The Price of Humanity

By Siren

Okay, like a ton of other writers, I thought there should have been more Spike/Buffy interaction in the 'Lessons' episode. So, this is what I think should have happened. I always thought Buffy was such a slut for using Spike like that. Ugh. Anywho, ENJOY!!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"So, who told you about the talisman? I heard another voice on the phone," Dawn probed. The blonde slayer frowned, memories of Spike's tortured face flashing through her mind. "Hm? You must've heard wrong. There was no one with me," she lied. 'Dawn can't know. No one can know...yet. He looked so fragile. Like he could break at the slightest touch. What happened to him while he was gone?' Frowning with worry, Dawn gave her a gentle shove. "What's wrong?" Buffy snapped out of her reverie, and shrugged. "Nothing. Just pissed that your school is still evil." Dawn smiled. "I know. Now, it's like I'm the slayer and I have my own scoobie gang."

Smiling softly at her sister, Buffy stopped walking. "Um, I have to go back to the school. I forgot one of my stakes in the basement. So, just go home and wait for me, okay?" Dawn nodded, cocking an eye in suspicion. "Right. See you later then." Turning around, Buffy walked back to the school. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Buffy walked down the cold corridors, shuddering. "Spike?" she called out. She frowned as she approached the room she had left him in. Stepping inside, she looked around. "Spike?" She heard someone whimper, and the scuttering of feet. "Go away. This is my home now. Leave me be." Buffy looked at a corner, and saw him huddled in it. She took a step towards him, and saw him flinch. Eyes softening, she knelt down. "Spike, what happened? Are you okay?"

He looked up at her, blue eyes wide with fright. She reached a tentive hand to him, but he only cried out and shunned at her touch. She cringed, but reached out again. She touched his skin, and her eyes widened in surprise. 'His's warm. Is that blood? What did he do to himself?' "Spike, I need you to tell me what happened." He didn't reply, but shuddered. Tears sprung to his eyes as he shook. " you know who I am?" He smirked crazily. "Of course I know who you are. You're one of them. Always changing, changing, changing. Nothing's real. Nothing's solid. You always pull away and disapear. You're not real," he babbled.

Before she knew what she was doing, she touched his face lightly. "Spike?" He seemed to calm a bit at her touch, but didn't acknowledge her. 'Maybe it's time for a different approach.' Buffy traced the hollow of his cheek, finding herself coming close to tears. "William?" His eyes met her's, and welled with tears once more. "I'm William," he whispered. Buffy nodded, and touched his hand. "Yes, you are. Do you know who I am?" Spike shuddered, and shut his eyes tightly. "Not real." Buffy shook her head, and took his hand in her's. "I'm real. I'm right here, William."

Spike stared at the hand holding his, and held her gaze. "Y-you're real..." Buffy nodded. "I am. And I need you to tell me what happened." Spike gave her hand a gentle squeeze, and let the tears fall. "I tried to claw it out. I didn't know this would happen, I didn't..." Buffy looked at the wounds on his chest, right above his heart. She gasped, and touched it, only to hear him cry out in pain. She immidietly took her hand away, and found her eyes welling with tears. "Why did you do this?" she asked quietly. Spike laughed. "I didn't know. Didn't know this would happen to me. The pain..."

Recognition formed in Buffy's eyes, and the tears began to fall. "You have a soul," she whispered. Spike nodded. "I went to a sorcerer. Told him to make me into something you deserved. You deserved something with a soul," he explained. Buffy couldn't control the tears now, as she cradled him against her. "You got your soul back...for me?" Spike nodded against her chest. "I wanted to give you what you wanted. Wanted you to see me as more than a beast. A monster. I wanted you to see me as a man." Buffy's face crumpled as she cried.

"I have always seen you as more than just some monster. You protected Dawn while I was gone. You protected me. You loved me. You were there for me, even when you could have just walked away. Yes, I admit, there were times when I thought of you as nothing more than a vampire. A souless husk. But a part of me always thought of you as more than that."

His mind finally beginning to clear, he sat up. He looked away from her, ashamed. Buffy grabbed his chin and forced him to look at her. "Don't look away from me," she told him. He shook his head. "The things I did to you...what I almost did to you...I can't forgive myself." Buffy traced his palm, and smiled slightly. "Than let me forgive you." Spike looked up, eyes wide. Buffy choked down a sob. "I knew you loved me. And I took that to my advantage when I was needy. I beat you, I made love to you, I abused you...and you just took it. You didn't deserve the abuse I gave you. I used you, hurt you. And went and did something I never thought you'd do. You got your soul back for me. I'm so selfish. I was so depressed, and..."

Spike shook his head, and brushed the tears away. "You're not selfish. You're not anything except good. Pure. I'm the one who tried to, to rape you," he rasped. Buffy sniffed, and bowed her head. "I miss you while you were gone. Dawn did too. Even though she knows about what you tried to do. You're like a big brother to her." Spike had to smile at that. "I missed the little nibblet." Buffy nodded. "Everything that happened is my fault. I forgot about what you were. So don't blame yourself." Spike closed his eyes tightly. "Everything hurts so much." Buffy held him, and buried her face in his neck. "I know. But it'll get better. I'll be here, okay? I'll be right here."

"I'll be with you."