Story Title: Spirit Indestructible


Season 5. Begins with ‘Spiral’ in the abandoned gas station, and goes far off-canon almost immediately.

When Dawn makes the ultimate sacrifice to save her sister, friends, and the world, Buffy’s mind snaps. When Buffy's friends give up hope of her ever recovering, and become afraid that she’ll turn violent and uncontrollable, they call in the Council to help. Fearing what the Council will do, Spike, forgotten and ignored by her friends, steps in. Will he be able to reach the Slayer when no one else could? Will he be able to keep her out of the hands of the Council and away from her ‘helpful’ friends? How much heartbreak, guilt, and failure can one girl stand before her indestructible spirit finally resigns the fight and gives up hope?




18. I Won't Give Up


Music Referenced:

Jason Mraz - I Won't Give Up

Nelly Furtado - Spirit Indestructible


Some Screencaps courtesy of Broken Innocence (others from ScreenCap Paradise which is, sadly, no more). and also from



Thanks to YOU for reading and to Paganbaby for taking time out of her hectic life to beta this for me! Her suggestions and commentary that always makes me smile! All mistakes are mine because I can't stop fiddling right up to the last moment.

Rating / Warnings:

Warning for this chapter: Angst and rape references/memories.

NC17. Spike/Other. Main Character Death. Implied Rape. Plenty of angst.

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.

A little while later…


The Bot looked up from her cooking when Buffy and Spike came in some time later. “You have timed your arrival fortuitously,” she announced brightly. “The nourishment will be at the proper serving temperature for ideal human consumption in three and one-third minutes.”


Buffy sighed. “Why did you buy her that book?” she grumbled to Spike under her breath.


“She’s just tryin’ t’ help, pet,” Spike whispered back.


“Is it customary for me to act as if I do not hear your conversation when you are over seven feet away and speaking at a level below twenty decibels?” the Bot asked, looking from one to the other of them.


“Yes,” Buffy replied to the Bot. Then, looking back at Spike, she chastised, “You had to give her vampire hearing?”


“I am actually equipped with an omni-directional, biauricular stethoscope pinhole microphone with telephonic pick-up. I can hear much better than a vampire,” the Bot explained amiably. “Are you ready to consume the well-prepared, flavorful sustenance? Going too long between proper meals is not recommended for gestating humans as it may increase the risk of gestational diabetes.”


“Sure,” Buffy agreed somewhat reluctantly. “What’s for dinner?”


The Bot smiled widely and began placing serving bowls on the table as she announced, “Buttered turnip puree and sesame beef stir-fry, and for desert there’s lime-banana smoothie.”


Buffy tried not to make a face. “Ummm … couldn’t I just have a hamburger and French fries? We are in France, after all. Don’t they have French fries in France?”


“French fries in France are called ‘frites’,” the Bot offered helpfully.


“Okay … then why can’t I have some frites and hamburger-ites?” Buffy wondered.


“They aren’t in the book,” the Bot explained simply.




After having dinner, including buttery, pureed turnips – which, to the Bot’s credit actually weren’t that bad – and getting a shower, Buffy took a bowl of ice cream out to the deck. While she'd been gone, someone had cleaned up the broken glass and put a sheet of plywood over the window she’d broken earlier.


She took a seat in the glider under the other, unbroken, window. Buffy curled her legs beneath her, leaning against the cushioned arm of the seat-swing, and watched the moonlight dance off the sea beyond the beach. The quiet sound of the gentle waves washing against the shore felt like a balm after all the talking she’d done during the last couple of hours.


As she ate her treat – which was mega-better than the lime-banana smoothie that the Bot had originally made for dessert from that stupid cookbook – she played back the conversation she’d had with Spike on the beach.


Tears stung her eyes even as a soft laugh came from her throat at the memory of his announcement to the world that he was going to be a dad. He wants them! He wants the babies!


Buffy felt a physical weight lift off her with that revelation. The pressure to get over her ordeal and get her mind straight was gone. She had Spike to help her … and BuffyBot. Provided Spike didn’t buy the Bot a cookbook for feeding children properly, this might actually work out alright.


And, to top it all off, the anger and distrust and hurt were gone from Spike’s eyes. The love that had helped pull her mind out of confusion and disarray before was back. She felt like she could reach out and hold onto it like it was tangible lifeline. She could feel it anchoring her to this world, to reality, to what passed for sanity in her life.


“I should’ve just told him,” she murmured to herself.


“Yeah, you should’ve,” Spike confirmed as he stepped out of the bungalow onto the deck.


Buffy looked up at him apologetically. “I’m sorry. I should’ve known.”


Spike shrugged and sat down on the other end of the swing, leaving space between them. “You believed my bollocks. I shouldn’t’ve lied. Was just so afraid that you’d want something I couldn’t give and … I’d lose you. Bloody ironic that I nearly lost you because of the lie.”


“You weren’t the only one telling lies,” Buffy excused apologetically.


Spike cocked his head slightly in acknowledgement before settling back on the swing and looking out at the waves. They sat in silence for a while, each lost in their own thoughts, listening to the waves and the few calls of sea birds in the night.


“It hurt me that you thought I cheated on you,” Buffy said after a few minutes.


Spike’s mouth drew into a hard line. “Hurt me t’ think that too, but ya gave me no choice,” he retorted.


Buffy chewed on her bottom lip a moment, then sighed. “I wouldn’t do that – so you know. It … it took all I had to love you … I wouldn’t just …”


Spike eyes burned and he blinked back more tears. “Sorry for thinkin’ that, luv,” he whispered, his voice thick and rough with emotion.


“I’m not Dru. I … made mistakes, I admit, but I never meant to hurt you,” Buffy continued. “I would never intentionally hurt you. I only tried to do what I thought you wanted.”


Spike nodded, his heart had lodged in his throat, making it impossible for him to reply. Silence drew out between them again, their eyes focused far in the distance, on the dark sea beyond the beach.


Spike patted down his pockets until he found his cigarettes and lighter. He began to pull them out and have a smoke to calm his nerves, but remembered the Bot's lecture to him about the dangers of smoking around 'gestating humans'. Bugger!


Finally, Spike regained control of his emotions without the help of the nicotine and swallowed back the tightness in his throat. He changed the subject and the mood by saying, “Gonna need to decide where to go. Can’t stay here forever, pet. Need t’ settle down with the bits, give ‘em a safe place to grow up.”


Buffy nodded. She’d been taking smaller and smaller bites of her ice cream, trying to make it last longer, but she was down to the last couple of spoonfuls of melted slurry in the bottom now. She took an inordinate amount of time to clean the bowl, stalling for time, before setting it down on the floor and looking over at Spike.


“Do you think we still need to hide? I mean … I saw the news,” she said stiffly. “The Council’s … in little, bitty pieces all over the street – thanks to you, I’m guessing.”


“Got a chip, can’t hurt anyone, can I?”


Buffy cocked a brow and gave him a ‘yeah, right’ look.


Spike shrugged. “Reckon I didn’t get ‘em all, luv. Sooner or later they’ll reorganize and they’re gonna want their Slayer back – one way or another. Not much for them to watch without a hero-type t’ yank around on a leash.”


“They have Faith,” Buffy pointed out.


Spike snorted. “Don’t reckon she sees a lot of vamp action in the big house. They need you or they’re just a bunch o’ old men sitting around twiddling each other.”


Buffy made a face much like the one she’d made trying to eat the watermelon salad thing the other night. “Thanks for that very disturbing visual.”


Spike shrugged. “’S true.”


Buffy sighed and looked back out at the ocean. After a few moments of silence she said, “I don’t know where to go.”


“Could go anywhere in the world, I reckon, but … we’ve only got so much money. I’ll need t’ be somewhere that I can make more and that don’t cost a bloody fortune to live.”


Spike dropped a colorful pamphlet down on the seat between them. Buffy picked it up and read with the lights from the house at their back.


“Croatia?” she said with surprise, looking up at him, then back down at the flyer.


“Know you like the beach, and they got some o’ the most beautiful there are in the world,” he explained, watching her as she looked at the cover of the booklet.


Spike motioned with his head at the brochure, and Buffy began turning pages. The beaches were breathtaking; the water was the color of gemstones – sapphire, aquamarine, topaz, and azurite all blending together – and seemed to go on forever.


“Why Croatia? Isn’t there a war going on there?” Buffy wondered.


“War’s over – they’re rebuilding. Can find some decent houses there fairly cheap – at least in comparison to other beach-front property. Plus, I doubt Angel has any bloody contacts there. Think we’d be safe from … helpful friends.”


“Do you even speak … Croa-ish?” Buffy wondered. “Or read it? They have … funny letters,” she pointed out, holding up the brochure, part of which was in the native language.


“Croatian,” Spike corrected. “No, but I can pick it up,” he assured her.


Buffy cocked a brow at him. “You can ‘pick it up’?”


Spike sighed. “Buffy, I been around the bloody world ten times. There was a time when it was … necessary for me to speak the language of the country I was in. It’s hard to get an invite into someone’s home if they can’t understand you. Back then the whole bloody world didn’t speak English. I got decent at learning languages; the devil knows Dru couldn’t do it.”


Buffy dropped her eyes back down to the brochure uncomfortably.


“It’s what I was, Buffy. You know that,” Spike defended.


“I know,” she agreed in a small voice.


“Not who I am now,” Spike continued. “I’ve changed.”


“I know,” she agreed again as she continued to scan the booklet. Finally she looked up at him, a thought dawning on her. “You … you’ve been thinking about this for a while.” She waved the booklet in the air – something he would’ve had to have mailed to him. “You’ve been looking into places to go since before … before you knew you were the father.”


“What did you think, I’d just abandon you and the bit … bits?” he asked, a tone of hurt annoyance in his voice.


“You were so angry. You said … I figured …” her voice trailed off and she looked away from him, back out at the waves.


“I say things … get brassed off and say things I don’t mean, but I’ll never stop loving you, Buffy. I’d never abandon you. Told ya before, I’m Love’s Bitch – much as I wish I wasn’t and sometimes try not to be. I don’t walk away from the people I love.” Then, in a lower, forlorn voice he admitted, “They walk away from me.”


“God, Spike,” Buffy moaned, sliding across the short distance between them. She laid a hand on the back of his neck and pulled him to her. He dropped his head to her shoulder and Buffy wrapped her arms around him. “I’m sorry. I was just … stupid … and selfish. I never meant to hurt you.


“I guess we’ve both been abandoned before,” she sighed as she stroked his back soothingly. “I won’t walk away from you, William. I’m here … I won’t leave you. I need you. I love you.”


A sob shuddered through Spike’s body and he laid a gentle hand on the little bump in Buffy’s tummy. It was the first time he’d actually touched it, touched the babies … his babies.


Buffy smiled sadly. “You’ve got a family now – a real family. You’re not alone.”


Spike lifted his head and met her shimmering eyes with his. “I love you, Buffy. Love the little bits.”


Buffy touched her lips to his, a gentle, chaste kiss. “We love you too.”




Later, after putting her empty ice cream bowl in the sink, Buffy hesitated before heading to the couch where her pillow and a blanket remained from the previous night. Even with all they’d talked about, she wasn’t sure what Spike expected of her now – and she honestly wasn’t sure how much she could give. Perhaps it would be better if she just continued to sleep on the couch, and Spike and the Bot could have the bedroom and … do the things that Buffy wasn’t sure she could do yet.


She picked her pillow up from the center of the couch where it had gotten tossed at some point during the day and realized the cash Spike had tossed at her was still in it. She reached into the pillowcase, scooped out the cash, and dropped it all onto one of the end tables; Spike could put it away later. When she began to settle the now cash-less pillow on one end of the couch, Spike reached for it and stopped her. Buffy didn’t release her hold, but looked up to meet his eyes as they both held the innocuous bit of bedding between them.


“Bed’s more comfy,” he offered gently, tilting his head toward the bedroom.


Buffy swallowed and looked back down at the couch. “I … don’t… think…


“I mean, maybe you’d rather be with … the Bot. It’s really ok. I don’t mind … I mean … I understand. You have … needs and I get that you’d want to … you know … be with her again.”


Spike furrowed his brows, the meaning of her subtle innuendo slowly dawning on him.


“You think I … that we …?” he stammered, turning to look at the bedroom and then back to Buffy. He shook his head.


“No … Buffy, I … we didn’t shag. Was gonna but …” Spike sighed, his shoulders slumping. “Was brassed off, wasn’t I? Was trying to hurt you like you hurt me but … I couldn’t do it.”


Buffy's brows furrowed to match Spike's, confusion returning. “But … she said two hours and thirty seven minutes of …” Buffy stopped and thought a moment, trying to remember the Bot’s exact words. “... sucking and comfort.”


Spike looked away from her uneasily, the pillow still suspended in their hands forming a fluffy barrier between the two blondes. “She held me is all … that was the comfort bit. Wasn't any sucking ...wasn’t anything more, pet. Didn’t shag ‘er … wasn’t her I wanted.”


“Oh,” Buffy whispered, unsure what to think or do. She just didn’t know if she was ready to give that yet. Her heart was thawing, but it wasn’t healed. She longed to be touched, but what if she freaked out and hurt him? What if he wanted, needed, more than she could give?


“Just let me hold you, pet. Not asking for more. Just to feel you and the bits next to me,” Spike pleaded.


Buffy blinked tears back and nodded, looking back up at him. “I’d … like that. I’m sorry …”


Spike laid a finger over her lips gently. “Don’t be sorry, luv. Gonna let you lead this dance – I’m happy to follow, just to be near you.”


Buffy gave him a sad smile and let him pull the pillow from her hands. She picked up the blanket and followed him into the bedroom. The Bot was already ‘asleep’, lying on one side of the king-sized bed charging. Spike tossed Buffy’s pillow in the center and she crawled in, leaving room for Spike on her other side.


He began to unfasten his belt and drop his jeans, then thought better of it, and just climbed in with them on. Buffy wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or saddened, but she was touched by the gesture. When he’d settled, she pulled the covers up over them and curled tentatively against his side. His arm snaked around her shoulders and Buffy’s body tensed in a primal reflex as the feeling of being trapped came over her. Spike began to pull back, sensing her unease.


“No … it’s … just let me get used to it. It’s okay, I just need a minute,” she assured him, stopping his retreat.


Spike slowly wrapped his arm around her shoulders again and pulled her against him gently.


Buffy concentrated on her breathing and on her anchor as she let Spike pull her against his body. She pictured the joy that had been in his eyes when he realized the bits were his. In her mind’s eye, his eyes gleamed with adoration and love and hope. She could see it again, touch it again, and a feeling of belonging, of not being alone, surged through her. A comforting warmth welled up deep inside her, something that she’d not felt for a long while, melting the glacier in her soul.


“Thank you,” she murmured to him as she settled her head on his bare shoulder.


“For what, luv?” Spike wondered. He should be thanking her. Her warm, soft body felt like heaven curled against him, the little bulge that contained their growing babies pressing against his side.


Buffy snorted softly and shook her head against his shoulder. “Everything.”




When Buffy awoke the next morning, Spike was spooned against her back. One of his hands was splayed over their babies protectively, keeping them safe from the big, bad world outside. The Bot, who had been ‘sleeping’ on the other side of Buffy, was apparently already up. They were alone.


Buffy closed her eyes and chastised herself for buying the bullshit Spike had shoveled at her when she’d asked him about having kids. She also dismissed her own fabricated worry that he’d hurt them if the chip ever quit working. Spike was no ordinary vamp. He never had been. She’d known that almost from the moment she’d first seen him, although the width and depth of his … Abby-Normal-ness hadn’t become clear to her until recently. Even when he thought the babies weren’t his, when he thought she’d cheated on him, he had been making plans on how to best take care of them … and her.


Buffy felt tears well behind her closed lids. How deep his love and loyalty must be. She felt that warmth well in her heart again, as she had the previous night when he held her, not pushing, not demanding anything from her but the chance to be next to her. He’d looked at her like … like she wasn’t garbage, like she didn’t still reek of Weatherby’s filth. Could that really be true?


The warm-fuzzy feeling began to spread out from her heart and throughout her body as the possibility that it was true unfurled inside her like a dormant flower emerging from a blanket of snow. Buffy could feel it growing, soothing her, flooding her with warmth. She was surprised to feel that tingling fire of desire ignite in her loins as the cold darkness in her soul was slowly melted away and replaced with a bright, balmy sphere of hope. She had been afraid that that monstrous bastard had forever extinguished her desire and passion, had turned it into something hurtful and foul.


An epiphany came to her, crystallizing in her heart and mind in that moment: What Weatherby did had nothing to do with desire for someone you loved, and everything to do with power and control. What he did was so far removed from anything she’d done with Spike that it was like comparing apples and … spaceships.


Even the games she and Spike had played weren’t about control, but about trust. Buffy wasn’t sure why she hadn’t realized it before, but it was suddenly so clear to her: locking her love away, denying herself the pleasure of being with Spike because of what Weatherby had done would only give the bastard more power over her. Even though he was hundreds or thousands of miles away, he was still controlling her, still manipulating her, still in charge of her.


Well, fuck that! Hadn’t that bastard taken enough from her? From Spike? From all of them?


Buffy focused on all the emotions that were stirring and whirling within her. They were like a physical sphere of warm, golden sunlight in her heart, and she willed it to remain a bright and shining beacon for her disordered mind to hold onto. Spike loved her. She loved him. Making love with him had nothing to do with what she’d experienced at the hands of a devil. Those days while she was a captive were a battle, a fight, a struggle to survive. Except in its intensity, depravity, and duration, it was no different than a hundred other fights she’d had with demonic monsters over the years. 


Buffy took a deep breath and blinked back the tears that had built behind her closed lids. She laid her hand over Spike’s where it rested on her tummy, curling her fingers between his. He responded immediately, folding his long fingers closed and holding her fingers gently. Her heart fluttered with nervous glee, like a girl on her a first date, as Spike’s lips touched her shoulder with a gentle kiss.


“Mornin’,” he breathed against her golden skin, his voice deep and gritty from sleep.


“Morning,” she replied, her voice rough as well, squeezing his hand a little tighter.


“Spike, can I ask you something?”


“Anything, pet.”


“Would you be … upset if I didn’t want to go Croatia? I mean … it looks beautiful and all, but …” Buffy took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I’d just like to raise my … our kids in the states where I … know what’s going on, can at least speak the language, and where I’d have some chance of getting a job … or maybe even going back to college.”


“Don’t know if I can make enough for us to live near the beach in the states. Assuming you wouldn’t want me doing anything … questionable – which I’m guessing you’d frown on.”


You’re gonna be a father, Spike,” she reminded him. “You can’t be doing things that will get you dusted … or arrested. You have to set an example … a good example.


“I don’t care about the beach. As long as we’re together and the kids are safe and happy, that’s all that matters. We can be like normal people and just go to the beach on summer vacation. We can live in one of those states in the middle … I’ll go by a different name, disappear into the ‘waving fields of wheat’.”


Spike snorted. “‘Amber waves of grain’,” he corrected.


Whatever,” Buffy sighed. “What do you think?”


She felt him shrug one shoulder behind her. “Could do. Would you be happy with that life, luv? A normal, boring life living ‘somewhere in the middle’?”


“Would you?” she countered worriedly.


“Long as I’m with you and our bits, I’ll be the happiest vamp in the bloody world,” he assured her.


“Are you sure? A life in the ‘burbs, far away from the Hellmouth – it’s kinda … not very good for Big Bad’s image and all. Can you be happy living in the light with us, Spike?”


“Told ya before, Buffy: I’ve changed. Know ya didn’t believe me, but it’s true. Loving you has changed me, made me … want to be a man again, be a good man, be your man. I’d walk in the bloody sun if that’s what it took t’ show you that being with you and the bits is all I need. If I’m with you, I’m … I’m complete, pet.”


Buffy squeezed his hand again, her heart swelling with even more hope. “Me too … with you, I mean.”


He kissed her shoulder again. “Then that’s what we’ll do.”


“How are we gonna get back to the states? I’m pretty sure the Council won’t lend us one of their planes so we can skip immigration. I might be able to get one like say I lost it or something but you and the Bot don’t have passports at all…” Buffy mused aloud.


“Been traveling the world without a bloody passport for a century, luv. I reckon I can work it out. We’ll probably need t’ take a ship, though. With them plane hijackings, doubt we can sneak on a jet.”


“That’s fine,” Buffy agreed.


“You’re right about the name, though. Be best t’ change yours, it will. And we should probably get the Bot a new first name, too, if you want t’ try and fit her in in the ‘burbs. Don’t reckon ‘BuffyBot’s on the list o’ most common given names.”


“Joan. Her name can be Joan,” Buffy announced immediately. “I always liked Joan. So Joan … ummm …"


“d’Arc,” Spike supplied immediately. “Joan of Arc.”


Buffy turned her head and smiled back over her shoulder at him. “Ok, Joan d’Arc. A little pretentious, but, hey – what the heck.


“So, that leaves me and the babies … Buffy d’Arc doesn’t really have the same ring. What’s your last name?” she asked. “Pretty sure ‘the Bloody’ isn’t actually your surname.”


Spike chuckled. “No, not exactly. We can … errr … pick any name ya want, luv. What do ya fancy? Something French t’ match Joan? Dubois, or Bissette, Delacroix’d be right ironic … ‘of the cross’.”


Buffy furrowed her brow and turned in his embrace so she was facing him and could fully see his face. “You don’t remember your own name?” she asked, confused.


Spike rolled his eyes. “I remember it, just …”


“Then tell me,” she prodded. “These are your babies, William, they deserve to have your name, not something made up. I need to know it.”


Spike sighed and rolled his eyes up to the ceiling. “Pratt,” he divulged reluctantly, never looking back down.


“Hey!” Buffy objected, frowning at him, her bottom lip coming out in a pout.


Spike sighed and dropped his eyes back to hers. “My name, pet … it’s ‘Pratt’.”


“Prat? Like what you call Xander all the time…?” she asked, confused.


“No, not the same – spelled different, it is. P-R-A-T-T.”


Buffy bit her bottom lip to hold back a grin. “But it sounds the same.”


Spike heaved a sigh. “Which is why I suggested…”


“No. I like it. William Pratt,” she said, trying it out. “What’s your middle name?”


Spike rolled his eyes. “Wesley,” he ground out.


Buffy’s smile widened. “You must’ve gotten beat up a lot when you were a kid.”


“You have no bloody idea,” he groaned in agreement.


“William Wesley Pratt, Jr. and Dawn Joyce Pratt,” she announced, trying the names out as she rubbed her tummy with his hand. “What do you think, Dad?”


Spike gave her a smile, his heart swelling with pride. “Brilliant.”


Spike noticed that she didn’t try her own name out with his last name, but he didn’t comment. Just the thought of her giving the bits his name was more than he’d ever hoped for. He figured she’d probably come up with something later on to use for herself in their new life.


Buffy pressed in and kissed his mouth gently, pulling away before it got too intense. “I love you, William Wesley Pratt,” she said, leaning her forehead against his.


“I love you, too, Buffy,” he replied, reminding himself that he promised she could lead this dance, regardless of how much he wished that kiss had lasted longer.


Buffy dropped her lips back to Spike’s, and pressed him over onto his back, following him over until she was atop him. She sucked his delicious lower lip into her mouth like a bit of rich, luscious caramel and nibbled on it gently. Spike wrapped his arms around her, running his hands up and down her back as he let her control the kiss, savoring the feel of her body against his, of her lips teasing his.


Buffy tensed slightly when his arms went around her, but only for a second.  Spike’s hands slowed a moment, but then resumed caressing her when he felt her relax against him again.


Buffy released his lip and covered his whole mouth with hers, her tongue darting out to press between his lips and teeth. He met her tongue with his and they swirled around each other in a slow, gentle dance that belied the need she was building in him.


Spike longed to tell her how much he wanted her, how much he’d missed her warm body surrounding him, but dared not lest he push her away. Time seemed to slow as the kiss continued, languid and sensuous. Her body pressed against his seductively, driving Spike to the verge of madness.


Buffy moaned against his lips, and her hips began to grind slow circles against his groin, drawing a rumbling groan of need from Spike’s throat. Buffy broke the kiss just as gently as she’d begun it, and sat back onto his hips.


With her eyes locked on his, he saw his own desire reflected back from their green depths. There was no fear or trepidation in them – they were Buffy through and through. Spike’s chest heaved with unneeded breath as he waited to follow her lead, his mind wandering off down wonderful paths along which she might guide him.


Buffy reached for the hem of her t-shirt and had just begun to lift it over her head when the bedroom door opened. The aroma of breakfast cooking wafted in through the open door and both blonds looked to see the Bot standing there.


“Breakfast will be ready in five and one half minutes,” she announced brightly.


“Oh,” Buffy responded, annoyed as she dropped the hem of her shirt. “Ummm … couldn’t it wait another … hour or two?”


“It is best consumed at the proper serving temperature, which it will reach in five and–”


“What are you making?” Buffy cut her off.


Egg-white and tofu quiche with spinach, turkey-bacon, mushrooms, shallots, and tomatoes. I also have decaffeinated coffee,” the Bot replied proudly.


Buffy fought not to make a disgusted sound.


“It will now be ready for consumption in precisely five minutes,” the Bot announced before turning and heading back to the kitchenette.


Buffy looked down at Spike with a scowl. “I blame you for this,” she informed him dourly, poking a finger against his bare chest. “You need to take that book away from her and burn it. I don’t know how much more healthy food I can choke down. I’m American. I don’t eat that … that healthy, French crap. Turkey bacon is just wrong. Bacon does not come from turkeys! Turkey comes from turkeys! Bacon comes from … bacony things!


“If I don’t have a real, honest-to-goodness, fried, greasy hamburger – made out of honest-to-goodness, fatty beef – in the next two days, I will kill someone. Possibly you.”


“Relative sure tofu isn’t French, pet,” Spike defended.


“What is it then?” Buffy wondered.


“Errr … not rightly sure.”


“Exactly. I’m done eating things that I cannot identify. I’m very sure my mom didn’t eat tofu and egg-whites, and look how well I turned out.”


Spike pulled his lips between his teeth to smother a laugh. “Uhhhh … right. Turned out brilliant, you did, pet,” he agreed, however his voice didn’t really convey conviction – in fact it sounded a bit sarcastic.


Buffy glowered at him.


“Just kiddin’, luv. I’ll … see what I can do. She’s just tryin’ to help,” he assured Buffy seriously, rubbing his hands up and down her upper arms.


Buffy sighed and looked out the door to where the Bot was busy in the kitchen. “I know,” she moaned in agreement, her resolve and anger waning.


Buffy leaned down until her mouth was near Spike’s ear. She flicked her tongue out and ran it along the outer shell of his ear, sending a flood of shivers down Spike’s spine.


“We’ll finish this later,” she whispered to him.


“Yeah?” Spike asked hopefully as she pushed up, her hands flat on his chest, and met his eyes.


Buffy gave him a shy smile. “Yeah.”



Jason Mraz - I Won't Give Up    


When I look into your eyes
It's like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
There's so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?

Well, I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up

And when you're needing your space
To do some navigating
I'll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find

'Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We've got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it
No, I won't give up

I don't wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I'm here to stay and make the difference that I can make
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got, yeah, we got a lot at stake
And in the end, you're still my friend at least we did intend
For us to work, we didn't break, we didn't burn
We had to learn, how to bend, without the world caving in
I had to learn, what I've got, and what I'm not
And who I am

I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up
Still looking up.

Well, I won't give up on us (no I'm not giving up)
God knows I'm tough enough (I am tough, I am loved)
We've got a lot to learn (we're alive, we are loved)
God knows we're worth it (and we're worth it)

I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up


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