Title: Then You Look At Me

Author: Original Dark Angel

Disclaimer: Not mine. Wish they were. Characters belong to Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon. Song belongs to Celine Dion's All the Way c.d.

Rating: G

Distribution: Ask and you shall receive.

Feedback: Always appreciated. Period: Right after Riley left, but before Dawn figures out that she is the key and Joyce dies.

Author's Note: Pure song fic. Liked the song. Had an idea. Put it together. Sounded good to me. Okay, I had to take out the lyrics for the song on this site, but if you listen to Then You Look At Me from Celine Dion's All the Way c.d., you'll get the picture. I'm not a big fan of her, but I liked this song.

"Want to dance, luv?"

Buffy looked up at Spike. Sitting all alone at the Bronze, while her friends were all dancing with their girlfriends, boyfriends, etc, she was desperate for companionship. Even Spike was a welcome alternative to moping about Riley. She nodded and stood up.

He took her hand and led her onto the floor. Pulling her close to him, he wrapped his arms around her. She put her hands on his shoulders, and let him guide her to the music. They swayed in place. She rested her head against his chest tiredly, and thought about recent events.

"Buffy." She turned at his voice, and caught the knife he threw to her, as if they had practiced the move a hundred times. She sank the blade into the demon over and over again until it stopped moving. Once she was certain it was dead, she rolled it off of her. Spike stood there, offering her his hand. She took it, and in that one second she accepted him as an ally. She had never before allowed a vamp to help her up, not even Angel. It required an amount of trust one did not usually place on undead creatures of the night. She took it, and he pulled her to her feet. She opened her mouth to say something, but Riley crashed through the door just then, with the intent of saving her. He saw her holding Spike's hand and she dropped it fast.

Spike was a comfortable presence. He had left his duster on his chair, and the red shirt he wore under it was surprisingly soft. She felt his hands on her waist, supporting her, and she felt oddly comforted.

"What's wrong? Is there something I can do?" He looked as if he had been caught off guard. He seemed truly concerned, but Buffy wasn't looking for sympathy. She just needed to be able to cry. She bent her head, and let tears fall. Spike wouldn't be expecting her to be strong, so she could let down her guard for a moment. After a moment he sat down next to her, and awkwardly patted her back. He was trying to comfort her. Where had the cocky mortal enemy intent on killing her just an hour ago gone? Spike had changed.

She held onto him, not wanting the song to end. He buried his face in her hair, inhaling her soft scent. Dancing with him was soothing, and she felt safe. Something rare for a slayer. She didn't have to worry about Riley, or Dawn, or her mom, or the new big bad, when she was in Spike's arms. She was hidden from the world.

Spike was here too, invisible like the other things. She heard him in the room. The soft rustle of leather as Spike leapt at her, but he didn't hurt her, he had tackled the invisible whatever it was. He yanked it off her and was holding it back. She leapt to her feet. She had to save Dawn and the others. "You're welcome." She ignored him. She would thank him later. She never had.

She could thank him now but the comforting silence was too perfect. She didn't want to ruin the moment. He tightened his grip and moved slightly, hiding her from her friends view. Still protecting her, when he could have hurt her instead. It wasn't the same Spike who had crashed in on her Open House Night three and a half years ago. No, he was the same, but he had changed in a way hard to describe.

The song ended. Reluctantly they parted and she looked up at him. "Why do you do this? Stick around and help out, even when I beat you up?"

He grinned, leaned close to her, and whispered into her ear. "I love the dance." He turned and picking up his duster, left. Xander started to make a comment, but Buffy raised her hand and he stopped. She stared at the retreating man's back. He could really dance.

A/N: What do you think?