Chapter Notes:

Accidentally added this chapter to the wrong story, wouldn't even have noticed if I hadn't accidentally highlighted the "complete" checkbox. Anyways, this is the last chapter of this story because after "season 5" ends I switch the format a little. There's a two part epilogue but I'm going to double post those chapters since I keep getting distracted with real life and they're best read one right after the other.

DAY 126

“You awake?” Buffy asked as Spike slung an arm across her front.

Spike grunted but otherwise didn’t respond. Buffy sighed and turned into him. She buried herself in his chest, as if she could block out her problems by crushing her face in between his pecs. It was worth a shot.

She hadn't taken the time to properly appreciate his pecs since her mother had died, or the rest of him for that matter. Funny how a death in the family and a hellgod can put the damper on an exciting new relationship. Well, ok, maybe not the damper definitely the pause button on the excitement. Buffy wasn't really feeling the tinglies, or the fuzzies right now, but she was definitely feeling the trust, and the warmth, and the affection. She kept thinking, in the moments between each crisis, that when she felt like she could breath again she was really going to have to give Spike a proper kiss (and by that she meant do a whole lot more than kiss him). But right now if she kissed Spike properly it wouldn't be because she was feeling tinglies, it'd be because she was stressed and needed a release, and she didn't want her and Spike's relationship to be based off of stress relief. 

Spike tightened his grip on Buffy and sighed happily. Whenever he slept he’d forget about the rest of the world and all of its mess. For him it was just the two of them, the silk sheets he’d insisted on bringing from his crypt, and the pillows. Usually, it made it easier for Buffy to fall asleep, but not tonight.

Buffy doubted anything would help her fall asleep tonight. Not after what had happened to Tara, or Willow’s full frontal assault. Not when Buffy and Dawn were sleeping in a cave that Spike had found for them to hide in. Spike hadn’t needed to join them, but he’d happily tagged along anyways, because of course he did.

Buffy wormed her arms around Spike’s middle and squeezed. Spike mumbled something in his sleep. He gave an answering squeeze then went limp half on top of her.

As far as teddy bears go, Spike made a good one. But she didn’t think that even Spike’s top notch cuddling would silence her fears tonight.

Glory knew who the key was. The time for hiding was over. As a general rule Buffy preferred fighting, but she couldn’t beat Glory. If she was able to take Glory down she would have done so by now, but she hadn’t. She couldn’t.

“Mf, heartbeat,” Spike mumbled, one hand left Buffy’s back to slap at his face and wipe the sleep from his eyes, “your heartbeats tapping out a sodding maramba, luv.”

“I’m trying not to think right now,” she grumbled into his chest.

“How’s that going?” Spike murmured, his hand returned to her back and began tracing lazy circles.

Buffy smushed her face into his chest and screamed. Spike startled, but to his credit, he didn’t let her go. He just sighed and pushed his hand into her hair and began scratching at her scalp.

Buffy contemplated the hand in her hair. Spike loved her… and Buffy loved him. She wasn’t in love with him (yet), but she did love him. Of course she did, he had become her best friend (sorry Willow, but Buffy was pretty sure that at this point Tara was actually Willow’s best friend in the way that romantic partners sometimes were). There was nobody who had been there for her like Spike had and she found herself craving his arms whenever she felt overwhelmed. 

Now she was in his arms but still feeling overwhelmed. Which probably wasn’t a good sign.

“Ok, so,” Spike started, “we know that Glory needs Dawn to get back to hell. We know that she has to brain suck people in order to keep from going looney tunes. We know that Red was able to make a dent.”

“Only a dent,” Buffy sighed.

“But it’s still something,” Spike said, “It means this hell bitch isn’t invulnerable.”

“She’s just really, really strong,” Buffy said.

“So was the Master, and that snake wannabe, and that troll bloke,” Spike ducked his head and pressed a kiss to her hair, “she’s just the next one on your list.”

Buffy closed her eyes and took in a deep breath. Then she sat up, she leaned over the side of the cot and grabbed the jeans she’d abandoned there. She stuck her legs into them and stood even as she pulled them on.

“You’re right, we can handle this,” she told him, “but we can’t stay here. Glory is out there looking for us, and we need to buy ourselves time to plan.”

Spike sighed, he stretched then reached over and grabbed his shirt. 

Buffy marched across the cave floor to Dawns cot, she was about to sit on the edge of the cot but before she could, “I’m awake.” Dawn rolled over and looked up at Buffy with blood-shot eyes. “I couldn’t sleep either.”

Buffy smiled tightly, “We’re going to come up with a plan.”

“I know,” Dawn whispered.

“How about a road trip,” Spike suggested, “You, me, and the bit. Could show you birds the sights.”

“Spike, we’re going to have to take my friends,” Buffy pointed out, “Glory’s going to target them if we leave them behind.”

“Well, don’t know that we’ll all fit in the Desoto, but I suppose we could strap Harris to the roof,” Spike grinned, and Dawn let out a strained giggle.

“Is there any way… could you maybe find us some other piece of transportation?” Buffy asked, “Something that’ll fit everybody?”

“Buffy Anne Summers, are you suggesting I st-,” Spike mock gasped and put a hand to his chest, but his teasing was cut short by a finger to his lips.

“Don’t. Don’t tell me how you got it, don’t tell me where it came from, don’t tell me whether or not you plan to return it. Please, just… find something?”

Spike’s expression got all soft and loving. He put his hands on Buffy’s shoulders and squeezed her gently, then leaned in and gave her a simple peck on the lips.

“Whatever you need, Buffy.”

They figured out a rendezvous point then shared another kiss that lasted just a little longer than it should have. He gave Dawn a quick little hug then disappeared into the tunnels. Buffy thought about whether or not she should tell him she loved him. But if she did that both he and Dawn would know how truly scared she was. And it wasn’t the time for it, she needed to finish falling first.

“Come on, let’s clean up here, then we’ll go grab the others,” Buffy said instead.

Chapter End Notes:

Let's see if I put this in the right story this time.

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