Once in a lifetime does not happen again.
Watching her sleep that night was something Spike had never allowed himself to do. Standing outside her window and smoking like a chimney for hours he had done. Watching her from the tree outside her window he had done. But he had never entered her room. He never dared to cross that boundary.
Tonight was different. It was necessary…entirely too necessary. He needed to know she was really there, that she wasn’t going anywhere. That this wasn’t some fucked up dream where she never died. One of the fantasies that had been swirling in his brain since that fateful day.
Oh how he would have changed everything. And he told her that. How many different ways he would have changed things. Spike coming out as the hero even if that meant she would cast him aside. Never love him the way he loved her. He’d gladly give all that up just to have her living and breathing.
Cleaning her wounds, looking into those deep green eyes was heaven to a man like him. Touching her was everything. She still looked lost and frail but he knew the warrior that was re-awakening within. His vampire loved the warrior that she was. His demon felt her loss just as severely as Spike himself had.
Huddled under the covers she slept. One hand by her mouth, on her side facing him. Spike settled himself into the chair he pulled into her room and just …watched.
Hell was not some burning hot place where Satan reigned. That would have been too easy. No hell was living on this earth without her. Hell was knowing she wasn’t coming back. Hell was knowing what he felt for her was not enough to keep her here. Hell was knowing that as strong of a master vampire he was, he still could not save her.
A tear slid down his cheek silently. Spike always knew he was special. He had more compassion, emotion than any of his vampire family. He thought it might be because of how he was as a human.
Nancy boy git, he scoffed.
He never knew that was the reason Angelus rode him so hard, tortured him so painfully. Angelus was jealous that even as a demon Spike retained some of his humanity and he tried like hell to turn him into the “evil incarnate”, same as he. It didn’t matter how much torture Spike endured, throughout it all he still felt for Angelus.
He couldn’t look away from her. He mesmerized every contour of her face, the faint laugh lines around her eyes. The way her hair fell like a halo around her. He committed it all to memory.
If anyone had told him one day he would be sitting in the slayer’s bedroom watching her sleep, protecting her, he would have laughed in their face. Not Spike, Master Vampire, member of the Order of Aurelius.
Yet here he was.
And there was nowhere in the world that he would rather be. Nothing could tear him away from this place. From her.
She stirred slightly in her slumber, murmuring softly.
Spike longed to touch her, to run his hand along her cheek, his fingers in her hair. He could hear her heart beating strong and loud. He closed his eyes getting lost in the thumping. He must have fallen asleep because before he knew it a soft hand was touching his cheek.
His blue eyes popped open and there she was, standing in front of him.
“Yeah … sorry. I’ll leave,” he said standing.
Buffy stopped him and put her hand on his chest.
Spike cocked his head at her and placed his hand on top of hers.
“Ok,” he says clearly shocked.
“Can you ….hold me? I’m still …” she said, gesturing about.
“Getting used to things,” Spike finished for her and Buffy smiled, nodding her head.
“Please?” she asked.
“Ok,” he breathed as she lead him towards the bed.
He shrugged off his duster and laid it on the chair. He unlaces his trademark boots and sneaks a a glance at her. As he takes them off Buffy is smiling at him. He walks towards her and his heart swells as his knees touch the edge of her bed.
“Oh wait,” she said getting up and opening her closet. She rummages around for a minute and emerges with a dark heavy blanket which she tacks over the window.
She motions for him to get into her bed and waits until he is situated before climbing in after him. She lays on her side against him, one of his arms under her head. She nestles against his chest before grabbing his other arm and wrapping it around her.
Spike buries his head into her neck, smelling her skin.
“Thank you,” she says placing a kiss on his hand before tucking it under her chin.
As her breathing evens out, he smiles against her hair and again starts to memorize everything about this moment. From the smell of her skin to the feel of her sheets. From the sound of her breathing to the perfect fit of her body against his.
Spike closes his eyes and for the first time in weeks falls into a deep dreamless sleep. There are no dreams to haunt him, not when he is holding them all in his arms.