Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Everything I Own

Chapter Title:


Love Can Build A Bridge

Chapter Summary:


Buffy and Dawn go to see Willow to try and find D’Hoffryn’s talisman.  Buffy meets an old friend along the way … but will she be able to follow the advice she's given - will she even get a chance?


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:

Love Can Build a Bridge

(Originally by The Judds)

Cher, Chrissie Hynde, Neneh Cherry & Eric Clapton


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.

Sunday, February 19th, 2005:


Buffy sat by the fireplace in the great room of the ‘Christmas Tree Vineyard Lodge’, a bed and breakfast she and Dawn were staying at in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Auburn, California. She sat alone, with a cup of coffee, her legal pad, and a pen and tried to think.  She’d been trying to think since she’d been ‘ejected’ from the … she didn’t even know what to call it, the supernatural courtroom where Spike’s trial was being held the previous afternoon.  She had to come up with a new plan to get her family back, the Powers weren’t going to help her.  It was early, no one other than the proprietors were up, breakfast wasn’t even scheduled to be served for another three hours, but Buffy couldn’t sleep and she didn’t want to wake Dawn, so she came down here and tried to think.  Thinking wasn’t actually the problem – she couldn’t stop thinking – the problem was trying to form a conclusion – some definite answer, a plan. 


She knew her next step, she and Dawn would go see Willow at the sanatorium in town and see if D’Hoffryn’s talisman was still with her.  Visiting hours didn’t start until ten though … so Buffy had plenty of time between now and then to think.


Buffy turned her legal pad to a blank page and began writing down any idea that came to her mind … she had to get her ideas out of her jumbled brain and down onto the paper.  They were just clogging her brain up – she’d start thinking about one idea when another would jump in and interrupt, then she’d forget what it was she’d been thinking about before and end up getting more and more confused and further and further away from a solid plan.


She started with, ‘No direct help from the PTB,’ on the first line … then continued her list of ideas:


‘D’Hoffryn – Get talisman and summon,’ she wrote. And what?  Ask him nicely to put everything back? File a harassment complaint against one of his employees? she thought grimly, rolling her eyes. She had no leverage over him, she didn’t really even know the full extent of his powers. Leaving space under that idea in case she thought of something to actually do once she summoned him, Buffy went on to something else.


‘Go back in time and kill Hallie,’ was the next thing on her list.  She wasn’t sure how to go back in time, but there had to be a way.  She wondered if she went back in time to the night Hallie, or Cecily, should’ve rejected William’s advances and killed her, would that be enough to send William out into the street and into Dru’s clutches -  putting history back on its proper track? Of course, the other possibility was that by killing her, that would  simply reverse the wish; the research book that Dawn had gotten from Andrew said ‘destroy her power source’ … certainly if she were dead, that should take care of the power source. 


Going back in time and killing Hallie was starting to sound like a win-win-win and just the thought of it gave Buffy a kind of warm and fuzzy feeling inside. If it didn’t drive William out to Dru, perhaps it would simply reverse the spell – which would accomplish the same thing and, it would make Buffy feel infinitely better … even though Hallie deserved worse, killing her would have to do.  Buffy drew a big star next to that line and moved on.


‘Go back in time and don’t let Willow release the magic from the scythe,’ was her next idea. The Guardian said that by releasing it she had skewed the balance of good and evil … perhaps if she went back and undid that, then there would be no cosmic pull for Hallie to have escaped her rat cage and fulfilled her little plan of revenge. Buffy scrunched her nose up at that idea and drew a line through it, if she was going to go back in time, she’d rather go kill Hallie …


‘Find another vengeance demon and make my own wish,’ was her next idea.  If she got a vengeance demon to grant her a wish to undo Hallie’s wish, would that work? But then, what if Hallie just re-wished it?  How many times can you counter someone else’s wish? And would another vengeance demon even do that? Go against one of their own? Probably not… she thought with a sigh, again wishing that Anya was here to give her some advice …


OH! ‘Go back in time and talk to Anya,’ Buffy wrote on the next line. That might be a good thing to do before going back in time all the way to 1880 and killing Hallie – a little trial run to make sure it would work and get some advice right from a horse’s mouth, too.  Buffy put another star by that idea on her paper.


Buffy looked up from her pad and stared blankly at the large windows. The sun was just starting to light the sky and there was a soft snow falling outside. Annie had loved the snow when they spent those weeks at the coven in Canada … and ice skating and horseback riding and swimming in the warm underground springs … We should’ve taken her back there, Buffy thought sadly. Tears stung her eyes as she watched the snow falling gently outside, turning the world into a white, winter wonderland. Dani and Billy had never even seen snow – everything was new and wondrous to them, their whole lives awaited discovery, and now they were gone, just erased from history without ever even having a chance to show the world who they were, what they could do – without a chance to even see snow.


“Need a refill?” a friendly female voice asked, making Buffy jump in her seat.  Wanda, who, along with her husband John, owned and ran the bed and breakfast, was standing next to Buffy with a coffeepot in her hand.


Buffy smiled tiredly and nodded, picking her cup up and handing it to the woman. Wanda was in her fifties Buffy guessed, with an easy way about her that made you feel comfortable with her, as if you’d known her forever.


“Brought work with you on vacation?” the older woman asked, tilting her head towards Buffy’s legal pad.


Buffy flipped the pages down and stuffed the pad down between her leg and the edge of the seat. “Something like that…” Buffy replied with a small smile.


“It’ll work out, child,” Wanda advised, handing Buffy her newly filled coffee cup.


“What will?”


“Whatever it is that’s got you all knotted up inside.” Wanda gave Buffy a knowing smile before adding, “Don’t give up hope, my dear. God works in mysterious ways …”


Buffy snorted softly before taking a sip of her coffee. Yeah, like with Lilah Morgan and Mayor Wilkins as his lackeys …


“You know, my daddy always said, ‘Everything will work out fine in the end, if it ain’t fine, then it ain’t the end’ …” Wanda added, before turning and heading back to the kitchen.


“Well, I’d say we’re a long way from the end, then,” Buffy muttered to herself, pulling her pad back out and flipping it open to the page she’d been working on.


Buffy sighed heavily … she really didn’t have any more ideas that warranted a place on her list. She wracked her brain trying to think of some kind of leverage to use against D’Hoffryn to get him to reverse the spell, but all she could come up with was threatening to kill all his ‘employees’ and she wasn’t sure how much of a threat that would be since she didn’t even know how to find any of his employees…


“Oh my God!” Buffy exclaimed. “It’s so simple! Why didn’t I think of it before?”


Buffy made a new entry on her idea page, ‘Go back in time – kill Hallie-rat.’  That would be so easy! Just go back, sneak into Annie’s room, take the rat out and … dispose of it, before Hallie could escape and start this whole nightmare in the first place!


Buffy jumped up and ran back upstairs to the room she was sharing with Dawn.  “Dawn! Dawn, wake up!” Buffy exclaimed excitedly after getting inside and closing the door to their room.


“Go away…” Dawn moaned, pulling her pillow over her head to block out the noise.


“Dawn! Wake up! I’ve figured it out! I can fix it!” Buffy exclaimed again, pulling the pillow away from Dawn and shaking her by the shoulder.


“Go away!” Dawn repeated angrily, turning over and covering her head with the blanket.


“C’mon, Dawnie!” Buffy begged. “What do you know about time travel? How do I go back in time?”


“I don’t know, but I wish I could go back and sleep about six more hours …” Dawn moaned, pulling the blanket tighter over her head.


Buffy pulled the blanket completely off her sister and Dawn screamed when the cold air hit her warm body. “Good thing you’re the Slayer or you’d be dead right now!” Dawn exclaimed, wrapping her arms around her torso before jumping up and heading quickly into the bathroom.


Buffy ignored her outburst and followed her to the bathroom door, talking through it and telling Dawn her plan as Dawn peed, brushed her teeth and hair and washed her face to get the sleep off.


When Dawn emerged from the bathroom she said simply, “It won’t work.”


“What! What do you mean it won’t work! It’s perfect! Easy, simple – requires no killing of actual humans … it’s foolproof!” Buffy insisted.


Dawn sat down at a small table in the room and took Buffy’s notepad and pen from her hand. “You’ll get caught in a time-loop you may never be able to get out of,” Dawn informed her.


“What does that mean?” Buffy asked, her excited smile now replaced with a frown.


“Ok,” Dawn started, turning the pad to a blank page. “Let’s say this point is the moment the rat escaped its cage, right?” Dawn asked, drawing an “H” on the page. “Hallie goes and somehow turns back into a human … or a demon or whatever, and casts a spell that changes everything …” Dawn continued, drawing a line out from the “H”. 


“Ok, now, when she does that, it bends the time-space continuum and creates a different reality, so here you are in this new reality,” Dawn continued, drawing an “B” on the paper, “and you go back in time and you exterminate her here, before she does any spell,” Dawn continued, intersecting Hallie’s old reality with Buffy’s new reality.


“Now – in theory, reality will go back to … normal because Hallie won’t cast the spell, BUT, if Hallie doesn’t cast the spell, then the time-space continuum doesn’t bend and you aren’t here going back in time to kill her … so she’s alive to cast the spell … except, if she’s alive to cast the spell, then here you are again, going back to kill her …”


Dawn started drawing huge circles on the page, representing Buffy going back in time, killing Hallie, then reality going back to ‘normal’ which would mean that Buffy wouldn’t have any reason to go back in time, leaving Hallie free to cast the spell … and on and on.


“You’ll be caught inside that loop – maybe forever, I’m not sure, doing the same thing over and over again,” Dawn warned, handing the pad and pen back to Buffy. “Did you ever see 'Groundhog Day'?”


Buffy sat down heavily on Dawn’s bed and flopped backwards, covering her eyes with her arms and leaving her legs dangling over the edge. “Are you sure?” she asked despondently.


Dawn shrugged. “As sure as you can be about stuff like this. You know, Andrew is kind of a … a science fiction nut-job freak, so we used to entertain ourselves by thinking up time travel scenarios and going through all the what-if’s and trying to figure out what would happen in the present if you changed one thing in the past…”


“Fuck,” Buffy muttered, not moving from her place on Dawn’s bed. Buffy had no desire to relive the last month … not for eternity, not even once – the first time was more than enough for her.


“Sorry…” Dawn said softly.


“So, going back in time and changing things will pretty much not work at all…” Buffy surmised.


“Well, you have to be super careful – there’s really no way to know all the unintended consequences of changing something in the past. It’s not as simple as they show on ‘Dr. Who’, if it was, everybody would do it,” Dawn informed her. “Did you ever hear of ‘the butterfly effect’ or read Ray Bradbury’s ‘A Sound of Thunder’ in high school?” Dawn asked Buffy as she lay down on Buffy’s bed and pulled the covers over herself.


Buffy rolled her eyes. “Yeah… I think so,” she admitted solemnly.


“Then you know what I’m talking about. This guy goes back in time and steps on a butterfly and changes the entire world as he knew it, that’s what they call the Butterfly Effect or Chaos Theory. There’re just so many unknowns; going back in time isn’t something you can play around with…”


“So, what would happen if I go back and killed Hallie back in 1880 or 1881, after she’s already on the new timeline?” Buffy posited, sitting up and looking at Dawn’s time-loop drawing, but got no answer. “Dawn?”


Buffy sat forward and looked at Dawn – she’d fallen back asleep.  Buffy shook her head. That girl could sleep through an apocalypse…


Buffy went back downstairs by the fire and crossed out the ‘kill Hallie-rat’ idea and put a question mark next to the ‘Kill Hallie’ line and added a note, ‘after change in timeline’.  According to the books, she had to ‘destroy the vengeance demon’s power source’ … didn’t that mean she had to kill Hallie?  Buffy put several more question marks by that line and focused on the idea further down the page … ‘talk to Anya’.  That seemed like the very best thing to start with.  They’d go see Willow today, hopefully retrieve the talisman and then she’d figure out how to go back in time and talk to Anya.  Buffy wrote another note next to that line, ‘before wedding.’ Buffy didn’t want to be dealing with a bitter, angry, vengeful Anya that had been dumped at the altar in this world … talking to her before her wedding day would be best.


“Have a revelation?” Wanda asked, coming back with the coffeepot.


Buffy sighed. “False alarm …”


“Well, you keep workin’ at it, honey – love can build that bridge,” Wanda assured her.


Buffy looked at her with a furrowed brow … Spike’s voice rang in her head as he sang ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ to her when they were in the tropical soul-garden. “What bridge?”


Wanda smiled softly as she refilled Buffy’s cup. “The one that will lead you home …”


“Who are you?” Buffy asked suspiciously, standing up to face the older woman.


“Just someone who knows a lost soul when she sees one,” Wanda offered with a shrug, handing Buffy’s coffee back to her. 


“You can see my soul?” Buffy asked with confusion.


“No child, I can see your pain. Your love is strong … so is his, just don’t give up – God works …” Wanda started.


“… in mysterious ways,” Buffy finished. “You know, I really wish He’d switch to some Nora Roberts, even Danielle Steele … I’m really tired of the mysteries already.”


Wanda laughed lightly. “Yes, your love is strong … your souls are …” Wanda started and stopped. She smiled softly and said, “I need to get breakfast on, the guests will be up soon…”


“Wait.” Buffy touched the older woman’s arm, “What about our souls? What do you know? What do you know about Spike?”


Wanda shook her head and turned back towards the kitchen.


“Please help me,” Buffy begged, gripping the older woman’s arm tighter.


Wanda turned back around to face Buffy. “There are times we must walk alone, my dear … to test our resolve, to test our souls … this is one of those times.  But you aren’t alone – I can see his love surrounding you, just as it did when you were lost in the darkness before … follow your true heart, it will lead you back to the light, back to him. The love you two share really can build that bridge. Don’t lose hope.”


“Who are you?” Buffy asked again.


“I told you, just someone who knows a lost soul when she sees it …” Wanda repeated, before turning away from Buffy. Buffy released her arm and the older woman left Buffy alone in the great room.


Buffy shook her head, picked her pad of paper up from the chair where she’d dropped it, and sat back down.  She thought of pressing the woman for more … but had a feeling that would be useless and might lose her an ally, and she could use all the allies she could get. 


Buffy turned to a new page on the pad and drew a big heart in the middle of the page. Above it she wrote, ‘Follow your heart,’ and below it she wrote, ‘Don’t lose hope.’  “God, Spike … I miss you so much,” she muttered as she looked at the page and tears welled in her eyes. “I won’t give up … I promise I’ll find a way to fix this …”




Buffy knocked softly on the door of Willow’s room at the sanatorium before opening it and stepping in.  Willow was sitting up in a wheelchair next to her bed, staring blankly out at the snow that covered the ground outside her window.  Buffy thought she looked gaunt … thin and pasty – she didn’t know what she really expected … she guessed she expected ‘Willow’her Willow, with her quick smile and sharp mind and a sparkle in her green eyes, but her Willow wasn’t here.


“Willow …” Buffy said softly, moving around the bed towards her, but Willow didn’t look over or do anything that indicated she even heard Buffy.


“She can hear you … she just can’t process it,” Dawn advised Buffy as she looked through Willow’s meager belongings for the talisman.  “All her wiring got … like, fried, according to the doctors – it goes in, but gets lost in there.”


“Hey, Wills … it’s me, it’s Buffy,” Buffy continued softly as she moved next to her friend and put herself in Willow’s line of sight, but Willow just kept staring straight ahead as if Buffy wasn’t even there.


“It’s not here …” Dawn announced as she finished looking through the last drawer in a small chest of drawers in Willow’s room.


“I’m sorry I haven’t been here to see you before now …” Buffy told Willow, letting Dawn’s bad news go for the moment. She clenched her jaw and fought back tears as she dropped down into a squat in front of her friend, putting herself at eye level with Willow. “I sure missed you a lot.  This looks like a pretty nice place,” Buffy continued. “Nice yard outside – do you want to go outside and get some fresh air?”


Buffy looked up at Dawn and asked, “Can we take her outside?”


“Yeah, I think so – let me get a blanket or something, it’s cold outside,” Dawn offered, heading out to the nurse’s station.


Buffy pushed Willow’s wheelchair down the sidewalk that connected all the buildings until they came to a bench near a fountain in the center of the large quad.  Buffy turned Willow’s wheelchair towards the bench and then sat down in front of her so they were face to face.  “This is better, isn’t it?” Buffy asked her friend as Dawn kept walking over towards the fountain to give her sister a little privacy.


“Willow, I’m so sorry about this, it’s all my fault. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. You … you and Tara got married, oh, Willow, it was such a beautiful wedding!” Buffy told her friend as tears stained her cheeks. “Tara’s father tried to stop it, but Spike tossed him out on his ear," Buffy recalled, before quickly adding, "Oh, but the rest of the ceremony was just lovely!


 “Just that small fight in the middle to make it interesting. You know we can’t ever do anything without a little brawl to break up the boredom of being happy.” Buffy laughed lightly through her tears at the memory of Spike decking Tara’s father and carrying him out of the mansion like a sack of potatoes … rotten potatoes.


“Willow, I’m going to fix it. I’m going to get Tara back … Tara loves you so much – you guys were so happy,” Buffy said softly, looking into Willow’s eyes and holding both her friend’s hands in hers. Buffy’s brow furrowed as she looked at Willow – she could’ve sworn she saw … something – something like recognition or understanding pass across Willow’s face.


“You loved Tara, too – I think you two were soul mates …” Buffy continued, watching Willow’s face closely, and then she was sure she saw it – Willow definitely focused on her, actually saw her, for the briefest of moments.


“I need your help, though – I need D’Hoffryn’s talisman. Do you still have it? I need it to get Tara back,” Buffy told her. “Someone made a vengeance wish and I need to try and reverse it to get Tara back. I figured I could start at the top, right? You know me – jump in with both feet, leap before I look and all that.”


For the first time since Buffy had been there, Willow moved her head. She lifted her chin and tilted her head from side to side slowly as if trying to show Buffy something.  Buffy looked up at what Willow was looking at above them, but didn’t see anything but a cloudy sky with a few patches of blue peeking through.  Willow lowered her head and barely shook it just once, then tilted her chin up again; then Buffy saw it – a chain around her neck.  Buffy reached out and pulled the necklace from under Willow’s gown, there was a medallion on it – D’Hoffryn’s talisman.


Buffy unhooked the chain from around Willow’s neck, then took her own necklace off – the one that held the cross that Angel had given her so many years ago, and traded with her friend.


“Thank you…” Buffy whispered as she hooked the necklace that held D’Hoffryn’s talisman around her own neck. Tears leaked from the corners of Willow’s eyes, but her expression went back to the blank stare that she’d had since Buffy and Dawn arrived – the blank stare Buffy assumed she’d had since losing not only Tara but Kennedy, as well. “I promise that I’ll get Tara back for you … I promise with all my heart,” Buffy whispered as she leaned her forehead against Willow’s and took her friend’s hands back in hers. “I promise I’ll fix it, Wills.”




“Where to now?” Dawn asked when they got back in the car after spending the better part of three hours with Willow.  In all that time they’d spent with her, Willow had only seem cognizant of her surroundings for that brief moment in time when she showed Buffy the talisman. It was heartbreaking for Buffy to see her friend turned into that.  Buffy thought that being trapped in catatonia was perhaps worse than death, especially for someone as intelligent as Willow. Taking her mind away was perhaps the worst thing that could have happened to her friend.


Buffy took a deep breath and let it out slowly as she looked at the talisman hanging from the chain around her neck. “I guess we need a witch to help us … I wonder if the Halliwell sisters still live in San Francisco,” Buffy suggested.




“The Halliwells … you know, The Charmed Ones? Piper, Phoebe, and Paige … ‘the power of three will set us free’?” Buffy clarified.


“Buffy, you do know that’s just a TV show … they aren’t really witches, those women are actresses…” Dawn informed her, not 100% sure if Buffy was kidding or not.


“Are you sure? ‘Cos I thought that was one of those reality TV shows. Did you see how much weight Piper gained after having Chris? I mean, if that’s not reality, what is?” Buffy insisted. “And she nearly died having him - it was like déjà vu all over again! Heck, he was half Whitelighter, you’d think he would’ve just orbed out.”


“Orbed? Whitelighter?” Dawn questioned, she’d never actually watched that show very much.


“Yeah – see, Piper married her Whitelighter, Leo – even though it was forbidden … Whitelighters are like Guardian Angels and they can orb in and out – go up to the Powers and come back down; of course they called it going to the ‘Elders’, but po-ta-to, pa-ta-to. They pose as normal people to keep an eye on their charges … Leo posed as a handyman …” Buffy’s voice trailed off as pieces of a puzzle clicked into place in her mind.


“Oh my God! Guardian Angels pose as normal people in your life … like nurses and … and bed and breakfasters … I knew she looked familiar!”


“Who? Piper? I thought Leo was the Whitelighter ...” Dawn questioned, trying to follow Buffy’s ramblings.


“No! Wanda!” Buffy clarified.


“Wanda’s a witch and John’s a Whitelighter?” Dawn guessed – still not understanding Buffy’s train of thought.


“No! Wanda’s a Guardian Angel! She … she was at the hospital when I had the twins … when I was in a coma and then later when Dani was so sick … she was there the whole time! God, why didn’t I remember that?! And then this morning she was talking about following my heart and lost souls and building bridges …”


“She builds bridges? What, like the Golden Gate?”


“No … well, I don’t think so – bridges like … like over troubled waters,” Buffy explained.  “Go back to the lodge … I need to talk to her again.”




Buffy ran from the parking lot into the lodge … she and Dawn had checked out earlier, assuming they wouldn’t be back after their visit with Willow.  Inside the B&B, Buffy headed for the kitchen – Wanda always seemed to be in there fixing something for someone …


A woman Buffy didn’t recognize was kneading some dough on a marble-topped table in the center of the kitchen and she looked up when Buffy barged in.  “Buffy – did you forget something, dear?” the woman asked with a soft smile.


“Uhhh … do I know you?” Buffy questioned, stopping just inside the doorway.


“Are you alright, dear?  You just checked out a few hours ago – I ran your credit card and John helped you out to your car with your bags…” the woman clarified.


“You … you ran the credit card? You’re Wanda?” Buffy asked with confusion – this was not the person that had done all that this morning.


“Of course, dear … Do you need the room back? We haven’t cleaned it yet, but I can get right on it if you need it back for the night,” Wanda offered, moving to the sink to wash her hands.


Buffy let out a long breath. Wanda was gone … her Wanda, her Guardian Angel; apparently she’d delivered the message and had gone wherever Guardian Angels go to relax, maybe to Maldives or Bali or somewhere equally warm and paradisey.


“No … that’s ok. Thanks anyway,” Buffy sighed before backing out of the kitchen and heading back out to the car. 


“Well?” Dawn asked when Buffy climbed back into the car.


“She’s gone …” Buffy explained tiredly. “Do you know any real witches that can help us?”


“Maybe one … but I’m not sure it’s such a good idea,” Dawn replied hesitantly.


“Well, good idea or not – it’s one idea more than I have,” Buffy told her. The thought of the witches at the coven in Canada crossed Buffy’s mind again – but without an invite, she wouldn’t even be able to see the safe house … she wasn’t really sure if it was even there in this world or if she could remember the way to it. “Who is it?” Buffy asked.




Buffy looked at Dawn with alarm. “You know Rack?”


“Well … if you call literally dragging you home from his place night after night for almost a year knowing him …” Dawn explained with a shrug.


“Oh …” Buffy replied softly. “I’m sorry – I don’t remember …”


Dawn shrugged again. “Don’t worry, you didn’t remember then, either.”


“There must be more witches around … maybe a Wicca group or something,” Buffy suggested.


“You won’t find one with more power than Rack …” Dawn pointed out.


“Yeah, but he’s not very … trustworthy,” Buffy countered.


“True – but if you pay him enough, I think he’ll do what you want. As long as he gets what he wants, I think he’d do whatever you want him to,” Dawn told her sister.


“And you know how to find him? I assume he’s not in Sunnydale anymore – not much clientele left there unless he’s dealing with ghosts now.”


“Last I heard, he went to L.A.” Dawn offered. “I can’t find him – but you can – or you always could.”


Buffy drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly.  “Ok, let’s go back to L.A.” she said at last, pulling her seatbelt across her body and clicking it in place.


Dawn chuckled softly and shook her head as she put the car in reverse to back out of the parking space. “What’s funny?” Buffy asked.


“Just you and the seatbelt … you never used to wear seatbelts, you said you were the Slayer and a ‘little car crash wouldn’t hurt you’…” Dawn explained.


“Yeah, well, I didn’t have three kids then, either. One of which won’t let you even sit in a car without putting your seatbelt on or ride a bike without a helmet or roller skate without knee and elbow pads …” Buffy defended.


“Or say bad words …” Dawn added.


“Or say bad words … at least not without adding to her Maserati fund…” Buffy agreed with an eye roll.




Despite Buffy’s best efforts to stay awake and keep Dawn company while she drove them back to L.A., the lack of sleep over the previous days finally overtook her resolve and Dawn insisted Buffy just put the seat back and get some rest – Dawn would be fine driving with the radio for company, and Buffy acquiesced.


Buffy jumped up from the cold sand floor of the spider pit of hell and held the scythe at the ready … but no spiders appeared.  “I guess they haven’t restocked yet. Maybe FedEx doesn’t deliver here,” Buffy mused as she began walking towards the wall of the crater.  Buffy climbed up and out of the pit then back down the other side and began making her way towards Spike’s cave, keeping a careful eye out for the flying werewolves, but didn’t see any of those either. 


Buffy looked around one more time before dropping down to her knees in front of the entrance to Spike’s cave and laying the scythe down so she could roll the boulder out of the doorway, but she still didn’t see any threats.  She had just called Spike’s name and began to push the boulder away from the opening when she was hit from above and knocked down from her knees flat onto her stomach.  Buffy screamed out when she felt the claws of one of the werewolves dig into the flesh of her thighs and back. Buffy reached for the scythe, but she had no leverage to swing it pinned down on the ground.  Buffy tried to push up with her arms, to roll over or somehow get some room to fight when she was hit and knocked down again – a second werewolf had joined the attack.  She could hear them growling at each other, their breath was hot against the back of her neck and slimy drool dripped from their jaws and ran down her cheek.


Buffy tried to roll over or push up, but every time she tried to move, she felt eight sets of claws dig deeper into her flesh and the creatures turned their attention from each other back to her.  “Spike!” Buffy screamed, not even knowing if he was in the cave or, if he was, if he would be in any condition to help her.  “Spike!” she screamed again, lifting her head slightly so her voice would hopefully carry into the cave rather than be drowned out by the incessant wind.


When she lifted her head, one of the werewolves growled deeply and swatted the side of her head with powerful paw, cutting her face with its razor-sharp, talon-like claws.  Buffy felt like her brain rattled inside her skull and the whole red world began to tilt slightly on its axis.  The last thing she remembered before she passed out was an incensed growl that sounded even deeper and angrier and meaner than the werewolves as it passed over her … Spike.


“Buffy! Buffy, wake up!” Dawn screamed, shaking her sister in the seat next to her.  She’d gotten worried when Buffy started screaming Spike’s name, then the blood began flowing and Dawn pulled off to the side of the road quickly so she could focus on her sister.


“Buffy!” Dawn repeated as Buffy moaned and put a hand to her head, trying to stop the pain and dizziness.


“Buffy, are you awake? Are you here?” she asked, still shaking her sister.


“Yeah … I’m here,” Buffy moaned, trying to hold her head still with both hands so Dawn wouldn’t shake her brains out of her ears, which she thought was a distinct possibility.


“What happened?”  Dawn asked, releasing her hold on Buffy’s shoulder and reaching in the back seat to find something to use to quell the blood from pouring out of four long gashes on Buffy’s face.


“Werewolves …” Buffy explained simply. “…have to get back … Spike.”


“No…no, no, no,” Dawn half-begged, half-demanded.


“Hand me the scythe,” Buffy requested, ignoring Dawn’s protest.


“Buffy, please …”


“Dawn, I have to go back now! Spike’s all alone against two of them! Hand me the scythe so I can heal,” Buffy insisted. “Then get a tranq dart and some of those sleeping pills.”  Buffy had insisted that they buy several loaded tranq darts as soon as they got to L.A. and bring several of her prescriptions for sleeping pills with them, just in case …


Dawn sighed and pulled the scythe from the back floorboard then got out of the car and went to the trunk to retrieve the other items that Buffy wanted.  Buffy closed her eyes and held the scythe in both hands. As the magic ‘circuit’ was completed, Buffy could feel the power of the scythe flow through her body and stop the spinning in her head, then slowly begin to heal the cuts, gashes, and scratches on her body.  Buffy released the scythe from one hand, breaking the magical circuit … she didn’t know how many times she could do that, how much power was left in the scythe, and she didn’t want to use it all up on small, inconsequential injuries.


Dawn returned from the back of the car and sat down heavily behind the wheel, holding out the pills and tranq dart to Buffy. “At least wait until I can get us somewhere safer than the side of the interstate …” Dawn requested.


“No time … you drive – get off at the next exit. Do you have the stimulant?” Buffy asked and Dawn held up a hypodermic needle with three cc’s of clear liquid in it – a stimulant to counteract the effects of the tranquilizers, just in case it became imperative to wake Buffy up.


“Ok – don’t use that unless I’m on the brink of death … I mean it, brink of death!” Buffy instructed her and Dawn nodded and rolled her eyes; they’d been over this before more than once.


Buffy stabbed the tranq dart into her thigh then quickly downed three of the sleeping pills before her vision started to blur and she felt herself lose control of her muscles.  She heard Dawn start the car again and felt them moving … then she opened her eyes and she was back on the floor of the spider pit, with the cold wind whipping around her and blasting her skin with sand.


Buffy jumped up, the scythe in her hand, and began running … she cleared the crater in record time, sliding down her now well worn path on the outside of the rim like a huge Slip-N-Slide … only without the water and with cold sand and hard rocks instead of smooth plastic.


Buffy ran as fast as she could towards Spike’s cave … praying, not to God, but to Wanda, her Guardian Angel, that Spike was alright.


“Spike!” she screamed as she rounded the last bend, scythe at the ready, prepared for the fight to get Spike away from the werewolves.  Buffy heard a deep, primal growl before she could even see what had happened to Spike and it made her heart jump with fear - was she too late? Buffy stopped short when she saw the carnage near the cave entrance, her eyes wide with shock at the amount of blood that covered the ground, the wall of the crater, and Spike. 


“Oh my God…” Buffy muttered, taking in the scene. Spike was crouched over one of the werewolves growling and gnawing at the beast’s neck – the other werewolf appeared to be scattered in dozens of pieces all over the ground.  Spike looked up from his prey, his mouth, his face, his whole body was covered in blood – the gold eyes of the demon narrowed at Buffy and he growled again … warning her off his bounty.


“I guess you have it under control…” Buffy quipped, trying to sound casual and unafraid.


Spike growled again before standing up and moving towards her … his movements were slow and deliberate, the demon's eyes locked onto hers – Buffy realized immediately that he was stalking her. He was like a wild animal stalking its prey … and she was the prey.  Back in their normal life, Buffy would’ve found the way he was moving sexy … it was that slow, graceful gait he used when he was trying to really look his sexiest … but this wasn’t sexy, this was deadly.


“Spike … it’s me – it’s Buffy,” Buffy tried to sound reassuring as she turned and started sliding her feet sideways, moving slowly towards the entrance of the cave – her scythe still raised and at the ready, but she already knew that it would have no effect on him except, perhaps, to slow him down if he attacked.


“Slayer…” Spike growled her moniker as he continued to stalk slowly towards her.


“Wife …” Buffy amended. “Mother of your children? Soul mate? Love of your life?” Buffy offered as she continued to move slowly away from him and towards the cave entrance – it was only a few feet away now … if she could just get a little closer, maybe she could dive through the opening fast enough …


“Slayer…” Spike growled again as his eyes traveled up and down her body, sizing her up.


Buffy lowered the scythe and held it up perpendicular to her body as she turned quickly and dove towards the entrance to the cave, sending the scythe in ahead of her. Buffy made it halfway through the opening, then started scrambling on her elbows, hips, and stomach to get the rest of the way in, but Spike was faster and he grabbed her feet before she could get all the way in and began dragging her back out.


As Spike began pulling her out of the cave, Buffy reached for the scythe that she’d tossed in ahead of her but couldn’t reach it.  Buffy held her arms out perpendicular to her body and braced them against the sides of the cave just inside the opening which stopped Spike from pulling her out further, at least momentarily. She kicked at her husband with her feet as he continued to tug on her legs with all his strength to pull her back out of the relative safety of the cave. She could hear and feel her boots landing on his face and neck, but that seemed to just incense him more. With one final, desperate growl, Spike pulled with everything he had and Buffy slipped out of the entrance of the cave, her arms no match against his full strength.


Buffy turned in Spike’s grasp and continued kicking at his face, chest, and hands as he tried to get a new grip on her. Buffy kicked with both feet and they both landed solidly on Spike’s chest, sending him stumbling back away from her. Buffy had a split second to decide … did she try to crawl back into the cave or stay and fight barehanded…


Buffy put her hands on the ground on either side of her head and flipped her body up – landing on her feet, her fists at the ready for Spike’s attack.


Spike came at her fast, swinging hard at her face, but Buffy ducked quickly and swung a leg out, catching Spike in the ankles and knocking him to the ground.  Buffy pounced on him, pinning his hands down on either side of his head with hers and pressing her hips down hard against his thighs, hopefully down far enough to keep him from kicking her off.


“Spike!” Buffy yelled, her face directly above his as he struggled to get free of her grip. “Spike! Stop!”


Spike growled again and screamed out with effort as he tried to kick his legs up and flip her over his head, but Buffy pressed down harder with her hips and held him down firmly. “Spike, stop it! It’s Buffy … Spike, please!” Buffy begged him as she struggled to hold him still.


“Slayer wants ta play, does she?  Want a little bit of ole Spike ‘fore he drains her sweet blood … I bet there’s only one thing better than killing a Slayer…and that would be fuckin' one,” Spike taunted as he continued to struggle to get free of her grasp.


Spike continued lifting his hips and kicking his legs up, which made Buffy slide further up his thighs until her hips were over his.  She kept sliding back to keep him from kicking her off, but each time he kicked up with his legs, she slid forward, toward his hips.


“Gets me hard just thinkin’ ‘bout what a sweet, tight quim you’d have …” Spike continued. “Can you feel me against you, Slayer – can you imagine how that would feel pumping into you? You know you want it … Come on. I can feel it  – I can smell it, Slayer. You know you wanna dance.”


“Say it's true. Say I do want to…” Buffy breathed, leaning her face down so her lips were nearly touching his, her green eyes locked onto the amber eyes of the demon.


Spike stuck his tongue out from between his fangs and licked a slow line across her lips. “You’d love to fuck a vamp, wouldn’t you?” Spike breathed against her lips. “Do it. Give it to me good, Slayer …”


Buffy suddenly dropped her mouth onto his in a frantic kiss, she pressed her hips down against his erection and released her hold on his hands.  Buffy’s tongue probed into Spike’s mouth, she swirled it to one side and sliced it on a razor-sharp fang and her blood trickled into his mouth as she continued to kiss him with unbridled passion. She was sure that the taste of her blood, the feel of her lips on his, of her body pressing against him, would bring Spike, her Spike, back.


Spike wrapped his arms around her back when she released him and a deep rumbling growl emanated from his core when her blood touched his tongue, sending him spiraling even further out of control. Spike flipped them over and ripped at her clothes with his fangs and hands, shredding Buffy’s shirt and bra before tearing at her jeans. Buffy tugged at Spike’s shirt … actually, it was William’s shirt, she was sure, but this wasn’t William she was with by any stretch of the imagination. Buffy popped all the buttons down the front of his shirt until her hands found the hard muscles of Spike’s chest. She slid her hands down his hard body, relishing the feeling of his muscles as they flexed and quivered under her touch, until she found the waistband of his pants and ripped them open, as well, freeing his cock from its confines.


Spike moaned as Buffy wrapped her hand around his hard-on and stroked him hard and fast, bringing him to climax almost immediately. Spike’s cum shot out and covered Buffy’s stomach and chest with its slippery wetness as Buffy continued squeezing and pumping his rod fiercely.


“Bloody hell…” Spike moaned as his head lolled back and his eyes closed while his cum covered her body … he couldn’t remember anything feeling that good in … forever – and that was just her hand! What would her sweet, hot quim be like?


Buffy dipped two fingers in the cum on her body and lifted them up to his lips.  Spike took her fingers into his mouth and sucked his cum from them, swirling his tongue around and around, making love to her digits as he licked them clean.


“Fuck me…” Buffy demanded when he released her fingers, laying back and raising her ass up off the cold sand so Spike could pull what was left of her jeans off her body.


Spike cocked a brow at her. “Don’t ask fer much, do ya, Slayer?”


“Nothing you can’t handle …” Buffy assured him, reaching up and wrapping one arm around his neck and pulling him down atop her as she slid one hand between them and guided his still hard cock into her dripping pussy.


“Bloody hell…” Spike muttered as he pressed into her. Her tight, hot hole wrapped around his thick cock and pulled him deep into her. He'd never felt anything as divine as her pussy as it engulfed his rock-hard staff, quivering and trembling around him as he entered her. She was hot and wet and the smell of adrenaline and fear from the fight mingled with her passion and yearning for the dance – the combination of it all was nearly overwhelming for him. It was all Spike could do to keep from shooting another load into her right then, but there was more to be had, and he knew it.  He was right, fucking a Slayer was better than killing one.


Buffy gasped in pleasure as Spike’s rod pressed into her throbbing pussy, lifting her hips up to meet his and wrapping her legs around his hard body, she pulled him against her with all her strength as a small orgasm washed over her. It seemed like it had been forever since they’d been together in the butterfly soul-paradise … she wanted him as badly as he wanted her, even if he didn’t know who she was yet.


“Uh-uh … you don’t get to control me…” Spike objected, pulling Buffy’s legs from around his waist and lifting them up, folding her nearly in half and hooking her knees over his shoulders - opening her completely up to him.


Buffy squeezed his cock with her pussy walls until Spike gasped. “You want to dance with a Slayer, you better learn the rules…” Buffy told him as she pulled his face down towards hers until he could feel her breath against his lips.  “Rule number one … I decide who’s in charge.”


Spike narrowed his golden eyes at her and began moving his hips ever so slightly against her. “You Slayers always think being in charge is so bloody wonderful … fine – ‘ave at it then,” Spike informed her, unhooking her legs from his shoulders, wrapping his arms around her, and flipping them over in one fast move so she was on top.


“I didn’t say I wanted to be in charge, I said I decide who’s in charge…” Buffy clarified as she clung to him and rolled them over again, putting Spike back on top.


“So …” Spike started as he lifted her legs back up to his shoulders and pressed into until his shaft was buried in her heat to the hilt. “…how many more rules do you ‘ave?”


“A few …” Buffy murmured as she pulled his face back down to hers. “Kiss me and I’ll tell you the rest …”


Spike dropped his mouth down onto hers and captured her lips with his. Buffy knew his fangs were only a breath away from cutting her lips, but she didn’t hold back, parting her lips and welcoming his tongue into her mouth. Buffy wrapped her own tongue around his as he explored her – his tongue and cock both buried in her wet heat.  When Spike broke the kiss, Buffy whispered, “Rule number two … Wet towels go in the hamper; not on the floor.”


“Pfffttt…” Spike snorted, grinding his hips down against her, then leaning down and dropping another kiss on her lips.


 “No public nudity – keep your privates private …” Buffy offered next.


“Oh, p-leease! Where did you get these Nancy rules, Slayer? From ‘Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood’?” Spike taunted as he pulled out and began pressing into her again.


Spike leaned down and kissed her again as he started moving his hips against her harder and faster.  “No hurting another person. No yelling, screaming, spell casting, name calling or curses on anyone's mother,” Buffy recited another of her house rules … it was becoming harder and harder for her to remember them, though.


“You Slayers are all barmy birds … goody-two-shoes, you are,” Spike informed her before dropping down and ravishing her mouth again until she had to push his lips off hers in order to breathe.


“Don’t feed sugar and caffeine to the children after five pm…” Buffy gasped out … shortening the rule in order to save oxygen.


“I can take care of those pesky children for ya, Slayer…” Spike offered before dropping down and sucking her bottom lip into his mouth, then grazing it with one fang and drawing blood. Spike sucked her sweet Slayer blood from her lip as his cock ploughed into her faster, deeper, and harder.


“Yes! Fuck me! God, Spike … YESSSS!” Buffy screamed as he ground down slowly on her clit with his pubic bone then went back to hard and fast strokes.


“That’s the rule I was waitin’ for …” Spike smirked as he pushed her legs off his shoulders and spread her thighs even wider.  “Beg me for it, Slayer…” Spike demanded as he fucked her with a primal passion and barbarity only a vampire and Slayer could desire and hunger for.


“Yes! Yes! Fuck me! Spike … Fuck yessss!” Buffy screamed as he drove her into the cold, red sand. She’d long ago forgotten about werewolves and house rules … she’d even forgotten that Spike didn’t know who she was; her body had taken the control away from her mind and all she could do now was ride the wave of pleasure it was carrying her away on. Buffy’s body tensed as the waves of bliss that had been building started crashing down on her – Spike’s body on top of her, totally in charge, completely in control of her; his deep voice demanding everything of her - it all combined to send her over the edge.  A scream started building in Buffy’s core – rising through her body, desperate to find an escape lest it explode within her. Buffy’s scream of release and pleasure echoed across the barren wasteland as her whole body quivered and trembled under Spike and her sugar walls tightened and quaked around his shaft, demanding his cum.


“Such an animal, you are! A bloody, fucking beast! Just like me, you are, Slayer … a demon at your core! Take it all, Slayer … take it … Oh, fuck! Take it!” Spike screamed at her as he felt his cum boiling up from his balls, ready to erupt like a blaze of molten lava. 


“Only thing better than killing a Slayer is … fucking one … while … you … kill … ‘er…” Spike gasped out as he slammed his cock into her again and again before leaning down and sinking his fangs into her neck.  Spike’s cum exploded into Buffy’s tight channel as her blood flowed into his mouth and down his throat like manna from heaven. Spike couldn’t remember experiencing anything as ironically sweet as this … a Slayer’s blood, hot and full of the passion of her climax, filling him as his cum filled her – it was intoxicating, exhilarating beyond anything he’d ever felt before.


Spike’s fangs piercing her skin sent Buffy back up the tidal wave of bliss, and the scream that had begun to fade erupted from her throat again as she raced across the ocean of pleasure on a wave so high and so strong that she could scarcely see the earth below her… but where was Spike?  Buffy looked around as she surfed atop the wave, but Spike wasn’t there with her. 


Suddenly, the crystal blue water that she’d been riding on turned blood-red. Buffy touched her neck and her hand came back covered in blood, as well, making Buffy’s heart race with alarm as she screamed Spike’s name. Confusion turned to fear as Buffy realized too late what was happening, that Spike’s love, his consciousness, his soul, had been driven so deep into hiding from the guilt and anguish of the trials that all that was left was the vampire – the demon … the monster.  Not even she could reach him now … not even her love could touch the man; the demon was all that remained.


“Spike … William,” she cried as the wave she’d been riding atop crashed down, forcing her under the blood-red ocean, taking her breath and smashing her against the sharp, jagged rocks below.  Buffy tried in vain to push him off her as the faces of their children flashed before her eyes … their unfulfilled potential crashed on the rocks along with Buffy as she realized that she’d made a terrible mistake thinking that Spike would come back to himself in her arms. She could feel the bridge that Wanda had promised would guide her home, lead her back to her family and the life she once knew, crumbling under her feet – the man she loved was gone, all that remained was the demon and the demon demanded blood – Slayer blood.



“Dawn…” she moaned as the red she was drowning in faded to black and everything suddenly fell deathly still and perfectly quiet …




Love Can Build a Bridge

(Originally by The Judds)

Cher, Chrissie Hynde, Neneh Cherry & Eric Clapton



I'd gladly walk across the desert
with no shoes upon my feet
To share with you the last bite
of bread I had to eat

I would swim out to save you
In your sea of broken dreams
When all your hopes are sinking
Let me show you what love means

Love can build a bridge
Between your heart and mine
Love can build a bridge
Don't you think it's time

I would whisper love so loudly
Every heart would understand
That love and only love
Can join the tribes of man

I would give my heart's desires
So that you might see
The first step is to realize
That it all begins with you and me

When we stand together
It's our finest hour
We can do anything, anything
If we keep believing in the power

Love can build a bridge
Between your heat and mine
Love can build a bridge
Don't you think it's time

Don't you think it's time



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