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Catch a Falling Star - Chapter Six

Title: Catch a Falling Star
Previous Chapter: Five
Word Count:
Setting: The summer between seasons 3 and 4 of BtVS
Summary: A heartbroken Buffy finds a bit of compassion in an unexpected place. Abelina
I don’t own ‘em.  This fiction is not for profit and no copyright infringement is intended. Likewise, the song lyrics quoted in this chapter are John Lennon’s, not mine.
Written for the Art-to-Fic challenge at spuffy_wonder.  No beta, so all errors are mine.
Banner: amyxaphania


Catch a Falling Star

Chapter Six


Buffy shook her head to clear the remnants of dizziness as the ground finally settled beneath her.  Spike watched her, hands buried in his duster’s pockets, eyes glassy and wide and hiding nothing.  It was typical, really, that he would find yet another way to shatter everything she thought she knew.  She and Angel would never be friends no matter how much she wanted to believe it at the time, and vampires, even soulless ones, could have their hearts broken.

Funny how she hadn’t even considered that the emotions swirling around Spike like a death shroud were anything but genuine.  They were real, all right.  Real and painful and she couldn’t deny it, not with every twisting ache in her hurting heart staring back at her through Spike’s eyes.  Her bruises might be hidden, but she had them, too. 

Buffy dragged her hand across her face to wipe away her tears and locked her gaze with Spike’s.  “I’m sorry.”

Still as a statue, he stared back at her, eyes intense and searching.  A shiver, a whisper of the spark that led to the kiss tingled along her spine.  Her breath caught in her throat and Spike finally moved, letting out a long sigh as he stepped toward her.

He seemed to move in slow motion, as if he were walking through thick, sticky mud, but when he came to a stop in front of her, the toes of his boots touching her sandals, it felt as though he had just appeared there out of nowhere.  Buffy released the breath she was holding as Spike brushed his fingertips through her hair, spreading the tingling sensation over her scalp.

“Git’s not worth it,” Spike said, holding her gaze a moment longer before he took a step back and tilted his face up to the starry sky.

The buzzing in her brain, the shiver of electricity swirling over her skin didn’t fade with a bit of distance.  His words wrapped around her wounded heart like a bandage but the something else that passed between them in that instant prickled at the back of her neck in warning.  Buffy tightened her arms around her stomach, though whether she was holding something in or keeping something out, she didn’t know.  Spike stood close, close enough that she would barely have to reach to touch him.  Too close, but her feet refused to move.

“Not bloody worth it,” he repeated, still staring up at the sky, and this time Buffy knew he wasn’t talking about Angel.

Buffy tilted her head upward, not wanting to think about the sort of catastrophe that could turn a century’s worth of love into bitter regret.  The noise from the fair drowned out the silence that fell around them as they stood staring at the stars, the cool breeze from the ocean teasing her hair and making Spike’s coat flap against her jeans.   Her heartbeat slowed to normal and the tingling on her skin faded to a wispy touch, and though she couldn’t help but be aware of Spike’s proximity, Buffy thought that maybe running into him tonight wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened.

A shooting star streaked across the sky, a blaze of light that died away just as quickly as it flared to life.

Spike sighed and bumped her knee with his.  “Did you make a wish?”

“Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?” Buffy asked, curious about whether he’d done the same.

Spike scuffed his boots against the pavement and Buffy looked at him, watching as his lips stretched into a wistful smile.  “Think I’ve had enough of stars.”

There was a story behind that, Buffy knew, but she didn’t ask.  “How do you feel about Ferris wheels?” she said instead.

Spike lifted his eyebrow and his eyes flicked toward the object in question.  “Fancy a ride do you, Slayer?”

She opted to ignore the double entendre with all but a cursory kick to his boot.  “It was my plan before you oh so thoughtfully graced me with your presence.”

The smirk he wore now was nothing if not amused, and still really too close for comfort.  “She says, like she hasn’t loved every minute of it.”

Anyway...”  Buffy slid backward a couple of inches and Spike’s smile widened to show teeth.  “Ferris wheel.  One time offer.  Expires immediately.”

She started walking and Spike fell in step beside her, as she knew he would.  There were endless reasons for her to want him gone, but the unorthodox solace his companionship brought outweighed all of those tonight.  It wasn’t the first time they had put aside their differences to face a common enemy, as he had been quick to remind her earlier.

The walk to the Ferris wheel took a couple of minutes of weaving through the crowd and avoiding collisions with over-excited children.  The line was small when they reached it and after a short wait, the attendant ushered them into the last empty swinging car, a bright blue one much smaller than the one from Buffy’s memories.  She wasn’t sure how she had squeezed into these cars with her parents as there didn’t seem to be quite enough space between her and Spike once the two of them were seated.

The attendant locked the safety bar into place.  “Have fun!”  he said, giving them a wave as he pulled a lever and started the wheel turning.

Buffy gripped the bar across her lap as they rose higher, the resurgence of the fluttery apprehension from her childhood taking her by surprise.  She could feel Spike watching her but refused to look at him, focusing instead on the spokes of the wheel as it turned, forcing herself to take deep, steadying breaths.  This was silly and she knew it, but she just couldn’t shake the feeling that any minute the car was going to detach itself and send them tumbling to the very hard pavement below.

As their car rose to the top of the circle, it slowed to a stop and Buffy slammed her eyes shut and gritted her teeth. 

Spike’s quiet chuckle penetrated the whirling in her head.  “Don’t tell me you’re scared?”

“Spike!”  She meant to sound insulted, but even she could hear the note of panic in her voice.

He snorted and the puff of air flitted over her neck, and Buffy just knew he was going to bite her right there at the top of the Ferris wheel where she had no hope of fighting back.  She felt him move, brushing against her as he narrowed the space between them to almost nothing.  Every muscle in her body tightened, and she forced her fingers to release the bar at the same moment that Spike’s hands closed gently around her wrists.

“Buffy,” he said, and the use of her name was enough to make her open her eyes to find his looking back at her, the corners of them crinkled with amusement.

“What?”  Her mouth was as dry as sand and her voice just as gritty.

Spike still had hold of her arms and he lifted them up away from the bar, chuckling when she flinched and shut her eyes again.  “No, keep them open,” he said.  “You can save the world, you sure as hell can look at it from up here.”

She knew the last thing she should be doing was listening to Spike, but she did so anyway, conscious of his thumbs circling lightly on her wrists and wondering why she didn’t just pull away.  He tilted is head in the direction of out there, eyes sliding sideways, and she followed his gaze, slowly turning to face the scene in front of her.

The ocean spread out to the left, waves glowing blue-white in the moonlight as they broke upon the shore and crashed into the pilings of the pier.  To the right she could see the edges of the fair, people as tiny and busy as ants scurrying amongst the rides and buildings.  Beyond that, Los Angeles shone bright with streetlights and headlights and skyscrapers for miles and miles.  Buffy inhaled deeply, breathing in the salty coastal air mingled with the city’s unique scent, and as the wheel started turning again, Spike lifted her arms into the air and let go.

“Free as a bird,” Buffy whispered, remembering now that this was the feeling she desired when she decided to ride the wheel — the sensation of soaring, of freedom, of getting back a tiny piece of the world she left behind when she became the slayer.

“Whatever happened to, the life that we once knew,” Spike said, speaking, she felt, to the night rather than to her.

He had his eyes shut and his face tipped up to the wind, arms not raised as hers were but bent behind his head.  He looked so unlike himself that Buffy wondered if she ever really knew anything about him at all. 

His lips parted and he whispered, so quietly the wind nearly swallowed the words, “Can we really live without each other?”

Whatever the source, they seemed to Buffy to be the most fitting of sentiments.


>>To Be Concluded in Chapter Seven



( 4 have spoken — take the speaking stick )
Aug. 28th, 2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
Very nice. I love your writing style. It flows so easily and your dialogue is so natural. That being said--can't wait to see if there's sex :).
Aug. 28th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad it appeals as a whole, and I appreciate the specific feedback about the flow and the dialogue. I hope you'll stick around for the conclusion when I tell you that there will not be any sex. Thanks for reading and for your review :D
Aug. 28th, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
I was just kidding (sorta!). Great stories don't need sex scenes. I'll follow you wherever you lead.
Aug. 28th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
Lol, no worries! There are a few out there who don't agree, but I'm glad you see it this way. Thanks for coming along for the ride :D
( 4 have spoken — take the speaking stick )


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