quinara: Spike crowding Buffy against a wall in OAFA. (Spuffy wall)
Quinara ([personal profile] quinara) wrote in [community profile] sb_fag_ends2011-07-24 11:09 pm

'A Thousand Ships Have Sailed' by Quinara.

This is another fic for my series of phone conversations between Spike and Buffy during/after AtS Season 5, where they're trying to build some sort of long distance relationship. This one's a bit gloomy, set a short while after NFA, PG for language but not including any content that would require a warning on AO3. 1000 words on the nose, apparently. For the 'Helen of Troy' prompt from the beginning of the month, but 'Demon Alcohol' would work as well.

A Thousand Ships Have Sailed.

She knew it was Friday night for him, but it was definitely strange hearing Spike so drunk at 10 AM, her time. Strange among other things.

“I luffew, Buffy, yeah?” he was saying if not bellowing down the phone attached to her ear. “I luffew more than any bloodthing in whole wide bloodfung world, and the buggriz, the bugger is, I know you care bowme too…”

Honestly, Buffy told herself, she’d only called to see if the slice to his stomach was healing – but now she was blushing, the kitchen growing too hot around her and her fluffy dressing gown.

(Across on the opposite side of the breakfast bar, Dawn raised an eyebrow, chewing on her toast. Buffy shook her head.)

“…but issard, isso hard sometimes,” Spike lamented on, in great swooping cadences, his breath crackling the line. “With you, wivvangel, wivveverything, I feel…” The blush didn’t fade, but now Buffy’s stomach was twisting, the smear of jam on her breakfast plate filling her vision with the way purple ruined clean, white porcelain. “Is slike you’re Helen of Troy, or summing, and I’m that twat that Paris, Juggins your feckless husband bloke, and, and, and none vit’s real, and you know I’m a twat and Phrodite makes you phone my phone and that, not you…”

(Thank god, Dawn was still trying to eavesdrop. “Quick,” Buffy hissed, covering the receiver with her hand, beating back the panic that had been inching on the misery. She could fix this. “I need your help – Drunk Spike’s gone Giles on me. Helen of Troy? Paris? Twat? Husband?”

Dawn swallowed her toast. “Iliad,” she choked out, frowning and patting her chest like she had heartburn. “Greeks. Helen: married to Menelaus, seriously beautiful; Paris: Trojan, won a favour off Aphrodite and so got to abduct Helen and take her out of Sparta. Starts the Trojan War. Umm…” Blinking, Dawn kept adding like she didn’t know what Buffy was looking for, “They aren’t happy? Paris skips out on some honour battle thing, Helen way judges him, but Aphrodite hops them up on lust juice… She ends up back with Menelaus in the end? Or, after the end, but…”

“Right,” Buffy interrupted, trying to make it make sense. Big affair? War? What was Spike talking about?)

Because was still talking. “… snot really me, issit?”

“Hang on a second,” she said –

– before realising she still had her hand over the phone’s mouthpiece, and was talking to Dawn. Her sister held up her hands, surrendering before she took her plate over to the sink –

– “Wait up a minute, Spike,” Buffy tried again, hand now removed and concentrating down, as if that would bring her his self-pitying face, let her stare those eyes down. “You think Angel’s like my husband?!”

Silence. A vampire sitting alone with a bottle of bourbon inhaled.

Buffy decided it was her turn to talk. “You think I only call you for, what, your looks? Do you even realise how much logic that doesn’t follow?” Tapping loudly on the receiver with her nail, she hoped she got him right when he was listening close. “You think I’m only interested because Angel and I can’t have sex?”

“Buffy, I…” He sounded desperate.

“No!” More incensed the more she thought about it, she came down from her stool to her feet. “No, Spike; I might not have read what you’re talking about, but Dawn has and she says –”

(“Hey!” Dawn called over, loud enough that Spike could probably here. “Don’t drag me into this! You’re seeing the movie Thursday anyway…” Buffy ignored her.)

“You’re saying that we’re the adultery-sex-fest that everyone fights about! And I’m gonna end up with Angel when it’s done!”

Now Spike was trying to interrupt again, “But –”

She didn’t let him, storming on. “Last I checked, Spike – and please, please correct me if I’m wrong, here – last I checked us fiends haven’t had sex in over two years! And yet here I am calling you and having a whole long distance thing!”

“Buffy –”

God, she was angry. How dare he? Sure, they were all insecure, but that didn’t give him the right to rewrite them like this. She couldn’t believe…

Screw it. There were the first few tears in her eyes, but she didn’t think he deserved to hear them. Not now. “Come back when you’re sober,” she snapped, cancelling the call. Breathing.

She spent the day with Dawn, slaying dead their clothes budget, but she did pick up when he called her back that evening. “What?” she answered shortly, sorting through purchases in her room.

“Buffy,” Spike said, his voice so gravelly it was pretty much asphalt. “I…” He couldn’t find the words, it seemed. “Fuck.”

“Go on,” she relented, turning to sit on her bed. There was an awful feeling in her chest, like she’d already forgiven him and now just wanted to hear his voice. Fuck covered it quite well. “I’m listening.”

“Had this whole bit,” he croaked out. “About beautiful girls always being bitches, and you being so beautiful that I forget you don’t…” Then he laughed, sourly. “But honestly, the real answer’s that I’m a wanker, and I’d rather you forgot the whole thing.”

Slumping with a sigh, Buffy shut her eyes against the world. “I can’t really do that Spike,” she told him softly. “Not when I know that’s how you feel. I wanna know why…”

“It isn’t…” Spike began, before stopping, lowering his voice. Angel was probably there again. “It’s not you,” he promised. “He’s here – you’re not. I’m weak.”

She knew the feeling. Looking at her eyelids, nothing but his voice in her ear, she wanted to tell him she loved him, try and make it all OK. But she couldn’t, she just… “It’s you I want on this line with me, Spike. You know that, don’t you? I don’t need to hear Angel’s voice.”

“I know,” he replied, sadly, and she knew he was wondering how much that really meant.


evilawyer: young black-tailed prairie dog at SF Zoo (Default)

[personal profile] evilawyer 2011-07-24 11:59 pm (UTC)(link)
...I don’t need to hear Angel’s voice.”

“I know,” he replied, sadly,...

Oh, that is so sad, Spike's complete resignation to be never being first, even if Buffy does pick up on what he may be meaning.
shapinglight: (Default)

[personal profile] shapinglight 2011-07-25 08:48 am (UTC)(link)
I was going to read this on LJ. Can't get into it, so here I am, wondering where everyone else has gone.

This was lovely. Poor Spike! I can't see his insecurity disappearing any time soon with Angel around.

[personal profile] louise39 2011-07-30 03:46 pm (UTC)(link)
God, she was angry. How dare he? Sure, they were all insecure, but that didn’t give him the right to rewrite them like this. She couldn’t believe…
Buffy as Helen of Troy doesn't give them much of a future...

[missed this entry due to lj problems]