Season 5. Begins with
‘Spiral’ in the abandoned gas station, and goes far off-canon almost
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?
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:
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.
A few moments later...
“S-sooo, Buffy,” Willow stammered when Xander released the
bear hug he’d been holding the Slayer in. “Ummm … how … ummm … I mean …. who …
errrr … the babies… are …?”
Buffy looked at Xander as she answered Willow, “Spike’s the
father, if that’s what you’re asking.”
Buffy could see surprise and confusion wash over Xander’s
face, then a look of repulsion. “He’s also my husband,” Buffy revealed in case
Giles hadn’t told them.
“But … how …?” Willow persisted.
Buffy turned to the redhead and gave her a cheeky smile.
“The usual way. Did you miss that day in health class?”
Willow flushed. “No. I didn’t miss any days! Perfect
attendance award here! But … he’s … a vampire. Doesn’t that make all his … ummm
… stuff dead? Or undead?”
Buffy laughed at her friend’s discomfort before admitting,
“There may have been some magic involved with his stuff. But the
delivery was in the usual way … although, honestly, there is nothing ‘usual’
about Spike’s delivery.”
“Please stop,” Xander pleaded, covering his ears.
Buffy turned her eyes back to him, her voice firm and
strong. “He’s my husband. He’s the father of my children. I love him. Get used
to it or turn in your Scooby badge.”
“Xander got a Scooby badge? When did that happen? I didn’t
get one…” Willow whined. When Buffy rolled her eyes and looked back at the witch
with disbelieving eyes, Willow deflated. “Oh … metaphorical badges.”
While Willow and Xander took Jade and Will to the cafeteria
to get some juice, Buffy stayed to talk to Giles. He didn’t look like he should
be out of ICU; in fact, he didn’t look a whole lot better than Spike. His pale
skin was mottled with bruises, burns, and cuts, but, unlike Spike, he was awake,
if a bit groggy from the pain medications.
She pulled a chair up next to her ex-Watcher’s bed and
began her story. She told him what had happened at the warehouse … at least as
much of it as she knew.
Giles only interrupted her a couple of times to ask
questions, but one was, “What of Faith?”
Buffy shook her head. “I don’t know.”
“If Faith has … expired, then a new Slayer will have
been Called. It’s quite important I know for certain. If there is a new Slayer
in the world, I must contact the Coven and see if they can locate her. She will
need a Watcher … guidance, assistance.”
Buffy nodded. “I’ll try to find out … soonish,” she assured
Buffy continued her story, and, after describing Spike’s
condition, she got to the real purpose of her visit.
“So, I need to know how to get more blood down Spike, so he
can heal. Would human blood be better … probably, right? Maybe I can make a
withdrawal at a blood bank…” she mused aloud. “Would an IV work … or does it
need to go in his stomach? I think stomach, right, cos of the whole no
circulation thing? Which I don’t really get, cos he has blood, he bleeds … God,
does he bleed! And what about his ribs? Do I … like …” Buffy cringed, her
stomach roiling at the thought, “… trim the ragged edges somehow? How do I hold
them in place to get them to heal?
“Giles, are you listening to me?” Buffy demanded when she
noticed his eyes had fallen closed.
“Quite … yes …” he replied slowly, but he didn’t open his
eyes. “I … admit to not … knowing precisely how vampire metabolism functions,”
“But there must be a book or fifty!” Buffy pointed
out vehemently. “You have enough musty, old books to fill a library! ... And not
a dinky little library, like that big one, in Washington!”
Giles nodded, finally opening his eyes and looking over at
her through swollen, blackened lids. “Not any longer. They were destroyed that
summer after you … departed. Burned … gone.”
“Oh,” she sighed, before brightening again with a new
thought. “But the Council has…”
“Destroyed as well… Terrorists, I believe was the official
Buffy flopped back against the vinyl seatback and dropped
her face into her hands, rubbing at her bloodshot eyes. “So, you’re telling me,
you can’t help me,” she snarled out from behind her fingers. “Again. Some
Watcher you turned out to be.”
“I … well …” Giles stammered, taken aback by the venom in
Buffy looked up at him, glaring daggers at the man that she
had thought of as a surrogate father for so long, and suddenly everything became
clear. “You won’t help me because it’s Spike. You’re mad at Spike for taking me
away! You blame him!”
“That’s not…” Giles argued.
“Yes, it is!” Buffy insisted, standing up and pushing the
heavy chair back harder than she intended. It slammed into the wall a few feet
away with a loud ‘thud’, cracking the drywall.
“Let me tell you something, Watcher,” Buffy growled
at him, her green eyes flashing with anger. “That vampire was the only one who
never gave up on me! Never! No matter what I did to him, how I treated him, or
how messed-up I was, he never gave up on me! And I’m damn sure not giving
up on him now!
“You, Willow, Xander … you all lost hope … you were all
ready to toss me in the Council’s loony-bin and wash your hands of the
crazy-Slayer. But not Spike! He stood by me, he … he saved my life, he … he
brought me back.
“You owe him! I’m your fucking Slayer, but it was
Spike that had my back … always Spike! YOU OWE HIM!” she screamed at Giles, her
voice carrying through the stark hallways, bouncing off the hard surfaces, and
seemingly echoing through the whole hospital.
Buffy leaned in very close to Giles’ face, baring her teeth
in a snarl. “Tell me how to fix him,” she demanded, her voice low and much too
calm … dangerously calm.
Giles swallowed nervously, licking his parched, cracked,
and swollen lips.
Suddenly a couple of orderlies, a nurse, and a security
guard appeared in the doorway. “Is everything alright here?” the nurse asked,
stepping into the room, but not approaching the pair.
“Fine,” Buffy spat back, never moving or taking her eyes
off her ex-Watcher. “Tell me,” she growled at Giles, her voice barely a whisper.
Giles swallowed again. “S-slayer …” he began, before
clearing his throat. “S-slayer blood,” he advised nervously.
Buffy backed up a bit, her brow furrowed.
“Mr. Giles, are you sure you’re alright?” the nurse asked
Giles looked at Buffy warily. She took another step back
and turned away from him, her mind processing the new information.
“Y-yes … everything is fine,” he assured the woman, but his
voice still held a slight tremor of fear.
After a moment, the nurse and the others left the room and
Buffy turned back to her ex-Watcher. “I thought that was just for that poison
stuff … like Faith shot Angel with that time,” she posited.
Giles tried to take a deep, calming breath, but ended up
gasping in agony as it expanded his broken ribs painfully. He grasped his torso,
trying to breathe through the pain.
Buffy waited, but made no move to help him or provide any
comfort. She was so far beyond that now.
Finally able to get his breathing under control, the
Watcher looked up at Buffy gravely. “Slayer blood is enormously potent,” he
explained. “It is a source of … power and strength for a vampire; some say it is
their … Elixir of Immorality …their Holy Grail. The brave, or perhaps foolish,
among them seek it as humans seek the Fountain of Youth.
“It is also extremely foolhardy for you to offer to a
vampire, as I believe you learned previously, with Angel,” Giles added sternly.
“He nearly killed you, and that was with his soul.”
“Spike’s not Angel…” Buffy muttered, only half talking to
Giles. Her mind raced, formulating plans as the hope that had begun to glimmer
in her heart earlier burgeoned into an almost tangible warmth in her chest.
“Indeed,” Giles agreed dourly. “I doubt anyone would ever
accuse Spike of being an angel.”
Buffy turned her eyes back on him, her gaze hard and
steely, not missing his turn of phrase. “You’ll never get it. You know, I feel
sorry for you, I really do. The world isn’t black and white, Giles. As much as
you might want it to be, it’s not.”
“It is also not rose-colored,” Giles retorted. “As much as
you might like it to be.”
“Wow! So much tension, and me without a knife to cut it,”
Willow interjected from the hallway as she and Xander returned with the babies.
“That’s okay, Wills,” Buffy assured her, spinning on her
heel and turning away from
the injured man. “I was just going.”
“B-but … we haven’t even gotten to talk a-a-and … we don’t
know where you live or your phone number a-and … don’t you need some help? I
mean … we’re still … …” Willow looked sheepishly at Xander, then back to Buffy,
“… Scoobies,” she finished weakly. “We still have our badges.”
Buffy began the task of strapping the babies back into
their carriers as she tried to not take her frustration with Giles out on Willow
and Xander. Yes, they’d also given up on her. And yes, they were ready to turn
her over to the Council as well, but they’d been young. They’d trusted Giles’
judgment, just as she had for so long.
Something inside Buffy, be it her heart or her instincts,
was telling her to accept their apologies and their offer to help. But another
part of her, the guilt-ridden part that kept reminding her of all the people
she’d gotten killed, told her she would be better off alone. The fewer friends
she had, the fewer people would be put in the line of fire.
“Buffy?” Willow asked meekly, kneeling down next to the
Slayer as she finished strapping Will in. “Let us help. We …” Willow glanced up
at Xander, and he nodded at her. “We know we messed up before, and we’d really
like to make it up to you.”
Buffy snorted loudly, pulling Jade’s carrier nearer to
begin the process of strapping her daughter in. “Wills, I …”
“I said that all wrong,” Willow interrupted quickly, waving
her hands as if to brush her words away. “I mean, we don’t know all you’ve been
through, but … we want to and … well … we just don’t want to lose you again.
Please, Buffy … I know we can’t really make it up to you, but … we really want
to just be … us again. Ya know? Scoobies … friends.”
Buffy finished her task, then sighed heavily before looking
over at her friend, a friend she thought she’d have forever; a friend she
thought she’d lost forever. An internal battle raged inside the Slayer: her
heart vs. her guilt-ridden, tortured mind. Did she accept their help and put
even more people in possible danger? Her heart bled, desperate for the love and
support of her friends right now, but her mind just kept replaying the deaths of
other friends and family, and laying their bloody corpses at Buffy’s feet.
Finally, Buffy stood up and Willow followed, looking
uncertain, but hopeful since Buffy hadn’t rebuked her out of hand.
Buffy looked from Willow to Xander and a million memories
flooded her mind. Moments of danger, moments of need, moments of laughter, and
moments of tears; moments when they’d stood by her and helped her save the
world; moments they’d faced down evil with her, despite the danger.
Buffy blinked back hot tears that suddenly stung her eyes
and focused her gaze on Xander, though she was speaking to both of them. “Here’s
the thing: I love Spike. He’s my husband. These are our babies. If you
want to help me, then you have to help him; if you stand by me, then you stand
by him. That’s like … a rule. An un-bendy rule … like … number two pencils on
“Actually, you don’t have to do that anymore. You can even
use pens, although number two pencils are preferred because…” Willow began to
Buffy stopped her, flicking her eyes away from Xander and
shutting Willow down with a stern glare. “Then pick another un-bendy rule.”
Buffy nodded and looked back at Xander. “Un-bendy, like
gravity,” the Slayer amended.
Xander nodded, his dark, soulful eyes meeting Buffy’s.
“Spike helped you; we didn’t. You …” Xander swallowed back bile that rose in his
throat, nearly choking on the next words “… love him. Be nice to Spike. Got it.”
Buffy quirked a skeptical brow at him and Xander shrugged.
“I never said I’d like it,” he admitted. “But I don’t like gravity
either, what with all the falling down and broken bones...”
“So, I thought you were in England,” Buffy began as she
drove the DeSoto toward Dripping Springs with Willow and the babies. Xander
followed in his own car.
Willow rubbed at the open spot in the black paint on the
window, making it larger, and focused her eyes on the greenery outside the car
as they sped down the highway. “I was,” she agreed after a moment. “We got a
call that Giles was in ICU. He still had the Coven’s number as his emergency
contact in his wallet. I called Xander up in San Francisco and … the coven
teleported me here.”
Buffy nodded, keeping her attention on the road. She’d
scraped more paint off the windows so she could see better, but there was still
quite a bit that was covered.
“Giles told me about Tara. I’m sorry,” Buffy offered
Willow nodded. “Me too.”
“He said you tried to end the world…” Buffy continued.
Willow wrung her hands in her lap and nodded again. “I …
lost control. I … I’ve been getting better. The Coven’s helped me with
controlling my emotions so they don’t control me. Shown me how to funnel them
properly, not let them take over. But … it still scares me. Magic scares me…”
“I’m sorry, Wills. I know how much you love magic,” Buffy
Willow nodded again, still looking out the window. “So,
you’re married to Spike now. I thought you were the president of the 'We Hate
Spike Club'. How'd things get all ... topsy-turvy?” Willow asked, changing the subject.
Buffy gave a small smile and shrugged. “Well, it started with a road
trip filled with blood, guts, gore, kidnapping, and death. Then we tossed in a
side order of torture, mayhem, and madness for fun. Added some hot-fudge sundaes
sprinkled with gold, tofu laced with grossness, and heavenly Quarter Pounders
with Cheese along the way. Babies made with magic, souls pulled back from Limbo,
and a Bot that loved us both. A boat trip from hell, a proposal and wedding on a
Hellmouth … and a honeymoon under the stars.” Buffy shrugged nonchalantly. “You
know, the usual.”
Willow looked over at Buffy, dumbfounded, and the Slayer
turned her attention from the road to meet her friend’s eyes. In that moment
they were just Buffy and Willow again. They were fifteen, sitting on the bench
in front of the school playing ‘anywhere but here’. They weren’t a Slayer and a
witch, they hadn’t both lost people they’d loved; they hadn’t been hardened and
tested by life. They were just friends.
In the next heartbeat they both began to laugh. They
laughed until they cried, and then they laughed some more. The babies in the
backseat joined them, not knowing or caring why they were laughing – children
don’t need a reason to laugh – and that only made the two women laugh longer.
Buffy had to pull the car over to the side of the road, she was laughing and
crying so hard. When Xander banged on the window and wanted to know what was
wrong, Buffy and Willow could only laugh harder.
It felt so good to laugh; Buffy had forgotten how good it
felt. It seemed a lifetime since she’d laughed. She hadn’t been sure if she was
even capable of it anymore. It made her heart feel lighter, her guilt feel less,
her worries seem further away. It cleansed her spirit, flooding her soul with
rainbows and sunrises and cute, fluffy puppies. It made even the darkest,
dreariest corners of her mind seem just a little brighter, a little more
Buffy stopped the car at the very edge of the collapsed
warehouse’s parking lot, a few hundred yards from the actual building. She
pulled to the edge under a large oak tree to put the car in the shade. Xander
pulled in and parked next to her, also in the shade of the old tree, but left
his car running.
Willow slid out Buffy’s side, since the door on the
passenger’s side was wedged shut. Buffy took a very careful look around the
area, but didn’t see anyone or anything that looked out of place or dangerous.
She got the babies and their carriers out of the backseat,
and she and Willow transferred them to Xander’s car, which had air conditioning.
“So, what’s the plan?” Xander asked, turning in his seat
and watching the women put the babies into his car.
“Willow and I are gonna check it out. You stay here with
the babies, keep the motor running. If anything looks wonky, make like a tree and
LEAVE. Go back to town and get help. Do not, under any circumstance,
bring my babies any closer to that building than this spot. Got it?”
Xander nodded solemnly. “Got it. Can I have some weapons?”
“You have a big, heavy metal box on wheels here, Xander! Use it!”
“Oh … uhh … right.”
“And if you see a creepy little girl with a backwards head,
leave twice as fast,” Buffy advised.
Xander raised his brows. “Backwards head?”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Just keep an eye out. There
shouldn’t be anyone around. If you see anyone or anything, blow your horn to
warn us and go. We won’t be long; I just want to take a quick look around – just
to be sure.”
“Be sure there are no creepy girls with backwards heads
walking around?” Xander wondered.
Buffy nodded. “Exactly,” she affirmed before closing the
door. “Lock it!” she instructed and Xander pushed the button to lock all the
Buffy retrieved the few weapons that were in the trunk of the DeSoto:
a couple of stakes, a dagger, and her trusted machete that she’d used to chop up
the Suvolte demon eggs. She handed Willow one of the stakes and the two women
climbed back into the DeSoto for the short trip up to the decimated building.
Buffy had debated whether to come here first or go home to
Spike. In the end, she decided it would be better to come here while it was
still daylight now that she had someone to watch the babies for her while she
looked around. She wanted to make sure there were no half-undead vampires still
in the rubble, or creepy little girls hanging around. She also wanted to
retrieve that Slayer axe she’d dropped. She’d have to come back another time to
complete her mission of retrieving Joan’s body from the wreckage; that would
take too long to do today.
Buffy parked the DeSoto next to her car and she and Willow
got out. She was surprised by the lack of police tape or even any evidence
anyone else had been here. True, it was pretty isolated out here, with no houses
or other buildings within sight, but she thought someone must’ve heard that
explosion. In fact, she didn't know how the whole world hadn't heard it.
“Wow …” Willow whispered, looking at the pile of rubble
that used to be the old bottling plant.
“Yeah, big boom,” Buffy agreed, picking her way through the
debris that littered the parking lot and walkway as she made her way toward
where she knew the door had been.
“What are we…” Willow began but Buffy held her hand up,
stopping her short.
The hairs on the back of the Slayer’s neck prickled and she
turned around quickly, first looking back at Xander’s car and the area around
it, but it was clear. She kept turning, trying to pinpoint where the tinglies on
her neck were emanating from. Finally, she saw her … or it … the creepy little
demon girl. The girl’s head was facing forward properly now, apparently none the
worse for being blown up and run over. She looked like a
normal little girl except for being in the middle of a demolished building.
Hana was near the center of the downed warehouse, kneeling
in the rubble, apparently unaware of the Slayer and witch watching her. She was
clutching something to her chest and keening forlornly, rocking back and forth
as if in physical pain.
“Shit! What does it take to kill that thing?” Buffy growled
to herself as she gripped the machete with her fingers tightly, her knuckles
turning white with the pressure.
“What is it?” Willow whispered.
“No idea… really hard to kill,” Buffy told her friend,
never taking her eyes off Hana, who still had not looked up.
They watched the girl for about half a minute as Buffy
tried to decide what to do. Should she just go and come back another day when
she didn’t have the babies with her? Or should she deal with this now and not
risk this demon-child tracking her down and possibly catching her unawares
somewhere. Obviously sunlight wasn’t an issue for this thing … neither was
having her head twisted around on her neck or getting run over by a car … three
times. Buffy chewed on her lower lip as she pondered all the possibilities,
watching the child the whole while.
Finally, Buffy turned her eyes to Willow. “Can you, like,
zap her with some magic? Turn her into a … toad or something?”
“Wow. Cliché much?” Willow snarked back, looking over to
meet Buffy’s gaze.
“Fine … turn her into a … fluffy bunny then!” Buffy
retorted, keeping her voice low.
Willow opened her mouth to remind Buffy that she really
didn’t feel comfortable with magic but was stopped when a new voice suddenly
joined in the conversation from the other side of the Slayer. “A bunny?! Are you
crazy!? Don’t you know how horrid and dangerous bunnies are!?”
Buffy whirled around, machete poised to strike, barely
stopping in time to keep from decapitating Anya.
“Where the hell did you come from?” Buffy demanded.
gave Buffy a friendly smile and a wave. “Rio. Hi! I guess Spike got all your
loose screws tightened back up.”
The Slayer closed her eyes in frustration and took a deep
breath before looking back at Anya. “How did you get here?”
“She’s a Vengeance Demon,” Willow reminded Buffy. “She can
“Right…” Buffy muttered, remembering hearing about Xander
jilting her from Faith when she was in Sunnydale. “What are you doing here,
Anya? I’m kinda busy now.”
“I can see that. A Toloaché Demon,” Anya agreed, looking at
Hana who had now noticed the group of women. “Before she kills you, could I just
get you to tell me one thing? When Xander agreed to call the Council to come
take away the psycho-fruitcake-Slayer, didn’t you wish his balls would shrivel
up painfully, turn into little mummy-testicles, and fall off? Or, maybe his dick would twist into a pretzel? Or his
“Anya!” Buffy interrupted her, her eyes flicking to Hana,
who had stood up and was looking directly at them with her unnaturally blue
eyes. “You know what that is? How to kill it?” she asked the Vengeance Demon.
“Yes and no.”
“What!? What ‘yes and no’? What does that mean!?” Buffy
demanded, looking back at the blonde.
“Yes, I know what it is. No, I don’t know how to kill it.
I’m fairly certain they can not be killed.”
“Everything can be killed!” Buffy insisted as she turned
her attention to the girl making her way slowly through the rubble.
Anya shook her head. “No, actually, that is a common
misconception. There are many things, in many dimensions that can’t be killed.
For instance, in the Tourmaline dimension–”
“ANYA!” Buffy screamed, interrupting her. “How do you stop
Anya rolled her eyes and sighed. She grabbed Buffy’s left
hand and began tugging her wedding band off her finger.
“Hey!” Buffy objected, pulling her hand away.
“I need something pretty, shiny … sparkly…”
“Well, you can’t have that! Spike gave that to me!” Buffy
insisted, gripping her machete tighter as the girl got nearer.
“Here!” Willow offered, extending a bracelet made from a
rainbow of different gemstones to Anya.
Anya smiled and gave Buffy and Willow a confident nod.
“Now, before I get her out of your hair, isn’t there something you wish would
happen to Xander… something painful and disgusting …”
“Anya!” Willow and Buffy both exclaimed
Anya sighed and rolled her eyes, but turned and began
walking confidently toward the approaching Toloaché Demon. She met Hana about
fifteen feet away from Buffy and Willow. Anya knelt down in front of the child,
putting her face on level with the girl’s, and held out the sparkly, colorful
bracelet, letting the sunlight bounce off all the gems. Buffy could hear them
talking, but couldn’t make out the words. Oh, to have vampire hearing!
The tears that had streaked Hana’s face seemed to dry in an
instant as a wide smile graced her fine features. She slid the bracelet over her
hand and onto her arm. It was too large for her, but it didn’t seem to matter
to the girl. Buffy could see then that what the demon-girl been clutching to her chest
was one of Dru’s stupid dolls. It was singed and filthy, most of its hair had
been burnt off and it only had one eye and one arm. In Hana’s other hand was a
strange flower with a large crystal seemingly growing out of the center of it.
Buffy and Willow both took an involuntary step backwards
when Hana suddenly sprang away from Anya and began to skip gaily through the
debris, seemingly unbothered by the bricks, wires, twisted metal siding, glass,
and wood that was strewn over the ground. As she skipped in a circle around
Anya, she began to sing, “A tisket, a tasket, a green and yellow basket … I
wrote a letter to my love, and on the way I dropped it. I dropped it, I
Her song was interrupted abruptly by a flash of light and
in that moment the girl was gone, her unfinished song hanging in the air.
“What happened?” Buffy demanded, moving toward Anya.
“She was quite upset about you killing her friends, but I
gave her the bracelet and told her it was a magic rainbow. She got over it.”
“What?! It’s not a magic rainbow … and … and I didn’t kill
anyone,” Buffy objected.
Anya shrugged. “She’s
what's technically referred to as Looney-Tunes … all the Toloaché
Demons are. It’s all those hallucinogenic
drugs they’ve got for blood. You should see their mating rituals!
Woo! You thought Woodstock was a psychedelic sex-fest – let me tell you, that
was nothing compared to these little freak-flag-flyers! First they ..." Anya
paused when she saw the incredulous looks on Buffy's and Willow's faces. The
Vengeance Demon sighed and rolled her eyes. "She's taken a trip with her
trinkets. She’ll be talking to that magic rainbow before too long … and it’ll
answer her,” Anya explained confidently.
“So … where did she go?” Willow wondered.
“Oh, well … I pointed out that her friends were probably
still alive in several other parallel dimensions. She went to find them,” Anya
revealed. “You can thank me by telling what you wish—”
“WHAT?!” Buffy exclaimed, cutting her off. “You just sicced
her on some unsuspecting dimension!?”
Anya waved a hand, dismissing Buffy’s objection. “Oh,
she’ll forget what she was even upset about in a few days. Did you miss the part
about her being insane and on LSD? Now, about Xander…”
Buffy sighed heavily, not sure to be glad that the insane,
un-killable demon was gone or worried about just where it had gone. She looked
up at the sun, which was dropping quickly in the western sky. She needed to make
sure the little demon’s ‘friends’ were really dead and get the scythe from the
rubble before the sun went down. There wasn’t much she could do about the
demon-girl now, anyway.
“Anya, I’m not making any wishes,” Buffy informed the
Vengeance Demon as she stepped past her to immerse herself in the wreckage of
Anya turned hopeful eyes on Willow. Willow just shook her
head, keeping her mouth clamped shut stubbornly, and followed Buffy into the sea of rubble.
The house was quiet; the babies asleep, Xander and Willow
had gone back to the hospital to check on Giles. Spike was unchanged, still
unconscious. Buffy had … borrowed some O-Neg from the hospital, but even
human blood didn’t stir Spike’s demon into action, and she’d only been able to
get him to drink a small amount.
That would change soon. As soon as Willow and Xander got
back. She didn’t want anything going wrong; she couldn’t afford to take too many
chances. Too many people, including Spike and their babies, were depending on
her now. But if Spike needed Slayer blood to heal, if that was what it took to
bring his demon from hiding and feed, then that was what he would get.
But right now Buffy was alone. She sat cross-legged in the
middle of Joan’s bed, a small mound of wires and microchips lying in front of
her. It was all she’d been able to find in the dwindling light at the warehouse;
all of Joan she’d retrieved, so far. Beside Buffy on the bed lay the red
axe. It had been exactly where she’d dropped it, seemingly unmoved and
unaffected by the blast that destroyed the building. There had been no sign of
Dru or Angel, no half-undead corpses, no spidey-senses tingling. She’d wished
she could’ve found piles of vampire dust, but if they had been there, they were
mixed in with fifty-tons of just regular-ole dust-dust.
What she did find, unfortunately, was Faith. Quite dead.
That experience was up there on the top of her list of things she never wanted
to see or smell again: a decomposing body that had been baked for two days in
the hot, Texas sun.
That find had prompted her to call the authorities so they
could remove the body. Of course, it was done anonymously, and she waited until
she, Xander, and Willow had all left the area. Willow drove Buffy’s borrowed,
re-furbished Sunnydale police car home, so there would be nothing at the scene
that would lead back to the Pratts, at least Buffy hoped that was the case.
Buffy rubbed at her nose as she looked at the small pile of
components in front of her. She could still smell the putrid aroma, even though
she’d taken a shower and scrubbed every inch of herself clean — twice. That was a smell
she’d never forget – ever.
The Slayer took a deep breath and let it out slowly as she
focused her attention on the collection in front of her. “I swear I’ll get all
of you back, Joan. I sooo promise that,” Buffy spoke to the wires and silicon
bits. “I’m sorry it’s taking so long, but I swear, if I have to shift through
every speck of dust there, I’ll get you back. I won’t leave you there like …
like … garbage.
“I’ll never be able to repay what you did for Spike … for
us, I know that … but … I can bring you home. You’re a warrior … a Champion …
it’s like a rule or something. ‘No one left behind’ … isn’t that a rule?” Buffy
asked the wires and bits of microchip. "Well, if it's not, it should be."
Buffy sighed and looked around Joan’s room. Pictures of
India, of the babies, and of Spike and Buffy stood in formation atop her
dresser, all perfectly aligned and spaced, all in matching frames, all the exact
same size. Buffy felt her tears rise again, burning her eyes and she blinked to
try and hold them back. As long as she’d been moving, doing, planning, she was
able to keep them at bay, but now that she’d stopped, they demanded her
Buffy sniffled and wiped at her eyes, shaking her head and
looking back down to the bed. She took a deep breath and reached for the shiny,
red axe. She knew it was hers the moment she’d touched it in the warehouse when
she’d been fighting the demented little girl demon … or perhaps not hers
exactly, but the Slayer’s. It had power. She could feel it. Strength seemed to
flow out of it and into her when she held it, and if there was one thing she
could use right now, it was strength.
Buffy picked it up and settled it across her legs, holding
it with both hands. The weapon practically thrummed with energy in her grasp;
she’d never felt anything like it before. She closed her eyes and just let
herself get lost in the energy, in the power of it, trying to take in every drop
she could. She had a feeling she would need it later; she would need it for
Be the Slayer.
Both Joan and Spike had given her that advice, albeit by
indirect means. She’d spent the better part of the last three years or so trying
to be anything but the Slayer. It seemed somehow ironic that the one
piece of herself that she’d tried so hard to shed, would be the one thing that
she’d need to save her husband and make her family whole again. Or as whole as
she was capable of making it.
But, she shouldn’t have been surprised. Her life was full
of paradoxes and irony: the man she loved, who she married, the father of her
children was a vampire – her mortal enemy. He believed in her wholly and loved
her unconditionally. He’d never lost faith in her, while her Watcher, the person
tasked with being her mentor and guide, had given up on her. A too-literal
android had become her best friend, had learned and evolved and grown into one
of the most loving, funny, brilliant people Buffy had ever known. That robot had
even become a Champion of the people; quite a step up from her original
programming as a chess partner for Spike. And now Buffy was absorbing
some kind of ancient, magical Slayer energy in hopes that she could pass it on
to a vampire via her blood, and heal him.
Buffy wondered just how many people were rolling over in
their graves just about now. An image of a mummified Quentin Travers, dressed in
a brown tweed suit and a bower hat, spinning in his grave made Buffy smile, then
grin, then laugh.
Buffy’s slightly-maniacal laughter floated through the
quiet house as the image of an indignant, mummified, spinning Travers danced in
her mind. His annoyed, huffy admonishment, ‘Miss Summers! This is most
improper! We cannot sanction such behavior in our Slayer!’ echoed in her mind, making her laugh harder.
She flopped back onto the bed, pulling the scythe with her
and hugging the flat of the blade to her chest tightly as the power flowed into
The image of Travers faded and morphed into one of her
husband, of him whole and healed and perfect. She felt hot tears sting her eyes
again as she whispered, “Soon, baby … just hang on a little longer. The Slayer’s
in the house…”
Alanis Morissette - Hand In My
I'm broke but I'm
I'm poor but I'm
I'm short but I'm
I'm high bxut I'm
I'm sane but I'm
I'm lost but I'm
What it all comes
everything's gonna be fine fine fine
Cause I've xgot one
hand in my pocket
And the other one
is giving a high five
I feel drunk but
I'm young and I'm
I'm tired but I'm
I care but I'm
I'm here but I'm
I'm wrong and I'm
And what it all
comes down to
everything's gonna be quite alright
Cause I've got one
hand in my pocket
And the other one
is flicking a cigarette
What it all comes
Is that I haven't
got it all figured out just yet
Cause I've got one
hand in my pocket
And the other one
is giving the peace sign
I'm free but I'm
I'm green but I'm
I'm hard but I'm
I'm sad but I'm
I'm brave but I'm
I'm sick but I'm
And what it all
boils down to
Is that no one's
really got it figured out just yet
But I've got one
hand in my pocket
And the other one
is playing the piano
What it all comes
down to, my friends, yeah
everything's just fine fine fine
Cause I've got one
hand in my pocket
And the other one
is hailing a taxicab
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