Frozen in Time by SlayrGrl
Summary: Takes place after 7.12 Potential. Buffy accidentally makes a wish to have more time to spend with Spike. The next morning she wakes up to see that the world is frozen except for the two of them. For Buffy to break the spell she will need to confront her feelings for Spike.
Nominated for Best Buffy Characterization, Most Origional Plot, and Best General Romance.
Photobucket
Categories: General Fics Characters: None
Genres: Romance
Warnings: Sexual Situations
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 7 Completed: Yes Word count: 10022 Read: 16373 Published: 01/09/2009 Updated: 01/15/2009

1. The Unnoticed Wish by SlayrGrl

2. What the Hell is Going on by SlayrGrl

3. Getting Things out of the Way by SlayrGrl

4. Among Statues by SlayrGrl

5. To Break the Spell by SlayrGrl

6. Wake Up's by SlayrGrl

7. To End it All by SlayrGrl

The Unnoticed Wish by SlayrGrl
Xander knocks… no reply. Slowly he pushes Buffy’s bedroom door open prepared to complain about the irritating potentials who’ve taken over the kitchen. The door squeaks as it opens. Xander gazes into the room and as he does what he was planning to say falls flat on his lips. All he can do is stand agape at the sight before him.

“Buffy, what are you doing?” He blurts out loudly. His eyes are frozen to her naked form lying there beside Spike with only a white sheet to cover them. Buffy and Spike had been asleep, but Xander’s words have now woken them. Now Buffy pulls the sheet up to cover herself better as she sees her best friend standing there before her.

“Xander…” Buffy says with a fearful tone. She glances behind her at the vampire who’s wrapped his arm around her waist. When she looks back at the door Xander walks away with disbelief plastered across his face. Quickly Buffy get’s up and throws on a pair of jeans and a tank top and follows Xander down the hall. Within seconds Spike is right behind her pulling his shirt on as he makes his way down the stairs. “Xander wait…” Buffy calls out, and Xander stops at the end of the stairs to face her.

--

The Day Before…

Eshana could feel her pain from continents away. Vengeance demon by trade, Eshana specializes in mending broken hearts, usually though inflicting pain upon those who broke said hearts, but she's known to grant any wish that would mend one even if it didn’t involve causing pain and suffering. Everyone had their niche in the business and that was hers.

Eshana finds herself drawn to the lovely little southern Californian town of Sunnydale from the pain of one particularly strong woman. Eshana wonders to herself how a woman so strong could have so much hurt. Her pain is so intense that it greatly overshadows the evil energy which radiates from Hellmouth. Something big is coming, she knows it, everyone knows it, but that didn’t mean she was going to stop doing her job, and if anyone deserved her services it was Buffy Summers.

She had slipped into the Summer’s home easily enough. Everyone there was so consumed with thoughts of the impending battle that her presence was easily overlooked. It was as if she were just another potential slayer. Of course having done a tiny little spell before entering the home didn’t hurt either. Once inside it became apparent to Eshana very quickly that there was something between this Buffy Summers and another occupant in the house. Every time the bleached blonde individual was near her soon to be wish recipient the air became thick with all sorts of unexpressed emotions and unresolved conflict. Eshana spends the whole day there simply observing the two of them. She sees the little glances that pass between them, looks of opportunities lost and of a romance that has never had the ability to reach its pull potential.

Long after the sun has set and all glimpses of a crimson sky have turned to black Eshana plans to make her move. Buffy has now returned from patrol and Eshana watches the young blonde leader meander through the house. She can feel the pain from her broken heart deep in her bones as if it were screaming at her. How can no one else see it when it’s so obvious? She can tell that the tiny blonde has put up walls and tried to trap the pain inside, but it isn’t enough. Buffy Summers wants to be loved and she wants to be loved by him, Eshana knows it as surely as she knows that the sun will rise in the morning.

Things are starting to settle down within the residence now. The potentials squirm around in living room attempting to get comfortable on the hard wood floor. Xander twists and turns on the couch and Andrew is curled up in one of the chairs trying to sleep in a very unnatural position. Eshana looks them all over and then slowly walks up the stairs. She knows the vampire has vanished to the basement long ago and that in two of the upstairs bedrooms she would find Willow in one and Dawn sleeping in the other. She walks past them and makes her way to the last bedroom at the end of the hall. There is still a soft glow of light from under the door. With a soft knock Eshana pushes the door open and finds Buffy standing at her dresser.

Buffy turns toward the door as she hears it open and sees who she believes to be a dark haired and tanned potential.

“Buffy, can I talk to you for a minute?” Eshana asks.

“Uh, yeah… what do you need… um…”

“…Eshana.”

“Right, sorry…”

“Its okay, you’ve got a lot going on here. I don’t think anyone gives you enough credit for how much you hold things together.”

“Yeah well… it’s all part of the job ya know.”

“That’s actually what I want to talk about… the whole slayer gig; it must interfere with your personal life a lot huh?”

“Fighting the forces of darkness doesn’t leave a lot of time for relationships, no, but it’s not all bad, you make time for things sometimes.”

“Like Spike…” The question catches Buffy off guard.

“…Uh… look, if you’re worried that you’re gonna be the next slayer and that your life is going to get turned upside down… don’t worry… I’m not planning on dying anytime soon.”

“I’m sorry, I um… I didn’t mean to… I just see how you are around him; you really used to care about him didn’t you?”

“Spike and I… I don’t know… it’s complicated, and I wish that I had more time to figure it out, but I don’t… We’re in the middle of something big and that’s what being a slayer is all about. It’s not about giving things up; it’s about putting what’s important first… We’ll get through this battle. We always do.”

“Thanks, that’s exactly what I needed to hear,” Eshana says while smiling at Buffy. She still had it, getting a wish out of her had been even easier then she thought it would be. Buffy smiles back and Eshana and watches as the young girl exits the room. There's something odd about that potential but Buffy dismisses the thought and gets ready for bed.

Eshana closes the door behind her with a soft smile crawling across her face as she walks into the hall. I wish I had more time to figure it out. Eshana’s face turns to that of her vengeance demon visage “wish granted,” she says.
What the Hell is Going on by SlayrGrl
Slowly groggy green eyes open to stare at the white ceiling above. The sun shines through the window lighting up the room. As Buffy turns her head to glance at her alarm clock she feels peacefulness in the room. It’s quiet. The clock reads 7:12 in glowing red numbers. Then Buffy rolls on to her back. It’s quiet. It’s too quiet, completely soundless actually. Buffy sits straight up in bed. There is no pitter patter of potential slayers, no sounds of girls arguing over who gets the bathroom first, and no beeping of the microwave from Andrew’s experiments.

Buffy gets up and walks out of the room. Something is off. She makes her way into the hall and down the stairs. It’s too quiet. Even her own steps seem muffled as she walks. Buffy walks into the living room and sees Xander asleep on the couch, Andrew curled up in the chair and a mass of potentials sleeping on the floor. At first glance they’re just sleeping, but on further scrutiny Buffy notices something odd. They’re all still, perfectly still. They’re not moving at all, they’re not even breathing. For a moment Buffy is frightened, but then she realizes that her friends aren’t dead. They’re just motionless, as if they were frozen in time.

“What the hell is going on?”

Buffy runs back up the stairs and peers into Willows room. Same thing, Buffy looks at Willow; her arm is outstretched hitting the top of her alarm clock. 7:12 that was the same time that her clock read when she had first woken up, but that had been at least five minutes ago. Buffy starts to get panicked as she glances into Dawn’s room and then rushes back down the stairs after finding her sister in the same condition. She opens the front door and walks outside. There is a red car in the road. It’s not moving, but not parked. There’s no breeze and no sound of any kind. Buffy glances around. Everything is frozen as if she were standing in a photograph.

Buffy walks back into the house. Then she hears it. Sound. Muffled footsteps, someone is coming up the basement stairs. As the basement door opens it creeks, although no where near as loud as it should. Buffy watches as Spike walks out into the kitchen running his fingers through his tussled blonde curls. She sighs loudly with relief that she’s not the only active person in this motionless world. Then she watches as Spike stops dead in his tracks.

Spike knew instantly when he woke up that something was wrong. His internal clock was off and the air around him felt stale. He made his way upstairs and into the kitchen then... Stop. Spike focuses his eyes on a tiny insect. After coming up the stairs he saw it. Its presence is not as surprising as the fact that it’s not moving. The fly floats in the air hanging suspended in time. Spike looks at the fly with amazement and confusion then his vision focuses on something in the distance. He sees Buffy.

“What the bloody hell is going on?”

“My words exactly,” Buffy responds.

--

Buffy sits at the head of the dining room table with her head in a book. Violently she flips through the pages of the ancient text. However, she doesn’t really know what she’s looking for. Spike walks into the room with a mug of blood in his hand. He leans in the door frame and stares at her.

“You’re not going to find anything in there,” he says as he takes a sip from his mug then stares down at the crimson liquid and notices its flat taste. It’s not old or spoiled, just flat, like soda that’s lost its fizz.

“Well we have to do something, what do you think we should…” Buffy starts to say then stops as she notices Spike staring oddly at his mug of blood “what? What’s wrong?”

“It tastes funny?”

“It’s not bad I just bought it ye…”

“No, not like that… I don’t know how to explain it… look, Slayer, we’re not going to fix this by sticking our heads in a bunch of stuffy books… this, whatever it is, it’s obviously magical. Some sort of spell that’s been bollixed up or what have you.”

“Great, so how do we undo it?”

“I don’t know.”

“Real helpful Spike.”

“I don’t know because I don’t know what caused it… all spells have a purpose right? I think our best bet to get the world back on its rotation is to figure out what that is, an considering you and I are the only two not affected I’m thinking that it has something to do with one of us.”

Buffy listens to his words then her facial expression falls as realization of what’s happening comes to mind. I wish I had more time to figure it out. Her own words about her feelings for Spike run through her head. Eshana was a vengeance demon. She glances up at the blonde vampire before her. He was what this was all about. Her uncertainty about him is what kept the two of them in this limbo land of frozen pictures. Once she figured out how she really felt for him everything should go back to normal, she hoped.

“What is it love?” Spike asks. She can’t tell him, her feelings for him are not something she should be looking into right now, there are more important things to deal with; but if she didn’t figure out what he meant to her they might never break the spell. Of course she didn’t have to figure that out right now. With the world frozen she had more time to think, more time to plan for the big battle, maybe she could use this to her advantage and get ahead of the First.

“The First,” she responds.

“What?”

“The First… we have to figure out how to stop him.”

“Right, that’s been the objective for months now slayer, where’ve you been?”

“No, the spell… the spell is so that we have time to figure out how to defeat the First.”

“Okay, well that’s good, mind sharing how it is that you know this bit of info?”

“I made a wish to a vengeance demon… well I didn’t know she was a vengeance demon at the time, but I said that I wished I had more time to figure things out… with the First, so maybe to break the spell we need to find a way to defeat him.”

Spike looks at Buffy a little oddly. Her explanation doesn’t completely make sense. Spike is still confused as to why it is that he and she are the only ones not frozen, and he can tell that she’s hiding something; however he decides to leave it alone and not question her further. Whatever she was hiding she was doing it for a reason. Spike sits down at the table adjacent to her and grabs a book.

“Alright,” he says “let’s get a move on then.”
Getting Things out of the Way by SlayrGrl
Eshana is checking in. Buffy and Spike are unaware that she is looking over them and their frozen world. She sees that Buffy isn’t using her gift for its intended purpose. Follow ups aren’t required of vengeance demons, but Eshana likes to make sure that her customers are completely satisfied, and right now Buffy Summers was not. No wonder Buffy had so much pain; she wasn’t allowing herself to deal with her relationship issues. Buffy’s walls are taller and thicker then Eshana had first thought. She decides that she’ll just have to help move things along a little. With her will she pulls forth a book, an ancient text from an abandoned land. Eshana holds the book in her hands and flips through its aged papers covered in words from a language that has been long forgotten.

“Well that won’t be very helpful,” the vengeance demon says as she runs her hand across the cover of the text. When she opens the book again all the words are in English. “There,” she says as she makes the book vanish from her hands and appear on the dining room table before Buffy and Spike. They don’t notice its appearance, but Eshana knows soon they will be flipping through its pages and once they do they’ll find their answers. Once Buffy has her answers then she can have what she wished for.

--

Buffy grunts as she tosses another book back into the stack on the dining room table. Spike looks up at her sneaking a glance at her frustrated face through his lashes. She has those pouty lips that Spike has always found to be extremely cute. He closes the book that he has in front of him and looks straight at her catching her stare.

“Think maybe we should take a break love?”

She pouts her lips again “no,” she says drawing out the ‘o’ in a childish way and grabs another book from the pile in front of her. Spike gets up from the table.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a bit peckish myself.”

“I’m fine.”

“Just as well I suppose, if my blood tastes off I’d assume everything else does as well.”

Buffy flips through the book before her as Spike digs through the fridge in search of another packet of blood. He wasn’t sure how long it had been since his last mug. He had no sense of time what so ever. It was an odd feeling not knowing how long they’d been reading or what time of day it should be. As he reaches further into the fridge he sees that they’re out of blood and turns back to head into the dining room. He stares at Buffy reading through a thick old text and knows that she won’t find anything. Willow and the scoobies have read through all of these a dozen times over. There has to be another reason for their situation.

“Buffy… this just doesn’t add up, if we’re supposed to be figuring out how to best the big bad why is it you and I are the only ones…”

“Found it.”

“Found what?”

“Right here it says… the dagger of hope can send The First evil back to its realm, how did we miss this before?”

A look of total confusion crosses Spike’s face as he moves to Buffy’s side. He looks over her shoulder to read where she’s pointing to. His hand is resting on the back of Buffy’s chair. As he leans in close to her Buffy feels the tips of his fingers graze her back. He’s so close to her as he reads that Buffy can’t help but think about what she had really wished for. She knows she has feelings for him, everyone knows, but she still doesn’t know what she wants. So much has happened between them, she doesn’t know if they could ever even talk about all of it, but then again they do have all the time in the world at the moment.

“The dagger must be stabbed into an individual when they are possessed by the First…” Spike reads drawing Buffy out of her reverie. “Well I guess that’s it then, any idea of how to find this dagger love?”

--

“Ugh, this is getting me no where?” Buffy says as she puts her head down on the table in a huff. Spike looks at her with a soft smile playing across his lips. Her golden curls are sprawled across the table as her head rests on the pages of a book. Spike thinks to himself that he would very much like to run his fingers through those curls, but he resists the urge to do so.

“I take it that book doesn’t tell you where to find this mystical dagger trinket?” Spike says and Buffy raises her head to look at him. As she looks up she finds herself staring into his blue eyes. For just a moment all they do is stare, then Spike ducks his head. When he looks back up at her he says “Why don’t you take a break love, it’s not like we have to be rushed.”

Buffy thinks over his suggestion. She doesn’t know how long they’d been reading, but it's been long enough and taking a break sounds like a good idea to her. “Alright,” she says and watches Spike’s face light up just ever so slightly. “What should we do?” she asks him.

--

Buffy sits at the breakfast counter while Spike is fixing her something in the kitchen. She leans her elbows on the island, one arm flat on the counter and the other bent so she can run her fingers through her hair. As the microwave beeps Spike pulls two white coffee mugs from it and turns around handing one to Buffy. Then he props himself up onto the counter next to the sink and sits there leaning against the cabinets. Buffy takes a sip of her hot chocolate and sets the mug back on the counter still holding on to it. Buffy thinks to herself that it does taste funny, but the gesture was so sweet that she doesn’t want to mention it.

“It’s just like mom used to make… even has the little marshmallows,” Buffy says as she watches Spike take a sip from his mug.

“Yeah, well those were always the best part.”

“…thanks.”

“You’re welcome pet.”

“Not just for this… thanks for everything. Thanks for being here.”

“You’d be just fine without me.”

“Maybe… maybe not, but it’s been easier having you around.”

Spike just nods in understanding of what Buffy has said. It isn’t much but it means a lot that she wants him around; especially after… after how things had gone before he left Sunnydale. He knows the soul doesn’t make up for that, but it's good to know that his efforts to make things up to her havn't been in vain. Spike then sets his mug of hot chocolate down on the counter and stands up planning to get more mini marshmallows for his drink, however as he stands he accidentally knocks his mug to the floor. The glass mug breaks into tiny white shards and the hot chocolate spills across the floor.

“Bugger all,” Spike says as he looks down at the mess he’s made.

Buffy and Spike both move to clean up the spilled hot chocolate.

“Here, let me help,” Buffy says as she grabs a roll of paper towel and kneels down to the floor, however she soon realizes that there is only one sheet left on the roll. Spike notices this as well and grabs a pile of newspapers that are lying on the counter. He kneels down next to Buffy and the two of them begin using the paper to soak up the spilled beverage. As they do their fingers touch and they both pause. Their eyes meet as they look up at each other. Kneeling on the floor their faces are mere inches apart and Spike can feel Buffy's warm breath on his face. Buffy’s eyes flutter down to his lips as Spike’s do the same, then Buffy ducks her gaze and looks down at the soaked newspapers. Their moment is broken by what Buffy sees on the wet newspaper before her.

“Spike,” she says getting his attention.

“Uh, sorry love… I didn’t mean to…”

“What? No, Spike. Look at this.”

Buffy pulls the soggy paper from the floor. Both Buff and Spike stare at the Headline title that reads ‘Miracle in Santa Clarita, Hope Dagger relic glows’. They then glance at each other in surprise and bewilderment.

“Well Love, I’d say that solves that problem,” Spike says.
Among Statues by SlayrGrl
Spike throws a blanket over his head as he and Buffy walk out the back door. Their plan is to take Spike’s Desoto to Santa Clarita. They would have taken Buffy’s Mom’s SUV but Buffy sold it the year before when money got tight. Buffy walks out into the sun first and Spike follows. He’s prepared to sizzle a little. Even with the protection from the blanket he always seems to smoke a little, however once he steps out he finds that he doesn’t burn at all. He doesn’t even feel hot from the suns rays.

“Hold up a second Slayer,” Spike says and Buffy turns around to face him. Cautiously he reaches a hand out from under the blanket into the sunlight. Buffy watches as he does for a moment fearful that he will burn himself, but he doesn’t. Spike looks down at his hand lit by the sun and drops the blanket. It pools to the ground. Spike stands in the sun on this motionless day completely stunned. After a moment of shock he looks up at Buffy.

“It must be the spell,” she says with astonishment.

“Right, everything’s frozen… guess that includes the sun’s shining death rays as well.”

“Makes sense… I mean the wind and everything is frozen, so why not.”

Buffy walks up next to Spike observing him with complete amazement in her eyes. As she gets near its then that he realizes how close to him she is and he finds himself looking into her dazzling green eyes. It only takes seconds for him to become captivated by the sight of her. He raises his hand and runs his fingers through her hair looking at them as they move through her golden locks in the light. Then just as suddenly he stops and drops his hand to his side.

“Right, well… we should probably get a move on,” he says.

--

“Here we are then,” Spike says as he and Buffy near the Desoto while walking through the graveyard. The walk over had been an eye opening experience for Spike. While he’s had a few daytime jaunts over to Buffy’s house, he’d never had the time to really pay attention to the way everything looks in the sun. Even with birds frozen in the sky and the silent town of Sunnydale feeling like a ghost town there is still beauty in seeing it all illuminated.

Hidden in the brush behind his crypt Spike uncovers the Desoto moving the branches that hide it to the side. Buffy moves around to the passenger’s side of the car and gets in as Spike gets in on the driver’s seat. He twists the key in the ignition, but there’s no sound. The engine doesn’t even try to rev. He tries again then looks to Buffy.

“It’s been a long while since I’ve taken this baby out… I think it’s safe to say we’re not getting anywhere in her,” Spike says.

“Great, now what,” Buffy replies and watches Spike’s face change as an idea enters his mind. Instantly she makes an ‘oh God what are you thinking’ Face, but it’s too late whatever he’s thought up is set in his mind.

--

“Spike, I don’t think this is such a good idea,” Buffy says sitting behind Spike on his motorcycle. He revs the engine and listens to it purr. Buffy instinctively wraps her arms around him tighter.

“It’s not like you’ve never been on the bike before pet… besides it runs.”

“Just don’t drive crazy.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it pet.”

They drive off, and while Spike restrains himself from driving crazy as Buffy had requested that doesn’t stop him from driving fast. As his speed increases so does Buffy’s grip around his waist. They move north and for the first time that day feel a breeze as they move through the frozen wind, however in this motionless world it’s barely enough to make Buffy’s hair move. Buffy tightens her grip again and feels the muscles in Spike’s back flex. She thinks to herself how good it feels to be so close to him with only the fabric of their shirts between them. She wants to banish her thoughts about him, but she simply can’t at the moment. She decides just to bask in this good feeling of being close to him for the rest of their trip to Santa Clarita.

--

They had been driving for quite some time, Buffy isn’t sure exactly how long it’s been as the sun still sits in the same location as it had when she woke up that morning. However, she knows that it has to have been over an hour at least. They drive through desert roads and weave between motionless cars as they travel down the highway. Buffy finds herself in total comfort behind Spike on the motorcycle. She’s so comfortable that all thoughts of their mission have left her mind; all that remains is how she feels at the present time. She still refuses to analyze her thoughts and come to a conclusion as to just what Spike means to her, but she’s accepted that at the moment she’s happy being there with him.

For Spike this day has turned out to be more then he ever could have hoped for. Despite their little mission at hand they had a day to spend together away from prying eyes of the scoobies and potentials, a day where the world stood still for them. For the first time in a long time Spike feels like he has the world in the palm of his hand and all that is in it is for his taking. Buffy tightens her grip around his waist once again and all Spike can think about is that he wished this day would never end, and for now it never would.

--

Buffy is lost in a daydream as Spike’s motorcycle pulls to a stop outside the ancient church in Santa Clarita. She had no idea they were even that close. Buffy holds on around Spike’s waist as long as she can waiting until after the bike has come to a complete stop and Spike has lowered the kick stand before she lets go. They move away from the bike and take a few steps toward the church.

“Well pet, I suppose this is it then.”

“Looks like.”

“Shall we?” Spike says motioning for them to enter the church. The two of them walk up the stairs moving past motionless church goers looking like posed manikins and walk through the heavy twin front doors. Inside they observe more immobile church goers sitting in the pews. Buffy looks up at the sun shining through the stained glass windows and then glances around the church. “There,” Spike says nodding off to the left. As Buffy looks in his direction of sight she sees it. Before a small group of people which have gathered kneeling before the relic is the dagger glowing in a warm amber color. It sits behind a glass display case. The slayer and vampire walk up close and stare at it for a moment.

“Looks like its time to get in tune with my inner klepto,” Buffy says a little humorously.

“Once this spell wears off there’s gonna be a lot of blokes raving about this like it’s a bloody miracle… Dagger of hope disappears in thin air.”

“Yeah, well that’s better then duo steals dagger to defeat great evil.”

“Right you are about that… so, you want to do the honors or should I?”

“I got it,” Buffy says as she proceeds to break a hole into the glass container and retrieve the glowing dagger from it. As she holds the object in her hand she feels as if it’s singing to her. She hears nothing, it’s just a feeling that she has. It’s a powerful feeling that this weapon belongs in her hand. “Let’s go,” Buffy says as she looks back at Spike.

--

As they drive home weaving in and out between cars and speeding down the desert roads once again Buffy lets her eyes rest closing them as she sets her head against Spike’s back. The cool barely- there breeze washes over her as they travel and Buffy finds herself at peace. For the first time in a long while Buffy feels like she can actually let herself relax. Through his black t-shirt Spike feels her breath as she holds herself close to him. He feels her chest rise and fall, her heart beat, and her eye lashes flutter close. Spike takes a deep unneeded breath and takes this moment into his memory. Moments like this with her were few and far between and he valued each and every one of them more then he valued his own life.
End Notes:
Thank you to all my reviewers.
To Break the Spell by SlayrGrl
Buffy wakes up. The motorcycle is turned off and parked. They're home, and now Buffy has to deal with how to un-do her wish, the only problem is to do that she will need to actually look at what her feeling for Spike are. Instantly Buffy walls up, it's simply a common reaction for her by now. Not dealing with her feelings has become something that Buffy is really good at. Spike can feel her physically clam up behind him as she lets go of him and gets off his bike. Her body language turns stiff and Spike can feel the distance between them grow. Silently she heads inside. Spike takes one last look at the sun in the sky knowing as soon as the spell is over he’ll never view it like this again then follows her in.

Buffy is standing in the entrance way when Spike walks in. He closes the door behind him and Buffy walks up to him, she opens her mouth to speak but her words fall flat and she shuts it again. In a huff she turns from Spike and walks away. He follows her into the dining room confused by her actions and watches as she stops in her tracks and spins back around to face him.

“I… I can’t do this,” Buffy says turning away from Spike once again. This time he follows her into the kitchen and puts his hand on her shoulder to stop her from walking away. She turns around again and they stand there face to face.

“Love what is it?”

“I just can’t do this right now Spike.”

“Is this about the spell… that’s why the world’s not spinning again yet?”

“Spike…”

“You didn’t wish for more time to figure out things with the First did you?”

“I just need more time…”

“You have all the bloody time in the world pet… that was the point. The thing is, waiting longer isn’t going to make whatever this is that you need to get out any easier… it’s just gonna make us stuck here longer.”

She knows he's right. She wants so bad just to push this decision to the back of her mind and the bottom of the list where she could continue to find more important issues to put before it so she'd never had to actually deal with it; but she can’t. This is at the top of the list now and nothing else will get resolved until she deals with it. Buffy looks up at him and into his deep blue eyes. She finds herself at a loss of words, a part of her isn’t sure exactly how she feels… but she knows she feels something and that's a start. She does have all the time in the world to figure it out, after all that was the point. Buffy takes a deep breath and summons some courage.

“My wish wasn’t to have more time to figure things out with the First… I wished… you know I didn’t even mean to, I just…”

“Buffy, love, whatever it is… you can tell me.”

“Well I did wish to have more time, thus the freeze-age with the world, but…”

“Buffy… look, I know we’ve got all the time in the world here, but I’d rather not spend it playing twenty questions with you.”

Buffy stops and takes a deep breath. She wonders why this is so hard, but she knows the answer. This will change everything, but she has to confront it.

“I wished to have more time… I wanted more time to figure out what you mean to me,” Buffy finally says softly. Instantly her eyes dart to his face, it's out and in Buffy’s mind that's a cause for alarm. She watches him and waits for what will happen next. His face softens. Now it’s Spike’s turn to be speechless. He looks her up and down and sees a small frightened girl, whatever it was that she was feeling he could tell that she was truly scared to say it.

“Alright, well let’s have out with it then… what do I mean to you?”

“I don’t… I just don’t know.”

“It’s not that hard love, you just have to say what you want.”

“I don’t know what I want.”

“Stop fighting this… stop hiding… Buffy, you have to confront this, an I’m not saying that cause I want to know how you feel about me, you have to do this or we’re gonna be stuck in this limbo land forever… just… how do you feel, about me, right now?”

Buffy’s staring deep into his blue eyes and Spike finds himself lost in hers as well. He’s searching for an answer in her shining green orbs just as she tries to understand her feelings by staring into his. They are standing so close now; Spike can feel her breath on his skin. He watches her as she searches for words, his eyes traveling to her lips examining them as they attempt to form sentences.

So many thoughts are running through Buffy’s head, memories of their relationship the year before, of hearing Spike tell her he got his soul, of Spike getting thrashed by Glory to protect Dawn, and of the weeks he’s spent fighting by her side against the First. She knows she has feelings for him, but she finds herself falling short when it comes to expressing them and understanding what they mean, she still needs to figure that out. Then she decides to do just that.

Soft lips smash against soft lips as green eyes flutter shut. Spike is startled by the kiss at first but quickly falls into pace with it. Within seconds his hands are sliding up her back and her arms are wrapped around his neck. Things are starting to get heated and while Spike wants terribly to go with the flow, he pulls away and looks down at Buffy. If things were headed where he thinks they will be he needs some answers first.

“What’s this all about now?”

“I’m figuring out how I feel.”

“You sure you want to do it like this… not that I’m complaining love, but I need to know.”

“I have feelings for you Spike… everyone sees it… I just, I don’t know exactly… All I can tell you is what I feel right now, and what I want right now, where things go from here I still have to figure out, but I still have time.”

That's all the answer Spike needs, within seconds he and Buffy are tangled together again in a feverish kiss that deepens with every second that fails to pass. Spike runs his hands through her hair and takes in every ounce of her. It feels so good to be kissing her again; he wishes that this moment would never end. As Buffy lets herself fall into him for the fist time in over a year she realizes that kissing Spike isn’t going to help her think, but then again maybe she’d done enough thinking. It's time just to feel.

--

Whimpering sighs and smoldering kisses lead a path up the stairs and down the hall to Buffy’s room. The soft bed is Buffy and Spike’s final destination. There they lie still fully dressed wrapped up in each other. The alarm clock beside the bed still reads 7:12; and Buffy and Spike decide to take advantage of this frozen moment. Buffy runs her hands up the back of Spike’s shirt dragging her nails across his pale skin then slowly begins to pull his shirt up and off. Their kiss breaks as the black t-shirt is pulled over Spike’s head and thrown to the ground. He’s looking down at her now, the direction of where they’re headed is very clear.

“Are you sure about this love?” Spike questions needing reassurance. After all they’ve been through; all the hurt and abuse Spike needs to know this is what she really wants.

“Yes,” Buffy replies in a lusty whisper and pulls Spike back down into another kiss.

Unlike their affairs in the past this is not a fevered, lusty encounter. They move slowly together savoring every moment.

Every button of Buffy’s blouse is unfastened with care, zippers are unzipped instead of ripped apart, and as every article of clothing is removed it’s done so with the care of soft caresses. Spike unclasps her bra and Buffy pulls at his rough jeans. Their eyes meet as they make their way beneath the sheets. As Spike makes love to Buffy he realizes that she’s there with him. This is something they are doing together not just some service that he's providing for her. Every whimper, stroke, and thrust is an all new experience.

--

The white sheet ruffles in a smooth rhythmic dance. Soft kisses and gentle caresses glide over soft skin. Between heavy breaths blue eyes meet green with trust and affection. Their dance is building up to a climatic conclusion. Muscles tighten and fingernails dig into skin as a breath of passion escapes Buffy’s lips. Sweet release flows through both their bodies as Spike collapses atop her then leaves butterfly kisses on her neck as his eyes flutter shut. Buffy runs her fingers through Spike’s curling locks.

“I love you,” she says softly in a trembling whisper. His kisses stop and he lifts his head to look her in the eyes. He stares down at her propped up on his elbows as she says “I know how I feel Spike. I’m sure of it now,” just before Spike gives her one more kiss. Then lost in exhaustion they fall asleep beside each other.

The alarm clock beside the bed turns from 7:12 to 7:13.
Wake Up's by SlayrGrl
Groggily Xander wakes up. His back hurts, the sun is shining in his eyes and although he isn’t sure what time it is yet he knows it’s far too early for him to be getting up on a Sunday morning. He rubs his eyes and gets off the couch. Coffee, that would make everything better. Xander makes his way into the kitchen to be greeted by a handful of far too cheery potential girls. He gives them a restless smile as he pours himself a cup of coffee then watches as Vi and Molly fight over the last of the cereal. Then Andrew is arguing with Rona over the last of the waffles. Kennedy walks in the kitchen and tries to help break up the arguments but only ends up bringing herself into the it as well. The room grows loud with the voices of annoying teenage girls and Xander finds that he’s starting to get a headache. Then he watches as the box of cereal that Molly and Vi were fighting over goes flying into the air spilling the last of cereal everywhere.

“Okay… time to get Buffy,” Xander says mostly to himself as he sets his mug down on the counter and exits the kitchen.

On his way up the stairs Xander passes Dawn and Willow. Instantly the two women can tell that he’s at the end of his rope and prepare themselves for whatever battle they will soon be walking into in the kitchen. Xander moves down the hall to Buffy’s room. He knocks softly on her door.

Xander knocks… no reply. Slowly he pushes Buffy’s bedroom door open prepared to complain about the irritating potentials who’ve taken over the kitchen. The door squeaks as it opens. Xander gazes into the room and as he does what he was planning to say falls flat on his lips. All he can do is stand agape at the sight before him.

“Buffy, what are you doing?” He blurts out loudly. His eyes are frozen to her naked form lying there beside Spike with only a white sheet to cover them. Buffy and Spike had been asleep, but Xander’s words have woken them. Now Buffy pulls the sheet up to cover herself better as she sees her best friend standing there before her.

“Xander…” Buffy says with a fearful tone. She glances behind her at the vampire who’s wrapped his arm around her waist. When she looks back at the door Xander walks away with disbelief plastered across his face. Quickly Buffy get’s up and throws on a pair of jeans and a tank top and follows Xander down the hall. Within seconds Spike is right behind her pulling his shirt on as he makes his way down the stairs. “Xander wait…” Buffy calls out, and Xander stops at the end of the stairs to face her.

“What Buffy? What could you possibly say that would justify you having sex with Spike?”

“Whoa, Buffy’s having sex with Spike?” Rona says standing in the hall looking on at the three of them.

“Nice job Harris, now the whole bloody house knows.”

Buffy, Xander and Spike turn to see Rona and the rest of the potentials standing in the hall listening in on their conversation. Willow, Dawn and Andrew are also there standing with bug eyes and looks of disbelief.

“Girls… living room, now,” Buffy says as she shuffles all the potentials into the living room and closes the French doors. Then she and Spike follow Xander into the kitchen where Dawn and Willow are waiting standing behind the breakfast counter.

“You’re sleeping with Spike?” Willow questions and Buffy's mind races for something to say. Her first reaction is to deny it but she's been caught red handed.

“No… well yes, but there’s a lot that happened this morning that you don’t know about… Stuff with the First.”

“Oh, I think we all know Buffy,” Xander interjects.

“Shut your gob for a minute Harris and let her talk,” Spike says.

Xander gets right in Spike’s face. The two men stare each other down each trying to impose a sense of authority on the other.

“Buffy deserves better then you,” Xander practically spits out at Spike.

“Right, and you’re the one who gets to decide just what that is,” Spike replies snidely.

“Hey!” Willow calls out loudly at the show of testosterone before her. “This isn’t helping.” After a few final glares Willow’s firm words sink in and Xander and Spike back off.

“Buffy, what’s going on, and don’t lie to me,” Dawn says solemnly.

“Last night before I went to bed one of the potentials came up to talk to me, except that she wasn’t a potential… she was a vengeance demon.”

“Right and she just got you to wish to have sex with Spike again,” Xander says a little spitefully. Buffy's lips thin as does her patients.

“Xander,” Willow warns.

“She was asking me questions about being the slayer and then she started to ask about Spike… I was trying to avoid her questions and I said that I wished I had time to figure things out between Spike and I but I don’t… then today I woke up and everything and everyone was frozen except for Spike and I.”

“Frozen?” Dawn asks.

“Like time had stopped for everyone cept us,” Spike explains.

“So you just decided to use that opportunity to jump Spike’s bones?” Xander asks.

“You know Xander; I could really do without the commentary right now.” Buffy's words are firm.

“Well I’m sorry Buff, but I just caught you sleeping with a murderer… or have you completely forgotten about the things Spike’s done… what he’s done to you.”

“You know Xander you’d think out of everyone here that you would understand.”

“And just what is that supposed to mean?”

“I mean that when Anya was evil and murdering people you seemed to look at things a little differently… she’s done just as horrible of things as Spike has in her past.”

“Right… and when she killed those college boys you just wanted to kill her, but when Spike was feeding on humans you decide to bring him home.”

“I would have killed Spike if I had to; just like I would have killed Anya if I had to… what you forget though is that I didn’t kill Anya. I didn’t because she did the right thing… she’s making amends… just like Spike is.”

“Stop it! Everyone just stop arguing right now… what about the First?” Dawn says loudly interrupting their dispute.

“Dawn’s right… Buffy you said something about the First. What happened while this spell was going on?” Willow asks.

--

Andrew and the potentials sit in the living room listening to the muffled sounds coming from the kitchen. They gossip among each other. Kennedy has her ear up to the French doors but finds that she still can’t make out exactly what they were saying, just that they were arguing and they already knew what about.

“You know if I was the slayer I bet I could hear them talk,” Kennedy says as she walks away from the door and sits with the rest of the girls.

“I knew it… I knew she was hooking up with him,” Rona says.

“I wonder what it’s like?” Molly questions.

“What what’s like?” Amanda asks.

“Doing it with a vampire.”

“Really good I bet,” Kennedy says.

“Spike’s such a badass,” Andrew adds in dreamily.

“He is really attractive… you know, for a vampire,” Vi Says.

“I guess… not really my type,” Kennedy says.

“How is she supposed to protect us from things that go bump in the night when she’s doing one of them?” Rona asks.

“Yeah, but Spike’s different… he has a soul, he’s making amends for his horrible crimes… like me,” Andrew says standing up for Spike.

Gossip continues to fuel the girl’s imaginations as they chit chat in the living room.

--

Xander has calmed down some and is trying just to concentrate on what Buffy has told them about the First and the dagger that her and Spike brought back. He’s still upset; although he knows what Buffy said when she compared Spike to Anya was true. He just can’t admit it. It's easier for Spike just to be evil in Xander’s mind… to be the same Spike they met on parent teacher night, but he isn’t. They’ve all grown and they’ve all changed. Some changes are just harder to accept and to understand then others. Now they all sit around the table in the dining room. Willow has her head in the book that they found the information in while Dawn is holding the glowing dagger in her hand.

“So this dagger of Hope… it will kill the First?” Dawn asks.

“Maybe not kill him, but get him out of our dimension at least,” Spike explains.

“What do you say Will? Can you do a Spell to posses someone with the First?” Buffy asks turning to face the red head.

“Yeah I think so… I’ll just need to pick up some supplies. I can't believe we didn't see this before.”

“I don’t mean to poop the party Buffy, but who are we going to possess… I mean who ever ends up being our guinea pig is gonna get stabbed,” Xander says.

“I’ll do it?” Spike says.

“What? No…” Buffy says.

“Love I’m the only one you’re gonna be able to stab with that thing who won’t die from it.”

“Seems logical to me Buff,” Xander says almost a little too cheery at the thought of Spike getting stabbed.

“… In theory Spike should be fine… well not fine, but he wont die,” Willow says.

Buffy wants to protest, but she knows he’s right. It’s the only way.

“Alright,” Buffy says softly as she looks over the group before her. Willow gives her a small reassuring smile while Dawn seems to still be processing the information that’s come her way in the past hour. Xander seems to be cooling down a bit more and Spike just gives her one of his sympathetic looks.
To End it All by SlayrGrl
The gang has gathered in the basement. Buffy chains Spike to the wall in preparation for the spell to possess him with the spirit of the First while Willow is off to Buffy’s right with a spell book in her hand and Xander, Anya who has just arrived, as well as Dawn are standing to her left. Buffy clicks the shackles into place.

“So this demon’s name was Eshana?” Anya asks.

“Yeah,” Buffy responds.

“Why you know her?” Xander asks.

“Not personally, but she has a bit of a reputation around the office so to speak.”

“What kind of reputation?” Dawn asks.

“A bad one.”

“Bad as is… she’s done horrible things?” Xander asks.

“Bad as in she sucks… She’ll grant just about anything, doesn’t even take the time to encourage a little creativity. It’s disappointing really, for instance, Buffy’s wish, I would have pushed her to come up with something a little more… bloody.”

The whole room stares at Anya especially Buffy and Spike, but Anya just glares back with a ‘what did I say’ face. Buffy then shakes her head and turns back to Spike. She looks into his eyes as she locks the last cuff. Within in his eyes she sees a comforting gaze filled with trust and love. She softly kisses him on the lips not caring that anyone else sees.

“Ready?” She asks Spike waiting for his answer before she steps back and picks up the dagger of hope.

“Ready as I’ll ever be.” Spike says.

“Willow?”

“I’m set,” Willow responds.

“Alright, let’s do this then.”

Buffy stands before Spike now with the dagger of hope in her hand ready to attack when the time is right. As Willow begins to chant in Latin Buffy catches Spike’s glare and holds it tight. She stares into his blue eyes, into his soul, and lets him know that she’s there for him. The scoobies behind her look on as the dagger begins to glow brighter and brighter and a dark mist fills the room. From seemingly no where a wind flows through the basement whipping Buffy’s hair to the side. The darkness hovers above Spike’s body. Willow chants louder. Then in a swirling vortex the darkness starts to funnel into Spike’s body, and for the first time he breaks eye contact with Buffy. His head jerks up and the swirling vortex of darkness is fed into Spike’s body through his mouth. Buffy looks on with shock and fear.

Buffy prepares herself to stab her lover. Willow’s chanting stops and Spike’s head falls limply back down. He’s staring at the floor now then slowly he lifts his head. His blue eyes are now black and he gazes at her with pure evil. A low chuckle rumbles out from Spike’s lips. Buffy listens to the inhuman sound and finds herself fearful of the creature that’s taken over the body of a man she trusts.

“You think this will help you… putting me in the vampire’s body,” the First says through Spike’s mouth.

“I’m thinking this might help,” Buffy says holding the dagger up.

“You could kill any entity I possess and I will simply be set free… go ahead kill your dead lover.”

“This isn’t just any dagger… it’s the dagger of hope.”

“And what is that supposed to do?” The First says as he stands up within Spike body and charges at Buffy. Spike’s arms jerk on their chains and the First stares down Buffy with Spike’s dead black eyes trying to intimidate her.

“Let’s find out,” Buffy says as she shoves the dagger into Spike’s chest.”

The First laughs an evil unnatural sound, then it feels something happening. Spike’s black eyes glare down to look at the dagger protruding from his chest. It starts to glow stronger and then through Spike’s lips the First starts to scream. Spike’s body pulls violently at the chains as his screaming grows louder. Buffy looks on as his body is encompassed with white light coming from the dagger as it thrashes about.

The white light dims and slowly fades away a single tear falls down Buffy’s face. She watches as Spike’s body falls limp to the floor hanging from the chains, the bright light is gone and the dagger has stopped glowing. Immediately she rushes toward him and turns him on his back. Spike’s unconscious. More tears start to fall now and Buffy pulls the dagger from his chest. Then Buffy turns and goes upstairs.

“Did it work?” Xander asks once Buffy is out of sight.

“I think so,” Willow responds.

“She seems pretty broken up… maybe someone should go talk to her,” Anya says and Xander looks at her dissapprovingly.

“I will,” Dawn responds heading up the stairs after her sister.

--

Upstairs Buffy sits alone in the kitchen wiping the tears from her eyes. Dawn walks in behind her and Buffy turns to see her sister enter the room. Dawn sits down beside Buffy prepared to offer sympathy and compassion.

“He’ll be okay,” Dawn says comforting her sister.

“I hope so,” Buffy responds.

“You… you really love him don’t you?” Dawn had been mad at Spike, but more so for leaving them for anything else. If Buffy really cares about him Dawn knows that she'll be able to forgive him.

“Yeah… things are different now Dawn. He’d never hurt me again. This whole day has just... it's made me think about some things and I really do want to be with him.”

“I believe you… I want you to know… Buffy I support you and if you want to be with Spike I support that too.”

Buffy smiles at her sister wondering just when it was that she had grown up so much. Buffy pulls Dawn into a big hug to show her how she feels. Tears start to fall down Buffy’s face and Dawn squeezes her tight.

--

Hours have past and the basement is now empty except for the still unconscious vampire lying on the floor with a gaping chest wound and the slayer who sits beside him cleaning that wound. Buffy has pulled Spike’s shirt off over his head and now sits at his side with a bowl of warm water and a wash cloth tending to his wound. Then slowly his eyes flutter open to reveal once more sparkling blue orbs. Buffy looks down at him and feels relief flood through her body. The feeling of seeing him there alive is enough to bring tears to her eyes.

“Buffy,” Spike chokes out.

“Shh, I’m here.” Her fingers run across his cheek.

“Did we do it?”

“Yeah, yeah we did.”

“Good.”

“I love you Spike,” Buffy says as she leans down and gives Spike a kiss. She's not sure exactly what's going to happen in the following days but she knows changes are coming and she's excited for them to come.

THE END.
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