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Holding On By Letting Go

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Just. One. More. Thrust! Spike’s climax followed Buffy’s; a bruising kiss swallowing the screams of pleasure vocalized by the couple. The last thing either needed was to bring down the hoards of potentials for a quick peep show, or a staking.

Spike opened his eyes, staring into the face of the woman he loved… the woman he would always love. He reached out, gently pushing her damp hair back behind her ear. “Sleep, luv. No words,” he whispered, as she attempted to speak. “Won’t change what is – what’s to come.”

Not moving an inch from her position on top of her vampire lover, Buffy snuggled in tight for the rest of the night as he pulled the cover over their bodies. “Don’t leave me, Spike,” she whispered into the crook of his neck. “Never let me go.” Still intimately joined, she fell asleep.

Sleep was not an issue for the vampire in question. Spike knew if this was his last night on earth, he was going to spend every last second, awake and alert, with his Slayer. When she came down the stairs earlier that evening, Spike was overjoyed. When she asked if he would make love with her – if she could spend the night – he was speechless.

The smell of their combined essences soothed him. It was like coming home and Christmas morning all rolled into one. Something so right about it. He lay there basking in the afterglow, wishing they had a lifetime of such nights before them but knowing better.

Ah, his sweet Buffy. She might not love him, but her actions tonight? They spoke truer than any words could have. That she’d never say those three little words didn’t really matter anymore.

Spike could feel it all coming to an end. Someone was not going to survive tomorrow’s battle, and he’d give his last dust particle to make sure Buffy survived. This time, he would save her.

He found himself breathing in time with her. The syncopation pleased him, her body heat warmed him, and his mind drifted…

Why would she put aside everything she’d learned about her calling, put aside the derision of her friends and mentor, to find him – save him? Had he changed so much? Did the soul really make that much of a difference? To him, or just to her?

Odd phrases his mother used skittered across his mind – putting your ducks in a row. Getting your house in order. Since he really didn’t own anything of worth, Spike decided mental ducks in a mental house were the best he could do.

He began to think of the people in his life and unlife who had marked him; changed him.

Buffy. Heh – best to leave her for last. Like a piece of chewy mint wrapped up in bittersweet chocolate. The best for last.

Mum, yeah. His beginning. A woman who, in life, mothered and smothered him beyond all reason. After Father was gone, she doted on him with a fervor very few parents had for their children at the time. She nurtured his tenderness and discouraged his independence. William’s emasculation was done at her hands. No wonder The First used her as his trigger.

But in the end, she loved him. With all that she was and the only way she knew how. And he loved her back. She forged his loving core underneath all the current balls and swagger, though that was a bit tempered lately.

In the quiet of the basement, he let go and forgave.

*

Cecily. The woman whose looks set him on his path. The woman who ultimately taught him that beauty was truly only skin deep. His poet’s heart had believed he could block out the ugliness of the world by surrounding himself with only the pretty and light… and in the end it led to his death.

Truth demanded honesty, however, and in the end it had been his own choices and his own fault.

In the quiet of the basement, he let go and forgave.

*

Which led him, of course, straight to Drusilla. The demoness who reached into his mind and played his own pretty words against him. The literal death of William Matthew John Bennett – the man who had willingly thrown away his mortal life and blindly begged for the unacceptable.

As usual, he had given his all to the pursuit and pleasure of his mad princess. In death, as it had in life, ended in betrayal of all he had come to believe; his heart ripped out and trampled on by a beautiful woman.

In the quiet of the basement, he let go and forgave.

*

In her sleep, Buffy stretched, unseating Spike from her body. Gently rolling them both, he spooned up against her back, pleased to note that she remained asleep. With what they had waiting for them tomorrow, she would need every possible resource her body could muster. He wrapped his arm possessively around her, hand splayed against her taut belly.

*

Who’s next on the hit parade? Oh yes, Angelus. He remembered well his introduction to the big bear of a vampire. After a shaky start they’d become the closest of companions; hunting, traveling, and fighting with each other all over Europe. He made him feel strong and powerful – a free demon, nevermore to be shackled by society’s mores.

Until Angelus took it all away from him without a backwards glance. Spike’s woman, freedom, virginity, and every last ounce of self-esteem he’d developed since he first rose… just because he could.

He could change his name to Spike, down-class in his accent, and blame everyone else for his miserable lot, but in the end, couldn’t help but be true to himself.

In the quiet of the basement, he let go and forgave. Angel was another story.

*

The biggest… duck, of his early unlife was Darla. From the first time she saw him, Darla looked down her snooty little whore’s nose and saw… nothing. But such a useful nothing. Used him to keep her boy, Angelus, in line by threatening to stake his favorite new toy. To keep Dru’s insanity at bay. To satisfy her sexually when Angelus was either out hunting, or when he’d been ‘naughty’ and she wanted to punish her wayward childe.

On several occasions Spike might have left her well and truly satisfied, but she’d never had a kind word to say in passing.

In the quiet of the basement, he let go and forgave.

*

A unique combination, Nikki and Robin Wood. Mother and son, both almost cost him his unlife twenty six years apart. Difference was the battle between himself and Nikki had been fair. Vampire against Slayer – the natural order of things.

They’d fought well, he won – she died. Robin Wood – four years old at the time – lost. Spike knows the only reason he didn’t drain the son of a bitch dry after the coward ambushed him was the respect he held for his mother, his newly fought for soul be damned.

But, in the quiet of the basement, he honored, let go and forgave.

*

His fellow countryman, however… Giles’ betrayal was a little harder to stomach. Not to understand, mind you. Protecting his Slayer and the potentials was Giles’ paramount duty, and he couldn’t be faulted for that. Spike knew he had been a loose cannon.

What he would never be able to forgive the Watcher for was the betrayal of his girl. No matter what happened in the future, Buffy’s heart would forever be marked by her mentor’s lack of faith. To be part of a mutiny that booted her out of her own home… devastating.

On his own behalf, in the quiet of the basement, he let go and forgave.

*

Spike sighed quietly, breathing in the scent of unwashed, post-coital Buffy. His beautiful focal point and the reason for dumping all his mental garbage. He needed his motivations to be clear tomorrow. Nothing tempered by anger and hate… nothing that would cause him to hesitate for that fraction of a second that might make a difference. Not. This. Time.

*

Xander Harris. How different his unlife would have been if he’d only eaten the git when he was first offered to him all those years ago by Angelus… Angel, really… no! Angelus. The vampire wasn’t two separate creatures, but…

Back on track – he’d deal with Angel or whoever the hell he was, later.

The sheer hatred over the years between Spike and Xander couldn’t be explained by a few episodes of trying to kill each other. No, it was much worse than that; it was recognizing themselves in each other. Insecurities, being the target of bullies, certainly never getting the girl of their choice… kindred spirits.

In the quiet of the basement, he let go and forgave.

*

Demon girl – Anya. Straddled both human and demon worlds for years, but with a grace Spike had found charming. She’d found a niche midway between acceptance only because of her relationship with Harris and outcast because of her on again-off again humanity.

He had nothing to forgive her for and only regretted their bit of shagging for the pain it caused Buffy, and Xander… since this was a night for truths.

In the quiet of the basement, he let go and remembered.

*

Spike would always think of her as Red. Her fiery hair and innocence had been intoxicating enough to consider making Willow his first childe. To taint her purity with a demon’s vices and appetites. Only in the end, he hadn’t needed to turn her – Red had enough of her own personal demons. She murdered a man by skinning him alive. Came within a hairsbreadth of turning Dawn back into her primal energy beginnings and destroying the world.

All over the loss of her poor turtledove. Tara, the sweetest woman he’d met in recent history, after Joyce. He could hardly blame Red for taking matters into her own hands. If anything happened to Buffy or Dawn tomorrow… soul or not, he couldn’t be held responsible for his own actions.

In the quiet of the basement, he let go and forgave.

*

The little boy – Andrew. Spike chuckled silently. Thought he’d been a Big Bad. Poor kid didn’t have a clue. He was the only wanker even more pathetic than William. A pathetic sheep following a wanna-be big bad for the crumbs of attention thrown his way.

Definitely much too close a comparison to be happy with, only Spike had succeeded where Andrew had been stopped. If they both survived, maybe he’d have a real sit-down and try to help the git. Stronger men than Andrew had succumbed to the influence of The First… as he, himself, well knew.

In the quiet of the basement, he let go and commiserated.

*

The other Slayer – Faith. Apparently earned herself a bit of redemption after dipping her toes in evil. Still not sure of her place in the world, or in the hearts of those who wanted to call her friend at one time. Spike understood her to a point – wanting to fit in more than anything, knowing you’d never truly be accepted… not an easy row to hoe.

As for the wanna-be’s; tomorrow’s Baby Slayers… he couldn’t blame them for not trusting him at all. Their vamp radar going off with him in constant proximity was bound to make them jittery. Certainly couldn’t be counted on for knowing black from white, much less shades of grey. Had to even admire feisty little Rona for standing up. Chit had a pair, to be sure.

In the quiet of the basement, he let go and forgave – and prayed for their survival.

*

Spike eased out of the cot, bundling the blanket tightly around Buffy, so that she wouldn’t feel the loss of his support in her sleep. He felt the urgent need for a fag. What was it he said to Wood? Not much for self-reflection? Well, tonight he was getting his full quota of it.

He opened the little basement window to blow his smoke out, and chain-smoked his way through half a pack before he began to pace.

*

His Niblet – less than ten years ago, she’d have been an evening’s entertainment – dinner and a floorshow all rolled into one. Little girls on the cusp of womanhood were a particular treat. Now, of course, she brought out nothing but his fraternal side and her complete and total rejection broke his heart.

Nothing less than he deserved for what went down with her sister… and not all of it having to do with what happened in that bathroom.

No matter how she felt, Spike knew he’d let nothing stand in his way to protect her.

In the quiet of the basement, he let go and begged forgiveness.

*

The very first person to accept him and care about him in Sunnyhell – Joyce. Even after taking an axe to his head as he was about to murder her daughter, after the drama with Angel in her kitchen – she offered him a friendly ear and hot chocolate and advice – knowing what he was – balm to his heartbreak.

He’d have given his soul back for Joyce not to have been lost to Buffy and Dawn.

In the quiet of the basement, he asked for absolution and made a solemn vow to watch out for her daughters.

*

Spike carefully eased his way back onto the cot, once more spooning up against Buffy’s back. An delightful little shimmy and she turned over, insinuating her leg between his and molded the rest of her body tightly to his torso.

The Slayer nuzzled into the crook of his neck; her soft, warm breath ghosting over his skin.

Spike thought back to their first meeting at The Bronze. He was so ready to make her his third Slayer – to add to the Slayer of Slayer’s legend. The biggest changes to his unlife happened because of her.

Starting with the Acathla incident, running through the Initiative chipping, and taking on a life of it’s own with a shotgun in his hands – their relationship changed for good when Buffy looked up at him with tears streaming down her face. Spike knew he was lost.

Together, they’d made more than their fair share of mistakes, and they’d certainly hurt each other terribly. But, that was in the past. Tonight was something he’d never dared to dream about. Not in his wildest fantasies.

And as for Angel? Out of sight, out of mind, and of no consequence.

In the quiet of the basement, Spike held on and knew he was forgiven.