Title – One Good Day (not original, I know)
Season V – the rest of the scene?
Word Count – 1488
Rating - G
Disclaimer – not mine
Feedback – yes, please
Distribution – OK, just let me know
Not beta’d, so mistakes are all mine
Banner by the very talented and generous Kargrif.
One Good Day
At the sight of Buffy’s tear stained face – which, her voice sounding more weary than angry, she raised to ask, “What do you want?” – all his rage vanished.
“What’s wrong, Slayer? Is there something I can do?”
He approached the porch and cautiously sat down on the steps, the shotgun almost forgotten as he put it aside.
Buffy put her head back down in her hands and, while no longer crying, she was clearly miserable. He desperately fought the urge to fold her in his arms and tell her he would make it all right, settling instead for an awkward pat on her shoulder.
He watched her raise her head and stare at him like he’d lost his mind; her thoughts were clear. Was Spike trying to comfort her? Spike, the evil undead who not long ago had been telling her his idea of a really good day would be to kill her? Of course, for a moment he had also looked like he wanted to kiss her, but she’d made sure he understood that would never happen!
“What’s wrong, Slayer?” he repeated. “Can I do anything to help?”
“I’m just worried about my mom,” she sighed.
“Joyce? What’s wrong with Joyce?”
Buffy startled at his alarmed tone; then remembered how often she’d found him sitting in her kitchen sharing hot chocolate with Dawn and her mother. She knew her mother liked Spike, in spite of his being a vampire, and they had spent a lot of time talking about the art gallery and other things in which Buffy had no interest,
“Oh, I’m sure she’ll be fine. She just needs some more tests. She’s got a, a thingie on her brain….” Buffy’s voice trailed off as she fought back her tears again.
“A thingie on her brain? What do you mean a thing? What are they doing about it?” Spike realized his agitation wasn’t helping Buffy and he took a deep, totally unnecessary breath before he spoke again. ”I’m sorry, pet. I didn’t mean to upset you more. I’m sure it’ll be OK – your mum’s tough and strong. Remember when she hit me with that ax when I was about to kill you?”
Buffy smiled faintly at the memory of her mother whacking the killer of two slayers with a fire ax and telling him to get away from her daughter. “ When you were about to try to kill me, you mean,” she said with a sideways glance.
“Oh, I had you,” he said with a leer. “You were as good as dead!”
“You wish.” She sniffed and rubbed at her nose.
“Well, not so much anymore,” he mumbled, embarrassed but unable to stop himself.
For some reason, that glimpse of a possible change in his feelings for her made her even more uncomfortable than his awkward attempts at comfort. She looked away from his chiseled (where did that thought come from?) face and stared out into the yard.
“Uh, Spike?” Buffy turned back to look at him. “Why are you carrying a shotgun?” She looked from the gun to him, raising an inquiring eyebrow. Spike froze, trapped into meeting her gaze for long seconds. Too many seconds, he realized, to enable him get away with a lie.
“Iwasgoingtokillyou,” Spike muttered quickly and quietly.
Then she looked at the gun and his face – which was wearing a look she could only describe as anguished – and remembered her final words to him as she threw money at him and left him in alley.
“You were going to kill me? With a shotgun? What kind of vampire are you?” She jumped to her feet and glared at him.
He sprang up to meet her glare, nose to nose, “A harmless one, remember? Not to mention, one who is so beneath you, you couldn’t even be bothered to thank me for the advice you wanted on how to stay alive.”
“You’re the one who turned it into a trip down Spike’s memory lane. You made it about you and me, not Slayer vs vampire, and dragged it out for hours!” and tried to kiss me she added silently.
Instead of snapping back at her, Spike lowered his eyes and turned away. “I just wanted to spend more time with you,” he said quietly. “ I’m... I’m sorry. I’m not very good at talking with girls I… like. Never have been.”
Buffy stared at him in astonishment. Did Spike just say he was sorry for something? And, that he “liked” her? She sighed and took her hands off her hips. “Well, you should be,” she said for lack of anything more biting. “But right now I’m too worried about my mom to deal with you or anything else.”
At the thought of her mother and the possible outcome of the next day’s tests, she felt the tears filling her eyes again and she turned away from him to return to her seat on the steps. Instantly, he was back by her side. He had to force himself to keep his hands in the pockets of his duster when what he really wanted to do was put his arms around her and offer some cold comfort.
“It’ll be alright, pet. I... I know it will,” he stammered. “Your mum’s much too loved to be taken away”.
To his astonishment the slayer burst into real tears and at his tentative pat on her back, she leaned into him and began soaking his shirt front as she whimpered, “ People who are loved leave or get taken away all the time. It’s the Hellmouth, remember?”
Very slowly, Spike allowed his arms to slip around her shoulders and he held her lightly while she cried into his chest. He could smell her hair and feel it tickling his face as he murmured comforting things to the top of her head. He’d never been this close to her before, except when they were fighting each other, and he was astonished at how tiny she felt. He was seized with an overwhelming urge to protect her and tightened his embrace as he whispered in her ear, “Please, love, don’t cry. Please don’t.”
Buffy’s soft sobs gradually trailed off to sniffles and Spike could feel her body tense as she realized where she was and who was holding her. As soon as he felt her pull back, he dropped his arms and raised his head from where it had been resting on hers. He waited warily to see what her next reaction would be – knowing full well it could be a stake in his chest.
But Buffy, looking slightly embarrassed, just moved away from him and took several deep, ragged breaths until she had her voice under control.
“Spike, if you came here to kill me, why didn’t you?”
“I’m a sucker for tears, I guess,” he smiled shyly. “Yours, anyway, Slayer”. He reached over and used his thumb to wipe a remaining tear from her face. “Anyway, I was just really, really pissed at you and by the time I got here I was getting over it.”
She looked at his embarrassed face for a few seconds and then asked softly, “I really hurt your feelings, didn’t I? With the things I said?”
“Feelings? What feelings? Vampire here, remember? No feelings involved at all,” he blustered, peering at her out of the corners of his eyes to see if she was buying it. “Just trying to keep you alive until I lose this chip and can kill you properly, that’s all”.
She just sat on the steps, looking at him with those big green eyes until he slumped down and put his head in his hands. “I am such a wanker,” he growled.
For several minutes neither one moved or said anything. Then Buffy stirred. “It’s late and I have to be at the hospital early tomorrow, so….”
Spike straightened immediately and stood up.
“Of course you do. I’m sorry, pet, I should go. You need to sleep and I need to... to go,” he finished lamely.
As he stood there, poised to leave, but reluctant to do so until he saw Buffy safely in the house, he was shocked to feel the soft brush of warm lips across his cheek and to hear a whispered, “Thank you, Spike.” Then she turned and went into the house without looking back.
One hand touching his cheek, the other absently picking up his shotgun, he moved off into the darkness. “One good day” had suddenly taken on a completely new meaning.
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