A/N : Anyone reading Your Big Day, yes I know I left that hanging with one chapter to go, but trsut me, I'm working on the ending, really I am. It's just, I've been wanting to write this fic for a long time now, after about the second time I watched Just Rewards! This is my first full length Angel story (and by that I mean not just a poem or a one shot) and I really hope you reading people like it! So here we go...

Title : Brighter Than The Fire

Rating : PG-13

Spoilers : Various episodes of AtS Season 5, plus BtVS 7.22 Chosen

Summary : AU Season 5. Love is like fire - beautiful, but painful when we are burnt. If you love enough that you are willing to be consumed by the flames you might just find a way out the other side... (Spike/Buffy)

Disclaimer : All recognisable characters belong to the wonderful Joss Whedon, and all those lovely people at Mutant Enemy.

Chapter 1

"We're gonna change things" Angel told his group of friends as they stood around him in his office "We came to Wolfram & Hart because it's a powerful weapon" he reminded them as he picked up an envelope from his desk and began to open it, "We'll deal with whatever comes next" he said, noticing the contents of the envelope had fallen to the floor.

The gang all looked down to see an amulet, one that Angel recognised, but before he could say anything it seemed to activate somehow, a whirlwind erupting from it and spiralling upwards, grey and black. The group were hypnotised as sparks flew within the raging wind and a shape was being formed.

Suddenly the smoke cleared and there was not one member of the old AI team whose mouth was not wide open with shock, as they observed what appeared to be two people in a heated embrace.

"Spike?" Wesley frowned, staring at the man.

"Buffy?" Angel realised, unable to believe his eyes.

Sunnydale, California : The Hellmouth - Nineteen Days Earlier

Faith ran up the stairs with the last few new Slayers, leaving just Buffy and Spike alone in the Hellmouth. The amulet the vampire wore shone brightly, sending rays of powerful light out into the Hellmouth, dusting all the Turok-hans within.

"Go on then" he told her, wanting her to get out of this apocalypse alive, even if he couldn't. She meant the world to him, and more.

"No. No, you've done enough" she shook her head, "You could still-"

"No" Spike argued "you've beat them back. It's for me to do the clean up"

The walls continued to crumble around them and time was running out if either or both of them wanted to make their escape.

"Spike!" Buffy cried in fear for both their lives, unable to believe it could end like this. They'd won the battle and yet the likelihood was even if she managed to hold on to her own life, she was going to lose him.

"I mean it! I gotta do this" he said holding up his hands to stop her from making him leave. Swallowing hard and fighting tears, Buffy reached out her own hand, lacing her fingers through his. They both watched as flames burst from their hands, hot but not burning them at all. Spike looked up at her face then, a slight smile breaking through his pained expression as she spoke.

"I love you" she said softly, the three words he'd waited so long to here, and yet he was certain it was all just to make him feel better about his certain demise.

"No you don't, but thanks for saying it" he said a quiver in his voice that he wasn't sure was caused by the pain, or having to deny what he so wished was true.

"Enough of this noble crap, Spike" Buffy yelled over the sound of more rock falling around them. She kept hold of his hand as she stepped closer to him, some of the powerful light from his chest engulfing her, stinging a little, but bearable "When are you gonna get that I really need you with me" she told him, tears pouring from her eyes as she reached her other hand up to caress his face "that I love you so much it hurts"

"I don't..." Spike wasn't sure what he was going to say but he didn't have to say anything as Buffy leant in further and touched her lips to his. The kiss was short but sweet and undeniably full of love.

"I love you, really I do" she swore as she pulled away ever-so-slightly.

"I love you too pet" he told her, smiling like an idiot because he really knew she meant what she said now.

Their moment was interrupted by a loud almighty crash and they both turned to see the staircase, the only escape route, finally give in and crumble to dust.

Buffy looked at Spike, his face full of concern. There was nowhere to run now, their fates were sealed. He opened his mouth to speak but she silenced him with another kiss. If she was going to leave this plain of existence for the final time, this is how she wanted to go. Spike's declaration of love, the last thing she heard, his face the last thing she saw, and his lips on hers, the last thing she felt.

There they stood in the crumbling Hellmouth, kissing each other and with light shining down on them from above. Flames started to rise up around them, consuming their forms, but they felt no pain, as the Hellmouth crumbled in around them.

"Buffy!" Angel repeated somewhat angrily when his ex and his grand-childe continued to kiss, seemingly unaware of what was happening around them. Finally they parted and Buffy gasped as she turned in her lovers arms.

"What...what happened?" she asked worriedly, looking back at Spike who shook his head.

"Bloody damned if I know" he told her, his eyes trying to take in where they were and what was going on.

"What the hell are they doing here?" Harmony demanded to know until Wesley hushed her.

"This is Spike? The Spike?" Gunn didn't looked happy in the least.

"Wait a minute" Fred shook her head, trying to understand "This is Buffy?" she gestured and the girl looked at the point of either tears or violence as she clung tightly to Spike. The vamp growled at their audience and Lorne tried to calm him down.

"Easy, slim, easy. No one's gonna hurt you, or your girl" he promised.

"She is not his girl" Angel mumbled angrily.

"I still wanna know what they're doing here!" Harmony shrieked and Wesley rolled his eyes.

"And I still don't think I understand who I'm looking at" Fred threw in, "or how they got here" she added not knowing what to think.

Angel seemed unable to give an explanation and so Wesley filled in what he knew.

"It's William the Bloody, a vampire with a reputation second only to...well, Angelus" he explained, "The woman is Buffy, the Vampire Slayer...but they were both presumed to be dead"

As Buffy finally let go of Spike and turned around at the sound of Wesley's words, Angel stepped forward to hug her. The real shock came when his arms hit nothing solid and he stumbled clean through his ex-love.

The Slayer gasped with surprise as she watched the vampire pass through her body and Spike reached out his hand to her shoulder. It stopped there, not passing through at all, as if she were solid as ever.

"Peaches? What the soddin' hell is going on?" he demanded to know.

"I don't know, I..." he shook his head, completely at a loss for words once again and Buffy looked horrified at what had just occurred.

"You tell me what's happening, you stupid poof!" Spike raved angrily, moving towards Angel with his fist raised, "Or so help me I'll..." he made a swing at his grand-sire who dodged out of the way as the bleached blond passed straight through the side of the desk.

"Oh my God" Buffy couldn't believe what was happening, as Spike looked down, frowning when he noticed he was standing in the desk, his legs disappearing through the top.


To Be Continued...

A/N2 : I know it's short and a little stolen from Conviction and Just Rewards but it's just the teaser really which will hopefully lead to lots of you reviewing and asking for more!