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Tattooed Broken Promise

Title: Tattooed Broken Promise

Setting: Post-NFA

Rating: Pg-13, barely

Words: 934

Prompt: Blue Valentine

AN: Ended up a little happier than the song would imply. Happy Valentines Day!

ETA: I don't why this all came out in italics, but it's fixed.

Why do I save all of this madness
In the nightstand drawer
There to haunt upon my shoulders
Baby I know
Id be luckier to walk around everywhere I go
With a blind and broken heart

After LA, he goes to Philadelphia. And there’s a part of him that insists that this is the cowardly path to take, this desperate flight to a different city where no one will know his name, but there’s a larger part of him insisting that he deserves this respite, has earned the freedom to do as he pleases and go where he wants. He’s tired, and soul-weary, and he just wants to rest.

(Of course he can’t rest, can never rest, hasn’t felt rested in years, not since his dreams showed him the truth and he chained himself to the brightest burning star in his sky—Dru named all the stars and he’d told her once that brightest ones were probably already dead, burned out too fast, and that’s why they shine so bright, and Dru had loved that, and he’d laughed at the time, but now it makes him feel sick—and he remembers asking to rest, begging for rest, and later he got three glorious nights, but in the grand scheme of things, that was never enough and he’s just tired.)

So he goes to Philadelphia, because who would think to look for him there, and rents a cheap apartment, finds a local butcher that doesn’t even blink when he orders blood, and he sleeps.

(He dreams and dreams and dreams of her, all golden light, and fierce eyes, and fire, but that’s all done, in the past where he’s convinced himself it belongs, because she is beautiful and strong and young and she will find someone someday who will give her all of the love she deserves without all the pain, and if that excuse sounds hollow in his mind sometimes, well, he’s almost convinced himself that he’s a good liar).

He doesn’t like to think that he’s hiding, but that’s exactly what he’s doing. He’s hiding from everything. From apocalypses and demons that would like him dead, and the fingers of fate that will try and convince him he has a job to do and a destiny to achieve. He doesn’t want a destiny; he just wants to get some sleep, here in Philadelphia, in a cheap apartment with a fake name on the lease. He’s done enough for the world.

(He’s done little for the world, it’s always been about her, always, and it still is, and probably will be forever, until the world really does blow out, and if he ends up somewhere after that, it will still be about her, always, and he’d promised himself once that he would never be the one to walk away from her, but he is so much older now, and what’s one more broken promise?).

He likes to be still, to be quiet, to keep to himself. He likes to have the time to breathe now, here in this place where the world isn’t about to end. He can feel his soul, warm and nudging at him, and he has time now, finally, to feel it out, and explore what it is to have one. It doesn’t make him feel suddenly complete, but it doesn’t torture him the way it did in the beginning, and it doesn’t burn in him the way it did when he was making choices and fighting and trying to sort out right and wrong and guilt and duty, all at once on the head of a pin. Mostly it just sits inside him and feels—not warm, exactly—but something close.

(He sees her everywhere, in his dreams, and in strangers on the street, and it’s like having an itch inside his skull that he can’t possibly scratch, which reminds him of the chip, which reminds him of her, and how the chip changed everything between them, and then did so again, and then again, and he’s not even surprised, because everything comes back to her anyway).

He decides he likes the fall the best, with it’s all it color and crisp air. It’s been too long since he’s lived somewhere with seasons. Years. Even in the dark, he can see the red and orange and yellow of the trees, dancing like flames against the night sky. He always has been drawn to fire.

(On Halloween, he comes home to a note pinned to his front door, and it’s not signed, but he’d know the writing anywhere, even on this tiny scrap of paper, and his heart soars and sinks all at once when he reads her words—I was waiting for you to pull your head out of your ass and come home, but you haven’t, and I’m tired of waiting—and there’s a hotel name and a room number, and he loves her, oh he loves her, he loves her and she found him and that means something, it means everything).

He goes to the hotel. There was never really another option. Of course he goes. And it’s her, really her, on the other side of the door, and she is furious with him, and calling him names, even as she pulls him inside. But under all the anger, there is a spark of something else, and she’s here, in Philadelphia, because she wanted to find him. And then her hands are on his face, pulling him down and pulling him close, and he loves her so fucking much, it’s stupid, and maybe she loves him too.

For the first time in months, he doesn’t wake up tired

Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
slaymesoftly
Feb. 11th, 2013 10:59 pm (UTC)
Lovely! Excellent Spike voice. Just thing for Valentines Day (even if it did take place on Halloween). ;)
smells_corrupt
Feb. 12th, 2013 07:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Lol, I didn't even think about using one holiday for another holiday prompt *g*
waddiwasiwitch
Feb. 11th, 2013 11:47 pm (UTC)
This was just fantastic. I loved the juxtaposition. Perfect.
smells_corrupt
Feb. 12th, 2013 07:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
gillo
Feb. 12th, 2013 12:24 am (UTC)
That is extremely sweet at the end - and he pays for it in angst first. Excellent.
smells_corrupt
Feb. 12th, 2013 07:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
red_satin_doll
Feb. 12th, 2013 01:07 am (UTC)
I have nothing but absolute LOVE for this fic. repetition can be a hard thing to pull off and it works fantastically here because the way it implies the passing of one day after night after day, each one essentially the same.

I was waiting for you to pull your head out of your ass and come home, but you haven’t, and I’m tired of waiting—and there’s a hotel name and a room number, and he loves her, oh he loves her, he loves her and she found him and that means something, it means everything).

My favorite part - that is SO Buffy, a brew of mixed emotions and tenderness hidden under pain (and yes, she does have reason to be pissed) but taking the first step for once and making it easy for him; I love the contrast here, the pragmatism and romanticization, their strengths and weaknesses on full display. Love these kids, love this fic.
smells_corrupt
Feb. 12th, 2013 07:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!!
pssnfrt_ksss
Feb. 12th, 2013 01:59 am (UTC)
This is beautiful, all the angst and despair and trying to convince himself he's doing the right thing. Good thing that patience has never been Buffy's strong suit :D
smells_corrupt
Feb. 12th, 2013 07:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
rebcake
Feb. 12th, 2013 02:22 am (UTC)
A Spike gone to ground to lick his wounds, to feel it out, seems like a necessary step. But after a time it's just hiding out, isn't it? Which makes it a good thing that Buffy is sick of hiding! Go Buffy! Let's see if you can make those three glorious (restful?) nights into a long-term thing.

I love the rolling rhythm of this piece, the interior voice wandering just as Spike himself wanders. He can only look directly at his goal when he's sleeping. (Hey! I just thought — he's making it so the best chance he has with her is when he's unconscious! Silly vampire.)

Teeny edit: he likes the fall the best, with it’s all its color and crisp air. (No apostrophe needed.)
smells_corrupt
Feb. 12th, 2013 08:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!

And thanks for pointing out the edit, I wrote, edited, and posted this in about an hour before I went to work. Someday I'll learn that hasty editing isn't the way to go *g*
red_satin_doll
Feb. 13th, 2013 12:25 am (UTC)
A Spike gone to ground to lick his wounds, to feel it out, seems like a necessary step. But after a time it's just hiding out, isn't it?

Oh yes, very much THIS. But it's easy to fall into a routine esp when the voices of shame, self-doubt and recrimination are roiling around in your head - for both of them actually. That's what makes connecting (in a healthy way) so hard, and why it feels heroic when it happens. (In RL as well as with Buffy/Spike. sometimes it's a miracle that any of us do.)
quinara
Feb. 12th, 2013 07:27 am (UTC)
Ooh, I like this a lot.
smells_corrupt
Feb. 12th, 2013 08:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
ever_neutral
Feb. 12th, 2013 07:46 am (UTC)
OH MY GOD THIS IS BEAUTIFUL. IDE GAF FOR REUNION FIC BUT THIS GIVES ME SO MANY UNWANTED FEELINGS. /o\ /o\ /o\ Your Spike voice just slays me, especially the parentheses, which are like daggers to the ribcage tbh. And I feel like the happy ending is totally earned, too? Ugh. Just go away.
smells_corrupt
Feb. 12th, 2013 08:05 pm (UTC)
\O/\O/

THANK YOU. I love it when I give people unwanted feelings! *g* And I'm pleased to hear that the parentheses served their purpose well. ALSO. Earning a happy ending in 930 words? Checking off today as a success, yo.
relurker
Feb. 12th, 2013 09:40 am (UTC)
I enjoyed it!
smells_corrupt
Feb. 12th, 2013 08:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
timeofchange
Feb. 12th, 2013 01:12 pm (UTC)
So lovely! Spike's voice rings so true.

He likes to be still, to be quiet, to keep to himself. He likes to have the time to breathe now, here in this place where the world isn’t about to end. He can feel his soul, warm and nudging at him, and he has time now, finally, to feel it out, and explore what it is to have one. It doesn’t make him feel suddenly complete, but it doesn’t torture him the way it did in the beginning, and it doesn’t burn in him the way it did when he was making choices and fighting and trying to sort out right and wrong and guilt and duty, all at once on the head of a pin. Mostly it just sits inside him and feels—not warm, exactly—but something close.

Oh yes!
smells_corrupt
Feb. 12th, 2013 08:06 pm (UTC)
thank you!
3hours
Feb. 12th, 2013 01:37 pm (UTC)
I love everything about this ♥ One of my fave reunion fics, probably!
smells_corrupt
Feb. 12th, 2013 08:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you!!
treadingthedark
Feb. 12th, 2013 03:06 pm (UTC)
Lovely. Thanks.
smells_corrupt
Feb. 12th, 2013 08:06 pm (UTC)
thank you!
comlodge
Feb. 12th, 2013 04:28 pm (UTC)
Now that was a lovely angsty ride - just what you would expect from Spike. And love that she came for him. Just what I would expect from grown up Buffy.
smells_corrupt
Feb. 12th, 2013 08:07 pm (UTC)
thank you!!
seapealsh
Feb. 13th, 2013 03:41 am (UTC)
I especially liked the paragraph about the soul. Nice.
spuffy_luvr
Feb. 13th, 2013 08:02 am (UTC)
If I started quoting, I'd quote it all! :) The last line is perfect.

shapinglight
Feb. 13th, 2013 06:15 pm (UTC)
This is great. I especially like the passages in brackets, where Spike is telling himself the unvarnished truth.
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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