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Guilt

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A year had past since they had all stood, bloody and bone tired on the edge of the crater looking down at what used to be Sunnydale. Buffy could still remember that day as if it was yesterday. It wasn’t something she was likely to ever forget. It wasn’t just the fighting, or the screams of the dying permanently etched in her mind that caused her so many sleepless nights.

It was the guilt she carried from that day that wouldn’t let her have any peace. She was the slayer she could have stopped him, she should have done something, anything. But she had stood there, her hand in his and watched him burn.

She wasn’t under any illusions; he hadn’t sacrificed himself to save the world, the slayers, or anything else. He wasn’t trying to be a hero. There was only one reason Spike had sacrificed himself. He had done it for her.

Buffy never told anyone not even Giles that even after all this time she still woke up in cold sweats with Spike’s name a litany on her lips.