A/N This is pure fluff, I couldn't resist. Oh the song lyrics are from "Close To You" by the Carpenters.

The little shop was barely a hole in the wall. The small neon sign simply said "Cookie Dough".

He'd been watching her for three days now, she went in early mornings and closed by five in the evening. She served a large breakfast and lunch crowd of happy customers.

Todays special was Hermit cookies and she took extra care as she cut up the nuts and plumped the raisins. Funny how things end up after Sunnydale had imploded, Buffy and Dawn had gone with Giles to England for about six months to help with the new Slayers. Buffy had decided that she would like a break from slaying and with Giles help she started the little cookie shop. She used her moms old recipes and discovered she had a flair for baking. It kept her busy and also helped her take care of Dawn and after closing she could still do some new slayer training at her apartment. The shop had been open six months now and she had a good life, if not a bit lonely sometimes.

The radio was playing softly in the kitchen and she hummed along to some old song as she poured in the flour and mixed the dough.

"Why do birds suddenly appear, everytime you are near.....

Just like me, they long to be close to you...."

Her mom had had this album, she'd played it every once in a while, not exactly Buffy's musical taste but the old song was comforting some how and made her think of someone she had longed to be close to for the last year and a half. She sighed as she put the cookie sheet in the large oven.

Today was the day, he finally found the courage to go inside, to say hello for better or for worse. He looked in the rearview mirror, still found it very strange to find a reflection there, smoothed down his brown curls and took a deep breath as he got out of the car.

He walked with a purpose to the door of the shop and opened it, the small bell over the door tinkled softly. He could smell fresh cookies baking and the many flavored coffees and teas brewing.

"I'll be right with you." She called out from the kitchen when she heard the bell, "Hello, the cookies of the day are still baking but I have these..........." She stopped midsentence when she took a good look at the man in her store.

"Buffy." He said her name with soft reverance.

"It's...it's really you?" She came from around the counter to get an even closer look at him, she tenatively touched his arm.

"I'm real, it's me." He gave her an unsure smile.

She smiled back a hint of wetness in her eyes, she reached for his hair, "You changed your hair."

"It stings to bleach it now." He shrugged his shoulders.

She looked confused for a moment, then stepped closer and put her hand on his chest, there she felt the sure heartbeat, could feel his breath on her face, "You...you're human. How?"

"I don't know, woke up six months ago in an alley in LA. Wasn't sure who I was or much of anything else, I started remembering just bits and pieces at first, thought it was one big nightmare. Then Angel found me and he helped me get it all in order, even told me where I could find you." He took a deep breath, "I don't have a better explanation then that."

"So why did you come....to see me?" She asked her eyes full of question and maybe hope?

"When I saw you last....." He leaned against the counter nervously, "You told me something and I ...I gave you the impression that I didn't believe you."

She smiled at him as she began to understand, "Not the impression - you flat out said you didn't believe me."

"I knew you loved me Buffy, I knew before you did, but I wanted you out of there safe and sound."

"I kind of figured that out as I was cursing you for leaving me." She smiled back, "So, if I were to say it again, would you answer differently this time?"

He grinned at her, "Yes, I think so."

He raised his hand and she took it in hers their fingers entwining, no flames this time just warm skin against skin.

"I love you." Buffy said the words with so much tenderness his heart almost burst.

"I love you too." He answered as he pulled her close to him his lips brushing hers in the gentlest of kisses.

Buffy returned the kiss as she backed up towards the door, her hand reaching behind her to turn the sign from "Open" to "Closed".

They made it as far as the little office set off from the kitchen, the unsteady couch crashing to the ground under the weight of their passion. They lay on the floor after, laughing as they surveyed the damage wrapped in each other and surrounded by the warm smell of fresh baked cookies.

Six months later....

"It's beautiful, Buffy!" Spike told her as he picked her up and twirled her around the new store with a flourish.

"It is, thank you for your help with this." She looked around the store, it was bigger then the last one and had several pretty little tables for the customers to sit at.

All of the regular customers had followed the "Cookie Dough" to it's new larger location. Many of them wondered about the name change that came with the location, but Buffy would only turn to Spike her new partner in business now - as well as life and grin. Then answer that it was an inside joke. The new sign read - "This Cookie is Baked"

And they all lived happily ever after!!!!!!!!!!!!

THE END