Title: Sad Song in His Heart - Chapter 3/3
Pairing/Characters: Spike/Buffy, Harmony, OC
Summary: What was Spike really thinking and feeling when he met up with Harmony in the bar at the end of Harm's Way? And why is it about to get him in a serious amount of trouble?
Spoilers: Spoilers for Harm's Way and the Season 8 retcon of The Girl in Question
Disclaimer: I don't own them. Just playing.
Word Count: 2310
Author's Note: This story is dedicated to aisalynn who encouraged the idea. Banner by the amazingly talented amyxaphania .
“Right. Stupid,” he mumbled to himself. Raising his voice, he asked, “Love, you remember that time we were engaged?”
Buffy looked shocked for a moment before comically screwing up her face in disgust. “Engaged? I’m going to need loads more therapy to repress those memories.”
Okay, so she was disgusted by the fact she’d been engaged to him. Well, yeah that kinda played true. But why act surprised about it? Unless she really had been working that hard to repress the memory. “Buffy, remember the time you told me – ”
“Are you seriously gonna talk me to death? Way to wuss out.” Buffy scoffed then gestured for him to come to her. “If you’d actually hop on over so we could get to the fighting part of this, that’d be great. ‘Cause I’m so ready to kick…your…ass.” She crossed her arms over her chest and stared him down.
Spike squeezed his eyes shut, shaking his head slightly, before returning to stare at this Buffy up and down. She certainly had the bitchy, holier-than-thou attitude down. And her wanting to knock him around felt like slipping into his pair of favorite jeans. Which he was technically already wearing, but the metaphor still stood. Something was off though. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but…
“Hey! Hello! Slayer here. Are we gonna fight?” She tossed her hands up in frustration.
Spike rolled his eyes and hit the “pause” button. Well, she certainly knew how to aggravate him like Buffy. Hmm. This remote thing was pretty handy actually. Turning, he pointed the remote at the Buffy on the far right and hit “play”.
This Buffy blinked and shook her perfect shampoo-commercial hair before giving him a mega-watt smile. “Spike,” she said happily. “Oh I’ve missed you so much ever since you died.” She paused for a second, blinked once, and then dropped her face into a frown. “Your untimely death made me sad. I cried many tears and felt like I could tell no one about the pain I was feeling. My grief over losing you knows no words and cannot be adequately expressed.” She looked at Spike expectantly. When he failed to respond, she continued, “You’re also the most fantastic lover I’ve ever known and I missed having sex with you… - error - *beep* I mean, I missed making love with you.” Buffy grinned, pleased with herself.
Spike eyed Buffy suspiciously, tilting his head to look at her from every angle. “Buffy? You feel like bossing me around a bit? At all?”
“Would you like me to boss you around? I can do that!” she assured him eagerly.
“Huh, I thought the Bot was tossed for scrap metal,” Spike murmured.
Buffy tilted her head, listening to his words carefully. “Toss? Toss what? Do you mean you want me to toss salad? Oh, I’ve read about those. It means you are gay.” She pouted. “But…I don’t understand. While you do have certain behaviors that would comply with expected tropes of homosexuality, I find you are far too good at servicing the female body to be gay.” Her eyes lit up with excitement. “Oh! Are you bisexual?”
“Leave off it, pet. You’re just confusing yourself. Never been one for labels myself.”
Buffy nodded. “Yes, these labels are confusing. They have contradictory qualifications and confusing definitions. But without labels how will a person know who it’s appropriate to have sex and/or make love with?”
Spike chuckled. “Best to go with what you’re feeling.” He grinned. “Bye, love. Good to see you again.” He raised the remote and hit “pause”. Turning toward the last Buffy standing in the center of the trio, he hit the “play” button and waited.
This Buffy swallowed slowly before saying softly, “Spike.” A faint smile teased the curve of her lips and she blinked furiously for a moment, almost like she was blinking back tears. “Hey.”
Spike nodded at this Buffy solemnly, feeling the sadness in her eyes pull at his heart. “Buffy?” he asked in confusion.
Buffy stepped forward, reaching for him only to stop at the edge of the stone platform she stood on. “It’s gonna be okay, Spike. I promise. We’re gonna get out of here.” She looked around the black space surrounding them and the fire below. “We’ve just got to…I dunno. Do you know anything about this place we’re trapped in?”
Spike shrugged. “Yeah, a bit. The only way out is if I save the girl. The right girl.”
“Right girl? So where is this girl?”
Spike laughed. “Good question, love.”
Buffy stared at him for a moment then smiled fondly. “So not so much with the dire, huh? Flaming hellfires aside.”
Spike tilted his head unconsciously. “No, not so much. Least, not the way you’d think.”
Buffy shook her head. “Nothing. I just felt like saying it.” She smiled, eyes brimming with emotion. “Spike,” she said softly.
Spike’s body quivered and he took a step back, looking away from this Buffy. He was beginning to feel like the bitch in red was pulling a fast one on him. Putting him in a room with all fake Buffys just to torment him. This one felt too good to be true. It was a trick. It had to be.
He growled, turning to glare at Buffy. “You’re not fooling me, pet. I’ve got your number. So get ready to say nitey-nite.”
As he began to raise the remote, Buffy raised both hands, entreating, “Spike – stop!”
Spike arm lowered itself almost against his will. He shook his head and began to raise the remote again.
“Spike! Don’t do whatever you’re about to do. I can tell that way lies badness. Okay, listen to me. Please, just listen. Or better yet, talk to me. I’ll listen,” she promised desperately.
“You’re a lie. That’s what you are. And you don’t even know it. Just like the Bot doesn’t know she’s a robot. Thinks she’s a real person. I’m supposed to pick between you three, but you’re all wrong. None of you are her. The Bot’s well, the Bot. And that first Buffy is just…off, like a caricature of the real her. And you, you’re too perfect. Too much of everything I want but I can’t have.” He sighed brokenly. “You’re the worst of all of them. Because even though I know it’s not real, I still want to say yes.”
Buffy blinked back a sudden rush of tears, her throat choking off her words. She let out a little sob and wiped her face. “Say yes,” she urged, nodding. “Just say yes.” She scowled angrily at the space separating them as she reached out one hand. “I love you. I know I didn’t say it soon enough, but…”
“No!” Not that. That lie was the one he couldn’t stand to swallow. He raised the remote angrily only to freeze with his finger over the “pause” button, his entire body shaking.
“Spike…” Buffy closed her eyes, clenching her fist against her abdomen. She began to whisper desperately, her forehead screwed up in concentration. “Love isn’t brains. It’s blood. Blood screaming inside you to work its will.” She opened her eyes, suddenly calm and assured. “It’s not about what you think or what you know. It’s about what you feel. What you believe.” She unclenched her fist, opening her hand to reach out again. “I believe in you, Spike. Do you believe in me?” She tried to smile, but her mouth fell open as she panted for a breath. “Please,” she whispered.
Spike’s hand fell to his side as he stared at Buffy. He snarled suddenly at the remote control and tossed it into the flames below. Locking eyes with her again, he breathed deeply, shoulders straightening as he stepped towards her. “Buffy.” His mouth crinkled and he nodded in unison with her. “Slayer.”
The space between them melted away, as if the rocks were an illusion and the fires below were no more. Spike cupped her cheek softly, his lips permanently stuck in a tiny, awed smile. She leaned into his touch, grasping his arm gently and caressing the inside of his wrist with her thumbs. “You happy to see me, love?”
“I’m always happy to see you.”
“Exactly how happy are you?”
Buffy laughed and pulled him down to her, kissing him fiercely till she had to come up for air. “That happy. Is that enough for you?” She grinned when Spike nodded. “Now how about we get out of here? I’m not leaving you stuck in hell. We’re finding a loophole.”
Spike laughed. “About that actually, see we’re not in he – ”
The world shifted abruptly and Spike nearly bit his tongue as he found himself sitting at the swanky bar, clutching his empty shot glass and staring into eyes as black as…well, hell.
The lady in red sipped her martini, smiling behind the glass. “So did you have fun?”
Spike shuddered at the realization it was all a game, clutching his glass so tightly that it shattered in his hand. He grunted, clenching his fist even tighter and watching his blood ooze onto the bartop. “Fun?” he croaked hoarsely.
The lady in red sighed sadly and set her drink on the bar. She reached over and gently laid her hand atop Spike’s, turning his palm to pull out the shards of glass. A surge of heat ran from her hand to his and he jerked reflexively, only to stare in wonder as she pulled away and his hand was left unmarred. “What kind of demon are you?”
“Whoever said I was a demon?” she smiled, eyes glinting with mischief.
“Well, you granted a wish. Just assumed you were a vengeance demon of some sort.”
“No,” she denied softly, grinning. “Remember I told you, I’m all about the love. And I didn’t grant a wish.”
Spike shook his head, confused. “Then what was all that? All that magical bananza crap? It was all an illusion, right?”
“No, it was real. All of it. And you did make a wish. I just didn’t have to do anything to make it come true.”
Spike scoffed. “I don’t even know what I wished for, so how could it have already come true?”
She raised her hand to push a loose curl back from his forehead, smiling fondly. “Dear boy,” she said softly, eyes dark and ancient. “You wished she’d meant it. But she already did.”
“So why all the fuss? You went to a lot of trouble to grant a wish that didn’t need granting.”
“It wasn’t about the wish. It was about you.” Drawing her index finger within the small pool of blood on the bar, she drew a heart which began to shimmer and rise up with the lift of her hand. She twirled her finger and the heart spun in circles in the air. “Love is the most fragile, rare and powerful creation in the world. Because it takes two hearts – ” the heart spinning began to look like two hearts spinning into each other “ – and merges them into one. It is the greatest struggle to bring the hearts together and every force in existence works to pull them apart.” The two hearts began to turn around each other in an ever widening orbit. “And only through a perfect trust can they become one.” She raised her hands and gently pushed the hearts closer together but they resisted and continued their wild orbit. “It cannot be forced or willed or compelled. Two becoming one is only possible through faith. Belief. And once found, truly found in each other, that love transcends all other experiences and emotions.” The two hearts slowly merged and began to shine a bright white light. “Effulgent.” She smiled at Spike fondly. “But you already knew that, didn’t you?”
“I did.” He agreed by rote, transfixed.
“You just forgot for a moment.”
Shaking his head, he denied, “Felt longer than a moment.”
“I was happy to remind you, William. After all, you’re one of mine.”
“Who are you?”
She smiled. “Who? That’s a step up from what, certainly. I go by many names. What would you call me?”
“Amara. Loved.” He looked at her curiously. “You’re really not a demon, are you?”
“No. I’m something else.” Looking at the clock hanging on the wall, she tapped him gently on the shoulder. “It’s time to go now. You don’t want to be late.”
“I already missed my ship.”
Grinning, she pushed him off his stool. “I have a feeling something might have caused a delay.”
Spike started towards the door and then stopped abruptly, chuckling so hard that he bent over and wiped tears from his eyes. He looked over his shoulder, grinning, “I’ve always said I was love’s bitch. Guess what that makes you?”
She winked. “Oh, I'm still the bitch.”
Buffy woke up with a gasp, turning to look at Spike lying asleep on the cot. The basement was cold and damp, but somehow it felt like the safest place in the entire house. She grasped at the strange threads of the dream that had disturbed her sleep, but they’d already begun to slip away. Standing up, she walked over to the basement window and looked out at the moonlight with arms crossed. The dream had faded nigh completely save for two revelations. She knew with a certainty that could not be questioned that they would win the battle tomorrow over the Hellmouth. The First would be defeated. She just knew it. And second, she loved Spike. This revelation she accepted even more easily than the first because it was something she'd already known, deep down inside her heart. Except now wasn’t the time for love, it was the time for her to be battle-ready. There’d be time enough for love in the future. Now was the time to save the world.
Love would come later.