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Whispers, 4/4

My first Spuffy fic, Whispers, has never been posted to my journal (it’s at seven_seasons), so I am doing that now.  If you’ve already read it, there isn’t anything new.  I just wanted to have all my stories available on my journal. 

Title: Whispers
Chapter: Four/Epilogue ~ Tellin’ All the World
Rating/Warning: NC-17 for sexual situations and blood play.
Summary: After Spike endures torture at the hands of Glory to protect the identity of the Key, Buffy is forced to reconsider everything she ever thought she knew about the vampire, leading to some startling revelations.
Setting: Season 5, immediately post-Intervention.
Disclaimer: The characters herein are the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy.  They are being used out of respect and admiration, and not for the sake of profit.  No copyright infringement is intended.
Notes: This story is self-beta’d and I know that there are errors and other things that could be fixed to make it better.  However, this is the way it was first posted and I am leaving it be, aside from the initial paragraph that was changed from the original due to a continuity error I discovered after posting it.
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Previous Chapter: Chapter Three, Part D



Chapter Four/Epilogue

Tellin’ All the World


Willow and Tara sent Dawn off to school that morning without a hitch, they told Buffy as she met them for lunch at the cafeteria on campus.  The three of them chitchatted through salads and milkshakes until the studious two had to head back to class.  Having already missed her morning classes, Buffy took a long, wistful look behind her as she left the grounds and the rest of her lectures behind.  After stopping off at Dawn’s school to schedule an appointment, as requested, with her principal, Buffy attended a not-so-lovely meeting with her mother’s lawyers, tending to loose ends and dragging up both bad memories and real fears over her frightening new level of responsibility.  A few hours of long neglected housework chased by a brief argument over homework and a pizza shared in front of the television topped off her day.


The day smacked of such normalcy that Buffy could have kicked herself for ever thinking that his was something she wanted.  Giggling with Dawn over the preposterousness—


Oh, what a good Gilesy word!


—of the sitcoms and so-called reality programs had been fun and most definitely the best part of her day since leaving Spike’s crypt that morning.  Likewise she had very much enjoyed her lunch with the girls.  Interwoven amidst those interactions, however normal on the surface, were elements of the supernatural, of witchcraft, of slayers, of mythical keys and hellgods, and should-be-make-believe monsters.  More than ever, the truth rang clear that what she needed from life was more than normal.  Normal was synonymous with boring.  Normal was housework and meetings, day in and day out.  Even with the weight of world-saveage once again pressing persistently onto her shoulders, Buffy knew that she would be lost without the fight.  Whether that meant the demon of the day or the apocalypse of the year, this was her life.  Buffy and the Slayer weren’t different entities; the Slayer was just a part of Buffy as a whole.  She could hide that part of herself when the need arose, but she could not segregate it completely.  Normal didn’t work, because her life wasn’t.  Anything normal she brought in invariably grew less so.  Just look at Willow and Xander, and how their lives had changed simply by befriending her.


She had tried normal, all because of a mistaken belief that she not only wanted it, but needed it, and normal chewed her up and spat her out.  Normal didn’t like the taste of her.


While the thought of embarking on a relationship with another vampire — with Spike — would appall those close to her, Buffy’s heart told her it was the right choice.  That path was neither straight nor easy-going, but she had already successfully treaded the first few important steps.  Her eyes had opened and she saw him, past the hardened exterior, beyond who he was supposed to be, to who he was, who he was becoming.  The arrival of daylight failed to bring about the anticipated denial of everything she had realized during the night, and her heart pounded her elation for the fact that she was falling in love with him and that it just felt right.


The world still needed saving; Buffy’s responsibility to prevent its rending apart on the whims of a delirious, exiled god remained foremost in her mind, but rather than push aside what was happening with Spike, her gut told her that embracing it made a hell of a lot more sense, beyond merely adding one more ally to her cause.  She would hardly be jumping straight into bed with him, though the thought of it sent delicious tingles up her spine as she recalled the intensity of last night despite the tameness of their contact.  Not that tame could adequately describe any portion of the experience of Spike biting her, but knowing that just his fangs in her neck could make her feel that rapturous left her mouth watering at the prospect of more.  Temptation aside — and oh, was she tempted — proceeding slowly seemed the best plan.  Buffy would attempt to take things one day at a time, to prove to him that she believed in him and foster the budding mutual trust between them. 


That trust itself would be paramount in helping the others to accept him.  They couldn’t even begin that process until they recognized some of the truths Buffy herself hadn’t seen until last night.  By letting them see that she trusted him, giving him the chance to be a part of the group without the need to be constantly on guard, she could give Spike the opportunity to show them how far he had come from the clapping menace in the alley.  After some initial balking, Buffy felt certain they would come around, first to the notion that Spike could be a part of their group, fighting along side them, and then to the reality that he was a part of Buffy’s life.


The soft thud of a heavy book shutting snapped her out of her daydream.  Buffy realized she’d been zoning out again while Giles was talking, and flashed him an apologetic half-smile.  Giles set down the book he’d been reading and pulled his glasses off to clean them.


“How late were you out last night?” he inquired, hand and glasses settling atop the worn leather cover of the text.


“Pretty late,” Buffy admitted, figuring that her mental gaping could easily have passed for tiredness.  “Not too much with the slaying, though.  Mostly just thinking.”


“Glory’s getting uncomfortably close,” Giles agreed.


Silence fell on the unspoken agreement of this fact.  Giles rose from his chair behind the glass-fronted counter and set the book down on the other side of the cash register.  He returned to his seat with a cup of tea he’d evidently brewed while her mind had travelled elsewhere.


“I hate to admit it, but I do wonder how Spike is making out,” he remarked, blowing at the steaming liquid.  “He took quite a beating.”


Buffy recognized her opening, and though her heart fluttered erratically with nerves at the thought of doing this, she knew she needed to.  “He’s okay,” she replied quietly.  “All bruisy and hurting, but okay.”  At Giles’s raised eyebrows, she concluded, “I checked on him, when I was patrolling last night.  Brought him some blood.”


Giles paused, lips an inch away from the rim of his mug, sharp eyes regarding her with intrigue.  He waited a moment before responding neutrally, “That was generous of you.”


The question behind the words — why would you do that? — reached her as clearly as if he had actually spoken it aloud.


“No, not really,” she answered, not quite as neutrally.  “Not after what he did yesterday.”


Giles sipped at his tea, eyes never leaving her, waiting for the rest of the explanation.


“You know, he didn’t have to do it,” Buffy continued.  “By all rights, he shouldn’t have done it.  He shouldn’t have been able to do it.  But he did.”


Giles set his tea down, nodding thoughtfully.  “Shortly after he acquired the chip, I suggested to him that it might be an opportunity for him to embrace some sort of higher purpose, though he brushed me off at the time.  Perhaps he’s taken some of that to heart.”


Buffy shook her head. “Not yet, Giles, but soon.  I’ve got some insistent Slayery vibes telling me he will.”   She leaned forward in her chair, resting her elbows on the counter and closing some of the distance between them.  “We just need to give him a chance to get there.  I intend to do that.”


The teacup sat forgotten as Giles folded his arms atop the glass and studied her for a long moment before speaking.  “It sounds as though you’ve given this a lot of thought, Buffy.”


“I really have,” she answered, putting enough emphasis behind the words to prove that she meant them.  “He’s changed Giles, more than just the chip.  I just didn’t see it before.” 


“And you do now?”  


“I see him,” she elaborated, sitting upright again in her chair.  “And you were partly right, he has taken something to heart.”


“You don’t believe-”


“I do,” she interrupted, and Giles’s mouth snapped shut as he swallowed the rest of his comment.  “Right about now, I’m ready to believe in a lot of things I never thought possible.  Spike’s one of them.  He does love me, Giles, I mean, really.  It’s not just some twisted obsession he thinks is love.  It’s real, and I’m what he’s changing for, right now.”


She witnessed her Watcher’s face morph into revolving expressions, beginning with incredulous, moving through impassive to pensive and finally lighting with tentative understanding.  Giles pulled his glasses from his face to clean them, a move so automatic Buffy doubted he realized he was doing it.  He replaced them, took a sip of his tea, and nodded subtly.  “The first step, as it were?”


“Yes, exactly,” she replied, nodding quickly.  “Giles, everything I’ve learned says that demons can’t change, but most of that came from you, and most of what you know comes from books, or the Council.”  Buffy paused, waiting until Giles bobbed his head before continuing.  “But I count on my instincts, and my eyes, and my heart a whole hell of a lot more than the last two of those, and all of them are telling me that Spike has changed into somebody I can trust.” 


Giles sighed and slipped his glasses off again before slowly and deliberately blinking his eyes and tipping his head toward her.  “The Watcher in me would like to refute you in this Buffy,” he began, setting the spectacles down next to his abandoned teacup.  “But, however reluctantly, I must say that Spike’s actions yesterday were particularly remarkable.” 


The glasses returned once again to his face, this time uncleaned, and his expression shifted into contemplativeness as he took a small sip of his tea. 


“There’s a theory, posed by some of the more, shall we say, radical members of the Council, that because, unlike other forms of demons, vampires are created from humans, the potential exists for some of the humanity to linger behind in some of them after their turning,” he stated, gaze drifting away from Buffy to hover somewhere off in midair.  “I-it’s generally agreed upon that they, vampires, can vary greatly in terms of propensity for the more destructive sorts of violence — rape, torture, mass killings — but as far as actual humanity, I can’t say that I’ve ever lent that theory much credence, though considering the events of yesterday, it seems exceedingly more plausible.” 


Buffy blinked several times as Giles turned his eyes back to her.  “Is that your long wordy way of saying you agree with me?”


His mouth quirked with amusement and he gave another small nod.  “Yes, I suppose it is.”


“I’m going to trust him,” Buffy repeated, grateful that her initial endeavours had found tentative acceptance.  “I think, given half a chance, he’s going to surprise us all.”


The jingling of the doorbell tore Buffy’s attention away from Giles, and she pivoted in her chair to see Xander and Anya enter through the door.  Willow and Tara followed a few seconds later, at which time Giles moved out from behind the counter and Dawn scrambled down the ladder from the loft, abandoning her art project in favour of greeting them.  Buffy started to say something when the simultaneous back-of-her-neck tingle and the soft creak of the basement door heralded yet another arrival.


Spike crept in hesitantly, still limping significantly on his injured leg, and hovered in the open doorway.  His eyes — both of them open now — immediately found hers.  He looked somewhat better.  Most of the superficial cuts had healed, leaving behind the residual swelling and deeper bruising, but despite the improvements, he seemed completely exhausted.  He also resonated with a sort of restless anxiety, and as his searching gaze lingered on her face, Buffy realized he was both hopeful and terrified of her reaction.  She’d had an entire day to either openly consider what had happened between them, or to relegate the whole experience into her pit of denial, and Spike, tense and trembling, had risked journeying out into the night in his beaten state to find out which.


Slowly, purposefully, Buffy returned his gaze and smiled.  Almost instantly, his apprehension vanished and he smiled back.  His eyes flicked to where her fingers deliberately caressed the mark of his bite, uncovered and in plain view on the smooth skin of her neck.  Spike’s smile shifted into a knowing smirk, and Buffy’s grin widened.


“Buffy?” queried Giles.  Buffy turned to find him looking at her intently.  He cocked his head quizzically, wearing an expression of mixed curiosity and concern.  “What’s that on your neck?”




The End


( 4 have spoken — take the speaking stick )
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 27th, 2010 06:18 am (UTC)
What? There's something on her neck? lol

Thank you! That's an awesome thing to hear! I'm glad that you enjoyed reading this story :)
Jun. 2nd, 2010 10:32 am (UTC)
XD you end it there! lol
Jun. 7th, 2010 09:50 pm (UTC)
Yes, yes I did! Thanks for reading!
Mar. 3rd, 2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
How many times did I cry as I read...loved this story!!!
( 4 have spoken — take the speaking stick )


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