AU Season Six. Buffy and Spike share their thoughts about each other, and what they have, from their perspective. They find something beautiful, something with layers.
Nothing of Buffy belongs to me, except my sincere admiration. However, this story is all mine.
They don't understand it. What he gives me. It isn't pure. It might not technically be love. It sure isn't good.
But it's beautiful.
He gives me bruises. He gives me scrapes, and scuffs, and he makes me scream.
Over, and over, and over.
Sometimes one more time after that, too.
If they knew that, they would be so freaked, but I don't care anymore. I know I give him all the same things, sometimes bigger bruises, louder screams, because I'm still stronger.
I give him everything equal- except the words. He gives me beautiful words, and sometimes I can barely speak.
They wouldn't care about that. My friends, my family, they care about me, in a super practical, super loyal kind of caring. Words are just words, they'd tell me.
They don't understand words have power. They become real. What he says- I started to feel.
I haven't felt anything in a long, long time.
Everyone tries to talk to me, to shake me into opening up, to pry out thoughts like they pried me out of heaven.
He didn't do that. He started just talking around me. In front of me. At me.
I don't even remember when it switched over to talking to me, but it did, because suddenly I saw these amazing blue eyes, and they were awake- waking me up, looking straight into my soul, and I could hear something, see something.
I felt something.
"I already woke up into a bad dream." I remember blurting, shaking.
"I'll kill all your nightmares." He said it like a vow.
Death threats must sound like sweet nothings when you're a screwed up, resurrected Slayer.
They tell me he's not safe. I'm not safe. So this thing, that I have with Spike, cannot possibly safe.
Beautiful isn't always safe, right? Dying wasn't safe, but I've done that a couple times anyway. No one gave me crap about that, but this? The crap comes flying, in the form of rational, reasonable points.
He can't give me a normal life. We can never really be together openly, safely, approved of. He'll always be evil, I'll always be good. What value can there be in this? What makes him the guy I'm set on, because there are lots of other guys I could consider?
I tell them it's the words. He gives me the words that bring me back to life, a better spell than Willow ever cast, and they look concerned. They wonder if he's thralling me, or tricking me, or drugging me. If I weren't already angry for everything else they've already done, I'd be angry at them for thinking those kinds of thoughts. As it is, I'm just tired.
I need another dose.
Maybe he is drugging me- I just don't pop any pills. I don't care. I love this kind of addiction.
"You're strong. You're beautiful." He smiles up at me, then down at me, as we slip and slide, down the wall of his crypt, across the silk of his sheets. He hesitates, and then he whispers it, like something he's been afraid to tell me, afraid to say.
No, not "I love you". He says that all the time, whether I believe it, or return it, or not.
"My sweet, bright, blood orange." He whispers hungrily. No, ravenously, and then I lost track of everything else, because I felt like that. Ripe, juicy fruit- peeled and devoured.
Later on I'll ask him what the hell kind of nickname that is, but right now all I know is that I feel something, and that those words were odd, but beautiful. Just like us.
Dunno why I call her that.
Okay, yes I do. I call her it in my mind, and no, it's not bloody poetic, but I'm a bloody awful poet, right? So it works.
It came about in stages, that strange little nickname.
First, it was the way she looked, and smelled. That California girl, burst of citrus in her scent, in her skin, in her sun-gold hair. The damn silly clothes she wore. Little teenage thing, seventeen, when I met her, bound to die soon, and she rejected the grave and all the rules. No black and somber face for her, oh no, all pinks, and yellows, and oranges.
She blew bubble gum when we fought once. An' she wore a skirt. The kind with flowers.
When I was done wantin' to kill her for it- I realized I liked it. Little bit of zest. Not so bloody grim all the time. When you're a vampire, you like the bright colors, but damned if you ever get to see an effin' sunny morning.
You know how you peel a fruit an' sometimes you get a surprise? Like plums, that dark aubergine exterior an' sometimes inside they're red as a still-beatin' heart, or white as snow?
Blood oranges are like that. All the shiny golden skin on the outside, then you stick your blade in and start to work 'em- dark crimson inside, so deep it'll shock you.
Like her. Push her 'til she bleeds, but she never broke. Peeled her raw, with her heart in shreds and miserable, and her juices never stopped flowing. The fight never left her. There's fire in her blood, and I can taste it when I kiss her.
'Course I never kissed her at that point. No, that came later, an' I didn't properly appreciate it, bein' bespelled an' all.
The inconvenient part about bein' evil an' bein' around her for long stretches of time - is that this girl changes you. You'd have to be a stronger man than I not to feel the force she gives off, jus' bein' herself, muddlin' through life with an unbalanced checkbook and a wicked right hook. She doesn't set out to reform you. Doesn't mean to help you. Strictly quid pro quo.
But somehow, accidentally, she's good for you, even to you. You figure, if that little thing can fight back, I can too. Soon you're stronger an' you're steppin' out on limbs you'd sooner have sawn off years ago.
They say oranges are like that. Healthful an' full of rubbish to keep you alive.
She made me alive again, slowly. I figure the least I can do is return the favor.
I crash next to him, sticky and gross, and he still inhales and grins like he just got his first fresh breath of air in years. In his case, literally.
"Why what?" He rubs my shoulder and spoons behind me.
"Blood orange." He corrects.
"You can't be an orange, Slayer. Oranges are common. They're pretty but they're not special."
And I feel flushed, from my sweaty hair to my suddenly tingling toes. "And I'm special?"
"You're both. Special an' pretty. You're better than average, an' you're precious. You're a treat. Sweet enough to eat, an' more subtle than anything that's insides looks like its outsides. You, Luv," he crawls up my skin with his fingers, inside my brain with his words, sweet, soft words, "are the most beautiful surprise under the prettiest face. Anyone can look good- but you're the real deal. You're amazing inside."
It was when I saw her fall through fire an' blood that it started to hit me, what it was, what I started to think of her as, but would never get to tell her.
The fire was Glory's, the blood was mine, in my eyes. It was when I heard the snap, and saw the blood flow from the corner of her beautiful, perfect mouth.
She was finally at peace. No one else in the world knew that the sunny smile she gave was carrying a lethal weapon underneath it. I wanted to die. Wanted to dust.
But at least someone finally put that weapon down.
Should've watched that witch. Too busy watchin' the little one.
I can't be everywhere at once, all right?
Then she came back. She talked to me once, before I started really talkin' to her. Or at least at her. She was in her pinks and creams, with her sunshine smiles for them- an' oozing grief when she was alone.
No, I didn't get that all in one go, the sunset helped. Light wasn't low enough for me to go, and it was high enough to burn her. Bronze her, dip her skin in gold, and yet I knew if I stuck my fangs into her (I didn't want to, I'm just explainin') the juice running from her wouldn't be sweet anymore.
She'd be dark. Formerly sweet, now she'd have a tang, a bitter edge, and it'd run out slow, like syrup in her veins.
"Tell me more." I ask every time. He always does. He gives me that. They wouldn't get that those words mean so much, or that the simple act of having someone I can ask to give me something means everything. But it does. What matters even more, is that he never says no. He would give until there was nothing left.
I know what that's like. His words are actions. His actions are words. Whenever I ask them to be.
"More about your nickname?"
"I'm not sure I like it." I'm not sure I like "pet", either, so this one gets investigated.
"I'm not sure I'll call you it that often, Luv, but I still think it when I'm sinking into you. When I feel your juice burstin' on me..." His hands move from my knee to my thigh, opening me up. It's okay. I'm safe. He can open me- he knows where all the pieces go, and he puts everything back the way he found it- only better.
"So tell me more." I gasp, a very good kind of gasp.
I move back inside her, supple an' soft. We fit together now, two hard bodies that somehow slot just right.
"It's cause you have fire inside. Fire in your blood. Fire in your juices. Rose red inside a copper shell, an' those human blokes stopped appreciation at the surface. Idiots."
She nods in agreement. "More."
"When I think about you- I see blood and sunshine. I see you so much that it blurs, Buffy, even when you're not around." I confess it desperately. I'm all out of pride for this girl. "You make my head spin, make my eyes burn, make me cry, an' when the tears are flowin' all I see is that sweet, juicy sphere, layin' in my hand. Perfect outside- deadly inside, an' even more gorgeous. There's a tang to you, girl, a dark hint in your nectar that I will never get enough of. You're mine. You're in my blood now."
We're lip to lip, nose to nose, hard lines on our faces 'cause we're pushin' our bodies to the limits- an' our limits are so far past what humans can do. "My forbidden fruit."
I don't want her to be forbidden. I want it open an' honest. Maybe strange for a demon an' a dead man to say, but nothin' would make me happier in this world or the next, than to stand before every living thing and say, "This is my girl."
"Please say... I can have you."
He never asks for a thing. Honestly. When I think about my life since I returned, he's the only one who gives and gives, and answers and answers, without one single request.
His words move me. They re-made me. So when he utters that last, single plea, "Please say... I can have you," I'm shocked. Stunned at first.
My mind speeds along, wondering if this is something I can say yes to.
Because they're only words.
Angel used words. He tossed them out to hook me. Then he twisted them. Then he took them away completely.
Parker used words. False ones that sounded real.
Riley- oh my gosh. I would laugh, but laughing right now isn't going to happen. And if I think about Riley's use of words, I'll laugh really hard. There might be snorting.
I think snorting is just not attractive on me.
I have to speak now. I wish my words could be even half as good as his.
"Only if you say... I can have you, too."
By the way he laughs, and cries, and kisses me, and the way I feel myself mirroring each of of those things, I guess they were.
Have beautiful dreams, Readers. This is the end, for now.