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spuffy snuggles

Faster or More Clever

 Spuffy one-shot, PG. Spike POV of his last moments in Chosen. A fic that searches for the reasons why.

He was never very graceful at fighting. Sure, he had inherited the bizarrely natural kung-fu abilities that all vampires were granted upon their rebirth, but that did not mean he knew what he was doing. He was no General, no leader; he threw himself into every battle with outright abandon and very little planning. Planning was for other people. Bored people. Smarter people. Or Better people. Like her.

Buffy was all grace. Maybe she’d been structured that way under Giles’ constant eye, or maybe she too had inherited it as a Slayer. In either case, she was a wonder to watch. Blurred motion of calculated thought, and the manipulation of space and her opponent. Even if she got knocked down or out, she looked good while doing it. She somehow made it seem like being kicked or punched or stabbed was all a part of her big plan, like it didn’t matter anyway because she was still going to kill you. Only after that, she’d kill you faster.

“You tell me the minute that thing does something.”

He held it in his hands, staring up at the dim, basement lights through it. “Bloody thing doesn’t even refract light.”

“Spike.”

“Look, no rainbows or anything.”

Spike.”

He turned his head to hers, nestled into his chest. Lifting herself slightly, she rubbed her chin on his shoulder. The sweet sound of her skin on his skin pulled a sigh from him. “I’m listening, pet.”

“You’ll tell me.”

“As soon it springs to life, yes.”

“But not just then. Keep me updated. If you feel something, or nothing, or—”

“I will.”

“Good,” she said, and she drew her hand up mindlessly to draw slow circles on his arm. Well, not mindless. Nothing was mindless anymore. Everything was laden with the actions to come or the actions just past. He knew what she was really asking, what she was really saying. Tell me what’s happening so I’ll know you’re still alive.

He pulled her tighter to him and felt her exhale softly into the crook of his neck. “Don’t you leave my sight,” he said firmly.

“I won’t.”

He didn’t know how on earth they fell asleep, but he was warm, and he was happy. It felt mildly blasphemous to be happy on the eve of the apocalypse, but it there was all the same. So he shut his eyes and didn’t think of tomorrow. He didn’t think about anything but the beautiful, warm body curved to his side, and the diamond he held clutched in his fist.

It was naturally disappointing when they entered the Hellmouth and not a damn thing happened.

He had expected a twitch, at least, or some sort of mystical hum. Mystical objects like to do this vibrating-hum sort of thing, especially around points of power, and he had been counting on that kind of reaction. But what was there to report except an uncomfortable resemblance to Liz Taylor and a growing premonition that this battle would be his last? So he was somewhere around his twentieth, fiftieth, or hundredth Ubervamp, cursing Angel as a false prophet under his breath, and starting to think that they really were doomed, when something happened.

It got heavy. As if it wasn’t heavy enough already being a diamond the size of a small child’s hand. It sunk into his neck and pressed into his chest, hard; it felt like he was being punched very slowly.

“Buffy!” He called, reaching up to grab the amulet. “Whatever this thing does, I think it’s—”

WORTHY.

Voice, what voice, a sting, burn—fire. Worthy, it said again, louder, urgent in his brain and body. It shook him like a seizure and wrapped itself around him, an animal in a cage. If the amulet had had a face, Spike would have seen it staring, looking. It was not unkind or dark—it was old and noble. He sodding well didn’t have time for old and noble. Work for me, he cried into an empty room, voice a dull echo into nothing. You’ve gotta work for me.

Why. Statement, not a question. Not unfeeling; simply unmoved.

For her. I have to save her.

There was a moment of nothing, and then he returned in a rush, pouring back into his body from his mind. For thirty seconds he had been gone or in pain; thirty seconds of prosecution, and he felt the armor unfold around him. He was her Champion, and for thirty seconds, he knew he’d got it right. He opened his mouth to tell her when the sound went out.

It was like a bomb falling, an empty, dialing note droning down in his ears. The mystical hum he had been whimsically hoping for was now screaming out, not from the amulet, but from him. His very bones were shattering and he felt like vomiting up everything and everyone he had ever ingested. And just when the violence peaked…

“Oh, bollocks.”

It grew stronger.

It was blue, and it was bright, and for a moment he was with her in the basement again, holding it in his hands, and the light was prisming out in every single glorious, perfect color that was ever made. For an instant he felt he was transported back in time, to live out those hours with her forever. He heard himself call out to her, and from somewhere he thought she called out to him. But then it came to him like dawn itself. What he was seeing wasn’t the amulet: it was the sun.

To him, the sun could only, would only, and did only burn. He couldn’t remember what the sun had felt like when he was alive. He had a vague notion that the sun was warm, and that he had been happy when in it, but what is a hundred years of darkness to memory? It is the harshest shade. Years ago when he’d gotten the ring and boldly walked out in the daylight, he hadn’t felt a damn, bloody thing. He still felt cold and dark. All those times he’d been ignited, from stupidity or battle or rage, he had never felt the sun. But now, standing here, he couldn’t look away from it, and he couldn’t stop feeling it.

And here she was, glowing as if made of gold, her eyes penetrating and searching. The sky was burning above him and she was burning beside him. Everything was bright and dizzying, and the Potentials that flew past him on the stairs became blur. Time was a temporal haze, swinging backwards and forwards between fast and slow, and he felt as if he were falling.

“I can feel it, Buffy.”

“What?”

“My soul. It’s really there.” He had doubted it, he really had, for all the torture of remorse and pain he’d gone through. “Kind of stings.”

And it was not the small, bright ball of knives located in his heart that he had so long thought it was. Contrary to every notion he’d ever possessed, it was nothing contained: it was everywhere. It ran from his toes to the very top of his skull, and the sunlight coursing through him set his soul on fire. He was on fire. And for the first time he saw what he was doing. The girls weren’t running because they were being defeated—they were running because they had somehow won. He had driven away the dark with the light flowing through him now, and the world around him was falling to pieces. Oh, so that’s how this happens, he thought wryly to himself. This is how I die.

And she was still there. Staring at him.

“Go on, then!”

She insisted. “No. No, you’ve done enough. You could still—”

Could still what, darling? Live? But he was already dead. And this time, he could take everything with him. He could end it: really, really end it. He could close the Hellmouth and she could live a normal life.

“No. You’ve beat them back, it’s for me to do the cleanup.”

Faith, good old Faithful, yelling at the top of the stairs, like the sensible creature she was, running for the chance at more life. But Buffy didn’t listen or wouldn’t listen. Why on earth was she still here?

“Gotta move, lamb. I think it’s fair to say school’s out for bloody summer.”

“Spike—”

“I mean it, I’ve gotta do this!”

His hand, put out to make her leave, was suddenly not alone. Her fingers laced through his, rushing the blood through his head, his heart, his sex. He turned to look at her, but he didn’t see her anymore; he saw sixteen year old Buffy, staring at him in the alleyway where they first met. He saw his mother and felt her hand on his cheek, heard her asking for one more poem. He heard the word “effulgent” for the first time and thought it was the most beautiful word he had ever heard. Effulgent, glowing, like she was and did and had when she yelled at him, taunted him, fought with him, and when she let him kiss her—when she kissed him. Effulgent like last night in whispers and prayers and moans.

His life had never passed before his eyes. He’d come close to dying so often, and had, in fact, already died. But even with Dru’s lips on his neck, and his human vessel being drained away, he had never seen the story of his life. He hadn’t seen his father or Cecily: it was over and done. But here he was now, reviewing a life unlived and lived in maddening order, and slowly she swam again before his eyes.

“I love you.”

Impossible. Untrue.
But very, very true.

When had their hands burst into flame? God, why did it hurt so much to see her one last time? For the last time, laying out on the rubble, still warm but unmoving—broken heart, broken body, sun burning a hole through him as he wept openly into his palms. Every night I save you.

She couldn’t mean it; she did.

It would be like suicide.—I’d do it. Right person, person I loved. I’d do it.

Every night I save you. Do something different. Faster or more clever.

“…No you don’t. But thanks for saying it.”

The earth shuddered beneath them and she dropped his hand, and he felt a smile at the corners of his lips. Faster or more clever. “Now go.”

And she did.

“I wanna see how it ends.”

Everything was turning to dust, as was he. All he was was dust, anyhow, that’s all any of them were. Except perhaps her. She was solid, she was real. She was at this moment fighting to do his last request: Live, Buffy. Live.

He let himself smile. He had done it, after all. Big Bad saves the girl—Big Bad saves the day. He laughed and saw her in front of him, felt the fire of her fingers and her lips on his. He smelled her hair and felt the sun inside her skin. The walls fell down, the world fell down, and he loved her. Every night I save you.

And he had saved her.

He saved her.

He saved her.

He sa—-

Comments

The very definition of absolute perfection.

I can't find all the words neccesary to convey how much this touches me. I feel like I want to be completely speechless in fact, then possibly cry a little bit, but know full well they were almost happy tears.


ALSKJDALSDJ.
THANK YOU. No, seriously--THANK YOU. I can't say I'm glad I made you cry, but I kind of am, because that means I communicated through them to you, and I'm just so---

THANK YOU.
Here via petzipellepingo. This is beautiful and moving and right. Just possibly misty eyes or blurred keyboard at the end. Truly gorgeous.
Wow, a rec??? Holy cow! Thank you so much! I hope I could make my way through his mind to get to the bottom of Chosen, and I think it worked :)
THANK YOU. SINCERELY.
This is gorgeous.
Thank you!!!
tears on my keyboard...
Aww, I's sorry! *pat pat pat* Don't cry! It's not really the end, I promise :)
(Thanks!)
Oh, Spike! *wipes tears*

This was beautiful. And bittersweet. And powerful. And wonderful. And absolutely perfect!
I love it when a story evokes so many different feelings in me at once. Fantastic job!
:3!!! Honestly, there isn't a mimble wimble face on my keyboard big enough for my spread of emotions with such a lovely comment.
THANK YOU. Just: THANK YOU.
OMG, you made me cry twice in a row.

You.Are.Evil.

No, serisouly, this is amazing storytelling. You crept into Spike's mind; you condensed Spike's s5-7 journey into a short but incredibly intense scene; and you managed to rationalize Spike's "no you don't" using the actual lines from the show.

Reading this story reminds again that how much the beauty of season 7 Spuffy owes to the season 6 set-up.

Thank you for sharing.

Hope you don't mind me friending you - I don't want to miss your fiction.
Wow!

This was perfect. Great Spike voice.

Thank you. I'm going to friend you so I don't miss any more of your fiction.
It's been a long time since a fic made me choke up cry. This was beautiful.
Came over from a recommend over at Cold Dead Seed - so very glad that someone posted your link. I would have hated missing this outstanding story. Agree with Moscow Watcher, a great statement on the Spike-Buffy transformation journey.

Love how you used the "no you don't...." line to give such a grand resolution to "The Gift" and his deep guilt and remorse for his perceived failure. Your addition to that powerful theme is a perfect counterpart.

This is a wonderful piece of work - SHOWS WHY I think there is such an important part to be played by the FanFiction writers in continuing to tell the story of Buffy and Spike. Especially now, that all we have left coming from the creators are the comic books which, IMVHO, cannot seem to get into any depth of characters or story telling.

Look forward to reading more of your work - congratulations on a fine piece of writing.

...

That was one of the most gorgeous and moving bits of writing I've read in a long time. Really wonderful. :)
This is so, so good. From the very domestic opening scene to the beautiful, bittersweet end. ♥