|Chapter Title:||Sing it for Me, Chapter 44|
Early February 2003. Annie will be 4 years old on Valentines Day.
Buffy died in early May 2001, brought back in September 2001.
Buffy turned 22 years old on January 19th, 2003.
|Summary:||Spike is working on a plan to diffuse Buffy's trigger, but Buffy has her own plan.|
|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 woke with a jerk from her dream. Her heart raced and her whole body trembled from what she’d just witnessed in her sleep. She looked at the chair in the corner of the room to see if Spike was there, but he wasn’t. He’d been sleeping there most of the time. Even shackled, Buffy had attacked him in his sleep more than once over the last few weeks since her rescue from the dungeon. In the chair, he at least had a chance of waking up to defend himself before she was atop him.
Buffy looked at the clock, two a.m., he may still be on patrol with Faith. Buffy closed her eyes and concentrated. Spike? she called to him mentally.
What’s wrong, luv? came the immediate reply.
Get home. Call Giles, get him here. We have another problem, she told him.
Be right there, Spike told her.
Within fifteen minutes Spike flew through the door and into their bedroom. “What is it?” he asked anxiously.
“Slayer dream,” she said simply. “Get Willow, we need to have a meeting. Did you call Giles?” Buffy asked as she sat up in the bed.
“Yeah, he’s on the way. I’ll get Red,” Spike said as he turned and left their room.
Since Willow was the only one that could contain Buffy safely when she’d been triggered, Buffy was never out of the shackles unless Willow was around. Since Buffy now knew that dead people equaled The First Evil, she could usually warn anyone near her before she was triggered to attack, but sometimes she didn’t actually see who was singing and other times it was Spike and, if she couldn’t touch him, she couldn’t tell if it was First-Spike or real Spike that was in the room with her. Then there was the time Tara and Annie were watching "PollyAnna" on the TV in the great room when the familiar words started. It took a moment before the startled occupants of the room, which included Buffy and Spike, realized they were singing it in the movie!
A sleepy Willow came into the bedroom with Spike and they unlocked Buffy’s shackles. Buffy rubbed her sore ankles and wrists before getting up. Giles was just coming through the door when Buffy, Willow and Spike hit the bottom step.
“Buffy, what's so urgent that it couldn’t have waited until morning?” Giles asked as he sat down heavily in a chair at the research table.
“It is morning, Giles,” Buffy pointed out. “Anytime after midnight and before noon is morning. Welcome to my world.”
Giles simply looked at her tiredly, silently willing Buffy to get to the point.
Spike and Willow sat down at the table, too, but Buffy paced back and forth at one end. She spent too much time in shackles these days to sit down when she was free of them.
“Slayer dream, Giles. Seriously bad,” Buffy said as she stopped pacing and looked at her Watcher. “Does the Council have a list of the Slayers-in-Waiting?” she asked him.
Giles raised his eyebrows. “Slayers-in-Waiting?” he questioned her.
“Yeah, you know – girls who would be called if the one in line in front of them dies?” Buffy clarified.
“Ah, yes, ‘Potentials’,” Giles correct her. “Well, yes, they know who and where most of them are.”
“Well, so does The First,” Buffy informed him. “And the Bringers are killing them.”
“What!? How do you know?” Giles was suddenly wide awake.
“I told you. Slayer dream. I saw it. I don’t know if it’s already happened or going to happen, but all the Potentials are in serious danger.” Buffy answered him, using his word for the Slayers-in-Waiting.
“Dear Lord!” Giles removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes wearily.
“I suggest you get the Council to gather these girls up and send them somewhere safe until we can get this situation with The First under control,” Buffy told him. “They aren’t safe where they are.”
“Doesn’t the Coven have a place in Canada somewhere, out in the boonies?” Willow asked.
“Indeed,” Giles confirmed for Willow. “Yes, that would be perfect.” Turning to Buffy, Giles explained, “The Coven that’s been tutoring Willow has a rather large campus in northern Canada. It’s mystically concealed and protected from the outside world. Only those invited in can even see it, let alone enter.”
Buffy began to say something else when she saw Angel standing in the doorway. “Are we expecting Angel?” she asked the group. Everyone turned to look at the door, but there was no one there.
“Somnus!” Willow said, reaching her hand towards Buffy. Buffy collapsed, but Spike had jumped up as soon as Buffy said the name “Angel” and now he grabbed her to keep her from hitting the floor in her magic induced sleep.
“Ok, so, you lot will take care of this Potential’s problem, then?” he asked Giles and Willow as he shifted Buffy in his arms so he could carry her back upstairs. At their agreement, he headed back to their bedroom with his unconscious wife.
Laying her on their bed, he re-shackled her ankles and wrists. There was no set length of time Buffy’s sleep would last. Sometimes, she’d sleep for hours after Willow contained her, other times it was only a few minutes.
Spike sat next to her still form on the bed and smoothed her hair out of her face. He was nearly ready to implement the plan for “de-triggering” her. He had wanted to try it immediately, that same night that Lorne had told him how to “fix” the problem in Buffy’s subconscious, but Giles and Wesley talked him into waiting, into thinking it through and making a real plan before diving in.
“You could make it worse,” Wesley warned him.
“You’ll likely only have the one chance. You need to know what you’re going to do once you get there, not just play it by ear,” Giles had said.
So, he’d waited, and the three of them, Giles, Wesley and Spike, had come up with a plan for what Spike should do within Buffy’s subconscious, within her dreams, to give her the power back and take it away from The First. They hadn’t told Buffy of the plan for fear of The First somehow finding out and shutting Spike out before he even had a chance to try it.
“Soon, luv. This’ll be over soon,” he murmured to her.
Buffy woke slowly from the magical sleep. Her head always hurt when she woke up from one of Willow’s whammies. She sighed. This wasn’t getting any better. She was still attacking Spike, or trying to, at least once a day. His face and body were constantly covered in cuts and bruises from where she’d gotten a blow in before she could be contained. Buffy knew that it was only a matter of time before she would succeed and dust him, so she’d made a plan, and today was the day the plan turned into action.
She looked at the clock, ten a.m. Perfect. Spike would be playing with Annie for a while before coming in to get some sleep.
Spike? Buffy called mentally to him.
Can you send Willow up? Need to pee.
After a moment, Spike responded, Red’s on the way.
Buffy waited for Willow to unlock the shackles. Catching her friend off guard, Buffy hit her hard in the jaw, sending Willow down to the floor with a soft thud, knocked out cold.
“Sorry, Will,” Buffy whispered to her friend as she closed the bedroom door and locked it.
Buffy got dressed quickly, grabbed an overnight bag and quickly stuffed it full of the stakes that Spike had hidden in the bottom of the closet, putting the scythe she’d pulled out of the stone in on top of them. Buffy retrieved a note she’d written a couple of days ago out of a book on her night stand and laid it on her pillow.
With tears in her eyes, she pulled her wedding and engagement ring off, then unclasped the chain that held "William's heart" from around her neck and laid them all atop the note on her pillow. “Goodbye, my love,” she murmured before opening the window, dropping the bag down to the ground and then jumping down after it.
Spike left Annie with Tara and headed up to bed. He’d catch a few hours sleep before he went on patrol with Faith later.
He turned the handle on the bedroom door and nearly broke his nose walking into it when it didn’t open. He knocked on the door. “Red? Open up,” he called through the closed door and waited. When nothing happened, he knocked again, then it dawned on him, he only heard one heartbeat from the other side of the door. “Buffy?” he called, banging harder on the door. The door shouldn’t be locked with just Buffy in there.
“What the fuck!” he said aloud before he backed up and kicked where he knew the lock on the door was. On the third kick, the door banged open, hitting the wall behind it hard. Spike quickly surveyed the room. Buffy wasn’t there. Willow was on the floor, unconscious. Looking around, he saw the window standing open. “Bloody hell,” he muttered as he reached down and hauled Willow up onto the bed.
Then he noticed the note. Buffy’s wedding and engagement ring, along with the ruby and diamond heart he'd given her for Christmas, weighed it down on her pillow. He picked the jewelry up slowly and looked at it as if he’d never seen any of it before. The reality of what Buffy had done started to dawn on him as he unfolded the note. He recognized Buffy’s handwriting immediately and read quickly.
My Dearest William,
My life with you has been more than I could have ever hoped for. I’m sorry it couldn’t have lasted longer. I love you and Annie more than anything in this world, which is why I must go now. I would never be able to live with myself if you died at my hand. Annie would lose both her parents that day, and I just can’t let that happen.
Tell her that I love her and that I think of her every minute we’re apart. Someday, she’ll be old enough to understand why I had to do this, and I know you’ll explain it to her when she’s ready. She’s as loved as any child could ever be and I know you’ll keep her safe. Sing her the lullaby, William. Sing it for me.
You and Annie are my heart, my world, my everything. This is the only way to keep you safe.
I am lost to you, now. Please don’t try to find me.
All my love,
PS: Give my love to everyone and tell Willow I’m sorry.
“NOOOO!” Spike screamed as tears threatened his eyes.
He ran to the window and looked out, the sun was high in the sky and bathed the whole area behind the house in light. “Bloody fucking hell!” Spike turned back and ran over to Willow. “Wake up, Red!” he grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her. “Wake the bloody hell up!”
Willow moaned and put her hand up to her swollen jaw, wincing and pulling back as soon as she touched it. “Willow!” he screamed at her as he continued shaking her. “Wake up!”
“Spike?” she moaned, trying to focus her eyes. He stopped shaking her. “Wake up! Buffy’s gone!”
Willow shook her head and tried to clear the fog from her brain. Tara, Annie and Giles, having heard Spike’s scream, showed up in the doorway of the bedroom.
“What’s going on?” Tara asked, moving towards Willow. “Oh, God! Who hit her?” Tara asked, looking at Spike accusingly.
“Buffy,” Willow said.
“Buffy?!” came from Tara and Giles at once.
“Buffy’s gone,” Spike said, waving the note around in the air. “Said she couldn’t stay ‘ere and risk dustin’ me. She’s run off.” Spike waved a hand towards the open window.
“Dear Lord,” Giles said as he saw the open window.
“Did it say where she was going?” Giles asked looking at the note Spike had in his hand.
“No. Said not to try and find ‘er. Be a cold day in hell when that happens,” Spike said. “Com’on Red, let’s go. Locator spell! Pronto!”
“Spike!” Tara scolded him. “She’s been knocked out by the Slayer!”
“Yeah, Slayer says she’s sorry ‘bout that, Red. Com’on now – ice pack and locator spell, downstairs.”
Spike pushed by Tara and pulled Willow up to her feet. When she wobbled and started to fall back down onto the bed, he picked her up and carried her out of the bedroom and down the stairs, setting her down in one of the chairs at the research table. Willow let her head fall into her hands and she tried to still the spinning top that was currently her brain.
“Niblett, get Aunt Willow an ice pack for me,” Spike instructed his daughter before he pulled out the map of Sunnydale along with the other items he knew Willow would need for the locator spell and set them down in front of her.
“Spike! She’s in no condition to do magic right now!” Tara admonished him.
“No, it’s ok,” Willow said. “I’m alright.”
“I’m sorry, Spike,” Willow said after trying the locator spell three times. She held the ice back to her jaw, but her whole head was starting to hurt now. “She must be blocking it somehow. She’d know we’d do this, she must’ve been prepared for it. Can you sense her?”
“No, she’s shut me out.” Spike frowned and looked at the clock, only one in the afternoon. It would be hours before he could go out and follow her scent. She could be anywhere by then. FUCK!
Spike pulled the note back out of his pocket and read it again, trying to find clues to where she might be going. Tears threatened his eyes as he read the note over and over again. He clenched his jaw and blinked them back.
“Where did Mama go?” Annie asked Spike, her bottom lip sticking out in a pout.
Spike folded the note back up and stuffed it into his pocket before he lifted Annie up onto his lap. “Not sure, Niblett. But don’ worry, we’ll find ‘er. She’ll be home soon.” He just wished he had some small idea as to how they were going to find her this time.
Buffy left the Sunnydale Magic Shop with the amulet the shopkeeper promised would block magic spells hanging around her neck. She hoped he was right and that the amulet was strong enough to block Willow’s locator spell.
Buffy walked up and down alleyways, back tracking and going in circles all around downtown for at least an hour before boarding a city bus and heading towards the high school. She checked the time on the bank sign as she rode past, 2:55 pm, it said. School let out at three, it should be clear of students before she even got there.
The bus stopped a few blocks from her destination and she got off. When she got to the high school, the front doors were locked, so she went around to the back of library and kicked in the door. Buffy walked slowly through the stacks and out into the main area. It looked pretty much like she remembered. Memories of better times spent here with her friends flashed through her mind and she smiled sadly as she ran her hand down the counter as she walked. She stopped when she got to the spot where Kendra died. Buffy had let Angelus trick her again that night and it cost Kendra her life. Buffy blinked back tears and took a deep breath before walking resolutely out of the library and down the hallway towards the basement access door.
“He killed me right here,” Miss Calendar called to her from the landing by the window. “It was your fault, you selfish girl. You just couldn’t keep away from him, could you?”
“You’re not Miss Calendar,” Buffy told the imposter and she kept walking towards the door that led to the basement.
“Where ya’ going, luv?” Spike asked her. He stood in front of the door to the basement, blocking her path.
“You’re not Spike,” Buffy replied, confident that her Spike couldn’t possibly know where she was. Buffy walked right through First-Spike, pulling the door to the basement open and starting down the stairs.
At the bottom of the stairs she stopped to get her bearings. The Hellmouth was directly under the library. She looked around, decided which way to go, and began walking towards it.
“Buffy, what are you doing, honey?” Buffy’s Mom stood a few feet in front of her.
“Mom?” Buffy stopped and looked at her mother. NOT Mom! she reminded herself as she closed her eyes to block out the imposter.
“Why don’t you go home, Buffy? You know William's worried about you, dear,” the imposter told her. “Annie will be so upset when she finds out you’re gone. She needs her mom.”
NOT MOM, NOT MOM, NOT MOM Buffy repeated to herself before opening her eyes again.
“You seem awfully worried about me being down here,” Buffy told The First. “How many more dead people are you gonna’ throw at me?”
Buffy didn’t wait for an answer before she started walking again, passing right through the vision of her mother that The First had put in her path.
Buffy crossed through a doorway and stopped just inside. This is it, she thought. She could feel the evil energy emanating from the ground. The whole floor was dirt. She walked back and forth across the dirt floor, making marks in the soil in the areas that she felt the most energy. When she was done, she’d basically made a circle in the center of the room. She looked around, but couldn’t find any shovels or other tools, so she started digging with her hands into the soft dirt.
“Buffy, what’re you doing!?” Angel stood near the farthest wall, watching her dig. “You don’t wanna go down there!”
“Why not?” Buffy asked as she kept digging.
“Turok-Han,” Angel replied simply.
Buffy looked up at him. She could feel her heart start to race as her body released adrenaline in response to what Angel said. Buffy took a deep breath and went back to digging.
“Oh, so you liked the Turok-Han, then?” Angel questioned.
“Just figure it’s time for a little payback,” Buffy said, not looking up.
As soon as the sun was down low enough for Spike to go out safely, he and Faith jumped out of the same window that Buffy used for her ‘escape’. Closing his eyes and breathing deeply, Spike picked up Buffy’s scent and they began to follow it.
At the Magic Shop the owner said that, yes, Buffy had been there and purchased an amulet. At first he didn’t want to say what the amulet was for, but when pressed, he admitted the amulet was to block magic spells.
Spike continued to follow her scent until he got about three blocks away from the Magic Shop.
“Bloody hell,” he said as he stopped at an intersection.
“What’s the prob?” Faith asked him.
“She’s been all over here. She’s gone in every bloody direction!” he said looking up and down the street, exasperated.
“Smart,” Faith said as she blew a long breath out. “Now what?”
Spike walked over and leaned heavily against the closest wall. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it before offering one to Faith. Stuffing the lighter and pack back into his pocket, he pulled her note back out and read it again.
“Can I see it?” Faith asked.
Spike handed her the note and she read it a few times before saying, “You know, this doesn’t sound so much like a ‘Dear John’ letter as it does a suicide note to me.”
Spike grabbed the note back from Faith and read it again.
“Bloody hell,” he muttered to himself as he realized that Faith was right.
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