Title: The Line Between
Timeline: Season Six, Buffy’s birthday party
Summary: Buffy lets the cat out of the bag about her and Spike to the Scoobies.
A very short little glimpse into what could have happened, had things gone a little differently. Comments are always welcome!
The party was disappointing. As far as birthday parties went, it was by far her most normal thus far. It had cake and presents, friends and games. And alcohol. Couldn’t forget the margarita mix that Xander had spiced up the evening with.
So she should be happy, right? But she wasn’t. And she had the itching knowledge that it was due to the absence of a certain bleached-blond pest.
“Huh?” Jolted out of her thoughts, her head snapped towards Willow and the world lurched. Crap. Too fast, too fast. She looked down at her margarita glass. Maybe she shouldn’t have had that last one.
“Buffy,” Willow said again. “It’s your turn.”
Buffy stared uncomprehendingly at the board. Blue and pink people pegs, all riding blissfully unaware in their little cars. “I – ” she said suddenly, before stopping just as abruptly. She had no idea what she’d been about to say.
Buffy surged to her feet. “I need something.” Striding as confidently and surely as she could while more than slightly tipsy and wearing heels, she went into the kitchen. Stopping at the counter, she looked around at the scattered assortment of plastic cutlery, plates, and cups, the cake, and a bottle of Sprite for Dawn.
Irrational anger flared through her. Why did they have to keep calling her name? She turned to see Willow standing hesitantly in the doorway.
“Is something wrong?” Willow played with the cup in her hand, fingers fluttering nervously.
Buffy reached back, gripping the edge of the counter with both hands. “No,” she said forcefully. She blinked. “Yes. Why isn’t he here?”
Willow’s look of confusion deepened. “Who?”
“Spike,” Buffy exploded. Of course Spike. Who else could she possibly be talking about? It was obvious, wasn’t it? How could it not be plain as day to everyone? “What could he possibly be doing that he wouldn’t be here?”
Willow tilted her head in inquiry. “I don’t know,” she replied slowly. “But Buffy, why do you care? It’s not like he’s out there hurting anyone.”
Buffy laughed, a short, bark of a laugh. “Nope,” she said bitterly. “That’s my job these days.”
“What are you talking about?” An edge of anger crept into Willow’s voice. Patience was not her strong suit these days.
“He’s not here, and I need to know what he’s doing. Maybe he finally just gave up.”
“Who cares where he is,” Willow said incredulously. “He’s probably at Willy’s drinking or gambling or whatever it is that he – ” Willow stopped. Shock and comprehension slowly dawned on her face.
Buffy couldn’t stop the words from tumbling out. “Because I think about him that’s why.” Something was swimming in her stomach. Nausea threatened to rise up.
“Buffy, do you… are you and Spike together?” Willow hesitated over the last word, as though it were an impossible thing to consider. As though she were suggesting that the world was flat and the degrees of a triangle did not always add up to 180.
“We…” Tears stung her eyes and Buffy stopped for fear of letting out a sob. Taking a shaky breath, she closed her eyes, futilely wishing her tears away. She wished it all away. The numbness, the disappointment from her friends, the bills and stress. The judgment on their faces when they found out about her and Spike.
Her palms were damp with sweat. Spike. She’d left him beaten and dazed in that alley. What if he’d never made it out? Buffy froze. Was that why she hadn’t seen him? Why he hadn’t shown up?
“I have to go,” she murmured.
“Go where? Answer the question, Buffy.”
“I have to go,” Buffy said, louder, firmer this time. She moved toward the back door, but Willow was quicker. Her arm shot out, barring the way.
“Just answer the ques – ”
“Yes, we’re together!” Buffy snapped.
They both froze.
“Buffy, I… ” Willow trailed off, shock momentarily short circuiting her brain.
Buffy moved to speak, but stopped. She gave Willow one last look, then ducked under her arm and out the door.
The cool night air was a relief against her hot, flushed skin. It dried the sweat on her brow but did little to sooth the angry fizzing just below her skin. She didn’t worry about Willow or the others. She knew they wouldn’t follow. Instead, her thoughts were all on him. She was so focused, she didn’t see her surroundings at all. Her body knew this path. How many nights had she slipped through the quiet suburb streets before reaching the graveyards? Tonight, like most nights, she was alone. One lone girl walking the empty streets. Everyone else snug in their houses.
She wove between the headstones in a direct beeline towards his tomb. When she tripped on the alcohol and high heels, she took the shoes off. She could move faster without them.
Buffy slipped through the graveyard, dogged and intent. She blinked and the crypt door was in front of her. It was as it always was – as solid and unyielding as a sentinel; the line between her normal world, and her world with him.
She pushed it open.
Spike didn’t have to look up to know it was her. In fact, he made it a point of not looking up. Just like he’d made it a point not to show up at her little party tonight. He was through with it. All of it. All the grief and misery and great bloody piles of shite that came with being a love-whipped bitch over Buffy Summers.
Hell, his face was still fucking sore from last week.
So when she came in, he didn’t move an inch. Didn’t bat an eye. Just sat, slouched low in his recliner, half empty bottle of Glenlivet dangling listlessly from one hand.
It was the smell of scotch that made him slow on the uptake. But then it hit him. A soft, subtle tease of a scent, yet unbearably alluring. His eyes shot to her, zeroing in on the source of that delicious fragrance wafting in the air.
Her tiny feet were covered in dew and green and slender ribbons of red. Her feet bore the miniscule cuts and blood that came with running through the grass. Spike looked up at her.
She stood in a sweet, blue party dress and black cardigan, clutching a pair of heels in her hand. Her hair, pulled back in a loose pony tail, was mussed. Damp blonde tendrils clung to her flushed skin. Her eyes were wide and fully dilated. Her racing pulse danced just below the surface of her neck in such a fluttering, pretty way that, combined with the scent of her blood, all thoughts of anger vanished from his mind.
Then the wave of secondary scents hit him: tequila, sweat, and some girly perfume.
So she had to get sloshed before she came to see him on her birthday, did she? Bitterness filled his mouth. He sucked in his cheeks. “You can turn right back ‘round, Slayer, cause – ”
“I told them,” she blurted out. Her hands tightened, white knuckled, around her high heels.
Spike pursed his lips in irritation. “What – ”
“I told Willow. I told them about us.”
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/330214.html