Human Behavior

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Hello!  This is my first time posting for Seasonal Spuffy and I am beyond excited.  I hope you all enjoy this one-shot!

Title:  Human Behavior
Author: rambler18
Pairing: Spike/Buffy
Word Count: 1,143
Rating: PG-13
Summary:  Set in “Fool For Love”.  Seated together on the front steps of her home, the Vampire Slayer and Big Bad share an unlikely conversation.

Never in a million years did he think he would end up sitting on the steps of a front porch with the Slayer, neither of them smarting off or trying to kill the other.  Spike was a man of action.  His first instinct was a punch.  He had marched over to her house with every intention of putting three bullets into her pretty little head.  She had made a fool of him more times than he could count, beating and ridiculing him.  He was an evil creature, the biggest of bads, and yet she had somehow gone around and brought out that ponce William again.  He heard lines in his head at the thought of her – sniveling and rhyming lines.  It had to end.

He saw her with her head in her hands, and he was ready to do it – he was – until she glanced up and her tear-filled eyes met his. Something about crying women always disarmed him. Maybe it was his Victorian sensibilities or something else entirely, but he dropped the shotgun and asked her what was wrong.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” she had said.

At that point he should have left.  He had come there to kill her.  With that plan thwarted, there was no reason to stay.  But then there were the tears, and she turned her head sheepishly, looking like the young woman he always forgot she was.  To him, she was The Slayer, always strong and in control.  It was easy to forget that she was also a nineteen-year old girl.

So, he sat beside her and put his shotgun to the side.  He laid a hand on her shoulder for a tentative pat, and then returned his hands to his knees.  He didn’t know how long they were quiet for.  It could have been five minutes or five hours.  Time seemed to be at a standstill as the unlikely companions sat side-by-side.

“I’m sorry,” she said, breaking the silence.  He was going to ask what exactly she was sorry for, but she seemed to not be finished.  “The way that I treated you before.  My mom would freak if she knew.”

“No need to tell Joyce,” he answered.  “Besides, I probably deserved it.”

“She brought me up to be a nice person.  To treat people well and with respect.  If she knew…”

“You treated me a lot worse before, Slayer.  I believe there was an episode with an organ falling on me.”

She shook her head, ignoring his attempt at levity. “I’m a disappointment.  All she wanted was a nice and well-behaved daughter.  Instead she got me.  A Slayer.”

“I’m sure your mum’s right proud of you,” Spike said, wondering how they had gotten into this conversation in the first place.  Seemed a bit strange for archenemies to be sitting and having a nice chat about one’s mum.  “You save lives and all that rubbish.  You’re a hero.”

“I save people,” she spat, voice laced with anger.  “Well, what good is all of that if I can’t save my own mother?  What’s the point?”

He stared at her for a moment, trying to wrap his mind around what she had said.  Was Joyce hurt?  Did something get to her?  He felt anger rise in his chest at the thought of anything harming the woman.  Joyce had always been nice to him, even when she probably shouldn’t have.

“What happened to your mum, pet?” he asked in a measured voice.

Buffy propped her elbows on her knees and leaned forward, rubbing slow circles into her temples with her fingers.

“She’s been having headaches.  They weren’t supposed to be anything serious, but the doctors want her to come in for overnight observation.  You know what that means.”

He didn’t, but he nodded, anyway.

“I’m used to being in control,” Buffy said.  “When there’s a problem, I deal with it.  But lately…” she trailed off, turning her head away from him.  “First Glory and now this.  I feel lost.  I don’t know what to do.”

“You keep plugging away with the Glory business,” Spike told her.  “You and the Scoobies continue your research, and you’ll find something.  As for your mum, you have to let the doctors do their job.”

Buffy exhaled loudly, dropping her head in her hands and running her fingers through her hair.  She turned her head toward him, eyes studying his face.  He was silent as her eyes roved over his features.  He didn’t want to speak, worried that it would ruin the quiet moment they seemed to be sharing.  Her eyes drifted to something beside him on the step, and he suddenly felt very much like disrupting the moment.

“Well, pet I-“

“Is that a shotgun?” she asked incredulously.

“No.  Well, yes, but it’s not what you think.”

He expected some sort of indignation on her part.  It had to be fairly obvious that he had come to finish her off.  One usually didn’t carry around a shotgun recreationally.  Instead of reproving words, though, the only thing that came out of her mouth was laughter.  She was doubled over beside him, a different sort of tears streaming down her cheeks.

“Slayer, what’s wrong with you?” he stammered.

“You-you came here to kill me?” she blurted out, starting another bout of laughter.

He looked at her oddly.  “Well, uh, yeah.”

“You came here to kill me?” she repeated, dissolving into laughter.

“What’s all the bloody giggling about?” he demanded.

“You killing me with a shotgun!” she gasped.  “It’s ridiculous.”

She wiped at her eyes, breathing heavily.

“You know, maybe I wasn’t wrong about that death wish thing,” he grumbled. “Someone coming to kill you is really not something to get your giggles on about.”

“Yes, it is.  When it is you with a shotgun, it really is,” she retorted, snorting a bit.  “I mean, seriously?  The big bad uses a shotgun?”

“Hey!  It would have worked!”

She smirked.  “I’m sure it would have.”

He pouted beside her, unwilling to respond to her sarcasm, and in the silence the lightness of the moment slid back behind the gravity of Joyce’s condition.  Buffy’s mouth drooped and she looked away from him, wiping her hands on her jeans before standing.

“I should go back inside.  She might need help.”

“Right.”  He stood, too, the shotgun hanging from his hand.  “Uh, I know we’re enemies and everything, but if you need anything…”

The words felt strange coming out, and he could see that they were similarly strange for her to hear.  She nodded uncomfortably, crossing her arms over her chest.

“Thanks.  And, uh, thanks for not shooting me with that thing.”  She gestured toward the shotgun, and he looked down at it in the moonlight.

“Yeah, you’re right, it’s not really my style.”

She grinned a bit.  “Yeah.  Goodnight, Spike.”

He dipped his head.  “Night, Slayer.”


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