She paces outside the grounds of the cemetery slowly, breathing in its welcoming scent. The kind of welcome that says: 'Come in Slayer, we'll be glad to kick your ass.' But that's only the vampires trying to be all macho. So she scales the fence, one of the top prongs catching onto her black leather skirt and ripping it to here. She mutters a curse word and continues on her walk.

But tonight, she isn't here to slay. She's here to continue her affair with that filthy, blood-sucking creature. At least, that's what she tells herself. He's only a toy to play with when she's lonely. So she does just that, she drags him around and he follows like a puppy, she leads him on, making him love her more. And maybe she's starting to love him as well. But she refuses to think about him like that. He's just a. . .an animal.

A man in a dark leather jacket steps out from the shadows. "Buffy, pet. You made it." Although he tries to make his sentence be matter-of-fact, he sounds hopeful, glad that she came.

"I'm not a pet." she says in a strange, angered voice. But all the same she kisses him fiercely.

When they are done, lying on the stone coffin, he looks at her, love in his eyes, and begs, "Stay with me?"

"Spike, not again. I can't do that. You know it. I have Dawn and. . ." there's a bit of regret in her voice for not staying, and the other part of regret is for being so nice to this vampire. He's just like the rest, she tells herself, he's a blood-sucking fiend. Or, he would be, if that chip wasn't in his head to stop him. She looks at him, a new anger arising in her eyes. "How dare you hint I belong with you, someone who just goes around killing people all ladeda like that?"

"You're forgetting, pet, I've not killed one person." he looks over at her, smiling, his beautiful eyes twinkling. So long as she's here, those eyes will twinkle. But the moment she leaves . . .

"Because you can't."

"I wouldn't if I could, so long as I had you."

"That's a lie. You're just a monster, Spike. You have no soul. You wouldn't be able to resist draining the blood of a helpless woman walking through an alley if you wanted to."

"I could. I would. Because I love you."

"You don't. Monsters don't love, Spike." her voice has lowered to an almost-lethal whisper.

"We do. Quite passionately so, in fact. We love, we hate, we cry, we laugh. We're just like you. Oh, who was it, that Shakespeare bloke. Yeah, he said something like, "If you stake us, do we not dust, if you fight us do we not fight back?" something like that. Truly, Buffy, we aren't all that bad. We do it to survive. You kill animals to survive, what we do is no worse. Animals have feelings too, pet. I can tell, I'm an animal. That makes you twice as bad as I am. Vampires kill to live, Slayers kill for the rush -"

"That's a lie!" she interrupts, seething, gritting her porcelain veneers. "Slayers - I - kill to save the people you kill. And eat."

"At least we hunt to feed. Not for sport or anything. I can see it now: Vampire Olympics 2000. And Billy Holm is running down the field, the young mortal trying to escape. . .OH! That was a close call but . . .HE'S GOT THE HUMAN! That's why I ate that bloody sports announcer in 1980, they talk to much."

"Well, then, if your going by how much someone talks, why don't you off yourself?"

Spike glared at her.

"Just an idea. . ." she whispered, shrugging.

"You just don't listen, to you, pet? You come for a shag but you leave your mind on your dresser. My point is, you don't see us right. You've been told by that bloody council that vampires are bad. Baddy bad bad bad. But we're not. We're actually just like you. People - and demons - aren't always black and white. We live in gray sometimes. I may be immortal, but I don't kill anymore. And. . .well, some demons are worse than me. They want to destroy the world and that's it. I don't. I like the world. I like you." he cuffed his hand under her chin and held it, looking into her eyes. "I love you."

Buffy got up slowly, thinking this over. "So you're telling me that vampires. . .that you, kill only for the food and nothing else. You don't steal ladies' purses or enjoy the 'rush' it gives you?"

"Those come in the package, pet."

"But. . .you wouldn't be a vampire if you didn't have to."

"No. I like living forever."

"But, if vampires didn't have to drink blood, you'd go with that."

"Yes, as long as I had you. And others would too. So think about that next time you go out at night for an early morning kill. Okay?"

She nodded solemnly, and he stood up and kissed her forehead. "I love you, Buffy. Don't forget that. And I'm not bad." she just nodded and walked out of the crypt, slamming the door behind her, like she did when she was angry.

But she wasn't angry this time. . .she was just beginning to see the dark side in a whole new light.