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The One [Post NFA]

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  • The One [Post NFA]

    Author: TheSlayerYears
    Summary: Post NFA. Our heroes might have thought that the worst was over. Oh man, were they wrong...
    Rating: Mostly R, but some parts are NC-17. Warnings will be issued for those parts.
    Genre: Angst, drama, adventure, romance
    Pairings: Spike/Buffy, be warned for some minor Spike/Other
    Disclaimer: That would ge the almighty Jossman. I just lovingly borrow his creations and play around with them.
    Feedback: Yeeeeeeeesss!!!!!! Please?

    1. Prologue Part I

    The Sunnydale crater 2003

    “What do you think we should do, Buffy?”

    “Yeah, you’re not the one and only chosen anymore. s’ gotta live like a person. How does that feel?”

    “Yeah, Buffy… What are we gonna do now?”

    We live.


    The not one and only chosen anymore turned to face her friends, still with that wide and plastered smile on her lips.

    “We wait,” she said and turned back to the crater. “We wait here for Spike.”


    Dawn held back the sudden prick of tears and laid a trembling hand on her sisters’ shoulder. She could feel Buffy tense under her touch.

    “He’s gone.”

    “No. He’s not. He’s coming back.” She shook her head but didn’t turn around, kept up her steady vigil. “He always comes back.”

    Giles shook his head and with a firm grip around her elbow swivelled her around to face them all. He could see her hold back the tears and how her lips trembled. His slayer was broken and he knew who to blame. It seemed as it always came down to Spike.

    “He’s not coming back, Buffy. He’s dead.” Pause. “And maybe that’s for the best…”

    “Giles, stop it!” she warned coldly. “I am not fighting with you about this again! He’s not dead! He will come back.” Voice breaking. “Don’t you get it? He’ll. Come. Back. That’s what he does. That’s what he always does.”

    'I wanna see how it ends.”'

    “Not this time,” Xander said and pulled her in for a hug. “I’m sorry, Buffy. So sorry. But… he’s gone.”

    “Xander’s right,” whispered Willow and joined in for the hug. “Spike’s dead.”

    Buffy swallowed back the sobs and leaned her head against Xander’s’ broad shoulder.

    “I know…” Sigh. ”But I returned from the dead. Why can't he? ”

    'Can we rest now, Buffy? Can we rest?'

    Suddenly Buffy felt a tingle in the left hand and looking down she saw that the skin was pink after the fire burn caused by her holding hands with Spike.


    “What is it, Buffy?”

    Buffy was just about to say something when her eyes rolled into the back of her head and she fell to the ground lifeless.

    Dawn let out a piercing scream and dropped to the ground beside her sisters’ still body.


    There was no response and Buffy kept lying there without a sign of life. No sound. No movement. She was breathing but only barley and her heartbeat was very weak. The others stared in confusion and fear. What was happening to their leader?

    Suddenly Buffy’s eyes shot open and there was a yellow spark in them before it faded away and return to the normal hazel colour. She slowly got back up on her feet, patting away helping hands.

    “Buffy, what happened? Are you okay?”

    Buffy meet their concerned gazes and smiled a predatory smile that made the others skins crawl. There was something…

    “I’m fine.” Turning around to face the crater. “Let’s leave. It’s safe to say that school’s out for the bloody summer…”

    2. Prologue Part II

    L.A 2004

    “Any terms of a plan?”

    “We fight.”

    “’bit more specific.”

    “Well, personally; I kind’a wanna slay the dragon. Let’s go to work.”

    And the sword fell.

    Spike squinted against the thick layer of rain, trying to make out the hunching form of Charles Gunn. The injured man seemed to hold is own, swinging that axe at the blood- thirsty demons that just kept coming at them.

    To the left, Spike could see Illyria swapping away her opponents like insignificant bugs. She was magnificent in all her raging glory and Spike sent a quick thought to the departed Wesley. The ex-watcher had done a good job with her.

    A little further ahead, Angel systematically pounded on a tall demon with his sword – eyes focused on the huge roaring beast above.
    Spike was a little bit anxious that the elder vampire would be too distracted by the dragon to notice the enemy that crept up behind him.


    The dark haired vampire spun around just in time to block the incoming blow from an ogre.

    “Thanks!” he yelled in Spike’s direction and made history short with his attacker.

    Spike simply shook his head and concentrated on his own problems. Which proved to be massive.

    The giant swung its meaty – and rather impressive, fist down towards the smaller (much smaller) vampire with a wide grin on its lips.
    Spike gracefully jumped out of range and pierced the giant’s hand with his sword, grinning as it roared in pain.

    Another huge fist descended and swatted Spike away with such force that he flew several meters away and collided with a brick wall. The impact was enough to force the wall to give in and Spike fell to the ground with brick stones and debris falling over him.
    It hurt to say the least.

    Next thing the rubble was drawn off of him and he could see Illyria’s grim face staring down at him. He gratefully took the outstretched hand she offered and fought to get back up on his feet.

    “Thanks, Leery,” he said between breaths. “Right decent of ya.”

    “My pet will not be harmed,” she simply announced and then she was off again – ripping out throats and spines without any real effort.

    Spike stared after her for just a moment, silently marvelling over the fact that the crazy god king actually considered him her ‘pet’. Oh, the irony…

    There was a sudden cry of pain from somewhere behind Spike and as he turned around he could see Gunn go down – pierced by a sword. The poor guy had at least lasted more than ten minutes. And he had sure made them count.

    There was really not time to stop and grieve over the lost friend; another demon was on Spike in a matter of seconds. Swinging its axe and growling fiercely.
    It didn’t really impress the vampire who killed it plainly with a beheading.

    The dragon roared over Spike’s head and as he turned his attention to it, he could see that it had its eyes set on Angel. And the elder vampire seemed clueless about his fact as he was busy defending himself against a fyarl demon.


    Spike sprinted against the dark haired vampires’ direction, never letting his eyes waver from the dragon as it opened its big jaws and let out a stream of fire.


    Angel swung around just as he was hit by the fire. Before the vampire went up like a torch, his eyes met Spike’s and the younger vampire could have sworn he saw Angel’s lips form the word ‘Buffy’.

    “No!!” Spike screamed again and fell to his knees at the spot where Angel just moments before had stood. He stared down at the pile of dust on the concrete and traced it with his fingers, feeling the familiar line that had bound the two vampire’s together break inside of him.

    Angel was gone. Truly gone…

    “The time of grief has not come yet,” said a monotone voice over his head and Illyria’s hand appeared into his view as she dragged him up to his feet. “We need to do more violence.”

    Spike met her unwavering stare and held back the harsh words he wanted to shout at her. She was actually right; the time for grieving would come – if they survived. Now they had to worry about the oncoming army that had their sights on killing the two remaining rebels.

    Spike clenched his teeth, picked up the sword and threw himself out into the battle once again.

    It could have been seconds, minutes or even hours later when Spike, weak from blood loss and weary after swinging the sword time and time again, made an error of judgement that would prove to be fatal.
    He hesitated for just a second when he saw the sword come swinging at him, and it broke his defends and skewered him like a pig.

    When he fell to his knees he could hear the god king scream his name from a distance. She sounded afraid that he would leave her alone – like the others had. And he probably would.

    Spike spit out blood and raised his gaze to the grinning demon that stood over him with his sword raised for the kill.

    “Go on then,” he coughed, grinning in the face of his executioner. “End it.”

    As the sword descended, Spike could suddenly see a strange figure behind the demon. It appeared to be a man with the most terrible taste in clothes. He seemed to smile against him and did he hear him say:

    “You think you know…What’s to come…What you are. You haven’t even begun.”

    Spike blinked and then everything faded to black as he felt the sword separate his head from the rest of his body.
    Before all that remained of him was dust, he had the time to think about one last thing.



    DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the character that belongs to the Buffyverse - I just lovingly borrow them - for fun and absolutely NOT for profit!
    Any original character [Ana] belongs to me and shall be respected as such.
    Last edited by TheSlayerYears; 20-09-08, 11:41 AM.

  • #2
    Chapter One; Wasting Memory

    New York April 2007

    It was an hour short of closing time, and there were only a few people in the ?Wasted heaven' when Ana walked in and sauntered to the end of the bar. She leaned back; elbows propped against the bar rail, eyeing the crowd for potential threats. After a quick look around she decided there was no one in the bar that posed a threat to anyone and she relaxed a little.

    Ana had been coming to this bar for a couple of weeks now, after hearing that it was a popular place for vampires but so far she had only dusted three of them and she was beginning to get bored.

    Just as she was about to leave the place the door swung open and she inhaled sharply as a stranger walked in.

    She inhaled again.

    Male, prime of life, healthy. Drool-worthy?

    Ana shifted position, checking out the man at the other end of the bar.
    Wearing a battered leather jacket he looked like someone who had been through hell and lived to tell the tale.
    He had a chiselled face with razor-sharp cheekbones and the most stunning blue eyes she had ever seen.

    There was only one word to describe this stranger; gorgeous.
    Then she noticed the knife the man held in his hands. And the blood dripping from his chest.

    "'S that what this is, then?" the man screamed, voice thickly accented and choked with tears. "This is blood. Real blood. Am I real? Am I real? AM. I. REAL?!"

    "Hey, man," stammered one of the guests and slowly backed away from the seemingly crazy man. "Take it easy, okay? You don't want to hurt yourself like that. Or anyone else for that matter. Someone can die."

    "The dead don' bleed, you know," the man said as he sliced another cut on his chest without flinching. "Some dead do, but I shouldn't. I was bloody well finished. Bloody beyond dust." He turned his face upward. "Wasn't I finished?! Wasn't I? Am I real?"

    Ana started forward which got the strangers' attention. He turned around, letting the knife clamber to the floor and stared at her with wide eyes full of fear and? recognition?

    "Slayer??" he mumbled before crashing to the floor in an unconscious heap.

    "Someone call and ambulance ? and the cops!" yelled one of the guests as Ana quickly kneeled beside the young man and checked for any vital signs of life.

    Yeah, he was breathing alright but just barely and his heartbeat was fast, so fast.
    Suddenly he stirred to life and their gazes meet. For a moment she completely lost herself in those blue eyes.

    "I was finished."

    "Finished?" She frowned and leaned in closer, desperately trying to hear his whispering words. "And how did you know that I was a slayer?"

    "Bloody well recognize a slayer in my sleep," he muttered and blinked. Then he positioned himself on his elbows and looked up at her with questioning eyes. "Why am I here?"

    "I don't know." Ana shook her head as she heard sirens from a distance. Suddenly she made up her mind and with a firm grip around the strangers' elbow she helped him up from the floor. "But I'm going to find out."

    "Hey!" The bartender protested as she walked toward the door with the man in tow. "What am I going to tell the police?"

    "The truth."

    "And what's the truth?" The stranger asked and followed her out into the cold night.

    "That nothing happened."


    "Nothing of interest for them." She guided him to her car and sat down in the front seat. "Now let's go home."


    "Home sweet home." She smiled brightly. "By the way; my name is Ana. Anna Calder."

    "William. At least I think it's William?"

    She gave him a quick glance before starting the engine and drove off, destination home.
    Beside her sat the man and studied his bloodied hands with contemplation.

    I died.

    No. You didn't.

    I did die. I remember it. Twice.

    You did not.

    Yes, I did.


    I'm telling you; I died!!

    Okay. Maybe you did.

    Told ya.

    But how can you be sitting here if you're dead?

    Don't bloody know.

    See. You didn't die.

    I didn't die.

    "I wanna see how it ends."


    He turned around to the young woman and noticed for the first time that she was quite lovely. Long raven hair and grey eyes. Long and slim body dressed all in black. His kind of girl?

    "I died."

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Ana normally thought of herself as a serene and patient woman who got along with most people. That was of course before she met ? and took home, the stranger that called himself William.

    He alone would be the death of her ? she just knew it.
    He was stubborn beyond words and he demanded attention almost every second of the day. And most of the night as well. Twenty four seven got a whole new meaning.
    Worst off was the nights. He tossed and he turned and he groaned. And he wailed. Like some ****in' animal at full moon ? only for him it was full moon every night. Apparently.
    Thank God that she was a heavy sleeper?

    When William didn't hold her awake with his tossing and turning, he slept. A lot.
    It was almost as if his body tried to heal itself through sleep. From what she could only imagine.

    Since his memory was all whacked his past remained a mystery to her ? and him. But even tough she knew so little about him, she found great joy in coming up with possible stories about who ?William' really was.
    Her favourite being that he was a retired war hero who'd get wounded in Iraq and thereby lost his memory in the process.

    William on the other hand didn't seem particularly curious about his past, or lack of it. He took each day in stride, walking from room to room as if he searched for something and couldn't find it. At times she could come up behind him and hear him muttering about a ?burning spark' or ?golden goddess' or something other equally gibberish.

    Being a slayer should have prepared her for all kind of strange things and beings but nothing could really have prepared her for playing caretaker to a delusional man.
    A very attractive delusional man?

    There was no doubt that William was a looker. A total hottie.
    Ana was fairly convinced that he had had his share of women in his time. And she couldn't help to ponder on what they had been like.
    Probably equally good looking. Strong? Independent?
    William didn't appear to be a guy who spent his time with weak-minded woman. No, he would have been looking for someone who could have stood up to him. Challenged him.

    If there were something that Ana had discovered with her mystery guest, it was that he liked to test the boundaries.
    When it wasn't him eating all of her weetabix, it was him stealing all the hot water ? and leaving wet towels on the floor. And also the fact that if he didn't get to watch ?Passions' he gave her that whipped puppy look that could have melted the heart with even the most cold hearted woman on the planet.
    Ana was convinced that if given time, William could have every woman in the world drooling at his feet.

    If only he could remember who he was?

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    William stared at Ana as if she just had said something outrageous.
    All she had said was that she wanted to spar with him.
    She also had said that she was going to go easy on him ? so what was the nig fuzz?

    "Oh, come on!" she begged and whipped out the puppy look. "Please?"

    "You're completely off your trolley," he exclaimed and shook his head. "There's no bleeding way I'm going to go up against a slayer!"

    "I promise that I will take it easy on you," she promised. "I just want to test you. See what ya got."

    William tilted his head in that adorable way and she could almost she how he silently calculated her words ? spinning and twisting them around to determent if she was sincere or not.
    He was really good at that; reading her like an open book.
    It was kind'a creepy?

    "Okay," he finally said and she repressed the urge to make a rah-rah motion with her fist.

    Hook, line and sinker?

    "Great!" she declared and assumed fighting position. "Are you ready?"

    He gazed at her calmly, no curiosity in his expression. No trust, but no distrust either.
    Then he nodded and copied her position like he was born to do that.
    Like a fighter?

    Ana surged forward, swinging her fist against his cheek ? only to hit air.
    Somehow, without her being really ready for it, William gracefully ducked and then he stretched out a leg and tripped her.

    Ana landed on the cold floor with a thud and she blinked up at the ceiling.
    This was not anything she'd been prepared for; being outsmarted by a man with amnesia.
    It was vexing to say the least.

    Climbing to her feet she noticed that he now was watching her with an almost predatory look in his angelic face.
    Although he wasn't one, every pore in her body screamed ?vampire'.
    But he couldn't be?

    Shacking off her uncertainties, she went for another round with William.
    Her fist found its target this time and managed to knock him a few feet back.
    William wiped away some blood from the corner of his mouth and gave her a savage grin.
    Then he landed a high kick to Ana's jaw followed by a powerful punch that sent her flying backwards and hitting the wall.

    Ana was fairly convinced ? as she lay dizzy on the floor that she was seeing yellow birds flying around in a circle above her head.
    Then the stubborn streak in her kicked in into overdrive and forced her back up on her feet and moving in William's direction.
    She swung her fist, putting all of her strength behind this blow ? completely ignoring the fact that as he was human he wouldn't be able to withstand the sheer force behind it.

    That was soon to be proven wrong?

    William captured the fist in midair and stepped closer to the slayer. He then lifted Ana up as if she weighs nothing and threw her across the room so that she hit the wall (again), leaving a mark.

    She shook the dizziness away and stared up at him accusingly.

    "You're not human!" she exclaimed and struggled to get back up to her ? very shaky, feet. "No human is that strong!"

    He simply stood at his spot, staring at her with those blank eyes. There wasn't even a twitch in his face that let her know how he felt.
    It was watching a robot.

    "What are you?"

    After a long silence, his answer finally came ? but it didn't help make things any easier.

    "I don't know."

    And truth be told, Ana believed him.



    • #3
      Chapter Two; Stone Cold

      London May 2008

      Buffy sat behind the kitchen island and carefully sipped on her hot chocolate (with tiny marshmallows) with red eyes.
      She hadn’t slept very well that night – or the previous night before that. In fact, she hadn’t had a good night sleep since the destruction of the Sunnydale Hellmouth. Since the day she had to watch another lover die for the sake of her…


      She cursed under her breath and grabbed the last piece of toast from the plate, all with the intention of making history short with it.
      Noticing the accusing stares from Dawn and the gazillion other young girls that occupied the rather large kitchen she quickly devoured it and gave them a cold glare.

      Don’t mess with me.

      “Buffy!” whined Dawn with a longing look at the crumps lying on the marble, which was all that was left of the bread. “I wanted that!”

      “Me too!” a chorus of female voices sang out from all over the room.

      “So make some more,” Buffy said with raised eyebrows. “’s not my fault that you weren’t fast enough.”

      The girls simply glared before they stomped out form the kitchen.
      Buffy sighed, delightful over the sudden silence.

      “Is everything okay, Buffy?” asked Xander carefully and joined her at the island.

      Abandon silence…

      “’m fine. Just peachy.” She tried a reassuring smile but knew that she failed miserably.
      Could never really fool him – not anymore.
      Not since…

      “Are you having nightmares again?”

      Oh God, do I have them…

      Buffy sighed and closed her eyes to shut out his concerned face.

      She still dreams about him.
      It's mostly fragments. Pieces of their turbulent past. Mixed images that filled her entire being with longing and despair after someone who was long gone.
      There was also pictures of a life that would never be, a future that was robbed from her.
      A white picked fence…

      Buffy blinked and noticed that Xander was still watching her closely for a reaction to his question. He probably expected an answer…

      “Yes,” she whispered at last and met his gaze. “They’re back.”

      I can never escape them…

      Like this morning.
      Buffy had awoken with his voice whispering in her ear, too soft to hear the words. Just a low, seductive murmur, sending shivers through her soul. Leaving her wanting for more and disappointed when it never came. Haunting her with the fact that she would never hear his voice speak to her again in the real world. All that remained was the fiction of him…



      She snapped back to reality at Xander’s voice and focused on him as he reached out a hand to place it over hers in a reassuring way.
      Solid Xander…

      “Are you gonna be okay?”

      Buffy could hear the underlined question ‘ever’ and she pressed forward a bright smile – not unlike the one she had presented that day at the Hellmouth.

      “Yeah.” She shrugged and glided off the chair in one graceful motion. “Off course.”

      He watched her in silence for a moment before nodding his approval – letting her know that her act had succeeded.

      “Okay,” he said and rose to his feet, blinking with his one remaining eye. “I’m glad.” And with that he left the kitchen, leaving Buffy to her own thoughts.

      Buffy drew in a deep breath and let her hand glide down into the pocket off her jeans to fish out an item there – that she always carried with her; Spike’s lighter.
      She’d stolen it the last night – when he was still asleep on the cot. Desperately wanting some sort of memory off him if things got out of hand.
      She stared down at it, carefully examining its contours with her thumb. Caressing it as if she was caressing the vampire it once had belonged to.

      Did I know then that he wouldn’t make it out of there alive? Was that the reason to why I took his lighter?
      Did I know that Spike would die…?

      Buffy flipped and turned the Zippo in her hand, unaware off the slender girl that silently watched from the shadows.
      All that was, was a sense of loss greater than anything she’d ever encountered.


      ~ ~ ~ ~

      Dawn stood with her hands firmly placed on her hips and a stubborn expression in her young face.

      "Xander, her life was ruined the day he died.”

      Xander shook his head and began pacing back and forth over the floor in the living room. Everything about him screamed that he really didn’t want to be there right now.
      It was almost so that Dawn pitied him. Almost…

      “You know she’s not okay. She will never be okay.” She stared him down. “You should know that her hand still tingles from where she and Spike were been joined by fire.”

      Dawn said and saw him flinch at that.

      “We gotta tell her that he came back. That he was on Los Angeles with Angel…”

      "Buffy can't know, Dawn." Xander came to a halt, eyes dark with worry. "That could ruin her life."

      “Or not.”

      “Really?” He raised a sarcastic eyebrow. “How would it help her to find out that Spike came back – and didn’t tell her?” Pause. “Or that he’s missing – presumably dead, after facing the army that the Senior Partner’s unleashed on Angel and the rest of the team?”

      There was a short silence following Xander’s rant. But being Dawn, she couldn’t leave it like that.

      “But what if he isn’t?” Meeting his glare. “What if he’s out here somewhere?”

      “Okay, let’s assume that he made it – although I highly doubt that,” Xander said and resumed pacing. “Why haven’t we heard from him?”

      Another pause. Longer this time.

      “Maybe he can’t,” Dawn said after a while. “Maybe he’s hurt rally bad and can’t get to us.”


      “Maybe he’s…”

      Xander walked over to the young woman and placed to heavy hands on her slim shoulders. His one eye stared down at her without mercy.

      “Stop it,” he said harshly. “If Spike really is alive – or undead… whatever, he’d be by Buffy’s side by now.” Pause. “You know that.”

      After what seemed like an eternity, Dawn nodded and averted her gaze.

      “I know.”

      They stood in silence for a while, each deeply in their own thoughts when they suddenly heard a familiar voice – one they’d never expected to hear again, coming from the TV- room.

      “Oh God…” Dawn stared in shock at Xander. “Buffy found Andrew’s tape…”

      “Oh God…”

      ~ ~ ~ ~

      Buffy watched the tape with tears streaming down her checks. She smiled when she saw how Spike obeyed Andrew’s directions. The Big Bad and all of his bravado put to shame by a irritating boy. It was amusing to say the least.

      To hear and see Spike again was a bittersweet experience and Buffy wasn’t completely sure that she had the strength to watch it any further. But some kind of sick and probably twisted part of her couldn’t stop. She needed this. Needed to trace her finger over his face on the screen.

      Now, she could see the camera zoom in on the sleeping form of Spike. The vampire laid sprawled out on the small cot, cute as a… let’s face it, a button when he growled in his sleep.

      “Follow me gentle viewers,” narrated Andrew as the camera kept zooming in on the unknowing vampire, “when I tell the story about the heroic vampire called Spike. A vicious vampire back in the day – ‘til he met his match in the golden slayer we know as Buffy…”

      “Sod off!” it came sleepily from the cot and Buffy smiled through her tears as Spike swung his legs over the bedside and gracefully got up to his feet. “And what did I tell you about filming me when I’m sleeping?”

      “But,” Andrew whined, “this is a important part of my documentary of the amazing lives of the vampire with a soul and his beloved slayer.”

      “Bloody buggering not!!” Spike gave the boy a threatening glare as he reached for his cigarette package. “There will be no documentary!!”

      “A clip on youtube?” Andrew asked hopefully.

      “Nah,” Spike lit his cigarette and inhaled the smoke with a content sighs. “Ah, that’s the stuff.”

      “But, Spike…” Andrew’s voice absolutely rang of eagerness. “Think about it; there will be a movie made about you two. The slayer and the vampire. I can already see the poster for it.” A happy sigh. “It will be the best movie ever. Filled with love, hate, passion and heroic deeds. A story about a young girl who was called and had to face her worst nightmares… A vampire who walked through the decades never knowing true love ‘til he met her…”

      “You’re off your trolley…”

      “But it’s true, isn’t it?” asked Andrew. “You love Buffy…”

      Buffy held her breath awaiting the vampire’s answer.
      On the screen Spike nodded and averted his gaze.

      “Always will.” He looked up and into the camera. “She’s the One.”

      You’re the one, Buffy.

      “Wow,” breathed Andrew. “This is so romantic…”

      “Not anything of the kind,” Spike dismissed and shrugged. “There can never be anything between us. She has her calling and I’m only a vampire.”

      “A vampire with a soul!”

      “Doesn’t do much good,” Spike concluded with a sad smile. “It’s already too late for us.” He focused on the boy and fired off a deadly grin. “And you will tell no one about this, understood?”

      The screen went black and Buffy blinked away the tears. She was about to turn the TV off when the image blurred and another scene appeared on the screen.
      She leaned forward when she recognized the corridors of the Wolfram and Hart building. When the hell did Andrew… Oh, right… Dana…

      “Unaware of the fact that he’s being tailed by the amazing watcher – that would be me, the vampire with a soul is heading out on a solo mission in order to aid another slayer.” Pause. “What is it with him and slayers anyway?”

      As the boy rounded a corner of the corridor, Buffy could suddenly get a glimpse off a billowing coat and her breath was immediately caught in the throat.
      It couldn’t be…

      “The vampire known as Spike,” narrated Andrew, “is truly a lone ranger. He has rejected the help of his friends in order to find the crazy slayer and rescue her from herself – all on his own. This is truly the act of a hero.” Pause. “And maybe because he and Angel don’t seem to be buddy buddies…”

      Rounding yet another corridor the camera catch up with the elusive vampire and Buffy saw the bleached blond hair and the signature coat that was all Spike.
      She couldn’t believe her eyes.

      He’s supposed to be dead. I know this. I saw it. I was there. I saw the amulet burn him from the inside and out. I. Saw. Him. Die!!!

      On the screen Spike disappeared into a room and when Andrew entered it the vampire were nowhere to be found.

      “Blasted!” Andrew cursed. “I lost him!”

      The scene went black and Buffy stared right at it, not really seeing it. She was in a state of complete shock.

      Spike had somehow returned from his death at the Hellmouth. Or had he died at all?
      She shook her head at that thought. Off course he died. She’d seen it first hand.
      On the other side, she had returned form the dead – why shouldn’t he?
      But why hadn’t he contacted her?

      Suddenly the screen came to life again and Buffy blinked in surprise. How many opportunities had Andrew had to film Spike?
      She gritted her teeth when she recognized the apartment in Rome where her body- double had lived pretending to be the real deal.
      Had Spike actually come to Rome?
      Maybe looking for her?

      The screen revealed Spike and… Angel(?) standing in the apartment. The latter seemed very upset for some reason, while Spike appeared to take it all in a stride.

      “But she's not finished baking yet! I gotta wait 'til she's done baking. You know, 'til she finds herself. 'Cause that's the drill. Fine. I'm waitin' patiently, and meanwhile,” Angel shouted, “The Immortal's eatin' cookie dough!”

      Buffy actually had the decency to blush at that. She had thrown Angel a bone back in Sunnydale, but almost immediately regretted it. Because what she’d said to him about Spike being in her heart had been completely true. She’d just realized it too late.

      “Uh, Spike, is Angel crying?” Andrew’s voice was heard saying with a incredulous tone.

      ”No.” Pause. “Not yet.”

      The scene played out and soon the two vampires left the apartment. When the door closed behind them, Andrew turned the camera around to film himself.

      “Right….Ok, I promised Spike I wouldn’t tell Buffy about him. I just don’t get why. I know she misses him…” Pause. “I guess that what he said about finding himself was really true. It’s just sad though.” Andrew snivelled. “What a tragic story this is; a heroic, handsome vampire who got his soul for the love of his life: The Slayer. Only to be separated from her by destiny…”

      This time, when the screen faded to black, Buffy instinctively knew that it was it. No more Spike.
      She broke into sobs and started rocking back and forth on the carpet. The pain of knowing that Spike was back and that he hadn’t told her was almost too much to bear.
      Why… Why didn’t he want her to know?
      Didn’t he love her anymore?

      She’s the One…

      Through her tears she could suddenly make out the form of her sister as she kneed by Buffy’s side.

      “It’s going to be okay, Buffy,” Dawn assured her. “If Spike’s alive we’ll find him.”

      A long pause.
      Then Buffy raised a tearstained face to her sister.

      “What do you mean, alive…?”

      It was then she noticed the look in Dawn’s face and knew that the worst was yet to come.
      Oh God…




      • #4
        Chapter Three; Nightmares

        Warning: Some minor Spike/Other in this chapter.

        New York May 2008

        William woke up with a silent scream.
        He did that a lot; waking up after a restless night, covered in sweat and panting like a maniac.
        No wonder that Ana had insisted in soundproofing the apartment.

        He guessed that he had dreamt another nightmare. One of those that he could never remember when he finally woke up.

        Grimacing at the sweat soaked sheets, William crawled out of bed and walked over to the window in all of his naked glory. He yawned and stretched his muscles like a graceful feline, all predatory and alert to the sounds around him.

        A sound form the alley down bellow drew his attention and he smiled when he saw Ana kick the living crap out of a vampire. The girl just didn't know how to relax.

        When she had dusted the demon, she turned her head upwards and their gazed met through the night.
        William raised a hand in a silent greeting and she acknowledged it with a nod ? before melting into the shadows and disappearing from his view.
        Although they did get along real nice, he knew that she ever could get over the fact that he could take her in a fight. He supposed that it hurt her feelings ? with him not being demon or something like that. Something that could explain why he was so strong.

        Shortly after discovering his amazing strength, Ana had insisted that he should do a complete check out and urged him to the nearest hospital. Only to be informed that there wasn't anything unusual about William. In fact, the doctor had told them, the young man was in exceptional health. Maybe the healthiest person he'd ever examined.

        After that setback, Ana had continued persisting that they should regularly spar. So that she could be an even better fighter, was her explanation.
        He had reluctantly agreed.

        Shaking his head at this stupidity, William turned his back against the window and headed for the bathroom, all with the intention of taking a hot shower to loosen up some of his tensed muscles.

        As the water washed over him, William leaned his head against the cold marble and drew in a deep breath.
        It was true that he couldn't remember the most parts of his nightmares ? but there was one thing he do remembered. Or rather someone.
        A girl?

        She's wasn't really a girl. More of a beautiful woman.
        Her face could have been carved by angels, her hair spun by the purest gold. She was petite, this woman from his dreams, but yet she possessed the strength of a lioness.
        She was? effulgent.

        Who is she?

        That question kept haunting him threw the days and the nights, every week? every month. At times she was all he could think about ? a nameless face which taunted him by its beauty. Whatever meaning she could have to him, was an enigma as long as his memory kept eluding him.
        Sometimes he couldn't help to wonder that he must've done something really horrific in his past that made him deserve this kind of life. A life with a huge whole in it.

        It was a word he'd come to know very well. In fact, that was the only way to describe how he felt these days. There was a blank space inside of him urging to be filled ? yet he did not have the means to fill it.

        Even tough the elusive girl from his dreams was a mystery it wasn't even close to how vexed he was about not knowing anything about himself.

        Who am I?

        Still reeling from that question, William turned off the water and reached for a towel.
        After drying himself of with the soft towel, he left the bathroom and on the way towards the bed, took out a change of sheets from the closet.

        After making the bed with the fresh sheets, William slid under the cover with a tiny sigh.
        He knew that as soon as he fell asleep the nightmares would haunt him once again.
        They always did.

        ~ ~ ~ ~

        Ana silently opened the door and pressed herself through the thin opening, conscious to not make the slightest sound that could alert William about her presence in the apartment.
        If there was a light sleeper that would be him.

        Tripping over the marble floor, she headed towards the kitchen. With one eye on the ornamented stair leading up to the second floor, she carefully opened the refrigerator. Quickly she snatched the remaining piece of chocolate cake (both she and William was chocolate-holics) and the last milk.

        Taking place behind the kitchen island, she dug into the chocolaty goodness with a hum of pleasure. This was enough to bring her back from the boredom of an evening of patrol. This and the cold milk that soothed her throat.
        With an affective smile, she sent a thought to the man on the floor above her that always drank the last of the milk and then put the cartoon back in the fridge.


        Although she and William got along quite fine, there would always be the fact that he could easily take her out, hovering above their heads. A fact that had her on her toes almost every second in his company.
        But even tough she found his amnesia to be a splinter between them; she couldn't help being drawn to him as well. Not in a romantic way ? ?cause it had been absolutely clear from the first start that there was no spark between them.

        There had been the night tough? When they'd been so drunk and wallowing in their own grief that they desperately had tried to soothe the pain in each other's arms. But as soon as they had woken up in the same bed, they'd realized what a huge mistake that had been.
        No, that was two ships who certainly wouldn't be meeting in the night again.

        Ana gulped down the last of the milk and put the glass in the sink, before she exited the kitchen and slowly made her way up the stair. She was in desperate need of a hot shower that could relax her aching muscles.

        Tiptoeing pass William's bedroom, she held her breath and prayed that she wouldn't wake him. She knew how much he needed the little sleep he could get.
        Silently cursing the nightmares that still plagued him, she entered her room and carefully closed the door behind her.

        Later, when she had showered and washed her hair free from vampire dust, she sat in front of the mirror and combed through her hair with a distant expression on her face as she pondered about the mystery that was William.
        It was an enigma to her that she'd never reported his presence to the New Watcher's Council. After all, he was way to strong for your average human. Yet nothing about him appeared demon either.
        Maybe she kept him a secret because deep inside she longed for a friend to help her with her patrols. A cold comfort during the lonely life as a slayer.

        Heaving a deep sigh, Ana remembered the words spoken by the famous slayer Buffy Summers; ?The mission is all that matters.'

        I'm beyond tired. If the mission is all that matters? screw the ****ing mission.

        Ana averted her gaze from the mirror, unwilling to meet the eyes of her weary reflection.
        When she slowly got up to her feet she could suddenly hear the unmistaken ?and very familiar sounds of William as he was struggling through yet another nightmare.
        Yeah, they both were haunted by nightmares?

        As she tiredly slipped under the covers she remembered a quote from William; ?All we ever do is dance.'
        He'd said it to her after one of their sparring sessions and it stuck with her ever since then.

        All we ever do is dance?

        ~ ~ ~ ~

        William sat behind the kitchen island and sipped on hot chocolate (with tiny marshmallows) when he heard the familiar sounds of Ana waking up.
        He tilted his head as she tripped ? did she really think he couldn't hear her(?), over the floor above his head and turned on the water for her morning shower. The process took exactly half an hour (he'd counted it several times) and after that time she came walking down the stairs, yawning and stretching her muscles.

        William followed her with his gaze as she walked over to the counter and pored herself a cup of coffee and gulped it down ? no matter how hot it was, as her very life depended on it.

        "Ah!!" she exhaled and turned her lips into a content smile. "That's the stuff!"

        William shook his head and took another sip of his chocolate, now aware that she had turned her attention to him. It was only natural, since he was the only other person than her present.
        He noticed the curious expression in her facer and repressed a sigh.

        "What?" He lifted his gaze and stared at her, willing her to back off and let him enjoy the morning in silence. Of course she would not let him?

        "You had another nightmare last night," she stated and put down the coffee cup in the sink before she walked over to the island. "In fact? You had several nightmares." Pause. "Can you remember anything about them?"

        "No." He shrugged and abandoned his chocolaty goodness in order to focus solemnly on her. "Whatever they are about? I can't seem to get a grasp on it."

        "Too bad," she said and patted his shoulder. "Maybe it will come to you in given time."

        "Yeah, maybe."

        William slid of the chair and carried his mug over to the sink, with the intention of escaping this interrogation before he lost patience with her pitying him like a beaten puppy.

        "See ya," he murmured and quickly exited the kitchen.


        William left the apartment and took the elevator down to the ground floor, where he was met by the friendly portiere Keith.

        "Good day," greeted Keith and held the door open for William to exit. "The weather is perfect for a walk through the park."

        William nodded to let the portiere know that he had heard him. Gazing up at the clear blue sky he came to the conclusion that it really was a perfect day to take a walk in the park.

        He crossed the busy lane and entered Central Park, whistling on a tune from Sex Pistol's song ?God save the Queen'.

        As he strolled along one of many paths, he let his eyes roam the surroundings ? always on alert for something that could jog his memory. Never finding it tough?
        Just like now.
        With a headshake, William came to a halt in front of a stand with doughnuts. He order one with chocolate frosting (you could never get enough chocolate) and took place in the grass.


        ?That goes without saying.'

        Blinking at the sudden flash of memory ? it had to be a memory, William almost choked on his pastry. Thankfully he managed to swallow it and not die in the process.

        What the hell??

        He held back a triumphant cheer and repressed the urge to make a rah-rah motion with his fist. He had actually remembered something!!
        But as glad he was over that little flash of something from his past, he couldn't help to feel sad that it had been such a tiny memory. Nothing really concrete. No faces to put the words to.

        "Oh my God?"

        William quickly turned around to the sound of the voice that came directly behind him. What he saw was a young ? and quite lovely woman, in her mid twenties. Long curly black hair, a taut body and lips that promised sweet pleasure to anyone she favoured. And with that tingle that told him that she was a slayer.

        "What are you doing here?"

        Out. For. A. Walk. Bitch.

        He blinked again at the sudden flash of memory and stared up at the woman with a frown. She appeared to know him and that reason alone was enough to have him on an edge. ?cause she didn't seem to believe her eyes.


        Now it was her time to frown. Then she started to nibble on her lower lip ? as if she wasn't really sure how to take things from there.

        "Do I know you?" He spurred and gracefully got up to his feet. He could see how she followed his every move.

        "I?" She let her eyes roam over his body and he raised an eyebrow when he felt the confusion poring out of her entire being. It appeared as if she recognized him ? but yet not.

        "You?look like someone I once knew." She said lamely. "I mean really look like him." Pause. "But he's dead."

        "Sorry, lady," William drawled, "But I'm very much alive."

        "Yeah?" She didn't seem convinced tough and she kept looking at him in a way that made him shiver of?lust, hate, passion, contempt? It was if her presence had him vexed to the limits and with sudden dread he realized that she indeed had to be someone from his mysterious past. His instincts told him that quite clearly.

        "Look," he sighed and stepped back. "This guy? that I look like?" Another sigh. "How did you know him?"

        "He was?" She stopped speaking and shook her head. "It doesn't matter. You can't be him." A dismissive glare. "You're human." And with that she turned to leave.

        William gaped at her back as she walked away from him.
        Was that it?

        Hell no!!

        "Hey!" he yelled after her. "What's your name?"

        And over her shoulder came the silent reply:


        ~ ~ ~ ~

        Ana walked into the apartment, dragging her feet behind her and casually throwing her clothes in every direction. She didn't even bother to look and see if William was around to see her striptease. It wasn't like he hadn't seen it before.

        Wearily she made it to the fridge and snatched out the bottle of vodka. She didn't even bother to pore it into a glass ? she simply lifted the bottle to her mouth and took a long drag of the liquid.

        When she had satisfied her thirst for the strong stuff, she turned her back against the fridge and began walking towards the stairs. She didn't get very long before she bumped into a figure that came out form the bathroom.

        Startled she backed a few steps and stared at the strange woman. The rather underdressed woman.

        "Who are you?"

        "Oh, I'm sorry," chirped the woman in an animated tone. She obviously had no restrictions about showing off her body as she stood their wearing only a pair of thongs. "I didn't know anyone more lived her besides Willy."


        Ana raised an eyebrow and then shrugged. What the hell, she didn't care if her roommate dragged home strange woman. He was free as a bird. However ? he could have told said strange women to not walk around the apartment without clothes. In respect for his roommate.

        "Well," she sighed and gazed longingly up the stairs, "no harm done, right? I'll just go to my room and you?" she gave the woman a ironic smile, "go back to Willy. I'm sure his waiting for ya."

        Without waiting for the other woman to follow her, Ana walked up the stairs and directly into her room. She closed the door behind her with an audible bang to let William know how she felt about finding a strange woman walking around almost naked in the apartment.


        Ana conveniently forgot that she herself had been in a lightly dressed state when she had encountered the ?intruder'.

        Throwing herself flat on the bed, Ana yawned and stretched her sore muscles. She hissed when one of her scrape wounds glided against the sheet and silently cursed under her breath as something popped into place when it touched the madras.

        "Never again," she promised herself in the darkness of her chamber," will I take on a bunch of Fyarl demons by myself."

        Hugging the pillow, she tried to block out the sounds from William's chamber that revealed that he and miss ?Intruder' was doing the horizontal mambo.
        This was after all not the first time her roommate had dragged home a woman. And it wouldn't be the last either. One night stands all of them. No exceptions.

        A audible moan was heard from the room across the hall, followed by the unmistaken sounds of kissing and joining of limbs.

        Ana buried her head under the pillow and growled.


        ~ ~ ~ ~

        William woke up with the sun shining directly down on him and with the weight of a slender arm tossed over his midsection.
        He blinked, yawned and stretched his muscles like a big lazy cat.
        Then he rolled out of reach from the sleeping woman and got up to his feet.

        As he began dressing he threw a quick glance over the shoulder at his sex partner for the night. She was a tall, redheaded woman with porcelain skin and legs that you could kill for. She was nothing like the petite golden haired woman from his dreams.
        That fit him right perfectly.

        His bed partner frowned cutely in her sleep and rolled over on her back, throwing out an arm as if to fell for his presence besides her. When she didn't found it, her emerald eyes flew open and she positioned herself on the elbows as she searched the room for him.

        "Hey," he greeted silently as she finally found him. "Good morning."

        "Good morning," she said and smiled sweetly at him.

        William returned the smile while he tried to remember what her name was.







        Oh, for God's sake?!



        Bloody hell!

        Just like the song.

        Like Angel's bleeding song!

        Could this be any worse?

        William froze in the middle of bottoming up his shirt.

        Whoa!! Who the hell is Angel?!!

        "Bloody hell?"



        • #5
          Chapter Four; Unspoken

          Warning: Strong/violent language, thoughts of suicide

          London May 2008

          Buffy sat huddled in the sofa and stared out into the darkness of the night. Her insides ached and her faith in the people she considered friends and family severely broken.
          They’d lied to her – over and over again. Kept secrets from her. Believed they knew what was best for her.
          Just like they had done back in Sunnydale.

          At least they haven’t thrown me out of the house.


          She snorted. She didn’t put that past them.


          She could hear them whispering down in the kitchen; arguing over how to reach through to her. Let them, she thought viciously and blinked away the sudden prick of tears. And see how they like to have another set of bruises to parade around with.

          After Dawn had told her everything (Buffy had made sure about that) Buffy’s first reaction had to slap her younger sister in the face. No regrets. The little bitch had certainly deserved that. Next act had been to attack Xander who lingered in the doorway, looking like a scared puppy. Oh, the sick joy she had felt when she kicked the living shit out of him. ‘Oh,’ she had sneered when he had moaned in pain, ‘it hurts doesn’t it? How would you like to be completely blind? Then you wouldn’t be able to mess with my life!’

          She hadn’t recognized herself at that moment and a part of her had been absolutely petrified that she’d been able to beat up someone she considered family to such a degree.
          But another, very dark and twisted, part of her had enjoyed this cruel act. Her Slayer. The demon that resided inside her had found it to be poetic justice.

          Her demon….
          Some nights, it would keep her awake, rambling about betrayal and blood. Then there were times when it would sulk in silence, without a doubt plotting for a way to make her suffer the most. Make her pay for not acknowledging the love for her soul mate in time to stop him from dying.

          ‘He’s dead,’ it would whisper to her in the lonely ours. ‘Dead. Dead. DEAD…’

          He’s dead…

          Because you killed him. You murderous bitch. You killed him.

          Shut up.

          You left him to die alone…

          Stop it.

          You let him die thinking he wasn’t loved…


          Murderer. You killed him. You destroyed him… You put out his spark…

          Shut. Up. Shut. Up. SHUT UP!…

          Of course it never shut up. It was always there; a constant reminder of the failure that she was. A beast clawing at her insides, consuming her flesh and gnawing at her already broken heart.
          Sometimes it hurt so much that she just wanted it all to end.
          She almost welcomed the idea.

          But the same twisted and sick part of her that caused her to suffer to such degree also wanted her to live. It jabbered at her for being so weak, so unslayerish. It howled in protest every time she held a razorblade to her wrist. Wailed when she swallowed too many pills for its liking. It dragged her kicking and screaming back to reason – and even tough she cursed the damn thing she eventually found that she was thankful for its interference.
          ‘cause truth was; that how depressed and tired she would feel – she didn’t want to die.

          That’s the coward’s way out…

          A tiny flicker of a smile played over her lips as she thought of how Spike would’ve reacted if he knew hw many times she almost had surrendered to that ‘slayer death wish’ he’d told her about.

          ‘**** the hell with slayer death wish’, luv” he would have said with that cocky grin of his. “You have to live. Fight. Be Buffy.”

          You have to live so one of us is living.

          Trust it to Spike to be so honest.
          Stupid vampire…

          Buffy drew in a tired breath and rested her heavy head against her knees. With red stained eyes she gazed out the window as a shooting star fell from the sky.

          Wisely she kept any wish she had to herself.

          ~ ~ ~ ~

          That night, as she slept, Buffy rested in the arms of her lover once again.

          They lay cuddled up on the tiny cot, spooning each other. Spike had his arm casually thrown over her slender frame and his head buried in the crock of her neck.

          She giggled when he blew raspberries on her skin and turn her head so that she could meet his gaze. His eyes…
          Those incredible eyes that could see the very soul of her looked at her as she was the centre of his Universe.

          “Your feet are cold.”

          “Duh,” he rolled his eyes, “vampire here, luv.”

          She elbowed him in the ribs for his sarcasm and repressed another giggle as he huffed in protest.

          “Always have to play it rough, eh?” he teased and nibbled at her earlobe. “Well, two can play that game.”

          Buffy burst into laughter as he mercilessly tickles her sides.
          She needed this; the distraction from what would come. The unconditional love that shone at her from his amazing eyes.

          “Make love to me.”

          He freezes for a moment; shock evident in every line of his beautiful face. Then he seems to pick up on something, maybe from her pleading expression and a hesitant smile slowly forms on his lips.

          Lips of Spike!!

          “Are you sure?”

          She simply nods and turns her body around so that she’s lying face to face with him; their breaths mixing with each others.

          Never been more sure.

          Buffy raises her arms so that he can pull of the top, which he does skilfully while raining kisses down on her exposed skin. She squirms under him and giggles softly as if he got to a sensitive spot.

          Spike caresses her cheek before tangling his hand in her locks, tilting her head up so that he can deepen the kiss. Buffy mimics his gesture by lifting her hand to grip a handful of his curls.
          Spike’s mouth leaves Buffy’s for a moment to travel down her exposed neck, planting kisses all the way down to her collarbone and then travelling up again to once again rest against her eager lips.

          “I love you.”

          “I love you too,” she whispers against his lips.

          “No you don’t, but thanks for saying it.”

          No, you don’t, but thanks for saying it….

          ~ ~ ~ ~

          Buffy wakes up screaming, literally bathing in sweat and with her breath caught in her throat. If she was able to die from sheer pain she would’ve been dead right about now.
          The dream (a real memory actually – except the last part) that had started so innocent and sweetly had quickly turned into yet another nightmare.

          No, you don’t, but thanks for saying it.

          Would his words forever haunt her? Torture her with their rejection?
          Why hadn’t he believed her? Why hadn’t he told her that he loved her too and then taken off the damned amulet to follow her out of the cavern?
          Why had he chosen death over a life with her?

          Ultimately, Spike had stayed behind while she had fled up the stairs and over those roofs and on to the bus.
          Ultimately, Spike had literally cindered to death while she stood overlooking the crater that was all that was left of the Sunnydale Hellmouth.
          Ultimately, he’d been the hero she knew he would be.

          Do you still burn, Spike?

          Are you still down there?

          Frozen in time for all too marvel at your heroism?

          Does it still sting; your soul…?

          Buffy backed up against the headboard and started rocking her body back and forth.
          Back and forth…

          Tears began streaming freely down her cheek as someone started banging on the door. As from a distance she could hear Xander’s voice yelling at her to open it.

          “God damn you, Buffy! Open the ****ing door!”

          “Buffy!” Pleaded her younger sister from the other side. “Let us in!”

          Buffy buried her head in her hands and shook her head to shut out their concerned voices. As she blocked out the sounds of her friend and sister, another sound began plaguing her instead. The Demon.

          Murderer. Cold hearted bitch. You don’t get to grief him. Do you hear me?! You sent him to his death!!

          Stop it. Stop it.

          You willingly gave him that amulet. You knew it would destroy him. Kill all that he was. Turn him into nothing but ashes. You. Murdered. Him!!

          No. no. NO!!

          You wanted him to die. It was convenient, right? With him gone you could finally give Angel those ‘cookies’ you were yammering about. You. Betrayed. Him.

          I didn’t. I. Didn’t!!


          Why don’t you let them in? So that they can see what a pathetic excuse of a woman you really are. A woman that hurts the ones she loves.

          Oh God…

          You wish you were dead now, don’t you? Wish that you could just leave it all?


          I think you do. But you’re just a coward like always. Not strong enough to put an end to it. ‘cause who knows what awaits you then; it sure isn’t heaven. People who kill their lovers don’t end up there you know. You. Are. A. Murderer.

          Please. Please. PLEASE…

          The sound of wood splintering as the door suddenly gave in startled Buffy out off her trip into the darkness of her mind and she turned her tearstained face towards Xander and Dawn as they stumble into her bedroom.

          “Buffy!!” Dawn ran to her sister’s side and laid her arms around the trembling woman. “I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.” She laid her head down on Buffy’s shoulder. “I love you.”

          Buffy returned her sister’s hug and turned her gaze up at the silent man standing over them. With the constant ache in her heart she wordlessly accepted their forgiveness. She always would, she concluded and invited Xander to join in on the hug.
          After all, where they really any worse than her?

          Do you still burn, Spike?

          ~ ~ ~ ~

          There wasn’t really any amount of chocolaty goodness that could make up for a night disturbed by constant nightmares and the broken door leading into her bedroom, Buffy concluded and put down her mug with a weary sigh.

          “Are you feeling any better?” asked Dawn as she joined Buffy at the kitchen island. “I tried to make it just like mum used to.”

          “’s fine,” said Buffy with a reassuring smile. “Thanks.”

          There was a short silence and Buffy could see that her sister had something on her mind.
          She repressed a sigh and turned to face the younger woman.

          “What is it?”

          “Spike liked it,” she whispered. “Remember? He and mum used to sit with their respective mugs and talk about the latest events on ‘Passions’.”

          “I remember,” Buffy snivelled and took another sip of her chocolate. “She always had a weak spot for him.”

          “Always the ladies man, eh?” Dawn joked. Then her smile faded away. “He brought her flowers you know. After she died…”

          “What?” Buffy stared at her sister. “How come I didn’t know that?”

          “Xander drove Spike away being the pig he can be sometimes.” Pause. “But Willow brought the flowers to mum’s grave later.”

          “Oh God…” Buffy shook her head as tears started running down her cheeks. “I never gave him enough credit. Never acknowledged how truly amazing and different he was.” She met her sister’s concerned gaze. “There are so many things I wish I had said to him… So many thinks left unspoken…”

          “Buffy…” Dawn put her arms around her shivering sister, “if Spike is out there… We’ll find him.”

          Buffy was about to thank her when she was interrupted by the doorbell.
          Curious about whom it could be in this early hour, she walked over to the door and opened it – only to step back as she found herself face to face with a blue demon.

          “Buffy Summers?” the overgrown smurf asked in an arrogant voice.

          “Demon!!” Dawn screamed and look for any sharp object to defend them with.

          “I am no demon,” the no demon said insulted. “I am the great Illyria, ruler over…”

          “Kill it before it kills us!” Dawn chipped and threw Buffy a knife – which the slayer caught without breaking eye contact with the no demon.

          “I have not come here to harm you, Buffy Summers,” the blue entity said with a sigh. “I came because he talked about you with affection.”


          The strange figure simply nodded and then tilted her head in a way that reminded her too much about Spike.

          “My pet. The white haired one. Spike.”

          That statement was followed by shocked silence.

          Buffy blinked. Then blinked again.

          “Your pet?”

          “Oh my God!” exclaimed Dawn and joined them at the door. “You know Spike?” Pause. “How is he?”

          The blue woman turned ice cold eyes toward the younger woman, apparently not liking what she was seeing. Then she turned her full focus on Buffy.

          “He is no more.”

          “What…?” Buffy shook her head, not willing to believe this strange being. “What do you mean?”

          “Spike was killed in the fight against the Wolf the Ram and the Hart,” the entity said. “I grieve for him as I did for Wesley.” Pause. “I wish to do more violence.”

          Buffy’s eyes rolled back into her head and she fell to the floor with a thud.
          It was safe to say that she didn’t take the news of Spike’s second death very well.
          And she would most certainly not be a happy camper as soon as she woke up.
          That fact alone made Dawn beg the Powers for a miracle.

          Last edited by TheSlayerYears; 21-09-08, 04:05 PM.


          • #6
            Chapter Five; Dichotomy

            New York June 2008

            William gave up trying to sleep somewhere around midnight.
            Repressing the urge to run naked and screaming out into the night, he swung his legs over the bedside and grimaced as his feet hit cold floor.
            Stretching his sore muscles (from the exercise with Ana) he walked over to the closet and pulled out grey cargos and a white shirt.

            William tiptoed down the hallway so that he wouldn’t wake Ana up and ran down the stairs without almost a sound, heading towards the kitchen.
            The chocolate powder in the cabinet didn’t stand a chance…

            Happily sipping on his mug of hot chocolate (with marshmallows of course) he rested his head against the palm of his hand and stared out into the dark kitchen. That the clock was about three in the morning and that he really should try to get some sleep didn’t bother him at all. This was after all not the first night that he had had trouble sleeping, now was it?

            Pondering on why he continued having those elusive nightmares, he gave a deep sigh. You would really think that something would have come to him by now – but no. No such luck – or unluck depending how you saw it.

            He hadn’t had any more flashes of memory since that morning in May and after a while he’d given up trying to decipher what it had really been about.

            What kind of name was ‘Angel’ anyway?

            Beats me.

            Best to leave it be.


            Whoever it was he/she had a very bad taste in music.


            Although he liked your poems…

            William shut up to an upright position and with widened eyes.
            He’d remembered another thing!!
            Given it was a highly unlikely correct memory.

            Yeah, right…

            William blinked. Then blinked again.

            My soul is wrapped in harsh repose

            Midnight descends in raven-colored clothes

            But soft. Behold! A sunlight beam

            Cutting a swath of glimmering gleam

            My heart expands, 'tis grown a bulge in it

            Inspired by your beauty... effulgent.



            What? ‘m just saying…

            That poofter could very well be me!!


            Oh, shut up!




            William shook his head at his inner ramblings and wisely decided that it was time to hit the sack and at least try and get some well needed sleep.
            After all, it seemed as things would solve themselves eventually.
            All that’s needed was time.
            Time and patience.

            ~ ~ ~ ~

            William stared at the drawing that he’d sketched and ran a hand through his already tousled hair. He couldn’t really get past the fact that he could draw the beautiful face of his dream girl – when he couldn’t remember her name.
            Her carefully outlines eyes stared back at him, silently condemning him for his failure.

            ‘I’m waiting for you’ she told him with earnest eyes. ‘I will always wait for you.’

            He shuddered and closed his eyes briefly as her husky voice invaded his senses.
            He knew that voice.

            ‘I love you’ she whispered.

            “No, you don’t. But thanks for saying it.”

            William blinked when he suddenly uttered those words, recognizing them from his dreams. Even tough he did his best to handle these sudden flashes of memory; it still vexed him when they popped up; causing him to experience rather severe headaches.
            And why the hell did his hand sting?!

            ’cause you’re a moron!

            This is a bad combination; me confused and you being a pain in the ass.

            You’re always confused.

            And you’re always a pain in the ass.

            Well, thank you.

            William growled.
            His inner self snarled.
            William cursed.
            His inner self cursed even better.


            He turned around as Ana entered the kitchen. Giving her a quick smile he laid the picture down on the desk and took a sip of the chocolate.

            “What’s that?” Ana pointed at the drawing and joined him at the kitchen island. “Can I see it?”

            William nodded and handed her the paper, carefully studying her face to see what her reaction would be.

            Ana studied the picture with strange intensity.
            For a moment William was almost sure that she would say that she knew who the girl was – then all hope of that faded away as she gave him a distracted smile.

            “She’s beautiful,” Ana said and handed back the drawing. “Who is she?”

            “I don’t know,” he confessed depressed. “I dream about her.” Pause. “That’s all.”

            Ana stood silent for a while, before she suddenly turned her back against him and began leaving the kitchen.

            “Where are you going?” he asked after her, alert to her strange behaviour.

            “Out,” she simply said and left the apartment.

            William stared after her, shook his head and then returned to gaze down at the elusive girl on the paper.

            “Who are you? Really?”

            ~ ~ ~ ~

            Ana walked into the park, avoiding the masses of people as she headed towards a secluded section under some trees.
            When she reached her destination, she carefully looked around to see if there could be anyone in the close range that could overhear her – and when she found the cost clear, she picked up her cell and quickly dialled in a number.

            “The Institution of 1500’s art,” a business like voice answered on the other end.

            “This is agent Calder,” Ana told in a stern voice. “Put me though to G.”

            “Certainly,” responded the voice a little bit warmer. “Nice to hear from you, miss Calder.”

            Tapping her fingers against the plastic, Ana eagerly waited for the call to go through.
            She was rewarded just seconds after when the one she had called for answered.

            “This is the head Watcher speaking. How can I help you?”

            Ana drew in a shaky breath.

            “Giles? We need to talk…”

            ~ ~ ~ ~

            William crumpled the paper and tossed it into the trashcan, then quickly fished it up again.
            It may be that the face of his dream girl drove him utterly insane, but he couldn’t stand throwing it away. Not even so that he could find some peace.
            Who was she?

            As William laid the paper down on the desk and straightened out the wrinkles, he came to a sudden realization; Ana had recognized the face!
            That’s why she had left the apartment in such haste.
            That’s why she had had that strange look in her face.

            William traced the unknown woman’s face with his thumb and felt an ache in his chest.
            It was like some huge part of him was missing and that he could only be whole again if he found this dream girl.

            There’s ashes were my heart should be. I can’t feel anything real…

            William sighed.
            His inner self sighed even deeper.
            William rolled his eyes.
            His inner self rolled them even more.
            William cursed.
            His inner self cursed way better.
            William gave up.

            Wow – you must be some ****ing genius.

            Yeah, as a matter of fact… Wait… You never think that! Why did you go and say something like that now?

            Well, there’s gotta be a reason to why I still keep you around.

            Bloody ha ha. Screw ya!

            William made a rah-rah motion with his fist over his little victory over the irritating voice that always tried to outdo him.
            Then he realized how stupid that was and he found himself sulking instead.

            Bloody fool.

            What can I tell ya? I’ve always been bad.

            William started nibbling at his lower lip.

            The door into the apartment suddenly opened and Ana walked in with an unreadable expression in her beautiful face.

            “We need to talk,” she said with a doom voice.


            He followed her with curious eyes as she crossed the floor and sat down opposite of him. She appeared to be very concerned about how he would react to her words.
            That fact had him almost jumping off his chair in anticipation.

            “What I have to say to you might sound a little odd…” Ana began and cleared her throat. “But I just found out who you are.” Pause. “Really are.”

            “And that would be…?”

            “You used to be a vampire known as ‘Spike’.” She watched him closely for any reaction but got none. He simply stared at her without blinking. “And you died…”

            “I died.”

            “Yes.” She nodded. “Twice.”

            William blinked. Then blinked again.

            Would that be a word record?

            Beats me.

            Told ya that I died.

            Not the time to get all self-righteous, pal.

            Oh, let me bask for once.



            He returned his focus to Ana who was watching him closely. Studying him like some god damned bug.


            “If you want to know more about your past you need to go to London,” Ana declared. “There’s a man there that can tell you everything that you need to know.”

            “A man?”

            “His name is Rupert Giles.”

            It didn’t take long for William to decide that he wanted to see this mysterious man that could tell him about his past.

            “Okay,” he said and drew in a deep breath. “I guess that I’m going to London.”

            “There’s just one more thing…” Ana exclaimed as he was about to get up from the chair. “Something really important.”


            “Mister Giles mentioned a prophecy concerning you.”

            William coughed and stared at her with wide eyes.
            She gotta be kiddin’.


            “It’s true,” she said with a nod. “Apparently you play a big role in some apocalypse.”

            William drew in a deep breath and buried his head in the palm of his hands.
            After a while, when he mustered up the little strength that he had left, he raised his eyes to look at the anxious woman sitting in front of him.
            He pressed out a ghost of a smile.

            “Then let’s go to London and deal with this apocalypse…”

            His inner self didn’t like that at all.

            Right. First off, I'm not wearing any amulets. No bracelets, brooches, beads, pendants, pins or rings.

            Last edited by TheSlayerYears; 21-09-08, 07:02 PM.


            • #7
              Chapter Six; Going Through The Motions [Nc-17]

              Warning: Strong/violent/sexual language

              London June 2008

              He's dead. Dead. DEAD?

              Buffy's fist hit its target with lethal accuracy and she grinned grimly as the vampire stumbled back with his hand against the bleeding nose.
              The demon wiped at the blood and glared at her with obvious malice.

              "Oh, come on," sighed Buffy and placed her feet broadly on the grass while she rested her hands against the jeans clad hips. "Can't take a good hit or what?"

              The vampire growled and launched itself against the slayer; teeth bared for the kill.
              Except it never got that far. Buffy's hand shot out and she had the demon by its throat.
              It stared at her in defiant ? for a second reminding her about Spike.
              That fact alone was enough for her to lose focus for just a second ? but that was all that her opponent needed, to break free and draw back to a safe distance.

              "You're going to die, slayer!" it hissed and whipped out a vicious looking knife.

              "Like I've never heard that before!" Buffy rolled her eyes.

              The vampire attacked once again and Buffy glided out of reach, easily avoiding the edge of the knife.
              She shook away a strand of hair and watched in amusement as the demon stumbled and fell flat on its butt.

              "Oh, poor little vampire," she teased and puffed out her chest. "Did mommy play a mean game with ya?"

              The vampire's eyes instantly fell on Buffy's chest and when she looked down she could see that a large number of button had opened up during their fight; exposing quite a bit of her skin ? and some of her chest.

              Buffy looked up again as the vampire struggled to his feet. The demon appeared mesmerized by the open shirt; gazing at her with its mouth wide opened.

              Look at it; lusting after you. Given the chance it would have you on your back on the ground, thrusting his throbbing **** into you as he sink his teeth into your flesh; draining you as he ****s you like an animal. Admit it. You're turned on about this. After all; it would be convenient. Just like he was.

              Shut up. Shut. Up. SHUT UP?!

              After all; the best thing rather than killing a slayer is to?

              Shut the **** up! Shutupshutupshutup!!

              What's the matter, pet? Not up for the truth? Always knew you were a scared little girl underneath all that attitude. Weak little girl playing the big bad slayer. What a total scam.

              Stop it! Stop. It!

              How you could have been the death of him is a mystery. But then again, you literally stabbed him in the back.


              You handed him the amulet with a smile on your face as you pictured him dead. Admit it; you knew he would never come out of that fight alive. You wanted him dead.

              No. Nonononono?

              You killed him. Killed him. Killedhimkilledhimkilledhim?

              STOP IT!!

              You. Are. A. Murderer.

              Buffy bit at her lip ?til it bled and raised a dark gaze towards the vampire.

              Yes, I am.

              Her stake hit its target with incredible speed; turning the shocked demon to nothing more than a pile of dust.
              Without even so much as a second glance at the pile of dust, Buffy turned her back at the sight and began walking home.
              Her demon taunting her constantly for each step she took.


              ~ ~ ~ ~

              Dawn waited for Buffy as soon as the blond slayer sat a foot inside of the door.

              "You disappeared without a word," the younger sister said and circled round Buffy like a mother hen. "Are you okay?"

              I will never be okay?

              Buffy pressed forward a smile and a reassuring nod; thankfully noticing that the act seemed to fool her sister.

              "Is everything?alright here?" Buffy asked and looked in the direction of the living room. "Is she??"

              "Fully occupied with playing Crash Bandicoot," answered Dawn with a frown. "And making Xander almost crawl out of his skin." Leaning in to whisper in Buffy's ear. "I don't think she likes him."

              Buffy repressed a smile and felt a tiny flutter of happiness spark in her chest. That made her eyes widen in surprise. Not many things did that for her these days.
              But then again?
              She always bounced back up to her feet.


              Dawn's voice brought Buffy back to reality and she focused on her sister's concerned face. The younger girl appeared anxious for some reason.


              "Don't you think we should? I don't know? Test Illyria's strength?"

              Buffy walked over to the doorway leading into the living room and studied the entity that was deeply involved in the game.
              Ever since Illyria had stepped over their threshold, her presence had been noticeable; her arrogance and egoistic ways a constant reminder that she wasn't anything like them.
              The god king seemed to expect that everyone would bow and be thankful for her presence.
              Yeah, right?

              "You're right," Buffy said to Dawn.

              Dawn wisely held any ?I know' that might've slipped through her lips, inside of herself.
              ?Cause, really, Buffy didn't appreciate anyone getting the upper hand over her.

              ~ ~ ~ ~

              Buffy hit the wall with incredible force ? leaving a hole, before she slumped down on the floor.

              "Foolish human," Illyria gloated from her place in the middle of the room. "Your strength is nothing compared to mine."

              Buffy stared up at the god king and licked her wounds, silently surrendering to the fact that she had no power left. No will to fight on.
              She was actually willing to give up?

              Then her eyes flashed yellow and something in her stirred to life. A part that ?til this moment had done everything in its power to taunt and plague her ? but now; under the attack from a powerful opponent, it suddenly abandoned all hate for her and directed it towards the entity.

              Nobody? NOBODY messes with her than me!

              Buffy jumped gracefully back up to her feet and advanced on the entity. This time, as Illyria's fist come flying at her, Buffy caught it in midair and effectively stopped the assault.

              "I don't think so," she sneered and pushed the entity out of range.

              Illyria regarded the petite slayer with cold eyes and then started to circle around the woman like a vicious predator.

              "You're adapting." Tilting her head. "Much like the half breed did."

              Buffy gritted her teeth at the mentioning of Spike and clenched her fists into balls of contained anger.

              "But," Illyria continued with a touch of boredom in her voice, "I know that your strength is nothing in comparison to mine." Patronizing smile. "Or even his when he was at his best."

              That's it!!

              That blue bitch is going down!!

              Buffy moved with incredible speed, enough speed to stun even Illyria, and slammed into the entity with such force that they both flew across the room and right through the brick wall.
              As debris and bricks fell around them, Buffy got up at her feet ? with almost no scratch on her person, and picked Illyria up by the throat.

              With gleaming eyes, the petite slayer threw Illyria across the living room ? unaware of the shocked crowd that watched the display with wide eyes.
              As Xander, Dawn and Andrew (who just arrived) only could look on in stunned silence, Buffy walked over to the slumping form of the god king and pinned her to the floor with her foot.
              Leaning over, she whispered in Illyria's ear, before releasing her:

              "You never knew the real me."

              And with that, Buffy let go of the defeated entity and walked out of the room as if nothing special had happened.

              Dawn gulped and overlooked the crashed wall and the beaten god king.

              "Oh my God?"

              ~ ~ ~ ~

              Buffy slid under the covers and stared out into the darkness of her room, unsure of how she should react to what had taken place just hours earlier.
              She had actually defeated the powerful god king!
              All on her own?

              Hey now!!

              Okay, with a little bit of help.

              Keep telling yourself that, missy.

              Buffy pressed forward a tiny smile. Then something hit her and she frowned in confusion.

              You helped me?

              That I did.


              Couldn't very well let that blue bitch get the pleasure of destroying you. That's my job.

              Buffy groaned.

              How thoughtful of you.

              Yeah. Wasn't it?

              Buffy arranged the pillow to her liking and looked up at the dark ceiling, feeling her body adjust to the new levels of awareness.

              I feel?




              Oh yeah.

              More deadlier.


              Buffy drew in a deep breath and closed her eyes, tired beyond words.
              It felt like she'd been fighting constantly for her life ever since that day when the Hellmouth closed. And in a way she had?

              Will it always be like this?

              I reckon.


              But then again; you could always kill yourself.

              Buffy rolled her eyes.

              I guess the truce is over for now?

              Hell yeah!


              Well, what did you expect? You killed him. Murdered him.

              Buffy buried her head in the pillow, trying to block out the hateful words.
              She desperately needed some sleep ? even the tiniest bit, but as the night went by she realized that it was a lost cause.
              She was just going through the motions?

              Murderer. Cold hearted killer. You left him down there. Alone. You left him to burn to death. From the inside out. Can you hear him scream still?


              Do you still think that he's down there? Frozen for all eternity?


              Do Spike still burn, Buffy?

              Show me what it's like
              To be the last one standing
              And teach me wrong from right
              And I'll show you what I can be
              Say it for me
              Say it to me
              And I'll leave this life behind me
              Say it if it's worth saving me.

              Last edited by TheSlayerYears; 21-09-08, 07:02 PM.


              • #8
                Chapter Seven; The Man In The Prophecy

                London June 2008

                William studied the buildings that passed by as the taxi zigzagged the busy lanes, desperately trying to recognize something - anything. To no avail?

                "That's Buckingham Palace," Ana said and pointed at the building. "Beautiful isn't it?"


                "Is there anything that you recognize?" Ana turned in her seat to look at him. "Anything at all?"

                "No." He shook his head. "Nothing."

                "If you want," Ana told him with a smile, "we can go by Piccadilly? It's something worth seeing, believe me."

                The truth is, I like this world. You've got... dog racing, Manchester United, and you've got people. Billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. But then someone comes along with a vision. With a real... passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Goodbye, Piccadilly. Farewell, Leicester bloody Square. You know what I'm saying?

                "Hardly ever." William muttered.

                "What?" Ana studied him with a frown. "Did you say something?"

                "No." Another headshake. "And forget about Piccadilly." Sigh. "I don't need to see it."

                "Okay." Ana turned her back against him and William could resume his contemplative silence, only disturbed by the inner ramblings from his inner self.

                The elusive Angel obviously tried to end the world.

                He tried to save the world!

                Come again?

                He wanted to make a difference.


                Are you telling me that you're starting to remember things?


                Like what?

                I remember dying? the first time.

                Ah? the raven beauty.


                I remember her.

                Me too.

                That was a nice death. Not like the second one?

                The one I don't remember?

                Only that it was painful.

                Oh, how painful?

                William blinked as the car came to a sudden stop in front of building that slightly resembled a museum.

                "We are here," Ana said over her shoulder and stepped out of the car.

                Okay, here goes nothing?

                William drew in a deep breath and followed Ana up the stairs and into the lion's den.

                ~ ~ ~ ~

                William sat in the uncomfortable chair and stared across the huge desk at the elder man that sat opposite him. The mysterious Rupert Giles.
                Somehow William had expected him to be a little? older, perhaps. Certainly more grey-haired. And maybe? thicker.
                Not this, distinguished man with glasses and a slim figure under a layer of pure Dolce.
                William repressed the urge to snort.


                William selectively chose to forget that he himself was dressed in Armani.

                "So, Spike?" Mr Giles said and cleaned his glasses while he cleared his breath.


                "William." The other man nodded and put the glasses back on as he studied William with an air of calmness. "You say that you don't remember anything from your past?"


                "Nothing at all?"

                "Well," he drawled and met the elder man's gaze. "I think I'm beginning to. There are fragments?"


                "Yes." He drew in air. "I remember dying the first time. When I was sired I guess." Blinking. "Then I remember someone called Angel." Pause. "But just vaguely."

                "Anything more?" Mr Giles scrutinized him closely. "Do you remember Buffy?"

                Who's Buffy?

                Beats me. And what kind'a name is that anyway?

                Beats me.

                "No." William shook his head and could literally see this Rupert Giles relax in his chair.

                "I see."

                Well, I don't.

                Yeah, who is this Buffy?

                "Who's Buffy?"

                "She's a slayer."

                "A slayer?" William frowned and scratched his nose. "Is there more than one?"

                "Thousands actually," the Watcher said and put his index fingers together, assuming a look that screamed contentment. "Buffy, the original slayer, empowered all the potentials and made them into slayers."

                "Aha." Pause. "Why?"

                "To create an army that could fight against the First Evil." Rupert Giles pinned William with a steady gaze. "And here's where you come in."

                "I do?" William asked and raised a eyebrow.

                "Yes." The other man hummed and let his eyes roam over the younger man's tense figure. "You helped Buffy in the battle and in the end you sacrificed yourself to close the Sunnydale Hellmouth."

                After that shocking revilement the both men sank into silence, each of them pondering on the past; Giles on the amazing fact that Spike had actually done something so unremarkable and unselfish as to die so the world could exist ? and William desperately trying to remember something of that which the other man talked about.

                "I can't remember," William admitted with a deep sigh.

                "Maybe this will spark your memory," Rupert Giles said and picked up an item that had been hidden under a blue piece of cloth on the desk.

                To the younger man's surprise, William could see that the item was a amulet in the form of a huge diamond alike stone.

                "What's that?"

                "It's the amulet you wore in the Hellmouth. And it was through it the Hellmouth met its doom." Mr Giles dangled the trinket in front of William. "Does it spark a memory?"

                "No," William shook his head and reached out a hand to touch the jewel. When he did a tiny spark was shortly seen between his finger and the stone. "Ouch?"

                "Interesting," the other man mumbled and let the amulet drop to the desk. "I knew that you were somehow linked to this amulet, but that the reaction would be so instant and palpable was a surprise."

                "I'm linked to that thing?" William stared down at the jewel and felt himself tense for some reason. Then he frowned and met the older man's gaze with a start. "Wait. Didn't you say that it killed me?"

                "It was crucial in your demise," Mr Giles admitted calmly. "But the amulet in itself is not evil. It's an item of true value in the upcoming apocalypse."

                "The one that I am supposed to play a major part in."


                William looked down at the trinket that looked innocent enough where it laid on the desk and as if driven by some invisible force, he reached out a hand and touched it once again. And like before a tiny spark was seen between his hand and the stone.

                "What does this has to do with the apocalypse?"

                "You will wear it." Pause. "Again."

                "What?" William gaped at the other man, not really believing that head heard him right.
                Neither did his inner self ? and it protested quite violently.

                I told you! I'm not wearing any amulets. No bracelets, brooches, beads, pendants, pins or rings. And that's final!!

                "You have to wear it again, William." Rupert Giles said grimly. "The fate of man lies in your hands."

                "Let's take this from the beginning," William begged exasperated. "Tell me about the apocalypse."


                And the story began?

                ~ ~ ~ ~

                "There's a prophecy, spanning across the eons, about a risen Warrior that will lead the humans to their greatest victory. It is said that the Warrior has lived for decades and died two times in the sake of the world. He would be a Champion in all its right and love is his guide light. Tough tortured by his past the Warrior will have atoned for his sins by his ultimate sacrifice for the sake of love, a golden warrior who brought him into the light."

                Rupert Giles leaned forward in his chair and gazed steadily on William.

                "Legend tells it that this Warrior will have forgotten his past; that he would walk through life with some huge part missing ? ?til he's reunited with the golden warrior that holds which is not hers. And when they finally meet, the true nature of the Warrior will be revealed and the beginning of the End of Time will take place. It's foretold that these two warriors will fight side by side ? as one, against the Wolf the Ram and the Hart and whatever assassins they've unleashed into this world."

                The Watcher indicated to the amulet lying on the desk.

                "As it is said the Warrior will wear the amulet of Champions in order to bring his enemies to their doom. He will use its powers to open up a portal to the netherworld and thereby vanish the evil that plagues this Earth into its fiery depths."


                "And if this should not occur; the Wolf the Ram and the Hart will reign terror upon mankind, enslaving it and feast on its fears and pain. Winter and darkness will descend upon this land and all that was will simply cease to exist. It would be, in all matters of concern; the End of Time."

                Shocked silence.

                Wow, he sure knows have to invoke someone with fear..

                William blinked and released his death grip on the chair.

                "And this Warrior?" He swallowed loudly.

                "That would be you." Rupert Giles said and cleaned his glasses.

                "Right." William stared at the amulet. "Me."

                "If you can't deal with this," the Watcher said coldly, "you should know that the fate of this Earth lies solemnly in your hands. You would be the one that caused all humans to suffer and die."

                "Lovely." William bit back the wail that wanted to escape his lips and met the older man's gaze head on. "And I'm dealing with it. Believe me."

                It's no to late to take the plane back to the States, ya know. Forget this whole thing.

                Right. And be responsible for the destruction of the world.


                Yeah? Not. Going. To. Happen.

                As his inner self sulked in silence, William reached out a hand and picked up the amulet. He was uncomfortable aware that the other man followed his every move.

                "Right." He said and forced a smile. "What's going to happen now?"

                Rupert Giles studied the younger man wit such intensity that William started to literally squirm in his seat.

                "We're goin to meet her."

                "Meet who?"

                Rupert Giles graced him with a thin smile.

                "The girl of your dreams."



                • #9
                  Chapter Eight; I Think Therefore I Am [R]

                  Warning; Strong/violent language

                  London June 2008<

                  Buffy was on her way home after a late night patrol when she got this sudden feeling that something very important was to take place. She couldn't just quite figure it out?

                  Lifting her gaze she thankfully spotted the house and she quickened up the pace, eager to get inside and relax with a cup of hot chocolate.

                  He used to like that you know?

                  Buffy swatted at the air around her, as if to get rid of an annoying fly circulating above her head. Only there was no bug, only her inner demon that rambled on like always. A constant buzz in her head that threatened to drive her over the edge at any moment. She was just awaiting the last drop that would tip the scale.

                  He's dead. Dead. Deaddeaddead. DEAD!!

                  Shut up. Shut up. Shutupshutupshutup. SHUT UP!!

                  It sulked for a while, but as Buffy sat foot on the pathway leading up to the house it bombarded her once again with its oral torment.

                  You killed him ya know. Left him to die alone. Unloved. Unwanted?

                  I loved him. I wanted him. God damn you, I will never stop wanting him!

                  Funny way of showing it, luv. Loving someone means you don't leave them behind ? to DIE!!

                  I told him that I loved him. I told him?

                  Yeah, right! Just at the end, when it was too late. When the fire was already consuming him from within. Did you know that he could feel it? Feel himself burning into cinders. Convenient huh?


                  Like you ever could love such a bad, bad man anyway. Right? He's a monster. You sure told him so many times. That he was beneath you. Beneath you!!

                  Stop it. STOP IT!!

                  Buffy shook her head, trying to get rid of the angry voice inside of her head that made a real good effort to break her down completely.
                  But it was just too vicious?

                  He was there for you. When the others threw you out of the house. He came and looked for you. He stayed by your side. He gave you all of his strength. And you sure took it, didn't you? You sucked it right out of him; leaving nothing for him to survive on. And if that wasn't enough? you gave him the ultimate tool for his destruction. Yeah, you wanted him dead alright. You killed him fair and square. Poor guy didn't see that coming ? not ?til the end anyway.


                  He knew he was going to die down there. Accepted it. He took it all; the burden of staying behind so that the Hellmouth was destroyed. The fact that you left him there. Left him to die. And died he did. He dusted as if he never were there at all. Burned to ashes. Come on, Buffy? Ask the question that plagues you all day and night. Ask it.

                  Do you still burn, Spike?

                  Buffy stumbled on her feet and fell to the ground, not very gracefully.
                  As she lay down on the wet grass, she could see the door to the house open up and a familiar figure come running at her.

                  "Willow?" she managed to say before passing out.

                  ~ ~ ~ ~

                  Buffy lay safely tucked under the covers in her bed, when Willow and Dawn silently entered the room. She'd been unconscious for a couple of hours and awake for three now ? and she felt like someone had hit her with a sledgehammer.

                  "Oh my God, Buffy, we've been so worried!" Dawn exclaimed on threw herself on the bed, so totally ignoring the fact that her sister grimaced in pain. "What happened?"

                  "I don't know," Buffy said and met Willow's concerned gaze. "I got this bad headache and next thing I know I passed out."

                  "Dawn says that you've been acting strange lately," the witch said and inched closer to the bed, almost shyly. Buffy found that funny; being a powerful witch should have put some confidence in the friend. But then again? Willow would always be?Willow.

                  "She totally has, Wills!" Dawn whined and curled into a boll in her sisters arms. "And we're beginning to get very worried about her!"


                  The slayer stared into Willow's eyes and saw the silent question in them. And without a word spoken she nodded in response ? letting her friends know that she had complete faith in her.


                  "Okay, what?" Dawn asked and looked from Buffy to Willow.

                  "Willow is going to make a little trip inside my head and see if there's a nasty in there." Buffy explained and hugged Dawn closer to her.

                  "I don't understand? Are you saying that you're sick? Buffy?" Dawn stared at Buffy with shock.

                  "I don't know," Buffy admitted with a thin smile. "All I know is that I can't go on like this. It's like I'm going to snap at any moment."

                  "And we can't have that," Xander said as he entered the room with a mug of hot chocolate.

                  Buffy immediately perked up.

                  "Is that for me?"

                  "Who else?" asked he with a shrug as he reached out the mug ? which she gratefully took. He studied her as she happily sipped on the warm goodness. "Are you okay?"

                  "I will be," Buffy assured and sent Willow a begging look.

                  "She will be," her friend confirmed with a nod.

                  Not like you deserve it. Why should you feel good when he certainly isn't? What gives you the right to be alive when he's dust in the wind? You should be dead you know. Hey, you ?died twice', right? And all you could do was to whisper in a dead man's ear?

                  Stop it.

                  And for a bittersweet second her inner demon stayed silent. But just as Buffy was about to let out a relieved sigh, it singsong:

                  And since I'm only dead to you I'm saying stay away And let me rest in peace...

                  "God, I want to," whispered Buffy and hid her head in her sister's long hair.

                  The slayer raised a weary gaze towards her friends.

                  "Let's do this," she told Willow with a hint of desperation.

                  Do Spike still burn, Buffy?

                  ~ ~ ~ ~

                  Willow blinked and stared at the vision in front of her; she was in the Hellmouth again ? staring right at Spike where he stood in the pillar of light. The vampire seemed so utterly serene? so fulfilled. Was that the right word? Yeah, fulfilled?

                  "He's going to die, you know," said a calm voice next to Willow and as the witch turned her head she saw Buffy standing next to her. The slayer did not let her eyes off the vampire.

                  "What?" Willow blinked again and let her gaze travel back to Spike ? who's now been joined by a distressed Buffy.

                  "She cannot save him," the blond told Willow in a detached voice. "She never could."

                  Willow concentrated on the other Buffy as that one was staring at the illuminated vampire with wide eyes.

                  "I can feel it, Buffy." Spike said softly to the slayer. He looked so peaceful. Like he's finally found something that he'd been looking for all of his life. And Willow was suddenly very sure that she'd never seen anything more beautiful in all her life.

                  "What?" Buffy seemed to barley got the words out.

                  Spike turned his head ever so slightly to look down at the slayer and Willow's heart ached when she saw the naked love that shone from his eyes at the woman that he'd got his soul for.

                  "My soul. It's really there."

                  He seemed to lost focus for a moment and his gaze fixed on something indeterminable that Willow couldn't for the life of her see.

                  "It kind' a stings."

                  Suddenly a huge part of debris broke free from the roof of the cave and the whole cave shuddered in response. All around them there were girls running to the exit and vampires vaporizing into thin air. Willow found herself mystified that neither Spike or Buffy made a move to abandon the cave.

                  "Go on then." Spike then urged Buffy in an eager tone. But the slayer only shook her head in despair.

                  "No! you done enough. You still can..."

                  "No... You beat them back. It's to me to do the clean-up."

                  As from a distance Willow could hear Faith screaming at Buffy to hurry up.

                  "This is it," the Buffy at Willow's side said bitterly. "This is the part when she realizes that she cannot rescue him."

                  Willow shook her head and bit back a sob at the sadness of it all. She could only watch on in despair as Spike nodded to the exit, saying:

                  "Got to move, luv. I guess it's safe to say that school's out for the bloody summer."


                  "Mean it. I got to do this."

                  Buffy reached out her hand to his. Their fingers linking with each other. Willow gasped as her friend's hand hold on to Spike's hand as it caught on fire.

                  "I love you." Buffy's voice was filled with emotions and Willow swallowed back the scream that wanted to escape her lips.

                  Spike turned his head towards Buffy, giving her a tiny smile.

                  "No, you don't. But thanks for saying it."

                  Buffy seemed to want to say something more, but as the cave shuddered once again and made the slayer stumble, she released her grip on Spike's hand and after one last look at the vampire she abandoned him and ran for the exit.

                  "That bitch," a third Buffy said as she approached Willow and Buffy 2.0.

                  Willow blinked. Then blinked again.

                  "It's not me," Buffy 2.0 said bitterly. "It's the First." She kept staring at the, now lonely, vampire. A vampire that said:

                  "I wanna see how it ends?"

                  Willow returned her focus to him as he began to dissolve into ashes, laughing all the way. The witch pressed forward a sad smile at the vampire's cockiness in the face of death.
                  Then everything went black.

                  ~ ~ ~ ~

                  Willow blinked and stared at the vision in front of her; she was in the Hellmouth <b>again </b>? staring right at Spike where he stood in the pillar of light.

                  D?j? vu?

                  "He's going to die, you know," said a calm voice next to Willow and as the witch turned her head she saw Buffy standing next to her. The slayer did not let her eyes off the vampire.

                  "Buffy? Why are you doing this to yourself?" asked Willow and let her gaze travel back to Spike ? who's now been joined by a distressed Buffy.

                  "Doing what?" Buffy 2.0 asked detached. "She cannot save him." Pause. "She never could."

                  Willow concentrated on the other Buffy ? the original one, as she was staring at the illuminated vampire with wide eyes.

                  "I can feel it, Buffy." Spike said softly to the slayer. And once again Willow found herself marvel at the sheer beauty that he stood for at that very moment.

                  "What?" Buffy choked on her words and Willow suffered with her. Again

                  As Spike turned his head to look down at the slayer Willow turned her head to look at Buffy 2.0.

                  "Stop this, Buffy," she begged with tears in her eyes. "Stop tormenting yourself?"

                  "My soul. It's really there." Spike said in amazement in the background.

                  "He got a soul for her," Buffy 2.0 said silently. "And yet she couldn't save him."

                  "It kind' a stings."

                  "Buffy?" Willow laid a hand on Buffy 2.0's shoulder. "This isn't real?" She shook her head. "Okay, maybe it is. But Spike came back. Don't you remember?"

                  "Go on then." Spike then urged Buffy 1.0 in an eager tone. But she only shook her head in despair.

                  Buffy 2.0 turned her head to look at Willow with a confused frown.

                  "He did?" she asked and blinked.

                  "No! you done enough. You still can..." pleaded Buffy 1.0 in the background.

                  "No... You beat them back. It's to me to do the clean-up." Exclaimed Spike in return.

                  "Yeah," Willow admitted with a nod. "He popped out of the amulet in Angel's office."

                  "I remember," Buffy 2.0 said slowly and for a moment it seemed as if she was about to smile. But then her expression gloomed once again. "And he died again not soon after that. In the alley behind the Hyperion Hotel?"

                  Oh, Buffy?

                  As from a distance Willow could hear Faith screaming at Buffy to hurry up.

                  "This is it," the Buffy at Willow's side said bitterly. "This is the part when she realizes that she cannot rescue him."

                  Willow shook her head at Buffy 2.0, not knowing what to do next to try and convince her that this whole thing was madness.


                  "Sch," Buffy 2.0 put a finger to her lips. "This is where it gets real good. This is the part when she feels him burning from the inside out."

                  "What?!" Willow stared at Buffy 2.0 in complete shock.

                  "Didn't she tell you?" Buffy 2.0 said bitterly. "That she could literally feel him dying?"

                  Willow shook her head as the now familiar scenario played out in the background:

                  "Got to move, luv. I guess it's safe to say that school's out for the bloody summer."


                  "Mean it. I got to do this."

                  Buffy 1.0 reached out her hand to Spike's. Their fingers linking with each other. Catching on fire.

                  "I love you." Buffy 1.0 said with a hitch in her voice.

                  Spike turned his head towards Buffy, giving her a tiny smile.

                  "No, you don't. But thanks for saying it."

                  And once again Willow had to look at Buffy 1.0 run for the exit ? leaving Spike behind.

                  "That bitch," a third Buffy said as she approached Willow and Buffy 2.0.

                  Willow ignored her.

                  "It's not me," Buffy 2.0 said bitterly. "It's the First." She kept staring at the, now lonely, vampire. A vampire that said:

                  "I wanna see how it ends?"

                  Willow, yet again, returned her focus to him as he began to dissolve into ashes, laughing all the way. The witch pressed forward a sad smile at the vampire's cockiness in the face of death. Then, suddenly, before the vampire withered away completely, he turned his head to look straight at Willow.

                  "She took something with her," he said in a baffled voice. "Something that doesn't belong with her?"

                  Then everything went black.

                  ~ ~ ~ ~

                  Willow pulled away from Buffy with a gasp and felt herself falling towards the floor ? only to be cached by Xander before she hit it.

                  "Willow!" Dawn left Buffy's side to hurry over to the disoriented witch. "What happened?"

                  "Yeah, Willow," said Xander as he supported his friend. "What did you see?"

                  Willow looked down at the sleeping slayer with an odd expression.

                  "I saw? Spike," she whispered. "He's trapped in there."


                  "Yeah, I'm also with the what," said Xander and shook his head.

                  "When Buffy and Spike joined hands down in the Hellmouth? Something of Spike got stuck with Buffy," Willow explained. "I think it's his demon."

                  "That would be the reason to why she has acted so weird," Dawn concluded with a nod.

                  "Is it true?"

                  The three of them turned as one to look down at the weary Buffy.

                  "I'm afraid so," Willow confirmed and walked over to the slayer.

                  "How can we fix this?" asked Xander with evident concern for his friend.

                  "We can't," said Willow and shook her head. "Not without Spike?"

                  That was met with uncomfortable silence.

                  "We need a miracle," Dawn exclaimed sadly.

                  Then the phone rang.

                  ~ ~ ~ ~

                  He's alive! Alive. Alive? ALIVE!!

                  Buffy paced back and forth in front of the door, only stopping to cast glances out through the window to make sure that the saw at the very second when the car would pull up on the drive- way. The car that would bring Spike back to her.
                  The miracle Dawn had asked for?

                  But then again ? it's not really Spike, is there?

                  Buffy shook her head to get rid of the nagging voice inside of her head. But as per usual it refused to let her have some peace.

                  Because you killed him. So this? man that you so eagerly awaits? it won't be him. And didn't Rupert tell you guys that he doesn't remember his past? He won't remember you.

                  Shut up.

                  Spike is gone, Buffy. All that remains is ?William'. And William doesn't know Buffy.

                  Stop it.

                  You killed Spike?

                  Buffy stopped abruptly in her track as there was a sudden knock on the door.


                  Buffy looked down at the hand that lay on the doorknob, suddenly afraid to open the door and stand face to face on the man on the other side. Spike? No, not really Spike. William.

                  My hand stings?



                  • #10
                    Chapter Nine; Soul Searching

                    London June 2008

                    William looked down at his hand on the doorknob.

                    My hand. It stings?

                    For a moment he seriously considered turning his back against the door and flee back to the safety in the car. But then the door swung open and he found himself standing face to face with a vision.

                    His heart literally sang at the sight of her; the girl from his dreams. The golden goddess that plagued him every night for so long now.

                    Her eyes seemed to brim with emotions and her petite form shacking from repressed feelings. This made him a little bit curious. It almost seemed as?

                    "Spike?" she suddenly whispered and threw herself at him without warning.

                    William carefully laid his arms around the shuddering figure and sent Rupert Giles a pleading look ? not sure what to do with this crying woman that pressed her face against his breast.

                    "Spike," she repeated in a low voice.

                    Something popped inside William's heart.

                    "My name is William," he said softly.

                    The woman ? and he had a strong suspicion that she was the mysterious ?Buffy', drew back at his words and with the sleeve of her shirt she wiped away the salty tears. It was almost as of she was ashamed of something that in fact only made her more beautiful. It was evident that Buffy Summers was one of the lucky few that only got more beautiful when she cried instead of red nosed and snivelling. Well, fortuned favoured the few?

                    "William." Her voice trembled with withheld emotions. "Of course."

                    "William," Rupert Giles said as he stopped forward. "As you might have guessed this is the Buffy Summers I've told you about." Pause. "Even tough you don't remember ? you two used to know each other. Only that she, and the others, knew you under the name ?Spike'".


                    Suddenly the notion of a blur ran passed the immobile Buffy and threw itself right into the arms of the surprised William. He looked down at the young woman with long honey hair and big ? almost ridicule big, eyes. Eyes that happily gazed up at him.
                    Who was she?

                    "Dawn," the quiet Buffy said with a thin smile. "You can let go now."

                    William had to withstand a tight squeeze before Dawn finally realized him and as she did he found himself being the subject of adoring gazes from about twenty young girls that stood behind the blond slayer in the doorway.

                    "Spike?" Dawn fired of a megawatt smile and he blinked down at her. "I'm so glad?"

                    "He's name is William," interrupted Buffy almost grimly.


                    He returned his focus to the young girl and nodded silently, urging her to continue.

                    "William," she repeated with a little more confidence, "I'm so glad that you're alive."

                    "Thank you." ?I guess' was evident in his words and he could see the disappointment in her eyes ? as well in the eyes of the one called Buffy. But what did they expect really? Because they might recognize him ? but he had no memory of them whatsoever.

                    Suddenly it all got very quiet and all the girls moved quickly out of the way to let through a tall figure. A tall, blue figure.

                    "Spike," she said with an almost emotionless voice. "It pleases me that you are alive."

                    "Illyria?" He managed to get out before he passed out.

                    ~ ~ ~ ~

                    When William woke up he found himself lying in a soft bad, wrapped up in the finest silk. And with the young woman named Dawn staring intensely down at him. As if she was looking for something but not really finding it.

                    "I didn't mean to wake you," she said guiltily.

                    "You didn't," he assured her and propped himself on the elbows. He gave a reassuring smile and noticed that she appeared to relax.

                    "Is it true," she asked and played with a lock of her hair, "that you don't remember? anything?"

                    He gazed at her, trying to find something that could spark a memory, but got nothing. Only a elusive feeling of wanting to protect her. And oddly - affection. And he suddenly understood that she once meant a great deal to him.

                    "Don't you remember me?" she now asked weakly.

                    "No." He shook his head and noticed yet again the disappointment in her eyes. "'m sorry."

                    "Dawn," a weary voice said from the doorway as the blond slayer appeared into view, "You're not harassing William, are you?"

                    William turned his head towards the door as Buffy stepped in, Illyria following her.
                    The God king glanced at William, then to Buffy. Her eyes fell hard on Buffy. For what reason William could only speculate on.
                    And wasn't it funny that he remember Illyria and not anything else?

                    "She wasn't" he assured the woman and smiled at her ? only to receive a cold stare. What was her problem? Really?

                    "Willow wished to speak with you downstairs," Buffy informed William as she turned her back against him and left the room, posture stiff.

                    "Don't worry about Buffy," Dawn said and laid a hand on William's, "she's just upset that you don't remember her."

                    "'m sorry," he repeated again.

                    "Don't be," she exclaimed as she got to her feet. "'s just that you two were friends, before you?died." Pause. "Close friends."

                    "The witch is waiting," Illyria suddenly stated from her spot and William blinked at her.


                    She tilted her head in a strangely familiar way and studied him with unblinking eyes.

                    "Why is there that I can remember your name and not??"

                    "I am Illyria," she informed imperiously. "Once known my name never falters from ones memory."

                    "Please," Dawn rolled her eyes and was rewarded with a deadly stare from the God king.

                    "Willow awaits you," she repeated and left the room in a stiff, jerky way. Not at all like Fred?

                    Whoa! Who the hell is Fred?!

                    Beats me.

                    "Willow?" He asked Dawn who was on her way to the door.

                    "The redhead to the left of Buffy before you?passed out."

                    I remember her.




                    "What does she want with me?"

                    Dawn turned around and sent him a long, searching look.

                    "She's going to fix everything." Shrugging. "Or that's what she believes anyway." And with that cryptic note she left the room and one very confused William.

                    "Oh," he simply said and stared at the door. "Goody?"

                    Only he wasn't so sure that he wanted everything to be fixed. He had a sneaky suspicion that if he regained his memory he would not like what would be revealed to him. He also feared something of which he had learned from his nightmares. Something he'd never told anyone. Not even Ana.
                    Something horrible?

                    ~ ~ ~ ~

                    William sat face to face with a lovely young woman with red hair and kind eyes. The one called Willow. And apparently she was a powerful witch.
                    No one could really have guessed that from appearance.

                    Magic always has consequences.

                    "So?" he said and pressed forward a quick smile.

                    "So?" she said and played with her skirt.

                    The silence stretched on.

                    William was just about to break the silence ? out of pure boredom, when she finally looked into his eyes and gave him a tiny nod.

                    "I'm ready," she stated calmly.

                    "Ready for what?"

                    "To dissect you brain."

                    He simply stared at her.

                    "He he," she laughed uncomfortably, "didn't quite mean it like it sounded. What I meant was that I'm going to go ?inside' your head and see what hides in there." Pause. "See it like a? therapy session."

                    "A therapy session." He tried to hold back the urge to frown at the witch. All he knew was that it didn't sound very?pleasing.

                    "It's necessary," she concluded and sent him a firm glare. "Or we're never able to fix what has been wronged."

                    "And that would be?"

                    "I believe something happened when you died in the Hellmouth," Willow revealed and leaned forward. "Something that has affected both you and Buffy." Pause. "And I also believe that it's killing her."

                    There was a short pause.

                    "Do it," William then said quietly.

                    Willow got up from her chair and walked over to him. Laying her hands on each sides of his face she mumbled:

                    "This might hurt a little."

                    It hurt a lot.

                    ~ ~ ~ ~

                    Willow stared into the blue depths that made Spike's eyes and felt a terrible ache in her heart as she watched him stand there, in that pillar of light, looking like a messiah.
                    Suddenly he turned his head to look down at her, giving her a soft smile.

                    "I can feel it, Buffy."


                    As Willow frowned in confusion she could see her reflection in the vampire's eyes ? and what she saw stunned her. She appeared to be in Buffy's body!!

                    How strange isn't this?

                    "What?" Willow didn't speak those words, yet her ? no, Buffy's (Oh, how confusing!) lips moved to form them.

                    "My soul. It's really there," Spike said and seemed to lose focus for a short while. "It kind'a stings."

                    Willow tried desperately to take control over the situation ? and maybe most of all, Buffy's body so that she could reach through to the dying vampire.

                    "Wha?" she choked on the words. "What's happening?"

                    "Can't you see it?" He asked and gazed down at her. "It's all coming down on us." Pause. "Go on then."

                    Willow shook her head.

                    "No." Desperately she shook her head. "Spike? You need to listen."

                    "He's going to die, you know," said a calm voice next to Willow and as the witch turned her head she saw Buffy 2.0(!) standing next to her.
                    It was safe to say that that totally had Willow on the loop.
                    What was going on?


                    "You cannot save him," Buffy 2.0 said calmly. "You never could."

                    "No one can," said the third Buffy ? the First, as it approached them with a grin plastered all over its face.

                    Willow looked from Buffy 2.0 to the First and then back to Buffy 2.0 and opened her mouth as to say something when she got interrupted by Spike.

                    "Got to move, luv. I guess it's safe to say that school's out for the bloody summer."

                    "Spike..." Willow shook her head at the irreversible at it all. Was she doomed to watch the same scenario over and over again?

                    "Mean it. I got to do this."

                    "Spike?" Willow reached out her hand to grasp his, not unlike what Buffy had done so many years ago. And then she felt it. As their hands lit aflame she felt the burst of power that coursed through the vampire's body and into hers.
                    She stared at him in shock.

                    Oh Goddess?

                    "This is it," Buffy 2.0 said bitterly. "This is the part when you realize that you cannot rescue him."

                    Willow blinked and turned her head against Buffy 2.0 and the First. The latter smiled triumphantly at Willow ? no, Buffy?


                    "You're welcome," it said as it vanished into thin air with an audible pop.

                    Willow turned her focus back at the dying vampire and noticed that he looked down at her with sad eyes.

                    "You took something," he said slowly. "Something that doesn't belong with you."

                    Willow gazed down at their joint hands and felt the power surge through her body. It felt? good. When she looked up at Spike again her eyes glowered yellow.

                    "No, I didn't. But thanks for saying it."

                    And then she laughed as he incinerated into ashes.

                    ~ ~ ~ ~

                    William gasped for air as he violently pulled away from the panting witch.
                    It hurt? It hurt so badly?
                    He could literally feel his body turn into dust?

                    "Oh Goddess?" breathed Willow as she backed away from him in shock. "Oh?"

                    "What happened?!" Rupert Giles asked as he entered the room. "I heard a scream."

                    Willow could only shake her head as she stared at the breathless William. And he in turn could not quit staring at the distressed witch.


                    "'m sorry, Giles," she said and blinked. "It's just?"


                    "Oh Goddess? It's worst than we thought." She met his concerned gaze. "Way worse."

                    "Do tell," he pleaded and supported her on her way back to the chair.

                    "I'll try," she said as she sat down on the chair. "I think? I think that a part of Spike got stuck with Buffy when they joined hands down in the Hellmouth. A part of his demon."

                    Giles nodded.

                    "That would most likely be the reason to his amnesia."

                    "Yeah," Willow concurred. "But that's not all." Pause. "I also believe that the amulet had a different function whatsoever ? besides killing all the Turok-Hans."

                    "What would that be?"

                    "It linked Spike with the First."

                    A long silence followed that statement.

                    "Would you like to repeat that?" Giles then asked politely.

                    "The amulet worked as a link between the carrier and the First ? trapping the entity within it in order to contain it. Only that when Buffy laid her hands in Spike's?"

                    "It got transferred into her instead," the Watcher finished grinly.

                    Willow nodded sadly.

                    "And that is what's killing her."

                    "Not Spike's demon?"

                    Willow shook her head.

                    "No. The First is obviously using Spike's voice and behaviour patterns to drive Buffy mad." Pause. "It is in fact Spike's demon that has kept her alive this long."

                    The both of them turned to stare at the silent William who felt uncomfortable under their scrutinizing gazes.


                    "What would happen if we would restore Spike's memory?" Mr Giles asked the witch.

                    She stared at the man in question with sadness written all over her face.

                    "Then Buffy would most certainly die?"



                    • #11
                      Chapter Ten; My world Upside Down

                      She screams in silence
                      A sullen riot penetrating through her mind
                      Waiting for a sign to smash the silence
                      With the brick of self-control

                      London July 2008

                      Buffy stood on the porch and gazed out over the newly trimmed lawn, her hands clenching and unclenching as she thinks of the man that's just on the other side of the door.
                      Which was worst? That he didn't remember who he had been or that she somehow was the reason to why it was so?
                      She couldn't quite make up her mind about that.

                      Buffy let out a deep breath and shook her head, silently grieving over things that was forever lost and things that were, maybe not so lost but pretty hopeless.
                      From what she had gathered from Willow and Giles after their brief ?visit' inside William's head, it was that there wasn't anything that could be done to restore Spike's memory. For what reason they would not tell her.

                      Nothing new there. Always keeping me out of the loop.

                      Well, what did you expect? Really?

                      A deep sigh. Yeah, what did she expect?
                      Maybe the truth?

                      Ha! The truth! You can't handle?

                      Zip it.

                      Some serious sulking, then:

                      You're really shirty.

                      Buffy snorted and wrinkling her nose, she turned around and walked right into a solid ? very manly form.

                      Buffy blinked and gazed up at the man that softly looked into her eyes.

                      It was William's hands that reached out to steady her and Buffy's heart made an involuntary jump in her chest as her skin reacted to the familiar touch. It was both the touch from a long lost lover as well as a stranger ? and Buffy didn't quite know how to react in the face of such dilemma.
                      Which was worse?
                      That she loved the man he had been or that she barely could stand to be near the man he now was?

                      "How are you?" he asked now and it was his voice? yet not. It poured over her skin like melted, warm honey ? sending shivers down her spine. Like thunder over the soft hills under a warm summers evening. Familiar enough for her to want to confide in him, yet strange enough to make her take a step back.

                      "Fine." She knew her answer was short and almost rude, but she found that she couldn't really care less. This man before her wasn't Spike. In that her inner demon had been right.

                      "'m sorry," he said as he gazed down at her with those incredible blue eyes.
                      Spike's eyes?

                      "For what?"

                      "That I can't be him," William whispered and reached out a hand as if to touch her cheek. But it quickly fell to his side as she shied away. For a second he seemed hurt by her rejection. Then his features steadily set in a deadpanned expression. "I was told that you two were close friends."

                      "We were lovers," she admitted roughly and saw him jump in surprise. Buffy passed him and opened up the front door. Before she disappeared into the hallway, she cast a bitter glance over her shoulder. "I loved him." And with that she entered the house and closed the door behind her ? leaving the baffled William alone on the porch.

                      We were lovers?

                      ~ ~ ~ ~

                      Buffy sat on the madras in the training room and stared at a black spot on the opposite wall, slowly strapping on the tape over her knuckles.

                      ?I told you' the voice in her head gloated. ?He doesn't remember you.'

                      Buffy kept staring at that black spot, trying to ignore the voice. A voice she now knew belonged to the First ? and how wicked crazy wasn't that?

                      He will never remember you. Do you understand? Spike will never come back.

                      Shut up.

                      The only way to bring him back is to drag his demon out of you and the witch and the Watcher are not willing to risk it.

                      Buffy blinked in shock.

                      ?Ah,' the First sneered inside of her head. ?They didn't tell you that bit, did they?'


                      Oh, there is a way to restore Spike's memory. To bring him back. But Willow and ok' dear Rupert won't even try that. Bastards?

                      Is it true? Can? can it be done?

                      Hell yeah.


                      He would be with you again. Your beloved Spike.


                      You know what you have to do.

                      Buffy nodded and got up to her feet.


                      ~ ~ ~ ~

                      It was a dark and dusty room to which Buffy was showed into as she prepared herself to wait for her turn to seek audients with the powerful witch that resided in the abandoned building. It didn't really serve to increase one's faith in the dark sorcerer's capability to help Buffy with her problem ? but what other options had she? When her best friend and the one she saw as a father figure wouldn't do anything to help her?

                      "Buffy Summers?"

                      Buffy quickly gazed up at the hunching figure that obviously served as the dark witch's assistant and held back a shudder at the horrific sight it made, with its big nose dripping and heavy eyes that glared at her in black menace. With a gesture for her to join it, it began limping out of the room and Buffy followed shortly after.

                      Entering a equal dark and dusty room as the first, Buffy scrunched up her nose in reaction to the nasty smell that invaded her senses and she blinked at all the overfilled jars that decorated the shells along the rooms walls. What they contained she wisely chose to ignore.

                      A tiny figure, clothed in grey robes, appeared behind a curtain and Buffy tried not to stare at the dark haired beauty that the dark witch so obviously possessed.
                      Evil surely came in a beautiful package?

                      "Buffy Summers," the young witch said in a warm and welcoming voice. "This is a true pleasure indeed. To have the legendary slayer visit my humble adobe."

                      "Er? Yeah."

                      "You seek the darkest magic to help you in a matter of the heart, is it not so?"

                      Buffy simply nodded.

                      "Alas," sighed the witch and began picking jars from the shells, "this kind of magic is very dangerous." She sent Buffy a long and searching gaze. "You must love him a great deal."

                      "More than life itself," Buffy admitted grimly.

                      "Indeed." A tiny smile formed on the red painted lips. "It is not very wise of you to admit such a thing, Buffy Summers. It would leave you weak and exposed to your enemies." The witch hummed silently and turned around to pour some liquid from one of the jars into a big bowl on the table behind her. "Luckily for you, Miya isn't interested in your pain."

                      "Great," Buffy said deadpanned. She left out the part in which she would kill the witch at the slightest hunch of threat against the slayer. "Can you help me or not?"

                      "I can help you," Miya said with a short nod. "It will take a while to muster up the kind of ingredients that will be required for such a spell that will be needed in this case." Another hum. "But it can be done."


                      "In a matter of days," the other woman assured. "You will know when the spell takes effect."


                      Buffy turned her back and left the room, companied by the voice in her head.

                      You're doing the right thing, pet. Soon you'll be with your love again.


                      Yeah, Spike?

                      ~ ~ ~ ~

                      Buffy walked up the pathway leading to the house and noticed that the front door stood open. That was so unusual that she stopped in her tracks to take in the surroundings ? alert to any possible danger that could lurk in the shadows.


                      Dawn appeared in the doorway and she winked happily at her older sister.

                      "You can never guess who's here!"

                      "Who?" Buffy relaxed as soon as she realised that there wasn't any appending threats or the possibility of death and continued up the stairs to meet with her excited sister.

                      "Hi, sweet cheeks!" exclaimed the green skinned demon as he appeared behind Dawn in the doorway.


                      Buffy found herself enveloped into a tight hug from the friendly demon that she'd meet briefly after the destruction of the Hellmouth.

                      "I came as soon as I heard!" he continued as he drew away to let her retrieve her breath. "Poor Spike!" Giving her a sad look. "Poor you."

                      Buffy pressed forward a tiny smile, aware that he could probably see right through her. She could only hope that he would be unable to see her true intentions. Because she knew, as surely as she knew that Willow and Giles would, that he wouldn't like her plans.
                      Not at all?
                      But in her world all was fair in love and war.
                      Which was worse?
                      That the man she once loved was trapped somewhere in the man he once was ? or that she was about to kill the man he was so that he could be the man he were?
                      She honestly had no idea.

                      You're doing the right thing.

                      Am I?


                      Buffy let herself be guided inside by the chattering empathy and she pressed forward another smile as she listened to his warm voice.
                      As soon as she was inside her eyes met his.

                      She looked down at her hand that began to sting as soon as she entered the room.

                      Do Spike still burn, Buffy?

                      No, but she did?

                      She's figured out
                      All her doubts were really some one else's point of veiw
                      Waking up this time
                      To smash the silence
                      with the brick of self-control



                      • #12
                        Chapter Eleven; Memories

                        London July 2008

                        William sat on the kitchen island and ruefully sipped on his hot chocolate, while he pondered over the enigma that was Buffy Summers.
                        She was beautiful, no doubt about it. Witty from what he'd seen with her interaction amongst her friends and close allies. Maybe not the brightest of the bunch, but certainly street smart. And although her figure was petite and seemingly soft, he felt the power that literally coursed through her body. A true slayer.

                        The slayer.

                        The one?

                        William took another sip and then a bite of the cream cheese bagel that he held in his other hand.

                        The one?

                        Funny how these words and sentences suddenly could pop up in his head; a mockery to his loss of memory.
                        They plagued him with their elusive nature; taunting him with the mere hint of a memory. Like the dreams that he had about her.
                        Buffy Summers?


                        William blinked and turned around to meet the curious gaze from a young girl that stood in the doorway leading into the kitchen. She was a timid little thing, with red her and big eyes. Yet she breathed senior slayer.

                        "Vi, right?" he asked and gave her a warm smile.

                        She nodded and inched closer, looking so shy and withdrawn that William had to press back the urge to ask her if she was alright.

                        "We've met," she revealed and sat down on the other side of the island. "In Sunnydale." There was a short pause ? as if she waited for some reaction from him, but as she didn't get any, she continued: "You helped Buffy train us. We were only Potentials back then." Another pause. "You also thought us the valuable lesson that a slayer always has to reach for her weapon ? but you already got yours."

                        "I did, huh?"

                        "You were always there, ya know. Like a constant shadow to Buffy." Her eyes roamed over his body. "Many of us had a crush on you, but you never noticed. You were all to busy ogling at Buffy." Pause. "You really loved her, ya know."

                        William simply stared. Then:

                        "Okay, who sent you?"


                        "Tell me or I rip your throat out."

                        "It was Dawn," Vi revealed quickly.

                        Her disclosure was followed by a tiny sigh from behind the door and as William focused his eyes in that direction, Dawn stepped out into view with a tiny wink of her head. The little vixen didn't even seem ashamed that she'd literally been caught with the hand in the cookie jar.

                        "Hi, William," she muttered and walked over to the island. As she reached it, Vi quickly got up on her feet and made a hasty retreat.

                        "Why the third degree?" asked William and gazed inquiringly at Dawn as she sat down.

                        "It's not a third degree per say," she drawled on avoided his gaze. "I was only?"

                        "Dawn," he interrupted, "there's no point. I don't remember loving your sister."

                        But I could easily love her now.

                        "But," she wailed and slumped on the island, "how can you not?!! You loved her so much!" She looked up at him with brimming eyes. "**** you, you got your soul back for her!"


                        "I said?"

                        "I heard," he held up a hand and blinked furiously. "Is it true?"

                        She nodded silently.

                        "Spike?" she stopped when he gave her a cold stare. "William? You and Buffy? It was complicated. Story made short: you hurt her and felt so guilty that you got a soul for her to prove your love." Pause. "And you did. And she loved you back. The rest of us might not have wanted to know that, but?" She snivelled, "?you belonged together."

                        William tried to take it all in, but found that difficult. Even tough he understood that kind of love, nothing told him that he'd been in the receiving end of such strong emotions. And that was apparent in his reply to the sorrowful young woman.

                        "'m sorry, Dawn. But I don't remember anything of that."

                        "But," she said and blinked away some tears, "you have to!" Sob. "Buffy is the?"

                        She's the One?

                        William blinked and stared in confusion at Dawn.

                        "What did you say?"

                        "I said that Buffy is not whole if you don't remember her. Her life has been crazy since she thought she'd lost you."

                        "'m sorry," was all he could say once more. Then he got up from his chair and left the kitchen and the mourning woman.

                        You're the One, Buffy?

                        ~ ~ ~ ~

                        William stared in misbelieve at the green skinned man with a serious clothes issue. Didn't the demon know that mustard yellow didn't go very well with his skin tone? He repressed a shiver and the wish to cover his eyes and chose to instead confront the loon.

                        "You cannot be serious." Pause. "It's impossible."

                        "Oh, come on!" the one called Lorne sighed.

                        "Absolutely not," William persisted.

                        "If I ask nicely?"

                        "'s still a no," William said determent.

                        "It's just a song, cheeks."

                        "I said no. and don't call me ?cheeks'."

                        "If you sing a few lines I might be able to get a read on what had happened to you."

                        William clenched his teeth and shook his head. Why was everyone so eager to get him to remember his past? Didn't they understand that it could lead to something disastrous? His entire being shouted that the return of his memory would have dire consequences.


                        "Just a tune, ?andsome," begged the demon and blinked at him with red eyes. "And let us see if there's some Spike in there still?"

                        Suddenly William was so full heartedly tired of all of them ranting on about ?Spike' that something inside him snapped. Literally. And without thinking he opened his mouth.

                        "I died So many years ago. But you can make me feel Like it isn't so?"

                        He came to an abrupt halt as he noticed the shocked expression of the green demon and also when he suddenly felt her. And where the hell did that song come from?!

                        "Sweet holy cannelloni," exclaimed Lorne as he stared with big eyes at William. Then he also seemed to sense the intruder and turning around he found himself face to face with a pale Buffy.

                        "Oh my God," she whispered.

                        William couldn't agree more.

                        Oh my God?

                        ~ ~ ~ ~

                        William looked up at the ceiling. Then he looked at the white walls. Later he found his feet very interesting. In fact, he looked at everything and everyone ? except her.

                        I remember her.

                        Remember loving her.

                        Getting my soul back for her.

                        Dying for her?

                        Still there were only flashed of her and their past passing through his mind, but it was enough. Oh, it was enough.
                        All the pain. Betrayal. Heartache. The harsh words. The taunting. The sexual innuendo. The grief. And the passion?
                        Fire and ice.

                        William finally found it in himself to look at her. Really look at her. And his heart threatened to pop right out of his chest.
                        He could see the hope in her eyes. The wish that he remembered her. The love she so obviously held for Spike ? and only Spike.
                        But truth was that even to he remembered her, he wasn't Spike. He just had the guy's memories.
                        The thing that had made Spike Spike was gone.

                        "Spike?" asked Buffy and stepped forward.

                        Lorne shook his head.

                        "It's not him, princess." He said sorrowfully. Then he turned his focus to the blond slayer. "But you really thought so, didn't you?" He frowned. "There's something?"

                        "Why would you think he was Spike again?" asked Giles confusedly. "We told you that there were no way to restore his memory?"

                        "But there is!" Buffy exclaimed and sent him and Willow a cold stare. "Isn't there?"

                        There was a short silence.

                        "How could you know??"

                        "The First told me that it was possible."

                        "The First??" Giles and Willow looked at each other. Then they turned in unison to stare at Buffy with dread in their eyes. "Buffy, what did you do?"

                        William turned his gaze to the now flustered Buffy and felt a ping of fear as he noticed the guilt stricken look she had in her face.
                        God, no?

                        A sharp pain in his chest and head made him suddenly gasp for air and before he fell to the floor he noticed the stunned expression in the others faces.
                        Hell, it hurt?

                        "Spike!" Buffy cried and sank to her knees beside him.

                        "William!" yelled Ana and sat down on the opposite side of Buffy.

                        He turned his head from Ana to Buffy and then back to Ana again. The only real familiar face amongst all strangers. But then again?

                        He could hear Buffy's silent cried next to him and as he slowly focused on her he found himself under serious attack of memory flashes:

                        A flash of him and Buffy in a dark alley, Buffy saying: "What happens on Saturday?"
                        And his answer: "I kill you."

                        A flash of a door opening and Buffy steps in, dragging him behind her. Him saying: "Hey! Watch it!"

                        "One more word out of you, and I swear.."

                        "Swear, what? You're not gonna do anything to me. You don't got the stones."

                        "Oh, I got the stones. I got a whole bunch of .. stones."

                        "Yeah? You're all talk."

                        "GILES! I accidentally killed Spike. That's okay, right?"

                        Another flash of them sitting opposite each other on bar stools. Him saying: "Death is on your heels, baby, and sooner or later it's gonna catch you...And a part of you wants it? not only to stop the fear and uncertainty, but because you're just a little bit in love with it."

                        Buffy quickly swabs him in the face.
                        Him laughing.

                        "Death is your art. You make it with your hands, day after day. That final gasp. That look of peace. Part of you is desperate to know: What's it like? Where does it lead you? And now you see, that's the secret. Not the punch you didn't throw or the kicks you didn't land. Every Slayer? has a death wish. Even you. The only reason you lasted this long as you have is you've got tied to this world? your mum, your brat sister, the Scoobies. They all tie you here but you're just putting off the inevitable. Sooner or later, you're gonna want it. And the second, the second, that happens?You know I'll be there. I'll slip in? have myself a real good day."

                        A flash of Buffy sitting on the stairs as he approaches.

                        "What do you want now?"

                        "What's wrong?"

                        "I don't want to talk about it."

                        "Is there something I can do?"

                        A flash of Buffy as she stares at him incredulously, saying: "Is this a date?"

                        " A? Please! A date? You are completely off your bird! I mean - Do you want it to be?"

                        "Are you out of your mind?"

                        "It's not so unusual. Two people ... in the workplace ... feelings develop."

                        "No! No, no, feelings do not develop. No feelings."

                        "You can't deny it. There's something between us."

                        "Loathing. Disgust."

                        "Heat. Desire."

                        A flash of Buffy chained as he stands in front of her, telling her: "I'm drowning in you, Summers. I'm drowning in you."
                        Yet another flash were Buffy turns to him, eyes brimming with emotions.

                        "We're not all gonna make it. You know that? "

                        "I always knew I would go down fighting."

                        "I'm counting on you. To protect her."

                        " ?til the end of the world. Even if it happens to be tonight."

                        The painful memory of sitting opposite of Buffy, holding her hands. Her asking him: "How long was I gone?"

                        "Hundred forty-seven days yesterday. Uh ... hundred forty-eight today. 'Cept today doesn't count, does it?"

                        Another memory. This one of him and Buffy in the dark crypt. Him telling her: "But I want you to know I did save you. Not when it counted, of course, but ... after that. Every night after that. I'd see it all again ... do something different. Faster or more clever, you know? Dozens of times, lots of different ways ... Every night I save you."

                        Then the aching memory of the expression in her face as she looks at him in the dark church.

                        "Your soul . . ."

                        "A bit worse for lack of use."

                        "You got your soul back. How?"

                        "It's what you wanted, right? It's what you wanted, right? And now everybody's in here, talking. Everything I did, everyone I . . . and him . . . and it . . . the other. The thing beneath ? beneath you. It's here, too. Everybody. They all just tell me go. Go - to hell . . ."

                        "Why? Why would you do that?"

                        "Buffy, shame on you. Why does a man do what he mustn't? For her. To be hers. To be the kind of man who would nev? To be a kind of man."

                        A flash of them standing in the kitchen, him asking: "Where you there with me?"

                        "I was."

                        "What does that mean?"

                        Then the memory that probably hurt the most; Buffy staring up at him, her eyes filled with tears as she slowly laces her fingers through his. Holding on to him as their hands caught on fire. Her whisper: "I love you."

                        "No, you don't, but thanks for saying it."

                        William felt something burst inside of him and throwing back his head in pain, he opened his mouth to let out an almost inhumanly cry.
                        Through his painful daze he could her Buffy cry his? no, wait?


                        Then everything turned to black.



                        • #13
                          Chapter Twelve; Price To Pay [NC-17]

                          Warning: Strong sexual content & sexual language

                          Words cannot express
                          The sorrow I feel
                          I wish I could turn back time
                          To where we began
                          Where love has no end
                          And you and me were as one

                          London July 2008

                          Buffy kneeled beside the unconscious man, wired to the max as she waited for him to finally wake up.
                          And when he did? When he opened his eyes to stare straight up, she just knew.
                          She knew before he turned his wild eyes toward her.

                          "Spike?" she said. Her voice was barely more than a whisper.

                          He looked at her. Then he blinked and tried to move his lips as if to say something, but he didn't move.

                          "Spike," she said, more forcefully.

                          "The world was ending," he said.

                          "I know," she just said and reached out a hand to lay it over his, but he drew back and she felt a pang in her chest at the rejection.

                          He seemed confused for a while, his eyes clipping and his body rigid on the floor. Then he slowly positioned himself on the elbows, pushing Buffy away.
                          She tried not to show how hurt she was by his actions.
                          The guy had been through an ordeal for heavens sake.


                          He avoided her gaze as he stared at all the concerned people gathered around him and the two women that kneeled besides him. Then he focused on Ana.

                          "I died," he whispered with ragged voice.

                          Her answer was a silent nod.

                          "I died," he repeated and turned to Buffy.

                          Buffy swallowed hard. Then she touched the line of his jaw, and he didn't pull away.
                          Encouraged by this, she let the hand glide over his cheek and then onto his hair ? where her fingers grasped onto the unruly curls.

                          "I know," she said again and battled the tears that threatened to run down her cheeks.

                          Of course you know. You were the one that killed him, remember?

                          Buffy blinked as the First began taunting her once more. One would have thought that she would have been accustomed to it by now, but truth was that this time it hurt a lot more than it used to.
                          A lot.

                          Trying to ignore the sharp pain inside her head, Buffy leaned forward to place a soft kiss on Spike's slightly parted lips.

                          "I love you," she whispered. Then she drew back and tensed for the reply.

                          No, you don't. But thanks for saying it.

                          "Yeah, you do," he said with a smile. "I love you too."

                          And in front of every one gathered in the room, Buffy the vampire slayer and Spike the souled? whatever he was, showed how much they really loved each other.

                          The PG-rated version obviously.
                          After all, they were no exhibitionists.
                          Not much, anyway?

                          ~ ~ ~ ~

                          Buffy arched her back and moaned into the pillow as feather light fingertips traced the length of her back, down towards her ass.

                          "Don't stop," she whispered.

                          His fingers kept moving down her legs, tickling the foot and then travelling their way back up. All the way up to her hyper sensitive neck ? that still tingled after his nibbling kisses.

                          "I remember this," he breathed against her soft skin, making her shiver. "The taste of you?"

                          Buffy rolled her eyes in pleasure and rolled over on her back so that she could meet his fiery gaze.

                          "And I remember how you used to kiss me like your very life depended on it?"

                          His voice was a husky whisper.

                          "Like this?"

                          His tongue hungrily, greedily, explored her mouth, savouring the taste of Buffy. Her sweet, warm taste?
                          She whimpers against his lips, and wraps her arms around him, never breaking contact with his mouth. Desperately hanging on to him, afraid that he will disappear if she let go.

                          As if snatching up her anxiety, his hands smooth errant strands of hair away from her face. Then he draws back so that their eyes meet, and what she sees in his makes her heart beat faster. Then it slows down as a warm and kind'a fuzzy feeling starts spreading through all of her limbs.
                          Pure love?

                          With fingers intertwined their mouths taste each other.
                          She could kiss him for days.
                          Buffy can't imagine even wanting to stop kissing Spike.

                          He makes the sweetest noises; rumbling, groaning sounds, chest vibrating, almost a purr. Like a big lazy cat.
                          Like Spike.

                          Buffy cannot get enough of him. It's just impossible.
                          Tracing her fingers down his torso, she revels in the fact that his not a fiction of her imagination. No, this is the real deal. Spike in all his glory.
                          And Spike feels wonderful beneath her fingers, all muscled and slender.

                          "I love you so much," she exhales and feels him laugh softly against her skin.

                          Then he swoops lower to nibble on her pulse beat, and Buffy tries to control the hitch of her breath. The sensation is almost to overwhelming and she almost expect herself to crawl out of her skin of the sheer pleasure that he brings her. Then she completely forgets to breathe as his mouth takes over hers in a possessive kiss that would have had her weak in the knees if she had been standing.

                          She can feel her toes curl and her breathing jump starts in such a manor that she finds her pulling away from him to retrieve some well needed air.

                          Spike simply smiles at her as his clever, long fingers slides in inside of her, touching all the rights places, making her writhe and beg.

                          "Please," she whimpers and bucks her hips upwards, desperately trying to get as close to him as possible. "Please?"

                          "Please what?" he teased and positions himself over her shivering body. "Please this?"

                          And then he's inside her. Finally. Hard, pumping and just as good as she remembered.
                          Her body sang with every deep thrust.

                          Spike. SPIKE. SPIKE!!!


                          His smooth voice, whispering against the crook of her neck as he came deeper inside of her that ever before, was enough to send her over the edge.


                          ~ ~ ~ ~

                          Buffy lay beside the sleeping Spike, silently staring up at the white ceiling.
                          Listening to the man's deep and calm breaths, she tried to ignore the hateful voice that plagued her.

                          You'll lose him again, ya know. Just like everyone you'd ever loved. Just like them he will leave you. It's just a matter of time.

                          Stop it.

                          Death is your gift, pet. Your art.

                          Shut up.

                          You cannot rescue him. You never could.


                          Buffy closed her eyes and warm tears ran down her cheek. The vicious voice was no stranger to her, but it seemed to get more worst for every second now. And rapidly. Every time it plagued her she felt a pinching and aching pain in her chest and head. As is it was consuming all that she was.

                          Buffy was stirred from her deep thoughts as she suddenly became aware that someone was spreading kisses along her inner thigh.
                          Obviously he'd awoken during her contemplation and decided to bring her back into reality using his skills as a lover.
                          It worked.

                          Buffy's body was sore and aching from the previous nights sexual adventures, so she did nothing but shift restlessly for the first few seconds as her muscles protested a bit.

                          "Spike," she whispered pleadingly.

                          "Mm," he murmured, sparing a second to lock gazes with her before he went back to trailing kisses along her thigh.

                          Buffy let her head fall back against the pillow, and hummed approvingly.

                          "This is so much better than waking up to an alarm clock."

                          Spike simply smiled against her tingling skin and then he insinuated a hand between her thighs, coaxing her legs apart. He cupped her between her legs, forcing a broken sob to escape her lips, and rubbed his palm against the folds of her skin. She pushed into the touch involuntarily, gasping a little as her eyes slid shut, pleasure rolling through her, warm and wet, tight and desperate.

                          "Oh God? Please don't stop, Spike. Please?"

                          Spike abandoned her nether regions and kissed his way up over her thighs, stomach, breast ? here he lingered a while, and then continuing upwards, inch by inch, slowly driving her insane. Literally.

                          Buffy dug her fingers into the back of his broad shoulders. She titled her head back, exposing her neck, and Spike began to lick the first trail of sweat that began cascading down her neck and chest. His tongue pushing her over the edge.

                          "Oh God?" she whimpered and moved her head from side to side. "Oh God?"

                          As his fingers found her wet clit again and began stroking it in a slow and soft kind a way, she felt like she was going to burst like a over mature grape. Afraid that it all would end to quickly, she pushed his hands away, and captured his lips in a brutal kiss, caught on the edge of pleasure.

                          "I love you."

                          He almost growled at her. And she felt that buzz in her thighs that signalled that she was almost close. Too close?
                          She wraps her legs around his waist, moving her body into position, and he pushes inside of her in one fluid movement that had both of them groaning.

                          He buried his face into the cradle of her neck, and she could hear his harsh breathing next to her ear, an unfamiliar sensation but yet welcomed. Where he once had been cold and hard, he was now warm and alive. Still hard, but all yet very different.
                          And ****, it was amazing.

                          "Harder," she insisted desperately, encouraging him. "Please, Spike, harder."

                          And the rhythm picked up quickly as he worked in and out of her, the sensations rippling through them both until he was pounding into her, deeper than ever before. Like he couldn't reach deep enough.
                          Her body started thudding against the madras, driven by the force of Spike's thrusts.
                          Buffy bit her lip to keep from crying out, but her voice turned strangled and she sobbed his name, hands digging into his skin, head tossed back in the midst of ecstasy.


                          His hands and mouth sought out her skin, and they were so warm and pleasurable, Buffy could do nothing but hang on.
                          Then his mouth bit down on her neck.

                          "Oh God, yes!!" she cried as she came over and over again.

                          There would be a mark, she knew, but she didn't care about that. She simply placed her mouth in the crook his neck to leave a mark of her own.


                          "Mine," she breathed as they slowly sank down on the soaked madras.

                          "Yours," he answered and placed a kiss on her panting lips.

                          They lay silent for a while.

                          "Did we??" Buffy then asked and turned her head to look at him. He stared back at her, all calm and controlled.

                          "'m not a vampire any more, luv," he then said and reached out a hand to caress her cheek.

                          "Oh?" Pause. "'Cause I wouldn't have minded, you know."

                          Another short pause.

                          "Thank you," was all he said.

                          Buffy traced his razor sharp cheekbone with her index finger, marvelling at the sight of him.


                          She closed her eyes at the demanding voice.

                          Shut up.

                          ~ ~ ~ ~

                          Buffy stared down at the sleeping form of Spike and covered her aching heart as the sight of him.

                          ?It's really him' she sang to herself. ?It's really Spike?'

                          She new all too well how terrified she actually was to lose him again, but found herself unable to let go of those dreadful thoughts.

                          "Spike," she whispered and reached out a hand to carefully shake his shoulder. "You must wake up now."

                          There were no reaction from the sleeping man and she repressed the urge to shake him more violently. She simple leaned in closer to whisper in his ear, hoping that he would hear the pleading tone in her shaky voice.

                          "Please wake up now, ?cause I'm afraid you'll never wake up if you don't."

                          It took a while, and during that time she almost felt her heart come to a stop, but then he finally opened his amazing eyes and looked up at her.

                          "Morning, sleepy head," she whispered and leaned in even closer for a kiss.

                          "Mm," he murmured against her lips. "Morning to you too, pet."

                          Buffy smiled and let the kiss deepen. When the pang of pain hit her in the heart with more power than ever before, the kiss turned almost desperate.

                          Spike seemed to catch on to the desperation and he drew back to search her face.


                          "I love you," she whispered.

                          Then her knees buckled and she fell over his chest.

                          Before everything turned dark, she could her Spike's strangled cry:


                          I'm scared I might be losing you
                          and I don't know which way to turn
                          I fell I might be losing you
                          I can't live my life without your love



                          • #14
                            Chapter Thirteen; Old Friends, New Enemies

                            I am a rolling wave without the motion
                            A glass of water longing for the ocean
                            I am an asphalt flower breaking free but you keep stopping me
                            Release me

                            London July 2008

                            There's not much left in the world that could cause Rupert Giles to cry ? but watching his golden slayer lying pale and seemingly lifeless on the bed was defiantly enough to bring tears into his eyes.

                            "Buffy, what have you done?"

                            Spike turned to the older man with bloodshot eyes, looking like a man who just had lost everything he ever cared about. His obvious grief was another thing that made Giles's heart constrict in his chest.

                            "What's wrong with her?" asked Dawn from the other side of the bed. The young woman sat in a chair and held on to her sisters and like it was a matter life or death if she didn't.

                            "Well," said Giles warily. "As it seems like Spike has all his memories back I guess that whatever Buffy did, it worked." Pause. "She brought Spike back."

                            "But by doing so she left herself exposed to the full power of the First." Said Willow sadly. "Without the essence of Spike within her she hadn't the strength to fight it back."

                            Spike shivered and looked down at the unconscious Buffy.

                            "Then we put it back." Looking up. "I rather die than see her do it in my place."

                            "It's not that easy," exclaimed Giles and rubbed his nose. "I'd say that the First is rather content with this; now it can destroy Buffy without any interference."

                            "But why haven't it yet?" asked Xander and blinked with his one remaining eye. "Why is Buffy still alive?ish?"

                            They all stared down at the unmoving slayer.

                            "I think," whispered Giles sadly, "That the First wants to play with her first." Beat. "Make her suffer horribly?"

                            "Oh God?" cried Dawn and hid her face in her hands.

                            Willow walked over to the sobbing girl and put her arms around the shacking form.

                            "We're gonna fix this, Dawn. I promise."

                            "Whatever it takes," agreed Xander.

                            Spike suddenly rise from his spot and heads for the door ? causing everyone to look at him in shock.

                            "Where're you going?" asked Dawn shakily.

                            "To get some answers."

                            And with that he left.

                            ~ ~ ~ ~

                            Spike stood in front an old looking building, intently staring at the closed door.

                            "Come on," he said gruffingly. "Open sesame."

                            And suddenly the door opened and Spike carefully entered into a huge lobby ? much like (or rather exactly like) the Wolfram and Harts in Los Angeles.
                            Spike gazes around the place, seeing people in suits everywhere ? and the occasional demon.

                            "Home sweet home," he mutters and starts walking towards the desk.

                            As he arrives, a blond woman look up and gives him a welcoming smile. He almost shuddered when he noticed the resemblance with Harmony.

                            "Ah, William the Bloody," the receptionist said warmly and nodded to the elevators. "He's expecting you."

                            Spike raised an eyebrow and looked over in the direction of the elevator, before yet again focusing on the smiling woman.

                            "He is?"

                            She nodded, still with that smile plastered all over her face.

                            "Yes. Just press for the penthouse suit."


                            Spike walked over to the elevator and after a short stare match with a fyral demon ? which he won, he stepped into the empty elevator and pressed the button for the top floor ? all with a confused frown on his face.

                            As the elevator reached the designated floor and opened up with a soft pling, Spike carefully stuck out his head and examined his surroundings before exiting into a big hallway.


                            "Ah, Spike," said a familiar voice and Spike swung around with a startled yelp.


                            The former ? and supposedly dead, Watcher stood in a doorway and looked at Spike with a crocked grin. He looked good ? for a dead guy.

                            "Aren't you supposed to be dead?" asked Spike and let his eyes dart over the other man's figure.

                            "Well, you if anyone should know how hard it is to stay dead these days," said Wesley with a shrug.

                            "But how??"

                            "A contract with Wolfram and Hart extends over your death apparently. You're in for life ? or unlife as is the case with me."

                            Spike simply stared.


                            "You could say that."

                            Spike watched as Wesley walked further into the hallway, tensing for anything that would suggest the other man having ulterior motives. After all; he was one of them now.

                            "And Angel?" asked Spike warily. "Is he also around here somewhere?"

                            Wesley shook his head and came to a halt in front of Spike.

                            "Angel has no place in this world anymore." Beat. "Nor in any other world for that matter."

                            "What does that mean?"

                            "It means that Angel is? finished. It means that he's wiped out of existence. As if he's never set foot here at all."

                            "Poor bastard," muttered Spike and sent a quick thought to his grand sire. He sure would miss that miserable son of a bitch.
                            How would have thought?

                            "Yes, well," drawled Wesley and waved with his hand, perfectly mirroring the aura of an bored CEO that had bigger and more important things on his mind than the ultimate death of one of his friends. "Angel chose his own destiny, especially since he signed his precious Shanshu away."

                            "He did what?" asked Spike flabbergasted.

                            "Ah, yes," hummed Wesley and smirked. "Haven't you wondered how it came to be that you're human?"

                            A long pause.

                            "Are you telling me that I? shanshued?"

                            Wesley nodded.
                            Spike stared.
                            Wesley smiled.
                            Spike frowned.

                            "Oh." Said Spike lamely and scratched his nose. "Okay?"

                            "And how is that working for you?" asked the former Watcher, former dead guy now CEO of Wolfram and Hart the London branch.

                            "Well, that's the stitch," muttered Spike awkwardly. "'s not. You see, Buffy, she's?"

                            "Ah, yes," sighed Wesley and seemed generally bored with it all. "The precious Buffy, the bane of Angel's existence and your?" Raised eyebrow. "?beloved." Beat. "I heard that she's on a slippery slide heading downwards pretty fast. Too bad that." Clicking his tongue. "And now you've come here to ask for Wolfram and Hart's help."

                            Spike repressed the urge to growl and lunge himself at Wesley's throat. His fist clenched and unclenched as if imagined squeezing around the other man's throat.

                            "Isn't that rather presumptuous of you considering that you aided Angel in his quest to bring down the Senior Partners? And that you'll play a significant part in the upcoming apocalypse? An apocalypse where you're supposedly destined to bring an end to the Senior Partners for good?"

                            Spike nodded.

                            "I can see your point." Beat. "But right about now I don't care about points. All I care about is Buffy."

                            "It's always about Buffy," exclaimed Wesley and frowned. "Every single decision Angel made was indirectly caused by her." Sneer. "Even Fred's death."

                            That made Spike think.

                            "Is Fred also bound by the contract? Did she? end up like you after she died?"

                            "And running another Wolfram and Hart branch?" smiled Wesley and shook his head. "No. When Illyria was birthed Fred's soul was destroyed. There wasn't anything left for the company to use."

                            "I however wasn't so lucky," said another familiar voice as Charles Gunn stepped out from the shadows behind the former Watcher.

                            "Charlie boy?" Spike's eyes widened in surprise.

                            "Yo, bleach boy," greeted the black man with a hand wave. "Or? maybe not so bleached anymore?"

                            "This just keep getting better and better," sighed Spike and hunched his shoulders. "I must be cursed?"

                            "Wouldn't that be Angel's forte?" asked Wesley sarcastically. Then he laughed roughly. "Okay, Spike, here's the deal; Wolfram and Hart will aid you this one time." Beat. "But only if you're willing to accept their bargain."

                            "Which is?" asked Spike and felt a surge of dread fill his entire being. Nothing good would come out of this.

                            "Your soul."

                            Spike simply stares.


                            "Then we can't help you."

                            "For the love of?!" exhaled Spike and flipped out his hands in despair. "If there is any part of the old Wesley left in you? You'll help me. Because that is what friends do."

                            Spike turns to leave. Walking towards the elevator he casts a quick glance over his shoulder back at the two former allies.

                            "And we were friends? once."

                            Spike steps into the elevator and push the button, silently cursing all that has gone wrong. He doesn't notice the silent shadow that sneaks up besides Wesley and Gunn.

                            "What do you think?" asked Wesley and turned to the new arrival.

                            "He's the One," declared Angelus with a wry smile.

                            ~ ~ ~ ~

                            Spike walked down the street, plaguing himself with guilt over Buffy's condition. In every aspect it was his fault that she was comatose; hadn't he existed she would never have gotten infected by his essence for starters. And hadn't he come back she wouldn't have gone behind her friends back and ask a dark witch to restore Spike's memories ? and by so leaving herself open to an attack from the First.
                            Oh, yeah, he was to blame for a lot of things?


                            He came to an abrupt halt and stared at the person standing in front of him with shock written all over his face.


                            The woman reached out a hand and dragged him into the shadows of an abandoned alley. She looked like something a cat had dragged in, with trashed clothes and unruly hair.

                            "Eve?" he said again and blinked.

                            "They're following you," she whispered.


                            "Wolfram and Hart."

                            Spike dared a quick glance around the corner and saw Gunn standing not to far away. The guy seemed to be looking for someone ? and Spike understood that to be him.

                            "What are you doing here?" he asked as he turned to face the former liaison.

                            "I am here to help you bring down the Senior Partners," she revealed with a sneer.

                            "I honestly didn't see that coming," Spike admitted with a confused frown. "But right about now I'm willing to put a lot of faith in anyone that can help." Beat. "How can you help?"

                            "I know how to save your precious Buffy," she admitted.

                            Spike gazed intently on Eve.

                            "Do tell."

                            "Remember how she joined hands with you in the Hellmouth?"

                            He nodded.


                            "That was the cause of how the First got into her in the first place. The amulet that you wore was supposed to contain the entity, but as you two decided to hold hands like the lovesick fools you are, it got transferred into her ? along with your essence."

                            Spike gaped.

                            "To save Buffy," Eve continued, "You have to put on the amulet and hold her hand."

                            "Wouldn't that??"

                            She nodded.

                            "But that is meant to be." Beat. "Spike, you were chosen to combine your essence with the First. It's predestined in the prophecies."


                            "With the strength of the First you'll be able to beat the Senior Partners and destroy them for good." She laid a hand on his shoulder. "It's the destiny you've been chosen for."

                            "For the love of?!"

                            "You're the One, Spike."

                            I don't wanna the one?

                            Eve pushed him out of the alley.

                            "Now go and save your damsel in distress."

                            And Spike took off in a run.



                            • #15
                              So far I've only read the first post. It could do with some edits. The verb tenses need some work. The writing itself is jumpy and could do with some transition sentences here and there. You could probably do better than spending so many words explaining that the giant is so much bigger than Spike. Also, it’s “And in terms of a plan?” not “Any terms of a plan?” Anyway, the verb tense changes are the biggest thing.

                              Can’t really say much more until I continue reading, but that’s what I got so far.
                              "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill


                              • #16
                                Well, first of all; thank you for the remarks and feedback - it helps me to become a better writer.
                                As far as grammar goes, I know that 'm a little bit lacking in skills since english is not my first language - but that's not a good excuse by any shot. I'll just keep on working on that.
                                And for my style of writing, the jumpyness and so on... well, that's probably just how I roll. Make sense? It does not to me either.

                                And as far as the line; "Any terms of a plan?" - it is in fact exactly what Spike says in the series final - quoted right off the script. So please blame that 'mistake' on the writers of that particular episode =D

                                Hopefully you'll keep reading tough - and enjoy the story!



                                • #17
                                  Hm... The script I have says: "And in terms of a plan?"

                                  And I will continue reading.
                                  "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill


                                  • #18
                                    Chapter Fourteen; How To Kill A Lover; Lesson Number One

                                    Buffy was in hell. Literally trapped in hell.

                                    "I didn't plan on hurting you. Much."

                                    Buffy blocked a vicious pinch from her opponent and contradicted with a forceful jab to its jaw.

                                    The First stumbled back and brought up a hand to the sore spot, giving the slayer an evil glare.

                                    "You bitch," he said using Spike's voice.

                                    It didn't let any time pass before it yet again attacked her with mad determination, using moves from Spike's rather broad repertoire.

                                    Buffy had to admit to herself that she had problems with blocking the First's frenzied blows and powerful kicks.
                                    An especially well-executed roundhouse kick sent her flying several meters away and landing on the wet and slippery grass with a thud.

                                    "What's the matter, luv?" drawled the First as it swaggered towards her. "Not tiptop, are we?"

                                    "As if you could ever get to me," she said and jumped up on her feet, moving into a fight stance.

                                    The First looked her up and down and smiled wickedly.

                                    "Haven't I already?"

                                    Buffy frowned confusedly and then she shuddered when realization dawned on her.

                                    "Oh, as if!!" Shaking off the urge to gag. "Eww?"

                                    "C'mon, pet," the First grinned and ran a hand down the toned torso. "Let's have a go at it."

                                    "In your dreams, perv!"

                                    "Okay," it shrugged and then moved with incredible speed. She was caught off guard as it got in a good punch to her face ? drawing blood.

                                    "You'll pay for that," Buffy hissed and wiped at the blood.

                                    "Looking forward to it."

                                    Buffy executed a roundhouse kick, which the First easily swapped away. She didn't falter however and followed up with a direct hit in the entity's stomach ? making it draw back with a painful moan.

                                    "Had enough?" she asked with a raised eyebrow.

                                    "Hardly. We just started this dance, luv."

                                    "We aren't dancing."

                                    "On the contrarily; all we ever do is dance."

                                    Buffy gritted her teeth.

                                    "Stop trying to act like him." Punch. "You're not." Punch. "You can never be him!"

                                    "I beg the differ." Punch. "And that's what makes you so afraid of me." Punch. "That I so easily can be him."

                                    Buffy's fist finds its target and manages to knock the First a few feet back.
                                    He wipes away some blood from the corner of his mouth and gives her a savage grin.
                                    Then he lands a high kick to the Slayer's jaw followed by a powerful punch that sends her flying backwards and hitting the ground once more.

                                    Buffy surges forward and with a powerful blow of her fist she splits The First's lip. Growling, he catches a kick meant for his head. Twisting her ankle, his foot connects with her knee and we hear her hiss as if she's in pain.

                                    Buffy stumbles away when he lets go off her, but he follows after smashing his fist into her face. She blocks and gets in a punch that makes him back a step. He leans away, avoiding another blow and catches her wrist. He jerks her arm tightly behind her and with his other hand he catches a fistful of her long hair.

                                    They stand like that, with Buffy's back pressed tightly against his frame, for what seems like an eternity and Buffy can only pray for an easy death as she can feel his cool breath against the nape of her neck.

                                    "Hey, I knew - I knew the only thing better than killing a slayer?"

                                    Buffy suddenly finds the strength in her to break free from the First's strong grip and pushing it away, she puts a safe distance between them.

                                    The First laughs with glee in his eyes.

                                    "Lesson the first: A slayer must always reach for her weapon. I've already got mine."

                                    "Stop it!" Buffy gritted her teeth at its attempt to copy Spike.

                                    "As you wish."

                                    And she could only blink when it suddenly disappeared from her view.


                                    ~ ~ ~ ~

                                    You're the one. Buffy?

                                    Buffy smiled in her dream, indulging in the warm fuzzy feeling she got just of looking into those remarkable blue eyes. His eyes. Nobody had eyes like him.

                                    "Stay with me," she whispered and laid her body to rest, closing her eyes. "Just? stay?"

                                    Buffy. Help me.

                                    "Spike?" she breathed, her heart pounding violently in her chest.


                                    She opened her eyes when she couldn't feel his presence.
                                    To her surprise, she found herself standing at the edge of the Sunnydale crater.



                                    The vampire was nowhere to be seen. She could only hear the sound of his voice. Silent tears ran unheeded down her face as she called out to her lover.

                                    "Spike? Baby, you have to keep talking or I won't be able to find you."

                                    Buffy, I'm here. Please, I can't get out. You have to help me.

                                    She stumbled over rocks, pushing debris out of her path as she moved determinedly towards his voice.

                                    "I'm coming. Just hold on, ok. I'm coming."

                                    Don't leave me. Don't leave me alone again. It's dark here. I'm so cold.

                                    Fear washed over her and the tears continued to fall, but her pace never faltered as she moved towards Spike's voice.

                                    "I'm not going anywhere. I'll never leave you again. I promise."

                                    Come for me Buffy please. I can't last much longer.

                                    "Don't say that. You're going to be fine. I'm almost there. And then we can be together."

                                    There was no answer. No more sound. Buffy stopped. "Spike?"

                                    She took another step forward and the ground gave way beneath her. And then she was falling, down further and further, dragged into the very heart of hell, fire and smoke swirling around her.

                                    "Spike!" she cried out, the name echoing all around her as she realised she had lost him again. "Spike! No!"

                                    Buffy woke with a start, her breathing heavy, sweat pouring from her body. She closed her eyes as reality reasserted itself.
                                    She was not with Spike.
                                    Spike wasn't even there.
                                    He was someplace else.

                                    "Oh, God," she whispered.

                                    "No, but pretty darn close."

                                    She turned to face the First.
                                    He looked like Spike.
                                    Yet he wasn't.
                                    She was not with Spike.
                                    Spike wasn't even there.
                                    He was someplace else.


                                    ~ ~ ~ ~

                                    It mimicked Spike's movements and persona down to a tee. It was the embodiment of power. And it began to scare the living hell out of Buffy.

                                    "I'm never gonna get out of this, am I?" she suddenly asked warily. "I'll be trapped inside this nightmare forever?"

                                    The First tilted his head in a way that reminded her way too much of Spike.

                                    "Lesson the second: Ask the right questions. You want to know if your friends can save you? If he can save you? The question isn't if they can. It is; what will happen if they actually do?"

                                    "What do you mean?"

                                    "He will try of course. To save you." At her look, he continued with a mock smile; "But if he does it will cost him his life."


                                    "The only way for Spike to save you is to put on the amulet and link his hands with yours ? and by doing so I'll be transferred into him instead. And then it is I who will reside in his shell. Finally I would have a vessel worthy of my power. The vampire's shell is pure. It is strong and it will serve my purposes well."

                                    Buffy shook her head and backed away from the monstrosity that already played the part of her lover. Her insides ached and twisted in a grotesque way and she was sure that she'd bleed to death right there and then.


                                    "'fraid so," he insisted and took a step closer. "And as long as I exist, anything?anyone you love I will lay to waste. I swear... You will suffer."

                                    And with that statement, he attacked.

                                    ~ ~ ~ ~


                                    Buffy groaned from the antagonizing pain and struggled to open her eyes. To escape the darkness.



                                    I need you to get up, luv.

                                    Buffy moaned and pulled herself up into a half-sitting position.

                                    "Look who's up," drawled a cruel voice right above her and when she finally found the strength to open her eyes, she saw the First standing over her with a wide grin plastered over its face. Spike's face. "Just in time for another round."

                                    Buffy braced herself as his fist descended towards her with incredible power. But it never found its target.
                                    To Buffy's surprise he got knocked down. And there he was.

                                    "Spike? Are you?real?"

                                    He smiled and reached out his hand to her. And Buffy took it, only realizing too late that their hands were joined once again and that he had the amulet around his neck.




                                    • #19
                                      Chapter Fifteen; The Weakness Within

                                      As long as he lived he would never forget the pure horror in Buffy's face as she opened her eyes and looked up at him.

                                      What did you do?

                                      Yeah, what had he done?

                                      I saved the world?

                                      "Are you going to die?"

                                      Dawn's timid voice drifted over his shoulder and Spike turned around to see her standing over him with an anxious expression in her young face.

                                      At last, someone was talking to him.
                                      Rupert hadn't said a word since his ?Do it', after Spike's frenetic explanation how to save Buffy. Neither had Willow who'd remained silent the whole time, tears falling down her pale cheeks.
                                      In fact, everyone had giving him the silent treatment.
                                      Even her.


                                      The thorn to my side.

                                      The love of my life.

                                      Oh, please?

                                      Shut up.

                                      No, you shut up.

                                      You really don't wanna go down that road, mate. ?m the bloody champion of arguments.


                                      "Huh?" He blinked and focused on Dawn again, forcing away the scornful voice of The First as it kept yammering at him. "What did you say?"

                                      "Will you die?"

                                      Well, isn't that the million dollar question?

                                      "No, Dawn", he said and gave her a reassuring smile ? at least he thought it was reassuring. "Hey, don't fret, lil'one. Remember that ?ve tussled with The First before, yeah?"

                                      She nodded, but didn't seem all that convinced. Probably got that from her big'sis, Spike thought ruefully. Always a step ahead.

                                      These Summers women are gonna be the death of me.

                                      Here's for hoping.

                                      Spike growled.
                                      The First made two cheerful thumbs up.
                                      Spike sighed.
                                      The First did a happy dance.



                                      "Now that you're human?" Dawn hesitated for a second. "Will you? Are you gonna? stay..?"

                                      With you ? and Buffy?

                                      "Yeah," he said firmly and saw her relax.

                                      Made a promise dinnit I?

                                      To the end of the world?

                                      Even if it happens to be tonight.

                                      ~ ~ ~ ~

                                      What did you do?

                                      Spike put down the cup of cocoa and turned around to face Buffy.
                                      He'd known that this moment would come and yet he wasn't prepared. Cause how could he look into her eyes, those bottomless depths of mystery and power, and lie?

                                      With her arms crossed over her chest and an unwavering expression in her face, she repeated the question in a cold voice;

                                      "What did you do?"

                                      I saved the world?

                                      "I did what I had to do," Spike said and tilted his head as he studied her warily.

                                      She didn't relax, didn't show any weakness. Only remained on the same spot, scrutinizing him with those weary eyes.

                                      "You shouldn't have done that," she finally said and he got a first hint of a crack in her armour. "You've put your own safety on the line, Spike." Suddenly a tear trickled down her cheek, surprising them both. "I don't? I don't know how to save you?" she cried and crumbled in front of his eyes.

                                      "Buffy?" Spike kneeled at her side, gingerly putting his arms around her shacking frame. "I can't take that I hurt you when all I want to do is protect you."

                                      "I don't need you to protect me, Spike," she sniffled and wiped her nose against his shoulder. "All I need is you alive."

                                      "And you will," he assured her. "Buffy, The First can't kill me. It will only make me stronger."

                                      "How can you know that?"

                                      "Cause it's my destiny."


                                      He hushed her gently.

                                      "I was meant for this, Buffy."


                                      "I mean it."

                                      "I know." She smiled up at him. "I know you. You won't give up."

                                      Spike bent down and silenced her with a kiss.

                                      You never knew the real me?

                                      ~ ~ ~ ~

                                      How can a man look into the eyes of the woman he loved and lie?

                                      Spike knew that his destiny was to save the world. To save them all. To save Buffy.
                                      He also knew that every great victory had its price.

                                      This time Buffy is going to survive.

                                      No matter the cost.

                                      Spike sighed and closed his eyes, the burden of being a champion weighing heavy on his shoulders.

                                      ?Legend tells it that this Warrior will have forgotten his past; that he would walk through life with some huge part missing ? ?til he's reunited with the golden warrior that holds which is not hers. And when they finally meet, the true nature of the Warrior will be revealed and the beginning of the End of Time will take place. It's foretold that these two warriors will fight side by side ? as one, against the Wolf the Ram and the Hart and whatever assassins they've unleashed into this world.'

                                      ?As it is said the Warrior will wear the amulet of Champions in order to bring his enemies to their doom. He will use its powers to open up a portal to the netherworld and thereby vanish the evil that plagues this Earth into its fiery depths.'

                                      ?And if this should not occur; the Wolf the Ram and the Hart will reign terror upon mankind, enslaving it and feast on its fears and pain. Winter and darkness will descend upon this land and all that was will simply cease to exist. It would be, in all matters of concern; the End of Time.'


                                      ~ ~ ~ ~

                                      I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it.

                                      He was running, faster than he had ever run before, but yet not nearly fast enough. Tree branches hitting his face, scraping his skin but he couldn't feel it. Couldn't sense the blood that trickled down his pale skin, staining the white shirt he was wearing. All he could think off was getting to her. To save her.

                                      You'll never be fast enough. Strong enough. You'll never reach her in time. You never could. She's going to die and there's isn't a bloody thing that you can do about it. She's going to die and you'll let her. You'll let her?

                                      Increasing the speed he leaped over a fallen branch and skidded to a halt when he saw the steel skeleton of the tower standing in front of him. Without any much thought, just pure instinct, he ran towards it and up those stairs. He'd been there before?


                                      He remembered every detail clearly; the way the air was crackling all around him and fissures opening up in the ground bellow. And that aching and hollow feeling inside of his heart.
                                      Spike isn't sure, but he thinks that maybe he'd lost every sense of reality.

                                      But then he reaches the top of the tower and sees her standing at the edge; Buffy. Beautiful, heartbroken Buffy with her hair flying around her face in a banner, her eyes so shattered and aching on the edge of sanity.

                                      And Spike knows what he has to do, know that this is his destiny. This is what he has to do, no matter how desperately he wants to stay by his slayer's side and raise a family some day. Knows this when he looks at the brittle and desolated Buffy, dragons flying through the air and demons crawling up from the fiery depths bellow.
                                      Chaos reigns everywhere and Spike has never seen a morning like this. A morning of death.


                                      He walks over to her and puts his hands on her shacking shoulders, counting on her to draw strength from him, hoping desperately that she can't see the truth in his eyes.

                                      "Spike," she whispers, "I?I got to do this?I got to?"

                                      "Sch," he hushes her. "No, you don't." He sees the confusion, the questions in her eyes. Eyes that has haunted him from the very first moment he saw her. Dancing at the Bronze?


                                      He placed a finger on her cold lips, then bent his head down to place a soft kiss on them.

                                      "I need you to listen carefully now, pet."

                                      She nods and he smiles against her mouth.

                                      "I love you, Buffy," he says, whispering the words against her lips. "Remember that, yeah? And no matter what happens after this I'll always be with you. Always." He draws back to take one last look at her beautiful face. "I've figured it out, you see. How to close the portal. And this time you don't have to jump, pet. Okay? You're going to survive this time, Buffy."

                                      He saw when it dawned upon her.
                                      The horror.
                                      The pain.
                                      The gut wrenching sadness.


                                      "I mean it. I gotta do this."

                                      He saw it then.
                                      The love.
                                      The acceptance.
                                      The spark.

                                      "I love you," she whispered.

                                      "Yeah, you do," he said smiling. "And thanks for saying it."

                                      Spike smiled and placed another gentle kiss on her lips, before turning his back against her and facing the growing portal.

                                      And then he leapt.

                                      Every night I save you.

                                      And he woke up next to Buffy, bathing in sweat.

                                      "Oh, God," he breathed. "God, no?"