Every Night I Save You

Buffy was glad that it was so dark in the crypt. As she sat across from Spike, she avoided his eyes and focused her attention on his wounded hand. Briefly, she noted that her own hand didn't hurt like it should, yet her stomach rolled at the sight of his. She glanced around the crypt and wondered why she couldn't smell heated candle wax or the dust; why couldn't she feel the chill?

When Spike began to speak softly, the back of her neck tingled with recognition as she mouthed his words along with him.

"I do remember what I said. The promise. To protect her. If I'd done that .. even if I didn't make it, you wouldn't've had to jump."

He paused and swallowed. The intensity of his emotions called out to her. Should she be feeling anything? This was wrong, somehow. Shouldn't she just be numb?

Then Spike said, "I want you to know I did save you. Not when it counted, of course. But after that. Every night after that. I'd see it all again, do something different. Faster or more clever, you know? Dozens of times, lots of different ways …"

Their eyes met. The agony in his mirrored hers as he said, "Every night I save you."

In a split second, painfully bright light surrounded her. She shielded her eyes and instantly knew that she was under the school.

The source of the light was before her. His arms stretched out in wonder. "Gotta move, lamb. I think it's fair to say school's out for the bloody summer."

"Spike."

"I mean it. I gotta do this."

His hand was up, and the intense need to connect with him brought her hand up to interlock with his. She looked on as their hands burst into flames. Buffy let the thought that it should hurt pass as she gazed into his beautiful eyes.

She just had to tell him. "I love you."

Dirt, pebbles, rock, and stones fell all around them, yet she could not feel the shaking.

With a slight smile, he told her, "No you don't. But thanks for saying it."

Buffy started to protest, but a big jolt knocked her off balance just as Spike pushed her away, and it was all she could do to keep standing.

"It's your world up there. Now GO!" Spike ordered.

He was so sure he wanted to do this, but in the back of her mind, Buffy knew it wouldn't end well for him. She just couldn't leave him like that. That was her thought as she ran for the steps and stopped on the first one.

Her heart pounded with the blood rushing to her brain, drowning out the destruction around her.

Buffy ran back to him just as he was saying, with a wicked smile, "I wanna see how it ends."

"No, you don't!" she yelled at him as she tugged the amulet over his head and tossed it away.

Spike stayed were he was, frowning.

"Come on! We have to hurry."

Buffy pulled on his coat until he came to himself.

"What did you do?" Spike asked in confusion.

"I saved you. That's what I did, and I'm not leaving this place without you," she said stubbornly. Buffy knew he'd do anything to save her. He eyed the steps and gave her a firm shove in their direction.

Buffy's sense of elation propelled her forward as she practically floated up the steps, with Spike so close behind her she could hear him panting.

She wondered how the school bell could still be working as the building was crumbling down around them, but the buzzing sound continued to grow louder as they raced down a hall.

Sitting up in bed, her eyes snapped open; the elation turned to despair, even as her heart continued to race and her heavy breathing filled the room. She turned to the alarm clock and scowled.

7:00 am.

One expert slap at the alarm stopped the sound, but accidentally turned the radio on. Reaching over again, she pushed the off button as, in Italian, the DJ announced the next song. She put her head back on the pillow, turned to her side, and tried to calm herself down.

It was just another dream.

A single tear dropped onto the pillow while she gazed at the tightly closed curtains in her darkened room.

"Every night I save you," Buffy whispered.