Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Character/Pairing: Spike/Buffy with Ensemble cameos and mentions of Willow/Kennedy and past Xander/Anya
Challenge/Prompt: nekid_spike: 10 Reasons Spike loves Summer and Moods of Spike; faerie_wish13: Summer; and fffc: Out of Context D&D Questions: “I’m in love with you. By the way. Please don’t die again.”
Warning(s): Future Fic
Word Count: 1,594
Date Written: 25 July 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
He likes the way the firelight catches on her long, blonde hair. It makes it look like it’s spun gold. It shimmers like he’s always dreamed it would do in the sun. He’ll never get to see that -- her skin or her hair kissed by the sun, but this is close. This is close enough for him.
It has to be, he tells himself again, just like whatever time he has with her, whatever time he has with them all, is going to have to be enough. There’s a part of him that even now wants to beg her not to die on him again, but he knows she will. Summer is a time for living life to its fullest, to enjoying every moment to the max, but he can’t help thinking about the tragically short span of a mortal life every time he’s around these people.
And the bugger of the thing is: He loves them all. He can’t bear to think of any of them dying, not even the bloody Potentials. He glances at the kids now. He’s come to like them despite himself, probably because of Dawn and her effect on him. Hell, who’s he kidding? He likes the other girls because they don’t run from him. They don’t fear him even though they should. They look at him all googly eyed because they know he loves their leader and would do anything for Buffy -- he even caught one of them the other night writing a story she thinks he didn’t see, something about Sir Spike and Lady Buffy --, but best of all, they love Buffy and Dawn too. They love them, and they make them laugh. They especially make Dawnie light up like he hasn’t seen her do in a while, not since Buffy died on them, not since their mum died before.
He’s watching them smack on s'mores and toasted marshmallows, listening to them laugh, watching each of their young faces light up like Hell isn’t just waiting to roast them like they’re doing the ‘mallows. He’s so intent on seeing them live that he’s taken by surprise by the hand whose fingers curl gently around his own. He looks down, barely stilling his impulse to jump into fight mode, first at the hand and then at the beautiful woman smiling at him.
Again, his words get caught in his throat. He so wants to ask her this night, but he doesn’t want to ruin these moments. They get so few of them like it is. Buffy’s lovely, green eyes widen slightly, almost urgently. He frowns, his brow furrowing, and he’s just beginning to think she’s wanting to sneak off with him somewhere -- he should be so lucky -- when she asks him softly, “Well?”
His frown deepens. “Well what?”
She smirks up at him, the firelight touching her eyes. God, she’s so beautiful, -- and she’s his! How in the world is she his? “It’s your turn,” she says knowingly.
“My turn for what?”
She rolls her eyes at him, and the years seem to fall away. She seems young again and still so beautiful. “You totally weren’t paying attention.”
“Oh, I was paying attention, pet,” he says, his accent thickening and voice deepening. He tightens his hold on her hand. “I was definitely paying attention.”
“Not that kind of attention!” Xander laughs and throws a marshmallow at him.
Spike looks at him, but he doesn’t glower. He hasn’t seen him smile or heard him laugh like he is now since Anya died, or since he lost his eye in the service of the fight that’s taken so much from them all. “What?” he simply asks.
“What do you love about Summer?” Xander returns, as though the question is obvious.
“I . . . “ Willow speaks up quietly, almost shyly again after all this time and all the growth she’s done, her hand in Kennedy’s. “I said I used to love the Summer reading program at the library, but now . . . Now, I love how Summer’s all about life.”
“It is about life,” Spike murmurs, looking around them, and life is happening all around him tonight. Tonight, for a change, he’s not missing anything. He has it all. He has the woman he loves beside him and their family, such as it is, all around them, all happy, all laughing. Even Giles is smiling.
“But I already chose that answer,” Willow says with a small smile, “so you can’t use it. You have to choose something else.”
“Like the late night reruns they’re running on -- “ Andrew would start to babble except that Spike gently cuts him off.
“I choose it all.”
“What?” Andrew stares. Xander smiles. Giles lowers his cup of tea and watches Spike intently from behind his glasses. Willow, a knowing smile drawing the corners of her mouth up, leans a little closer.
“I choose it all,” he repeats again. “Whoever came up with the rule that we can only choose one thing was an idiot -- “
“Hey!” Xander protests as Buffy squeezes Spike’s hand in an altogether different warning.
Overlooking him, Spike continues, “Why should we have to choose just one thing? Summer’s about life, Red, yeah, but we all know how bloody short life can be. Moments like these are about more than that, and I love every night like this that Summer brings us. I love the fact that Dawnie can still smile and laugh -- Hell, that you all can. We all can.”
“I love the toasted onions,” he continues, and Andrew immediately goes rummaging around for some more they can toast, “and even the marshmallows. Bit too gooey for me. And the hot chocolate Buffy makes like her mum used to. I love sitting here with you people, screwed up as we all are, listening to each other talking, listening to the kids laugh -- “ It doesn’t dawn on him that the children aren’t laughing any longer but are instead, like Willow, leaning closer to him to catch every word. “ -- listening to us all live and be together and not fighting for once.”
“I love the stupid games Xander and Andrew play -- I totally whupped you at Dungeons & Dragons last night --, and I love the fact that we can actually all sit here together for a change without worrying about the world coming to a bloody end again.”
“Hum, actually,” Giles speaks up, pushing his spectacles back up on his nose, “that’s -- “
“Not now, Ripper,” Spike warns, his voice almost a growl. “Don’t ruin it.” He squeezes Buffy’s hand and turns to look directly into her eyes, “And most of all, I love having you here beside me, knowing you chose me, knowing you want me, you love me, -- “
“Spike,” Buffy whispers softly. He doesn’t realize her skin’s turned almost as bright a red as their campfire until she presses a finger on his lips, “Not here.” She barely glances at the others as she stands, pulling him with her. “We’ll be back.”
“Uh huh.” Xander chuckles and waggles his eyebrows.
If Spike had bothered to look at the others, he would have seen Giles blushing, Willow cooing, Dawn happily glowing, and Andrew and the Potential whose story he’d interrupted making hand signals to each other, but as is so often the case, he only has eyes for Buffy. He lets her lead him a mile or so away from their camp and take the initiative to pull him closer. Only then, as she starts to kiss him, does he whisper, “I wasn’t done, you know.”
Her blush turns even redder. “I know,” she starts to say but hushes when he cups her face in his hands and brushes his thumbs over her open lips.
“I love the way you light up brighter than that fire -- “
“That’s because you -- “
“Hush.” His thumbs linger on her lips now. “And the way the fire kisses your skin and hair. It’s the closest I’ll ever get to seeing you up close in the sun.”
Tears suddenly sparkle in her eyes.
“None of that now,” he commands, his voice sounding a bit rougher than he intended. “We’re not going to have you crying because I can’t walk with you in the sunlight like you deserve just like I’m not going to waste our time together begging you not to die on me again. I might just ask you not to die again any time soon.” He kisses her forehead, then her lips, then her neck . . .
She moans as he whispers, “I love the way your skin tastes in the Summertime too, perfect combination of flesh and sweat, feel your blood pumping just underneath, luv . . . “
“Spike?” she moans.
“Hmm?” he murmurs in between nibbles of her sweet body.
“With pleasure, luv, always with pleasure.” Gently, he lays her down onto the hot sand and gives everything he possesses to her once more, and when they rise again, he barely resists the urge to tell her he also loves the impressions their bodies rolling together in perfect harmony leave behind them on the sand, impressions he knows the tide will wash away when the sun again rises, just like it will chase him back to her bedroom behind closed door and curtains, just like, he knows and swallows tightly down his own emotions, the impact they’re making on the world. Oh, the people they save might well remember them for a lifetime or even two, but one day, long after the rest of the world has forgotten, Spike knows he’ll still remember and he’ll still love her, and love them all, forever.