The Shakespeare Code

Apr 18, 2009 23:18


The Shakespeare Code

Buffy woke with a start drenched in sweat. She’d had that dream again. It was always the same. She was walking down a long, dark, non-descript corridor, stake in hand. Somewhere in the distance Spike called out for her. Then the running began. The farther and faster she ran the louder Spike’s anguished cries became. Something had him. Something was hurting him and she was terrified that she wouldn’t be able to save him. Again.

It was a ridiculous dream of course. Spike was right next to her in their bed. He’d been there for weeks now; ever since Andrew had accidentally let it slip that Spike was among the non-dusted. She’d gotten on the first plane to Los Angeles, despite Giles and Xander’s protests. Buffy was so beyond caring what the Scoobies thought about her feelings for the blonde vampire. The months she’d believed him dead - dead because he hadn’t believed that she truly loved him - were torture. Oh, she’d put on the brave Slayer front, what with the world saveage and all, but her heart wasn’t truly in it. She went about her days leading and training the newly Chosen, looking after Dawn and attempting to find a life. Only Dawn knew just how lonely Buffy had been.

But no longer. She’d never forget the look on Spike’s face when he saw her. She’d been arguing with Angel, demanding to know why he’d kept Spike’s resurrection to himself, when Spike barged into the office making demands of his own. At the sound of his voice, Buffy spun around. The shocked and awed expression on his face would stay with her if she lived for a thousand years. Less than a minute later, they were holding onto each other for dear life. They’d rarely been separated since.

So why was she still having that damn dream? The idea that it might be some mystical mojo had crossed her mind, but Giles wasn’t exactly Mr. Overly-helpful at the moment, so she couldn’t ask him. Will was still in South America so that was out too. And Buffy still wasn’t speaking to Andrew, thereby leaving her research-less. Maybe it was some psychological thing. The trauma of losing him messing with her head? Maybe, and probably, more likely. Whatever it was she certainly wasn’t going to figure it out in the dark. Carefully as to not wake him, Buffy rolled out of the bed and stood. She pulled on Spike’s t-shirt before grabbing the small, thin book out of her night stand. Buffy used the soft moonlight to navigate to the large leather armchair in the far corner of the room. Turning on the small lamp, she curled up in the chair and began to read. It was a habit she’d picked up in the months since the Hellmouth; the worn volume always made her feel better.

Spike awoke to an empty bed. Mildly disappointed, he sat up peering into the golden glow coming from the corner of the room. There he found Buffy sound asleep in the chair, a book open in her lap. She looked peaceful. He smiled. His beautiful Slayer. What on earth had he been thinking trying to stay away from her? It was that wanker, Angel. Him and his stupid ideas of what Buffy deserved. Buffy deserved someone who loved her for the goddess she was, not for her ability to save an undeserving world.  Spike knew he didn’t deserve her. He was a bad, rude bloke. But for some reason she was here with him. After all the torment, sadness and grief they’d found their way back to each other. If that wasn’t a sign then Spike didn’t know what was. He was determined to do right by her this time.

Spike climbed out of bed and walked over to where Buffy slept. He reached out to brush the hair out of her eyes, trailing his fingers down along her cheek and jaw. He didn’t have the heart to wake her. As he contemplated carrying her back to the bed, his eyes fell on the book in her lap. It looked oddly familiar, but he couldn’t place it. Carefully he picked it up. It was a book of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Why did Buffy have that? Curious, Spike flipped to the title page. This edition had been printed in London in 1850, the year he’d been born - well his human self anyway. Okay, that’s a little strange. He glanced down at Buffy again. It’s just a coincidence, you dolt. She probably got it from ole Rupes.

He meant to put the book down and carry Buffy back to the bead, but the poet in him wanted to read the familiar lines. He paged through the sonnets, astonished to find notations in Buffy’s handwriting on practically every page. Most were random thoughts but a few had names. Buffy had managed to find an appropriate sonnet for nearly everyone in her life. A tiny knot of fear formed in his stomach as he searched for his name. What if he didn’t have one? He knew it was silly but he couldn’t help but wonder.

And then he found it. Sonnet 32.

If thou survive my well-contented day,
When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover,
And shalt by fortune once more re-survey
These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover,
Compare them with the bettering of the time,
And though they be outstripp'd by every pen,
Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,
Exceeded by the height of happier men.
O, then vouchsafe me but this loving thought:
'Had my friend's Muse grown with this growing age,
A dearer birth than this his love had brought,
To march in ranks of better equipage:
  But since he died and poets better prove,
  Theirs for their style I'll read, his for his love.'

It was about a poet. How had she known? It was the one thing he’d kept hidden from her. After his humiliation, he’d never wanted to expose William the Bloody again. Especially not to her. He couldn’t bear it. Still, somehow, she knew. His reverie was broken when Buffy began to stir. Slowly she opened her eyes smiling when she saw him.


He didn’t answer her; he simply stared at her in awe.

“What? Do I have horrible bed hair or something? Why are you staring at me like that?”

Finally he answered her. “No reason, kitten.”

“Are you sure?” she asked. Then her eyes fell on the book in his hands. She felt the heat rise in her cheeks as she realized what he’d found. She swallowed and said, “Read anything interesting?”

“Not especially,” he said mischievously.

“Oh, so you didn’t find your poem then?”

“It’s a sonnet, luv.”

Buffy rolled her eyes. “Sonnet, poem, same thing.”

“I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree there, Slayer,” Spike said with a grin.

“You would.”

Spike laughed. “I never fancied you a fan of the Bard. You’re just full of surprises, aren’t you?”

Buffy’s cheeks grew redder. “I had a poetry class in college. I enjoyed it. That a problem?”

“Buffy Summers enjoying school? Call Rupert; it must be a sign of the apocalypse.”

Buffy thwacked him on the arm. “Watch it, mister.”

“Believe me, I am,” he replied as he leered at her.

Buffy snatched the book from him and tossed it onto the table. She stood, throwing herself into his waiting arms. “So do I get one?” she whispered in his ear.

“One what?”

“A poem.”



“You can have anything you want, luv.”


“’S, what I said, innit?”

“Take me to bed.”

Spike didn’t need to be asked twice. They spent the rest of the day tangled up in each other making a special kind of poetry all their own.


form: fic, rating: other, era: post-series, creator: michellemtsu

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