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  Buffy and Dawn Summers stood at the very  top of the Eiffel Tower, gazing down at the busy city below.  They had been in  Paris for a full month now and this was the first time they  had gotten the chance  to visit  the tourist attraction.  Buffy couldn’t explain the delay.  Some things just took longer then others.  The two sisters stood side by side, but their minds were a world apart.  Dawn wondered what their next European stop would be.  It’s been one city after another ever since they had dropped Giles, Faith, and the others off in Cleveland to set up the new Slayer training center.  There, the Slayers  would come and be trained and be assigned missions all around the world.  Buffy planned to help, but first she was going  to  keep  her promise to Dawn before the new school year began.  She wanted to show her sister the world…or at least as much of it as their funds would allow.  So far they had been to Germany, Sweden and now France. 


           In the meantime, Buffy’s mind was on  Spike.  It’s been two  months since the destruction of Sunnydale and Spike’s subsequent death.  She still felt a bit numb,  her heart frozen in shock and denial.  But now, she was thawing and was constantly fighting to keep the guilt  and grief at bay.  She didn’t want to ruin their vacation by getting emotional.  An emotional breakdown could wait until they reached Cleveland, where Buffy could be alone and wallow in her despair.  Looking down at the city below, she wondered if Spike had been to Paris before.  Of course he had.  He had probably came with Drusilla.  Buffy chewed on her bottom lip, wishing that he could be with them  now.   They’d still be on their own during the day, but there would be  still be enough left to do during the night.  Just his very presence would have been enough.

           “This  trip is almost over …isn’t it?” Dawn looked at her sister, her eyes curious. She was a bit concerned over Buffy’s  silence. Ever since they began this trip, she couldn’t get her sister to shut up.  But now…Buffy’s silence was eerie.   “Do we really have to go to Cleveland?”

           Buffy looked at her little sister, surprised by the question.  She had thought that Dawn was ok with the decision to go to Cleveland and help train the new Slayers.  “You don’t want to?”

           Dawn shrugged.  She felt a  bit selfish.  She had given it a lot of thought over the past few weeks and had found that she had gotten used to having her sister all to herself.  Sure there were instances in when they’d run into a few demons or vampires that Buffy was required to fight; But there were no urgent apocalypse that required Buffy’s attention. No big bads that threatened to take her sister away forever.   She liked this new found bond that her and Buffy had formed.  She just knew that if they went to Cleveland, the newly formed bond would never survive.  Buffy’s attention would be divided between the new  slayers, who would need training and advice.

           “I like it like this.  Just me and you.  We won’t have this in Cleveland.  You’ll be too busy training slayers and fighting evil..”

           Buffy’s gaze lowered.  She knew that Dawn was right.  Their relationship had taken a beating in the past  couple of  years. Buffy’s dying, her psychotic episode where she had tried to kill not only Dawn, but their friends as well.  The stealing, Williow’s addiction to magic…all of it had wrecked havoc on their relationship.    Indeed, it would be more of the same in Cleveland.  Maybe she should take an even longer break from slaying.  Give herself time to rest and get reacquainted with her sister.  

           “You’re right.  We should just stay away from Cleveland for a while.  I’ll just have to call Giles and Willow and let them  know the change of plans.”

           Dawn resisted the urge to jump up and squeal with glee.  For the first time since finding out that she was a green ball of mystical energy, made to open up portals to different worlds, she felt like the world was her oyster.  Everything she ever wanted was now possible.  Her and Buffy could go anywhere now.  They could do anything they wanted.  Before,  there were sacred duties and big bads to defeat.  Hell mouths to defend.  But now…the hell mouths and big bads could be someone else’s problem for a while. Buffy was no longer  bound to any of  it.   

           “Maybe I should call Angel,” Buffy bit her lip thoughtfully.  She wanted to go through all their options.    “We’re going to need somewhere to stay and he does own a hotel…”

           “No way.   I hate Angel and so did Sp…” Dawn paled as she caught herself.  Somehow she felt it was a bad idea to mention Spike on this trip.  She felt a tight knot of regret every time she thought of him.  She had never told him that she had forgiven him for what happened with Buffy.  He had probably died thinking that she hated him.

           Buffy laid a comforting hand on her sister’s shoulder.  She knew that Dawn held a lot of guilt towards Spike.  She used to listen to the girl cry herself to sleep, Spike’s name slipping through the sobs in those early days after the final battle.  “It’s ok to say his name Dawnie.  He was an important part of our lives.”

           Dawn forced a smile.  She wiped away a stray tear.  She wanted  to put up a brave front, but failed terribly.  “You loved him didn’t you?”

           Buffy took a deep breath of Parisian air, as she pushed back the urge to cry.  “Yes.  Yes I did.  He stood by my side, even when everyone else had turned against me.  He believed in me.  He was the man I knew he could be if given the chance.”

           “Did you tell him?”

           Buffy stared at her hands.  A single tear escaped as she remembered the look on his face when she confessed her true feelings and his reaction.  The pain in his eyes had broke her heart.  “Yes.  I did.  Right before everything came crashing down.  But he…”

           “I never told him,” Dawn interrupted, her voice full of unshed tears.  “I never told  him that I wasn’t mad at him anymore.  I should have, but now it’s too late.  He died thinking that I hated him!”

           “Dawnie, no,” Buffy’s arms trembled as she hugged her sister.  Her own grief came to the surface.  “He never thought you hated him.  He knew that you two were ok again.  I know he did.”

           Dawn pulled away.  She wiped away her tears as she tried to pull herself together.  “How do you know?”

           Buffy just smiled.  She remembered how insightful he had been.   He could read into her very soul without her telling him anything.  “I know Spike.  He always knew.  Even when we , ourselves, didn’t.”

           Dawn nodded in agreement.  She knew all too well Spike’s ability to read people.  She had both admired and hated it.  Between Spike and Xander, she could never get away with anything.


           As the sisters discussed the coming move to LA, they were unaware  of Spike standing in the shadows, watching them intently.  Spike had known that  he would find her here, but seeing her again…it was such a shock to his system.

           . When Spike had first showed up in Angel’s office, confused and not in a very good mood at all, he had spent a week  moping about what he had assumed was his lost chance of  happiness with Buffy.  Three months had passed since the final battle and his life  had been on  hold for all that time. According to Angel,  Buffy and the Scoobies were all gone, and he was stuck in some stupid law firm with the poof, not able to really touch anything  because he was incorporeal at the time.  It was thanks to Fred and her  knowledge in all things scientific that he was back to his old self again .  When a postcard from Paris arrived for Angel just two days ago, Spike had hopped on the first plane, in hopes of  connecting with the slayer and at least see where he stood with her…if he really had a chance. 

Staring at her now, he couldn’t  help but notice that she hadn’t changed a bit since he saw her last.  She was still beautiful with her long blond hair and intense hazel eyes that spoke of more experience then a twenty-two year old should have.  Just looking at her brought all his emotions to a boil.  Now, just a few feet away from her, Spike had second thoughts.  What if she didn’t want to see him after all?  What if she had met someone new?  Or what if the last few days they had spent together before the battle was some kind of fluke and he was just a thing to her, once again.  Something to detest and ignore.  He closed his eyes against the last thought.  Oh God, how he hoped that it wasn’t the case.  He wouldn’t be able to  go through that all over again.  Not after the way he had held her those last  nights together.  Not after nearly getting himself killed for her.


           He stepped deeper into the shadows as Buffy and Dawn turned away from the sight below.  He watched as they disappeared into an elevator that would return them to the crowded streets of  Paris.  He was going to wait  until he could get Buffy alone.  Probably tonight and then they could discuss their relationship and where to go from here.   All doubts banished from his mind, Spike returned to the safety of the building to await sunset.




           Night had fallen.  Buffy walked along the streets of Paris, looking for any sign of vampires or newly called slayers.  If she found Slayers, talk to them about the life of a slayer and send them to Cleveland to be trained if they were interested in  joining the fight against the powers of darkness.  She  thought of her friends back in the States.    They had a chance to live free of vampires, demons, and other creatures of the night, yet they had chosen to live on another hell mouth, fighting the same fight that they’ve  fought for the past seven years.  That was all well and good;  but as for this slayer, she was going to enjoy the normal life for a year or two before reentering the  fight. 


           If only Spike could enjoy it with her.  Of course it wouldn’t be too normal with him being a vampire and all…but to just be with him…to explore the new turn their relationship had taken…Oh what was the point?  They will never get to explore their new  standing with one another.  They’ll never be together again.  Spike was gone.  Any possible chance of a real relationship now resided in the sinkhole that Sunnydale now was.


           Wiping the thoughts of a normal life with Spike from her mind, Buffy continued her trek to the nearest Cemetery.  She was in the mood to slay something.  Maybe a spot of violence would clear her worried mind.  Damn.  She did it again!  That very thought was something he would have said before he had gotten the soul...or maybe even after.    How could she forget Spike when he ruled her very thoughts like this?  Buffy sighed as she banished all thoughts from her mind.  Maybe that would stop the memories.  She was so intent on doing this, that she didn’t even sense the vampire that came up  from behind until he was right upon on her.   His yellow eyes glowed with the light of bloodlust.

           The  vamp grinned as he  remembered the rumor of how Slayer’s blood was not only rare and extremely satisfying, but granted the vamp  strength and power beyond his wildest dreams.  This was  one theory he was dying to test. 

           “Listen, all I wanted was a quiet night, enjoying the  quiet, but no.  You had to show up and now I have to kill you,” Buffy sent a swift kick to the vamp’s midsection, knocking him back. “Tell me, is this how you treat all the tourists?”

           With a roar, the vamp came at Buffy again.  Fists and kicks flew.  For a while there Buffy held her own, until she began to tire and made the mistake of  punching when she should have blocked.

           She fell to the ground with a loud “Oaf!” and  frowned as he taunted her in French.  Yes, she had taken the language in high school, but she had barely passed and couldn’t be expected to know it now.  “No fair!  If you’re going to pun, pun in English.”

           The vampires just leered down  at her, ready to taste the powerful blood of a slayer.  Buffy swung her straight up into the vamp’s face, slamming the heel of her boot into  his  nose.  She smiled in satisfaction as she heard the wet crack of his nose breaking.


Fisticuffs began again, but this time, she wasn’t as  on top of her game as she should have been.  With just a quick grab and a twist of her arm behind her back, the vamp had her tight.  He grabbed her chin and forced it upwards, exposing her the tender flesh of her throat, ignoring her struggle to get loose.   Just as she felt the vamp’s cold breath on her skin, bursts of dust filled the air and cleared revealing the one person that Buffy had thought she’d never see again. 

           “Hello cutie,” Spike smiled at her, a bit relieved that he had gotten to her in time. 

           “Spike?” Buffy stared  at him in disbelief before the shock of seeing him sent her falling to the cold ground below as darkness took her.

           “Bloody hell,” he cursed, as he lifted the unconscious Slayer up into his arms.  He should have known that the shock would be too much for her.  He shook his head in grim amusement as he  carried her back to the room he’s been renting for the past few days.  There was no reason to remain in the streets when there was a perfectly good bed she could rest in until she woke.




           She groaned, as  she began to wake up.  What a strange dream.  Getting ambushed by vamps just to be rescued by Spike, which was impossible since Spike was dead and wouldn’t be rescuing anyone ever again.  She had been thinking too much  about him.  That’s what it was.  She wanted him back so badly that she dreamed that he had rescued her from certain death. 


           Satisfied with her explanation, Buffy opened her eyes to  unfamiliar surroundings.  What the hell?  Where was she?  Who had brought her here?  Why did they bring her here in the first place?  She was so not liking this.  She hoped that she wouldn’t have to fight her way out.  She was so tired of fighting.  The recent fight was probably proof of that.  She had never been that sloppy before.  Hmmm…maybe a nice stop over in merry olde England  for one of Giles rigorous training sessions would put more umph in her kick. 

           “Sleeping Slayer’s awake, I see,” an achingly familiar voice spoke from the foot of her bed.  Buffy’s eyes widened .  No, it couldn’t be…could it?”

           “Spike?” Her voice was barely a whisper, sad and a bit scared.  Freshly healed wounds were suddenly ripped back open.  It wasn’t like she hadn’t considered the possibility that Spike was still alive, somewhere.  But after waiting for so long…she had to finally accept the fact that he wasn’t coming back.    Maybe it was the first, back to taunt her some more.  Well if it was…she will make it very sorry that it chose his form to take .

           Buffy got to her feet.  She didn’t dare take her eyes away from the dark silhouette that was now standing at the foot of her bed instead of standing.    It sounded like Spike, but the first  could sound like anyone it wanted.  It  had sounded like Caleb and even herself.  So imitating Spike should be child’s play.  “What do you want this time?  Sunnydale is gone.”
           Spike frowned at Buffy’s words, a bit hurt that she was so suspicious of him, but then it hit him.  She thought he was the first, back to taunt her or reap some sort of revenge  .  He had to make her realize that he wasn’t some manifestation of the first. 

           “It’s me pet.  Spike.”

           “That’s impossible.  Some plan to make me suffer for getting in your way?,” Buffy’s eyes glowed with a mixture of tears and hatred.  She closed her eyes tightly as she remembered her last moments with Spike.  How he had refused to escape with her, how their entwined hands had caught fire, burning her soul to his.  How he hadn’t believed her when she confessed her true feelings for him.   He was a hero, her champion and here was this evil…thing running around in his form!  If she could, she would rip it from limb to limb.

           “Touch me,” Spike stepped out of the shadows, a pale  hand stretched out for her to take hold of as proof that he wasn’t what she thought he was. He approached her as if he was approaching a spooked horse.  He stood so close to her that she felt his cool breath on her face.    “Ow!” He yelled as a powerful fist slammed into  his nose and  knocked him backwards.  “Bloody hell!  What was that for?!”
           Buffy’s eyes widened.  She had punched him and he  had felt it!   “Spike, it is you!” anger and uncertainty was replaced with happiness and joy. 

           “Did you really need to hit me to find that out?” Spike wiped the blood from his nose. He stared at her, accusingly

           “…I thought you might have been the first, back to taunt me,” She blushed, embarrassed by her mistake. 

           “Well I bloody well knew that!  Didn’t you hear me say touch me?  I  held out my hand, I didn’t mean for you to pound my face in!”

           “I can see that now,” Buffy crossed her arms a bit defensively.  “I’m sorry, but if you do recall the last time I saw you, Sunnydale was coming down around us and you were refusing to leave.  I thought you were dead.”

           “Well…I’m  not dead…at least not anymore.”

           Buffy frowned.  How did he survive Sunnydale anyway?  What did he mean not anymore?  “Spike…how…I don’t understand.  What happened to you?”

           “It’s a long story, pet.”

           “Well…I have time.”

           Spike looked away from her.  He did not know where to start.  There was so much to tell her about his return, so much they still had to discuss about their own relationship.

           “Spike?” Buffy asked, a bit uneasy by his silence. 

           “Set down , luv.  I have a long story to tell and I rather you were comfortably seated…just in case there’s another fainting spell.”

           “Hey!  I resent that!  I didn’t faint.  I zoned,” she pouted in the way Spike loved.  He truly did miss her, pout and all.  Hopefully they can pick up where they had left off before the big battle.

           “Do you want to hear this or not Slayer?  I’m not telling you anything until you’re setting down.”

           Buffy rolled her eyes in exasperation, but  sat down at the edge of the bed.  She rubbed her shoulders, trying to calm the erupting emotions of joy, relief, anger, and something else that she was too afraid to name.  To put a name to that emotion…well…it might not be such a good idea at the moment.  Especially if he didn’t feel the same way any longer.  “Ok.  Tell me how this happened.”

           Spike ran an unsteady hand over his freshly peroxide hair, pacing back and forth.  She wasn’t going to believe this.  Hell, he didn’t even believe it, and it had happened to him! “Well…it was that trinket.  It pulled me in somehow.”

           “What do you mean, pulled you in?  Spike, you’re not making any sense,” Buffy frowned, a bit impatient.  She was never patient when it came to explanations.  She used to get so irritated with Giles when she thought it was taking to long to get to the point.

           “It pulled me in.  Held me like a genie is held in a bloody lamp.  I only got free because of the Poof,” Spike snortedas he remembered the surprised, yet angry look on his Grandsire’s face. 

           “Angel?  Angel set you free from the amulet?”

           Spike nodded.  “The only thing was that I was incorporeal.  Little more then a ghost.  I couldn’t touch anything, move anything, not to mention I was almost pulled into…well that doesn’t matter.”

           Buffy frowned.  She couldn’t help but to find the explanation hard to believe.  Spike?  A ghost?  But he wasn’t a ghost now.  “Ok.  So you was a ghost, but you’re corporal now.  How did that happen?”

           “It’s all thanks to that cute little scientist that works for Angel.  She invented a formula that gave me my body back, all good and proper,” Spike remembered Fred’s excitement as her potion worked.  It was Fred that turned out to be his best friend.  It was Fred that he turned to when everything got to be too much or when Angel was more annoying then usual.  It had been Fred who had encouraged him to find Buffy and at least see if they had a chance together. 

           Buffy frowned, as she tried  to process all that Spike had told her.  “This Fred…she made you all corporal again?  How long have you been back?”

           “Two months,” Spike fidgeted, as he remembered  the decision not to contact Buffy.  Somehow, he had allowed Angel to brow beat him into staying away.  Stating that Buffy was living the life she had always wanted and that a visit from him would only ruin it.  “Angel thought it’d be best if we left you to your normal life.”

           “Angel…” Buffy  growled, as her anger against her ex grew.  She should have known that he had something to do with this.  “Why am I not surprised?   Well…obviously you changed your mind.  Why?”       

           “That too was Fred.  She said that you deserved to know that I was alive and that I deserved to be with the woman I…the woman I love.”

           Her eyes softened at Spike’s statement of love.  “Remind me to thank this Fred someday,” Buffy  looked away from him, suddenly nervous.  She didn’t know why.  She had known him for so long.  They had fought, made love, trained together.  Why was it now that she felt like a sixteen year old girl going on her first date? “So…what about this amulet?  Obviously  it wasn’t just an Ubervamp/hell mouth destroyer.”

           Spike paused, unsure if he should share the startling purpose of the necklace that had put an end to the hell mouth he had once called home.  His slayer had the bad habit of shouldering the blame and he knew how she would take this.

           “Spike…are you going to tell me or not?” Buffy stared at him.  “Spike, it’s ok.  You can tell me about the amulet; why it contained you the way it did.  What was it’s purpose Spike?”

           He sighed and looked away from her, not wanting to witness the self-blame that he knew would be in her eyes.  “…It was a trap.  A trap for Angel…”

           “Wolfram and Hart,” Buffy gasped, as realization dawned on her.  Of course!  Angel had been meant to wear the amulet, but thanks to her brilliant plans…Spike was the one who took the fall.  She was the reason that Spike had found himself trapped in the amulet.  Tears threatened to spill from her eyes as the guilt hit her.  Someone was always getting hurt because of her and once again,  it was Spike.

           “Now don’t go blaming yourself for this pet.  There was no way you could have known.  We were all concentrating on stopping the apocalypse at the time.  Nefarious plans of an evil law firm was not on the agenda,” Spike lightly took her hand in his.  “Buffy, listen to me.  What happened to me was not your fault.  Hell, it wasn’t even the poof’s fault.  Besides, something good came out of it.  I saved the world. We sent the first back to hell where it belonged.  So don’t fret over it.  Things are back to normal.  Now we can concentrate on whatever this is between us.”

           “Normal?” Buffy snorted.  “Nothing  has ever been normal for me, Spike.  I don’t even know what normal is really.  I know it’s why Angel left me.   I know it’s the reason that Riley left as well.  He was normal and I wasn’t and never would be.  It was killing him to know that, so he left.   Normal is something I had wanted at one time, but now I know  I’ll never have. Not even now, where there’s more slayers on the earth to take up the slack.  Too much in my life has happened for me to even consider to be normal.

           “As for what’s between you and me?  I don’t know.  Friendship.  Respect.  A strong like…”

           “Love?” Spike fought to keep the spark of hope he felt out of his voice.  He knew that love was one word he didn’t dare put into context concerning his relationship with the slayer.  If was a hard lesson, but a lesson well learned.

           “Love?  Maybe.  I do recall saying it, but someone didn’t believe me,” Buffy crossed her arms, her hazel eyes filled with hurt as she remembered his words that has sent her running away, hurt and grieving for what could have been but wasn’t. 

           Spike looked away. the hope rose up in his chest, despite his resolve to try to keep his feelings as neutral as possible.  “Are you telling me that you weren’t just telling me that because you thought I was dying?  You really do love me?”

           She smiled gently as she  touched his face  She wanted to convey as much emotion as she possibly could.  She wanted him to believe her this time.  She needed him to.  “I loved you for a long time now Spike.  I can’t tell you when it happened, but I can tell you when I realized it.  When I found out that Robin Wood was trying to kill you….I felt as if he was trying to destroy my whole world.  That was when I realized that I had fallen in love with you somewhere along the wayside.”

           Spike began to laugh, thoroughly amused with the situation.  It was priceless.  “You waited until the apocalypse to tell me that you loved me,” He felt a bit shocked by the news that she had meant what she said, but at the same time joy and hope.  Full blown, wonderful hope. She had given him more then a few crumbs it seemed.  She had given him the full cookie.  After all the wishing and the hoping, after all the secretive poem writing…he finally had her love and all he could do was laugh.

           “So this is funny to you?” Buffy frowned, a  bit hurt by his laughter.  It hadn’t been easy for her to admit her feelings to him like this.  Laughter was the last thing she wanted.  She honestly didn’t know what was worse.  Him not believing her, or him finding her feelings for  him laughable.

           “No, Pet.  I don’t think this is funny at all,” His laughter died down, but his eyes still shone with amusement.  “What I find so amusing is all the attempts I’ve made in the past to make you love me and all it took was the apocalypse.”

           Buffy just shook her head, confused by his logic.  “Spike…can we get serious here?  I mean…I’m spilling my heart out to  you.  It’s not at all easy.  The least you can do is listen.”

           “I know.  I’m sorry  Buffy,” Spike apologized,  all laughter stopped and his face grew serious.  “You’re right.  This is serious.”

           “Ok,” Buffy glared at him in suspicion.  She wanted to make sure that his fit of giggles were all over before she continued.  “When Angel came back to Sunnydale, I told him that I was cookie dough.  I told him that I wasn’t done baking…”

           “Oh yeah, I heard about that little ditty.”

           Buffy rolled her eyes at the amusement  in his voice. 

           “Nice metaphor, pet.”

           “Thank you, but can I finish?” Buffy asked, tired of the interruptions.  Spike just motioned for her to continue.  He felt a bit guilty for interrupting her with silly, needless comments.  She was right.  She was spilling her heart out and he needed to be serious about it. 

           “Well I lied.  To him and to myself.  I was done baking and you weren’t just in my heart.  You were my heart.  You still are.  Is this making any sense to you at all?  I was never too good with words.”

           Spike was speechless.  The pure emotion in her eyes had reached into his heart and strengthened the love that was already there.  She really did love him.  It was there in her face.  At a loss for words, he could only do one  thing to answer her heartfelt  confession.  He simply pulled her to him and gently pressed his lips to hers.

            He groaned in pleasure at the warm, sweet taste of her mouth as their tongues gently played with each other.  He pulled her closer,  as he poured all the love and need he felt for her into that one kiss.  He was never going to let her go again, no matter what.  Not even another apocalypse would be able to keep them apart.  Buffy and Spike.  The big bad and his slayer.  That’s the way it was always going to be. 


           One hour later, they laid naked under the rough wooly blanket that had covered the  bed.  Arms and legs were intertwined as the two reunited lovers stared into each others eyes, as they made silent promises of  forever.

           Buffy touched his face gently, just to make sure that he was real and not just a wonderful figment of her imagination.  Spike just smiled at her, as he basked in the love shining in   her eyes.  This was all he had ever hoped for; all he had thought he ‘d never have.  Buffy’s unconditional love.  So pure and wonderful.  Nothing he had ever felt for anyone before could even come close to what he felt for the beautiful Slayer. 

           “Is this real or am I dreaming again?” She sighed, wrapping  one of his platinum curls around  her fingers.

           “Well…I hadn’t  woke up yet, so I suppose it is real,” his arms tightened around her as she laid her head on his chest.  He smiled He began to feel rather poetic again, a mood he had thought he’d never feel again.  “I love you, you love me…”

           “I hate to interrupt, but you’re sounding like Barney,” Buffy giggled, affectionately rubbing his chest, her eyes sparkled with laughter.

           Spike frowned.  “I made that one up in my William days.  How can I sound like a big purple dinosaur?”

           Buffy’s howl of laughter filled the room, her hazel eyes bright and happy.  “Tell that one to that Harmony.  She can help you sue Barney for plagiarism.”

           “What?  And have a case called Blondie Bear versus Barney? I don’t think so pet.  It’s bad enough that Angel and his mates heard that damn name,” Spike snorted.

           Buffy couldn’t help the giggles that kept erupting.  She was no fan of Harmony’s but that name was so cute and suited Spike in a weird, vampire-like way.

           “What?” Spike asked, confused by her laughter.  He couldn’t see what was so funny about Harmony using one of her pet names at one of the most confusing times of his unlife.

           “Blondie Bear,” Buffy hiccupped.  “I like it.”

           “You do?”

           Buffy nodded, as she wiped the happy tears from her eyes.  “Yes.  I think that’ll be what I’ll call you…or if you rather, platinum baby,” new laughter, even louder this time, erupted.

           “I don’t think so pet.  I had enough of that from Harmony.  I don’t think I could take it from you too.”

           “And who’s going to stop me?  Hmmm?  My whittle Blondie bear,” Buffy mischievously plucked a white strain of hair from his head.

           “I will you little minx,” Spike began to tickle her.  Buffy begged for him to stop, promising never to call him Blondie bear or platinum baby ever again.  Laughing Spike pulled her on top of him and just held her, enjoying her heat and the rhythmic beat of her heart.

           “I can’t remember being this happy,” Buffy sighed, as she snuggled deeper into his embrace.  “I can stay like this forever.”

           “We can’t.  We have Dawn and then I have to check in with the great poof himself.”

           Buffy suddenly slid off Spike and onto the floor, her eyes wide with alarm.  “Oh no Dawn!  I totally  forgot about her!  She must be climbing the walls by now.”

           Spike smiled gently, as he remembered the youngest Summers girl.  Seeing her that afternoon was like a cool glass of water to a man who had spent eternity in the desert.  “How is niblet by the way?”

           Buffy’s smile was a bit sad as she remembered the conversation her and Dawn had shared at the Eiffel tower.  “She misses you.  She regrets not  telling you how much she cared before the end came.”

           “Well, she’ll have her chance tonight,” Spike smiled.  He  honestly looked forward to seeing Dawn again.  Maybe things will return to the way they used to be.  Maybe things will be even better between him and little bit.

           “Are you coming with?” Buffy asked, surprised yet delighted at the thought of him accompanying her back to the  hotel.

           “Can’t Luv.  The sun is out.”

           Buffy’s eyes widened with alarm.  She had been with Spike all night and Dawn had heard no  word from her.  “Shit, I have to  get out of here before Dawn calls in the cavalry…if she hasn’t already,” Buffy quickly slipped on her clothes.  “Meet us at Sundown.  At the Eiffel tower I suppose.”

           “Sure Pet,” Spike got out of bed, just to pull his lover back into his arms and pressed cool lips against the warm flesh of her neck.  “I’ll meet you anywhere.”

           Buffy  smiled. She finally felt peace.  For the first time after the final battle of Sunnydale,  Buffy Summers felt alive and that all was right in the world.  Looking up into his sapphire eyes, she couldn’t help but think that finally, she was where she belonged and that being reunited with the man she loved felt so good and natural.  Buffy made a promise to herself just then.  Never to be separated from him again.  No  matter what may happen in the coming future.


The End.