Eurydice (eurydice72) wrote,

Fic: This Time (Buffy/Spike)

TITLE: This Time
PROMPT: New Year celebration
PAIRING: Spike/Buffy
LENGTH: 1270 words
SUMMARY: Set post-Chosen. Buffy's first New Year's Eve after Sunnydale.

This Time

Tucking her legs beneath her bottom, Buffy licked the chocolate pudding off the inside of the foil top, chasing every creamy droplet until it shone. The TV was muted, but she didn’t need to hear it. What was the point of getting the Memorex version when she had the real thing right outside her hotel room window? Times Square glittered and glowed from the millions of people partying like it was already 2004.

She glanced at the clock on the nightstand. Not for another twenty-one minutes.

Dawn was down there, and Xander, and even Giles had expressed interest in experiencing a good old-fashioned ball drop, so he’d tagged along, too. Buffy had waved them off, knowing they didn’t understand why she wasn’t joining them, but four hours ago, not really caring.

Now was another matter. Now, she’d had time to stew, and get up a hundred times to check on a noise she heard in the hall, and to check her appearance in the bathroom mirror, as if she’d had good cause for her lip gloss to get smudged or a curl to fade away. Now, she wasn’t completely sure if she’d done the right thing at all, because it wasn’t like she ever got a “’Course, Buffy, be there with bells on,” from her written invitation. She hadn’t gotten anything, in fact.

She wasted twenty minutes wondering if she’d given him the right address.

The next half hour was spent outlining all the ways she could hurt him without killing him. Because apparently, killing him didn’t take, even when the end of the world was involved.

That was when the pudding cups came out.

The lip gloss was long gone, and at eleven, she’d slipped into the bathroom for the last time to change out of the leather pants and halter top and into her comfy boxers and Bananas Gone Wild t-shirt. She’d brushed her hair as well, twisting it into a loose tail that tickled at her nape.

This wasn’t so bad, she decided, even if it wasn’t what she’d planned. And it was worlds better than last year’s New Year’s Eve. No apocalypse on the horizon, the night off from slaying, and in three days, she would be on a plane for glamorous Rome to meet up with some gazillionaire Giles said was looking to invest in the new Council.

“He’s accustomed to women swooning at his feet,” Giles had warned.

“I’m not a swooner.”

“He also lavishes them with expensive gifts.”

“And you think I can be swayed by shiny, pretty things?”

Giles simply stared at her.

“Fine, I’ll be careful.”

Part of her had hoped she’d have other reasons not to worry about this so-called immortal guy. But it was already eleven-fifty, and the biggest other reason had yet to knock on her door.

She dug out the last of the pudding from the plastic cup. She barely tasted it before tossing it aside.

At five minutes to midnight, she reached for the remote. Might as well join in the celebration, even if she wasn’t amongst the throng.

The soft rap came as her thumb touched the mute button. Hurriedly, Buffy pushed it again, and twisted over the side of the chair, to stare wide-eyed at the lock on the door. She held her breath. Waited. Maybe she’d misheard.

Except there it was again, a little harder this time, a little more insistent. It throbbed against her skin and straight down her spine to jolt her from the seat and across the room without thinking.

The world tunneled even further once she opened the door. It narrowed down on his bowed head, the blunt fingers leaning against the jamb, the sweep of his coat around his legs. When Spike lifted his eyes, they were as blue as she remembered, and he smiled as he pulled something out of his pocket.

“Got this invite here for a private shindig.” He held up her letter between his fingers. The edges of the paper were soft from wear, like he’d touched it over and over again, like she’d hoped she’d be able to do for him tonight. “Didn’t miss it, did I?”

Buffy smiled. “Now what kind of a party could it be without you?” She stepped aside and though the words weren’t necessary, murmured, “Come in, Spike.”

The brush of the soft leather hem against her bare leg drew goosebumps to the surface of her skin. She knew Spike heard the sudden added beats to her heart, but she was grateful when he didn’t comment on them.

He stopped at the edge of the foyer, his hands disappearing inside his pockets again. The letter went with them, safe, protected. “Looks like you started without me.”

“I wasn’t sure you’d make it.”

His shoulders tensed. “Almost didn’t. I wasn’t sure if I could take seeing you disappointed.”

She’d meant to skirt around and get comfortable in the chair again, but Spike’s wary tone drew her to him instead. Her arms stole around his waist, a loose circle as if he’d break if she squeezed as hard as the emotions inside her wanted, and she rested her cheek against his back.

“Disappointed would’ve been if you hadn’t come at all. It took me a long time to write that letter, Spike. You of all people should know that.”

“I know.”

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t upset when I found out. Willow said you’d been back for over a month, and I hadn’t heard a word from you. Last time you stayed away from me—”

“Don’t.” He broke away from her embrace. She let him. They both understood what memory she was referencing. It made neither one of them very happy. “This was different. This was…pride.”

“And you thought you couldn’t top that exit? Another exit is the last thing I want from you.”

He started to look back and paused, his face in profile. “What do you want, Buffy?”

“The same thing you got. Another chance.”

Outside the window, a roar of noise lifted, and the air filled. Ribbons of color floated outside the glass, some of it real, some refracted, all of it showering down over the celebrants in an explosion that promised life to come. A new year had started. For better or worse.

Spike snorted softly, though the glance he cut to Buffy was more than a little amused. “Went a bit heavy with the fresh start metaphor, I think.”

She shrugged, matching his half-smile. “Subtlety’s overrated.”

Tired of him being so far away, she closed the distance. He didn’t shy, but neither did he reach out for her, not until she looped her arms around his neck. Her stomach did a little butterfly dance, and her heart might have skipped a couple beats, but brushing her mouth against his put right everything that had been wrong for the past seven months.

A sound strangled in Spike’s throat, but then his lips parted, and his hand slid beneath her shirt to the small of her back, fingers strong and familiar, massaging muscles she hadn’t realized were tight until he began to knead them. As far as kisses went, they’d had hungrier, and they’d had more desperate, but when it came to sheer emotion, this one had them all beat.

They parted with a mutual sigh. Spike rested his forehead against hers, his body trembling almost imperceptibly. “You really think this time will be different?” he murmured.

Buffy held him tighter. Almost immediately, Spike calmed, the rock he’d always been. This time, though, she could be an anchor, too.

“It’s already different.”

baby – feeding
cuddling by the fire
day at the beach
romantic holiday
baby – shower
playing instrument
unexpected date
baby's first holiday/celebration
blind date
lazy Sunday
shower together
New Year celebration
nurse back to health
cuddling in vehicle
first fight – making up
anniversary – one partner sick
feeding – erotic

Tags: btvs, buffy/spike, fic, schmoop

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