I never post to comms over here, wondered why I didn’t have posting access on the LJ comm; luckily I figured it out pretty quickly. *sigh*
Title: Time Can Fly But Also Slow
Author: Laure Alexander
Warnings: Suggested sex, aging
Disclaimer: Nothing about BtVS belongs to me; it’s all Joss; I’m just playing with his characters and making them do naughty things.
Distribution: Please ask first. Will be at my site Meandering Muse
Word Count: 2102
Summary: Written for seasonal_spuffy. I liked the “time” bit about the “time after time” prompt so I went with something set many, many years in the future as an elderly Buffy and her never aging vampire spend the twilight of her life in peace and happiness.
Author’s Note: Okay, I’m twenty minutes late, but I wrote 15000 words of a big bang over the last two days! And yet I can still write Buffy/Spike at the drop of a hat. Helps I’ve been doing it for nearly fifteen years. *g*
What was the old saying? Time flies when you’re having fun?
Well, it had. The years and decades had zoomed by as they lived the life they wanted. They traveled the world, saw the seven wonders, viewed great art and architecture, saw the best ballets and listened to the finest orchestras. They built houses in hurricane flattened villages, taught children in war-torn countries, tended the sick and dying in places few ventured. They ate good food and drank good wine and laughed a lot.
Due to her Slayer constitution, Buffy aged slowly, but she did grow older. The crows feet appeared first, then the gray hairs. She kept in good shape but even that couldn’t forever stall the loss of skin elasticity and the aches that years of fighting had left her with.
They settled down more often, but never for all that long because while she aged, her lover didn’t. Still, by the time she was eighty, Spike could see she was tiring and that having a cottage of her own with gardens to tend and birds to feed was what she needed.
“I’ll just be your young boy toy,” he teased as they lay together in a hammock on a secluded private beach in Tahiti.
“Great, I always wanted to be a cradle robber,” she teased back, her voice deeper than it had been at twenty, but still so familiar to him. He’d been listening to it both in whispers and angry screams and every level and range in between for over sixty years.
Buffy wrapped their fingers together, lifting their hands up to place a kiss on the ring he wore–a gift from Willow for their tenth anniversary from when Spike had limped to her door in Rome and collapsed from exhaustion after the battle of Los Angeles, and Buffy had hit him a couple of times for not telling her he was alive but then had taken him in, tended to his wounds, and fallen head over heels for him all over again. The ring kept him safe from the sun and allowed him to share the world with her every hour of the day.
But, it didn’t age him or make him appear older. Decades ago he’d let his hair return to its natural color, though he kept it short enough that the curls mostly stayed away, and dumped the punk look for more fashionable clothes. He’d kept the duster, though, bringing it out when they were both feeling nostalgic.
Today they wore only skimpy bathing suits. Buffy still looked amazing in a bikini, her stomach remaining flat, her breasts sagging only a little bit. She’s let her hair go white a decade ago and there were a few age spots on her hands, but she was still lovely to him. No one believed her more than sixty, but he could feel the march of time working against them.
She was moving slower, sleeping longer, eating less. He didn’t think she was dying, but she was on the downward side of life’s curve.
Not that he wanted to think about it. A century ago Spike had believed that Drusilla was his be all end all, and then he’d met a feisty, bitchy little Slayer and she’d turned his world upside down, literally making him a new man.
He’d never regretted getting his soul for her and he’d never regret a moment spent with her, even if the thought of living without her made his unbeating heart ache.
“You’re thinking deep thoughts. Stop that.”
Spike grinned and leaned over to kiss her. “So, where do you want to settle down and raise some cats?”
“Allergic, remember?” She chuckled, then wriggled deeper into his arms, feeling the strong muscles of his arms tightening around her. Buffy knew she was softer, her muscles weaker, but he still wanted her, still loved her, so she ignored the critical mirror and saw herself reflected only in his eyes. “You’ve been talking fondly about England.”
“I thought you might want to return to Italy, try the coast south of Rome.”
“I never did master Italian. I think I can handle English.”
Spike laughed. “Okay, but the southern coast where it’s warmer. Don’t want you spending the remaining years with chill blains.”
“There are these things called furnaces,” she replied blandly.
Both of them laughed and then Buffy rolled over on top of him and whispered, “Ever do it in a hammock?”
“Am I going to get rope burn?”
“…Probably, don’t be a baby.”
Giving her a wicked grin, Spike kissed her hungrily and pulled her down between his legs to grind her hips against his.
Passion was never a problem for them.
They found a four hundred year old cottage on the edge of a small village near Lyme Regis. It was off the main road, so saw few visitors. Most of the residents worked in surrounding towns even as far away as Exeter, so it was definitely a bedroom community. There was a small shop that sold local baked goods and meats as well as a few staples, a combination post office and bank, and a six hundred year old church, the steeple of which had been damaged in World War II and never fixed so it was shored up and looked like it was in a perpetual state of repair.
Buffy liked the ancient cemetery that surrounded the church, mostly because it was completely peaceful. The most recent burial was from nearly fifty years before, and the priest was older than she was. Sometimes she’d help him tend his garden which was bigger than his flock, and he’d share his favorite tea cakes with her–they were full of Irish whisky.
He never scolded her about her young man. After a few whispered comments and surprised looks, no one ever mentioned the age difference. Buffy thought it was probably due to the fact that they were so obviously devoted to each other. Spike practically worshiped her, which kept him from coming off as a kept man.
They were living off his money any way. Being a Slayer never had paid well.
Back from the shop, and the vegetable stand where a few local farmers sold their seasonal produce, Buffy set her basket on the kitchen table and began to put away the day’s food. They had a car but never drove it in town. She liked to walk and Spike didn’t mind. There were no big hills and everything was within a mile. When they moved in, Buffy had thought she’d miss having a big supermarket and a mall, but those existed a half hour away and they made the trip every month or so to stock up on things they couldn’t get in the village.
Spike supplemented the local shop’s and farmer’s meats with fish. He had remarkable luck fishing from the river that ran along the edge of the village and into the sea. Buffy figured he was scaring the fish onto his pole, but she enjoyed what he caught and prepared for her and he enjoyed sitting on the dock with a pole, one bucket of bait and one of beer.
Opening the refrigerator she saw the note held to the front with a magnet and removed it, then squinted at the old-fashioned script Spike had never outgrown. Unable to bring it into focus, she frowned and took her reading glasses out of her purse. Not surprising, he was out getting his weekly supply of blood from a local pig farmer who asked no questions and raked in large amounts of cash from them that pretty much kept his farm afloat.
The bacon and sausages he made were really good, too, though Buffy had made sure none of the products were actually blood pudding.
Sometimes the English diet was just weird.
After putting away the food, she wandered into the sitting room and turned on the telly for the noon news.
It always amazed her that the world really didn’t change much. Wars still happened, people still died of various causes, kids still won awards for stuff, celebrities continued to act like jackasses, and some team or other would always win a championship in some sport.
The routine of life was soothing.
She was dozing when she heard Spike come in, and blinked her eyes open to find him sliding onto the sofa next to her and cuddling her to his side. “Get anything exciting at the market?”
He liked to cook and since she still could manage to burn water, this was a good thing. “New potatoes and peas. Mr. Herrington had some lamb chops so I got four, figuring you could eat a couple, too.”
“Hm…I’ll need rosemary and mint from the garden. Anything for pudding?”
“Mrs. Herrington made jam cakes. I got a lemon one.”
“I’ll only need about an hour to fix everything for tea.” He glanced at his watch then waggled his eyebrows at her. “That gives us a good four hours…”
Buffy chuckled and looked down to see his hand inching across her arm towards one of her breasts. “Despite the fact you look twenty five, you’re a dirty old man, William Pratt.”
He snorted, then blew a raspberry against her neck, making her squeal as it tickled. Buffy broke away from his light hold and jumped to her feet. Eighty years old and she was still agile. Her bones might ache a bit when the weather turned and her joints creaked, but they still moved well enough that she beat him to their bedroom and were in no danger of breaking when he picked her up and tossed her onto the bed.
“My hip, my hip,” she laughed as she rolled to straddle him and he grabbed her ass and squeezed.
“Feels pretty damn good to me,” he growled, then yanked her down into a hot kiss.
After dinner and washing up, Buffy and Spike lay curled on a lounge chair on their stone patio watching the stars come up. The Summer day had been warm and the heat was lingering. The breeze brought with it the scent of herbs from the garden and the distant sea, and they listened to the sound of crickets and other insects, undisturbed by any sounds of modern life.
“I love it here,” Buffy murmured. “It’s so peaceful and quiet. I’m glad we found it.”
“I told you throwing a dart at a map would work.”
She smiled sleepily up at him, then wrapped her arm tighter over his chest and softly kissed his shoulder. “I talked to Father Peter this morning. I asked if I could be buried in the churchyard and he was pretty sure it wouldn’t be a problem. There are a few spaces left, one beneath that big oak in the far corner. I think that would be nice.”
Spike stilled from lightly stroking her arm, and she sighed. “Spike…”
“You know I don’t want to think about…,” he choked out.
“I know, but it’s inevitable. All living things die, and I want to stay here where I’ve found such happiness with you.”
He felt a tear prickle his eye and rapidly blinked it away, forcing a lightness to his voice as he agreed that the oak tree plot was lovely and he’d make sure she had new flowers every week.
They both knew that he’d be dust on her grave before the dirt even settled, but that was something they’d never talk about.
“At least twenty more years, luv, okay?”
“Well, the way I feel, I’m sure I’m not going anywhere anytime soon, I just want to be prepared.”
“Good. That’s smart. And now we don’t need to talk about it again. Instead, how about we talk about going into Exeter for the weekend. I want to take you dancing.”
Buffy smiled and nodded. He was so graceful on his feet and they both enjoyed the big band music from over a hundred years ago that one of the local dance clubs played on Saturday nights.
They spoke of plans long into the evening, until the breeze turned chilly and Buffy shivered. With a kiss, Spike helped her up, then guided her into the cottage and to their still rumpled bed.
After she drifted to sleep in his arms, Spike thought about the vagaries of time again. Yes, it flew by, but it could also slow down. Here in this village they’d found that and settled down to enjoy her remaining years, however many they had left.
He’d make sure to treasure every single moment.
Originally posted at https://seasonal-spuffy.dreamwidth.org/811459.html