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Summary: Takes place in Chosen. (Spoilers for that ep.) The basement scene as I imagined it...
Chapter 1: A Choice
The pendant twirls in front of him, dangling from the chain caught in his fingers. Spike feels the cool concrete of the basement wall pressing into his shoulders, penetrating the black cotton of his t-shirt. Stray beams of moonlight coming through the high windows catch the jewel, throwing sparks.
He can still feel her against him. Lying in his bed last night, letting him wrap his arms around her. The last few days with Buffy have been...mind-boggling. And confusing. And yes, terrifying. Just when he had begun to resolve himself to never reaching her, he reached her. In that dark, abandoned house, she actually reached out to him. And not for lust or any ulterior motive, but because she needed him. Him. Him and the strength of his love. Not one of the Scoobies or the Watcher or anyone else. She needed only him. A smile touches Spike's mouth as he remembers her words of a few years before. "I never need you, Spike." She spat those words at him, trying to hurt him. At the time, those words burned. And they burn him still, but in a new way. Because she does need him. Things have changed. He has changed. And finally, she has allowed herself to see it, to see him. It's all too new and scary to accept, but Spike is slowly allowing those thoughts to enter his head. Buffy may love him. It is what he has wanted for three years and now that it seems to be possible, he is both wracked with fear and strangely calm.
She called him a champion. Not in words, but in actions. He doubted it and she walked towards him, confirming it with each step closer. The cool metal of the medallion hit his hand, followed by the tingling warmth of her skin. And all of a sudden, he was a Champion. He felt the flutter of his soul deep inside react. Gazing at the gold in his hand, Spike knows there is something coming. Something big. And now that he has accepted the title of Champion, he will have to face it. And for once in his over hundred years of existence, he knows, knows with certainty that he will not fail. Buffy's belief in him has opened a wellspring of strength inside him, which has been waiting to be tapped. Waiting for the moment when it would all come together.
Sitting in the dark on his cot, Spike remembers the feel of Buffy's hand, warm on his cheek last night. Thank god she didn't leave him down there in the dark. And she did not stay out of pity, she stayed out of something else. Something still undefined. The tenderness of her hand resting on his face is what he keeps coming back to. The warmth is still there for him.
God, it's cold for a summer night in Sunnydale. Buffy rubs her hands up and down the back of her arms out on her porch. It seems ominous somehow that the weather isn't pleasant. Even the jet stream knows something bad is coming. She smiles at the thought before her mind returns to the difficult subject of current events. The smile falls away quickly. She could be leading them all to slaughter. She could be one of those slaughtered. These kind of doubts cannot be shared in the Scooby group. It's important that she be confident Buffy, Slayer Buffy. But again, alone with her thoughts, the doubts are there. Is this a crazy notion? Will Willow turn all vein-y and dark again? No. She has to believe in Willow. Believe in Giles for believing in Willow. She can do it. Her eyes focus on something off in the distance as her mind runs over the plan for the thousandth time since they agreed to it. It has to work. It's the only way. Otherwise, this world doesn't have a chance. No matter what she told Angel, the world is doomed if they fail. He won't be able to stop The First.
No, it is up to her. To all of them in that house. Buffy takes a deep breath. And him. It's up to him, too. He is the unknown factor. The one that could turn the tide. She knows he is in the basement. Probably pacing or sitting on that cot. The one that suddenly seemed much more comfortable last night when she was in his arms. She closes her eyes, sliding back into that feeling. He was gentle, never touching her in more than a caring, protective way. She realizes how much she has missed by not letting him hold her like that before. Even the Slayer needs to be held.
She had curled back into his body after she banished The First from the basement, the idea forming in her mind of how they would fight it. Willing to wait 'til the morning to figure it all out. Feeling the firm, but yielding planes of his body against her before falling back to sleep. In a nighttime of sleeping tightly against her, he had absorbed her body heat. When they woke there together in the morning, she stroked his hand and was startled to find it warm. Nearly human. And she scared herself a little with how much she wanted it. How much she wanted to wake up with a human Spike. And eat breakfast with him, kiss him goodbye on the porch, watch him walk out into the sun to some normal, human job. See the morning light shine on his back as he got in his car. She would run out for a last kiss through the car window before getting herself ready for her normal, non-Slayer job. What a world. Her eyes popped open as she felt his lips against the back of her neck. The sunshine-y world dissolved quickly. Kind of boring, really. But the part with him was good. The smile turned up the corners of her mouth as she thought of waking up in his arms every morning without an alarm clock. Just waking to that light touch of his lips against her nape. She began to move more, showing she was awake, and his lips moved away. Buffy bit back a sigh of disappointment. Time to get up and be the Slayer.
After all that has happened since that light kiss on her neck, she should be exhausted. But she is not. In fact, the night buzzes in her like so many fireflies. Buffy has always come awake by the moon. Guess it makes the Slaying easier to find her alertness in the late night air. Glancing over her shoulder towards the house, she knows what else has her body humming. Spike. Alone. And possibly waiting for her. She rubs her hands over her face, willing things to fall into simple, logical place. The fight is set, the plans are laid. There is nothing else for her to do in that regard. She won't get any stronger or any faster tonight. In fact, there is only one thing left that she wants to do. Buffy trembles like a schoolgirl. Will he want her the same way? Has it been too long? Why does it always take her so long to figure these things out? And why is she shaking? She mumbles to herself, "Get yourself together. It's not the end of the world. Or maybe it is. Either way, go. Just go." Running her hands over her clothes and hair, she nods, decision made.
He hears a noise. And before he can see her, he can sense her. The scent of the crisp nighttime air follows her in. The sound of her step on the stair makes Spike begin to wonder if his heart is starting to beat. He swears it skips. There was no guarantee she would return to him tonight. While activities continued around the house, he had been in the basement for hours, contemplating the near future. Contemplating the fact that his stretch of time on this earth could be ending. Digging deep inside for the strength to face it. And here is one source of that strength, clicking down the stairs. She has been alone for as long as he has, and he wonders where her mind has been in these hours before the storm.
Spike gathers in the amulet and stands up, resisting the urge to run to her. He knows that is not what tonight is. When she comes out of the light and he can see her face across the room, Spike suddenly does know what this night is, what this night will be. Twenty feet apart, their eyes meet across the dark, cool room. Hers are soft and intense and completely entrancing. Spike finds he cannot move. His hand tightens on the amulet, the sharp edges biting into his ivory skin. The pain wakens him a bit from his trance and he tries a smile. She returns it and then takes a step closer to him. This time, Spike is sure he is breathing, as he finds he was holding it. He manages to find words, the silence deafening. "I was wondering if you were coming, luv."
"I'm here." Buffy's voice is soft, kind. Spike is still getting used to that tone. It has slipped out of her at times this year but never more than it has in the last few days. He loves that tone, despite the terror that grips his heart when he hears it. She is growing closer to him by the second and yet she hasn't moved another step. Finally, when he is sure he can no longer take it, Buffy takes another step towards him. One hand moves in slow motion to the top button of her blouse. Spike finds his gaze following her movement. She undoes the top button and his eyes snap to hers again.
"What...what are you doing, Buffy?" The familiar terror grips him again. He hasn't been with Buffy in that way in so long. Not since he got his soul. But wait, maybe he is getting ahead of himself. She slept in his arms for two nights now and they only held each other. Only. He wants to shake his head. Not only. Never has he felt so very close to anyone than when she was there with him. Truly there. Truly with him.
Her voice breaks into his reverie. "I think you know, Spike." The second button pops open, further revealing her delicate neck. He swallows.
"Buffy, you don't have to..." Her single finger lifted in the air cuts off Spike's words.
"This has nothing to do with 'have to', Spike." He looks at her in confusion, touched with a bit of wonder. "I want to. I want...you." She is almost shy as she lets the words slip out. "Do you...?" The question lies unasked, words unneeded.
Spike cocks his head at her. The language of her body, the tone in her voice, the expression in her eyes. This is not about lust. Not about proving that she is alive or that she is desired. None of that falsehood they played with last year. She wants him. And not any old him, but just him. Just Spike.
"Do I ?" He can't believe she is asking, but at the same time, he is relieved she is. It means she understands. She respects his wishes, something he always craved.
In a flash, Spike is in front of her, mere inches separating their bodies in a pool of moonlight. His voice drops, deeper, rougher. "Always, Buffy. Always."
Author's Note: This fic will be continued very soon. (Two or three chapters total.) I love reviews (hint hint). Thanks! -Tiana