"So…here we are…" Buffy announced to the empty, silent house.
"Home sweet home." Spike muttered, entering behind her.
Buffy took a few steps hesitantly before sitting down on the couch, wondering what to do. Spike sat down next to her.
There was a long silence.
The sound of the clock ticking could be heard. It was 8:16 pm.
"You know, now that Erimoir's dead, me an' you could take out Angelus and his minions easily. We don't really need to wait for you friends –."
"No." Buffy cut him off. Seeing the stunned look at her sharp reply, she explained, "Giles made me promise not to fight him until they return from England. I can't break his promise."
There was another long silence. It was interrupted by the sound of a car pulling into the driveway.
Buffy leapt to her feet and looked out the window. "Their back!" she exclaimed. She looked at the door then at spike, then back at the door nervously. "Go upstairs, in my room. Shut the door; don't come out till I say. Quick!" she gave him a rough push in the direction.
"Buffy! What –."
"Spike, please," she begged. "I haven't seen my friends for two weeks, if they come in and the first thing they see is you, all hell will break loose! I just want to see them again and then I'll tell them about everything that's happened."
Reluctantly, he did as she had asked.
Buffy ran to the door, throwing it open just as Xander had been about to knock.
"Xander!" she greeted happily, hugging him tightly.
"Hey Buff!" he gasped for air, "No so tight! Glad to see you're still alive."
Willow came in next looking worried. "Hi Buffy, we had a really great time in England, next time we're going to drag you along whether you like it or not."
The greetings continued, and soon everyone was inside sitting in the lounge room. Joyce went into the kitchen to make some tea for herself and Giles.
Back in the lounge, Giles was coughing nervously and cleaning his glasses.
Buffy was trying to work out a way to tell them all that had happened while they were gone, but then she began to get suspicious. After Giles had cleaned his glasses for the third time, she couldn't take it any longer.
"What is it Giles?" she asked almost harshly.
"Have you seen Angel while we were gone?" Willow interrupted quietly before the nervous watcher could speak.
"No…" Buffy said in surprise. "Well…." She thought this might be a good time to admit that his minions had kidnapped her and that she did in fact see him before she escaped….
But Giles was talking. "Buffy. When we were in England, Willow and I visited the watchers counsel. We found a spell… and uh…um…, we were going to ask you first but we couldn't contact you and we uh…we thought it to be best –."
"Giles! What are you trying to say?" Buffy had never seen her watcher like this.
"Well, since you haven't seen him…. we're not sure if the spell was successful, but…um…." Willow stuttered anxiously.
"We're pretty sure we restored Angel's soul." Giles finished.
"Wha – what?!" Buffy choked out as she felt the force of his statement hit her. Her knees buckled and she sank to the floor, an overpowering mixture of emotions washing over her. "He…. he…. Angelus has his soul back? Angelus is…. Angel…." Her eyes had become wide and filled with a distant, almost haunted look.
She drew her legs to her chest, wrapping her arms around them. "Angel" she whispered. "Angel."
A single tear slipped down her cheek.
Time seemed to freeze. No one dared to speak.
Finally, she stood up. "I have to go find him." Her voice was filled with determination.
"Uh…Buffy…shouldn't you take a little time to process what all this means –." Willow started, trying to stop her friend as she headed towards the door.
Giles stopped her. "Let her do what she needs to do." He rested a reassuring hand on her shoulder, and they watched Buffy leave.
Upstairs, Spike felt as if a stake had been pushed through his heart. With his enhanced vampire hearing, he had heard everything. She sounded so… she sounded almost blissful as she said his name.
Spike's mind began racing. Could it be…that she still loves him? Could it be that she was just using me as a distraction from the pain Angelus caused? Using me so she didn't have to admit to herself that she was still in love with him despite the thing he had become?
He closed his eyes, trying to stop the tears that threatened to come. You know its what you feared all along, his mind whispered. And part of you knew…knew that it was highly probable. Why else would the slayer give you the time of day? You're supposed to be natural enemies after all. Now she will go back to hating you.
"Buffy." Spike said, walking towards the window. "I…I love you."
But she was already far away.
Spike climbed out the window as he too, disappeared into the night unseen by any of her friends.
Spike wandered the streets feeling heartbroken. He knew Buffy was out searching for Angel. Maybe he should just find Dru and leave Sunnydale forever. Dru…Spike closed his eyes. She wasn't here, he knew it, could feel her absence. She had left Sunnydale. Where she was he didn't know, but she wasn't here. Could he leave Sunnydale too, right now, just like that, to go seek her? Could he forget that the last two weeks had existed? Just return to Dru and have things become how they used to be?
Spike laughed bitterly. It was too late for things to ever return to how they were before. He thought about Drusilla and the times they had together…it was funny how things could remain unchanging for so many centuries, and yet in just two weeks turn completely upside-down.
How had this happened? Spike had always been attracted to Buffy…and admired her slaying skills… but spending time with her over the past weeks, taught him that she was more than just a slayer. He had developed strong feelings for her, he had wanted to protect and care for her, like he did when she was still suffering the effects of what Erimoir's had done to her.
Spike was a demon…he shouldn't want a human lover…he shouldn't crave Buffy the way he did, he shouldn't feel like the warmth of her arms could make his heart beat again. Someone like her shouldn't make him feel alive again…and perhaps truly happy for the first time in his entire existence.
Spike vamped out, growling. He wasn't one to deny his feelings. He knew what he felt, and he knew it was real. Dru…she had been very special to him, she was, after all, his sire. But the past was long gone, and he didn't want her back. He wanted only one girl, and he wasn't going to let her return to Angel without a fight.
He found her sitting in one corner of the abandoned, rundown factory, which Angelus had used as his home. She looked up when she felt his presence. Spike held his breath, afraid of what she would say.
"Spike…" Buffy smiled gently at him, and he felt some relief.
"He's not here." She said. "I checked all his old haunts, but I knew straight away that he wasn't here. The place is too quiet. Even most of his minions have disappeared. I caught one, and he told me that Angelus had 'gone all strange' one day, killed most of his minions and then left Sunnydale."
She paused for a while. "I guess he really does have his soul back. But why….why did he leave? Did he not love me enough to stay and wait for me? How could he simply turn his back -." Buffy burst into tears.
Spike didn't know what to say. He felt a lump in his throat and he felt like crying too. She really did love him…maybe enough to follow him, wherever he has gone. Spike lowered himself to the ground next to the slayer, and pulled her into his arms. He held her tightly, trying to offer her comfort, but at the same time, silently begging, don't leave me.
They remained like that for a long time.
"Spike." Buffy said, breaking the silence at last. "I…I think I'm ok with this. Its actually…its actually a relief." She laughed.
"Huh?" Spike was confused.
"If Angel was still here…. I really don't think I could return to him. It would make things a lot harder…just when I had moved on. Sometimes…sometimes I think it actually is better just to leave and forget things. I care about Angel a lot but… I could never be with him again when there is someone else whom my heart belongs too."
Spike stared into her green eyes. Is she saying what I think she's saying? Is this real? It was now or never.
"I love you Buffy! … I want to be with you always. I will never leave you or become a different person, I know I don't have a soul but what I feel for you is very real, and it will never change –."
Buffy smiled, her eyes tearing a bit with happiness. "Shhh." She placed a finger to his lips to stop his anxious rambling. "I love you too, Spike."
Hearing this, Spike grabbed her and kissed her deeply. When they finally broke away, Buffy slipped her hand in his. "Come on, I can't wait to see the look on Giles face when I tell him about our relationship." She laughed.
Spike felt a wave of relief that the slayer was okay with admitting their relationship to her friends. It was more than he could have hoped for.
Hand in hand the slayer and the vampire walked out of the crumbing warehouse, away from the darkness and the misery of the past. Buffy felt like a huge weight was being lifted from her shoulders. It was finally time to forget about the hurt and the pain of the past. With Spike by her side, and her friends always nearby, she felt like she could take anything that life, or the hellmouth decided to send her way.
Thank you very much for reading :D pls do review! Also, if you liked this fic, why don't you go read the sequel? It's called "Do You Still Love Me". :)