Summary: Close your eyes and let's pretend.
Author Notes: Waves to ciegae!
Disclaimer: Not mine. No profit. No prophet, either.
Some days, even on cool days, it's almost hard to remember. He mutters in his sleep, tosses covers about. He drinks her guava juice because he likes the taste, and steals the peapods from her salads. He hums when he's working on his bike, and bitches at what she picks when it's her turn to choose the radio station.
He wears his hair natural now, the colour of golden brown sugar. She was surprised to find that it curled, slightly. IT is a small, unexpected sweetness. He wears black jeans and white t-shirts. He picks up spare cash doing odd jobs just this side of legal, but this side, nonetheless. At least, the jobs he tells her about.
Sometimes, he gets very, very drunk and starts fights. With her. With guys in the bar. Frequently with Xander.
Once, rather memorably, with fourteen feet of Anakim demon, who was kind enough to bring him home after mopping the floor with him.
And he loves her. Not in the way of blood or poetry, but in the way of small, prosaic things. Like tea before she even knows she wants it, the kind her mother bought. Like curling together, watching soaps in a shaded living room. Like his share of the rent, on time, every time, and clean laundry, at least sometimes. Like well-whittled stakes and a back that's always, always covered.
He's not ... innocent, or even particularly noble. She hasn't been that nave for years. He cheats at cards and he's always considering the angles. He has very little regret for what he's done in the past, and far too much rage. He blames others too easily, himself not easily enough. He lies to her, she knows, but he knows she knows so ... it doesn't really matter that much because his lies are words and he's still here, six years and he's still here and that is its own sort of truth.
He's still hungry for something, she knows that as well. Probably for something far more vital than blood, but she doubts he'll ever realize that. Sees the hunger in his eyes, hears the echo of it when he picks at a guitar or revs his bike or comes home smelling like some other girl's sweat and sour-sweetness. Tastes it when he holds her down and takes everything she has to give, when he sighs brokenly in the aftermath.
But for all that, for all his frailties, despite his bent little shard of mortal coil tucked away inside ... he's still a vampire. His body ... it's always a little cool against her, room temperature, and people, they're hotter than that. They bleed out their warmth and vigour into the air, but Spike, he pulls it in, swallows it up. So he's always just a little cool, a little unreal.
Except when it's hot out, and his skin is the temperature of human blood. She likes to lay under him, feel him press her into the mattress when it's hot like that, likes to pretend the salt is his sweat and not her tears, that the crazy beat is his heart, not her jackrabbiting pulse.
Wants this to be ... realer than it is, realer than he can ever make it.
He always asks, so softly, "Why the tears, Little Bit?"
But she always shakes her head and bites him until the blood flows, because to tell him would shatter what heart he has, the tenuous flutter of his humanity that he's trusted her with. To lose what bit of humanity she, herself, possesses, because at least he was born human.
Whereas she ... she's not at all certain what she is, only has the faintest whisper of an idea of it when they're tangled up and the heat melts them together until maybe, between them both, they might just make something complete and real and human.