Buffy carefully opened the door of the school basement. She went in. She walked through the dark halls. Every now and then she looked behind her to see if there was nothing Hellmouth-like following her. It was quite, the only thing she heard were her own footsteps and breathing. After a little while she opened a door on the left, she went in. She looked through the room.

B: "Spike?"

She had no idea why she was doing this. It was usually no use trying to talk to Spike. Ever since he got his soul back he was confused and talked about crazy stuff. She just hoped that today was one of his good days. She really had to talk to him.

B: "Spike?" she said again.

Then she saw him. He was standing in a corner with his face to the wall. She sighed. So much for him having a good day.

B: "Spike?" she whispered.

She stood still behind him. He turned around. She was surprised by the look on his face. Maybe this was a good day after all.

S: "How many times are you planning to repeat my name?"

B: "I just thought....."

S: "You just thought that crazy Spike wasn't listening to you. You treat me like a child and I'm not"

B: "I know you're not a child"

S: "So, what are you doing here, anyway?"

B: "You should be glad I'm here. I could just leave you here"

S: "But you won't"

B: "No, I won't."

S: "Let me guess, you need me to track down some demon for you"

He walked pass her and stood still in front of a few boxes.

B: "No, it's nothing like that. I came to talk"

Spike turned around and faced her.

S: "Talk? With me?"

B: "No, with the rats" she said sarcastically.

S: "They aren't that bad company once you get to know them"

B: "I want to talk"

S: "About what? What did I do now?"

B: "Nothing. It's not about that"

S: "Of course it is. It always is"

Buffy walked over to him.

B: "Listen, I wanna talk about us"

That got his attention. He looked up.

S: "Us?"

B: "Yeah"

S: "I'm listening"

B: "Are you?"

Spike looked up with a confused look on his face like he had no idea what she meant.

S: "I'm trying to. It's just the voices. I hurt so many people, Buffy! I killed! I was a killer. I am a killer! All the voices. They're haunting me. It hurts."

He grabbed his head.

S: "I tried to stop them, but they won't listen. They're all yelling and screaming. It has to stop, Buffy"

B: "It will stop. As soon as you accept the fact that you're a killer. That you did some horrible things. There's nothing you can change about that now. Yes, you killed, but you won't do it again, right?"

S: "Of course not"

B: "And think of all the good things you did. The vampires you killed. All the demons you killed"

Spike didn't seem to hear her. He looked away. Suddenly he looked back at Buffy with a shocked look on his face.

S: "Just think of all the things I did to you."

He reached with his left hand for her face. He touched her cheek. Buffy took his hand and put it down.

B: "Don't do this to yourself"

S: "I've changed, Buffy"

B: "I know you have, I told you that before"

S: "I'm trying to be a good person. Really."

B: "You are a good person, but this has to stop. You can't go on like this. Accept what you did"

S: "How? How can I accept it?"

B: "There has to be a way. I'm not asking you to forget about the things you did, cos you shouldn't. Not ever. But you have to learn how to deal with it. Otherwise you'll spend the rest of your life.....which is like forever....in this stupid basement, driving yourself crazy"

S: "Why are you doing this?"

B: "What do you mean?"

S: "Why are you trying to help me? After what I did...."

B: "Like I said. I believe you're a good person. And I'm the Slayer, it's my job to help good people"

S: "Then go away. Go outside. There are the good people you have to help. Not here"

B: "I'm not leaving you here. You need help. My help."

Spike nodded and turned around like he was too ashamed to face her.

B: "But I can't make the voices stop. That's a thing only you can, but I can be there for you"

S: "I don't get it"

B: "I care about you, Spike. I do. And I want you to get better. You can start a whole new life."

S: "With you?"

His question surprised her. She came here to tell Spike how she felt about him even though she wasn't sure what she felt. Maybe part of her loved him. Maybe not. She needed time to figure that out. She just hoped he would accept that.

B: "Possibly"

Spike turned around again. Buffy was shocked by the look in his eyes. It was hope what she saw. That wasn't what she meant.

B: "Don't get your hopes up. You first have to get better, then we'll see. I can't promise you anything"

S: "Promises mean nothing to me. It's the look in your eyes that proves me what I already knew"

B: "And what's that?"

S: "You love me"

Her first reaction was to deny it, but she didn't. All she did was look up to him. Look to the sad look in his eyes. All she had to do was feeling the pain she felt because he was in pain, to know he was right. His hand reached for her face again and touched her cheek. This time she let him. She closed her eyes. She felt his lips touching hers and she let him. She didn't kiss him back, but she let him. As he stopped kissing her, she opened her eyes. For a few seconds she stared in his eyes.

B: "You're right, I do"

His fingers stroke her cheek. Then he bent forward again. He kissed her again. And this time she kissed him back. It was a kiss full of passion. She wanted to enjoy every moment of this. He put his hands on her hips and pulled her closer. She planted her hands on his chest and kissed him even more passionate. It felt like they were all alone and that there was nothing else. Nothing else to worry about. Nothing else to think about, just the two of them. She felt how Spike started to open the buttons of her shirt. At first she let him, but suddenly she realized what she was doing. She pushed him away from her.

B: "We can't do this"

A few buttons of her shirt were open and you could see her bra. She didn't seem to realize it and she just stared at Spike.

S: "What's wrong?"

B: "I can't do this"

S: "Why not?"

B: "You and me could never work out. You're a vampire. Alright, you have a soul now, but you're still a vampire. That can't work out. I've been there, remember?"

S: "I'm not Angel"

B: "That's not the point. If we get involved, it will go wrong"

S: "Are you saying that because you've dated a vampire before and that didn't work out, you can't date me?"

B: "Yes. I just can't"

S: "Well, you've date normal human guys too and that didn't work out either, but that doesn't mean you can't date normal human guys anymore, does it?"

B: "That's something totally different"

S: "No, it's the same thing and if you say you can't be with me then I know you're lying. I wanna be with you, Buffy. I don't care that you're the Slayer and that I'm actually supposed to kill you. I love you and if you really love me like you say you do, then you should give us a chance"

For a moment she looked at him, then she took a step forward and hugged him. She put her head against his chest and somehow his arms around her calmed her down. Even the fact that she couldn't hear his heart beat calmed her down.

B: "I hate it when you're right" she whispered.

She thought she heard him laugh. She closed her eyes. They deserved a change. Maybe it wasn't gonna work out like she wanted to, but then at least she had given it a chance.

S: "I love you"

B: "I love you"

And she meant it. She felt warm and loved in his arms. This was what she wanted. He was the guy she loved. He was the guy she wanted to be with, no matter what. This was all she wanted to think about. She just wanted to be here in his arms. This was where she felt safe. Maybe it wasn't going to last forever, but even if it didn't she knew she did the right thing by doing this. This was where she belonged right now. Here. In his arms.