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?




17. Amazed


Music Referenced:

Lonestar - Baby I'm Amazed by You

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 and rape references/memories.

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.

The next day, near midday…


Buffy moaned in pleasure as Spike’s mouth touched down atop hers. His lips were soft and giving against hers, a gentle kiss, a soft seduction. She felt her whole body relax against him, soaking up the love he was pouring over her, taking it into her frozen heart and melting the painful ice crystals that had formed there. His arms wrapped around her, and she felt safe and adored. She wasn’t dirty anymore; he’d somehow washed away the shame of her failure and the guilt of her lies.


“Love you so much,” his voice rumbled against her hot skin as his lips and tongue trailed down her neck, nibbling and licking a burning trail of need across her body.


“Spike … please … love you, want you so much,” Buffy moaned back to him, her hands dancing across his strong shoulders and arms as he moved lower. His body was like ivory and rose petals; soft and hard at once; rigid and pliable, smooth and beautifully rounded in just the right places.


“‘Course you do,” came a taunting, cold reply. “Always knew I could make a Slayer-girl scream. Scream for me,” he purred as he pressed the hard knife-blade against her abdomen.


Buffy’s eyes flashed open within her dream-turned-nightmare and her vision was filled with the gaunt, cruel face of her tormentor. She screamed within in her dream and the panic reached her actual vocal cords as she thrashed wildly against the nightmare image.  Black eyes blazed with evil glee as she struggled in vain to get away from the skeletal, hideous monster. She was back in the cell, suddenly weak again, dirty, filled with horror and shame and hopelessness.


Buffy fell off the couch and onto the floor, still kicking and screaming in terror.  When she hit the floor, her eyes burst open to the late-morning light in the bungalow, breaking the connection with the nightmare that had been attacking her in her sleep. But the primal fear conjured by the vision, and the voice in her dream, sent Buffy’s mind whirling back in time. Those cold, black, cruel eyes filled her waking vision as she scrambled up to her feet, searching frantically for an escape.


How’s it feel, bitch? How’s it feel to be fucked by a real man? You’ll never forget this feeling, will you? C’mon – show me how a Slayer screams.


Buffy’s heart raced in her chest and she suddenly couldn’t find enough air to fill her lungs. “No … no,” she cried, trying to push the monster away, but her hands met nothing but empty air – and he was still there.  Barefoot, but still dressed in the clothes she’d had on the previous night, she hurtled herself toward the door of the bungalow, she had to get away. Get away from the pain, away from the monster, but he followed, undeterred.


“Buffy?” Spike called through the closed bedroom door after being awoken by the commotion in the other room.


Buffy didn’t hear him. “Please, no!” she screamed as she yanked the front door open and stumbled through it, her eyes wild, blurred with fear and panic. She bumped into a heavy Adirondack chair on the deck, and instinctively grabbed it up.


She began swinging it in a wide, wild arc all around her. “NO! Get away! NOO!”


But nothing worked. Those eyes, deep and dark like a bottomless, soulless pits loomed in front of her, no matter what direction she turned. She could feel the man’s icy, hard hands on her, groping, pinching, hitting, she could feel his knife at her throat … at her abdomen, against her thighs.


“Slayer!” Spike’s surprised and worried voice came from the now open bedroom doorway, but she still couldn’t hear him or see him in her panic. All she could hear was the monster. His ragged, excited gasps too near her ear, his rancid breath choking her, his lighter burning her skin, his knife cutting her, forcing her legs apart and then …


“NOOOOO!” she screamed again, hurling the chair at him and through the window of the cabin as she turned and sprinted away.


“Buffy!” Spike called again as he hurried out of the bedroom and toward the open front door. All he could do was watch Buffy’s retreating back as she sprinted down the bright, sunny beach where he could not follow.


“Spike? Last night you said that I could love you, but you still have not spilled your sweet semen in to my tight, hot quim,” the Bot called from the bed.


“Sod that! Go see if you can find Buffy,” he barked at her. “Make sure she doesn’t do anything to hurt herself or the bits … or anyone else for that bloody matter.”


The Bot stood up and pulled her shirt back on from where Spike had removed it the previous night. She slid into her shoes, straightened her clothes primly, then strode out, unruffled. “Shall I attempt to bring her back?”


“No … just watch her – unless she does something to herself, then get help for her and come tell me, ya got it? I’ll find you when the sun goes down.”


“I understand,” the Bot assured him with a firm nod and headed out into the light in the direction Buffy had gone.




Spike slammed the door behind the Bot, nearly taking it off its hinges, and roared in frustration. Emotions bombarded him from all sides. Anger … no, fury, foremost in his mind. He was furious with Buffy for screwing around on him, furious with her for not telling him who the father was, furious at her for not stopping him last night when he took the Bot to the bedroom.


And, to add to his turmoil, he was furious with himself for being furious with her, furious with himself for giving into his anger and frustration, and using the Bot to try and get back at Buffy for her silence and betrayal. He was furious with the Council, furious with Buffy’s ‘friends’, furious with the man – no, he was no man, he was an animal – that tortured and raped his Slayer, that took all her power away, and took her heart away with it.


Standing in formation behind his fury, ready to take their turn, were: frustration, heartache, pain, worry, desperation, misery, loneliness, and just an overwhelming feeling of helplessness. He just wanted things to go back to the way they were before, when Buffy loved him, in that time when she thought he was a man, not a monster. He wanted to take her pain away – he’d gladly bear it himself if he only could. He just wanted her to hold his hand, look into his eyes, and tell him she loved him again. Despite all his posturing and empty, angry words, he just wanted to be Love’s Bitch again – be hers.


But it was clear that she either couldn’t, or just didn’t, love him anymore. He hadn’t kept his promise, he hadn’t kept her safe. He’d rescued her, but too late. Any affection she’d had for him was gone; he’d lost her in those few days. The Bot, for once, was right. Even when Buffy was sitting right in front of him, she was gone.


Spike sank down into one of the kitchen chairs and laid his head down on the table. “God, Buffy, I’m so sorry. Please don’t leave me. I love you so much. Please, please tell me how t’ be what you need. I’ll do anything.”




Buffy ran in a wild panic down the beach, dodging around other tourists, sometimes splashing in the shallow surf and other times struggling through deep sand. She ran and ran and ran, constantly turning back to look over her shoulder for her captor, her tormentor. She thought she saw him following a time or two and ran harder, drawing angry exclamations from others on the beach as she kicked sand or water on them, or bumped into them in her mad dash.


When Buffy hit a tall, cement breakwater wall she stopped. It was too high for her to climb and she was too exhausted anyway. She pressed her back against it and turned to look behind her, searching for her pursuer. Her chest heaved with exertion, her heart pounded painfully against her ribs, and her pulse sounded too loud and too fast in her ears. She continued to gulp in deep breaths of air as her eyes scanned the beach, watching each person, studying each face for those soulless, black eyes, but she didn’t see him.


Finally, she sank down, utterly exhausted, into the sand, her back still pressed against the wall. She continued to scan for her nightmare, but he was gone. She’d lost him. She sighed in relief, leaned her head back against the cool, hard wall, and closed her eyes as she tried to get her breathing under control.


The sun warmed her skin and bounced off the water that was only a few feet away. She could see the brightness of it even through her closed lids. The sound of the water lapping against the shore soothed her, and muffled the sounds of some children playing with a soccer ball on the beach nearby.


“Spike hates you,” she heard an eerily familiar voice say – the voice of a ghost.


Buffy blinked her eyes open, raising a hand to her shield her eyes from the bright sun. Buffy saw Dawn sitting in a low surf-chair in the shallow water not far from where the Slayer sat in the sand. Her dead sister looked older than Buffy remembered, well into her teens. Dawn’s face held the promise of a beautiful woman just waiting to bloom – a promise unfulfilled, a promise that Buffy now carried in her womb. Her sister was wearing a sparkling, jewel-encrusted, red, silk evening gown and black, four-inch spiked-heel Louboutins, all of which was getting wet and ruined in the surf and sand.


“I know,” Buffy agreed, closing her eyes again and leaning her head back against the wall.


“You should just tell him the truth about me and little William,” Dawn advised.


“Why? He hates me. He doesn’t want kids,” Buffy asserted. “You heard him, they’d be down the toilet. He doesn’t want all the manly-responsibility.”


“You’re not being fair,” Dawn asserted.


“Life’s not fair. He’s a vampire. He doesn’t want a kid … or two kids,” Buffy defended, never opening her eyes.


“He always liked me. He was like … my big brother.”


“Who you had a total crush on,” Buffy pointed out, still not opening her eyes.


Dawn shrugged. “Yeah, well … he didn’t crush back. But he was nice to me; he didn’t treat me like a freak. You know he only ever had eyes for you.”


Buffy snorted. “He loved the Slayer; I’m not that person anymore. He hates me; he thinks I screwed around on him. Fine, let him think that. He won’t have to feel any obligation to them ... you ... whoever the babies.”


“So, what are you gonna do? You’re in no shape to raise us. You’d be cute running out of your house, trying to escape a nightmare, and leaving me and little William alone. That's like putting the inmates in charge of the asylum.”


“I’m working on it,” Buffy retorted tersely.


Dawn scoffed. “You’ve been sitting out here looking at this ocean…”


“It’s a sea,” Buffy corrected, still leaning back against the wall with her eyes closed.


Dawn rolled her eyes. “Whatever! … Looking at this sea for two months, and the liveliest conversation you can carry on is with your imaginary, though quite stylish, dead sister. It’s not the blue that you used for your focus, it’s his eyes – it’s the love in his eyes. Focusing on the ocean is not working to get your head out of your ass,” Dawn informed her tersely.


Buffy opened her eyes and scowled at her sister. “Don’t use that language, young lady! And my head is not in my ass! It’s just …”


Buffy’s bravado faded and she sighed heavily. She raised a hand up to cover her face, letting her eyes fall closed again. “I can’t see his eyes anymore. They’ve … changed. Since I … since … the monster … Spike doesn’t … look at me the same anymore. There’s no love in them – it’s gone. I drove it away just like I have every other man that ever thought they could love me,” Buffy told her sister, tears welling behind her closed lids.


“I’m just a burden now … a responsibility. He doesn’t even touch me. He did that cute, French, cheek kissage thing with the midwife lady, but he won’t even touch my hand if it’s right next to him. I’m like … the plague or smallpox or … or holy water or something. He hates me.”


“You don’t let him love you! You don’t let him touch you. God, Buffy! He’s been trying to give you space and not freak you out. How can you be so stupid?”


Buffy’s eyes shot open again, anger flaring in them. “I’m not stopping him from touching me! I’m right next to him, but he won’t even …” A sob choked off her words. Buffy’s tears burned her cheeks as they rolled down and fell onto the white sand beneath her.


“It doesn’t matter. I can’t be what he needs anymore. It’s over. That monster … he took too much. Spike knows it … he knows I’m … used up. He’s just been too good to toss me out with the rest of the garbage. I’m working on it … I’ll get my stuff and leave tonight. I'll pull the dagger out of his belly like he wants. I never meant to ... hurt him like this.”


“Oh, God! What is with you?” Dawn exclaimed, tossing her hands in the air in frustration. She stood up from the low chair and began pacing in front of Buffy – quite a feat wearing four-inch spike heels in the sand.


“You always want to decide what’s best for everyone. What is that, some kind of Slayer thing or just a character flaw of Bossy-Buffy? You’re doing to him exactly what Angel did to you … locking him out for his own good. Deciding for him.


"You’re a piece of work … and like … shoddy, Chinese, child-labor work, not … you know, sturdy, Amish furniture work,” Dawn insisted, stopping in front of her sister and glaring down at her.


“And fudge. They're awesome at making furniture and fudge,” she added after a brief pause.


“That’s ridiculous!” Buffy objected, returning the glare.


“It is not! Have you ever had Amish fudge?” Dawn wondered, planting her fists on her hips and scowling.


“Not that! Jesus, Dawn! I’m nothing like Angel! I’m doing what’s best for Spike! It’s what he wants – he said so!"


"He said so based on faulty information, half-truths, and outright lies! That doesn't count," Dawn insisted. "You can check the rulebook. Totally inadmissible evidence."


Buffy continued scowling up at her sister. "Well ... it’s for his own good!" she argued. "I … I …” Buffy blinked, her expression softening as she looked at Dawn. “Oh my God … you’re … you might be … right.”


“Well, no duh! Of course I’m right. I’m the one in Louboutins, aren’t I? You don’t have any shoes on at all. That makes me the only sane one here.”


Dawn’s voice and expression softened and she knelt in front of Buffy, putting herself nearer her sister’s eye level. “He still loves you, he just doesn’t know how to reach you,” Dawn assured her. “He watches you all the time, trying to puzzle you out, trying to figure out how to love you, you have to know that.”


Buffy chewed on her bottom lip, considering her sister’s words. “But how could he think I slept with someone else? Doesn’t he know how hard it was for me to love him? Does he really think I’d willingly sleep with someone else after … after giving him my heart? He doesn’t trust me. He doesn’t even know me if he thinks I’d–”


“What’s he supposed to think?” Dawn cut her off. “He’s a vampire. He’s just trying to make sense of it. Tell him, Buffy. Trust him. Stop choosing for him, he’s earned that much,” her dead sister advised. “What do you have to lose? If he actually kicks you out, you’re no worse off than you are now. Maybe … maybe you can get your heart back, get your anchor back.


“He’s just confused and afraid … afraid of hurting you. Little Dawnie and William need you, Buffy. So does Spike. And you need him.”


Buffy laid her hand over the small bump in her stomach. “That’s why there were two lights that came down that night. They didn’t just get your soul from Limbo, but they grabbed the rest of William’s soul from the ether, too.”


Dawn shrugged. “Seems like.”


“But … he won’t even touch me,” Buffy protested again. “That … animal …” Buffy clamped her eyes closed against her tears, her emotions tightening her throat.


“I feel so dirty, and Spike won’t even touch me. He … can still smell it on me: the filth. He thinks I’m just … trash now. Foul, used … garbage. And he’s right. I should’ve fought harder … I should’ve done something. There had to be a way to stop that … monster, but I … didn’t. I just … gave up.”


“Oh, please! You’re the Slayer, not Wonder Woman … or … who’s stronger than Wonder Woman? Ummm … Superman? Is he, like, the strongest superhero ever? Or would, like, Sigourney Weaver in ‘Alien’ – you know, when Riley’s inside that big cargo-mover thing be able to beat–”


“Dawn! I’m sure there’s a point you were heading for. Maybe you could find it in that scrambled, teenage brain of yours,” Buffy suggested sarcastically.


Dawn huffed out an irritated breath and rolled her eyes. “Fine – my point is: you were shot with a tranq dart, then you were chained up and held in an armored truck. They told you Spike had been dusted – not the cheeriest of news after all you'd been through. After that, you were drugged with that Slayer Circumcision stuff …”


“Cruciamentum,” Buffy corrected.


“Seemed like a circumcision to me ... but, whatever! ...And tossed in an escape-proof prison cell,” Dawn finished.


“Just exactly what more do you think you could’ve done? You did what you had to to survive. You’re trying to take the blame for something a monster did to you. Is that another Slayer thing? Taking the blame for stuff that you had no way to fight, prevent, or control?


"You did the same thing when I died. Here's a news-flash: that was not your fault. I chose. Me. Not you. And I was right. I did the right thing. I did what you would've done if you were in my shoes. Which, you're not ... 'cos ... not sharing these babies with anyone. Not even you," Dawn quipped, reaching down to caress the expensive footwear.


Buffy rolled her eyes and shook her head.


"I know you’re a guilt-trip Double-Platinum Frequent Flyer, but your plane’s gone way off course lately," Dawn continued, looking back up at her sister.


“And, point number two: Spike just doesn’t know what to do to help you. You have got to talk to him. What do you have to lose?” Dawn asked again. “Your overused, Summers’ Stubborn Silence, patent pending, has already sent him into the Bot’s arms.”


Buffy rolled her eyes again. “That, by the way, was my plan all along. So, yay me.”


Dawn snorted. “Yeah, right,” she agreed sarcastically. “Tell me another one.”


Buffy looked down at the sand and began drawing idle circles in it with her fingers.  “I’m … scared.” Buffy admitted finally. “I took three years of high school French and I still sound like a retarded monkey with a hair-lip when I parlez-vous – there’s no way I could get a job here. I have no idea how to get home … Hell, I probably don’t even have a home to get home to. Plus, I don’t know if the Council is still looking for me. I couldn’t take it if …” Buffy shuddered and wrapped her arms around her torso as a chill ran through her despite the warm sun.


“I’m … so alone – and I know … ‘Slayer and alone’ is kinda not newsworthy, but … I’m scared. I … need him. I even need the Bot … I’m so afraid.”


“Would you stop borrowing trouble?” Dawn advised. “If you’d just talk to him, ask him for help, tell him you need him, then he’ll help you! He can’t not help you! He’s, like, got a … Victorian gentleman underneath that punk rocker, bad-boy exterior. It’s a thing, like laying his coat down over a mud-puddle so you don’t get your shoes dirty when you walk across. He has to do it – it’s ingrained in him.”


Buffy rolled her eyes again. “I can safely say he’d never lay his precious duster down in the mud for anyone to walk on.”


Dawn heaved a loud sigh and waved her arms out to the side in disgust. “That’s just an example. Victorian men just can’t help themselves from trying to save the damsel.”


“Isn’t Angel Victorian … you know, underneath his broody-pyre exterior?” Buffy wondered, looking at her sister doubtfully.


Dawn rolled her eyes. “Fine,” Dawn spat. “Derail my logic-train. How’s this? Spike can’t help himself from trying to save you. He loves you.


“Ya know, you’re a real buzz-kill,” Dawn informed Buffy harshly. “And you have no decent shoes. I would’ve kicked your miserable ass out weeks ago.”


Buffy shrugged, unable to argue with any of that. She closed her eyes, leaning her head back against the wall again, and wiped the tears from her cheeks with her fingers.


“Buck up, little camper,” Dawn urged Buffy, giving her sister a strong, encouraging fist-pump. “Oh, and by the way, I heartily approve of this campground. I mean … if I’d known they had campgrounds like this, I would’ve totally stayed in Girl Scouts.”


Buffy nodded her agreement. “I know, right?” she said, opening her eyes again, but Dawn was gone.


“You’re completely mental,” Buffy informed herself aloud, as if that were some grand epiphany.


That familiar feeling of despondent gloom settled over Buffy now that her sister was gone. It wasn’t as bad as the shroud of blood that she’d fought for so long, but it felt heavy and hopeless. It took so much effort to talk that she just abstained most of the time. She simply didn’t feel like talking to anyone. Her heart, fairly literally, wasn’t in it; it had been shattered into a thousand icy, painful shards by Spike’s rejection. It was a struggle to get the words out, as if each thought had to be pried from her dark, misery-soaked brain and forced through too small an opening to emerge into the light on the other side.


Buffy looked at the beautiful, aqua-blue water that seemed to go on forever. She’d tried to use that blue as her focus, as a replacement for Spike’s eyes, to heal her heart and lift her gloom, but it hadn’t worked. She knew now that it wasn’t the blue of his eyes that had helped her pull out of her fugue state before, it was the emotions that shone in them … it was the adoration and love. And that look had faded from Spike’s eyes. She only saw pain, worry, sometimes anger, and often hurt in them now – the exact things that she’d never, ever wanted to see.


Buffy took a deep breath and let it out slowly as she let her eyes fall closed again. She knew imaginary-Dawn was right; she’d have to talk to Spike and tell him the truth. She really didn’t have anything left to lose. She’d already lost him, lost his love, lost her anchor, she’d even lost herself – all she had left were the babies in her womb.


She’d just rest here a little while and try to think of what to say to him. There had to be some way to present it that would keep him from hating her even more than he already did. Some way to spin it so that the knife in his belly didn't plunge in even deeper. She just needed to find the right words, the perfect words ... magic words … any words.




Buffy felt a shadow fall over her as she sat on the sand, her back still pressed against the concrete barrier, trying to think of the perfect words to say to Spike. She blinked her eyes open to find the Bot standing over her.


“Spike asked me to make sure you were not hurting yourself or others. You do not appear to be in any imminent danger, unless the tide rises considerably and at a rapid rate. I believe that to be unlikely, barring a tsunami caused by an offshore earthquake. I estimate the probability of that to be minuscule, although not impossible.


“Do you anticipate that you will be in danger or causing danger to others in the near future?” she asked.


Buffy snorted and shook her head. “No, not in the near future. You can relax.”


The Bot smiled. “Thank you. I anticipate that you will soon become dehydrated. Would you like some liquid refreshment?”


Buffy licked her lips. “Margarita?” she suggested.


The Bot frowned. “That is not advisable in your condition.”


Buffy raised her brows. “My condition? Crazy people who talk to their dead sisters and run from nightmares can’t drink Tequila?”


“Gestating humans should not over-indulge in alcoholic beverages,” the Bot clarified. “It may also be harmful to crazy humans if they are taking medications for their insanity. It would depend on their exact diagnosis and the drug interactions and medical warnings.”


Buffy snorted and laid the side of her head down on her knees, which were pulled up against her chest, closing her eyes. “In that case, maybe just water.”




Buffy sipped at the bottle of water the Bot brought back to her. Her brain hurt, her heart hurt, and she still hadn’t figured out what to say to Spike to make him not hate her.


“So, I guess Spike’s still really upset with me, huh?” Buffy asked after a few moments.


The Bot nodded. “He was quite upset when you shattered the window and sprinted away.  He was also extremely troubled last evening.”


“I guess … you made him feel better though, huh?” Buffy wondered. “Last night, I mean.”


“I did my best to bolster him and provide exceptional comfort,” the Bot replied.


Buffy sighed and felt the ice in her heart shatter painfully. “Was he … did he … seem … better afterwards?”


“Yes, I provided an abundance of soothing succor. He fell asleep after two hours and thirty-seven minutes in my embrace. I continued to hold him through the night. I have previously observed that he took pleasure in this behavior when you would not allow him to move during sleep.”


Buffy nodded as tears prickled her swollen, tired eyes. She rubbed them with her fingertips, willing the tears not to fall. She was a little surprised that what she felt wasn’t jealousy, but envy. She envied the Bot; Spike would touch her. Spike still loved her. Spike actually liked her.


He could stand to be in the same room with her, in the same bed … in her arms. The Bot wasn’t covered in the shame of giving up; she hadn’t rolled in the filth and allowed it to stain her soul … or whatever Bots had instead of a soul. Maybe a microprocessor with little a little LED light that changed colors based on their mood … like a mood ring for robots. Yeah, that’s what they had in place of a soul, a little light inside that shifted through all the colors of the rainbow depending on what they were doing, feeling, or thinking.


Buffy imagined what color her microprocessor-soul would be. Black, came back the immediate and definite answer. Buffy shuddered and felt pieces of her ice-crystal heart break away and tumble into the bottomless blackness of her lost soul.


“Can I ask you something?” Buffy wondered after a few minutes, looking up at the Bot, who stood over her protectively.


“I do not know. Your vocalization process seems unimpaired. You appear fully functional and capable of voicing a query,” she replied, tilting her head inquisitively as she looked down at Buffy.


Buffy rolled her eyes. Grammar Nazi. “May I ask you something?” Buffy corrected.


“Yes,” the Bot replied brightly.


Buffy took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I need to find some perfect words,” she explained.


“Words are neither perfect nor imperfect, they are all equal when used properly,” the Bot informed Buffy. “And it is not the word’s fault if it is used improperly; it is the fault of the one who misused it.”


“Right,” Buffy agreed flatly. “Well, I need to find the exact right words to use and the exact right way to use them. Will you help me?”


“Of course. I am always pleased to help you. You are my friend. People believe we are sisters, but being friends is better. Friends are the life-forms you would choose to be your family if you were given the choice at conception."


Buffy gave her doppelganger a small smile. "I'm glad that you're my friend."


The Bot smiled widely. "I am glad I am your friend, also."


“Ok, so, what I need help with," Buffy continued. "Can you give me some other words for … ummmm … ‘sorry’?” Buffy wondered. “Maybe something stronger than ‘sorry’ … what word would be stronger than ‘sorry’?”


“Regretful, apologetic, repentant, remorseful, penitent …”




The last vestiges of twilight still colored the sky in jewel-like hues of indigo blue and deep purple when Spike found Buffy and the Bot later that evening. Buffy had run over five miles down the beach, only stopping, apparently, when she came to a breakwater barrier that was too high and steep for her to climb and which jutted out into the water too far for her to swim around.


Now she sat with her back to the buttress, her knees pulled up to her chest with her arms wrapped around them. She had her chin resting on one knee and she was looking out at the quickly-darkening sea. There was a half-empty bottle of water next to her, presumably supplied by the Bot, since Spike knew Buffy had no money to buy anything – she’d left the pillowcase full of money on the floor near the couch. The Bot stood not far away from her, leaning against the barrier and watching Buffy closely. She looked up when Spike approached and strode up to him sharply.


Spike almost felt like he should salute and ask for her report. The Slayer’s personal guard: a too-literal sentient android and a muzzled vampire. Bloody brilliant.


“She has not moved or said anything in the last three hours, twenty-two minutes and forty-five seconds. Prior to that, she asked me to provide all possible synonyms for eleven different words. She has not attempted any harm to herself or the bits,” the Bot reported. “I have assured that she has remained hydrated, although she would not eat the vegetables I brought her.”


Spike cocked a scarred brow at the Bot. “I’m almost afraid to ask,” he muttered when the Bot produced a turnip from behind her back.


“The vitamin C in raw turnips assists the human body’s iron absorption capabilities, which is very important for gestating human females. They include B vitamins as well, including vitamin B-6, folate, thiamin, niacin and pantothenic acid,” the Bot began to explain. “In addition …”

Spike stopped her with a wave of his hand. “Good job. I’ll take it from here,” he told her. Spike looked at Buffy, who was still staring at the now dark sea, ignoring her honor guard. “Go on back and start dinner. Maybe you can … do something creative with that root.”


The Bot beamed. “I will check the cookbook.” Then she side-stepped him and headed back down the beach to their cabin.


Spike sighed and rubbed tiredly at his eyes, then closed the short distance between himself and Buffy with three long strides. He squatted back on his haunches very close to where she sat, close enough that his knees would touch her if he leaned forward even the slightest bit.


“Buffy?” he asked gently. “I’m … sorry, pet. I just … I was just … frustrated and acted like a daft git. Don’t really want ya t’ leave, but don’t blame ya if you do.”


He sighed and ran his hand back through his hair, letting his head fall back so he was looking up at the star-filled sky. “I love you and I miss you,” he said to the open air above them. “I need you so bloody much it hurts and … I can’t bear that you …” His words were choked off, swallowed by the tears that leaked from his eyes. The anguish rolled down his cheeks as he stared unseeing at the heavens, praying for some sort of salvation.


“They’re yours,” she said when he paused, her voice barely a whisper.


Buffy, with the Bot's help, had searched all afternoon for the right words, the perfect, magical words that would make him forgive her and love her again. She’d never found any – she had nothing but the cold, hard truth to offer him. She just prayed somehow he could feel how sorry she was for all she’d done, since there were no words yet invented that could express it.


Spike dropped his face back to look at her. She had turned away from the water and was looking at him, her green eyes solemn. “What?” he asked, not sure he understood her.


Buffy swallowed, but forced herself to hold his gaze. “The babies, they’re yours. I didn’t … do … what you …” Buffy’s jaw clenched and she closed her eyes against the twisting in her heart. “I didn’t ‘knock boots with some git’ – well, not counting you, I guess.”


“What?” Spike repeated, quickly becoming gobsmacked.


Buffy took a breath and opened her eyes to look at him in the dwindling light. “That night – you remember, the one you said I shouldn’t expect to happen again? That’s when it happened. It was … magic – as in actual magic. The monks – the ones that created Dawn – they …” She shrugged. “…did something and … created her again … here.” Buffy dropped her knees down from in front of her torso and shifted into a cross-legged sitting position, then laid her hand on her belly.


“What?” Spike’s eyes were growing wider even as the furrow between his brows deepened. How did he do that?


Buffy cleared her throat uncomfortably. “See … ummm … when they made Dawn they made her from my blood, but they needed a soul and …” Buffy exhaled heavily. “And well, they … well, they took half of yours from the ether and used it, along with little pieces of my soul, and mom’s, and bits of all my friend’s, to make Dawn’s.


“When Dawn died, her borrowed soul was stuck in Limbo because you were still … here. To get it out, they did something when we … you know … and ta-da.”


“What?” Spike asked again, his voice breaking and rising several octaves, just as confounded as he’d been from the beginning.


Buffy sighed and closed her eyes, trying to pluck up enough courage and strength to continue. Of course he was mad, she hadn’t found the perfect words to make him want kids, to make him forgive her.


“I’m sorry. I didn’t know they’d stolen your soul for Dawn. I … when I was dead again … you know, when I did this.” Buffy opened her eyes and turned her arms over to show her scars. “I talked to Mom and she said the monks could fix it, I could get her out … by making a baby with you.”


“What?!” Spike’s voice was even squeakier now than it had been the last time he’d asked.


Buffy flinched and her chest tightened at his tone. He was beyond angry now, nearing furious – and she couldn’t blame him. “I know … I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. I … it wasn’t my place to … I just thought … and then … and Angel did the same thing to me and … God, I can’t believe I did that to you,” Buffy stammered. Her ability to hold her train of thought on the tracks had been stretched to its limits as her fear of his final, brutal rejection hung over her, poised to fall like the Sword of Damocles.


“They’re … mine?” Spike’s voice had dropped to a whisper, his eyes as wide as saucers. He reached a hand out to touch the bulge in Buffy’s abdomen, but stopped just short of actually touching her.


Buffy winced again. A whispering vampire could not be of the good. He was just trying to hold his rage in check, trying not to scream at her again. She almost wished he would scream at her, somehow it would be more fitting than that soft whisper. The sword inched down nearer; Buffy braced herself for the final blow.


“Yes … they’re yours … and … and I know you don’t want them. I just couldn’t leave Dawn’s soul there, and I couldn’t stake you, and I promise I’m trying sooo hard to get my head out of my ass so I can leave. You don’t have to be ‘manly-responsibility man.’ I just need a little more time and maybe a little money, not all that from last night – just a little. I swear I’ll pay you back – and …”


“Mine? The both of ‘em?” Spike asked, interrupting her rambling, his eyes wide and focused wholly on her abdomen.


Buffy bit her bottom lip and blinked back her tears. “Yes,” she said gently. “I … I think the monks took the rest of your soul from the ether and … made another baby with it. I’m … so sorry. I didn’t know they would do that, I swear. I know how angry you must be, but if you’ll just give me a little more time...”


She held her breath and waited. The thread holding the sword was unraveling quickly now, she could feel it. He’d start ranting and raving any moment and then it would be over. She hadn’t found the right words…


Spike finally looked at her face. “What?” he asked again, this time with a bit more conviction and less shock.


Buffy blinked and her heart-rate sped up. He’d gone into ‘William the Bloody’ mode. He was so calm, so … calm and deadly. She knew he couldn’t physically hurt her, but his words of absolute rejection would be painful enough.


“I said … I’m sorry,” Buffy repeated. It was the only thing she knew to say; it was the truth, it was all she had. “I never meant to saddle you with this. You don’t have to … I just need a little more time to figure stuff out and try to get my head … straight. Please just … I’m begging you for a little more time.”


Spike drew his hand back from where it hovered over Buffy’s stomach and settled both of his forearms on his thighs as he squatted on his heels in front of her.


“Slayer, I …” He stopped and ran back the conversations they’d had about children and families in his mind and his heart sank. This is what she had been trying to ask him about – obviously. And he’d rebuked her every single time. And then the argument they’d had on the way back from the midwife, his promise wasn’t good enough because he’d never promised to take care of the babies. In fact, he told her if it was up to him he would’ve flushed them from her body.


“Bloody hell,” he murmured to himself, shaking his head. Then he met her gaze again, “You should’ve told me, Buffy.”


“I know. I’m sorry. I promise if I can just get a little better I’ll leave,” she assured him, her voice growing dull and lifeless. The truth hadn’t worked. It was over. The game was up.


“Think that’s wise, pet?”


Buffy shrugged. “I’m just trying to … do the right thing.”


“For who?” Spike wondered.


Buffy shook her head and tears began to trickle from her eyes. “Everyone. You, Dawn … little William.”


Spike nodded solemnly. “What about you, luv? What’s right for you?”


Buffy shook her head forlornly, letting her eyes drop to the sand, and shrugged again.


“I know ya been … hurting, luv. Been through a lot, you have. I know I failed ya, didn’t keep you safe; didn't keep m' promise. Don’t blame you if you can’t forgive me. Don’t reckon I can ever forgive myself. Know I’m a monster. I understand why you … don’t trust me, why you don’t love me anymore.”


Buffy’s head shot up to meet his gaze. The moon had risen and cast the beach in a silver glow. The light reflected off the sand beneath them and illuminated his features. He looked drawn and miserable, but not exactly mad.


“I never said that.”


“Well, truth be told, you’ve said more to me in the last ten minutes than you’ve said the last two months, pet. Been havin’ to read between the unending bouts o’ meaningless prattle and silence. I know you were afraid when we first got you out, but I thought maybe, with time … Been waiting, but ya never …” Spike’s voice trailed off and he shrugged.


Buffy furrowed her brow, her head tilting in confusion. “What are you saying?”


“I’m saying that I miss you, Buffy. I love you and I miss you and … and … I’m gonna be a bloody father! That’s … Bloody hell! I’m gonna be a father!” Spike exclaimed, his smile growing wider with each announcement. He suddenly stood up and shouted into the night sky, “I’m gonna be a father! Twins! Bloody twins!”


Buffy looked up at him in shock and disbelief. Her mouth gaped open as he continued to yell his pronouncement to the world.


She pushed up to her feet and watched as he spun around, shouting the announcement in every direction. When he finally stopped spinning and stood facing her, he looked like he’d just won the super mega-ball lottery.


“I … uhhh … think typically the announcements are mailed out rather than shouted,” she stammered.


His face suddenly fell into a mask of shocked solemnity. “Did you just … drop a quip?”


Buffy furrowed her brow, trying to remember what she’d said. She gave a quick shrug of her shoulders. “Maybe.


“Are you saying you’re … happy about the babies? What happened to all that manly-responsibility and Big Bad’s image, and …”


Spike shook his head and waved his hands as if brushing his previous declarations away. “It was all bollocks! I was just … covering,” he admitted, ducking his head and rubbing a self-conscious hand over the back of his neck. “Didn’t think it was possible, so it was easier to not want it. I’m chuffed t’ bloody bits over the bitty kidlets. I love you, Buffy. You’ve made me the happiest demon in the whole fucking world tonight.


“I wish you’d stay … forever, pet. If … you still … feel anything for me. Do ya, Buffy? Do you … love me at all? Can you love a monster?”


“Oh, God, Spike,” Buffy sighed, rubbing at her swollen, bleary eyes with her fingers. She looked up at him and nodded. “How could you think I didn't? I love you. I’ll always love you. I was only gonna leave ‘cos I thought you didn’t want them … didn’t want me. I was trying to do what I thought you wanted.”


“So, you’ll stay, then?” he asked, his eyes growing wide, half-afraid he hadn’t heard her right.


“If … if that’s really what you want,” she stammered, still a bit befuddled by his sudden change of attitude.


Not thinking, Spike pulled her into a fierce hug and began to swing her around in joy. “God, Buffy, I missed you so much, pet. Missed your bloody stupid quips and your smile. Missed your lips and your touch and …”


Buffy’s body tensed and stiffened in his embrace. Despite her logical mind knowing it was just Spike and he wasn’t going to hurt her, her body reacted instinctively to the touch and the feeling of being captured and held prisoner in his arms.


Spike suddenly sobered, stopped spinning, and set her down on her feet gently. He pulled his hands away and dropped them to his sides, balling his hands into fists to keep them there. “Sorry, pet … didn’t mean to …”


“Touch me?” Buffy filled in, wrapping her arms around her torso and backing away from him. “Is it because of … what happened?”


“Yeah,” Spike answered gently, wanting desperately to touch her face, but forcing his hands to stay by his sides.


“Because I’m … dirty now. Trash. You can still smell it, can’t you? I’m used up and … I didn’t fight hard enough.”


“What? No … Buffy, no,” Spike cajoled, his face etched with confusion and concern. He began to take a step forward to be near her again, his hand uncurled and lifted from his side, longing to touch her, to hold her, but he forced both his feet and his hand to stop their forward motion.


Buffy didn’t seem to hear. “I’m sorry, Spike. I … I thought you were dust and I didn’t fight him. I just let him … I thought he’d kill me and it would all be over – I just wanted it to end – but he didn’t. And then I couldn’t fight. I just did what he wanted, and now … I understand why you can’t touch me. You can still smell it, can’t you? You don’t want to touch the filth. I don’t blame you…” she finished, her eyes focused on the ground in shame.


“Buffy … Slayer, no,” Spike repeated emphatically. He allowed himself to reach out and lift her chin with a single finger until she was looking at him. She tensed slightly, but didn’t flinch away from his touch this time. “That’s bollocks – I never thought that, pet. You’re not the one that’s dirty, Buffy, that bloody pillock that hurt you … he’s the filth. The bloody devil incarnate, he is.”


“You … don’t think I’m …” Buffy’s heart ached and her chest heaved for air. “…garbage?”


Spike huffed out a shocked breath, shaking his head in earnest before answering in a single empathic word. “No.”


He sighed when she looked hopeful but not convinced.


“Buffy, you are the bravest woman I’ve ever known. I’m nothing but amazed by you, luv. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. Your spirit shines so clear and bright that sometimes I think it’ll dust me. You’ve been through so much, moved bloody mountains, fought gods and survived devils.  You’re a treasure – a beautiful, pristine, sparkling jewel. A helluva woman is what you are, Buffy Summers.


“Didn’t want t’ frighten you or … push or hurt you is all,” Spike explained. “But I want to touch you so bad it hurts, luv,” he admitted. He took a tentative step forward and slid his hand up from her chin, gently cupping her cheek.


“I’m just lost, pet. I … I don’t know what to do, how to treat you, how to touch you … how to reach you … how to love you. Know I’m not a man, I’m a monster, but … can’t help it. I love you so bloody much.”


Buffy closed her eyes and leaned into his hand. “I missed your touch,” she whispered, laying her hand over his.


Spike stepped closer and brushed his lips against her forehead. “I missed yours,” he murmured against her warm skin.


Buffy pulled back a fraction and opened her eyes to meet his gaze. And there it was: her anchor. The concern wasn’t gone, but the anger was. The  adoration shone in his eyes again and there was large helping of joy in them now. She took it in as if taking in a breath of fresh air after too long in a dirty, smog-filled city. She let it center her, focusing her mind, easing her heart.


“Spike, I can’t always control … I get these panic attacks … and nightmares and I … Spike, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to be what you need again,” Buffy admitted, tears stinging her eyes anew.


“Buffy, just being near you is all I’ll ever need. I don’t give a bloody damn about…”


“Spike,” Buffy interrupted him, shaking her head. “I know better. And I’m not saying I’ll never be able to make love again, because … I want to. I want your arms around me so badly it hurts, but it scares me at the same time. And those games … the handcuffs … and…” – Buffy’s voice broke – “I can’t without seeing ...”


“Shhhh, pet, it’s alright,” Spike soothed, pulling her into a gentle hug. “Don’t need any o’ that. Just need you, Buffy. Just you.”


For the first time in a long time, Buffy’s body didn’t tense up when his arms encircled her. She sobbed against his shoulder as he held her, stroking her hair and back gently. They stood there on the moonlit beach for a long while before Buffy’s tears abated. She let herself get lost in the feel of his arms around her, their strength, their confidence, their love. He hadn’t touched her like this for so long, she’d forgotten how it felt to be in his arms. She’d missed him so much. That SOB, Weatherby, had taken so much away from her, so very, very much.


“I fucking hate him,” she practically snarled against Spike’s chest, simply assuming he would know who she was talking about. He did. “I want to … to … strip his clothes off, string him up, and pour red ants all over him, then put him in a room with a hive of hornets until they sting every inch of his slimy skin, and then bury him up to his neck in the desert and let the buzzards peck his horrid eyes out and eat his brain.”


“Then we will,” Spike assured her, dropping a kiss atop her head. “That’s a promise I’ll keep if it bloody kills me.”



Lonestar - Baby I'm Amazed by You     


Every time our eyes meet,
There is a feelin inside me
It’s almost more than i can take
Baby when you touch me
I can feel how much you love me
And it just blows me away
I’ve never been this close to anyone
Or anything
I can hear your thoughts, i can see your dreams

I dunno how you do what you do
I’m so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I wanna spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby I’m amazed by you

The smell of your skin
The taste of your kiss
The way you whisper in the dark
Your hair all around me
Baby you surround me
You touch every place in my heart
Oh … it feels like the first time, every time
I wanna spend the wholez your eyes

I dunno how you do what you do
I’m so in love with you
It just keeps getting better
I wanna spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby I’m amazed by you

Every little thing that you do
Every little thing that you do
I’m so in love with you
And it just keeps getting better
I wanna spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Every little thing that you do

Baby I’m amazed by you…



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