Disclaimer - Everything belongs to Joss
Rating- NC-17 - language and sex
Pairing- B/S, X/A, W/T
Summary - Post HB - Spike leaves Sunnydale and gets caught up in that pesky route of redemption, Buffy attempts to come to terms with her feelings, while a new evil arrives in Sunnydale.
Feedback - Yes please!
Distribution – Sure why not. Just let me know where it’s going.
She watched his figure retreat, absently tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear. She half-expected him to turn around. Tell her he couldn’t go. Not like this. Not with so many unanswered questions. And part of her knew that if he did turn around, all would be lost. She didn’t have the strength to fight anymore. She wanted him, that was for certain. She wanted him in ways that were dark, iniquitous, and just plain perverse. Her body betrayed her every second of every day, responding to his lascivious call with a painful indifference to truth or consequence. And her knowledge of this made it all the more disquieting. That she should want him to stay, now that was something she was wholly unprepared for. He, who tried to kill her and her friends on more than one occasion. He, who had killed indiscriminately for over a century. He, who felt no remorse.
He … was gone.
Buffy released the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. She stared out into the darkness, unable to believe that he had truly left. She slowly sat down on the porch, hugging her knees to her body, a sudden chill coursing through her. She shivered, closing her eyes to the night around her. She felt empty. Lost. Utterly alone. It occurred to her that this was how it was supposed to be. This was what she had wanted for the longest time. Hell, she had practically begged him to leave on more than one occasion.
Then, why did it all feel so … unsettling?
The door behind her opened with a decided creak, snapping Buffy out of her silent reverie. Willow cautiously approached her, immediately sensing the frail mind-set her friend bore at the moment. She sat only after Buffy acknowledged her, looking up at her with a faint smile seemingly etched across her face.
For a while, Willow said nothing. She regarded Buffy’s behavior with a watchful eye, wondering what could have transpired in such a short amount of time to completely alter her mood. It didn’t take too long to come to the conclusion that the inner-workings of Buffy Summers were just too damn complicated to even attempt to decipher. She yawned and stretched her legs out over the steps. Buffy glanced side-ways at her, hoping against hope that she wouldn’t notice-
“So, Spike was here, huh?”
A man handed his own beating heart to hold couldn’t have looked more surprised than Buffy did at that moment. “Wh what?” she stuttered, shifting awkwardly. “How did you … did you see us … him?”
Willow calmly pointed to the remains of Spike’s cigarette smoldering in the grass. She peered at Buffy suspiciously. “Why are you so jumpy?”
“Jumpy? I’m not jumpy. I’m the opposite of jumpy. I’m … jumpless.”
“Whatever you say.” She smiled softly. “So … what did he say to make you so … jumpless?”
Buffy diverted her eyes, inwardly chastising herself for her innate ability to be so transparent. “Oh, nothing much,” she lied. “The usual.”
“And just what is ‘the usual’ to you guys nowadays?” She pretended at being nonchalant, casting her eyes to her feet.
Buffy sighed, looking up at the stars above her. “Oh, you know. He came to see if I was ok, and then we talked about Halfrek.” She glanced over at Willow questioningly. “Did you know she was trying to curse Xander?”
Willow nodded soberly. “I got the story in the car. Something about Spike pretending to like her so he could get close enough to break the pendant. He didn’t really go into much detail … I guess she’s human now, though.” She laughed. “What I wouldn’t have given to see her face when-”
“Ohh kay. That’s enough of that subject.”
Willow looked over at her confused. “What’s up with you?”
Buffy took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I’m sorry. I’m just a little off tonight. Probably has something to do with almost being sent back to the grave and all. Don’t take it personally.”
Willow nodded, an uneasy feeling beginning to take up residence in the pit of her stomach. She glanced at the smoldering cigarette again, and then back at her friend. “Buffy … what did he say? Really.”
Buffy took in Willow’s sober expression and decided a more candid approach would be best. “He … he just left.”
Willow furrowed her brow. “Well, that’s a given, considering he’s not here and all. But that’s-”
“No, Will. I mean he left. Left as in gone. Hasta la vista Sunnydale.” She drew in a shaky breath, not daring to look at Willow, not wanting her to know just how ok she wasn’t about the sudden turn of events.
“Oh.” Willow paused thoughtfully. “Well, that’s kind of strange, huh?” She pulled herself up into a sitting a position. “Did he say why?”
Buffy shook her head slowly. “Not really. Something about needing to move on.” She chewed on her lower lip.
“Well that was … unexpected. It’s gonna be kind of weird not having him around annoying us all the time.” She shrugged nonchalantly, and Buffy briefly wondered if she was the only one that was remotely conflicted about his departure.
Of course I’m the only one. Every one else is normal.
“Yeah, well … I guess it just took me by surprise. After all these years of telling him to leave town and he chooses now to listen to me?” Buffy stood up slowly, wincing as her muscles protested against the sudden movement. She leaned against the porch rail to regain her composure, glancing down at Willow, who was starting to get up as well.
“I didn’t think he’d ever go. Especially not after tonight. I was beginning to think you were going to have to have that ‘talk’ with him again.” Willow started toward the back door.
“What do you mean?” Buffy asked, eyes widening.
“Oh, you know, the whole ‘you’re a vampire, I slay your kind, not lay your kind’. That talk.”
“Willow!” Buffy couldn’t help but laugh. “Seriously, though. Why especially after tonight?”
Willow shuffled her feet uncomfortably. “He was kind of … oh, I dunno, possessive? Like in the car. You weren’t moving or anything, so we were kind of worried. But he wouldn’t let any of us touch you. Kept saying you were fine and to give you ‘some bloody air’.” She laughed at her horrible attempt at a British accent. “Well, maybe not quite like that.”
Buffy was silent, unexpectedly touched. She shrugged the feeling off quickly. Can’t think like that anymore. He left. It’s better this way … for both of us. She smiled wanly at Willow and followed her to the door. Before she entered the house, she turned around one last time, surveying the yard. She felt him there, for a moment. And as quickly as the feeling came, it vanished. Buffy shook her head and followed Willow into the house.
Spike didn’t leave immediately. It had been difficult enough to walk away from her in the backyard. He touched his lips where she had kissed him. Oh, God, that kiss. It had been quite a long time since Spike had felt that weak-in-the-knees, sickening feeling, despite all evidence to the contrary. He had been in love with Buffy for years, but it had always been a dark, all-consuming passionate love, spurred on by his hatred for her. But that last kiss …
He closed his eyes, remembering her, her eyes full of quiet desperation as she slowly pulled his mouth to hers. When their lips met, the world around them dissolved into nothingness, a deep abyss of muted sounds and faded background, until all that remained was her. He clung to her fiercely, knowing it would all be over soon, and he would somehow have to find the strength to walk away. After a few moments, he felt his body respond to her, aching to pull her closer, make her his again. Realizing that he was rapidly approaching the point of no return, he pulled away. It was at that moment that he knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that he would never get over her. But she was hurting because of him, and he had to leave. He forced himself to turn away from her, trudging reluctantly across the yard, and finally, out of sight.
Spike sighed, silently cursing himself. He shouldn’t have kissed her. Of all the idiotic things he had done (and there were quite a few) allowing himself that last kiss probably topped the list.
He turned around, peering through the heavy foliage he was standing behind, and watched as Willow and Buffy got up to go in the house. He froze as Buffy turned and gazed in his direction. The desire to return to her, to take her in his arms once again, overwhelmed him, and he fought against it, finally turning and leaving.
As he got farther and farther away, he found each step to be easier than the one before it. There was a sense of stillness in him now, spreading over him slowly until he felt completely at ease. It occurred to him that this must be what doing the right thing felt like. He had felt it once before, at the wedding. When he had left.
Spike smiled wryly, lit a cigarette, and disappeared into the night.
my foundation was rocked
my tried and true way to deal was to vanish
my departures were old
i stood in the room shaking in my boots
at that particular time love had challenged me to stay
at that particular moment i knew not to run away again
that particular month i was ready to investigate with you
at that particular time
we thought a break would be good
for four months we sat and vacillated
we thought a small time apart
would clear up the doubts that were abounding
at that particular time love encouraged me to wait
at that particular moment it helped me to be patient
that particular month we needed time to marinate in what “us” meant
at that particular time
i’ve always wanted for you
what you’ve wanted for yourself
and yet i wanted to save us high water or hell
and i kept on ignoring the ambivalence you felt
and in the meantime i lost myself
in the meantime i lost myself
i’m sorry i lost myself … i am
you knew you needed more time
time spent alone with no distraction
you felt you needed to fly
solo and high to define what you wanted
at that particular time love encouraged me to leave
at that particular moment i knew staying with you meant deserting me
that particular month was harder than you’d believe
but i still left
at that particular time
-Alanis Morissette “That Particular Time”
Continued in Chapter 2: Moving On