Grave

Spike and Buffy walked hand in hand to his crypt, in silence almost the whole way. He'd already told her Warren was there, and that he hadn't hurt him – much; that the new plan was to shake him up enough to make confessions about shooting her and killing Katrina. Enough to put him away for life.

The boy looked relieved when the slayer walked in, "Hey!" he said, "You're okay. No harm done, right? Except… Your, uh," he mumbled, uncomfortable at not being able to read Buffy's expression, "Your boyfriend? He almost killed me. That's wrong, right? I mean, your against it. I'm glad you came, to let me go before-"

Buffy smacked him hard across the cheek, effectively shutting him up.

"Are you done, now?" she asked, seething with anger that she wasn't aware she'd been holding onto.

"I-" Warren went to start rambling again, but Spike growled, and he reconsidered, "Yes m'am."

"Good," she replied, letting her fist fly to hit the wall just behind his head, "Because I am so done with this shit. You wanna be a big boy? Super villain? Fine. Do that. But know that I put bad guys in the ground, and if you think you can get around that by being human I'm pretty sure I can find a way to get around that pesky rule. Understand?"

Warren nodded, not wanting to speak again.

Buffy glared at him for a moment more, then turned her head away to glance at Spike.

"Think we can trust him in the big house?"

"Dunno, pet," said the vampire, and he meant it. If the boy tried hard enough he could get hold of magical items even on the inside, break out and go back to wreaking havoc.

Warren gulped, "Big house?"

"Yeah," said Spike, getting up in his face, "We're deciding if you'll reform or if we should go ahead and skip that step, get right to the part where not even your spells can bring you back. Wanna convince us which it is?"

"I – no! I can't go to jail! Prison isn't for nerds."

Buffy looked disgusted at his attitude, "Want me to repeat the other option?"

He gulped again, and hung his head.

"Wow," Spike said then, "You really thought we'd just let you go, jus' a slap on the wrist?!"

The vampire shook his head, then grabbed at the boy's chin until he was looking him in the eye again, "Do you have any fucking idea what you tried to do? Any bloody clue?!"

Buffy had to step in between them then, to stop Spike completely losing it and doing something he might regret.

"Last chance. What is it? We taking you down or are we taking you out? I am not playing."

Warren didn't know what to say, or what to do except stand there – still strung up – just looking between the formidable couple.

Finally he hung his head again and mumbled, "Do what you want."

Again Buffy glanced at her lover, who nodded and undid the chains.

"Come on, full confessions all round."


Even after Warren did confess Buffy and Spike still had to give lengthy statements. It took hours, and when they finally left the station Buffy looked gaunt.

"Tired, pet?" asked the vampire, though he already knew the answer.

She shook her head in denial of it, though, "That was just… intense."

"Yeah," he agreed, rubbing his thumb across her clasped hand. "Wanna give the trip a miss?"

"No," she shook her head again, "I wanna go, and rest there." Looking deep into his cool blue eyes she added, "I want to lay beside you, want you to hold me, make sweet, slow, non-exhausting love to me," – Buffy paused for them both to smirk at each other – "And I want to fall asleep in your arms. Do it all again tomorrow. Except, maybe, more exhausting that time," she blushed.

Spike glowed at her words, "Bloody hell, I do love you."

"I know. Love you, too."

They kissed, then. A soft, deep kiss.

"There's one stop I wanna make first."

Spike quirked his eyebrow at her, but she didn't explain, just tugged him back in the direction of the graveyard.


They walked to a part he knew well – a part he hated to see, and a part he'd spent most of his previous summer – her now empty grave. Side-by-side with her mother's filled one.

"Buffy?" he asked.

"Sshhh," she said, and gestured for him to sit. When he did she placed herself in his lap, before speaking again, to the grave before them, "Hey, mom, I brought a friend."

Tears appeared in her eyes, but she waved Spike's hand away when he tried to wipe at them.

"I almost joined you – again. And…" she broke off in a sob, "And I didn't. I'm still here, and I'm with Spike. I love him, and we're gonna take care of each other. I think… I know life's not gonna be easy, and there'll be a thousand more close calls, but he has my back."

The slayer smiled, then, "Mom, he's gonna be good to me – already is – and I'm gonna mature more, and I'm gonna love him more, and treat him better, love Dawn more, too, and my friends. I'm gonna make you proud."

Silence fell for a few minutes, then Buffy shifted again, before directing her speech back to her lover.

"Closure," she explained, "Essential for fresh starts. Better starts." Then she stood up and offered him her hand, to pull him up, "Let's go."

"Together," he replied.

"Forever," she said.

THE END