Never Mind the Darkness


It was that night in the rain that started it.

She'd realized she'd fallen in love with a soulless demon, and it scared her. She was the Slayer. Duty-bound to kill the demons, not love them, no matter how different this one was. Look where it had gotten her before.

And maybe this one couldn't lose his soul, but… he could lose his chip. Then what? How long would he be content to play at being a man for her?

She'd had to know.

Put it that way, and she sounded cold and calculating, but that wasn't how it had been. There hadn't been much rational thought at all, actually. How much self-awareness did you really expect her to have? Hmmm?

Something about the rain had set her off every time and she hadn't known why. Only when he began to question her behavior did she think about it, analyze it. Realize what she was doing.

His voice drew her out of her thoughts. "So we back to being the holier-than-thou Slayer and her vampire consort then? No more with the Bonnie and Clyde routine?"

"Um..." She wrinkled her nose. Took his hand. "What do you want?"

Spike rubbed his jaw, eyes twinkling. "Maybe we can save the larceny for special occasions, like."

Buffy laughed, long and hard. "Yup. I really do love you." Ridiculous though it was, considering all they'd done together recently, she blushed as she whispered, "We don't have to save the crazy sex for special occasions though, right?"

It was his turn to laugh. He reined it in as her blush deepened, kissing away her mortification until she was pliant in his arms. "Love you so much, Buffy. Think I'd combust if I loved you any more than I do."

"Well then I'll just have to be extra difficult to love. Don't want to be dating a big pile of dust."



"Remind me why we took this job?" she chattered.

"Lots'o dosh. Near twenty-four darkness. Thrill of the hunt. Adventure." He gave her a wicked smile. "Penguins."

"Don't remind me about those stupid birds," she growled. "If I never see another penguin I'll die a happy woman."

He rubbed his hands together. "I wouldn't mind. Tasty lot. Almost as good as the pigs. Got a certain exotic flair to 'em."

"I'm just going to pretend that my boyfriend isn't comparing the finer points of penguins to pigs," she grumbled, trudging on.



"Right about now is one of those times that I really hate your undead status."

"What? Why?"

"You're all cold. I mean, would it have killed you to put on a snowsuit instead of strutting around in your duster like some overly cool guy? And now you're stealing all my body heat," she complained.

"This'll perk you right up."

"You brought a nice warm house with a furnace in your backpack?"

"Nah." He reached up to open a tent flap, ignoring her protests. "Look."

"Oh. Wow."

They lay together, hands linked, watching the Aurora Australis shimmer overhead.

"Okay," she whispered. "That makes it all worthwhile, right there."

"Never seen 'em before. Not these or the Northern ones."

"Really?" she asked, surprised. He grunted. "Then this just became my favorite place in the world."

Spike rolled to take her face in both his hands. "Mine too."



They were on the plane home when she asked, "So, you wanna move in with me when we get back?"

He choked on his drink. "Come again?"

"Well. I just figured, with the you loving me and the me loving you… and we're both mature adults. One of us more than the other," she added under her breath, then continued. "We could, you know, live together. Like a real couple." When he continued to stare at her, she said, "Or not. It was just an idea."

"Buffy." His voice was so deep she could barely hear it. "Buffy," he repeated, unable to say anything else. She bit her lip, tried to read his face, unsure of what he was trying to get out. Finally he took her hand, placed over his heart. "If my heart could beat it would break my chest."

"Oh." She smiled. "So is that a yes?"