Title: Could She Have Known

Author: Nimue

Rating: R, at least

Feedback: Yes, please

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, UPN, Fox... Just Borrowing.

Summary: Spike's POV of his first... encounter... with Buffy as a human

Could She Have Known.

Could she have known how hard it has been to look at her, to see her

everywhere in everything, but know that I would never touch her again? That I would never feel her skin against mine, her heart beating in my veins, her breath catching in my throat? Even after everything, after all I went through to try and be worthy again, not just of her love but of my own respect, could she have known what it felt like to realize that, despite all of that, my love for her simply wasn't enough? Could she have known how that killed me every bloody night?

Could she have known what seeing the Niblet did for me? When she comes to visit, it makes me feel somehow connected. The fact that Buffy lets her come here makes me feel trusted. But every time I look at the girls face, I am reminded of Buffy. Of what we did. I know now it wasn't just what I did, even though I am not likely to forgive myself anytime soon for the events of the night I left. But what she did to me. Could she have known that I forgave her before she was even through? Could she have known that I loved her that much even then?

Could she have known that I didn't mean to hurt her when I came back? I

didn't mean to make her wonder or force her to make decisions that she

didn't want to make. I had no intention of mucking up her newly reformed life. I had nowhere else to go. Every fiber pulled me here. Could she have known how scared I was when I walked past that sign that I had run over so many years ago? How terrifying it was to stare at it in the harsh light of day and knew that my heart was in this place and that coming back would just serve to break it yet again? Still, I came. I had to. Could she have known what it felt like to walk willingly back into the lion's den?

Could she have known, that day that she recognized me on the street, the

fear and wonder and joy that I felt? That my heart raced for the first time in 120 years and that I couldn't run and I couldn't stay. That when she looked at me with those beautiful eyes that I had lost myself in so many nights, I could not speak. I could not tear myself away. Could she have known that I still loved her even then?

Could she have known what I was thinking that night, months after I came

back, when I heard the knock on the door of my flat? When I opened the door and it was her? The way she stood there and said nothing but looking at me with these huge, teary eyes. How I thought she was hurt or scared because she just wouldn't talk. She wouldn't tell me why. She just stood on the outside, looking in. Could she have known that she could not have been more inside of me if she was, indeed, my heart?

Could she have known the confusion when she stepped inside my door,

shrugging off my old coat and draping it carefully over the chair, what it meant to me that she had kept it? Not that I had ever wanted it back. I didn't. But the fact remained that she hadn't chucked it or burned it or cut it into tiny scraps and pieces. The way she sat down on the couch when I had been utterly unable to move from the open door, partially due to shock, partially fear, partially not wanting to get to close to her and chance doing anything, anything at all that she could possibly not want me to do. Could she have known what living with that memory had done to me?

Could she have known that her scent was intoxicating? Vanilla and lavender and night jasmine. I closed my eyes and thought of all the times I smelled that smell. She had stood back up and walked to the door, closing it and taking my hand wordlessly. Her eyes fell wide feeling my warmth for the first time. She had known at that point, but I never let her close enough to me to touch me. She had never felt my skin, my heart, my soul. I had dreamed of it, but knew that it could never be, so it was best to let her never be tempted to go back there again. Never to let her close enough. Never to let her take me in, because, if she did, I could never leave again. Could she have known how hard it had been to smell her smell and feel her everywhere, and *know* that there was no happy ending?

Could she have known my thoughts as she lead me through my flat as if she had known the way? When she walked through my bedroom door, I stopped, letting her hand tug against mine as she kept walking. There were tears in my eyes because I knew. I knew that we could never go there again. She never understood that what we had done before was about her. What she wanted. All I wanted was to hold her. To touch her until morning. It didn't even matter that much to me if we even had sex. Not to say that I didn't enjoy her way. Oh, I did. But I don't think she understood that I loved her. Could she ever have known, the way that it had been, that I loved her?

Could she have known my fears as she pulled me to her, face to face, inches apart? I could feel her breath. She could feel mine. Her little hands were wrapped inside of mine and I wanted to run and stay at the same time. Everything I ever wanted to give her, to say, was all gone in my utter shock that she had even come here. That she even looked upon me. That I even looked upon her. I didn't blame her for what she did. Maybe I couldn't. But looking down on her, her pretty face so calm in the darkness, I could not help but hope that she had forgiven me. Could she have known that that was all I really wanted?

Could she have known how it felt when she touched my face so gently, sliding along my skin like silk? How it felt when she tugged me down to her and my lips were so close to hers that I could breathe her air? I wanted to kiss her, but I couldn't. I didn't have to. Her lips pressed to mine as delicately as butterfly wings and my heart broke at the touch. She had never kissed me like that. I was not sure anyone had ever kissed me with such tenderness. Then again, as a human, I had little experience in any of this. As a human, I had no experience. All I knew of love was the consuming love of the Vampire. Oh, it was true and intense and real and passionate and my love for her had doubtlessly changed me, but now I knew of the love of which she spoke. The love of trust, of desire, of understanding. I had loved her in every way. Could she have known how much?

Could she have known what it meant to me when she parted from me and looked me in the eye and said it? Said that she had missed me? Said, beyond any worldly desire I may have ever hoped for, that she loved me? I knew I cried when she said it. I cried for her. I cried for me. No one had ever truly loved me, cept maybe mum. And it wasn't this love. She had saved me and broken me and saved me again. Still, I had had this dream a hundred times and knew that this was about the moment I woke up. Could she have known that I couldn't believe this?

Could she have known that what I was thinking? She led me to the bed,

sitting me on the edge. She turned her back to me, exposing the zipper on her dress and pulled my hand to her back. Her perfect arched back. I pulled it down for her and she let the little straps slide down her

shoulders and the dress drop to the floor. She stood there, in just her

panties. She had never done that before. Never just stood in front of me without demanding my attention to some particular itch or scratch. I

couldn't help but touch her when she turned. Just her hips. I was afraid to touch anything else. Hell, I was afraid to touch her at all, because I thought she might disappear. But she didn't and when I pulled her to me, she kissed me again, her sweet, soft, peach flavoured lips softly brushing mine, her tongue dancing against mine, her body pressing close to mine. Could she have known how horribly wonderfully beautiful she was?

Could she have known my shock when she pulled my shirt off? When she had removed my belt and unbuttoning my jeans, leaving the rest up to me? Not sure if she was afraid of damaging the goods as I was quite a bit excited by her, or if she was just leaving it up to me. But she laid down on her back next to me, taking my hand again and pulling me towards her. I looked at her. I could never look at her enough. If I died with just her vision in my mind, it would have summed up everything good in my heart. Despite everything she had done, she was good. Her little hands sliding on my face, my neck, my chest. I had not known she was capable of such gentleness. Still, I was afraid to touch her. Afraid to move. I felt as if my slightest twitch might frighten her away like a little animal. Could she have known my fears?

Could she have known what it felt like to have her take my hand and trace its lines and contours? She never stopped looking at my face, but her fingers moved as if tracing me into her memory. I had to say I was doing the same. Filing her every foreign look, her every sound, her every glance into my mind. It was impossible to resist her. We could not go back there. I could not let her bring me back, completely, from the dead, only to watch her slide her dress over her shoulders and look at me in disgust as if she should be leaving money on the dresser. I didn't deserve that. She didn't deserve to feel that she could do no better. She could. Much better than the likes of me. All I had to offer her was what I felt, and that did not seem to weigh much against what had been done. Could she have known how much this hurt?



"I can't."

"Can't or won't?"

"A bit of both, I'm afraid."

"Because you don't love me anymore?" She sat up, facing me, her arms

crossed over her chest.

"No. That is the one thing that I cannot change."

"Then why?" Her tears. Her tears always felt as if they crawled from my own eyes, borne of my own soul. Shed of my own heart.

"Because it will only hurt us more."

"I didn't come here to hurt you." She was being honest. When was the last time either of that had done that? We had always both hid something away.

"But you will."


"I can't let you back in. I can't go back ... there. I gave it all up for the chance. Gave up all I really knew. But when it comes down to it, didn't mean a sodding thing."

"What do you mean?"

"I love you as much now as I did then."

"Things are different now."

"Because I have a heart. A soul."

She faltered. "Y..yes."

"Buffy," how could I say this knowing it would crush the one thing I loved. "I don't want this if the only reason that you want me now is the soul."

She sat there, eyes dewy, beautiful curved lips open just enough that I

could almost feel her breath. I didn't want her to leave. Never wanted her to leave. But I wasn't Angel. Never would be. Never wanted to be. Don't want her to come to me because of it.

"I loved you then."


"When you came to me and you asked me if I loved you and I told you I

didn't. The night..."

"Please." Now she would have me cry again. As if I did not live that one horrible moment over and over and over again every night, every time I closed my eyes.

"I did love you. I was afraid to, but I did."

"Why then? Why now?"

Again, silence. The weight of the air in the room was like lead. "Because something has been missing. It's been missing for a long time now. You came back. Even though you wouldn't talk to me, wouldn't see me, it was better knowing... It was you. Just really took me too long to admit."

I couldn't answer her. There weren't any words. I believed her. Even

when it was wise not to, I always had. "You know I forgive you," she

whispered. "The question is, can you forgive me?"

I looked at her, her eyes. Those deep pools the colour of emeralds and

jade. Her eyes had haunted me and guided me through so many moments. "I forgave you long ago."

"Please, Spike. Let me back in."

"Buffy," It was almost like sighing, saying her name. "I..I can't. I

cannot go back. I can't... drown in you again knowing that the minute that we both ...feel better... you will stand up and get dressed and walk back out the door. I'm barely making it in this life as it stands. That would pretty much end me."

"I won't," she whispered. Those small warm hands touching my face. I

could feel her sweat mingle with my tears.

"How could I believe that? What should I think? If it were up to me, we would never leave this room again. We would never be more than a touch away. But it can't, it won't ever be. You will walk out of here and I will still be alone. I need more than that Buffy."

"I won't," she whispered again, her eyes spilling those huge glistening

tears. "I won't leave. Not unless you want me to."

I thought about it. I had to. Leaving would be easiest. Right now. Just go. Live your sodding slayer life and leave me in my flat with my job and my visits with the Nib and I will go on. Stay and break my heart again. Stay and let me touch you. Let me love you again. Either way, I was doomed.

Either way I loved her still. "Buffy, you know.."

"Know what?"

"Know how much... how much I love you. I've never lied about that."

"I know."

"Do you know that you might as well kill me if you'd have me.. be.. with you again and just walk away as you wish?"

"I don't wish."

"How can I..."

Could she have known that I had no idea what else to say when her lips

pressed to mine in a fiery rain of passion and tenderness? What little

coherent thought I had was washed away by her climbing onto my lap, her legs wrapped around my waist, her bare chest rubbing against mine, her lithe arms draped over my shoulders like a silken scarf. Her warmth was unbearable, her smell was like spring. She was everything wonderful and terrible about living. She was everything. Could she have known?

Could she have known what it felt like to me to relinquish her control and give me the chance to show her what I wanted, always, from her? That I didn't expect her to always be cuffed to the bed, or tossing me about the room or riding me until I felt as if my head might pop with pleasure. Not to say I did not love those things, but I loved it more just feeling her underneath of me, her body slowly moving, begging me to be with her again. I loved sinking my face into her long blonde hair and smelling her shampoo and her soap, feeling her fingers twined in mine. She had coaxed my jeans off as well as what was left of her outfit and I loved the feeling of every exposed inch of skin in contact with her. The way she kissed me with sweetness, nipping my lips enough to let me know where she stood. The noise she made as my mouth met her neck, her shoulders, her perfect round breasts. Every spot had a different noise. Every touch had a different shiver. Every inch had a different taste. Could she have known how many things about her there were to learn?

Could she have known how perfect and how terrifying it was to finally be

with her again? She looked at me with those heavy eyes laced with desire, her skin covered in a thin sheen, her breaths closer, and she wrapped her legs around my waist, pulling me to her. Never as a human. No idea what it felt like. No idea that disappearing into her could bend my mind and end my words and set every ounce of flesh on fire. Feeling her under me, around me, touching me, looking into my eyes as we moved. It was different. The tenderness of it all as she ran her hands over my shoulders, my back, her face disappearing into my neck as she panted and mewled and whispered. She had never been this way before. I had never felt her like this before. I had never made love to her before. She had surrendered. Her heart giving in. Her body slowly rocking matching my every motion. Her one hand was over her heart. Her other over mine and she smiled as they synched, racing

along like horses galloping through the fields. Her muscles, mine, burning and imploding with every sensitive twitch. Even as the dance was faster, more urgent, even as her little moaning pants came closer together, her roughness was gone. I was part of her now. She had always been part of me. When I felt her flutter around me, her back arching against the bed, her pretty mouth open and the most perfect sound escape her throat, I thought my heart might explode along with everything else. It started like a crack in pain of glass and spidered its way down my every nerve, riding along the edges of her wave until they crashed against each other and hovered above as one blue sea. Everything was different. Everything. Could she have known that one moment changed time?

Could she have known how thankful I was that she held onto me? That she

didn't roll over and get dressed. It had felt like moments, but the sun was peeking over the horizon. She had been here all night. Wrapped around me. Just now, in the first sunlight, she was dozing off, her leg still tossed over my waist. Her head cradled in my arm. I looked at her again because I could never look enough. I was afraid to move because I was afraid she might awaken and then she would go and my heart would break again watching her walk out the door knowing that she had gotten what she had wanted, nothing more, nothing less. I buried my head in her hair, drinking her perfume, and waited. Could she have known how hard it was to wait?

Could she have known that my heart would break when my eyes flickered open and I was no longer tangled in her soft skin, but alone atop the scattered bed. Her dress was gone. Her shoes. I had fallen asleep and she had taken the opportunity to tell me to bugger off without words. I will always remember sitting up and looking around the empty space that had become my life and thinking that I had asked for it all. I had asked to be a vampire. I had asked to be human. I had asked to love and to have my heart broken. No one to blame but my bloody heart. Could she have known how many tears I had shed in her name?

Could she have known, could she have imagined my surprise as she padded into the room in one of my shirts in broad daylight drinking coffee and grinning with mussed hair and pretty blushing skin. My eyes followed her across the room, as she sat on the edge of the bed, curling her legs under herself like a cat.

"I...I thought you'd.."

"He of little faith" She smiled slyly.

"Your clothes were..."

"In the closet."

"You were..."

"Getting coffee."

"I thought you were gone."



"You think I could ever have a night as good as that with anyone else?"

"It was good?"

"Uh, yeah."

"And you're not gone."


"What day is it?"


"Nibs comes over on Saturday mornings."

"I know."

"I understand if..."

"If you make breakfast because I just feel like laying her basking?"

I looked at her a moment as she draped herself along the bed. "Basking?"


"And while you're basking, I get to make your breakfast?"

"Yep," she smiled, "Unless you want to give me more of a reason to bask."

That was an offer too good to pass up.

"I love you, Buffy."

"I love you," she whispered as I leaned down to kiss her. I touched her cheek. Her pretty eyes danced in the sunlight.

She didn't leave.

Could she have known that I loved her more in that one night than I had ever loved her before?