The Luck of the Irish


by Saber ShadowKitten
Holidays: Part 4
PG-13 Version







Part Five





Angel listened to the shower running as his mind played over what happened. It wasn't that he

didn't like being kissed by Buffy in that manner, but he would rather it have been him that she was

kissing, not Spike who she obviously thought he was. He heard the front door open and sprang

to his feet. "I never thought I'd say this, but thank god you're back, Spike. We have a serious

prob-"

CRACK. Angel flew back into a wall at the strength of the blow, banging his head. Spots swam

before his eyes as he looked up at the infuriated vampire.

"I. Hate. You," Spike ground out in a very low, measured, deadly tone. He spun and kicked

Angel across the face and all went black.

*****

As Angel came back to consciousness, he became aware of five things.

He was tied up and blindfolded.

He was tied up and blindfolded on a bed.

He was tied up and blindfolded on a bed, and had no clothes on.

He was tied up and blindfolded on a bed, had no clothes on, and someone was kissing and licking

up his right leg.

He jerked, she giggled. "Buffy?"

"Present," Buffy said, continuing her trail.

"What-" Angel groaned as she hit a sensitive spot by his knee. "Buffy, stop."

"Nope," she replied, moving further up his thigh. "Angel's not home and I am very horny." She

nipped at his inner thigh.

"Oh, god," Angel moaned as she licked him along the crease on his upper thigh to his hip.

"Buffy, you have to stop."

Buffy raised her head to look at the man lying tied up before her through alcohol hazed eyes.

"Spike, last time I did this, you had no complaints," she slurred, then nuzzled the curls around his

manhood, pushing his legs apart so she could settle between them.

"Buffy, listen to me, I'm not Sp-IKE!"

*****

"I guess I should let you up now," Buffy sighed as she reached for the blindfold. She pushed it

off his head, then reached for the key on the night stand. While she was unlocking the cuffs, she

looked at her love. "Hey, you're crying. Why are you crying, Spike?"

In response, Angel wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. "I love you, Buffy.

Remember that I always will, even when you have to kill me."

"That's silly talk," Buffy scolded, reveling in his closeness. "You've been good, not killing

anyone too much. And you helped Willow and Oz with their date, and Cordy with torturing

Xander 'til he only thought of her. You're a good vampire with a great, big..." She giggled

drunkenly again. "And I's the naughty Slayer."

Angel couldn't help but chuckle at the irony of the situation, his emotions were too far gone to do

anything else. He just had sex with the love of his life, she thought he was someone else, and now

he may lose his soul again. Unlife sucked.

*****

Spike slammed into the bar, his eyes bloodshot, his skin paler than normal. "Vodka, straight," he

demanded, the second word only coming out slightly slurred. There was a wild air about him, as

if he were holding on to his sanity by barely a thread.

After leaving the warehouse, he'd gone and fed off of several dozen drunks, gorging himself on

their alcohol laden blood. He'd then grabbed a young man who looked similar to Angel and

dragged him into a dark alley, where he proceeded to rip his tongue out, then tore out his

intestines with his bare hands, bathing in the dark fluid that ran from his body.

"Hello again, sexy," he heard from next to him. His head swum as he turned to face the woman

he'd met the night before. The bartender returned with his drink and he slammed it back, then

ordered another, instructing him to leave the bottle.

"Michael," Spike greeted finally.

The petite, Asian looking woman smile up at him. "Someone has had a bit too much to drink,"

she commented.

"Not bloody likely," he replied, slamming back another shot of vodka. He poured another and

looked down at her. "I'm not good company tonight, ducks." Michael laughed, and Spike felt

something electrical run down his spine, making him shiver. He frowned and downed the vodka.

"I think you need company more than you realize," she said in a low, sultry voice.

Spike's blue eyes ran over her body from dark head to heel clad foot, noting the tight, dark green

dress, with a small bag tied around her waist. *The Slayer would look good in that,* he thought,

then swore fluently.

Michael arched one eyebrow, and she brushed her hair behind her ear. "What's with the

swearing, sexy?"

He poured himself another shot, examining the glass as if it held the answers to the universe. He

then looked over to her again and furrowed his brow in confusion. "Your ear is pointed," Spike

slurred. "Are you an elf?"

She laughed again, and he felt his knees felt like jell-o. "Not an elf, dear. I'm much more

interesting than that."

"Well, I saw my mate frenching the man I bloody hate more than anyone in my long, sordid

history, including my dad, so seeing a woman with pointed ears should be no surprise," Spike told

her. He drank down the shot.

"What if I told you I could make all you feel all better?" Michael asked, cocking her head to one

side.

"I would say for how much?" he replied.

"It's not a matter of price," she said. "It's a matter of what you wanted."

"I want to rip that bloody wanker's cock off and shove it down his throat," Spike said viciously,

sloppily pouring another shot and slamming it down.

"How come I think you can do that without my help?" Michael said.

"Listen, pet, unless you can make this aching hole in my heart disappear, bugger off," he replied.

Michael smiled and reached for the bottle of liquor. She took the shot glass from Spike's hand

and refilled it, then reached into the bag at the waist. She sprinkled some dust over the drink.

"You are a cute one," she commented. "Here." She handed him the drink. "A toast. To

forgetting your love."

"Here, here. To forgetting my love, the betraying bitch," Spike said with an affirmative nod of his

head. He slammed back the drink, then wiped his mouth on the sleeve of his duster. He looked

over at Michael and grinned. "So, care for a drink?"

"I thought you'd never ask," Michael replied, sliding closer to him.







Part Six







Angel looked over at the clock and sighed in relief. "Seven hours and still soul-ful," he mumbled,

shifting the blond in his arms. Shortly after Buffy had released him, she passed out and had yet to

move. He knew she'd have a killer hangover if she ever woke up. Deciding it was late enough to

call Giles and inform him of the problem, he got out of bed and slid on a pair of sweats, then left

the room in search of the phone.

"Now, where did Buffy put it," he said to himself as he moved papers on his desk. He heard the

bedroom door open behind him and looked back to see Spike emerge from the guest room.

"Spike, listen, about last night..."

"What about it, mate?" Spike asked, holding a hand to his head. "Cor, I have a bloody

headache." The blond vampire stumbled towards the kitchen, then stopped and turned to look at

Angel. "Any reason why you're here?"

"I live here," Angel replied, confused.

"Then why am I here?" Spike said, frowning. "Did you lose your soul again?"

"No, thank god," he answered.

"But I hate you," Spike said, holding a conversation more with himself than Angel. "You took

away Drusilla. Why the bloody hell am I here?"

"Uh, you came down with Buffy, remember?"

"Who?"

Angel blinked in shock. "Did you just ask 'who'?"

"Ow, somebody call 9-1-1," Buffy muttered as she walked slowly into the room, holding her head

much as Spike had been. She looked over towards the kitchen and spotted the dark haired

vampire. "Hey, Angel. Sorry I didn't meet you last night."

Spike looked at the blond girl addressing him as Angel, his eyes widening. "Slayer," he hissed,

game face sliding into place.

"Wha-" Buffy started to say, but was cut off when who she thought was Angel tackled her. They

both fell to the floor with a loud thud, the Slayer hitting her head on the hard tile. She blinked

rapidly to clear the stars from her eyes. "Angel, what are you doing?"

"Die, Slayer," Spike spat, raising his fist to crack her across the jaw.

Buffy reeled with the blow, her eyes watering. *Oh, god, he's lost his soul again,* she thought as

she blocked his next hit, grabbing his wrist and flipping him over her head. She scrambled to her

feet to face him. "Angel?"

The real Angel was momentarily stunned, but at Buffy's tremulous voice he leapt towards the

attacking Spike, grabbing him around the arms. Spike threw his head back and hit Angel on the

nose, causing him to let go. Spike elbowed him in the gut, then grabbed him into a head lock and

threw him towards the open guest room door.

Buffy screamed in rage when she saw Angel hurt her love. Her foot shot out, catching him across

the face as she continued to spin into a powerful back kick. It landed right on target in his gut,

causing him to double over in pain.

Spike growled loudly and latched onto the foot planted firmly in his mid-section. He yanked with

all his strength, sending the Slayer to the floor. Before she could stand, he jumped on her with

both feet, his heels cracking her rib cage into many pieces, some of which imbedded into her

lungs. He snarled victoriously as she cried out in pain.

Angel pushed himself off the floor from where he landed, his own game face coming to the

foreground. That's when he smelled blood. His head shot up and he saw a woman lying on the

bed, twin puncture marks on her neck. He took a step towards her and noticed the pointed ears.

"Leprechaun," he gasped, his mind suddenly grasping the fact that Spike was probably under a

spell. His eyes quicky searched the room until he found the small, nondescript bag sitting on the

night stand.

Spike grabbed the Slayer's hair and yanked her head to one side, baring her neck. "This is going

to hurt," he told her gleefully before sinking his fangs into her neck.

Angel had just opened the bag when he heard the pain and horror filled cry. He ran out of the

room to see Spike sink his fangs into Buffy. "NO!" he screamed, charging at the blond vampire,

tackling him off of her.

With a loud snarl, Angel grabbed Spike's hair by his free hand and banged his head on the floor

repeatedly before he was thrown off by the smaller vampire, who quickly scrambled to his feet.

The open bag flew out of his other hand as he hit the ground, spilling its contents as it sailed end

over end through the air.

Spike's legs went out from under him as a massive jolt of energy seemed to fly through his

system, sending him back to the ground. He squeezed his eyes shut, hoping the disorientated

feeling would leave quickly. "What the bloody hell was that?"

"Spike?"

Buffy's soft, pain filled voice broke through to both vampires who were on the floor. Spike

opened his eyes to see her laying a few feet from him, two large, ugly gashes in her neck which

were bleeding profusely. "Slayer!" he cried out, crawling quickly to her side.

She blinked several times to clear the haze from her eyes as she tried to discern who came into

view. "Spike?" she called again, her voice weaker. She managed to focus and saw Angel looking

down at her with a worried face, causing her to panic. "Please, don't kill me, Angel."

Spike looked up at his sire who had come and knelt at her other side, phone in his hand, with

confusion and anger. "You did this?!"

"No, you did," Angel said somewhat harshly. He began to speak to the emergency operator.

The blond vampire's head shot back as if he'd been punched. "What?"

"Spike, where are you?" Buffy's small cry came from her lips.

"I'm right here, baby," Spike said, pressing his hand to her neck.

"Please, Angel, no," she begged, black spots dancing in front of her eyes. She managed to turn

her head a little as saw her love kneeling by her side. "Spike, help me."

"Help is on the way, Buffy," Angel told her, phone still at his ear. He reached forward and

grabbed her hand. "I'm right here."

"Angel go..." Buffy started to say, then cut off which a wracking cough, blood coming out of her

mouth with her saliva.

"Spike, get away from her," Angel instructed. "She thinks you're me."

"What?" Spike said. "You've got to be bloody joking!"

"I tried to tell you last night, but you punched me before I got a chance," Angel said.

"Slayer," Spike said, leaning closer to his love on the floor, not believing him. "I'm here, luv."

Buffy looked at him with fear and sadness in her eyes. "Get away, Angel," she gasped out.

Spike didn't know what to do as his eyes filled with tears. Angel took the decision away from

him by shoving him back from Buffy, causing him to slide across the floor several feet. He

watched somewhat dazed as Angel leaned forward and kissed her on the forehead.

Suddenly, the events of the past night started playing out in his mind. In fast motion, he saw

Michael coming back here with him, them having sex in the guest bedroom, draining her, passing

out then waking with a horrific headache. He saw his reaction to Buffy, his attack on her and felt

his stomach turn as he saw in his mind's eye the look of horror on her face as he sunk his fangs

into her neck. "No," he whispered, his body tensing in pain of what he'd done.

Sirens sounded near the warehouse and he heard Angel calling to him to let them inside. He

stumbled to his feet and to the door, admitting the EMTs. Vaguely, he heard Angel talking to

them as he stood by the door in shock.

"Spike,"Angel said, coming up to the blond vampire and touching his arm. "You need to move."

Spike nodded and walked towards the bedroom, his eyes avoiding the scene on the floor. He

managed to get halfway in the room when he collapsed onto the floor, a loud sob coming from

deep in his chest. *Buffy, what have I done?* he thought as the tears began to stream down his

face.

*****

"How is she?" Angel asked into the phone a few hours later. Giles, Joyce and the entire Scooby

Gang had rushed down to Los Angeles as soon as he called, breaking several speed and physics

laws.

"Still in surgery," Giles replied from the other end of the line. "They said both lungs were

punctured and had severe trauma to the diaphragm and lower chest cavity."

"Do they...do they think she'll make it?" Angel said, his voice slightly choked.

"They're giving her a-a-a 30% chance," Giles answered. "But only because the bleeding

stopped."

"Damn, I wish I were there," he said. His eyes flicked to the closed guest room door. "We need

to break the spell on her, Rupert."

"I have already sent the others out to try and find the Leprechaun," Giles said. "Hopefully,

someone will remember Buffy speaking to-to...er, someone."

"Let me know the minute she's out of surgery," Angel instructed.

"Certainly," Giles replied.

"May I speak with Joyce for a minute?"

"Here she is," Giles said.

"Angel?"

"Joyce, how are you holding up?" Angel asked over the line.

"I'm ok. How is Spike doing?" Joyce said.

"Not good. He's basically catatonic," Angel told her. When he had talked to the Watcher earlier,

he explained what had happened since finding Buffy the night before, leaving out the part where

she basically jumped his bones. He had checked up on Spike to find him sitting in the middle of

the floor, staring off into space. Nothing he tried got through to the blond vampire, so he did

what he could with the body until he could properly dispose of it, then left him alone.

"Do you think it would help if I tried talking to him?" Joyce asked.

"I doubt it," he replied. "I think the only thing that will get through to him is Buffy being ok. Of

course, it won't do any good unless this spell is broken."

"I understand," Joyce said. "Well, I guess... wait, here comes Willow and she looks excited.

Hold on a second."

Angel could hear muffled conversations as Buffy's mom put her hand over the receiver.

Suddenly, he heard Willow's voice rather than Joyce's.

"Angel? It's Willow," she said. "We found him and got his pouch away."

Angel slumped in relief. "That's great, Willow."

"Yeah, it was pretty cool. I got to flirt with him while Oz and Xander pretended to start a fight.

Then they bumped into him, and he bumped into me and I picked his pocket," Willow said

excitedly. He chuckled, despite the heavy situation. "Oh! Here comes the doctor."

He would be holding his breath if it did any good as he waited for Willow to return with news.

He could live with her hating him as long as she was alright.

"Angel, it's Oz," the werewolf said over the line. "I thought you'd might like to know, since

everyone seems to have forgotten you, that Buffy's going to be ok. They fixed her lungs or

something and now she's resting in recovery. The doctor said she woke up briefly asking for

Spike, then went back to sleep."

*Thank you, god,* Angel thought. "We'll be there as soon as the sun sets."

"I have a better idea," Oz said. "How about I pick you guys up in my van. There's hardly any

windows here, and if you can sprint from door to door..."







Part Seven







"Spike?" Angel crouched down beside the blond vampire sitting on the floor. "Oz is here to take

us to the hospital to see Buffy." He was surprised when Spike turned his head, then somewhat

scared when he saw the haunted blue eyes set against an expressionless face. "Come on. Buffy

needs you," Angel said.

Spike stood and took his duster from the other vampire, then followed behind him slowly, as if

there were chains dragging behind him. His body was on autopilot, and his mind had shut down

in protection after seeing himself try to kill Buffy over and over again.

"Door to door service,"Oz said, standing between the van and the warehouse wall. There was

less than three feet between the two, just enough to swing the door closed. Angel practically

threw Spike across the sunlit area, then jumped into the automobile behind him.

They arrived under the covered entryway to the hospital fifteen minutes later. Willow was

standing near the doors waiting for them. "Hi, Angel," she greeted, giving him a brief hug. She

looked at the blond vampire with worry clearly etched on her face as he climbed out of the van.

"Hi, Spike," she said, laying a hand on his arm. He looked down at her with huge, haunted eyes

and she bit her lip. "Come on. There's someone who wants to see you."

In the elevator to the fifth floor, Willow gave Angel the small bag she took from the red headed

Leprechaun earlier that day. "We didn't know what to do with this. Not even Giles, which is odd.

Giles knows everything. The again, he doesn't have his books here, so we decided to wait and

give it to you. Unless we did wrong?"

Angel smiled slightly at her. "No, you did right. I just have to decide whether or not to let Buffy

think that it was me that attacked her."

"No."

The word came out as a whisper, barely audible in the paneled elevator. Angel turned to Spike,

confusion on his face. "You want her to believe it was you?"

"It was me," Spike said in a low, harsh voice. He lapsed into silence again, staring at the floor, his

jaw moving as he clenched and unclenched it.

The doors opened and the two vamps followed Willow down the sterile corridor. Joyce

approached them and smiled. "She's awake and already wanting to leave. The doctors said the

injuries weren't as bad as they first thought, and with her Slayer healing, she'll be up and

terrorizing Sunnydale in no time."

"That's wonderful, Joyce," Angel said quietly. He looked over at Spike, who hadn't given any

indication that he'd heard. "Isn't that right, Spike?"

"Where is she?" Spike asked in a choked voice.

"They're not allowing visitors other than family," Joyce said "I can try talking with the nurse."

"Let me handle this, Joyce," Angel said, taking Spike by the arm and leading him over to the

nurses station. "Buffy Summers room."

"Only family are allowed in ICU recovery," the nurse said.

"This is her husband, Spike," Angel told her. It was true in the general meaning of the word.

Mate, such as in reference to wolves, was closer, but the ensouled vampire doubted that would

get them anywhere. "I understand she's been asking for him."

"Yes, she has," the nurse responded, smiling. "She's in room 559."

"Thanks," he replied, leading Spike past the automatic doors, down the hall and to the glass

enclosed room. There were no windows, so there was no worry of becoming a pile of ash before

they could say hello. "Buffy?" Angel called softly to the blond lying on the bed as they entered.

Buffy opened her eyes to see Spike and Angel standing next to her bed. "Spike?" she asked with

a confused tone, her gaze darting between the vampires.

Spike dropped his head to his chest and closed his eyes tightly. "I'm sorry," he whispered.

Buffy looked at who she still thought was Angel, her lips pressed together to suppress her tears.

"You attacked me Angel. Why?"

"Buffy, you need to know something," Angel said, holding out the small bag Willow gave him to

her. "You are under a Leprechaun's spell, as was Spike when he attacked you."

"What are you talking about, Spike?" Buffy asked, frowning up at him.

"Dump the bag while looking at us," Angel instructed, handing her an empty ice pitcher that was

on the table.

Buffy looked at him like he was off his rocker, but did as asked. As the fine dust fell harmlessly

from the bag, it was as if she stuck her finger in an electric socket. Her whole body jerked in

shock, causing her to hiss in pain. Then, she jerked in shock for another reason. Before her eyes

she saw Spike fade into Angel and Angel into Spike.

Angel took the empty bag and pitcher from her before it fell. "I'll leave you two alone.

Remember, he was under a spell, too."

Buffy blinked back her tears and looked up at the real Spike. Her love had attacked her, trying to

kill her while under a spell. *He must be devastated,* she thought. "Are you...are you ok?"

Spike raised his head, his pain filled eyes meeting hers. "I'm so sorry, Buffy," he said, his voice

becoming heavy with emotion.

She reached out and grabbed his duster, pulling him closer to the bed. "Hold me," she said.

Spike sat and gathered the petite Slayer up in his arms. "I'm sorry, Buffy. I'm so sorry," he

repeated as he began to sob, his cheek pressed against the top of her head.

Buffy held him tightly as he cried, her heart going out to him as her mind thought of the violent

things she was going to do to the Leprechaun who hurt him. Suddenly, the previous night's

activities flashed in her mind and her breath caught. She remembered drinking and singing, then

jumping on who she thought was Spike at the bar before being brought back to Angel's. Then

quite clearly, she remembered what happened afterwards and started to blush. *Oh my god, I had

sex with Angel!*

Spike calmed down enough so sobs were no longer wracking his body, only silent tears coursing

down his cheeks. "I almost killed you," he whispered in a broken voice.

"It wasn't your fault," Buffy said against his chest.

"I wanted to kill you," he said as if she didn't say anything. "You, the woman I love more than

life, more than blood." He took a deep, unneeded breath, then continued. "I love you so bloody

much, Buffy. You fill the place in my heart where my soul use to be. You are my soul. And I

almost killed you."

Buffy pushed away from him and sat up completely, despite her protesting body. She put a hand

under his chin and forced him to look her in the eyes. "Spike, I love you. It wasn't your fault. I

did something under a spell, too, that you're not going to be happy about."

"What can be worse than my trying to kill you?" Spike asked, wiping the tears from his face with

forceful strokes.

"I had sex with Angel."

Spike's mouth dropped open as his eyes widened. It would have been comical if she wasn't so

scared he'd hate her now. "You did what?!" he exclaimed.

"Handcuffed and blindfolded Angel to the bed, then had my wicked way with him," she replied.

"If it's any consolation, I thought he was you."

The response she received for her confession wasn't what she expected at all. Spike burst out

laughing, falling back off the hospital bed and onto the floor. She leaned over and looked down

to see him clenching his sides as he continued to laugh. "Um, Spike? Are you mad?"

"Cor, Slayer, I would have bloody loved to have been a fly on that wall when you did that," he

gasped between laughs. "I bet you screamed out my name several times, and you were shagging

him!"

Buffy frowned. "I don't see how this is funny."

"Luv, you shagged someone who's still completely in love with you, called him someone else's

name, and he couldn't have enjoyed it because he was probably trying to keep his bloody soul,"

Spike replied, then burst into another fit of laughter.

"Oh my god, I forgot about his soul!" Buffy exclaimed. She climbed out of the bed and yanked

the IV from her arm, heading for the door in her hospital gown, slipper socks and underwear.

Spike saw her cute behind through the gaping gown and snorted loudly, tears now steaming down

his face from laughing too hard.

He pushed himself to his feet and went after his determined Slayer. "Pet, I don't think you want

anyone looking up your name and address," he said, shedding his duster and putting it over her

shoulders as she hurried down the hall.

"What?" Buffy asked, her face screwed up in total confusion as she tried to figure out what he

just said. This caused Spike to start laughing yet again. She rolled her eyes and continued

through the automatic door to the waiting room.

"Buffy! What are you doing out of bed!" Joyce scolded, rushing to her daughter's side.

"Angel," Buffy said, ignoring her mother and heading straight for the vampire, black coat fanning

around her. She stuck a hand in the pocket and retrieved the stake that she knew would be there.

Spike was always prepared.

"Buffy, what are you doing up?" Angel asked as the petite Slayer came over towards him. He

looked up over her head and saw Spike looking like he was going to bust a gut any moment.

"I need to know," Buffy said as she waked right up to him and pressed the stake against his chest.

"You remembered what happened?" Angel asked.

She nodded, studying his eyes. "Did you lose your soul again?" she asked quietly.

"Buffy, the only way to guarantee that I wouldn't be lying to you if I said I did would be to stake

me now," he responded. He covered her hand with his, aiming the tip of the wood at his heart.

"Do it."

Instead of becoming a pile of dust as he expected, she smiled and threw her arms around him.

"I'm so glad I didn't cause you to lose your soul again," she said. Only the real, soul filled Angel

would rather die than hurt her or any of her friends.

"Uh, would anyone like to clue in the rest of the peanut gallery?" Xander spoke up, staring at

them, as were the others, in confusion. "Like why Buffy would think Deadboy would lose his

soul again?"

Spike snorted and bit his bottom lip a he tried to stifle his laughter. He met Angel's gaze and

smiled. "You couldn't even enjoy it, could you, mate?" he asked maliciously.

"Couldn't enjoy what?" Willow asked.

"Oh my god," Cordelia said, looking between Angel, Buffy and Spike. "Angel said that Buffy

was drunk and under a Leprechaun's spell that made her think he was Spike."

"So?" Xander said.

"So, what do you think a drunk Buffy did with Angel for her to be asking if he lost his soul

again?" Cordelia said, exasperated. "Geez, people. Get a clue."

Buffy blushed, Angel would have if he could, and Spike laughed agin. The others just stared gape

mouthed at the Slayer. "I didn't know it was Angel!" Buffy protested, gesturing wildly. That

was a mistake as the pain from her broken ribs and surgery shot through her body. She moaned

loudly and wrapped her arms around her waist.

Spike was at her side in an instant and lifted her into his arms, the leather duster falling off her

shoulders to lay over his arm. "Back to bed with you, Slayer. I want you to get better so you can

do to me what you thought you did to me last night," he said, grinning at her.

Buffy blushed again as everyone chuckled. As he carried her past the automatic doors, she

touched his cheek tenderly. "I'm sorry, Spike. I didn't mean to hurt you."

"It's ok, pet," he replied, carrying her to the room and settling on the bed with her in his arms.

"Neither of us are at fault for our actions."

"Have I ever told you how different you are from Angel?" Buffy asked.

"I should hope so!"

"Let me finish, you dork," she scolded. "He would have been brooding and guilt ridden, pushing

me away because of what happened, no matter who's fault it was."

"Well, I'm a demon. I don't feel guilt," he bragged.

"Liar," Buffy said.

Spike smiled down at her. "You bloody well know it."

She sighed, then frowned. "You know, I really want to hurt the Leprechauns that did this to us."

"Um..."

"What did you do?"

"I sort of drained her while we were having sex," he confessed.

"Humph," Buffy replied, crossing her arms over her chest. "I hope she left a bad taste in your

mouth."

Spike chuckled, understanding that she wasn't going to be mad at him for having sex with another

woman. "Have I told you how much I love you lately?"

"Yes, but you can tell me again," Buffy answered, grinning up at him.

"I love you, Buffy."

"I love you, too, Spike."

"Ahem." A nurse cleared her throat loudly from the doorway. "What are you doing back here?

Family only."

"I am her mate," Spike told the nurse, squeezing the Slayer lightly around the waist.

"Her what?" the nurse replied skeptically.

"Her husband is what you mortals call it," he clarified, glaring at the woman in pink scrubs. "So,

if you don't mind."

The nurse looked thoughtfully at the two for a moment, then nodded. "Very well, not too much

longer, though. Visiting hours are over at six."

After she left, Buffy looked up at Spike with huge eyes. "You're my what?"

"Slayer, you are my mate. Husband and wife are the closest terms that mortal's have for what the

claim means," he explained. "Didn't Angelus give you a ring when he had his claim on you?"

"Yeah, a claddagh ring," Buffy said.

"Irish wedding band," Spike told her.

"So you mean I'm basically a divorcee on her second marriage," she giggled. "And I'm only 18!"

Spike smiled. "Close enough, pet," he said, kissing the top of her head. "Which reminds me,

where's your anklet?"

"In the bag in the closet," Buffy replied.

Spike scooted out from behind her and went to where she indicated. He returned a few moments

later, silver chain in hand and winked at her. "Leg please."

"You're saying please, now?" Buffy joked, as she uncurled her left leg and extended it towards

him. "What happened to the crude vampire I know and love?"

"Funny, Slayer," he said, attaching the hook. The dark green stones and diamonds twinkled

under the hospital lighting. "There, much better that a bloody ring any day."

Buffy laughed lightly. "Definitely. If I wore a ring, my mom would flip because she would think

that I was really married. Human married."

Spike looked up at her. "And would that be a bad thing?" he asked, somewhat hurt.

"No! I didn't mean..." Buffy looked back at him and frowned. "I only meant...I mean... it's not

going to happen, so it doesn't matter. No one would dare marry me."

"Sure of that, aren't you, Slayer?" Spike said, turning on his heel and walking out the door.

"What..." she trailed off as he left, completely confused. She propped up the pillows behind her

and leaned back. She heard a knock at the door and saw Giles standing there. "Hi, Giles."

"Buffy," Giles said, coming into the room. "Where is Spike?"

"Don't know," she replied. "He just left."

Giles sat down on the edge of the bed. "How are you feeling?"

"Like someone jumped on my chest," Buffy answered, giving him a wry smile.

"I also meant emotionally," he clarified. "Spike did attempt to-to-to end your life..."

"Giles, it wasn't his fault. He didn't succeed, and I'm not going to hold it against him. It's not

like he lost his soul and did it on purpose," she said. She closed her eyes and groaned. "I still

can't believe I had sex with Angel and didn't even know it."

"Yes, well, er...I find that a bit disconcerting, as well," Giles said. "I am rather glad he did not

lose his soul again."

"Ditto," she replied. She took a deep breath and sighed. "You're going to have to search for any

more leprechauns and break the spells they cast yesterday. I kinda screwed up on that

assignment."

"It is alright, Buffy," Giles said. "No one is perfect. Especially not you."

"And the Watcher makes a joke at the Slayer's expense," Buffy smiled. "I'm so proud."

Giles returned her smile. "I shall be going now. I have to see about getting lodging for everyone

for the remainder of the week, as well as calling them off of school."

"Have fun," she said. "And tell mom to go with you. Visiting hours are over in a few minutes,

anyway, so there's no use hanging around."

"Very well," he said, standing. "I'll see you tomorrow."

"When you come to spring me," Buffy hinted strongly. Giles chuckled, said goodnight and left.







Part Eight







"There you are," Buffy said as Spike re-entered the room. "I was afraid you were going leave

without saying goodbye." She frowned at the three people who came in behind him.

"I would never do that, luv," he said, moving to her side.

"Hello, Buffy," one of the women who came in with Spike greeted. "I'm Louisa."

"Um, hi," Buffy replied, looking at Spike in confusion. He smirked at her.

"Are we ready to begin?" Louisa asked.

"Yes," Spike said, taking Buffy's hand.

"Ready for what?" Buffy hissed up at him. His lips curled up in a devilish smile and winked at

her.

"William Brody, will you have this woman to be your wife; to live together in marriage. Will you

love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all others, be

faithful to her so long as you both shall live? If so, answer, "I will."

"I will," Spike answered. Buffy's mouth dropped open in shock as Louisa went on.

"Buffy Summers, will you have this man to be your husband; to live together in marriage. Will

you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, and, forsaking all

others, be faithful to him so long as you both shall live? If so, answer, "I will."

Buffy looked at the woman dazedly and Spike bent down to whisper in her ear. "Say, 'I will,'

pet."

"I will?" Buffy said questioningly.

"Having this love in your hears, you have chosen to seal your vows by the giving and receiving of

rings," Louisa said, nodding to Spike. "William, take your ring and place it upon the third finger

of Buffy's left hand and repeat after me this promise saying: 'With this ring, as a symbol of my

love and devotion, I thee wed.'"

Spike picked up Buffy's left hand and slid a simple, gift store bought ring over her finger. "With

this ring, as a symbol of my love and devotion, I thee wed."

Buffy swallowed heavily, looking into his eyes, her heart pounding in her chest. *Oh my god, he's

really doing this. It's real. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,* she thought as he pressed a ring

into her hand.

"Buffy, take your ring and place it upon the third finger of William's left hand and repeat after me

this promise saying: 'With this ring, as a symbol of my love and devotion, I thee wed.'"

She looked down at the ring Spike had put in her hand. It was a matching band to hers. She

shakily took his left hand and pushed the ring on his finger. "With this ring, as a symbol of my

love and devotion, I thee wed," she said, her voice barely above a whisper.

"Now that William and Buffy have made promises of faith and devotion to each other, before us

as witnesses, I pronounce that they are husband and wife. William, you may kiss your lovely

bride," Louisa declared, a large smile on her face.

Spike tilted Buffy's chin up and looked her deep in the eyes. "I love you, Buffy," he whispered,

then pressed his lips softly to hers.

Buffy's breath caught in her throat and her heart hitched, skipping a beat as reality crashed down

upon her. She suddenly wrapped a hand behind his head and held him to her, deepening the kiss.

"They are so cute," one of the witnesses commented as she signed the bottom of the marriage

certificate the hospital pastor passed to her.

"Love is in the air," the other witness said as she signed as well. "Even if it does smell like

cleaning solution."

Buffy heard the woman's words and broke the kiss with a small giggle. Spike smiled down at her

and kissed her forehead. "Why?" she asked him quietly as she accepted the clipboard and pen

from one of the witnesses. She affixed her signature as she waited for an answer.

"No one offers a dare that I can't meet," he replied, giving her another wink before taking the

items from her. He signed his name as well, then handed them to Louisa. "Thank you."

"You are quite welcome, William," Louisa replied. "I love doing marriage ceremonies."

The three women left after Louisa signed and notarized the certificate just as the announcement

came that visiting hours were over. "Well, luv, I hate to get married and run," Spike said,

handing her the certificate. "But I'm hungry and nurses taste too sterilized." He gave her a hard

kiss on the lips, shot her a cocky grin, and sauntered out the door, duster in hand.

"But...but...a dare!" Buffy yelled after him. "Spike, you dirty, rotten, blood sucking...thing! Get

your undead ass back in here!"

She could hear his laughter echoing in the halls.

*****

"Hi, Buffy," Willow said, bouncing into the room the late the next morning.

"Hey, how did you get in here?" Buffy asked, clicking off the television.

"They're letting you go home today, so I'm here to help you get ready," she replied, pulling the

bag of clothes out of the closet. "Your mom is checking you out."

"You make it sound like I've been staying in a hotel, rather than the hospital," Buffy said,

swinging her legs over the edge of the bed. The paper that was laying across her lap fluttered to

the floor. She bent to pick it up, a smile lighting up her whole face.

"What's that?" Willow asked, setting the bag on the bed and pulling out the clothes.

"Um...well," Buffy said, giving her a strange look. "It's a dare."

"A dare? What kind of dare?" Willow said curiously. "Is it a hard one? Are you going to do

it?"

"It's already done," she replied. Then, it hit her. She was married! Buffy began to chuckle, then

laugh as she handed the paper to her best friend.

Willow read the certificate, her eyes widening. "This is...this is... Buffy! You got married! To

Spike!" She began to jump up and down. "This is so cool! My best friend is married!"

Buffy fell back onto the bed, clenching her sides as she laughed. "Oh, god, Will. I can't believe it

myself. He just came in last night with Louisa..."

"Louisa?"

"The pastor," Buffy explained. "And next thing I know, I'm married!"

"Eeee!" Willow screeched excitedly. She flopped on the bed next to her friend. "Oh! Where are

you going to live? Are you going on a honeymoon? You haven't even graduated yet! I wonder

what Snyder is going to say..."

"Knock, knock," Joyce said in the doorway. "You're free, honey."

Buffy lifted her head and looked at her mom. *Oh, crap,* she thought. *What am I going to tell

mom? Thanks for lunch mom, oh by the way, I got married last night.*

"Buffy? Are you ok?" Joyce asked, coming further into the room.

"Mom, I got married," Buffy said rapidly. "Last night, to Spike, now I'm Mrs. William Brody.

Are you mad?"

Joyce stared at her daughter like she'd grown a second head. They weren't in Sunnydale, so that

really wasn't a possibility. "M-Married?"

"Um, yeah?"

"Oh," Joyce said. "Oh." She turned and walked out the door.

"That went well," Willow said, looking over at the blond Slayer. Buffy snorted, then they both

started to giggle.

Dressed and riding in the required wheelchair, Buffy joined her group of friends in the hallway

outside of ICU. "Hey all, looks who's up and rolling."

"Hey Buffster," Xander said. "How does it feel to be a free woman?"

Willow snickered, then buried her head on Oz's shoulder. Buffy looked over at them and saw Oz

giving her a small grin. Her eyes traveled to her mom, who was looking like she was lost, then to

Giles, who was looking everywhere but at her and finally at Cordelia, who was smirking. She

groaned. "I take it you all heard."

"Heard what?" Xander asked.

"Yes, your uh, mother told us," Giles said.

"Told us what?" Xander said.

"Shocked, aren't you?" Buffy said. "Me, too."

"I guess congrats are in order," Oz said, coming to her and kissing her on the cheek.

"Yeah, congratulations, Buffy," Willow said, hugging her.

"Will someone please tell me what's going on?!" Xander exclaimed, looking from person to

person exasperately.

"Buffy and Spike tied the knot," Cordelia informed him. "Now, she's Mrs. Evil Dead."

"Hey!" Buffy said.

"WHAT?!" Xander yelled.

"Buffy married Spike last night," Willow said. "Isn't it neat?"

"Are you crazy? Spike? Deadboy, Junior? Peroxide fangs?" Xander said incredulously.

"Xander," Buffy said. "As my husband would say, bugger off."

Xander sputtered as her other three friends laughed. Giles looked over at Joyce and gave her a

small smile. "She is such a strange girl," he commented.

"You know, I absolutely agree with you," Joyce replied, shaking her head wearily. "And now, as

King Richard would say, I have an outlaw for an in-law."

*****

"Honey, I'm home," Buffy called as she walked through the door of Angel's home.

Angel looked up from the couch where he was reading and gave her a small smile. "Hi, Buffy."

"Hey, Angel," she greeted. "Where's that man of mine?"

"Right here, Slayer," Spike said, coming out of the guest bedroom and scooping her up in his

arms. She squealed in delight as he spun her in circles. He stopped as suddenly as he started and

kissed her long and hard.

"Wow," Buffy breathed when she was allowed to come up for air. "I'll have to get married more

often if that's the kind of greeting I'm going to get."

"You're guaranteed that kind of greeting for as long as you live, pet," he replied, kissing her nose.

"Buffy, Spike?" Angel said, climbing to his feet. "Did I just hear you say you got married?"

"You heard correctly, Angelus," Spike answered. "Now if you'll excuse us, we have a

honeymoon to start." He turned with Buffy still in his arms and walked to the guest bedroom,

closing the door with his foot.

Angel stared after them with a shocked look on his face. He sank heavily onto the couch.

"Married?"

Buffy giggled as Spike lowered her on the clean bed. "Slayer, I want you."

"So take me," she smiled seductively at him.

*****

"I love you, Buffy," he said quietly. "Don't ever forget that."

"I won't," she replied just as softly. "And don't you forget that I love you, either."

"You are my soul, Buffy Summers Brody," Spike told her. "And I will never forget. Unless

another bloody leprechaun casts a spell on me."

Their laughter mingled together and traveled out behind the closed door, causing Angel to sigh.

"Congratulations, Spike," he said to the empty living room. "You married the woman I'll love

for eternity. But if you hurt her, I will destroy you." He heard more laughter and looked over at

the closed door. *Slowly,* he thought, then grinned evilly.

*And with lots of pain.*

End