Summary: Spike's back and he's human. He talks Buffy into taking a road trip with him so
they can work things out, get to know each other again. They meet up with an
old friend on the road.


The dishes clinked in the thesink as Dawn Summers rinsed them to load into the
dishwasher. She flipped her long brown tresses as she turned to face her older
sister, "I think you should go with him." She sighed as she turned back to the
glasses in the sink.

"Give me a good reason!" Buffy replied stubbornly as she ferociously scrubbed
the already clean countertop.

"You need a vacation. Even Giles says so. Thats why he's here, he made the offer
to patrol for a month so you could take it easy." Dawn put the last dish into the machine
and closed the door.

"Dawn do you really think Giles meant for me to vacation with Spike?" Buffy
rolled her eyes at the younger girl, "And besides, Spike's only been back about
six weeks, and we don't .........I mean I don't know.." Her voice trailed off with a sigh.

Dawn raised her eyebrows at her sister, "Maybe you should go and figure out
exactly what it is that you *don't* know?"

Bufffy stopped scrubbing the counter long enough to look at Dawn, "You really
think I should go?"

"Yes, I do. He said no strings attached right, just a road trip and some relaxation."

Buffy nodded, "That's what he said."

"Then go.....call Giles and tell him you're going on a vacation. I'm leaving for
Dad's tomorrow for two weeks - so you don't have to worry about me." Dawn
smiled to herself as she saw Buffy begin to warm to the idea.

"Fine, I'll go call Giles." Buffy playfully swatted Dawn with a dishtowel as she
reached for the phone.
***
Dawn grinned at Buffy's back as she talked to Giles. She had done all she could do,
now it was up to Spike. She leaned back against the counter and thought about
everythng that had happened in the last six weeks. She remembered seeing Spike
under *his* tree in their yard which was shock by itself but when she went to
confront him and realized that it was broad daylight and he was breathing she
had almost passed out. When she was more sure of herself she demanded an
explanation and he promised to give one if she would meet him at the address
he gave her. He was far from ready to face Buffy yet.

After several more visits to the small but neat apartment that was now Spike's home,
the whole story of where he had gone and what he had done unfolded. Dawn
wasn't sure why but despite what Xander had accused Spike of she believed he
had the best of intentions towards her sister now. In fact Buffy had never described
the incident that happened in the bathroom the way that Xander did, she only said
it was a very bad misunderstanding and that things got way out of hand.

She had finally talked Spike into seeing Buffy atter a week, the meeting had gone
much better then she had expected, but of course she had been there to serve as
a buffer between them. Spike had been almost shy, very apologetic to Buffy. Buffy
didn't seem to be angry to see him at all, in fact Dawn thought she seemed to
bel relieved that he was okay and when she found out about his newfound
humanity she had genuinely smiled at him, Dawn could have sworn there was
something else there, hope maybe?

Not everyone was quite as accepting of the new improved Spike, Giles and Xander
were both wary. Willow was still on a retreat so she had not seen him yet, but
Dawn figured if anyone should know about forgiving it was Willow. She still had
nightmares about seeing the redhead as an evil brunnette.

Last night, Spike had come by and asked Buffy to go on road triip with him,
to take a vacation from everything, no pressure he promised, just time to figure
out where they were going. He had even assured her that if they could only be
friends then so be it. Dawn had *accidentlally* heard the whole conversation as
she pressed her ear to the back door as the two blondes sat side by side on
the porch.
****

Dawn smiled again as she watched Buffy hang up the phone, "So what did he
say?"

"He said he was glad I had decided to go away he was sure it would be qutie
beneficial." Buffy did her best Giles imitation.

"You didn't tell him the Spike part did you?" Dawn cocked her head to one side.


"Nope." Buffy laughed lightly, "Guess I better pack."

"You gong to call Spike?" Dawn asked folowing Buffy upstairs.

"Nah, let him stew. He said he would be her tomorrow morning and that I should
be ready to if my answer was yes." Buffy went to her closet and took out her bag.

"You are a cruel woman." Dawn laughed as she began to help Buffy choose
what to pack.


****
"Pants, shirts, pair of boxers, lollipops, socks, shoes. I think that's it." Spike
spoke out loud as he closed the small suitcase. He looked around the bedroom
once, grabbed the map off of the bedstand and walked towards the front door.
Turning out the light, he sighed, he hoped he wasn't going to make this trip alone.

Reachng for the bag of charms pops in the front seat he chose a green
apple one and unwrapped it, he wondered briefly if all the cand y he was eating
would kill his new human body as sure at the cigarettes he was replacing would.

He followed the familiar path to Revello Drive anxiously, what if she said no?
What if she said yes? He pulled up in front of the house and his face lit up.
Buffy and Dawn stood on the front porch, two bags by thier feet.

He walked up the sidewalk with a slight spring in his step, Dawn had to stifle a
giggle as she watchec him, Spike was always gonna carry his feelings right out
there for the world to see, human or vamp.

"So, you've decided to go, then?" He asked as he reached for the bags, trying
desperately to sound casual.

Buffy smiled broadly at him, "No, I'm sending Dawn."

His face fell for a moment, but quickly lifted when he saw both sisters crumple with
laughter.

"Yes, I'm going." Buffy told him as she hugged Dawn and put her cell phone in her
purse.

Dawn waved at the two of them as they drove down the road. She had last
minute packing to do for her trip to LA, she walked into the house with a smile
on her face.
***

"If I can ask, what made you decide to come along?" Spike asked as he fished
for another lollipop, this time strawberry.

"Everyone keeps saying I need a vacation. Even Giles, he seems to forget I took
about a year ago, six feet under?" She smirked.

Spike's face fell again, "I hate it when you do that." He said softly.

"What?" Buffy asked unsure of what he meant.

"When you make light of dying. You don't know how hard it was for everyone
you left behind." His voice cracked slighly.

"i'm sorry. It's just that since I've been back, everyone seems to think they know
what is best for me." Buffy sighed as she dug through the sucker bag and came
up with a grape sucker.

"I know but we all had a hard time and to have you back is just a miracle." He
smiled around his sucker.

"I know," She smiled softly at him, "I really came because I think maybe we
have some things to figure out, where we've been, where we're going. I'm
not sure of alot right now. But I think this will be fun."

"I'll accept that. Now let's get out that map." Spike pointed to the glove box.

"Where are we going by the way?" Buffy asked as she unfolded the large map.

"Dallas, Texas always wanted to visit there, then on through Arkansas and
into Tennessee." Spike smiled at her, "That okay?"

Buffy settled into her seat and leaned back, closing her eyes, "Drive on."

Spike smiled at Buffy and pulled away from the curb, humming "On the road again"
softly to himself.

She still had her eyes closed and was finishing up her sucker,
taking the sucker stick from her mouth she turned to him "Where do you want this?"

He nodded towards a smalll bag in the floorboard, "Just put it in there." She
did as told and lay back against her headrest, closing her eyes once again. Within
a few blocks of Revello Drive she was asleep. He was slightly dissappointed but then reminded himself
that he had promised relaxation and if the small snores coming from the passenger
seat were any indication, she obviously felt like she could relax around him.

He drove for a couple of hours before his stomach started growling, lollipops for
breakfast were just not going to cut it. He needed a little more substance. He saw
the Shoney's sign and pulled off at the next exit.

Buffy woke up as the car stopped, she yawned and stretched her arms, ":Where
are we?"

"Still in California, I'm hungry want something?" Spike asked as he opened his
car door.

"Yeah, I am a little hungry and they have this great breakfast buffet." She was
slightly surprised when he walked around and opened her car door for her.
She remembered for a moment the last time he had tried to open a door for her,
the night he confessed his feelings, that seemed so very long ago and so much
had happened to both of them since that night.

The waitress took their orders and they went to the buffet, Buffy laughed at the amount
of food Spike had piled on his plate. "You really are hungry."

"I'm a growing boy." He grinned at her as he speared sausage with his fork, " Not
everyone can live on a muffin and some fruit." He teased her.

"Hey, I've got a couple slices of bacon here too." She rolled her eyes at him,
"And if I ate all that, I couldn't slay."

"This is a no slay vacation." Spike countered with a smirk.

"Sounds good to me." She told him as she drank her orange juice.

"So is Dawn as excited as she seems to be about the trip to LA?" He asked
over his coffee cup.

"I think so, it's been a while since Dad really showed any interest so I hope he
treats her right." Buffy gave him a sly grin as she took her fork and stole a bite
of hash browns off of his plate.

He pretended not to notice as she took another bite, she had taken a nap and now
she was eating both good signs. "I hope he doesn't dissappoint her either. Lil Bit deserves
to have a good summer. The last couple haven't been so good for her."

They finished their meal with more pleasant light conversation and both made
trips to the restroom before Spike paid for the meal and they got back on the road.
"Wow, look there's a Wisconsin license plate." Buffy pointed to the car in front of
them.

"Yeah?" Spike commented.

"Well my grandma always took a pad and paper when she traveled and wrote
down all the license plates from different states she saw. We used to love to
help her find them." Buffy dug through her purse and found a pad and pen. She
quickly wrote down 'Wisconsin'.

"Did you travel a lot with your grandma?" Spike asked as he eyed the car in the
next lane, "Hey that one's from Florida."

"Before the divorce we did, but afterwards we just never seemed to do that kind
of thing anymore." Buffy replied as she wrote 'Florida" on her paper. She turned
to Spike, "And when you see one from that faraway you have to say 'they're a
long way from home' it never failed thats what she would always say." She shook her
head fondly at the memory.


"Wow, they're a long way from home" Spike replied with a wink.

"Yeah, they are." Buffy rolled down her window and let the wind whip trhough her
hair, "So did you ever travel with your Grandmother?"

"I never traveled with her, but I did take a train with my mum and my sister to go visit
her once. We lived in the city and she lived out in the country on the farm my mom
was born on. See my mum met my dad when she spent a summer at my great
aunts house in the summer. Love at first sight is what my great aunt Lenora always
said." Spike's accent changed slightly when he told the story and Buffy could
see him smiling at his memory too.

"I don't think I've ever ridden a train." Buffy searched the lollipop bag for a strawberry
one, "Did you say you had a sister?"

"Yes, I did. Two years older then me." Spike sighed.

"What was her name?"

"Mary Rose." He answered softly, "She was quite lovely, she had self confidence
and she would defend anyone she thought was being mistreated."

He thought back
to the times Mary Rose would take him aside when he was a little boy and help
put his spectacles back on and run a hand through his unruly curls and then turn
to the other boys who tormented him and let them all have it. Having your sister
defend you didn't do much for your reputation but he had never felt so loved in
his entire life, he could still hear her words, "Your a good boy William, honest and
kind, don't ever forget that."



Buffy's voice shook him out of the past and in to the present, "What happened to
her?"

"She defied my father and married for love not to increase the family fortune, my
dad finally forgave her before he died, for that. I think the fact that she had two
children that he adored helped the matter."

"When was the last time you saw her?' Buffy asked cautiously, not sure she wanted
to know the answer. She knew that Angelus had killed his family, but she didn't know
about Spike.

"I saw her on the night I was turned. I was leaving for a party and she was visiting
my mother, the last thing she told me was that I was too good for Cecily." Spike
shook his head remembering the confrontation with his well meaning sister.

"Cecily?" Buffy asked her interest peaked.

"Just a girl, I thought I fancied." He brushed off the question.

"I want to hear more about Cecily." Buffy propped her arms on the rest between
the seats.

"Wow, look it's a tag from Hawaii,,,,,,they are long way from home." Spike quickly
changed the subject.

Buffy raised her eyebrows at him but she smiled as she wrote "Hawaii" on the paper.
"fine I'll let that drop for now. So this was the night you were turned? The night you
met Drusilla?'

"Yes, but you know that part of the story, I already shared it over some hot wings
at the Bronze."

"Yeah, it was the best night of your life right?" Her tone was serious.

"Once I thought it was, but I was wrong. The best night of my life was when I stood
at the bottom of the stairs at your house and called for Dawn and .........then
there you were." His voice cracked slightly and he nervously ran one hand through
his hair."

Buffy's eyes watered slightly as she changed the subject to something lighter,
"Have I told you I like the new hair?"

"You like the brown?" He decided a change of subject was probably safer at this
point.

"Yes, I do the bleached tips look good too. Oh........there's Iowa." Buffy laughed
as she wrote down "Iowa".

"You think maybe it's Riley?" Spike asked in a high falsetto voice while batting his
eyelashes at her.

Buffy lightly punched his shoulder, "I wouldn't know, guess you'd have to ask
Sam, the super soldierwife."

"I didn't get to meet her. You're really okay with that though? You and Riley
sussed stuff out?"

"After he offered to kill you for me, yeah we worked it out." Buffy said playfully.

"You turned down the offer?"

"I couldn't let him........I mean we were...." Buffy met his eyes, "You know why."

"Yeah. I do." He looked at his watch, "I figure we can get some lunch in a little
while if you want, and then we can drive till dark and get some supper and a hotel room."

"That sounds good." Buffy replied, very happy that he wasn't pushing to talk about
them yet.

Several hours later, Spike parked the car outside of a hotel. "I'm going to get
a couple of rooms and then we'll get something to eat."

"Okay." Buffy nodded her head, a couple of rooms, well that answered that question
she had worried about what would happen when they stopped.

Spike returned shortly with two sets of keys. "Do you want the second or third
floor?"

"Second I guess."

Spike handed her a key. "Your room is 204, mine is 305 if you need me. Now let's
go eat."

After a quick supper at the hotel restaurant, Spike helped Buffy take her luggage
to her room and then said a quick goodnight, leaving her alone in the room.
She took a long hot bath and thought about the conversation with Spike, he had
a family once, parents and a sister who loved him, and a grandmother who lived
in the country. As she crawled into the bed she wondered what Spike was doing
and if he hated being alone in a hotel room as much as she did.


******
The room seemed very lonely to Spike as he stripped and slid under the blankets.
He played with the tv remote for half an hour before he gave up and turned it off.
He wonderered what Buffy was doing right now, if she was sleeping any better then
he was.


Buffy wasn't faring any better then Spike. She didn't really like being in a strange bed in a strange room
in a strange town alone. She would have felt much better if Spike's room had at least
been on the same floor. She would mention to him that next time she would like the
rooms to be closer.

She got up and showered early, choosing a pretty pair of white shorts and a
stiped tank top to go with it. Donnng her sandals she checked the room once
and gathered her bags leaving them beside the door, she climbed the stairs to
Spike's floor and knocked on his door.

Spike wrapped his towel a bit tighter around his waist and went to answer the
door. He was greeted by Buffy's smiling face, "Good morning, merry suns....oops Sorry."
She stuttered when she saw his state of undress.

Spike smiled at her stuttering, "Morning. Come on in and I'll go get dressed."


She followed him in the room taking a seat and trying not to watch as he
grabbed jeans and a tee shirt from his bag and went into the bathroom.
He looked good even from the back and she got warm as she remembered
exactly what was under the towel. Bad Buffy, we're friends now, we don't do
that other stuff anymore.

Spike appeared fully dressed in a few minutes time. He had run a comb through
his hair and sat down to put on his shoes. "Ready for breakfast?"

"Yes, that sounds good." She replied as he grabbed his bag and they walked
down to her room to get her bags.

They were soon on the road again and this time the conversation centered on
Buffy's childhood. "So we talked about my sister, lets talk about yours." Spike
reached for his ever present lollipop.

"You know all about Dawn." Buffy chided him, "Let's talk some more about you."

"No, tell me about when you and Dawn were little." Spike encouraged her.

"Well, you know those are implanted memories." Buffy sighed.

"Yes, but to you and Dawn they are real. She's your sister, no matter what." Spike
smiled as he tapped out a beat on the steering wheel.

"Yes she really is." She replied soflty, "Okay well once when she was about five,
and you can not tell her I told you this."

"Promise not to tell." He said solemnly.

"Her kindergarten class went on a nature trip and Dawn had seen a show on
tv about ticks in the woods and it said if you got one on you that you could put
vaseline on it and it would let go. So after her nature walk out in the woods,
she came home and went to take her bath, she came downstairs and her hair
looked really funny. Mom called her over and she had put vaseline in her hair
to kill ticks that might be in it." Buffy laughed at the memory.

"How did your mom get it out?" Spike asked as he laughed at the thought of
Dawn her hair sticking up all over.

"It took forever! We tried every shampoo and dishwashing liquid, finally she
called my grandma and she told her to put powder in it and that would absorb the
oil, then she could wash it out. It worked." Buffy shook her head still laughing.

"You of course never did anything like that?" Spike asked as he pulled into a
gas station.

"Of course not." She told him as she opened the car door, "I'm going to potty
and get a coke, you want one?"

"No thanks, and you know if you didnt' get a drink everytime we stopped you wouldn't
have to "potty" so often." He raised his eyebrow at her as he got out to fill the
tank.

"Now it's time for a Spike story." Buffy told him as she sipped her coke and
pulled out her pad, "Look there's an Alabama plate." She pointed as she
wrote down Alabama.

On cue Spike replied, "Wow, they're a long way from home."

They both laughed at the same time over the now standard joke between them.

After several more Dawn and Buffy stories, it was time for supper and to stop for
the night again. Spike pulled up to the hotel and started to get out, "Hey Spike,
can we get rooms on the same floor this time?"

Spike smiled broadly, "Sure pet." He whistled a happy tune as he walked into
the hotel office.

"Here you go. These rooms are side by side." He handed her a key and helped
her with her bags again. They opened their doors at the same time.

Buffy stuck her head out of the room, "Spike." She called before he closed his
door.

"Yeah." He answered.

"Umm.......if you want to, we can watch some tv before bed. If you want to."

"Let me put my stuff in and I'll be over." He carried his bags in the room and
sat them beside the bed.

Buffy closed the door behind her and sat her baggage down. She found the
remote and turned on the tv.

Soon there was a knock at her door, opening it she let Spike in. "There's not
too much on, but maybe we can find something." She sat down on the end of the
bed.

Spike looked at her on the bed and then at the chair against the wall, she noticed
his discomfort, "You can sit on the bed with me, you can see the tv better."

He gently sat down beside her, "That's a pretty good movie." He motioned towards
the set. "Bogey and Bacall. To Have or Have Not."

"It's black and white." Buffy pointed out.

"Yeah lots of good movies are." He rolled his eyes at her and grinned.

"Fine, we'll watch it." Buffy crawled back up the bed and propped the pillow againstt
the headboard to get comfortable. Spike remained at the foot of the bed. "You can
come up here, there's plenty of room."

He fluffed up the other pillow and for the next hour and a half were immersed in
the movie.When it ended, he stood up and stretched.

"That was really good." Buffy told him as she yawned.

"Told you." He grinned at her, "Now I better go."

"Okay. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Oh Buffy if you need me just whistle." He grinned at her, "You know how to
whistle don't you?" He paused for a moment, "You just put your lips together and
blow."

Buffy shook her head and threw a pillow at him as he repeated Lauren Bacall's famous
lines. "Goodnight Spike."

He walked to the door, "Night, Buffy."

That night neither of them had trouble sleeping.

***

After another early start on the road the two travelers saw the sign for Dallas - Fort
Worth approaching. "We're almost there." Spike turned to Buffy, "What do you
want to do first?"

"Well I was looking at the flyers and I think Six Flags would be fun? Are you up
to a roller coaster ride?" Buffy held up one of the flyers they had picked up
at the Visitors Bureau when they had entered the State.

"Sounds fun, we could go straight there and then go find a hotel? Maybe
go downtown later, I saw something about a West End marketplace that
sounded nice." Spike saw the exit for Six Flags and switched lanes to
exit the interstate.

"That sounds good, and hey theres a big Palace of Wax Museum with
a Ripley's Believe it or Not attached to it. Maybe we could go there tomorrow?"
Buffy's voice was almost bubbly as she spoke.

Spike laughed, "Yes, we should do that too."

They pulled into the parking lot of the theme park and found a spot and went to
buy tickets. Upon entering the park a young man with a camera stopped them,
"Want your picture with your girl?" He asked with a smile, "Nice memory of your
trip here, you can pick it up at the courtesy booth when you leave the park."

Spike turned to Buffy and shrugged his shoulders, he didn't want to push anything.
She hadn't even blinked an eye when the guy had called her Spike's "girl", maybe
things were going to work out

"Let's do it. It will be a nice memento." Buffy grinned as she linked her arm through
Spike's and the photographer snapped the photo.

"Here's your number, don't forget to pick it up." The photographer waved as he went
to find his next customer.

Spike tucked the number in his wallet and turned to Buffy, "Don't let me forget to
pick it up. Now where to first?"

"Why don't we start with a smaller coaster first and work our way up to the Batman
one." Buffy tugged at Spike's hand as they went to stand in line at a roller coaster
that looked like it ran through an abandoned mine shaft.

Several minutes longer they exited the ride, laughing as they talked about the
cartoon characters in the shaft, "I used to love Bugs Bunny when I was little."

"And Daffy Duck." Spike chimed in.

"You would like Daffy." Buffy rolled her eyes at him, "He's annoying."

"Oh yeah, well Bugs Bunny has no sense of direction." Spike spoke with mock
irritation.

They rode several more rides and Buffy even let Spike take her hand as they
walked through the different sections of the park. The Texas sun began to take it's
toll after a couple of hours, "You ready for a water ride? Maybe it will cool us off?"
Spike suggested as they found a lemon ice stand.

"Okay, we'll finsish these and then on to the water." Buffy smiled at him over her
spoonful of lemon ice.

"Do you think we need to rent a locker? You're getting quite a handful of stuff there."
Spike nodded at her bag from the gift shop, complete with a stuffed Taz for Dawn
and the sovenier cup with Bugs Bunny on it.

"Maybe, I guess I should have saved the shopping till later." She finished off her
ice and threw the cup away.

"There are lockers over there, I'll go put your stuff in one for you." Spike walked
towards the lockers leaving Buffy alone at the picnic table.

"Hello." A friendly voice spoke to her as she turned a very nice looking man
sat down on the other side of the table.

"Hello." Buffy replied as she watched for Spike to return.

"You on vacation." The man asked smiling brightly.

"Yes, from California." She answered politely.

"I could show you around the park if you'd like." He leaned over the table closer
to her.

"That's nice of you but........"

She was cut off by Spike's voice behind her, "Nice offer, but she's with someone."

Buffy couldn't help but grin at the protectiveness his voice. She knew that Spike
knew she could take care of herself but it was still sweet to let someone else do
the protecting once in a while. This was turning out to be a really good trip and
Spike was being the perfect gentleman.

"Well, if you change your mind." The man stood up and nodded at Buffy, choosing
to ignore Spike completely as he walked away from the table.

"That was okay wasn't it? I mean you didn't want to ....?" Spike began to explain.

"It's fine." Buffy replied softly, "No, I didn't want him to show me around and yes, I am with someone."
She stood up and took his hand, "Come on, lets find that water ride."

He took her hand and squeezed it, "Let's go."

They exited the ride soaking wet and laughing loudly after another hour of rides, they decided it was time
to go find a hotel. On the way out of the park they stopped to pick up their photo. It had turned out really
well, the older lady who was operating the booth told them they made a lovely couple. Buffy had
shyly said thank you and when she saw the picture she had to agree. Her arm was linked through
Spike's and they were both smiling genuine happy smiles.

Once they found a hotel, Spike was given instructions to get rooms with an adjoining door between them this
time, just in case they wanted to watch tv again.

"Let's change into something dry and we'll head to downtown Dallas, we can get something to eat
there." Spike instructed as he put her bags in her room for her and used the door between to enter his
room.

**
"This is so neat!" Buffy exclaimed as they visited the unique shops in the West End Market Place. One
shop was filled with all things purple. Purple cows and framed copies of the poem about an old woman
wearing purple and anything you could imagine that could be purple was. Buffy bought a purple fuzzy ink pen
for Dawn since she loved purple.

The next shop was a Texas Souvenier shop, she found magnets with Texas blue bonnet flowers on
them for Anya and Willow. For Giles and Xander she chose adorable little carved armadillos whose
heads nodded up and down. For Dawn she settled on an "Everything is Bigger in Texas" mug, it
was big enough to be a cereal bowl for her.

"So did you buy anything for you?" Spike asked as they started to leave the market.

"No, I had fun buying for the others." She handed him a bag when he offered to help carry them.

"Oh, well I got a little something on my way to the bathroom." He grinned as he pulled out a thin
box from his pocket and handed it to her.

Buffy eyed the box suspiciously, "For me?"

"Of course its for you." He watched as she opened the box. Inside was a delicate silver chain with
a charm in the shape of Texas dangling from it.

"It's lovely, Spike." Buffy sighed as she held out her wrist to Spike and he fastened the bracelet for her.

"Thought we could get a charm from each place we visit, be a nice memory of the trip."

"Thank you, this is so sweet." Buffy suddenly pulled him to her in a tight hug, "All of this has been just
great, Spike."

He held her tightly for a few minutes, before he pulled back and took her hand, "Your welcome. I wanted,
I just wanted you to have a good time for a change." This was the hardest part knowing when to pull back,
knowing when to not push.

"Mission accomplished." She smiled at him as they walked through the mass of people in downtown
Dallas.

"I got a silver bangle for Niblet, do you think she'll like it?" He asked as they walked further downtown.

"She'll love it, because you gave it to her."

They walked further until they reached the JFK memorial enjoying the sights and
the sounds of the busy city. When darkness fell they both realized they were hungry and stopped at
a small restaurant on the way back to the Market Place. They listened to the live music coming from
The Hard Rock Cafe and watched as people danced in the square behind the club.

"Care to dance?" Spike asked as he offered her his hand.

"That would be lovely, sir." She laughed soflty as a slow song began. He pulled her closer to him
and she lay her head against his shoulder. They moved perfectly together as if they were two parts
of an intricate machine. It was times like this that she wondered why she bothered to ever make excuses
for them not to be together.

After another dance, Buffy yawned into Spike's shoulder. He whispered, "Ready to go back to the
room? I'm tired too."

"I hate to go, but I am tired." He took her hand firmly in his and they walked back to the car. "This has
been the best day ever." Buffy told him as they pulled into the hotel parking lot.

"It's pretty high on my list too." He smiled at her as he got out and opened her car door. They walked
to thier rooms and unlocked their respective doors. "Goodnight, Buffy."

"Goodnight, Spike." She told him with a mischeiveous grin right before she pulled him down and kissed
him soundly. She then let him go and flounced into her room.

Spike quickly entered his room trying to figure out what had just happened. She had kissed him,
willingly and she didn't seem the least bit repulsed. He didnt' have long to ponder it ,before she entered
his room through the adjoining door.

"Spike, I.....I just wanted you to know I wasn'' teasing you with that kiss." She suddenly seemed very
young and vulnerable to him.

"You weren't?" He asked softly, hope shining in his blue eyes.

"No, I wasn't. I've missed you. I've missed....." She kissed him again this time deepening the kiss
as she ran her fingers through the shorter hair at the nape of his neck manuevering them towards the
bed.

Spike's mind was on auto pilot as he felt the back of his knees hit the bed, it would be so easy to do
this, he'd dreamed of it the last few months. He pulled Buffy up and she latched her legs around his
waist. NO! He was not going to do this, not like this. He pulled away from her mouth. "We can't" He choked
the words out.

"Why not? Buffy grumbled as she unwrapped herself from around Spike and stood before him.

"Because as much as I want to do this, and believe me I really do." Spike sighed and sat down at
the foot of the bed, " We're going somewhere Buffy, you and I, we aren't there yet, but we're gonna
find our way this time. We're gonna do it right." He leaned down and gently kissed her lips, "Now go to bed, we have another
busy day tomorrow."

TBC