A/N: OK, warning to all that this is going to be a long a/n so you can just skip it if you want to. Wow, I can't believe this is the end of the road for this fic,I feel like crying!::sniff, sniff:: But before I shut the door completely I have a few things to say...Well, first things first I would like to thank every single person who read this story, even those who didn't review (but a special mention is coming for those who did) but took the time to read what has fast become one of the most enjoyable things for me to write. I know that people on here can get something like 200 reviews and woohoo for them, but for me, just to know I had a few people who read every chapter made me feel happier then I can ever express. So in lamest terms, THANK YOU!
Now for all you fantastic people who reviewed… funkydevil206, Charmed-angel4, books731, Xtremely- Canadian, Bridge, star2421, hisluvpet, spike-RoXo7, ayruh, pixiecorn, spikefan14, RoleModelGirlie, kitty, kargrif, Tooki, BigBadFaith, shelly, Buffys Dead Lover, Lucky-112, katy, OfficiallyObsessedwithPyro, lilmisscookiemonster, andrea, xmascheer, wolfg07, cursed blondie, Twice987, Spuffy6, spuffyfreak
If your name is not on that list and you reviewed it's because you reviewed more than once and I wanted to give you an EXTRA EXTRA special mention… Slayergirl1212, dude731, darkwillow7, Squirly4spike
And here are some little personal messages…
Anyanka0705- Wow, you have named yourself aptly! You review so much like Anya it's almost scary! At the beginning I was having a selfless flashback 'your questions are irksome…" but I know you were just pointing out the obvious (like Anya does!) and made some worthwhile points. Like the fact that it doesn't snow in California. Very true, but I wanted it to snow on Spike and Buffy's first Christmas (kind of) together, it's like my little revenge at Amends (Trust snow to defy nature in a Bangel moment!) So I am truly sorry if I went against the show or nature, but I bent the rules slightly for this story and I hope that despite all that, you enjoyed it! I also noticed you ended each review with AJ, that's for Anyanka Jenkins isn't it?
Spuffy1192 – I really loved getting your reviews! And the whole 'I'm starting to think you have a little JOss in you' comment had me glowing for days! Also loved how you picked up what I said about the Buffy box, I didn't think anyone read my a/n's!
Foxylady- you know I had to include you somewhere! Love ya even though you only reviewed one chapter (in spite of my constant nagging!)
And so then end is near, and now they face the final curtain…
Three hours later and Buffy and Spike had successfully fought four other Dadoshnick demons, each one getting harder and harder to kill. All of the group were scared, hungry and extremely tired. Buffy was sitting at the table staring into space when Spike came in and sat next to her.
"Well this is fun" Spike commented dryly.
"I keep thinking the leader will come after this demon, and then after this demon but they just keep coming! They're like ants or termites or some other creepy crawlies." Buffy said as she yawned.
Spike pondered something in his head. He really, really wanted to give her a hug but he wasn't sure whether or not she would respond. He took a chance and pulled her into a gentle hug. To his surprise she clung to him and snuggled her head into his chest where he was sure his heart was now beating it felt so good. He stroked her head and kissed her hair.
"You should get some rest luv, your no use fighting if you're sleepy," Spike whispered.
Buffy jerked up out of his arms and Spike immediately wished he hadn't said anything.
"Can't sleep, demons might attack" was all Buffy managed to get out.
They both sat in silence, both missing the body contact more then they ever thought possible. Luckily for them, there was a crash next door. Both of them got up and ran into the living room to see Xander being choked by a very, very large horned demon. Buffy kicked the demon from behind but it did not even flinch. Buffy saw Anya swing at the demon with a chair which broke upon contact and again it did not flinch but tightened its grip on Xander who was spluttering and turning red.
Willow looked at Tara panicked, and Tara looked at Xander and at Buffy and Spike who where both trying hard to wound the demon, but weren't having much of an effect. Tara looked into Willow's eyes and saw the fear there and she slowly nodded her head at Willow. Willow knew what that meant, she knew that Tara was giving her the go ahead, and Willow swore to herself that moment that she would not lose herself this time. She slowly closed her eyes and chanted. A second later she opened her hand to reveal a ball of white energy which she threw at the demon.
This made the demon wobble slightly and Buffy took the opportunity to kick the demon in the back. Hard. The demon let go of Xander who fell to the floor coughing.
Anya, Willow and Dawn rushed over to help him. The demon turned round to see Buffy raise her sword. It reached out and snapped the sword in half. Buffy just looked stunned.
"Slayer! You have killed 6 of my best demons!" The demon roared.
"Guess there's no need for intros then. You must be the leader." Buffy said calmly trying to cover up the fear building up inside of her.
"Dadoshnick demons are feared in every dimension! You have taken my family and now I shall take great pleasure in killing every single one of yours" The Dadoshnick leader spat.
"I'm not family!" Anya piped up.
The Dadoshnick demon turned around saw Anya. "Anyanka! What are you doing with these humans?"
" Oh this and that, plus I'm marrying one of them," She pointed to Xander who was rubbing his neck.
"Marriage? You Anyanka? I am shocked, but for old times sake I will only torture him"
"You are not going to lay a finger on him" Buffy snarled gripping what was left with her sword.
The Dadoshnick demon turned back to Buffy. "These people mean something to you slayer? Then they shall feel every ounce of pain you bestowed on my warriors and then some"
Buffy went to charge at the demon but it simply twisted her round with one arm so she had her back pressed up against its front, facing her friends. Spike went to attack it as well but the demon grabbed Spikes T-shirt and through him hard into the wall next to the rest of the gang.
The demon bent down to whisper in Buffy's ear. "I will find those who matter to you. Those who mean something, whom you love. That way I will have a better idea of who I shall have the pleasure of slaughtering in front of your eyes".
Buffy felt the rise of fear surge though her. The position she was in now reminded her of when the master had killed her; she sincerely hoped that history wasn't repeating itself. She was getting really sick of dieing all the time. Then again, the thought of it happening to any of her friends was 1000 times worse.
Spike was up now and went to go to Buffy but found himself held back by an energy barrier. Dawn tried kicking it but found it made no difference. Willow and Tara were holding hands and chanting. Nothing happened.
"You can't break through it! It's a Dadoshnick barrier, magic only makes it worse!" Anya shouted, the only one who was not trying desperately hard to get out.
Spike looked at Buffy, panic rising in his throat. He was trapped and for all he knew he was going to have to watch her die. In over a hundred years no thought had ever scared the core of his being more then that.
The Dadoshnick raised up a hand to the group. "Reveal!"
All of them apart from Buffy suddenly levitated about two feet off the floor.
"What's happening?" Dawn screeched.
"It's mind exploration," Anya said in a slightly scared voice as she gripped into Xanders hand.
"What? The demons in my mind?" Xander said panicking even more and looking like he was swatting an imaginary fly.
"Not yours Buffy's, he's doing mind exploration on her" Anya said managing to sound patronizing while scared witless.
"And that is??" Spike asked.
"It's kind of like mental heart surgery, only without the blood and the unpleasant smells. It reveals what or more precisely who is in Buffy's heart" Anya explained.
"What? Why is it doing that?" Willow asked confused.
"So it can see who matters most to her, and then maim and kill them in front of her"
Spike stomach churned at that. Would he be in Buffy's heart? He knew it was too much to ask, even after the Christmas present he had given her. But it did't stop him hoping though. He'd go through any amount of torture just to know that Buffy loved him. That he mattered to her.
"Can we do something about this please? I'm really not liking the Neil Armstrong moment we are having" Xander said glancing nervously at the ground.
Willow was about to answer when she suddenly saw her body be light up with a bright yellow light. She looked over at Xander and saw he was also glowing. Both Anya and Tara were also glowing but it was only faint. Dawn however was glowing so bright the light was almost blinding and she floated an inch above everyone else.
Dawn looked at Spike panicking but Spike was trying to keep his emotions in check. Here was Buffy's heart laid out on a platter and he wasn't a part of it. He was about to reassure Dawn that it would all be OK when he started glowing too. The light radiated off him in a strength that rivaled Dawn. He floated up-wards, next to her.
"What the…" Spike was in shock. His whole mind and body was numb as he tried to process what was happening.
Buffy looked up at Spike with tears in her eyes. It felt like the bond between them had been exposed and even she was shocked by its strength. The moment lasted a second before all of them were dropped to the floor.
The Dadoshnick demon threw Buffy aside and picked up Dawn and Spike, one in each hand. "These will die first!" He roared.
Buffy's eyes took in the sight of both Spike and Dawn in danger and instantly felt two emotions. One was fleeting, a heart breaking fear at the thought of anything happening to either of them, but the other lasted longer, and it was a blinding fury. Hate and anger spread through her like wildfire, as she looked the demon straight in the eye to see him smirking wickedly. Never in her life had she felt so livid. As soon as the demon was in front of her, Buffy leapt up and using speed and strength she didn't even know she possessed, Buffy plunged her hand straight through the demon's thick skin and wrapped her fingers around it's still beating heart in a death like grip.
The Dadoshnick's eyes flew open so wide; it looked like they were about to pop out of his skull. The demon dropped Spike and Dawn and made desperate attempts to claw off Buffy's hand, but her hand stayed in place, slowly squeezing the life out of it.
"You mess with my heart, I mess with yours." Buffy snarled in an almost feral voice. "But I am warning you, so much as float the wrong way in the afterlife and I will bring you back from the dead and make you wish I would do this all over again"
With that, Buffy tore out its heart as the Dadoshnick collapsed on the floor. She dropped the heart on the floor, and plunged what was left of her sword straight through it.
A bright explosion lit up the room, sending both Spike and Dawn to opposite ends of the room and the Dadoshnick demon and it's heart disappeared.
Xander, Anya, Tara and Willow just looked at Buffy in shock.
"What?You never said the heart had to be in the body" Buffy said still fuming.
Spike coughed as he pushed himself up from where he had been thrown on the floor. Buffy felt the anger flow out of her as she ran to his side. He looked up at her in wonder and amazement. Her heart felt raw from the spell and the look that Spike was giving her wasn't helping. She stood up and went over to Dawn. She helped her sister up.
"You OK? Any broken bones?" Buffy asked.
"Nah, its cool" Dawn shrugged and looked over at Spike who was staring at Buffy confusion and awe written all over his face.
"I think you should go talk to him" Dawn said indicating toward Spike.
Buffy closed her eyes for a second trying to get a grip on the spiral of emotions Spike's name conjured. "Not now Dawnie, it's too soon"
"So you love Spike Buffy?" Anya asked intrigued by the night's sharp twist.
"What?" Xander said shocked.
"You saw it, he was glowing as much as Dawn, the light represented love which means that Buffy loves Spike" Anya said wondering how she could love someone who could be so dim sometimes.
"What? Have you gone crazy? Buffy doesn't love Spike!" Xander said. He turned and looked at Buffy. "Right?"
Buffy wanted to say that she didn't, that she was just using Spike and he meant nothing to her. But then she remembered the gut wrenching fear she felt when he was in danger of being killed. Even when she disliked him, her first instinct was always to save him.
She looked at him and studied him properly. She took in the Greek god like chest and the peroxide hair and the sculpted cheekbones. She finally rested on his eyes, the blue eyes that had been the source of so much emotion in the past that it was almost unbearable. Could she really love him? He was a vampire, everything she was supposed to hate. But if he defied the rules by loving her, was it so wrong for her to do the same?
Spike was watching Buffy look at him and he had never felt more nervous. It was always extremes with Buffy. Extreme hate, then attraction… love and passion, all these things in strengths Spike didn't even knew were possible. He knew even if everyone else didn't that this was it. This was the moment when she could either deny or accept what everyone had just found out, including him. He knew now that she loved him, but he would never let himself believe it until she said so.
"Buffy?" Xander asked, hoping to death she wasn't about to say what it looked like she was going to say.
"Could you guy's give us a minute please?" Buffy asked the gang without moving her gaze from Spike.
"Uh uh, we're not leaving till you sort this mess out" Xander said firmly crossing his arms
"Fine. Then we will leave" Buffy said and she turned round and went through the kitchen out onto the backyard without as much as a glance toward her friends.
Spike followed as if being pulled by a magnetic thread. He went outside into the cool night air to find Buffy pulling her jumper around herself and staring at the floor. His heart sank.
"Look I just wanna get this out OK?" Buffy said quickly
Spike stayed silent
"Right. Good. Silence is good" Buffy sad rambling to herself. She considered stalling, but then,Spike didn't really deserve that right now.
"So here's the thing. The thing is…. The thing I'm about to tell you"
"The thing you were about to tell me!" Spike said, getting annoyed now.
"Oh right!" Buffy laughed nervously.
There was a pause.
"So are you going to spit it out or what?"
"Spit what out?"
"BUFFY!" Spike nearly roared in frustration.
"Right, right. The thing. The thing that I was gonna tell you. Out here. In the freezing cold" Buffy mumbled, wrapping her jumper even tighter around her.
"Do you even feel the cold?" Buffy asked curiously.
Spike just shook his head in disbelief and walked past her, intending to leave. If she wasn't going to tell him anything then he was just gonna leave like he should have done in the first place.
"Spike wait!" Buffy turned and called to him. "Please, I promise I'll tell you"
Spike turned round with an eyebrow raised, convinced she was just going to stall some more.
Buffy opened her mouth to speak again but one more look at him and before she knew it she was kissing him.
She broke apart gasping. "I was always much better at show then tell"
Spike just kissed her again and Buffy kissed him back. But this kiss had passion not violence, and for the first time ever, it held love and not lust.
When she broke apart again for air she whispered, "Oh god I love you so much"
Spike pulled back and stared into her eyes, which confirmed what she had just said. He smiled the gentlest smile, his blue eyes dancing with elation. He kissed her again.
"In case you didn't guess, that's the thing" Buffy grinning slightly as she broke apart from him temporarily.
"And just in case you forgot" Spike kissed her again with more passion then before. "I love you to, you silly bint" And before she had a chance to protest at the 'bint' part, he kissed her with even more fire.
A moment later, yelling and shouting could be heard. Spike and Buffy looked over to see Dawn and Tara at the window, jumping up and down and whooping.
"Yay!!! Yippee! Awww! You guys are so cute together!" Dawn shouted.
Spike just grinned and pulled Buffy up off her feet kissing her again and spinning her around.
Tara looked at Buffy and Spike and grinned. Looks like things had worked themselves out, she thought as she gripped Willow's hand who had appeared next to her, and was smiling also.
After what seemed like an eternity, Buffy and Spike broke apart for the final time.
"We really should go inside, I'm hungry," Buffy mumbled from where she was snuggled in Spike's chest, her arms wrapped around him under his duster.
"Got all I need right here luv, don't see why we have to move"
Buffy lifted her head up to look at Spike, her breath visible in the night. "You must be hungry too"
"I am, just not for blood," Spike said still grinning like a Cheshire cat.
"I would call you a pig, but it's not a very nice thing to call your boyfriend"
"Boyfriend?" Spike asked shocked.
"Don't tell me after all this your gonna develop commitment phobia"
Spike pulled Buffy even closer. "Never"
"Besides" Buffy whispered as her hands traveled under his shirt "It's Christmas Eve and I still have to give you your Christmas present"
Spike raised one eyebrow "You got me a Christmas present? Should I be worried?"
Buffy giggled, " Not unless you have anything against Santa costumes"
Spike looked slightly hesitant "A Santa suit?"
Buffy leaned in and whispered in his ear "It's not for you"
Spike just stared at her in shock that he was going to see Buffy in a Santa suit." What the…" He couldn't't even form a coherent sentence.
Buffy saw his reaction and all her regrets or doubts about buying it disappeared. "Well I guess you can't really call it a costume seeing as there isn't much to it" She grinned in a way that was startlingly similar to Spike's.
Spike let out a growl of desire as Buffy wiggled her hips and her hands continued to explore his body. " Be prepared to have it ripped from your body"
"Got no complaints here," Buffy said smiling.
She leaned in and kissed him "Best" another kiss "Christmas" another kiss "Ever"
The last kiss got a little carried away, and they never did make it into the house. They preferred to stay out and watch the stars although considering the way they made each other feel; they could probably fly there.
A/N: So that's it. The end. But then again that of course is up to you… See I am in two minds whether or not to do a sequel, mainly because I want to keep writing the story, but also because there are still things left unfinished… like whether or not the group actually eat at some point, and will the sccobies accept Buffy and Spike as an item? The choice is yours people, to be or not to be? That is always the question. So on top of reviewing (which I sincerely hope you do) I would also like you to vote as to whether or not I should consider continuing the love affair I have with this fic. Is it cookies? Or is it still cookie dough…
Lol, had to get the cookie analogy in there somewhere. Love to you all again, and REVIEW!