Title: A Valentine for Buffy
Summary: Buffy manages to choose a poem written by William for a class assignment, which leads to Spike finally confessing his feelings to her.
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Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me.
Buffy was too distracted in the words before her to notice that she was being watched, jumping slightly at the tapping on her windowsill. She rolled her eyes when she found Spike’s grinning face staring back at her, getting up to open the window.
“You know, there’s this wonderful invention called the front door. Maybe you should try using it some time.”
He shrugged and stepped inside her room. “Where’s the fun in that? You up for patrol? I need to kill something.”
Buffy headed back to her bed, picking up the book she was reading earlier. “Can’t, I have an assignment due tomorrow for my poetry class.”
“I still can’t bloody believe you take poetry.”
“Why? You don’t think I’m smart enough to understand it?” she said, crossing her arms over her chest.
Spike held his hands up in surrender. “No, it just doesn’t seem to be your taste, but clearly I was wrong.”
Buffy sat down, tucking a strand of blonde hair behind her ear. “It never used to be my thing, but I love this class. It’s more interesting than I thought it would be, and the teacher is also pretty easy on the eyes.”
He scoffed. “Knew there had to be a reason, what’s the assignment?” Spike wondered, deciding not to bring up his ugly past of being a poet. There were just some things the Slayer never needed to know.
“We were given a list of poems to choose from in this book. We’re supposed to analyze one of them and find its hidden meaning, then do an oral report of how the poem speaks to us. I know it sounds totally lame, but the one I chose is by far the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read. You can see so much pain and heartache in the words; it doesn’t take a genius to realize what it’s about,” she explained.
“Which one did you choose?”
Buffy handed him the book. “His name is William Pratt; he was a poet in the late 1800’s. I’ve never heard of him before, but he’s really good. As far as I know, this is the only piece of his that was ever published.”
Spike gulped when he gazed down at the words, finding them a little too familiar. Out of all the poems for her to choose from, what were the odds that she would choose the one he wrote? He shook his head, giving the book back to her. “Sounds like a ponce to me.”
She glared at him. “He is not a ponce, whatever that means. I think he’s sweet, the kind of guy I’d like to know if he was still alive.”
“Blokes like that are pathetic; all he does is whine over a woman that probably isn’t even fit to lick his boots.”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “What would you know, anyway? I’d give anything to have some amazing guy write poetry about me, to know that I could inspire someone like that.”
He rubbed the back of his neck, which was somewhat of a nervous habit. “How do you know someone hasn’t?”
“Please, you’ve seen my track record. The only thing I inspire from the men in my life is new ways for them to leave town.”
Spike nodded, clearing his throat. “I take it you don’t have plans for Valentine’s Day, then.” It wasn’t a question.
She gave a humorless laugh. “A world of no, I’m once again without a boyfriend on the most romantic day of the year. What else is new? I just planned on spending it watching movies and pigging out on junk food, you want to join me? We can both be dateless together.”
“And just what makes you think I don’t already have a date?”
For some reason, that had Buffy feeling jealous and she didn’t understand why. “So, is that why you’re here? To rub in my face the fact that I’m going to die alone?”
“Hardly, Slayer, don’t be so dramatic. Screw this bloody holiday, I’ll take you out. We can do whatever the hell you want, just as long as it doesn’t involve me dressing up as Cupid. Dru got off on that one year; it was the most humiliating experience of my unlife.”
Buffy laughed at the image. “Oh, please tell me you have pictures?”
“Nothing you will ever see, so, are you in?”
“Sure, why not? But we’re only going out as friends, no funny business,” she finished sternly.
He grinned. “I wouldn’t dream of it.”
* * * * *
Buffy knew it wasn’t actually a date, but still wanted to dress nicely for when Spike picked her up, even though it worried her that she had no idea where they were going. A knock sounded at the front door a minute later and after one last glance in the mirror, she went downstairs to answer it. She was prepared to find Spike in his usual attire, her jaw nearly dropping at the sight he presented her with. He was wearing black dress slacks and a blue silk shirt that really brought out the color of his eyes, but the fact he was currently holding a bouquet of red roses managed to shock her the most.
“This looks suspiciously like a date, I told you we were only going out as friends.”
He shrugged. “Humor me here; I know you didn’t get all dolled up just for a friend. By the way, you look absolutely gorgeous.”
She blushed, taking the flowers from him. “Thank you, Spike, they’re beautiful. I’ll just go put them in some water.” Buffy went into the kitchen and found a vase to put the roses in, noticing that a card was attached to them. She was expecting something perverted to be written on it, but what she found instead was enough to bring tears to her eyes. She gazed up at him to see that he suddenly looked shy.
“You said no one has ever written you a poem before, keep in mind that I’m a bit rusty. I know it’s not that good, but it comes from the heart. Whether it beats or not,” he claimed with a small smile.
Her eyes widened when realization hit her. “It was you, wasn’t it? You’re William Pratt, how did I not figure that out?”
“Well, love, you always were a little slow.” He took in a deep, unneeded breath at the look on her face, saying what he finally wouldn’t let himself before. “I was embarrassed, there was no way I could let my mortal enemy know that I used to be a bloody awful poet.”
“Are you kidding me?” Buffy wondered in astonishment. “These are nowhere near awful and in case you haven’t noticed, we’re not enemies anymore. We haven’t been for a long time, do you still think of me like that?”
Spike shook his head. “Of course I don’t, but I still have some semblance of a reputation I’d like to maintain. Never mind, the truth is that I asked you out tonight to show you a different side of myself. I wanted to prove to you that we can be good together, as in more than just friends.”
To say she was shocked would have been an understatement. “Since when have you felt this way?”
“It seems like it’s always been there, from the first moment I saw you. Even Drusilla knew, that’s one of the reasons why she left. When I came back last year for the Gem of Amara, I admit it was to kill you, but I found something else instead. I saw you get shot down by that Parker git, how upset you were and for some reason, I wanted to help you. I guess you reminded me a bit of myself when I was human, I could never talk to a woman to save my life and the first one I ever confessed real feelings for, she completely rejected me in front of everyone. No one should ever have to go through that.”
“Is that who you wrote the poem about?” Buffy asked quietly, still not sure what to think of this new information.
He nodded. “It was, but now I realize that she wasn’t even worthy of me. Just like Angel wasn’t worthy of you, or Parker, Riley, or any other moron you would even attempt to date next. Although I’m kind of pouring my nonexistent soul to you here, I would hope you’d at least consider giving me a chance. We go out tonight on a real date and I promise, if you don’t feel anything after that, we can just remain friends and nothing has to change.”
“And what if I do feel something? What if I always have, but was just afraid to admit it?”
Spike smiled, feeling hope at her words. “Then we’ll have much to talk about, but there’s no pressure. We’ll play this by your rules.”
She smiled as well, reaching out to take his hand in hers and giving it a light squeeze.
He brought her hand to his lips, pressing a kiss to her knuckles. “The good thing about having this,” Spike claimed, indicating the ring on his finger. “We can go wherever you want, even if it’s just sunbathing on the beach. I know I can’t really give you normal, but I can at least give you the daylight.”
Buffy was touched at the gesture, cupping his cheek as she met her lips with his in a tender caress. She didn’t know what would happen from there on out, but one thing was for sure. She’d never spend another Valentine’s Day alone.
Title: A Valentine for Buffy