By Heather Martin
Summary- Set after "Once More With Feeling." Buffy denies that the kiss meant anything. Spike finally gives up and leaves. (S/B ship. Trust me)
I should leave, but I follow you like a man possessed
Buffy flung away from his touch. Her hazel eyes were wide with horror. What had just happened here?
He was staring at her, waiting for her next response. Her heart pounded loudly in her chest. It refused to calm down. Panic spread through her. She turned to make her escape.
Spike's hand flew out to stop her. He grabbed her wrist and pulled her back. "You're not running away, Slayer. Not this time."
She squirmed. "Let me go, Spike!" she demanded.
A playful grin lit his face. "No." He held her tighter.
Buffy twisted her arm. "I mean it!"
Spike's mouth turned to a straight line. He was completely serious now. "I will if you tell me that it meant nothing."
Buffy quit moving. She gazed down at the ground. She took a deep breath, then lifted her head again. "It wasn't real. I'm just so numb. I though. . ."
"Thought what!?" he snapped.
"That it might make the cold go away. But it didn't."
Spike clenched his free hand into a fist. "Only because you won't let it," he said. "Look, I'm tired of waiting. I'm bloody sick of holding onto this hope inside me."
Abruptly, he let go of her wrist. She stood, frozen.
"You can go now. You can go, and I'll never come round you again. I'll stay clear of Little Bit and the rest of the lot too."
He began to walk away. She was emotionless as he did.
He turned back. "I hope you find happiness somewhere. That someone can open you up to overcome the fear." After saying that, he continued to leave.
Buffy shivered. The cold and darkness no longer surrounded her, but were consuming her soul.
He was through with this thing called love. He had experienced it three times now and they were all wrong. Cecelie hadn't returned his feelings. Dru ran off with another demon. And Buffy, she just was too far gone. The pain had eaten her, until that was all she knew. Happiness was foreign to her. She was scared it wouldn't last, so she simply rejected it.
Harmony had been the only woman that made sense. Sure, she was damn well annoying, but she gave a good shag, without leaving him wanting.
Spike cleaned out his crypt. He hauled everything worth keeping, except the furniture, to his car.
In the process, he came across his Buffy photo gallery. He'd accumulated them over the past year. Snatching them from her home and the scoobies. Dawn even gave him a couple.
He examined them for a long while. Most of them showed her smiling. But there was always something in her eyes. An emptiness that needed to be filled. His eyes burned as he tore them up. The pieces landed on the floor.
It was time. He would have to go now if he wanted to make any progress before sunrise. He flung on his leather duster, lit a cigarette, and made his way to the car. He got in, started the engine, and drove away.
Buffy didn't know where she was. It didn't matter really.
Out of the darkness came a figure. She squinted to make it out, searching for a stake, but found none. She gasped as she realized who it was.
Angel's hand came up, revealing a rose. He moved it toward her. She took it, examining the flower. It was dead. The plant had turned black.
A slight pain grew in her hand. She noticed blood coming from her palm. Thorns. They had pricked her skin. She released the rose. It fell to the ground.
Her head came up. Angel had vanished. Instead, she found Riley in his place. He handed her another rose. This one hadn't quite bloomed yet.
Her fingers dropped it. There were thorns on this one as well.
There was no one in front of her now, just the darkness. She hugged herself, suddenly frightened.
Out of nowhere, came Spike. Relief swept over her. He was there. Everything would be all right.
He held out his rose. She eagerly accepted it. A smile tugged at her lips. It was the most beautiful rose she had ever seen, full and red. A sweet, fresh scent traveled to her nose. And, there were no thorns. None at all.
Buffy's eyes met his. She was startled to see the ice in those blue orbs.
"This is what you could have had, pet. But it's too late now." Spike reached out and crushed the perfect petals. They crumbled beneath his fingers to nothing.
Buffy awoke with a start. Her breathing was harsh and ragged.
She got out of bed. Things were clear now. She knew what she had to do.
In a hurry, she got dressed.
It didn't take long to reach the cemetery. She ran through it until she arrived at Spike's crypt.
She did not bother to knock. She barged in, eyes darting around. "Spike!?" she called.
Silence was her reply. Then she noticed the emptiness. Things were gone.
In a panic, Buffy searched the whole place. She found it barren. He was gone. . . for good.
Buffy crumpled to the floor. Her body shook. He'd given up on her. Just before she realized. . .
Three people had left her now. And it wasn't their fault, it was hers. She didn't deserve love.
Her hand brushed against something. She looked over to see torn pieces of photographs. She brought a couple up. To her horror she could make out bits of her face. Spike destroyed pictures of her.
Tears rolled down her cheeks. Soon they turned into fierce sobbing. She put her face in her hands and rocked back-and-forth. That was when she died her third time.
Spike rolled down the window and threw out his cigarette.
Where should he go? Las Angelus sounded good. No, Angel would be there. The thought of meeting up with soul boy was disturbing. He should head somewhere where his past wouldn't follow. Yeah, maybe Australia.
Pain shot up through his chest. "Bloody hell!" he shouted. His heart wasn't beating, but it could still break.
Spike pulled the car over to the side of the road. He started to pound the steering wheel. Droplets of moisture appeared from his eyes. He stopped beating the wheel and laughed at himself. How pathetic he was.
Buffy was the only thing that kept him from being completely dead. Buffy was his blood. He couldn't survive without her. Even if she never confessed any feeling for him, he needed to be by her side.
He started the car again, and turned it around. What a stupid wanker he was. He'd go back and stay with her until her last breath. Then he'd either stake himself or waste away to dust.
Spike walked into the crypt. He'd bring all his stuff back in tomorrow night.
He was aghast to be greeted by the sight of Buffy. She was sitting on the floor, not moving. He rushed over to her side. More worry built up inside him than ever before. She was in a daze. Her hazel eyes stared straight ahead, unblinking. It was almost like before, when Glory had captured Dawn. But this was worse. She wasn't dreaming in her mind, she was gone. Lost in oblivion. Instead of burying her feelings, she'd buried herself.
Spike took her shoulders and shook them. "Wake up, luv! I left, but I came back. It's your turn. Buffy, wake up and come back to me!"
There was no response. He embraced her limp form closely to him. Tears collected in his eyes. What if she never returned to him?
He stared into her blank gaze. "I've figured it out. I can't be without you Buffy."
In desperation, he moved his mouth to hers. He kissed her with all he possessed. His tongue slipped inside her mouth. Suddenly he was meeted with hers.
He pushed her away. She was awake. She was back. His hand reached up to her hair. "Buffy?"
She took his neck and brought him back to her. The kiss was fire. It sent a spark shooting through them, igniting their passion.
Finally, they broke away. Their arms remained entwined around the other.
Spike grinned. "Slayer, you came back," he muttered.
"Thank you. You saved me. I was so lost," she informed.
He held her closer. "Please, I don't care if you don't share my feelings, but let me stay with you. Let me be your friend. Let me be by your side. Let me help you."
Buffy took a deep breath "I'll let you do more than that Spike." There was a glint in her eyes.
Confusion was on Spike's face. "Buffy. . .?"
Buffy shushed him with her hand on his mouth. "I discovered some things tonight. One of them being that I love you," she confessed.
Spike's eyes widened. She meant it. He could see it in her eyes. And to his wonder, that emptiness was gone.
"Don't ever leave me again," she begged.
He shook his head. "Never. I'll be with you until eternity."
Buffy smiled. She knew it was the truth.
They shared another kiss. Buffy was brought down on her back, Spike ontop of her.
"Could you do me a favor, pet?" Spike asked.
"Can you give me another picture of you?"
She laughed. She brushed his cheek. "I'll give you a whole album. But, you have to do something in return."
There was mischief in her gaze. She lifted her shirt and he understood. He was content in fulfilling her wanting.