By Kathy L
AUTHOR: Kathy L (aka Borednow)
FEEDBACK: Please!!! It's a wonderful antidote to writer's block. :)
DISTRIBUTION: Solo, as always. Anyone else, just ask.
RATING: PG (language)
DISCLAIMER: I don't own 'em. Wish I did, though.
SPOILERS: None specifically. Possibly the last half of Season 4.
SUMMARY: Buffy finally deals with her feelings, but is it too late?
DEDICATION: To all of my buddies on #bgshippers. Thanks for being such great ppl to hang out with. (And don't kill me for this one, ok? :)
She sat with her legs hanging over the edge of the roof,
looking at the doorway of the nightclub a few doors down.
It was nearly ten, and the crowd inside was reaching its
peak. Everyone was going in, and there was almost no one
coming back out. No one except one particular couple, who
darted through the entering crowd with an intensity of purpose
far beyond that of the usual weekend party crasher. They
were coming for her, she knew. Probably worried sick, but
it didn't matter. Nothing seemed to matter anymore. She was
in a void.
She had been out of touch with everyone for three days. Part of her knew that it was incredibly selfish. They were dealing with their own pain, and here she was making them worry about her too. But she didn't care. Their pain was nothing compared to the agony she was going through. He would have told her she was being childish and irresponsible. Her spontaneous sabbatical from reality would have hurt him the most, she knew. If only he were still here. She choked back a sob and went silent as she heard the distant clank of someone coming up the metal ladder. She focused instantly, looking behind her into the darkness and reaching out with her senses. At the feel of the familiar presence, she merely shrugged and sunk back into her despair. Her eyes drifted once again to the doorway of the bronze, where her pursuers had come out of the building and were now looking at each other as if to say, "Now what?" She only half-heard the footsteps as they came nearer, preferring instead to focus her attention on her own pain and guilt. She was forced back to her senses when a voice, only inches from her ear, whispered, "Nice reflexes, luv."
Spike had half-expected her to lure him in and then teach him yet another painful lesson about underestimating a slayer's abilities. He wasn't too surprised, however, when she did no such thing.
"Go away," she said in a blank voice.
"It's a nice night," the vampire said cheerfully. "I think I'll stay awhile. Maybe I'll have a snack later." He sat down next to the Slayer and, in a softer voice added, "Besides, I heard there was a four-star restaurant up here." Still expecting her to pull out a stake at any moment, he brushed her hair aside and lightly traced the side of her neck with his index finger. She continued to ignore him. "Lovely way to celebrate my 'return to the fold'. Don't you think, pet?"
She shot him a venomous gaze filled with as much grief as it was with hatred. "You want me that bad, Spike? Go for it. Drain me dry. I don't fucking care. Just don't bring me over 'cause I swear to God I'll kill you when I come back." She tied her hair in a knot so that it was pinned up and tilted her head. "Well come on," she said, bitterly. "Or can't you get it up, even without that chip in your head?"
He punched her in the face, and she punched him back, resuming their more customary method of conversation. They moved away from the roof edge and exchanged a few more blows. She tried to deliver a spinning kick and two more jabs to his midsection when she suddenly realized that he was no longer fighting, he was just blocking her punches. She became furious, and sloppy as a result, and on her last jab he caught her wrists and pinned her next to him.
"So thats how you wanted it," she hissed. "Why didn't you say so."
"Oh I want you, Slayer," said Spike. "I want you so bad I can taste it. But do you think for one minute," he said through clenched teeth, "that I wanted you like THIS???" He whirled her around and threw her to the ground with so much force she skidded several feet before a protruding ventilation shaft broke her momentum.
"I spent eight months in Hell because of that soddin' chip, and the only thing that kept me going was the thought of taking you down once I was back to my old self again," he growled. "Add another notch to the Slayer belt, move up a bit in the ranks, get myself back in with the crew..." He stopped fantasizing and looked at her. "It's just my luck, you know. He dies, and you're an instant mess. Should have realized that a long time ago" he said with a shrug. "...would have been useful. Now look at you," he said, laughing in despair. "You're as dangerous as a bloody kitten. Hell, at this point, even Xander could take you. Yeah I want a rematch, but I'm not about to make myself the laughing stock of Sunnydale."
"Well gee, Spike, I'm sorry I ruined your Kill Buffy Funfest. Now get the hell out of here and leave me alone."
With that infuriating, slightly compassionate tone that on occasion made him seem almost human, Spike said, "You misunderstand me, luv. I don't want you dead. I want you back."
She was walking back to the edge of the roof again but suddenly she turned and stared at him in confusion. "What?"
"I want a rematch with the *Slayer*, not some grief-stricken waif pining for her lost love."
His words cracked the emotional dam that she had built around herself since the accident and a torrent of rage was the first to spill forth. "How dare you..." she spat angrily, taking a few steps toward him. "You think that's what this is?" she laughed depreciatively. "I knew you were evil, Spike, I didn't know you were an idiot."
"Oh come on," he said, backing up a few steps for safety's sake. "The only people who didn't know you were completely in love with each other were the two of you."
"You don't know what you're talking about. He wasn't- I wasn't-"
"Oh of course not," said the vampire. Doing his best impression of a shocked socialite he said "What would people say?" He gave her a knowing grin and said, "What would your mother say?"
"I don't have to stand here and listen to this," she said, and began to stalk past him.
He grabbed her arm, but before she could throw him aside he said in a kinder voice, "You don't think he stayed here all those years because of duty, do you?"
"He- he was just looking out for me. That was his job." Her eyes met those of the vampire and in them Spike saw a growing glimmer of doubt and a desperate need for the truth.
"Uh yeah, and when you didn't need him anymore? When you had Walsh and her soldier boys looking out for you? Why do you think he stayed then?"
A wave of guilt washed over her as she remembered how little contact she had had with him during those days. If she had only known. She didn't feel the tears that began streaming down her cheeks.
"And then there's you. Running so far away from what you really want that you end up shagging everything on the other end of the spectrum. First Angel, then GI Joe. Oh and that Parker bloke."
"I didn't want...that..." she said brokenly. "I wanted him to be happy."
"You wanted him to know that you loved him."
"No..." she said, shaking her head as if to clear her thoughts of the notion.
"Slayer, if it was up to me, I'd be happily watching the next few minutes from a private balcony across the street. But I owe someone a debt, and to repay that debt I have to save your skin, so listen to me. He knew, alright? But he loved you enough to give you a shot at the 2.5 kids and white picket fence anyway. Your life was complicated enough as it was."
"It wouldn't have mattered..." she said through muted sobs.
"Maybe. Maybe not. Doesn't matter. The only thing you have to remember is that he was okay with the way things were."
"Why? What difference does it make?"
"All the difference in the world, pet." The words were scarcely out of Spike's mouth when she realized they were not alone. There was a figure in the shadows beyond, leaning against a far wall.
She stared for a moment, and then turned her gaze back to Spike, but the vampire was nowhere in sight.
She took a deep breath and tried to steel herself for what was to come. She walked towards the dark shape, part of her mind wailing with grief, part of her mind screaming in absolute horror.
They met each other at the halfway point. He had forsaken the standard tweed suit for a pair of skin-tight jeans and a black t-shirt. She tried to consciously remind herself that he had changed, in spite of his smile. It was the same smile that she had seen on his face every day when he opened the door to his apartment. But it was the concern in his eyes, as he saw the tear tracks on her face, that washed away what little resolve she had left.
"Giles?" she whispered, choking back a sob.
"Buffy..." he admonished, as he brushed her hair out of her face. He pulled her to him and whispered, "Don't cry, luv. I'm perfectly alright." She let her grief out completely then, trying to pretend that it mattered. She couldn't yet bring herself to consider that being wrapped up in his arms at that moment could possibly lead to anything less than the happiest of endings.
She pulled away from him and caressed his face, saying "I'm so sorry."
"Not your fault, luv." he said, giving her a kind smile. "But it doesn't matter. I've returned."
"I missed you," she said, trying to choke back a sob. "I thought you were gone."
"I came back for you, Buffy," he said. Then his gaze became more intense, and , bringing his lips inches away from hers, he said "Three days without you was an eternity unto itself."
She leaned towards him and he crushed his lips against hers, enveloping her in his arms. She savored every second, trying to bury the knowledge that this particular reunion was tainted in so many ways. Some part of her knew that there were no second chances, not that way at least, but she didn't care. If things couldn't work out for real, she'd be happy with the illusion, even if only for a few brief moments.
"I love you, Giles. You know that, right?" she said, as she pulled away from him and waited for his answer.
He put his hands on both sides of her face and said, "I've always known, luv. We were destined for each other, you and I. That's why I'm here." He kissed her deeply and then meeting her eyes with his own added, "And this time, I will never leave you."
She let herself be swept up in a another passionate kiss, and he eventually began placing the softest of kisses along her jaw and down to her shoulder. She knew what was to come. Every instinct in her being was trying to give her body directions to do what it was trained to do, but somehow her heart managed to shut down that particular operation. <Just a little while longer> she kept telling herself, enjoying his caresses, the feel of something that should have happened so much sooner but never did. Even when she felt the searing pain in her shoulder , it was still okay, she could still pull herself back from the brink. As she began to float away she thought she heard someone say "Bugger" and then everything went black.
He knocked three times on the door but no one answered. He was three steps down the stairs when the door opened and she called out after him.
He turned around and stopped, not bothering to retrace his steps.
"It's done. We're even, Red."
"I know." she said, a bit wistfully. "Thank you."
"Well I didn't really have a choice in the matter, now did I?"
"No, but thank you anyway. I just talked to Buffy's mom and she's going to be fine."
Spike sighed. "I'm gonna catch hell if anyone finds out I'm still dusting vampires."
"Well at least now you can defend yourself." she said, with a conspiratorial smile.
"Yeah," he said with a reluctant grin, "There is that."
"Bye, Spike," she said cheerfully. "Behave yourself."
The vampire merely chuckled as he turned around and sauntered off into the night.