Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Challenge/Prompt: nekid_spike Festive Cards: A Christmas Wish
Word Count: 1,794
Date Written: 27 December 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
She stands at the window, her head tilted down, her big, doelike eyes downcast, and a patient smile upon her youthful, rosy pink lips. He wonders how long she’s been standing there and rather he is the first to see her and what hangs above her head. If any of the others had noticed, they would have risked her away, he knows just as well as he knows they’ll quickly brandish a stake and be done with him if he takes her up on her silent offer. But as her eyes lift slowly to meet his gaze, Spike knows he can not deny her, the one woman who’s now dearest to him in the whole world, this simple Christmas wish.
He moves slowly, acutely aware of how every step carries him closer to her and equally alert to how her breathing quickens. It’s been so long since he’s had any need to breathe. If he was a human boy her age, his breathing would also quicken at the thought that she wants him and his heart might well feel like it was about to explode out of his ribcage. But he is not the mortal boy who she deserves. He is nothing she deserves.
He should turn from her, slink back into the night from whence he’s come into this warm place that feels like the only real home he’s ever known. He should run from her and from what he can do to her. She doesn’t have the sense to know what she’s offering. She doesn’t understand yet what it fully means to love a Vampire like him. He told Buffy he would keep her safe, and that includes keeping her safe from the likes of him.
But if he runs from her on this merry night, he’ll break the very piece of her heart which she is offering to him. Fleeing her side would hurt her as well as protect her, but it would also leave her vulnerable to other attacks. The others are constantly distracted with saving the world or fighting battles that should belong to the Slayer or even just with one another. He’s the only one whose every thought runs instantly to this young, amazing girl.
Is she still a girl? he wonders as he comes to stand just before her. She’s grown up so much since her sister’s death. She’s grown up right before his very eyes. And yet . . . Yet she is still not an adult. Yet she is still too innocent to give up her belief in him. She is still innocent enough to trust him, to think she loves him.
Buffy would stake him, Spike knows, if she was still alive, but isn’t that all part of the problem that’s made this predicament both for her little sister and for the man who dedicated his heart to her and his Immortal life, long ago, to carrying out her dying wish? If Buffy was still here, he would not have grown so close to Dawn. The girl wouldn’t have gotten underneath his skin the way she has. He wouldn’t know how magical and beautiful her laughter sounds, how warm it makes him -- a Vampire who has not heat of his own -- feel every time he makes her smile, how wonderful that light is in her big, brown eyes when she’s happy.
And she would have never gotten close enough to make the mistake of thinking she loves him. He was there for her when no one else was. He was there for her during the hardest times of her young life. He held her when she cried; he wiped her tears away each time she thought she had no more to fall. He was the wall that kept her safe from the real world and tried to make the little space between the two of them the only reality she knew. He was also the wall she kept holding to when she finally ventured out again after her sister’s death.
He was the wall meant to surround her and protect her, and yet now, he can feel the wall crumbling around himself. He can feel his resolve slipping away the closer he gets to her. He really should turn and run because this is a battle, in the end, which neither of them can win. No good can come from this . . . whatever this deeper, more romantic layer of connection between them is. His love can give her nothing good.
And yet, standing before him in silence, she offers him everything he still wants in this big, bad world. She offers him love and unwavering devotion. She offers him a beautiful, nubile body to do with whatever he likes. She offers him loving arms in which to stay and shy away from the rest of the world forever more. He could stay with her forever very easily, but it’s not what she deserves.
Neither of them deserve it. She deserves to have a man like her, a young man, a man without a dark and checkered past, a man who doesn’t have a monster inside of him that’s always threatening to come out and destroy everything he holds dear. She deserves a good man, even if he’s a boy, to love and be loved by and with whom to grow old. She deserves a mortal who can give her so much more than Spike ever can.
And he -- He deserves just the opposite. For all the evil he’s done, he deserves to have nothing good in his life and to have to watch the few good things he cherishes be destroyed before him. If he stays with her, even if it’s only as friends, one day he will have to watch her die, just as he watched her sister before her give her life to save hers. They say she died to save the world. Spike knows the truth: She died to save her sister, the very sister she asked him to always protect, the very sister who he will one day have to watch die.
He blinks back the tears that well in his own, dark eyes. “That can be dangerous, ya know, Nibblet,” he whispers, his breathy words making a shiver appear on her bared skin, “standing beneath the mistletoe like that.”
He’s never known her to back away from a threat, and this time is no different. She shakes her head, tossing her long, brown hair behind her fragile shoulders, and levels her gaze with his. “I know exactly where I’m standing and by whose side.”
He should tell her she’s being dumb, being naive, making what could be a fatal mistake. He should bare his teeth and hiss at her to run, remind her of the primal animal to whom she is offering herself. He should turn away himself, run away himself, but he can’t. He won’t. But he also knows he can not give her everything for which she is asking.
“Dawn,” he whispers her name, and the sound escapes him with far more longing than he intended to show.
“I know what I’m doing,” Dawn tells him insistently, staring up into his eyes. “I know what I’m asking. And I know you want it too.”
He does, but he shouldn’t. He should care more about protecting her than about his own selfish needs. “You’re playing with fire, luv,” he whispers, but his hand still raises to caress her cheek. He starts with the softest brushing of the backs of his knuckles across her face, but his hand turns as she leans into the simple gesture and cups her face instead.
“It’s my Christmas wish,” she tells him. “Are you going to make it come true or not?”
He doesn’t dare confess that it’s his dearest Christmas wish too. He doesn’t know exactly when he moved from loving her sister and caring for her because she was his love’s only sister to beginning to fall in love with her, but he’s certainly fallen completely in love with her. He gazes into her eyes for a long moment, her heartbeat pounding in his head. Then, at last, he leans forward and softly, gently brushes his lips across hers.
Her mouth grabs at his as he starts to pull away. Her teeth catch his bottom lip and draw him back. Someone moans. Perhaps it’s him; perhaps it’s her. Perhaps it’s both of them. Spike doesn’t know, but he does know he’s truly kissing her in the next moment, her tongue thrusting up between his lips and teeth, teasing his fangs, deepening their kiss . . .
His hand moves from her face to her right hip. His other hand cups her left hip, and together they bring her closer to him, crushing her smaller frame against his. He kisses her deeply, passionately, madly until he hears the roaring of her blood inside his mind. It sounds like a mighty ocean pouring over everything.
He breaks their kiss and stumbles back. He’s looking at her now through the face of the Demon inside of him, but she still doesn’t shy away. Her eyes meet his yellow, hungry orbs calmly, innocently, pleadingly . . . “Spike,” she starts, taking a step toward him, but he holds out a hand to stop her and looks away.
He doesn’t want to see her like this. He doesn’t want to love her like this! He doesn’t want to destroy her! He promised Buffy, promised himself . . . He won’t destroy the last thing that’s left of Buffy; he won’t destroy the last thing that calls to his heart and keeps him tied to the last vestiges of his humanity! “Merry Christmas, Nibblet,” he whispers, his words ending on a growl, and turns and runs out into the cold, holy night, a night meant to give the good their presents but the wicked nothing they don’t deserve.
And he almost got the best present of all. He almost let himself know her love. He almost caved, but if he knows if he ever does give in to her or to himself, it will be the last thing he ever does as a free man who thinks and chooses for himself. Then he’ll be turned into the monster for good, and all that’s left of the man inside of him, all that she sees fit to somehow love, all that her sister before her saw and thought could keep her little sister safe . . . It will all be gone. He will be gone, and Dawn will be alone. He roars out into the empty night. He won’t let that happen, no matter how many of his own wishes he has to destroy to keep it from being so. He’ll never leave Dawn, but he’ll never be able to love her either.