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

~*~Okay, I know I seem like I just keep starting these and then never finishing them, but I really do work on all of them… It's just that a lot of them are handwritten and need to be typed up yet, and I haven't had the chance. When I'm hit with inspiration, I can't very well let it go to waste, ya know? So anyway, this one's set post "Grave"… Oh, and could anybody tell me what the song is at the end of "Entropy"? I love it, and I know I know it, but I can't think what it is or who it's by… My first thought was Alison Krauss, but I can't seem to find it, so if anybody could tell me, it'd be greatly appreciated. It's been driving me crazy… Thanks…~*~

Chapter 1:

Buffy nervously approached his door, unsure of whether or not she should really be there. It was getting to be too much, living without him. She knew full well she shouldn't have forgiven him for what he'd done. That should've forever remained unforgivable… But somehow it wasn't. For a long time she'd convinced herself that she'd been okay with it because he was a monster. Because it was his nature. And yet, she knew it wasn't true. It was because she understood why he'd done it. He'd been looking for a way out. Trying to give her a reason to hate him… To give himself a reason to leave. Well, it'd half worked…

And now, here she was. She didn't know why. If anyone was there, it was Clem… Spike hadn't come home. To be honest, she was beginning to think he was gone for good. Maybe that was why she was here… To let go? More like hold on… All she wanted to do was curl up in his old chair and cry herself to sleep, his scent surrounding her.

That was a comfort. An amazing comfort. She wore his duster now… Everywhere. No one questioned it. Xander had at first, but she'd quickly put a stop to that. Not that it had been easy. Willow understood her feelings toward Spike. She could see how much the Slayer missed him, even if Buffy herself wouldn't admit it. Besides, Willow had always been quite fond of Spike. And, all else aside, she wasn't exactly in any place to judge Buffy considering her recent apocalyptic run-in with the black magicks. Anya didn't really care so much either way. Giles took it for what it was. The Slayer following her heart… Something he had always admired in her. And something she really needed to do at that point. And Dawn… What was there to say about Dawn. Yet again, she was pissed off… She blamed her sister for driving Spike out of town. In fact, she hated her for it…

Knocking lightly on the crypt door, Buffy waited for an answer. It had been a few weeks since she'd been here, and she wasn't sure if she should've come back. But she missed the familiarity of this place. It held so many memories. Memories of comfort… Of Spike. So here she was, nervous and waiting.

When Clem opened the door, she started slightly in surprise. Fidgeting , she kept her eyes on the ground, unsure of what to say. Finally, she settled. "Uh… Hi." she muttered quietly.

"Buffy, hi." Clem replied cheerfully, opening the door wider and waving her inside. She accepted the offer, almost reluctantly. "Haven't seen you around in awhile. What brings ya here?"

She bit her lower lip. How was she supposed to answer that? "Oh, nothing really… Just came to check in. Thought maybe you could use some company." Her smile was a bit too bright as she wandered around the room. Taking the place in, she tried her best to memorize everything she saw… Not that she hadn't already. For a few moments, she was lost. Lightly, she let her hand graze over the top of the old easy chair, her thoughts getting the best of her.

As Clem watched her, he knew she wasn't exactly being honest. His lips turned up a bit in a sad, sympathetic smile. "You miss him, don't you?"

The question was gentle; he wasn't trying to push. She took a deep breath and sighed as she sat in Spike's chair, gathering the coat around her tightly. There was no answer to that question. She hadn't stopped and taken the time to figure it out for herself. She was hurting without him… That she knew. Alright, so she missed him. Didn't mean she had to admit it… So instead she chose to just sit silently.

"It's okay if you miss him, ya know. I don't know exactly what was going on with the two of you, but I can tell ya, any fool can see it was far from hate. You had a fight. I gathered that much from what he told me. Don't know much else. Just that he said he wanted things to change. Maybe you should just let yourself miss him… Just for a little while. Might help… I promise I won't tell anyone."

That made Buffy smile. Clem was a sweetie. Sighing heavily, she let out a ragged breath she hadn't been aware she was holding. "I do miss him. A lot. I know I'm not supposed to, but I do. I mean, I should hate him for what he did, but I just can't." Tears had sprung to her eyes, and they were slipping freely down her cheeks. This was the first time she'd cried for him. She hadn't meant to… It just happened. "I miss him so much it hurts. After I died… When they brought me back, they pulled me out of heaven. I was finally at peace where I was… And peace for a Slayer is something that only happens once… In death. They took that away from me. I didn't have that quiet calm anymore. I was suddenly in this harsh, violent world where everything was bright and dark at the same time. It hurt so much to know that I had lost that one chance I had for peace, that I just shut down. I was numb… Dead inside. When I was with Spike… With him, I found that peace again. I found that peace and I finally felt alive. He made me feel. No one else would let me cry on their shoulder. No one else understood… Just him… Always him… And I miss him…"

"It's alright…" Clem told her, his voice soft and reassuring as he rested a comforting hand on her shoulder. "He'll come back. He wouldn't have asked me to look after the place if he wasn't planning on it. He won't be able to stay away. He loves you too much to do that." Her questioning look caused him to shrug. "Guy wears his heart on his sleeve. Everybody knows how he feels about you."

She managed a rough laugh. "Except me. So many times I should've known, but I did. I didn't believe he could love 'cause he was an evil, soulless vampire… God, I was so stupid!"

"You can't blame yourself, Buffy. You're the Slayer. He's a vampire. You were scared." Clem tried to reason.

"But I pushed him away…" Her large, frightened hazel eyes raised to meet his. "I had it all within my reach, Clem. All that love… Everything I've ever wanted. It was right there. He was willing to give me everything I needed, and I pushed him away because I was afraid to let him get too close… When they get too close, they leave… They always leave. I didn't wanna lose him, so I pushed him away… And now look at me. Alone, terrified… And he's not here to help me through it this time. I love him so much, but I…" Suddenly she stopped, her hand flying to cover her mouth in surprise when her own words echoed in her ears. Had she really just said that? Was it true? Did she love him? It had to be true… Why else would she have let it slip?

Clem noticed her fear at the realization, and he patted her shoulder gently. "It's okay for you to love him. It's understandable, after everything you were just talking about…" Her eyes dropped, and she nuzzled deeper within the folds of Spike's duster. "You look like you could use a little time alone. Tell ya what, I'll go out, and you can make yourself comfortable. I'll hang out somewhere till morning. Give ya a little time to think things over."

She nodded slightly and he smiled at her as he turned to make his way out of the crypt. Then, her soft voice stopped him…

"Clem?" It was nearly a whisper.


"Thank you." She smiled lightly as she glanced up at him to catch the questioning glance the demon shot her way. "For listening, I mean…"

"Anytime." His reply was sincere as he turned to leave once more. In those moments, he prayed that the bleach blonde vampire would show up soon… Otherwise that girl was going to destroy herself….

Once she heard the door close, Buffy pulled her legs up into the chair, hugging her knees to her chest as she pulled his coat tightly around her small body and sobbed herself to sleep…

~*~Okay, this doesn't sound like it's gonna turn out to be a Buffy/Clem story, does it? 'Cause if it does, I really didn't mean it… I'm strictly Spuffy… So anyway, review if ya get the chance… Thanks!~*~