Where Do We Go From Here?
A/N: First of all, my apologies for how long it took me to get this final chapter out to you. Between wisdom teeth pulled, family coming over, and numerous things to do before my senior year starts I was really busy. In addition, I was having some writer's block as to how I was going to write this last chapter. As always I'm very nervous to see how you all like it, so I hope you enjoy this final chapter.
Chapter 5: Taking the Plunge
Buffy was aware of Spike following her back towards the kitchen. She quickly relived what had just happened. She had said it. She had openly affirmed that she and Spike were together. She wondered why she didn't feel panicky or anxious about it, surprisingly she felt rather calm about it. It felt as if saying yes to Chelsea's question was the natural thing to do.
But wait. She hadn't really talked to Spike about it. What if he wasn't ready for a relationship? She couldn't be sure. She realized she felt pretty bad about saying yes like that.
"Mind explaining the bit at the end there Goldie locks?" Spike asked, as if reading her mind, once they were in the kitchen and out of earshot. He stuffed his hands in his pockets and tipped his head slightly to the side. She could tell he was trying to sound casual about the whole thing.
Buffy sucked in a breath. "Look, I'm sorry I said yes without talking to you first. I didn't think—"
"I'm fine with it," Spike cut her off. "The you saying yes thing…that's…that's what I wanted…" he added.
She looked up at him and met his blue-eyed gaze. He gave her a small reassuring smile. He was okay with it. He wanted it.
She blinked. This was very foreign territory for the two of them. The closest they had ever gotten to this point would have had to have been several months ago…during the time he helped them prepare for the battle. She had certainly felt different towards him. She recalled the night he'd held her while she slept, she'd never felt safer surprisingly. And when he went so far as to confess that it was the best night of his life…her heart swelled, it meant so much to her. She remembered the guilt she felt when she learned Spike saw her and Angel kissing when he came to Sunnydale. The look in his eyes clearly expressed the hurt he was trying to mask. And then there was the fact that when Angel suggested that Spike was her boyfriend…she couldn't fully deny that.
He had supported her so much then. She had learned to trust him all over again. He comforted her. He believed in her when no one else in the house did. He'd picked her back up when she'd given up. And then that final battle…
Now, they stood together, nothing holding them back and oddly she had no idea how to proceed. Funny how life works like that.
"I…uh…I didn't know if you still felt the same so, I guess I wasn't sure…" Buffy said quietly.
Spike chuckled; he looked down and scuffed the toe of his boot against the floor. "Slayer, I don't think I could stop having all these bloody feelings for you even if I wanted to…" he admitted, looking back up at her.
Buffy nodded. She still didn't know what to say to him. But right then…she didn't feel like she needed words. She moved forward toward him. He anticipated the movement and met her halfway, he wrapped his arms around her and she cupped the sides of his face before their lips met.
Spike pulled her in closer to him, her scent overwhelmed him, he wanted to kiss every inch of her soft skin. He was surprised to find just how much different it was from two years ago, she wasn't doing this out of desperation. Now she was doing it out of true desire for him…he was shocked to discover how much of a difference it made. It was electric. The mutual feelings they shared made it that much better.
He backed her against the basement door. Her breath began coming in short, delicious pants as her hands moved down to his chest. He removed on hand from her back to reach blindly for the door knob.
Then the bloody conscience decided to drop by for a visit:
This can't happen yet, it told him. Not yet.
He broke away from the kiss with an exasperated sigh. Buffy frowned it confusion.
"Well this is uncharacteristic of you…"
Spike let out a humorless laugh in response and tipped his head back and stared at the ceiling.
"I'm such a bloody ponce for saying this…but we need to talk first," he said to the ceiling.
He heard silence for a moment, and then he heard her start to laugh. He dropped his gaze and glared sharply at her.
"Are you laughing at me?" he demanded.
"Sorry," she grinned, shoulders shaking. "I just…I just can't believe those words came out of your mouth. You of all people."
Spike let her go as she continued to laugh. "Yeah well, I blame my soddin' soul…it's a right pain in the ass let me tell you. All this conscience bull shit, I didn't sign on for all that," he complained.
"I'm sorry," she said, laughter ceasing. "You're right. We do need to talk before we…"
Spike looked at the expression on her face, he knew she wasn't quite ready yet but didn't know how to tell him. "We can talk tomorrow if you want," he offered. Relief washed over her face.
"Okay," she nodded. "Well, I'm gonna go hop in the shower before Dawn or Faith or someone decides to get in there…so I guess I'll see you in the morning then. Do you need anything?" she asked.
She nodded and gave him a small, unsure smile before turning to head to the stairs.
"Wait," Spike reached out and grabbed her arm. She turned as he pulled her back to him, and he kissed her once more, her lips were too yielding, he pulled back before he went farther. "Goodnight, Buffy," he said.
The next day, any lingering tension or uncertainty between Buffy and Spike had disappeared. It started with Spike coming upstairs at the same time everyone was eating breakfast. The girls were still a bit awkward with him but with Dawn there, talking to Spike as she usually would, things were easier.
Throughout the day, Buffy and Faith trained outside with the girls with Willow watching. That evening, after dinner, Giles and Xander showed up again as well. Everyone, including Spike, went down to the nearest cemetery for a night lesson. Just like he did several months ago, Spike participated acting as an attacking vampire the girls had to fend off.
Everything felt rather normal. Spike was still Spike, talking incessantly, making sarcastic comments and regularly trying to provoke Xander and Buffy was still there with a big eye roll and a reprimand. The two had a silent agreement to keep things between them on the down low for a bit, at least until they talked.
They couldn't hide it though.
Despite their efforts, the gang noticed the changes. The way they naturally gravitated around one another. The looks they exchanged throughout the day when the thought no one else was looking. How their fingers would casually brush as if they didn't mean for it to happen. Or most blatantly: when Willow walked into the dining room to find Spike kissing her.
They all had different opinions on the pair. Faith wondered from the get go what the big deal was and why Buffy hadn't immediately hopped in bed with him. Xander didn't like it and never would like it but he knew it was important to Buffy so he planned to be tolerant. Giles couldn't quite grasp it, he thought maybe it was because he wasn't young anymore and it was an age gap thing. Willow only wanted Buffy to be happy and if she was happy with Spike than Willow was fine. And Dawn. Dawn was excited that things seemed to be happening. They had a new life, courtesy of Spike, and Dawn thought it was only fitting that he was back to complete that life.
But no one was vehemently opposed and that meant a lot to Buffy. Her friends' and sister's support meant the world to her.
After the lesson in the cemetery, Buffy showered and changed into simple gray sweats and a white tank top. Giles, Xander and Willow had already left. She made her way downstairs and looked into the living room where Faith sat watching TV with the girls. Dawn was sitting in the corner talking on the phone, undoubtedly to her undeserving boyfriend.
Buffy walked toward the kitchen quietly, she didn't need anyone to notice her. She stared at the basement door. This was it. She bravely opened the door and started down the stairs.
Spike looked up from his seat on his cot. He'd expected her, he just wasn't sure when. She gave him a small smile and he gave her one in kind.
"Do you want to sit?" he gestured beside him.
"Thanks," Buffy took a seat beside him and rested her back against the wall. She looked rather stiff and she was silent for a minute.
"Buffy?" Spike asked, reaching out and tucking a lock of her hair behind her ear, his hand lingered at the side of her face. She turned and looked at him. He dropped his hand back to his side, she was ready.
"Sorry," she said. "Look, I still have no idea what to say to you but…I just want to make it clear to you that everything I said last night to the others was the truth."
Spike made to interrupt her. He hated the hero talk but she held up a hand to silence him.
"Please, I need to say this," she said. "When you died…it really did make me believe you lived up to your soul. When I watched you die, I didn't see you as a vampire…in that moment I saw you as a selfless human."
Spike looked away, there was no greater compliment she could ever give him, they both knew that…but he was undeserving.
"I did it for you," he muttered quietly, not looking at her. "How is that selfless? Isn't it selfish if part of me did it to make one sodding final good impression on you?"
"You still weren't thinking of yourself," she insisted. "And there's no doubt in my mind that you were doing it for Dawn, and for Willow, and for Giles…all of us. And it's not selfish to want to do better, to be better…and to prove that you can be a good person."
Spike didn't respond. He still refused to look at her. She placed a gentle hand on his cheek and made him face her. Her sincerity. Her openness. Was this what it was like for Angel? Was this what it was to be cared for by her?
"Before the fight, those nights you held me," she smiled a little. "I'd never felt so safe in my life…and the things you said to me meant everything."
He was sucked into those green eyes. "I'd do it again," he said simply. She smiled but it looked rather strained as she took her hand from his face and studied her hands in her lap.
"But…I'm confused. I don't know if I should be concerned about the fact that you waited five months to come here…I don't want to get hurt," she glanced up briefly at him a humorless smile on her face.
Her vulnerability touched him…and hurt him. She shouldn't have to feel vulnerable. He wasn't about to leave her. He loved her.
Buffy didn't look at him. She couldn't. She felt his hand tilt her chin up to look at him.
"I wanted to come," he told her seriously. She could see his honesty in his eyes. He shook his head. "God, I had it all bloody well planned out and it ended with you taking me back. I hesitated cause it sounded all wrong…I mean, I stand there and die and then come back to you? I didn't want to ruin things. I was supposed to die, coming back wasn't part of the bloody plan. But you wouldn't get out of my head."
"So you came back," Buffy supplied, softly.
"Hell, I thought you'd be seeing someone by now. Some undeserving little bugger, who doesn't love you the way you deserve—"
Buffy silenced him with a kiss before he could finish, placing a hand behind his neck, the other on the side of his face. He still loved her and this felt right. She pulled back, still holding his face close.
"I meant what I said to you that day," she whispered. "Just before you died."
Spike glanced down, not being able to do anything else with her hold on him. "Buffy, you don't have to say anything…"
"I love you," she whispered anyways.
"Buffy, I lo—"
"Shh," she placed a finger on his lips. "You don't have to say anything…"
She pulled him to her again and kissed him again. Spike placed a hand on the small of her back, her body arched toward him. They feverishly kissed, hands exploring. They paused only for her to pull his shirt off and toss it aside, and he did the same with hers. He laid her down on her back. He began to plant kisses on her bare stomach, his lips and tongue continued to trail back up her body…
It wasn't just sex for once. This was the first time they actually did it out of love. Mutual, unrestrained love…and it was perfect.
The next morning, they lay together in each other's arms. For once, Buffy wasn't scrambling to leave in shame. There was no shame anymore. She leaned on his arm, that was wrapped around her, as she gently traced patterns on his chest with her finger.
"I feel guilty. I think Dawn just left for school and I wasn't up there," she said, looking at him with a small smile.
"She'll forgive you. You had a long night," he teased, running a hand through her gorgeously tangled hair.
Buffy smiled. She looked at him as if considering saying something. "You know…Giles and I have talked a lot about doing more…with the slayers. We were considering traveling to Europe maybe, a change of pace and a good place to look for more of them. We want to be able to find a lot of them and thinking bigger about it all…"
"And you want to know if I'd come with you?" Spike asked an amused look on his face as he asked the question he knew she wanted answered.
"Well…yeah," Buffy glanced down, smiling.
"You're not going to get rid of me that easily, Slayer. Of course I'll come with you," he said with a chuckle.
Buffy kissed him gratefully before resting her head against his chest again. Neither had any idea what the future would bring for them. But for now…both were happy right where they were at.
I hate cheesy endings…so I hope that wasn't too, too bad. I hope you all enjoyed it and I hope this story lived up to your guys' expectations. Thank you for all the comments and support I appreciate it so much! You guys made writing this FF so much fun! Please let me know how you liked it!