Meeting Amy Acker

Wow, did I really just type those words? To be honest, yesterday still seems like a completely wonderful, perfect day, the kind that only happens in stories and dreams. But yes, yesterday, June 04, 2016, I met the one and only Amy Acker at the Dallas Fan Expo. For those who don’t know, Amy is a Dallas native so her appearance at this convention was a homecoming, timed perfectly after Person of Interest’s shocking 100th episode that has devastated many (myself included).

My day started super early, waking up at 5:45 AM to get dressed to be ready to leave by the time my aunt picked me up at 6:30 or so. We talked about Amy a bit as we waited for closer to the time for the DART rail to arrive. It was my first time to use it and only my second time to use public transportation at all, so I was nervous! Thankfully, the universe aligned and everything went smoothly.

I arrived at the convention center early so I had roughly an hour to kill which worked out as I got to watch Amy live on Good Day (FOX) and fangirl that I would get to see her in person very soon! At nine o’clock, they let us start getting our tickets and line up. I was so excited that I could hardly stand still and when they finally started letting us in, I thought I would die from excitement.

I’d made plans to meet up with fellow Amy fans and it was beyond what I’d dreamed when they arrived at Amy’s autograph booth. I only had enough money to buy a photo op, so imagine my complete joy when one of them handed me the money to get her autograph! It brought me to tears and I still can’t stop smiling. Over the course of the day, I came to realize that’s just the kind of person she is, truly one of the sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting!

Amy’s line moved very slowly because she is such a sweetheart that she let fans talk for however long she wanted. I think we stood in line for a little over an hour and then suddenly (or so it seemed), the first of our group was going, the second was going, and then before I could believe it, I was picking out my photo and waiting for my turn. And then it was my turn.

I won’t lie, I was totally star struck. She asked me for my name and I told her and then told her that I thought she was amazing and how my best friend and I met through her roles on Angel. She was very interested and I told her that Illyria was her favorite character so after I finished Angel, I messaged her to discuss and things went from there. Amy was very interested and asked if she lived near me and I told her no, she lived in England and she thought that was really cool and asked if we video chat or what and I said, “No, we usually just message. She’s meeting you in December and she’s so excited!” and she smiled so big and was like “Awwwww!” as she signed my photo.

I was starting to get over my nerves at this point but wasn’t quite there so I just kind of breathed, “You’re so awesome,” as she handed me the photo and I held it like it was the most precious treasure on earth (’cause hey, it is!) and then I remembered these letters I’d had, one I’d written in case what happened did and I couldn’t tell her everything I wanted to and one from a fan who asked me to deliver it to her. I was so flustered that I didn’t even notice I only pulled one out of my pocket until later but Amy just smiled so huge with this completely surprised, appreciative expression and she said, “Awwwwww, thank you so much!!!” and stood up to lean over the table and hug me! I can’t remember exactly what I said after that, but I imagine I just told her how awesome she is again before walking away in a complete daze.

Amy Acker is so much more amazing and perfect in person than you could ever dream. I already loved her so much and considered her my sunshine, something I told her in my letter. I suffer from depression that can get very dark at times, but watching anything Amy has been in or seeing photos of her always makes me feel so much better. And now having met her, stood with just a table between us and even taken a group photo with her… God, there are no words.

She is so genuine and she literally makes you feel like there’s no one else in the room as she talks to you. She cares and it’s so obvious that she wants to know all of her fans at least a little bit. She makes you feel so appreciated even while she’s got a long line of other people waiting their turn behind you and she’s so humble, kind, sweet, gorgeous, perfect… I can’t even put it into words but she has such a comforting presence and I’ve never experienced anything like it. If you have any tiny chance of meeting Amy Acker, I completely encourage you to take it. It is beyond worth it, I promise.

After that, the Amy squad as we dubbed ourselves went to hang out for a bit and get to know each other a little more before going to line up for photo ops. One of the others had bought a group and asked me to join in so I not only got a photo with Amy but three of the best women I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting! And it turned out to be a good thing too because when I went to purchase my solo, she was finished so I couldn’t.

Then most of the squad went to have a delicious lunch and margaritas and just had a lot of fun getting to know each other even more and we did a bit of talking about my amazing best friend and how sweet she is, not to mention how much we wished she could be there. Then M (the one who paid for my autograph!) and I went to hang out in their hotel room for a bit and rest, talking about POI and other random things until we headed back. I was hoping to take advantage of Amy’s selfie for $10 deal since I’d already gotten an autograph but her line was so long that they’d already capped it because she had a panel in a few hours!

So we just walked around, admiring cosplays and checking out merchandise (oh, and we also made a pit stop near Lucy Hale’s booth to see her in person–didn’t get to meet her but gosh, she’s so tiny and beautiful), occasionally checking Amy’s line. I never did get a chance for that selfie but despite being a little bummed at first, I couldn’t stay that way. It was too amazing to see her getting the love she deserves and I just thought hey, at least I got the one and a hug! And I’m already planning to go to another convention sometime so I’ll have another chance!

After a while, we went to get in line for Amy’s panel (click to watch, courtesy of one of the Amy Squad who has been dubbed the Acker Documentarian!) and were soon admitted. We were in the third row and let me tell you, you know how she always sounds really quiet on the videos of her panels? That’s not sound quality! She has a lovely, soft voice and it was amazing to watch how many times she seemed taken aback when someone told her how much they admired her. She is truly just the most humble, down to earth woman I have ever seen in my life and her answers were all so amazing. Her answer to how she felt about representing such an underrepresented community as the LGBT one made me tear up, and I grinned hearing that Fred was her favorite character to play. (I LOVE that scientist!)

After that panel let out, the squad and I went our separate ways and I headed for the rail station. Got a bit lost but eventually found my way. I got on the wrong train (oops) and had to deal with a few sketchy characters, but they all left me alone so I was good. Ended up taking about 2 hours to get home where my grandmother picked me up and bought me dinner. At this point, I was too exhausted to even eat so I ate my fries and part of my burger and called it a night.

I woke up quite a few times last night just thinking… “I met and hugged Amy Acker!”, feeling extremely blissful and falling back asleep. I can honestly say it’s the best night of sleep I’ve had in ages. Work today was so perfect because I just kept thinking about it and internally squeeing.

So in conclusion, once again, I urge you to meet Amy Acker if ever given the chance. I’m still unable to process how much more I love her now and how much more perfect she is than you can ever dream until you’re standing  across from her, watching her focus on you like you’re the only person in the room. It’s truly the most perfect day of my life and one I will never forget, not only because of Amy but because of the truly amazing friendships she has helped form!

Autograph

My autograph! (I’ve removed the sticky note now, but I found the image of Reese’s face covered amusing. I let Amy choose what to write and I think it makes it even more special to me!)

OT: Raving About Raven Reyes

Raven sucharedpanda

Credit 

A friend got me into watching The 100 a month or two back and I am completely hooked! Earlier today I was trying to shake my nerves over starting a new job and I decided to write a small piece about my hero, Raven Reyes. I don’t think I’m very good at these kinds of things because I do not think in a straight line so it’s hard for me to keep things coherent. Hopefully I did an okay job. Spoilers through 3×11 Nevermore.

Raving About Raven Reyes

I loved Raven Reyes from the moment she appeared on my screen. I had no idea then just how much she would come to mean to me.

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The Spirit of Forgiveness

Disclaimer: I own nothing but the idea and the words used to write this; all recognizable characters/trademarks/dialogue, etc belong to Joss Whedon and company, except for the poem which is by Emily Dickinson. I’m making no profit from this story.

Author’s Note/Timeline: I had a good chunk of this written before I really started trying to figure out when Christmas was in season 6. I now realize that it had to have been before Hell’s Bells (because Buffy’s birthday is in January and Older and Far Away was before it) which screwed with my timeline so as a result, I’ve decided to go AU after Older and Far Away. We all know the episodes sometimes had a long gap between them so just pretend that things have been your average Sunnydale evil up until this point.

Summary: December 31st is more than New Year’s Eve… It’s also Make Up Your Mind Day. And Buffy is determined to observe it.

Dedication: And a very special thank you to those who read this over for me and gave your opinions. Your input is invaluable and I appreciate it so much!

Credit: The website that Willow found is www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/december.htm

Challenge: Elysian Field’s Holiday Challenge. The holiday I chose was Make Up Your Mind Day on December 31st.

Title: The Spirit of Forgiveness

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Today was the day.

Buffy could feel the knowledge settled deep within her stomach, twisting her insides into knots as soon as she woke up from the few hours she’d been able to sleep. She’d known the date was coming for the past month, but now that the self-imposed deadline had arrived, she found herself no closer to reaching a decision than she had been then.

Using the relaxation techniques Giles had taught her, she took a deep breath and let it fill her lungs before releasing it. Closing her eyes, she repeated the action until her head had cleared and she felt calmer. The knot in her belly had loosened a little, making it easier to breathe normally. She glanced at her alarm clock and realized that she had fifteen hours left, a span of time that seemed almost endless and yet not nearly enough.

She’d laughed when Willow had called her to check out the list titled “Bizarre, Unique and Special Holidays” in December. Some were absolutely ridiculous—what the hell was National Take It In The Ear Day, anyway—but some had made her smile. But all of that had disappeared when they’d reached the end of the list, December 31st.

There were three holidays listed for that date—New Year’s Eve, Unlucky Day and the one that hit her like a ton of bricks in the stomach was Make Up Your Mind Day. And how much did she hope that the last two sharing the date weren’t some sort of a foreboding omen? She’d tried everything to take her mind off the silly list in the days that had followed but it was impossible.

After a week, she’d seen Spike at Xander’s ill-fated wedding and had been surprised at the incredibly strong pangs of jealousy and possessiveness that had coursed through her when she’d heard that he brought a date. Talking with him had been… a revelation. Even after she’d ended their twisted ‘relationship’, if you could even call it that, she still saw the pain in his eyes when he realized he’d hurt her. And her heart ached to know that she had used this man who loved her so much that he had let her take what she needed without complaint, even knowing that it wasn’t even that crumb he’d asked her for so long ago.

Watching him leave with his ‘date’, she had made a decision. The limbo she had left him in wasn’t fair to him—and she’d realized that she missed him. And she didn’t even mean the sex—while that had been great, she realized she just missed being with Spike. The companionship, the way that he just got her, how she could tell him anything and knew it down to her soul that he’d never judge her… She missed the comfort just sitting and talking with him could bring. In that moment, she promised herself that she was going to observe Make A Decision Day if it killed her.

And that was how she came to be sitting on her bed with her knees drawn to her chest, her arms wrapped around them as she thought hard. Did she love Spike? She didn’t think so… but she felt something, she could no longer deny that; hell, she hadn’t been able to deny that fact since she’d been brought back. The look on his face when he’d seen her standing in front of him and realized that she wasn’t the robot had sparked something in her, feelings that she realized she’d had for a long time but ignored because it was ‘wrong’.

Spike had never cared about how wrong his love for her was, she mused as she rested her chin on her knees. He’d told her while chained up in his crypt that he knew it was wrong, but he was still there for her even after she disinvited him and told him to stay the hell away from her. She’d even heard from Willow about the flowers for Joyce he’d tried to leave without a card.

She’d spent so much time comparing him to Angel because he didn’t have a soul… but really, she had come to realize a soul didn’t mean nearly as much as she had once believed. How many human monsters were scattered throughout history and present day? Really, the more she thought about it the more impressed she was with how much Spike was capable of without a soul. He had honor, he loved hard and fierce without regrets, he’d protected her sister and fought alongside her friends while she’d been dead with no hope of a reward for it…

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, exhaling all of the uncertainty she’d been feeling. The question before the court wasn’t about Spike, not really. It was about her, Buffy Anne Summers, and if she could ever really love him the way he deserved. That was what she simply did not know—if she could trust herself to be with him in a healthy way and not slip back into using him. That way had almost destroyed her completely and it still hurt to think of how much pain she’d inflicted on both of them with her actions.

A tear slowly tracked down her face as she remembered the way he’d looked when she’d told him it was over. She’d seen the man and not the demon in that moment, in the way his pain was so clearly visible on his face and in those big blue eyes… She closed her eyes, reliving the moment when all she could think to say was, “Goodbye… William.”

It was a small word, that name, but one that held so much potential when she thought about it. It was the man behind the monster, the man who coexisted with the demon contrary to everything she’d been taught. And perhaps most of all, it had been a throwback to what he’d said to her that awful night she had been prepared to let the world burn rather than touch her sister–”I know that I’m a monster, but you treat me like a man.”

A shudder passed through her at the memory and she took another breath to calm herself. If she was honest, she had been screwed up for years—ever since Angel had left her. Maybe she needed to go back to that time, she contemplated. He’d been her first love, but she realized with a jolt that she didn’t feel anything but a friendly affection for him now. When had that changed? Thinking back to her meeting with him after she’d come back, she realized that she had felt almost nothing then. At the time, she’d chalked it up to the numbness that had become her new normal, but she’d never felt numb with Spike.

In truth, going back over the past with Angel, she felt her ire rising. He’d always been the dominant one in the relationship, making decisions for her like she was a scared little girl who couldn’t make up her own mind. She’d been so young then, inexperienced and afraid of the strong feelings he’d brought out in her. So she had let him take control and it had set the tone for their entire relationship, all leading up to him leaving.

She knew that he had made the decision with good intentions, and she knew now that it had been the right call. But what Angel should have realized was that it should have been something they talked about together, not taking the choice from her. Slowly losing the interest of her father had destroyed her, something he knew, and she’d felt so small and abandoned when she’d woken up alone that morning after she’d given herself to Angel, body and soul. His deciding for her had left her feeling helpless and abandoned all over again, leading her to close her heart and build nearly impenetrable walls that had almost destroyed her.

Riley had tried his best to get past her walls but as much as she’d loved him, she had never really let him in the way he deserved. How could she? Their relationship had been sweet at first but then Maggie Walsh and the Initiative, not to mention her own secrets, had come crashing in and she’d quickly realized that he would never love the Slayer part of her. He loved the girl enough to try to make it work, to push past his own intimidation and need to be needed for as long as he could, but in the end it hadn’t been enough. So he’d left too, although she was grateful he’d at least given her somewhat of a choice in the matter. It eased the ache a little.

The men in her life seemed to love making decisions for her, deciding what was best for her and acting on it without sparing a thought for how she might feel, what she might want. Buffy sighed and stood to her feet, stretching and trying to ignore the tears pricking her eyelids. Old wounds still festered, and it brought to mind one of the poems she’d studied in Professor Lillian’s class.

They say that ‘time assuages,’–
Time never did assuage;
An actual suffering strengthens,
As sinews do, with age.

Time is a test of trouble,
But not a remedy.
If such it prove, it prove too
There was no malady.

One of her favorite things about her poetry class had been that her professor was entirely upfront about there not being any one correct way to interpret a poem. It was subjective and could have a thousand different meanings depending on the reader. She’d relaxed almost immediately upon hearing that and had genuinely enjoyed the class, surprising herself by really liking poetry. Some of them were hard to read, much less analyze, but it was a challenge that she enjoyed and she felt a sense of victory almost akin to winning a fight when she finally figured it out.

This particular poem hadn’t been one of those. From the first time she had sat alone in her dorm room and read it aloud, letting the words wash over her, she’d felt a strange sort of kinship with Emily Dickinson. The words had spoken to her in a way that no other poem did, and she wasn’t surprised to find that they had stuck in her memory nor that she should think of it now. The pain that had been inflicted on her hadn’t weakened at all over time. Just like the poem said, the suffering had only grown stronger over time, as had the belief that she just wasn’t worth sticking around for.

But now, she found that belief was weaker than it had ever been before. Because of Spike. He had stayed even though she’d given him so many reasons to leave Sunnydale and never look back. Sometimes she wondered if he’d loved her even before he’d realized it, if that’s why he’d come to her for help after the government had stuck a chip in his skull. That had never made sense to her—even though they were the good guys, why go the enemy for help? She suspected that he’d known her even then, known that she couldn’t turn her back or drive a stake through the heart of a defenseless creature. Still though, she wondered.

Her musings were interrupted by her stomach growling loudly, reminding her that she hadn’t eaten since lunch the day before. Sparing a glance at her closet, she grimaced at the idea of getting dressed when she’d likely just spend the day in her bed anyway and just headed downstairs where she found Willow cooking eggs and pancakes.

“Hey sleepyhead, you up for some breakfast?” the redhead asked with a bright smile. Buffy sat down at the kitchen island and grinned. “It smells delicious, Will, thank you.” She waved the thanks away and made Buffy’s plate quickly, setting it down on the counter in front of her. “It’s the least I can do since, you know, I can’t really pay rent or anything.”

Buffy swallowed her bite of eggs and reached out to grab her friend’s hand, pinning her with her own version of resolve face. “We talked about this, Will. I know that you’ll help out when you can, but I don’t want you to worry about that right now. Just keep getting better, okay? What you guys did while I was gone was payment enough, now you just need to worry about yourself.” She waited until her friend nodded in agreement before returning to her food. “This is delicious, you’re like a goddess!” Buffy declared after she’d swallowed the last bite of her breakfast and pushed her plate away.

Willow grinned and took the plate over to the sink, adding it to the pile of dirty dishes. “Got any plans for the day?” she asked, turning the water on and starting to wash.

“I don’t know,” Buffy hedged, caught between wanting to tell her everything and worrying about her reaction would be. “I think that this is going to be a day of reflection,” she added, joining her at the sink and beginning to dry.

“Reflection, huh? That sounds big.” Willow handed her another dish, studying her as she did. “If you want any help with that…” Her voice trailed off and Buffy frowned, trying to remember the last time that she’d confided in her best friend.

“I guess we haven’t really talked much since I came back, huh?” she asked softly, glancing guiltily at the plate in her hands before putting it away.

“Not so much,” Willow agreed, sounding uneasy. “Buffy, you know that I’m sorry, right? If I’d had any idea…” She looked up to see the anguish in her friend’s eyes and she felt whatever resentment she’d held towards her slip away.

“Oh, Will…” She wrapped her arms around the other woman and tightened her grip when she felt her begin to tremble. “Of course I know that,” she said softly. She pulled away slightly so that she was looking her in the eyes when she continued. “I get why you did it, and as much as it hurt—still hurts, sometimes—I know that you thought you were helping me. I can’t blame you for that, not when I probably would have done the same thing for you.” She smiled, her own eyes misting over as she realized how much her friend had been hurting all this time. “I’m sorry that I haven’t talked to you about this before.”

“Can you forgive me?” Willow asked, sniffling and blinking back the tears as she gave Buffy a watery smile.

“Nothing to forgive,” was her response, and she was a little surprised at the conviction in her own tone. “I mean it, Will.”

They took a moment, Buffy’s mind whirling as she realized how much Spike had become for her since her return. He’d replaced Willow as her confidante and somehow had become the only person she could truly be herself with. Shaking herself from her thoughts, she reached out and turned the water off. “I think the dishes can wait, don’t you?” Willow nodded and dried her hands, following her silently into the living room.

Buffy sat down on the couch and motioned for her friend to sit beside her. Once she had, she took Will’s hand and squeezed it gently, watching some of the tension drain from her body. “How are you?” she asked quietly, the question sounding lame even to her ears but she had to start somewhere, right?

“I’ve been better,” was the other woman’s quiet reply as she swiped a hand across her face before giving her a tight, sad smile. “The magic–”

“I don’t mean with the magic,” Buffy interrupted gently, giving her a small smile in return. “I mean with Tara and… everything,” she finished, unable to voice her concerns about their friendship, afraid of what the answer might mean.

But she should have known Willow knew her well enough to read between the lines and see what she was really asking. “I’ve missed you, Buffy. You’ve been here all this time but you haven’t really been here. And that’s my fault. I can’t tell you how sorry I am–” Tears welled up in her eyes and spilled over when Buffy pulled her into another hug.

“Shhh,” she whispered, gently rubbing her friend’s back and feeling more than a little guilty about how relieved she felt to know that she hadn’t lost her best friend. “I’ve missed you too, Will, so much.” Her voice cracked at the end of the sentence and she felt her own tears spill over. How often had the two of them cried in each others’ arms? She’d lost count by now. But there was something new about this experience, something even more healing than ever before.

As they clung to each other, Buffy knew with a deep certainty that sprung from her very core that she never had to worry about losing Willow. The two of them were too tightly bound together after all they’d been through to walk away from each other, and the thought made her both grateful and sad. “I promise that I won’t ever shut you out again,” she promised, the determination in her voice strong enough to stop both their tears. “God, I’m the one who should be sorry Will. You’re right, I haven’t really been here, not for any of you. A part of me did resent you and the others for pulling me out, but I haven’t felt that way for a while. But I just…”

Willow pulled away and blinked to release the last few tears that had yet to fall. “But what, Buffy? I’ve been wrapped up in my own stuff too, this wasn’t all just you. But I know that something has been going on, something you don’t feel comfortable talking about.”

This was the moment of truth, she supposed. She could continue hiding everything she’d screwed up since she’d come back and pull away from her friend again, or she could open up and trust that Willow wouldn’t judge her, let her friend in again. Taking a deep breath, she exhaled slowly and made her choice. “When I first came back, Spike was the only one I could confide in, the only one I told about where I was. I was so worried about hurting you and the others and I could hardly stand to even think about… where I was. Everyone was so happy I was back… He was the only one who seemed halfway sad about it.”

She waved her hand in the air and grimaced. “I didn’t say that right. He was—Will, you should have seen his face when I walked down the stairs and he realized I wasn’t the robot. It was just…” Her voice trailed off as she tried to find the words, but they didn’t come. She shivered at the memory. “I don’t know how to say it, but he let his grief and remorse show around me. He made me feel like it was okay to just be Buffy around him when everyone else was freaking out if I frowned. You know?”

Willow nodded slowly. “Yeah. I was on so much of a power trip that I was practically willing you to be okay instead of checking to make sure you actually were.”

“I’ve been so lost since I came back, Will,” she admitted, her voice trembling. “I’ve just been… so numb. The only time I felt even slightly okay was with Spike. We would just sit in silence or I’d talk about what I felt and he’d listen, or sometimes he’d just talk and let me be there. It was comfortable even though I knew it should feel wrong.”

“That makes sense though,” the redhead replied thoughtfully, a slight trace of jealousy in her tone. “Me and Xander and Anya were all just pretty much in awe that we’d done something so big, so happy to have you back… Tara and Dawn were just grateful to have you back. Spike was the only one who mentioned the consequences magic always has, the only one willing to be happy and angry at the same time. It’s no wonder that you’d be drawn to the person who wasn’t looking for you to be okay, to be grateful…” Here her voice broke and she glanced down at her hands.

“Things got messed up for a while,” she agreed quietly, not a trace of blame in her tone. “Eventually…” She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly again, dropping her gaze to her hands so she wouldn’t see Willow’s expression. “I started sleeping with Spike. I was horrified with myself the first time it happened, swore it’d never happen again… But it did. It kept happening until Riley came back and he caught us. I’ve never felt so ashamed, Will… It wasn’t because I was sleeping with Spike though. I was ashamed of myself because I was using him. I knew how he felt about me… knew how much he thought having my body would do for him but it was just destroying him instead… It began to break me down. I couldn’t be that kind of girl anymore who hurts someone that way. So I broke it off.”

She finally dared to glance up and saw nothing but sympathy and understanding on Willow’s face. A sigh of relief escaped her and she smiled slightly. “Thing is, Will? I miss him. I miss him a lot. I don’t think it was just physical the way I thought it was. I miss our conversations, the way he always knew what to say… sometimes I even miss his stinky smoking habit.” She laughed and Willow laughed with her, both of them crinkling their noses in mutual expressions of disgust.

“I take it that this is why this is a day for reflection?” Willow speculated, still smiling though the sympathy was still written in her eyes.

“Yeah. Do you remember that list of holidays we were laughing over a while back?” She continued when her friend nodded. “Well, today is New Year’s Eve—obviously—and it’s also Make Up Your Mind Day.” She paused to let that sink in before continuing. “I think that I have feelings for him—but I’m afraid of slipping back into using him. I couldn’t live with myself if I hurt him that way again. Then there’s the issue of what Giles and Xander would think…”

“I notice that you’re not mentioning what might happen if the chip stops working,” Willow noted slyly, a knowing gleam sparkling in her eyes.

“No, I’m really not,” she agreed, shaking her head. “I know that he’s changed. I’d started to believe it before I jumped and when I came back, I couldn’t not see it. He patrolled with you guys, protected Dawn… and he did all of that without ever thinking there’d be anything in it for him. And uh, there’s something else I should tell you. His chip doesn’t work on me anymore.”

“It doesn’t?” Willow’s eyes widened in fear. “Oh, goddess, did the spell–”

“Oh, no, I’m fine,” she hurried to reassure her. “Sorry, I should have led with that.” She shot her a rueful grin. “I asked Tara to check me out and I’m good. Something about coming back with deeply suntanned molecules, just different enough to confuse the sensors in the chip. But the thing is… As much as I’ve hurt him since I’ve been back, he could have killed me at any moment but he hasn’t. When I thought I killed that girl, he tried everything to help me and I beat the crap out of him for it. He didn’t care, he told me to ‘put it all on him’. He saw right through me, knew that I needed that release and he didn’t even fight back. He just let me do it.”

“He has changed,” the redhead confirmed, her features twisting into a thoughtful expression. “I think that we all saw that this summer. He was so good with Dawn and he even saved Xander’s life more than once.” The friends shared a laugh at that, both knowing that example was one of the biggest tests of Spike’s commitment to the side of the white hats. “And Buffy? I understand why you didn’t want to tell any of us about what was happening with the depression and Spike… I wasn’t exactly myself and I’m kind of glad you didn’t. I might have said some horrible things to you. But I get it and I’m not judging. But do you want my advice?”

Buffy nodded, the movement almost desperate in its’ speed. “More than anything, Will. I’ve been thinking all morning, all month really, and I just haven’t been able to make sense of anything except the reason why I kept myself so closed off from Riley. I have all these walls built because nearly every man I’ve let myself get close to has left me… My dad, Angel, Riley, even Giles left. But…” She looked at Willow with a hopeful smile tugging at her lips. “Spike has stayed. Despite everything I’ve ever done to hurt him, even though I was downright cruel more times than I care to remember… He’s stayed, and he loves me.”

“I think you answered your own question,” Willow replied, smiling widely. “And for what it’s worth? I think you should go for it. Screw what Xander or Giles or anyone else thinks. Of all the Scoobies, which one is the boss of you?” Buffy laughed and Willow’s grin widened. “Seriously, Buffy—it’s clear that you have feelings for him. You’ve seemed even sadder than usual since Riley’s visit, and now I understand why. Spike makes you happy and I think you owe it to yourself to find out how far your feelings for him go.”

“Will?” She looked at her questioningly. “Thank you.” She enveloped her in another hug, both laughing and squealing and it was just like old times, Buffy thought happily. Once again her best friend had come through with the good advice, and she knew that she was right. She did owe it to herself to see what could happen with Spike, to be happy and loved and maybe, just maybe, love in return.

~ ~ ~

Knowing that Spike would likely be asleep, Buffy spent the afternoon just hanging out with Willow and Dawn when she got home from school. There was still a lot of damage to be repaired between her and each one of the Scoobies, but she brushed that thought aside. She would begin working on the other relationships in her life tomorrow. She’d decided that today would be about her sister and her best friend who might as well be a sister. And tonight? Tonight belonged to Spike.

She’d found herself extra happy to have their help when it came time to start getting ready for the night. She had absolutely no idea what to wear and probably wouldn’t have made it out of the house before midnight if Dawn and Willow hadn’t kicked her out and chosen her clothes themselves. Dawn was overjoyed at the idea of Buffy and Spike—a slight kick to the shin and a whispered, “Finally, you idiot,” had been involved in her reaction—and she was more than happy to help her sister get ready.

Checking her reflection one last time, Buffy marveled at the spark in her eyes, the spark that had been missing for so long. She smiled at herself and couldn’t help the laugh that escaped, feeling lighter than she had in a very long time. “Buffy! Are you planning to get there before midnight or what?” Dawn sounded both impatient and annoyed but she just laughed, seeing right through her sister.

“So? How do I look?” she asked as she walked into the living room. The girls shared a conspiratorial grin at seeing their handiwork and Dawn squealed appreciatively, making the other two women wince slightly at the high-pitched noise.

“You look perfect! Oh my god, this is going to be awesome!” Dawn exclaimed, running over and wrapping her arms around Buffy. She returned the hug eagerly, pressing a kiss to the top of her sister’s head. God, she’d missed this. Why had she ever let things get so bad between them?

Banishing the recriminating thoughts for the moment—she’d have plenty of time for them later, tonight was about being happy—she pulled back slightly and tenderly brushed the hair out of Dawn’s face, smiling brightly. “I love you, Dawnie.”

“I love you too,” she returned with a warm smile, practically beaming with joy. Buffy knew that her sister saw more than the rest of them, she’d been the first to realize Spike’s feelings for her and clue her in to them and she had more than a sneaking suspicion that she had known how Buffy felt about him before she’d even figured it out herself.

“I guess I’d better get over there before I lose my nerve,” she said after a moment, returning Willow’s embrace as well. “Thank you, Will. No telling how long it would have taken me to decide what to do if I’d been stuck alone with my thoughts all day.” She was nervous as hell as it was, butterflies dancing around her belly and feeling as jittery as Willow acted when she drank coffee.

Willow gave her a wide smile and Buffy could see the gratefulness in her eyes as she hugged her again. “It’s so good to have you back.”

“It’s good to be back,” she returned before pulling away. “Wish me luck, guys!”

“Good luck!” they said in unison, both grinning like idiots as they watched her leave.

~ ~ ~

Buffy was okay until she reached the crypt. Standing there in front of his door, the door she had kicked in so many times, she suddenly lost her nerve. What if he didn’t want her anymore, had moved on to someone who didn’t take months to realize that she cared about him and should give him a real chance? It’d be no less than she deserved after the way she’d treated him, but her heart tightened painfully when she thought about it.

Taking a deep breath, she focused again. She was fairly certain that Spike hadn’t moved on, deep down where it counted. He hadn’t moved on when she’d outright told him there wasn’t a chance, when she’d disinvited him from her house; hell, she’d died and he hadn’t done anything but protect her sister and love her when she came back. He’d looked at her like she was an angel that first night back, that awful night when she’d been convinced she was in hell because everything hurt so much. He’d been quiet and understanding, keeping his joy held back so that he wouldn’t overwhelm her. She closed her eyes and remembered the way his face had looked during their too brief interlude, soft and open with pure adoration and utter joy shining from his eyes.

Opening them again, Buffy smiled as she realized her fears and doubts were gone. No, Spike wasn’t the type to stop loving someone just because they hurt him. He was love’s bitch and his love was anything but flighty. He loved hard and he loved deep, and most of all he stayed. He was the one constant man she’d had in her life, the only one who had never left despite her pushing him away the hardest. He’d stayed and walked right through all of the walls she’d built.

Taking a deep breath, she started to push the door open but paused. She had barged into this crypt so many times in the past and it brought back some seriously bad memories. She was determined to change things this time around, and while it was such a simple gesture she knew she had to start somewhere. She raised her fist and knocked.

The seconds after seemed to drag on forever and just when she’d started to wonder if he was even home, the door suddenly swung open to reveal a shirtless Spike. His hair was a mess, he was scowling and she thought he was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen. His scowl instantly softened into a guarded expression when he saw her and she felt a pang of recrimination shoot through her. She’d done that, made him fear her appearance by her constant cruelty towards him.

Forcing those thoughts away, she smiled softly at him and was rewarded with a smile in return. “Slayer. What brings you by? Shouldn’t you be out with your mates, making resolutions you won’t keep and all that rot?” A soft laugh escaped her and her heart warmed as she watched his guarded expression slip even more.

“Spike…” She hesitated, unsure of what to say. She had spent so much time thinking about this decision but somehow had not spared a moment to consider how she would tell him when she had finally made up her mind. “Can I come in?” she asked softly, watching surprise flit over his features. The flash of hope she saw cross through his eyes for a split second before he could hide it bolstered her confidence and she stepped forward to lay a gentle hand on his forearm, curling her fingers around it. “Please.”

This time there was no hiding the shock on his face, and Spike just nodded before stepping to the side and allowing her to enter—after she gave his arm a soft squeeze. He followed her inside and closed the door. “Buffy?” he asked softly, and he looked so unsure of himself that she couldn’t help but reach out and take his hand, lacing her fingers through his and marveling at the spark that shot through her at the contact.

She took another step closer and reached up to cup his cheek, exhaling shakily when he leaned into her touch and sighed in a way that touched her very soul. His eyes were wide open to her now and she could see the confusion and wary hope that lurked within their cerulean depths, along with a pleading look that she knew was begging her not to hurt him again. His arms came up to encircle her waist, pulling her even closer until their bodies were flush against each other, never once releasing her hand. “Buffy,” he whispered hoarsely, and the naked hope and pleading in his tone made her squeeze his hand.

“Spike… There’s so much that I need to say,” she whispered, forcing her mind to shut up and let her heart do the talking. “I don’t even know where to start,” she admitted with a girlish giggle that made him grin at her. It was a sound he had never heard from her before she realized, and she felt her heart melt at the adoration shining from his eyes.

“Why don’t you start at the beginning, luv?” he asked softly, gently squeezing her hand. “Usually a good place.” He flashed her a wicked grin and she giggled again, playfully shoving his shoulder.

“Yeah, yeah. Make fun of Buffy while she’s actually trying to talk instead of run,” she joked, making sure to keep her face unguarded and her smile in place so that he wouldn’t get the wrong idea. She was rewarded with a brilliant smile. “Okay, I need for you to do me a favor. I’m going to talk and I need for you to stay quiet until I’m done.” He opened his mouth to protest and she stuck her lower lip out in a pout. “Please, Spike. There’s a lot I need to say and I’m afraid that if I don’t get it all out at once that I’ll lose my nerve.”

He mumbled something she didn’t catch—though she was pretty sure she heard the words “bloody”, “pout”, and “death”—and nodded. “You have my word, pet.” She smiled gratefully at him and gave his hand another squeeze, his acceptance of her terms bolstering her confidence.

“Thank you. Okay, so.” Find the words, Buffy, she ordered herself sternly. “I’m not exactly follow my heart girl, not since…” He cocked his head and squeezed her hand, the understanding in his eyes letting her break off. He got it, she didn’t have to finish. “I push people away, I punish them for loving me. I did it with Riley and god knows I did it with you.” She took a deep breath and studied his eyes, drawing strength from the emotions shining back at her. “I’m sorry, Spike. I’ve done so much to hurt you,” she whispered, her voice cracking. She felt a tear trickle down her cheek and sniffled when he raised a cautious hand to gently wipe it away. She leaned into his touch and closed her eyes before continuing. “At first… I didn’t want to admit that you could love without a soul, I couldn’t go there because…” Her voice caught and the dam broke, her tears falling fast and furiously.

Without thought, Spike raised his arms until he was cradling her in his arms, patting her back gently and murmuring softly in her ear. “Shh, pet. I know. Knew all along you weren’t ready to deal with what that meant about the—about Angel,” he amended. Buffy cried harder at his understand, clutching his arm like a lifeline. He just held her then, keeping up a constant flow of comforting words until she finally felt the tears slowing and finally stop.

Drawing back only slightly, she reached up to touch his face and gave him a watery smile. “Thank you,” she whispered. “Yes, that was the biggest part of it. I couldn’t accept that Angelus was a part of Angel, that the demon and the man coexist. It went against everything I was taught and everything I wanted to believe. And I took that out on you.” She leaned up and kissed his cheek softly. “Then when I came back… You were the only one I could talk to, the only one who could understand. I wasn’t ready for that but the only time I felt anything was when…” She glanced down, blushing prettily.

“Anyway, I hated you for that. I was so lost and I hated that the only time I felt like myself was in your arms. And I punished you for that too. I hated myself and I took it all out on you, using you to make myself feel better. God, Spike, I knew how you felt about me, finally let myself believe it… and then I abused it. Walking away from you was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and it hurt to see you with someone else. But it also opened my eyes.” She smiled gently at him and squeezed his hand. “Do you know what today is?”

“New Year’s Eve,” he answered quietly.

“Besides that.” He shook his head and she deliberately wound one arm around his neck, pulling his face down to hers so that if one of them moved the barest fraction of an inch, their lips would meet. “It’s also Make Up Your Mind Day,” she whispered, searching his eyes until she saw understanding and naked, raw hope fill them. “When I saw how much hurting me hurt you, even after everything I’d done to you… how much it hurt to see you with someone else… I knew that I owed it to you and to myself to decide once and for all what I wanted and stop running away from it. Made this day my deadline because it seemed fitting and I knew I’d need time.”

A heavy silence descended, vampire and Slayer speaking only with their eyes for a moment. Spike’s voice broke the silence, sounding terrified and hopeful at the same time as he asked, “And have you then?”

“Yes,” she answered softly with no hesitation. And she leaned forward, just barely pressing her lips to his so that he could easily break the kiss. Spike kissed her back, pressing his lips to hers harder in an answer to her unspoken question but keeping the kiss chaste. They broke apart after a moment, both panting from the emotions coursing through them. She gave his hand another squeeze and he gave her a look that made her feels feel like jelly.

“You’re sure about this?” he asked gently, not even a trace of accusation in his voice. She nodded and rested her forehead against his, breathing in short gasps.

“Spike… I want to give you a chance, a real chance. I want to give us a chance. But–” Her voice trailed off, unable to voice her concerns.

“Slayer—Buffy,” he amended, “Before you say anything more, can I have a moment?” She nodded. “What you said, about using me—shhh, calm down pet,” he said soothingly when her breath hitched and she felt like she might explode into tears again. “You weren’t the only one doing the using,” he continued, a muscle in his jaw clenching. “When you first came back, I couldn’t believe that you trusted me. I just wanted to help you, save you the way that I didn’t…” He looked away, unable to continue and she squeezed his hand in a show of understanding. “I don’t know when that changed, but it did. You remember what I sang?” She nodded thoughtfully, remembering the way he had looked at her that night, loving and angry in equal measure.

“Don’t know if it was your intent, but that’s how I felt. Didn’t want it to come it out, felt guilty about it knowing everything else you had on your plate…” He squeezed her hand comfortingly as she felt a tear roll down her cheek. “But it did. You weren’t the only one responsible for what happened,” he whispered, gently tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. “Shouldn’t have pushed, yeah? I knew how you felt, but I was selfish. I wanted you in any way I could have you… and I drove you deeper into the darkness when I should have been helping you find the light again.” He lifted their joined hands to his lips and kissed the back of hers fiercely with an underlying gentleness that took her breath away. “’m sorry too, pet.”

Her tears were falling again now, but he seemed to be able to sense the difference behind the cause as he gently pressed his lips to her forehead. “Love you, Buffy, so bloody much. Never wanna hurt you again, luv.”

Their lips met once more in a sweet, gentle kiss that conveyed more than either could ever say. Pulling back, Spike gazed at her in awe and she felt color blooming in her cheeks again. “I love when you look at me like that,” she whispered, smiling shyly.

He cocked his head to the side and smiled. “Like what, pet?”

“Like I’m the most beautiful girl in the world,” she replied, smiling at the ease with which the words came to her lips. But they always came easily with Spike–when she let them.

“That’s because you are,” he whispered, and there was William peeping through Spike’s disguise again. She smiled and kissed him again.

Twining her arms around his neck, she sighed happily. “Spike, I can’t say it yet… What I can say is that I have very strong feelings for you, so strong that they scare me sometimes. But–”

“I know.” He cut her off with an understanding smile. “Lot of work to be done, things to mend. Said I don’t ever want to hurt you again and I mean it. Just want to help, be there for you in whatever way you need me to be.”

“Exactly. I don’t ever want to hurt you again either… so I think it’s best if we take it slow for now.” He nodded in agreement and she smiled. “You know, seeing you at the wedding… I knew that I wanted to give you a chance then.”

“What stopped you?” he asked curiously.

“Me,” she answered, watching his face darken slightly. “I wasn’t sure if I could be with you in the way you deserve,” she continued softly. His face softened in understanding and he squeezed her hand gently. “Don’t want to hurt you again… I couldn’t live with myself.”

“Understand that, pet,” he whispered, ghosting the back of his hand across her cheek. She shivered with longing. He grinned smugly but she didn’t comment, realizing it was his way of reassuring himself that she was really here, really giving them another a chance. “So this is really happenin’ then?”

She gave him her warmest smile and wrapped her arms around him, turning her face into his chest and inhaling the smell of him. Leather and cigarette smoke mixed with the scent that was just Spike, and she let her entire body simply relax into his embrace. It was something she had never let herself do with him, and the only way she could think of to show him that this was real, how serious she was. “Yes,” she whispered, feeling him shudder beneath her touch as his arms came to rest on her back.

“Buffy…” She felt him inhale and exhale shakily and smiled against his chest.

“Why do you breathe?” she asked suddenly, voicing a question she’d always wondered but deemed too personal to ask.

He chuckled and pressed his lips to the top of her head in a tender kiss. “Don’t rightly know. Used to calm Dru, it did, feeling me breathe. Got into the habit and just never stopped, I suspect.” He tightened his embrace and she snuggled in as close as she possibly could, making him make a sound that was suspiciously like a purr of contentment.

They spent several moments like this, wrapped up in each other and a bubble of contentment that Buffy wished never had to break. But break it did when her cell phone suddenly chirped from the pocket of her jeans. “Oh! Spike, turn on the TV,” she squealed, reluctantly pulling herself away. He did as she asked and guessing at what she wanted, changed the channel to the countdown. There were sixty seconds to go until the new year, and her eyes sparkled wickedly as she returned to his embrace. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she stared into his eyes and smiled widely.

“Know what they say about who you ring in the new year with?” she asked coyly, brushing a soft kiss over his cheek.

“What’s that, luv?” he asked, gently tucking an errant strand of hair back behind her ear.

“That they’re the person who will stay in your life throughout the New Year,” she whispered, feelings tears spring to her eyes. “Not that I need the confirmation about that…”

“Bloody well right,” he said with a nod. “Never gonna leave you, pet. ‘Specially not now…”

They both turned their head to the television as the countdown broke into their moment.

10, 9, 8…”

Spike stared at her with wonder in his eyes and she couldn’t stop herself from brushing another kiss across his cheek.

7, 6, 5., 4..”

He leaned forward and pressed a tender yet fierce kiss to her forehead and she shuddered from the strength of the emotions it sent coursing through her.

3, 2, 1…”

His head ducked down to meet her as she leaned up and their lips met in a passionate kiss that had every molecule of Buffy’s body thrumming. He tangled his hands in her hair and she tightened her grip on his neck and moved closer, trying to get as close to him as she could. So caught up in each other and the kiss promising better tomorrows for the both of them, neither heard the crowd’s scream of, “Happy New Year!”

When they finally had to break apart so Buffy could breathe, she was crying and seeing the way he was staring at her with awe made the tears fall even harder. Gently cupping his cheek, she smiled through them and said breathlessly, “So… Happy New Year. Gotta say though, I think I’m liking Make Up Your Mind day much better at the moment.”

He grinned, turning his head to drop a kiss on her palm. “I’d have to agree with you there, luv.” His tone softened and he pressed another gentle, quick kiss to her lips. “I love you, Buffy. An’ I promise things are gonna be different.”

Buffy wrapped her arms around his waist and hugged him tightly. “I know they are.”

~~FIN

Bake Sale

Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing; all recognizable characters/trademarks/etc belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy and whoever else. I’m making no money from this fic, just enjoy playing in Joss Whedon’s sandbox.

Summary: A very brassed off Slayer comes home gunning for Spike. What did her boyfriend do this time?

Author’s Note: Inspired by a screenshot of a text message that one of my friends shared on Facebook. This is definitely verging into crack!fic territory where Buffy and Spike are together in season 3ish (let’s say after Lover’s Walk) and for the purpose of the story is living in Buffy’s basement. (Plausible considering how much Joyce liked him, right? Oh well, if not that’s why it’s a crackfic!)

Also, this was intended to be complete crackfic but the words just seemed to write themselves and it ended up being somewhere in the middle. Hope you enjoy!

Title: Bake Sale

Bake Sale

Spike was startled awake by the sound of the front door slamming shut and he groaned. That sound never meant anything good, heralding the entrance of one very brassed off Slayer. “SPIKE!” He winced at the anger in her voice and debated whether he should just pretend to be asleep.

“William the Bloody, you better answer me right now!” Well, that answered that then. When Buffy broke out that name he knew she was seriously pissed and now she was standing at the top of the basement stairs. If he didn’t answer she’d just come down and then she’d be even angrier. Bloke couldn’t win for losing.

“Yes, Buffy?” he called out in his best ‘yes dear’ voice, climbing out of bed and heading for the stairs. When he reached them he saw her, standing with her hands on her hips and fire in her eyes.

“You are in so much trouble, mister,” she warned, whirling on her heel and stalking into the kitchen. He followed, dragging his feet just a bit. His mind whirled as he climbed the stairs, searching for something he’d done that he could be in trouble for but came up empty. With a shrug, he followed her into the kitchen and saw her leaning back against the counter, arms crossed in front of her a seriously pissed off expression on her face.

“Hello luv. How was school?” he asked conversationally, trying to ignore the glare being sent his way. If looks could dust…

“School? Oh, let me tell you about school. I woke up this morning freaking out because I forgot that today was the school bake sale. You remember me telling you about that, right? How it’ Snyder’s newest form of Buffy torture by making me participate?” She looked at him expectantly and still not sure where this was going, he cautiously nodded.

“So William, imagine my happy surprise when I found two pans of brownies squirreled away in the pantry.” His eyes widened comically even as he winced, suddenly knowing where this was going… Oh, bloody hell…

“Snyder was completely thrown that I’d actually come through and even angrier than usual. I thought you’d scored major boyfriend points and started planning ways to thank you. They sold like hotcakes—and where does that saying come from anyway—and everybody was complimenting me on them. But then people started acting weird.” She leveled her gaze at him but he was too busy studying the floor to notice. “Spike.”

He forced his gaze away from the floor and tried to feign innocence. “What’s this got to do with me, luv?”

“Don’t you dare, William,” she snapped, and he dropped the act immediately.

“Now Buffy…”

“Oh, don’t you even ‘now Buffy’ me, mister,” she ordered, stalking towards him with her finger jabbing the air in his direction. “Pot brownies?! Pot brownies in my kitchen, in Mom’s kitchen? What the hell were you thinking?!”

“Oi!” he exclaimed as her finger jabbed at his chest repeatedly. “I hid them! Didn’t bloody think you’d be searchin’ the kitchen for something to take to a bleedin’ bake sale, pet.” His eyes were softly apologetic as he gazed down on her. “’m sorry, luv. Didn’t get you in trouble, did I?”

He felt slightly hopeful as he watched her scowl melt away and she sighed, slumping in on herself. Shaking her head, she answered, “No, luckily the only people who bought the brownies were students and they were just excited to have gotten pot brownies for so cheap. I think I’m more popular now too!” She grinned and he couldn’t help but smile back at her. “Oh, you so owe Willow though.

Spike’s eyes widened in alarm and he grabbed hold of her arm. “Don’t tell me Red ate one!” She nodded and he covered his face with his hand. “Bloody hell, she’s gonna dust me, isn’t she?”

Buffy giggled. “No—I mean, it was touch and go there for a while but I managed to calm her down. Turns out she’s one of those who gets really paranoid. I had to leave her in Giles’ office just to get her away from Snyder because she was being so obvious with the big eyes and hyperventilating. Once she came down she had a more sane uberwiggins and that’s when I had to talk her out of dusting my boyfriend.”

“Somehow I doubt that’s the end of it, kitten,” he replied, eyeing her carefully.

“Oh, it’s most definitely not the end of anything,” she confirmed, glaring at him again. “You still need to explain why you thought it was a good idea to have pot brownies in my kitchen! Can you imagine what would have happened if Mom had found them? Or what about Dawn?”

If vamps could go paler, Spike felt like he had at the mention of the Niblett. “Oh fuck,” was the only thing he could think of to say and he shook his head to clear it. “Didn’t think ’bout the bit,” he admitted, guilt coloring his tone. “I made ’em for Clem,” he confessed, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans and wishing he hadn’t quit smoking. Would’ve helped take the edge off. “He brought everythin’ over and asked if I’d mind since he doesn’t have a working stove. Was gonna to come pick them up tonight.” He glanced at her guiltily. “’m really sorry, Buffy.”

She sighed and relented, taking his hand in hers. “It’s okay, Spike… this time,” she added firmly. “But it can’t ever happen again. No more drugs of any kind in this house, got it?”

He nodded and kissed the back of her hand. “Course, pet. Won’t happen again, you have my word on that.” Relief flooded through him when she smiled at him, all traces of anger gone.

“Good. Now come on, I have history homework I need help with.” He pulled her in for a kiss before letting her go and following her into the living room.

~~FIN

INSPIRATIONCrackFic Inspiration

Revelations

Disclaimer: I own nothing but the idea and the words used to write the story. All recognizable characters, trademarks and locations belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. This is their sandbox, I’m just playing in it out of love for their characters and world and for fun, definitely not for profit.

Author’s Note: So, this started off as a PWP that I woke up with the idea for but I kept writing and writing until it ended up turning into something a lot… different. It’s a lot of fun to write a more self-aware Buffy.

Also, this is the first time I have published something for this beloved ‘verse in over fifteen years. The last time I wrote Buffy was the first time I wrote anything, and it’s fairly intimidating to come back to something you know weren’t very good at doing before, so please be gentle with the reviews. Constructive criticism is much appreciated!

Timeline: Season 4; set somewhere between The Harsh Light of Day/In The Dark and The Initiative.

Summary: For reasons unknown even to himself, Spike saves Buffy and brings her back to his house to dress her wounds. He has no idea of the revelations that are in store…

Rating: NC17/M

Title: Revelations

Revelations

He was a bleedin’ idiot.

Spike was careful to be silent as he entered the dark room and shut the door behind him, bringing forth his demonic visage so that he could see better. Everything looked as he’d left it—neat and orderly, everything in its’ place including the blonde Slayer still sleeping peacefully in the king size bed. He inhaled and was relieved to find the only scent of blood was hours old, meaning that her wounds hadn’t re-opened since he’d dressed them.

And what the hell was he doing taking care of the Slayer, anyway? He groaned silently and pressed a hand against his forehead as the demon and the man warred against each other as they’d been doing for hours. He was meant to be killing her, not bringing her back to the small house he’d been squatting in since returning to Sunnydale after his disastrous trip to LA, cleaning and dressing her wounds and putting her in his bed to sleep off the painkillers he’d given her.

Watching her sleep, Spike wondered what the bloody hell he was playing at by doing this. He knew that part of it was his more sporting side—when he killed the girl, he wanted it to be because he’d finally bested her, not because someone else had done the work for him. He growled quietly at the thought of the conquest of his third Slayer being tainted so, and oddly enough it seemed to placate his demon somehow.

He didn’t know how long he’d been standing there contemplating his actions and absently monitoring her vitals when a dizzying aroma suddenly filled his nostrils—it smelled like sunshine and daisies, power and need, altogether Buffy and yet more. Suddenly Buffy rolled over from her side onto her back and moaned, and Spike was frozen to the spot as he finally put a name to the scent—arousal!

Oh, bloody hell!” he exclaimed, careful to keep his voice low as he eyed the deceptively small girl on the bed with no small amount of trepidation. Unable to stop himself, he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, a predatory smile forming on his face as he added another useful tidbit to his knowledge of Slayers. It wasn’t just their blood that was an aphrodisiac, he noted as he felt a painful tightening in his pants.

He should leave, he knew that. Not because he couldn’t control himself—he had learned to do that long ago with Dru, when he wanted her so badly he couldn’t see straight but her childlike persona had surfaced and she was terrified of the slightest touch—but because if she awoke and saw him this way, he would definitely wind up on the wrong end of a stake. Slay first, ask questions later—that was her way and the second she saw the bulge in his jeans, there would be no asking at all, just dangerous assumptions that would leave him dust before he could say a word.

Swallowing hard, he finally forced himself to move. He had his hand on the doorknob and was slowly twisting it when the world stopped with one whispered, drawn out word. It came out as a breathy moan from her lips, ”Spike…”

He should go, he repeated to himself, but his mind and body were no longer connected as his feet carried him over to the side of the bed. Her vitals told him she was still in a deep sleep and he stared at her, drinking her in as she slightly writhed on the bed and let out another long, breathy moan. God, but she was gorgeous, this little slip of a girl who had spectacularly kicked his ass on more than one occasion. Her golden hair was tousled, a faint flush had spread across her face and it enhanced the beauty that he’d always admired.

Even asleep, looking deceptively harmless and weak as a kitten, there was a hardness to her body and a sleek predator’s grace to the way it moved against his silk sheets that belied the falsehood and spoke of the powerful warrior hidden inside the sleek frame. Suddenly she let out a soft mewling sound and he watched her soften, watched as her little pink tongue darted out to lick her lips as her hips arched off the bed. His impossibly tight pants tightened even more at the sound of the frustrated whimper coming from her lips when she didn’t find the friction she was obviously craving.

Spiiiiiike,” she cried out again, sheer desire and need in her voice. Before he knew what he was doing, he’d sat down on the bed next to her and reached out a trembling hand to cup her face, a touch she leaned into with a satisfied hiss. “Dreaming of ole Spike, are you luv?” he murmured, sucking in a breath when that wicked tongue darted out to taste the sensitive skin of his wrist. “Bloody hell, Slayer!”

Need you… Want you…” Buffy whimpered. He growled as she reached out a searching hand, finding his jeans and following them up until she was gently squeezing the bulge in his pants. “What the bleedin’ hell am I—doing? Jesus Christ, Slayer!” he grunted as she suddenly put a little of her super strength into the squeeze, the pain intensifying the powerful sensations of pleasure even more.

He quickly but carefully pried her fingers away from his hard on and practically jumped away from the bed, running a shaky hand through his hair and pacing frantically as he talked to himself. “Slayer is dreaming about doing me, seems to know that I’m here and she wants it. And bloody hell if I don’t want to give it to you,” he directed at the girl in question, who was breathing rapidly and letting out small whimpers of pain that made him want to go to her–

No, you daft git!” he told himself sternly, trying to shut out the sounds and movements of the wanting Slayer. “That way leads to sure staking and you’re better than that. You can have any girl you want without needing them to be asleep. That’s not your style, and you know it,” he told himself sternly, uncaring of the curls he’d brought out in his normally carefully gelled hair or of the sheer madness of the situation as he paced and muttered to himself while a Slayer whose very arousal was a bloody aphrodisiac was begging for his touch not five feet away.

Taking a deep breath, knowing that he finally had himself under control, Spike strode to the door and opened it, determined to walk through it and leave the Slayer to her own devices. But he made the mistake of looking back—should have known better, that’s what did Lot’s wife in innit—and any and all rational thought disappeared at the sight of the smooth and supple golden figure of Buffy Summers in all of her naked glory on his bed. Just when Spike had hope that he could still find the strength to leave, she slipped one slim finger inside of herself and whimpered his name again in a tone that spoke of a deep longing and need, and he slammed the door.

Oh, fuck,” he whispered harshly as he strode back over to the bed and climbed onto it at the feet, the predator in him fully on display as he crawled towards his prey. “Slayer,” he rasped, stopping at the apex of her thighs and smiling victoriously when she brought her finger out and instead used her fingers to spread her womanhood open to his gaze. “Spike, yes, please Spike,” she moaned. He knelt and slowly dragged his tongue up one leg, just above where she wanted it most and down the other leg.

Spiiiiike,” she groaned again, and he growled against her inner thigh. His favorite place to drink from was mere centimeters away, and he tugged the patch of skin covering it with his dull teeth, careful not to break the skin even as the tempting blood sang out to the demon in him who raged against Spike’s restraint. Releasing the skin, he let his tongue dart out and taste the salty sweetness of the sweat shining against her tan leg, closing his eyes with a moan. Christ, was there anything about this girl that wouldn’t threaten to undo him?

Buffy moaned his name again, her hips lifting in an impatient thrust and that was when he lost control. With a possessive growl, he positioned himself right before her center that she was still holding open for him and finally gave in to his urge, starting with one long lick from bottom to top. She squirmed against his face with a long gasp that trailed off into a moan as he gently slipped a finger inside of her and began to nibble at her clit.

As soon as he had a taste of the Slayer, Spike knew the answer to his previous question—there was no threat to undo him, he was bloody well undone already. Her arousal tasted even better than it smelled, and it was almost better than the blood of the two Slayers he had killed in the past. He marveled at that fact even as he worked her body, groaning when she fisted her hands in his hair and lifted her hips to grind against his face. He slipped a second finger inside of her and was rewarded with another cry.

God, she was tighter than a Chinese finger trap and more blazing hot than the sun around his fingers and tongue, and as he dipped his tongue inside of her he knew that he was done for. As much as he’d relished killing Slayers before, it was nothing compared to this experience—and as she reached her peak and her muscles contracted around him with Slayer strength, he shuddered and his eyes snapped open with sudden realization.

Oh, bollocks. He was in love with her. The thought should have scared the hell out of him, sent him running in denial, but instead it felt oddly right, more like an acceptance of something he’d known deep down than a realization to be feared. He supposed he’d been hiding this truth from himself for a while—he’d had a hard on for the girl since the first time he’d seen her, dancing with her friends and looking every inch the force of nature a Slayer should be and then some. He wasn’t sure when desire had turned into something more, but he suspected it may have been during their truce to save the world.

That had been the first time he’d seen the girl inside the Slayer, and what a broken one she had been. He’d felt sympathy for her then, that little slip of an eighteen year old with the weight of the world on her shoulders on top of the every day burdens of being a young woman with a broken heart. Accused of murder, one friend dead and another gravely injured, Watcher kidnapped by a renowned torturer she had set free… Finding out that her mum didn’t know about her destiny astounded him and impressed him, loathe as he’d been to admit it at the time. How the bleedin’ hell she’d managed to stay sane with all the pressure she was under was anybody’s guess.

The true shock of it all had been how in sync they had been when attacked. He’d known they danced well together on opposite sides, but he hadn’t been expecting the fluid team they made fighting together. They seemed to anticipate each move the other made and compliment it with one of their own. And when the vamp had been dusted, they shared a brief moment of camaraderie that had made him feel more alive than he had in his very long unlife.

Yes, he supposed that had been the moment that had changed his feelings for the Slayer, for Buffy; the moment he had started to fall in love with her. And even when he and Harmony had run into her at that frat party shortly before he’d so briefly found his prize, he’d relished seeing her and felt slightly guilty about the college student they’d snagged as takeout.

Buffy’s hips arched upwards with enough strength to throw a less tenacious man as she came hard, jerking Spike back to the present. He was again amazed as he tasted her cum for the first time and found his self control waning. As much as he wanted to savor the taste, he instead found himself drinking it frantically, surprised by the comforting feel of her hands softly combing through his hair as she hummed contentedly.

It wasn’t until he reluctantly drew away from her that he even registered the change in her breathing and heart rate or the scent of fear in the air. It was the sight of her wide eyed, terrified gaze that alerted to him to the fact and sent him scrambling backwards off the bed completely. The look on her face made his blood ran cold—shock and fear, emotions that he’d never seen from the Slayer before, not even when she’d been cowering against a wall at the point of Angelus’s sword.

Slayer?” he said tentatively, picking up the blanket and tossing it over her when she didn’t react. “Buffy?” That did the trick and suddenly she grabbed the blanket and pulled it up to her chin and around her back, covering every bare inch of skin she could. “What the hell am I doing here?” she asked, her tone all Slayer but the look on her face still all girl.

I was on my way here and I stumbled across you getting your ass handed to you by a fledge,” he answered, forcing his tone to remain businesslike and calm despite the tremor in his voice. He licked his lips and flinched at the divine taste that lingered there, making it hard to concentrate. “But I staked him,” Buffy countered, a tremor in her own voice.

Yeah, you did but then you passed out.” Buffy closed her eyes and envisioned the fight—she had gotten cocky and the fledge had managed to sneak through her defenses and had managed to throw her hard against a crypt. She’d been fighting through big black spots in her vision and he had managed to slip in again, this time stabbing her in the belly with a weapon that she hadn’t managed to see. He’d left himself open as he did so and that was when she’d finally staked him before the world dissolved into pure darkness.

Careful to keep one hand holding the blanket up, she reached up with the other and carefully rubbed the back of her head which was still tender. She could feel a huge knot under her fingertips and trailed her hand down to her stomach, tentatively pressing against the gauze and exhaling shakily when the expected pain turned out to be nothing more than a slight twinge. That was a sign of her Slayer healing having almost taken care of it and doubled as a testament that she had been out for several hours. She sighed, slumping as she realized Spike was telling the truth. “So what happened next?” she conceded.

Spike raised his scarred eyebrow and cautiously moved to sit on the other side of the bed, careful to keep several inches between them and making sure to keep his eyes trained on her face as he replied, “For some soddin’ reason, I didn’t fancy leaving you there to be an easy treat for any run of the mill demon.”

She scoffed. “Since when do you care about me dying? Is this some kind of possessive vampire crap, you’re the only one who gets to kill me or something?” He shook his head without a moment of thought. “No,” he mused. “Though that’s how I justified it to myself at first. You were mine to kill in a fair fight. Hell, you don’t deserve to go out like that, Slayer.” The sincerity in the stormy blue eyes took her breath away and she found herself unable to speak so he continued.

I’ve fought a lot over the past hundred and some odd years, and I’ve won ninety percent of the time. I’ve fought three Slayers and I killed two—suppose I grew complacent and all that rot. I thought you would be a one and done too, but you–are something else.” Her heartbeat sped up and his head cocked at the sound, a smile growing on his face as he continued. “You kicked my ass time and time again—except for that first time, when your mother saved you.” He chuckled, remembering his shock at the Slayer having family and friends.

I’d never encountered a Slayer with family or friends before, but even that wasn’t it. There’s something different about you, Slayer, something spectacular. I’ve never had a better dance partner, pet. So no, you didn’t deserve to go out like that. You deserve to go out fighting, doing what you love—what you’re made for.” Glittering emerald met steel blue as they sat in a heavy silence for a moment before Spike continued talking.

I brought you back here, dressed your wounds and put you to bed.” Buffy glanced at her scattered clothes on the ground before bringing her pointed gaze back to Spike, who held his hands up to indicate surrender. “Before you go all slay happy, I’ll have you know that you took those off yourself!” She gasped and her heartbeat increased to a gallop, a dark flush enveloping every inch of exposed skin.

What—what happened?” she gasped, taking deep shallow breaths that Spike instantly recognized as signs of a panic attack. “Did you—did we…” Suddenly she was crying and he was muttering curses to himself as he reached out and took one of her small hands into his own. She was trembling now, shaking violently and her hand tightened around his painfully. He grit his teeth and spoke through the pain. “You’re having a panic attack. I need you to focus on something in this room—could be the sheet, could be the wall, could be the hand you’re crushing. I don’t care what it is, but you need to try to put all of your focus on something, okay?”

She nodded, still breathing in rapid, shallow breaths but she obediently turned her gaze to stare at their entwined hands and slowly, her breathing began to even out and her heart rate began to slow back to normal. Spike waited patiently for her to decide when she was ready to speak, and it was only a few moments later when she asked again, “Did we…” He was already shaking his head and she breathed a trembling sigh of relief. “Tell me what happened? How I woke up with…” Flushed again, she looked down as she gestured to the lower end of the bed.

I came in to check on you, make sure you were healing up all right,” he answered softly. “I was watching you sleep, thinking about our past fights while my demon battled with my sense of honor. Then…” He swallowed hard and closed his eyes, shifting uncomfortably as his hard on strained against his jeans. “You moaned my name.” She jumped to her feet, “I WHAT?” she demanded in a huff, any intimidation in her voice lost when the blanket fell to the ground and she squeaked in humiliation as she dived for it. Spike bit the inside of his cheek to hold in the smirk as she quickly wrapped herself up again.

You moaned my name, and…” He met her gaze firmly, fierceness flashing in his eyes along with a desperate pleading for her to believe him. “I tried to leave. I knew it wasn’t right—but then suddenly you were naked and I could see every gorgeous inch of you,” he whispered hoarsely, his cock twitching at the memory. “And then…” He swallowed hard. “You did something that made me lose my mind.”

Buffy’s blush bloomed as the dream she’d been having suddenly began to come back to her in bits and pieces. Her and Spike… fighting, then kissing and rolling around, clothes coming off while she moaned for his touch… His touch on her skin feeling more intense than she’d ever felt before… “Oh my god,” she whispered, sinking onto the bed and dropping her head into her hands, uncaring even as the blanket slid off of her again.

Carefully Spike moved over to her and pulled the blanket back up over her shoulders, holding it around her as she thought. He wasn’t sure if this story would have a dusty ending or not, but he knew that he probably deserved it. He’d taken advantage of a sleeping girl, a Slayer for Christ’s sakes. He’d be lucky if she didn’t torture him before staking him!

Spike,” she whispered, finally daring to glance up at him. “Yeah?” he murmured, reaching out carefully to tuck a stray tendril of hair behind her ear and then grinning with amusement when he realized the futility of the gesture. She smiled gingerly back at him and turned pink again as she took a deep breath before blurting out, “Ihavesexdreamsaboutyousometimes.”

Frowning in confusion, Spike tilted his head. “’Fraid I don’t speak run-on, pet. Could you say that again but slower?” Taking another deep breath, Buffy obeyed. “I have sex dreams about you sometimes.” To say the vampire was the most shocked he’d ever been would be a severe understatement but he tried to play it off, acting cocky as he whispered seductively, “Well, I gathered that from tonight, luv.” She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest, unable to make eye contact with him.

Listen up, Spike, and listen good ’cause I’m only gonna say this once. I believe you about tonight. I, uh–” she dropped her eyes to the ground again before continuing, “I remember—bits and pieces of my dream from tonight.” Raising her eyes to meet his, she admitted, “It was the strongest one I’ve ever had and I think that maybe part of it was because I sensed you were here? And, uh—it’s the first time…” Her face suddenly flamed and the words caught in her throat, but she fought until she forced them out. “It’s the first time that I’ve woken up, erm, satisfied instead of really, really frustrated… Break my alarm clock frustrated.” He remained silent, his face inscrutable as he pondered her words. She sighed and shook her head, running a hand through her hair in frustration. “Spike–

Give us a minute, pet,” he murmured in an absent tone of voice as though thinking hard about something, which he was. The Slayer had dreams about him, about having sex with him. And she wasn’t blaming him for tonight, accepting that she had wanted it… “Slayer? Buffy,” he amended, his eyes burning with an indecipherable mix of emotions as they met hers. She nodded, an invitation to continue. “How long has this been going?”

The dreams? Um, since the truce with An—Acathala, I guess? You showed a different side to yourself that night,” she whispered and he felt his lips curve into a tiny smile that she returned after a moment’s surprise. “Then when you came back last year, they became more, ah, frequent and intimate… I guess I’m a freak, but hearing about you crying into hot chocolate while getting advice from my mother shifted my opinion of you further.” She inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly and he could almost see her piecing things together in her head. “The things you said to me and Angel…They were all true, and it hurt. But it hurt more that he wouldn’t admit it, that he hid his emotions so much of the time while you wore yours on your sleeves without giving a damn about who saw them.”

If Spike had a heartbeat, it would have been racing with the exhilaration he felt. “That long? I seem to recall I was holding your friends hostage at the time, didn’t expect that wouldn’t have been more black marks against me in your book,” he remarked casually, careful to keep his tone from expressing his inner turmoil of emotion.

With a sheepish grin, she shrugged. “I don’t know. At first it did, but then Willow told me about how you cried on her shoulder and were really upset—although she was also terrified and I so don’t forgive you for the broken bottle in her face,” she added, her smile twisting into a frown as she shot him a glare. “But I don’t know… You could have left them there and made your escape. You didn’t have to tell us where they were—sure, Oz and Cordelia would have found them either way, but you didn’t know that. You’re different from any vampire I’ve ever met, and I guess I respect your sense of honor,” she admitted grudgingly.

How long have you been able to tell me apart from other vamps?” he asked softly, genuine curiosity shining in his eyes. She exhaled and closed her eyes, appearing to concentrate hard. Opening them again, she gave him a sideways glance before answering, “I think since all of the stuff with Ford and that vampire cult. I felt you way before I heard you, and I knew without a doubt that you were there,” she mused, lost in her thoughts. “The others were the normal tinglies, but you—I don’t know, you just feel different to me somehow. More familiar, more…” She let her voice trail off and her face hardened, a sure sign she didn’t want to finish the thought.

He decided not to push and instead stood up, Buffy having taken hold of the blanket again some time during their talk. “I’m going to tell you something, Sla—Buffy, and I want your bleedin’ word that you won’t tell anyone else and that you won’t laugh at me.” She rolled her eyes and shifted to recline on the bed as she replied, “I just told you that I’ve been having sex dreams about you for two years and apparently managed to seduce you while unconscious tonight. Do you really think I’m in any position to laugh or run my mouth to anyone about anything you tell me when you have that kind of dirt on me?”

A chuckle escaped him and after a second she was laughing with him. “Good point, pet. All right, well…” He pulled a cigarette from his pocket and lit it, inhaling deeply and exhaling the smoke with a sigh as the welcome nicotine hit his system. “Dru left me because of you,” he muttered, and her eyes went wide. “What?” she screeched, and he grimaced. “The bloody bint told me that when she looked at me, all she saw was you. She said that I was lost in you. I thought she meant the bleedin’ truce and I tried to explain, to tell her that we’d left you back halfway around the sodding world but she wouldn’t let it go. Got to the point where she was screwing anything that moved, said she couldn’t bear to touch me anymore, that I tasted like ashes.”

Gasping slightly as the pain of the memory hit him again, he took another long draw on the cigarette, letting the nicotine numb him a bit. “This is going to sound bloody barmy, but I realized something tonight.” Glancing at her again, he could see the confusion, understanding and the tiniest bit of fear shining in those luminous green eyes. Like pulling off a Band-aid, he told himself, make it quick and clean, just get it out. “Bloody hell, Buffy—I think I’m in love with you. I think that’s what Drusilla could see that turned her away, way before I even knew it.”

He got the shock of his unlife when she smiled comfortingly and bit her lip. The fear had all but disappeared from her eyes and he had a suspicion that it was only the Slayer in her that kept even the tiniest hint of it there. “The last time we met, you tried to kill me and I nearly made you burn to death. Then you went and had Angel tortured and nearly killed while inadvertently granting invincibility to a vampire who got off on hurting kids.” Her tone was calm and even as she counted off his past sins, the last bit making Spike wince.

And yet… There’s something between us,” she whispered, heat and confusion wrapped together in her voice. The hope in his eyes took her breath away and she found herself studying her hands again so she could keep going. “I think that’s part of why I let you run away after taking the Gem, why I didn’t kill you last year after Dru. If you’d forced me to, I think I could have done it but… I didn’t want to. I still don’t.” She glanced up at him with a small smile. “I’m a really crappy Slayer, always developing feelings for vampires,” she joked, rewarded when he chuckled back at her.

Moving without thinking, Spike knelt on the ground before her, his hand moving towards her face slowly enough so that she could have stopped him if she wanted to. But instead she reached out for it and brought it to cup her cheek, leaning into the touch and closing her eyes—a sign of trust that floored him. Bloody hell, he didn’t deserve that.

Stop it,” she murmured without opening her eyes, pointing an accusing finger at him. “Oi! Stop what?” he replied defensively. “Spike, look. I know you’re thinking that you don’t deserve for me to trust you but the way I see it, you saved my life tonight and you so didn’t have to do that. Correct me if I’m wrong—which I hardly ever am, by the way—but I’m pretty sure that any other vampire or demon would have lunged at the opportunity you found yourself given tonight. You not only didn’t, you brought me to your home with no guarantee that I wouldn’t wake up and stake you or come back and burn it to the ground in the daytime or something. That is why I am trusting you and I believe that you deserve it. Capiche?”

He snorted out a strangled laugh as his thumb gently stroked her cheek and he dared to lean forward to brush a soft kiss across her cheek. “Understood. But pet, this is crazy, isn’t it?” he asked uncertainly, thinking about the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that stood in their way. She shrugged and finally opened her eyes, deliberately keeping her emerald eyes locked on his crystal as she turned her face to gently kiss his wrist.

Yeah, it’s definitely logic defying but uh, Spike? Vampire, Slayer,” she quipped with a grin, motioning between them. “We’re both pretty logic defying according to both of our world’s rules. Besides, aren’t rules meant to be broken or something cliché like that?” she asked with a raised eyebrow and a dainty smirk. Growing serious again, she reached out and took his between both of hers, gently caressing it. “I know that there’s a lot to figure out, a lot of things that we’re going to have to compromise on and talk about. I also know that there’s bound to be a lot of fighting but honestly? I’ve never felt this way before… about anyone,” she emphasized, watching as realization hit the stubborn vampire.

You mean–” She nodded. “I definitely loved him,” she whispered, her voice suddenly small and sad. But she kept her eyes locked on his and her fingers continued to trace patterns on the back of his hand as she went on, “I’m not really sure when it changed… Probably when he came back from Hell. I had finally decided to move on and let go, and I did. But then suddenly he was back and my head was swimming, my heart going in a million different directions… It was just easier to be that Buffy, the one who’d loved him… You know?” She sniffled, tears falling and he reached up to gently brush them away. “Intimately,” he replied in a low whisper, understanding packed into his answer that made her smile weakly. “I knew you would.”

A moment passed as she composed herself and then she slowly leaned forward, gently pressing her warm lips to his soft, cold ones in a gentle kiss. It was brief but intense and left them both breathing hard, foreheads pressed together and smiling crazily. “This is crazy,” she whispered with a giggle. “Crazy but worth it,” he repeated, still in a daze.

So… Where do we go from here?” she asked, a wave of insecurity suddenly hitting her. “I mean…” She started worrying her bottom lip as worry filled her eyes. Guessing what she was trying to find a way to ask, Spike pressed a kiss to her forehead and said, “Well, first of all I guess that having to fight my girlfriend to the death time and time again would bollocks up the whole relationship, so I guess this means that I’ll be visiting the butcher’s shop a lot more often from now on, yeah?”

The relieved and grateful smile that instantly brightened her face let him know that his guess had been right on the money. “You’re really okay with giving up on hunting?” she asked. “I mean, not that I could let you–” He silenced her with another gentle kiss, running his fingers through her hair as they parted. “Buffy, Happy Meals on legs, remember? You mean more to me than any one of them, and killing people—it would hurt you, you’d feel responsible for my actions. I know that I’ve caused a bleedin’ lot of pain for you in the past, but I—I want to change.”

She sighed heavily in relief, sagging against him and throwing her arms around him in a tight hug. “I was hoping you’d feel that way… Thank you, Spike.” He dropped a kiss to the top of her head, surprised at how comfortable the intimate actions felt already. “Buffy, I know we still have a lot to talk about…”

A yawn escaped her, cutting him off and he chuckled at how utterly adorable she looked with her face scrunched up. “Buffy tired,” she whined, scooting back on the mattress and pulling him up onto it with her. “Buffy sleep, talk tomorrow,” she ordered as Spike made himself comfortable and opened his arms to her. She immediately snuggled against his chest and sighed happily when he wrapped his arms around her, holding her close. “This is good,” she murmured, laughing when his chest began to vibrate with a soft purring sound. “Vampires PURR?” she cried out through her laughter.

Oi! It’s not purring! It’s just–” “Oh, no denials, mister! You’re purring!” Suddenly her laughter evaporated and she sighed happily again, moving to snuggle even closer to him. “I like it,” she admitted with a smile he could feel against his chest. “It’s like, a physical sign that you really like this.” His hand began to gently stroke her hair as he marveled at how much his world had changed in the space of mere hours. “I more than like this, luv,” he told her with conviction, and her smile grew. “Good night, Spike.” He shifted a little to press a kiss against the top of her head.

Good night, Buffy.”

~~FIN

About

This is a wonderful idea for raising funds for our fellow fandom members. I’ve signed up as an author to write an Eric/Sookie one shot and would like to encourage all of you to consider either donating or signing up to be a beta, author or banner artist for the cause!

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Source: About

Come Wake Me Up (True Blood; Post-Series)

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Disclaimer: I own nothing and am making no profit from this story. Charlaine Harris and Alan Ball own anything you recognize. The song lyrics belong to Rascal Flatts.
Summary:
“Twenty years ago, she had fallen deeply in love with the thousand year old Viking vampire. Many things had changed since that wonderful night in the cubby, but the love she felt for Eric Northman and the regret she felt over her actions afterwards had never wavered.”
Timeline: Post-series
Tissue Warning!
Author’s Note
: I wrote this back in April or so, very soon after breaking up with my boyfriend of over 4 years. It was my decision and I’m much better off, but there’s a lot of me poured into this Sookie. Writing is the best therapy, as they say.I hope that I did the song and her character justice, and there may just be a companion piece coming depending on feedback and how I feel. Right now, this ending feels right but I am also getting the itch to figure out where Eric’s head is at right now. So no promises, but I’ll see where the muse takes me and I hope you enjoy reading.
Title: Come Wake Me Up

Come Wake Me Up

I can usually drink you right off of my mind, but I miss you tonight
I can normally push you right out of my heart, but I’m too tired to fight
Yeah, the whole thing begins and I let you sink into my veins and I feel the pain like it’s new
Everything that we were, everything that you said, everything that I did and that I couldn’t do plays through tonight

The night was quiet and cool as Sookie Stackhouse stepped out onto her front porch and cast her mind out to find nothing but blissful silence surrounding her farmhouse. She sighed in a mix of relief and disappointment, the way she did every night when she did this. She lifted the cold glass to her lips and took a long drink, not even wincing at the burning sensation as the alcohol slid down her throat and lit a fire in her belly. But it did nothing to calm the burning pain in her heart tonight, much to her dismay. Slowly she turned to make her way back inside of the house, leaving the door open behind her almost unconsciously.

Taking another sip of her gin and tonic, Sookie walked over to the beautiful hutch that concealed the entrance to what she still called Eric’s cubby and slowly opened the doors. Taking one last sip of her drink, she set it down on the nearby end table and climbed inside the hole. Each rung of the ladder seemed to sing beneath her feet and she felt a sense of almost relief as she reached the bottom and stepped onto the ground, turning slowly to face the bed. Their bed. She swallowed hard and tried to ignore the way that the pain in her heart intensified as she walked over to their bed and trailed her hand over the sheet where one long ago night, she had made the choice to accept Eric’s blood, to accept Eric. It was the one time she had taken blood without being hurt or coerced, and it was the most beautiful moment of her life because it was the first time she had ever known what true love felt like.

It was just too bad that she had been too stupid to realize it until she’d lost it, ‘thrown away happiness with both hands’ as Gran would have said, she thought bitterly.

Twenty years ago, she had fallen deeply in love with the thousand year old Viking vampire. Many things had changed since that wonderful night in the cubby, but the love she felt for Eric Northman and the regret she felt over her actions afterwards had never wavered. As soon as she had killed Bill and felt the influence of his blood leave her body, she had realized that she had never loved him at all–he had never given her the choice. She had barely known him when he had orchestrated the Rattarys’ attack on her and forced his blood into her.

With Bill, she knew that her feelings were all strongly influenced by the blood. But with Eric… She sighed and sat down on the bed, reaching to grab the comforter and pull it around her shoulders. With Eric, there had been feelings there from their first meeting and even though part of her had wanted to hate him for the things he did to her, she never quite could manage… and even when he had tricked her into taking his blood in Dallas, she knew that he was too honorable to use his blood to try to influence her. No, with Eric she knew that every feeling she had felt was her own because when she thought back, she still felt them all. And that was perhaps the worst part of all, knowing that she had thrown away the one she truly loved because she was afraid to trust what her heart was telling her.

“Eric,” she whispered, tears filling her eyes as she said his name for the first time in weeks. Only down here did she allow herself to speak it or to think of him and what they had almost been, what she had thrown away. She began to sob, pulling the red blanket tighter around her body and trying to pretend that it was his arms she felt holding her.

Tonight your memory burns like a fire
With every one it grows higher and higher
And I can’t get over it
I just can’t put out this love
I just sit in these flames and pray that you’ll come back
Close my eyes tightly, hold on and hope that I’m dreaming
Come wake me up

The pain in her heart seemed to grow with every tear she shed, almost as if the loss of moisture allowed the fire to grow and consume more and more of her as she cried. Soon she was gasping for breath, holding onto her chest as though she was trying to hold herself together as she broke down.

She knew that she wouldn’t really change anything about her life up until now–she had three beautiful children who she loved more than life itself and she’d had a good marriage filled with quiet affection for ten years of it. No, she wouldn’t trade the life she had lived… but the life she was living now was a different story. Her kids were raised, her husband had died in an accident years ago, and while she was able to distract herself while she was at work the nights were almost too hard to bear. She came home to an empty house that was filled with memories–most were good but even those she often found too painful to handle because they were accompanied by a deep sense of loss.

So, Sookie had done what she’d sworn never to do the first time she’d seen Jane Bodehouse break her leg trying to stand up from the bar stool–she began to drink to drown out the pain and the regrets. Most nights, it worked and she would fall into a dreamless sleep and wake up ready to repeat the process the next day. Work, talk to the kids, drink–rinse and repeat with a side of church on Sunday and that was the life Sookie Stackhouse now led. Sometimes, like tonight, she would find that not even alcohol was enough to dull the pain and she would allow herself to succumb for just one night. That was when she would find herself down here in the cubby where she had given Eric Northman her heart, wishing that he was still here with her.

Turn the TV up loud just to drown out your voice but I can’t forget
Now I’m all out of ideas and baby I’m down to my last cigarette
Yeah you’re probably asleep deep inside of your dreams while I’m sitting here crying and trying to see
Yeah, wherever you are baby, now I am sure you moved on and aren’t thinking twice about me and you tonight

Pulling out her phone, Sookie pulled up the YouTube app and even as she wondered why she was intent on tormenting herself she typed ‘Eric Northman Nu Blood’ into the search bar. Within seconds, thumbnails of Eric’s smiling face filled her phone and she clicked on the first video. The second she heard his voice and saw his smile, she was overcome by a fresh wave of sorrow and began crying even harder. One of the questions she always tried to keep buried sprung to the forefront of her mind, one that she wished she had a way to ask him. Did he still love her and if he did, why had he never come back for her? But when he smiled for the camera, she remembered how it had been so long since she had seen him smile when he was around her and she realized that it was her own fault. Why should he come back when he thought that she didn’t want him anymore?

She reached into the pocket of her shirt and pulled out her battered pack of cigarettes–another habit she’d once promised herself she’d never start. She slid the last one out of the pack and between her lips, pulling the lighter from the pack as well as she cursed herself for forgetting to buy another pack before she came home. She was still crying and trembling so hard that it took her several minutes to light the cigarette, but with the first draw she did feel a small bit of relief come over her. Mentally, she knew that it was false–just a chemical reaction caused by her body’s addiction to the nicotine but she just couldn’t bring herself to care about why it made her feel better, just that it did. She smoked slowly, still watching the play-list of the Nu Blood commercials play as she tried to ignore the way hearing Eric’s voice still caused her heart to skip a beat.

Sookie couldn’t help but wonder where he was right now. The last she had heard, he’d sold Fangtasia and disappeared into parts unknown with Pam at his side. That had been just before her husband had died and she often wondered how different things might be right now if Eric had waited just two more years–she had been past her grief over Beau’s death and had finally put her life back together. She’d wondered even then how different things might be if he was still in Shreveport and she could go to him, apologize for all of her mistakes and ask if she could have another chance.

But wondering didn’t change what had happened–Eric was gone and she was alone with her broken heart night after night, wishing that she could find a way to put things right. And sometimes her mind would whisper cruel things to her about how she had thrown away the love and trust of a good man who did not give such affections lightly. Why should he ever spare her another thought, it would whisper to her on nights like these–and she knew it was right.

Trying to imagine where he was right now, Sookie closed her eyes and envisioned him. He was wrapped in the arms of another woman with brunette hair and caramel colored skin, thrusting into her and muttered in that old language he had used when making love to her, once upon a time. She shuddered and opened her eyes, wondering for the millionth time what that language had been and why she’d never bothered to ask him. The tears flowed faster and harder as the pain in her heart got harder and harder to take, until she was sobbing once again.

Did Eric ever feel any of this, she wondered? Did he ever think about the love that he had shared with her? Sometimes she doubted it… but then she’d seen what he was like when he truly loved and when he’d lost that love. She had seen it with Godric, hadn’t she? She’d seen that Eric Northman was not one to forget someone he had loved, even if it would make things easier. No, deep down she thought that Eric still remembered everything and once again, she wished she had a way to contact him.

Tonight your memory burns like a fire
With every one it grows higher and higher
I can’t get over it
I just can’t put out this love
I just sit in these flames and pray that you’ll come back
Close my eyes tightly, hold on and hope that I’m dreaming

I know that you’re moving on
I know I should give you up
But I keep hopin’ that you’ll trip and fall back in love
Time’s not healing anything
Baby, this pain is worse than it ever was
I know that you can’t hear me, but baby I need you to save me tonight

When she had smoked her cigarette down to the filter, she put into the ashtray and lay down on the bed, pulling the blanket with her and covering herself again. She closed her eyes and tried to think about what she would do, even though she knew she would come up empty for the millionth time. Eric Northman was a thousand year old vampire–he had a lot of practice in disappearing and not being found again, and she knew from the numerous private investigators she had hired that he had done just that again.

They couldn’t even find Pam, which only convinced her more that her suspicions were correct. He didn’t want himself to be found and since Pam went with him, he had covered both of their tracks as completely as he could. The only question she still had was why didn’t he want to be found? Nu Blood was still the top selling synthetic of choice and he was still earning money off of that and she hadn’t heard anything about him being in trouble from Jessica, who had recently become the sheriff of Area Five and remained one of her close friends.

Try as she might to find another reason, Sookie could only ever come to the same conclusion she always did–he must not want her to be able to find him… and the thought made the pain intensify until she thought it would surely split her in two. “Oh, Gran,” she whispered brokenly, “What have I done?” Her words echoed in the small space and came back to her unanswered, as they always did. And try as she might, she just couldn’t even imagine what Gran might say to her right now. It seemed like a sick joke–Sookie Stackhouse had finally accepted and embraced who and what she was the way Gran had always wanted her to, just in time to lose the one man she had ever fully given her heart to.

And whoever had said that time heals all wounds had lied, lied, lied, she thought to herself bitterly as she turned to bury her face into the pillow to conceal the loudness of her sobs. Each passing day seemed to make the ache in her heart more unbearable, the absence of him from her life more apparent even though she tried desperately to ignore it. Alcohol and cigarettes could dampen the pain, but she always knew it was there–it felt like what she had plucked from an amputee’s head once, like there was a phantom limb that just ached but you knew there was nothing you could do to ease the pain. Her heart felt like that every single second of every single day and she knew with a certainty that absolutely terrified her that it always would.

“Eric,” she sobbed into the pillow, clinging to his memory and the memory of their time together with every ounce of strength she had left to avoid losing herself to the waves of pain crashing over her. If only’s crashed through her head… If only she had been brave enough to trust in her own heart that night so long ago when she had saved him from burning at the stake… If only she had never been shot and Bill had never given her more of his blood… If only she hadn’t been so stupidly stubborn when he signed the house back over to her, thinking that she wanted to be the girl in the white dress again when that girl was dead and gone, never to return. Why hadn’t she been smart enough then to realize that? Innocence, once lost, can never be regained and she had soon come to realize (though not soon enough) that she actually liked the person her struggles had made her.

Even when Eric had returned with Hep V, she’d known that she loved him… but she had been too guilty about infecting Bill to deal with her feelings then. Then when Bill walked away from the cure that she knew Eric had risked his life to provide for someone he didn’t even like, all because she had asked… She had sought solace in his arms, but still she hadn’t told him. There were just so many missed chances, so many times she could have told him the truth… But it was only once she had killed Bill and mourned him that she was finally able to see clearly… and Eric was gone by then.

Tonight, Sookie Stackhouse was not the brave girl she had once been. She was a mere shadow of her former self, the one she had thought she wanted to get rid of to go back to being the meek southern belle she had been before she’d met her first vampire. But tonight, she would have given anything just be back to her former self… because even at her lowest then, when she had found herself betrayed by Bill at the Authority just before he turned into Billith… she had been so much stronger than she was now. Tonight, she knew that the only one who could save her from all of this pain was the one person she could not find and would most likely never see again… and that thought caused her to gasp out in pain. She needed Eric more than she had ever needed anyone in her life… and she was the one who had pushed him away. The thought ate at her more than she cared to admit.

Tonight your memory burns like a fire
With every one it grows higher and higher
I can’t get over it
I just can’t put out this love
I just sit in these flames and pray that you’ll come back
Close my eyes tightly, hold on and hope that I’m dreaming
Come wake me up

Oh I’m dreaming
Come wake me up
Oh I’m dreaming

Hours later, Sookie slowly woke to the darkness of the cubby. She rubbed her puffy eyes as she realized that she had cried herself to sleep once again. “Typical,” she muttered as she slowly sat up, grabbing for her phone to check the time. Luckily, she had woken up just in time to get ready and still make it to the office on time, she thought as she swung her legs over the side of the bed and stood up, slowly letting the blanket fall back onto the bed with a sigh.

The pain had receded to a dull ache again now, and she knew that she had made it through yet again as she climbed up the ladder, out of the cubby and slowly shut the doors behind her. She carried her glass from the night before into the kitchen and washed it quickly before returning it to the cabinet, the normalcy of the routine comforting her more.

As she prepared for yet another day, Sookie spared one final thought for Eric and she said a silent prayer that he was okay and that maybe, if God was feeling giving, maybe he would find his way back to her. Then she pushed his memory back into the darkest recesses of her mind and slammed the door behind it, preparing for another day of her nightmare.

~~FIN