Title: The Argument

Author: A collaboration between Slayers Gift and Mrs Muir

Disclaimer: We own nothing. All belongs to the great and powerful Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon.

Buffy slowly walked home. There wasn't a part of her that didn't hurt after that dim-witted vampire tossed her onto a tombstone. Nights like this made her wish that she could be somewhere else. Spike briefly crossed her mind but she quickly dismissed him. She was NOT going that route again. Never again would she let herself sink so low.

"Home," she muttered to herself as her house came into view.

She unlocked the front door and went inside Buffy viewed the stairs with contempt it was going to be a bitch to climb them tonight. She sighed to herself and started up holding onto the small of her back with one hand and the other hand clutching the banister. Reaching the upper level she passed Willow and Tara's room on her way to her own. It made her happy to think of the two witches being back together again. At least some romances worked out.

Reaching her room she peeled her clothes from her body. Was it going to be a bubble bath or straight to bed? Deciding on the bath she pulled on her robe and made her way to the bathroom. Turning the water to hot she let it flow to fill the tub. As she poured the bubble bath into the water the door slowly opened. She opened her eyes in surprise as Spike came in and closed the door behind him.

"What do you want?" She ground out.

"We need to talk." Spike stated.

Buffy looked at him in disgust. When she looked at him now all she could see was him with Anya. For him to go from her to Anya so quickly turned her stomach.

"We have nothing to talk about. It's over. And what's done is done," She turned from him putting the bubble bath away.

Spike looked at her as a million thoughts went through his head. "How can you say we have nothing to talk about? I want to explain why. I didn't mean to hurt you."

"But you did. After you said you never would. Now, please leave!" Buffy said with what little strength she could muster. She just wanted him to leave.

"No! Not until you understand…" He took a step reaching for her but let his hand fall to his side instead.

Buffy turned to look at him rolling her eyes. Why couldn't this thing understand that she just didn't care?

"Look you got me back. Okay, it's been duly noted." She bit out sarcastically.

"Got you back? Is that what you think that was about?" Spike questioned her.

"Yeah, you got me back. For hurting you. For using you. For taking you for granted. We're even now." She reached down to turn the water off. Then she looked pointedly at him then at the door. Hinting for him to leave her to her bath. But no, of course not, not Spike. She sighed and leaned against the vanity.

"Buffy, it wasn't about revenge. I told you I could take it. It was just something that happened. I love you and I know that you love me." He looked at her with hope in his eyes. She had to feel for him because his actions with Anya had hurt her.

"Spike, I do not love you. I could never trust you enough to love you. You don't have a soul." She said coldly emphasizing each word.

He stared at her for a moment. Then the words started to sink in. He could stand here forever, be at her feet forever. Take her into his bed whenever she wanted it. Save her and her sister a thousand times and this girl would never see him for who he was. Then the anger and pride started in.

"Fine, Buffy" He coldly stated. "I get the picture. You could never care about me. You could NEVER love me." Spike's voice kept rising with each word. "Even when I risk my life for you and lil' sis. Nothing that I do will ever be good enough. To you I am just an evil, soulless thing who just happens to be the one who can scratch your itch! I don't have any feelings do I? "

"Spike stop it and," Buffy tried to stop Spike's lecture. But he just kept on yelling.

"Does it make you and you goof troop feel better to treat me this way. To just use me when it's convenient to you. Oh, no the soulless thing doesn't care. He can't feel he doesn't have a soul. So, we can treat him worse than a damn dog. You treat me like nothing…and I treat you like everything." He wiped the tears from his eyes and looked into Buffy's surprised eyes.

Then almost whispering, "Fine, you want me to leave? You want me to leave you alone. Okay, I will. But I won't be back. So, don't even bother looking for me when you need help fighting some nasty or if you need to 'feel'."

He turned and left the bathroom slamming the door in his wake. He didn't see the tears that fell down her face and the shame that shone in her eyes. Spike knew he was better than this and somehow he would find a way to prove it to them and to himself.