A/N: This is just some short little two-parter I'm doing. I'm going to finish Reconciliation, but after not writing anything for awhile, I needed something to get me back into the swing of things….
"What are you doing?"
Buffy froze, clenching her eyes shut and squeezing her fists together. She could feel the cool night air blowing up from the deep crevasse in front of her and she could hear thunder rolling in the distance, signaling the coming storm. "Why did you follow me here?" She demanded, her voice angry and cold.
Spike made a slight face, taking a few more steps towards the girl. She could try and sound angry all she wanted, he could hear the fear and pain hiding in her voice. "What are you doing, pet?" He questioned again, although he knew perfectly well why she had walked three miles from Sunnydale and to the top of this cliff. He knew.
"Go home." She demanded, her eyes still clenched shut.
"Can't do that, pet."
"Yes, you can." She snapped, her voice cracking.
He couldn't see her face, but he could tell she had been crying. The scratchiness of her voice, the way she was carrying herself. She was in pain. Again. "Buffy, come on. It's cold out here, you'll get sick."
She shook her head slightly. "Please, just go…"
"I'm not goin' anywhere, luv. Not without you." He said sternly, taking another step towards her.
"Then you're going to be here an awfully long time…" She murmured, her voice taking on an eerie calmness, her eyes locked on her boots. The dusty toes were mere inches from the edge of the cliff.
"Buffy." He said flatly, taking another step towards her and wrapping a hand around one of her arms.
"No!" She snapped, pulling away and spinning to face him, nearly loosing her balance as she leapt backwards, tiny pieces of rock crumbling beneath her feet. Another loud bout of thunder rang through the air, closer. She held her hand on her arm where he had touched her, gripping at it like it was a fatal wound. Her head was lowered and she glared at him, her eyes hollow. "No…"
"Buffy, please. We can fix this, I promise. Come home with me and we'll fix it." He begged, becoming more nervous as she grew closer to the edge. He wanted more than anything to run up to her, grab her in his arms and hold her, but at this point he was afraid to move, afraid of scaring her into doing something stupid.
"You can't make it better, Spike." She snapped, inching along the edge and further away from him. "No one can make it better. You have no idea what it's like."
"Then tell me." He shot back. "Tell me what it's like, tell me or I won't know if I can make it better. Please, pet, just talk to me."
She shook her head furiously. "No. I won't."
"Please, Buffy. Please. I can't do this without you. Not again…"
"You can." He countered, inching forward. "You're strong."
"I'm not." She stated, shaking her head. "I'm not strong enough…"
"You don't have to be. All you have to do is be strong enough to trust me. Just trust me and I'll make it better. I promise, Buffy. God, please, just get away from there."
"I can't…" She whispered, looking back over her shoulder and over the cliff. Another loud crack sounded and the rain began to fall, slowly at first, but quickly picking up speed. The Slayer visibly shuddered as the ice cold rain began to trickle over her skin. She shook her head again, more slowly this time. "I can't. It hurts so much…."
He swallowed back the lump in his throat, ignoring the water drenching him as his eyes began to sting. "Buffy, I want more than anything for the pain to go away, to make you stop hurting, but the truth is, I'm a selfish bastard. I don't want you to go away. It hurts so much to watch you try to be strong, but God Buffy, you have no idea how much it hurt when you died. I can't do it again, I can't. I need you to stay here. I need you."
"I can't…" She repeated, looking down. Her long blonde hair fell in messy strands over her face. She was shaking violently now, not only from the cold, but from the fear and pain welling inside of her.
"Please Buffy, just try. I can't do this without you…" He whispered.
She closed her eyes, shaking her head numbly as he closed the distance between them, grabbing her in his arms and bringing her back away from the cliff before allowing them both to sink to the ground. "I can't…"
"Shhh…" he whispered, running a hand over her soaking wet hair as she buried her face in his shoulder, her hot tears trickling down his neck. "God, Buffy, it'll be okay. I'll make it all okay…" He murmured, kissing her hair lightly before wrapping his arms more tightly around her and resting his head on hers, oblivious to the rain and everything around them. All he was aware of was the broken Slayer in his arms, the sobbing girl that would destroy him if she were to die again.
"Why won't it stop?" She questioned shakily, sounding more pitiful than she looked, if that was possible.
"It's hard, luv, I know. But we'll make it better, I promise. I just need you t'stay with me, 'right?"
She sniffled, curling up closer to him as she continued to shake. "I just want to go back, it's so cold here…"
"Well, that's a start." He said gently, smiling slightly as he rubbed his hand up and down her back. "Come on, let's go get you warmed up."
Pulling the spoon from the hot cup of tea he had prepared, Spike tossed it absently aside and turned back to Buffy. She was curled up at one end of the couch, her soaking wet clothes replaced by one of his black tees and an old pair of red sweatpants he had dug out of a corner. He had made good on his promise to keep her warm, wrapping her in every last blanket he owned, making her look like some big lump on his couch.
"Hey." He said gently, taking a seat next her feet. He watched as she continued to stare blankly at the wall opposite of them, not hearing him or simply ignoring him. Sighing dejectedly, he set the cup down and stared at her. "Slayer?"
The blonde jumped when she felt his hand on her arms and squeezed her eyes shut, jerking away slightly.
"Hey, s'all right luv." He whispered, tucking her hair behind her ear. "Just me."
The Slayer whimpered slightly, pulling away from his touch. "Stop…"
"Stop what?" He questioned.
"Why won't you just let me go?" She asked softly, tears slipping through her closed eyes.
His heart broke and he swallowed, staring at her. After a few moments of silence, she tentatively looked up at him, her eyes glistening with tears. He smiled grimly, brushing a hand down the side of her face. "'cause you and the lil'bit are the only things in this world that mean anything to me. You're all I have."
Her eyes continued to search his before drifting down slightly. "I hate it here…"
He allowed himself to chuckle slightly. "You and me both."
She looked up at him, confused. "Then why do you stay?"
"You and Nibblet. Plus, the way I see it, there are a lot nastier places out there." He said simply. The Slayer just swallowed, her eyes drifting away from his once more. He smiled slightly, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and pulling her into his lap. "Get some sleep, it's late." He listened as she sniffled, resting her forehead against his neck. He was almost positive the poor girl had caught a cold out in the rain, despite his best efforts to keep her warm and dry on the walk home. He sighed, shaking his head slightly. Like she didn't have enough problems already…