But it was dark, and she didn't turn a light on because she didn't want to wake anyone. Didn't want to answer any questions. Face any accusing eyes. So she shuffled into the kitchen, filled a glass with water, and stood staring out into the endless black hole outside her widow.
His voice was soft and low, but still she jumped with surprise and nearly dropped her glass into the sink. She put the tumbler down and grabbed a towel to dry her now wet hand.
"I didn't know you were there," Buffy said. "You scared me." She flipped on the light over the sink, tossed the towel on the counter, and turned around.
He was smirking at her from across the room, and sauntered towards her slowly with that confident, loose hipped gait that she hadn't seen since...well, in a long time. She was suddenly struck with the memory of another time when he had approached her as she stood at this kitchen sink, calling her "Goldilocks" of all things. Like her life could ever be confused with a fairy tale. Still, her heart beat quickened at the thought.
He stopped well short of her this time, though. "Scared you, did I?" He raised an eyebrow innocently. Then - "Good." His eyes blazed blue fire. "Perhaps now I'll meet with your approval, Slayer."
She knew she had hurt him. She also knew she was right. He needed to get it together if he was going to be of any use to them. If he was going to keep himself from being killed. That thought terrified her, and kind words would not have brought the fighter, the killer in him out of hiding. She had been so sure that she had done the right thing, right up until this moment. Now, though, she was just the girl who had hurt him. And she wanted to make it better. For once, let her make it better.
"Spike, I'm sorry..."
"Don't you dare." Before she knew it she was backed against the kitchen sink, just like that time before, his arms on either side of her, but this time it was not a seduction. The fire in his eyes had turned to steel, hard and cold. He was so close that she could smell the cigarettes on his breath as he leaned down into her face and spit the words out at her. "Don't you dare say you're sorry now."
She willed herself not to cry. She would not cry in front of him. She tried to get mad, tell him off, push him away. But she couldn't. Instead, she just stood there, bent back over the sink, engulfed in despair. Was is worth it? Was saving the world even fucking worth it? After what the shadow men had shown her, she didn't even think she could do that. She raised her eyes to meet his.
"I don't know what I'm doing."
She could see the struggle taking place on that expressive face, but it lasted only an instant before his features softened, and he took a step back. "Yes, you do. You were tough on us, but you needed to be. Kicked my ass into gear, now, didn't you?"
"Why are you doing this?" she asked.
"Being nice to me?"
His face hardened again. "I'm not. I just...oh, bugger it." He shook his head and felt in his pockets for his cigarettes. "Goin' out for a smoke," he said, turning on his heel and walking out in a sweep of leather as the screen door banged shut behind him.
She turned out the light and let her eyes adjust to the darkness. Buffy could see the red glow of his cigarette out on the porch. She'd confused the hell out of him, she knew. She was good at that. He didn't know what she wanted, and neither did she. It was good that he was mad at her again. At least she could give him that.
Buffy watched that small red circle move up, then down, then up again for several minutes. Then it disappeared momentarily before his lighter sparked and he lit another one. She could see his perfect profile, glowing in the light of the flame, before the lighter snapped closed, and he was plunged into darkness once again.
The demon in him made her body sing. The man in him made her heart ache. She wished she wasn't so screwed up about love. She wished she was better with words. And feelings. She wished they had more time. She wished the world wasn't about to end. She thought about what he'd said to her, the night she first discovered his soul. He wanted to be the man she deserved. Well, he wasn't.
She would never deserve someone as beautiful as him.