Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Miles To Go Before I Sleep

Chapter Title:


Love the One You’re With

Chapter Summary:


How will Buffy react to Riley? How will he react to her?  How did he get here? How is it that he’s a vampire? Why didn’t Spike mention him before?


Time line:

April 2011




  • Elizabeth Anne, "Buffy" Summers was born January 19th, 1981.

  • William Wesley Weckerly, "Spike" was born August 20, 1852 to Anne and Henry of Clapham, England. Father died in 1856. Turned by Dru in 1880 1890. First came to Sunnydale in September, 1997.

  • Spike and Buffy were married in  February 1999, a few days before birth of first daughter.

  • Anne Joyce, "Annie" ("Niblett") was born on February 14th, 1999.

  • The twins, Danielle Dawn, "Dani" ("Lemon Drop") and William Rupert, "Billy" (or "Junior") were born on February 12th, 2004.

  • MacKenzie Verity, " 'Kenzie" ("Testarosa") Weckerly was born October 9th, 2010.

  • Elizabeth Anne "Bess" ("Buttercup") Weckerly, created from Hallie/Cecily's vengeance wish as a clone of Dani, was born in 1887. Called as a Slayer in 1900. Turned August 1901. Reunited with biological parents in 2010 after living entire unlife imprisoned by the Council, who restored her soul.



  • Edmond “Eddie” Giles Rosenberg-Maclay was born March 11, 2010.

  • Joshua Jacheal "JJ" ("Whelp") Harris was born on April 21st, 2004.


Other milestones:

  • All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.

  • Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions and got the memories from the 'Evil Joss' Universe in May, 2003.

  • The ‘Wish-World’ lasted from January 19th, 2005 to January, 16th 2010.



Music Referenced: Love the One You’re With, CSN&Y


ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise:


Thanks: To u2fan2005 and epd4 for their suggestions, corrections, and help betaing this chapter and to Anona for her grammatical and punctuation corrections, wonderful commentary, and final review. Thanks also to Capella42 for her insightful suggestions that made the whole story better. All mistakes are mine because I simply cannot stop fiddling right up to the last moment.
Rating / Warnings:

NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, sex, adult themes, and other adult situations that some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY.

(Ten years ago) May 2001, Sunnydale, Glory’s tower, “Gift-less Dimension”:


After tending to Dawn’s wounds, Spike locked the house up and hurried back through the sewers to the scene of his biggest failure. If Dawn had survived the collapse of the tower, perhaps someone else had, also. He didn’t want to leave her alone, but had little choice. He needed to know for sure – was anyone else alive?


When he got back to 'ground-zero', he was glad to see that the portal had finally closed, but the damage had been done. Thousands … maybe hundreds of thousands of demons had poured into this world from … wherever. He didn’t know where they came from. He just called them ‘Otherworld’ demons.  The city of Sunnydale was under siege.  Most of the demons paid him no mind; after all, he was a demon, as well.  The temptation of human blood and the smell of their fear was much more alluring to the ravenous newcomers than his undead flesh. There were much tastier morsels than him still running around the streets of Sunnydale.


He searched through the debris as quickly as he could. Despite the fact that most of the demons left him alone, he did have to stop a few times and take cover as giant bats swooped at him from the sky. Apparently, they weren’t as discriminating as most of the other newcomers.


After listening for heartbeats and sniffing out Buffy’s friends like a demonic hound dog, he found that the Watcher, Red, and Demon-girl were dead, all crushed under the debris. Bloody shame, that. Of all the Scoobies, those three could’ve been the most useful in the fight that lie ahead. Harris and Glinda were the only two with heartbeats.


Even though the demons seemed to be bypassing him, Spike remained wary and cautious. He’d left Dawn home alone; he couldn’t afford to tarry or get into a fight with one of these newcomers, not now. The Otherworld demons still hadn’t figured out the underground trails called ‘sewers’ and Spike used those to transport the two other survivors back to Buffy’s house.


He didn’t do it because he really gave a piss about them – well Glinda was alright, but he definitely didn’t give a piss about Harris. He did it because that’s what Buffy would’ve done; it’s what she would want him to do.  He may not have a soul, but he had a compass now … or the memory of one, anyway. His every move was predicated by ‘what would Buffy do?’ or ‘what would Buffy want me to do?’


By the time that was done, Spike was beyond exhausted, mentally and physically; his whole body hurt, bullets of pain shot up his leg with every step, his mind was numb, but his mission wasn’t complete.


Back at the tower, he worked for what seemed like hours to free Buffy’s body from the wreckage. She had fallen directly under the gangplank of the tower when she’d tried to leap into the portal, therefore her body was buried under the bulk of it.  He’d crawled out from there earlier, dislodging some of the girders as he did so, but crawling out yourself and trying to pull a dead weight out were two different things entirely.  He worked tirelessly, knowing that if he stopped, if he allowed himself to think or feel, he might fall into a depression so deep he’d never be able to climb out of it. Dawn was depending on him. He’d promised Buffy. He couldn’t stop now.

After a monumental struggle, Spike finally freed the Slayer from the fallen tower. He lifted her gently from the wreckage and cradled her broken body in his arms. He couldn’t stop the tears, couldn’t control the sobs, or squash the guilt that rose up within his heart. Guilt. Vampires weren’t supposed to feel guilt. That was the beauty of being a monster. And yet, he did. Every cell in his body felt the weight of his guilt for being so easily defeated by the likes of the grandfatherly Reptile Demon, Doc.  Being evil means never having to say you’re sorry, but that seemed the only word he could mutter as he carried her home.


Back at the house, he laid her down in her bed, a pillow under her head, her arms folded neatly across her chest.  He retrieved a wash cloth and some water and carefully cleaned the dirt and blood from her face and neck.  If he stood back and concentrated, he could almost imagine that she was simply asleep. That she’d awaken at any moment and tell him to get the hell out of her room. But she didn’t and he knew she wouldn’t – not ever again. 


He fell to his knees next to her bed as the horror of the day came crashing down on him, just as Glory’s tower had, and buried him.  His sobs echoed throughout the silent house. Outside the world was ending. In here, it already had.





For the second time in his life, Riley Finn was a deserter. He wasn’t sure if this time really counted, since he hadn’t actually signed anything yet to ‘join up’ with Major Ellis and the army’s new demon fighting taskforce, despite taking the transport to Belize and helping in the fight to save the threatened village from the surging demons. He wasn’t sure if giving his word to the commander was enough for them to send the MPs after him or not – whatever


He’d given Buffy an ultimatum, thrown down the gauntlet when they were both angry and frazzled. It had been an immature and stupid thing to do.  He was sure if he could just get her to talk to him, get her to open up just a fraction of an inch, he could be the man she needed. He was strong, he was a fighter, he knew demons – he knew her, even if she didn’t. They just needed to take some time to work this out. They’d both made mistakes, but he was hopeful that they could put the bad behind them, start fresh, and rediscover the love they’d shared when they were first together, the love that he still felt. He’d known for some time that she wasn’t in love with him, but, he also knew that she did care about him. If she didn’t care, she wouldn’t have been so upset about… He felt shame wash over him just thinking about the vamp whorehouse. He sighed heavily and rubbed his tired eyes. He just wanted another chance to earn her love, to show her that he could be everything she needed.


Riley had been riding on overcrowded, stinking chicken-buses all the way from Belize. His back ached, his butt hurt, his eyes were bleary with exhaustion. It was taking forever to get back to Sunnydale. First of all, they didn’t actually have any official schedule for the buses, and often you didn’t know where any particular bus was going. There weren’t any brightly-lit signs on them announcing their destinations; there weren’t any signs on them at all. You had to know which bus went where or know someone who knew. He knew neither. To make matters worse, the locals along the way took great pleasure in sending the gringo in the wrong direction.  After a monumental effort and test of his fortitude, he finally made it back to something that resembled civilization. He was overjoyed when he found a bus station with a posted schedule and buses that didn’t allow goats, pigs, and chickens inside. Roads that weren’t made up of nothing but deep potholes and buses with shock absorbers were a big plus, too.  When he finally made it into the US, he was even happier to find people that spoke English and didn’t consider him the outsider, the gringo.


Now, as the bus he was on neared Sunnydale, it was quite evident that something was wrong. Very, very wrong. Cars were streaming out of the town like someone had yelled ‘Fire!’ in a crowded nightclub. The rules of the road were forgotten as the citizens fled for their very lives from the hell that had broken out in their sleepy little town of denial. The driver of the bus had no choice but to pull off the road as cars rushed at them; every lane on the highway was one way: OUT.


Finn got off the bus and began to jog towards town. He estimated they were perhaps three miles outside of the city limits, another mile or so to Buffy’s house … or should he go to the Magic Box? If there was a crisis, perhaps that’s where everyone would be. Riley ran against the flood of people and cars, bumping into the horrified townspeople as he forced himself upstream like a spawning salmon. Whatever had happened, it was obvious that Buffy needed his help; he needed to get to her.  A worry briefly flashed through his mind that he would be too late – his impetuous and foolish decision to leave with Major Ellis may have cost him, and Buffy, everything. He pushed that thought away – she would be alright; she was the Slayer, the good guy. The good guy, he assured himself, always won.


As Finn got closer to town, he was met with more resistance than simply innocents fleeing for their lives; he found what they were fleeing from. Demons. Flying demons, leaping demons, tall demons, short demons, large and small demons. Demons the likes of which he’d never seen before in all his years working with the Initiative or in his studies with Professor Walsh.  One thing all the demons had in common was ferocious hunger, however.  No one was safe. Men, women, children, even dogs and cats and squirrels, were being attacked without prejudice, killed, and eaten. There were horrifying screams and anguished prayers lifting up to heaven. There were rivers of blood in the streets flowing down to hell. Fires raged in homes and cars, glass shattered, alarms sounded in a cacophony of ridiculous futility, as if the demons cared if the police were summoned. It was nothing short of bedlam. He wanted to help them … save them, but he couldn’t save them all; he couldn’t help them and get to Buffy as well.


Finn forged ahead, fighting off demons that thought he would make an easy meal. One fist to the face or … whatever seemed to be a face, was usually enough to deter them. There were plenty of easy pickings, why worry with one that could fight?  He tried to help people if he could, kicking or pulling demons off them as he passed, but he dare not pause too long lest he become an easy target himself.


Then there it was: Revello Drive. He’d check here first, then try the Magic Box. Only a block away from her house … he was nearly there. His lungs and legs ached from the exertion of the run, the horrors of what he’d seen, and the adrenaline coursing through him, but it was only a short ways now. He jumped over corpses in the street and sidewalk, and dodged cars that were left idling, their drivers having been ripped from behind the wheel. He gave a wide berth to downed power lines that danced and arced with electricity in the street as he made his way to 1630.  He’d no sooner made it to Buffy’s front walk than something tackled him and knocked him to the ground.


His lungs, already aching, exploded in pain as the air that was in them was forced out. Finn struggled to get free from whatever it was that had him pinned down. All of his training seemed to leave him for a moment, panic driving it from his brain, as he flailed ineffectually against a larger and stronger opponent. Finally gaining control of himself, he forced his mind to focus and hit up at the strange demon that was atop him. Its eyes glowed an angry red, as if it had a red-hot fire burning in its large orbs. Its head was unusually large and oblong and it seemed to have the strength of ten men as it held him down.  Finn’s punch landed soundly in the middle of the demon’s bright red mouth, but it had little effect other than to enrage the monster further. Finn hit it again and again and again until the powerful being grabbed his hand and snapped his wrist like a twig.


Riley screamed out in agony as the monster closed in for the kill, dropping its bright red mouth and grotesquely long fangs to the side of the soldier’s neck and puncturing the large artery that throbbed there.  The blood, powered by his racing heart, gushed from the gaping wound and the monster sucked against his hot, salty skin with wild abandon.


Finn tried once more to push the demon off with his good hand, but his head was already starting to spin, his limbs were losing their strength.  He began to feel like he was floating, swirling and twisting in space – it was euphoric.  He fought the feeling, trying again to get free, but he felt a shroud descending over him; he was at death’s doorstep.  Then suddenly, the weight atop him was gone, the long fangs ripped from his neck violently. He was only vaguely aware of the tearing of his flesh and the pain it brought as his world spun. Bright lights flashed in slower and slower bursts behind his closed lids, keeping time with his fading heartbeat. He struggled to open his eyes … they seemed to be fused shut.


He heard growling … fighting – someone was fighting. He didn’t know who or what. Buffy, he thought. “Buffy…” he called out weakly, reaching a hand towards the sounds. He finally forced his eyes open. Blinked. Blinked again. It wasn’t Buffy. He shook his head, tried to clear it. Still not Buffy. He rolled over and dragged himself towards the porch. It took every ounce of energy he had to haul his body up the stairs, his broken wrist hanging uselessly as he pulled with his elbow on that arm.


“Buffy …” he called again. He thought that he was screaming her name, but it was barely a whisper.


The spinning in his head began to slow. He first thought that was good, but then realized, no … that was bad. His blood continued to flow from the gaping wound in his neck; he could taste it in his mouth, hot and coppery, and feel the warmth running down his arm and chest. He worried that he’d left his duffel on the bus; it had his ID in it … how would they know where to send his body? Funny the things you think about when you’re dying.


He reached the front door and lifted his good arm. Banged on it one time; it was all he could manage. “Buffy …”




Spike’s sobs had faded, his tears had dried. He had no more … not one drop. All he had now was the guilt.  He had to take care of Dawn, watch over her, protect her. He’d made a promise to a lady.


He could hear the massacre outside the walls of the house. There was a time he would’ve joined in, reveled in the mayhem and destruction. That time had passed.  He had a compass now. She lay cold and still in the bed above him, but she was still his guiding light; she would forever be.


He stood up stiffly and stretched his exhausted limbs. Everything hurt from his toes to the very tips of his poncy, peroxided curls which had long ago escaped their gel prison. He cursed as he put pressure on his leg and took a stumbling step forward. Suddenly he heard a loud crash outside the house and the power went off – someone took out a power pole with their car. He sighed heavily and headed for the stairs; he’d find some candles, check on Dawn and see what he could do to help Glinda and Harris. Perhaps they’d be awake by now.


Just as he made it downstairs, a loud crash came from the kitchen. He started that way, pausing only momentarily to grab a dagger from the weapons chest in the living room.  In the kitchen he found what had to be the most grotesque demon Spike had ever laid eyes on, and that was saying a lot. Part zombie, part snot demon, and part Edward Scissorhands, the creature stood barely five feet tall, but was covered in an oozing green slime that smelled of putrid, dead flesh. The slime dripped off in some places and fell off in chunks in others, but was quickly replaced with new snotty, smelly slime. Its eyes were milky white, as if blind, but it certainly wasn’t that, because it turned and looked directly at Spike when he came into the room.  It had two long arms which sported four long, razor-sharp metallic claws on the ends of slender, but slimy, green fingers.  When it opened its mouth, rows upon rows of narrow, sharp, black teeth framed a long, yellow tongue which darted out like a snake’s. The stench from its breath was that of a dead skunk that had been baking in the summer heat for two or three days.


Spike took a step back and quickly stopped breathing, wishing he’d brought something longer than a dagger with him – a sword would be handy just now. The creature studied Spike, tilting its bald, glistening head from one side to the other, sizing him up. Before Spike could decide just where to attack it, the monster let out a high-pitched war cry and charged.


Spike was knocked back, out of the kitchen and into the dining room as the small but powerful demon pinned him to the ground. The dagger went flying from his hand, skittering across the floor and only stopping when it came to rest against the weapons chest in the living room. Spike tried to push the thing off, but his hands just slid over its slippery flesh. When he tried to grab it, pull on it, pieces of warm gooey flesh, which felt something like cooked okra, gumbo, just came off in his hand.


“Bloody hell…” Spike groaned in disgust as he punched the creature in the teeth.  The monster’s head snapped back momentarily, but before Spike could pull his fist away to strike again, the creature had swallowed his hand up to the wrist and was biting down.


Spike felt all those sharp teeth embed into the flesh and bone of his wrist and he screamed out in pain. He tried to pull his hand away, but the teeth were closed down on his arm securely. If he pulled his arm away, he was quite sure it would be without his hand. Bugger!


Spike reached up over his head with his free hand to try and find the dagger, but it was out of reach. He began pushing himself with his legs. The slime demon stayed atop him as he inched across the floor, towards the living room and the weapon. Even as he propelled them both slowly towards the living room, the creature started chewing on his hand, as if were a tough piece of gristle it was trying to gnaw off the bone.


Spike screamed again and punched the thing in the middle of its body, hoping that would make it expel his hand. The thing grunted, but didn’t release Spike’s limb. Instead, black, inky slime started pouring out of the demon’s body and a new odor was added to the mix … one that could only be described as ‘sewer plant’.


Spike made the mistake of starting to breathe again after he screamed out in pain, but quickly stopped when the smell of untreated waste filled his nostrils.  “If I bloody live, I won’t be able to smell anything for a soddin’ month after this,” Spike muttered to himself as he continued to push with his legs and slide closer to the weapons chest.


The demon didn’t seem concerned that his meal was still moving, perhaps that was how it always dined. It began slicing bits of flesh off Spike’s arm with the razors on its fingers and sucking them into its mouth, never releasing Spike’s hand. Spike grimaced and clenched his jaw tightly, but resisted the urge to yell out. He sooo didn’t want to take in another breath and smell the putrid thing, but the pain in his arm where the demon was feeding off him was excruciating.


Spike finally reached the dagger where it lay on the floor and brought it around in a wide arc, stabbing it into one of the creature’s milky white eyes.  That finally got the flesh-eating monster’s attention.  Spike’s hand, bloody and gnawed upon, was finally expelled from the demon’s mouth as it screamed out in pain. Spike pulled the dagger out of one eyeball and quickly slammed it into the other before the monster could retaliate.  The creature emitted bursts of new smells, seemingly at random. The aroma of wet dog was followed by a strong sulfur odor, then the sweet smell of jasmine. The olfactory assault continued with dead, decomposing fish which was followed by something that smelled amazingly like Chanel No. 5.


As the creature grasped at the dagger, still protruding from its eye socket, Spike rolled them over and jumped up, leaving the smelly, slimy monster writhing on the floor in pain. He quickly opened the weapons chest again and retrieved a thin-bladed, double-edged sword and brought it down across the monster’s neck, severing its head.  The whole demon seemed to lose its cohesion then and melted into nothing more than a large puddle of green goo on the living room floor.


“That’s gonna leave a stain,” Spike muttered as he dared to take another breath. To his relief, the smell of death for the slimy demon was something that resembled the smell of a Christmas tree.


“I just killed the soddin’ Pine-Sol demon,” Spike mumbled as he dropped down onto the couch and clutched his ravaged hand to his chest.


Spike could hear the battles continuing outside the house. It was only a matter of time before more demons made their way in here. Then what? How was he supposed to fight them all?  As he was pondering his predicament, he heard fierce growling outside the window and turned to look out. In the front yard was a tall, lithe humanoid fighting what appeared to be an overgrown bat. It was difficult to say who was winning, not that Spike cared. As long as they were fighting each other, they weren’t attacking him.


Then there was a bang on the front door and he thought he heard someone call Buffy’s name. His brows furrowed in confusion. Could one of the others at the tower have been alive and he’d missed them?


He jumped up, sword in hand and pulled open the door. To his utter shock he found a nearly-dead Riley Finn lying prone and bleeding on the front porch. The soldier was quite literally covered in blood with a large, jagged wound on his neck. He’d been bitten by a vampire. Not a normal vampire, Spike realized, but something much larger, judging by the size of the bite.


“Help…” he heard Riley mutter as he reached one hand out towards Spike’s booted foot.


Spike smirked.  He wondered if his chip would go off if he just accidentally dropped the sword he was holding down into the back of the enormous hall monitor.


“Buffy … sorry… love you…” Finn moaned as he tried to pull himself into the house.


Spike faltered and tears that he thought were long dry pooled behind his eyes again. Buffy … would just the mention of her name always bring tears to his eyes? Would that feeling of guilt ever leave him? He doubted it.


As Spike stood there in the open doorway, a dying Riley Finn trying to pull himself in, the tall, thin demon that had been fighting the bat suddenly leapt over the porch railing and landed atop the fallen soldier.


Spike jerked back in surprise as the monster hissed at him, red eyes glowing brightly as it started to pick up its prize: Riley Finn.


In a split second Spike made a decision. What would Buffy do? He stepped forward and swung the sword with all his strength at the demon’s neck, severing it cleanly. The Otherworld vampire burst into a smattering of red, glittering dust which settled down atop Riley’s unmoving body.


Spike dragged the soldier in and slammed the door closed. Finn’s heart was barely beating, perhaps only three or four beats a minute now … there was scant little blood left for it to pump. Spike looked up at the ceiling as he drew in a deep breath and then closed his eyes trying to gather his courage. He hadn’t done this, not once since … his mother. Spike blew out the pine fresh air from his lungs and looked back down at Finn with trepidation. He lifted his bloody, ravaged arm to the soldier’s lips and forced him to swallow the demon blood; Spike’s demon blood.




Back to the current day: Early evening hours, Saturday, April 16th, 2011, Gift-less Dimension:


Spike paced back and forth in front of Buffy, combing his hand through his curls nervously. They were in the room he shared with Finn inside what used to be the Initiative’s demon cellblock. Each small ‘cell’ was living quarters for one or two people, or in Riley and Spike’s case, two demons. Heavy curtains or blankets hung over the openings that faced the hallway where the electrical barrier had once been. There was scant little privacy here, but it was safe from the hordes of monsters that roamed the streets above.


Annie was waiting in the hall, along with Finn, while Spike talked to Buffy.


Spike stopped pacing and turned to face her. Buffy’s features were unreadable, but her arms crossed over her chest told him all he needed to know.


“Buffy, luv … I had no choice. He’da died if I hadn’t turned him and … and I needed help. How was I to protect Dawn on m’ own?” Spike begged her to understand.


Buffy shook her head and looked past him. “I understand that you needed help, Spike, but Xander and Tara were alive – from what you say, they help you. You hated Riley … and now you’re what? Freedom fighters? Best buddies? Roomies? He doesn’t even have a soul!”


“Neither do I!” Spike retorted angrily. Buffy opened her mouth to argue that point, but Spike continued, talking right over anything she was about to say. “I’m his sire – I can control him; he’s never hurt a human. We fight demons together, we protect your sister – together! You should be soddin’ grateful, not gettin’ your knickers in a bloody twist, Slayer!”


“Do you have any idea how much Riley detested vampires? How he loathed them? Do you not remember how he hated you?” Buffy argued. “And now you’ve turned him into what he fought against his entire adult life.


“Spike, it’s just not like you. I can’t pretend to understand you doing that and I can’t condone it, not for Dawn, not for any reason,” Buffy contended. 


Although her personal memories of Riley were filled with abhorrence and anger, she still had knowledge of the Riley in this world and the relationship this Buffy would’ve had with him.  It didn’t end well, she knew; still, did he really deserve to be turned into one of the monsters that repulsed him so?

Spike stepped closer to her, his nostrils flaring in anger. “What about that little girl out there, Buffy?  What if it was to protect her?” Spike demanded, pointing a finger towards the hallway.


Buffy glared at him. “No one deserves that.”


“Right. Keep tellin’ yourself that, Slayer. You and I both know you’d sacrifice anyone for that girl. Don’t get all holier-than-thou on me now, I bloody well know better,” Spike growled back at her.


“What if that had been Buffy?” she asked him, her gaze never wavering from his. “If she’d been drained … dying, would you’ve done the same?”


Spike pursed his lips and held her cold stare, their faces only inches away from each other.


Buffy wasn’t really sure why she was so freaked out by this, but she was. Maybe because of Bess and all that she had been through. She’d been a young, innocent girl whose life got turned upside down and inside out and then she’d been dropped into hell for over a century. Buffy literally wouldn’t wish that on her worst enemy, despite the fact that Bess seemed to finally be at peace with her life and finding a place in the world.  Buffy had never asked her daughter outright if, knowing what she knew now, she would have rather died that night in the Tower Gardens. Buffy wasn’t sure she wanted to know the answer to that question.


Buffy herself had pondered this very issue more than once in her life. She certainly didn’t abhor vampires, hadn’t for a long time, not like Riley had. All vampires were once innocents who happened to cross paths with evil, who had also once been an innocent. Yes, she did her sacred duty and dusted them – but it wasn’t out of hate. She had no real answer to that question – if she were dying, would she rather be turned than die?  It was something that she’d never been able to decide with any conviction – but if the day came when she had to decide, then it would be her decision; not someone else’s. She would be the one to utter the words… ‘Turn me’ … or not. Perhaps that was the point. Riley hadn’t decided; Spike had. Spike had no right to make that decision for someone else.


When he didn’t answer her, she pressed further. “Well? Tell me! Tell me what I have to look forward to if I get caught by one of those things,” Buffy demanded. “Do I get to be a monster too?”


Spike finally averted his gaze, looking past her now.  He wouldn’t change what he’d done for Riley … or to Riley, depending on your point of view. Finn had proven to be an asset in the fight against the demons. He’d helped Spike protect the humans that couldn’t protect themselves and couldn’t escape the hell they were all trapped in.  Having said that, he also couldn’t imagine Buffy being turned into a demon; it would be … an abomination. Everything he loved about Buffy was because of her light, her radiance, the goodness within her soul; taking that from her would be an atrocity. He would never do it. He could never do it.


“No,” he finally muttered, returning his gaze to meet hers.


Buffy nodded. “Then you shouldn’t have done it to him.”


Spike turned to the side and walked away from her, facing the back wall of the small room. “I needed help, Buffy … I needed … someone … someone who loved you like I did,” he admitted softly, never looking at her. “Someone who could understand my pain, share m’ guilt, give a little cold comfort.”


Buffy blinked and her jaw dropped open. “What are you saying? … Are you … lovers?” she stammered, her voice turning softer, barely audible.


Spike took a deep breath and let it out slowly as he continued staring at the back wall. After a moment he nodded slightly. If Buffy had looked away for a split second, she would’ve missed it.


“Spike, I don’t understand. What do you have in common other than hatred for each other?” Buffy asked as she stepped closer to him.


Spike turned around and faced her, a pained expression in his expressive blue eyes. “We both see the same thing when we close our eyes, pet – you.”


“Oh, Spike…” Buffy moaned. She shook her head slowly as tears gathered in her eyes like black clouds before a summer monsoon. They threatened to drown her in a deluge of sorrow and pain; she sniffed them back, willing them not to fall.


“I’m sorry, Buffy. I’m sorry if I let you down … I tried so bloody hard…” Spike’s eyes were a stormy blue, full of regret, as they met hers. Their glistening depths silently begged Buffy for forgiveness and understanding.


She stepped forward and drew him into a hug which he accepted gratefully. “You didn’t let me down, Spike,” she assured him. “You kept your word, you protected Dawn.  I’m gonna help you make things right here, I swear.”


Spike nodded against her as he took comfort in her embrace. Never in his life had Buffy hugged him like this. During Red’s ‘will be done’ spell they’d kissed and held each other, but not like this, not with the warmth and compassion that this woman was giving him.  This one moment almost made the last ten years worth it.


He didn’t know how she thought she was going to help him ‘make things right’, he didn’t even know what ‘right’ was, but if anyone could, he was sure it would be her.


Love The One You're With, C,S,N,&Y



If you’re down and confused,

and you don’t remember who you’re talkin’ to.

Concentration slip away,

‘cause your baby is so far away.

Well there’s a rose in the fisted glove,

and the eagle flies with the dove,

and if you can’t be with the one you love,

honey, love the one you’re with


love the one you’re with,

love the one you’re with,

love the one you’re with.

Don’t be angry, don’t be sad,

and don’t sit cryin’ over good times you’ve had.

There’s a girl right next to you,

and she’s just waitin’ for something to do.

And there’s a rose in the fisted glove

and the eagle flies with the dove,

and if you can’t be with the one you love,

honey, love the one you’re with,


love the one you’re with,

love the one you’re with,

love the one you’re with.

Dit dit dit dit dit dit dit dit,

dit dit dit dit dit dit dit dit,

dit dit dit dit dit dit dit dit,

dit dit dit, dit dit dit.

Turn your heartache right into joy,

she’s a girl, and you’re a boy.

Well get it together, make it real nice,
You ain’t gonna need any more advice.

And there’s a rose in the fisted glove

and the eagle flies with the dove,

and if you can’t be with the one you love,

honey, love the one you’re with,


love the one you’re with,

love the one you’re with,

love the one you’re with.

Dit dit dit dit dit dit dit dit,

dit dit dit dit dit dit dit dit,

dit dit dit dit dit dit dit dit,

dit dit dit, dit dit dit.


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