Keep Coming Back


pairing: Spike/OC
rating: T
warning: character death
genre: Human AU
time frame: late 1960's AU



She was twenty-three and her baby was two and her husband had been dead for almost eighteen months the day his father sent him down to mow her lawn.

It was almost a hundred in the shade at seven in the evening and she'd been feeling the sweat drip down between her breasts as she pushed the manual mower around the yard. Little Nick didn't like the sound of the gas-powered one; it scared his two-year-old mind. But the grass was getting high and would be up to his knees soon and it had to be mowed.

He showed up with a shy smile, saying he'd like to help. She refused at first, not wanting to take advantage, but when he explained that he'd been ordered to do it, she stepped aside and let him take over. Nick had been trying to climb on as she mowed, so she picked up her son and stood by and let him expertly mow down the long grass and then rake the freshly mown blades into a pile and stuff it into bags.

She saw him glance at her a few times and she thought it was sweet; this teenaged boy shying a glance at an old-woman such as her. She felt a little self-conscious about the bathing suit top she wore, but she hadn't expected him, so it wasn't as if it were leading him on.

The next day he showed up to help her unload groceries and she smiled and gave him an ice-cream cone from the box she'd bought. She was decently covered this time, so if his eyes kept straying to her it was entirely his own fault.

His father smiled at her in church on Sunday and asked if Will had been any help. She assured the man that it wasn't necessary but he'd said it was, his son was on probation for saying a swear word in front of his mama and community service was part of the program. She'd smiled and promised that he'd been very helpful and thanked him for the loan of his son.

The congregation made note of how Will, normally known to be such a bad boy, courteously helped the young widow at the church picnic that day. Will's parents looked at their son fondly, proud of the man he was becoming.

He showed up more and more after that.

The day he turned up to help her change the oil in her car, he'd taken off his shirt and she'd been so embarrassed because she'd stared. He'd seemed so… teenagish - before. Tall and gauky, even if those penetrating blue eyes did seem wise beyond their years.

But under that tee shirt he was broad and strong; she felt like a pervert, but her mouth really did water.

"I'm sixteen and half" he told her, eyes downcast, not willing to see the look in her eyes.

She smiled, wanting to east the moment. "Still jailbait," she joked. "Come back when you're eighteen."

She'd smiled in a way that made him feel at ease and the moment was broken and they changed the oil in her car.

On his eighteenth birthday, Nick had the flu and Will stopped by but she didn't have the time to talk until nearly midnight when her son fell asleep. She thought of calling him, he'd seemed like he really wanted to talk, but the hour was late.

She cleaned up the house and made herself a cup of tea and sat down to relax for a moment when there was a small knock at her door.

"I was eighteen today," he said when he came in. "Well, yesterday now, I guess, it's late."

She wished she could have forgotten what she had said last summer but the look in his eyes and the throaty sound of his voice reminded her. He looked a man, even if he was still really a boy in high school.

"Just one kiss," he asked, walking over to her. "That's all I'm asking, just one kiss."

She hesitated.

"Please?" he begged.

She didn't want to, but she than again she did. Very much.

She tried for a sweet kiss but he knew what he wanted and took it. She hadn't felt these things in far too long and her body shook as she held on to his adult feeling body and gave him the kiss he wanted.

One kiss turned to two and two turned to eight and soon they were lying together on her couch and panting.

"I can't," she said finally, pushing him away.

"Why not?" His mouth was on her neck, sucking, and she couldn't remember why either.

"Why not?" he asked again, looking into her eyes.

"Because you're still too young."

He didn't want to stop but he did, knowing she was right.

Sitting next to each other on the couch, breathing under control, she said, "Come back when you're out of high school, Will. If you still want to, please, come back when you're through with high school."

He left and for two long months, he stayed away.

On the day after his high school graduation, he was standing at her door with a suitcase in his hand. "I need a ride to the bus station, can you take me?" he asked.

Her eyes asked the question.

"The draft, the war. It's my turn."

She watched the news every night, watched the fighting escalate in far off places she'd never been to, had never heard of before a few years ago.

Will wrote her letters faithfully, one every day, telling her about his hopes and dreams and what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, besides spend it with her and Nick. He loved her, he said, he had since that day he'd mowed her lawn. He'd done as she asked and he'd waited. Would she wait for him?

She waited, but he never came back.

The End