A/N: Sorry for the delay on this one, I’ve been pretty busy lately. I’m working on the site redesign here at WotS and just started a new job with a small content branding business, on top of 2 other jobs and promoting my independent art commissions- so, y’know, just a few small things lol. I am pretty far in the next 2 chapters so hopefully there’ll be less of a gap between this and the next one.
Buffy woke exactly how she’d fallen asleep- curled up in Spike’s arms with him softly stroking her hair. For just a moment she was completely content… until everything came back to her.
Her heart had just begun to race when Spike opened his eyes and pulled her closer.
“Mums left earlier, probably out shopping or some such. No need to worry,” he said, misinterpreting the cause of her anxiety.
Before she had a chance to respond he was kissing her and she forgot about everything else.
Kissing him was like floating perfectly in a warm pool of water- supported, peaceful, refreshed. When things heated up, it was like diving into that water head first. Lungs burning, swimming through and upwards towards something pulling her in.
She lost track of time as his lips caressed hers. It might have been minutes, it might have been hours. She was content to just be there with him.
After a while, his hand that had been teasing the soft skin underneath her baggy tee shirt suddenly moved to pull it off of her, but she quickly sat up and moved away, trying not to look at the pain on his face.
“I can’t, Spike, I can’t. Not right now.”
“Don’t push me away, Buffy,” he implored.
When he went to interrupt, she reiterated.
“I’m not. Not all the way. I just need to slow down. Every time I close my eyes, I see it, and my decision to kiss you like that was based on her whole philosophy. So, I just… can’t, not yet. But I don’t mind you being here for me.”
“And you think I’m just going to wait around for your soddin’ timetable?”
Buffy shook her head and pulled back further, tears welling in her eyes.
“No, you’re right, I’m being stupid.”
She stood up off the bed and tried to head towards the door, but he grabbed her hand in one of his. The other came up to cup her cheek, wiping away a stray tear. When he spoke, his voice was softer.
“Hey— Buffy.” He waited until her eyes lifted to his. “Never said I wouldn’, yeh? But I can’t just put myself out there for nothing again, love. Need to know what this is to you.”
She sighed deeply and lifted her eyes to his. “It’s… I don’t know what it is. It feels like last week we were having verbal death matches at least once a day. Last month you probably would’ve killed me if given the chance.”
“You know as well as I do that this has been building for a mite longer than that, Buffy.”
“It has. And that’s why I can’t just jump in. I need to slow down while I’m healing for this so I don’t ruin everything.”
“You won’t ruin it, pet, but I understand.”
He wrapped his arm around her and pulled him to his chest.
After a moment of silence, Buffy looked up at him and weakly asked, “What is this to you, then?”
Spike looked taken aback, like he’d never imagined she’d throw his own question back at him.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, you’ve been around for a long time, Spike. You’re smart, you’ve been all over the world. What do you even see in me?”
“Buffy, don’t sell yourself short. You’re smart, and beautiful, and you have a fire inside you that’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”
“And what happens when Drusilla wises up and decides she wants you back? You might think I’m great now, but compared to her? I won’t be enough to keep you.”
His heart broke as a tear trailed its way down one beautiful cheek.
“Hey, look at me.” He waited until her eyes met his own. “All those years with Dru… She loved me the best she knew how, I know that much. But that doesn’t mean it was enough. I would never let myself admit it, but there was always something missing there.
“These last 3 months have been incredible, pet. I’m happier than I’ve been… ever, if I’m honest. And you’re part of that. Whatever we have between us here… There’s not a snowball’s sodding chance in hell that I’m giving up on it if there’s any hope left. And even then I’d probably stick around, stubborn as I am.”
Buffy sniffled and looked at him through her eyelashes.
“Good. I don’t want you to go anywhere.”
“Tell me if this is okay, love,” he whispered softly, leaning down towards her mouth.
Rather than answer with words, she instead pulled his head down and kissed him for a long minute.
“Kissing is okay. I’ll let you know about farther. Sound good?” she asked, a little out off breath from the kiss.
And with that he dove back in, kissing her with abandon.
When Buffy made it home from school she was torn between the terrible mood of school and the slightly giddy feeling she had when she thought about the new status of her relationship with Spike. She spared a quick wave to their mothers sitting in the living room talking and headed straight for his room.
“School not go so well, then, pet?” he asked, seeing her sour expression and sitting up on the bed, scooting over to make room for her to sit down.
Buffy sighed heavily and sat down next to him.
“Faith refuses to tell anyone about what she did. What we did. And so now I’m trying to hide everything and I feel so guilty and I just can’t stop SEEING it, Spike. Over and over, the stake going right into his chest. The confusion we felt when he didn’t dust. I don’t know how to do this.”
Spike’s heart broke a little when she curled in on herself, arms around her knees.
“Buffy, love, listen to me. You’re a good person. What happened was an accident, and you were out there trying to protect every one of those sorry sods. If you need to tell you watcher, your friends, then do it. But don’t go thinking you need punished for an accident.”
“Spike, someone died because of me.”
“Can’t do your job if you’re locked up. There are always casualties of war. And you, you’ll cry for each and every one of them, won’t you.”
The question was rhetorical as he pulled her close and looked into her eyes.
“But it’s just like with Angelus. They wouldn’t have been alive to be killed if it weren’t for you. You can try your best to do better from now on, but all you can do is move forward.”
She buried her face in his chest and he squeezed her to him.
“Now c’mon love, our mums will wonder what’s wrong if you go up there with teary eyes.”
She took a few more minutes in his arms, breathing deeply and composing herself.
“Okay, how do I look?” She asked finally.
“Beautiful, as always. Now let’s go see what’s for dinner.”
It wasn’t long into a dinner full of not-so-covert stares and ‘accidental’ touches as they passed food that Joyce sighed and looked at the two of them.
“We aren’t blind, children. Care to tell us what’s going on?”
At the stricken look on their faces, Anne smiled warmly.
“We are both happy for you. We have watched you growing closer, and you seem to be quite a suitable match.”
“I’ll always worry, Buffy- I’m your mom. But I like Spike, and I don’t believe he’d try to hurt you. You have our blessing.”
Buffy looked between the two women and their cool demeanors at what she thought would be world shaking news.
“Have you been talking about this behind our backs?” Buffy asked.
“Possibly,” Joyce said.
“Buffy, we were both worried about you children when this all started, and yes we talked a lot. But after those first couple weeks, once you started spending time together, you both became so much happier. You try to hide it from me, but I see how much your slaying weighs on you. I was happy enough that you had someone who understood your world more to talk to, but now to have him going out there to fight with you- to watch your back? How could I object to that? Not to mention that you might still be in school, but you are technically an adult.”
“Buffy, when you met Angel you were 16 and still a child. You might have been the slayer, but you were still a girl too. I never saw you consistently happier when you were with Angel, not like it has been with Spike. But!” Her eyes shifted over to the man in question, deadly serious.
“If you hurt my daughter you know I know how to use a fire ax.”
The reactions at the table would have made a priceless photograph. Buffy buried her face in her hands in embarrassment, Anne looked only mildly scandalized, but Spike laughed and smiled warmly at the woman who had just threatened him.
“Know that better than most, don’t I, Joyce? You’re right handy with one.” His face grew serious. “I don’t plan on hurting her. Know most of the wankers” “-William!-“ “in her life have walked out or betrayed her. I don’t plan on being one of them.”
Joyce smiled, ignoring the mild indignation of Anne at her son’s language and Buffy’s blush and lowered eyes. “Good. And take care of yourself too, William. I don’t want to see you unhappy again either.”
Spike cleared his throat and looked around. “Thanks, mum.”
Buffy took pity on her… boyfriend? Boyfriend, and interjected with the latest edition of the Sunnydale High Drama Times, starring Harmony and her crazy dating life. The rest of dinner was normal enough, minus the mothers ignoring their children holding hands under the table.
After dinner, Buffy was on her way into the kitchen when Anne caught her by the hand.
“I am not one for threats, my dear, I am sure you have realized that. But I will ask you once again, kindly, to be good to my boy’s heart. He has been happier in these months than I have ever known him before, but I know he is still easily broken.”
Buffy looked at Anne warmly and squeezed her hand.
“Of course. For what it’s worth I… I do care about him a lot.”
“But you are afraid.”
Buffy’s answering nod was small.
“For what it is worth, take some advice from an old lady. Now that you are courting, do not stop talking. Hiding from each other only leads to trouble. I loved William’s late father with my whole heart, but our marriage would have been made much easier had we learned that lesson with more haste.”
Buffy smiled again at the other woman before heading the rest of the way into the kitchen. “Thank you Anne.”
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Reviews ( 3 )
May 5, 2022 20:47
May 3, 2022 03:34
Well now the cats out of the bag on their feelings for each other, and Buffy will have a little less stress knowing her mom's okay with it. Now they just need to help Faith.
May 1, 2022 17:54