Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters… At least not the ones from the show… blah, blah, blah… You know the drill…

~*~This takes place during 'Spiral' . Ya know the part where Buffy goes to the back of the RV? Well, ever since I first saw the episode, I've always kinda had this question floating around in the back of my head… What if Spike had followed her back there? So I decided to write a short fic about it… This could turn into more… I was gonna write one that started with 'Weight Of The World', but I think I might just use this as the beginning and go from there…~*~

Fall Apart:

As she sat in the tiny back room of the RV, she felt her eyes begin to water. Running a hand through her hair restlessly, she fought back the tears that threatened to spill. She wasn't going to cry… Not now. This wasn't the time to break down. Right now she had to be strong… Had to protect Dawn. How could she do that if she was crying her eyes out? She couldn't… Hell, she didn't think she could anyway. There was no way out of this… No way to defeat Glory. All they could do was run… Running wasn't enough. But what more could they do? She didn't want to do things this way. This wasn't how the Slayer was supposed work. It wasn't, but there was no other way… What else could she do?

And they didn't understand that… Couldn't understand that. Not even she could completely. Everyone looked to her for the answers. Whenever things got rough, it was always 'Let's call Buffy'… Well, this time Buffy didn't know… She didn't have the answers to the questions no one wanted to ask. She didn't have the strength to fight back. Glory was too strong. She'd fought, and she'd lost. And she would again. Only she knew that. Only she understood. They all thought she was just missing something. 'There has to be another way to fight her.', 'There must be some weakness we're missing.', they would say. But there wasn't, and nothing could change that. A god didn't have weaknesses. That was just the way it worked. Nothing could defeat a god, but a god itself. Not the Slayer. The Slayer couldn't defeat her. No one could…

And when the tears fell, she couldn't stop them. And after a moment, she even stopped fighting them altogether. It felt as though a weight had been lifted… Some huge burden of emotion that had never been set free. But the tears were silent. They didn't turn to sobs. That she wouldn't allow. Not with so many of the others in the next room. Not when they could walk in at any moment and see her here. No, she couldn't allow that… Never. What would they think of her if they were to see her? Even simply like this. Did they know the vast capacity for emotion she held within her? Or did they only think of her as the Slayer? Every other time she could think of that they had seen her cry, they had seemed uncomfortable… Acted as though something was out of place. As though things weren't right. That hurt a bit, but what could she do about it? Nothing… There was nothing. If that was how they saw her now, that was how they would always see her… It was just the way things were.

As she heard the sound of someone making their way toward the back of the RV, she quickly swiped her hands across her eyes and cheeks, hastily trying to wipe away all traces of her breakdown. There was no way any of them were going to see this… Not now. Not ever.

"It's okay, you know…"

It was more a statement that a question. And she wasn't sure how to respond to that. Wasn't sure exactly what had been meant… Though she had an idea. An idea that she really wasn't in the mood to deal with right now. All she wanted him to do was go away… Leave her alone…

But even as her mind screamed it to be truth, she knew it wasn't… She knew because every other part of her… every part that mattered… begged for her to let him in. He loved her. She knew he did. Knew it was true. Not that she loved him… That could never happen… ever. She was the Slayer… Which meant she wasn't allowed to love him. A Slayer couldn't love an evil, soulless vampire. No matter how badly she wished she could. Right then, in that moment, she would have given anything to have that again. To have the comfort and security that only love could provide. And not the type of love you have for a friend… Not the type you have for your sister… The type of love that holds the promise of forever in one simple embrace. The type you have for only that one other person. That one who's more important to you than anything else in this world, including your own existence. He loved her that way, and she wanted so badly to feel that love… Just once more. But she couldn't. Not if it was him. That wasn't right. It was against the rules… But God, how she wanted it…

"What's okay? Nothing's okay…" She'd snapped at him. She hadn't meant to do that. After all, he was only trying to help.

"You can cry, Pet. You don't always have to be strong."

His words were so gentle… So soothing. And suddenly the tears were there again, and this time she was sobbing… And then he was there. He was there and she was in his arms. All she wanted to do was cry… Cry in his tender embrace. Maybe she wasn't supposed to want it, but she wanted him to hold her… Needed him to hold her. And he was. He was holding her and he wasn't going to let go... Not until she wanted him to.

"It hurts." she mumbled against his chest, as she heard him murmur quiet, soothing, meaningless words in her ear. Was she seeing things, or had he just blinked back tears of his own? "It hurts so bad. I don't know what to do. I feel so helpless. I've never been helpless before, Spike… Never. It's not fair… I don't understand. Spike, I don't know what to do. There's no way I can beat her. All I can do is take Dawn and run, and even this way… Even this way, it's only a matter of time. I'm so scared. I've never been this terrified in my entire life. I'm so scared…"

His hand was idly stroking her soft blonde hair. His eyes were filled with tears of his own. He couldn't stand to see her this way... So lost, so vulnerable. The way she was hurting… There was no way it could ever compare to anything he had ever felt before. But her pain was also his… Everything she felt, he felt as well. Why was she being tortured this way? Her pain-in-the-ass boyfriend had just fled town, she'd just lost her mother… And now she was facing having her sister ripped from her life as well? It wasn't fair… It could never be fair.

"Shh…" He murmured, pressing his lips softly into her hair. "Everything'll be okay. It will… You'll see… It'll be okay."

"No… It won't. It can't be. I can't fight her. I can't beat her. There's nothing I can do."

Her sobs were more insistent now. His heart was breaking right along with hers as she cried in his arms. This was the woman he loved… The reason for his continued existence. Without her, he would have nothing… Without her, he would be nothing. Seeing her this torn apart hurt him more than he could ever put into words.

"Maybe you can't." he whispered gently, taking her face in his hands and lifting her sorrowful hazel eyes to meet his promising ones. "But we can."

And that meant everything in this world. That meant so much to her, she couldn't even describe it. He would do everything it took to keep them safe, and she knew that… And that was amazing. That meant the world. He was here, and he loved her, and he was holding her. He was being everything she needed… Or maybe she didn't need any of those things… Maybe she just needed him. It didn't matter which it was. Either way, it was what she needed… What she wanted… What she loved

Him. She loved him…

~*~Thanks for reading this… If ya get the chance, review…~*~