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?




47. Hand In My Pocket


Music Referenced:

Alanis Morissette - Hand In My Pocket

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.

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 him.


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,” he hedged.


“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 finding.”


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 her tone.


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 again.


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 tests.”


“Actually, you don’t have to do that anymore. You can even use pens, although number two pencils are preferred because…” Willow began to explain.


Buffy stopped her, flicking her eyes away from Xander and shutting Willow down with a stern glare. “Then pick another un-bendy rule.”


“Ummm … gravity? Gravity’s un-bendy,” Willow suggested, smiling weakly.


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 solemnly.


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 offered sincerely.


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 hopeful.




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 doors.


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.


Anya 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 teleport.”


“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 eyes would…”


“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 it?”


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 emphatically.


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 dropped—”


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 the building.


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.




That evening…


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 attention again.


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 Spike.


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 her. 


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 Pocket




I'm broke but I'm happy

I'm poor but I'm kind

I'm short but I'm healthy, yeah

I'm high bxut I'm grounded

I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed

I'm lost but I'm hopeful baby


What it all comes down to

Is that 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 sober

I'm young and I'm underpaid

I'm tired but I'm working, yeah

I care but I'm restless

I'm here but I'm really gone

I'm wrong and I'm sorry babxy


And what it all comes down to

Is that 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 down to

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 focused

I'm green but I'm wise

I'm hard but I'm friendly baby

I'm sad but I'm laughing

I'm brave but I'm chicken shit

I'm sick but I'm pretty baby


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

Is that everything's just fine fine fine

Cause I've got one hand in my pocket

And the other one is hailing a taxicab


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