Disclaimer: I own nothing except for the silly girl romantic fantasies that float around my head.

Author's note: I know I am neglecting my other stories but I was just thinking last night about different character's pov and all while I was thinking about the final chapter for "Council of Wankers". And then I started thinking about William Faulkner (and how I hate his books-boo to the Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying) but that it was a pretty interesting idea to switch perspectives. So I wanted to do a short story like that but I also wanted to make it easier for you to follow because I had a hell of time with some of those books. I bet you can guess who's who but I'll tell you at the end anyway (

Splendor in the Grass

I clutched his letter in my hand and closed my eyes. I could still see his face as he handed it to me shyly. We had met at the beginning of the year. He had stumbled in late on the first day of our creative writing class and had promptly spilled his coffee all over my desk, my bag, and me.

He looked terrified.

I'll never forget that look on face. To be honest I had wanted to yell at him because all my stuff was soaked in really hot coffee. But he looked so sweet that I just had to smile and pull out my (thankfully dry) tissues and wipe it all off. After class he had apologized again. Profusely. And we became friends.

*~*~*~*

I am a coward. I always suspected that was true but now I know it's true. I gave her the letter. The one I started writing in my head the moment I met her. And spilled coffee all over her. The moment I fell in love with her. I thought it was over before it could even begin. I was late because my roommate-Angel- thought it would be funny to turn off my alarm. Yeah. College was so much different from high school. Even in a different bloody country. But she was different. I thought that she was going to yell at me, humiliate me like everyone else always did. But she smiled instead. I half fell in love with her right then. After class she invited me to meet her friends and have lunch with them. We got along alright. They were a tight nit group that had known each other in high school and were more like a family than a group of friends.

I felt out of place.

But she had taken my hand and given it a little squeeze. I felt a rush of bravery go through me. Now they were my friends too. Well. At least Willow. But she read my note and closed her eyes blocking out the sight of me. I know now. I'm just bumbling William. I'll never have THAT type of love. Not from her and not from anyone.

*~*~*~*~*

I open my eyes and read the letter over again carefully. I can feel myself blush and start to heat up. He loves me! William, my dear, sweet William loves me! I don't know what to say, but I feel a warmth enter my heart. Do I love William? I smile slightly as I remember the past year spent with him. Getting to know him and how sweet he is. How when I was sick and my nose was read and runny and my eyes all puffed up and I was crying because some guy whose name I can't even remember now stood me up two nights before, William hugged me and told me I was beautiful. How, even though he's usually so shy and never stands up for himself, when his stupid roommate was picking on Willow because she's gay, he punched him so hard he broke the loser's nose. How he had cried on the anniversary of his mother's death and I had spent the night just holding him in my bed. I remember watching him sleep and thinking how beautiful he was even though his face was stained with tears. I wanted to just hold him forever and keep him safe. I sigh. But he's so much more than just fragmented memories. He's my sweet William. And I love him. I do. I look up at where he was just standing.but he's gone. And I remember how he's terrified of rejection. I run.

*~*~*~*~

I stand by the lake staring out at the moonlit ripples that lap at the shore. This was always our spot. We would come here and talk about everything. Our hopes. Our dreams. The past. I told her things I never dreamed of telling anyone else. I would have been too shy. Too embarrassed. But not with her. He nod of encouragement was all I really needed to open myself up. Now I've ruined it. Telling her the one thing I've always kept hidden. My undying love for her. I remember how she would always tell me to stand up for myself and the proud look she got on her face when I finally put Angel in his place. I would help her with her art history class and she would tease me and say that I must have been raised in a museum. She was so kind and lovely and always had a smile ready when she could see I was embarrassed and a genuine laugh when I made some lame joke that no one else thought was all that funny. I ruined everything.

*~*~*~*~*

There he is. Standing still at the edge of the lake in our spot. I knew he would come here. I must have made a noise because suddenly he's turning and he looks upset to see me. I know why. I take a step forward and now I can see the panic in his eyes. But why? How can he doubt himself so much even now?

*~*~*~*~

She's here. I shouldn't have gone somewhere so easy to fin me. I should run but I can't. Not when she looks at me like that. Like I mean the world to her. But that can't be true. I remember the way she closed her eyes to block me out when she read the letter. We were just friends. And now not even that because I ruined everything.

*~*~*~*~*~

"William."
"Buffy."
The silence seemed to stretch for eternity until Buffy took another step towards him. He flinched and she frowned at him.
"Why did you run away Will?" He turned back to face the water and sighed.
"I know the truth now, but I just couldn't face it." Buffy's frown deepened and she moved until she was next to him. He began to move away but she put her hand on his arm.
"The truth?" He looked down at her and gave her a melancholy look. She reached up to caress his face and he sighed and closed his eyes.
"You'll never love me the way I love you."
The silence lingered between them like a third person. Buffy continued to stroke his cheek until she pulled her hand back. And slapped him.
"How can you say that? How? You didn't even wait for me to answer! You just ran." He rubbed his cheek for a bit and then glared at her.
"Look at you! And look at me! I was a fool to think that you could or would even want to see me as more than a friend. I should have just counted my blessings to be in your life." He turned and took a step away from her but she grabbed his arm and turned him around.
"I see you! And I don't see a fool!" She put her arms around his waist and hugged him close, pulling him tighter when he began to struggle. "I see you William." She whispered against his chest. Buffy dropped a light kiss on his chest through his shirt and William froze.
"What do you see?" He rasped hoarsely.
"I see a man who would do anything for his friends. Even get into a fight he would never have fought for himself. I see a man who I can sit and talk with about anything that pops into my head and will still care for me no matter how stupid I can be. I see someone who can't see himself or how wonderful he is. Or else he would have no doubt about how I feel about him."
"How?" He whispered with wide eyes as his reached up trace her cheek. She leaned into his touch. "How?"
"I love you more than I ever dreamed possible." She answered and he leaned down to brush his lips against hers.

*~*~*~*~

I almost can't believe that this is happening, that I'm lying naked in the moonlight with the woman of my dreams. Her head is on my chest and I wrap my arms around her and bury my face in her golden hair. I wish now I had spoken sooner and kick myself for my stupidity. How right she was to slap me. But I don't want any regrets. Not now. I'll push them away and lie here with my angel and bask in the glow of our.

*~*~*~*~

I feel his hand skim lightly over my arm and I know that I never want this feeling to end. He's so beautiful. I smile as he leans up to smell my hair. My silly William. And now I know that he is mine- just as I belong to him. And out here, in the moonlight by the lake, just the two of us, everything is perfect. In the morning we'll have to talk about some things. Summer plans and the apartment that we rented with Willow for next year. It's new, but still old. It's us.and it consumes us. Our.

*~*~*~*~

Love.

*~*~*~*~

Reviews are good. But don't be too mean. It was an experiment!

As per my promise at the top: Buffy is italics Spike is plain text And it is third person limited pov in the bold