Author: ACeH-aH PM
Buffy left Spike's crypt after another round of "I'll just pretend this means nothing", and everything goes to hell. One shot.Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Crime - Words: 5,850 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Published: 08-07-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7262590
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Regretfully leaving Spike's crypt, Buffy went on her way down the roads she'd traveled so much in her few short years of living in Sunnydale. She'd seen the best and the worst of this hell. Been attacked by demons, by humans, seen everything she'd ever loved fall to pieces, had her heart broken over and over again, and yet, she couldn't imagine calling any other place home. Not after the grand adventures she'd had there – horrible as they might have been – with the friends that were even grander.
She kicked a rock across the street, trying to make herself feel guilty for sleeping with Spike – again – but could only manage to find the guilt that she felt for leaving him. Though she'd no doubt see him again within the next twenty four hours, she felt bad for hurting him.
"Dawnie, get up! You're going to be late for school!" Tara called through the teenager's door. She had to be at school in forty minutes. "I'll call Xander to drive you, but get up!"
Dawn groaned, but did as she was told. Rolling off of her bed, and into some clothes, she hurried down the stairs with her hairbrush to get some breakfast.
"Wow, multitasking," Willow grinned in amusement as Dawn poured her cereal while pulling a brush through her thick brown hair. "Hey, Tara," she turned in her seat at the island to face her cheerful lover. "Is Buffy awake yet? I mean, didn't she have a job interview this morning? I thought she'd be up already..." She rambled, trying to remember her friend's schedule for the day.
"Uh, no, I don't think so... I'll go check." Tara turned for the stairs, leaving the two friends to chatter and giggle girlishly.
Once outside Buffy's bedroom, she knocked twice before pushing the door open. She scanned the room, her eyes widening momentarily in shock when she noticed that Buffy wasn't there, and what was more, her bed hadn't been slept in.
"Willow!" Tara fled back down the stairs and into the kitchen, grabbing onto the threshold to stop her from running head first into one of the girls. "I don't think Buffy came home last night."
"But – she does that sometimes right? I mean, patrol, big demons, and – oh my god, I'll call Giles." Willow moved liked lightning from her spot beside Dawn and to the phone, dialling the Watcher's number with practice fingers.
Tara looked at Dawn, who still had a spoon halfway to her mouth, mouth still full, and staring wide eyed and unmoving.
It was barely ten minutes before the whole gang was crowded in the Summers' living room. All looking at each other helplessly.
"Well, where did she patrol last night? We can start there." Xander stated, looking to Giles for the needed information.
"She made a large circuit, here; I have the map with me I think..." Giles rummaged around in his bag for the map, taking off his glasses in the process.
"I think one of us should get Spike," Tara said suddenly, receiving surprised stares from everyone in the room. "He's been helping her – slay I mean, and – and they've been hanging out, sort of, and well, Spike could probably find her better than any of us." She blushed, looking down.
"She's right, let's go!" Dawn yanked Tara up from the couch.
"Wait! Wait, why don't we do a spell? A – a location spell." Willow looked hopeful; it would be the fastest way to save her friend.
"Yes, quite, but perhaps Tara is right. We don't know what sort of demons, or otherwise could have caused her absence. I feel that it would be best to find Spike. He might have some information on the subject any who." Giles polished his glasses on the white cloth that he kept in his pocket.
Dawn didn't need any more consent than that, in seconds her and Tara were out the door, and running as fast as their feet could carry them to the cemetery.
"Spike!" Dawn shouted, a hysterical edge to her voice which sent Spike running, the second she'd gotten through the door to his crypt.
"Dawn? What is it?" He was by her side in seconds, pulling her away from the door that Tara was frantically trying to close to keep out the oh so deadly sunlight.
"Buffy didn't come home last night. Is she here?" Dawn fretfully searched every inch of the crypt while Spike turned with wide eyes to Tara.
"She left here at about three last night," his voice was barely louder than a whisper.
She nodded, "Willow's going to do a location spell."
"This means she's been gone for half a day." He said as though he hadn't heard her.
"Yes, and we're going to find her, but we need your help."
He looked at her for a moment, anxiety brewing in his eyes, before it all disappeared and was replaced by his reasonable calm demeanour. "Slayer's taken time like this before, she'll be back home before too long." He shrugged and went back to his chair.
"No Spike," Dawn flung herself at him. "This time is different, I mean, I have this feeling. Like something really bad happened to her. Spike you have to help!" Her words came out so rushed it sounded like one long word, rather than very many hysterical ones.
Spike sighed and rubbed his hand over his eyes. "Willow's going to do a spell?" It was more of a statement than a question, but Tara nodded her response anyhow. He nodded a response, and then stood to grab his blanket. "I'll take the sewers; ask anyone I meet on the way. Meet you at the house." He muttered, leaving the crypt in a wisp of grey blanket.
When Buffy finally woke up, it hurt. A lot. She felt hung over. Her mouth was dry, and her head hurt, and her muscles were stiff and sore. When her eyes fluttered open it was dark, and she thought that perhaps she was blind, until she noticed a few small blinking lights on the cold walls. She sat up slowly, looking around suspicious at her surroundings.
Not too far off, there was a light, and grateful that she'd found a possible exit, she heaved herself up from her slump on the ground and ran towards it. Though it wasn't an exit at all. No, there was a TV, and a VCR... A paper was taped to the top that read Push Play. She shrugged, why not. Pushing the play button she felt her nerves rise. She knew that face. Though she hadn't seen it in a while it was unmistakable. She pure white of the mask, with the blood red swirls on the cheeks, the lips and eyes that were the same colour...
"No," she whispered, shaking her head. "No way." Her nerves were replaced by amusement. The irony that after being attacked by demon after demon, a hell god even, and this silly little human though he could do her in. She chuckled.
The film began, the message being told in a rough, deadly voice that might have sent shivers up her spine, though she'd spoken face to face with beasts like Glory, and Angelus, and the Master... So really it had her suppressing the urge to chuckle.
"Buffy Summers," it began, leaving a fearful note hang in the air around her, and she shook her head against it, anger filling the short silence that he left. "You are nineteen years old, and yet, instead of living your life as a normal teenager does, have fun, go to parties, you wish to be dead. You hurt the ones around you with this longing." Another dramatic silence. "Now is your chance Buffy Summers, you have a choice now. You can die here, or you can prove your want to live, and escape. The choice is yours."He pointedly fixed the camera with a masked gaze. "You have exactly three hours to escape alive, before the gas that is slowly seeping out of the pipes, takes your breath." He chuckled wickedly.
Looking around she felt her fear peaking again, she had no idea where she was. She needed Giles. Or Willow. Or Spike. Somebody! Giles would use his smart Watcher brain to figure a way out, and Willow would use a spell... Or something. And Spike, he could sniff his way out... Or listen, or see something that her eyes couldn't.
"You have to climb out of here, there's a ladder hidden in this room somewhere, and it will take you to the surface. But be careful." He chuckled again. "It's covered in acid." He laughed terribly and the tape ended.
His laughter rang in the air around her, echoing off the walls and filling her ears with a terrible ring. Three hours...
She tried to keep calm, keep a look of indifference on her face. If he was somehow watching, she wouldn't give him the satisfaction.
"Ladder..." She looked around, but she didn't see a ladder. She did notice though, that she could smell the gas. It was burning in her nose, and making her throat blaze. Her eyes were watering from the sting, but she fought back any emotion her mind found.
"Not to worry 'Bit, we'll find her." Spike watched the little girl pacing around the room, biting her nails as she went.
"We've searched everywhere!" Xander exclaimed, bouncing in his seat.
"Maybe Spike could sniff her out." Anya shrugged, her face revealing little concern for her friend.
"One problem with that," Spike pointed to the drawn curtains with a duh look. Then he had an idea. If he focused really hard, maybe he could pick up the slayer's scent over the scent of all the sewage... It was worth a shot anyway. "You all look around town again, demon girl, why don't you 'ave a word with the locals." He grabbed his blanket and ignored the protests coming from around him, and was no quickly back in the sewer.
"Ok, well, yeah, that's not a bad idea." Anya looked around the room. "If me and Xander go to Willie's and ask around. Willow and Tara could do their spell, and Giles and Dawn can check around the town again." She looked to each as she mentioned them, and they all stared at her with stunned dropped jaws. "What?"
"It's just – never mind." Giles shook he head and stood. "Good plan Anya," he praised, and then gestured for Dawn to go with him. "Let's split up then, we'll meet back here later."
"Come on then Xander!" Anya happily jumped up from her seat, and was followed by a very reluctant, yet very eager Xander. "We should definitely stop by Willie's first. If anyone's heard anything, they'll be there." She got into the passenger seat of Xander's car, and together they drove in the direction of the demon bar.
Spike was walking slower than usual, trying to suppress his impatience, as it was doing no one any good. His problem was that he had to concentrate, pick out every scent before moving on – hence the slow moving – but he had to find Buffy, she'd never been gone this long (because of a demon attack, not including running away or dying...) and she could be hurt, which meant that he had to move fast, which he couldn't because he had to move slow...
He caught a scent, not a familiar one, but human... And since when did humans travel via sewer? It was worth checking.
He followed the scent down a ladder, to the second level of sewer that was bellow his usual sewer route. Really, most demons didn't bother going beneath the first level. So this was suspicious. A strange scent caught his nose as he got closer to the human, a strange prickly gaseous scent that burned his nose. Game face on, he looked in on the man that was chuckling terribly into a hole in the wall. He noticed instantly the mask that the man was wearing, and felt a growl break out of him without his consent. The man whipped around, startled by the attacker.
"Oh well, I'm found out." Spike said with a shrug, and then with the fastest demon speed he could muster, he shot across the room and wrapped his hand around the man's neck. Deliberately trying not to hurt him, only threaten because of the chip. He would do Buffy no good if he were on the floor screaming in agony of a migraine because of his trying to help her. "I'm looking for a girl, about yay tall," he motioned with his hand, making the masked man flinch. "Blonde, petite, probably still wearing a leather jacket. Seen her?" When the man only struggled against his grip, he carefully applied more pressure and snarled deeply.
"You're too late!" He choked out a laugh through his bruising oesophagus. "If the gas doesn't kill her, the acid will." He tried to scream against the pain the Spike put on him. Spike found a way around the chip he had. He had no proof that this monster was human, he couldn't see his face.
"Where is she?" He growled, baring his fangs, and making the man squeal pitifully.
He only grinned broadly.
Spike growled and flung him against the wall. He yanked a pipe down from the ceiling, letting water pour out of it in huge waves. Curling the pipe into an uncanny shape, he used it to secure the terror to the pipes on the ceiling, letting him hang there.
"Well now," Spike said, letting his demon have his fun. "Let's see you get out of that." Angelus would have been proud, which brought bitterness to Spike's demon's actions. "If you don't die from the water drownin' you, I'll just come back latter to finish you off." He vowed with a demonic snarl.
Hanging by his hand and his throat, to ensure the ultimate suffering without actually killing him, Spike moved to the hole, pleased with his work. Looking now through the hole in the wall, his heart nearly stopped – or... would have stopped had it been beating in the first place – when he saw the blood. He sniffed, ignoring the burning the air gave him, and found the slayer's scent, covered by many, many layers of toxic gas, acid, and sewage. "Bloody buggerin' f-" his curses cut off abruptly when his eyes widened at the sight of Buffy's hand latching onto the first rung of ladder. He saw her scream, though the sound was muffled by the wall in front of him, blocking him from getting to her in its concrete solidity. She threw her head back in agony, and then snapped herself away from the tainted metal. He saw the burns on her hand, and felt her fear. "Buffy!" He screamed, trying to claw away the wall. He landed a hard kick to it, but it barely chipped. "Buffy!" He tried again, frustrated that she couldn't hear him, and terrified that she was again making the attempt to climb the death trap. She doubled over in a fit of coughing before she could clasp onto the acid coated rungs again, and his demon let out a tragic whine. He panicked
"Yeah, the only weird thing going on around here is jigsaw." The slimy blue demon told them.
"What do you mean jigsaw?" Xander said from behind Anya, not sure if he was more afraid of the demon, or that his girlfriend wasn't afraid of the demon.
"Yes, tell us or Xander will hurt you." Anya nodded.
The demon rolled its eyes at the scared man, but conceded to tell the ex-demon. "The jigsaw killer, he's in town. We all thought it was weird that the slayer hadn't hunted him down yet." He bit into a kitten and began to suck, blood gushing out from between his lips.
Xander's face turned green, and he turned away with an oh my god shaped mouth.
"Who's jigsaw? He can't be a demon, I would have heard of him." Anya looked slightly ruffled.
Xander turned back to her, careful not to look at the still feeding demon. "The jigsaw killer was a serial killer that was around a couple years ago. We thought he died though, he just disappeared."
"What did he do?"
"Well this isn't good." Giles said, cleaning his glasses feverishly. The room was silent with worry, fear. Spike wasn't back yet, so they hoped he'd have found her – alive.
"Apparently only one of his victims ever lived." Anya explained, and then hurriedly added, "Which gives Buffy a great chance if he got her. She is the slayer after all."
"Yeah, Buffy will beat him, she'll send him to jail or something, or kill him. Will she kill him?" Willow asked Giles, who was staring at the wall beside him.
"Huh? Oh, yeah, no, no she won't. Buffy will not kill a human, not even if her life depends on it I believe, which..." He resumed his looking at the wall. Even if Buffy could kill a human – morally – she wanted to die didn't she? Go back to heaven. She was being given the chance. Would she even try to escape?
"I would say we should look for him, her. But..." Anya looked down at her hands, concern finally making its appearance in her downcast eyes.
"She'll be fine... She will be..." Dawn sat down beside Tara, burying herself beneath her friend's comforting arm.
Her hand was still burning, it hurt so much, she was ready to scream again just because of the way it looked. With skin barely hanging on, the bubbling burns and purpley red colour. It was disgusting. And the gas, the small was making her sick, not to mention that that also burned her, internally rather than the acid's exterior burning.
"Oh god," she closed her eyes and looked to the ceiling. Normally if she was in a situation like this, she'd focus on her breathing, take some deep breaths. But those deep breaths could mean her end...
With teary eyes, she looked up the ladder. "One more time," she thought to herself. She took her shirt off, leaving on nothing but a sports bra to protect her from the burning fluid. She tore it in half and wrapped each half around one of her hands. And then, she began up the ladder again, climbing it fast as a squirrel and trying to ignore the fact that there was nearly nothing left of the shirt and the souls of her shoes by the time she was halfway up. Both of her feet were burning now, and her bare skin was clinging to the ladder. Another scream left her falling, ladder burning up her torso and her chins. She fell head first to the floor. Struggling to remain conscious, she tried to pull herself up, only to be pushed back down by another coughing fit.
A crash that would have made her jump, made her head swirl dangerously and the room darkened. She fought to keep her eyes open, but she feared that it was herself falling away, rather than closing her eyes.
"Buffy," her mother was calling her, calling her back to heaven. For a second she felt relief at the feeling of going back to where she was safe, and loved, and happy. But that was quickly replaced by a fear that this thing was going to kill other people, possibly the ones she loved. She could go back to heaven, and feel ok, know that everything was going to be ok. But it was not ok. She was going to find justice. For herself, for her family, for everyone this beast had ever hurt. His victims, their families. She would avenge them.
"Buffy!" Strong hands shook her, had her around her shoulders.
"Spike?" She breathed, barely able to find her voice. She struggled to get closer to him, thanking the powers that be for her rescuer. "Spike," she gasped, finally getting her eyes open. "Spike."
"'m here love," his voice was choked with tears. "I'm sorry, I was trying to get to you, I tried to call you," he sobbed. She closed her hand around his, and he only sobbed harder at how weak she was. "Let's get you out of here, yeah?" He took off the remnants of her clothes, knowing that the acid would still be burning into her so long as they were there. But her hands, he could do nothing for her hands here. Taking off his duster, he wrapped it around her, and then slowly lifted her into his arms, wincing as she moaned against the pain that made her head swirl. "I'm here love, you'll be alright."
Spike walked, with Buffy in his arms out of the room that had been made for his love's death trap, and passed the still struggling serial killer. Out onto the street – which was filled with shadows casted by the setting sun – he held her close, careful not to rub against any of her burns.
It felt like hours between the sewers and her home, but his relief to get to her alive kept the tears flowing.
"Spike," she whispered, turning her face into his chest, and then back again, searching for his face.
"'m here love." He said again, knowing that she probably couldn't feel his arms around her through the pain.
"Hurts." She whispered, turning back into his chest.
He was relieved to see that the front door was slightly ajar, though he couldn't imagine why, he thanked whatever god was listening.
"Tara," he said quietly into the living room where he could hear the group talking anxiously. Immediately they all got up to surround him. "One only please." He said, just as quietly. They all stopped just as quickly as they'd started when they saw the state of the slayer. Though most of her wounds were covered by the duster, her hands and feet were showing their terrible mutation, and her hair was glued together by blood that matched the colour of her skin where she'd hit her head.
Tara silently followed him up the stairs, leading the others obediently watching them leave. He laid her down on the floor.
"Don't put her on the bed yet, girl's covered in acid." She whimpered as he put her down. Her eyes were open, though he guessed she couldn't see anything. Blood had dripped into her eyes, and the gas obviously did some damage. "She's the slayer, patch 'er up a bit an' she'll be good as new." His voice sounded doubtful, and yet hopeful in its high pitch.
"Cloth and water I guess?" She really didn't know. He shrugged, and bushed her blood matted hair from her face.
"Somethin' I gotta do, pet. Take care of her for me." His plead took her off guard, though she knew that he loved her.
"Of course." She promised.
"I'll be back in an hour."
An hour would be all it took. "You right bloody fool." He switched into game face as he re-entered the room that was filling with water. It was up to his waist now, though he didn't care. "You think you can mess with my girl?" He punched him hard in the ribs, hearing it crack. "You think you can take her away from me again?" He screamed, punching again. A string of curses and insults fled his mouth incoherently as he laid his assault. Soon enough though, the man was hanging limp. "Well then, 'gelus would be proud." He didn't feel any bitterness this time, as he viewed his masterpiece. The man was dripping with blood, twisted into an inhuman shape. "I'll just let you die here, have fun suffering." He snarled and pulled out his lighter. After lighting his cigarette, he lit the bottom of the monster's pants, taking pleasure in the sight of him going up in flames.
"So it was the jigsaw killer?" Dawn asked nervously. They were all in the living room, except for Willow and Tara who were still tending the critically conditioned slayer upstairs.
"Yes." Spike said emotionlessly from the front door. The group turned to face him.
"Perhaps we should hunt him down, hand him over to the police." Giles sat forward in his chair.
"No need." Spike rubbed his head, which still hurt.
"What do you mean?" Giles asked, observing that Spike's chip clearly had gone off. Bad.
"Spike are you alright?" Dawn asked in a small voice.
"Be fine in the morning." He said, in just as toneless a voice. "Don't worry about the bastard, he's dead." He turned to go back to Buffy, though he stopped to reply to Giles after the second step.
He went up the stairs slowly, feeling absolutely numb. He didn't feel his tears that were once again – or maybe they had never stopped? – pouring down his cheeks until Tara wiped on away with her thumb. "She's going to be fine." She promised with a light smile.
Spike closed his eyes against her touched, and mouthed a thank you to her before moving to see the girl who was lying on the bed, atop of her blankets. He brushed one hand across her forehead, and smiled slightly when her eyes fluttered open.
"She's been completely out of it," Tara whispered when Willow left to return to the group downstairs. "She loves you, you know." She came up beside him and put her hand on his shoulder. Spike took Buffy's hand, and choked back another sob when she didn't pull away, only squeezed him back in the slightest, weakest way. "She didn't open her eyes for the rest of us." She kissed him on the cheek and went to the door, turning her head slightly before she left. "She told me everything by the way, about you two?" She didn't know if it would help, but maybe it would make him feel a little better, knowing that she wasn't as completely ashamed of him as she let off.
When she was gone, Spike knelt beside her head, releasing a shaky breath. "Though I'd lost you." He told her simply, stroking her bandaged hand with his thumb.
"You saved me." He didn't hear the words really, but from the slight movement of her mouth, he knew what she'd said.
"I did, because I love you." He waited for her to pull away, be disgusted as she always did when he reminded her. But instead, a tear escaped her eye, and she smiled slightly.
"I know, you too." It was just as inaudible. He broke down, sobbing against the mattress, trying not the hurt her as he gripped her hand.
She tried to reach for him with the other hand, to pull him against her, but she couldn't lift her hand farther than her stomach. She whimpered when she realized that she couldn't reach him, and he looked up. Seeing his fingers outstretched to his, he took her other hand, and felt her pull back slightly, without releasing him.
"Lay with me?" She whispered. He climbed into the bed beside her, moving his hand to rest behind her head. She let her head fall to look at him, and she smiled before drifting back into her sleep.
"Why didn't he come down yet?" Xander whined to Tara.
"He'll probably stay with her tonight." She explained, hoping that he wouldn't question her.
"Xander shut up, he saved her life." Dawn crossed her arms and glared at him with eyes like daggers.
"You guys can probably leave. I mean, Buffy's going to be sleeping for a while, and Spike is watching her. We'll probably all go to sleep as well."
"Yes, yes I suppose we should go." Giles agreed, standing up. "I will go and talk to the police. Did Spike ever say where the body is?"
By morning, most of the not so serious burns had turned to pink spots, and the others to slightly less painful versions of themselves. Tara decided that Buffy's concussion was also healing nicely, and despite Spike's pleads to take her to the hospital, they insisted that she'd be alright. The police had come and questioned them all after they found the body. Angel had called after he'd seen on the new that the jigsaw killer had been brutally slain in Sunnydale, but that was before Buffy could really speak.
Now she was snuggled in Spike's arms, letting him pet her hair soothingly. It hurt her eyes to have the lights on, or for there to be much sound, but sometimes he spoke to her, and sometimes she spoke back. But mostly, he just held her.
By the next morning, she was in the living room, sitting curled up on the couch with Dawn sitting on the arm making tiny braids in her hair.
Spike was still there, Buffy wouldn't let him leave. No one could figure out why – including him – except for Tara. Tara knew better than Buffy why she wanted him to stay. But really, she blamed in on her weakened state. She wanted Spike there because she loved him. But once she got her strength back, she could blame it on feeling scared and vulnerable.
Spike came in from the kitchen where he and Tara had been talking, and sat on the coffee table in front of Buffy, staring at her staring at him.
"Dawnie do you have homework?" Tara asked knowingly.
"Darn." Dawnie threw her head back dramatically and moved from the couch to the kitchen table with an armful of books. Tara chuckled and followed after her, prepared to do her best to help with the homework that either Spike or Willow would normally help with.
"Come here," Buffy commanded with and outstretched hand. Spike took it and let her pull him beside her, wrapping his arm around her shoulders so that she could cuddle up to him like she had so many times since... Instead of leaning into him though, she leaned backward, against the arm of the couch, raising questions behind his eyes. She smiled though and draped her legs across his legs, smirking when he looked so surprised. "Staying for a while?" She asked, in a soft voice, taking his hand and drawing patterns on his palm with the tips of her fingers.
"As long as you want me." He pulled his hand from the back of the couch and rested it carefully on her knee. "You're almost better." He said more to himself than to her, seeing how the burns were nearly gone, and the light and sound didn't make her dizzy anymore. She was still weak though, she couldn't stand very long. He blamed the extent of the head trauma. He blamed everything else on the emotional trauma. How she wouldn't let him out of her sight unless she could hear him nearby, or if he swore on his own existence that he'd just be in the next room. She had let Giles and Xander and Willow take up her slaying while she got better, which was another clue of just how traumatized she was from the experience. Figures, demons won't faze her, but bring on one silly human with a mask and a tranquilizer gun...
Her hand stopped it's tracing for a second, and then resumed idly. "When I get better will you leave?"
He leaned his head back on the couch, and trained his eyes on her, searching for the right answer in her impassive green eyes. "When you ask me to go, I'll leave." He swallowed hard, expecting her to have him off right then. She nodded, looking down to his hand.
"So if I forget to tell you to leave..." She graced him with an amused smile, and tugged him towards her.
He leaned over her slightly, still searching her pretty sparkling eyes. "Guess that means I'd be here for a while."
"Ok," she said in an inexpressive tone, still fixing him with that pleased smile. Her eyes laughed at him. One hand lifted to his cheek, and then pulled him down to her for a quick kiss. "Guess you will."
He raised his eyebrow to her, silent askance in his gaze. "What does that mean?" A smile played at the edges of his lips, but he was quick to suppress it. She didn't miss it though.
Leaning up to kiss him again, she left the question linger. Instead of answering, she just curled up against him, legs still over his, but now with one arm around her, and one still on her knee, she pressed herself against him and leaned her head on his chest. "Thanks for saving me by the way. I heard you got quite a head ache."
Nervously, he began to pick at the couch beside him. "Uh, yeah, I uh,"
"Don't worry about it." She said quickly, shaking her head. "Just... Can we pretend that whole thing never happened?" She wasn't looking at him, but he could hear the tremble in her voice that she was trying to hide.
"S'not healthy pet. Can't keep it all inside." He tucked her head under his chin, and held her tighter.
"I don't want to." Her voice was tight with suppressed tears.
"Talk to someone Buffy, a psychologist maybe. I could come with you. Just to get it out." He stroked her back gently, reassuring her through his touch.
"Spike, I can't." She grabbed his shirt and clung, holding onto him for dear life as all the memories from that horrible encounter came flooding back.
"S'alright love. When you're ready." He began to hum the tune to the lullaby that his mother always sung to him, and she relaxed, knowing that he wouldn't push her to talk.
"I'll be fine, just..." She turned her face to look at him again. "Just stay with me ok?"
He stared at her for a second, dumbfounded. Then nodded and brushed his lips to hers. "Always."