21 December 1999

Dear pet,

I can't begin to tell you what a wonderful time I had on my first trip to the States. I even enjoyed the little trip to the shopping mall when you made me try on more clothes and colors than I've ever tried on in my life; I thought we'd never get out of there with the mad rush of holiday shoppers! However, out of all our adventures, the best part was meeting you in person for the first time. You are truly a beautiful person inside and out. Thank you for your hospitality and for helping me distract myself from the situation at home. I hope you don't mind that I picked you up a little token as a symbol of our relationship while you were buying a soda at the mall. Hopefully, you'll think of me whenever you wear it. Perhaps one day soon we can be more than just friends? Shall I visit again soon, love, or maybe you could come to England?

Write soon! Happy Christmas!

Yours, Spike

* * *

December 26, 1999


I'm very glad you came to visit. I hope you had a great Christmas, too!

This year, Dawn and I celebrated Christmas at our dad's house in Los Angeles. His 20-year-old girlfriend whom he's been dating two years was there, too. She's barely old enough to be my big sister, and she's completely clueless about Dawn and me. Dad was all right, making sure to include us in activities like the Christmas party they threw together. But, Kristi, she's the girlfriend, essentially ignored us the entire visit.

Oh, and get this, she picked out our presents for us from Dad. She bought Dawn and me these expensive matching dresses and BOWS. I haven't worn a bow since elementary school! Dad was at least sympathetic and let us return the clothes on the sly. Let's just say that I got enough money from the gift return to keep me in mochas for the rest of this school year and next (and you know how I like my mochas)!

I felt a bit sorry for Mom who spent Christmas at her parents' house. Dawn and I are planning on celebrating Christmas with Mom on New Years Day! It'll be sorta like two holidays for the price of one. I'm looking forward to it! We always cook up a big pot of black-eyed peas and sausage for good luck in the new year and eat cabbage (blech!). The green is supposed to guarantee money in the new year! I think I could do without that part of the meal, especially because it never seems to work anyway. On the other hand, if we didn't eat it, we could end up broke! Hmmm. Anyway, I'm looking forward to being with Mom.

I'm sort of not sure how to respond to your last letter. I had an awesome time while you were here! I truly did. Meeting you for the first time was pretty cool. My friends were definitely in awe of your accent, especially Aimee. *laughs* But, I have to admit that what you said about being more than friends really scared me. There are several reasons for this, which aren't worth going into. The most important thing to me is that I don't lose your friendship. *sigh* I'm rather worried that when you read this, you won't want to write me anymore.

Take care, Buffy

P.S. I love the necklace! The cross is beautiful! I'm wearing it right now as I'm writing this! Thank you so much!

* * *

2 January 2000

Dear Buffy,

Oh, pet. My head is going to explode. I drank a bit too much last night, and now I have the hangover from hell. Be glad you don't drink much. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth the price in the morning.

I attended a party thrown by some friends at a local pub. Being the only one there dateless, my friends kept buying me beer. I turned down half of them or gave them away, but then, guess who showed up? Yep, you're right. Bloody Dru showed up with the wanker she cheated on me with. She put on quite a show, rubbing all over him and sitting at my table. Needless to say, I left the table pretty quickly. After that, I didn't turn down any of the drinks. I think one of the guys drove me home after I passed out. I've never done that before. . . passed out. Quite frightening to have a chunk of your memory gone.

Woke up at noon or so to the doorbell pounding in my skull. Guess who was on my doorstep? Yep. Dru again. This time, she pushed past me into the house and sat on my sofa in the living area. She was crying. She asked how I was doing, what I'd been up to. When I asked her why she was crying, she wouldn't tell me. Then, she launched herself at me, trying to snog me! I pushed her away and asked what the bloody hell she was doing! She said that Thomas (the wanker) broke up with her last night. I told her that I wasn't her table scraps and sent her out the door.

I don't know, pet. Part of me wanted to take her in my arms again, to comfort her anyway possible. But, the other part of me wouldn't let me. I suppose it's for the best although I feel the urge to call her right now and check on her.

About what you wrote in the last letter about us, I'm not sure I understand, pet. Why are you scared to be with me? I won't press you, but as your friend, I'd like to know the reasons. Don't worry about hurting my feelings. I can handle the truth. It's just that I feel I can be totally honest with you. I want you to feel the same way. I don't want my little bungle to destroy our friendship. Being able to be absolutely frank with you is one of the best aspects of our relationship. I want you to be able to be just as honest with me. Communication is important in any relationship. And the way I see it, if we can communicate openly with one another, we get practice at being open with another person. . . with the person we end up with someday. Know what I mean?

I am so glad that you liked your present. I was a bit worried if you would, but I showed it to your friend, Aimee, and she said you'd probably like it. Hope your Christmas/New Year was wonderful!

Well, I better go. My head is going to split in half unless I lay down soon.

Take care, Spike

* * *

January 18, 2000

Hi, Spike!

This is gonna be short cause I have to get ready for classes next week, but I wanted to write you back before I got snowed in with schoolwork. Book buying and tuition fees suck! Ugh!

First, the easy part to address: Dru. I know you still care an awful lot about her. . . still love her. But wasn't it you who asked me something similar to this: would taking her in your arms do you more harm than good in the long run even if it comforted her and made you feel good in the short run? I'm sorry that she's still bugging you. I wish I could help. She's pretty self-righteous, barging in on you like that.

Second, I do agree with you about communication, and your friendship means a lot to me. I don't ever want to lose it, so I'll do my best to be honest. Gosh, this is hard. Reasons I don't think we'd work as a couple. Well, please don't be angry, but your heavy drinking frightens me, and I don't date smokers. I know that may be petty *cringes*, but those are my standards. And I would never ask you to change those things. However, I don't think those are the main reasons.

Really, the main thing is your continuing relationship with Dru. You still have obvious feelings for her. I mean, who wouldn't after they've been with someone and truly love him or her? I know that it took me a long time to recover from what Timothy did to me. . . to deal with my fears and doubts. In fact, I'm still dealing, which is another strike against you and me. You need time to heal, and I don't like knowing I'm going into something as a rebound girl. And I wouldn't want you to be the rebound guy in my life. It's not that I wouldn't trust you if we did get together because, Spike, I do trust you. A lot.

The final thing, I guess, is the distance between us. . . not emotionally but physically. England is so far away! I mean, you haven't mentioned coming back to the States for school, and I guess that's a decision you shouldn't have to make right away.

Well, that's all I can think of to help you understand my reasoning. I'll write about my Christmas/New Year this weekend! Right now, Willow wants me to go grocery shopping with her, so we can stock the cabinets with study food! Yum! Triscuits, ice cream, and hot chocolate are a must when cramming for tests!

Hugs, Buffy

TBC. . . next up, 2001. . . sorry for the delay in this series! I got stuck on where to go next, and I got caught up in other stories, but by demand, I'm continuing it! *hugs* Thanks for the reviews! And don't give up! B/S have a ways to go to form a lasting relationship.

Take care, Sandy