Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Challenge/Prompt: nekid_spike 30in30: Day 29: You're The One That I Want, Come Back To Bed, All I Need
Word Count: 1,365
Date Written: 29 May 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
"Come back to bed," Buffy whispers, reaching out, grasping, and tugging on Spike's hand the moment he moves to leave their bed.
He pauses, looking at her through widening eyes. "I thought you were asleep."
"I was," she admits, her eyes opening and looking directly into his, "but I've been awake a little while now. I'm guessing you've been awake longer."
He opens to his mouth to answer, then shuts it and nods wordlessly. She reaches up with her free hand and caresses his face. "Nightmares again?"
They've never far from his mind. Every time he tries to sleep by himself, he sees the faces of those he's killed. Every time he tries to shut his eyes when she's not near, all his past mistakes return to stare him down. They tell him how he will never be any good. They remind him of the monster he is and tell him again and again that he has no heart. How could he, after all, and have done the things he's done, killed the innocents he's slain?
His eyes must give him away, because Buffy frowns up at him. She tugs him closer. "You're not that man any more."
Spike still doesn't answer but looks away instead. Those weren't even the nightmares that woke him this time. Although they're always near, Buffy's presence at his side and in his arms tends to drive them to silence. At least, while he's got her, he doesn't dwell on them, but the nightmares that plague him while he's holding her aren't any better. In some ways, they're even worse.
"That was never you," Buffy adds more gently. "That was the Demon in you. You didn't have control then. You didn't have your soul."
She stops speaking as she feels him tense. "Don't," he whispers, "make excuses for me, pet. That was me. Maybe I didn't have my soul, but it was still me."
She rises onto her knees, gently grasps his chin, and turns him to face her. Gazing directly into his troubled eyes, she tells him again, "That wasn't you. You didn't have your soul, and your soul is part of what makes you who you are. You'd never do those things now."
"What makes you so sure of that? I'm still a monster. You used to tell me that yourself all the time." And she told him again this morning in his dreams. He is a monster while Angel keeps his monster at bay. No wonder she chose him, and although he knows it was just a dream, it still feels too real.
"You were letting your Demon lead then," she whispers. "That wasn't the real you. This is the real you: the man who torments himself over every mistake he ever made."
Spike's dark lips twist into a smirk. "Giving me a little too much credit there, aren't you, luv? That's not me. That's Mister Broody."
"It's you too," Buffy argues gently. "You're more alike than you want to admit."
"We are alike," he returns quietly, facing her eyes at last. There are tears in his own, but he won't let them fall. "We both love the same woman."
Buffy's breath catches. For a long moment, she's silent, but then, finally, she acknowledges, "So that's what this is all about. You had that nightmare again, didn't you?"
He scoffs and smirks again. "Nightmare. Dream. Prophesy."
"It's not a prophesy! I've told you, Spike: You're the one that I want!" There's a touch of anger to her tone, but then she softens again, tilting her head, and looking at him the way she does when she can't quite figure him out. "Why do you keep torturing yourself?" she asks softly.
He gazes at her. In their bed tonight, she looks so small, so innocent, so heartbreakingly beautiful . . . But this girl before him has saved the world more times than anybody else in history. She's died twice doing it and come back both times stronger and more beautiful. She's not simply the most beautiful girl he's ever seen, inside and out; she's the most wonderful, most courageous, most caring person he's ever known. And he . . . He may have his soul, but he's still a monster. He'll always be a monster. "Because I don't deserve you," he whispers, hanging in his head not just because he doesn't but because he knows he'll never be able to be worthy of her.
She's going to find another one of these nights. If she doesn't go flocking back to the heroic Angel with all his super, good deeds, she'll find another man to love, or perhaps even a woman, but she'll find somebody else to love, somebody else who deserves her more than he can ever hope to. Rather a monster or simply a man, he will never, can never, deserve her. His head remains hanging as he remembers every one of those people in his past who have known him and told him, again and again, how he would never amount to anything: from his mother to Cecily to Angel and Angelus, and even Darla and Drusilla. Even those Vampires whose nest they broke up last week laughed at him, calling him the Slayer's pet. He is hers, but he'll never be able to keep her. She'll never be his, not truly and especially not for long, because he can never deserve to be the man she loves.
Crawling across their bed on her knees, Buffy reaches him and lifts Spike's face in her hands. She gazes directly into his teary eyes as she tells him forcibly, "Bull." She'd tell him to stop having such nightmares, to stop having such doubts, but she knows that will no good. They are all haunted by their own Demons and their own nightmares. She still has nightmares where he succumbs again to evil, where she herself succumbs, where Angelus returns and kills them all, herself last, after he's taken everybody else, especially Spike, whom she loves from her. They can't stop their nightmares. They can't stop their own self doubts. All they can do is learn to live with them in submission and push them forcibly back down any time they rise.
Now, leaning down before Spike and gazing into her eyes, she tells him again, "I love you, Spike. You're the one I want, the one I love, the one I choose, and you always will be! Even if Angel managed to get cured and Angelus could never come out again, I wouldn't go back to him! I wouldn't return to Angel for anything in the world, because YOU. ARE. THE. ONE. I. LOVE!"
"But -- "
"Sh." Buffy's breath blows hot across Spike's lips as she shushes him. "Let me show you." Actions have always spoken louder and clearer than words. They can hush those little, niggling doubts in the back of one's mind when nothing else will work to quiet them, and now with every kiss, every touch, every caress, she pushes Spike's nightmares back away. She restores his dreams and reminds him again with every touch and kiss that he is the one she loves.
Her body sings to him until he can no longer hear his own doubts. He can no longer hear the voices of his past telling him that he'll never be worth a damn. He can no longer hear their burning laughter or cruel ridicules. He can no longer hear the sobs and cries that haunt him, including his own. He can no longer hear his past, only his present and, he dares to hope again, his future in the form of this wonderful woman wrapping her body around his with the skills he taught her.
Just as she taught him to be good. Just as she taught him to be a better man. Just as she taught him to go after his soul and earn it. He did earn his soul, he thinks just before their passion crashes over all other thoughts. Maybe one day he can earn her loving too. Maybe. But as long as she gives it to him, she is all he needs -- and all he wants, all he loves -- forever!