Second Tries by lovesperoxide

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They were giving it a second try. She and Principal Wood. He’d asked her out on another date. The first hadn’t gone quite accordingly to their plans and that was why she was currently sitting on the edge of her bed wrapped in a towel and peering into the other-world that was her wardrobe.

What to wear? Wasn’t that just the question to end all questions?

“Slayer? You alright in there, luv?”

He was looking in at her like she was looking into her wardrobe; concerned, a little amused and a little overwhelmed.

~

He’d never seen a sight quite like it before. She looked almost ethereal, her damp locks cascading down her bare shoulders. The light gave her a soft, golden glow. Beautiful. She was beauty in its truest, purest form and for just a moment, it burned his demon away.

“What? Oh, yes! Good. I’m good.” Suddenly aware of her state of undress, she stammered, “I’ve got...I mean, Robin and I, we’re...”

“Got another date.” He nodded and his lips twitched in a smile. “Yeah, I heard. It’s just”you looked like you were trying to...discover the meaning of life.”

She heaved a sigh and stared back at her store of clothes. “Nope, just trying to figure out what to wear.”

“May I?” He gestured to the threshold of her bedroom.

“Um...sure.” She tightened her hold on the towel.

He took some tentative steps inside and peeked in the over-flowing closet. “Bloody hell,” he chuckled. “You could open a shop, Slayer.”

“I guess it is a bit much.” She returned his smile.

He spied the flowing fabric before anything else. The pastel cream reminded him so much of the girl who spent too many of her days in leather pants and fighting a relentless evil. The bodice of the dress was patterned with a delicate lace; it scooped very low in the back and ended with a soft, feminine bow.

He wrestled it out from the back of the wardrobe and presented to her with a confident flourish. “This one.”

“No way!” She responded with an amused laugh. “It’s not practical at all. Creatures of the night, remember? Slayer? What if I need to fight?”

“I’ve seen you fight in mini-skirts, pet. It’s a date, eh? Who gives a toss ‘bout practical? Should let your hair down”” He furrowed his brow at the sight of her damp locks already resting on her shoulders. “Metaphorically speaking.”

“It is pretty.” She let out a gentle sigh and smiled, touching the material.

“You should wear it. He’d like it. The Principal.” His smile gradually faded and he laid the dress out on the bed beside her. “Better get dressed. Don’t want to be late.”

He hurried out of her room and was gone before she could say her thanks.

~

She barely heard the praises of her friends and the Potentials, just saw his eyes. That expression, so intense and so similar to the one she’d seen that night she came back to life. She felt a storm of butterflies fluttering away in her stomach and felt her blush spread all the way down to her silver pumps. She smiled and looked down shyly when the corner of his mouth lifted in approval. The moment was over too soon when Robin pulled up in front her driveway.

~

It hadn’t been ten minutes since they’d left and he was surprised to see her returning back up the garden path.

He stubbed out his cigarette as she made her way up the steps. “Back already?”

“I didn’t really feel up to it.” She joined him on the porch. “It wouldn’t be fair to him if I wasn’t all there, you know? And I’ve kind of missed just being home.”

He nodded his understanding and they basked in the night’s silence for just a moment. The gentle lights from inside the house illuminated her golden curls and cast mystical shadows across the exposed skin of her back. He tried to capture it all, at the same time trying not to stare.

“What?” She breathed the word.

“Nothin’,” he replied swiftly. “I”it’s just”no, nothin’.”

“What is it?”

“I was just thinking how you...” He looked down bashfully at their feet and ran a hand through his already tousled hair. “About how beautiful you look.”

He saw her eyes smile first before it spread on her perfect lips. “Thank you. Nobody’s really ever said that to me...not since, my mom.”

“I’m sorry. Memories; I didn’t mean to””

“You weren’t to know.” She shivered a little against the cool night breeze and unconsciously shifted closer to his form. “But memories are good. They’re all we have in the end.” She didn’t realise how close she’d moved until she felt his hand resting on the bow at her lower back of her dress. “And each other.”

It felt nice.

“I’d tell you every day, you know,” he murmured and looked down at her beside him. “How beautiful you are.”

Blinking rapidly, she suddenly felt so exposed and looked away.

He noticed quickly, in his own true style, and took a step away to give her back her personal space. “God, I’m a right ponce,” he chuckled to himself.

Her heart thudded faster and she thought she heard him moving away. She touched his elbow. “Spike?”

“Yes, Buffy?”

“Will you...stay out here with me?”

They looked out into the garden for a little while; they looked up at the stars. His hand went back to rest on the base of her spine. Soon they were looking at one another, in the way they’d always wanted to. Unabashedly, whole-heartedly adoring each other, just with their eyes. The world stilled, and they were oblivious to everything around them, including the gawking Potentials watching through the curtains.

This was what she’d been searching for. The chance to just be herself; to just be a girl, sitting with her boy. He didn’t push her for anything, just held her. This was what he’d always wanted to give her.

He offered it all to her. He offered his love. He offered himself.

Somehow their lips had become separated only by a feather’s breath, and God help her, she was helpless to reach out and take it all.

Fin~


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