PAIRING: Buffy/cement block
SUMMARY: Oh I'm not even gonna try, it's short, just read it!
DISCLAIMER: All characters belong to the god that is Joss Whedon (all hail and bow low before him), and WB, UPN, Mutant Enemy and some other people, but not me. The Babyverse belongs to Ebony Silvers, who is the goddess of all things Baby
She stood stoically in the front of the room, her hands demurely clasped in front of her. This was the toughest decision she would ever have to make in her life. And she knew it. She looked at each of them in turn, each one looking more handsome than the next as they sat comfortably on the pair of brown leather sofas. This was it.
Her eyes traveled over them slowly, one at a time, her expression non-committal except for the way she chewed her bottom lip. It made her look about 16 years old.
She began to examine them slowly, starting with Angel, who was sitting stiffly at the far left end of the sofa. He looked uncomfortable and worried and, of course, he was brooding. She could hardly hide her grin. His moodiness was so familiar and expected that she welcomed it. He was the first man she had ever loved, emotionally or physically. They had lived through so many catastrophic challenges that, to this day, he was always the first one she wanted to turn to when she needed help defeating some overpowering evil. She could remember vividly the feel of his strong, sheltering arms around her. He always made her feel safe, well, at least after they had resolved that unfortunate Angelus thing.
Her eyes trailed over to the stunning peroxide blonde next to him. She and Spike had such a painful history between them fraught with misunderstanding, mistreatment, abuse, and frustration. But they also shared so much passion that just thinking about him made her blood turn to fire. Spike's eyes shown like sapphires. He always knew exactly what to wear to make her weak and kittenish. The blue silk shirt assured that she would have difficulty tearing her eyes away from him.
Xander was casually nestled into the corner of the sofa, his right arm resting on the back of it behind Spike. He appeared relaxed and unworried, smiling at her and the others, the only sign of his nerves being the subtle drumming of his fingers on leather. He had always been her friend. No matter the mistakes he made with his own life, he had always been loyal to her, especially when she needed him.
Talking to Xander from the other sofa, in that occasionally stuffy accent, was Giles. She wasn't quite sure why he was there; she didn't remember him being on the invitation list, nor Oz, sitting quietly next to him. Still they each had things to offer her in her life. Giles was the father figure and source of infinite education and learning. Oz represented the easygoing nature she wished she could have. Nothing ever ruffled or upset Oz.
Then there was Riley. Though scarred and a bit worse for the wear, he still was a good-looking man. Maturity had done a lot for his babe factor. He carried himself with a confidence Buffy didn't remember from their college days. He was larger than Angel, broad-shouldered, dusty blonde hair and still filled, in some strange way, with the wide-eyed Iowa innocence that made you want to play house with him. He was still soldier boy, all muscles and hidden weapons, but you could tell by looking at him that he'd never break your heart. Or so Buffy had always thought ... a nice, normal boy.
Now, there was a choice to be made. They had demanded it of her, so now she would meet those demands. If they didn't like the results, well, it was too bad. She had tried to talk them out of it.
She gave them all one last look, then nodded to the man next to her. He nodded back and began to speak as she reached for the rose on the stand in front of her.
"As you all know, Buffy has chosen to do this in one ceremony instead of five. As you can see, she has but one rose to give out tonight." He looked at her expectantly. "Buffy?"
She nodded stiffly to Mr. Obvious, wondering how he had ever gotten this job. Then, with the rose in hand, she looked at these much loved and adored men one more time, took a deep breath and then released it ... the name on her lips.
A sly, cocky grin spread across his face as he glanced triumphantly at Angel and stood to approach Buffy.
Biting her lip, she suddenly want to smack that smirk off his face, but the dancing in those heavenly eyes told her it was all an act and that he was honored, relieved, and ecstatic that he had been chosen. She breathed a sigh of relief, as the other guys began mumbling amongst themselves.
"Spike. Will you accept this rose?" Her voice trembled a little, but not nearly as much as her hand did as she held it out to Spike.
He looked at the red petals and then into her hazel eyes, the smirk reappearing as he reached for it. In one fluid motion he took the rose, tossed it over his shoulder to Angel and gathered Buffy into his arms, kissing her with every ounce of passion he could muster standing there in front of the others. She responded, parting her lips to him and feeling her knees weaken beneath her. Their arms entangled as their kiss deepened, moaning sounds of satisfaction filling the air.
The guys began to clear their throats uncomfortably behind the smooching couple. The stunned moderator looked at the chorus of coughing fellows and shrugged his shoulders. This was a new twist. He stepped forward and tried to salvage the ceremony.
"Well gentlemen, I would welcome you all to say your goodbyes, but, uh, Buffy appears to be occupied at present."
Giles stood first. "Well there you have it. Oz, do you want to show me that guitar lick you were talking about on the ride over? That was a fascinating progression .... "
Angel stood up and stretched, still holding the rose in his hand. Xander approached him, patting him on the back. "Always a bridesmaid, eh, big fella?" Angel raised an eyebrow at him. Xander removed his hand immediately and gave a nervous laugh just as Riley stepped between the two of them, draping his arms around their shoulders.
"I feel the need for a tall, cool one," he said with that innocent enthusiasm. Xander started to open his mouth, but thought better of it, and laughed nervously instead. Angel growled. Riley turned a confused expression to first one, then the other before it dawned on him. "Uh, I mean, let's get a beer." As they all headed toward the door, he muttered, "Geez, you guys really are sick. I wonder if Helene and Gwen are up for this."
As the room emptied, Spike and Buffy were still lost in each other, completely unaware that anyone had left or even that they existed. Hungry mouths explored each other, all tension and animosity of the past vanishing in their contented sighs. Now, he was the chosen one.
Buffy awoke in her bed in total darkness save the small amount of light the tiny sliver of a moon sent through the open window. She rubbed her face before stumbling to the bathroom to splash water on it and drag herself from the annoying and strange dream.
"Too much TV, Buffy," she scolded as she made her way back to the bed. As she pulled back the covers to climb back into bed she saw a shadow on one of the pillows. Blinking her eyes a few times, they finally adjusted enough to the limited light for her to make out what was there. A smile spread across her features as she reached for it, bringing the red rose to her and breathing in it's scent ... sweet with a hint of smoke, whiskey, and leather.
She curled up into the covers again, closing her eyes tightly, the flower still clutched in her hand. "Now where was I .... " she muttered softly as she tried to mentally find the bookmark in her dream. The End
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