Chapter One

Buffy stared out of the window of the bus, watching the road flash by as they drew into Los Angeles. They had agreed to make a quick pit stop to rest and sort a few things out before heading on to England. Buffy was finding it hard to realise that Spike was gone and was kicking herself for not realising sooner how she felt about him.

And now he was gone. And he wasn't coming back.

She rested her head on the glass and closed her eyes, trying to ignore the sound of his screams ringing in her ears. A single tear made a track down her cheek and she opened her eyes as the bus came to a stop. She looked out of the window and saw the huge building that was Wolfram and Hart outside. She got off the bus and the others followed suit. She left them behind and walked into the building, heading straight for the thirteenth floor.

It took no time whatsoever to reach the floor she required and she stepped out of the elevator with confidence, but it flagged as soon as she saw Angel. He approached her, hugging her and then noticing her tears.

'What's wrong?' He asked.

Buffy sobbed into his arms as he took her into the office. 'He's gone. He's really gone this time and I never…god, I told him too late.' Angel shut the doors behind them and Buffy sat in the sofa by the window. She didn't stop crying and Angel put his arms around her once more and tried to soothe her but she wasn't having any of it.

Buffy shrugged off his embrace. 'When I told you Spike was in my heart I was denying it. Spike was my heart. And now he's gone, I feel like I'm dead inside. I told him so many times, that I could never lover him. And the truth is that I loved him all along.' She paced the room, not looking up when Wesley walked in. Angel told him to leave and the watcher did so, knowing he had come at a bad time.

The agitated Slayer clenched her fists. 'I wish I could go back and change it all. Tell him before so that he would believe me and get out of the cave before it's too late.' She punched the wall, putting a hole in it. Angel stood up.

'Buffy, you need to calm down.' He said, holding his hands up.

'I don't need to fucking calm down!' She screamed at him. 'I need Spike.' She said, falling to the floor in a crumpled heap, defeated. Angel scooped her up and took her upstairs to his apartment, laying her down on the bed.

'I know, Buffy. But right now, you need rest. We'll talk tomorrow okay?' He pulled the covers over her shivering body and left the apartment, going back downstairs to his office. Wesley came back, followed by Fred and Lorne. Angel turned to them.

'How is she?' asked the Brit. Angel shook his head.

'She's cut up about Spike. He burned up in the Hellmouth.' Wesley frowned.

'Spike?' Angel nodded.

'Lorne, could you go up there and check she's not gonna do anything stupid?' Angel said, quietly. The green demon nodded and headed upstairs. Fred and Wesley took a seat as Gunn came into the room. Angel looked out the window.

'Wesley, Giles is downstairs with some slayers that will need somewhere to sleep for the night and food and drink and stuff. Do you think you could sort that out?' He asked. Wesley nodded and left. Fred smiled.

'I'll go help him with that.' She left the room and the elevator dinged. Lorne came back into the office and turned to Angel.

'She's going to sleep. Boy, she really did love that Spike. But I can see a little happiness in her future. She will feel better in time.' He said. 'Anyway, I have to go and prepare for a press release about a new Hollywood blockbuster. Colin Farrell – he's gonna be huge!' He left the room and Gunn turned to Angel.

'Anything you need me for?' Angel shook his head and Gunn slumped a little. He was feeling useless no doubt about that. He left without a word and Angel sat in his chair, drumming his fingers on the desk. Looking out the window, he wondered how long Buffy would be staying.

Buffy had already left by the time Angel awoke the next day. She had left without saying goodbye and he was a little pissed off about it. He sulked in his office, and was left alone all day. In the evening, he noticed an envelope on his desk and opened it. The amulet he had given to Buffy fell out and hit the floor with a thud. He frowned as it began to glow and he stepped back.

Suddenly it exploded and a whirl of dust began to spin round the room, tightening and tightening until screams could be heard and Spike appeared, his screams fading as he realised where he was.

'Angel?' he asked.

'Spike.' Angel almost snarled. Spike lunged for him but went straight through his grandsire and landed in the middle of the desk. Angel looked at him. 'You're supposed to be dead.'

'Looks like I am.' Spike frowned. 'Buffy…did she get out? She okay?'

'Yeah. She seemed totally fine to me.' Angel said whilst ignoring the voice in the back of his head, telling him it was wrong to lie. Spike narrowed his eyes at him.


'Yeah, fine. She's headed to England temporarily with Giles.' He said. Spike looked heartbroken and Angel tried to convince himself it was for the best.

'Can you tell her? That I'm back. Just in case…'

'I'll ring her when she's settled.' Angel picked up the phone and rang Fred. 'Fred I need you in here with some equipment. Spike is back.' He ignored the excited gibbering on the other end of the phone and told her to hurry up. Spike looked at him and raised an eyebrow.

'So you in charge here then?' He asked. Angel nodded and moved towards the door.

'Stay here.'

'Bollocks, you are not the boss of me!' Spike said, heading for the door. Angel shook his head.

'Stay here. I'm looking out for you. Honest.' Angel said, hoping the lie in his voice wasn't too obvious. He walked out of the lobby and saw Fred heading down the stairs. 'He's in there. Don't tell him about Buffy. If he asks just say she was fine.' Fred looked confused and made as if to question. 'Don't ask, just do it.' He walked over to Wesley's office and found Gunn and Lorne in there with the watcher.

'Guys, I have a problem.' All three looked up. 'Spike is here. He's some kind of ghost. Came out of that amulet.' Wesley looked at him.

'Hadn't we better ring Buffy?'

'No. No, she isn't to know and he isn't to know about the state she was in. It is what's best for them both.' Lorne began to argue. 'I don't care.' Angel said. 'Get researching on that amulet. Please.' He stalked off to his private apartment, trying to ignore the guilt rising in his throat.

'Did you speak to her then?' Spike asked. Angel looked up.


'Buffy.' Spike asked hopefully. Angel nodded.

'She's moving on Spike, I'm sorry.' Spike looked hurt and suddenly disappeared. Angel sighed and went back to his paperwork. This was wrong, he knew it. But it was what was best for Buffy.'

'Pet, I'm sorry.' Spike said, taking her into his arms.

'What for?' Buffy asked, snuggling down into him.

'For leaving you. I'm still here though. You just gotta find me. Someone is lying.' He whispered in her ear. Buffy slapped him playfully.

'Don't be silly.' She giggled as he nibbled on her neck, purring gently. 'Thank you for saving me, Spike.' She whispers and he hugged her tightly.

'No thank you. But you gotta find me baby.' He said, sinking his fangs into her neck.

Buffy woke up with a start. She was covered in a cold sweat. Throwing a jumper on, she ran down the corridor of the hotel and banged on Giles door. He opened it and invited her in.

'Giles, I had a dream. It's Spike. He told me I have to find him.' Giles looked at her with sympathy.

'Buffy…I know it has only been a month but you have to let go now.'

'Let go? No, Giles, it felt real. Like a slayer dream.' She was getting worked up and Giles sat her down.

'Buffy…if your mind wants it bad enough, it will make it seem real but it isn't. You have to realise this. He's gone. You have to accept it.'

Buffy visibly deflated. She broke into tears and Giles hugged her. 'I miss him, so much.' She choked out.

'I know, Buffy, I know. But there is nothing we can do. I know it is hard but we are all here for you.' He comforted his "daughter". 'Buffy, I have had a call. If you need a distraction, this may be a welcome one.'

She looked up at him, no hope or anticipation in her eyes. Giles sighed. The old Buffy was gone. This one was a shell of the old slayer. He didn't know if the distraction would work.

'We're heading to Rome.'