Story Title: Spirit Indestructible


Season 5. Begins with ‘Spiral’ in the abandoned gas station, and goes far off-canon almost immediately.

When Dawn makes the ultimate sacrifice to save her sister, friends, and the world, Buffy’s mind snaps. When Buffy's friends give up hope of her ever recovering, and become afraid that she’ll turn violent and uncontrollable, they call in the Council to help. Fearing what the Council will do, Spike, forgotten and ignored by her friends, steps in. Will he be able to reach the Slayer when no one else could? Will he be able to keep her out of the hands of the Council and away from her ‘helpful’ friends? How much heartbreak, guilt, and failure can one girl stand before her indestructible spirit finally resigns the fight and gives up hope?




13. Bird With a Broken Wing


Music Referenced:

Don Francisco: Bird With A Broken Wing

Nelly Furtado - Spirit Indestructible


Some Screencaps courtesy of Broken Innocence (others from ScreenCap Paradise which is, sadly, no more). and also from



Thanks to YOU for reading and to Paganbaby for taking time out of her hectic life to beta this for me! Her suggestions and commentary that always makes me smile! All mistakes are mine because I can't stop fiddling right up to the last moment.

Rating / Warnings:

Warning for this chapter: Angst, violence, and aftermath of rape.

NC17. Spike/Other. Main Character Death. Implied Rape. Plenty of angst.

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.

Spike tried to push away from the Watcher, Lydia, but she was stronger than she looked. Or maybe whatever they’d laced his drink with had weakened him more than he dared admit. He couldn’t even fight her enough to make the chip fire – that could not be good. She was talking about something Spike couldn’t follow as she braced herself against the wall. She kept him upright only by leaning most of his weight against her and wrapping her arms around his middle. His head swam. He tried to lift it up off her shoulder, but simply could not manage it. He couldn’t remember ever feeling this drunk in his life, and that was also saying something.


Some small part of his brain that was functioning knew it was a trap to get Buffy out of their top floor suite and down here near the exit so they could make a quick getaway, but he was helpless to stop it.


Spike felt the Slayer before he heard or saw her. He could smell the adrenaline and anger boiling off her as she got nearer, and he tried to ready the words on his lips to warn her. When she grabbed his shoulder and spun him around his brain faltered and all he could say was her name. “Buffy…” 


There were a thousand things that he wanted to say after that. I’m sorry. I failed you. I love you. Please forgive me. Run! Trap! Finally the word ‘trap’ made it from his brain to his lips, but it was too late, he knew.


Spike’s knees buckled with his full weight on them. He fell to the floor and lost consciousness in the next instant. He wasn’t sure how long he was out – it may have been a second or an hour – when he felt himself being hauled up by one arm and dragged across the floor. He tried to get his feet underneath him and walk, but his legs weren’t responding to his brain’s commands. Buffy had him – he could smell her, he could feel her strength tugging on him desperately. Then she was screaming for help. It was too loud in his ear and he flinched, and then they both fell to the floor in a limp heap, arms and legs entangled.


Suddenly there was a flurry of motion and sound, people were screaming and he felt himself being pulled away from Buffy. He forced his eyes open and caught a flash of a tranquilizer dart sticking out of her back, just at the base of her neck. He reached out to pull it out of her, but his hand met nothing but air – she was suddenly too far away.


“Buffy…” he screamed … or he tried to scream. He realized that it came out as barely a whisper when no one reacted at all to his furious outburst. He fell onto his back …. No – didn’t fall, someone shoved him onto his back. He blinked up, trying to focus his swimming vision, and saw a woman standing over him with a stake.


This was it. He always thought he’d go down fighting. This death would be more pathetic than his first death – just laying here doing nothing while a fucking Watcher put a stake in him. A Watcher, for Christ’s sake! He always thought it would be Buffy who would ultimately dust him. It should at least be a Slayer. This was just wrong. William the Bloody should go down fighting, not lying on his back like a git.


He tried to roll away, tried to lift his hands and stop her, but everything was moving in slow motion. Well, everything he did was in slow motion; either that or everyone else had taken their ‘Flash’ superhero pills today and no one had offered him one. Either way, he realized all too clearly that he was not going to stop this bitch from dusting him.


Suddenly there was another barrage of motion and sound, all much too loud in the enclosed casino. In the next instant, blood and other unidentifiable gore splattered over his face, neck, and chest. He instinctively closed his eyes when the red liquid flew at him. When he finally got them open again, someone was dragging him away and talking to him. Why was everyone talking to him? And what fucking language where they speaking, anyway? Didn’t they know how to speak the Queen’s proper English? Bloody gibberish is what it is … bloody … gibberish, he thought as the world once again faded to into inky darkness and perfect silence.




“Spike!” the Bot yelled, her voice full of worry and concern, as she strode quickly to where he lay on the floor of the casino.


He was surrounded by paramedics and police. One of the policemen stepped in front of the Bot as she tried to reach the vampire. “Sorry, miss – need to give them some room to work.”


The Bot stopped, watching the paramedics try to shock Spike’s heart back to life. “You’re hurting Spike!” the Bot complained when Spike’s body bucked and writhed wildly under the applied voltage.


Another officer joined the first, trying to hold the Bot back, then a third came to help as the paramedics continued turning up the voltage on the defibrillators and shocking Spike’s body.


“Stop! Stop hurting Spike!” she screamed as she elbowed one policeman in the ribs that was behind her and punched one in the mouth that was in front of her, sending them both sprawling onto the floor. The third officer brought out a stun gun, but the Bot’s hand moved faster than he’d anticipated and she turned the weapon back on him.


“Are your microprocessors damaged? That is painful to humans!” she pointed out as he fell to the floor as well. The Bot flung herself down atop Spike just as the paramedics sat back from his lifeless body.


When more police officers and security guards came to get her off, one of the medics waved them away, shaking his head and frowning. “He’s gone…”


“No! He’s right here!” the Bot corrected, pulling Spike away from the menace and into a protective embrace as she knelt on the floor.


“Miss, I’m sorry … but he’s … gone … he’s dead,” the other paramedic told her as gently as he could.


“I understand that he is dead, but he is not gone,” the Bot protested, keeping herself between the medics and their torture devices, and Spike’s limp form. “Do you have some malfunction with your optics?”


“Ummm … no. I can see that he’s dead,” the man replied, brows furrowed in confusion.


“Then I do not understand your contention that he is gone. Clearly, he is not gone. Buffy is gone. The men in the truck took her. I saw it from the balcony. I must ask Spike what to do,” the Bot informed them, as she started to rise, picking Spike up with her.


“Miss … I’m sorry, but you can’t … take him away,” the first paramedic told her, reaching a tentative hand out towards the obviously grief-stricken woman.


“Why not?”


“Well … because he’s dead. And dead people have … certain needs.”


“Yes, I am aware of that. I can fulfill all of Spike’s needs,” the Bot asserted.


“Right, but what I mean is … errr…” the paramedic looked for help from one of the policemen nearby.


“It’s the law, miss,” the policeman offered. “The deceased must be taken to the morgue so we can make a case against the perpetrators of his murder. You do want us to catch the people that killed him, don’t you? You can claim his body from there.”


The Bot frowned in thought a moment. “But, I need him to tell me how to find Buffy.”


“Who’s Buffy?” the policeman asked.


“Buffy is … Buffy. The men in the truck took her,” the Bot offered, looking toward the emergency exit door.


“You knew the girl that was taken?” the policeman asked.


“Yes. She is my friend.”


“The best way to find her is to let our doctors have a look at your boyfriend. There could be clues that can help us catch who took her and who … hurt him,” the officer explained gently.


The Bot frowned again and looked down at Spike. She shook him to try and wake him, but he remained unmoving and silent. “Spike? What should I do?” she asked, leaning her face near his.


No reply came from the vampire, he didn’t stir at all.


The Bot looked back at the policeman, her face a study in confusion. “You can find out what to do even though he won’t respond to verbal prompts?”


The policeman nodded and came closer. “Yes. Our forensic scientists are some of the best. If there’s anything to be found, they’ll find it.”


The Bot nodded reluctantly, and the policeman waved a hand for the Medical Examiner to bring a gurney over. Before long, Spike had been zipped up into a body-bag and loaded into the back of the ME’s van.


“Can I … accompany him?” the Bot wondered as they loaded him into the van. “I went with Buffy to the hospital.”


“Ummm … not really,” the same policeman told her. “Just have your funeral home contact the ME’s office tomorrow.”


“I do not own a funeral home,” the Bot informed him. “I am not certain Spike has accumulated enough plastic discs to purchase one. Do you know what they cost or where to shop for one?”


The policeman furrowed his brow. “Uh, no, not off hand. Here, just call this number and they’ll help you,” the officer offered, giving her a card with the phone number and address of the Medical Examiner’s office.


“This is where you are taking Spike?” the Bot asked, looking at the card.


“Yeah. That’s where they’ll look for the clues. Our detectives would also like to ask you some questions about the girl that was kidnapped. Do you feel up to that now?”


“My battery is running low. I believe I should return to our room and recharge very soon or I will risk automatic shutdown,” the Bot replied.


The officer nodded, but his brow remained furrowed. Nut jobs. How did he always get the nut jobs? “Uhhh … Ok. Just let me get your information and I’ll have them contact you later.


“Your name?”


“Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My friends call me BuffyBot.”


The officer’s brows went up. “Ummm … your first name is … Betty…”


“Buffy,” the Bot corrected, enunciating slowly.


“Right, Buffy,” the officer repeated. “And your last name is…?”


The Bot thought about this a moment. “Vampire Slayer,” she concluded, nodding decisively.


“Right” the policeman drawled, sarcastic disbelief in his voice. “Is that hyphenated or …?”


“Two separate words, both capitalized.”


He wrote it down. “Date of birth?”


The Bot looked at him blankly for a moment, then said, “Date of birth is the moment of emergence of offspring from the body of its mother; the start of life as a physically separate being.”


“Right. And … Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s birthday is?”


The Bot stared at him intently she thought, trying to determine the response he wanted. “Buffy’s birthday is January 19th,” she said finally.


The cop wrote that down. “What year?”


The Bot frowned again, thinking. “Every year.”


The cop sighed heavily and rubbed at the bridge of his nose. “Do you have any ID?”


“ID?” the Bot questioned.


“Identification,” the policeman clarified. “A driver’s license maybe?”


“Oh. No. Spike will not allow me to drive. I think I would be an excellent driver – much better than the Other Slayer – but he won’t allow anyone to drive his DeSoto. He said that perhaps one day we could nick the Watcher’s car and I could drive that piece of shite into a pole, but not his precious DeSoto.”


“Uh-huh,” the policeman grunted, shaking his head and rolling his eyes. “You’re staying here at the MGM?”


“Yes. We are in the complimentary suite on the very top floor because Spike is bloody brilliant at blackjack – but he doesn’t cheat because that would be a card shark, and he’s a card sharp. He’s extremely skilled. The key is knowing when to stop playing. It’s just like any other dance.”


The policeman blew out a long breath. “How do I always get the freaks?” he muttered under his breath as he scribbled something on his pad. “Okay, I’ll have one of the detectives contact you later. Sorry for your loss,” he said louder, then turned, still shaking his head, and walked away.




After the policeman left and they'd taken Spike away, the Bot returned to their room and plugged herself into the charging station. Her batteries had gotten to critically low levels and she had been programmed to recharge at that level, regardless of what was happening.


When she awoke some time later, fully charged again, she set out to find Spike. Since she didn’t have a funeral home, or the money to purchase one, she decided that she would go to where they took Spike and ask him what she should do next. Maybe he had recharged by now too.


She had watched Spike enough to know how to trade in the pretty plastic discs for actual money, and there were several on the table beside the bed. She took them and cashed them in in the casino. Out front, she explained where she needed to go to the doorman and he helped her into a cab. She gave the driver the address for the Medical Examiner from the card the policeman had given her, and they were off.


It turned out that the morgue was in the basement of the county hospital. By the time she’d gotten there that evening, the morgue was closed, but there was a security guard on duty near the elevators that she took down from the hospital itself.


“Can I help you?” he asked, looking up from his graphic novel when the elevator doors opened and the Bot stepped out.


She smiled her most friendly smile. “Yes, thank you, you can. I am here to see Spike.”


“Ummm … there’s no one here but me, miss. Maybe you have the wrong office. This is the morgue.”


“This is the correct location. I have a card. I just need to see to him,” she explained, handing the guard the business card with the ME’s information on it. “They took him from the hotel today and said that he would be here. They said they could find out who took Buffy, even if he did not wake up.”


“Wait a minute …” the guard drawled, his brows furrowed in thought. “You’re talking about that guy they brought in from that big shoot-out/kidnapping on the strip today.”


“Yes. Spike. I just need to speak with him, please. It is quite important – a matter of life and death really.”


“That’s really not allowed, miss,” the guard replied, his voice softening.


The Bot frowned. “But … I need to see him. I don’t know what to do without him. You asked me if you could help me and I said yes, so I would like you to help me now. It’s very important that I talk with him.”


The guard sighed and pulled out some paperwork from a drawer, flipping pages on a clipboard. “They’ve been backed up around here this week … let me see …”


After a few moments he found what he was looking for. “Ok … it doesn’t look like they got to him yet, so I guess it’ll be alright. But no touching – you can just … talk.”


The Bot’s smile returned. “That will be acceptable. Thank you.”


“Just call me a sucker for a pretty girl,” the guard sighed as he rose from his seat.


“Thank you, Sucker For A Pretty Girl. I am Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” the Bot offered as she fell into step next to him.


The guard looked at her with confusion a moment, then gave a snort of laughter. “You into Dungeons and Dragons? My little brother plays that stuff.”


“No, I can confidently say that I have never been inside a dungeon or a dragon.”


The guard chuckled again. “Don’t worry, your secret D&D identity is safe with me.”


The guard opened a door and walked into a large, sterile room. He checked the clipboard again, then headed for the wall of refrigerated compartments as the Bot followed him. He opened one of the doors and then slid a long tray out upon which was a large, black, plastic body bag with a body obviously inside.


“Are you sure you want to do this, Buffy the Vampire Slayer?” Sucker asked, looking at her with concern.


The Bot nodded. “Yes. Buffy’s life is at stake. I do not know what to do. I must talk to him. Spike will know what I should do.”


The guard gave her a curious look. Talking about one’s self in the third person was a little creepy, but then, he worked the night shift at the morgue. Everything was creepy. “Okay, I’ll give you some privacy, but no touching the body, understand?”


The Bot nodded emphatically and folded her hands behind her back.


Sucker slid the zipper down enough to expose Spike’s face, then left the room, closing the door behind him.


“Spike!” the Bot exclaimed excitedly, moving closer to him. “I need a new directive. Some humans with weapons placed the Other Slayer in the back of a large, square truck and I do not know how to proceed.”


The Bot stood over him and waited, but he still did not open his eyes or answer her. She moved her face very close to his – as close as she could get without touching him – and screamed, “Spike!” at the top of her volume control modulator.


Spike jumped and tried to raise his hands up to cover his ears, but they were caught in the body bag. He began to struggle wildly, still half-dazed from the drugs he’d ingested and the shock treatment he’d received. The commotion was too much for the supports on the metal drawer, and the whole thing, including Spike, fell to the floor with an ear-shattering clatter.


“Spike!” the Bot exclaimed again, trying to pull the heavy tray away from where he was still thrashing inside the body bag, being careful not to touch Spike in the process.


“Buffy!” Spike exclaimed, his mind finally snapping into focus. “Run! We gotta get outta here! It’s a trap!”


“It is?” the Bot asked, looking around warily. “What class and category of trap should I prepare for?”


Spike stopped thrashing long enough to look around and get his bearings. “Oh, bloody hell,” he muttered as he realized he wasn’t in the casino any longer. He looked up at the Bot, his concern deepening. “Where’s Buffy?”


“I do not know. That is what I needed to consult with you about, but the men said they had to take dead bodies here – that it was the law. I did not know how to proceed.”


Spike began to struggle with the cocoon-like bag he was trapped in. “Who do I look like, bloody Houdini? Get me outta here,” he growled at her.


“Sucker said that I cannot touch your body,” the Bot replied, tossing the body-sized, stainless steel tray she was still holding across the room like a child would throw a stuffed animal.


“What the bloody hell are you on about?” Spike demanded.


“Sucker wouldn’t allow me to see you if I didn’t promise,” she continued. “I am programmed to keep promises.”


Spike closed his eyes, clenched his jaw, and slowly rolled his head from side to side for a frustrated moment, trying to rein in his anger. “Then slide the zipper down without touchin’ my body,” he instructed through clenched teeth.


“Oh! I can do that,” the Bot agreed happily.


Just then the door opened and Sucker stepped in. “Buffy! I thought I said not to touch…” He stopped and stood gape-mouthed as Spike rose from the body-bag on the floor, still wearing the blood-splattered clothes he’d had on earlier.


“No worries,” Spike offered. “She didn’t touch me.”


“Wha… wha …” the guard stammered.


“Virgin, eh?” Spike asked Sucker as the vamp grabbed the Bot’s hand and headed towards the door. “Shock that, workin’ ‘ere. Sorry, don’t have time t’ make it better for ya, mate. Next time, maybe.”


“Wha…” Sucker continued to stammer, wide eyed, as Spike and the Bot pushed past him.


“Thank you, Sucker For A Pretty Girl!” the Bot called back over her shoulder, waving at him with her free hand as Spike pulled her along.


As they walked, Spike asked the Bot what happened. She explained as quickly as she could, with Spike frequently prodding her to skip over irrelevant details, as they rode up out of the morgue in the elevator. 


“What should I do now? Do you know where Buffy is?” the Bot asked as they walked the halls of the hospital, trying to find an exit.


Spike’s mind was racing, trying to answer that very question for himself. He was furious with himself for being suckered, furious with the Watchers, with Buffy’s friends, with the whole bloody universe. How was he gonna find her now? It had been hours since they’d taken her; they could literally be anywhere in the world by now.


Suddenly Spike’s long, angry strides came to an abrupt halt. The Bot nearly crashed into him, but side-stepped at the last moment. “What has happened? Are we no longer angry and tense?”


Spike didn’t answer, instead he turned in a slow circle, sniffing the antiseptic air of the hospital. “Smell that?” he asked the Bot as he stopped, facing down an intersecting hallway.


The Bot sniffed. “Blood, feces, urine, bile, cherry Jell-O, alcohol, iodine, antibiotics…”


“No,” Spike cut her off as he began stalking slowly down the hallway. “Fe, fi, fo, fum …” he murmured under his breath. “I smell the blood of a …”


He pushed a door open and stepped inside one of the patient rooms. “…Watcher,” he finished. “Hello, luv. Fancy meetin’ you again,” he continued with a predatory purr.


Lydia’s eyes went wide with fear. She fumbled for the nurse call button and began to scream at the same time. Spike was across the room faster than she could get either her voice or her fingers to summon help. He clamped a hand over her mouth and pulled the call box/TV control out of her reach, dropping it on the floor beneath the bed.


“We don’t want any interruptions, pet,” he whispered against her ear, his voice a silky, unveiled threat.


Lydia tried to push him away, but she’d been shot in the shoulder by one of the security guards at the casino and pain radiated from her broken scapula up her neck and down her spine.


Unable to escape or defeat him physically, she tried to calm herself and use her Watcher training to outwit and overcome the threat. She said something against Spike’s hand – not a scream, but words. He lifted his hand slightly to allow her to speak. “You can’t hurt me…” she breathed, remembering the chip that William the Bloody had. “Just go away and I won’t … stake you.”


Spike grinned, showing his teeth in a wolfish smile. “I’m gonna ask you a question and you’re gonna answer me,” he informed the Watcher. “If I’m not happy with your answer, one of your fingers will be broken each time I ask until you answer me properly. Am I makin’ myself clear?”


“You … can’t,” she stammered again, unable to stop her eyes from flashing wide with fear.


Spike’s smile never wavered. “Meet William the Bloody’s new apprentice,” Spike said genially, moving back a step to allow Lydia to see BuffyBot standing behind him.


Lydia sucked in a frightened gasp, then tried to scream for help again. Spike clamped his hand over her mouth, stopping the sound from escaping. He pressed his mouth to the Watcher’s ear. “Now, if memory serves, you did your thesis on William the Bloody, yeah? Just what do you think is gonna happen after all ten o’ your fingers are broken? Can ya guess what comes next? And then next after that … and after that?” he purred against her, his breath cool against the frightened woman’s skin. “What was that cute little tagline ya used? ‘William the Bloody don’t stop until everything in his path is dead’? It’s the bit before the ‘dead’ that you should be worried about, luv.”


She shuddered and closed her eyes, then swallowed hard. “What do you want to know?” she asked after a few moments, her words muffled against his hand.



Three nights later, Spike and BuffyBot stood outside the big square building that was the Watchers Council’s headquarters in London. Like its inhabitants, the building had no personality or character – it looked something like a giant block of baker’s chocolate … with windows. It was three a.m. and the streets were nearly deserted in this older section of town which housed mostly offices.


“You know the plan, yeah?” Spike asked the Bot for perhaps the hundredth time.


“Yes. You have conveyed the plan to me two hundred and thirty seven times. I have recorded it verbatim each time. Which reiteration would you like me to recount to you?”


Spike blew out a breath. “None. Time t’ put the words into action, pet. Are you ready?”


“I am fully charged,” the Bot confirmed.


“Right, let’s dance,” Spike instructed as he clasped his hands behind his back and brought his demon up. The Bot grabbed him by one arm and jerked him roughly forward, up the walkway to the front door of the Council headquarters. At the door she paused, never letting go of him, and entered the code Lydia had given them onto the keypad. Spike held his breath, metaphorically speaking. If that bitch lied to him, he’d hunt her down and rip her eyeballs out with a fondue fork, just like he’d promised her.


The lock on the door made a soft ‘click’ as it released. Spike blew out the breath he’d been holding, and allowed the Bot to pull him inside. The moment he crossed the threshold, alarms began to blare through the whole building.  Within a second, two guards appeared with crossbows, one from each of two wide corridors leading from the main foyer deeper into the building.


“Stop! Identify yourself!” the older of the two shouted at the intruders.


BuffyBot kept walking, unfazed, dragging Spike, who was now thrashing against her, in her wake. “I’m Buffy Summers – you know – the Vampire Slayer? Ring any bells? The person all you dolts work for.”


The two guards looked at each other across the lobby, then back to the blonds. “Stop,” the older one said again, leveling his crossbow at her in earnest.


BuffyBot stopped walking and dragged Spike up next to her. She roughly shoved him down onto his knees at her side and surreptitiously stepped between him and the guards. She planted one hand on her hip that jutted out to the side, and glared at the man that had spoken.


“What part of ‘Vampire Slayer’ don’t you understand?” she asked him angrily. “I’ve captured William the Bloody. If he escapes or gets dusted because of your incompetence, you can be sure Quentin will know about it.


“And will you please shut off that damn alarm!” she continued vehemently.


“Uhhh … just … ummm … hang on a minute, Miss Summers,” the older guard said as he moved to a console and turned off the blaring alarm.


“Thank you,” the Bot barked sarcastically. She reached down and dragged Spike back to his feet. “I have to get this prisoner to the cell block. Drusilla is still out there somewhere, I need to get back while I can still track her.”


“Ummm … I’ve never … no one’s ever brought prisoners in here before. For that matter, no one’s ever brought a vampire in here before,” the older guard stammered, caught between confusion, fear, and suspicion.


“Oh, well maybe that’s because no one ever caught the most notorious vampire of all time before: William the Bloody, Slayer of Slayers. But … whatever, if you’d rather I just dust him, I’ll let you explain to my buddy Quent why he can’t interrogate the vampire that’s killed two Slayers,” the Bot threatened, pulling a stake from the waistband of her jeans and raising it menacingly near Spike’s chest. “Your name again? Just so I have it right for my report to Quentin.”


“No! Wait, I didn’t say that,” the guard blurted out quickly, holding one hand out to stop her. “I just said … I never saw it before.”


“And I guess you’ve seen everything, huh? Ever see a vampire rip someone’s throat out? I’m sure William wouldn’t mind a snack before he gets locked up. C’mon over here … get a firsthand demonstration,” the Bot offered, her voice dripping with saccharine.


The guard put a hand to his throat protectively. “Uhhh … no, that’s ok. Do you need any … help getting it into a cell?” he asked tentatively.


The Bot rolled her eyes and pushed Spike ahead of her down the hallway the older guard had vacated. “As if,” she retorted as she strode after her stumbling captive.


Spike let out another breath of relief. The bloody Bot sounded more like Buffy than Buffy. Of course, he’d practiced all sorts of scenarios with her on the long flight in the cargo-hold of a FedEx plane, but still, you never knew what might throw her for a loop or when she’d start talking about microprocessors and overflowing buffers. The other thing he’d worried about was the night-watchmen knowing that Buffy Summers was already their prisoner. Lydia had said they wouldn’t – they weren’t Watchers or anything other than hired help. They didn’t go into the cell level at all or have any contact with prisoners.


The pair of would-be rescuers navigated the labyrinth of corridors to a freight elevator based on the map Lydia had drawn them, and took it down underground three levels. The door opened to a pristine, brightly lit, white room. There was no furniture in the small room, only another door and a keypad. The door had a small window in it made of bulletproof, or at least vampire-proof, glass. The two blonds moved up to the door in silence and peered through the window. Spike had to force himself not to curse or gasp aloud when he looked into the cell block. He pulled back and rested his back on the wall next to the door – his eyes closed and head hung down.


“I don’t remember this part of the plan in any of your scenarios,” BuffyBot whispered as she looked through the small window. “Should I also lean on the door and pray?”


Spike shook his head and held his hand up, silently asking her to give him a minute. He’d been hit with a supersized helping of déjà vu. The other side of the door held a cellblock that looked suspiciously like one he’d spent time in before – in Sunnydale, under the campus of the University. It looked just like the Initiative’s setup. It wasn’t as big; not nearly as many cells, but the setup appeared exactly the same. So who, exactly, was working for whom in that scenario?


After composing himself for a few moments, Spike pulled Lydia’s access card out of his pocket, slid the magnetic strip through the slot on the locking device, and then entered in the PIN number that went with it. Just like had happened at the main door, the lock released with a ‘click’ and the Bot pushed the heavy door open.


The two intruders slipped in and started moving silently down the corridor. The place was spotless and each cell they passed was empty. Spike began to mutter vitriolic curses under his breath as they continued down the hallway. Had the Council changed their plans and taken Buffy somewhere else? Had Lydia lied to them? Thoughts of murder and mayhem began racing through Spike’s mind as they skulked between the empty, pristine cells.


And then, in the very last one, she was there. Spike nearly shouted her name out loud as relief flooded through him. Buffy’s cell was just as stark and cold as the others. There was a plain toilet bowl in one corner that appeared to be made out of some type of molded plastic rather than porcelain; the plastic being less likely to be broken and used as a weapon, he supposed. Apart from that, there was nothing in it at all. No bed. No chairs. Not even a mat on the floor.


Buffy was huddled in the back corner of the cell opposite the toilet. She had a blanket wrapped around her – the only creature comfort she’d been afforded. He could only see the top of her head as she huddled in the corner beneath the blanket, but there was no mistaking that it was her. She didn’t look up or seem to notice that Spike and the Bot were there.


The Bot reached a hand out toward the seemingly fragile glass wall that separated them from Buffy. Spike grabbed her wrist before she could touch it.


“No,” he whispered. “Electrified,” he explained simply as he quickly swiped the access card in the lock next to Buffy’s cell. At once the electric barrier fell and a door slid open in the clear wall.


The moment the door opened, Spike was knocked back by the putrid smell coming from the room. His demon came up unbidden as the unmistakable aroma of sex mingled with Slayer blood hit him. He staggered, caught off guard by the intensity of it, then a growl began in his gut and reverberated through the whole cell block.


Some part of him knew he needed to stay calm and quiet lest they attract unwanted attention, but a larger part of him wanted to rip and slash and bash and scream in fury. He wanted to gouge out eyes and tear still-beating hearts from the chests of whoever dared touch his Slayer. Spike struggled against his need for violence, trying desperately to regain control of the demon so they could get Buffy out. Images of Buffy being raped flashed through his mind as the demon raged against his effort to control and calm it.


The struggle between rage and calm was physically painful, and Spike staggered and fell to his knees as he tried to regain control. He pushed the heels of his hands against his eyes, trying to stop the visions of Buffy being abused, but it didn’t help. He banged his fists against his head, then fell to the floor, rolling around as if wrestling with an unseen adversary.


The Bot watched helplessly, unsure of what to do. This had not been in any of the scenarios either. “I am not familiar with this ritual. Am I to join you in this dance?” she asked him. “I do not know the proper response to this stimulus.”


Finally Spike let out a long, undulating howl of agony and anger. His whole body went rigid on the floor for several seconds, every muscle pulled tight as a bowstring, then, suddenly, he went limp. His chest heaved with unneeded breath – each inhalation bringing in more of the scent that had stirred his demon in the first place. He finally forced himself to stop breathing, but could not push the demon down, no matter how he tried.


After a few moments, he decided that this was as close to control as he was likely to get, and he pushed himself up off the floor wearily. He took in a breath through his mouth so he could speak and he could taste the spunk and blood and other bodily fluids that hung in the air. He closed his eyes and focused on Buffy. Get the Slayer out. Come back later and kill the bastards. Get Buffy out now.


After another long moment, he steeled himself and stepped into the cell. He could almost feel the stench of blood, semen, and human waste on his skin as he moved into the enclosed space.


“Buffy,” he said as calmly as he could. “Buffy, it’s Spike, pet. Here t’ get you out.”


In reply, Buffy recoiled and pulled the blanket over her head as if to hide herself. Her fear was palpable and he could see her trembling under the thin cover of the blanket. She looked like she was trying to embed herself into the wall of the cell, to become invisible – a part of her surroundings.


Spike laid a hand on her shoulder and Buffy jumped under his touch. He felt his demon rage again, but he kept his voice as calm as he knew how. “Buffy, luv … it’s Spike. Not gonna hurt you. We need t’ go.”


Her only response was to try and huddle closer to the wall.


Spike blew out a frustrated breath. “Gonna pick you up, luv. Don’t fight me, Buffy. Not gonna hurt you, pet,” he cajoled as he reached around her and slid her away from the wall.


“No, no … no …” she whispered and tried to scramble back to her ‘hiding place’. 


The blanket came off her when she did and Spike felt his demon reasserting itself. Beneath the blanket she was completely nude. Her body was covered in burns, bruises, cuts, and abrasions, all in different stages of healing. There was dried blood, semen, urine, and feces on the blanket and the floor beneath her, as well as on the skin of her legs and buttocks.


“Bloody hell,” Spike groaned, his stomach turning in revulsion and renewed rage. Spike might’ve seen worse in his unlife, but this was different. This was Buffy. Spike fought down the bile that burned the back of his throat, and focused his rage on the mission at hand: Get Buffy out. He could reap his vengeance later.


He steeled himself and wrapped the blanket back around her, then, without trying to be cajoling or gentle, he snaked his arms around her and lifted her off the floor. Buffy whimpered and pushed against his arms as he settled her against his chest, carrying her like a child. Her protests were so weak he barely noticed that she was struggling at all.


“What have they done to you, Slayer?” Spike wondered forlornly as he carried her out of the cell.


Just then he heard the elevator open into the antechamber at the end of the hall. He looked around wildly – they were sitting ducks here in this corridor if whoever that was had a tranq gun or crossbow. On top of which, if there were several of them it was doubtful they’d be able to fight their way out since the Bot was the only currently lucid one that could fight humans. And, as if all that weren’t enough, if whoever was coming sounded the alarm, that would bugger their ultimate escape from the building.


Spike quickly spotted a slatted, unlocked door near them at the very end of the hallway with a sign that said ‘Maintenance’ on it. In just a second he’d come up with a new plan – which was pretty scary all by itself.




Spike still held Buffy in his arms as he peered out of the slats of the maintenance closet to see who was coming and how many there were.


“No, no, no …” Buffy began objecting again, this time more loudly, as Spike held her in the small, deeply shadowed room. Spike clamped one hand over her mouth to quiet her, and she bit down on the fleshy ball at the base of his thumb.


It wasn’t as hard as it could’ve been, he’d been bitten harder in his unlife, but it still hurt like hell. Spike couldn’t pull away or she’d alert whoever had come in to their position. He clenched his jaw against the pain, keeping his hand pressed against her mouth as Buffy bit down harder.


Bloody hell! he wanted to scream as her teeth cut into him, but he didn’t pull away or drop her. If the price of getting her out of here was a chunk of his flesh, then he’d gladly pay it.


Spike focused on the hallway, allowing Buffy to use his hand as a chew-toy. A solitary man with thinning dark hair and deep-set eyes, strode down the corridor looking like he hadn’t a care in the world. The grin on his lips was incongruous with his gaunt features and stark cheekbones – he looked like a skeleton that had just won the lottery.


“Daddy’s home, toots!” he called happily as he walked. “Did ya miss me?”


The man stopped in front of Buffy’s cell and turned to look in. “Oh yeah, I can tell you missed me. Gonna have to take it easy on you for a couple of days, old man Travers wants to see you on Monday. Be hard to explain all our fun and games as resisting arrest. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun, Slayer-girl,” he continued as he drew his own access card from his pocket.


Weatherby slid the card through the reader, making the force-field fall away and the door slide open.


“I bet I can still make you scream – we’ll just have to make it hurt on the inside,” he continued jovially as he stepped into Buffy’s cell. “I know you’ll still enjoy it just as much.


“But, first things first…” he said as he pulled a syringe from a bag he had slung over his shoulder. He stopped and readied the syringe, clearing the needle of air, and stepped over to the girl huddled under the dirty blanket. Weatherby grabbed her arm through the cover and shoved the long needle into her flesh right through the fabric … or tired to.


The needle went through the fabric and skin, but shattered when it hit the Slayer’s 'muscle'.


The Bot uncovered her head and scowled at the man. “That pierced my state-of-the-art, nanotube-coated, ultra-sensitive, silicone outer shell,” she informed him. “And it hurt.”


Weatherby jerked back and scampered to his feet, sunken eyes suddenly wide with surprise. The Bot took a determined step towards him and he turned to run out of the cell just as the door closed and the force-field came back up. The man barely stopped in time to keep from getting a full-body electrocution.


“No need t’ leave so soon,” Spike drawled past his fangs as he waved his keycard in the air absently from the other side of the barrier. Blood flowed from his hand, splattering the white floor with drops of crimson, but he didn’t seem to notice. “Thought you wanted t’ hear someone scream. I fancy hearing that m’self.”


“Who … how … who?” Weatherby stammered, looking between the Bot and Spike as he backed away and over to one side of the cell.


“Thought you blokes were familiar with a Slayer. Give him a demo of who you are, pet,” Spike told the Bot.


BuffyBot stepped forward toward Weatherby who kept backing up until his back hit the wall. He tried to dodge left, but she cut him off. He scampered back away from her, then he went right, but she was faster, sending him back to the center of the wall again.


“Don’t kill him, pet,” Spike warned as the Bot drew her right fist back. She nodded acknowledgement and swung at Weatherby’s chin. He flinched back and raised his hands to protect his face, but she still connected solidly with the side of his head. His head slammed against the wall and he crumpled to the floor.


“Bloody hell,” Spike complained. “What kinda poncey villain are you? Taken down by one punch from a little girl?


“Get him up and bring him over here,” Spike instructed the Bot.


BuffyBot picked the thin man up by the back of his neck like he was a kitten. Holding him at arm’s length with his feet dangling off the floor, she walked over towards Spike with the dazed, skeletal man.


“Stop there,” Spike instructed her when the man’s face was about three inches away from the electric force field.


“Now then, reckon we’ve answered your question, you can answer one o’ ours,” Spike, still in game-face, continued in a conversational tone. “What’s in that syringe?”


Weatherby looked at Spike blankly as he tried to clear the cobwebs from his brain.


“Come closer,” Spike beckoned the Bot. She moved Weatherby’s face even closer to the field of electricity.


“Not gonna ask again,” Spike warned, looking at Weatherby. “Tell me what’s in that bloody syringe or I’ll have ‘er fry you right here and now.”


Weatherby shook his head and held his hands out in supplication. “It’s … ummm … not really sure. They give it to Slayers for the Cruciamentum. It … weakens them.”


“Is it permanent-like?” Spike continued.


“Uhhh … No. Gotta give it to ‘em everyday t’ keep ‘em … sedate, like normal girls,” the dark man replied.


Spike nodded. “Big man, you are,” Spike growled. “Wanna hear the Slayer scream, but can’t handle her if she’s at full strength. If I had time, I’d show ya a thing or two about pain – but it’ll have t’ wait for another day. In a bit of a rush, we are.”


Spike looked past the man hanging helplessly in mid-air to the Bot. “Crush his dangly bits and let’s go,” he ordered matter-of-factly.


“What!? No! I … answered your bloody question!” Weatherby objected, struggling against the Bot’s superior strength.


“No worries. I’ll reward ya for that,” Spike assured him, smiling around his fangs. “We’ll get to the real screaming another time. This is just to keep you … sedated ‘til I can get back.


“Do it,” he ordered the Bot, his demon face a mask of barely repressed rage.


The Bot nodded again and stepped back from the electric barrier. Almost faster than Spike could see, she dropped the man, slamming him down onto the white tile floor with a hollow thud that drove all the air from his lungs. As he wheezed and moaned, she picked him up by one ankle and drove her other fist straight down between his legs like a sledgehammer. It sounded something like a fist being slammed into a watermelon as all his external parts were suddenly transformed into internal organs.


Weatherby wailed in white-hot agony and thrashed wildly as he clutched at his groin. Within seconds, he went still and silent – the pain and shock sending him into unconsciousness. The Bot dropped him unceremoniously and he fell into a limp heap on the floor.


“Bugger. Was just starting to enjoy the sound o’ that,” Spike groused as he opened the cell with the access card to allow the Bot out before he headed back for the closet where he’d left Buffy.


Spike wrapped Buffy in his duster and picked her back up. She pushed and struggled against him, protesting with a single word repeated over and over again, “No.” He didn’t stop her from speaking this time, but each time she said it a razor of ice slashed at his heart, bleeding him with freezing shards of guilt and regret.


He’d promised her he’d keep her safe and he’d failed. Just like he’d failed Dawn. Maybe he should’ve let Angel take her back to L.A. Maybe none of this would’ve happened if he’d just let her go, not been so bloody selfish and arrogant. Why did he think he could keep her safe? Had he ever had a plan that had actually worked properly? What made him think this would’ve been any different? He was a git, and Buffy had paid the price for his incompetence.


“I’m sorry, Buffy. God, I’m so bloody sorry,” he murmured to her as she continued her litany of ‘no’s, pressing her palms against his chest feebly as he carried her out.




The Bot checked the hallway outside the elevator on the ground floor, but it was clear. She could hear the guards up at the desk near the front doors – out of view of the freight elevator. She beckoned to Spike, and he came out still carrying Buffy. She was still whispering ‘No, no, no…’ but she’d given up trying to push him away.


The fire exit was only about ten feet away from the freight elevator and Spike headed for it. BuffyBot strode down the hallway back to the main entrance. She stopped at the guards’ small desk and instructed, “Make a notation that no one is to enter the cell level without checking with me first. Even contained, that vamp is extremely dangerous.”


The older guard nodded and began to write something in a logbook on the desk.


“I’ll be back,” she told them, turning toward the front doors. Instead of entering the PIN number to open the front doors, however, she simply pushed on them, cracking steel and shattering glass. The alarm began to blare again as she stepped through the mess into the cool London night, ignoring the complaints and exclamations from the guards.


When the alarm began to sound, Spike pushed open the emergency exit. The guards would have no idea that anyone had gone out that way, what with the alarm already sounding from the Bot’s exit.


It had been touch-and-go for a few minutes down in the cell block, but they had succeeded in getting Buffy back. Spike’s plan had worked almost to perfection, although that was little comfort to him – he’d failed. He’d failed to keep her safe and it tore at his heart, shredding it into a bloody mass of agony and regret. His demon finally relinquished its hold on him as his anger morphed into unbearable pain and guilt. Sobs began to wrack his shoulders as he held Buffy, incoherent, drugged, weakened, and battered, in his arms. She didn't seem to know him, didn't seem to comprehend anything that was going on at all, she just continued to mutter 'no' over and over and over again. Her voice was little more than an un-ending litany of feeble protest, but it bore into Spike's heart like a laser.


After a few moments, the Bot came around the building and joined him. Spike blinked back the blur of tears and together they walked away from the back of the Council’s nondescript building to their waiting car, the alarm still blaring behind them.


As Spike gently set Buffy down in the backseat of their rental, she scrambled away, pressing herself against the other door – as far away from him as she could get. Spike felt a steel band cinch around his chest and he had to wonder if he’d ever really have her back again after this. Just how much could one soul stand? Even the Slayer had limits, her spirit wasn’t indestructible; no one’s was.


His heart, already torn and tattered by what he knew had happened to her, burst into ashes in his chest. His strong Slayer was gone. He felt like he’d been carrying a small sparrow with a broken wing in his arms. He worried that no matter how much he loved her or how hard he tried, she’d never be able to fly again. He had failed Buffy on an epic scale. William the Bloody, taken down by a pitiful herd of Watchers. How pathetic was he? Buffy would’ve been better off without his ‘help’. If she ever did recover enough to fly on her own again, it would serve him right if she flew away and never returned.



Don Francisco: Bird With A Broken Wing



Bird with broken wing
Locked up inside
A tiny cage
Till the day I heard your cry
And set you free

But as I reached in
To heal the hurt
You fled in wild dismay
Now your pain
Is made you blind as you can be

Echoes in the distance
Are almost all you hear from me
Each time I speak your name
You fly away

While the agonies of mindless flight
Is more than you can bare
Still you think it's because of me
That you feel this way

Soarin' far above the storm
On wings spread strong and wide
Is the vision that you've buried
In despair

You dash yourself against the stones
And flutter terrified
When my love will heal your wounds
And lift you there

Like a frightened child
Who starts away with every move
You want to trust
But watch so fearfully

Everything you're longing for
Is here within my hands
I'm waiting now for you
To come to me

Soarin' far above the storm
On wings spread strong and wide
Is the vision that you've buried
In despair

You dash yourself against the stones
And flutter terrified
When my love would heal your wounds
And lift you there

Like a frightened child
Who starts away with every move
You want to trust
But watch so fearfully

Everything you're longing for
Is here within my hands
I'm waiting now for you
To come to me

I'm waiting now for you
To come to me
I'm waiting now for you
To come to me





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