Author Brutti ma Buoni
Word count 1700
Rating Mild R
A/N: Just one short offering for my day; ah well. I write a post-Chosen AU called the Rulesverse, which is mainly a Faith/Giles world. But Spuffy has turned up in that world, far into the future. I’ve never written how they reconnected post Chosen – till now. You don’t need any Rulesverse background info to get this story, though I hope you’ll be inspired to come and read more!
She loves me. She loves me not.
She loves me.
I wish she’d make up her bloody mind.
It was almost Spike’s last thought. There was something incoherent about his soul, radiance, bursting, flames- but that got pretty much cut off when he burned up from the inside. His last thought was probably ‘Fuck, that hurts’, but whoever heard of dying words so... true?
His next thought was ‘Fuck, that hurts’, because you’re allowed to think that kind of thing when you turn out not to be dead and gone.
Then there was a whole muddle of ‘Angel-green demon-bunch of suits-a half-recognised English bloke-pretty girl-why in the name of all that is evil and wrong am I thigh-deep in this desk?’
It was the next day before Spike had a chance. The little scientist girl, Fred, was the soft touch, he could tell. She was fascinated by his mysterious not-quite-ghost status. Hung around to hear him talk. Didn’t propose to kill him again, which was sweet. So he could ask her.
Life had to offer something more than haunting Angel, after all. That, and saving the world. All very well, but man doesn’t live on mental sustenance alone.
“So, you lot must have heard about what happened in Sunnydale.” Transparent opening ploy, that one, but Spike felt time was slipping away.
Fred was a chatterer, fortunately. She went through the fall of the town; housing the innumerable new Slayers in the Hyperion for two hellish weeks before Giles got hold of the Council’s legal assets and they started the move to Scotland.
“Blimey. Can’t see the California girls taking to Highland life too well. Bloody miles from the nearest shoe shop, for starters. Do you hear much from them?” Subtle.
Or not subtle, more like, since Fred gave him a sideways grin and said, “Buffy’s well, I hear. Kinda busy.”
Well, huh? Not, say, grieving for the vampire she loves?
Which might nor might not have shown on his face, because Fred added, “Quiet, too. I guess she lost a lot in May.”
“Yeah?” That would be right. House and hometown, Joyce’s grave, Dawn’s baby pictures (fake though they might be). And Spike, of course, if that mattered.
“You wanna call her?” Fred offered, as though it were the simplest thing in the world.
Yes. No. Why? What’s the point?
But Fred was looking at him, sweet and relentless, already toying with her cellphone.
So Spike said, “You’ll have to dial.”
I’m sorry I cried. Seems like we didn’t get much chance to talk about things, even though the call wasn’t short.
I’m really glad you’re only two kinds of dead.
And I do. I really do.
Still a bit disembodied, sorry to say, so Harm’s doing the typing for me (Hi Buffy :-) H). Had a decent crack at getting solid again, but had to sacrifice it to save a girl. Sound familiar?
Not sure there’s much percentage in going over old ground though. Not while I’m mostly-ghostly.
But we’re still trying, and it’s good to hear how things are going at your new place. Scotland’s not exactly your style, though, is it? You want us to send you catalogues or something?
Okay, you don’t want to talk? Fine. I guess having someone else do the typing doesn’t help.
But you can still read to yourself, right? So I’m going to say thank you. And how proud we are of you. Because you died to save the world, and that matters, Spike. That was real.
Knowing you could do that, how could I not love you?
But I was angry too, because you died to save the world. Illogical, much? And now you’re only undead, so I don’t have to be angry any more. Except you’re incorporeal and on the other side of the planet so-
hi bufyf cant typ much some body back tho can you call? s
“So you got your body back?”
“Not as such. Bit more control of small things. Can press keys, mostly. It’s progress.”
“Very cool. Good luck with that.”
“So, you’re angry with me, except not about the things you were angry about before?”
“I don’t want you to be dead!”
“Bit late for that, love.”
“Don’t call me love.”
“I’ve called you it for years. Long before any-“
“So not the point. Don’t call me a liar.”
“When did I...?”
“No you don’t, but thanks for saying it. Sound familiar?”
“... Yeah. Didn’t think you were lying, though.”
Which was when Buffy hung up.
See how embodied I’m getting? Bloody slow typing still tho.
You’re not a liar, but you wanted to give me something while I burned. I got that. It mattered.
Did you ever for one moment think I have a tough time saying I love someone? You used to enjoy mocking my love life.
Sometimes, it takes a crisis to say the hard stuff.
I’m going to get my body back. Don’t know how long. Can’t ask you to wait. But if you meant it, I’m bloody well going to try.
PS Wes will be visiting any day. Be kind. He’s had a shitty time lately.
“Got some news. All corporeal again.”
“Yeah. Bit of a coincidence. Don’t really understand it, as it goes. But I’m back.”
“Are you coming here?”
“Yes. Soon. But there’s some stuff here that- I need to finish up. Can you come? I need to see you.”
Spike enveloped Buffy at the airport. “I’ve booked a room. Come with me?”
It had been over a year. Apart from that one sweet, tentative, respectful night finding each other again in the shadow of imminent Apocalypse. Not like him. Not like her, really. Buffy looked like she wanted to ravage him this time.
Spike was agreeable. They didn’t leave the room once.
She stayed for 36 hours only. Had to slip back to Slayer Central, of course. And Spike had to go find his latest destiny.
Neither said anything about love. Not this time. Seemed like they said more when they were far apart.
All the same, they came together like epic lost lovers. That had to mean something. Even if they parted soon after.
“Spike! Hey, I was just thinking about you. When can you come here? I need to give you some more-“
“Buffy. Stop a sec, I’m on speakerphone.”
“What? You’re not a ghost, are you?”
“Nope. Got my hands cut off though...”
“WHAT?” Piercing shriek raised the roof of Slayer Central.
“I’m mending. Bit unhandy still, but I’ll be right as rain soon. I wanted to talk to you about Dana, she’ll be coming your way any minute.”
“She’s the one that cut my hands off.”
“Please start at the beginning.”
On plane superjet fast be with you 0400 local time Glasgow Prestwick can you meet me? S
This time was near-perfect. Buffy might be short on sleep, but she ran to greet him the way women do their long-lost heroes. Patted him down, checking for new wounds. Then dragged him into the back of her blacked-out Jeep for a quick Welcome-to-Scotland before they set off for the castle.
Spike was puzzled as they drove through the Highlands. “So, castle, huh? Huge and looming? All solid and Watcherly? Doesn’t seem like you, sunshine girl.”
But she did look different, and sound different, as she caught him up with the Council (the Slayer Council)’s development. Like she was growing into being General Buffy, making it her own, instead of letting it own her. So maybe a massive stronghold all her own was suitable.
And after some further ravaging back at the castle, Buffy showed exactly how much she’d grown into her role.
“We need to talk.”
“That’s never good.” Spike was wary.
“Seriously. We need to talk. Not joke around. Not-” (and she actually blushed, after everything) “- be making with the sex.”
“Shame.” She only punched him slightly for that one, and hurried onto her point with a flurry of words. Some of them words he’d been longing to hear for years.
“Quiet, Mister. I’m trying to, not exactly propose, but... um... ask you to move in with me, I guess? I don’t like you being so far away. I missed you when you were gone, but I still miss you now. Plus, Council to rebuild. We need great fighters to help train all the Slayers – there’s so much you could help with, if you’re worried about being a tagalong, you so wouldn’t be. And anyway, I... love you.” (Still looking away when she said that. Waiting for rejection again. Bloody hell, William, you really did a number on her with that one self-deprecating line.)
So it was time to build her up again. “I know. I really do know. I love you too, Buffy.” She started to smile before he got to, “But I can’t come yet. Angel’s got his little gang into a proper snafu. Can’t let’em all go to hell without trying to stop it.”
Buffy flapped a hand, “We have West Coast operatives.”
“Yeah, I met them. Two fine little schoolgirls you got there. Have they learnt to fire their crossbows yet?”
She wasn’t buying it. “Okay, not perfect cover. But Angel’s not an idiot. He’ll ask for help when he needs.”
“More like ten minutes too late, if I know him. Look – this isn’t negotiable, love. You said you loved me because I’d die to save the world. Well, that can’t be a one-time thing, or it means eff-all in the grand scheme of life. So I’m going back, gonna help out when the crap hits the you-know-what, and then I’ll come be Mr Spike the Violence Teacher if you still want me. Deal?”
It took some persuasion. But they got there in the end. Negotiation, that’s the charm, thought Spike, as he dozed off in his Slayer’s arms. That and compromise, and honesty.
How else could a vampire and a Slayer be lovers?
If you want to read more about Spike and Buffy in the Rulesverse, you can probably best follow up with
Of Gods and Heroes
Home is the Hunter
Winds Blowing Chill
though they make appearances in plenty of others.