What’s a Happy Ending Anyway?

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Title: What’s a Happy Ending Anyway?
Author: Avoidingnemo
Beta: A huge thanks to alfonsina_d for her help brainstorming and beta work on this. Without her, I would still be staring at a blank screen.
Summary: Set in early season 6. Spike’s the only that knows Buffy was in heaven. One night on patrol Buffy stops by his crypt. She doesn’t want to talk about her problems and he’s willing to play along.
Disclaimer: Buffy and characters are owned by Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. I’m just playing with them. No money was made from this.
A/N1: A huge thank you to enigmaticblues for all her hard work in hosting another great round.
A/N2: The poem used in this fic is Us Two by A. A. Milne from Now We are Six.

 

The cemetery is quiet tonight. No bad guys out for Buffy to take her frustration out on. No big fight for her to focus on to forget all about her real life problems. She walks around the silent cemetery without a destination in mind. It’s too early to go home. Her friends will still be awake and will want to hang out or worse yet, talk. They think they are helping her by spending time with her. They don’t realize that she can’t stand the look on their faces when she doesn’t respond the way they think she should and she can’t tell them why she doesn’t. She can never tell them the reason. It would kill them. Only one knows the truth of where she was when she was… gone.

Buffy shakes off the cold that has nothing to do with the temperature and tries to focus on anything other than the knowledge that she was warm, safe, loved, and most of all finished before her friends ripped her out of her nice, safe place and forced her back into this cold, hard world where she has a sister to raise, a mother that left her too early, demons to kill, and now bills to pay. She doesn’t want to be angry, but she is. This world is too bright and too hard and she’s not sure she can do this. She wants to be the happy Buffy that her friend’s thinks she should be, but she thinks that maybe that Buffy is still in her coffin.

She finds herself in front of Spike’s crypt. He’s the only one that hasn’t put any demands on her. He doesn’t expect her to be the same old Buffy before she died. She raises her hand to knock and then stops before her fist can make contact with the metal door. Before she died, the slayer would never have knocked on this vampire’s door. If she wanted something from him, she just kicked the door in and started demanding answers. Tonight, that approach obviously doesn’t seem right, but neither does knocking.

They’re not friends exactly, but they’re not enemies either. Spike has fought at her side. He protected her sister, her friends, and the hellmouth when she was gone. Doesn’t that mean he deserves some respect, like say a knock on the door?

“This shouldn’t be so hard,” she mutters to herself.

She takes a deep breath and raises her hand to knock on the door, but this time before her fist can make contact with the metal the door opens.

“Careful there, Slayer. Might blow a fuse,” Spike says.

“Huh?”

“You’ve been out there for a bit. Figured I’d put the debate to rest and invite you in.”

She should be embarrassed at being caught, but instead she laughs. “Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around? The human inviting the vampire in?”

Spike smirks. “What can I say, luv? I’ve always been different.”

Spike stands to the side and lets Buffy walk all the way in his crypt. He shuts the door and the mood changes instantly. Buffy isn’t sure why she’s here in this cool, dark tomb. Or when she started feeling more comfortable with one of the demons she’s been chosen to kill than with her own friends, but here she is.

She hears Spike clear his throat and she looks at him. “Have a seat. There’s a Dawson’s Creek rerun on in a few.”

And just like that, the mood changes again. Leave it to Spike to not be like her friends and ask her how’s she’s doing all the time. Then again, maybe that’s why he’s the only one she can stand to be around these days. And if he’s willing to play along like everything is fine in Buffyland, then so is she.

“Passions and Dawson’s Creek? Are you sure you’re not a girl, Spike?”

“I assure you, I’m all male, Slayer. Care to find out?” he asks, while slowly sliding his hand down the front of his chest.

Buffy forces her eyes away from his hand before it can get to much more interesting places. “Definitely no,” she says, sounding surer than she really feels.

Spike slowly looks her over from head to toe before responding, “Pity.”

As the two blondes wait for the endless cycle of commercials to be over, Buffy questions again why being alone with Spike seems like a better idea than being at home. She looks around the crypt for anything that could serve as a conversation starter. Her eyes fall on an old book lying on the floor beside the couch. She leans over and picks it up.

Buffy turns the worn book over in her hands. “What’s this?”

Spike tries to take it from her, but Buffy’s slayer reflexes are too fast. She puts the book behind her back.

“Come on, Slayer. It’s nothing you’d be interested in,” Spike says.

“Uh-huh. And the fact that you don’t want me to see it says that I so would be,” she responds.

She takes the book from behind her back and opens it up. It’s a… poetry book. She looks at Spike and then at the book again.

“I told you it was nothing you’d be interested in, Slayer.”

“But who knew it would be something you’d be interested in. Poetry, Spike?”

“I can read, you know,” he says defensively.

“But this book doesn’t even have pictures of naked girls in it.”

“Are you asking to see my porn stash, pet? I didn’t know you had it in you,” Spike says, smirking.

She just had to open the door to this conversation, didn’t she?

Trying to steer the topic of conversation back to safer ground, Buffy says, “Spike, poetry. Focus.”

“I’m not the one talking about naked girls, luv.”

Buffy crosses her arms across her chest. “You’re going to be the one with a stake through his heart if you don’t stop talking about naked girls and start talking about poetry.”

“How about poetry about naked girls? Ripe, full bre….”

Buffy holds her hand up interrupting whatever else Spike was going to say. “That’s enough. I’m out of here. I don’t even know why I came here tonight anyway,” she says, while shaking her head and standing up.

“Wait. I’m just messing with you, Slayer. Don’t go. You’ll never find out if Joey picks that poofter Dawson or if she comes to her senses and runs off with Pacey.”

“I’ll ask Dawn,” she fires back.

Spike laughs. “I hope you have an hour or two free. Little sis has given way too much thought to Joey’s love life.”

“And you haven’t?”

“Hey! What else am I supposed to do during the day? It’s not like I can go out for ice cream.”

Ice Cream? Does Spike even listen to himself talk? “You’re a vampire, Spike!”

“Well, duh!”

“God, do you hear yourself? You’re dissecting the love life of TV characters and talking about ice cream. Dawn’s right, you’re not evil at all.”

“You take that back, Slayer!”

“Oh, what’s the big, bad vampire going to do? Read me a story? Sing me to sleep?”

Spike stares at Buffy and she suddenly realizes that the two of them have been standing practically toe to toe. “You want a lullaby, luv?” he asks, softly.

Buffy knows she should say no. This can lead to nowhere good. But standing here looking into his blue, blue eyes she can’t find one reason to say no. She’s had more fun tonight fighting with him than she has had since she’s been back.

Buffy assumes that Spike takes her hesitation as a green light because before she can come up with a reason to say no, Spike has placed his hand on her cheek. “How about a story with a happy ending?” he asks huskily.

Was there such a thing? Could there ever be a happy ending for her? Or did that only happen in fairy tales or to girls that weren’t Chosen? And what is a happy ending anyway?

Before she became the Chosen One, Buffy would’ve said that her happy ending had marriage, a white picket fence, and 2.5 kids in it. The American dream. Being the Slayer changed her view though. She used to dream of Angel finding a way around his curse or even somehow becoming human. She hasn’t thought those thoughts in years though. Before she died, her happy ending, would have included, living to see Dawn safe. And now… now she has no idea what those words mean to her.

Again, she reminds herself that she should put a stop to whatever this is between her and Spike. Her friends wouldn’t approve and her watcher would have a fit, but tonight she doesn’t care. She should be dead. So should he. She clawed her way out of her grave. So did he. Right now she needs to be around someone that doesn’t put demands on her and can understand. That’s Spike. If her friends can’t understand that, then maybe they should try digging themselves out of six feet of dirt. Then they can talk to her about her choices.

It’s not like she really believes she’ll be around long enough to get a happy ending anyway. Every slayer comes with an expiration date and she’s already punched that ticket twice. How many more lives did she really have? Or how long before the next apocalypse comes and she has to sacrifice herself again to save the world?

Decision made, she smiles at Spike. “How about we start with a poem?”

Buffy can see the smile that Spike’s trying not to show. “Sounds good, luv.”

He sits back down on the couch and Buffy follows his lead. He picks back up the book that she had left on the worn couch cushion. Buffy watches his hands as he flips through the pages. Were Spike’s hands shaking? Could he be nervous? He could take on demons and a hellgod, but he’s nervous about reading her a poem? That’s so… cute. Spike and cute are two words that Buffy has never allowed herself to think in the same sentence, but now that she has, she can’t stop. Maybe she really did come back wrong.

“What?” Spike asks.

“Huh?”

“You’re staring, luv.”

Oops. Busted.

“Just wondering how long it takes to pick out a poem. You did say you could read, right Spikey?”

“Cute, Slayer.”

She nods. “Funny too.”

“Keep your pants on.” Spike looks over at Buffy and slowly drags his eyes down her body and back up. “Or not,” he adds.

She glares.

He laughs.

“Here it is,” Spike says.

Sitting here with Spike should feel wrong, but it doesn’t. It’s the only thing that has felt right since coming back from the dead. God help her, she’s having fun. She makes a big deal of getting comfortable. She fluffs the cushions and settles back. Spike rolls his eyes, but plays along. He sits up straight and clears his throat. He slowly reads:

Wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
“Where are you going today?” says Pooh:
“Well, that’s very odd ‘cos I was too.
Let’s go together,” says Pooh, says he.
“Let’s go together,” says Pooh.

“Wait, you’re reading me a poem about Winnie the Pooh?” Buffy asks.

He sighs. “Just listen.”

“What’s twice eleven?” I said to Pooh.
(“Twice what?” said Pooh to Me.)
“I think it ought to be twenty-two.”
“Just what I think myself,” said Pooh.
“It wasn’t an easy sum to do,
But that’s what it is,” said Pooh, said he.
“That’s what it is,” said Pooh.

“Let’s look for dragons,” I said to Pooh.
“Yes, let’s,” said Pooh to Me.
We crossed the river and found a few-
“Yes, those are dragons all right,” said Pooh.
“As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.
That’s what they are,” said Pooh, said he.
“That’s what they are,” said Pooh.

“Oh, there are dragons now. Hey, that’s something I haven’t faced yet. Maybe we can have one of those in the next apocalypse,” Buffy says.

“Shh, Slayer.”

“Let’s frighten the dragons,” I said to Pooh.
“That’s right,” said Pooh to Me.
“I’m not afraid,” I said to Pooh,
And I held his paw and I shouted “Shoo!
Silly old dragons!”- and off they flew.

“I wasn’t afraid,” said Pooh, said he,
“I’m never afraid with you.”

So wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
“What would I do?” I said to Pooh,
“If it wasn’t for you,” and Pooh said: “True,
It isn’t much fun for One, but Two,
Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. “That’s how it is,” says Pooh.

Buffy isn’t sure what to say. She knows there is more to this than just some children’s poem. But does she bring it up or pretend she didn’t notice? Denial, thy name is Buffy.

“Thanks,” she says, softly.

“Buffy,” Spike begins.

She doesn’t want to know what he’s going to say. She doesn’t want to have some serious conversation or declarations of love. Not tonight. Maybe never. “Don’t,” she interrupts.

He nods. “Right.”

“It’s just….”

“It’s okay, luv. We’ll take it slow, yeah?”

***

Season 7

“You need to chain me up, Slayer,” Spike says.

Buffy and Spike are in the Summer’s basement. Spike’s pacing the floor. How can he make her understand that he’s a danger to her and everyone around her?

“No,” she answers.

“Buffy, you have no idea what I’m capable of,” he says, as way of explanation.

“I trust you,” she says, softly.

He laughs. The one time she shouldn’t trust him and she finally does. Irony is a bitch sometimes.

“You shouldn’t.”

“Come here,” she says, taking his hand and leading him over to the cot.

They both sit down. “Last year you didn’t give up on me. Even when I gave you reason to. I’m not giving up on you now.”

The thought of letting this woman down hurts Spike in ways he didn’t think were possible and that’s why he needs Buffy the girl to step aside and let Buffy the slayer take over. “I don’t want to hurt anyone,” he admits.

“I won’t let you,” the slayer responds.

“And if you have to put a stake in my heart to stop me? What then?”

Buffy looks away.

“It’s okay, luv. Get the chains.”

Buffy looks at him for a moment and then gets up. Spike lies down on the cot and closes his eyes. He feels Buffy place the cuffs around one wrist and then the other. He expects to hear her say goodnight and he can’t stand to see the sadness in her eyes so he continues to lye there with his eyes closed. Instead, he feels Buffy lie down beside him and then he hears her softly say:

Wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
“Where are you going today?” says Pooh:
“Well, that’s very odd ‘cos I was too.
Let’s go together,” says Pooh, says he.
“Let’s go together,” says Pooh.

“Why are you reading me a poem about Winnie the Pooh?” he asks.

“Just listen.”

 

Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/329866.html

avoidingnemo

avoidingnemo