This chapter is also beta-free. I’m sorry it took me so long to get all this posted, but things kept getting in the way! I will do my best to write as much of this as I can – I don’t want to leave people hanging (says she with the many WIPs). So one last chapter for tonight, folks:
Buffy had fallen asleep in the armchair. She realized this when the crypt door slammed shut and she fell to the floor with a yelp.
“Here,” Spike growled, holding up another one of the bags from her closet. “I got your sodding underwear.”
He threw the bag to the floor and it skidded to a stop in front of her. Buffy rose to her feet. “Spike, what—”
“I just spent the last half hour,” he interrupted, “holding a heartbroken girl in my arms who thinks she’s never going to see her sister again.”
Buffy stared at him with wide eyes as he continued to shout.
“She is hurting when she doesn’t need to. I had half a mind to bring her over here myself and show her that all this agony she’s feeling is for nothing.”
“Why should she suffer?” he demanded. Spike took three long strides across the distance between them until he was in her face, and though he wasn’t much taller than she was, he towered over her. “Why should any of us suffer?”
“Because you’re supposed to.”
Spike didn’t step away, but he seemed to back off at that.
“You don’t see her,” he argued, his eyes now lowered. “You don’t see them. It may have only been a week, but we’ve wept for you. We still do. Even those of use who have hope.”
Spike stepped past her towards another corner of the crypt and she sighed, raising her eyes to the ceiling.
“I know you are,” he replied in a calmer tone. “It doesn’t help them any, though. Doesn’t help me.”
Buffy’s heart fluttered in her chest and she closed the distance between them, her hand hovering over his shoulder before she placed it there. She wanted to comfort him, but at the same time touching him was torture. She wanted more from him—now and in the future—that she couldn’t have; that she couldn’t ask of him and then leave him behind with the angrier, depressed version of herself to remember her by.
“What can I do, Spike? How can I make this easier for you?”
Spike glanced at the hand on his shoulder, his eyes settling on it as he slowly turned to face her, his eyes shining. She looked into them and told him silently that she cared; she really, really cared.
He removed her hand from his shoulder and took it in his own, his eyes still locked with hers. Spike took a deep, shuddering breath and released it quickly as he leaned forward and pressed his lips against hers.
Buffy tensed at the contact, not because it was unwelcome, but he’d caught her off guard. Sensing her surprise and interpreting it as apprehension, Spike tried to pull away, but Buffy placed her free hand on the side of his faced and returned the small kiss, halting his backward movement. The air around them seemed to hum with the sudden silence that had fallen over the crypt, save for the sound of their lips as they met again, this time with more intensity as their passion for each other awakened. Neither of them thought of what this meant, or where they were, or what was going to happen next, all they cared about was the feeling the lips of the one they loved pressed against their own.
Spike released her hand and she raised it to his neck while he placed his at her waist, pulling her almost timidly closer to him. Buffy’s arms were trapped between them, her shoulders raised as she tried to accommodate them in the small space, but she gave up and instead wrapped her arms around his neck, kissing him more passionately.
She should’ve kissed him sooner. Not just because of the way it made her feel, but because he deserved to know that she could kiss him and mean something by it. The man kissing her now, however, didn’t know that it could mean nothing; that she could kiss him and feel no love for him.
Spike stepped forward and she stepped back, and she followed his lead until he had her back against the wall, his hands squeezing at her waist as his tongue slid past her lips.
Buffy’s eyes flashed open at the sensation.
They tore at each other’s clothing, revved up from the kill. He’d barely closed the door behind him before she had him tripping out of his boots, her own already discarded on the floor. Spike took her by the waist and slammed her against the wall, his tongue dueling with hers as they both struggled for control.
She pulled away from him with a cry, her head hitting the cement hard.
It took Spike’s lust-addled brain awhile to react to this, so intent was he to return his lips to hers.
“Buffy?” he breathed, leaning back so that he could see her face.
She opened her eyes and saw the hurt in his, hating that she’d put it there. She wasn’t going to be selfish; she wasn’t going to hurt him, so she gave him a nervous smile and kissed him again.
He didn’t need to see her pain. He didn’t need to know that they had any in their future. He didn’t deserve to have it. Spike had tried to be so good for her, he had been so good to her, and yet she’d ruined it all by pushing him away.
But this wasn’t her Spike. He hasn’t felt her fists pummeling his face into the pavement, he hasn’t been called a soulless, evil thing when he was acting like anything but, he hasn’t been taken advantage of.
He hasn’t been to hell and back with her, so he couldn’t possibly know why she suddenly couldn’t breathe.
“Buffy, what’s wrong?”
She struggled to catch her breath, but it was like her air supply was slowly running out.
“I can’t…” she breathed, taking a deep gulp of air before trying again. “I can’t Spike. I’m… I’m so… sorry, but I… I just… I can’t.”
She pushed past him and ran towards the door, flying out of it before she realized what she was doing.
Buffy had to get out of this time. All it did was hurt, taunting her with what she could’ve had if only she hadn’t been so blind to what it offered.
She continued to struggle with her breathing as she ran at breakneck speed, further and further and further away, running not only from but to somewhere.
She’d already mucked things up by letting Spike know she was here, so she was going to jump onboard with his logic and hope that Giles would recover from the shock of seeing her again so that he might help her.
Someone had to.
* * * *
She knocked on his door frantically, wishing that he would hurry out of bed, fearing that he might not even be there. Her fears were put to rest when a very groggy Giles opened his apartment door.
“Buffy? It’s half past midnight. What are you—”
His final statement ceased to be a question when he realized that it wasn’t normal for her to be standing in front of him. For Buffy, it was reliving that moment in the Magic Box all over again. Giles stared at her, unable to believe what he was seeing, except this time he was in his pajamas and had ridiculous bed hair given the amount of hair he actually had.
He whispered her name, and she found herself choking up again. Giles practically leapt across the threshold and took her in his arms, holding her tightly.
“I don’t believe it,” he said, awe drawing his voice to nothing more than a whisper. “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it…”
Buffy pulled back with difficulty, his hold on her was that tight. “Giles, there’s something I need to tell you.”
He laughed at that, and she could understand why. He’d been awoken in the middle of the night by a person he thought dead and was now being told that there was news. Anyone would start to feel a little crazy then.
“I’m not supposed to be here,” she said. “And I need you to help me get back.”
His joy at seeing her alive again disappeared quicker than it had come. Buffy realized what that had sounded like and quickly tried to explain.
“It’s a long story, Giles, but I’m not asking you to kill me. I’m… I’m from the future.”
He stared at her a moment longer, as if he were waiting for the cameras to come out from behind the bushes and for whomever he thought her to be to take off the Buffy mask, but then that scholarly look of perplexity set his features into a frown and he opened the door, allowing her in.
* * * *
Giles insisted on making her tea, as if coming from the future was such an ordeal that required forcing English beverages on her. She accepted, if only to get to get the other taste from her mouth.
Buffy sat in one of his armchairs and told him about the demon, how she’d seen it before in Cleveland and how it had dusted a girl instead of sending her back in time. Giles’ eyes widened when she told him about getting stabbed herself and opening her eyes to find herself crouched over the body of her former self.
She told him that she comes back, but didn’t elaborate despite Giles’ curiosity. He didn’t need to know more than what would help him help her get back to her time.
“I’m sorry, Buffy, but this is hard to accept. Time travel, returning from the dead…”
“C’mon Giles,” she said with a timid smile. “You sayin’ you never dealt with those before?”
He smiled himself. “It just seems too good to be true.”
Buffy’s smile turned wry. “That’s not exactly how people usually describe getting stabbed in the heart.”
Giles touched her hand. “That’s not what I meant.”
She thought it would be easier seeing Giles, considering the fact that he was still alive in her future. But she hadn’t seen him in such a long time, and they weren’t as close as they used to be. She felt closer to him now than she ever had.
“We should start with research into the demon,” he said grimly, rising from the sofa and walking over to the bookshelf that housed his numerous demon anthologies.
“Right. So, how do you spell Zhenchuk?”
Giles paused behind her.
“Have you gotten into a fight?”
“What?” she asked, turning to face him.
Giles placed a hand on her head and turned it back around. “You’re head is bleeding.”
Buffy’s hand flew to the back of her head where she felt a sticky knot in her hair.
“Does it hurt?” he asked.
She was back in the crypt again, but this time she saw herself running away.
“Giles, I need to go.”
“I’m sorry. I’ll explain more when I get back.”
She rose from her seat and walked towards the door, stopping when Giles grabbed her arm.
“Buffy, where are you going?”
“I have to find Spike.”
His eyes darkened. “Spike? What for?”
“You won’t believe anything I tell you, but he knows I’m here. I-I was with him, and things got… complicated, and I freaked out and he’s probably worried or hurting and… I have to find him.”
“You’ve been in contact with other people? Buffy, don’t you know how dangerous that is?”
“It’s too late for that, Giles. I tried, but I ran into him. Physically. Look, I gotta go.”
Looking back, she couldn’t believe that she’d left him like that. Was she doomed to repeat her past mistakes over and over? Maybe she was. Maybe she had died when the demon stabbed her and this was hell.
Buffy ran out into the night to find Spike, wishing that this would work itself out, but knowing that she had a lot of work of her own to do to fix it.
TBC… (you can friend my lj if you want!)
Please, please let me know what you think! (major feedback whore)
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/76964.html