Word Count: 346
Summary: It only took one glance, but there was so much more to it than that. (S6/7)
He almost turned around five times. She’d sent him away, hatred burning in her eyes and fire freezing her words.
But he couldn’t help but feel he was deserting her.
She looked for him five times. She’d sent him away, with furious words buzzing in his head and self-loathing churning his guts.
But she couldn’t help but wish she’d been kinder.
He almost gave up four times. His brain spasmed from the pain, and he knew she’d never forgive him.
But he’d started down this path and he refused to turn back now.
She cried four times. She cried for Tara, for Willow. She cried for Xander and Anya. She cried at a sappy movie and once she cried when Dawn laughed like she used to before Mom died.
But there was always a little part of her that was crying for him.
He fell three times. He always came back up spitting sand and blood from his teeth, grinning to hide the fear.
Fear that he might never make it back.
She smiled three times. She read somewhere that if you do anything enough times, it’ll become a habit.
All she wanted was for smiling to be a habit again.
He changed his mind twice. Before the soul, it hadn’t occurred to him to do anything but go back to Sunnydale, go back to Buffy. But the soul filled him with doubt.
How could she possibly want him back?
She looked into his crypt twice. She’d hesitated for weeks before she went. It wasn’t exactly a place filled with happy memories. But it wasn’t as painful as she’d feared.
What if it was more painful for him?
Their eyes met once. That was all it took for the fear and the pain to ease, for the tension to seep from their shoulders.
It wasn’t all solved in that one glance. They argued again. She left him again. Their wounds were still tender, still easily torn open.
But there was a second glance after the first, and three smiles, four moments of shared laughter, five kisses…