disclaimer: I don't own them Joss Whedon does.

memories in ***


"Mama!"

Dawn Summers Jacobs looked up from the back porch and smiled at the
little boy in the sandbox. He was holding a bucket in one hand and grinning as the
sand emptied from it into a messy sand mountain.

"Nice, Will." She smiled at the little boy. He was absolutely precious and she couldn't
imagine life without him or his daddy, Jordan. As Will went back to his work in
the sand box she rifled through the stack of mail in her lap.

The old fashioned handwriting immediately caught her eye, she anxiously tore
open the letter and began to read the familiar writing. Dawn had not seen
Spike in three years, he had come through town and stopped by to see her and
Jordan. Buffy had been in England at the time staying with Giles. Dawn could still
hear Buffy trying to hide her dissappointment when Dawn told her that Spike had
come by. Every so often Dawn got a note from the wayward vampire - just a hello
and never a return address. He didn't know about the baby that she had named
after him. She reread the note,

"Niblet,

I will be in Sunnydale on the 21rst, I'll come by and visit. If I'm still welcome that is.
See you soon,
Spike"

If he was still welcome! Of course he was welcome, he was going to be so surprised
to meet Will. Jordan hadn't questioned why Dawn wanted to name their son after
her sisters strange ex boyfriend. All he knew was that during the time after Dawn's mom
had died that Spike - William had been there for her and Buffy. And if he wondered
more about the relationship between Buffy and Spike he never asked. Dawn was
very thankful for her understanding husband.

"Time to go in." Dawn called to the dark haired child in the sandbox, "Daddy will be
home soon and we need to start supper." She took the little boys hand and led
him in to the house.

"Daddy?" Will questioned as his mom washed his chubby hands.

"I bet thats him." Dawn smiled as she heard the front door open.

"Dawn, Will." Jordan called as he walked towards the kitchen. He kissed his
wife's cheek and leaned down to pick up his son. "How's my boy?"

"Sand." Will grinned at his daddy.

"You played in the sand box? Oh, big fun." His daddy kissed the top of his head
as he sat him back down. He turned to Dawn, "And how was your day?"

"Good. I got a note from Spike, he'll be coming by tomorrow. And since he's like
clockwork it will be tomorrow night." Dawn giggled - Jordan knew nothing of Spike's
sun allergy.

"Thats nice, we haven't seen him for what? Three years now?" Jordan began
to help with the salad as Will sat in the kitchen floor playing with tupperware.


"Yeah. I think I'm going to invite Buffy for supper. That okay?"

"Of course, I love your sister we don't see her enough. But.......how will she react
to Spike?" Jordan raised his eyebrows at his wife.

Dawn looked at the pot on the stove avoiding his eyes, "Oh, she'll be ........okay
with it."

"Are you sure? I get the feeling there is lots of story there that I don't know."
He placed a hand on Dawn's shoulder.

She turned to smile at him, "It's time they faced each other, it'll be okay."

He kissed her cheek, "Okay, I trust you. But I have seen Buffy's temper and it's not
pretty. Remember the caterer at out wedding when they screwed up the hor douerve
order. She went off on him." He shuddered and frowned at the memory.

"Well she wanted it perfect for us." Dawn shook her head remembering Buffy's
words, 'I only want this to be perfect for you Dawnie, you get to have the perfect life!'
Buffy had left the words unsaid but Dawn could still hear them in her own mind,
" the perfect life I'll never have."

So Buffy had given Dawn the perfect wedding then gone off to England to stay and
study with Giles for two years. She had moved home last year a few months
after Will's birth and opened her own book shop - yes Buffy Summers owned a bookstore. Who would
have thought? Buffy had a good head for business, she was a caring sister, a doting woman
and sadly a lonely woman. Dawn worried about her older sister constantly. She
didn't know all of the details of Buffy and Spike's relationship, but even all those
years ago as young as she was she could sense that they had become close - then
suddenly Spike had left town. She still remembered that last visit before he left.

**
"Niblet, I've got to go. Buffy's back and you really don't need me around anymore.
It's whats best for all of us."

"I don't want you to go. Buffy doesn't want you to go."

"I wish I could stay, lil bit, I really do. But it's not gonna happen. Give ol' Spike a
hug and I'll be on my way." He had hugged her tightly to him and she swore his eyes
had been misty. "I'll write." And then he was gone.

She found out later that he had left a note for Buffy without saying goodbye. Buffy
had put on quite a brave front. "I'm glad he's gone." She said the words repeatedly
but they never sounded convincing to Dawn. And the fact that sometimes late at
night Dawn would peek in her sister's room and find her reading the worn note and
crying just confirmed Dawn's feeling that so much more had gone on between
her sister and the vampire then anyone knew.

****

&&&&&
"Juice?" Will pulled at his mom's leg shaking her away from her memories.

"Yes, sweetie. here is some juice." She handed the sippie cup to the little boy
and ran a hand through his hair.

Jordan changed and came back down to the kitchen, "So are you going to call,
Buffy?"

"Yeah, if you'll set the table. I'll do it now." Dawn picked up the phone.

"Are you telling her that Spike will here?"

"No, I dont' think thats a good idea." Dawn dialed the number as Jordan shook
his head and sighed. The phone rang three times before Dawn heard Buffy's hello
on the other end.

"Buffy, it's me. Jordan and I were just thinking that maybe you should come over
for supper tomorrow night. It's been along time and Will misses his Aunt Buffy."

%%%%%%%


Buffy lay her mail on the counter top and sat on the barstool, "Sure, Dawn that sounds
nice. I've got to get some stuff done so I'll see you tomorrow. Love you, bye."
Buffy hung up the phone and picked up the mail again a postcard fluttered to the
countertop. The writing was achingly familiar, she took a deep breath as she
began to read the words.

"Buffy,

I'll be in town on the 21st. I would like to see you - if I'm still welcome.

Spike"

She lay the card down on the counter and closed her eyes - she was
10 years younger and confused, scared and in great denial over her feelings for
Spike. He had left her with only a note claiming he loved her more then anything
and that he couldn't bear to be around her any longer knowing she would never
admit her feelings for him. She still read the note even now, she had tried really hard
to date other men, it had never happened and she spend many
nights crying over the one who got away. She picked the card up again and
reread the short message. How did he get her address anyway? She shook
her head this was Spike, there was no telling how he had found her address.

He wanted to see her, why? Was it to tell her that he was finally over her? Maybe
a new woman had taken over his life? Good, good. he deserved that, she had
not been able to give him that, she's only realized that she truly loved him after
he had gone and then she had not even tried to find him for fear he would laugh
in her face - tell her it was too late. Her pride had stood in her way of looking for
him.

Buffy poured herself a glass of wine and curled up on the couch still holding the
postcard. The doorbell rang and she silently cursed whoever was interrupting her
broody moment. Sighing she stood and answered the door, her eyes were
wide as she realized who stood outside her door. "Sp.......ike?"

He stood outside the door, his trademark smirk on his handsome face. "Slayer, never knew
you to stutter." He still wore his infamous duster, but over blue jeans and a simplel white shirt.

Buffy finally spoke, "It's only the 20th. You said the 21rst." Stupid, Buffy, how stupid
is that to say to him the first time you see him in ten very long years.

"Yeah, well you know me." He smiled a genuine smile at her and his blue eyes
twinkled. "You gonna invite me in?"

"Well, yes....Spike...come in." Buffy spoke the words softly as she opened the
door further for him to enter.

He walked in and looked around the small but neat apartment. "Nice place, you
got here. Live alone?" He asked curiously.

"If that is your subltle way of asking if I'm involved with someone - no I'm not." She
lowered her head for a moment at his stare, "Would you like a glass of wine? I'm
having one."

"Sure, that would be nice." He answered, his courage ebbing away as he looked
at her closely. Still as beautiful as ever.

"Sit down, I'll be right back." She walked into the kitchen and took a deep breath,
the accent, the hair, the eyes, the lips....still the same gorgeous Spike who found
new ways to infuriate and satisfy in the same hour. Whoa - no going there.

Spike sat down on the couch and tried to calm himself, she was in the other room,
Buffy the girl of his dreams just a few yards away. He closed his eyes and
remembered.

***

Dreaming, Dreaming, I'm dreaming. His mind was fuzzy as he lay on the
basement floor of an abandoned house - he was nude and a small nude body
lay against him. The were lying on his duster covered by a piece of leather? Her skirt?
He was almost afraid to open his eyes and look at her - if he acknowledged she
was there would it all end?

He turned ever so slightly, ever so gently so he wouldn't wake her. He just wanted
to watch her sleep there beside him. She looked exhausted but a small smile
tugged at her mouth even in sleep. He hadn't seen many of those lately so he was
putting that in the memory book he had stored in his head of this night. He knew
sure as the sun rose she was going to start with regret and denial.

So he began to store memories before that happened. The sound of his zipper going
down, the feel of her as she lowered herself, the look in her eyes -a mix of lust
and disbelief at what she was doing. The way she kept her eyes even with his,
the taste of her lips, of her neck, the way she never broke contact as they fell
to the basement floor.

The way her small hands roamed his body as if she knew every curve of it and how
now she did know its every curve intimately and he knew hers. The look on her face
at that intense moment, her eyes closed, mouth open in a sensual moan. Her shallow
panting when they finished the first time and he was sure the night was over. But instead
she tugged insistently at his clothing and quickly shed hers as he lay out the duster
beneath them.

The following morning had brought the inevitable accusations and denial - he had held up his
end of the argument well, matching her insult for insult, never showing how much he was hurting.
It happened like that several times before he finally had given up on her ever admitting her feelings
and left Sunnydale for a less painful place to live.
**

Spike sighed as he listened to Buffy in the kitchen. He had never managed to find that less painful
place, every where he had wandered held something that reminded him of her, a gorgeous blond somewhere,
an overheard smart alec comment in a club, mostly it was the couples he saw on his journeys that made
him think of her, people in love, holding hands, stealing a kiss on a crowded street or in the corner of a
dark club. He had tried to wash away the pain of loving her by finding someone else - meaningless
relationships that lasted a couple nights and never ever helped with the pain, only adding to it as he realized
he was doomed to love her and her alone - forever. Thats when he had made his first visit to Sunnydale -
the excuse was to see Niblet, not much of an excuse he truly did want to see the Niblet, he missed her almost
as much as her older sister. He had hid his dissappointment very well from Dawn when she had told him
Buffy was in England. Probably better off not seeing her, could only lead to more heartache for him.
He heard Buffy coming towards the living room, why the hell am I here?

%%%%


Buffy took her time getting Spike's wine. She was putting off being in the same room with him, he scared her
and intimidated her more then any creature she had ever fought - because he knew her better. She could never
hide anything from him, he could see right through her and had called her on her stubborness on more then one occassion
.
****
"Admit it." Spike's low voice hummed just over her ear as one hand made lazy circles on her bare tummy.

"No. Spike - not tonight. Don't ruin it, please." Buffy had tried to change the subject by directing his attention
elsewhere. She leaned forward and kissed him passionately. It usually worked - he would give in, they would
make love and he would leave the subject of love and feelings alone. But not tonight.........tonight she was
surprised when he sat up in the bed and pushed her away.

"No, not this time, Buffy. This time I need something from you - I don't ever ask for much." His eyes
were sad as she watched his expression change from lustful to thoughtful.

"Spike......." She knew he was telling the truth, he didn't ask for much, just the one thing she couldn't bear to
give him. If she gave him her love it meant that she could get hurt all over again and that was never gonna happen
to Buffy Anne Summers again.

"You are so damn stubborn, can't admit you do have feelings, can't admit this is more then a stress reliever
for you." He had stood then and finding his pants pulled them on hastly, "I just want that one damn crumb,
I've been waiting for and I just realized it's never gonna come is it? NEVER" He had marched out of her
room before she could find the right words to say to make him stay. And the next day his note had been
delivered - he left Sunnydale without saying goodbye. And her heart broke in two.

*****

&&&&&
Buffy sniffed back a tear, she would not cry in front of him, she would not let him see how much he affected,
*still* affected her. Carrying his wineglass in one hand and the bottle in the other she pasted on a smile
and walked into her living room. "Here you go." She continued to smile as she sat down next to him on the
couch.

"Thanks." He told her as he took a sip of the sweet wine.

"So, umm.......how have you been?" Buffy sipped her own wine as she waited for his answer.

"Good. Traveled quite a bit. Understand you did some traveling too. 'Bit said you had been to England
and stayed with Giles for quite a while." He smiled at her and she took a closer look at his mouth, those
lips that had brought forth some of the most hurtful comments she had ever heard yet could also bring
the most pleasure she could ever remember.


"Yes, I spent some time with Giles, he helped me alot- helped me learn alot about myself and about the business world. I have my
own book store now."

"Yeah, I heard that." He didn't explain how he had actually paid someone at Willy's for the information earlier
that evening. "Slayer running a store - Anya would be proud." He laughed softly.

Buffy joined in his laughter and felt compelled to touch him in some small way, just to feel the smooth cooleness of his skin again under
the warmth of hers. She gently lay her hand on his arm in an innocent show of affection and giggled again, "Anya
was so proud she sent me a frame for my first dollar earned."

"So how is she? And Xander?" His smile warmed at her touch on his arm.

"They are great, they live in Seattle now. Xander writes for a newspaper there. Three kids and a dog."
She moved her hand from his arm and leaned back into the couch, "They are very happy - who would have
thought?"

"I'm surprised they left Sunnydale - you know fighting the good fight and all that rot." He took another sip of his wine.

"Well they tried to stay, but once they had children what had seemed noble at first, just seemed foolish and dangerous."
Buffy sighed.

"And they weren't destined to do it - like you?" Spike added a bit of sadness in his voice.

Buffy sighed again, "Nope, no sacred duty for them. But thats okay, I don't begrudge them their happiness.
at all."

"How bout Red and Tara?" He asked curiously.

"Believe it or not Willow and Oz found each other about three years ago and they are together in San Francisco,
he still dabbles in music and Willow teaches at a High School there." Buffy smiled when she remembered
her last visit with them.

"The wolf found his witch again. Kind of romantic in a hellmouth way." Spike spoke the words softly. "but what of
Tara?"

"Oh she's happy in Memphis, TN. She has significant other who doesn't have a clue about werewolves and witches,
she runs a health food store. I guess that covers everyone." Buffy finished her wine and poured herself another
glass and tipped the bottle towards Spike, he nodded his head and watched her pour the liquid into his glass.

"Not quite....the LA gang? Cordelia and Peaches?" He raised his eyes as he said Peaches.

"Cordelia married some celebrity lawyer about five years ago. Angel.........I"m not sure I guess he is still
running his business and taking care of his son. I really haven't talked to him much over the last few years.
There just hasn't been a reason." Buffy studied her fingernails as Spike took this in.

"Wait a minute.......Peaches has a son? How?"

"Long story that involves Darla and I really don't want to be the one to tell it, okay?" Buffy gave him a small
smile.

"Yeah, but I'm gonna have to have the NIblet fill me in on that one." He shook his head, "Angel, Darla and
a kid?"

"Okay,my turn. How bout Dru?" She asked rolling her eyes.

"Dunno, havent' seen her since that last time in Sunnydale, when I........" He suddenly stopped midsentence,
no reason to bring that up now.

"Since you had me in chains and she tried to kill me?" Buffy finished for him.

"Uh...yeah that was it I believe." He replied sheepishly.

"It's okay, Spike. It's water under the bridge. Two old friends can bring up stuff like that." She was staring at
him again and he couldn't seem to break eye contact with her.

"Is that what we are? Two old friends?" He asked his voice rough.

"Well, yes we are." She cleared her throat and continued to look intently at him.

It happened so suddenly that neither of them could say who made the first move. Lips touched lips and small hands
moved over high cheekbones as larger ones ran through long golden hair, as if they not been apart for ten years.

Buffy was the first to pull back for a needed breath. She grinned when she saw the frightned look on Spike's face.
"I need a breath, I don't have a stake hidden."

He relaxed then and reached to cup her cheek with his hand, he leaned towards her and rested his forehead
against hers, "I missed you." He whispered feathersoft against her skin.

"I missed you too." She sighed against him, "I missed this." She kissed him again, "And this." She ran
her hand over his chest.

"Me too." He returned the kisses as they became more frantic, "And this," He nibbled lightly on her neck as her
hands wandered even farther down to rest on his belt.

"And I really missed this." She laughed softly as her hand found the zipper and pulled it down.

"Oh yeah....." Her warm hand was on him in a swift motion and he was drowning in her all over again. He felt
the pressure of her hand and groaned, she smiled at the sound before his lips claimed hers once again.

They were totally lost in the sensations of each other when Buffy felt Spike pull back. "No." He shook his head
and frowned. "I'm sorry. But I won't do this again. Not this way, hurts too damn much." He stood up and
tucked himself in, pulling up his zipper.


"What?" Buffy looked confused.

"I want to make love to you more then anything in the world. I haven't seen you for ten bloody years and I just want
to fall right back into your bed and forget that you don't care enough to admit you even have feelings for me.
Can't do it, Buffy. Won't do it. This was a mistake." He ran a hand through his hair and walked towards the
front door.

"Spike, wait!" Buffy stood suddenly, it was now or never - could she do it?

He turned sharply, "What?"

"I love you." She said the words softly.

He walked towards her, "What did you say?"

"I said I love you." She said the words louder this time with conviction.

"It took you this long to figure that out?" He shook his head and sighed.

"No, I've known for about ten years now." She replied chewing on he bottom lip.

"Why didn't you try to find me?" He asked his voice touched with anger.

"I couldn't - I was scared, stupid. I don't know, but I do love you." She winced at the pained look on his face,
"I'm so sorry that I couldn't say it before."

"Do you mean it? I mean are you willing to go public with it? Xander isn't going to make it easy even all
these years later and Giles? " He took a step closer to her and touched her arm.

"Yes - I'll go call him now if you want. But please do not leave me tonight." She pleaded with him at this very
moment she meant it, she would do whatever he wanted her to do.

"Just tonight?" He looked at her unsure.

"Tonight, tomorrow night and every night after that. Stay here..........with me." She leaned against his
hard chest and breathed in his familiar and comforting scent.

---

Spike's thoughts told him to slow down, she wasn't thinking clearly, it would be a repeat of ten years ago
in the morning. But his emotions and his body screamed STAY. He pulled her close to him and kissed
her hard on the lips. She gave back as good as she got, winding her hands in his hair as she returned his
hard kisses. He picked her up as he stood ever so carefully, grunting one word, "Bedroom?"

She pulled away from him long enough to point down the hallway, "First door on the left."

In mere seconds he had reached his destination. The room was simple, decorated mainly with pretty framed
photos of her family and friends. The bed was inviting with a cozy quilt and muslin bedskirt covered in pillows
of every shape and size, a threadbare Mr. Gordo peeked out from the pillows. Spike held back a laugh as he
gently lay Buffy down on the bed and moved the small stuffed pig to the dresser, turning back to her with one arm he
scooted all of the extra pillows to the floor.

She smiled at him from the bed and beckoned him towards her with her index finger. He quickly joined her on
the bed running his hand under her blouse and revelling in the warmth he found there. She smiled sweetly as
she began ot slowly unbutton his shirt, he removed his hands from her warmth long enough to tangle with hers
as he tried to unbutton her blouse too. They giggled at the awkwardness, then kissed again. Soon both were
fully undressed lying side by side, taking the other in. Buffy suddenly became shy, "I'm older now, so I look a little
different."

He kissed the tip of her nose, "You." He kissed her forehead. "look." He landed on he lips again, "Beautiful."

He proved to her just how beautiful she was to him and how much she meant to him over and over again, until
both were too exhausted to speak and had fallen asleep with satisfied smiles on their faces. He woke at
noon to find her still curled against him, smiling as she watched him sleep, the postcard he had
sent her curled in her hand.. "Good morning." She leaned over and kissed him softly.

"Morning." He nodded towards the card, "Something interesting in that card?" He smirked.

"Well yeah, I was just rereading it and the answer is yes." She grinned at him.

"Answer to what?" He sat up and put his arm around her shoulder.

"I think you are definitely still welcome." She giggled as he rolled his eyes at her, "I have to go to work now,
I called this morning and said I would be late." She stood up and went towards the bathroom, "You can stay here.
Dawn invited me for dinner tonight, do you want to go?"

"Sure, that would be great. I was planning on seeing Niblet and whats his name tonight anyway." Spike stood
and began to look for his clothes.

"His name is Jordan you know that and you can see Will too!" She called from the bathroom as she turned on
the water.

"Will?" Spike asked as he made his way to the bathroom.

"Yeah, Dawn's little boy, Will." Buffy stepped into the shower.

"Dawn has a little boy?" He asked through the shower curtain.

Buffy peeked around the curtain her hair soapy with shampoo, "Didn't you know? Will is about 18 months old.
Smart little guy and guess who he is named after?"

"Will is short for..........William?" Spike's mouth dropped open, "She named him after me?"

"Yes, and me. William Andrew, Andrew was as close to Anne as she could get. He's adorable." Buffy
went back to her shower as Spike left the bathroom to find the rest of his clothes and find something to
eat even if it was of the non corpuscular variety.

Buffy found him in the kitchen eating a bowl of Fruit loops and a glass of orange juice. She kissed him
soundly before she left, "I'll be home by five."

&&&&&&&&

Spike spent the day watching tv and looking at the books on Buffy's shelves, He was the happiest he had been in
years. When Buffy came home they would go to Dawn's and let them know about them - they would truly be a
couple then. He had a goofy grin on his face at the thought of finally having her.


Buffy entered the bookshop with a goofy grin of her own plastered across her pretty face.

"Miss. Summers you look nice today." Albert commented as she unlocked her small office.

"Thanks Albert!" Buffy replied as she sat down to look over her inventory books. In a few short hours
she would be able to go home and be with Spike again. She leaned back in the chair and closed her eyes
letting the memories of last night wash over her.

She and Spike would go to Dawn's tonight and they would...........wait maybe it wasn't such a good idea to spring
this on Dawn like this....she was gonna find it odd that all of a sudden they were together she was gonna ask questions
about the past. Questions Buffy wasn't sure she wanted to answer, did she want Dawn to know how badly she
had hurt Spike back then? Suddenly her stomach was full of big butterflies - no not butterflies - ugly moths thats
what must be fluttering in her stomach.


The day was soon over and Buffy went home feeling a mixture of excitement and dread. Spike wasn't going to
like keeping this from Dawn. She unlocked the front door and found him sitting on the couch looking at a
photo album. It had pictures of Dawn and Jordan and Will in it along with the old Scooby Gang.

"Wow, the gang still looks good! And Dawn's little one is a handsome little tyke." Spike told her as she
sat down next to him. "Can't wait to see him. Can't wait to see Niblet either, so much to tell her." He whispered
into her neck as he ran light kisses up and down her throat.

"Ummmm....about that Spike. I mean I am not ashamed of us - I'm not." Buffy started then stopped when
she saw the hurt in his eyes.

"But?" He asked softly. Here it comes....Spike you foolish idiot, she's had time to think about it.

"But, I don't know if we should throw this all at her at once. She's gonna aske questions about the past." Buffy
averted her eyes from his hurt gaze.

"So, we tell her what happened, we tell her you were scared and I wasn't brave enough to wait around for you."
Spike replied matter of factly.

"I'm not sure I want her to know everything." Buffy murmered softly.

'You know what, fine. We'll go together tonight as friendly Buffy and Spike." He stood up and reached for his
duster. "Are you ready, lets get this over with."

"Spike, I don't want you angry." Buffy stood and walked with him to the door.

"I'm not angry." He said soflty with resignation in his voice.

The drive to Dawn's house was a quiet one. Dawn answered the door in shock, "You came together?" She
grinned brightly as she ushered them into the house.


Buffy turned to Spike and pleaded with her eyes, Spike spoke first. "Buffy saw me walking and picked me up.
it was quite a surprise for both of us." He turned to see Buffy sighing with relief a smile sent his way.

"Yeah, couldn't believe it was Spike, but here he is - same hair, same duster." She walked into the living
room and sat down beside Will on the couch.

Spike stood in the living room awkardly as Jordan said hello and took his coat. Dawn picked up her son
and carried him over to Spike. "This is your namesake, William Andrew." The little boy reached over and touched
Spike's nose, he giggled when Spike wrinkled it at him.

"I'm not sure what to say, Niblet. He's beautiful." Spike ran his hand through the chubby toddlers dark hair and
sat down beside Buffy on the couch.


After a good dinner and lots of catching up Buffy offered to get the coffee from the kitchen while Dawn and
Jordan put Will to bed. Spike joined her in the kitchen. "So when do you think she'll be ready to know, Buffy?"
l
"I don't know, Spike.Soon." She busied herself with the cups and saucers.

"Buffy....." Spike put his hand on her arm and turned her towards him, "I don't want to hide."

"I don't either." She reassured him as she poured the coffee into the cups. When she was done pouring,
she reached for him and pulled him into a passionate kiss - full of longing and full of promise of things to come.
He returned the kiss greedily enjoying every moment of it - until she jerked away suddently at the sound of
someone entering the kitchen.

"He's all tucked in. Need some help?" Dawn asked the couple in the kitchen.

"No, we're okay. I'm gonna raid your cookie stash and we'll be in with the coffee in a minute." Buffy smiled
brightly at her younger sister.

"Okay." Dawn turned and left them alone in the kitchen again.

"So is this what you want Buffy? Do you just want to sneak around forever, forbidden kisses in the kitchen?
Maybe a bit of necking in the closet? I don't want that! I want you out in the open. Tell you what - I'm gonna go
now - I'll see you in another ten years - we can have an anniversary shag!"

"Spike! That's not fair." Buffy's eyes were filling with tears.

He was not gonna let her get to him. "How many decades you think we have to look forward to? Huh Slayer
how many anninversary shags before some one sneaks in and has his good day." The words sounded
harsh to him as he spit them out at her.


The look on her face broke his heart, she sat down the tray and went to the back door, "Tell Dawn I had to go,
tell her I had to patrol or something." She was out the door before he could get his snappy comeback out.

"I didn't mean it, Buffy. I didn't mean it." He spoke to closing door.

Dawn entered the kitchen her face the picture of worry, "Where is Buffy?"

"She left."

":Where did she go,Spike? What happened?"

"Said something about patrol." Spike answered and he sounded lame even to himself.

"What happened Spike? And I don't mean just now, I mean what happened between you two all those
years ago. It's time someone told the truth." Dawn stared at him with what Buffy would call Willow's resolve
face.

He slumped against the counter, "You think she'll be okay out there?"

"She'll be fine, she can take care of herself, she's been doing in a long time now." Dawn sighed, "Now,
I want to hear the whole story."

"Better find a comfy seat, Lil bit cause this is a doozy of a story." Spike followed Dawn back into the living room.