Not Going Without You

"You're immortal!"

"You've come back from the dead... twice if I heard you correctly."

"But you'll never die"

"Already did, love. Got the lack of heartbeat to prove it."

"You know what I mean. I mean now you won't ever die."

"Maybe you won't either. Did you think of that? Did Red think of that when she resurrected you?"

"What?"

"Could happen. You know how often her spells go exactly the way she wants them to. For all you know, from now on every time you die, you'll be resurrected."

"OMG. That would be... awful..."

"Not from my point of view."

"That's pretty selfish Spike." Buffy shuddered. "I can't imagine what that would be like... dying and coming back over and over again."

"You're right, love. Not the kind of thing you'd want to do more than once or twice, is it? I was being selfish." He shrugged and gave her an apologetic fluttering of his eyelashes. "But in my defense, I only said it because I'll miss you so bloody much."

"Maybe if I live long enough, you'll be sick of me and glad I'm gone." She tossed her hair and dared him to argue with her.

"That's just bloody stupid, Slayer." He laughed when his quiet reply didn't spark the argument she was looking for.

"It is not," she finally said with a pout. "I'll get old and wrinkled and—"

"And I'll love you every bit as much as I do now. Which, by the way, I'd be happy to demonstrate..."

"Wha—what happened?" Buffy blinked hard and tried to focus on Spike's face. There were tears running down his cheek, but his expression was one of complete surprise and growing delight. "Spike? I asked you a question. I don't remember... we were fighting a... and then it... and I... Oh. My. God." Her gaze flew to meet his. "Did I die? Am I dead? Did you do something stupid like die with me? Are we in..." She looked around at the familiar surroundings. "This isn't Heaven. It looks like our bedroom. Which has had it's moments, I'll admit, but I don't think even you would call it Heaven."

He shook his head vigorously, all the time holding her hand in a grip that was becoming more and more painful.

"Spike? You're starting to scare me. What's going on?"

He took a deep breath and released her hand, only to lie down beside her on the bed and clutch her almost as tightly. "What do you remember, love?"

"Well, I thought I remembered dying... again... but obviously I'm wrong. I guess I just—" She stopped and glanced at her chest, searching for the gaping hole that she remembered seeing just before she lost consciousness. Instead of a bloody hole where her ribs should be, she saw smooth, intact flesh. A bloody piece of what may have been shirt, hung off to one side.

"No! No!" She sat up, staring around the room, her breaths coming faster and faster as reality set in. "No. Spike, please, tell me I didn't die and come back... please!"

He didn't answer her, but the blood on his own clothes and the tracks of his barely-dried tears were all the answer she needed. She'd died. Died and, while the vampire who loved her had been grieving over her dead body, then come back to life.

"Don't ask me to be sorry, Buffy. I can't do it. Don't know what happened, or why, all I know is one minute I was thinking my life may as well be over, and the next – you're demanding answers from me. Answers I can't give you." He stopped talking to run his fingers down her cheek. "Just don't expect me to be unhappy that you're not dead. We'll get cleaned up and go looking for someone who can give us some answers, yeah?"

"I don't want to be immortal, Spike! I want to die—not right now, you dope, don't look at me like that—but someday. Someday I'll be too tired to keep fighting and I—"

"And you'll get your reward. I promise you, love. We'll find a way to make that happen... someday. But not today."

"Not today," she echoed, leaning in to his embrace. "Not today."