Word count – 1322
Rating – PG-13 (language)
Disclaimer – Joss is God, I just play with his creations
Distribution – Just tell me where you’re taking it, please
Feedback – please, please!
Summary – Buffy finds breaking up is hard to do.
See You Later, Slayer
“Looking for somebody, Slayer?” The vampire tried to keep the hope out of his voice as he walked towards her, carrying his bag of groceries.
She shook her head and turned to go. “No, Spike. I was just patrolling. It’s what I do.” She kept her head turned away to avoid seeing his face.
Damn, damn! I thought I’d be done here before he got home!
“Oh,” he said flatly. “Well, don’t think there’s much here. I keep my backyard pretty clean, you know.”
“Yeah, I know you do. But it’s still my job--”
“Bollocks! You knew there’d be nothing to slay here. Why are you here, Buffy? Come to remind me how unworthy I am?”
She visibly flinched, then said softly, “I deserve that, I guess. I’m... I’m sorry, Spike. I’ll go now.” As she said it, she finally glanced at him, closing her eyes quickly at the expression on his face.
Oh my god. How did we get to this place? I just wanted to forget my life for a while – not ruin his.
To her surprise, she felt a tear squeeze through her closed eyelids to slide down her face. She blinked quickly in an effort to erase it before Spike noticed, but he was already gliding up to her and asking, “Slayer? Buffy? What’s wrong, love?” He reached his hand toward her cheek and started to brush the tear away with his thumb. The violence with which she recoiled from his touch shocked them both.
“Right, then. No touching at all. No problem. Forgot for a minute there how much I repulse you.”
His face put the lie to his words, and she couldn’t stop herself from staring at him – almost expecting to see his heart hanging out of his shirt.
“No!” A strangled syllable was all she could get out when he turned away.
He whirled back to glare at her. “Yeah, ‘no’. I think I got it, Slayer.”
“No,” she repeated in a ragged voice. “I meant, no, you misunderstood me.”
He just raised one eyebrow. “Oh, I think you were pretty clear.”
“No,” she said softly. “No, I wasn’t. Not if you think that’s why I didn’t want you touching me.”
He still had the stony expression on his face as he tilted his head, asking, “What then?”
Buffy looked around frantically for some sort of distraction, then gave up and took a deep shuddering breath. A voice in her head was insisting, He deserves this. Give it to him.
“I don’t want you touching me because it’s... it’s too hard.”
He stood perfectly still, as only a man who has been dead for over a hundred years can, staring at her for so long that she began to shift her feet uncomfortably. Finally she could stand the silence no longer.
“Spike? Did you hear me?”
“I heard you, Slayer. I just don’t get it. What’s hard?”
“Y... you. Being close to me, touching me. It....” She looked down at the ground; wishing she could just crawl back into it and forget about her life. Suddenly she raised her eyes to his, finishing in a whisper, “It makes me want what I can’t have, Spike. I’m trying to be strong and... and when you touch me....” Her voice trailed off and she flinched as he grabbed both her arms and shook her.
“Don’t do this to me, Slayer.” he growled, eyes flashing yellow. “Don’t fuck with me, like this. I would die for you. You know that. But I really don’t want to do it one painful piece at a time. Either you want me or you don’t. Make up your bloody mind!”
She shook his hands off and snapped back at him, “I do want you! What have I just been saying? But I can’t be with you. It’s wrong and, and....” she paused and looked him in the eye. “And I don’t love you. I can’t love you. I never will.”
He rolled his eyes to the sky and threw up his hands. “Let me be sure I’ve got this straight. You want me. It hurts you to see me with somebody else – even some skank that I grabbed at the last minute so I wouldn’t be alone at the not-a-wedding. Hurting me makes you cry—” He shot her a look that dared her to deny it. “…and my touch is irresistible. But you don’t love me? We’re not talkin’ ‘don’t’ here, Buffy, we’re talkin’ ‘won’t’. Aren’t we?”
“Does it matter?” she asked dully, gazing blindly at the ground again.
His first reaction was to explode at her that of course it mattered; then his shoulders slumped in defeat. “I guess it doesn’t, does it?” he said so softly that he might have been talking to himself. “Same result either way. We’re both sleeping alone.” He shook himself, took a deep breath and continued, “Ok, love, here’s the deal.”
She peered up at him through her hair and bit her lip at the quiet resignation on his face.
“If you’re determined to make us both miserable, let’s do it right. You stay out of my graveyard – I’ll keep it swept clean every night, I promise. And I’ll stay away from you and yours. Except maybe the Bit – I’d like to see her once in a while, if that’s OK with you?” For just a second his voice took on a pleading tone.
“Of – of course. She’d never forgive me if she couldn’t see you once in while.”
“Right, then. Ok, that’s it. We’ll stay away from each other as much as possible and if we do happen to be in the same place at the same time, one of us will leave. How’s that? If it’s Willie’s – you’ll leave. If it’s the Bronze, I’ll go.”
Buffy couldn’t speak at first. Was he really saying he didn’t want her around at all? She flashed back to his song during the spell several months ago. “Let me rest in peace” he’d sung. If he couldn’t have her, he didn’t want her coming around. Well he’d had his “sweet release”, hadn’t he? And look how well that worked out....
“O… okay.... That sounds like a plan. We’ll just stay away from each other and.....” Fighting the cramping in her stomach, she steadied her voice and finished, “maybe we’ll both be able to move on.”
He stared at her speculatively for a second; then before she could object, he grabbed her arms again and pulled her against into his chest, capturing her mouth with his as he did so. Her body was rigid, but she didn’t push him away and within a few seconds she was kissing him back. It was without a doubt the most honest kiss they had ever shared. Spike put everything he had and felt into it – the desire, the unconditional love and his agony at the thought of losing her. He could feel her need for him, the desire she felt and the love she was denying. He put everything he was feeling from both of them into the lips and tongue that were joined with hers.
When she finally forced herself to break the kiss, he rested his forehead against hers and whispered, “Don’t think moving on is in my future, pet. If you get tired of making yourself miserable to keep your watcher and friends happy, you’ll know where to find me.”
He released her arms as quickly as he’d grabbed them and bent over to pick up his grocery bag. Without looking back at her, he walked to his crypt with a quiet “Good-bye, Slayer.”
With the tears now tracking unheeded down her face, Buffy watched him enter his home and close the door firmly. “Good bye, William.” she managed as she turned to go home. “I’ll miss you.”
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