Professor Walsh was talking; telling her to do something. Sit on the desk, maybe? Buffy obeyed. Part of her mind registered that this is all very odd and not at all like class. But in the haze of her dreamself, that didn't matter.

Walsh continued speaking. She motioned Riley to come forward. Buffy hadn't noticed he was there before and smiled. She liked Riley. He returned her smile with that big goofy grin of his. Buffy decided she didn't care what was going on; this was nice.

Riley started saying something about the sun going down. Then he began to kiss her.

The kiss was very nice. It reminded her of a long ago time of playing at love; not really there yet but wishing for the day. When you kissed the boy because he was sweet and thought you were pretty, not because he was the One.

The kiss changed. It was harder now, forceful and passionate. Arms snaked out to pull her close. An overwhelming need filled Buffy, to touch and be touched. She slid off the desk and fully entered his embrace, responding to the kiss. No more youthful wishing. This was it. The One.

She opened her eyes.

Spike stared back at her, one hand tenderly stroking her cheek. She leaned into the palm of his hand, enjoying the gentle gesture. An almost inaudible whisper in the back of her mind wondered where Riley had gone. But her dream self ignored it. Instead, she brought her own hand up to his face. For a few moments, they stood there, caressing each other.

She heard singing off in the distance. Buffy turned around, seeking the singer. As she looked, she sensed Spike behind her. He let her go ahead, but remained protectively by her shoulder.

They walked down a long hall. At the end, there stood a young girl holding a music box. It was she who was singing.

"Can't even shout, can't even cry. The Gentlemen are coming by..."


Buffy jerked awake to the sound of Professor Walsh's voice. The real one, not the dream one.

"Man that was an exciting class, huh?" Willow started teasing her best friend. "And the last twenty minutes was a revelation that just laid out everything we need to know for the final. I'd hate to have missed that."

Buffy just laughed and sent up a prayer that Willow was joking. And if she wasn't, that she'd be a super-bestest friend and share notes.

They left the class together, only for Willow to take off after Riley made an appearance. He was teasing her about sleeping in class, too.

"So did I have a guest appearance?" he asked, after she admitted to an intense dream. Obviously, his inner psych major was having a field day. "Maybe even romantically?"

Buffy smiled awkwardly and gave him a non-answer. What was she going to say? 'Yeah, you showed up and we kissed, but then you were replaced by my husband and we REALLY kissed'. And what was up with Spike appearing in her dreams? That was happening way too often for her liking.

Dreams of fighting Spike, kissing Spike, making love with Spike...

"So what are you doing tonight? Buffy? You not awake yet?"

Focus, Buffy! Potential boyfriend may be asking you about potential date! Stop thinking sexy thoughts about your husband! Um, that came out wrong. Stop thinking about evil vampires! Much better.

Unfortunately, Riley's suggested plans did not mesh with the life of a Slayer. And so she went on a major guilt trip for lying to him. Which then brought up the guilt for the a) dreaming about Spike, not Riley and b) being married to Spike and still dating. There was big time guiltage going on. Buffy found it very frustrating.

Buffy went to find Giles. At least some of her dream was Slayerly. If she was lucky, maybe he'd let her kill something.


The silence was unnatural. As Spike walked the streets of Sunnydale, all he heard were ambient sounds. Cars. Footsteps. Wind. Glass breaking. Ooh! That one sounded like fun. Nothing like a catastrophe to bring out one's inner rioter.

Spike headed in the direction of the breaking glass. He was much disappointed with the scene in front of him. It was just a bunch of kids throwing rocks into shop windows. The little brats didn't even bother to loot the places. Not that he could blame them. Raiding a women's apparel shop wasn't his idea of a good time, either. Bored, Spike turned away to look for something more fun. Maybe a nice fistfight or robbery.

Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a familiar blonde head. Almost unwillingly, he was drawn towards her. Ever since their marriage he'd been plagued with scarily soft and fuzzy feelings for the Slayer; since the Bronze he'd wanted to act on them.

She was talking to the git. Okay, so maybe not talking. But they were doing that deep intense stare thing, which was just as bad or worse. He'd seen her do it with Angel before and had found it bloody annoying. Now it didn't just annoy him, it made him angry. The deep stare thing was invariably followed by the emotional embrace - look, there they go!

Spike sincerely wished, at that moment, for the ability to rip the git's throat out. Because the emotional embrace would be followed by the passionate kiss -

Over the top of the Riley's shoulder, Buffy's eyes met Spike's. Spike's stare said quite clearly what he was feeling; Buffy's less so.

Unaware of the ongoing drama, Riley moved to kiss Buffy. She turned her head, his lips hitting her cheek. She gave him an extra hug for luck before slipping out of his embrace.

They parted.

Riley walked away, wondering why Buffy had just rejected him. Not to mention, what was a girl like her doing out on such a dangerous night?

Buffy continued patrolling, wondering why she had stopped Riley from kissing her. More importantly, why did it matter that SPIKE didn't want her to kiss Riley?

Spike trailed after Buffy, as he had done before, wondering why she hadn't kissed the git. And while we're on the subject, why was he still following her?