Fic: Inertia, Part Two – Buffy (PG-13)

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Wasn’t sure if I was going to finish this in time, so I didn’t want to make any promises, but you’re all in luck.

Previously: Part One

Inertia – Part Two

As Spike disappears into the night and the door swings shut behind him, Buffy lets out the breath she’s been holding. Yet again it seems she’s said the wrong thing. Damn him and his shirty vampire ways.

With a sigh, she turns and heads back into the house. She is tempted to follow him, to try and get him to understand, but they’re at war and there’s still so much to get done. Shaking her head, she wonders if it will rattle; she hasn’t expressed herself very well and it’s her fault the feeling of closeness from the night before has gone; evaporated with his confusion and the sudden distance he’s put between them. But it had been special; she needs him to know that it wasn’t some sort of fluke; that they will go there again sometime. She hopes he remembers her actions and not her fumbling words.

She pauses as she reaches the foot of the stairs. These dramas are something she doesn’t have time for. Not now at the end of the world. She’s sick of the tide of their emotions, the ebb and flow between them that never seem to meet in the middle. Every step they take towards each other just pulls them further apart. He’s terrified; he’s turned himself inside out and what’s showing now is raw and bleeding; and she gets that, really she does. She’s been facing that fear every day, not knowing if she really deserves someone so unswervingly devoted, who adores her so much, when her own feelings are so hopelessly confusing.

Because seriously she just might love him. Its there, making her heart flutter and burst, but she’s yet to find words vast enough to tell him. An ‘I love you’ feels too small and trivial for all they’ve been through, yet they’re three damn words that stick on her tongue, the hardest of all to say. So she’d denied them, leaving them for better time when they’d really mean something.

She hopes that time is soon because she can’t stand it any more. She doesn’t like seeing Spike scared like this. She wants him fearless, the way he was before she broke him; impulsive and needy, annoying and sarcastic, but also so strong, with such courage and that tangle of contradictions that change with perspective like a hologram. That very intensity that drove him throughout his existence, his tenacity and his stubbornness were now the very things that were destroying him. Crosses, fire, torture, sunlight, Slayers, he’d faced them all without fear, but it was love that brought him defeat. This distance between them is maddening and she wants it to end just as much, but they’re too close to the big finish to have the luxury of starting something now, she can’t afford that kind of distraction, even though it’s a lot to ask him to put off what’s happening to a later that may never come.

Selfishly, she wishes he had taken that leap of faith she knows he doesn’t have the nerve for, kissing her so she could finally kiss him the way she had never had before – because he was kissable and not because she wanted to lose herself in something other than her shitty life. He would have done that once without asking, grasping at the invitation in her eyes, taking and grabbing the slimmest opportunity, absolving her of the responsibility. The last time they’d kissed he’d been soulless, and she’d tasted death on his tongue, perilous and addictive. He’d seen it as cold comfort, but it never was, not really. She’d drawn strength from knowing that there was someone in the world that loved her the way that he did, even if she’d hated him for it, and she knows she’ll need more from him before the end. She wonders if he’ll taste sweeter or if the madness and heartbreak would linger.

But she knows such thoughts are indulgent. There’s too much about to happen for private moments like that. The battle is entering a new phase and it’s going to be the biggie. The board is set and the waiting game has started. There’s nothing left for any of them to do than to make peace with each other, make endings rather than starts. Maybe if they win, if they’re both still here, they can take that time, to learn the steps to their new dance. She could never hope to match all that passion inside him and she’s still not sure what she really wants, but she knows that one day, maybe even someday soon, it’ll be Spike.

Considering for a moment, letting her head drift back to the kitchen door, she wonders if… No. The scythe feels heavy in her hand, reminding her that there is something she still needs to do before she can sleep like the rest. Yup. Tonight they’ll go and be heroes, like he said, nothing else.

It’s what they do best after all.

The End


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