Willow stood on the porch, her eyes closed as she sent out her senses in search of her best friend. Ten minutes ago, Pike had returned slamming doors and cursing, waking up the houses sleeping inhabitants. It had been Xander and Giles that got their new friend to calm down enough to tell them that Buffy was in trouble. According to Pike, Buffy was being brainwashed by some platinum blond vampire with some strange accent and she had refused to listen to reason. The vampire had even gotten violent. The explanation was fine except for one thing. The vampire Pike had just described was Spike, but Spike was dead. Destroyed as his amulet took out the hell mouth the first time. Of course, she and Buffy had discussed the possibility that Spike may have returned along with the town, but both just dismissed it as wishful thinking.
The men had finally gotten Pike calmed down and taken him down to the basement, where he was to stay for the duration of the investigation. When they returned, they gave Willow orders to wait up for Buffy. She was probably the only one that could give them an accurate account of what happened that night. She did not have to wait long. Buffy came sauntering through the door, her eyes red and swollen from crying, sobs still racking her petite frame. Willow’s frown deepened. Something must have happened for her friend to be in such a state. The last time she saw the slayer like this was when that Parker person had dumped her.
“Buffy?” The witch went to her friend, wrapping supportive arms around her. “What’s wrong? What happened? Pike said that something happened in the cemetery, but he wasn’t making any sense.”
Buffy looked at the woman that had been her best friend since her sophomore year of high school. The two had been through so much together. They trusted each other with their deepest, darkest secrets. If Buffy was to tell anyone about her new discovery, it was Willow. She wiped away her remaining tears, and forced her voice to remain steady and calm. Tears were not going to help. She did not know what was going to be needed to work things out between herself and Spike. Maybe Willow would.
“It’s Spike, Will. He’s alive.” Buffy bit her lip as she watched her best friend’s eyes grow round with a mixture of shock and happiness.
Willow had never liked Spike, but she had at least respected the vamp for making a true effort to be good, even if it was to please Buffy. She also admired the way he had gone all out in protecting both Buffy and Dawn, no matter what the consequences were. She believed that he had truly loved Buffy and in the end, Buffy had loved him dearly and mourned his absence after the battle. She knew that Buffy had never stopped grieving Spike’s death that she was by all means still in love with him. Now that he was back…maybe her friend can find some peace.
“Oh Buffy,” Willow took her friend’s trembling hands, not sure how to respond to this news. “This is…this is…so surprising. I mean we’ve talked about it, but I never thought…how long has he been back? What did he say? Is he ok? Does he still have a soul? Does he remember what happened?”
“He’s been back for a year. He’s working with Angel and…” angry tears choked her up as she angrily thought of her ex’s habit of keeping things from her, especially when he thought it was for her own good. How much did Angel have to do with Spike not contacting her? Did he perhaps talk Spike into believing the “for her own good speech”? If so…he was so dead. “Neither one of them thought it important enough to tell me he was back. I mean…I can understand Angel. The last time we talked about the change in Spike, he behaved like a twelve year old. However, Spike…he was the one to tell me the truth no matter what. He was the one who saw through my walls and defenses. He never was one to back away from the truth…so why did he start now? Why didn’t he come find me when he was able? I mean…I thought he loved me. You don’t stay away from someone you love, especially when they may think that you were gone forever.”
Willow wrapped her arms around her friend, feeling angry herself at the two vampires that had held the blonde-haired person’s heart in the palm of their hands and could crush it so easily. She was surprised at Spike’s actions really. He had been obsessed with Buffy. There was nothing that would’ve kept him away from her. In the last nine months of their time in Sunnydale…his thoughts was still full of Buffy but there was something different…something had changed. “What was his excuse? I mean…it’s not like Spike to stay away from you like this. He always found a way to be in your life, one way or another. To just disappear out of your life and not make contact when he returns…something Spike would do. I bet it’s because of Angel. It has to be.”
“He said he was like a ghost when he first came. I didn’t give him a chance to explain why he didn’t try to get in touch with me when he became corporeal again,” Buffy sighed, feeling the exhaustion from the day. Returning to her old home and then finding out that Spike was no longer dead…it had taken a toll on her psyche. All she wanted to do was crawl under her covers and stay there for a month.
“Oh. Well…what are you going to do now? I mean, you can’t avoid him forever.”
Buffy shrugged, not sure on what she was going to do about Spike’s return. She didn’t know anything anymore, it seemed. Especially when it came to Spike. God, she still loved him so much…that was why it hurt her so much that he had not even attempted to come see her. It would be so easy to just forgive and forget…but a part of her just would not allow it to be that easy. “What do you think I should do? I know I can’t avoid him forever, but how can I see him without wanting to forgive this?”
“Maybe you should forgive this,” Willow shrugged, a small smile lighting up her eyes. “Buffy…you two are getting another chance here. I would do anything to get another chance with Tara. Do not waste this. Talk to him. See where things go from here. I mean…the guy died for you. After something like that…how can you not at least try to be together?”
Buffy sighed. If only it could be that simple. Her and Spike…their history has been so complicated, full of hurt and betrayal. Passion and desire. Could they somehow forge a future out of that? What if there was a deeper reason for Spike’s failure to contact her upon his return? What if they were just not meant to be together and the amulet was a way to make sure that they were not? The powers had made it known that her happiness was next to impossible, especially when it came to love. Would they even let her be with Spike? Or would they tear them apart as she was torn from Angel? “Will…that’s easier said then done. Spike and I…our history is not pleasant. We may never be able to be together.”
“How would you know if you don’t try? Buffy…if there is anyone that deserves to be completely happy, it’s you. You’ve worked so hard…too hard. You’ve sacrificed so much. It’s time that you finally have something you want for a change.”
“Even if what I want is Spike? Would you be ok with that? Or better, would Xander and Giles be ok with that?”
Willow rolled her eyes and giggled. Buffy was so independent and strong, but on the inside, she was still just a kid longing for approval from her peers and elders. “Of course, I’ll be ok, and as for Xander and Giles…it’s not their life we’re talking about here. It’s yours. After we get behind what’s going on here, we’re all returning to our lives. We’ll be heading back to Cleveland and Giles back to London. You of course will probably return to Covington. What you do with your life is not our business. If you want Spike, go be with him. Never mind what we think.”
Buffy hugged her friend tightly, grateful for her encouraging words. She felt a bit better knowing that she had Willows support at least. Even if she couldn’t forgive Spike, she at least knew that her friend was behind her no matter what. “I forgot how wise you could be. I missed this”
“Me too. We’ll have to get together more often. Have pajama parties and gossip about smooches,” Willow sighed, also feeling nostalgic for the old days. Her and Buffy had trusted each other explicitly back then. If only they could do so again, now that they were older and much wiser. “We better turn in. Giles is going to want us up at sunrise, ready to discuss your findings.”
“You’re right,” Buffy fought back a yawn as she stretched out her arms, relieving the tension. It had been an incredibly long night and knew that the next day would bring questions for her to answer. “Thanks Will…for listening and the advice. Believe it or not, I feel so much better.”
“Glad I could help sweetie. Now let’s go get some shuteye. I have a feeling that tomorrow is going to be an extra long day.”
The girls headed up the stairs, both of their minds on Spike. Willow was hoping that Spike didn’t make her regret her advice as Buffy wondered what would come out of a relationship between herself and Spike. Lost in their thoughts, the girls slipped into their rooms and didn’t emerge until sunrise the next day.
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