She was always so dismissive with him. Like everything he said didn't matter, like he didn't matter. It'd be one thing if she was like that with the rest of the Sunnydale High population, but this special brand of bitchiness was reserved for him. Hell, he's pretty sure she treated the useless wankers she hated kinder than she treated him. Or maybe he just has a fragile glass heart. See, Buffy Summers was one of the popular girls. Not the rich snobby kind, but the genuinely likable kind. She had friends in all different social groups. The jocks, nerds, fellow populars, rockers, geeks, stoners, the alt crowd, the lists goes on. She could walk up to any table in the cafeteria, and he'd bet you all the dosh in his wallet, that at least one person would jump up to greet her with a hug. Like they were chums that hung out all the bloody time. All the teachers loved her too. She was peppy, tried with all her classes, turned her work in on time, never got into trouble. She was the golden girl. The standard, the ideal. Every guy and girl, if they swung that way, wanted to take her out. So was it really a surprise that he did too? Spike Pratt, on the other hand, was on the opposite side of the spectrum. He was soft with the people he gave a shit about, and a pompous ass to everyone else. He was very polarizing, you either loved him or hated him. There was no in between. He was a part of the alt crowd, punk if you wanted to get specific. The very definition of a bad boy with a heart of gold. Not that anyone outside of his closest mates ever looked past his tough exterior to see that, to see him.


 He didn't know why he thought she'd be different. She was different of course, but not when it came to him. After all, he stuck to his group of misfits. Picked fights whenever he could, mouthed off to the teachers, got detention slips left and right. He was a stain on the school's record. Anyone who was interested in him only wanted a couple nights of fun. He wasn't the kind of guy you took home to meet the folks. He was the kind of guy you snuck out of your folks' house after hours to meet up with. He tried to be soft with her once, to show her he could be someone worth her time. It didn't end well, with her it never did. It was a snarky back and forth that devolved into a screaming match. He doesn't even know why he tried, which is a lie because of course he does. He's in love with her, has been for years now. Entranced by her warmth, her glow. How independent, and fierce, and beautiful, and kind she is. How she lights up the whole building just with her smile. Like a moth to a flame he couldn't stay away. No matter how bad she was for him. No matter how much her words hurt, more than he'd ever let on. He'd goad her in their shared classes, trail after her in the halls, chuck fries at her from across the canteen. He was a thorn in her side, he knew it, but he always thought she didn't have the stones to bring it up. He was wrong of course, like he was about so many other things. It was after school, he'd stayed late because he had detention. She'd stayed late because she offered to help old Rupes cart stacks of books from the storage closet to the library.


 They bumped into each other on the way out. She accused him of stalking her right off the bat. Her mood around him seemed to be a constant mix of annoyance and loathing. His was a mix of longing and pain. All covered by his tough guy bravado. He went on the defensive, huffing how everything didn't always revolve around the great Buffy Summers. They argued, again. If anyone else were still in the building they wouldn't have batted an eye at the duo. They did this a lot. She finally bucked up and called him out for always hovering around her. He internally cringed at his own stupidity. Bollocks, how much more obvious could he have been? He might as well've been holding up a sign that said I <3 Buffy. Then she really threw him for a loop, bringing up how pathetic he was. He was supposed to be this tough macho bad boy, but all Spike did was stare after her with moon eyes. Bloody buggering fuck! He really didn't think she'd notice that. She always seemed to look right past him, even when they were arguing like this. She was right, Spike was a sad, pathetic, lovesick fool. Pining after someone who'd normally never give him the time of day unless he intentionally did something to brass her off. His heart was being stomped on all over again, this was it, he was being rejected. He was hurt, angry, and ended up blurting out the worst possible thing he could've in that moment. He told her he was in love with her. As soon as he'd realized what he'd done, he wanted the floor to split open and devour him.


 She looked shocked, then furious. Right, why would she want some burn out like him? Better yet, had he ever given her a single damn reason to believe him? She must think he's a right git taking the piss out of her, making her the butt of some practical joke. He felt like a prat in that moment. He knew there was only one thing left to do, and he didn't like it one lick. He let down his guard, dropped the mask, the act. He deflated, dropped down onto his knees with a sigh. Looking up at her with tears in his eyes, the love he had for her unchecked and displayed for the world to see. It was too much for her, too overwhelming, she took a step back. She didn't want to believe him, she couldn't. You don't act like an ass towards someone you love. You're supposed to be sweet, and kind, and romantic. She stammered out as much. So he told her that he tried it with her once. He reminded Buffy of that time she spent a free period at the library. He was there looking for a book, she was doing the same. She was adorably frustrated that she couldn't find what she was searching for. Spike had dropped his guard then, offering to lend a hand. Even going as far as to give her a book recommendation based off of what she initially wanted. She looked uncomfortable during the whole thing, eventually lashing out. Snapping that she didn't need his help or suggestions, and he probably didn't even know where to look. Seeing as he had the IQ of a toddler. He'd hurriedly rushed off after they were both harshly hushed by that uppity wanker of a librarian.


 He cried himself to sleep that night, not that anyone else knew that, until now. She looked apprehensive still. So what other choice did he have than to explain why and for how long he loved her? Her eyes and stance softening after every heartfelt sentence. After laying everything out on the table, and his heart on the floor, he told her again that he was in love with her. The first time he'd said it had been an accident, a slip of the tongue. Buffy deserved better than that. She deserved an actual confession, where he meant it. He was crying like a ponce, and she looked like she was a few seconds from doing the same. She slowly shook her head, it felt like someone dropped a lead weight onto his gut. Spike was such a dolt, he should've shown her the same kindness she put out into the world. He'd pushed her away, he'd been too good at playing the big bad. She's hates him, why did he think learning about his feelings for her would miraculously change that? She spoke softly, but adamantly. Told him he wasn't in love with her, but in love with pain. Isn't that all they've caused each other, pain? Isn't that all he feels whenever she's near, whenever his thoughts stray in her direction, pain? She turns to leave, he panics. He can't let her go, he can't give up that easily. He jumps to his feet, grabbing her arm to halt her. She stiffens, so he lets go. He tells her if he was in love with pain, he'd still be chasing after his ex girlfriend, Drusilla. 


 The barmy bint who was very openly cheating on him until she decided she didn't want him anymore, and dumped him. He loves BUFFY, it's about her, it always has been. The pain is just a shitty by product. She looks conflicted, he takes that as a good sign. Maybe not all is lost, maybe there's still hope for him yet. He throws away the last of his pride and begs for a chance. A chance to show her the parts of himself he's kept hidden from the world. A chance to treat her right, to treat her how she deserves to be treated. To make up for all the time he's wasted making her time at school a living Hell. At one point he stops begging and starts apologizing for every snide comment, every piece of food he's tossed her way, all of it. A look of indecision is plastered across her face the entire time, never shifting. He starts to think he's fighting a losing battle. All until she surges forward and crashes into him. Kissing Spike with all the passion he knew she possessed. He was frozen in shock for a moment, before eagerly reciprocating. His arms snake around her waist, pulling her impossibly closer. She grips his shoulders, as if to steady herself. She's the first one to pull away, they're both panting heavily. She asks him if this is real. He lets out a giddy laugh. He tells her he sure as bloody well hopes so before lifting her off of the ground to spin her about. They're both giggling and beaming at each other. Pleasantly surprised at this turn of events. 


 When he finally sets her back down on the ground, she leans in to ask if she can share with him a secret. He nods immediately, both excited and nervous that she's opening up to him so soon. His mind defaults to her having some secret tosser of a boyfriend that toddled off to college or wherever the bloody Hell else on God's green earth. He knows he's being irrational and ridiculous, but he can't help it. There's always a but, another shoe that's about to drop. He's had horrible luck with birds in the past. There's always some other bloke. Someone older, better looking, and just plain better in every way. That he could never compete with in the end, no matter what he did or how much he changed. Buffy leans in, gets right next to his ear, and tells him she's in love with him too. He reels back, face alight with a blinding amount of hope and disbelief. That can't be right. Surely he would've noticed if she'd been looking at him anywhere near the same way he gazes after her. Spike would've seen the signs, had some prophetic dream, had SOMETHING tip him off. Now it's his turn to be unsure. He knows he shouldn't be one to look a gift horse in the mouth and all that rot. He's been waiting to hear those very words tumble from her lips for years now. Yet it feels too good to be true. Surely she wouldn't have been so quick to dismiss him originally if she felt the same. She gives him an amused half smile, before dropping to her knees just like he did before. It takes him a moment to yank is mind out of the proverbial gutter. 


 When he does, and focuses on her face and what she's going to do next, he's amazed at what he sees. Her smile kind, her eyes shining with love and affection, probably quite similar to his own actually. She's looking at him, REALLY looking at him, William. She explains how it's her turn to give a heartfelt confession, and she does. He soaks in every second, commits everything to memory. As if this'll all be taken from him in a moment's notice. He feels like an even bigger idiot now than when she assumed he wasn't being sincere about his feelings. He clearly should've been sincere with Buffy from the get-go. They could've been together and still going strong for years now! All this mutual stupid pining was his fault, and that being so, he apologized to her for it. She brushed it off, and usually that would've bothered him, but she brushed him off in order to take most, if not all of, the blame. She thinks that if she would've treated him better, treated him like she did everyone else, maybe he wouldn't felt the need to push her buttons so much. He bends down to gently grasp her hands in his, they're warm, smaller than his. They're perfect, they fit perfectly. He helps her up, asks her what happens now. If it were up to him they'd be snogging in a storage closet somewhere, or in his DeSoto, or anywhere really. It's not up to him though, not completely. He lets go of her hands, she slides her left one into his right. She asks him to take her home, maybe pop in for a cuppa hot cocoa with those little marshmallows if he wanted. He leads her out to his car. Oh he wanted, he wanted very much. 

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