Pairing: B/S implied
Note: breaks from canon part way through AtS 5.11
Disclaimer: not my characters, but my story
Distribution: Do not post elsewhere without permission. Ask, I may say yes.
"Spike." Timorous, she moves towards him, studies his familiar form and aspect. He looks tired, and his expression is guarded. His hands are buried in his pockets, and she sees his shoulders tense and release as if suppressing the urge to reach for her. Swallowing down the hurt she feels, she gives him a watery smile, steps into his personal space. Looks up at him. His eyes are agonized pools in the stone mask of his face.
She comes the remaining half step closer, places her hands against him, leans in, rests her head on his familiar quiet chest. Beneath her it quakes, as if with a sob. His arms close around her, and she closes her eyes in contentment.
He is not holding her as he used to, though. Always, whether in the desperate clutch of lovemaking or a tentative comforting embrace, in his arms she could feel his hands holding her. Gripping bruises into her hips as she rode. Gentling touches along the wings of her shoulder blades when she was trying to find her way back after flying to bits. Or cradling her head and petting her through layers of clothing as they lay together on top of a stranger's bed two nights before the world ended. Before his world ended.
She traced the back of his wrist as insomnia stalked her in the cavernous pre-battle basement night. And through their clasped hands she felt his beautiful luminous soul, his love, felt her own soul answer as their woven digits caught ablaze. Surely that meant something. Surely that means something to him?
She can't feel his hands. She doesn't think he wants to hold her. He hugs her loose and awkward as a distant relative at an airport. No, worse -- as if he'd be contaminated if he let the pads of his fingertips so much as brush her coat. Her face pulls tight as she absorbs this blow. When she steps back, his hands are already vanished into his coat.
His eyes are midnight now, opaque and cold. The glitter in them is like snow in a winter sky. "It's good to see you looking so well," he says, formal, distant.
She wants him to reach for her, cup her face, kiss her. He doesn't. A moment more their gazes hold, and then his drops away. With a swish of animal hide concealing slumped shoulders, he has departed, down a hallway, through an arch, away. She stares.
"What..." Tears well up, seemingly from her toes.
"He's not..." Angel is there, still, she supposes. She turns a wild gaze his way. "He's hurting, Buffy. It's hard for him." She gapes now, hearing one ex-lover defend and explain another, whom he never really liked. She doesn't understand. Doesn't want to hear Angel speak the unthinkable, that Spike doesn't want...
Shakes her head, causing more tears to slip free and fall.
"I... I shouldn't have come here," she mumbles. She heads towards the elevator, pushes a button, presses her forehead and one clammy hand to the cold metal door, steadying herself until it pings.