugget of wisdom. And both held grudges. He held a grudge against her for hurting her mother for so long and she held a grudge against Joyce and him. Or so it seemed.



The last month, Joyce had reached out once more and Buffy had actually taken accepted that olive branch a bit. Not enough for his liking, but Joyce assured him these things took time.



So, now he was torn between wanting the girl to wallow a bit in her pain and really feel it, and going up as Joyce would want him to, and comfort her.



Climbing the steps slowly to her room, Spike hoped she'd stop crying before he got there so he wouldn't have to do something that he felt at this point was out of obligation to his dead wife, and less about obligation to being a kind, forgiving person.



His prayers were answered for by the time he'd reached the top of the stairs, Buffy emerged, eyes red and puffy and her hair pulled back. She looked up at him, seeming surprised to see him there, a hint of a question behind her eyes. Clearing her throat she said, "I'm ready," and strolled past him to head down the stairs.



He waited a minute, staring after her, and then followed.




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