No Vacancy by Kindred

ReviewsRating: NC-17

Summary: Alternative S3 'Anne'. After sending Angel to hell, Buffy disappears into anonymity in a dusty Californian town until a little piece of Sunnydale finds her...

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Chapters 10-13

As she gradually calmed her eyes drifted over the contours of her room, this unforeseen crucible. The small alarm clock told her it was 1:54 a.m. There was something she needed to do. Tomorrow's shift started at noon. What was it? Her mind could not recall. A thought floated toward her like so much flotsam in her consciousness.

"I need to get some sleep." The words fell absently from her lips.

Spike hushed softly. "Fuck now, sleep later." The tone of voice told her he'd reverted to his human mask. He leaned sideways and flipped off the ugly textured bedspread. "Pull down the sheets," he ordered quietly. Slender arms reached forward and pulled on the sheets. Her weight shifted and she slipped off of him with a loud suctioned slurp and rolled.

He stood before her with his black jeans at his knees and his boots still on. His hard cock stood in mid air craning for her. Buffy stared at him slightly agog. It took her a few seconds to focus. 'What was that sound?' battled 'Holy shit!' in Buffy's consciousness as she stared wantonly at the vision in front of her. She'd never seen an erect penis before or even a soft one for that matter. Angel's room had been dimly lit and she only felt him inside her under the covers in his bed.

Spike grinned with satisfaction and amazement. This was the seemingly all-powerful Slayer, the bane of his kind and he held her mesmerized by the curve of his straining slayer-slathered cock.

"Want to touch it?" he grinned coyly as his hand stroked up and down its length. His voice was barely a whisper now as it softened with each acquiescence on her part. Buffy worried her lower lip.

"Come here," he said simply. Buffy moved to the edge of the bed and tucked her hands behind her. Spike smiled at her, smitten by her girlishness. Even with the physical evidence of what they had just done coursing through her and leaking onto the sheets under her, Spike could see this was not an act.

"No need to be shy love, not after we've gotten so friendly." Buffy's breath caught in her throat. Was this what they were? Friendly? She didn't really know.

"You can touch me, I'm right here." He stepped closer to her as though she didn't already have a front row seat for his erotic display.

"It's gooey." She wrinkled her nose. He caught a laugh in his throat and decided right then that he loved her nose.

"That's all you Slayer, your creamy pussy, see?" Spike showed her his slick palm and then licked the residue from it. "Give me your hand." Buffy obeyed. "Like this love, I like it like this." He curved her palm around his girth and eased it up to the tip. The foreskin bunched.

"You have a turtleneck," she said naively and then reddened deeply as he giggled.

"Foreskin, love," he smiled without derision. "Born that way, like all boys." He released her hand to watch her actions. She brought up her other hand and encircled him, sliding her fingers back down his shaft. The foreskin retracted to reveal his reddened glans and oozing aperture. This motion fascinated her and she repeated it. Again her hands slipped down his firm length and back up to the fleshy tip.

"That's right, pet, feels real nice." He pulsed his hips forward slightly, encouraging her.

The heat of her body still clung to him; she was not expecting that. His skin was supple, moist and soft while his shaft was hardened with a muscular appearance, but she knew it was all blood. Borrowed blood poured into this rather unusual vessel. This is what had been inside her so insistent and demanding. This was the evidence of simple desire. It wasn't a veil or a sham but honesty. A simple human thing.

Brushing a fingertip over the aperture, Buffy came away with a smooth slick substance. She worked her fingertips together in thought and then a realization dawned on her. She was not aware of the smile that settled on her lips. The look of discovery on her face undid him. His balls tightened and he came again, surprising them both. An arc of jism splattered against Buffy's shocked face and chest. All girlish introspection and exploration dissolved into rage.

"Fucking jerk--" she roared and lashed out spitting and punching. Spike dove on top of her and gripped her flailing form. He soon secured her wrists over her head with one hand. He couldn't stop his chuckle at the image of his come dribbling down the Slayer's face. This was a frequent sexual fantasy of his realized.

"You BASTARD!" she grit her teeth with revulsion.

"Stop!" Spike's tone returned to commanding.

"Asshole!"

"Slayer--"

"You did that on purpose." He couldn't deny that his aim could have been altered. "You went on my face!" she spat again.

"I noticed," he said with a giggle. "SLAYER!" his voice rose alarmingly through gritted teeth, "calm the fuck down." He leaned into her and licked his own come from her eyebrow, the edge of her eye and down her cheek. That little maneuver stunned her.

"Yuck. You are an animal," she twisted her mouth and struggled in his strengthening grip.

"It's just come, pet. I've got lots more." His tone returned to seduction as he licked further down her face. His lips brushed against hers.

"I'm NOT kissing you with that yuck on your tongue." Her angry pout was so outrageous he'd have come again if he had any reserve left at all just then. She had no clue what she did to him.

"Aren't you curious? At all?" As much as he wanted to see his come on her tongue he didn't want to press, they would have time. She wasn't going to be able to get rid of him so easily.

"No, curiosity ends here." Buffy began to wiggle again in his grasp trying to break away. She felt his still hardened cock against her thigh. How can he still be hard? He put his fingers to her closed legs.

"Open Slayer."

"Sorry, closed for the night," she snapped. Spike gently tickled the tip of her clit. "Stop that!" she tried for fury but failed.

"Open up love," he whispered softly, "we're still fucking."

His tongue swept across her chest and teased a nipple before suckling on it. She arched into his mouth and gasped. "No...unnhh fair... that's...oohhh god..."

Spike pulled on her nipple gently with blunt teeth until it slipped from his mouth and then attacked it once more sucking strongly before releasing her red swollen flesh. "Not finished yet, are we love?" He looked up sweetly into her addled face and released her wrists.

A wandering thought appeared in her mind: this will never be finished. Then a shudder of certainty filtered through her body. They would never be done. She wanted him again and her returning desire was only a disturbing amplification of her initial feelings.

He was a thing that had killed, that would kill again and again, and all she could think of was his tongue, hands and cock and how he made her come. She merely shook her head in agreement and shuddered as his tongue traveled up her chest and onto her neck.

He snarled a whisper into her neck. His mouth covered her jugular and sucked sensuously at her skin. His neglected erection throbbed painfully against her thigh. Buffy's fingers moved automatically to his head. No thought of death entered her mind. Her only thought was to prolong the exquisite waves of pleasure emanating from her neck and engulfing her totally. She needed his mouth at her neck and his cock planted deeply within her.

A muscled tremor signaled movement in her legs. Spike moved off the bed and kicked off his boots and socks. His jeans slipped down to the floor and off his feet. The discarded belt appeared in his hands. Buffy's legs stilled and her mind stopped churning erotic scenarios.

"What's that for?" her voice was a dry wisp. Spike sensed fear for the first time that evening. He needed to calm her. As incongruous as that thought was, it was true. He did not want her fear.

"For games, pet. You know any fuck games?" He asked evenly, already knowing the answer. An audible gulp sounded from Buffy's throat.

"Um..." She hoped that didn't sound lame.

Spike snickered internally. He couldn't believe how Angel had cheated this wide-eyed girl. Angelus was always an enthusiast for penetration and not much else. He was always lacking in the imagination department. Evidently Angel was no different. It didn't matter. Angel's selfishness put them both out of the picture and this fuck soaked slayer on a bed with Spike.

Destiny, apparently, was not a bitch after all.

 

Chapter 11

"Give me your wrists," his voice curled toward her. Buffy hesitated but her breath thickened. This new prospect was turning her on. Spike struggled to control his smirk. He wanted her aroused, not defensive or annoyed. There was a complex set of variables to balance, but the outcome was well worth it.

This one was worth his effort.

"This isn't about hurting, is it?" Buffy spoke in a voice of inexperience. A dim recollection of Xander's adolescent bondage references passed through her mind.

"You know about this? Why does that not surprise me, kitten?" His slow smile widened. "I knew you'd be an adventurous girl." He playfully wrinkled his nose at her, signaling nothing untoward in his meaning.

Buffy shook her head and gulped a swallow. "Heard of it...from demon research." She winced faintly, knowing that was a lame cover.

"I see," he nodded seriously and then winked. "Don't worry, pet, your secret's safe with me." Buffy stared at the belt undulating between his hands as her cheeks flushed with color.

"Um," she said quickly and with conviction. He smiled at her hesitation.

"It's just this, love." Spike offered something tame. He looped the belt through the buckle and slipped it over his own wrists. "Nothing big, just a little restraint. If you don't like it, just take it off." He demonstrated a quick release. "It's not about forcing," he spoke with tender promise, "it's about releasing, giving in. You'll come so hard, love, you'll--"

Buffy interrupted him with a small voice. "I'll try it." She surprised herself but her curiosity got the better of her. It was a risk she chose to take. Looking directly into his eyes she held out her trusting wrists with no hesitation.

"Yeah...in for a penny and all that." Spike's shaky voice merely accentuated the expression of wonder that crept onto his face. He couldn't hold back his amazement or the extreme rigidity of his aroused flesh. This is how far they had come from a hate fueled fuck. His sworn enemy held out her wrists for him to bind. That was something beyond hate.

The raw eroticism of the situation seized him. All that remained within him was naked need: to see her face when she came, to hear her breathe his name in ecstasy and to see that shard of iris glint gold in her green brown eyes from an inch away.

He bound her carefully, showing her how to escape the tether as he proceeded. It was a thoughtful discussion but unnecessary. Nothing would hold back the Slayer if she wanted free of the restraint. He simply wanted her to know the only motivations he had were purely pleasurable ones.

Then he pushed her back onto the bed. His preparations were gentle and sensuous. With a deliberate slowness he placed her wrists over her head and spread her legs apart, readjusting the positioning of her knees with kisses and gentle caresses. "That's right beauty, make me welcome." Buffy felt light-headed with anticipation. She followed his progress with interest and a renewed arousal.

Buffy understood 'horny' and other snicker worthy generic sexual terms. They always struck her as goofy and silly. The halls of Sunnydale High hummed with near constant sexual innuendo supplied most days by Xander Harris, proponent of the 'wink, wink, nudge, nudge' school of thought.

This night expanded Buffy's vocabulary one hundred fold. Words entered her mind and her body accompanied by Spike's caresses and the urgent sounds of his pleasure.

She knew now that sex was not something ominous nor puerile you did and whispered about later with your friends. It was something you were, a presence inside you as defining as your heartbeat and breath. It was something to remember, something she'd always be grateful for.

Spike looked at her with a combination of drunken depravity and genuine tenderness. She needed to memorize that look on his face. Bloodlust, hatred, frustration, smug defiance: all of these were familiar expressions. She'd never thought him capable of the look he was giving her now. He showed her the simple desire of a man for a woman. She felt it numbing her jaw and thickening the back of her dry throat.

Nuzzling deeply into her neck, he slid solidly back into her. He started a slow meditative rhythm but soon his hips crashed possessively into hers over and over again. When he finally raised his head to look into her face again he was shocked to see her eyes clear and focused and boring into his. Those were the Slayer's eyes, not those of some wandering child.

Her tethered wrists fueled something inside her. It was a darkness Spike knew intimately; a well of renegade ferocity, passion and defiance. Buffy felt this truth of her sexual identity for the first time. Instead of guilt she felt emboldened and awakened as if from a long slumber.

Struck by her ravenous responses, Spike felt a sudden urge to introduce himself drift across his mind. What couldn't they have if this was their starting point? Instead, Buffy bit his lips into a kiss and took him over the snarling precipice of coherence.

The realization that he was being swept away within her had not dawned on him fully even though he felt his own surrender begin to unfurl. He simply let it happen. It was a delicious fullness he'd only dreamed about and he'd been a slave to far less delicious sensations in his long and perverse existence.

All previous dreams of this sort of perfection had been for Drusilla, when she finally turned away from Angelus and toward him totally. Those were now mere details that no longer mattered. Besides, Drusilla had been rather specific in their last parting. He'd truly been a fool to wait for her for so long. This sensation was immediate: rich, ripe and warm, and opened willingly beneath him.

Opened willingly beneath him. Such a gift. Such a chance. The poet in him sang a mouthless aria. Words, there would be time enough for words. William would see to that. The echoes of this night would last.

The lady was willing.

Spike's mind convulsed with pleasure. The warmth of the Slayer's honeyed skin, the shyness of her inexperience and the growl of her animal need were snares he had not anticipated. Spike was a conquered man, done in by her girlish curiosity.

She had infected him, infused herself through him. He was not alone under his skin. She was there as well with her fruity lip gloss, her manipulative pout and her crushing right cross.

His previous thoughts of training her to meet her death at his hands transformed in the elasticity of his mind. A different type of training tickled the edges of his mind. This new fantasy was as potent as the other one, perhaps even more so.

It certainly deserved as much time and attention as he'd given any of his other fantasies. Yes, only his careful and undivided attention would suffice now.



Chapter 12

Buffy opened her eyes and looked at the clock. It was just after nine. Gradually she became aware of the cool hard chest flush against her back and the cool hard cock gliding effortlessly and slowly in and out of her body. Slowly she started to respond to that now familiar sensation. Oh god. Spike.

Gentle deep tones of hushed desire filtered from Spike's throat through her body. "There's the sleepy girl...so soft and warm...been waiting for you to wake up...thought I'd give you a nudge, yeah?...Lovely...sleepy girl...bet you taste good in the morning..." The tip of his index finger traced a strand of hair away from her eye. His touch was so comforting, soft and firm.

Buffy closed her eyes with a sigh and Angel was there. Soft confused brown eyes...mouth open and disbelieving...the sword thrust...that horrible sucking vortex and the end of her world as Angel disappeared into the void.

Buffy erupted from the bed, kicking wildly at Spike and the bedcovers.

"STOP! Not like that, stop!" She sprang from the bed shaking, a volcanic pain coursing through her mind. When at last she focused on the figure in bed a horrified expression gripped her face. Spike lay naked and shameless before her, his torso littered with scratches and bite marks. He stared at her with eyes thickened by returning lust.

Buffy's mind quaked. A shameful recollection emerged: the belt on Spike's wrists, his goading lust filled encouragement, the bitter taste of his blood, and how he howled as he came. The unsullied truth of his need galvanized and hardened her as he spoke his desire.

He said yes. He said again. He said more.

She had done this damage, tasted his flesh and flayed his skin with her fingernails and teeth and a hunger that rumbled deep within her bones. That was all her, from some darkness she tried so hard to repress. That was the kiss of the devourer.

A sassy tired voice spoke up. "Who would have guessed? Fucking all night makes the Slayer a cranky girl." She forced her mind to calm. The sensations of the previous night's ecstasies mingled with her horrible memories of that awful day. Buffy's mind shook. An unwanted tingling sparked in her pelvis. She felt nauseated and trapped: an animal in a snare. Escape was the only option.

"Get out."

"Sun's up," he repositioned himself on the bed ready for more.

"OUT!" she pointed desperately at the door.

"NO," he growled at her.

Buffy fled into the bathroom and slammed the door. She wretched in long painful dry heaves. Her stomach emptied hours ago, so only the whispers of bile touched the back of her throat. She sat on the toilet with her head between her legs trying to find firm ground.

The truth rose within her with each violent and elongated heave. She deserved punishment. She hadn't expected Spike to make her feel as he had. Spike did not fulfill his role of villain as she had cast him.

Darkness and misery was what she wanted but Spike was not accommodating. He did not fill her with darkness. She felt alive again and she did not want to feel that. He peeled back her self-imposed barrier and let in the light, the air, and with it the memory of Angel impaled by her hand and sinking into that horrific tempest.

After the toilet tank stopped filling she started the shower. She buried her head in that fierce stream, rinsing her mouth compulsively and trying to wash the taste of that horrible image away.

Her only pitiful consolation was that Angel would never know what she had done and what she had become. She was just an empty shell who let Spike fuck her. As her mind drifted to just exactly what Spike had done with her during the night, 'fuck' didn't seem descriptive enough to cover it.

An urgent need to wash the night away swept through her. She felt stained from the attentions of a thorough lover. As the shower curtain shifted and Spike stepped inside the bathtub, Buffy snapped from her stupor.

"What is it, love?" he asked softly, back to the persona of a lover. Buffy glared at him. She would use every last molecule of slayer strength bestowed upon her not to tell him anything. He was not worthy to know her truth, to know that she'd sent Angel to hell and not Angelus. Spike was nothing to her and he would never be anything to her. This thing they did was a glitch that needed to go away fast.

"Go away," she gruffed.

Ignoring her, Spike filled his palm with shampoo and lathered her hair. Despite her best efforts, Buffy uncoiled beneath his skilled fingers. Soon she simply leaned into this chest with eyes closed as long ropes of shampoo lather coiled down their bodies. He shampooed his own hair and then rinsed them both thoroughly.

She felt the sensation of tasting his voice when he spoke. "You don't want me to be gentle?" he murmured, lifting her wide against the slick wall tiles before she had sense enough to protest. "Is that it? Want to pretend I can't do this?" He slid into her still swollen passage softly.

"You have no idea what I'm capable of Slayer. I know what gentleness is..."

Spike could not believe the words he was hearing spill from his lips. He didn't stop to think, as usual he went with his gut impulse. He guided her legs around his waist and held her securely with his hands tucked under her bottom.

Something deep inside him knew that the last few hours were the most dangerous risk of his long, visceral life. He ignored that truthful voice with sullen defiance. The Slayer was so rich and decadent he could not stop. Suddenly he wanted things he'd never thought of before.

He wanted her sighs and coos, to see her eyes full of him. He wanted to be gentle for her and to have her blood on his tongue forever. Deep within his leathered shell his most secret yearnings came forward.

He wanted to be a part of something, to belong in the world. He wanted to matter, to be allowed and connected. He wanted his invitation in a decadently thick gold embossed envelope. He wanted a freedom beyond the tasting and for his thirst, at last, to be quenched.

These desires flooded his mind and clogged his thinking. It had been a long time since his desires expanded beyond blood or sex, the narrow confines of the flesh. These unrestrained thoughts were doubly intoxicating for their perverseness.

Now he started thinking in ways he'd denied himself for decades. A word...a thought...a possibility beyond what he had known, what he'd been content to be: Drusilla's own.

Something from long ago tickled his mind, something from the old days, his human days. It was ridiculous but it wouldn't let him alone. What was that story again? Something about conversion, change. Becoming oneself. Saul on the road to Damascus.

Becoming.

Spike thought such things were long past. Drusilla was his salvation. She delivered him from mediocrity. She was his conversion, his road to Damascus, traveled all those years ago in another century. Was such a thing even possible again?

It was worth thinking about, but later. He had a slayer in his arms and his own rising needs to tend to.



Chapter 13

"It'll be good, Slayer, you'll see," his soft promise hushed through her body as he initiated gentle measured strokes. Buffy began to tremor dangerously. Her torso and head shook. Spike stilled his actions when he realized she was crying. He tried to withdraw from her body but she clung to him like a parasite. Her legs wrapped convulsively around his waist and her fingernails dug into his neck and back.

Such a response would normally have driven him wild with lust but he did not respond in that way. His body chose an action before his brain could evaluate options. Bracing his feet he pressed into her and held on.

Wave after wave of catastrophic grief poured out of her. She wailed in horror and loathing, in need and rage, in sorrow and anguish.

Mucus poured from her eyes, nose and mouth. Spike thought briefly that she might actually explode. Buffy had taken his hatred, his arrogance, his bragging and his testosterone fueled 'Fuck King' man crap for hours.

She had felt the raw surface sensations flow over and through her with impunity. But softness, genuine tenderness and a lilting voice in bed, even against the shower wall was too much. It dug deeply into her, past her well barricaded exterior. Spike pried open the door that Anne had slammed shut.

Buffy's denial ripped through her and spiraled down the drain. She had destroyed her world, not Acathla. She didn't even deserve a pitiful plastic dress and the loose coins left on her tables.

Spike held on and grounded her through her hurricane. Tears had always been a problem. Drusilla's tears flattened him almost to nothing while the tears of his victims always hardened him to stone. It was a difficult juxtaposition. The tears of this girl in his arms cut into him. He had not anticipated such a reaction but he steeled himself. In this sanitized bathroom Spike simply pressed Buffy to the wall so she wouldn't spiral down the drain as well.

Everything ebbed away as her tears gradually lessened. Her face swelled as if she had been beaten, and still Spike held her. Eventually he moved her under the water again and tenderly washed the ruminants of sorrow from her tanned skin. She shuddered and hiccuped and looked into eyes that, amazingly, reflected compassion and concern. Then her mouth was on his saying with actions what she never would in words.

He had succeeded in opening her. The build up of emotional placque that had clogged her mind had been released and rinsed clean. She could face the day again, face the past, the present and the future. She could finally begin to face her decision, with what she had done and be the Slayer again. All because of Spike. She owed him for the chance of a fresh start.

Buffy swept her tongue softly across his. The games were finished. The taste of fog was long gone. There was clarity and stillness now that the storm broke. She tasted of silks and velvets. Her Devon custard tongue ignited their shared need once more.

Something changed, something small yet vital had shifted. He no longer knew where he was or what he was doing. Where was this place? This pause in the cosmos? He wanted nothing more than to be inside her, to be beside her, to be filled by her. To be hers.

Spike established a slow rhythm as he thrust deeply and lyrically within her. His hips murmured a softness she absorbed with a sumptuous response. Their skins blended to new flesh. Their eyes locked, never wavered and barely blinked. This was her gift of thanks and he felt it singing through him, overtaking him.

Completely unaware of what he had done for her he felt her body lulling his, wanting him wholly. It was an intimacy that shook him and grounded him. For the first time in a century he saw himself reflected in a face that was not Drusilla's. Spike had always been her perfect beast. In the eyes of the Slayer however, he saw something else entirely. Something he could not ignore.

He saw the shadow of a man reflected in the features of his enemy, an enemy no longer. It took an adversary to reveal once again the man inside the demon to the demon inside the man. Buffy gave him a vision of what might be...what could be.

Spike on the road to Damascus.

He had a choice of a new direction as well, if he chose to acknowledge it. This realization shocked him. Found anew it never occurred to Spike that he had ever been lost. He didn't quite understand it but it was a tantalizing possibility he did not want to discard. Just to hold it in his mind was an exquisite luxury.

Buffy was as oblivious of her gift to Spike as he was of his gift to her. He came hard and helplessly into her welcoming body and eyes.

Buffy never spoke a word.

*

The whir of the blow dryer filled the small bathroom as Buffy caught sight of something unusual. Her uniform hung on the back of the bathroom door. She stared at it dumbfounded. It was yesterday's uniform but the motor oil stain was nowhere to be found. When exactly did that happen? Spike must have scrubbed it clean sometime during the night while she slept.

She couldn't quite get her mind around that bizarre notion but there it was, damp and drying on a hanger and no longer stained. Try as she might the dots defied connecting. Do you scrub a stubborn stain from the clothing of your sworn enemy? Somebody should have told her.

Perhaps that was included in one of Giles' thrilling yet sleep inducing lectures when she zoned out in favor of more pleasurable thoughts, such as the latest sale at the galleria. Maybe that tidbit was something to be found in the elusive slayer handbook, perhaps under the heading: vampires, domesticity and; or vampires, unusual battle tactics. She really needed to get her hands on that little treatise if this was the kind of information she was missing out on.

Without reference to the handbook, Buffy needed to check the Webster's definition closely. 'Enemy' didn't quite describe what she and Spike were to each other now. She wondered briefly if they had a word for that? Nemeses interrupted? No, that's two words.

She dressed quickly and checked the clock. 11:30 a.m. That was just enough time to get to work and have a juice and a muffin before her shift. Buffy exited the bathroom and saw the sated body of Spike sprawled across the bed, naked and relaxed in a manner illegal in half of the states in the union.

"If you're still here when I get back, I'll stake you." Despite her body's unconscious reaction to his continuous state of undress, Buffy lied and flashed him her best slayer glare. She struggled to keep her eyes away from his. She wanted nothing more than to dive back into that bed, into his mouth and body.

"Yeah, I had a nice time too, pet." He grinned lazily from the bed and stretched wantonly before her. "Hey Slayer, you ever think about Hawaii? What about Paris? You may need a vacation." His tone was one of seriousness.

He'd been doing some thinking in that regard. It could be a business trip. He knew there were plenty of vampires in Paris that needed killing, certainly a number he could name personally. They could have fun there: the Eiffel Tower, the shopping, the little cafés, the night life. Spike could already see them set up in a small anonymous turret bed-sit shagging themselves stupid for a year or two, with emphasis on the shagging part. He'd been mulling over a number of possible scenarios while she dried her hair.

Entranced for a moment by the thought of Spike on a moonlit Hawaiian beach, Buffy pulled on her jacket and opened the door carefully. "The Slayer doesn't get a vacation." The dead weight of her words hung in the air. He detected a note of regret in her countenance.

Ever the optimist, Spike soldiered on with another viable scenario. "So maybe I'll need to vacation in, say, Sunnydale?" Spike caught the subtle smile that escaped her lips. Oh yeah, Sunnydale was definitely the preferred vacation destination, and a certain hot-blooded slayer's body the resort of choice.

Buffy grabbed the 'do not disturb' sign and slipped it over the doorknob. It was a small gesture but Spike noticed and nodded his thanks and a silent farewell. She let her eyes caress him one last time as the door closed.

Spike slept soundly all day. Drusilla never once entered his dreams. Over the years he'd often thought he was incapable of thinking of anything but her, even asleep. This was a momentous day, indeed. This day his dreams filled with the tiny merciless fists of the Slayer, her heady gasps of passion released and the sweetly scented elixir of her flesh.

When he woke, feeling refreshed for the first time in years, Spike straightened her demolished room. He left long before she returned in the evening. She was a little disappointed when she returned and found him gone.

Buffy gave her notice at work the next day. She said that a family emergency called her back home. Millie was saddened to lose the best employee she'd had in a decade.

The last day of work was her best one. Buffy smiled honestly at all her customers and chatted up the regulars with wit and patience. Jokes she'd heard a dozen times suddenly made her giggle. The 'good-bye Anne' tip jar overflowed with generosity.

Her eyes darted frequently outside to marvel at the sunlight glinting off the leaves on the tree lined street. She could hardly believe it, there were leaves on the trees, shimmering like jeweled ribbons in the breeze. It was a wonder to behold.

She'd never even noticed them before.


A/N: There you have it. My aim was a hopeful ending. You'll have to decide for yourselves if I succeeded. For everyone who read this story, thank you. I appreciate having the opportunity to share it with you. As always I am deeply thankful for those of you who took the time to send me your thoughts and encouraging words. A particular thank you goes out to Marla and Tallgent...you made me pause and think and smile.


The End.

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