Title: Into Morning 3/3
Pairing: Buffy/Spike
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: None
Summary: Will dreams of another life with a woman he's never met. His reality, though, is decidedly less pleasant.

"Do you, Nina, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?"

It wasn't Buffy.

Will knew it wouldn't be. The very idea was insane. That Angel would be marrying the woman of his dreams. But there'd been a moment when Will had believed it. Somewhere back in the morass of memory of Dawn's rejection, Drusilla's continued infidelity. Seeing his Buffy marrying Angel wouldn't seem so strange after all that.

He stood at the very back of the auditorium. He hadn't wanted to take a seat. In fact, he wasn't planning on staying for the full ceremony. After what Dawn had told him, and then seeing Angel and Drusilla together...

It explained so much. The reason why everybody had stopped talking to him after he moved to New York. If they had known about Dawn, then they probably had jumped to some horrible assumptions about him. Then him being dumb-headed enough to fall back in with Drusilla in New York, forgetting everything else. Of course returning to L.A. would greet him with a solid wall of cold shoulders. They probably thought he was a complete wanker.

His life was a mess. An unfixable mess. What could he do?

The bride smiled up at Angel, completely unaware that her future husband had already strayed. Will had an urge to stop the entire wedding. Tell everybody what Angel had done. Odds are, though, nobody cared. People just didn't care. That's the problem with the world.

Angel and Nina kissed, and Will exited to the lobby and out to his car. Dru would have to find another way home. Will was finished. With the wedding. With his marriage. With even trying.

He wasn't a bad guy. Sure, he'd made mistakes. Who hadn't? Screwing around with Dawn? That had been a biggie. He knew that now. But all the good he'd done? All the...

...nothing he'd done. He'd not even made a dent in the world. Not for the better; not for the worse. He just was. Taking up valuable oxygen that could go to someone more deserving. Someone who didn't leave teenage girls knocked up or who didn't work just hard enough to not get fired. Who didn't stick with an unfaithful wife because breaking away would be too bloody hard. And who certainly didn't mope and brood instead of doing stuff.

Will passed his exit on the highway. He wasn't going home. Instead, he flipped open his cellphone and called Dr. Fuller. The only person left who'd give a damn.

It went straight to voicemail, which meant the doc was in with another client. Will listened to the spiel about dialing 911 in case of emergency. He laughed. 911 was for people who wanted help.

"Doc, it's Will. 'Fraid I'm not going to be in to my next appointment. In fact, you'd be best off just picking up another client to fill your 2:30 slot. Sorry."

Will tossed the phone onto the passenger seat and grinned as the speedometer showed him past eighty miles per hour. At least he'd go out with a bang.

His hands hurt from gripping the steering wheel so hard. Dawn. Sleeping with her had been...nothing. No big deal for him. But for her...

What he'd done to her...

No wonder they all hated him.

There was no median between the two directions of the highway. Will spotted the eighteen wheeler pass a slower driver on the left up ahead. The movie started up again as his hands sharply yanked the steering wheel to the left, swerving his car directly into the path of the oncoming truck.

Horns blared in his ears, but that noise was soon replaced with metallic screeching and shattering, the likes of which he'd only heard a pale imitation of in movies. It was nothing like the real thing.

He blacked out, which he took to mean he was dead. He'd done it.

He hadn't, though. He came to in the middle of the wreckage, strapped into his car and almost overwhelmed by the acrid smell of burning rubber and god knows what else. The car was on its side, the driver's seat closest to the ground. The dashboard pinched Will's legs in several places, pinning him in and the strap across his chest burned.

He couldn't even kill himself properly.

He would have laughed, but inhaling just brought more smoke into his lungs. Maybe he'd die a slow death. Painful.

"Sir! Are you okay? Sir!"

The voice was tiny against the backdrop of rushing cars and sirens in the distance. Will looked up to the passenger window to see someone looking down at him. Not a fireman or anything. No uniform. Will's eyes were watery, but he could make out that it was a woman peering in at him.

He groaned and coughed. Best response he could manage.

"Sir, there is gas leaking from your car, and fire's a big worry right now. Can you move? We need to get you clear."

Her voice began to sound clearer to him, though he wasn't sure of what he was hearing. He squinted up to try to block out the sun's startlingly bright light. Buffy was looking down at him.

"I'll get you out of here," she continued talking. She was assessing the situation while talking to him in a comforting voice. "It's kinda what I do. Well, I'm off duty, but I saw the wreck and so here I am. Doing the whole hero thing. But, you know, you don't need to worry. I know what I'm doing, okay?"

He smiled. He had died. This was heaven. She was real.

"Can you move your legs?"

He could. Just a bit ago, he thought he was pinned. The pressure from the dashboard disappeared, though, and he freely wiggled his legs. The sounds of disaster seemed to fade into the distance, and Will discovered it was a cinch to unfasten his seatbelt and turn to look at Buffy.

She reached a hand down to help him climb up. She smiled. "There you go. You'll be alright. I got you."

When Will took her hand, the world stopped. And vanished.

Spike woke up with a start. A hand placed on his chest gently pressed him back down onto the bed.

"It's okay, Spike. I've got you."

There was no blanket or cocoon now. Everything was crisp and vivid and so real. Spike stared at Buffy's small hand pinning him down. His gaze traveled up her arm, to her shoulder, her neck, her face. Worry lines etched into her expression as she watched him warily, unsure of what to expect. He smiled at her and allowed his body to relax back onto the bed.

"Buffy," he said. His hand captured hers and held tight.

"Spike? You're...here? Really?"

He nodded. "Yeah. I think. I..." The alley. She'd rescued him from the alley.

She sniffed back her tears, but she couldn't keep her smile from breaking free. "See? This is what you get when you don't tell me you're back from the dead, mister. Extended hospital stay."

"You been by my side this whole time?"

She looked down at their joined hands. "Yeah, most...all. It's been a couple days. I just wanted to make sure you were alright."

He nodded, "I am now."

Buffy's eyes softened and she released her facade, allowing her emotions to be exposed. Last time he'd seen her look like that, she'd been telling him she loved him.

She still loved him.

"God, you're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen," he said, the words coming out almost of their own accord.

Buffy ran a finger down his cheek as she drank him in. "Where were you?" she asked. "I mean...not the alley, but just now. While you were out. You were a bit restless sometimes. Mumbling and stuff."

Spike brought her hand to his lips in a gentle kiss.

"Don't remember."

fin