Chp 2 Saying Sorry
I COULD WRITE A SONNET by Lilachigh
Chp 2 Saying Sorry
The timer on the oven pinged and Buffy removed the chocolate cake, putting it on a grid where the delicious smell crept through the kitchen.
She stared at the Easter offering. She would have to wait until it cooled to put the frosting on top. The bowl of icing still stood where Spike had left it. She could see the deep mark where he’d scooped some up. She stared at the smooth brown surface. Did vampires’ have fingerprints?
Buffy went hot all over as she remembered sucking the frosting off his finger. What on earth had come over her? She knew she was stressed out, but that was just ridiculous. No one behaved like that with a man unless they were - well, far closer than she and Spike would ever be.
Buffy pushed her finger into the chocolate next to the mark he’d made and nibbled at the sweetness.
The house was very quiet. Dawn had gathered up the little Easter bonnets, begged to take them round to show Janice who would freak out, whose Mom was cooking pizza and said it was OK for her to sleep over and thanks again, you’re great, what would I do without you and bye!
Spike had stood there, motionless, silent. Buffy knew what she should say “Hey, I didn’t make them, Spike did. Thank him, not me.”
But she couldn’t. It wasn’t often that Dawn looked at her with such gratitude and pleasure. For a long minute it eased the scar in her heart that her mother‘s death had caused. The hours of feeling useless at this parenting job, of not knowing what to do or how to cope.
But, of course the pleasure she felt was nothing but a sticking plaster, that tore off so easily. Because now she was ashamed of herself. There had been a fleeting glimpse of Spike’s hurt blue eyes before he’d grabbed up his coat, said, “Well, be seeing you both. Have fun at the Easter market, Dawnie. Bye, Slayer.” And went.
This was ridiculous. She was standing here, feeling eight years old again, listening to her mother scolding her for saying something nasty to one of her little friends. “You must learn to think of others as well as yourself, Buffy. Other people have feelings, too, you know.”
Well, okay, she hadn’t been very fair on Spike, but hello, vampire! What feelings did he have to hurt? He was an evil chipped thing. It wouldn’t have mattered to him that Dawn thought Buffy had helped her and not him.
But it did! The voice inside her head would not be quiet. You think you’re so brave, big Slayer girl, but you didn’t have the courage to speak up, did you? You just stood there and let Dawn go on and on about how wonderful the Easter bonnets were and how clever you were to make them. And you said nothing.
What was worse - Buffy realised to her horror that she’d eaten all the chocolate frosting and would get fat thighs! - Spike allowed you to stay silent.
Buffy shouted down the little voice. ‘Why didn’t he speak up; he could have said, “Hey Dawnie. I made those while your big sis was making an incredible cake.’ Surely that would have been the normal thing to do? So really it was all his fault.’
Or not. But of course, he wouldn’t speak up because that would have made Buffy look silly. And he would never do that to her in front of Dawn. Or, what was probably more likely, he wouldn’t have wanted Dawn upset by realising she’d made a mistake and thanked the wrong person. Oh no, his Li’l Bit must never be upset, must she?
We all run round in circles protecting Dawn. When is someone going to protect me, she thought, miserably.
Buffy bit her lip hard. She could just imagine what her mom would say. And that, of course, was the problem. Her mom should have been here to concoct the stupid bonnets, frost the cake, even make Spike his hot chocolate. She shouldn’t be lying in a grave, dead. She shouldn’t have left them all alone.
Buffy wasn’t a mom. She didn’t do cooking and craft work and she certainly so didn’t do entertaining evil vampires! She felt mean and cross and - sticky from frosting.
Muttering irritably, she pushed the cake aside, went upstairs, showered and changed into her patrolling clothes - old jeans and a sweatshirt that had had more demon blood washed out of it than she liked to remember.
She’d hoped the hot water would wash away her black mood, but there was no shampoo left and Dawn had used all the towels and thrown them in a damp heap on the bathroom floor.
She broke a fingernail pulling on her boots and realised she was still feeling cross and miserable. Her stomach was tied in knots and she was longing to kill something. She felt all tangled up inside, like a ball of string without an end.
“I suppose I’m going to have to find him and say sorry or else we’ll have hurt vampire hanging around us for days.”
She wished Willow was here. She and Tara would have given her good advice - Willow would have been on her side completely, then suggested a course of action, and Tara would have gently pointed out her faults without making her seem like the worse person living this side of California.
Still grumbling under her breath, Buffy left the house and headed for the cemetery.
She had to admit Spike was right about the distinct lack of vampire activity around town over Easter. She had never noticed it before, but apart from a fledgling rising from a grave just inside the main entrance - whom she dispatched without breaking stride - there was no one else around.
She crashed the door of the crypt open without knocking. Spike looked up slowly as she marched in. He was lying back in his old armchair, reading, his hair a pale shadow against the dark leather.
“Got some grudge against my front door have you, Slayer?”
Buffy ignored him. She often found that was the best policy when dealing with Spike. “I’ve come to say I’m sorry about the Easter bonnets,” she stated baldly. “You made them and I should have told Dawn that. So, I’m sorry.”
Spike slide a thin piece of red ribbon inside the book as a marker and closed it. Buffy found herself watching his long fingers as he absentmindedly stroked the cover. For a mad second or two, she wondered what it would be like to have your body stroked by those fingers.
She shook her head. Bad, bad, bad! She was obviously wacky from all that sugar she’d eaten back at the house, having hot thoughts like that.
He put the book down on a little table. She could see it was an old volume, like one of Giles’ collection; the cover was a dark green shot silk that gleamed in the light of the few candles Spike had lit around the crypt.
“No, you’re not.”
“No, I’m not what?”
“You’re not sorry.”
“Spike, I just apologised to you! You’re supposed to say, ‘That’s all right, Buffy, thanks for saying it.”
“But what if it isn’t all right?”
Angrily, Buffy tossed her hair back from her face. She really didn’t need this from Spike tonight. She was hot and irritable and she just wanted the whole Easter thing to be over.
“Oh well, if you’re going to sulk, I might as well - ”
Like a giant cat, Spike was out of his chair in one fluid leap, gripping her wrists in the same slender fingers that she realised were as strong as steel vices.
“I’m not sulking, Slayer.” His voice was like crackling ice. “I’d just like to know why you’re being such a bitch tonight.”
Buffy stared into his eyes. It was ridiculous, one part of her brain thought, that a man should have such long black lashes, especially a vampire. There was something basically unfair in that. Then she realised she was still staring at him, and broke his grip, with difficulty, and pulled away.
To her horror, she realized her eyes were burning and knew she was about to cry. No! There was no way she was going to sob in front of Spike. He’d never let her forget it. “I’m sorry - I - ” She spun away from him, clenching her fists at her side, willing herself to be calm.
“Buffy - tell me.” His voice was quiet but insistent, his fingers on her shoulders were friendly, massaging the stressed muscles. She felt them give way beneath the kneading, one by one.
Then, to her surprise, she heard herself whispering, “I miss Mom. I don’t want her to be dead. I want her there at home, helping Dawn make the Easter bonnets, frosting the cake, hiding the Easter eggs in the garden.
“When Dawnie thanked me for the silly hats, it made me feel happy. I forgot Mom was gone - just for a second. And then it was too late to confess you’d made them.”
If she could have turned at that moment, she would have been astonished to see Spike’s soften with tenderness in the candle light. Then he was in control again, staring down at her shoulders as he massaged the tightness between her neck and her back
She had such a frail neck, he thought. He loved the curve of it, the way he hair grew down in a little point on the nape. He had an overwhelming desire to kiss the soft skin under his fingers, but knew she would freak if he did.
But it was there - the attraction that was growing between them - he could sense it, in the same way he knew when thunder was in the air. Good or bad - neither of them could do anything to stop it.
to be continued
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