All I Want is You
You say you want diamonds on a ring of gold
You say you want your story to remain untold.
All the promises we make
From the cradle to the grave
When all I want is you.
You say you'll give me a highway with no-one on it
Treasure, just to look upon it
All the riches in the night.
You say you'll give me eyes in the moon of blindness
A river in a time of dryness
A harbour in the tempest.
All the promises we make, from the cradle to the grave
When all I need is you.
You say you want your love to work out right
To last with me through the night.
You say you want diamonds on a ring of gold
Your story to remain untold
Your love not to grow cold.
All the promises we break, from the cradle to the grave
When all I want is you.
The last time he’d actually commissioned a piece of jewelry, his mother had still been alive and the piece had been in anticipation of her birthday. He’d seen more than a fair share of jewelers since then, however, he hadn’t let very many of them live.
And he’d never paid for the jewelry either.
This time though, Spike suspected that the intended recipient would object to either circumstance.
So here he was, just days after he and Buffy had consolidated their relationship, searching for just the right piece of jewelry. The search was proving difficult. There was a part of him that wanted the biggest, gaudiest, and most ostentatious piece he could locate. But he didn’t think Buffy would like it or that something along those lines would even be practical. Despite the need for Victorian overcompensation, Spike found himself drawn to an unusual display tucked away in the back of the shop.
Row upon row of wedding bands gleamed and glittered beneath the lights, shades of gold from red to yellow, mixed with the sharp platinum bands. More than half sported diamonds, sparkling and shimmering rainbows of light reflecting against the mirrored case.
Though he found merit in any number of the rings, nothing really caught his eye or his imagination, and he easily sensed the shopkeeper’s growing unease. A diamond encrusted band would be nice, though Spike immediately re-evaluated the cost when he saw the settings. Buffy’s calling precluded the idea of gems – at least for everyday wear. Settings and gems got lost, edges could be caught on unusual body parts.
Spike ruled out any diamond bands. He wanted to give Buffy something she could wear all the time. A ring she wouldn’t want to take off.
Nestled in the far back of the display case were the truly unusual pieces, those designed for customers’ specifications and Spike motioned for the jeweler to bring those out.
“Who designs these?” Spike looked the bands over.
“The designer lives here in Sunnydale.” Sensing his customer’s sudden interest, the jeweler went on. “These are known as poesy rings. Very popular during the Victorian era.”
The fact this human was trying desperately to lend some gravity struck Spike as funny. “That so?”
“It is. The idea of an inscription in a ring really became quite fashionable.”
Before the man could wax poetic over Victorian fashions, something which Spike remembered far too well, he interrupted. “Right then, this the only one you’ve got?”
“I’m afraid so. There’s not much call for them. Most of our clientele prefer diamond bands. Are you sure you want something like this?” The jeweler languidly waved his hand over the diamond display, attempting to redirect Spike’s attention to the more expensive purchase.
“Very sure. Got a pen and paper?” Spike shifted, lifting the man’s pen from his pocket. “Gonna sketch out what I want, an’ what I want on the inscription. Have it ready by Christmas.”
While he talked, Spike had drawn out the ring from two different angles. He tapped the pen against his lips, thinking hard. He started to write something, then crossed it out. Spike stared down at his drawing then wrote again.
Fishing out his wallet, Spike plunked down some bills. “Let me know when he’s done with the mold. ‘D like to see it before he casts, an’ once again before the inscription is done.”
The jewelers estimation of his client went up, Spike could tell, since he was much more accommodating, and this time his smile was genuine. “Very good, sir.”
After Buffy’s announcement, Spike hadn’t been able to sleep. He’d dozed for a little, but couldn’t settle down completely. His brain wouldn’t shut down.
Try as he might, Spike couldn’t get his thoughts to focus much beyond that. Before he was turned, finding a suitable wife had been not only a desire, but given his position in life, a necessity. He had to marry and marry well. It was his responsibility to provide heirs, especially since his older brothers were all dead, and there was only his infant nephew to carry on the family name. Once Drusilla had sunk her fangs in his throat, that necessity disappeared, though the desire for family and love never had.
He’d buried the desire for years, some small part of him realizing the futility of wanting love from someone like Drusilla. She wasn’t capable of the kind of love he craved, all encompassing, unconditional, and thoroughly devoted. So he’d buried the tender-hearted, sheltered poet, hiding behind the mask of first William the Bloody and later, Spike, Slayer of Slayers.
Falling in love with Buffy had opened up a whole new world for him, made him see his prey differently.
After one hundred twenty years or so, he finally had what William Robert James Pratt had wanted. Wife – in all but name – and family.
He brushed aside a lock of Buffy’s hair and wondered what his mother would’ve thought of his woman. And what Joyce would’ve thought. Joyce had liked him but whether that affection would have carried over to approval of their relationship, Spike couldn’t begin to guess.
At least they had Rupert’s blessing, which eased Buffy’s mind more than a little. His mother would’ve despaired over her lack of fortune and family – not to mention her appalling speech patterns – but Spike knew Buffy herself would’ve won her over; it was very hard not to love Buffy.
Spike got out of bed, tucking the blankets around the sleeping girl. The ring he commissioned for her was in the pocket of his jeans; he’d thought about giving it to her earlier, but had been sidetracked by Buffy’s news.
Standing in front of the window, Spike held the ring up, letting the moonlight hit the platinum band. It was a small, relatively thin band, shaped into a continuous ring of ivy leaves. He didn’t bother to try reading the inscription, the words were etched permanently in his mind, and his heart.
He meant them.
He’d always mean them.
Halfway through the day, long after every present had been opened and exclaimed over, the ring still rested heavily in his pocket. The dinner preparations were well underway, everyone lending a hand, tripping over each other in the small kitchen.
They hadn’t had a free moment alone since the tryst in the bathroom; he’d barely been able to catch her eye since then. Though he did catch himself staring at Buffy throughout the day, imagining what things might be like in six months. In a year.
Spike stood in the kitchen doorway, watching Buffy as she and Dawn worked together getting the dinner ready. Buffy was chopping something, Tara was at the stove and Dawn flitted between the two, mixing and measuring, following Tara’s precise instructions. Dinner was a mismatch of varying traditions – Southern recipes spanning the bridge between the traditional English and laid-back Californian.
How long he’d been standing there, watching her, Spike wasn’t sure. He didn’t think it had been all that long, though when Dawn’s teasing finally registered, Spike realized it had been quite a while.
Acting on a whim, Spike seized the moment. “Need to steal the Slayer. Can you birds carry on without her for a bit?”
Shooting him a sly look, Tara’s smirk rivaled one of his own. “I think we can hold down the fort while you talk.”
Not even Dawn missed the twist Tara had placed on the words, and it was the teen’s laughter that invoked a mock growl from the vampire. “Playin’ handball against the gutter?”
At his snide comment, Tara burst into laughter, quipping right back, “You make the best doubles partner.”
There wasn’t much else he could do but grudgingly join them. Spike pulled Buffy from the kitchen into the living room.
For the first time all day, the living room was empty, though he could hear Giles and Anya talking quietly in the dining room and Wesley’s snores from the front porch. Strains of Oz’ new guitar were faint, not nearly loud enough to disturb the quick respiration of the sleeping baby.
“What’s up?” Buffy turned into his embrace, her eyes scanning his expression for some hint of his intentions.
“Just wanted a minute alone with you, somethin’ wrong with that?”
“Nope.” She popped the word, much like she used to – before Glory – and for a moment, Spike was reminded of the girl she used to be.
“Right then. C’mere, sunshine.” Spike pulled her closer, his hands tightening on her waist. “Got something. . . Wanted to give it to you earlier, but timin’ wasn’t right.” His gaze caught hers, noting the inquisitive gleam. “What you’ve done, kitten. . . what you’re doing. I can’t begin to thank you for.”
When she started to interrupt, Spike kissed her quickly, then broke away once he had her attention. “Hush now, just listen to me. You’ve given me more than I deserve, sweetheart. For a long time, I wasn’t – well, I wasn’t anything good. Not sure how I merited such a . . . how I won your heart, but I did, and I wanted you to know how deeply you’ve got mine.”
He let her go then, reaching into his pocket for the ring. Spike held it out to her, between his thumb and index finger, the Christmas lights sparkling along its side.
“Oh, Spike.” Buffy reached for it, then hesitated. “If I take it, will it make you the happiest man on earth?”
It took him less than a heartbeat to catch on to her teasing and his deep chuckles filled the otherwise quiet room. “Already did that, kitten.”
“Darn.” She shrugged, laughter lighting her eyes. “Guess you’ll just have to live with it.” Instantly growing serious, Buffy took the ring. “It’s beautiful.”
And it was.
Highly polished platinum ivy leaves caught the blinking Christmas lights, reflecting back at her. Buffy turned it over, looking at it from all angles. There was something – “Spike, what does it say?”
“Eras, era, eris, meorum amreum aeternum.”
Buffy looked at him, the unfamiliar language washing over her. She held the ring out to him, whispering, “Put it on.”
As he did, he repeated the inscription, this time in English. “You were, you are, you will be my love eternally.”
It was a little loose on her ring finger, but that didn’t matter to Buffy. It was one thing and she told Spike so, “It’s perfect” just before she kissed him.
And Spike knew it was.