quinara: Spike dressed up and looking down, trying to be sexy. (Spike thinking)
[personal profile] quinara
[start of fic and notes]

'I love you' is a thing you say to people who are dying

by Quinara

Season 7. Buffy/Spike. Some Watchers survived, because sometimes people do.

[free association III]

free association IV


“And then he explained that it was something about dragons. Some magic thing. Only he didn’t know about any dragons in Sunnydale, so most likely he was being completely useless. Thank you, Quentin Travers.”

The explanation had been torturously long, and Buffy had mostly zoned out. Travers had soon gone to bed, though, and then Buffy had had nothing to do but figure out what he’d actually meant. It had seemed pointless to head upstairs just so that she wouldn’t sleep, so Buffy had sought out the only other person likely to be awake at this late hour, namely their resident vampire.

It was a toss-up, really, whether Buffy had spent so much time with Spike recently because he was Spike, or because she was trapped in a crowded house with only him on the same schedule as her a lot of the time. She figured that if they hadn’t already known each other, this would have brought them together.

As it was, they did know each other, and so it was almost comfortably familiar to find herself down in the basement at was apparently 2am, chilling with Spike on his bed and explaining this latest turn in what had to be her least favourite day yet of this year.

The weirdness of before, that had mostly subsided. A couple of empty heys, an awkward moment while Spike shifted around on the bed so Buffy could sit where she always sat – a meaningful glance – and then they were back to normal. Spike asked what Travers had wanted, and so Buffy got to explaining.

It was different now, of course, this familiar feeling of chatting to Spike on his bed. There was an elephant in the room which was trumpeting how he’d kissed her, less than half an hour before. OK, it had only been on her forehead, nothing more than how Buffy had kissed him when he’d been unconscious, but he didn’t know about that. There was a frisson of tension in everything they did, here and now. It made the way they were talking less like they were buds at a sleepover and more like something else.

Buffy knew she was kidding herself, of course, to think she’d ever come down to the basement with simple motives – and not because it was private, nor else because it was intimate. Spike’s legs were about an inch from hers where they both sat against the wall. The silence hummed while he thought about what she’d just said, a frown between his human-shaped eyebrows. She wasn’t fair to him, coming here, doing this. Not really. It was a dangerous thing to do, softening them and their ability to face the fight ahead. Yet Buffy did it anyway.

“An incantatio dracontea?” Spike repeated Travers’ words seriously, somehow translating her mangled Latin. “A holy incantatio at that?” He chuckled, like he couldn’t quite believe it. “That’s what he wants you to be messing with?” Tapping his skull back against the wall, Spike looked across the room to the stairs, shaking his head. “Either it’s the drugs his wife’s got him on, or else he has finally gone round the bend.”

“What’s so crazy about it?” Buffy asked, a little curious. Bizarrely, it didn’t sound like Spike thought it wouldn’t work, just that it was stupid to attempt. In Buffy’s experience, it was those ideas which tended to be the best, at least as a starting point. She almost felt hopeful. “Holy magics can only be a good, right?”

“Yeah,” Spike told her sarcastically, still clearly a little amused. “If you’re a messenger for the Powers that Be, maybe an oracle, maybe one of the good fae, then have at it. The rest of us…”

Magic was one of those things Buffy didn’t really understand. She looked at Spike pointedly, because he was supposed to get that and not make her feel like an idiot.

Still smiling, Spike let his hand cross the fraction of space between them to take hers, apparently no grander gesture than a touch of reassurance. “You know black magic,” Spike reminded her, as he twined their fingers together.

Buffy held her breath, pretending like she wasn’t. They didn’t take each other’s hands like this, not usually. Tonight, however, it seemed as though Spike felt like being bold.

There was a smirk on his face as he continued, probably because of the tremble in Buffy’s bones. It didn’t seem to matter for some reason, that the conversation topic was actually pretty serious. “You’ve seen it rip people apart,” he continued, still about black magic, “the way it would’ve ripped Red apart.” On the blue sheets, their hands together were kind of pretty; Buffy couldn’t help but admire them as Spike finished, “Holy magic’s the opposite of that. Light magic, but more than your usual white earth stuff…” The tone of his voice lowered, almost seductive, still talking. “Warrior of light, like you, you might survive it, but, Buffy…”

She snuck a glance at his face, not raising her head. Spike wasn’t focused on what he was saying: that much was obvious from the glassiness in his eyes. He certainly wasn’t recommending this course of action, and Buffy was happy to pretend she wasn’t taking it seriously either. “Well,” she conceded, full of tension she didn’t really expect to have that evening, “I guess if there’s no dragon we can contact anyway, who could help…”

“What?” Spike replied, playing with her thumb. The dryer was running, which was distinctly unsexy, but Buffy felt a little spellbound all the same. No. Recon now, other thoughts… “There’s a dragon who lives in the back of the Bronze,” Spike continued absently. “Holiest motherfucker in the country, by the tell of it. Who d’you think hoards all the decent beer in that place?”

Caught up in their unannounced game of thumb war, it took a moment for Buffy to take in what Spike had said. “Huh?” she asked, feeling it as her face screwed up.

It wasn’t entirely clear which one of them had forgotten what they were talking about. Buffy was confused for a moment; Spike’s eyes widened as he realised he would only be putting ideas in her head if he kept talking. “Er…” he began, groping for cover, his face a picture. “Nothing.”

“There’s a dragon in the Bronze?” Buffy insisted, not sure if she was confused or not.

Spike rolled his eyes, in a way that Buffy knew meant he was cursing himself. “Not a great one,” he admitted, which made no sense. “I’ve never met her; never bothered to ask for an invitation. Didn’t fancy getting fried. But,” he said, like this was something Buffy should really have known, “everyone knows she’s the only reason the Bronze is still standing. Also why they only serve Coors Light.”

Her mind churning, Buffy nodded, looking away. “But this dragon,” she suggested, “it – she might know some way to deal with the First.”

That was a good thought – a really hopeful thought. She didn’t know how to protect everyone; didn’t think it was fair, sometimes, that they expected her to. Nonetheless, if there was a way that wasn’t about taking on demonic energy, rotting the heart of who she was…

“Yeah,” Spike agreed, squeezing her hand to draw her attention back. She looked at him: he looked worried. “But, Buffy, it’s ridiculous. You can’t…”

He trailed off, presumably at her expression. Buffy wasn’t sure what she was feeling. It was mostly like hope, but it was something much more measured and rational than that. There was an idea here, a really serious idea about how they could beat back the First Evil. “It’s gotta be something we look into,” she said, staring Spike down.

He had that look he got sometimes, like he was exasperated and she was ridiculous, but also as though he wanted so badly to believe in what she was saying. It was one of those few looks that made Buffy feel like she could actually be a leader of people – and vampires, and whoever else she had on her side.

On this relentlessly squeaking mattress, Buffy couldn’t just feel it, she could hear it when Spike gave in. He slumped towards her. “Thank you,” she said seriously, reaching forward with her spare hand before she could think about it. Still caught up in the joy of this particular feeling, she clasped Spike’s cheek with her spare hand and kissed him, aiming for his cheek but hitting his lips mostly by accident.

It was short, close-mouthed, and – for them – pretty innocent. Yet, when it was over, Spike was staring at her like they’d entered a parallel universe.


“Did you do it to spite me?”


“As well as Giles. More than him. Did you do it to spite me?”

They were still sitting on the sofa, a little too late into the early morning after her date. Everyone had long gone to bed – they’d gone before Spike had first approached her – but now the air was quiet, with only the soft, uncanny sound of all the appliances just too far away in the kitchen. The house was asleep, and there was only the two of them to watch themselves.

Spike had been animated as he’d told her about his day, what he’d overheard from the Watchers. His eyes had lit up; his hands had gestured. Buffy knew it had been a mistake to turn back to him, to let him engage her, but she hadn’t been able to resist.

Now, however, she was trapped there with him looking at her like he wanted a serious answer. The questions had tumbled out of him and at least for the first couple of moments afterwards her eyes were caught in his earnest expression. Then, however, he caved before she could get over the shock. “Sorry,” Spike said, shaking his head, pulling back from her. “I didn’t mean that.”

“No,” Buffy said, reaching out before she could stop herself. Her hands landed on Spike’s, right where he was resting them in his lap. “You can ask me. You should ask me.”

He shouldn’t have been asking her, obviously. It had been a wake-up call, their conversation after Spike had woken up. All the panic, all the emotion she had felt for Spike down in the Initiative – Buffy knew she’d let herself go too far. It had been clear in his surprise and consternation afterwards, when she’d suggested he allow her to get into the intimate, squiggly grey matter of his head.

Really, she was ashamed of herself, for how much she wanted it. It wasn’t even that it was Spike, necessarily, maybe. Buffy knew it: she was lonely. To fix the trigger or not, the idea of having that sort of familiarity with someone, just for a little while, it was a tempting escape from playing the aloof woman at war.

Spike was looking at her, his hands a little shivery as Buffy held them. He looked afraid. “Well, did you?” he asked, like he could barely risk the intonation of a question. “It worked, if so,” he added, with too much self-deprecation. “I couldn’t bear it, the whole time you were gone, the thought of you and him…”

Right in front of her, Spike squeezed his eyes shut, a sort of violent urgency in him; Buffy wasn’t sure how to react. There was a way Spike had, of telling her too much, giving her the ammunition to hurt him, and it just made her wonder at what point he’d forgotten that she could still be his enemy. There was no way for her to protect him. “I did,” she whispered, proving how she wouldn’t keep him safe.

Because she had gone on the date to spite him. After all, the other thing that was more tempting than closeness to Spike? Rejecting that thought entirely. It had been easy, when she’d gone to work that day, to forget she even had a vampire at home in her basement who gave her those sort of thoughts. Buffy had pretended she was a free and casual investigator of the dating scene as well as potential evil, and every word had come easy.

Sometimes she didn’t understand her own actions.

It seemed that Spike did, though. He nodded, offering nothing but a wry quirk of his eyebrows. “Figures.”

As he looked away, Buffy caught Spike’s jaw in her hand. The quiet of the night made it seem like that was something she could actually do. As an immediate reaction, he covered her fingers with his own and looked back, his gaze intense. “Spike…”

Even as she trailed off, Buffy longed for one of them to do something. It wasn’t her place to start something with Spike, not really. Willow had already mocked her that day and Buffy knew her job was to be a role model for the girls. She couldn’t go around throwing herself at vicious creatures of the night.

Not that it was so very clear how this creature was vicious. As his gaze dropped away and he let go of her hand, Spike took seconds to make his excuses and leave her. All Buffy wanted was to follow after him.


It wasn’t all that fun going after Buffy, in the end. Even when the distress call came from Xander, giving Spike the perfect excuse to go and get the Slayer, he’d already been thrown for six by the First’s new commentary on him. That took most of the thrill out of the adventure.

More than that, by the time he got to the restaurant, it seemed as though dinner was almost finished anyway. Buffy was riding out the downswing of her glorious evening, sucking on pears and everything sweet. It made Spike’s head burn where the chip had been; his eyes and throat itching with the smell of sugar.

Still, it at least turned out that Robin Wood wasn’t quite the hard man Lydia had remembered. He seemed to have mellowed, shaved his head, though Spike knew appearances would always be deceiving. That much was clear from how the man looked at him, half a glimmer of recognition in his eyes the moment he clocked that Spike was a vampire.

Maybe it was the soul, but Spike couldn’t say he was hugely looking forward to whatever confrontation was dwelling in Wood’s eyes. Really, with what the First was saying about him, he wasn’t sure that he should be looking forward to it in any case, with anticipation or else with dread.

They rescued the boy, but Spike’s mind whirred all the way home. It was the soul, he was certain, taking him out of the moment and into his own head. Every thought he had these days, it was like the soul was behind it. And Buffy – she said nothing. She was distant, the way she’d been ever since the Initiative, and Spike knew his time had come.

With the excitement, and not least with Andrew’s nonsense, everyone went straight to bed that night. Before he could make it downstairs, though, Spike found himself caught up in one of these particularly nagging thoughts, telling him that Buffy needed to know. She needed to recognise… It was over between them – and it had long been so – and now it would be better if they both recognised it.

Of course, Spike was supposed to be ignoring voices in his head, but this time he didn’t. She did deserve to know, Spike figured. Not just about Wood and their connection, but about the rest of it. The daft ploy of Willow’s and Andrew’s. What the First had had to say about him, how it wasn’t time for him yet. What that meant.

Left behind by the crowd, Spike found Buffy curled up on the sofa, staring into not much of anything. When she noticed him, she smiled, but it didn’t reach her eyes. Spike figured she was probably still mad that he wouldn’t let her risk the quagmire that was his head, all the nasties he had set to hurt her – but he planned to say his piece in any case. It didn’t have to matter, anymore.

“How was the date?” he asked as an opening, though he could have kicked himself for saying it. Buffy raised her eyebrows, but since she didn’t say anything, Spike assumed he had an invitation to sit down. Sure enough, she shifted as if to accommodate him, no matter how there was masses of room. “I didn’t plan on interrupting,” Spike tried.

“But you sure found it easy,” Buffy bit back, not actually with all that much accusation in her voice. She rolled her eyes, as if at herself, then pulled a cushion towards her – corner up so she could play with it. “I had a good time,” she said, still defensive. “It was nice.” Then she paused. “How was your night?” she added politely, glancing at him.

It took a moment for Spike to realise he was hanging on her every word. “Yeah, fine,” he said eventually, unstable, looking away. “I read a book.”


Clasping his hands around his knees, Spike prayed for strength and took inventory of the coffee table. Pointless tray for no potpourri, yep. Book in a language he couldn’t recognise, yep. The discarded remains of a box of Twinkies, yep. Too many residents of this house were fucking slobs. “He’s a demon fighter too, I heard,” he finally found it within himself to say, trying to play it casual. “Wood. Son of a Slayer and everything.”

Startled, Buffy turned her head to look at him. “How did you know that?” she asked, a frown across her brow.

“Watchers,” he replied, with a shrug. Buffy nodded once, like it made sense. The tension between them threatened to return, so Spike ploughed right on through it. “Turns out Ms. Chalmers had the pleasure of meeting him once,” he said, “about ten years ago.” It wasn’t that he was dreading telling her this, exactly; she had probably already figured it out. Nonetheless, he took in a stiff breath to steady his nerves as he told it to her – not quite so straight. “Back when she was doing her research on me.”

Buffy looked at him for a long moment. The silence was gorgeous, somehow, and Spike wasn’t sure how he could ever… Then, as understanding struck, Buffy smoothed a hand across her forehead, massaging her temple when she reached it. “I flunk so hard at math,” she said, sounding annoyed at herself. “He said he was four; I figured he was thirty… And my life is full of coincidence. ’77, right?” she asked, putting Spike on the spot. “What was her name, Nikki? Nikki Wood?”

“Yeah.” Spike nodded, cold as he was thrown back into the conversation. Two years ago, the admission that he was even tangentially part of Buffy’s life would have been enough to warm him down to his balls. Now he just felt like he always did, a sack of wasted bones she should be rid of. “It’s looking like…” It went against every scrap of carrion he was, but fuck him, in the end – Spike finished, “It’s looking like I should make myself scarce.”

Buffy appeared surprised, but in the direction of somewhere else. Her eyes widened, staring over the other side of the room. She said nothing.

“Don’t think you heard,” Spike pushed it, pulling the words out of his chest. “About the First, earlier. Among everything else,” he explained, “it seems to reckon it’s not time for me yet. Sounds like I should get gone…”

“No,” Buffy replied, still not looking at him. That was it. Just ‘no’. No prevarication, no negotiation, just one single, point-blank command.

It pissed Spike off, but he tried to stay reasonable about it. It didn’t make sense, and Buffy didn’t seem to be in a rush to clarify, but he knew she never did, at first. With his eyes reading her body for anything she would give him, Spike pointed out the obvious. “You’ve got back-up,” he said, bracing himself for the moment she would let him go. “Way I hear it, he can handle himself, and the First can’t have its claws in him quite as deep as me. He’ll do for a fight.”

“That’s not why I need you here,” was what Buffy replied. The words hung in the air like stardust, and when she’d finished saying them Spike found Buffy offering him one long, superior glance, as if he was supposed to figure out what she meant and have it be enough for him.

A small, demonic, hopeful part of him – it did. That was the terrifying thing; it wanted to choke him and all.

What Spike really wanted to ask was where the principal fit in, if that was the case. What was tonight? Would he continue to take Buffy on dates even while Spike did whatever he was destined to do, which apparently wasn’t just to throw a few decent punches.

Knowing his luck, of course, Spike reckoned Buffy probably meant she needed him to do the laundry, which he did far too often. He had a superpowered sense of smell, so it only took a certain amount of dirty, hormone-ridden clothes to be left in the basement before he figured even the nasty soap stench would be better.

By the time his throat opened again, though, the moment had passed, so he didn’t ask. In any case, Spike had a feeling this particular Slayer wouldn’t give him a straight answer, so he stayed on the point about himself. “Did you not hear I’m a liability?” he asked, not letting himself meet her eyes, knowing she thought it too. “From how it sounds –”

“From how it sounds,” Buffy snapped, moving her cushion so it was no longer between them, “we should be talking to Althanea and getting your trigger fixed.” She stared him down, none of that cute girl left that he’d seen her playing on her date. Spike waited. “But I don’t wanna argue about that again,” she conceded, glancing down at the fuzzy brown seat cushions, the deep sharp line between them. “So don’t talk about leaving,” she finished, almost like it hurt her. “I don’t wanna hear it.”

Spike bit his tongue. It wasn’t as though he was particularly keen on the idea of leaving Revello Drive, let alone Sunnydale. Fun as it could be, also, he didn’t especially enjoy arguing with Buffy when she was in this particular mood. He sank back into the sofa, surrendering.

Still leaned forward, Buffy herself was back to contemplating the carpet, elbow on her knees and her hand almost covering her mouth. “You know,” she said, seemingly continuing her previous thought. Her tone was mellower, though. Spike stayed quiet, hands useless on his thighs. “I was talking to Giles the other day… Well, it was more like he came and talked to me.” She shrugged, as though the difference wasn’t important. “There was this whole thing. I couldn’t tell if he was warning me or if he was angry with me or…” Buffy rambled on. Eventually she finished, frowning, “He said we had a ‘connection’.”

Spike raised his eyebrows, wondering not for the first time what exactly Rupert’s game was. “You what?” he asked, going with the most likely eventuality. “You and the principal?”

Dropping her hand past her chin, Buffy looked at him as if he was being thick. Or else as if he was fishing.

“Oh,” Spike replied in surprise, consolidating that particular piece of information. The Ripper was talking about them as if they were together; Buffy was looking at him as if he was supposed to expect it. “Right.” It seemed a little sudden, as far as he was concerned. Presumably that was the way of things, sometimes. God help him that he didn’t need to breathe.

“I think I went on that date to spite him,” Buffy admitted, like she didn’t entirely understand it herself. Spike figured she could join the club. “Everything he was saying… Last year I would have killed to have a father-figure, but then he skips town and when he comes back he thinks he can talk about what he wants for me.”

“He cares about you,” Spike offered, hard-heartedly, mostly to check he could still speak. He looked down at the sofa arm, picked at a loose thread. Giles was never his favourite, but if he knew Buffy, she’d regret speaking ill of him in the long run. More than that, with this talk of skipping town, Spike was conscious how he’d not long been suggesting he do the very same. “Always has.”

Buffy sighed. “He’s got a funny way of showing it sometimes.” Spike risked another glance at her, and it seemed she was smiling at him, grimly and close-mouthed. “The difference between you and him, Spike,” she said, like she knew exactly what he was thinking, “is that when I ask you not to go, I figure you might actually listen.”

More than by anything she’d said that evening, Spike was taken aback. Even more so as Buffy stretched out her arm towards his hand. She took his fingers and squeezed them, just for a moment before she climbed off the sofa and onto her feet.

“We should both get some sleep,” she said, even more enigmatic than she’d been before.

Spike looked up at her, knowing from the ache in his bones and the hole in his head that she was right. It was back to the basement for him, until they found themselves in another day. All he wanted, of course, was to ask Buffy not to leave him, maybe keep him company a little while longer – but he had no idea how she’d respond, because that was the way of things, wasn’t it?

“Interesting chat I had with the Watchers,” he said at last, quickly, just as she’d turned away. He had his hands on the edge of the seat cushion, ready to follow after her. After all, Spike was nothing if not pathetic. “Doesn’t sound like they’re all that fond of Giles.”

Miracle of miracles, Buffy turned back. The smallest hint of light in her eyes, it seemed like she could be tempted by gossip. “Really?” she asked, her tone not giving anything away.

“Yeah,” Spike replied, gearing himself up to tell her all about it. As it was, he felt a flutter on his nerves as she came back to him. Without him even asking, she joined him again on the sofa, and this time she settled herself into the centre. Spike had to pull himself back into the corner so he could see her and there was only about an inch between his knees and hers. He started talking. “I was in the kitchen, like you can imagine…”

Of course he wouldn’t ask her if she’d gone on that date to spite him. With her change in tone, Spike was trying not to think it. He knew he shouldn’t.


Thump thump thump thump thump thump thump thump…

With the demon dead, all Buffy could hear was the blood pounding through her ears. It was overwhelming, for a moment; it made her shut her eyes, like she was on the brink of something. Possibly dying.

…thump thump thump thump…

The darkness, when she looked again, was disorientating, with no other sounds for her to orientate herself within. Bereft of bearings, Buffy glanced around wildly – until she was able to pinpoint where her flashlight had fallen, thrown to the ground where its light had died.

…thump thump…

Her footsteps were heavy as she trudged over. On the way, she gradually came back to herself, blood rushing to her head as she bent down to retrieve the stupid thing.

It didn’t seem right, somehow, that she’d been so stressed out by so short a fight. Obviously, she wasn’t getting enough rest just recently, but as far as Buffy could tell there was nothing she could do about that. There were so many things to think about, things she didn’t have time to think about, not least…

“Buffy?” Spike murmured from behind her, his voice weak in the darkness with what had to yet be a bucketload of pain. This had been demon number five, after all, and that made five too many. The two of them had been working through the Initiative for at least an hour, but they’d yet to recognise any of the rooms or the drugs contained within. The complex was far bigger than either of them had anticipated.

Feeling slow, Buffy grabbed the flashlight, spun on grit, and made her way back to Spike’s side. “Damn discount store junk…” she swore as her now apparently broken light refused to come on, trying to keep things casual, no matter that things were starting to look pretty hopeless. “Spike?”

Buffy looked down at him, crouching. He was slumped on the ground where he had been since the last demon attack, propped against the wall. “Are you OK?” she asked, taking his wrist in her hand. “I mean – dumb question. Are you…”

He groaned.

Throwing the useless flashlight away, Buffy reached over to Spike’s, which was at least still good where it lay by his side. It was turned away from them, throwing light into nowhere, so she turned it back towards Spike’s leg.

Of course, when she did that, Buffy’s heart had nothing to do but sink. In each room, with each fight, it had felt like Spike was getting weaker, but now it was clear they had real problems. In the recast light, it looked more like he’d been in a fight than her. Blood was dribbling from his nose, dark and shining, and his eyes were closed in pain. The light cast deep shadows across his forehead, where a scowl was dragging furrows. If anything, he seemed paler than usual – and this was halogen. “God, Spike,” Buffy whispered, feeling every ache from her recent fights, feeling – lost. “God; what do I do?”

What was the point of it all, really, if this was where they found themselves?

Spike, thankfully, didn’t acknowledge that particularly stupid question. Nor the moment of weakness Buffy felt herself instantly recoil from. “We’re not gonna find it,” he muttered instead, telling them both what they already knew. “Not even sure if I’m remembering right anymore. We should…”

“Don’t talk like that,” Buffy warned him, resisting the urge to panic. She took a tighter grip on his wrist, like a show of her strength would be enough for him to find his. “Don’t – don’t talk,” she stuttered as blood gathered on his lip. “Relax. I’ll…”

She didn’t know what they were going to do. The flower shop was clearly a bust, for real. Here, it seemed like there was nothing but demons and bad memories, and plenty of them.

Possibly now, Buffy knew, the darkness was getting to her, but it all seemed so unfair. It had only been in the last few days that Spike had acted as though he was getting better after the Turok Han’s torture. After the high school basement and his return into the killing fields, why didn’t they deserve a break?

“We’ve gotta keep looking,” Buffy said, trying to push her feelings aside and focus in on the facts. “I think…” In the periphery of the light, on the wall across from them, it looked like there was a cabinet there. The glazed door had long been smashed, but there were still bottles tucked into the corners. “Can you remember what this stuff looks like? What it smells like?” She glanced down at her patient, just in time for him to wince, his whole body jerking with what had to be another shock. “Spike…”

On instinct, she moved. Leaning in, closer to him, Buffy pressed one set of fingers to Spike’s jaw and ran the others along his hairline. It was dark enough that she could convince herself no one would know how close she brought her face to his, that it didn’t matter and wouldn’t matter to acknowledge how little his touch repulsed her now. How that repulsion had become attraction, again.

“I don’t know how to make it better,” she whispered, squinting to see his features in the shadows.

“Don’t,” Spike enunciated, the words barely audible. He trembled with pain, shuddering again, against her. “Don’t…”

He was fading, and if he’d been human Buffy knew she should be trying to keep him awake. Nothing the chip did could kill him, though, so as she felt the weight of Spike’s head in her hand, she figured it probably be best to get some sleep. “It’s… It’s OK,” she promised, giving in in a way she knew she shouldn’t, changing her tone to reassure him. “I’ll figure something out,” she said. The words were light, sibilant as they left her, softening her lips just before she pressed a kiss to Spike’s forehead.

It was a bad idea, to let herself. It was a really bad idea, one she shouldn’t have had – but he was out by the time Buffy pulled back. Then she was alone in the dark, with nothing but regret and a pounding heart.


[free association V]
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quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)

December 2015

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