Word count: 1464
Disclaimer : the usual – they belong to someone else, I’m just borrowing
Distribution: sure, just let me know where
Feedback: love it
Notes: It could have gone this way
“You’re welcome,” Buffy said softly as Spike turned to leave with his skanky “date”.
Shaking her head at herself, Buffy walked across the floor wondering which was worse, to have had to watch Spike with his date all through the pre-wedding preparations - although she knew he had only brought the brunette to make her jealous - or watching them leave, knowing they were going back to his crypt and the bed she had so recently abandoned.
No, she decided mentally, what’s worst is knowing I set myself up for this pain. Way to go, Buffy.
“Hey, Buffy, where’d Spike go?” Dawn’s innocent question did nothing to make her feel better. “Doesn’t he want to be here for the reception?”
“I don’t know Dawn,” she snapped more angrily than she meant to. “I’m not in charge of his comings and goings.”
“Well, actually, you usually are,” Dawn snarked back. “What’s the matter, don’t like seeing Spike with somebody else? If you’d give him the time of day, you know he wouldn’t be with her.”
“That’s enough, Dawn. We’re not having this conversation.”
“What conversation is that?” asked Willow as she walked up behind them. “Hey, where’d Spike and his skanky date go?”
“I don’t know or care! Why does everyone keep asking me about Spike’s activities?” Buffy demanded, shocking Willow with her vehemence.
“Gee, sorry, Buff. It’s just that he’s usually around, you know? If Buffy’s there, then Spike’s hanging around somewhere…. I think the only time you’re away from him is when you’re in bed asleep.”
Buffy turned bright red from the roots of her hair to her toes -- a color that clashed terribly with the radioactive green dress. “I need a drink,” she mumbled and headed toward the bar where Xander’s father was verbally abusing one of Anya’s demon friends. Naturally, the first person she ran into was Spike’s friend, Clem.
“Hey, Slayer, Where’s Spike? Shouldn’t he be here by now?”
Through gritted teeth, she said, “The next person who asks me about Spike is going to get staked!”
Hours later, when the whole “I can’t get married now” debacle was over and everyone had gone home, Buffy found herself with too much pent up energy to sit still. Leaving Willow to comfort the still-sobbing Anya and to try to explain Xander’s totally inexplicable behavior, Buffy took a couple of stakes and set out for the graveyard. Telling herself she had no intention of going anywhere near Spike’s crypt, she none the less found herself wandering in that direction.
“How pathetic is this?” she muttered to herself as she stopped behind a large tombstone to look at the light coming out from under the door. “Omigod! I’m stalker-Buffy!”.
Whirling around to leave before she made a complete fool of herself, she ran right into the arms of a slobbering, hairy Ch’ulth demon with clearly unfriendly intentions. With her face buried in its distinctly foul-smelling pelt, and her hands pinned to her sides, she worried for a minute that she would smother before it got a chance to kill her with its teeth and claws. Holding her breath and bringing her knees up, she braced her feet against its thighs and pushed hard, shoving it far enough away to break its hold on her arms and shoulders. With a roar the demon swung a claw-tipped hand at her head. She ducked, but slipped on her dropped stakes and fell heavily to the ground. The demon was on her immediately – pinning her to the turf and reaching for her face with its foul smelling mouth full of sharp teeth. Frantically Buffy felt around for her stakes, holding the demon off as best she could with one hand. Suddenly the weight flew off her arm and she could breath again.
Leaping to her feet, she plunged one of the stakes into the demon’s eye socket and had the satisfaction of watching it die. Standing behind the demon and still holding it by the scruff of the neck was Spike – wearing nothing but a pair of unfastened jeans.
“Bloody hell, Buffy! What were you doing taking on a demon that size with nothing but a stake? And by yourself? Why are you even patrolling tonight? Shouldn’t you be drinking and dancing at the happy nuptials?”
“I’m perfectly capable of handling a demon by myself, thank you. I was just distracted for a second.” She carefully avoided looking in the open door of the crypt or looking at his face or his bare chest.
“So, what are you doing here, then?” he asked. “Tired of partying?”
“There will be no partying,” she said with a sigh, sitting down on a tombstone. “Xander changed his mind at the last minute.”
“Harris backed out?” he snorted. “Stupid git. I wish I’d been around to see that.”
“Well, I’m sure you had more fun here….” Her voice trailed off as she remembered that he hadn’t left alone. “I should get going, wash the demon drool from my hair, shower, change clothes, see Anya…..I’m babbling, aren’t I?” she asked as she noticed his raised eyebrow.
“Yeah, luv, you kinda are. Do you want to come in and sit for a minute till you calm down?”
“Oh! Oh no! Thanks, but..no.. that would be too…too…”
“Awkward?” he asked with a smirk.
“Well, yes, awkward is a good word, I guess – or embarrassing, depending on what……” Could I dig this hole any deeper?
“Depending on what, Slayer? What do you think is in there exactly?” he asked.
“Well, I don’t know… exactly. But, I mean, you...she...date….I need to go now!”
“Buffy,” he said gently, “she isn’t here. I took her home.”
“Really?” She looked up at him from under her eyelashes. “She went home? Not that you couldn’t…I mean, you have every right to…I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be here. I’ll leave now. Thanks for the help….” Her voice trailed off, as she got no answer from him but a hard stare.
“I know what my rights are, Slayer.” he said flatly. “They just don’t always match up with my wants.”
“So, she really was just an attempt to make me jealous?” she asked hopefully.
“You know she was,” he growled. “Wasn’t much of an attempt, I’ll admit, but the best I could come up with on short notice.”
“Well, it couldn’t have been too bad,” she grumbled. “It seems to have worked.”
“So it does,” he smiled slightly, “Now what?”
“I don’t know, Spike.” Buffy gave a tired sigh. “I know I said it didn’t change anything that it hurt to see you with somebody else, but… I don’t know what to do. I just know I don’t want to go back to the way things were. You deserve better than that. And I want to be better than that. Do you think we could go back and start again?”
“Go back?” he asked in astonishment. “We can’t ever go back. What’s done is done. I won’t forget what we’ve done to and with each other and neither will you.”
“Oh,” Buffy hung her head in dejection. “I guess you’re right. We’ve – no - I’ve ruined it, haven’t I?
That’s Buffy, one-woman romance wrecking crew.
Spike’s heart turned over in his chest when she turned to walk away. With preternatural speed he was in front of her immediately. “Buffy, love, I didn’t mean--” He put his finger under her chin and tipped her face up. Her eyes were swimming with un-shed tears.
“Bloody hell, woman, I don’t want to forget. Not one single second I’ve had with you – good or bad.” Deadly serious blue eyes bored into hers, willing her to understand him. “We can’t go back – but we can go forward. If you really want to…”
She met his hopeful gaze unflinchingly, resisting the automatic urge to turn away from the emotions she saw there.
“I want to try, Spike. I want us to try not hurting each other. Can we do that?”
“I’d like to think so, love. I’ll try if you will.”
He folded her in his arms and she allowed herself to relax against him and enjoy the sensation of being held and cherished. The sensations she had refused to allow herself to admit she liked or wanted until now. She breathed in his scent – cigarettes, leather, bourbon and his own unique smell. She slid her arms around his waist and for a long time the two supernaturally powerful blonds just stood in the damp graveyard holding each other .
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