Title: The Reason
Summary: When Buffy refuses to kill a heartbroken Spike after he begs her to, it leads to something neither of them were expecting.
Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me.
He crashed through the ‘Welcome to Sunnydale’ sign, falling out of his Desoto in a drunken mess.
“Home sweet home,” he said to no one in particular, laughing and sobbing hysterically at the same time. This time things would be different, one way or another.
* * * * *
Buffy sat in the Bronze, feeling more alone and depressed than ever before. She thought she was finally getting over Angel’s departure, but when she thought she saw him standing before her, it all came rushing back. Willow and Oz seemed to be adjusting to the college life better than her, and Xander was God knew where probably having the time of his life. There was no one left for her to talk to, and on top of all that, there was some vampire bitch that was out to make her life a living hell. What more could possibly go wrong?
“Hey, buddy, I’m cutting you off! Get out of here before I call the cops!”
Buffy turned at the commotion, seeing a very agitated bartender yelling at a bleached blond man who appeared to be very wasted. She groaned when he became recognizable. “Of course, that’s the one thing my night was missing.” Buffy got up and headed over to the bar, taking the drunken man by the arm. “I’m terribly sorry about this, my boyfriend just lost his job and he seems to think Jack Daniels is always the answer to his problems. We’ll just be going now.” She yanked Spike by the arm and pulled him out of the club, letting him go once they were outside. “You must seriously have a death wish. Why do you keep coming back here?” She was confused when he remained crouched down on the ground, not even acknowledging her. Buffy rolled her eyes. “God, how drunk are you?” She went to his side, tilting his head up to look at him, gasping at the sight of the tears in his eyes. He looked so lost, which was exactly how she felt. “What happened to you?”
Spike noticed the stake in her pocket, grabbing it and standing up, he held it out to her.
Buffy stood as well, confused as to what he had planned, but she didn’t have to wonder for long.
“Do it,” he whispered harshly.
She took the stake from him, eyes widening at his request.
“Please, I can’t live without her. I want you to stake me, that’s why I’m here. You’re the only one worthy enough to do it.”
Buffy put the stake away, taking a step closer to him. “Is this about Drusilla? What happened?”
He shook his head. “I tried to get her back, but she didn’t want me. We argued one morning, things were said, and she attacked me. Before I knew it, she was running out into the sunlight. I couldn’t get to her before she went up in flames. She was all I had for over a hundred years, my bloody salvation. I know she never really loved me, but she was still all I had. I’m nothing without her. Please, Slayer, you have to end my torment. I can’t live like this anymore.”
Buffy felt for him, she didn’t understand why, but there was no way she could honor his wishes. Instead, she crouched back down at his side, gazing into his crystal blue eyes. “That’s not the answer. You may think so right now, but you’ll find another purpose, another reason to go on living.”
“Why do you care?” he yelled, moving away from her. “You should want me gone.”
She shook her head. “Not like this, I always wanted a fair fight, but you’re not up for that. Get sober, stop feeling sorry for yourself, and then we can have this conversation again.”
Spike grabbed her arm before she could take off, forcing her to look at him. “You have to do it.”
Buffy yanked her arm out of his grasp. “No, I don’t. The Spike I knew is a fighter, he doesn’t quit for anything. When that Spike returns, you’ll know where to find me.” She walked away then, not looking back once.
* * * * *
It had been weeks since she’d last seen Spike, figuring he either gave up and killed himself, or he decided to leave town. For some reason, Buffy hoped it was the latter.
“Slayer! Just the person I’ve been looking for, so, what do you think?”
Buffy turned around at the voice, puzzled to see Spike standing in front of a crypt, looking way more chipper than she expected. “What?”
He waved his hands in the air. “My new home, the inside actually looks a lot better. I’ve been fixing it up.”
“So, you plan on staying in town then?”
Spike shrugged. “I wasn’t, but it’s not like I have anywhere else to go. This place has a hellmouth, a decent spot of violence, I could do worse. I thought about what you said and realized that you were right, I don’t need Drusilla. She was a selfish bitch, only cared about herself. I never meant anything to her; it was about time I accepted that.”
Buffy pouted. “Does this mean you don’t want me to kill you anymore? Spoil my fun.”
He grinned. “Oh, I’m sure you’ll try.”
She smiled, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. “For what it’s worth, I’m glad to see you’re doing better, but if you’re going to be staying in town, I can’t let you kill people. I will take you out if it comes to that.”
Spike rolled his eyes. “I’m not a bloody idiot, I’ve already stocked up on pig’s blood, it’ll do for now.”
“For some reason, I believe you, but don’t make me regret it.”
He returned her smile, clapping his hands together. “Great, come inside, you have to see what I’ve done with the place.”
* * * * *
If someone told Buffy that she would actually consider Spike a friend, she would have thought they were crazy, but it was over a month later and he had truly become a big help to her. It took the Scoobies a little while to come around, Giles and Xander especially, but once they realized how much the demon population was going down since Spike joined her on patrol, they could hardly complain.
“Have you been patrolling without me?” she asked him one night.
Spike shrugged. “Maybe, I have to get in a good spot of violence somewhere. You were having dinner with your mum; I didn’t want to disturb you. Besides, I figured this way you wouldn’t have to go out every night. Family is important; you should spend more time with her.”
Buffy raised her eyebrows. “Who are you and what have you done with Spike?”
He rolled his eyes. “I’m being serious. I like your mum, and I know she’s been feeling neglected since you’ve moved in the dorms. I come by to talk to her every now and then; she makes me a cup of hot chocolate with those little marshmallows I love so much.”
Buffy stopped, crossing her arms over her chest. “Why have you never told me this?”
Spike let out a sigh, stopping to look at her. “Because I knew you wouldn’t like it, but I promise I’ve been a perfect gentleman every time. I would never hurt Joyce.”
“I know you wouldn’t, Spike, I just mean how did I not know she was feeling left out? I figured I was making things easier for her by living in a dorm. I haven’t been the best daughter,” Buffy admitted.
“She loves you, Slayer, and she always goes on about how proud she is of you. She just wants you to stop by more, that’s all.”
Buffy nodded. “Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind. I guess I should cancel my date for tomorrow night, maybe take her out to a movie or something instead. We haven’t done that in a while.”
Spike cleared his throat, trying to seem uninterested. “You had a date tomorrow night?”
She nodded again. “Yeah, some guy in my Psych class. I’m not even that interested in him, but when he asked me out, I couldn’t seem to say no. At least this gives me an excuse to turn him down.”
He sighed in relief when her back was turned, running a hand through his hair and thinking about what that meant.
* * * * *
“I need to talk to you.”
Willow was startled when Spike suddenly showed up at her dorm room. “What’s wrong? You came here during the day, so this can’t be good.”
“I knew the Slayer would be in class, I need your help.”
She was intrigued now. “Oh, do you need me to do a spell for you? I’m getting a lot better.”
Spike shook his head. “It’s about Buffy; you know her pretty well, right?”
Willow was back to being confused. “She’s my best friend; you could say I know her pretty well. What’s going on?”
“Well, her birthday is coming up and I just wanted to know what would be a good gift to get her. She’s told me how awful her birthdays were in the past, I’d like to change that.”
It all became clear to Willow at the nervous look on Spike’s face, her jaw dropped open. “Oh my God, you’re in love with her.”
Spike scoffed. “You’re off your bird, Red, I don’t love her. We’re just friends; I don’t even plan on getting her anything really expensive, I just wanted some ideas.”
Willow grinned. “You can’t hide anything from me. I’ve seen the way you’ve been looking at her at the Scooby meetings; you turn away when you think she’s about to catch you. I just thought I was imagining things, but that’s obviously not the case. Why haven’t you told her?”
He laughed humorlessly. “Right, I can see that going well. For the first time in my long existence, I’m actually happy and it’s all because of her. She saved me when I was at my lowest, she let me into her world and showed more trust in me than I deserve. I don’t want to lose that. I’m not completely crazy, I know she could never love me, but I just want to get her something nice. A Slayer hardly ever makes it to her nineteenth birthday, it should be something special.”
Willow had tears in her eyes at his speech, hard to believe this was the same vampire who’d threatened to smash a broken bottle in her face. “Buffy is pretty simple, I’m sure you’ve noticed she’s not into extravagant things. She told me once that she used to have this charm bracelet that was given to her by her grandmother, she lost it when she moved here and it devastated her. It was filled with all kinds of charms of things she liked, a horse, a pair of ice skates, a butterfly because she used to chase them as a kid. I’m sure you could come up with other stuff, oh, maybe a little stake through a heart or something. That would be too cute.”
Spike smiled, trying to picture a little blonde girl chasing butterflies, before the burden of being the Slayer took over. “Thanks, Red, I owe you one. We never had this conversation, okay?”
She nodded, zipping her lips. “You were never here.”
Spike nodded as well, about to leave the room, but something stopped him. “This bloke who asked her out, what’s his deal?”
“You mean Riley? There’s no reason to be jealous of him, Buffy told me that she finds him to be pretty dull. He’s like an Angel copy; I think she’s actually looking for someone different.”
“I’m hardly jealous,” Spike replied, a smile lighting up his features. “Thanks again,” with that said, he made his way out of the dorm, but before he could get Buffy’s present, there was just one thing he had to do first.
* * * * *
Buffy was miserable, it was her nineteenth birthday and things were surprisingly going well for once. Her friends threw her a party that so far wasn’t leading to a disaster, but she wasn’t having any fun. She missed Spike, and that was something she never would have expected a few weeks ago. He’d been distant lately; Buffy had hardly seen him on patrol and had to wonder if it was because of her.
“Hey, Will, did you tell Spike about the party?”
The red head nodded. “Of course, he said he would try to make it if he could. Maybe he got busy, you know vampires.”
Buffy nodded as well, feeling hurt by that. “I guess, I just thought he would be here.”
Willow felt like telling her friend the truth when she saw how betrayed Buffy looked, but she’d promised Spike that she would keep quiet. The blonde would understand when everything was officially revealed, at least she hoped so.
* * * * *
She ended up at his crypt later that night, not even realizing that was where she was headed. Buffy took in a deep breath before entering the tomb, gasping at the sight of what appeared to be a million candles lit in the entrance. She glanced around when she found no sign of Spike, deciding to check the lower level. Once down there, she saw even more candles, soft music was playing on an old looking stereo, and the bed was filled with rose petals. What was going on?
“Just in time, you always were very punctual.”
Buffy turned with a start, only to see Spike standing behind her, wearing a suit instead of his usual duster. She suddenly felt very underdressed in her patrol clothes. “Spike, what is all of this?”
He took her hand, leading her to the bed and sitting them both down. “This is a little extra birthday surprise. I’m sorry I missed your party, but setting this up took nearly all night.”
“You did all this for me?”
Spike cupped her cheek, feeling his nonexistent heart swell when she leaned into his hand. “There’s something I need to say, and I’m just gonna get it out before I lose my nerve.” He took a deep, unneeded breath before he began. “You saved my life. You could have easily killed me, but you didn’t. You said I had to find another purpose, a reason for living, and I think I finally have. I love you, Buffy. I’m not expecting anything from you, I know you deserve so much more, but I just needed you to know.”
She felt tears in her eyes at his confession, seeing how sincere he was. Buffy could tell he was expecting a rejection, but after everything Drusilla put him through, there was no way she could be that heartless. “I don’t know what to say. I care for you, Spike, more than I ever thought I would, but I don’t know if I love you. At least not yet,” she continued when it looked like he was about to turn away. “I think I could so easily, you just have to be patient with me. My last vampire relationship left me gutted and I know you’re nothing like him. I rushed into everything with Angel, I was so young and stupid, but I don’t want to make that mistake with you. I want to take things slow, I think the pay off would be more than worth it.”
He smiled then, squeezing her hand. “I can deal with that, it’s more than I thought I would get. But you’re right, I’m nothing like Angel. He was a bloody fool for letting you go.”
She smiled at that. “I can’t believe you did all of this, it’s a major fire hazard. Not a very safe situation for a vampire.”
Spike waved a dismissive hand in the air. “You’re worth the risk, but I have something else for you.” He reached into his pocket, pulling out a black box and handing it to her.
She raised her eyebrows, opening the box, her eyes widening at what was inside. “Oh, Spike, it’s so beautiful.” Buffy pulled out the charm bracelet; putting it on her wrist and watching it glow in the candlelight. She couldn’t stop the tears from falling now. “It’s just like the one I had as a kid, how did you know?”
“I had a little help from Willow, do you really like it?”
“I love it,” she said, wrapping her arms around him.
Spike was stunned, shutting his eyes as he returned her embrace. He never wanted to let her go, but knew he had to at some point. Before Buffy could pull away, he took advantage and kissed her hair, wanting to touch some part of her. “Happy Birthday, sweetheart.”
Buffy wiped her eyes when she pulled away, gracing him with another smile. “So far, it’s the best one yet.” She stared down at the charms he added on the bracelet, laughing when one became familiar to her. “A heart with a stake through it, very classy.”
Spike was glad she liked it, tucking a strand of blonde hair behind her ear. “I have another surprise, but you’ll have to wait a few more hours for that one.”
“You’ve already done enough,” she replied.
“This one isn’t just for you; it’s something for both of us. That’s why I haven’t been around as much the last couple of days, I needed to find it.”
Buffy let out the breath she didn’t even realize she was holding. “That’s a relief; I thought you were staying away because of me. Maybe you’d had enough of being around me or something.”
He shook his head, taking another risk and pressing a quick kiss to her lips. “Not possible.” Spike wrapped his arm around her, sighing in relief when she rested her head against his shoulder. “We can make this work, right? I’m not letting you go, pet. When I love someone, I’m in it for the long haul. There’s no getting rid of me.”
“Yeah, you’re the only one I know of who can love someone for over a hundred years, no matter how crazy she was. I may not have as long, but I know that for whatever time I do have, you’ll always be here.”
Spike held her tighter at that, not wanting to think about what would happen after she was gone. He just had to make sure it wouldn’t be any time soon. Before he knew it, the sun was rising outside, a grin lighting up his features. He shook her awake, noticing that she’d drifted off during the night. Spike smiled at how adorable she was when she wiped the sleep from her eyes, giving her one more kiss. “Are you ready for your other present?”
Buffy nodded, curious as to what it could be when he grabbed her hand and lead her up the ladder. She was growing worried now when he pulled her over to the front door, the sunlight shining brightly outside. She stopped him before he could open the door. “What are you doing?”
Spike looked at her, bringing her hand up to his mouth and pressing his lips to her knuckles. “Do you trust me?”
“Of course I do,” she said without any hesitation.
With those words uttered, he threw the door open, basking in the sunlight he hadn’t seen or felt for over a hundred years.
Buffy gasped, about to pull him back inside, when she suddenly realized he wasn’t bursting into flames. Her hand came to her mouth in shock, lowering it after what felt like forever. “How is this possible?”
Spike smiled, holding his hand up to show her the ring on his finger. “It’s called the Gem of Amara, supposed to be a myth, but I knew it was real. It makes the wearer invincible and for vampires, able to go out during the day.”
“So, wait, you can’t be killed at all, and you can go in the sun?”
He nodded, hoping she really trusted him as much as she said.
“This is amazing,” Buffy responded after a minute of silence. “We are so going to have many beach dates after this.”
Spike laughed, picking her up and twirling her around, planting a firm kiss on her lips in the process. “God, how I love you. We can do so much more than that now. I know I can’t give you everything you deserve, but I can at least give you the daylight.”
She caressed his face, laughing when he nuzzled her palm. “This is more than enough, let’s go for a walk.”
He agreed, taking her hand back in his as they strolled out of the cemetery together.
They didn’t know what would happen from there on out, but one thing was for sure, they would never be alone again.
Title: The Reason