Takes place a bit after the most recent comic because what am I~
First of all, she isn’t obligated to call him. He left, ultimatum and all, and she’s so tired of seeing him go that she doesn’t want to talk to him at all for a while. Friends. It’s so easy to be friends with him, so simple to have him there all the time and talk to him just as openly as she does to Willow or Dawn and never have to worry that there’s anything else he wants from her.
Except that now he’s admitted it and she’s in no place in her life to be consumed by a relationship with him, not when she’s a mess and there’s so much more she needs to be doing than thinking about boys who happen to be vampires and also have really, really distracting mouths and skin and…
Spike is a distraction- he’s always been, since she’d first found out he was in love with her. He’d been someone to hate, to rage at, to reconsider, to talk to and want desperately and then…love? When he’s around and there’s the possibility of something, she’s found more often than not that he’s all she can think about.
So. Perfectly justified in not taking up the ultimatum, and perfectly justified in being hurt. When she does decide to contact him, it’s in a text telling him that she’s working with Kennedy and it’s going really well.
“It’s like the first time updating your Facebook status after a bad breakup,” Dawn says, and Buffy glares until she looks away.
Second, he isn’t obligated to respond. He’s probably busy living his life, hanging out with his bugs or whatever he’d been doing since he’d left Wolfram and Hart and Angel. He isn’t at her beck and call and it’s really a relief, because stalking her comes naturally to him and they should be long past that.
She can’t deny that it’s felt good to have him at her back sometimes, to be fighting a vampire and just when things were getting dicey to have backup pop up out of nowhere. And there have been enough nights after patrol when he’d pop up out of nowhere with a suggestion for dinner and she’d been too hungry to refuse. Generally, dinner involved alcohol and a quick bite, but the kissing afterward had been nice.
As friends, of course. It’s simpler to love Spike when she’s a little buzzed and he’s staring at her as though she’s the only thing in the world that matters, and what’s a little groping between friends? He’d always walked her back to Xander and Dawn’s and they’d never done anything they might regret, and they never discussed the kissing in the morning.
It didn’t mean anything romantic, and she has no right getting heartsick when he ignores her texts. She’s dogged in her updates, sending him messages daily to let him know how her job is, about Kennedy and Koh and hey, she’s fighting Wolfram and Hart too!
“Buffy, now isn’t the time to text your boyfriend,” Kennedy snaps, and Buffy flushes and holds off for a few hours before she texts him again.
Third, she can stop texting him without it being a statement. He hasn’t responded even once, and at some point even she can take a hint. He doesn’t want to hear from her and she’s not one to cry over a guy she hadn’t even been dating. It’s time to move on.
She’s moved on before when they’d meant nearly as much to each other, when she’d walked away from him and he’d walked away from her and they’d both clung to each other, hand against hand, as he’d burst into flames. She’s moved on when he showed up in time to be an ass and also help fight Twilight, then vanished into the sky for months. She’s managed before and she’ll manage again.
So what if she spends a few nights wallowing and watching terrible romcoms with Anaheed and Billy and definitely not checking her phone? And if she’d sent him one text she’d immediately regretted (If you don’t want to hear from me, you can just say so next time. Asshole.), well, that’s not just a staple of romantic relationships. She’d been just as lonely and needy when Willow had been weird around her after the Seed.
She hasn’t had nearly as many awkward dreams about Willow, though, especially the daytime ones she can’t blame on her subconscious.
“Are you sure you’re okay with me staying here? If that guy you were seeing comes back…” Billy stammers, and Tumble is shaking his head frantically, abort! abort! while Anaheed smirks into her coffee at Buffy.
Finally, she can be a little annoyed at him when he arrives triumphant at the Council, Illyria barely conscious in his arms and his phone sticking out of a pocket, just as she and Koh find their way back there at last. “Aren’t you getting tired of the late heroic entrances?” she snipes, and his smile fades when he sees her in the shadows, her arms folded and her toe tapping against the concrete.
“Well, this is a treat,” D’Hoffryn says. “Where’s Anyanka when you need her?”
“Shut up,” Buffy snaps, but her eyes are still on Spike and he’s smiling again, shrugging at her as he lays Illyria down and steps toward the shadows.
He takes her hands. “I didn’t have service in space. And things got to be a bit of mess for a while there. Didn’t get your texts for a while.”
She scowls at him, but it’s hard work being angry when he looks so sheepish and his eyes are that blue and his lips are that-
“I missed you,” he breathes, and, quite unexpectedly, his forehead falls to her shoulder and he’s nestled in the curve of her neck, more intimate than they’ve been in longer than she can remember. “Know you don’t want this and I won’t push it, but being so far away from you has been so-“
“Lonely,” she finishes, a whisper pointed somewhere in the distance.
She feels him freeze against her, their fingers still tangled together and his hair, loose from its gel, tickling her jaw. “Care to expand on that?”
“No.” She’s still Buffy, after all, even if she’s feeling better about where she’s going nowadays. And she isn’t sure she’s forgiven him for running off, either, and she says so in a murmur against his earlobe, which she might or might not be chewing on right now.
“Mmf.” He stops suckling at her neck for a moment to point out, “I came back for Valentine’s.”
“You didn’t time that!” she accuses, letting go of his hands to slide her own under his duster. “And if you think that you can just show up on Valentine’s without flowers or chocolate or anything and win me over with your tongue…” She pauses, lowering her mouth to capture his, and when they separate she can’t remember what she’d been saying. Something about Spike’s tongue, which seems rather topical. “Hey.”
“Want to get out of here?” She pauses, remembering their audience. Illyria is sitting up now, head cocked with vague puzzlement. D’Hoffryn is smiling. The tree-creature next to him is watching interestedly. “Uh. I mean, go take down Severin for good?”
He’s panting against her, their bodies flush together as they kiss, but he still manages a “Please,” before they head off…somewhere…in the direction where Severin had been.
“I did not wish to disturb your reunion with your lover,” Koh tells her the next night, and she ignores the comment and struggles to keep a stupid grin off her face.
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