iChapter 23i


Spike stood looking out of his opened bedroom window, staring out into the dark night, cool winter air on his face. He couldn't believe this was happening. He was hoping with everything that was in him that his fears were wrong and that Buffy and Dawn would show up one day, but he was starting to doubt it.

It was now over four weeks since Buffy and Dawn had left Sunnydale to pack up everything in L.A. He had talked to them almost every night for the first three weeks but now nothing. It had been over a week and he was getting ready to panic.

He had tried calling her home phone but it kept saying it had been disconnected and her mobile just kept going to voice mail. He had called the gallery she had been working for but it seemed she had quit weeks ago. He would have called Joyce and Hank but they were both unreachable as they had decided to go on a month long cruise together.

Burning thoughts and questions kept rolling around in his head. What if she had changed her mind? What if she had decided she wasn't in love with him after all? What if it was all a ruse and she had never really wanted him but had pretended because she was scared he would take Dawn?

He never would do that to her of course. She was a wonderful mother and he could never hurt her that much. He loved her and he had hurt her enough in the past. He had promised her he would never take Dawn from her. They were coming to move in with him so they could be a family, so it just didn't make any sense to do this.

Spike looked down at the red velvet box in his hand, opening it to reveal the princess diamond ring he had bought the week before, fully intent on asking Buffy to marry him and make them officially a family. He didn't just want Dawn to have his last name but Buffy too. Tears burned his eyes as he felt all his dreams and hopes for them all come crashing down as he accepted the fact that he was never going to see his two beautiful girls again.

Hot tears ran down his face in defeat.

"William" he heard his sister gasp as she came into the room.

"Not now Cordy, I just need some time alone please," he begged, refusing to look at her, not wanting her to see his pain or to see her pity for him.

"But Will..." She started.

"Cordy I said not now!" he yelled, spinning to face her only to see her with a huge smile on her face with Dawn standing next to her.

"Dawn." Her name came out of his mouth in a whisper.

"Daddy!" Dawn squealed as she bolted towards him at full speed.

Slipping from his chair, he dropped to his knees to swoop Dawn up into his arms and hold her close.

"Daddy, you're squeezing me very hard," Dawn giggled.

Spike let go, laughing softly. "Sorry bit. I just missed you so much," he said, standing to his feet.

She smiled up at him. "I missed you too daddy."

Hearing someone clearing their throat, Spike looked up to see Buffy smiling at him. Spike quickly moved towards her, kissing her with all the longing and love he had felt inside him the past week, before pulling back.

"I missed you too" Buffy smiled

"What happened? I have been trying to reach you for a week. I was worried sick."

"I know. I'm sorry but I had a massive run of bad luck. First the phone company cut my home phone off weeks before they were meant to. Then while I was packing up my desk at work, I dropped my phone in the water fountain in the lobby."

"You could have called me from a pay phone," he snapped slightly.

"I spoke to the phone company before I left work and they were going to express me a new one overnight, but somehow even though I reminded them repeatedly to send it to my apartment in L.A they sent it to the new address I gave them in Sunnydale, mums gallery." She sighed. "I would have called after that, but once I realized their mistake I went to the bank to transfer money to my assistant at the gallery and there was a robbery."

"What?" he gasped.

"I'm surprised you didn't hear about it, it was all over the news."

"I haven't been near a T.V in days."

"It's true. He has been sulking."

"Cordy," Spike hissed.

"I, on the other hand, knew you would come back and did see the news about one of the main banks in L.A. Everyone was held hostage for three days before the robbers surrendered, I had no idea you were in there."

"Unfortunately I was. Thankfully I had left Dawn at home with her nanny. Once I was free I went home to Dawn, packed up the car and drove right here."

"Oh god Buffy I'm so glad you're okay." He hugged her close.

Cordy led Dawn from the room to give them both some privacy. It was then that Buffy looked down and noticed a small red box on the floor. Pulling back from Spike, she moved past him and picked it up. "What's this?" she asked, turning to face him.

Spike moved fast to stop her but it was too late. She opened the box to reveal the ring inside.

"Oh my god!" Buffy gasped in surprise.

"I was going to wait till you'd settled in, then take you out to dinner, maybe go to the look out, and then I'd drop to one knee." As he spoke, he followed his words and dropped to one knee. Taking the box from her hand and closing it, he looked up at her. "And I'd show you this ring." He smiled, opening the box. "And I'd say, Buffy Anne Summers you're the most amazing person I have ever met and I can't imagine my life without you or Dawn. Will you do me the honour of marrying me?"

Buffy felt her heart hammering in her chest and tears start to well as she looked into his eyes, searching for any hesitation or uncertainty, but all she found was pure honest love and devotion and she knew in that moment what her answer would be.

"Yes, of course I'll marry you."

Slipping the ring quickly on her finger, he jumped to his feet, swooping her up in his arms and showering her face with kisses. "I love you Buffy, god I love you so much," he whispered in her hair.

"I love you too, so much," she replied, smashing her lips down onto his. Buffy had never felt so sure or complete in her life. She had spend years alone and scared, afraid to fall in love again, running from her secrets. But now she couldn't be happier, here in the arms of the only man she had ever loved. The only man she would ever love.

Just days before, she had been held hostage, kept from her daughter and the man she loves, afraid she would never see them again. Now she knew the future was bright but she knew she had one more secret she had to tell him.

"Spike there is something I need to tell you. I have a secret," he stepped back looking worried, "and I think you deserve to know."

"Oh god," he whispered, fear lacing his voice. "Okay what is it?"

Buffy smiled, then felt a little bad for teasing him. She knew that if Dawn was any indication, he would be very happy about this secret. "Well just before the bank incident, I had a doctors appointment 'cause I have been a little under the weather for the past week or so and he did a test and well..." she paused for a moment.

"Oh god it's something terrible isn't it? You're sick, dying... god you hear about this all the time. They're happy and in love and then BLAM tragedy hits," he rambled, pacing.

"You have been watching way too many movies," she laughed. "I'm not dying Spike, I'm pregnant."

His fear instantly turned to surprise and happiness, swooping her up into his arms he kissed her passionately. "I love you so much! I can't wait to spend forever with you." He smiled, cupping her face.

"Forever... I like the sound of that." she smiled, kissing him lovingly. Buffy had been terrified about returning to Sunnydale for Cordy's wedding. Now she wished she had come back sooner, because now she knew her life, her love was here in Sunnydale.

Her forever.

The end.