Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?
Chapter Title:


Everything is Different Now


Time line:

(In the Rome!Universe)

June, 2004



Joshua "JJ" Harris was born on April 21st, 2004

The twins (Danielle, "Dani" and William, "Billy") were born on February 12th, 2004

Annie turned five on February 14th.

Spike and Buffy have been married five years in February. (seems longer, doesn't it?)

Buffy turned 23 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.



The warriors and soldiers have beaten back the Senior Partners' army of hell ... but has Dru turned Spike back into her deadly boy?  Has he finally killed his third Slayer?


Notes: Heartfelt thanks to my "ET" and wonderful Beta, PaganBaby, for her wonderful suggestions, much needed corrections and always appreciated encouragement!! 


Music Referenced:

Everything is Different Now, Don Henley


This story involves jumping dimensions to the Universe where Angel and his team work for W&H - where Buffy visited before and sent Spike to Rome to be with the Buffy in that dimension. In lieu of calling it the "EvilJoss!" Universe, which is what I normally call it in my own mind, I'm calling it the "Rome!" Universe. 

Where characters cross over (where the same character from both universes are in the story), I will differentiate the ones from the Rome Universe by calling them Rome!Spike or Rome!Buffy, for example.  If, however, only one of the characters is present, then I won't make that distinction.



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.


The Night of Monday, June 29th, 2004:


Spike watched the Slayer’s face as he pinned her to the bottom of the pool.  There was always a moment when the Slayer knew it was over, when their fear and panic turned into peaceful resignation, as they realized their life, and their fight, was over. He’d seen it before and it had always given him a fantastic rush – it made him look forward to meeting the next Slayer, just for the chance to see that look again – for them to know that William the Bloody, Slayer of Slayers, had bested them.


But as Spike watched this Slayer’s face, the rush didn’t come – he saw her relax under him, give up – as her fate became clear … but that feeling of utter triumph, of joyous victory, didn’t come.  Something felt wrong – there was pain and sorrow … and an emptiness that he couldn’t explain. He couldn’t ever remember feeling this empty before, not in life or death … but he couldn’t figure out why … where were these emotions coming from?


Then a voice rang in his head, You were always meant to be my destiny … I still love you, William … I’ll always love you, and he realized it was her voice.


A thousand images poured over him through the bond, flashing through his mind like snapshots of a life … of a life forgotten. Images of him breaking shackles apart that held her hands captive; of sliding his mother’s engagement ring on her finger and of him, in a fit of rage, pulling Angel off her; then her looking like an angel from heaven as she descended the stairs towards him in a wedding gown and her in a hospital bed with an infant in her arms. Then she was crawling through an air duct, he could barely hold onto her, too weak to walk, or even crawl, himself … then he was holding her hand – his arm stretched to its limits as she dangled high above the ground. He could see her prying his fingers loose from her hand as she told him she loved him …


Spike’s hold on her relaxed as the images continued to flood his mind – images of their life together – of fights and of fun, of tears and laughter, of fear and strength, of heartache and love, of babies and brownies.  He tried to understand, to process what he was seeing, what he was feeling – maybe it was a trick – some new thing the Council had invented to keep their Slayers alive longer … but it didn’t feel like a trick, it felt real.  What the bloody hell …


Spike let go of the Slayer as he tried to sort through the images and emotions that engulfed him. Suddenly, he was gripped by the shoulders and yanked up and away from Buffy. He was tossed up from the bottom of the pool, out of the water, and hit the wall to the side of the pool with enough force to crack the plaster, before sliding down onto the hard concrete floor.


Illyria grabbed Buffy and jumped up through the murky water from the bottom of the pool, landing easily on the concrete floor that surrounded it.  Illyria held Buffy by her feet and shook her lightly as water poured out of the Slayer’s lungs.


Illyria had watched the exchange through a hole in the floor one story above the pool, where she had been hiding from the Army personnel and waiting for Wes, as advised by Buffy, since the previous night.  She’d made her way to the lower level of the hotel and had been in the long abandoned ballroom, just above the pool, when she heard the voices coming from below through the hole in the floor.


Not completely sure of all the customs of a Slayer and a vampire, Illyria had been hesitant to interfere, but when neither Buffy nor Spike had surfaced after nearly four minutes under the murky water of the pool, she knew something was wrong.  Humans needed air … her own new body taught her that – and they couldn’t get air if they were under water.


Dru moved to Spike and tried to help him back to his feet, but Spike pushed her off as he rubbed a hand over his eyes and forehead, trying to clear his thoughts.  He was still trying to sort out all the images in his mind … trying to figure out what was real and what was illusion.


It all felt real…he’d been with Dru for a century; that certainly was real.   He was sure of that.  He remembered the early days with Angelus and Darla … Angelus taught him what it meant to be a vampire, what it meant to be a monster, as they traveled across Europe, killing and pillaging as the desire struck them. That was real.


Then to China, where he’d killed his first Slayer – the taste of her blood was still fresh in his mind. He was sure that was real. 


Then it was just him and Dru for the longest time … back across Europe, then on a boat to South America for a while, up to North America and the United States, where he killed his second Slayer in New York, then back to Europe…London, Paris, Amsterdam, Bonn, Vienna … then …


Then – then what?  What had happened next?  They were obviously back in the United States now … the Slayer was a Yank … his driver’s license said he lived in California … which he was relatively sure was still in America. How had they gotten to America and when?


Then the Slayer’s final words crept back into his mind, You were always meant to be my destiny … I still love you, William … I’ll always love you.


Spike shook his head, flinging droplets of water off his curls in all directions as he tried to clear his mind, and suddenly he could hear his own voice in his mind, I’ve never regretted meetin’ up with Dru. I wouldn’t be here with you if I hadn’t of.  My life with you has outshined anything I could’ve ever had as William – my whole life has been leading me to you.  You are my destiny.


But Spike couldn’t see who it was he was talking to … he tried to focus on it … but the harder he tried to capture that memory, the more elusive it became until it seemed to vaporize, unraveling into nothing.


Spike looked up when he heard the Slayer begin to cough and gag –a blue demon had been holding her upside down and shaking her lightly, but now she was lying on the wet concrete, the blue demon blowing air into her lungs. The Slayer … what did she say her name was? Daffy?  Her parents musta had a helluva sense a humor … was coughing and gasping for air now, the blue demon helped her sit upright as she coughed more water out of her lungs and drew in deep breaths of air.


Spike saw Drusilla start to move towards the Slayer and blue demon and he jumped up … he needed some answers and he needed them now!


“STOP!” Spike yelled as Dru neared the pair.  “Everybody just bloody STOP!”


The three women looked at him, Buffy still trying to breathe and cough the rest of the water from her lungs as Illyria knelt next to her, but Dru continued to advance on the pair.


“I bloody well said to STOP!” he yelled again, moving forward towards them, and Dru stopped in her tracks and looked at him with a pout.


“What’s wrong, my Spike?” she asked him. “You said ladies first…”


Spike held his arms out in front of him, his hands up like a policeman trying emphatically to stop traffic.  “Just wait a bloody minute.  I’m gonna get some answers from you lot if it kills me … more.”


“You!” he pointed to Illyria. “Who and what the bloody hell are you?”


Illyria looked at him, tilting her head to one side then the other before standing up and facing him. “I am the ancient god Illyria – but you know this already, vampire,” Illyria informed him.


“I’ve never seen ya before, Blue … but a god, huh? … good, that – that could be helpful…” Spike half muttered before looking at Buffy. “And you! What the bloody hell did you say your name was?”


“Buffy … Spike, it’s me, your wife, Buffy,” Buffy croaked out hoarsely through her burning throat, still coughing intermittently.


“Just answer the bloody question – don’t start with that load of bollocks again,” Spike instructed her.


“Do you know her?” Spike asked Buffy as he pointed to Dru.


“Yes,” Buffy answered and stopped.


“And??” Spike asked, impatiently.


“You said to just answer the bloody question! I answered it!” Buffy retorted, her voice getting stronger as she reached a hand up towards Illyria and Illyria pulled her to her feet.


Spike rolled his eyes, his hands going to his hips. “And how do ya’ know ‘er?” he asked Buffy.


Buffy rolled her own eyes, her hands matching his on her hips. “She’s your sire … a crazy loon of a vampire named Drusilla … she’s Angel’s childe … although how she’s managed to stay un-dusty this long is beyond me …”


“That’s not polite …” Dru commented with another pout. “Make her play nice, Spike – all the children in the playground should play nice or there will be no cakes for them today. 


“You know what I miss?” Dru continued.  “I miss daisies … do you miss daisies, Spike?  I plant them, but they always die …”


“Dru! Enough! It’s bloody hard to argue with her when you prattle on like that!” Spike informed her harshly, taking another step forward towards the women.


Another image flared up in Spike’s mind … he was taking batteries out of a doll … ‘Prattles on like Dru,’ he heard himself mutter before handing the doll back to a young girl with long, dark curls and blue eyes … she looked familiar to him … where had he seen that girl before?


Dru covered her ears and cowered away from him with a small whine.


“I’m sorry, kitten … I didn’ mean nothing by it.  I’m a bad, rude man,” Spike told her apologetically, stepping towards Drusilla as the image of the girl faded from his mind.


Buffy stepped forward into his path and folded her arms across her chest.  “Why don’t we just keep playing twenty questions…” she suggested, glaring at Spike. “… and not worry about your poor kitten. Pretty sure she has claws of her own.”


Spike stopped in his tracks and closed his eyes again as flash of yet another blonde woman that he didn’t recognize crossed his mind, Oh my god! Someone's blondie bear is a twenty-question genius!


“You bloody women are trying to drive me insane! That’s it, innit? It’s a sodding conspiracy!” Spike exclaimed, backing up away from Buffy and looking from Dru to Buffy to Illyria.


“What have I done to you lot!?  Did I steal the covers?  Wouldn’t let you drive m’ car?  Hogged the remote? Left wet towels on the soddin’ floor?  TELL ME! Tell me what I’ve done to you!” Spike screamed at them as he hit the palms of his hands against his forehead.


“You know, everything always used to be so clear. Slayer. Vampire. Vampire kills Slayer, sucks her dry, picks his teeth with her bones. It's always been that way.


“I've tasted the life of two Slayers ….but with YOU...” Spike exclaimed, pointing a finger at Buffy. “You tell me I’m your destiny … that you LOVE me as what shoulda been your last thought on this earth!?  What the hell kinda Slayer are you?! How the bloody hell did you get in my head!? 


“And I … I felt … felt, something – something like … remorse? Pain? Sadness? It isn't supposed to be this way!  What the bloody hell has happened to me!? Everything is different now! What have you done to me?” Spike demanded, wishing someone would explain what was going on.


“Spike … please, listen to me,” Buffy started, speaking softly and moving towards him.


Dru stepped into her path, stopping Buffy’s advancement towards Spike. "Bad dog!” Dru said as she moved between Buffy and Spike. “Rrrufff! Rrruuff!” Dru barked at Buffy before snapping her jaws and baring her teeth like a bad dog.


“I won't let you take what's mine, Slayer," Dru informed her, looking into Buffy’s eyes.


“Be in my eyes, be in me …” Dru started.


Thrall! Buffy’s mind screamed at her. Buffy bent down and charged at Dru, picking the thin vampire up and driving with all the strength she had until Dru’s back hit the wall and they both tumbled to the floor.


Both women began rolling and wrestling for the upper hand on the floor, moving further and further away from Spike and Illyria.


Spike looked at Illyria. “Does your blue godliness know what the bloody hell is going on here?” he asked her with frown.


Illyria looked from him to the two women who were fighting on the floor and back again. “It would appear that your wife and your sire are fighting,” Illyria stated matter-of-factly.  “I do not pretend to understand the human race or such matters of the heart.”


Spike snorted a sarcastic laugh. “That makes two of us… Wait! What!? My who!?” Spike asked, suddenly realizing what she’d said. 


“Are you all very stoned?”  Spike questioned Illyria – as he looked between her and the two women wrestling on the ground a few feet away.


“I am fairly certain that I am not …” Illyria answered after considering his question for a moment. "No creature would be foolish enough to dare cast stones at me."


Spike rolled his eyes. “THAT…” Spike told her, pointing towards Buffy, “… is The Slayer.”


“Yes,” Illyria agreed.


I am a vampire,” Spike pointed out.


“Yes,” Illyria agreed again.


“So, who is that?” Spike asked Illyria, pointing towards Buffy again.


“Your wife,” Illyria informed him.


“Arrrrgggghhhh! NO! NO! NO!  That’s bloody wrong! That’s beyond wrong … it’s absurd, preposterous, and, quite frankly, laughable! And I’ll prove it to ya’ right now …” Spike told her, starting towards the pair.




Dru and Buffy rolled around on the cold, wet concrete that surrounded the pool, Buffy being especially careful to not allow Dru to get her near the water or stop moving long enough for Dru to work a thrall on her.  Buffy remembered too well Giles telling her about how Dru could thrall someone – fool you into thinking and seeing things that weren’t actually there.  It was how she’d gotten the key to awakening Acathla from Giles and how she got the upper hand on Kendra and killed her.


They crashed into some wooden Adirondack chairs at the other end of the pool – breaking them into pieces.  Buffy grabbed for a piece of the wood, but Dru knocked it out of her hand and dove on top of the Slayer, trying to get the opportunity to look into her eyes and put Buffy under her thrall or simply kill her, outright.


Dru had Buffy pinned down on the floor when Spike walked over to them. Buffy was punching wildly at her and trying to kick the dark vampire off her while at the same time trying to avoid looking into her eyes. 


“Pardon me, luv, may I cut in on this dance?” Spike asked Dru as he lifted his sire up off Buffy and set her lightly on her feet to one side.


Dru giggled manically and clapped her hands together as she bounced up and down on her toes. “Kill her for me, Spike!  Kill her for me!”


“All in good time, luv,” Spike told Drusilla with a smirk. 


When Dru was lifted off her, Buffy jumped back up to her feet and now stood half bent over, her hands on her knees, facing the pair. Her muscles ached, her body was near its breaking point, and she struggled to breathe – still occasionally coughing water out of her lungs and sinuses as she tried to breathe deeply and get oxygen back to her exhausted muscles.


“Now then … Buffy, is it?” Spike asked looking at the exhausted Slayer.


“Spike … please just listen to me,” Buffy begged him, standing back up straight.


“NO!  I don’t know what kinda game you’re playin’, but it ends now!”


“It’s no game…William, you’ve got to believe me,” Buffy pleaded with him.


William, can you hear me?  Can you feel me?  I love you … can’t you feel it? Buffy sent to him silently through their bond.


Spike shook his head and hit his forehead again with the palm of one hand as he heard her voice even though she hadn’t spoken.


“STOP THAT!  Stop doing that! Stop saying that! Get the bloody hell outta my head, Slayer!” Spike demanded, moving towards her and grabbing Buffy’s upper arms and shaking her.


Buffy closed her eyes as he shook her and concentrated on opening the bond wider. He could hear her … there was still a part of him that she could touch … his soul.  She just had to reach it, break it out of whatever prison that was holding it captive.


Buffy opened the bond as wide as she possibly could, trying to pour her entire heart and soul into him. More and more images flooded Spike’s mind … images of them: dancing, laughing, training, fighting side by side … images of them at home, at the beach, at Big Sur, at the Coven’s cabin in Canada. Then there were images of Annie, playing and laughing and standing in the grocery store convincing Spike that chocolate milk was just the same as regular milk and that Cocoa Puffs were a grain … and then Spike was singing a soft lullaby to Billy as he rocked him gently and he was in the hospital with Dani, crying and telling her how strong Summers women were.


When feelings and emotions started pouring across the bond along with the images – unconditional love, adoration, devotion, and passion – Spike dropped his hold on Buffy and fell to his knees. He held his head in his hands and closed his eyes as Buffy allowed everything in her heart to flow across the bond to him.


Spike knew better than to show such feelings around Angelus or Darla or even Dru. Angelus taught him early on that those feelings and emotions were a sign of weakness – so Spike had learned to repress them – hide them from the world, but here they were and he was drowning in them. 


So strong were the emotions that tears began falling from his eyes … he couldn’t remember ever feeling so much love, true, honest unconditional love, before.  Love that wasn’t given with any ulterior motives, love that was given fully, completely and without expecting or asking for anything in return.  He was sure that he’d never felt that before. It was intoxicating; it was overwhelming; it was terrifying.


When Spike fell to his knees, Dru started to move back towards him, to find out what was wrong – why wasn’t he killing the Slayer like she’d asked him to?  But Illyria stopped her, grabbing Dru by the arms and holding her back away from the pair.  When Dru started reciting her thrall, Illyria punched her in the jaw and knocked the raven vampiress out cold and dropping her to the floor.


Spike … let me in … let me all the way in – trust me … I can help, please let me in Buffy begged him, going down to her knees in front of him and laying her hands on his shoulders.


“What have you done to me?” Spike whispered, his face still covered with his hands.


“I just loved you.  I let you in and gave you my heart.  You hold my love in the palm of your hand … it’s yours to crush or to return – it’s up to you,” Buffy told him, leaning her forehead against his.


“Let me in … open the bond all the way, Spike – I’m not Dru; I won’t hurt you,” Buffy pleaded.  “Everything is different now; can you feel it? Can you feel my heart? Please trust me – let me help you.”


“Is this a trick?  Some kind of mind-fuck?” Spike asked softly, drawing back and looking into her eyes.  “’Cause if it is … I’d rather you just stake me now …” he told her, picking up a piece of the splintered wood and handing it to her.


“No … it’s no trick – I promise you,” Buffy told him as she pushed his hand with the stake in it down and brought her other hand up to his face, laying it gently on his cheek. “See with your true heart and you’ll know …”


Spike could still feel the love she’d sent to him through the bond … it felt like sunshine on his heart – it warmed him, made him feel like he belonged, like he mattered. He still wasn’t sure that it wasn’t some kind of trick … but what if it wasn’t?


Wasn’t this what he’d always wanted to feel but never allowed himself? Wasn’t this what he had always craved most, as both a vampire and human, to be loved wholly and unconditionally?  As bizarre as the situation was, he'd never felt such adoration directed at him by anyone before. He had no choice but to trust her … he couldn’t turn his back on these emotions now that he’d had a taste of them.


It had been so long since Spike had opened the bond with Dru that he barely remembered how to do it … he searched his mind for the long hidden and locked door in the darkest recesses of his mind. 


When the bond opened, Buffy felt like she was being sucked into a black hole. The love she normally felt from Spike wasn’t there – it was empty, a huge void where once there was love and faith and passion and joy … now there was simply nothingness. 


She’d never felt so cold … so totally alone … so unbelievably frightened, as she did at that moment – and it was all coming from Spike. All his bravado was nothing more than a smokescreen that he could hide behind. His apparent love for, and devotion to, Dru was nothing more than a frightened child clinging to the one thing that was familiar in a world full of pain and strife.


Buffy closed her eyes as she again leaned her forehead against Spike’s, still kneeling on the hard concrete around the pool.  She had to find a way to his soul … it was still there, otherwise she wouldn’t have been able to reach him … she had to find where it was being hidden and set it free.




Buffy walked through the darkness of Spike’s mind, searching for something – what, she didn’t know – something, anything, to lead her to his soul.  She finally saw a small window high above her and she jumped as hard as she could, catching the window ledge with her fingertips.  She struggled, kicking her legs and pulling with all her strength until she finally got her chest through the window … with one final kick of her legs, Buffy fell through and landed a few feet down on the other side.


The room was bright, bathed entirely in a clear, pure, white light – the walls were white, the ceiling, the floor – everything shone brilliantly – as if bathed in light straight from the heart. When she looked around, she saw tapestries… there were hundreds of them hanging from the ceiling. Each tapestry was a different scene, like stolen moments from their life: Spike and Dru arriving in Sunnydale; Spike watching Buffy dance with Willow and Xander in the Bronze; Joyce hitting Spike over the head with an axe in the high school; Spike helping Buffy escape from Angelus’ shackles and stop Acathla; Spike and Buffy’s wedding; Annie being born…


They seemed to go on forever – as far as the eye could see in all directions.  They were all different, but all had one thing in common … the bottoms were unraveling, the threads were cut and hanging loose – as if the weaver had walked off halfway through and never came back.


Buffy sighed, unsure what to make of this.  She reached out and touched one that was from the night Spike proposed to her in the garden and, suddenly, the tapestry began weaving itself back together.  Buffy touched another one and it did the same thing … but there were thousands of them… maybe tens, or even hundreds, of thousands – she couldn’t really tell how many … it would take forever to touch each one …


Buffy tried clearing her mind to let their bond guide her – to tell her what to do next.  When she opened her eyes, she turned in the opposite direction and began walking down the long, unending room full of the tapestries of their life … touching each one she passed and watching it begin to weave itself back together.




Spike could almost feel her physically in his mind – he could certainly feel her fear and how cold and empty she felt at first … he was all too familiar with those feelings … then confusion and determination flooded him and suddenly snippets of a life forgotten started to coalesce in his mind. 


They were just flashes – unconnected scenes … like one of those pictures where each dot has a number and you have to connect the dots in the proper order to see the full picture … but the dots weren’t connected and they weren’t in any apparent order. They were confusing and confounding, but the feelings they held seemed so real and so right. 


He embraced each one … some brought tears to his eyes, others laughter to his lips … still others burned him with a passion and desire he couldn’t recall ever experiencing before.  He longed for them to be real … but it was all so bewildering.   He wondered again if this was some kind of trick … but to what end?  If she wanted to dust him, he’d given her the opportunity … or was she just as barmy as Dru and just enjoyed taking him on this rollercoaster ride of human emotions … so many of which he should’ve lost the ability to feel over a century ago.




After a time, Buffy came to a trapdoor in the floor of the room. She bent down and pulled the heavy door open – the hinges creaked as she pulled on it with all her strength … nearly dropping it more than once, before she got it past the halfway point and let go of it … letting it fall open with a loud clang.     Buffy looked down but couldn’t see anything – compared to the brightness of the room she was in, the room below seemed pitch black.  She felt around the opening for a ladder, but couldn’t find one.  She stood back up and looked around – there were no other openings that she could see.  She could spend hours walking around this room only to find that is the only one … she felt compelled to take it.    


Buffy took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and jumped through the opening in the floor feet first.  She felt like she was falling forever and in slow motion … long enough for her to open her eyes and look around. She seemed to be falling through Spike’s memories … layers and layers of them, opened up to her like rooms in a dollhouse, one on top of the other, surrounding her on all four sides, but just out of her reach.     There was what she knew must be young William, returning from school with a book under his arm – his mother greeting him with a cup of tea loaded with cream and sugar, and a plate of cookies. 


Buffy found if she spread her arms out, she could slow down even more and watch the scenes unfold.  Many of them looked similar as she watched William grow … he and his mother in the sitting room in front of the fire … William would read to her from a book, glasses perched on his nose as he strained to see in the lamplight.


In others, William would be writing at a table with a fountain pen … he’d stop periodically and think, then continue writing again.  Buffy wondered what he was writing, but couldn’t get close enough to see.  Usually his mother was nearby, near the fire or a lamp doing needlework and softly singing a very familiar lullaby… “Early one morning, just as the sun was rising…”


Then there was a memory of a twelve or thirteen year old William at school … the bullies and cads were teasing him for wearing glasses and his role as ‘teacher’s pet’.


“You make the rest of us look like gits,” one of the boys told William, as a group of thugs surrounded him in the schoolyard.


 Another of the boys pulled William’s books out of his hand; tossing the textbook into a nearby puddle.  William reached for the other book … his composition book, but another of the bullies held him back by the elbows.    


“Give it back!” William demanded, struggling against the larger boy’s hold.    


“Make me!” the one with the book taunted as he opened it and began to read aloud.  


“‘The curve of her smile, the sweet scent that she wears, her kindness and beauty, are beyond compare…’”    


The boys roared in laughter and began pushing William across the circle from one to the other, tossing the composition book around at the same time as he continued to reach for it.     Finally, the biggest bully held the book up in the air and everyone stopped moving.  William, bruised and winded from the skirmish, stood in the center of the ring.     


“This is what happens to the bloody teacher’s pet!” the biggest bully told William as he began ripping the pages out of the book and tossing them into the air. “You’d be wise to learn to keep your bleedin’ mouth shut!” he advised William as the last of the pages were torn from the book and scattered in the wind.  


Buffy frowned and tears stung her eyes as she watched young William get humiliated and beaten up for being nothing more than what he was – a brainiac with a poet’s heart.  No wonder Spike rarely showed his true self to anyone – rarely stepped up and let his intelligence show.  He’d learned at an early age that bad things happened when you stood out from the crowd like that.   Buffy lowered her arms and began moving faster again … images flashed by her as William grew up. He learned that perhaps the only person he could trust to show his intelligence and poet’s heart to was his mother.


He longed for someone to love – a woman that could take all the love in his heart and find that it was what she’d always been seeking … a soul mate. He’d taken women out before … to the theatre, to the finest restaurants, for long, romantic walks along the Thames … but it seemed that every woman wanted only what his family name and money could give them – status, a certain amount of wealth and comfort – but none wanted what he could give them, none really loved his heart.


Buffy slowed when she saw a scene she recognized from her dream … the party where he told Hallie … or Cecily, that he loved her.  Buffy felt a lump of fear in her throat … she knew what happened after this from her dream – Dru happened after this. Dru and Darla and Angelus … William the Bloody happened after this.


Buffy tried to move back up, swimming her arms in the air and kicking her feet, trying to go back up the long line of memories, but no matter how hard she tried to go back up, she kept slipping further down the narrow shaft … surrounded by William’s life … and soon to be surrounded by Spike’s unlife… 


Everything would be different now…

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Don Henley, Everything is Different Now


Everything is Different Now, Don Henley

I hate to tell you this, but I'm very, very happy
And I know that's not what you'd expect from me at all
I'm not the kind to smile and bow out gracefully
I always wanted to take it to the wall

But I found somebody with a heart as big as Texas
I found an angel with the gold-en wings
She saw me down here in the dark somehow
And everything is different now

Yeah, I miss the old crowd sometimes
And the wild, wild nights of running
You know, a starving soul can't live like that for long
You go around in circles that just keep getting smaller
You wake up one morning and half your life is gone

I got so tired of that, I got so lonely
I dropped down and I called out to Heaven
"Send me someone to love."
And Heaven shot back, "You get the love that you allow."
And everything is different now

Oh, and it's sweet to know
The wisdom that living brings
Since I got a telegram from the god of simple things

She said, "I don't care what you do for a living.
I don't care what kind of car you drive."
All I want to know right now is what do you believe in
And what it means for you to be alive.
Will you stand here in this fire with me?
Are you ready for another life?"
I bit that bullet, I took that vow
And everything is different now

Everything is different now