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Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'm not writing this for profit or personal gain. Why am I writing this you ask? I…well…um… That's a good question. I'll go with "to stave off the insanity." "Hang" is by Matchbox 20.
Rating: NC-17 (It's Spike's fault again. He just won't keep his clothes on, even in AU's…)
Summary: After the death of her first love, Buffy Summers swore to never give her heart to another. But with the addition of an unwelcome houseguest into her life, Buffy begins to realize she may have to rethink that vow… (Spuffy; All-human AU)
Spoilers: It's one of those insidious all-human fics, so none, I guess. I'll probably use a few lines from some episodes here and there, but nothing that would give away major plot points for those of you who still haven't managed to see the whole series a year after it ended…
Author's Note: Okay, technically in this story, Spike and Buffy are step-siblings. However, they never lived together as children, and prior to the main part of this fic, they'd only met once (and that's in the prologue.) Basically, they're step-siblings in name only. Still, if that's enough to bother you, don't read this and then harass me about it. I know it's a potentially creepy subject, hence this nifty little disclaimer. If you didn't read this, get two pages into the fic, and think "Ew! Her mom is married to his dad! I hate this fic and want to burn it and then give the author a stern talking to," well, it's your own dang fault, and I'll delete your email gleefully. If the sorta almost family issue doesn't bother you, then by all means, read on.
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Been Here Too Few Years
By: Addie Logan
*** *** ***
She grabs her magazines She packs her things and she goes She leaves the pictures hanging on the wall, she burns all Her notes and she knows, she's been here too few years To feel this old
He smokes his cigarette, he stays outside 'till it's gone If anybody ever had a heart, he wouldn't be alone He knows, she's been here too few years, to be gone
And we always say, it would be good to go away, someday But if there's nothing there to make things change If it's the same for you I'll just hang
The trouble understand, is she got reasons he don't Funny how he couldn't see at all, 'til she grabbed up her coat And she goes, she's been here too few years to take it all in stride But still it's much too long, to let hurt go (you let her go) And we always say, it would be good to go away, someday But if there's nothing there to make things change If it's the same for you I'll just hang The same for you I'll always hang Well I always say, it would be good to go away But if things don't work out like we think And there's nothing there to ease this ache But if there's nothing there to make things change If it's the same for you, I'll just hang
*** *** ***
Prologue: The Wedding
Buffy Summers was surprised at how excited she was on the morning of her mother's second wedding. When Joyce Summers had first begun dating again after the divorce, Buffy hadn't been happy. It hadn't helped that the first man Joyce had brought home was less than stable and threatened Buffy while playing mini golf of all things.
But try as she might, Buffy had never been able to truly dislike Rupert Giles. In the past year since he'd come into her life, Buffy had already begun to regard the middle-aged librarian as the fatherly role model she'd never really had before. Besides, he'd put a spark of happiness back in Joyce's eyes, and that was one thing that Buffy would never begrudge her mother.
Buffy's ten year old sister Dawn, however, was another story.
"But I like it just the three of us!" Dawn whined as she sat on Buffy's bed, letting the elder Summers sister brush her long, brown hair. "My friend Janice has a step-dad, and she says he's a total jerk."
Buffy held back from saying that if she had to live with Janice, she probably wouldn't be all that cheery either. "But Giles is cool," Buffy said. "In a tweed-wearing high school librarian sort of way. Besides, Mom loves him."
"This is all your fault you know," Dawn accused. "If you hadn't gotten in trouble and had to serve detention, Mom never would've met him, and our lives could've kept going on the way they were."
Buffy through back to that day almost a year ago, when Joyce had come to the Sunnydale High School library to pick her daughter up from detention. Joyce's anger with Buffy had quickly been pushed to the side as she and Giles had begun a two-hour conversation that ended in a dinner invitation. "Personally, I'm glad I got caught trying to skip class," Buffy said. "You can be negative all you want, but I think we're going to make a great family." Buffy hadn't realized how much she'd missed the feeling of unity from having a mother and a father until Giles had come into her life and reminded her what she'd been missing.
Dawn decided she wasn't going to sway Buffy to her side. "Speaking of family, isn't Giles's son supposed to be getting here today?"
"Yeah. Giles is picking him up from the airport at noon."
"The mysterious William," Dawn said with a smirk. "I wonder what he'll be like. You think he'll be another member of the Tweed Squad?"
"I don't think so," Buffy replied. To be honest, she wasn't sure she wanted to meet William. Most of what she'd heard about him had been spoken in hushed tones when Giles and Joyce thought that Buffy couldn't hear them. She knew that, while he'd once been rather introverted, he'd become more rebellious as of late, choosing to remain behind in London—supposedly living with a woman his father didn't approve of—instead of accompanying Giles when he made the move to California.
Giles had stated several times that he wouldn't be surprised if William refused to come at all, despite his attempt to extend the olive branch to his only child and make him his best man. Buffy wished he would just stay in England. She had high hopes for familial bliss, and wild step-brothers could only ruin that.
"Maybe he'll defy all odds and actually be cool," Dawn said.
"Maybe." Buffy patted Dawn's head and set down the brush. "There. Tangle-free. Try to keep it that way at least until it's time to fix it for the wedding. We don't want everyone thinking Mom makes you live out in the woods or something."
Dawn rolled her eyes in classic irritated little sister style. "It was not that bad, Buffy."
"Tell that to the person that didn't just spend twenty minutes detangling your hair."
"Whatever. It was more like fifteen."
"Still too long. Come on, I told Mom we'd make her breakfast."
"Hope she likes cereal," Dawn muttered.
"Hey! I can totally make breakfast."
"Says the girl who seems to think eggs are supposed to be black and crispy."
"I've been practicing, and I think I've discovered and learned from my mistakes."
"Famous last words," Dawn replied as she followed Buffy out of the bedroom.
*** *** ***
William "Spike" Giles grabbed his bag from the trunk of his father's old Citron. They'd barely said two words to each other on the drive to the airport, and Spike was already regretting coming. He almost hadn't, especially when it had been made clear to him that his girlfriend, Drusilla, was not welcome. But Spike had been too curious to see the woman his father had replaced his dead mother with not to show.
Spike started to follow his father into the house, but stopped when he looked up into a second-story window and caught a glimpse of a girl dancing. She wore a shimmery, light blue top that clung to her curves perfectly. Her long, blonde hair framed her face, and she moved with the grace and self-confidence of someone who didn't know she had an audience. The vision of her enthralled him, and for a moment, Spike forgot all about Drusilla. All that existed for him in that moment was the golden goddess he had the privilege of watching. She was radiant, glowing.
"William, are you coming in, or are you going to spend the entire visit standing out on the lawn?"
Spike blinked, his father's irritated voice breaking the spell he'd been under. "Sorry, Rupes. Just admiring your new place."
Giles frowned at his son's disrespectful nickname for him. "Right. Well, come inside. Joyce is at the salon having her hair and make-up done, and I need to get you settled so I can leave before she returns. Bloody tradition and all. Dawn and Buffy are here though, if you would like to meet them."
Spike rolled his eyes. Buffy… He couldn't believe his father was marrying a woman who would name her child Buffy. "Fine, I'll meet the little chits."
"William…" Giles said in warning.
"Fine. Let me meet your wonderful wife-to-be's wonderful daughters."
Spike followed Giles into the house, getting a quick glance at the living room as Giles called Buffy and Dawn downstairs. Spike sucked in a breath as the woman he'd watched dancing descended the stairs. She was even more beautiful up close than she'd been through the window. If her mother was anything like her, maybe Spike could understand why his father had decided to remarry. Maybe.
Buffy looked up, feeling a rush of shock at the sight of Giles's son. His clothes were all black, adorned with safety pins, and his short, spiked hair was bleached to white. His deep, blue eyes were rimmed in dark black. He was gorgeous. He was dangerous. How he could be the son of the proper librarian who was marrying her mother was beyond her.
Buffy almost stumbled down the stairs as Dawn ran past her. The younger Summers girl stopped short at the last step, gaping at Spike. "Whoa. You look totally different than in your picture. No puffy brown hair or geek glasses."
"Da, are you still showing people those horrid pictures of me? Bloody hell, do you want everyone to think I'm just a chip off the old pathetic git block?"
"Well, I certainly don't want people to know my son insists on dressing like a street thug and calling himself some ridiculous name. What is it again, Snake?" Giles snapped.
"It's Spike, and you know it," Spike said through clenched teeth.
Buffy decided right then and there that she didn't like the blond punk that was standing in her foyer. Giles was one of the nicest people she knew, and she hated the thought of anyone being rude to him, especially his own son. What was William's problem? Didn't he know how lucky he was to have a father who wasn't scum?
The dreamy look in Dawn's eyes told Buffy that her sister didn't share her sentiments.
"William," Giles said pointedly, "These are Joyce's daughters—Buffy and Dawn." Giles gestured to each girl as he said her name. "Girls, this is my son, William." Again, Giles made sure to add emphasis to his son's given name.
Spike raised a scarred eyebrow as he learned that the older one was Buffy. He thought for sure she'd be Dawn. After all, her golden hair did remind him of sunrise… He pushed that last thought away. It didn't matter. He had no intention of getting to know anyone in the Summers family. "Nice to meet you," Spike said, sure to make his sarcasm evident.
"My thoughts exactly," Buffy replied with a saccharine smile.
Dawn seemed oblivious to Spike's attempts to be rude. "Do you want me to show him where he'll be staying?" she asked Giles.
"Yes, that would probably be for the best right now," Giles said, grateful for a way to break the tension. "William, you'll be staying in Dawn's room, while Dawn will be with Buffy. Joyce and I will leave for our honeymoon after the reception, but Joyce's mother will be here tonight, as she is staying with the girls while we will be gone."
"Doesn't matter," Spike said with a shrug. "I'm leaving tomorrow morning anyway."
Giles nodded. "I suspected as much."
Dawn grasped Spike's hand, forgetting her previous decision to hate her new step-brother. "Come on, I'll show you my room."
Spike let her pull him behind her, finding he didn't have the heart to continue being rude to her.
"It's smaller than Buffy's room, but it's better," Dawn said as she opened her bedroom door. "Her room is totally lame. It has boy band posters all over the place."
Spike put his bag on top of Dawn's bed. "Well, then, I guess I was lucky in getting your room. Nothing scares me more than those dancing gits and the nancy boy hair gel they like so much."
Dawn giggled. "You know, as much as I totally hate that my mom is marrying your dad, I think I'm glad about you. You seem cool, and I've always wanted a big brother. Having a big sister sucks. Buffy is such a brat."
"Thanks, nibblet. You seem like you'll make a pretty cool little sis yourself."
Dawn smiled brightly at Spike, wishing more than anything that he was staying with them instead of going back to England. Maybe if he was around, she'd finally feel like something other than a freak in her own family.
*** *** ***
Buffy glared at the rumpled tuxedo-clad man leaning against the island in her kitchen. Despite Joyce's insistence that Spike's less-than-pleasant behavior hadn't even registered on her radar, Buffy was convinced that he'd ruined her mother's happy day.
Buffy strode angrily into the kitchen, arms crossed over her chest. "Do you realize you are like the most self-centered, arrogant jerk ever?"
Spike coughed. "Excuse me?"
"How dare you be such an ass at my mother's wedding? She worked hard to make this day perfect, and you had to ruin it!"
Spike rolled his eyes. "Whatever, Betty."
"It's Buffy," Buffy snapped. Spike was surprised at how menacing the petite blonde could sound, but didn't let it show.
"Yeah, like that's any better. Buffy." He snorted. "Makes you sound like a porn star."
"Oh yeah, and 'Spike' is so very classy."
Spike forced himself to ignore how attractive she was when she was angry. "Look, you stupid little bint, I really don't care about you or your mum, so why don't you just sod off?"
Buffy glared at him with indignation. "This is my kitchen. If anyone is going to 'sod off,' it's going to be you."
Spike would've laughed if he wasn't so mad. He gave her his most infuriating smirk. "I was here first."
"Too bad. Get out."
"Make me, Betty."
Spike and Buffy glared at each other, neither daring to be the first to move.
Dawn walked into the kitchen, unaware of the tension between her sister and new step-brother. "Hey, Spike. I know you have to get up early to catch your plane and stuff, but, um, do you want to watch a movie or something?"
Spike gave Buffy two more seconds worth of good glaring before turning to Dawn. "Sure, bit. Let's go find something to watch."
Buffy rolled her eyes and stepped back, letting Spike walk by. After he and Dawn were gone, she went back to her room, secure in her knowledge that William Giles would get on a plane back to London the next morning, and she would never have to see him again.
*** *** ***
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