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The setting's in NYC... i didn't exactly say it in the first chapter, but i hinted it with the Little Italy reference (which is one of the cultural neighborhoods in NYC), not realizing that there could be more than one Little Italy and it wasn't limited to NY. so... just clarifying.
Just a warning... this fiction doesn't have a sappy, happy ending... The ending that i have planned (and am currently writing) is a bit of a surprise, but i think it's rather touching and worth reading.
It had started drizzling early in the morning and persisted all throughout the day, a dull drone tapping lightly in time to the saddened gray sky. Though it was approaching sunset fast, the air still held onto the sweet, bitter despair of the day, empathizing with Buffy’s conflicting feelings.
The squishing sound of her sneakers against the wet sidewalk blended in with the city noises. Taxi’s honked, tires screeched, vendors half-heartedly solicited business as Buffy tightened her thin coat around her body and wove around the mass of people walking in all directions.
As she turned onto Mallard St., she noticed that the hem of her jeans were soaked. There wasn’t the torrents of people on Mallard; hardly anyone bothered to go down this alley. Buffy preferred the quiet to the busy streets and often took this detour on the way to and from Spike’s apartment.
The closer she got to her destination, the harder her heart tore itself apart. Half of her wanted to leave him alone to be happy with the woman he chose to marry. Half of her refused to accept the fact that he was about to give away his whole heart to a woman that wasn’t her. The latter half argued that the least she could do was to let him know.
Know what?.. Buffy thought miserably. Know that I’m in love with him? Know that I would do anything for him if he asked?
He just needs to know.
She stopped in front of his doorstep.
At the same time, Spike was sitting down on his black, leather couch, staring at the coffee table in front of him. He had gotten home from work, thrown his bags aside, then promptly sat down to stare and … ponder things. It had been an hour since he first sat and he hadn’t moved an inch.
The first thing he had thought about had been Drusilla. Because those were the thoughts that made him somewhat happy and excited. Drusilla was everything he ever dreamed about in a woman. She was daring, exquisite, saucy, sweet, and could make his heart melt at a flutter of an eyelash. She was his dream girl and he was about to marry her.
The second thing he had thought about had been his future. His future with Drusilla. Spike had never been one to think very far in the future – he was more of the impulsive, do-what-feels-right-at-the-moment kind of bloke. So of course, when he attempted to look towards his future with his fiancé, he saw nothing. No path, no trail, no shining lamp, nothing. Nothing except a big black abyss. Sometimes, seeing a big black abyss made things interesting and enabled him to stay on his toes and kept him wondering what would happen next. Other times, the big black abyss made him nervous.
This was definitely one of those times.
The third thing, and the last thing, he had thought about had been Buffy. His best friend and first love, though she would never know. Throughout high school, he had had a mad crush on her. A crush that had turned into something he thought was love. And the love had carried on throughout college without her ever catching a hint and without him ever giving a clue. It had worked out well because they had both been able to be together and have fun with each other without the awkward nature that relationships often brought about. The only thing was that it had been very unsatisfying.
He knew her deepest secrets, dreams, desires, hopes, fears, and he had loved everything. But he had never been able to extend his arm out past her shoulders, never been able to feel her fully against him, never been able to kiss her. Every night, he had imagined her next to him, and every day, he knew it could never happen. Because she was his best friend and he would do nothing to threaten that. In all cases – at least, the cases he experienced – relationships had never been a good thing in the long run. They would break up and he would never hold the same intimacy with her again. He couldn’t lose that.
Drusilla had entered his life at the nick of time, right before he was about to go crazy. At first, he had vented his sexual frustration on her, but as time went on, he grew to grow fond of her. The fondness turned to affection, the affection turned to love. He loved Drusilla, he was sure of it.
But then why was it that he couldn’t see a future with her? And why was it that whenever he thought of Buffy, he felt a familiar pain in his heart that had stayed dormant for years? And most importantly, why was it that whenever he looked into his future… he saw himself holding a woman who was distinctively not dark-haired, but rather,… blonde.
Before he could answer these questions, the doorbell buzzed and he jumped up to see who it was.
As usual, the moment she saw his face, the sun went up again. At least, it did in her head. His smile warmed her and she felt herself feeling as giddy as if she were a little girl given a lollipop.
“Spike,” she smiled, then reached up to hug him, tightly. His arms circled her waist and he held her closely to him, gently rocking her.
“Buffy,” he grinned into her hair and squeezed her hard before letting her go. “What are you doing here?”
“Just seeing how you were,” she entered passed the doorway and made her way towards the kitchen. She was as familiar with his apartment as she was her own. He followed her and stared as she opened his refrigerator to take out the carton of milk.
She continued talking as she made herself a chocolate cookies and milk snack. “How are you doing? Tomorrow’s the big day… are you excited?”
“Excited,” he repeated before nodding, “Yeah. Nervous as hell, though.”
She looked up and caught his eye for a split second before smiling sadly at him. “Don’t be. You’re everything she could ever ask for.”
“Thanks, pet,” he sighed, crossing his arms over his chest, “But aren’t you supposed to say that sort of thing? You know, play the part of best man, all that rot?”
Buffy shot him a glare and he laughed, shaking his head. She put the milk back into the fridge and proceeded to take a huge chunk off her cookie.
“You’re my best friend, Spike,” she told him as she chewed. “I know you better than you know yourself. And believe me… you’re it.”
“Yep,” she swallowed and brushed her mouth off with the back of her hand. He watched her in silence as she finished her cookie and set off on another one.
Finally, he said, “You’re a pig.”
“Hey!” she slapped at him, playfully, “That’s my line! And you know you love it.”
“You’re right. I do.”
“Come on, moron,” Buffy laughed, “Lets go to the living room. I wanna watch a movie.”
Half an hour later, Buffy found herself eating what had to be her twentieth cookie and listening to Spike fret about the upcoming marriage as John Travolta danced to “Go Greased Lightning” on the television.
“I don’t know if I can do this, love,” he sighed, leaning into the soft cushion of the couch.
“Bloody hell, what if this is a mistake… what if we’re really not meant to be together?”
“You’re beginning to sound like a female,” Buffy sighed, trying to fight down the happiness at hearing those words come from his mouth. “On the other hand… maybe you two really aren’t meant to – “
“What if she decides she hates me when we start living together? What if she finds out I’m a pig?”
“I know you’re a pig… and I’m still here! Spike, it’s really not – “
“I don’t think-“ he started again, then glanced her way and smiled. “You have crumbs all over your mouth.”
Buffy absently swatted at her mouth and he shook his head, telling her she didn’t get it.
“Where?” she asked.
For a second, he paused, and in that second, both of their body temperatures rose. They were already so close that she could almost feel his breath on her cheek. The realization of this made her head dizzy. Spike slowly leaned towards her and brought his thumb up to her lips.
To her surprise, his face drew closer to hers and before she knew it, their foreheads were pressed together, their noses were passing each other’s, and their lips were a millimeter apart.
And although her heart was thumping it’s way through a marathon, although her face was warming, although her stomach was melting into the rest of her body and she felt tingly all over, she pulled back slightly.
“Spike,” she whispered. Her forehead was still against his and his hand was cupping the side of her cheek. “We can’t…”
At her words, he jumped back a mile, shocked at his actions.
“Fuck, I’m sorry,” he sputtered. “I had no right to… Buffy, I’m so sorry. And I’m getting married tomorrow. Oh God. I’m such a git, I know. Sorry… you’re probably thinking I’m a bleedin’ idiot and I am. Can we – “
“Spike,” she closed her eyes and said his name sharply. He stopped rambling and stared at her.
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