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?




30. Everybody's Changing


Music Referenced:

Everybody’s Changing, Keane

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 especially to those of you who take the time to email me feedback! Love hearing from everyone! Thanks also to Paganbaby for taking time out of her hectic life to beta this for me! Her suggestions ROCK!  All mistakes are mine because I can't stop fiddling right up to the last moment.

Rating / Warnings:

Warning for this chapter:  Angst.

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.


That same night...


Buffy eventually hauled herself back upstairs to their bed. She waited and waited for Spike to come back, but he never did, and eventually she fell back into a restless, exhausted sleep. By morning, he still had not returned. She tried calling his cell phone, but it buzzed uselessly on the bedside table.


Disheartened and exhausted, Buffy went in to get the babies up and dressed, only to find that Joan had, apparently, beaten her to it. Down in the kitchen Joan had the babies in their highchairs as she made small, silver-dollar pancakes on the stove for breakfast – whole-wheat, of course –  topped with 100% organic vanilla yogurt blended with fresh strawberries.


Buffy dropped kisses onto the tops of her babies' heads as she headed for the coffee pot. “Have you seen or heard from Spike this morning?” Buffy asked Joan as she poured herself a cup of coffee. Her eyes felt swollen and gritty and she could barely keep them open; she doubted anything less than mainlining caffeine would help, but …


“Yes. He is in my room. He seemed quite distraught when he came in a couple of hours ago. He is enveloped in an overpowering odor of whiskey and cigarettes – Jack Daniels Green Label and Marlboro Menthol, I believe. He collapsed onto my bed and told me to ‘sod off’ when I tried to waken him for the morning meal.”


Buffy felt a flood of relief pour over her. At least he’d come home. He wasn’t lying in a ditch somewhere waiting for the sun to come up. Buffy sat down at the table and dropped her head into her hands wearily.


“Did you discover that he broke that very expensive vase in the foyer and put it back together with super-glue and duct tape?” Joan wondered as set a plate of pancakes and a bowl of the yogurt/strawberry topping in front of Buffy.


“He what?!” Buffy screeched, looking up sharply.


Joan’s eyes went wide. “Ummm … please disregard my previous remark.”


Buffy rolled her eyes and shook her head as she began cutting the pancakes up into bites small enough for the toddlers. “No … that’s not what we were fighting about. But I’ll store that information away for another time when I feel like a good knock-down-drag-out.”


“Please do not reveal that I said anything. It was not intentional. He was playing football with Junior and the vase met with an unfortunate mishap.”


Buffy snorted and shook her head. “A vampire playing football in the house with a toddler is not an unfortunate mishap; it’s a really stupid idea with limitless possibilities for badness.”


“I pointed that out to him when he began the game. And I was correct. I did not, however, say ‘I told you so’ when the vase shattered, because that would have been uncouth and discourteous.”


“Just because something is a bad idea never stopped Spike before,” Buffy pointed out.


“Don’t we have some … syrup? I thought there was maple syrup,” Buffy asked Joan, eyeing the yogurt/strawberry concoction warily.


“This is much healthier. Yogurt contains lactobacteria which promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon. The bacterial cultures in yogurt have also been shown to stimulate infection-fighting white cells in the bloodstream. In addition, it is high in calcium, which is required by humans, especially during the growth stages of life. It is a balanced source of protein, fats, carbohydrates, and minerals in a texture that is smooth and palatable to children.”


“Yeah, but syrup is yummier,” Buffy argued lamely as she offered a bite of pancake dipped into the yogurt/strawberry topping to Will.


Her son tried to take it off the fork with his fingers. “No, baby, it’s gooey,” Buffy cajoled him. “Just open wide…” she instructed, demonstrating with her own mouth. Will mimicked her and Buffy was able to get the first bite into his mouth without stringing yogurt all over him or the floor. One down, ten more to go.


“I have to go back to Sunnydale,” Buffy told Joan as she continued to feed the twins. They were actually eating it – will wonders never cease? “There’s something … a big bad that … I don’t know – wants me there.”


“I will accompany you. I have excellent combat skills and superior quips,” Joan offered.


“No,” Buffy answered. “You need to stay here with Spike and the babies. I’m counting on you to help Spike if something … comes here looking for trouble.”


“But you said the big bad is in Sunnydale. I am the Slayer. I should go where the big bad is,” Joan argued. “It is my Calling, my duty.”


“Nooo,” Buffy said more emphatically. “Your calling is to keep Spike and the babies safe. You stay here with them. There are these blind demon guys killing … girls. I guess they’re like … pre-Slayers … Slayers-in-Waiting? I don’t know, but these demons work for this preacher and he wants me there for some reason. If he finds out where we live, he’ll send these Blind Mice here, I’m sure of it. I’m counting on you to help Spike keep Jade and Will safe.”


“How do blind mice demons find their targets?” Joan wondered.


Buffy shook her head. “I have no idea – but they do. It looks like they used mostly knives or daggers as weapons.”


Joan nodded brusquely one time. “I am excellent at combat involving sharp objects. I will defend our family while you go in my place to Sunnydale.”


Buffy nodded and took a deep breath. “Thanks.”


“Do you need me to teach you the new quips I have been formulating?”


Buffy gave Joan a small smile and shook her head. “I think I can handle it. You better hang on to them, you might need them yourself.”




In the wee hours of the next morning, Buffy sat in the rocking chair in the nursery with her babies in her arms. A cab would be there to pick her up in a few minutes and take her to the bus station. The bus for L.A. was leaving at 4am. She would sneak out of the house without fanfare, without a tearful, anguished goodbye, without a last kiss, a last look in Spike’s eyes, a last ‘I love you’.


No matter what she did or how she tried to explain, Spike had steadfastly refused to even speak to her the whole day. It was tearing her apart. She’d told him she would be leaving for Sunnydale tomorrow, but she couldn’t stay in the house any longer. She left him a note on her pillow apologizing for everything. She was too afraid to wait – wait for him to forgive her, wait for him to talk to her again – and she was afraid that if she waited, she wouldn’t go, and that would only make things worse in the end. Not going was not an option. Not going, she was sure, would cost her family – and possibly the whole world – their lives.


“I love you guys more than anything in the world,” Buffy murmured to her sleeping babies. “I’m gonna try sooo hard to come back, but if I don’t, your daddy and Aunt Joan will love you for me. You mind them and don’t wrap your daddy around your little fingers too tightly. He loves you guys sooo much. He’ll keep you safe and he’ll tell you about me later if …”


Buffy’s voice broke and she sniffed back her tears, shaking her head to try and get the image of her children growing up without her out of her mind. “I promise to fight my hardest to get back to you,” she vowed in a husky, cracking voice as she dropped a kiss atop each of their heads, burying her nose in each of their soft, generous curls of chestnut-brown. “I love you sooo much – never, ever doubt that.”




Buffy had just leaned her head against the window of the bus and closed her eyes when she heard tires squealing, and the bus lurched to a bumpy stop. Suddenly all the sleepy passengers were wide awake, looking around to see what was happening and picking up belongings that had scattered when the bus jerked to a halt.


Buffy’s eyes went wide when she heard someone pounding on the closed bus door, calling her name and demanding to be let onboard. Spike! She jumped up, stepped over the feet of the woman sitting in the aisle seat next to her, and hurried down the aisle, pressing curious onlookers aside as she went.


“Open the door,” she told the driver, who was speaking on his radio, presumably calling for some sort of assistance. “It’s alright,” Buffy assured him. “Just open the door and I’ll handle it.”


The man gave her a questioning look, but didn’t open the door until Buffy began pushing buttons and pulling on levers, looking for the right one.


“What the bloody hell do ya think you’re doin’, Slayer?!” Spike demanded when the door finally opened. He rushed up the stairs and grabbed her by the wrist, pulling her down the steps and into the street. “Leavin’ without so much as a ‘kiss my ass’?” he continued angrily, glaring at her in the amber light of the streetlamps.


“Spike, I’m sorry,” Buffy began, trying to placate him. “I left you a note, I just thought…”


“Got your soddin’ note,” he continued angrily, waving the paper in the air in front of her face. “And I don’t accept your bleedin’ apology. Pegged you for a lot of things, Summers, but ‘coward’ never was one of ‘em.”


Buffy flinched as if slapped, and blinked hot tears back from her eyes. “What!? I’m not … You wouldn’t talk to me! What was I supposed to …” she began angrily.


Before Buffy could say any more, Spike pulled her to him in a fierce hug and crushed his lips to hers. Buffy stiffened and gasped, caught off-guard by the sudden embrace, but then melted against him. She returned the kiss with as much fervor as Spike delivered it, holding his face between her hands and pressing her body into his. Time stood still in that moment, every sensation, every tingle, every emotion coming into sharp focus. She relished the heady, manly fragrance of him, the spicy, salty, whiskey-and-tobacco-laced taste of his tongue against hers, the rumbling moan that vibrated from his throat, the hard lines of his body against hers, the strength of his arms holding her. She wanted to remember every nuance of Spike, just in case this was the last time …


No – it is not the last time. I’ll be back, we’ll be together again, she admonished herself silently as the ferocity of the kiss slowed and their lips finally parted, leaving her weak-kneed, flushed, and panting.


“That’s so you don’t forget what you’re leavin’ behind, Slayer,” Spike breathed against her lips, their foreheads pressed together as Buffy tried to catch her breath. “I love you. Didn’t … didn’t mean what I said. Would never turn m’ back on you … never leave ya alone. I’ll always be here, be here waiting for you … forever yours. I’m your willin’ slave,” Spike vowed.


“Come back to me, to us … can’t do this without you,” he pleaded, his voice cracking with emotion.


Buffy closed her eyes against her tears, and nodded against his forehead. “I’ll come back,” she vowed. “You just take care of the babies, and don’t let Joan feed them any shredded tofu. That’s just wrong. Yogurt on pancakes is bad enough.”


Spike chuckled that low, deep, contagious laugh that she loved so much. It touched something inside her and she couldn’t help but smile through her tears.


“Scout’s honor,” he promised as he pulled away from her. Buffy looked into his eyes, renewing the mental picture she held inside as her anchor to sanity. The blue sapphires shimmered with unshed tears in the soft glow of the streetlights, just as she knew hers did.


“I love you, Spike. I’ll always love you,” she whispered one last time as she let her hands slide away from his beautiful face. “I’ll come back. We’ll be a family again.”


Spike pursed his lips and nodded, unable to speak, as he watched his wife slowly turn away from him and climb back up the stairs of the bus. The door closed behind her and it was all Spike could do to not rip them off, run after her, and drag her home with him. He took a deep breath, running his hand back through his tousled hair, and finally climbed back in the DeSoto.


‘Wait’ was not something he did well – he had no idea how he would survive the next days – or would it be weeks, months? – waiting for her to return. He knew it would be the hardest thing he’d ever done, that was the only thing he was certain of.


Spike moved the old car out of the bus’ path and watched with a heavy heart as it drove away into the pre-dawn darkness, taking Buffy away with it. His stomach churned, his heart ached, his mind worried – he’d never felt more helpless and alone. He should be at her side for this fight, but she was depending on him to keep their babies safe. Spike wiped the tears from his face, determined to not let her down – not let them down.


“You bloody well better come back to me, Slayer.”




Buffy was met with wolf-whistles and applause when she reentered the bus. She flushed, ducking her head, hiding her face behind the veil of her hair, and wiping away her tears with shaking fingers as she re-took her seat. She watched the DeSoto back out of the path of the bus, but couldn’t see inside past the blacked-out windows. She desperately wished she could see Spike one last time, and she watched unblinkingly for even the barest glimpse as the bus pulled away. But, it wasn’t to be; the street was too dark and the small openings in the sun-block too small. Still she watched, turning her head back to keep the old car in sight until it was nothing but a mirage in her mind on the dark street behind her.


Finally, she turned back straight in her seat and heaved a tumultuous sigh. She had no idea what awaited her in Sunnydale. She had no idea if she’d be able to keep her vow to return to Spike. She had no idea if she’d ever see her children again. Her tears returned with a vengeance and refused to be swallowed back. She closed her eyes and leaned against the cold window again, letting her sorrow flow down her cheeks and drip from her chin. She would have no time for tears once she was in Sunnydale – best to let them run dry now.




Spike watched through his tears as the bus pulled away, fighting against his urge to go after it, to block it again, to do anything to stop her from going. He felt his heart – that heart that Buffy had brought to life – shatter in his chest with horrible dread.  Dread that he would never see her again, never hear her voice again, never touch her again. Dread that Jade and Will would never know her. That they would grow up with only a chipped vampire and a too-literal Aunt as their guides in life.


He felt the car begin to inch forward, as if to surreptitiously follow the quickly disappearing bus. He let it roll along the deserted street for several hundred yards, as if pulled by some unseen force after her, before he roared in frustration and stomped down on the brake.


When Spike could no longer see even the taillights of the bus, he dropped his forehead against his knuckles where they held the steering wheel in a death-grip. Weary resignation descended on him like a black cloud, filling the broken pieces of his heart with a heaviness he’d never before felt.  He sat there, shattered and sobbing until the sun began to lighten the eastern sky and the world around him began coming to life.


With a heavy heart, Spike turned the DeSoto around and headed home; home to the children that needed him now more than ever. He would defend them with his life, with his love, with his last drop of blood, with the last fragment of his decimated heart, not because they were his, but because they were hers, and he made a promise to a lady.




Buffy was the only person to get off the bus in Sunnydale, however she noticed that there were lots of people lined up to get on the bus leaving town. 


She pulled her cell phone out of her pocket and checked it. ‘No Signal’ was displayed in red letters across the screen. She sighed and checked for messages or texts that she’d missed during the bus ride. There was one email and one text, both from Spike. The email was blank except for the subject and an attachment. ‘Come back to us,’ was the subject. The attachment was a picture of Spike sitting on the floor with the twins – one he’d obviously taken himself just that morning. Buffy’s chest tightened as she brushed her fingers across the screen. “I promise,” she murmured to the photo, blinking back her emotions.


The text was equally simple: ‘I <3 U.’ 


Buffy’s vision blurred again and her chest constricted as she hit ‘reply’ and typed, ‘Me <3 U 2’ and hit send. If she happened to cross a patch of town with some service it would go, even if she was busy. She stuffed the phone back into her pack and sighed, then straightened, lifted her chin, and looked around to get her bearings. Time to get to work.


Buffy headed off on foot toward the Magic Box. She really had no idea where to find her old allies, but decided to start there and see what she could find.


The streets of the town were nearly deserted. Everyone had left or were in the process of leaving, like rats abandoning a sinking ship. Stores were closed and houses stood open, abandoned. When she got to the Magic Box she found it to be like the rest of the town: closed down, boarded up. Looking through a small opening in the boards across the window she saw that the place was completely empty, not even the display stands remained. Buffy sighed, saddened by the loss of the place she had spent so much time with her friends, sister, and Watcher.


“Everything changes,” she muttered to herself as she took a calming breath and headed for Giles’ apartment. She wondered if he had gone back to England like Spike said. She suddenly felt sickened, remembering the news report she’d seen when they were in France of the Council building being blown up by ‘terrorists’. What if Giles had been in there at the time? What if he were dead? She’d never considered that before and, despite everything, it made her heart ache. He was the closest thing to a real father she’d had and, regardless of his faults and mistakes, she knew that he did love her and only wanted the best for her.


Her fears were not allayed at Giles’ flat. The door stood open, but it was clear that it had not belonged to her Watcher before it had been abandoned. Visits to Willow’s parents’ home as well as the Harris' garnered no further clues – they were gone as well. In desperation, and with more than a little dread, she ventured to Revello Drive.


Buffy stood outside the home that had been her sanctum all through high school and a thousand memories poured over her. It was hard to believe that so much had happened in those few years – good and bad; so much laughter and so many tears.


Buffy shook herself from her musings and walked up to the front door. She knocked, but got no answer. She peered in the front window, cupping her hands against the glass to cut the glare and see better. It clearly wasn’t her house anymore. The furniture was different, her mother’s knick-knacks were gone, the framed photos were of people she didn’t recognize.


Buffy blinked back her tears and stepped away from the window, unsure where to look or what to do now.  She’d just begun to turn back to the stairs to leave when she felt a sudden intense burning sensation across the small of her back. She spun around to find three of those blind demons surrounding her.  A quick touch to the small of her back showed that she’d been cut and was bleeding fairly profusely. She cursed herself for her foolishness – she’d been so engrossed in her own emotions and thoughts that she hadn’t even heard them come up. 


“Now, now, boys,” a male voice came from behind her attackers. “Remember what I said, we need this little slut in one piece … more or less.”


Buffy knew the voice immediately and her blood ran cold: Caleb.


“Knew you’d come, Slayer,” he continued as two of his minions parted to make way for him.


“Well, you said you had something of mine. Seemed like the only polite thing to do,” Buffy fired back as she surreptitiously reached a hand into her bag for a weapon.


“Ah, ah, ah. Wouldn't do that if I were you, swee' pea. Fightin' back didn't do you much good last time, did it?” Caleb warned, kicking the backpack from her hand. The heavy pack flew over the banister, past the hedge, and into the yard, well out of reach. “You really don’t want me to finish what I started in that little dream, now do ya, missy? How are those two little bastard young ‘uns o’ yours, anyway?”


Buffy glowered at him, keeping her fists pressed against her sides and the one small weapon she’d managed to retrieve obscured from view. “You go near them and I will end you,” she threatened dangerously.


“Manners, missy! That’s no way t’ talk to your betters,” Caleb warned. “I do imagine that firebrand tongue of yours has inflamed many a man, weak as they are, but I’m not just any man.”


Buffy snorted derisively. “My betters?” she mocked, still glaring at him. “You wouldn’t be the ‘better’ of a dung demon!”


“Now, now, little girl. Mind your manners. I do believe I did warn you once.”


Buffy gave him a saccharine smile, trying to cover her nervousness and fear. If he was as invincible as he’d been in her dream, this could be a very short fight. “I guess I just don’t respond well to threats. Especially delivered by some low-life hiding behind his minions.”


Caleb returned her smile and stepped closer, waving the 'Three Blind Mice' back. Buffy shuddered; she’d never seen a creepier smile. She thought of wiping it off his sanctimonious face and instantly felt better.  


“They’re just here to make sure you don’t scamper off like a roach before I squash you,” he informed her coldly. “The end is nigh. Great things are happenin' now, right here. The school, the seal, the ancient power of the Guardians ... it's all gonna be a part of the great sweepin' tide of change in this wicked world – washing away the sins of the flesh, and when history looks back, you're gonna be a part of it. A very small, dead part … but a part, nonetheless, missy. History's gonna look back at you, at me, at this town, and they're gonna see the glory. Hallelujah!”


“Wow – so, are we gonna fight, or is your plan to evangelize me to death?” Buffy wondered, yawning widely and feigning boredom. In truth, her heart was about to beat right out of her chest. She’d hoped to have more intel before having to actually fight the preacher, possibly even backup from her old friends and allies. She had none of that, and he knew it. It would be up to her.


Caleb gave her that creepy smile again as he took another step closer to her. “Oh, I knew you'd be a wild one! I'm gonna take such sweet pleasure in taming you.”


Buffy snorted. “Good luck with that. Plenty better than you have tried and failed."


In that instant Caleb came within reach of her. Buffy, who had been working on her strategy as he’d been talking, made her move. Instead of going after the leader, she ducked past him and attacked one of the weak links, one of the Blind Mice. Buffy charged the minion to her right, the one furthest away from Caleb. Surprised by the sudden attack, it fell backwards onto the floor of the porch. Buffy used her momentum and continued to roll away from her attackers.


She had nearly made it to the porch rail, readying herself to hurdle it and dive for her backpack and the weapons therein, when Spike suddenly appeared in front of her. She skidded to a halt in shock. “Wha…” she began.


“C’mon, Slayer! We can take these wankers out here and now!” he encouraged, side-stepping her and heading back toward her attackers.


“Spike! No! Wait!” she continued, utterly confused as she turned and tried to stop him. Her hand went right through his incorporeal form. The whole thing barely had time to register with her before two of Caleb’s blind boys grabbed her arms, stopping her.


Spike laughed at her, shaking his head. “Gotta admit, didn’t think the bint would show,” he said to Caleb, jabbing a thumb in Buffy’s direction where she was now struggling ineffectually against the Bringers.


Caleb shrugged. “Curiosity: woman's first sin. I offer her an apple. What can she do but take it?”


“You jus’ make sure she don’t scamper off with it,” First!Spike warned Caleb, his amber eyes narrowing angrily. “Get ‘er t’ pull the scythe outta the soddin’ rock, then end ‘er.”


“Your wish, my command,” Caleb replied reverently.


“With the power o’ the Guardians' added t’ mine, won’t be a bloody thing in heaven or hell that can stop what’s comin’,” First!Spike told Caleb almost gleefully.


“Hallelujah!” Caleb replied excitedly, his dark eyes glittering in anticipation.





Everybody’s Changing, Keane




You say you wander your own land

But when I think about it

I don't see how you can

You're aching, you're breaking

And I can see the pain in your eyes

Says everybody's changing

And I don't know why


So little time

Try to understand that I'm

Trying to make a move just to stay in the game

I try to stay awake and remember my name

But everybody's changing

And I don't feel the same


You're gone from here

Soon you will disappear

Fading into beautiful light

'Cause everybody's changing


And I don't feel right


So little time

Try to understand that I'm

Trying to make a move just to stay in the game

I try to stay awake and remember my name

But everybody's changing

And I don't feel the same


So little time

Try to understand that I'm

Trying to make a move just to stay in the game

I try to stay awake and remember my name

But everybody's changing

And I don't feel the same



Everybody's changing

And I don't feel the same

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