Summary: She felt a warmth suffuse her being and she knew.
Word Count: ~800 words.
Author's Note: This is a birthday present for jamalov29 - I hope you like it, darling!
She felt cold. She was used to the cold.
Hunting in the night.
The darkness always felt cold to her.
Except here. The warmth in the crypt...
Shouldn’t it be cold here?
“You moved the rugs,” she murmured.
“They exploded, love,” he said from behind her, his breath tickling the nape of her neck. “Remember?”
“I remember,” she whispered, turning to face him. Her stomach dropped at the sight of him lounging across from her. “Why… why are you chained up? I thought we took of care of that…of you?”
Spike shot a rueful glance at the shackles around his wrists. He shrugged, slouching down into the cot pressed up against the wall of the basement. “Guess not.”
“This is wrong,” she said to herself. Then louder, “This is wrong. You shouldn’t be down here.”
“Where should I be, Buffy?”
She knew. She knew and how could he not know? He had to know.
“Free,” she whispered. “You should be free. And warm. And… loved.”
“I don’t belong there, Slayer,” he reminded her. “You know that.”
“No. You do. You earned it. You…” The image of him in flames choked her. She blinked back tears and continued, “You saved the world. You should be at peace.”
“Too little, too late, I expect.”
“It’s not. It’s everything,” she insisted with sharp fierceness. “What you did.”
He sighed, leaning his head back against the wall. “Maybe you’re right. I don’t belong here. This place belongs to you. Never was fit for me to stay in, was it?”
Then he was at the stairs, the shackles gone. He was leaving. And no. No.
“Wait!” she called, feeling her heart twist. “Don’t go. Just… not yet.”
Hand on the stair railing, he turned to meet her.
“I can’t stay, love.”
“I know. I—I’m just not ready to do this again. Can’t we…” She looked at the cot then back at him. “Spike, what if we… would you…”
He was there, right in front of her. She could feel her skin vibrate at his nearness. She took a deep breath.
“Will you hold me?”
He leaned in, closing the distance between them, brushing his lips against hers with a featherlight touch.
This, oh god, this was just how she remembered it. Him.
Her spine tingled, her eyes closed. She waited for the feel of his arms embracing her. To feel his hunger and need. To feel his love.
Then he whispered, “Buffy, time for me to be with the angels. Not that I wanna go. Not without you. Never without you. You’re in my heart. You are my heart. You know that, don’t you?” He pressed his lips against hers, a soft caress. Then sighed, “Goodbye, love.”
And no. No. No no no. NO!
“Spike!” Buffy gasped, jerking upright into a sitting position. Her covers were tangled and twisted around her legs. She shook her head, clearing the fog. Then licked her lips.
Her lips felt warm. She raised a finger to touch her lips, questioning the sensation she felt quivering inside her.
How could she still feel him?
Then she remembered his words and the certainty grew. It was impossible. It was insane. But she knew. Spike wasn’t dead. And if he wasn’t dead, then he’d been trying to send her a message. Was he… oh, god, was he trapped in a hell dimension?
No. Not hell. It couldn’t be. She couldn’t bear it. Not again. Not like…
“Be with the angels…” she murmured. Her eyes grew wide. “Spike’s alive.”
She touched her lips again. “Spike’s alive. Spike’s alive,” she repeated, listening to the words echo in her dark bedroom. “Spike’s alive.”
She tossed off the covers and jumped out of bed, slipping into a dressing robe. Xander was on watch upstairs in the communications room. He could book her flight and figure out who could cover for her in next morning’s training class. And then she needed to pack. And then…
“Spike’s alive,” she whispered again and felt a warmth suffuse her being.
She didn’t know how. Or why. But she knew all she needed to know.
He was out there and she wasn’t going to waste time thinking or asking questions.
Not until she saw him. Until she touched him. Until she felt his lips on hers.
The dream had been almost nice. Nice enough compared to most of her dreams. But her heart wasn’t racing in her chest for a dream.
Her heart, it was full of…oh, god. Love. And not for a memory. Because…
Spike was alive. And she was going to find him if it was the last thing she did.
Find him and bring him back where he belonged.