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Red Roses

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"Spike's not coming is he?" Angel asked in his office back at the Hyperion sighing in relief when Buffy answered.


"Alright. See you soon."

"Yup. Bye."

With a smile to himself he hung up the phone and turned back to his desk only to see Cordelia looking at him from the door.

"Who was that?"

"Buffy." Cordy raised her brows and smiled wider over at her boss, making her way into the room. "She wants to meet up now."

"I still can't believe she's really back."

"It's why I need to meet her." Reaching into his pocket he picked out his car keys and fiddled with them in his hands. "Can you guys-"

"Cope without you here?" She chuckled and went back to open the door for him, willing to shove him out if she had to. "Yeah. I think we can manage."

"Well with Fred I don't know-"

"It'll give her some time to get over her crush on you. Maybe she'll come join the living after all." She looked up the stairs in the direction of the girl's room, shaking her head at her refusal to leave and thinking she really needed to bring her up another taco soon. "Get her out of her room for a bit."

"Okay. Yeah. I'm going to-" Angel started to walk away but instantly had to stop and run back when he saw the girl's hand slam into her head and her body start to cripple in pain. "Cordy! What's wrong?"

"Vision, vision, vision, vision!" She screamed and screamed again as the pain spread through her system, just seeming to get worse and worse with every new sight.

"Here." He held her in his arms and brought her over to the center couch and let her rest on him while she went through the pain. "I got you. I got you."

She squirmed and writhed until it slowly started to subside, her body thrashing less and less. "Buffy." The flashes ended with the vision and she turned to Angel to explain what she saw. "It's Buffy."

"What? What's wrong?!"

"She's… " Cordy pulled herself up further so she could lean on the back of the couch instead of Angel, both hands running through her hair to try and pull the residing pain away from her skull. "I don't know. It didn't make sense. Willow was there. Black eyes...Buffy was laughing but it didn't feel right. She didn't feel right. Something is wrong."

"Well I'm leaving now. I'll warn her."

"Let me come." She made a move to follow too fast and fell back down into the couch, Angel jumping to catch her.

He looked her over, worried, already shaking his head. "I don't know-"

"I won't interrupt. I'll stay in the car. Just in case seeing her brings another vision. More clarity."

He gave her a frown but nodded anyway. "Alright." If it had to do with Buffy's safety, he would do anything.

Cordy double checked she had a bottle of painkillers in her purse and, with Angel's help, walked to the car and readied herself for a beauty nap.

"And that's why the bitch is here." Angelus finished telling Spike and Buffy as they all sat in the diner, still surrounded by dead bodies. "Guess she saw you all demoned out. Though I don't know what the witch has anything to do with it."

"Vision girl doesn't see the past yeah?" Spike asked, licking the sauce from his fingers.

"No but Willow's in my future isn't she?"

Before Angelus started talking, Buffy had told them of all her plans. It was why Angelus had to explain why Cordy was tied up in their trunk, she was a part of it. It gave her high hope that the Powers That Be were trying to warn them about her with Cordy's unexplainable visions. "Maybe things just work out."

"We'll see."

"What makes you think I'm sticking around for this?" Angelus asked, slumping down more into the seat.

"Because they sit right over the Hellmouth and they screwed you over too." Buffy said, mimicking his movement. "Not nearly as much as they did me but enough where you should want to get back at them."

"I can do that on my own."

"I'm doing it and you will not get in my way. So you can either help or be mowed down with the rest of them. Your choice."

The two of them kept staring, sizing each other up, but Angelus knew in the back of his mind that the slayer could kill him if she wanted. There was too much strength there. It would take time to outsmart her, any brute force now and he would lose, and he wasn't willing to risk getting killed when he just finally got free. Of course he was always a bit too hotheaded for logic like that.

"What about Spikey here." He tipped his head to the side with a sneer. "What's in it for you?"

"They screwed me over too mate."

"But plans? Never worked out too good for you in the past have they? Well I guess you're not the one making them this time are you?"

"Shut it. My plans work out fine when she's not in the middle of it." He pointed towards Buffy who shrugged her shoulders at him without apology as she watched the two bicker.

"Your plans wouldn't work out if she wasn't. You have the success rate of a one-legged dog. I'm just saying my plans work out."

"Oh really? Remind me then, how'd that whole getting your soul put in by a gypsy plan go? Or the destroying the world thing? Or killing the slayer? Oh wait, that's right, she stuck a sword in your chest!"

"Listen you-"

"Stop!" Buffy shouted causing them both to stop and look at her. "My plans. I'm leading this. End of story."

"Why should you?" Angelus challenged. "You're just some baby vamp trying to make a name for herself. Just cus you were the slayer doesn't mean you know a god damn thing." Fists on the table he leaned over into her space and dropped his voice to a threatening tone. "I've been around a lot longer than you. Give me a reason I should listen to what you have to say."

"Because I've defeated you enough times. I've defeated both of you." She challenged right back, standing and leaning over the table, cowering over him. "I want this more than you and I'm going to get it. They brought me down to hell and I'm going to give them hell right back! Do you have a problem with that?!"

"What I have a problem with is your tone missy!" Angelus shoved off the table and met her at the end, pressing as much as he could into her space without touching her, sneering near her face. "I'm not sure I like it on you."

"So why don't you do something about it? You wanna see just how much I can kick your ass?"

"Oh yeah, let's have a go, you and me! A good old tumble around for old times sake, lover."

"I'd love to see-"

"Would you two shut up!" Spike yelled, stuck in the booth as they screamed. "God. You sound like children. Look. We all want the same people dead. Can we at least agree on that? Wankers."

Angelus met her gaze again and continued to huff in anger but gave in. "Fine. But I'm not taking orders from you. I'm only going along with this cus you know how they think and the best way to defeat your enemy is-"

"To love them." Spike cut in making Angelus' glare change direction.

"Damn straight I know them." Buffy answered still feeling her anger boiling over. God she needed to kill something. "And I know that they'll be onto us soon so can you shut up and can we get started?"

"Sun's gonna come up soon." Spike nodded at the windows. "Better find a place till night."

"I'm driving." Buffy's mood changed in an instant as she jumped and started for the door, only to have Spike arguing behind her again.

"What? No way! My stolen Porsche, I'm driving it."

"It's a Porsche SUV Spike. It's not like it's any different from every other SUV."

"It's a Porsche!"

"Angelus, where are you going?" Buffy called out as Angelus turned in the opposite direction towards his own car across the lot.

"My car has tinted windows, I'm not burning because you two are idiots."

"He has a good point." Buffy muttered to Spike before turning around and following Angelus. "Oooh and it's a convertible."

"Wait, what about the Porsche?" Spike called out, looking at his car hopelessly.

"Grab the girl and let's go!" Angelus yelled back as he neared the car. "And you are not driving." He pointed at Buffy before sliding into the driver's seat.

"Shotgun!" Buffy called as Spike came over with the tied and gagged Cordy, rope and tape resting on her body in his arms.

"Not fair!"

"I'm not sitting in back." Buffy laughed as Angelus popped the trunk and Spike dumped the girl inside. She opened the door for him and he reluctantly climbed behind her seat and flipped onto his back looking up at the ceiling so he could start his pout-fest.

Angelus slammed on the gas as soon as Buffy was inside and they left a trail of dust in their wake as they cruised out onto the main road. "Oh and it's a 67 Plymouth GTX convertible, much better than an SUV pretending to be a Porsche."

"What kind of self loathing vampire owns a convertible? Moronic if you ask me."

The arguing went on from there as Angelus drove and Buffy looked out the window for a place that wouldn't be too noticeable. She directed Angelus on a few turns until she saw a house cut off from most others with a very long driveway leading to a bright red door.

"Stop at that house." Angelus slowed and Spike pointed out the cars in the driveway.

"Don't know if you forgot love but humans live there. Can't get in without an invite."

"Who said that would be a problem?"

"Help!" Buffy banged on the red door with both fists, screaming her head off. "Help! Please! Please let me in! Please!"

"Whoa." A middle aged man with a bit of a southern drawl came to the door in a robe, obviously woken from his sleep. "Whoa, what seems to be the problem?" He looked her over with concern at the same time he found the rip in the front of her shirt. His concern turned to skepticism as he looked around for the cause of her tears or the people that would probably be robbing him.

"Please." Buffy threw her hands into a fist and started begging, crying her eyes out as best she could. "These two men. They're after me. I can't- I don't- Please they could be following me!"

"Alright dear, alright. Come in." He stepped back from the door and let her enter, completely oblivious to the smile on her face. "Are you hurt?"

"No. No I don't think so." She pulled the shards of her shirt together and followed the man into his kitchen where he pulled out a chair for her to sit on. The house was pretty normal looking. There were a few pictures of a family, a couple of rooms, a fireplace, and crosses everywhere. She would have to avoid those. "I ran as fast as I could."

"Dear, what's going on?" The high pitched worry of a middle aged woman was heard as she descended the stairs, a baseball bat held firmly in her hands.

"Nothing." He smiled as he took the bat from her and used it to point Buffy out. "This girl. Some men are after her. Tore her clothes it seems and well…" He let the sentence go unfinished and Buffy took that cue to start pathetically sobbing yet again. Far off in the distance she could hear the muffled laughs of the 'men' chasing her. Well one tore her clothes, at least that was true.

"Well did they follow her here?" The woman asked as she moved to Buffy and looked her over for any sign of injury.

"No." Buffy answered with a shake of the head and while she was at it, she threw a tremor through her body. "I wasn't followed. I don't think so."

"Alright. I'll get the phone for you." The man walked over into the other room as the woman started talking.

"What's your name sweetie?"

"Buffy. Buffy Summers."

"Okay Buffy. I'm Pam and this is Bill."

"Here you go sweetie." Bill dropped the house phone into Buffy's hands and started to make himself breakfast while he waited for her to dial the police. "Mighty fine cops we have around here. They'll help you out real nice."

"Thank you." Buffy took the phone with a smile and sniffed the air for the first time since entering the house. Sobbing really did cut off her smelling abilities. She didn't even know she could fake cry so good.

Formally, thinking about being raped by two vampires would have been enough to do it but not anymore. Now, if those two had sex with her, wouldn't exactly be rape now would it? And at the same time? God.

She shook the dirty thoughts from her mind as she was suddenly hit with the thumping of the blood in the room. There only seemed to be two of them in the house but she needed to be sure. "I haven't put you in any trouble right? No kids or relatives or close neighbors here? I can see if someone else is home."

"No. Our kid is away at school. College and all. It's just us." Pam smiled at her, her own southern drawl coming out the more she spoke. "Next house is far too far for you to walk to."

"No trouble for us." Bill called over his eggs, pointing at the phone from behind. "Call away."

Buffy pulled the phone in front of her, intent on dialing Spike or Angelus to let them know they were going to die in the sun if they didn't come soon, but before she could lift a finger she heard some quiet tapping noises coming from the front door. She stood up from her chair and wandered over, ignoring Pam asking her if she was alright, and looked out the window closest to the door. She could see the two of them, smiling and waving, and she couldn't resist a small chuckle before falling back into the 'girl on the run' persona she had adopted, screaming and dropping the phone by the door. "NO! Oh no! No! No, no, no, no, no. They're here! O my god!"

"Bill, get the gun." Pam had her by the arms, dragging her back into the kitchen as Buffy continued to act hopeless and weak.

"I'm so sorry. I'm so, so sorry."

"Buffy!" Angelus called her through the door, knocking continuously as Spike joined.

"Love, let us in."

"Let us meet your new friends."

"You boys best be getting out of here!" Bill came down the stairs with a shotgun in his arms, aimed at the door, loaded and ready. "We phoned the cops and they'll be here any moment!"

"The cops Buffy?" Spike asked in a mocking tone, already knowing that was a lie.

"We already ate so much." Angelus laughed.

"Don't worry guys!" Buffy called back from behind Pam's protective arms. "Not quite called. Have you in a moment."

"Wha-" Pam slowly turned in shock to the girl she was protecting.

"Sorry." Buffy stood tall, wiping any remaining tears from her face and walking further into the kitchen directly between Pam and Bill. "That was fun but it got old fast. I don't need them whining about shotgun wounds"

"What-" Pam's face morphed even further into shock as Buffy shifted into vampire form, her eyes gleaming in the dark of the house. Suddenly she was hit with the extra spices of adrenaline filling up both of their bodies, enticing her even further. "What are you doing?! No. No! Devil! Devil!"

Buffy rolled her eyes and laughed as Bill turned the shotgun on her. "Oh now we can't have that." She ran forward and ripped it from his arms, throwing it across the other side of the room. Pam screamed but that was nothing compared to the scream she made when Buffy reached forward and grabbed Bill's head, twisting it into a position far too sharp to survive. With that snap he was dead on the floor and Buffy turned to face Pam.

"First time I've done that!" She said excited, moving closer and closer as Pam moved further and further back. "Wasn't that bad actually."

"Would you hurry up slayer?" Angelus yelled through the door.

"Sun's a coming," Spike reminded her. "And I would prefer not to be sweepable!"

"Give me a minute!" She yelled back as she walked over to the shotgun and picked it up, cocking it like she saw Bill do and aiming it at Pam. "I've always wanted to try this too." She pulled the trigger and staggered back at the recoil as the gun went off and Pam was laced with bullet casings.

Pam was tossed back, her stomach having been hit, and spots of blood started to soak through her pajamas. It reminded Buffy of swiss cheese and she thought she ought to have a bite. She finished the job by tackling her to the ground and pinning her arm, latching on to one of the bullet wounds and sucking the blood through like a straw. When she was done killing her she lifted her head and spat out the chunk of metal letting it clang to the floor. The vamps outside fell into the house together as soon as the metal landed and the barrier lifted.

Spike looked around the room with approval before turning back to Buffy. "You are sexy as a demon."

"I was sexy before."

"Mighty fine." Spike mimicked the southern accent of the man she just killed, making her roll her eyes as he rolled his tongue behind his teeth.

"Would you two stop?" Angelus snapped from the window. "Help me close the damn curtains."

"You two do that." Buffy said, making her way around the house to find the stairs. "I'm gonna find the bedroom. I've been very busy and I am very tired."

As soon as Buffy was gone up the stairs Angelus turned to Spike with a scoffing chuckle. "You are so whipped."


"You heard me. Running around, following her everywhere. Getting that chip out of your head. She's just leading you on a chase. Using you. You know she doesn't actually care. You're convenient."

"You think I don't know that?" Spike growled back defensively. "It doesn't matter to me."

"I've known you a long time Spikey. You can't lie to me. It's killing you and it's going to keep killing you."

"Shut up and finish." Spike ignored him and moved to the curtains in the kitchen, stepping over Pam's body to close them up.

"Bad news boys." Buffy called down from the upstairs before jogging her way back down to them. "Two bedrooms only."

"Worse." Spike said pointing at the living room. "No curtains by the couch."

"So it looks like you two are sharing." Buffy nodded at them both with a smile as they both flipped the switch back to argumentative, as if they ever left that state.

Spike yelled, "Hell no! "at the same time Angelus yelled "Fuck no!". These two had obviously spent way too much time together in their history.

"There is no fucking way we are sharing a bedroom." Angelus pointed between himself and Spike as if it needed clarification.

"I will not sleep next to him." Spike added on nodding in Angelus' direction.

"Yeah he snores."

"So does he!"

"Wait." Buffy chuckled. "How do you two know that?"

Angelus and Spike both turned to each other simultaneously as an awkward pause filled the room followed by a bunch of stuttering and non-coherent sentences.





"Never- I-"

"Whatever." Angelus was finally able to say, putting his foot down and stomping up the stairs. "Not sharing!"

"Fine, you two figure it out." Buffy turned to follow him up, wanting to lay her head down. After all those people she was like a human after Thanksgiving dinner, ready for some sleep. "Like I said, I'm tired."

Miles and miles away in a completely different bedroom Willow and Tara were curled up under the covers. Tara didn't have class and Dawn had already left for school but Willow couldn't face hers. The good moments came and went too quickly with her.

That morning she couldn't even get out of bed the sobs were wracking her body so hard. She really did try to keep it to herself, knowing they needed her at her best to help with the situation, but when it was just Tara she knew she could let a little show. The problem with a little was that it usually turned into a lot.

Tara held her like she always did as Willow cried and cried into her shoulder. Willow finally caved and told her why she had the scratches on her cheek and why everyone kept saying that she shouldn't listen to Buffy. She couldn't keep it in after they saw the deaths at The Bronze in the newspaper.

Tara cried with her when she told her Buffy made it clear who she blamed.

No matter what they tell you, what they try to blame this on, know that this...this is your fault. I'm the way I am because of you. You killed me. Every action I take, every person I kill, will be because of you. You made me the way I am.

Willow could only sob the accusations but Tara understood them well enough. Buffy destroyed any chance she might have had at consolidation. Tara could only get so far before Willow would break down even further, completely ignoring every word that came out of her mouth in favor of repeating over and over; "my fault".

"Willow, look at me." She refused and sunk her head into Tara's shoulder further. "Baby, look." She grabbed Willow's head in her hands and pulled her up so she could see into her red and poofy eyes. Using her thumbs she swept away all the tears that escaped, avoiding her scratches, and placed a kiss on her forehead. "It wasn't Buffy. It looked like Buffy and sounded like her but it wasn't. It was a demon."

"B-but i-i-it-"

"No. It wasn't her. We're going to save her. We're going to get her back. We're going to make this right. You know how I know that?" Willow shook her head, more tears spilling out as Tara pushed them back again and again. "Because you're going to be the one to do it. You can do anything. I love you and I know you. We're going to fix this."

"But what if- what if we-we can't. What if-if she's gone! I brought her down from hea-heav-he-"

"Shhhh. We will fix this. I promise. Do I ever break my promises?" Willow shook her head. "There see. Then we're as right as rain. If rain was ever right." Willow chuckled a bit and Tara pulled her in for a kiss, ignoring the dampness of her mouth and moving her hands to hold her closer.

Willow shut her eyes tighter and deepened the kiss, pulling them together until there was absolutely no space between them. Tara held her back hard and kissed her just as she needed, distracting her from her own mind as best she could.

Tongues started battling as they sunk further and further under the sheets with their hands roaming. Willow was first to follow the trail of Tara's buttons and pop one after the other through their hole, opening up the top to her pjs. Tara trailed her hands to the bottom of Willow's shirt and started to ride the fabric up her back just as they heard a knock at the door.

"Girls?" Giles called into the room from behind the door. "Are you coming down for breakfast?"

The two girls looked at each other and nodded, knowing that the research they had to do to help Buffy was more important than their need for each other. "Coming Giles!" Tara called back as she redid her buttons and Willow got up to find an outfit to wear. They would have plenty of time to be with each other when it was all over with.

"Buff." Spike stood at the foot of her bed, tossing off his shoes and shirt, waking her up and moving to the side before she had a chance to do much else but answer back.

"Yeah Spike?"

"Poofy got the room." He pointed over his shoulder to the room across the hall, the kid's room. Buffy was sure to get the bigger bed so she could lie flat in the middle of it, her body diagonal across the middle. "Move over."

"I'm not moving." She spread out even more so her limbs covered every bit of space they could, digging her head further into the pillow.

"I'll fight you."

"And I'll kick your ass. Again."

"Damn demon bitch."

"Oh stop whining." She chuckled as he forcibly pushed her out of the way and he slipped into the side of the bed, moving her limbs with his legs when she refused to move over any more.

Buffy kept her face in the pillow, still taking up far too much room in his opinion, and he stared at the ceiling as random thoughts started popping up into his head. One thought was about how much he wanted to sleep naked, knowing that wasn't going to happen, having to settle with just his shirt off. Two being what Buffy was wearing, half her clothes were on the floor but her body was under the covers. Lifting them up he could see she had on a jersey too big for her, covering anything worth looking at. But at least her legs were bare. She must have grabbed it from the kid's room. Third, he really wanted a cigarette but they were across the room. Fourth, he went over Buffy's plan in his mind again. Well, it wasn't really a plan in the way of having steps or anything. Pretty much it was just a bunch of goals involving mass murder and mayhem, good on all parts. Fifth, he thought about who Buffy was really after.


"Yeah?" She groaned in a deadly tone, having almost fallen back to sleep.

"Are you sure about this?"

"What do you mean?"

"About your plan. I mean, sounds good and all on the outside but do you really think you'll be able to do it? They were your friends for so long. I know we're on repeat here and you've said you don't care but sometimes that can get under your skin."

"Yeah they were my friends." She groaned and turned onto her back looking up at the ceiling like Spike, closing her eyes and answering his question. "But what kind of friends were they?"

"Well they're no friends of mine. Well Dawn…" He drifted off not really sure if it needed saying. "Just want to make sure you won't-"

"What? Chicken out?"


"No. I'm not. And Dawn will be fine. We'll help her through it. Give her a nice juicy human right from the start."

"Yeah I know."

Silence filled the room for a moment more before Buffy decided to break it. "Are you going to chicken out?"

"What makes you think I'm gonna chicken out?"

"You." She sighed and turned on her side to face him as he refused to to turn to her. Momentarily she was a bit distracted at the lack of clothes on his chest, his pecks and arms looking quite nice in the dark, but she got herself back on track. "First you're all obsessed with me as a human. I reject you till the day I die, literally. Then you stick by me as a vamp. You make sure I live to my 'Buffy morals' before handing me over to get re-souled. Then you stop them from killing me. Then you're helping me take my revenge. You switch sides more often than a ping pong ball. Whose side are you on?"

He sighed in frustration, adjusted his pillow, and slammed a hand under his head before answering. "On yours Buffy. Always on yours."

"How? How can you be?" His answer came in the form of a short lived glare so she continued to pry. "I'm not a human anymore. I'm not going back."

"Only makes you more attractive. Like you said. You're still the same person. You're still the stubborn girl I've always known. Stronger than anyone, fighting for what she believes in. You haven't changed."

Smiling she added, "I'm actually stronger now", before chuckling and tossing herself back onto her back and staring up again.

"I meant on the inside but I guess that's a point too. My ribcage can vogue for that."

"And you have no problem with what we're about to do?"

"I was taking over the world long before you were born. I go where you go." He smiled over at her and she turned to smile back but it didn't last long before he rolled his head back with a groan. "I really am whipped aren't I?"

"Like a pup." Playfully hitting his arm she smiled wide at his expression. "Name fits doesn't it?"

"Don't start in on a leash or anything. You'll rile me up too much."

"God forbid. You're already riled up 24/7."

"Oh you've barely scratched the surface."

"So you're saying I should scratch a little deeper?" She reached out with one of her legs until it came into contact with his shin and scratched the nails of her toes up the curves of his muscles to his upper thigh. His body arched up off the bed until she took her foot away and he could sink back down.

"I- um…"

"Sorry did I go pass the normal flirting boundaries?" She laughed at his dumbfound expression as he continued to stutter a response.

"Flir-Flirting boundaries?"

"Never mind." She laughed and fell back into her place on the bed, turning over to her stomach. "Actually, here." She leaned off the bed for her clothes, her legs kicking out the covers and kicking Spike even more until he grabbed her ankles and she was able to reach.

"What's this?" He picked up the item she tossed behind her and held it up, letting her legs go and letting her fall straight to the floor.

"Asshole." She snapped but he ignored her. She pulled herself back onto the bed, crawling back under the covers and back onto her back, adjusting the comforter as he started to gape at his new toy.

In his hands was the small golden dagger that Florica used to cut their palms and create the binding spell. Engraved he could see the fire breathing dragon with red and blue jewels outlining its form. Inside the sheath the blade was just as it looked before, just as sharp and just as deadly. This kicked his other dagger's ass! "Did you nick this?"

"You looked like you wanted it so…yeah." She didn't miss Spike's whistle when it was first brought out and Florica didn't ever ask for it back really. Buffy did put it on the table for a moment but it was in the waist of her pants the next and the gypsy didn't seem to care. Or notice.

"Stealing from a gypsy. You're in for some bad karma slayer."

"Oh karma can kiss my ass."

"Now this, this is a thing of-" He continued to rotate it in front of him, turning to the thank her in some way but then he lost all interest in the knife. In an attempt to piss him off for letting her drop she had moved over even more on the bed, taking up more than her fair share of space. She was directly next to him, her hair was a mess, she was fixing her jersey, and she looked so flustered after having fallen down. She was all he could look at. "Beautiful."

Buffy looked at him, caught off guard by his tone, and found herself stuck in his gaze. He was looking at her. Not the blade. Her. "Really?"

"Yeah." He shrugged it off, looking at the blade in his hands but he knew he was caught. He slowly lowered it down and nodded his head. "Yeah."

Buffy couldn't figure out why she couldn't move but she knew it was even worse than before. They were already so close but she could feel her body pushing her to inch even further. Entirely stuck in his eyes she found herself thinking out loud in quiet whispers. "Do you ever think that maybe we have souls? They're just different than other creatures. Vamp souls versus human souls. I don't exactly feel soulless. I actually think I feel more."

He smiled at her, those tiny cautious smiles he had reserved for moments like this, where all he could feel was completely protective of her, completely drawn in, completely smothered, completely in love. "Careful. You might start to make sense."

"Like I don't normally?"

"No. You were always a smart one."

"We should…um…" Buffy nodded towards the bed they were lying in.

"Yeah we should." He nodded but neither made a move to sleep, both still gently falling into one another.

"If you two are going to start fucking then go the hell outside!" Angelus yelled from across the hall.

"Shut it Peaches!" Spike snapped back angrily before turning back to Buffy.

They both rolled their eyes at Angelus, both hiding their disappointment from the other. Spike was disappointed for obvious reasons, still feeling the need to inch around her, afraid to take what he wanted when she could so easily destroy him. Buffy was disappointed and that shocked her. In her new form, she knew she could take whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted it. But what did she want? Spike only seemed to wind his way up the ladder the closer she got to getting her revenge. She would just have to go with the flow she thought. Next time she'd listen to her instincts. They hadn't let her down yet.

They flipped themselves back under the covers and without mentioning it again said their goodnights.

"Night pet."

"Night Shiny."