One Glorious Summer
Dawn grinned at the good-looking blond guy sitting next to her on the couch. She'd never seen someone as into a documentary as he was.
"How many times have you seen this movie?"
"Dude! Hundreds of times." Dirk took a sip of his beer. "John and I were planning to take a trip just like this next summer, but I'm thinking he'll be too busy to follow through."
"It's weird to hear you call Spike "John". And why wouldn't he go on that trip?"
"I'm no fortune teller, but I see a wedding, say in June, next year. And I just know Buffy will force me to wear a monkey suit."
Dawn laughed. "You think Buffy is going to marry you?"
He gave her a sidelong glance and then grinned. "Not even in my wildest dreams. Hell, John would Freddy Krueger my ass. No. I'll just be the best man."
"You think so?"
He nodded and leered at her. "I bet you'd look hot in a maid of honor dress. Something red like the number you're wearing now. And you know what they say about the best man and the maid of honor…"
She shifted farther away from him on the couch and shook her head. "No, but I can guess what you're thinking. If Spike had his memories and heard you suggest that with me, he'd turn into Freddy, Michael and Jason rolled into one and dismember you slowly."
The front door flew open and Spike burst into the room with Buffy close behind.
"Don't even think about touching her, Dirk. You're my friend, but she's Buffy's little sister."
Dawn laughed at Dirk's horrified look. "See!" She stood and turned to face Spike. "I was just telling him that if you had your memories back, you'd kill Dirk if he touched me."
"Don't need my memories back. One of the first flashbacks I ever had was of you and how fiercely I tried to protect you."
Spike didn't see it, but Dawn caught the flicker of hurt in Buffy's eyes and while she was thrilled that Spike could remember her a little bit, she felt for her sister. Dirk moved behind her and she smiled at Spike.
"It was my idea to come hang out here. Call me nosy or whatever, but I couldn't wait to find out if you guys made up or not."
Dawn watched carefully as the two exchanged serious glances. Buffy let her shoulders droop and Spike looked away. The Slayer grabbed his hand and said quietly, "We can talk more tomorrow, right?"
"Sure," Spike said, giving Dawn hope for them when he covered their hands intimately with his other hand. "I've got that meeting, but I'll call you when I get done."
They leaned towards each other, forgetting they had an audience. Dirk snorted and the couple reluctantly let go of each other.
The surfer tapped Dawn on the shoulder and whispered, "See. Don't have to be a fortune teller."
Dawn turned and smiled at Dirk. "I so hope you're right."
"We should go, Dawn," Buffy finally said, "and let these guys get some sleep."
~ * ~ * ~
Dawn left the next morning, after a breakfast of fruit and cereal, wishing Buffy luck and throwing out tips on how to keep her man. Buffy slapped her on the shoulder when she suggested that Buffy would do better if she became a mute.
As soon as she was alone, Buffy grabbed the phone and went on the balcony with a magazine. It was a pathetic way to spend a Saturday, waiting by the phone, hoping the guy she wanted to be with would call her. She was almost through with the magazine when the phone rang. Not even trying to look cool, she answered before the first ring finished.
"Hi, Buffy," Spike's deep and sexy voice came across the line. Immediately, she craved him. Wanted him near her, talking softly against her neck and ear.
Clearing her head, she asked, "How did your meeting go?"
"Good." Silence stretched out for a minute before he spoke. "Will you be home an hour from now?"
"Yes," she said, too quickly.
"Okay. I'll come by then. Should I bring take out? Maybe Chinese?"
"Ooh, that sounds good."
She went into action after she hung up, choosing an outfit and setting her accessories out. She took a long relaxing bath, using her collection of Strawberries and Champagne bath oils and soaps that Spike had gone crazy for when she'd used them a week ago. When she was ready, she impatiently tapped her foot and absently changed the channels on the TV every few seconds, trying not to worry that Spike might have decided that he wanted her to leave him alone.
She'd just have to keep being persistent if that happened.
When Spike knocked on the door a few minutes later, Buffy opened it for him and smiled shyly. He stood there, holding out a bulging bag from Little Beijing with the other hand hidden behind his back. His serious expression rattled her nerves.
"This smells so good," she told him, taking the bag and heading for the kitchen. "Shall we get plates or eat out of the boxes? Plates I think."
She couldn't even look at him. If Spike was planning on letting her down easy, she'd put him off forever, if she could. A plate slipped from her grasp, crashing to the floor, into a hundred tiny pieces.
Spike gently gripped her arm and pulled her back up before she could start picking up the mess. "Buffy. Stop for just a minute, okay?" With one had still behind his back, he backed up, pulling her with him out of the kitchen. "These are for you."
He held out a bouquet of pink roses, looking proud of himself, and she nearly melted on the spot.
"Does this mean you forgive me?"
She reached for the flowers, but he pulled his hand back slightly, just out of her reach. "Do you promise not to keep any more secrets from me and tell me everything about our past?"
Buffy looked off to the side for a minute, her mind racing, thinking about all the horrid things they'd said and done to each other. Telling him about them would mean owning up to her part and she wasn't sure he'd like her so much when he knew all of it. She gazed at him. His eyes searching hers, waiting for her response.
"I promise. I'll never do that to you again. I'll tell you everything."
"You might want to put these in some water then," he said, a huge grin on his face.
What she wanted to do was fling the roses across the room and jump on Spike to smother him with kisses. Instead, she took the roses and gingerly stepped over the broken ceramic on the floor. While she filled the vase, he swept up the mess.
Over Chinese food in little paper boxes passed back and forth across the table, Spike chatted about his meeting. More good news. With the exception of a few critics, his second book was making waves in the publishing industry. "Gage was happy. He said the reviews glowed like radioactive material, but I think that described his face."
She smiled at him and chewed some rice, just happy to be sitting with him, having a happy conversation.
Spike was quiet for a second and then he said, "I guess the critics are tired of all the stories where the hero gets the girl."
She shrugged. "Sometimes the hero does get the girl."
"And Jacob will get her in the end. I'm getting ready to write the fourth and final book, but in the second book, Summer puts Jacob through hell."
"Dirk told me that you've already gotten your shipment of books. Do I get one?"
"Of course! I can't wait to see what you think of it." He stood and gathered up the empty cartons. "I'll bring one up from my apartment the next time I go down there."
Buffy got up quickly and as she put leftovers in the refrigerator, she said, "Not planning to go anywhere for awhile?"
Coming behind her, Spike wrapped his arms around her and nuzzled her neck. "I was hoping you'd invite me to stay here tonight."
The warmth of his breath tickling her sensitive flesh and the sensation of his hands roaming under her silk blouse reminded her of how safe and complete she'd felt in heaven. This was heaven on earth. She turned in his arms and gazed into his eyes.
Spike leaned in and gave her a hard, quick kiss. He gazed at her with wide eyes, his mouth slightly parted.
"I've missed you."
Unable to form words, Buffy hugged Spike, squeezing him tightly.
"You're very strong."
"Sorry," she said, letting him go.
"No. I like it." The corners of his mouth lifted and so did her heart.
Tentatively, she said, "I love you."
"I love you, too."
Spike leaned in and planted a kiss on her neck. He left a trail of kisses, stopping at her earlobe where he let his tongue dart and swirl just under her ear. Buffy moaned softly and pushed them back out of the kitchen.
"I can't wait any longer. I need you. Now," she whispered.
They kissed as they slowly fumbled towards the bedroom, discarding clothes.
"Christ, I missed this," he said as they reached the door. "The past few days have been hell for me. I got used to sleeping with you beside me."
"It was awful. Never again, okay?"
He nodded as she shut the door.
~ * ~ * ~
Nine days later, Buffy entered the kitchen with a cheerful smile on her face and readjusted the strap to her bikini top. Dirk was bringing a cooler down to their usual spot on the sand, but somehow the task of making snacks had fallen on her. She'd found the perfect little picnic basket at the second hand store down the street and now she filled it with fruit, cheese and crackers. As an afterthought, she tossed in a bottle of water, just in case Dirk conveniently forgot that she didn't drink beer at ten in the morning.
She placed the basket next to the front door, along with her bag filled with a towel, her wetsuit, and sunscreen and was just about to go out on the balcony when the phone rang. Buffy picked up the receiver and smiled as she greeted the caller. "Hello?"
"Giles is not happy," Willow stated, without a greeting.
Buffy sighed and leaned against the breakfast bar. "What else is new?"
Spike left the bedroom just then and their eyes met. His eyes questioning curiously, wanting to know who was on the phone. He looked incredible in his tight wet suit with is hair still damp from his shower. Smiling and keeping her eyes on him, she waited for Willow to stop chatting and said to her, "Hold on a minute, okay?" To Spike she said, "It's my friend, Willow. Remember, the one I was telling you about? The witch."
Nodding, he approached her and gave her a long sensual hug. "I'm guessing you'll want to talk for awhile. Should I bring your surfboard down with me or leave it here?"
"Oh, take it, please. I'll take the towels and the food and be down soon."
"You still there?" Buffy asked Willow, as Spike went to the balcony and grabbed their boards.
"Yeah, I'm just sort of wigging out to hear Spike's voice. Wow, he sounds so…alive."
When the front door shut behind Spike, Buffy pulled out a dining room chair and sat down. Thinking of the fun they'd had before they got out of bed, Buffy blushed. "He's very much alive."
"So… Official retirement, huh?"
"Yeah. I think it's about time."
"I guess hooking up with Spike again has nothing to do with it?"
"It has everything to do with it. I'm in love and I want to enjoy every minute we have together. Though I'm sure when the next apocalypse begins, I'll get a call."
"I'm sure you will. We'll need you then."
"Really? Faith or even Kennedy could take the lead, no problem," Buffy said, leaning back against the chair.
Willow took a deep breath and asked, "So, what do you have planned now?"
"Well, we leave for New York in two days to get ready for the launch of Spike's second book. He's got a ton of interviews to do. Mostly magazines and newspapers, but he's going to be on the Today Show."
"That's just crazy. If I hadn't seen those pictures on his website, I wouldn't believe it's him—you two look great by the way. Spike does look good with a tan and in the sun too."
Gage had suggested that they get a photographer to capture one of their days at the beach and the agent had specifically asked that Buffy be in the pictures. He'd come up with the idea one night last week while they were having dinner with his family in Laguna Beach. The pictures had gone up just last night and Buffy had emailed Willow with a link.
"When we get back from New York, we're going house hunting." She hoped she didn't sound too excited. People went house hunting all the time. Just not her.
"Where are you planning to move to?" Willow said.
"Well, since I convinced the manager here to let me use the old aerobics room to hold self-defense classes, I need to stay in the area. There are some nice little homes just down the beach from here that are right off the shore like our apartment. We're hoping to get one of those, and Spike is confident that we will since most people rent for the summer only."
"And here, we're going to be stuck in rainy London."
Buffy could almost see her friend's pout.
"They don't need Kennedy in Asia anymore?"
"Nope. One of the slayers, Stacey, is taking charge tomorrow and we're traveling back to headquarters. Giles wants Kennedy to take your spot in Ireland in a couple of months. Andrew's there now, but everything's falling apart. Giles sent Meneeko, but she's really not ready to be a head slayer yet."
Buffy knew her friend wasn't trying to lay a guilt trip on her, but even if she had been, it wouldn't have worked. She was drifting on a cloud of love and contentment and nothing anyone said could bring her back down to earth.
"Well, when we get a place and get settled, I want you and Kennedy to come and stay with us for a week or two. Giles couldn't deny you two a vacation before this new assignment."
"I don't know, he might. You went on vacation and look what happened. You never came back," Willow said through giggles.
"True, but we should all have more vacation time than we get. Even if it makes Giles unhappy."
"Yep. Giles is not a cheerful guy right now, but what I want to know is, are you happy?"
Buffy put a lock of her hair behind her ear and smiled softly. "I am happy, Willow. Very, very happy."
The End -
a/n: I hope you enjoyed this story. It was so much fun to write. And I really enjoyed getting to know some of you through the review system. One Glorious Summer has been nominated at a few fan fiction award sites, but the best reward from writing this story has been hearing how much the readers have enjoyed it. If you haven't read any of my other stories, you might want to check them out. My personal favorite of all my stories is In Harm's Way, with One Glorious Summer and Not My Reality tied for second place. :) And I beta for a few authors, including my good friend from the UK, Mabel Marsters, who writes wonderful Spuffy stories. I highly recommend her fiction.
It might be awhile before you see a new story from me. I'm currently working hard to get some original fiction shaped up to submit to agents, and I have four other original novels incomplete that need my attention. I follow many communities on livejournal and if I see a challenge that I fancy, I may write a one shot here or there. It could be a few months before I write any challenges.
Thanks for reading!