|Chapter Title:||The Gem of Amarra: More than Chocolate|
Spans: Tuesday, December 30th, 2003 - January 8th, 2004
Annie was just rescued at the beginning of the chapter.
Buffy's about 7-8 months pregnant; due in February 2004
Annie will be five on February 14th
Buffy and Spike have been married four years; will be five years in February
Buffy will be 23 years old on January 19th.
All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.
Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions in May, 2003.
Buffy and Spike, with the help of all their friends, have rescued Annie from Marcus. A dream leads Buffy to the reason she and Spike can no longer communicate through their bond - the question is, what will she do about it.
|Notes:||Thanks as always to my "ET", PaganBaby, for her help with this chapter!|
|Rating / Warnings:||
NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, sex, adult themes and other adult situations that some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY. Parents, it is up to YOU to control what your children are reading.
Tuesday, December 30th, 2003:
As Spike, Buffy and Faith emerged from the office space within the warehouse with Annie, Lorne was right there waiting for them by the door. Annie was so very happy to see Lorne. He’d been so nice to her during their captivity. He had told her over and over that her parents would be there to get her soon, that they loved her very much and assured her that everything would be okay. Even when she told him that she didn’t know where her father was . . . that maybe he didn’t love them anymore, Lorne assured her that that was not true, that her father loved her more than anything in the world – and he should know, he was an empath demon – he could tell these things.
She was scared when the vampires had taken Lorne away and he hadn’t returned – afraid that something bad had happened to him. Annie was relieved to see him unhurt and gave Lorne a big hug. He promised to come and visit her in Sunnydale soon and often as he picked her up and returned her hug.
Buffy and Spike thanked Lorne for what he’d done for their daughter, as well, and told him he was always welcome at the mansion – no need to call ahead, just show up. He was one of the family now.
As the whole gang gathered in the warehouse and started giving Annie hugs and kisses, Buffy slipped away and made her way to Angel, who was standing off to one side of the gathering.
Walking up to him, she gave him a small smile and said, “Thank you for your help with finding Spike and, well . . . for helping me. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to do it by myself.”
“You’re stronger than you sometimes think, Buffy,” Angel told her with a sad smile of his own as he watched Spike pick Annie back up after the last of the gang had given her a hug and told her how happy they were to see her and how much they loved her. “You were just under a lot of pressure . . . you came through when it really counted – you always do.”
Buffy shrugged. She wasn’t so sure about that. She would never have thought to go to the police and report Spike as missing . . . and if they hadn’t found Spike, well, she didn’t want to think about that at all.
“Still, I owe you . . . WE owe you. I just want you to know, I’m really grateful for your help, Angel.”
Angel nodded, gave her a smile and shrugged. “It’s what we do . . . help the hopeless . . . or something like that . . . I don’t know, Cordy made it up. You’ll probably be getting an itemized bill . . .”
Buffy laughed. “Well, she knows the address . . . I’d rather owe it to you than cheat you out of it,” she told him with a genuine smile . . . something she felt like she hadn’t done in days.
“We’re gonna go . . . get Annie home. I think she’ll be more comfortable in her own bed,” Buffy told Angel before giving him a hug, which he returned with a sigh.
“Don’t be a stranger . . .” he told her as he released her from the hug.
“You either,” Buffy told him before turning away and heading back to the group.
Later that night, Spike and Buffy sat on each side of Annie’s small bed as Spike tucked her in.
“What story to you want t’night Niblett?” Spike asked her. “First time I saw your Mum or how your Mum rescued me from the Army brats or how your Mum and the girls dusted the bad vampires with their magical sun . . .”
“Why you went away . . .” Annie said, looking sadly at Spike with big blue eyes and a pouty lip.
Spike took a deep breath and let it out slowly as he thought how to possibly explain that to a four and a half year old. “I’m really sorry about that, Niblett – more than you know. I didn’t mean to go away so long . . . I wanted to call you . . . I thought about you every minute . . . I just . . . I was just . . . I got my feelin’s hurt and I . . .” Spike’s voice trailed off. He really had no idea what to say to her.
“You remember when Johnny told you he would be your field-trip buddy and then he buddied with Sarah, instead?” Buffy asked her.
“And, it hurt your feelings, didn’t it?” Buffy asked and Annie nodded again.
“And you said you wanted to beat Johnny up?”
“Well, Papa got his feelings hurt and he went out for a while ‘cause he wanted to beat up the person he thought hurt his feelings,” Buffy continued. “But we all know that beating people up is wrong, don’t we?”
Annie nodded . . . Spike just narrowed his eyes and frowned at her.
“So, when I went and reminded him of that, he got a little upset . . . just like you did when I told you you shouldn’t beat up Johnny. So, Papa went for a little ride on the motorcycle, intending to come home soon, but he was captured by a very bad man.”
“Like me and Lorne?” Annie asked.
“Exactly like that,” Buffy told her. “And the bad man wouldn’t let Papa call us, even though he wanted to.”
“So you had to rescue him?” Annie asked.
“I did . . . Angel and I had to rescue him from the bad man so he could come and help me rescue you . . . ‘cause you know he loves you very much and would never stay away from you if he could help it. You know that right?” Buffy asked Annie.
Annie nodded slowly, looking up at Spike who turned his eyes from Buffy back to Annie.
“I love you more than anythin’, Niblett. I didn’t mean to stay away so long . . . I didn’t mean to hurt your feelin’s,” Spike told her.
Annie reached up and hugged Spike’s neck and he returned her hug. “I’m sorry,” Spike told her as he held her tight. “I love you.”
“I love you, Papa,” Annie told him. “I missed you.”
“I missed you both, too.”
“We saved Christmas for you,” Annie informed him, still hugging his neck.
“You’re a sweet girl. We’ll make it the best Christmas ever, okay?” Spike asked her.
Annie nodded against his shoulder and released her hug.
“Ok, Niblett, you go to sleep now. You know you’re safe here, yeah?” Spike asked her.
Annie nodded and lay back down and Spike re-tucked her covers around her as he dropped a kiss on her forehead. When he stood up, Buffy leaned down and did the same.
“I love you, Annie. Good night, sweet girl,” Buffy told her before standing up and heading for the door with Spike.
Outside in the hallway, with Annie’s door closed behind them, Spike said, “So, I acted like a four year old, that it?”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “If the shoe fits . . .”
Spike blew out a long breath as they walked down the hallway towards their room.
“So, who’s this prat Johnny? Sounds like a tosser to me . . . ya’ shoulda let her beat him up – teach him some proper manners,” Spike informed Buffy.
Buffy laughed. “Yeah, I probably should’ve . . . it would’ve made a cute story at their wedding.”
“Bloody hell! She’s four!” Spike pointed out.
Buffy rolled her eyes and laughed. “She’s gotta start sometime.”
“Yeah, well, it can bloody well wait a year or two . . . or thirty.”
Buffy looked around, trying to get her bearings . . . Ok, this must be a dream, she thought as she recognized the basement of Sunnydale High . . . the NEW Sunnydale High from the other dimension. She began walking, wandering aimlessly really, around the basement, through doors, down corridors until she came to a door she recognized.
Opening it and stepping inside she found Spike. He looked just as she remembered him from the other dimension when he’d been living in the school basement after fighting for and winning his soul back. His hair was long and curly and growing in dark at the roots.
“Spike!” she called as she walked up to where he was squatting against one wall. “What’s going on?”
Spike stood up quickly. “Buffy! About bloody time! Where the hell have you been?”
“Time for what?” she asked him as she came up next to him.
“Got sumthin’ to show ya’,” he said taking her hand and leading her to the stairs and up out of the basement.
“What’s going on? Is the bond back?” Buffy asked as she followed him out of the basement and down one of the hallways in the new high school.
“No. Your bond ain’t comin’ back . . .” he informed her as he walked into one of the classrooms. Miss Calendar was at the front of the room and stood up when they came in. Buffy pulled her hand from Spike’s grasp and stopped in the doorway.
“What’s going on . . . is this some kind of trick?” she asked, standing firm in the doorway and not moving into the room.
“It’s no trick, Buffy . . . we just need to show you sumthin’,” Spike told her. “It’s about the bond.”
“It’s about Angel,” Miss Calendar said as she pressed a button on a remote control and the whole wall of the classroom turned into a giant TV screen.
Buffy looked at the images on the TV wall. It showed Angel in a dark room . . . she couldn’t tell where. There was a table in front of him with two black candles on it. Angel lit the candles and began to speak slowly in Latin as he poured a drop of blood from a medical vile first onto one of the candles, then onto the other, extinguishing them. The meanings of the words were lost on Buffy, but it sounded very much like the bonding ritual he had performed for her and Spike at their wedding . . .
“At rector of prosapia Aurelius , EGO, Angelus quod in nomen of Vinco, ordo vinculum inter Buffy Anne Summers-Weckerly, The Slayer quod William the Bloody privatus. Is iam sto unus. Nos iam sto unus.”
When he finished speaking, the image went away and the wall re-appeared.
“What does it mean?” Buffy asked, looking between Spike and Miss Calendar. “It sounds like the claim ceremony he did at our wedding,” she said, looking at Spike.
“Buffy, we aren’t married . . . I’m not your Spike,” Spike told her. “My Buffy’s been havin’ these dreams . . . just like this, of Angel and this strange ceremony. We couldn’t figure ‘em out for a while – then I remembered you said something about doing the claim, that’s how you found me in the old distillery. Then I knew – this should’a been YOUR dream. The PTB must be crossin’ wires or the whole soul sharin’ thing’s getting mixed up or somethin’ . . .”
Buffy looked at him like he’d grown a second head. “You’re from the other dimension? Where you were in L.A. with Angel and I made you go to Rome?”
“Yeah,” Spike told her. “We didn’ know how to make a portal that would for sure go to you, so Red came up with this dream jumpin’ thing. Been tryin’ to contact you for a coupla weeks . . .”
“I haven’t been sleeping much . . .” Buffy told him. “What does it mean?” Buffy asked again.
“Roughly, Angel says, ‘As leader of the Clan of Aurelius and in the name of the Master, I order the bond between the Slayer and William the Bloody released. She now stands alone. We now stand alone,’” Spike told her.
“WHAT!? What are you saying? Angel released the bond? How can he release the bond!? It was a blood thing . . . you need blood!” Buffy exclaimed, finally moving into the room where Spike and Miss Calendar were.
“He had some blood . . . in a vile,” Spike pointed out. “He’d need blood from both of you to break the bond . . . maybe it was mixed?”
“Blood in a vile . . . Oh God, Annie’s blood! It was in the freezer!” Buffy realized. “She’s our daughter . . . made from both of us.”
“Buffy, I’m sorry,” Miss Calendar said as she came up next to her. “I’m sorry about Angel . . . I guess restoring his soul wasn’t enough . . .”
Buffy nodded. Now she knew why she and Spike couldn’t communicate . . . Angel released the bond. Was Spike right about the tape? Was it really Angel that sent it to him? And what about Annie and Lorne? Had he arranged all that, too? But then why did Angel help her find Spike and rescue Annie?
“Buffy?” Spike asked, walking up next to her and laying a hand on her cheek. “You ok, luv?”
Buffy shook her head slowly. “Confused . . . just confused is all.”
“Does your Angel fuck with you guys?” Buffy asked Spike.
“Doesn’t really have a chance . . . we’re in Rome, he’s in L.A. . . . and he’s got a new girl to keep him occupied . . . wolfy girl name a’ Nina,” Spike told her. “Plus, he knows I’d kick his bloody arse if he did.”
Buffy smiled sadly. “Yeah, that kinda runs in the family, I guess. Thanks . . . thanks for doing this.”
Spike shrugged. “You’d do the same, Slayer . . . you have done . . . and more,” he told her. “You saved my life, literally and . . . well, thanks for sending me to Rome. You were right.”
Buffy smiled at him as tears well in her eyes and she nodded. “She loves you.”
“Yeah,” he said, dipping his head shyly and rubbing the back of neck. “I woulda never known . . . never risked my heart again, without you,” Spike said, looking back up at her with a small smile.
Buffy drew Spike into a hug. “You both deserve to be happy, Spike . . . to be loved and in love and happy.”
Buffy woke slowly from her dream and wiped the tears away with her fingers. She turned over to see if Spike had woken up, but he was still asleep. It really wasn’t him in the dream; it was the other souled Spike from the other dimension. Angel really had broken the bond and released the claim.
It was all so confusing. Why would Angel do that and then turn around and help her find Spike again? Had Angel sent the tape or was it Marcus? When did Marcus know who had the Gem, anyway? It was too late to question him, now. Buffy had assumed that the kidnapper had learned of the Gem from Gunn and Lorne’s story at the demon bar, but maybe Marcus knew who had it even before that.
The other Spike said he’d been trying to contact her for a couple of weeks. So that meant his Buffy had been having this dream at least that long . . . about the time the tape had arrived. If I had known about this THEN, this whole mess might’ve been avoided, Buffy thought.
“You people really need to look into some quality control . . . or hire some more help or something,” Buffy whispered to the PTB.
“Huh?” came a sleepy question from the bed next to her.
“Nothing, baby . . . go back to sleep,” Buffy said to Spike as she turned over and cuddled next to his side as he lay on his back. He put an arm around her and pulled her against him and Buffy laid her head on his shoulder. Spike was right all along. It was Angel . . . at least part of it was – how much, she didn’t know. There was only one person now that could answer that question – Angel.
December 31st, 2003:
Spike woke late the next morning. It felt so good to be back in his own bed with Buffy next to him, her body warming his through the night. A small smile tugged at his lips as he turned over to hug against her, but he found only an empty bed. On Buffy’s pillow was a piece of paper, folded and standing up like a tent so he would see it.
Everything’s ok – don’t worry.
Faith and I had to go take care of a couple of things. We’ll be back as soon as we can. It’s important – I know we just got home, but trust me . . . this is for us.
I have the Gem of Amarra; we’re gonna take care of it. Spread the word – we don’t have it anymore. Tell everyone down at Willy’s that Angel has it.
I may not be back for New Years . . . save me a kiss and give Annie a big hug for me.
I love you . . . more than chocolate.
Spike frowned. What the bloody hell!? We just got Annie home after all that time and Buffy’s leavin’ again?! Spike re-read the note with a sigh, “It’s important – I know we just got home, but trust me . . . this is for us.”
Spike agreed that they needed to get rid of, or destroy, the Gem, but why would she give the bloody Gem of Amarra to Angel, of all people!? Well, maybe someone will toss his ass in jail and take it away from him . . . Spike smiled slightly at the thought.
He had to trust that whatever it was that was taking her away was important . . . he just wished he could contact her and find out more . . . As soon as she got back, they would have to find out why they couldn’t communicate through their bond . . . He really did miss being able to feel her, to know she was always there and she was alright – without it, it felt like part of him was missing, like a piece of his soul was missing.
January 8th, 2004:
Spike and Buffy had the kitchen table full of wrapping paper and even more Christmas presents for Annie . . . as if what was under the tree already wasn’t enough. They had decided that they’d celebrate Christmas and Buffy’s birthday together this year, on January 19th, which gave them lots more “Christmas shopping” time – and, bonus! Everything was on sale!
Although Spike was supposed to be helping with the wrapping so they could get done before Willow and Tara got back from the zoo with Annie, he saw himself as more of a supervisor rather than laborer here. He preferred just buying pretty blue boxes that didn’t require any wrapping and Buffy never seemed to mind those, either. Of course, it may have been the lovely trinkets INSIDE the box that made the lack of wrapping paper seem unimportant.
Spike watched Buffy wrap present after present and he handed her tape and scissors and bows and ribbons as she went . . . hmmm, maybe this wasn’t supervision after all, this is more like a go-fer than a supervisor. No matter, at least he didn’t have to wrap the paper around those bloody boxes and make it all match up without being too big, or too small or lopsided or crumpled . . .
“Anybody home!?” came from the great room. “Buffy? Spike?”
Buffy and Spike walked out of the kitchen to find Cordelia and Gunn waiting for them in the great room. It was Cordelia that had been yelling.
“Buffy!” Cordelia exclaimed when she saw them. “Where’s Angel?!”
“I have no idea,” Buffy told her with a shrug.
“He left to meet you over a week ago and no one’s seen or heard from him since! What happened?!” Cordy asked her, moving closer to Buffy and Spike as she spoke.
“Nothing happened. We gave him the Gem of Amarra . . . he was taking care of putting it somewhere safe . . .” Buffy told Angel’s people with another shrug.
“Where the hell was he going with it? Why didn’t he call and tell us he was going to be gone?” Cordy asked her.
“I have no idea, Cordelia – he’s a grown vampire, I’m sure he has his reasons. Have you tried his cell phone? Ya know, I think he got better at using that lately,” Buffy told her as she folded her arms across her chest.
Spike stood behind Buffy and simply watched the exchange between the two women. Other than telling him that she had given the Gem of Amarra to Angel, Buffy didn’t elaborate further on the three day excursion she had taken with Faith at New Years, and Spike hadn’t pressed her or Faith about it. He did as she asked and spread the word that Angel had the Gem . . . it was possible that someone had taken it away from Angel and he was a pile of dust in the desert about now. That gave Spike a warm and fuzzy feeling, just thinking about it . . .
“Well, I think you know more than you’re sayin’,” Gunn told Buffy, as he stepped up next to Cordy.
Buffy shook her head and shrugged. “You can think that all you want, Charles . . . It’s not my turn to watch Angel. Maybe you should put a big bell around his neck so you can find him . . . like they do those cows over in Switzerland.”
Gunn stepped up closer to Buffy, his hands clenched in angry fists. Buffy unfolded her arms and prepared to defend herself, but Spike stepped between Gunn and Buffy.
“You don’t wanna’ do that, mate,” he told Gunn. “If the Slayer says she don’ know where Peaches is, then she don’ know.”
“What about you!? Do YOU know where he is?” Gunn asked Spike in an accusatory tone as he stood toe to toe with him.
Spike smiled a kind of evil smile and said, “If I knew where he was, I’d tell you so you could go Hoover ‘im up.”
Gunn drew back his arm and swung at Spike, but Spike caught Gunn’s fist and stopped it in mid punch before twisting it, turning him completely around and pinning Gunn’s arm in an iron grip behind his back.
Spiked leaned in close to Gunn’s ear and in a low voice said, “We don’ know where he is. Now, I suggest you run along and look for him far away from here, ‘afore anything bad happens to you lot.”
Spike released Gunn’s arm and shoved him towards the door. Gunn turned around and glared at Spike, but didn’t move back towards him. Spike hooked his thumbs over his belt buckle, squared his shoulders and widened his stance, giving Gunn his best Big Bad look.
Buffy stepped from behind Spike and addressed Cordelia, “Like he said . . . we don’t know where he is, so why don’t you run along now? Next time, just call – it’ll save you that long drive.”
Everyone stood in silence a few moments, not moving. Cordelia glared at Buffy and Gunn glared at Spike, but in the end Cordy and Gunn gave in first and started moving towards the door.
“He helped you . . . he helped you find Spike and get Annie back,” Cordy told her as she walked towards the door. “We ALL helped you.”
“Yeah, you were all a big help . . . send me that bill and I’ll get you a check in the mail,” Buffy told her as she folded her arms back across her chest.
“What is WRONG with you?!” Cordy asked incredulously as she stopped and turned back towards Buffy.
“Absolutely nothing’s wrong with me,” Buffy told her. “I just finally figured out that I’d been doubting the wrong vampire. I took my rose colored glasses off. You should try it, Cordy.”
Cordelia shook her head slowly. “He’s a good man, Buffy.”
Buffy laid a hand on her husband's arm before Spike could comment. “Cordelia, your mouth is open. Sound is coming from it. This is never good.”
Cordelia sighed, rolled her eyes and shook her head as she turned back walked out the door with Gunn.
When they were gone, Spike and Buffy walked back into the kitchen and the wrapping that was waiting for them.
“You gonna tell me where he is?” Spike asked her.
Buffy looked at her husband and shrugged. “Exactly where I told him he’d be if he fucked with my family one more time.”
“Remind me to never get you mad at me, Slayer,” Spike said with a look of mock fear on his face. “Jus’ keep those rose colored glasses on ‘round here.”
“Don’t need ‘em . . . you were right all along. I’m sorry that I doubted you, Spike,” Buffy told him as she dropped a soft kiss on his lips.
“Do you really love me more than chocolate?” he asked teasingly.
“Mmmhmm . . .” she murmured against his lips. “I love you covered in chocolate even more . . .” she told him as she nibbled on his bottom lip.
“Mmmmm . . .” Spike mumbled back to her. “I’m sure that could be arranged.”
* END *
(Well not THE END of course, just the end of the Gem of Amarra Chapter -
although there will be more mention of just where the Gem and Angel is in later stories.)
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