Please Don't Go


By Saber ShadowKitten

Part Seven




Spike’s emotions reeled when he heard her softly uttered words. Granted, he never liked the soul-filled wuss, but to have it ripped away by something so innocent, so pure as unconditional forgiveness which she no doubt gave him had to be more painful then sending him to Hell on the tip of her sword. He learned about that bit of information from one of Drusilla’s tantrums after he had fled Sunnydale with her the first time.

If he didn’t have a soul before, he did now because it rammed into him ten times over as her pain became his own. This time, he took her into his arms for his comfort as much as hers. "I’m so sorry, Buffy," he whispered, using her name to emphasize his feelings.

Willow was the first one to come over and lay a hand on the Slayer’s back, despite the vampire’s presence. Buffy pulled away from him and hugged the red head while Giles tried to fathom what to do next. None of his Watcher’s Diaries had prepared him for this, but it was rare that a Slayer fell in love with a vampire to begin with, let alone losing him once to get him back, only to lose him again.

"Buffy, is-is there anything I can do?" the Watcher finally asked.

"No," Buffy replied shakily. "I have to deal and move on. That’s the only way to get over…what happened."

"I can ask Faith to pick up your patrols…"

"No, Giles," she interrupted. "Pummeling some vamps would do me good"

"You can do displaced aggression," Willow said, her voice perking up. "Take your emotions out on the bad guys. I read that sometimes works. Why do you think therapists have punching bags in their offices?"

Buffy nodded and turned to her other best friend. "Xander, you’re awfully quiet. Which is very un-Xander-like."

He floundered for a moment, looking for something to say. "I just…I have a happy that he’s gone, but I’m pretty bummed about what happened to you. It’s a Stone Cold/Goldberg match in my head."

Buffy slid off the stool and went over to hug him. "It’s ok, Xander. I think everyone in this room is feeling the same way. Well, except for me." She took another long breath and let it out slowly. "Actually, I feel a lot better now that I told you guys."

Spike knew her words were a lie, he could see it in her eyes. She was putting on a brave front, but underneath she was still in deep pain. He was surprised when she said she wanted to patrol, but didn’t voice his concerns. He would follow her, instead.


*****


He had gone to move his car into her drive when he found out her mother wasn’t going to return home until Saturday. Until she told him to leave, Spike was sticking around. He got of the car the same time she emerged from the house, a long, light blue coat covering the black T-shirt and boxers she still wore. He was glad he had several extra sets in a bag in the trunk, because he had a feeling she was going to steal them all.

"All set, luv?" Spike asked.

"You’re coming with me?" she replied incredulously.

He shrugged. "I’ve got nothing better to do," he answered. "And I’ve always liked watching you fight. All graceful and impromptu."

"Im-who-to?"

"It means you think on your feet, pet," he said with a smile as they walked down the street to her favorite hunting grounds. They arrived at the cemetery and he disappeared from sight to allow her to do her duties unencumbered. He saw the other Slayer, Faith, come and join Buffy, chatting idly as they waited for their quarry.

He wasn’t lying when he told her he liked watching her fight. Her movements were sharp yet smooth, violent yet controlled, she used her emotions and senses, combining them to make her a lethal opponent. Tonight, however, he heard none of the witty comments she usually made. He watched as it looked like she was trying to beat the demon right out of the vamp she was fighting.

"Yo, B! Enough with the hitting already and stake the bastard," Faith yelled to the other Slayer. But either Buffy didn’t hear or didn’t care. Knowing she wouldn’t stop until the vampire was a pile of blood and bones, Spike strode quickly to her, keeping a wary eye on the brunette and captured her flailing arms by wrapping his around them and picking her up.

"Stake the bloody bastard," he ground out as Buffy kicked against him. She landed one sharp blow to his knee and he almost dropped her as he stumbled. "Slayer, hold still!"

Faith quickly dispatched the fallen vampire, then stood prepared to rip Spike a new one as she watched him struggle with Buffy. Giles had called her earlier that afternoon, briefing her on the possibility of taking over the other Slayer’s patrols and told her to not stake the blond vampire if she ran across him unless absolutely necessary.

Buffy’s struggles slowed and Spike was able to put her down long enough to turn her around and pull her into an embrace. He began stroking her hair, whispering calming words to her as the fight went out of her body and she began to cry again. When the tears dried up, he tilted her chin and kissed her lightly on the forehead. "I think it’s time to go back home, pet."

"Ok," she said, letting him support her around the waist with one arm. "Sorry about that Faith."

"It’s five by five," Faith said, relaxing slightly. "I seem to recall I did somethin’ like that when we first met."

Buffy gave her a half grin at the memory. "Yeah. I remember." Spike nodded at the other Slayer, then led her out of the cemetery towards home. "Um…Willow’s gonna sleep over tonight, but…uh…would you stay, too?"

"Of course, luv," Spike replied. "I’ll need a place come morning, though."

"You can stay in the basement. I’ll tack some blankets over the windows. There’s a cot down there, too, if you can find it," she said. He nodded and they continued the way home in silence.



Part Eight




"Don’t go…don’t leave me," Buffy’s voice woke Willow from her place in a sleeping bag on the floor. "No. Please…."

"Buffy, wake up," Willow said, standing and shaking her friend’s shoulder. "You’re having a nightmare."

"No, no, no, no, no," Buffy cried, still asleep. "Please, god, no…."

"Buffy!" Willow shouted harder, bending over the sleeping girl. The Slayer thrashed in her sleep, catching the red head across the jaw, sending her flying back. Tears welled up at the painful impact as Buffy continued to move on the bed, heavily involved in her nightmare. Gathering up her courage, Willow ran from the bedroom, downstairs to the basement. "Spike!"

Spike looked up from the book he was reading at the flustered red head as she tore down the stairs, her jaw red and starting to swell. "What is it, ducks?"

"Buffy’s having a nightmare and I can’t wake her up," she replied quickly. "She’s thrashing around on the bed, crying something…" Spike was on his feet before she could finish, pushing past the girl and practically flying up the stairs.

"Please, don’t go…." Buffy’s cry pierced through him as he ran into the bedroom. He quickly scooped her up in his arms, holding her on his lap as he rocked back and forth, trying to wake her up and calm her.

"Buffy, it’s a dream, it’s only a dream," he said. "I’ve got you, luv. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere." Her eyes flew open at his words, at first staring blankly before coming to focus on him, on where she was, and where she was not.

"Spike?"

"I’m here, luv," he said, looking down at her face. "You were having a bad dream."

"It was so real," she whispered, tears in her voice. "When Angel…you left me there. You w-watched as he-he-he rammed in-into m-m-me, then grabbed the-the g-g-gun and left. Even after what he-he d-d-did to you, you let him l-l-l-live."

"But I didn’t, pet," Spike said. "I wasn’t going to leave you. I wish I could have killed the bloody prick before he touched you, before he made me do those things to you." Neither of them noticed Willow standing in the doorway listening to their conversation. "I’d do anything to make the hurt go away, pet."

"Just be here," Buffy told him as she lay her head on his shoulder. "Please, don’t go."

"I won’t, Slayer," he replied, kissing the top of her head softly. "I won’t."


*****


"I still cannot figure out how Buffy forgiving Angel caused him to-to lose his soul," Giles said wearily, rubbing his eyes after a long night and day of research.

"Yeah, well I want to know why the bastard raped her," Xander said. "I thought his specialty was mind games, not that."

"I think he did more than rape her," Willow’s soft, concerned voice came from the doorway of Giles’ office.

"Willow, how is Buffy?" Giles asked, putting his glasses back on. "And what happened to your jaw?"

"Not good. She had a nightmare last night," Willow said, touching her face. "I was in the line of fire."

"What do you mean he did more than rape her, Will?" Xander asked.

"I had to get Spike to wake her up," Willow replied. "I overheard them talking. I think…I think Angel forced Spike to do something to her. By gunpoint, if I heard right."

"I bet he enjoyed it," Xander said angrily.

"Xander!" Willow glared at him. She opened her mouth to say more, but shut it when Buffy walked into the library.

"Are you sure I can’t kill that little troll, Giles?" Buffy asked as she came in, still wearing Spike’s black T-shirt and boxers with a pair of sweats thrown over the top. Large circles ringed her eyes and her hair was pulled back in a haphazard ponytail.

"Yes, I’m quite sure," Giles replied, exiting his office after Willow and Xander. "Although it would be nice…" He trailed off with a small, Ripper-like smile, then shook it off. "How are you this morning?"

"Peachy," she answered. The bell rang signaling the start of first period and she groaned. "Ugh, chemistry." The three friends went out the door, saying good-bye over their shoulders to the librarian. After they were gone, Giles returned to his office, silently contemplating what Willow had told them.


*****


Buffy stared blankly at the paper in front of her, trying to force the pictures that were forming in her mind away. Undaunted, they came anyway, blinding her with their intensity. Flashes of her telling Angel she forgave him, of him falling to the floor screaming, of her going into the bedroom concerned to see him sitting on the edge of the bed, of her shock when she looked in his eyes to see nothing but dark hatred as he bound her with wire, of him ripping her clothes off as she fought against him, of watching Spike suck his giant cock, of him thrusting painfully into her, of her shoving the small, wooden leg into his back, of him turning to dust.

She let out a strangled sob, all eyes turning to her at the noise. Xander put his hand on her back and she let out a shriek, jumping out of her desk and turning on him, swinging wildly. He managed to duck before she connected, then shot his body out of his desk, tackling her to the ground. "Buffy! Buffy! It’s Xander. You’re safe!" he shouted at her as they fell. The back of her head hit another desk before continuing on down to smack on the concrete, tiled floor. The blow dazed her enough to stop swinging, and he quickly climbed off of her, kneeling next to her head to look down into her face. "Buffy?"

Buffy blinked several times rapidly, her gaze focusing on the teen above her. "Xander?"

"Yeah, it’s me, Buff," he said softly.

"Oh, god, I gotta get out of here," she said, her eyes filling with tears, her voice choked. Xander nodded and helped her to her feet, then put his arm around her waist and led her from the classroom towards the library. He’d talk to the teacher later, or have Giles do it.

"Giles," Xander called out as they entered. He led her to the table, and she collapsed in the chair, sobbing. Giles hurried out of his office, shooting the teen a concerned look before crouching by Buffy’s chair.

"What happened?" he asked.

"She wigged in class," Xander replied. "I’m going to have to tell the teacher something."

"I’ll do it," Giles told him. "Why don’t you get Willow, then we’ll take Buffy home." Xander nodded and left the library. He turned his attention to the weeping girl. "Buffy?" She turned in her chair and grabbed him in a hug, almost toppling him over. Not caring about propriety, he quickly lifted the petite Slayer and sat on the edge of the chair, setting her on his lap and holding her close as she cried.

"What the hell is going on here?" Snyder said, coming into the library. Willow and Xander entered a half a step behind him. The two teens gave him a frightened look, but the sound of Buffy’s tears prompted the red head to hurry over to Giles’ side.

"Xander, my keys are on my desk. Pull my car around," Giles instructed, ignoring the Principal. "Willow, would you get some tissue, please?"

"I am the Principal here," Snyder declared, glaring at the two teens as they scrambled to do as asked. "And you two are not going anywhere."

Giles stared at the principal, the Ripper out in full force as Buffy’s sobs slowed. "Willow, Xander, go ahead." He stood, picking the Slayer up in his arms and went into the office. He put her down on the couch as Willow ran back in, tissues in hand. "Stay with her while I have a talk with Snyder," he told the hacker. He strode out of the office, his body tight with anger at the man, and stalked over to him.

"You will excuse Buffy, Willow and Xander for the remainder of today," Giles ground out threateningly. "We will discuss this later, but for now, get out of my sight before I rip your head off."

Snyder narrowed his eyes at the man, but acquiesced. "I expect to see you in my office before the end of school today," he said, then turned on his heel and went out the door, passing Xander as he came in.

Giles and Willow took Buffy home as Xander went back to their classes to pick up their backpacks. He ran into Oz in the hallway on his way out the door. "Woah. Where’s the fire?" Oz asked.

"Listen, I know I’m not your favorite person right now," Xander said. "But could you give me a ride to Buffy’s house?"

"Sure," Oz replied, pulling his keys from his pocket. "World emergency?"

Xander shook his head as they went out the school doors. "Willow didn’t tell you?"

"No, I haven’t seen her since yesterday," Oz said. "What’s the problem?"

"I’ll let her tell you," he replied, climbing into the van. "Oz? Thanks." Oz nodded and drove off.



Part Nine




"I think we need to have Buffy talk to a rape counselor," Willow said as the four sat in the Summers’ kitchen. "And we should call her mom."

"I agree," Giles said. "My Watcher’s training is inadequate in dealing with this. Normally, a Slayer would be-be killed soon after a rape, for obvious reasons."

"Good thing we have a spare Slayer," Xander said.

"Question. What’s Buffy going to say about the fact Angel is dust?" Oz asked.

"I-I don’t know," Giles replied. He sighed heavily. "I shall call Joyce. Would you three please check on Buffy?"

"Sure, Giles," Willow said, standing. Oz took her hand and squeezed it gently before they went upstairs. The librarian closed his eyes, forcing his own pain for his Slayer away, then picked up the phone. Joyce always left the number where she would be tacked to the refrigerator.

"Joyce Summers, please," he said into the phone. "Joyce? It’s Rupert."

"Rupert? Oh, my god, is Buffy…" Joyce said over the line.

"She’s alive," Giles replied quickly. "But I’m afraid that she’s been…been raped." Silence. "Joyce?"

"Was it…was it vampires?" Joyce said shakily.

"It was Angel," he said quietly. At her sharp intake of breath, he continued. "He’s gone. As in dead…a-again."

"I’ll be home as soon as I can," Joyce told him, then hung up. Giles sighed again and hung up the phone, before wearily walking up the stairs to join the others.


*****


"I wish you guys would stop staring at me as if I were a three year old piece of cheese you found under the bed," Buffy said to the three who sat in her room. Giles had gone back to the high school to talk with Principal Snyder and had left Willow, Xander and Oz as pseudo-guards. "I’m fine."

"No, Buffy, you’re not," Willow said softly. At the Slayer’s glare, she continued quickly. "I mean…it’s ok to say that you’re not. Fine, that is. What happened was bad. Very bad. I wouldn’t feel fine. In fact, I don’t feel fine, and it didn’t happen to me."

"Willow," Oz said, laying his hand on her shoulder. She stopped rambling and gave him a quick smile. "Why don’t we get out of your hair for awhile."

Buffy flashed him a relieved look. "That would be good. I think I’ll try to get some more sleep. I’m so tired."

"Ok, we’ll be downstairs if you need us," Willow told her. She and Oz left the bedroom.

"Buffy?" Xander said, sitting on the edge of her bed. "I need to know something, so please don’t hit me."

"I won’t," Buffy replied, giving him a tired look. "What’s on your mind?"

"Spike," Xander said shortly. "He didn’t…hurt you, did he?"

"No, he didn’t," she answered. "In fact, if it wasn’t for him, I’d probably be dead."

"Willow said that he was forced to do…stuff, to you," Xander continued.

"How did she…"

"She overheard you and him talking last night, sometime after you socked her in the jaw," he said. Buffy looked ashamed at that. "Would you tell me what Spike did?"

"Saved me," she replied. "That’s what’s important."

Xander nodded. "Ok. I guess I’ll go now." He stood and walked towards the door.

"Xander?"

"Yeah, Buff?"

"It was worse for him than for me," she said quietly.


*****


She slipped quietly past the group in the living room, heading for the kitchen. Silently, she opened the basement door and crept downstairs, her sock covered feet making no noise as she descended. He was laying on a cot in the far corner of the room, well away from the covered windows, sleeping. She went over and sat on the edge, studying his peaceful face.

"What’s wrong, luv?" Spike asked, opening his eyes to look up at her.

"How did you know I was here?"

He gave her half a smile. "I always know when you’re around." She blushed slightly. "Now, what’s wrong?"

"They’re driving me nuts," Buffy answered, referring to her friends. "Hanging all over me, afraid I’m going to break, talking about me. I don’t like it."

"They’re worried about you, pet," Spike told her.

"I know. It’s just…frustrating," she said, then sighed. "I feel so out of control." Her eyes started to water, and Spike shifted on the cot.

"Come here," he said, pulling her down beside him. She curled on her side, his left arm wrapped around her waist as he spooned his body to hers. He used his other hand to prop his head up to study her as she stared off into the semi-darkness of the basement, silent tears running from her eyes. He ran his hand up under his black T-shirt she was wearing and gently stroked her stomach in a calm, soothing gesture. He watched as the tears stopped and her eyes drifted shut, her breathing changing to that of sleep. Leaning his head down, he placed a soft kiss on her neck, then let himself fall back to sleep.



Part Ten




"Hi, Mrs. Summers," Willow greeted as Joyce came in the door with Giles. He had picked her up at the airport, briefing her on what he knew on the way to the house.

"Hello, Willow," Joyce said, nodding to the others. "How’s Buffy?"

"Sleeping," she replied. "At least, that’s what she said she was going to do. She kind of kicked us out of her room."

"I think I’ll go and check on her," Joyce responded, setting her small carryon down. She gave them a wane smile, the went up the stairs. Less then a minute later, she returned. "Buffy’s not there."

"She’s not?" Xander said with a frown. "But we’ve been here the whole time."

"Where did she go yesterday when she disappeared?" Oz asked Willow.

"I don’t know. Spike brought her back…Spike!" Willow said, excitedly. "She’s probably in the basement with him."

Joyce gave her a confused look. "Spike? That was his car in the driveway?"

"Yeah. He’s been here since…it happened," Willow told her.

Joyce turned to Giles. "You told me he helped her, but not that he was still here."

"I-I-I apologize," Giles stammered. "It slipped my mind as-as inconsequential."

She frowned at him, then headed for the basement. She found Buffy curled in Spike’s arm on the small cot, both apparently asleep. "Buffy?" Joyce said, touching her daughters cheek as she crouched next to them.

Buffy’s eyes opened slowly. "Hi, mom," she said sleepily. "When did you get home?"

"Just now," Joyce replied. "Mr. Giles told me what happened. Are you ok?"

She gave her mom a small, depressing smile. "Yeah."

"Is there anything I can do or get you?"

"No. I just wanna sleep some more," Buffy answered.

"Wouldn’t you be more comfortable in your own bed?" Joyce asked, looking behind her daughter at Spike’s sleeping form.

"I’m comfy now," she replied, her eyes falling shut. "Don’t wanna move."

"Ok, dear," Joyce said, brushing a lock of hair off her face. "I’ll be upstairs if you need me."

"’K, mom," Buffy said, already slipping back into sleep. Joyce stood and looked down at the two on the cot, then shook her head and returned to the kitchen.

"Was she there?" Giles asked, handing Joyce a mug of tea.

"Yes," Joyce told him. "I’m not sure I’m happy with her sleeping with Spike, but she looked so run down and sad, I didn’t have the heart to force her to move."

Xander groaned and dropped his head on the table. "I can’t believe she went to him for comfort and you’re all condoning it. Bad guy, pointy teeth, dead people, remember?"

"I don’t think he’ll hurt her, Xander," Willow said. "He could have done it last night or any time since he brought her home, and he didn’t. Plus, have you seen his eyes? He looks like he’s in more pain than Buffy."

Xander slumped dejectedly. "She did say that it was worse for him," he said. "But that doesn’t mean I like it."

"When did she say that?" Willow asked.

"Before I came downstairs," Xander replied. "I asked if he hurt her, and she said no, that she would have been dead if not for him, then told me it was worse for him." He shrugged. "Whatever that means."

"Per-perhaps what Willow told us earlier about Spike being forced to do…er, something was what she was referring to," Giles said, then frowned. "I wonder what it was."

"She doesn’t seem to want to tell us," Oz said. "At least, that’s my impression."

"Well, I, uh, took the liberty of scheduling an appointment with a-a counselor," Giles said. "It’s for 6:30 tonight."

"Thank you," Joyce said to him. "Thank all of you, for being here for my daughter."

"She’d do the same for us," Willow replied.

"Why don’t we all head home," Giles suggested. "I’m sure Joyce would like us out from underfoot." She turned to Buffy’s mom as the teens said good-bye. "I shall return later to…er, help with Buffy. I have a feeling she won’t want to go."

Joyce smiled. "Count on it."


*****


"But I don’t wanna go see a shrink," Buffy whined as she paced in the kitchen. "I don’t need to go to one."

"Buffy," Joyce said, barely holding on to her patience. "Mr. Giles went through the trouble to set up this appointment for you, and if he feels you should go, I agree. He is your Watcher."

"Mo-om," she drew the word out. "Giles isn’t always right."

"You’re going, that’s final," Joyce put her foot down. "Now, why don’t you go take a shower and I’ll fix you something to eat. We have to leave at 6:00." Buffy stuck her lower lip out, then stomped up the stairs. Joyce winced when the bathroom door slammed shut.

"Is it safe to come out yet?" Spike said from behind her.

She jumped, putting a hand to her chest. "Spike! You startled me."

"Sorry," he said, smirking. "I’m going to run out for a few minutes." He heard the sound of something being thrown against the bathroom door and he shook his head. "I’ll be back to help get the Slayer to go."

"Thanks," Joyce replied, unsure whether to be relieved or not as he went out the kitchen door into the early night. He returned twenty minutes later to hear Buffy yelling at her mom, telling her she wasn’t going to go. Chuckling, he ran downstairs to grab some clean clothes out of the dryer, then went upstairs to take his own shower.

"Mom, I’m not going and that’s final!" Buffy yelled, slamming the bathroom door in Joyce’s face as Spike rounded the top of the stairs. She gave him small, embarrassed smile.

"Let me try?" Spike asked. Joyce gestured to the door, then went down the hall to her own bedroom. He knocked. "Pet? Let me in."

"No."

"Slayer," he said in a low voice. "Open the door."

"You’re just gonna make me go," she said through the still closed door.

"I’m going to take a shower," he replied. "And that’s a bit hard to do if you won’t open the bloody door." There was a moment of silence, then the door opened for him to see the defiant face of the Slayer. He practically rolled his eyes as he entered, set his clothes down and turned on the water. "Are you staying for the show?" he asked with a sardonic lift of his brow. She blushed slightly and scurried out of the bathroom, closing the door with a bang. Chuckling, he shed his clothes and stepped under the hot spray.

Two minutes later, he heard the door open again and the sounds of the Slayer moving around the bathroom, muttering under her breath about bossy vampires and mothers. He quickly finished his shower, dried off and wrapped the towel around his waist. She was sitting on the sink, her feet kicking rhythmlessly against the cabinet doors when he stepped out. He looked down at his discarded pile of clothes he wore that day and noticed that the T-shirt and shorts were missing again. He was glad he brought up his clean clothes, but wondered why she didn’t swipe them instead. "Pet? Not that I bloody give a damn, but why are you wearing the clothes I wore today and not the clean ones?"

She stopped kicking her feet and looked down, nervously playing with the bottom of the black shirt. "They smell like you," she mumbled.

He smiled, a strange feeling filling his undead heart. Stepping closer, he tilted her chin up to look in her eyes. "I’ll be sure not to get them too dirty for you, then," he said, then gently brushed her lips with his own. When he stepped back, her eyes were as wide as saucers, and he chuckled. "Scoot. I need to get dressed so we can go."

Her expression changed from startled wonder to stubborn rebelliousness. "I’m not going," she declared, thumping her feet with exclamation.

He shrugged. "Your sensibilities," he said, then let the towel drop from his waist, reaching for his clean boxers.

Buffy blushed bright red and squealed, covering her eyes with her hands. "Spike!"

His laughter filled the bathroom, echoing out past the closed door down the hall. Giles and Joyce looked up from their seats in the living room, the Watcher having got there a minute before, then at each other. "It looks like she’s going," Joyce said.



Part Eleven




"So, Buffy, how are you doing?" Mrs. Carson asked, looking at the blond Slayer seated across from her. The young looking counselor with her casual clothing was in such a sharp contrast to the modern office, Buffy wondered if she even worked there.

"Other than not wanting to come, fine," Buffy answered sullenly.

"Why didn’t you want to come?" Mrs. Carson said.

"Like I said, I’m fine. It’s in the past and I’m dealing," she replied.

"That is a good attitude about the rape being in the past," the counselor said, tapering her fingers in front of her mouth. "That means you know you can’t change it."

"Exactly. Can I go now?"

She shook her head. "No, I’m sorry. You’re stuck with me for another half and hour." Buffy’s lower lip stuck out and she slumped in her chair. "How about if we talk about your parents? They are awfully worried about you. As is the young man who accompanied you."

"Spike? He was just the muscle," Buffy said. "Picked me up and put me right into the car, the jerk."

Mrs. Carson smothered a laugh. "And what is Spike to you? Friend? Boyfriend?"

Buffy snorted. "Neither. He’s a pain in the ass." This time the counselor let out her laugh, earning a big grin from the Slayer. "I said that last part out loud, didn’t I?"

"Yes, but that’s ok. I’d like you to be frank with me, to tell me what ever is on your mind," she replied.

"You know what’s on my mind? The fact that everyone thinks I’m going to fall apart any second," Buffy said suddenly. "Well, except Spike."

"Why not him? What does he do differently?"

"He leaves me alone, but is there when I need someone to be," she said. "Like last night."

"What happened last night?"

"I was a little…upset," Buffy replied. "And he just climbed in behind me and held me until I calmed down."

"Climbed in behind you where?"

"In the shower," she said, then looked down at her lap, blushing.

"Was it sexual in any way? Did he have a hard on?" Mrs. Carson asked bluntly.

Buffy’s eyes flew up, wide. "No! I mean, it wasn’t like that…which is weird, considering he’s a guy…but a really old guy…maybe the older they get, the better the control…"

"Buffy," the counselor interrupted. "Slow down. You lost me."

The Slayer gave her a sheepish grin. "Sorry."

"It’s ok. Why don’t you tell me about your parents? Like, how long have they been married?"

"They’re not," Buffy answered, confused. "They’ve been divorced for a few years now."

"Really? They seem to get along remarkably well," Mrs. Carson said.

"How do you know? Dad’s in LA," she said.

"Oh, then who is with your mother in the waiting room?"

"You mean Giles?" Buffy said. She nodded. "He’s my…mentor. And a friend. From school."

"The way you refer to him must mean you are very close," Mrs. Carson observed.

Buffy nodded. "Yeah. He’s helped me a lot with all my…schoolwork and other things. Kinda like a Big Brother. Only in tweed."

She smiled. "What about your friends? The ones you say are smothering you."

"Willow, Oz and Xander," Buffy ticked off. "Willow’s my best friend, Oz is her boyfriend and Xander is…well, Xander."

"How do you guys get along?"

"Great! Well, most of the time," she replied. "We’ve had a few…problems last past semester, what with Angel…" Buffy trailed off as tears sprang to her eyes. She closed them tightly, her whole body tense as she tried to will them away.

"Is Angel the man raped you, Buffy?" Mrs. Carson asked softly, already knowing the answer from the preliminary file. Buffy started sobbing in earnest with the counselor’s question. She bent in half, her head resting on her knees, and rocked slightly back and forth. Standing, she went over to the blond Slayer and rubbed her back. "It’s ok, Buffy. Cry it all out."

"I need…I need," Buffy gasped between sobs. "Please, get him…I can’t do this…"

"Ok, Buffy," she said, standing and walking quickly to the door. The three in the waiting room looked up simultaneously as she opened the door. As she opened her mouth to say something, Spike was on his feet and pushing past her, having heard the Slayer’s cries. He knelt on the floor in front of her, rubbing his hand on her back the same way the counselor had.

"I’m here, pet," he said soothingly. "I’m here." Buffy sat up and practically launched herself into his arms, crying on his shoulder. Spike wrapped both arms around her, holding her tightly as she sobbed. "I got you. I got you, Slayer. It’s ok. Shh," he comforted.

Mrs. Carson watched as the blond vampire held the young girl, noting the pain in his blue eyes. Pain that went far deeper than someone concerned for a friend. She gave a reassuring smile to Joyce and Giles, then re-shut the door, taking her seat behind the desk and waiting.

"I’m s-s-sorry," Buffy whispered, slowly calming down.

"There’s nothing to be sorry about, pet," Spike told her. She loosened her grip on him, leaning back to look in his eyes. He gave her a small, tender smile. "You’ll get through this, luv. You’re the bloody Slayer, after all."

She giggled, then hiccuped before looking up at Mrs. Carson. "Guess I’m not so fine, huh?"

Mrs. Carson smiled. "I guess not."


*****


"Are you sure you want me to stay, kitten?" Spike asked Buffy from his seat next to her.

"Yeah," Buffy replied, squeezing his hand. "This is about you, too, remember?"

He gave her a look. "How could I forget?" he said, dryly. He braced himself both mentally and physically for what she was going to tell the counselor. After a brief conversation, he had convinced her to talk about what happened, knowing that it was going to be painful for both of them. He wished Angelus was still alive just so he could beat him to a bloody pulp before staking him again.

He listened as she spoke, her voice tight and controlled, recounting all that had happened to her starting with Angelus grabbing her and tying her up and ending with a lie that Spike overpowered him, knocking him out so they could escape. She told the counselor that she got word he had left town immediately afterwards. The counselor figured he did it to avoid arrest on a rape and sexual assault and battery charge. Spike kept his face an impassionate mask the entire time, even though his insides were churning, not because of what he went through, he was a vampire, after all, and could care less, but because she was the one to suffer at the hands of her former love, she was the one in pain.

After Buffy finished speaking, she felt as if a giant weight had been lifted from her. Everything had been the truth up to the point of escape, but that part was inconsequential. In fact, she was more relieved that he was dead than she would be if he were out there somewhere. Telling the counselor had paved the way to healing. There were only two more things causing her pain. The fact that she caused Angel to lose his soul, again. And Spike. She looked over towards Spike’s stoic face, wondering if he was all right.



Part Twelve




"Spike, are you ok?" Buffy asked later that night. They were both sitting in her room, him cradling her against his chest as they watched a small, portable TV set up on the dresser, it’s flickering images the only light in the room.

He frowned down at her. "What do you mean?"

"Well, you haven’t really…reacted is a good word, to what happened," she said, looking up at him. "I know I wigged, but what about you? Angel made you…"

He put one finger over her lips. "Slayer, the only way he hurt me was because he hurt you," he told her softly. "I’ve had…sexual relations with him before. We would play similar games with Dru, so it didn’t bother me in the way you’re thinking, pet."

"Oh," she replied, her eyes round. She turned back to the television. After a few more minutes she spoke again. "Spike?"

"Yes, luv?"

"Why haven’t you tried to kill me? God knows, there’s been plenty of opportunities," Buffy said.

"I…" He started to say, then trailed off, frowning again. She turned her gaze back up to him, her hazel eyes wide and questioning. He felt his heart expand and knew he could no longer deny it. *Bloody hell,* he thought, slowly moving her until she was on top of him. "I’m in love with you, Slayer," he answered, pulling her head down into a gentle kiss.

Buffy’s heart started to pound in her chest as his cool lips touched her warmer ones, not from fear or disgust, but from the flickers of desire that licked at her senses. Her mind was reeling at his admission. Spike, her mortal enemy, the vampire who tried to kill her many times over, was in love with her. The complications were astounding, but her thoughts shut down as he deepened the kiss, licking her lips with his tongue, seeking entrance.

He was the first to break the kiss, and her eyes shot open, staring at his desire laden ones in confusion. His mouth quirked, the corners tilting up ever so slightly. "We have all the time in the world, pet," he whispered. "I’m not going anywhere. You’ve got my clothes."

Her light laughter echoed in the bedroom, no pain marring the beauty of it’s sound.



Epilogue




"Spike?"

Spike stopped and turned back to Buffy. It had been several months since Angelus had raped her and he was there to watch as her emotional wounds healed, lending her his strength, acting as her anchor when the memories surfaced or the nightmares came. They had spent time getting to know one another as individuals, rather than vampire and Slayer, finding that their tastes were not too dissimilar. He’d never give up the hunt, instead he had taken to leaving his victims alive. He’d also yet to hear from Drusilla and knew, someday, that was one bridge he’d have to cross. "Yes, ducks?"

Buffy rubbed the bottom of one bare foot against the other and nervously twiddled with the bottom of her favorite sleepwear - one of his black T-shirts and boxers. She looked at him with a combination of shyness and want. His mouth went dry as he waited for her to speak. "Please, don’t go."

He had her in his arms in two steps, running his hands up and down the side of her body as she pressed into him, her hands going around his neck, holding him to her as they kissed. Their tongues clashed as he kicked the bedroom door shut behind him, one arm reaching back, searching for the lock. With that accomplished, he lifted her body, her feet were leaving the ground and walked to the bed, then turned around and fell back upon it so she was on top.

He ran his hands under the shirt, caressing the bare skin of her back as she wiggled against him. He moaned as she rubbed his already rock hard arousal, then grabbed the hem of the tee, yanking it up and over her head. He pulled her body up to capture one of her breasts with his mouth, suckling the pebble-like nibble, then moved onto the second as her breathing came in pants, desire enveloping her system.

Buffy pushed back on the bed, pulling away from his mouth to straddle his hips. He stared hungrily at her swaying breasts as she tugged on his favorite coat, trying to push it from his shoulders. He sat up, shedding it quickly, along with his red shirt and black T-shirt, then yanked her bodily to him, crushing her lips with his own as their bare skin met, her nipples rubbing against his lean, muscular chest, making him crazy with need.

Spike’s fingers delved between them, under the waistband of the boxers to her womanhood. She was already wet with excitement as he stroked her clit. She writhed against his hand, her kisses becoming frantic, the first orgasm building rapidly under his ministrations. Her mouth ripped away from his as she exploded, her eyes squeezed tightly shut, her head thrown back so far her breasts thrust tantalizingly towards his face.

He removed his hand and just held her as she calmed, her breathing changing from fast pants to need. Buffy raised her head to look at him, her lids half closed, heat burning from her gaze, searing him as she slipped her hands down his body to his belt buckle. He let her clumsily work at it for a moment, but the brush of her hand against his erection was too much. Standing, he rapidly undid the belt and buttons, dropping the jeans and boxers to the floor as he expertly kicked off his shoes.

She stepped back and let her eyes rove over his hard body, taking in every nuance, every shadow, every dip and curve before putting her hands to the boxers she wore, pushing them off her hips to pool on the floor. He gasped at the beauty in front of him, seeing her for the first time in a sexual light, as opposed to a comforting or punishing one. He held out his hand to her, and she took it slowly, breaching the last barrier between them.

Gently, Spike pulled her back to him, laying down on the bed with her next to him, face to face, as he let his hand trail down the side of her body, over the curve of he waist, then back up. He gave her a small, tender smile which she returned, making his undead heart quiver in his chest. His hand began to shake, and he laid back, moving her body so she was on top of him once more, her heat pressed against his hardness. He waited.

Buffy could see him straining for control, the want in the set of his jaw, the flames in his eyes, yet he was allowing her to control things, to set the pace. She lifted her hips, bringing one hand down to hold his erection as she lowered herself onto him, gasping as he stretched her vaginal lips, his own low moan filling the room. She looked down to see his eyes tightly closed, his hands clenched into fists at her waist, his teeth biting down on his bottom lip. Her lips raised in a purely feminine smile as she began to move, rocking back and forth, her sensitive nub rubbing against his pelvic bone, their mingling hair creating more friction.

So intense was her heat it burned his shaft as she rode him, the muscles clamping and unclamping around him driving his tightly reigned control to the breaking point. With a growl, he pulled her down, capturing her mouth in a searing kiss which she returned with equal ferocity. His hands clamped onto her hips, moving them into a faster, harder rhythm, bringing them ever closer to the edge.

Buffy went over first, her cries of ecstasy filling his mouth as wave upon wave of pleasure flew along her body, making her shake in his arms. He pumped into her three more times in quick succession before his own climax hit, sending his seed shooting into her hot core, his eyes rolling back with the impact of the orgasm.

She collapsed on top of him, her limbs languid, breathing heavily onto the side of his neck. Their bodies were slick with sweat, sticking together, the air coming from the open window raising goosebumps along her spine. Spike held her to him, feeling her rapid heartbeat slowing against his chest. He moved to kiss her softly on the forehead. "I love you, Buffy," he whispered quietly against her hair.

"I love you, too, Spike," Buffy replied, her warm breath tickling his cool skin. She nuzzled against his neck, kissing him as her eyes drifted shut in contentment.

He smiled, his eyes filling with tears of joy at her words, and was glad that he listened when she first said ‘Please, don’t go.’


End

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