|Chapter Title:||Bread and Cookies|
Currently: August 2003.
Annie turned four in 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.
Buffy has a plan to "fix" whatever is wrong with the Buffy and Spike in the alternate dimension where Spike died alone closing the Hellmouth and he was sent back to work with Angel - but will she face more than she bargained for in that dimension?
|Notes:||Parts of the Angel episode "Damage" is in this story; but I don't think I'd call it a spoiler, exactly.|
|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.
“So, that’s my plan,” Buffy announced to the gathered Scoobies, Spike and Giles the next day.
“Abso-fucking-lutely not!” Spike said as he stood up from the table and began pacing around. He wasn’t laughing any more.
“Buffy, opening a portal in the Hellmouth . . . I have to agree with Spike . . . not a great idea,” Willow looked at her friend worriedly.
“Indeed, Buffy . . . there’s no way to know where it may lead. It could go somewhere, well, quite hellish,” Giles agreed.
“Look, I know exactly where that Spike burnt up in the Hellmouth. If we open a portal there, it has to take me where it took him – back to Angel in that dimension,” she implored them. “Then, I can fix whatever it is those idiots have done there and I’ll be back before you know it!”
“There are no guarantees with portals; they aren’t toasters,” Anya pointed out.
“They’ve got their own free will, luv. They don’t need yours, too!” Spike implored her.
“Spike, you remember that really stubborn bitch from the other dimension? She’s back. I’m going – today,” Buffy informed them all. “It’ll be fine, I’ll be back before you know it!”
Buffy couldn't explain why righting the wrong in the other dimension was so important, she just knew that it was - otherwise, why would she have had the dream? She knew Slayer dreams weren't something to be taken lightly, and that was definitely a Slayer dream. After all, who was to say what happened in the other dimensions couldn't negatively affect their own? Buffy was positive this was the right thing to do. Spike and the others would just have to trust her and her instincts.
“Then I’m going with you!” Spike told her.
“No, Spike. You stay here with Annie. You’ve been gone too much already lately – plus, if that Spike sees you, he’s gonna think you’re The First or something and not trust us.”
“You are a bloody stubborn woman,” Spike said with a resigned sigh.
Buffy stood on the spot where she knew, from her dream-like memories, Spike burnt up in the Hellmouth. Anya pointed out earlier that, since the dimensions split at that moment in time, it was likely that two portals would open when Buffy poured Annie’s blood on the spot. Buffy would have to pick one. In one, Buffy and Spike had both died closing the Hellmouth – their souls given another chance in the current dimension – neither of them existed in that world any longer. The other portal should take her to Angel, and Spike, in the dimension where she left him to close the Hellmouth alone – that was the one she wanted.
Giles had also reminded her that the people she met in that dimension weren’t the same ones as she knew here. She had to reach down into those dream-like memories of the other life and use those to relate properly to everyone in the dimension she was headed into, or back into.
With Spike, Willow and Giles standing behind her in the Hellmouth, Buffy poured the vial of Annie’s blood on the spot and watched as two portals opened.
“Eeenny, meaney, miney, moe; catch a vampire by the toe; if he hollers, kiss him slow; eenney meaney, miney, moe,” Buffy sing songed as she tried to choose between the two.
“Buffy, don’t forget to pay attention to where the portal is when you get there; you’ll need to return to the exact spot to get back,” Giles reminded her.
“Got it,” Buffy told him.
“Please be careful, luv,” Spike told her, resigned that he wasn’t going to be able to stop her.
“I will. It’s not like I’m going to some other strange world . . . it’s just a . . . a match-making mission – just to get those two stubborn assholes back on track,” she assured him with a smile. “I’ll be back before you know it! I love you.”
“I love you too, Buffy,” Spike told her, dropping a kiss on her lips before she turned quickly and jumped into the portal that she’d chosen.
Buffy let out a breath that she’d hadn’t been aware she was holding when she looked around and found herself in the same lobby as her dream, standing in front of, what she knew, was Harmony’s reception desk.
“Excuse me?” Buffy said.
“Can I help you?” Harmony said as she looked up from what she was doing.
“Buffy!” Harmony said with a smile as she jumped up and came around from behind the desk. “Look at you!! I haven’t seen you in forever!”
“Yeah, time flies!” Buffy agreed.
“Buffy you look great . . . in a fat kinda way. You’re really packing on the weight over there in Rome! You know, you gotta watch those carbs . . .” Harmony said.
“Harmony!” Buffy said curtly to stop her. Harmony wasn’t any better in real life than she was in her dream!
“Sorry!” Harmony said, holding up her hands in surrender. “None of my business!”
“Are you here to see Angel? I think Andrew’s in with him now – they’re in his office, right this way,” Harmony said as she started walking away from Buffy.
“No . . . no, Harmony, wait!” Buffy caught up with her and grabbed her arm.
“Where’s Spike?” Buffy asked her as Harmony turned back around.
“My Blondie Bear’s not here right now,” Harmony sighed.
“Where is he?” Buffy pressed, but before Harmony could answer, Buffy heard her name being called from across the lobby.
Buffy turned around to see Andrew, just like in her dream. “Buffy! What are you doing here? I didn’t know you were coming!”
“Andrew. Have you seen Spike?” she questioned, as he grabbed her in a hug.
Andrew pulled back suddenly, eyes wide. “Spike? I . . . ummm . . . I mean . . . I don’t know what you’re talking about! Spike . . . Spike burnt up closing the Hellmouth. He was a hero . . . a golden, hard-bodied, well muscled hero,” Andrew said with awe in his voice as he looked dreamily out into space - just like in her dream. “A creature of the night, el creatro del noche . . ."
“ANDREW! Shut up! I KNOW the story!” Buffy yelled at him as she grabbed him by the shirt and shoved him against the nearest wall. “Where is Spike?!” she demanded.
“We . . . we don’t know! Angel’s looking for him,” Andrew told her. "Please don't tell Spike I said anything to you! He threatened to wedgie me unconscious!"
Buffy rolled her eyes before asking, “Where’s Angel?”
Andrew pointed towards Angel’s office. Buffy grabbed hold of one of Andrew’s ears and pulled him behind her as she marched across the lobby in the direction Andrew had pointed. Andrew whined “ow! ow! ow!” the whole way across the lobby and into Angel’s office as he tried to keep up with her.
“Buffy!” Angel exclaimed when she entered, dragging Andrew behind her. Angel came around the desk to give her a hug, but she dropped her hold on Andrew and put her palm on Angel’s chest and pushed him back. “Where’s Spike?” she demanded.
“Spike?” Angel questioned as he stopped, finally noticing her pregnancy. “Buffy . . . what’s going on? You’re pregnant!? Last time I talked to you you said you were cookie dough! Not done baking! Now . . . now you have a bun in the oven! I’ve been waiting for cookies and . . . you’ve been . . . making bread!?”
Buffy rolled her eyes and folded her arms across her chest. She never regretted using that analogy more than at that moment.
“Who’s the father!? Is it that Riley guy?” Angel asked her.
Buffy sucked a sharp breath in before realizing that the Riley in this dimension was different than the one in hers. Forcing herself to relax she said, “It’s no one you know, Angel. Drop it. Where’s Spike?”
“We don’t know. He went off after that psycho Slayer down by the docks, but we haven’t found him yet. She attacked Spike and Andrew; when Andrew woke up, Spike was gone.”
“Psycho Slayer?” Buffy asked. “Who? Faith?”
“No, not Faith. The psycho you endowed with Slayer strength with your little Sunnydale surprise. You remember? The one that you sent Andrew here to retrieve? Dana,” Angel informed her.
“I sent Andrew to retrieve a psycho Slayer?” Buffy asked. Have I gone completely insane from grief over losing Spike in this dimension? she wondered silently.
Angel and Andrew were both starting to look at her funny now. “Are you ok, Buffy?” Angel asked, moving back towards her.
“Yes! I’m fine, just a little . . . jet lag . . . I guess,” she said, stepping back away from Angel. “Ok, so get Willow to do a locator spell and find him.”
Andrew cleared his throat and looked sheepishly at his feet, his hands stuffed deep into his pockets.
“What!?” Buffy asked turning towards him.
Andrew backed up a step. “Willow’s in Brazil,” he said meekly.
“Wonderful!” Buffy said, as she turned and started pacing back and forth.
“Cordelia! Where’s Cordelia? Get her to have a vision!” Buffy stopped and looked at Angel hopefully.
Angel shook his head slowly. “Buffy, Cordy’s in a coma.”
“Just great!” Buffy said, exasperated, as she resumed pacing back and forth.
“So, let me get this all straight. You work for Wolfram and Hart and Spike works with you,” she looked at Angel.
Angel rolled his eyes. “Well, ‘work with’ would be a huge overstatement,” he informed her.
“And you sent him after a psycho Slayer who has the strength to dust him,” Buffy kept her eyes on Angel.
“I didn’t send him – he went – all on his own. I can’t tell him what to do, Buffy. You were, apparently, the only one who could ever get him to do anything!” Angel defended.
“So, what are you doing to find him?” Buffy asked Angel.
“We’ve got a psychic coming. We’re going to Dana’s childhood home and see if we can pick up anything from there,” Angel told her.
“That could take hours! He could be dust by then!” Buffy told him.
Angel shrugged and muttered under his breath, "Don't worry, if that happens, he'll just come back to haunt me again."
Buffy gave Angel a deadly stare before saying, “Just drop me off the last place you saw him on your way." She grabbed Angel by the elbow and shoved him towards the door. "Let's go."
Buffy stood in the alley where Andrew said they had been attacked. She didn’t see any vampire dust, which was a relief. She looked around, trying to figure out which way to go when she thought of something. She closed her eyes and concentrated, trying to feel him through the bond they had in other dimension. She hoped that she could connect through his soul. Since, when he’d lost his soul before, she was no longer connected to him, she hoped that, even though this wasn’t her Spike, his soul would allow her to feel him and to find him.
Buffy’s eyes flew open – she could feel him. She closed her eyes again and took a deep breath, trying to clear her thoughts and figure out which way to go. It felt suddenly like a light bulb came on in her mind and she knew exactly where he was. She took off running in the direction her mind told her to.
She finally stopped in front of a very old, abandoned distillery. Now she could feel Spike’s presence tingle down her spine – he was close! Buffy ran into the warehouse and started slowly down the stairs to the basement, listening.
Buffycould hear Spike talking as she descended the stairs silently. “Right. Let me explain. You got visions. Right? Vampire Slayer memories kickin' around in your head. Which is tough . . . 'cause it sounds like you're past midnight on the crazy clock anyway. But, hey . . . don't worry. I used to date a girl who wasn't all there – plus also sorta dated a Slayer – so, I gotcha’ covered, luv.”
Dana was talking, too. “Please don't. I have to get home to my son . . . to my Robin.”
“Robin? Oh, Nikki’s son. Yeah, I met him . . . he didn’t turn out so well. Of course, from your perspective, maybe he did . . . Actually, you probably don't want to think about that at all, pet,” Spike told her as he moved cautiously towards her.
“William the Bloody,” Dana announced, looking at Spike.
“No. No. No. That's not gonna lead anywhere good, trust me. . .” Spike was saying as Buffy came up behind him and pulled him back and away from the deranged Slayer; putting herself between Dana and Spike.
“Bloody hell!” he exclaimed as he stumbled and nearly fell. “Slayer! What the fuck are you doin’ here?!” he asked when he realized who it was. “I’m gonna fucking kill Andrew!”
“Stay back, Spike!” Buffy ordered as she inched forward towards Dana.
“Yellow makes you weak. Brown makes you sleepy,” Dana said slowly . . . a syringe in her hand as the two Slayers circled each other in the dank and dirty basement.
“Dana, you don’t want to do this. Just stop. We can help you, but you have to stop,” Buffy told her, trying to talk as calmly as she could to the girl.
“She can’t understand you, luv. She’s gone off her bloody gourd,” Spike said from behind Buffy.
“Not weak anymore,” Dana said, still circling Buffy.
“No, not weak anymore, Dana. Dana, listen to me – just stop. Dana, it’s over. You won! Dana, you won!” Buffy told her – using her name repeatedly to try and get through to her.
Spike casually leaned up against the wall and lit a cigarette as he watched the two Slayers stalk each other. This should be bloody brilliant, he thought, in anticipation of seeing Buffy beat the other Slayer’s ass.
“You’re bloody preggers!” he exclaimed suddenly, dropping his cigarette and walking closer to the women. “Moved on pretty fast I see – don’t spend no time grieving over ol’ Spike. He just saved the fucking world for you!” Raising his voice a few octaves to mock her, he said, “Gee, I wonder who I can go screw to celebrate?”
“Spike! Can we not talk about this right now?” Buffy said through gritted teeth as she tried to concentrate on the other Slayer and the syringe in her hand.
“I knew you didn’ mean it!! You just said it to make yourself feel better!” he continued talking, ignoring her request, as he started pacing agitatedly back and forth near the stairs, his duster swirling around his legs with each turn. “Those tears o’ yours really put the topping on it, Buffy . . . ‘I love you’ . . . my sodding ass!”
“Spike! Please! Can we talk about this later!?” Buffy implored him.
Dana lunged at Buffy with the syringe, but Buffy ducked to the side and hit Dana on the back of her neck as she went by – sending Dana stumbling right towards Spike. Spike grabbed her, turned her around and shoved her back at Buffy. “There ya’ go, luv. Back in the ring with you, then.”
“Spike! If you can’t help me, at least don’t fucking help her!” Buffy screamed at him as Dana came back towards her with the syringe.
“Who’s is it then? Who’d ya celebrate ol’ Spike burning in hell fire with, pet?” he kept talking, ignoring Buffy as the Slayers went back to circling each other.
“Was it Robin? That would be ironic . . . if he’d a killed me when you wanted him to, he might notta got to fuck you later when I saved the world . . .” Spike continued pacing and spouting off.
“Spike! You stupid son of a bitch!” Buffy said, stopping short and taking her eyes off Dana to look at him. In that instant, Dana tackled her and shoved the needle in Buffy’s neck.
“Buffy!” Spike screamed as he threw himself at Dana, game face on and adrenaline pumping. He tackled Dana to the ground and held her by the throat as she punched, scratched and kicked at him, trying to get him off. Spike had her legs pinned with his hips to keep her from kicking him off, the added adrenaline of seeing Buffy hurt making him that much stronger, as he held Dana tightly by the throat until the Slayer passed out.
“Buffy!” he called again as he scrambled off the unconscious Dana and back to where Buffy lay. The contents of the syringe had been half emptied into Buffy’s neck, her head was spinning and she felt like she was going to pass out or vomit, or both. Spike pulled the syringe out before pulling her to him. “God, I’m sorry, Buffy,” he said, holding her against him. “I didn’t mean it . . .”
“Spike . . .” was all she could say before she passed out.
Buffy woke slowly, her head hurt, but when she tried to move her hand to touch it, something pinched her and she stopped moving. She opened her eyes slowly, squinting against the light in the room that made the pounding in her head worse. Hospital, she realized and moaned. She hated hospitals in any dimension. Looking down at her hand to see what was holding it, she saw it was an I.V.
She raised her eyes and looked around the room. Spike was asleep in a chair on one side of the bed; Angel was asleep in a chair on the other. She closed her eyes and wondered how long she’d been in the hospital.
“OH GOD! The baby!” she was suddenly fully awake. “Spike!”
Spike and Angel both jumped up when she spoke and both were hovering over her now. She looked at Spike and asked, “The baby? Is the baby ok?”
Buffy didn’t know if Willow’s protection spell would work against things like strange drugs getting injected into her body.
“It’s ok, pet. The sprog’s ok,” Spike told her. “Buffy, I’m so sorry . . . I didn’t mean anythin’ . . . I just . . .”
Buffy stopped him by lifting the hand that didn’t have the I.V. in it to his lips. Buffy looked at Angel, who seemed genuinely concerned, as well. “I need to talk to Spike a minute, Angel - alone.”
Angel looked from her to Spike and back again before sighing heavily, nodding and leaving the room. When they were alone she asked Spike to sit back down and started trying to explain to him why she was there.
“Spike, I know this is gonna be hard to believe, but I’m not your Buffy . . . I’m from a different dimension – a different world.”
He looked at her with a furrowed brow and started to say something about the drugs affecting her mind, she held up her hand to stop him.
“Just trust me on this – it’s not the drugs. I'm not your Buffy . . . look." Buffy pulled the hospital gown down to reveal the scar that still lingered on her chest from the amulet; she wondered if it would ever completely go away.
"I wore the amulet in my world," she told him.
Spike looked at her closely, brows furrowed, looking at the scar and considering what she said. Of course, he knew there were other dimensions - many other dimensions; he'd been around long enough to see to one or two dimensional portals himself. So, the possibility that she was telling the truth, that this wasn't his Buffy, was certainly something that could be real.
"I’ve come here to try and fix things – for you and for her – for Buffy. I had a Slayer dream and I just had to do something about what’s going on here," Buffy started to explain.
"Now, I don’t know why you’re with Harmony or why she’s with Andrew . . .” Buffy continued.
“WHAT?!” Spike exclaimed, stopping her explanation as he stood up and started pacing around the room. “I’m not with Harmony! Well . . . just that one time, at first . . . but I’m not with Harmony . . . she bloody bit me! Threatened to kill me – and she’s loopy enough to do it!”
Then he stopped and looked at her with confusion before asking, “What about Andrew?”
“Isn’t Buffy with Andrew . . . in Rome . . . they have a flat together? In my dream, Andrew said they had a flat together,” Buffy stammered out.
Spike started laughing, he tried to stop, but just couldn’t. “You and . . . and Andrew!? Who’s in charge a’ dreams in your dimension, Slayer? Monty fucking Python?” he said between chuckles of laughter.
Well, I’m glad to see both Spike’s have the same warped sense of humor, she thought to herself.
“Andrew told me he got burnt out of his flat . . . he had to move in with you . . . with her . . . with Buffy and Dawn for a while,” Spike explained.
“Then . . . why? Spike, why aren’t you with her?” Buffy looked at him with concern and confusion. “Don’t you love me . . . her . . . anymore?”
Spike sighed, sat back down and closed his eyes.
“Spike? Tell me,” Buffy prodded him.
“I do, Buffy . . . I do love you . . . or her . . . I just – you deserve better than me, pet,” he said, dropping his face into his hands. "You deserve a normal life . . . the life you always wanted. You . . . she can't have that with me."
“She loves you, Spike. Trust me on this. What she told you in the Hellmouth was the truth,” Buffy said softly. "She would want you in her life."
Spike shook his head, his forehead still resting heavily in his hands.
“Spike, look at me,” Buffy said, reaching out to touch the side of his face. When Spike looked up his eyes were glistening as he tried to hold back his emotions.
“Believe me, Spike, I know what I’m talking about. You’ve got a second chance – you have to take it. For your sake as well as hers. Fortune favors the brave, and I know, beyond anything else, you’re brave,” Buffy said, giving him a small smile.
Spike nodded slowly, lowering his eyes from her. After a moment he asked, “So, who’s the father of the sprog, Buffy? You want me to be with her, but where am I in your world?”
“You can’t tell? Where’s all that super vampire smelling, Spike? Com’on, I don’t have Robin breath!” Buffy smiled at him.
Spike narrowed his eyes, considering her a moment. “It’s mine? B-but how?” he asked after several moments.
“Love and magic, Spike. You just have to take the chance and believe.”
Buffy made sure that Spike got on the plane with Andrew when he flew Dana back to Rome. She also threatened to come back and kick his ass if he didn't at least give his Buffy a chance. Spike still wasn’t sure how the Buffy in his dimension would react to seeing him again, but Buffy reassured him that it would be fine, she really did love him – he just had to believe.
Back in her own dimension, Buffy walked back into the mansion near mid-afternoon, looking forward to seeing her Spike and Annie. She’d been gone for three days. Tara was watching TV with Annie on the couch when Buffy came in and Annie came running over to greet her with a huge hug.
“How’s my girl?” Buffy asked, picking her up.
“I missed you!” Annie said wrapping her arms around Buffy’s neck.
“I missed you, too, sweetie!” Buffy said, giving her a slightly harder squeeze before setting her back down. “Where’s Papa?”
“He had to go to L.A.,” Annie informed her with a pout. Buffy’s face got the same pout on it as Annie’s.
“So, what’s going on in L.A.,” Buffy asked as she walked over to Tara.
“There’s a Slayer down there killing people – I guess she was in a mental institution, but she escaped . . .” Tara told her.
Buffy’s stomach dropped and she could barely breathe, “W-what? Why . . . Who . . .”
Buffy closed her eyes and tried to breathe so she could get a full sentence out. “Who thought that sending a vampire after a psycho Slayer was the thing to do? Was it Angel?! Did Angel call him!?”
“N-n-no,” Tara stammered, not understanding why Buffy was so upset. “The Council called and asked him to do it.”
“WHAT!? ALONE! He went ALONE?” Buffy looked at Tara with wide eyes. Tara gave her a timid nod.
“Jesus Christ!” Buffy started pacing around, trying to think. She stopped suddenly and tried to contact Spike through their bond . . . nothing. Grabbing up the phone, she started dialing Angel’s number, but stopped. What if Angel used it as an opportunity to dust Spike once and for all and blame it on the psychotic Slayer? Angel seemed to have accepted the idea that she was with Spike for good, but, after all he’d done in the past, it was hard to not have doubts about Angel’s motives.
“Annie, I have to go to L.A., honey. I’ll be back soon, ok?” Buffy told her daughter, who was looking at her with frightened eyes. “Everything’s ok, honey – I just . . . I just have to go help Papa,” Buffy assured her before dropping a kiss on her head and heading out the door.
Buffy continued to try and reach Spike through their bond as she drove, but it felt like that time when the Initiative had taken him, he wasn’t taking calls – unconscious probably. Buffy thought about the drugs that Dana had injected her with and wondered what would’ve happened if Spike . . . the other Spike . . . hadn’t been there to help her. Tears stung her eyes and she blinked them back as she increased her speed on the interstate, weaving in and out of traffic and hoping no cops tried to pull her over.
Buffy kept trying to think of someone, anyone, other than Angel, that she knew in L.A. that could help her - who could possibly get there faster. She also wondered why the Council would’ve called Spike for this mission – she knew there was at least one “active duty” Slayer in L.A., why didn’t they send her? Or maybe they had and she’d been killed . . . but why Spike? Angel was closer – why didn’t they call him?
“AAAAAGGGGHHHH!” she screamed out in frustration as she sped along the highway. She had nothing but questions and not a single answer to any of them.
Buffy thought about what had happened in the other dimension with the deranged Slayer, going over it all in her mind – trying to figure out the best way to defeat her without killing her. Of course, if it came down to Dana or Spike, Buffy knew what she would have to do; she hoped it wouldn’t come to that, though.
Suddenly, Buffy had a thought – Wolfram and Hart. Angel worked for them in the other dimension – they had resources, swat teams, medical personnel – hell, she was in their hospital in the other dimension. Lindsey! Lindsey used to work for them. Maybe he knew someone that could help her.
Buffy dialed the Coven’s number on her cell phone and again hoped that no cops tried to pull her over for not only speeding and reckless driving, but talking on the cell phone at the same time. After Buffy explained the situation to Lindsey, he told her he had some favors he could call in. Buffy gave him the location of the warehouse she knew (or hoped!) Spike and Dana would be in. Lindsey told her he’d do what he could to get help there as soon as possible.
“Don’t trust them, Buffy,” Lindsey had told her at the end of the conversation. “Use them, use their resources . . . but don’t trust them. Don’t agree to anything, don’t turn your back on them and don’t let them make you think you owe them – you don’t. These are personal favors I’m calling in – you don’t owe anyone for this, alright?”
“I got it. Thank you,” Buffy told him before hanging up; her words to Angel earlier that year rang in her head, any port in an Apocalypse and this, as far as she was concerned, qualified.
Buffy checked the next road sign she passed, it said Los Angeles, 10 miles. “Please hang on, Spike,” she whispered to herself. “I’ll be there soon.”
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