Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Everything I Own

Chapter Title:


Not Like the Movies

Chapter Summary:


Buffy approaches Rack for help … but eventually turns to an old friend. She also has a surprise visit and finds out something new about William and Cecily’s children.


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:

Not Like the Movies, Katy Perry


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 21st, 2005:


Later that night Buffy walked around the park near the tar pits, then up and down La Brea between Wilshire and Pink’s, but couldn’t find Rack’s place.  She knew that it was cloaked – typically only demons could find it when he was in Sunnydale, but Dawn had said that Buffy never seemed to have any problem locating it before …


“Shit …” she moaned as she started back down La Brea Avenue from Pink’s to the tar pits one more time, still not seeing or feeling or sensing the hidden ‘crack’ house of magick.  Then she saw a girl carrying a bag from Pink’s … she couldn’t have been more than fifteen. She was skinny and dirty, her hair was a mousey brown and looked like rats slept in it – she had to be going to Rack’s with his hot dog.  Buffy fell into step a few feet behind the girl and tried to look nonchalant, but there was no need – the girl never looked back or seemed to even notice her. 


The girl suddenly turned onto a small side street and disappeared almost immediately – Buffy followed right behind her, right into Rack’s waiting room.


Buffy watched the girl go through another door with her delivery as four other ‘customers’ waited their turn in the dingy waiting room. Buffy had no inclination to wait, though; she’d already wasted over an hour looking for this place, so she followed the girl with the hotdog into the inner sanctum, into the lion’s den, despite the protests from the magic junkies in the waiting room.


Inside she found Rack … sitting on a sofa that she was sure even Goodwill wouldn’t even take, just starting to take a bite of his chili, bacon, cheese dog.


“Hey – the door was closed for a reason! Wait until you’re called!” Rack exclaimed angrily, his attention on his dinner.


“Sorry – I don’t do ‘wait’ well… plus, you need new magazines out there – I mean, really, Road and Track from 1999?” Buffy quipped. “And not a single Cosmo or People …”


Rack looked up from his meal – his eyes went wide and he sat the hotdog back down on the bag it came in.


“No fair! Rack, it’s my turn!” the young girl who had delivered the hotdog protested. “Make her leave!”


“Shut up and sit down!” Rack yelled at the girl, turning a cold glare on her before looking back at Buffy.


“Slayer … thought you’d moved to greener pastures – found redemption or Xanax or something…” Rack commented as he stood up and began moving closer to Buffy.


“Yeah, well, things change. I need some help, I’m told you might be able to help me,” Buffy explained, backing up a step when Rack got too near.


Rack moved his hands, as if touching her aura, all around her head, neck and shoulders – his eyes followed his hands with a look of awe.  When he lowered his hands down to her chest, level with her heart, his eyes closed involuntarily and Buffy thought he was going to have an aneurysm or an orgasm, or both.


Buffy took another step back and Rack slowly opened his eyes and met hers. “It’s been a long time, Avengelyne,” Rack whispered to her seductively.


Buffy’s brows furrowed in confusion, she didn’t know who Avengelyne was, but she shook it off – it didn’t matter what he called her as long as he did what she wanted.  “I need information on vengeance demons and D’Hoffryn; how to defeat them, how to reverse a wish. Can you help me?”


Rack looked at her for a few long moments then shrugged nonchalantly. “I’ve partied with them, but you don’t want to get on their bad side – they’re a nasty lot … vengeful, if you know what I mean.”


“I can take care of myself – I just need to know if you can help me and what it will cost,” Buffy told him, folding her arms across her chest.


Rack shrugged again and went back and sat back down on the sofa and picked his hotdog back up and took a bite.


“Well? Will you help me or not? I don’t have all night!” Buffy demanded, moving closer to where he was sitting.


Rack sat the hotdog down as he chewed and leaned back on the sofa. “I can help you – you know the cost,” he informed her after he swallowed.


“Let’s pretend I don’t know the cost … why don’t you just give me a number,” Buffy suggested. “Do you take credit cards?”


Rack looked at her with confusion a moment. “The cost isn’t money, Avengelyne … it’s power,” Rack reminded her. “Sweet, wicked, ancient power…”


“How much?” Buffy asked, not sure exactly what that meant.


“Just enough … not all,” Rack assured her, leaning forward and taking another bite of his dog.


“Well, that’s good, ‘cos I probably need some to do little things like breathe …” Buffy retorted sarcastically. “You can have ten percent,” she bargained, not really sure how she could stop him from taking more, but figuring it was worth a try to at least act like she knew what she was doing.


“You always were a tough cookie … seventy-five,” Rack countered.


“Twenty …” Buffy negotiated.


“Fifty and I’ll tell you everything you need to know…” Rack shot back.


“You tell me first … then you get paid if your information’s worth anything,” Buffy stipulated.


“Fair enough, Avengelyne … have a seat,” he offered, waving his hand at the couch.


“I’ll stand,” Buffy declined, trying not to scrunch her nose up at the grossness of that couch.


Rack shrugged and took another bite of his hotdog, then said, “Suit yourself,” with his mouth full.


Is he trying to totally gross me out? Buffy thought as she stood and waited for him to finish his dinner.


Rack wiped his mouth and hands on a napkin when he finished eating, then held his right hand out and a paper appeared in it from nowhere.


“D’Hoffryn’s party girls,” Rack explained, handing the paper to Buffy. “I haven’t met them all … but that’s a start.”


“There’s over fifty names here … these are all vengeance demons?” Buffy asked incredulously as she took the paper.


“Yeah … just the ones I know … clients,” Rack clarified.


Buffy looked down the list, pulling the list of names Hallie had given her from her pocket and comparing them. Sure enough, three of the four names that Hallie had given her were on the list. 


“Ok,” Buffy started, looking back up from the paper. “Now, how do I summon them and destroy their power source?”


“Summoning isn’t a problem … I can give you the spell for that, the hard part is keeping them from vamoosing as soon as they realize they’ve been duped,” Rack advised her.  “They can teleport like that!” Rack told her, snapping his fingers. “Poof – gone!”


“Ok … how do I keep them from poofing on me?” Buffy asked.


“Ahhh, now, that’s gonna be more costly, Avengelyne …” Rack cooed softly as he got up and moved towards Buffy.


Buffy backed up a step, then side stepped a coffee table that had seen better days, putting it between them. “I don’t think so – you get fifty percent – that’s it. You give me everything I need, that’s the deal. Take it or leave it,” she bluffed. In truth, if he could help her take out D’Hoffryn and his minions, she’d give just about anything – there wasn’t anything left for her here except revenge, anyway. Without Spike, without her family and friends, what did she really have left?


Rack stopped moving and looked at her a long moment. “Your mouth says ‘no’, but your soul says ‘yes’,” he informed her.


“Yeah? Well, guess what? Mouth trumps soul. I’ll just find someone else, I’m sure there’s more than one slime-ball that would like some of this ancient power…” Buffy continued to bluff, as she turned towards the door and started walking away. In fact, she had no idea where to look for another slime-ball like Rack…


Rack stepped in front of her and blocked her path, laying his palm on her breastbone before she could stop him or move away. Buffy felt a surge of magic flow through her, it seemed to explode within every cell of her body, like a million-trillion little firecrackers all going off at once. Buffy suddenly understood … she understood why she turned to Rack in this life, why she turned to magick, because without Spike, this was all she could find to make her feel alive again.  Even though it wasn’t real, it wasn’t love … it didn’t matter – her body felt wave after wave of magical bliss wash over it as bright flashes of color danced before her eyes. Then, just as quickly as it began, it stopped when Rack pulled his hand away and Buffy nearly collapsed, catching herself with her hands on her thighs as she bent forward and tried to breathe.


“What the fuck was that?” Buffy gasped out, still bent over with her hands braced against her knees.


“Just a little taste for my fallen angel … a little reminder of how my magick can give you wings,” Rack murmured to her as he came back down from the high, himself.


“Yeah, well, you can keep it, Rack – I don’t need you or your fucking magick!” Buffy informed him, suddenly angry at him for invading her like that and angrier at herself for enjoying it.  Buffy straightened up and brushed past Rack; she hurried out the door that she’d come through into the waiting room then out to the street, not slowing down, the list of vengeance demons he’d given her still in her hand.


Buffy heard him call after her, “You’ll be back, Avengelyne … you need me like a vamp needs blood!” and she began to run, not stopping until her legs and lungs began screaming in protest. 


“I don’t need that … I don’t need that … I don’t need that,” Buffy repeated like a mantra when she’d finally stopped running and collapsed down onto a bench, holding her head in her hands and taking deep breaths.


But she did need help, she needed information. Now where was she going to get it?  She thought about trying the Council … they might have someone that could help her, then she remembered - Giles was the Council. There had to be someone else who had information and was still on the side of good … unlike Angel. 


Then an idea came to her – Wesley! Wesley would know everything that she needed to know and he was ex-Council … surely he would be willing to help her if she asked as the Slayer – as Slayer to Watcher, or ex-Slayer to ex-Watcher.  Buffy looked at her watch … 4am … she’d go back to the Hyperion, clean up and change, then go wait outside the W&H building for Wes to come to work.  Fuck you, Rack!




Wednesday, February 22nd, 2005:


Buffy stood across the street from the main entrance of the W&H building at 7:00am and watched all the suits file in like ants to a picnic.  She hoped that she would still recognize Wes … and that he hadn’t fallen so far under the W&H spell that he would still help her. Buffy had turned on the radio while she was showering and changing back at the hotel, but didn’t hear anything about any bodies washing up on Venice Beach … maybe the tide took Hallie’s body out to sea or maybe a shark ate it. If a dead shark washed up on shore, that would answer that question, she thought ruefully.  That would be a good break, and she could use a good break for a change.  Even though Buffy assured Dawn that there was no way the police could tie her to that crime, there was still a nagging doubt and worry in the back of her mind about that; she really didn’t want to have to flee L.A. just yet.


So lost in her thoughts was she, that Buffy nearly missed seeing Wesley as he walked up the sidewalk towards the entrance.  Buffy ran across the street and caught him just in time, just before he entered the building. 


“Wesley!” Buffy called as she grabbed his arm to keep him from going in.


Wes turned and looked at her, confused for a moment before recognizing her, “Buffy! What are you doing here? I thought you were in jolly old England.”


“Yeah – well, I had some business here and … well, that’s what I need to talk to you about. Do you have a minute?” Buffy asked, getting right to the point.


“Certainly … come up to my office – I’m sure Angel would love to see you, as well,” Wes offered.


“Uhhhh – no, actually, could we, ummm … talk over here?” Buffy asked, waving her arm towards a coffee shop across the street. “Your treat.”


Wes smiled and nodded. “Giles still has you Slayers on a shoestring, I see…”


“Yeah … well you know how that is. Council’s always been tighter than Sister Mary Margaret's ass,” Buffy confirmed.


Wesley laughed and nodded. “Indeed … I’m sure I wouldn’t know of such things.”


“Right – you’re a saint, I forgot,” Buffy teased as they made it into the coffee shop. She hoped that was true … that he was a saint … or at least not a ‘company man’.


When they had their coffees and danishes and were sitting at a table in the back, Buffy got down to business. “Wes, here’s the thing. I need information on vengeance demons … specifically, how to summon them, how to hold them, and how to destroy their power sources – and I’m in kind of a hurry.”


Wes sat back in his chair and took a sip of coffee and another bite of his danish, not saying anything for a long while. “You do realize that D’Hoffryn is a client of Wolfram & Hart?”


“Yes …” Buffy answered, her hopes fading.


“And you realize that I’m in the employee of Wolfram & Hart …”


“Yes …” Buffy agreed, her voice getting lower as a knot formed in the pit of her stomach.


“And I could get in a tremendous amount of trouble if I helped you … as could the firm,” Wes pointed out.


“Yes … I understand that. I wouldn’t be asking if it wasn’t really important and I had anyone else to turn to,” Buffy told him, practically begging.


Wes looked at her for a long while, then nodded his agreement and Buffy let out a long breath that she hadn’t been aware she’d been holding.  “I’ll see what I can find and get back to you. How’s tonight? Where are you staying?” Wes asked her.


“At the Hyperion,” Buffy told him. At his surprised look she added, “Angel doesn’t know – I just, it wasn’t being used so I sort of … commandeered it.”


“Yes, the Council hasn’t changed much at all … no allocation for food or lodging,” Wes sympathized. “Fine – I’ll be there around eight, I’ll bring dinner.”


“Great!” Buffy exclaimed, her spirits finally rising with hope that she’d finally get something she could use.


As they were leaving the coffee shop Buffy thanked Wes, then added, “Don’t tell Angel … I don’t think … I don’t think he’d approve.”


Wes nodded. “I’m quite certain that you are correct.”




Buffy went back to the Hyperion to get some rest and wait for Wesley … she felt like she hadn’t slept in days … she actually couldn’t remember the last time she’d slept …


Buffy’s sleep was filled with nightmares of the last time she’d seen Spike … of him apologizing to her, of the fear and sadness in his eyes, of him burning right in front of her and his scream of agony which cut like a razor, slashing her heart and draining her soul. The scene replayed over and over in her dreams as she tossed and turned and tried to will herself to wake up so it would stop – but she could never get fully awake and would fall right back asleep and dream the same thing over and over again.


Buffy was in one of those many moments between sleep and wakefulness when she heard Spike calling out, as if searching for her. “Hello?! Anyone here? Is anybody home?” he called.  Buffy sighed and turned over again, hopeful that this would be the beginning of a better dream … but Spike just kept repeating the same thing, only louder, and then she heard someone ring a bell and she realized finally, that it wasn’t a dream … it was coming from downstairs. Spike was downstairs!


Buffy jumped up from her bed and dashed down the stairs from the room she had near the landing on the second floor. “Spike!” she screamed as she ran, catching a glimpse of him standing at the reception counter as he banged a hand down repeatedly on the old desk-clerk bell that was there and continued to yell, “Hello?!”


Spike turned around at the sound of her voice and Buffy surprised him by being right behind him when he did. She flung herself into his arms and wrapped her arms around his neck. “God, Spike! How did you get away?! How? Please tell me this isn’t a dream!” she begged as she held him tight, afraid that if she let go, he would vanish.


“Well … it’s good to see you again, too … Miss Historical Society. You take your job real personal, don’t you?” Spike asked her, as he tried to extricate himself from her arms.


“Huh?” Buffy asked as it dawned on her that his voice, although deep and rich, wasn’t Spike’s … it had no accent.  Buffy pulled back and looked him in the face.


“Oh God! Oh, I’m so sorry! Henry! I thought you were … I thought you were someone else!” Buffy exclaimed in apology as she released him quickly and backed up. “Oh, I’m so embarrassed … I’m sorry! I didn’t hurt you, did I?”


Henry William Hart laughed. “No … takes more than a little hug to hurt me.  I must admit, that’s the best greeting I’ve gotten in a long time, though,” he smirked at her as Buffy’s face turned ten shades of red and she tried to find something to do with her hands. 


Buffy started nervously picking up papers off the counter, turning them over, straightening them, and putting them in piles. “So … ummm, Henry, what are you doing here? How did you find me?” Buffy asked, never meeting his gaze.


Henry stood back away from the counter and watched as Buffy moved the papers around, putting them in one pile, then separating them, then piling them back again mindlessly. “Wasn’t hard – you took the beach taxi … Joe, the driver? He’s a friend of mine,” Henry informed her, folding his arms over his chest and smiling at how cute she looked while trying to act nonchalant.


“Did I wake you up?” he asked and Buffy looked up at him, then down at her disheveled clothes, then she ran her hand though her hair and realized she had total bed-head.


“Oh, God … I must look horrible! Yeah … I was … I was up late doing some research and … I just laid down for a little nap,” she admitted, trying to smooth her hair out with her hands.


“So, ummm, Henry …” Buffy started.


“Call me Spike, everyone does,” Henry advised her with a smile.


“Oh, uhh, okay, Spike,” Buffy started again. “What brings you here?” Please don’t let it be anything to do with Hallie … Buffy prayed silently.


“Last night, I got to thinkin’ – I knew I’d seen you somewhere before and it finally hit me today where it was,” he told her, pulling out some old photographs from the back pocket of his jeans.  “You look exactly like my grandmother.”


“Your grandmother!” Buffy exclaimed. “I’m not that old! I’m not that much older than you!”


Henry … err, Spike, laughed and laid the pictures on the now uncluttered counter.  “When she was young …” he clarified. “You could be twins.”


Buffy gasped when she looked at the photos … they did look just like her … without any help from Miss Clairol.  Buffy stood in silence as she picked each photo up and studied it – her mind whirling with questions. Just what had Hallie done? How could someone who was supposed to be William and Cecily’s descendant look just like Buffy? Buffy could reason out this young man standing before her looking like Spike … but how could his grandmother look so much like Buffy … in fact, exactly like Buffy? Had Hallie physically stolen Buffy and Spike’s children … or taken Buffy’s DNA and used it to create the children?  What the hell kind of game was she playing!?  Well, it was too late to find out now … dead women tell no tales.


“She was a dancer, a prima-ballerina with The Pacific Northwest Ballet Company … well, until she married my grandfather and had my mother – then she retired from dancing and taught ballet,” Henry offered, pulling Buffy from her thoughts. “I always told her I got my balance and build from her side of the family.  Even when she was older, she had a grace about her … she moved like … well, she moved like you.”


Buffy looked up from the photos and met Henry’s blue eyes and she fought to keep her composure.  Hallie wasn’t shacking up with her own great-whatever grandson … she was shacking up with Buffy’s! She had found a way to not only steal Buffy’s children away, but she had literally taken them … taken Buffy’s own flesh and blood, for her own.  Buffy could feel her heart racing, her chest heaving trying to get air, and tears threatening her eyes as the extent of Hallie’s crimes against her and her family came crashing down on her.


“Are you okay?” Henry asked, concern creasing his features.


“Could you get me some water?” Buffy asked, waving her hand towards the kitchenette.


“Sure…” Henry agreed, moving past Buffy in the direction she’d indicated.


Buffy took deep breaths to calm down … she needed to just calm down now. 


“Here you go,” he offered, coming up behind her with the glass of water she’d requested.


Buffy drank it down eagerly as she tried to calm herself … as she tried to pull the knife out of her heart – again.


“You aren’t really from the Historical Society, are you?” Henry asked when Buffy set the empty glass down on the counter.


Buffy shook her head ‘no’, but couldn’t meet his eyes – the eyes of her great, great … too many greats, grandchild - eyes that reflected Spike’s so perfectly.


“Were you Grandma Ackerman’s … what I mean is … was your mother my mother’s half sister?” Henry asked softly.


Buffy’s mouth opened and closed and she finally looked up and met his eyes. “I … I don’t know – what happened to her?” Buffy hedged.


Henry shrugged.  “Grandma Ackerman got pregnant in high school, it was a big scandal … the guy split, he was older … she had to give the baby girl up for adoption.  No one knows what happened to her after that,” he explained.


“I … ummm, you know … probably not. They say everyone has a doppelganger, right?” Buffy said, trying to act like she hadn’t just been punched in the gut.


“Then why the questions about old family stuff?” Henry pressed.


Buffy smiled and shook her head. “It’s just … a truly long and boring story. But I appreciate you showing me these,” she added quickly, handing the photos back to him. “They’re … amazing.”


Henry shrugged. “Sure … no problem.”  Henry motioned with his hand towards the center of the lobby where the dismantled settee still lay as well as the ring of herbs from the summoning spell.  “Having some trouble with vandals?”


“Huh?” Buffy asked, confused before following his eyes. “Oh … no – it’s … uhh … termites!”


“Termites? Must be some pretty big ones,” Henry mused, as he narrowed his eyes and studied her.


“Yeah … it’s a new variety from Madagascar … Madagascar termites. You know, everything’s bigger in Madagascar,” Buffy explained, her nervousness coming back.


“And the potpourri?” he asked, indicating the ring of herbs on the floor.


“Oh … that’s … they don’t like potpourri! They’re very anti-potpourri there,” Buffy babbled, bending down quickly and picking up D’Hoffryn’s talisman from the center of the ring and stuffing it into her pocket.


“You’re strange …” Henry informed her. “But in a good way … you remind me of my family – they’re all just a little bit off center.”


Buffy laughed nervously. “Well, everyone’s family is that way,” she assured him.


“Where’s your friend?” Henry asked, looking around the lobby. “Also napping?”


“Who? Oh, Dawn! She’s not my friend, she’s my sister,” Buffy clarified. “She had to go back to England … she’s attending Oxford,” she added before kicking herself mentally for offering too much information.


“Really?!” Henry asked, his brows rising in surprise. “I start there in the fall. I’ve got a Rhodes Scholarship … I was just chillaxin’, taking some time off before, you know, getting down to officially being an adult…”


Buffy’s jaw dropped open momentarily, but she snapped it back shut before Henry could tell her about catching flies. “That’s … really amazing. I’m so proud of you,” Buffy told him before catching herself and quickly amending what she said. “I mean, of her … I’m so proud of her … my sister – sisterly pride – pride of sister,” she babbled quickly.


Henry looked at her as if trying to see beyond the surface, making Buffy avert her gaze from his eyes back down to the Madagascar-termite potpourri barrier on the floor. 


“You are very strange …” he told her again.


Buffy shrugged and took a deep breath before asking, “Speaking of friends … how’s your … friend?”


Henry looked at her with confusion for a moment before realizing who she was talking about. “Oh, Hallie? She’s not really a friend so much as an … acquaintance, I guess. In fact, I just met her a few days ago and apparently she’s over it – she went to the store last night and never came back. Don’t you hate it when girls do that … just leave without telling you what it was you did wrong?”


Buffy sighed in relief; she hadn’t killed the love of his life, after all. “Does that happen often?”


“Well, no, not really … not like that. Usually I get the ‘it’s me, not you’ line,” Henry admitted. “I think maybe there’s something wrong with me.”


“I’m sure it’s nothing to do with you, Henry. You seem like a very nice guy … and obviously smart and charming and that tan, hard surfer body is pretty … uhhh … what I mean is – I’m sure it has nothing to do with you,” Buffy assured him.  


Stop macking on your own great-whatever grandchild! Buffy admonished herself silently as she gave him her most reassuring, motherly smile.



Henry shrugged. “That’s just it … they see the blond hair and the tan, California surfer, and they don’t want to look any deeper. Do you believe in soul mates?” he asked her, out of the blue.


“Yeah – yeah, I do.”


“I thought girls wanted to … you know – to find their soul mate, to connect on a deeper level, to find true love, but all the girls I meet just seem to want to connect with my … uhhh … with the surfer, not the Rhodes Scholar - Hallie was the same way,” Henry told her with a sigh. “Not that that isn't ... you know, great as far as it goes, but I thought girls wanted some romance - you know, dancing and flowers and long walks on the beach …”


“You just haven’t found the right one yet, Henry.”


“Spike,” he corrected her.


“Huh? Oh, right … Spike, sorry,” Buffy apologized. “Where did you get that nickname, anyway?” Buffy asked, praying that it wasn’t from poking railroad spikes in people’s eyes …


“It’s actually a very long and embarrassing story,” Henry hedged.


Buffy raised her brows and shrugged. “I’ve got time … I’m all rested from my nap, and since you got to see me with bed-head, I think it’s only fair that you share something embarrassing about yourself – squid pro quo.”


“Quid pro quo,” Henry corrected her.


“Oh, right … quid … a totally different sea creature than squid…” Buffy agreed.


Henry furrowed his brow and shook his head – this girl was so very strange, but in a totally adorable way.


“Okay … well, when I was five, I used to build sandcastles on the beach, then I’d dig miniature trou de loups all around it,” he started, then, at Buffy’s confused look, he explained, “You know, like punji pits or tiger pits? Anyway, I’d line the bottoms with toothpicks … then pretend my GI Joes where attacking the castle and they’d fall into them and get spiked and die horrible deaths,” he related.


At Buffy’s amused look he added, “I was kind of a demon as a child … our neighbors said I would grow up to be an axe murderer – but I grew out of it, mostly,” Henry related with a shrug and a smile.


“Mostly?” Buffy questioned.


“Well, I haven’t actually axed anyone … although, I do enjoy a good horror movie. Anyway … someone gave me the nickname ‘The Spikester’, which got shortened to ‘Spike’ and it just stuck,” he explained with a shrug.


Buffy laughed and wondered if that was what awaited them when Billy was five – would he be finding new and unusual ways to kill his GI Joes? Then a dark cloud crossed over her face – she would never know – Billy would be growing up in Victorian England with William and Cecily, not in California with her and Spike; Billy would never see his eighteenth birthday, he’d be killed in WWI at the age of seventeen, he’d never have a family, never have a wife – he’d never build sandcastles on the beach with his sisters, he’d never know what a GI Joe even was.  Buffy blinked tears back and pushed the heart-wrenching thoughts from her mind as she forced a smile back to her lips.


“I always just dug moats around my castles and dug canals from the water to fill them up,” she offered.


“That’s lame, girly stuff,” Henry informed her with a smirk. “Everyone had moats – I wanted something different, something better – deadlier. Now, if I could’ve gotten miniature alligators or sharks to go in the moat to eat ole Joe, then that would’ve been ok.”


They both laughed easily for a minute, then, when the laughter died, Henry asked, “Are you … would you like to go out maybe … we could have coffee or there's a 'Nightmare on Elm Street' marathon at the Beach Multiplex - twenty-four hours of Freddy Krueger ...”


Buffy looked at this young man in front of her … this younger version of her husband, so handsome, so nice … so very young and so very much a part of her and Spike. At the look on her face he quickly said, “Never mind, sorry, that was really presumptuous of me – you probably have a boyfriend.”


Buffy smiled sadly at him, she wanted to lay a hand on his face, she wanted to touch him so badly, but she didn’t reach out, instead she clasped her hands in front of her and met his eyes with hers. “I … yes, actually, I’m married,” she explained, holding up her left hand with Riley’s wedding band on it.


Henry shrugged. “It’s like they say … all the good ones are taken – or gay,” he laughed lightly.


“You’ll find someone one day, Henry … someone that makes you feel complete. You’ll look at her and your heart will skip a beat and your world will stop spinning, you’ll feel it, like a fire in your soul, then you’ll know she’s the one.  Just keep looking, just like in the movies, you’ll be her prince charming and she’ll be your dream come true.”


“Is that how it was for you?” he asked softly, holding her eyes captive with his.


“Exactly how it was …” Buffy assured him with a smile.


"You're really lucky..." Henry began when the front door of the hotel opened and Wes tried to hold it and get inside with his hands full of bags of Chinese take-out, drinks, and a large wooden box.


“Little help here!” the ex-Watcher called, trying to maneuver through the doors without spilling the food or drinks or dropping the box.


“Oh! Wes!” Buffy exclaimed, moving quickly to him and taking one bag and one drink from his hands.


“That’s my cue to exit stage left …” Henry told her with a smile. “I hope you find whatever it is you’re looking for, Miss … What is your name, anyway?”


“Elizabeth, but my friends call me Buffy,” she told him as Wes brushed past them to set the rest of the food down in the kitchen.


“Well, Elizabeth … good luck with your search,” Henry told her.


“You can call me Buffy,” she told him with a smile.


“And you can call me Spike …”


Buffy laughed and nodded. “Fair enough, Spike … thanks for showing me those photos and good luck with your search,” Buffy told him before he turned and pushed the door open and headed out into the cool night air of L.A. 


Buffy watched him walk away, down the sidewalk and around the corner and he was gone.  Her heart wanted her to run after him … it told her it didn’t matter who his great-whatever grandparents were … that was Spike! And he was leaving! She was losing him again! But her feet didn’t move, because despite what her heart said, her mind knew that wasn’t really Spike and it wouldn’t be fair to him for her use him as a stunt double when he should have his own starring role with someone … with his own soul mate.


“Who was that?” Wes asked, walking up behind her and taking the bag of food from her hand.


“Just someone I used to know… a distant relative,” Buffy sighed as she turned and followed Wes back to the kitchenette.


After they had eaten, Wes picked the wooden box up off the floor and put it up on the cleared table. He opened it and pulled out some old scrolls and unrolled one in front of Buffy. “You do realize I could get in an enormous amount of trouble for this …” he reminded her again.


“I know – I swear, no one will know where I got this … I’ll take it to my grave,” Buffy assured him and Wes nodded gratefully.


“These hold the names of all of D’Hoffryn’s vengeance demons – their proper names, as well as the spell to summon each one and what their power center is,” Wes explained.


Buffy looked at the first scroll, but didn’t see any of the names that Hallie had given her and her brow furrowed in worry. “I’m looking for Bianca, Yumiko, Jaiyana … or Abrianna,” Buffy told him as she pulled her hand written list out of her pocket. “I don’t see any of them on here.”


“These are their proper names … those are probably names they go by in the human world,” Wes clarified. 


“Like Hallie and Halfrek … or Anya and Anyanka?” she asked him.


“Indeed … they should be close – usually. Sometimes, of course, they use completely different names in the human world,” Wes told her.


“Yeah … like Cecily….” Buffy muttered under her breath as she started looking at the first scroll anew, looking for names that were close to the ones she had.


“Here!” she exclaimed at last. “Axriabianca … that must be Bianca! Okay, now what do I do?”


“Ok, this is the summoning spell, just under the name … you’ll need a sacred circle …” Wes started.


“Yeah … I got the potpourri already….” Buffy interrupted him, motioning with her head at the circle of herbs on the lobby floor.


“Very good … then, since you don’t have their talisman, you will need to stand within the circle when you summon them. Here, under the spell is their power center,” Wes pointed to Axriabinanca’s name on the scroll then slid his finger down to the second line under her name, it read “Jade amulet.”


Buffy nodded. “Oh, I thought that was their Christmas wish list,” she quipped dryly. “Ok, so I summon her, and destroy the jade amulet and the last wish she’d granted will be reversed, right?”


“Yes … but you’ll need to be fast to get the amulet – you don’t want to have to fight a vengeance demon – they really are quite difficult to kill and they can teleport. If they see the attack coming, they could just leave … that’s what these are for,” Wes informed her, pulling three baseball sized, light pink crystals out of the box. 


“Put two of these down, just outside the sacred circle, equal distances apart and recite a short incantation. When the demon appears, place the third one down so all three are basically equally spaced … this will form a magical barrier from which they cannot escape … but neither can you.”


“Sooooo … how do I get out once I’ve destroyed her power source?” Buffy questioned, picking one of the crystals up. It seemed to buzz in her hand, like it was alive, and she set it back down.


“There is a reversal spell for you to say that will shut them off …” Wes told her, pulling another piece of paper from the box and handing to her.


“I’m not a witch …” Buffy pointed out, reading the paper silently.


“No … but we all have power within us … as the Slayer, you have more than most, you simply have to channel it and believe…” Wes assured her.


Buffy snorted softly, as if in doubt.


“If you want it badly enough, you can do it,” Wes added.


“Well, it shouldn’t be a problem, then…” Buffy sighed.  “About how many wishes does a vengeance demons grant in say … a month?” Buffy asked Wesley.


Wes shrugged. “It varies by demon … some only grant a few a year, while others grant a few a week – there is no quota really or set amount.”


“Swell…” Buffy moaned.


“Are you certain you want to take on D’Hoffryn, Buffy? He can be quite … vengeful,” Wes pointed out.


Buffy gave Wes a rueful smile. “My new title is Buffy, the Vengeance Demon Slayer. I’m very sure I want to do this. This whole vampire slaying thing's getting a little blasé... I think it's time to branch out - expand my horizons.” If she hadn’t been sure before Henry’s visit, she was more than sure now.  She doubted any of this would get her life and family back, but if she was going to lose her family and her life, then she would take every vengeance demon in the world down with her – right up to the top; she didn't have anything left to lose.




Buffy waited for Wes to leave, just in case anything went wrong, she didn’t want one of the vengeance demons escaping and it getting out that he had been there helping her. Buffy started with the last name Hallie had given her … just because, even at death’s door, she didn’t trust Hallie. In fact, Buffy wasn’t sure if any of the names would be the one that Hallie had made the wish with, but she had to start somewhere.


Buffy re-did the potpourri circle and set the crystals down as Wes had instructed her, then she read the incantation to ‘power up’ the trap. Holding the third crystal in one hand and her scythe in the other, she stepped inside the ring and read the spell to summon Abriannatalfect and waited … and waited … and waited.


“Fuck…” Buffy moaned. “I fucking hate Latin…” she muttered.  Just as Buffy began to read the summoning spell again, there was a flash of light and a small redheaded woman with large, kelly-green eyes was standing in front of her.


“Abrianna?” Buffy asked hesitantly.


“Yes … you called? Your parents are warts and you wish them turned into hogs and slaughtered so you may dine on the bacon …” the demon guessed.


“Ummmm… yes, you got it exactly right,” Buffy replied, then remembered about the crystal in her hand.  Buffy crouched down and placed the crystal on the floor behind her and a light pink force-field appeared all around and over them, like a huge, pink bubble of Bazooka bubblegum.


“What is the meaning of this?” Abrianna asked, indignantly.


“Did you grant a wish for Halfrek in the last month?” Buffy questioned.


“I’m sure that’s none of your business – vengeance demons don’t grant and tell!” the redhead informed her as she tried to teleport away, but bounced against the barrier and fell to the floor.


Buffy took that opportunity to press her scythe against the demon’s neck and pull a large, emerald ring from her finger, which was what the scroll listed as her power source. “Did you grant Hallie a wish?!” Buffy demanded again, but Abrianna morphed into her demon self and shoved Buffy off her and back against the barrier. 


“You don’t frighten me, little girl! I eat girls like you with my bacon at breakfast!” the demon informed Buffy, as she drew her fist back and hit Buffy hard in the jaw, sending the Slayer down onto the floor.


Buffy blinked back the stars that were flashing in front of her eyes and tried to focus, but before she could get back up or defend herself, Abrianna hit her again, sending Buffy sprawling on the floor again.  Buffy shook her head to clear her mind and turned away from the demon, setting the emerald ring on the floor and quickly lifting the scythe up and coming down on it with all her strength.  There was an explosion of light and magic from the ring, which sent Buffy flying back against the other side of the magical jail and down to the floor, taking Abrianna down with her.


Buffy thought she felt the whole world stutter and shake like a small earthquake … as if it shifted on its axis or stopped spinning for a moment, but it was over quickly … and Buffy was still there, still trapped in the pink bubble-gum cage, not back in Sunnydale with her family. 


Abrianna hit Buffy again, but it was barely a love tap – her power was gone – she was human again.


“What have you done!?” the ex-demon demanded of Buffy as she continued punching Buffy in vain.


Buffy grabbed one wrist and twisted it up behind her back … she thought she felt something pop in the woman’s shoulder when she did it and Abrianna screamed out in pain.  “Did you grant Hallie’s wish?” Buffy asked again. “Tell me or I’ll rip it right off…”


“No! No! I haven’t seen Halfrek in years!” Abrianna exclaimed. “Let me go!”


“Are you sure?” Buffy asked, pulling the woman’s arm up behind her further.




Buffy released her and recited the reversal spell to drop the magical cage. As soon as the words were out of her mouth, the pink bubble burst and Buffy pushed the ex-demon ahead of her towards the door of the hotel.


“Have a good life…” Buffy told her as she shoved her out the door and locked it behind her.


Buffy turned around and headed back to the sacred circle, fixing the herbs again so there were no breaks in the circle and re-setting the crystals and she started again, summoning Jaiyana, Yumiko, Bianca in turn.  Each claimed to not have granted Hallie’s wish and destroying their power center didn’t send Buffy hurtling back to Sunnydale, didn’t bring Spike back to life or restore their family. When she questioned them further, none claimed to know who did grant the wish … they all went down fighting, but in the end, they all lost their power centers and their standing as vengeance demons – but that didn’t help Buffy at all. 


After shoving the last of the four vengeance demons Hallie had named out the door and locking it again, Buffy dropped down onto the floor just outside the summoning circle and rested her forehead in her hands.  She should’ve known that Hallie wouldn’t have given her real possibilities … Hallie assumed that Buffy would help her. Of course the Slayer would let her live and go back to the young Spike that she had ‘created’ … why would she give up real names? Why chance losing what she had – she’d probably waited a long time for one of their descendants to look that much like Spike.


Buffy closed her eyes and sighed heavily – there had to be eighty vengeance demons on the list … it would take forever to summon, question and defeat them all and she wondered if it would it even do any good? Apart from meting out her own brand of vengeance, would it get her family back?  Even if the wish was reversed, would it bring Spike back? Could you really get someone back from hell? She was so tired, so very, very tired, and nothing was working like it should. 


“Let’s face it,” Buffy said to the empty lobby, “it’s not really like the movies … well, unless the movie was Soylent Green, or Easy Rider, or Butch and Sundance …”


Buffy bit her bottom lip … Butch and Sundance, just the mention of that movie brought so many memories up for her, memories of happier times, of partnership, friendship, and love and helping each other overcome fears and that night in Mexico and that day in Big Sur …


“God, Spike … I miss you so much,” Buffy sobbed as she collapsed down onto her side and curled up into a ball on the floor and cried. She cried for her husband, for her family and her friends and herself … she felt like she’d been crying for years. She wanted to hold onto the anger, hold onto the hate and the need for vengeance … but right now, she was just so tired and things seemed so hopeless, all she could do was cry. She tried to imagine Spike’s arms around her, holding her, and imagine his voice, deep and loving, singing his soft lullaby to her – soothing her worries, drying her tears, and allaying her fears with his words, his touch, his promise that there would be better days ahead.


But deep down, she held no illusions … all the ‘better days’ were past, what lie ahead was war … brutal, dangerous … merciless and most likely ending with her defeat, but at this point, her actual death seemed but a technicality.




"Not Like the Movies", Katy Perry


He put it on me, I put it on,
Like there was nothing wrong.
It didn't fit,
It wasn't right.
Wasn't just the size.
They say you know,
When you know.
I don't know.

I didn't feel
The fairytale feeling, no.
Am I a stupid girl
For even dreaming that I could.

If it's not like the movies,
That’s how it should be, yeah.
When he's the one,
I'll come undone,
And my world will stop spinning
And that's just the beginning, yeah.

Snow white said when I was young,
"One day my prince will come."
So I wait for that date.
They say it’s hard to meet your match,
Find my better half.
So we make perfect shapes.


If stars don't align,
If it doesn't stop time,
If you can’t see the sign,
Wait for it.
One hundred percent,
With every penny spent.
He'll be the one that,
Finishes your sentences.

If it's not like the movies,
That’s how it should be.
When he's the one,
He'll come undone,
And my world will stop spinning,
And that’s just the beginning.

'Cause I know you're out there,
And your … your love came for me.
It's a crazy idea that, you were made,
Perfectly for me you'll see.

Just like the movies.
That's how it will be.
Cinematic and dramatic with the perfect ending.
It's not like the movies,
But that's how it should be.
When he's the one,
You'll come undone,
And your world will stop spinning,
And it's just the beginning.


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