Summary: To know that he's a monster.
Timeline: End of Season 5, ~The Gift
Word Count: 300
Author's Note: Originally posted on my tumblr, prompted by sleepwakehope. Yay for writing! This is short, but it highlights a beautiful changing course between Buffy and Spike. (Would it be terrible to admit that I'd love some feedback? It's been so long.)
She trusted him now.
Oh sure, she’d trusted him before. She’d trusted him to always show up when she was at her lowest, to always kick her when she was down, to always be annoying.
She trusted him to always be the bane of her existence. Spike was nothing if not reliable. Predictable, even.
He’d be pissed to hear her say it, but it was true. She could always see him coming. Or at least, she had before he’d thrown her for a loop and confessed he was in love with her.
Cue denial, shut down, all things bad.
And then she discovered she trusted him enough to let her guard down, and she knew exactly why: he’d protected Dawn.
He would’ve given his life for her sister. She understood that. She’d give her life for her sister, too.
Whenever she’d thought of Spike and love before, there’d always been a twisted warping that hewed love to pain and violence and death — and she understood that too — only it was as if his love were seen through a cracked mirror blackened with age.
(Love gone rotten, love gone wrong.)
Love to him had meant killing for her, in her name, as a curry for her favor – but she’d never wanted death as her gift.
Somehow, he understood what she’d never taken the time to tell him. Somehow, he’d learned how to give her a gift worth keeping.
A reverence for life. From a vampire. A desire to prevent pain. From a vampire.
She had to keep reminding herself of what he was, of his fangs and bloodthirst and soullessness, because now when she looked at him she couldn’t help but see a man and not a monster.