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Set shortly after “Chosen.”

Spike & Buffy

Rated PG

The Change

In the confusion before the final battle, Spike had stolen a moment alone with Buffy. She had just dashed upstairs to her bedroom on some now-forgotten errand when Spike slipped in and closed the door behind him. Her first reaction was to be angry, to not let him stop her momentum now that the final battle was about to be joined.

“I beg just a few seconds, Buffy.” The need and softness in his eyes was all it took. Without a gesture from him, she was pressing against his chest and he lovingly wrapped his long arms around her small body. One hand twined in her hair, holding her gently against his chest, and the other curled around her waist. He said nothing, but softly kissed her hair and rested his cheek against her head.

Safe. She let herself feel safe for a minute. Unfounded worries she didn’t know she had were soothed. Her energies focused and she felt grounded. Too soon the urgency and the awareness of everyone waiting returned to her. She turned her head and planted a kiss in the center of his chest. “Thank you,” she whispered and started to pull away.

“Oh, no you don’t. You got what you needed,  but I didn’t get what I came after.” Spike pulled her back onto a deep and through kiss. It had been so long since she’d kissed like this. In fact, other than the strangely-empty hello kiss with Angel, she’d not kissed anyone in well over a year. So much of her body wanted to give in, let the world be damned, and make passionate love to this man. She felt his hand slide across her back and slip into the back pocket of her jeans. She heard a crinkle of paper, which brought her out of her daze. Instinctively, she reached back to see what he’d put there, but he stopped her.

“Look at it later, pet,” he said and softly brushed her lips one last time. “We’ve got a world to save.”

Now, after the battle, Spike’s sacrifice, a long bus ride, visits to the hospital, and a night spent in a cheap motel room, Buffy had a minute. Dawn and some of the others had gone out in search of shopping. The Slayer had been granted time by herself to sleep and recover.

Now she had slept as much as her body would allow and showered until she was pruney. With a sigh, she picked up her very dirty jeans. A girl shouldn’t have pizza delivered in a towel. As she shook off the worst of the dust, she remembered the paper.

Carefully, she drew out the neatly folded sheet of notebook paper. It no longer crackled, having been soaked with sweat. She carefully unfolded it and took a few seconds to just look at the neat script should have been written with a quill and not a ballpoint.


I never was a good poet, Love, and I never will be. This poem is far older than even I am; yet this long-dead man says things as I never could. It calls to me as capturing Vampire and Slayer, souled and called.


The Change

Abraham Cowley



Love in her sunny Eyes doth basking play;

Love walks the pleasant Mazes of her Hair;

Love does on both her Lips for ever stray;

And sows and reaps a thousand kisses there.

In all her outward parts Love’s always seen;

But, oh, He never went within.


Within Love’s foes, his greatest foes abide,

            Malice, Inconsistency and Pride.

So the Earth’s face, Trees, Herbs, and Flowers do dress;

            With other beauties numberless:

But at the Center Darkness is, and Hell;

There wicked Spirits, and the Damned dwell.


With Me alas, quite contrary it fares;

Darkness and Death lies in my weeping eyes,

Despair and Paleness in my face appears,

And Grief, and Fear, Loves greatest enemies;

But, like the Persian Tyrant, Love within

Keeps his proud Court, and ne’re is seen.


Oh take my Heart, and by that means you’ll prove

            Within too stored enough of Love:

Give me but Yours, I’ll by that change so thrive

            That Love in all my parts shall live.

So powerful in this change, it render can,

My outside Woman, and your inside Man.


Buffy read it through twice and carefully refolded it. When the girls came suddenly bustling in with a new outfit for her, she was almost sorry that she had no reason to put back on the clothes he had last held her in. Secretly, she tucked the poem into the pocket of her new jeans, knowing it was better than any photograph she didn’t have.

Cowley, Abraham. “The Change.” The Metaphysical Poets. Ed. Helen Gardner. Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1961.

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