She would come tonight. She had to. He hadn’t seen her for two nights in a row, and she had never been able to stay away longer than that. Or could she? God, if… He had been so sure she would come the moment he woke up, so why couldn’t he go back to sleep? He tried to reassure himself, to shut up the little voice asking What if…she doesn’t? She had to come. She wanted this just as much as he did, even if she didn’t admit it.
It was no use. Spike sat up with a groan, extending his senses. Right, it wasn’t even dark outside yet. Was six pm too early for her to come? Surely it was. But trying to fall asleep was pointless; he was restless with anticipation, and quivering with a longing for her that couldn’t be satisfied with another hour of dreaming of her. He tried hard not to think about the fact that an hour of shagging her into the ground would not exactly satisfy that longing either, that having her body was only half of what he wanted from her. But a bloke had to take whatever he could get, and amazing sex with the woman of his dreams wasn’t exactly bad as a consolation prize. Best not to think of what he could never have.
But all this thinking – not brooding, never brooding – was making him fidgety, and deluding himself was only working so far. He was one for action anyway, just like Buffy. Right, prepare for Buffy action. He hoisted himself out of bed and headed for his makeshift shower.
Two hours later, he had showered, put on a freshly washed t-shirt and a clean pair of jeans and tidied up around the crypt. There were clean sheets on the bed – not that they ever made it that far – and he had bundled up the trash and put it in a corner near the door. There wasn’t much left to do; he could run up to the corner store and get some diet coke for Buffy -and maybe get some blood, too, since he seemed to be fresh out – but it was already 8 pm, and she could really come any minute now. Probably would, too, since they hadn’t seen each other for two nights, and he was already mad with want for her. Surely, that couldn’t be completely one-sided.
He groaned and flung himself into his battered armchair, settling in to wait. Why did she make him feel that way? He had given up on questioning the wrongness of having fallen in love with the Slayer – the bleeding Slayer, of all women! – a long time ago, but that didn’t stop him from wondering why it had to be Buffy. He wasn’t more than a slave to her bitchiness, yet he couldn’t help craving even the abuse she dealt to him. Hell, he didn’t ask her to love him, but a little affection now and then would be nice. Maybe if she finally told her friends…
He stopped himself right there. He was coming dangerously close to brooding again, and that was Angel’s thing. And even if she didn’t see it, he was better than that ponce. Damn right he was. Way to go with the pep talk, Spike. He sighed and grabbed the nearest book, which turned out to be Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. How bloody fitting.
At ten pm, Buffy still hadn’t shown up, and neither had Godot. He refused to see that as bad omen. Waiting for Buffy was a completely different drama, and one that would bloody well end with her finally storming into his crypt, knocking him to the ground and frantically kissing him. But while that image had his cock instantly springing to attention, his heart grew heavy with the hopelessness of it. Because her jumping his undead bones usually happened well before 10 pm, what with work and getting the Nibblet off to school on time. She had been exceptionally good with that, lately, finally getting the hang of working, playing mom and generally being alive again. And while he was happy for her, he could no longer ignore the fear gnawing at him, the traitorous voice whispering She doesn’t need you anymore. You missed your chance, you’re just too stupid to realise that she’s finished with you. Despair washed over him at that, and he kicked at the armchair savagely. Damn, that felt good. God, he would lay waste to the whole bloody crypt if it would fuel the rage that covered the heartache. Because she wouldn’t come.
But…but he loved her so much. And after what they had shared, it couldn’t be, it just couldn’t be that she didn’t at least feel something. There was still hope; if she would finally tell her friends, maybe she would let herself see it, too. Until that, he just had to wait patiently. She would come. She had to. And wouldn’t it be a bummer if the crypt was in ruins by then? Right, that wouldn’t do. He grabbed a bottle of whisky instead and sank back into the armchair.
By midnight, he had drunk his way well through the bottle, but he still hadn’t seen hide nor hair of Buffy. It’s early yet, he tried to console himself, and for him, that was true. But he knew that wasn’t true for Buffy, who wasn’t a vampire, and had to work an early shift in the morning. (A bloke had to know when his girl was due to work, right? Even if she couldn’t be bothered to tell him, and he had to sneak into the employee’s room at the Doublemeat Palace to look up her schedule.). Midnight was about the latest she could bear finishing her patrol if she didn’t want to fall asleep standing up at the grill tomorrow.
“God,” he choked out, feeling his dead heart clench. The sound carried around the empty crypt. Empty, like your life is going to be now that she’s done with you. He wanted to get mad, at her for not loving him, at the chip that had made him fall for her, at Angel who ruined her, at the Scoobies who had dragged her from heaven and made her turn to him. At himself, the bloody fool who had lived over a hundred sodding years and was still the pathetic git who pined after a woman who couldn’t care less about him. He wanted to destroy everything he owned, lay waste over Sunnyhell and kill everything that dared to stand in his way.
But he just felt so drained. The fear the alcohol had barely masked grew into terror, and he gripped the armrests tightly, his eyes wide and panicked. Bloody hell, what will I do without her? Because that really was it, the moment he had dreaded since he had realised that she was just using him. The moment she would leave him. He had known it was coming; after all, he wasn’t as stupid as a certain Slayer seemed to think he was. He just hadn’t expected it to be now, it was far too soon, and he wasn’t prepared for it. Yeah, like you could ever be prepared for that, he thought bitterly. Stupid, glorious bitch. Thought she was too good for him…too good to even bother to tell him it was over? He lay his head in his hands, stubbornly refusing to cry. Crying would have been to admit defeat, and he still wasn’t ready to do that yet.
Because even through his despair, there was one thing he could cling to like it was a lifeline: She hadn’t broken up with him, yet. And that had to mean something, right?
He sat like that until dawn rose, telling him that it was now truly morning and that there was no hope to sustain his waiting. She hadn’t come tonight. But so what? She hadn’t told him they were done with, either. Yeah, what’s worse than being a lovesick fool? Being an optimistic lovesick fool.
He rose wearily, feeling 150 years and a mangled heart weighing down on him. But he just wasn’t built for despair; he was Spike, William the Bloody, and once he started something, he didn’t stop. Not until he absolutely had to.
So when he stretched out in his cold, too empty bed, he refused to let go of hope completely; after all, she hadn’t told him it was over, so there was still a chance she didn’t want it to be. So what if she didn’t come to see him anymore? That just meant he had to go see her. That was a plan! Tomorrow evening, right after she got off from work, he’d be there waiting for her, and it would all be right again. And with his mind on that comforting thought, he fell asleep.