Title: Not My Reality
Rating: NC-17 for later chapters
Summary: Buffy is a single, twenty-six year old assistant manager at Bloomingdale's department store. Buffy and her best friend, Willow, love to watch reality TV shows. When Angel is the runner up on the Bachelorette show and then becomes the next Bachelor, Willow sends in Buffy's photo and details to the casting team. What's a girl to do when she goes on a reality TV show to get to know a man she'd been attracted to only to fall for one of the camera guys instead?
Betas: mabel_marsters & xtanitx.
Previous Chapters Here
Not My Reality
It felt weird to be back at the Bachelor house after a week of being at her own apartment, though it was nice to see Faith again. While Faith and Buffy traded stories about what happened on their hometown dates, Buffy kept one eye on the entryway. Angel was due to arrive any minute and she wanted to catch him before he went into the decision room to talk to the host of the show.
She got up and excused herself when she heard the door open. With a nod to Spike, she rushed over and asked Angel if she could speak to him alone for a minute. He smiled at her and took her hand to lead her to the decision room. Carlos followed them, but she asked him if she could keep this private. He nodded and left, but came right back with the director behind him.
“What’s going on here?” Ray asked.
“Um, I just need to talk to Angel for one minute. Alone,” said Buffy, thinking that things were not going the way she’d planned. There was no way she could talk to Angel candidly with a camera pointed in her face. “Please.”
“I’ll tell you what. Let Carlos stay and if after you are done talking, you still feel like you don’t want the conversation televised, we can destroy the film,” Ray said.
“Fine,” she said in frustration.
“Come sit here,” Angel said, patting the spot next to him on the bench. “You can tell me anything.”
Buffy sat, took a deep breath and held Angel’s hand. She did her best to ignore Carlos, but she really wished he wasn’t there. She glanced at the four framed photos on the shelf behind Angel and sighed at her brightly smiling image. Things had gotten really complicated since the photo had been taken.
“I wanted to talk to you before the rose ceremony, because I wanted to be honest with you.” Angel opened his mouth but she shook her head. “No, let me continue. I think you are a really great guy and I’m glad I got to meet you, but I’m just not attracted to you the way I should be to continue on.” She kept talking, rushing her words. “I mean, for all I know, you weren’t going to give me a rose tonight anyway, but you deserve to have the final three be woman that really want to be here for you.”
“And you don’t?” Angel said, taking his hand away. “I thought you said you’d only come on the show to meet me. Was that a lie?”
“No. It wasn’t a lie. And like I said, I’m really glad I got to know you. I’d like to leave here with you as my really good friend.”
“Wow. I wasn’t expecting this.”
“I’m sorry. I don’t want to hurt you, but you deserve better than to have me around when there could never be more between us.”
“I’m just trying to figure out what you find so lacking?” he asked with a frown.
“No. You’re not lacking. It’s just that us together; we’re lacking something. Chemistry. It’s just not there.” She tilted her head and gazed at him. “I’m sorry.”
He stood up. “Okay. Well, I appreciate your honesty.” He threw his hands up and chuckled wryly. “I guess this makes my decision much easier for the ceremony.”
She smiled at him as she got to her feet and got close to him. She whispered, “Can I tell you something?”
Angel glanced at the cameraman and waved him back, then he nodded. Buffy kept her voice to a whisper and said, “I don’t know about the other two, but Faith is truly and madly in love with you and I think you two are perfect for each other.”
Buffy kissed him on the cheek and rushed out of the room. Her heart was pounding in her chest and her palms were clammy, yet she was elated to finally have done what she should have done a few weeks ago. Angel had taken it better that she thought he would and now she searched for Spike. When she spotted him, she gave him a thumbs-up and they smiled at each other.
A couple of minutes later, Angel came out with Chris, both with very serious expressions on their faces. When the cameramen where situated and everyone was on their marks, Chris said, “Angel has spent some quality time with the four bachelorettes in their hometowns and though it has been difficult, he’s made his decision. Angel, whenever you are ready.”
“Thank you, Chris.” Angel picked up the first rose and paused to stare at the four women standing before him. “Cordelia, will you accept this rose?”
Buffy looked over at the cheerleader on the other side of Faith and was amazed to see tears running down her cheeks. Cordelia stepped forward, took the rose and went to stand in her place. Buffy’s attention was drawn back to the table next to Angel as he picked up the next rose. She swallowed the lump in her throat and even though she’d asked to not get the rose, the tension was still there. Everything about The Bachelor was so silly, but having been a part of it, she now realized how serious the last few episodes became. How even the coldest hearts were affected, how even the meanest women could fall in love and how much the other girls had opened themselves up to heartbreak.
Angel called Faith’s name next. The tough woman let out a huge breath of relief and marched forward to take her rose. Buffy looked at Spike, their eyes locking in solidarity. She smiled and felt such peace as Angel called Gwen’s name next. Gwen hugged her before going forward to get her rose and a kiss from Angel.
Angel turned sad eyes on her and held his arms out. She went forward and let him hug her before he walked her from the room and out of the house. Buffy was vaguely aware that Spike was right behind them with a camera pointed in their direction. They stopped at the curb and Spike came around to get a view of them from the front.
“I’m really glad we got to know each other,” Angel said.
“So am I. And I hope that we can keep in touch and be friends after this is all over.” Buffy quickly hugged him. “Good luck, and I hope you find the woman of your dreams.”
The limo pulled up and Spike followed her in. The door shut behind him and Spike sat next to Andrew, across from Buffy. Andrew was in charge of the exit interviews; though his voice would never be heard and his face would never be seen on the actual show, Andrew asked all the questions.
Buffy endured the questions about what she might have done differently and only had nice things to say about Angel. She was so glad when they finally pulled up to the studio lot. Buffy waited on the curb while Spike left the camera in the limo and asked Andrew to make sure it got back to the house. They walked into the studio offices together and he waited for her while she signed some final papers, which included details on when the “Women Tell All” episode would be filmed and one more confidentiality contract.
Before she left the legal office, they asked if she had a ride home or if she wanted them to get a car to drive her to Sunnydale. She smiled sweetly and declined their offer, quickly leaving the office. Her steps quickened, as she got closer to the lobby where she’d left Spike sitting on a couch, watching TV. All of the sudden, she was grabbed from behind and pulled into a room.
“What the –“
She stopped when she turned to see Spike smirking at her with his tongue curled behind his teeth.
“Didn’t mean to scare you, love.” He put his arms around her. “I just couldn’t wait one more second to do this.”
She didn’t know whose dark office they were in and once Spike began to kiss her, she really didn’t care. They were heating up the room and soon she was frustrated because she wanted more.
“Where is your car parked?” she asked. “Because we need to get to your place -- like now!”
She followed him to his big black car and kept up the teasing as he maneuvered the DeSoto through the convoluted Los Angeles streets like a man who’d lived there all his life. Twenty long minutes later, they pulled up to a tiny house on the end of an older residential neighborhood. They rushed in and she barely took the time to look around; Buffy only had eyes for Spike.
He took her by the hand and led her to his bedroom on the second floor. “God, Buffy, I don’t think ever been happier in my life to see a woman get dumped.”
She laughed and hugged him again. “I’m really happy about it too.”
“Wait! I forgot something,” he said. She tilted her head as Spike rushed to the door and turned to smile at her and said, “Make yourself comfortable. I’ll be right back.”
Now she took the time to look around. The room was painted in a warm brown, Egyptian rugs covered the wooden floors and everything pretty much matched. It was on the tip of her tongue to tell him how impressed she was with his decorating skills when he rushed back into the room, but went speechless when she saw the long stem rose in his hand.
He stood before her and touched the petals of the rose across her cheek. “Buffy, will you accept this rose?”
She giggled as she took it from him and said, “Of course I will.” She brought the rose to her nose and sniffed. “This is the sweetest smelling and most prized rose of all, because it comes from you.”
Putting his hands in her hair, he kissed her gently, but soon they were pressed against each other, the rose having dropped from her hand so she could touch him. After a few minutes, she tugged at his t-shirt.
“So, you want to get naked, do you?” Spike teased.
“Yes, I do.”
The bed was just a few feet away, but they somehow missed it. Buffy wasn’t complaining because the rug they were on was soft and the whole writhing together on the floor thing really turned her on. She knew that eventually at some point in the night, they’d get in bed. Buffy felt wild and free with the burden of the show lifted off her shoulders. She could tell by the frenzied pace Spike kept up that he was feeling it too.
Later, they rested under the covers in Spike’s bed. He slowly ran his fingers through her hair as they gazed at each other.
“I know this is really early,” Spike said, breaking their silent moment, “but I can’t keep it in any longer. I have to tell you. I’m in love with you.”
She grabbed his hand and gazed into his watery eyes. Buffy could not believe how things had turned out. She never would have guessed that she would go on a TV show to find love, only to find it with someone who was not the Bachelor. And now, here she was, lying next to an incredible man who was smart and sexy and he was declaring his love for her, showing his vulnerable side.
“I love you, too.”