Summary: Prompt says it all
He ignored Buffy's open mouth and bewildered eyes, talking to Willow, Dawn and Xander in short bursts as they got themselves organized. Finally, when everyone had agreed that getting out was the most important thing to do, he turned to where she was still standing, dumbfounded, whispering his name over and over.
Ohmigod! He's alive! Spike is alive. And he's here. He's here and that means he knows... Oh no. No. No. No. Please, God, let him not have seen or heard—
Spike raised a sardonic eyebrow, wearing his "I can see right through you, Slayer" look as he gestured toward the vehicle in which he'd arrived.
"Come on, then, Slayer, time to beat a strategic retreat. You too, Twangel," he threw over his shoulder as he took Buffy's arm and maneuvered her into the hatch. "'less you'd rather stay here and deal with the mess you made all by yourself."
Angel frowned at the way Spike assumed Buffy would do what he asked her to, and the way she willingly did it. He hurried after them, barely squeezing in before Spike slammed the hatch closed. Spike quickly made his way to the control room where Willow and Xander were trying to make sense of the blinking lights and levers.
"I've got it," Spike said shortly, sitting down and flipping several identical-seeming switches. The vessel shook, engines whined, and then they were hurtling away. As soon as they were safely gone, Spike set the autopilot, sternly instructed Xander not to touch anything or "let that other pillock touch anything".
Angel glared, but was too busy trying to get Buffy's attention to respond to Spike's obvious baiting. He touched her arm, blinking in shock when she threw him off and moved away.
"Buffy? What's wrong?"
She turned large, damp eyes to him. "Did you know Spike was alive?"
Angel shrugged and managed to look both offended and guilty at the same time. "What difference does it make now? After what we've shared—"
Buffy's face flamed red and her hands covered her mouth as she gave a moan. "Don't remind me! Suppose he heard... No wonder he doesn't want to look at me. You... me... we..." To Angel's astonishment, fat tears began to roll down her face. Before he could say or do anything, Spike was between them.
"Hey, now, Slayer. None of that. We've got a world to save." He took her face in his hands and rested his forehead against hers. "We'll work this out later, yeah?" He licked the tears off her cheeks, ignoring Angel's snarl and Xander's "Yuck!"
"You're not mad...? You didn't see...? It's all ri—?" Buffy couldn't finish a coherent sentence. It was taking all her emotional strength not to throw herself into his arms begging forgiveness for the actions she was hoping against hope that he hadn't heard or seen.
"Am," he said quietly. "Did, and it's not alright. You can't possibly think it would be... But we've got things to do, and I have to accept my own part – not being here, not letting you know I wasn't any deader than usual." He dropped his hands from her face to her wrists, taking one hand in his. "If you want to work it out now, let's do it without the audience." He tugged her with him through an open doorway and into a well-lit corridor.
"It's... bigger than it looks." Buffy stared around in astonishment at the long corridor with other hallways branching off and doors leading to who knew where.
"Lotta things are like that," he said with a shrug as he showed her into a small room and closed the door.
He turned and faced her, dropping the cocky facade he'd worn since he'd burst through the floor to rescue them. He just stared at her, his eyes containing a combination of sadness, rage, pain, disappointment and joy. He raised one hand tentatively toward her face, then dropped it before he touched her.
"Spike..." Buffy began. "I'm so sorry. If I'd known you were... I wouldn't have... I would never have hurt you like that."
He shrugged his shoulders, attempting to appear unconcerned and calm. "Yes, you would. You had a chance to walk away from your miserable life and you took it. Don't blame you for it, love; jus' wish you hadn't done it quite so publicly. Made it kinda hard to pretend it wasn't happening, what with the fabric of the universe tearing and all."
"But I didn't know. I'm so sorry. I didn't know...." Suddenly her voice trailed off. "I didn't know! Why didn't I know, Spike?" Gone was the tearful, apologetic girl who'd followed him into the room and in her place was the Buffy he knew –eyes flashing and fists clenched at her sides. "Why the hell didn'tI know?"
He shuffled his feet and edged toward the door, stopping when she moved to block his exit.
"There's a really, really good explanation, love," he ventured. "Several of them, actually. One for each time I could have—"
"Shouldhave!" Buffy interrupted.
"Right. Should have. No question about it. I was a wanker and a coward and a... a..."
"Moron? Jackass? Inconsiderate jerk?"
"All of those things," he agreed quickly. "Was an idiot – and then we had that battle, which I think we kinda lost – and I—"
"You could have prevented this."
"Wha—? Whoa there, Slayer. Wasn't me shagging the great poof into another world."
"No, but... and ewww for that image... But if I'd known, if you'd been here, with me...."
"You saying you wouldn't have taken him up on his offer?" Spike's face reflected both hope and disbelief.
"Of course not! Why would I want to— with him, if I had you in my life? I thought you were dead! I thought I'd never have you again and when Angel offered..." She stopped and stared at Spike. "Do you have any idea how long it's been since anyone touched me? Not counting people who were trying to kill me... or people of the non-male persuasion," she finished in a mumble.
"Oh, Buffy. I had no idea." He moved closer to her and raised a tentative hand to her face. "Thought you'd be doing fine without me in your life, and then when Blue whisked us away... I came as soon as I knew you were in trouble." He stroked her cheek, smiling when she leaned into his hand and held it in place. She turned her head and kissed his palm.
"I missed you so much," she murmured. "I needed you and you weren't there."
"I'm sorry, love." He slipped his arms around her waist and pulled her into his body. "Never meant to hurt you. Never would. Love you too much."
Buffy slid her arms around him, inhaling the scents she'd never thought to enjoy again. Spike continued murmuring in her ear, his hands stroking her back gently as basked in her presence. Suddenly he froze. "What did you mean 'of the non-male persuasion'? Who's the bint?" His eyes were flashing yellow and she gave him a little shake.
"Not going to tell you. It's over and done with. And none of your business, Mr-I-wasn't-around-to-object-to-it."
"Point," he admitted reluctantly. "So, where does that leave us? What are we doing now?"
"Probably causing a ship-wide search," she said with a wry grin. She reluctantly pulled away from him. "As for where we are... I think we're okay." She raised her eyes to his. "At least I hope we are. Really can't do anything about it while there's world save-age to do, but when we're done..."
"When we're done," he whispered, leaning down to brush his lips across hers, "I'm going to put you in the shower and wash you down until I can't smell him on you anymore." He slid his lips over to her ear and murmured, "And then I'm going to make love to you until you can't remember his name."
"Who's name?" she whispered back, grabbing his face with both hands and pulling his mouth back to hers. "And doesn't this ship have showers?"