FIC: Say The Magic Words, 1/1

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Hello all! It’s my turn, and I’ll be providing your Spuffy fairy tale for today. :-) But first, I wanted to thank itmustbetuesday  for running this great community. I’ve really enjoyed everyone’s contributions this round. So without further ado, here is mine:

Title: Say The Magic Words
Author: Cindy
Setting: Post-NFA
Rating: R
Pairing: Spike/Buffy, of course
Summary: Words have power…
Warning: a fair degree of schmoop :-)
Disclaimer: The characters aren’t mine, but Joss said I could play with them 

Say the Magic Words

Prologue

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who believed in fairy tales. It wasn’t so surprising. Her mommy and daddy had always told her that she was their beautiful princess, after all. But one day her daddy went away, and her mommy began working more and smiling less, and no one seemed to remember that she was a princess anymore. And it became a little harder to remember it, herself.

As she grew up, she discovered that there really was magic in the world, although most of it seemed to be bad magic. But even after she found out how much evil existed, even after she discovered that monsters were real, she still believed in true love, and happily ever after. And she did meet a handsome prince, whom she loved as she had never loved anyone before.

Not long after, however, the impossible happened. Somehow, loving her turned the handsome prince into a terrible monster, and her heart was broken. She went on to fight many battles, and defeat many demons, as heroes do. Including those within herself. But she didn’t believe in happily ever after anymore.

Until one day when she met a monster, and somehow, the impossible happened. Loving her turned him into a handsome prince.

And she believed in happy endings once more.

***

“Where is he?” Her blade slashed through one of the few remaining demons. “Angel! Where IS HE?”

Angel parried left, and one of the horde, ugly and horned and slobbering, ran right into the wall behind him. Angel finished off the poor, dazed thing with a flourish of his sword.

“Dragon,” he said, nodding skyward. He jumped up onto a fire escape to survey the damage.

If it wasn’t for that shock of white hair, she’d have missed him, riding the back of the dragon like some otherworldly rodeo cowboy, his coat flapping out behind him like another pair of dragon wings. Spike, always the flashy one.

Angel made his way to the top of the building as Buffy’s slayer army finished off the last of the demons, and pointed his sword in the dragon’s direction. “Spike! You get back down here! That fucking dragon is mine.”

She could hear Spike laughing, whooping and hollering like he was having the time of his life. As the dragon dipped lower, she could see him raise his own blade. The beast’s leathery wings flapped slowly, almost gracefully, and the wind it raised blew back her hair. It stared at her, and she stared at Spike. He had the nerve to wink at her just as he was about to plunge the knife into its neck.

And then the sky opened up, and he was gone.

***

“Dimensional portals, so not my specialty.” Willow rubbed the back of her neck and refreshed the page of her laptop.

Buffy tried not to look disappointed. After all, what had she been doing to help? Fetching coffee and take-out food, while Willow and Giles had poured over their books and computers. Making food runs and growing more anxious by the minute, that was her job.

“Maybe you should take a break. Get some rest,” Buffy suggested.

Willow look tempted, but just for a moment. “No, I’m fine really. Well-caffeinated, and on the case!” She smiled reassuringly. “I won’t give up on this, I promise.”

Buffy leaned over and gave her a quick hug before going to check on Giles’ progress, but he just mumbled something about needing a translator, not a slayer, so she called Dawn in to help. And while they didn’t come right out and say she was in the way, they didn’t seem all that unhappy to see her go. She really needed something to do. Or possibly, hit.

***

“It’s been almost three weeks. A lot can happen in three weeks.” Angel *umphed* as she hit the heavy bag he was holding for her a little harder.

“I know how long its been.”

“I just want you to be prepared.”

Prepared for what? That Spike might be in some hell dimension as awful as the one she’d sent him to? She wiped her forehead with the sleeve of her shirt, but sweat continued to pour down her face and sting her eyes. She hit the bag again, felt the skin split over her knuckles. And again. Blood trickled down her arm and onto the floor. And again.

“Buffy. Stop.” Angel pulled the bag away.

Well if he wouldn’t let her hit the bag, she had no alternative. Her fist connected with his jaw. “I. Can’t. Stop!” Every word was punctuated by a blow, which Angel took, but only for so long. He caught her fist in his hand, and then wrapped his arms around her, pinning them and pulling her up against his chest. She couldn’t have fought back, anyway; suddenly she felt weak as a kitten. Even her legs gave out on her, and they both sank down to the floor. She turned into his arms. “I can’t stop. I can’t stop.” Her tears soaked his shirt.

“I know.”

He led her into the bathroom, running her hands under cold water.

She finally asked the question that had been plaguing her since she caught her first glimpse of Spike in that rainy, blood-drenched alley. “Why didn’t he tell me?” The snow white towel Angel was using came away stained red. Rorschach blots in Slayer blood.

Angel applied ointment, wrapping gauze carefully over her shredded knuckles. She’d be healed in hours – she didn’t know why he bothered.

“I don’t know. I think…he didn’t want to disappoint you.”

“That’s so stupid. He’s so stupid!”

Angel nodded. “You’ll get no argument from me.”

“Nor me.” Giles spoke from the doorway, holding up a book, its pages yellowed with age and frayed around the edges. “But I think I’ve found it.”

***

She thought it was fitting that Giles was the one who found a way. “I’m not doing this for him, I’m doing it for you.”

“No you’re not,” she said, wrapping her arms around him and laying her head on his shoulder. “You’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do.”

Time moved differently in different dimensions. She might return in minutes, or decades. Or not at all. Everyone knew this, so they didn’t have to talk about it. There was a good chance Spike was already dead. Everyone knew that, too.

“Dawn…”

“Don’t say it.” She hugged her, quick and tight, and kissed her cheek. “I’ll see you soon. Tell Spike I’m going to kick his ass when he gets back.”

Buffy smiled. “You’ll have to wait your turn.”

“My lucky sword.” Angel held out a handsome weapon, with a carved handle and a curved, glistening blade. The weight of it felt good in her hand. She was grateful for it, and grateful that he hadn’t offered to come with her. She’d have hated to have to turn him down. He had a son, she’d found that out. She thought he might have a girl, too. And either way, this was something she had to do on her own.

They were in the alley again. She gazed up at the sky, no longer dark with rain, but clear and star-filled. Beautiful, as a matter of fact.

Buffy gave Willow the thumbs up. “Okay, Will. Say the magic words.”

Giles held open the book to the page he had marked, and Willow began chanting. A portal swirled before her. Buffy patted her pocket, which held the return spell, written out phonetically. She hefted the sword and took one last look over her shoulder before jumping through.

The swirling power of the portal was intense, and she spun in the midst of its churning energy before somersaulting out the other side and landing shakily on her feet. She panicked for a moment, as her hand was empty; she’d somehow lost her weapon. But she realized quickly that she was in no immediate danger. In fact, she was in the middle of a pastoral paradise, by the looks of it. Rolling green hills – though more a bright chartreuse than the grass green she was used to – spread out before her. Here and there she saw what were obviously farm animals behind rustic fences, even if she’d never seen quite that color of fur on a cow or a sheep before.

“Greetings!” said a deep, male voice.

Buffy jumped and whirled around, instinctively going into a fighting stance, only to find an elderly couple smiling benignly at her. They were pretty normal looking, except for their clothes, which made them look to her like they’d stepped out of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. They took her in with mild curiosity.

“I take it from your unusual garb that you are a visitor. From another province, perhaps?” asked the woman.

“Um, yeah. Yes.” Buffy looked up at the turquoise sky. “Or maybe somewhere over the rainbow. Anyway, I’m looking for a friend of mine. Another visitor.”

The man frowned. “Well, we don’t get many in these parts, I must tell you.”

“You would have remembered him. Bleached blond hair, came here on a dragon?”

The old couple began laughing uproariously. “A dragon!” said the man. “My, my, you are a bit of a jokester, aren’t you? Why, there hasn’t been a dragon sighting in these parts for decades.”

“That’s right,” said the woman. “Not since our savior came.”

Oh, no. It wasn’t Fairy Tale Land, it was Bible Land.

“Savior? You mean, like…God?”

“No!” He laughed again. “Well, not literally. Though to hear some of the women-folk talk, he might as well be, isn’t that right, Marta?” said the old man.

The woman slapped at his arm playfully. “Stop it, Ely! What I mean is, since the Dragon Slayer came. He’s our protector.” Her expression became thoughtful. “A stranger, like you.”

“Dragon Slayer?”

Ely nodded. “They say that life was unbearable before his arrival, though even old folks such as us don’t remember those days. But our parents and grandparents told us the tales. Those were dark times, when the dragons ruled the land. They would swoop out of the sky and take our livestock.”

“And our children,” Marta said quietly. “They say they were so large, and so many, that the span of their wings blotted out the sun, and the crops withered and died. And with their fiery breath would burn our houses for their amusement.”

“Then he came, falling from the heavens onto the back of the fiercest dragon there ever was. As legend has it.” Ely smiled. “He slew that dragon, and over these many years, all the rest. And now we live like this.” He spread his arms out, taking in the bucolic landscape. “In peace.”

Buffy’s heart was pumping wildly. “Do you know his name?”

“Of course! It’s William. William the Dragon Slayer.” Ely gave her a wink. “Though these days he just goes by Will.”

Oh, God. She had to force herself to remain calm. “Where is he now?”

“He lives just outside of town.” From Marta’s expression, Buffy could tell that they were thinking the same thing. “We can take you there, if you like.”

They walked through the quiet little town, where people observed her with that friendly curiosity again, but nodded and smiled hello or tipped their hats. Buffy was so anxious to get where they were going, she had to force herself not to grab her new friends by the arms and pull them along. Still, she couldn’t help but respond to the graciousness of the villagers. On the outskirts of town they took a path into a grove of trees which eventually led to a more heavily wooded area. Ely and Marta left her at the end of a path they said would take her directly to his home.

“It’s the first house you’ll see,” Marta said. She held Buffy’s hands for a moment in her own. “I hope you find what you seek.”

Buffy walked only a mile or so before she reached it; it came upon her suddenly. As the path crooked to the right, there it was on the left. A small, neat cottage shaded by a thick canopy of trees, with shutters on the windows and a cobblestone path leading to the front door. Her heart began racing again as she approached the door and knocked softly. She listened, closed her eyes and let her senses reach out into the far corners of the house, but she didn’t feel him there. Disappointed, she sat down on the stoop to wait, pulling up her knees and resting her forehead on them. She didn’t realize she was so tired until someone was gently shaking her awake.

“Miss…miss? Time to wake up. Lost, are you?”

She looked up slowly, pushing the hair out of her eyes. He was kneeling in front of her, his face only inches from hers. Same stormy blue eyes, same aquiline nose and full lips. His hair was different, no longer bleached, and long enough to curl over his collar as was the style on the men she’d seen in town. But there was no mistaking those cheekbones. It was definitely him.

“I think you’re the one who’s lost.”

“Oh my God,” he breathed. “Buffy?”

She rose to her feet slowly and he followed, reaching out a shaky hand towards her face. “It’s me,” she said, taking his hand and pressing it to her cheek. “It’s really me.”

She’d expected surprise, but his shocked expression, his trembling hands, scared her a little. “Can’t…can’t hardly believe it.”

“I came as soon as we could figure out a way to get me here.”

“How long was that?”

“Almost a month. I’m sorry it wasn’t sooner.”

This seemed to amuse him. “Been a bit longer than that, here,” he said.

“How long?” She was almost afraid to ask. The old couple…what had they said? Decades?

“Long time.” His hand moved to her hair, and he let his fingers slide through the strands around her face.

Buffy took a step closer, putting her hands on his shoulders. “Spike, how long?”

“A hundred years,” he answered thickly.

“A hundred…? Oh no. Oh God. Oh my God.”

“Buffy, s’alright, love…”

“I’m sorry…” a sob wrenched its way out of her throat, catching them both off guard.

She threw her arms around him with such force that he stumbled backward a few steps, but then he was holding her tight, breathing her in. She could feel his lips against her hair. She tried to pull him even closer.

“Spike, I’m sorry.”

“Not your fault, silly girl.”

“I thought you were dead! And then you were there, and then you were gone.” She hit at hit his back half-heartedly, but he just continued stroking her hair, soothing her. “Do you know what that’s like? Thinking someone’s dead and then you see them standing there…?”

“Yeah. Yeah that’s happened to me a time or two.”

She pulled away far enough to look at him. “I know it has. So why? Why would you hide from me?”

He eased himself out of her arms. “Because I’m an idiot?” His hands raked through his sandy hair. “Been so long, Buffy. I don’t know if I remember why. Sure doesn’t make much sense to me now.”

Now he was upset, and that was the last thing she wanted. This was a fresh hurt for her, but it had been a century for him. She wondered when the last time he’d even thought about her was, before she showed up on his doorstep. She stood there awkwardly, not knowing what to do next, when he reached out and took her hand.

“C’mere. Somethin’ I want to show you.”

He led her through his little cottage, neat and sparsely furnished, to the back door which led out into a garden. A rather beautiful garden. Here, in a small area that had been cleared of trees, grew several different varieties of plants, many of them with lush, colorful blossoms.

“You did this?”

He opened the door, and they walked out onto a small porch. “A man’s got to have a hobby.”

She imagined him trying to tend these plants in the middle of the night, by the light of the moon. It didn’t look like he had any electricity. Good thing he had that great night vision. She thought that until he stepped out into the sunny yard, and picked a flower.

“Not a rose,” he said, turning to her and handing her a large, scarlet bloom, “but it’s the closest I’ve got.”

“Holy shit.”

Spike laughed. “Yeah.” He pushed up his sleeve to show her his lightly tanned arm. “Turns out I do freckle.”

She ran her fingers lightly over his skin, and he shivered at her touch. Their eyes locked, and she wanted so badly to kiss him. But the words a hundred years started yammering in her brain.

“Oh, God. It’s like a year goes by every minute I’m here or something! Is that right?”

Spike scratched his head. “Almost a month you say? That would make it about three years for every day, I reckon. Give or take. ‘Cept, it’s the other way around.”

Buffy pressed her hand to her forehead. Inter-dimensional travel gave her a headache. “You mean, the crows feet are forming as we stand here? I hate this place.”

She reached into her pocket. “I’ve got this spell that will…” The paper was gone. She couldn’t breathe. “Where is it?” Buffy began searching every pocket, turning them frantically inside out until Spike grabbed her hands and stilled them.

“Buffy. Buffy, it’s gone. It didn’t come through the portal.”

“But why? The sword I was holding didn’t come through, I know. But this was in my pocket! My clothes came through! It’s not fair!”

“I know. My lighter didn’t come through either, as I recall. Or my fags. I was a stranger in a strange land, and couldn’t even get a nicotine fix.”

“This isn’t funny! I don’t want to be stuck here!”

He took a quick step back from her, like she’d hit him. “No one asked you to come after me, Slayer.” God, this was going all wrong.

“Spike, I didn’t mean…”

“There’s a shaman, wizard of sorts, lives up there,” he said, nodding toward a hillside in the distance. “Can take you there if you like, see if he can be of help.”

“Yes, that’s…that’s a good idea. Thank you.”

He was walking past her and into the cottage by the time she finished her sentence.

And suddenly they were strangers again. She supposed that wasn’t surprising; she hadn’t seen him in a year, and had thought he was dead. He hadn’t seen her in a century, and had probably forgotten about her long ago.

“It’s a day’s journey. We’ll stop in town, get some supplies on the way.”

“Oh. Okay.” She followed his voice into the house, where he was stuffing a blanket and some weapons into a cloth bag. “Do we need weapons?”

“Probl’y not. But you never know. No more dragons, but we get the occasional nasty.” He opened the front door and stepped back waving his arm in front of him. “After you, Slayer.”

“Now?”

“Well, yeah. Years ticking by and all that.”

“Yes. Right.” She hurried past him and down the stone walkway, Spike on her heels. She paused for a moment at the end of his walk, but he just brushed past her. He didn’t look back.

They stopped in an open air market for food. Spike did all the purchasing, and the shopkeepers and other customers greeted him warmly with handshakes and hugs, and called him Will.

“You go by William here,” she said, once they were away from town and headed toward the hillside.

“Not intentional, really. When I first came through that portal, got pretty burnt up by the dragon, ‘fore I managed to kill it. Some folks found me, nursed me back to health. But I was kind of out of it for awhile. Thought I was back in London, the time my mum nursed me through Scarlet Fever when I was a kid. Anyway, must of said I was William, and…”

“And now you’re a legend. William the Dragon Slayer.”

Spike laughed. “Sounds particularly silly when you say it.”

“It’s not any more silly than my illustrious title.” She tugged briefly at his sleeve. “Hey, should I call you William now, too?” She tried to keep her tone light; she liked this talking thing they were doing. But after it came out of her mouth, she thought it might have sounded a little flirty.

He gave her a sideways glance. “You can call me whatever you want, Slayer.”

Yep, definitely flirty.

She could feel her face burning, but Spike just smiled and kept walking.

They seemed to be about half-way up the hill, which was quickly seeming like more of a mountain, when darkness began to fall.

“This is a good place to make camp,” Spike said. “There’s a stream nearby, and a clear area here to make a fire.”

Buffy nodded, watching while he gathered logs and brought them to a spot where he’d obviously made a fire before. “Wow, you really do know this place well, don’t you?”

“Had lots of time to explore. Why don’t you go ahead and eat if you’re hungry. I’m off to find my own dinner.”

“What are you having?”

He grinned and vamped out. “I’m hunting wabbits. Or some wabbit-like critter with blue fur, most likely.”

His hair was damp when he returned. He must have washed up in the stream, as she had done after he’d left. She was still getting used to his appearance. He had such a softer look, with the hair, and the non-descript clothes he was wearing, all in shades of tan and brown.

“How was dinner?”

“Five star. Yours?”

Buffy bit into a piece of fruit. “Delicious. Want some?” She handed it to him, and he took a bite and handed it back.

“Mmm. Sweet.”

She felt her face heating up again, and she looked away. Another awkward silence fell between them. They’d had lots of quiet times together, but this was the first time they’d felt weird to her, like she had to fill them up with sound.

“So…” He said nothing, just raised an expectant eyebrow and waited for her to finish. “Um, this wizard guy. Do you think he’ll be able to help?”

“Well, sure. I mean, there a real good chance…”

“Don’t lie. You suck at it.”

He laughed. “Yeah. Well, wouldn’t get my hopes up too high. Been to see him a number of times, and he’s always goin’ on about me fulfilling my destiny and learning patience and shite like that. Thinks he’s bloody Yoda.”

“I…I’m not sure I get it.”

“You think I haven’t tried to get back home a time or twenty myself? Every time I go there hoping for help, and every time I get some cryptic nonsense that’s no help at all!” He was up now, pacing back and forth in front of the fire. “I’m sorry, Slayer. Sorry you came and got yourself stuck here, most likely.”

“Is it so bad?” she asked.

He stopped pacing. “What?”

“Life here, is it so bad?

Spike sat back down next to her. “No. I reckon it’s not so bad.”

“Are you happy?”

He ran a hand through his shaggy hair. “Not sure how to answer that.”

She ticked off the pluses, as she saw them. “Everyone loves you here. You’re their hero. You get to be in the sun.”

He nodded. “True enough, I s’pose.” He was staring at her now, looking at her like he hadn’t since she’d first arrived.

“Is there…a woman? Someone you love?”

“There’ve been women,” he said softly. “Not at first. And now, not for awhile.”

“Why?” she asked, her voice barely a whisper.

“Because none of them were you, Buffy.”

“Oh, Spike…”

He was on his knees in front of her, then. Taking her face in his hands, studying her with his fingertips.

“No one has called me that in such a long, long time.”

She closed her eyes and sighed when he pressed his lips to hers. Tentatively, at first, waiting for her. And then with a hunger that scared and excited her, both. She wasn’t sure when their clothes came off, but suddenly the rough blanket was under her, and Spike was above her. Hard body, soft lips, rough voice.

itsyouitsyouitsyoubuffybuffybuffy

All this feeling overcame her, left her breathless and unable to speak. He covered every inch of her skin with his mouth and his hands until her body was shaking with need, thrumming with sensation. And she could feel the same shimmering around him, palpable, coming off him in waves, waves they rode half the night until her nerve endings were numbed and she fell into an exhausted sleep in his arms.

She awoke to the first rays of the morning sun coming over the mountain, tendrils of light snaking out and momentarily giving her a panic as they trailed over his body, leaving his skin glowing and seemingly lit from within.

“We should get movin’,” he said, although that looked like the last thing he wanted to do, sprawled out beside her, stretching like a big cat. “Be light enough to travel soon.”

He was watching her carefully, waiting for her again. She had so much she wanted to say, all this emotion she wanted to express, but there was just so much, and it was getting jumbled in her mind.

The last time they’d made love, in her basement the night before she lost him, she hadn’t been able to say it, either. She was afraid to, afraid it would make her weak, put her off her game, to give in to those feelings. And then, when she’d finally opened her heart, he hadn’t believed her. She’d been okay with that, at first. She’d thought he’d just said that to protect her. But when she’d shown up in that alley and seen him, found out he’d been back all this time and hadn’t told her…

“Spike, I…” Shouldn’t he be able to tell how she felt? How could he not know, after the night they’d just had together? Instead he was looking at her warily, as if he was afraid of what she was going to say. What if he didn’t believe her, again? What would she do then? The words died on her lips. “I think we should get going.”

He ducked his head, nodded, and gathered up his clothes.

They were quiet as they continued up the mountain. The terrain became steeper and more difficult to manage, and she was grateful for the distraction. Finally, they reached the top, and found a ramshackle cabin which looked like it might collapse at any moment.

“Always been like that,” Spike said. “And he’s always looked exactly the same, too.”

“How old is he?”

Spike shrugged. “Was here since before me. And no one else around here lives that long.” He rapped on the door, and it swung open, creaking on its rusty hinges.

“Atmospheric,” Buffy said. “In a stereotypical kind of way.”

They stepped into a small, dark room lit only by candles. As her eyes adjusted to the light, she realized that the walls were lined with books, and jars containing all sorts of odd looking substances sat on shelves and tables around the room. “Man, Giles would have a field day in here, wouldn’t he?” She spun slowly around, taking it all in – and bumped right into a wizened old man.

“Welcome,” he said. “I see you’ve brought a friend with you today, William.”

Spike nodded in her direction. “Buffy Summers.”

Buffy stared at the old man, who had lively, young eyes though he was leaning heavily on a cane. When Spike failed to introduce him, she asked his name.

“What’s in a name?” he asked.

“You weren’t kidding about the cryptic, were you?” she said to Spike. He shook his head and sighed heavily.

“What brings you here today?” the old man asked, walking around the room and checking the contents of various jars and containers.

“Same thing as always. Want to go back. Buffy came to fetch me, and now she’s stuck here, too.”

“Is that right?” He smiled at Buffy, a dark gash in his wrinkled face. “You’ve risked much to come here.”

“I’m a risk taker,” Buffy said. “Ask anybody.”

“Of course you are,” he said, leaning towards her. “In all but matters of the heart.”

Buffy took a step backward and bumped into a table, nearly upending it. She glanced quickly at Spike, and just as quickly away when she saw that he was looking back.

“Anyway,” Spike said. “Can you help us, or what? Think it’s about time you gave me more than fortune cookie advice. Know you got it in you. I can feel it. Power.”

“We all have power within us,” he answered. “It’s a question of knowing how to use it.”

“Here we go again!” Spike turned and threw his hands up in frustration.

Buffy hoped she might have more luck. She gave him her sweetest smile. “Look, Mr. Wizard-guy. You’ve got all of these books here. Don’t you think one of them might have the spell that we need to get home?”

“The spell you used to get here is useless now. But that’s of no consequence, There are many doors.”

Spike’s hands were clenched into fists at his side. “Straight answer, now. Can you help us or not?”

“Not directly. You see, William, you’ve been enchanted.”

Spike stared at the old man, open mouthed. “What the bloody hell are you talking about?”

The wizard smiled benevolently. “Before you arrived, the people were desperate. With you they found hope. They put a spell on you to keep you close to them. They had no desire to trap you – they meant no harm. But unfortunately their magic was primitive, and the ones who made the spell long dead.”

Buffy could see Spike straining to keep from hitting something. “And I’m just hearing this now, why?”

“It would have served no purpose to tell you before, and only made you miserable. But now circumstances have changed.”

His jaw clenched in frustration. “What circumstances?”

“Because now the spell can be broken!” Buffy said.

“Indeed.”

“How?” Spike asked.

“I’m afraid I can’t tell you. You must find your own way.”

“Oh that’s just perfect!”

Spike stormed out of the little house, and Buffy started after him. “Can’t you just give me a hint?” she asked, pausing in the doorway.

The wizard’s eyes bore into hers, and she felt a jolt, like an electric current through her body. Then he smiled. “You are filled with power, but it is not your Slayer abilities that will serve you now, at least, not entirely. Listen to your heart. And remember, words have power. Say the magic words. You’ll know when it’s the right time.”

***

“Bloody fucking hell! Those are my magic words. You hear me!” Spike spread out his arms and shouted up at the sky.

“It doesn’t look like those were the right ones.” Buffy frowned. “Magic words, hmm. Abracadabra! Hocus Pocus! Shazaam!” She glanced around her. Nothing had changed. “Maybe I should click my heels together three times.” She closed her eyes. “There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home! There’s no place…”

“Glad you find this so amusing.”

“And you seem awfully upset about the idea of being stuck here alone with me.”

“Don’t be bloody stupid! I’m trying to get you home to your friends! And your sister!”

His mention of Dawn put a lump in her throat. She thought about how tirelessly Willow had worked to find Spike, and the funny letters Xander sent her from around the globe that she kept in a cardboard box, and the look on Giles face as they said good-bye.

“Dawn said to tell you she’s going to kick your ass when you get back.” She could hear her voice wobbling.

“Well maybe we had better stay here, then.”

He was trying to lighten things up, but the tears spilled over and ran down her cheeks. She put her head in her hands, and felt his arms go around her. “Sorry, love. So sorry you came here.”

She pushed him away and wiped impatiently at her tears with the back of her hand. She was so sick of him saying that. “You’re sorry I came here?”

“For your sake.” He smiled. “Tryin’ not to be selfish, here. Can’t begin to describe what seein’ you again means…but I’m hardly worth givin’ up your whole life for.”

Something clicked inside her then, and the fear, the uncertainty that had been confusing her and blocking her vision lifted like a window shade. Everything was clear. Everything.

“Yes you are,” she said.

“What?” He was looking at her with doubt in his eyes again, but she pushed on.

“You are worth it. And if I had to do it all over again, knowing what I know now, I would do it again. I would rather be with you here, than without you…anywhere.”

He still wasn’t sure. She could see it on his face. She looked upward, shielding her eyes from the sun.

“And if we did stay here, where you’re the big hero and you could be in the sun, we could…”

“None of that matters to me. Want you to be with the people you love.”

“I am with someone I love.” His mouth opened but nothing came out. “Give me your hands,” she said.

He cocked his head, confused by her request but stepping forward and holding out his hands. She threaded her fingers through his, left to right, right to left. Her hands tingled where they touched his; she could tell he felt it too. She took a deep breath, and closed her eyes.

Spike grasped her hands tighter as their vision began, energy crackling between them. She could see him in her mind, fighting the dragon, slaying it – but in its death throes, it let loose a final breath, and the flames set him ablaze. She saw the townspeople rush to save him, They cared for him. A group of them joined hands around him, and she heard the words they chanted, binding him to them.

Until true love finds him. Until another needs him more…

She opened her eyes.

Words have power

She stared into his.

Say the magic words…

“I love you, Spike.”

***

Epilogue

Once upon a time there was a young man who believed in fairy tales. It wasn’t so surprising. His mother had always told him he was her handsome prince, after all. But one day the young man lost his way and was turned into a monster, and he became the baddest monster in all the land. One day he met a beautiful princess, who was very good and very powerful. And though it was against his very nature, the impossible happened. He fell in love with her, and loved her as he had never loved anyone before. And he became convinced that he could make her happy.

He fought many battles to win her love, and defeated many, many demons. Especially those within himself. And finally he was rewarded for his efforts, and turned back into a handsome prince. But the price was very high, and he was deeply scarred. He lost faith that the princess would ever love him. So he continued to fight for good, as heroes do, but with a heaviness of heart. And he didn’t believe in happily ever after anymore.

Until one day, the impossible happened. The princess fell in love with him while he wasn’t even looking.

And he believed in happy endings once more.

The End

 

Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/83232.html

cindergal

cindergal