Disclaimer: Don't own anything.
It was a few days later. Buffy had been pronounced fit and well enough to go home. The doctors had been as baffled by her rapid recovery as they had by her mysterious illness. The Council paid another large sum of money to make sure her medical records disappeared. Buffy and Dawn were packing up her things.
Everyone was still in Italy, but that state of affairs could not last much longer. They all had lives to go back to. Tonight the Scoobies would be together one last night and they would have a party to celebrate Buffy's recovery. Then the gang would have to part, once again.
Myrsina was still nowhere to be found, but they had not given up on dealing with her. Each had offered to keep searching in their own way for information about her whereabouts. They had agreed that they would meet up again if possible when they had something definite to go on. Buffy and Giles had had several long talks and she had decided to go back with him to England to be more involved in training potential slayers. Giles had also said that it was time for Dawn to begin her education to become a fully-fledged Watcher. Enough of living this easy life in Italy. Buffy could not avoid her destiny and she knew it.
And what about Spike? He had been around since the spell but he had said little and revealed less about what he was thinking. He had made sure he was not left alone with Buffy in the daytime. For the last three nights, since the ritual, he had turned up very late, and, without a word, he had climbed onto the bed beside her, and held her until the morning, leaving before she woke up. Nothing would be said, as if by some unspoken agreement, but she wondered how she would ever get a good night's sleep again, if he were not there beside her.
As they finished packing the case, Spike walked into the room. Dawn could feel the immediate tautness in the air, as if someone was drawing a bow, ready to shoot an arrow. She lifted up the bag and said, 'I'll take this to Giles. He's just finishing off the paperwork for your release. We'll wait for you in the cafeteria.' And, with a glance at Spike's white, set face, she left the room.
'You must be getting to know the sewers here really well to come here at midday!' She spoke with false brightness as she fiddled around, pretending to check to see she had left nothing behind, never looking at him.
He closed his eyes for a second. No one else ever called him that and he was never sure what she was thinking when she said it. But it always meant something, good or bad.
'I think we need to talk.'
'Wow. I never thought you'd be such a cliché. Will it be the old 'It's not you, it's me' speech next?' She spoke in a falsely humorous tone.
'What are you talking about?' He sounded genuinely surprised and that made her finally look at him. He was standing at the end of the bed, a frown of confusion on his face.
'Well, aren't we about to have the break up scene, before you go trotting off back to L.A.?'
With that lightning speed that sometimes forgot he possessed, he was suddenly standing in front of her, his hands gripping her by the upper arms.
'At the risk of sounding repetitive, can I ask what the HELL are you talking about? How can we break up? We're not exactly a couple. This isn't an episode of some soap opera!'
He seemed furious and she was tempted to start shouting back, but she was tired of that dance they always did. She took a deep breath, took his hands off her arms and pulled him towards the sofa in the corner.
'Sit down, Spike. Sit! We have had enough misunderstandings and miscommunication to last even your lifetime. So can we just talk calmly?'
'Fine. If you remember, I started by saying that we needed to talk, before you started saying nonsense.' He knew he was sounding petty but he couldn't help it. He felt like he was standing at the edge of the Hellmouth again, about to lose Buffy all over again. He was not sure he could through that again. He took his usual refuge in sarcasm.
'It's not nonsense! You were the one spouting the clichés!' She paused and resumed in a calmer tone. 'Let me save you the trouble of giving me your speech. You were going to tell me that you're happy I'm better and that you could help me. You're sure I believe that this whole true love thing is ludicrous and that we know we have no future together. So let's just part friends and you'll always be there for me in my time of need. Et cetera, et cetera. Does that about cover it?'
She was very proud of herself for being able to say all this in a light tone of voice, leaning back casually onto the sofa cushions, rather than flinging herself dramatically onto his chest and weeping uncontrollably, which is what she felt more inclined to do.
His mouth gaped open and he could not speak for a few moments.
'Er…..ah…. Ok, I'm a little confused. Is that what you believe or what you think I believe?'
'Well, is it what you believe?'
'Any of it! All of it! I don't know! This is a ridiculous conversation!'
She stood up in frustration, but Spike grabbed her hand and pulled her back down onto the seat, close enough so their legs were touching.
A thousand thoughts were racing through his mind as he went over the last few minutes of conversation and tried to work out what was going on.
'It seems like you are annoyed at me about something? Is it that old favourite, the 'Spike never told me he was back' issue? Or have I done something else wrong?'
'Well, how about, you wake me up from a deadly magical coma and then help everyone make me better. Then you hardly talk to me for days, but you come and cuddle me at night, acting like the perfect gentleman, but never saying a word. And, while we're all talking about our plans for the future, you never say a word about what you're going to do, or if your plans involve me at all. Is that enough to be going on with, you thoughtless son of a bitch?' She pulled her hand out of his grasp and sat as far away from him as she could.
He blinked at her for a moment and then that familiar, his well-shaped mouth twisted into that familiar Spike smirk. A spark of happiness, tinged with a little uncertainty, lit up his eyes.
'Do you want my plans to include you?'
She had been looking furiously down at her jeans, as she manically plucked at a loose thread, but, at this, her gaze snapped back up to his face.
'Why would you think that, you arrogant, selfish, idiotic…' She could not finish as she suddenly found herself grabbed and pulled against his lean, strong body and then his mouth was on hers, stopping her words.
She resisted for the merest second, and then, with a little moan, she fisted her hands into his hair and dragged his head even closer. They kissed, bruising lips with the intensity of the embrace. It was not tender, or loving. It was needy, desperate, like someone who was drowning clawing to reach the surface, dying for air.
They kissed until Buffy had to pull away, to fill her lungs. Gasping, she said, 'Mortal here. Need to breathe.'
He laughed and then pulled her into his lap, his arms wound tightly round her as she sucked in oxygen. When her heart rate had returned to normal, he used a finger to tilt her head up, as it lay on his chest. This time, the kiss was soft, full of love and sweetness, and promises. She sighed into his mouth and wrapped her arms around his neck. Then she rested her head in the crook of his neck.
She spoke into his t-shirt, so quietly that he had to strain to hear her. 'Why have you been avoiding me?'
He rested his chin on her head and spoke in the same soft tone. 'I… I don't know. I just couldn't bear to think that we would soon be apart again. Every time I saw you, I kept thinking that in a few days there'll be thousands of miles between us.'
'But you came here every night.'
'We haven't caught that demon. I couldn't stay away, knowing there are forces out there trying to kill you.'
'Same old, same old. There are ALWAYS forces out there trying to kill me.'
He chuckled, but held her even more closely, kissing the top of her head. 'I know, and that's torture to me.'
'So, if you want to protect me, why are you going to leave me?'
He gave a gasp, something that had always fascinated her, since he technically did not breathe.
'But… I mean…..Isn't it more that you're going to leave me? Aren't you going to England with Watcher-boy?'
'Yes, but what about you? Do you have to go back to L.A. with Angel?'
This time he used his hand to lift her head up so that they were looking into each other's eyes.
'What are you saying?'
Buffy leaned forward and kissed him firmly on the mouth. 'You're such an idiot. Do you want an engraved invitation?'
A few minutes passed as he showed her just how this made him feel. There was silence in the room apart from a few sighs or moans as he kissed her so thoroughly that she felt the weakness return to her body.
Eventually, he lifted his talented mouth from hers and growled, his voice thick with emotion, 'Don't say it if you don't mean it. I couldn't bear it.'
Her eyes were glazed and her mouth was pink and swollen after the assault on it. She laid her forehead on his and said the words very clearly. 'Please come with me to England, Spike.'
She sat up at that. 'What do you mean, why?'
'Why do you want me to come?'
'You know why.'
'No, I don't. And in the spirit of this new era of open and transparent communication between us, you need to say it.' He was grinning now, enjoying her discomfort.
'You're the one who said the lovey-dovey, touchy-feely stuff never works.' She tried to get off his lap but he held her tightly. She probably could have got away, if she'd really wanted to.
'Buffy! Please. Why do you want me to come to England?'
She gave in. After all, he'd waited long enough to hear it, and she'd thought that she'd never get the chance to say it. The universe had given her another chance and who was she to ignore the universe?
'William Pratt, Spike, whatever you want to be called, I, Buffy Anne Summers, the Vampire Slayer, love you with all my heart and soul, and I don't ever want us to be apart again. Is that clear enough for you?'
He looked at her in shock. He knew he must be back in that fantasy world.
She could not help laughing at his deer-caught-in-the-headlights look as he gazed at her dumbstruck.
'Can't handle the truth, vampire?'
Spike shook himself, like a dog who'd been caught in the rain. 'Sorry, Buffy, I think there's something wrong with my ears. I thought you just said….'
She slapped him lightly on the cheek. 'You heard me.'
Then she kissed him, pouring everything said and unsaid, every emotion in her heart, everything she felt, into that one embrace, so that he would finally understand.
Eventually, Buffy pulled away, hard as that was, because she thought that she would never get enough of that cool, mobile, clever mouth.
When they were calm again, he cupped her face in his hands and looked deep into her eyes. 'I love you.'
'But where does this leave us? I mean, there's still the; I'm immortal, you're not' problem, not to mention…'
She stopped him by putting a finger on his lips. 'Spike, there're so many reasons why we can't, shouldn't, won't work. We could spend all day listing them. I've got no clue about what's going to happen in the future. But I know one thing. I can't just lose you again. I can't live like that anymore. I…. I'm not ready for you not to be here, or somewhere, with me.'
He hugged so tightly that, super strength or not, she thought her ribs might crack.
More time passed as they held each other; they kissed, whispered unintelligible words of love, and kissed some more.
Buffy pushed him away a little and asked, slightly nervously, 'So, what's your answer? Are you coming with me?'
'Buffy, love, I can't. Not yet.'
She narrowed her eyes at him. 'Why not? Don't start all this insecure crap now! God, if you still don't believe me when I say I love you, I don't know what else I can do!'
He caressed her cheek and said soothingly, 'No, no, it's not that. But there's something big coming in LA and I can't just abandon Angel and the others to go off with you. I can't.'
'Since when we you and Angel such buddies? And what's so important in L.A.?'
He could not help feel a little triumphant at the note of jealousy in her voice.
'Sweetheart, Buffy. The end of the world's coming and I have to take my stand with them. It's…. It's what I have to do.'
'Oh, end of the world. That's so old hat. And you already did that once. Trying to go for the double is a little arrogant, don't you think?'
She tried to speak lightly, but her eyes betrayed her, being over-bright and suspiciously shiny.
'I have to do it.'
'You know, I'm not so sure this having a soul thing was such a good idea. The old Spike would have run off to London with me without a backwards glance, especially if I told him he was guaranteed to get lucky!'
He smiled at her, and said, 'Can I have a second to rethink my answer, now I have this new information?'
She smiled back, though it was not very convincing. 'Ok, go off and be a big, damn hero. But remember one thing.'
'What's that, pet?'
'If you get yourself sent back to some hell dimension, I'll move heaven and earth to follow you there, and then you'll get the biggest ass-kicking of your long and sorry life!' She belied these tough words with gentle kisses to his neck, where it joined his shoulder.
He chuckled into her hair. 'Right, I'll do my best not to be dusted. Don't want some maddened Slayer after my tail. And when it's all over, I'll come to England and we'll see… well, we'll see what we can work out.'
'Sounds like a plan.'
Then they had had enough of talking. They were locked in another passionate embrace, when Dawn came rushing into the room.
'Buffy! What's taking you so ….'
She stopped dead when she saw the two of them entwined on the sofa. 'Oops. Sorry. But Giles is getting very impatient.' She could not help grinning at the sight of her two favourite people, who were, not to mince words, making out.
Buffy thought about moving off Spike's lap but then shrugged. 'Dawn, we need a minute here.'
'I can see that!'
'Dawn! Tell Giles I'll be right there.'
'Ok, ok!' Dawn went off muttering to herself, 'Get a room, why don't you? Oh, yeah, you're in a room!' She could be heard laughing at her own wit as she walked down the corridor.
The vampire and the Slayer looked at each other for a long moment.
'I'd better go. You know what Giles is like about punctuality. And you'll have to go through the sewers. We'll meet you back at the apartment.'
'See you there, then.'
'See you there.'
But neither made a move to separate. They did not want to let go, not yet.
A few more minutes passed. 'We need to go.' 'I know.' They laughed at the absurdity of it all.
Buffy stood up and pulled Spike after her. They kissed one more time. A long, slow, tender declaration of love.
He rested his forehead on hers. 'I love you.' 'You said.' He grinned at her answer, flicked her nose with his finger and finally let her go.
'There'd better be alcohol at this party. And dancing. Slow dancing. Lots of alcohol and sexy dancing where I get to grab your arse. Otherwise I'm not coming.'
'There will be, I promise.'
'That's ok then. Ta ta, Slayer.'
And with that, he kissed her hard on the mouth and then sauntered out, the old swaggering Spike.
After he had gone, Buffy whispered, 'I love you, Spike', and smiled to herself. Then she picked up her purse and left the room, without a backward glance.
She needed to get home, have a shower and get ready. She had to find something killer to wear, because she had a date for the party. A really hot date.
Well, it took me a few months, but it's done! I know, it's cheesy , but if you saw how many rewrites I did, you would take pity on me. Not sure why this was so hard to finish. Buffy and Spike are my absolute favourite fictional couple ever and very dear to me, so I am too close. Also, there is a strong feeling of wish fulfilment about this, as it never happened in canon and I did not like how S7 ended. I hear there is Spuffy progress in the books, so maybe I need to check those out!
If you are reading this, then thanks for sticking with it. I have no high expectations of getting reviews, because my stories don't seem to attract them! But I needed to complete it and people were lovely enough to put it on alert and their favourites list. I never want to be a person who starts something they don't finish!
I did plan to include the next part of the story where they look for the demon, but I think this is long enough. However, I may write a sequel if inspiration strikes, though this time I would write it all first, before posting it!
Thank you for spending time with my story. It means a lot. Spuffy forever!