I DO NOT OWN. All recognizable characters and situations belong to their respective owner and I make no profit off of playing with them. Song by Glens Hansgard, version taken from Kris Allen.Fandom:
Buffy the Vampire SlayerRating:
Buffy/Spike (Xander/Anya, Willow/Tara)Spoilers:
Season 6 “Older and Further Away” and “Hell’s Bells” then AUSummary:
You have suffered enough, and warred with yourself, it’s time that you won.Author’s Note:
This is a total AU of season 6 going AU during “Hell’s Bells” and read the fic and you’ll see why. The inspiration for this song and what finally got it written was the Kris Allen version of “Falling Slowly” an amazing song that I played over and over during the last thousand words and got me through it. Enjoy and please take the time to let me know what you think.Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You've made it now
Buffy could feel his eyes on her from across the room and she couldn’t deny the heat that flared up between them. She felt it every time they were together, it’s what had lead to the sexcapades of the last few months and it’s what scared her the most. That heat that shouldn’t be there but was.
She knew she shouldn’t feel this way about him. This was Spike, an evil soulless vampire that was only controlled by the chip in his head. But even as she told herself that, Buffy knew it was a lie. She didn’t care what she had been taught, what her friends said. She knew Spike was different, she knew he didn’t need the chip to be a good man, to be a man.
She could admit that to herself, she just could never admit that to him. Not when she knew he would take any breadcrumb that she had to offer him. She wouldn’t do that to him, she wouldn’t be that kind of person. She wouldn’t give him hope when she wasn’t even sure how she felt about him anymore.
She didn’t hate him, didn’t think she could ever hate him again. Not after everything they had been through together, not after everything he had done for her, for Dawn. It wasn’t hate, but she didn’t trust him. Didn’t think she could ever trust him, and it wasn’t because he was a vampire, it wasn’t because he didn’t have a soul.
Yeah, it would be easy to say that was the reason, but Buffy knew that wasn’t the truth. She didn’t trust him because she didn’t trust most men lately. Not when all they did was walk away. Not when they had never given her a reason to trust them.
Her dad, Angel, and now Giles.
“Penny for your thoughts.” She felt him slide up behind her, his voice smooth in her ear and Buffy kept her eyes on the people mingling around her, her friends, her family, all there to celebrate her. She tried to hide the way her body reacted to him, refusing to look back at him, to see the damage she had done.
She didn’t trust him, and she didn’t trust herself. Even now the cuts and bruises decorating his face were a testament to just how screwed up she was. She had hit him and kept hitting because it was easier than listening to what he had to say, than listening to him tell her with so many words how much he cared about her.
When he shouldn’t even know how, shouldn’t even be capable of it. That’s what she had been taught, no soul, no heart, and no capacity for love. But it was just more lies fed to the Slayers by the Watchers Council. She had seen the way he had loved Drusilla, long before their relationship had changed. She saw the way he loved her.
He loved in a way she was terrified to, not like that, not again. That kind of love made a person vulnerable, weak.
“My thoughts cost way more than a penny.” Buffy folded her arms across her chest, forcing her eyes from the scene in front of her and into the face of the man beside her. One eye was swollen shut still but that didn’t take away from his beauty and it only added to her guilt. Still, she forced herself to look at him and tried to smile casually. Like a person would at an acquaintance and not somebody they had invited into their body, time after time.
He saw through it, of course he saw through it, and his eyes narrowed on her face, his voice lowering just for her to hear, stripped bare with honesty. “I would pay whatever price you wanted, you know that.” His hand slipped down her arm, fingers curling around the skin of her wrist to lift her hand up and he pressed a kiss to her knuckles. “Just ask.”
“I can’t.” And she wanted to pull her hand away, wanted to turn away and join the party again but she couldn’t. Staring into his blue eyes, she saw the truth of it. He didn’t have a soul but that had stopped mattering. It didn’t change the fact that when she looked into his eyes, she saw the love there, bare, open, freely given and asking nothing in turn.
The smile on his lips told her that she didn’t have to give anything back “You don’t have to, love.” he pressed another kiss to her knuckles and his fingers slipped around hers, holding her hand lightly as he pulled her into the direction of the kitchen, steps unsure. “What do you say we get away from prying eyes?”
She let herself be pulled into the kitchen, answering yes by not holding back.
The voices around them from her friends faded away, lost in the background, and Buffy let herself stand across from Spike in front of the island. His eyes looked so haunted and cautious and it was a struggle for Buffy to remind herself that there wasn’t a soul there.
She had to keep reminding herself that a soul even mattered and that was getting harder every day.
“So, tell me, why the clandestine meeting in my kitchen? Because we can have a conversation just as easily in there.” She folded her arms across her chest, knowing she was becoming closed off and defensive but she couldn’t help who she was.
“Not this one, love, not unless you want to let your precious Scoobies in on our little secret.” Spike recognized her for who she was, and wasn’t buying any of it.
Buffy tensed and let her arms fall to her sides, moving to get passed him and back to where there were people that weren’t a blond vampire pain in her side. “I am not doing this right now.”
Spike’s hand came to grip her arm tightly, spinning her around into his chest, his voice soft. “Yes, you are, no running this time.” And it hurt, just enough that she was reminded again that his chip didn’t work with her and that she was just as capable of hurting him, had hurt him.
“What do you want?” she asked softly, too tired to fight with him, tired of fighting with him.
“Well, that’s something you really don’t want to hear but now, for tonight, I’ll settle for you letting me give you a birthday present.”
Buffy stared up at him doubtfully and her voice was strained. “Okay.”
He moved forward, his intention clear as he leaned down his lips near hers and she pulled back as much as his arms around her waist would let her. “Hey, stop.”
“Just a kiss,” he whispered, eyes pleading. “Nothing more, not that you’d let me. I heard you when you said we were over, just one kiss.”
She swallowed tightly and, against her better judgment, nodded, the action not even done as she felt his lips settle on hers. They were cool and soft. The kiss was soft, slow, and almost innocent. Completely unlike all the kisses they had shared and it went on as he didn’t try to deepen it or turn it into something more. The near burning passion that always existed with them was tempered; a rolling flame ,and she felt her heart beat faster and her eyes mist as it stayed calm, a peace that seeped into her from the simple and honest contact of his lips on hers.
A calm that she hadn’t felt in months, hadn’t felt since she knew the glory of peace and the agony of having that peace torn away, came over her.
She had never been kissed like this, with such slow passion and need, her mouth opening under his and his tongue lightly touching hers, softly moving her.
He pulled back and she gasped, opening her eyes to see the way he looked down at her.
“Happy Birthday,” he whispered, his voice rough and she could see the brightness in his own eyes as he turned to head back to the party and leave her alone like she had asked.
“Wait.” It was her turn to stop him, her hand lightly gripping his arm and he turned back to her, his hope masked behind pain and the bitter sting of rejection.
She pressed close to him, leaning into him and up as she pressed her lips lightly to his, the kiss quick and lacking the harshness of her previous kisses, lacking the pain she had often tried to pour into him when it had become too much for her to bear.
“Thank you,” she murmured back, a small smile slipping on her lips.
Before she could turn around this time, before she could retreat back into herself where she didn’t have questions or doubts, where she didn’t feel out of control and in control at the same time, he asked her, his voice heavy with the knowledge that she would probably say no but needing to ask anyway.
“Any chance you’d let me take you to the big wedding?”
Buffy paused, her throat clenching and her stomach twisting. “I – “ a refusal was on her lips, but before she could get it out, Spike smiled sadly and shook his head at his own stupidity.
“It’s okay, Slayer, just…save me a dance, would you?”
“Yeah,” she breathed out, strength filling her as she nodded and tried to smile. “I can do that.”
Buffy leaned against the wall, her arms folded across her chest and her eyes soft with happiness as she watched Xander and Anya dance, smiling and laughing eyes shining clearly, eyes that never strayed from each other.
They almost hadn’t made it to this point. They had been so close to losing it all.“You moronic git, she loves you. You’re willing to give that all up because a demon showed you something that would never happen because you think you might hurt her. How bleeding stupid can you be? I’m a demon and even I know not to trust them,” Spike shouted at Xander, face showing anger and disappoint in the other man. “You’re willing to give up a woman that is clearly too good for you because you think you’ll become a monster. I’m a monster, you’re an idiot.”
“Xander?” Anya took a step forward, looking beautiful and heartbroken, her eyes wide as her world fell down around her with the chance that Xander would walk away from marrying her, away from her.
Xander looked at her, his eyes desperate and his body shaking from the cold, from being soaking wet because of the rain. “Anya,” he breathed out softly, looking from Spike’s stern face back to her and he shook his head softly, his eyes shining. “I am so sorry.” Before she could break down, before the entire wedding could fall apart all around them he moved to her, swiftly his hand coming up to cup her elbow and pull her towards him. “I’m so sorry,” he whispered softly, his forehead touching hers as he smiled shakily. “Can we still make this work?”
She looked shaky in his arms and more vulnerable than she ever had before, her smile dimmer than it had been earlier but it was filled with relief. “Yes, we can. Preacher’s still here and so are the people. So let’s do it, right now, and then the sex can come later and everything will be fine.”
He pressed a kiss to her forehead, voice growing stronger as he declared, “Everything will be perfect.” and his eyes met Spike’s over her head and he mouthed ‘thank you’. Spike just nodded, hands buried in his pocket and he ducked his head as he made his way silently out of the room.
Buffy watched him go feeling a stunned relief and so grateful.
“Penny for your thoughts,” Spike whispered in her ear coming up behind her, his hair damp with the rain and she could smell the smoke from the cigarettes he had had clinging to his body.
She turned to him and smiled softly, the gesture feeling tight and new. “What you did with Xander, thank you.”
“No need for thanks,” and she could hear the sincerity in his voice, “All I did was point out the boy’s stupidity, although that’s not hard to do. You sure he graduated?”
“Yes.” And it was easier for her to smile. “Got the charred diploma to prove it.” She looked away from the happy couple and back to Spike. “Still, thank you. You didn’t have to.”
“Want to repay me with that dance?” he suggested with a smirk, playfully clearly at a loss for words and his eyebrows rose suggestively.
Buffy looked from where Xander and Anya were entwined closely to Willow and Tara lost in each other’s eyes and Dawn chatting up the demon boy, her cheeks flushed with excitement. She saw the way Xander’s parents sat side by side at the bar, a clear distance between them and turned away from each other.
She looked back up at Spike, the smile coming easy this time, familiar and sorely missed. “Yeah, I think I do.”
“All right.” Spike reached down to grab her hand, shock in his eyes and he led her slowly onto the dance floor.
Buffy didn’t think about her friends, who were watching, she didn’t think about the way they wouldn’t understand, she didn’t think about the soul that Spike didn’t have. She felt his arms slip around her waist, pulling her close and she let her hands settle clasped around his neck as she looked up to him, smile still on her lips as she let him take the lead.
They swayed softly and the peace she had felt when he had kissed her on her birthday was there, the passion that burned through her for him was still there, as well as the growing confidence that maybe she was ready to leap again, maybe she should stop looking and just let herself fall.
Spike had proven time and time again that he would catch her.
The pain, it was still there, still gaped inside her and made everything brighter and harsher but he had tempered that, he had made it into something she could handle without flinching back from everything the world had to offer. He had stayed even when she had pushed him away time and time again.
He stayed and that was something no one had ever done for her.
Buffy’s eyes met Xander’s over Spike’s shoulder and while she could see the confusion there, he gave her a tight smile before turning back to Anya. She saw the way Tara nodded at her and the way Willow gave a thumbs up, she saw the excited light in Dawn’s eyes as she looked away from the boy she had been chatting up and to her sister and her favorite vampire.
Buffy looked back up at Spike and the hope there was just a little brighter, just a little more focused and she smiled back at him, letting him know this was for real, this was a decision. She let her hands tighten around his neck and he shifted so his forehead was pressed against hers, their eyes still locked together.
They smiled.Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can't go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I'm painted black
You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It's time that you won