By Giuliana

Title: Realization
Author: Giuliana
Spoiler Warning: Season 6 up to and including "Tabula Rasa."
Pairings: Buffy/Spike, (Buffy/Giles)
Rating: R (for one bad word)
Summary: Buffy realizes something too late.
Disclaimer: The story's mine, but the universe and characters belong to Joss.
Notes: When Joss produces a happy episode, I'll write a happy story. Maybe. Written before "Smashed" aired.

Spike's lips are a lot like Angel's: full, hungry against mine, but cold. It's comforting in a way, familiar. I tug at his jacket, pulling him tight against me, and I can feel him hard against my belly. It scares me a little, but I don't stop. I keep on kissing him, touching him, using him. I'm using him, I know it, and I know he knows it, too. But he doesn't seem to care. His hands (cold as his mouth, even colder maybe) trace small circles on my back (under my coat, under my shirt), and right now, more than anything, I want Giles to walk into the Bronze, see me and Spike, and realize that he can't leave. He just can't leave me if he sees this, because this is bad, evil, and wrong. It shouldn't be Spike who is holding me, kissing me, and comforting me. It should be --

Oh God.

I pull back from Spike. He tries to kiss me again, but I push him away. I do it with a little too much force, and he stumbles into a guy walking past. Spike curses and shoots me an angry look, but then it changes, and he's looking at me like I'm going to break (down, apart -- I feel like both) and says, "Buffy?"

I run. I have to get out of here, away from Spike, away from that thought -- that thought of Giles, that thought of me and Giles....

I get a couple of blocks before I crumble. Right on the sidewalk, I break (apart into a trillion pieces, scattered everywhere) down, the tears feeling like ice.

He's gone. He left me. The bastard fucking left me when I need him more than anything, more than anyone. I wish I could hate him, but I just need him so much. I want (scary, scary word -- scarier thought) him so much. I can't hate him -- it's not possible -- but I can hate myself, and I do. I hate myself for realizing all of this too late, when he's already gone. God, shades of Riley there.

I know Spike's behind me, so I don't flinch when he touches my shoulder. I'm not at all surprised that he followed me. I couldn't run away from him anymore than I could run away from my thoughts and emotions. He kneels next to me, silent. I wipe my eyes and turn my head to look at him. I know I'm going to regret it (using him, using him, just using him) and hate myself (he's not the one I really want) even more afterwards, but I still grab the back of his neck and bring his mouth to mine.