Title: Pearly Shells

The sisters walked side by side chatting about the gifts they had purchased, their arms full of
colorful shopping bags.

A soft breeze fluttered over them faintly scented with plumeria blossoms as Buffy fumbled for the
room key. "Do you think Giles will like this?" Dawn dug what appeared to be a monkey carved from a coconut out of her
bag he was wearing glasses and had a book attached his hands.

Buffy laughed out loud and nodded her head, "He'll love it." The door finally opened they went into
the room and placed there purchases on the bed.

"Pearly shells, pearly shells........" A loud voice happily singing off key, drifted into the room from the lanai. Both girls
looked towards the sliding door.

"Buffy, do we have a singing demon on our patio or is that....? Dawn asked as she took a step
closer to her sister.

Buffy pulled the curtain back and opened the door laughing, "It's only Spike, Dawn. No worries."

Dawn giggled and followed Buffy to the lanai, the sight before made her giggles turn to loud laughter.
Spike sat on a chair dressed in very colorful shorts, he was attempting to strum a ukulele and
sing - Pearly Shells.

Spike grinned at her as he finished his song,

"Pearly shells, Pearly shells,
from the ocean,
shining in the sun,
covering the shore.
When I see them,
My heart tells me that I love you......my....Buffy!" He stopped strumming and stared at his girl for a moment
before continuing.

"More then all those little pearly shells,
more than all those little pearly shells."
He sat down his ukulele and took her hand she sat on his lap naturally as if she belonged there,
she did.

Dawn rolled her eyes at the two of them, "How many mai tai's have you had?"

"Not a one.. don't need alcohol to inspire me. I was doing my best Don Ho imitation." Spike
wrapped his arms tighter around Buffy.

"Don who?" Dawn asked raising her eyebrow at him.

"Before your time, niblet." He shook his head and rolled his eyes at her.

"Well I'll leave you two to do whatever it is that you do when I'm not around." Dawn grinned at the
happy couple.

"So where do you think you're going?" Spike asked in a father like tone.

"Luau with Seth. Buffy already said it was okay. I'll be in by ten. That gives you guys four hours to
do whatever you want." She winked as she left.

"You sure this Seth guy is okay?" Spike as Buffy as she played with a strand of her hair.

"Very nice, I met his parents they extended the invitation." Buffy assured him as her lips found his,
"Now lets go do that thing we do when she's not here." She jumped from his lap and he chased her
into the room.

After as she lay sleeping against him, he took a long look at the matching rings on each of their
left hands. Who would have ever thought?


"Dawn, I know you enjoy the slaying but you can not just charge in please wait for my cue, okay?"
Buffy sighed as she cut the pizza.

"Fine. Tonight I promise to wait for your cue. Where are we patrolling tonight?" Dawn asked as
she put three slices of pizza on her plate.

Buffy looked at her, "Hungry?"

"Well, Xander said that slaying makes you hungry or......" Dawn started..

Buffy's eyes got wide, "Don't finish that sentence."

"What? Hungry or tired is what he told me." Dawn shook her head at her sister.

"Oh....oh yeah tired." Buffy took a slice of pizza for herself. She was going to have to talk to Xander about some
of the things he told Dawn. She had only recently confronted him about what he told her about *that*
night in the bathroom. She had tried to explain to him that he had walked in on the tail end of a bad
scene, that yes it could have been worse, but she didn't hate Spike, she told him they were both confused
and things got out of control. Xander of course was still angry but at least she had made Dawn understand.
Now if she could only talk to Spike and let him know she understood.

The slaying went well that night. Dawn listened to Buffy and paid attention to all the things she showed her.
Buffy told her how proud she was of her and how well she was doing and a block from home they
decided to race home the winner getting the last of the pizza. Buffy was mere yards ahead of Dawn
when she stopped suddenly a few feet from the back porch. "Buffy, what's wrong?" Dawn called
out as she caught up to her. Buffy didn't have to explain, Dawn saw him the moment she looked
at the porch.

He sat on the back porch steps, the moonlight reflecting off his blond hair. "Hello, Buffy. Niblet." He nodded
towards Dawn but his eyes quickly went back to Buffy.

"Spike - you're back!" Dawn sprinted the few feet to the porch and sat down beside him hugging him
tightly, "He's back, Buffy. Now you can tell him."

Spike returned Dawns hug and pulled away to look at Buffy, "Tell me what?" He asked sounding almost

"Uh....we can talk about that later." Buffy walked towards him slowly then settled in next to him on the
porch, "So are you back for good?"

"Depends." He answered with a small smile.

"On what?" Dawn asked then looked from Buffy to Spike, "Hey, I'm just gonna go eat that leftover
pizza now. It's good to see you Spike." She closed the kitchen door behind her then peeked out the
curtain to watch them.

"I want to know too, " Buffy looked him straight in the eyes.

"Know what?" He asked her never letting his eyes leave hers.

"What your staying depends on?" It was her turn to sound shy now.

And thats when the whole story unfolded of his trip to Africa and how he had done everything on his
journey hoping to please her. He carefully explained that he knew she probably could never forgive
him for that last night, but he had to try to make it up to her and even if he never had a chance with
her he wanted her to know that it had all been worth it. He was a better man because of her and
that was something whether she ever loved him or not.

Buffy listened to him earnestly, hearing the sincerity in his voice, watching the way his eyes lit up when
he told her about the special side affect of his request. He was human now.....he had broken the news
in an almost whisper and then he had taken her hand and gently lay it on his chest over his
beating heart.

"I don't know what to say." Buffy had told him as she left her hand on his chest to feel the strong beat
there for several minutes. "You...you're human."

"I don't expect it to make everything different. But I just wanted you to know and to thank you. Because
of you it was possible." He stood to go and she stood with him.

"Spike, this is so sudden.....so much to think about. But please come back tomorrow for dinner. We
can talk more and I know Dawn wants to spend some time with you." Buffy kissed him soflty on
the cheek.

He grinned all the way back to his hotel room that night and that was only the beginning of many smiles
for he and Buffy. Despite lots of flak from Xander and some doubts from her other friends and Giles
she and Spike managed to convince them that all would be well when they invited them to thier
wedding.It was a small wedding held in the Summer's back yard only the closest of friends were
invited and the happy couple along with Dawn headed to Hawaii for a honeymoon

Present time

And thats how he found himself in this hotel room with his wife, that sounded so good, *his wife* lying in bed
beside him. Buffy stirred and looked at the clock, eight o'clock flashed at her. "Ohh.....two more hours
before Dawn gets back."

He kissed the top of her head, "You're gonna wear me out. I am only human you know."

She laughed softly, "You're up to it."

"I guess I am at that." He waggled his eyebrows at her.

Later, Buffy smiled at Spike settled next to her in the bed, their honeymoon had been wonderful so far
even with Dawn along. She seemed to be okay by herself in the adjoining room and had been
quite happy to give them quite a bit of privacy. "So the song you were singing earlier, you meant

Spike nodded his head, "Of course I did." He picked up the ukulele from the chair at the side of the
bed and began to strum it again. "When I see them, my heart tells me that I love you......more then
all those pretty pearly shells." This time he sang the song softly and straight to Buffy, "I love you more
then all those pearly shells and more."

Dawn had to smile as she listened to the ukulele music coming from Buffy and Spike's room. She
started to knock but thought better of it. She entered her own room and called Buffy's room.

"Hello." Spike answered the phone.

"It's me. I'm just letting you know I'm back. Ummm......you two can go to bed now." Dawn grinned.

"OKay, bit. Got that covered. Goodnight." Spike turned to Buffy, "Bit's back. She said we should
go to bed now."

Buffy reached for him, "Good idea."

Through the night the guests at their hotel heard the strains of "Pearly Shells" coming from the room.