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In Pieces

By Ariel Dawn

Summery: Buffy gets antsy in Giles’ apartment.

Disclaimer: The pixies tell me that I don’t own the BTVS characters, some guy named Joss does. I’m afraid the pixies don’t lie.

Author’s note: Some dialogue taken from “Who are You?” Expertly Beta’d by the fabulous BTL.

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Chapter 2: Classic Buffy with a Twist

“The most important matter at hand seems to be to discover what went wrong,” commented Giles, looking down at the group that had encamped in his living room.

Buffy looked up from the couch, her green eyes shining through the veil of brown hair surrounding her face.

“I could call Tara, she helped, she might know what went wrong,” offered Willow, eagerly avoiding eye contact with her friend the slayer sitting comfortably beside the vampire.

“We also must consider that the Council will undoubtedly come back looking for Faith,” added Giles.

“They aren’t taking her while she still has my nose, Giles,” interrupted Buffy.

“You may have resign yourself to the fact that this may be permanent Buffy.”

“I don’t want her nose!”

“There is always plastic surgery, pet,” noted the otherwise silent vampire.

Buffy turned with wide eyes towards the blond next to her.

“What are you going to do in the mean time?” Willow asked her friend.

Buffy leaned back against the couch and flipped her brown hair. “I don’t know, try to live life normally, I guess. Setting aside the fact that Faith is upstairs with my nose and my hair, and she slept with my boyfriend last night, and now I’m suddenly without a boyfriend, it’s a normal Buffy day. I may go Bronzing.”

Giles gave her a disapproving look.

“Or I’ll go patrolling, as usual,” she pouted, her arms crossed.

“Well,” started Spike, slapping his legs as he rose, “you seem to have things right under control here. Glad a vamp could help out.”

He took a step away from the couch on the way towards the door, only to be caught by Buffy's manicured hand.

"Hey! Where you going big boy?" cooed Buffy gripping Spike's hand, standing up next to him.

Both Giles and Willow turned to look at the slayer with an unasked question in their eyes.

“Don’t you think you could have a good time, patrolling with me?” Buffy continued, as she pressed her body into his.

“Uh, Buffy?” whispered Willow, a tad bit concerned.

Buffy spun around to face her friend. “What?”

“You’re acting a little Faithy,” Willow mentioned, her voice low, as if she was nervous.

“What are you talking about?”

“You’re on Spike like cheese wiz on a Ritz cracker,” Willow explained.

Buffy looked down at herself, immediately noticing that one of her hands had found its way into Spike’s duster. She looked up at Spike’s face, his countenance a mixture of delight, and fear. He clearly didn’t know what was going on either. Immediately he covered up his reaction with a cocky retort.

“Can’t keep your little slayer hands off of me, can you pet?”

Buffy’s eyes went wide, and she drew back from Spike, her body feeling her sudden withdrawal.

“I...I think you should go,” stammered the slayer, her hands fisted on her chest, her insecurity showing.

Spike nodded and swooped out the door, his duster billowing behind him.

“Damn,” Buffy muttered as he headed out into the shaded courtyard.

“Buffy!” chastised Willow. “What’s wrong with you?”

“Ugh,” she responded. “I think I got Faith’s sluttyness too!”

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Buffy bounced her leg up and down, fidgeting as she occupied her space on Giles’ couch. She was bored, she was annoyed, and she was worried.

Bored, ‘cause of the whole not allowed to leave the house thing, annoyed, well ‘cause of the same...and worried, ‘cause of the thing with Faith being somewhat upstairs and somewhat in the body she was occupying. What if she stayed this way, with the sluttyness, and the freely groping of men? Not men! Man! Ugh! Vampire!

Buffy crossed her arms more tightly.

Stupid vampire.

She had to admit that she was grateful that Spike had known something was wrong.

“Can I go patrol yet?” Buffy asked the three people who were intently reading the dusty tombs Giles used as a security blanket.

Giles, Tara, and Willow all looked over at the bored slayer.

“Gi-les!” she whined. “I’m bored and I wanna slay something!”

“Maybe we should let her go,” whispered Tara, cringing at the noise.

“But she could get out and...do things,” started Willow. “Do things that Buffy in her normal mind would be very angry about.”

“Are you kidding?” Buffy half yelled into the room. “Whatever I could possibly get into out there? Don’t you think I’d be so much more of the useful, and the not yelling, if I wasn’t here? Besides,” she continued with a jerk, “I’m getting all itchy from being cooped up in here. I need to slay something, move around. Get slap happy with the vampires.”

“Buffy does have a point, she does need to patrol. We can’t have the vampire population get wind of the slayer not being in the best of health,” conceded Giles as he sighed. “And if she left we wouldn’t have to listen to her incessant whining.”

Buffy hopped up from the couch. “See, I’m completely hindering here. I’ll go, and hinder no more.”

“You talk like Buffy...” noted Willow, with a smile.

“Oh, and I’ll act like Buffy, err, me. No love for the vamps. Strictly a slayage of vamps only sitch. Oh, wait, there’s Angel...but we’re over, so over. And now that I’ve completely segwayed off topic, watch me go to do that slaying thing I was talking about, leaving you to your books and the whole get Buffy back to normal thing.”

With a flourish, she hadn’t used since high school and the early days of the library, she bounced out the door. Once she was out of view, her bounce ceased, and she started trudging. She hoped that Willow and Giles had taken her happy slaying related babbling for face value, and not the horrible cover up it was.

A cover up of the fact that she really wanted to get out from under their disapproving glances. She could control Faith’s personality characteristics if she put some effort into it. The problem was, it was a little fun to be uninhibited. She hadn’t felt this free since that time when she and Faith had gone out to have fun that one time last year, before it all went down hill.

Now she was stuck with pieces of Faith in her body. And Faith’s nose. With everything that had happened today, it was strange how the most traumatic event hadn’t been her break up with Riley. Right now she didn’t even want to think about him. He was of the past, to remain in the past.

The Faith part of her was all ‘forward ho!’ for the next conquest.

Buffy knew just who that next conquest was going to be. It wasn’t hard to come to that conclusion. Her inhibitions suppressed, Buffy could freely admit to herself that she had a thing for vamps. Not fledges, ‘cause ewww, but Master vamps at least a hundred years old.

The slayer stepped onto the dewy grass of Restfield Cemetery eager to catch up with Spike. Of course, she had a few more obstacles before getting to her target vamp.

Buffy rolled her eyes as she beheld the fledge that threatened her. He was dirty and gross and Buffy didn’t want to touch him with her boot much less her fingers. With an inward groan, she fell into a fighting stance, her stake at the ready, preparing herself for whatever the fledge was going to throw at her. She had to be careful, she didn’t know what else Faith had left in her body; it might not work the way she was used to.

The fledge came at her, flailing his arms, exhibiting no skill whatsoever in the fighting department. Buffy dropped to a crouch and swung her leg out, catching the fledge off guard and causing him to tumble to the ground. She pounced upon him, her stake aiming for his unbeating heart. Unfortunately he rolled away, Buffy falling face first into the wet grass. She leapt up, her eyes never leaving her opponent, who was running madly in the other direction.

With a breath she sped after him, not willing to say that she let any vamp get away from her tonight, especially this one who was clearly a loser. Tackling him to the ground, she flipped him over and was about to plunge her stake into his chest when he reached up and ripped the sleeve from her shirt.

“Hey!” she protested, wrenching his hand away from her and finally plunging the stake finally into his chest, scattering dust beneath her.

She waited a moment, in a push up position, before jumping to her feet and dusting herself off. She had a vamp to find.

“Pathetic gits the lot of them. No class anymore. Sires don’t have the pride they once had,” came Spike voice through the bushes, accompanied by a waft of smoke.

“Haven’t you got anything better to do than lurk in the bushes?” snapped Buffy letting her normal biting wit to take control.

“Not of late, pet,” he responded, his manner cocky. “What are you doing in my neck of the woods?” he asked, blowing smoke towards her as he spoke.

“Patrolling?” she snapped back, as if it wasn’t obvious enough. Hadn’t she just slayed a vamp?

They stood there staring at each other for a moment. His eyes trailed over her body, resting finally on her exposed arm.

“Didn’t know you had a tat, pet,” Spike finally said, breaking the silence.

“What?”

With a painted fingernail he pointed at her arm. Reluctantly her eyes fell to the spot he was pointing at, her green eyes wide. There on her arm, was Faith’s tattoo.

Buffy let a groan fall from her lips.

“It’s not mine,” Buffy tired to explain. “It’s another leftover from Faith. She got my vampire bite, I got her tattoo. Something else I’ll have to get removed if I never go back to normal.”

Spike stepped closer to her and ran his fingers against the tattoo. “Was it only the physical that got switched?” he asked quietly.

Buffy looked up at him with big eyes. He knew. She didn’t know how he knew, but he did. “I’ve got a little Faith kickin’ around in my head, telling me to do all sorts of nasty impulsive things.”

“Like what?” he asked, clearly not caring if this got him in trouble, his hand still caressing her arm.

She made no move away from him, and his actions. To his surprise she stepped even closer, so that barely any space stood between them.

“I’ll tell you if you tell me something,” she started.

His eyebrow raised in question, waiting for her to finish.

“What happened between you and Faith when she was in my body?” the slayer asked.

His hand dropped to his side and he suddenly looked really very nervous.

“Oh come on!” she whined. “You can tell me. Please?”

“Fine,” he growled. “Can’t get much worse. The daft bint bloody teased me and then didn’t put out.”

“What?”

“Said that she’d ride me at a gallop until my legs buckled and my eyes rolled up. That she’d squeeze me until I popped like warm champagne.”

“She certainly has a colourful vocabulary,” Buffy muttered.

“Never thought I’d hear that kind of talk pass your bubble gum lips,” he said with a leer.

“Oh no?” she asked. “Don’t think I’ve got it in me?” she asked, her fingers walking up the edge of his duster.

He grabbed her hand roughly and held it away from his body, regardless of the fact that the rest of her body was extremely close. Too close.

“I think you’ve got a whole lot in you, pet,” he responded sharply.

“You just don’t want it?” she pouted.

He shook his head. “No, you’re just not all you. Don’t want to be on the end of your stake when the Watcher and Red fixes you up good.”

“Huh? I’m enough of me! Nose, hair, tattoo and inhibitions, that’s it! The rest, all Buffy all the time!”

“Too much of the other, in my opinion,” he muttered.

“Huh,” she half laughed. “At least you have standards. Riley didn’t care if it was me or not. Just a Buffy shaped body and he’s all get it on.”

“Sounds like you aren’t over the Soldier Boy,” Spike observed, leading her to a tomb to sit.

“Of course I’m over him!” she said sarcastically.

“I don’t think you’re ready for anything other than rebound. No matter what that little bit of Faith inside you wants to do,” he explained.

“You don’t want to be rebound guy?” she asked looking up at him coyly. “What if Riley was the rebound?”

“What about that git Parker?” he asked.

“You mean the one night stand I had that you taunted me about while I kicked your ass in the sun?”

“That would be the one, pet.”

“Wasn’t a rebound. It was stupid and I should never have done it. Doesn’t make it a relationship.”

“And that’s why you’re trying to jump my bones? A relationship?” he queried.

“No!” she spat, moving away from the tombstone. She turned to look at him again. Buffy could feel her old fear and worry started to fill her tummy. Faith had clearly taken a hike.

In classic Buffy tradition, she fled.

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tbc...

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