a/n This takes place in season five. Dawn however is not a teenager/Buffy's little sister. She is a baby. You'll get the whole story in the story I'm not going to spoil it here. But i will say that at the start of this story Riley has already left and Spike confessed his feelings to Buffy, Joyce is already sick. The story wont be exactly in cannon with the season and things will be different but it will follow the major plot points, i.e. Joyce dying, Tara going crazy ectr. Bellavision gave me this idea so on behalf of both of us please take ten seconds to comment. Do you like the story? why, why not? What would you change? What would you like to see? What are your ideas? How could the charaters be portrayed better? We (being me) want to hear from you. so enjoy!

Disclaimer: Do I look rich? of course I dont own this. duh...

Chapter One,

Buffy patrolled the graveyard as she did almost every night. Ever sense Riley left, Spike confessed his love for her, her mom got sick and this new big bad Glory came to town patrolling became more than a job. Normal people went to therapy when their lives got hard; the Slayer wandered graveyards and killed bad guys. It's a different mindset.

Buffy looked at the list of paper Giles gave her. Five people had been buried recently, three dying from traumatic neck wounds. She'd told Giles she'd stop by them. Heading to the first grave she saw a fledgling vamp slowly fighting his way out of the grave. Not pausing to give him a thought she quickly dusted him and continued to the second grave. Here she had to wait a few moments before the expected happened. Feeling frustrated Buffy waited for this one to climb all the way out, she even gave him a few moments to orientate himself before speaking up.

"Excuse me, over here!" Buffy called out gaining his attention.

He spun around, "Food, your food." His face immediately shifted to fangs and vampyness.

"Well I'm Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. You are," She paused to quickly glance down at her list, "Gerald… wow you parents really hated you, the vampire."

The vampire named Gerald looked confused for a moment. Buffy staged whispered to him "This is where we fight."

Gerald let out a feral sounding roar and charged Buffy. She easily sidestepped and he swung around to face her again.

"Oh come on, a charge? When has that ever worked in a real fight?" Buffy piped.

With another feral roar Gerald went in for a second charge.

"Ok that didn't work the first time. Do you really think it's gonna work the second? Hmm… thought not." Buffy buried her stake deep in to the vampire heart. As the dust blew away Buffy sighed and resumed her confused train of thoughts.

Riley had left almost a month ago. Two weeks after Spike confessed his supposed love for her. Buffy had professed disgust and started to avoid him. She refused to admit even to herself that she remembered from time to time when Willow's spell had caused them to become engaged. She had told Willow it was awful, that they only fought and still hated each other. She lied.

Yes it was horrible. Yes they did mostly fight but there were other parts to. How he seemed genuinely concerned about Giles. Even the fights were different, less hate, more heat. She would never tell anyone but even after the spell wore off she had to fight to stop herself from comparing Spikes passionate lust filled kisses to Riley's carefully controlled yet hurried kisses. If Buffy felt like being completely honest with herself sometimes Spike seemed to get more about slaying than her friends. Even Giles. He understood what it meant to deal with death every night. To have that power, that responsibility. Spike was a demon, he was able to throw away the responsibility of death and give himself over to the kill. It didn't matter that they killed, hunted even, different creatures. Him humans, her demons and vampires. They both felt the thrill of the hunt. Not that Spike did much of hunting anymore, not with his chip in.

Buffy's train of thought continued down this uncomfortable path. Being even more honest with herself Spike was actually pleasant to be around at times. She enjoyed his sense of humor and it was great to have him at her side during a fight.

For the hundredth time sense his confession Buffy's mind made a mental pro-con list. She remembered when chip less Spike helped her save the world. She also remembered him kidnapping her best friends to force Willow to make a love spell so he could force Drusilla to love him again. Spike had tried to kill her multiple times and she has done the same for him. He also sat on her porch and comforted her when the stress became too much. Patrolled by her side and watched her back.

The biggest thing that weighs on her mind is how can Spike love her without a soul? Angel loved her like she had never been loved. What they felt for each other was the stuff stories were written about, or at least that's what it felt like. Yet the minuet his soul was taken he wanted nothing than to kill her, punish her for making him feel. Spike couldn't love her, he was a demon, a demon without a soul is incapable is love.

Buffy neared the final grave Giles gave her to check. Determined to put every thought of Spike out of her head she looked forward to a second fight for the night. Maybe if she finished early she would do a sweep in the cemetery across town. Unfortunately as if summoned by her conflicting thoughts Spike sat on the tombstone. Twirling a wooden stake in his hand.

"Sorry luv, waited for you to take 'im but you didn't show." Spike flashed her a smirk.

"What are you doing here?" Buffy demanded. "Don't you have some blood bank to rob?"

"No actually I wanted to see if you wanted to hit the cemetery on the other side of town, grab a drink after? What do you say pet?"

"Can't Spike. I was gonna get this one and head home. Mom needs help. She's getting ready for her surgery." Buffy sighed, what she said was true, but she had really wanted to do a little extra patrol tonight.

"Need help? I can come by and give a 'and."

"Spike stop, stop right now. You can't keep doing this. Showing up at my house, offering help, following me on patrol. You have to stop. I have no idea why the hell your doing this but it has to stop." Something inside of Buffy snapped. All of her frustrated mixed up thoughts boiled out.

"Pet, you know why I do it. I told you after Capn' Cardboard left. He's a prat, I love you, end of story."

"No you don't Spike. You're a demon! You can't love! Not truly love. You can lust and maybe on some level you can care but you can't love Spike. You don't have a soul, how can you truly love?"

Spike light up a cigarette and hopped off his tombstone perch. He slowly moved toward her, his usual confident swagger emphasizing every step. "I don't know pet, how's bout you and me find out?" His eyes slowly ran across her body.

Desire coursed through Buffy's body as for a moment she almost gave into her hidden fantasies. She started to pull back unsure on whether or not she should just for once let go. Sensing her hesitation Spike stepped closer, closing the small space between them. Just as she was about to give in, let go of her inhibitions and just feel, one of the strangest things on a long list of strange things happened.

Spike disappeared. One moment he was in front of her, leaning down to kiss her again, this time without the influence of a spell, and the second he was gone. Disappeared into thin air. Not he ran away disappeared but gone with no explanation disappeared.