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 Post subject: "A Spike Through the Heart": Buffy/Spike, TEEN
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:00 am 
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Hi there! I haven't posted here in over a year, maybe longer, and I kept meaning to come back, but Real Life kind of took over.

Any way, I publish a multi-fandom het romance fanzine called Shipped First Class, and the following was my Buffy contribution. Please feel free to comment. Thank you.


A Spike Through The Heart
By Aquarius



Author's note: the events of Part One take place in the Sixth Season, sometime between the events of "As You Were" and "Grave". Parts Two and Three are set in the Seventh Season, during the series finale "Chosen."



Part One—Love Sucks

Buffy Summers crouched, her fingers tightly curled around the wooden stake she carried. Relying on her Slayer training to steady her breathing, she waited for the last vampire standing to rush her. She'd made short work of the others, but this one was tenacious. And annoying.

"I just dusted three of your friends," Buffy taunted. "Are you really that brave? Or just that stupid? 'Cause the smart ones usually run right about now."

The vampire's yellow eyes glowed as he snarled at Buffy. "You're about to find out how smart I am. Say goodnight, Slayer."

Stupid, Buffy decided. She flattened herself to the ground as he dove forward. Grabbing his ankle as he sailed past her, she flung him headfirst into the nearest headstone.

"Ouch!" the vampire cried indignantly through crumbling granite.

Springing to a kneeling position, she brought down the business end of the stake, penetrating the vampire's heart through his back. Buffy spared him a derisive "Goodnight, Slayer" as the vampire fragmented into a billion little pieces and became a pile of dust on the ground.

Buffy's victory was cut short by the slow clapping coming from her right. Pushing away an errant strand of golden hair, she closed her eyes tightly, willing the moment away as though it were a bad dream. She knew she couldn't wake up from this, though, and reluctantly opened her eyes to a handsome, bleach-haired vampire in a black trench coat emerging from behind some forgotten family monument, a cigarette dangling precariously from the corner of his mouth. He leaned against the stone with an attitude that was part James Dean, part Billy Idol, yet undeniably all—

"Spike!" Buffy hissed. Could this night possibly get any more craptastic? she wondered. She knew she was going to have to face him eventually. She just didn't want it to be until after she had a shower, and possibly half a bottle of tequila. "What do you want?"

Spike extended one hand to help her as he pulled the cigarette out of his mouth with the other.. "Just to thank the Slayer for keeping the neighborhood safe for us decent, law-abiding creatures of the night."

Spike's London accent combined with how good he looked in jeans and leather made him even more dangerously appealing to most women. Begrudgingly taking his hand, Buffy told herself that she was immune to it now. She hoped she was listening.

The strength of Spike's pull rippled through her body as she straightened to meet him eye to eye. Buffy's heart quickened. They were mere inches apart and he seemed to draw her in even closer without making a move. She hated how he did that to her. He was like a refrigerator, and she was the big, tacky souvenir magnet from some tourist trap that wouldn't be pried off. Or something like that.

"All part of the service," she answered somewhat hoarsely, struggling to maintain control. "Friendly neighborhood Slayer and stuff."

Spike's eyes never left hers as he dropped the cigarette and crushed it out with his foot. "Anything else come with the service?" He noted the smear of dirt across her cheek, and her eye was starting to swell. If the fight hadn't been over by the time he'd shown up, Spike would've killed whoever dared to leave a mark on such a pretty face, the face he loved.

"Just a wave goodbye as I leave." That was supposed to pull her out of the moment. Why didn't it pull her out of the moment?

"Better let me have a look at that eye."

She pulled back. "It's fine."

"Don't do this." For Spike it was as close to a plea as he got.

"You don't do this," she retorted weakly. You sure told him, Slayer, she chided herself. She would face down any demon without any doubt that she would win, but Buffy was desperately afraid she'd lose what should be a simple battle of wills. Fighting the primal urge to rip Spike's clothes off made it hard to be all verbally jousty these days.

"You haven't come around in a while."

Buffy tried to shrug noncommittally. "I know. I've been busy. Fighting evil and stuff." She wasn't any good at playing it cool. Not with Spike. Not any more.

"Stuff, huh?" It wasn't too mocking, but it was enough to let Buffy know that Spike saw right through her. He always saw right through her. Sometimes it made her mad. Sometimes she was relieved. Right now she didn't know what she was, aside from really, really warm.

"Yeah. Stuff," was all she managed. Why couldn't she breathe?

"Lots of stuff," he observed.

"Yeah. It's all about the stuff." Like the time you bent me over the hood of a Cadillac at four o'clock in the morning. Her eyes widened. What the--? Nonononono! She couldn't let herself go there. Not now.

Spike let his gaze linger before he let the moment break.

Suddenly he wasn't so close, but Buffy could swear he hadn't moved.

He gestured toward his crypt. "Right. Why don't you come in and join me for a drink, then? I can thank you properly, and we can talk about stuff." Let the backpedaling begin, he thought sardonically.

"I really shouldn't. I need to get home. Dawn—"

"--is old enough to look after herself for a few more minutes," Spike finished for her. Tugging on her sleeve, he led Buffy in the direction of his door. "I insist." He wasn't going to let her sister be used as an excuse to avoid what must be done.

Inside, Spike lit another cigarette while Buffy sat in awkward silence. She listened to the soft snap! his Zippo made when he flipped it closed and wondered when exactly it had become her favorite sound. Hearing it meant that Spike would emerge from behind a tree or around the corner of a building. Yeah, she’d have to give him a hard time, maybe even instigate a physical altercation, but underneath it all his presence relieved her, made her happy, made everything okay. It meant she was no longer alone. Like tonight.

And that confused her.

Spike passed her a glass as he sat down beside her. "We need to talk."

Buffy had seen this coming from a mile away and she was powerless to stop it. She drew a nervous breath before she spoke. It was like she knew she had something important to say, but even she wasn't exactly sure what it was, or what she hoped to accomplish by putting it out there. "This thing we used to have between us–"

"Still have," Spike interrupted, blowing smoke into the air. "Make no mistake, love. It never went away. You walked away from it, but it's always still here, inside us."

"It's perverted and dysfunctional," she continued, ignoring him and the feeling of deja vu the conversation was bringing. They'd been down this road before, but somewhere along the line the destination had changed.

"Yes," he said agreeably.

"It's warped."

"I'll give you that."

"It's wrong."

"You're absolutely right, pet."

And there it was, the thing that frightened her most of all: pet. Every fiber of her being screamed out to her to make him stop calling her that. The word implied ownership, control, and confinement, like an animal in a cage. At least that's what she used to tell herself had bothered her about it.

Spike had so much as admitted that he saw Buffy as an animal, but not the meek, subservient variety. True, there was a power struggle between them, but that had more to do with pulling each other out of their respective vampire and Slayer roles, not about trapping Buffy and keeping her locked away forever. Spike wanted to see her wild and free—of herself—and he'd been very clear about that.

It was scary to admit, but Buffy had finally come to the conclusion that words like "love" and "pet" were nothing more than what Spike claimed they were: expressions of affection for her. As far as he was concerned, Buffy was the "love" of his life, and she was "pet" because, beneath his self-important arrogance, Spike saw her as something to be cherished and nurtured, albeit in his own dark way. Scarier, with the passage of time, it wasn't the meaning of the words that gave Buffy the shakes; it was her growing desire to be those things for Spike. His love. His pet. And she didn't even want to think about where that had come from or what it meant.

"We are wrong." Spike derailed her train of thought. "You're a Slayer. I'm a vampire. Been there and done that. But now that you've had some time to think about it, can you honestly say you want to be right?"

"It's a crime against nature," she protested, though she knew he would just let her use up all the old arguments until she finally ran out.

Spike flashed a suggestive smile. "Then how's about a crime spree, love?" Getting serious, he cut her off before she could speak. "I can feel my heart again, Buffy, and it's all down to you. You can't tell me that's wrong."

It stunned Buffy, how openly Spike admitted what she had yet to come to terms with herself. When Willow and the gang had ripped her soul out from Heaven and brutally shoved it back into her body, all she could think about was dying again in the hopes of getting back there. It all changed when she was with Spike, and in a big way. She didn't just stop wanting to die. Spike made her want to live—forever—and that was pretty scary stuff.

"It's okay to like it down here in the dirt." He crushed out his cigarette and leaned closer, brushing his hand dangerously high on her thigh.

Buffy's body responded, rebelling against her mind. She tensed, her breath caught, and she found herself willing his hand higher and higher.

"It's okay to like it rough. It's okay to be yourself and not what your friends expect."

She tried to look away but Spike gently took her chin and guided her face back toward his.

"Don't be afraid of the dark, Buffy. There's nothing here that will hurt you."

It was all true. Since her resurrection, Buffy found herself telling Spike things she couldn't even tell her best friends. What he couldn't understand, he simply accepted.

The only thing he wouldn't accept was allowing Buffy to just go through the motions of living.

Buffy had said nothing about it for the longest time, but Spike knew she'd been hurting, and he actually gave a damn. He'd asked Buffy to give all of her pain and all of her rage over to him. He'd taken all the punches and all the venomous words, because he knew she needed to lash out.

They had found themselves having the kinkiest, most intense sex two straight people could imagine, and it fulfilled her when she let it. Spike let her have as much or as little control as she wanted, and she had to admit he was a responsive lover.

He never made her feel dirty or guilty; any shame she felt was self-imposed. It wasn't his fault that she came back different, but Spike was a convenient scapegoat for all the new wants and needs she'd come back with. It was easier to blame him than to accept the notion that she'd enjoyed their obscene intimacies for what they were, that the desire for them lived within her and felt perfectly natural when she didn't hide from it.

And she'd taken it all for granted, treated Spike like dirt because she couldn't reconcile her own choices. Buffy rejected him when all he offered her was acceptance, if only she could be honest about who and what she was now. The problem was, she didn't know who or what she was, except that she was even more of a monster than she'd accused Spike of being. She'd hurt him and justified it by telling herself it was for his own protection, as well as hers.

There's just no way, she insisted to herself. A relationship with Spike had to be the road to self-destruction, not salvation.

Sickened by the thought, tears welled up in her eyes. "Spike, I'm so sorry…"

"I'm not," he said. "I can't help how I feel about you. Hell knows I've tried. I know part of you still wants a proper life with a proper bloke, and I can't ever give you that. What I can give you is everything else." He reached out slowly and stroked her hair. "I'd do anything for you, Buffy."

Buffy stood, moving for the door. Unwilling to turn and see the hurt look on Spike's face (God, why was it so hard to think of Spike as someone who could be hurt?), she murmured "Goodbye, Spike" as she let herself out the door.



Part Two—Love Bites

The final showdown with the First Evil was coming tomorrow, and everyone was understandably edgy. As Buffy left the front porch and headed for the basement, she doubted that any of the other Scoobies or the potential Slayers could sleep, either. Most of the rag-tag warriors who occupied her house these days had decided that it was simpler to pull an all-nighter than to fight the anxiety and pretend to sleep.

Buffy found Spike on his cot, eyeing the amulet Angel had brought the day before to help them in their fight against the First. They weren't exactly sure what it was supposed to do, only that it channeled great power and someone other than human--but with a soul--was supposed to wear it. Buffy sent Angel back to Los Angeles to head a second line of defense in case she failed, so that meant Spike would wear the amulet tomorrow.

Spike got up as soon as he heard her coming and they stood there, all the things unsaid passing between them for something like an eternity.

Buffy wondered if Spike could sense that her mind was going a mile a minute, the way he always seemed to know everything about her before she did.

She wondered if he knew that she'd spent the last few hours alone outside, thinking about nothing but him. Well, except for the part where she thought about Angel and the whole thing she tried to tell him about not being ready for love, comparing herself to cookie dough that wasn't ready to be baked yet. Remembering that part just made her feel like a complete spaz, so she had tried not to dwell on it too long and refocused on Spike.

She wondered if Spike knew how much it meant that he'd spent the last few months being a damn good friend to her, that his overtures toward her had been about giving her what she needed instead of taking what he wanted.

Their sexual relationship had been over for quite some time, yet Buffy continued to confide in Spike, rely on him when she couldn't count on anyone else. Sacrifices were made by both, based on friendship and respect and perhaps something else unnamed, though Buffy couldn't deny that desire for him continued to simmer under her skin. She knew Spike felt the same. There was always a hint of it whenever he looked at her.

And last night he had told her that in his over a century of existence, she was the only thing he'd ever been sure of, that spending an entire night just holding her and watching her sleep had been the best night of his life. There had been nothing sexual. Just…closeness.

Now, there was only one thing Buffy could be sure of herself, and Spike had to know, because tomorrow they could die.

Buffy looked at the floor self-consciously. "You like cookies, right?" Her speech to Angel about her being cookie dough not ready for love be damned! Sometimes cookie dough wasn't meant to be baked, was it? Sometimes cookie dough was meant to be mixed up and enjoyed straight out of the bowl, right?

Spike tilted his head. "What?"

Buffy shook off the thought. Better to not go down the cookie road again. "Do you still love me?'' she asked, her voice trembling. She felt like such a wimp for needing to hear it.

"I never stopped."

"Do you still want me?"

"I'll always want you," he answered, stroking her hair. "For the rest of my life."

"You're immortal," Buffy pointed out, unwilling to acknowledge the fact that either one of them could be a casualty of war tomorrow. Tomorrow wasn't here yet. This was now.

"That's the advantage of being a vampire. I can love you and want you for a really long time."

Spike looked at her expectantly, his hand still playing with the same strand of hair. This didn't feel the way it used to, like one of Buffy's old emotional hit-and-runs where she'd seem so close to opening all the way up, and then snap shut before he realized what was happening. Bloody hell! Spike couldn't take it if this was going to end in the old backpedaling routine. There was something different in her eyes tonight, though, and he dared to hope.

Buffy tried to match his gaze evenly, but her quivering lip belied her fear. "I need you, William."

Spike didn't react. Buffy worried that she'd really blown it. The first and only time she'd used his first name was when she'd broken things off with him. Tonight she meant it to heal a wound, not reopen it. It wasn't quite the profound, apologetic declaration of love she thought she was going to deliver this time, her big un-rejection. Maybe her words betrayed her because she really wasn't ready…

No. She was ready. She knew it. And they were out of time. She didn't have the luxury of being afraid of it any more.

Buffy tensed as Spike dug his fingers roughly into her hair. For a moment she half expected the same right cross or backhand that used to pass for foreplay between them. She wondered if he was going to shove her against the nearest flat surface and tear her panties off. Buffy would be lying if she said she didn't miss the rough-and-tumble, furniture-breaking and often semi-public sex they used to have, but now, she was ready for something more.

She was ready for the vulnerability of intimacy. She was ready to trust him with her heart. She was ready to lose herself in him.

Spike gently took her lips onto his, moving deliberately with a reverent tenderness Buffy had never before imagined him capable of. His touch still carried the urgent hunger and desperation of before, but there was no hint of the feral violence erupting between them. In its place were quiet sighs and soft caresses, and it was no less exhilarating.

Once they parted, Buffy frantically searched Spike's eyes for some hint of his thoughts. When he finally found his voice, there was only one thing he could say.

"That's good enough for me, pet."

Spike's arms tightened around Buffy as she leaned in for another kiss. For a short time, the Hellmouth and the First Evil wouldn't exist. Spike eased her down onto the cot and their impending deaths didn't matter. As long as Spike was the only thing she could see, feel, smell, and taste, she was safe, and she could believe they would both live forever.






Part Three—Love Devours


What are we going to do now?
they had asked her.

Buffy squinted through the blinding sun as she looked at the crater that used to be the city of Sunnydale. Only the cheery "Welcome to Sunnydale!" sign remained, teetering precariously on the edge, but eventually that fell in, too. Buffy looked at the handful of friends and Slayers gathered around the escape bus who were all that survived.

Everything was too quiet. The peaceful calm in the air was so alien it was almost creepy.

They had done it. This Hellmouth was closed forever.

Obviously they couldn't stay here.

What are we going to do now?

Good question. It was hard to think. Buffy had a strange assortment of feelings running riot inside of her, and at the same time she felt numb. She was relieved that it was over. She was angry at what it cost. She had hope for a brighter future. She wondered if after a few days' sleep she could go out into the world and be Buffy Summers, Private Citizen, and forget about being the Slayer. Then she felt guilty for thinking it.

Everyone had lost so much. They had injured to tend to and lost friends to mourn. Anya…Spike.

Spike.

She'd done it. She'd told him she loved him. The power of the amulet and the battle with the First Evil were literally ripping him up, and she wanted the last thing he ever heard to be "I love you" from her lips.

"You don't mean it, pet," he'd said. "But thanks for saying it."

And then she left him there to die. Her champion. She was alive and in one piece because he'd sacrificed everything—for her. Spike had become the man he always had potential to be. It was a bitter irony that the choice he'd made allowing him to reach that potential had also robbed him of a chance to live a life as that man. "I can feel my soul…!" he'd said.

And then he was gone.

Buffy refused to let the devastation drop her to the ground. She did not give the tears permission to come. Not now. She had spent so much of her time hiding her feelings for Spike from everyone, including herself; Buffy felt that maybe she owed it to him to mourn him alone, too.

For now, she would keep her head up and look into that crater and be proud of Spike, for what he accomplished both as a supernatural being and as a man. She would smile and thank him for what he gave up, so she and the rest of the world could keep going.

I love you.

Her stomach tightened as she remembered lacing her fingers into his for the last time. Her hand had seemed so small compared to his. Spike knew he was dying and still he stayed strong, gripping her tightly even when his hand burst into flames. His pain intensified as the light he emitted got brighter.

I love you.

You don't mean it…

Problem was, maybe she did. Maybe it wasn't an issue of loving Spike or not loving him. Maybe she just didn't know what love felt like. She thought she did, any way.

She'd loved Angel…but her love had been toxic to him, bringing him to that moment of perfect happiness which awakened the gypsy curse, destroying his soul and transforming him back to the murderous Angelus. He needed to be protected from the very thing she wanted to give him most of all.

She'd loved Riley…but he was a mere mortal, also in need of protection. Trouble was, she'd protected him right into leaving her.

And then there had been Spike, in need of no such protection. And that's when Buffy had started protecting herself. It scared her sometimes that a night in his arms brought her more safety and security than an arsenal of weapons at her fingertips. She wasn't supposed to be the one who needed protecting.

But maybe that's how she should've known it was for real. Everything she'd felt, every promise Spike had whispered to her their last night together seemed real enough, any way.

And Spike had protected her and everyone else until there was nothing left of him.

From beneath you, it devours…

It had been a warning about the First Evil, but Buffy wasn't so sure that it wasn't also about love, the way it can sneak up and come from the most unlikely of places. She had never given it a fair chance with Spike, not before it was too late. A long time ago she had accused him of being selfish, a soulless thing, when it was she who had been selfish and acted without a heart. Buffy had claimed she didn't want him, but she could never quite let him go, either. And now all she could do was wonder about what could've been, and miss his devotion now that it was gone.

Buffy willed herself to feel Spike's hand in hers again. She wanted to memorize it and lock it up, keep it and take it out again whenever she wanted. She tried to shut out his voice resonating in her head, urging her to run to safety while he finished the job.

She should've stayed. It could've been different. She should've been there for him. She could've--

Buffy's lip trembled almost imperceptibly as the others around her talked about sleep and shopping and whatever else represented getting back to a normal life. The letdown of the adrenaline leaving their bodies and the residual excitement of battle had made them all chatty, but Buffy wasn't ready to talk yet.

I love you.

You don't mean it…

"Yes, I do," Buffy murmured at the crater before turning away.


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