Put the Masks Away
The graveyard was filled with new headstones and they were practically falling on top of each other.
Spike’s boots sunk deep into the ground where the dirt had been dug up. Buffy could hear the muck being kicked up as they walked. She’d never noticed that they walked in sync until she watched their shoes getting dirty. Buffy silently cursed herself for wearing Amanda Smith’ shoes, while in a graveyard. Spike didn’t seem to mind his boots getting filthy but sometimes she caught him cleaning them with “Touch of Glass”, something he’d gotten from the Dollar Store.
Buffy smiled at the image in her head of Spike leaning over, wiping his shoes with a paper towel doused with the cleaning product. “How unpredictable”, she thought. She would have to use his little trick at getting filth off her own shoes, once she got home. Of course that would end up becoming impossible considering the amount of alone time she got when she was there.
Before heading to the graveyard, they’d stopped at the liquor store and bought some vodka. Apparently their theme to the night was to be glass bottles and warm liquid. It only seemed appropriate that Buffy continue to drink, even if she’d probably end up having to kill something.
Spike couldn’t get drunk so she figured she was safe. At least safe enough from complete disaster and in some way that was comforting. Buffy had been surprised by how easy it’d been to leave the house undetected and was sure Spike was even more shocked that no one had seen how disheveled they both looked. He’d already downed more of the vodka than she had and she was almost certain she’d seen his hands shaking whenever he handed the bottle to her.
The graveyard was lit by the moon and neither one of them could remember when the last time it was they’d seen it so large, seemingly taking over the sky and illuminating everything in it’s sight.
Spike would’ve mentioned the craters that could be distinguished, indented in the moon, pointed them out in some lame attempt to make conversation but he was still reeling from the fact they’d had sex. He couldn’t believe the cot could even hold two bodies, let alone with that much activity. He wasn’t sure what had made her ask him to come on a walk but either way he was grateful for the time away from the house and for the gesture. While in town, near the liquor store, he’d almost taken her hand, guided her away from the crowd but stopped himself, leaving her unaware of his intentions to protect her. It wasn’t that he truly believed she needed protection it was just a reflex he’d picked up out of habit.
“When did you stop wearing underwear?” he asked chugging down a good percentage of what was left of the vodka. He let the bottle’s neck slip in between his fingers and dangle as they walked. Spike wasn’t sure how the question would go over but was convinced it would ease the ever-growing tension between them considering no matter how much alcohol she drank, she still seemed uncomfortable.
Buffy stopped in her tracks, not sure of how to respond and yet she couldn’t help but laugh knowing full well Spike was the only person who would ask her that question and risk the possibility of getting punched for it. She looked down and took the bottle out of his right hand, which within these hours had become a pattern. The rim of the glass touched her lips and she tilted her head back relishing the taste on her tongue, which quickly slithered down her throat, making her insides warm.
“Ever since clean underwear became a rare commodity,” she paused pushing the bottle into his chest. He fastened his right hand around it, while she let her arm swing at her side. “Laundry isn’t my top priority these days,” she finished, starting to walk again.
Spike stepped beside her, walking along, nodding his head. His bleach blonde hair was glowing in the night. The rest of him seemed to fade into the graveyard perfectly. He didn’t respond, knowing he could go on and on about how many times he’d raided the Laundromat because there were loads upon loads of laundry at the Summers’ household waiting to be washed. Astonishingly enough he’d become more interested in looking good and smelling good since he’d taken up residence in Buffy’s house.
“I’m sorry,” Spike whispered, the bottle sloshing in his hand. Buffy gazed at him curiously. “For – tonight,” he took a long swig of vodka, cringing at the flavor while looking at the ground.
Buffy stopped again. Spike continued walking a few steps until he realized she was not in stride with him and twisted around. She was standing hastily a few feet behind him, digging the heels of her suede shoes into the soil, ruining whatever grass lied there. Her eyes were glazed over with drunkenness and every silent second where the wind blew past them, against them, around them, made him yearn to take back his words. He was ashamed of being so childish around a woman but it was not the first time and most likely would not be the last time he apologized to one for something he was not sure required an apology. He did always feel the need to apologize to her for things that had been done in the past year or the year before and wasn’t sure that desire or need would ever go away.
Spike noticed the scar on her neck not that he hadn’t a million times before and every time the same reaction came, the same sense of never being good enough would filter through him casting a horrible fever of frustration with in him. Buffy bit her bottom lip, her teeth pulling at the dry, dead skin and he could tell that she was blocking out her emotions and could sense himself growing more impatient as time continued to go by.
“Don’t be sorry, Spike,” Buffy finally said, shaking her head, the strands of her hair from the end of her ponytail, bouncing on her shoulders. She started to tread towards him in what seemed like slow motion. He watched every small movement; the way her body was showered with moonlight, her hips swaying back and forth. By the time she reached him, he had closed his eyes, sure that when he opened them it would all be a dream. “Spike,” she whispered and it sounded like she was literally in his ear or at least close enough to be so. He opened his eyes to find her fixed to the ground before him.
“I kissed you,” and she moved away from him, sitting down on a head stone that read someone’s name. He couldn’t make it out with her legs dangling in front of the engraved words. Spike sat down next to her. Their clothing was close enough to touch. Buffy took the bottle from him and stared at it for a second, before drinking what was left. She clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth and leaned her head on his shoulder, dropping the bottle to the ground once she was finished. Buffy made a mental note to pick it up before they left the graveyard. Her head was pounding so hard that she could hear ringing in her ears. “My head,” she moaned, rolling her head back and forth on Spike’s shoulder.
Spike wasn’t sure of what to do. They’d never been the type of couple to share certain intimacies like comforting one another. He remembered his time with Dru and knew if it had been her, years ago, he would’ve put his arm around her, pulled her closer to him and rubbed her back so that was what he did with Buffy, although with less knowledge of the movement. He drew circles around her back with the palm of his cold hand and she sunk into his side and it took every fiber of his being not to scream with pleasure.
It wouldn’t last. He understood that because nothing did between them.
The air was growing cold around them and she shivered, again with goose bumps running up and down her arms but not for the same reasons as earlier. He gazed at her hand that had snaked itself onto his and he was taken aback by how soft it felt, how warm, but mostly, he was amazed that she was capable of doing such a thing. He dug his boots into the ground, keeping his balance on the stone.
Spike pushed the hair that had escaped from her ponytail away from her face and noticed that she had closed her eyes.
“Head spinning,” Buffy murmured as his hand grazed past her forehead. She opened her eyes to look up at him. He smiled at her, lips curving to the sides a little bit of teeth showing.
“Maybe we should go back,” he stated, about to stand up.
“No,” she said pulling at his arm. “I don’t want to – yet,” she clung to the fabric of his shirt with her fingers. “It’s so crowded there…” Buffy paused, rubbing her head. “And loud, can’t do loud right now,” she whispered, leaning her head back. His hand had wrapped gracefully around her waist, keeping her steady.
“Okay pet,” he whispered into her ear. His breath was icy but it soothed her, gave her chills in a pleasant way. The kind of way she’d learned how to enjoy the year before, even if it had always led to a purely sexual feeling. Spike watched a bunch of fluffy gray clouds cover the moon, leaving the graveyard completely dark.
“Dark,” she breathed out, eyes open, staring up at the sky whose stars were briefly covered by a light haze. Buffy lifted her head from his shoulder and twisted around, getting up and shaking her head. He stood up as well, feeling the loss of her body, no longer close. “Do you miss your crypt?” she asked seriously, wobbling over to another gravestone where she held onto the headstone for support.
“Sometimes,” Spike said, planting his hands in his dark jean pockets and slouching over, a little awkwardly. Buffy sighed, memories spinning cobwebs in her brain, making her head ache more. “I miss the privacy.”
“Don’t we all,” Buffy replied and threw her hands in the air only to realize she couldn’t stand on her own. He reached for her, grabbing hold of her left elbow while she rested the other hand on the granite again. Her breath smelled of alcohol, the mixture of Jack Daniels and vodka along with their kisses. There was a tint of cigarette on her tongue but she didn’t mind. She partly favored the taste, over the rest because it gave her the delusion that everything in the past between her and Spike was long gone and they could just be them, without all the pretenses.
The gray cloud stopped hiding the moon and dispensed luminosity over them. Buffy turned her head and relaxed her eyes on him. He was still holding onto her elbow and something ticked inside of her. She wasn’t sure what it was but the fact that he was standing there beside her, holding her, protecting her from falling over with drunkenness, was more than endearing. It was in all respects sexy, in a way she’d never thought sexy could be on Spike.
“I miss your crypt,” Buffy said. She removed her arm from his grasp and leaned her backside into the headstone, which stuck, out of the ground at a strange ninety-degree angle. Spike stepped backwards, looking over his shoulder at the small but vacant tree behind him. “It was cozy sometimes,” she blathered on, obviously letting her incoherent thoughts drop from her brain to her tongue and lips. Spike grunted up against the tree, branches blowing above him in the wind. He stared at her lovingly, taking in her stance, securing the memory in the back of his mind, to bring up whenever he was alone.
“It did have it’s advantages,” Spike tilted his neck back, looking up into the sky where the moon could be seen once again, glistening against the obscurity. Buffy nodded her head, agreeing with him. She rubbed her face with the palm of her hand, in an attempt to see better through her glassy eyes. “We should really get you back. I don’t think there’s any Vamps out tonight,” he waited for her reaction before he would move.
“They’ve probably all left or something – scared of the Hellmouth,” she mumbled, shaking her head. Her ponytail bounced back and forth in full swing. He laughed under his breath, gazing at her with his blue eyes. “Lets get another drink,” Buffy raised her eyebrows at him mischievously. She was shimmering in the radiance of the moon and he couldn’t help but comply, simply because she was stunning even while drunk and tired. He wanted nothing more than time with her even if it meant she wouldn’t remember any of it in the morning.
Buffy pushed away from the crooked headstone and kept herself steady for a few seconds before Spike was at her side, holding onto her once again. She inclined into him, her waist almost meeting his. Their bodies snapped together like a perfect equation. His arm meandered around her, tugging her closer. Unbeknownst to Buffy, he bent his head a little and inhaled the smell of her raspberry shampoo. She was too busy to feel the slight inclination of movement on his part. She was perfectly content to feel Spike next to her. Buffy grinned to herself when she felt his grip on her and she was sure that anyone who might’ve had the opportunity to see them, would think they looked like just another perfectly happy, normal couple.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/83852.html