“Spike! Open the door!” Buffy called loudly as she tried to balance the heavy object.
“Hold your bloody horses!” He called back, not ready to get up just yet; it was bloody early on a Sunday morning.
“Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up,” She muttered, tightening her grip as the thing started to fall. “Yeah, well tons of people have already been at Church this morning…good people! You bad guy, open the door.” Okay, so maybe that hadn’t been the most logical statement, but dangit, she wanted him to open the door already. And it kind of helped that she was nervous as well…
“Told you, I was coming. Gotta give a bloke a minute, luv,” Spike said as he quickly pulled the door open, ending any of her thoughts as she took in the sight of him.
Apparently she really had woken him up because he stood before her in nothing but a pair of half button black jeans. Didn’t the man ever sleep in anything? And, whoops! She was supposed to be listening since he was talking and all.
”…Bring that in?” Was all she heard and belatedly realized she was still holding the humongous Christmas tree.
Without actually answering his question, Buffy pushed her way into his house, the piles of pine needles knocked to the ground as the tree was pushed through the door, trunk first.
“Any particular reason you’re standing outside my house with a Christmas tree at ten in the morning a week before Christmas?” Spike asked once she’d—with no help from him—set the tree on the ground in a corner of the room.
“I told you, ten isn’t early. All the good people already have been or are at church,” Buffy avoided directly answering his question, knowing she needed to work up the nerve just a bit more.
“And I’ve told you, pet, I’m a bad, rude man—I don’t do what ‘good’ people do.”
Buffy just laughed at him.
“Spike when was the last time you even got in trouble? You’re a freakin’ high school history teacher for God’s sake.”
“I got kicked out of Willie’s last night,” Spike argued petulantly.
“Oooh, because getting so drunk that you close a bar, totally bad,” She mocked.
“Well it’s not good,” He countered.
“Still isn’t something to be boasting about—all it does is make you sound like a drunk.”
“Why are you even here, luv?” He was getting exasperated.
“To bring you a Christmas tree, Mr. Grump…I thought it would have been fairly obvious, what with the whole me carrying in a huge tree and all.”
“Told you I don’t want a tree this year.”
“Well, aren’t you all holiday spirit-y?” She asked. “You have to have a tree, Will. It’s like a requirement or something: Unless your name is Scrooge or you’re not Christian, there must be a Christmas tree in your living room for Christmas.”
“Real bloody funny you are; but I don’t want a tree. Don’t have much to celebrate this year so what’s the point.”
”The point is to have fun,” She argued. “And besides, it’s not going to be any fun to talk to you about your New Year’s resolutions if your house is all depressing.”
“Not New Year’s yet; don’t have to talk about them now anyway.”
“Well Mr, Humbug, I want to anyway,” God, this was already a tough thing for her to do and he was working for her to even have to opportunity to bring it up. What was it with him?
“Fine, I’ll let you have your fun. What are your New Year’s resolutions?” He sat down and all but ignored her. Which, had it been anyone other than him and had she been anyone other than her, would have pissed her off and ended her resolve. Instead it just made her more determined, so much so that she completely ignored her earlier worries and focused on the task at hand.
“You haven’t had a girlfriend in a while,” She stated simply.
“No, I haven’t,” He replied, “Not like you’ve dated anyone after Soldier Boy yourself.”
“I know,” She said calmly. “Helps that we spend nearly every Saturday night—hell, nearly every night together.”
“What’re you getting at?” He was still aggravated with her and had now gotten up to fuss with the tree, hoping to distract himself from her.
But he was only getting her more determined—he was hot! and she wasn’t planning on giving up now, not at all.
“How long have we been friends?”
”’Bout five years,” He looked up from the tree, focusing his attention on her, looking like she was crazy.
“Right. And how many people have we each dated during that time?”
“I dated Dru and Harmony and that Maureen bint for a bit. And you, uh, you dated the Great Poof, Soldier Boy…oh and Droopy Boy if you want to even count him.”
“Did you love any of them?” She asked, “I mean really?”
“What are you getting at?”
“Would you ever have chosen any of them over me?” She asked, ignoring the question.
“You know I broke up with Dru because she wanted me to quit spending so much time with you,” He explained, getting slightly more serious now. She was worrying him with her solemn tone.
“Can you ever see doing that?”
”What? Choosing some twit over you?”
The way he phrased the question caused her to smile. “Yeah, that.”
”No,” He answered without a seconds hesitation and she knew this was going to work.
“Want to know what my New Year’s resolution is, Spike?”
He thought she was changing the subject but went along with her anyway.
“Sure, Buffy. What is it?”
“Have you been paying attention to any of those survey facts they mention on TV?”
“Well, see….There’s been this thing I’ve been thinking about doing for a while but I never really knew how to go about it. And I way always so scared that it wouldn’t work out and then everything would just be all screwed up…that I’d lose it all.
But then I heard this: Did you know Spike that the average American has sex 113 times a year?”
”Can’t say I did, kitten. What’s this have to do with your resolution?”
“I don’t like being normal, so my New Year’s resolution is to beat that number.”
Spike tried to crush down the jealousy that flared up in him at her neutrally spoken statement.
“And, uh,” He started to fuss with the tree again, which really was pointless considering it was just an empty tree sitting in the stand, there wasn’t much to mess with, “Planning on…working on that with anyone in particular?”
“That’s the thing,” Buffy said slowly, hoping this wasn’t all about to blow up in her face…”I was thinking that it could be…well that maybe it could be you.”
“Buffy?” He all but croaked, turning to look at her and stilling the hands that had started to unsnap her fitted shirt. She’d already removed her sweater and laid it across the back of the sofa.
“What are you…luv,” He said, closing his eyes and trying to gather himself, “Buffy, don’t do this.”
“What are you talking about? Don’t do what?” She asked, confused, her bottom lip trembling at the thought that she’d messed it all up after all.
“Don’t joke with me about this. Who told you?” He tried a new angle.
“Told me what?”
“Who thought,” He laughed humorlessly, “That it’d be funny to tell you I’m in love with you, huh?”
Feeling as if the world had just dropped out from under her feet, Buffy fell bonelessly back on to the sofa.
“You what?” She asked quietly, staring at him sightlessly.
“So, 113 times, huh?” He asked, knowing as soon as he saw her reaction that no one had told her anything—and trying to pretend he hadn’t let the proverbial cat out of the bag.
“Spike?” She asked again and he knew he wouldn’t be able to avoid this one.
“So, guess no one told you?” He asked needlessly.
“Other than you? No.”
“Never did know when to keep my mouth shut,” He started to mutter about his big mouth always getting him into trouble.
“Spike,” She interrupted.
“Uh, yeah…so, guess you want to know about the uh…thing I said, yeah?”
The fact that she wasn’t helping him get out of this didn’t go unnoticed by him. And he decided just to give in and give up the fight.
”I’m in love with you, Buffy. Have been for years. At least since Dru gave me that ultimatum. I’d never be able to chose any girl over you, luv because it’s always been you. It’s you, Buffy. You’re the one.”
When Buffy just sat there on the sofa and looked at him, stared at him really, Spike started to get nervous; Buffy’d brought up sex and here he was pouring his heart out…What was wrong with him?
“Really?” Was her only answer to all of it.
“Yeah, luv. Really.”
“Want to decorate the tree? I still know where all of your decorations are and then there’s the ones that your mom brought over during the summer and—“
“Buffy?” He interrupted, closer than she’d ever know to agreeing to her suggestion and letting the whole conversation drop, but he had to try just one last time.
Buffy was halfway to the closet where his decorations were stored when she stopped and visibly sighed.
“Do you promise?” She asked, sounding more scared than he’d possibly ever heard her.
“That I love you?” He asked, waiting for her nod of approval before continuing, “Yeah, I promise, luv. And it’s not something that’s going to go away either, so don’t you worry about that. But,” He added, realizing that despite what her question might have implied, she might have been looking for an out, “I can keep things how they are if you want. This doesn’t have to mean anything changes.”
“Really?” She asked after a few minutes, looking him in the eye to judge how he was really feeling, “You could really ignore your feelings and keep being my friend? Even now that it’s all out in the open?”
Spike didn’t answer for so long that she started to get worried she was asking too many questions and not giving enough answers.
“Not really sure. But if it’s what you want, I’ll certainly try my absolute hardest.”
She listened to all he’d said—that he was in love with her, that he had been for years, that it would always be her…and that he would do, essentially, whatever it took to make her happy.
It wasn’t maybe what he wanted, at least not all of it, but it was the best she could do at the moment. She’d come with everything all planned out in her head, but events had taken a turn she hadn’t expected and she was still feeling a little left in the dust…
But she wasn’t going to leave him with nothing just because thigns had moved a little more quickly than she’d anticipated or been ready for.
“So, 113? Think we can beat that?”
Please Review and have a happy Holidays