Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Challenge/Prompt: nekid_spike A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words: Day 25:
Word Count: 1,103
Date Written: 29 August 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
She looks at him and remembers the warmth she’d felt just a little time ago in his arms. He had made her feel so warm, so loved, as though nothing in the world could ever hurt her even when their enemies had come calling. She had loved him completely, trusted him completely, although they had both known so little at the time . . . and most of what they’d thought they’d known had turned out to be false.
He looks across the way at her, sees the way she’s looking at him, and remembers. He remembers what it had felt like to be able to hold her close in his arms and tell the world that she was his. A part of him almost wishes the spell could have lasted longer, at least long enough that he could have made her his bride. But that wouldn’t have been fair to her, Spike knows. As much as he wants to make her his, as much as he’d like to be able to be the man she had believed, for far too short a time, he was, he knows if he ever does manage to make her his it’s going to have to come through honesty and hard work, two things he’s never really liked, or else it won’t last.
“Buffy -- “
“You were happy.”
“It was a stupid spell.”
“Yeah,” he counters, “but you were still happy.”
She glares at him, but she doesn’t try to deny the truth of his words. She’d like to feel that happiness again, but she knows such an emotion isn’t meant for the Slayer. Even if she was to find a man she loved and who loved her and didn’t go crazy on her or become his evil counterpart or any other number of ways she’s lost men over the time she’s been dating, which suddenly feels like a far longer time than it actually is, she’ll never be free to love them so openly. She’ll never be free to be so happy. Even if she could find her Mister Right, marry him, and slay with him, not against him, she would still be the Slayer. She’ll never feel so carefree, because of the fate of the world will always rest on her shoulders. Sometimes, it’s too heavy a weight, but it’s a weight she’s well accustomed to shouldering.
“I just . . . “ Spike pauses and runs a pale hand through his short, blonde hair. He could try telling her he could make her that happy, but they both know that’d be a lie. She’ll never have that kind of joy and carefree freedom as long as she’s the Slayer, and if she’s not the Slayer . . . If she’s not the Slayer, she’s dead, and that’s something he doesn’t want to even think about with her. “It was nice,” he says finally, gently, “seeing you that happy.”
Buffy snorts. He looks up at her in surprise, his eyes widening slightly. She shrugs. “It was a spell. That’s the only reason why -- “
“Why you were with me?”
She shuts her mouth quickly. That had not been what she’d been about to say, but it’s nonetheless the truth, and a considerably less revealing truth than the one she’d been about to utter. “Yeah,” she says, shifting away from him. She casts her gaze elsewhere, anywhere else, so that he won’t see the truth in her haunted eyes. Even she can feel the shadows in them herself.
“It doesn’t have to be.”
She snorts again. “You’re a Vampire, Spike. I’m the Slayer.”
“Yeah, and it’s your job to slay me. I know. But what if I could make you happy?”
Her head swings to look back at him. “I’ll never be that happy.” The words escape her before she can stop them.
He smiles sadly, and she realizes, from the way he’s looking at her, that they both know the truth. He nods. “Yeah. But I could make you happy. Not that happy. But I could make you happy.”
She starts to protest, to tell him that he can’t, but he steps back and away, into the shadows. She lets him go and wraps her arms around herself, remembering again that feeling, remembering how he’d made her feel. But those feelings she’d had underneath that spell, those feelings she’d experienced almost like a dream, are things she can never have. Even if he could make her happy, which he can’t, she quickly reminds herself, he could never make her that happy. No one can.
She can’t have that joy; she can’t have that freedom. None of what she experienced during that time is meant for a Slayer. She is the Slayer, the one girl in all the world who shall stand alone against the Vampires, Demons, and forces of darkness, and although she has far more friends than any Slayer before her and is certainly nowhere near as alone as any of the others who have come before her, in some ways, in some things, she will always be alone. Tears prick her eyes as Buffy turns away from the darkness.
Wrapped in the shadows, Spike turns and looks back. Buffy’s turned away from him. She’s trying to turn away from the world, he knows. He recognizes that goal in her, because he’s been there before himself. He’s been there, and he’s never succeeded. The world has a way of sinking its fangs into a bloke, or a girl, and never, ever letting go. “I’m not going to let go,” he murmurs, his words surprising himself.
His head lifts a little, and he begins to smile. “I’m not going to let go,” he repeats and nods. He isn’t going to let go of her. He isn’t going to let go of what they just shared and the idea that they might be able to one day get close to those feelings again. He’s not going to give up on her.
Even if she doesn’t have faith in them, he does. He can see it now. He’s not going to let go of her, and one day, one way or another, she’s going to let him get close. When she does, he’ll stop at nothing to make her happy. He may never be able to help her achieve the happiness she had felt for such a fleeting time with him, but he’ll do what he can. He’ll make her happy. “You’ll see, Slayer,” he whispers, “you’ll see,” and he walks away for another night. Tonight’s the night, but it will come. It will come, he will be ready, and he’ll make her happy. He walks away smiling.