A/N: This is set in the episode Touched and is dedicated to spike'smate because I've been a terrible updater on my other story. Anyone who is interested though, I'm updating Chosen people don't get to choose in the next week.


Disclaimer: Nope, nothing owned. The song is by Jack Savoretti - Lovely fool.


In the silence of your mind
You should ask yourself

what it is that makes you who you are
In the valley of your soul you should take a walk

but you never go that far

It's strange that I should know you better than you do
You lovely fool
So strange
Everybody sees your light shine through except for you


Gnawing her bottom lip, she took hesitant steps through the deserted street ignoring her surroundings and focusing purely on trying to put as much distant as possible between herself and... Back there.

Her chest tightened causing her heart to almost ache as she recalled the events of the past hour. They had turned against her, all of them had taken their turn to twist the knife they had struck her with, and the worst part was that none of them even seemed remorseful.

Running a hand through her hair, she winced as the final words that had sounded in the argument played in her head. She expected the others to turn, after all, they had all betrayed her before, but the one that surprised her had been Dawn. Her own flesh and blood had been the one who had essentially thrown her from their home.

The girl who she had given her own life for had committed her to death, because that's what this was. Making her leave without weapons and forcing her into the deserted war zone was murder, and that very realisation was causing her to break.

Barely keeping it together she wiped away a tear that had coursed its down the hollow of her cheek. She was just so tired; exhausted from always having to be the strong one when all she wanted to do was give in.

Frowning she thought about it for a moment. What was left for her to fight for? As soon as the question was asked, she had her answer; there was nothing.

Maybe it was time too fall down.

Her pace slowed to a halt as her legs gave way and she fell to her knees. It was as if as soon as her mind had accepted her inevitable fate her body had willingly gone along for the ride. Tears fell now as her last barrier stripped away leaving her bare and the grief slammed into her.

Finally, it was time to rest.


In the window of your past
There's a broken pane reflecting all the things that make you sad
In the shadow of your fear
There's no hiding place so why do you run there

It's strange that I should know you better than you do
You lovely fool
So strange that you should want to live your whole life through
Broken and blue


Minuets passed as she cried away all of the pain that had been threatening to overwhelm her when suddenly cool hands clasped her shoulders and made her jolt backwards in surprise. Tears clouded her vision and she squinted to see who had disturbed her moment.


The whisper of her name falling from those lips had her relaxing instantly and she clasped hold of the arms that reached for her.

"Spike," she let out quietly, looking more lost then he had ever seen her look before.

"Shh love, it's okay."

Leaning forward she clung to him as if he were her lifeline and buried her head in his chest, breathing in his comforting smell.

"Everything's okay," he whispered, burying a hand in her hair and rubbing her back with the other soothingly.

They stayed like that for a while until a noise sounded from down the street.

"We need to get inside." Letting her go, Spike stood and reached down to lift Buffy up into his arms, worrying when she didn't protest but instead leaned her head into his neck.

Making his way to the nearest house he kicked open the front door and entered, finding the stairs to his left. Slowly taking a step at a time, he made sure not to knock her on the corner turn. By now, her tears had subsided and the only proof she was still awake being the slight sound of her sighs.

"Nearly there," he said contemplating the numerous closed doors before him. Making a decision he toed open the first door and frowned when it revealed a bathroom. Thankfully, the next door concealed a bedroom, complete with a four-poster bed.

Once inside he carefully deposited her on the bed and removed his coat, flinging it onto the lone chair in the corner. Turning he went to the window to check for any unwanted attention, closing the blinds when he noted the silence.

"Thank you."

Her whisper caused his hand to freeze on the window, and he looked down, trying to shake off how much her gratitude affected him.

"Anytime," he responded finishing his task and turning back to the room, surprised to find her sitting on the edge of the bed facing him. "You should sleep," he stated.

"Probably," she agreed, wiping the remnants of tears from her eyes. Dropping her arms to rest at her sides, she regarded him thoughtfully for a moment. "You came after me."

"'Course I did."


Raising an eyebrow, he stepped closer to her and looked her in the eye. "You know why." Silence descended over the room as Buffy looked away from his intense gaze causing Spike to become uncomfortable. Clearing his throat he made his way to the door, "right, well I'll be downstairs if you need anythin'."

"They kicked me out."

Hand on the doorknob he halted as she spoke, before turning and nodding, "I know."

"Dawn, she made me go, after everything we've been through she..." trailing off she kept her gaze on the covers of the bed as she picked at a loose thread." I would have done anything to keep her safe and she deserted me," she finished quietly.

"She's scared, they all are." Moving closer to the bed, he continued, "scared people always react badly."

"I get scared sometimes, but I never would've stabbed them in the back."

Taking a seat beside her he smiled shallowly, "not everyone's perfect like you."

Shaking her head she looked away, her voice dropping, "I'm not perfect, I still got those girls killed."

"I didn't see anyone else makin' decisions," he added dryly. "Look, there's always casualties in war; it's the price that has to be paid in order to win."

"Casualties... it's just sounds so... casual," she stated with a frown. Lifting her hand to her forehead, she closed her eyes, "I'm just so tired of it all. No matter how many times we think we've won, someone else comes along and starts killing again. It never stops."

"We can only try," Spike said.

"Maybe I should've tried harder. Giles told me to connect with the girls; make them better fighters, but I knew..." taking in a deep breath she looked at him, tears glistening once again in her eyes. "I knew we'd lose some so I cut myself off. I always cut myself off it's what I do. Slayers always end up alone in the end, so I push people away before I can get close to them, 'cause it hurts too much to see them go later."

"I'm still here," he pointed out quietly.

"You shouldn't be. Not after what I did to you last year."

"People do stupid things when they're in love," he answered with a shrug. Leaning forward with his arms resting on his thighs he clasped his hands together, trying to ignore the quiet that had enveloped them.

"Are you?"

The response surprised him and he turned his head to look at her, "am I what?"

"In love," she asked shyly.

"How can you..."

"Because it's okay if you're not," she blurted out, interrupting him. "I mean after everything we went through I wouldn't be surprised."

"Buffy," he whispered sitting up straight.

Panicking slightly she turned away, "never mind, dumb question."

Slipping onto the floor he turned, and crouched down in front of her, lifting a hand to place on her cheek and forcing her to look at him. "Look at me," he urged finally gaining a response. With a deep breath he began, "I've been alive for over a century and I have never found anyone like you before. Last year we both hurt each other and in a way we came out of it better people, or at least I did. Despite what you might think, I got my soul for you..."


"Let me finish Pet," he said taking hold of her hand. "You're everythin' to me Buffy and it doesn't matter what you do, I am always gonna be here... and I'm always gonna love you."

Seeing her nod and look away, Spike sighed dropping her hand in reluctant acceptance. "I know you don't feel the same, I get that... but it doesn't mean my feelin's are ever gonna change. You're it for me Buffy, you're the one."

"What if I don't want to be the one," she sighed quietly.

Pulling back he shrugged, "I don't want to be this good lookin' or athletic. Some things you don't get to choose."

Smiling she wiped away the stray tears from her eyes, and nodded. "Thank you... for not leaving me."

"Here to stay."

Leaning forward she wrapped her arms around his neck and buried her face into his chest, sighing at the comfort it brought.

Returning the hold Spike closed his eyes at the suddenness of the action. Never in a million years did he think she would have instigated anything like this.

Moments passed as they held onto each other, before Spike slowly pulled back and raised a hand to her cheek. "You need to rest," he whispered, taking note of the exhaustion on her face.

"Will you stay?"

"Yeah. Okay." Moving back, he stood slowly, indicating the chair behind him. "I'll be over there if you need anythin'."

"Actually, could you hold me," she whispered looking down at the sheets and waiting for him to refuse her request.

Shocked was an understatement where he was concerned, but he covered it effectively and nodded. "Sure." Slipping off his shoes, he moved onto the bed and scooted over to the headboard, leaning backwards and waiting for her to settle herself against him.

Buffy removed her boots quickly and made her way over to him. Placing herself into his side, she rested her head on his chest and wrapped an arm across his stomach, relaxing as his arms encircled her.

Laying there in the stillness of the room, and within the comfort of the vampire who loved her, she realised earlier she had been wrong. This was the place she could rest, and slowly as the time passed, she could feel her strength returning. This was not the end of her fight.

She could do this, and the only person she needed by her side was him.

Realisation slowly dawned on her and lifting her head from his chest, she leaned up and kissed him gently on his lips, revelling in the shocked look on his face as she pulled back.

"What was that for?" He asked quietly.

Smiling she repeated her actions and then laid her head back on his chest, "I was wrong last year."


Snuggling into him more, she nodded and finished her statement, "I can love you."

Her eyes closed and she drifted off missing the look on his face as her words registered. Smiling to himself, he pressed a kiss to her hair and closed his eyes as well, following her into slumber.

And with that, they both rested.


You're a martyr for the cause but what the cause is
I'm not sure
I'm sure it ends with no applause except for yours

In the church along my dreams I'll say a prayer
That one day you'll believe

It's strange that I should know you better than you do
You lovely fool
So strange
Everybody sees your light shine through except for you
You lovely fool


A/N: Let me know what you think.