A New Beginning.
Chapter 37: A New Beginning.
Spike heard the door creak open as he pretended to be checking his bandages. In truth, more than one of the wounds should probably be re-dressed but he had refused to let anyone near him. He had just wanted Buffy to come back safely, wanted her to take care of him like she had before.
But now, after what he had heard, what he had just seen…
Buffy walked into the house, closing the door quietly behind herself as she listened for voices. A glance thrown at the sofa in the living room showed Giles snoring quietly, but save for that noise the place was quiet. She turned to go into the kitchen to get herself a drink and stopped when she saw him sitting in the dark.
“Oh, Spike. What are you still doing up?” Buffy asked. She was surprised to see him still awake. She was surprised to see him upstairs…
“Fixin’ my bandages,” he responded sullenly.
Buffy frowned at the hostility in his voice. What was wrong with him? Deciding to fetch herself a drink before she took on the task of confessing her thoughts to him, she turned towards the kitchen. She tried to feign nonchalance at his tone of voice by shrugging her shoulders at his indifference, and walked right passed him and into the kitchen.
Spike counted, waiting for her reaction to the damage in there. 1… 2… 3… 4…
“Spike! What happened in here?” she called out a little loudly as she returned to the dining room, her jaw gaping in surprise.
“There was a fire,” he stated the obvious.
“I can see that.” She frowned, her arms folding over her chest. “What happened?”
Obviously the Watcher didn’t give her a debrief before hitting the sack. Best not to let her know about her sister’s attempted kidnapping just yet…
“Darla’s men attacked, tried to smoke us out.”
Buffy’s eyes widened. That explained the boarded up windows. “Who put it out?”
“I did,” he admitted grudgingly.
She inhaled a deep breath, her shoulders sagging as she relaxed again. “Thank you,” she whispered gratefully
Spike nodded, not making a big deal out of it but secretly thrilled that she had thanked him.
“Did you want some help?” she offered when she saw that he seemed to be struggling a little with the bandage.
“No. I got it,” he replied as he rewound the bandage that was wrapped around his wrist and tried to fasten it, but not doing so well.
Buffy frowned, watching him for a moment before slumping into the seat before him and grabbing his hand, dragging it towards her so that she could re-bandage it properly. She worked in silence, fixing the bandage and checking the one on his other hand before her hands went to the buttons of his black shirt.
“Don’t,” he mumbled as he pushed her hands away, standing up to move away from her. He was trying to stay mad at her, trying to remind himself that he wasn’t good enough and that she would never chose him. But her kind actions were making it difficult.
“Spike, what is your problem?” she demanded as she followed him to the basement door, climbing down the stairs as he descended to the bottom.
“My problem?” He whirled around when he reached the floor.
His sudden stop almost caused Buffy to slam into him. She stopped on the last step before the bottom, the extra height advantage making it so they were at eye level.
“Yes, your problem,” she stated as she folded her arms over her chest. “I’m not the one sulking here.”
“I’m not sulking,” he retorted.
“Fine,” Buffy smirked. “Brooding.”
“I don’t BROOD,” he snapped. “You’re confusing me with Peaches.”
He stalked away from her, towards the cot he had been sleeping on for the last few days, determined to ignore her, until sunset if he had to. He stopped just short of it, keeping his back turned to her. As soon as night fell he was out of there to go back to his crypt where he belonged.
“Spike, I wasn’t trying to compare you to Angel,” Buffy explained with a frown, wondering what had put him in such a huff.
“Yeah? That’s not what it sounded like,” he retorted. “I’ll be out of here by sunset,” he promised as he turned his back away from her, closing his eyes as he waited for her to leave. “So you won’t have to tolerate my presence any longer.”
“Tolerate what…?” She trailed off, her eyes widening with realization.
“Spike, were you spying on me?” she asked incredulously. “AGAIN?”
“NO!” he replied angrily as he whirled around to face her. “I told you I was --“
“Fixing bandages that didn’t need fixing?” Buffy interrupted.
“They were itching,” he complained.
Buffy stared at him for a moment before laughter burst from her lips. “Well for someone who was eavesdropping, you didn’t listen too well.”
“What? I wasn’t eavesdropping,” he insisted with a frown. Not really… Was it his fault that they were having a conversation right next to one of the smashed windows?
“Oh okay,” she said with a slow nod. “So you wouldn’t have heard that Angel and I are getting back together, then?” she asked innocently, biting the inside of her cheek to stop herself from smiling.
“You’re WHAT?” he exploded. This couldn’t be happening. Okay, so he had feared that it was, but actually hearing from her that it was? “But you said --“
“Ah HA!” Buffy said triumphantly. “Caught you.”
Spike realized he had been caught out, but he was angrier about the fact that she had even joked about getting back together with Peaches. “That’s not funny,” he sulked.
“Yes it is,” Buffy objected, giggling again. “You should have seen the look on your face.” She had to fight not to burst out laughing again at the incredulous look that crept across his face. “Spike, I wanted to tell you that --“
“I don’t care,” he interrupted.
“But you haven’t even let me tel-”
“Sod off,” he said as he turned his back on her.
“Spike…” Buffy moved closer to him, lifting her hand to his shoulder to turn him around.
“Buffy, I --“
Whatever Spike had been about to say was cut off when Buffy wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed his lips gently.
Spike’s entire body went rigid at the feel of her against him, a couple of seconds passing before he realized that she really was kissing him. It wasn’t a figment of his mind, he wasn’t dreaming. He wasn’t imagining it. She was kissing him.
Buffy broke the kiss, slowly unwrapping her arms from his neck until she stood before him, looking up into his deep blue eyes, searching for a reaction. Something, anything to tell her that he understood. Her lips were tingling in protest when they parted from his, a shiver of excitement rolling over her.
“What…” Spike cleared his throat when his voice didn’t want to work properly. “What was that for?”
“To make you listen,” Buffy answered with a smile. “I had to get your attention somehow.”
Spike didn’t know whether to smile or frown. If this was just some sort of game…
“Buffy, if you’re just playing with me…” He trailed off, his face falling as he began to imagine the worst.
“I’ve done a lot of thinking over the last twenty-four hours,” Buffy informed him, ignoring his plea for a moment as she tried to explain. “Before we found you, on the way there, on my way back from my fight with Darla tonight.”
Spike listened, wondering where she was going with this but for once just letting her speak.
“I thought about the people in my life, in particular, the men.”
Spike’s face clouded with anger and he clenched his teeth. “Buffy, if --“
“Just wait, I have a point to this, I promise,” she confided softly. When Spike nodded once, she continued.
“All of them have left. My father, Angel, Parker, Riley…”
Spike was practically gnashing his teeth as the names of her three formers were brought up. He couldn’t believe how stupid they all were for letting her slip from their hands. His eyes fell to the floor in an attempt to hide the blinding jealousy he felt, knowing that they had been given the opportunity to be with her, and angry that they had all thrown it away and hurt her in the process.
“But not Giles, or Xander.” Buffy reached up to hook her finger under his chin to lift his gaze to meet hers. “And not you.”
The anger in his eyes faded when he heard her softly spoken words, and saw the gentle smile that crossed her face. He searched her eyes for answers, not wanting to let himself hope that she was saying what he wanted her to be saying.
“You’ve never left me,” she added, laughing as she thought about it. “Even when I wanted you to.”
But she interrupted him again. “I know why you stay. I know that you care.”
This is it… Spike thought, preparing himself for the rejection he suspected was coming.
“I don’t know why… or how. But things have changed. You’ve changed.” Buffy clenched and unclenched her fists to release some of her nervous tension. She could tell that Spike was anxious and whilst she was hiding her own anxiety well on the outside, inside she was mass of nerves. Just because she knew Spike cared for her, didn’t mean he would accept what she had to say. She tore her gaze from the floor, imploring him to believe her as she looked longingly into eyes. “I’ve seen it. The way you’ve looked out for Dawn, looked out for me…”
She ran her fingers down the line of his cheekbone as she subconsciously leaned closer to him. Mentally she knew that her body was communicating what she was trying to express much more clearly than her words. When he leaned into her touch, his arms wrapping more tightly around her waist she felt her heart begin to beat more fiercely. She couldn’t remember the last time she had found herself this nervous, a fact that only convinced her further that she was making the right decision by telling him all of this. Despite her anxiety in regards to his response she forced herself to continue.
Spike’s eyes fluttered shut at her gentle ministrations. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go; this wasn’t what he thought she was going to say. He leaned into her touch, his hold around her waist tightening reflexively, their bodies crushing together. Spike had to bite the inside of his mouth to stop from moaning out loud when she moved, unintentionally rubbing herself against him. Never in his wildest dreams would he have thought he’d find himself in this position, with Buffy in his arms. And the fact that she was here in his arms and not in Angel’s, he found himself being filled with hope yet again.
“I don’t know what this is between us. I just know that I trust it.” Her hand dropped to his chest. “I trust you.”
She had trusted him to protect Dawn and she had shown her appreciation for that fact when she had tended his wounds. She just hadn’t fully realized at the time that’s what she was doing. Buffy was opening up to Spike; to the possibility of a future with him and that was something she did not take lightly.
“Buffy, I --” He tried for the third time, only to be cut off again by her lips. He wasn’t going to complain. His arms instantly tightened around her waist as hers snaked around his neck. He pulled her closer to him as he felt her tongue push its way into his mouth, dancing with his. A shudder rolled through him, and he knew he had to be sure now. If he waited any longer, he wouldn’t be strong enough to stop her.
He broke the kiss hesitantly but didn’t let go of her; holding her in place, flush against his body. “Am I…” he began, inhaling deeply before he began again. “Buffy, I’m not a consolation prize,” he said calmly. “If this is just something to get back at Peaches for sleeping with Darla…” His hold on her began to loosen, Buffy’s tightening in response.
“It’s not,” she affirmed with a shake of her head. “I don’t love you,” she told him honestly, continuing quickly at the hurt look that flashed through his eyes. “But I think I could. One day. I care about you, Spike, and not just because of what you did for my sister. You’re a good man, Spike.”
Buffy hesitated, waiting to gauge his reaction. The pain faded from his eyes, to be replaced with the beginning of a smile.
“Say it again,” he pleaded.
She thought about it for a moment before repeating what he wanted to hear. “I care about you, Spike.”
A brilliant smile filled Spike’s face as his lips swooped down to claim hers, his tongue running the length of her bottom lip as he begged for entrance. Buffy parted her lips and their tongues began a battle for dominance, dueling with as much ferocity as when they sparred.
Spike lifted Buffy up and spun her in a circle, breaking the kiss with a gasp as the movement caused pain to shoot through his body. Buffy slipped from his arms, her concern palpable. “Are you okay?” she asked.
“I’ll be fine, just need a couple of days to heal is all,” he confessed, biting his bottom lip in worry before pleading with her. “Don’t leave?”
“I’m not going anywhere,” she vowed softly. When he tried to pull her up against him again, she held him at an arms distance away. “But no more of this till you’re better.”
Spike pouted when she resisted.
“Later, okay? You can wait a couple of days, I’m not going anywhere.” She pressed a soft kiss to his cheek.
“Promise?” Spike asked, his voice hopeful.
A/N: First of all I want to say a BIG thank you to everyone who has followed this story from the beginning. I appreciate each and every review that was posted, and would LOVE to hear your thoughts on the ending. You all may or may not be aware, this was my first piece of Buffyverse fiction and your encouragement has meant more than I can express.
Reading your comments always brought a smile to my face because you guys read it, and KEPT reading. Which was awesome.
*hugs* to my friend Carly, for kicking my butt and making me FINISH the story in the first place.
To my friend Chip, who has ALWAYS been a Bangel fan. I told you I would convert you over and by your thoughts (some begrudgingly... LOL) it seems it has begun. To a slowly converting dual Spuffy/Bangel shipper, it's nice to know I'm not the only one in the verse!
Thanks to Bloodshedbaby for allowing me to archive here at the bloodsheverse, and for her continued support of the story. Her nagging is what got chapters up so fast so thanks go to her for that!
And lastly a big thank you to Megan for her betaing of the final two chapters, her help was invaluable and the reason why these chapters are as good as they are is in part because of her guidance.
That’s it from me for now!
My next story, ‘Secrets and Lies’ will begin posting on Monday. (I’m an Aussie remember, so that means Sunday for all you Americans!) The sequel to Hidden Agendas, as yet Untitled, will begin posting in 3 weeks. So look out for it!
I hope to see you all around on the verse, and please feel free to drop me an email or post on my Livejournal. (I’m a friending whore, add me and I’ll add you back!)
Bye for now!
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