Chapter One

"What?" Buffy shouted.

Riley winced. "I'm sorry. I just don't think things are working out for us. You seem really distant. Every time I talk to you, you're just not there."

Buffy sighed. "It's just... slaying gets in the way a lot. I'm sorry. Sometimes it really sucks, but I have to do it," she said. "The Slayer is a part of who I am. It's my calling, my destiny. I can't ever throw that away."

"I'm not asking you to." Riley took in a deep breath and then exhaled heavily. "This is why I think we should break up. At least for a little while."

Buffy stared up at him with tears in her green eyes. "Fine," she said in a choked voice.

"I'll see you around?"

With that, he left her standing alone in the dark cemetery. She sat on a gravestone and started crying.

"You okay, love?" she heard an English voice say, one she really didn't want to hear right now. She looked up and saw the familiar bleached headed vamp staring down at her, looking concerned. He sat down next to her.

"What are you doing here?" she asked in a soft but angry voice.

"Thought you could use a bit of cold comfort."

"And you think I want yours? I hate you, Spike. Why would I ever want to talk to you?"

He shrugged. "I know what it's like. Being dumped."

She glared at him. "I was not dumped."

"Oh right. Captain Cardboard just said he wants to break up for a while. Face it, Slayer. You. Were. Dumped."

Buffy sighed. "This is why I hate you. You're always throwing things in my face."

"You don't think I hate you? You throw things in my face. Literally."

"And I will again," she said, holding up a fist. "If you don't get the hell out of my sight."

He stood up and held up his hands. "Okay, okay. I just wanted to propose something."

"Like what?" Buffy said impatiently.

"See, I want to get Dru back." He started having this sad, faraway look in his eyes. "She's everything I am. She's a part of me. Without her, I'm empty. I'm nothing." The sad look faded away. "So I think you and I should get together. I know for a bleeding fact that she wouldn't be able to stand me being with the Slayer. She'll be jealous and she'll want me again."

Buffy just stared at him.

"It won't ruin my reputation since I already lost mine," he continued. "Those idiot soldier boys shoved this damn chip up my brain, and now the other demons don't want anything to do with me."

"Hey my boyfriend is one of those 'idiot soldier boys'." Buffy stopped. "I mean my ex," she added softly.

"So you'll help?"

She stood up. "Spike, has that chip made you completely insane? I'm the Slayer. You're a soulless, dirty, evil vampire. Why would you think I'd agree on this? I hate you. You hate me. And why am I still talking to you?" She shook her head and started walking away.

"You'll be able to get Riley back!" he called after her.

Buffy swung around. "What?"

"Think about it, love. You and me together... wouldn't that make the soldier boy jealous? He'll come running back to you. Isn't that what you want?"

She hesitated. "Yes."


Buffy thought about it for a moment. It would make Riley jealous. The Initiative was still looking for Spike, yes... but if she started dating him, Riley wouldn't lay a finger on him. And it couldn't even be called dating. The whole thing was a fake. Besides, once Spike got Drusilla back, he probably wouldn't bother her ever again. Buffy would have Riley, and she'd be happy.

She shook her head. What was she thinking? This was Spike. How could she, even for one second, think about being with Spike? Even if it were fake. "No," she said firmly and then walked away.

"Fine! Your loss!" he shouted after her.

The next morning in Psych class, all Buffy could do was stare at Riley. He wasn't even looking at her. And he was smiling. He was smiling! How could he possibly be happy after breaking up with Buffy?

"Are you okay?" Willow whispered.

"Huh?" Buffy turned to look at her friend.

"You seem a little... distant."

"Does everybody think I'm distant?" she stood up and shouted. "What's wrong with me? I'm not distant! I can be undistant!" She paused and saw that everybody in the room was looking up at her, including Riley and Professor Walsh. "Sorry," she muttered and then sat back down.

After class, Buffy slowly made her way down, trying to avoid Riley. But he caught up with her anyway. "Hey, are you okay? You seemed um, angry."

"How would you know?" she said angrily. "I thought you were too busy smiling to give a damn about me." She saw the hurt look on his face. "I'm sorry," she said in a softer tone. "I'm just... yeah, I'm a little upset."

"Okay then. See you."

"What?" she exclaimed. "Oh, so I'm upset and it's all okay then?"

"I didn't mean that," he said impatiently.

Buffy could feel the tears coming. "Look, it doesn't matter. I'm sorry for yelling. You just don't know how much it hurts."

He didn't say anything. Buffy could see a slightly guilty look on his face.

"I don't even understand," she continued. "Why you suddenly decided things weren't working out between us. I thought everything was fine. You're the first guy I've been with who I can actually talk with. But I guess I was wrong. I guess you just can't handle the fact that I'm the Slayer."

"That's not true."

"Well it's the only reason, right? Why else do you not want me?"

"Buffy..." he started.

"No. Just don't say anything."

She walked out of the room, her heart shattering into thousands of pieces again. She heard a voice behind her. "Buffy?"

It was Willow.

"Did something happen between you and Riley?" she asked.

Buffy turned around but didn't reply.

"You could've told me."

"I know," Buffy sighed. "It just feels like I finally found the one for me, and then he suddenly decides that I'm not the one for him."

The two of them started walking side by side. "Well maybe he wasn't the one," Willow said.

Who was the one then? Angel was supposed to be her soul mate, but they could never be together. Parker was a definite no. Then came along Riley, who Buffy was just starting to form the perfect relationship with. They had potential, didn't they?

That night, Buffy banged open the door to Spike's crypt. He was inside watching television.

"Well, well, well. Lookie who's here," he said, without even glancing at her. "Smelled you even before you got to the door."

"Okay. I'll do it," she said.

"Do what?" He stood up and faced her.

"I want to get Riley back," she said.