And That Has Made All The Difference

Summary: I love you, she says, and Spike knows it's not true. Spike's reflection at the end of Chosen. More sweet the sour, despite how it sounds.

I love you, she says, and Spike knows it's not true, but just hearing it is enough to fill his soul to the bursting point, and he wonders why he doesn't explode on the spot.

Apparently these things take time.

He replies with the truth they must both accept, because he cannot let them end on lies, no matter how sweet and precious they are to him. No you don't, he tells her, but thanks for saying it.

It really has meant more to him than anything he's ever experienced in life or death.

I love you, she says. He understands now, more than ever. Real love is complex and dangerous, it breathes and it moves inside of you, makes you glow and stumble and stand. There's always going to be this hole in her heart, a space he just can't quite fit into, no matter how he changes himself to match.

I love you, she says, and the words on their own mean nothing.

But he can see it in her eyes, hear it in her voice, and feel it in the touch of her hand on his. She wants to love him, wants it so bad it scorches her. She wants to give herself over to him, completely and totally. She wants to love him in a way she's never even considered before now, and it's some kind of miracle, he thinks, that he could bring this out in her.

In this ending, he understands two truths.

He loves her and always will, and in this moment, she wants to love him back.

And this knowledge is so much more than those words, so much more than nothing.

It's everything.