A/N: For anyone waiting for an update on 'Chosen people don't get to choose', it will happen but I just decided to re-write the previous chapters because the writing was shocking. Give me one more week and hopefully we'll have a new chapter.

Anyway...

Here is a one-shot set in the episode 'Get it done'.

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Nothing but a computer. The song is 'I still lost' by Dommin.

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I've lost you now I don't intend to
Fight a war I'll never win

Love, Trust
Crushed to Dust
And I gave you everything that I had
And I STILL LOST

"""""""

The back door slammed closed and everyone looked up as Buffy entered the lounge with the shovel dragging along on the floor behind her. The tight grip she had on the handle was causing her knuckles to whiten and the group quietened as she came to a halt before them.

Keeping her head down for the moment she bit her lip as she contemplated her next move; the exhaustion was making her bones ache, but sleep was the furthest thing from her mind. Instead, all she could feel was anger; at the girl she had just buried, at herself and at them.

She was the one with the destiny, the one who was born to save the world by killing the evil that walked its surface and nowhere in her job description did it mention she had to bury the innocent who were taken too soon.

The fact that she had to claw her way from her own grave still weighed heavily on her soul and she could not believe no-one else had offered to bury the girl, especially when it was her friends who were too blame for that particular fear she had picked up.

Instead they all seemed intent on sitting back and watching as she dug through layers of soil to form a hole for the fallen. Hell, they seemed to be letting her do everything else as well; they had obviously not gotten the point that they were all at war.

But no more. This lack of input ended tonight. It was finally time they were shown some hard truths, because frankly, she was pissed.

"Is everyone here?"

"All accounted for," Kennedy answered.

"Good." Lifting her head she rolled her neck to prepare herself for the struggle she was about to face, because if there was one thing she knew about her friends it was this... they hated being shown the truth. "Anyone want to say a few words for Chloe?" A frown settled on her face for the second time as she was met with a stony silence. The lack of suggestions caused her mood to worsen and she clenched her free hand tightly. Fine. If they didn't want to make this easy then she could do this the hard way. "Let me," she stated, moving further into the room. "Chloe was an idiot. She was weak. And anybody in a rush to be the next dead body I bury, it's easy. Just think of Chloe and do what she did. Only please, don't use my house to be the place you do it."

"Buffy," Giles warned as he took in the shocked faces of the young potentials.

"I'll find room for you," she added, purposely ignoring her former watcher. "Next to her and Annabelle. There's room." The matter-of-fact way she spoke had trapped everyone's attention meaning that when she threw down the shovel, the noise caused people to jump. "I'm the Slayer. The one with the power and what am I doing? The First has me using that power to dig our graves. I've been carrying you, all of you. Too far, too long." Placing her hands on her hips, she moved a furious gaze around each of the room's occupants before finishing, "rides over."

"You're out of line," Kennedy cried, jumping up from her place on the couch.

"No she's not," Willow sighed.

Turning a shocked look to the redhead beside her, the Potential pointed towards Buffy. "You gonna let her talk to you like that? Willow she's not even the most powerful one in this room. With you here she's not even close."

Silencing Kennedy with a glare, Buffy stepped forward slowly causing the girl to take her seat. "Don't push me."

"You're being unfair," she argued.

"No I'm really not. Now I'm gonna let the fact that you don't get it slide, because you're new here."

"But..."

"I said I'd let it slide, but only once," The Slayer warned. "And you're wrong, because I use the power I have. The rest of you are all just waiting for me."

"Well yeah, but only because you kinda told us to," Xander answered from the chair. "You're our leader Buffy. As in 'follow the'."

"Well from now on I'm your leader as in 'do as I say'."

"Whoa. But let's not forget we're also your friends."

"I'm not," Anya stated bluntly.

"Then why are you here?" Buffy questioned, swinging towards the ex-demon. "Aside from getting rescued, what is it you do?"

"I provide much needed sarcasm."

Clearing his throat Xander raised a hand to gain the pairs attention. "Erm, that would be my job actually."

Rolling her eyes Buffy shook her head, "you're here because you're scared."

"Yeah. But the same goes for everyone in this room."

"Fine," she cried at Xanders answer. "Anya, all of you... be as scared as you like. Just be useful while you're at it."

"Come on Buffy," Willow tried as she stood from the couch. "You know everyone's doing everything they can."

"Are they?" She asked. "Well the First isn't impressed. It already knows us. It knows what we can do and it's laughing."

"Buffy," the Wicca began only to be cut off.

"You want to surprise an enemy. Surprise yourselves. Force yourselves to do what can't be done or else we are not an army." Anger seeped from her and she kicked the empty shovel across the room to clatter against the fireplace. Ignoring the sounds of protest she continued, "listen to me. We are dying out there. And more of us will be joining Annabelle and Chloe, because right now we are just a bunch of girls waiting around to be picked off." Breathing deeply she lowered her voice causing a chill to creep around the room as her words aired. "I've already been buried once and I am not going back there because you lot can't do your jobs."

Movement from the other side of the room caused her to turn and glare at the retreating figure. "Where are you going?"

Looking over his shoulder Spike raised an eyebrow at her question. "Why do you care?"

"I don't," she answered, giving a nonchalant shrug for effect. "I'd just like to know."

"Out." As she gave him a pointed look indicating he should elaborate, he sighed, "seeing as I'm neither a girl nor in waiting all this speechifying doesn't really apply to me. Does it?"

"Fine."

Watching him nod and continue on his way she tapped her foot and willed herself not to follow him but unfortunately her mouth opened to call after him before she could stop it. "Take a cell phone. That way if I need someone to get weepy or whaled on I can call you." It had the desired effect as he turned once more and gave her a small glare.

"If you've got somethin' to say."

"Just said it," she answered, making her way towards him. She could feel all her anger shifting to him, and she was powerless to stop herself from focusing on him. "You keep holding back, you might as well walk out that door."

"You're blind. "I've been here. Right in. Fightin', scrappin."

"Since you got your soul."

"I've always been here. I've always had your back," he stated, dropping his shoulders in confusion.

"Really?" She asked.

"When haven't I been here?"

"I don't remember seeing you around when Willow went all crazy."

"What?"

"You left when I... we," she amended, "needed you."

"I couldn't stay. Not after..." He started, before trailing off with a small shake of his head.

"You didn't try," she argued. "You're like them lot. You're only here, because you've got nowhere else to go."

The hurt was evident on his face and something lurched in her chest almost causing her to apologise, but the anger she was feeling was still to powerful, and it drove her on. "I get that you got your soul, and that it hurts. I do. But it makes you a worse fighter."

"Well I don't quite relish the kill like I used to," he replied, trying to ignore the other part of her statement.

"You were useful then."

"I thought I was convenient," he spat out, becoming annoyed with her. Before she could answer he continued, his voice raising, "the soul. The changes. It's what you wanted. I did this for you."

"I never asked you to," she tried, realising how ridiculous it sounded, and trying not to roll her eyes..

"Really. Evil, disgustin', soulless thing doesn't ring any bells."

"I-"

"Oh no Luv, I've listened to your little speech, I think it's time for my turn." Stepping forward he invaded her personal space, and sneered. "You reckon I'm a worse fighter, but I'm sorry to say that maybe you need to own up to the fact that this," waving a hand in the air for emphasis, he continued, "all this... is your fault."

"They are not my fault," she answered, nodding to her friends.

"I'm not talkin' about them Slayer." Running his hand through his gelled hair, he let out an angry breath. "I loved you, and last year you used that to hurt me. I know that nothin' you did can condone me attackin' you, but still... you have to realise that I may have left because of what I did, but you pushed me as well."

"I never forced you to go."

"Didn't have to. But you were always tryin' to get me to leave. You can't be mad at me for goin'."

"Why not," she replied pushing him away from her, so he stumbled back. "You're the one who was always telling me you would stay around, and unlike everyone else, I finally started to believe you. But then you ran away."

"I tried to rape you," he shouted.

Closing her eyes as the gasps sounded from his outburst, she breathed in deeply before gazing at him. "I'm not doing this with you." Realising that she was letting out more then she intended she turned her head away once more to address her sister. "Dawn, can you get the poten-." Hands grabbing her arms and swinging her around cut her off, and she stumbled slightly as she was made to face a furious vampire.

"I'm the one who runs. What about you? You've never faced anythin' when it comes to me."

Glaring at him, she tried to shake him off, but his grip was too tight. "You know you're really starting to piss me off Spike."

"Oh I'm pissin' you off." Pulling her closer to his body, he stared at her. "Tell me Slayer, what is it you really want? 'Cause I know you, and if you really wanted an argument with me, you'd have hit me by now."

"Maybe I don't want to hit you." Cringing as she noted the slight shake in her voice, she tried to calm her erratic heartbeat.

"So what is this then? Some kind of new round of 'kick the Spike'."

"You started this."

"What? You were the one who wouldn't let me leave."

"I never said you couldn't go. I just wanted to know where," she argued.

"Why. It's not like you care about me."

Sighing she looked away from him, but a small shake brought her gaze back to his. "I do care okay. Now let me go."

Dropping his hands from her arms, he gave her an aggravated look. "Big boy now Luv. I think I can go out in the dark."

"Well I'd rather you didn't." With that admission, she crossed her arms around her middle and turned away to walk from the room. Feeling a hand on her arm once more, she span around. "Would you stop that?"

"Well quit tryin' to leave."

Clenching her jaw, she threw her arms up in the air, and shouted at him. "Fine. What do you want?"

"I want to know why you won't let me leave," he answered just as loud.

"Because I can't protect you out there."

"What?" He whispered, reeling back.

Realising what she had said she blushed and dropped her shoulders defeated. It seemed he had won and she was finally going to explain something to him. Damn. "I," she tried, before words seemed to leave her.

"Buffy," he urged, stepping towards her once more.

"I can't." She wanted to tell him, she really did. But something deep down was stopping her, and it meant she had to close off once more.

"What do you mean 'you can't'?"

"I can't okay. Just drop it."

"Fine. I'm out of here."

Spinning on his heel, she was helpless to watch as he moved away from her and towards the front door. Gnawing on her bottom lip she looked after him helplessly and stepped forward.

"Let him go," Giles said quietly.

"No." Decision made she raced after Spike and caught him by the door, using a hand on his arm to stop him.

"Buffy I'm tired," he uttered, slumping his shoulders. "I can't do this anymore okay. I got my soul for you and I just found out you hate it."

"I don't hate it," she whispered, unheard.

"It's funny really," he continued, with a humourless chuckle. "All these years I've tried to be someone you could finally let in, and getting my soul just made me realise, that no matter what I do. It's not enough."

"Spike..."

"It's a game to you Buffy," he said, with a disappointed shake of his head. "And whatever I do. I still lose."

"Stop it," she cried, flinging a hand out to smack against the door and cracking the wood as she did so. "Would you just stop?"

"What do you want from me Buffy?" He whispered, defeated.

"Nothing." Running her hand through her hair she looked away, "I just want you safe okay. You got taken a few weeks ago and I can't go through that again, so I just need you to stay inside."

Turning a gaze to him, she felt her heart lurch as he continued to stare at the door. The heartbreak was etched into his features and she felt the final wall around her heart crumble as she finally let him hear her pain. "Did I ever say I was sorry?" She blurted out suddenly.

Not getting an answer she nodded uncomfortably, "'course not. Well I am. I'm so sorry Spike, for last year, this year. Everything really." Placing a hand on his arm, she willed him to look at her but he continued to keep his gaze on the door. "I treated you like crap, and you didn't deserve it. I just... I couldn't feel anything last year apart from when I was with you. And that scared me. So I pushed you away, because I couldn't let myself care."

With a small sigh, she trailed her hand down his arm to take hold of his fingers. "Can you please look at me?" As his eyes met hers, she continued. "The fact that you got your soul is amazing and I could never hate it. But..." Words left her as she faltered and was now the one to look away.

"Buffy," he whispered reaching up to place his free hand hesitantly on her cheek.

Leaning into him for a moment she choked out a small sob and pulled back, wincing at his hurt look. Looking down she gnawed her lip for a moment before finally forcing herself to confess what she had held in for months. "You were right that night. I did care. Which is why you having your soul is killing me?"

"Wh-."

Holding a hand up to cut him off she continued, "I meant what I said earlier. I can see how much having your soul hurts you. And seeing you everyday in pain makes me feel guilty. It feels like it's choking me, because I did that. I'm the reason you're being tortured, and the thing is... you didn't need to get it. I already trusted you... I already cared for you... and I'm just... so... sorry."

The barrier finally broke after years of being carefully crafted and a sob escaped her closed lips as she lifted a hand to her mouth. Lone tears began to slowly break free from her eyes and make their way down the hollows of her cheeks as she shook with the force of the emotion. Closing her eyes, she ignored the sounds of the gasps behind her as she wept for the man who she had dragged down to hell with her.

Suddenly strong arms wrapped around her and pulled her into a comforting embrace, concealing her from suspicious looks and allowing her the time to break down.

"Shh," he soothed, stroking her hair gently.

Taking in deep, hesitant breaths she let the soothing feel of his hand in her hair gently calm her down as she breathed in his smell, burying her head in his neck. "I'm sorry," she whispered, once more.

"Let's get you upstairs."

Nodding, she sighed as he lifted her up into his arms and began to mount the staircase, giving into the exhaustion she had been feeling for weeks. Closing her eyes, she focused on trying to control her emotions, finally succeeding in stopping the tears.

The journey was short as her back soon met the comfortable mattress of her bed, leaving her to whimper as his arms left her body. Reaching out quickly she grabbed hold of him and opened her eyes to glance into his gaze.

"You need to rest," he stated.

"I know. It's just... Stay," she whispered. Noticing his worried look, she gripped him tighter, "please."

"Okay." Removing his jacket, he threw it onto the chair in the corner and closed the door, before turning and making his way to bed, sitting down gently.

Waiting for him to remove his boots and then settle back into the cushions, she took off her own shoes and moved up the bed to lie next to him. "Could you hold me," she whispered, once more.

"You sure," he asked, raising an uncertain eyebrow.

"Yeah." Turning onto her side, she shifted into his now open arms and laid her head onto his chest, sighing softly as she relaxed into his hold.

"You a bit better now," he said gently after a few minutes had passed. Feeling her nod, he relaxed as well, tightening his hold on her. "Good."

"Spike," she muttered, as she realised he was about to reprimand her.

"Listen a sec." Taking in an unneeded breath, he closed his eyes and laid his head back. "I love you okay."

"I know," she whispered, fighting the smile that was straining to show on her face. She hadn't realised how much she loved hearing his words of affection until he had gone.

"It doesn't matter what the run up to me gettin' a soul was, all that matters is that I wouldn't change the fact that I have it. And you shouldn't feel guilty about last year, 'cause we were both as bad as each other."

Opening her mouth to argue, he cut her off, "okay".

"Okay," she answered, defeated. "I'm still sorry."

"I'm sorry too."

"You don't have to be."

"I still hurt you Buffy. And you were right; I broke my promise to never leave you. But I had to go. All I can do is swear that it won't happen again."

"I believe you," she whispered, opening her hand to lie flat out over his heart.

"Good. Now go to sleep."

Knowing that he wasn't going to let her say anything else she succumbed to the exhaustion and her eyes drifted close. Just before sleep claimed her, she sighed and let out a small declaration of her own. "I think I could love you," she whispered.

"I'll be here when you finally do," he answered, shifting slightly and lifting the hand she had on his chest to clutch at her fingers.

And as she finally drifted into a peaceful slumber, a small smile found its way onto her lips, because at last she knew that no matter what... she would always have him.

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Let me know what you think. Thank you.