"Okay, I think that's everything." Ember said as she flopped down onto the couch next to Spike.

"Sorry I couldn't help." He said.

She offered him a smile.

"Don't sweat it, when we leave it'll be dark, so you'll drive, then at dawn we'll switch." She said as she turned on the TV and glanced at her phone.

"Three hours until the sun sets." She said as her leg began to bounce anxiously.

"Keen to get on the road are we?" He quipped with a grin.

She smiled apologetically at him.

"When I plan a trip, I'm always anxious to get on the road."

Spike almost replied with a comment about how they could wile away these last few hours, but ultimately decided against it.

Ember had made her feelings about any funny business between them very clear, at least for now and he needed to respect that, regardless of how hard it was.

Wow ... Gaining back his soul really HAD changed him and in more ways than one.

He suddenly stood.

"I'm gonna drop off for a spell, wake me when it's time to leave." He said.

Ember merely waved her hand at him, acknowledging that she had heard him without taking her eyes off the show she was watching as he strode off to the bedroom.


She must've nodded off as well while watching TV, because the next thing she knew, she was being shaken awake by Spike.

"Up and at em' love, it's time to shove off." He said.

"You sure you can drive this thing? " Ember said as she leaned back against the rumble seat.

"Shouldn't you be taking forty winks right about now?" He retorted.

"Not until I know you can drive this without hitting anything." She replied.

Spike maneuvered the large motorhome through the narrow city streets, and in no time at all they were cruising on the interstate.

Spike glanced at her, a smirk on his face.

"There, are you satisfied?"

She returned his smirk.

"Thoroughly." She said as she pushed off the rumble seat and strode to the back of the RV.

Spike's gaze was focused on the seemingly never ending road ahead of him, but his mind had drifted to the smoking hot being ... both literally and figuratively, sleeping in the back.

Respecting her wishes to remain as friends was proving to be very hard indeed.

The highway was strangely deserted, Spike couldn't remember when he'd last seen the passing headlights of another vehicle.

"Bloody hell!" He cursed as he suddenly slammed on the brakes.

Ember stumbled to the front, rubbing the side of her head, more than likely having been thrown off the bed.

"Spike what the hell?!" She said.

Spike didn't answer her, he clamored out of the RV and slowly walked towards the huge crater where the town of Sunnydale once stood.

"What the bleedin' hell happened here?!" He sputtered

"Oh yeah, that's right, you were out when all this happened. Well ... The spell you activated when you put on my Amulet effectively destroyed the hell mouth ... Along with everything else."

Spike blew out a breath as he swept a hand through his hair.

"So the whole bleedin' town's..."

"Gone? I'm afraid so, yes." She said empathetically.

Spike cursed.

"All the information we would need to find the potientals was in the goddamn library!" He practically roared at her.

Ember's expression morphed from one of shock, to casual concern

"Well, that's unfortunate, isn't it?" She quipped.

"Unfortunate?! UNFORTUNATE?! We have nothing to go on now!" He roared as he paced to and fro angrily in front of the huge crater.

"Look I'm sorry, okay? But I wasn't the one who chose the spell, you have your witch friend to thank for that." She explained patiently.

He stopped pacing and wheeled around to face her.

"What?!"

"Yeah, that spell she used with the scythe to activate all the potential slayers, it ... Affected the amulet too."

Spike merely gaped at her, too outraged to formulate words, which was something that rarely happened to him.

In fact, the last time he remembered it happening was when Buffy rebuffed him after he'd spent the evening telling her all about how he had killed two slayers.

"I'm sorry." She said

"Sorry ... SORRY?! You and that little charm of yours destroyed an ENTIRE TOWN and all you have to say for it is SORRY?!" He roared.

Ember said nothing, her gaze was merely concentrated on the ground between them.

"Spike ran his hands through his hair again.

"Mark my words, I wish I'd never laid eyes on that sodden amulet!"

Ember remained silent, and Spike plowed on angrily. All the pent up feelings of betrayal and resentment he had kept bottled up inside finally came spilling out.

"Angel was supposed to get it instead of me, did ya know that? That's right, it was supposed to be HIM gettin' fried to a crisp, not me! But of course like the wanker he is, he weasels out of it! So what happens? Everyone's all like 'oh Spike'll do it! He's too daft to say no and well ... we really don't give two shits about him now do we?'

She told me she loved me ... but I knew she didn't mean it. I knew she was just sayin' it because she knew it's what I wanted to hear." He said, his tone anguished.

"Oh, Spike..." Ember began, but what could she say? She could only imagine how painful that was for him, hell, it would have been agony for a being who was supposed to be soul having, let alone one who had their soul forcefully restored to them.

He glared at her. "I don't want your pity, look ... I know you mean well and all, but ..."

He didn't get to finish, however because Ember suddenly let out an inhuman shriek and leapt into his arms like a frightened child.

"Bloody hell, woman!" He bellowed as he staggered back, his muscles screaming with the effort it took to keep them both from tumbling over the edge of the huge crater.

"Kill it! Kill it kill it!" She shrieked, pointing a shaking finger at the ground.

He followed her gaze to see quite a large tarantula crawling towards them.

Spike quickly kicked the offending creature and sent it sailing over the side of the crater.

"Uh ... thanks. Sorry about that." She said as he slowly set her down, but made no attempt to untangle his arms from hers. Their lips were inches apart.

Spike made a discernable sound deep within his throat as he moved in to kiss her, and she would've let him had it not been for the memory of what he had said earlier suddenly hit her, and it felt like she had just been stabbed in the chest with an icicle.

She pushed away and turned her back to him.

"Its almost dawn, you'd better get inside before the sun comes up. " she said as she boarded the RV without another word, or look in his direction

Spike cursed under his breath, he had totally screwed up ... AGAIN. But he was too mentally and emotionally exhausted to try and fix it now. He trudged up the RVs steps and back to the bedroom where he collapsed onto the bed, not even bothering to remove his shoes, and before he knew it, he was asleep.