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I Could Write a Sonnet... by Lilachigh
Chp 3 New Beginnings
I could write a sonnet... by Lilachigh

Chp 3 New Beginnings

Buffy let herself lean back against Spike for another couple of minutes, luxuriating in the massage his strong fingers were giving her neck and shoulder muscles. Then she pulled away.

Not sensible to offer your bare neck to a vampire, she told herself angrily. Even a chipped one. For all she knew, Spike was quite capable of going through the pain barrier if she gave him a chance of free Slayer blood.

Almost as if he could read her thoughts, he dropped his hands to his sides in resignation and stepped back. “I reckon Joyce would be proud of what you’ve been doing for Dawn.”

Buffy stiffened. She didn’t want to talk about her mother any more. That had been a mistake. If she started letting people see how upset she still was, it wouldn’t be long before all her carefully constructed defences came tumbling down.

“I’ll tell Dawn tomorrow that you made the Easter bonnets,” she said, her voice sharp and tight. “I’m sure she’ll thank you herself when she sees you.”

Spike swung round, picked up an empty brass candle stick and hurled it against the crypt wall. Buffy flinched as it crashed to the floor. “Bloody hell, Slayer! Stop hiding. Why can’t you just talk to me?”

“I don’t know what you mean, Spike. You’re just being dramatic. Typical vamp. I’m going home. I’ve got a very busy day ahead of me tomorrow, even if you don’t.”

“You’re so busy being busy, you’ve forgotten how to have fun, Slayer.”

Buffy laughed, but it was a bitter sound. “Fun! That went away with my mother, Spike. There’s no room for fun in my life any more.”

Spike watched in silence as she left. God, she annoyed him so much. She was hurting and she wouldn’t let him help in any way at all. He’d known this Easter was going to be hard for her and Dawn. He still couldn’t believe that the Scoobies had cleared off on holiday, leaving Buffy to cope on her own. Bloody wankers!

He poured himself a mug of blood, drinking it cold. There had to be some way of making her see that she didn’t have to manage everything by herself. Okay, Bit was only fifteen, but surely that was old enough to understand. She couldn’t always be the baby, being looked after by big sis. And there had to be a way to make Buffy have a little fun in her life.

He paced round the crypt, wondering how the hell he’d got himself so involved with the Summers family. Throwing himself down in his chair, he turned on the TV and switched it off again, impatiently. Bloody chip! When he’d felt like this before, he’d have gone out and killed someone. Now he was reduced to throwing candlesticks!

He picked up the book he’d been reading when Buffy came in and turned to the page he enjoyed most. And as the candles burned lower, he lost himself in the words and his thoughts.

Easter Sunday dawned clear and bright, the sun streaming into Buffy’s bedroom. She stirred under her quilt, lazily running through her mind the things she had to do today.

The Easter market at Sunnydale High School the day before had been great. Every girl running a stall was wearing one of Dawn’s Easter bonnets and she’d been so thrilled with their success that Buffy’s confession that Spike had made them passed almost unnoticed. They’d stayed up late eating pizza and watching an old movie on the TV. And, Buffy realised, she’d slept without dreaming for the first time in ages.

As she turned her head to look at the alarm clock, she realised something hard was lying on her pillow, next to her cheek. She sat up in alarm, then giggled. It was a tiny chocolate egg, covered in silver foil.

“Dawn’s been up early,” she murmured, then realised that there was a bright red egg sitting on top of the alarm clock. Stepping carefully, she gathered them from the floor, her toothbrush, the soap dish, the shower, the towel rail.

There were two inside her trainers, a very pretty green one inside her pantie drawer and one in each cup of her bra.

By the time she’d got downstairs, she was laughing, carrying them in an old shoe box.

Two eggs sat on the work surface, one on the coffee maker, several inside the fridge.

“Dawnie! Happy Easter!” she called as her sister appeared. “This is fun. You must have been busy all night long. Where did you get - ”

Then she stopped. Dawn was laughing, too, holding her collection on an old dinner plate. “Buffy! It’s like an Easter egg hunt, but without the hunting. It’s such a lovely idea. I didn’t want a proper egg hunt this year, because I thought it would remind me of Mom too much. But this is nice.”

She swooped forward and pecked Buffy on the cheek. “Look! There’s two on the door mat. I bet you’ve put them all over the yard as well. Come on, let’s find them, then eat them. Mind you, some of these are really pretty. It must have taken you ages to do the wrappings. They’re so cute.”

“Dawnie, it wasn’t me. I thought - ”

They stared at each other, Dawn’s mouth already liberally smeared with chocolate. ‘Spike!” they said together.

Giggling, they raced outside.

“Bet I find more than you,” Dawn shouted as she peered under bushes and inside the garage.

Buffy uncovered a whole nest in the branch of a tree, then sat down on the top step of the porch and unwrapped one to nibble on the sweetness inside. She felt light-hearted and silly, the first time for ages. How long had this taken him? How had he managed it without either of them hearing him? She knew she should be thinking far more serious thoughts - like how dangerous was it that a vampire had been inside their bedrooms and they hadn’t known. But this was Spike.

Spike in her bedroom! That was a big thought in itself. Spike had stood over her while she was asleep. What was more, he’d put these little eggs inside her closet, touching her panties and thongs and bras!

No - bad thoughts. Bad thoughts of Spike touching her panties, even if she wasn’t inside them at the time.

She squinted up at the sun, lifting her face to the heat. Easter Sunday, a day of new beginnings. Perhaps Spike was right. Looking at Dawn’s happy face as she raced round the yard, long legs flying, hair a dark tangled waterfall, she realised that there did have to be fun in their lives as well as grief.

Well, when the others got back from their weekend of keeping Anya free from the Easter bunny, perhaps she could start doing other things with Dawn and her friends.

Yes, today was definitely one for new beginnings....

In the depths of his crypt, the former William the Bloody picked up his little green covered book and turned to his favourite page. Sonnets by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The words leapt out at him

‘How do I Love Thee,
Let me count the Ways.’

He frowned. Bloody hell, he could make a very long list! His eyes slid to the end of the sonnet and he sat very still, thinking, wondering….

‘I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears of all my life - and if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.’

the end

Early Easter good wishes to everyone.