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.
a/n: This has been a wonderfully busy week for me. So many good things happening. I will answer comments for the previous chapter and this one as soon as I can and try to catch up with my f-list some time tomorrow. Thank you everyone for reading and leaving encouraging reviews. You all are the best! There isjust one more chapter to go.
Previous Chapters Here
Not My Reality
Buffy had no idea how she should react to the audience member’s question about what she’d whispered to Angel. She was about to answer with a simple explanation about just feeling like Angel was her friend when Chris stood up.
He nodded. “That’s the question on everyone’s mind and when we come back from this commercial break, we’ll give her a chance to tell all.”
As soon as the director called cut, Gwen came back from the couch and smiled at Buffy. “I guess it’s your turn now.”
“But, I don’t want a turn,” she said as Ray waved her over.
She passed Angel as he crossed the stage, heading for the exit. He said, “It’s good to see you again.” Buffy barely registered the quick hug he gave her and stared after him blankly as he left the stage.
Xander screamed her name and stood, waving like a maniac. She waved back and couldn’t help but smile as he turned to the row behind him and she could see that he’d told the people behind him he was her friend. Before she sat down where Chris directed her, she searched for Spike, but he was nowhere to be found. She could really use his support right now, she was so nervous.
Ray counted down and the cameras were rolling again.
“We’re back now with Buffy sitting in the hot seat. How have you been since you left the show?” Chris asked her with a big grin on his face.
“I’ve been doing very well.”
“Now, let’s get right in to it. All of America wants to know what it is that you whispered to Angel.”
She shrugged and tried to breathe in deep. “I just wanted him to know that I felt more like a friend to him than anything romantic. I didn’t think it would be fair for him to give me a rose because it would be like I was leading him on.”
“A little birdie told me that the reason you wanted out was because you’d fallen for someone else,” Chris said.
Buffy blinked as the audience started murmuring. “Um… I’m not sure how to answer that.”
Chris stared into the camera. “This season we’ve had a first that we weren’t too proud of with the arrest of one of our bachelorettes. We also have another first that is a shocker, but we hope this one will have a much happier ending.”
“What--?” Buffy started to say.
“I’d like to bring out our surprise guest at this time,” Chris said. “Come on out.”
Buffy shot to her feet when Spike stepped out and walked across the stage. “Oh, my, God. What is going on here?” she asked Spike as he gave her a big hug.
“Just go along with this, love. Trust me,” he whispered before they all sat down.
“This is Spike. Spike, can you tell the audience what you did on the set of The Bachelor?”
“I’m a cameraman.”
“Tell us why you are in front of the cameras tonight.”
“Well, while I was filming for the show, I got to know one of the bachelorettes really well and I fell hard for her.”
The audience went wild at that and Spike grinned at her. It was all she could do not to hyperventilate. Spike was going to lose his job, she just knew it. Chris asked him a few more questions and then he turned to Buffy.
“So would you say that you asked Angel not to give you a rose because you were beginning to have feelings for Spike?”
Buffy sighed as Spike grabbed her hand. “Yes.”
“Well, folks, we’ve had bachelors and bachelorettes from different seasons hook up, but I think this is the first time that any of the crew has found a love match on the show,” Chris said with shining, mischievous eyes and then he turned to Buffy. “You are in love with him, aren’t you?”
“Yes, very much so,” she said without hesitation.
Buffy turned when she noticed Spike moving and then she covered her mouth with her hand as the audience shouted and clapped with pleasure and even the other bachelorettes started clapping. Spike had gone down on one knee and opened a small velvet box in front of her.
“I’m so glad you said that, or I’d look like a bloody fool right now,” Spike told her with a lopsided grin. “You know how much I love you. Buffy, will you marry me?”
Not caring that she might be ruining her dress, she got down on her knees and hugged him. She whispered, “I’m going to kill you for this.” But already tears were spilling over and rolling down her cheeks.
“Do it after you say yes, okay?” Spike eyes started to glisten with tears.
“Well,” Chris encouraged, “yes or no?”
“Yes! Of course I’ll marry you.”
The crowd went wild again and suddenly they were on their feet with all the bachelorettes surrounding them, offering congratulations. Over all the noise, she could hear Chris talking into the cameras, reminding the viewers to tune in next week to find out if Angel would choose Cordelia or Faith.
With so much commotion and excitement around them, Buffy and Spike stared at each other and smiled. The ring felt foreign on her finger and she looked down at it, still in shock. She was engaged, it had happened in front of an audience and by tomorrow night, all of America would see it.
~ * ~ * ~
There were so many emotions jumbled up in Spike. From the moment the producers suggested that he propose on the episode until just a minute ago, he’d been nervous and excited and it had been difficult to keep that energy down when he was with Buffy. Now, he felt elated and relieved. She’d said yes. Buffy was going to be his wife. That is, if he survived her wrath over springing such a surprise on her.
Spike pushed his way through the crowd of people on stage and took Buffy’s hand to guide her off the stage. She gripped it with the strength of a bodybuilder, waved and thanked everyone for the well wishes and congratulations that kept coming. As soon as they exited the stage, they quickened their pace, looking for a quiet spot.
“This way,” Spike said when he saw a room with a door.
Just as Spike got his hand on the door to open it, Angel came out of the room. All three froze and just stared at each other. Spike didn’t care if the ponce was upset at them or not, but he knew Buffy was worried about that.
“So, you guys are engaged now?” Angel asked, folding his arms over his chest.
Spike cleared his throat and said, “Yes, we are.”
“I hope things go well on the finale for you,” Buffy said quietly.
“Thank you.” Angel stepped into the hallway and said, “I’m just wondering how you could lie to me like you did on the plane to Vegas, about knowing who the crewmember and bachelorette was that were messing around.”
“She didn’t lie,” Spike said, putting his arm around Buffy. “That was Darla and one of the other cameramen.”
Buffy nodded, but kept silent.
Angel waved his hand in front of them, “But you guys were—“
“We weren’t,” Buffy finally spoke. “We were attracted to each other, but nothing happened – except a few kisses – while I was on the show. I’m sorry, Angel.”
“Well, I guess congratulations are in order.”
“Thank you,” Buffy said as Spike pulled her into the room.
The door slowly shut behind them and Spike grinned when he heard Angel say, “I’m sure you two will be really happy together.”
Spike hugged Buffy and lifted her off the ground. “I’m the happiest bloke on earth!”
He got a little concerned when she didn’t smile back, but just stared at him intensely. Suddenly, she lunged at him, pressing her lips to his. Spike loved how she never did anything halfway, especially when she kissed him. There were no tiny sisterly little pecks on the cheek from his woman. He could go on that way for hours, but soon she stepped away from him.
“How on earth did you ever decide to propose to me like this?”
“Well, see, that’s an interesting story.”
“It sounds like I’m not going to like it.”
Spike shrugged. “About a week ago, I bought the ring and I had been keeping it in my pocket, waiting for the right moment to ask you. But a couple of days ago, Ray called me into his office and showed me a surveillance tape from the night you kissed me in front of the house.”
She gripped his shoulders. “Oh my God! They saw that?”
With chuckle, Spike said, “You’re so cute when you’re embarrassed.”
Buffy shook him. “Tell me what they said.”
“The picture was very grainy and they thought I was out there with Darla. When I told them it was you, I thought I was going to lose my job. They asked me a bunch of questions which led to me confessing that I was in love with you and I ended up showing them the ring.”
“Whose idea was it to propose to me on national television?”
The way she’d asked, he knew he was going to have to choose his words carefully. “It was their idea, but I thought it was a good one. I’d been waiting for the right moment.” He held a hand up when she frowned. “Also, I agreed to do it only if they promised not to air the surveillance tape of us on that bench. I knew you wouldn’t like it if the tape was shown to all of America.”
“No, I wouldn’t have liked that,” said Buffy in a soft, sad voice.
He hugged her and asked, “What’s wrong.”
Buffy shook her head. “It just feels wrong now. Like you only proposed to me to for the sensationalism of the show.”
“Don’t think like that. Please. You know how much I love you. And—“
The door to the room they were in opened and her friends came rushing in. Xander grinned when he saw them. “Angel told us where you were.”
“Willow!” Spike gripped the redhead’s shoulders and got behind her. “She’ll tell you. I bought the ring a while ago. Way before the producers talked to me two days ago.”
Willow nodded with a big grin. “He’s telling the truth. Spike came in on your day off, about a week ago, and asked me to help him pick out the ring. I’m so glad he asked you so soon, because I don’t know how I would have kept such a big secret for much longer.”
Spike sighed with relief when the worry that had clouded Buffy’s face lifted. Willow hugged her, and Buffy smiled widely at Spike over her friend’s shoulder. He wanted to go to her, but couldn’t, because her friends were all taking their turns either hugging her or shaking his hand in congratulations. As he watched her talk animatedly with her friends, he leaned against the wall and thought about how lucky he was that such a beautiful woman was soon going to be his wife.