"See, love? I always told you things could work out" Spike smiled sweetly. His hand held Buffy's delicately, afraid to break the elderly woman should he grip too firmly. Although it pained him to see her in this condition, Spike thought she was as beautiful as ever.

Buffy, now well into her eighties, was laying in a hospital bed at Sunnydale Memorial Hospital. Neither she, nor Spike, had ever been able to figure out how she had lived so long, being a Slayer and all. It had to be some kind of record, and definitely a miracle.

"I know, Spike" came a chuckling answer, "I know…" Buffy smiled softly, the green emeralds that were her eyes glancing over every feature on his still youthful form. Her thumb gently stroked the back of his hand, glad that he was here with her.

"I love you…" although the words had become a simple phrase for him to speak, they never dulled in meaning. Buffy must have heard them conjured from Spike's lips thousands upon thousands of times now, yet they always made her heart glow.

"I love you" she smiled again, her eyes growing even brighter than they already were. Buffy had always been his sunlight amidst a world of darkness, even if she belonged in the shadows.

Spike gave a gentle smile. He had been doing that more often. Buffy had once told him she always wished he smiled more. Now, at the plateau of her lifetime, Spike had finally decided to offer her the treat beheld in the simple curving of his lips.

Nudging his chair closer to the bed, closer to where Buffy's face leaned against her pillow, Spike leaned in. His lips grasped her aged ones in his always-cool embrace. The vertebrae that were his fingers laced themselves in Buffy's hair, though not nearly as harshly as he would have long ago. Delicately, their tongues began to connect, the intensity of their relationship never dying with Buffy's youth.

Buffy could feel her heart beginning to thrum against her chest, an experience Spike never took for granted. She grasped for the nape of his neck, playing with the short hairs lining the base of his skull, her other hand still holding Spike's, their fingers playing with each other in what was a somewhat intimate manner.

An orderly nurse walked into the room, her back going stiff the moment she spied the vampire and his lover enfolded in a mouth-to-mouth embrace. Clearing her throat rather loudly, Spike and Buffy both glanced at her, and broke off the kiss, tenderly chuckling to themselves.

This woman, along with every other doctor, nurse, secretary, and patient in the hospital were disgusted by what they didn't understand. To them, Spike and Buffy being together was some perverse relationship. They thought that perhaps the blonde-haired man was using the senior citizen for some cash jackpot. There was no way that love could be a component in their pairing.

"Let them think whatever they want, Buffy…" Spike had told the Slayer. "We both know the truth, and that has always been good enough for us". Buffy had been crying that day. Her weathered visage was marred by streaks of liquid forming in her eyes, imposed by the fact that she had overheard people speaking about her and Spike.

The vampire had come in that evening as he always did, never missing even a moment of the hours they could spend together after nightfall. Walking into the room, he had been exposed to the sight of Buffy slightly crumpled together, her hands in her face.

Tears had never tasted so sweet when Spike had begun kissing them away, once again to the disapproval of some intruding staff member. It was then that Spike had comforted Buffy, stuffing himself beside her in the bed, his arms embracing her in a protective nature.

From that day on, the Slayer and her vampire lover had taken the disapproval of the hospital staff as more of a blessing, a compliment even. It gave their relationship's uniqueness a steroid-like boost, something they both appreciated. Tonight, being caught in each other's arms yet again, was no exception to the rule.

"Your medication, m'am" the nurse strode to Buffy's bedside, opposite that which Spike was seated at. Her voice sounded slightly annoyed, and Spike simply watched the woman in silence, his eyes unable to hold their position for long before sliding back to Buffy.

The elder Slayer took the nurse's attitude, as well as her medication, with grace. Dropping the pills into her mouth and then downing them with a glass of water, she thanked the nurse as she did every evening.

Brown eyes remained stiff as Buffy spoke, the woman hardly appreciating what her patient had to say. It seemed that every person in the hospital had lost respect for the woman who had prevented more apocalypses in her lifetime than any of them could even dream of.

Hell, Spike thought. If it weren't for Buffy, you wouldn't even be here. A smirk dangled across the edges of his lips as the mahogany eyes of Buffy's nurse then dissected Spike. It was as if she had read his mind.

"Thank you, miss. G'night" Spike gave her a little wave before turning back to Buffy as the woman made her way out of the room, her steps brisk and aggravated. "What do you think? Did we just spoil that woman's night?" Spike nodded in the direction of the door as Buffy gave a soft laugh.

"Don't we always?" Buffy's eyes glowed again, and Spike couldn't help leaning over to place a small peck on her cheek. The touch sent an electric shockwave, one of comfort, guiding its way over Buffy's skin. Shivering slightly, the Slayer simply buried herself in Spike's eyes with a content smile.

Remaining at Buffy's side, Spike simply remained silent, his gaze always appreciative. Through the contact of her hands, he could feel her pulse beginning to drain in pace, calming slightly, becoming weaker. The motions of her chest weren't nearly as accented as they usually were.

Spike lowered his gaze for a moment to study the path of Buffy's veins beneath her skin, able to admire the smallest details about her. If given a piece of paper and a blue pen, Spike knew he would have no problem in tracing her hand. Every little crease in her palm, the exact length of every branching vein, Spike would know it all.

Looking up, another smile crossed over the vampire's lips when he saw that the Slayer had fallen asleep, her eyes closed peacefully. Damn that drowsy medication. Oh well, he had no problem with watching the Slayer sleep. He did it every night, often dozing off on Buffy's lap, waking only moments before dawn. He would plant a kiss on her forehead, nose, and lips, and then dash off to his crypt.

Tonight was going to be no different, Spike knew, as his grip on Buffy's hand never wavered. Just another night of peaceful bliss.