Title: Every Night I save You- Chapter 1 of Maybe When...
Author: Xionin
Rating: R [soft PG this chapter]
Pairing: Buffy/Spike.
Feedback: Pretty please?
Disclaimer: ME dropped the ball. I picked it up.
Summary: This a medium series based on Buffy's line to Spike from 'End of Days'. She begins to say 'maybe when [this is all over,] but Spike interrupts her. It's an AU approach to the series finale [sarcasm because you know how much I loved that /sarcasm] and then moves into the 'what ifs' for Buffy and Spike.

And oh yeah, it's a total piece of fluff. Enjoy!

Every Night I Save You

"Spike!"

Willow rushed into the cavern, still buzzing from the White Magic she'd summoned. She had been running towards the school's exit when something pulled her in the direction of Hell central. When she arrived she found Spike pinned in a circle of sunlight, a pure beam of it emanating from the amulet on his chest, and Buffy pleading with him to leave with her.

"I need to finish this, pet!" He explained, glowing from the power of the charm as it amplified his soul, cleansing him. Willow could see it happening; see the demon burning away within leaving only the Champion. He was being transformed and he didn't even know it. Buffy fell silent and clasped her fingers with his. He looked at her as if in a thrall, Willow felt the tears in her eyes watching the two of them. When their joined hands burst into flames, her tears fell.

It was so beautiful.

A rumble in the ground beneath them caused both Willow and Buffy to almost lose their footing. Fortunately, it brought Willow back to her senses and she approached the blonde pair.

"No!" she shouted. "Spike you can get out of here now, you've done enough!." At the sound of the Wicca's voice, Buffy spun around. She became immediately concerned for her friend's safety.

"Willow!" She pushed her towards the entrance. "Run, get out!"

"Wait, Buffy!" Willow turned to Spike. The heat coursing through him must have been unbearable, but he'd closed his eyes and there was almost a smile on his lips. He was prepared to die to save them. "You can take it off in a few seconds, Spike, just hold on! Just a few more seconds!"

He didn't hear her, though, so enraptured by the ecstacy of the soulful light, unaware of what it was doing to him. Buffy looked back and forth between them confused.

"Will...what are you saying? Quickly!" Her eyes darted between her best friend and her...the man she couldn't imagine life without.

"Hold on Spike!" Willow grabbed Buffy and turned her towards him, screaming in her ear. "Buffy, he can't do it alone. I'll hold you for leverage, but you've got to get that thing off him. He's done what he's supposed to do, but if he doesn't get it off he's toast!"

Buffy blinked a few times and resisted the urge to turn around. All she could see was Spike and the pain he was in. The cavern was disintegrating around them. If Willow was right, there wasn't much time.

"Tell me what to do." Her resolve face set in and she braced herself. Willow smiled resolutely and instructed Buffy to grab the amulet, break the chain and toss it into the cavern.

"And then what?" Buffy yelled.

"And then we all run like hell!" Willow responded. "But hurry, he can't handle much more!"

Buffy planted her feet and stretched her arms towards Spike. For the first time in her life, she cursed herself for being short with short arms. Fortunately Willow's hold on her afforded a few more inches than she would've had on her own. She reached up as pieces of dust and rock fell into her eyes, but she didn't flinch. She managed to wrap four fingers through the chain around his neck and winced as the searing heat of the metal ate into her skin.

Spike's eyes had been closed in almost a peaceful expression but they popped open when he felt the Slayer make the first tug. He looked at her disbelievingly. Was she still there?

"Buffy?" His voice was weak, now, and he frowned.

"I'm...not...leaving...you...here!" Each word was emphasized with a pull on the chain and she grunted with the effort as she felt the links pop in her hand. The force of it sent her tumbling over Willow and they were both thrown to the cavern floor as Spike sunk to his knees.

"Throw it!" Willow screamed and pointed to the center of the cavern. She scrambled to her feet and went to help Spike.

Buffy stood on shaky ground and, summoning every ounce of strength within her, careened the amulet into the mouth of the cave. The silence came immediately and Buffy turned to Willow confused. The redhead was holding up a very weak Spike by his waist. When she looked up, her face fell.

"Shit." She whispered. "There's no time." Just as she spoke a shaft of light 10 meters in diameter shot up into the air, originating from the amulet's landing place. Buffy jumped towards her friends.

"Hecate help us!" Willow held out her hand and Buffy grabbed it just when the Wicca's hair turned white. The three of them were suddenly encased in a bubble of energy that swallowed them up and collapsed in a blink of light just before the roof caved in.

Dawn was startled when a white-haired Willow, an unconcious Spike and a frantic Buffy materialized at her side in front of the school.

"Oh thank God-" she looked at Willow. "-dess?" Willow smiled briefly as once again her hair and eyes returned to their normal hues. She handed Spike over to Buffy and Dawn before she turned back to the school.

"We need to get out of here...NOW!"

Buffy followed her gaze, as did Dawn. The building was collapsing in upon itself. Palm tree were being sucked towards an invisible void and the three of them could feel its pull.

"Come on, get to the bus!" Giles screamed behind them. It was all the instruction they needed. Buffy hoisted Spike over her shoulder and ran. Willow and Dawn followed. As soon as they were clear, with everyone on board, the bus lurched forward.

Buffy, as gently as she could, lowered Spike into one of the empty seats He was feverishly hot. She placed her hand on his forehead as she looked over the back of the seat at the scene of destruction behind them. The school, quite literally, disappeared, as did several surrounding blocks. It all stopped, however, and Robin rolled the bus to a stop. Faith immediately went to him to survey his injuries.

When silence fell, everyone looked at Willow.

"It's over." She smiled. "The Hellmouth is officially closed for business." Giles removed his glasses and scratched his head.

"I don't understand? What on earth - what did this?"

Buffy had turned her attention back to the unconscious and unwitting hero of the day. She smoothed her hand over his forhead over and over as if reassuring herself that he was there. She didn't kow if he would be alright, but she prayed that he was.

"Spike," she said softly, partly to answer the Watcher's question and partly to call out to him as his lay there unconscious. Willow unwrapped herself from Kennedy's embrace and came to kneel beside the blonde pair. All able eyes were on them. She place her hands on his chest and smiled at Buffy.

"He's going to be okay, Buff, but...we need to talk." Buffy frowned in confusion, but she nodded.

"Later, we will." She smoothed the hair back from his forehead, noting again how warm his was and hoping that the amulet hadn't done any permanent damage. "First we go home."

TBC: Chapter 2 - A New Beginning