Great story! This is how the episode "Older and Far Away" should have played out. I like your version so much better!
I love that Spike had a birthday present for Buffy at her party, and that she accepted. Also, love the birthday smexy that Buffy laid on Spike. Very hot!
But, the best part was Buffy apologizing for beating Spike senseless in that alley in Dead Things . It has always bothered me deeply that Buffy never apologized or showed any remorse for beating Spike so severely and leaving him to his fate in that alley. Your story righted a very serious wrong. Thank you.