Disclaimer: I own nothing, except in my dreams

Summary: AU after Dead Things. Buffy has to face some home truths when the Scoobies find out the reason Spike's so badly hurt, and Spike finds out he has friends in unexpected places. Will be Spuffy. Rated to give me more flexibility. First fic, please R&R

A/N: Hello fellow fanfic fans :) This is my first fic, and I honestly don't know if it's any good really. It was just an idea I got one day on what I think could have happened if season 6 hadn't been the year from hell for our favourite do-gooders. Please R&R, even if it's to give advice :D Leave a review to let me know if you're interested in me keeping this fic going, then I'll post the next chapter as soon as I can. Hope you like it!

Chapter 1

His love for her was unconditional, there's no question of that. But she didn't even look back as she walked away. She just left him there, without a thought, in a dark alley awaiting the sunrise. Spike tried to sit up from his sprawled position on the floor. He winced as his side protested to the movement. Several ribs had been broken in her tirade against him.

"You don't have a soul"

"There's nothing good or clean in you"

"You are dead inside"

He eventually managed to pull himself to his feet using the wall for help. How long had he been here now? He could smell dawn on the horizon. He had to move if he was to find shelter before he burned. He could feel every wound on his body –

"That's all it is to you isn't it? Just another body"

– as flashes of the woman he loved poured out all her guilt, anger and pain onto his form. The punches just kept falling...

He shook his head trying to clear the images. He made it a few streets before he collapsed to the floor once more, exhausted from that small journey alone. Gasping for unneeded breath as he tried to control the pain radiating from his chest, Spike surveyed the alley where he rested through the eye that wasn't swollen shut. A fuzzy shaped approached, and Spike tensed, knowing that even if he could see the figure clearly he was unable to defend himself in his current condition.

As the person approached, they slowly became clearer, although it wasn't until they spoke that Spike recognised who it was.