Notes: Human AU and total fluff. (Fantasy on both counts, I guess.)  Inspired by the song “Want To” by Sugarland.

Disclaimer: Joss owns Buffy and Spike/William; I just want them to be happy.

If You Want To

Buffy felt her cheeks pinkening with surprised delight.  “Really?”

William smiled at her, equal parts bashful and knowing.  “Yeah, really.  The old man is going out of town for the weekend, and he said it would be all right if we used the cottage.” Then his natural shyness – one of the things that she found so endearing about him – reasserted itself, and he ducked his head, glancing at her through his lashes.  “If… if you want to, that is.”

She gave him her million megawatt smile and said, “Yeah.  Yeah, I want to.”

Just like that, she watched his tension flow away, his shoulders sagging slightly in relief.  “Silly Will,” she teased lightly, but what little sting there may have been in her words was completely washed away by the way she gently touched his face, her thumb stroking along his prominent cheekbone.  “Did you really think I’d say no?”

He leaned into her touch and this time his smile was just a bit sheepish.  “I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it, pet…”

She heard the words he didn’t say all too clearly – You know my history with women – and her vision blurred ever so slightly from the sudden tears dampening her eyes.  Buffy did know the reasons for his reserve, knew that his heart had been as broken as her own.  “See, that’s where you’re silly,” she said, making no effort to hide the way she felt, even though part of her still said that she’d end up getting hurt.  “And that’s where those other girls were stupid.”  She threaded her fingers into the short curls at the nape of his neck, pulling his head down slightly so their brows touched, and she looked him right in his bright blue eyes as she spoke. “But in a way, I’m glad those other girls were so stupid, because it means I’ve got the chance to prove how wrong they were.” And she kissed him, the merest brush of her lips against his.

“Buffy, love…” Will’s hand twined in her hair, his hand cradling the back of her head as he deepened the kiss.  When his tongue touched hers, she just let sensation carry her away and wrapped both arms around his neck.

It was only when she heard the wolf whistles from behind her that she was reminded of where they were – outside, in the middle of one of the walkways between the lecture halls on campus.  Cheeks flaming, she pulled away, but only far enough to smile at him. 

Warmth flooded her when he returned her smile, despite the desire she saw glowing in his gaze.

And in that moment, Buffy Summers finished falling.

***

It was a fall that had taken months, but only because she had – she and Will both had – been almost too afraid to risk trying to love again.  Every time she fell in love, she thought it would be forever.  Somehow, though, it had never lasted, and she was always left hurt, wondering what she had done wrong.  And each time, it took longer and longer to trust enough to let herself fall again.  

After the last time, she had decided that something must be wrong with her, so wrong that no guy wanted to be with her for more than a few months, and that was it, no more.  Ever.  She’d expounded on it at great length to Willow, who had sympathized and tried to change her mind.  “But Buffy,” she had said, in her most reasonable tone of voice, which Buffy had long since figured out meant that whatever Willow was going to say wasn’t something she wanted to hear.  “People aren’t meant to be alone… you’re not meant to be alone all your life.”

“I’m not alone, Wills,” Buffy had replied, stubbornly refusing to understand what her friend was saying.  “I’ve got you, I’ve got lots of friends.  See? Totally not-alone girl.”

Willow had sighed.  “Someone special,” and her words held a hint of exasperation. “Not just friends, but someone who just… takes your breath away, someone that you can’t imagine living without.  Someone to love, because Buffy, you’ve got so much love in you…”

Now, turning away from the scenery blurring by outside the car window, Buffy glanced over at William, and felt she would drown in the love that overwhelmed her.  I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so much in my life as I have since I started seeing Will, and her lips curved at the very thought.

She twisted around until her back was against the door, wanting suddenly to watch Will as he drove. She drank him in, from the tips of his sun-bleached hair to the scuffed toes of his boots, and every gorgeous inch between. His fingers drummed on the steering wheel in time with the song on the radio, and the low rumble of his voice caressed her ears as he sang softly.  He liked to drive fast, but he treated his ancient boat of a car so well that even at high speed the engine only purred. 

He must have felt the weight of her gaze; he took his eyes from the road for a moment and gave her a puzzled look, one eyebrow quirked upward.  “What?”

She grinned, feigning innocence.  “What, what?”

“You were looking at me.”

“You’re very lookable.”

Another quick look and this time he was grinning back at her.  “That’s not a word.”

“It’s not?” she replied, her tone full of teasing skepticism.  “Are you sure?

He laughed, and the sound of it filled her heart.

***

The cottage was nestled in a copse of pine trees a stone’s throw from the lake.  A faint path wandered from the cottage to the sandy shore.  The sun was starting to dip below the horizon, and the lake reflected the brilliant red and yellow and violet that painted the sky.  Will let the car roll to a stop, and watched Buffy absorb the view.

“Oh, Will, it’s beautiful.”

“Yeah, it’s a sight, innit?” He let his eyes roam over her greedily, and just smirked when she caught him and shot him a quelling look.

“Nice to see you’re still in touch with your inner perv, Will.”

He snorted as he got out of the car.  “And who was it ogling me for most of the trip?”

The emphatic slam of the car door startled him, and he looked up from fighting with the car’s boot.  Buffy stood next to him, letting her bottom lip quiver in a mock pout, even as her green eyes danced at him playfully.  “That’s all your fault.  You’re too handsome not to look at.”

He couldn’t think of a comeback; the sight of her mouth had him transfixed.  Before he could give in to his impulse to kiss her, though, she poked him in the side, grinning.  “Move over, perv,” she ordered, and lifted out her bag and his.  “You get the cooler.”

Shaking off his stupor, Will did as she told him, and she obligingly closed the lid of the boot for him before trotting up the steps to the door.  He couldn’t stop himself from grinning when she tried the door.  “Keys are in my pocket, love,” he said, and cocked one hip at her.  He hoped that his shyness would stay hidden wherever it had gone, and that this boldness would stick around a little while longer.

Buffy blushed, and looked doubtfully at the pocket of his jeans.  He wiggled slightly, his raised eyebrow and knowing leer daring her to do it, and she turned redder.

As she slowly reached out, his bravado dissipated, and he started to wonder if it was such a good idea.  But then it was too late, and her hand was in his pocket, searching for his keys.  He couldn’t stop himself from closing his eyes at her touch.

“William Giles, you are… without a doubt… the most exasperating man… I’ve ever… aha!”

Will had to swallow a groan as she fished out the keys.  Having her hot little hand so close had made his cock spring instantly to life – as it usually did when he was in her company.  Bloody hell, he thought, his arousal growing, his eyes drawn to her shapely backside as she opened the door, I can’t even decide if I hope she didn’t notice… or if I hope she did.

In the end, though, he lowered the ice chest to hide his predicament, though that made getting inside difficult and almost painful.

“Uh, Will?”

He glanced over his shoulder, settling the cooler onto the kitchen counter, and saw her standing between the doors to the two bedrooms.  The cottage was quite small, with a kitchen his father always claimed was barely adequate, a miniscule parlour, the two bedrooms and a tiny bath.  “Yeah, love?”

Her cheeks were pink again, and she stumbled over her words, bringing a fond grin to his lips before he realized what she was asking.  “Where… where am I going to…?  I mean, one of these rooms is definitely your father’s, and I feel kind of weird just… so… I was wondering…” She bit her lip.

Christ, she’s just… adorable.  Perfect.  Mesmerized by the sight of her white teeth nibbling her lush bottom lip as she dithered, he let himself be drawn to her.  He pushed a few strands of sunny hair from her face, and let his hand linger on her neck, thumb brushing against the evidence of her rapid pulse.  “We’ll do this whatever way makes you most comfortable, Buffy,” he said softly.  “If you want, we can each take one – I don’t mind taking Da’s room if you…” He stopped, took a deep breath, and gathered his suddenly scarce courage. You can do it, you wanker! he thought almost angrily.  Just say it!  “But… I’d really like it if you stayed with me, love.” He held his breath and waited, looking at her and hoping.

For a moment, Will was deathly afraid he’d overstepped; she just blinked at him as if she didn’t quite know what he meant.  Before he could backpedal, however, and hurriedly lie that he didn’t mean it like that, she gave him a warm smile and a whispered “okay”.  Then, as he gaped in shock, she ducked into his room, dropping both bags on his bed.

Everything in him screamed that he should press her onto the bed and show her just what she meant to him.  God, I could worship every inch of her… Instead, though, he remembered their take-it-slow agreement and tried to content himself with the touches that allowed—he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her until they were both breathless, all the while relishing the way her body fit against his and yearning for more.

I don’t even care if all she wants is a bit of a snuggle and some sleep, he thought, reluctantly pulling away from her lips to bury his face in Buffy’s hair, inhaling her familiar scent.  Whatever she wants, she can have.  We can wait until we’re both sure, no matter how hard – difficult! – that’s gonna be.

Buffy made a happy humming noise against his chest, and he tightened his embrace.  I love her, he thought, and was unsurprised at the sudden well of emotion.

Whatever she wants…

***

Will didn’t even notice the crackling of the small fire, or the lapping of water against the shore, or the light breeze circling through the trees.

All of his attention was focused on the petite girl resting in his arms, her head against his shoulder, her breath tickling the side of his neck.  Buffy wasn’t asleep, but he was certain that she would be soon.  It was late, the moon high in the sky, and they’d been sitting on the lakeshore for hours.

He ghosted his hand over her hair, her shoulder, and Buffy shivered, pressing against him.  “Cold, love?” he asked in concern.  “Want to go inside and warm up?”

Abruptly, she straightened away from him, looking at him, and the moonlight threw her face half into shadow.  For a moment, Will wondered what he could have possibly done, then he groaned, realizing.  “No, love, no, I didn’t mean… I just… all I meant was to get inside out of the chill.  And for the rest…”

Unbidden, his mind flashed back to the previous weekend.  Their make-out session had gotten a little too hot and heavy, and he’d had to pry himself bodily away from her before he’d gone too far.  The expression she’d worn when he had done so had been pained and relieved all at once.

Seeing that she was still watching him, he bowed his head, embarrassed.  “Well, it won’t be easy, but I’ll prove that I can keep my hands to myself…”

Her hand ran lightly down his face and he looked up with a start.  She had leaned closer until her mouth was only a breath away from his, and she was smiling.  “What if I don’t want you to?” she whispered.  “Keep your hands to yourself, I mean.”

Then she kissed him, kneeling between his spread legs and pushing against his shoulders until he was flat on his back in the sand, his every sense filled with her.  She kissed him until he couldn’t breathe, kissed him until he knew she could feel his arousal against her.

When at last she drew back, they were both panting.  Buffy wriggled against him, dragging a groan from him, and his hands moved to her hips of their own accord.  Her mouth was on his neck, giving him little suckling, biting kisses, driving him wild.  “Oh, God, Buffy…”

She pulled away, bracing herself on one elbow and looking down into his face.  One finger gently traced his eyebrows, his nose.  “I love you, Will,” she breathed, and dipped in to give him another searing kiss.  “And I’m not afraid anymore…”

Will simply froze, his mouth working but no sound emerging.  After a moment, he managed, “I’m dreaming.”

She leaned away again.  “What?”

He gave her a crooked smile, not entirely sure if she would see it in the moonlight.  “See, I’ve had this dream before, where you tell me you love me and I tell you I love you.  And every time I have it, it just gets better, and I fall a little more.”  He reached up to outline her lips with one fingertip, and felt her press a kiss to it.  “But this is the best one yet.”

“That’s ‘cause it’s real.” She gave him another mind-blowing kiss that seemed to go on forever.  Her hands framed his face, dove into the waves of his hair to keep him still, while his stroked her sides, encouraging her until the need to breathe caught up with them.

After they finished gasping for air, he stopped her before she could bend to take his lips again.  “I guess we should go inside now.”

Even in the moonlit darkness, he knew she was pouting.  “Why?”

His answer was to roll them both over, so he was bracing himself above her on his forearms.  “Because,” he murmured, grinding his pelvis against hers until they both moaned, “there are some places you just don’t want sand, pet.”

Buffy laughed and wrapped her arms around his neck, her legs around his hips.  “Then take me inside,” she replied, nipping at his chin.

He groaned once more as she rubbed against him. “Oh, I will, love, never fear.” Then he grinned and curled his tongue over his teeth.  “Again and again.”

***

Buffy was fairly certain they hadn’t actually missed the bed, but how they’d gotten from there to the floor was a mystery.

After a moment’s fuzzy thought, she decided that it really didn’t matter and continued to swirl her fingers over Will’s bare chest.

His hand captured hers, and their fingers twined tightly together.  She smiled at the sight, rubbed her cheek against his shoulder.

Will’s voice rumbled softly beneath her ear.  “You all right, love?”

“Yeah,” she answered dreamily, craning her neck to look at him. “Not sure I can walk right now, but I’m good.”

He grinned at her, and her heart swelled to see his happiness.  “I guess getting back onto the bed is out of the question, then?”

She closed her eyes and snuggled into his shoulder again.  “Comfy now.”

Will chuckled at her slightly petulant tone and gathered her to him more closely.  “Not still cold?”

“Mm-mm… you keep me warm.”

He let go of her just long enough to grab the blanket from the bed and yank it free.  Buffy muttered in complaint as she was jostled against him, then hummed drowsily when he spread the coverlet over them. “Love you, Will.”

“Love you, too, pet,” he replied quietly, kissing her forehead.  As her breathing slowed and deepened toward sleep, he added in a whisper, “I’m yours, Buffy… yours forever if you let me.”

He was surprised by a soft, contented sigh.  “If you want to… I want you to.”

He closed his eyes, and thought he would burst from joy.  “Yeah.  I want to.”

***
February 18, 2007
© randi (K. Shepard), 2007