I know, it's quite short, but I thought this length would be better than stringing it out for ages.

Basically, this fic is set during Angel season 5, after the ep 'Damage', and you really need to have seen both that ep and 'The Girl in Question' to get this, but for those who want to read anyway, basically, in Angel, Spike was brought back as a ghost who couldn't leave town, and by the time he became human again, he decided to stay and help Angel in LA, rather than ruin the image of the hero Buffy has of him. Andrew arrived in the ep 'Damage', and it turns out that he became a watcher after the end of Buffy. He learns Spike's alive, but promises not to tell Buffy.

In 'The Girl in Question', Spike and Angel travel to Italy, where Buffy lives to recover an item, and decide to stop in to talk to her. However, while they manage to go through the who episode without actually seeing her, they do learn that she's dating a demon, called The Immortal, which makes them both quite jealous, as you can imagine.

Anyway, this fic is merely to fill in the gap, and explain why Buffy would date the Immortal in the first place. And it being me, it is of course to do with Spuffy.

Without any further ado, the fic!

Buffy sighed as she gazed in the full length mirror on the wall of her much-too-expensive flat in Italy. She could be free from her duty, from responsibility, forever. But yet she'd turned down that opportunity in favour of training the newbies, to prevent their inevitable deaths for that little while longer.

She should have been proud of what she was doing. Self sacrifice was a key quality for a slayer, which she had displayed time and time again without pausing for thought, but now… all she felt was guilt. She should be there for Dawn now that she had the time, but still she felt drawn into the darkness, determined to keep fighting even now that she had others to do that for her.

And then there was Spike. Had he not died to save her? To give her a chance at life? She loved him. She knew that, now that it was too late. She supposed that she'd always known it, on some level, but it had been too difficult to admit when they'd been having 'meaningless' sex, or even when he was just the vampire with the soul living in her basement. The opposite was true for him. Loving her had always seemed so simple, even when she'd rejected him numerous times. And now she was betraying his memory by accepting The Immortal's generosity.

He'd been unbelievably receptive to their cause when they arrived in Italy, helping her set up the base for training, and he'd even personally rounded up a few new slayers for her. However, she knew that this kindness couldn't just have come from the goodness of his heart. She saw the way he looked at her, and while it was flattering, she was nervous. What if he were to make a move towards her? She would most likely reject him, but they needed his support, and losing him now wasn't an option. Especially now Angel had taken over running Wolfram and Hart, and therefore had seemingly switched sides overnight.

Andrew was with Angel at that moment, primarily to hunt and retrieve another slayer, but also to find out what was going on at Wolfram and Hart, and whether or not they truly are as evil as Giles had told her. Sighing, and reaching for her bag, she began to walk out the door, but the ringing of her landline interrupted her. Automatically, she picked it up, and unexpectedly, Andrew's voice was on the other end

"Buffy! You're not going to believe Wolfram and Hart!"

"Can this wait?" she glanced at her watch, realising she was late for her meeting with The Immortal

"Spike's alive" he blurted out, and she couldn't bring herself to believe what she was hearing.

"What?" was the only word she could force out

"Spike's here, in LA."

"Is this some sort of joke?"

"No, I swear. He works with Angel now."

"Now I know you're lying." From what she'd heard, the two vampires had rarely seen eye to eye, even before they'd both fallen for her. Even if he was alive, the very idea that Spike would opt to stay with Angel instead of returning to her side was unthinkable.

"It's true Buffy! And Spike and Angel are actually getting along! Sort of…" For a moment, she actually believed the words she was hearing were true. That Spike was safe, and well, and quite possibly happy. Happy without her. Immediately, any feelings of joy evaporated, the doubt returning, as well as a new emotion. Anger.

If he was alive, how dare he not come back? Angel knew where they were. He would probably have been more than happy to send Spike back on his way to Italy, if it meant getting rid of him. Then why wasn't he here…?

"Still there, Buffy?" Andrew jerked her back to reality, and she took a moment to compose her thoughts

"Uh… yeah. It's just… How long's he been back?"

"Apparently he was mysteriously resurrected a few weeks after the Hellmouth shut." But that was months ago… "Anyway, I've got to go. I should be back the day after tomorrow at the latest."

"Is Spike going to come with you?"

"I don't think so. He told me not to tell you he was alive."

"Why would he do that?"

"I don't know. Maybe he wanted to tell you himself." But he had plenty of time to do that, she realised sadly. Didn't he know what he was putting her through by keeping up this precedence of being dead? Or maybe he just didn't care. However, neither of those thoughts sounded remotely like Spike, he'd always been so receptive, and so caring towards her, but then again, neither did him not telling her. The only possible answer in her mind was clear now, and she asked her next question carefully

"Andrew, does he have his soul?"

"Definitely" his answer hurt her more than she had expected it would have.

"And does Angel?" she recalled Andrew's second reason for being in Los Angeles in the first place.

"Yeah, these Wolfram and Hart guys don't seem that bad."

"Okay, I'll see you later then" she said with a heavy heart.

"Right, bye! I'll try to bring you something back" he sounded cheery, oblivious to the pain she was in, in such a typically Andrew-like way, "Oh and remember, you didn't hear it from me." She sincerely doubted she would be hearing it from anyone else at this rate.

"Sure. Whatever. Bye." She hung up the phone and stared at the ground, unable to fathom how she had lost both Angel and Spike in such a small space of time.

There was a sharp rap on her door, and she opened it automatically. The Immortal was standing on the other side, looking as handsome as ever, and wearing a concerned expression on his face

"When you didn't arrive, I became worried." Buffy glanced at the watch on her wrist and realised for a jolt she was over ten minutes late for her meeting with him

"I'm so sorry. I got distracted. I just heard some bad news about… an old friend." his features moulded into an expression of concern

"Do you want to talk about it?" Surprisingly, Buffy found herself shaking her head resiliently,

"He's in the past."

If any of you managed to make it through the long background info, and the story, congrats. Now, please review as well :P