by Saber ShadowKitten
Series: Tempting Fate XVIII

Smiling happily, Buffy danced with her friends in the nicely decorated gym. Seniors and their dates crowded into the place, enjoying their last dance of their high school career. "Prom. Who'd have thunk that I would have made it? And still be clean, too?"

"It is kinda nice of all the icky things to put a hold on their activities for tonight," Willow said. "Maybe they're at their own rendition of prom."

"Now that's a scary thought," Xander said. "Can you imagine the King and Queen? Eyagh."

"I'm wondering if the guys would have to wear tuxes," Oz commented. "If so, I wouldn't want to be the guy to rent one after their dance."

"Speaking of dead guys in tuxes," Xander said. "Where'd Angel go?"

"He wanted to do a quick walk around the school," Buffy answered. "Too many of us youth in the room, making him feel old." She grinned at her own bad joke.

The music changed to a slower song and Buffy headed off the floor while Xander reclaimed his date and Willow and Oz moved together. She sat at the table the group of friends had commandeered, looking around for Angel. After a few minutes, she stood and headed over to the punch table.

Picking up a drink, she felt his presence before she felt the cool hand on her bare shoulder. "Hey, you're back. Want to dan-" Buffy faced him. "-ce...Spike, what are you doing here?"

Spike gave her a cocky grin. "You asked me to dance, pet. Let's dance." He took her arm, barely giving her enough time to put down the cup, and dragged her towards the middle of the floor.

"Spike, let go of me," she hissed.

"What are you going to do? Stake me?" Spike asked. "Don't worry your pretty little head, ducks. One dance, then I'm gone."

They stood there staring at each other, Buffy glaring angrily and Spike with an air of indifference. "Fine. One dance, then if you don't get out of Sunnydale, I'll use your namesake and spike you to a cross to fry."

He nodded and took her right hand in his left, his other one sliding around her waist, pulling her towards him as a new song started.

When the dark woods fell before me
And all the paths were overgrown
When the priests of pride say there is no other way
I tilled the sorrows of stone

Buffy knew this song, it came from the same CD as The Mummer's Dance. This was not something that would normally be played at a high school prom. She raised her gaze to meet his in question and he gave her a small smile, indicating that he'd requested the song.

I did not believe because I could not see
Though you came to me in the night
When the dawn seemed forever lost
You showed me your love in the light of the stars

The words of the song hit her like a sledgehammer. She stared at him, unable to break his gaze, the proverbial lightbulb going on above her head. She suddenly thought of the disparities with her senses when she saw Angel and when her lover came; her not being allowed to touch him; the softness of the back of his hair; the leanness of his body when she wrapped hers around him. "You," she whispered. "It was you."

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

He pulled her closer, her stunned self moving easily into his embrace. She rubbed the material of the leather duster with her fingers on his shoulder, felt the brush of his pelvis against hers.

Then the mountain rose before me
By the deep well of desire
From the fountain of forgiveness
Beyond the ice and the fire

They slowly swayed to the music, ice and fire, complete opposites so very much the same. Unbidden, she lay her head on his chest, fitting perfectly, like she remembered. She felt him rest his cheek on her hair and sighed.

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

"How could I not know it was you?" Buffy said softly. "How could I have been so blind? And I don't mean because of the blindfold." She felt rumbling under her cheek as he chuckled quietly. After a few moments, she asked the question that had been burning in her mind ever since the start. "Why?"

Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We'll rise above the earthly cares

"I was wrong," he said in a low voice, sending shivers down her spine.


"There's more than fighting, shagging, hating and killing," he replied, taking a step away from her.

"And what's that?" Buffy asked, looking up into his so very blue eyes. He brought up her hand and kissed the inside of her wrist, then released her completely.

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

"Loving," Spike whispered, then turned and disappeared into the sea of dancers.

Please remember me

End 1