Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Character/Pairing: Spike/Buffy, Giles
Challenge/Prompt: seasonal_spuffy: A New Era
Word Count: 1,812
Date Written: 10 May, 2016
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
"Do you think I made a difference?" she asks, stepping carefully over the battlefield.
He looks at her in surprise. Habitually, he pushes the spectacles he no longer needs back up onto their rightful place on the bridge of his nose. His eyes are still wide as he looks at her. "Buffy -- " he starts and then fumbles, still uncertain, after all this time, as to how to best explain his emotions when it comes to her.
She smiles gently. "It's okay, Giles." She shrugs. People are fighting everywhere across this long, lush field, and yet they pass, seemingly unnoticed, around them. "That's not exactly what I mean. You're not the only one who has trouble explaining the way he feels."
"Buffy," he says again and stops to stand still before her. "I . . . " He fumbles with his hands. They're useless things now when his nerves are fluttering in the wind, because he can't exactly take his glasses off and clean them very well, especially not here. She looks up at him expectantly, and for a moment, he sees again in her wide, green eyes, the girl who once was.
She never did hang on his every word like some dutiful Slayers do for their Watchers, but there were times that she really needed an answer to come from him. Sometimes, he managed to find the right answers but not always. Sometimes, he let her down. He doesn't want to do that again today, or ever.
"I suppose," he resumes, "every one wonders that from time to time in their lives. Even the greatest warriors and leaders had their doubts. It's a common, human foible to fret that no matter how hard we struggle, in the end, we make no difference, but it's not something you should have to fear. You've certainly made a huge difference." He caves, finally cleaning his glasses, although it's pointless.
"I know I made a difference, Giles." Buffy waves a hand in the air as she resumes walking or, more apt, pacing through the field. She looks up as some of her Slayers in training yell, but every one's all right. No one is in any real danger -- for the moment, at least.
"Buffy Summers," she quotes, waving a hand through the air again. "She saved the world. A lot. It was on my tombstone. Literally." She shrugs again and then nibbles at her bottom lip, a habit she's had when worrying ever since she was a child.
He pushes his glasses back onto his nose and replaces his transparent handkerchief back into his pocket. Quickly, he returns to her side. She turns and paces in the opposite direction. "I know I made a difference," she repeats.
"You did indeed," he says, nodding, and gestures to the field of Watchers and Slayers training hard in preparation for the next threat they'll have to face. Things are quiet now, but it never lasts. There's always another threat. Such is the lives of their people. "None of this would have happened without you," he adds gently.
"Yeah, and without Willow," Buffy adds, always one to give her friends their just credits.
"But mostly without you," Giles whispers and notes the small smile toying with the corners of her mouth.
She turns swiftly on her heels, however, the smile vanishing, and looks directly at him. "But what I mean is do I make a difference now?"
"Buffy . . . " Again, he has to search for the right words. "You've brought this entire world into a new era. Every Slayer has been called. Every girl has a chance now to be the warrior she might not otherwise have been, and to survive the experience. The Slayer is no longer alone. You made that difference. There were so many Slayers before who never survived their first battle. These girls will, because they are not alone."
"The same can actually be said for most Watchers, but the changes you've made runs deeper than that. You never once allowed yourself to just be a Slayer, and Heaven knows I wasn't allowed to only be a Watcher, either." Her green eyes dart back up at him from where they've been watching the various battles on the field, and he grins. "That's a good thing. What we shared, what we started back in Sunnydale, has changed the relationships of Watchers and Slayers forever. It's changed the very essence of what our people are."
"We fight better as a team. You proved that to men, and you have proven it again and again. But because of you, others have stepped up, as well. You've even made a change in the enemies we fight. As startling as it is, I understand, from Willow, that not all Vampires attack or even drink human blood now."
Buffy nods. "That's right," she admits, mumbling.
"When I started my training, it was completely unheard of for a Vampire to be considered good. They were all the enemy. We lost many Watchers, Slayers, and humans to Vampires, but now -- " Again, he struggles to find the right words. "There will always be evil in this world, but you've given that entire species a chance. Spike and Angel aren't the only ones you've changed, you know."
She's smiling now as she inclines her head in another slow nod. "You really did change the world, Buffy," Giles adds truthfully. "You made happen so many things no one before you thought could, not the least of which is the fact that you took enemies and made them into heroes." He looks up, sensing an approaching figure, and has to smile as he comments, "And you've even managed, through magic, to give the champions of that species the ability to walk in the daylight. I always used to worry about you breaking the rules, but I think now that every rule you broke was meant to be broken."
Those are the words that finally achieves what he's been seeking: a full grin bursts onto his Slayer's brightening face. "Thanks, Giles," she says meaningfully, wishing she could hug him.
He smiles back, and then he's gone as Spike steps up to take his place beside his Slayer. He never has to worry about leaving her alone now. She's made a huge difference throughout the entire world. She continues to make a difference every day and to save lives everywhere she turns, but perhaps the biggest difference is indeed that the Slayer is no longer alone in her battle to save the Earth. There are always going to be bigger and badder threats for them to have to fight together, but she's made the battle easier, and somewhat safer, for every one because none of them ever walk alone again.
"I miss something?" Spike asks, taking note of his girl's beautifully smiling face.
Her thumbs hook into the back pockets of her blue jeans. She shouldn't be shy about answering him. She has no secrets from Spike now, and everybody else is too busy fighting to overhear them. Still, she's somewhat shy as she answers evasively, "Just talking with an old friend."
He grins. "Thought I smelled Rupert."
She looks at him in surprise. "Ghosts smell?"
"Not really," he admits, chuckling, but then he kisses her. Their kiss this time is soft and gentle. It's no longer the mauling of two passionate mouths that used to tear down buildings in Sunnydale, but passion and love still flows through every meeting of their lips, always filling them both. Spike wraps his arms around her and holds her still against his chest. They turn and watch the training battles together for a moment before he softly whispers into her long, blonde hair, "You ready for tomorrow, luv?"
She turns in the sweet, loving embrace of his arms and beams up at him, nodding. "Oh, yeah. Definitely!" Her green eyes sparkle with her joy.
"No cold feet?"
"Nope. Nada. None."
"You're really ready? You're not going to leave me this time?"
"I'll leave you one day," she admits softly, "but it's not going to be for a long time and not until they put me six feet under again."
He smirks. "How romantic."
"Hey!" She slaps playfully at his upper arm. "It's supposed to be! We're going to have the wedding of the century tomorrow!"
"The wedding of the centuries," he corrects softly, grinning. "It's a new era, you know. First time a Slayer's ever wed a Vampire."
Her eyes go back to the other Slayers. "Maybe it won't be the last," she remarks thoughtfully.
"Maybe not," he says, hugging her, "but it will be the best. We're the best."
"Yes, we are," she agrees as he hugs her so tightly he literally lifts her off of her booted feet. They have changed the world. They continue to fight for it and save lives every day, but now is their time at last. It's time they have a little, lasting happiness. It's time she becomes Missus Spike. It's time she lives her life not just for the world but for herself and for the man she loves. She's not leaving the world, but it's in good hands while she takes a break. She'll still be around if they need her, but tomorrow, at last, is going to be all about them.
"I love you, Slayer," Spike whispers against her grinning mouth, beaming down at him, and she knows he does just as she knows she loves him completely with all her heart and soul which, at one time, he was the only one to make her still feel.
"I love you, too, Vampire," she teases back and kisses him again. This time, their kiss is full again of all the burning passion they used to feel, but they're not in a building to tear down. They're on a lush, green meadow full of friends who will continue to keep fighting the good fight while they take the break they deserve. They're on the meadow where a new era will begin again tomorrow, a new era in each other's arms, an era to last for as long as she still lives. She knows one day she'll go back to Heaven, but when she does this time, she's going to change that place, too. Vampires will be allowed, and one day, Spike will come to be with her again. Then they really will get their happily ever after.
Now unseen by the pair, Giles smiles, knowing in his heart that Buffy's journey has led her to this moment. She was not only right in breaking all the rules along their journey together, but she was right about Spike all those years ago. The Vampire is her champion. His Slayer is in good hands, and with him, Giles know Buffy finally has the happiness he's always wanted for her. Still smiling, he fades away.