Setting: The main action takes place in Chosen from the scene where Buffy is alone on the porch through the S/B scene in the basement we didn’t get to see. It’s intercut with scenes from previous seasons.
Rating: Techically NC-17 - in fact more like 16.5
Disclaimer: There are many things I don't own. Among them, Buffy, Stupid Thing by Nickel, Let's Face the Music and Dance by Irving Berlin. But I do own an Yves St. Laurent fall coat. So ner ner.
With thanks to my heavenly betas gargoyle and caille. Caille a special thanks for making me shoot for something "memorable." Hope I haven't let you down.
A band played in the background.
I did a stupid thing last night / I called you / A moment of weakness / No, not a moment / More like three months of weakness
Groups of laughing, drinking teens clotted the club. The laughter paused whenever he passed. People gave way for him instinctively, sensing menace where all they could see was a self-assured grin.
I'm one step away from crashing to my knees / One step away from spilling my guts to you
He searched the dance floor with his eyes. There she was. Blonde, ripe, vulnerable. She could dance, this one. He liked it when they danced.
I'm doing all right / No, don't feel sorry for me / Really I'm all right / I'm one step away from crashing to my knees
He circled round, came closer, never taking his eyes from her. Her high tight breasts pressed against the cloth of her skimpy top. Her hips moved to the music, the rhythm of a long, slow fuck.
She had a sweet smile. Innocent. That’s what she wanted the boys to think. What they would be thinking was what she could do with that mouth.
Just the right mix of virgin and minx, this one was.
* * * * *
Buffy stood on the porch and looked out at everything and nothing.
It’s so quiet, she thought. How come the night before the apocalypse is always so quiet? In L.A. at least they had that whole ‘hey-look-at-me’ fire in the skyogram.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the cemetery… bam. Your past sneaks up, punches out the bad guy and makes with the scary boo.
O.K. not so scary.
And - Buffy suddenly realized - not so boo hoo anymore. He came. He saw. He didn’t conquer. Progress.
Angel would always be there, in her heart. But more as a presence from the past, than a presence in the … present. And, what would Giles do with that sentence? she wondered.
Buffy stroked the porch rail absently. She thought of Spike. Nestled in bed with him, stroking his arm. Just before the First descended all Caleb and mocking smiles. Mocking Buffy-smiles coming at her from her own face. She wondered what it would feel like to wipe the smile off that face. Possibly ironic. Definitely satisfying.
If it worked.
The Big Idea to put down the Big Bad. No point thinking it to death. It was the only plan they had. Their only chance. And only time would tell if Willow could pull it off.
Time. She sighed and looked out at the night. Maybe a couple of hours left before the battle. Time to kill before the time to kill.
This could be the end. Even if the plan worked, if she lived, it would be the end of life as she knew it. Only two more hours to just be Buffy. Whatever that meant.
She’d looked in on Dawn earlier as she slept. Most of the girls were sleeping, or pretending to. But there were some lights on in the house. Giles, Xander, Anya, Amanda and someone else… Andrew maybe? in the dining room. Willow’s light was on. Probably up to her elbows in the spell. Or up to some lovey-dovey with Kennedy.
That left Spike. More and more, for her, it came down to Spike.
* * * * *
The interior of a long-abandoned church. Midnight.
If the Slayer had thought about it, she couldn’t have denied the grim irony. At the altar, her demon lover hung like an undead crucifix, giving life to the vampire bitch nailed to him.
But the Slayer was too busy to think. Trading punches with Patrice policeperson. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw another girl, the black Slayer, pummeling him. Him. The Vampire. That grinning jerk.
She punched the woman. Again. And again. And wanted only to put her hands on his throat. To squeeze him until he popped. Wipe that smirk off his face. She throbbed with rage.
She signaled the other Slayer. Switch!
Much better. Her body relaxed fractionally. She smiled, satisfied with the new arrangement. Just her and him now. He grinned. He wanted it too. Good. They circled each other. Step, cross, step, cross.
She sprang at him. They rolled with the impact. She crushed him in her grip and felt him grunt and push back hard.
Yeah. Just the two of them now.
* * *
Spike sat on his cot, dangling the amulet, mesmerized. The stone caught the moonlight and refracted it, casting shards of light around the cellar.
What’s your secret? Spike wondered. He twirled the pendant, turning its light-show into a kaleidoscope, then watched the fragments regroup as the twirling slowed to a stop.
Whatever magic the amulet held for the battle, Spike believed the greatest miracle had already transpired. She picked me, he thought, chuffed. He shook his head as if in a fog. Me, not the giant poofter. Whatsishair. Ought to call him Hair-gel, not An-gel.
She’d called him her Champion. And not just her Champion either. Chance to save the whole gobsmacked world here, mate. Chance to save yourself.
No. That was taking the whole redemption bit too far. One thing Broody Boy had right. You can make amends all you want. You can save the bloody world time after time. But you can’t wipe the slate clean. Not of the deeds we’ve done.
Still, Buffy had chosen him. She had faith in him. She had faith in herself because of him. It didn’t make up for his past. But it meant something in the present. He stopped staring at the amulet and put it around his neck. It felt solid, good.
A shaft of light appeared at the top of the stairs. He looked up. There she stood. Haloed, shimmering, assured.
* * *
The alley stank of fresh garbage and stale urine. She barely noticed. Instead, her eyes stayed riveted to the Vampire. She choked back her rage as he played out the death of one of her kind, another Slayer. It was what she asked him for. But it sickened her. His pleasure in it sickened her. And – god help her – fascinated her too.
The Vampire plunged whole into the death- dance on the subway. Saw it again, tasted it again, palpable. Oh yes – that one could dance. God! The sheer exhilaration of it.
Now, here in the alley, he danced toward this girl. Her. This living girl. A woman now, really. Yeah. A woman. He wanted to dance with her now, the way a man dances with a woman.
She backed away from him, disgust colouring her features. Then she threw money at him, her whore. Her paid-for piece of jetsam, just another scrap of garbage on the heap.
He didn’t remember exactly how he got to her house. Vague impression of squatting in an alley – tears of rage, then swallowing back the humiliation, scrambling for a weapon. Here he stood, now, in her yard. Shotgun in his hand. Facing her, that bitch. He’d give her what she deserved. He’d grind her beneath him.
He strode up to her, where she sat on the porch steps. He cocked the gun. She looked up, startled. He saw the tears staining her cheeks… and it broke his heart.
* * *
Buffy walked down the steps into the cellar. As her eyes adjusted to the moonlit room, she saw Spike stand up from the cot. They looked at each other for a long moment.
“Two more hours, give or take,” she said. She nodded her head back up towards the stairs to indicate the others. “We’re as ready as we’re going to be.”
“Ripeness is all,’” he said, almost to himself.
“Shakespeare. King Lear,” he explained. She still looked quizzical, so he continued. “Men must endure/Their going hence even as their coming hither/Ripeness is all.”
“Phew,” he exhaled, and thought about it. “Okay. We live. We die. That’s the same for everyone. What counts –makes the difference- is who we are in the living and the dying. Get it? How… full and ready and primed we are in each moment.” He felt suddenly foolish and professorial. “Like a peach, when it’s ready for plucking. You know? Ripe.”
“K,” Buffy smiled. “Ripe peach. I like it. Way better than unbaked cookie dough.”
“Splainy?” he echoed.
“Nothing,” she said. Then emphatically, “Really.”
They stood silently for a few seconds.
“Well,” Buffy said. “Ripeness is all, I hear tell.” She looked away from him, seemed to gather her nerve, then looked him in the eye. “So if we’re already ripe, maybe it’s time we did some… plucking.”
* * * * *
The Queller leaped at the woman, crashing her against a wall. She threw it off and tried to regroup, find some way to kill it.
From nowhere, the man’s voice called her name. He hurled a knife. She caught it, their timing perfect, choreographed. She buried the knife in the Queller. Again. And again. Then, when all its life was drained from it, she threw off its carcass.
And there was his hand. Ready. Waiting. She grasped it and he pulled her up in one fluid motion.
* * * * *
Buffy suddenly stood right up next to Spike. When had she crossed the room? he wondered. She took his hand and moved it to her cheek. Then she smiled at him, and kissed him softly on the mouth.
Spike craned his head back, startled. He hadn’t been this surprised since the first time she kissed him, after Glory’s torture clinic. Even the night in the broken-down house, when she’d first climbed on top of him, he’d felt more shock than surprise.
Don’t be a prat, he thought. She kissed Angel hello. She’s kissing you goodbye. It’s what friends do.
* * * * *
“I’d do it. For the right person? Yeah. I’d do it.”
* * * * *
Then Buffy touched her hands to his face and drew him in towards her. She kissed him again. This time there was no mistaking it. It was a lover’s kiss, not a friend’s.
“Buffy, we can’t. I can’t.”
She sat on the cot. “You don’t deserve forgiveness, you don’t deserve love? Is that it?”
“Yeah. Pretty much,” he said, sitting down next to her.
* * * * *
Why are you always around when I'm miserable?
* * * * *
“Look,” Buffy said. “In case you hadn’t noticed, this house is a Festival of Redemption. If it was any more redeemy we’d have to validate parking. Faith, Giles, Xander, Willow, Andrew… and did I mention Faith? At least you had the excuse of being a Vampire when you … killed people. They were human.”
“Yeah.” He shut his eyes and swallowed hard. Then he turned to her. “But, they didn’t try to rape you.”
* * * * *
“Every night I save you.”
* * * * *
It took her a few moments to answer. “That was then,” she said. He started to reply, but she shushed him.
“Some things you can’t explain with your head, so don’t even ask me,” she continued. “All I know is, that was then. This is now.”
* * * * *
I’m not ready for you not to be here.
* * * * *
He shook his head, no.
“Yes,” she insisted. “In between, everything’s changed. You’ve changed. I’ve changed. Crap, what it means to be a Slayer is about to change forever.”
“You may have forgiven me, but I haven’t forgiven mys – .”
“Dance with me,” she cut him off.
* * * * *
I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman. You're the one, Buffy.
“I believe in you, Spike….”
* * * * *
“What?” he squinted.
“You. Dance. With. Me…. Aww, come on. What’s the matter? Afraid I’ll bite?”
He snorted, then ambled to his feet.
“There’s no music,” he pointed out.
“So, sing to me. Please?”
She sidled up to him and put her arms up over his shoulders, hands around the back of his neck.
“Sing what?” he asked, gently removing her arms.
He placed her left hand at his waist, and grasped her right hand in his left, the traditional ballroom stance, complete with space between them. She frowned, but didn’t close the gap.
“Anything. Except the Ramones!” she instructed.
“Pfft. There goes my repertoire,” he joked.
“Puh-lease,” she dismissed. “You’re like a gazillion years old. You must know some old timey songs. Romantic ones.”
“It’s romance you want, then?”
She looked up into his eyes. So intense. Dancing with light and laughter and tragedy. All at the same time. How could eyes do that? she wondered.
“Yeah,” she said. “Something old-fashioned and romancey.”
He closed his eyes and thought. Then a smile crept over his face.
As he began to sing, they swayed and moved infinitesimally closer.
“There may be trouble ahead./But while there’s music, and moonlight/And love and romance/Let’s face the music and dance.”
Buffy beamed up at him. Perfect, her smile said.
“Before the fiddlers have fled…”
She closed the final sliver of space between them, and laid her head against his shoulder.
”Before they ask us to pay the bill…”
He trembled at her nearness. His body wanted to grab and hold and … Christ. He couldn’t let himself. He. It wasn’t… Sing. He could sing. And they could dance. It was only a dance.
“And while we still have that chance/Let's face the music and dance.”
Her heart thudded so hard, she thought she’d go deaf with it. The feel of him here, molded to her, the scent of his musk filling her senses. Please god. Why couldn’t he let it be simple?
”Soon, we'll be without the moon/Humming a different tune, and then…”
He struggled to stay calm. Every fibre, every nerve, every muscle tingled. The air itself was redolent with her scent. He inclined his head to hers. Buried his face in her hair. Got lost in its silk, its softness. He moved a hand to her face, and touched his finger tips to the velvet of her cheek. No, mustn’t… don’t deserve…. He pulled himself out of his reverie.
“There may be teardrops to shed/So while there's music and moonlight/And love and romance/Let's face the music and dance….”
Their arms were around each other now. They floated and whirled in unison, their bodies languorous, taut, alive. Blood thundering, skin hot, souls aching.
“Dance with me, Spike,” Buffy begged. “Dance with me.”
He kissed her lightly on the lips, then looked back into her face. She nodded, her eyes serene, her face utterly open. He kissed her again, more urgently.
Their tongues met and caressed and withdrew and caressed again. Long slow kisses.
He thought his chest would explode.
Faster now, their tongues darted and leapt; they bit at each others lips. They tumbled back toward the bed and fell onto it. Spike pulled Buffy toward him. She wrapped her thighs around him and crushed against his hardness.
He played at her breasts with his fingertips, through the cloth of her shirt. She answered his touch with a moan. He moved his head down to take one clothed nipple in his mouth slowly… then he moved to the other tonguing it in turn. She shivered against him, crazed.
“More,” she gasped.
Her excitement drove him wild. He grabbed at her body. Everywhere. Oh god, everywhere. His hands couldn’t contain their greed. It had been so long. He let them touch and play and roam, caressing, squeezing, remembering, memorizing.
He wanted to rip at her clothes, plunge into her.
Don’t hurry it, he thought. Savour. Every. Moment. He reeled himself in. Looked an invitation at her. She smiled, a prowling tiger.
It was her turn to reach and touch. To give him pleasure and take pleasure in the feel of him. His shape. His muscularity. His maleness. She stroked his shoulders. His chest. His nipples. So responsive. So perfect. She slid her hands around to his back and down, pressing his groin into hers. God. Oh, so hard. So urgent.
“Spike,” she groaned…
He answered with a long, lingering kiss. They undressed themselves and each other, trying not to interrupt the kiss. Each time the kiss broke, they sought each other out again, as if the parting were too much to bear. Finally, naked, he lay on his back and she slid slowly on to him feeling him inch inward, feeling herself fill and grow to accommodate him.
They rocked back and forth in perfect time. Again, faster, again, more, faster, more, faster, more, faster …. They danced, and dipped, and swirled to music only they could hear. The music played inside them. In their blood, giddy… rushing in and out, and in and out… so hard, so slick, so yes, so… god.
When the dance ended, they lay in each others arms panting, sated.
Spike mumbled under his breath.
“What?” Buffy asked.
“S’nothing,” he murmured.
She walked her fingers up his chest. “Tell me,” she demanded, glowing.
Spike made ‘long-suffering’ noise, but knew he could refuse her nothing. He said, “I didn’t know sex could be like …”
“Love? Like making love?” she said.
It wasn’t a word he could work his conscience around yet. He glanced at the window. “Almost dawn,” was all he said.
Her voice grew grave. “Spike, do you think we’ll have time to … ripen?”
“Don’t know if we’ll have time,” he said. “But you will. Brand new start for you. You’ll be the most astonishing peach the world ever tasted. Already are. You’ll just get peachier.”
She beamed… beatific, fulfilled. “You’re turning into a mighty peachy peach yourself, you know.”
He lit up from within, and returned her gaze. Calm, ecstatic.
They heard stirrings upstairs. The day had begun.