Beta: Thanks again to the awesome brandywine421 for looking this over for me.
Setting: AU for The Gift
Word Count: 644
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything related to Buffy. The characters belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. I’m just playing with them for my own entertainment. No money is being made off of this and no copyright infringement is intended.
A/N 1: Again a special thanks to enigmaticblues for all her work on this community. This place is a lot of fun.
A/N 2: Some of the dialog from The Gift has been paraphrased or might even be close to word for word. I did it from memory. Those parts certainly belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. I just needed to borrow them for a moment to set up the beginning of my fic. :)
A/N 3: I originally intended for this to be the beginning of a much longer fic, but real life has a nasty way of getting in the way and then if that wasn’t enough I got one of those calls that we all hope never comes. It has left me a little scatterbrained and my muse running and hiding. Anyway, hopefully I will continue with this one day. For now, this is a stand alone piece though.
Spike stands at the doorway to the Summer’s home and tests the magic that keeps unwanted vampires like himself out. He feels the magic push back against his hand and tries not to let his disappointment show. The slayer asked him to come help her with the weapons, but she probably forgot about the barrier that she had the witches put up to keep him out.
“If you want to just pass me the weapons, I’ll stay out here and wait for you,” he calls out to Buffy.
Buffy’s already in the house and turns around when he starts talking. She looks at him and he can tell she not really following what he’s saying. That’s understandable. She might be here in body, but her mind is probably still thinking of ways to take down the hell bitch and save Dawn.
Spike raises his hand against the barrier again as way of explanation. “It’s okay,” he starts.
“Come in, Spike,” she interrupts.
He doesn’t want to think about how much those three words mean to him. He’s tried not to imagine what it would be like to be invited back into the Slayer’s home. And the few times he’s slipped every scenario he’s ever entertained has always had some necessity to her inviting him back in. He wouldn’t allow himself to go so far as to imagine a scene where she invited him in willingly. And yet, here she is.
He talks about weapons that they need as a way to make sure that the words that he really wants to say don’t escape out of his mouth. He’s just been let back in, he’s not about to screw that up again. No talk of love. Not now.
“We’re not all going to make it,” she says, almost out of the blue, but he knows that it’s anything but a casual remark. This has been playing on her mind for a while now.
“I know,” he admits. “I always knew I would go down fighting.”
“I’m counting on you to protect her,” she tells him.
“Until the end of the world. Even if that’s tonight,” he promises.
Buffy nods. She starts walking up the stairs and Spike calls her name.
“Would a soul make a difference?” he asks.
He promised himself he wouldn’t do this, but her talk of them not all making it, makes him have to know. If he dies tonight, he wants to go out knowing.
“Is a soul all that stands in the way? If I had one, would you still say no to us?”
“Don’t do this now, Spike. Besides, you can’t be serious. A soul isn’t something you can just go pick up at Wal-Mart.”
“There’s a legend that I heard about. If you go through these trials and win, then this demon will grant you your wish,” he explains.
“And you would do that?”
The “for me” goes unspoken and Spike lets it go.
He looks down and quietly says, “Yeah. I don’t have some power source that can be smashed and I get to be human again. This is the best I can do.”
Buffy’s silent for a moment and just as Spike’s about to tell her to forget it, she says, softly, “Let’s get through tonight and we’ll talk. Okay?”
He knows he should let it go, that this should be enough, but he has to know. “Is that a yes?”
She smiles at him a small smile. “It’s a maybe.”
He bites back the smile that threatening to take over his whole face. He nods instead. “Well, okay then. Go get ready so we can kick some hell god ass. Then I’m holding you to that maybe, yeah?”
He watches her walk up the rest of the stairs and for those few moments he lets himself pretend they’re both going to make it.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/291073.html