"So...what we gonna do about this," Spike asked, just as she started to drink.
"Can we..." she had to stop talking, finish swallowing, and get the fizziness out of her mouth before she could go on, "...start over? I mean, not 'Hello, my name is Buffy' over, but maybe just start fresh?"
"No..." he started to say.
"No? What," she asked in amazement. "What do you mean no?"
"I mean...no," he said.
"Oh! Now you learn the meaning of the word?"
"Hgmh," he scoffed, "we're not going to go there, yet!"
"Huh, if you think..." if looks could stake, hers would.
"Oh, no...no, no…Love, we are gonna go there," Spike said,"…just not yet...and that's what I mean..." he scoffed and shook his head. "God…so much easier when I just wanted to kill her," he said quietly through gritted teeth.
"No! Really can't just start fresh, Pet."
"Argh! Knew I shoulda brought a stake!" she countered back at him.
Spike reached into his boot, scoffing at her, and pulled one out. He handed it to her with a glare. "Comfy now, Slayer?"
Buffy grabbed it, rotated it into the proper position in her hand, and held on to it tightly; she started to speak, but Spike stopped her.
"Not giving up the podium yet, Lamb," he said. "What was this," he gestured between the two of them, "...to you?" He scoffed. "What was it ever to you? Chalk on a slate, just wipe it clean and start over? Maybe you can, I can't." He scoffed again quietly, "you still don't get that, do you? No, Love, can't 'start fresh', there's a lot we got to chat out!”
"Oh! Okay, lets chat!" she said sarcastically.
"Yeah, let’s. You gonna be all...all chosen and alone and un-talky about it or what?"
"Oh, I'll be...talky," she said angrily, "...it's just...I'm not good at it," she continued half under her breath.
"Never noticed," it was his turn to be sarcastic. "Need to be straight up too!"
"Yeah...agreed," she said, loosening her grip on the stake, "...you too," she added.
"Yeah," he nodded. He looked at the filter of the cigarette he was holding, it had burned out. He stared at it for a moment before he tossed it into the grate, then he turned his gaze to her. "So, am I gonna be rebound boy or just... convenient?"
Okay...ow...that stings. "You're being pretty inconvenient right now, Spike, but...I'll admit it. I deserve that one...and more," she sighed with a little anger and a fair amount of hurt.
Spike couldn't help it, but his stare wavered momentarily. Exposed nerves, all around, were getting all achy and throbby.
"Okay, look…I'm sorry, it was just… convenient …for you to be convenient …and you weren't exactly protesting at the time as I recall, so, okay, my bad, but I wasn't completely the one at fault there…and no, no rebound boy. Definitely no rebound boy, I haven't…" Buffy let out a long scoffing sigh. "Why am I doing this? I don't know why I’m doing this…I just want…"
"Now that's the crux of it, in' it, Love…it's not always entirely about what you want," Spike truly wished he hadn't said it before it even came out, but it just kept coming, "…you still don't even know what it is you do want." He sighed deeply, "… and that's really not…how…I…wanted…to say that…bad move." He shifted his stare from her to the sky, shaking his head. "I can't do this." He closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them again to the heavens, "….you found my perfect damnation," he whispered, "…kudos."
"And who are you whispering to? You're not..." she scoffed, "God! Spike!"
"…doesn't listen anyway," he continued quietly. By the time he looked back down, she had slid off the hood and came around to stand facing him alongside the station wagon. "…and," he had to find her, "…and you, Love, you are my perfect damnation."
"I'm a damnation…I'm a damnation now. You're impossible, Spike, incorrigible…"
"Well, yes…I am, still. Why are you here, Pet.? What, you just come to see how big a masochist Spike is. I don't mind a little pain, but I don't want the hurt, had enough of it. It's bad enough that you are the one thing that…"
"I'm the one thing that what?"
"Drives me stark raving…" Spike leapt off the station wagon to face her directly. "…turns me into a soddin' cormorant, no, no a bleeding lemming, a moth to the flame, might as well throw my own toasties in the fire."
"I just thought we…"
"Right,” he scoffed, “…'we', and this from the person who said 'there is no we'."
"That was before…"
"Before? Before what, Love, before the soul? I fell in love with you before the soul, and in all honesty, Pet, it didn't make one bit of difference, did it?" Spike put one hand on the roof of the station wagon just above her shoulder, it landed with a thud putting a dent in the old metal.
Buffy looked at his hand and the dent as she spoke. "You angry much?"
She turned to slide out from between Spike and the station wagon when the other hand landed on the roof.
"Much," he said with that look that always both frightened and excited her.
"Let me go," she said, pushing against his chest with both hands. He wasn't budging without full Slayer strength and she was not ready to use it. Her eyes narrowed at him in determination. They stood staring; eyes locked in combat, until Spike released his hold on the roof with a scoff and stepped back from her, turning to avoid her steely gaze.
"Go," he said half under his breath.
"I should leave. I don't know why I came here," she said regaining her composure.
"I said 'go'," he shouted, "...leave...move on." He whirled around to face her livid.
She scoffed, turned, and started to storm away abruptly stopping a few yards away. She took a few deep breaths then turned and stormed back.
"No,” she said with conviction. “I’m not going anywhere. I told you I wasn't ready for you not to be there, I'm still not...and I’m not going anywhere until this is settled between us.
They both stood, arms crossed, leaning on the station wagon in silence for some time.
"It's your fault," she finally said after the anger had time to dissipate in them
"What," he said in disbelief. "What's my fault?"
"You said it once; I'd crave you like you crave blood."
"You were right," she said calmly, "took a while, but you were right."
He did not reply. He shuffled still pensive.
She smiled, a little, when she looked at him and chuckled. "When I thought you…" she shook her head, "...I didn’t think I ..." she laughed again, "even that ..."
"Oh, right," he scoffed half-heartedly, "...when I saw you in Italy, snoggin it up with that bleeding Immortal, sorry to say Pet, but it didn't exactly look like you were mournin' the fallen champion."
"You saw me in Italy," she began, "...when were you in Ita... you were with Angel, that... family...hat...head...thing. I am gonna kill Andrew, the little..."
“It’s not about Andrew,” he said quietly. “Buffy, it’s about you and it’s about me,” he looked away and scoffed. “Don’t my feelings count in this at all?”
He’d hit a nerve, again, she hated that, it was one of those think nerves too.
…my fault...Buffy thought , I’m the one standing here with every last one of them all exposed….and what, I didn’t expect a few of them to get wailed on…. She scuffed at her own stupidity sometimes, usually the wrong times …like right now…
Spike chose that exact moment to turn and look at her, and...of course…she thought, he took the scoff personally.
“Oh, oh, I get it…” he began, actually faking a deep wrenching breathe for added effect, “…cause I don’t feel, do I?”
Where the hell did he learn to be such a drama queen, Juilliard?
“Sorry Pet, I forgot,” he scoffed exaggeratedly, “… my feelings aren’t real to you.”
She had to choke back a laugh at his performance…Oscar material for sure…Buffy Anne Summers, she chided herself silently …you should not be so harsh! He deserves this tirade and you know it …
“Dead things don’t feel,” he then said absently to himself. He was silent for a moment, “...but you still don’t get that do you? God, Buffy,” he said exasperated, “...am I still just dead to you? I thought we’d worked past that, and what the bleedin' hell is with Angel and this damn 'cookie dough' thing anyway? He gets cookies and what about me, I’m stuck lickin’ up crumbs.” He suddenly got a mental picture of that metaphor and his face showed it.
She had to laugh, she couldn’t resist.“Well, “ she managed to get out between the barely stifled giggles that threatened to become howls, nearly doubling her over, “… you once asked me to throw you a few…can’t help it if you catch like a…gurr…vampire.” What little composure she had maintained broke; she laughed uncontrollably, hard and until it hurt. Spike just looked at her not knowing what to do until he had to start laughing too.
"Are we done venting yet," she asked when she could talk again.
"Doubt it," he replied.
"This isn't going to be easy, is it?"
"No, no, Love, it's not…but I think it'll be worth it."
"Yeah. You got a place to stay tonight?"
She shook her head.
"Yeah, in the car."
"Where's that at?"
"Uh, about…two and a half hours that way, no, maybe that way."
"Uh huh, we'll worry about it later them. Come on." Spike jumped down from the hood of the station wagon.
"Spike? Can I touch the hair?"
He smiled, "…touch anything you like, Love." They walked over to the steps of the Mission.
"I'll get you something once we get you settled. I've…uh, got the desk til morning, you can stay in my room."