Summary: Buffy spends some time alone with Spike in between scenes in Storyteller.
Word Count: 818
Author's Note: I think my Season 7 Spuffy likes living in the basement. I imagine this scene as an accompaniment to my other fic, "Sharing Shadows."
Her basement had become a refuge, a silent sanctuary to escape the madness of the Potentials invading her home. It was a place of stillness and reflection.
She’d always find him sitting on his cot, leaned up against the wall, eyes distant even as his body tensed with awareness of her standing on the stairs, watching him. Today, she met his gaze and with a tired sigh, sat down next to him, staring out into nothing, letting her own eyes go distant and blank.
“Sometimes I feel like this is all a dream.”
Spike glanced up at the sound of feet clomping upstairs and the chains draped across his shoulder before leveling Buffy with a look of disbelief. “If this is a dream, when do we get to the good stuff?”
“I think we used up all our sexy dream time last year,” Buffy said, slumping against the wall.
“Well that’s just tragic. Those were some good times,” he smirked, a moment later sending her a rueful apology with his eyes.
She laughed softly. Through all the darkness and despair and wrongness, he was right – there had been some good times. Really good times. Or maybe not so much good, but… powerful. Yeah, powerful. And bizarre – which was kind of her point. “I mean, most of the time I get it. This is my life, chocked full of wacky weirdness. But sometimes I just can’t wrap my head around it. Like, is this really me?”
“You look real enough to me.”
“Says the guy who was recently hearing voices talking to him in basements all across town,” she retorted, eyeing the room they sat in before giving him a challenging glare. “You’re not exactly the foremost authority on reality right now.”
He shrugged. “Everything seems pretty clear to me. And if nothing I say counts, then why are you down here waxing existential at me?”
She dropped her gaze and started picking at the fabric of her jeans. “I don’t even remember when I started thinking of all this as normal. Apocalypses, the undead, demons, vampires, werewolves, witches – this is my life. I deal with the crazy that would send other people running and screaming to the nearest therapist. Or exorcist.”
“Never was one for all that talking mumbo jumbo.”
“Yeah, that’s complete crap,” she agreed.
“So what’s got you worried then? Seems like everything’s just business as usual.”
“Don’t you get it? That’s the disturbing part. This is just… business as usual.”
“Well, what do you want it to be?”
“I wanna wake up one morning, just once, not terrified that everyone I love is going to die unless I save them. I wanna go to sleep and not dream about girls dying because I wasn’t there to keep them safe.” She gave him a hopeless smile. “That’s what I want.”
He stared at her for a long minute before asking, “Would it make it easier if this weren’t real?”
“No, it- sometimes I find myself looking around and wondering – how did this happen? When did it get this bad? It’s like I can’t process it. Everything’s changing and I can’t keep up.” She closed her eyes and leaned her head against the basement’s wall. “I’m just so tired.”
The door to the basement swung open and Dawn yelled, “Buffy! Willow figured out the deal with Andrew’s knife.”
“So much for taking a time-out,” she said with a twinge of rueful resignation. Rising off the cot, she paused at the base of the stairs, staring at the open door as if reluctant to walk through it.
“Your life might not be all rainbows and moonbeams, but that doesn’t mean it’s not- that you’re not…”
Her hand rested on the stair banister, waiting for him to finish. “What?”
“It’ll get better. You know it will.”
“Yeah. That’s the thing about life. You’re rolling in the mud one minute, you’re on top of the world the next. You gotta roll with the punches.”
“So basically you’re saying my life problems can be solved with a bunch of worn out clichés?”
“That’s the thing about clichés – there’s always a grain of truth.”
“And what if that’s not enough? What if I need more than a grain of truth? What if I need seven-grain truth? What if I need more insight to figure out what I’m gonna do?”
“Then you do what you always do when you’re back is to the wall. Follow your gut, Slayer.”
“Buffy!” Dawn yelled from upstairs.
“I’m coming!” Buffy called back, rolling her eyes at Spike. “You up for a little field trip later on? I kinda thought I’d deactivate the Hellmouth. You know, just for fun since there’s nothing good on TV tonight.”
“Sure. Whatever you need.”
“Good to know,” she said with a quiet smile. “Thanks.”
She was halfway up the stairs when she heard his soft reply, “Anytime, love.”