Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Everything I Own

Chapter Title:


Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground

Chapter Summary:


Buffy keeps working to fit back into her family and life in Sunnydale …


Time line:

January, 2010



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 1890; 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:

Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground, Willie Nelson


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!}}

Special 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, January 17th, 2010:


After spending half the afternoon in the ‘bat cave’ playing games and watching cartoons with all the kids, Buffy and Spike put the twins and JJ down for a nap, and Spike decided to lie down too. He had to work security at Willy’s tonight and he hadn’t rested very well last night, he just needed to get a little kip before heading down to the bar.  Buffy tried to get Annie to go for a bike ride or something, but Annie begged off, saying she had homework she needed to get done before tomorrow.  Buffy thought about lying down with Spike, but was afraid that would lead not to sleep, which she knew he really needed, so she wandered the house, trying to take in all the changes.


There were lots of photos of the last five years … trips that she didn’t remember, birthdays, parties, Christmases, Easters, nights out on the town, t-ball games, dance recitals, photos of her and her friends and family laughing, goofing around, having fun ... posing for the camera; she remembered none of it.  She made a mental note to ask Spike if there were any videos she could watch … at least that would be something.  Buffy finally ended up in her office and she sat down at her desk with a sigh … how was she ever going to figure all this out? Would she ever have any confidence in her ability to parent her children when she couldn’t remember such a huge chunk of their lives? When so many things could easily be taken out of context?





Buffy rubbed at her eyes and shook the self-pity off. “You’re back, you got them back … that’s all that matters,” she admonished herself. If trading five years was the cost, then that’s just what she’d have to pay.  It really was a small price in the grander scheme, considering she didn’t think she’d ever have this life back, have her family and friends back. 


Buffy took a deep breath and began perusing the various folders in the file cabinet in her office. Most were bills and statements, but she found one marked “Faith/Council Reports” and pulled the papers out of it.  It contained quarterly reports from Faith and Wes to the Council about the Weckerly children. They all pretty much said the same thing, “Nothing unusual to report. Children remain unremarkable. No abnormal abilities or skills noted.”


Buffy snorted softly as she flipped through them … one after another said the same thing, ‘nothing unusual to report.’  Faith had kept her word, apparently – she was just telling the Council something to keep them at bay. Never mind that Annie could probably speak five different languages by now … and Dani was gonna be the next Mia Hamm… and Billy could find the 'naughty bits' in a romance novel and embarrass them all at Christmas dinner.


Buffy put the papers back in the file and on a whim turned to her computer and Googled “Henry William Hart.”   Buffy was surprised to see so many results come back. She clicked on a few of them, including one on something called ‘Facebook’, but none of them was the same Henry William Hart that she and Dawn had met. Buffy sighed … there was no telling what had happened to the children after Spike took them to the vicarage … history would’ve changed for them, as well.  She thought about going on the genealogy sites like Dawn had done, but Buffy just wasn’t that good on the computer … maybe she could get Willow or Tara to help her. Maybe she could find out what had happened to Anne, Bess, and William and see if she could find any of their descendants, if for no other reason than to show Spike that he had done the right thing.


Buffy found a book with phone numbers in it and she looked up Willow and Tara’s number and called it.  Tara answered and Buffy fought to keep her voice even and not sound like a lunatic by crying.


“Tara! God, it’s so good to hear your voice!” Buffy started.


“Hey, Buffy … it’s good to hear yours too – it’s been soooo long, like what? Five whole days?” Tara replied with a little laugh.


Buffy rolled her eyes … five days for you, five years for me. “How are you guys doing? How’s Willow? How’s everything going there?” Buffy rattled off.


“Good, good, and good,” Tara answered her questions. “How ‘bout you?”


“Well, I’ve been better, been worse … lots worse,” Buffy hedged. “Listen, I need to talk to you guys … in person. Is there any chance you could come down for a visit … soonish?”


“Buffy! We were just there! We just left like two weeks ago! You know how hard it is for us to just drop everything nowadays,” Tara reminded her. “What’s up? Can we do it over the phone?”


Buffy sighed. “No … I really need to get the whole group together and have a … talk. I … a lot has happened here … to me, and … I think it would be best if I could just tell everyone at once.  I really need an old-fashioned Scooby meeting. I know it’s hard and you were just here … but it’s really important. I wouldn’t ask if it weren’t.”


“Are you ok? What happened?” Tara asked, suddenly concerned.


“I’m ok now, I think … I just … I’d just like to go into it with everyone at one time,” Buffy explained, dreading the thought of having to re-tell her story numerous times.


“Ok … I’ll talk to Willow and see if we can reschedule some stuff and make it this coming weekend. Would that work?” Tara asked.


“Yeah … that would be great. Thanks,” Buffy agreed.


“Ok, count on that unless you hear differently.  I guess we’ll see you Saturday, then,” Tara confirmed.


“Sounds great … Tara?”




“I love you guys … tell Willow – I love you guys so much,” Buffy told her as she fought back a lump in her throat.


“We love you guys too. See you Saturday,” Tara replied sincerely.


“Ok, bye.”



 Spike was awoken from his nap by screaming coming from somewhere in the house. He pulled on his jeans quickly as he opened the door to their bedroom and tried to figure out where it was coming from … right down the hall. At first he thought it was coming from Annie’s room, but then he saw Annie come out of her room to investigate. It was coming from the bathroom across the hall from her room.


“Oh my God!” Buffy exclaimed again … how had she missed this in her wanderings around the house? She hadn’t been in the upstairs bathroom since she got … home.


“What?! What is it?” Spike asked as he made it through the bathroom doorway, pushing Annie back and out of harm’s way.


“Spike! Oh my God!” Buffy exclaimed, turning to face him, her eyes wide with excitement.


“Christ woman! You gave me a bloody heart attack! Thought you found a beastie!” Spike chastised her with an eye roll. “That’s not my bloody towel on the floor. You have your son to thank fer that…” Spike informed her as he brushed past and picked up a damp towel and hung it on a towel bar that said “Billy” above it.


“No … not that! Look at this bathroom! How? When? It’s gorgeous!” Buffy clarified as she turned in a circle and took in the remodeled upstairs bathroom.


“Huh?” Spike asked, confused.


“When? How? Did you do this? Who did this?” Buffy asked with excitement as she looked over the bathroom that no longer had the pukey tiles from the 1950’s that she remembered, but neutral, natural stone tiles with light blue accents. There were only two things in the whole room she recognized: the huge claw-footed tub and the carved wooden bench that Spike had given her up on the hilltop – that seemed like a lifetime ago; she’d actually forgotten about it until now.


A large shower had been added and a long vanity with two sinks; a huge mirror lined nearly the whole wall above the vanity, there was a dressing area with full length mirrors on three sides where the bench sat and new lights … lights you could actually see by to put on makeup or get dressed in, and the commode had actually been put in a small room all its own.


“Oh my God – a water closet!” Buffy exclaimed as she opened the door that revealed the small room that had nothing but the toilet and a small cabinet above it for essentials. 



“When did this happen?” Buffy asked again as she ran her hand over the cool, smooth tiles around the tub.


Spike laughed despite her giving him a proverbial heart attack … she was just excited about it the first time she’d seen it.  If there was any doubt that this woman was, in fact, his wife, her reaction to the ‘new’ bathroom pretty much eliminated it.


“Harris did it for me for your birthday … when you and the Niblett were gone that week to visit your Aunt Arleen. It’s been years … ummm, five years?” Spike guessed.


“Aunt Arleen … I never … I never made that trip,” Buffy told him as she worried her bottom lip with her teeth. It had been five years … the five missing years.


“I love it,” Buffy gushed, turning to him and wrapping her arms around his neck. “I might’ve told you before … but it’s amazing. I totally love it. It must’ve cost a fortune …”


“Naaaa… Harris works cheap and he got the tiles at a second-hand building supply place … it’s one of those, ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ things,” Spike assured her, not adding the small detail of the ‘bunny blackmail’ Spike had elicited from Xander that Christmas.


“The tiles are gay?” Buffy asked, confused.


“No, they’re not bloody gay … they might’ve been liberated from a construction site … resold cheap. The second-hand supply place don’t ask questions ‘bout where stuff comes from,” Spike clarified.


“Oh … you re-did our bathroom with stolen tiles,” Buffy summed up.


“Not stolen … liberated.”


“Oh, they were being held captive by Columbian paramilitary rebels and you rescued them, gave them a new home … impressive. Who knew building materials were such a big target for kidnapping and you were such a Good Samaritan,” Buffy teased before dropping a kiss on his lips.  Spike wrapped his arms around her and pulled her body against his as he deepened the kiss.


“Not sure you actually thanked me proper back then…” Spike hinted before capturing her lips again.


“Mmmm… well, I’ll have to fix that,” Buffy murmured against his mouth, pressing her body fully against his.


“What’s going on?” Buffy and Spike heard a small voice ask from behind them.


“Nothing, just Mom and Dad smooching again…” Annie answered with a sigh before she turned and went back into her room.


“Oh brother …” Billy moaned, rolling his eyes as he walked past them like they weren’t even there and went into the small WC, but didn’t pull the door fully closed.  Buffy and Spike laughed against each other’s lips as they heard him raise the lid on the commode and the sound of water flowing into water emanate from the small room.


“Is it just me, or does that put a damper on the mood?” Buffy asked with a smile and Spike rolled his eyes.


“That’s why there’s a bloody lock on the door …”


“Well, we’ll have to remember to lock it next time,” Buffy offered as Billy flushed the toilet and emerged from the WC.


“Seat?” Buffy asked and Billy sighed, his shoulders slumping, and turned around and plodded back in and put the seat down then came out and started past them towards the door of the bathroom.


“Hands …” Buffy reminded him and Billy sighed again and rolled his eyes before going back to the sink and washing his hands.


When he had finished, Buffy and Spike followed him out of the bathroom and watched him go back into the room he shared with Dani and begin rummaging around through the toy box, making enough noise to wake his sister up from her nap.


“He’s turned into a real boy, hasn’t he?” Buffy asked as they watched their son ‘accidentally’ drop a Koosh-ball on his sleeping sister’s head.


Spike laughed and nodded as Dani woke up and threw the ball back at him. “’Snips an’ snails and puppy dogs tails’… I think they both got a bit o’ the puppy dog tails.”





After dinner, Spike headed out to Willy’s, telling Buffy he’d most likely be home around two … unless it was really slow, in which case he’d be earlier, or really busy, in which case he’d be later.


“When should I start to worry?” Buffy asked as she walked out into the garden with him.


“Don’t worry, pet … got the Gem, remember? Plus, Faith’ll be there most a’ the night, I expect,” Spike assured her. “I’ll let ya’ know if I’m gonna be very late, yeah?”


“Oh … Faith again,” Buffy muttered under her breath as she looked everywhere except at Spike.


Spike stopped walking and narrowed his eyes at her, lifting her chin up with a finger so she had to look at him. “Faith works there too, Buffy. Council don’ pay her squat … she’s gotta make some spending money. She patrols ‘n then stops in ‘round ten or eleven, works ‘til two, during the roughest part o’ the night.”


Buffy nodded. “Sure, I understand …”


“No, you don’t. You’re standing there right now thinkin’ that I’d rather be around Pincushion Girl than I would you, and you’d be bloody well wrong.  You’re the only one I want, Buffy … the only one I love. Never doubt that, pet,” Spike told her sincerely as he held her eyes captive with his.


“What about Avengelyne?” Buffy asked softly. “What if she was … what if she wasn’t me?”


Spike shook his head slowly from side to side. “But she was you. You’re the one, Buffy … you’ve always been the one.”


“Maybe you’d rather have that wild angel ….”


“Please stop,” Spike interrupted her. “You. You’re the wildest bloody angel I’ve ever known … if you got any wilder, I’d spontaneously combust just lookin’ at ya. I stopped searching for Avengelyne a long time ago … I stopped dreaming ‘bout her the moment I laid eyes on you.


“Buffy … Avengelyne showed me what love could be, but it was you that made me feel like I was worthy of it.  She gave me a moment of epiphany, but you … you give me so much more. I died so many years ago, but every moment of every day you show me what it is to live. The angel uncovered my heart, but you filled it to overflowing with love. You’re the one, the only one I want.”


“I love you so much, Spike … I just … I’ve missed so much and I don’t know how to be – I don’t know what to be. I’ve changed, those years changed me … I don’t know if I’m still the woman you want,” Buffy admitted.  “I’m not the same woman you went to bed with two nights ago…I don’t know how to be that woman.”


Spike sighed and tilted his head to the side as he studied her.  It was true enough, she wasn’t the same woman, there was a hardness to her eyes that hadn’t been there before, but at her core, she was still Buffy. She’d always been a warrior, but now she was a hardened veteran who had been in more than her share of tough battles, who’d seen more than her share of pain and loneliness.


“Then stop trying to be her – just be you. You’re pushing yourself too hard, luv … I can’t stand to see you this distressed. In my eyes you’ll always be my angel, my heaven,” Spike told her, laying a hand gently on her face. “I’m sorry I let you down … I’m sorry you had to walk alone; I’d take that off you if I could. It doesn’t change how much I love you – if anything, what you’ve endured, and the strength you’ve shown, that just makes me love you more.  You’re an angel that’s been flyin’ too close to the ground … lucky for me that you chose here to land, with me.  I love you. You don’t have to be anything other than what you are – my angel … the other half of me.”


“I don’t want to let you down…” Buffy whispered.


“You could never let me down, pet,” Spike assured her. “You gave me my life back, yeah? I was gone - you gave me our family back. How could you possibly let me down?”


“I don’t know … I …” Buffy started.


“You’re over thinkin’ it, luv.  I love you. You love me. It’s simple … don’t think, Buffy … just be. Just be you, what you are at your core – that’s all I ever want. An angel once encouraged me to do that, and she was right…” Spike reminded her.


Buffy smiled sadly up at him. “A vampire once encouraged me to do that…”


“And he was right…” Spike filled in, a loving smile on his lips. “Now … I suggest you go back inside and make sure all the bits are still alive and no one’s been locked in a closet, an’ then you can think up a proper christening for yer new bathroom, yeah?”


Buffy smiled wider. “It’s five years old…” she reminded him. “I’m sure it’s been christened before.”


“Never can ‘ave too many christenings …” he assured her, wagging eyebrows up and down suggestively.


“You might be too tired …” Buffy suggested with a sly smile, dragging a finger slowly down his chest.


“Never happen …”


Buffy laughed and gave him a kiss. “Be careful … Gem or not.”


“‘Careful’s m’ middle name…” Spike told her as he turned to go.


“Uh-uh … it’s Wesley,” Buffy giggled as she turned back towards the house.


“Bloody hell…” Spike muttered as he headed up the stairs to the street. How’d she find that out?




Anya showed up about 8:30 that evening to pick up JJ … apparently that was the ‘normal’ time.  Buffy noticed that she looked exhausted, working two jobs and trying to care for a child and a husband were taking their toll on her.  Buffy wished she could do more to help her friends, in her old life, she could’ve … but not now, not without William’s money in the coffer.


“You know … if you and Xander need some alone time, JJ can spend the night or something sometime – I could even take him to school,” Buffy offered, it was the only thing she could think of that Anya might appreciate.


“Oh, that would be great!!” Anya began, looking more like the enthusiastic woman Buffy remembered. “A few extra hours of sleep would be like heaven.”


Sleep? Buffy questioned silently. She must be more exhausted than I thought…


“I was thinking about … well,  I haven’t talked to Spike yet, but maybe, I thought we could take the kids up to the mountains so they could see snow maybe later this month. If you don’t mind JJ missing school, he’s welcome to come,” Buffy offered.


“Really?! For how long … like a week … or two?” Anya asked, looking even more enthusiastic.


Buffy shrugged. “Maybe a few days…”


“Oh, that would be…Yes!” Anya exclaimed, grabbing Buffy into a tight hug.


Buffy finally extricated herself from Anya’s embrace. “Are you and Xand … are you ok? I mean … as a couple?”


Anya sighed and rolled her eyes, before looking around the room to make sure there were no children listening – she’d learned her lesson with the ‘birthday orgasms’ incident.  Anya leaned in and kept her voice low, “He’s so tired and worried all the time … and so am I … I  never thought I’d say this, but if it weren’t for sleeping a few hours every night, I don’t think our bed would even be necessary, and if it weren’t for fighting about money, we probably wouldn’t talk at all.”


“Oh…” Buffy frowned. “I’m sorry. He’s not … he’s not drinking or anything is he?”


Anya rolled her eyes and nodded. “Like a fish! We can’t afford to set the heat above sixty degrees, but he can afford his whiskey and his beer! Sometimes I wonder if we should’ve ever gotten married,” she admitted. “I mean … it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be and … well, forever is a lot longer than I thought. I thought I’d blink and it’d be over … but it just goes on and on and on.”


Buffy pulled her top lip into her mouth and held it between her teeth to keep from telling Anya that she was wrong … you could blink tomorrow and it could all be over, her family could be gone, she could be dead … anything could happen. 


“What about Willow … maybe she and Tara could lend you some money,” Buffy suggested.


“Oh, she and Tara definitely could! Both of them are making money hand over fist! They’ve got that big house in the country, matching Mini-Cooper convertibles in the driveway … plus the pool, sauna, and room for a pony! Then there's the home theatre, that original Dali painting, and every electronic gadget known to man!” Anya enthused. “I sure wish Spike would’ve told me about that ‘silver shilling in the shoe’ thing when I married Xander!”


“Yeah … well, don’t feel bad, he didn’t tell me about it, either,” Buffy offered sympathetically.


“Actually, Willow did give us a loan before she bought that ridiculously overpriced and absurd painting … but Xander made me give it back,” Anya admitted to Buffy with a roll of her eyes.


“Why would he do that?”


“He said we weren’t ‘sponging off our friends’ … that we would stand on our own two feet. It apparently has something to do with testosterone, ‘cos he said something about being a man. I guess that extends to standing on the street corner when we lose the house …” Anya groused.


“Lose the house?! You might lose mom’s house?” Buffy questioned, clearly alarmed. Apparently, without William’s funds, Buffy and Spike weren’t able to give them the house free and clear, there was a mortgage still on it.


“We’re barely making the mortgage now … if anything happens to our jobs or we have any kind of emergency, if one of the cars breaks down or the roof starts leaking, we would never be able to cover everything,” she explained. “God forbid one of us gets sick and can’t work or …” Anya let her voice trail off and shrugged.


“We can’t even sell it for what the mortgage is on it; the prices have gone down so much since the real estate crash …” Anya continued to explain.


Buffy frowned. She didn’t know about a real estate crash … she hadn’t been paying much attention to anything over the last five years but her mission. She really didn’t know what to do to help her friends, so Buffy just nodded and gave Anya a sympathetic look and repeated her offer of watching JJ for them.


“Well, JJ’s a good kid … he’s welcome anytime,” Buffy assured her.


“He’s really the only good thing we’ve done,” Anya admitted, stopping abruptly when JJ, Dani, and Billy came running down the stairs. “Thanks, Buffy … Xander says I don’t tell you enough – I really appreciate you watching him for us.”


“Sure... That’s what friends are for.”




When Anya and JJ left, Buffy got Dani and Billy their baths and got them dressed in their PJ’s. Now she sat on the edge of Billy’s bed, tucking them in.


“So … what story do you guys want tonight?” Buffy asked as she perused the familiar books in the bookcase … books that had been handed down from their older sister.


“Cinderella!” Billy requested.


“No, that’s too mushy! Hansel and Gretel!” Dani enthused.


“No! Aunt Willow says that’s an unfair rep… unfair re-pre-…” Billy argued, trying to remember the word Willow had used, but finally giving up. “It’s not real. Witches aren’t mean!”


Buffy smiled as they sat up and continued to argue their points, finally holding her hands forming a “T” like a football coach asking for a ‘timeout’.


When they had quieted, she suggested, “How about the first time I met your Papa … has he told you that one?”


Both of their eyes went wide and they nodded enthusiastically.


“You dusted the bad vampire!” Dani offered.


“Papa fell in love with you from the moment he saw you!” Billy added.


“Yep … a little something for violence lovers and romantics alike …” Buffy laughed. “Ok, lay back down now and let’s get you tucked in …” Buffy suggested and the twins both lay back down and Buffy got them both tucked back under the covers.


“Well, it was September as I recall … but it was a warm night.  Uncle Xander and Aunt Willow and I were at the Bronze. I was supposed to be studying … but I was dancing instead," Buffy began.


"What were you 'posed to be studyin'?" Billy wondered.


"Hmmm ... let's see now ..." Buffy bit her lip as she thought a moment. "OH! French! It was French!" she finally recalled.


"You speak French?" Billy questioned, his eyes wide. This was new information!


"Uhhhh ... well ... you see, studying at the Bronze never really worked very well 'cos the dancing kinda got in the way of the actual reading of the books ..." Buffy explained. "I don't recommend it. You should learn from your mother's mistakes - don't try to study and dance at the same time... those two things are un-mixy."


"Annie can speak French goood!" Dani offered.


"Yeah ... my point exactly, see!? She doesn't try to study and dance at the same time! Anyway ... as I was not studying, this really handsome stranger came in …”


“Papa!” Billy filled in, interrupting her.


“Yep …” Buffy agreed. “He said that there was a big guy out back trying to bite somebody. So, I ran out back and, sure enough, there was a bad vampire out there attacking someone.”


“So you kicked his ‘bloody bum’!” Dani added, enthusiastically, using the phrase that she’d heard Spike use more than once during this story.


“Well… first, he kicked mine a little bit, knocked me down, then Uncle Xander came out and he tossed me a stake and then I kicked the bad vampire’s … uhhh … bum!” Buffy agreed.


“Then you saw Papa again!” Billy prompted.


“I did … he was applauding,” Buffy continued. “He said …”


“Nice work, luv,” Billy filled in, trying to deepen his voice as he mimicked his father’s accent.


“Hey! You’re good at that!” Buffy smiled at him.


“And I wondered who this handsome guy was … I’d never seen him before, so I asked him what his name was,” Buffy continued, then stopped, unsure how Spike normally ended this story.


“And what did Papa say?” she asked Billy.


“You’ll find out on Saturday,” Billy filled in with a decent Cockney accent and Buffy gave him another smile.


“But he showed up on Thursday, ‘cos Papa couldn’t wait,” Dani filled in. “And grandma Summers hit him over the head with an axe!”


Buffy’s jaw dropped and her eyes went wide … how exactly had this story been related to them? “Yep … why did she do that?”


“’Cos she thought he was a bad vampire, but he was really a good vampire, and he just wanted to see you again and have some of your lemonade!” Billy supplied.


“That’s right…” Buffy agreed.


“You know, your grandma Summers would love you guys so much, she’d be so proud of both of you, just like I am.  I’m sorry you never got to meet her,” Buffy told them softly as tears stung her eyes.


“We know, Mama,” Billy assured her, sitting up and giving Buffy a hug. “We love you too.”


Buffy returned his hug as she closed her eyes and tried to get her composure back. Maybe she should’ve gone with Hansel and Gretel…


Buffy swallowed back her tears and dropped a kiss in Billy’s soft, blond curls and he lay back down.  “Ok, you guys … time for sleep,” Buffy told them as she tucked his covers back around him and then moved over to Dani’s bed and dropped a kiss on her forehead. 


“Next time, I’ll do one with more fighting, ok?” Buffy asked her daughter and Dani nodded enthusiastically.


“I love you, Danielle Dawn,” Buffy whispered to her.


“I love you too, Mama.”




Buffy left their room and pulled the door closed behind her, leaning back against it heavily as she closed her eyes.  She couldn’t get over how much they’d grown … how they were their own people now, with their own personalities, their own likes and dislikes, their own opinions and their own views of the world.


How was she ever going to fit back in? How would she be able to be their mother when she’d missed so many milestones of their lives? When every conversation was filled with confusion for Buffy, making her unsure of what to say or how she should react? So many emotions flooded through her exultation at having them back, trepidation that she might do something to put them in danger again … something as simple as feeding her youngest daughter chocolate, guilt over nearly giving up … okay, guilt over actually giving up on ever getting back here, joy over having a second chance with them … with all of them.


Buffy wiped at her eyes and took a deep breath as she pushed her back off their door and headed towards Annie’s room to say goodnight to her eldest daughter.  Buffy had faced harder battles and won … surely she could find a way to fit back into her family … to be the mother, lover, and friend that they needed. It would just take time and help from all her friends – just like it had been before, just like it had been right from the beginning. 


Buffy nodded, trying to assure herself, she was no longer standing alone … she had a group of friends and family that loved her and they’d help her through, just like they’d always done. That had always been the thing that set her apart from other Slayers – her friends and family. They’d patch her broken wings and help her until she could fly on her own again.


All the emotions she was feeling suddenly meshed into one … hope. Hope for the future, hope for her family and friends and their happiness and well being. Knowing her friends and family were here, that they’d always be by her side, lit the flame of hope in her soul again and, like a small beacon on a faraway shore, she prayed it would be enough keep her from crashing against the rocks.





Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground

Willie Nelson



If you had not have fallen
Then I would not have found you
Angel flying too close to the ground

And I patched up your broken wing
And hung around a while
Tried to keep your spirits up
And your fever down

I knew someday that you would fly away
For love's the greatest healer to be found

So leave me if you need to
I will still remember
Angel flying too close to the ground

Fly on, fly on past the speed of sound
I'd rather see you up
Than see you down

Leave me if you need to
I will still remember
Angel flying too close to the ground



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