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Crash and Burn

Crash and Burn
By NautiBitz

Info and Author's Notes: See introduction.

"Left here, left, left, left," Buffy said, so glad he'd finally stopped singing that godawful punk version of My Way. "Up there, third house on the left."

"This it?" He looked up at the house on the hill -- fairly modest; nice ocean view.

"This is me."

Spike slowed to a stop, wondering what to say. "Right."

"Well, it's been... traumatic."

"Yeah." He frowned, concentrating on the steering wheel.

He seemed about to say something, so Buffy waited. And, nothing.

"Okay, bye." She opened the door, hopped out.


She spun to duck her head into the car.

"I didn't get your name."


He laughed, "I'm serious." She was glaring at him. "Oh. So are you."

She narrowed her eyes. "So you must be a James or a David."


"Yeah, that's so much better."

Before she knew what was happening, he'd taken her hand and brought it to his lips, kissing it softly.

She drew back, electric-shocked. Uh...

"Goodbye... Buffy."

Quelling her fluster, she focused on a tear in his leather jacket -- anywhere but those sparkling blue eyes. "Goodbye... 'Spike'. Good luck with what's-her-name."

"Thanks. Erm... Sorry about your car."

"It's okay," she shrugged, took a rueful deep breath. "Better the car than me, right?"

He smiled, and watched her bound away, little blue sundress billowing in the ocean wind.


Buffy, that was her name
Bouncy girl with no shame... pain... can't be tamed
Little bitty spitfire can't be -- Nah.

Spike switched that internal soundtrack for another, new chord progressions striking up in his mind.

She said my name is Buffy
Leave me or love me
Think you're so tough, she said

She said my name is Buffy
Leave me or love me
I like it roughly, yeah

Tapping two fingers on the wheel, he laughed, and then wondered what the hell he was doing.

He shook her out of his head and took a cleansing breath, expression turning deadly serious on the exhale.

"Look out, Dru baby. This time tomorrow, you'll be beggin' me to take you back."

* * *

Buffy sat indian-style on the living room couch, listening to her mother reason with her dad on the phone.

"For god's sake, Hank, she's not a child! She's eighteen years old, going off to college in September! You can't take away that privilege!" She paced past Buffy and into the kitchen. "Yes, but it wasn't her fault--" A clang of a sauce pan. "That's what insurance is for!" A deep sigh. "She didn't see them -- they sped off, and when she got out to inspect the damage, it rolled away!" Quiet. "No. You should be thanking your lucky fucking stars that she didn't go over with it!"

Buffy smiled wanly. Much as she appreciated her mom's fervent support, there really was no arguing out of this one.

Her evasion tactic didn't help her case either: by the time she'd arrived, Joyce had already received a frantic call from Hank, via Cordelia, who'd heard her scream before the phone went dead. Everyone was so crazy worried, they were that much more angry when she showed up unharmed. She should've anticipated as much -- but in her defense, she wasn't thinking very clearly.

"At least let her have her party... she's been planning it for months!"

Buffy sighed. So much for the Best Summer Ever. She was grounded, literally. As in no mode of transportation that wasn't public or friend-sponsored -- until she could afford it herself. And her father knew as well as she did that there was no way she was downsizing to a Hyundai.

"I do too know how to discipline her!" She walked into the living room, and Buffy heard unintelligible yelling through the receiver. Joyce yelled back, "Because she's scared shitless of you!"

Nervously rubbing the back of her hand to her mouth, Buffy realized it was the exact spot where Spike had kissed her. She stared at it, as if he'd left an imprint. I should wash this hand. Who knows where those lips have been?

"Unless they can find them in the wreck, she'll need new credit cards, a new cellphone--"

Buffy frowned. My cellphone.

Well. Never getting *that* back.

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