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It had been a month since the world didn’t end. Since she’d been wrong, and somehow everybody lived. 

Everybody minus one young brunette doctor, and she was slowly coming to terms with the fact that he’d been doomed from the start. Spike had helped with that.

She’d spent a lot of time with her vampire since he’d pulled Doc off the tower and saved everyone. Of course she had. He’d saved the world for her- he’d saved her SISTER. His injuries had been severe, but it hadn’t taken more than a week of rest before he started to get antsy. 

He’d tried to play it cool, given that she’d been keeping him in her house and all, but eventually he’d needed to get out.  She’d let him, but she’d been by his crypt every day since. 

Which is how they wound up here.

They’d been talking about slaying, maybe? Something, although she couldn’t remember what. And she’d looked up and their eyes met and she was frozen. This had happened more times than she could count. Eye to eye, creeping closer to him with each second. She had felt his breath on her lips those times, and the promise of it had her heart racing. 

They’d always pulled away, though. Always pulled the plug on their game of chicken before their lips could meet.

Not this time. Whatever it was that pulled them together, it had been too strong. His hands came up over her sides and -oh god, his hands! 

When they pulled her closer, she couldn’t help but come willingly. The way he held her, the way he kissed her, held her captivated. She was a woman lost and found at the same time. He could ask her to do anything with those hands and she would.

If her higher brain had been functioning it would be telling her to run, but god how could she? She sank into him instead.  Now that she was here she would never have the strength to leave.

When she needed to pull away to breathe, they kept their foreheads pressed together. She looked up at him and smiled shyly, but the look on his face took her breath once again.

She could feel heat rising in her cheeks as she squirmed slightly. “What?”

“‘What?’ she asks. “God, Buffy, are we really doing this?”

She pulled him closer to her.

“Seems like.”

“What does that me–”

He was cut off by a loud curse from Buffy, who’d spotted one of Dawn’s English books over his shoulder.

“What time is it? I left Dawn alone because she was asleep and I didn’t plan to be out long, but then I came over here and we got talking and then kissing and– crap!”

“You’ve been here a while, love. I’ll walk you home so you can look after the Bit.”

“Thank you.” 

Buffy looked at him gratefully. It meant a lot to her that he didn’t put up a fight if it was Dawn’s wellbeing on the line. 

Once they stepped outside, they linked hands for the entire walk over, so long that Spike grew warm himself from her heat.

When they reached her room, he’d climbed up behind her. She didn’t need to come in her window these days, but she didn’t want to wake Dawn if she was sleeping and, honestly, the routine of climbing up and down the tree was soothing these days.

Once they were both inside, she’d turned around and looked at him.

“Well, I guess if that’s all then–” he said awkwardly. 

“Stay,” she heard herself say. 

Was she really doing this? She held her hand out to him from the bed, and the smile that lit up his face warmed her more than she thought possible. 

Yeah, she was.

~

The night before had been beautiful. Perfect, even. She’d never felt so at home in someone’s arms, and the feeling of him stroking her hair as she’d drifted off asleep would live with her forever. She could see it all, her life with him, and it all looked so wonderful.

Those thoughts instantly had her on edge. Hope was a treacherous thing. Once you had it, things would start going wrong in her experience.

She wasn’t trying to pull back from him that morning. She still touched him, still kissed him, but she did it all with a slight hesitance. She hoped he didn’t notice.

He did.

They were in the kitchen while Buffy made herself breakfast, and she flinched slightly when he brought his hand up to brush her hair out of her face.

“What the hell, Buffy?! You asked me to stay last night and this morning you’re flinching away like I’m the plague.”

“It’s nothing, Spike, I promise.”

“Bullshit it’s nothing! Don’t pull that with me, tell me the truth.”

They stared each other down until Buffy finally broke.

“I’m afraid, okay?!”

The shock on his face felt like a punch to her gut.

“After all this? You’re gonna tell me you’re bloody AFR–”

Spike was cut off by Xander’s entrance to the kitchen.

“Woah, why is the bleached menace here at this time of morning?”

Expectant eyes landed on Buffy, who floundered under them. What the hell was she supposed to say? She thought she’d have more time than this.

Spike sighed angrily and pulled his duster up over his head, storming off into the sunlight.

“What the hell was that about?” Xander asked. 

When she didn’t respond, he prompted again. 

“Buffy?”

“I think we’re dating.”

“What? No we’re- I haven’t cast any spells since high school!”

“Not you and me, Xander. Spike and I. The dating thing. I think that’s something we’re doing now. And I just let him leave while he’s all with the mad and- crap, why did I freeze?” 

Buffy buried her face in her hands.

“Sorry, I’m still trying to recover from what you just said. Did Willow do a spell? Am I dreaming? Or hallucinating? I thought you just said you were dating Spike.”

She moved her hands so she could look at him and took a deep breath before she brought her defense.

“You heard right, and you’re awake. Willow hasn’t done any spells. We’ve been spending time with each other for a while, and I guess I realized I actually enjoy it a lot? And we all owe him our lives, don’t forget that. He saved my sister AND the world.”

“Well, yeah, but Buff! He’s still the evil dead.”

“He SAVED THE WORLD. He could’ve DUSTED to save Dawn. How evil do you really think he is?” Buffy was practically shouting.

Xander could see the vehemence in his friend’s face and submitted. 

“All right, all right. But let it be known I formally lodged a complaint if he ever tries to kill us all again.” He hoped the joking tone of his words would be a peace offering.

Buffy rolled her eyes, but accepted. “He won’t do that. But thank you.”

“Are you going to go after him? Seems like he was out of here in a rush.”

Buffy looked stricken. “I can’t. You’re only taking Dawn for a couple hours this morning, and I’ve got to take care of more paperwork stuff with the insurance and the gallery. Then I’ll be stuck in with her, and I really don’t want a teenage audience while we hash things out.”

Xander looked sympathetic.

“I wish I could hang out with her longer, but I’ve gotta get to work later. I guess, what are you going to do?

Buffy looked at him with resolve.

“Hope he comes and finds me. And if not, once it’s time for patrol and Willow is here to babysit, I’ll walk down to Restfield myself and explain things to him.”

~

After dressing for patrol, Buffy looked out her window into the darkness of the night, broken only by the headlights of a familiar car. A smile broke across her face of her own accord, and she quickly grabbed her jacket and climbed out of the window.

“I was just coming to you anyways,” she said as she slid into the passenger seat.

“Well you could always get out, follow behind me,” he joked, but her response was serious.

“I would though. For you.”

Buffy met his eyes and kept them.

“Thought you were afraid of me.”

“I’m not afraid of you, but I will say nothing safe is worth a trip across town at 3 am. You jumped to conclusions, Spike. I’m not afraid you’re going to kill me or anyone else. I’m afraid to let down my walls- for anyone.  And here I am, doing it for you.”

His expression was stricken, but he was silent, so she continued.

“I… I feel hope and it scares me. I think about what things would be like if we were together, and it all works so well. Thinking like that, dreaming like that- it’s dangerous, it’s a recipe for getting hurt. I feel like I’m being completely reckless by letting myself want you, just because things never work out with the men I date. But here I am, with you. At the end of the day, I’m with you. Even if I’m scared.”

Hope shined in his eyes.

“Are you sure, Buffy? No more of that pull between us when we’re alone and then avoiding the subject when your friends are around?”

“I told Xander. That we’re together. We are, aren’t we?”

He pulled her into a tight hug.

“Yeah, we are. But I’m scared too, you know that Buffy? Scared that your friends will talk you out of it, or your watcher, or you’ll decide you’ve made some terrible mistake all on your own.”

“All I do every day is follow what everyone else wants me to do. I don’t always want to, but I go along because it’s easier. And then there’s you, who comes along and makes me want to push back against it. Who pushes back against it just by being you. You give me strength to push back against everyone else. I just think of you and I know you believe in me, and I can do it.” she paused for a moment before continuing. “I don’t want us to be scared of each other anymore.”

Buffy could tell that he just couldn’t help himself as he pulled her lips to his, because she felt the same. She decided it didn’t matter if the pull was too much or if she was just choosing to be swept away with him. What mattered was that they were on the same page, and happy, and the future looked bright.

In that moment she let herself hope- and she liked it.

 


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Reviews ( 2 )

Blackoberst
April 7, 2022 15:52

I really liked this. The way they came together as a couple holds so much hope for the future.

Zab Jade
April 3, 2022 11:01

Excellent Musical March story! I love this. Buffy, Spike, and Xander are perfectly in character. Poor Buffy. She's had so many bad experiences with men in her life, so it makes sense for her to worry. And hope is scary when you've been let down so often.