A/N: we're back to the present date
Buffy woke with a start; with beads of sweat across her brow "wow weird dream" she said shaking her head.
Andrew came crashing through Buffy's bedroom door "Geez Andrew! Knock much!" She yelled
"I've been knocking for ten minutes my hand hurts" he grumbled
"What is it?" She asked giving him the death stare
"The lady from the Coven is here" he said
Buffy jumped from her bed "why didn't you tell me!" She yelled
"Uh I just did... She's all set up we're just waiting for you" he said
Buffy rushed down the hall and into Spike's room "I'm here" she said breathlessly
"Ah Buffy, please meet Althenea" said Giles gesturing to the woman who stood beside him wearing a brown robe, she was beautiful with almond colour eyes and mousy blonde hair.
"Hello Buffy, I've heard so much about you" said Althenea smiling
"All good I hope" said Buffy "so are we all set up here?"
"Ah yes, I've just got to take the blood from you"
"Oh right, yeah of course" said Buffy
"Don't worry we only need a small amount" Althenea reassured
After taking Buffy's blood from her and placing it in the sacred circle she had made earlier with the rest of the ingredients needed, Althenea took a deep breath "are you ready?" She asked
Everybody nodded "remember, this spell can be very complex and dangerous, those of a nervous disposition should leave now" said Althenea
Althenea sat in the middle of the sacred circle and started chanting in Latin "venenum flagitiosissimorum potentia emigrabit te, venenum flagitiosissimorum potentia emigrabit te"
A purple cloud rose from the circle and hovered over Spike's body, almost immediately he began shaking violently.
"What's happening?" Asked Kaitlyn worriedly
"She's extracting the poison from him" said Giles
"curabo eum, curabo eum" chanted Althenea
"She going to kill him" yelled Kaitlyn
"Xander get her out of here" yelled Buffy
"No! I'm staying!" Said Kaitlyn
"Then shut your mouth!" Spat Buffy looking on at the purple cloud turning to red "what's happening now Giles?" Asked Buffy
"She's extracted the poison, she's healing him" Giles said simply
"faciat eum vivere, faciat eum vivere, faciat eum vivere" chanted Althenea
The cloud of red slowly turned to a bright white light that blinded the group. After a few seconds the room faded into blackness
"Whoa" said Willow
Kaitlyn rushed to Spike's bedside "Spike? Can you hear me?"
Spike's eyes fluttered open "what happened?" He asked groggily
"You got slashed by a sword laced with poison" Buffy piped up
"Oh yeah. Right... How long was I out for?" He asked
"A few days" said Willow
"I feel different..." He said with his face screwed up
"You're good as new" smiled Althenea
"Thank you so much" said Kaitlyn hugging Althenea tightly
"It's no trouble"
"Tea?" Asked Giles
"I'd love some" said Althenea
The pair made their way out of the room "well I guess, we better leave you two lovebirds alone" said Xander
"Yeah, uh Kaitlyn I'm down the hall if you need anything" smiled Willow
"Thank you, I think I just wanna curl up in bed and snuggle with Spikey for a while" she smiled
"On that note, I'm gone. Nice to have you back Blondie" smirked Faith
"Thanks" said Spike still adjusting
Buffy was the last one to leave the room "I'm glad you're okay, you gave us all quite a scare there. Thought you were gunna have a dusty ending" grinned Buffy
"Nah pet, only thing to dust me will be you" he smirked
"Hmm I'll keep that in mind for the next time you step out of line" said Buffy playfully "well I better leave you guys alone, oh Dawn sends her love from Paris and uh there's some blood on the bedside table there thought you might be hungry when you came to, 98.6 just how you like it"
Kaitlyn threw Buffy a look "well feel better soon" said Buffy making a quick exit
"So how you feeling?" Asked Kaitlyn
"Uh like I've been hit by a truck" he chuckled "I'll be okay... I didn't mean to scare you pet" he smiled
"its okay I'm just glad you're okay" she smiled "I was worried"
"I didn't mean to give you a scare pet" he said trying to sit up in the bed
"It's okay... though I thought we made a deal? No dying on my watch?" she grinned
"I know pet, but what I can say Buffy gets into trouble and I have to help" he smiled shyly
"That's what I'm worried about" she said standing up and folding her arms
"No need to be worried pet" he said softly
"But I do. Do you still love her?" asked Kaitlyn
"Kate, how many times do I have to tell you? You're my lady"
"I hear you say it but I just don't feel it"
"C'mon pet throw me a bone here! I'm trying" he said angrily
"I know but I can't help it, you're my first love I'm so scared to lose you" she said with tears in her eyes
"Come here" he asked gently as he took her by the hands and sat her down next to him "you won't lose me. Got it?"
Kaitlyn smiled brightly and nodded.
Dawn burst through the front door of the slayer compound with Jordan in tow carrying their bags "is he okay?" She asked dropping her bag to the floor
"Dawnie what are you doing here?" Asked Buffy "I told you to stay and have a good time, you were on your honeymoon for Pete's sake!"
Dawn ignored her sisters comments and flew up the stairs
"She really wanted to come back see how he was doing" said Jordan "I can't blame her, I know I'd be the same" he smiled
"Yeah he means a lot to her doesn't he" smiled Buffy
"Totally he's like her brother, plus she was worrying the whole time we were in Paris that you two were gunna kill each other" he giggled
"Nah I couldn't kill Spike, I never could for some reason"
Dawn opened the door to Spike's room and she was faced with Spike & Kaitlyn making out like horny teenagers on the bed "oh geez" she squirmed turning around to face the door "I can come back later?" She squeaked
"Nibblet what are you doing here shouldn't you be off snogging your hubby somewhere" he said raising an eyebrow
"No way! Buffy called explained the stitch I was on the first plane back... Okay not the first plane but I couldn't be in Paris while you were here hurt"
"Well nice to know somebody cares" he said softly
"I'll give you guys some time, but not too long I need to spend some time with my fiancée" giggled Kaitlyn walking past Dawn and out of the room
"Fiancée?" Dawn raised her eyebrow and folded her arms waiting for an explanation
"What the hell has been going on around here? I leave for a few days and everything goes to hell" she huffed "what about Buffy?"
"It's complicated Nibblet" he said sadly
"Spike, hey not fifteen anymore. You can tell me I'm married for crying out loud... You can tell me" she reassured him
"I love your sister" he said simply
Every fibre of Dawn's being was screaming at her to yell 'duh' but no she couldn't she had to act like the responsible adult now "so you're engaged to Kaitlyn because?...can vampires even get married?" she asked
"for a long time Buffy was my world, everything I did, I did it for her. The soul, the heroics even working side by side with Angel in LA was for her. Keeping her from knowing the truth about me being back, it was all for her so that she could have a better life so I didn't bring her down so that she could be in the light instead of dwelling in the dark with me" he said sadly
"Spike that's not-"
Spike cut her off "Seeing her again, having her look at me I swear sometimes I can feel my heart race, but it's always the same with me and your sister Dawn. I try my best for her, sometimes she's grateful sometimes she throws it back in my face. We hurt each other too much, and she doesn't deserve anymore hurt. I put her through enough"
Buffy was listening from the hallway with tears in her eyes 'he's right we do hurt each other' she said to herself
"Spike she's missed you, for a while after Sunnydale she mourned you. she was devastated, and these last few weeks having you around it's like she's herself again. So you've hurt each other a lot probably more than most couples but nobody said the course of true love ever ran smooth" smiled Dawn
"And you think that's what this is?" He asked
"I believe it is, I have to. Even though you guys have been through some stuff you always seem to put it behind you and become stronger because of it. I think you guys need to talk"
"I can't Nibblet, I don't deserve it and I know she doesn't love me. Not like that. Besides Kaitlyn" he said sadly
That was it Dawn had heard enough "screw Kaitlyn!" Spike looked at the young woman in shock "well I'm sorry Spike you've just told me you're in love with my sister, no mention of your new fiancée! You can't marry somebody just because you could grow to love them! You have to get over this I'm a vampire with a soul brooding crap and talk to Buffy, she's not nearly as scary as she once was" she said getting up and walking out of the room.
She closed the door behind her and bumped into Buffy "whoa sorry" she apologised
"No big" said Buffy a little out of it
"Are you okay?" Asked Dawn
"Yeah try telling your face that" said Dawn with a raised eyebrow "you were listening in?"
"No..." She lied but her little sister gave her the look that said 'yeah right' "okay I heard a little bit..."
"You gunna talk to him?" Asked Dawn
"I don't know if I can" Buffy looked down at the floor
"Oh for crying out loud! You two are insufferable!" Dawn exploded "you guys are in love with each other, the sooner you tell each other and get it out of the way the happier you both will be... I'm sick of seeing you guys suffer in silence"
"I know, it's just not that simple Dawn"
"You either want to be together or you don't! Make up your minds before I kick both of your asses into next week!" Said Dawn stomping off down the hall
Dawn's freak out had come as a shock to Buffy, but what she had said hadn't exactly been false. They did have feelings for each other and they could do something about it or not either way they had to stop going around in circles and settle it once and for all, but first Buffy had to talk to another vampire about his little 'dream spell' and walked down the hall to his room and knocked.
"Come in" he yelled
"Hey" said Buffy shutting the door behind her "so wanna tell me what the hell that was?"
"I don't know what you're talking about Buffy" he said on edge
"Really?" She asked with her hands on her hips "no little dream spells?"
"Okay I did do something, but that's only because I care okay? And I can't stand seeing you miserable" he babbled
"What did you do?" She asked
"I did a spell that would make you see what life would be like if you let him walk out of here" he said
"Why?" She asked
"Buffy you're still the first woman I ever loved, I still do love you but I know that it's not me that you want... But he is, and god knows it pains me to say it but maybe it's better it worked out this way. So I cast the spell so that you'd realise that you'd be miserable if you let him go without telling him how you feel" said Angel sadly
Buffy took a deep breath "you did that for me?" She asked
"Yeah I did... I'm not crazy about the idea of you and Spike but if he makes you happy... I accept that" he smiled
"Thank you" she smiled back pulling him into a hug
"Knock knock" said Spike entering the room "oh..." He said seeing the woman he loved wrapped in his grandsire's arms
"Spike... What are you doing up?" Asked Buffy releasing Angel
"Fancied a stroll... Look I'll come back, don't want to interrupt" he said slamming the door behind him
"Hey Blondie, feel better?" Asked Faith bumping into him in the hall
"Uh what? Yeah" he said look uncomfortable
"What's up?" Asked Faith
"Nothing... I see Peaches & the Slayer are getting along nicely" he said with his voice full of jealousy
"Uh not really" said Faith frowning
"Never knew Angel was a hugger..." He said angrily "say I could use a pint, know any good places round here?"
"Uh sure..." Said Faith
"Let's go then"
"Are you sure you can… y'know you're looking a little slashed up" she said gesturing to the torn shirt he'd been wearing for the last few days
"Right... Give me ten, meet you downstairs" he said making a B line for his room