What The Heart Wants – Chapter 9

Disclaimer: I own nothing, everything belongs to Joss Whedon

Buffy came into the room, her high heels clicking on the floor. Angel was just putting a book back onto the shelf and turned around, surprised. But she just strode over to him and captured his lips with hers. His arms went up around her and pressed her tightly to him. For a moment, Buffy gave the kiss all she had, then she broke away. She looked up into his face, the face she had at one time loved more than anything else in the world and her chest tightened. But her decision was made. "You will always be my first love, Angel." He looked at her, confusion in his eyes and she forced herself to go on. "You always had and always will have a special place in my heart and I will never stop loving you, I know that."

The tone in her voice made him release her hands and take a step back. "Buffy, what is this?" he asked suspiciously.

"Angel, just…" She took a deep breath. "Just listen ok? It's hard enough already for me to say it."

His expression was dark. "I'm not sure I want to hear it."

She ignored him and went on. "I'm cookies now and for a long time I always thought you were supposed to be the one to eat them. And now, now I have realized you're not."

She paused, unsure of his reaction. Angel crossed his arms, a sullen expression on his face, and snapped: "Who is supposed to eat them then? Spike?" He wasn't taking her serious. It had been more of a rhetorical question, but when she avoided his eyes and didn't say anything, he had his answer. "Spike? Buffy, you have to be kidding!"

She gave him a sharp look. "I'm perfectly serious."

"God, Buffy, why?" He slumped into the nearest chair and stared at her. "No, forget that question, I don't even want to hear it." He shook his head. "So you've been just leading me on the whole time or what? With your cookie dough speech and sometimes thinking about the future, with me." His dark eyes bore into hers, both anger and hurt visible in them.

"No, Angel, no. God, I didn't even know he was alive a few days ago, did I?" She sat down next beside him and looked at her hands in her lap. "Believe me, I am the last person who would have ever thought that Spike and I…" She looked up at him again and found him staring at her. How was she supposed to explain this to him?

"But I realised that Spike, he's…he's more a part of my adult life; he had so much to do with making me the woman I am now. God, he brought out a side in me I never thought I had and I'm not proud of it." She gave a short, dry laugh. "But it got me to get to know myself." Against her will, her expression softened. "And then again, he showed me another side of me, what I could be. And over the last few months, I tried to find out exactly what that is. I had to be on my own to figure it out and now I know who I am. I'm finally finished baking."

He was quiet for a few seconds, before he said: "And what did you figure out?" It was such an honest question, without the resentment in it that she had expected, that she laughed, relieved.

"For one thing I figured out that being normal isn't such a big thing. For years I craved being a normal girl and now that I actually have what I always wanted…" She smiled sheepishly and for a moment felt like sixteen again, fidgeting with her sweater as he waited for her to go on. "I noticed that it is quiet boring. I miss all the slaying, going out at night. There are so many slayers around now, I am not the most feared person among the vampire population anymore." She shrugged and said: "I guess you only realise what you had when it's gone." It was said lightly, but they both knew the meaning behind those words.

"Angel, we both knew I had to make a choice sometime. It couldn't go on like this between us. On and off again, you showing up sometimes, me getting all emotional. It is all or nothing and we both know we can't have all, as much as we would want to."

"Ha, I knew it!" he said and his eyes lightened up with triumph. "You're just taking him, because you think you can't have me."

Buffy rolled her eyes. "Maybe it's because he's not as childish as you." She seemed to think about that for a moment. "No, wait, you're both the same. As bad as little kiddies."

"I'm not!" He paused. "He's worse," he mumbled.

Buffy couldn't help a small chuckle and was glad that he wasn't brooding anymore, as undoubtedly he would. But then she grew serious again. She couldn't let him getting wrong ideas about this. "I made a decision, Angel, and it has nothing to do with the possibility of you losing your soul. I just…followed my feelings and what felt right for me."

He looked sullen again, but there was nothing she could do about it. Actually, there was and she had to fight the urge to just take him into her arms again, but that was over. Once and for all. Why was loving two men at the same time so difficult? She sighed, pitying herself for a second and then stood up. "I should go." His head went up and she already saw the retort on his lips, but then he restrained himself. "Yeah, you probably should."

Her gaze lingered on him for a moment longer before she turned around and was gone.

She quietly pushed the door open. Without a sound she entered the room, seeing him standing by the window. He was deep in thought, his hands gripping the window sill, and he looked out at the night sky. The weak moonlight shone onto his hair, making it gleam white in the darkness he otherwise appeared so perfectly to blend into. Somehow it seemed right, him and the night as one. She smiled at the sight of him, when suddenly he turned around and faced her. He had heard her coming after all. Or maybe it was her scent. They looked at each other for a long moment, neither of them saying a single word. She took a step forward, gazing at him with all the love she felt inside of her, not hiding it anymore, and Spike's expression turned into one of disbelief. "Why me?" he said quietly, his voice rough with emotion.

So he had realized why she was here. She smiled at him, closing the space between them. She was so near, she could feel his breath on her skin. The breath she knew he only took when he was nervous. "Because you make me feel loved every second of the day, even when I don't love myself." She took his hand in hers and held them both against her chest. "Because you understand me like nobody else does." She looked into his eyes as she whispered her last words. "Because you're a hell of a man, Spike."

He just stared at her, fascinated and maybe in shock, when her hand went up to his cheek. She caressed it gently, his eyes closing, and he leaned into her hand. A sound between a purr and a growl escaped his throat, the vampire in him surfacing for a moment, and her heart fluttered. She had waited so long, she couldn't wait any longer. And that's when she finally kissed him, a kiss she wanted more than anything, and when she felt his arms going around her, she knew she never wanted to let go again.

The End

A.N.: This has been the first longer fan fiction I have ever finished, so I feel quite accomplished at the moment. :) Thanks to everyone who reviewed, I don't think I could have finished it without you guys.

The end is basically based on an interview with Sarah Michelle Gellar I saw, where she said that there will always be a part of Buffy that loves Angel, but that Buffy and Spike understand each other on a level that nobody else does. That though even maybe Angel is the love of her life, it doesn't mean that he's the one she's supposed to be with eternally. I quite liked that, so I thought I would bring it into this; that, like she said, Spike understands Buffy like nobody else.

Please leave a review and tell me how you liked the end. The last chapter was my favourite and I enjoyed writing it most, so I would really like to know what everyone else thinks about it; if it was a fitting end, if it was too cheesy, unbelievable, whatever, just tell me. Thanks :)