Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters in this story. They belong to Joss and Co. The only thing I own is this computer which allows me to use his creations and twist them into my own fantasy.

Where The Road Leads

She pounded the punching bag furiously. Every time she made contact she would let out a grunting noise. She hadn't slowed down since she got there more than thirty minutes ago. She almost felt like she couldn't stop, she had so much anger.

"I hate you! I should have killed you a long time ago! Why won't you just leave me alone?!" She shouted out as she pummeled her fists into the bag.

"Gee, Buff, what did that bag ever do to you? I mean, I guess it is kind of annoying how it's always hanging around." Xander said with a laugh as he watched her.

She spun around, startled. "Xander, what are you doing here?"

"Just came to see what was up. I heard you in here and just wanted to see who you were talking to."

"No one. I'm just talking to myself." She said going over to get a drink of water.

"So, what's got you so upset?" He asked curiously.

"Nothing. I'm just training. Have to stay in shape, you know?" She said trying to be casual.

"Ah, I see and you're just practicing your insults too? Come on, what's gotten under your skin?" He asked.

Buffy took a sip of water and looked at him. "It's not a 'what' but who. Spike. He's driving me crazy." She said irritated again.

"What's he done now?"

"He's still alive, that's what, and he's in love with me. Isn't that enough?" She said making a disgusted face.

Xander laughed. "Buffy, what's the big deal? So, he has the hot's for you, what do you care? You told him to take a hike, end of story, right?"

"No. I mean, yes. I told him to leave me alone, but I know he won't. Just the thought of that makes me cringe."

"Look, don't let this bug you. Just ignore him and he'll go away." Xander said, trying to make her feel better.

Buffy thought about it for a moment, but didn't feel any better. She looked back over at Xander.

"I guess." She said hesitantly. "Look, I think I'm just gonna go home now. I'm tired. Trying to kill the punching bag sort of took a lot out of me." She said with a small smile.

"Okay. Well, if it's any consolation, you kicked its ass." Xander said with a big grin.

Buffy smiled at him. He was a good friend. He meant well, but his words still didn't stop her from being angry. She was seething and she wasn't entirely sure why this whole thing bothered her so much.

She walked home slowly. She tried to think of anything else besides him, but she couldn't stop. She walked into her house and closed the door. At least she knew he wouldn't be paying her any more surprise visits. That de-invite spell had taken care of that.

She thought about that for a moment. Why hadn't she done that ages ago? She knew he had made a habit of showing up unannounced and snooping around her house. He had even come into her room that night while she was sleeping. She shuddered when she thought of that now. She was naked and he was standing right there. Why hadn't she figured out sooner what was going on?

She laid down on her bed and stared at the ceiling. She hadn't seen him for almost a week now. At least he had sense enough to stay away, for now, anyway. She was constantly looking over her shoulder every where that she went, expecting to see him there. But he never was. Maybe he had left town like she had told him to?

She closed her eyes and tried to clear her mind. She was exhausted and quickly drifted off to sleep.

~Buffy found herself in Spike's crypt. There were candles everywhere. She looked down and noticed she was wearing a low cut, sexy red dress. She walked deeper into the room and saw him standing there.

The candles illuminated his face. His eyes seemed to bore a hole right through her. He was dressed differently than she had ever seen him before. He had on a blue shirt and black pants. She noticed that the color of the shirt brought out the blue in his eyes.

She walked over to him and he reached out his hand. She took it and he pulled her close.

"I love you so much, Buffy. I'm so glad you came. I knew you would." He murmured into her hair.

"I didn't want to come, but you were right, there is something between us." She said coyly as she caressed his face.

"I knew it." He said as he grabbed her forcefully and kissed her hard on the lips.

She ripped his shirt open and pushed him against the wall. She kissed him feverishly.

"I want you so bad, it hurts." She said hungrily kissing him.

"Hurt me, baby." He breathed passionately. ~

Buffy sprung up in her bed and shrieked. She shook her head and put her hands to her face.

"No, no, no! That's not true. It's not true." She mumbled to herself. "It's just a stupid dream, a nightmare actually."

"What's wrong with you?" Dawn said sleepily as she stood at Buffy's door.

Buffy jumped off the bed, startled at Dawn's voice. "Ahh! Dawn! Don't sneak up on me like that."

"I wasn't sneaking. You woke me up with your screaming. I thought something was wrong." Dawn said, defending herself.

"I'm fine. It was just a dream. Go back to bed." Buffy said nervously.

"Must have been some dream. What happened? Was it something cool and scary like a demon chasing you?" Dawn said plopping down on Buffy's bed.

"No, not exactly. But it was scary, definitely scary." She said distractedly, thinking about it again.

"Who was in it?"

"Dawn, just go back to bed. It's not that interesting."

"I'm awake now, thanks to you. It'll take forever to get back to sleep. The least you can do is tell me what was so frightening." Dawn whined.

"Fine, I dreamt about Spike, okay? It was awful and horrible and disgusting. Happy now?" Buffy said trying to pull Dawn off her bed and out of the room.

"Spike? What's so scary about that? What was he doing?" Dawn asked, resisting Buffy's attempt to drag her out.

"None of your business, just trust me, it was a nightmare." Buffy said as she put her head in her hands again.

"I still don't understand why you hate him so much. He's cool. I like him." Dawn said, not understanding her sister.

"He's not cool, he's a demon. He's evil, he kills things, and he's dangerous." Buffy said exasperated by her little sister.

"Whatever." She said rolling her eyes. "You are so close minded. Maybe he used to be bad and stuff, but he's not anymore. And he's not so dangerous. With that chip in his head, he can't hurt anyone. You told me so yourself."

"He is dangerous." Buffy protested.

"Well, then if he's so dangerous, why haven't you killed him? I mean, isn't your official title 'Vampire Slayer'? So slay him already." Dawn said matter of factly.

Buffy thought for a minute and just threw her arms up in frustration.

"Forget it, Dawn. You just don't understand. Just go back to bed, okay?"

"Fine." Dawn sighed.

"Oh, and Dawn, stay away from him. He's not your friend." Buffy said firmly to her sister.

"Yeah, yeah." Dawn said sarcastically over her shoulder as she walked out of the room.

Buffy threw herself back on the bed and shook her head.

"This is insane! I never even thought about him before, now I'm almost as obsessed as he is. Why can't I think about anything else? Agh!" She said desperately.

Dawn was listening at the door and smiled to herself. So big sis was obsessing over Spike, huh?

"I knew she thought he was cool." Dawn muttered to herself as she walked back to her room and shut the door.

The next evening, the Summer's gals were finishing up their dinner.

"Mom, can I be excused? I have a lot of homework." Dawn said looking at her mom.

"Sure honey. Do you want me to bring up some dessert later?" Joyce asked.

"Um, no, Mom. I'm really full. I just want to do my homework then crash, you know?" Dawn said nervously.

Buffy just eyed her suspiciously as she got up and headed up the stairs.

"I'm gonna go out for a bit. I'll be back real soon." Buffy said as she gave her mom a quick kiss on the top of her head.

"Buffy, be careful." Joyce called out after her eldest daughter.

"I always am." Buffy smiled. "Oh, and remember, don't open the door unless it's someone you know. Oh and if it's Spike..." Buffy started telling her mom.

"I know, dear. I'm the mom, remember? I won't let anyone in."

Buffy smiled at her mom. "You're right, sorry. See ya later."

Dawn waited until she saw Buffy walk away from the house and disappear around the corner. She knew that Buffy and her mom would kill her if they knew she was sneaking out, but she didn't care. She would be fine. She had to see him and she knew that he would protect her.

She walked quickly through the graveyard looking over her shoulder at every turn, on the lookout for any vampires or her sister. She couldn't decide which would be worse, right now. She reached the door to his crypt and quickly ducked inside.

Spike sat alone in the dark musty room. He hadn't been out in days. His vampire heart was crushed beyond recognition and for the first time in his unlife he was truly alone. No Dru, no Harmony, no Slayer to obsess over. Just him, alone.

He heard the door open and shut quickly and he jumped up nervously.

"Buffy?" He called out.

Dawn made her way over to him.

"Ah, no. It's me, Dawn." She said nervously.

"Bloody hell! What do you think you're doing here? Get out!" He said angrily.

Dawn pulled a flashlight out of her pocket and turned it on. It shone on his face and he quickly looked away.

"Uh, sorry. Listen, Spike, I know you're mad right now, but...but...I'm your friend. We can talk and stuff, right?" She said nervously.

"Turn that bloody flashlight off. You're blinding me." He said moving over to where he kept some candles. He pulled out a match and lit them.

Dawn turned out the flashlight and sat down beside him.

"Why are you here, little one? Don't you know that Buffy will kill the both of us if she finds out?" He said sadly.

"Look, Spike, she doesn't want to kill you. That's why I'm here."

"What? Did she send you here?" He said getting his hopes up.

"No, of course not. She would like totally freak if she knew I was here." Dawn said rolling her eyes.

"Then what? Just spit it out and be on your merry way. I have more sulking to do." He said with irritation.

"She had a dream about you last night. And I think it was a good one." Dawn said with a sly smile.

"A dream? Big deal." Spike said shrugging his shoulders and lighting his cigarette. Then he though for a moment. "What kind of dream? Were we naked?"

Dawn made a face. "Eww! I don't know, but she woke up screaming and told me it was a nightmare and totally gross."

"Oh and that's supposed to make me feel better?" He said shaking his head.

"Well, it was the way she said it. I could tell that it wasn't a 'scary' dream, like you were killing her or anything. I think smoochies were involved."

"Smoochies?" Spike said rolling his eyes. Kids today and their stupid slang. "So, you think she wants me just because she had a dream?"

"I don't know, but I heard her say something else when she thought I wasn't listening. She said that she couldn't stop thinking about you and that she was just as obsessed as you were." Dawn said with a proud smile.

Spike perked up at this bit of information.

"Really? She said that? You're not making this up?" He said excitedly.

"No, I swear I'm not making it up. See? That's why I'm here. Don't give up, because I think that she does like you, but she's afraid. I mean, she's been so totally hostile for the last few days, and I think its cause she's mad at herself because she doesn't want to like you." Dawn said explaining her view.

Spike thought for a moment. "Yeah, you're probably right. She thinks that she should be upset, and the fact that she isn't is what's making her upset." Spike babbled as he got up and paced his crypt frantically. "I need a plan. What should I do?"

"Well, I don't know. Just don't give up, I guess. And don't hide out in here forever. I mean once this guy at school, Billy, he liked me, but he was totally lame. All my friends would tease me cause he kept hanging around. I actually sort of liked him, but would never tell my friends that. But he was totally persistent and he bought me little gifts and gave me love notes. Finally I just caved in and figured I didn't care what anyone else thought." Dawn said telling him her story.

"So did you guys live happily ever after?" Spike said sarcastically with a smile.

"No, please. I'm fourteen. He tried to kiss me and it was awful, so I dumped him." Dawn said making a face.

Spike shook his head. "And the point to your story would be?"

"The point is don't give up. It's not over yet." Dawn said with a smile.

Spike just sat and pondered what Buffy's little sister had told him. Buffy was obsessing over him. He laughed a bit to himself. Now she knew what it felt like. He looked back up at Dawn.

'Thanks kid. I'll keep that in mind."

"Good. Umm, I have to go now before they realize I'm gone." Dawn said as she got up to leave. She looked over her shoulder. "We're friends, aren't we Spike?"

"What?" he said absently, lost in his own thoughts. "Oh, yeah, sure we are, kid."

"Cool." She said as she walked out the door.

"Buffy doesn't know everything." Dawn said to herself as she ran home.

Spike sat in his crypt nervously chain-smoking. This changes everything, he thought.

"I knew she was lying." He said to himself.

He had been so sure that once she knew how he felt, that she would just fall right into his arms. He had felt the heat between them, and she must have felt it too. She was just being stubborn, like she always was. That little sis of hers was right on the money. She was just afraid. Afraid because she knew it was wrong, just as he did, but that didn't stop the feelings from being there. He wasn't going to disappear from her life.

He had sulked long enough about his broken heart, now it was time to get to business. He was going to win her over and he didn't care how long it took. He had an eternity, didn't he? An eternity and nothing left to lose.

Buffy walked into the Bronze with her friends. The music was loud and the crowd was huge. Everyone went out to dance. Xander and Anya held each other as they writhed to the music and Tara and Willow held hands and moved together. Buffy danced alone and tried to shut out everyone else, so she wouldn't have to face the fact that she was the only one there who was not paired up.

It had been a long time since she was without anyone. This was probably the longest she had been alone since she started dating. She wanted to relish the moment of freedom, but she couldn't help but feel lonely. She swayed to the music and closed her eyes, letting herself drift off to fantasy land.

~ Spike held her close as they danced together seductively. They both let their hands roam each other's bodies. She looked deep into his eyes and he smiled. He leaned over and kissed her. ~

Her eyes flew open and she looked around the dance floor nervously. No one was paying attention to her, thankfully. They were all lost in the music themselves. She quickly exited the dance floor and went to the bar to get a Coke.

What was going on with her? This time she wasn't even asleep, this was a daydream, a fantasy. She had control over it, so why on Earth would she be thinking about him in that way? She downed her soda quickly and wished it were something stronger like vodka. Anything to stop this madness.

"Fancy meeting you here." Spike said seductively to Buffy as he sat down next to her at the bar.

She reeled around in horror at the sound of his voice. "What the hell are you doing here? I thought I told you to get out of town." She said in an extremely angry voice.

"Well, I just love Sunnydale so much that I couldn't bear to leave." He said sarcastically.

He motioned for the bartender to refill his glass with whiskey. She watched as the barkeep filled his glass. He smirked at her and raised the glass to his lips.

She snatched the drink out of his hand and downed it. She slammed the glass down on the bar so hard that it shattered. She coughed and sputtered at the sting of the alcohol as it burned her throat.

Spike watched her with amusement.

"Jeez, Slayer, what's gotten your panties in a bunch?" He said laughing at her.

"You! You creep!" Then she quickly said, "No. I don't mean that. You-You have no effect on my panties what so ever!" She said nervously.

Spike just smirked at her. He was under her skin, alright and it was highly entertaining.

"So, been thinking about me lately?" He said casually.

"Only thinking about the most painful way to kill you." She said getting in his face. "Will you just leave?"

"Make me." He taunted her.

She hauled off and punched him square in the nose. He grabbed his face.

"Hey! Be nice!" He said to her rubbing his nose.

Everyone at the bar had turned to look at the two of them.

"Did I make myself clear, Spike?" She said throwing daggers at him with her eyes.

"Crystal." He smirked at her. He turned and walked out the door confidently.

"Oh, she wants me. She wants me bad." He chuckled to himself.

Buffy slumped back down on the barstool. Her friends came walking over.

"Buffy, what happened? Did he do something?" Willow asked with concern.

"He talked to me. He had the nerve to show his face here and talk to me." She said.

"It's a free country, he can be here if he wants, right?" Anya said looking at the others. She didn't understand what the big deal was.

"I don't think the constitution applies to undead Americans, Anya." Xander said trying to explain to his girlfriend.

"I still don't get it." Anya protested.

"Just forget it, Anya. I'll explain later." Xander said quietly to her.

" Look, I just wanna go now. You guys stay and have fun. Catch ya later." Buffy said as she hopped off the barstool and headed for the door.

"What is wrong with her?" Anya asked. "I mean so what if Spike likes her? It's not like it really matters what he thinks anyway, right?"

"I know. I don't really get it either. I just told her to ignore him, but she didn't seem convinced." Xander said.

"Well, I for one think the whole thing is way creepy and has a major 'Eww!' factor." Willow said making a face.

"Come on, Will." Xander said looking at his friend. "I know it's twisted and crazy, but it's not like he has a chance. This whole thing is majorly comical, not creepy."

"I don't know." Willow said hesitantly. "He did chain her up and try to make her like him."

Xander pondered that for a minute. "You're right, that part is creepy, but Buffy can handle herself, right?"

"Right." Willow reluctantly agreed.

"Um, I don't understand why she doesn't just get rid of him, you know?" Tara said softly.

"What do you mean?" Willow asked.

"Well, you know, if she's so freaked by him, why doesn't she just slay him? That's her job, right?' Tara said nervously.

"Good question." Xander said shaking his head.

They all just stood there for a moment thinking about the situation, not really knowing what to think or do.

"Hey!" Anya said breaking the silence. "I love this song. Let's dance, Xander."

They all shrugged their shoulders and headed back onto the dance floor.

Buffy walked through the cemetery quickly. She was looking for a good fight and was determined to take out her anger on the first unfortunate vampire that got in her way. The punching bag wasn't going to do it this time.

She saw a vampire walking quickly away from a fresh grave. She smiled and called out to him.

"Hey! Over here, big fella" She yelled.

He looked at her and ran towards her. She kicked him swiftly in the face and he stumbled backwards. She grabbed him by his jacket and proceeded to punch him hard in the nose.

"Yeah! Take that, you undead creep!" She yelled at him.

He regained some of his senses and clocked her across the face. She grabbed his wrist and snapped it. He cried out in pain.

"How does that feel, huh? Does it hurt?" She taunted him.

He growled at her and shoved her down to the ground. She kneed him in the groin and he screeched and rolled off of her.

She stood up and started kicking him.

"I hate you! I hate what you've done to me! I hate how you look at me, and most of all I hate that I don't hate you enough, Spike!" She screamed at the vampire as she kicked him.

He looked up at her with a totally confused look on his face.

"Uh, who's Spike?" He asked her.

"What?" She asked, stopping her assault for a moment. "I didn't call you Spike."

"Uh, yes you did." He said slowly trying to get up.

"Great. I'm crazy." She muttered to herself. "I've lost it completely. Why can't I just stop thinking about him?"

While she ranted to herself, the vampire got up and tried to sneak away. He didn't want any part of this crazy girl. He'd rather be hungry. She looked up and saw him running away. She chased after him, and tackled him. She brought up her stake and jammed it into the vampires' chest. He was dust.

"There, now that's better." She said to herself as she put her stake back into her pocket.

She heard clapping coming from behind a tree. She stood up and looked over there.

Spike emerged from the shadows.

"Nice work, Luv." He said with a smirk.

"You want to be next?" She asked him.

He laughed at her. "You don't have the balls. Besides, you'd miss me."

"Like hell, I would." She hissed at him. "And I do have the balls. Just try me."

"Okay, Luv. Go ahead. Do it, I don't care." He said to her. He ripped open his shirt to reveal his naked chest. He put his hand over his heart and said, "Right here, Luv. Go on, I dare you."

Her heart was racing. She wanted to do it, she really did. It would make things so much easier if he was just gone, dusted. She walked over to him with a glare in her eyes. She looked at his bare chest and immediately felt a little weak in the knees. She scolded herself for even noticing the way he looked, standing there, shirt open, with that wicked glint in his eyes. It was the look of lust, or maybe hatred. She couldn't tell which. Maybe both.

She raised her stake high in the air and he just stood there watching her. He hoped that she wouldn't really do it. But if she did, oh well. It wasn't like he had much to live for anyway. If he was going to die, he'd like nothing better than it to be at her hands. But if she didn't do it, then he knew she never would.

"Go ahead. What are you waiting for?" He asked her.

She moved closer to him with the stake still raised above her head. Her heart was beating fast and her breathing was heavy. She willed herself to just get it over with, end all of this now. But she couldn't. She just couldn't do it. Tears formed in her eyes and she lowered her stake.

She shook her head. "I can't. I can't do it." She said in a barely audible voice.

Spike let out a sigh of relief. He watched her as her head fell in shame or was it sadness?

"I knew you wouldn't do it." He said confidently.

She just looked up at him and then back down again. She didn't know what was going on with her. She despised him and his kind. For crying out loud, she was a vampire slayer! She alone must stand against the forces of darkness, blah, blah, blah. So then why was it so hard for her to kill just one stupid vampire?

She knew why. She was drawn to him. She was attracted to him and she liked him. She didn't know why, and didn't really want to know. She had always been able to ignore the fact that she was attracted to him. He was a vampire and she was conditioned to hate him. She always just clung to that fact. It didn't matter if he was nice to look at.

But now that he was chipped and harmless and admitted to loving her, it was harder to push the feelings away. That was why she was so angry. It wasn't at him as much as it was at herself. She was shocked beyond belief when he told her how he felt. She was even more surprised that a small part of herself had become excited at his admission.

She looked up at him now. She expected a smug look on his face at her unwillingness to kill him, but he just stared at her.

She walked closer to him still and stared him right in the eye. She dropped her stake to the ground and pushed him up against a tree. He looked at her full of surprise and excitement.

She leaned in and kissed him hard on the mouth. She ran her fingers over his still bare chest and let out a muffled moan. He pulled her tight against him. He wanted to feel every inch of her body. They kissed each other hungrily until Buffy finally pulled away.

He stood there leaning against the tree, still paralyzed at her display of passion. She stumbled back, taken off guard at her own actions.

"I-I can't do this. This...this doesn't change anything Spike." She said breathlessly.

"It changes everything, Luv." He said attempting to move close to her again.

She pushed him back against the tree, only this time it was in anger, not passion.

"No it doesn't. It's still not gonna happen, so forget it." She said adamantly.

"What? You kiss me like that and now you say it's not gonna happen?" He said shaking his head in frustration. "What is wrong with you? It's already happening!"

"No. That was just a mistake." She said defensively.

"Oh, a mistake? Your lips just accidentally ran into mine?" He said sarcastically. "You want me, and you know it."

She just shook her head vigorously. "No."

"Stop lying, Buffy. You feel it just as much as I do. You're just scared."

She went over to him and slapped him across the face.

"What the bloody hell was that for?!" He shouted at her.

Tears welled up in her eyes and a sob caught in her throat.

"Because, I am scared! Does that make you happy? I do want you, but it doesn't matter because I'm not gonna give up everything that I stand for just for a meaningless fling with someone like you." She shouted at him.

"It's not meaningless! I love you, Buffy. And you love me too." He said with frustration.

She glared at him and shook her head once more. "You're wrong, Spike. I said I wanted you, I never said I loved you. And the reason I didn't say it is because I don't. I don't love you, and I never will. So leave me alone." She said cruelly.

He looked at her with a devastated look. Her words hurt him more now, than they did the first three times she rejected him. Her 'You're beneath me' comment had even made him tear up, but this, this was a low blow.

"You are a heartless bitch." He said his eyes full of hurt and anger. "Why are you doing this to me, huh? You lead me to the water and then leave me dry. Why did you even kiss me?" He said as he paced around her.

"I don't know why." She said softly. "But if I'm such a heartless bitch, then why would you even want me?"

"I ask myself the same question every day." He said as he stopped pacing and leaned against the tree again.

She watched him as his face fell in agony at her rejection. She couldn't help but feel bad. But she wanted him to hurt, she wanted him to hate her again, so that it would be that much easier for her to hate him. She wanted things back the way they were before. She liked things when they were all black and white. She was good and he was evil. End of story. The way he was acting now was too hard to handle.

He was still the bad guy, she tried to tell herself. It didn't matter if he couldn't hurt people and it didn't matter if he was attempting to do good deeds. It didn't matter that she wanted to grab him and kiss him until she couldn't breathe anymore. It was wrong and she wasn't going to give in.

"Just leave me alone, Spike. What happened tonight...Well, it was a mistake. It won't happen again because I won't let it. And every time you're even tempted to come near me, just remember how heartless I am and next time I won't have a problem staking you." She said angrily.

He glared at her menacingly. "Really? Well, you just remember that every time you try to keep away from me, you won't be able to. I felt the way you kissed me, and that kind of passion isn't going to disappear just because you think it's wrong. It's going to fester and build inside that tiny gorgeous body of yours, until you burst and come running to find me. It's only a matter of time, and when it happens, I'll be waiting."

She looked at him with disgust. Disgust for the words that came out of his mouth and disgust for the fact that he was probably right.

"You're sickening." She hissed at him. "You're gonna be waiting a long time, like forever."

"That's okay. I've got time." He smirked.

"That's the only thing you've got." She said as she turned on her heel and walked away from him not looking back. She never wanted to see him again. She feared that if she did, she wouldn't be able to stop her feelings anymore.

Kissing him had been a huge mistake, and she knew it. She didn't even know why she had done it except that she hoped maybe it would help her get him out of her system. It didn't work, it only made things worse. Her walk turned into a run. She was running away from him and from herself.

Spike watched as she began to run. He called out after her.

"You can run all you want, Buffy. All roads lead back to me and you know it."

She heard his words, but she didn't stop. She didn't know where her road was leading her, but she knew it would not lead back to him, no matter what he said. She'd take every path except for the one that led back to him. The road with him was dark and rocky. She knew that if she went with him she'd only get hurt.

She continued to run. It was getting difficult to breathe, and yet she didn't stop. She would never stop. She knew she'd run forever before ever losing herself to him.