Disclaimer: I don't own Spike...sadly. Or Buffy or anyone else that you recognize while reading this.

A/N: Here it finally is. I know it's short but I really just wanted to reassure my readers that I'm not going to desert this story even if it may seem that way after so long with nothing. My muse seems to have run away and the plot bunnies are hiding under someone else's bed, I know because I looked for them under mine and didn't find anything but their dusty cousins.

Buffy sat on the musty couch and watched as Spike drained the pedophile she had led to the mansion in order to heal her vampire. Spike had totally had an ass kicking coming, but she was woman enough to admit that maybe she had gone a little too far. Something which seemed to be a reoccurring theme on this endlessly long night. The part of her that had been trained that all human life had value over and above that of demons seemed to be dying a slow and quiet death. The survival of the man-pire that she loved definitely trumped anything this greasy little maggot that had tried to corner her in a dark alley shortly after she first arrived in Sunnydale had to offer the world. He had gotten one hell of a surprise that night and she had had to save more than a few young people, both male and female, from his frightening come-ons over the years since then despite the many warnings, bruises and broken bones she had delivered to him. Considering how many times she had hurt him and beat him and threatened him with all of her creative powers, she was amazed that he had been foolish enough to believe her come ons and follow her this night. His illness must run a lot deeper than she had accounted for.

She could appreciate the fact that she should be feeling something more than resignation and less than satisfaction at watching his life force feed a creature that she was meant to destroy, but she could not actually bring herself to feel anything else. The Watcher's Council would be appalled, no doubt, what with their black and white, good and evil, the world is full of absolutes that should never be thought too deeply on indoctrination. Good thing then that she hadn't been sussed out as a Potential until she had already been called and so was still capable of thinking for herself.

She now recognised the fact that her friends had inadvertantly been pushing her into a box similar to the one she had unwittingly escaped. Instead of feeling the disgust that she probably should feel right now at watching Spike's throat muscles work as he swallowed the life giving healing blood she had provided, she could only feel pride and gratitude. Pride that she had provided what he needed to heal,-ignore the fact that she was the reason he needed it in the first place- and gratitude that he had managed to help her escape from the confines of the box she had been able to feel closing around her but couldn't seem to get out of until that night at the Bronze when she had recognized Spike's tingle and then discovered just how many different tingles he could set off in her body...

Getting horny now. She might be alright with the death occuring in front of her but that was a little to far down a road that she didn't want to know sointimately. She may have finally accepted that the world was full of shades of gray and blacks and whites were more of a fairytale view, but she didn't want to dive right into the dark end of the spectrum of grays. Oddly enough, orchestrating the death of a man who made a daily habit of terrorizing and molesting young children registered as a light gray on her inner scale of judgement.

This man in particular was one of the bigger reasons she had been able to resist the indoctrination of her calling and her friends. How could all humans be good and all vampires be bad if a vampire was willing to offer a deal with her to save the world and a human was able to do the things that she had caught this worm attempting to do on so many occassions. She'd even had him locked up on a few occassions but within a month she'd see him back to his same places and making the same disgusting plans and overtures. After being accused of murder...twice!...her credibility was pretty much shot and she'd discovered that there was no point in her even trying to call police attention to his activities anymore.

For his part, Spike was just beginning to come back to a full awareness of who he was, what he was doing and who was watching him do it...who had instigated it! She had to have known what would happen when she walked in here with another man who wouldn't keep his fucking hands to himself that that man was going to hurt at the very least. In his weakened state, Spike hadn't been aware of anything other than his rage that anyone would dare try to touch what was his until the mans heart had stopped beating, not even the thirst burning and clawing at all the cells in his body, begging for the blood to repair the damage he so richly deserved.

Why would she do this to him? She made him promise to stop killing and then brought him a take out meal when he was in no condition to even consider 'catch and release.' Was it some twisted way to alleviate any guilt she might otherwise have for dusting him?

He was just starting to come back to himself and pick up on sounds and smells outside of the twisted little triangle they made consisting of the dead the dying and life itself when he felt her hand in hair smoothing it back.

"I'm so sorry baby..." she whispered in his ear as she pressed herself against his back. Here it was then. He'd feel the bite of wood any second now... "I promise I'll never let anything like this happen again... I'll never lay a hand on you in anger, ever again...well...I won't do it as enthusiastically, anyway, I wish I could swear I wouldn't at all but sometimes the things you say...but that's no reason for what I did to you tonight...it was just..."

Wait...what? Yeah, it was kinda hard to follow what she was saying what with all the sobbing and her face being buried in his back muffling her words, but there's no way that she was apologizing to him. After what he had done to her...and then killing a man in front of her...which he really didn't feel as bad about as she would probably want him too. He wanted to feel bad but the bastard was touching her... and now she was...


This must be some sort of alternate dimension where his girl was a vamp...nope he could hear the heartbeat...or evil...no evil wouldn't be sobbing into his shoulder and begging him not to hate her. Evil wouldn't be promising to do anything it takes to make him forgive her.

Wait a minute...this could come in handy... Except that he didn't really want to take advantage of whatever vengence wish had somehow granted this second chance with his Slayer, didn't want to risk completely losing her for real this time because he was stupid enough to play up her inexplicable guilt to his advantage. That way lay ruin... So what the hell should he do with the woman he wanted to hold to him but was afraid to touch after what he had done to her? How should he handle this situation with the best fighter, slayer, sex, love he had ever seen begging him for forgiveness when it should be he on his knees worshipping at her feet praying for absolution from his sins?

A/N:...again. Any and all comments, good are bad are more than welcome. I fully intend to use them to try to bribe my muse out of hiding.