Title: From the Heart
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Just once, could Buffy listen to her heart for a change?
A/N: Thanks to spikesdeb for pretty-ing things up for me. Excuse my post-readthru fiddle, it’s a habit. *sigh* Mistakes are all mine… see anything amiss, whisper in my ear, would ya? Written for seasonal_spuffy.
A/N2: Huge thanks to enigmaticblues for putting this together once again.
“No, you don’t… but thanks for saying it.”
Go carried Buffy as far as the gateway leading out of the hellmouth.
But no further.
Try as she might, she couldn’t make that leap up and out. To safety. To Dawn. To the Scoobies. To all of them.
No matter how much her head was telling her to do it. To run. Escape. Live.
For once she wasn’t listening.
At least not to it.
Her heart on the other hand? That was a different matter. Her heart was telling her to turn around. Run back to Spike. Be. With him.
Because she loved him. Truly loved him.
Cowardice had made her flee when he told her to go.
Buffy closed her eyes to block out the image of his face, the resigned, weary look in his eyes at her confession of love that had come too little too late.
She was tired of being afraid. Tired of realizing too late what she wanted… only to have it snatched away.
She was the Slayer, by god.
Time for her to start acting like it.
Buffy turned and raced back the way she’d come, slamming into Spike’s body and knocking him out of the sunlight pouring down from above. She could smell burned flesh, felt the stench of it singe her nostrils, but ignored it in favor of stripping him of the medallion still shooting out its death beam on the unearthly inhabitants of the hellmouth. With a final yank it came free and she stood tall, a proud warrior, the glowing stone dangling from the chain she held fast in her hands, finishing the job Spike had begun. Her eyes gleamed with satisfaction as the remaining hoard of Turok-han was disintegrated in a matter of moments.
The amulet, sensing its job done, winked out, once more returning to a dull amber color. Quiet until the next time its power was needed.
Only then did Buffy turn, eyes immediately seeking out Spike, rushing to his side when he lay unmoving even though the sunlight was steadily creeping closer to his body.
“Spike.” Then, “Spike!”
Buffy shook his shoulders, willing him to open his eyes. To look at her. See… her.
Over and over she shouted his name, shaking him. Tears fell, but she didn’t notice.
“Dammit, Spike! Please!” Please don’t leave me. I love you.
But once again, she’d been too late.
Cradling Spike’s head on her lap, she watched dispassionately as the walls of the cavern peeled away and started to fall. Cared not that the hellmouth was imploding, taking her and Spike along with it.
Buffy surged to her feet and stared up through the hole that was getting increasingly larger and allowing more sunlight to shine through with every second that passed.
“No!” she shouted again, rage unlike anything she’d ever felt before consuming her body. “You will not take him from me. Damn you!”
The wind whipped about her face as she called forth the innate power of the slayer.
“You will not take him from me!” she railed at the Powers, hands fisted in the air. Screaming it over and over until she was heard.
Then the ground beneath her fell away, and she was falling… falling…
It was the light that woke her, blinding even behind closed lids. She sat up and silently groaned at muscles that protested the movement. Something out of the corner of her eye caught her attention and she ignored the pain she was feeling and scrambled to her feet.
She turned to confront the threat.
Buffy’s attention ping-ponged between the two – a male and female dressed in Grecian-like robes – as they talked about her, finishing each other’s sentences. She desperately tried to shake the cobwebs out of her head so she could focus on what they were saying.
“Wait.” She held up her hand, interrupting them. “Hold it right there.”
The two beings stopped speaking, aghast at her boldness, arching identical brows and staring down their noses at her. Buffy wasn’t cowered in the least; she glared right back.
“Where am I?” She looked around. “And where’s Spike?” Her body language became more aggressive upon noticing the lack of the vampire’s presence. “So help me—”
“Is she…?” the female asked, the hint of a smile on her face.
“Yes. She is,” the male replied.
“Charming.” Amused voice.
“Foolish.” Stern. Not pleased.
“Warranted, however.” Thoughtful, considering.
“Yes.” Agreement again. No emotion this time.
“Enough of the cryptic already. God, you guys are as bad as Giles,” Buffy snapped. “Tell me where Spike is. Now!”
Both beings frowned, then the female waved her hand. Buffy turned to see Spike on the floor behind her. Burns covered his face and hands and there were holes mottling his shirt and jeans.
“Spike!” Buffy cried and raced to his side. “Oh, Spike,” she said again, barely holding back a sob as she knelt down and reached out to touch him, hesitated, hand shaking slightly just inches above his face.
She turned pleading eyes to the two behind her. “Fix him. I know you can.”
“Begging,” Buffy said simply. Humbly. “Please fix him.”
“Why such interest in so evil a creature?” the female wanted to know.
“Because I love him.”
Buffy wasn’t sure where she ended up. All she knew was that the blinding light was gone and Spike was by her side. Healed.
“Spike?” she said, scarcely daring to hope. She wanted so much to touch him, prove that he was real. That he was there with her.
Then his eyes opened.
“Buff—Slayer?” he rasped.
“Wha—? What are you doing here?” Spike looked around trying to figure out where they were, but had about as much success as she’d had. “I thought I told you to run. Why—?”
“Shh.” Buffy pressed her fingers to his lips. “I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. Not without you.”
It took him a minute to understand what she meant, but when it did the expression on his face, the wonderment and joy, brought Buffy to tears.
She nodded and burrowed into his side as she hugged him close. She was crying again, but she didn’t care. They were tears of happiness this time. When she told Spike she loved him and felt his answering squeeze, heard his own vow of love, everything clicked into place.
She was where she was supposed to be.
There, in Spike’s arms.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/400158.html