Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: I Run to You
Chapter Title:


Earth Angel


Time line:

July, 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 (she was born in 1999)

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.



Life falls back to normal in Sunnydale … Lorne’s grand opening at the Bronze is a big success… thanks in part to Spike...


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


Music Referenced:

Earth Angel by The Penguins


Jump, Jive 'n Wail by Louis Prima


My Girl by The Temptations:


Why Do Fools Fall in Love by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers:



ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise:


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.


Saturday, July 17th, 2004


“Can you believe that? I mean, really - Domestic Partnership? ... What does that even mean? It sounds like a maid service!” Willow complained to Buffy and Anya as they sat in one of the new booths at the back of the Bronze and waited for Spike and Xander to come back with their drinks.


“It’s not fair! You can marry a hundred year old vampire, but I can’t marry my girlfriend!” Willow continued.


“It’s the Pope’s fault,” Anya told Willow.  “He’s very old and set in his ways … I don’t know why all the Popes have to be so old. You know, Popes used to be quite a bit more fun in the good old days – there was this one back in 1309 … oh, never mind,” Anya said with a sigh as Willow glared at her with raised brows.


“Honestly, though, I don’t know when they got so stodgy,” Anya continued her original point. “You’d think they’d choose a young, hot guy for once … they’d get so many more people to join the church that way – which would get them a lot more money! Plus, maybe they’d be more open to bending a few more of those rules …


“I mean, look at the Scientologists…now, they have the right idea! Headquarters on the beach in Florida, members like Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Lisa Marie Presley, Sonny Bono … that’s how you get people to follow you and give you money … get good looking people involved!”


“Sonny Bono’s dead … and he never was good looking,” Willow pointed out, rolling her eyes.


“I’m sorry, Wills … but we can still have a ceremony – like a Wiccan marriage and tie you guys up and stuff, right?” Buffy sympathized.


“Oh … like bondage? Why didn’t I think of that for our ceremony?!” Anya asked brightly.


“Not bondage, Anya … she’s talking about handfasting,” Willow clarified with another roll of her eyes.


Willow sighed. “Yeah … we can do that … exchange rings and get all tied up … and become a domestic partnership. How romantic.”


Buffy frowned. “I’m really sorry you can’t get married … maybe one day the laws will change … or they’ll elect Brad Pitt or Ben Affleck to Pope-age…  It can still be romantic … in fact, I think you guys getting domesticated in the garden this fall under a full moon would be totally romantic.”

“I guess…” Willow said with another sigh as Spike and Xander appeared with their drinks.  Tara had some make-up work to do for the classes she’d missed while they were in the other dimension, so she volunteered to stay home with the kids tonight and work on that while everyone else supported Lorne’s grand opening at the Bronze.


“Lorne has really made some huge changes to the old place!” Xander exclaimed as he slid in next to Anya. “I didn’t see one rat or roach the whole time we were at the bar!”



“And he added the blooming onion back to the menu!” Spike added with a grin. “Bloody brilliant!”


“I like the theme night idea too … this sock hop idea is grrrooovy!” Xander added.


“Sock hops weren’t bloody ‘groovy’ … sock hops were ‘coooool’ … ‘groovy’ didn’t come along until the sixties, mate,” Spike informed Xander.


“Oh, my mistake … sorry for not being alive then, Daddy-O,” Xander shot back sarcastically as he did his best Fonzie impression by running a comb through his hair and smoothing his fifties-inspired pompadour down with the other hand.


“Xander’s been doing really well with his dance lessons, though … we practiced all week for tonight,” Anya told the group.  “Jitterbug, Lindy Hop, The Twist, The Monkey …”


“The Monkey!?” Spike exclaimed with a laugh. “That I wanna see!”


“A few more of these Jack and Cokes and you may have that privilege …” Xander smirked at Spike, downing the rest of his drink in one gulp.


“I don’t think the karaoke idea is going over very well, though,” Buffy pointed out tilting her head towards the empty stage.



Even though music was playing and people were dancing, no one had ventured up to actually sing any of the songs. Lorne had kicked off the evening himself with “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?”, but since then none of the patrons had taken the chance and sung any songs.


“Sunnydale ain’t known for its singin’ talent,” Spike added.


“You can sing … why don’t you sing one?” Anya asked Spike.


“Me?! Here in fronta God and everybody!? Pffffttt! Not bloody likely,” Spike told her dismissively.



“Awwww, c’mon honey … you’re a good singer - why don’t you sing one for me?” Buffy cooed, leaning against Spike’s shoulder and batting her eyelashes up at him.


“What part of ‘no’ do you lot not understand?” Spike asked, rolling his eyes. “C’mon … I’ll dance with ya’, though,” he offered sliding out of the booth and offering her his hand. 


{Probably the best known use of this song... and the swing dance, the best Gap commercial of all time:}


{The dancing in the one below actually starts at about 0:50:}



Buffy took it and followed him to the dance floor.  Since Lorne had told them his plans for ‘decade theme nights’ and that the first was going to be a sock hop, Buffy had Spike teach her how to swing dance before actually having to do it in public this time.


The song “Jump, Jive an’ Wail” started as they reached the dance floor and Spike twirled her around and leap-frogged over her head to start the dance … that move alone had everyone else on the floor backing off to just watch and see what would happen next.


Spike turned back around and took her hand and they began jitterbugging … they seemed to nearly float across the floor as they moved effortlessly to the beat.  Spike twirled and spun her and lifted her like she was a feather, as they went through all the classic swing dance moves and lifts.


Spike ended the dance with Buffy in his arms, her arms around his neck, their faces just inches from each other. When the whole place exploded in applause, Spike kissed her and spun her around once before setting her back on her feet.


Buffy beamed as Spike led her off the floor and back to their booth.  She’d always loved to dance, but Spike added a whole new dimension to it … he actually knew how to dance! Not just ‘free style’, which is what she and her friends had always done all their lives … but real dances with steps and everything! 


It was fun to be able to show off her husband to the world … he danced like he did everything else, with passion, and Buffy loved that. Buffy was so happy that she’d had all those gymnastics and figure skating lessons when she was younger – all that knowledge really came in handy trying to learn the different dances that Spike taught her. He, of course, had lived them … had learned them over the years as each came in and out of style over the course of his unlife.

 “Your turn,” Spike told Xander as he slid into the booth behind Buffy.


“Yeah … I’ll get right on that,” Xander said with a roll of his eyes. 


Anya elbowed him in the ribs.  “Owwww! What was that for?”


“You need more lessons … and I don’t think those blooming onions are helping one bit!” she said as she watched him eat the last of the onion on the table.


“It takes time, Ahn! Spike – how long have you been eating blooming onions and spicy wings?” Xander asked looking at Spike and giving him a wink that Anya couldn’t see.


“Oh…for bloody ever,” Spike told him with a stern look and a nod. “Keep at it … it’ll kick in with time.”


Spike had already extracted a car wash and detailing job on the DeSoto out of Xander for his support of the ‘blooming onion and spicy wings diet’ … and he was still owed an oil change on the DeSoto and the Harley, which they had finally gotten back from Arizona when Detective Lockley got the stolen property charges dropped.  Next, he figured he’d get the same for Buffy’s car … if things worked out right, he wouldn’t have to do any maintenance on any of their vehicles for the rest of Xander’s life … which could be severely shortened on that diet, but still, it would be sweet while it lasted.


“My God, you hepcats are the bee’s knees!” Lorne gushed as he walked up to their booth. “I knew I could count on you to rip the floor up!


“Now, I just need someone to kick off the karaoke part of the evening and everything will be perfect,” Lorne lamented, looking at Spike.


Spike looked around the table … everyone was looking at him expectantly. “What? I said no!”


“You mean no as in ‘eventually’?” Buffy asked him with smile.


“You have real problems with that word, don’t ya, Slayer?”


“C’mon, Spikester!  You’re the talent here … why don’t you croon a love song for your best girl?” Lorne encouraged him.


“Yeah Spike … you can get Anya to sign me up for singing lessons, too …” Xander quipped with a smirk.


“C’mon Spike” … “Yeah, c’mon” … “You can do it” … “Just one song,” everyone spoke at once trying to get him to agree.


“Bloody hell…” Spike muttered. “What’s in it for me?”


“The satisfaction of helping a friend in need,” Lorne suggested hopefully.


“Pfffffftt,” Spike snorted. “That it?”


“How about a pitcher of beer, another blooming onion, and a big plate of spicy wings … extra molten lava hot, just how you like ‘em?” Lorne offered.


“Now, that’s more like it … I don’t mind being a whore, but I ain’t giving it away …” Spike informed him. “I’m not a bloody slut.”


Spike slid out of the booth and pulled Buffy with him.


“I’m not singing!” she protested, pulling back.


“You’re comin’ with me … can’t sing a song to my girl if m’ girl’s way back here in the dark …” Spike explained, pulling her out of the booth.


Spike picked out a song and the house lights dimmed as Lorne took the stage to introduce him.


“Hey all you coooool cats!” Lorne started. “Do I have a sweeeet treat-treat-treat for you!  If you think he can dance, wait ‘til you hear him sing! Hang onto your girls … ‘cause this cat will melt their hearts!  Let’s pop the clutch on this party and welcome Spikester, the Blond Bomb, to the stage!”


Spike rolled his eyes and rubbed a hand across them … that’s all he needed was a buildup like that! As all eyes in the place were glued to him as he took the stage and Lorne handed him the mic.


Spike took a deep breath as the music and background vocals began.  “This is for Buffy …” he announced.


“And for beer!  Woooo-hoooo!” Xander yelled from the back of the room.


Spike ignored Xander and turned to face Buffy, who was standing off to the side, and began to sing as the words scrolled for him on the monitor. As he sang, the dance floor filled up with couples, but Spike didn’t notice … all his attention was on Buffy – his eyes locked with hers, as he sang to his very own Earth Angel …




"Earth angel, earth angel
Will you be mine?
My darling dear
Love you all the time
I'm just a fool
A fool in love with you

"Earth angel, earth angel
The one I adore
Love you forever and ever more
I'm just a fool
A fool in love with you

"I fell for you and I knew
The vision of your love-loveliness
I hoped and I pray that someday
I'll be the vision of your hap-happiness oh, oh, oh, oh!



About half way through the song, Spike walked over to where Buffy was standing and pulled her out on the stage with him. He spun her around and pulled her back against his chest. Keeping hold of her hand, he wrapped an arm across her collarbone and their hips swayed to the slow beat as he continued to hold the mic in the other hand and serenade her.

"Earth angel, earth angel
Please be mine
My darling dear
Love you all the time
I'm just a fool
A fool in love with you-ou-ou


"I fell for you and I knew
The vision of your loveliness
I hope and pray that someday
That I'll be the vision of your happiness

oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh , oh, oh, oh


"Earth angel, earth angel
Please be mine
My darling dear
Love you all the time
I'm just a fool
A fool in love with you-ou (you, you, you)"

When the song finished, Buffy turned in his arms and pressed her body against his as she wrapped her arms around his neck and dropped a soft kiss on his lips.  “You know I’m yours … forevermore,” she whispered to him as the crowd applauded.


Lorne took the mic out of Spike’s hand, which was now wrapped around Buffy’s back, as he held her against him and kissed her again. “Let’s hear it for Spikester … and his lovely muse, Buffy!”


“Hopefully, if we can get these two kids pried apart, we can get another song out of him later …. But now, who’s next!!?? C’mon … it’s not that hard and look at the reward you get when it’s done!” Lorne pointed out, waving an arm at Spike and Buffy who were in their own little world, still kissing next to him on the stage.  “Of course, you have to get your own girl or guy … these two are taken.”


A line of singers began forming off to the side of the stage and Lorne blew out a deep sigh of relief … he knew people would like the karaoke if they’d just try it … and Spike had been the perfect one to show how ‘easy’ it was to do.  Since Lorne was still new, he didn’t want any of his changes to be big flops … it wouldn’t look good in the eyes of the owners.


Spike and Buffy finally made their way back to the booth and everyone dug into the food and beer that Lorne brought out to them.


“This is great! Free food, free beer! Way to go, Spike! We could do this every night … let you sing for our dinner!” Xander enthused as he took a big helping of spicy wings and onion.


“Like hell … your turn next, moocher! What shall we have ‘tone-deaf Xander’ sing?” Spike pondered as he dug into the food also and poured himself a beer.


“Hey! I’m not tone deaf! I’m … lyrically challenged! You should be nice to me! I’m disabled!” Xander defended.


“You’re disabled, alright!” Spike agreed. “‘Special Ed’, I believe is the proper medical term …”


“Hey! I resemble that remark!” Xander laughed, stuffing his face with more of the onion.


“Oh, I know one for Xander to sing!” Willow piped up. “On eighties night, he can do ‘Thriller!’”


Xander nearly spit his beer out of his mouth as he gagged. “Thriller?! My voice wouldn’t get that high if you kicked me in the ‘nads!”


“Brilliant!” Spike exclaimed. “I’ll do the Vincent Price part … you do the Michael Jackson part!”


“Again I say … not happening!” Xander told them, shaking his head firmly.


“C’mon, Xander!” Anya elbowed him in the ribs again. “Spike’s offering to help you with part of it … the least you can do is do a little singing for your own meal …”


“Ahn! Have you ever heard that song?!” Xander asked, looking at her with a furrowed brow.


“Sure … it’s not all high notes … just a few, and I’ve heard you hit them before … you know the screaming like a girl thing really does work!  Thanks for that, Spike!” Anya said, looking at Spike and nodding appreciatively.


“Ahn!” Xander admonished her as Spike laughed heartily.


“My bloody pleasure ….” Spike told her with a smirk, pouring himself another beer.


“I’ll sing that song when Spike does a moonwalk!” Xander announced, confident that that would shut everyone up.


Spike raised his brows. “You don’t think I can do a bloody moonwalk?  That’s child’s play!”


“On stage … with a white t-shirt, red jacket, black high-waters, black shoes and white, baggy socks … and a sparkly glove on one hand … the whole 'MJ' works,” Xander added, holding up one hand and wriggling his fingers.


“I’m not a bloody ponce,” Spike shot back.


“That’s the deal … Spike moonwalks, in costume, and I’ll sing ‘Thriller’ on eighties night … Otherwise, I sit here and eat … I’m good at eating – I think it’s my sacred calling – along with fetching donuts.”


When no one said anything further, Xander said, “Good – that’s settled then...I consume…Spike sings – it’s a perfect partnership.”






The friends continued talking, eating, drinking, and dancing through the night until the lights flashed in the bar announcing last call and last dance.


Spike stood up and took Buffy’s hand and she followed him to the dance floor for the last dance. Spike sang softly against Buffy’s ear as they joined the other couples on the floor (including Anya and Xander, who had followed them out) and danced as Lorne sang “My Girl” by the Temptations.


Buffy wrapped her arms around Spike’s neck, pressed her body against his, and laid her head on his shoulder as they swayed slowly to the easy beat. She again thought how much she loved dancing with him … even simple dances were so romantic as he sang softly just for her and held her in his strong arms.   

  I've got sunshine on a cloudy day.
When it's cold outside I've got the month of May.
I guess you'd say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin' 'bout my girl (my girl).

I've got so much honey the bees envy me.
I've got a sweeter song than the birds in the trees.
I guess you'd say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin' 'bout my girl (my girl).

Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey

I don't need no money, fortune, or fame.
I've got all the riches baby one man can claim.
I guess you'd say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin' 'bout my girl (my girl).

I've got sunshine on a cloudy day
with my girl.
I've even got the month of May
with my girl


“I love you, Buffy,” Spike whispered to her as the song ended. “You are my sunshine – night and day.”


“I love you too, baby … I love bein’ your girl.” Buffy smiled back at him and stood up on her toes to drop a soft kiss on his lips as the lights came up in the club, signaling the end of the night.




Spike leaned against the doorjamb of Annie’s room after getting his shower later that night and watched her sleeping.  He’d checked on the twins first.  His Sweetbit, Dani, had been awake, so he picked her up and rocked her and hummed a soft lullaby for her until she went back to sleep. 


It was amazing how fast they were growing … they had been so small when they were born, but they seemed to be making up for lost time now.  The doctors said that they both were developing quickly and were now in the ‘average’ range of size and weight for their age.  Dani showed no signs of damage from the Meningitis, but they continued to monitor her for possible long-term effects that may not show up until she was older. 


Since moving their cribs next to each other, the all night crying had stopped and they both slept through the night most of the time now.  Lorne had advised Spike and Buffy to work on separating them for short periods of time and slowly increase the time they were physically apart to get them used to being separated ... otherwise, life would be quite difficult for them as they grew.  Buffy and Spike had been doing that a couple of times a day, each taking one of the babies and going off into different rooms of the mansion until the wailing became more than they could stand, then bringing them back together.  So far, they were up to keeping them apart for an hour at a time ... but they continued to work on that, as did Lorne, Willow, and Tara, every chance they got.


“What ya doing, Papa?” Annie asked sleepily when she woke up and saw him standing there.


“Nothin’, Niblett … just checking on m’ raven beauty,” Spike told her, moving into the room and sitting down on the edge of her bed.


“We won our T-ball game today,” Annie told him sleepily.


“I know, your mum told me … Said you got a homerun, that’s brilliant!” Spike told her with a smile.


“Yep! It went right through Jimmy’s legs and then Sally kicked it and Ralphie dropped it … I got to run all the way around!” Annie told him proudly.


“The next Babe Ruth…” Spike smiled.


Annie looked at him perplexed and twisted her mouth around. “You have a Babe Ruth bar?  For me?” she asked hopefully.


Spike laughed. “No, Niblett … Babe Ruth was a baseball player… the candy bar came later.  One day, they’ll be an Anne Joyce candy bar named for you …”


“Oh, ok,” Annie said quietly, still trying to process the fact that 'Babe Ruth' was more than a candy bar. “Papa?”




“When will you come to one of the games?” Annie asked, looking at him with her big blue eyes. “The other fathers are there … most of them, anyway …”


Spike sighed and pursed his lips together.  All the T-ball games were in the afternoon, he couldn’t attend them unless he stayed in the car and watched from the parking lot … which he’d done a time or two when she first started, but it really wasn’t the same as ‘being there’ in the stands with the other parents.


“I’m sorry I haven’t been there, Niblett … I want to, but you know I can’t go out in the sun. It isn’t because I don’t want to be there, ‘cause I do,” Spike explained.


“It’s ok …I know,” Annie told him. “Mama needs someone to keep her from yelling at the other parents, is all … she gets cranky sometimes,” Annie explained.


“Does she?” Spike asked with amusement. “And what do the other parents do to make her cranky?”


“Usually they yell stuff at their kids … you can always tell which parents go with which kids ‘cause those are the the ones yelling when they mess up.”


“Ahhhh … but your mum doesn’t like them yellin’?”


Annie shook her head. “No … she says it’s just a game and it’s supposed to be fun and we’re just learning … She says she’s gonna beat the shit out of Mr. Anderson one day …”


“What!? She said she’d beat the what out of him?” Spike asked with wide eyes.


Annie put her hands over her mouth and her eyes matched his – big as saucers.


Spike stuck his hand out. “Bad word,” he informed her. Finally! He could get some of his money back.  Annie crawled out of bed and grabbed a handful of pennies out of her big ‘bad word trust fund’ jar and started counting out ten stacks of ten on the floor to make the dollar that she owed for her bad word.


Spike stuffed them down in his pocket when she finished and tucked her back into bed.  “I’m sure that she won’t beat anyone up, Niblett … so don’t worry ‘bout that,” Spike told her.  “Maybe one day I can find a way to come to your games … and keep your mum under control.”


“Ok, if you're sure,” Annie said, turning over and closing her eyes. “G’ nite.”


“Good night, Niblett,” Spike told her as he dropped a kiss on top of her head and stood up … the hundred pennies jingling in his pocket as he walked out and closed her door behind him.




After Buffy got her shower, she walked downstairs and out into the garden and looked around … there was nothing out of place, no one about.  She walked up the stairs to the street and looked up and down, but still didn’t see anyone or anything unusual. 


As they walked home from the Bronze earlier she felt like someone was watching them, but never saw anyone that seemed suspicious.  Spike said he felt it, too … but even he couldn’t see or pick up on who it might be.


Buffy shook her head and headed back down the stairs and into the house. Probably nothing … it’s late, been drinking … just Slayer senses on Cuervo … she reasoned.


Buffy dropped her shorts and t-shirt on the floor, climbed into bed with Spike and snuggled up against his side. Spike wrapped an arm around her as she laid her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes.


“Who’s Mr. Anderson?” Spike asked her quietly.


“Hmmm?” Buffy asked, opening her eyes. “Who?”


“Mr. Anderson … from T-Ball …” Spike elaborated.


“Oh … God, what an ass! His boy, Ralphie – that poor kid’s as klutzy as you can get – and that man just rags on him so badly … he’s horrible. I mean, Ralphie tries so hard … and that’s really all that’s important – that he does his best, but that man … urgh!


“What brought that up?” Buffy asked, picking her head up and looking at him.


Spike waved his hand at the pile of pennies on the nightstand. “Your daughter says that you’re gonna beat the shit out of him…that I need to come to her games to keep you civil. Ain’t that a bloody kick?! I should keep you civil!?”


Buffy put her hand over her mouth. “Ooops! I guess I shouldn’t rant on the way home, huh?” she asked with a laugh.


“’S alright … got me a hundred ‘bloody hells’ out of the deal!”


Buffy shook her head and laid it back on his shoulder. “He really does need the shit kicked out of him…”




Buffy was standing on the sidewalk across the street from the Espresso Pump … but it looked different somehow – it had been remodeled and some of the booths had been updated with car parts she recognized from the 1980s and ‘90s - not just the ones from the ‘50s and ‘60s like were there now. 


Buffy looked around and noticed that all the cars in the street were smaller than normal and seemed to run almost silently … hybrids, she surmised. It was dark out … there weren’t a lot of people on the street – she looked around, trying to figure out what she was supposed to be seeing here.


As she stood there looking around and trying figure out what was going on, a couple of young people walked by her.  She recognized the girl immediately – it was Annie … at least twenty years in the future – the long, dark wavy hair, the big blue eyes, Spike’s cheekbones … there was no mistaking her.


“JJ, you’re crazy!” Annie laughed as they walked past and headed into the coffee shop.


Buffy studied the boy closer … his thick, brown hair did remind her of Xander and he had a goofy smile that was unmistakable, too. He was built like a football player – tall and solid. Buffy smiled as she remembered the how excited Xander was on the night JJ was born, describing him as a middle linebacker; he seemed to have lived up to that prediction.


“No – I’m tellin’ ya! If Edward was a real vampire, he wouldn’t look so damn old now – he’d look just like he did when it started like twenty years ago! I mean, seriously! Who do they think they’re foolin’? And what’s with that sparkling stuff? That’s so bogus!” JJ argued. “If Uncle Spike met Edward, he’d so stake him!”


“It’s a movie, JJ!” Annie told him with an eye roll. “It’s just fantasy land ... you know, Hollywood?”


“No – I mean, yeah, I know, but it’s not even close to realistic!  Look at your dad! He’s like what, around a hundred and fifty now? He still looks like he’s twenty five! Hell, he looks like your brother! Fuck, some days he looks better than your brother!” JJ laughed. 


“Yeah, thanks … it’s great having parents that look like they’re your younger siblings! Really makes you feel attractive … in an old lady kinda way,” Annie told him with an eyeroll as she sat down at one of the tables and JJ joined her.


“Awww, I didn’t mean it like that …” JJ started to apologize when suddenly gunshots rang out from inside the coffee shop. 


Buffy dropped to the ground instinctively when the shooting started, but then quickly jumped up and ran towards Annie and JJ, screaming her daughter’s name. When she got there, the shooting had stopped. Annie and JJ were on the ground underneath a man who had been shot several times in the back.


Blood poured out of the wounds on his back as Annie and JJ struggled to get out from under him – Annie was crying and screaming, and JJ looked white as a sheet – like he could barely breathe, as they pushed on the man and crawled backwards out from under him. All the other patrons had either fled or where cowering under their tables … the shooter had apparently also run off.


Buffy reached down and rolled the man off Annie and JJ; he moaned loudly when his back hit the floor. Buffy’s eyes went wide in surprise and confusion … “Angel!?”




Buffy woke with a jerk … her heart was racing and she felt like she could barely breathe.  She sat up in the bed and tried to get her heart to calm down and her catch her breath.


“What’s the matter?” Spike asked, sitting up next to her.


“Annie … JJ … God, Spike!” Buffy said with wide eyes. “Someone tried to shoot them! Angel saved them!”


“What!? When?! Where?!” Spike asked, looking at her with alarm.


“Future … maybe … I don’t know, twenty years? – but it was Angel! Angel saved them!” Buffy told him, her eyes still wide as saucers.


Spike took a deep breath and relaxed a bit as he rubbed a strong hand on her back.  “It’s the PTB fuckin’ with us, Buffy…” he said, laying back down and pulling her against him as he wrapped a strong arm around her.


“They want the wanker back on the bloody street … they’re playin’ with ya –that’s all.  Who was it doing the shootin’?”


“I don’t know … I didn’t see who it was,” Buffy admitted.


“See? If they wanted to be helpful, they’d a shown you who the shooter was … not Angel bein’ gallant and conveniently there at the time.  It’s not real … who would want to shoot Annie and JJ, anyway?”


“I don’t know … it felt real …” Buffy said quietly.


“Yeah, well, you know how the PTB like to fuck with us … trust me, that’s all it is,” Spike told her as he dropped a kiss on top of her head. “Them playing favorites again.”


“Yeah … I guess,” Buffy agreed quietly, but she wasn’t so sure – it felt completely real.


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