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Pull me under, run through my veins
He saw her; she was broken--shattered into pieces, held together with duty and obligation but with none of her fire or spark, none of the life, the spirit which had drawn him to her like a moth to a flame. She was still there, though, he knew that. Somewhere under all the pain, behind the emptiness, somewhere his girl was hiding. Somehow he had to find her.
He couldn’t do this any longer; he knew it was killing them
both. It was time to break the pattern.
Slowly her sobs lessened as the great ball of grief that had lodged
in her chest progressively shrank, before finally dissipating altogether.
There was silence for a while and then a soft, hesitant, “Why are you being so kind to me? The way I have treated you...” Another shudder ran through her at the memory of her recent actions. Her eyes brimmed once more, a single tear breaking free to slowly track unheeded down her face. “How can you not hate me?”
“Couldn’t hate you, Buffy.” Once again he captured her eyes with his; they were swollen, red and bruised from so much crying but to him they had never looked so beautiful. She was there. He could see his girl, his Buffy, his Slayer, in those eyes. There was pain there still, he could see that, but the emptiness, the deadness was gone. “I love you, pet. 's all I know how to do,” he told her with such honesty that her breath caught in her throat and tears formed afresh.
He can’t, she thought, her mind scrambling to deny what her heart knew to be true. Giles, the Council, Angel they had all taught her, told her repeatedly that vampires can’t feel, can’t love. What they'd taught her was wrong. Or a lie. She knew that now; his eyes had taught her that lesson and she knew beyond doubt that they spoke the truth.
“Can I stay, Spike?” she asked quietly. “Can you be with me, just hold me?”
A soft moan escaped him and she felt his breath catch. It's funny how Spike always seemed to forget that he didn’t need to breathe.
In answer to her softly posed question he picked her up and carried her carefully to the bed, laying her down gently. He climbed in next to her and wrapped his arms around her as she snuggled against him; barely allowing himself to believe that this was anything more than a dream.
“Thank you, Spike.”
“What ever for, love?” he marvelled.
“For loving me,” she whispered against his chest before slipping softly into a peaceful, dreamless sleep for the first time since she had been dragged back into this world.