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Return to You by Thianna
9 - It's Me
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Disclaimer: The characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and Fox studios. This story is not meant to infringe upon anyone's rights, only to entertain.

A/N: Took something from the episode Touched. I don't own any of it so thanks to Joss Whedon and all the BTVS writers.


Chapter 9 - It's Me

Buffy found her way towards the garage, thankful that she didn’t get lost in the huge house. She had left Dawn with Amanda and Emily. Amanda was still out cold and Emily was finally sleeping. Buffy gave Dawn a long hug, wanting to let her know how glad she was that she was alright. Dawn gave her older sister a comforting smile. It had been one hell of a night and they were both tired, but Buffy knew it still wasn’t over. She had to deal with what was in the garage.

Buffy stopped right in front of the door leading to the garage, her hand lightly resting on the door knob. She wasn’t sure what to do or say. All three of them saw Collin fall with a fatal wound but then somehow he managed to get up and save Dawn from a gang of vampires. The ride back to Emily’s place was pain stackingly silent except for Emily’s sobs muffled by Dawn’s comforting embrace. Collin – well what they believed was Collin – didn’t say a word. He just quietly nursed his cigarette though Buffy caught him looking at her in an odd way. He didn’t show any signs of violence towards any of them but Buffy was still wary. Her senses told her that he was at least no longer completely human. Sighing softly, she turned the knob and found him relaxing in one of the vehicles smoking. She tentatively walked to him, her senses on alert just in case he opted to attack.

Upon seeing her, a smile crept on his lips. “I was wondering when you’d come down for a visit, love. I’ve been lonely.”

Buffy looked at him warily. “Collin?”

“No,” he said shaking his head. “Why does everybody keep sodding calling me that? Name's Spike, the Big Bad... William the Bloody."

Buffy moved away from him in disbelief only to find that he had quickly moved from where he was sitting to standing right behind her. He wrapped his arms tightly around her and in a slight fit of panic, Buffy struggled to free herself which only made him tighten his grip. It wasn’t possible. She had never heard of a vampire possessing the body of a human before, but then again Collin was bitten. Could he have turned then and in some sadistic and twisted way was trying to lower her defenses?

He moved his lips near her neck, brushing them softly against her skin and memories of Spike flooded her mind. She had dreamt of it many times when she was alone and secretly wished that maybe her lover would return. She had given up so much for love before, but none had loved her so fervently or showed as much devotion as Spike. But this wasn’t Spike, couldn’t be Spike. His eyes maybe blue but his locks were brown.

Breathing softly on her ear “Shhh … Please, love. I just want to hold you.”

She felt his slightly warm breath tickle her ear. He wasn’t dead – he wasn’t a vampire because if he was, she wouldn’t have felt a thing.

She placed a hand on one of his arms and was further surprised to discover that it wasn’t cold. Well it wasn't really that warm either but it wasn't what she remembered. “What kind of demon are you?”

He leaned in even closer, ignoring her questions and burying his face into her hair. “I’ve missed you, Buffy.”, he said softly as he lost himself in her scent. As he calmed down, he loosened his hold on her, gently placing his hands on her waist and turning her around to look into her eyes.

Buffy caught the sincerity in his eyes. He gave her that same look of longing and desperation that Buffy had grown accustomed to with Spike. He slowly moved forward, aiming to kiss her but Buffy leaned back, trying to avoid it as she reminded herself again that this couldn’t be her vampire. She caught the flash of hurt on his face and she wished she understood what was going on. But right now, she had to rely on the facts -- she was in the arms of a demon she didn’t know.

With a soft sigh, he closed his eyes and reluctantly let her go.

“Guess nothing’s changed then, love”, he said moving as far away from her as possible. That was the last thing he wanted to do right now, but her actions showed him that it would be best to keep some distance between them. She was obviously confused and he didn’t really blame her but selfishly he thought, that maybe this time she was ready. Didn’t she trust him at all? He watched her try to make sense of what was going on and he couldn’t help but smile at seeing her soft lips pout ever so slightly. “I never thought I'd ever see you again. When I came back and was with Peaches, I thought ... well. I knew you wouldn't need a bloke like me around anymore. I love you, but I knew you wanted a normal life. God, I sound pathetic!" He rolled his eyes and looked up “You find this so sodding amusing don’t you? Damn, hate being love’s bitch.”

Buffy looked on unconvinced. Spike was a vampire, and everything that Buffy has surmised so far indicate that this being before her was anything but. The cross that Collin wore around his neck still nestled there undisturbed and the demon either was not aware that it was there or didn’t really think it was of any concern.

“Fine, ask me something only I would know.”

There was one thing she did want to hear from him. It was something he had told her before they fought the First. Something that made her feel so special and made her realize just how deep his love was for her. She knew she could have asked him something else… but she wanted to hear it again. She tried to convince herself that asking any other question would have been easy because it would have been factual, but that Spike would have guarded his emotions from everyone else. “You told me something important, something that gave me the strength to fight when I lost hope.” She wanted to hear those words again.

“That?! You want me to tell you that? That was a number of sodding years ago. You’d really think I remember?” he said putting on an air of disgust. But in truth he did remember. He had played that memory in his mind often enough. He realized in that one night that they spent together that he had found what he was looking for. He loved her completely and despite his selfish nature, didn’t need anything in return from her. She wasn’t a prize to be won. She was Buffy … she was the Slayer … and he loved every smile, tear and frown. It was hard enough to admit back then and he really wasn’t sure what gave him the courage to confess it to her. But now, she was asking for it again… demanding it even. As proof of who he was, she wanted him to give what most vampires couldn’t give -- his heart.

“Damn woman,” he grumbled softly. He took a deep breath, his hands in his pockets. "I made a lot of mistakes, a lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred-plus years and there's only one thing I've ever been sure of. You. I'm not asking you for anything. When I say I love you, it's not because I want you or because I can't have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do. How you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you, and I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're the one, Buffy!" He looked up at her, not sure how she would react.

“I love you Buffy and I don’t expect you to say it back. If you want me to leave you be, then I will.” His eyes fell to the floor, not really wanting the rejection he was sure she was going to give him.

Buffy’s eyes filled with tears at hearing the words spilling from this demon’s lips. “Spike?!”
He quickly looked up to see her cheeks slowly being stained with tears. It pained his chest to see her cry and he wanted nothing more than to hold her like he did just a few moments ago. But he held his ground. He hurt her once by forcing his love on her and never again would he presume to know what she wanted.

Buffy fought the tears, furiously wiping the tears that had marred her cheeks. She wanted nothing more than to lose herself in his arms as memories of what they had shared together came flooding back. Unknowingly, she moved towards him, cupping his cheek in her hand. She searched his eyes and was lost in the love she saw there. He always made her feel special ... important and most of all loved. He gave her that comfort that she had never really given back to him then. He took a chance and hoped that she wouldn’t reject him this time. He leaned down and brushed his lips lightly against hers. Seeing that she wasn’t pushing him away, he deepened the kiss, wanting nothing more than to be with her. He pulled her closer, relishing in the taste of her mouth and the warmth of her skin.

Buffy couldn’t help but moan as she felt Spike pull her closer. She could feel his lips moving lightly against hers, his tongue tentatively exploring her mouth. She wanted more, wanted to lose herself in the moment. But there was something else more important at hand and she knew that she had to put her feelings aside and figure out the mystery before her. Reluctantly she ended the kiss, sighing softly before resting her head on his chest just to relish in the moment before she let logic take over and find out what was really going on.

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