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?




24. Home


Music Referenced:

Phillip Phillips - Home

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: Some girl on girl kissage and implied three-some.

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.

Buffy, along with her most unusual luggage, had flown into Las Vegas because Spike had left the DeSoto in the long-term parking there. Now she sat on a bench at the baggage claim in the international airside terminal of McCarran International Airport, nervously waiting for her oversized ‘baggage’. The airline had charged a small fortune to fly it in the baggage compartment, and yet she was still waiting for it to be unloaded when all the other passengers had retrieved their bags and were already standing in line waiting to be cleared through customs.


Finally, after what seemed forever and a day, a couple of men came through a side door pushing the coffin-sized wooden crate on a large dolly. Buffy breathed a sigh of relief, jumped up, and hurried over to take the precious cargo from them.


“I doubt you can get it on your own, lady,” one of the men told her as he pulled up from where he’d been tugging the cart over the carpeted floor.


“Can’t believe this belongs to a little girl like you,” the other man observed from his place at the back where he’d been pushing. “What the hell ya got in here? Gold bricks?”


Buffy scowled at them. “I’m not a little girl and I can get it from here if you’ll just get out of my way,” she insisted, taking hold of the handle the front man had been pulling on.


The two men scoffed, holding their hands up as they watched with amusement, waiting for the petite girl in the fancy dress and heels fall on her face when she tried to move it.


Buffy gave them both a ‘so there’ look when she pulled on the handle and the cart followed along behind her easily. “Wimps,” she said just loud enough for the two gape-mouthed men to hear as she walked away.


“Get ready, Spike,” Buffy whispered to the crate, knocking on the side at the same time. “Customs.”


She heard some movement inside the crate and a soft, answering knock against the lid, indicating readiness. Buffy took a deep breath and hoped to God that the one drama class she’d taken in high school – something she only took because she thought it would be an easy ‘A’ (it wasn’t) – didn’t fail her now. She'd specifically gotten a new dress and new shoes for the plane trip home, and done her hair and makeup just-so, all for the performance she was about to give. She closed her eyes a moment and focused on the character she wanted to project: a fashion diva. When she opened her eyes, she was channeling Cordelia Chase as her persona for the trip through customs.


Buffy lifted all her actual luggage up onto the inspection table. The bored-looking customs agent demanded in a flat tone, “Passport. Business or pleasure? Anything to declare?” without even looking up at her.


Buffy handed her passport to him. “Business. Nothing to declare.”


The customs officer, a portly man with wispy gray hair that grew only in a horseshoe around his shiny, bald pate, opened Buffy’s passport then looked up to match the photo to the traveler’s face. He nodded absently and gave the open luggage a quick perusal. He was just about ready to stamp her arrival when he saw the crate still on the dolly.


“What’s in there?” he wondered, setting his stamp back down.


“My mannequins,” Buffy answered, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world to say.


“Mannequins,” the man repeated, his tone confused, his brows furrowed. “Gonna have to open that up.”


“Of course, officer. Do you have a crowbar? I usually have my assistant, Gaston, with me for such menial tasks, but he couldn’t make the trip,” Buffy explained, giving her best damsel-y look to the man.


The officer disappeared a minute into an office then came back with a crowbar. “Why do you travel with mannequins?” he asked as he pried the lid off.


“Well, why wouldn't I?" Buffy wondered, shaking her head in confusion.


"Uhhh ... most people don't," the guard replied, still prying the lid up.


"Well, I'm not 'most people', am I?"


"Errr ..." the guard hedged, glancing up at her and then back down to his task.


"You mean you don’t recognize me?” Buffy asked, shocked and insulted.


“Uhhhh … no,” the man stammered as he slid the lid off to reveal two … people – two naked people, wrapped in nothing but clear bubble-wrap – in the crate. They were packed in the long box with one’s head at the other’s feet, lying on their sides facing each other. He poked a finger at the closest one’s arm, a female; the other was a male.


“Sir! Please! Those are extremely expensive and delicate! Unless you want to spend the rest of your life paying for them, I suggest you do not poke and prod my animatrons!” Buffy objected vehemently.


The man pulled back. “Your what?”


“They are animated mannequins which I’ve had built especially to model my fashions. Of course you’ve heard of Pratt Fashions of Gibraltar! We’re here for the international fashion show.” Buffy tsked and rolled her eyes disdainfully. “If you’re going to be greeting guests, you really should keep up with the goings on in this town, my dear sir!


“Pratt Fashions,” she repeated slowly when he just stared at her. At his blank look she shook her head. “Ask your granddaughter when you get home. She’ll be remarkably jealous that you got to meet me today. Now, if you’re quite finished ogling my models, I really am rather late.”


The man looked between the two realistic-looking models packed in the crate surrounded by bubble-wrap and foam peanuts, and then back at Buffy. “Most fashion designers use … people for models,” he pointed out.


Buffy clucked her tongue condescendingly. “Yes, that’s very quaint; so twentieth-century.”


The officer frowned and moved some of the peanuts around a bit, delving all the way to the bottom of the crate with his hand.


“Please do be careful!” Buffy exclaimed. “I cannot stress strongly enough how delicate they are!”


The man drew his hand back. “So, they’re robots ... like computers?”


Buffy sighed. “That’s a very simplistic description, but yes.”


“Boot them up…” he insisted.


Buffy heaved another sigh. “Honestly, I’ve never been treated so commonly…” she began to mutter as she moved to the crate. She opened the Bot’s access panel and booted her up. Joan’s eyes opened and a bright, Colgate smile came to her face. Joan began to stand up, spilling foam packing peanuts over the edge of the crate and onto the floor, and unwinding parts of the bubble-wrap ‘dress’ she wore as she did. The guard’s eyes grew wide with … well … errr … an eye-full of barely-covered ‘fashion model’.


“Is that quite enough, or would you like a lap dance, as well?” Buffy wondered, smiling sarcastically, pulling the officer from his leering stare with her words. “Or maybe the male would be more to your taste? Shall I boot him up, as well?”


A bright flush of embarrassment colored the man’s face and crept all the way up to turn his bald head bright red. He shook his head to clear his mind and coughed uncomfortably. As he looked around, he realized a crowd had begun to form around the small group. “No, that’s … uhh … fine – shut it down,” he told her as he went back behind the counter and stamped Buffy’s passport.


“Enjoy your stay in Las Vegas, miss,” he told her, handing the passport back to her.


Buffy tried not to look too relieved as she motioned for Joan to lie back down in the crate. “Thank you. I’m certain I shall if I can ever make it out of the airport. Would you mind terribly …?” she asked, waving a hand at the open crate and the lid.


“Of course not,” the officer agreed, placing the lid back on the crate and pounding it down with the crowbar.


Buffy gave him a small smile, piled all her baggage atop the crate, and headed off with her bounty to the less-secure landside portion of the terminal. Once there, Buffy commandeered a deserted room that served as a chapel, shoving a pew against the door to keep anyone from entering, and opened the crate containing her ‘mannequins’ with her bare hands.


“’Bout bloody time,” Spike groused as he stood up, ripping at the bubble-wrap that clothed him. “This rot is starting to give me a rash.”


“You don’t get rashes,” Buffy pointed out as she rummaged through the luggage for clothing for both Spike and Joan.


“Yeah, well … it’s sticky,” he countered, finally pulling free of all the layers he’d been wrapped in. “And boring as hell! Got any idea how hard it is t’ be wrapped in bubble-wrap and not be able t’ pop it?  Rivals bloody Chinese water torture, that does.”


Just for good measure, Spike began stomping down on the wrap with his bare feet, popping the little bubbles en masse. It made him feel infinitely better.


"Oh, Spike, it couldn't have been that bad!" Buffy objected, rolling her eyes as she watched him murder the innocent little bubbles.


Spike jerked a bit of the plastic wrap off the long piece and handed it to her. "Dare ya to hold that in your hands five minutes and not pop one little bubble," he challenged.


Buffy blew out an impatient breath. "I could hold it a year and not..." POP! .... POP! POP! POP! 


Spike quirked a brow at her and Buffy dropped the bit of now-popped bubble-wrap on the floor with a sheepish shrug.


"Fine ... sorry," she apologized as she began pulling clothes out of the suitcases for her companions.


“Was my performance acceptable?” Joan asked as she also stood up and began unwinding the bubble-wrap.


“Perfect!” Buffy assured her. “You did really well. Oscar-worthy, no doubt – maybe even Golden Globe.”


Joan flashed a self-satisfied smile as she reached for the clothing Buffy offered her and began to dress.


“And what was that offerin’ to ‘ave me dance for the git?” Spike asked, annoyed.


“Oh, don’t sound so put-out,” Buffy cajoled. “You know you would’ve had him eating…”


“Don’t finish that sentence,” Spike growled, tugging on his jeans.


Buffy laughed. “Didn’t know you were a homophobe,” she teased.


“’M not,” Spike assured her. “Married man, fixin’ to be a da … can’t be shaking my junk at every Tom, Dick, and Harry, now can I? Not proper, that. Be disqualified for Father o’ the Year if it got spattered all over YouTube.”


Buffy laughed and rolled her eyes. “Bet you’d get a billion-trillion hits, though. You’d go viral!” she announced as she pealed all the identifying labels off the coffin-like crate and stuffed them into their luggage.  


“Hmmm…” Spike mused, buttoning his jeans. “Might not be all bad. Bet I’d get a lotta birds after my hot, tight little body. Could ‘ave my bloody pick – different chit every night.”


“Yeah, you just keep dreaming,” Buffy scoffed. Reaching out and tugging on his ear lobe.


Spike nearly fell, one foot tangling with the other, as she pulled him over to her by the ear.


“You are mine, Mr. Pratt,” Buffy announced, her eyes locked on his as she held to his ear. “Do the words, ‘Forsaking all others’ ring any bells?”


“Forsaking all others except me,” Joan interjected brightly. “It was in the fine print at the bottom.”


Buffy’s eyes shifted over to the Bot and then back to Spike. “You are ours,” she amended. “Got it?”


Spike grinned and lowered his mouth to hers, kissing her perfect, pink lips gently. “Wouldn’t ‘ave it any other way, pet,” he whispered when the kiss broke.


Buffy smiled and pushed him back. “Get dressed before we ravish you here in the airport chapel on top of all that bubble-wrap,” she ordered.


Spike wagged his brows. “Kinky, that.”


“Get dressed, you perv,” Buffy ordered as she turned away and began closing up the suitcases again.


Spike sighed. “Spoil-sport,” he groaned, but did as she said.


Once Spike and Joan were dressed and all the luggage was closed back up, they slipped out of the room as nonchalantly as possible, leaving the crate behind.




A couple of weeks later…


“This?!” Spike exclaimed when Buffy had him stop the car in front of a house in the Allandale section of Austin just as the last rays of sun set behind the trees in the west. “This is the house you fell in love with?”


They’d stayed in Vegas for a few days, back at the Paradise Lost hotel, while Spike replenished their stash, which had been depleted over the last months in Europe. He’d done well, and they had a good sized nest-egg now to spend on a nice house in a nice neighborhood in Austin.


“I know it needs a little work,” Buffy allowed as she opened the door to get out of the car.


“That’s like saying Angel is a little broody, or Angelus is a little grouchy,” Spike grumbled as he got out as well. Joan followed them out of the backseat, and they all headed up the front walk of the dilapidated excuse for house.


“But look,” Buffy continued, ignoring him as she waved a hand at the giant, old grandfather oak in the front yard. “Where can you find big, old oaks like this anymore? Not in those cookie-cutter, McMansion subdivisions in the ‘burbs! And look at the park right across the street! Perfect for the kids! It’s got a big ball field, a giant swimming pool, a soccer field, a lake, and playground …” she continued to gush.


“But, Buffy…” Spike lamented, looking at the run-down, two-story house.


“And look at the big porch! It goes all the way around! And there’re five … count ‘em, five bedrooms, and three bathrooms. There’s even decent closet space – very rare for such a vintage home.”


Vintage? Ya mean older than dirt,” Spike began to scoff, but was cut-off by Buffy.


“It’s not that old!” Buffy argued.


“Old enough t’ be haunted, I’d wager. Don't want the bits gettin’ sucked into the closets or strangled by evil clown dolls, do ya? Didn’t ya ever see ‘Poltergeist’? Theey’rrre heeere,” Spike mocked, imitating the little girl in the movie. “It’s not a pretty picture, luv,” he advised her somberly.


“Spiiike, please,” Buffy chided him, rolling her eyes. “It’s not haunted and, anyway we've a a Slayer living with us. Joan would totally kick ghost-butt."


Spike rolled his eyes.


“Plus look!” Buffy encouraged him as they approached the house. She began banging on the footers and then on the beams, the stairs, and on the floor-boards with her knuckles. “It’s totally solid! It just needs paint and a little TLC.”


Spike looked up at all the peeling paint … he could see weeks of just scraping the old paint off, let alone re-painting. And the banister around the porch would be a right pain in the arse – all that detail work!


“It’s got … personality,” Buffy continued.


Spike snorted. “Yeah, got the personality of a pig pen,” he muttered dourly.


“Probably full o’ lead-based paint, too. Didn’t think o’ that did ya? Not good for the bits, that,” he pointed out.


“Tell him,” Buffy instructed Joan, smiling triumphantly.


“I have tested all the surfaces, inside and out, and I detected no lead-based paint. Nor have I detected any radon gas, formaldehyde, or asbestos. The electrical system has been updated within the last ten years and is sufficient and safe. They have also updated the HVAC unit and duct work in the last five years. The windows are original to the house and single-pane glass; it would be more efficient to upgrade those to double-pane in the future, but it is not an immediate hazard. The roof is sound, but will need to be replaced in the next ten years, in my estimation. The plumbing is 100% copper pipe and in excellent condition.”


Spike stared at Joan. “When did you turn into Bob the Bloody Builder?”


“Buffy purchased several books about home repair, remodeling, and inspection for me.”


“Of course she did,” Spike moaned. Turning back to Buffy he asked, “You do realize that remodeling a house is the number one cause of divorce in this country, don’t ya?”


“That is incorrect. The number one cause of divorce is infidelity; 75% of the time by the man, and 25% of the time by the woman,” Joan corrected. “This does not, of course, include same sex marriages. I do not have that data.”


“And infidelity is caused by fightin’ over bloody paint swatches in the Home Depot!” Spike contended. “Suddenly you’re seeing more o’ the girl at the paint counter than ya do your wife, and the next thing ya know …” Spike threw his hands in the air, leaving the sentence unfinished.


“Spiike,” Buffy groaned, rolling her eyes. “That’s not gonna happen to us.”


“It’s not, eh? Why not?” he wondered.


“Because … we aren’t like that. I have faith in us. And I know you aren’t gonna go boink the girl behind the paint counter,” Buffy assured him.


Spike cocked a brow at her. “Maybe you’ll go boink the girl behind the paint counter.”


Buffy laughed. “Yeah, well … I doubt that would make you want a divorce. You’d probably just want me to bring her home. Plus – bonus! – employee discount!”


She gave him her best smile and Spike knew he’d lost this argument. He sighed and looked at the house again, shaking his head. He was sooo whipped. Love’s bitch.


“You haven’t even seen the best part!” Buffy assured him, taking his hand and pulling him forward, up the stairs and onto the porch. “There’s a giant backyard and the inside is sooo cute. It’s got hardwood floors,” she informed him, then lowered her voice, “… that need refinishing.”


Back to her bright, shining voice she continued, “And this totally cool plaster ceiling that’s all swirls and whirls … that needs repainting … and the crown molding is to die for! Oh, and the banister on the stairs is real mahogany … only, it’s been painted over and needs to be stripped and refinished and …”


“Balls,” Spike moaned as he let her pull him forward. He could really use a demon to hunt down and kill. He looked around hopefully before Buffy tugged him into the house, but saw nothing. Bugger.




A month later…


Buffy literally danced up to the front door of their ‘new’ house, her very own key in hand. She’d been feeling big and heavy as a lead balloon, being now six months pregnant with twins, but at that moment she felt like she could float away on a breeze of pure joy. They’d closed on the house that very evening, and this would be their first night in their very own house – just in time for Christmas.


No more hotels.


Their house. Their normal house, in a normal neighborhood, in a fairly-normal town, where no one knew them or cared who they were or what they were.


Theirs. Theirs. Theirs!


Spike caught her before she turned the key in the lock and pulled her hand away. “Let me,” he requested, meeting her sparkling eyes with his own.


He had to smile just at the joy that she exuded; it poured off her in waves. He still wasn’t convinced buying this house was a wise decision, but she was. She loved it and he loved her. There really was nothing more to say.


Buffy backed up a step and let him turn the key, then the handle. Nothing happened. He pushed. The door barely moved. He pushed harder. Nope. One more good shove with his shoulder finally revealed the mustard yellow, 1970’s threadbare, matted-down shag carpet of the living room. The hardwood floors Buffy had gushed over were, Spike had learned, under the carpet.


Buffy squealed in delight and clapped her hands, bouncing on her toes in anticipation. Spike had stayed in nicer crypts, but she was so excited, so overjoyed with the prospect of it, he couldn’t say anything to ruin her happiness.


“Mrs. Pratt,” he said, turning to her. “Allow me the honor of welcoming you to your new home.” He bent down and scooped his pregnant wife up into his arms. Buffy yipped in surprise, but wrapped her arms around his neck as he turned and carried her over the threshold of the Pratt mansion … or, well the Pratt fixer-upper.


Once inside, Buffy pulled his face to hers with a hand on his cheek, and kissed him.


“Thank you for this. I promise you won’t regret it,” she vowed, her hand caressing his face gently, her warm eyes delving into his, showering him with love.


Spike had to smile at her enthusiasm and confidence. This was when she seemed most like a girl to him, and he was loath to extinguish her passion. It was, after all, one of the things he loved most about her.


“Long as I’m with you, I’m the happiest man in the world, luv,” he assured her, dropping his lips to hers again.


“Welcome home, Buffy.”



Phillip Phillips - Home


Hold on to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble, it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble, it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home


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