chapter I post, and I'm happy/sad as we barrel towards the end of
the line. I've been at this forever, it seems and I'll be hard
pressed to let these characters go. (Peeks at WIP folder)
Come join me for the end run, however long that takes.
New Year’s 2024
12:05 a.m. – it was officially New Year’s Day. January 1, 2024. The family was whole and happy, Buffy was at his side – responding well to her therapy sessions with Lorne. A surprise announcement from Connor and Dawn that there was to be a new brother or sister for Liam in half a year brought congratulations and well wishes from everyone.
Will couldn’t have been happier, except… he really needed something to satisfy his artistic soul. Yes, he still had his guitar, and loved playing and serenading the love of his life, but he wanted more.
Buffy had recently taken up patrolling after a long respite. It seemed you couldn’t take the Slayer out of the girl, and Buffy didn’t want to deny that part of herself anymore. Uncle Connor joined her on occasion, and Will did his fair share – but slaying was her calling, not his. It seemed his taste for action had been killed by his experiences.
“Why so glum, chum?” Buffy asked, nudging Will’s shoulder to get his attention. “The New Year is brand spanking new – there hasn’t been time for reflection, yet.”
He looked into her adoring hazel eyes and simply melted. “I don’t mean to be moody,” he said, taking her hands and walking over to the sofa. “It’s just that, outside of being with you, I feel sorta aimless. I have no job, no timetable to accomplish anything…”
“You need something to satisfy you,” Buffy said, suddenly blushing deeply as she registered what exactly she’d just said. “I mean,” she pushed forward in spite of her embarrassment, “I mean you basically need a calling. Something that speaks to you – makes you happy. Makes you feel like you have a place in the world, right?”
“That’s it, exactly,” Will agreed. “But what can I do? I’m not good enough to make a living through my music – it’s sorta just for me. And you. And family, of course.”
“Let me tell you a story about Spike,” Buffy said, smiling as the memories struck her. “You remember I told you all about the government chip he’d had shoved into his brain, right?”
“The one that prevented him from causing harm or violence to any living thing?”
“Yeah, that’s the one. Problem was, as a soulless vampire, violence and mayhem were Spike’s raison d’etre at the time. He totally floundered around, with no sense of self. Until he started helping me patrol. And even though it wasn’t for the right reasons, as long as he could beat and kill demons, he managed to cope and adapt. Eventually he started to enjoy the company of his mortal enemy – me, of course. Well, you know how that story ended, don’t you?”
The smile on Buffy’s face made Will cup her face between his hands and thoroughly kiss her silly. Before long, they both broke out with a case of the giggles. It was as contagious as yawning. First one, then the other. As soon as their eyes made contact, the giggles began again.
“Stop. STOP!!” Buffy gasped, holding her sides. “I think I’ve got an idea.”
“This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but with a giggle, to paraphrase someone whose name I can’t remember.”
“No, really, Will. Listen to me for a minute. I remember you used to write. A lot. When the poetry thing didn’t work, you wrote song lyrics, right? Well, I was just thinking,” she said again, this time glaring at her lover, “With all that’s happened to us, we should write a book!”
“Are you kidding me?” Will’s shocked expression almost set Buffy off in another gale of giggles, but luckily, she managed to restrain herself. “Who would want to read about the hell we’ve gone through?”
“Haven’t you heard of science fiction and fantasy? People eat that stuff up – it’s a huge genre,” Buffy insisted. “And we can make it better, if you want. We can tell Spike’s story! Tales of his exploits. Not so much of the ones where he really was hella evil, but the ones after we met.”
Will looked pensive, ducking his head for a moment. By the time he raised his head enough to look at Buffy, there was mischief and the promise of a rollicking bit of happy times in his blue eyes.
Buffy’s curiosity was driving her crazy. Will had excused himself a couple of hours ago, saying he had an errand to run and didn’t want her company. He’d told her it was a surprise when her expression faltered, and she’d pouted, which almost had Will reconsidering his lone escapade. He’d managed to firm his resolve however, and left – promising it would be worth her while.
“What in the world could that crazy guy be buying?” she wondered. “I don’t need anything. Not jewelry, not flowers… not even chocolate, though it wouldn’t go to waste should he manage to bring some confection or another home.”
“Honey, I’m home,” rang out from the door in Will’s dulcet tones. “Close your eyes.”
Buffy complied. She’d find out soon enough, anyway.
A few minutes later: “Okay – open your eyes now.”
To say she was stunned would have been an understatement. In fact, her knees buckled and she landed on her butt. She sat there, mouth gaping open like a fish and just stared.
In front of her was – Spike. Bleached blond hair, all black ensemble and leather duster.
“Wha…?” was all she could get out of her mouth.
Will laughed; a full out belly laugh that ended with a giggle. “Well, he said, looking at Buffy still sitting stunned on the floor. “You have the method – I’m providing the madness.”
“A-are you fucking with my head?” she whimpered, staring at Will as if her heart was broken.
“Oh, Buffy – sweetheart. No, no,” Will murmured, taking her into his leather-clad arms and hugging her tightly. “I was just thinking it would be a little muse-prodding. Also,” he added, wiping the tears from her cheeks with his thumbs. “It’s a way of integrating Spike with myself in a healthy way. I was him, and he became me.”
“My god,” Buffy whispered. “You’re just a smidge taller, and of course, the accent is missing, but if you just stood there, I’d swear he was back.”
“Are you going to be okay with this?” Will suddenly looked uncertain, and worried at the cuticle on his black lacquered thumbnail.
“I’ll be fine. Honest. You just gave me a small heart attack, is all.” With a tilt of her head, Buffy’s eyes lit up. “I can’t wait for your father to see you.”
I'd really like to hear from you guys - let me know that you're out here, enjoying Will's adventures.
It's been a long haul, to be sure - one I've been happy to share with you all.