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05/18/17 04:16 am
pj! I remember wishing one of your stories would be finished seriously about a decade ago. Amazing. I just tried an old password I used to use and amazingly got in too. Memories!
03/20/17 01:20 am
10 yrs later, i finally rem my username and password. Pari, you rock. Hope you are well.
12/23/16 01:12 pm
I donate every month. Please donate to keep this site up!
10/06/16 08:34 am
Great post.
08/31/16 03:45 pm
And anyone else who loves this site, it's worth mentioning there's a nifty little "Donate" option just below the shout box here! ;)
08/31/16 03:43 pm
Just wanted to take a moment to thank Pari and all the mods for maintaining such a great site!


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Chapter One

William "Spike" Reeves entered the bar tired, worn and just wanting a drink to help him relax so he could go back to his dark little hotel room and go to bed. There'd been too much going on over the past few days and it was starting to wear
on him. He supposed that's what he got for up and leaving Seattle to trek down to L.A., leaving, well, not much of anything behind. Leaving anywhere to do anything was always a stress though.

He barely paid any attention to the loud music playing in the background of the band finishing its song as he sat down at the bar and mumbled his request for scotch. Lighting a cigarette he blew the smoke out at the same time he looked up into the mirror behind the bar that reflected the stage and

Buffy. Elizabeth "Buffy" Summers. Up on the stage, in front of the mic, ready to sing? Not shy, don't-want-to-draw-attention-to-myself Buffy Summers.

He swung to get a good look at her, his scotch forgotten as he took in the girl he hadn't seen in ten years. He wondered how his heart could beat rapidly and yet constricted in his chest at the same time. How in the world could the woman on stage be Buffy? At one time, his Buffy. Gone was the young girl with cute baby fat cheeks and womanly curves. Gone was the innocent face that used to look at him so adoringly. He chuckled at that. Of course she was no longer innocent. What happened. . . well, it didn't give either of them much of a chance for innocence.

He sat back, mesmerized, as he watched the woman before him do something that he never knew before that she had any interest in. And it wasn't to Britney Spears inspired music that he would normally attribute to Buffy. It was rock. And she fit the bill for a rock and roll singer. From her long flowing sun-kissed hair to the red tank, black leather pants and black boots, she exuded a woman that was in control and in charge of her life. He was riveted as she began to sing.

How to stay paralyzed by fear of abandonment
How to defer to men in solve-able predicaments
How to control someone to be a carbon copy of you
How to have that not work and have them run away from you

How to keep people at arm's length and never get too close
How to mistrust the ones you supposedly love the most
How to pretend you're fine and don't need help from anyone
How to feel worthless unless you're serving or helping someone

I'll teach you all this in eight easy steps
A course of a lifetime you'll never forget
I'll show you how to in eight easy steps
I'll show you how leadership looks when taught by the best

How to hate women when you're supposed to be a feminist
How to play all pious when you're really a hypocrite
How to hate god when you're a pray-er and a spiritualist
How to sabotage your fantasies by fears of success

I'll teach you all this in eight easy steps
A course of a lifetime you'll never forget
I'll show you how to in eight easy steps
I'll show you how leadership looks when taught by the best

I've been doing research for years
I've been practicing my ass off
I've been training my whole life for this moment I swear to you
Culminating just to be this well-versed leader before you

I'll teach you all this in eight easy steps
A course of a lifetime you'll never forget
I'll show you how to in eight easy steps
I'll show you how leadership looks when taught by the best

How to lie to yourself and thereby to everyone else
How to keep smiling when you're thinking of killing yourself
How to numb a la holic to avoid going within
How to stay stuck in blue by blaming them for everything

I'll teach you all this in eight easy steps
A course of a lifetime you'll never forget
I'll show you how to in eight easy steps
I'll show you how leadership looks when taught by the best

Okay, so maybe she had some issues. Could he blame her? God knew he still did. The crowd started to clap and Buffy smiled and waved. "Thank you," she said into the mic, a husky rasp to her voice. He watched her bounce away and Spike stood immediately. Okay now what? Go after her or leave? Just take this as a gift that he was able to see how Buffy had turned out after all these years and leave her be OR take this as a sign that he was meant to. . . to what? Fuck everything up for her again? He didn't know what to do and now his fingers were on fire.

"Fuck!" He shouted and dropped his cigarette, crushing it on the floor.

"Hey man, you going to have your drink or not?" The bartender asked him. Spike darted a look at the brown liquid in the shot glass and wondered if maybe he could find the answer in that drink. He snatched it up chugged it down, slamming it back down on the bar. He eyed the burly man behind the bar, figuring he could bide some time by pumping the man for possible information about Buffy and her band. He was a journalist; he could get away with this.

"Hey, you mind if I ask you a few questions mate?" Spike asked as he sat back down.

"No, what's on your mind?" The man asked.

"The band that just played. What's their name?"
The bartender narrowed his eyes, "why do you want to know?"

"I'm a rock journalist," Spike told him.

"Then shouldn't you know if you're writing about them? Their name is on the sign out front."

Spike sighed, "can you just tell me their name please? It's been a long day."

"Pangs. That's the name."

"Do they play here a lot?"

"Every weekend. Friday and Saturday nights. Shouldn't you be asking—"

"How long have they been playing for?"

"Over a year. Listen, I gotta get back to work. If you want to learn about the band, why don't you, I don't know, ask them?"
Spike glared at the man as he walked away. Turning back around, Spike surveyed the sea of faces, trying to find the answers he needed somewhere in the room. His answer came a minute later when Buffy, now wearing jeans, a T shirt and a hoodie came out from a side door next to the stage. She was talking to a tall, lean short haired man who appeared to be very business like. Buffy laughed and Spike smiled.
Before he knew what he was doing, Spike stood again and his feet were making strides in her direction. His heart thudding in his ears was the only sound he could hear and Buffy's face was the only thing he could see. What kind of moment was this going to be? It would be awkward at best. But would she hate him? Be kind? Would she be kind in a cold way or kind in a ‘you're an old friend' kind of way? Old friend Spike? Try lover. Were these one of those moments that was
best avoided or faced head on? He wouldn't know, he realized, until he spoke to her.

It was when he was practically on top of her that she noticed him. She tore her gaze from the tall man and darted a glance his way. Then stopped and did a double take. She stared at him, her expression unreadable.

"Hi Buffy," Spike somehow found his voice to greet her. He even managed a smile, a small, tentative smile.

She stared at him for a long while, as if she wasn't sure if she was imagining his presence there before her before she shook her head and flung herself into his arms. Relief spread over Spike like wild fire and he felt himself relax. He'd made the right choice.

She pulled back, smiling. "Spike. . . how are you?" She meant the question. She really wanted to know. Sincerity, not coldness.

"I'm good. I'm moving into the area. How are you, Buffy?"

"Good, I'm good too. Thanks for asking. Did you know I was here or--?"

"No, stumbled upon you as a matter of fact. I heard your last song. It was amazing Buffy. You were amazing. I never knew you—"

"Summers! You helping or not?"

Spike and Buffy both turned to see Xander—their old friend—coming from the same door Buffy had come from.

"Xander, look who it is," Buffy called to him, gesturing to Spike.

Xander's jaw dropped. "Spike?"

"Hey whelp," Spike greeted him, grinning.

"Wow," was all Xander could say.

Buffy turned back to Spike. "Listen, I have to help them load up our stuff. It was nice seeing you again. Take care," and she walked away from him, leaving Spike to stare after her his mouth opening to say something and then snapping it shut.

"So, you're Spike."

Spike finally noticed tall, lean man had apparently been standing there the whole time. "And you are?" Spike asked.

"Wesley Wyndham Pryce. The bands manager and Buffy's boyfriend." He was English, just like him. Coincedence?
The news hit Spike like a punch in his stomach. How could that be? It'd been ten years. What did he expect? For her to have never moved on? He had only ever wanted her to be happy after all.

"I'm not trying to intrude upon anything here, mate," Spike told the man, noticing how Wesley's blue eyes were cold as he regarded him.

Wesley nodded, "let's hope not." And he walked away.

Spike stood there, not sure what he expected from his ‘reunion' with Buffy after all this time, but somehow he knew what he just got, was not something he had wanted. He supposed seeing her again like that was the gift of seeing first hand that she was all right and then silently leaving without her ever knowing of his presence. He'd bollixed that one up, now hadn't he?

Honestly, what did he expect from her? What could they have possibly said to each other? What did you say to your first love and the mother to your dead child after ten years?

*Song by Alanis Morisette.

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