Previously. . .
Angelus smirked, and Spike had no doubt whatsoever that his grandsire already had some grand and gory plan for the Slayer. No doubt it galled him that Spike had two Slayers under his belt and Angelus had none.
There was only one thing to do. Spike was going to have to find away to get Buffy away from here before Angelus had a chance to act. Luckily the one virtue that Angelus did possess was patience, and that meant that Spike had at least a little time.
Spike’s attention was all on Angelus, and so he was startled when Buffy bumped into him as she turned to leave. The action confused Spike. He couldn’t imagine her running into him on accident, and she hadn’t apologized for it. If she had been a guy he might have thought she was trying to remind him how tough she was, but in his experience that was part of a male language that women thought beneath them.
He turned to follow her as he tried to puzzle it out. He didn’t like the idea of her wandering the lair now that Angelus was himself again. In the few moments he had stood pondering her actions she had moved swiftly down the tunnel towards her room. He almost had to run to keep up with her.
“What’s the rush?” he asked. “You’re not thinking of leaving again are you?”
She stopped and turned around to face him. He could clearly see that she was angry. “What if I was?” she asked.
“I. . .” Spike wasn’t sure exactly what was wrong, so he didn’t know how to make it better. The best he could do was stumble over a neutral question. “I’d want to know why?” he asked weakly.
“Doesn’t really matter does it? We pretty much destroyed the army guys. So you don’t need me anymore.” She turned away from him and started down the tunnel again.
Acting on instinct Spike grabbed her hand and said, “What if I do need you?” As soon as the words left his mouth he cursed himself for being a ponce.
She had stopped and turned halfway back to him, when he took her hand. He could feel her squeeze his hand gently, but she was looking at the floor avoiding his eyes.
“For what?” she asked quietly.
Spike didn’t know exactly what was happening or what she wanted from him. But he could feel that if he said or did the wrong thing she was going to walk away. So he did the only thing he knew how and went all in.
He used the hand that was holding hers to pull her closer, and the other hand to turn her face towards him. Without giving her time to react he kissed her, praying that it was the right thing to do.
The moment their lips touched she leaned into him, moulding her body into his form. They exchanged a series of gentle brief kisses. Both of the testing the other, neither quite ready to push further forward.
After a few minutes they pulled back slightly. Spike looked down into her clear green eyes and said, “Maybe we should get out of here.”
“I’m not doing this,” Buffy complained through the bathroom door.
“Come on, luv, just open the door and come out,” Spike asked her.
“No,” she said firmly before adding, “why do we have to go out anyway?”
“Because that’s what people do,” Spike replied. There was a slight pause. “How about if you come out, we don’t have to go anywhere?” he asked hopefully.
Buffy considered that option. The problem was, it wasn’t the going out that was bothering her, although she wasn’t sure why they were going out, or what they were doing period.
After Spike had kissed her, things had gotten kind of dizzying. Before she really knew what was happening, Spike had her packing and next thing she knew they were headed to L.A.
It had all seemed like a good idea at the time, but as she looked at herself in the mirror, the dark caves beneath Sunnydale felt more and more like home. Spike had told her they were going out and had handed her a red tank top and a pair of black leather pants.
The pants were fine, they felt comfortable and reassuring to her like her old armor. But she had only bought the red tank top because at the time it had been easier than arguing with Harmony over it; she had never meant to wear it.
As she looked in the mirror the only part of her reflection she saw was the scars that ran up and down her arms, vivid reminders of the years she’d spent fighting for her life in The Circle.
She was hideous, and there was no way she could let Spike see her like that.
“Look, luv you have to come out sooner or later. . .” Spike started.
“Says who?” Buffy insisted, stubbornly.
Again there was silence from the other side of the door.
Buffy sighed with relief, it seemed like Spike had given up. Then she heard a loud snap and the door swung open, the broken doorknob rattling slightly.
“Hey!” she yelled as she grabbed for a towel, hoping to cover up her arms before Spike saw.
Spike tried to stop her, but she managed to cross her arms firmly over her chest and he couldn’t pry them apart.
“What’s the matter, luv?” he finally settled on asking.
At first she refused to answer him or look him in the eye, hoping that he’d just give up and go away. But Spike was stubborner than her, he just stood there patiently waiting for her to speak.
“I’m not pretty,” she finally said, pouting.
He barked out a laugh, and she would have hit him if that wouldn’t have required her letting go of the towel. Instead she kicked him lightly in the shin.
“Hey!” he shouted. “I wasn’t laughing at you,” he insisted. “Well, okay I was,” he admitted. “But only because you’re either daft or blind if you don’t realize just how pretty you are. In fact I’d have to say you’re gorgeous, luv.”
“Liar,” she said softly, although she wanted to believe him.
He put his arms on her shoulders and turned her so that she was facing the mirror.
“You’re not there,” she gasped surprised.
“What? No course not. Vampire, no reflection, but that’s not the point. In fact, it’s rather perfect, ‘cause it’s you I want you to see.” He ran the back of his hand down the side of her face. “Look at yourself, luv. You’re beautiful.”
There was a party of Buffy that knew he was right. A part that remembered what it was like to be the head cheerleader and the most popular girl in school. But it was hard for her to see that girl.
“No,” she said, softly, “I’m not.”
She let the towel fall to the floor, revealing the criss-cross of scars on her arms. If her face was still pretty it was mostly because she’d learned quickly that it was better to stop a claw or blade with your arm than let it reach your head.
“What? Because of these,” he asked. He bent down and kissed one of the scars on her upper arm. The gentle brush of his lips sent shivers through her. “These aren’t ugly. They’re marks of honor, pet. You shouldn’t hide them away.”
She turned in his arms to face him right as he bent down to kiss her arm again. The movement forced him to pull back a bit and left his face only inches from hers.
“You’re kind of a freak, you know?” she asked gently.
“Probably, luv, but it’s better than being normal.”
“I don’t want to go out tonight,” she told him.
He smiled and leaned in to kiss her lightly on the lips. “I think I could be convinced to change my plans,” he said.
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