Spike Giles stood on the balcony of his hotel, bottle of whiskey in his hand, staring out at the L.A. skyline. He was two hours away from her. Two hours, and he might as well have been on the other side of the planet.
It had been a hundred and forty seven days since the last time he saw her. A hundred and forty seven days, and tomorrow, he was going home for the first time in almost a year.
‘Home,’ he thought. ‘Except it’s not home anymore, is it, mate? You screwed that up, good and proper.’
Spike swallowed hard as the images came back to him- the pain in her eyes, the disbelief written on her features. He felt something squeeze his heart like it was in a vice as all the images came rushing back.
* * * * *
5 Months Ago
Buffy Summers walked through the lobby of the Seattle hotel. Pausing at the desk, she gave the clerk working there a friendly smile before giving the password, ‘Sunnyhell.’ Once she got the key, Buffy made her way over to the elevator bank, not wanting to see if it was true but needing to just the same. She wanted to turn around and go home and live in her happy little fantasy world where everything was goodness and light…but she couldn’t. That world had been shattered when she’s answered her front door earlier that morning to find Willow on the other side. Willow had been on the phone with Oz and was trying to get the full story from him, except Oz didn’t know the full story. He didn’t understand why Spike was acting the way he was. Up until recently, Oz thought that his friend had been happy with the direction his life had taken and the way their band had taken off. The first half of the tour had been a huge success, and Oz knew that he couldn’t ask for more. Spike, however, seemed to think there was something missing.
So, with the information that Buffy was given, she got on the first plane to Seattle, and now, here she was, standing outside his hotel room, feeling as if her world was going to fall out from under her. Taking a deep breath, Buffy slipped the card into the lock. Opening the door, she saw exactly what she expected but exactly what she was terrified that she would see.
There was her boyfriend in the arms of some random girl, moving on top of her naked body.
“You son of a bitch,” she whispered, shaking her head slowly to try and shake away the images that would forever be frozen in her brain.
Spike froze before snapping his head to the door. It was in that moment, in that particular split second, that he knew. He knew what he wanted out of his life was exactly the one thing he could never have again. Jumping up, Spike grabbed his pants off the floor and quickly slid them on.
“You bastard,” she said louder before turning and running down the hall. She hit the door leading to the stairs and pushed it open with enough force to shake the heavy walls before beginning to run down the 20 flights. Buffy heard Spike chasing her, calling her name, but she didn’t care. She had to get out of there- she couldn’t handle it. Buffy was fast, but Spike still managed to catch her halfway down.
“Buffy, please wait!”
“NO!” she screamed. “I’ve waited for you long enough, Spike. Apparently, it was YOU who wasn’t as concerned with that part of our relationship. God,” she whispered, catching her breath and staring up at the flights of stairs running the length of the building. She turned her gaze to Spike, and tears came to his eyes at the pain he saw in hers. The pain that he had caused, he had purposely put it there, and for what? For a few minutes of gratification because some little bitch wanted to say she screwed a rock star? Spike reached for her and was met with a slap in the face for his efforts. Biting his lip, he looked down at the floor before once again looking back at the woman he loved. He realized in the moment he saw her standing in the doorway that he loved Buffy more than he loved himself.
“How could you?” she whispered. Then, raising her voice, she screamed, “How could you!?”
“Buffy, it wasn’t real- it was just physical. When I’m with them, it’s just about the passion, the lust. I love you!”
“Them? I should have known. You can’t even keep your affairs monogamous!”
“Buffy, it’s not like that, pet. I just felt…I thought that if…if it was with a different woman, it wouldn’t be as bad. It wouldn’t be anything serious.”
”Why are you telling me this?” she whispered with tears streaming down her face.
“Because I need you to understand.”
“Fine, fine, tell me about your whores! Tell me what they’re giving you that I can’t.”
“They were nothing to me, Buffy. Just meaningless, flings. I need you.”
“Yeah…you need me real bad. What if I told you the same goes for me? That I just needed the passion, just for a night, Spike. Just a few times, with a few different guys. It was all because I missed you, baby. Do you forgive me? What do you say, Spike?” she asked sarcastically.
Spike felt his jaw tighten as he looked to the floor, but he knew he deserved every ounce of pain she could cause him. “It’s just hard sometimes, luv.”
“You don’t think I know that? God, it’s been hard on me, too, but I didn’t find myself in a stranger’s bed every night!”
“Buffy, I was just alone, and they were there, and I was weak. I haven’t seen you in seven months, and I felt as if we were growing apart.”
“Then what? What else do you want from me, Spike? God, I’ve given you everything I have. I’ve given you my heart, my body, and soul.”
“I know, baby,” he said with tears in his eyes. “I just missed you so much, and you weren’t here, and I-“
“Well, whose fault is that? Who told me not to tag along on this little adventure? Is this why, Spike? Did you want to be free of me so you could live it up?”
“God no, Buffy, I meant everything I said back then. This has only happened a few times, and I just felt like I didn’t have you anymore.”
“So what does that mean, Spike? Because I’m telling you…this is it. This is me,” she said, holding her arms out. “This is the package. And apparently, you think it’s so deficient that you have to get your kicks elsewhere, so we really have a problem.” Buffy paused, looking down at the floor. “It’s over.”
“You’re using me. You can’t love me-“
* * * * *
Buffy sat with her best friend later that night. Tears flowed down her face as she told Willow what happened.
“Buffy, I’m so sorry…it must be horrible.”
“I think horrible is still coming. Right now it’s worse. Right now, I’m just trying to keep from dying,” she sobbed as she dropped her head on her friend’s lap. “I can’t breathe, Will. I feel like I can’t breathe.”
* * * * *
Buffy was assaulted by the memories of that horrible night. A day hadn’t passed that she hadn’t thought about it or cried herself to sleep at night. The wound still felt as fresh as it had that day. Now it was a week before Christmas, and Spike would be coming back to Sunnydale tomorrow night. She had tried not to keep up with him. She didn’t want to know what he was doing now or if he still thought about her. She did keep up, though. Not of her own free will most of the time, but Willow and Giles were always kind enough to let her know how much he missed her.
Buffy refused to stop seeing Giles just because of his son. He had treated her like a daughter since she met him her sophomore year of high school.