Author: Bastille Kain

Title: Third Time Lucky

Disclaimer: The character's of Buffy, Angel, and any other show that happen to be used here belong to other people.

Setting: Begins before first season with Buffy still living in LA.

Summary: Drusilla dies in Prague. Doyle has vision of Spike killing himself and what happens to the world afterwards. Finds Spike and lures him back to LA with the promise of fighting the strongest slayer of all time if he really wants to die.

Pairings: B/S

Rating: PG-13

Feedback: Is always appreciated. Just try to keep it constructive.

Email: Kain6639yahoo com

Archive: If you like it that much, sure. Just be sure to let me know where it's going, and give me the credit, good or bad, for my work.

Musical Note: "Third Time Lucky" is performed by FogHat. "Don't Close Your Eyes" is performed by Kixx. Lyrics can be found at sing365 com

Author's Note: Finally got chapter one of "Third TIme Lucky"re-edited after losing all the changes I had just finished making. It was slow going since I was also retypingthe dozen pages I lost on "Minutes to Memories" along with chapter four of "Third Time Lucky". Chapter two and three haven't been been redited yet, but I did take out the song lyrics. Should get to them along with chapter four over the next week. I hope you enjoy the changes to chapter one, hopefully I've made it a better read, if not let me know. Next weekend you should get the rest of the story.

Bastille Kain


Chapter One: Don't Close Your Eyes

Spike couldn't believe it was over. Four years shy of six score, a hundred and sixteen wonderfully majestic years of cutting a bloody swath of death over five continents. They had never bothered with Australia, it took too long to get there and there was never anything to do once you arrived. Antarctica might be dark six months running, but unless you were into penguin or walrus there wasn't a thing to eat on the overgrown ice cube.

In that time he had killed himself two slayers, the first in China during the Boxer Rebellion and the other on a subway car in New York City. Before any of that he had accomplished his greatest feat, he foiled Darla's plan to have Angelus desouled. The last thing he ever wanted was to have that ponce around mucking up the works again.

None of it mattered now. In the end none of it mattered at all.

He could still hear her, screaming for him as the mob had ripped her away from him, pleading with him to save her from them, to rend the mob limb from limb. He had tried, thrown everything he had into killing the humans that dared to lay their hands on his Dark Princess.

He had almost succeeded.

Almost.

The worst sound he had ever heard, in his century plus years on this planet, was her cry ending abruptly. He could still hear it in his head. The suddenness with which it ended, the finality of her cry as it was cut off.

He had failed her.

Drusilla.

She had given him everything and he couldn't even save her from a wretched band of humans.

It wouldn't matter. A few more minutes and he would never hear her scream again.

A few more minutes and he would be with her forever.

"A rather pitiful way to go out," a loose Irish accent said from behind him. "Specially for the scourge of Europe. Well one of them anyway."

Spike could pick up the odor of cheap whiskey even before he turned around to face the shabbily dressed man. His first instinct was to go over and just rip his head off, but that would take him further away from the sun. Something Spike didn't want to do at the moment, so instead he simply asked the Irishman, "What the bloody hell would you know about it?" As he spoke he realized the cheap whisky he smelt might be coming from him.

The man seamed to smirk as he took his hands out of his pockets. "Spike, William the bloody. Scourge of Europe, and oh yeah. The slayer of slayers is going to go out and get himself a suntan. It hardly seems fitting. Always figured you'd want something a bit more challenging?"

"Like what?" Spike asked unable to contain his curiosity.

"Like the strongest slayer in history being called," Doyle answered indifferently.

Spike snorted as he said, "Already killed myself two slayers. Wasn't nothing challenging about it."

"But they weren't like this one," Doyle told him. "Nothing like her at all."

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

The smoke billowed up around Spike's head as he stood at the edge of the shadow the large oak tree was generous enough to provide.

Doyle watched the vampire with unease. The Powers That Be had sent him a vision of Spike turning to dust in the morning sun, then another of him and the girl the two of them were here waiting for. Fighting with each other, and then, fighting with each other, only together instead of against.

He didn't know how he knew the things he knew. He figured the Powers simply shoved the information into his head along with the visions. It would explain the extraordinary, mule size hangover he felt kicking away inside his skull after he had pulled himself up off the floor. Those little drummers had been getting paid triple time if the thunderous pounding was anything to go on.

Keeping the vampire alive during their trip to Los Angeles had been a feat of Herculean proportions on his part. Every time he left the vampire alone, even for the barest fraction of a second, by the time he returned Spike would be on the verge of starting a brawl, with whoever happened to be nearby. He had never thought he would see nuns so riled up, but then again he never figured Spike would start a theological debate with them. At least that time Spike hadn't been looking to spill somebody's blood, he petulant brat.

For the most part the vampire didn't care who he fought with. So long as they were big and there were lots of them Spike contented himself with having what he called, a right royal row. When that happened Doyle normally found himself in the middle of a scrap he didn't want to be in.

When there wasn't a fight to keep Spike preoccupied he would flirt with the sun like he was doing now. One good breeze and it would be bye, bye vampire and a few years later it would be bye, bye world.

"You sure you want to be doing that?" Doyle inquired cautiously.

"You like your head sitting pretty as you please on top of your shoulders?" Spike responded with nothing like caution.

"Hey, your funeral," Doyle answered.

"That's right mate," Spike replied as his eyes scanned the throng of teenagers erupting through the exterior doors. "So what does this here slayer look like?"

"A girl," Doyle began. Before he could continue though, Spike turned his head to glare at man. "Ain't gonna find her looking at me," he said lightly to Spike. The bleach blonde vampire scowled at him for a moment before turning his gaze back to the school. His blue eyes instantly lock on a short, bubbly, blonde cheerleader as she bounced along with a flock of like minded geese in close formation behind her. "Let's see, she's about five three, blonde hair..."

Spike pointed directly at her as he proclaimed, "That's her." As his arm sat in the sunlight it began to smoke.

"Jesus," Doyle cursed as he moved forward forcing Spike's arm back down.

With a light shrug Spike easily brushed Doyle off of him. The half breed regained his balance easily and matched Spike's glare with one of his own. Several tense moments passed before he finally said, "Yeah. That's her," before he turned on his heel and strode resolutely away from the vampire. His job was done. Let Spike kill himself for all he cared.

As Doyle walked away Spike turned his attention back to the soon to be slayer as she laughed and exchanged glib banter with her friends. A vicious smirk creased his lips. She didn't look like much but she was going to be the strongest. Strong enough to do him in.

Maybe?

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

Spike spent the next week returning to his tree. The ground was littered with the spent cigarette butts that measured his growing impatience. His one deficient personality trait, and this past week was stretching the little patience he did have to their limits.

Yesterday he thought he felt something different about the peppy blonde but he needed to be sure before he went off and attacked her for no good reason. Being sure meant waiting for her watcher to make his appearance. And unless he was mistaken the fat porker wearing the bad tweed suit was precisely that.

"Buffy Summers?" The watcher asked.

The tiny blonde looked up at him with a curious little smile. "Yeah. Hi! What?" By the time she finished the curiosity was gone and had been replaced with a tint of confusion sparkling in her eyes.

"I need to speak with you," he said in a stuffy, too serious tone of voice. As if the fate of the world hinged on his next few words.

Buffy's attitude became a little defensive, but Spike noted a touch of repressed challenge in her body language. "You're not from Bullock's, are you? Cause I… I meant to pay for that lipstick."

"There isn't much time. You must come with me. Your destiny awaits," he told her in that same voice. The direst of consequences were waiting just around the corner if you don't do exactly as I say. Spike was tired of hearing his voice already.

"I don't have a destiny," she replied with a curt little nod. "I'm destiny-free, really," she adds after a beat.

"Yes. You have," He began in that some tone of voice. Spike knew if he was to forced to listen to it for much longer he would rip the man's throat out. "You are the Chosen One. You alone can stop them."

Her curiosity was peaked again. She couldn't help but ask, "Who?"

"The vampires," he answered. If possible his voice became even more ominous, and even more self important all at the same time.

"Huh?"

Spike smirked to himself as he listened in to their conversation. "Slayer's got herself a bit of a larcenous streak has she?" He murmured with a small chuckle finding the thought of the tiny blonde shoplifting rather amusing.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

"She missed," Spike growled in a low voice as he watched the slayer fight, scampering away was more what it looked to him. She kicked out at the fledgling giving herself a small crease of space. "Strongest slayer ever my bloody ass." He whirled away from the fight in a murderous huff.

He had followed the slayer, and the bloated warthog that called himself her watcher, to this cemetery hoping to catch a glimpse of the slayer in action as she tore some unlucky fledgling to pieces. He had gotten his wish, in a way. He had seen the slayer fight, if one could call what he saw a fight. She had no skill, no power. The girl had the cunning, the ferocity of a caged gerbil.

His powerful legs easily carried him into the murky darkness of the local woods in a half dozen strides. His black duster flared around him with each step he took. That girl would be lucky if she survived a week. It had been the most miserable excuse of a fight that he had seen in ages. Even Angel would be able to rip this girl apart.

He had a serious inkling to find himself a certain half breed demon and rip his bloody head off.

It had been ten days since Drusilla had died.

It was ten days too many that he had been hearing her cries in his head.

Now he was planning on sharing his pain with the person responsible for extending it.

Doyle.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

Doyle glanced up briefly at the blonde vampire looming over his table. "Been expecting you," he lied easily as he raised his glass in salute and asked, "care to join me?"

Spike flopped down into the chair across from the half breed; his face was grim as he said, "The dead man buying his executioner a drink. Seems right proper if you ask me."

"Executioner," Doyle sputtered quite surprised by the statement. "What's this all about?"

Spike wasted no time launching into his complaint. "You said she was going to be the strongest slayer ever," Spike replied in a very distinctive voice that let Doyle know he was on very thin ice, and it had begun to crack under his weight even as the Irish man poured him a shot from the bottle that had been sitting on the table. He did an impressive job of keeping the fear out of his voice. "She couldn't beat my aged grandmother."

"Don't you mean grandfather?" Doyle corrected with a slight laugh.

Spike's glare could flay flesh as easily as his hands could snap bones. It had the desired effect as it cut the mirth out of Doyle's voice. "Point is I've fought two slayers in the last century…"

"Right," Doyle cut in. "A pair of trained, seasoned slayers." He hoped the vampire believed his line of reasoning. "What, did you think they come all prepackaged that way?" Spike drained the shot of whiskey and slammed the glass back down on the table. "They take time to grow into their power just like vampires. Only they find theirs faster or die quicker. One girl, alone. Fighting all the forces of evil," he muttered with heat as he refilled both shot glasses. "Got to be a hell of a way to go," he finished as he raised his shot glass.

Spike picked his up slowly, unsure of what he should do. It had been simple when he thought of the slayer as the slayer instead of the girl she was.

With a low growl he downs the shot then fills it back up. It didn't matter what she had been. She was the slayer now. Downing the shot a dark light glimmers within his blue eyes.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

Spike glided silently up the street behind the slayer, his heavy Doc Martin boots didn't make the slightest scrape of a sound despite his heavy footsteps. He had been following her all night, and while she showed some sign of improvement, especially considering the night before, it would be months, maybe years, before she was ready to face him.

He didn't want to wait years. He couldn't wait years.

There had to be some way to accelerate whatever process slayers used to gain their strength.

As he skulked along behind her he began to hear shouting, a couple of parents yelling at each other. Normally he wouldn't pay any attention to the disturbance except it came from the direction he was going which forced him to listen. Occasionally he caught snippets of the conversation, pieces he couldn't tune out. Phrases like rebellious daughter, grades slipping, and fighting.

He smirked indulgently at what sounded like a girl after his own heart. That was until he saw the slayer slip over the low hedge wall and slink up to the back window of the house the yelling emanated form.

There was something about the slump of her shoulders he found appalling. His slayer radiated a sense of defeat. If this was what she had to listen to at home it came as no surprise to him that she was having such a hard time at night. He didn't know of anyone who wouldn't be adversely affected hearing a constant barrage of disparaging remarks about their shortcomings. If he had to listen to the litany much longer Spike knew he would do something impulsive, and possibly irrevocable.

Once she made her way inside he leapt the wall with ease and strode up to the house unconcerned if anyone was watching him. The yelling began to grate on his nerve as he watched the young slayer pull off her bulky coat before heading into her bathroom.

Turning the light on Buffy went to the large sink. She gave the knob a slight twist to get the water flowing water and began scrubbing at the coat trying to get the stains out. The tiny blonde spent nearly five minutes furiously scrubbing at the coat. The entire time couldn't help but hear her parents less then stellar opinion of her.

Before she hung her head and started crying softly he wanted to point out, in excruciatingly painful detail, just what twits they were. Their daughter was going out night after night killing off monsters like him. Instead of bitching about her perceived faults they ought to be praising her for the hero she was.

Once the tears began flowing he wanted to string the pair of them up by their intestines. They didn't deserve to have a daughter like her.

With the suddenness of a lightening strike his thoughts stopped.

What the bloody hell? You've gone and flipped your bleeding gourd. She's the sodden slayer. You're the vampire. Wench's suppose to do you good and proper when the times right.

Her pain should have brought him nothing but pleasure. It shouldn't be filling him with this desire to hold her and wipe away her tears as he comforted her with soothing words that everything was going to be all right.

If he was any sort of decent vampire, like Angelus, he would be using this moment to plot her destruction, possibly by worming his way deep into her heart so that she would fall in love with him while he systematically took away all her other support structures until he was her only means of comfort left. He shouldn't be wondering what it would be like to hold her supple body in his strong arms as he soothed away all her worries and she slowly fell asleep feeling safe and secured and snuggled tight against him, as he guarded her dreams making sure she remained undisturbed.

With a harsh snarl on his lips Spike spun away from the house. His blood felt like it was blistering. He had the distinct feeling that somebody was playing with him, twisting him about for their own amusement. If anybody knew who that might be it would be his least favorite half breed. Once he peeled the truth out of Doyle he would pay his master a little visit. He hoped Doyle was a stand up kind of guy just so he could make sure he never stood up again.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

After his failure to locate Doyle, a task he spent several days on before discovering the half breed had fled Los Angeles for more a more agreeable climate – someplace with lots of sun all year round – Spike began to learn as much as he could about this slayer. He followed her everywhere she went; it was an activity that had become a full time occupation for him. One he was fast beginning to despise. Watching her life fall to pieces around her did not make for a pleasurable evening.

Her friends were on the cusp of abandoning her, leaving her high and dry. With her as the axis around which their arguments spun Joyce and Hank Summers turned their collapsing marriage into a macabre sort of extreme sport. The watcher was constantly telling that she was going to die if she didn't do better and train harder.

For a couple days he toyed with the idea of slaughtering the entire lot just so she wouldn't have to deal with their petty, demeaning, and paltry attitudes anymore. He hadn't followed through on the initial conception. The thought of doing the slayer a favor didn't sit too well with him.

He held onto the idea though. Once they fought, and if he killed her, then he would kill them. The thought of them being alive while she fed the worms was wrong. None of them deserved to live if she was dead.

The only aspect of her life that wasn't being flushed down a crapper at near light speed was her relationship with her little sister. Though the Little Bit was using her new found knowledge of her sister's calling to blackmail the slayer, getting small things only a ten year old girl could want. Spike actual found the girl's antics almost precocious. For a few hours each night she allowed the slayer to forget about her sacred duty and just be the girl she had always been before.

Spike enjoyed his life a lot more back before he learnt what happened to a slayer after they were called, or chosen, or whatever it was that made them special, turned them into feared killing machines the world over. Back then it had been simple. Slayer. Vampire. Vampire kills slayer. It was easy to remember. He liked it a lot. Now he found himself wondering about things like; if she was eating properly, getting enough sleep, keeping up with her studies. It was so domestic.

The entire time he could feel his pain over Drusilla's loss lessening, fading, slipping away from him as if it was nothing more then a dream.

He hated himself for it. Hated the slayer more for doing it to him, for taking away what had been, was still special to him. With everything second that passed he felt his anger grow; at him, at her, anything and everything.

At the same time he couldn't help but be drawn to her. There was such a vibrancy about her, a feel of boundless energy. He could see it in how she fought, how she lived. Even after a day of taking heaps of abuse from every side she still picked herself up off the floor or ground as the case may be, and goes again.

Despite what her watcher continually told her, she was getting better. He saw the improvement each and every night as she roamed the cemeteries. She never tried to overwhelm the vampires being more content to outwit them and use their own, overly aggressive natures against them.

Tonight was much the same as each of the previous four nights. Walk around the outskirts of Los Angeles and stake vampires. Since she had been called Spike had noticed a mark increase in the vampire activity in the area.

Spike came to a stop. He could smell an entire gang of vampires closing in on the area, the smell of a freshly opened grave. It wasn't actually a smell, more like a feeling, a sense of something kindred. That he had a sense of it meant there must be half a dozen or more. That many vampires working together meant either a pact, something almost unheard of, or one of the old masters was raising an army.

He moved quickly, to the few humans on the street it was like a blur had brushed past them. They were able to make out a vague image of something, but that was it. He caught up with the slayer just as seven vampires converged on her. He can smell her fear peak as she took in her situation. Spike listened to the hit squad as they bantered and blustered with a deaf ear. They were trying to puff themselves up with self important talk, all of which meant nothing.

The fight started off with a flurry of fast paced, high energy moves that accomplished next to nothing. After the initial rush of activity it proceeded more or less how he expected it to. The vampires held a decided advantage, but the slayer was doing a decent job of fending them off. She even managed to stake two of them in the process.

It didn't take long for them to begin swarming over her though, not at seven, then six, and finally five to one odds. She was moving, keeping them from being able to pin her down, or hem her in. It was simply a stalling tactic and everyone involved knew it.

It was very easy for Spike to see how this was going to end. It was an outcome that wasn't going to get him his epic battle with her, the one where either she killed him or he killed her.

Clapping loudly Spike stepped out of the shadows. His sudden and unexpected presence brought the fight to a grinding halt. "Well, well, well," he said making a show of taking in the scene, "what do my eyes perceive? Five starving wolves pulling down Little Red Riding Hood on her way to grandmother's house."

Buffy snapped her mouth close as she watched the overly cocky Englishman as he sauntered out of the woods. The increase in her heart's racing tempo had little to do with the fight she had just been in and everything to do with the dangerously delectable bleach blonde hottie. His voice was doing things to her stomach she had never felt before, as an illicit chill coursed down her spine. He plucked a cigarette out of his pack and popped it into his mouth, flipped open his silver zippo and lit the end without a care in the world.

Her mouth went dry as she instantly memorized every detail of his body, his attitude, his countenance. Everything about him was being meticulously catalogued and filed away inside her mind. From his platinum blonde hair to his untied Doc Martins, the check mark scar over his eyebrow, to his electric blue eyes, his high, arched cheekbones. The way his black duster hung from his shoulders, moving as he moved like it was a living part of him. The black t-shirt that framed his exquisite torso, with it doing more to accentuate the sculpted muscles it was attempting to cover then to actually hide them.

Coming back to herself with a start Buffy suddenly regained the ability to speech, to string one word after another in order to articulate an idea with semi intelligent sentences. Plus she could now feel the watery drool leaking from the corner of her mouth. As unobtrusively as possible she quickly wiped her mouth clean.

"You need get out of here," Buffy warned hoping she would be able to buy the stranger a chance to get away. All she had to do was keep the attention five vampires focused on her while he did the smart thing and ran away as fast as he could. Right, no problem there Buffy!

"Isn't that sweet," Spike mocked. "Slayer's worried about me. I think I might actually shed a tear," he added with a slight squint. "Nope, sorry. Just a bit of smoke in my eye."

"Who the hell are you?" The largest member of the well dressed group of vampires demanded. He was under strict orders to bring the slayer to Lathos. He wanted the slayer and what Lathos wanted, Cirrus got. His black hair was cropped short just like all the vampires in his little troupe. Their suits, from tie clips to cufflinks and hushpuppies loafers, weren't top of the line, but none of it looked as if it had been stripped from a dead wino not more then an hour past either.

Spike took him to be the leader of this rag tag band of miscreants. They gave the impression of businessmen out on a corporate raid. "Spike," he finally said and then waited for their reactions.

There was an awed silence that fell over the five vampires. Lathos had made sure all of his minions knew the name of every vampire that had taken the life of a slayer and still unlived. Spike was one among a bare handful. Unlike the others he was an oddity among their kind in that he fought them alone, in single combat.

"Our master has already claimed this slayer for his own," Carver, a large brunette snarled. He was big having more then four inches and close to thirty pounds on Spike. He was still three inches shy of being able to look Cirrus in the eyes. The fellow had the bad luck to remind Spike of Drusilla's sire Angelus. "You can wait for the next..."

Spike grabbed hold of his throat, squeezing hard enough to cut his warning short. His fingers dug into his flesh causing small rivulets of blood to flow down his neck as he forced the larger vampire to his knees. "Why don't you go back, tell whatever blighter you call master, that the slayer's mine. The only bloke that's going to be sinking his fangs into her is me. Any of his gits comes within spitting distance of her is gonna be sent back to him one bloody piece at a time, unless he wants to step up and challenge me for the right, and I don't think he has balls big enough to do that."

Buffy's face fell as she began to catch up on parts of the conversation taking place around her. Mostly it was the parts where Spike's incredibly sexy English accent filled the air. When it didn't she nearly lost herself drinking in his amazingly hot body. "You're a vampire," she whispered in stunned amazement.

"Second thought," Spike said rethinking everything he had just said as he tossed his cigarette away. He ignored Carvers two hands desperately trying to dislodge his fingers from around his throat. "That there might be a bit much for you to remember. Don't want you to overtax those limited resources you're working with." He continued squeezing, fingers buried knuckle deep in his flesh. With a sudden surge of strength Spike separated his head from his shoulders. With a horrified look on his face Carver turned to dust that the whispering breeze carried off. "I'll tell him myself."

"That was so cool," Buffy gushed with bright eyes. Then disappointment creased her face and tinted her voice as she murmured, "How come I can't do that?"

For a moment the four remaining vampires look on in stunned silence. Then like a damn bursting Cirrus shouted, "Kill him!" A split second later they charged Spike.

Buffy watched as the blonde vampire blocked, slipped, punched, dodged, kicked, tossed, avoided, and countered their attacks with contemptuous ease. Each movement caused his duster to whirl and flare around him like a majestic cloak. He hurled the first one, stunned, to the ground almost at her feet. Not wanting to waste the opportunity she quickly staked him where he laid.

Spike snapped the second one's neck dropping him to the ground. A large smile was plastered to his face as he lost himself in the rhythm of the fight. This was what he should have been doing after laying waste to the mob that had killed Drusilla. Gone out and found anything that could challenge him.

He ducked under a punch from the leader; his foot sent him crashing to the ground.

Instead he allowed himself to get caught up in the slayer's life, allowing her pain to become his. It was a bloody travesty as far as he was concerned.

He was a dark warrior. The scourge of Europe.

He had cut a swath of death and destruction over five continents.

Now he was reduced to this. The slayer's sodding body guard. Her knight in black leather duster.

The fourth vampire, one only slightly taller and broader through the shoulders then Spike, grabbed Spike in a strong bear hug lifting him off the ground. Spike slammed his head backward smashing the other vampire in the face with the back of his skull. As his feet hit the ground he spun around and backhanded the vampire.

He stumbled backward, then stopped a look utter bewilderment on his face for a brief instant before he turned to dust that floated to the ground revealing the tiny blonde slayer holding a stake with a large, ear to ear grin splitting her face and pure adornment shinning in her eyes.

Spike looked around frantically for any of the other vampires he had been fighting. Only there was nothing but dust covering the ground. His eyes went wide as he whirled on her. "What the bleeding hell do you think you're doing you twit!" He roared at her, more from exasperation then any real anger.

Buffy's face was a heartbeat away from falling before she decided to ignore his enraged outburst and simply answered him by saying, "We make a pretty good team, huh?"

If possible his eyes got even wider as he wondered what had happened to her brain, or if she had heard anything that he had said just a few minutes ago. "No!" He raged at her as he swept his arms out wide while glaring at her with heated eyes. "No, we don't make a sodding good team. We ain't no bloody Jan and Dean, We sure as all rot ain't Sonny and his strumpet Cher, and we sure as hell ain't no Bonnie and Clyde. You're the slayer. I'm the vampire. We fight, I kill you. Drain you dry and chop your body up into sausage to feed to my dogs. Not that I have any dogs, but I'll sure as all bloody hell go out and get a few mongrels just so I can feed your disemboweled corpse to them."

Buffy stared at him with wide nearly tear filled eyes as she said, "But you saved me," in a tiny voice.

Spike shook his head unable to believe her. "Didn't you hear a single word I said you simple minded wretch. You," he began with a hard jab of his finger at her, "are mine to kill. No ponce bugger who sends his band of poofter boys out to collect you is going to get to sink his fangs into you."

"Fine," Buffy hissed softly. "You want a shot at me? Come on. I'm not afraid of you. I've taken out vampires twice your size, maybe three times." It was true. She wasn't afraid of him, not very much anyway. If anything she found the thought of fighting Spike to be thrilling.

Spike leaned in close, a knowing smirk spreading across his lips. "You ain't ready for me yet," he informed her trying to sound threatening only his words come out husky. "Don't worry. When you are," his grin broadened as he leaned further in. "I'll be there," he warned with an intense glare.

A moment later he spun away, his coat whirling around him once again. He stalked through the graveyard with powerful strides. As he passed a large headstone his fist lashes out pulverizing the marker, turning it to large chunks of broken marble.

Buffy watched him go with something halfway between a frown and a smile playing with the corners of her mouth. She knew Spike was going to be watching her. The thought both frightened her and thrilled her to the very core of her being. For some reason she wasn't worried about him killing her.