* * * *
* * * *
Buffy smiled broadly as Spike
stuck an enormous bite of syrup-covered pancakes into his mouth. He looked
up at her, a puzzled look in his eyes before he realized that she was
laughing at him.
“Good breakfast?” she said with a grin as he finished chewing.
“Yeah,” he replied almost meekly before drinking from his glass of orange
juice. She giggled at him. “I’m hungry,” he added defensively.
Buffy looked around the diner to see if anyone else was finding his large
appetite amusing. It appeared that she was alone in that boat. Buffy
nibbled on her last piece of bacon as she looked at the black t-shirt and
jeans he was wearing. When she had left Spike’s room so he could receive
his shots she’d been greeted by Fred, who smiled warmly at her.
“I hear Spike’s as healthy as a horse,” she’d said, and Buffy couldn’t
help but smile back at her. The girl had an infectious smile. “Um, Angel
told me to give you these,” Fred added, handing Buffy a pile of clothes
which included a folded pair of jeans, a black t-shirt, and a pair of
sneakers. “He says they should be the right size.”
Buffy had taken them from her, wondering how Angel would know Spike’s
size. Strange mental images appeared to answer that question, and Buffy
tried her best to forget about it. Or rather, she saved the images for
“You gonna eat that?” Spike asked, pointing to what remained of her French
toast. Buffy waved her hand in front of her, signaling for him to take it,
which he did. It disappeared quickly.
“You’ve got quite an appetite,” she observed, the smile never leaving her
“Never used to eat this much,” he replied, leaning across the table and
finishing off the rest of Buffy’s eggs. “My mum used to get onto me for
not eating enough, come to think of it.”
Spike was glowing. Part of her attributed it to the fact that he was
whiter than chalk and the sunlight reflecting off of his skin was somewhat
blinding, but the truth was that he was happy. He liked the food, he
enjoyed being in the sunlight, and at the moment the transition from
immortal vampire to human being didn’t trouble him in the least. Buffy
knew that there were things that he’d miss, such as the enhanced strength
and super healing. He’d always felt like that put them both on the same
level, the vampire and the vampire slayer. But right now he was happy, and
she wasn’t going to remind him of any reason why he shouldn’t be.
Spike released an orgasmic hum of satisfaction as finished off the last of
the food, draining the remains of his glass of orange juice. He set the
glass down on the table and met her eyes.
“Well, you fed me.”
Buffy laughed again, one of those ringing laughs she hadn’t heard in a
long time. She sounded like her mother. “That I did.”
“So,” he began, some of his cheeriness ebbing away. “What do we do know?”
“First we pay,” she said as she pulled a wad of cash from her pocket, all
that was left from her savings in Sunnydale. “Then we meet back at the
“Hotel?” said Spike.
“Angel’s, it’s where he lives. Sorta,” she added, remembering Wolfram &
Hart. Was he going to live there, now? She didn’t like the thought of it.
The air felt funny in that place.
“After that…” she began, but seeing that where she was going would lead to
a much bigger discussion, she sighed and shook her head. “We’ll talk about
it when we get there.”
* * * *
Buffy stared at the water running in the faucet, still trying to
comprehend the events of the past few days. Spike was in the bedroom,
having not spoken a word since they’d arrived at the hotel. Dawn was
ecstatic when she saw him, and Buffy was quite sure that he wasn’t
prepared for the surprisingly warm welcome. He must think he’s in the
twilight zone, in a strange world where he’s human and everyone likes him.
Well, they didn’t hate him, at least.
Buffy finished washing her hands and turned off the faucet, drying her
hands on the nearest hand towel. She winced when she felt water slipping
through the bandage on her wrist and over the wound it was supposed to
protect. Frowning, Buffy started to unwrap the bandage, looking up at the
mirror to see her tired face, along with Spike’s behind her. She yelped
and turned around.
“Did I scare you?” he asked, smile flickering on his face.
“That’s not funny,” she told him seriously, her half-bandaged wrist held
out in front of her. Spike noticed and pulled her hand towards him gently.
“What’s this?” he asked, removing the rest of the gauze to reveal the
small pink line beneath. “I thought you chits were supposed to slice the
Buffy stared at him quizzically.
“To open the seal,” he clarified. “I thought you sliced your palm.”
Buffy almost laughed. He thought that was from opening the Hellmouth?
What, did he think the blade skipped and she cut her wrist instead?
“This isn’t from the Hellmouth,” she replied, shivering slightly as he ran
his thumb beneath the wound, following the thin line. “It’s from the
Spike’s fingers stilled. Buffy looked up to see him staring at her with
fear in his eyes.
“It called for a blood sacrifice,” she told him calmly.
His eyes fell back to the scar. “You gave your blood for me?”
Buffy smiled nervously at hearing the wonder in his voice. “I wouldn’t let
anyone else do it.”
Spike bent over and pressed his lips against the scar. Even though the
words he’d spoken in her dreams weren’t exactly real, they’d been a heavy
weight on her shoulders nonetheless. Buffy had been so afraid that he
would be angry with her when he returned, that he would think she really
never cared for him and that she’d given him the amulet because she wanted
him to die. The kiss he placed on the scar on her wrist was a sign of his
forgiveness. Buffy moved her hand so that it was pressed against the side
of his face and he leaned into it, his eyes tightly shut as if blocking
“Spike,” she whispered soothingly, caressing the side of his face as his
lower lip trembled. Buffy pulled him to her and he wrapped his arms around
her tightly, crying softly into her hair. “Don’t,” she pleaded sadly.
“What am I supposed to do?” he asked calmly. “I can’t fight anymore; I’m
no use to you.”
Buffy lifted his head from her shoulder and glared at him in disbelief.
“So that’s all you think you are? A soldier in my little army?”
Spike pulled away from her. “It’s what I was.”
“Damn it, Spike. I can’t deal with this,” she told him, on the verge of
tears herself. “While you were gone your soul went somewhere, though it
wasn’t heaven or hell. You were suffering, and every night you came to me
and shared your misery. I’ve had to put up with insecurities and
accusations for the past few days, and I can’t tell if they’re coming from
you or from me. I don’t want to deal with this anymore, so I’m going to
tell you right now.”
Spike bowed his head, expecting the worst from her.
“I didn’t want you to die, and had I known what that amulet was going to
do to you I would never have let you wear it. I’m sorry that I told you I
loved you at the last minute, and you weren’t wrong, I didn’t mean it. Not
really. I did love you, but not as much as I should’ve. I was scared,
okay?” she added defensively. Spike was staring at her, his face
unreadable. Buffy continued. “I didn’t want to do the raising. I thought
it would be wrong, bringing you back as a human when there was no way to
know if you’d want that or not. I’m still scared of what it means, and
standing here, looking at you, I know that part of you didn’t want it. But
just so we’re clear, I wanted you back. I wanted another chance with you;
so that I could tell you that I loved you and really mean it. I should’ve
told you more than I did, and I can’t say I never had the chance. I just…
I just wasn’t brave enough.”
Buffy caught her breath, hoping that her uncharacteristic
straightforwardness would put an end to all the doubt and the tiptoeing
around each other’s feelings. Spike didn’t respond.
“Can you tell me what you’re afraid of?” she asked.
“I don’t want to be with you,” he answered simply. Buffy felt like he’d
taken a knife to her heart. “I don’t want to be around for the day when
you realize that you don’t really mean it. Your love, or the idea of it,
is the only thing that kept me going this past year. I don’t know if it’s
enough to keep me alive anymore.”
“I thought you believed me,” she replied sadly.
“You just said yourself you didn’t mean it.”
“I meant it last night. Is there no way I can prove it to you? What about
this?” she asked almost angrily, raising her wrist and showing him the
scar. “I don’t give up my blood for just anyone, you know.”
“Spike, I can’t lose you, not again. It scares me how much I need you.”
His hands went around her waist and he leaned down to kiss her before she
knew what was happening. Buffy gasped in surprise as he kissed her, his
lips gentle, reassuring, and warm. Buffy placed her hands on his shoulders
and pulled back.
“Do you get it, now?”
“God, I’m such a wanker. Couldn’t leave you if I tried, and now I’m livin’
Buffy laughed. “I love you.”
“I love you,” he replied matter-of-factly before kissing her again.
She couldn’t believe it. Buffy never thought she’d be this happy with
Spike, yet there they were, proclaiming their love to one another in a
bathroom. It shouldn’t be romantic, but it was. He turned with her and
started walking out the door, pushing her backwards so that they were in
the bedroom. It wasn’t long before Buffy bumped into the edge of the bed.
Spike pushed her down slowly, almost tentatively, as if expecting her to
protest. She didn’t. He lowered one of his hands to her thigh and she
didn’t slap it away, but before they reached the point of no return she
“If you ever leave me again I will personally send you to hell myself,”
she breathed threateningly.
Spike grinned. “Alright, love. Alright.”
His smile melted against her lips. As their bodies pressed together she
felt his heart beating against her own, reminding her that she wasn’t
“God,” he moaned, pulling back from her and gazing dazedly into her eyes.
“It’s harder to do this with your heart thumping in your chest like a
bloody snare drum.”
No, she wasn’t dreaming. Not this time.