Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Chapter Title: The Gem of Amarra: More than Freckles
Time line:

Currently: Tuesday, December 30th, 2003

Buffy's about 7 months pregnant; due in February 2004


Annie and Lorne were kidnapped on Sunday, December 28th. 

Deadline given for the exchange is Wednesday, December 31st, 2003

Spike stormed out of the Hyperion on December 15th after Buffy stopped his attack on Angel. Angel and Buffy found him on Monday, December 29th.


Annie turned four last February.

Buffy and Spike have been married four years.

Buffy turned 22 years old in January.

All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.

Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions in May, 2003 - about 7 months ago.


Buffy, with Angel's help, has found Spike and the Gem of Amarra.  Will it be enough to save Annie?



Spoilers for Angel, the Series, Season 2 episodes:


Over the Rainbow, Through the Looking Glass and There's No Place like Plrtz Glrb


Notes: Thanks as always to my "ET", PaganBaby, for her help with this chapter!


In my world, Lorne did not have his head chopped off when they went to Pylea to rescue Cordy a couple of years ago. . . Spike went with them and that ended up changing how that mission played out, so no one in my universe is aware of what happens if you cut Lorne's head off.

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:



It seemed like Spike had just dozed off into a fitful sleep when he heard hysterical screaming coming from downstairs. It was so loud even Buffy heard it, and they both jumped up and headed down to see what was going on.


The screaming had stopped by the time they got to the lobby. Spike hurried ahead of Buffy and simply jumped down from the second floor foyer to the floor of the lobby. Tara was crying and holding onto Willow; it was her, he realized, who had been screaming. Even Anya was upset enough to have her face buried against Xander’s shoulder. Giles was knelt over something lying on the floor.


A quick thought that it could be Annie flashed through Spike’s mind and he rushed forward. “Bloody hell!” Spike exclaimed as he reached Giles and saw what had upset everyone so much. It was Lorne, or Lorne’s body, at any rate. He had been decapitated. His head and body dumped just inside the door of the Hyperion with a large note pinned on his chest that read, “Disrespect me again and this will be the girl.”


Spike was still absorbing the whole scene when Buffy stepped up next to him. “Oh God!” she said, her hand going to her mouth to try and hold back the bile that threatened the back of her throat.


Spike turned and put himself between her and Lorne’s body, pulling her into a hug and blocking her view of the green empath demon. “Shhhhhh . . . . it’s ok . . .” he whispered to her as he stroked her hair and held her against him.


“They . . . they . . . killed him,” Buffy whispered as she shook her head from side to side against Spike’s chest. “Oh God, they killed him! Annie . . . Annie’s all alone . . . they killed him! Oh, God.”


“Well, technically, they just separated my head from my body,” Lorne informed them as he opened his eyes, which caused the screaming to begin anew and Giles to stumble backwards away from the disembodied talking head.


“Bloody hell!” Spike exclaimed as he released Buffy and turned back towards Lorne. “What the bloody hell kinda trick is that, Green?” Spike asked as he knelt down to get a closer look at Lorne.


“It’s a Deathwok clan thing. You remember them from our little jaunt to Pylea, don’t ya, Sweet Cheeks?” Lorne asked Spike, looking up from where his head lay on the floor of the lobby.


“Yeah . . . I guess. Met your mum and all, but don’t recall no mention of anythin’ like this!” Spike told him, still looking at him with confusion.


“Well, we try not to talk it about too much. Actually, I prefer to not talk about Pylea at all,” Lorne said, rolling his eyes. “Here, give me a hand, will ya, handsome? I seem to have lost mine momentarily,” Lorne told Spike.


Spike looked at him like he’d lost more than his hands, which, technically, he had, but he sat Lorne’s body up against the nearest wall and then took the green demon’s head and placed back atop it. Lorne did some adjustments and everyone watched with wide eyes as his head suddenly re-attached to his body as if nothing had ever happened.


“Ah . . . there,” Lorne said, tilting his head from side to side and around in a circle before standing up as everyone continued to watch him in stunned silence.


“I don’t know who said what, but that was one sorely pissed off vampire when he got off the phone last night,” Lorne informed them, looking directly at Spike. Lorne could tell very well that it was Spike that had pissed the vamp off; even without Spike singing, Lorne could see the rage rolling off him in waves.


When everyone just continued to stare wide eyed at him, Lorne asked, “Well, isn’t anyone gonna ask me how Annie is?”


“Yes!” Buffy said, moving forward towards him, as the shock finally wore off. “How is Annie? WHERE is Annie?”


Lorne wrapped his arms around Buffy, pulling her into a tender hug. “Your Sweet Girl is fine . . . last I saw her, she was fine. No one had touched her,” Lorne said to Buffy to assure her. He wished he was as sure about Annie’s safety as he sounded, though.


Marcus was one royally ticked off vamp when he and the other two guards dragged Lorne out of the room he and Annie had been held in, and it had been obvious to Lorne that Marcus had more of an interest in Annie than just a ransom. But, there was no need to voice any of that . . . it would only serve to worry the child’s already overwrought parents.


Lorne sent up a silent prayer to the PTB to watch over Annie now that she was all alone with the kidnappers as he held Buffy in a tender hug. Lorne had always considered himself a lover, not a fighter, but he swore to himself that he'd make Marcus pay if the vamp laid one sleazy paw on that sweet little girl.


“Oh, thank God,” Buffy said as she leaned against the green demon and returned his hug. Spike closed his eyes and let out a long sigh of relief . . . now, if they can just get her back, everything would be ok.


“Do you know where they are?” Spike asked, looking at Lorne.


Lorne grinned devilishly and released Buffy from the hug. “I do . . . I know exactly where they are, Sweet Cheeks. The tour of one kidnapper/vampire lair will leave shortly . . . just as soon as I get a drink, for some reason my throat is drier than the Sahara,” he said, rubbing his throat where his head had re-attached itself to his body. “Oh, waiter!” Lorne called, walking quickly towards the kitchenette and holding one hand up as if to flag down a waiter in a bar. “Seabreeze, please . . . make it a double!”




Giles called Wesley, Faith, Gunn and Angel back in from their assignments and everyone headed out with Lorne to the kidnapper’s lair. This included Anya, who Xander had asked to stay at the hotel and wait for them, since she was pregnant and without the protection spell that Buffy had on her unborn child. But Anya insisted that she be allowed to go too, she could at least watch the cars . . . being pregnant didn’t make her stupid or helpless, after all.


10:00am, Tuesday, December 30th:


Lorne led them to a warehouse down by the docks and explained where in the warehouse they had been held. Angel parked his car next to a manhole and dropped quickly down into the sewers after Gunn removed the cover for him. Gunn joined him down there – they would guard the sewer exit of the warehouse where the kidnapper was holding Annie.


Buffy positioned Giles, Wesley, Xander, Cordelia, Fred, Willow and Tara, all armed with crossbows and stakes, around the perimeter of the warehouse and instructed them to keep in view of at least one other person the whole time. Buffy didn’t think the vamp would be able to escape out into the street in the middle of the day, but if anything happened and they had to give him the Gem of Amarra, then . . . well, anything was possible. Anya, true to her word, stayed with the cars.


Buffy, Spike and Faith followed Lorne silently into the warehouse. Once inside, they ducked behind some old equipment and Lorne pointed out a walled-in office in the back of the building where he and Annie had been held. There were three vamps, Lorne told them. The leader, Marcus, usually slept during the day while the other two were on guard duty. There were three rooms within that enclosed space. One was for Marcus, one was a common area where the two other guards spent their time and one was where he and Annie had been held, in the back of the area. You had to go through the common area and past the room Marcus was in to get to the room Annie most likely would be in.


The three warriors left Lorne by the door of the warehouse and they crept silently towards the back of the large area where the offices were, careful to stay behind cover of old equipment or stay low as they moved across the expanse.


Buffy was sure the vamps inside the office would be able to hear her heartbeat; hell, she could hear it pounding in her ears – it felt like it would beat right out of her chest at any moment. Knowing that Annie was so close had her heart racing, and worrying that the kidnappers might have moved her after getting rid of Lorne had the knots in her stomach doing cartwheels, as she followed Spike and Faith from cover to cover across the floor. Buffy sent up a silent prayer to whoever may be listening to keep Annie safe during the upcoming battle. She knew that three vamps would have no chance of winning against her, Faith and Spike, but if the vamps got to Annie and used her as a shield, then anything could happen.


Spike got to the door of the office area first and stood with his back against the wall next to it as he waited for Faith and Buffy to catch up to him. If he had a heartbeat, he knew that it would be pounding out of his chest right at that moment . . . being so close to Annie, yet so far away. He closed his eyes and listened . . . he could clearly hear Faith and Buffy’s heartbeats as they made their way up to where he was. Buffy’s sounded like his felt: afraid for their daughter, nervous, anxious and angry. He wished he could communicate with her through their bond and assure her . . . give her some comfort. He really missed being able to do that.


He had been mad when he thought she had shut him out and stewed about it the whole time he sat in that piss-ant jail. As soon as this was over, they would have to get to the bottom of who was fucking with them and why they could no longer communicate through their bond. His money was still on Angel, even though he knew it would be hard to convince Buffy of that without some real proof.


Spike re-focused his wandering mind and brought himself back to the moment as he tried to listen through the door for Annie’s heartbeat, but he couldn’t hear it. The door was thick steel and she was probably just too far away with too many walls between them. His stomach tightened into a knot as the possibility that she wasn’t even here any longer, that she had been moved – or worse, rose to the front of his mind.


Faith stepped up silently next to him and brought Spike’s attention back to the current situation. Buffy moved up on the other side of the door from Spike and Faith and she met Spike’s eyes with hers and held his gaze for what seemed minutes, but certainly couldn’t have been more than a few seconds.


Her heartbeat pounded in Spike’s ears and sounded to him like a hundred-thousand crazed football fans stomping their feet in unison at Wembley Stadium during the finals of the World Cup – or one mother, in mortal fear for her daughter’s safety. The fact that she had to go through this at all, that Annie was going through it, made his guilt for keeping the Gem and his rage at Marcus for doing this to his family suddenly spring up from a low simmer to boiling over.


Spike morphed into his demon self involuntarily as the anger built within him and he gave a quick nod to Buffy, telling her he was going in and she acknowledged it with a nod of her own. She would’ve liked to have had her scythe with her; but it was back home in Sunnydale and there was no time to retrieve it, so she had Mr. Pointy at the ready, while Faith wielded a broadsword with a stake in her waistband as backup. Spike had a stake at the small of his back, but he wore his weapon now. He was sure that he needed nothing more than his anger, his demon and his bare hands to take these motherfuckers down.


Spike stepped out away from the wall and faced the door. As he drew one booted foot back to get ready to kick the door open, Buffy stepped in front of him and held up her hand. Turning to the door, she tried the knob gingerly . . . it turned easily in her hand – it wasn’t even locked! She looked back at Spike and rolled her eyes. Spike just shrugged and rolled his own eyes . . . it would’ve felt a lot better to kick the door in, but, of course, it would have awoken anyone inside that was sleeping and taken away the element of surprise.


Buffy stepped back to let Spike open the door. She was relieved when the hinges didn’t even squeak as he swung it slowly open and stepped inside. Inside, the two vamps that Lorne had told them about sat on ratty furniture watching an old TV whose horizontal hold had long ago lost its grip.


They both jumped up as Spike entered the room.


“Hey fellas,” Spike said casually. “Marcus around?” he asked as he walked towards the nearest vamp. Buffy and Faith waited outside and listened as Spike sauntered in like he belonged there.


“Who are you?” one of the vamps asked him as Spike got closer to them.


“Me?” Spike asked followed by a small chuckle that was anything but amusing. “Well, I’d be Spike. You lot may have ‘eard of me,” he continued as he got within arm’s reach of the first vamp and laid his hand on his shoulder like an old friend. The vamp looked at him in confusion shaking his head slowly from side to side . . . like when someone knows you, but you have no idea who they are and you’re trying desperately to remember their name.


“Spike?” the vamp asked.


“That’s right. Spike. As in the vamp whose daughter you kidnapped you daft son of a bitch.” As the last word came out of Spike’s mouth he grabbed the other vamp’s head in his hands and twisted with all his strength as he vented all the anger and frustration that had been boiling up in him and twisted the vamp’s head clean off – reducing him to a pile of dust in just a matter of seconds. The other vamp started backing up away from Spike towards the hallway that lead to the other rooms, but Spike was too fast for him and blocked him from reaching it.


The vamp opened his mouth to start yelling – to alert Marcus and any other guards of the danger, when he suddenly dissolved into dust. When the dust fell away, Spike saw Buffy standing behind where the vamp had been, Mr. Pointy still hovering in the air where the vamp’s un-beating heart had been just a moment before.


Spike turned and moved down the hallway silently . . . now he could hear Annie’s heartbeat down at the end of the hall and a small amount of relief washed over him . . . she was here, she was alive . . . now, if she was just unhurt, as well. Spike stopped in front of the next door in the hallway, the room that Lorne said Marcus used during the day to sleep in, and turned the handle slowly. It also opened easily – these vamps were definitely not expecting visitors. Spike looked back at Buffy and Faith who had moved up behind him in the hallway. There was no way Marcus was getting out of here as anything more than a pile of dust.


Spike swung the door open and stepped into the small room as he quickly scanned it for Marcus, but the room was empty. Bloody hell! Spike thought as he came back out into the hallway, pushing past Faith and heading towards the room where Annie was.


As Spike reached the door to the last room, he could hear someone talking . . . it was Marcus he realized.


“Won’t be long now, sweetheart. It’ll be just you and me and we can have some fun out in the sunshine. Wouldn’t you like that?” Marcus asked.


“I wanna go home,” Annie told him. Spike could hear the pout in her voice. “I want my mama . . . . Where’s Lorne? I wanna see Lorne,” Annie whined. Spike could hear a small tremor of fear in his daughter’s voice and knew she was on the verge of tears.


“You sure are a pretty thing. Did anyone ever tell you how pretty you are? Such lovely long, curly hair . . . so soft . . . just like your skin . . .” Marcus started.


The rage in Spike exploded and all caution was cast to the wind as he kicked the door open and burst into the room, but he wasn’t fast enough. Marcus had been standing right next to Annie when Spike burst in and he grabbed her around the waist and held her back against his chest as he morphed into game face and turned to face the intruders.


“Annie!” Buffy screamed as she followed closely behind Spike into the room.


“MAMA!” Annie screamed back as she struggled in vain against the arm that held her captive.


Marcus backed up with Annie, putting the bed in the room between him and the two warriors who stood near the doorway.


“You’re early,” Marcus informed them.


“Got bored,” Spike replied as he started moving further into the room.


“If you want this girl back alive, I suggest you just stop right there,” Marcus warned him, as he pulled the screaming and squirming Annie up higher and threatened her neck with his fangs.


“NO!” Buffy screamed as she put a hand out and stopped Spike from moving further into the room. “We have the Gem . . . HERE!” she said, holding Spike’s hand up to show Marcus the ring.


“We can still do this. Just . . . just put the girl down and the Gem of Amarra is yours,” Buffy said as she tugged the ring off Spike’s hand and held it up for Marcus to see.


“Gem first,” Marcus said.


“No fucking way!” Spike yelled at him, leaning towards him as Buffy held him back. “Girl first.”


“I’m pretty sure what I have is more important to you than what you have is to me. Gem first,” Marcus told them. “And get away from the door.”


“Ok . . . ok . . . here’s a plan . . .” Buffy said in a voice much calmer than she thought possible at that moment. She held the Gem up for Marcus to see again and then bent down and placed it on the floor in the doorway. “We’re gonna move out of the way and you just come over here, grab the ring and drop the girl on the bed and you can go . . . nice and easy – everybody’s happy.”


“No bloody way! Buffy! He’ll take them both!” Spike informed her as he turned to face her, his brows knit together with worry and anger.


“No he won’t . . . will you Marcus?” Buffy turned back to the kidnapper with a small fake smile on her face. “Because that girl is more trouble than she’s worth . . . I’m telling ya’. Trying to get out of here with that screaming, squirming baggage, just not worth it, is it Marcus? I mean . . . there’s plenty of fish in the sea . . . or kids in the sunshine, just out there waiting for you . . .”


Marcus looked at Buffy closely as he considered her words. She actually was probably right . . . carrying Annie out of here would just draw attention to him, attention he didn’t need. After a moment, Marcus nodded and waved his free hand at Buffy and Spike as if to move them away from the door and out of his way. “Deal,” was all he said.


Buffy pressed against Spike and moved him off to the side and out of the doorway, despite his continued objections. “Trust me,” Buffy whispered to him. She hoped that she said it low enough that only he could hear her. Spike met her eyes and she silently implored him to just listen to her, just trust her on this.


When the warriors were out of the way, Marcus moved slowly towards the doorway, shifting his hold on Annie so that he was carrying her like a sack of potatoes under one arm, as she continued to struggle against him to no avail.


When Marcus reached the doorway, he knelt down and grabbed the ring that held the Gem of Amarra off the floor with his free hand and slid it on his finger. At last . . . the world was his! Laid out like a sunny smorgasbord for his pleasure and entertainment.


“Now the girl!” Spike said as he pushed against Buffy and tried to move towards Marcus.


Marcus flashed a cruel and ruthless smile at him and said, “Shoulda’ listened to the vamp, honey . . . he was right – I’ll take them both.” Marcus turned quickly and started heading out the door.


“GO HIGH!” Buffy screamed as soon as Marcus stepped across the threshold.


“What the bloody . . .” was all Spike could get out before Faith’s broadsword sliced through Marcus’ neck with a sickening, bone crunching sound. Faith had been waiting just outside the door . . . just in case something like this happened.


Marcus’ head was severed cleanly from his body and his head, his body and Annie all tumbled to the ground just outside the doorway, but Marcus didn’t turn to dust. He was still holding tightly to Annie, despite being headless, when Buffy and Spike reached them. Spike worked to pry Annie out of the headless vamp’s grasp as Buffy tried to calm Annie down and get her to stop squirming.


“What the fuck!?” Faith exclaimed as Marcus tried to retrieve his head with his one free arm.


“Get the bloody ring off!” Spike yelled at Faith as he finally got Annie free of Marcus’ grasp. Buffy fell backwards onto the floor from where she had been kneeling and pulled Annie into a hug as she soothed her with soft words full of love and relief. “It’s ok sweet girl, shhhhh . . . ok baby, everything’s ok. We’re here now, baby girl . . . shhhhhh . . .” Annie clung to Buffy and cried against her shoulder as Buffy stroked her back and rocked her on the floor.


Marcus, however, hadn’t given up yet and was still trying to retrieve his head and put it back on his neck and keep the hand that had the ring on it away from Faith and Spike.


“Bloody fucking hell!” Spike screamed in frustration. “Can’t get a bloody ring off a headless fucking vamp and Buffy took it off me like takin’ candy from a goddamn baby!”


“Give me that bloody sword!” Spike demanded of Faith. Faith handed him her sword and Spike raised it high over his head and came down with it hard into the hand that Marcus was using to try and pull his head close enough to re-attach to his neck, pinning it to the floor. Spike then angrily kicked Marcus’ head down the hallway away from them, flinging blood all the way along its path. He and Faith flipped him over and Faith was finally able to pull the ring off his other hand.


As soon as the Gem of Amarra was off him, Marcus’ body and head both dissolved, leaving nothing more than piles of dust. Spike would’ve liked to have had a bit more time with Marcus . . . time to pay him back for what he put Buffy and Annie through before dusting him . . . but it just didn’t work out that way this time.


Spike turned back to where Buffy was sitting on the floor holding and rocking Annie and knelt down beside them to take them both into his arms. Relief flooded over him when he realized that the only thing he could smell on Annie were her tears and the fading scent from Lorne, from where he’d comforted her. There was no blood . . . there was nothing else.


Tears threatened his own eyes as Spike held his girls – his whole life – in his arms there on the dirty floor of the warehouse. If any harm had come to Annie, he knew that he would never be able to forgive himself. Nothing was worth what Annie had been through . . . not sunshine, not freckles . . . not even being the man that Buffy deserved to have, held a candle to making sure that no such suffering befell his family again.


Spike stood up and went back to where Faith was waiting by the door. He held his palm out and, without a word between them, Faith dropped the ring into his hand. Buffy looked up to see what he was doing and saw him set the Gem of Amarra down on the floor, pick up a heavy brick and raise it high over his head as he prepared to throw it down hard on the ring and destroy it.


“NO!” Buffy screamed as she scrambled, still holding onto Annie, across the floor and grabbed the Gem before Spike could crush it.


“Bloody hell!” Spike yelled as he nearly smashed the brick on her hand, stopping it just in time. “What the fuck, Slayer!?” he said, looking at her with a furrowed brow. “That ring’s been nothin’ but trouble . . . for Annie, for you . . . for all of us. It’s got to be destroyed,” he informed her.


“No,” Buffy said more calmly as she sat back and pulled Annie back into a hug. “It gave you your life back, Spike . . . you deserve your life back – you’ve earned it,” she said sadly, her eyes pleading with him to find another way.


Spike sat down next to her and Annie and took one of Buffy’s hands in his. “Buffy, I have a better life with you and Annie than I could’ve ever dreamt of in my wildest dreams. I don’t need that bloody ring to have my life back . . . I just need you and Annie to be safe. I’m sorry that I can’t be the man you deserve," he told her as tears welled in his eyes. "I don’t want you to have to live in the darkness, you deserve better than that, better than me . . . but I can’t take the chance with your life, with Annie’s or with the sprog’s; it’s just not worth it, luv.”


“Oh, Spike. You’re more than I deserve . . . don’t you know that yet? Marcus would’ve done anything to get the Gem of Amarra . . . and you . . . you’re willing to destroy it just like that – to give up everything it gave you, in order to keep us safe.” Buffy shook her head slowly. She knew how much it had meant to Spike to be able to come into the sun. How he loved the feel of it on his skin, after spending so many years in the darkness. Any vamp in the world would give their right arm for that Gem . . . and here he was going to destroy it without another thought – to make sure she and Annie and the ‘sprog’ were never threatened again because of it.


Buffy handed the ring back to him and met and held his eyes with hers as she spoke to him softly. “You really are more than I deserve, William. And the darkness? Well, you may have heard of me . . . Vampire Slayer? She who hangs out in cemeteries? It kinda goes with darkness – it’s a job requirement,” she told him with a small smile as she pulled him towards her with the hand that he had been holding and took his lips in a soft kiss.


“I love you and Annie more than anything, Buffy . . . more than sunshine, more than . . . more than freckles,” he said with a small smile of his own as he pulled back to look into her eyes and laid one hand on Annie’s back as she still clung to Buffy.



Buffy nodded. “I love you, too, William . . . more than sunshine . . . more than . . .”


“Chocolate?” Spike asked, interrupting her, as a hopeful smile tugged at the corners of his mouth.


“Wellll, let’s not get carried away now . . .” Buffy said with a small laugh.


“I love you more than chocolate,” Annie said in a voice hoarse from crying. She turned in Buffy’s arms to face Spike and wrapped her arms around his neck.


Spike laughed as he pulled her into a hug. “Well, I’m glad I outrank chocolate for at least one of m’ girls,” he said as he dropped a kiss on top of Annie’s head. “I love you, Sweet Girl,” he whispered to Annie, burying his face in her long hair, as the tears that had been threatening fell from his eyes. Thoughts of what she’d been through the last days, of how scared she must have been, flooded his mind.  He never wanted her to feel that way ever again. The ring would have to be destroyed.


“I love you both more than you’ll ever know.”


{More to come . . .}

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