The blond man leaned against a telephone pole and lit another cigarette. He watched as the pretty young woman parked and got out of her car in front of Mary's Daycare. It was the same five nights a week, at 6:00 she stopped and picked up a pretty little girl with light brown hair, usually done up in curly pigtails. Sometimes they went straight home and sometimes they stopped at the grocery store or ran errands. She smiled when she was with the little girl, first time he had seen her genuinely smile in years.
Spike got into his car and followed Buffy for to the grocery store, he had been doing this for two weeks now. Since his return to Sunnydale he wasn't sure why, maybe because she was familiar. Someone he knew despite their mortal enemy status. Tonight was different though tonight, she was met by Riley Finn, he hadn't changed much, spike noted as they walked into the store together the little girl in Riley's arms. He followed them at a safe distance, as they put the little girl in the buggy and started shopping. Spike noted to himself that they looked like the picture of domestic bliss. One aisle over though he could hear that they were anything but blissful. "No, Riley, I can't go." Buffy said tiredly.
"Why?" He had asked in a pleading voice.
"You know why?" She told him and walked over to the ice cream, he followed leaving the little girl in the buggy.
Spike could not resist, he walked cautiously towards the little girl, she was very pretty, she had recieved equal parts of her parents good looks. "Hello there, pet" He said softly as he pretended to look at cereal.
The little girl smiled at him, "Hello." He smiled back at her, "Which of these do you recommend?" He asked her pointing at the cereal on the shelf.
"Oh, the Frosted Flakes are good, but Grandma says they have too much sugar." She told him still smiling.
"Well then that's what I'll get. Thank you........I didn't get your name." Spike said with a wink.
"Caitlin Elizabeth Finn, I am four years old. Who are you?" She asked full of curiosity.
"My name is William, Caitlin. Is that your Mommy and Daddy over there? They don't look very happy."
Caitlin nodded as she watched Buffy and Riley talking in muted whispers. "They aren't they are sad, me and Daddy are going back to the farm tomorrow and Daddy wants Mommy to go, but she can't she has to stay here and take care of stuff. Daddy is sad, Mommy is sad."
Spike shook his head, "Well maybe it will get better. See you." He told her as he ducked around the corner, seeing Buffy and Riley head back to the shopping cart. "Buffy, you could just go back to Iowa with Caitlin and I and forget about this, let someone else take care of Sunnydale for a change. Please." He asked softly.
"Riley, I can't, and in your heart you know that. I'll be there in 6 weeks to pick up Caitlin." She paused a moment before she added her voice choked slightly with emotion, "And Riley, sign the papers. You know it's for the best. Find someone who can be all that you want, someone who deserves you."
Riley looked at her his face reflecting his pain, "But, I found that someone, Buffy, it's you."
Buffy sighed as they continued down the aisle. Spike watched them pay for the groceries and go back to her house. He watched Riley unload the groceries, then several hours later, Buffy saw him to the door, handing over Caitlin, kissing her sleeping face, and giving Riley her suitcase. Riley touched her cheek tenderly with one hand then left with thier daughter.
Spike watched him leave and crept closer, spying in the window, he watched as Buffy cried herself to sleep on the couch. He felt a tightness in his chest, a twinge of something, something was wrong here, very wrong. And he felt himself wanting to make it right and it confused him as to why he would care.
He watched her sleeping thorugh the window until almost dawn, then he made his way back to his hotel room. He fell into a troubled sleep, strange dreams of a crying Slayer haunted him. That evening he watched her as she patrolled easily taking out several vamps, but she seemed troubled. He followed her to Giles and spyed through the window again, the watcher was pacing and that was never a good sign. He listened to parts of their conversation.
"Buffy, go to Iowa, be safe." Giles seemed to be pleading with her.
"Giles, you know I can't do that. And besides we've dealt with prohesies before, I'll be fine. You used to support me now you want me to hold back, your're getting as bad as Riley." She sighed as she sharpened a stake.
"You didn't have Caitlin before." He told her softly putting his hand on her arm and looking into her eyes, "She needs you, Buffy."
"Giles, if this big bad is going to get me, it's gonna find me in Iowa, I'm not safe anywhere." She half smiled at him as she stood and patted his back. "It's okay."
"But, Riley loves you, Buffy. You have to allow him to be concerned. I don't understand your pushing him into this ridiculous divorce." Giles snapped at her, then sighed apologetically. "I'm sorry."
"Giles, he knew when he married me what I was. And we didn't plan on children and we ended up with the most precious little girl in the world, and I would not trade her for anything. But the fact that I have a child does not change who I am. Riley doesn't understand that, yes, he loves me but when it gets down to it he can't accept me. It's my fault I should have known better then to expect any kind of normalcy, I should have never married him."
"Buffy that's where you're wrong. You deserve some happiness." Giles smiled warmly at her as she went to the door.
"Not in the cards, Giles. If you find anything else out, call me." She smiled as she left.
Spike waited until she was out of sight, then knocked on the door.
Giles rubbed his neck tiredly as he got up to answer the door. He was surprised to find Spike there, "Spike?"
"It's me." Spike told him as he walked past him into the living room.
"Do come in." Giles told him sarcastically as he followed him in.
"You've never done the keep out spell?" Spike asked with a raised eyebrow.
"It didn't seem necessary," Giles told him, then added with a half smile, "Until now."
Spike smiled back at him cockily, "So hows the Slayer?" He asked nonchalantly.
"Buffy is fine. Why ae you here Spike?" Giles asked suspiciously.
"I've come to help the Slayer. I don't think she's fine, in fact she cried herself to sleep on her couch last night, if she's that down how can she save anyone?"
Giles gasped at Spike, "You've been watching Buffy?"
"Yes, I came into town and I saw her and I followed her and well anyway, she's got a kid now, and she's obviously in a not so good marriage with that ex commando, and I'm guessing there is a big bad after her again. And I've come to help." Spike ended his monlogue with an uneeded sigh.
"Why?" Giles asked simply.
"Why? Well, because," Spike thought a moment, "Hell, I don't know, I just saw her looking miserable and I've got nothing better to do, so tell me whats going on. Come on Giles, I've helped before."
Giles sighed, "You're right Spike, what the hell? She won't accept help from us, she's pushed away everyone who cares for her. It's like she's accepted that Wishavos will kill her, she just plans on taking him out in the process. Riley wants her to hide in Iowa with him, I had come to the point that I wanted her to do that too."
"Tell me about Wishavos, he's a vampire, right? I know I've heard of him, but I didn't think he was such a threat."
"He's been gathering followers, sending them here ahead of him, they are vamps on a suicide mission, Buffy's been taking them out, but there numbers are increasing. And I've come across a prophecy about such a thing happening, until the Vamp with the power shows up and takes down the Slayer. Wishavos is not mentioned by name, but it fits."
"Do you know how long before he gets here?" Spike asked a hard edge to his voice.
"I think about six weeks, but I'm not certain."
"Well we have six weeks then, don't we?" Spike smiled as he went to the door.
"Where are you going?" Giles asked.
"To see Buffy." Spike smiled as he closed the door.
Buffy had just run her bath wter when the door bell rang. She sighed loudly threw on her robe and went to the door. Her mouth dropped when she saw Spike standing outside her door.
"Slayer." He said enthustiastically, smiling broadly.
Buffy pulled her robe around her a little tighter and rolled her eyes at him, "Spike, why are you here?"
"Aren't you going to invite me in?"
"I hadn't intended to." She told him a small smile on her face, it had been years since she had seen him, he'd left Sunnydale with a kind of truce between them.
"Is that anyway to treat an old friend?" He asked his eyes twinkling at her.
"Were we ever friends, Spike?"
"Well, let's just say I have info on Wishavos, please let me in."
"Fine, Spike please come into my home, but don't forget that I still have the uninvite spell." She opened the door wider and he followed her into the house. It was pretty house, not extravagant but homey, filled with love. or it had been at one time.
Buffy motioned for him to sit, he chose a chair across from her as she sat on the couch pulling the short robe down to cover her bare legs. He'd never noticed those legs before, that was a lie he'd noticed them a million times, but had never been this close to them bare before. Stop it Spike, that's not why your here.
He looked around the room lots of pictures of Buffy and Riley and several of Caitlin decorated the mantle and tabletops. He smiled at the picture of a tired Buffy holding a squirming bundle in her arms, a mile wide smile on her face, Riley standing beside the hospital bed beaming at his wife and child.
"She's a pretty little thing." He told her pointing at a more recent picture of Caitlin in a frilly dress, hair in ringlets smiling brightly with her Mother's hazel eyes.
"Thanks." Buffy replied softly, "Now what about Wishavos?"
"Wishavos is not going to kill you, Buffy." He stated matter of factly.
"Really, and how do you know this, Spike?" She asked him incredously.
He looked directly in her eyes, "Because I won't let him." He made the simple declaration and watched her reaction.
She gave a small laugh, "Why? Why won't you let him Spike? I mean of all the people that I have offering to rescue me, why you?"
He stood and made the few steps to the couch and sat closely next to her. "Because I know what you need right now. How long have you been separated from Riley?"
"How can you know what I need? I haven't seen you for close to six years. And Riley hasn't lived here for six months, just after Giles discovered this stupid prophecy. Riley wanted me to quit, just leave, let Wishavos come to Sunnydale and do as he pleased." She told him bitterly.
"And you can't, you can't walk away from it. I understand that Slayer, I've known you to long. But you can't just give up on everything you can't just accept this stupid prophecy and you can't do it alone either. So, good news pet, I've come to help." He cautiously took one of her hands in his and grinned, "No need to thank me, luv."
Buffy laughed a little louder now, she smiled at him and she didn't move her hand. "Thank you, Spike."
"Now we have plans to make, we have about six weeks to figure this out. I start patrolling with you tomorrow night." He stood up letting her hand go. "I'm leaving now, I'll meet you here tomorrow at dusk. Here's my hotel number if you need me." He told her as he handed her a slip of paper.
"Spike you are full of surprises." She said softly as she watched him walk to his car.
Buffy added some hot water to her bath and soaked for a long time. Trying not to think about Riley or Caitlin or that goofy vampire who had come to rescue her. She decided that she could accept Spike's help easier then the others because he wasn't as apt to be hurt. She was never going to get involved with another person who could get hurt, it added too much stress to her life.
Dusk came and sure enough Spike knocked on Buffy's door. She looked good albeit a little tired as she locked up and joined him at his car. She had on tight jeans and a lovely sweater and he could have sworn she was still in High School.
They patrolled until right before sunrise, taking 12 vamps out between them. And the vampires were bolder then usual, Giles were right they were on a suicide mission. Buffy insisted Spike stay in her spare room since it was nearly dawn, he tried to argue but she was firm. Thanking him for the help, she left the room and he settled in for the day. Once again his dreams filled of Buffy.
The nights turned into two weeks of patrolling the vamps increasing nightly. Giles had Spike move from the hotel to his apartment, but Spike still spent a lot of days at Buffy's because of the late patrolling.
A month soon passed, Spke spent most of his time with Buffy now. They had to find a way to stop this influx of vamps. He had begun to have real feelings for her. He loved the way she smiled and talked animatedly to Caitlin on the phone, he could feel the love she had for the child whenever she spoke to her, and he noticed the sadness and hushed tones when Riley would obviously get on the phone.
On a particularly heavy night of patrolling, they took out two dozen vamps between them. Buffy had fought very effectively, almost visciously at his side. That morning when they separated and went to their separate rooms he heard crying from her room. He debated going to her as he listened to the muffled sobs. Finally he could take no more, he slipped a tee shirt on over his boxers and crept into her room. He found her huddled in a ball her face buried in the pillow.
"Buffy." He called to her quietly, stroking her hair gently.
She rolled over, her eyes swollen and red rimmed. "Spike." His name was spoken softly.
"What's wrong, luv?"
"There are too many of them coming. By the time he gets here, I can't fight them all, Spike. We can't fight them all. I'm going to leave her, Caitlin will end up without a Mother, and Riley, he'll never forgive me." She sobbed softly.
"You aren't going to die, Buffy. I won't let you, you just need to relax, forget things for awhile. Lay back, just forget everything for tonight, pretend everything in perfectly normal." He lie her back in the bed pulling the covers up around her.
Spike noticed that she was looking at him oddly, he frowned slightly. "Buffy, what is it?"
"Make me forget, Spike. Just for tonight, make me forget it all." She sat up and leaned towards him. Her eyes boring into his as her lips lightly brushed his.
"But...Riley." He said softly as he gently pushed her away from him.
"I love Riley, but I can't have him anymore then I can have Angel. Riley is a wonderful man with a wonderful soul, but what I do hurts him, I won't do that. And Angel is a wonderful vampire with a beautiful soul, that he would lose if we were together. But you Spike, I can't hurt you." She said as she kissed him again.
Spike gently pushed her away again, then looked into those eyes, those damn eyes, how much resistance was expected from one vampire? He took her in his arms then and pulled her close, his lips finding hers in a deep kiss. She eagerly returned the kiss, pausing to help him rmove the tee shirt.
Their lovemaking was gentle and slow, there were no declarations of deep love, just an easy companionship of two people who needed each other. Spike smiled down at Buffy as she slept in his arms, a small smile on her lips.
He kissed the top of her tousled hair, his last thought before he gave into sleep was that she was wrong, of course she didn't know it, but yes, she *could*hurt him.
Buffy woke first, she stretched and her arm hit something, something smooth and muscled, "Riley" she thought with a smile. Then turning over she saw Spike, suddenly the events of the night before came back to her. She sighed deeply then allowed herself to smile at him. He looked very vulnerable as he slept, none of his cockiness showed while he slept, he looked peaceful. She moved to get up, but hesitated and ran a gentle finger across his prominent cheekbone, he stirred slightly and burrowed deeper into the pillow. She smiled at him again as she went to shower.
The hot water felt good as she stood against the shower wall, her eyes closed thinking about her very messed up life. Well there would only be two more weeks of it anyway, she somehow felt that this was it, her time was up. She and Spike had been killing vamps right and left and more kept coming, Wishavos would show up and the Slayer would die in a fire, it was in the prophecy. She was going to miss Caitlin, and Riley. But distancing herself from them was the only way she could get through this. She loved them and she couldn't go on hurting them, her death would hurt yes, but then the pain would be over, they would learn to go on. Yes this was the best way, to do it alone
Only she wasn't really alone now, Spike was here. Spike, she knew she should feel guilty over last night, but she kept thinking that maybe Giles was right, just a little bit of happiness before she died. And Spike was a good friend, he held her and comforted her and he when she died he'd be okay with it because he was really just doing this because he liked a good fight, and maybe the sex was an extra for him. But he didn't care enough to be hurt and thats what she needed right now.
She finished showering and entered the bedroom to get dressed. Spike watched her through slitted eyes, he had worried that he would find her a guilty mass of tears this morning, but she looked okay. She looked *too* okay in fact. "Good morning." He said lazily over the blowdryer.
She turned to smile at him, "Good morning. I'm sorry if the hairdryer woke you."
"It's okay." He got up and walked towards the bathroom not bothering to cover himself, Buffy blushed slightly as he walked by. Then laughed to herself, there really was no reason for modesty now.
She heard the shower turn on as she walked downstairs to the kitchen. She fixed some toast and bacon for herself and sat out a mug for Spike's blood. She busied herself straightening up around the living room.
Spike found her staring at a family picture of herself with Riley and Caitlin. He lay a gentle hand on her shoulder. She turned and looked at him and what he saw scared him. He could tell in her eyes she'd given up, she'd accepted her impending death. She was saying goodbye to everyone around her.
"Slayer, maybe when this is over, you can work it all out?" He asked hoping for some kind of positive response.
She shook her head, "Spike you know how it's gonna end this time. We keep staking more and more vamps, they keep coming. I just want to take Wishavos out with me." She stated it simply, no tears, no emotion of any kind.
"Slayer, I told you I'm not going to let you die." He spoke adamantly putting his hands on her shoulders and spinning her around to face him.
She smiled then, a small, sweet smile, lifting one hand to caress his cheek, she spoke softly "Spike, I appreciate all of your help, but this time I feel it. But there are things I need you to do....after. Because Giles won't be able to, I know him and he'll be too upset."
Spike shook his head no repeatedly, "Buffy, this is silly. You'll be fine."
"Please, Spike." She asked softly taking his hand to sit beside her on the couch.
She sighed and began to speak. "I need you to make sure that Riley knows just how much I loved him. Let him know that I never stopped no matter how it seemed. And let Caitlin know how much I loved her, give her this for me." She told him as she removed a beautiful cross necklace from around her neck and handed it to him.
"Buffy....." Spike interjected, but she held her hand up and he was quiet.
"I want Giles to have my Slayer diaries. Maybe it will give him a deeper understanding of me and perhaps let him know how much he meant to me. Please help my Mom through this the best you can and let her know I always thought of her even when it seemed I didn't." She paused took another deep breath and continued, "Tell Willow and Xander that I love them and appreciate everything they've done for me over the years."
"Okay, I'll do it, but it's going to way into the future, Buffy. You have plenty of time to plan this." He told her in a soft voice.
:"One more thing, Spike."
"Yes." He dreaded this part he knew what was coming, she hadn't mentioned the Poof yet so he knew it was coming.
"Angel." She said his name with an almost reverance.
"I need you to give this to him," She pulled the steriling cross that Angel had given her when they met, out of her pocket and handed it to him. "Tell him I loved him always and it's time to stop thinking about what might have been and if he broods when he hears about my death I'll come back to haunt him." She let out a soft laugh.
"Fine, I'll do it." He said with a grin as he took the necklace by the chain and stuck it in his duster pocket with the one for Caitlin.
"I have to tell you that I don't think Angel would mind being haunted by you." He smiled at her eyes twinkling.
"Thank you, Spike." She sighed and leaned to kiss his cheek. "Thank you for everything."
She stood up and walked towards the kitchen, "Come on, you need to eat so we can go kill vamps tonight."
He followed her into the kitchen trying not to show how upset he was at her attitude, how at the same time he was proud she'd chosen him to deliver her last wishes, he would just have to make sure that she lived a long time prophecy or no prophecy.
Early the following morning.............
"That's a record." Buffy told Spike as she flopped down on the couch.
"48 vamps in one night. I'd say so. Just wish one of them would give up something on Wishavos." He told her as she sat down beside her.
Spike brought his hand to her face to examine a nasty looking bruise, and a cut under her eye. "Let me fix that for you." He told her standing up.
"It's okay, just sit with me." She asked taking his hand and pulling him back down on the couch.
He obeyed, putting an arm around her and pulling her closer, placing a kiss in her hair. She turned her face towards him, and smiled softly. he placed a gentle kiss on her lips cautiously. She returned it surprising him, they had not mentioned what had happened the day before, all night. He didn't want to push her.
The kisses became more intimate as he gently kissed her bruises, she ran her hands thorugh his hair anxiously. He picked her up in one swift move and headed towards the bedroom.
After, as she lay sleeping, he cursed himself, how could he have done this? He'd fallen in love with the Slayer.
The next night was even worse, Buffy and Spike had finally split up and fought in different directions. Buffy was thankful it had happened that way, she finally got hold of a vamp that would talk, he spit the information out at her venomously, she thanked him as she staked him. She dusted off her hands and went to find Spike. Now she knew when and where Wishavos would be.
Spike had just finished up a couple of vamps when he saw Buffy approaching him, smiling brightly. "Ready to call it a night?" She asked cheerfully.
"If you are. Why are you so happy?"
"No special reason." She told him as they rode back to her house.
He held her tightly as she fell asleep. He had an uneasy feeling, but he couldn't explain why.
The rest of the week went by in a blur of vampire killings and going back to Buffy's for hours of the sweetest pleasure Spike had known. One afternoon a knock on the door interrupted them, Buffy got up nervously to answer the door, her fear showed on her face when she woke Spike.
"It's okay, Buffy, my blankets are on the couch who ever it is you can tell them I've gone to shower." He told her calmly as he got up and went towards the shower.
Buffy answered the door to find Giles standing there, anxiety all over his face. She led him into the living room, he noticed the blankets on the couch "Where is Spike?" He asked.
"Umm, in the shower." Buffy answered, "What's wrong, Giles?"
"I've narrowed down the date of Wishavos' arrival, it should be Saturday night." Giles told her glumly, "I was hoping for a little more time."
"It's okay, Giles. We'll deal with it." She told him never letting on that she had already known this information and more. She already had a plan worked out, she was going in alone.
Spike soon joined them his hair still damp from the shower. "Watcher, any news?" He asked as he sat next to Buffy.
"Oh, yes, Wishavos arrives Saturday. We just have to find his lair now." Giles filled Spike in.
"Well then Buffy and I will make our move Saturday, it shouldn't be too hard to find his lair." Spike said smiling at Buffy, she simply smiled back and nodded her head in agreement.
"I'll be going too, you'll need all of the help you can get." Giles said in a voice that brooked no argument.
"Okay, meet us here at dusk on Saturday. And we'll get this done." Buffy stood and excused herself, "Meanwhile, I need to shower I've got vamps to kill tonight."
As Buffy dissappeared up the staircase, Giles turned to Spike, "How is she?"
"She's fine, don't worry." Spike lied easily, he still had a horrbily disturbing feeling that something was wrong.
Giles said his goodbyes, Buffy and Spike ate a quick bite and patrolled, taking out as many vamps as they had the night before.
Friday came and when they arrived home early Saturday morning, he and Buffy fell into the bed laughing about some of the ridiculously easy kills they had made, "The vamps are definitely getting dumber." She had giggled, he had pushed her hair from her face and then kissed her soundly. "Buffy," He said seriously.
"Yes." She'd answered with a smile as her hand ran up and down his chest.
"I lo..."He started but she lay her finger over his lips to stop him.
She looked at him with damp eyes, "Don't say it, Spike. I know it, here." She said pointing to her chest. "But don't say it aloud, I can't deal with one more person loving me and losing me. You are supposed to just be in this for the fun, okay?" She asked in a small voice.
"Okay." He answered her by pulling her into his arms and holding her tightly. They made love for several hours before she fell asleep one arm across his waist. He looked at her small and vulnerable as she slept "But I do love you Buffy." He whispered softly to the room.
Buffy was restless and couldn't sleep she was up by noon. She walked around the house examining things as if she would never see them again. Spike watcherd her nervously. Despite everything he'd told her she was still certain that she was going to die. He tried to talk to her, but she was engrossed in a stack of picture albums. He listened to her talking to Caitlin and Riley on the phone and it nearly broke his undead heart. Riley was to bring her the signed divorced papers.
Around three o'clock she took Spike by the hand and led him upstairs. "Hold me for a little while, lets take a nap." She told him as they lie side by side on the bed. He held her close, until her eyes closed and her breathing became even then he too fell asleep.
Buffy waited until she was sure he was sleeping. She walked to the jewelry box and rummaged through it until she found what she was looking for. She opened the locket and smiled at the pictures of she and Riley and of Caitlin. She fastened the chain around her neck, took a final look at the still sleeping Spike and left the house.
It was still daylight so the warehouse was very easy to find. She snuck in easily hiding behind the barrels of diesel fuel, stacked everywhere. She cautiously peeked around the barrels in the direction of voices, there sat a very impsosing vampire on a makeshift throne. Several minions were around him serving his beck and call. Lit torches lined both sides of the floor leading to the throne.
Buffy carefully pulled her crossbow from the bag, she aimed and the bolt flew through the air aimed perfectly for his heart. Wishavos looked up in surprise but caught the bolt easily. "Slayer, I knew you would come." He said with a gruff laugh.
Buffy set off another bolt to his left, it hit one of the barrels causeing the diesel to leak down the floor beside Wishavos, "You're a little to the left on that one, Slayer." He stood up as Buffy sent another bolt to his right hitting another barrel. The smell of diesel was strong in the air as it puddled around Wishavos.
"Come meet your fate, little Slayer." He motioned for her, Buffy walked slowly towards him. "That's right, you can't resist it. It's time for you to go now and for my reign to begin."
He watched her with glee as she made the slow walk between the torches. When she was almost to him she turned and knocked the torch over by his throne, the diesel caught fire quickly. Wishavos screamed as the flames licked at him and soon engulfed him, his final screams echoed in her ears, "Ah, you may have got me Slayer, but there's no way out for you either."
He was right, minions ran everywhere ignoring her as the flames spread trapping everyone in the building. Buffy turned around coughing as the haevy dark smoke surrounded her, blocking her view and making her head cloudy, where was that door?
Spike woke to find it had just turned dark, and to find himself alone. Buffy was nowhere to be found. She wouldn't have gone, she couldn't have gone alone! He called Giles as he got dressed. How did she know where to find Wishavos , did she know, or was she just wandering alone out there in the dark waiting for Wishavos to find her.
He flew out the door and headed to the warehouse district the vampire activity had tripled there lately. It didn't take long to find what he was looking for a large warehouse was on fire, black smoke billowing from the windows and doors. Firemen tried to hold him back as he made his way to the building.
"You can't go in there, it's going to blow up, there is fuel in there." A large firefighter grabbed his arm. He pulled away sharply and made a run for the nearest window, he broke through screaming "Buffy!"
Buffy was lightheaded and her throat was hurting, she thought she heard a voice, Spike. Yes, it was Spike. She yelled as loudly as she could, "Spike!"
Within moments he had her in his arms. Carrying her out of the warehouse to fresh air and safety outside. They were barely at a safe distance when the several explosions went off, the warehouse collapsed in a fiery heap.
"Spike." She said softly her arms around his neck. "Thank you."
"Slayer, don't you ever do that again, taking off by yourself like that." He kept miumbling and chastising her over and over again. holding her tightly against him. Just happy to have her alive and well in his arms.
"Buffy!" Another familiar voice, Buffy opened her eyes to see Riley and Giles running across the parking lot.
"Riley!" She exclaimed as Spike sat her down. She looked at Spike, confusion filled her hazel eyes. She looked from him to Riley.
Spike looked at her and whispered, "Go to him, Buffy. He loves you, you love him. You have Caitlin. Go." He watched as she gave him a grateful smile then walked towards Riley.
Riley pulled her close to him, lifting her off her feet. Showering kisses on the top of her head. "Buffy, I don't care about the slaying. I love you, please don't push me away. I don't care about the amount of time we have, I just want to spend every second of that time with you. Please, Buffy."
She cried now, tears of joy and tears of sadness mixed. "I love you too, Riley. How did you know?"
"I came early I had to talk to you about those stupid papers one more time, I went by Giles just as Spike had called him tonight. Buffy together we can fight whatever comes, no more of this going it alone."
"Okay, okay." She smiled at him as he scooped one arm under her legs and walked towards Spike. "Riley, the papers, you signed them?"
Riley grinned at her, "These papers" he held the blue foldered legal papers in one hand, he walked towards one of the small fires burning from the debris of the warehouse and dropped them into the fire watching for a second as the turned to ash. She lay her head against his broad shoulder and sighed.
Giles was talking to Spike as Riley approached him. "Spike, I have to thank you for saving my wife." He extended his hand to Spike who shook it briefly.
"You're welcome. I wasn't doing anything else tonight, so...." He said with a grin.
"I'm going to take her to pick up Caitlin at Joyce's then we are all going home." He smiled down at Buffy. "Thank you both." She said softly as she let her husband carry her to the car.
Giles and Spike watched the couple as they walked away. "Thank you,Spike."
"Well, like I told commando boy, I had nothing better to do."
"You may have fooled Riley, Spike. But not me, I've seen the look in your eyes before, in another vampires eyes. She seems to have that effect on people and vampires. What you did was a noble thing. Don't forget that." Giles patted Spike on the back and walked away leaving the vampire alone.
50 years later.........
"You came." The dark haired man spoke to the blond with a small amount of surprise in his voice.
"Of course, I bloody came. It's what she wanted and you know as well as I do that neither of us could turn down her wish." The blond replied.
The two men walked to a freshly dug grave, still marked only with the metal marker that shone in int the moonlight.. It read Buffy Summers Finn. Both men placed a single flower on the grave.
"So what were you supposed to tell me?" Angel asked Spike as he leaned against a tree.
"She made me promise to give you this." He fished the handerkerchief out of his pocket and handed it to Angel, the pocket felt so empty now, he'd carried that cross around with anothe one,r for fifty years, he's already delivered Caitlin's earlier in the day.
Angel opened the handkerchief and sighed when he saw the silver cross. He smiled as he rewrapped it tucking it safely in his pocket.
"And she said to tell you not to brood over things that might have been or she would come haunt you." Spike smiled at his sire.
"I might like that." Angel answered softly.
"That's what I told her." Spike grinned again as he lit a cigarette.
Angel reached in his coat pocket and pulled out a yellowed, frayed envelope, he handed it to Spike. "This is for you. She gave it to me about a week after that Wishavos incident, I was to give it to you when she died."
Spike took the envelope as if it were a priceless treasure. He stared at it for a long moment, before Angel finally asked, "Are you going to open it?"
"Later, maybe later." He answered as he tucked it into the pocket that the necklaces had been in. A new treasure to take their place.
"Well, I'm going. Thanks for coming and bringing this to me," Angel told him as he patted his pocket. He turned and walked a few steps then turned around again, "Spike, I know you loved her. It's okay, she was easy to love."
Spike turned to reply, but Angel was already gone. He sat down on the ground in front of her grave and pulled out the envelope. He opened it gently and began to read.
If you are reading this then I know Angel did what I asked, and I know that you also honored my wish for him. I'm gone, but it's okay. I had a lovely life, I had the love of three wonderful men. Yes, Spike, three wonderful men. Riley, who you made me see that I needed and could have that normal life with, Angel, who would always be my first and own a part of my heart and thirdly you, Spike. For several weeks one summer you loved me and showed me things I needed to know. Thank you, I'm not sure a mere thank you covers that, but it's the best I can do. And I wanted you to know that, and despite my happiness with Riley and Caitlin, a part of my heart belongs to you too.
Be happy, Spike.
Spike folded the note and slipped it back into the envelope. He gently slid the envelope back into his pocket and patted it. He stood, stomped out his cigarette and left the cemetary a serene smile on his face. She was truly the closest to heaven that he had ever come.