Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, but the warped little fantasy is mine. :)

Comments? Send them to me: sunflour_mom@hotmail.com

Author's note: This is the third and final, installment of this story. Read the first two parts first, or this will seem even more way out there than it is. The first part is Love and Hate, second part Fear and Longing. Enjoy! (I hope)

Truth and Consequence

Buffy and Spike lay in his bed, arms wrapped tightly around each other. It had been more than a month since Valentines Day, and now every moment they could be together, they were. No one knew about them, their secret was concealed in the darkness of night. Buffy spent her days normally, going to school, training with Giles, hanging out with her friends. But the nights, they belonged to him.

She was so happy, yet so lost. She knew that this path she was taking was not the right one, or a good one. She shouldn't be here with him, but her heart had taken over and her head had no control over the places her heart was taking her. She surrendered to the moment, time and again, not thinking; only feeling.

Her life was destined to be a short one, she knew that. Slayers rarely lived as long as she had. Sometimes that made her feel like she shouldn't bother thinking or worrying about the future. She wanted to live each day like it would be her last. She knew that if she didn't allow herself to succumb to her feelings, she would regret the path not taken, even if it was terribly wrong.

Unfortunately, she feared that this would have to end. It was not something she wanted to think about, but it was always there in the back of her mind. The nagging truth that she tried so hard to ignore.

Buffy sighed contentedly and snuggled even closer to Spike. Their bodies seemed to melt into one. He kissed the back of her neck and she smiled. She rolled over so that they were face to face. He kissed her gently as his hands roamed the curves of her body.

"You are so perfect." He whispered into her hair.

She giggled and kissed him again. When they parted, she looked at him.

"What are we doing? You do know this is so wrong." She said to him, with a faint smile.

"It's wrong, but it feels so right, doesn't it, Luv?" He said attempting to kiss her again.

She put her fingers to his lips to stop the kiss. "I'm serious. We can't go on like this forever." She sad sadly.

He looked at her with worry in his eyes. "Why not?" He always feared she'd come to her senses and realize that she was throwing her life away on him. But he always thought that it would be a long time from now.

"Because, I can't keep lying to everyone. I'm sure they already suspect something is up. If they found out..." She trailed off.

"If they found out, then what? You think they would hate you? Is that it?" He asked.

"I don't know what they would think. I just know that tears of joy would not be involved." She said sitting up in the bed, sheets wrapped tightly around her naked body.

He continued to lie there, staring up at the ceiling. He hated the fact that she was ashamed of him and what they had together. He didn't blame her though. This was wrong and not just for her, but him too.

"Well, then I guess we just don't tell them." He said trying to convince her.

"I know, but I feel like this double life is taking its toll." She said sadly.

"What do you want to do? End it? Do you want this to be over?" He asked with irritation to conceal his pain.

"I don't know. I don't know what I am doing anymore." She said throwing herself back down into the pillows.

"Let's not talk about this anymore." He said just trying to push all of her doubts out of his head.

"I have to go now, anyway. It's almost daybreak." She said getting up.

She pulled her clothes back on and searched around for her shoes.

"Will I see you tonight?" He asked unsure of what was happening between them.

"I don't know." She said distractedly, as she found her shoes and began to put them on. She looked up at him staring at her. His eyes were full of sadness. Her heart ached again.

"Look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get all weird. I'm just confused and tired. Of course I'll see you tonight. I don't know what I am going to do, but I know I don't want this to end. Not yet." She said coming back over to him.

He reached out his arms to her and drew her close to him. He held her tightly. "I love you, Buffy. You know that, don't you?" He said softly to her.

"I know." She smiled and got up to leave. "I'll see you tonight."

He watched her as she walked out the door. She was everything to him now. He had nothing else. He didn't know how it had happened but she had invaded his world. The thought of losing her was too much for him to bear.

When it came to love, he always fell hard and fast. Love was what made him what he was today. He wouldn't be a vampire if he hadn't fallen instantly in love with Drusilla. And when he loved, it was forever, literally in his case.

He wanted so much to be a part of Buffy's life. Not a secret shame that she carried with her. He knew that vampires and humans were not meant to be together, certainly not a vampire and a Slayer. But he didn't care about that anymore. He didn't even feel like a vampire half the time. He wasn't human, but he wasn't truly a demon anymore either. He didn't fit into anyone's world.

A week went by and neither of them spoke about their earlier conversation. Their nights together were spent in blissful denial. Neither of them wanting to upset the dream that they shared together.

For her, it was a decent into darkness and for him it was a journey into the light. They each needed something from the other that couldn't find anywhere else. They were like two sides to the same coin. Each understood the other better than anyone else ever could have. This was bigger than both of them and neither was willing to let it end.

He had spent the night at her house. Her mother and sister were gone for the weekend and they had the whole place to themselves. This was the first time they were able to spend an entire day together. They lay in bed, well after the sunrise, tangled in each other's arms.

"This is so nice. I wish that we could do this all the time." Buffy said to him.

"Mmm. It is nice, isn't it?" He said sleepily.

"I could get used to it." She smiled as she kissed him.

Just then, she heard the doorbell. She sat up and looked at the clock. It was ten am.

"Who could that be?" She asked.

"Don't answer it. They'll go away." He said trying to pull her back down into the bed.

The bell rang again. "I better answer it. Don't move and whatever you do, don't come downstairs." She said as she pulled her robe on.

"I'll be right here." He said.

She made her way down the stairs and quickly flung the door open. It was Willow and Tara. "Hey, Buffy. Still asleep?" Willow asked, taking in her appearance.

"Um, yeah. Late night, you know. Lot's of evil to destroy. What's up?" Buffy asked nervously.

"Can we come in?" Willow asked wondering why Buffy seemed so nervous.

"Oh, sure." She said moving away to let them in.

"We just wanted to see if you wanted to go shopping with us." Willow said.

"Yeah, there's, um, some sales and stuff." Tara added.

"Oh, well, I don't know. I'm not really dressed or anything." Buffy said glancing down at her disheveled robe and running a hand through her messy hair.

At that moment a loud crash came from upstairs.

"What was that? Is someone up there?" Willow asked.

"Oh, I'm sure it was nothing." Buffy answered quickly.

"It sounded like something fell." Tara said.

"Probably just the wind." Buffy laughed nervously.

"It's not windy, and besides wind doesn't sound like that." Willow said suspiciously. "Maybe you should check it out." She added.

"Sure, you're right. Wait here. I'll be right back." She said as she ran back up the stairs.

"She sure is acting strange." Willow said with worry.

"Um, Willow," Tara said tugging on her girlfriends arm, "I think someone's up there." She said pointing to the pair of men's boots that were strewn on the floor.

"What?" she said looking at Tara. "Whose are those?" Willow said as she noticed the boots. She then walked into the living room. She saw a pack of cigarettes on the coffee table and as her eyes scanned the room she saw the black leather jacket lying on the couch. "Oh...My...God." She said in total disbelief.

"What is it? Whose stuff is that?" Tara asked.

"I don't believe it." She said shaking her head. "Spike."

"Spike? That vampire guy who punched me that one time?" Tara asked.

All Willow could do was nod her head. The words just wouldn't come. Buffy and Spike together. She had to be wrong. They had to be another explanation.

Buffy threw open her bedroom door to find Spike sitting on the edge of the bed putting his clothes on. "What happened up here?" She said irritated. "Could you make a little more noise? I might as well have hung a sign around my neck saying that I was hiding something up here."

"Sorry, Slayer, but I was looking for my shoes and tripped over all this bloody stuff all over the floor. You really should keep your room a little neater." He said sarcastically.

"Ugh! Just keep it down. It's Willow and Tara. They are going to know something is up."

"Where are they? Did they leave?" He asked.

"No, they're downstairs waiting for me."

"Well, then unless your witch and her girlfriend are morons, they are going to know that it's me up here."

"Why is that?" She asked exasperated.

"Because, my shoes and my jacket are in your living room. Remember?" He said with a smirk.

"Oh God! Oh no! Maybe they didn't see anything." She said as she ran out of the room and back down the stairs.

"Guy's it was nothing up there. Just some junk fell off my closet shelf." She said as she made her way down the stairs.

She walked into the living room and saw Willow and Tara looking at her strangely. "What's wrong? Did you hear me? It was just some junk..." Buffy started trying to cover.

"That must have hurt." Willow said blankly.

"What?" Buffy said sounding puzzled.

"I bet it hurt when Spike fell off your closet shelf." Willow said irritated at her friend for trying to lie to her.

Buffy just lowered her head. She was busted. She knew it, but she still felt the need to try and spin her way out of this.

"What are you talking about, Will?" Buffy said softly.

"Well, unless you've taken up smoking and started wearing Spike's clothes, I'd venture a guess that he's the one making all the noise up there." She said pointing at all the evidence.

"Will, listen to me. It's not what you think." Buffy said trying to figure out what to say next.

"So you're not sleeping with him?" She asked.

"Well... Then I guess it is what you're thinking. But I can explain." She said fearful that she was losing her friend

"Explain away, because I am so not understanding this. When did this happen? Is this why you haven't wanted any of us patrolling with you anymore? Were you even patrolling?" Willow said with a hurt and angry voice.

"Yes, I was. But he was with me. I knew you wouldn't understand. I knew you would be mad." Buffy said with tears forming in her eyes.

"I'm not mad, Buffy. I just don't get it. I thought you hated him. I thought he still wanted to kill you. I mean, haven't you gotten the whole vampire thing out of your system, yet? You remember what happened last time?" Willow said as Tara put her arm around her trying to get her to relax.

"This is different." Buffy started.

"Yeah, it is different. He doesn't even have a soul to lose." She said sadly.

"I know, but you don't know him like I do. He may not have a soul, but he still has a heart, he still has feelings. He loves me, Will. And I think I might love him too." She said softly. It was the first time she had said that, but now she realized that it was true.

"I just don't believe this. I mean, I know he can't hurt anyone, physically that is. But I just feel like you are setting yourself up to be destroyed. Whatever happened to looking for something normal?" Willow said completely confused.

"Please understand." Buffy pleaded.

"I just need to go now. Go back to whatever it is you were doing." Willow said as she walked towards the door. She needed time to think.

Tara followed her, stopping to look back at Buffy. She felt her pain. She could see that the thought of losing Willow's friendship was killing her. She smiled, "It'll be okay." She said softly and followed her girlfriend out the door.

Buffy just sat on the couch and cried with her hands over her eyes. Spike came down the stairs after he heard the girls leave. He went over to her and touched her back gently. She looked up at him through her tears.

"She hates me. She thinks I'm setting myself up to get hurt, and she's right." She cried.

"She doesn't hate you. She's your best friend, right. She'll come around." He said trying to ease her pain.

"I was so stupid. No one is gong to understand this."

"No one has to understand this, but us. That's all that matter's isn't it?" he asked hopeful.

"I don't know." She sobbed as he pulled her into his arms. He held her like that for a long time until she finally calmed down. Neither of them knew what to do next.

Spike feared that this was the end. He could feel her slipping away and out of the dream world they had been living for the last month. He held her tight, fearful that he if didn't she would be lost to him forever.

Willow and Tara sat on their bed talking about what had happened at Buffy's house.

"I just can't believe she wants to date a vampire again." Willow said. "You didn't see the way it was the last time, with Angel. He got all evil and killed people. Then he got his soul back again, and he eventually left her because they knew they could never be together. She was so devastated. I just don't want anything like that to happen again."

"Well, you know, sometimes people just can't, you know, help who they fall in love with." Tara said taking Willow's hand.

"I know." She said softly.

"I mean, you were afraid to tell your friends, too. About us, I mean." Tara said softly.

"Yeah, I know, but that was different. Our relationship is a bit unconventional, but you're still alive." Willow said with a slight smile.

"True, but, still. Think about how she feels. Even if you don't, you know, agree with it, you still need to support her, right?"

Willow reached out and hugged Tara tight. "You are so wonderful. See, this is why I love you." She smiled. "You're right. I still have to be her friend."

"You should, um, go talk to her, you know? She was really sad when we left." Tara said.

"Right. Thanks for helping me see this better."

Buffy sat alone in her living room. Spike had left when the sun went down. Tonight was one night she wanted to spend alone. There really wasn't anything left for him to say or do now that would make her feel better. She still wanted to be with him, but the charade was over. Sooner or later she knew she would have to face the truth, but she wasn't ready yet.

There was a knock at the door. She thought about not answering it, but figured she may as well just get it. She got up and strode over to the door. She opened it slowly.

"Hey. Can I come in?" Willow asked.

"Sure." Buffy said softly as she let her friend in.

They walked over to the couch together and sat down.

"Look, I'm sorry I lied to you." Buffy started.

"It's okay. Really. I know this wasn't easy for you. I'm sorry too. I shouldn't have acted so insensitive." Willow said to her longtime friend.

"Really? You don't hate me?" Buffy asked.

"No. I could never hate you, Buffy. We're best friends. I just don't want to see you get hurt. I may not understand why you are with him, but if you are happy, then that's all that matters."

"I am happy. Well, not happy about the lying, but when I'm with him, I am happy. I know it sounds ridiculous." She told her.

"It's not ridiculous. I mean, if you're happy, then I am happy for you."

"What made you change your mind?" She asked.

"Tara. She made me see how unfair I was being to you. I mean she pointed out that no one chooses who to love. I mean, look at me. I know you were pretty wigged when you found out about me and Tara, but you were still my friend. Also, I mean, my first love was werewolf." She laughed.

"Yeah, I guess that was pretty bizarre, too, huh?" Buffy laughed with her.

"Yeah. I guess nothing in this town is ever simple. Look at Xander. He's dating an ex-demon himself. I guess we all have a thing or two that is strange about the ones we love. This is no different." Willow said to her trying to reassure her.

"You are such a good friend, Will. I'm sorry if I have been neglecting you lately. Now that you know my secret, I don't have to hide from you anymore." Buffy said happily.

They gave each other a hug, and Willow said, "So, you have to tell me everything. When did this happen? I need major details." She smiled to her friend.

"Okay, here is the whole story..." Buffy began to tell her everything that went on with Spike in the last few months. It felt good to confess everything to Willow and also it felt great to have a girlfriend to share things with again. They talked for hours.

Spike sat alone in his crypt. He thought about how upset Buffy had been when her friend had found out about them. He was upset because he knew that Buffy's friends meant everything to her. He didn't want to be the reason why they broke apart.

He was slowly letting himself realize that he never should have started this with Buffy. She deserved so much more than he could ever give her. He could pretend all he wanted, but he would never be good enough for her. Her friends would convince her of that, he was sure.

He thought that maybe he should just be grateful that he had the time that he did with her. She showed him what it was like to be alive again. When he was with her, he didn't even think about the fact that he couldn't kill anymore. As much as the demon in him hated to admit it, he really didn't care about that anymore. It had been so long now, and things had changed so much, that he wasn't sure if he would remember how to go back to the way he was.

He sat down on his bed and tried to figure out what to do now. He knew the best thing wold be to let her go now, before things got worse. He cared about her too much to let her lose everything because of him. He lay down and tried to stop the tears from coming at the thought of losing her. Vampires were not supposed to cry, he told himself. They weren't even supposed to have feelings, but he did. He wished right now that he didn't.

Buffy slept fitfully that night in her empty bed. She thought more than once, about getting up and seeing Spike, but she knew she should just wait until tomorrow.

She felt a little relieved that Willow was so understanding, but she wasn't sure how the others would act. Xander would probably kill her, and Giles, well he would not be thrilled. She thought about not telling them, but she was tired of the lies. She wanted everything out in the open. But what to say, that was another thing altogether. She figured she would just worry about it tomorrow.

The next day, Buffy decided that she would go to the magic shop early to see Giles. She figured she should tell him first. He was like a father to her and she valued his opinions, even though she didn't act like it most of the time.

She walked through the door and noticed that Anya was already there, and Xander was standing at the counter talking to her.

"Hey, Buffy." Xander said smiling to her.

"Hey. Um, is Giles here?" She asked nervously.

"He's in the back." Anya said to her.

"Thanks." She said as she made her way to the back of the store.

She opened the door to the back room and saw Giles there looking through some books. He heard her come in and looked up.

"Oh, hello Buffy. You're here early. We weren't supposed do any training until later." He said looking at her. He could see something was bothering her.

"Yeah, I, um, actually wanted to talk to you about something." She said quietly. "It's sorta personal." She added.

"Oh...Well, yes, okay. What is it?" He said concerned.

"Well, what would you say if I told you I was sort of involved with someone..." She started.

"Oh, you met someone new, I see." Giles interrupted.

"Well, not actually new...but different. See he's not exactly good for me, well, probably, anyway." She just didn't know what to say. This was even harder than when Giles found out she was still seeing Angel after he killed Jenny.

"Buffy, who is it? I-I'm sure it can't be that bad. It's not like you're seeing a vampire again or anything." He said confidently.

Buffy just stared blankly at him. Words wouldn't come.

"Oh, no. Buffy. Not again." Giles said desperately. "You're not seeing Angel again are you? I didn't even think he was back in town."

Buffy stared silently again, and then she looked up at him. "It's not Angel." She said quietly.

"Well, then who? There's only one other person..." Giles started and then it dawned on him who she may be speaking about. "Oh, please, no. It's not Spike, is it?"

Buffy just nodded her head slowly.

"What?!" She heard a voice call from behind her loudly. She turned to see Xander standing there with a look of utter amazement and disgust.

"Xander! Were you eavesdropping?! I can't believe you!" She cried out to him.

"I'm sorry, I just needed to ask Giles something. I didn't know it was true confessions time in here." Xander said irritated. "You can't be serious about this whole Spike thing, right?"

"I am serious. Look, I was having a private conversation in here. Do you mind?" Buffy said irritated at him for intruding.

"Fine, but you have some explaining to do, Missy!" He said as he walked away in a huff.

"Giles, look I'm sorry. I know you must be disappointed in me, and think that I'm completely insane..." She said turning her attention back to her Watcher.

"Well, this certainly is, uh, surprising." Giles said scratching his head.

"I know, it surprised me too." She said softly.

"Are you sure this is a good idea? I mean, I realize that Spike is harmless, but he can still be dangerous. Plus, well, I thought you despised him." Giles told her, still trying to absorb all this information.

"I did, but things changed. And I don't know if it's a good idea or not. Probably not, but It feels right. He's different now. You'll see." Buffy said trying to convince him that she wasn't completely nuts.

"Buffy, I care for you, you know that. I just think that this is a very bad idea. Have you considered what might happen if that chip stops working? You could be in serious danger, not to mention the rest of us."

"I've thought about it, and it's not gonna happen. Please, just trust me." She pleaded.

"I trust you, Buffy. It's him I don't trust." Giles said.

"I know, but I trust him, so you'll just have to take my word on this." Buffy told him.

"Fine. I know better than to try and talk you out of something, but this little relationship, or whatever, isn't going to interfere with your slaying duties. Is it?"

"No, of course not. He's actually been helping me." Buffy said.

"Free of charge?" Giles asked sarcastically.

"Yes, Giles." Buffy said slightly irritated at his attempt at humor. "See? There's a benefit right there. If we ever need his help for something, we don't have to rob the piggy bank anymore." She said with a smile.

"Good point." He said smiling.

They sat and talked for a few minutes more. Giles was not very confident, but he was willing to support his Slayer.

Xander came storming out of the back room muttering under his breath.

"What's wrong with you?" Anya asked him.

"Buffy! She's got a thing with Spike! Can you believe it?" Xander said loudly.

"Oh..." Anya said, then, "So?"

"So?! That's all you can say? This is horrible!" Xander said irritably.

"Yeah, So? What's the big deal? He doesn't hurt anyone anymore." Anya said calmly.

"Anya, he's a vampire! A demon! Just because he doesn't kill anymore doesn't make him a cool guy." He told her.

"Oh, I see. You have something against demons? Is that it?" Anya said angrily.

"Yes!" Xander said quickly. Then he looked at Anya and realized what he was saying. "I don't mean it like that, Anya. You aren't a demon anymore."

"That's right. I don't hurt or kill people anymore, but neither does he. So what's the difference?" Anya said, hurt by Xander's previous words.

"There's a big difference. Besides, I just don't like him. He's annoying." Xander said calming down a bit.

"Well, I like him. I think he's pretty cool, and not bad to look at either." Anya said in a far away voice.

"Are you nuts?" Xander said to her disbelieving.

"No. I mean we hung out once. We had a lot in common. I think you should be happy for Buffy. She could do a lot worse." Anya said matter of factly.

"Great. You both are crazy." Xander said, giving up the fight.

Just then, Buffy emerged from the back room. She stopped when she saw Xander. He walked up to her.

"Are you completely insane?" He asked her.

"Probably." Buffy answered calmly.

"I mean, why him, of all people? What's with the dead guy fascination, anyway?"

"Xander..." Buffy started to say.

"I mean, first Angel, now Spike. Your taste in vampires has declined a bit, hasn't it?" Xander was angry.

Buffy was hurt by his words. It wasn't like she expected anyone to understand, but she was tired of having to explain her life. "Look, this isn't any of your business anyway." She told him.

"It is my business. I care about you. I can't just sit back and pretend that I'm happy for you when you're making a huge mistake." Xander told her.

"Well, I'm happy for you." Anya piped in from behind the counter.

"You are?" Buffy asked shocked.

"Yes. I think it's great. He's a hottie." Anya said to her. "Oh, but not as hot as my Xander." She added.

"Anya, be quiet." Xander told her.

"I will not be quiet! You, Xander, are a hypocrite." Anya said full of determination and anger.

"She's right, Xander. Did you forget that Anya was a vengeance demon? You don't seem to have a problem with her." Buffy said kind of surprised that Anya came to her defense.

"She's an ex-demon. Ex being the operative word. Spike's still a vampire. Why am I the only one who sees this?" He said.

"Yes, she is an ex-demon. People change, right? Well Spike's changed too. I'm not asking you to be happy, but either you accept it or you don't. I can't change your mind. And you can't change mine, either." Buffy said as she walked past him and headed for the door.

"Buffy..." Xander started.

"Yes?" She said turning to face him again.

"Be careful." He said resigning himself to the fact that he wasn't going to win this battle.

"I will. Trust me. This isn't going to change anything." She said smiling.

"I hope not." Xander said as he watched her walk out the door.

He looked at Anya and it was clear she was still mad at him.

"Anya..." he started.

"Save it. I can see that you haven't fully accepted me yet. I thought we were past this." She sadly. "I thought you said you loved me."

"I do love you. This has nothing to do with you or us. I'm just worried about Buffy. She hasn't been the same in a long time. I don't want her getting hurt, that's all."

"So you don't care that I was a demon for over a thousand years?" She asked.

"No. I'm over that, I told you." Xander said trying to smooth things over with his love.

"Good. Then you'll get over this whole thing with Spike too. I mean, if Buffy says he's changed, then you should believe her, right?" Anya said.

"I guess so." He said, not sure at all. "Are we cool?" He asked.

"Yeah. I guess." She said smiling at him.

"Good." He said as he went over and grabbed her for a kiss.

Buffy decided to go straight to Spike's place. She knew it was only noon, but she had to see him. She felt so much better now that everyone knew. It wasn't like they sounded trumpets and threw confetti at the news, but they didn't seem to hate her all that much either.

She slowly opened the door to his crypt and walked in. She called his name out, but didn't get an answer. She walked over to his bed, and saw him wrapped up under the covers. She smiled and touched his hair. "Spike?" She said softly.

"Go away. Leave me alone." He muttered sleepily.

"Spike. It's me." Buffy said to him.

He finally realized who was there. "Buffy. What are you doing here? What time is it?" He said groggily.

"It's daytime. I know, I don't usually see you now, but this couldn't wait." She said.

"Right." He said as he sat up. He figured she was there to tell him it was over. He didn't want to hear it. "So, it's over right?" He asked harshly.

Buffy thought he meant the telling her friends' part was over so she said, "Yeah. It's over." As she smiled.

"Great! I see you're real broken up about this." He said sarcastically noting her smile.

"What? Why would I be upset? This is a good thing." She said having no clue that he thought she just dumped him.

"Yeah, it's great Luv. Now why don't you get out of here." He said angrily.

Buffy was shocked. She had no idea why he was acting like this. "Why? I thought you'd be happy for me." She said confused.

"Happy for you? Yeah, I always tend to feel a great deal of joy for the person who dumps me." He said looking at her like she was insane. "Jeez, woman, if you're going to break my heart, just do it and get out fast. Don't stick around to see if I'm happy for you." He said miserably.

"Break your heart? Dump you? What are you talking about?" She said dumbfounded.

"Isn't that what you're doing? You said it was over." He told her.

Buffy laughed at the confusion. "You idiot!" She said laughing. "I said it was over, meaning everyone knows about us now. I wasn't dumping you."

"What? You didn't? We're still..." He started still not comprehending that she wasn't here to kick him to the curb.

"We're still together, Spike. I can't believe you thought I was dumping you." She smiled.

"I just thought that your friends wouldn't approve and that you would choose them over me." He told her.

"They were cool. Well, okay, not so much cool, but they're still my friends." She said.

"So everyone knows? Your Watcher too?" He asked.

"Yup, everyone. Xander was the toughest sell, but he'll come around. Anya, surprisingly enough was excited and happy for me." She added still a little surprised over that one.

"Anya? The vengeance demon? I like her." He said.

"Yeah? Well she likes you too. Should I be jealous?" Buffy teased.

"No, of course not, Luv. You're the only one for me." He smiled as he pulled her close to him and kissed her.

They pulled away from each other. "You know, this still isn't going to be easy. You're going to have to prove to them that you aren't secretly plotting all of our deaths." She told him smiling.

"What do I have to do? Help you guys fight evil?" He asked.

"Yes, helping would be involved. Oh, and you can't ask for money anymore because I told Giles you would do it for free." She told him laughing.

"Okay, and what else?"

"Well, no more threatening my friends, and oh yeah, no more talk about getting the chip out of your head."

"What? I can't dream?" He said jokingly.

"No. You can't. That chip is there for good." She said firmly. "You can only use your evil for good now."

He looked at her and reached out to stroke her hair. "For you, my love, I'll give it all up for you." He said softly as he kissed her once more.

They fell back onto the bed and stayed there until nightfall. She lay there looking at him. She reached out and touched his face as she smiled.

"What are you thinking about, Luv?" He asked.

"Nothing... Just thinking about this, us." She said happily.

"Really. That's what I was thinking about too." He smiled.

"I was just thinking..." She began, "I was thinking that I love you, Spike." She said softly.

Spike couldn't believe his ears. He had told her that he loved her, but she had never said it to him. He knew that was not something she said to anyone regularly. He gazed at her longingly. "I love you too, Buffy. Forever." He said.

"Forever." She repeated as she snuggled closer to him.

They stayed together all night. They both knew it was going to be a rocky path. It wouldn't always be easy and it certainly would have its share of heartache and hard times. It was going to be a wild time, but both were going to enjoy the ride.