|Chapter Title:||Immortal, Chapter 28|
September 2001. Annie is almost 3 years old. Buffy died in early May 2001, she’s just been brought back the night before this chapter in September 2001.
Spike and the Scoobies brought Buffy back, but did they bring her back 'wrong'?
|Rating / Warnings:||
NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, violence, sex and adult themes which may include rape, attempted rape, blood play 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. Parents, it is up to YOU to control what your children are reading.
Buffy was dreaming that she was falling from a cloud and was just about to hit the earth when she jerked herself awake. Looking around, she remembered where she was and what had happened. Her friends had brought her back; back from the dead; back from the clouds. She didn’t know what time it was or how long she’d slept. Spike was curled around her, spooning his body against her back, his arm across her middle. She thought of that first night after she sent Angel to hell, it had been such a comfort then to have him holding her like this. Now, his arm across her felt heavy, constricting; his body against her felt oddly cold, not comforting.
She sighed, rolled out of his embrace and stood up, still a little wobbly. She went to the dresser and found a t-shirt and shorts and pulled them on before heading out into the hallway. The mansion was dark, but she remembered her way around and headed to Annie’s room. Inside, she found her daughter in a bed rather than the crib she’d been in before. Buffy couldn’t help but think how much bigger she was than . . . than when I died, Buffy thought sadly. Buffy lay down next to her in the small bed and held her close. Her hair smelled the same as she remembered, it was longer and even darker than she remembered, but it was Annie. Buffy cuddled next to her sleeping form, stroking her hair as she hummed the old lullaby to her daughter, the one that Spike always sang.
“Oh! Buffy!” Willow was at the door to Annie’s room. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were here. I was just gonna check on her before I went downstairs to start breakfast.”
Buffy sat up and looked at Willow who was still in her PJ’s. “Why are you dressed like that, Will?” Buffy asked.
“Oh! Well, when you . . . ummm . . .well, you know, Spike needed help, so I moved in here to help with Annie.”
“So, you and Spike are . . . a couple?” Buffy’s eyes narrowed at her friend, questioning.
“NO! No, no coupling!” Willow waved her hands back and forth. “No, he just . . . Buffy, he was completely broken when you . . .” Willow’s voice trailed off.
“Died,” Buffy filled in for her friend.
“Yeah. He needed help that’s all. Just help with Annie. Totally couple-free.”
Just then Tara, also in PJ’s, stepped up behind Willow. “Everything ok, Will?” she asked before she saw Buffy. “Oh! Sorry, I didn’t know . . .”
“Tara? Right?” Buffy asked slowly. “You live here, too?”
“Nnnnoo, I just stay here sometimes,” Tara stammered, “with Willow.”
Buffy’s brow knit together in confusion, but she just said, “Oh, ok,” before asking, “What else has changed?”
Buffy stood up and walked out into the hall with Willow and Tara to keep from disturbing Annie.
“Well,” Willow started. “Not a lot, really . . . Giles was getting ready to go back to England, but now, of course, he’ll stay.”
“Giles doesn’t know about me being . . . back?” Buffy asked.
“No, not yet. I thought we’d call him this morning and have him come over, if that’s ok with you?” Willow answered her friend.
“Sure. What will you tell him?” Buffy wondered.
“That we brought you back!” Willow smiled. “He’ll be so happy!" Willow pulled Buffy into a quick hug, "We all missed you so much, Buffy!”
Buffy smiled wanly. “Yeah,” she said, pulling away from her friend.
“You want some breakfast? I’m cookin’!” Willow asked brightly.
“No thanks, Will. I think I’ll just hang out with Annie for a while, if that’s ok.” Buffy gave her friend another small smile before turning and going back into Annie’s room.
Buffy heard people talking, they sounded far away. She wasn’t sure how long she’d slept in Annie’s bed. Opening her eyes, she realized that Annie was gone, someone must have gotten her up and left Buffy sleeping.
Buffy got up and headed towards the voices, they were coming from downstairs, she realized. As she approached the landing at the top of the stairs, she stopped and listened, out of sight of the people downstairs.
“Tell me about this spell you performed, Willow,” Giles said, sounding less than happy.
“Well, it was really cool, we invoked Osiris and all the energy flowed out of the compass points right into me then, boom! Buffy!” Willow explained triumphantly.
“Which spell exactly did you use, Willow? There are many that invoke Osiris,” Giles pressed her.
“Oh!” Willow pulled an old tome out of her bag and opened it to the spell before sliding it across the table to Giles. “Here, it’s this one.”
Giles read the spell slowly before asking, “What did you use for the Vino Madre?”
“Blood,” Willow answered in a clipped tone.
“WHO’S blood?” Giles pressed her.
“Ben’s,” Willow admitted.
“BEN’S?!” Giles stood up from where he was sitting and started pacing around the table. “You used BEN’S blood to resurrect Buffy? How on earth did you get Ben’s blood?”
“That night . . . I, well, what Spike said made me think, so I kept some, you know, before the coroner got there,” Willow explained.
“Do you have any idea what you've done? The forces you've harnessed, the lines you've crossed?!” Giles asked angrily.
“OI, Watcher, take it down a notch!” Spike came to Willow’s defense. “We did what had to be done. Buffy’s back, that’s all that matters.”
Giles glared at Spike. “And YOU! You’ve never trusted Magicks before, why on earth would you start now!? Do you have any idea the risk you took with this spell? Do you have any idea what you might have brought back?”
“It’s Buffy,” Spike growled at Giles, standing up to meet his eyes. “We brought Buffy back, nothing more, nothing less!”
“You cannot possibly know that! You have no idea if that is truly Buffy, FULLY Buffy!” Giles started channeling Ripper, his eyes never wavering from Spike’s. “On top of which, WHATEVER it is you have brought back, IT will most likely be IMMORTAL!”
“What?!” came as a chorus from the group.
Giles calmed down slightly, removing his glasses to clean them for the up-tenth time since arriving at the mansion, before continuing. “You used Ben’s blood. At the end, Ben and Glory were . . . they were melding into one. It is very likely that by using that blood in your SELFISH RITUAL, that you will have endowed Buffy, if it is, in fact, Buffy, with the immortality of Glory!” Giles looked back at Spike. “I certainly hope you like what you’ve brought back, Spike, because you’ll have IT with you forever.”
“'IT' IS BUFFY,” Spike said through clinched teeth.
“Does that mean she’ll have Glory’s strength, too?” Xander took a chance of Giles chopping his head off by speaking.
“That remains to be seen,” started Giles. “Usually not, the Vino Madre normally just affects the life span of the resurrected, but there are no guarantees in the DARK MAGICKS, are there?” he looked directly at Willow as he asked the last question.
“It worked fine, perfectly, in fact,” Willow defended, lifting her chin in defiance. “You’ll see when she comes down. IT IS BUFFY.”
The conversation continued below her, but Buffy didn’t hear any more. Sliding down the wall at the top of the stairs, she sat on the cool floor of the second floor hallway, pulling her knees against her chest she laid her head down on them. Immortal, she thought, oh, God, no.
Buffy didn’t know how long she’d sat there, her mind seemed to have gone blank. She lifted her head and listened, her friends were still talking down stairs; she guessed it was time to face them. Pulling herself up, she padded silently down the stairs. Spike saw her first and stopped talking, his eyes glued to her as she descended the stairs towards them. Everyone else stopped talking and turned to see what he was looking at.
As Buffy reached the bottom of the stairs, Giles met her and reached a hand out to touch her shoulder. “Buffy?” he questioned.
Buffy smiled up at him, a small, sad smile. “It’s me, Giles,” she said before pulling him into a hug. “They brought me back.”
“Indeed,” Giles started. “And with your Slayer strength, too, I see.”
Buffy let go of the hug that was crushing her Watcher. “Sorry!”
The pair walked over the where everyone else waited at the research table. Spike got up and motioned for Buffy to take his chair. As she sat down, he stood behind her, resting his hands on her shoulders.
“So, immortal, huh?” Buffy started the conversation.
“Perhaps,” Giles started, although he really had no doubt that it was true. “It will remain to be seen, of course.”
“So, what? I can’t be killed . . . again? Twice is all I get?” Buffy questioned.
“Not exactly,” Giles explained. “You can be killed, you simply won’t age as long as you remain living.”
“Like a vampire?” Buffy clarified.
“Indeed,” Giles answered, glaring directly at Spike.
Buffy simply nodded and said, “Good.” I CAN be killed, she added silently to herself, relieved.
Everyone sat in silence a moment before Xander said, “I guess you’ll have to give back the life insurance money, now.”
“What?” Anya was horrified. “What do you mean give it back? They just got it! It isn’t like she faked her death! She was actually dead! Why should they give it back?”
Everyone erupted in with arguments about whether the insurance money should be given back or not, now that Buffy was alive again. Everyone except Spike and Buffy, that is, who simply listened.
Finally, Giles quieted the group and turned to Buffy. “What do you think, Buffy?” Everyone turned eyes to her.
“I don’t know, whatever Spike thinks.” She looked up at him.
“Didn’t care about the money in the first place, give it back if you want,” he shrugged. “I got everything I want right here.” He looked down at Buffy and gave her shoulders a small squeeze.
Everyone erupted in discussion again, Buffy closed her eyes and tried to block out the noise. Suddenly, Spike’s mouth was near her ear. “Why don’t you go upstairs, luv? We can take care of this.”
Buffy nodded and started to rise before asking, “Where’s Annie?”
“In the training room, playin’,” Spike told her.
“With the weapons!?” Buffy asked, alarmed.
“Nooo, the weapons are locked up. She likes to play in there, she’s fine. Com’on.” Spike guided her towards the training room.
Annie was playing with some dolls on the padded floor of the training room. Buffy left Spike standing in the doorway as she went in and sat down with Annie. “Can I play?” she asked her daughter.
Annie looked questioningly at Spike, who was still standing in the doorway, and he nodded to her. “Sure,” Annie said. “This one’s named ‘Dru’.” Annie held up a dark haired baby doll for Buffy’s inspection.
Buffy looked back at Spike with wide eyes; he just smiled and shrugged.
Turning back to Annie she asked, “Dru, huh? Where’d she get that name?”
“Well, when I got her, she talked all the time. Papa said she ‘prattled on like Dru’, so that’s her name,” Annie responded proudly.
“I see.” Buffy smiled and nodded. Inspecting the doll, she saw the batteries, which had obviously powered the “prattling”, had been removed. “Well, that’s a lovely name.”
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