A/N : Another episode re-write for my Just Us series (for a Sweeter Spuffy-er Season 6!). This is a take on Older and Far Away, starting with a little bit of the actual scene in the hall after Richard and Buffy talk...Hope you like :-)
(Disclaimer : Joss stills owns all the characters from BtVS - it's so unfair!)

Just Believe

"Hmm, Buffy. Can I get you a soda-pop? I think I'm in love" Spike grins as he mimics Richard or 'the stupid git' as he referred to him earlier. He makes to take hold of Buffy's hands but she pulls away sharply.

"Stop it, someone's gonna see" she tells him and tries to move down the hall toward the kitchen but he gets ahead of her and blocks the way.

"And what are they going to see, pet?" he asks with a tilt of his head "Nothing" he answers his own question "Just me, giving the birthday girl her present" he smirks as his hand travels in the direction of his pants.

"Spike" Buffy says agitatedly "this is not the time or place for...oh" she soon stops when she realises the act is innocent and he has merely taken a box from his pocket, badly wrapped but looking decidedly gift-like anyway.

"Yes, Slayer, oh" Spike echoes her surprised sound "Sometimes I actually do have thoughts about you that don't involve shagging" he tells her almost angry that she would think that, but then given their relationship lately he can't really blame her for such an assumption, even if it was usually her that initiated their little sessions.

Buffy's eyes go to the floor as she feels a little ashamed. Spike has been good to her these past few months and even she would have to admit she's been treating him pretty badly.

"I'm sorry" she tells him and though he's shocked to hear it he doesn't make a big deal. The box on his outstreched palm is burning a hole, or it feels that way at least. Eventually Buffy looks back up, glancing between the gift and his face.

"Well, are you going to open it or stand there looking at it like it's an unexploded bomb" Spike challenges her, and with a sigh and a half-smile she take the small box from him and begins unwrapping the paper.

"Thankyou" she says, without looking up, concentrating on opening the box "but I don't...oh my God" she gasps, her free hand shooting to her face as she looks down at a ruby studded pendant strung on a gold chain. The quality and design are exquisite and she is stunned. Spike looks uncharacteristically nervous when he checks;

"You like it?"

"Who wouldn't?" Buffy replies immediately as her hand comes away from her face and she glances up at him "It's beautiful. It must have cost..." the smile falls from her face as she realises how very expensive a piece of jewellery such as this would be "Hold on a second" she says sternly and Spike holds his hands up in mock surrender.

"Don't give me that look, Slayer" he tells her "I'd swear on my life, if I had one, that I did not thieve it, okay?" he promises her, and though she'd love to believe him it just doesn't make sense.

"Then how on Earth did you afford something like this?" she needs to know and he looks at his boots as he answers.

"I didn't" he admits and she's just about to do the anti-stealing lecture when he glances up and sighs heavily "It was my mothers, alright?" he says uncomfortably, hands in his pockets and looking in every direction but at her for the most part "She gave it to me when I turned twenty one, told me it was to be passed to the girl I got wed to, 'cept I didn't live long enough to find her"

Buffy's mouth opens and closes like a goldfish at that revelation and Spike is quick to make himself clear.

"I'm not proposing or anything, I'm not completely stupid" he tells her with a shake of his head " I know I couldn't even if I wanted to, being technically non-existent, and I know you'd stake me on the spot for suggesting any such thing anyway, I just...for God sakes how is it that you manage to turn me back into the blabbering idiot I used to be?" his hand goes to his forehead as if his own rambling has given him a headache. Buffy's reaches to move his arm so she can see his face again.

"You're not an idiot" she tells him, tears evident in her eyes as he looks at her again "I'm starting to think maybe I am but not you, Spike" she assured him, hand squeezing his arm "This is a beautiful gift" she gestures with the box in her hand "and I love that you want to give this to me but I can't take it" she frowns slightly as she closes the box and holds it out to him "it's too special" she gives as her reason but Spike shakes his head and refuses to take the gift back.

"Bollocks" he tells her flatly "It's exactly the right amount of special" he says, but sees she isn't getting it. His hand covers the box, pushing it back into her hand, "It was meant for the woman I love Buffy, and that's you" he says softly "No matter what you think of me, whether your feelings for me are one thing or the other, nothing is going to change what I feel about you" he reminds her and the tears in her eyes threaten to spill over onto her cheeks at any second. He hates to see it but she has to understand what she means to him, despite everything, he could never stop loving her.

"Look, I'm not asking much" he tells her, removing his hand from hers "Just take the necklace, you don't even have to wear it if you don't want to, but keep it and believe, if you can, that it was given in love" he asks her "Believe that I love you?"

When she gives no answer he turns to walk away but her words stop him dead in his tracks.

"I believe you" she whispers and he turns back to see her with tears on her cheeks "I can't say it back" she tells him almost looking as if she wished she could "at least not now" she mumbles though he still hears "but Spike, I know I want you in my life" she tells him "I know I feel so guilty for what I did to you last week that it's eating me alive, and I feel worse now because...how can I be worthy of this" she holds the necklace in her fingers as her voice cracks "or of anyone's love"

"You daft bint" Spikes sighs as he walks back to her "of course you're worthy" he tells her as if she were stupid to think otherwise "You are a princess" he promises her as he wipes her away her tears with his thumbs, a reflex action that he is pleased to see she doe not take offence to "more than that, you're a goddess amongst women" he amends, earning a watery smile from his favourite Slayer.

"Put this on for me?" she asks him, holding the necklace out to him. He nods, taking it from her as she turns around, pulling her hair to one side so he can slide the chain around her neck.

"How do I look?" she asks as she turns back, smiling now as her fingers play with the pendant that lies below her neck.

"Beautiful" Spike whispers "always"

"Thankyou, William" Buffy smiles as she reaches up and kisses his cheek. There's the briefest moment when she lingers close to him and both are thinking how simple it would be just to touch their lips to the others, but it is not to be...

"Hey Buff" Xander notices her in the hall as he comes through from the kitchen "oh and the Evil Dead too" he adds with distaste, eyeing how close the two are "What the hell are you doing?"

"Pipe down, Harris" Spike says tiredly, more disappointed than angry when Buffy pulls away "I was just..."

"Spike was just giving me a birthday gift" Buffy interrupts, stunning Xander slightly, especially when she shows her friend the pendant that hangs around her neck "It was his mothers, and meant for the one he loves" she explains, as the boy turns a weird colour. He glances at Spike who smirks with satisfaction and then back at Buffy who's smiling still.

"Nice" he smiles back though he doesn't like it at all.

"I think I'm gonna go show Dawn" Buffy tells Spike, the grin not shifting from her face "and Tara, and Willow...maybe Sophie and Clem" she considers as she turns to walk away "oh better, I'll tell Richard all about it" she giggles as Xander disappears around the corner and she makes to folllow.

"Buffy!" Spike calls behind her, causing her to turn back.

"What?" she asks when he says nothing.

"Happy Birthday, pet" he tells her softly, not knowing what else to say.

The smile she gives him then tells him there is hope, and that she does believe what he said before.

--The End--

A/N2 : Please review and tell me what you think :-)

For those reading my WIPs, Your Big Day and Innocence are also being updated today, with So Mote It Be and Our Little Family due for updating very soon :-)