Title: Something Special
Story Artist: Eyesthatslay
Author: Sandy S.
Disclaimer: We own nothing. Joss owns all.
Summary: Buffy sets out to help Spike feel like he means something to her for their anniversary. Set in an AU universe after season 5 of AtS.
Word Count: 7773 (not including this voluminous intro)
Author’s Dedication: For eyesthatslay and musing_mia for always being so kind to me and for zarrah04, _sin_attract, inxsomniax, aimeedee, jenniepennie, velvetwhip, amoonchilde, and ghostgirl13 just because. Special thanks to eyesthatslay for coming up the magnificent title and for so beautifully illustrating the story. Collaborating with you has been an amazing, unique, and fun experience!
Artist’s Dedication: For sandy_s, truly one of the kindest people I know, and a friend I will always treasure. For Natalie, my sister by choice. I'm so grateful for you. For amoonchilde and musing_mia, my two earliest fandom friends, that I've been blessed to call real life friends for many years now. And for my wonderful Mom, who is more amazing than I can say.
Author’s Note: This project was created for the LJ community, Seasonal Spuffy, for the theme As Time Goes By. It’s also the 20th anniversary of BtVS, so an anniversary tale…. :o) Thank you to eyesthatslay, petzipellepingo, rebcake, tx_cronopio, gillo, kazzy_cee, trepkos, fangfaceandrea, facingthesun, shapinglight, amoonchilde, and slaymesoftly who helped me with little details, such as what Giles might drink after dinner, little Spuffy moments, and location ideas. While I didn’t use all of them here, I appreciate the discussion…made the fic writing more fun and interactive and made my little corner of fandom feel warm and cozy again…like coming home.
The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.
I don’t need a perfect one. I just need someone who can make me feel that I’m the only one.
Coming Up with A Plan – Somewhere in Texas
On a break from one of their umpteenth missions around the world since leaving Sunnydale, Buffy cups her frozen margarita with both hands and sighs. The Christmas lights in Mi Tierra Café y Panadería are twinkling around them, but she feels far from festive.
Her best friend watches her with expectant eyes, her drink one of those fruity ones that comes in a pineapple and has a little umbrella. “You’ll think of something,” the redhead says, prompting Buffy to continue.
“But he always does wonderful things for me that I would never think of in a million years, and it makes my paltry gift seem so lame.” She takes a sip of her cocktail and frowns, her brain truly stumped. “It’s not that I’m not romantic or that I don’t love him. It’s just. . .”
“He’s pretty good at it, huh?” Willow leans forward on her bent forearm, tucking the straw in the corner of her lip and then sipping.
“Yeah. Like when we first got together for real, he planned this mini-vacation to an island off the coast of Florida, and it was so wonderful to get away from all the slayage and just be. . . away with him.” Memories of making love to him on the beach under the full moon still give her the kind of shivers that are of the good.
Willow is thoughtful. “But romantic gestures don’t have to be grand or big to be romantic. When I was choosing Tara, all I did was bring a glowy candle to her dorm room. I’ll never forget the look on her face.”
Buffy props her chin on her palm and smiles. “I didn’t know that.”
Willow blushes at the memory. “Yeah. And this is Spike we’re talking about here. He’s not hard to please. From what I remember, all you have to do is sorta halfway smile at him, and he’s weak in the knees.”
Buffy sighs happily, tugging at a stray blonde hair that popped out of her lazy up do. “Yeah. I do kinda have him wrapped around my finger.”
A cool arm circles her waist from behind and his breath tickles her ear as he announces his presence, “Oh, you do, do you?”
Buffy shrieks and twists in her seat to kiss her vampire. “How much did you hear?”
“Not much other than the wrapping part.” Spike slides onto a seat between the two young women. “What are you two talking about?”
“None of your business!” Buffy teases, exchanging a look with Willow. “Did you and Angel finish the whatsit?”
“Yeah, love, we did, and that Kronhip demon is going to have a hell of a time getting back to his dimension when he wakes up in the morning.”
“Good. One less thing for us to do. Thanks for tying up that loose end. Now you can relax.”
Spike leans back, hands behind his head. “Sounds like a plan. Where’s my beer?”
“Go get your own beer, mister. You can’t have any of this.” Buffy moves her drink away from him when he tries to misappropriate it.
“Don’t want a bloody margarita anyway,” he scoffs, but he doesn’t make a move to head to the bar, not when he has an arm full of Buffy to keep him warm.
Willow takes the cue and carrying her drink, she says, “I’m going to go look for Oz. He’s around here somewhere talking about guitars and music stuffs with the mariachi band.”
Buffy snuggles closer to Spike, running her hand over the rough denim of his dark jeans, “No doubt. See you later, Will.”
As she walks away, Willow glances over at Buffy. “Think about it. It doesn’t have to be grand.”
Buffy gives her friend a little left-handed salute because her right hand was otherwise occupied. “Got it.”
Spike opens his mouth to question the situation again, but Buffy distracts him with a kiss.
* * *
Buffy can’t sleep. She can’t stop thinking about what Willow said about not needing to do anything big for him. At least a year together out in the open with everyone is a big milestone in and of itself. At the same time, he has done so much for her.
Climbing out from under the warm blankets on their rather large motel bed, she wanders down the short hallway of the suite, goosebumps moving up her arms as the air conditioning hits her skin. Not really thinking about where she’s going, she finds herself curled up on the living room sofa with her computer in her lap.
She slips the thumb drive that Willow gave her into the laptop and clicks on the file that pops up. Inside the folder, she finds all of Giles’s diaries neatly scanned into Word documents and labelled by year. Gnawing on her lower lip, she opens the one from the year that Spike showed up in Sunnydale. . . not the first time he showed up with Drusilla because she so does not want to go there for many reasons. . . but the year he came back and the Initiative chipped him. Squinting at the tiny cramped print, she begins to read, and as she reads into the night, an idea begins to form.