Well, what if.....?
Part One: Follow Your Heart
Pulling back from the kiss, Buffy was surprised
at how little she felt.
Once upon a time, Angel kissing had been one of
her favorite things to do, and she did it as often as
possible. Those kisses had made her dizzy with
happiness, the kind of happiness only a sixteen year
old girl in love for the first time can feel.
He was accomplished at the task, knew what he
was doing, and he always projected a deep amount
of affection into every single kiss.
At the time, she'd thought she'd found heaven in
the most unlikely place. It wasn't until she'd been
kissed by another vampire, one as different from Angel
as dusk from dawn, that she realized heaven...kiss-
ing wise....was a relative thing.
In fact, even as she'd stepped into it, she couldn't
really say why. For old times sake, was the best
she could summon up, and it sounded lame even to
her. Seconds into the kiss, she was already regret-
ting it. There was none of the old pleasant tingle,
none of the passion she remembered feeling.
"Okay, okay...I'm basked." Placing one hand on his
chest, she moved back out of reach. "What are you
"Not saving the damsel in distress," he replied lightly.
"That's for sure."
She almost said, "S' all right. I have someone else to
do that, thanks all the same," but she managed to hold
the words back.
"Oh, you know me." She leaned over and scooped up
the scythe. Without being fully conscious of doing it, she
held it up like a shield, separating herself from him. "Not
much for the damseling."
For a long time afterwards, she wasn't really able to
clearly recall most of what was said next between
them. Something to do with her being in distress, a
file folder chock full of intel, and her instructing him to
get the hell out of LA.
Then, like a malevolent Jack-in-the-Box, Caleb
popped back up and knocked Angel flat with a
marble statue. He turned to Buffy, blood streaming
from his eyes and nose.
"You ready to finish this....bitch?"
Oh, was she ever!
Narrowing her eyes, she invited him to take his
He swung the statue again, which she'd known
he would do. Avoiding it easily, she countered
with the scythe, but he saw it coming and blocked
Landing hard on the ground, she ducked as he threw
the statue at her, then scrambled to her feet. "How many
times do I have to kill you?" she asked. "Ballpark figure?"
He glared at her. "You understand nothing."
Maybe not, but it didn't really matter. She
didn't have to understand him to finish him off.
"You can't stop me," he added. "You don't have
"Oh, you're dead wrong about that," she said,
slicing through him so neatly that it took him a
moment to comprehend what she'd done. "Bye,
now." She waggled her fingers as he fell apart
into two separate sections.
Almost immediately, Angel regained consciousness
and jumped to his feet. "Okay, NOW I'm pissed!" he
growled. "Where is he?"
A childish giggle bubbled from her lips. It was
such a perfect line, how could she not use it?
"He had to split."
She took a close look at the item in Angel's hand,
then shrugged. "I can already tell you I have nothing
to go with that."
"It's not for you."
"Good, cuz it's butt ugly. Who's it for?"
"Someone ensouled," he said. "But stronger than
human. A champion. As in me."
Resisting the urge to roll her eyes at that statement,
she replied, "Or me."
Angel shook his head. "I don't know enough about it
to risk you wearing it."
It wasn't his call to make, but trust Angel to make it
Buffy wasn't in the mood for an "anything you can do,
I can do better' type of exchange. "So, you're gonna
be with me in this?" she asked, half hoping that he'd
"Shoulder to shoulder...I'm yours."
She briefly wondered why he hadn't shown up with
this sort of offer the last time she'd needed help...or
the time before that, or the time before THAT.
They'd all been cataclysmic, world ending events,
and she'd have been grateful for an extra pair of
hands. What made THIS one so special?
Still, he HAD offered. Granted, she didn't really
need him, but it was a nice gesture all the same.
"No. You're not gonna be in this fight," she
said, turning to leave.
He frowned. "Why the hell not? You NEED me in
She took the amulet out of his hand. "I need
**Because I SAID so, that's why.** "Because if I
lose...if this thing gets past Sunnydale...then it's
days -maybe hours- before the rest of the world
goes. I need a second front, and I need you to run
"Okay." He crossed his arms over his chest and
gave her a skeptical look. "That's one reason.
What's the other?"
Buffy walked out of the tomb. "There IS no
Angel was right on her heels as she stepped
out into the dark cemetery, lingering at the
door. "Is it Spike?"
The question made her stop and turn around.
"You're not telling me something." There was a
hint of accusation in his voice, which she didn't
much care for. "And his scent..I remember it
Buffy rolled her eyes. "You vampires. Did any-
body ever tell you the whole smelling people
thing's a little gross?"
Once again, she turned to walk away.
"Is he your boyfriend?"
The devil perched on her shoulder urged her
to say, "No. He's my lover," just to see what
kind of reaction she'd get.
"Is that any of your business?" she asked.
"You in love with him?"
That stopped her cold. No one had EVER asked
her that question before. Even after her stormy
physical relationship with Spike fell apart and
the secret was revealed to them, not one of her
friends had asked, as if they knew what the
answer might be, and didn't really want to hear
They had talked loud and long about THEIR
feelings on the subject, especially Xander, but
HER feelings had somehow gotten lost in the
"Okay, maybe I'm out of line here..."
"....but this is kind of a curve ball for me. I
mean, we ARE talking about Spike here."
That comment irritated her. The words them-
selves, the tone he used, the whole thing..and
she felt a sudden need to defend her lover...
Her EX-lover! Ex, ex, ex!
"It's different. HE'S different. He has a soul now."
She'd said those words before, in a very per-
functory manner, an automatic response to
whatever accusation or observation that poured
out of the mouths of her friends.
But this time was different somehow, more
heartfelt and it wasn't hard to figure out
"Oh, well," Angel mumbled. "That's great. Every-
one's got a soul now."
"He'll make a difference," she insisted, wondering
why she'd even bothered. Nothing was going to
shut his mouth about this.
"You know *I* started it...the whole 'having a
soul'...before it was all the cool NEW thing."
Unable to believe her ears, Buffy stared at
him for a moment. "Yes. Because it was forced
on you," she pointed out. "Twice."
Angel looked a bit stung. "Hey, I'm getting the
brush off for Captain...."
She cut him off, pointing a finger at him. "Don't
He ceased the name calling, but that was all.
"It doesn't necessarily bring out the champion
"Yes, I noticed. It brings out the twelve year
old child instead."
"Are you just gonna come here and go all
on me every time I have a boyfriend?"
"Aha!" he interjected, pointing at her. "You said
"Yes! I said boyfriend!" **Oh, my god..I really DID!**
She was almost as surprised as HE was, but in a
much better way.
The word was finally out of her mouth, out in the
open, and nothing terrible had occurred. There were
no flaming fireballs being hurled from the sky to smite
her down, no plague of locusts, no rivers turning to
blood. There wasn't so much as a chirp from a noisy
All of a sudden, she wanted very badly to go home
and see Spike.
"Angel...I'm not brushing you off. You did that
yourself, five years ago. Things....change. I
guess...I guess I'VE changed. Spike certainly
has, and he's very much in my heart."
"THAT'LL end well," he muttered, leaning
back against a tombstone.
"Oh, shut up!" she nearly snapped. "That
is REALLY getting on my nerves."
"What?" he asked, genuinely surprised. "What's
"You know, WE weren't exactly the poster
couple for successful relationships. You...me
...ANGELUS. Just think back on all the wonder-
ful highlights and fond memories."
"And you think it'll be better with Spike?"
"I don't know." She shrugged. "Can't be much
worse, can it?" Quiet for a moment, she sud-
denly laughed a little. "Wow," she mused,
shaking her head. "In the midst of all this
insanity, a couple of things are starting to
really make sense. I was always afraid that
there was something wrong with ME...because
I couldn't make it work. But maybe...maybe it
was because I was trying to make it work...with
the wrong men."
Angel was silent for a long moment, and she
knew he was preparing to switch into 'brood
mode', something she had neither the time nor
the inclination to deal with.
"Look, I have to go home," she said quickly,
beginning to back away. "You go on back to
Los Angeles and wait. Be ready for anything."
"But..." He tried to hold her back, even as she
was slipping completely away. "You didn't
exactly answer my question."
"Which one?" she asked impatiently.
"Are you in love with Spike?"
"I told you...he's in my heart." She smiled
and patted her chest, right over the area she
judged that heart to be. "He always will
be....and no one is more surprised by it than
"Buffy, if you're in love with him," he called
after her, "why won't you quit beating around
the euphemisms and just say it?"
Good God, wasn't it obvious?
"Because," she said, turning to break into a
run. "I want HIM to hear it first!"
Part Two: Go Where It Takes You
"So....where's tall, dark and forehead?"
She almost had to clap her hand over her mouth
to keep back the spurt of laughter Spike's question
All during her long run home, the need to see him,
to talk to him, had swelled happily inside of Buffy like
a brightly colored balloon. It wasn't until she'd turned
onto Revello Drive that the pin had been applied.
What on earth, she'd wondered, was she going to
say to him now?
The last time they'd had any sort of real conversation,
the night after the wonderfully peaceful cuddle session
he'd treated her to, he'd poured out his heart to her once
** All I did was hold you, watch you sleep...and it was
the best night of my life.**
That little speech he'd made to her had come straight
from his heart, and from his soul. It had come damn
close to making her cry, a thing she hadn't done for a
very long time.
**Were you there with me?**
She'd said the right words for once and they'd been
truthful ones. Yes, she'd been right there with him,
feeling it as much as he had...the want and the need,
the doubt and the certainty, the joy and the sadness, the
desire and the fear.
Every mixed up, convoluted thought and emotion she'd
been struggling with had been echoed back to her in his
words and actions.
**What does that mean?**
That was where she'd gone wrong. Instead of admitting
it, of telling him exactly what it had really meant to her,
she had gotten cold feet and turned evasive.
**Let's just leave it. We'll go be heroes.**
Well, the time for being chicken hearted was over. If
tomorrow really was their last hurrah, she was finally
going to make things right between them.
This night could very well be all they would ever have,
and they had to make it count.
Clearing her throat, she stood at the bottom of the
basement stairs. "Let me guess. You can smell him."
He tilted his head, turning away from the punching
bag he'd been pummeling. "Yeah, that and I also used
my enhanced vampire eyeballs to watch you kissing
Oh. THAT she hadn't known. Now she doubly
wished she'd thought twice before she'd acted.
"It was a hello?" she ventured, knowing damn well
he'd never let it go at that.
He gave her one of those 'looks'. "Most people don't use
their tongues to say hello. Or, I guess they do, but..."
"There were no tongues," she said firmly. "Anyway,
Spike briefly looked surprised, then smirked. "Oh,
just popped by for a quickie, then?"
All in all, Buffy decided, it was a damn good thing
she'd finally realized how much she loved this idiot,
else she'd have broken his nose for THAT crack.
"You know I've had about enough jealous vampire
crap for one night," she informed him. "So knock it
"He wears lifts, you know."
"I know," she said automatically, then glanced up,
her eyes wide when she realized what she'd said.
"One of these days," she forged on, ignoring the
tiny smile Spike displayed at her slip, "I'm just
gonna put you two in a room and let you rassle it
"No problem on this end," he replied. "So, where's
She made innocent eyes at him. "The who-ket?"
Spike sighed, holding out his hand. "The necklace
your sweetie-bear gave you. The one with all the
power. I believe it's mine now."
From out of nowhere, Buffy felt a touch of sadness
settle over her at those words. She suddenly did NOT
want the amulet anywhere near Spike, though she
couldn't have given a reason why. "How...how do
He shrugged. "Someone with a soul, but more than
human? Angel meant to wear it, that means I'm the
Reluctantly, she pulled the amulet out of her
pocket. "It's...volatile," she said quietly. "We don't
"You need someone strong to bear it then," he
told her, his hand still extended. "What, are you
planning on giving it to Andrew?"
**Yes....to Andrew, to Angel, to the mailman...to
anyone else but you**
She cleared a painful lump from her throat,
staring at the amulet. "Angel said....this amulet is
meant to be worn by a champion."
Spike began to withdraw his hand, obviously mis-
interpreting her words. She stopped him, taking
his hand and pressing the amulet into his palm.
Then he understood. "Been called a lot of things
in my time," he murmured." He turned the amulet
over in his hand, then dangled it by its chain. "This
thing is damned ugly."
Buffy smiled. "I think so, too," she said, then took in
a deep breath. "Faith still has my room."
Spike frowned. "Well, you're not staying here! You
can't buy me off with shiny beads and sweet talk.
YOU'VE got Angel breath."
She was so surprised by the comment that she
nearly put a hand up to her mouth for a sniff test.
"Wha...I do not!"
"I'm not gonna just let you whack me back and
forth like a rubber ball," he added. "I've got my
pride, you know."
Well, that was too damn bad because neither of
them had time for pride.
Figuring she had nowhere to go but up, she
opened her mouth and let the words just fly
right out. "Screw your pride. I need a place to
sleep tonight and....and my place is HERE...with
He couldn't have looked more surprised if an
alien had come bursting from her chest, but he
recovered quickly. "Oh and when did you come to
that conclusion?" he asked. "When Angel had his
tongue down your throat and his hand on your
Buffy's eyes widened with shock, then narrowed
in anger. "That's NOT what happened! If you would
"I saw what happened, Buffy," he interrupted. "You
were kissing him. He wasn't back in town five minutes
and your lips were all over him. I saw...."
It was her turn to interrupt. "I know what you SAW, but
what you saw ISN'T what you THINK you know."
"If you had hung around for another minute you would
have known that it was a kiss GOODBYE...because I
happen to be in love with YOU, you stupid vampire! But,
hey, never mind. You can just get into bed and snuggle
up with your pride instead of me." Waving her arms in
the air, she turned and headed for the stairs. "I'd rather
sleep on top of the refrigerator than down here with you,
you big, fat jerk!"
She only had one foot on the bottom step when both
feet were swept out from under her as Spike spun her
around and picked her up. "You know," he said wryly,
"you COULD have said that first thing down the stairs."
Buffy folded her arms across her chest and glared at
him. "You are SUCH an idiot!"
"Yeah," he agreed, chuckling. "But I'm YOUR idiot,
Slayer, and you're stuck with me."
"Gosh, lucky me," she grumbled as he carried her
across the basement.
"Finally admitted it." He placed her on the cot,
then stretched out next to her. "Took you long
"Oh, shut up and kiss me."
Someone spoke her name. She turned over
on the cot and was startled for a moment to see
Caleb standing at the basement window, looking
at the night sky.
'Pretty, ain't it?" he said.
Buffy wrapped a blanket around her naked body
and swung her feet to the floor. "You're not him,"
she said, joining him by the window.
"No, you killed him right and proper. Terrible loss."
He made a sad face at her. "This man was my good
right arm. 'Course it doesn't pain me too much,"
he added, smiling widely. "Don't need an arm. Got
"An army of vampires?" Buffy gasped, feigning great
fear. "However will I fight a bunch of....oh, that's right.
It's what I do, what I've been doing for years."
"Every day our numbers swell," he sneered. "But then
you do have an army of your own. Some thirty-odd,
pimply faced girls, don't know the pointy end of a
stake." He faked a look of concern. "Maybe I should
call this off."
"Hey," Buffy asked, "have you ever considered a cool
name? I mean, since you're incorporeal and basically
powerless. How about...the 'Taunter'? Strikes fear in
"I will overrun this Earth," the First proclaimed, "and
when my army outnumbers the humans on this Earth,
the scales will tip and I will be made flesh."
"Talk on," Buffy said. "I'm not afraid of you."
"Then why aren't you asleep in your dead lover's arms?"
the First asked, looking at Spike. " 'Cause he can't help
you. Nor Faith, nor your friends. Certainly not your
wanna-slay brigade." He grinned at her. "None of those
girlies will ever know real power...unless you're dead.
You know the drill." He leaned a little closer, then took
on Buffy's image. "Into every generation a slayer is
born. One girl in all the world. She alone will have the
strength and skill to....there's that word again. What
you are. How you'll die. Alone."
Even though she was more than a little jarred at the
sight of the First wearing her body, Buffy kept her com-
posure and gazed calmly into the green eyes of her
"What?" the First asked. "No snappy comeback?"
Buffy waited a beat, then turned to go back to the
cot. "Yes," she tossed over her shoulder. "Fuck off."
Spike stirred when he felt her climb in beside
him. "Anything wrong, love?"
"No," she said, then, "Yeah. I just realized some-
thing. Something that never really occurred to me
before." She smiled at him. "We're gonna win."
"Damn right we are," he smiled back at her. "Best
slayer in the history of the world. You can beat that
bitch with one hand tied behind your back."
"Oh, baby," she giggled, feeling a little silly and
playful. It might have been a little inappropriate,
considering what they were going to be facing,
but what the hell? "You're sexy when you talk
about tying things up."
His gaze kindled with heat lightning. "Yeah? Well,
I think I still have those handcuffs somewhere about."
She rolled her eyes. "Now I'm sorry I brought it up."
Spike laughed, a sexy purr from deep in his throat
that gave her goosebumps. "You brought it 'up' all
right. Give me your hand." He took it without wait-
ing, guiding it beneath the blankets and down
between his legs. "Does baby want to play?"
She closed her fingers around his erection, sliding
her hand slowly up and down.
He sucked in unnecessary air through clenched
teeth. "That's my good little baby. Just for that,
you get a treat." He turned her onto her back,
sliding down and parting her thighs. "Gonna eat
you all up. Eat you till you scream."
He set one hand above her mound held it
there. The folds of her sex were pink and glisten-
ing, as tempting a treat as he'd ever seen. He made
her wait just another precious few moments, but
when he heard a soft whimper issue from her lips,
he couldn't hold back.
The tip of his tongue licked gently up and down
the cleft, darting inside for a brief inner caress,
then returning to its previous task.
Extending his middle finger ever so slightly, he
used the tip of it to tease her clit, rubbing gently,
then pressing firmly, until she was whining like a
hungry kitten. "Feel good?" he whispered, pressing
his lips against her abdomen.
Buffy knew from previous experience with him that
the power of speech would soon be a thing of the
past. No one had ever been able to reduce her so
quickly to a helpless bundle of sexual need the way
"Tell me," he insisted, kissing her belly again.
She opened her eyes and looked down to find him
staring back at her. "So good," she told him, quite
willing to feed his ego with a solid gold spoon if it
would get him back down to business. "There's nobody
like you, baby...nobody in the world."
THAT always rang his bell, her using pet names for
him. She hadn't done it often in the past, but whenever
she did...whether it was purposeful or a slip she'd
made during a particularly passionate encounter...she
got back lightning in a bottle.
He grinned at her and dropped his head back down
between her thighs, licking and sucking on her sensitive
flesh, moaning against it to let her feel the vibration.
Spike worked over her, lapping at her harder and
faster, drinking her in. Wedging her thighs farther
apart, he inched up a bit and sucked hard on her clit,
slipping his middle finger into her at the same time,
pumping it slowly in and out.
He would have been happy to lay between her legs
forever, feasting on her juicy flesh, sucking up every
drop of wetness her healthy young body produced.
"Oh, god...oh, yes...." Buffy moaned, chanting his
name like a mantra. Her back arched as she gasped
Spike redoubled the pressure where she needed it,
and she exploded in his hands, her hips twisting
and jerking as she strained to get even closer to his
He watched as she rode out the furor of her
orgasm. She was so beautiful when she did this,
when she gave herself over into his control, lost in
her own passion. He stroked her with his hands
and soothed her with his tongue, gently licking her
until she came down to earth again.
She opened her eyes and looked for him, sighing
softly with contentment. "Spike...."
"Baby, that was beautiful," he whispered, kissing
the quivering muscle of her inner thigh.
Buffy held out her arms. "C' mere."
Placing his hands on her waist, he turned her over
as he slid beneath her. "You get on top, love. Take
me for a nice, hard ride.
Buffy grinned. "Don't you want me to...?" The question
trailed off, but she licked her lips, leaving no doubt as
to her intent.
"Go ahead, baby. You do anything you want to. Con-
sider me your personal play toy."
His skin was as smooth and cool as she remembered,
and she wrapped her fingers around his shaft, pumping
it gently. Drops of semen appeared at the tip, and she
used her thumb to smooth them back into his highly
sensitized flesh, slowly...slowly.....
"Christ...Buffy," he muttered. "Come on, love..."
"What?" she asked, purposely teasing him. "Come
on and do what?"
He chuckled. "What do you think, Slayer? Get that
luscious mouth down here and suck me."
She complied, eagerly. It was something she had
always enjoyed doing for him. He was so big and so
thick that he filled her mouth, and she liked the way
it felt when he would thrust gently, muttering some
sort of English curse words under his breath in be-
tween his lavish praise of her "talented tongue".
The salty taste of sex, the drops of liquid that
gathered on her tongue, the feel of his hands in her
hair as she slid her mouth up and down his hard
length...it was all good for her.
Spike squeezed his eyes shut tight, shivering a
little under her touch. She pulled his cock deeply
into her mouth, swirling her tongue around and
sucking hard, milking him with her small hand.
He had to stop her, it was too close and nothing
would satisfy him now but the feel of her tightness
sheath clamping down, wringing every last drop of
semen out of him.
With firm hands, he urged her off. She pulled back,
her eyes a little cloudy and confused. "Don't you
want...." It was as far as she got.
"I do, baby...but right now I want to be inside you
He held her waist and guided her until she was
hovering over him. Then, he used one hand to
position himself and waited as she slowly lowered
her hips, taking him all the way in.
The pleasure was so intense he felt his eyes
cross behind closed lids. It took every bit of control
he had not to throw her onto her back and pound
into her mindlessly.
But he waited, holding himself perfectly still
beneath her as she rode up and down on him with
long, even strokes.
Clenching his jaw, he reached up and covered
her breasts with hands, squeezing and fondling
them and fingering her nipples.
In the one hundred plus years of his existence,
he'd learned that every woman had her own
special rhythm. Buffy's was long and sweet,
with slow, sweeping movements of her hips.
Her hair rippled down her back, the honey gold
tresses bouncing as she sped up up.
Spike sat up, sliding one hand behind her
neck and pulling her forward until their mouths
came together. He kissed her sweetly, then
wildly, plunging his tongue into the hot, wet
trap of her mouth.
He took over the rhythm, thrusting his hips
up and sinking in a little deeper with each
hard push. She wrapped her hands around
his neck, twisting and grinding her mouth
"Say it," he begged, when their lips finally
parted to allow her to breath. "Buffy....say
She let her head drop back a little, wrapping
her arms around his head and cuddling him
to her breast. "I love you. I only love you, Spike.
He planted one hand slightly behind him,
leaning back on it. "Love you, too, baby,"
he muttered, sending his free hand down
between them to stroke her clit in time
with their movements.
It was the last bit of stimulation she could
take. The feel of him filling her up and
touching her so intimately sent her over the
edge. When she came, it was so intense that
she had to sink her teeth into her lower lip
to keep from screaming the house down around
"That's my girl," Spike whispered, jerking his
hips up hard and fast. Once she was all the
way through it, he turned her over and began
pumping hard and fast, slamming his pelvis
against hers again and again and again.
Buffy wrapped her arms and legs around
him, murmuring words of encouragement.
He hardly needed it. Sinking into her wet heat
was paradise to him. His head was reeling from
the pure pleasure, higher and hotter than any-
thing he'd ever felt with any other woman.
There simply WAS no other woman.
Burying his face in the fragrant, sweet flesh
of her throat, he couldn't hold back his need.
He tried to hide it from her, but she knew....
She always knew.
"It's all right. I want you to." Gently. she pried
him away and made him look at her. Her fingers
smoothed over the ridges on his forehead, then
slipped behind his neck and guided him down
again. "Make me yours."
He nuzzled her throat, searching for the proper
place, then pulled back a little.
The vein pulsed visibly, enticing him.
"Mine," he growled, then lunged forward and
slid his fangs into her vulnerable throat.
When the taste of her blood hit his tongue,
he lost the control he'd been clinging to and
ejaculated, pouring his offering into her willing
body as he drank from her.
He took just enough to establish his claim over
her and no more. Collapsing in her arms, he
groaned as the ripples of pleasure began to
lessen in their intensity, until all he could do
was whisper her name.
It was, without a doubt, the best sexual ex-
perience of his life.
Afterwards, lying quietly in her embrace, he
didn't care if he ever moved again. It was worth
Buffy was worth everything. She was his now, as
he had been hers from the very beginning. He
had to be with her. He would never survive...never
WANT to survive....without her.
Wherever she went, he would go, too. He'd
follow her around the world and back again,
doing whatever she asked, caring for and pro-
tecting her, no matter the cost.
Let whatever was going to happen tomorrow
happen. They would beat it back, as many
times as they had to, just as they had done
before and would do again.
Buffy sat at the rear of the bus, staring out the
back window. The darkness was like nothing
she'd ever seen before.
In a city, even the night wasn't completely dark. Too
many street lights and car lights, neon signs and
brightly lit houses.
But out here, on this arid desert highway, the
dark was absolute.
She sighed raggedly, trying to hold back the
painful memory of what she'd left behind.
A town...sunken into the opened maw of the
earth...and gone forever.
Her eyes filled with tears.
Every trace wiped out. Not even the comfort of
a grave to visit. Nowhere to take the flowers to.
All gone now.
But as much as it hurt to dwell on it, she knew
she'd be fine. The battle was won and life would
"Whatcha thinking about?" Dawn asked, slipping
into the seat behind Buffy.
Leaning her cheek on her hand, Buffy smiled. Her
gaze flicked briefly around, touching lightly on all
her sleeping friends. "That I've never been so tired
in my life," she said. "And a little bit about Mom."
Dawn shrugged. "Well, sorry...but you're wanted up
Buffy groaned. "What for? It's not like I can drive this
"You know what for," Dawn said, yanking Spike's coat
off where he'd wrapped it around Buffy, and shrugging
it on herself. "Let him talk YOUR ear off for a while. I
need to sleep. If I have to listen to one more of those
awful poems, I'll stake him myself."
"Slayer! Get your lazy arse up here and keep me com-
(Okay, I don't know HOW he survived,
but he did. Let's just go with it, shall we?)