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?




32. Weird Science


Music Referenced:

Oingo Boingo - Weird Science

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:

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.

Sometime later...


Buffy snuggled down into the clean, fresh linens and soft pillow, and sighed contentedly. On some level, she knew it was a dream, but it was such a lovely one that she was loath to announce it to her subconscious and possibly end it. She could feel sunlight on her face, warm and tingling, while a soft breeze tickled her skin, cooling her.




Buffy groaned at the sound and pulled the pillow over her head, covering her ears. Sleep … she just wanted to sleep.


“Buffy, I need you to wake up and take this antibiotic,” the voice continued. “Your leg was quite damaged. The wound was filled with debris and appears to be infected.”


Buffy moaned again, clutching at the pillow as it was pulled away from her head. She blinked her eyes open, resigned to being unable to recapture the peace and comfort of her dream. She looked around, confused, trying to figure out where she was. The last thing she remembered had been collapsing with Joan on the floor at the nurse’s station – she definitely was not there any longer.


She blinked again and rubbed at her eyes, trying to get her exhausted brain to begin working again.


“Buffy?” the voice questioned gently.


Buffy pulled her fingers from her eyes and looked up, squinting against the brightness of the room. “Giles?” A flood of relief washed over her – he hadn’t been killed with the rest of the Council after all. Her old allies were here! She had help. Everything would be alright now.


Giles gave her a reassuring smile, reaching one hand out to touch her arm. “Buffy, thank goodness. We were quite concerned that there was more damage than we could see.”


She wanted to fly into his arms and hug him, but something about his demeanor stopped her – plus she wasn't sure just how badly she was injured and her head was still foggy with exhaustion. She decided to go along with his casual welcome until she could get a handle on what was going on.


“We?” Buffy asked as she sat up groggily. She was actually in a bed – a hospital bed – and there was actually sun shining in and breeze blowing in through a broken window. The sun was low in the sky – what it just rising or setting? She wasn’t sure. How long had seen been out of it? All night, at least. Longer, perhaps.


“Here, take this,” Giles ordered, offering Buffy a white pill and a glass of water. “Antibiotic,” he explained when she only looked at the medicine.


Buffy frowned, but took the pill. “Who’s ‘we’?” she asked again after downing the whole glass of water.


“Faith, Angel, Andrew …” he began to list, taking the glass back from her. “Are you hungry?”


“Andrew?” she questioned. “Starving.”


“Andrew Wells,” Giles replied as he stepped over to a nearby table and came back with a tray with a bowl of cereal and milk on it.




“Tucker’s younger brother. Remember he loosed the hell-hounds at the prom? Andrew apparently did something similar with monkeys at the school play. I admit to not recalling it.”


“Oh.” Buffy furrowed her brow, giving him a questioning look as he settled the tray on her lap.


“And Faith … got paroled?” Buffy wondered, looking at him suspiciously.


“Well … in a manner of speaking. She escaped; Angel assisted her.”


Buffy huffed out a sarcastic laugh, shaking her head. “Wonderful.”


“We needed help, Buffy – I knew you would come – I told him you would, but Angel insisted upon retrieving Faith.”


“How did you know I’d come?”


Giles gave her a fatherly smile. “Because it’s who you are.”


Buffy huffed out a derisive breath, suddenly feeling petulant. “You have no idea who I am. Sometimes I wonder if you ever did.”


Giles blanched. “Buffy … I …” he stammered, removing his glasses and polishing them intently. Finally he looked back up at her. “I’m terribly sorry that you felt you had to leave Sunnydale. We were all quite worried … Angel said you were with Spike, but that you did not desire our assistance.


“Are you … did he …” Giles cleared his throat uncomfortably. “Are you quite alright?”


Buffy couldn’t decide whether to be angry with him or just feel pity for her former Watcher. “I’m fine. We’re fine. He didn’t kidnap me or hurt me, if that’s what you thought – I went with him. You were gonna turn me over to the Council.”


“Well, yes … I … we did discuss it.”


“You did more than discuss it!” Buffy accused, suddenly not hungry any longer, or relieved to see him as her brain began to focus more sharply and old, emotional wounds were ripped open. “You called them. They found me! How did they find me?”


Giles seemed surprised by this news. “I … wasn’t aware they had. No one ever told me. In fact, it wasn’t long after that … well … the Council, as such, is gone, Buffy.”


Buffy snorted derisively. “Boo-fucking-hoo.”


Giles recoiled at her harshness. “The whole building was blown up by terrorists. It was a tragic loss of life. Many good men and women–”


“How did they find me?” Buffy demanded again, cutting him off.


Giles looked at her a moment – her eyes were hard, her mouth set in a stubborn line, keeping all her chaotic emotions locked inside. “I would assume they would’ve used the same means they used to find any Slayer or Potential.”


Buffy pursed her lips, setting the tray aside, food uneaten, and swinging her legs off the bed, preparing to stand up. “We have talismans to mess up locator spells.”


Giles raised his brows. “I see. Yes, well … that explains why neither Willow nor I couldn’t locate you, but it wouldn’t have stopped the Council. Their magic is … was quite … powerful – ancient, in fact. A talisman would not have counteracted it, not for long at any rate.”


Buffy winced when she put weight on her injured leg, lifting it up off the floor immediately. “Shit! How bad is this?” she asked, looking down. Someone had cut the leg of her jeans off at the knee, cleaned her leg up, and applied a bandage to the wound.


“We were able to get the shrapnel out and suture the worst of it. As I said, it appears to be infected. There was a good bit of tissue damage, as well,” Giles explained, reaching for her arm to help steady her on one leg.


“Perhaps you should rest a while longer,” he suggested.


“I need to check on Joan,” Buffy retorted, testing her leg more gingerly, lifting it and putting it back down until she could get accustomed to the pain.


“Joan?” Giles questioned.


Buffy frowned. “The Bot … BuffyBot.”


“Oh, yes. It was …”


“She,” Buffy corrected.




“Joan is a ‘she’, not an ‘it’,” Buffy explained.


“Oh, indeed … errr … right. Well, she was quite damaged. Andrew is seeing to it … errr … her.”


“Who the hell is Andrew?” Buffy demanded, limping for the door to the room.


“Tucker’s brother,” Giles explained again. “He’s what I believe you call a ‘geek’ … or perhaps a ‘nerd’,” Giles continued, following her. “I’m rather confused by the terminology, but he seemed to know how to repair … her.”


Buffy scowled. “Where?”


Giles waved a hand down the hallway to the left. “Operating Suite One.”


Buffy hurried her painful, half-hopping steps, following the signs that pointed to the cluster of operating suites. She burst in through the doors of Suite One without knocking.


The Bot was on her stomach on the operating table, her back exposed. A young man with a soldering gun in his hand, a surgical mask, and magnifying glasses like a surgeon would wear was leaning over her. He jerked his head up at the sudden noise; his eyes appeared overly-large behind the glasses, like a googly-eyed bug.


“Hey! Majorly uncool!” Andrew shrieked as the wires he was working on smoked and melted.


“What the hell are you doing to her?” Buffy demanded, limping toward him.


“Mask! You’re going to contaminate my operating room!” he accused angrily.


Buffy scowled at him, stopping on the other side of Joan, her arms crossed over her chest angrily. “What are you doing to her?” she asked again.


“Hey! You’re … her! You’re Buffy, the Slayer of the Vampyrs,” Andrew announced melodramatically, removing the glasses. “Like Gollum, once a normal, happy hobbit, living a normal, happy life, she was flung headlong into utter madness by the circumstances of her destiny. Like Frodo, she left her homeland and sojourned into the unknown reaches of the universe with her mortal enemy turned vampyr lover to dispel her madness, cast it into the fires of Mount Doom …”


Andrew paused his exposition, frowned as he considered his tale, then amended matter-of-factly, “Of course, Frodo didn’t go with his vampyr lover … he went with Samwise Gamgee… although, flinging the madness into the fires of Mount Doom sort of fits …”


Buffy reached across the Bot’s body and wrapped her fingers around Andrew’s throat, lifting him up so his toes barely touched the floor. “If you don’t tell me what you’re doing, I will sojourn you to the unknown reaches of the universe, one little piece at a time.”


“Buffy,” Giles interrupted, laying a hand on her arm. “While the silence is most refreshing, I don’t believe he can answer you while you’re strangling him.”


Andrew squeaked in agreement, his face turning purple.


Buffy released her grip and Andrew dropped back down to his feet, rubbing at his throat, and looking up at her warily. “I’m fixing her,” he retorted petulantly.


“Do you know how to fix her?” Buffy asked, glaring at him.


“Of course! She’s model 2001.BS.S.1, a sentient android, built to William the Bloody’s specifications by my dear, sweet, late friend Warren Mears – may he rest in peace,” he added poignantly, folding his hands beneath his chin as if in prayer, and bowing his head reverently.


“I have all of Warren’s plans … see?” he added, suddenly brightening and turning to the table behind him. It was covered in what looked like blueprints and wiring diagrams.


Buffy limped around the operating table and looked at the papers, then back at Andrew. “Do you know how to read these?”


Andrew rolled his eyes. “Duh!”


“Has she woken up yet?”


The geek shook his head. “I couldn’t get her to wake up. None of the standard protocols or keywords worked.”


“Did she get charged? Can you tell if …” Buffy bit her lip as hot tears stung her eyes. She blinked them back. “Can you tell if her memory got … booted out.”


Andrew looked at her strangely. “Ummm … do you mean reset … erased, corrupted?”


“Whatever!” Buffy growled. “Is she still … her?”


Andrew scrunched up his face. “I don’t know. I can’t tell until she powers up.”


Buffy sighed and walked up to the prone body on the table. She took a deep breath, laid a hand on the Bot’s shoulder, and leaned down near her twin’s ear.  The word was right on the tip of Buffy’s tongue, but her throat had constricted with fear that she hadn’t been fast enough to save her friend. There was only one way to find out. Buffy cleared her throat and closed her eyes, sending a silent prayer to whoever the patron saint of sentient androids was.


“Rumpelstiltskin,” she whispered into Joan’s ear.


Buffy could hear drives suddenly whirl to life and Joan’s eyes blinked several times, as if trying to focus and get her bearings.


“Don’t try to move … I don’t think you can,” Buffy told her, still leaning down so her friend could see her face.


The Bot blinked a few more times and turned her head from side to side. “I am not familiar with this location.”


Buffy bit her lip again and nodded, the tightness returning to her throat. “That’s ok. Do you know me?”


Joan smiled. “You are Buffy. You were previously the Slayer, but you abdicated the role solely to me. You are now a mother and homemaker and work part-time in the fast-paced and rewarding food-service industry.”


A tear rolled down Buffy’s cheek and she laughed as her fear dwindled. “And … do you remember Spike?”


“Spike is bloody handsome, gives brilliant head, and is a fantastic shag; he therefore does not have to excel at carpentry, painting, or refinishing the soddin’ floors.”


“Good Lord…” Giles muttered, removing his glasses and polishing them briskly.


Buffy laughed harder and hugged Joan’s neck. “You got that right. Oh, Joan, I thought I’d lost you.”


“How could you lose me when I am right here?”


“No … I mean … I thought maybe … your RAM might’ve … run off,” Buffy clarified.


“RAM cannot run. I run with my legs.”


“Right – ummm … Joan, this is Andrew,” Buffy stammered to change the subject to something that might include words she knew how to use. Buffy moved back and pulled the geek up near Joan’s face so she could see him from her prone position. “He has your wiring plans and he says he can fix you. Will it be alright if he tries?”


Joan nodded once. “I will monitor his actions and give appropriate feedback. If he is incompetent, may I electrocute him?”


“Yes,” Buffy answered without hesitation.


“Hey!” Andrew complained. “Lieutenant Commander Data would never electrocute someone trying to help him!”


“He wasn’t a Slayer,” Buffy pointed out. “Plus, we’ve been living with our precious vampyr much too long,” she added, widening her eyes dramatically, wringing her hands, and saying the ‘our precious’ part like Gollum talking about that ring in those stupid movies Spike and Joan made her watch.


Andrew stepped back, awed and wide-eyed. “Oh, Frodo … the Slayer is a kindred spirit!”


Buffy rolled her eyes. “Fix her and do it right,” Buffy ordered.


Andrew nodded eagerly.


Buffy laid a hand on the Bot’s shoulder again. “I’ll be back to check on you in a little bit.”


“Thank you. I will remain here with the poofter until you return.”


Buffy quirked a brow at her. “You have been hanging around our precious too long.”




Out in the hallway, Buffy commandeered a gurney so she could get off her aching leg. She sat with her good leg tucked under her and her bad leg straight out, resting on the thin mattress, trying to get it to stop throbbing.


“Perhaps a pain killer? Demerol?” Giles suggested.


Buffy shook her head. “No, I need to stay sharp … awake. Maybe just a Tylenol or an aspirin.”


Giles nodded. “Yes, quite. I’ll be right back.”


Buffy closed her eyes as she waited for him to come back, concentrating on her breathing and trying to calm her jittery nerves and racing heart. Her leg hurt like a mother. She wondered if all that shrapnel that had cut into Joan had hurt her as much. She shuddered at the thought. If Joan hadn’t tossed Buffy off the porch, all that shrapnel would’ve been in Buffy. She shuddered again.


“Are you certain you are quite alright?” Giles asked when he returned.


Buffy opened her eyes and nodded. “Fine,” she told him, taking the pills and another glass of water from him.


“Do you know a super-strong, bad guy preacher named Caleb?” she asked after she’d taken the pills.


“Unfortunately, we have made his acquaintance, yes,” Giles affirmed gravely.


“I need to know where he … hangs out – where his lair is.”


Giles’ brows rose. “What on earth for?”


“He has something of mine – I’m going to get it,” Buffy explained.


“Buffy, perhaps we need to get the others and discuss …”


“He’s dead, Giles. Joan and I killed him. I just need to know where to look for … the thing … whatever it is.”


Giles’ brows rose further. “You … killed him? Caleb? Are you certain?”


“Do one-legged ducks swim in circles?”


Giles’ brows furrowed. “Errr … I’m not entirely certain of the answer to that question.”


Buffy rolled her eyes. “Yes – dead. Totally, 100%, doornail dead.”


“How in the world…” Giles began to ask.




Giles’ mouth dropped open. “Yes, well … I see. I suppose that would be effective, difficult for him to defend against.”


“You could say that, especially when you stuff it up his arrogant, self-righteous, misogynic ass,” Buffy spat.


Giles flinched. “You … stuffed it …?”


Buffy roll her eyes and smiled at his discomfort. “Naaaa … not really. Stuffed it down the front of his pants, though. Preacher go ‘boom’,” she related, tossing her hands in the air to illustrate. “Unfortunately, some of the ‘boom’ hit me and Joan, too.”


Giles wrinkled his nose but nodded, looking at her wounded leg. “I see.”


“So, where do I look?” Buffy asked again as she lowered her legs and began to slide down off the gurney.


“The old winery north of town,” Giles told her. “But you are in no shape to go there alone. Even with Caleb gone, the Bringers are still…”


“Bringers? Are those the Blind Mice?”


Giles gave her a patient smile. “Yes – the Harbingers of Death … Bringers. I believe we’ve met them, and have discussed this, before.”


Buffy waved a dismissive hand. “Yeah, I just couldn’t remember their names. I kinda zone out when you start in on all the boring details.”


“Their identity is a ‘boring detail’?”


“Totally. The only relevant thing is: how do I slay them? But, I think Joan figured that out too,” Buffy divulged.


“Still – there could be quite a large number of them. Let me get Faith and Angel… they can accompany you,” Giles offered.


“Faith and Angel … two of my very favorite-est and most trusted friends in the world,” Buffy replied sarcastically. “They can stab me in the back while the Bringers stab me from the front. It’ll be a stab-a-thon. Slayer shish-kabob!”


“Buffy, I understand your trepidation,” Giles agreed. “However, drastic times call for …”


“Drastic bedfellows?” Buffy interjected sardonically.


Giles sighed. “Indeed.”


Buffy looked up and down the empty halls of the hospital, thinking. “You never told me how you found us here,” Buffy said, changing the subject.


“It wasn’t difficult – we’re holed up here, as well. It’s the only place left with power,” Giles explained.


“You, Faith, Angel, and Andrew?”


“And … several Potentials. Those that managed to escape the Bringers and Caleb and make it to Sunnydale,” Giles confirmed.


“Potentials? You mean, like, Slayers-in-Waiting?”


Giles nodded. “Indeed. Just girls, really. We’ve done some basic defensive and weapons training with them, but … they’re just girls.”


“Where are … Willow and Xander and … everyone?” Buffy wondered tentatively.


Giles cleared his throat and removed his glasses to begin polishing them again.


“Oh, this can’t be of the good…” Buffy muttered, watching him.


Giles sighed and replaced his glasses, although he didn’t look at her. He instead looked down the empty hallway, his mind focused in the past. “After you … left, things here on the Hellmouth began to fall apart. Somehow word spread that there was no Slayer in Sunnydale and demons began flooding in – more than we could handle on our own. I called Angel and asked him to see if he could locate you since Willow and I were having no success.”


“Yeah, we sent a message back with him,” Buffy interjected.


Giles nodded and sighed. “Indeed. When it became clear that you would not be returning, Angel moved back here to assist – but even that was not enough. A biker demon gang invaded one night – much too many for us to fight, even with Angel’s help. They began burning homes, killing the residents, pillaging stores…”


Giles paused and finally looked at Buffy. “They caught Tara out on the street alone. They killed her.”


Buffy gasped, her heart leaping into her throat. “Oh, Tara … Oh, God, Willow…”


Giles nodded. “Willow was … inconsolable, and worse. Buffy, she turned dark … her grief and anger consumed her. She was driven to seek revenge and exact retribution against the perpetrators. Her magick, fed by her rage and heartbreak, turned black and dangerous, and much more powerful than any of us could’ve imagined.”


“What happened?” Buffy asked when Giles paused.


Giles looked away again, lost in the memories. “With merely a murmured word and a flick of her fingers she wrought her revenge on the demons. Their motorbikes came alive and wrapped around their riders, turning the tables, if you will. The demons were … crushed by their own machines. If they fled, the bikes would chase them down and catch them. Not one survived.”


“Yay Willow?” Buffy posited weakly.


Giles scowled, his eyes still focused down the hallway. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to sate her grief.” Giles finally looked at Buffy. “She nearly ended the world, Buffy. If not for Xander, I’ve no doubt she would’ve.”


Buffy cringed. “What happened?”


Giles shrugged. “I’m not entirely certain, but he managed to remind her of her humanity and quelled the raging tempest, but …” Giles sighed. “She’s never been quite the same. She went to live with the coven outside of London, to learn to control the dark side of her magicks. She’s done well by all reports, but she’s vowed to not return to the Hellmouth. Her parents have moved there, as well.”


Buffy’s brows went up. “What happened to Xander and Anya?”


“That’s another long story,” Giles began.


From behind Giles a new voice spoke up. Buffy recognized it immediately: Faith. “The way I hear it, Xander ditched her at the altar, she took up the Vengeance Demon gig again and tried to get someone to wish the X-man eviscerated. Xander got fed-up with Angel being large-and-in-charge here in Sunnydale and scampered off. Last anyone heard, he had moved north, San Fran, maybe? Anya traipsed after him, still looking for someone to wish his balls would shrivel up and fall off or something equally hilarious.”


Giles sighed and turned to face the dark Slayer. “Or perhaps not such a long story after all.”


Faith smiled wryly at him. “Hey, B. Come for the annual Hellmouth opening paar-tay?”


“Faith,” Buffy greeted her sister-Slayer dryly. “I heard there’s something here that belongs to me. Came to get it.”


“Belongs to me,” Faith corrected, moving up to stand near Giles.


Buffy tilted her head, keeping a serene smile on her face. “Me.”


Faith laughed darkly. “You’re still a holier-than-thou bitch.”


“And you’re still a murdering skank ho ... and an escaped convict,” Buffy retorted, sliding down from the gurney and forcing herself not to wince. The Tylenol had helped some or maybe her leg was starting to heal now that the shrapnel was out, it didn’t hurt quite as much – either that or she was just getting used to it.


“Oooo, snap!” Faith replied. “That really hurts,” she groaned sarcastically, laying a hand over her heart as if wounded. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I heard you retired from the Slayer gig. That makes whatever Caleb has mine.”


“You never change,” Buffy retorted, angrily. “The fucking world doesn’t revolve around Faith – it’s not all about you.”


“She’s right, Faith,” came a new voice from down the hall. They all looked up to see Angel sauntering casually toward them. “Of course, it doesn’t revolve around you, either, Buffy.”


Buffy scowled up at the dark vamp. “You know perfectly well whatever Caleb has is mine,” she insisted. “I’m the fucking Slayer. Tell them, Giles.”


Giles removed his glasses and began polishing them in earnest.


“Yeah, G – tell her,” Faith agreed, smirking.


“Giles?” Buffy questioned, confusion clouding her features.


Giles sighed and slipped his glasses back on, looking less than pleased. “Buffy, you have been gone quite some time. We’ve been forced to … move on. This isn’t your town any longer – it’s Angel’s and he’s … selected Faith to … assist him in this fight,” he confirmed, backing up the dark Slayer.


Buffy’s mouth hung open in shock. Giles was backing Faith? Faith, the murderer? Faith the escaped prisoner? Faith!?!?


Faith smirked. “So, your sagging ass can crawl back under whatever rock you came out of. We got this,” she snarked.


Buffy blinked, her ire rising. “My ass is not saggy!”


Faith leaned forward and looked pointedly at Buffy’s ass, shrugging. “Whatever you say, B.”


“You jealous bitch…” Buffy growled, balling her hands into fists and stepping forward toward her sister Slayer.


Angel stepped between the two women, facing Buffy.


“Angel! You can’t seriously be on Team Faith!” Buffy exclaimed in frustration.


“I know what happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas, but I kinda took that personal, Buff. Like Faith said: we got this,” Angel confirmed. “And your ass …” he crinkled his nose up a bit, raising his hand, thumb and forefinger close together, “…little bit saggy. Spike’s clearly not giving your ass the attention it needs.”


Buffy glowered at him, her fists itching to turn him into a pile of floating dust-motes. She could practically feel the steam billowing from her ears as she fought to restrain her indignant anger.


Sensing how close she was to exploding, Giles stepped forward near his ex-Slayer and laid a gentle hand on her arm. “Perhaps it would be best if you took your … friend and headed back home.” He shrugged apologetically, imploring Buffy with his eyes to ‘please understand’.


Buffy slowly peeled her gaze away from Angel and settled it on Giles, her chest heaving with fury. “I nearly tore my family apart, I hurt Spike, I left my children, left everything that I love, to come here and fight this,” she ground out, keeping her voice as steady as she could manage. “I killed that fucking preacher for God’s sake! Something none of you seemed to be able to accomplish, I might add. I nearly got killed in the process and Joan–”


“I realize that, Buffy,” Giles interrupted. “And your assistance with Caleb is appreciated – but … it appears that Angel and Faith do have the situation well in hand,” Giles assured her. “We have a … errr … weapon, of sorts. It's rather sparkly as weapons go, but by all accounts, it will allow Angel to cleanse the Hellmouth of this threat.”


Buffy stared at him, disbelieving. “You’re backing Angel over me? Angel!? You do remember Angel, right?” she asked her Watcher acidly. “Jenny Calendar, Acathla, torture, mayhem, death … any of this ringing bells in that tweed brain of yours?”


Giles winced as his own old wounds were ripped open. He removed his glasses again, polishing them furiously as he reasserted his self-control. Buffy waited.


Finally, he slipped them back on and looked up at her. “I can assure you there is nothing wrong with my memory, Buffy. However, he is the only one that can wield this weapon…”


“Then we’ll get a weapon I can wield – like that axe-thingy that Caleb…” Buffy started.


Giles shook his head, stopping her. “Certainly that may help, but this is bigger than that. I hate to admit it, but this appears, by all accounts, to be Angel’s fight, Buffy – not yours … or even Faith’s, for that matter.


“This has, apparently, been developing for some time … since your prophesized death at the hands of the Master was … reversed. The existence of two Slayers at one time has caused the mystical forces surrounding the Chosen line to become irrevocably altered, unstable, and vulnerable.


“It seems clear that the Powers brought Angel back from Acathla’s hell dimension specifically for this confrontation. That is why The First Evil tried so hard to annihilate him after his return – to convince him to commit suicide.


“You recall that, I’m quite certain,” Giles concluded frostily, striking back, trying, but failing, to open a wound of his own. “Snow in Sunnydale?”


Buffy didn’t react with any hint that she even remembered Angel’s failed suicide attempt, despite how frightened she’d been by it at the time. It was too many lifetimes ago to register as more than a passing blip on her radar. Instead she seethed as she looked from one to the other of them, her gaze steely, arctic. For many long moments no one spoke, no one blinked. It was clear they didn’t want her help – whether they needed it, she had no way of knowing.  


Finally, Buffy pursed her lips defiantly but nodded her grudging acquiescence. “Fine,” she spat. “We’ll go.” Then, leaning in near Giles she snarled in a low, threatening voice, “You better hope Spike never finds out that you were the one that called the Council.”


Giles blanched and took a step back. Buffy’s eyes were cold and hard when they met his and she held his gaze for a long, tense moment.


Turning to face Faith squarely, Buffy poked a finger against the other Slayer’s chest and snarled, “Don’t fuck this up.”


Faith gave Buffy a sardonic smile and wrapped an arm around Angel’s waist, leaning her body against his lecherously. “You know me, B, I fuck it any way I can get it.”


Buffy snorted and looked between Angel and Faith. “Yeah, I can see that. Maybe one day you’ll be woman enough to fuck the soul out of him,” she sneered disdainfully, her green eyes glittering with scorn.


“What makes you think I haven’t already?” Faith shot back, dark eyes flashing angrily.


Buffy huffed out a sarcastic laugh, her eyes narrowed on the two brunettes. “’Cos he hasn’t killed you and my stake’s not six inches deep in his chest.”


Buffy spun away from the trio before Faith could respond, and burst back through the doors of Operating Suite One, nearly taking them off their hinges. Joan was dressed in surgical scrubs and up on her feet, although it was clear that she wasn’t fully functional yet. She had a distinct limp and a pronounced list to one side that Andrew was still trying to correct.


“We need to go. Now,” Buffy announced in no uncertain terms.


“But she’s not ready yet,” Andrew whined. “And you’re contaminating my operating room again!”


“Get her ready,” Buffy growled.


“I can’t just ‘get her ready’,” the geek retorted haughtily. “She’s a delicate piece of technology; you can’t expect me to just patch her up with duct tape like a Ken doll! Which, by the way, was not my fault, no matter what Tucker said.”


Buffy cocked a brow at him, but then shifted her gaze to Joan. “Can you travel?”


“Yes,” Joan answered at the same time Andrew insisted, “No!”


“Her dermis is damaged. Get the right debris in there and it could wipe her hard drive or …” he continued in earnest.


“She got riddled with shrapnel and preacher guts!” Buffy pointed out. “What could be worse?


“C’mon, we aren’t welcome here,” Buffy said to her twin. “Let’s go.”


Andrew sagged as the two blonds limped for the door. “Take me with you!” he suggested suddenly. “I can … be majorly helpful! I can finish fixing her when we get … wherever you’re going.


“I’m also excellent at programming VCRs,” he added as enticement. “I even know how to set the clock.”


Buffy turned and scowled at him, exasperated.


“Please,” Andrew begged, folding his hands under his chin and moving forward toward them. “These people here … they scare me,” he admitted, his voice low. “Please get me out of here. I swear I’m house-broken, I’m no trouble, I hardly eat anything at all, and I can be uber-useful. I can finish fixing her – she’ll be better than new!”


Buffy rolled her eyes and sighed. “Get those plans and come on – we’re leaving this minute.”


“They’re actually schemas,” Andrew corrected, running back to gather up the Bot’s blueprints and diagrams. “Lots of people get that confused. See, a ‘schema’ is a ‘plan’, but it’s also…”  


Buffy and the Bot didn’t wait for him. When they got back out into the hallway, Giles, Faith, and Angel were gone. They headed down the hall to the ICU nurse’s station and retrieved the Bot’s charging equipment and Buffy’s backpack.


By the time they started down the stairs, Andrew had caught up with them, his arms full of … stuff – not just Bot-plans … or schemas or whatever.


“What’s all that?” Buffy asked as she and Joan limped down the stairs, arm in arm, supporting each other.


“My collectible action figures: Count Dooku, Boba Fett, General Grievos, Lando Calrissian… I had a super-rare Padmé but Angel broke her. He’s such a big grumpy-pants, I swear! He couldn’t have broken Jar Jar Binks … noooo, had to be my Padmé vs. Nexu Diorama. She was a limited edition, MIB…”


Buffy stopped halfway down the stairs and turned to glare at him. “What are you yapping about?”


Andrew blinked at her. How could she ask that? Wasn’t she a kindred spirit? “The battle in the Geonosis Arena…?”


Buffy widened her eyes, raised her brows, and shook her head, not understanding at all.


“The pivotal moment when Padmé fends off the vicious beast on the stone pillar,” Andrew clarified.


Buffy brow’s remained near her hairline.


“Attack of the Clones, Episode II,” he continued, his voice becoming softer.


Buffy’s brows furrowed in confusion, trying to figure out what he was talking about. She understood the individual words, but …


“Star Wars…” Andrew continued, crestfallen.


One of Buffy’s brows quirked up questioningly. “You’re bringing … videos?”


“Action figures …” he corrected, sniffing indignantly.


“You’re lugging … toys … from an old movie?” she asked incredulously.


“The movies don’t even scratch the surface of the world of the Jedi,” he corrected haughtily. “And not toys! Action figures! Mint-in-box, collectable action figures,” he informed her. “Geez! No one around here has any respect for the intergalactic might and influence of the Force!”


Andrew deflated. “I miss Jonathan and his magic bone…” he moaned.


Buffy’s brows jumped back up, but she shook it off, let out an exasperated sigh, and turned to continue down the stairs. “Geeks,” she muttered dryly.



Once outside, two things were clear: first, the sun had been setting, it was now twilight, nearly fully dark; second, they needed some wheels. Between Andrew and his armful of action figures, and Buffy’s and Joan’s injuries, walking anywhere was really not an option. Where to get a car with gas and keys… Hmmm.


Two blocks down, Buffy found what they needed – at the police station. While Joan and Andrew waited outside, Buffy retrieved several sets of keys from the previously-locked cabinet on the wall near the deserted front desk, noting the car numbers that they belonged to. Outside, she found the first car and opened it up with the key then started it. She frowned – less than half a tank of gas. Didn’t cops fill their cars up before they brought them back to the station?


She switched it off and tried the second car. Success! Its tank was nearly full.


“Here!” she called to Andrew and Joan, unlocking all the doors. She grabbed her cell phone out of one of the pockets, then tossed her backpack and Joan’s equipment into the trunk.


“Shotgun!” Andrew called immediately as he hurried for the passenger door.


“Don’t even think about it,” Buffy growled from behind the car, the trunk still open. “Put that crap in here and get in the back seat.”


Andrew’s whole body seemed to slump and he let out a wordless whine.


“You can stay here if you’d rather,” Buffy offered, the thought brightening her dreary mood. Why had she agreed to let him come along?


Andrew stomped to the trunk and put the Bot’s schemas in, then began placing his collectables in very carefully, setting each one so it wouldn’t slide around or fall.


Buffy rolled her eyes. “Sometime today,” she growled, pulling the trunk lid down threateningly.


Andrew ‘eeped’ and hurriedly put the rest of his cache in the trunk, withdrawing his fingers just before Buffy slammed the trunk closed.


“You’re kind of a grumpy-pants too,” he muttered, climbing into the back seat.


“You have no idea…” Buffy agreed as she slid in behind the wheel, setting her phone in the equipment console between herself and Joan.


Buffy took a few moments to acquaint herself with the controls of the car before starting out.


“Perhaps I should drive. I’m an excellent driver,” Joan offered.


“Yeah, Rain Man … I’m thinking not,” Buffy replied. “You’re … listing pretty severely to starboard.”


“Actually, this is port,” Joan corrected, trying to straighten her leaning head and body back to neutral, but failing.


Buffy rolled her eyes. “Whatever. Listing and driving are non-mixy.”


“It’s her balance control and equilibrium system. It’s very fragile, although Warren made hers super-strong with quadruple-redundancy to support the requisite fighting skills, since … duh! A fragile Slayer isn’t much good. I’ll have to open her up and take a look, but I’m guessing the little glass, hydrogen-filled tubes, which detect disturbances and send signals to her processors, have been shattered. Either that or the quadrant of her hard drive which computes millions of possible reactionary bodily movements every millisecond is damaged. Both are totally integral to her balance functionality…”


“Andrew! I’m trying to concentrate here. Shut up!” Buffy barked at him.  


“Geez … touchy,” he groaned under his breath.


Once the prattling stopped, Buffy put the car in reverse and backed out of the parking space without incident. She grinned proudly – why had she been so avoid-y about driving all these years? She totally had this. Putting the car into drive, she headed out of the lot, only scratching two other cars, denting the fender on a fire hydrant, and jumping one curb on her way to the street. Awesome!


Andrew whimpered, cowered down in the backseat, and put his seatbelt on, suddenly afraid he’d made a terrible mistake. His heart constricted painfully when he heard his action figures being bounced around in the trunk.


“Be careful!” he admonished Buffy as he held onto the door for dear life.


“Oh, man up, Andrew!” Buffy scoffed as she swerved to avoid a parked car that had suddenly jumped out in front of her.


“See?” Buffy asked Joan as she straightened the car out and pulled into her own lane, clearly pleased with herself. “I can totally drive. Spike’s just too picky about his … precious.”


“I believe he loves his automobile almost as much as he loves us,” Joan agreed.


“More, sometimes,” Buffy agreed. “Boys and their toys,” she sighed.


“Are we going to retrieve our weapon that the demon clergyman was holding hostage?” Joan wondered.


“Yup, I think we earned it,” Buffy agreed, almost missing the turn she needed to make and swerving at the last moment, taking the turn wide and jumping another curb.


“Hey!” Andrew complained from the backseat. “Watch it! This is not cool! The way you’re driving, we’re gonna wake up in a ditch, dead!”


Buffy rolled her eyes and straightened the car back out in the center of the deserted road.


Joan furrowed her brows. “By definition, if you are dead, you cannot wake up. Unless you are undead … or a zombie, or perhaps a ghost. I do not believe that being made dead by an automobile crashing into a ditch would render a human any of these. Although, I am not certain how a ghost is comes to be formed…”


“I think he was being sarcastic,” Buffy pointed out, interrupting her.


Joan frowned. “I have recorded the proper tones humans use for sarcasm, and his did not match any of my prior samples.”


Buffy snorted. “Yeah, probably ‘cos he’s a nerd. It’s a whole different species: Homo geekien.” 




About a half an hour later, with the sun fully set, Buffy parked near the walkway that led from the parking lot of the old winery to the building itself. She cut the engine and surveyed the area, looking for Blind Mice or other ‘security’, but saw nothing.


She was just about to get out of the car and retrieve her weapons from the trunk when Faith and Angel emerged from the winery, the red axe Buffy had seen in her dream in Faith’s hands.


“Shit,” she muttered under her breath as she watched them turn and begin to walk in the opposite direction, back toward the hospital.


“Who is that woman with our weapon?” Joan asked, her brows furrowed.


“Faith … the Vampire Slayer,” Buffy answered, not taking her eyes off the two brunettes.


“That is unacceptable. We should retrieve it from her. I will go ask her to surrender it to its proper owners.”


Buffy’s hand darted out, stopping Joan. “Don’t – it won’t do any good. She won’t give it.”


“Then I will fight her for it,” Joan pronounced, reaching for the door handle again.


“No – you can’t. You’re … listing,” Buffy reminded her. “Your balance is wonky; you’ll lose.”


Buffy chewed her thumbnail as she watched the pair disappear into the woods beyond the winery, trying to decide what to do. If she was 100% healthy, she felt could take Faith or Angel. Neither would be easy, but she was fairly confident she could win against one or the other, but she wasn’t sure she could take Faith and Angel together. To top it off, she wasn’t anywhere near 100%.


“I can shoot them,” Joan suggested brightly. “I’m an excellent shot. I got the highest accuracy rating possible in my concealed weapons class.”


“No!” Buffy exclaimed. “We aren’t shooting humans – we’ve been through this before. And shooting Angel only pisses him off; I’ve done it before.”


“Those two are beaucoup de trouble,” Andrew announced from behind Buffy, still staying scrunched down in the seat. “You really don’t want to tangle with them, Slayer. Not saying you aren’t … errrmm… capable, it’s just that they’re … not nice.


“She’s, like, all evil and sexy, like Xenia Onatopp from Goldeneye – which, of course, wasn’t a classic Bond film. Of course, how could it be with Pierce Brosnan? It would’ve been sooo much better with Timothy Dalton. I’d give it maybe a 6.3 out of 10. But Faith totally gets off on violence, just like that villainous femme fatale.


“And Angel, he’s like Hannibal Lecter, only without the, you know, quirky, fun side.”


“So, your advice is that I shouldn’t mess with them, is that it, Andrew?” Buffy asked, her voice brittle, her eyes still trained on the spot where the two had disappeared into the woods.


“Ummm … yes?” he replied sheepishly, sliding as far away from her as he could get in the backseat. “I mean … I’d really like to live and if you get killed, then where does that leave me?”


“Well, as long as your advice isn’t based on purely selfish motives,” Buffy retorted, rolling her eyes.


“That’s sarcasm,” Joan offered helpfully. “I am capable of recognizing sarcasm in Homo sapiens, but not Homo geekiens.”


Buffy sighed. Unfortunately, Andrew was right. It wouldn’t do any of them any good for her to die trying to get that weapon. She didn’t even know exactly what it was or what it did. Maybe Faith would need it to help Angel defeat whatever they were about to face in the Hellmouth.


Buffy chewed her lip and tried to figure out what she should do now. With Caleb gone, it seemed reasonable to think that her family was safe from the Bringers, since he appeared to be their leader. The First Evil was incorporeal, it, by itself, couldn’t harm them physically. She had no idea what other weapons it had at its disposal, and that worried her. But, if Giles was right, and Angel had some weapon to defeat it, maybe there wasn’t anything to worry about. The First had apparently been concerned about facing Angel, so much so that it tried to get him to off himself, so, maybe Angel really could defeat it.


Buffy really had more questions than answers, but one thing was abundantly clear: no one wanted her help. No one but Spike. No one but her family. She looked over at her phone in the console. She’d left the email app up and could see the messages there from Spike. She picked it up and opened the email with the photo of him and the babies in it.


‘Come back to us.’ Buffy could actually hear his voice in her head as she read his words and tears welled in her eyes.


Taking a deep, calming breath, Buffy turned back forward in her seat and started the engine again.


“Are you not going to battle valiantly against the superior force, putting your life in mortal peril to show how righteous and virtuous you are by combating the morally corrupt brunettes so we may retrieve the weapon that is rightfully ours?” Joan asked in one long breath as Buffy put the car into gear.


Buffy gave Joan a small smile. “Not today, thank you.”


“Oh. Okay,” Joan replied brightly as she pulled her seatbelt back across her shoulder. “Where are we going?”





Oingo Boingo - Weird Science



From my heart and from my hand
Why don't people understand
My intentions

Weird.... Ooo!

Weird Science
Plastic tubes and pots and pans
Bits and pieces and
Magic from the hand
We're makin'

(Weird science)

Things I've never seen before
Behind bolted doors
Talent and imagination

(Weird science)

Not what teacher said to do
Makin' dreams come true
Living tissue, warm flesh

(Weird science)

Plastic tubes and pots and pans
Bits and pieces (and)
Bits and pieces (and)
(Bits of) my creation... Is it real?
It's my creation... My creation
It's my creation

Weird Science!

(Weird science)

Magic and technology
Voodoo dolls and chants
Electricity. We're makin'

(Weird science)
Fantasy and microchips
Shooting from the hip
Something different
We're makin'

(Weird science)

Pictures from a magazine
Diagrams and charts
Mending broken hearts and makin'

(Weird science)

Something like a recipe
Bits and pieces (and)
Bits and pieces (and)
(Bits of) my creation... Is it real?
It's my creation... I do not know
No hesitation... No heart of gold
Just flesh and blood... I do not know
I do not know

From my heart and from my hand
Why don't people understand
My intentions . . . .

OOoo OOoo OOoo, weird science

Magic and technology [voodoo dolls and chants]
Weird Science
Things we never seen before [behind open doors]
Weird Science
Not what teacher said to do

Bits and pieces (and)
Bits and pieces (and)
(Bits of) my creation... Is it real?
It's my creation... I do not know
No hesitation... No heart of gold
Just flesh and blood... I do not know

It's my creation
It's my!
my creation...OOOOO!
my creation
It's my creation

From my heart and from my hand
Why don't people understand
My intentions . . . . Oooh, weird

OOOooo OOOooo OOOooo
weird science ooo!

If you'd like to get notified of updates, email me here: Updates

Feedback: Email me feedback, I'd love to hear from you! passionate@passion4

Go back to: The Main Home Page     The 'Teach Your Children Well' Home Page