Cameron wanted to protest at Spike’s denial. She knew what she felt – what she had felt – better than he did.
The words died on her lips when she realized that they weren’t talking about her feelings. It had been a dream. Maybe a little more than a dream, if it had truly showed her the past, but a dream just the same.
So why had it felt so real? Why could she still feel the burn of the flames licking her hand when she thought about it? Why did it hurt so much that Spike was denying - again - the depth of her feelings?
Why did she keep thinking of them as her feelings when they had been another woman’s?
Feeling confused, she looked at the champagne glass, and was surprised to find it empty. She couldn’t possibly be drunk already – could she?
“I think I should go home,” she mumbled. Her tongue felt too thick.
“Maybe you should,” Spike said, already standing. He was frowning lightly as he helped her out of her seat. “Let’s go.”
He curled his arm at her waist to guide her out. She wanted to complain about the too familiar touch, but words were difficult to find – as was her footing. In the end, she was grateful that he helped her to the car, and grateful when she was able to sit down again. Her head was spinning a little. She tried closing her eyes to see if it would help, but her dream jumped back to the front of her mind, as clear as though it had been happening in front of her.
“Who was it?” she asked, stumbling a little on the words. “When you started burning. Who was it who held your hand?”
She turned her head toward Spike when he didn’t answer. His eyes remained on the road in front of them. She started wondering if she had spoken the question aloud or merely thought it, but he finally answered. “Buffy.”
She looked away again, unwilling to show him the pang of pain she had just felt. Buffy had been lucky to have someone who loved her enough that he was ready to die for her.
At the same time, though, he hadn’t even believed she had feelings for him. So had Buffy been so lucky after all?
She closed her eyes again. After a little while, she dozed off. In her dreams, Spike kept dying, kept denying her love, and she didn’t know what part hurt the most.
When he opened the door and considered his sleeping charge, Spike could only sigh. One thing was sure, Cameron could hold her alcohol no better than Buffy had.
He woke her up and helped her out of the car, but after she had stumbled three times in four steps, he decided that it might be faster to simply pick her up. She protested vaguely when he did that, arguing in broken sentences that she could walk, that he had no right, that he was a bad man and she was never drinking again. Spike agreed with all of it, but he carried her to her apartment just the same.
It was strange how, even though she was taller and curvier than Buffy had been, she seemed to fit perfectly in his arms, just like Buffy had.
Opening her door was a simple matter of pressing her hand to the digipad. Stepping in however…
“Can I come in, luv?”
“Com’ in?” she repeated, mumbling.
Spike extended his leg past the threshold, meeting no barrier. “Good enough,” he said, amused, and carried her inside, cradled against his chest.
The apartment was small with a largely open floor plan, and it didn’t take him very long to find her bedroom. He laid her out on the bed before pulling off her shoes and drawing a blanket over her. He tried not to look at her too much, afraid he’d be tempted to stay longer than he ought to if he did. As he started to turn away, however, she caught his hand, shifting it awkwardly in hers to link their fingers together.
“Mean it,” she mumbled, the words slurred together.
Spike blinked and tightened his hand on hers. “Luv?”
But she was asleep, he soon realized when her grip slackened and she let go of his hand. Sitting on the edge of the bed, he smoothed the hair away from her face. She made a quiet little humming sound, pressing her face into his hand.
“I’ve missed you,” he murmured.
Leaning down, he brushed his lips to her forehead, then to her lips. She didn’t stir. He watched her for a little while, unconsciously cataloguing all the little things that made Cameron so similar to Buffy – and all the not so little things that made them different. He wished he could have climbed into bed and simply held her, like he had, long before, a couple of precious times. But in the end, the ways in which they were different stood out more starkly in his mind than the ways in which they were alike.
As he stood, he smoothed the blanket over her again, then turned away to leave. The long shelves on the wall caught his attention, and as he approached them he could only roll his eyes. Rows of angel figurines, toys and plush toys were lined up one next to the other on the shelves. There must have been a hundred of them at least, probably more.
“It figures,” he said with a snort, glancing back at her sleeping form. “Of all things to remember…”
Snorting again, he left the apartment. Not an hour had passed before he was back.
Cameron woke up in the middle of the morning with the most atrocious headache. For a moment, she looked around her room, frowning and confused. It seemed… different, somehow. She knew it was her room, but at the same time things looked out of place, the walls were the wrong color, the bed was too big.
She was never drinking again.
A shower didn’t really help clearing up her mind, but it lessened her headache. After getting dressed, she trudged to the kitchen – and stared for a few moments at the plush toy that sat on the counter. No bigger than her hand, it was shaped like a devil, complete with horns, tail and pitchfork. She finally noticed the sheet of paper beneath it, and understood as she read it who had left the toy – if not why.
Angels are no fun, Slayer. It’s the demons that know how to party.
Speaking of, we’re going back to New London for a few days. Pack a bag and I’ll pick you up around noon.
The note left her more confused than ever. He had bought her a toy? They were going back to New London already? But more importantly – how had he managed to enter her apartment?
She couldn’t remember inviting him in. After the Council had drilled her about the dangers of vampires, she certainly should have known better than to let him inside her home. Maybe her mom had done it again, or—
She frowned at the thought, more confused than ever. Her mother was four hours away; she certainly hadn’t come over just to invite Spike in. She closed her eyes and shook her head, trying to shake away the remnants of headache that were making her mind so blurry. Turning to the cupboards, she started riffling through them, searching without much success for—
“Hot cocoa?” she muttered, dumbfounded, and slowly closed the china cupboard. “Why would I be looking for hot cocoa? I hate hot cocoa.”
She brewed insta-coffee instead, but when she took her first swallow, it tasted weird, almost as though she had never had it before. She forced herself to finish her cup, hoping it would help clear her mind. Images kept running through her head, however, making her so dizzy that she had to close her eyes. Only then did the flow of images slow down, focusing at last on Spike. He was standing behind a threshold, talking about weapons. She heard a voice – her voice, and yet not really hers – invite him in. His face lit up as brightly as though he had been offered the most fabulous gift.
Shaking her head, she chased the vision away. “But I didn’t,” she said aloud. “I didn’t invite…”
Her voice trailed off as another vision surfaced. It was the same door, and Spike standing behind it again, but when he tried to step forward he was stopped by an invisible barrier. Before a hand – hers, and yet not – closed the door in his face, she could see just how wounded he was. It was the same look of loss she had seen in his eyes when she had asked him about Buffy.
Raking her fingers furiously through her hair, she left the kitchen and returned to the bedroom to pack. The more she thought about it, the more she felt like she was losing her mind. It would be better if she just stopped trying to figure it out, if she just emptied her mind and focused on what she was doing.
Spike’s note had said they’d leave in the morning. She had to pack. That was a simple enough task.
She was in Seattle, packing up a few clothes in a duffelbag. But at the same time, she was elsewhere – Rome? Why did she feel like she was in Rome? – and packing up a small suitcase.
She threw a pair of jeans in her carry on, not caring in the slightest that they unfolded in the process. Shirts now. Short sleeves. Or something warmer if she went out at night with Spike and—
She paused, her vision blurring a little.
“You’re sure he’s back,” she said, and it wasn’t really a question.
A quiet sigh answered her. “Yeah, Buff. We’re sure. He’s been back for weeks.”
Her fingers tightening on a shirt, she turned to the man behind her. Arms crossed over his chest, he was leaning against the doorjamb. Under her accusing gaze, he raised a hand to scratch his cheek just beneath the patch that covered his left eye.
“Weeks?” she repeated, sounding wounded. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
But what she meant was, why didn’t he tell me. She pressed a hand to her chest, where she could feel a painful hole growing and—
Cameron’s fingers clenched until she was holding her t-shirt in her fist, almost hard enough to tear it. She took a deep breath and pushed the… vision, or whatever it had been, away. She could still feel the pain of betrayal – betrayal that Spike hadn’t told her he was back from the dead. But he wasn’t dead, he hadn’t died in her lifetime, and she had no reason to hurt about that. She had enough reasons to feel betrayed already without adding someone else’s life and pain to her own.
Another vision started surfacing. She pushed it back ruthlessly. She had to pack. Spike would be there for her soon.
From the moment Spike picked her up, Cameron was very quiet, answering in monosyllabics whenever Spike addressed her. He figured it was just as well. They had one hell of a fight looming over them, and they didn’t have time for distractions. They certainly didn’t have time to unravel the thorny question of Buffy. And even if they had had the time, Spike wasn’t sure it would have been a good idea to do so.
As he emptied his second bottle – decades had passed, but planes were still stocked with those ridiculously small alcohol bottles – something was becoming quite clear to Spike. Not only had he not moved on, but he was being ridiculous about the whole thing.
The entire time he had waited for her, he had been certain that he would get a fair chance at seducing her. He would only show her the best parts of him, the parts she had started to respect at the end, and it would make everything simpler.
He hadn’t counted on the fact that she’d remember.
She had mentioned his death, but what else would she dream about – what else had she dreamed about already? Did she remember some of their less pleasant moments? Was it the reason why she was so quiet?
She gave him an answer of sorts when they had already been flying for a couple of hours.
“A woman. Blonde. In her forties maybe. You drank chocolate with her in a kitchen. There was a teen, too. Little brunette with big brown eyes. Who were they?”
Had the plane started to plunge toward the ground, Spike would not have been any more surprised. He stared at Cameron, his mouth working soundlessly for a couple of seconds before he could get a word out. “That was—” He caught himself just in time. “That was Buffy’s mother. And her sister.”
“Why do I have memories of them?” she asked, looking confused.
Spike dropped his gaze to the bottle in his hand. What he wouldn’t have given for a full-sized one at that moment… “I don’t know,” he muttered.
“Don’t you?” Cameron said sharply. “You don’t seem all that surprised. You weren’t surprised last night either when I told you about your death.”
He forced his gaze back to her again. She looked as angry as she sounded.
“Cameron,” she interrupted. “That’s my name. I want you to call me Cameron. Not pet, not Slayer.” She paused and gave him a scathing look. “And not Buffy. I’m not her. I’m me.”
Before he knew what he was doing, Spike stood and looked down at her. The sourness at the back of his tongue had nothing to do with the alcohol he had drunk. “You think I don’t know that?” he snapped.
Turning his back on her, he went to sit at the very front of the plane, where he wouldn’t see her anymore. Summoning the stewardess, he requested another sampling of ridiculously small bottles and proceeded to work his way through them, one by one. As hard as he tried, though, he couldn’t ignore Cameron’s presence. He could still smell her frustration, could still hear the sound of her too fast heartbeat, could still hear her last words, echoing in his mind.
All the way back to New London, he could only wonder why he was doing this – why he was making himself mourn her all over again.
Spike barely said a few words to Cameron when they arrived in New London, and even then he let Laila brief her about why they had come back. She listened to the Head Watcher, glancing every so often at Spike, hoping to see what he thought of all this. His features revealed nothing. Soon enough, Laila was done, and Cameron, still distracted, couldn’t help but sigh. “And one more apocalypse,” she said quietly. “That’s always fun.”
It was only when they both turned wide-eyed stares at her that she realized what she had just said. She frowned, raking her mind to figure out why she could possibly have said that – and she figured it out all too easily.
A giant snake and a solar eclipse.
A stone statue and a sword in her hand.
A crying, bleeding girl on a tower of steel and fears.
A friend turned insane with grief.
A cave, a dozen girls – and Spike burning.
She blinked, and the succession of images disappeared, retreating to the back of her mind.
“How much do you remem—”
Spike stood abruptly, interrupting Laila mid-word when the feet of his chair scrapped loudly against the floor. “Leave her alone,” he said with a hard look a Laila. “She’s got to rest before we go do this.”
“No,” Cameron said, trying to make her voice strong so they would know she wasn’t playing anymore. “Tell me. Just tell me what’s going on. Tell me how to stop Buffy’s memories from taking over my mind!”
They looked at each other when her voice rose almost to the point of shouting on the last words. Spike was frowning, but Laila looked interested, and almost eager. She leaned over the desk and, peering at Cameron, said, “Fascinating. This wasn’t supposed to happen.”
“Do we know that?” Spike asked; he sounded bitter, for some unfathomable reason.
Laila spared him a quick glance before observing Cameron again. Cameron shifted on her seat, feeling uncomfortable as though she were an insect being examined under a microscope.
“It never happened before,” Laila said as though to herself, then asked, “How often do you access her memories? How clear are they? Do you—”
“I’m not answering anything until you tell me what’s happening to me!”
She was looking at Spike, but his eyes, like his face, remained expressionless, and said nothing. After a short moment, Laila did.
“You are the reincarnation of a Slayer from the past.”
Cameron let out a shaky breath. “Buffy,” she said as calmly as she could.
Spike flinched at the name, still silent when Laila answered. “Yes.”
Giving up on getting answers from Spike, Cameron looked at Laila, leaning toward her as though it would help her get the information she needed so desperately. “So that’s why I have her memories?”
Laila seemed to consider her words carefully before she replied. “We don’t know. It’s her soul in you, but we don’t know much more than that. Reincarnation is not well understood, and neither are souls for that matter and—”
She was starting to sound like she was lecturing, but that wasn’t what Cameron wanted, or needed.
“You knew from the start,” she said, turning accusing eyes to Spike.
He sighed and sat down again, slouching in his chair. “I knew Buffy would be reincarnated, yes. I was told long ago.”
“No.” Cameron shook her head impatiently. “I mean, the first time we met. You knew.”
“I did,” he admitted after an instant.
A flash of resentment flooded Cameron. Her hands clenched on the armrests of her chair. “That’s why you became my Watcher,” she spat. “Because you thought I was her.”
“What I knew,” he said slowly, “from the first time I laid eyes on you, was that you weren’t her.”
The words brought forth unexpected pain, and for an instant Cameron tried to get a grip on herself. She was mad that he could believe she was anyone other than herself, but at the same time she couldn’t help but feel hurt that he claimed otherwise. What was wrong with her?
“Do you still think that?” she asked, unsure what she even wanted to hear.
Spike shook his head. “I think in twelve hours we’ll have an apocalypse on our hands, and if you get so upset that you can’t fight and get yourself killed it won’t matter one bit what I think.”
With a last hard look at Laila that said quite plainly that he blamed her for all of this, he stood and left the room. Cameron watched him go, frowning in incomprehension. Did he believe she was Buffy or not? When he had disappeared, she faced Laila again. She was observing Cameron as though looking at the pieces of a puzzle.
“Who am I?” she asked the Watcher.
Laila gave a tiny shake of her head. “I think he’s right on one point. Now is not the time. Tomorrow—”
“I can think about it now,” Cameron interrupted her, “or I can think about it in the middle of the apocalypse. Which sounds safer to you?”
With a resigned sigh, Laila pulled a notepad from her desk drawer and scribbled something on it. Tearing off the sheet, she leaned over the desk to hand it to Cameron.
“It’s the passcode to access the restricted recordings in the holo library,” she explained. “We only make the more benign recordings available to everyone. If you want to know who Buffy Summers was, why don’t you let her tell you herself?”
Hands in his pockets and head bowed, Spike spent hours wandering through Headquarters, nodding absently when he crossed paths with a Potential or Watcher, barely listening to their greetings or words of encouragement for the fight to come. On the edge of such events, he was usually the one who cheered up the scared lambs and assured them they wouldn’t be slaughtered. He knew that lie so well, he could deliver it with a straight face and without ever blinking. He wasn’t in the mood, though. Not this time. Instead, he was the one who could have used a pep talk. Not about the coming apocalypse, hell knew he couldn’t have cared less about that. It was Buffy that was on his mind. And Cameron. Or was that, Buffy or Cameron? How could he even tell?
All these years waiting for her, and now that she was back… He wasn’t sure anymore what he had hoped would happen, what he had expected, but this was not it. Maybe he had thought he’d get a chance to woo her, to make her see him without preconceived notions. Apparently the Powers had decided he didn’t get a do over.
It wasn’t like he could be surprised about that. They had fucked with his life in every imaginable way. Of course they’d take this and muck it all up, too.
He didn’t realize when the randomness of his steps was replaced by the tracking of a familiar scent, but when he reached the holo room and stopped, he knew at once why he was there. He could smell Cameron, but it was Buffy he heard, his heart tightening painful at the sound, like an echo of his long gone heartbeat. He knew about the recordings, but he had never watched more than a couple of them, and only because he had needed to. It just hurt too much to see her there, so alive and yet so absent.
He stepped in quietly, slipping past the half-open door. Cameron was seated in front of the console, her legs crossed on the seat, one hand clutching her ankle, the other summoning new videos, one after the other. If she noticed his entrance, she didn’t show it, and kept her eyes on the video projected in front of her. Spike tiptoed to the back of the room and leaned against the wall.
On the holo screen, Buffy smiled, but she sounded a little uneasy. Spike’s fists clenched in his pockets. “No, he didn’t know about the curse at the time. One person did, but she…”
Closing his eyes, Spike tuned out her actual words, listening only to the sound of her voice. He really didn’t care to hear her talk about the big brooder’s curse.
Apparently, neither did Cameron; she stopped the recording and skipped over to the next one. Spike opened his eyes again, shivering, when he heard her say his name.
“Spike’s soul.” She sighed quietly, and her expression drifted into wistfulness. She was wearing the same clothes – the same colorful scarf over her head - as in the previous recording and had only shifted a little on her bed. It seemed as though they had interviewed her just before her time had run out. He wondered why she had done it. “I don’t know what to tell you about Spike’s soul,” she started again after a moment. “Honestly, he started his journey long before he fought for it. I’m not saying he never slipped—” Spike flinched, but to his surprise her face broke into a grin at those words. “—if I have time remind me to tell you about the Doctor—” Someone interrupted her off screen and Buffy frowned at the camera. “No, Andrew, not that Doctor. And I can’t believe I actually understood one of your geeky references. You’re totally corrupting me!”
She laughed again, a full, happy laugh that caused Spike’s eyes to prickle a bit. He blinked very fast when Cameron stopped the recording. As the video resolved itself into a silent blue screen, she said softly, “When I was five, I had an imaginary friend. Do you want to know what her name was?”
“What was it?” Spike asked, just as quietly.
The word took flight between them like a small, colorful bird. It came to perch on Spike’s shoulder and he shivered at the touch.
“I wanted a sister so bad,” she murmured.
Her chair pivoted and she faced him. A pang of pain coursed through Spike at the sheer grief reflected on her features. He remained silent, unsure of what he possibly could have said.
After a few seconds, she shook her head lightly and blinked. Her eyes cleared a little as they found Spike’s. “And you’ve seen my collection, haven’t you?”
“The angels?” he asked, cautious.
“Yeah.” A thin smile stretched her lips. “I started collecting them when I was sixteen. I’ve never been religious, but one day out of the blue I just bought one. And I never stopped. I always thought I’d stop the day I found the perfect one. I just never did.”
Spike knew what he had to say – had to suggest. He didn’t like it, not one little bit, but over the last few decades he had done a lot of things he hadn’t liked, and most of them had been the right thing to do. He let out a long sigh before he cautiously offered, “If you want to meet him—”
“No,” she cut in with a small smile. “I really don’t.”
And that, Spike decided with a pang of relief, would be the last time they talked about him if he had anything to say about it.
After a few seconds, Cameron started again, on that same quiet, almost absent tone. “I had the same boyfriend since I was sixteen. I loved him so much… But I wouldn’t sleep with him. I was always terrified that he’d stop loving me if we did it. And when we finally did and nothing happened, I felt…” Her hands were tight fists on her knees. “I felt like something was wrong. Like, it couldn’t have been true love or something would have changed.”
At that moment, Spike would have given his soul to wring the Powers’ neck – provided they had one. Bastards.
“Cameron,” he said softly, but couldn’t finish. He didn’t quite know how to ask her to stop hurting herself – and him – with those slivers of memories that weren’t hers. He realized that now. He couldn’t expect her to embrace what she had once been.
“The more I learn about her,” she continued, still talking as much to herself as to him, it seemed, “the more… the more I see she’s been with me all this time. No, not with me. Just… me.”
She met his eyes then, and something in them was asking him to tell her she wasn’t crazy. Tell her this was all real. Tell her it wasn’t and she would be back to her old life if she just told herself to wake up now.
He forced a half smile to his lips. “There’s worse people to be stuck with.”
She closed her eyes briefly and snorted. “And you’re not biased at all.”
“Maybe just a bit,” he conceded. “But you’re going to be OK. Now you know why your imaginary friend was called—” The word almost caught in his throat. “— Dawn or why you like things with wings more than sane people do—” Her quiet chuckle helped him finish. “But it doesn’t change who you are. Does it?”
For a long moment, she observed him but didn’t reply. Eventually, she asked, “Was it true what you said? That when you saw me, you knew I wasn’t her?”
Spike swallowed back a sigh. “When I first saw you,” he said very slowly, “I didn’t know what to think. You didn’t look anything like her, and you didn’t move like her either. And then I looked into your eyes—”
“The eyes are the window to the soul,” she said softly, showing she remembered.
Spike nodded, uncomfortable. “Yeah. That’s what they say.” He looked at the computer console behind her. This was why he never watched those old recordings. They never captured the fire in a person’s eyes.
“You think I’m her,” she said. Her quiet words failed to hide how hurt she was.
Spike shook his head slowly. “I think you’re Cameron. And I think somewhere inside you, there’s… a spark… something… that remembers it used to be Buffy.”
“Like you remember being William?” she asked, leaning forward in her seat as though she could get physically closer to the truth.
“I was turned,” Spike pointed out. “Not reincarnated.”
She shook her head impatiently. “But your soul returned to you, so maybe—”
He pushed away from the wall, sighing softly. “Cameron…” He smiled sadly at her wide-eyed anticipation, suddenly feeling the weight of his age. “Don’t. What happened to me bears no resemblance to what is going on with you.”
Again, pain flashed through her eyes. She sat back, drawing her legs up in front of her and encircling them with her arms. “You’re confusing me,” she said plaintively. “I try to figure out who I am, but you keep pulling away everything I cling to. I can’t be like you, I can’t be like her, so what can I be?”
He took slow steps to her and brushed his fingertips to her cheek, erasing the trail left by a tear. “Just be you,” he murmured. “Whoever that is.”
It happened exactly the prophecy had said it would – yet in a completely different way than what they had thought. There was a thing to be said about vagueness and double meanings. It didn’t matter, though. In the end, fighting was fighting. Who, what, where or how were no more than details.
The reinforcements that were supposed to help Cameron never arrived, sent to the wrong place while only a last minute flash of insight brought her to the correct location. Her – and Spike. A sword for each of them, and only a few quiet words exchanged when it all started.
“Would she have been scared?”
“It doesn’t matter. The important thing is, are you?”
She looked at Spike then, memories rising from beyond her years and from the past few weeks. Both sets of memories agreed; if she could trust anyone with her life, it was this man. Both also said that, maybe, she could also trust him with her heart.
“Ask me again when the fight is over,” she said with a small smile, and he replied in kind.
And then, it was time to stop her first apocalypse.
In truth, she wasn’t scared. She knew she would survive this. She knew it with a certainty she had never felt before, a certainty that ran deeper than simple confidence. She knew it down to her very soul. She would stop it, because it wasn’t her first apocalypse.
More than that, though, she knew that Spike would survive this too. She knew what Spike thought of them, but she refused to believe that the Powers would be that cruel. And if they were, she’d have a few choice words for them – again.
She had had another dream, that night. Another memory. This one had been confusing at first, until she had understood. She had dreamed of Buffy after she had died. She had had no body, no hands to gesture with or mouth to form words, but then, neither had the Powers – and they had talked anyway.
“I want to make a deal.”
“A deal? You have reached the end, child. Rest. Be at peace.”
“Not so fast. I’ll have time to rest once you answer this. Will I ever be with Spike again?”
They were silent for a long time. Buffy waited. She didn’t feel impatience. Time had no meaning anymore, here. Eventually, they answered.
“He hasn’t earned his place with you.”
“Will he ever earn it?”
Yet again, they did not answer right away. Part of Buffy wanted to protest that it was unfair; he had earned it. But in this place where knowledge and truth were everything, she understood that maybe she didn’t know everything. Maybe it was better that she didn’t.
“If he has the proper motivation,” they said, and even though their voices didn’t change, they sounded cautious suddenly, “he might.”
“What motivation is that?” she asked at once, but when she received no answer for a little while, she understood they weren’t answering because she already knew. “Me. Of course.”
She thought for a long time. At least, she believed it to be a long time. Maybe it was only an instant. In the end, she realized she had known the answer from the start.
“Can you bring me back?” she asked, but didn’t like that she sounded like she wanted this for herself. She did – but not only. “Can you give us another chance?”
Silence, once more, stretched around her.
“I’ll fight for you again,” she offered, feeling just a twinge of desperation. “You know I’m good. You could use my help.”
Let them just try to deny that, she thought.
“Why?” they asked at last. “You were here before and you were torn away from us. Why would you want—”
“You know why,” she interrupted them. She didn’t want to think about what she would leave behind, only about what she would return to. “Just tell me if you will do it or not.”
“We can bring you back,” they grudgingly agreed. “But we cannot promise you and he will end up together the way you want.”
Had she had lips, her grin would have been savage enough to scare anyone or anything who thought of standing in her way.
“Don’t worry about that. Just bring me back. Spike will do the rest.”
As she straightened up from her last kill and looked across the battlefield, Cameron could see Spike. Standing. Fighting. Killing his last adversary before he too looked for her.
She dropped her weapon. They started toward each other at the same time. They stopped when only a foot separated them. With that last dream, Cameron had made her peace with who and what she was. All she needed now was to tell Spike.
“She asked to be brought back,” she said quickly. “She knew you’d be waiting for her.”
The smile that had been curling his lips slowly crumbled. He passed a hand through his hair, leaving a trail of blood in his wake.
“You can’t know that,” he said, almost sighing. He looked away from her and dropped his voice to a whisper. “It’s not—”
Cameron rested a hand on his cheek, drawing his eyes back to her. The other took his hand and brought it up, linking their fingers together. “Yes I do,” she said softly. “And don’t you even think about denying it this time.”
His eyes widened slowly as he understood – as he remembered, like she did. She wasn’t sure where they would end up. She wasn’t sure how much of her was Cameron, and how much was Buffy. But she did know that she wouldn’t mind too much anymore if Spike called her ‘love’.
Leaning in, she covered his lips with hers. He answered her kiss immediately.
As first kisses went, it was rather spectacular, she thought – then again, it wasn’t their first kiss at all, was it?