maryperk73703: (The Void)
[personal profile] maryperk73703
Here's the end.



Epilogue

Joyce sat in her hospital bed surrounded by her daughters and Spike. "I sure put a damper on the Christmas festivities," she exclaimed.

"Not bloody likely," Spike replied.

"Yeah, we'd rather you be safe than have a party," Dawn said. "Besides, we rocked the waiting room."

"It was quite the party," Buffy said. "I really loved the knives, Spike."

"I made them m'self," Spike said in a shy voice.

"That is wonderful, Spike," Joyce replied. "Do you do anything else besides knives? Have you always been able to craft knives?"

Spike shrugged, and he tried to look as nonchalant as possible. "I just started about a year ago," he admitted. "There was a blacksmith in the village close to where ... "

"Where you went to get the soul back," Buffy finished for him.

"Yeah."

Joyce and Dawn looked at Spike in astonishment. "Really? You have your soul back? Why?"

"It came to me in a dream," Spike replied.

Buffy nodded. "I had the same dream."

Together, Spike and Buffy told Joyce and Dawn about the dream. The only thing they omitted was the part about Dawn being the Key and Ben being Glory. They both knew none of that needed to be aired out loud anyway.

"You were pregnant in the dream?" Joyce asked Buffy, her voice filled with hope.

"I was. Not sure how." Buffy sighed. "Wonder if I can get Giles to research that."

Spike leaned in to whisper. "I got that part of the dream. We can talk about it later."

"Okay, Mom." Dawn had a large bag at her feet. "We know what Spike gave to Buffy and me. Now, it's your turn."

Buffy gave her mother a knowing wink. "Spike is Lord Chesterfield."

"I am." Spike looked proud of himself. "It wasn't a big estate when I was alive, but now it's grown quite plush."

Dawn took a wrapped present out of the bag, and she handed it to Joyce. "Here's the first present to you."

"You've already given us so much, Spike," Joyce protested.

"Joyce," Spike's voice smoothed out. "If you must know, I was born in 1852 to Andrew Jamison and Anne Winters-Pratt Jamison, Lord and Lady Chesterfield. I was the last living male relative when my father died. I inherited the Chesterfield title along with the Winters title. The titles were held in trust by my cousin's family, the Wyndam-Pryces."

"Huh, guess Wes might be a cousin then. That's cool." Dawn nodded with an interested look on her face. "Ironic if your family is a bunch of Watchers and you never even knew it."

"Wouldn't it though?" Spike said. He turned to Joyce. "I'll have you know that it's much easier to figure out what to get your daughters for Christmas. I hope you're not too disappointed."

Joyce shook her head with a laugh. "Spike, I wasn't expecting any presents of any kind this year. Anything you've gotten me will be fine." She carefully opened the package in her hands.

Dawn scooted forward to see what Joyce had received.

Joyce handed Dawn the wrapping paper. In her hands, she held a flat wooden box. When she opened the box, she gasped. "It's beautiful, William. It must have cost you a fortune."

Spike ducked his head, and he said shyly. "I picked it up from the vault on my way back from Africa."

"Okay, I'm dying to know what it is." Dawn stood up to look inside the box. She turned to Spike. "You are the best gift giver I've ever seen in my whole life."

"Can I see?" Buffy asked. She took the box when Joyce handed it to her. Inside the box was a beautiful five piece set of jewelry that glistened even under the horrible hospital lights. "Wow, Spike, this is ..." she paused while she tried to come up with the right descriptive word.

"Magical. I know." Spike swallowed. "I purchased that when I was nineteen for my future mother-in-law, whoever she might be. My mother had a similar set."

Buffy could see that the subject of his mother bothered Spike. She just wasn't sure why. It was clear that he loved his mother very much, but there was some kind of guilt attached to the memories. Maybe someday he'd trust her enough to tell her about the guilt.

Joyce looked at Spike. "You do know that I'm not your mother-in-law, right?"

"I'm hoping to change that with time," Spike replied. He glanced at Buffy.

"Me, too." Joyce winked at Spike. "Now tell me about the magic in this set of jewelry."

Spike shook his head. "I'm not sure what kind of magic it holds. I didn't even realize it was magical until after I was turned. When I was emptying the house out of important things after my mother ..." He stopped speaking.

"It's okay, Spike. You don't have to tell us anything you don't want to," Buffy assured the vampire.

"No, I want to get this off my chest," Spike replied. "After I was turned, I felt great. Free and alive. Ironic, I know. I didn't feel the weight of society pressing me down. I really didn't feel any different from before except I didn't care anymore about what my peers thought of me."

"And your mom?" Buffy asked. "What about her?"

"My mother was sick with the wasting disease."

"Tuberculosis." Joyce nodded.

"Yes. Drusilla and I went back to my home. I wanted to show Mother how wonderful everything was now." Spike let his eyes slide closed, just in case the Summers women hated him when he was finished with his tale. "I felt free and alive."

Dawn opened her mouth to speak, but she quickly closed it when her mother shook her head.

"I just wanted Mother to feel that too. She'd been so sick for so long."

"You loved your mother very much," Joyce said in a soft voice.

Spike nodded with his eyes still closed. "I was young and impetuous. I turned her, but it didn't turn out the way I expected. She wasn't my mother anymore. She was a cruel, vicious caricature of herself. I still don't know how I was so completely unchanged."

"You had to dust her, didn't you?" Buffy asked. She knew she'd have a very hard time dusting her mother if Joyce had ever been turned.

"Yeah. I killed my mother. Twice." Spike slumped in the chair, his whole body language screamed of guilt and horror. With his eyes closed, he didn't see the silent conversation between Joyce and Buffy. Spike was startled when a warm hand covered his own.

"I'm going to introduce you to one of my patrons from the gallery," Joyce said. "I recently discovered that she's a therapist."

Spike's eyes popped open, and he stared in surprise at Joyce.

"I'll introduce you and Buffy both," Joyce continued. "Her name is Brenna Hassib. She's some kinda demon along with the others in her family. I sure that the both of you can talk freely to her about anything you're having issues with."

"Mom," Buffy whined. "I'm fine."

"You are not, but that's okay," Joyce assured her daughter. "The past few years have been hard on all of us. I think we should talk to Brenna about family sessions. Living in Sunnydale is hard on people."

Buffy huffed. "Fine, but I'm not going to be happy about it." She crossed her arms over her chest, and the pout was quite visible.

Spike looked at Buffy, and he couldn't resist the urge to tease her. He leaned over to whisper. "Look at that lip."

"You gonna get it?" Buffy giggled.

Joyce and Dawn looked at each other, and they rolled their eyes. This was going to be a long, sappy courtship between the Slayer and her vampire.

Not that long, sappy courtships were a bad thing.

The End

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