Chp 11 Roses in December
Never Alone by Lilachigh
Chp 11 Roses in December
High above her head, Buffy could hear the sounds of workmen hammering, welding, building the new giant mall that would replace the one that had vanished into the maw of the Hellmouth when Spike closed it.
Down in the dark of the basement, Spike moved swiftly ahead of her, the leather coat billowing out behind him. Buffy followed, still gripping her stake. She gave a wry smile, wondering how many times she’d had the same view during their relationship over the years. Dark tunnel, dusty boots, black leather coat, slim figure prowling ahead of her into the gloom. Only the hair was different today. Only the tips of the curls were platinum now; if anything it added to how sexy he looked.
But the old Spike would have been throwing sarcastic comments over his shoulder as they walked. Even the Spike of their last year together would have reached back to touch her hand. Just a touch. Skin to skin. Flesh to flesh. But this man didn’t know her, didn’t remember her. It was devastating. Of all the scenarios she’d imagined when - if - they ever met again, this was not amongst them.
Ahead of her, Spike pulled up a heavy iron plate and beckoned urgently. “God, I’m glad to get out of that room. I was going crazy shut in there. Here we go, Slayer. Straight down, turn left and keep going till you reach Willie’s. Unless you’d rather fight here?” he said hopefully.
Buffy shook her head. “I don’t want to fight you at all, Spike.”
“To me you’ll always be Spike! Listen, please - ” she reached out to him and he leapt back as the stake she’d forgotten she was holding, swung towards him.
“Hey! Watch it! Thought you didn’t want to fight?”
“I don’t! I just want you to sit still and listen to me for a couple of minutes. Is that too much to ask? We need to sort this out.”
Spike stared at her and absentmindedly rubbed at the vivid new scar that scored through his forehead and across his dark eyebrow. He was trying hard to sound as if everything was fine in his world. Being cocky and sarcastic seemed to come naturally to him, but underneath - he was scared. Terrified. What a bloody admission to make, he thought wearily. Whoever I am, I’m a vampire and as far as I know, being scared doesn’t come into the equation.
He stared at the thin, blonde woman standing looking at him. He didn’t understand the expression on her face. When she’d first seen him, her great greeny-grey eyes had filled with tears and he’d watched, fascinated, as the blood had literally drained away under her skin. Why would she need to cry over him?
He knew instinctively that she was the Slayer. He didn’t know how. And, apparently, like the wrinkly demon Clem, he had been a friend of hers. But that was ridiculous. Vampires didn’t make friends with Slayers. He knew that as well as he knew he enjoyed chicken wings and beer.
So when had they been friends? And where? All he could remember was that his name was William, he was English, a vampire and he’d seemed to awaken as if from a deep sleep, walking down a dusty road, across a desert in the dark, heading south.
His head ached. He knew he’d been in a fight - bloody hell, he was covered with cuts, bruises, there were broken bones still deep inside him that were only slowly mending. He knew he had to find a place called Sunnydale. He had to go home. But from that first moment of awakening, he’d been scared. And he didn’t know what he was scared of!
Buffy - god, what a stupid name - wanted to talk, not fight. For some reason that suited him. And that was a whole different sort of scary. He should be desperate to kill her, but oddly he wasn’t. The scar throbbed again and bright lights flashed across his vision. He was beginning to realise that every time he tried to think about the past, the scar hurt like hell. It was very tempting to not think.
“Please, can’t we talk for a moment,” Buffy pleaded.
Spike’s grin broke across his face, eyes sparkling sapphire, making her stomach churn with memories. “OK, Slayer. Just put that stake away. You’re making me twitchy.”
Buffy frowned. Facing a vampire who wanted to kill her without a stake was probably not the most sensible thing she’d done since she was sixteen. But - abruptly she pushed it into her waistband and sat down on an empty wooden crate.
Spike threw himself down on the ground. “OK, Slayer, talk. Why don’t you want to fight me?”
Buffy hesitated. She knew she could just make her excuses and go. Say goodbye to Clem and Elsa his wife and Tosh, their cute little son and head back to Europe, to take up her job training the young slayers that were appearing everywhere.
But her heart would always be here. Whoever Spike thought he was, she knew he was the man she loved. It had taken her a long time to admit it to herself. She’d tried telling herself that the teenage love she’d felt for Angel was real, that her feelings for Spike were based on lust and gratitude for how he’d dragged her out of the pit of depression she’d fallen into when Willow had brought her back to this world from whatever heaven she’d been in.
But she knew she was only lying to herself. What she felt for Spike was so deep, so powerful, her love for Angel paled beside it. That love had been right for the young girl she was then, this love was right for the adult she’d become. A fairytale love was no good to her now. She needed the strength of this feeling. It coloured every minute of her life.
She would not admit defeat and go away, leaving Spike behind. She’d never given up a fight in her life and she wouldn’t start now. “I don’t want to fight you, because - ” it was impossible to tell him she loved him; she would sound pathetic - “we were friends, Spike. Your name is William. You used to be called William the Bloody, or Spike. You’re an English vampire. You’ve killed two Slayers in your life. You were sired in 1880 by a woman called Drusilla. She was your lover for over a hundred years. Her sire, your grandsire was a vampire called Angel.”
He started to interrupt but she held up an imperious hand and waved him silent. She was determined to get all this out. “I don’t know everything you’ve done in your life, Spike. But you came to Sunnydale with Dru, and a couple of years later, some army boys put an electronic chip in your head. It meant you couldn’t hurt people, just demons and other vampires. Since then - I died, was brought back from the dead, we - we became friends, you got yourself a soul, we got the chip taken out of your head, you died saving the world, but, hey, back again, fighting with Angel in L.A. in a big battle. Now you’re here and - and you don’t remember any of it, do you?” she finished wearily.
Spike was staring at her, his face a study of bewildered puzzlement. He shut his eyes, and rubbed at the scar on his forehead. “I’ve got a soul?” he whispered, latching on to the most astounding words in the whole of her speech.
“You did when you saved the world.”
“Is that why I don’t want to fight you?”
Buffy fought back a smile. Oh, there were so many replies she could make. No, you don’t want to fight me because you want to make love to me, was the most honest answer, but she no longer knew if that was true. “I think some part of you does remember me,” she whispered sadly. “Not in your brain. That scar must have done some damage. Your memory has gone. But in your heart, in the soul you fought for, I think you remember me. You must remember me.”
Spike stared at her. Then he reached out and, curious, touched a tear that was running down her cheek. This woman was crying for him! The scar burnt wildly across his head and from somewhere, a quote came into his mind. “There was a writer, James Barrie, the man who invented Peter Pan,” he murmured slowly. “He said once, ‘God gave us memory that we might have roses in December’.”
Buffy reached up and curled her fingers round his. “I wish this was our December, Spike.”
“And are you my rose?”
They stayed there, green eyes meeting blue, questioning, searching. A clattering and banging brought them sharply back to reality. Buffy leapt to her feet as Clem came staggering along the passageway, his usually cheerful face haggard and distraught.
“Spike! Buffy! Thank god you’re here. You must help. Quick. Tosh is missing. Something’s taken my little boy!”
to be continued
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