by Saber ShadowKitten
Series: Tempting Fate X

Buffy stood outside on the steps to a mausoleum, the darkness beyond the open door easily visible. She took a few shaky steps forward to go home, but that was as far as she got before the tears came. Her head dropped, her shoulders shook and her lower lip trembled as she tried to contain herself, but it was to no avail. With a sharp sob, she pressed the palms of her hands against her eyes and cried.

Arms circled around her from behind and she sensed his familiar presence as he pulled her back against him. She turned into his chest, her arms pinned between them as she sobbed. She felt him run his hand over the back of her hair as he held her. She suddenly was picked up, her head tucked under his chin as she continued to cry tears of pain.

Soon she found herself in his lap inside the mausoleum, him having used the stone wall to slide to the floor without setting her back on her feet. It was near black in the crypt, the only light coming from the still open door. He pressed a kiss on the top of her head as her cries calmed somewhat. "Tell me," he said in a low voice, one hand rubbing small circles on her back.

"Faith," Buffy began, sucking in a big gulp of air with a small squeak. She sniffled, then continued. "She-she's w-working for the Mayor. She's the one who m-m-made those vampires go after W-Willow."

Her crying increased again and she pressed her face into his shoulder. He laid his cheek on the top of her head, murmuring comforting words in a low, soothing voice. "I can't believe she's on the other side," she said between sobs. "She was suppose to be my s-s-sister-in-arms. I wasn't the only freak any-anymore. Kendra s-showed me th-th-th-that."

The tears came harder and he tightened his arms around her. "Hey now," he whispered. "It'll be ok." He tilted her face up, then kissed her eyelids before tucking her head back under his chin.

Buffy didn't know how long she cried, but eventually her tears dried out and the only sound in the mausoleum was her sniffles. She finally raised her head, unable to see him in the darkness of the crypt. Her hands clenched and unclenched on his shirt and she swallowed, her breathing returning to normal. "Thanks," she said. "I better get going. I have to tell Giles the good news."

He brushed a cool kiss across her lips, then released her. She climbed to her feet and took a deep breath and sighed. "Well, I guess I'll see you tomorrow," she said. With a shaky smile in his general direction, she turned and left the mausoleum.

Spike sat in the darkness, not moving, forearms resting on his bent knees. He leaned his head back against the stone wall, wondering what in the world had come over him. He had seen the fight with the other Slayer since he pretty much spent his nights following Buffy around on patrol, waiting for her to head home. But the sight of her crying made him react without thinking.

He growled suddenly, pushing to his feet and storming out of the crypt.

End 1