Author's Chapter Notes:
Disclaimer: Everything related to BtVS is property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy; I just play with Buffy and Spike when their rightful owners aren't looking :p So, as usual, please don't sue me.
How we live now

“Once upon a time,” she murmured, her voice soft and smooth like the fur of the dog who lay lazily beside her; watching her through hooded eyes as she traced circles over his golden coat. “There was a girl. Now, I’m not going to sugar-coat things; this girl was no princess. In fact, she could be a bitch when she wanted to. But she was a good person deep down.”

Suddenly the circles she was tracing on the dogs back faltered, and he looked at her with simple-minded confusion, moving his head in her direction and urging her to continue with her soothing action. She sighed, dropping her hand back down, and stroking the dog gently behind one of his quirked ears.

“At least; she’d always thought she was a good person. Everyone had always told her that anyway; pinned all their hopes on her. They trusted her, rather foolishly to be honest, but they did. Fully. And I suppose you could say she let them down.

“She was a Slayer. You know sitch by now; in every generation there’s a chosen one, and all that crap. She was born to fight; slay; kill. She was their champion, but she was lonely. Cold inside. She was their tool; their weapon.

“She’d had a life before she’d been called. Family; friends; guys; love; happiness. Yeah, she pretty much had it all to be honest. But then of course, things are never that simple, and being called changed everything for her.

“Suddenly, she had no one; and she was more than lonely. She saved the world on a weekly basis, but to the outside world, she was no one. No one at all. Just another meaningless face in a crowd of meaningless people. It was a cruel twist of fate and it was driving her slowly, ever so slowly insane.

“The Powers That Be, those freakishly empowered nothings who chose her from nowhere; they dictated her life. Sending her signs. Telling her wordlessly just what she had to sacrifice next. Who and what she had to give up in the name of ‘The good fight’.

“It was the Powers themselves who told her to make the biggest sacrifice of all. Told her to put her destiny in distinct jeopardy.

“Told her she would die if she didn’t.”

She sighed again and the golden dog curled into her side; trying to offer her a little comfort by way of his slight bodily heat. It made her smile wistfully, and she told the dog just how much she loved his companionship, before continuing.

“A new player was rising; neither good, nor evil; just simply a being that wanted to destroy the world and all of its occupants. This... Thing was not from our planet. It had no interest in recruiting evil helpers, or bargaining with the good guys. It was fully capable of ending the world all on its own, and would have done so too, had the Powers not warned the young Slayer.

“The Slayer didn’t know what she was supposed to do; this whole deal seemed to be entirely above her. Out of her hands.

“But the Powers That Be had other ideas.

“They told her that if she was going to destroy this being, she was going to have to do so with the help of something evil. The earth had to show a united front, and this could only be achieved if a great source of good joint forces with a great force of evil and-

“My name is Buffy Summers.” she said, looking at the demon before her sceptically. “I am the Slayer. I know what you are and I know how to kill you. I don’t expect you to speak to me unless it’s urgent, or in any way related to the being we are facing.”

She closed her door and expected the monster to go away.

Instead he knocked politely.

“What?” she asked, eyebrows furrowed as she hauled the door open again.

“Just thought you might like to know, m’names Spike, pet.”

“Great.” she said, closing the door again.

“Things were much the same for several days after that. The Master vampire and the Slayer would train together everyday, synchronizing their fighting techniques precisely; teaching each other new moves and methods until they were a deadly duo. But outside of the training room, they never spoke.

“Buffy, as the Slayer and the epitome of good, was naturally in command of the operation, while Spike was kept restrained at her disposal, to ensure her safety, and his fidelity to the cause.

“She was well aware of the fact that, although he definitely did not want the earth to be destroyed, he was still an evil creature who could turn on her at any time.

“He was a cocky creature those first few days.” she said with a smile, and the dog rolled onto its back so she could scratch his belly leisurely. “The Slayer had trouble keeping her temper in check around him, he was so often rude.

“But after a while, they softened to each other, as people who are forced to spend time together so often do. They just kind of... Got used to each other I guess. Suddenly the training sessions they were forced to undergo became something they both looked forward to and enjoyed, and the silence they experienced the rest of the time became filled with teasing and pointless conversation.”

“We really need to work on that high kick of yours pet.” Spike said teasingly as her foot managed to fly right over the top of his head once more, “Your legs are a lot longer than you give them credit for.”

“Shuddup.” she grouched as the lack of contact caused her to topple forwards until she pressed against his chest. It wasn’t the first time it’d happened. “Jerk.” she added, pushing hard against his chest to upright herself once more, without losing her cool. “Maybe you need to work on being a little taller- midget.”

“Says you?” he asked, on the verge of incredibility. “Ants have monuments named after you because they think you’re a member of their kind.”

“I’m not that short!” she protested. And she caught him off guard with a spinning kick to his chest which sent him toppling backwards. “I’m tall enough to sweep you off your feet at any rate.”

“Kicking isn’t sweeping.”

“Nope- it’s better.” she poked her tongue out at him as he struggled back to his feet. Then she gave in and offered him her hand.

“Gotcha!” he laughed, hauling her down on top of him and trapping her body within his strong arms. “Now just who is sweeping whom off their feet, little miss Buffy?”

She giggled despite herself, slapping him on the chest.

“Pulling isn’t sweeping.”

“If you force two people to share such close quarters for how long those two were forced to live together then feelings are bound to develop. It’s just the way things work, and it was never going to be any different for Buffy and Spike.

“They had been training together for almost a year when they shared their first kiss.

“It was a beautiful moment that was destined to change the two of them forever, and it made their capability as a fighting duo even stronger than ever. The way they moved when engaged in battle together was immaculate, and no opponent ever stood a chance against them. They were unstoppable, and simply because they had fallen in love.

“All of sudden, they weren’t just fighting for themselves. They saw beyond keeping themselves alive; protecting the earth from its future invader. Suddenly they were fighting for each other too. Fighting to keep each other alive; to protect their love and everything they had.



Slammed down into a vulnerable chest, Buffy collapsed as she watched the last of the vampires [bar her secret lover] crumble into dust before her eyes.

The PTB had really pushed them this time; it meant the impending attack from the other-worldly being must be getting closer.

“Buffy! You okay pet?”

She let him pull her into his strong arms, and she snuggled against him for a moment.

“I’m okay.” she said eventually. “You were there.”

“Course I was.” he replied, and he pressed a quick kiss to her brow. “You’ll be okay love. This’ll all be okay.”

“I...” she hesitated for just a second. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

“It was the first time since she’d been called that she’d really had someone. A friend. A lover. Someone to care about and have caring about her.

“God she’d fallen hard.”

”Do you trust me?” he asked, his fingers tracing long lines down her sides.

She gazed back into his azure eyes with complete and utter conviction.

“More than anyone else in the world.” she admitted, shivering slightly as she felt his fingers ghost even further down her virginal body. “I love you Spike.”

“Good.” he replied, leaning forward slightly to press his lips against hers. “Because I love you too kitten.”

Her flesh felt suddenly hot against his, and she shivered again, wondering why she’d never felt this way before.

“Love you.” he said, planting a simple kiss on her collar bone. “Love you.” his lips began to travel down her bared chest. “Love you.”

Buffy felt her body trembling as he worked his magic on her; and her strong fingers gripped down on the bed sheets beneath her as she began to spiral away from sanity, with him not far behind.

She called his name, and he called hers, as they found their mutual release, and then they collapsed against each other, finding solace in each other’s arms as they fell simultaneously into a restful sleep.

“The last restful sleep they would ever share together.” the girl said sadly, stroking her dog a little more desperately now. The dog seemed to sense her emotion, and moved a little closer to rest his head lovingly in her lap. “For that night would prove to be the very last that they would ever spend together.

“The next day they were woken by the sounds of worlds rotating, and they knew it was time to face their combined destiny.

“To live. To die. Whatever they were doing, they were going to do it together. All that mattered to them now was getting this fight out of the way, this one last fight, and then getting on with the rest of their lives together.”

“You okay pet?”


“But you’ll be okay?”

“Of course I will be. We have to be don’t we?”

“Pet- I didn’t mean to-”

“Just stop picking at me Spike, it’s not like we get a choice in this.”

“I just wanted to be sure that you’re feeling ready.”

“As if I’d ever be ready to take this on.”

“Of course she knew it wasn’t his fault; he had no more choice in the matter than she did herself, but somehow it suddenly seemed like the whole thing was Spike’s fault. Like everything had been normal in her life, or at least as normal as it could be, before he’d come along and ruined it all.

“Of course, she didn’t let herself think about how he was facing the exact same monster that she was. Didn’t let herself understand that he was feeling just as terrified as she was.

“All she could think about was the prospect of losing him, and suddenly she wished she hadn’t allowed herself to get so close to him.

“Like if she had kept her distance all along; allowed herself to remain the Slayer, and he a demon, then she wouldn’t be so scared by the prospect of him dying. She’d be able to focus. She’d be able to see straight.

“I was using you.” she told him in a cold voice, and she watched his eyes widen to a painful new size. “I was scared and I knew the only way to get myself through would be comfort sex. It meant nothing.”

His widened eyes were suddenly very narrow.

“You think it meant anything to me?” he asked, an ugly sneer tearing across his face. “Get over yourself Slayer.”

“And just like that, they were enemies again, and the last year was entirely meaningless to the both of them. They both quickly forgot that they hadn’t meant their cruel words in the slightest; that they loved each other more than life itself. All they remembered was how much they hated each other.

“They went to the battle side by side, but they didn’t speak. Didn’t even look at each other as they faced their impossible opponent.”


He sat down slowly amongst the damp grass; the night air making the plants around him wet with midnight dew. Cold, with the lonesomeness that arrives with the moon every night.

Beside him, a beautiful tawny owl moaned softly, turning her head until she was facing him, then ruffling her feathers as if she were shivering.

He smirked at the owl slightly; feeling somehow connected to her feral freedom. She could fly away whenever she wanted to, and yet, she didn’t. She stayed by his side, just like he’d stayed by Buffy’s side, even after the cruel words they’d all but snarled at each other.

“I stood by the bloody bint.” he muttered, fingering the sleek feathers of the owl beside him as his mind ticked over with the agony of all that had happened since that damned battle. “Of course I bloody well stood by her. I loved her- loved her all along.”

The owl seemed to coo with interest at his story, so he continued despite himself.

“I still do love her. With all my heart.” he looked thoughtful for a moment. “Almost wish I could say ‘with all my soul’, but I don’t have one.

“But it looked bad for us. We’d both said things we didn’t mean; didn’t believe. But once they’re said, words are difficult to take back. It’s always an impossible task; dividing the thorns from the roses. I knew that I loved her, and I was pretty damned sure that she loved me to. But I was mad- really mad- and I didn’t want to be the sap to make the first move.

“So I left it, and we went into battle together as an unspeaking duo.”

She looked at him; signalling with her eyes, but never speaking a word, as the creature, the being; whatever the hell it was supposed to be, descended slowly down toward earth.

They knew what they were supposed to do; the Powers had fully prepared them for this battle after all, and within the preparation, had told them precisely what to do when the creature finally appeared before them.

No mercy.

Not that they would have shown it any in the first place.

But more than that. They’d been told the precise moves, techniques, weapons to use to destroy it.

But of course, all of that was forgotten now. As forgotten as the love they had shared, just twenty four hours ago.

They were going to do this, and, speaking or not; they were going to do it their way.

“So we did it our way. God knows we didn’t expect to win; didn’t expect to have to carry on afterwards, without each other to hold on to.” he looked down sadly, “I never expected to have to live my life without her.

“I still remember the very last time I looked into those beautiful chestnut eyes of hers, though that has nothing to do with this now.

“I’m just glad it didn’t end with us hating each other. I’ll never forget her telling me that she still loved me.” he looked pensive for a moment, and the owl nipped him playfully. “Yeah, I know.” he chuckled, scratching its chin. “I guess that’s what mortal wounds do to people. Brings them back together-”


The beast was fallen, but at a price.


She looked up at him; a dazed smile playing across her lips as her eyes focused on him.

“I’m okay.” she said softly; trying not to glance down at the weapon protruding her abdomen. “Promise. Are you okay Spike?”

“I’m fine.” he said, dropping to his knees beside her; placing a cold hand against her forehead. “You’re burning up. Gotta get you outta here pet.”

“I love you.” she said quickly, and it brought fresh tears to his eyes. “I didn’t mean what I said. I can’t even remember why I said it now.” she looked down sadly, then quickly up again; repulsed by the mess that was her lower torso. “I’ve never truly had somebody before Spike; and I remember how lonely I was before you came along.”

“Sshh pet.” he said, “Please don’t do this. You’re gonna be okay.”

“I just wanted you to know.” she said; her eyes fluttering closed. “I still love you.”

“Baby...” his voice faded away from her.

“No. She didn’t die. Of course she didn’t; the Powers That Be weren’t going to let their champion die; not like that, not so easily.”

He sighed, looking down; new tears flooding his eyes as he remembered.

“She hadn’t been punished yet.”

They stood together; hands clasped, and knuckles white from the strength between them.

Buffy’s left hand still rested over the wound on her abdomen, and she flinched slightly as she moved forward; the slight change in stance disrupting the thick stitches that held her wound together.


“Silence.” said a voice, and instead of replying with his usual witty comeback, Spike moved closer to Buffy; instantly afraid for her safety. “Buffy Summers; you have been summoned to stand before the Powers today to defend yourself against a charge of infidelity.”

Buffy looked at the vampire beside her with confusion. He was the only partner she had ever had, so how could they possibly accuse her of being unfaithful to him?

“William the Bloody, you face the same charge.”

The two beings looked at each other again, suddenly gripped by an inexplicable fear as guards rushed forward to tear them apart.

“You both face punishment for the infidelity you have shown to your own destinies. One of you is good, and the other is evil. By uniting yourselves, you have denied your destinies, and ignored the paths laid out for you be the Powers That Be-”

“But!” Buffy cried; confused and scared, “It was you that forced us to unite! Surly you wouldn’t punish us for acting how you asked us to! We destroyed the-”

“This is beside the point!” cried the voice; causing Buffy to flinch and shrink back in terror, “Indeed, it was the Powers who demanded you fight together, but a romantic connection is not condoned. Love between the Slayer and a vampire is strictly forbidden, no matter where it originated from. For this you must be punished!”

They stared at each other; love and fear and hopelessness glistened in their eyes; their beautiful eyes.

“I still love you!”

“I’ll always love you!”

Spike let his fingers dance over the owls back as tears dropped from his eyes. Memories were painful; far too painful for him to be recalling now.

Besides, it was nearly time.

He was home now. He’d walked back just before the sun had risen, several hours earlier. And he’d taken the owl with him; setting the beautifully free creature down on one of his many old chairs; and simply gazing at it for a long time.

Finally, he stood up.

Might as well do something useful while he still could, so he set about making the bed that he normally slept him. She wouldn’t like to see the house in such a mess, after all.

He still spent his days and nights thinking about what she would want, even though it’d been years now.

The clock in the sitting room began to chime.

Twelve noon.

It was time.

He turned to the owl; and already she was transforming. Wings stretched out either side of the small feathered body; fingers sprouting from each end, becoming hands, becoming arms.

Then, there she was; standing before him, naked, and as beautiful as she had ever been.


“I love you.”

They were kissing in an instant; clutching to the moment for as long as they could. Hands caressed and lips massaged to the beat of the clock, ringing its twelve chimes behind them.

“I still love you.”

“I’ll always love you.”

Too soon, the chimes were over; and while Buffy clutched to the man in front of her desperately, already he was sinking to the ground.

Sinking, slowly changing before her very eyes.

Tears wet her cheeks as she watched him.

Then all that was left was the golden dog who had become her best friend.

She dressed slowly; watching the little dog totter around; peeking into bags and boxes with interest. Then he sauntered over and rubbed his nose against her leg.

Sadly, she sighed.

Then she sat down and let the dog crawl onto her lap; dropping her hand down onto the top of his head and petting him gently.

After all, this was how they lived now.


A/N: A little bit strange, I know, but the idea just kinda popped into my head at like, eleven thirty pm yesterday, and I had to let it out. [Now I’m tired!!] Please let me know what you thought- all reviews greatly appreciated!!
Thank you
Love dee xx

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