****Summary: Takes place 2 years after Grave. Spike never returned to Sunnydale. He's on his own and plans to leave everything behind him for a new start.

****Disclaimer: Joss owns it all except the original characters.

****Title (and song Adia) based on the song of the same namesake on Sarah Mclachlan's CD Surfacing. The effect is better when you listen to her while reading this. That's kind of how I wrote it.

!!!!I already posted this but FF.net is really acting up and it booted my story off or something. Not too happy here. Well, for those that haven't read it yet, enjoy. I love reviews and you can drop 'em here or email your comments and suggestions to me at d_jasper77@hotmail.com.

DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO

The crowd was typical for a Thursday night; an eclectic mix of young adults, reveling in the freedom the way only accessible to them; and the thirty-something's, so desperately clinging to the final vestiges of their youth. It was a smooth blend of generations with tastes as varied as shells to be found on the city's many beaches. Though most were natives, a handful of patrons made Blue Song their last stop before returning to their hotel rooms, 'joyously' awaiting the next day's business meeting or the drive home to San Francisco or Los Angeles. Still others were vacationers, eager to take in the sites and atmosphere of San Diego.

Despite their reasons for being in San Diego, their presence at the Blue Song was virtually unanimous. For the past two years, Blue Song had made a name throughout the city as well as other parts of the Left Coast. It was a place to bare your feelings and instantly feel the weight of guilt, shame or hurt lifted from your shoulders. No one knew why, considering San Diego wasn't frequented much by visitors of the preternatural persuasion. No one ever asked thus no one ever knew that a magical ward had been created around it and when someone spoke or sang, the hurt and pain they felt dissipated into the ether. It didn't go away, but it was greatly lessened and those that harbored the unbearable pangs found that, upon leaving, the hurt was more than tolerable. After leaving Blue Song, everyone felt just a little bit lighter on his or her feet. All but one person.

The scent of tobacco blistered the nostrils of those closest to the door. Being a non-smoking establishment, a sign of smoke meant only one thing. Heads turned as the plume of smoke followed the lithe figure as he sauntered to the stage. Though their women eyed him greedily, the men did not look at him with disdain or jealousy. Those that had seen him perform admired him in a way a kid admired their favorite baseball player or comic book super hero. And he was just that, a super hero; larger than life though his frame was no more than average. But it wasn't just about the physical, though his cheekbones angled sharply as if sculpted from marble and his ice blue eyes pierced your soul. It was the swell of his chest, the confidence in his stride that, despite the sad edge in his voice, presented him as unconquerable. He was a god, standing mightily over the waters like the Colossus of Rhodes, untouchable by even the worst of natural disasters.

His bound up the steps to the stage was like that of a jaguar. He was both sleek and dangerous. Oh, they knew without question that he was the latter, though no one dared challenge him. Besides, it was not the type of bar where fights broke out.

When he sat on the stool in the middle of the stage, everyone murmured in surprise. Though he was decked in his customary black, it was more casual in nature than his usual black jeans and boots garb he usually wore. They were replaced with black leather dress shoes and dress pants with razor creases down the legs. A tight black shirt completed the ensemble as it clung to his wiry frame, highlighting his sculpted upper body.

Looking over the crowd, Spike took one last puff of his fag before dropping it to the stage, smashing it with the tip of his Stacey Adams. Gotta quit one of these days. Not healthy for me anymore. He perused the faces that looked back at him. Good lot 'o folks, he thought to himself. Gonna miss it all, really am. He ran a hand through his brown curls. Though he had forced himself to get rid of the blond mop, his hair was in fact highlighted in spots by platinum streaks. Couldn't get rid of it all, now could I? He smirked at the thought. He knew why he hadn't totally wiped the blond hair off the map. No…he wasn't going there. Not yet, at least. He still had a last show for these people. He would tell them about her (though the majority of regulars had already heard bits and pieces of the story). But he had decided that tonight…tonight was the last time he would think about her.

Not bloody likely, he cursed to himself as he grabbed the mike from its steel post and addressed the crowd.

"Evening', folks. How's everybody tonight?" The crowd responded in true Blue Song fashion. "That's right nice, then. I see we have a few new faces in the crowd. Well, I'm glad you could come and you picked the perfect time to drag your nancy-boy arses in here," he paused as light chuckles filled the room. He flashed them his trademark smirk before continuing solemnly. "I say that because," he inhaled a much needed breath, "this is the last time I will be performing here." The crowd erupted in gasps and shouts of 'no, Will' and 'Stay'. The disappointment of the fans warmed his heart. He'd miss them. Even though most of the regulars were only associates, he had made several friends as well. Eddie. Richard. Michael. Warrick. Lorren. Holly. And Rachel.

Rachel. Spike sighed as he thought about his business partner. Not since the Niblet had anyone accepted him for what he had been long ago. He had told her everything and for a while he had entertained the thought of dating her. But she knew everything, including where his heart truly belonged. She never pushed and though they had shared sporadic kisses she always stopped him before it went too far and every time he was glad that she had the willpower. He didn't want to hurt Rachel like he had hurt her.

Shrugging off the thoughts that always brought him to near tears, he focused back on the crowd. He raised his hands and the volume died down instantly. Still got some of the Big Bad in me, I wager.

"I know this is sudden, but I promised myself that if I couldn't stay away, I'd leave. It's right nancy-boy of me to run and hide, but it's better than facin' her after what I did…"

"What is he talkin' about?" A voice close to the stage asked someone. Spike smiled. Must be new.

"For those of you makin' your first appearance her, I am love's bitch." The newbies broke out in chuckles while the veteran patrons nodded their heads solemnly. They, too, had laughed when he had first spouted those words. But after one night of hearing his story, even though he never told it all, was a sobering moment. The pain in his voice, the wavering of his eyes was so raw they prayed that they never felt that sort of hurt.

After a few moments, the laughter turned to nervous chuckles before ceasing all together. "Glad we got that out 'o the way. Now, I know you have questions. And I have answers, just not all of em, cuz if I did, I'd be back in Sunny…I'd be with her right now. But to answer your unspoken questions, let me tell you a little bit about what it's like to be love's bitch…"

*****

I told 'em everything. Well, not quite everything. Tactfully omitted were the parts my hundred and twenty some-odd years as a member of the undead. Oh, I told 'em I was a killer, a murderer that made Hitler look like the pansy he was. Oh, most of the lot assumed I was some type of assassin. They weren't too far off. Only the part about me doin' it all for the greater good. All other mentioned topics of the supernatural were conveniently left out as well. Dru and Cecily were mentioned and I still called her the Slayer-still, after two years, I couldn't bring myself to utter her name-though I used it as a metaphor at how she killed me everyday with her words and callousness and the simple thought of her. That was definitely true and two years and miles apart hadn't changed that. She was still the slayer, all right, killing me slowly with every passing day.

I could see they were getting a bit pissed at the Slayer so I tell 'em about how she was right. How I was an evil, soulless thing she could never love, could never trust.

"Oh, I proved her right that night. All it took was 45 seconds. Forty-five seconds to destroy whatever it was we had built in two years." I feel the lump form in my throat. Oh, I knew exactly how long it was. Some fucked up part of my brain acted as a chronometer, reminding me of how for three fourths of a minute, I was nothing more than an animal. But I can't think about that, I have to keep on.

"So, you see, ladies and gents, she was right. I was nothing more than a selfish, evil thing. I told her how much I loved her and I'd hurt her in a way no man should ever hurt a woman," that was as close as I was getting to telling them what had actually happened. Some got it, others didn't. Sod 'em all. A part of me feels guilty for thinking that way but another part could give a fuck.

"I left that night, without a word. 'Ad to. I didn't trust myself around 'er anymore. Those forty-five seconds showed me that no matter how much I had changed, I was still the same heartless killer underneath. I had to do something or what was inside me-the anger, the pain, the fear…the evil-would kill us both. I wanted to find myself." I have to snicker at that. Sounds like some sort 'o bloody ponce lookin' for redemption or some…I sober up quickly, knowing that was exactly what it was.

Angel doesn't have a soddin' thing on me now. 'Cept that I still look better. He still has the poofy hair and I can pretty much shag a bint senseless to my heart's content and not flip out, Jack Torrance style. But it still infuriates me that the git at one time had what I never will: her heart.

"Sorry folks," I say, knowing I had fallen into silence for several minutes. Soddin' Peaches. It's not like I don't know it's not his fault, but still…never liked the bloody poof. Makes things simpler throwin hostility his way. I glance at my watch. Quarter to ten. Might as well get this show on the road. Don't wanna stay here any longer than I have to. The pull has become too much and then there's Rachel all with her "Go see her, William". She's been doin' that for the last year and as much as I tell her no, my resistance is weakening. I know if I don't leave tonight, I'll give in. No doubt in my mind 'bout that. Soul may 'ave changed certain tendencies and curbed others, but my resolve as far as it deals with her? Not too good. Never will be.

"There's a lot of things I need to get off my chest 'ere tonight. Rachel." I crane my neck toward the side steps, and there she is, holding my Slayer so gently. Her dark hair's twisted in an elaborate ponytail that clings to the crevice in the middle of her back, falling to her waist. She is my new dark queen, with her bronze skin and dark eyes that always found the truth of my once un-dead heart. 'Cept where Dru was frail of body (and most times, of mind) Rachel's strong in both. She never takes my crap and delves in the mystical arts of brutal honesty almost as well as yours truly. I trust her with my life and vice versa. I love her, I truly do, but my heart already belongs to another…

"Thanks, luv," I say and pluck my Slayer from her strong hands. I wrap my arm around her waist and pull her close. "For those uninitiated, this beauty here is Rachel. My best friend. Just happens to also be my partner and after tonight, she will be running things from here on." I give her a gentle squeeze. "She's everything I let her be to me. Without her, I'd never be where I'm at now." I stand up and kiss her chastely on the lips. There are a few catcalls but we ignore it, instead lost in what would be our last goodbye.

It's hard to look at 'er when we pull away. She stares into me and sees the finality of loving someone and never able to be with them. I know the feeling all too well. A single tear rolls down her cheek and I brush it away. I mouth the words 'I love you' and she smiles at me. When she looks at me like that I just wish I could love 'er with all my heart. A part of me breaks knowing that I can't give her what she deserves. Seems like I never can with women, nothin' new. I will miss her and we'll keep in touch. But I doubt if I'll ever see her again. It's always like that, just too much pain in seein' the ones you love again.

I watch Rachel as she walks off-stage with her miraculous gait. I blow her a kiss before taking my seat, not seeing her disappear through the door. I cradle my Slayer in my arms with the gentleness of holding a baby, my hands tracing the black calligraphy 'my Slayer' etched into the off-white body. I smile. Besides Rachel, my Slayer has been the only mainstay in my life the last two years that doesn't judge or rebuke me. It's refreshing.

I strum a few test cords before picking the mic off the floor (didn't realized I dropped it) and replacing it in its stand. It takes a few minutes to adjust and then I'm sitting back down, facing the anxious crowd.

"What's say we get started?" I ask in mock cheerfulness. Truth of the matter, I'm terrified. Terrified of leaving, of not being strong enough to survive without her. Without any hope of seeing her again, never knowing what becomes of her. Terrified that I'll never find a friend as good as Rachel or the Niblet. Terrified that I'll never find my place in the world. But that's the breaks. I knew it comin' in and I know it goin out.

"This is a song I sang to my Slayer two years ago. Don't know why, just felt like singing. Guess the poet in me wasn't as dead as I thought…"

"I died, so many years ago…"

The night has been great. I've never opened up like this before even though it's my place. Well, it kinda gives me the right to do as I please, like the smoking (quittin' that nasty habit, lungs can't take it). Now, though, feeling the pain lessen with each song I sing, I can't but curse myself for not doin' this before. 'Sides, wouldn't have made a difference. She'd never love me, even the changed me. But I could have saved myself quite a bit 'o heartache. And maybe me and Rachel…

Who am I kiddin'? Even without the pain (that will always be there, no matter what I sing in this place) my heart would still be with her. Am I a soddin' git or not? Don't answer that. I already have.

I take a drink from the glass Eric brought out an hour ago. I asked him about Rachel. Said she was gone. Guess it's for the better. Not too keen on goodbyes and I figure she's the same.

I set the now empty glass down and approach the mic again.

"Well, it's almost time for me to push off, people." I smirk at their groans and suppress the warmth these people make me feel. Always figured the soul'd give me hell and torment for my past life, which it did, by the way. Just never figured it'd allow me to feel this good, too. Or maybe it isn't the soul. Maybe it's the feeling of being treated like something other than a monster does it. Niblet was always like that, treatin' me like a living, breathing person and not some freak. Her mum did too (I miss Joyce). Not even when I was evil were they ever afraid of me. Never. But the others… Stop it, ole boy or your gonna be crying like a poof. Wouldn't want them to see.

"Don't get your knickers in a twist, I'm not quite finished yet." They cheer lightly, the inevitable goodbye wearing on 'em. S'okay, I feel the same. Just gotta figure out how you're gonna deal.

"Got two more pieces for ya before I step down. Now, these aren't mine. They're by this Canadian chit. Sarah McLachlan. Right talented she is. Got a knack fer pullin' at the old heartstrings." I give 'em my best sneer. "And the first git that calls me nancy-boy's gonna get a nice and shiny spike right through the forehead. Right then, here we go."

As I strum the first note, I wonder why in the bloody hell I'm gonna sing these two. Not a poofter, but the first time I heard 'em. Well, let's just say the Big Bad can shed tears. They hit a tad too close to home.

"Oh, just so you know, my Slayer's name's not Adia. But that's not the issue, the feeling behind the words. Just listen up." Gotta do it 'fore I lose my nerve.

Adia I do believe I failed you

Adia I know I let you down

Failed is an understatement, luv. I know I can never rebuild the trust I broke. Know I let you down big time. I'm sorry, pet.

Don't you know I tried so hard

To love you in my way

It's easy let it go…

Wish it were easy. Wish it didn't hurt so badly. Wish my way was what you needed.

Adia I'm empty since you left me

Trying to find a way to carry on

I search myself and everyone

To see where we went wrong

The Slayer/Vampire thing is wrong but we almost made it right. Went wrong the day we stopped being friends, though.

Cause there's no one left to finger

There's no one here to blame

'Cept me. The Big Bad's all to blame. I know that.

There's no one left to talk to, honey

And there ain't no one to buy our innocence

'cause we are born innocent

believe me Adia, we are still innocent

it's easy, we all falter

does it matter?

I'll never be innocent. But you and the Niblet…you shouldn't have to deal with the things you do everyday. Both of you have a light that shines. One that should never be extinguished. And there I was, tryin to pull u into the darkness with me…

Adia I thought that we could make it

But I know I can't change the way you feel

Wish I knew that then…at least I could've prevented your pain.

I leave you with your misery

A friend who won't betray

I pull you from your tower

I take away your pain

And show you all the beauty you possess

If you'd only let yourself believe that

I hope what I didn't doesn't set you back, luv. You are strong and beautiful in every way. Never settle for less than you deserve and that is to be treated like the goddess you are.

We are born innocent

Believe me Adia, we are still innocent

It's easy, we all falter, does it matter?

Believe me Adia, we are still innocent

'cause we are born innocent

Adia we are still innocent

It's easy, we all falter…but does it matter?

Does it really matter? Does it matter that I still love you, pet? That I'd die for you and the Niblet a thousand times? Even the soddin' Scoobies. And despite what you probably think, s'not the soul that makes me care. Wasn't the chip either. Course nobody'd believe that. Shit, I didn't either. So convenient when there was an excuse. Run out of 'em now. So what do I do?

"Last number, folks," I say to the quiet crowd. It's like someone has died. Well, someone is. Someone is dying on the inside right now, right in front of 'em. They see it and I feel it. I take a much-needed breath. I roughly wipe the back of my hand against the tears forming in the corners of my eyes. Gotta hurry up. Don't wanna cry in front of the clientele.

What ravages of spirit

Conjured this temptuous rage

Created you a monster

Broken by the rules of love

You always called me a monster and you were partially right. Oh, I was a monster that night but I was nothing way before that. Lovin' you brought the man that I couldn't be forward. Everything I was and believed in was shattered the moment I saw you.

And fate has led you through it

You do what you have to do…

I know what I have to do but I don't know if I can.

And I have the sense to recognize that

I don't know how to let you go

That's why I had to go luv. Had you for a moment and couldn't bare not 'avin you all the time. Should've known I'd fuck it up. Even hurt you more than the poof did…

Every moment marked

With apparitions of your soul

I'm ever swiftly moving

Trying to escape this desire

The yearning to be near you

Your call to me is more potent than blood ever was. I'll never stop wanting you, but I'll never have you.

I do what I have to do

The yearning to be near you

I do what I have to do

But I have the sense to recognize

That I don't know how

To let you go

I don't know how

To let you go

A glowing ember

Burning hot

Burning slow

Deep within I'm shaken by the violence

Of existing for only you

The last four years, it's always been about you Buf…luv. Oh, it's still burning inside me: the passion and the love. And again you were right. It is consuming me, luv, worse than the sun could have ever done. But what am I now? I don't have you, so what am I?

I know I can't be with you

I do what I have to do

I know I can't be with you

I do what I have to do

And I have the sense to recognize but

I don't know how to let you go

I don't know how to let you go

I don't know how to let you go…

I can't…. I vaguely hear my Slayer crash to the stage but the tears burning my eyes numb me and the only thing I can concentrate on is getting off the stage. I have to leave now. Can't wait till tomorrow or I'll lose my nerve and pant back to her like the whipping boy I used to be.

I storm through the back halls, towards my office. Just need to get my keys and a few mementos and I'll be on my way. Still don't know where I'm goin' yet but as long as it's away from here, it doesn't matter now does it?

*****

Spike strode into the office, rattling the walls as he slammed the door shut with all his unnatural strength. The shame and guilt threatened to overwhelm him. Of what he had lost. Of how he tried to bring her down to his level. Of how he tried to…he couldn't finish the thought as a sob ripped from the back of his throat.

"No!" he screamed as he overturned the mahogany desk. Soon to follow was his chair as he hurled it against the bookshelf, the splintering wood ripping the leather fabric of the chair. Like a caged animal, he paced the room, finally coming to rest in front of the full length mirror near the back of his office.

"Handsome bloke," he said to the reflection that stared back at him before sending his fist crashing through the glass, shattering it into a million pieces. He laughed humorlessly at the shards embedded into his knuckles. He examined his hand with an odd fascination. Even after two years, it amazed him at the rapidity of blood loss a beating heart could usher forth. He flexed his knuckles and winced at the welcoming pain accompanying even the slightest movement of his fingers. Physical pain was the best. It always distracted him from the much more intense, longer lasting hurt that curled up inside of him, ready to stretch its sadistic limbs at the slightest reminder of things past.

Spike's shoulders slumped in defeat. Not even pouring his heart out tonight was able to lessen the pain. No, he would never get over it, the things he had done. It wasn't the hundred years of feeding that tore at his gut. Somehow, he had understood that despite the thousands of people he had killed in need was just that…he needed what they had, namely blood. He didn't just dismiss it that easily but he had coped with those particular memories quite well. But the others; the senseless killings he had partook in during his un-life would always be there in his mind's eye. Those faces haunted his dreams and appeared almost every night in crystal clarity. The guests at the party before Drusilla turned him. The families of those who had almost killed Dru in Prague. The man whose neck he snapped at the Parent-Teacher night. The look on her face after he had tried to…

He ran his hand across his face, oblivious to the glass as it marred his otherwise seamless features. No amount of running would relieve him of that night. The emotions he saw in her emerald eyes would forever haunt him. Fear. Disgust. Loathing. Disappointment. Shame. Betrayal. But most of all, he saw the pain, her resignation that understood that the only thing people she cared about were good at was hurting her and leaving.

Guess you're two-fer-two there mate, he thought bitterly before running his bloodied hand through his frazzled locks. The heaviness in his chest threatened to crush his heart. He had foolishly thought leaving would get rid of a sliver of the guilt but it only amplified it. He had hoped that getting as far away from her as he could, he would alleviate some of the hurt she still undoubtedly felt that night.

"Yeah, and I'm still a vampire," he said to the shattered frame. And part of him wished that that were true. It would be so easy for him to watch the sun rise in the middle of the desert, with no where to run and bask in the sun's brilliance for the last time. But it wouldn't ever be that easy again for him. Nothing ever would be. The only thing that came easy now was the pain that not even the Blue Song could lessen. Of course, he had a feeling why. Though he suffered immensely with it, he honestly didn't want to be rid of the pain. He wanted it as a constant reminder as to what he was and always would be and that was a monster. He'd wear that badge until the day he died. He'd never forgive himself for what he did and knew she would never forgive him, either. It didn't matter, though. Nothing really did. He had done irreparable harm to her and only hoped that it hadn't broken her completely. No, it wouldn't. She didn't love him so it had to have made his transgressions at least a little more bearable. After all, she knew what he was.

"Should've staked me then and there," he muttered in defeat, his chin dipping into his chest. "At least then she'd have gotten some closure." His last words were what tugged at him the most. She would never be able to exercise her demons, or in this case, demon and she would never be able to ask him why. But did it matter why? No. All that mattered was what he did. That, and the fact that he had never once apologized.

" S'only words," he said as he shuffled towards to overturned desk, "Proved myself to her with my actions," he whispered. Back to the door, Spike knelt down and sifted through the wreckage of his tantrum. Glass and plastic from where his computer had met the floor was intermixed with paper and several other items. His fingers walked over the debris until they found what they were looking for. Buried underneath the expense report and a once beautiful snow globe was the picture he was looking for.

Though the glass was broken, the frame was in tact and the picture for the most part, was unharmed. Spike brushed away the remaining shards before removing the picture from its confines. In it, sitting in the middle of an open field, sitting cross-legged on a blanket laughing, were his two girls. He had taken it his first and final visit to the 'Dale after his African sojourn. It was both the happiest and saddest moments of his life. He hadn't seen her this happy since the first time he had seen her in the Bronze. And the Niblet. God, she was radiant, just like her sister. It warmed his heart to see them together, laughing. But at the same time, a piece of him died.

Seeing her so happy-them so happy- had only emphasized that he didn't belong, that he was an outsider. They had had a life before him and would have one after him. He wasn't sure what hurt most: the Niblet forgetting about him or her sister's final memories of him. When he thought of his selfishness in this, he only affirmed even more to himself that he didn't truly love her and wondered if he truly could. Oh, he had loved her in his own twisted way but to be hurt that she was happy without him? Could he honestly call that love?

The thought that he had never truly loved her tore at his heart. Had he wasted his time or more importantly, hers? Had he been tortured for thirty days straight without food and rest only to realize that he never loved her? He chuckled at the irony of it all. Trying to prove he was what she deserved only to discover he was, and always would be, the furthest thing from it.

He held the picture against his heart with his good hand when he heard the slow creek of the door behind him. He sighed audibly, irritated at whoever had decided to interrupt his personal internal flagellation.

"Look, who ever you are, sod off," he clipped. He heard a light chuckle that only furthered him to infuriation. His injured hand flexed into a fist, heedless of the pain while his good hand maintained a delicate grip on the picture. His body tensed in the accustomed coil before the strike, accompanied by a matching growl.

Spike remained still for several minutes, back to the door, hoping the intruder would pick up on the crackling displeasure radiating from him. When it was apparent that the visitor was going no where, Spike relaxed his muscles, shaking his head in disbelief.

"Look, mate, don't you get it. I don't know how to tell you this but…" he stopped in his tracks as his nose caught a whiff of something eerily familiar. He couldn't register the smell definitively, considering his senses weren't quite up to par like they used to be but it was something…cool. Something smooth. Something…

Vanilla.

"It can't be…" he whispered, fear gnawing at his insides now. He was afraid to turn around because if it was who he thought…But then again, if it wasn't. But he was never able to make that decision as the visitor spoke.

"I don't get it," the all too familiar voice spoke. Spike's heart stopped as it all dawned on him. Slowly, he turned around to face the woman's voice only to feel her closing the distance between them.

By the time he faced her, she stood two feet away. Her golden hair was pinned up with intricate curls trailing down the sides of her angelic face. She wore a black dress that hung from her thin shoulders by spaghetti straps. It molded to her body like a second skin, the black accenting her curves fully. Her hands were hidden behind her back. The muscles of her thin legs shone from under her stockings as the heels she wore punctuated the strength of her calves.

"I don't get what happened between us. I don't get why I'm here. I don't get what I'm feeling," she said, her eyes locked on the shell-shocked man in front of her. She took two steps forward and now they were only inches away. Spike could smell the strawberry lip-gloss she wore in substitution of lipstick and would have smirked if his muscles were his own. But all he could do was stare, desperately attempting to form a coherent sentence or word even.

She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. He still smelled of tobacco though it was not as potent. She also detected an extremely appealing cologne that had taken the once staple aroma of alcohol that permeated her nostrils when she was around him. Slowly, her eyes opened and they took in the man before him before she spoke again.

"The only thing I know," she whispered, inching closer toward his face. "The only thing I know is that I don't know how to let you go…"

After she trailed off, Spike was finally able to form some semblance of cohesion with his thoughts and he whispered the name that he hadn't spoken aloud in almost two years.

"Buffy?"

***This was meant as a distraction from my trouble writing chapter 26 of Family Ties. I think it turned out well. Now, let me know if you guys want me to continue. I have several ideas for it but not sure if I will put it down on paper. But, bribery (in the form of reviews) is always helpful.

***Just a note, I will be posting part II early next week after I finish chapter 27 & 28 of 'Family Ties'