Xander watched the four girls talking by the cash register with more than a little suspicion. Something was going on, he didn't know what, well he was pretty sure it had something to do with Willow and Spike and the nightmares he'd been having, but he couldn't be sure. They were talking and kept glancing over at him and laughing. The basement door opened and Spike walked in passing him without saying anything and going over to the girls joining in there conversation easily.

Xander continued to watch as Spike wrapped one arm around Willow's waist as he glanced over at Xander and smirked. Xander couldn't shake the feeling this was something he should already know about. ~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!

"We really should tell him." Anya said waving at Xander when she saw him watching them again.

"She's right Will." Buffy said, "Eventually it'll all come back to him anyway. He can't repress forever."

Dawn and Anya started giggling again at the image Willow had given them of Xander the night he showed up at the house.

"I know but he is so not going to take this well at all." Willow said.

"I'll tell him." Spike said turning to go talk to Xander.

"No." All four girls shouted at once as Willow and Dawn grabbed his arm pulling him back over.

"You can't tell him." Dawn said, "Willow needs to."

"Why?" Spike said.

"Uh, you can't fight back and he'll stake you." Buffy suggested. "He really hates you Spike."

"And it'll upset him even more coming from you." Anya said.

"Take all my fun." Spike said faking a pout. "So tell him then Red."

"Couldn't we let him live in his little fantasy world for a while longer. Why put him through the trauma again." Willow suggested hopefully. ~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"Xander we need to talk." Willow said approaching the table where Xander had been pretending to read a magazine.

"Sure about what?" Xander said pushing back the part of him that didn't want to hear whatever it was she was going to say.

"Spike." She said sitting down next to him. "And you're not going to like it."

"I never like talking about Spike." Xander said smiling. "Do we have to talk about him. I have this belief that maybe if we don't talk about him he might go away."

"Well see that's the problem Xander." Willow said, "I don't want him to go away."

"Uh." Xander said fidgeting with anything in his reach now really sure he didn't want to hear this. "Will I don't think I want to."

"I know you don't want to know this." Willow said glancing back at the four people watching and smiling from the counter. "That's why it was so easy to convince you that you didn't see anything."

"See what?" Xander said as his mind started to flood with images he had convinced himself were only nightmares.

"Think back a few weeks, you came over late one night. You saw Spike on the couch and me." Willow began to explain.

"Right Dawn saw something outside and wanted him to stay until Buffy."

"Xander what did you see in the window that night?" Willow said quietly trying to force her friends memory.

"You were watching a movie." Xander said nervously still trying to block the images of that night.

"Xander think about it for minute is that what you really saw?" Willow prompted.

"Will I think it's better if I just continue to believe I saw you watching a movie." Xander said, "We'll all be happier that way."

"I don't think." Willow began as Xander began to shake his head, "Xander I'm not going to hide anymore. I can't make you face it but I love Spike and I'm not going to hide it."

"Whatever Will." Xander said beginning to pace. "I just don't want to think about you and."

"Spike. And Eventually you'll have too." Willow said getting up. "Everyone else has so will you."

"I don't have to like it." Xander said.

"No but it won't go away because you don't." Willow said quietly.

"I know but not today 'kay." Xander said, "Let me deal slowly."

"'Kay as long as we're still friends." Willow said hugging him. ~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~

"What's the rabbits foot for?" Spike asked as he walked Willow back to the house.

"Superstition." Willow said, "When this finally hits Xander we'll need all the luck we can get."

"Thought he was dealing?" Spike said taking her hand as they walked.

"Sort of. He decided that right now denial was better." Willow said as they approached the door. "But he'll face it sooner or later."

"As long as we don't have to hide it from him anymore." Spike said kissing her.

"Nope. No more hiding. He has to deal now. Everyone else has." She said pulling away to open the door. "Coming in?"

"Right behind you Luv." He said following her inside.