In The Name Of Love

By Spike's Bint

Chapter 1.

Post "The Gift"

They all stood there in perfect silence, Giles, Willow, Dawn, Tara, and Xander; he was cradling the injured Anya in his arms. Spike walked forward to see what they were all looking at. As he saw the broken body on the ground he crumpled to his knees; his legs unable to support his grief filled frame. The sun was coming up fast, he wanted to go to her, but the light kept him in the shadows, Buffy was gone, the sobs which racked his body mingled with the other cries of the scoobies.

Spike wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his leather coat. The suns rays were getting brighter by the moment, he could feel himself start to burn, but he didn't care. The slayer was no more; he was enveloped in his own private hell. He almost didn't feel the hand on his shoulder; he looked up into the tear stained face of Buffy's younger sister.

"Spike, you must go, you are starting to sizzle". Dawn told him gently.

"I don't care," He said bowing his head.

"Please Spike, If not for your sake then for mine, I couldn't bear to lose any one else," she sobbed.

"Nibblet, their will always be people here for you, who will love and care for you, don't be afraid, " said Spike looking at the others.

Spike rose slowly up on unsteady legs, he looked into Dawn's face and remembered his words to Buffy, to protect Dawn. He couldn't do that as a pile of ashes.

"Ok bit. I'll go" He smiled sadly at her anxious face.

He took one more look at Buffy's motionless body, pulling up the collar of his coat over his head; he ran.

Spike was back inside his crypt, not really remembering how he'd gotten there. He slammed the door shut and walked over to the TV table, picking up the bottle of vodka, which rested there. Twisting off the lid, he raised the bottle to his lips and drank deeply, the raw liquor burned at his throat; he welcomed the pain as he sank into the armchair and layback closing his eyes.

The exhaustion of the last few days unexpectedly claimed him as he surrender into the arms of Morpheus. The bottle slipped from his hand to the floor. How long he had slept he did not know, but when he awoke it was to pale moonlight flooding his home. Feeling more than a little disorientated; he sprang up from the chair, thinking it must be time to go patrolling with Buffy. He groaned aloud as the events of the last few hours came flooding back to haunt him, Buffy would never patrol again; she would never beat him or drive him mad. He slumped back into the chair and looked around for his missing bottle. His head shot up at the sound of something moving in his lower domain, he got up and went over to his weapons chest and removed a large knife.

He hoped it was a big demon; he needed something to vent this building anger that burned within his chest. He went over to the ladder and peered down the hole. He quietly descended; as he reached the bottom rung he scanned the area, noticing a small movement out of the corner of his eye. He relaxed as he saw it was only Dawn.

"Hey Dawn, what are you doing here?" He asked.

Dawn lay on the bed curled into a ball; her eyes were fixed on the cave wall.

"I had to get away, I couldn't take being in that house a moment longer," she cried.

Spike looked at her but said nothing; he sensed she needed to talk, and to talk to someone who would really listen.

"This is all my fault Spike, Buffy is dead because of me," she said turning her head into the pillows.

Spike struggled with his inner demons as he watched her cry her heart out, he was still new to all this. He remembered the time when he had gone with a shotgun to kill Buffy, and he had found her on her back porch; tears running down her face and he had awkwardly comforted her.

He tried to banish the thoughts of Buffy from his mind knowing that Dawn needed him. He sat on the bed next to her and stroked her hair and patted her shoulder. Her cries lessened.

"Dawn, don't blame yourself, if any one let you and Buffy down, it was me; I promised her I would protect you. A fine job I did of that". He said bitterly.

They were both startled by a loud banging on the crypt door.

"Better see who that is, probably the search party out looking for you nibblet" He said.

He went back up the ladder; Dawn in his wake. He had just got his feet firmly on the ground when the door burst open. Dawn stood next to him. She grabbed onto his arm otherwise she would have fallen. There was Buffy with a smile pasted on her face as if the last few hours had never been.

"Dawn!" Buffy said.

Spike caught Dawn just in time, as she fell unconscious in his arms.