Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Character/Pairing: Spike/Buffy, Willow
Challenge/Prompt: fan_flashworks #188: Rush and faerie_wish13: Birthday
Warning(s): Future Fic
Word Count: 1,623
Date Written: 18 April 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
Sometimes, she wonders how her life could have been different. It seems like she's been the Slayer forever now. She barely remembers the time when her life centered around boys and pom poms. That Buffy seems almost like a different girl, a stranger now rather than herself before she turned sixteen. Battles have blurred together. Days have blurred into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years.
She barely remembers her life before, but there are a few faces she knows, like the two girls she saved two nights ago. One actually threw herself between the Vampire and her kid, despite being only human. She used to want kids, Buffy thinks, or at least she thinks she did. She definitely used to want a husband and a nine to five job, something simple and non-life threatening. She wonders what it would have been like to be one of the girls from her old high school, like those two, to grow up, marry somebody famous, and be a stay at home mom who barely had to lift her finger to do anything.
But that life isn't for her. Her life has been dictated, chosen for her long before she had a true voice in anything. Her path is clear, and her days numbered although she doesn't know that number and has reset it, whatever it is, several times now. But still, she wonders.
She wonders if she would have her the courage her friend possessed to protect her child if she had not been born the Slayer. She wonders about the lifestyles that her friends lead. Looking around her these days, she can see how it's been almost a bad rush for many of her old high school classmates to make a good match for themselves so that they don't have to toil in some horrible job or other lifestyle choice they don't like. They marry not always for love but to make things easier on themselves nonetheless.
Lips kiss her neck, and Buffy moans softly, arching her neck toward that hungry, sweet-feeling mouth. She's still not married, but when, if, she does, it will be for love. She knows that much for certain, because she's already in love. She's got something most of those same girls who are married with children now would have once given everything they possessed when they, and she herself, were younger. She wonders when the drive to marry for love becomes replaced with the desire to marry for riches. Maybe that, too, isn't for everyone, because although she wonders about it, and a part of her still wants that nine to five job, she doesn't want to marry some Hollywood hunk just to land the easy life. She'd rather keep slaying every night than marry some one she doesn't love.
But that's not a problem she's going to have to face. She's got the man she loves, even if she can't parade him out in the daylight or in front of cameras, and she knows he loves her. He's proven his love for and dedication to her countless times over the years. She feels it again now as his arms wrap around her and pull her close against his pale chest.
"You're brooding again, luv," he murmurs, his lips soft against her hair. She knows she has bedhead, but Spike doesn't care. He wouldn't care if she suddenly sprouted a tail, horns, or polka dots all over her skin. He'd love her no matter what, and she stopped running from what he makes her feel long ago and accepted that she loves him too. She smiles at the sound of his deep chuckle reverberating underneath her ear. "And you say the Poof and I are the masters of that."
A gentle knock sounds on her door before she can answer him. She looks at it curiously, but Spike answers before she can. "Come in, Red."
Her green eyes flick up to him in surprise. He shrugs. "I smelled her," he murmurs as the door opens.
"Willow!" Buffy exclaims, just as surprised to see her best friend standing in her doorway as she was when Spike spoke to her a moment before. "I didn't know you were here!" She leaves the embrace of Spike's loving arms and rushes over to hug her, stopping only when she sees that she's holding a large cupcake with a single, lit candle.
Spike glances over at the cupcake as well. "I didn't see a thing," he mutters, but then he winks at her. "Love you, pet. I'll leave you girls alone."
He grabs a nearby, black shirt and pulls it on. He slips out behind Willow as Buffy asks, frowning, "What's with the cupcake?"
Spike glances back, smiles, but keeps walking. Willow places a finger to her lips. "Shush," she hisses. "If we don't say it, maybe the Demons won't realize it."
Buffy's frown deepens, creasing lines in her forehead. "Won't realize it what? Wills, what's going on?"
Willow blinks and looks at her in surprise. "You really have forgotten, haven't you?"
"Buffy," Willow says gently, almost in a motherly tone, "it's your birth -- " She stops herself and looks quickly around them as though Demons might have infested the very walls of Buffy's latest in temporary homes. " -- your special days," she concludes in a low hiss.
Buffy looks, and feels, truly dumbfounded. "It is?" she whispers. It's the right month, she remembers, but somehow, she'd forgotten all about the upcoming day. She's not even sure when the last time was that she knew the date.
Willow nods. "It is," she insists and gently places the cupcake in Buffy's hands.
Buffy takes the cupcake but only looks at it, still puzzled. "Make a wish," Willow urges.
"Why? So it can not come true?"
"Buffy," Willow croons, but her friend's moving away from her. She follows, shutting the door behind them. "What's wrong?"
"It's just . . . It seems like everybody's got their lives planned out but me, Wills." She tells her about the two girls she used to know, the two girls who are now happily married with children of their own and who don't have to lift a finger to do anything even remotely related to hard work.
Willow gives her a long, thoughtful look when she's finished before asking tentatively, "Is that really the life you want, Buffy?"
"No, but . . . Sometimes I wonder."
"Sometimes you wonder what? If it would be easier?"
"If I make a difference." The words slip out before she can stop them. "I mean," she blusters ahead, knowing it's too late to take them back, "everybody's getting married and having kids, Will, but here I am getting older every day, having to fight to survive every night, and no closer to doing either."
"Really? Buffy, Spike got his soul back for you. He changed everything for you. He went to Hell and came back for you. Most people would kill to have that kind of love in their lives, married or not, and most marriages, these days, don't last. They certainly don't have that kind of dedication and real love. It doesn't matter if you're married or not. What matters is that you truly, truly love each other."
"I know. Spike's wonderful. I don't regret being with him not for a moment. I wouldn't marry, or be with, anybody else, not even Angel. But . . . "
"You want kids?" Willow asks her, moving across the Slayer's bedroom. "Every child in this world is alive today because you keep saving the world, and look out here," she instructs, lifting the curtain. Buffy follows her gaze to Faith's training class in their morning routines. "Every one of those girls hangs on your every word, and you didn't have to endure the pains of actually giving birth to them."
She shrugs with kind of a half-smile gracing her lips. "I try," she murmurs, "but seriously, Buffy, look out there. You saved every one of those kids. You saved every one of us."
Buffy gazes out from over Willow's shoulder. She sees the girls working in the early morning light and, true to Willow's word, she remembers saving every one of them at different times. "I did, didn't I?" she whispers, tears welling in her eyes.
"You damn sure did!" Letting the curtain drop, Willow turns back to her dearest friend in all the world. "You may not be a mother yet, Buffy, or a wife, but you can be whatever you want to be along with being what you already, but what you already are is way more awesome than what any of those other girls will grew up with will ever become. You're the Slayer. You're the hero. They may never know it, but you've saved us all. You aren't just the hero. You're our hero. You're my hero."
Tears rush down Buffy's face. "Th-Thank you, Willow."
Willow beams as she wraps her arms around her, careful not to squish the cupcake between them. "Hey," she says, "what are besties for?"
"We're still best friends? I haven't seen you in months."
"Of course we are," Willow assures her, hugging her, "and we always will be! Happy Birthday, bestie! Now blow out your candle and make your wish." Buffy does, wishing with all her heart that her life, and all her friends, will stay exactly as they are for a long, long time to come except, maybe, with an added ring on her finger.
Spike, outside her door, smiles and pats the box he's been holding close to his heart for weeks now. He knows what Buffy's wishes are, and at least one of them matches his own. Maybe he'll make it come true this year after all.