The Little Things


Summary: "He thinks he loves her for the little things." Spike and Fred, sometime in the future past Chosen. Not two champions, just two people trying to figure it all out.
Rating: NC-17
Story Notes: Spoilers through Chosen and Home.
Author Notes: For bub, because she has convinced me that a Spike/Fred pairing could actually somehow work. She's crafty like that.
Disclaimer: Joss owns all. I have accepted that I am ME's faithful bitch.
Author's Site:

Sometimes he wonders if this is really love.

She isn't Buffy. And what he has with her—it isn't grand, it isn't epic, and it isn't illustrious. Not something that's deep as blood, not tragically romantic. He thinks he loves her for the little things. Like how she holds his hand in public without thinking twice. How she listens with such avid interest when he reads her passages from Shakespeare, like she really cares. How she always makes sure to warm his blood up to the right temperature in his favorite mug. How she likes to come up and hug him when he comes home just because she can. No, she certainly isn't Buffy. But she gives him something nobody else ever in his existence has.

Fred gives him the feeling of being happy.

Not to say that he was never happy with Buffy; that's far from the case. Sometimes he would just look at her, and an incredible bliss would overwhelm him at the mere knowledge that he could be in the very presence of such a beautiful, incredible woman as she. But even then, the elation he had of being with her was always tainted by the inevitable truth that she would never be able to love him the way he loved her. Every shard of happiness was smashed with the piercing pain of reality; each caring caress marred by the memory of a brutal fist, each kind utterance spoiled by the memory of words that cut like knives.

Being with Fred is something new to him, and for that fact alone it's fairly terrifying. He isn't used to being openly loved back. He isn't used to love without pain, isn't used to love that isn't rooted in violence and darkness. Fred is like twilight and red wine, soft and serious, slightly intoxicating. There is so much she doesn't know of, but she's seen enough to understand. She's faced dark, awful things, and she knows what it's like to shape monsters out of shadows, to be haunted by inner demons. There are some things that neither time nor love cannot vanquish, and she understands that there are broken pieces that will remain inside of the both of them always.

One time, they laid together in bed, and she asked what he wanted from life.

The answer came naturally to him. "To be loved."

So Fred bought him a dog.

"A dog?" he'd cried out vehemently. "You got a dog? Are you mad, woman?"

"Oh, come on!" Fred had held the scruffy black mutt up inches away from his face, and it looked at him with big, soulful puppy-dog eyes. "Look at him. Isn't he just the most adorable thing?"

Spike staunchly avoided looking into the puppy's gaze. "Fred, we can't have a dog. What are we, the bloody Brady Bunch?"

"The Bradies never had a dog," she corrected him. "Except for that one, Tiger, but that was only for a few episodes and— It doesn't matter. He doesn't have anywhere else to go. If I take him back to the shelter, they'll just put him down, and I couldn't stand it, and he's so sweet, and I already named him!"

"Oh, bloody hell." Spike had rolled his eyes in deference, knowing that once she started babbling on like this, there would be no changing her mind without having to bear the brunt of hours of endless nagging. It would be easier to just give in. "So, go on and tell me. What'd you name the pup?"

"Sydney!" she exclaimed excitedly, and when he just blinked at her blankly, her beaming face shifted into a frown. "You know, Sydney? Like Sydney Vicious, that punk guy you always make me listen to when we're in the car?"

And then he got it. He had exploded into rip-roarious, side-splitting laughter, holding his ribcage and doubling over. Fred looked bewildered and cradled the puppy in her arms, watching Spike as he almost fell over to the ground.

"What?" she'd demanded in confusion. "What's so funny?"

"His name is Sid Vicious," he explained through gasping spasms of laughter. "Sid, not Sydney."

"Oh." Fred's face crumpled a little. "I bought the dog tag with his name engraved and everything." She blinked her wet doe eyes, and when he saw how she was about to cry, he came over to her and set his hands on her cheeks.

"It's fine, kitten," he assured her with a huge grin. "The name's fine."

He was still laughing when he kissed her, and then she started laughing too, leaning down and setting the puppy down at their feet so she could reach his lips more easily.

Now he sits as his desk, Syd Vicious the mutt laying in a pile at his feet, smiling a little at the memory as he looks down at the snoozing hound. He turns back to his notebook and taps his pen on the wood, trying to concentrate. He's so lost in thought that he doesn't even notice Fred coming up behind him until her fingers brush through his hair. He turns and looks at her.

"Hey, pet," he greets with a smile.

"You're wearing your glasses." Fred smiles back.

"Yeah, yeah. Don't make a big thing of it." He knows she likes it when he wears his glasses. Just a pair of thin wire frames that makes it easier for him to read. She thinks they make him look scholarly and erudite, and she's always thought that geeks are hot. Not that she'd ever tell him she thinks he has a geeky side. He'd probably bite her head off, quite possibly literally.

"What is this?" she asks, peering over his shoulder and squinting at his sheet of paper that is sitting on the desk. "Wait… Is that poetry you're writing?"

"No!" he says much too quickly, whipping off his spectacles and starting to cover the paper up. Fred reaches down and snatches it before he can find a suitable hiding place, and she turns away from him, reading it aloud.

" 'Cor, the stars do shine, Above in yonder sky; I lay beneath the moonlight And sing my love a lullaby.'"

Fred gasps in joyful delight, scurrying across the room to avoid Spike's vehement efforts to take back the paper, and bursts into giggles. When Spike's attempts to steal it back are to no avail, he stands with his arms stiffly at his side, hands balled up into angry fists. He glares as she grins, his face flushing a bright crimson. She's surprised by the fact that vampires can even blush at all. She's never seen him this red before.

"What is it?" she asks when her fit of giggles eventually dies down.

"You—you're laughing at me," he says peevishly.

"What?" Uncontrollable laughter falls from her mouth again. "No, sweetie, I'm not! I love it. It's just… It's so cute!"

"Cute?" Spike's face turns even redder at the notion. "You think it's cute? Bollocks! I am not cute! I am a bad, bad man, you hear me? I am not remotely effeminate in the slightest bit! Every bone in my body is one hundred percent pure manliness!"

"I'm not calling you effeminate," she replies, smiling still. "I thought what you wrote was amazing. You have a real gift."

"I don't care for being patronized," he snaps petulantly, sounding rather hurt. "You don't have to go and mock me, you know."

"Spike, I swear, I'm not mocking you." She becomes suddenly serious, lays a hand calmly on his arm. "I meant what I said. Your poetry is beautiful."

"You're just saying that." He shakes his head, averting her gaze, and then a moment later, glances at her with a hint of hope in his eyes. "You really think so?"

Fred smiles at the eagerness in his voice. "I do. I was just laughing because I was surprised—I never knew that you had such a talent. It surprised me."

He blushes a new shade of scarlet and has to look away for a moment. When he meets her eyes again, his bashful smile is replaced by a devilish grin. "You wanna be surprised? I'll surprise you."

Spike darts forward and grabs her around the waist, and Fred lets out a squeak of surprise as he picks her up off the ground and twirls her in the air. Drops her on the bed and tackles her with tickles, taking pleasure at the sight of her squirming and squealing happily beneath him. Leans down and covers her pretty face with playful kisses. Her hair smells delicious, like coconut shampoo, and he closes his eyes to relish the aroma.

A sound escapes from Fred's throat as she slips her tongue into his mouth, hands running over his smooth skin. She has lips the color of berries, eyes the color of honey. She's lovely in her own right. Not anything like the ones he's been with before. But her beauty is more than just skin deep. He loves her because she understands.

She understands his confusion about where he fits in in the world. He thought he'd found it—found his purpose in his sacrifice, his gift to the world. Thought that he was finished, but apparently the Powers That Be hadn't agreed with him. Spit him back out three months later, and he'd been back to square one: Vampire with a soul, except now with an additional lack of direction. There had been no Sunnydale to go home to, and the only place he knew could give him answers was L.A.

She'd been nothing more than a friend at first. Offering him a cup of tea and lending an ear to listen, a person to talk to about, well, almost anything— the various ongoings of the Fang Gang, debates over the benefits of Wheetabix versus Sugar Bombs, the weather. As time had progressed, he'd been able to open up his heart to her a little more. Talk of his past. His fears. And she'd always been there to tell him everything would be okay.

Fred still likes to act that way even now. He will never admit this to her, but part of him secretly enjoys her coddling. Sure, he'll roll his eyes and make a fuss when she's in a cuddling mood, but really, when they're splayed out on the couch watching game shows until two in the morning, bodies spooned together and legs entangled, he can't help but love her. She'll snuggle up against his chest, and when she drifts off to sleep, he'll lightly pet her hair, drinking in her gentle, waif-like beauty. She appears so fragile on the outside, like a china doll, and he thinks it's ironic that such a delicate girl could ever find comfort in a creature such as himself.

Sometimes he has to remind himself that she is just a girl. Not a vampire, not a Slayer, not a mystical being bestowed with any kind supernatural strength. He tries to check himself in everything that they do for the fear that he could somehow break her. At night when they sleep together, he's careful not to hurt her. Doesn't plunge or plunder, just eases his cock into her slowly, like walking over broken glass. Slides into her as gently as he can. Sometimes he forgets and pushes a little too hard, causing her to let out a pained whimper. And sometimes when he's accidentally a bit too rough, he'll try and pull out, but she'll grab his head and tug him back, pushing into him for more. His girl's a quirky one. Just when he thinks he has her figured out, she always goes and surprises him, catches him off-guard. He kind of really likes that about her.

Yes, he thinks, looking at the peaceful sleeping girl in his arms. He loves her for the little things. The way her eyelashes rest so softly against her cheek that he thinks he could spend hours just counting them one by one, the way she smiles even when deep in restful slumber, the way one of her hands remains draped around him, like she doesn't want to let go quite yet.

And that's okay. Because he doesn't think he wants to let go, either.