Collateral Damage...

Archived at the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities/buffyrebecca.com

Rated PG

Summary: A little twist on Season 6's “Life Serial” crypt scene...Buffy tells Spike of her attempts to secure a loan...

Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Josh Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series...

Nope, definitely not a BR story...I was writing BR stories and got blocked, so I’m cranking out this shortie as the situation appeals to me...I apologize if this one is rushed...



Why ask why?...Spike told himself...

She’s here, that’s the only thing that matters...

Well...The fact that she’s getting bombed out of her mind is not to be overlooked...

Or unappreciated...

He looked at her...Glaring off into the darkness of his crypt...

Buffy Summers...Resurrected...And here with him...

The sweet angel of his des...She let out a massive Slayer belch...

And firmly, if without coordination, put down her whiskey glass...

Looking at him...With a definite trace of affection...

Drunken affection perhaps, but there all the same...

She was...With his enthusiastic support...Hitting the sauce hard...

Perhaps a bit too hard for one whose past alcohol experiences were watery Bronze blasters and cursed brain-cell numbing beer...

“More?...” he offered politely...Pouring before she could answer...

Just throw it back and grit your teeth, girl...he grinned...
***
You would not believe it, Will...Ummn...Spike...she told him...

What I went through...

And I don..er...don’t mean...Death...

God, I can’t believe it...Well, so much for my college...Hell...

So much for my house...she looked at him desperately...

A lousy ten-thousand dollar loan...she muttered...

“You should have been there...”she went on...

Spike put what he hoped was an appropriate look of sympathy on his face...

Tell me about, Buf...If it will make you feel better...he nodded...
***

“So...You have everything there...The papers on the house....The...ummn...first mortgage is still up to date as you see...Ummn...And there’s a list I made up of our furniture...”

Hmmn...He smiled at her from his chair, looking carefully at her folder...

Any insurance?...he asked looking up...

Ummn...Mom’s is pretty much used up...Ummn, hospital bills...You know...And of course...Funeral expenses...

Thank God mine was a quiet affair...she thought...Damn, why did Willow and Xander have to spend so much on that damned tombstone?...Especially if they were gonna try to bring me back?...

And it’s out in the woods for goodness sake...Ok, so it’s ready when I need it again...But geesh...At least Xander should have had more sense...Knowing the cost of materials and all...

They could have just left a bronze marker...Heck, a board with carving...It would have been more personal...And cheaper...

“Ummn...Well, Buffy...I actually meant...Insurance on you...You know, life insurance?...”

Oh...Ummn, well...None...At the moment...

But I plan to go out and get some very soon...Like...Right after I get my loan...she smiled at him...

Would have been rather impractical this summer...

Ah...He nodded, smiling faintly...

Ok...No insurance...

“The equity on your house hasn’t maintained itself...Ummn, Sunnydale...”

Is not a good place for buying real estate...she finished...For some reason...

“Yeah, the bank in Sunnydale told me that...”

Oh...The bank in Sunnydale turned you down, then?...

Oh...Ummn...No, oh no...They just...Well...

They didn’t have enough money this week to make loans...she told him...

Uh-uh...He nodded...I see...Well...

“Did I mention our furniture?...” she put in brightly...

Hmmn-hmm... He nodded...

But you see...A lot of it’s financed...And most is too old or worn to use as collateral...

Oh...(gotta learn to stop fighting in the house, she thought)...

She bit her lip...Not going too well...

“You said you were considering returning to college...” he smiled at her...

Ummn...Well...Tried it...Not too great...

I think maybe my last little encounter with the Reaping One killed a few of those college necessary brain cells...she did not say...

I need to culture a few more this semester before I go back...

If I go back...

“A college education is a real necessity nowadays, Buffy...” he told her...A bit solemnly...

Oh...Definitely...I put it right up there...

Just behind...Eating, having a place to sleep, stuff like that...

Of course...he smiled at her...

And speaking of that...I see you have...Willow...And...

Tara...Buffy finished...Living with us...Yes...

“And...They’re not paying rent?...You’re not charging them rent?...”

Well...Ummn...See Dawn needed someone to watch her...

The Buffy-bot was certainly not that someone...she thought...

And they will contribute something...When and if they ever get refunded for the time they were out of their dorm...

Ah...And UCal hates to refund deposits...he noted...

And your only current verifiable source of income, outside your mother’s remaining insurance
estate is sporadic child-support...Which you being over 20 and your sister nearly an adult...

“She still has some time before that, you know...” Buffy looked at him...

Yes...But see, she’ll be an adult...And you’ll both be off child-support...Long before this loan would be paid off...

Ummn...Well...I am planning to go job hunting...I have...Several...Strong prospects in mind...

He nodded...But, of course if she was going back to college in the near future...A part-time job couldn’t begin to cover her monthly expenses...Let alone this loan...

And even if you put off college...For now...And took full-time work...

Considering your lack of work experience...

Of course...she pointed out...I am the Slayer...I just killed my second demon since resurrection...

It’s not like I don’t have a job...Not to mention watching out for Dawny...

He raised his hands...

“Please... Buffy...I’m not blaming you...”
For having no visible means of support...he went on...

It’s just...Well...Difficult to work it out when you don’t have an income...

You understand...

“You’re turning me down, aren’t you?...” she looked at him...

Buffy...Please try to understand...

You...You’re turning me down?...

Angel?...

He looked away...A far-off, brooding light in his eyes...

“Buffy...The world needs me...And my agency...I can’t put it in jeopardy...”

The Apocalypse and all...Can’t be lost for want of good credit...

Angel?!...You left me all alone to fight Glory...You didn’t even check on Dawn when I was dead?!...

He blinked at her...You never asked me to help fig...he began, a little put-out...

“BLOODY STUPID TWIT!!!!” she jumped up, grabbed her papers, and was out the door in a flash...

Buffy?...he looked after her...

***

“My...hero...” she grimly muttered...Throwing back another...

And gave Spike a wanly hopeful look...

Hmmn...

***

Think I’d better can that game of kitty poker for tonight, he thought...

Time to pay a call on Sunnydale First National, he told her...

“Oh...Ummn...” she hesitated a full five seconds...
“Oh, no...Spike...You can’t...I couldn’t let you do that...”

Well...How about...I steal a few thousand quid...You “capture” me...And collect a fat reward...he grinned at her...

Bank gets its cash back...You get enough to keep the wolves away until we come up with something else...

But...What about you?...she looked at him...

Prison can’t be good for vampires...

I doubt guards make allowances for prisoners who can’t walk around in daylight...

No problem...he told her...If the day ever comes when I can’t escape the louts of the Sunnydale PD...

Weell...she looked at him...And teared up...

Don’t cry...he told her...Passing the bottle...

I’ll be fine...And I need a little exercise...

“No...It’s not that...Will...” she smiled at him through the tears...

I was just thinking...It...It’s a shame...

“You’ll never know...What Heaven is like...”

Of course I know what Heaven is like...he told her...

“Heaven is where you are...”

She grinned at him...

“You really were a poet, weren’t you?...”


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