Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Everything I Own

Chapter Title:


Don't Cry Sister

Chapter Summary:


Dawn's helped Buffy find out who's behind it and what happened to Spike -  Cecily married him in 1881 rather than spurn William's advances. Now what can Buffy do to set it right? An offer for help will come from an unexpected source. 


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.



Music Referenced:

Don’t Cry Sister, Eric Clapton and JJ Cale


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.


Late night, Monday, February 14th, 2005:


Buffy wandered around the small flat trying to stay awake. Dawn had tried to stay up with her, but had finally fallen asleep on the divan. Buffy got her a pillow and covered her sister with a throw then went back to her wandering. She’d already downed nearly a pot of coffee and Dawn had gone out earlier and gotten her some Red Bull, Snickers bars, and ‘NoDoz’ pills from the all-night market.  Although Buffy wanted desperately to go to sleep and back to Spike, she was afraid that, with her injured shoulder, she wouldn’t be able to get out of the ‘spider crater’ in one piece. She was also sure that Dawn was right, her infection would heal faster if she stayed out that dimension for a while, the infection had stopped spreading, but it had a long ways to go before it would be completely healed.


Although Hallie could’ve used any number of spells or other magicks, Buffy had to assume that Hallie had gotten her old power back and used her ability to grant wishes to go back in time and change reality by accepting William's advances instead of spurning him. Buffy wished desperately that Anya was here in this crazy world so she could find out how to reverse whatever Hallie had done – but she wasn’t. 


Her next thought was of Willow – Willow had been approached by D’Hoffryn when Oz left her. Willow told Buffy at the time that she had his talisman that she could use to summon him if they ever needed it. Buffy didn’t know where the talisman would be now – perhaps with Willow in the sanatorium … but maybe that whole thing didn’t even happen here.  She thought about waking Dawn up to ask her, but decided against it, Dawn was exhausted. She’d been up nearly round the clock with Buffy since liberating her from the hospital, just taking short naps between tending to Buffy’s wounds; Dawn needed to get some real sleep.


Even if Buffy were able to summon D’Hoffryn, she wasn’t exactly sure what she could do to him to convince him to fix this.  She wasn’t sure what powers he possessed – certainly he could teleport between dimensions and presumably he could grant wishes like his ‘subordinates’, what else he was capable of, she didn’t know. 


Buffy wished for Giles, her Giles, and his musty old books full of words she could barely pronounce, let alone decipher … well other than the little words that connected all the big words – those she could at least pronounce.  From what Dawn had told her, they were on their own – they couldn’t turn to Giles for help now. Maybe Dawn could get Andrew to bring them some books on vengeance demons and D’Hoffryn from the Council’s library … Buffy jotted a note down to that effect and a reminder to ask Dawn about the talisman, not trusting her mind to remember by morning.


Buffy went into the bathroom of the flat and closed the door. She looked and felt like grunge squared and desperately wanted a shower.  Dawn had told her she shouldn’t get her wound wet, but Dawn was asleep and Buffy really couldn’t fathom that taking a shower could do any more damage than had already been done.  It took Buffy forever to get her clothes off using one hand and trying not to move her left shoulder, but she finally had a hot shower running and sighed deeply as she stepped under the warm spray. The water ran down her body, washing away weeks of sweat and grime and grossness.  She didn’t let it pound directly on her wounds, but it did run down over them, and the open sores stung when the water hit them, but it felt so good everywhere else that the discomfort was a small price to pay.


Buffy couldn’t help but think of Spike as she leaned against the side of the shower, closed her eyes and let the warm water wash over her. She’d been trying to not think of him, she’d been trying hard to concentrate on making a plan of action instead of drowning in self-pity and worry – but she couldn’t stop her mind from thinking about him now.  He was all alone in that cold cave … all alone, terrified and facing the trials of his life – trials that, as far as Buffy was concerned, were completely bogus and unfair; trials that were ripping his mind to shreds, wrenching his heart out, and slicing deep, bleeding gashes into his soul.  She didn’t know if his wounds would ever fully heal … even if she got everything back to ‘normal’… would Spike ever be the same after this?


Spike had always seemed to be able to handle his past by blaming it on Dru and Angelus – but Buffy knew that it bothered him more than he let on, even before this.  But now, having it replayed for him like some twisted episode of “This Is Your Life”, making William’s soul relive the crimes of the demon, making him remember every battle, every innocent, every drop of blood, every scream, every whimper … it was more than William’s soul could handle; it was more than anyone’s soul could handle.


Buffy sat down on the edge of the tub as the warm water continued to rain down on her and began to sob for him - he didn’t deserve that, it was so unfair! Yes, he’d done those things, but it wasn’t Spike, and it most certainly wasn’t William, it was the demon. She’d seen the things he’d done – she wasn’t blind to them, but she’d seen the good in him, too. The tenderness he had, the love in his heart for his friends and family, his bravery and his self-sacrifice.


Buffy slid down further, sitting down in the tub as the warm water continued to fall over her. She put the stopper in the drain, leaned back against the cool porcelain, and closed her eyes against the water that fell on her prone body and splattered up onto her face.


“Spike… baby, I’m so sorry,” Buffy murmured through her sobs as she pulled her knees up to her chest and covered her eyes with her good hand, trying to block out the image of Spike’s wild, frightened eyes and replace it with the one she loved most, the one where his eyes reflected awe and love and his passion for life.  “I swear I’ll fix it … please hold on … please just hold on,” she begged, knowing that he couldn’t hear her.  She hoped he could feel her in his soul – feel her love like he said he could, she hoped it would be enough to pull him through and help him stay strong.


Buffy cried and talked to Spike and even prayed, although she didn’t see that doing any good – but anything was worth a try, as she sat under the pouring water and let it fill the tub up.  When the water turned barely lukewarm, she shut it off and leaned her head back against the tile, taking deep, shuddering breaths to try and calm down and regain her composure. She needed to stay focused, she needed to figure out a plan of action, she needed to get her husband and her family back the way it should be, the way it had been. 


Buffy closed her eyes and the image from Christmas of Annie and Spike standing next to each other doing the 'hokey-pokey' in the great room with all their friends and family played in her mind and she laughed sadly through her tears.  “There’s your killing machine!” she exclaimed to the ceiling. “Why can’t you understand that it wasn’t him!?” she pleaded to the unseen judges. “Why…why can’t you understand … why can't you see his true heart?” she murmured, covering her eyes with her arm and willing her mind to conjure images of all the times that Spike had saved someone (including her and Annie), had dusted a vampire, battled a demon, unselfishly sacrificed himself, not only in their world, but in every dimension … of all the good that he’d done, just in case someone higher up the food chain might be watching.


Buffy’s mind and body finally began to relax and, in the steamy humidity of the bathroom, despite her resolve to not fall asleep, exhaustion finally overtook her as she soaked in the warm bath…


The warm water and moist air of the bathroom were replaced with bone chilling cold as dry sand blasted against Buffy’s skin.  She opened her eyes and knew immediately where she was – the spider pit of hell … or limbo or hell-limbo.  Buffy scrambled to her feet, trying to keep her left arm still, pinned against her chest and she began to run towards the wall of the crater.  She could feel the spiders’ claws scratching at her ankles as she ran – her injury was slowing her down, just as she feared it would.  Her mind raced as she crossed the cold, red sand – how was she going to climb up the steep wall or hold on with one arm?


“SPIKE!” she screamed while she ran as she also tried to send out a message across their bond, even though that had never worked here. “SPIKE!” she continued to scream as one of the spiders wrapped a leg around her ankle and tripped her. Buffy fell face first onto the sand and excruciating pain radiated out from her shoulder and swept over her whole body.  Tears came unbidden to Buffy’s eyes as she scrambled back to her feet, kicking one of the spiders off her foot and pulling another off her calf as she started running again.  When Buffy neared the wall of the crater, she took a deep breath and jumped with all her strength, bracing herself for the impact. Buffy’s eyes closed involuntarily and she held her breath as she sailed towards the wall, hoping beyond hope that she’d jumped high enough to reach the first ledge.


But, instead of the hard landing she expected, Buffy landed with a splash in the warm water of the lake in the butterfly-soul paradise.  Buffy sputtered water out of her mouth and lungs as she struggled up from the bottom and broke the surface of the clear water.  She swam the twenty yards from where she landed back to the sandy beach of the lake one-handed and dragged herself halfway out of the water, before collapsing and rolling gingerly onto her back.


“God…thank God,” she murmured as she tried to catch her breath.


“Close, but the boss frowns on us usin’ that name,” came a male voice with a thick Irish brogue from somewhere higher up the bank.


Buffy turned around quickly and stumbled up to her feet, backing up into deeper water – just as she been when she fell asleep, she had no clothes on here, either. She tried to keep her left arm pinned against her chest as she searched her memories for a name to go with the vaguely familiar voice.


“Who are you?” Buffy asked, as she stayed low in the water, so only her shoulders, neck and head showed.


“Alan Francis Doyle, at your service….” the man announced, walking down the bank towards her with his right hand outstretched. “You don’t remember me, do ya?”


Buffy looked at him closely … he did look a little familiar, like she’d seen him once in a dream or something.


“Well, we just met the once … I sorta worked for Angel in L.A.  – you came down for a bit of a visit, kicked some ass and left…” Doyle reminded her.


“Doyle … you – you had the visions and gave them to Cordy or something. Spike told me about you. Aren’t you dead or something?” Buffy asked, ignoring Doyle’s outstretched hand as he got within arm’s reach of her.


Doyle dropped his hand and shrugged. “’Or something’, I suppose would cover it.”


“What do you want?” Buffy asked, backing up further into deeper water.


“What? No ‘thank you for saving my skinny ass’?” Doyle asked sarcastically.


“Thank you for saving my skinny ass – what do you want?” Buffy amended, looking at him suspiciously.


Doyle sighed deeply. “I would be deeply offended … except that I do actually want sumthin’.”


“All you PTB minions seem to want your pound of flesh … what is it this time? Save the world? Avert the next apocalypse? Get in bed with the devil? Whatever it is – you can just forget it! I have my own problems – I don’t need yours. Go find another Slayer to play your games!” Buffy exclaimed angrily and turned to swim away, but Doyle waded in quickly - more quickly than Buffy thought he could, caught her good arm, and spun her back around.


“Look – you don’t know me – I don’t know you, but maybe we can help each other, yeah? I’m not here on behalf of the Powers … I’m here for me and m’ old friends,” Doyle explained quickly, his accent getting thicker the faster he talked.


Buffy yanked her arm away from him, which sent pain radiating out from her bad shoulder and into her chest. Her eyes closed involuntarily as she tried to breathe through it.


“What could you possibly do to help me?” Buffy finally asked through clenched teeth as the pain subsided and she opened her eyes again and backed up a step from him, just out of arm’s reach.


“I know people … I can get you in to see the Oracles,” Doyle offered.


“Yeah, and? What are they? A washed-up sixties doo-wop band? No thanks…”


“And I thought Cordy was the queen of sarcasm …” Doyle moaned.


“Listen missy, the Oracles can manipulate time …they can put things back the way they were – that benefits the both of us,” Doyle explained.


Buffy looked at him for several long moments before asking, “What’s the catch? I'm already down an arm ... they want a leg, too?”


Doyle shook his head. “No catch … “


“If there wasn’t a catch, then you’d do it…you’d get them to put things right if that’s what you wanted.”


“Right or wrong is … arbitrary – there is no right or wrong, just one way or t' other. I can’t go to them – I’m just a lower being – a messenger – you, you’re a warrior.”


“And I just say ‘pretty please’ and they’ll put everything right … or … back? Why do I doubt that?” Buffy asked with skepticism.


Doyle rolled his eyes and sighed. “They don’t care one way or another – you have to convince them that the other way is better for the greater good…” Doyle clarified. “An offering may be helpful,” he added quickly.


“An offering? What are they, like Pele, ‘I demand a sacrifice!’? Thanks, but no thanks …” Buffy retorted and turned to leave again.


Doyle dove under the water and came up on the other side of her, blocking her path. He held both hands up silently asking her to wait, but didn’t touch her. “Not that kind of offering – a trinket … a gift, if you will … just a sign of respect. They don’t ask for your first born …” Doyle went on, “…usually,” he added under his breath.


Buffy’s eyebrows shot up. “Usually?”


Doyle waved his hands back and forth, dismissively as water dripped from his dark hair and down his face. “It can’t hurt to ask, yeah? I can get you in through The Gateway for Lost Souls – you can make your case … they may not want anything – depends on how good you are at convincin’. It’s worth a shot …”


Buffy sighed heavily and wanted desperately to cross her arms over her chest, but settled for putting her good hand on her hip, but the gesture was mostly lost because of the nearly shoulder deep water. “And what do you get out of this?”


“I get Angel and Cordy back in the mix … without Angel, my power – Cordy’s power, is goin’ to waste,” Doyle explained. “My sacrifice was for nuthin’.”


“Without Angel? Where’s Angel?” Buffy questioned.


“Trapped in that blasted bauble at the bottom of the Hellmouth!” Doyle informed her, waving his arms out away from his sides for emphasis and splashing water in all directions.


“Without Spike, Angel wore the amulet …” Buffy offered quietly. “So … why is he trapped? I thought he’d go back to Wolfram & Hart …”


Doyle rolled his eyes. “Noooo … not on his bloody own – needs help, someone has to open the portal, release 'im, and you’re the one to help get ‘im back!


“You go to the Hellmouth and retrieve the amulet, take it to Fred Burkle and I’ll get you in to see the Oracles,” Doyle offered. 


Buffy shook her head. “Why do I need to do that? Why don’t I just go see the Oracles and get them to put everything back? You’d have Angel back all the same.”


“In case you fail … at least Angel will be back in the fight,” Doyle explained.


Buffy nodded. “Ooooh, I get it – I do your bidding, you get what you want and then, what? You just leave me hanging, right? That’s what you PTB messengers seem to be best at – always leaving out little details.”


“No, I give you my word, I won’t leave you hangin’ … you ask anybody, if nothin’ else, I’m a man of m’ word,” Doyle assured her, holding two fingers up like a ‘Boy Scout’ pledge.


Buffy looked at him for a long time as she tried to think. This may be a way to at least buy some time for Spike until she could get to D’Hoffryn and Hallie. At worst, maybe these Oracles could stop the trials and get the judges to leave Spike alone; at best, maybe they could totally fix it, if they were as powerful as Doyle said.


“How am I supposed to find the amulet buried at the bottom of the Hellmouth? Get Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel to dig the whole crater out?”


Doyle rolled his eyes again and sighed. “You’ve been reading too many kiddie books, Slayer - pretty sure they don’t use steam shovels anymore,” he informed her.


“But no – there are tunnels – like catacombs, all through it … you just have to locate the bauble and bring it out, not much diggin’ required, I’d wager.  He’s still a vampire, you’re still the Slayer – you should be able to sense it.”


“You seem to know a lot about this … why don’t you go get it?” Buffy asked with suspicion.


“I can’t interfere … I’m not supposed to even be here now. If I’m caught it will be the end a’ me, for sure,” Doyle informed her, dragging a finger across his throat to simulate beheading. “Free will and whatnot …you have to do it … and act like it was your idea.”


“If I do that, where will I find you again?” Buffy asked. “In the land of the leprechauns?”


“There are no such things as leprechauns,” Doyle assured her. “Take the amulet to Wolfram & Hart, give it to Fred, and go back to the Hyperion. I’ll find you.  You have to trust me, Buffy … ya’ got nuthin’ else.”


Suddenly Buffy heard screaming and she was being shaken awake.  “Buffy! What have you done?! Oh God!” Dawn screamed when she came into the bathroom and found her sister apparently unconscious in what looked like a bathtub full of blood.


“Dawn! Dawn! I’m awake … I’m alright!” Buffy assured her as Dawn continued to shake her.


“Dawn, stop!” Buffy demanded, grabbing her sister’s shoulder and pushing her back.  All that shaking was sending sharp knives of pain stabbing out from Buffy’s shoulder and into her chest.


“Buffy! God! What have you done? I trusted you! I thought you were … I thought you were telling the truth!” Dawn exclaimed in a panic as tears rolled down her face.


“Dawn … I just took a shower … a bath,” Buffy tried to reason with her. “I know you said not to, but let’s not make a Federal case out of it. I just had to get some of the grunge off…”


“You’re bleeding! You tried to kill yourself again …” Dawn accused, pointing at the bloody water.


Buffy looked down and let out a long breath. The spiders had scratched her ankles and calf … they were bleeding. “Nooo, I didn’t – I fell asleep and was attacked again,” she assured Dawn.  “Help me up…”


“You … you fell asleep?” Dawn asked as realization hit her. “Oh, Buffy … God, Buffy, you scared me so much…” Dawn sobbed as she gave Buffy a hand up and then pulled her into a soggy hug as sobs wracked the younger girl’s body.


“Dawn … it’s ok. Dawnie, I’m fine…” Buffy tried to assure her. “Dawnie, don’t cry.”


Dawn finally released her and wiped at her tear streaked face with her hands before handing Buffy a towel off the rack. “I’m sorry … I just … When I came in it looked just like the time … the time before,” Dawn started, her voice shaky.


Buffy wrapped the towel around herself and held onto Dawn’s shoulder as she stepped out of the tub and onto the cool tile floor of the bathroom. “The time before?” Buffy prodded.


Dawn swallowed hard as she looked into her sister’s eyes. “I … you …”she started and stopped, shaking her head as tears welled in her eyes again and she took a deep breath to try and compose herself.


“You’ve tried to kill yourself before, Buffy … one time I found you bleeding in the tub … it was … it was just like this.  I was the only one home and … and I thought you were dead.” Tears fell from Dawn’s eyes as she spoke. 


That had been one of the worst nights of Dawn’s life, just a couple of months after Buffy had been resurrected – it was Buffy’s first suicide attempt, the first of many.  They weren’t all so obvious, many were disguised cleverly as ‘missions’ … solo missions where Buffy would take on more demons or vampires than one Slayer should be able to handle. She was often seriously injured on those missions and Dawn had taken to following Buffy around when she patrolled – not that she could help fight the demons so much (although she’d been forced to get better at that during the summer Buffy was dead) as she could call for help or get Buffy to a hospital afterwards. 


Dawn felt that her sister’s unhappiness was her fault … if the monks hadn’t made her, hadn’t dropped her in Buffy’s life like a booby prize, none of this would’ve happened.  Buffy wouldn’t have died on that tower; she wouldn’t have been resurrected and gone off the deep end – living in a world that she couldn’t cope with and trying desperately to get out of it.


“I’m sorry, Dawn,” Buffy said softly. “I didn’t mean to scare you – I never meant to hurt you at all – ever. Please, don’t cry …”


“It’s my fault,” Dawn sobbed, sitting down on the edge of the tub and covering her face with her hands. “If I had just… If I had just jumped off the tower into the portal none of this …”


“No! Dawnie, no!” Buffy insisted, kneeling down in front of her sister. “It’s not your fault.  This life is not your fault. What you’ve lived through, how I’ve acted, is not your fault. It’s goddamn Cecily Addams’ fault – that’s whose fault it is for taking Spike away, and trust me when I say, I plan to set it right.”


Dawn continued to sob into her hands as she shook her head from side to side in silent disagreement. Buffy sighed heavily and pulled Dawn’s hands away from her face so she would look at her.


“Did I ever tell you it was your fault?” Buffy asked her sister.


“No…” Dawn admitted weakly.


“Dawn – it’s not your fault.  The monks gave us a wonderful gift … Mom loved you – Dawn, she loved you so much. And I love you … I’d jump off that tower again to save you. I didn’t do it to save the world, Dawnie … I did it to save you. If you didn’t know that, then it’s time you did.


“I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to get my shit together when I was brought back … I’m sorry that I hurt you and scared you and made you grow up so fast.  But look at you – I’m so proud of you, Dawn.  You’re so strong and smart and such a beautiful woman now – Mom would be so proud of you.”


Buffy wrapped her good arm around Dawn’s shoulders and Dawn leaned forward and cried against her, letting all those years of worry and frustration and guilt flow out as Buffy reassured her over and over that what happened wasn’t her fault and apologized for scaring her. 


Finally, Dawn pulled away and sat back, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. 


“Thanks…” she whispered to Buffy, meeting her eyes.


Buffy smiled softly at her. “That’s what family is for … we help each other, we stick together…we love each other.”


Dawn nodded as she sniffed and wiped at her nose with a tissue.


“C’mon … help me get dressed,” Buffy requested, changing the subject, as she stood up and headed out of the bathroom. “I’m starving… what’s good to eat around here? How about a double bacon cheeseburger and fries? Or onion rings! Ooo – maybe a milkshake!”



Dawn laughed and followed Buffy out. “You’re in luck …there’s a twenty-four hour American restaurant in Clerkenwell … they have awesome shakes and killer sundaes! It’s called Tinseltown. Cute, huh?”



“Tinseltown … yeah, I like it, kinda like being back home,” Buffy agreed. She wasn’t sure how she was gonna tell Dawn that she needed to get back to the real ‘tinseltown’ (and Sunnydale) as soon as possible…maybe over dessert. 'Killer sundaes' always made bad news easier to swallow.












Don’t Cry Sister, JJ Cale and Eric Clapton


Don't cry sister cry, it'll be alright in the morning
Don't cry sister cry, everything'll be just fine
Don't cry sister cry, it'll be alright, I tell you no lie
Don't cry sister cry, don't do it, don't do it

When old man trouble knocks on your door
Don't give him no key, he just wants more
He'll turn your life to misery
Kick you down, just like me

Don't cry sister cry, it'll be alright in the morning
Don't cry sister cry, everything'll be just fine

Woke downhearted and you feel so bad
Somebody wants something of nothing you had
Love don't come too easy, you see
A little bit of you and a little bit of me

Don't cry sister cry, it'll be alright in the morning
Don't cry sister cry, everything'll be just fine


Don't cry sister cry, it'll be alright in the morning
Don't cry sister cry, everything'll be just fine

Don't cry sister cry, it'll be alright, I tell you no lie
Don't cry sister cry, everything'll be just fine

Everything'll be just fine
Everything'll be just fine


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