"I have to be here, where it's dark. Yes. Where they come, my dead, and talk to me. Tell me what I deserve."
"From beneath you, it devours."
Watching the sunlight fade as I walked back from Spike's crypt was a new thing Buffy-wise. I'd spent most of last year walking away from Spike's crypt just as the sun started peeking over the horizon, my skin still tingling with the things we'd done the night before as I tried to get home before my friends realised that I hadn't been home all night. Home before Dawn got up and realised my bed hadn't been slept in.
I'd been ashamed.
I followed the same route as I walked away from Spike's crypt, the same as I'd done all those mornings last year. Passed by the same houses that I had then and wondered if anyone looked out, would they know what I'd been doing? Would someone be able to see?
I felt it again. Shame. But tonight it was different.
I went over every word he'd said on the short walk to my house. Went over every wince, every beat of my heart as I realised I was standing in front of someone who'd tried to force his intentions on me in my bathroom, a man - not a monster - who I'd trusted. A man who I'd let myself lower my defences with.
"Do you know how many girls I killed? Girls like Dawn? And you trusted me with her. God."
I blinked at that, my eyes blurring. I wasn't sure what to think. Spike was... Unstable, crazy. If he got out then-- He'd promised he wouldn't. He promised that he'd wait there for me, that I wouldn't find him gone again and I believed him. I just didn't know how to begin approaching this with my friends.
I turned onto my street, thinking that saying "hey, guess who's back?!" was probably *not* the best way to start this conversation, and raised when I saw Dawn sitting with a girl I'd never seen before. "Geez, one day and you're making friends already?" I asked, forcing a note of happy-smiley-Buffy into my voice, "Even I didn't do that."
I turned towards the girl, took in her appearance for a moment and almost had to have a moments pause. She looked like a student, I guessed, but I really hadn't seen her round anywhere and sue me but I was pretty compelled to *not* trust exchance students since the last one had tried to suck the very life force out of my best friend. "I'm Buffy," I told her, "Dawn's sister? And you are..."
(Open to any at the Summers' house)