Title: Thank You (Part 1 of possibly 2)

Rating: G

Disclaimers: Buffy belongs to Joss Whedon, ME, etc. I'm only borrowing the characters to tell my story.

Spoilers: Takes place after Episode 7-3, "Same Time, Same Place". Since this story is based on what I wish would happen after that ep (so obviously there are no spoilers for anything after episode 7-3), I would suggest that if you haven't seen it and don't want to be spoiled you shouldn't read it. It doesn't technically have spoilers for that episode per say, but just to be on the safe side, don't read till you've seen the ep. Plus, if you wait till you've seen it, you'll realize why I wanted to write what I did in the first place. So if you haven't seen episode 7-3, don't read any further. Leave now. Don't even read the summary. Don't say I didn't warn you. ;)

Summary: You still here? Good. This is a post "Same Time, Same Place" S/B fic. I was kind of upset with the way Buffy used Spike as a "bloodhound" and let him walk off without so much as a "thank you." So basically, this is what I want to see happen. I didn't like the ending so I wrote my own.

Feedback: Please. I really like reviews. If I get some good ones, I may write that possible part 2. ;)

And now on to the story.

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Thank You

"Hi Spike. Look, I just wanted to give you…… Hi Spike! How've you been? Soul still bothering you?……Spike, hi. Look, I just came here to……Ugh, it's no use. I have no idea what to say to him." Buffy had been debating with herself for at least 15 minutes. She was heading down to the school basement to have a talk with Spike. She had something she wanted to say to him, and something she wanted to give him. The problem was, she didn't know quite how to say what she wanted to say. But she did know that she didn't want to back out now. She had to do this. Not so much for herself, but for him. He deserved to hear what she had to say after all he had done for her. Buffy sighed. "Okay, I'll just give it to him and leave. Maybe he'll be sleeping and I won't even have to say anything."

As Buffy reached a corner in the maze that was the Sunnydale High basement, she could hear a soft muttering noise.

"Spike? Is that you?"

Buffy rounded the corner to find Spike lying down on top of a pile of boxes, curled up in a tight ball. He looked like he was asleep, but he was shaking, tossing around, and murmuring to himself. As she stepped closer, she could make out what he was saying.

"Stop it. Leave her alone. Don't do that. Buffy. No! Don't do that to her. Please stop! Buffy!"

Buffy felt a sharp pang in her heart as she realized what was happening. He was having a nightmare. A terrible one it seemed. She wasn't entirely sure, but it almost seemed like he was begging someone not to hurt her. As she stood there, listening to his heartwrenching begging, the pieces began to fall into place. 'Guilt, he's feeling guilt. Over what he did that night. It's tormenting him. Oh my god, it's hurting him so much. Why would he do something like that to himself? Why?' Buffy had no answers to those questions, and frankly she didn't want to think about it right now. She just wanted to give him what she came to give him and leave, before her own guilt became too much for her. Again.

Buffy walked slowly towards him. He seemed to calm down a bit as she got closer. It almost seemed like he could sense her. When she reached him, she stopped. She had no idea what to do now. As his begging began to turn into whimpering, Buffy reached out to lightly brush his cheek.

Spike flinched away from her at first, but as she began to gently stroke his cheek, his features began to relax. He leaned into her touch and that's when she noticed the tears streaking his face. Buffy gulped hard, trying to swallow the lump in her throat and failing miserably. She felt her own tears falling as she tried to wipe away his.

"Buffy?" Spike whimpered.

"It's me," she answered.

Spike began to shake again, letting out a heart-breaking moan.

"Shhhh. It's okay, Spike. It's all right. I'm fine. I'm right here. I'm fine."

Spike began to calm again as she reassured him. Buffy smiled as he seemed to nod off. She could tell because he had stopped breathing. When he was awake, he would breathe, even though he didn't need to. It was almost like a reflex. He probably had no idea he did it, but he did.

After a few minutes, when he was fast asleep again, Buffy took her hand away. Buffy nearly burst into tears as he whimpered at the loss of her touch.

Buffy was at a loss of what to do. She didn't want to leave him here the way he was feeling. But she couldn't take him home either. She didn't want to have to deal with what Dawn or Willow or Xander might think. All those questions she didn't want to answer and some she couldn't. It would be better for him to stay here.

Buffy suddenly got an idea. She shrugged out of her coat. It was her favorite and the one she wore most when she was out patrolling on chilly nights. She took it and covered him with it like a blanket, wrapping him up and tucking the collar under his chin.

Buffy watched as Spike inhaled deeply and smiled in his sleep. He pulled the coat closer to himself, snuggling up with it. He seemed to disappear inside it.

Buffy smiled, relieved that her coat was able to calm him. She figured it made him feel like she was actually there, and it was soothing and reassuring to him.

When Buffy was sure he would be okay, she turned around and started to leave.

"Opps, almost forgot." Buffy turned around and walked back toward him. She reached into the pocket of her coat and pulled out a slip of paper. She looked at it for a second. Then she unfolded it and, for what seemed like the hundredth time, began to read it.

Dear Spike (or is it William now?),

Or is it both? It's hard to tell nowadays. Anyway, there's something I wanted to say. Actually, I've wanted to say this for awhile now. I wanted to say…thank you. It may not seem like a lot, but as you probably know coming from me it certainly does means a lot. I've never said it to you before, and I think you really deserve to hear it. There's so much I want to thank you for. I don't know where to begin, and as you know (you sure do know a lot about me, don't you?), I'm not very good at saying serious things to you and having them come out right. So…I'm just going to say it.

I want to thank you for everything you've ever done for me. I thank you for the help you've given me - when I asked, when I didn't ask, and when I ordered instead of asking. I thank you for helping me when you knew I wouldn't give you anything in return. I thank you for your caring. I thank you for your acceptance of me, of who I am – not just the slayer, but the girl Buffy Summers too. For accepting the whole package as is and not asking me to change. I thank you for listening to me. I thank you for putting up with me. And most especially, I thank you for loving me. You gave me your love even after I used you and hurt you, and you gave it without asking for any in return. Your love has helped me in so many ways. It's kept me going, and I thank you so much for it.

I know I haven't thanked you for everything in this letter. You've done so much for me it would take me a forest's worth of paper to write it all down. But I want you to know I appreciate everything you do for me. It means a lot to me. I hope you know that. Thank you so much.

Love, Buffy

Buffy smiled. 'Yeah, I think that says just about everything.' Buffy carefully folded the letter back up, making sure he could see where she had written his name. She then placed the letter by his head where he could find it when he woke up. Buffy sighed, feeling much better about herself. She was glad she could give him this. It was the least she could do.

Buffy reached down to him once more. She ran her hand through his hair and over his face, trying to memorize every feature. Finally, she bent down and gave him a gentle kiss on the cheek. "Thank you," she whispered. And with that, she turned around and silently left him to rest.

The End

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Well, that's it. Like I said, please review. If I get some good feedback, I may write a 2nd part. But I warn you in advance that if I do, it will be short. I have an idea in mind already that I think would wrap the story up nicely, and it's short and sweet. So please review. Thanks. :)