Buffy arrived at her motel room a little after 12 am and sighed in relief as she closed the door and leaned against it. Today had been hell, but at least she didn't have work tomorrow. Before she collapsed on her bed - fearing she'd just fall asleep and not get back up - she hurried into her bathroom to check out the few injuries she'd received from that fight with the vampires in the alley. As expected, the back of her head was covered in blood . . . again. This was turning into a bit of a problem. She couldn't slay if she had this head wound continually reopening, even with Slayer healing. Everything else was just minor cuts and scrapes, so she just washed them out and bandaged them with the first aid kit under the sink. Just after she finished brushing her teeth and was about to gather her pajamas and take a shower, she heard light knocking on the door. "Oh great, not this again," she sighed and set down her things and fished her stake out of her pocket. Buffy peeked out the peep hole when she crossed the room, and she wasn't exactly surprised to see it was Spike. Why couldn't he leave her alone!? It was hard enough living on her own in a large, mostly unfamiliar city; it was even worse with him not leaving her alone. You're just mad because he's making you think of him as something besides something to kill, the thought bubbled up of its own accord. You like him.

Buffy shook her head and repressed that thought. No way did she like him, but she was curious as to why he was in front of her door and looking battered and bruised. "Oi, c'mon! Open up! 'aven't got all night here!" She heard him complain from the other side of the door and resisted the urge to giggle. She yanked open the door and plastered a glare onto her face. "Spike, what are you doing here?" She asked with a hostile edge in her tone. Her shot her a withering looking. "Well 'm tryin' to help you, but that would involve you inviting me in first," he told her and she scoffed.

"Oh right, great plan. So you can bite me?" She leaned against the door jab but where she was out of his reach. She crossed her arms and tried to look intimidating – which with hard to do with her hair all disheveled and bruises on her arms and face, but she managed. It didn't affect Spike in the slightest. He even managed to grin deviously at her.

"Luv, if I wanted to bite you, I would have done it when I had your hot lil self pressed up against the wall and your panties practically soaked through," he replied with a wink and a cocky grin. Buffy rolled her eyes, but couldn't keep a blush from staining her cheeks.

"You're really not doing a good job of convincing me to let you in," she told him, scowling despite the blush still coloring her face. "Oh and Spike? You're a pig," Buffy continued and made a face at him. He sighed and wiped the grin off his face.

"Slayer, this is serious. Some lil nark of a demon ratted me out for hiding the fact you've been in L.A and I got my arse beat by a group of some pretty tough and bulky demons. I suspect they'll come after you now – bragging rights an' all," he shrugged, but made a face when a twinge of pain ran through his damaged ribs. During his explanation, Buffy's eyes widened in shock. She had expected him to run off to all his little friends when he first saw her and get them all to help him kill her. The fact that he'd hid it from them all this time without her even asking him to amazed her and made her actually consider trusting him – which was beyond wigging her out.

"So, wait? Why do you want to help again?" She sighed and shook her head, deciding if he was telling the truth then it was best she let him in so she had longer to prepare. Making sure he saw her stake was at the ready, she stepped back and said, "Come in, Spike." He nodded his thanks and stumbled inside, still a bit unsteady on his feet. When he turned around to close the door, Buffy let sympathy and concern leak into her features. Sometimes she forgot he was an evil vampire dead set on killing her. He turned back around and shot her a dirty look. "Stop lookin' at me like that. I've had worse," Spike pointed out. "I clearly remember having a church organ knocked onto my spine," he shot her a frown and she actually looked a bit sheepish. "Oh forgot about that did you?"

"It was an accident! I was just planning to knock you out and leave with Angel," she sighed, not wanting to think about life back in Sunnydale. "Anyways, let me at least um clean you up since you were nice enough to come warn me," if she'd been around her friends, Buffy never would have thought to be nice to Spike. It was almost like they guilted her into some of the things she did, unintentional or not. Besides, helping him was the least she could do for him after he risked being dust in order to warn her about some big scary demons. Any other time and she would be confident in her slaying skills, but with that slip up earlier that night in the alley with the other vampires plus having nobody but her mortal enemy as backup made her nervous. She didn't like being nervous. Spike seemed surprised when she went into the bathroom and got out the first aid kit. "Sit," she commanded. He was about to argue, but there must have been something in her expression that made him shut up and be cooperative. That never happened.

Ten minutes later and she had all his wounds cleaned despite knowing they would heal soon anyways. The only problem was his ribs. When she brought it up he waved a hand at her dismissively. "They'll knit together eventually, don't know why you care anyways," if she'd been paying closer attention she would have caught the hopeful look in his eyes, but at the present she was trying to get into the Slayer state of mind.

"So I guess we should go look for those demons, huh?" She asked as she pulled out two swords she had in her weapons bag. Before Spike could reply though, the door was kicked it and Spike yelped and avoided getting a shard of wood driven through him like a vampire shish kabob. Buffy jumped back and stared up at the five demons that were now filling her small motel room. They were absolutely huge too. No wonder Spike got his ass kicked, she thought before focusing. "Spike!" She yelled and tossed one of the swords to him. Buffy didn't have a chance to see if he caught it though because at that particular moment she got backhanded in the face by the demon that was obviously the leader. He was stronger than she expected and she flew back and hit into the wall, bashing her head again. Hello brain damaged Buffy, she thought in irritation despite the pain.

"Always have wanted to kill a Slayer," he murmured with a smirk. He glanced back at the others with him. "Take care of the vampire. She's mine."

"Yeah well join the club," Buffy retorted and slashed at him with the sword. He grunted and held a beefy hand against the cut on his arm from blocking her move. "Also," she continued, jumping up and kicking him in the jaw, causing him to stagger back a few paces. "This Slayer belongs to nobody." It was as if this jerk's cocky manner is what sent her Slayer butt in gear because she blocked most of the attacks directed her way and finally after a rather drawn out fight Buffy hacked at his neck with the sword. His eyes bugged out and his hands automatically reached up to hold his throat. It was too late though. Blood streamed down his body and he fell to his knees. Leaving him for dead, she glanced across the room and her heart leapt into her throat.

Two of the demons were dead at Spike's feet, their heads ripped completely off – Buffy wasn't about to ask how he managed that – but the other two had overpowered the already weakened vampire. One was holding him as he struggled and the other had his hand pulled back with one of her stakes in his grip. He was about to dust Spike. Without realizing she did so, Buffy yelled, "NO!" and bolted across the room in time to tackle the demon to the ground. Spike was hers! To kill of course, she mentally added when she realized why she just saved him. She obviously wanted to kill him herself, it was only fair. Overcome with a fury that would have made her uneasy had she any control over it, she punched the demon repeatedly in the face until it was knocked out, then she pulled out the sword and cut his head clean off. Blood spurted out of the wound and got on her face, but she was too in the moment to care. When she finally realized what she'd done, her eyes widened and she awkwardly got to her feet. Buffy couldn't help a glance at Spike just in time to see him rip off the other demon's head and she winced. He leaned back against the bed and panted unnecessarily. She walked towards him. "Are you okay?" She asked. His eyes were closed and he simply nodded. Spike was exhausted. Now that the adrenaline was wearing off, Buffy was too. Figuring she was home free, Buffy finally relaxed. "So much for my security deposit," she joked. Spike chuckled lightly before wincing. Glancing down at her hands, she wrinkled her nose and wiped them on her pants. Before she could say anything else, she made a startled sound when two large hands lifted her off the ground from behind and started choking her. She kicked her feet wildly and clawed at her throat, but to no avail. The only sound she could make was a small squeak. It was enough though. Spike's eyes shot open and he reacted immediately, not even pausing to think as to why. He leapt at the demon, snarling, and bit down with his fangs on the demon's large arm. It growled in pain and dropped Buffy to the ground in order to shake off the vampire. Buffy sank to her knees on the ground and gasped in breathes through her now sore throat.

The demon and Spike were a snarling mess of fangs and fists. They smashed into furniture and Spike narrowly avoided getting dusted on a chair. Finally he gained the upper hand and got hold of one of the swords they'd both dropped during the fight and sliced off the leader's head. He sank to the ground and crawled over to where Buffy was. "You alright, Buffy?" He asked, surprising himself by calling her by her name. "You gotta cut their heads clean off. Guess I should have told you that," he continued. It explained why the demon didn't die after she slit its throat. She nodded in response to his question and cleared her throat before managing, "I could have gotten him." Spike rolled his eyes, but good-naturedly this time.

"Always a stubborn bint you are," he remarked and slowly rose to his feet. Spike offered her his hand, which she ignored and pushed herself up off the ground, wavering a bit on her feet. "You're bleeding," he remarked and she nodded again.

"Hit my . . . head," she murmured and before she could grab hold of anything, everything went dark and she collapsed. The last thing she recalled were strong arms gripping her and keeping her from falling to the ground.