Title:                 As It Should Be

Rating:              R

Disclaimer:        All things belong to Joss Whedon, UPN or Fox.

As It Should Be

They stood facing each other in Buffy's office. She had called him to meet her here telling him that it was an emergency. Spike had raced here worried that she was in trouble. She was. She had explained what was going to happen as easily as she could. This was her way of saying goodbye and making sure that he would handle everything for her. Afterwards.

"Spike, it's what I have to do." Her words were gentle as she tried to explain to the vampire why she had to leave him.

"No! You have choices. This doesn't have to go down this way." His tears fell heavier now as she ran her fingers through his hair. Then they moved down over his face to cup his chin. She moved him until their faces were level. A soft kiss was placed on his lips. The kiss of good-bye. For good this time.

Buffy started to move away from him. But he couldn't let her go not like this. He ran to the front of her and fell to his knees wrapping his arms around her waist. His face buried against her stomach as he sobbed out his love to her.

"Don't. Not this way. Please, I can't lose you again."

The fear snaked through his belly down into his bowels. If he let go she would go to him. This fight she wouldn't, couldn't, win. Her life would be sacrificed again for the world. But it was him that would lose the most. Everything would be lost if she was gone. This soul would have been won for nothing. The insanity that he had fought his way through would be for naught.

"No. You will never lose me. Never."

Buffy sank to her knees in front of him wrapping him in her arms. She knew that he would never understand this. But this was what she was about. What being a Slayer was about. The night she had jumped from the tower she had known. That marriage, children and old age would never be hers. The last two years had been a like a reward for her willingness to sacrifice everything for them. And Spike had been the blessing that had held her together.  She just hadn't realized this until just a short time ago. The night she had declared her love for this vampire. The one that was her other half.

She kissed him gently at first. Their lips sliding easily against the other. His tears mingling with their passion. Her tongue pushed into his mouth demanding response from him. But he was always there. Ready for her. Giving her what she needed. His tongue wrapped around hers letting his love and devotion show through his ardor for her. Hands followed the curve of her back to cup the softness of her bottom. Pulling her closer to his need.

Buffy pulled away from him leaning her forehead against his shoulder. To give her a chance to calm the panting that was coming from her. His tears fell onto her shoulders as his body heaved from the force. No one knew what was going to happen except for him. Once again she had made him promise to take care of Dawn and the others. Only he had to hold the burden of what was about to happen.  And once again through trembling lips he had promised to the end of the world.

As soon as the promise had been made he had hated himself for it. Maybe if he wasn't always there to clean up her messes, to be her punching bag, to be her lover, to be the one to hold it all together, maybe she wouldn't be so accepting of dying. Maybe she would fight harder to live. For them.

He sank down away from her to rest on his haunches. She placed a kiss to the top of his head and stood. Before walking away she placed a hand on his shoulder.

"I will love you until the end of eternity. For everything. And I will wait for you. On the other side" Her voice was solid and sure as she said her goodbye. As her footsteps took her away from him he didn't watch. Just listened as she left him. He listened right up to the closing of the door. 

Spike threw his head back as the loss swept through him. A voice inside of him kept telling him to go to her. To help her fight. But she had said that this was the only way. Then she had made him promise to care for the others. If he died with her then who would be there to care for Dawn. He stood on shaking legs to find Niblet. To be with her when the news came.

As he moved toward the door he heard laughter behind him. Turning quickly toward the sound he had to blink several time to accept the image before him. It was Buffy. At least it looked like his Buffy. But this vision in black was laughing at him.

"You two are such fools. Believing everything that I have put in your heads. The insanity. The confusion. Even the need to die again. And you were there with me in the basement and you still let her go. Knowing the lies I have told. Right this very minute she is dying for nothing."

Then the image turned and walked directly into the wall of the high school. A roar came barreling from Spike as her words hit him like a freight train. This had been a set up. A mind game set up by the First Evil to get Buffy to willingly die. Because he knew he couldn't beat her. No one could. Not even death. 

Spike started to run through the halls toward the basement. He slid on the newly waxed floor as he turned a corner leading to the door of the basement. The door slamming against the wall behind it as he flew through it.

"Buffy." He screamed as he jumped to the bottom of the stairs. As he headed for his old hiding place he realized that the walls had moved again. He hadn't been insane this thing had been playing tricks on him. Tricks. That was all it was. Pausing just for a moment he quelled the panic in him and let his vampire instincts come to the surface. Then he turned in the right direction and walked directly through the wall. Picking up speed he took off again.

As he slammed through the last door he heard her scream.

"Nooooooooooooooo. Please, no more."

He rounded the last corner and froze at the sight in front of him. IT had taken the form of Giles. The one thing that would hurt her the most. To be destroyed by the one man she trusted and loved as a father.  But the blackness of its evil hung in a cloud around it. A sword was in its hand. Spike followed the sword to its tip. But the tip was buried deep inside Buffy pinning her to the wall. Her hands wrapped around the blade trying to pull it free. It just pushed it deeper into her. Blood was everywhere dripping down her body to pool on the floor.

Spike wanted to wail at the sight of his love dying. Crucified by her love for them. Then he remembered that it only had power if they gave it to him. In two strides he was in front of her. As she had done only a short time ago he reached up to cradle her face in his hands.  She tried to focus on him. On his hands holding her. The tears she had been holding back in her bravery started to fall as she looked on the one being that mattered most to her.

"Buffy, listen to me. It isn't real. None of it."

"No. It hurts. Just want it over with."

Her eyes closed as she tried to leave him. But as it had always been with them when the other was lost he used force to get her attention.  He shoved her back into the wall. Her head bouncing against the concrete. Buffy opened her eyes and tried to focus on Spike.

"Don't give it the power. It can't hurt you unless you let it. Believe me." He spoke to her in the tone of voice he used when he meant business. Spike wouldn't lie to her about this. He wanted, needed and loved her too much.

"It isn't real. It isn't real." She whispered over and over to herself and to the beast that transformed from Giles's likeness behind Spike. Then her gaze shifted to the clarity of his blue eyes as she felt love move through her body. Warming her. Lighting her soul.  As soon as the words were believed by her heart it was gone. The blood. The sword. And the beast. All of the darkness. The light that had moved through her soul wrapped itself around the two of them. His arms caught her as she slid from the wall. They continued downwards sinking to the floor as the realization of what they had almost lost consumed them. He started to kiss her over and over to reassure himself that she was real.

"Let's get out of here." She tried to stand on shaky legs but he was there wrapping his arm around her waist. They moved quickly through the basement. Its walls had returned to their original design. The pair didn't stop until they were outside in the cool night air.

Her arms wrapped around him pulling him as close to her as she could get him.

"What happened?"

"You defeated it. The evil. It doesn't have power unless we give it to him. It manipulates through lies. If we don't believe him then he can't do anything to us." Spike explained it to her. The emotions dancing across her face as she took in his words. Her hand came up to cup his cheek stroking the roughness of his flesh.

"No, you defeated it. You saved me."

He smiled at her words. This time he had made the right call, the right moves at the right time and she had been saved. Because of him. He bent down to kiss her forehead.

"We defeated it. You believed me."

She brought her head up so that she could look into his eyes. A brilliant smile crossed her face as she looked at her vampire.

"Yeah, we did. Let's go home to celebrate."

Her hand came down to squeeze his ass to let him know exactly how she wanted to celebrate. He laughed reaching for her hand. They turned to go home as it should be.  Together.