She inhaled. The scent of cigarettes, blood, and dust filled her nostrils. She couldn't believe it; she had slept with Spike. She had felt him naked under her, on her, in her. It was odd, she thought she would be disgusted at this fact, but it wasn't the sleeping with Spike that disgusted her, it was the reason she slept with him. Since coming back from Heaven, everything had changed. She couldn't trust her friends anymore, they had done this to her after all, pulled her from the comfort of Heaven only to leave her in her coffin, forcing her to dig her way to freedom. The only thing that made her feel less than terrible was him. The way he spoke, the way he walked, the way he didn't act like she was broken. Last night was a clear indicator of that. The sex was violent, filled with rage, passion, and a hidden emotion she wouldn't touch on, not now, not soon, not ever.
She saw him stir, she decided now was the best time to leave. She couldn't face him. She couldn't even face herself.
She began putting on her boots before she felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up.
"Where are you goin', love?" the vampire said coyly.
"Home, and don't call me that," she replied, hint of uncertainty in her voice.
"Stay, please," he pleaded. She knew she couldn't turn to see him, she'd be lost in him again.
"Dawn, I can't, she'll worry," she sighed. She'd love to stay and forget the World with him, but reality slapped her in the face.
"Just for a little while pet, no one will worry, it's still early," he coaxed. He knew he was going to win this battle.
"What do you think this is? This doesn't change a damn thing between us, I hate you," she yelled, uncertain as to where this sudden outburst came from.
"What the bloody hell is wrong with you? Of course this changes things! I love you, Slayer, whether you like it or not, I know you felt something, I can smell it," he said roughly. She knew her comments hurt him.
"I know you love me, I believe you now, you've been there for me and Dawn and the Gang, I will always cherish that, but this will never happen again, do you understand me?" she sobbed, still facing away from him. She felt him shuffle behind her until he was suddenly standing in front of her; eyes staring into her soul.
"Buffy, you know I know you're lying. Why can't you just see how much I fucking care for you? Why can't you just let go?" he begged, and for a moment, she felt like it would be the simplest thing to do, just let go and be with him forever, let him protect her from the harsh light of day, but once again, reality slapped her.
"I'm afraid if I let go that I'll truly be stuck here. This is hard, being here, knowing what lies before me. I just want to leave. Why did you let them pull me away? You say you care about me, yet you let them steal me from Heaven," her sobs came fast and hard now. He stared at her with wide, wet eyes. He knew she was right. He let them take her. Of course, he didn't know what they were doing, but that shouldn't matter, he should have protected her.
"I'm sorry," he sighed. It was all he said before he picked up her skirt and handed it to her. She saw the sorrow and blame in his eyes. He was dying inside knowing he hurt her.
"Spike, everything is a mess right now, I wish I wasn't here, it's hard, but you're the one thing that has helped. I don't love you, but I think someday, I could try," she smiled shyly before she got dressed and left.
His eyes followed her but he remained silent. He didn't know what to say. He knew things wouldn't be the same, but he also knew she'd go on in pain, and it was his fault, and what had she meant she could? The words, or that bloody crumb he'd been waiting for, and he knew it was a lie. He knew she'd bounce back and go back to hating him. He was just an escape for her, but he'd let her, because he loved her, and a part of him believed that she could love him.