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The Man He's Becoming

Title: The Man He's Becoming
Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Character/Pairing: Spike/Buffy
Rating: PG/K+
Challenge/Prompt: nekid_spike Song Fic Prompt: David Bowie's Changes (Like I could choose any one besides the King!)
Warning(s): None
Word Count: 1,390
Date Written: 7 March 2017
Summary:
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.




He sits on the beach, watching the waves come in under the moonlight. He knows this scene is supposed to make him feel small. It's supposed to remind him that he's just another insignificant bug in the grand scope of the world. But that trick hasn't worked since he was a mortal and already thought himself insignificant.

Spike sighs and takes another puff on his cigarette. He should be proud of what he did tonight. He saved the lives of a bunch of teenage girls so that they can continue with their work and save a bunch more lives. They'll probably even save the world a few dozen times; Buffy does it every week, after all. But he isn't proud. His insides are churning as bad as the ocean on a stormy day in confusion.

He isn't the man he thought he'd be by now. Everything's changed yet again in his life. He's no longer the Big Bad; instead, he's fighting the Big Bad, laying his Immortal life on the line every night for a bunch of ragtag children. Darla, Drusilla, Angelus . . . Any of them would sneer and laugh at him if they could see him now. Dru was right to leave him; he could never give her what she wanted.

He doesn't look up as the Slayer sits beside him. Normally, he'd take comfort in her presence and perhaps even gloat a little at the fact that she's come completely out of her way to find him, but tonight he doesn't say one word. He doesn't even look at her. He just keeps staring at the ocean's dark waves and wondering where the next change is going to take him.

Buffy's quiet for a while as well, but eventually, she's the one who breaks the silence between them tonight. "I . . . wanted to thank you . . . for saving them. I was . . . "

"You were busy," he says quietly, lips barely moving, "saving the world again. It's what you do."

"Hmp. Yeah." He hears her snort and wonders if he's directed at him or her own self.

"Kinda hard to be two places at once," he remarks, trying to reassure her.

"Not hard," she corrects. "Impossible."

He opens his mouth to say something more but shuts it, choosing to let her believe she's correct. There are beings who have managed to be two places at once -- beings who can be everywhere at once --, but they're not them.

"But, hum, yeah, any way, thank you."

He expects her to leave him to his brooding thoughts, even if he is acting a bit too much like the great Poof tonight, but when she doesn't, after a while, he finally asks, "Is it that hard?"

"What?"

"To thank me. To recognize that I saved their lives."

"No." She turns toward him, but he still doesn't look at her. "What is hard is seeing this person before me and not knowing what to expect of him."

He looks down at her sharply, eyebrows raising. "What do you mean? I thought you'd be -- "

"I am happy, and thankful, that you saved them, but it's just . . . " She shrugs. "I guess that's not what I expect of you."

He could tell her that he's always prided himself on making unexpected turns, but although he's always enjoying being able to unexpectedly flip the tables on the enemy, and keeping Angel from guessing what he was up to next, he's never really been all that great at it. His mother, even Cecily, always knew what to expect of him before, and Dru was always able to read him as well, if not better, than she read the stars. She knew him better than he knew himself, knew long before he understood his true motivations that he was falling in love with their mortal enemy who now sits beside him. He isn't good at doing the unexpected; he just doesn't know what to expect of himself any more.

"You surprised yourself tonight, didn't you?" she asks softly, watching his eyes.

Spike lowers his eyes from hers, recognizing that it's not all that difficult for even the Slayer to read him. But she is right. He tried to walk on pass that cemetery tonight. It wasn't like he was going to get a reward for saving those kids, but when he heard the one called Amanda scream, he had bolted back into that cemetery and had been ripping apart Vampires with his bare hands before he hardly knew what he was doing.

"You know, I knew you had potential for doing good even before you got your soul. You helped me save the world before when you didn't have to, because it meant saving Drusilla too."

"Don't remind me," Spike nearly snarls, looking away. He starts to look back at the ocean, but it's the sand that catches his eye this time. They're far enough away from the parking lot that if he just keeps looking at the shore, it would be easy to believe that they're thousands of miles away from civilization. He's just a speck in society, just a small, insignificant bug who . . .

"Saved at least a dozen lives tonight," he hears Buffy saying, tensing as she touches his shoulder. "You're not all bad, Spike. You never were." She leans up and kisses his cheek. It's a chaste kiss, a simple brush of her lips, and yet, if he let himself think about it, that single, simple kiss might come to mean more to him than nearly all the passionate liplocks they've shared. She doesn't need him to fuck her tonight to make her feel alive. He . . . He needs her, and here she is beside him not because she has to be but because she chooses to be.

She leans closer beside him as he pretends not to be shaken by her tender kiss. "So are we just going to sit here and watch the sand and the ocean or are we going to do something to put a bug in the First's eye?"

Spike looks at her in surprise. "What did you say?"

She grins up at him and shrugs. "I said are we going to hang out here or are we going to go work on kicking the First's ass? I need you with me on this one, Spike." She needs some one who's not going to stop at anything to help her save the world again, and she knows that, even with all the surprises he's constantly giving her lately, he's the one person she can count on to stop at absolutely nothing to do what needs to be done to save her family, their friends, their world. She stands and holds a hand out to him. "Are you coming?"

He stares at her offered hand, at the beautiful and courageous woman who's looking at him as though he's a man worthy of fighting beside her after all he's done. Her fingers wriggle before his eye. Finally, he slides his hand into hers and rolls to his feet. "Right behind you, pet."

She opens her mouth to tell him that she doesn't want him behind her -- that she wants him beside her, but she's not ready for that yet. She shuts her mouth instead and turns back toward their town. He goes with her this time without hesitation, but as he glances back at the ocean, he does finally think that he might be a bug but he's damn sure going to put his bug in the First's eye. They'll never go down without a fight, and as long as he's got Buffy believing in him, rather he deserves or not, he'll never go down without a fight.

He isn't the man he was, but he's a better man and maybe one night, if the world keeps changing, if he keeps fighting to do what is right instead of running with what is wrong and infinitely easier, maybe one night he'll deserve to walk, and fight, beside the woman who now holds to his hand not because she needs him but because he needs her. He threads his fingers with hers and keeps walking back into the fight, his head held high because he's with her.

The End

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