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BtVS: These Were Lies 3/9 (Spike & Tara)

Written for summer_of_spike. Nine women Spike used to know.

Title: These Were Lies: Tara
Author: voleuse
Fandom: BtVS
Ship: Spike & Tara
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: I will not speak of the undying glory of women.
Notes: Set after S5



Therefore I will not praise your knees nor your fine walking
Telling you men will remember your name as long
As lips move or breath is spent or the iron of English
Rings from a tongue.


The summer after Buffy dies, Tara teaches Spike the fine art of literary criticism.

Well, not exactly.

*


There aren't any particular demonic threats expected one night, and after dusting a few vampires, he thinks it might be prudent to check on Dawn.

The others don't protest when he makes his excuses. He thinks they wouldn't protest, regardless.

So he makes his way back to the house, stopping to pick up a pizza and an order of hot wings.

He knocks on the front door as a courtesy, swings it open, prepared to make some sort of jolly and non-threatening announcement.

Dawn and Tara are on the sofa, and the television's set to some inane romantic comedy. Dawn's eyes are puffy but dry, and Tara's stroking her hair.

"I brought pizza," he says.

Tara smiles, gestures to the coffee table. He sets the food down like an offering, then retreats to the kitchen to fetch soda.

When he returns, he places the soda next to the pizza and turns to leave.

"Spike," Tara calls, stopping him. "Would you like to watch with us?" She looks at Dawn. "Is that okay?"

Dawn shrugs, nods. "Sure."

Spike looks at the television, then back at them. "If you insist." He settles on the floor, next to the coffee table, and grabs a slice of pizza.

*


After the movie ends, Spike grabs the empty boxes while Tara collects the cans.

"Another movie?" Dawn pipes up.

"Whatever your heart desires, Niblet," Spike replies.

"And ice cream?"

Tara laughs, but nods.

*


Dawn falls asleep halfway through the film. Tara prods her awake, guides her upstairs, but leaves the movie running.

While they're gone, Spike's gaze lands on a textbook, leaning against the sofa. Bored with the movie, he grabs the book.

"Renaissance poetry," Tara announces from the stairs.

Spike flips through the pages, skims. "Didn't know you were taking classes this summer."

"I have to." Tara flops onto the couch. "To make up for the classes I missed when I was, you know." She tilts her head.

"Right." He finds a sonnet he especially likes, runs his finger over the lines as he reads.

When he looks up again, Tara is watching him, and not the television.

"I'm a fan," he says, trying to sound flippant.

Tara smiles, but doesn't reply.

*


The next time, when Dawn goes to sleep, and Tara walks down the stairs, he reaches for the textbook again.

Instead of reading silently, however, he recites the poem out loud.

When he's done, Tara takes the book from him, and reads the poem aloud herself.

A quiet warmth settles between them.

"It's beautiful," she murmurs, finally. "What do you think it means?"

He stares at her, feeling wary. "It's a poem, love. It means whatever you want it to mean."

"That's not what I asked." She raises her eyebrows. "Come on."

But he doesn't have an answer for her.

Not yet.

*


It's a couple of weeks before he visits again, and when he does, he finds Tara in the kitchen, alone.

"Where's Dawn?" he asks.

"Upstairs. On the phone." Tara's head is bent over a notebook. She flips through the pages of her poetry textbook with her one hand, while scribbling in her notebook with the other.

Spike pulls a chair out, sits next to her. "What's that?"

"An essay for class." She sets her pen down, stretches her hands. "Poetry analysis."

"Really?" Spike reaches over, snags the notebook to skim over her outline. He scowls. "This is bollocks."

"My professor's a Marxist," she says, as if that explains everything.

He stares at her.

She blinks. "Right." Pushing her work aside, she proceeds to describe the nature of her seminar.

Spike declares the American educational system bloody ridiculous.

She doesn't disagree, completely.

*


Dawn finds them, still arguing, an hour later.

"Are you doing homework?" she asks, wrinkling her nose. "Ew."

"Not everybody gets the summer off," Tara responds.

Dawn rolls her eyes. "Will and Grace is on."

Tara laughs. "Fine." She closes her books, stands and looks at Spike. "In or out?"

Spike follows them into the living room, and hides his grin.


###

A/N: Title, summary, and headings taken from Not Marble Nor the Gilded Monuments by Archibald MacLeish.

Crossposted to summer_of_spike. Originally linked here.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
mirageofmae
Aug. 7th, 2005 08:00 am (UTC)
Ohh, I've read 1-3 and these are all lovely snippets of Spike... wonderfully in character and fun insights... particularly like Spike arguing about poetry with Tara. =) Nice job.
voleuse
Aug. 8th, 2005 04:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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