Guardians of The Scythe

Guardians of The Scythe

By Athenewolfe

Rating: NC-17
Summary: Buffy and Spike have both died leaving a prophecy unfulfilled. The Powers That Be decide to reward the Champions by allowing their memories, along with a few extras, to be returned to their past selves. How will Spike and Buffy react to their new lives, their old friends, and a set of memories of everything that is to come?
Pairing: Buffy/Spike (primary)
Disclaimer: if it was mine, Spike would be keeping me to busy to write.
Warnings: f/f/ slash of non primary couple

Section 1 - Life After Sunnydale
Note for Section One: Angel season four and five - It was all lies… In reality Angel and Cordy are living together (would living with Cordy make you that happy?), start raising Connor and take over WH in order to fight evil from the inside, plus Cordy wanted the pay raise! Deal with it! Fool For Love and Chosen quotes in Ch2. Beta wonders for this section were the fab Oracleholly and the lovely Caitie.

Part One

Chapter 1

May 2003

Willow: Yeah. (smiles) The First is scrunched, so... what do you think we should do, Buffy?

Faith: Yeah, you're not the one and only chosen anymore. Just gotta live like a person. How's that feel?

Dawn: Yeah, Buffy. What are we gonna do now?

As the others chatter around her, Buffy just stares straight ahead at the hole formerly known as Sunnydale. As she contemplates what's next, she smiles.
- Transcript dialogue from end of “Chosen.”


***

June 2003 - England

Dawn stared off into the distance. Only a little over a month had past since they destroyed the First, since Sunnydale became a crater in the ground and since Spike died saving the world. The group debated on where to go and what to do for about a week, but in the end they realized that they really had no where to go and regroup without money.

Los Angeles was out of the question…something Buffy had said about cookies that she never quite understood. Setting up in Cleveland had been difficult without the resources of the council. So, it wasn’t much of a surprise when Giles announced he was traveling to England to try and recreate the Council’s resources. Willow jumped on board with offers of hacking and mystical slayer tracking…. Unfortunately that meant Kennedy followed.

Dawn shuddered at the thought of the brash slayer. She hadn’t paid much attention to her while they were preparing for the battle with the First, but now seeing her on a daily basis in England grated on her nerves. What did Willow ever see in her? She was NOTHING like Tara… perhaps that was the point? Even so, couldn’t Willow pick someone else less….annoying?

Shaking off thoughts of the Kennedy, she contemplated the other changes to the group. Faith and Wood settled in Cleveland - determined to keep the hellmouth guarded, while Giles regrouped and rebuilt the Council with the precious resources that weren’t destroyed by Caleb. In the meantime, Xander had taken off to parts unknown, locating slayers and sending them to England, where Dawn and the more experienced slayers had started to hold classes and slowly forming the new Watcher’s Council.

The only problem had been Buffy. After the battle with the First she seemed to withdrawal into herself.

“I understand”, Dawn mutters to herself, “Spike was my friend too, but Buffy didn’t really love him…care about him yes, but she couldn’t love him, not with the way she treated him… so why is she acting this way. It is getting so old. She just needs to move on with her life, not pout.” Dawn felt a twinge of conscience over her muttered words, but brushed it off as she walked over to her new Council car, not noticing a stricken Buffy standing in the garden’s shadows.

***

Two Weeks Later

Willow glanced up at her friend… “Did you need something Buffy, because I have to finish this cataloging before Giles gets back with the new set of slayers from Asia, or was it Brazil? Anyway… he went to the airport and he wants me to whip up a Slayer 101 when he gets here, and Kennedy wants to go clubbing…and then slaying. Hey do you want to come? Because Willow and British clubs… not so mixy, but Kennedy wants to get out, so why not… and anyway what were you saying you needed again?”

“I’m leaving Wills. Being here in England, it’s too much… I want a chance to get away from everything….” Buffy looked down at the ground, her voice trailed off….

“But we have so much to do with the new Council. There are responsibilities, and training, plus don’t forget that,” ring… ring

Willow looks at the phone and then back up at Buffy. Knowing that her friend really needs to talk right now, she felt guilty that she had so much to take care of in order to get the school ready for September. The phone continued to ring as Buffy stared off into the distance.

“Oh hold on… Willow Rosenberg here. Yes… yes… when will the house be ready? It will house a girl’s academy…yes… great eleven is perfect… bye”

“Buffy…wait,” Willow stared at Buffy’s retreating form as the phone rang again. “Willow Rosenberg here…”

***

“Seriously Giles, she said she was leaving and then she just ran out… I tried to stop her, what should we do?”

“Let her go Willow. Buffy has done far more then her share of work for the Council, and we can not force her to stay. I am afraid she is suffering from fatigue and as much as I hate to admit it… missing Spike. Perhaps it is for the best to let her go her own way.”

“But shouldn’t we do something?”

“Do what? Hold her hand and pretend that we are sorry that a chipless vampire died? Yes, he died a hero, but so did a lot of those girls. Our responsibility is to them and to this world, not to the memory of a vampire or any feelings the Slayer thought she had for them.”

Dawn walks in, “Hey guys what’s up?”

Willow looks up - “We are talking about Buffy leaving”

“What! She can’t go – I need her! She should be here with me! What did you guys say to her?”

Giles sighed, “Nothing, Dawn. I am afraid I am no longer your sister’s keeper, nor does she need one. After Spike died…” his words died on his lips as he saw Buffy walk in. He took a moment to study her – she looked lifeless… her complexion had already lost her golden tan; her beautiful blonde hair was limp with brown roots showing and her eyes…. they were haunting. Gone was the sparkle of life or determination they once had; now it was replaced with a defeated look.

“It’s okay Dawnie – I just need some time away from here, away from the memories…” Buffy turned, not catching the sympathy in the gang’s eyes. It was too much for her to deal with on a daily basis, besides all the Scoobies were scattered now. Those who died were honored; yet there was no room in their new lives to truly remember them, to cherish them.

Buffy felt a surge of anger at the irony. Willow killed and then retreated to England; Xander escaped by traveling the world, searching for the slayers but left alone in his thoughts; Dawn mourned her lost friend, but really she had been moving on with her life. They all had, which left Buffy. Why did everyone she loved always leave? With that thought Buffy’s anger was gone. Taking a cue from her thoughts, she turned and left.

Chapter 2

August 2003 – Los Angeles

Buffy sighed as she gazed along the stretch of the pier. She should have known she would end up in LA. The place represented so much - where she became a slayer, the city that Angel left her for, and the city that her father never ventured from, unless on ‘business’ with whoever was the new young woman in his life, and the city where dreams began and where they ended.

Angel and her father…. So ironic that the two men in her life who would never be there for her, yet they liked to pretend otherwise, both chose the same city. She saw ‘him’ two weeks ago.

She had it all planned out. He would embrace her, and she would finally be able to cry; he would not judge her, tell her to get over it, or question her love for the man he’d never met. He would hold her and mummer fatherly words until she was better. Reality sucked.

Reality was a 20-something opening the door bedecked in a skirt shorter than her shortest and some really gaudy jewels. Reality was her Dad being surprised to see her, topped with a confused look about why she was there, especially without calling to see if he was free. Reality was her Dad rushing off to some party with a vague kiss on the forehead and a promise to call her. Did he even remember that Sunnydale was no more, and he wouldn’t have her new number? Reality blew!

Her experience with Angel was no better, but at least that had been an accident. Who knew the vampire she dusted the night before was a client of Angel’s? And exactly why was Angel defending vampires, demons, and all sorts of evil?

**Flashback**

(Buffy sat at a table in an outdoor café, twirling her straw around her iced coffee, when Angel walked up to her table)

“Buffy, what are you doing in Los Angeles?”

A smile broke over Buffy’s face. Ever since she left England she had been feeling out of touch and lonely. While that was the point of her own ‘time out’ - to get away from it all, and to allow her heart to recover, it was still good to see an old friend.

“Angel, hi! I was just taking some time off and thought I would come to LA…” before she could finish, Angel interrupted.

“That’s not what I meant Buffy; I meant what are you doing? You should have contacted me the moment you got in. I have been working on a delicate balance here, and you just storm in and start dusting people? That vamp you dusted just happened to be a client’s childer, and now he is in an uproar over a Slayer coming in and killing indiscriminately. You should have checked in, and I would have told you that.” Angel looked at her condescendingly, “This is not Sunnydale; there are other factors to consider here.”

Buffy looked stunned at this mini-tirade, “Clients...what? Wait a minute – what do you mean I should check in? I don’t answer to you! I’m the Slayer; I slayed!”

“Just a slayer Buffy, not the Slayer… but isn’t that the point? Giles called me, and told me that you took off from England. He thought you might come here, but Buffy, I can’t be with you right now. There have been some changes in these last few months… I don’t want to hurt you, but it’s for the best if we don’t see each other while you’re here.”

With that last statement, Angel turned and walked off. Buffy sat in her seat for a few minutes, stunned, and then gathered her stuff and walked off towards the pier.

**End Flashback**

‘Doesn’t anyone even know me anymore?’ Buffy thought, her mind dwelling upon Angel’s words. So strange. Strange that, while she was happy to see Angel as a friend, he still left her even when he was suppose to be her friend. Three months ago, he was kissing her and listening to her cookie analogies, but now he was chiding her for dusting a vampire. One who was without a soul or a chip. She had only been doing her job, and yet she was the one who felt ashamed.

Night after night she slayed; rescued the helpless; those who would never know her name and never notice if she died. As soon as the dust settled she was out. All the cities blended together, all the cemeteries looked alike, and all the vampires looked the same - ugly. The nights blended together, while the days seemed too long and too lonely.

The only comfort she found rested in her dreams where she replayed the last years of her life. If only she would have been brave and admitted his or her own mistakes, except for Buffy. Everyone was allowed to choose their mates and live their lives with the ones that they loved – however short those lives may have been.

Yet, Buffy was always denied, both by her own fears and her blind obedience to the expectations of everyone around her. Their expectations fed into her fears, and she never lived her own life. Angel was right… she was not THE slayer, she was a slayer. And ironically even though she was one slayer among many, she felt more alone then ever.

**

Later that night

Everyone’s words kept echoing through her mind… “Just a slayer”, “Didn’t really love him”, “No you don’t but thanks for saying it.” The last one was the worst. She had denied her feelings to the end, and when she was finally ready to admit it, ready to embrace everything that love would entail, it was too late.

At the very moment that the Turok-Han sliced her with its sword, she realized what she had been denying for so long. What she and Spike had was real… not some fantasy, not the remnants of a spell, nor the idealized concept of love she thought she had with Angel. It was real, it was messy, and it would never go away.

Her thoughts of Spike forced her to get to her feet and fight on qith the knowledge that he was there and that there was so much left undone between them. If she had known that he wouldn’t make it, would she have managed to fight on?

Buffy was knocked out of her musings by a tingling at the back of her neck. Spinning around, she noticed that it was yet another 80’s reject. She began to say something; however, the quip died on her lips as she realized that she finally understood now what Spike had told her so long ago…

“The only reason you've lasted as long as you have is you've got ties to the world... your mum, your brat kid 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...”

A sob welled up in Buffy’s throat as the first punch connected with her face. A flurry of kicks and punches go back and forth. With tears streaming down her face, she understood. For the first time, she truly understood what he was saying. Slayers fight alone, walk alone and in the end they die alone.

She had no one left to live for. Both her friends and her family were living their lives. They would be happy, get married, have kids and that damn white picket fence. Buffy would never have that. She would never experience that kind of life; never experience that kind of love and devotion. She had had her chance. The only person who could love her like that was dust and there would never be another Spike.

**

The young vampire struggled to block the blows of the blond slayer. This was the one who killed the Master’s Childer, and her death would elevate his status within the family. After twenty years, he was still considered to be a fledgling; that would change with the Slayer’s death.

He had heard that this was *the* Slayer that killed *THE MASTER*, but he didn’t believe the stories. That slayer was known for her quips and quick death; while the girl before him was weak. The vampire snarled with disgust and knocked her down.

Quick as a flash she was up and kicked him back into a post; raising her stake she lunged for the heart… and hit air. Thrown off balance, she stumbled and swung around.

The vampire grabbed her neck and sank his fangs into her neck.

***

Buffy felt the life being drained away and struggled against the fledgling… she could hear the echo of Spike’s voice… “One good day.” A sigh escaped her lips. With relief, her eyes fluttered shut… she could be with Spike now, in life denied, in death complete.

Chapter 3

A woman stared into the pond…. “The bonds are breaking, my brother. The Champions have departed the plane and are lost to each other.”

The man gazed at the woman, “How did this come about? We were so careful. The threads were cut and woven into the tapestry. I placed them myself. Angel, the original souled one would wear the amulet in a glorious battle against the First Evil. Upon victory he would be reduced to ash, but return in his human form to remain with the seer Cordiela and together they would raise his son, Conner. They would have another child, who would be instrumental in the fight against evil. That child, their daughter, would ultimately destroy Wolfram and Hart with the knowledge gained from the father and the visions provided to the mother.”

“Buffy and Spike, would fulfill an ancient prophecy that had already began. The awakening of the Scythe has led to a surge of slayers throughout the world. Yet the slayer line is incomplete without the ritual. Without the ritual, not every potential slayer received their powers. Only those who were directly eligible to become slayers should the Guardian fall received their powers. Those whose time was past and those whose time was yet to come did not awaken.”

The woman shuddered, “Yes, the prophecy… without the champions the ritual of renewal will fail. With that failure, the slayer line will die. Not today, nor tomorrow…but no more will new slayers be called, even among those who have yet to be born. When the last slayer dies, the line will cease and the demons will rebel. The balance is in peril, and I fear our Champions have been misused. The world must be put right.”

“A reward?”

“A reward.” The female power confirmed. “We cannot change the sequence of events which led to the downfall of the Champions. However, we can return our Champions to the lives they led before. Allow them to decide their fate, knowing all that has transpired. Let our champions decide how to live their lives with free choice and knowledge of what could be.”

“Do you have a plan my sister?”

“I will allow the weeping tree to complete her long lost spell. The Champions shall be reunited and rewarded with that which they should not forget.”

**Cut to England**

Dawn jumped up “Hey guys, really cool! It’s a prophecy about Buffy!”

Giles looked over, “Really Dawn that was what you said about the last three prophecies.”

Willow agreed, “Yeah Giles, you’d think they would name these slayers. We only have a few thousand… I thought prophets were all knowing… couldn’t they start naming the slayers once we got more then one. For that matter what is with the vagueness? Can’t they just come out and say Buffy will be killed by the Master. Beware!”

Dawn again pipes up, “No, seriously guys! It says:


The scythe shall be found
By those from whom it disappeared, destroyed
The tree shall feed the power
The One no more
The One guards
The One unites
The One is never more
One becomes Two
Dark and Light
The ritual of renewal
Bring forth the many
Shall the light dim
The many will vanish
The Two shall become One
The One becomes none
The Guardian has failed
The demons rebel.


Willow looked up, “Are you sure that is a prophecy? It’s kind of pretty – maybe some guy’s poem he just jotted there? What? It could happen!”

When the phone rang, Giles looked over and sighed in relief, “Rupert Giles speaking…. Just a minute please…” He handed the phone over to Dawn.

“Hello, this is Dawn Summers……” The phone crashed onto the floor as the young girl collapsed, tears streaming down her face…. ”Buffy!”

***

Section Two

Chapter 4

December 1998 – Sunnydale

… “I will allow the weeping tree to complete her long lost spell. The Champions shall be reunited and rewarded with that which they should not forget.”

“But what will you change, sister?”

“Look into the pool and see what was, and what will be.” The man gazed into the pool…

*FLASH*

7 p.m. - Spike found Willow and Xander at the high school. Hitting Xander over the head, he proceeded to kidnap them and retreat to the factory.

*FLASH*

Spike slurred, “A spell. For me. You’re gonna do a spell for me.”

Willow looked confused and fearful at the same time, “Uh, what kind of spell?”

“A love spell! Are you brain dead?” Spike walked over to the dresser. “I’m gonna get what’s mine.” Grabbing a bottle of the stand, he uncorks it. “What’s mine. Teach her to walk out on me.”

*FLASH*

Completely frightening, Willow panted, “Now, now, hold on! I-I’ll do your spell for you, and, and, and I’ll get you Drusilla back, but, but there will be no bottle-in-face, and there will be no ‘having’ of any kind with me. All right?”

Spike grabbed Willow by the neck and bent her over; however he made no move to bite her. Instead he reverted back to his human guise. “Alright.” pushing her away, “Get started.”

Willow stepped around the bed to where Spike dumped the box of magical supplies. Starting to sift through them, she stammered, “Now, I’m not a real witch, you know. I-I don’t know if this is gonna work right away.”

“Well, if at first you don’t succeed, I’ll kill him,” Spike pointed to an unconscious Xander, “and you’ll try again.”

Hurriedly sorting through the supplies, she looked up, “This isn’t enough.”

“What?” Spike stalked toward her.

Backing up nervously, Willow clung to the bag and said, “Well, there are other ingredients, a-and a-a a book. I need a, a spell book. This isn’t it.”

“You’ve got one, though, at home?”

“Not at home. I left it somewhere.”

Spike got right in her face, “Where?”

*FLASH*

Ahhhh,” The female Power sighed, “Here it is, the change.”

Spike had started to leave so he could gather Willow’s supplies. At that moment, the woman nodded her head towards the pool.

Spike stopped and turned around, “You know witch; I changed my mind. You can do the spell now with the ingredients you have, or I can go ahead and eat the boy. If I have to go chasing around town for books and supplies I am going to work up an appetite. And that just won’t do. So here’s how it’s going to be… you try your mojo now, and if it works you can go home. If it doesn’t work, then I’ll eat the boy and then be off for your supplies. What do you say?”

Willow gulped nervously, “I really need those supplies to make sure it works…”

Spike interrupted, “Come here boy, I need a snack before shopping.” He started toward the helpless Xander.

“No wait! Let me try, I can do it… *speaking softer* I can at least try.”

“Well that’s the spirit – how should we start?”

Willow looks around nervously, “I…um… Can I…?”

“Spit it out, girl.”

Willow straightened up and gave Spike her resolve face…“Would you give me a minute to relax and think about it, or are you determined to scare me into submission, which by the way is not conducive to getting your spell done.”

Spike glared at her, grabbed Xander and proceeded to sulk on the other side of the room.

***

The sister power smiled… “For this one moment in time the Tree will cease to exist. In this moment, she is beyond the Tree; she will be the Witch who awakened the Scythe, friend of the Guardian and Soldier of the Light. This is my true gift to the Champions - a single moment in time in which they can be reunited and change that which is to come.”

***

Willow centered herself and looked at the ingredients Spike had brought. A strange calm had descended upon her, and she began to feel more secure.

She started to hum a soft melody, finding the music stirring the power within her. Without realizing what she was doing she began to chant, raising energy around her. Opening her eyes she gasped. *Oh goddess!* The chanting had raised a circle of energy. Reaching out, she could practically feel the energy that surrounded her *it tingles*.
Willow started to chant again… not in words, but sounds, which corresponded to the energy surrounding her.

***

Xander and Spike stared in shock at the red-headed witch… no longer did she resemble the shy and timid hacker who had been experimenting with witchcraft. Before them sat a woman bathed in power. Slowly they both came to realize that a purple glow reflected off of the witch and her hair had turned into an alluring white.

The circle began to pulse with power as Willow’s head snapped back and a mystical voice belonging to a much stronger Wicca reverberated throughout the room…

“I call upon thee, Goddess, to hear my supplication. Grant me my desire and return what has been lost to the here and now. Bring forth this man’s true love. Return the one he seeks and restore the balance. Goddess hear my plea; so mote it be.”

An explosion of brilliance emanated from where Willow was seated, and Spike began to scream.

***

7:30 p.m. - Across town Buffy was getting ready to search for Xander and Willow when the phone rang: Buffy answered the phone, “Giles?”

“Hi, Buffy. You still working out?” asked Joyce.

“Uh, no, Mom, actually…”

“I was hoping that we could schedule a college talk later tonight. I admit I overreacted before. You don’t have to do all the way across the country. I, um, picked up some brochures from some nearby schools, okay?”

“That’s great,” Buffy said with fake enthusiasm, “but now’s really not a good time…”

Buffy fell to the ground.

“Buffy… Buffy? Buffy!!!” Joyce hung up the phone, grabbed her keys and ran to the car. All the way to the school she prayed that her little girl would be fine.


“Buffy…..Buffy? Buffy!!!” Joyce hung up the phone, grabbed her keys and ran to the car. All the way to the school she prayed that her little girl would be fine.

***

The Powers that Be gazed at the pool below… “It is done...the change has been made, the gift has been given, the past is undone and the balance shall be remade.”

***

Joyce pulled into the parking lot near the library and rushed in, calling out, “Buffy?”

Stopping in her tracks she stared… her baby girl had collapsed next to the phone! Snapping out of her daze she ran over and started checking Buffy for injuries. Finding nothing obvious, she scooped her up and carried her out to the car. She should call Giles; he might know what happened to her baby.

***

Chapter 5

Factory – 7:45 p.m.

Spike half screamed and half laughed as he felt the fire that had consumed him in the final battle start to fade. He felt himself dusting; with a final thought of Buffy he faded away…

Within that single moment, a calm washed over him and instantly he saw Buffy… laughing at a joke, crying at funerals, fighting the First; scenes from his life and from hers, things he remembered and those which he couldn’t have seen.

He screamed in agony as he saw Buffy on a pier fighting some wanker and heard her whisper his name as she dropped to the ground; her life taken away by the monsters she was no longer chosen to fight.

“Buffy!!!!!!!!!”

***

Xander looked aghast, “Hey Wills…. am I seeing things with the head wound here, or is Spike screaming Buffy’s name?”

“Nope, not hallucinating.”

“Can I be?”

Spike turned to the two and nodded his head, “Red, Whelp…. What’s going on?” Stepping back he exclaimed, “Bloody hell, Whelp… your eye!”

Xander reached up and touched his eyes, “Huh?”

“What the hell is going on here? What have you done Red? Is this a spell?”

Willow looked like she was about to faint, “Just the one you asked me for, so no eating Xander!”

Spike looked quite confused as he stared at the couple. “You made the potentials all slayers then? Then what the hell are we doing in the factory?? ”

Xander stared at Spike, “And again with the huh?”

“Bloody hell, let’s go talk to the Watcher. Something has happened. I should be dust, I saw Buffy die, and I know the Factory burnt down and the town exploded.”

Willow gulped and looked at the clearly insane vampire. Less then an hour ago he was threatening to eat them and now he was acting as if they were friends. Perhaps if they played along, they could escape and get Buffy. Besides something had happened during that spell, but of what she was not sure.

***

Spike was swearing under his breath as he drove away from where Giles should be… * sarcastic chuckle* should be …. That was definitely the key. While pounding on the door at Giles old place, Red and the Whelp snuck out of the car and ran for dear life.

Giles wasn’t at his old place; the Magic Box was different and held no familiar scent, no training room, and a dead body that was oddly familiar. His head hurt. Everything smelled differently than it had this morning. Yet, he distinctly remembered not only his death but also the collapse of the hellmouth and then Buffy’s death. Unusual, if one took into account that both things happened after his own demise. So where did these memories come from? Why was everything different, but at the same time vaguely familiar?

Spike pulled up the Desoto to 1630 Revello Drive and went to pound on the front door. Perhaps Dawn would be home and could shed light on the situation.

A few minutes later, he felt a presence behind him.

“Spike”

“Angelus”.

Spike ducked as the first punch was thrown, then returned it with a flurry of punches and kicks. It felt good to unleash all the aggression and confusion he felt into a physical battle with Peaches. The spell however had left him slightly weakened, and he begun to falter.


***

Angel felt surprise at the skill of his blond childer. Less then a year ago he had been in a wheelchair, cowering before Angelus and whimpering about Drusilla. The blond master who fought him now was more impressive than he would ever have thought possible.

Regardless, Angel always won. Even souled, his skill was matched by no one, certainly not the upstart that Dru took pity on, and it was only a matter of time before he won this match {thunk}.

***

Spike looked down in shock. The fight with Angel had been cut short courtesy of a shovel and a brassed off Joyce. Spike did a double take... and stretched out his hand to stroke the cheek of the woman before him.

“Joyce?” A sob welled up in his throat and he hugged the startled woman. “Is it you, is it really you? I have missed you so much”

A confused Joyce returned the vampire’s hug. With a soothing voice she calmed him, “It’s okay Spike. Help me with Buffy, and then we can talk about it over cocoa… “

Sniffs; “Thanks mum for the hand. Everything is so bizarre and confused! Is Angelus evil again? Wait…. What is wrong with Buffy?”

“I am not sure, but I called Giles and left a message. We have to get her inside before Angelus wakes up and attacks.” With a worried tone Joyce continued to explain how Buffy had fallen unconscious during their phone call. Together they got the slayer into the house; neither noticing that Angel had vanished.

***

Spike took in the familiarity of being back in the Summers’ home. He watched as Joyce picked up the teakettle from the stove and moved to the island to pour some hot water into a cup for Spike. Joyce listened to the blond vampire while she proceeded to make him his hot chocolate.

Spike sat back at the table and poured his feelings out to Joyce. She was stunned and confused at what he had been telling her. The look in his eyes was haunting; he told her of a love so strong that it transcended the grave. A love that connected him to her daughter, the daughter he claimed had already died three times. She interrupted with questions now and then, but was mostly transfixed by his tale. What was it about this vampire, this ally of her daughter’s, that he seemed to feel stronger then anyone she has ever met?

If he was crazy, then he was insane but devoted; and if he was sane… then her baby has suffered more then she could ever comprehend. For now, it was enough that he was here, helping her and she understood that no matter what the truth would yield, she trusted this strange vampire with her daughters life.

***

Buffy’s Bedroom

Buffy stirred and slowly regained consciousness. Her neck ached and her body tingled… more like the tingle that came when her leg fell asleep; not the ohhh the vampire can go for hours tingle… and with the thought of said vampire she gasped, “Spike”.

Suddenly it came back to her - the fight, the wish for release. But above all, she remembered the relief she felt as she realized that the dance was over and she could join Spike in death. Yet her death was denied. For the fourth time in her life she had been given life, and for the second time she realized that she had been denied the peace that she so desperately sought.

A sob welled up in her throat, how could they bring her back again? Hadn’t they learnt the lesson after the last resurrection? She could fight, she could do her duty, but her heart would never live again. It was buried beneath the rubble of Sunnydale and without it - was she really Buffy?

As she thought about Sunnydale, she started to notice a few strange things, such as she was in her bed. A bed she remembered in Sunnydale - which didn’t exist anymore - buried along with all of her possessions and her old life. But it was her room. She stood and walked around the room. Her clothes were in the closet; her diary was under the bed, the pictures on the wall. Everything she remembered being in the room was there, including Mr. Gordo.

Buffy gasped as a flood of memories came back to her, stronger then ever. Dancing with Spike, being held by him, memories of their life together and flashes of what could have been. Buffy gasped and sunk to her knees as more memories kept coming. Things she could not have seen, not have known… a scene with Angel being human came to her, of Spike taking care of her sister when she was dead, good deeds done but never known, and a flash of a prophecy that was gone before she captured it. Tears streamed down her face and she screamed “SPIKE!!!!!!”

***

Kitchen

“Buffy!” Spike dropped his mug and raced upstairs. He could feel the pain radiating off of her… he was consumed by one thought and that was to get to his mate.

***

Chapter 6 - Mates
8:30 p.m.

Joyce observed the two blondes holding each other; somehow they managed to combine mumbled “I Love Yous” with a combination of weeping, hugging and kissing. They were desperately hanging onto each other as though if either were to let go the other might disappear.

Knowing that now was not the time to get answers from the pair, she decided to go to the one other person who might understand what had happened. *And if he wasn’t home, I will camp on his doorstep until he comes home.*

***

Spike removed the offending ponytail holder then ran his fingers through her silky hair. His uttered sentences were coming out incoherently; but the same thoughts kept running through his head… want, need; love.

He stopped his ministrations and looked at her, “You Love ME? I saw it – everything… you were fighting and you then you died – I remember your thoughts, your feelings, your love…”

Buffy grabbed him and pushed him against the wall. “Love you so much, need you now, talk later!”

Spike smirked as Buffy forced him against the wall. Her tiny hands tugged at his shirt, pulling it clear of his jeans and her hands traveled up to touch his skin. Spike tensed as a wave of deja vu overcame him. The last time he had been pushed against the wall like this it was their first time. Sure they had brought down the house with their passionate lovemaking, but the look in Buffy’s eyes the next morning conveyed disgust.

Buffy seemed to understand his thoughts. “I love you. You’re my everything.” On instinct she nuzzled his neck, “I can feel you, you know… your feelings, your emotions…”

Buffy felt Spike shudder as her tongue traced a spot that she remembered biting, but couldn’t recall when or where. Feeling the insecurity rolling off of him, she licked the base of his neck, nibbling at the pressure point. “My Spike.”

She felt him groan her name out and instantly became wetter. Suddenly she was anxious to feel more of him. She yanked his shirt over his head and latched upon the exposed nipple. She alternated between biting and sucking on his the nipples while caressing his chest.

She felt his breath hitch as her explorations of his body continued down past his stomach until the barrier of his tight jeans was reached.

Imitating Spike’s trademark smirk she laughed, “Oh Spikey, this will never do. Let me help you get those nasty jeans off.”

Buffy dropped to her knees and grabbed the jean snap with her teeth. With a yank the snap was undone and the button flew across the room. Amused at the fact that his jeans were now held up only by his straining erection she murmured, “Now how do I take care of that.”

Reaching out her hand she managed to free his cock and balls from the jeans. She nuzzled his curls and inhaled his musky scent. “Mmmmm, I have missed your scent.”

Tracing the throbbing vein with her tongue she smiled, she loved the effect she had on him. Lazily she ran her tongue over the side of his surface, pulling back and then engulfing what she could with her mouth. Over and over again she pulled back, flicking her tongue over the tip of his head and then taking his length inside her mouth. Wrapping her hand around the base of his shaft, she stroked in time with her mouth.

The heat of Buffy’s mouth combined with his dreamlike state of disbelief that they were alive and making love had Spike ready to explode. “Pet,” he moaned as he pulled her up away from his aching cock, “let’s go to the bed.”

Without thought, Buffy’s eyes flashed an icy blue and little fangs descended. Pinning him in place, she reared back her head and plunged her fangs into the spot she had nuzzled earlier. “MINE!!!!!”

Spike’s eyes darkened at the feel of her fangs in his neck. ‘Bloody Hell, fangs…’ was his last coherent thought. Instinct completely took over. His eyes turned deep amber as he went into game face. “MINE!” he growled as his fangs eradicated former marks on her neck.

Spike picked Buffy up and carried her up to the bed. Laying her down on the bed, he gazed at her. Still standing over her wanton form, he stripped off her black jogging pants and sea foam sleeveless shirt, casting them aside. She looked so delicious in just her white bra and matching lace panties. His bite marks on her neck were delicate since he hadn’t tried to hurt the girl. However, his mark was driving him crazy; it called to him like a siren.

Spike positioned himself next to Buffy and began to nuzzle and lick the marks he just made.

Mewling in need, Buffy arched her back, straining to come into contact with his body. “Please…”

Spike growled and sank his fangs back into Buffy’s neck, not drawing any blood but just enjoying the pleasure of the penetration. Slipping one hand under her panties, he ran his finger softly on top of her clit. Taking one finger he slowly entered her, surprised at how wet she had become from the foreplay.

Retracting his fangs he kissed her neck and then kissed a trail from the base of her throat down her front. She realized he had encountered her bra, but before she could move he had ripped it off and triumphantly claimed her nipple.

Buffy began to thrash around on the bed, going insane from the teasing ministrations of his hand coupled with the feel of his tongue on her breast. All she could think about it was his fingers sheathed inside of her.

Spike moved his lips to the other breast, and Buffy felt like she was going to die. Her hips arched up to meet the thrusts of his hand and she felt like screaming.

“Spike…”

A wicked grin lit the vampire’s face, “Yes Pet?”

“Please….”

“Please what?”

“Make me cum!”

With a feral smile he ripped off her underwear and before she could move; he plunged his tongue into her soft mound. He chuckled at her harsh intake of breath and felt her heartbeat speed up even faster. He loved the taste of her; it was the only thing he ever tasted that was better then her blood. He began to fuck her with his tongue while pinching and twisting her clit.

“SPIKKKKKKKE!!”

Before Buffy could catch her breath, Spike slammed into her with his cock. They both gasped and stopped moving as Buffy’s heat contracted around him. For a moment they kept still, marveling in the fact that somehow they were together again. They had been given a second chance and they were going to embrace it.

As Spike contemplated the fact that he felt completely at home, Buffy began to mewl, desperately trying to increase the friction between them.

Spike chuckled, *such an impatient girl*. He began to withdrawal slowly, teasing Buffy by alternating between short thrusts and almost pulling out.

“Please Spike, I…need you, I thought I would never see you again.” Please.” Buffy’s eyes flashed icy blue again, and Spike lost control. Grabbing her he began to pound into her over and over again. He could tell Buffy was getting close to another orgasm by the speed of her heart and shallow breaths she took. As she neared the edge, he sank his fangs into her bringing them both over the brink. Both came with pleasure of their release and the feeling of completeness.

Chapter 7 - Welcome Home Part 1
9:30 p.m.

Spike was propped up on his elbow looking at a very happy and cuddly Buffy. “So pet, do you know what is going on? I love the new you –icy blue eyes, baby fangs…heartbeat. It’s a bloody brilliant package, and mind you I’m not complaining, but if we claimed each other before we died, I sure the hell would have remembered!”

Buffy practically purred with happiness, “Does it really matter? I love you Spike, and don’t you dare tell me that I don’t!”

Spike looked sheepish and stroked her face, “I know luv. I’m sorry I hurt you, just needed to get you to leave. I needed you to get out... to live for the bit and me. I couldn’t handle you dying again pet; especially not because of me. I knew you loved me, and that’s all I needed.”

Buffy gazed up at Spike, “As long as you know that I love you. Will love you until my dying day, which by the way could be a heck of a long time if people keep resurrecting me.”

Buffy reached up and ran her hand down Spike’s face following the curve of his cheekbone. “I loved you before we were returned or reunited or whatever. I would have found you Spike - Heaven or Hell, you are mine. With or without a soul you are the one person I would spend an eternity with. I let fear guide me before. I hid behind my friends’ censure, too unsure of myself, of us, to stand up and fight. I was afraid that you would leave me, like everyone else seems to do, so I pushed you away. And then I came back and I knew… everything you did for me, every kindness you hid, every act of good you did without my ever knowing...”

Spike started to interrupt Buffy, but he was silenced with a passionate kiss.

Buffy then began to nuzzle his neck, *yummy*. She felt her fangs descend, and she gently bit into Spike. It wasn’t a desire to drink blood, in fact the thought of actually drinking blood made her sick to her stomach. But the claiming aspect felt right and so did the fangs. Besides, Spike thought they were cute! Buffy had a faint feeling that the whole fangs and eye thing was related to the First Slayer and the demon that resided in her. Either that or whoever had resurrected her had screwed up. But hey, at least she could claim Spike properly now.

Not really caring about anything other than the fact Spike was in her arms again she started to fall asleep, fangs still buried in her mate’s neck.

***

10 p.m.

Buffy stirred, not quite sure what had woken her up. *Whatever it was, I am so kicking its butt.*

She listened for a moment and realized that whatever it had been, it must have already passed by. Annoyed at the intrusion into her sleep, she snuggled back into Spike trying to get comfortable. The more she wiggled around trying to find the perfect spot, the harder he got. She stared at him, trying to determine if he had really fallen asleep or was just playing a game with her. *Hmmmm, seems asleep to me*

Deciding to test her conclusion, she turned around and scooted down the bed. His cock was already semi-hard from her attempts to get comfortable. She inhaled the scent of him, watching in fascination as his cock twitched. *Someone wants to play*

Buffy began to trace the vein of Spike’s cock with her tongue. He tasted absolutely delicious! She loved it when he was semi-hard; it was the only time she could get all of him in her mouth. Of course, fully hard came with many orgasmic benefits, so she wasn’t complaining. She loved how he fit inside her perfectly. The sexual experiences in her memory before Spike were rather boring. There was Angel, who was almost the same size as Spike, but he was bent funny. *Looked like a freaking banana*.

Parker and Riley were at least shaped better, but there cocks had been smaller. All three men had been boring and predictable.

The slight thrust of Spike’s hips snapped Buffy back to the present. She looked up and met a beautiful set of blue eyes staring at her.

“Did you fall asleep down there pet?”

Buffy giggled and repositioned herself in order to pounce on Spike’s chest. “Love you sleepyhead!”

Buffy and Spike began to playfully roll around on the bed. Teasing and tormenting each other as they nipped, kissed, and touched.

“AHHHHHH pet, your killing me.” Spike grabbed Buffy and pulled her so that she was flush against his skin. Bending his head to her neck he began to suckle on the claim marks.

***

“OH GOOD LORD,” Giles stood in the doorway with Joyce and looked on in shock. His slayer was naked on the bed with William the Bloody and was being drained. He grabbed his stake and lunged towards Spike.

***

Chapter 8

Buffy saw the stake at the last moment, and she rolled off the bed, taking Spike with her. Hopping up onto her feet, she turned and assumed a fighting stance in order to face this new threat.

Giles stood in shock. He processed a multitude of things at once. One, Buffy was naked. Two, Buffy’s green eyes were an amazing shade of blue. Three, Buffy had fangs about half the length of a normal vamp’s. Four, both blonde’s had puncture marks on their necks. Five, Spike was naked. Six, good lord Buffy was still naked!

“Good Lord.”

“Look, Watcher, as much as I am sure you are enjoying the free show, do you mind leaving the room so my bird could get dressed? “

Giles stood there and stared at the couple until Joyce nudged him. He then turned and retreated out of the room, stopping in the doorway to wait for Joyce.

Spike watched them turn to leave, “Thanks mum. We’ll be down in just a moment – I hear heartbeats though, could you send them home, except for the Watcher?”

During the exchange between Spike and Joyce, Buffy has been staring at her mother. As Joyce turned to leave, Buffy’s anguished voice cried out, “Mom?”

Turning around, Joyce was just in time to catch her daughter as she barreled into her arms. She couldn’t understand a word that Buffy was saying to her. She held her while her daughter, the slayer, fell apart in her arms.

Joyce’s forehead wrinkled as she looked at Giles and quipped, “You know Spike had the same reaction to me, must be the water!”

Smoothing her expression back into a matronly glare, she looked over at Giles, “Could you please go tell everyone in my living room to leave.”

Giles started to interrupt, “But Joyce…”

“But nothing, this is my house and my daughter. Everyone will leave now except for you, and the four of us will have a nice long chat.”

***

Downstairs

Giles stared at the couch in amazement. Spike, Buffy and Joyce were piled on the couch. Buffy was in the middle of the trio, her legs thrown possessively over the vampire; while her head rested on her mother’s chest. The position seemed to be very uncomfortable to him, but his slayer appeared to be unwilling to let either Spike or Joyce out of her physical reach.

“Well then,” Giles started, “Would either of you care to explain why my slayer has fangs?”

“Well Giles, this morning I woke up in LA, got chewed out by Angel, fought a vampire, died, woke up and found the love of my life and my mother in my room. In Sunnydale, which by the way does not exist anymore. I am heavily wiggin here! I mean, one, I’m dead. Two, Spike died three months ago, while saving the world. Three, My mother died three years ago. So tell me, since you are the only one in this room who is supposed to be alive, what the hell am I doing in my non-existent living room?”

Buffy stopped her tirade as she registered the shocked looks on both her mom and Giles face.

Joyce was particularly pale, “I’m dead?”

Giles looked at a grief-stricken Buffy who was trying desperately to comfort her mother. “Buffy what year is it?”

“2003”

Giles whipped off his glasses and started to clean them.

Spike’s face was one of dawning comprehension, “Well mate, spit it out! What year does your calendar say?”

“It’s November 1998”

Chapter 9 - Heroes
Ten a.m. – Next morning

Buffy snuggled into Spike not wanting to believe it was morning yet. How did the sunrise always manage to happen just when she was drifting off to sleep? You would think if the Powers were the ones who brought her back they would have at least given her more time before she had to wake up and figure things out.

Sighing she ran through the list of things she needed to get done. After their conversation with Giles, she had a long discussion with Spike. Her first instinct was to charge ahead and start fixing everything that had went wrong in the past, but Spike had pointed out that if she went around changing everything before it happened then the results would be unpredictable.

She had argued, pleaded and flat out begged but he had stopped her flat with one sentence, “Pet, as much as I would love to fix everything that went wrong for you – what happens if we accidentally get rid of Tara or the Bit?”

Damn, she hated when he was the logical one! It was so unfair!

The First would need to be dealt with. He would have to be the primary target. Giles would need to start researching the First and the Scythe. A prophecy tingled at the back of her memory, but it was elusive.

Spike had to concentrate on finding the Gem of Amara and getting the trinket back on his hand. They needed all the weapons and ammunition possible to deal with the upcoming battle. Plus, all the shiny things could be sold! No more money problems or Doublemeat Palace for this girl!

There were some things she would have to change, heck there were things she had already changed just by showing up. Things would be different, the only question was how different.

She would have to decide what to do with Faith. She couldn’t let her sister slayer kill innocent people or go bad. Faith pulled through in the end, yet the end would no longer be the same. She couldn’t take the chance that her coming back would ruin Faith’s chance at redemption.

Then there were other factors… what she should do about Andrew and Jonathan? How could she save Tara? Could she save her mom? There were so many variations. So many things that had to happen in order for other events to occur…. Ugghhhh – whoever thought time travel would make things easier for someone had never really thought it through.

The only thing that was easy was what to do about Anya. How funny was it that when the Powers decided to reward their champions they decided to include Anya in the package.

Along with all of the Buffy and Spike memories and the nifty upgrades, there was one more memory running around in her head. The key to Anya’s reward was simple. Buffy had been given two rituals.

One ritual permitted a person to be returned to an alternate dimension. She instinctively knew that she was only allowed to return Anya because she had died saving the world. Anya’s reward for giving up her humanity would not be death but a choice.

The second ritual would allow Buffy to summon the demon Anyanka and restore her memories to her. Anya would be given a choice; she could retain her memories and her humanity or she could remain a demon, forgetting the life that had been hers and remembering only that she should avoid the Hellmouth.

Buffy wondered what her choice would be.

***

Spike watched as Buffy finished putting the final touches on the protection barrier and began to start chanting. “Anyanka, patron of women scorned… I call upon thee. Come before me.”

With a flash Anyanka appeared in the circle. Her eyes flashed with annoyance and she began to advance upon the duo.

Spike watched in amusement as Anyanka hit the magical barrier. Before she could say or do anything, Buffy was already finishing the next ritual. When the final word “remember” left Buffy’s lips a white light surrounded Anya.

***

Anya sank to her knees and began to sob. Crossing the barrier, Buffy was at her friend’s side and hugging her. Both girls started to cry…each feeling their loss keenly.

“I’m dead Buffy! Dead! No more orgasms or money. And the scenery sucks! Do you know what happens to someone who spent 1000 years bringing vengeance and then helps avert an apocalypse or two? Not much let me tell you. You just sit around purgatory processing paperwork. Paperwork! Its worse then high school and I don’t earn anything!”

Buffy laughed, “I really missed you Anya. Okay time constraint here so I better be all explainy girl. Your choice – well actually you and Anyanka’s choice, not sure how that works… but anyway your reward for the whole saving the world bit is that you and your demony self get to decide if you want to be human Anya who gets to live and remember everything that happened up til your death, or of you want to be avoidy Anya and never become human or be allowed back into Sunnyhell.”

Anya looked stunned at the choice before her. She seemed to be listening to an internal argument. Suddenly her faced shifted into that of the vengeance demon and then back again. In a deep guttural voice she spoke; “Done.”

***

Noon

Buffy finished taping up the windows of the basement, turned, and laughed at the sight of Spike trying to carry her bed down the stairs.

“What are you doing running around the house during the day?”

“Your mum closed up the windows before she took demon-girl shopping. Are you sure you want to move down into the basement?”

“Yep, but did you see mom’s face when I told her that both Anya and Faith needed places to say. I thought she was going to faint! Then she did that whole ‘I feel guilty because I just found out Buffy died again routine and presto new housemates! Besides mom will be good for both of them, and this place will be homey for us.”

“You mean furthest away from everyone pet?

Buffy grinned at him wickedly, “So Big Bad, we got about three hours to kill until we meet everyone at school. Any ideas on what to do until then?”

Buffy smirked as Spike put down the bed and started to stalk towards her. She could get use to this new timeline!

Chapter 10 - The Scoobies Reaction
Three p.m.

Buffy sighed. She would be having flashbacks to this afternoon’s activities for the rest of the day. Spike’s tongue should be labeled a dangerous weapon. One thrust of his tongue and she was sopping wet. But the truly dangerous part was his fangs.

Buffy shuddered with delight as she thought about his fangs. She had been in heaven as he had plundered her with his tongue, making her arch in delight. *Not breathing, such a plus.* But the moment he had taken her clit into his mouth and ran his fangs gently across it kept replaying in her mind. Who knew the act of biting and sucking could be so erotic.

Buffy reached down and began caressing herself wondering how long it would take Spike to finish his shower. He was going to go dig for his gem while Anya and she went to the library. There should be enough time for a quickie….

Anya’s voice cut through her fantasies like a jagged knife. “Buffy, we are going to be late and I want to see everyone’s reaction to me.”

*Damn, what a good waste of a fantasy.* “Okay Anya, let me go tell Spike we are heading out.”

“Okay but no having sex! I am single in this world and haven’t had any ‘I’m glad I’m not dead orgasms’. Besides I’m jealous, I need a sweetie. Do you know your mom bought me a small bed! There’s no room in there for two people, why does Faith get the big bed in the spare room and I have to get the one that was on sale? It’s so unfair.”

Buffy rolled her eyes as she walked past Anya, it was already like ‘old times’.

***

Outside Library – 3:30 pm

Anya looked at Buffy strangely, “You invited Willow, Xander, Oz, Cordy, Faith, Jonathan, Andrew, Joyce, and Giles all to the same meeting?”

“You forgot, Mr. ‘I Run An Evil Law Firm and am going to lecture Buffy right before she dies,’” Buffy supplied.

“And why is Spike not going to be there?”

“Shiny baubles and pretty gems.”

Anya perked up, “You know, since you and Spike blew up Sunnydale, and the Magic Box with it, I should be compensated.”

Buffy rolled her eyes and prepared to enter the library.

***

Giles looked at his slayer and a blond girl that he didn’t know as they entered the library. He wondered if anyone else could sense the change in her. The two girls seem to radiate power and confidence; their eyes sparkling with both life and knowledge.

He held his breath as they stopped before the tables containing everyone. He was still unsure about why she had requested this strange mixture of people, but it was easier to assemble them then to argue with her.

Buffy stopped at the table that contained the core scoobies and perched herself there.

Anya eyed the group and decided to have a bit of fun. Walking over to the other table she perched herself in between where Faith and Andrew sat, making sure that her good side was facing Xander and Giles.

With a sardonic smile, Buffy began her speech, “Hi, for whoever doesn’t know me, my name is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Cept’ here is the deal; I am not your chosen one anymore. That honor goes to Faith. She is the freakin’ chosen one.”

Xander and Willow began to argue and Faith looked stunned. Anya decided it was time to interfere. She jumped off the table and sauntered over to where the pair was arguing. She leaned down, grabbed Xander and kissed him hard. Before he could react, she slapped him.

“That’s for leaving me at the altar you jerk. You can just find your own date to the prom.” Turning to Buffy, “I’m done now, would you please just explain already. I didn’t realize I would be back in the twelfth grade and for some strange reason I think I am still flunking math.”

Buffy grinned, this was fun! “Okay, so here’s the deal, this is Anya. She is an ex-vengeance demon. There were three of us who died as a result of an apocalyptic battle. Anya and my ma… um boyfriend… died during the battle and I died a few months afterwards. My fault on the last bit, it was too hard without him. I was off my game and a vamp called me out on it. I lost. Funny thing is, I woke up in my past four years earlier with my boyfriend and a headful of nifty memories including how to allow Anya to come back as well. So here we are, juiced full of memories. Now before you start arguing with me again, there are some things I have to clear up. First, Faith you are coming to live with me. Don’t you dare argue with me, I have four years of slayer moves on you and can kick your ass! Everyone else, Faith is the true slayer, my destiny is tied to the slayer line, but I am NOT the chosen one, anymore. Faith you are part of the family, no arguments.”

Anya perked up, “Don’t forget that Faith has never died and you have managed to do so three different times. That was rather irresponsible of you!”

Buffy grinned, “Yeah rub it in, so Faith is better at this than me, just proves me right.”

Faith looked stunned but happy at the orders to move in, and the rest of the gang seemed to pale. Buffy didn’t know if it was due to the news that she had died three times, that Anya was an ex-vengeance demon, Anya’s kiss or any of the other factors.

Before they had a chance to process anything, Buffy continued, “Before any of you begin to criticize my love life just remember I have four years of blackmail material on you. I can guarantee that everyone in this room is guilty of some crime, of trying to end the world, or is maimed or dead. So please don’t make me pull out the big guns on you. Also, Cordy and Xander – you both need to break up.”

Cordy started to pipe up “You wish,” when Anya interrupted “Never wish deary – the last time you did that everyone got sent to a hellish dimension where you died, and Xander and Willow were vampires. It was quite interesting actually.”

This time Buffy interrupted. “Anyway, trust me, Xander you should already know why Cordy breaks up with you, if not I bet Willow can figure it out. Cordy, after graduation you need to move to L.A. Your future husband will live there and he is everything you have ever wanted. Trust me, your future is there and you and your children are even part of a prophecy. You will be happy again. Xander, your future is here for the moment. If you couldn’t tell, you and Anya almost got married but split up.”

Anya interjects, “Don’t you mean he ran out of his own wedding and then wondered why we couldn’t date again? Even if the orgasms were great, we are not repeating that fiasco.”

Xander paled even further while Buffy rolled her eyes and continued, “Just trust me Xan, I wouldn’t lie to you. Now here is the hardest part - Jonathan and Andrew. Would you guys believe you went evil? But Jonathan redeemed himself by helping me and Andrew eventually fought in the battle against the First Evil. Avoid guys named Warren and stay with the good –k-? As much as everyone is going to hate me for this part, it would probably be helpful to have you research the First. But if you mention ‘going over to the dark side’ I will have to hurt you. Okay that’s it… any questions?”

Everyone looked stunned, Jonathan and Andrew closed their half opened mouths before the lines from Star Wars could be quoted, and Angel cleared his throat. “So when were you planning on telling them that your boyfriend is Spike?”

The scoobies looked horrified and Xander squawked “Spike? As in the bleach blonde menace who just tried to kill us? That Spike? I thought you had better taste then that? How could you Buffy? Didn’t you learn your lesson with your last adventure with bonking the undead?”

Anya interrupted his tirade with a quick glare, “Just like old times, Xander can date demons, cheat on his girlfriend, summon up the dancing damned on a whim, and leave his fiancée at the altar, but Buffy still can’t live her own life?”

Everyone looked stunned as her words sunk in.

Cordy stood up and shrieked at Xander, “We broke up because you were cheating on me? Who the hell do you think you are Xander Harris? And who are you cheating on me with? Wait…… Buffy said ‘ask Willow’? You’re cheating on me with Willow? We are so over!”

As Cordy stormed off, Buffy looks over at the Scoobies, “Oops. I was trying to avoid that. Well I guess this is better then Cordy and Oz finding the two of you kissing at the factory. At least this didn’t result in Cordy being hospitalized.”

Oz stood up and walked away. Meanwhile, Willow had started shaking and crying. Buffy walked over to her friend and tried to hug her, but Willow shrugged her off and ran out of the room.

Anya walked over to Buffy and put her arm around her. “Come on Buffy, let’s get you back to Spike.”

Looking over her shoulder Anya shakes her head at Angel, “Really, you couldn’t keep your mouth shut, could you? It’s not like you ever stick around or actually help her out in a fight. Just come running back from LA all the time. I can’t wait until you leave again!”

Angel looks stunned, “I live in LA?”

“Of course, when do you ever stay? Everyone knows that Dru would have given up eating people for you, or gotten a soul, or hell even a chip in her head if she could have kept her precious Daddy. Buffy would have given up sex to keep you, which I cannot understand, but no. You run off to LA to run an evil law firm with your wife by your side and lecture us on responsibility. No wonder Spike hates you!”

Faith, laughing, follows Anya and Buffy out of the room while the two new housemates discuss furniture. Joyce trailed behind them, shaking her head.

Andrew looks up at Giles with an admiring glance, “So what should we do first, captain?”

Chapter 11 - Gem of Amara

Buffy sighed as she sat through yet another Scooby meeting in the library. The last few weeks had seemed like an eternity with Spike absent for the majority of each day, digging for the Gem of Amara. It was going rather slow since he wanted no additional help. ‘Him against the rock’ or something macho like that.

Xander had finally started to calm down. Cordy breaking up with him had affected him deeply. As a result, he was too busy wallowing in self-pity to berate Buffy further about her love life. She knew that holding the previous four years against him was unfair since technically he hadn’t done anything yet, but he was hard to stop herself when he was grating on her nerves.

Willow seemed to be blossoming under their eyes. Once the shock wore off, Oz had returned to her. It had, however, been rough for a couple of weeks. Once Willow regained her composure she had started to badger Buffy, and strangely enough Spike, about whether or not Oz would forgive her.

Finally Spike had come up with the right thing to say. He told her that none of the future Scooby’s should tell her what happened for a simple reason. On one hand, if he told her that Oz came back she might relax and not do something key to winning him back. On the other hand, if she was not meant to end up with Oz and she found that out, she might change her actions and not end up not with someone in the future because she changed the course of events. If either option was taken, it might negatively impact her future. Willow thought about it, and agreed not to ask anymore questions.

Giles had started to train both Amy and Willow in refining their control over the magics they wielded. After graduation Amy was going to England to study with the coven. Hopefully, it would prevent her from going bad, but if not, they should have an early warning and the coven would be able to help fight her. It probably would have been easier to let her turn herself into a rat again, but getting tied up and set on fire hadn’t been in Buffy’s plans this year. Willow probably should have gone to England as well, but they would wait to handle that until after Willow had met Tara and they’d defeated Adam.

The back of Buffy’s neck began to tingle and she started to squirm in her seat. Wetness flooded her, *Damn, Spike is thinking wicked thoughts and is almost here. Wonder what he is doing out of the tunnel?*

Buffy tried to concentrate on what Giles was saying, but the blond vampire was projecting his thoughts. She didn’t get a word for word overview like some watchers’ had theorized, but she did get a distinct feeling of what he was feeling and boy was he was taking advantage of that fact.

Finally, Buffy got up from the table and started to pace, oblivious to the stares she was getting. *When that bleached blonde comes out from the sewers, we are going to have a talk!*

Just then the door flew open to the library and there Spike stood, bathed in sunlight from a nearby window. Buffy took one look and ran over to him, jumping up so that she would land straddling his midsection forcing him to support her legs with his arms. She began kissing him all over. Spike had found the gem!

***

Buffy leaned over Spike and began to trail kisses down his chest. He looked so beautiful laying there on her bed, the sunshine playing off his features. It was something she had never thought she would see again.

Sighing she snuggled into him, her body satiated from the preceding hours of lovemaking. “Next time you decide to carry me out of the library for a sex fest could you do so when there are fewer witnesses?”

“Sure pet,” Spike said with a smug look at his face, “Course it would be a lot less obvious if you weren’t unbuttoning my shirt in the library. Things like that are dead giveaways.”

Buffy smacked him and pouted, “Not my fault, you were thinking dirty thoughts at me!”

Spike propped himself up on his elbow, allowing his heated gaze to roam over her naked body. “Sure pet, have to control those dirty thoughts. Wouldn’t want you to know I was thinking about touching you here,” his hand cupped her breast, “or here,” running his hand down to her trimmed mound.

Running his finger along her clit she half gasped, half groaned. She was still tender from his earlier ministrations.

“Wouldn’t want you to know I was thinking about doing this,” Slowly his mouth lowered down upon her. Gently he took her into his mouth, running his tongue along the sweet folds of her flesh. He was pleased that she was wet again, and by the way she was trying not to squirm or arch her back, he could tell she was eager for him.

“Spike, please…”

“Please what Slayer?”

“Please… please fuck me… I can’t stand it.”

Spike chucked and gently teased her with his mouth, running soft kisses and gentle nips along her mound.

Buffy felt like she was going to scream in frustration. Spike was teasing her, which she loved, but if he didn’t relieve the pressure that was building up in her, she couldn’t be held responsible for her actions.

Finally Buffy could stand it no more and used her slayer strength to push Spike away from her. Before he could pout, she had him flat on his back and had rammed herself down on him. Her eyes closed with the pleasure of it, as she threw her head back. The feel of his rock hard cock buried deep inside her always gave her a primal sense of satisfaction. Slowly she began to rock back and forth, getting her body re-accustomed to his length. She loved being on top, the control was an aphrodisiac and the way his cock filled her in this position was unbelievable.

Faster and faster she began to rock, lifting her hips slightly in order to feel the most amount of friction. Finally unable to contain herself she began to whimper.

Spike realizing that she was about to come, grabbed her hips and began a faster rhythm, lifting her up and slamming her back down on his cock. Finally Buffy screamed her release at the same time that Spike lost control. She slumped down on him as they both nuzzled each other’s necks. Mates.

***

Anya and Faith were walking home from the Scooby meeting when they heard the screams coming from their new residence.

Faith smirked, “They’re at it again, what’cha say we head down to the Bronze and play some pool until the action calms down here?”

Anya smiled mischievously, “…or until the action picks up there?”

“Damn girl, you read my mind”

Faith and Anya laughed and headed towards the Bronze.

Chapter 12 - Identity Issues

Spike was sitting back looking smug. Everything was falling into place. Giles had gotten Spike a set of papers making him legally ‘William Randy Giles’, a long-lost cousin of Rupert’s. The papers were good enough to fool everyone, including the council. To bad the only ones who got the joking reference were the three who lived through Willow’s Tablua Rasa spell. He didn’t really want to have to live with that moniker, but Buffy had pouted so prettily, did that hair flip thing, and flashed her half-smile. He couldn’t say no.

Buffy was bouncing in her seat with excitement. She couldn’t wait until this meeting was over. Spike had arranged for her mom to sell off the jewels of Amara, with a sweet commission for Joyce. The money transfer was coming in this afternoon and then the shopping could begin! After paying off the house and car, they were scheduled to meet an agent at the bank to buy the Magic Box for Giles and Anya. They would have to share it, but it would make a nice present for Giles when he got fired, plus Anya would be happy to have something constructive to do again. She couldn’t wait for everything to be finalized so she could tell them about their present.

Anya looked around the room and was trying to refrain from telling everyone how bored she was. She didn’t know why they still had to have Scooby meetings when they pretty much knew everything that was going to happen for the next four years. Giles was researching the First, Andrew was researching the Mayor’s Accession, and Jonathon was trying to figure out how to identify potential slayer’s without going through either the First’s minions or the Council lackey’s. She just wished she could be somewhere else at the moment. Perhaps after the meeting, she and Faith could go play pool before patrol. She always enjoyed playing pool at the Bronze with Faith. All those sweaty and glistening bodies around stirred her imagination.

Giles looked at the group before him, wondering why they were so adamant about not asking the Council for help. Snapping to attention he stared at Buffy.

“Giles are you listening?”

“Sorry Buffy what was that?”

“I said that there was no way in hell you are putting me through that ‘It’s Buffy eighteenth birthday so let’s strip her of all her powers’ thingy. Besides that didn’t go so well last time it was tried, so call up the Council and tell them to back off or I quit.”

Giles looked flabbergasted, “You can’t quit the Council.”

“Sure I can! I did it before.”

Anya looked amused, “Besides it’s not like they actually contribute anything. All they managed to do was to get blown up. The majority of them all die before any of us do.”

Giles paled and started to clean his glasses. “Good Lord”.

The moment the meeting was over, Giles was herding the group out of the library. Chaotic thoughts were swirling around in his mind. The Slayer’s birthday, what he was suppose to do, wondering what he had done, Buffy quitting the Council, the Council getting blown up. It was too much for him to process by himself. Picking up the phone he dialed the number for Quentin Travers.

***

Giles stared at the phone in shock. He had been explaining about the slayer coming back from the future and Quentin had laughed at him. Quentin had arrogantly declared that it was impossible for the Slayer to have traveled to the past without the Watchers Council’s knowledge.

When Giles had pointed out the fallacy in that statement and mentioned the knowledge of future events that Buffy had retained, including the Cruciamentum, Travers had become furious. He accused Giles of warning Buffy about the ceremony and then coming up with a ‘idiotic cover story’.

After several heated moments, Quentin had ordered Giles to administer the required shots despite the Slayer’s knowledge. Upon his refusal, Quentin had fired him.

Giles continued standing and staring at the phone in shock. *I’m fired?*

Anya chose that moment to walk into the library.

“Giles have you seen Faith - we were suppose to go play pool? I wanted to hustle College Boys for money, like Spike showed me.” Not getting a response, she walked up closer to him, “Giles is something going on? Your staring at the phone like it bit you and I don’t remember anything like that happening.”

Giles looked at the attractive blonde before him, “I was fired!”

Anya looked unconcerned, “Oh that … they are about a week or so early. I wouldn’t worry about it though; you become a successful business man and out live them all.”

Seeing that her words didn’t seem to comfort him like they should have, Anya decided another tactic was in order. Moving closer to him, she hugged him. Pressing her body flush against his, her arms held him tightly. *Everyone likes a hug, it should make him feel better.*

As the hug progressed longer then what is considered to be polite or normal, Giles became aware of several things at once. First, he really had stopped thinking about the fact that he had just been fired. Second, Anya’s body was still molded tightly against his. He could feel every nuance of her body. It felt like heaven. Third, his body had started to react to the lithe body pressed up next to him and if didn’t stop the embrace soon, he would embarrass himself.

Anya was enjoying the hug and realized that she hadn’t held anyone like this since Xander and she broke up. Inhaling deeply she savored the scent of ‘Mark and Spencer’s Wood Spice’ coming from Giles. Sighing she shifted so she could lay her head on his chest. It dawned on her that this probably went beyond the norms of a polite comforting hug; but it felt so wonderful. With another sigh she started to back away from Giles, but not before noticing the slightly dazed look on his face.

“I am sorry you were fired Giles, but it will get better. I know from experience. Perhaps you would like to come play with Faith and I?”

Giles shifted trying to get comfortable in his suddenly too tight pants. “That’s quite all right Anya,” he stammered, “I will just call Spike and Buffy with the news. I am sure that the Council will not let Buffy’s birthday go by just because they fired me.”

Anya gave him another look that he couldn’t quite identify, “If you change your mind, we will be playing pool at the Bronze.” Turning, she left the room with Giles staring silently after her.

Chapter 13

Author's Note: NC-17 for sex and slash. There is a lot of sex (B/S) and a lot of slash (not them of course). If it is not your thing then skip the next chapter. I will put a summary up for the next chapter so you won’t miss the plot. But you will miss some stuff - just can't help it.

Also a huge thank you to Tasha, who helped me write some of the parts I was having trouble with. It wouldn’t be as good without her.

***

Quentin Travers hung up the phone and leaned back in his chair. Everything was falling into place nicely. Wesley Wyndam-Pryce would be on his way to Sunnydale in a few hours, along with the special operations team who would take part in the Slayer's ritual. Wesley was very open to taking direction and wouldn’t give him the problems that Rupert Giles did.

The young watcher would have a few days to prepare the injections and observe the strange dynamics that Rupert had allowed to develop. If the situation did not meet the approval of the council, then Ms. Summers would accompany the special ops team back to headquarters for reorientation, while Wesley and Faith contained the hellmouth. It was a perfect plan, assuming that Ms. Summers lived through the ritual. The rebellious Slayer would learn that she belonged to them, one way or another.

***

Faith and Anya were dancing on the floor of the Bronze. The music was loud and pulsating and both girls moved with sensual abandon. The movements complimented each other, and there wasn't anyone who could resist staring.

They were like day and night; light complimenting dark. They danced intertwined, hands running up their own bodies, writhing in pleasure as the music hit crescendo after crescendo. As their energies flowed, their bodies moved, and their lips met.

***

Buffy's eyes flashed blue as she circled her prey. This vampire was in her territory. This was her town tonight and anything undead or demony would answer to her.

But this vampire was hers in a more primal sense. She knew this one. She knew how he fought and she knew how it felt to have his fangs penetrate her yielding flesh. To fill herself with the sensation of death and the pain of love lost, and find her release in the draining of life. Fists and fangs. Life against death. She lifted the stake to strike ….

As the demon’s dust swirled around her, Buffy began to hunt for her next prey. She launched herself at the bleached blonde vampire who had been watching her. Straddling him she bit deeply, "MINE".

***

Wesley boarded the plane, deep in thought. In about 15 hours his plane would land in California and he would be responsible for not one slayer, but two. The reports he read of Ms. Summers and her counterpart Faith, led him to believe that Rupert Giles should have been fired a long time ago.

Wesley considered Rupert Giles' actions ludicrous and a slap in the face of the Council. From allowing civilians into their inner circle to associating with souled vampires, this sort of thing was simply not done. Personally he didn't understand why the council had not stepped in a long time ago.

Wesley set the folder back into his leather valise. He'd spent every minute he wasn't packing, reading all of the information available on the Sunnydale Slayer. His father was adamant that this was his big chance to prove himself to the Council. He'd fought all his life for his father's approval. If the Council wanted Ms. Summers evaluated, he would do it with the piercing eye of the Council. He would prove to his father and Quentin Travers that he was the man to be counted on.

***

The music pulsated in the Bronze, bodies writhed on the dance floor, yet Faith and Anya were stopped, frozen in time as their lips caressed each other. Needs flared and no words were spoken. They were simply friends, taking comfort in each other, expressing themselves in a display of fiery passion. Gender held no meaning, flesh was flesh and their bodies sought the comforts therein.

Faith pulled Anya off of the dance floor; Anya pushed Faith against the wall. Their bodies pressed against each other. Faith moaned under Anya's bold exploration. Anya whimpered as Faith licked, sucked and nibbled anything and everything that wasn't covered by the flimsy tank top.

No one could see them in the darkened corner, but it wouldn't have mattered. They were lost in a world of sensation; of lips and tongues, of caresses and bites, of need and passion; of respect and desire.

Anya ran her hand under Faith’s shirt, cupping her breasts while she suckled on her neck. Faith responded by grinding her hips against Anya’s body. The studded belt that Faith wore, rubbed against Anya’s bare belly and jeans. Her tongue darted out and flicked over the nipples which were straining against the fabric constraining them. The music was still pounding in the background but they were oblivious. The only thing that mattered was the heat which had flared between them.

"Home," Faith managed to get out between kisses and nibbles. "Now." She was barely able to keep from removing the other girl’s clothing. Anya nodded. For once, she had lost the capacity for speech.

***

Spike had already been in game face before Buffy sunk her fangs into him. It had been hard to watch her fight the vampire that had killed her in Los Angeles, but he knew that it was something she needed to do on her own. She had won easily this time around and it filled him with a sense of pride to see how quickly she had defeated him.

Spike shifted the Slayer and bit down over his previous marks. He felt the rich flavor of Buffy enter his mouth, and savored the blood before he swallowed. Growling with desire and need, he let go of her neck. "MINE". Furiously he began to tear at her clothes, needing to be completely in her.

The coupling was fast and furious. Pushing Buffy against the wall of the crypt he plunged inside of her. Faster and faster he thrust into her, as Buffy pushed against the wall, trying to get more and more of Spike.

Buffy whimpered with need, she was close to coming. One more thrust … Spike sank his teeth into Buffy sucking her blood as he slammed into her. Buffy screamed in pleasure as the double penetration of Spike's fangs and cock sent her over the edge.

***

Wesley began to nod off. He was half-way through the flight and his research of the slayer was progressing nicely. According to the Council’s records that had been gathered from both Rupert Giles and various informants in and around Sunnydale, the two Slayers were talented but undisciplined.

Even the mere existence of two slayers had been causing the Council problems. Ever since Buffy Summer’s had died at the hands of the Master, the Council had been having difficulties pinpointing which girls would be called next.

The Council had often wondered what would happen if Ms. Summers died again. Would they have another Slayer called? If she returned to England it would certainly be worth testing. Not killing her permanently of course, just for a few seconds. With the thoughts of Buffy’s impending death, Wesley finally drifted off to sleep.

***

Faith was the first to get naked. She hadn’t felt such passion and desire in a long time. She ached with need and anticipation.

Anya blinked in awe at Faith's body. She stepped forward, tracing her fingertips over Faith's shoulders, and then moved her hand around Faith's breast. Teasing the nipple until it hardened she felt herself grow even wetter.

Faith trembled with need. She was trying to slow down, but her desires were driving her now. Unable to endure it any longer she ripped Anya’s panties off of her. Now there was nothing separating them.

Anya pushed the Slayer onto the bed and straddled her. She ground her body against Faith’s and moaned as their bodies touched, grinding into her with need and desire. She switched angles so that she could rub herself on Faith’s leg while capturing the other’s girl’s clit with her hand.

Faith's back arched off the bed. "Oh, God." She was by no means a virgin, but this was different from anything she'd experienced before. Anya seemed to know where to touch, to massage and how much pressure to apply. The line between pain and pleasure was thin and Anya knew exactly how far to take her without pushing her over.
Anya looked down at Faith through hooded eyes. Faith was so responsive to her touch. It excited her more. She knew what she liked, and she applied that knowledge to Faith's body. She bent down, captured Faith's free nipple into her mouth, and bit it hard, sucking her breast while her fingers moved faster and harder. Faith was a slayer and gentle would not bring her to orgasm.

Faith rocked her hips against Anya's in a desperate need for more friction. She closed her eyes and bit her own lip hard as she broke over the top of her climax. She buried her face into Anya's shoulder to muffle the screams in her throat.

Anya felt Faith shudder underneath her. She pulled hard on Faith's clit one last time. She took Faith's hand in hers and buried four of Faith's fingers into her pussy without any need for stretching. She was beyond wet, and she needed to be filled to send her over. She flicked her own clit twice, and she crashed over the precipice of ecstasy.

Anya collapsed on top of Faith. Faith turned them both so that they were lying side by side. Faith wrapped her arm around the blonde, and Anya laid her head on the Slayer’s chest. Both of them drifted to sleep, calm and at peace for the first time in a very long time. They would deal with each day as it came, but tonight they'd found a kindred spirit in each other.

***

Spike licked the claiming marks he had reopened on Buffy's neck. She tasted glorious… of power, strength and an essence that was bound to both his demon and his soul. They had patrolled enough for now. It was time to go home.

Picking Buffy up he decided to take her to his old crypt instead. It was closer, and he didn’t want to wait. Buffy nuzzled into him, running her tongue gently over the claim marks. He quickened his pace and kicked open the door. Thankfully he’d had the foresight to maintain his place in case the gang needed an emergency get-away.

Laying Buffy on the bed he stripped off the remainder of their clothes and cuddled into her. Their bodies flush against each other; they enjoyed the sensation of flesh. Biting each other they drifted off to sleep with their fangs buried in the other’s neck.


***

Wesley's plane pulled into LAX, and he picked up the car that the Council had provided for him. He would be driving down separately from the special operations team. He wanted to get to Sunnydale as soon as possible. Something told him that he’d need all his patience and training to deal with the two Slayers.

***

Faith and Anya awoke the next morning wrapped in each other's arms. Each knew that they had shared something special the night before. Both women were satiated for the time being, but they knew they would make better friends then lovers. They both craved male companionship and sex, but that didn’t mean that they couldn’t share times like this together; until they found the person they were meant to be with.

***

Buffy and Spike awoke after a few hours of sleep. They moved as one, touched each other, and caressed each other. Although they had no idea that danger was just on the horizon, they knew they would face their future together. They were mates, and nothing could separate them. They'd learned their lessons. Now they had a chance to love each other, and they weren't going to give that up.

***

Wesley pulled up to his new apartment. After a few hours of sleep he would track his new charges down. It was almost time to administer the test. He'd have to deal with Rupert Giles first. With the special operations at his disposal, he figured he could get rid of the man if necessary. Surely he wouldn't pose that much of a problem.

***

Chapter 14
Summary: After Quentin Travers fired Giles, he sent Wesley to Sunnydale to administer the ritual on Buffy’s birthday. Wesley is also supposed to evaluate the situation and if necessary have Buffy go back to England for reorientation. Meanwhile Faith and Anya get together while Spike and Buffy have sex in the cemetery after Buffy stakes the vampire she fought in LA. During Wesley’s flight and trip to Sunnydale he considers whether or not another Slayer will be called if Buffy dies and also whether or not he will have to “care of” Rupert Giles while the special operations team is there. Buffy and Spike are oblivious to the danger while Anya and Faith have awoken in each other’s arms.

Author’s Note: Thanks to Screaming Flamingos for the idea about Anya .
***

It started simple, Buffy thought, but then again, doesn’t it always? When Wesley Wyndam-Pryce arrived in Sunnydale he had waited until the morning and then walked into the library as if he had owned it. She and Faith had been in a discussion with Giles over whether they should take out the mayor now while he was still mortal, or wait until he became demon.

The real question was the sanctity of human life. Should they kill a human, albeit an evil human, or should they wait for him to become a demon, risking the innocent lives that he would no doubt kill? Sure they could try the police, but frankly the mayor owned the police. The Feds? Like they would ever believe how dangerous he was! All it would take would be for him to summon one demon and he would be free.

The discussion had waged on between the three of them. The Slayers were in agreement that the mayor should be killed. Giles was resistant, believing that there had to be something else that they could do. It took all of Buffy’s strength to not blurt out that Giles should not be so judgmental. She knew he had killed Ben. But that was another time, literally.

Wesley had chosen that moment to interrupt them. He walked up to them and introduced himself as their new watcher. With a cold glance he had dismissed Giles and immediately started to lecture Buffy and Faith on the proper place of the Slayer. What the hell were they, puppies?

After a few minutes, Faith had simply walked off. It was funny how that was reminiscent of their first meeting in her prior life. This time, however, Buffy didn’t go after Faith. She knew the younger slayer just needed to blow off some steam and would be back sooner or later. Besides, Willow had been tutoring the girl in the basic skills needed to pass her GED and they had a session scheduled for three o’clock. It had been Anya’s suggestion so that Faith could ‘increase her earning potential.’

Buffy had attempted to explain to Wesley that Giles knew the situation best and was ideally suited to help them. When that hadn’t worked she had tried the “perhaps they could work together” approach. Finally she had pulled out the “I have four years of knowledge as a present from the Powers That Be” argument on Wesley. The man had accused her of lying and then proceeded to tell her that he was her Watcher and that she was to obey him. Obey? That had caused her to storm out as well.

Things went downhill from there. Fast.

***

“Vengeance Demon? You are associating with a Vengeance Demon?”

Anya looked at the annoying man who was yelling at Faith, “Actually Wesley, technically I am a former Vengeance Demon as I gave up my powers to return to this timeline with Buffy and Spike. Plus I technically am not an associate. Friend, orgasm buddy, roommate; those would all be more accurate terms. For a Watcher you are very inaccurate. No wonder they fire you as well. ”

Spike smirked as he watched the scene unfold before him. He had shown up at the library to see if his girls had convinced Rupes to let him kill the mayor yet. Instead, he found that Wesley had shown up and was yelling at his girls. Willow, who had been tutoring Faith, looked like she wanted to be anywhere but there. Giles on the other hand looked like he was having fun.

“Anya, do tell - they fire Wesley as well?”

“Of course they did Giles. I mean they only fired you because of fatherly love or something like that, but Wes was fired for incompetence. That was before the First started killing potentials and their Watcher’s, so you’re rather lucky about being fired.”

Wesley sputtered, “Well now I have proof that you are lying. The Council would never fire me. I cannot believe that you have allowed this to go on Mr. Giles. This nonsense has to stop. Faith you will move out of the Summers’ household at once. You can live with me. Ms. Summers will go through the Cruciamentum on her birthday and you will all stop this nonsense about time travel.”

Spike’s eyes flashed yellow, “My mate will not go through any test for your stupid council.”

Wesley paled, “Mate?” Turning he ran out of the library.

Spike growled and stalked off to find Buffy. Anya and Faith hurried after the vampire.

Willow turned to Giles with a puzzled look, “Orgasm buddies?”

***

Wesley picked up the phone and called the Council headquarters.

“I need to speak to Quentin Travers, NOW!”

“Yes sir, I know it’s early in the morning, but this couldn’t wait.”

“It’s about Buffy Summers, she is mated to a vampire.”

“No sir, apparently everyone knew but us.”

“No the other Slayer knew, apparently she lives with the vampire and a Vengeance Demon.”

“Are you sure sir? Isn’t that a little extreme? Okay, sorry sir. It’s not my place to question. Yes sir.”

Wesley hung up the phone and started to pack. He was going back to England.

Across town another man was hanging up the phone. “That was Travers, we have new orders. Stake the vamp, he is no longer needed for the Cruciamentum. It’s to be a clean sweep. Kill them all.”

***

Anya was the first to realize the problem. Faith had decided to patrol, so Anya returned to the library. She wanted to talk to Giles to find out if he knew anything about the Magic Box yet. She knew that Spike and Buffy had bought it for them, but they hadn’t told her about the purchase yet. It was so frustrating to try and pretend to be ignorant of the surprise. But in the alternate timeline Xander had told her it was rude to tell people that she figured out the surprise before they gave it to her. She as suppose to act surprised anyway. Humans were strange that way.

It’s not like much surprised her anymore; she had taken over all of Joyce’s and Spike’s bookkeeping. It was a good thing to; didn’t people understand budgets and investments? The sale of the gems had provided the Summers household with plenty of money and they were just going to leave it in their accounts. Finally Anya had gotten frustrated with the lack of capital gains and took over all the accounts. Besides, she could earn a commission this way.

Anya was deep in her mussing when she noticed a glint of metal in a nearby tree. Looking up she realized that there was a man with a gun. Confused she mentally calculated where the gun would be aiming for…

“GILES!!!!!!!!!!!!” Anya screamed and took off for the library.

***

Giles was shelving books in the library when he heard Anya’s scream. He turned to see why she was yelling, when a shot rang out. His turn towards Anya saved his life; the bullet that had been aimed for his heart entered his shoulder. The impact caused his to lose his balance, falling he hit his head on the bookshelf. Anya ran up to him and dragged the unconscious Watcher behind the bookshelf. She pulled out her new cell phone and dialed 911.

***

Across town Faith was heading towards the cemetery to patrol when she spotted Wesley exiting his apartment. He had just started to load his suitcases in the car when three vampires stepped out of the shadows and began to attack. Faith sighed *watcher-dude can’t even go five minutes without attracting trouble.*

The lead vampire had managed to grab Wesley and began to drain him when Faith stepped up. In a flurry of kicks and punches she had staked them all. Wesley looked at her confused. “You… you saved me!”

Faith rolled her eyes, “yeah watcher-man, that’s what I do. You know slayer and all.”

“Wesley stuttered… “But…but you’re a rogue. You live with a vengeance demon and a vampire. You refuse to follow your watcher’s orders… why did you save me?”

“Look, not much of a follower here. But I do my job, save the world, and all that jazz.”

Wesley looked up at her stunned and confused. He knew what the Council had always told him, but the wild slayer had just saved his life. He reached out and stroked her cheek, not noticing that she flinched and stepped back.

“Okay not much with the touchy feely here. Just where are you going anyway… thought you just arrived?”

Faith’s question seemed to snap Wesley out of his daze. “Run Faith”

“What? I don’t run, and if you haven’t noticed, the vamps are dust.”

“No, run… the Council has just declared the Sunnydale Slayers rogue. The special operations team is here to kill you.”

Faith gasped and her eyes flashed in fury. Wesley had stood up and tried to go back to the car. Faith grabbed him. “You’re coming with me.”

Faith pulled out her new cell phone. In frustration she threw it down. She had forgotten to charge it again.

***

Chapter 15

Anya was the first to realize the problem. Faith had decided to patrol, so Anya returned to the library. She wanted to talk to Giles and find out if he knew anything about the Magic Box yet. She knew that Spike and Buffy had bought it for them, but they hadn’t told her about the purchase yet. It was so frustrating to try and pretend to be ignorant of the surprise. In the alternate timeline Xander had told her it was rude to tell people when she figured out a surprise before it was given to her. Then, on top of it all, she was still supposed to act surprised regardless. Humans were strange that way.

It’s not like much surprised her anymore; she had taken over all of Joyce’s and Spike’s bookkeeping. It was a good thing too; didn’t people understand budgets and investments? The sale of the gems had provided the Summers’ household with plenty of money and they were just going to leave it in their accounts. Finally, Anya had gotten frustrated with the lack of capital gains and took over all their finances. Besides, she could earn a commission this way.

Anya was deep in her musing when she noticed a glint of metal in a nearby tree. Looking up she realized that there was a man with a gun. Confused she mentally calculated where the gun would be aiming…

“GILES!!!!!!!!!!!!” Anya screamed and took off for the library.

Giles was shelving books in the library when he heard Anya. He’d turned to see why she was yelling when a shot rang out. Her frantic screams had saved his life; the bullet that had been aimed for his heart entered his shoulder instead. The impact of the high-caliber round caused him to lose his balance. Falling, he hit his head on the bookshelf. Anya ran up to him and dragged the unconscious Watcher to a protected area of the library. She pulled out her new cell phone and dialed 911.

***

Across town Faith was heading towards the cemetery to patrol when she spotted Wesley exiting his apartment. He had just started to load his suitcases in the car when three vampires stepped out of the shadows and began to attack. Faith sighed *watcher-man can’t even go five minutes without attracting trouble.*

The lead vampire had managed to grab Wesley and began to drain him when Faith stepped up. Her first kick dislodged the vampire whose fangs were buried deep in the junior watcher’s neck. Before Wesley’s frail body could hit the ground, Faith had staked his would-be murderer. In a flurry of kicks and punches she dusted the remaining blood-suckers. Wesley looked at her confused. “You… you saved me?”

Faith rolled her eyes, “yeah watcher-man, that’s what I do. You know slayer and all.”

“Wesley stuttered… “But…but you’re a rogue. You live with a vengeance demon and a vampire. You refuse to follow your watcher’s orders… why did you save me?”

“Look, not much of a follower here. But I do my job, save the world, and all that jazz.”

Wesley looked up at her stunned and confused. He knew what the Council had always told him, but the wild slayer had just saved his life. He reached out and stroked her cheek, not noticing that she flinched and stepped back.

“Okay not much with the touchy feely here. Just where are you going anyway… thought you just got here?”

Faith’s question seemed to snap Wesley out of his daze. “Run Faith”

“What? Hey, I don’t run. If you haven’t noticed, the vamps are dust.”

“No, run… the Council has just declared the Sunnydale Slayers rogue. The special operations team is here to kill you.”

Faith gasped and her eyes flashed in fury. Wesley had stood up and tried to go back to the car. Faith grabbed him. “You’re coming with me.”

Faith pulled out her new cell phone. In frustration she threw it down, shattering it into countless pieces. She had forgotten to charge it again.

***

Buffy and Spike were warming up in the Magic Box; enjoying the fact that for the moment they had a “secret place.” The workman had finished the training room this afternoon. It was amazing how the promise of a five hundred dollar per day bonus for finishing early would entice some workers. The workman had completed the job five days early earning them an extra $2,500 to split among themselves.

Every last detail of the original Magic Box had been recreated, with the addition of a small computing center in the upstairs loft. Deciding that since they now had three computer experts in the Scooby gang they should set up a state of the art network. Besides, once Angel left for LA they could add a remote connection and have access to all of his and Wesley’s information as well.

Spike had been very proud of himself; he had been attempting to search online for computer supplies when he managed to stumble across the “bookmark” for Willow’s online wish list. Deciding it would be easier to order her a complete system rather than trying to figure it out himself; he promptly ordered three of everything. Of course, once it all arrived, he had taken one look at it and decided that Willow would want to set it up herself. So Willow, Jonathan and Andrew’s computers were sitting boxed up and waiting for them upstairs. *hmmm,* Buffy mused, *I always thought that computers came in one piece, not 20 boxes. Hard ram’s, floppy chips, whatever the hell it was, it all sounds vaguely sexual.*

Their warm-up session was finished so Buffy and Spike began to spar. It seemed like a beautiful yet deadly dance, a form of foreplay, when suddenly both their cell phones rang simultaneously.

“It bloody hell better not be another apocalypse, you said there wasn’t one due for at least a week! I KNEW we shouldn’t have gotten these evil things.” Snarling, Spike picked up the phone, a line popped into his head from the movie, ‘Independence Day’ - “If this is not an insanely beautiful woman, I’m hanging up!”

Buffy was attempting to control her laughter at Spike’s antics. Hitting him on the back of the head she answered her phone “Hello?”

Both blondes wore identical expressions of panic. Their eyes flashed, and fangs descended. “WHAT!?” They barked out orders for the callers to stay exactly where they were and told them that they were on their way.

Buffy and Spike looked at each other’s furious faces and knew that the news the other had could not be good.

Spike started, “That was Faith, - The Council is trying to kill you both. We have to meet her at Jonathan’s house. She took cover there and has Wesley with her.”

Buffy’s eyes seemed to glow with anger, “That was Anya,” she spat out, “apparently the Council started out by shooting Giles. They are at the hospital.”

After a quick but heated discussion, Spike and Buffy decided to split up. Since she would be a primary target, Buffy was to head to Jonathon’s and take cover. Spike would try to get a hold of the other Scoobies and direct them to meet Faith and Buffy. He would join them after he sprung Giles from the hospital. There was a good chance that the Council would attack again and this time Giles might not survive.

Buffy looked over the weapons that they brought from her house this morning and chose a double-edge battle axe as her primary defense weapon. After some thought she tucked a few stakes into her boots and pants and strapped a crossbow onto her back for emergencies. Finally satisfied that she should be able to protect herself, she stopped and grabbed her cell phone.

Spike looked up, “Red is at her house and she is calling dog-boy and the Whelp. They will meet her there. Oz will drive everyone from Red’s. Once you get there, she will try to use one of those protection spells she has been practicing to keep everyone safe until the group meets up.”

Giving Buffy a searing kiss goodbye Spike continued, “I’ll call your Queen C next and have her pick up Tucker’s brother and Peaches next. They can meet you at the Shrimp’s house. That puts a witch and a get-away vehicle in each group for protection. I’ll be there as soon as I kidnap your watcher from the hospital. That should take care of anyone they could think of going after.”

Buffy smiled as she left the Magic Box. She normally hated not being in charge, but she couldn’t fault his logic. She was the primary target, and the less she was running around the less danger they all were in. Deep in thought, she didn’t notice the human who was tracking her, nor the one who was concealed in the shadows, watching the vampire.

***
Chapter 16

Buffy silently walked towards Willow’s house. Her troubled thoughts were centered on the newest danger they were all in. She should have known that it had been too calm. Life was too simple when she knew what demons were going to appear, what their agenda was, and how to kill them without even breaking a nail. It had been easy slaying when she knew every plot and every motive before it happened.

Now this. Humans creating chaos and trying to kill the Slayers, it never got old. But she really hadn’t foreseen this new insanity from the Council. Now she was confused and upset. What should she expect next? Quentin Travers had never ordered her murder before, well except for the time she was in Faith’s body.

Knowing that the Council was trying to kill both Slayers at the same time made her incredibly sad, and pissed off. They were the Chosen Ones, not the tools of some stupid social club. When was the last time one of them stopped Armageddon? Besides, if they killed her, there was no way that those idiots would be able to stop The First. Hell, they wouldn’t even make it past those strange creatures who would try to open the hell mouth next week.

Sighing in relief, she spotted Oz’s van pulling into Willow’s driveway. She broke into a sprint to catch up to the young man. Silently the two slipped into the house, relieved to see that Willow and Xander were sitting at the kitchen table. “Hey guys. Did you run into any problems?”

Willow looked up startled at the sound of the Slayer’s voice. “Hey Buffy, we were just making a list of things to take over to Jonathon’s. I have all the herbs and stuff for the protection spell, and Xander has gathered everything that could be used as a weapon.”

“Even the frying pans are packed.” Xander added, “In case anybody wants to get medieval with the cookware…or make breakfast.”

Buffy looked relieved, “How long will it take to do the protection spell?”

“I think I can be done in about half an hour. I need to grind up some herbs and make some little pouches.”

Buffy sighed and sat down. It was going to be a long night.

No one noticed the man who had followed Buffy. Nor did they see what he did next.

Half an hour later, Willow finished handing out the leather pouches which were imbued with the protection spells. The somber group picked up their supplies and started to head out to the van. Buffy, Willow and Xander loaded the back of the van with makeshift weapons and magical herbs.

“Is that all Wills?”

“No, we need to grab my computer and the other electronic equipment I laid out on the couch.”

Buffy turned and went back into the house while Willow followed her.

Willow paused as Xander’s voice rang out, “Do you need some manly muscle?”

Willow laughed, and turned to face her best friends, “You boys can sit this one out, I think the girls can manage.”

Oz smiled his familiar grin that made her knees weak. He buckled in, and turned on the car.

****BOOM****

The blast ripped apart the van and knocked Willow into the house where she collapsed on her knees. Buffy ran out to her friend. They stared at where Oz’s van use to be. It was now a pile of twisted, fiery metal.

Both girls shrieked as one, “NOOOO.”

***

Spike was on his way to the hospital when he felt a wave of anguish and grief consume him. It took a considerable amount of strength to keep his knees from buckling in response to the feelings that had begun to flood him. The emotions coming from his mate were overwhelming. He could feel that she was emotionally devastated and heartbroken. He briefly wondered what could cause his mate this much pain, and then he began to panic at the knowledge that whatever it was, it had to be bad.

Grabbing the phone, he flipped it open and dialed. The only response was a cheerful recording. Swearing he hung up and dialed another number.

Almost hysterical, he barked out his orders. “Demon-girl – there’s something’s wrong with Buffy. I’ve got to find her! Get the Watcher and get out of the hospital. Go to Jonathon’s. Do it now. Otherwise it might be too late.” He listened for a moment. “Call Angel. He should be with Queen C. They can pick you up.”

Spike hung up without saying good-bye. Opening up his senses fully he reached out to his mate. Feeling the connection strengthen, he vamped. Her pain was screaming to him. He began to run at full speed in the direction that he felt she was in.

Derek Anderson, the man who had been following him, tried to keep up but soon lost sight of the demon. He unlocked his cell phone and began to type out a text message: “Vampire on route to Summers. Have Montgomery step up hospital plan. The other vampire and demon are mounting rescue. Take out all 3. I am heading to confirmed location of Faith.”

Anderson pulled out the files and looked through the profiles that surveillance had gathered. He glanced over the page marked Jonathan. This should be a piece of cake.

***

Anya helped Giles into the elevator. She had been trying to think of a distraction that would allow her to sneak past the hospital staff when a Code Blue had rung out over the intercom. The doctors and nurses had rushed by, leaving her free to rescue a drugged up Giles.

She moved quickly, quite aware that every moment she was there, she was in mortal peril. Plus she didn’t want Giles to be injured further; he had always been nice to her, both in this timeline and in the previous life as well. Besides she remembered from Willow’s ‘Tabula Rasa’ spell that he was a good kisser, and goodness knows they needed more of those in this world!

The elevator doors opened and Anya and Giles staggered out. Giles was barely coherent enough to walk and was leaning heavily on Anya. Normally this wouldn’t have been a problem, but they knew there was an urgency to leave. The Council could show up at any time.

Sighing in relief, they spotted Cordy’s car. Angel began to get out in order to greet them. At that moment, a man stepped out of the shadows. “Hello Rupert, Quentin sends his greetings.”

The gun raised and the world seemed to slow down. As the trigger engaged and the hammer of the gun began to fall, Anya pulled Giles close into her, and closed her eyes. Almost instinctively she tried to teleport, briefly forgetting she was human and no longer a demon.

…and opened her eyes to see Faith staring at her. “What the hell?”

Angel watched as Anya and Giles disappeared before his eyes. He didn’t know what was going on, and he really hated that feeling. Cordy pulled the vampire into her car and squealed out of the parking lot. Looking at the brooding man she asked, “So how ‘bout we go to LA early?”

Angel thought about all the changes that were happening and everything that Buffy had hinted would happen. He knew he should stay and fight the good fight with her. She was supposed to his soul mate, and yet she had mated with his arrogant childe. He felt cheated of his destiny. “Let’s go, they’ll call us if it’s apocalyptic.”

***

Spike could easily tell the direction of his mate. Her pain called out to him, it was so intense and overwhelming that it practically radiated off of her like a beacon of anguish.

As he ran, he began to recognize the neighborhood he had entered. This was the way to Red’s house. He felt his stomach tighten as the permutations of what could have happened filled his head.

He smelled smoke and the dual scents of pain and fear. It called to his demon, not with desire but the knowledge that someone had to die for the wrong inflicted on his mate. His demon would not allow whatever happened to go unpunished. His soul gave no dissenting opinion. It sat in tacit approval. It was one of the few times that his warring inner voices were in agreement.

His vision focused on the two girls sobbing in the front yard. The Slayer and Red were there, crying. There was a hunk of twisted metal in the driveway and sirens blaring in the background. It was probably the firefighters or the police on their way. Whoever it was they couldn’t stay. They would be too easy a target in the midst of the ensuing confusion.

He bent down to where the girls were, and ran his hands over each one’s head, caressing their hair in a loving manner. He scooped Buffy up to his chest and held her for a second. Then he looked into her eyes. “What happened luv.”

Buffy just cried harder. Finally Willow looked up at Spike with tears and disbelief in her eyes. “Oz... Xander… Explosion…”

Spike put Buffy down gently, and then cocked his head walking over to the ruins of the van. The sirens were getting louder and he was becoming nervous. He looked at the girls confused and stood there. Inhaling deeply he sighed.

Finally he walked back to the girls. “Luv… there was no one in the van.”

Buffy looked confused. “But…we saw them get in. They were there and now there gone!”

Spike looked at both of them and got on his knees. “Luv, I have never lied to you before. There was no one in the car. I smelled strong magic and a bit of fear, but there are no bodies in that rubble, no Scooby bits, and certainly no one dead in there.”

Willow hiccupped, “Really?”

“Yeah Red, really. Now let’s run. We’ve got to get out of here before the police show up.”

Since Willow was the slowest of the trio, he picked her up and grabbed Buffy’s hand. They took off running in the direction opposite of the sirens.


Chapter 17
Author’s Note: From here on out I will be using ‘single quotes’ to designate thoughts and “double quotes” for dialogue.

***

Andrew stood and stared at the sight. It was kinda … neat.

He had been walking to Jonathon’s because someone had forgotten to pick him up. You would have thought that being the Slayer’s sidekick would have made Cordelia treat him better. He contributed a lot more to the group and he looked way cooler in a cape then she would!

But this sight almost made it worth it. There was Spike, ‘The Hero’, being brave and carrying the weeping Willow from harm’s way. And the brave Slayer, following her man away from the danger and towards the safety of Jonathon’s house.

He sighed in contentment. It was so obvious that the Slayer needed their help. He wondered what she had ever done without them. Perhaps that was why she died so many times, perhaps she knew it and that’s why she had sought him and Jonathon out. Perhaps they had heroically saved her life, and she hadn’t wanted to tell them because she thought they would have been embarrassed.

A dreamy smile crossed his face. He stood there while Spike ran passed him and was jarred out of his trance when Buffy grabbed him and pulled him along towards Jonathan’s.

“OW, OW, that hurts. I can run. Ow not the shirt!”

***

Faith surveyed the room and sighed. She never signed up for any of this! She had been innocently tying up Wesley so he couldn’t escape when Oz and Xander had *popped* into the room, unconscious and smelling faintly of burning petroleum. Jonathon had run over to them, eager to make use of his new first aid certification.

Then before she could do anything more then secure Wesley’s bindings, in *popped* Anya holding up Giles.

Faith stood up and stared at Anya, “What the Hell?”

Crossing over, she firmly pulled Anya into her arms, being careful not to jar Giles. Shaking her head she exclaimed, “What is this ‘Teleportation Day’?”

Before any explanations could be made, the front door flew open as Buffy raced in followed by Spike carrying a still sniffling Willow.


The next twenty minutes were a blur. Willow spotted Oz and Xander unconscious on the floor. She managed to leap out of Spike’s arms and knock Jonathon over in less than thirty seconds. It would have been funny to Spike if Buffy hadn’t started sobbing in his arms.

Anya looked confused. “Why are Willow and Buffy crying?”

Faith listened as Spike outlined the van incident. Her anger grew as she walked across the room. “Wesley, I thought you said the Watcher’s Council were only after Buffy and I? You never mentioned that they were going to try and kill everyone else. I should beat you senseless until you talk, you stupid...”

Buffy walked over and interrupted Faith. In a soft voice she started slowly, “Faith, leave him alone. He has always been an idiot when it came to the Council. He probably didn’t realize they would try to kill all of us.”

Faith backed up and started to turn around when she was startled by a loud slap. She looked up in shock to see a furious Buffy standing over Wesley. “Hey B, I thought you just said we shouldn’t hurt him for this.”

“Yeah, but I remember what he did last time. He was a prick in both timelines.”

Turning she walked back to Spike. “We need answers and we need a game plan. It’s Scooby time.”

***

Buffy slumped her shoulders in exhaustion. The last few hours had flown by in a blur. Surprisingly all the answers had been right before them and the strategic planning had come from the least likely of sources. She was exhausted but happy. Just a little bit longer and all their problems would be solved.

It was Jonathon who noticed that a Council guy was lurking outside of his house. Apparently Andrew and him had been bored one day and decided that as the Slayer’s “associates” they should create surveillance around their homes and nearby “hotspots” in order to preemptively strike the bad guys.

It was rather strange that the duo had come up with almost the same exact plan for a computerized monitoring system that they had in the previous timeline. This time, thank goodness her home wasn’t on the monitor, but other places were such as the larger cemeteries and the outside of Jonathon and Andrew’s home.

She wasn’t surprised with a Star Trek KLAXON had shrilled out of Jonathon’s bedroom. What had surprised her was Andrew and Jonathon running out of the room, and then yelling for everyone to come see. The monitors were impressive, but the man lurking outside of the house made her blood run cold.

Xander, having recovered from his unconscious state had volunteered to go detain the guy and get some answers. They were still not sure how he and Oz got from the van to Jonathon’s house, how Anya managed to teleport, hell they hadn’t even known how many bad guys they would be up against.

Using the monitors to track the Council’s operative they had set up Buffy and Spike to distract him, by giving him a target and then Xander had snuck up and hit him with one of Jonathon’s frying pans. His only regret had been that Willow’s pans had gotten blown up with the van, they were much more effective weapons then the wimpy ones that Jonathon’s parents owned.

One tied up operative, and a tied up watcher later they had still been debating about how to take out the Council. She had been eagerly bouncing up and down wanting to use that Terminator line on one of them, something like “You are already dead to me” since technically they were all dead – blown up when the First orchestrating the bombing of Council headquarters. Spike thought it was cheesy – but she loved that movie, and the line was so neat!

Then the answer presented itself in a nice, neat, and completely boring solution courtesy of Anya. They had been discussing the Council when Jonathon asked what everyone had done when the Council blew up. She had been explaining all the work that Willow and Giles had done to restart the Council when Anya looked at her puzzled.

“You mean that Willow hacked into all the bank accounts and had full access to all their money?”

Buffy shaked her head in an affirmative nod. “Yep.”

“She found ALL their accounts?”

“yeah”

“So why don’t you take their money. It’s hard to put a contract on someone if you can’t pay them.”

“That would take to long, we need them to call off the goon squad now!”

“Honestly Buffy, haven’t you ever heard of Internet banking? They would know instantly.”

Buffy began to laugh almost hysterically. Something that easy couldn’t work against a massive secret organization…. Could it?

***

“Okay Wesley, call Travers.”

“Quentin Travers please? This is Wesley Whydam-Price”

“Travers speaking.”

Spike watched as Buffy squared her shoulders and reviewed all the notes that Anya had written her. Taking the phone from Wesley, she spoke firmly and authoritatively. “Quentin this is Buffy Summers. Have you looked at your bank accounts lately? As of twenty-one hundred hours all your accounts have been depleted and transferred to untraceable accounts that I own. I expect you to call off your hired guns, reinstate my watcher with retroactive pay from the day he was fired, retroactively pay from Faith and I from the day we were called, full heath benefits for us, and ummm… a 401K plan? Oh yeah, and every time we avert an apocalypse each Scoobie gets a 5,000 dollar, oops I mean pound, bonus.”

Buffy looked up to see Anya mouthing the word consultancy, “Oh yeah and any work that non Council people do have to be paid as consultants. “

Quentin started to stutter and refuse when Buffy interuupted him, “You see the great thing about this is if you refuse I just keep all your money. It’s a win-win situation for me. Remember all you council’s guys are already dead to me…”
Everyone groaned and rolled their eyes with the exception of the nerd duo. They flashed her thumbs up. Buffy hung up and waited for the Council to call her back. She had a good feeling about this.

***

Chapter 18 – Explanations Part 2

Buffy leaned back into Spike as she sighed in contentment. It had been a rough week trying to deal with the Council and still research all of the strange happenings that surrounded the gang.

They finally determined that Oz and Xander had teleported out of danger due to Willow’s protection spell implanted on the pouches that she had created. Willow was surprised to find out that she was the cause of the miraculous save. She was still self-conscious in regards to her use of magic.

While Buffy desperately wanted to boost her confidence level, she was weary of letting the young witch know too much about the future. There was so much heartache and bad decisions that had occurred. Hopefully support from the gang would help her realize her full worth independent of the magic.

The Coven was expecting Amy as soon as graduation was over. She had told Willow that she needed her help in a big fight before she went, but in truth she was waiting for Willow to meet Tara. Once the two witches fell in love, Tara could go with Willow for a semester abroad. They would get the chance to study both educationally and magically in England and would ensure two things. Willow had the necessary training needed to help her control her magic and Tara would be safe from harm’s way. Even though Warren shouldn’t be a problem in this timeline she wasn’t going to take the chance against a crazed man with a gun. She had almost lost Xander and Oz to humans. She wouldn’t lose Tara.

While Willow had inadvertently caused Oz and Xander’s teleportation, the question still remained about Anya’s latent ability. The last time she was human she had not retained any of her powers from her time as a Vengeance Demon. She had been fully human and while performing small spells had been relatively easy, she was no where as accomplished as she would have to be in order to perform a teleportation spell.

It was rather amusing to see Anya volunteer to undergo “testing” to determine what skills she still had. Of course the moment Giles had pulled out his notebook to start writing down information she pulled out a time-sheet and “clocked” in for her consultancy worked.

They quickly determined that she was not under the influence of any magical pouches, amulets or related objects. They were pretty sure that Giles wasn’t under any protection, since he had been the only person who had actually received an injury. More experimentation followed with careful applications of the words “I wish”. No wishes had mysteriously come true. Even reconnaissance at the Bronze with unsuspecting people uttering the magic words had yielded no results.

Anya had debated summoning either D’Hofferen or Hallie to see if they had any information on what had happened; however, the three of them remembered how unhappy D’Horrfyn was the last time Anya choose to become human, and they were leery of dealing with him or possible endangering Hallie in this time frame. Anya had confessed to them one night that while in purgatory she had eventually accepted her own death at the hands of the Bringers, but had been haunted by the knowledge that her choices had cost Hallie her existence.

Finally they had researched the spell that Buffy had performed in order for Anya’s future conscious to merge with her demon self and become human. The spell required that Anya’s ‘essence’ for lack of a better word, to be summoned and temporarily merge with her demon self giving both of them full access to her memories, thoughts and feelings. The two had remained separated until an agreement could was reached.

Both sides of her personality had to choose to remain human. If her demon had rejecting her future self, then the Anya they knew would have returned to Purgatory and the demon would retained no knowledge of what had transpired. Anya would still exist in that future they had lived, because it had already happened for them. However the demon Anya would not experience the same things in this timeline because she had not been called to Sunnydale for any vengeance wishes. Just thinking about it made Buffy’s head hurt.

When Anya chose to remain human she “merged” her future self with her present self. After more research they had determined that the merging had resulting in Anya being physically different then her previous human self. She was not a vengeance demon any more, hence the loss of the powers of the wish. However, she did retain the ability to teleport over distances. She had practiced a few short trips to the Magic Box for supplies. She managed those trips perfectly but any long jumps or jumps with multiple people were troublesome. They would have to experiment with her abilities to determine what she would eventually be able to do with practice.

There was also some question on whether she would heal faster or not. Anya had adamantly refused to allow herself to be cut to test the healing potential of her new state.

After a long weekend in Jonathon’s house they had untied Wesley. Buffy knew he would eventually come around, and once he had, he was surprisingly helpful in the research. Buffy could see why Angel would eventually employ him. He would be an excellent resource and perhaps a decent friend once he lost the Council-as-God complex.

The initial doubt seemed to be registering with him already. He had vehemently protested that the operatives had to have gone rouge. After the Council operative laughed at him for his naivety, he had become quiet and contemplative. It was a nice change.

Once he had been released he started to work on researching Buffy’s tiny fangs and mysteriously changing eye color. Giles and Wesley had debated the “facts” for quite a while and quite loudly.

Some of their more interesting theories were whether this had been a function of the mating process, a result of time travel, or due to the fact that she lived even after being killed by vampires twice.

Finally she got bored and told them that the changes felt more like the changes she had undergone while under the empowering spell she had used to fight Adam. It felt like Slayer powers and shadow demons then any kind of vampiric mutation. It was worth the frustration she had been experiencing just to see the look on their faces.

Of course they hadn’t believed her so she was slated for more slayer tests. Thank god she got paid for this now. She really needed some new clothes, and some new shoes. Oh, and a new watch to match the cute purse she picked up last week….

Ch 19 - The Prom
A/N: Warning non-Spuffy F/F slash in this chapter. Also Anya dyed her hair. She is a blond. Something about having more fun!

Prom Dresses:
(Faith - http://www.dresses.com/evening2.html)
(Anya - http://www.dresses.com/evening9.html)
(Buffy- http://www.dresses.com/cocktail1.html)


Buffy stared at the mirror. Of all the things she wanted to relive there were some things that were truly frightening. Tonight was one of those nights. It was huge, overwhelming and scary. Prom night.

She wanted tonight to be perfect. Everything had been taken care of. The devil dogs had been diverted by Andrew. One benefit to being Tucker’s brother was all that all he had to do was threaten to tell mom and all of Tucker’s plans had been canceled. The rest of the Scooby gang had their dates. Anya had decided to ask Faith; Xander was taking Amy, and Willow, of course, would be attending with Oz. Jonathon and Andrew had decided to go stag; they were determined to be free to dash off in case anything threatened the prom.

Buffy had talked Spike into taking her. He resisted of course, muttering something about being undead making him exempt from girly functions. She had threatened him, cajoled him, and flat out pleaded. He had held firm until she displayed her ultimate weapon. The pouty lip she knew he couldn’t resist. He had even agreed to pick up a corsage for her. Not that she had asked; she couldn’t help it if she had dropped the hint to Xander who had promptly taken Spike aside and informed the vampire of all the intricacies of prom decorum. Yep corsage, limo, hotel room… Now all she had to do was get her hair to look just right.

Her mind drifted as she realized it wouldn’t be long until graduation. They would still have to deal with the mayor and since Giles wouldn’t allow them to try and kill the mayor beforehand, she would most likely get to blow up the school again. This time would be different though. Less causalities, more fun with mass destruction.

But back to the important issues… She had bought a kick ass prom dress for the occasion. Knowing that Willow would eventually decide on a maroon variant, Buffy avoided the urge to wear red and went with a black dress designed to make Spike have a heart attack, had he a beating heart. It was killer! Looking down at her new Tommy watch, she shuddered; only two more hours to go and her makeup wasn’t done yet. Panicking, she kicked it into high gear.

***

Faith took a long drag off of a cigarette she had “borrowed” from Spike. She couldn’t believe that she had gotten roped into taking care of all the last minute preparations with him. Just because she only took 20 minutes to get ready and Anya took 2 hours.

Blowing the smoke out, she sighed, “We ready, fang? This place is starting to look freaky. Everyone in tuxes.”

Spike looked up from the corsage he was inspecting. Faith. She looked gorgeous in her new dress. He couldn’t believe that this was the same girl whose early exploits he had heard stories about. She still had the cocky and arrogant attitude he first experienced when she had switched bodies with Buffy, but she seemed less edgy than he remembered. Even though he had known their presence in the past would change things, he still marveled at the difference they had made in her life at least. Without the murder and her subsequent betrayal and incarceration hanging over her, she seemed to be…free.

Shaking his head at his thoughts; he swore. The soul was turning him into such a pounce. First the prom and now getting all mushy over good deeds. He was worse then the Poof. Grumbling he turned to Faith, “Your corsage and Buffy’s look fine. Did you check demon girl’s?”

Faith nodded her head.

Spike smiled, “To the limo, then.”

“I still can’t believe you’re having the limo driver drive us around.”

“Got to get our money’s worth, don’t we?” Chuckling, Spike escorted Faith out to the limo. It was time to go get their girls.

***

Joyce opened the door to see a nervous Spike and Faith standing there. They were beautiful. Opening the door, she ushered them in and turned to call up the stairs, “Girls, your ride is here.”

Spike watched as Buffy began to descend the stairs. She was breathtaking. His mate, his soul, his everything. The only thing that both his demon and his man could believe in.

Faith watched as Anya came down the stairs. She felt strange standing here. She could see the love shining out of Spike’s eyes. He no longer seemed to be a vampire or a creature of the night. He was simply Spike.

Faith felt a longing for that type of emotion. Less then a year ago, she would have laughed at the idea of even having friends to rely on. Now she had a family, a lover and friends. She had more then she would have ever thought possible. So why was she not happy? Sighing, she took her eyes off of Spike and looked up at Anya.

Anya was breathtaking, gorgeous, and the best friend. She liked Buffy; as an older and still slightly prissy sister, but hey, she was family. She loved Joyce, she was like the mom she never had, and she loved Anya as a friend and as a lover. Was it wrong to want more? Was it bad to not be happy with what she had and to want someone, anyone to look at her the way that Spike looked at Buffy? Was it even possible for anyone else to share that kind of love?

As Anya’s foot left the last step, Faith grabbed her and pulled the other girl closer. Kissing her passionately, all thoughts fled her mind. As they turned to see Buffy and Spike in an equally passionate kiss, they caught Joyce’s amused expression.

“Have fun, kids!”

And Faith hoped that no one had noticed how drenched her passion was in desperation.

***

Buffy danced around excitedly. It was almost time. She could practically taste the excitement and upcoming adventure. Soon they would give her back her umbrella! She had been so pissed when that vamp bitch, Sunday, had broken it. Not this time! The umbrella was hers!

Oh, they were calling her name!

***

As they started the announcements for class clown, Faith slipped off to smoke another one of Spike’s pilfered cigarettes. Exhaling slowly, she thought back to earlier.

Faith and Anya had been dancing for hours and she had needed a quick drink and the restroom before she could continue. Anya, the only person who could ever surpass her in passion for dancing or sex, continued to move in time with the music. It had taken her breath away to watch the blond dance with partner after partner, each of them moving in seemingly without Anya even noticing. She was lost in the music, enjoying the life that had been given back to her.

Faith watched her lover move. She knew exactly what everyone was seeing. It was beautiful.

Even Giles couldn’t resist a dance with the beautiful ex-vengeance demon. As the band began to play a slow song, they became lost in the music and each other’s arms.

***

Buffy closed her eyes and enjoyed the low beat of the music. She couldn’t remember having this good of a time at any high school function. She could pretend that it was because they there were no baddies to slay, no villains to defeat, but the simple truth was it felt divine because of the man holding her. Two hours of dancing, receiving her pretty umbrella and then more dancing had left her at peace. She felt relaxed … and was that someone tapping at her shoulder?

Buffy managed to separate herself from Spike and turned around to see Anya drinking a glass of punch. She tried to arch one eyebrow, and failing miserably, just smiled at the blonde. “Yes Anya?”

“Can we go to the hotel now?”

“Hotel?”

icipate last time in the traditional post-Prom sex-a-thon, but in this timeline it should be quite enjoyable.”

As Buffy started to protest that she wasn’t done dancing, Spike swept her up in his arms and carried her towards the limo. A smirking Anya and laughing Faith followed.

***

The girls practically ran into the hotel room. Faith turned and pounced on Anya pinning her down and removing her clothes in less then a heartbeat.

Faith ran her hand down Anya’s body. She loved to touch her. She loved caressing her, especially after they had spent all night dancing. When they danced together it was a connection that was powerful, strong, and unbreakable. There bodies moved together in a rhythm that no one could match. Their bodies flowed together as if they were created to, slayer and vengeance demon; yin and yang, dark and light.

The slayer was dominant tonight. She wanted Anya- all of her. She wanted to lick and to caress. To make the other girl moan, scream, and lose control.

She started with a feather light touch, running her fingers down Anya’s body. She watched as the blonde reacted to the cool air and the slight brushes of Faith’s fingers. Tracing the outline of Anya’s nipples, she watched in fascination as they hardened. Touching, teasing, she traced along Anya’s clit. Watching as she moaned and twisted, desperate for more, desperate for Faith to take her. Desperate for the sensations that would soon follow.

Tonight Faith was in charge, and she wanted to go slow; wanted to savor the body beneath her, to touch her, to taste.

Faith leaned in close and took one of the peaked nipples into her mouth. She lightly flicked her tongue over it as she took it in her mouth, alternating sucking and biting. Anya moaned; a throaty, guttural sound that never failed to drive Faith crazy.

She smiled as Anya reached for her. Anya was so greedy, always demanding more, but as much as she demanded she always gave back. Tonight, however, Faith refused to be rushed. Tonight was special.

Grabbing Anya’s hands, she pinned them down over the girl’s head. “Naughty Anya, didn’t I say to be patient?”

Anya shook her head and started to speak but was cut off by a passionate kiss.

Faith inched back enough so that her whispered words would caress her lover’s lips. “Tonight, you’re mine.”

***

Spike refused to let Buffy down until they made it all the way into the hotel room. It was difficult to juggle the arm full of slayer and open the door, but with a small kick the door sprung open.

In his arms, Buffy giggled about the absurdity of being carried around; when she started to protest, however, she was soundly kissed into submission.

As the door closed, Buffy squirmed half-trying to escape Spike’s arms.

Vamping, Spike slid one fang down Buffy’s throat and slowly licked her neck. The fang had barely grazed her, it’s razor sharpness carving a small cut into her neck. As he licked the wound, he finally allowed Buffy to escape. His hands untied the back of her dress, letting it fall from her shoulders. Spike continued to caress her with his lips, tongue and the occasional, unbearable, scrape of his fangs.

Not being able to stand his teasing anymore, Buffy arched up, forcing his fangs into her breast, relieving a bit of her desires but serving to inflame her further. Gasping with desire, Buffy slid into her version of a “game face”. Spike withdrew his fangs as Buffy rose up on her toes to sink her baby fangs into Spike’s neck.

”Mine”

“Yours,” Spike replied in a moan, as he slowly began to remove his shirt.

Chapter 20 - Prom Night

The night was perfect. Each lover moved slowly: building anticipation, caressing, touching, stroking, and loving. Drawing out their motions, each touch seemed to last hours and not minutes. The night was stilled; a thousand lifetimes would be lived in each embrace.

***

In the first room on the right, Spike slowly began to unbutton his top. Midnight blue on pale skin, it was breathtaking.

Eyes never leaving Buffy’s face he slid out of the silky material, not glancing down as the shirt fell to the floor. Shoes slipped off, then socks, until he was standing there in nothing but a pair of black slacks.

As he moved closer to Buffy, her breath hitched in her throat. Standing before him wearing nothing but moonlight, her perfection was only enhanced by the twin rivulets of blood that shone brightly on her skin.
The blood called to him. Sweet, heady and rich, the taste of her could fulfill him like no others. The flavor was enhanced by her powers, sweetened by the coupling and enriched by the continued confirmation of their mating bond.

It was times like this when Spike wondered if he was truly alive again, for this woman before him was heaven.

Buffy stood motionless as Spike unbuttoned his pants and let them fall quietly to the floor. She watched as he stepped out of them and crossed over to her. She could feel herself grow even wetter at the site before her. Spike’s cock glistened in the moonlight. He was fully erect and she ached to take him in her mouth; to run her tongue over the engorged member and bring him to the brink of release over and over.

Before she got the chance however, Spike took one rosy peaked nipple into his mouth and began the slow process of worshiping her body. For what seemed like hours he played with her nipples, alternating between sucking, biting and caressing them. Touching her, tasting the slight sweat on her skin as she arched, twisted, begged and demanded that he move on. That he satisfy her, enter her, take her.

Ignoring her demands he played, he tortured, he loved. Finally when she could truly take no more he picked her up and moved her to the bed, slowly letting his hand drift further down. Trailing down her stomach to her sopping mound, he slowly inserted one finger while rubbing his other finger on her clit.

Buffy hissed, screamed, and threatened stakes. She was being driven insane, slowly, expertly by the demon in front of her.

Before she could come from the expert ministrations of her clit, Spike withdrew. His finger was replaced with his tongue. Over and over he licked her, tasted her, and fucked her with his tongue. Buffy writhed under him, having past the point of begging and now capable only of low guttural moans.

As Buffy grew closer and closer to coming, Spike began to play with her clit. Twisting, touching, tormenting. As Buffy arched her back in a powerful climax, Spike vamped and lightly bit her clit, gently sucking the slight flow of blood. Buffy arched again, shuddering as her body convulsed over and over again.

Spike gently played with her stomach, occasionally watching his hands travel to Buffy’s breasts and her folds while the Slayer caught her breath. Finally she was ready again. Turning a beautiful game face to him, she growled, “MORE!”

Buffy pushed Spike over, intent on getting her revenge on the blond vampire. Deciding that Spike deserved the same “brand” of punishment she slowly engulfed him an inch at a time, running her hand over the base of his cock and cupping his balls with the other hand. She alternated between sucking on him, running her teeth up and down the length of him and nibbling and sucking on his throbbing head. Knowing that he got off on the biting, she bit just enough so he felt it, but not enough to bring blood or to make him loose control.

She wanted him on the brink for as long as she could put off taking him. Over and over again she sucked him, working her hand and mouth in tandem, bringing him to the edge over and over again, stopping when he got to close and slowing down when he begged her to finish. By the end of the night, he would so know who was in control.

After an excruciatingly long time Buffy could take it no more and pushed him further down so he lay flat on the bed. Taking his thick cock in her hand, she slowly impaled her self, taking him inside her inch by inch moving leisurely while holding him down. Refusing to let him arch up, refusing to let him move. She savored the feel of him inside of her and once she felt him filling her completely, she began to move.

They stayed like that: Spike on his back, eyes closed in bliss, desperately trying not to beg for more; Buffy riding him, slowly enjoying the feel of his cock sliding in and out, over and over again; the feeling of completeness and desperation, wanting and needing more, but determined to torture with pleasure.

Buffy grazed his chest with her nails. Watching as slight red marks followed her patterns, watching as Spike hissed and bucked in anticipation of the next pattern.

Finally unable to take the slow pace she set, she began to increase her speed. Over and over again she rocked, grinding her pussy hard against him, loving the friction between their two bodies, moaning in anticipation of the release.

In desperation to increase the pace even more, Spike grabbed her hips and began to pull her back and forth, bucking up and down, the tempo increased, faster and faster as Buffy was reduced to moans and Spike to harsh whimpers and whispers of desire. “Fuck baby…”

As the friction increased even more between the two Buffy lost control and felt her orgasm begin to peak. Determined to take Spike with her, she collapsed on his chest and bit his neck hard. Drawing blood she claimed him again “MINE!”

Vamping Spike lost control and with a final thrust came hard inside of Buffy. Biting her, he claimed her back.

Chapter 21- The Morning After
Author’s note: The hotel room Buffy and Spike are in has three rooms. You walk into the room and it contains the bed, there is a small sitting room on one side and of course the bathroom. Part of this was written for Wulfie. You’ll know which section and on that note I will be introducing a new pairing into this fic. However, please note there will not be long scenes with this pairing in the fic, nor will there be sex. Even I have my limits. For those who beg and plead, I may do a ficlet or two which will be set in this universe, but not in the story.

***

Faith watched Anya as she slept. This relationship was different then anything else she had experienced before. She enjoyed casual sex, getting some and then getting gone. No strings to tie you down, no feelings to get hurt, always leaving meant you were always the one with the power. And she never wanted to be powerless again. But this time was different. She knew that they started this as friends, then friends with benefits, but still … she wanted the strings… hell she wanted the whole package.

So why did staring at her lover hurt so much? If she only let herself, she could love Anya. Love her with a passion that scared her. What would happen if she lost her? What if Anya decided to move on? Was the passion enough to keep her? Was it worth the risk to be powerless once more?

Doubts flooded Faith’s mind. As much as she wanted Anya to be the one, as much as she believed that it *could* happen, she had doubts. Faith wanted what Buffy had. Not the man, er, vamp necessarily. But the look in Spike’s eyes when he thought no one was watching. The devotion, the love, and the all consuming need. They both looked at each other as if there were no one else in the room. Faith wanted that, craved that. To be the center of someone’s world; and she had a sinking feeling that Anya would never look at her the way that Spike gazed at Buffy.

It wasn’t fair.

***

Anya woke up alone with no lover to cuddle into and no one holding her while she slept. Grumbling she rolled over, her eyes searching for Faith. Finally her sleepy mind registered a presence on the balcony, smoke curling up from her lover’s lips. Grabbing a robe, she stepped out, shielding her eyes from the bright morning sun.

Faith slipped one arm around Anya and was silent. Too many thoughts whirled around her head and finally she asked Anya the very first thing that popped into her mind, “You love him don’t you?”

Blinking, Anya stared at the brunette. Her mouth was open in shock and she could only utter an incoherent, “Huh?” Granted it wasn’t the most original thing to say, but after very little sleep and that strange statement, it was about the most complicated response she could utter.

“Giles … I saw the two of you dancing last night. You looked good. So what’s the sitch, you guys hook up in the last time line, or something? ‘Cause from where I was standing it looked like you had a thing!”

Anya stared at Faith and tried to process what was going on, her mouth opened and closed without a sound. She didn’t know what to say to that kind of statement. She cared for Rupert yes, but she wasn’t *in love* with him, she was dating Faith.

To impatient to wait for an answer, Faith threw down her cigarette and stomped off. “Whatever, it’s five by five – I am so outta here.”

Slamming the door behind her Faith made it to the elevator before she started to cry. She wasn’t sure what she had just done. She knew that Anya wasn’t in love with Giles, but the expression of her face was clear. She wasn’t in love with Faith either.

Composing herself, Faith wiped the tears away. She had to stay in control. She had to keep the power.

***

Spike woke up and looked around. He was a bit disoriented; he couldn’t have been asleep more then a few hours. For about a minute, he stared at the door. Then he heard it again, a soft knock. Getting up, he slipped on his pants and crossed the room. He opened the door to a very subdued Anya.

“Faith left and you have all the money, so I can’t go home. Can you call me a cab?”

Spike opened the door further so she could come inside the room. “Sure luv, why don’t you have a seat?”

After a few minutes of trying to locate the phone he finally discovered it under a pile of clothes in the sitting area. Making all the arrangements necessary to get Anya home, he turned to find that she had disappeared. He followed her scent back to the bedroom.

“Anya….” Spike’s voice trailed off as he noticed that both blondes were cuddled up to each other fast asleep. Shaking his head, he went back to the phone to cancel the cab.

It was going to be a long day.

***

Faith headed to Andrew’s house to get the spare set of clothes she kept there. Slaying had a tendency to wreck havoc on her outfits, so she kept a spare set at all of the little slayertte’s houses. She didn’t know why B had never thought of that before. How many slime creatures do you have to kill before you realize that extra clothes are always a must? Especially ones that you could go dancing in post-slay.

Storming in, Faith headed straight for the bedroom. There was no way she was going to go home and deal with Anya. Perhaps she could crash with Andrew. Not like his family would ever notice anything other than Tucker. Hell, Andrew would probably think it was an honor to have her… Faith stopped dead in her tracks at the site of two blondes in the bed. What the fuck? Andrew and … Harmony?

***

Several hours later, Faith was desperately wishing for night fall. She needed to slay… to kill something. After girlish shrieks from both blondes, she’d had to listen to an hour long explanation of how geeks were “cool” now. After all, once Cordy had gotten back from that frat party, she had allowed Jonathon to fawn all over her at the Bronze. Then Cordy went and had her heart broken by none other then geeky Xander Harris. So if a geek like that could make Queen C flee the county without even bothering to pick up her Prada’s, there had to be something there. It was like a rerun of a bad high school flic. Without the cool soundtrack… or a decent geek.

This day just couldn’t get any worse.

***
Chapter Twenty-Two - The Weapon
Author’s Note: This is the weapon, don’t look at it quite yet… wait until the third paragraph at least.

***

Buffy looked at the small red and grey object with terror. It should definitely be counted as a small but dangerous object. How could people have created such a device? Didn’t they understand the damage that this kind of weapon could cause? If someone besides the person it was meant for managed to take possession of it…

Buffy shivered, looked around and dropped the Layaspot in her previously empty hand basket. Perhaps if she hid the small toy from Spike he would never know that she purchased it. If he ever got a hold of it, well, she didn’t think she could recover from the delicious things he might think of to do. Honestly, could they have created a better shape?

Biting back a moan at her thoughts and shifted uncomfortably. Just looking at the pretty multi functional vibrator was making her wet. She could envision the torture that Spike would create with it… running it over her most sensitive spots, turning the speed up then down. She knew he would start with her clit. He would turn the vibe on its lowest setting and place it on her, letting it sit in place stimulating her ever so gently. Then he would turn it up higher, one setting at a time. Letting the vibrations work her up slowly until she feels like she is dying from the stimulation. He would forbid her from touching herself. Not allowing her to release the tension it would keep building until she thought she might explode, he would allow her to get so wet, so needy that only a touch would send her crashing into orgasm and then he would remove the toy from her clit and slowly carass other parts of her with it. The vibrations that rumble against her nipples would make them peak, and against her ass would make them her groan with passion and grow even wetter.

However, they both knew he would just be teasing her, letting her calm down slightly before tormenting her swollen clit even further. He would torment her for hours, driving her crazy with the vibrations, the gentle insistent massaging… not enough to allow her the release she would seek, but more then enough to keep her on edge. She would be begging him to finish her, to take her, to release her from this torment. He would enjoy his mastery over her. Finally he would decide to take pity on her, to give her the friction, the touch, the fast and furious fuck she would desire. He would reposition the vibe so that it would stimulate her without blocking his access. His cock would slam into her, and finally she would reach her crescendo, exploding, screaming and finally drained of energy he would claim her again.

Yes this would be a deadly and effective weapon against her. Perhaps if she accidentally left it on the bathroom counter …

Anya’s voice cut through Buffy’s musings as she watched the former demon cross the store with an overflowing basket of goodies. Buffy giggled slightly and tried to look sympathetically at her friend. When other girls broke up there was normally crying, ice cream, a ton of chocolate. She didn’t know why she had expected the same out of Anya. The first break up Anya had ever experienced had sent her back into the vengeance fold. This one instead had sent her into a subdued depression for two days and then she had determinedly dragged Buffy into “The Toybox,” an upscale adult novelty store that catered specifically to women’s needs.

Other people dealt with pain by chocolate… Anya by avoidance, shopping and orgasms.

Before Buffy could stop her, Anya grabbed the lone item in Buffy’s basket and began to inspect the outside packaging.

“This is an excellent choice Buffy! I wonder if they have one for me. I will get a different color of course. Do they have one in green? “

Buffy looked at Anya’s overflowing basket of toys and cocked one eyebrow at the girl.

“What? You have Spike to satisfy all of your carnal needs.” Anya’s eyes grew bright and it looked like she was trying to refrain from crying. “I still don’t know why Faith broke up with me – I thought we were doing fine, and while going for rebound relationship would make some people happy, I hardly have the time. Do you know how much work it is to run the Magic Shop, attend high school, and balance everyone’s checkbooks not to mention their investments? Besides having orgasms with someone new never works out. First there are orgasms, then tears, then behold the vengeance plea because someone always gets hurt.”

Anya looked like she was going to say more, but then she turned to the nearby shelf and muttered, “nope no green, well pink will work I guess.” Throwing the small vibrator into the basket she headed towards the front counter.

“Let’s go Buffy - I want to try this new rabbit. It promises hours and hours of satisfaction.”

***

Spike sat in the back of the magic box flipping through catalogues. He didn’t know how he managed to get talked into helping to watch the store while Buffy and Anya were out shopping.

It was a devious plan, first demon-bird dropped a few hints about how she wanted to go shopping, how money couldn’t keep her warm at night, how it wasn’t fair that he got to be happy while she was suffering, a sniffle, and the next thing he knows he had been volunteered to help Giles with opening weekend, while the girls shop and Faith avoided the entire gang. He would have thought nothing would have stopped Anya from racking up the sales.

“SPIKE!”

Spike sighed and got up to see what the Watcher wanted, “Yeah”

“Please actually pay attention to the store while I am interviewing this young lady.”

Giles turned and nodded for the young woman to Lorraine, we need a competent day shift to manage the store from 10 to 4 everyday while Ms. Jenkins and I are at Sunnydale High. Should you obtain this position would you be able to begin Monday?”

Spike propped himself up on the counter. You would have thought that the Watcher would have remembered that the store was a bloody present. The point of a present is to get out of things such as shop-sitting. ‘Can’t they just blow the school up already?’

Groaning as the door chimed yet again, Spike turned slightly to get a better view of the next annoying customer and froze in shock.

It was a living, breathing Harmony. The world narrowed as he heard her laugh and her annoying voice screeched out “Blondie Bear!” As he desperately looked for a place to hide from the oncoming visitor, when another annoying, but highly familiar voice cut through the air, “Don’t worry Honey Pot, we will be in and out of the store before you know it. I just need to check in with the gang to make sure they don’t need my help with patrol.

Spike watched flabbergasted as Harmony continued into the store draped all over Andrew. She cooed as he pranced around the store, picking up supplies. After five minutes of being stared at, Andrew finally made it to the counter, “Greetings my undead friend. I have come to ensure the safety of all mankind from those unsouled vampires who torment us so. Are my services needed tonight in the quest against evil?”

Spike stared at Andrew and finally shook his head once.

“Wonderful, then we will be off to make our battleplans for the upcoming graduation massacre. It is up to us to prevent this terrible future. But never fear, I shall save the day once again.”

With a flourish of his hand, Andrew twirled and walked out of the store. Spike waited until he could not hear Harmony any longer and then broke down into laughter.

Another figure emerged from the training room – Faith had finally surfaced,

“If you think that is bad try staying in the guest room at his house. Half a night of “Oh Blondie Bear” and “Honey Pot”.

“You know slayer, you could always come back home. It is your home as much as Anya’s or ours.”

“It’s 5 by 5 Spike. I like it there, cept’ the whole Andrew bit.”

Anything further was interrupted by the emergence of Giles. “We will call you with our decision Lorraine; thank you very much”

As the woman walked out of the door, Giles turned to Faith, “You start Monday and don’t bother to argue with me, as a Slayer you are meant to fight evil and protect mankind. That woman was evil incarnate and who knows if she might come back.”

***

Buffy rearranged the bedroom for the fifth time. She wanted the room to look perfect when Spike came home if she wanted the game to play out right. She had put new batteries in the vibrator and carelessly left it in a drawer that was slightly open. It looked just right, like she was contemplating using it before he came home, but as if she hid it quickly so he wouldn’t find it. Her clothes were strung over the room, like she couldn’t wait to get naked. Each article was placed strategically throughout the room, so that he could imagine her undressing enough to touch herself, to play with herself; to bring herself to the brink over and over.

The hardest part of this scenario would be to compensate for the vampire’s senses. She wanted him to get hard by imagining her masturbating. She wanted him to think of her touching herself, pleasuring herself, and trying to restrain himself from taking her. She wanted to tease and to torment, and only then when he couldn’t take anymore she wanted him to pounce on her, to take his mate and “punish” her for starting without him, by teasing and tormenting her for hours. It would become a battle of wills, would he be able to draw out her torture and bring her to the brink over and over without letting her come, or would she be able to prevail and make him lose all semblance of control, ravishing her until they both collapsed sated. Either scenario would be delicious and would last well into the night.

Buffy heard a car door slam shut and sprung into action. Quickly thanking whoever had the common sense to install a bathroom into their remodeled basement bedroom she ran in and slammed the door shut. Already naked, she turned on the shower and hopped in, moaning as the heated water slid over her body.

The only way this game was going to play out how she wanted it to, would be to overload the vamp’s senses with her own desire. The scent of her arousal would taunt the vampire into taking her, especially if he thought she had already been playing with herself for hours.

Buffy moaned as she slipped her fingers into her wetness. She couldn’t believe how turned on she was. Between the fantasy at The Toybox and the preparations for Spike coming home, she was already soaked. She could barely think of anything other then Spike taking her; Spike slamming his cock into her, filling her completely. Toys were nice, but nothing could compare to how he completely filled her, how his movements would bring exquisite pleasure and make her arch and demand more.

A soft chuckle made Buffy’s eyes fly open. The vampire had already snuck into the bathroom and discovered her new toy.

Moaning she closed her eyes again. She could feel him watching; feel his eyes on her as she pleasured herself. Felt his stare as she thrust into her pussy over and over again. The movements coming quicker and she got closer and closer to the brink.

And then she felt a cool hand grab her hands. Eyes flying open she watched as the now naked vamp held her hands over her head pushing her back against the shower wall. A low buzz filled the air as he pressed the pretty new toy against her clit.

“Miss me Luv?”

Chapter 23 - Graduation Part One
Author’s Note: The song that is playing in the Bronze during the Faith song is Alive by Joey Lauren Adams and can be listened to here: http://viewaskew.com/chasingamy/Alive.mp3 - Go ahead listen to it while you are reading the scene. I dare you! Much beta love to the wonderful and incomparable Spikeslovebite and Betafish. Last note: I was informed by a brit that Giles would call all deserts pudding.

***

The night before graduation

The music pulsated throughout the club as patron after patron danced the night away. The music was loud and the dance floor packed; it seemed that the entire senior class had turned out for one last party. Everyone knew something big was coming, and they seemed to understand the unstated; that everyone would not survive the fight.

Buffy had argued for hours with her watcher and with Spike. They had foreknowledge of the mayor, knew his weaknesses and how to kill him. She didn’t want a repeat of the senior year. They had won, but with heavy casualties to the senior class. She wanted everyone safe and sound. Yet, if the senior class stayed at home; there was no one to stave off the vampires who would surely attack before they could get the Mayor under control.

They needed the seniors to act as a distraction for and as a fighting team against the vampires. It was the only way they would be able to survive long enough to enrage the mayor and make him follow her into the school. She wasn’t even sure it would work this time, without the issue of Faith. Would she be able to pull this off? Could she live with herself if she used the senior class as cannon-fodder? She remembered the funerals; could she really go through that again?

Unable to deal with thoughts of the impending battle, Buffy jumped up and went to join the other Scoobies on the dance floor. This time would be different. They had two slayers, a souled vamp, and the knowledge of a battle they had already won. They could take the mayor quickly and return to the front lines to deal with the vampires. They didn’t have a choice.

She just hoped she live with the decision they had made.

***

Faith nodded to Buffy as the blonde joined her on the dance floor. They moved together, both slayers lost in the pounding sensation of the music.

Faith loved the way that the music pulsated through the crowd, vibrations strumming though the air. She could feel the beat deep inside her; throbbing, needing, pushing as she gave to the music and where it would take her.

She knew why everyone was at the Bronze. They were all there for the same reason. The music was loud and the beat solid. You could lose yourself for a moment, forget about the battle tomorrow. Ignore the death and destruction or life and love. You could let go and pretend that tomorrow would never be.

On the dance floor there were no worries, no apocalyptic battles. There was only movement, passion, lust and desire. There was just the dance, the lustful eyes, and the rising libidos that would inevitably be drawn to you.

She could feel those eyes now, all around her, drawn to her body, to her passion, and she reveled in it. Tonight there would be no recriminations, no doubts about relationships ended. Tonight would be about living, about feeling, about getting some, then getting gone.

She needed a release from her tension and she knew that there was someone who would be able to help her with the problem. After all; who knew what tomorrow would bring? According to B she wasn’t even in the last fight. Something about being in the hospital.

Over the head of her diminutive dance partner she met a set of startling blue eyes. She was fascinated by how bright they were, and the rest of him was pretty easy on the eyes. He was standing apart from a few other guys who looked boring, but blue eyes looked intriguing.

As the heavy beat seemed to fade away, a more melodic ballad came on. It was one that she knew quite well and was perfect for seduction. Breaking away from her dance partner, she switched her dancing style to a more relaxed, but seductive sway.

“I'm feeling nothing”

Faith took a step closer towards blue eyes.

”But all alone”

Keeping her eyes focused on his, she raised her hands over her head and swayed her hips in an enticing dance.

”Just missing someone; I don't even know”

Another twist closer.

“But until I find them; I'll wait patiently”

Running her hands down her breasts.

”Just feeling nothing; Inside of me”

The music was taking her over, their eyes fusing, and she began to mouth the next words:

And where are you baby; Where can you be
Why aren't you here; Loving me
'Cause I want to kiss you; And make you feel right
I want to lay with you; all through the night”


Faith’s seductive dance towards the mysterious stranger was driving them both crazy. She felt wanton and wild. So very wet, but barely restrained by the pace of the music.

“And I want to feel passion; I want to feel pain
I want to weep at the sound of your name”


Suddenly she was in front of him, her eyes never leaving his.

“Come make me laugh; Come make me cry
Just make me feel; Alive”


The world narrowed to just the two of them.

”And so I wait; For that glorious day
When the one I dream of; Comes my way
But until I find them; I'll wait patiently
Just feeling nothing; Inside of me”


Faith brushed against him, lightly. The feel of their skin contacting was electric, racing up her arms and engulfing her in a trembling desire of need. She took a step closer, every move she made brushing against him,

”And where are you baby; Where can you be
Why aren't you here, Loving me
'Cause I want to kiss you, and make you feel right
I want to lay with you, All through the night”


Her gaze locked with his, she could feel him reach out to her

”And I want to feel passion...”

He pulled her against him and their lips met.

***

Buffy smiled as she felt Spike come up behind her. She pressed back and sighed deeply when his arms surrounded her. Here, safe in his arms was one of the few times she truly felt content. Every change to the time line, every decision they made worried her. Who knew what the ramifications to the world would be? She was trying to make things better, but was she?

Case in point; Anya and Faith had what seemed to be a loving relationship, and then it blew up. Faith had all but moved out and into Andrew’s house. She couldn’t even imagine someone choosing to live with the twerp but apparently he idolized Faith and she enjoyed bossing him around. Strange that his parents never noticed either one of them there….

What if the changes in Anya and Faith’s relationship caused one of them to be distracted later? What if the person Faith was kissing was a mass murderer? What if Buffy was responsible for someone else getting hurt and she changed the time line into an impossible mess?

True, both Faith and Anya seemed to be recovering from the whole break-up, but Buffy was well acquainted with hiding pain behind false exteriors.

Buffy stared in shock as Faith stepped away from the man she had been kissing. It had been years since she had seen him but she recognized him. She hadn’t known him very well, but she was uncomfortable with the idea that he was in Sunnydale and he was here earlier then she would have expected.

Sighing, Buffy tried to relax into Spike’s arms and recapture a sense of peace. Being at the Bronze was futile. She couldn’t be surrounded by all those who might die; by people she remembered as dead, and be expected to smile and laugh. If she survived tomorrow’s fight and the ramifications it would bring, she would ask Faith about him. She just hoped that Spike hadn’t seen him.

Turning she stood up on her tiptoes to whisper to Spike, “Please take me home.”

Spike nodded, his hand came up to caress her face as he looked into her eyes. “Come on luv.”

The world, and its tough decisions, would still be there in the morning.

***

Anya sighed as she finished the last of the nightly paperwork. She hated to work this late, but moments before she was scheduled to close, a gaggle of teenage girls had come into the shop. They had browsed for almost half an hour before purchasing some books and some pre-made compounds in a bag.

She enjoyed them spending their money, of course, and had been quite willing to keep the store open, but now it was quite a bit later than she would have liked. She was nervous about the Ascension. Last time around she had safely run away. Now she would be in the middle of the fight. She sighed again; at least a snake wouldn’t have a sword to run her through with.

Getting out of high school, yet again, would certainly be a relief. You would think after 1100 plus years of living, the concept of high school would have been easier for her. Especially since she managed to have to do it again, ‘oh well,’ she thought, ‘at least this time I’m not flunking math.’

Anya’s eyes lit up as Giles walked into the store. “Shouldn’t you be resting? We have a high school to blow up in the morning.”

Giles smiled at her, “Why yes we do, but I thought I could do with a cup of tea and a bite of pudding before retiring for the night. I saw the light was still on; is everything all right?”

When Anya nodded affirmatively, Giles paused in thought, and then continued, “Would you care to join me at the diner? I can’t promise a decent drink, but the pie is quite delightful.”

Debating for a few seconds, Anya’s need for a friend waged war with her desire to just stay in and sleep. At least if she slept she would be free from troubling thoughts. The need for friendship finally won and she nodded, “Okay, but you’re buying. I’m still a poor high school student.”

Lost in their thoughts, they walked to the nearby diner. The conversation was stilted at first; but then they started discussing old rock and roll bands that Giles admired. Soon they were laughing at Anya’s descriptions of what really went on behind the music scenes and how much of history had been shaped by vengeance wishes. Apparently groupies were an endless source of scorned women. It explained so much about the music scene.

“So, how did the wish you granted break up the Beatles?”

“One word, Yoko”
***

Buffy curled up and cuddled into Spike on the couch, ignoring the soft sounds of the television in the background.

Spike was content to hold her, to stoke her hair and just be there for her. He knew she was conflicted about the upcoming battle. If only would have realized that they needed to kill the Mayor before it had gotten to this point. By the time everyone had finished arguing over the fate of the man, the mayor’s hundred days of immortality had already begun.

Spike knew Buffy; he knew she would blame herself for any of the deaths that would come. She knew people were going to die, and she put them on the front lines anyway. She seemed strong. But this had the potential to tear her apart.

So he held her, he stroked her hair, and silently feared what tomorrow would bring.

Chapter 24 Graduation Day Part Two
Author’s Note: Obviously this scene relies heavily on Graduation Day Part 2.

Spike waited in the shaded wing of the school, anxious to get to the fight and release the nervous energy that had built up. He smirked knowingly as Willow and Oz rushed in late for the ceremony and blushing as they took their respective seats. ‘Now why didn’t I think of that?’

The speech seemed to stretch out. Each of the fighters watching for signs of the eclipse and the changes that it would signal. Buffy, however, was lost in thought. Could she save some of the seniors if she had them take other positions in the fight? Would that compromise the fight? Would it save them, or would it sacrifice someone else in their place? She was frozen with indecision. As before, she had left the decisions up to Xander in hopes that they could distract or kill the mayor before he took a bite out of any of the students. Perhaps, if she positioned herself closer to the student body, she could deflect some of the blows….

Lost in thought, Buffy didn’t realize that the mayor had started to change into the giant snake-like demon until everyone surged to their feet. ‘It’s too late,’ was followed by a wail of anguish, ‘What have I done?’

Anger rose at the mayor, the situation, and for the decisions that had to be made. Her voice rang out steady and sure- “NOW!”

As one, the maroon graduation gowns came off, the tasseled caps fluttering to the ground. The clothing underneath was uniformly practical, and all of them fairly bristled with weapons of destruction. The determined seniors lifted their crosses, stakes, and holy water guns and rushed forward. Spike leapt into the fray, taking position against the Mayor.

Buffy’s voice continued to ring out with confidence. “Flame units!”

She watched as Larry led a determined team try to flay the mayor. Although she is hit hard with the memory of the boys funeral, she nods to Xander, encouraging him to take control of the senior class.

Xander nodded back and bellowed out, “First wave!”

At his command, Willow, Amy, and a large group of students aim their cross bows at the Mayor.

“Fire!”

The ascended mayor swayed back and forth in an effort to avoid the flying weapons and the flames that are spurting from the units. Spike danced around the huge snake-like creature, trying to keep him distracted and away from the students.

The snake bellowed and lunged towards the seniors, knocking Spike over in the process. The snake swallowed a student as Buffy stared in shock ‘Who did he just eat? Who had she just let die?’

Several of the students panicked. They broke formation and started to run away.

Buffy was dazed by the chaos around her. There would be more deaths, more people she failed to save, even with her knowledge. She quickly made her way over to Spike.

Oz watched the students who tried to run away quickly become dinner for the slowly advancing vampires. Helpless and angry, he called to Xander and nodded towards the approaching demons.

Xander’s voice rang out, “Arm bow men!”

Oz’s line of archers lit their arrows and carefully took aim.

“Fire!”

Flaming arrows flew through the air. Several found their targets and turned the vampires into flaming dust.

Xander’s attention was brought back to the front by another bellow from the snake.

Jonathon flew through the air and landed on a group of fleeing seniors. Andrew and Harmony rushed to his side, checking him for injuries.

“Fall back!” Buffy yelled out to the students. She turned to Spike. “I need you with the students.”

Spike started to refuse, but her anguished expression stopped him. “Please, Spike. Angel was here to help them last time. I need you there with them. I need to know they’re safe. I can’t fight this thing unless they’re safe.” Her green eyes brightened with tears even as she gripped her weapon harder.

Sighing, Spike nodded and headed into the crowd. He would see who he could save.

Before he got more than a few feet away, Buffy heard a loud clicking noise and she turned. Larry. Horrified, she watched the snake’s tail began to descend. Sprinting forward, she lunged at the football player and pushed him out of the way. The tail caught her instead and threw her into the air. She crashed hard into Spike, who had raced back to assist her.

“Thank you.” She let out a shaky breath and winced as he helped her to her feet. Spike glared at her and gave her a rough kiss before disappearing into the crowd once more.

Across the quad, several girls screamed as the Mayor swallowed Snyder in a single gulp.

“Fire!” Xander called out and another round of flaming arrows was launched. The vampires turned, looking to regroup, when they discovered a formable team of students behind them. Faith led the way with Wes and Percy flanking her. Both groups eyed each other. In an instant, Faith lunged forward at the nearest vampire and the battle was on.

“Xander, take them down,” Buffy’s voice rang out. She found Willow and nodded to her, then she turned to look for Harmony and found her still situated next to Andrew and Jonathon.

Xander watched as Spike entered the group of fighters and made eye contact with him. Pulling a stake out of his back pocket, he tossed it over to the vampire and then grabbed another one for himself. “Everyone, hand to hand!” he shouted. “Everyone, come on! Let’s go! Move! Move!

Faith pummeled the vampires. Fists were flying and her team, composed mainly of brawlers like herself, were holding their own with the confused vampires. They were driving them back up the steps when the lead vampire turned back.

“Get the kids!” he yelled.

The vampires, eager for a snack and a chance to regain their strength turned, only to meet an angry mob of teenagers armed with stakes, crosses, and baseball bats.

The crowd rushed forward. Jonathon leapt at a vampire and they tumbled down the steps. Andrew engaged a vampire in hand to hand, desperately trying to find an opening to stake him. Finally the vampire was dust. He turned in time to see Harmony dropped to the ground by an ugly vampire.

Xander barked out more orders. Looking around, he sighed in relief as he saw Anya and Amy fighting next to each other. More punches thrown and he lost track of everyone

A distraught Andrew rushed over to Harmony, not realizing that it is too late. He struggled to pick her body up, wiping the blood off of her. ‘God, it’s all over; her neck, her face, her clothes.’ He gathered her up and staggered off, thankfully unmolested by the attacking mob.

Anya turned and watched Amy go down; her neck snapped from the force of a vampire’s blow. She shuddered and pressed on.

The seniors were slowly gaining the upper hand. Surprise and sheer numbers seemed to be working. Cordelia staked a vamp, while Willow and Oz fought back to back. The crowd kept surging forward and the vampires began to disperse and flee.

Finally Buffy managed to get the mayor’s attention. Angry that she had ruined his big day and enraged at the revelations that the Deputy Mayor had been working with them, he took off after her fleeing figure. His pride would be his downfall.

A few quips later, Buffy was running down the main hallway of the school building with the serpentine Mayor in hot pursuit. She ran into the library and vaulted over the banister. Still running, she kept going until she crashed through the opposite window.

The mayor stopped, apparently confused for a moment. His, “oh, gosh” could be heard echoing through the library.

Giles pushed down on the trigger and a gigantic explosion ripped through the school.

The fight had been won.

***

Buffy staggered up to the front of the school, staring at the dead bodies that littered the ground. She felt relief at the sight of Larry, who was alive. One less funeral for her to attend.

She stopped, her expression stricken at the sight before her. Andrew and Jonathon had dragged the newest members of the gang away from the others and were crying over them. Not only had she lost Harmony again, but she’d lost Amy, too. Amy, who was not suppose to be dead, who was suppose to have a second chance at life while studying with the coven and learning to overcome her addiction to darker magics. Amy, who went to the prom with Xander. Amy, who would have been alive- although perhaps a rat for a few years- but alive if it wasn’t for Buffy’s actions.

Andrew looked up, his expression accusing. “Did you know?”

Buffy tried to shake her head, to make a sound. Any sound. Horror and shock overwhelmed her. ‘All these deaths… this is all my fault. I should have prevented them, I should have stopped this… It is all my fault…’

Blackness rushed up to meet her and Spike barely caught her before she fell.

Chapter Twenty Five - Aftermath
Two weeks later

Spike watched as Buffy ducked a blow from Xander and swung around with a roundhouse kick that connected with the Whelp’s stomach. Even pulling her strength, the blow looked like it had hurt.

Normally he would enjoy seeing Xander getting beat on, but the fun was lessened by the pain of what his mate was going through.

Buffy had never recovered after graduation day. She was still Buffy, still happier then anytime after her first resurrection, but she was missing the giddy confidence and happiness that had been there when they first had returned to this timeline.

Buffy was no longer quite sure that everything would be magically better. She knew things could always be worse. Faith and Anya were strong forces for good. Jonathon and Andrew were meshing nicely with the others, and would not be hooking up with Warren. Willow would gain magical training before she had a chance to kill a man.

The odds were in their favor with the knowledge of everything they had lived through, but the deaths of people who had been alive in the previous timeline, and the deaths that she felt she could’ve prevented weighed heavily on her mind.

One result of her guilt was the thrice-weekly training session that every member attended. Buffy was taking no chances with anyone’s safety, knowing that this changed time line could bring new dangers along with the old foes of the past.

She even practiced with the newly souled Harmony. They were not sure about the happiness clause, but since in theory a Harmony without a reflection could never be that happy…

It really didn’t matter though, Harmony was never very different with a soul than without. If she ever lost it, they probably wouldn’t even notice.

***

Faith watched as Xander sat down and Andrew stepped up to the mat.

Her current life seemed like a dream to her. She would never admit that she liked living with Andrew, but it was very peaceful. Andrew was like having an annoying little brother. Even Harmony could be tuned out after a while. The house was spacious, there was plenty of food, and she even managed to have her own room with a king sized bed. Staying there was calming and soothed something restless inside of her.

Living with Buffy had been nice, and it had been the first time she truly felt like she had a home, but after the break-up with Anya, she had needed a place to retreat to. No one understood why she did it, but she knew she had been right. The pain had finally faded, and lately a set of blue eyes had been flashing through her memory.

It wasn’t the way she’d planned to spend the night before graduation, but blue eyes hadn’t wanted to move past the kissing stage. Although his kisses were pretty amazing.

They had ended up talking until the wee hours. He told her about growing up in California and she had regaled him with tales of Boston. They had laughed and joked, and in spite of the simmering tension, they had been quite comfortable with each other. It was something she had never experienced before.

She wondered if he would be back.

***

Anya smiled as Giles picked her up for dinner. They had been going out frequently since graduation. It was nice. For once she was being treated as a member of the team and like someone who had valuable knowledge to share. It was strange that it took dying and coming back to get some respect.

She wondered if he would be as good in bed as he looked.

***

Buffy finished training and looked up to see Spike watching her. She knew he was worried about her. She smiled.

She would be okay. Yes, she knew training everyone so intensely was probably overreacting; she just didn’t want to take a chance. She had even signed her mom up for private lessons. Everything was so different this time. She knew what was coming, but not everything could be predicated. She was determined to save her mother, Tara, and others that had been lost before their time. But the First was still out there. It would still rise up and strike.

They knew what was coming, but together, with her mate, they would survive.

The End

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