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At first, Buffy could hardly believe that Spike was showing his face at her door. He wasn’t exactly Mr. Popularity, after the stunt he had pulled in the bathroom last month, and she figured he knew he’d be more likely to get staked than fed, if he ever came around again begging for blood money. His invitation into her life had been revoked. Literally.

And then she realized he had a heartbeat. A pulse.

“What…how?” She’d heard talk of shanshu from LA, but how would Spike….

He gave her that same shy smile that he wore sometimes, after sex. “Did it just for you, pet.”

She still couldn’t comprehend it. But when he opened his arms to her, bathed in the warm glow coming from the porch light, she only hesitated a second before she stepped into them, and wrapped herself around him, let herself be wrapped up in him, his nose buried in her neck.

Buffy barely had time to register the familiar cracking noise before the razor-pricks dug into the soft flesh of her throat and latched on. Struggle only ripped her artery further.

She was drained too quickly, for his taste. Could have dragged that out all night, he could, but he’d been greedy and now it was over. She hung limp in his arms, this little slip of a thing that had lorded over his life for 3 years.

He was free now, to do as he liked.

He dropped her to the ground, a present for Harris to find in the morning when he came to drive Dawnie to school. Toed her cooling body with his boot as he lit a cigarette, licking the last of the rich slayer blood from his lips.

Neat invention, these pacemakers.