Home Is Where the Heart Is


Summary: Spike reflects... on Fred
Rating: R
Story Notes: This is my first Spike/Fred fic. Just a little ficlet really. Inspired by Echo, everyone over at Shippers United, and the need for something more in my writing. Please let me know what you think. Spike's POV.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters. They belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy etc.
Site: Breathtaking

I came here when Buffy died. Just a few weeks after. I know I promised her I'd look after Nibblet, and I still keep my eye on her, she even comes to visit me, but I just couldn't stay in Sunnydale. Not as the vampire I was; as the vampire I am.

Peaches was livid when I turned up that night. I don't even remember how I got to LA, all I know is that I ended up finding his Private Investigator ad in the Yellow Pages and turned up at this gigantic hotel in which I now live.

I have the room next to hers.

Anyway, he was livid, went on and on 'bout me torturin' him with that Marcus git; how much he hated me, how evil I was, how I was soulless. I just broke down. I told him everything. The Initiative shits who crippled me with this damn chip. How much I loved Buffy. Everything. Shit, how hard did he hit me? I tell ya, I thought I was gonna be dust the temper he had on him. Reminded me so much of my days with Angelus.

Then I saw her. Little waif of a girl. Plainly dressed; in floral patterns. Her hair was curled, all natural, and long, so long, like Dru's except...warmer.

She walked down the stairs to the training room where we were fighting, like there was nothin' going on. Like she saw vamps fighting all the time. Like it was normal. She smelled like bergamot. Her little voice drawled a Southern accent.

"Angel" she said. "Please don't fight. I feel bad enough as 'tis. Look... I came outta my room. Please Angel."

And he stopped, just like that. I looked at her properly for the first time then. Really looked at her. She was so pretty. Yeah, she was plain, ordinary looking, but she was attractive, especially when you really looked. Her eyelashes batted as she looked up at me from under her hair, and I knew, I just knew. She was like sunlight. She made me feel warm. She made me feel like I was home.

As she walked back upstairs, Peaches turned to me and just yanked me into his arms. I could feel his tears as they landed in the crook of my neck, and he could probably feel mine through his shirt. He forgave me that day. All because of her. Because of Fred.

My lovely Fred.

I look at her now as she walks across the room to where we all sit, waiting for the low-down on the next Big Bad; only she's not walking; she's floating. Just like Dru used to. She glances at me, and I raise my trademark eyebrow - the one that drives the chicks wild - and smile at her slowly. Seductively. She beams at me, and then hides her face behind her hair, every so often glancing through those wonderful, mouse-brown curls, and her smile lessens, but still she directs it at me.

Angel says that the demon has five claws and is killing people left right and centre. It's no big, won't take long to track and kill, 'specially since the cheerleader knows where it's at. What with her visions an' all. And yes, that is bitterness to Queen C you hear. She's Fred's role model. She's who my Fred looks up to, who she wants to be like. Which is great, or would be if she wasn't in the cheerleader's shadow. My little Texan wants to be just like the visionary Cordy, wants to help save the world and all that; doesn't think she's important. Isn't shown she's important. Not by them anyway.

Don't get me wrong, I love it here, it feels like home, but they're all just as ignorant as they were on the Hellmouth. Angel's too interested in Cordelia, and vice versa. They're so wrapped up in each other even they don't see what's happening. I'll just be glad when they get on with it and do the down and dirty! Hey, I'm an evil vampire me! Like this smut stuff! Just not too keen on all the pussy- footing around it. Bloody humans! Bloody Peaches for that matter. Big pouf doesn't even know when he's up for a good shaggin'! I know, I know, the soul bollocks, but trust me, if he wanted to, he'd have found a way round that a long time ago. A long time ago.

She's babbling now. Fred that is. Going on about some sort of contraption she could put together to help kill this Krugarnan demon. No one's really paying any attention. Sometimes I even switch off when she's in babble mode. Reminds me of Dru, talking to the stars, babbling on about everything and anything, and it all makes sense, to her anyway, and sometimes to me.

Like when she bumps into me in the mornings, when her hair's all tousled from sleep, and she looks her best. Her natural beauty is astounding. You wouldn't think it to look at her, like I said, but I see it, I see it all the time. She bumps into me, and as she walks away, she mumbles about flying butterflies being caught in a net if they're not careful. She forgets I have great hearing. Another plus about being me, or Angel, or any other vampire...

Or she'll catch herself looking at me, and whisper under her breath to keep herself controlled. That's always sweet. Makes my guts twist up - in a good way.

There goes Angel, stopping her in mid sentence. He gets his broadsword out of the cabinet and motions for me to join him. I do. The axe is my ally tonight. As he walks past 'the gang' in the lobby, heading for the sewer exit, I see his wink at vision girl. Gunn follows close behind. I silently tell him I'll be there in a sec


I walk over to Fred, who's just stood from her seat and is about to head upstairs. "Be careful" she says. "Always am luv" I reply. "I know" she agrees. She doesn't agree though. Knows what I'm like, 'specially when I'm itchin' for a fight.

I place my hand on her arm and let it linger there longer than it should. It's time I said this to her, so she knows... so she knows how much she means, how important she is. To me. I lean towards her and take an unnecessary breath. She shudders as it reaches her cheek. "You make me feel like I'm home," I say.

"You are," she replies. "Right here." She takes my hand and lifts it to her chest, just over her heart, which beats under my palm. Then she turns and runs upstairs.

I watch her go. As she reaches the top, she turns and looks down at me. Her hair is hanging over her face giving her that 'vixen' look I love so much. Her lips twitch to a half smile. Tantalising, and full of promise.

I smile back.

She's right.

I am home.