A/N: I'm a long time reader of fan fiction, but this is my first attempt at writing a fic, so please be nice to me! Constructive crticism is always appreciated (as is praise, but I don't dare presume!!).
Anyway, this is a very short fic with no real plot, I just had an idea and went with it. I'd love to know what you think!

She knew he was there. He had been there every night for a week. She didn't need to see the hundred or so cigarette butts that littered the ground at the base of the tree to know, she could feel him. Every evening for the past six days, shortly after sunset, she felt it, that low-down burning, tingling sensation in the pit of her stomach that she had come to associate with him. Every night she felt him, and every night she ignored him. Not tonight though, tonight it stopped.

Crossing the hall, Buffy opened the front door and stepped out on to the porch. "Spike," she called out in to the black night. "Spike, cut the crap, I know you're there."

Sensing the annoyance in her voice, Spike tentatively stepped out from behind the tree. "Evenin' Slayer," he replied, looking up at her, a sheepish grin on his face.

"What are you doing here Spike?" she asked wearily, folding her arms across her chest to keep herself warm.

"Let me guess," he responded, still grinning up at her, "in five words, right?"

She shot him a warning look, "Now, Spike."

His grin slipped slightly, dropping his gaze to his feet, "Ok, ok, I was just passing by; wanted to make sure you and the bit were ok. Nasty things wandering the streets, as well you know." He shifted uncomfortably, suddenly embarrassed. Sensing this, Buffy's face softened slightly.

"Thank you Spike. "

His head shot up, this wasn't what he had been expecting, "You're welcome Sl-, Buffy," he corrected himself quickly. Still holding her gaze, he could sense her mind working overtime. She seemed to be having an internal battle of some sort. "I'll be off then, I s'pose. Can see I'm not needed," he added, turning and walking away from the house.

"Spike, wait," Buffy called out after him.

Spike turned slowly, trying to keep the hope from his eyes, "Yeah pet?"

Buffy paused for a moment, the internal battle seemingly still raging, until, "Spike, would you like to come in for some hot chocolate?"

Spike stared in disbelief. Was Buffy really inviting him into her home? He smiled tentatively, "with little marshmallows?" he asked.

Much more relaxed now Buffy smiled widely, amused at the boyish look on Spike's face, "With little marshmallows," she promised.

Stepping back from the door, Buffy beckoned for Spike to follow her in to the house, "Come in Spike."

His smile nearly splitting his face in two, Spike crossed the threshold into her inner sanctum and closed the door firmly behind him, shutting out the night.