Chapter Eight – The Truth That Results
So, red Gummi Bear aside, I kissed Spike. I mean, he kissed me. Either way, we kissed each other. And it wasn’t a short little peck of a kiss either. It was full-on lips, tongue, teeth . . . brimming with passion.
Now, this is the weird part. It was a passionate kiss. There was definitely some kind of emotion behind it; definite sparkage. Besides learning to appreciate Spike and liking the time I spent with him, I hadn’t for a minute even thought of the possibility that I could have any kind of deeper feelings for him.
But then I felt his lips on mine, swiftly turning from a nipping kiss into something soft, wet, intense. To say that it felt ‘really nice’ would be an understatement. I think I was about to freak out and run . . . but then I felt his hand cup my cheek, and I couldn’t seem to focus on anything else other than his lips and his touch.
The one thing I did notice, however, was the little flutter in my chest as he deepened the kiss even further.
That’s what made me freak out.
If my heart was fluttering . . . it was trying to tell me something. I didn’t want to listen to it. I wanted to block it out, pretend that it only happened because I had eaten too many of the super-sugary gummis.
To face the thought of exactly what it was that was making my heart flutter . . . well, those a whole new level of scary that I didn’t wanna delve into at the moment.
After a few minutes, I finally came back to my senses and put my hands on Spike’s shoulder’s, pushing him back from me.
Now, every part of me was telling me to run away. To run off up the stairs and out the front door and breathe. I was definitely freaking out within myself, and felt like I simply needed some space between us.
But, the way he was looking at me . . . his eyebrows furrowed, his chest rising and falling rapidly . . . I knew that he was just as confused as I was. If I ran right then, I’d totally ruin the friendship I was building with him; the confidences we were building with each other.
Then again, I guess that heavily making out with him for five minutes could’ve done that too.
Hey, I never said I was perfect or that I do things right all the time. That was Faith’s skewered view of me. I know I mess up. Lesson the first: getting too involved with Angel. Lesson the second: making out with Spike.
And let me tell you: the boy knows how to kiss. I mean . . . yeah, I had kissed him a LOT during Willow’s will-be-done spell, but this time it was different. This was me, willingly kissing Spike. No spell needed.
We sat there . . . just kinda staring at each other while catching our breath. After a few minutes of silence, he finally shook his head a tiny bit and then smiled to himself, holding up the bag with the rest of the gummi bears in it.
“Care for another?” He asked as he gave me a mischievous smile, turning me an even deeper shade of red.
“I’m set.” I replied with a shy smile, smoothing my hands through my hair and down the wrinkles in my shirt. I’m sure I looked quite entertaining sitting there, trying to look innocent as my disheveled hair and clothes and blushing cheeks gave away the truth.
It went from being kind of funny to being kinda awkward. After our breathing had returned to normal and there was no more convenient blush to hide behind . . . it was just the two of us. Minds completely focused on what had just happened, yet neither one of knowing exactly what to say or do.
So focused on what had happened, in fact, that we didn’t even hear the footsteps coming down the stairs until we saw my mother walk into the room. She paused at the door, her eyebrows furrowing a bit as she glanced over at us.
There might as well have been a giant neon sign flashing above our heads that read “Just made out. Guilty as Charged.”
I swear . . . I thought I had straightened out my appearance, but she knew. She just knew. Call it ‘Mom-sense’ if you well. They have a tendency to be able to pick up on stuff like this. Or at least mine does.
She didn’t had solid proof . . . but she had a suspicion, and that was all that she needed. I just had to work on not confirming it.
Seeing as that going invisible or spontaneously combusting wasn’t seeming like a workable option, I opted to take the defensive route.
“We weren’t doing anything.” I squeaked out before I even realized that I was speaking.
“I didn’t say you were.” She replied evenly.
Ahhhhh, perfectly played. She knows we’re guilty . . . but she’s pretending that she doesn’t know. This way, it gives her the upper hand. Basically, she can ask me to do or say something, and I’ll just have to go along with it.
See how it works?
“So . . . did you need help with something then?” I asked. See? I was already volunteering myself. It’s what guilt does to me.
“No, I just had to go over some stuff with Spike . . . I have the paperwork from Town Hall, about his, . . . well . . . his status as a living person. Tax stuff. Certificates. Really nothing that interesting.” She answered casually, still glancing between the two of us, wondering exactly what the details were that she was missing. Trying to read our body language.
I quickly glanced at the space between Spike and I, making sure that we weren’t touching in any way, shape, or form . . .
. . . and that’s when I noticed that my pinky-finger was looped over his finger, just resting there as if it was the most natural thing ever. I also knew that it was my cue to leave. Hoping that Mom hadn’t caught site of it, I leaped up in one swift motion and was running up the stairs before they even knew what I was doing.
“I’m going to my room to . . . study! Bye mom, bye . . . Spike.” I yelled out over my shoulder as I took the stairs two at a time, using the most fake happy voice that I could manage.
I literally cringed when I said his name. Not that it’s a bad name . . . actually, wait, I can’t even deny that. ‘Spike’ is a horrible name. But I cringed because I wasn’t sure how easily it was gonna get past my lips, what with the recent episode of kisses and flutters.
It only took me about 20 seconds to climb both sets of stair and fly into my bedroom, closing my door tightly before flopping down onto my bed and sighing loudly.
“Oh god. Oh god. Oh god.” I repeated over and over again as I hugged my pillow tight to my chest, kicking my legs up and down as I kept my eyes closed and had the biggest girly meltdown I’ve had since I was about 12.
Now . . . to anyone else, it would’ve just looked like a complete girly tantrum, filled with regret and lingering doubts. And just so we’re on the same page, I was definitely filled with the lingering doubts. Lingering doubts aplenty. But . . . I couldn’t help the embarrassed smile that kept creeping up onto my face as I replayed the events of the past 10 minutes over and over in my head.
We talked. I teased. We laughed. We goofed around. We kissed. We kissed some more. And then more kissing. And when all was said and done, not matter how awkward it could have and should have been . . . we were still able to smile and laugh with each other. Granted it was only for a moment before we got interrupted.
But . . . and I’m really stuck on the ‘but’ here . . . what would have happened had we not been interrupted? Would we have just kept talking all casually and slipped back into our comfortable duo? Would he have kissed me again? Heck, would I have kissed him again? And what if we were kissing, and then all the sudden . . . there was than just kissing? What if . . .
Whoa. I definitely had to stop myself at that thought. Could there be more than kissing? Did I want more than kissing? With Spike? Spike of all people.
It just seems to suit the warped chain of events that is my life though, doesn’t it?
Girl goes to school, girl gets super-powers, girl burns school down, girl moves away; girl dates vampire, girl kills vampire, girl gets harassed by new vampire, new vampire confesses love, new vampire disappears and becomes human, girls saves him, and . . . girl falls for him?
It seems like an almost-suitable continuance in the weird cycle of events that appear to be my post-adolescent life. I mean . . . never in my life did I think that after I saved Spike, we’d welcome him into our home and our lives. Sure, there was some resistance at first. From all of us. I think that even after weeks of having him around, we all had recurring cases of ‘oh my gosh, is this really happening’-itis.
But then we’d see that, despite how Spike was in the past, he was pretty much a different person now. He had casual conversations. He smiled. He laughed, and not in the big villainy kinda way either. He fit in. He seemed grateful that we had helped him and continued to do so with every passing day. And mostly . . . he seemed quiet. Like he was repenting for all the things he had done wrong. I don’t think that he had really ventured out of the house much at that point; it’s almost as if he was afraid to go back out into the real world; like he knew he was safe within the confines of the house.
And maybe I’m wrong, but . . . I think that was comforting to us too. Let me explain. The Spike that we had known outside of that house was not the Spike that we had grown to accept and keep around. Outside of the house, he had been a monster. By keeping him tucked away in his bedroom, it’s almost as if we were trying to keep him from going back to his old ways.
And I know that I don’t have to be reminded again and again that he’s not Angel, because I’m fully aware of that. He is completely different in every way. But . . . I think the brooding was good for him. It kept him humbled, and it kept him from running out and getting into trouble again. Maybe, in some way, it would bring him a bit of closure or self-redemption in the end. Or so we thought.
I’m not trying to say that we should have been using that against him as a leash, but . . . it seemed to be working. At least for the moment.
After laying on my bed and doing the girly-embarrassed thing for a few hours, I finally decided that I should go down and talk to Spike about what had happened. You know. I didn’t wanna leave him in the dark about the kiss and add one more item to his list of things to ponder over and brood about.
After all, ‘uncomplicated’ is my middle name. Buffy Uncomplicated Summers.
Okay. So, that’s not entirely true. But hey, we all have to tell ourselves little lies to get through the day.
When I heard my mom leave the house to run to an evening meeting, I decided that it would be the perfect time to clear things up before it got too late into the night. I had to go slaying in a bit, and I figured that the lack of a large amount of free time would save me from staying all awkward with Spike for a prolonged period of time.
I got my blue jean jacket . . . the ‘slaying jacket’ . . . and put it on over my shirt before leaving my room and heading towards the basement. Everyone knows that the blue jacket means it’s time for slayage . . . I was hoping Spike would take the hint and just let me do the talking and then let me go without any kind of hassle.
I crept down the basement stairs, looking towards the open door of his bedroom as I made my way closer. I was expecting to see him sitting on his little air-couch, playing video games or watching Dawson’s Creek.
But what I saw when I got to the foot of the doorframe had me stuck in my tracks. Spike was standing near his dresser, swinging a dark button-down shirt over his trademark tight tee shirt.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but . . . putting on your ‘going out’ clothes doesn’t quite feel like brooding to me. Unless . . .
“Buffy?” he asked, pulling me out of my thoughts as he glanced at me in the reflection of the mirror.
I was a bit embarrassed cos I basically got caught perving on him while he changed, but I tried to put on a fake friendly face as I took a step into his room.
“Hey.” I said with a smile, trying to look anywhere but at him. “Whatcha doing?”
Great, Buffy. Get right up in his business. Nosey-much?
“Getting dressed.” He replied evenly, dabbing some product into his hair and coming it through.
“Fairly obvious.” I responded with a giggle, sitting on the edge of the bed. Then it hit me. “Ahh, movie-night with Dawn again?” Yeah, that had to be it. They always have fake-dates and watch movies together. It’s kinda cute, actually. Sometimes I would snuggle up along with them and . . .
“Not tonight,” and he started buttoning up his shirt.
My eyebrows furrowed a bit as I kept my eyes glued to him, his back to me as he kept getting dressed in the mirror.
“So then, you’re . . . ?” I let the question hang in the air, waiting for him to answer.
“Going out,” he answered back, finally turning to face me. He looked . . . great. Dark shirt, blue jeans, hair loosely combed back, eyes so blue . . . okay, sorry. Gonna stop now. Got lost in the moment.
Where was I? Oh, right. Buffy melt-down.
“Going out?” I asked as I stood up quickly, taking a step towards him.
“Yeh.” He answered simply, taking a few steps back and grabbing his wallet from the top of the dresser.
“But you can’t.” I said, stepping towards him again and trying to see what he was really up to. He stopped in his tracks and turned to look at me, a slightly perturbed look on his face.
“Oh yeah? And why might that be, pet?” He asked, an overall incredulous tone to his entire manner. He was waiting for a logical explanation. I, instead, gave him the Buffy explanation. My mind was going a mile a minute . . . words were not quite my strong point.
“Because . . . well . . . because you’re not ready to deal yet. You need to stay here and be sorry.”
Yeah, I actually said that to him. Right away, his whole demeanor changed. He was no longer annoyed or shocked or wondering just what I was doing there. He just quieted up and walked towards the door, turning back to me only when he was about to step out.
“I don’t need to brood to redeem myself. I need to live. That’s what humans do, right? They live. I’m not who I was then, and I won’t spend the rest of my life saying that I’m sorry.”
My eyes fell to the floor. I was embarrassed. I felt bad. See, I knew he had this huge burden of his past to deal with, but . . . I didn’t realize that he’d never be able to get past that unless we got past it too. Unless we all got past it. I didn’t know that we were holding him back from . . . moving on.
“Goodnight.” He said before walking up the stairs and out of the house.
I sat back on his bed, my head filled with a million thoughts. I thought I had been helping Spike move on . . . and maybe in some ways I had been. But in other ways . . . I had been holding him back from that last bit of healing that he needed to do.
I saved him physically, and I thought I had saved him emotionally as well. But I think that was just another one of those lies that I created within myself to get through the day. Just like me being uncomplicated. Yeah right.
Spike went out that night to start to save himself in ways I couldn’t, and that made me hurt and confused in more ways in one.
One, I was the slayer. I’m the one who does the saving. Two, I was Buffy. Once I had resolved to help in any given situation . . . no one had ever decided they didn’t need my help anymore. And three, I was the girl that was falling for Spike.
And I was pretty sure that I had just pushed him further away than I could possibly salvage.