Author’s Notes: This one’s for Eurydice. I’ve never really tried to write a William-fic before, but I had to give it a try because I’ve oh-so-cleverly, using my amazing skills of being able to read your journal, picked up on the fact that you like them. With good reason, too. It’s kind of challenging, but in a fun way. ‘Cause we don’t want to lose all of those wondeful Spikish characteristics. Just downplay them a bit. Let Buffy draw out that additional yumminess and all… ~_^ Hope you like…
Buffy Anne Summers glanced around at the Christmas party and sighed wearily. After all, these occasions were all so very dull. And it appeared the society Christmas of 1880 would be just as tedious as all previous years. She felt the beginnings of a headache coming on and rubbed at her temples, before separating herself pointedly from the rest of the mingling aristocracy.
She was not even quite certain what madness had overcome her on this one winter’s day that she finally accepted her yearly invitation. Her life back on her family’s estate was far preferable to this ‘highest’ of society, in reality little more than inbred twits who believed themselves far superior to the rest but who, in actuality, were cold, heartless, and rather simple-minded. In short, she abhorred tedium and could not quite remember now why she had forced it upon herself.
It was quite time she left, however. The pleasure of her home and books awaited.
A loud bout of raucous and mean-spirited laughter drifted up from the group by the southern foyer and, in order to avoid such ill-mannered elements, she made her way past the drawing room and to the sitting room where.
Oh. She hadn’t expected to find anyone here. But a young man and woman sat on the divan, far enough apart to remain proper, and were discussing something in fervent tones.
Buffy knew it was rude to intrude upon their conversation. She should most certainly circle back around to the foyer. However, some unknown impulse stayed her movements and compelled her to listen to their words. Inwardly, she scolded herself for eavesdropping, but she couldn’t shake the thought that doing so was of the utmost importance.
“Your poetry, it’s. Th-They’re not written about me, are they?” the young woman exclaimed in a horrified voice. Buffy recognized her only too readily. Cecily Adams, the most snobbish young heiress in all of London, as far as Buffy was concerned.
“They’re about how I feel,” the young man insisted.
“Yes, but are they about me?” she pressed.
The young man took a deep breath as if steeling himself up. “Every syllable,” he said so fervently that Buffy wondered that Cecily’s heart didn’t stop at the intensity of his emotions; her own skipped a beat. Her attention turned to the young man at that. She had never laid eyes on him before, as she was something of a recluse at these formal social gatherings, but she almost thought the endless boredom would be worth it to meet a man of such noble passion.
Cecily, silly girl that she was, was obviously less than impressed. “Oh god,” she practically sobbed in despair.
“Oh, I know it’s sudden and. Please, if they’re no good, they’re only words.” he quickly pressed his suit. And, if the words were the poetic verses Buffy had heard shouted out in the ballroom minutes before, she was forced to agree that they weren’t very good at all. Quite terrible, in fact. “But the feeling behind them. I love you, Cecily,” he pleaded with her.
“Please stop!” she exclaimed as if this were the most horrifying declaration in the word.
Buffy ground her teeth together. So, this man’s poetry left quite a lot to be desired. But most women still could wait a lifetime for such a romantic declaration. But not Cecily Adams, oh no. Just because the man who had proposed to her wasn’t, perhaps, the most fashionable, she would refuse him. Buffy saw beyond the glasses and meek demeanor, however. This suitor was actually quite attractive, if one only bothered to look deeper.
“I-I know I’m a bad poet,” he was pleaded now, desperate. It nearly broke Buffy’s heart and her silence. “But I’m a good man and all I ask is that.that you try to see me-“
“I do see you. That’s the problem,” Cecily rose, maintaining her daintily superior demeanor. “You’re nothing to me, William. You’re beneath me.” And, with that crushing blow, she left him to wallow in misery.
Buffy practically gasped in indignation, and pain ripped through her heart when she saw the first tears appear in young William’s eyes. He really had such beautiful eyes, she noticed in surprise. They were largely hidden behind his spectacles, but they were such a brilliant shade of blue, it took her breath away.
“D-Do not listen to her,” she spoke up for the first time.
William started in surprise to see her standing there. His cheeks quickly flushed in embarrassment that someone else had witnessed that humiliating scene. “I.” He moved to go.
Boldly, Buffy caught his arm, causing him to look at her in shock. She released him but held him in place now with her eyes and the fond smile upon her face. “She was a fool to treat you so,” she continued, hoping that her words could soothe this beautiful soul she had only just met. “If anything, she is beneath you.”
“You should not say such things before me,” he insisted with a bit of returning confidence, a flash of passionate intensity deep in those too blue eyes of his. “I love her.”
Buffy felt her heart skip a beat at the power of his convictions. She saw for an instant the hint of a man he could become, confident and strong, a man she might enjoy seeing brought out to completion. A wistful sigh escaped her lips. “And for that she is the luckiest woman in all these halls, yet she realizes it not.”
His brow furrowed in surprise at that, and he truly studied her for the first time. She was petite, yet the fire behind her hazel eyes indicated a strength of mind, heart, and spirit that belied her diminutive size. She was quite an extraordinary beauty, in fact, with delicate, rounded features and hair spun of the richest gold. For a moment, a strange fancy overtook him.
“Are you an angel?” he gasped in disbelief that such a creature could find any worth in a man such as himself.
“If you would ask me, I would ask the same of you,” Buffy countered.
A glint of amusement and perhaps even a bit of irritation flashed through his eyes. “You jest with me,” he accused.
She considered that for a moment. “Your words are imperfect,” she concurred, gesturing to where his poems lay on the divan, “but the emotion behind them takes my breath away.”
He gulped at that. Never in all his days had he ever even considered wooing another besides his precious Cecily, but there was something about this woman’s boldness and courage that spoke to him, that leant him a bit of these qualities himself. “N-No doubt many a suitor has written such words for a lady as lovely as yourself,” he retorted.
She couldn’t help but smile at that. He appeared the quiet type, but it appeared a fire burned deep within him, after all. She found it.stimulating. “I have not had such fortune,” she retorted coyly, looking up at him from under long lashes.
A strange stirring tugged deep in his heart at that. “Such a coincidence,” he murmured, still hardly able to believe that he was considering this. How was it possible for anyone to consume him so quickly? Destiny? Fate? True love? Oh, he had fantasized, but to actually meet such a woman. “Just when it turns out I require a new Muse.” A small smile curved his lips at that, this intriguing stranger and the seemingly predestined circumstances of their meeting turning the pain of Cecily’s rejection into only a mild sting.
Buffy practically melted at the sight of his smile. Such a beautiful, boyish delight lit up his face that it left her breathless. She sat shakily down on the divan beside him and ventured a shy smile of her own.
“If I am not being too bold,” he began, glancing down at his hands nervously before those stunning blue eyes looked back into hers, “does my Muse have a name?”
She bit her lower lip. “You will not laugh?” she pleaded.
“Laugh?” he inquired curiously. “I mean.no, of course not.”
“Buffy,” she gulped. “Buffy Summers.” He frowned at that, and for a moment a hint of embarrassment tinged her cheeks. “You promised you would not laugh,” she reminded him nervously.
“Hmm?” he blinked, as though his mind had been far away. “No. I was just thinking if anything rhymed with ‘Buffy’. Nothing flattering that I can think of, I’m afraid, but I really couldn’t find much that worked with ‘Cecily’, either.”
She smiled at that. “You are a most unusual man, William,” she informed him softly.
“I.” He looked horribly embarrassed and hung his head.
“It delights me,” she reassured him and, before she could think about the improper forwardness of the action, she leaned in to brush her lips across his cheek.
Their eyes both widened as she pulled back, and for an instant Buffy had the oddest sense of déjà vu, as if she had known and loved this man in a past life. But, whether or not that was the case, the same thought was flitting through both their minds at that moment: A match made in heaven.
“I do not know about you,” he began with a hopeful appeal in his eyes, “but I find myself quite tired of this atmosphere.”
She laughed at that. “It is dreadful, isn’t it?” she agreed.
A quirk of his lips. “I only ever tolerated it for her,” he admitted ruefully.
Buffy bit her lip and dared to reach out to brush her fingertips against his. “Perhaps we might find a more amiable place to.talk?”
He gulped, catching a glimpse of the tip of her tongue as it flicked out to moisten her lips. With sudden and complete confidence, he decided that he would taste those lips tonight. “The library is entirely deserted, I am sure. Perhaps we could.?” He offered his hand.
She took it with a small, satisfied smile. “I would rather enjoy the quiet, I think,” she agreed, taking his hand and linking her arm through his as they made their way away from the festivities.
Arm-in-arm and caught up in each other’s eyes, they barely made it to the privacy of the library hall, before their lips naturally gravitated together, soft whispers teasing them with more tantalizing promises of things to come. Hands stroked boldly, completely forgetting all custom and propriety. Truly this was a love that could be contained by no society, although in this world they were given an outlet for their ‘happily ever after.’ And, as their tongues tangled between gasps of breath, a whispered proposal slipping from William’s lips, a fond observer watched over them, remembering all too clearly the words Buffy had spoken in a different universe less than an hour ago:
“I just wish we could’ve met back before everything got so screwed up. Before our hearts were ripped to shreds, and start out fresh without any of the emotional baggage.”
And Anyanka whispered with a fond smile, “Wish granted.”
A/N: Honestly, who didn’t want some woman worthy of William to leap in the middle of that horrible Cecily scene and kiss it all better? ~_^ And I found some strange and contorted way of keeping Anya alive in this odd little AU-verse as well. God, I’m so transparent in my affections. ^_^ A very different story from anything I’ve ever tried before but most fun. Hope you enjoyed…