Disclaimers: The characters of BTVS belong to Joss Whedon and Co. Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin belong to Charles Schulz.
The gym was decorated for Halloween, complete with spider webs and rubber bats hanging in every corner. Large black and orange ballons hung in clusters from the matching streamers. A large table held a large punchbowls,dry ice around them gave the appearance of fog, and several platters held cookies, chips and dip.
Buffy took another sip of her watered down punch and made a face as she watched the teens on the dance floor. The principal had decided that it would be safer to have the students at a Hallween dance then roaming Sunnydale's streets. Buffy had agreed to chaperone, thinking that it was usually a low slayage night and she could keep an eye on Dawn better this way. She shook her head at the memory of Dawn's stint last Halloween.
Dawn grinned at her from the dance floor as she danced with a boy named Nathan. Seemed to be a nice fangless boy and Dawn was enjoying herself.
Several of the male students had asked her to dance, but she had gently declined each of them. There was only one man she really wanted to dance with and he wasn't at the party. Buffy caught Dawn's eye and gave her a small wave, mouthing the words, "l'll be back."
She walked towards the door to the basement, she smiled at the thought of the vampire below. He wasn't completely normal yet, but he was so much better she shuttered at the memory of seeing him just three weeks ago.
It had been a heartbreaking sight, he was thin and she could still see fresh cuts on his arms and chest, and faint burns from that night in the church. He had been standing at a discarded podium stored in the basement, quoting poetry to an invisible audience. His words were full of despair and had brought tears to her eyes.
He stopped speaking when he saw her standing at the back of the room. "Do you have a pass, do they know you are here?" He asked raising his scarred eyebrow, "Can't be here without a pass, you'll be in trouble, be like me, ALWAYS in trouble." He began to intently study his dirty fingernails, when he looked back up his eyes were clear. "Buffy?" He asked as if he wanted to make sure she was not an apparition.
"Yes, it's me." She wiped at her eyes with her sleeve.
"You haven't been by for a while." He began to look at his fingernails again.
"No, I haven't I'm sorry about that. Been busy with the job and patrolling. How have you been? Still reading poetry I see." She had given him a tenative smile as she looked at the fresh cuts, "Listen you have to stop this," She pointed at his scabbed chest, "You let them heal and you start again, please stop Spike, please?" Her voice had hitched softly as tears ran down both cheeks.
His blue eyes met hers and in a soft gentle voice, one reserved for a lover he spoke, "Don't cry Buffy. It's okay." And he lifted his hand to her cheek.
She sniffled once and placed her hand on top of his, "I'm okay.
But you aren't , how can I help you?"
His whole demeanor suddenly changed, he pulled his hand away from her face as if it was a hot iron, "NO! Can't help me! Don't deserve your tears! " He began clawing at his chest, at his arms and face, his dirty nails digging into his pale flesh, rivulets of blood running from the deep, jagged scratches.
Buffy was on him in an instant, trying to restrain him, "Stop!" She cried out,
He paused long enough to give her a pain filled laugh, "Go Slayer. You can't help me, no one can." She tried to touch him again, put her arm around his shoulder, he wanted no part of her. She shook her head and walked up the stairs back into the light of the high school, back up where she could pretend all was right with her world.
That was three weeks ago, and the guilt she had felt at leaving him all alone in the dark basement had been almost unbearable. She had decided that she was going to help him find his way back, help him adjust to his soul again. The first few attempts at cleaning him up had ended badly, he didn't want her help! She had listend to his words over and over again about how he didn't deserve her help, he was a bad man.
After two weeks of coming to him every night after school, of making sure he ate, listening to his tearfilled rants, he seemed to have a breakthrough. He had thanked her for bringing him something to eat, he had actually cleaned up the basement a little bit and although he still flinched a bit from her touch, he could hold a conversation for more then five minutes now and he looked so much better. Two days ago when she had visited he was almost like the "her" umm......the old Spike.
She had promised him that she would stop by during the Halloween dance.
As she walked down the steps to the basement she could hear muted voices.
Maybe Spike had company? This was unexepected, she had finally worked up the courage to tell him...tell him that she cared..that she couldn't promise roses and honey but she wanted to try.
She turned a corner and was surprised to see a small black and white tv sitting on a crate. A couple of folding chairs were sitting in front of the tv, Spike sat in one, fully immersed in the program showing on the screen. It was the The Great Pumpkin. Buffy quietly approached him, not wanting to startle him.
"It's okay, you can come watch if you'd like." Spike spoke softly as he turned his head to look at her.
"Okay, I'd like that." Buffy replied just as softly as she took the seat next to his. He almost looked like the old Spike.
"This is the good part, " Spike pointed at the screen as Chalie Brown and Linus held their vigil in the pumpkin patch.
"Gotta love Charlie Brown." Buffy nodded in agreement, "How are you?"
"Okay," He looked at her shyly, "Not so many voices in my head now, I'm doing much better.."
"I can tell." She hesitated, "Do you need anything?"
"I'm good, Buffy. Really." He continued to stare at the tv.
"So who is your favorite character?" Buffy asked making her self comfortable in the chair.
Spike's eyes met hers, "Charlie Brown himself is my favorite, he's the underdog. Gotta like Linus too cause he's a loyal friend. Lucy is too bossy though." He let a small smirk escape.
"Maybe Lucy has a good reason for being bossy? Maybe circumstances make her that way?" Buffy smirked back.
"Okay, but why is she so mean to Charlie then?" Spike asked his eyes dancing.
"Well, maybe she...." Buffy sighed and closed her eyes for a moment, then opened them looking directly into Spike's eyes, "Maybe she really likes him and she can't show it, so she's mean instead?"
Spike stared intently into her eyes before smiling again, "But she likes the piano playing kid."
Buffy shook her head, he was not gonna make this easy, "Maybe she just pretends to like that, " she thought carefully before she chose her next words, "she pretends to like that "poofy" Schroeder but she really really likes Charlie Brown even though her friends won't approve."
He laughed at her description of Shroeder before turning very serious, "Pet, maybe thats not a wise thing for Lucy to do, Charlie Brown tries to be a good guy, but he might not be ready for that."
"I think Charlie Brown is a good guy." Buffy hesitantly took Spike's hand in her own, he didn't flinch, "Maybe he just needs someone to be kind to him and show him they really care, I think Lucy could do that if she tried."
"I don't know, I think they may both be set in their ways." Spike looked away from her.
"Spike, people change, you have. And I know it was hard but look at you now, you're doing so much better, And me I've changed too." She gave his hand a tight squeeze, "Will you give me a chance to prove it? I'm not promising it will be perfect but..."
"I don't know if I can risk it again, not now." Spike's voice was soft and shaky.
"I....I understand, I do. I was just hoping.....I guess I thought that maybe you ....." Buffy let his hand go and stood up, "I guess I did it again, waited too long, it's too late." She turned to leave.
"Buffy," He called out softly, "Don't go."
"Why?" She asked a brief hint of hope showed on her face.
"Because I.........I would wait in a pumpkin patch all night with you if you wanted me too." He was startled when she quickly broached the few steps between them and caught him in a huge hug, her arms tight around his middle, her head resting on his chest. He could feel the warmth of her tears on his shirtfront, "Hey there why are you crying?" He pulled her chin upwards so she was looking in his eyes.
"I'm happy. Really happy." She smiled at him, "Now are you ready to go up with me and have a dance?"
"Don't know if I should, think there's a rule about the bad guys staying in on Halloween night." He grinned shyly at her.
She gently kissed him on the lips, chaste for now the kiss still held promise of more, when they were both ready for it, "Then I think you're okay, you haven't been a bad guy for a long time now." She held out her hand to him and he followed her upstairs.
Dawn smiled as she watched her sister dancing with Spike and she gave him a wink of approval.
"Who's that with Ms. Summers?"
"He's such a hottie!"
"She is so lucky!"
The students watched as their favorite counsellor danced around the floor with the good looking man. But Buffy and Spike noticed no one as they danced the first dance of the rest of their lives...........
Yeah it was corny, maybe even candy corny G But I want to see something happy for Halloween.