DISCLAIMER:Okay. Joss Whedon thought up and hence is in ownership of these characters; I'm

only the owner of the story. Feedback is welcome, especially if it is brutally honest.

I like this one better than The Dream is Dead. Then again, like syphillis more than The Dream is

Dead. Shrugs

"Hey, Love. How are you doin' today?" Spike waited for a reply, though not expecting one. He

pulled a chair next to the bed and grabbed her hand in his, placing his other hand on top of hers and

willing all the heat in his body, little as it was, to reach her.

"Everyone's alright here. Gettin' ready for the big battle, y'know? It's weird, everyone bustling

around. It was never like that before." He chuckled a bit. "Never thought I'd miss your organizational

skills." His chuckle faded into a quiet sob, shaking his body under the ever-present leather duster.

He squeezed her hand slightly, careful not to hurt her. "I miss you so damn much." He whispered.

"God, do I miss you. We all do, you know? It just seems so empty now." He moved the topmost

hand to wipe a tear from his cheek. He shook his head slightly. "Niblet's doin' better in her classes

now. You remember I told you her grades went down after... well..."

He was interrupted as a nurse stuck her head in the door.

"Sir, you can't be in here now. Visiting hours were over half an hour ago." She was trying to be

polite, but the subject of the statement brought a low growl bubbling up from his gut. He suppressed

it, just barely, as he kissed the top of Buffy's hand gently before standing and walking to the door.

The nurse gave him a soft smile as she moved out of the doorway to make room for him.

"How's she doin'?" He asked, his brow furrowed.

The nurse frowned slightly, her eyes kind, as she said softly, "Same."

Spike had to hit something. He nodded politely to her, walking out of the hospital and into the

cool night.

He attacked the first nest of vamps he came to, pummeling them all effortlessly. He was so

pissed at everything. Pissed at fate, pissed at himself, pissed at God if there was one. He walked

back to Revello Drive, stomping lightly up the few steps that led to the Summers' residence.

When he walked through the door, all heads turned to him. He took in all the people; Willow,

perching on the armrest while Tara sat on the armchair itself, Dawn sitting cross-legged on the floor,

Giles in the rocker in the corner, and Xander and Anya on the couch. These were the usuals; added

to them were about five more people, though some were vampires. Among them were Angel leaning

against the wall, brooding, and Oz sitting in a chair he had brought in form the kitchen, watching

Willow and Tara intensely. Spike didn't recognize the rest; there were a variety of unfamiliar faces,

including a mousey-looking girl standing by a large black man, and a booky Giles impersonater.

"What'd I miss?" he asked, wiping a small rivulet of blood dripping down his chin fom his split lip

off with his thumb.

"End of the world," Oz said, pondering out loud more than saying it for Spike's benefit.

"Well, yes, or the discussion thereof..." Giles helped out.

"Another one? Can there be two at a time?" Spike walked colser to the middle of the room,

grabbing a pack of cigarettes and lighting up, to the disapproving glares of the other occupants of

the room.

"No, the first one was all narrowly-averted-like. Andrew, Angel, Gunn, Fred, and Wesley came to

help out with that." Dawn put in, gesturing to each person who's name she called. "It was easy."

Spike looked at her. "And no one thought to inform me of this?" he asked. "I could've helped

more than the giant poof." he nodded to Angel. "Oh, and, hey gramps!" he added at Angel's look.

During this, Andrew squealed to Dawn that she didn't even do anything, and she replied

with sticking her tongue out at him.

He crossed his arms over his chest and looked to Xander. "Did you see what she did?!" he

complained.

"Now, you settle down children. PeDoghQo." Xander replied. Dawn looked confused, but Andrew

giggled. "TlhIngan maH!" Andrew and Xander proclaimed simultaneously, then fell into a fit of

laughter. Anya and Dawn looked at each other, shaking their heads. Oz pondered a quiet

"Hmmm." Giles saw Andrew and Xander rolling on the floor and took his glasses off, cleaning them

on the edge of his shirt. Angel pinched his brow and shook his head. Fred giggled at Gunn, who

picked her up and whispered something in her ear, then kissed her still grinning lips.

Spike raised an eyebrow.

"Bit chipper for the end of the world, what with our slayer comatose an' all." he said.

Wesley's head darted up as if he had been dosing off, but all other actions stopped as the group

turned back to Spike.