Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters… At least not the ones from the show… blah, blah, blah… You know the drill…



~*~Hey, thanks to everybody who reviewed… I really appreciate it. Sorry this has taken me so long. I finally got the prologue done! LOL… Anyway, hope ya like it and drop me a review if ya get the chance. I'd like to hear the good and bad… Can't get better without constructive criticism, right? Or ya could just flat out tell me it sucks… Either way… LOL. Okay, well, enjoy!~*~



Prologue


"Buffy, promise me you'll take care of him."
Suddenly, looking up to see Spike standing in front of her, the sun shinning brightly behind him, Buffy became startled. Her eyes frantic, she reached out to cover him. Before she could do anything, though, his hands caught hers and he pulled her closer to him.
"Promise me you'll never let anything happen to him."
"To who, Spike?"
"You'll see…" he whispered. "You'll see…"
"Spike, what's going on?" Her eyes were frantic… Confused. What was happening? How was he standing there with the sun beating down on him?
"This is heaven, Love… We're in heaven…" he replied, his fingers entwining with hers.
It wasn't until that moment that she noticed their surroundings. The beauty of it suddenly sinking in, but none of it mattering. They were standing there on what seemed to be a never ending beach. The soft, warm white sand sparkled below them. The clear blue water lapped gently at their feet as the sun slowly began to set behind them, the nearly cloudless crystal blue sky becoming a breathtaking array of color. None of it seemed important, though. Without him standing there in front of her, she never even would've noticed. It would've meant nothing to her.
"Spike, I…"
He stopped her, raising a finger to her lips. "Shh…" he whispered, staring deeply into her eyes. "I know…"
Tears welled in her eyes as she stared back into his. Could he really have known? When did he discover her feelings? She herself hadn't even been sure until it was too late. Maybe he really did know her better than she knew herself…
"Protect him." His hand came to rest gently on her stomach. His words confusing her. Who was he talking about? "Love him."
As the sun disappeared from sight, so did he.
"Spike?" she questioned, the word nothing more than a tiny whimper. She didn't know what to do… Didn't know how to make him stay… Silent tears began to slid down her cheeks as she watched him fade away into darkness… Into nothingness… But just before he slipped from her view, she saw his lips form the words one final time.
'I love you.'


~*~*~*~

Shooting up in bed, Buffy felt her heart racing. Her breathing shallow and ragged, almost… frightened. The darkness consumed her, tugging at her shattered heart. Quickly, she reached over to flick on the light, at the same time, reaching out for him. It was only at that moment that she realized how incredibly alone she was. A sob caught in her throat as her tears began to flow freely. Curling into a tight ball, Buffy cried herself to sleep, just as she had every night for the past two months…

~*~*~*~

"You okay, Buffy?"
It was Willow… Her eyes held a deep concern when she looked up to see her best friend entering the kitchen. Upon noticing Buffy's sad, bloodshot eyes, Willow's concern deepened and her eyes became questioning.
"Oh, uh… Yeah. I'm fine." Buffy lied, glancing uneasily at her friend. No one knew… No one… Somehow, she had just never been able to gather the courage to let them know. Maybe she was still ashamed of her feelings for him. Honestly, even she didn't really buy that… But then why couldn't she confess to them that she had loved him? With all her heart she had loved him… And she wasn't ashamed. That wasn't it… couldn't be… No, she did know. Telling them meant admitting he was gone. It meant letting go. She wasn't ready for that… Not yet. Somewhere deep in her heart, she was still trying desperately to convince herself that any minute now he could walk through that door, just as he always had. If she said it… if she told her friends she had loved him with all her heart and soul… it meant he could never be the first to know. It meant realizing he would never know… Still, didn't they deserve to know? To know that she loved him and missed him with all of her being? It wasn't her place to keep this from them. They needed to know. They had been her closest friends… her family… for so long. Even Dawn didn't have a clue… Well, besides that tiny glimmer of hope she had always held for the Slayer and the vampire. Other than that, though, Buffy's little sister had no idea, and Buffy couldn't figure out why she was incapable of just letting it out and admitting it to them. Was she too afraid? Afraid of losing that last flicker of hope that was slowly being washed away by the ocean of sorrow and remorse she had been drowning herself in for so long. Maybe she was just terrified of reopening that ancient, yet familiar pain she knew all to well… Somewhere deep inside, whether she was willing to admit it to herself or not, she knew that was just it… She was terrified. Scared to death that if she allowed to words to pass through her lips, they would force her into the sudden, harsh realm of reality… He was gone. He was gone, and she was alone… Completely alone…
"Buffy, come on, it's me… It's Willow. I can't stand seeing you like this. Please tell me what it is… Is it Spike? Is that still bothering you?"
Just the sound of his name split her heart straight down the center once more. Fresh tears sprung to her already bloodshot eyes, but she blinked them away before Willow had a chance to notice.
That night she had come home… the night he had gone… everyone had known instantly that things weren't quite right. At first, she had even let it show, how bothered she was by it… They all knew that she and Spike had developed a unique and caring friendship… Whether the Slayer herself was willing to accept it or not. It hurt terribly now to look back on their secret relationship. It tore her up inside… And somehow she felt the everyone knew what had been going on between them. Still, though, there was one other thing she had never told the others… How he had died. That was the worst of it all…


::Flashback::

"Spike!"
As she spun to stake the final vampire, Buffy called out to him. Where was he? It had been awhile since she'd seen him during the fight… In fact, she'd dusted at least 3 vamps since he'd caught her eye. At first, she just figured they had both been too caught up in all the slaying to notice one another, but now… Now, that worry which had been rooted deep inside her was suddenly beginning to break through her cool façade while she fought to keep herself from panicking.
Glancing around frantically, she called his name again, searching… terrified. Then she saw him. There he was, lying motionless on the soft ground of the cemetery, his face pressed into the sharp green blades of torturously health grass. It seemed so surreal, the deathly image that lay spread before her frightened eyes. Still, as her heartbeat quickened, fear washed over her and hot tears sprung to her eyes. Slowly, hesitantly, Buffy approached him. He was lying there, so still… so motionless. Was he unconscious? That must be it. He wasn't dead… He couldn't be. It just wasn't possible. He was already dead. He was immortal. He wasn't dust. He couldn't be dead… Could he?
"Spike?"
Her voice was nothing more than a shallow whisper, saturated with fear and emotion. Carefully, she rolled him over onto his back and her arms remained firmly around him, as if begging his body to respond in some way, any way… She just needed to know that he was okay. Even with all the terror that had manifested itself inside her heart, nothing could ever have prepared her for what met her fear-ridden eyes. Tears began to pour freely over her cheeks as she stared… unbelieving…
"Oh god… No… Please no…"
Her voice shook, as did her hands as she reached out slowly, bringing her fingers to rest gently, tenderly on the wound in his chest.She didn't know how the other vampire had managed to get his hands on the sharp, splintered chunk of wood.Most of them were hardly even willing to get close to one, muchless use it. Right now, though, that didn't matter… What mattered now was Spike. His chest had been punctured, his heart penetrated. A thin track of blood had managed to escape from the corner of his lips and it was beginning to dry… Blood… There was blood everywhere. So much blood… Too much. Why? Why was he bleeding like this? Why wasn't he dust? Why wasn't he moving? None of it made sense…
It was then that she noticed the warmth of his skin, the heat that still radiated from his body. He was warm… What was happening? This wasn't how it was supposed to be. The stake had punctured his heart! He should be nothing more than a pile of dust. Not that it would have made it any less painful for her, but at least it would have been comprehendible… Why was he warm? Why was he bleeding the way he was? He felt… he felt… human?
Pulling his limp body closer to her with shaking arms, Buffy's body was wracked with uncontrollable sobs which could no longer be contained. The blood… There was so much blood… In spite of herself, she checked frantically, hopefully searching for a pulse. She knew there was none. Not because that wasn't the way it was supposed to be… Not because he was a vampire… He wasn't. She didn't know how it was possible, but somehow… Somehow he was hum. Her tears fell harder as she held him tighter, not wanting to let go… unwilling to believe. She hugged him to her as if her will alone could bring him back. Rocking him gently, yet frantically, she buried her face in his neck unsure of what more to do…

::End Flashback::

"Buffy… Buffy?"
Willow's concerned voice broke her from her silent, secret reverie. Startled by the sudden sound, she nearly dropped the coffee mug she held. Her whole body shaking, she set it back on the table, unwilling to risk shattering it, and made her way towards Willow. Quietly, she sighed as she slowly lowered herself into the seat across from the redhead. Running her unsteady hands through her golden blond hair, she blinked back more unwanted tears and hung her head in her hands. Just then, something suddenly came flooding back to her, invading her mind… His words… The words he had spoken to her in the dream…
'Protect him…' Buffy's hand moved to her stomach as she lifted her head, her eyes wide with shocked surprise. 'Love him…'
Suddenly, it was all so clear. Her eyes widened slightly more as she looked up at Willow, the realization sinking in. Her mouth fell open with surprise as her eyes began to glaze over once again.
"Buffy, what's wrong?" Willow's voice held a deep concern as she stared at her best friend, unsure of what to make of it. When Buffy stayed silent, her eyes filled with still more concern. "Buffy?"
Looking up, still in shock, Buffy stuttered the words uneasily…
"I… I think…" For a moment, she paused, drawing a long, deep breathe in order to calm her words. "I think I'm pregnant…"





~*~Right, like we didn't all se that coming… I'm terrible at this kinda thing… LOL… Okay, I'm gonna try to update and post chapter 1 soon… I've got it written up through chapter 6, I just haven't had the chance to type it up… 10th grade's a pain… Anyway, hope ya liked it, and thanks for takin' the time to read it… I really appreciate that.~*~