Summary: Never let it be said that acceptance didn’t have a price.
Word Count: 511
Beta'd by the wonderful spikeslovebite
Written for Nov 07 Beginning found here
Spike stood staring into the small safe. He had only meant a small bit of larceny to cover expenses; cigarettes and alcohol didn’t buy themselves, after all. Waiting until the watcher left, he quickly jimmied open the metal case embedded in the wall. The one behind the landscape in the hall, the one that the watcher thought no one knew of. Spike figured Giles too uptight to put all his trust into the banking systems with their fancy computers and lack of emergency fail-safe’s in case of apocalypse.
He reached out slowly, ignoring the small pile of cash and the few pieces of jewelry that had to be either be-spelled or family heirlooms. Lifting the small black velvet case, he stared at the one thing he thought he’d never see again. The Gem of Amarra. The dull green stone glinted in the light of the room almost in defiance of dust and the heavy gold casing surrounding it. Breathing in a deep, unneeded breath, his mind flew to the day he had lost it to the hands of the slayer and all the days that followed.
Since the battle with Glory, Buffy’s death and then resurrection, things had changed within the Scooby gang. While Buffy was…gone…they had needed him, had come to rely on him as a warrior, guardian, and if not a friend, then something close to it. They had come to trust in him. That in itself had been a balm to his nonexistent soul.
Then Buffy came back, quieter, more withdrawn, in pain and dying quietly even as she sat smiling next to her friends. He then became confidant, drinking buddy, and counselor. He longed to reach out, to soothe her wounded heart, but he couldn’t. He could see the anguish in her eyes, begging him for something…but not that. Never that. She wanted him to take the pain away and he would have if it was in his power to do so.
He stopped pushing for something he knew to be out of his reach, the love of a woman who couldn’t even love herself. So he settled, became what they wanted him to be, what they needed him to be, and he was accepted. No longer on the outskirts of the group, as if they sensed a change in him, they began to include him in meetings, decisions, and celebrations alike.
He eyed the ring again, thinking of all that he could do with it…and all that he could lose. Swallowing hard, his hand shook at his placed the black box back into the safe and slowly closed the door, even forgetting the cash that he had come looking for in the first place.
He leaned back his head in weary resignation, finally reconciling that he was no longer William the Bloody, but was now instead Spike, extended member of the Scooby gang. He grabbed his leather coat on the way out the door. His thoughts were rueful as he headed out into the night.
Never let it be said that acceptance didn’t have a price.