A/N: As many of you know, I’ve been having a hard time writing anything lately. This particular ficlet came to me on my train ride home the other day. It is a shorter, condensed version of a longer one-shot that I was working on a few months ago. I want to dedicate it to
Disclaimer: The characters are the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No profit is gained from my writerly endeavors and no copyright infringement is intended.
“Do you love me?”
Her uncertain blue eyes waver, dart to the side, close and then open. She breathes and leaves the question hanging, a thread of hope to be spun or unraveled. Wetting her lips, she waits.
How many times, he wonders, has he had to wait, too? He has suffered for love, bent himself backwards and split himself apart. But always he hits a stumbling block, a door closed to him full of unreciprocated and unrequited feelings. He’s been standing on the outside for so long now unable to cross the barrier that he’s almost given up on an invitation.
Love has danced from his grasp but it’s died in hers, always yanked and wrestled from her clenched fists despite how hard she clings. Her love, like his, has been cast in blood – Summers blood.
He watches eddies of red slither down her right arm and cross her belly in winding roads. Crouched this close to her, to him the tang of blood is as sharp as the razor lying on the rim of the sink.
Red cherry blossoms burst into bloom on her pale thighs as the stuff continues to dribble from her wounds in nickel-sized drops. Her blood took them away, she says. It stands to reason that blood drawn from old wounds can bring them back.
Kneeling in front of her on the bathroom floor like a man proposing, he holds her hand while his other staunches the cuts with a forest green washcloth. Underneath the saturated copper scent, he can tell that Tara used it to scrub her face that morning.
His gaze swings back up to Dawn, who now, more than ever, is just a child, beautiful and full of hurt. Her vulnerability, causing her to shake, is so sincere that his heart catches in his throat. He doesn’t understand how she can let him see her, all of her, the good and the bad. No one has ever been so utterly unashamed by his gaze, so open to his kindness. He thinks, like her sister, it would be impossible for anyone not to be pulled into her light.
Leaning in he hugs her close, his lips grazing her temple as she cradles her head in the crook of his neck.
Whispering against her ear, he answers, “I love you. You know I do. I’ll always – ”
But she lets out a creaky sob before he can finish, so Spike stops, waiting now, too.
“Don’t leave,” she pleads, an arm curling around his neck. “Stay. So, so that it doesn’t hurt so much.”
When he leans forward, it’s easy to grasp her hard. He’s been waiting, like her, for the hurt to stop, too.