A/N: I was inspired to write this lost "Chosen" scene while listening to the commentary Joss Whedon gave for the episode. It only lasted for a grand total of two seconds but there was a shot of Buffy and Spike standing on opposite sides of the moonlit basement on the their last night together. Joss explained that he wanted us to draw our own conclusions as to what happened that night. Did they have an argument? Talk all night? Make love? Well, this is how it would have happened if I had written it.

The title I left the same as the episode it would have been in, but there are other reasons to why I chose to call this ficlet . . .

"Chosen" by MsQuey

There are countless things that could have happened that night. As Spike waited for her he remembered some of the previous nights which they had spent together. Nearly every one of them filled him with one strong emotion or another, but mostly there was regret. And also longing. He wished that he could be more than Buffy's cold comfort. Especially tonight when it could very well be their last together. But the guilt was always so strong.

Spike looked up, feeling rather than seeing Buffy as she came down the stairs. He stood, waiting for her. When she reached the bottom and saw Spike his chest clenched tightly and his spine tingled. For a moment he wondered how a vampire could feel the things that he felt, but then he remembered the soul. Was it that or was it the girl?

For the longest time they simply looked at each other as if trying to burn the other's figure into their minds. "Everything's ready," she said eventually, coming just another step closer.

Spike looked away, feeling the moment for what it actually was rather than by what was coming out of their mouths. It was perhaps their last conversation. "Is it, then?"

"Yes. We're going to the high school at first light.".

Spike looked up and simply nodded. He began to go to her but then hung back. "Buffy," he almost pleaded, not knowing what should come next. Should he hold her? Would that be all right?

And then she was there, suddenly standing right in front of him. The moonlight glinted off of her eyes as she looked up at him and for the thousandth time he was struck by how deep and beautiful they were. "Spike," she whispered, taking his hand. She placed it on her cheek, leaning into his palm as she placed her own hand over his.

"Oh Summers, where would I be if it hadn't been for you?"

An impish smile crossed her face. "Probably not facing imminent death," she quipped.

He shook his head, but smiled, letting her inappropriate joke break the tension. He pulled her closer then until she came to rest against him. "I'm serious, Buffy. Things would have been so very different if not for you. Not just for me either. I'm not sure this world would even be here if you weren't round to save it."

She sighed heavily into his chest. "Well none of that will matter if we lose tomorrow."

Spike leaned back and looked at her squarely. "Look. We'll not be hearing any of that. What ever happened to the 'we're going to kick the First's ass' speech you gave the girls this afternoon?"

"Oh, I meant it. At the time. But now I can't help it, you know? I thought—well I thought that it'd be okay if I were . . . real with you."

"I'm sorry, Buff. I didn't mean it like that." he said, gently pushing a wisp of hair back from her face. "Of course you can be real with me. I just don't want you getting defeatist about this. We're going to win. Or at least you will." She detached herself from him then and leaned wearily against the table, staring out the window.

"That's what I mean. I know, even with Slayer strength, a lot of those girls are going to die in the morning. The odds are pretty good that some of my friends and family are going to die, too. You might die." She raised her eyes to him and he could see the tears welling up there. "And I'm not sure I could bear it. Losing them. Losing you." She looked as though she might melt onto the table and Spike moved quickly in to support her. "Oh god, Spike. Don't leave me."

"Whatcha talkin' about, pet? I'm right here," he said, stroking her hair, though he knew full well what she had meant.

"I mean don't ever leave me. Never. Do you hear me?" Her voice sounded steely, like the one she had used in front of the Potentials, but Spike could feel her body trembling violently.

"Let's go to bed, Buffy." He guided her over to his cot and made her lay down with him, cupping her with his body from behind. She grasped his arms tightly as he held her, so much that he knew there'd be red marks later where her fingers had been. He hardly cared.

"Buffy," he said after a long while. "If I were a man and—and not a monster . . ."

"Spike, dont—"

"No, it's my turn to be real." He waited for her to protest, but she didn't so he went on. "You're too good for me. I can't help feeling horribly unworthy to be allowed to even touch you. Because of what I did to you. Not to mention just everything in my past. Sometimes it's more than I can bear thinkin' about. I can't help feeling you should be with someone else right now. Even the boy would be a more fitting stand-in for—"

Buffy sat up angrily. "A stand-in for who? For Angel?"

"Well, it's true isn't it? He's your bloody soul-mate, isn't he?"

Buffy grabbed him by the shirt and shoved him roughly against the wall. "Don't ever say that again!"

"Why?" he growled, vamping out. "Because I'm wrong? Tell me I'm wrong. You can't, can you?"

Buffy punched him in the mouth, cracking his lip open. "Is it Angel here with me tonight?"

"No," he said, wiping the blood from his lip as his features returned to normal, "because you sent the bloody ponce back to Los Angeles."

"That's right. I sent him away!" Then her tone suddenly softened again. And do you remember when you tried to leave?" She reached her hand out to the lip she had just hit, caressing it. "I told you that I'm not ready for you to be gone." She leaned in, so close that her eyes filled his entire view. "Tonight I'm telling you that I'll never be ready."

The heart inside him that couldn't beat constricted and he felt helpless against her. "And what does that mean to you?"

"This," she replied, completing the small space between them in a kiss. It wasn't a lustful, ravishing kiss like so many others they had shared but it was deep and passionate. It actually reminded Spike more of the very first time she had ever kissed him. That kiss had been out of gratitude for protecting Dawn. He felt gratitude in this one too but something more as well. Something he just couldn't put his finger on or was too afraid to assume.

He broke the kiss. "And what did that mean?" he asked in a whisper, searching her face for the answer.

She smiled. It was the first genuine one he'd seen from her in ages. "It means that you and I . . ." She kissed him again. "This—is forever."

Fini.