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Master by Aurora
Chapter Seventeen-Don't Let Him Hurt the Girl
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A/N:Okay so here's the sitch, this chapter deals with some iffy issues, so here it goes. !!WARNING!!:This chapter contains attempted rape. So if it bothers you, please don't read it anyway and then post a flame. Yet again I say that if you're reading this story, you're not looking for warm fuzzies.

Chapter Seventeen: Don't Let Him Hurt the Girl

Giles guardedly stood before Spike, gazing down at the slumbering and immobile vampire. He heard of what had happened the previous night. Not that he had believed it at first, but when he saw Oz’s mangled cage door and the bite marks on Spike’s pale shoulders, he knew that the stories were true.

After the Watcher had discovered that Willow had foolishly disengaged the hindrance spell, he had had Spike chained to the cement pillar with the binds triply reinforced. Spike had some of his strength back but hopefully the tranquilizer Xander had fortuitously shot the vampire with would stay in affect for a while longer. Giles suspected that even if Spike awoke, it would take him a while to recover from the drug since he had lost a fair amount of blood. For now, Giles allowed the bugger to sleep; he at least deserved that much after saving Xander and Willow.

Giles still couldn’t believe that he was actually giving the supposed rescue any creditability. Why would Spike save two humans when he could have easily hightailed it out of there? He had been freed, but had chosen to stay instead, if only just to make sure that Giles’s two most valued team members, two people the Watcher considered to be his surrogate children, hadn’t been turned into werewolf food. It was just too mind-boggling.

Willow had also informed him about what she had heard the vampire mutter as he had deliriously slept. It had confirmed what Giles had suspected, what had sent him bolting like a madman out of the basement, completely stunned by the revelation. Spike loved the girl. He was hopelessly in love with Buffy and was worried sick about her.

Giles hated that he had made the pact with Damon, and though he claimed good intentions, deep down he knew he had just wanted to get his hand on the platinum haired vampire and do horrible things to him. He had wanted justice for Sarah and revenge for the pain Spike had caused him. But now he realized that giving Damon exactly what he had wanted was probably the biggest mistake he’d ever made. According to Spike, Damon was going to go after Buffy and the longer the vampire remained trapped in this basement, the less likely she would be found alive. Yet Giles couldn’t shake his distrust for Spike. How did he know that the vampire was telling the truth? That question was the motivating factor for what he was about to do next.

Tightly gripping the glass of water in his hand, Giles dumped the cold liquid on Spike’s face. The vampire spurted, promptly stirring him awake. His head was pounding something fierce and it took a few moments for his eyes to focus, the hazy fog from the tranq drug slowly subsiding. He groaned when he felt the pinch of the rusty old chains against his bare chest, groggily glancing to his sides to see that he was snugly secured to the same pillar. Spike hissed when he felt the air hit the werewolf bite wounds he’d sustained the night before from fending off the sodding overgrown dog. He tried to ignore the pain as he blearily stared up at Giles. “What you want now?”

Giles didn’t answer Spike’s question, lowering the empty drinking glass to the floor as he picked up a spell book and an already lit bundle of sacred, yet considerably stinky, herbs. Whisking billows of the incense over Spike’s head, Giles ignored the befuddled looks coming from the vampire.

“What the bloody hell are you doing? What? You gonna aromatherapy me to death?” Spike sarcastically inquired, his slightly muffled voice croaking.

“No. I just need to make sure you’re telling the truth,” Giles explained, continuing to wave the stick of burning herbs above Spike.

The semi-alert vampire growled softly in annoyance. “Great. Another spell. Anybody ever tell you ‘bout the consequences of magic, mate?”

“Only use it in necessary circumstances. And determining if you’re being truthful about Buffy’s whereabouts is quite necessary,” Giles half mindedly stated as he flipped through the spell book, finding the right page.

The overwhelming rage that rapidly bubbled up within Spike permitted his mind a short reprieve of clarity from the persistent residual grogginess of the tranquilizer. He wished he had the strength to rip off the chains that were holding him down so that he could the rip the fucking has-been Watcher a new one.

“You fucking tellin’ me that you coulda used a soddin’ truth spell in the first place?!” Spike heatedly screamed at Giles, his wild azure eyes were large, sparkling with blinded fury.

At Giles’s non-responsive behavior, Spike went berserk. “You fucking pillock! I knew you were a sick sadistic prick! Just had to lay it on me, didn’t ya? I swear to God if Buffy dies I will kill you! And I’ll make sure you get every ounce of mercy you showed me,” he madly shouted. As quickly as it had appeared, the short spurt of adrenaline that had allowed for his outburst had swiftly disappeared, leaving Spike feeling even weaker than when the witch had had cast her hindrance spell. Panting for unnecessary breath, he exhaustedly continued, suddenly taking on an eerie, whispering tone. “Better pray she’s okay, Watcher. Wouldn’t want to be in your shoes if she’s not.”

Giles continued to ignore Spike’s threats, desperately trying to hide his trembling hand as he suppressed the gnawing fear the vampire’s words had involuntarily induced. Giles could act as tough as he’d like but he was still only human, and very much afraid of what an enraged vampire like Spike could do to him.

Clearing the fright from his throat, the Watcher began to read from the spell book. “Elobe, enemy, be now, quiet. Let your deceitful tongue be quelled. Let no untruths be spoken. Remove your insincere intentions. So with these words, let thy deceitful will vanish, and let the true essence of this creature emerge,” the Watcher finished, slamming the book shut in his one hand.

“How we ‘sposed to know if your lil’ incantation worked?” Spike grumbled as he looked around to see if anything around him had changed.

“Are you a vampire?” Giles asked to test out the spell.

“Yes,” Spike instantly blurted out, a bemused expression contorting his face. “Bloody hell. Didn’t even give me a chance to think.”

“That’s the point,” the Watcher retorted, slightly irritated. “Where is Buffy?”

Again Spike’s mouth flew open, responding to Giles’s question before he could even mentally comprehend what exactly was being asked. “At the main house.” Spike growled. “Alright! You got what you needed, now lemme go!” he demanded, straining against his restraints though he barely had enough energy to keep his head up.

Giles however readied to ask another question. “Do you love Buffy?”


Spike’s eyes were wide in bewilderment, his pallor appearing to have turned a few shades paler. “You knew?”

“Willow and Xander heard you in your sleep,” Giles stated, hoping it would be enough of an explanation. He didn’t really want to get into the semantics of his own deductions from their last encounter.

The vampire stared down at the floor, once again confused, his eyes flicking back and forth as he tried to remember what he had dreamt about. The images of Buffy lying dead on her bed, the sheets soaked, stained in her crimson splattered blood, with Damon’s brutal marks covering his own on the white-blue skin of her neck, all flooded back to him. He must have unconsciously uttered those three little words out loud in his restless sleep when the witch and that moronic whelp were watching over him. They must have told Giles. Spike didn’t know whether he liked the idea of the ex-Watcher knowing about his true feelings for Buffy. It held a bit of power over him, made him vulnerable, which in the hands of his enemies was a dangerous weapon. Giles now knew his one and only weakness, his proverbial green kryptonite, but if the Watcher was the white hat, do-gooder type he made himself out to be, Spike shouldn’t have anything to worry about. In theory, with this newfound information, Giles would release him; wish him on his merry way to save the girl. In theory.

Though he had hidden it well, Giles was disturbed by Spike’s affirmation of love for the missing California girl. Even if Spike sincerely thought he was in love with Buffy, but was actually projecting some sort of morbid obsession instead, he would have answered ‘no’. The spell was a truth spell, it revealed actual fact, and not what Spike believed felt was true. Yet the moral quandary lay in the fact that he had answered ‘yes’. If Spike, a vampire, could learn to genuinely love someone, could other vampires as well? Were other vampires capable of love? Was it a love solely for Buffy or did he also have other feelings toward general humanity? The incident with Oz last night told Giles that perhaps it was possible. Was Spike growing a conscience?

Removing his glasses, he pinched the bridge of his nose as the questions circled around in his head. The previous night’s sleep had been restless for Giles; his inner demons had spent the majority of his semi-conscious hours battling with the guilt he could no longer stave off. Did exacting revenge in the name of one girl, justify the possible death of another? If Spike was telling the truth about Damon, Giles might have unwillingly condemned the girl to an early grave. Not to mention that the shame of his recent actions had also surfaced. He had woken up that morning, unable to look at himself in the mirror. If Sarah were still alive, she’d be incredibly disappointed in him. Slipping his glasses back on his face, Giles took a deep soothing breath. He now definitely knew what had to be done.

“So now you know. I haven’t been lying. Buffy’s in danger and you need to let me go,” Spike told him calmly, making sure the Watcher understood the seriousness of the situation.

“How do I know you won’t just get up and kill me when I unlock those chains?” Giles asked, slight trepidation evident in his voice.

“I won’t,” immediately flew out of Spike’s mouth. The vampire let out a loud frustrated growl, annoyed by his inability to control his own vocal chords. “Can you bloody well undo the spell already?”

Giles nodded. “Elobe, return.”

“That’s it?” Spike asked skeptically. “Didn’t even have to wave that foul smellin’ herb stick of yours.”

"It’s inactivated,” Giles reassured as he pulled out a set of keys. “Now when I unlock these chains…”

His words were cut off by the sudden crash of shattering glass, two dark figures slipping their way into the basement through the only two small windows. Before he could react, a fist flew at Giles, knocking him out cold.

“It’s about time you two got here,” Spike griped as he stared up at the welcomed intruders.

“Took a while to track you down,” Vincent explained as he worked the chains, trying to ignore the horrible shape his leader was in.

Natasha stared down at the human she’d punched out. “Wouldn’t have taken so long if you had told someone about the raid on the warehouse,” she complained as she scanned the room, her brown eyes finally making out the leather duster draped over the back of a foldout chair that was in one dark corner. Walking to it, the vampiress pulled it off the chair, picking up a set of keys out of Giles’s relaxed hand as she made her way to Spike’s side to undo the locks.

When the chains clanked to the floor, Spike slowly rose to his feet, his knees aching terribly from having spent his whole stay in that basement in a constantly crouched position. He wobbled a bit, feeling dizzy. He hadn’t fully recovered yet; his vamp healing was starting to gradually kick in but he needed to feed if he wanted to speed it along. Spike didn’t have time for that, though. He had to get to Buffy.

Without needing to be told, Natasha slipped the duster on Spike while Vincent stood at his side, supporting him as they headed to one of the windows to make a discreet getaway. Natasha stopped, with the other two vampires also halting at her sudden pause. Glancing over her shoulder, she stared at the unconscious Watcher. “Shouldn’t we kill him first?”

Spike wasn’t surprised by the question. Giles was after all Damon’s co-conspirator. He was the human that had dared to inflict pain on their leader. Spike was surprised he didn’t have to restrain Natasha from exterminating the nuisance of a Watcher. He looked back at the man on the cement floor and slowly shook his platinum head. “There’s no time.” It was the only explanation Spike gave. His real reason however lay in what had transpired between him and Giles. The cathartic hours of torture, both physical and emotional, had provided a rare insight into one another’s’ psyches. Spike wouldn’t necessarily call it a truce, or even dare to presume that all was forgiven, but he did feel like him and the Watcher had an understanding. It was why Giles had been about to free Spike and in return, it was the reason why the vampire let him live. Spike figured he owed the Watcher as much, seeing as how he killed his Slayer.

With that last thought, Spike slipped out of the basement window with his friends’ assistance. The cold night air hit the wounds on the parts of his chest that weren’t concealed by his duster, making the pain he thought that had subsided return with a vengeance. The blood loss was making the world spin all round him, making it near impossible to walk in a straight line. Even though he could barely stand upright, Spike didn’t let it deter him. The clock was ticking. He needed to kill Damon before the asshole could lay a finger on Buffy.


Buffy wrapped the covers tighter around her shivering body as she stared out the room’s large window, watching the last hints of light in the sky fade into the dark of night. She had to get up; the blanket of sunlight that protected her during the day, the only time when she could get her few fitful hours of sleep, was gone. Groaning, she threw the blankets off of her as she enfolded the red shirt she was wearing around her small form. It was Spike’s, the one he had taken off that last day she had seen him, the day he had disappeared. Buffy had opted to wear it instead of her pjs for the past two nights, finding comfort in its scent. It still smelled like him.

Pulling out her crudely fashioned stake from under her pillow, Buffy sat diligently on the bed, bringing her chin down to her drawn up knees as her hazel eyes settled upon the wooden door on the other side of the room. Ever since Vincent and Natasha had told her Spike was missing, the lonely dangerous nights had almost become unbearable. It was the third night she was to stay up and wait. Wait to see if it would be that night when a vampire would finally make its way up to her room. She tried to be brave, but the anxiety of not knowing if this day would be her last was finally taking its toll. She was beyond paranoia; every creek, every breeze of wind sent her onto full out alert mode. Buffy was exhausted and just wanted this perpetual nightmare to end.

Reading William’s journal no longer provided the much needed distraction like it once had. In the long dark hours that she was awake, she tried to keep her mind sharp and her body ready for the inevitable. Yet as hard as she tried, her thoughts would wander to what had happened the day Spike left. Her regret would rematerialize at least once a night. Buffy knew that if he were to just walk through those doors, she’d forgive him. At this point, she’d even be willing to beg him for forgiveness.

Seconds of waiting would pass into minutes which would then form into hours. Hours of deafening silence without the slightest indication as to what her fate would be. She didn’t want to fall asleep, but the darkness of the room and the soft mattress beneath her were just too welcoming. It didn’t help either that she’d only gotten about three hours of sleep during the day. Her eyes drooped, opening and closing as she halfheartedly fought off the wave of fatigue that threatened to put an end to her night watch.

Her eyes opened.




Opened…to Damon, who was menacingly smiling at her from the open doorway.

“Hello, Buffy.”

His words instantly snapped her out of her stupor and she flew to her feet, jumping behind the big bed to put it between her and the vampire. Getting into fighting stance, desperately hoping her black belt skills weren’t too rusty, she raised her stake in her right hand while holding out her left to block. This was what she’d been dreading. Damon was here to kill her.

Damon chuckled as he swaggered into the room, looking like a wolf on the prowl. His grey eyes mischievously ran over her body, taking note of her defensive posture. It only made him laugh louder.

Buffy couldn’t pinpoint it at first, but there was something about the laughter that seemed so familiar. The way her body responded to it, shivering and having the strangest urge to run for her life, was also very unsettling.

The dream.

She almost dropped her stake when she realized that Damon’s laugh was the exact same one that had plagued her nightmares for weeks. A wash of memories soon invaded her mind, bringing her back to the night she had been kidnapped. She had been running out of the club, into a back alleyway, fleeing from the laughter as a vampire chased her. The details of that fateful evening were still a little hazy but now looking back, Buffy knew it was Damon who had been that unknown vamp. She remembered getting later cornered by a group of vampires and though she couldn’t recall, she assumed Damon had been amongst them, no doubt leading the pack. Buffy had beaten them off as best she could but one vampire almost did her in. Luckily, or unluckily depending on which way you looked at it, Vincent and Natasha had shown up, pulling the vampire off of her and claiming her for the Master instead.

It all made perfect sense now. That night was subconsciously haunting her and that laughter was the soundtrack. Though she tried, she couldn’t tune it out. Damon’s derange cackling was still as chilling as the first time she’d heard it.

“Well, aren’t you the poster girl for wannabe Vampire Slayers everywhere?” the vampire coyly asked as the strolled toward her.

“Don’t you dare get any closer,” Buffy warned, her voice tight, not wanting him to know how terrified she was.

Damon kept on moving forward, unheeding her warning, the stupid arrogant smile still plastered on his face as he took a long whiff of the concentrated fear in the air. “What’re you gonna do? Stake me?”

“You can count on it,” Buffy sourly retorted, her grip on her stake tightening.

Damon let out a muffled giggle before glancing up at the ceiling, shouting in disbelief. “God, you’re so delusional!”

Buffy jumped a little at the outburst but she kept firm, refusing to be intimidated. She knew she had been right to dislike Damon; he was a complete psycho!

Damon marched closer to the bed, which made Buffy take a few steps back in retreat. “Your little karate moves might work on a fledge who’s got his back turned, but never on me,” he stated, placing his hands down on the bed top as he leaned forward, his face shifting into its vampire manifestation. “I sure as hell ain’t no fledge.”

With a roar, Damon leapt into the air, jumping over the bed to where Buffy was. She bolted from him, instinctively choosing flight over fight, trying to get the hell away as she ran to the open door. She suddenly felt herself get forcefully knocked down, sending her stake out of her hand as it skidded across the white tiled floor. Turning over, she looked up to see Damon, standing over her, still in game face.

“Spike didn’t put up much of a fight either,” Damon cheerfully remarked, loving the unadulterated terror in her large sparkling eyes. And her scent! Oh, it was nothing but pure fear coming off of this girl.

Buffy felt her throat close up as she inched away from the vampire. Had Damon killed Spike? She started to get up to run away when he effortlessly picked her up and threw her across the room. Buffy flew over the black leather couch, painfully landing on the floor between it and the television. Groaning, she tried to pick herself up, ignoring the searing pain in her ribs and hip. Reaching beneath the couch, she pulled out the second stake she kept hidden there. Quickly tucking it away in the sleeve of Spike’s red shirt, she stood back up and readied herself to face Damon again.

“Is that all you got?” Buffy defiantly asked, wheezing out a cough.

Damon’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “No, it’s not,” he answered, walking to her.

Buffy slowly backed away around one end of the couch as Damon rounded the other. She kept a good distance between herself and the vamp, using the large black sofa as an obstacle he would have to cross to get to her. ‘Okay, let’s try this again,’ she thought as she resumed the fighting stance she had abandoned earlier. Buffy grew worried when Damon didn’t move; he only stood there trying to suppress the boisterous macabre laughter that seemed to be consistently coming out of his mouth. ‘Is this guy on a permanent supply of nitrous oxide or something?’

“I’ve been waiting for this since the moment I laid eyes on you,” he stated casually, his gaze roaming over her body. Buffy didn’t say anything, watching carefully for any change in demeanor, anticipating for his swift lunge over the couch.

“I knew you were going to be trouble. Spike took too much of a liking to you,” he said as he slowly walked around the big piece of furniture. With every step he took forward, Buffy took two back, gradually retreating toward the open door.

Damon’s grey eyes settled on the wounds on her neck, a wide smile splaying across his lips. “I wonder how sweet you taste.”

Freaked by his comment, Buffy erroneously turned her back to the vamp, sprinting for the exit. A growl reached her ears and before she knew it, Damon was standing right in front of her, blocking her path to the door. She flinched at the unexpectedness of his appearance, inwardly cursing that damned vampire speed.

“Ah, ah, ah. We’re not done here yet, Buffy,” he gleefully said, waving his finger in her face.

She had had enough. Buffy laid into Damon, throwing punch after punch, which unfortunately he seemed to easily duck and dodge. She finally pulled out the stake she had hidden and tried to plunge it into his chest, but before the wooden tip could even tickle his chest, the vampire caught her by the wrist, twisting it behind her back as he spun her around. Damon grabbed her other flaying arm and secured both appendages to her lower back, yanking the weapon out of her hand and assertively tossing it to the floor. Holding on tight, he lowered his misshapen face to her ear, growling lightly as she continued to struggle against him.

“You don’t remember, do you?” he throatily whispered.

“What the hell are you talking about,” Buffy asked, still trying to break free from his hold.

“The night we captured you, before the raid, you were on the dance floor,” he started to explain, his creepy calm voice sending shivers down Buffy’s spine. “I was there too, ya know. Checking things out, scouting out the club. Don’t you remember me Buffy? You should, you smiled at me.”

At first Buffy thought Damon was completely full of shit, that he was only doing it to mess with her head. Then she remembered she had given a tall, dark and handsome hottie on the other side of the dance floor one of her flirty, ‘come and get it’ looks. It couldn’t have been Damon though. She would have recognized him from that night. Damon was a total creep and she so would not hit on him…right? Buffy’s mind raced, trying to relate the image of Damon that she had come to know these past few months with the chaotic memories of that night. Almost as though something within her head clicked, she knew. Buffy gasped at the realization. It was him.

“I knew you’d remember,” Damon chuckled hoarsely.

“So I smiled at you. Big whoop. I still don’t know what you’re trying to get at?” Buffy angrily wondered.

Damon’s hold on her shifted, taking her two rebellious hands in his one strong grasp. Raising the free hand to her neck, he traced Spike’s bite marks. It didn’t elicit any kind of a response from her, like when Spike touched her, other than a slight shudder from its unexpectedness.

“W-what are you doing?” Buffy asked, somewhat sickened by his gentle caress.

“Wanna know a secret?” he answered with another question, ignoring Buffy’s distressed query. Not waiting for her response, he continued. “You were supposed to be mine.”

“What the fuck are you talking about?” she gritted out, officially getting freaked out by Damon’s change in attitude.

Spining her around so that she faced him, he firmly kept her hands locked behind her as he crushed Buffy’s body against his. She gasped when she felt his burgeoning erection grind against her stomach. As her terrified stare locked with his hungry amber gaze, Buffy knew it wasn’t just her blood that he wanted. Squirming in his grip, Buffy wriggled, thrashed and kicked but to no avail. She couldn’t break free. This couldn’t be happening. The mere thought of Damon touching her in any way, especially in a sexual manner, made her want to violently retch.

“Yeah well, I’m not yours. I’m Spike’s,” she replied with conviction as she disgustedly looked him in the eyes.

“Actually, you belong to the Master of this clan,” Damon good-humoredly corrected. “And with Spike gone, guess what that makes me?”

Before she could respond, Damon threw her again, tossing her through the air and onto the large bed. With another roar, he pounced on top of her, loving how she futilely attempted to fight him off. Straddling her thighs as he pinned her arms over her head, Damon leered at her flustered flushing face, seeing the searing hatred burning in her hazel eyes as she glared up at him.

“That night, when I saw you dancing, I knew I wanted you,” he told her huskily, lowering one hand down the curves of her body. “I wanted to make you mine.”

“I’d rather die,” Buffy gritted out, completely repulsed.

Damon slapped her across the face. “Shut up!” he hollered. “I saw you first! I fucking spent the night running after you! And I sent my minions out to bring you in! Not Spike!” Damon madly ranted.

His hand slowly returned to where it had been traveling, stroking the swell of her breast above the silk barrier of Spike’s red shirt. He giggled a little. “Then Tash and Vince come along and say that we gotta bring something back for Spike. Gotta make sure the boss is happy. So of course they take you away cuz you were the only thing still left alive,” he bitterly remarked. “He took you away from me.”

Buffy shuddered, unable to extricate herself from his molesting touch. “Get the fuck off of me!” she furiously ordered.

Again he ignored her. “I didn’t get to claim you, drink from you. I didn’t get to turn you,” he lamented before he broke out into another fit of giggles. “Then…then Spike had the fucking nerve to keep you alive!” he bellowed, his hand traveling down her body. “If he had offed you, made a meal of you like a vamp’s supposed to do, I could have gotten over it. But instead, he keeps you around, gets blind sighted, forgetting about us, his own fucking clan! He even rubs it in our faces and fucks you for all of us to see. His precious little Buffy,” he bitterly snarled, as his hand snuck beneath the hem of the red shirt, skimming the toned muscles of her stomach before tracing the waist band of her panties.

Buffy shouted, thrashing beneath him, trying to pull away. “No…don’t touch me,” she growled as she desperately struggled against his vice-like grip.

“Bet I know why he keeps you alive,” he lustfully commented as one of his fingers slipped beneath her underwear, teasingly stroking the milky smooth skin near her sex, making it involuntarily quiver.

Buffy thought she was going to throw up. A mixture of fear, anger and pure revulsion boiled within her. She felt the tears start to well up, but she fought them back; Buffy didn’t want to give Damon the fucking pleasure of seeing her cry. He could rape her, violate her, kill her but she refused to let him see her cry.

“When Spike gets back, he will kill you,” she stated matter-of-factly, pushing away the fear that threatened to trigger the panic that was on the verge of taking her over.

Damon lowered his face to hers, smiling widely at her determinedly sickened face. “Don’t you mean if Spike gets back?” he smugly retorted, moving his mouth to her neck with a rumble in his throat. “Even if he isn’t dusted, it won’t matter. You’ll be mine, in every sense of the word,” he quietly whispered against her throat, his fangs grazing against Spike’s marks on her neck, ready to plunge into the column of flesh.

“No,” Buffy weakly pleaded, her body unable to fend him off any longer, unwillingly caving into her exhaustion.

She shrieked, when his soft touch suddenly turned rough and ripped off her panties, leaving her bottom half completely exposed. This was it. He was gonna rape her and then turn her into a vampire. She didn’t want to believe Spike was gone for good. She didn’t want to think that even if he did eventually return, he’d be too late. Buffy simply couldn’t stomach the thought of being Damon’s for all eternity. She just couldn’t.

Under her breath, her eyes tightly shut, she tried to escape herself. “He will come for me. He will come for me. He will come for me…” she softly mantraed, hoping it wasn’t a prayer made in vain.

A cold hand grabbed her chin, jerking her head violently. Buffy immediately opened her eyes to see Damon staring down at her, infuriated by the fact that he had been unable to break her spirit. He was rightly pissed that she still believed Spike would save her. “Get it through that air headed, blonde brain of yours. He. Is. NEVER. Coming. Bac–”

Damon was suddenly flying backwards in the air, nearly crashing through the far wall near the door. Buffy blinked a few times, unsure of what had just happened. That was until she peered up and saw Spike standing above her, his chest heaving as he stared down at her. Both fury and sheer terror danced in his sharp blue eyes as he possessively looked over her vulnerable and exposed form. Buffy soon noticed Natasha and Vincent standing a few feet behind him, which made her sit up to cover herself for decency’s sake. Her focus returned to Spike, her eyes sparkling as pure happiness played across her face. He was back.

“’llo luv,” Spike said, smiling brightly at her, before dropping to his knees and partly collapsing into her arms.

Buffy panicked. “Spike? Spike?” she desperately tried to wake him. She then noticed the bruises and cuts on his face, and she could feel something wet dripping down her leg. Shifting her gaze to the floor, she saw blood pooling at her feet. “Oh, God. Spike.”

Her eyes instantly flew past the two silent vampires, searching for the one responsible for Spike’s present state. Yet, when her focus landed on the far wall, Damon was gone; only a small indentation in the cracking drywall remained. Glancing to Natasha and Vincent, she realized they had also noticed the renegade vampire’s departure.

“Take care of Spike. We’ll deal with Damon,” Vincent said, his voice devoid of any emotion though his eyes sparkled with unsung rage. The two turned on their heels and marched out the door, leaving Buffy alone with Spike.

Staring down at his platinum blonde head in her lap, his body kneeling before her, unconscious to the world, she finally allowed the tears to fall. Bellowing out a guttural sob, she lowered her head to Spike’s, crying into his disheveled platinum curls. Her tears were for what she had been through, for the pain Spike had had to endure, and for the fear that still dwelled within her that she would never see him again. But mostly, they were happy tears, momentously joyful in the fact that Spike had been returned to her. From now on, Buffy had the reassurance that everything would be alright, and even if it was a little presumptuous, she didn’t care.

Her Spike was back.

A/N: For anyone who isn't a science nerd like me, nitrous oxide is the chemical name for laughing gas.

*Also, part of the truth spell was taken from the episode Something Blue

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