By Indri

SUMMARY: Spike and Buffy, the night before the day after. Spoilers for "Chosen". G. Written December 28, 2003.

He sits on his cot, turning the amulet over and over in his hands. It's butt-ugly, still. And the longer he looks at it the more he feels a leaden weight in his belly and a kind of numbness in his limbs, like he won't be seeing the day after next.

When Buffy comes down, she pauses at the foot of the stairs, as if she might say something different this time. But he doesn't get his hopes up and, sure enough, she's all business as soon as she speaks. She stands there, her skin luminous, running through the plan for the umpteenth time as if his role were more complicated than "Wear fashion accessory and fight."

There will be blood in a cooler afterwards, she tells him, and he'll need to lie low while they drive to medical care. He humours her, repeating back what she's said as if he needs to know it. He makes some small joke that she smiles at, and for a moment she looks a little less tired. She gives him a hug, her face pressed to his chest so he can't make out her expression. Then she goes back upstairs to brief the rest of her troops.

He hopes she'll miss him a little.

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