Spike sighed as Buffy argued with the General that they had managed to kidnap from the army outside

Spike sighed as Buffy argued with the General that they had managed to kidnap from the army outside. Red's spell wouldn't last for much longer. The watcher needed a hospital really soon, and the dingy old gas station wasn't much of a shelter for any of them. It was the only thing they could find to get out of the sunlight, but it wasn't very safe. He needed blood. They all needed to get out of there. He looked around, and seeing a back entrance, he peeked through the cracks in the board. The knights weren't very smart. They only set up shop in the front of the old gas station, not in the back. Then he had an idea as he looked at Dawn. He went over and grabbed Buffy's hand. "We need to talk," he said, pulling her over near Dawn. "Why do you keep going through this? You're not going to get anything useful out of him." Enough was enough. He couldn't stand to see her making herself crazy.

"Spike…" Buffy said, and he could see the weariness in her face. She needed rest, and he wanted nothing more then to pull her into his arms, and protect her from the world. The Slayer had so much to deal with, and she needed a break. Not just for herself, but in order to do her job: to protect her world.

Spike rested his hands on Buffy's shoulders, and his eyes bored into hers. "Buffy, I can get out of here; and I can take Dawn," he said. This had to work. He couldn't get everyone out, because Rupert needed a hospital; but he could get Dawn to safety, until this was over. It would take a worry off of Buffy's shoulders, the biggest worry; then she could concentrate on what she needed to do to save the world. If he could keep Dawn safe so Buffy didn't have to, that's what he would do.

He watched as her eyes came into focus, and her gaze darted between Dawn and himself. "You can?" She whispered. "How?" He wanted to roll his eyes at her lack of trust in him, after everything he had done for her and her sister. He wanted her to have a little more faith in him, but he knew that would take time. He was just tired of waiting.

"I can sneak her out the back," he answered, indicating with his head. "I can take her some place safe. Give you lot a chance to figure out how to get out of here." That was the full extent of his plan though. He didn't know where he was taking Dawn, or how he was going to keep her safe; but he was pretty sure he was just going to get her out, and run. He hated leaving Buffy however. She could get hurt, she could need him, and he wouldn't be here with her. But he needed to take that chance.

"Buffy, let Spike take me, and we'll find a way to stop her," Dawn said, putting in her two cents, as Spike glanced at her. She was so much like her sister, it was almost terrifying. Dawn had a good head on her shoulders, and she was trying to help Buffy any way she could. Dawn knew she was in danger; she was staying remarkably calm, at least on the outside.

Buffy looked at Spike, and he could see the inner war behind her eyes as she debated with herself. "Okay," she whispered, placing her trust in the blond vampire. "How will we find you?"

"When you're free, go to the mansion," Spike whispered. "Even if we're not there, stay there, and one of us, if not both, will show up." Glory didn't know about Angel, so that was the only place Spike figured she wouldn't look. But they would be stuck there for quite some time. He was no good at forming plans, and he could already see the holes in this one. This would be one of those things that he would have to make up as he went along.

Buffy nodded and hugged Dawn tightly. "I love you," she said.

"I know," Dawn said. "I love you too." Dawn released Buffy, and went to Spike's side. "I'm ready."

Buffy locked gazes with Spike, before moving to hug him tightly. "I'm counting on you," she said, quietly, as his arms came around her waist.

"I know, and I'll die before I fail you," Spike said softly, nuzzling his face into her hair. Even through the dirt, grime, and blood, her scent of vanilla was still as strong as it ever was. "It's better if no one knows where we are going. There was less chance of a slip up. We can't afford to have anyone come after us."

Buffy nodded against him before pulling back to kiss his cheek tenderly. "Thank you," she whispered. "You don't know what this means to me."

"I love you," Spike whispered, and he released her. He smiled as she knocked out the General. He watched her swaying hips as she went out front, and he carefully took Dawn's hand in his own. He paused by the door, and carefully opened it. He stretched his senses and held Dawn close to him, to keep her calm. He heard Buffy in the front of the station, coming up with a plan, but she didn't tell any of her mates he was leaving. Good. That's how he wanted it. He carefully pulled Dawn out and shut the door, making as little noise as possible. They made the brisk walk to the tree line, and Spike pulled her inside his duster to keep her camouflaged in the dark. He let out an unnecessary breath once they were in the cover of the trees.

Dawn gripped his hand tightly as they wove in and out of bushes and saplings. "Do you know where we're going?" she whispered.

Spike nodded. "Yeah," he said. He could see faint lights to his left showing the street lamps that lined the road. It was pretty easy to keep his place. "We'll be back to Sunnydale in a few hours." He hated pushing her this hard, but they had no choice. "We can rest some when you get tired, but it's best that we move quickly."

"Don't worry about me," she said, and he could hear the doubt in her voice. "I'll try not to slow us down."

Spike paused, and looked down at her. "I'm trying to keep you safe, Platelet," he said. "But if you get tired you can tell me. We're not going to run the whole way." He was going to do everything in his power to keep her safe, but he couldn't risk her getting hurt with them way out here.

Dawn nodded, and he saw her face change to determination. "We can do this," she said. "We have to, for Buffy. She's counting on us, and neither one of us are going to let her down."

Spike nodded, and they pressed on, staying in the dense forest, but following the highway. He saw Dawn shiver out of the corner of his eye, as he shrugged off his duster. He draped it around her, concealing her pink shirt, and warding off the cold. They needed to hurry, to beat the sun back to Sunnydale.

By the time Dawn and Spike got back to Sunnydale, Spike was carrying her as she slept. She had gone as far as she could, which was further then he thought she would be able to do. She was a strong one. He found his car near his crypt, and gently laid her in the back seat. The rising sun was tickling the back of his neck, and he knew they were just in time. He climbed into the driver's seat and sped off. He had to change the plan slightly. He had to help Buffy in a different way. Dawn was safe, but now to help The Slayer. They needed to defeat Glory. God help him, but he was going to go to the only other person that could help him.

Two hours later, they were in L.A, and Spike had broken every speed limit to get there. He stopped at Angel's hotel and sighed. With no other options, this was the best place he could think of to bring Dawn so that she was safe, and to get help. He glanced at Dawn in the back seat, and smiled. She was sleeping peacefully, and that was all he could ask for right now. He climbed out of his car, and gently lifted her out of the backseat. Carefully, he held her protectively to his chest and headed inside.

There was a green demon at the main desk, as Spike closed the door quietly behind him. "May I help you?" the demon asked.

"I need to speak to Angel. It's an emergency," Spike said. "Tell him it's about Buffy." That should do the trick. Angel would come running at the sound of Buffy's name.

The demon ran upstairs, while Spike lay Dawn on the couch. He tucked his duster around her more securely, and pushed a stray hair away from her forehead. He looked up as Angel came running down the stairs.

"Spike?" Angel said, a bit of a worried growl in his throat.

Spike stood up. "Hey Peaches," he said, without the sarcasm he would usually use. He just sounded tired, and he really needed to sleep. He hadn't slept in days, but he couldn't sleep right now either. There was too much to do. He couldn't let his slayer down.

"What are you doing here with Dawn?" Angel asked. "What did you do to her?"

"Nothing," Spike said, blocking Angel as he made a beeline for his girl. "Don't you touch her. Buffy is in trouble, and I need to know how to stop a hell god."

Angel crossed his arms. "A hell god?" he replied, lifting his eyebrow in wonderment.

Spike grabbed Angel by his shirt collar. "Buffy could die if you don't help me," he growled. "Is that what you want? Do you really think that I would come here asking for your help to save the woman that I should be saving, if it wasn't an emergency?" Had Peaches totally lost his mind? Did he think this was a joke?

"Spike?" Came Dawn's sleepy voice, from the bright orange sofa.

Spike released Angel with a shove, and went over to Dawn. "Yeah, Nibblet?" he asked, sitting next to her. Dawn was his most important priority right now. He couldn't help Buffy yet, but the Nibblet needed him focused. He couldn't pick a fight with Angel right now; there would time for that later.

Dawn curled up against him. "I'm scared," she whispered. He winced a little as some of his sore muscles screamed for him to push her away. But he couldn't do that. The pain was worth it to help her through this. He was scared too, and she had kept up her front longer then he thought she would.

Spike wrapped his arms around her, and looked at Angel. "Do you have a first aid kit?" he asked. He kissed Dawn's hair, and rubbed her back softly, hoping to calm her down the best he could.

"Yeah," Angel said, pulling one out from behind the counter. "Here."

Spike took it from him and gently cleaned the wound on Dawn's forehead. She whimpered from the sting. "Sorry, Nibblet," Spike said, carefully putting a Band-Aid over the cut. "Do you hurt anywhere else?"

Dawn shook her head. "Let me look at your hands," she said, gently peeling off the bloody bandages that were really towels that she had ripped up in the RV.

Spike could feel Angel boring holes in his head as Dawn carefully cleaned his hands, which looked to be cut pretty badly. The wounds had already closed, but it helped to have the blood cleaned off and fresh bandages put on them. The things he did for his girls. Had he not grabbed the sword, Buffy's headless body would still be in the wreckage, and Dawn would surely be dead by now. He could survive a little cut on his hands.

"Spike, you need to eat," Angel said.

"I will," Spike answered, as Dawn wrapped a white bandage around each of his hands, taping them firmly. Food was the last thing on his mind. He knew how long he could go without something to eat.

"You'll have to take it easy until we get home," Dawn said, in a voice that sounded so much like her mother's. She glanced at Angel. "Make him something to eat." Her gaze returned to the blond vampire at her side. "Spike, we'll figure this out. She'll be okay. Try not to worry."

Spike smiled, and ran his fingers through her hair. "I don't know how long Buffy can last," he said. "I can't lose her. I can't lose either of you." He swallowed hard as he blinked away his tears.

"Well, let's clue me in here, and we'll figure something out," Angel said, handing Spike a steaming mug of blood.

Several hours later, all three of them were headed back to Sunnydale. Spike was fidgety in the driver's seat, keeping an eye on Dawn in the back. She wasn't asleep this time, but she kept meeting his gaze through the mirror. She was a tough girl; he was proud of her. However, he was anxious, and didn't know if they could pull this off. Angel sat to his right, in the passenger seat, and Spike had begrudgingly brought him along. Someone needed to take care of Dawn if this didn't work, and if it did work, they had to have a van big enough for the whole gang. He drove to Glory's apartment, and parked two blocks away. "If I'm not back in twenty minutes, I didn't make it," Spike said, looking at Dawn. "Don't try and find Buffy, just go to the mansion." His gaze was firm, and he didn't want her in any danger. "I mean it."

"Spike?" Dawn asked, quietly as he got out of the car.

"Yeah, Li'l Bit?" He bent back over, and glanced back into the car. Now she looked like a scared little girl, and it broke his heart. He didn't want to leave her, but he had to if they had any chance of saving the world.

"I love you," Dawn said, softly.

"I love you too," Spike answered with a smile, before going toward the apartment, with an ax in hand. If his heart was beating, he'd have a heart attack. He wasn't sure he could do this. But he was hoping to catch the bitch off guard. She was going to pay for what she did to him, and for what she was trying to do to his girls. No one was allowed to touch them, and get away with it. Not while he was around.

Twenty minutes went by slowly for Dawn. "Angel?" she mumbled, from the back seat.

"Dawn, I have to," Angel said, not wanting to break her heart. He started the van, and gave the apartment one last glance, before pulling away from the curb. He was about to turn the van around to head to the mansion, when Spike stumbled from the apartment with a man's head dangling from his bloody fingers.

Dawn smiled. "He's okay," she said, happily.

Spike limped his way to the van and got in. "Drive. We need to get to Buffy," he said. He winced as his ribs grated, and Dawn leaned over the seat. She squealed at the bloody head.

"How did you do that?" she asked, putting her hand over her mouth, and hiding behind the seat. "And that's a man, Spike."

"It's a long story," he said, looking back at her. "I only wanna tell it once." He looked at Angel. "I want to drive. You don't know where you're going." That bitch put up one hell of a fight. His fingers were mostly broken, his nose was broken, and he had several broken ribs. He would be confined to a bed for days after this.

Angel rolled his eyes and glared at Spike. "Tough," he said. "Give me directions."

"Just let me drive," Spike growled. He could get there faster, and he wouldn't be pissed off with waiting. He needed to see that his slayer was alright, and he didn't want that choice left in Angel's hands.

Dawn put her hand on Spike's shoulder. "Relax Spike," she said. "You need to rest."

Spike growled, but gave Angel directions; when they got there, the knights were still parked outside the gas station. They moved to the side as the van slowly pulled up to the front where Willow's spell was still intact. Spike pulled his broken body from the van, and threw Glory's head at the Knights. He glared at them, and limped to the barrier. "Red!" he screamed, as Dawn came to his side. "Get rid of this thing!" He cradled his more-battered side as Dawn wrapped an arm around his waist.

There was crackling of energy, and the blue shield disappeared. As soon as it was lifted, a very happy, but tired slayer ran to her sister. "You're okay," she whispered, hugging Dawn tightly.

"Did you think otherwise?" Dawn asked, hugging her sister with a giggle. "Spike was awesome. He's pretty banged up though."

"I'm not surprised," Buffy said, looking at Spike.

Spike allowed himself to finally collapse to the ground, as pain lanced through his body. "Dawn's safe now," he said, wiping blood from his mouth. He could now feel all his broken ribs, a broken bone in his arm, and a displaced hip. What a joy. But both of his girls were safe, and they could go home.

"Oh god Spike," Buffy whispered, as she gently helped him up. "We need to get you home," she said, sliding her arm around his waist. "Angel, can you help me?"

"Buffy, I'm fine," Spike said, softly, limping next to her. He didn't want anymore help then he already had. He looked like a ponce. And he felt like shit. He hadn't felt this bad since Angelus.

Dawn appeared next to him and he caught her rolling her blue eyes. "Just let someone else help you for once," she said, looking up at him. "You deserve it after what you did for us."

Spike looked down at her, and his heart melted at the look in her eyes. "You know I did all this for you, right?" He raised an eyebrow. "So no more bribes, or running around at night." He was only teasing her, but she was safe now. At least from a hell god. But if he could take on a hell god, then he could protect them from anything.

Dawn smiled. "I know you did," she said, with soft eyes. "I'll be the best-behaved sister ever."

The gang piled in the van; Xander and Anya in the front, everyone else in the back. Willow was still tending to the stab wound in Giles' abdomen along with Tara's help. Both Summers' girls stayed close to their vampire. Buffy carefully lowered him into her lap, with Angel's help, before he climbed into the driver's seat. Spike could die happy, with Buffy's scent all around him as she ran her fingers through his hair. He couldn't keep his eyes open any longer, as they fell closed, and he fell into the blackness.

Once at home, Spike made the painful journey upstairs, with Buffy at his side and Dawn behind him. They had dropped Giles off at the hospital with the rest of the gang, before coming home. Which was fine by him. He didn't want too many people seeing him whimper like a baby the whole way up the stairs.

Buffy tenderly laid him as gently as possible on her bed, and looked at him closely. "Dawn, go get a first aid kit," she said, taking off her jacket and long sleeve shirt, revealing her black t-shirt. "You're one tough vampire, Spike. I'll give you that."

A minute later, Dawn came back in with what she'd been asked to get. "How bad is it?" She asked. Spike could hear the worry start to creep into her voice. It hurt to talk; hell, it hurt to move, but he knew it would be better if she didn't see the extent of his injury.

"I don't know, but go downstairs while I clean him up?" Buffy requested, looking at her younger sister.

"I wanna help," Dawn protested.

"Nibblet," Spike said, using all his strength to open his eye and be firm with her. "You can make me something to eat." He smiled a little, as she accepted that, and went downstairs.

Buffy looked at him. "I'm gonna have to get your shirt off," she said, helping him sit up. Carefully, she got his shirt off and gasped. "Oh god, Spike."

"It's not that bad," he said, lying down. His lie was shot to hell, when he gave a girly whimper. "Maybe it is. But I'll be alright in a few days."

Buffy looked at his face. "Spike... You killed Glory," she said, softly. "I can't believe you're still here." He watched as she swallowed. "I don't know how to ever thank you for this."

"You don't have to," he said, reaching a hand out to grasp hers. He felt the bones in his hand grate together as he wrapped them around hers. "I wanted to. I would do anything for you, and for Dawn. You should know that by now." There was so much he wanted to tell her about what happened, about his strategy, or lack of as he went in. After one of the most brutal fights of his life, ending with him chopping off that ho-bag's head, and he had to remember to tell Giles that she turned into a man. That was strange in itself.

"I do," she said, bringing his swollen hand to her lips as she kissed his fingers softly. "Do you want to tell me what happened?" she asked, setting his hand down carefully. He knew she was going to start cleaning him up, and he was going to be in for a long and painful process.

"Tomorrow," he said, softly. "I'm tired, Pet." It was better if he passed out from pain, and let her do her work without him moving too much on her. Her fingers moved over him softly, relaxing him, despite the agony of his body and he fell asleep quickly. He vaguely felt her kiss his forehead, and he almost smiled at that. Maybe there was hope.

Buffy tried to keep the bile out of her throat as she patched up her broken vampire. After everything he had done for her, and for Dawn, the least she could do was take care of him. God, he looked awful. The first thing she did was set his ribs, which was a touchy thing. Good thing he was out. He would be in more pain, and she couldn't stand that for him. She let Dawn see him for a few minutes, before sending her to bed, so she could finish up. She locked her door to prevent any more interruptions, as she gave Spike a once over. She bit her lip, and moved to the foot of the bed, to unlace his boots. She dropped them to the floor, and her hand went to the waist band of his jeans. She paused for a moment, but she got over it quickly. She unbuttoned his tight jeans, and carefully peeled them off of his body. She ran a hand over her forehead as she took in his legs.

She popped his hip back in, causing him to whimper in his sleep. She mumbled an apology, even though he couldn't hear her. She swabbed the dried blood away and carefully felt along the bones in his legs. Nothing seemed to be broken; it was just the dislocated hip. She sighed gratefully, and kept her eyes and hands to herself as she moved to his arm. She didn't know what she could do for a broken arm on a vampire, but she could clearly see where his radius was broken. She found some pieces of wood in the closet that she hadn't whittled into stakes yet, and some ace bandages in the first aid kit; she wrapped the bandages around the makeshift splint for the broken joint after putting it back in place.

Continuing her nursing, Buffy swabbed the blood away from his face, revealing the purple bruises that were forming. He was more then a little worse for wear. He would have to be kept under constant supervision for a few days, to make sure he didn't split his lip again, or try to move. Sitting next to him, she almost gave in for a good cry, but she didn't. She stroked his brow softly before she glanced at his hands. She wasn't sure how to fix those. With a frown, she got to her feet and went downstairs to get some ice. She got two towels and made two ice packs, before going back upstairs.

She splinted the broken fingers in both hands and carefully placed an ice pack on each hand. It was the only thing she could think of that would help him heal faster. Finally, she was satisfied with what she had been able to do, and she moved her trash can back to its spot. It was filled with bloody cotton balls and an empty rubbing alcohol bottle. She stared at his battered body, and wished there was more she could do. She pulled her blanket up to his chest; carefully bringing his hands out on top of the comforter so she could keep an eye on them. Just as she placed his hands evenly, there was a knock on the door. "Buffy?" came Dawn's voice.

Buffy put the supplies away before opening the door. "You should be in bed," she said, going back to the bed.

Closing the door, and moving to sit down on the bed, Dawn asked, "Is he alright?"

Buffy sat next to her. "He's gonna be fine," she said. "He just needs rest. He'll stay here for awhile. I'll need to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't move too much. It could make things worse. I'll let him rest for now, and maybe tomorrow I'll send you to the butcher's. He'll need to eat as soon as possible." Her feelings were rapidly changing for the vampire, and she could see how much her sister loved him. After what he had done for her, and for Dawn, there was no way she could forget that.

"He saved my life you know," Dawn said.

"I know," Buffy responded, looking at Spike's peaceful face, with a fond smile on her own. Maybe she could accept him as he was. She certainly didn't love him, but she did care for him. How could she not?

Dawn looked at Spike, then at Buffy. "Are you gonna stop treating him like crap?" she asked. "He really loves you. He wouldn't have gone through all this if he didn't."

"I haven't since he was tortured by Glory," she said, looking at Dawn. "And he loves us both. I'll never forget what he did for us Dawn. I promise you that."

Dawn smiled, and eased her own body down next to Spike. "You know Buffy, he's not as bad as everyone says," she stated, tiredly. "Don't give that up, just because of your friends. He's worth more than that. He told me and Angel to leave if he wasn't back from Glory's in twenty minutes. He almost didn't make it." After a few moments, she was asleep as well.

Buffy smiled a little as she watched the two of them together. Sighing, she got up to change her clothes before climbing in beside Spike. Her own body was sore, and she hadn't slept in days. She lay on her side next to Spike, and she ran her fingers over his purple face tenderly. Soon, she was fast asleep with her hand resting on his chest.

The next morning, Buffy's eyes fluttered open with some reluctance. She glanced at her alarm clock, and the red numbers told her she had slept for hours. It was well into the next afternoon. Spike was still snuggled up against her, purring softly, but resting. Dawn had gotten up sometime earlier, leaving both blondes alone in Buffy's bed. She reached her hand out and stroked his matted hair. He needed a shower as soon as he could walk again.

He murmured softly, and the most beautiful blue eyes peered into hers. "Hey," he groaned, and he looked almost surprised to see her next to him.

"You okay?" she asked, sitting up to check him over.

"I don't know," he said. "Hurts every where. Where is everyone?"

"At the hospital," she answered. "Angel went back to L.A." Buffy gently pushed herself away from him, trying not to move him. She didn't want to cause him more pain, now that he was conscious and feeling it all. "Do you want something to eat?" She asked, softly. "You should eat. It'll help you heal faster."

"I don't think I can keep it down," he said, as Dawn came in. "Hey Nibblet. You alright?"

"You're awake," she said, going toward him. "How are you feeling?"

"I've had worse," he said, and Buffy watched as her sister climbed into the bed with him, without hesitation. Why couldn't she have that? She could see the pain in his face, but he apparently didn't care.

Buffy bit her lip, and sat down next to him, opposite of Dawn. She didn't know what to say, and she didn't want to ruin the moment that he was having with Dawn. "You should try to eat," she said, softly, running her delicate fingers over the bruises on his chest. "You shouldn't wait too long."

Spike looked up at her with awe. "I will," he said, even though Buffy could see he was just telling her that because he didn't want to push the issue.

She carefully took his healing hand for a moment in hers; and putting it down, she stared at him. "Dawn, can I have a few minutes alone with Spike?" she asked, her gaze moving to her sister.

Dawn pouted but she agreed. "I'll be back later," she said, kissing Spike's cheek. "Do what Buffy says so you can get better." She smiled before leaving the room.

Buffy followed her sister to the door, closing it behind her, and locking it once more. "You need to eat," she said, going over to her night stand. She pulled out a pocket knife, and sat next to him. "And I'm going to give you some of my blood no matter what you say."

Spike stared up at her and she could see the emotions drift across his face. The love, the awe, the fear, all swirled around in the deep blue of his eyes. "Buffy I can't ask that of you. I'll be fine until you go to the butchers," he said.

"No you won't," she argued. "There are two ways to do this, and the last few times I did this, it went badly. I trust you though Spike. I know you won't hurt me. I just don't know how you want to do this: whether you want to do it from my wrist, hence the knife, or if you're strong enough to sit up to get it from the source."

He shook his head. "I can't do that to you Buffy," he said, sadly. "I'm not like Angel, or whoever else got their fangs in you. I wouldn't…"

Buffy placed a finger over his lips. "That's right," she agreed. "You're not like them. That's why I'm offering it to you; because I want to. You deserve it. And, you're wasting precious energy arguing with me." She gave him a small smile, and stroked his sharp cheekbone. "Please?"

He stared up at her with wide eyes and she knew that he couldn't turn her down. She sagged with relief when he nodded. "Buffy, your friends are going to see the mark," he said.

She shrugged. "I'm still going to let you," she said, helping him into a sitting position. Carefully she leaned him up against the headboard, and she glanced down at him. "Where… how should I be?" She didn't know how to do it. She had never… she gave Angel her blood out of necessity, and she had to beat the shit out of him to get him to do it. This was different. So different.

Spike fidgeted for a moment, his nerves almost getting the better of him. "If you sat in my lap, you'd be the most comfortable," he said, with a tremor in his voice. "Then I can make sure the angle is right, so there's as little pain as possible."

Buffy bit her lip, but slid onto the bed easily. She lifted a leg over his lap, knowing he was naked under the sheet, and then she paused. "Spike, your hip," she said, softly. If she put her weight down, it could hurt him more than he was.

"It's fine," he said, sliding his hands up her soft legs to rest on her hips. She could feel them shaking against her, and she covered them with her own.

"It's okay," she said, softly, meeting his eyes. "I'm not doing anything I don't want to do." Her hands moved up his arms, to his shoulders, and finally rested on his swollen face. "You need this. And I need you better. It's okay." She shifted closer to him, her body craving the contact to his. She could already feel this spinning out of control. This wasn't just about healing anymore.

His eyes traveled up to hers. "Buffy," he said, with a choked voice, his hand coming up to her back. "I'm just… I'm not sure…"

Buffy pressed her lips against his, softly stopping anymore protests. She slid her arms around his neck, and settled her weight against his hips. "No more," she said. She smiled, and kissed him again. "You need this, and I want to give it to you. Just… please."

Spike leaned forward to kiss her again, molding his mouth against hers. "I love you," he said, his hands traveling up the back of her shirt. "So much, Buffy. I'll try not to hurt you." He kissed his way down to her neck, and he felt her tense up instinctively. He suckled on her neck for a moment, running his tongue over the pulse point, wanting her to feel pleasure and not pain. Slowly she turned to jelly in his arms, and his fangs descended. He pierced her neck, and she released a moan of pleasure as she pulled him more tightly against her.

"Spike," she whispered, as she saw stars behind her eyes. She ground her hips against his, feeling him poking her through the sheet. She clutched at him tightly, feeling him pull his fangs out of her throat. His tongue ran over the mark, and her head fell forward to suckle on his neck softly. She was panting heavily, and she could feel her soggy pants squishing between her legs.

"My sweet slayer," he whispered, pulling back to look into her eyes. "You okay? I didn't take too much, did I?" His hand swept over her hair as he cradled her cheek. "You're so beautiful Buffy. You have no idea. Thank you so much."

"Nothing to thank me for," she whispered, kissing him softly. "You were the hero this time. And just this once I think we can let you milk it for all its worth. But I wanted to give that to you. Did it help?" She could already see the lighter color in his face, and she noticed the swelling in his hands had gone down. One of her hands strayed to his; she slid her hand into his, squeezing it gently. She smiled as he squeezed them back a little, and she knew things would be fine. "I'll take that as a yes."

Spike smiled, and kissed her again. "You have no idea how much that meant to me," he whispered. "It was such a beautiful gift. And yes, I am feeling much better. Be right as rain in a few days."

Buffy climbed off his lap, only to curl up against his side. "I know you will," she said with a smile. "Everything's going to be just fine now." She knew she would have to face her friends, and a new evil would be afoot before long, but they could make it. They had each other now, and she knew that together they could face anything that came up against them.