Disclaimer: It's not mine… Well, the story is, but the characters aren't…

Summary: Okay, this one's a little difficult to summarize, so bear with me... Somehow Spike was turned human. He's killed before anybody realizes it. Buffy... Well, if ya wanna know what happens to Buffy, you'll have to read... I'm not gonna give it *all* away...

Spoilers: None, really…

Rating: PG-13

Author's Notes: Hey look, it's chapter 3!!! I was home from school sick for 3 days this week, so I had a little time on my hands… Plus, "Lessons" made for some major inspiration… Okay, I'm just curious… Who else here was excessively happy when Buffy called Spike a hottie? Oh, and did ya hear how she said she was the one who "dated dead guys"? Dude, I flipped out… I swear to you, I started giggling like an idiot, and my mom's sitting next to me, asking the stupidest questions she could ever possibly think up, and she thought I'd gone insane… It was great… Except for the fact that she refused to shut up through the whole damn thing, and I was stuck explaining every tiny little detail through the entire episode. I mean, she knew we were gonna be watching it every morning for the next week… Anyway, I'm done babbling now… Thanks for your reviews, by the way…

Distribution: If ya want it, take it, just give me credit… And, if ya could, let me know where it's going.

Feedback: You can send it to brock3005@aol.com or otownfan1520@yahoo.com.


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Chapter 2:




"Where do you think she could be?"

It was obvious that Willow was more than just a little concerned. Buffy had left just a little after noon that morning, and sunset had already come and gone. There was no way Buffy would've gone out and stayed away for that long, had nothing happened. Since she'd given birth to Will, the Slayer hadn't let her son out of her sight for more than an hour at a time… And even then, she'd only been in the next room. Never once had she left the house without him and stayed away anywhere near as long as she had been gone this time… Everyone was worried. She could see it. And they had every right to be.

"I'm sure she just went out for a little Buffy time. She hasn't had a second to herself in months." Xander replied, shrugging it off as best he could… It wasn't working and he knew it. They were all worried… Not to mention confused. "What'd you think it is that's been bothering her so much."

"I don't know. She's been really down lately. Worse even than when we brought her back… Which is pretty bad. I think it might have something to do with Spike, though." Willow was tracing the top of her coffee mug with her index finger, her expression contemplating. "She was really hurt by it, ya know? I mean, I get why you're trying to avoid it and all, it's just… Maybe you should try not talk down on him when she's around. You're always making cracks about how he was evil and bad and a killer… It may be true, but I don't think she saw him that way, Xander. He did more to help her through the whole resurrection thing than any of us ever even tried to. I think maybe she saw the man behind the monster… And I think that's what hurt her. Losing him. Maybe if you'd stop with all the barbs it would help to get her back into the swing of things. Ya know, help her be a better mom; a better Slayer… A better Buffy."

"I rather think Willow may be right…" Giles agreed, stepping into the conversation. "It does seem as though Buffy was able to see through the demon Spike had become and she started to recognize the man within. And he did mean something to her. I believe he always has."

"Why am I the only one here who gets the fact that Spike wasn't a man. He was evil, soulless, a killer… There was no man in there. And now he's gone. We're all the better for it."

His voice spit venom and Dawn wanted nothing more than to gouge out his eyes and shove them down his throat. Unfortunately, she had William in her arms, and she was quite sure that would've been a scene that would've damaged her nephew for life. She'd been seated at the table, beside Willow, through the entire conversation, and Xander was really starting to piss her off…

And apparently William wasn't all too happy about it either because it didn't take long for the child to start wailing at the top of his lungs. Dawn wasn't exactly sure why he was so unsettled. There seemed to be some sort of reason for his sudden outburst, but she didn't know what it could be. She just assumed he'd felt the tension in the room, or it was possible that the tone in Xander's voice had been just hostile enough to shake him up a bit. All Dawn could do was turn her attention back to the baby in her arms. If she were to say anything in those moments, she was sure she would've exploded and William hated yelling. It scared him… There was a lot that scared him, actually. And really, Dawn couldn't say that she was surprised. They did live on the hell mouth, after all…

"Xander, please stop." Dawn begged as she rocked William gently. "You're upsetting him. Could we just save this till later? If he gets all worked up now, he'll never get to sleep. So lets just hold off for a bit… Deal?"

"Whatever." Xander shook his head, his anger about reaching the breaking point. The 'man' in question had hurt the people he loved… More than once, in fact. He wasn't about to just let that go. Spike was evil. He always had been, and he always would be. A couple of noble deeds didn't tip the scale. Maybe if he'd been a fledgling or something it'd be different… But that wasn't the case. Spike was a master vampire. One of the most feared monsters to ever walk the earth. Spike, William the Bloody, Scourge of Europe, the Big Bad, Slayer of Slayers… He'd killed hundreds upon thousand of people in his time, and Xander wasn't about to let anyone forget about it. "No, ya know what? I'm not gonna stop. How can I? What are you people? Blind? The guy was a murderer! A vampire! Why is it that nobody but me sees that just because he helped us out a couple times, that doesn't make him part of the team?! It doesn't make him good, or noble, or anything other than evil!"

William's sobs grew louder and Dawn hugged him closer to her. "Yes it does." Dawn stated firmly, though her voice was quiet as she tried her best sooth the child in her arms; her hand rubbing in strong, comforting circles on his back. "It makes him better than any of us could ever be. Spike, the big bad vampire overcame his nature; his instinct… Why? Because he loved my sister. He loved her and he would die before he hurt her. He let Glory torture him for hours, and if you guys hadn't shown up when you had, he would've let her kill him. All to protect me and my sister. And then, when she died… When we all saw her lifeless body lying there on the ground… Which one of us was the first to break down? Spike. He didn't care that we all saw him. He didn't care that he was supposed to be thrilled that she was finally dead. All he could feel was the pain. The very same pain we all felt. And after that, he took care of me. He took care of me, and he made sure that nothing ever happened to any of you. All because he felt like he'd let her down that night at the tower. All because he wasn't willing to break that promise again. We all know he would've welcomed the sun, had he not needed to keep that promise for her… He died to keep her safe… Gave his life to keep her out of harms way… Because he loved her."

Tears were streaming down Dawn's cheeks, and William was still crying; though he had calmed a bit. Xander remained silent. Willow wanted to strangle him for doing that to them. Dawn, too, had been hit hard by Spike's death. It had torn her up inside, and Willow knew it… But Dawn had been doing her best to hide it. Willow knew that the girl was just trying to be strong for her sister. If the both of them had slipped into that same state of depression which Buffy had been floating back and forth from for the past eight months, they probably wouldn't have made it through.

"Listen, guys, I told Laura I'd stay over at her place tonight, and I've kinda gotta get going. I told her I'd be there by eight." Dawn told them as she handed William, who was finally starting to settle, over to Willow. It was only a little after seven, and Laura's house was just down the street, but she really needed to get out of there.

"Would you like me to drive, Dawn?" Giles offered, his eyes apologetic. He had never been Spike's biggest fan, but after Buffy had died and he had seen Spike's breakdown, his opinion had been vastly altered. Instead of seeing the vampire as an evil, soulless thing, he had begun to see him as nothing more than a man in love… A man who had fought the odds and come out on top. On the side of good. Spike deserved something for that… Something that was a lot more than what Xander was offering.

"Nah, it's alright. I'm good." she replied, grabbing her jacket and then moving back to Willow's side. Resting a hand on the child's cheek, she leaned down to place a gentle kiss on his forehead. Once she had straightened back up, she didn't make a move to leave. Instead she just stood staring down at him thoughtfully, her finger now clutched firmly in his tiny hand. "Ya know, he actually looks a lot like Spike."

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Buffy wandered aimlessly through one of Sunnydale's many cemeteries; twirling her stake in one hand, almost unaware of the action. Once again, she was lost in deep thought. Just as she had been for weeks. There was so much going on in her mind… So much she couldn't explain. She needed to find some answers. The dreams had been driving her crazy. They weren't just typical dreams. He was trying to contact her. She could feel it. But why?

Tonight she hadn't exactly come to the cemetery for a usual round of patrolling. She was looking for someone… Anyone who could give her some answers. Actually, she didn't know why she was there… Or why it had to be this night… All she knew was that she had a feeling. She didn't know what it meant, or why it was there, but she felt it. It was that feeling that had driven her there… Dragged her tired body from the comfort of her home and through dozens of demon haunts and cemeteries. She had to find someone, anyone who could put to rest some of the haunting questions that plagued her troubled mind. Only problem was, she no longer knew who to turn to… Who was there now? For so long Spike had been the one she'd turned to. Her informant; her colleague… Her friend. Hell, he'd even been her lover. Now he wasn't there, and she was lost… It was all so strange without him there beside her; helping her… Loving her.

She had to figure out what was going on. Why was he trying to contact her? What was he trying to tell her? She needed to know…

Sighing deeply, Buffy dropped down onto one of the gravestones. There was nothing here tonight. No vampires, no demons… No one who could help her sort things out. In the very least, she'd been hoping for something, anything that could take her mind off of her constant thoughts of Spike.

Normally, a quiet night in the Sunnydale cemetery would've thrilled her, but not now… Not tonight. Not with her mind constantly finding it's way back to him. Why was there nothing to do? Nothing to slay? That really would've been nice. A distraction… A wonderfully evil distraction. Slaying could clear her head; stop her from thinking… Even if it was only for a little while. She needed that now… Needed to be free of her thoughts for just a little while. Every time she thought of him, her heart would split in two, and he was all she could think about.

Again, a sigh escaped her lips; this time sad and drawn out rather than frustrated. Sitting there, alone in the cemetery, she began to realize just how incredibly exhausted she truly was. If only there was a fight to be had… Some sort of evil to sort out. But there was nothing. And in those moments, she was missing him more than ever…

And there were the thoughts again. The constant, non-stop memories of the love she had once known, but had never allowed herself to admit to… Until it was too late. And now she was left regretting her actions. He had been so incredible… Everything about him was amazing… And it was exactly that fact that made her miss him more than anything.

All she really wanted were answers, but as the minutes ticked by, she began to realize that she wasn't going to get them… Not tonight anyway. And William was at home waiting for her. He needed her, and right now, she needed him just as much. He was her son… Their son. Their miracle. And now, with his father gone, William was her life.

Besides, she was tired and she really needed to get home and get some serious rest. But then, she knew that it never meant ridding her mind of him… Not even for the slightest fraction of a second. Then again, maybe she really didn't want it to stop… No, she knew she didn't. If she stopped thinking about him… even for a moment… She was afraid that she'd begin to forget. The thought terrified her. She needed to remember everything. Every last memory she had of him… Every memory she'd made with him…

She loved him. She needed him. And she couldn't lose him… Not now, not ever…

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Important Note: This will be the last story I ever post on ff.net… I'll probably take the time to add one final chapter to Always Consequences, but when that's done, I won't be back… At least not until there're some changes made to this site. Though I don't typically read it, aside from a few choice, well written stories with well developed plots, I'm outraged by the removal of NC-17 material. It's not fair to the authors of these stories… They have just as much right as everyone else to have their work read. Not to mention the removal of the musical group fics, of which I myself write… As of now, I'm in the process of moving my works to Buffy/Spike Central, so if you're still interested in reading them, that's where they'll be. Oh, and they're under the penname Lissa. Also, if I ever get any members, I'll be sending them out on my yahoo group. If anyone's interested in that, the link's in my ff.net profile, and I'll put it in below as well. Sorry to inconvenience you…

~*~Melissa~*~

K.T.B.S.P.A.

Buffy/Spike central: http://cgi.carnal-sins.net/bscentral/

My yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/everynight/