A/N:  Takes place during season six between  "Older and Far Away" and "As You Were."  Spike and Buffy are still lusting after each other, but Spike wants more.  Remember all the spoilery speculation about Halfrek being Cecily?  Suppose it had been true (that she was Cecily) and these old acquaintances ran into each other in a demon bar.  Suppose Spike made a wish…

Disclaimer:  All the characters depicted in this fic are the property of Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon.  I own nothing.

Chapter 1

The place was too bloody quiet—like the Starbuck's across town or say, the library.  There'd been no stabbings, stakings or dismemberments all night.  And they called this a demon bar?  Spike glanced at his watch, then shrugged. 

Well, it was still early…

He took a swig of his whiskey.  Of course he'd be out of there in less than an hour.  He had a date, of sorts, with the Slayer in his crypt—in his bed to be exact. 

This little "thing" they had…

Now, he wasn't complaining.  He knew a good thing when he saw one, but…

It wouldn't last.  She didn't love him. He knew it.

Eventually, Buffy would snap out of this—whatever it was she was going through—and realize she'd made a mistake.  And that mistake of course…was him.

Ah, if only… TC \l1 "

"I wish…" he found himself muttering.

"You wish?"

Spike looked at the woman who had just seated herself next to him at the bar.  She wore a clingy, red sweater dress that accentuated her curves.  Her brown hair was like a lion's man, painstakingly arranged to look tousled.  Halfrek leaned closer to Spike, invading his personal space.  Her eyes gleamed as a knowing, cat-like smile spread across her face.

"Bloody Hell, woman!"  He jerked back, nearly toppling from his stool.

"Ah, now that's no way to speak to an old friend," she chided him.

"You're no friend, Cecily."

"So you say now," she demurred, "but I recall a time when you thought me, oh what was the word?  Ah yes.  Effulgent."

"Yeah, well that was a long time ago.  I'm not the pathetic sap that you knew back then.  I've changed—completely."

"Well, of course you have," her eyes flickered over his leather coat, tight black jeans and vibrant blue silk shirt.  She noticed the gold chain glinting in the dim light of the bar.  "So tell me, what's a self-respecting 'bad boy' like you doing, sitting alone in a demon bar, drinking your troubles away?"

"I'm not–"

"Hm.  Judging from your past, I'd guess you've got girl problems."

Scowling.  "Girl problems?  You're out of your bleeding gourd!"

Halfrek raised an eyebrow and gave him a condescending look.  "Am I?"

"Damn right!" Spike retorted.  "I haven't--"

"Oh, William you can't fool me.  It's written all over your face."

"Over my face?"

"Of course, I'm a justice demon—I pick up on these things.  So, where is she then—this girl of yours?" Halfrek scanned the room, brown curls bouncing about her shoulders.  "I'm just dying to meet her.  Is she here?"

"Well no…"

"Who is she then?  Anyone I know?"


Halfrek signaled to the bartender.  "I'd like a glass of wine please," she said, "and a refill for my friend here—better make it a double."  She turned back to Spike.  "Now tell me about this girlfriend of yours.  What's she like?"

* * *

"So then," Spike slurred, "she beat the living crap out of me in this alley—after I was trying to help the ungrateful bitch!  And then she tells me…"

"Go on."

"And then she tells me…that she isn't my girl…that she's never gonna be my girl…"

"Wow," Halfrek whistled and leaned back in her seat.  "She sounds like a good candidate for vengeance work—I may have to pay her a visit later.  What did you say her name was?"

Eyes glazed, Spike stared at the clouded mirror across the bar and the empty space above his stool where his reflection should've been.  "S'not her fault," he said in a small, defeated voice.  "It's me.  I'm a…" He turned to Halfrek.  "I'm a monster, s'all."

"Oh, don't be so hard on yourself, William…"

"She's never gonna love me," he whispered, turning back to the mirror.  "Never gonna love a monster.  If only…"


"But I was a man once," his voice sounded tired, old.  "There's still a part of me…deep down…trying to rise to the surface.  But she doesn't see him—she won't.  If she would just see…  I wish…  I wish she would see him…"

* * *

Spike hurried through the cemetery, panting despite the fact he didn't need to breathe.  The Slayer was going to kill him.  The Slayer was going to kill him.  The Slayer was going to kill him!

Or worse yet.  Leave.

The night air chilled him and served as an effective cold shower, sobering him up.  When he reached the crypt, he was like a freezer pop.  He shivered despite himself.

Nearly knocking the door down in his haste to open it, he stumbled into the dark crypt.  "Buffy?"

He was late.  So bloody late.



He slid down the ladder leading to his sleeping chambers.


She was reclining on the bed, propped up on her elbows.  She yawned, sat upright and rubbed the sleepiness from her eyes.  "Spike?"  Her eyes focused on him, sharpening into topaz daggers.  "You're late," she said, draping the sheet around her and rising from the bed.  "I've got to go.  Dawn's waiting."

Her back was now to him as she proceeded to put on her clothes.  Hesitantly, he placed a hand on her bare shoulder.  She shivered and turned around.

"You're like ice," she whispered, brushing her fingers over his.  She looked up at him with the stirrings of desire and touched his face.  "So cold…"

"Buffy, I'm sorry."  His words rushed out.  "I'm a blooming idiot.  I—"

"Shhh."  She pressed her forefinger to his lips.  "It's okay."  She unbuttoned his shirt and ran her hands over his chest; her warmth made him feel giddy like he'd just downed a glass of brandy.  She guided him to the bed then gave him a shove.   He tumbled backward onto the sheets, looking up at her in surprise as she quickly shrugged off the clothes she'd just put on.  "Now," Buffy breathed, "let's hurry—before you get warm."

His eyes widened.  "But I'm not—"

She smiled.  "Don't worry," she descended, deft hands on his belt, "I'll take care of it."

* * *

Halfrek stood outside the crypt, head bowed, face obscured by shadow.  She looked up suddenly, revealing the hideous mask of a vengeance demon and made a sweeping gesture with her hands.

"Wish granted," she proclaimed in a low, gravelly voice.

* * *

William sat alone in a corner; fountain pen in one ink-stained hand, parchment in the other.

His lips fluttered as he read the poem back to himself, searching for another word for 'gleaming.'

Glowing.  No.  Sparkling.  No. 

It had to be perfect.  Like her.

It came to him at last as he saw her descending the stairs.  "Cecily"," her name was poetry in itself, her beauty indescribable.  Yet he tried.  And the word emerged with shining brilliance. 


His pen moved rapidly over the parchment with nervous energy.  The poem was finished.  Finally, he was going to tell her all that she meant to him.

He stood to join the group, but staggered as the room began to spin.

* * *

It was a dream.  A dream like he'd never had before.  This wasn't Cecily frolicking naked in a fountain.  Or perched in a tree, proffered apple in hand.  This was…

Something entirely different.

His eyes strayed down…down…

Hair like wheat fields, shining in the mid-day sun.  Shorn.  He frowned.  Like the village squire's.

He shook his head, dispelling the last image from his mind.

His seductress looked up at him, her cheeks flushed and her breathing shallow.  One last time, her tongue lashed out and his torso jerked upward.

"I think you're ready," she said, sliding up his body until her face was just inches from his.

William stared at her, paralyzed, then slowly nodded.