Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Everything I Own

Chapter Title:


You and Me Against the World

Chapter Summary:


Buffy has been attacked by a werewolf – Spike and Dawn try to help her in their own ways.


Time line:

February, 2005



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

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

Annie was born on February 14th, 1999

Spike and Buffy  were married in  February 1999

Buffy was born January 19th, 1981

William/Spike was turned by Dru in 1880; first came to Sunnydale in September of 1997


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

Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions and got the memories from the 'Rome' Universe in May, 2003.



More info on ‘Toll houses’:

Music Referenced:

You and Me Against the World, Gladys Knight and the Pips


ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise:


Thanks: Thanks so much to Paganbaby for her continued support and wonderful ideas. I especially needed her help with this story because of the complexity of it! {{Thanks PB!}}

Thanks also to 'u2fan2005' and 'epd4' for their suggestions, corrections, and help betaing this chapter!!

Rating / Warnings:


NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, sex, adult themes, and other adult situations that some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY.


Tuesday, February 1st, 2005:


Spike growled ferociously as he kicked the flying werewolf in the ribs and dislodged it from Buffy’s prone and motionless body.  The wolf-creature screamed in pain when it was kicked and turned to face Spike when it landed a few feet away.  It bared its razor sharp teeth at him and growled as it began to move slowly back towards its prize.


“Want to compare wrinklies, do ya?” Spike asked it sarcastically, bringing his game face up and baring his own fangs at it with a deep growl as he moved forward and got between it and Buffy.


“C’mon, then … heeere kitty, kittyyyy,” Spike taunted, holding both hands out in front of him with his palms up and making a ‘come here’ motion with all his fingers, challenging the beast.


The werewolf sized him up for several long moments, but eventually decided that the meal wasn’t worth the fight and limped off, its broken wings dangling uselessly down its back.


“Tosser…” Spike muttered as he turned around quickly and began to try and administer some kind of aid to Buffy.  He wasn’t squeamish…he’d seen worse, he’d done worse in his life, but he felt his stomach turn when he saw how badly her flesh was shredded.


“Buffy … God, why did you come back ‘ere, luv?” he asked her quietly as he tenderly picked her limp body up in his arms and carried her back to the cave he’d found and had been living in for the last … how long? He wasn’t sure - longer than a week, for certain – less than a year, he reckoned… anything more precise was impossible.


The entrance to the cave was small and low, he had to crawl on his belly to get in, but inside it opened up into a decent sized room, tall enough to stand and plenty wide and long enough to lie down comfortably…well, if you can lie comfortably on cold sand with rocks for pillows– but at least it wasn’t cramped.


Spike lay Buffy down outside the entrance and crawled in first, then turned around and pulled her in, trying hard not to embed more sand in her wounds or injure her further. Buffy moaned in pain when Spike pulled on her; knowing he was causing her pain made his stomach knot further and brought tears to his eyes, but he had no choice – he had to get her inside.


“I’m sorry, luv … there’s no other way,” he whispered as he continued to pull her as gently as possible.


Once he had her inside, Spike rolled a large boulder over the doorway to keep would-be attackers out, then worked to try and clean and close her wounds as well as he could. He used his fangs to cut off any flesh that he knew was beyond repair and gently licked her wounds to stop the bleeding and get as much of the sand out as possible. 


Her left scapula and clavicle were both shattered – crushed by the werewolf’s jaws – Spike picked out as many of the sharp bone shards as he could … he didn’t know what else to do. He wished he had some water to wash it, some disinfectant, even some whiskey … anything – but he had never found any water here and there were definitely no antibiotics or whiskey.


Finally, when he’d done all he could to clean out and close her wounds, he used his shirt to make a type of wrap/sling out of, pinning her left arm against her chest and immobilizing it while at the same time holding the wound on her back closed. 


Spike sat back and leaned against the hard, cold rock of the cave wall and pulled her gently to him, careful to not re-open her wounds or hurt her. He laid her on her good side in the deep sand between his outstretched legs so she could use his body as a pillow. Although he was sure that when she woke up she would be in excruciating pain no matter what position she was in, he had no idea how to stop it and this seemed like the one position that would cause her the least discomfort. He’d do anything to take her pain away – anything. He’d do anything to send her out of this demon infested, dismal, and desolate dimension – if he only knew what to do.


Spike stroked a hand gently through her hair – he hadn’t noticed before how short it was – and now caked in blood. She wouldn’t like that, he was sure.  “God, Buffy …” Spike sobbed. With his mind no longer occupied with the task of tending to her injury, and the adrenaline of the fight waning, the reality of this situation cut straight to his heart.


“Why, luv? Why did you come back?” he asked her softly, still stroking her hair and face softly with his fingertips as tears fell from his eyes. 


He didn’t know how long she’d been gone, or even where she’d gone – back to their dimension or the one she described with Riley Finn and Dawn – either one had to be better than this one, though. He remembered helping her get away from the spiders and them both finally getting to the relative safety of the ledge – the next thing he remembered he was standing in a courtroom of sorts. To one side were the gates of what he assumed was hell from the screams he heard coming from behind them;  on the other side of the courtroom was a brilliant, blue-white light and what sounded like angels singing - the gates of heaven, he guessed.


The 'courtroom' itself was a round platform with a sterile, white floor that was lit from below. It seemed to be floating in infinite darkness - you could see nothing else except for the two gates, which were to either side of it. It was here that he was questioned by disembodied voices about his sins; many of them replayed for him on something that looked like the holodeck from Star Trek – in 3-D and living color. In the middle of the floor was a force field where Spike was delivered and held motionless through the questioning and the replays of his life, unable to look away from the horrors of his past, unable to escape or even close his eyes to them.


The tribunal started with the lesser of Spike’s sins: lies, slander, gluttony, laziness … he wasn’t sure when they’d get to the more heinous of his transgressions, and he didn’t ask.  After what seemed hours of questioning and instant … or not so instant, actually, since they spanned more than a century, replays of his life, he was suddenly back here on the cold sand, fighting the werewolves and spiders and looking for Buffy, hoping beyond hope that she had gotten out safely.


Time had lost all meaning – every moment was the same as the one before, except for the times that he visited the crossroads between heaven and hell and relived his past. He knew which road he would ultimately take, for he had no answers for their questions; he wasn’t able to list enough compensatory good deeds to pay for the sins he’d committed over his un-life, and they were definitely keeping score.  He wasn’t sure how he got there or how he got back here to … whatever this was, some kind of holding dimension? Limbo? Purgatory?


He remembered reading something long ago about there being twenty toll houses on the way to heaven that you have to pass … each toll house was a different sin that had to be answered for. If you didn’t have enough compensatory good deeds to outweigh the bad, then you couldn’t pay the ‘toll’ and proceed to heaven … you would either be left in purgatory where you could try and redeem yourself,  or your soul could be recycled … reincarnated, sent back to earth for another go, or, if you were too far in the hole – beyond redemption, you’d be dragged by the demons into hell with no chance for release.  Buffy had told him before she didn’t remember any gates or any questions when she died … but then, what sins did she have to answer for? Compared to Spike, she was a saint; she’d probably gotten a free pass – a ‘get out of hell free’ card. Spike could really use one of those right about now.

Once back here in the cold, red wasteland, he had been relatively happy to finally find this cave. It offered a respite from the eternal wind and protection from the super-sized spiders and ferocious flying dogs.  He was even more glad for it now, for Buffy’s sake … at least it offered her some protection from the cold. He wished he could build her a fire …do something to warm her, but he had never seen any wood here…not a twig or even a tumbleweed; just sand and rocks and bitterly cold wind.


Buffy groaned and tried to move in his arms. “Shhhh. Easy, pet…” Spike whispered, leaning down near her ear. “Don’t move.  I’ve got ya, luv.”


“Spike?” Buffy moaned, trying to sit up, but when she moved pain shot through her entire body and she collapsed back down against his legs, writhing in agony.


“Try not to move, Buffy,” Spike told her again, stroking her hair and pulling it back away from her face. “The flying fur-ball thought your shoulder was a chew toy, pet. It’s broken … well, demolished, really. Try to be still…”


Buffy nodded against Spike’s leg as she swallowed back the tears that had popped into her eyes from the pain in her arm, chest, and shoulder when she tried to get up. The pain had started to subside back down to a dull, throbbing ache now – much better than the hot poker stabbing into her chest from behind that had been there when she moved.


“I’m so sorry, pet.  I looked for you … figured you had gone back. Buffy, you should’ve stayed away – stayed with the babies, with Annie.  They’re gonna need you.


“Buffy, I’m … I’m a lost cause, luv; can’t be saved – this is it for me,” Spike told her softly. He knew he was dead – really dead this time, and he was just waiting for his judgment to be handed down.  He didn’t know how he’d been dusted, he had no memory of it and didn’t know how the Gem of Amarra had been thwarted, but there was no denying where he was and what was happening. It wasn’t a big mystery really, what his judgment would be – St. Peter, or whoever was in charge, had a very long memory … and the deck was stacked against him.


“Spike,” Buffy croaked out and then tried to clear her throat.  She tasted blood in her mouth and wondered if her lungs had been pierced in the attack, but didn’t mention it to Spike; it would just cause him to worry more.


“I’m here, Buffy,” Spike said softly laying a hand gently on her cheek.


Buffy wished she could turn and look into his eyes, but she dared not move again. “You can remember the babies?” she asked him.


Spike furrowed his brow. “’Course … why wouldn’t I?”


“You remember Angel and Dru?”


“What are you on about, luv? Who could forget the magnificent poof?” Spike asked her, concern creasing his features.


“Spike … something … I think Hallie did something.  You’ve been erased from everything – just gone…”


“WHAT?” Spike yelled louder than he intended and jerked under Buffy, making her wince in pain.


“THAT’s who did this!? Hallie!?” he exclaimed in surprise and anger.


“That bloody bitch! I’ll tear her from limb to limb … then feed her to the bloody werewolves! No! I’ll feed her to the werewolves and let them tear her limb from limb while we cheer!” Spike ranted. He desperately wanted to get up and pace around the small area, but dared not move lest he hurt Buffy more.


Buffy tried to clear her thoughts. She tried to figure out why Spike remembered everything like she did – maybe that was part of the vengeance, too. Or maybe the Gem of Amarra was partially protecting him, keeping the demon intact as much as it could under the circumstances.


Buffy squeezed Spike’s thigh with her right hand, the only part of him she could reach, and Spike laid his hand over hers.  “Tell me everything…” Spike requested through clenched teeth.  He should’ve just killed that bitch when he had the chance; he’d gotten soft, turned into a poof, and now his leniency was costing them all.


Buffy pushed herself up with her right arm. Holding her breath and closing her eyes against the pain that shot through her body from the effort.  Spike tried to stop her, but quickly changed his mind and helped her sit up since that’s obviously what she wanted to do.


When the pain subsided to something slightly less than unbearable, Buffy opened her eyes and looked into Spike’s.  They were the same blue – even though other things might’ve changed – his eyes remained the same, deep, soulful pools of love that she wished she could drown in.


Buffy raised her good hand up and laid it gently on his cheek and Spike closed his eyes and leaned into her touch, covering her hand with his and trying to memorize that feeling of her flesh on his – he wanted to make sure he could remember that feeling when he got to hell; it would make whatever he faced bearable.


“Spike, I don’t know exactly what she did or when she did it – I’m not even 100% sure it was her, but our world is changed and it’s …it’s…God, Spike, it’s a nightmare!” Buffy sobbed, leaning forward and dropping her forehead on his shoulder. Pain shot through her body, but she didn’t care, she needed to be in his arms.  He gave her strength … in any dimension, Spike gave her strength.


Spike wrapped his arms around her gently, careful to not touch her wounded shoulder, and held her. “I’m sorry, Buffy…I’m so sorry…” he whispered to her as she sobbed against his bare shoulder.  Spike lifted her tear streaked face up with one hand and kissed her tears away,  just as she’d imagined the blue butterfly had done in its own way, and that only made her cry harder.


“Oh, Buffy,” Spike said softly, pulling her gently against his chest as sobs racked her body.


“The babies are gone, Spike … Annie, Dani, and Billy – they don’t exist. Everything you touched is gone…everything…gone,” Buffy told him through her sobs.


Spike’s head fell back and he closed his eyes to stop his own tears from falling, but it was a lost effort; they escaped the corners of his eyes and joined hers as they fell in agonizing rivers to the red sand below.  “Everything is gone,” Spike repeated what she’d said, trying to take that in and make sense of it in his mind, his voice low and despondent. 


“Our babies are gone…the only good thing I’ve ever done…gone,” he whispered to himself. He felt all the hopes and dreams he’d had for their children shatter into a million pieces within his heart.  He could clearly see Annie’s pout, her eye roll, her deadly stare when she was mad … and her smile. She had a smile that could lift him from the depths of self-loathing and depression – a smile that could launch a thousand ships. And the babies … just starting out their lives – just barely a year old, their whole future ahead of them - all snatched away in the blink of an eye with the uttering of a wish. 


Their children were the only card he had to play with the angels of death that questioned him, the only real good he’d ever done … he was saving that card for his more serious sins … he still wasn’t sure if even they would be enough, and now that small hope was gone, too.


Buffy leaned heavily against his shoulder as she tried to compose herself. After a few moments, she sat back and looked at him; his eyes were closed as tears leaked out the corners and down his face. Buffy’s lower lip quivered and trembled as she tried to stop crying, wiping at her face with her good hand. 


“Spike, what is this place?” she asked as tears continued to leak from her eyes.


Spike shook his head slowly. “Best I can figure, it’s purgatory … they’re judgin’ me for m’ crimes, Buffy … all my crimes.”


Buffy’s brow furrowed and she shook her head slowly. “But … but … what sins can you have? Are you even a vampire?”


Spike brought up his game face for her and Buffy reached out her good hand and touched him, running her fingers lightly across his wrinkled brow before he shook it off and brought his human features back.


Buffy shook her head, still confused. “Spike, according to the diaries, Dru never turned you. And your hair … it’s not – it’s not yours, and look at your hand – the scar is gone, the wedding ring – it’s not mine …” Buffy pointed out.


Spike ran a hand through his hair – he knew it was longer and the bits he could see weren’t bleached, he figured that was because he’d been here so long, and he had noticed the other things she mentioned, he had just assumed that had something to do with being dead – that you didn’t keep the scars from your physical body… he never could figure out the wedding band thing – he had given up on that.


“So, I remember bein’ Spike … I’m being judged for what Spike did, but you’re saying I was never Spike – I lived and died as William ‘the-bloody-Nancy’ Weckerly – the prat from Clapham?” Spike asked her incredulously. “Why am I a vampire, then?”


Buffy shook her head. “Maybe the magic that was used to do this reacted with the magic from the Gem of Amarra and … got confused? Or maybe Hallie planned it that way … for maximum punishment…” Buffy suggested.


“Bloody brilliant,” Spike moaned, closing his eyes and leaning his head back against the hard stone of the cave wall.


After a few moments, Spike opened his eyes and looked at Buffy.  Hallie may have done it to punish him, but he was grateful for his memories. For him, the last years with Buffy more than made up for the century plus with Dru and her betrayals and his less than successful life as a human.  He was thankful for finding his soul mate, for her love, for her belief in him, and for the time he had with their children – even if it was fleeting, those years would be the ones he would cling to when the time came for him to meet his fate behind the fiery gates.  Spike reached a hand out and touched Buffy’s face … even with all she’d been through, she was the most beautiful thing he’d ever laid eyes on.


“Tell me 'bout your world,” Spike requested of her again.


Buffy took a deep breath and began to tell him about a world without Spike.  Spike listened to her story intently, not interrupting her except to ask why in God’s name she would’ve married Captain Cardboard. Spike wasn’t sure who had gotten dealt the worse hand, him or Buffy; eternal damnation or being married to the enormous hall monitor… hmmm.


Buffy shook her head slowly. “He said it was because I knew I would have to die … ‘death is my gift’, and I wanted to make sure Dawn had someone, someone who was family.”


“That’s a bloody stupid reason to marry someone!” Spike exclaimed and Buffy smiled sadly – that’s basically what she’d told Riley. “You know I would’ve done anything for Dawn, Buffy. Protected her with m’ life.”


“But you weren’t there!” Buffy exclaimed, trying to make him understand, although she wasn’t really sure she understood completely.


“You weren’t there to look after Dawn for me,” Buffy told him softly, laying a hand on his cheek.  “And you weren’t there to show me that…that Riley wasn’t what I needed.


“I’d been with Angel and…and Parker and Riley was so…stable,” Buffy explained. “He was Mr. Reliable … I thought that was what I needed, and without you there to challenge that idea, I just … I guess I just…” She didn’t remember what had happened, she was really just speculating now. Buffy shrugged and pain stabbed through her chest; she closed her eyes and held her breath trying to get it to stop the burning.


“He never challenged you … not your body, not your mind, not your spirit,” Spike pointed out.


Buffy started to shrug again then thought better of it, so she just shook her head slowly, her eyes still closed. “I know. I just …” She paused and sighed heavily, before starting over. “He was just safe, ya know? I didn’t know how bright a fire could burn without you there to show me,” she told Spike, finally opening her eyes and meeting his. “I never knew what love was until you.”


Spike looked away from her, he couldn’t meet her eyes when he asked, “Have you … slept with him?”


“Spike! No! No … never! Well, not as me … not as me that’s married to you!” Buffy exclaimed empathically.


“Spike, look at me,” she requested softly and Spike turned his face back to hers. “I am your wife … I will always be yours, that will never change, I don’t care what anyone does to us.”


Spike smiled at her sadly and laid a hand on the side of her face. “Buffy … I – I don’t think I’ll be able to get back from this,” he started and Buffy laid a finger on his lips, silencing him.


We will get back from this, both of us. And we will get our babies back and our friends back - we have to, Spike, ‘cos I can’t live in a world that doesn’t have you in it. Look what happens to me when I’m not with you!”


Spike looked down at the sand below them for a moment then raised his head back and met her eyes. “Buffy, I’m bloody terrified,” he admitted softly as tears glistened in his eyes. “I don’t scare easy, but I can feel the torment behind the gates, and it terrifies me. I know I deserve it … but…”


“NO! No! You don’t deserve it! That’s not gonna happen! I will not allow that to happen!”  Buffy assured him, taking one of his hands in her good one and squeezing it tightly.


“I don’t think you can stop it, luv…” Spike whispered as he leaned his forehead against hers and closed his eyes. 


“I have to try – Spike, I’ll hang onto you with every fiber of my being …with my soul and my heart and my last breath. Don’t give up on me. It’s just you and me now – you and me against this world. Please don’t leave me, I need you, Spike. I love you so much.”


Tears fell anew from Buffy’s eyes. The thought of living in that world without him terrified her – she would surely lose her mind, just as her alter-ego had done, without him at her side. The thought of him spending eternity in hell for crimes that he’d committed as a demon without a soul terrified her even more.  He’d more than made up for those crimes – the world she’d been dropped into was proof positive of that.


“I love you too, Buffy," Spike replied sadly. “In the depths of hell I’ll feel your love in my heart. You are everything to me – my world. I’ll fight to get back to you until my soul turns to ashes under Satan’s feet.”


Buffy dropped a soft kiss on Spike’s lips. “Hold me,” she whispered and Spike opened his arms as he leaned back against the cold stone of the cave wall. Buffy turned and leaned back against him, resting her tired and mangled body against his and closing her eyes as her tears continued to fall. She had to fix this … she was the only one that could.




Dawn sat next to Buffy’s bed in the mental hospital. She was relieved to see her sister actually resting, actually sleeping instead of in that half-awake / half-asleep state she’d been in since getting here several days ago.  Although Riley and Giles had visited the first couple of days Buffy was here, only Dawn continued to come and see her every day. Although it was a long way from where she lived with Riley in Oxford, each day after class Dawn boarded the train for London. She did her homework during the hour ride each way on the rails, and on Fridays she stayed with Giles for the weekend, returning to Oxford on Sunday night so she could be ready for school on Monday.


Although she and Buffy hadn’t always gotten along, and since being brought back from the dead Buffy had been distant and unfeeling, then later she’d been out of control and irresponsible, abusing drugs and magicks, she was still Dawn’s sister – her only blood family in the entire world.  Dawn would never forget what Buffy had sacrificed for her on that tower in Sunnydale, and she felt at least partly responsible for Buffy’s condition now.  If she had done things differently somehow, escaped from Glory or Ben; if she had jumped into the portal, then Buffy wouldn’t have had to…if, if, if. Dawn had thought of a hundred things that she might’ve been able to do differently over the years since Buffy’s sacrifice, unfortunately, she hadn’t thought of any of them when it actually mattered.


Dawn hated this place – it smelled like vomit and urine and feces and death all wrapped up in antiseptics, which just made it smell worse.  Not that it wasn’t clean or that the staff didn’t seem qualified, it was just the nature of the beast.  You couldn’t have this many crazy people in one place and not have it smell like … like a bunch of crazy people. 


Dawn wasn’t so sure that Buffy was as crazy as everyone thought, either.  Why would she gnaw her own wrist, but slash her throat with a letter opener? Giles said it was because she couldn’t gnaw her own throat, obviously, but Dawn was unconvinced. What if something had attacked her and done it? Giles and Riley both pooh-poohed her, there was no sign of a struggle in the office, no proof that anyone had been there at all except Buffy. Dawn found it astounding that they could live in a world of magick and demons, but be so closed-minded about the possibility that something else had done this to Buffy.


It didn’t occur to Dawn until later that perhaps they were looking for some kind of excuse to do this to Buffy … to get her out of their hair, out of their lives.  She knew that Buffy and Riley did nothing but either fight or ignore each other. Giles tried to be civil around Buffy, but it was abundantly clear that he still held her responsible for what Angelus did to him all those years ago. To say the old Watcher was ‘upset’ when Buffy hid the fact that Angel had come back from the hell dimension, would’ve been a gross understatement. 


Even though Buffy hadn’t really ‘been there’ for Dawn since her resurrection, amnesia-Buffy seemed more like the old Buffy, like before Glory, before giving her gift of death.  Dawn had a glimmer of hope that she was actually getting her sister back, then it was snatched away when Riley and Giles put her in this place, sedated and shackled to the bed ‘for her own safety’ – not even able to talk because of the drugs they had her on.


Dawn jumped up from her seat when Buffy’s prone body began shaking violently. Suddenly blood covered Dawn and the walls of Buffy’s room as flesh tore and bone crushed in the jaws of an unseen attacker. Dawn screamed in horror as she watched Buffy’s shoulder being ripped to shreds, the sound of bones breaking and splintering, and blood spurting in geysers from Buffy’s body made Dawn’s stomach churn. She barely made it out the door of Buffy’s room before she collapsed to her knees and vomited, still trying to scream for help from the hospital staff.


Nurses and aides rushed past Dawn into the room, the first two or three slipped on the blood that soaked the floor and fell as they tried to come to a stop.  Dawn could hear shrieks and screams of horror from the aides along with yelling from the veteran nurses as they shouted orders and tried to quell the bleeding. Someone suggested that Buffy was possessed while others asked, “What happened?” over and over. 


Dawn watched helplessly as the nurses tried to stop her sister’s bleeding. Buffy’s heart was racing, her blood pressure was dropping; the possibility that she could die wasn’t far from anyone’s mind, including Dawn’s, but no one voiced it as they worked feverishly to get her stable enough to transport to an operating room. More doctors and nurses were paged and soon blood was tracked up and down the halls of the hospital as the flood of staff ran in and out of her room with supplies, bandages, and IVs.


Dawn followed the throng of hospital staff as they wheeled Buffy quickly from her room towards the emergency / admitting area after getting her stabilized.


“Where are you going!!?” Dawn questioned as she ran after them.


“We have to transport her back to a proper hospital,” one of the nurses explained. “We don’t have facilities here to repair this.”


When Dawn tried to get into the ambulance with Buffy, one of the head nurses stopped her. “What happened in there?” the nurse demanded angrily.


“I have no idea!” Dawn replied, trying to get by her to get into the ambulance.


“You were the only other one there!” the nurse accused.


“Well, I didn’t do it!” Dawn defended. “I have to go!” she exclaimed, brushing by the older woman and climbing into the ambulance with Buffy.


When they arrived back at the same hospital she’d been in when her neck and wrist had been cut up, they rushed Buffy from the ambulance directly to the operating room. She had lost a lot of blood, her shoulder – clavicle and scapula, were both crushed seemingly beyond repair, shards of the bone had embedded in her lungs causing internal bleeding, and her flesh – skin, muscles, and tendons of her shoulder and upper arm had all been torn and shredded.  Her shoulder looked like it had been through a meat grinder.


Dawn waited anxiously for the doctors to come out of the operating room with news. The minutes turned into hours of waiting. Riley and Giles showed up – Bedlam had called them to let them know what was happening, and they immediately questioned Dawn...


“What happened?” Riley asked Dawn in a harsh tone as he and Giles entered the waiting room.


Dawn glared up at them and shook her head. “I told you she didn’t do that to herself –but does anyone ever listen to me? No! I’m still just a stupid kid, right?”


“Dawn,” Giles tried using his most fatherly tone with her, “perhaps you could just tell us what happened today.”


“She was attacked – it was like Freddy Krueger – she was finally actually sleeping, and then WHAM! she was all ‘Nightmared on Elm Street’,” Dawn exclaimed, standing up and waving her arms out from her sides.


“’Nightmared on Elm Street?’” Giles questioned, looking at Riley. “I’m fairly certain that ‘nightmare’ is not a verb… and we are not on Elm Street.”


“It means something from her dream attacked her and manifested on her body physically…” Riley explained in terms Giles could understand.


“That’s what I said,” Dawn told Giles, rolling her eyes and flinging her arms out to the side in frustration.


“And you witnessed this … ‘nightmaring’?” Giles asked Dawn.


“Yeah – front row seat,” Dawn muttered, crossing her arms over her blood-stained shirt.


“And you wouldn’t…make something up just to protect Buffy? Perhaps to keep her out of isolation or…” Giles started.


“OH. MY. GOD!” Dawn exclaimed, throwing her arms in the air and turning and walking away from Giles and Riley in disgust.  She was seriously about to lose it.


“Why did you even come down here?” she asked them, turning back around and putting her hands on her hips.


“Dawnie…” Riley started.


“Don’t ‘Dawnie’ me – I’m not twelve! Neither of you have cared about Buffy for years!” Dawn accused, pointing a finger at them. “You just pretend you do! That’s even worse than not caring at all!


“You don’t try to help her – you just try to control her! You treat her like she’s … she’s …some kind of monster!” Dawn turned away from them as tears stung her eyes. She could almost understand Buffy turning to alcohol and drugs and magicks … nearly everyone she’d ever loved was either dead, insane, or held her responsible for their plight in life.


“Dawn, I assure you that’s not true,” Giles defended, moving towards her and laying a hand, his only hand, on her shoulder.


Dawn shrugged his hand off and took a step away from him. “Why don’t you both leave?” she asked quietly. “It’s what you wanted to do all along, right? Leave her.”


“Daaawn …” Riley dragged her name out with that sanctimonious tone that she hated.


“Get. Out,” Dawn repeated through clenched teeth.  When neither of them made any move to leave, she screamed, “GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT!” at the top of her lungs until they both left the waiting room. Dawn collapsed down into one of the chairs and buried her face in her hands, sobbing.  If they wouldn’t help Buffy, she would – she was the reason Buffy was in this state in the first place, she vowed to do whatever she could to help her sister and get her better, mentally and physically. It would be the two of them against the world…that seemed like a fair fight.




"You and Me Against the World"

Gladys Knight and the Pips


You and me against the world

Sometimes it seems like you and me against the world

When all the others turn their backs and walked away

You can count on me to stay


Remember when the circus came to town

And we were frightened by the clown

Wasn't it nice to be around someone that we knew

Someone who was big and strong and looking out for …


You and me against the world

Sometimes it feels like you and me against the world

And for all the times we've cried I always felt

The odds were on our side


And when one of us is gone

And one is left alone to carry on

Well then remembering will have to do

Our memories alone will get us through

Think about the days of me and you


Life can be a circus

They underpay and overwork us

And though we seldom get our due

When the day is through

I bring my tired body home

And look around for you…


…and me against the world

 Sometimes it feels like you and me against the world

And for all the times we've cried I always felt

That God was on our side


And when one of us is gone

And one of us is left alone to carry on

Well then, remembering will have to do

Our memories alone will get us through

Think about the days of me and you


Of you and me … against the world


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