Title: Almost Happy

Summary: This starts from Tabula Rasa but the spell doesn't work, so Buffy gets to finish her little heart-breaking speech in the magic box and Spike gets to comfort her….B/S

Rating: R – just in case, not sure if it will be an R rating.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters which I have used, they belong to Joss, damn him! That big geek and genius! Don't worry Joss I love you really.

Chapter 1 - Worry

The whole gang were gathered and wondering what this meeting was all about, Spike had just burst in dressed in very uncharacteristic clothes, Dawn looked extremely amused at him. After that interruption Giles thought it best to move on quickly.

"Alright, then. If we've recovered from Spike's sartorial humour..." He paused briefly looking to Buffy whose face had a pained expression.

"I will jump to the chase. I'm heading back to England and I plan on staying. Indefinitely." 

Xander looked quite shocked and took a step forward "Now? Not now, not right after... everything." Giles sat down next to Anya wearily as he took in everyone's reaction. 

"Yes, now"

Anya voiced her response next, which wasn't really a surprising one, although the care in her voice sounded reassuring to his ears. "For real this time? 'Cause honest to Pete, a young shopkeeper's heart can only be broken so many times. I mean, not that I want you to –"

As Buffy listened to Giles tell everyone he was leaving she started to feel more and more sick, she felt as if the walls around her were closing in and there was no way out. She was trapped. She silenced Anya by getting up and heading to the door.

"I - I can't do this. I gotta... You guys just –"

Willow cut her off by putting a hand on her shoulder. "Buffy. I... listen. I know this must be awful for you. And I'm sorry, so sorry, for what we put you –"

More apologies Buffy thought, like they can really help, she had just had enough. 

"I'm sorry. Everybody's sorry. And I know you're trying to help me. But it's all too much, Will. The memories, they hurt. I can't take it anymore."

She took a moment to try and compose herself and looked around at all her friends, how could any of them comprehend what was going on inside her.

"If you understood how it felt – how it feels now... It's like I'm dying and I can't do anything to stop it… because all I feel is numb,… but there's all this pain everywhere…inside. And I'm trying so hard to be strong because I always have to be but I just can't" her voice broke as tears started to run down her cheek. Everyone one in the shop stared, memorised by her, not knowing what to do.

Spike couldn't believe it, Buffy was breaking down into tears and none of her friends were doing anything, all they had to do was give her a little comfort, put some arms around her. He'd get up there himself but she'd probably just punch him and run away again. As she continued to cry, choking on her words

"I can't…not anymore… I can't…"  

Spike finally decided he didn't care what anyone else thought and got up from his place on the shop's counter. Walking steadily over to her, he brought his hand to her face to wipe away the tears that had rolled down her cheek. He couldn't think of anything to say that would make things better, he had found words to sing last time, but now he just wrapped his strong arms around her small body and let her cry into his shoulder. All the people around them watched dumbfounded, they had all seen Spike save Buffy when she was going to spontaneously combust just the day before, and had all been surprised at how close they looked but they had no idea that they were this close.

The arms that surrounded Buffy felt soothing, she never wanted to admit it to herself but his touch always felt incredible, sending tingles down her spine and bringing what she needed, whether that be a fight or someone to lean on like right now. And she was literally putting all her weight on to him, letting him support her so that her whole body was pressed against his. One of his hands was softly stroking her hair, the other on her back hardly moving but his thumb was rubbing gentle patterns to try and sooth her. As her sobs began to dye down, she swiftly realise how silent the room had become, but when the quiet noise of people shifting around reached her ears she was then suddenly aware that her and Spike were in a close embrace in front of all her friends. She started to regain her senses of the situation and with her eyes still closed, calming herself against him she wondered what she should do next. She didn't want to see the looks on the faces of her friends, their disgust or even worse their pity. Xander made the decision of what to do for her, as he abruptly broke the silence.

 "Spike, why don't you get away from her?" his voice was calm and clear and as Buffy pulled away from Spike's embrace, almost wishing she hadn't because she suddenly missed the arms holding her, she saw that Xander's face was full of worry. Why was he so worried? She could only hope he wouldn't get mad at Spike. So many emotions were running through her, no one else was saying anything and it seemed like the silence was stretching out forever, but it was probably only a few seconds. She looked up at Spike, his face was silently asking if she was o.k. he looked beautiful at that moment, so much care and concern on his face, but she couldn't stay there in that moment any longer, she still felt as if she was suffocating and needed to escape, so she just whispered two words to him.

TBC…

Authors note: Please review, I would really like to know if anyone wants me to continue this. Thanks, hope you enjoyed.