Wondering What You’re Dreaming
(Lyrics: I Don't Want to Miss a Thing, by Aerosmith)


by Saber ShadowKitten


Part One




Spike sat in the desk chair as he did every night since Buffy returned to Sunnydale, watching her sleep. *It's a wonder she doesn't know I'm here,* he thought, as he did every night.

Spike liked the way the light from the window highlighted Buffy's features. Spike leaned forward, resting his arms on his legs. *I could kill her right now and she would never know,* he thought once again. Yet, he did nothing.

Buffy made a painful face. *I wonder what she dreams about?* Spike thought. He had sat and watched her toss and turn and whimper every night since her return. And every night, Spike moved the chair closer to the bed.

"Something's wrong," Spike whispered as Buffy began to thrash on the bed. This was not like any of the other nights he watched her in fitful sleep.

"No, I'm sorry. I'm sorry," Buffy began to say over and over again. Spike tensed, not quite sure what to do. His mind was telling him to sit and watch, or to leave, but his undead heart had other plans.

As Buffy began to cry out, Spike quickly locked the bedroom door, then sat on the bed and took the Slayer in his arms, holding her close. "Shh. There now, Slayer. It's ok. It's only a dream," Spike said as he stroked her hair.

Buffy began to calm down at his comforting touch. As she snuggled closer to him, Spike knew that she was thinking that it was Angel holding her. He was both sad and jealous of that fact, because in his heart, Spike wanted it to be him Buffy was thinking of.

Spike sat holding Buffy until dawn approached. Slowly removing himself from the bed, he opened the bedroom window, then turned and looked one more time at the sleeping figure before leaving.


*****


As Spike settled in the tree to wait for Buffy to go to sleep so he could enter her room, he thought back to their last meeting.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Hello, cutie..."

Spike took a step toward Buffy, and she immediately decked him twice in the face. He grabbed her by the shoulders to restrain her, but she brought her knee up into his gut.

"Now, you hold on a second!" Spike yelled.

He shoved her away from himself. Buffy reached into her coat and pulled out a stake. Spike jumped back and held up his hands in surrender.

"Hey! White flag here. I quit," Spike said.

"Let me clear this up for you. We're mortal enemies. We don't get time-outs," Buffy said.

"You want to go around, pet, I'll have a gay old time of it. You want to stop Angel... we're gonna have to play this a bit differently."

"What are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about your ex, pet. I'm talking about putting him in the bloody ground."

"This has gotta be the lamest trick you guys have ever thought up," Buffy said, chuckling.

"He's got your Watcher. Right now, he's probably torturing him," Spike said.

"What do you want?"

"I told you. I want to stop Angel," Spike said. He snickers, "I want to save the world."

"Okay. You do remember that you're a vampire, right?" Buffy asked.

"We like to talk big. Vampires do. 'I'm going to destroy the world.' That's just tough guy talk. Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world," Spike said as he pulled out a cigarette and lit it. "You've got...dog racing, Manchester United. And you've got people. Billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. But then someone comes along with a vision. With a real...passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Good-bye, Picadilly. Farewell, Leicester Bloody Square. You know what I'm saying?"

"Okay, fine. You're not down with Angel. Why would you ever come to me?" Buffy said.

Spike stood and took another drag, but doesn't look at Buffy. "I want Dru back. I want it like it was before he came back. The way she acts around him..."

"You're pathetic."

He punched her in the face. She punched him right back.

"I lost a friend tonight!" Buffy yelled.

"I wasn't in on that raiding party."

"And I may lose more! The whole earth may be sucked into Hell, and you want my help 'cause your girlfriend's a big ho? Well, let me take this opportunity to not care."

"I can't fight them both alone, and neither can you!" Spike said.

Buffy punched him hard in the jaw, making him flinch. He straightened back up and felt his jaw, checking for blood.

"I hate you," Buffy said through clenched teeth.

"And I'm all you've got"

Buffy and Spike eyed each other as they headed up the walk to her house. Just then Joyce pulled up in her Jeep and saw them from her open window.

"Buffy?!" Joyce called.

Buffy gave her mom a glance, then went right back to watching Spike.

"Where have you been?" Joyce asked as she got out of the car. "Are you okay? The police were here! I've been looking for you!"

"Mom, let's go inside, and I can explain," Buffy said.

"Who is this man?" Joyce asked her daughter. She turned to Spike. "Who are you?" Then Joyce turned back to Buffy again, "Are you okay?"

"Mom! I'm-I'm okay," Buffy said.

"Buffy, terrible things have happened. What were you doing?" Joyce said.

"What, your mum doesn't know?" Spike asked.

Buffy glared at him.

"Know what?"

"That I'm, uh... in a band. A-a rock band with Spike here," Buffy answered her mom, giving Spike a look.

"Right. She plays the… the triangle," Spike said.

"Drums," Buffy corrected.

"Drums, yeah. She's, uh, hell on the old skins, you know."

"Hmm. And, uh, what do you do?" Joyce asked Spike.

"Well, I sing," Spike said.

"You know what? Why don't we go inside, and we can talk about this," Buffy said.

Buffy started toward the door, and Spike followed.

"I'm…I'm not sure how I feel about this," Joyce said.

Buffy turned around to face her. Suddenly, a vampire rushed across the porch, pushed Buffy and Spike aside and jumped down the steps at Joyce, ready to fight. Joyce screamed.

Buffy grabbed the vampire by the shoulders from behind and forced him around to face Spike. She pulled out a stake while Spike punched the his face. Spike's last blow sent the vampire spinning around and he staggered away. Buffy thrust the stake into his chest, and he instantly crumbled to ash.

Joyce stared in shock.

Spike stepped down from the porch and looked at the pile of ash.

"One of Angel's boys," Spike said.

"Yeah, probably watching me. Or you," Buffy said.

"Yeah. He won't get a chance to tattle on us now."

"Buffy... what... is going on?" Joyce asked, confused.

Buffy looked at her mother for a moment, then exchanged a look with Spike. She realized that it's time. Buffy went up to her mom and looked up at her, hoping against hope for understanding.

"Mom... I'm a Vampire Slayer," Buffy said.

Joyce looked at her daughter, then back at Spike. "A what?"

"Let’s get inside, ok?" Buffy said. Joyce nods uncertainly, then the three enter the Summers’ house after Buffy invited Spike inside.

Buffy turned to Spike. "All right, talk. What's the deal"

"Simple. You let me and Dru skip town, I help you kill Angel," Spike said.

"Angel? Your boyfriend?" Joyce asked.

"Forget about Drucilla. She doesn't walk," Buffy said.

"There's no deal without Dru," Spike said.

"She killed Kendra."

"Dru bagged a Slayer?" Spike asked, surprised. He chuckled, "She didn't tell me! Hey, good for her! Though not from your perspective, I suppose."

"I can't believe I invited you into my house," Buffy said, shaking her head.

"So you didn't kill that girl," Joyce said.

"Of course not," Buffy said, hurt that her mother said that.

"Did she explode like that man out there?" Joyce asked.

"She was a Slayer, Mom."

"Like what you are."

Buffy gives her mom a thin smile and a nod.

"Look," Spike said. "This deal works for me one way. Full stop. Me and Dru for Angel."

"Honey, a-are you sure you're a Vampire Slayer?" Joyce interrupted.

Spike continued. "I'll take her out of the country. You'll never hear from us again, I bloody well hope."

"Fine. Get back to the mansion. Make sure Giles is all right," Buffy said.

"I-I mean, have you tried not being a Slayer?" Joyce said.

They both looked at her.

"Mom!"

Spike sighed in exasperation of Joyce.

"Be ready to back me up when I make my move," Buffy told Spike.

Spike nodded and walked around her toward the door.

"If Giles dies..." Buffy began. Spike stopped and faced her. "She dies."

Spike gave her a final stare and headed out the door.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He always wondered what had happened after he left with an unconscious Drucilla. The last thing he saw was Angelus advancing on a swordless Slayer "He's gonna kill her," Spike had said, then shrugged when he realized it was no longer his fight and left.

Since the world wasn't sucked into hell, he figured the Slayer was successful and Angelus was gone. His thoughts were confirmed when Spike returned to Sunnydale and went to the mansion and saw the dormant Acathala. Spike had also seen the pile of ashes in front of it and assumed it was what was left of Angelus. Until he saw the note from Drucilla.

The thought of Drucilla made Spike flinch, almost knocking himself from his perch in the tree. Shaking it off, Spike looked into the window and saw that Buffy was asleep. Carefully, he leapt to the roof and gently opened the window. Spike paused, ensuring himself that Buffy was truly asleep, then entered the bedroom.

Spike stood next to her bed for a moment, gazing down at her beauty, then walked around the bed to the desk chair. As he was about to sit, he spied her diary sitting open on the nightstand. Curious, Spike picked it up and began to read.

Dusted four vamps tonight. Whoop-dee-doo. Mom gave me that look again when I got home. On one hand, it's nice not to keep secrets as big as my being the Slayer from her, but on the other hand, it's also a pain. The looks she gives me, the 'be careful' conversations, the 'tell me about such and such' bonding episodes. She freaked when I told her I had died once, which is why another Slayer became active. She also found it hard to believe the number of times I saved the world - during the Harvest, when the Master opened the Hellmouth, with Acathala...

Let's not go there.

Spike paused in his reading, looking thoughtfully at the Slayer. She had turned onto her side in her sleep, and was now facing him. She actually looked quite peaceful for once. He shifted in his chair, then resumed reading, this time going back to earlier entries.

Angelus looks at me with cold calculation with his eyes. I almost feel like a deer caught in the crosshairs on a rifle. I know I should kill him, Angel would want me to, but it's just too hard. Soon, though. Soon.

Spike flipped back further into the diary.

Did something fun tonight. Dropped an organ on Spike and Drucilla. A flaming organ in a flaming church. Party time!

Spike winced at the memory, rubbing his leg with one hand, then returned to the diary.

Get this - new baddies in town. According to Angel, their names are Spike and Drucilla. And he sired them both! As Xander said 'He sure got some neck in his day.'

Spike, a.k.a. William the Bloody, is this...this...how do I describe him. Billy Idol wanna be? Punk throwback? Great fighter though. I actually admire him for that. Some of these vamps have no style and are pretty much wimps. All bark, no fight. Anyway, if Spike wasn't a vamp, and I didn't love Angel as much as I do, I'd go for him.

Spike's eyes widened when he read this. He looked up at the Slayer, then back to the diary, re-reading the last paragraph. He quickly flipped the pages to see what she had written about him helping her defeat Angelus and Acathala. There wasn't much written.

Made friend's with my mortal enemy. He does have a great sense of humor. Spike helped me by protecting Giles, and for that I am eternally grateful. I guess I owe him one.

Spike smiled when he read that, then continued with the short entry.

As to Acathala - the portal is closed. As Whistler said, when it comes right down to it, all you have is yourself. And by myself, I found the strength to save the world. And sent Angel to hell.

Angel. Not Angelus. Angel.

The curse had worked...too late.

Spike looked up at the Slayer with a mixture of admiration and sympathy in his eyes. Closing the diary, he set it back on the nightstand, then leaned forward and brushed a stray hair off of her sleeping face.

"I'm sorry, luv," Spike said. Buffy sighed in her sleep, nuzzling her head deeper into the pillow. Spike settled back in the chair for another night watching his mortal enemy sleep.



Part Two



"Bloody hell," Spike said as he scraped his arm on the tree. It was a rather warm night, so to blend in more, he had forgone wearing his favorite duster. The Slayer had just returned from her patrols after a night at the Bronze with her friends. Spike grimaced as he remembered watching Buffy dance rather closely with one of her friends. He had been watching her sleep for close to a year now - sometimes reading her diary, sometimes comforting her when she had nightmares, but most of the time just sitting and watching.

About two months ago he started to seek her out before she went to bed. He followed her on her patrols, stood on the second floor at the Bronze, watching her dance, and snuck into the library to listen to Buffy and her friends discuss the latest prophecy or threat.

Arranging himself on the tree limb, Spike once again prepared to wait. He rubbed his leg unconsciously, more of a habit than out of any residual pain. He saw Buffy flip on the radio, then listened as she sang a few lyrics before she grabbed her robe and pajamas and left the room.

Spike knew this ritual by heart. Every night the Slayer would come home, turn on the radio, leave to shower, return to her room, brush her hair, write in her diary, then flip off the radio and go to sleep.

He waited and, sure enough, Buffy came back into the room, clean and in her pajamas and robe, and watched as she brushed her hair, singing softly along with the music. This time, however, Spike watched as Buffy climbed into bed without turning off the radio. He frowned, wondering what was up. After half and hour, Spike jumped to the roof and entered the bedroom after he assured himself that the Slayer was asleep.

Settling himself into his usual chair, he grabbed the diary and began to read.

I'm so excited! Tomorrow, if all goes according to plan, Angel returns. I know I haven't written anything about him, but that's because I didn't want to jinx anything. Now, I know that we can't be together anymore, but it will still be wonderful to have him free. I only hope that he'll forgive me.

Spike stopped reading, his heart in his throat. He looked at Buffy's sleeping form. A small smile was on her face. Slumping in the chair, Spike ran a hand through his peroxide blond hair. He couldn't believe how much the thought of Angel's return hurt.

*I could stay awake just to hear you breathing.
Watch you smile while you are sleeping
While you're far away and dreaming.
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender.
I could stay lost in this moment forever.
Every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure.*

Spike heard the first verse of the song and couldn't take it. He stood up and left through the window. Jumping to the ground, Spike took off at a run.

He wound up at the mansion. Spike stood in front of the statue of Acathala and swore. Drawing back a fist, he punched the silent statue with all his might, breaking his fingers. But Spike didn't care. He dropped to the ground in front of it and drew his knees to his chest. He didn't even care that he was sitting in his dead love's remains.

"What the bloody fuck is wrong with me," Spike said aloud. "Why the hell should I care if Angel comes back. It's not like I've turned into a bloody wuss. Half the vamps the Slayer stakes I made the night before."

Spike sat there berating himself and the world in general. When he ran out of things, he listened to the silence of the mansion.

Spike was unaware how long he stayed in the same position until he heard voices. He recognized the Slayer's immediately, then that of her circle of friends.

For a brief moment, he debated on just sitting there and letting the Slayer find him, but then his sense of self-preservation kicked in and he rose and left in the opposite direction.

Spike found himself in front of Buffy's house. Not stopping to question his motives, he quickly climbed the tree and entered the bedroom.

Spike stood in front of the bed and looked around. He inhaled deeply, memorizing the scents of the room. Spike ran his hand over Buffy's pillow, then walked to the other side of the bed and sat in his customary spot and stared off into space.

"What are you doing here?" Spike heard from the door. He turned to see Buffy's mom standing there with a cross and squirt gun in her hands.

"Sorry. I was just..." Spike trailed off, then shrugged.

"I know who and what you are, and I doubt that Buffy would be happy to know you were in her bedroom," Joyce said.

Spike shrugged again, than ran a weary hand over his face. "Just give me a few more minutes, then I'll go."

Joyce frowned at him. "And why should I do that?"

Spike didn't have an answer for her, so he stood up and moved to the window. He paused, then turned to Joyce, opening his mouth to say something. He snapped it shut, took one long look at the bed and left.


*****


"Buffy, can I talk to you a minute?" Joyce said to her daughter. Buffy had returned floating on cloud nine. Angel had been rescued and was currently at his apartment with Giles. Buffy planned to return later that night to be with him.

"Sure, mom. What's up?"

"You had a visitor earlier this evening," Joyce said.

"Really, who?" Buffy asked.

"That blond vampire - Spike, I think you told me was his name."

Buffy's good mood immediately vanished. "What?! Did he hurt you?"

"No. I had my cross and squirt gun of holy water, like you told me."

"Did he come to the door?"

"Actually, I found him in your bedroom."

Buffy's eyes widened, then she bolted up the stairs. She made a quick survey of her room and notice her diary was sitting open on her desk.

"Did he say anything?" Buffy asked her mom, who had just entered the room.

"No. He just apologized, looked around the room and left," Joyce said.

Buffy nodded and picked up her diary.

Slayer

May your dreams stay beautiful and your nightmares abate now that your Angel has returned.

Spike

"Laying close to you, feeling your heart beating, and I'm wondering what you're dreaming...I just wanna hold you close, feel your heart so close to mine, and just stay here in this moment for all the rest of time."



Part Three



Spike wandered aimlessly. No longer sitting in Buffy's room had freed up a lot of time - time which he couldn't seem to fill. He finally admitted to himself that he missed her. He missed sitting next to Buffy's bed, reading about her day in her diary, holding her when she had nightmares.

Sometimes Spike went to the Bronze and watched Buffy with her friends, his heart heavy. If someone were to remind him that demons had no emotions, he would had laughed in their faces. "You reek of humanity," the Judge had said long ago. Spike had found that with age came emotion. The longer he existed, the more emotions he felt.

Spike sat down on a park bench. He tilted his head back and gazed at the stars. Closing his eyes, Spike pictured Buffy's face. If he thought hard enough, he could almost feel her in his arms.

"Hello, cutie," Spike heard in an awful North London accent. He opened his eyes to find Buffy standing in front of him, arms crossed, with a smirk on her face.

Spike scowled at her. "What do you want?"

"I thought I told you to leave and never come back?" Buffy said.

Spike snorted. "You really expect a vampire to keep their word?"

Buffy shrugged. "Depends on the vamp." Buffy stared at him for a few minutes, causing Spike to shift uncomfortably on the bench.

"Stop that," Spike finally said.

"Stop what?" Buffy asked innocently.

"You know bloody what. Stop staring at me," Spike said.

"Why? Am I making you uncomfortable?"

Spike growled.

"Serves you right," Buffy said.

"What do you want, Slayer?" Spike repeated.

"I want to know how long you were in my room," Buffy responded.

"When?" Spike asked, eyes narrowed.

Buffy just glared at him.

Spike was silent for a few moments, then shrugged. *Who the bloody hell cares,* he thought before answering her. "Every night since you came back to Sunnyhell until the night you freed Angelus."

Buffy’s eyes about popped out of her head. If Spike wasn’t so miserable, he would have laughed at her expression.

"You were in my room every night?!" Buffy asked, emphasizing the last words with a high pitched squeal.

Spike nodded.

Buffy started to pace back and forth in front of him. He watched her as she mumbled obscenities about him to herself, then closed his eyes once again.

"Why?"

"What?" Spike asked, opening his eyes at the Slayer’s question.

"Why? Why were you in my room? Why didn’t you kill me?" Buffy asked.

Spike didn’t know how to answer her questions. If he told her the truth, she wouldn’t believe him or, worse yet, laugh at him. But his mind couldn’t come up with a lie. He settled on the partial truth.

"I wanted to find out what happened to Angelus," Spike said cautiously.

"Did that require you to come back every night?" Buffy said.

"No. But I did find out some interesting things from your diary."

"You read my diary!" Buffy yelled.

Spike nodded.

Buffy began pacing and swearing once again. Spike ran his hand through his short hair, then stood. Buffy immediately dropped into a defensive position.

"Relax, Slayer. I’m not going to bloody attack you," Spike said. "I’m leaving."

"But I’m not through with you yet!" Buffy exclaimed.

Spike shut his eyes. He didn’t know if he could do this anymore. Then he figured out a way to stop her questions. "How’s Angelus?"

Buffy began to sputter. "What…how…why…"

"Why do I care?" Spike asked. "Just wondering if he was taking care of you again, that’s all."

Buffy nodded slowly, unsure of where the conversation was headed.

Spike smiled briefly, then turned his back to her, a death defying move for a vampire. When he didn’t feel a stake in his back, he took a purposeful breath then exhaled with a sigh. "Bye, Slayer."

Spike began to walk away but was halted by Buffy’s voice. "Wait."

He stopped walking and turned around. Buffy twisted her hands together, a semi-painful look on her face. "Look, I don’t know why you did what you did, but I owe you one for helping me. Is there…would you…can I do something for you?" Buffy blurted finally.

Spike looked at her with surprise. He didn’t expect this. Emotions played havoc in his heart when he realized he could ask her to do the one thing he actually longed.

"Kiss me."

"Wh-what?" Buffy said.

"Kiss me. A good old fashioned kiss. On the lips," Spike said. He smiled at her obvious confusion and embarrassment. "C’mon, Slayer. It’s not that hard. Unless you don’t know how to…"

Buffy glared at him. "Of course I know how to kiss!"

"Well, then? I’m waiting."

Spike stood there, watching the emotions play across her face. He wasn’t sure this was the smartest thing for him to do, but his heart told him it was worth the chance.

"Fine," Buffy finally said. She stalked up to him and held a stake to his chest. "But if you try anything funny, you’ll fit in an ashtray."

Spike didn’t respond. He just stood there and looked into the Slayer’s eyes. He could hear her heart pounding in her chest, could smell both fear and confidence mixed with her own scent. Spike clenched his hands as Buffy moved even closer, licking her lips. He closed his eyes.

When Spike felt her lips press gently against his, an electric current passed through his body. He blinked unconsciously, even though his eyes were closed, and brought one of his hands up to cup Buffy’s head, slowly deepening the kiss.

He almost spontaneously combusted when Spike felt the Slayer’s tongue tentatively touch his. Spike groaned deep in his throat and wrapped his other arm around her body, ignoring the stake between them, and pulled Buffy as close as he could.

Remembering that she needed to breath, Spike slowly pulled back his head, but still held her tightly to him. He looked at her, taking in her flushed face, her swollen lips and her wide eyes. They stood like that for several moments, the vampire and the slayer, before Spike recognized the look of panic. He released Buffy, his heart protesting, then took a step backwards.

Spike reached out and tucked a piece of hair behind Buffy’s ear, then ran his finger along her jaw. "Thank you," he whispered. Then he turned and left.



Part Four



Spike sat in the mansion, reading a novel. That’s all he basically did now, save for the occasional meal. It had been several months since he kissed the Slayer and his heart had become a block of unfeeling ice.

He was completely surprised when he received a visitor. Angel stood before him, a scowl on his face, hands clenched into fists.

"What?" Spike asked, not in the mood to be bothered. He wasn’t in the mood for anything anymore.

"What did you do to her?" Angel asked with an edge to his voice.

"What did I do to who?" Spike said, frowning.

"You know who I mean. Buffy. What did you do to her?"

"Sorry. Haven’t seen her, mate. Not for months," Spike said.

"That’s not what I meant," Angel said. He grabbed Spike’s shirt and lifted the other vampire into the air. "She hasn’t been the same since the night she ran into you in the park. I want to know what you did to her."

Spike pushed himself away from Angel, breaking his grasp. "I don’t know what you’re talking about."

"Tell me what happened that night!" Angel yelled, his face changing into is demonic visage.

"Nothing happened, you bloody sot! The Slayer found me in the park, yelled at me, threatened to stake my ass, then I left!" Spike yelled back, omitting the part most important to his heart.

"You’re lying!" Angel growled. Then he attacked, punching Spike in the face, sending him flying.

Spike quickly jumped back up, but didn’t allow the anger to over come him. His face stayed in its human mask. "Angelus, I suggest you leave my home. If you want to know what happened, ask your bloody Slayer. I have nothing to say."

Just as Angel was about to attack again, Buffy ran into the room. "Angel! Stop!"

Angel froze when he heard Buffy’s voice, then turned and faced her. "Why?"

"Because I said so!" Buffy said.

Angel became confused, his face returning to it’s handsome human features. "Buffy?"

"Just leave him alone," Buffy said. She looked at Spike. "Sorry."

Spike looked as confused as Angel. "Slayer?"

Buffy took a deep breath and sighed. She ran a hand over her weary face. Spike could see the large, dark circles under her eyes. She also looked thinner than normal.

"Slayer, you look awful," Spike said.

Buffy glared at him, then grabbed Angel’s hand. "Bad dreams," she said pointedly, then left, dragging a baffled Angel behind her.

Spike’s heart jumped for the first time in months.


*****


Spike quietly climbed the tree next to Buffy’s house, then jumped to the roof. Peering cautiously into the room, he assured himself the Slayer was sleeping and opened the window, entering the house.

He walked over to her bed and gazed down upon her sleeping form. It had been so long since he had been in this room. Spike ran his hand through his hair, then sat carefully on the edge of Buffy’ bed.

"’Bout time you showed up," Buffy said, startling him. Spike practically leapt off the bed as if he had been scorched. Buffy laughed quietly at him.

"Slayer! I thought you were asleep," Spike said.

"Obviously," Buffy said with a wry smile. She patted the bed next to her.

Spike eyed her, then sat down where she requested. He looked her features over, noting once again her worn out appearance. "You really do look awful, Slayer. Are you ok?"

Buffy rolled her eyes. "You sure know how to compliment a gal," she said. "Yes, I’m ok. I’ve just been having bad dreams."

"About?" Spike asked. He looked down and began to trace a pattern on the comforter.

"Oh, this and that. I haven’t had bad dreams in a long time, so I’m not use to dealing," Buffy said.

"I’m sorry."

"What do you have to be sorry about?" Buffy asked.

Spike realized he had let his emotions show. He was about to make some snide comment when he looked into her beautiful eyes. Spike then closed his own and decided to tell her the truth. "I’m sorry I wasn’t here to comfort you like I did for almost a year."

Buffy looked confused. "I don’t understand."

Spike looked at her. "I started coming to your room every night after you returned. I watched as you tossed and turned and whimpered in your sleep, but did nothing. Then one night you started to cry out in your sleep and I couldn’t not do anything. I climbed into bed with you and held you. You immediately calmed down and slept peacefully until I left. After that, each time you showed signs of being involved in a bad dream, I held you and you always slept peacefully until I left just before dawn."

Buffy’s eyes looked like saucers and Spike could hear her heart pounding in her chest. "Oh," she whispered.

Spike shrugged, then stood to leave.

"Wait," Buffy said, putting her hand on his arm. "Don’t go."

Spike looked at her with surprise. "What?"

"Please stay," Buffy said softly. "I…I want you to stay. At least until I fall asleep."

Spike’s heart jumped once again into his throat, then he sat back down on Buffy’s bed. "Ok."

Buffy smiled at him and the last of the ice around his heart melted. As she settled back down into the covers, Spike reached out a hand and brushed the hair off of her cheek. Their eyes caught and held. Then Spike saw Buffy lick her lips and, with a small groan, he leaned forward and pressed his lips to hers.

The same electric current passed through his body as Spike felt Buffy’s arms go around his shoulders, pulling him closer. Their kiss deepened, both tender and passionate at the same time.

Spike finally broke the kiss, allowing Buffy to breathe. He pulled Buffy into his arms, his undead heart was pounding in his chest. They laid together like that, one cold, the other warm; one a vampire, the other a vampire slayer.

"I love you," Spike whispered into Buffy’s hair.

"Good," Buffy mumbled sleepily. "Cuz I went and fell in love with you, too."

Spike smiled into the dark, pulling the Slayer even closer. He kissed the top of her head. "Sleep peacefully, Buffy."

"Always when you’re here, William. Always when you’re here."


The End