Title: Moving Forward
A/N: Life is crazy and I missed my posting date, so I decided to rush something out for this last free-for-all. It's super short and sappy, but sometimes we just need some of that. Hope you enjoy!
When he understood, it was an epiphany.
Her mouth might have formed the words “I love you” but in her heart, she meant “please stay with me.”
Because they all left her. The people she loved would inevitably say goodbye, no matter how much she begged.
He understood, and he sprung into action.
In half a second he’d thrown the amulet and its light out into the cavern and scrambled to run after her.
Together, they raced through the halls and out into the school bus, Spike covered in a sheet they’d left in the back for that purpose.
And there he laid, listening as the bus raced forward, escaping the crater. After a few minutes of driving, he felt the bus pull to a stop and Buffy leave the seat next to him. He assumed from the fact that half the heartbeats left the bus, they were surveying the remains of the Hellmouth.
He was pleasantly surprised when only a minute or so later Buffy’s soft footsteps reentered the bus and approached him.
She crouched and sat down, ducking underneath the sheet. Their foreheads were touching and the diffuse light through the sheet made everything look ethereal.
“How’s the weather down here?”
“Nice enough. How’s the sink hole out there?”
They smiled at each other for a moment, before Buffy took the initiative and reached her hand towards his chest. His breathing hitched and she searched his eyes for permission. He pressed himself closer against her in answer.
“Things will change now,” she whispered softly.
“That they will, pet.”
“The Hellmouth is gone, there’s god knows how many slayers… we’re in love.”
The last part was whispered so quietly that without his vampire senses he couldn’t have made out the words.
“We going to give this a go? For real?”
She nodded. “I love you.”
“And you’re not going to hide us?”
She’d been all set to go with another nod and ‘I love you,’ but then he asked that and she just…
“Spike, I’m laying here under a sheet with you, all up close, having a conversation. If they don’t get it yet it might be fun to take bets on how long until they do.”
The way his laughter sprung forth entranced her. It was as if his amusement would grow in his chest until it could be contained no longer.
When she just kept staring at him, he began to shift uncomfortably.
She pinched him lightly on the arm for the use of her title, but didn’t move from his grasp.
“I really love you, William. Spike. Whatever name you choose to go by, I love you. Sometimes the things you do catch my attention. I’ve been working on not hiding it.”
His voice dropped an octave.
“Things like what?”
She smiled and ran her hands up and down the length of his arms.
“The way you laugh. The way your body moves when you fight. The look you get in your eyes sometimes when you see me. Stuff like that.”
Spike looked dazed.
“You’d tell me if I were dreaming, right?”
“Of course I would, but you’re not. We made it. We survived. And I’m through being General Buffy and putting everything else first. I deserve some happiness for a change. I can’t promise I’ll be a great girlfriend, but I’ll try my best because I love you.” Her expression turned thoughtful on a dime. “It gets easier to say after a while.”
He chuckled again, squeezing her hips where his hands rested.
“That it does, pet. You’re perfect in every way, Buffy. Wish I could rip out the throats of the wankers who made you think any different. I love you more than I could ever say. You’re making my dreams come true here. And if that doesn’t make you feel any better, just remember that my ‘girlfriend’ experience is in the form of Drusilla and Harmony.”
She shuddered. “Okay, not such a high bar to cross.” She smiled for a second, but then it turned to a frown again. “But you deserve better. You deserve a much higher bar. You can’t just let me treat you bad because they did.”
He smiled at that.
“I’ll do my best.”
“Thanks,” she replied, snuggling up against him.
“You staying here then?”
“It’s a three hour drive to LA. Thought maybe we’d get some sleep. Might give us some more time in our hotel room for… other things.”
“Like the way you think, Summers.”
He kissed her again before nudging her to roll over so he could spoon against her. He held her close, lips pressed against her hair as he murmured his affections. In only a few moments she was asleep, and Spike curled up with her and headed for somnus as well.
They were together. Beyond that, they could face anything.