Spike couldn't believe it. It was over. He didn't know how, but it was. They had won the battle against the Senior Partners. But he was sore, bloody, and tired. He stumbled into the hotel with Angel and Illyria and three people were in the lobby to greet them. He met her green eyes before collapsing to the floor. This had to be a dream, she shouldn't be here, but she rushed to his side. "Are you okay?" She asked, kneeling next to him.

Spike looked up at her. "What are you doing here?" He asked. He never thought he'd see her again. Not with the Immortal in her life. He'd never let her come here, not on his watch. He never gave up his women that easily. But here she was, her eyes wide with worry, or what he thought was genuine worry.

Buffy ran her fingers over his blood encrusted face as tears came to her eyes. "Did you think you could have an apocalypse without me?" She whispered, attempting to smile, and before he could answer, she placed a gentle finger over his lips. "Don't talk. Let/'s get you upstairs so you can rest." After pushing herself to her feet, she offered a hand to him.

Spike slid his hand into hers and she gently pulled him up. He swaggered a little but gained a sturdy footing. Then he realized the other people in the lobby; Dawn, and another girl about Dawn's age with blonde hair, who came forward with confusion on her face.

"Mom? Who's he?" Arms folded across her chest, she stood much like Buffy. She was almost an image of Dawn, almost. But she had blue eyes, crystal blue eyes. She looked so familiar, but he couldn't figure it out. He really didn't think he had seen her before. He couldn't have heard right. No way. He glanced at Buffy then back at the girl. Mom?

"She's my daughter," Buffy said, squeezing Spike's hand. "Her name's Emily," she said, looking at her daughter. "This is your father."

He could have fainted. He was definitely hearing things. He must have hit his head a lot harder then he thought. "What?" It wasn't possible. Vampires didn't produce children. Accept for Angel, but that was it. He couldn't possibly be the father of Buffy's daughter. They hadn't slept together in over two years, not even the last few nights of Sunnydale, and this girl was Dawn's age. So something was wrong, someone was playing a cruel joke on him. "How?"

"She's your daughter. Our daughter," Buffy said, with a small smile and let go of his hand and moved away from him. "Prophecy, but she is yours."

Emily moved closer to Spike and looked into his eyes. "Mom, what makes you think that he's my dad?" She asked.

Buffy went over and took Emily's hand. She put Emily's palm against Spike's and their finger's entwined. The scar on Spike's hand glowed, as did Emily's. "Dad," she whispered. Spike's eyes filled with tears and Emily jumped into his arms. "I missed you so much," Emily said. "Mom said things would be better with you around but I didn't believe her. I have all these memories of you but I can't make sense of them. I have so many questions, so many things I want to know."

"How'd you guys find out about me?" Spike asked, pulling away from Emily to look at Buffy. He could feel a connection with this girl, and he knew she was his. Already he could feel a strong sense to protect her, much like he felt towards Dawn and Buffy.

"Andrew spilled the beans," Dawn said. "You know how he is, can't keep a secret to save his life. So why you trusted him to not tell us, I have no idea."

"Spike," Buffy said, softly as she pulled him away from Emily. "Why didn't you contact me?"

Great, here we go. He just found out he had a daughter, should be the happiest time of his life, and Buffy was going to spoil it by bringing up why he didn't tell her he was alive. He crossed his arms and met her eyes. "Because I wasn't ready for you to know," he said. It was mostly the truth. He didn't know how to tell her or what her reaction was going to be. And apparently he had been right.

"When were you gunna be ready?" Buffy asked. "After you died again?"

Spike bowed his head. "Buffy…" he sighed. He didn't want to do this now. He wanted to go upstairs and sleep so he could spend some time with Emily. He wanted to know more about her, and all Buffy wanted to do was fight with him.

"No!" Buffy flared. "I needed you and you weren't here. We needed you. I love you so much and you act like that's meaningless," she said, tears in her eyes.

Well he could be angry too. She wasn't going to pin this all on him. She was partly to blame too, mostly to blame if anyone asked his opinion. "It didn't take long for you to move on though, did it?" Spike asked. Why should he have told her? Granted, he loved her with all his heart, but she had a new life, a good life. If he had known that he had a daughter, it would have been different.

"How'd you know about Mark?" Buffy asked. Oh, so now it was an issue. He couldn't know about any flings she had, but he had to tell her everything that he did. That was bullshit. If she could move on with her life, and find a new father for Emily, then he had a right to be mad. Right?

"I saw you guys together when I was in Rome," Spike said. Now he was going to have to admit to being in Rome and not making a better effort to see her. But why didn't Andrew tell him about Emily? He failed to mention that part out, which was grounds to have his throat ripped out and his entrails fed to him.

"And you didn't say anything?" Buffy snapped.

"We were there on business," Angel said, for the first time since they got inside. Did Angel know about Emily? Is that why he tried so hard to keep him away from Europe? Because he knew Spike would have a good life with Buffy and their daughter.

"You were with him?" Buffy asked, looking at Angel.

"Yeah. And while we're on the subject, what in God's name are you thinking?" Angel asked, making his way toward her. "The Immortal? Buffy, I thought you had more sense then that. Do you have any idea what he's capable of?"

Spike growled and went toward the door. He couldn't stand here and watch a lovers quarrel. He just couldn't. He ignored Buffy's plea for him to stay and headed out of the hotel and onto the streets, which weren't much better. Carcasses of demons and citizens caught in the crossfire littered the streets, but at least it was better then watching Buffy and Angel. His coat billowed behind him and he froze when he heard her voice.

"Dad!" He'd never get used to hearing that, and he paused to let Emily catch up to him.

Spike stopped and turned. "You're gunna catch cold being here," he said. Who knew what kind of danger could be lurking about still and he did not want anything to happen with her. Not now, not when he just found her. Buffy would never forgive him.

"She really missed you, you know," Emily offered, walking along side of him. "I don't know much about you and her, only what I could get out of Dawn. I don't call her Aunt Dawn, since she's like my age. But Mom would talk about how much she loves you and how great it would be if you were here with us, how much easier. Then when that little weasel spilled the beans, we were all in shock, didn't know what to think, and we rushed here." She shrugged nonchalantly as they walked through the park. "And you know how she is being the slayer and saving the world. Has to have her share."

"Your mom has a funny way of showing her feelings," Spike muttered. "Always has. She looked happy when I saw her, and I didn't want to ruin that. However, I didn't know about you, that changes everything."

"She's only going out with Mark because she's lonely," Emily said as they sat on a bench. His eyes scanned the area, his senses stretching out looking for danger, but there was nothing but the calm of the night. "There's a lot she needs to say to you and I think you'll definitely want to hear it. When you don't have an audience."

***

After an hour, Emily and Spike finally returned to the hotel. Everyone was still scattered in the lobby. Buffy was sitting on the steps, her head in her hands, Angel sitting next to her, Dawn asleep on the couch, Illyria nowhere to be found. When Buffy heard them come in, she looked up and got to her feet. "Spike," she said, softly.

Spike glanced at his daughter before heading toward Buffy but he didn't touch her. "We should talk," he said. He couldn't think if they were touching, touching was bad at this point. As usual, he was going out on a limb for this girl, but what good would it do, he really didn't know. But, he led her upstairs, and closed the door behind them. As soon as the lock clicked into place, Buffy jumped in his arms, pressing her lips against his, surprising the hell out of him. He kissed her back for a moment but had to pull away. "We need to talk first," he said. God that was hard.

Buffy laid her head on his shoulder. "I know but I missed you so much," she whispered, her hands holding him close to her. "I just don't understand why you didn't want me to know. I thought things were different between us finally, and then…"

His arms enclosed over her body and he pulled her close to him. "I missed you, too, Pet," he said, kissing the top of her head. "Believe me I did. There's just a lot you don't understand. I've gone through a lot since I've been back." She had to know what that was like, coming back from the dead and trying to adjust. He guided her to the bed and filled her in on everything right up until finding her in the lobby of the hotel.

She looked up at him with soft eyes. "What stopped you from coming to find me?" She asked. "Someone could have called me and I would've come to you."

"I didn't wanna drop back into your life again, Buffy. I wanted you to be happy and from what I can tell, you are," he said, softly. "But I didn't know about Emily. If I had, I would have come to you, I promise I would have. I just… didn't want to ruin your life."

"We'll move to L.A.," Buffy said, as if that would solve all the problems. "We'll help you and Angel. Dawn's been training and Emily's a slayer, so we could help you guys. Well, even if you choose to stay here after what happened here with the Senior Partners. Dawn can so kick you ass now."

"I doubt it," Spike said, smiling. "And I don't have intentions of staying here. I want to be as far away from L.A. as possible. I don't care where."

EPILOUGE

Spike walked down the stairs from his nap and smiled at Buffy arguing with Emily. He couldn't be happier. Living in New York with his daughter, Dawn and the woman of his dreams, was like a fairy tale. Hearing the mother daughter bickering was music to his ears. Some days he thought he was going to wake up, and none of it was going to be real. It had been six months since the battle in L.A. and he had a great life here in NY. Buffy had a self defense school, and he taught the night classes, which helped them keep a steady income.

"But Mom," Emily whined. "You aren't being fair. I've been doing better then everyone in my training, I can handle a few hours out by myself. You really don't need to keep tabs on me anymore."

"No. Absolutely not," Buffy said, putting dishes away. "You're too young still. I just don't think you're ready. Training isn't the real thing. You're just not ready."

Spike went over and kissed Buffy's hair. "Fight nice, girls," he said, going to the fridge.

"Dad, am I old enough to go patrolling?" Emily asked.

Spike raised an eyebrow. "You don't let her patrol alone?" That's what this was about? And now as a typical daddy's girl, she was trying to pull him into the middle of it to get her way. It usually worked, but this was something serious, not going out with her friends or whatever.

"No, why?" Buffy asked, crossing her arms as she stared at him.

"Dawn goes all the time," Spike said, absently. He'd seen Dawn fight, she was good, and could hold her own. It wasn't a big deal, not to him. He'd seen them both at the school, kicking major ass, but Buffy was over protective, she had a right to be. But… he knew it was time for her to accept that they were both growing up and needed their space.

"She does? Since when?" Buffy asked. Uh oh. She seemed mad, and now it was at him. But he could handle her.

"Since she asked me," Spike said, making his way toward Buffy. "Let her go with Dawn." He pulled her into his arms, even as she pushed at him. "Don't do that. You can't hold on to them forever."

Buffy looked at Emily. "Fine, you can go with Dawn," she said, relaxing against Spike's chest. She smiled as Emily squealed and gave them a hug before flying upstairs, no doubt to find an outfit. Her eyes returned to his face. "You cheated."

Spike kissed her softly. "Yeah, but you love me."