For Better, For Worse, Forever by aej1085
Summary: Buffy takes Spike's place during "Chosen" but not without consquences...
Categories: General Fics Characters: None
Genres: Romance, Angst
Warnings: None
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 3 Completed: No Word count: 7821 Read: 4308 Published: 11/10/2005 Updated: 02/18/2007

1. Chapters 1 & 2 by aej1085

2. Phone Calls and Flashbacks by aej1085

3. Heartbreaking Reunions by aej1085

Chapters 1 & 2 by aej1085
Author's Notes:
Chapter 2 was added because Chapter 1 was too short. Let me know what you think.
Chapter 1
Proving My Love

Spike and Buffy stand as Sunnydale High School collapses all around them.

“I love you Spike.”

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

Buffy looked down at the ground tears streaming down her face. The heat from his hand burned into hers but she refused to let him go. When she met his gaze the tears were gone, replaced by a look of pure determination.

“I do love you Spike.” She slammed her lips to his kissing him fiercely. He matched her fierceness with his own hungry need. Buffy tears mixed with Spike’s, neither wanting to stop knowing it would mean the end. Buffy slipped the amulet from his neck around her own. She broke the kiss by pushing him away from her. He stumbled and fell to the ground, weakened from the amulet.

“B we need to get out of here NOW!” Faith stood above them gesturing urgently their need to leave as the school continued to collapse on them.

“Faith I need you to take Spike and leave.”

Faith looked at Buffy stunned but her expression changed when she saw the amulet around Buffy’s neck. “Buffy what the hell are you doing?”

“I need to do this Faith for him, for you, for all of them. I know I have to do this, I haven’t been this sure of anything in a long time.” Buffy smiled through the pain raging through her small body. “Please Faith take Spike and get out of here.”

Faith could not say anything. She stepped down and picked up the unconscious Spike.

“Take care of them for me Faith. I love them so much.” Buffy voice was barely above a whisper, the searing pain draining her of her life force. Faith wiped her eyes, gave Buffy one last look and took off toward the surface Spike hanging limply from her shoulder.

Buffy kneels on the ground, the pain overtaking her. The light surrounds her as the last of her life is taken from her. Then with one final blast of light Buffy is gone and the amulet falls to the ground.

1 Year Later

Wolfram and Hart, LA

Angel picks up an envelope of his desk while talking to Wesley, Fred, Gunn, and Lorne.

“No, sooner or later they’ll tip their hand, and we’ll find out why they really brought us here.” He rips open the envelope. “Meanwhile, we do the work…our way, one thing at a time. We deal…” An amulet falls out of the envelope. “with whatever comes next.”

At his touch the amulet activates in a whirlwind of ash with flecks of orange as something materializes before their eyes. All five of them step back as the wind dies down staring with a mixture of fear and curiosity at the hunched figure in front of them. The figure moves slightly allowing Angel to get a view of its face.

“Buffy?”


Chapter 2

Painful Realizations

“Buffy?” Angel walked toward the crouched form of his former love. Fred, Gunn, Lorne, and Wesley watched on a few feet away in complete shock.

“This is Buffy?” Fred had never met Buffy, but from what she had heard from Angel and Wesley the Vampire Slayer and the pitiful creature in front of her didn’t match.

“Yes, yes she is.” Wesley stared at a loss for words.

“But I thought she died in Sunnydale?”

Angel ignored the conversation around him and completely focused on Buffy. She was trembling, her now long brown hair shielded him from looking at her face. Angel reached out to touch, to calm her. But when his fingers brushed against her skin she screamed out in terror and crawled toward Harmony’s desk to hide.

Angel didn’t move, from shock or from fear, he simply stared at Harmony’s desk.

Gunn was the first to speak, “Okay, what the hell was that?”

Wesley too perplexed by the situation moved toward Angel. “Angel what is going on?”

“I don’t know Wes.” His voice cracked, “God I don’t know.”

“We were told by Mr. Giles that she died in Sunnydale. A year ago in a battle against the First right?”

Angel raked his fingers through his hair in irritation. “Yeah, yeah she did.”

“Then what is she doing here?”

Before Angel could answer Lorne spoke up. “Angel maybe you should try to talk to her.”

Angel nodded and made his way slowly behind Harmony’s desk. Buffy was curled up in a ball shaking violently. He stopped a few feet from her and crouched down to talk to her.

“Buffy it’s me Angel. I don’t want to hurt you, I just want to talk.”

Buffy didn’t move.

Angel tried again, “Please Buffy I need you to talk to me. We need to know what happened to you.”

Buffy still refused to look at him.

“Buffy?” He reached out to touch her shoulder but she shrunk away from him.

Angel pulled his hand back. “Buffy, please.”

Maybe it was something in his voice but Buffy stopped trembling and for the first time looked at him.

Angel gasped at what he saw. Buffy was covered head to toe in black ash. There were several burns on her arms and legs. A large gash marred Buffy’s once flawless features. But the scrapes and burns were not what made him cry out, it was her eyes. There was no spark of life behind Buffy’s eyes only the look of hollow deadness. But what was worse he realized was that she didn’t know who he was. The look of pure terror she gave him, sent a chill down his spine.

Angel tried hard to keep his emotions in check when he spoke to her. “Listen Buffy, I’m your friend Angel. I promise I won’t hurt you.”

She continued to stare at him unfazed.

“Please Buffy. I care about you, I won’t let anybody hurt you. Ever.” He reached out his hand. “I want to help you. Please Buffy let me help you.”

Buffy looked from Angel’s face to his hand confused.

He moved closer to her and when she didn’t move away he reached out and placed his hand on her arm. She flinched but didn’t pull away.

“I going to take care of you, I promise.” Buffy met his intent gaze and Angel knew she was weakening. He reached out and took her small trembling hand and helped her to her feet. She swayed on the spot and Angel quickly reached out and put his arm tightly around her waist. He half walked, half carried her to where Fred, Gunn, Lorne, and Wesley were standing in amazement.

“Fred could you take her and get her cleaned up?”

Fred nodded and stepped forward to take Buffy’s arm, but Buffy backed away, whimpering.

Fred stopped in her tracks not wanting to scare Buffy further. Angel spoke to Buffy soothingly, “Buffy this is my friend Fred. She is going to help you get cleaned up. You can go with her, she won’t hurt you.”

Fred stuck out her hand which Buffy reluctantly took and lead her away.

Angel watched them walk away, when they were out of sight he turned to the others with tears in his eyes. “She doesn’t know who I am.”

“Are you sure?”

Angel let out a chocked sob, “She flinches every time I touch her.” He paused “She looked at me like I was a stranger.”

“It must have something to do with this amulet.” Angel looked at Wesley who held the amulet in his hand. He reached out and took it from Wesley staring at it curiously.

“This is the amulet I gave to Buffy. Lilah gave it to me when we came here. She said it was crucial to the final battle in Sunnydale.” He looked back at them determinately. “I need you three to look up everything you can find about this amulet. Down to the smallest detail, I want to know everything. You got it?”

They nodded in unison. Angel gripped the amulet tightly, “We’re going to find out what happened to her.”

3 hours later…

Angel was in his office pacing, he stopped when he heard Fred enter. Fred smiled brightly, “It was a lot of but I think I got all the dirt off of her. What do you think?”

He looked up to see Buffy standing a little behind Fred, her long hair was pulled back in a ponytail and she was wearing some of Fred’s clothes. She looked like her old self.

He smiled at Fred, “You did a good job Fred.”

Fred’s grin broadened, “Thanks Angel.” She turned to Buffy, “Come on Buffy why don’t you have a seat on the couch.” Buffy stared at Fred. Fred sighed and took Buffy’s hand and lead her to the couch. Fred walked over to Angel who was still staring at Buffy.

“She doesn’t seem to understand anything I say. Whenever I asked her to do something she just stared at me until I did it for her. It’s really weird.”

Angel continued to stare at Buffy. “Yeah she was like that with me.”

“Do you have any I idea what happened to her.”

He turned to her and let out a frustrated sigh. “I have Wes, Gunn, and Lorne on it now, but they’re having a hard time finding anything.”

Fred gave him a sympathetic smile, “They’ll find something I’m sure.” Her smile disappeared suddenly, “Angel there’s something I need to tell you.”

“What?”

Fred looked uncomfortable, “Well when I was helping her get a shower I noticed that there were a lot of scrapes and burns on her body.”

Angel nodded, “Yeah I saw that too.”

“Well that’s not it. When she turned around…” She shuddered, “Oh Angel her back is covered in scars. Not just a couple, there’s so many I couldn’t count. There are some that haven’t even healed yet and when I tried to put some cream on them she screamed. It took me an hour to calm her down.”

Angel stared at her then turned his gaze to Buffy. She was sitting on the couch picking at the sleeve of her shirt muttering to herself. What had happened to her?

Fred looked at him worriedly, “Someone’s been hurting her.”

Angel slammed his fist on his desk in anger. He picked a book off his desk and flung it at the door. Fred backed away from him but didn’t say anything, Buffy cried out in fear. Angel looked at her instantly realizing his mistake. Buffy stared back at him a look of pure fear in her eyes. He walked toward Buffy and she immediately put her arms protectively over her face. He stopped and kneeled in front of her. Angel grabbed her arms and pulled them from her face. Buffy tried to move away but he wouldn’t let her. Angel pulled her to him, wrapping his arms around her he held her tightly. “I am so sorry Buffy,” He chocked, “I’m sorry.”

Buffy let him hold her, her arms hung limply at her sides. She looked more confused then ever.

After several minutes Angel let her go, Buffy crawled back on the couch muttering to herself. Angel walked back to his desk and sat down, head in his hands. Fred looked as she was about to say something but Wesley, Lorne, and Gunn burst in before she could get a word out.

“Angel we’ve found something.”

Angel head shot up at the sound of Wesley’s voice. “What, what did you find.”

“Well the amulet it’s actually has a pretty interesting history. It dates back several centuries, actually the story of its making is quite fascinating. It all started…”

“Wes get to the point.”

Wesley looked back flustered, “Right, right sorry. Well the Gem of Vertigo dates back to ancient Egyptian times and it was to be used to trap evil.”

“Trap evil?”

“Yes the Gem of Vertigo was said to be created by the Egyptian god Geb, protector of Earth.” He began reading from the book he was holding. “A time will come when Evil will gain great power and the people will live in fear. But a champion will rise, ensouled but stronger than a human, the champion will sacrifice everything to save the people. Light will prevail and the Evil will be no more.

“Is this a prophecy of some sort?”

Wesley shook his head, “No, no it’s more of a warning.”

“Okay so this champion will trap the Evil.” Angel dangled the amulet in front of them. “You can’t tell me the Evils trapped in here.”

“No the amulet only serves as a portal.”

“A portal to what?”

“Hell.”

“Well that’s good right? All the baddies from Sunnydale went straight to Hell. But that still doesn’t explain what happened to Buffy.” The others agreed with Fred and looked expectantly at Wesley.”

Wesley cleared his throat nervously, “Yes, well it says here that the champion will sacrifice everything to save the people.”

“Meaning what exactly?”

“The wearer of the amulet gets trapped along with the Evil.”

Realization dawned on Fred, “That means…”

All five looked in horror at Buffy, “Buffy was in Hell.”

T.B.C
Phone Calls and Flashbacks by aej1085
Author's Notes:
Wow thanks for the reviews I really hope I don't disappoint. I have this return up to Chapter 6 so I'll post a new chapter every few days. I'm currently working on Chapter 7 but I'm also fighting a major case of writer's block so bare with me. Thanks again to my three reviewers NEO_trinityknot, Blazing Fire, and katakata.
Chapter 3

Phone Calls and Flashbacks

“Oh God!” Fred stared at Buffy with a mixture of sympathy and horror. How had this young woman gone through something so terrible and survived? Did Buffy know what she was doing when she wore the amulet? What had made her do it? Thousands of questions popped into Fred’s head, but they went unanswered and without Buffy’s help they’d stay that way. Buffy seemed unfazed by the groups reaction to the chilling truth, she had fallen fast asleep.

Lorne, Wesley, and Gunn had similar reactions to the discovery. Lorne had his hand over his mouth and for one of the few times in his life he was absolutely speechless. Gunn too stared at Buffy unsure of what to do. Wesley kept glancing nervously at Angel, having known the truth a little longer than the others he seemed to have gotten over the initial shock.

Angel didn’t move or speak, he simply stared at the amulet as if it was something poisonous. The air in Angel’s office was tense, no one seemed to know what to say or do. Angel suddenly reached for the amulet that lay on his desk and threw it at the wall. The amulet landed on the ground clattering loudly, but it remained undamaged.

Wesley went over to where the amulet had landed and picked it up. He walked back over to Angel’s desk and laid it down gently. Angel glared at him.

“Buffy and the amulet are connected. If anything were to happened to it Buffy could be hurt.” Wesley tried to explain.

“Like she hasn’t been hurt already?” Angel glowered.

Wesley sighed, “I’m just saying Angel. If you were to damage the amulet something serious could happened to her.”

Sensing a fight, Fred tried to intercept, “Look this isn’t anyone’s fault. We didn’t know what would happen to Buffy if she wore the amulet. No one could have known.”

“Oh yeah?” Angel countered, “You weren’t the one to give it to her were you? I thought I was helping but it was my fault that she ended up in Hell. I should have known if it was connected to this place it would have to be evil.”

“Angel don’t blame yourself. You didn’t know.”

“Get out.”

Lorne looked up sharply, “What!”

“You heard me I want you out of my office.” He turned his back as if dismissing them.

The others stared in disbelief at Angel who continued to stare out the windows with his back to them. One by one they left the office. Gunn was the last to leave slamming the door behind him. “What was up with him?”

“He’s just taking the news really hard.” Fred said defensively.

“Yes, well he didn’t have to take it out on us did he?”

Fred stared at her feet, “Yes I suppose you’re right.”

Gunn turned to Wesley, “I have a question Wes. When Buffy left Hell how come all the other evil guys didn’t come with her?”

“Like I said before, Buffy and the amulet have a special connection. So it could only bring her back.”

Gunn seemed satisfied with his answer. Lorne though seemed to be struggling with something, he acted like he was about to say something but each time he stared to speak he stopped. Finally he asked, “Okay so if she was in Hell why isn’t she dead?”

Wesley looked thoughtful, “I’m not sure really. It quite amazing though. She alive in every sense of the word, but like Angel said there’s something missing. She looks like Buffy, but she isn’t really.” He shrugged, “I guess that means more research for me.”

“I’ll help you.” Fred piped in.

Together they walked down the hall to do more research on Buffy and the amulet.

Gunn and Lorne stood alone outside Angel’s office.

“I’m going out.” Gunn started walking toward the elevator doors.

Lorne called after him, “Wait up, I could use a couple of drinks myself.”

Gunn pushed the down button and looked at Lorne wearily, “After today I don’t think a couple drinks are enough.”

Angel hadn’t moved, he continued to stare out the windows sorting out his thoughts. He knew he shouldn’t have lashed out at everyone like that, but he was so angry. At himself mostly, but also at Buffy, which made him even angrier. He blamed himself for giving her the amulet but he blamed her for wearing. She had to have known what she was doing and after what happened last time she died, how could she have been so careless. It was stupid he knew to be angry at someone for dying, but he couldn’t help but feel that way. If only she had let him stay with her that day, maybe… Angel gave a frustrated sigh. There was no time for maybes, Buffy was back and she needed his help. He would do everything it takes to get her back again. Angel walked over to where Buffy was laying on the couch. Even in her sleep she fidgeted constantly, small jerky movements. He brushed away a strand of hair that had fallen in her face. I’ll make this better he silently vowed. With that Angel went back to his desk, he had a phone call to make.

Rome, Italy

Rupert Giles thumbed slowly through one of his old Watcher’s journals. He found it reassuring especially on bad days, like today. Last night a group of Slayers had raided a warehouse which was believed to house demon activities. It had and several of the girls had gotten badly injured. Giles had been helping care for them but he wasn’t sure it was enough. He found himself drawn to the journals, he thought it helped take his mind of this awful day. Giles enjoyed reminiscing about the old times before that fateful day one year ago.

Giles sat in the bus peering out the window worriedly. Many of the injured were crying out in pain. Willow and some of the other Slayers were tending to them, doing the best they could.

A usually talkative Andrew sat in a trance like state.

Xander too was in shock and kept muttering the same name over and over again “Anya.”

Dawn kept looking anxiously out the back of the bus. He knew she was looking for Buffy, he too was wondering what had happened to her and Faith.

A loud thud from the roof of the bus startled him, Giles tried to see what was going. Dawn seemed to have better luck then him because she yelled excitedly, “It’s Buffy! You have to stop! Stop the bus!” The bus came to a halting stop but it was not Buffy who came on. A pale, stricken Faith and a semi-conscious Spike staggered in. Faith, who had been supporting Spike, dropped him into a nearby seat. “He needs help. Could somebody help him?” Immediately one of the girls went to him and began to take care of his many wounds. All eyes were on Faith, even Xander and Andrew were staring at her curiously, but she refused to meet their inquiring gazes and stared at her hands instead. Giles followed closely by Dawn went up to her. “Where’s Buffy?” She didn’t answer him. Giles grabbed her shoulders and shook her hard, “Where is she damn it!” Faith looked at him, her pale face laden with tears. “She didn’t make it.” Giles let her go, his world collapsing around him and the only sound he heard was Dawn wailing beside him.

The days after that seemed like a blur to him. The memorial had been especially hard. A few days after they had left Sunnydale they returned to it, at least what was left of it a giant carter in the ground. They said their last goodbyes to Buffy and to Anya who had died heroes. They said goodbye to their old lives as well. Because they knew things would never be the same after this. They had each left something in that giant crater. And finally they said goodbye to each other. Xander would not be going with them to Rome. He said he had fought enough apocalypses for one lifetime. He had lost something that day with Anya and Buffy, he lost part of himself something he could never get back. He could no longer be the funny Xander they loved. The last Giles had heard, Xander was living somewhere in California working various construction jobs. There had been frequent letters and phone calls at first, but one day he stopped calling and stopped writing. He was moving on Giles knew and he was glad, but it hurt just the same. A couple days later Giles, Dawn, Spike, Willow, Andrew and most of the Slayers left for Rome. Minus Faith and Robin, who hadn’t been seen since Buffy and Anya’s memorial. There they set up their headquarters and for a few months everything seemed to be going well. Then one day Willow told him she had decided to go back to the States. There was rumored to be a hellmouth in Ohio and she wanted to be there to help out. Not to long after that they said goodbye to Willow, Andrew, and the Slayers they took with them. Willow called to let him know how things were going once a month, but it wasn’t the same. He missed the bright, young red-head.

So that left Dawn, Spike and him. Dawn had been a wreck after losing her sister, crying day and night. No one seemed to be able to console her. She refused to accept her new life in the beautiful Italian city, she wanted things to go back to the way they were. For days she stayed in her room, leaving only to eat and shower. But with much help from Giles and Spike she moved on and decided to live her life. “The hardest thing to do in this world is to live in it. Be brave live for me.” Dawn lived everyday for her sister. She enrolled in a local college and became a full-time student. She had made lots of new friends and a great new boyfriend, Paolo. Giles knew Dawn was happy but the same couldn’t be said for Spike. Spike had helped Dawn to move on after her sister’s death. The two had grown a lot closer since their last day in Sunnydale. But Spike had changed since that day. He was no longer the outspoken vampire he’d once been, he was quiet and reserved. He had little contact with humans except for Dawn and Giles. He stopped fighting the good fight and withdrew completely. Only with much begging from Dawn did he agree to help train the new Slayers. Giles finally accepted that Spike loved Buffy, and they too had gotten closer with her passing.

The shrill ringing of the phone broke into Giles’ thoughts.

“Hello Rupert Giles speaking. How can I help you?”

“Giles?”

“Yes?”

“Giles it’s Angel.”

Giles couldn’t disguise the surprise in his voice. “Angel it’s been awhile. Have you been?”

“Fine, fine,” Angel sounded impatient. “Listen Giles there’s something I need to tell you.”

“Okay?”

“I don’t know how to tell you this.” He paused, “Do you remember the amulet you guys used at Sunnydale?”

“Yes I do.”

“Well someone sent it to me and when I touched it…”

“Angel?”

“Buffy’s back.”

Silence

“Giles I’m sorry but I didn’t know how to tell you. I know this is quite a shock…”

Giles cut him off, “We’ll be on the next flight to L.A.”

“Giles there’s something else you should know.”

“It can wait till we get there. Goodbye Angel.”

“Giles wait!”

But Giles hung up the phone. He looked down at the book in his lap, realizing his usually neat writing was smudged. He touched the smudges, smearing the blue ink. He must have dripped some of his drink on it when he had been talking on the phone. Giles tossed the book from his lap angry at himself for ruining the pages. He stood up and began walking to his room, but when he passed a mirror he stopped. Because Giles realized it had been his own tears that had smeared the pages.

Wolfram and Hart, L.A.

“Angel I’m sorry I bothered you but…” Fred broke off realizing Angel wasn’t listening to her because he had fallen asleep in his chair. She walked up to him and tapped him lightly on the shoulder trying to wake him up. When that didn’t work she tried shaking him but still no effect.

“Angel!” She yelled in his ear. This time it worked because a startled Angel looked up at Fred confused.

She gave a small smile, “I’m sorry to scare you Angel but Wesley and I wanted to talk to you.”

“What time is it?”

“Noon.”

Angel jumped out his chair. “Oh no I forgot. They’re coming and…Buffy where’s Buffy?”

“She’s sleeping on the couch.” She looked at him concerned. Angel are you okay?”

Angel looked to see Buffy sleeping peacefully on the couch. He sighed in relief. “Yeah, yeah I’m fine. Look Fred could you get everybody to meet me out in the lobby in ten minutes.”

“Sure I can do that.”

He smiled at her, “Thanks Fred. I’ll see you then.”

She turned to leave, “Okay bye Angel.”

Angel needed to tell everyone what was going on. Giles was coming today to see Buffy at least who he thought was Buffy. Angel didn’t know how he was going to tell him, explain to Giles what had happened to her. Angel wasn’t even sure exactly what had happened to her. Angel was beginning to feel overwhelmed with the daunting task in front of him.

Ten minutes later Angel left his office and entered the lobby where Fred, Gunn, Wesley and Lorne were waiting of him. Gunn was staring at him angrily, Lorne was completely ignoring him, Wesley looked uncertain and kept looking at the elevator as if looking for and escape, and Fred looked worried. Angel had forgotten about his outburst last night.

“Look guys I’m sorry for kicking you out like that. I was angry about Buffy, I shouldn’t have yelled like that. I’m sorry.”

Fred smiled warmly, “It’s okay Angel, we understand.”

“Yeah whatever.” Gunn muttered.

“Giles, Buffy’s Watcher, is coming today to see her.”

Wesley looked startled, “Mr. Giles is coming here.”

Angel nodded, “I called him last night to tell him about Buffy.”

“How’d he take it?”

“Not well.”

Fred looked sympathetic, “When should we expect him?”

“Well there’s one more thing I need to tell you.”

“What?”

But before Angel could answer a terrified scream pierced through the once silent room. It was coming from Angel’s office. Lorne who was the closest to the office got to Buffy first. She was moving her arms and legs violently, trying to fight some invisible attacker.

“It’s okay sweetcakes. It’s just a dream.” Lorne crooned soothingly. Buffy opened her eyes but still in her dream world she confused Lorne with her invisible assailant. Out of fear she pushed him away from her but she was still unaware of her Slayer powers. Her push launched him to the other side of the room. Lorne hit the wall and fell to the ground with a loud thud. Fred upon seeing this was instantly at Lorne’s side. Angel, Gunn, and Wesley went over to where Buffy was standing on the couch wild-eyed and dangerous.

Angel tried to calm her, “It’s us Buffy, you’re friends. We don’t want to hurt you. It’s okay.” But his efforts were in vain, he had lost Buffy’s trust.

She lunged from the couch to where Angel was standing, bringing him down to the ground with her. She punched, hit and kicked him with all her might and for a Slayer that was quite a lot. Angel managed to block some of her punches but took a few to the face. She was unrelenting, Angel couldn’t even touch her. But somehow he managed to pin her beneath him. She fought him but Angel was stronger and after what seemed like forever she finally quit fighting.

“Maybe we should chain her up or something.” Gunn who had gotten out of the way doing the fight came over to Angel’s side.

“Gunn!” Fred gasped in shock. With the help of Wesley, she laid an unconscious Lorne of the couch. “We can’t do that.”

“That girl is dangerous. I mean look what she did to Lorne and he was trying to help her.”

“B-but this is Buffy!”

Gunn just shrugged, “Not anymore.”

Angel looked from Fred to Gunn, Buffy still pinned beneath him. He didn’t know what to do. He looked down at Buffy. The scared girl who had burst from the amulet was no more. The frightened look she once held in those beautiful green eyes was now replaced with a look of pure hatred.

A Plane To L.A.

Giles watched from the window as the rich Italian landscape disappeared from sight. After the phone call from Angel he had immediately called the airport and booked ticket on the first flight to the US. The news of Buffy’s return had seemed unreal at first, but now that he was a flight to see her he was overwhelmed with emotion.

“Giles are you okay?” Dawn peered at him uncertainly.

“Yes, yes Dawn I’m fine. Are you?”

She smiled at him, “I’m scared, excited, nervous, happy, worried all at the same time. But I’m better then I was before.” When Giles had told Dawn she had burst into tears and sobbed into his shoulder for over an hour.

Giles patted her arm gently, “I feel the same way. But I can’t wait to see her again.”

“H-how did she get back this time?”

“Angel said something about the amulet we used at Sunnydale.”

This seemed to catch Spike’s attention. “The amulet?”

Giles was surprised to hear Spike speak. He hadn’t said a word since Giles told him the news. Then he told Spike about the tickets and left him in the training room. When Giles and Dawn were about to leave Spike was waiting at the door a small bag at his side. “Yes the amulet.”

Dawn too looked at Spike curiously, “What else did Angel say?”

“Nothing except that there was something else he needed to tell me.”

“What?”

“Well I hung before he could tell me.” Giles said sheepishly.

“Giles what if…”

But Giles waved her off, “I’m sure it was nothing important.”

T.B.C
Heartbreaking Reunions by aej1085
Chapter 3

Heartbreaking Reunions

Wolfram and Hart, L.A.

“So this is what Angels been doing all this time.” Dawn stared in awe at the enormous building before her.

“Wolfram and Hart, yes this is the place.” Giles, Dawn and Spike were standing outside the law office about to go in.

“She’s really in there.” Dawn said longingly. Though Dawn did love her new life in Rome she would have given it up in a heartbeat just to have her sister back. She kept pinching herself just as a reminder that it was not all a dream. Buffy was back and she was waiting for them.

“Yes she is.” Giles too couldn’t wait to see Buffy again.

“Well what are we waiting for let’s go see her.”

Together the three of them walked into the building and up to the receptionist desk. Giles cleared his throat, “Please tell Angel that Rupert Giles is here to see him. He should be expecting us.”

The receptionist immediately got on the phone and dialed Angel. After a few quick words she looked back to Giles. “Mr. Angel is waiting for you. Take the elevator to the top floor.” Giles gave her a curt nod and headed off toward the elevators.

Angel was pacing in front of Harmony’s desk waiting for Giles to come. Wesley, Fred, and Gunn too were watching anxiously for the elevator doors to open.

“How’s Lorne?” Angel tried to start a conversation to get his mind off the impending meeting.

“He’s doing better. The med lab said he should be awakening shortly.” Wesley answered.

“And the others?”

“Doing better.”

“Good, good.” Angel nodded distractedly.

“Angel about Buffy…” Wesley started but didn’t get to finish because the elevator doors opened and there stood Giles, Dawn and Spike.

The three of them entered the lobby taking in there surroundings, Angel stepped forward to greet them.

“Giles it’s good to see you again.” He gave Giles a quick handshake.

Then he turned to Dawn, hugging her tightly, “Dawnie you’ve grown so much since I last saw you.”

“Spike.” They could tell by Angel’s tone that he was not happy to see the other vampire. Spike gave him a quick nod but didn’t say anything.

“So,” Dawn began, “When can we see her?”

Angel’s friendly mood disappeared at the mention of Buffy. “Well that’s what I need to talk to you about.”

“What do you mean you need to talk to us about it?” Giles asked suspiciously.

“Um why don’t y’all go into Angel’s office.” Fred spoke up.

Angel looked at Fred gratefully, “Yes why don’t we go into my office.” Angel put his arm around Dawn’s shoulder to lead her to his office but she shook him off.

“Where the hell is my sister?”

“Dawn I don’t think we should discuss this out here.” Angel tried to walk to his office but was stopped when Giles grabbed his arm.

“Where is she?” His tone was dangerous and his grip on Angel tightened. “Tell me now!” Angel said nothing.

“Mr. Giles, Angel is right this type of matter should be discussed in the privacy of his office.” Wesley

“Shut up Wesley!” Giles hissed, “If he has something to tell me it can wait till after I see Buffy.”

“Giles.” Spike place his hand on Giles’ shoulder, “We should listen to what they have to say.” Giles looked from Spike to Angel before letting go of Angel’s wrist. “But,” Spike said looking from each member of the group his gaze finally landing on Angel. “We will see her.”

They walked silently into Angel’s office. Giles and Dawn sat slumped on the couch clearly not wanting to be there, Spike stood near them leaning against the wall looking intently at the sunlight streaming in through the windows. Angel sat at his desk, Gunn, Fred, and Wesley stood behind him.

“I know you really want to see Buffy but there is something you have to understand. Buffy isn’t like she was before, she’s changed.” He trailed off for a moment, “a lot.”

“Changed how?”

“Well when the amulet brought her back it…” He stopped. Angel didn’t know what to say. How was he supposed to tell them the person they loved most in this world had just spent a year in Hell?”

Wesley broke in, “The amulet was created to trap the Evil and it is to be worn be someone who is ensouled and stronger than a human, a..”

Spike interrupted him, “A champion.”

Wesley looked at Spike curiously, “Yes you’re quite right a champion. The amulet serves as a portal which the champion uses to trap the Evil in Hell.”

“Okay so the amulet trapped the First and all the baddies in Hell. What does this have to do with Buffy?” Dawn asked impatiently.

“Well not only does the Evil get trapped but so does the wearer of the amulet. They have to sacrifice their own life for the greater good.”

Wesley watched as Giles, Spike, and Dawn reacted to the news. Giles put his head in his hands and sobbed loudly. Spike said nothing simply glared at everyone. Dawn stood up in front of Angel’s desk and looked him straight in the eye, “Take me to my sister.”

Angel’s eyes widened, “Dawn Buffy was in Hell she doesn’t know who you are anymore. I can’t take you to her, she’s dangerous.”

But Dawn refused to listen, she pounded her fist on his desk, “I said take me to Buffy NOW!”

Angel looked at Dawn sadly, “Dawnie I’m so sorry.” He tried to hug her but she pushed him away.

“You’re lying Buffy wasn’t in Hell. She couldn’t be. No I don’t believe you.” She began to shake uncontrollably. Spike who had been watching Dawn, walked over to her a wrapped her into a protective embrace. She cried into his shoulder.

After several minutes Giles managed to compose himself, he faced Angel again. “Is there anyway that you’re wrong, that Buffy wasn’t in Hell?”

Dawn too stopped crying to listen to Angel’s answer.

Angel shook his head dejectedly, “No, there’s no way we’re wrong.”

Giles let out a ragged sigh, “Oh God.” He looked back at Angel pleadingly, “Please just let us see her.”

A mixture of emotions crossed Angel’s face at Giles’ plea, but he knew he couldn’t keep them from seeing her. “Follow me.”

Together the seven of them made their way down the hall and towards a door heavily guarded by two armed men. The armed guards moved away from the doorway to let Angel and the others pass through. The room was small and empty and with no windows there was little light but they could clearly make out the huddled form of Buffy chained to the wall by her hands and feet. Dawn’s first instinct was to run to her sister but Angel held her back. Giles stood in stunned silence.

Spike’s eyes flashed angrily as he spun around to face Angel, “What have you done?”

Angel matched Spike’s anger, “I had no choice.” He ground out.

“No choice?” Spike let out a harsh laugh. “Peaches this is Buffy we’re talkin about not some bloody monster!”

“You and I both know Hell changes people. God Spike she was there for a year, that must have been like an eternity for her. She doesn’t remember who we are and she doesn’t trust us. She nearly killed Lorne today because she thought he was attacking her and she took out three guards when we brought her in here.”

“She always was a tough lil bird.” He said smugly.

“This isn’t a joke Spike! Buffy is dangerous. She’s scared and unpredictable, and until we earn her trust back this is what has to be done.”

“You really think that by chaining her up you’re going to earn her trust back?”

Angel glared at him, “That’s not the point.” He sighed frustratingly, “I don’t know what else to do with her.”

“Unchain her.”

“No.”

“Stop treating her like she’s a damned animal for godsake she’s a human being.”

Angel just shook his head, “No I don’t like it anymore than you do but I won’t unchain her.”

“Then I will.” He started to walk towards Buffy but Angel grabbed his arm to stop him.

Spike looked down to see where Angel held his arm tightly, “What do you think you’re doing Peaches?”

“I won’t let you unchain her Spike.”

“That’s a good one Poofter.” Spike pushed Angel away from him. Angel staggered back but when he regained his balance he advanced angrily toward Spike.

Too caught up in their anger neither noticed Buffy, who was straining on her chains trying to break free. The others too were to busy watching Spike and Angel to pay any attention to her. They heard the chains break as Buffy ripped off the chains around her arms and the ones around her legs came off just as easily. No one moved they all stared at Buffy unsure of what to do. She was breathing heavily she looked around at each member of the group her gaze finally landing on Angel. Her eyes flashed dangerously at the sight of him and he knew she was going to attack him. He quickly pushed Dawn and Fred out the door where Giles and Gunn quickly followed. “Shut the door!” They did as they were told and Spike and Angel were left with an extremely angry Buffy.

“I told you, you shouldn’t of chained her up.” Spike muttered under his breath.

“Shut up this isn’t the time.” Buffy was watching him intently. “Come on Buffy it’s Angel remember, I won’t hurt you.” Buffy continued to watch him, her eyes narrowing suspiciously.

“I don’t think it’s working.”

He gave Spike a look to shut him up which was all Buffy needed to attack. She came at him watch punching him hard in the gut. Angel went down on his knees in pain. Buffy grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and threw him at the wall. He hit the wall and landed on his stomach. Buffy walked over to the unmoving Angel and kicked him in the side. Angel still didn’t move.

“I think he’s out sweetheart.”

Buffy had not noticed the darkly clad newcomer who was standing a few feet from her. But the way he was looking at her made her uneasy.

“Hello Buffy.”

She didn’t acknowledge his address but he hadn’t expected her too. Angel was right she didn’t know who he was, God she didn’t even know who she is or who she had been. She didn’t know she was a Slayer or remember all the good she had done. This was going to be harder than he thought.

Spike walked closer to Buffy. “I know you don’t know who I am and I know you don’t trust me. But listen to me I’m here to help you not hurt you.”

Buffy stood her ground but continued to stare at him disbelievingly.

Spike ran his fingers through his hair in frustration. “God I must sound like the Poofter.” He tried again, “Listen Buffy…”

“Stop.” It was the first time she had spoken since she returned. Her voice sounded ragged and hoarse it had been along time since she last used it.

“Stop what?”

“Stop calling me that.”

Spike looked at her incredulously, “What, Buffy?”

“Yes, don’t call me that name.”

“But that’s your name Buffy.”

Buffy put her hands of her ears and shook her head violently. “No, no lies it’s all lies.”

Spike instantly went to her and tried to pry her hands away from her head. Buffy pushed him away and backed into the wall. She pulled her knees to her chest and begin rocking back and forth, muttering to herself. He tried once again and reached out to grab her hand, but she flinched and he backed away.

“Don’t touch it burns. Oh how it burns.”

Spike stood watching and listening as Buffy continued to talk to herself, he didn’t know what else to do.

“It hurts as they tear at me, ripping me apart. Why doesn’t anyone help me, why won’t they stop?”

“Help me! Someone please help me. But no one comes and I’m left alone. There is nothing I can do but let them take everything from me. Let them destroy me.”

Buffy stopped rocking and stopped talking. A painful silence followed no one moved, no one spoke. Listening to Buffy recounted her time in Hell just about killed Spike. She thought everyone had deserted her, left her to be tortured. No wonder she’s been so angry with everyone. But she wasn’t going to be alone anymore he’d make sure of it.

Spike went to Buffy, determined to help her any way he could. He pulled her to him, she fought him but Spike wouldn’t let her go. Finally she surrendered burying her head in his chest letting out gut wrenching sobs. Spike held her tighter, whispering comforting words softly as she continued to cry. “That’s it luv, let it all out.”

When the sobs finally ceased Buffy still clung to Spike, finding comfort in her stranger’s arms. And that’s where they stayed until many hours later when the others returned to the little room. They found Angel still sprawled out in the middle of the room. But that was not what surprised them, all five stared in surprise at the other two occupants of the room. Spike was leaning against the wall with Buffy’s head lying contently on his chest, even in their sleep they held each other tightly. Buffy and Spike had found each other once again.

T.B.C
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