Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words Bingo: Free Space - Like a Normal Couple
Word Count: 1,813
Date Written: 28 February 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
She's quiet tonight. She should be happy -- she stopped another apocalypse and saved her friends yet again only a few hours earlier --, but he can tell she's not. He watches as a shiver crawls over her skin. The Slayer doesn't usually feel temperatures like normal girls, but seeing her shiver, he takes a moment, still not demanding entrance to her thoughts, shrugs out of his jacket, and wraps it around her petite shoulders. She looks up at him through her big, green eyes, but she still doesn't say anything.
They walk for a while longer. Word's out that the Slayer's pissed, so for once, nobody bothers them. "This is nice," she speaks quietly, her words after over a hour of silence surprising him. She takes his look of surprise as one of confusion, however, as he looks down at her. "This," she says, pulling his jacket closer around her body. "Walking together. Having a moonlit stroll together like a normal couple."
Spike almost grins around his cigarette but stops himself just in time. Now he understands what's bothering her. He understands, but he has no words of wisdom to make any of it any better. "Yeah," he remarks, inclining his head in a nod as he subtly steps closer to her. After another moment of walking together, he wraps an arm around her waist, and when she doesn't stop him, he leans closer still. "You know, pet," he says softly, "you're a lot better than normal."
"Hmph. You don't get it. None of you do," she retorts, but she still doesn't pull away.
"Normal's overrated." She tenses underneath his arm. "No. Wait," he requests gently before she can pull away. "Hear me out." She relaxes a little, and he continues, "If I was normal, Buffy, I would have died a long time ago. If you were normal, you'd be dead too, and so would your friends."
"But that's not the way it should be! We shouldn't have to fight every day of our lives!"
He could tell her that the world doesn't care about the shoulds and should nots, but that's not what she needs to hear tonight. "That'd clear you and your friends, luv, yeah, but it still wouldn't clear me. I'd have died a long time, because I was born a long time ago. I would have died still a momma's boy and still without any real love of my own."
"That girl was an idiot."
"Huh?" he asks in honest surprise.
"Cecily. Isn't that you said her name was? She was an idiot. I mean, sure, maybe your poetry sucked, but you were trying to be sweet. I'm willing to bet even back then, most guys were only interested in one thing, but not you."
"I had no idea what I was doing. If she'd given it to me, I still wouldn't have known what to do with it," he admits, his cheeks burning lightly. "I was a bloody ponce back then."
"You were a sweet ponce," she argues, turning to step in front of him so that she can look up into his handsome face. "You know," she admits gently, "I wouldn't exactly mind if you did try to write me some poetry some time."
"It would suck," he warns.
She shrugs. "So? It's not very often a girl gets a poem written about her."
He laughs. "There's many poems about Slayers."
"About Slayers, yeah, but how many have been about the girl, not the Slayer?" When he stops, she continues. "That's my whole point. I want to be able to have a normal life every now and again. I want to feel normal on occasion, maybe even be a little normal. This tonight, walking home with you tonight, has made me feel almost normal. Almost, but -- "
"But you still have to be aware of your surroundings," he concludes for her, watching as her eyes dart around at their surroundings, "just in case. You always have to be on the alert."
"Yeah. I can never totally let my guard down. Not with you, not with any one. One moment of me not being the Slayer, not doing my job, can lead to death. I learned that long ago. And it's not right."
"It's not right," he agrees, remembering a line he heard somewhere else a long time ago, "but that's the way it is."
"So sue me," Buffy continues, not catching the remembering light in his eyes, "if I want to be a little normal sometimes, if I want to feel like a normal girl getting walked home by her normal boyfriend, his jacket around my shoulders, wondering if I'm going to get a good night kiss or if -- "
"Oh, you're definitely getting a good night kiss," he says, chuckling.
She glowers at him, her lips forming one of those little pouts he always finds so seductive on her. "So not the point!" she declares. "I just -- "
"You just want to feel normal," he repeats. "You want to be able to forget about your duties for a little while. You want to feel normal, but I don't. I didn't like who I was when I was normal, and I didn't have you." He steps up closer to her. "I was the type of bloke that no one -- not Cecily or any of the girls back then and especially not a girl like you today -- would have looked twice at."
Buffy raises her chin. "I would have looked twice at you," she says. "More than twice," she admits. Now it's her turn to blush a little.
"No," he argues, shaking his head, "you wouldn't have. It took me getting a soul for you to really see me, Buffy -- "
"Not true," she whispers.
"What?" He frowns.
"Not true," she repeats. She raises her head to face him, her eyes locking with his. "I noticed you before -- "
"Yeah, because you needed a bloody shag to feel -- "
"No. Before then. Before I died. Before you helped us with Dawn. Before the chip. Before Riley."
He's frowning deeply now. "When?" he asks softly, almost disbelieving.
"I first noticed you," she admits, stepping so close to him that there's no space left between them, "the first time we worked together." Her eyes stared, unblinking, up into his. "I saw the way you helped to save the world when you were still evil. I saw the way you cared for Drusilla. You fought against everything you were, everything you thought you knew, because you didn't want to lose your Princess, and I . . . I was wowed by that," she confesses, her voice dropping to a soft whisper that seems to echo in the silent night around them. "I wanted so badly for somebody to love me like that. I still do."
He reaches out and takes her hands in his, reflecting, for just a second as he sometimes does when he pulls her close, how small she is compared to him. His hands seem almost to dwarf hers. Her squeezes her softly as he vows, "I already do."
She blushes. "No, I mean -- " She looks, biting her bottom lip.
Spike quells the desire that rises in him to lick where she's biting. "I mean it, Buffy," he says, tugging on her hands until she looks back up at him. "I really do. More than anything else, I don't want to be normal, because I don't want to lose you. If I had only lived during the time I would have lived if I'd stayed mortal, I never would have gotten to know you. And knowing you, falling in love with you even if you never love me like I do you, makes every bit of suffering I've endured in the past worth it."
"I got my soul because of you. I wanted to be a better man because of you. I left Dru because of you. She left me first because of you. And now I am actually a better man, all because of you. Don't you see it yet, pet? I can't put into words how I feel about you, because there are no words worthy of telling you how I feel, not really."
"I used to think maybe if I had my soul, I could write again. Maybe I could tell you how I feel, how much I love you. But there are no words strong enough, not in any language that I know, and believe me, I know plenty. All I can do is show you."
Finally, his beloved's face is shining again. She's smiling and seems to be happy once more. "Then show me," she whispers, and he quickly oblige. He isn't rough with her this time, even though he knows she sometimes likes it violent. Instead, as his lips kiss hers and his tongue surges into her mouth, he kisses her like he's kissing her for the first time. He kisses her like a drowning man and like a man who needs her very kiss to survive. He does need her kiss. He needs her. He needs her to love him at least a little bit not to survive but to want to survive.
He ravishes her mouth gently, sweetly, passionately, and soon, they're making in love back in the graveyard where no Vampire or monster dared to disturb them. They're making love on graves and headstones unlike any normal couple, but all thoughts of normalcy have left her mind as she screams his name again and again. Angel's name doesn't come up tonight. There isn't a single time that she looks at him and he thinks she's wishing for him to be Angel or Riley instead. Tonight, she sees him. Tonight, she loves him.
And, near dawn, when he slips away from her sleeping form to hide once more from the daylight in his crypt, his heart is still singing her name. He grabs pen and paper and at last lets words flow. That night, when Buffy's starting yet another night unlike any other girl in the world, reaching first for her weapons and mentally working on a plan to stop the next apocalypse that's already began, she finds his note in her chest of weapons.
She reads his poem, his words filling her heart until it feels like it's soaring. She walks to her window, looks out, and sees his dark form waiting patiently. She beams, blows him a kiss, and lets her heart soar as, clutching her weapons, she heads to join him on their newest adventure. Maybe he's right, she thinks. Maybe being normal is over rated. If it meant not having him, and she knows it would, then yeah, maybe it is something that, after all this time, she no longer really wants. And maybe, even if she doesn't dare yet say the words, maybe she does truly love him after all.