One year and Seven months after Dean coming back from Hell, One year and three months after Dean's visit to New York.

November 2009

"Ugh. What time is it?" Buffy grumbled to herself, rolling to check the clock next to her bed. "Crap! Late late late," she repeated, running around her bedroom, throwing clothes on as fast as she could.

Why today? she thought to herself, with a groan. She applied her make up as fast as she could, and grabbed her hairbrush, running out the door thanking the PTB that she straightened her hair the night before.

Rushing out the elevator doors, she almost ran past the handsome man standing in her apartment lobby. Smiling at her, and handing her a coffee, he looked like a slice of heaven.

"Figured you'd need it," he dark-haired god explained, seeing the look of adoration on Buffy's face.

"Oh you have no clue," She replied, taking a sip of her coffee. "Josh, my dear, have I ever told you how much I love you?"

"Yes, well you can make it up to me by introducing me to the new hotty in your department," he said, with a laugh and a wink.

"Mark? I don't think he's gay. I mean, I'm pretty sure, especially since yesterday was the fourth day this week, he 'accidently' brushed his hand against my butt."

"Maybe he just appreciates a fit woman," Josh said with a pout, hailing a cab.

"I'm sure he does," Buffy replied, getting into the car. She sat in her seat, and fidgeted with her outfit. Somehow she managed to throw on something that looked half decent.

Out of all the days to be late, why today? She asked herself, with a sigh.

"Would you stop?" Josh demanded with exasperation. "You've got this! You really have nothing to worry about, everyone loves you!"

"Not Karen! She's out for blood, I just know it!"

"Well fuck Karen!"

"Josh," Buffy said with a giggle.

"No, Buffy, I'm serious, if they are truly worried what Karen 'wears-the-same-skirt-three-days-in-a-row' Myers thinks, then both they and Karen can go fuck themselves," Josh finished with an obscene hand gesture, handing the cabbie his fee, with a generous tip, before stepping out of the vehicle.

Buffy scrambled out of the car, and stood in front of her office building nervously.

"Look Buff, you're going to be great. Just chill, relax, and at exactly 6 o'clock, we're going to get blitzed out of our minds. Either in celebration, or in mourning. Okay?"

Buffy laughed, "Okay, okay. I'll talk to you later."

Josh waved bye over his shoulder, already walking away to the coffee stand next door.

Making her way to the elevator, Buffy's phone chirped a message, "Good luck, Buffy! Love Dawn (number one sister, extraordinaire)."

Buffy smiled to herself as she put her phone back into her pocket. Even after leaving the School, the Scoobies had all stayed in touch. Sure, at first they were shocked she chose to leave, but they all eventually came around. They agreed that Buffy had gone through enough.

They all supported her career change, and had all come to visit one time or another. It seems like it's every couple of weeks that Faith is in the area, ya know, 'for a hunt.' Buffy wasn't complaining. She may be out of the slayer bizz, but she was glad her pals were still around.

She had now been living the civilian life for a year and a half, and she was up for a promotion. A really, really big promotion. She'd never had one before, so she was nervous as hell. Not that she could say that to Josh, or anyone else for that matter. Everyone at Ridge Brothers Co. thought she spent her time at the Slayer Institute as a Media Advisor.

Of course, they thought the Slayer Institute was just a school for wayward girls.

It had taken eighteen months, but Buffy had finally started to make a normal life for herself. She went to work, she socialised with co-workers, and she bought clothes without wondering how hard it would be to get demon blood out of the material.

Buffy had a normal life, but she hadn't done it for herself. She had done it for Dean.

For the past year and a half Buffy had been struggling against her Slayer instincts, trying to build herself a normal life. A life Dean would be proud of.

So here she was, living in New York City, working at an Marketing Firm, and possibly being promoted.

Here goes nothing

Twenty minutes later, Buffy came out of her bosses office with a giant grin. She was now the new West Coast Marketing Manager. All West Coast clients were now her responsibility, giving Buffy more career success than she ever had in her life.

Take that Karen! Take that bitchy secretarial pool! Buffy thought to herself.

Buffy literally skipped out of the office at 5PM, rushed home, trying to get ready in record time, as the phone rang.

She answered the phone, without looking at the caller, trying to frantically dry her hair.


"I just don't get it. You didn't finish College, you have no experience in Marketing, how in hell have you been promoted to region manager?" Dawn questioned, incredulously.

"Hi Dawn," Buffy sang into the phone, before answered Dawn's question, "Dumb luck? Honestly, I'm as shocked as you are. Bad ass monster killer turned marketing mogul. Who knew?"

Dawn snorted her amusement, "yeah, well congrats and all that."

"Jeez, don't sound too enthused," Buffy said, a little hurt.

"Sorry, it's been a busy week," Dawn replied with a yawn.

"Yeah? What's been going on?"

"Nuh-uh. No Slayer business for you, Miss 'Marketing Mogul'," Dawn sarcastically replied.

"Ugh, whatever. I gotta go anyway. Josh is meeting me downstairs in 15."

"Fine, call me tomorrow when you're dying from a monstrous hangover. I think I'll need the laughs."

"Bye, Dawn," Buffy replied briskly.

"Tell Josh I said 'hi'!' Dawn shouted before Buffy had a chance to end the call.

Buffy met Josh downstairs at exactly 6PM. She ran up to him, and jumped into his arms, almost knocking him to the ground.

"I'm guessing it went good?"Josh laughed, wrapping his arms around Buffy.

"Let's put it this way, I'll be buying the drinks tonight," Buffy responded with a laugh, and a wink.

"Dawn said hi, by the way," Buffy commented, as they walked outside to hail a cab.

"And how is my favourite Summers?" Josh joked.

Buffy rolled her eyes, and laughed, giving the cabbie directions to their usual bar. "She's fine, just a bit exhausted from work."

They arrived to the bar, and quickly found their group of friends.

"The bitch got it!" Josh exclaimed to their friends, causing a round of cheering and congratulations.

When Buffy first moved to New York, many of her friends had offered to come with her, so she wouldn't be alone. She politely declined. She was determined to do it on her own.

Of course, Spike totally ignored her request, choosing to discreetly follow her around the city, making sure she was safe. It took two weeks of begging before he agreed to leave her alone.

"Alright love, I'll leave you be, but I ain't goin far."

Not long afterwards he accepted a teaching role at the New York Slayer Institute.

After those two weeks, Buffy was totally alone, for the first time in forever. She had no friends, and no family. That was until she got hired by Ridge Brothers Co. Within weeks, Josh had adopted her and taken her under his wing, showing her the best New York nightlife, and including her into his group of friends.

Buffy couldn't have been more grateful, and absolutely adored Josh.

Spike and Dawn both visited as much as possible. Spike was only a couple of blocks away, and managed to visit once every couple of weeks.

Dawn couldn't visit as much but in those visits, Dawn formed a strong bond with Josh, making him practically family to the Summers girls.

Buffy went to the bar to buy a round of drinks. As she waited to be served, she couldn't help but appreciate the normalcy of the moment. Buffy Summer the Vampire Slayer was drinking in her favourite bar in New York City, surrounded by friends, and celebrating her first work promotion. You think she would be happy.

After four hours, and many drinks later, Buffy decided to take herself home. Her tolerance for alcohol might have gotten better, but she was still a petit women. There was only so much drinking she could handle.

She said her goodbyes, declined all offers of an escort, and made her way outside. It had just gotten into winter, and was freezing, but Buffy had Slayer resistance and decided to walk home.

It wasn't long before she was joined by Spike.

"I should of known you'd be around," She slurred. She turned to look at her newly acquired companion.

Spike looked especially handsome. He wore his usual black jeans, and Dr. Martens, but he had matched it with a navy blue v neck, and short leather jacket.

"You shouldn't be walkin around alone, pet," Spike replied, walking closely to her. "Plenty of bad things that go bump in the night."

"Slayer, remember?" she replied, slightly leaning against Spike as they walked.

"Love, in this condition, you couldn't fight your way out of a wet paper bag."

Buffy snorted in laughter, as they continued to walk towards her apartment.

"Why do you look so nice?" Buffy asked, taking in his appearance again.

"Had a date," Spike replied, shyly.

"Yeah?" Buffy asked, surprised. She pushed away from him to get a better look at his face. "Who's the lucky girl."

"Nurse at the Institute."


"Yeah," he laughed. "Seems I got a type."

Buffy smiled, as she leant back at this side, "How'd it go?"

Spike sighed, as he lit up a cigarette, "it went. Not much to say, really."

"I'm sorry to hear it."

"Sorry to tell it, love. She's a nice bird."

They walked the rest of the way to Buffy's apartment in silence, they made their way inside and Buffy got them a couple of beers.

They spoke about their day, and Spike congratulated Buffy on her promotion.

He quickly finished his beer, set it down, and moved closer to Buffy, pulling her into an embrace, and leaning down to kiss her.

"Spike, stop," Buffy said weakly, not pushing him away.

Spike growled closely to her mouth, "why?"

"You know why," she replied tensely, "We've been through this before. I can't give you what you want."

Spike sighed, and pulled away slightly, looking down at her.

"Pet, I know your heart is still with 'im," Spike started, instantly making Buffy uncomfortable. She tried to move away, but he held her back, "No, Buffy, listen. I know you still love 'im. I can't begrudge you that."

Buffy looked down at Spike's arms, as they were wrapped around her.

"Not asking for anything, Buffy. Just this."

Spike loosened one of his arms, and lifted Buffy's head towards his, causing their lips to meet.

Buffy's guilt had quickly melted away as their kiss deepened. Spike brought his left arm to circle her waist, and had his right hand tangled in her hair. He gave it a tight tug, causing her to moan, and giving him better access to her mouth. He lowered both hands to her hips, grabbing her shirt and lifting it up over her head, barely stopping their kissing while doing so.

They had slowly moved themself towards the lounge room. As Spike's heels hit the couch, Buffy gave him a firm shove, causing Spike to fall onto the cushions. The aggressive move brought a smile to his face.

"There's my girl," he muttered as Buffy straddled him, capturing his mouth with hers.

Buffy quickly took off Spike's shirt, and started on his pants. She had him undressed with seconds, and started undoing her own clothes.

As the last of Buffy's clothes hit the floor, Spike grabbed her by the ass, and spun them around, so Buffy was bent over the side of the couch, facing away from him. With a hard kiss to the neck, Spike pushed into Buffy, causing her to cry out in pleasure. He smashed into her again and again, quickly bringing her over the edge. As the waves of pleasure slowed, she noticed that Spike was moving them to her bedroom.

Spike sat down on the bed, and pulled her into his lap, so that she straddled him. Looking him in the eyes, Buffy slowly began to ride him, building up momentum. Her mouth popped open in a moan, as Spike bucked up to meet her thrusts. He sat up and caught her in a kiss, still meeting her stroke for stroke. He made trail of kisses down the side of her face to her neck, his tongue finding the scar on her neck. He bit down suddenly, not piercing the skin, and sucked hard. The sudden sensation caused Buffy to gasp, gripping Spike's back, and clenching her legs.

With a growl, Spike flipped them, so Buffy was beneath him on her back. With quick urgent thrusts, he reach completion, burying himself deep inside her, moaning.

They both collapsed on the bed, still wrapped in each other. As they laid there, Spike's hand moved around Buffy's stomach, making slow sensual circles. Eventually exhaustion took them over and they fell asleep in each other's arms.

Buffy woke early the next morning, groggy and sick, with Dean's arm wrapped around her stomach

Dean? Buffy thought to herself, half asleep.

She quickly turned to realise that she had fallen asleep with Spike.

Dean's dead. The thought crashing into her suddenly.

Buffy dropped back to the bed, bringing her hands up to hold her head. It felt like someone was trying to drill into the left side of her brain.

I'm never drinking again.

She held her hands there a moment longer, before looking back down at Spike. At first glance, you wouldn't think he was a vampire. While he slept, he looked pure with his tussled bleach white hair, and pale muscled skin. He looked perfect, she thought to herself drowsily.

She had started sleeping with Spike a month earlier. Not consistently, but every now and then. She had been lonely for a while, finding it hard to connect with any man she tried to date. It's not like they could bond over shared experiences.

So slowly, Buffy and Spike rekindled their relationship. It wasn't like their relationship in Sunnydale. That was a relationship of destruction and self loathing. This was something else. Something happier but Buffy still had reservations. It was clear that Spike still loved her, and while she really did care for him this time around, she didn't love him back. She couldn't love him back.

Sometimes, she wished that she did love Spike. Maybe then they could be something close to normal. He deserved that much.

But she couldn't. Not when her heart still belonged to someone else.

She knew she should stop what was going on between them before he got hurt, but she couldn't. In the past year, she had come to rely on Spike more than anyone else in her life. He was the rock she could always depend on. She just didn't know how to let him go.

Buffy laid in Spike arms for an hour or so before she felt him stir behind her. He leaned closer to her, and kissed her shoulder.

"I know you're awake, pet," he whispered into her ear.

"Wasn't trying to hide it," she murmured, "just trying not to die."

Spike chuckled, "gotta say, really loving these roller shutters. Wakin' up on fires not a good experience. Trust me."

Buffy snorted and replied, "better be grateful. Know how much it cost to get them up here?"

Spike laugh again while checking the time.

"Bugger," he said, rolling out of bed, "look, love, I best be off."

"It's 10AM. You'll fry," she remarked, as he went in search for his clothes.

"Don't worry, I'll be taking the sewers," he yelled from the lounge room, before coming back into Buffy's room. He was carrying a glass of water and some panadol. He placed them on her bedside table, "I gotta get back to the school. Some sort of meetin'. I'll catch you later, pet."

He kissed her on the top of her head as he was about to leave causing Buffy another twinge of guilt.

Spike noticed, and sighed. He sat down beside her, and pushed a bit of stray hair out of her face.

"Pet, this thing between us. It's different from last time. You're not using me. We're just mates, looking for companionship," he explained, softly.

"You know that's not true, Spike," Buffy said, quickly, "you love me. And I'm using that love. Again."

"I love you, it's true. But I know how you feel. I ain't looking for you to love me," Buffy looked at him, disbelieving. "Honestly, Buffy," He insisted, moving his hand to her waist. "Maybe one day, you'll love me. One day when you've stopped mourning Dean Winchester," Buffy flinched away at Dean's name, but Spike continued on. "Maybe one day. But whether that day comes or not, I'd rather have half of you, than none of you at all."

"That doesn't make it okay," she replied, softly, "I don't want to hurt you," she finished, weakly.

Spike smirked, "Then, don't. 'M a big boy, pet. It's okay."

Spike looked at Buffy with such sincerity and love, it broke her heart. She cursed herself for not being able to love the man in front of her.

She slowly nodded, accepting Spike's explanation. He looked relieved and got off the bed, ready to leave.

"Rest up, Pet," he said softly, shutting the door behind him as he left.

Buffy laid in bed a moment longer, before reaching into her bedside table and bringing out a stack of photos.

While travelling with the Winchesters, they had stumbled into this dinky town, and found a store that sold those old Polaroid cameras. Buffy instantly bought one, and spent the next two weeks taking as many photos as she could.

There was a photo of Faith in the Impala, with her legs up, and feet stick out the open window.

A photo of Sam, sitting at his computer doing research.

A photo of Dean, mouth wide open taking a bite of a burger.

A photo of all four of them, standing next to the Impala. They were parked at dingy gas station. Buffy had insisted on the photo, and had asked the attendant to take it for them

Buffy had gotten to the last photo, smile on her face, but tears still streaming down her face. The last photo was of her and Dean. It was the first night they had made love, and the only photo that Dean had insisted on.

Dean had his arm wrapped around her ribs, with Buffy pressed firmly against his chest. They both had giant grins plastered on their faces.

Buffy looked at the photo, tracing Dean's face with her fingers. She couldn't forget anything about him. She still carried him around with her everyday

She wasn't being completely honest to Spike, not really, not when it came to why she couldn't stop feeling guilty. She felt bad about using Spike, that part of was true, but even after a year, she still felt like she was betraying Dean.

He was dead, she knew that, so why couldn't she stop loving him?

So that's the first chapter.

I know I've been gone a while, and updates may come a little bit far apart, but I am almost finished the next chapter so that bodes well, I guess. Hope you liked it!

Please review and follow.