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?




41. Heaven Was Needing a Hero


Music Referenced:

Heaven Was Needing A Hero, Jo Dee Messina

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:

Rating: NC17

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.


As soon as the pressure of Buffy's stake was removed from India’s chest, the vamp began to struggle fiercely, using every ounce of her new demonic power trying to get free. She rolled off the autopsy table and crashed onto the cold, hard floor of the morgue. The heavy zipper of the body-bag slipped down further when she hit and further still as she continued to struggle for freedom, for life.


The fledge had just freed her arms from the bag and begun to press it down, extricating herself from the vinyl prison, when Buffy’s stake skittered across the floor and wedged under the edge of the bag. India's head jerked up at the contact and saw that Joan had kicked the stake away from her Slayer counterpart who was slumped unconscious against the far wall.


“India!” Joan cried, turning away from the downed Slayer and rushing back to her friend, her lover. Joan fell to her knees next to the struggling vamp, her need to follow the ‘rules’ stopping her, at least momentarily, from pulling India into her arms.


“Joan…” the fledge vampire breathed as she stopped struggling, the single word colored with surprise and relief.


“I … you’re … I …” Joan stammered, tears shimmering in her eyes, as she slowly reached a trembling hand out to touch India’s wrinkled brow, despite the ‘no touching’ rule.


When Joan’s overly-warm fingertips brushed against India’s cold skin, her demonic mask melted away, leaving just the beautiful woman and her mesmerizing violet eyes looking up at the Bot.


“Joan…” India whispered, reaching a hand up to touch the blonde’s face, mirroring her lover.


The two women seemed to freeze in that moment, lost in the connection of a simple, loving touch. Their gazes met and locked, green and violet, holding them in place, neither woman moving or breathing. The two opposites were never more opposite, the dreamer and the realist were now the Slayer and the vampire, and yet the connection remained. Whatever had drawn them together as friends and lovers remained between them; an ethereal, unexplainable bond.


As if drawn by that magical force of nature that connected them, Joan bent slowly forward, lowering her lips to her lover’s. The two women’s eyes fluttered closed as their lips met in a gentle, loving, chaste kiss that was at once a lifetime and a single heartbeat.


Joan rested her forehead against India’s, her eyes still closed, tears still leaking from beneath her lids. “I love you."


Tears welled in India’s eyes as she took in a shaking, unsteady, and unneeded breath. “I love you."


"I thought you were ... dead.”


"I am," India admitted despondently. "Joan … please … help me.”


Joan sat back slightly to look down into her lover’s eyes. “Yes … anything.”


India began to speak when her eyes suddenly closed and her face morphed back into the demon … then back to human. Again and again the transformation took place as an internal struggle of epic proportions raged within her – her goodness against the evil of the vampire Angelus had implanted inside her.


“India … please … tell me. What … what do I do?” Joan begged, touching her hand back down onto the dark woman’s cheek gently.


India drew in a sharp breath and her body bowed and convulsed in pain as her face morphed between human and vampire. Fangs extended, then retracted, her forehead wrinkled then smoothed, her eyes flashed open and closed as they shifted from amber to violet and back again. She struggled against the body-bag, against herself, against the demon, thrashing on the floor in a fit of madness as Joan watched helplessly.


When India’s body finally stilled and relaxed, she opened her eyes and looked up at Joan. The windows to her soul were the clear, brilliant eyes of the woman, not the demon, and yet Joan could see now that there was something missing behind those windows.


India covered Joan’s warm hand where it rested on her sallow cheek with her own cold, dead palm, keeping her human eyes locked upon Joan’s. “The color … is gone. Joan … it’s … lifeless. The world is … black and white.”


Joan shook her head in confusion, looking away from India and around the room. “It is … as it’s always …”


“No!” India barked sharply. “It’s not. It’s … gone. Joan, it’s … all gone.”


Joan again shook her head, looking back down at her lover. “What is gone?”


“The life. The color. The soul. The dream. The hope. It’s … all gone,” India explained, her words coming out in difficult gasps. Her body spasmed again, the demon appearing then fading once more as she fought it back. “Help me, Joan … please. Make it stop. It’s dark and evil and hopeless and it wants me and … I can’t fight. … It’s … too strong. Joan, please,” she begged. “It hurts so much. Deep inside ... my heart ... so black ... it hurts.”


Joan’s tears began falling again in earnest. “Tell me what to do. I will do anything. Tell me,” she pleaded.


India’s free hand fumbled around on the floor next to her, finally finding Buffy’s stake that had Joan had kicked there. She lifted it up with trembling fingers and rested the point against her chest. Again the demon rose and her body began to convulse as it fought against the ever-weakening woman inside.


“No … no … no … I … cannot … not that … anything but that … no,” Joan stammered, her eyes glued to the bit of sharp wood that India was struggling to hold onto through her battle with Angelus’ blood that now animated her corpse.


The demon was growing stronger, seemingly feeding on the artist’s heart and soul little by little, devouring what little remained of her humanity which had been awakened by her lover’s touch. The darkness was swallowing her alive, bite by bite, devouring pieces of her heart and soul, painfully ripping them from the light and drowning them in a chasm of blood-thirst.


“Please … please … make it … stop,” India begged as she tried to press the stake down against her own chest, only to have the demon assert itself and stop her. “Joan … help me. I can’t … can’t live in a world … without … color … without … light. It … hurts … please …”


“No … no …” Joan gasped through her tears even as her hand reached out and wrapped around India’s and the stake. “I love you… please, I need you," Joan begged her. "We had ... plans for a long life and many pleasurable years. We were going to the Grand Canyon and Yosemite Park and to see the World’s Largest Ball of Sisal Twine...”


“I know. I'm ... so ... sorry. Don't want ... to leave you. I love you, baby … I’m … sorry … but ... I … can’t … be … this. I can't ... Please ... help ... me.”


Joan shook her head, her long, blonde hair flowing around her shoulders as her tears ran in rivers down her cheeks. She held on to the stake, her warm hand covering India’s cold one which clung to the bit of wood like it was her only hope for salvation.


“But … Spike … Spike … does it … he …” Joan protested.


India shook her head. “Not … strong enough. It’s … winning … It’s so … dark. So … black. Hurts … so much. Joan, baby … please,” the fledge begged through tears of her own.


“Your spirit is extremely strong and virulent!” Joan insisted vehemently. “You did not invite the vampire inside. You did not allow him near the children. You are a hero; even Buffy said so! You stood up to Angelus…”


“No … not … strong,” India interrupted her, shaking her head. “I love … you. I’m … sorry I’m not … stronger … not … strong enough. Please … if you … love me … do this … for me.”


Joan shook her head, her tears coming stronger and harder, as she tried to process everything, tried to make sense of what India was asking of her.


P-p-please,” India begged again, clearly straining to get the word out as the demon continued to consume her humanity, her heart, her soul, her light.


Joan leaned down and kissed India again through her sobs. The Bot-Slayer pressed the stake against her lover’s chest a little harder with one hand while still cupping her cold cheek with the other. India’s body trembled and quivered as if being electrocuted. Her fangs extended, her eyes morphed between violet and amber, and her forehead wrinkled and smoothed, but Joan continued to kiss her through it all, gently and lovingly.


When India’s body finally relaxed again back into her human features, Joan pulled back enough to look into India’s eyes. “I love you,” she whispered roughly through her tears.


India nodded, her eyes closing momentarily in relief. Joan would do it. She would help her. She would end this pain. End the darkness that was poised to engulf her. It was in those three words – her promise.


“Knock, knock…” the artist rasped out after a moment, her eyes fluttering open and meeting Joan’s.


“Who’s there?” Joan replied quietly, an almost autonomic response.


“C-U-on-da,” India answered.


“C-U-on-da who?”


“C-U-on-da-other-side, my love,” India replied as she pressed the stake down into her chest with the last ounce of determination, heart, and soul she had.


Joan’s hand seemed to move in concert with India’s, as if disconnected from her processors and controlled instead by her lover, helping the fledge press the sharpened bit of wood down even harder.


Joan gasped as the stake penetrated India’s chest cavity and drove into her heart. India gave Joan a grateful smile and leaned her face into her lover’s touch one last time before she exploded into a cloud of dust.


Joan collapsed in heart-wrenching sobs, unable to say anything but, “No, no, no…” over and over again as she buried her face and hands in all that remained of her friend and lover, longing to hold her one last time.




“She won’t come…” Spike rasped out, unable to open his eyes, but knowing instinctively that Angelus had just come back into the room. “Wastin’ yer bloody time.”


“She’ll come,” Angelus stated flatly as he moved closer to his shackled, beaten and bloodied grand-childe.


Spike shook his head slowly. “No … won’t.”


“Ah, Willie, you don’t give the Slayer enough credit. She’ll come … it’s what she does,” Angelus disagreed. “And when she does …” Angelus moaned and licked his lips, his eyes falling closed a moment in rapture.


“Revenge will never be sweeter than having you each watch what I do to your … spouse,” the dark vamp asserted, spitting the last word as if it were holy-water in his mouth.


A deep growl rolled from Spike’s chest, vibrating his broken ribs painfully.


Angelus leaned down near Spike’s ear and whispered, “Of course, I won’t touch that bastard brood you’ve got. No … those are for Dru and Hana… gumdrops … sweet, gooey treats for my girls.”


Spike thrashed against his shackles, digging them into the bones of his wrists and ankles even deeper, trying to break free. His ribs scraped and grated against each other, their ends un-tethered by cartilage and protruding from his flesh. Every inch of his body was covered in some type of bruise, cut, or burn, it seemed. So many bones were broken he’d lost count, but he barely felt it, his only thought was finding a way to get free, to stop Buffy from coming for him, to stop Angelus from luring her into his trap. She and Joan needed to take the babies and run. Run far away. Run where Angelus could never find her. She needed to forget him and save herself; save their bits.


Angelus laughed wickedly and stood back up. “Now, whatever shall we do to pass the time while we wait?” he wondered idly as he began looking around the room. He picked up an old, discarded whiskey bottle by the neck and smashed the end of it against a table, creating a sharp, jagged weapon.


Angelus licked his lips again as he moved back over to where Spike was shackled down. “I wonder if Buffy would love you as well with parts of you removed?


"Where shall we start? Your eyes?  Your fingers? Your …”


Spike screamed.




Buffy finally shook the cobwebs from her brain. She moaned as she pushed herself up from her uncomfortable slump against the hard wall, rubbing the bump on her head gingerly with her fingers. She pulled back and looked at them; at least there was no blood.  She blinked a few times, trying to clear her vision and focus her mind, trying to remember where she was and why she hurt so much.


It all came back to her in a flash. She jumped back to her feet and into a crouch, ready to fight as she scanned the room. There was no one there. She was alone. She sighed, a hand going to her woozy stomach. As her eyes scanned the room more slowly, she saw the empty body-bag on the floor. What little energy she'd conjured drained from her as she realized she had yet another vampire teamed up with Angelus to contend with. She walked over to the bag and kicked it in frustration. When she did, dry particles of dust floated up, filling the air.


The Slayer’s brow furrowed and she knelt down next to the bag, looking more closely now that she realized that it was filled with vampire dust.


“India…” she murmured as the full realization hit her. Buffy felt hot tears prickle her eyes as all her guilt and remorse came flooding back. She closed her tired eyes, trying to shut out the guilt, and concentrated on just breathing a few moments. There would be time for mourning and berating herself later, she still had a job to do. She needed to solve Angelus’ blood puzzle and find Spike now.


Pressing her emotions back and pulling her ‘Slayer-cape’ closely about her, Buffy opened her eyes with one final, deep, cleansing breath. Still confused about how India dusted, fairly certain she hadn't managed it before she'd been knocked out, she brushed her hand through the fine powder, trying to piece together what had happened. Her fingers touched something metallic. She closed her hand around the small item and pulled it from the gritty remains. Blowing the dust off the object in her palm, she recognized it immediately. It was a three-band, tri-color ring exactly like the one she wore on her right ring finger, exactly like Spike’s and Joan’s. She slid it onto her finger – it fit. It wasn’t Spike’s. It was Joan’s.


“Joan … what …?” she murmured to herself, looking around the room again, trying to find some rhyme or reason to what was going on, but failing.


Buffy shook her head, giving up, as she stood up, swaying slightly from the bump on her head, the elevation change, and her fatigue. After regaining her balance a moment, she headed out of the morgue and back to the house to find out what was going on.




“You’re a quite queer vampire,” Hana observed as she licked the blood, skin, and hair from the end of the hammer like a lollipop.


Spike rolled his head on his shoulders, trying to get his brain to function, but the pain, swelling, and blood loss was making it difficult.


“Mmmpphh…” was all he could get out.


“Oh, yes! Quite queer indeed!” Hana gushed. “I rather like you, actually. And you taste like … gumdrops!” she observed, sucking the rounded head of the bloody hammer into her mouth with a loud slurping sound.




“I do wonder, if I were to nail your ribs back into place, would they stay?” Hana mused. “Do you think Miss Dru would be cross if I tried? I do rather enjoy it when she becomes cross with me! She has the most delicious punishments, don’t you agree, Mr. William?”




“Yes, I knew you would. I do believe I’ll try,” Hana concluded as she bent down and gathered up some stray nails that littered the floor.


“The spikes are rather too large, but perhaps they won’t splinter the bones too badly,” she observed as she pressed the tip of one nail against one of Spike’s broken, extruded ribs and raised the hammer above it.


Spike screamed.




“Joan! I’m back,” Buffy called as she entered the front door about half an hour later. “Is everything okay? What’s going on?”


She was met with silence.


Buffy’s heart lurched in her chest. She slammed the door closed behind her and sprinted into the kitchen. The papers and photos were still on the table along with a box of Cheerios, but no one was in there. She ran back through the living room and up the stairs – there was no sign of Joan or the babies anywhere, nor was there any sign of a break-in or a struggle.


Buffy ran back down the stairs, pulling her phone out of her pocket, and dialed Joan’s number.


“Hello?” came her doppelganger’s voice over the line, flat and business-like.


“Joan! Where are you? Do you have the babies? What are you doing? I thought I told you not to leave the house! What happened at the morgue? Where are you?”


“I left you a fully explanatory note in the kitchen. I have dropped the twins off at Mrs. Michael’s – they had a play-date scheduled for this morning with Erin and Echol,” Joan reminded Buffy. “They are perfectly safe there. It is the middle of the day, there is a firm threshold in place, and Angelus would not have any knowledge of the play-date, and therefore would not know to look for them there.”


“A play-date?! Joan! We don’t have time for freaking play-dates!” Buffy screamed. “Bring them back to the house!”


“I am unable to honor that directive.”


“W-what? What do you mean by that? Joan, get them and bring them back!!” Buffy insisted frantically.


“I am sorry, but I am still unable to honor that directive,” Joan repeated. “Thank you for calling. Have a nice day. Goodbye.”


“Joan! What …” Buffy looked at her phone – the call had ended. She dialed the number again; it rolled directly into voice mail. “What the fuck, Joan?!” Buffy snarled, practically crushing the phone in her grasp.


Buffy screamed in anger and utter frustration but resisted smashing the phone against the nearest wall. What the fuck was wrong with Joan? What the hell had happened at the morgue? Was the whole freaking world going crazy or was it just her?


Buffy stomped into the kitchen and found the note, which said basically the same thing Joan had said on the phone. That she was taking the twins to the play-date and that Buffy should pick them up in two hours. Buffy picked up the note and ripped it into a million little-bitty pieces. It made her feel only slightly better.


She sagged and dropped down into the chair, trying to figure out what was wrong with Joan and what to do about it – as if she didn’t have enough to worry about already. She rested her head in one hand and let her eyes wander over the now too-familiar photos of Angelus’ blood-puzzle.


As she did, she noticed a new paper mixed in with all her jumbled doodles – with Joan’s neat, formal handwriting on it. She pulled it out, suddenly alert.


It read, ‘97420 ‘B’ Line Road, Dripping Springs’.


Buffy furrowed her brow, then jumped up and grabbed their old map of the Austin area. “Dripping Springs …” she mumbled to herself, searching the area around Austin frantically.


“Shit!” she exclaimed when she found it. “So freaking simple! Argh!”


Buffy quickly grabbed the keys to the weapons chest. She picked out a sword and a dagger, then stuffed two stakes into her pockets, one into her waistband, and one into each boot. On her way out the back door she grabbed the map and the keys to her refurbished, borrowed, former Sunnydale Police car – Joan had taken the DeSoto.


Buffy only jumped one curb on her way out of the driveway, completely missing the hedge and the fire hydrant. Impressive, especially under the circumstances. Once on the street, she pressed the accelerator down to the floorboard.


“Coming through – get the hell outta my way!” she warned the world at large. Luckily, the world was listening.


If her luck held out, she could beat Joan there, they could storm the Bastille together, rescue Spike, kick some evil ass, and be back in time to pick up the twins from their play-date.


… … Yeah, right, and tomorrow the sun will rise in the west, money will rain from the clouds, and scientists will discover that chocolate is a health-food and should be consumed at every meal.




Heaven Was Needing A Hero, Jo Dee Messina



I came by today to see you
Oh I had to let you know
If I knew the last time that I held you was the last time
I'd have held you, and never let go

Oh, it's kept me awake nights, wondering
I lie in the dark, just asking why
I've always been told
You won't be called home
Until it's your time

I guess heaven was needing a hero
Somebody just like you
Brave enough to stand up
For what you believe
And follow it through
When I try to make it make sense in my mind
The only conclusion I come to
Is heaven was needing a hero
Like you

I remember the last time I saw you
Oh, you held your head up proud
I laughed inside
When I saw how you were standing out in the crowd
Your such a part of who I am
Now that part will just be void
No matter how much I need you now
Heaven needed you more

Cause heaven was needing a hero
Somebody just like you
Brave enough to stand up
For what you believe
And follow it through
When I try to make it make sense in my mind
The only conclusion I come to
Is heaven was needing a hero
Like you

Yes, Heaven was needing a hero
and that's you


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