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In Pieces

By Ariel Dawn

Summary: Xander finally makes an appearance.

Disclaimer: Joss and I had a little discussion where he agreed to let me play with Spike as much as I liked. Ok it wasn’t a real conversation...But I can dream.

Author’s note: Once again I bow at the feet of my fabulous Beta, Bloodytearsoflife.

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Chapter 7: Ruined

Buffy flung her jean jacket onto an empty chair as she entered the Bronze, her hand still holding Spike’s firmly, leading him behind her to the dance floor.

The Bronze was filled with university students with a smattering of high school kids. She probably knew more than one or two from the crowd but Buffy knew that a) she didn’t look like herself or was acting like her herself so they wouldn’t recognize her, and b) all she wanted to do was dance with Spike.

Buffy pulled Spike to the middle of the dance floor, ignoring his protests. Once there she did just what Faith would have done, completely. Or so she’d convinced herself. She’d seen Faith dance.

She set her hand to rest on the back of his head, holding him in place, forcing him to look at her while she moulded her body to his, keeping in time with the beat of the music.

Before long she’d spun around, thrusting her ass into his groin, her hand still curled around his neck.

Spike couldn’t help the reaction he was having to her movements. It wasn’t his fault that the friction of her ass against his cock had made him all hard and wanting to take her there and then, Faith nose or no Faith nose.

All around he could see how the boys were reacting to the way Buffy was moving. Like she was any man’s wet dream come true. And oh god, he wanted that dream.

Spike glared back at any of them that caught his eye. Buffy was his. He was damned if he was going to give up a chance like this, her changing feelings and soldier boy’s heave ho.

Buffy turned around again, facing Spike with a seductive smile.

“Do you want me?” she asked, trailing her free hand down his t-shirt clad chest.

“I thought we’d gone over this, luv,” he whispered, too chicken to turn her down outright.

“Ya,” she said with a disappointed tone.

They danced a moment longer, Buffy turning around to hide her disappointment.

What would Faith do in this situation? Buffy thought to herself. Faith would never get rejected, her brain told her.

The vampire behind her sensed her disappointment acutely. That wouldn’t do. Can’t have the bint think I don’t want her. Spike spun her around in place, forcing her to look at him.

“Always want you, luv,” he started. “Want you whole, want you, you.”

Buffy smiled a little up at him, thankful for his admission.

“You don’t know what you’re missing,” she added with a smirk.

“I can be patient.”

Buffy snorted. “This coming from Mr. ‘I’m bored, I can’t wait until Saturday‘.”

“You weren’t stuck with the Annoying One all day everyday,” he explained.

“If you don’t want me, I’m sure I can find someone else…” She started turning away from him, eyes already scanning the crowd.

Buffy hadn’t gotten very far when Spike’s hand shot out, grabbing her wrist sharply.

“No, you don’t,” he hissed, a look of possession on his face.

She wanted to smile; she wanted to cry. Buffy was completely happy that he didn’t want to find someone else, but if the spell was supposed to work, she couldn’t stay with him tonight.

Sadly, Buffy looked down at his hand holding her wrist. She looked up to his eyes and whispered her apology, before returning to the Faith persona she’d been acting out today. She pushed him off roughly.

“Well, you know what? You aren’t in-charge-guy here,” she spat, realising the moment it was out of her mouth that it wasn’t very Faithy. “See you around, Spike,” she said stalking away from him, leaving the vampire on the dance floor.

Buffy made her way over to the table she’d dumped her jacket on, only to find Xander and Anya walking towards the bar.

And I was hoping I wouldn’t run into Xander like this, thought Buffy.

“Buffster!” Xander greeted happily.

Buffy inwardly groaned.

“Hey, Xander,” Buffy greeted solemnly, knowing that meeting Xander now would only lead to badness.

“Did you get a nose job while Xander was carting me around to his relatives?” asked Anya as she scrutinized Buffy’s face.

“Look, I told you Ahn, if you didn’t want to go, you didn’t have to,” Xander repeated for what sounded like the tenth time.

“Meeting the extended family is a milestone in any relationship,” Anya explained to Buffy. “Why did you get a nose job? It looks terrible.”

Buffy stared open mouthed at Anya while Xander explained that it wasn’t cool to tell people that their plastic surgery had gone wrong.

“Did you come with Riley?” Xander asked trying to draw attention away from Anya’s faux pas and trying really hard not to stare at Buffy’s nose.

Buffy snorted. “No, I dumped his farm boy ass two days ago.”

It was Xander’s turn to stare open mouthed. “Why?” he finally uttered.

Out of the corner of her eye, Buffy could see Spike walking towards them. She looked for a way out. She had made her exit from Spike’s side and it was not her plan to be caught by him in the Bronze again. She was thinking somewhere a little darker, more private.

“He got boring,” Buffy offhandedly explained, before grabbing her coat and walking off. “Right now, I’m up for a little rebound action,” she declared as she walked through the doors of the bar.

Once again, Buffy didn’t get far. She felt Xander’s hand on her shoulder and had to suppress the reaction to flip him.

“Buff? You want to talk about it?” he asked.

Buffy spun around, looking Xander in the eye. “No, I don’t,” she answered back. She swallowed, her mouth suddenly becoming dry. “Talking’s the furthest thing from my mind. There’s so much else I’d rather be doing,” she purred, running her hands up Xander’s chest.

“Buffy?”

“Come on Xan, I know you want to…”

Please say no, please say no, Buffy inwardly chanted.

“I want you…uh…too. Buff, are you under a spell?” he asked pulling back a little.

Buffy pushed Xander up against the nearest wall, their shadows from the overhead flood light casting a long spectre over the pavement.

“Would it make a difference?” Buffy asked leaning in.

“No…just, I’ll send Anya home…”

Buffy tried to fight her shock. Her grip lessened on his shoulders. She couldn’t believe it.

“Bloody hell,” came Spike’s voice through the alley’s dank, causing Buffy to turn around. Anya and Spike stood a few metres away.

Anya’s eyes were slightly misty. It was clear that they’d heard everything. Buffy willed back unbidden tears and stepped away from Xander. Xander’s shock at being found out, Anya’s look of betrayal, and Spike’s hard glare beat away at her resolve. She had to keep up the pretence; she had to make the spell work.

Another relationship ruined, thought the slayer. Thank you, Faith.

“Find me sometime when the little lady isn’t tagging along. Threesomes might be your kink, they aren’t mine.”

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Willow and Faith walked towards the Bronze after their faux patrol, only to see Buffy walk off.

“Buffy?” Willow called after her friend.

“Catch you later, Wills!” Buffy called, her voice surprisingly cheerful.

Or maybe false cheeriness? Willow thought.

“She’s got the lingo down,” commented Faith.

“It’s more than that,” came Spike’s voice from behind them. “You wanna tell me what the bloody hell is going on?” He sounded angry.

“She didn’t tell you?” Faith asked. “Can’t imagine why?” Her voice had a note of sarcasm.

“Faith…” warned Willow.

“No, I get it, for some reason you two switched personalities. That’s bloody brilliant that is. Maybe now the slayer can ruin her own life instead of you doing it for her.”

“Look, I didn’t ask for this,” protested the other slayer. “Do you think that it’s easy to act like B?”

“Well, you certainly haven’t done your research little girl,” Spike taunted her.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Faith challenged.

“Faith…” Willow warned again.

“’Cause me and the slayer are friends now,” responded the vampire with a smirk.

“Ya?” Faith asked stepping closer to the vampire. “Just how good friends?”

“Doesn’t mean you and I are going to start being friends,” he countered. “Seems to me that the Slayer’s had nothing but trouble since you showed up.”

“Ever think that it was B screwing up everything? She was supposed to be dead.”

“That’s right tragic,” he responded with a sneer.

“Anya!” came Xander’s voice from somewhere behind Spike. “Please!”

Anya ran past the group, not bothering to stop.

“Anya!” Xander called again, running after her.

“What’s wrong with the super couple?” asked Faith.

“That would your handy work, again,” Spike explained.

“Hey, I wasn’t here!”

“Indirectly.”

“Damn, B’s good,” Faith noted with a smile.

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Buffy rushed back to her motel and threw herself on the bed, sobs wracking her body. She knew what was going to happen to Anya and Xander, all because of her.

And Faith.

Always Faith.

Wiping away the tears, Buffy held back her hair and headed to the bathroom. Looking in the mirror, she noticed that the dark makeup she’d put on had all run down her face. Buffy grabbed a face cloth and began to wipe the make up from her face.

Buffy looked back up to the mirror thinking that she’d had enough, that it was too hard when she noticed something was different. Her hair, which was brown and straight suddenly began to curl on its own.

The slayer sniffed and touched the newly curled locks.

“I guess it’s working.”

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Tbc..

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