Title: Straight on Till Morning

Author: Starbaby

Series: BtVS

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, they belong to ME.

Summary: I was devastated by the end-of-season spoilers--weep with me, sisters---and decided I'd write my own happy ending for Spike and Buffy. This puts the A and the U in AU. But it made me feel better. Now I'll get back to I'll Fly Away.

Straight on Till Morning

4-30-02

Buffy opened her eyes slowly to be greeted by the glow of a full, bright moon. It hung high in the night sky, and the bedroom was still draped in gray shadows; sunrise was hours away. She wasn't sure what had awakened her at this pre-dawn hour, until starlight lit up the empty space beside her. She reached out and touched the rumpled sheets. Still warm.

Buffy swung her feet to the floor and reached for her bathrobe. She drew it over her naked form and yawned noisily while searching the cold floor for her fuzzy slippers. It was so long before dawn, but the connection between them wouldn't allow her to slumber on in a half-empty bed. She was that aware of him; he crackled along her nerve endings like a live wire.

She found him in the kitchen, hunched over a mug of hot chocolate.

She took a moment to admire the clean, spare lines of his body, the architecture of his back, and the brutal sensuality of his profile. She'd loved other men in her life, but he was unique among lovers, a bruisingly intense creature prone to strange fits of passion.

Buffy shuffled forward and laid a hand on his shoulder. "Will?"

"GAW!" He half-leaped off the stool and spun around to face her, desperately juggling the mug of chocolate. The glasses that seemed so incongruous--yet oddly sexy-- set against the high, sharp bones of cheek and nose slipped from his face and hit the linoleum with a crunch. Shaking her head, Buffy bent down to pick them up.

She fingered a crack in the left lens and muttered a curse word. "Smooth move, Ace. We really can't afford new ones." She waved the broken pair at him.

He sank back into his seat, breathing hard. "You scared me!"

Buffy took a closer look. His already pale English skin looked bone-white, like someone had sucked the life out of him. And the scent of nicotine on his breath told her he'd been smoking, something he did only in his most agitated moments.

"I'm sorry," she said contritely, and ran her fingers through his tumble of amber curls. "Did you think I was one of your boogeymen?" She indicated the printed manuscript lying next to his mug.

"Ha-Ha. Very amusing." He rested his elbows on the papers and rubbed his eyes. "If you must know, I had this dream." He looked nervous at the very memory of it. "It was very traumatic."

Buffy squeezed between the table and the counter to get to the refrigerator. The joys of an economy-sized kitchen were just too numerous to count. She grabbed some juice from the shelf and settled across from him. "Let me guess. In this very traumatic dream, you never get published and have to take a job as a tweedy librarian in some suburb. The gig is pure hell."

He shook his head. "I was a vampire. And you were my Slayer."

Buffy choked on a mouthful of juice. "Your what?"

Will slapped her helpfully on the back. "My Slayer. S-L-AY-E-R. Only you didn't. Slay me, that is."

'Well, that's a relief."

"Not really. I'd have been better off. You kicked me and punched me and crushed me with a flaming pipe organ."

Buffy actually felt guilty about her alter-egos hijinks. "Ouch."

"You belittled me and dumped me and blamed me for the whole sex thing."

Buffy was confused. "What sex thing? I thought I was your Slayer!"

He rubbed his temples. "That, too. We were mortal enemies who were wildly attracted to each other. I declared my love, then you beat me up and rode me like a mechanical bull."

Buffy narrowed her eyes. "It wasn't all my fault, I'm sure. What did you do?"

Will sighed. "I invaded your school, tried to kill you, kidnapped your mates, caused all-around mayhem, and threatened to disfigure Willow."

"Cousin Willow?"

"She wasn't your cousin in the dream, love. She was your best friend. A witch gone off the rails. And gay."

Buffy stared at him. "Were you drinking before bed?"

He shook his head miserably. "I wish. That would explain it. We did terrible things to each other, Buffy. I did terrible things when you wouldn't love me back." Tears were actually shimmering in the tide pools of his eyes.

Buffy reached across the small table and hooked her fingers behind his ears. She drew his tawny head toward her and laid a tender kiss on that soft hair. "It's all right, sweetie. You don't have to tell me."

His head remained bowed, his eyes fixed on the table top. "I was a bad, rude man."

Buffy chucked him under the chin. "I bet you were a sexy vampire."

A tiny grin tugged at the corners of his mouth. "You thought so. We shagged all over Sunnydale."

"Funny name for a place over run with vamps." Buffy took a swig of juice.

"It sat on the mouth of Hell."

"Oh." This dream of his didn't sound so funny anymore. Buffy picked up the bundle of typed pages and shook them. "It's because of this stuff! Why can't you write a romance novel or a nice travel guide?"

She flipped through the manuscript. "What do you expect, writing about ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties all day long--and most of the night?" Buffy pointed to the page. "What the hell is a glarghk guhl kashma'nik demon? And those freaks in chapter four are most definitely not gentlemen!" Buffy grasped his chin in her hand. " I love your creativity. You have spirit and…imagination. But stuff like this," she thumped the pages, "It can suck you right in."

"She said the same thing. About imagination. You walk in worlds that others can only begin to imagine."

"Who said that?"

"Drusilla. My sire." He looked almost dreamy. Buffy didn't like it.

"That lady that lives at the corner of Fifth and Elm? With all the cats? She was in your dream?" This was both disturbing and fascinating.

"We were together for a hundred years, until I fell in love with you."

Buffy preened. "I was that hot, huh?"

He reached under the table and drew her feet into his lap. "Beyond hot, love. Scorching is more like it." His wicked hands massaged her arches.

Buffy shifted her weight with a groan and laid her hands atop her burgeoning belly. "Not at the moment. But wait till August, when I'm about to pop. There will much scorchiness then."

"It still doesn't seem possible. Us having a kid." He traced funny symbols on the soles of her feet. "I'm still in shock."

"So are our meager finances." Buffy watched him from behind lowered lashes. He had an ageless face. But sometimes, the few years between them seemed more like a hundred. He had a rash, impulsive nature, was too handsome for his own good. Not the boy a girl wanted to take home to Mother; she'd either disown you or fall in love with him.

"I'm seeing Dr. Giles tomorrow." Buffy caught the look on his face. "Oh, don't tell me!"

"He was your Watcher."

Buffy's eyebrow lifted. "I was an immortal Slayer?"

Will shook his head, and his disheveled curls bounced charmingly. "Not that kind of Watcher. This one interfered all the time."

Buffy hefted herself to her feet and moved to put the teakettle on. "Who else was in it? Dad? Grandpa? Mom?"

"She was dead for part of it."

Buffy spun around as well as she could in her fatty condition. "I thought you liked my mother!"

He ignored that. "Do you remember that goofy guy my sister brought home last Christmas?"

Buffy nodded. "Alex…something. Sort of a jack-of-all-trades-type. With issues."

"He fought demons with you."

"Alex? Fighting monsters? With me?" Buffy started to laugh. "I liked him well enough, but he smelled like Fruit Roll-Ups."

"And that crazy bird who threatened to brain you at Wal-Mart? She was another Slayer."

Buffy remembered. "I took the last cart." She carefully picked up her steaming mug and sat back down, sighing gratefully. The minute she was seated, he grabbed her hands.

"The thing was, I was bad and I liked it. And I lost you because of it." He teared up again. "I wanted to be good, but it was so hard." He looked at her with that lusty intensity that made her flush pink all over. "I'd die if I lost you."

Buffy played with his fingers. "So don't be bad. Try to be good. Be okay. That's enough for me."

Her stomach made it hard to lean over, so he pulled her onto his lap. Her arms twined around his neck like slender vines. He tasted like chocolate and ashes. Light began to wash over the worn tiles just as they broke apart.

Buffy nibbled on his full lower lip. "Was I happy in your dream?"

He shrugged. "Sometimes. Then you died and everything went to shit."

"When was I dead?" Buffy pouted.

"Between Glory and the Troika."

"So I was a zombie Slayer?"

"No!" He shook his head. "There was an urn. It's complicated."

Buffy's eyes twinkled like emeralds. "I get that."

He was quiet for a moment. "You know that little girl that pours coffee at Starbucks?"

Buffy nodded.

"She was your sister." He closed his eyes for a moment. "A bright little thing. I can still see her. She was so real…"

Buffy smiled. "I always wanted a sister. What was her name?"

Instead of answering, he gently put her of his lap, then led her to the window. He pointed to where the sun was rising over the city skyline. It took Buffy only a minute or two to understand.

"Oh! Her name was Dawn, wasn't it?"

He nodded. They swayed together before the window, two young things soon to be three.

Outside, the sun rose in all its bright glory, bathing them in light.

Buffy rested her hands on her swollen stomach and considered. "Dawn. That's a pretty name for a little girl." She turned to him with a smile. "Don't you think so, Will?"

The End

"Strange fits of passion have I known, and I will dare to tell,

But in the lover's ear alone, what once to me befell."----William Wordsworth