Episode 2: Twice in a Lifetime by Pari
Summary: Spike sucked into a parallel world, and it will take a lifetime for him to get back...will he remember his love for Buffy?
Categories: Serial Fics Characters: None
Genres: Romance, Angst
Warnings: Violence, Sexual Situations
Challenges:
Series: The Uncanny 6th Season
Chapters: 6 Completed: Yes Word count: 15827 Read: 9481 Published: 05/31/2004 Updated: 05/31/2004

1. 1 by Pari

2. 2 by Pari

3. 3 by Pari

4. 4 by Pari

5. 5 by Pari

6. 6 by Pari

1 by Pari
The car was parked in a very popular spot in Sunnydale, the make-out point. It had been there for nearly a half hour, with its tinted windows fogged up and its frame frequently bouncing on its wheels.



"Mmmm…mmm. Ahhh…ah, oh, oh," she moaned and gasped as she moved her hands about her; gripping the leather seat beneath her, her hair, his hair. "Oh God, oh God, oh God!" she panted arching her back
completely from the seat. "Ahhhhhh!" She shrieked. Suddenly he lifted his head and peered out the window. "No! Don't stop, why are you stopping?" She looked down at him with a pout, a frown, and a strong grip on his hair.



"I heard someone screaming." He said as he lifted further up.



"Yeah," She said with a `DUH' expression on her face. "That was me." She declared as she tried to push him back down in between her thighs.



"No luv, that was someone else, out there." He motioned his head towards the window. "We better go check it out." He lifted up and adjusting his clothes.



"Are you sure you heard right, I mean could you hear anything down there and with me…"



"Squealing like a banshee?" He finished with a smirk. She just rolled her eyes at him. "Yeah I'm sure, vampire hearing, remember?"



"That's it from now on no more vampiness while we're making love. Except for the vamp strength and endurance, those can stay on, but that's it." Buffy huffed as she began fixing her own clothes, now
very hot and bothered.



"Fine, whatever. Now shouldn't we get out there and save whomever that is screaming...and did you just say making love?" Spike asked arching his brow at her. The color drained from Buffy's face and her
eyes got wider.



"No!" She yelped with a dry voice, as she hurried pulled on her garments and hopped from the car, with Spike close on her heels.



"Yes you did. You referred to our nightly romps as `making love'. You know that thing that people 'in love' do. Slowly, gently." Spike said as he stroked the side of Buffy's face with the back of his hand, which Buffy quickly brushed off.



"We have someone to save remember, lets move out." Buffy said. "So in what direction did the scream come from?"



"Ahhh!!" The scream came again before Spike could answer, it was louder and closer, both Buffy and Spike jumped and then race towards it. They came upon two robed vampires clutching a young girl. One of the vampires chanted some words Buffy couldn't understand and then a blue light emerged beside it. The tear became larger, and another world could be seen on the other side. The young girl struggled as
the vamps moved her to the opening. Buffy and Spike quickly moved in to action, each taking on one of the vamps. The two demon slayers clearly had the upper hand until the vamp Spike was now toying with
tackled him, knocking them both through the opening. Buffy dispatched her vamp to a pile of dust and had turned to see how Spike was fairing, and then watched helplessly as the blue opening closed,
taking Spike with it.



"SPIKE!"



~~



"One of them chanted some thing and then an opening appeared, Spike went through it, and then it closed." Buffy said as she paced about her living room floor. The entire Scooby gang watched Buffy, listening, all except Anya, who still wasn't ready to face anyone,
especially Xander, after the wedding fiasco.



"Well did you understand the language, I mean was it Latin, maybe?" Tara asked.



"I'm not sure," Buffy answered as she hugged herself.



"OK," Xander interjected raising his hand. "Am I the only one not seeing this as a bad thing?" He then fell silent as the four ladies glared at him in disbelief. "I'm just saying." He said a little lower.



"What?" Dawn asked in a panicked voice. "Are you saying we should just leave him there?"



"No Dawnie, of course not." Tara said as she stood and moved to comfort the young girl.



"I'm just saying, maybe it's better this way. It saves us the trouble of staking him later." Xander spoke again.



"Xander." Willow called in a warning voice.



"No Will, someone has to say it. So what Spike has helped us out, but it's only been for his own selfish reason; first it was to get paid and then it to get laid by Buffy." At those words Buffy shot him a deadly glare. "But come on the only reason he's stopped trying to kill us is because of that chip, and the season it's out or malfunctions or something…hello Big Bad."



"It doesn't work on me." Buffy mumbled as she now stared down at her feet. She spoke so softly that no one made out what she had said.



"Come again." Xander said as he lean out to hear her better.



"Spike's chip…it doesn't work on me." Buffy repeated.



~~


He stood with his grip still tight on the vamp he held, "Where in the hell are we?" Spike growled.



"Where our kind belong, this is a demon world." The vamp answered. And Parisian will want to meet you."



"Who's Parisian?' Spike asked as he let go of the vamp and scanned his surroundings.



"She's our queen. Come I shall take you to her." The vamp said as he moved away.



"Does she know how to get me back to my world?"



"Yes she has the power to open realms."



"Then let's go." Spike said following the vamp. Spike was amazed at the look of the world, it was dark, mostly all the buildings were in ruins and Demolished car and barrel holding bonfires littered the streets. "Where are all the people?"



"I told you, this is a demon world we're the majority here. Most the humans, the one still alive, are hiding, but we track them and kill them."



"Wait, you kill all the humans what do you feed on?"



"Each other." The vamp said as he looked over his shoulder at Spike, and Spike gave him a baffled look. "This is not your world my friend, things are very different here. We don't need Human's blood all
demons here from Humdrek to Gethal demons live together peacefully. Oh and the sun never rises so no worries about combusting. This is demon paradise, you'll like it here."



"I don't plan on staying long." Spike mumbled as he cautiously watched two Chaos demons walk by peacefully, nodding to greet him as they passed.



"You really can't be serious about going back, why would you want to with the sunlight, people tracking you, and the Slayer's there."



"Yeah I know and she's why I'm going back."



"Why you got a dead wish or something?"



"Yeah or something."



"There are stories of a vamp who killed two slayers back in the day, but…wait a minute was that you? You're that vamp are you?" The vamp asked stopping and turning to look at Spike.



"Yeah." Spike said with a sigh, wanting to forgot those `Glory Days'.



"Oh man, that's awesome." The vamp exclaimed excitedly. "Parisian's definitely gonna want to meet you, come on." The vamp lead Spike to what looked to be some sort of temple.



"Anything?" Buffy asked as she looked up from the book she was reading to address the others as they all sat around her kitchen table.



"Nothing here." Tara said with a sympathetic frown.



"No." Willow stated.



"Make that a double no." Xander said, shutting his book in frustration. "So exactly how long has Spike been able to hurt you, and why didn't you say anything about it before now?



"Xander, not now please let's just keep looking, there has to be something here, something we're missing." Buffy said as she started searching her book again.



"Buff, we've been through all of these book twice, there nothing here. We should start fresh tomorrow…"



"NO!" We have to help Spike now he might not have tomorrow. I can't…I won't just leave him there." Buffy said with a shaky voice that everyone took note of, but only one understood. "He stayed after I died, he stayed and he protected Dawn. He didn't have to but he did.
Even now he help me to keep her safe, and with patrolling." Buffy said lowering her face to hide the tears that threatened to spill out. "I don't know I guess I'd feel better if I could see he was ok...alive."



"We..well there maybe a way you can." Tara said and all eyes shot on her. "There's a spell, but I'll have to be in the exact spot that Spike was in when he sisappeared. Will, if you can make a circle of
candles somewhere on the floor here, with a large bowl of water in the center, I may be able to open a portal?" Buffy's eyes perked up at her words. "Not the kind that would allow Spike to pass back through, whoever open the portal would have to do that, but we can see Spike and where he is."



"Great," Buffy said as she stood. "I'll take you to where we were. Will you make the candle thingy, and Xander you and Dawn keep up with the research." Buffy turn so quickly that she didn't catch her sister's joy at being allowed to finally do research, though Dawn suspected that when they got Spike back, that would end fast.



Buffy found her way back to the spot she had been with Spike, less then a couple of hours before hand. She walked in silence never really looking up. It was Tara who finally spoke, breaking the deafening silence. "Are you ok?" Buffy just shook her head no. "I'm sorry sweetie."



"He was just here, right here with me, we were…" Buffy looked up bashfully catching a sweet smile from Tara, and then she looked back down at the ground. "Then he was gone, and I may never get him back. I'll never get to tell him I…"



"What?" Tara asked in a supportive tone.



"Spike and I are lovers again." Buffy announced.



"Yeah I kind of guessed, why else would you be parked here with him." Tara said with a smile. It then dawned of Buffy exactly where they were.



"Oh, right." Buffy said looking down in shame.



"Oh, Buffy I'm not judging you. It's ok, I mean I totally understand when people judge you because of who you're with, who you love."



"Yeah I guess you do, huh?" Buffy asked and Tara nodded remembering ow hard it was for her and Willow when they first started dating.



"But I learned that if you spend all your time wondering what others think, what they'll say, you miss out on being in love and how wonderful it is. No one can live your life but you, and you obviously have feelings for Spike, strong ones, you shouldn't be ashamed of
them. You shouldn't have to hide them either. And if the others don't understand…well that's their problem." Tara said with a warm smile, which Buffy returned.



"It was here, where Spike vanished."



"Good, ok let's get started."





Spike found himself in a grand hall with ivory columns reaching to the high ceiling, in between the columns were life-size statues. The vamp lead Spike further down the hallway until they came to a huge mahogany door. Two guards stood at the doors, opening them to the approaching vamps. The scene before him instantly overwhelmed spike; the room was filled with Vampires and Demons. Some were dancing about
wildly to the music booming throughout the room, but most were on the floor in groups; bodies fused in lust. At the far end of the large room sat a throne-like chair with a woman lounging leisurely across it, one of her legs thrown over one of the arms of the chair. Two
vamps; one male the other female sat at the woman's feet, stroking her hands and legs. "Eric" the woman greeted the vamp with Spike. "Welcome home, where's my virgin?"



"My queen, there was a slight problem." The vamp spoke bowing his head a little.



"Oh?" The woman said as she waved off her groupies and stood. Spike's mouth grew dry, he was in complete awe at this magnificent creature before him.



"We were attacked by the slayer, Jonah didn't make it, but I have brought you a gift."



"A gift, really," She walked towards them, stopping right in front of Spike. She smiled at Spike who smiled back despite himself and his surrounding. "I love gifts."



"This is the vamp of legends, the one who has killed two slayers." The woman's eyes lit up in glee.



"Really?" She said as she slowly circled Spike, looking him over. Spike followed her with his head. "The killer of Slayers." Her smile broadened. "And what is your name, killer of slayers?" She asked stopping in front of Spike once again.



"Spike."



"Now that an interesting name, I'd love to hear the story of how you got that name, Spike?" She traced her fingers across Spike duster.



"Well, maybe I'll tell you sometime." Spike said pouring on his infamous charm.



"I'd like that, come, sit, let's chat."



"Yeah then you can tell me how to get back to my world."



"Well what if I told you there was no way back?" The woman gave Spike a very sultry smile.



"Did it work?" Buffy and Tara asked as they rushed into the living room where Willow had set everything up.



"Well I think so yeah, but it's kind of loopy." Willow answered as she, Xander, and Dawn watched as different scenes zipped by.



"Oh yeah, it's like someone hit the fast forward button." Dawn added.



"Rallentamento!" (`Slow Down' in Italian) Tara said and the scene displayed in the bowl of water slowed to normal speed. The grand room hosting the vamp and demon orgy appeared.



"Whoa!" Dawn exclaimed and Willow, who was closest to her covered her eyes with her hand.



"Are you sure this will locate Spike?" Buffy asked as she made a face at the scene.



"Since I use some thing of Spike's in the spell, yeah it should locate Spike."



"What did you use?" Willow asked still covering Dawn's yes.



"Oh…ah a ring of Spike's. The skull ring he gave me when he asked me to marry him, you now when were under that spell." Buffy answered avoiding the eyes she knew were gawking at her by focusing on the
portal in the water.



"Again with the sorry on that." Willow said with a weak smile.



"Can I open my eyes now?" Dawn asked.



"NO!" Willow, Tara, and Buffy yelped. Then their eyes fell to Xander who had been quiet, gazing into the portal.



"Xander!" Buffy called to him, snapping him from his fixation.



"What, I wasn't looking at anything. I mean I was looking for Spike and not at those two female vamps making out with each other." Xander defended as his gaze shifted back to the portal.



"Xander focus, please." Buffy said and Xander moved from the portal.



"Guys come on, I'm not a child." Dawn whined and Willow smirked to Buffy, who rolled her eyes and then nodded. Willow removed her hands from Dawn's eyes and Dawn instantly wrinkled up her nose at the sight
before her. "Ewww. Hey there's Spike." She said pointing him out and everyone gather closer.



"Whoa, who's the babe and why is she hanging all over Spike?" Xander questioned as Buffy's face dropped.
2 by Pari
~~



"Tell me Spike, why would you want to go back? To a place where
you're not wanted, and hunted, is it to kill the Slayer, cause I'd be
more than happy to send my army back with you…" Parisian began as
Spike quickly cut her off.



"No! I don't want to kill Buffy, I just want to go home." Spike said
matter-of-factly. Parisian narrowed her eyes at the vamp sitting
beside her and quickly removed the hand she had resting on Spike's
thigh.



"Buffy? You and the slayer are on first name basis?"



"Yeah something like that." Spike said shifting uncomfortably under
the female vamp's gaze. Parisian's eyes seem to bore into him and
before he could react, he realized in amazement exactly what she was
doing.



"You're in love with her." Parisian stated amused greatly. Spike
again was in awe.



"You can read minds?" Spike asked.



"Yes can't you?"



"No."



"Well the dark gift is different for us all, some of us can read
minds, some are unusually strong, fast, some can even walk in
daylight." Parisian stated as she sat back more comfortably in her
chair.



"Can you?" Spike asked not believing.



"What, walk in daylight, of course but I'm special, I'm a God."
Parisian said while smiling devilishly. "I can walk between
dimension."



"Because you're a God?" Spike said and then winked and clicked his
teeth. "Okay, well then God could you please open the doorway back to
my world so I can go home?"



"So eager to get back to your beloved slayer."



"Well, yeah."



"What's your hurry Spike, why don't you stay awhile enjoy yourself.
You know that pesky chip in your head," Parisian said in a whisper as
she moved closer, her soft supple lips brushing Spike's ear as she
spoke. "It doesn't work here." She leaned back smiling in to the now
wide eyes staring back at her.



~~



"Ok now that's not good. She's deactivated Spike's chip and now if he
comes back he can kill again. Oh God I'll be the first he comes after
I bet. You think he's still pissed about our run in the cemetery?"
Xander asked, nervously running his hand through his hair.



"Stop worrying Xander, we don't know if it's just that world that
prohibits the chip. Maybe when he returns it'll turn back on." Willow
said hoping to soothe her friend's worries.



"Yeah, maybe. Spike doesn't know where I live right. I mean none of
you told her did ya?" Xander asked pointing his finger wildly to each
of his friends, Buffy rolled her eyes.



"You did hear me when I said Spike could hurt me, but he hasn't. At
least not in a bad way." Buffy said smiling slightly while
remembering some of their earlier activities.



"Ewww, Buffy TMI." Dawn said wrinkling her nose. "I really don't want
to hear about Spike boning you. However, I am interested to know what
he looks like without his shirt on." Dawn said with a huge smile.



"I'll never tell." Buffy said and suddenly Xander busted out in
giggles, causing everyone in the room to stare at him.



"That's the ditty Anya and I sang when that singing demon guy I
summoned was in town. We were telling each other all he things that
bothered us about each other. We even sang about our fears of getting
married." Xander said his voice fading at the end and his eyes
drifted down to the floor. "God I miss her." Willow moved to him,
rubbing his back.



"She'll be back, she just needs time." Willow said with a sad smile,
which Xander returned nodding his head slightly.



"I really hope you're right about that."



"I am."



"Soooo," Dawn cut in not wanting to discuss Anya and Xander any
further, the topic saddened her. "Any ideas about how were getting
Spike back?"



"Well, I think she's the only one that can get Spike back, but I'll
keep looking for a spell." Tara said point to the woman in the screen.



~~



Spike and Parisian walked arm in arm about her palace like abode.
Spike was quite impressed with the artwork Parisian had through out
the place. The snob in him made him speak his knowledge on nearly
every piece they passed. Spike was sure that Parisian was well aware
of each pieces value, but she humored him and allowed his tails. They
came upon a grand door, one much like the others they had passed,
except this one had been plated with pure gold. Again the guards
stood on either side of the doors, opening them as Parisian and Spike
approached, and closing them after they entered the room. The room
was huge with a high ceiling and an abnormally gigantic bed right in
the middle. As if reading his thoughts again, Parisian spoke to
relief the mounting look of fear in Spike' eyes.



"Don't worry Spike I didn't bring you here to have sex, although I
wouldn't mind in the least if you wanted to." She said with a sly
smile and a wink. "I just thought you might be hungry." She clapped
her hands and two young figures quickly moved out of the shadows to
stand before them, one a girl the other a boy. "Which would you like,
they're both sweet? Virgins always are." Parisian circled the
children, who looked to be no more than twelve years old, as if
trying to decide which she wanted more, while tapping her fingertip
to her lips. She finally stopped behind the girl, pulling the girls
long blonde hair back over her shoulder, exposing her throat. "Oh but
her flesh is softer, easier to tear." Parisian said as her fangs
became more visible as they sank in to the girl's shoulder. The girl
winced but didn't move an inch, not that she could with Parisian's
vice-like grip on her. Spike watched in bewilderment, as did the
unseen eyes that were watching them from another realm.



~~



"Ok, why didn't she go…you know," Buffy said not finding the words.



"All grrr…arrg?" Dawn supplied and Buffy nodded.



"Well I was gonna say bumpy but that works too." Buffy said as she
stared at the screen, transfixed.



"Have you ever known a vamp that could do that?" Willow asked also
transfixed to the screen.



"Nope," Buffy replied.



~~



"How did you?" Spike asked baffled.



"I told you, I'm different. Now come, feed."



"No thanks," Spike said though his eyes locked onto the girl's neck
where her blood still trickled down. "Not hungry."



"Don't lie to me Spike, it really is a waste of your time, since I
can see right through you. I told you that chip doesn't work her, you
can bite her and feel no pain."



"I don't want to bite her." Spike stated and suddenly became stunned
by the truth of it he didn't want to bite the girl, nor the boy for
that matter.



"Don't tell me that the slayer has got you house broken." Parisian
hissed. Spike shot her a dangerous glare, God or no God he would rip
her throat out if she kept on with the taunts on his beloved
slayer. "Turned you against your very nature."



"I am my own man with my own mind and choices, and I choose not to
feed on children. I never have and I never will."



"Yes, but even if I brought you a voluptuous woman you still wouldn't
feed on her would you?"



"No." Spike said knowing it was a mute point to lie now.



"Why not?"



"Already told you, I don't want to. Besides, I thought you fed on
each other here, that you didn't need human's to survive."



"Ahhh, is that it then?" Parisian smiled as if sudden pleased by his
words she clapped her hands and the two children left the room the
way they had entered. She pushed the silk robe she garnered from her
smooth, soft shoulders, letting it fall to the floor. Spike swallowed
at the huge lump forming in his throat at the sight of the woman
before him, now only wearing her long flowing silk skirt. "You wish
to feed from me." Parisian said more as a statement then a question,
she already knew the answer to. Spike's mouth watered at the thought
of his fangs penetrating her, he squeezed his eyes shut. "What's the
matter Spike you don't feed from other vampires either? I promise
you, you'll enjoy it and once you've had a taste you'll never want
anything else." Parisian said as she moved closer to him, standing on
her tiptoes to rub her cheek to his. Spike inhaled deeply absent-
mindedly rubbing his face in her hair. Without even realizing it he
had vamped out, and Parisian smiled up at him as she traced her
fingers across his bumpy forehead. "You know I've thought this look
was sexy, until now. Come on Spike you know you want to." Not really
needing more coaxing, Spike grabbed roughly at her pulling her to him
tightly. He grabbed a fistful of her hair, yanking it away from her
long, slender neck. Parisian laced her fingers through Spike's hair,
pulling his head closer to her neck. Slowly Spike bit down and
suddenly images flashed before his eyes and every one of his senses
turned up full blast.



**Drusilla's first bite, killing his first slayer, trying to kill
Angel, meeting Buffy, trying to kill Buffy, trying to kill Angel,
Joyce, the smell of hot cocoa, the initiative, the pain in his head,
Dawn, Buffy jumping from the tower to her death, longing for death,
Dawn, Buffy being brought back, being consumed with happiness, Dawn,
the smell of Buffy's hair and skin, Buffy taste in his mouth, Buffy
on him surrounding him, consuming him, Dawn**



Spike jerked his head back, clutching his chest and then his head,
which was now ringing. "What's wrong Spike, my blood didn't agree
with you?" Parisian asked with a smile, which instantly changed to a
sinister sneer as she glared at he vamp crumbling to her feet. "Yeah
I'm afraid it has that effect, so when I said you'll never want
anything else after you've tasted my blood…well that's because it's
going to kill you." She knelt down to him. "You deserve to die and
she was right for leaving you, you do reek of the slayer." Spike
glared up at her angry that she had invaded that most sacred place in
his mind where he kept memories of Dru. He reached out for her and
her laughing face was the last thing he saw before the darkness came
to claim him. "Guards!" At her commands the door flung open and the
two guards entered. "Dump this corpse out in the street, near the
frulenshok district, they love feeding on rotting meat." She moved to
retrieve her robe, pulling the soft material back over her body, and
watched with uncaring eyes as the guards lifted Spike's lifeless body
from the floor and carried him out.
3 by Pari
~~



Oh my God, Oh my God!" Dawn shrieked. "He can't be dead, no." She
wailed as her tears flowed free down her face. Everyone watched
stunned, each visibly shaken.



"No." Buffy whispered choking on he word as her own tears fell.



~~

"Stop that!" The teenaged girl said to the older man holding the
stick. "Don't poke it, he looks dead maybe we should bury him."



"No, we should take anything of value and then leave him." The man
said as he took his stick ad poke the lifeless body lying in the
alley. The girl kneeled down, moving in to take a better look.



"Are you sure he's dead?" She asked and then got her answer as a pale
hand grasped her wrist, holding her firmly. "Ahhh!!"



"Little Bit?" The near dead man spoke.



~~



"Ok what's happening, the screens going all loopy again." Xander said
stating the obvious.



"I'm not sure," Tara answered. "It could be a distorting due to
Spike's location changing, maybe due to time going by, or…"



"Or it could be because Spike's dead now."



"No, Dawnie, I'm sure that's not it. There was no dust right, and
that definitely has to occur before a vamp dies." Willow said hoping
to make the girl feel better.



"You heard that lady, things are different in that world for demos,
she's a god and her blood can kill other vamps." Dawn said.



~~

"I'm not going to hurt you, I promise," The man spoke as he now sat
up using a dumpster to brace him.



"You're a vampire." The man with the stick said, as he stood with the
stick raised, ready for attack.



"Yeah, but I'm not from here, Parisian brought me here, ad then she
tried to kill me, the bitch."



"Parisian, oh man she's bad news."



"You called me little bit, why?" The girl asked from her safety zone
behind the man with the stick.



"That's what I've always called you, well my Dawn in my world."



"I'm in your world, another me, Dawn I mean?"



"Yeah," Spike answered as he rubbed the back of his neck. "And so is
he, although I really don't like my Xander very much."



"Hey how did you know my name?" Xander asked as he lowered the stick
a little.



"I've told you already, I'm from another world, and in my world
you're both there, along with Tara, Willow, and Buffy."



"Buffy?" Dawn repeated with sadness in her voice. "She's alive in
your world?"



~~



"Can you get it back?" Willow asked Tara as he nervously eyed Buffy,
who sat curled up on the couch, staring out into space. Dawn sat be
side her stroking her hair, but Buffy didn't seem to notice or just
didn't care.



"I don't know, I still think it's something on that side causing it,
Spike must have moved, that or time has passed there."



"Time passed, how much?"



"I don't know." Tara answered. "I think all we can do now is wait."



"Buffy, you want something to drink or eat?" Dawn asked her sister
softly, still stroking her hair.



"Why does this keep happening to me?" Buffy asked her tears still
streaming down her face. "What's wrong with me?"



"Nothing, nothings wrong with you." Dawn responded not clear on what
her sister was asking.



"Why do they all leave me, just when I fall in love with them, they
leave."



~~



"Buffy's dead, God not again." Spike said.



"Yeah, well she's still around and all." Xander babbled causing Spike
to stare at him confused. "She is dead, well the undead, like you."



"She's a vampire?" Spike asked stunned and very angry that something
had defiled his slayer by turning her.



"Yes, thanks to Parisian. Buffy is, was the leader of the freedom
fighters. We took on Parisian and her crew, and we were kicking major
ass, really making a difference, trying to get our world back. Well,
Parisian started opening other realms and bringing in creatures to
fight us. One night during a heated battle, Buffy was captured, and
we assumed she was dead, but we should have known better. I mean
Parisian wouldn't let a warrior like Buffy go, so she turned her, and
Now Buffy fights on the other team. As for the freedom fighters, well
those that are still alive scattered, but are still hunted down and
killed. As far as I know, Dawn and I are all that's left, that are
willing to keep the fight and hope alive." Xander said.



"But you not with them right? I mean you're a good guy, you'll help
us right?" Dawn asked hopeful. "If you don't soon they track us down
and they'll kill us, and I…I don't want to die." She said as her
tears began to fall. Spike stood, slowly and stumbled to her, she
backed up a little, and he reached out and wiped away her tears. He
never could stand to see her cry.



"You're not gonna die. I made a promise to your big sis, that I would
protect you and I always will."



"You made a promise to protect your Dawn, in your world." Dawn
protested.



"It doesn't matter, I'd walk through hell for you, no matter what
world you're from." Spike stated causing Dawn's smile to return. "So
where do you guys set up shop, where your base of operations? Might
as well get started, find others that are willing to help us fight."



"So, you're going to help us?" Xander asked excitedly.



"Until I can find my way back home, I might as well work off my
frustrations by crushing some skulls." Spike smirked as Xander and
Dawn both smiled broadly at him.



~~

"No!! Don't touch that!" Buffy screamed at Willow who was about to
pick up and dump out the bowl of water still on the floor, surrounded
by candles.



"Buffy, it's been four days, and nothings happened. The screen just
keeps looping in and out."



"Don't, just don't." Buffy said from the spot she had taken up
residency in since the night Spike disappeared. Willow raised her
hands I defeat as Tara and Dawn looked on sadly at the pale woman
sitting on the couch.



"Ok, Do you want some thing to eat, Buffy you have eating much
since…" Buffy just shook her head no. "Ok then well if you need us
we'll be in the kitchen.



"Dawn!" A voice yelled out causing the four ladies to jump,
startled. "Dawn where are you?"



"Spike! It's Spike!" Dawn said excitedly as she moved to the bowl of
water. Buffy quickly jumped fro the couch, tossing aside the blanket
she was wrapped in, as each of them took a spot around the bowl as
they watch the screen start to clear up.



~~

"Dawn! I'm gonna kill her." Spike hissed as he ducked back before the
bullet could strike his face. He quickly swung back around getting
off two shots of his own, each striking a target, sending dust
everywhere.



"I'm sure," Xander spoke as he peered around a corner. "She's fine.
She's a big girl, she can take care of her self. She's a damn good
fight, thanks to all your teaching. Don't worry."



"Yeah she's a big girl," Spike twirled again shooting and dusting
several more vamp by firing sliver bullets into their hearts. "A big,
stubborn, head strong, cocky girl, who acts before she thinks."



"And does that sound like anyone you know?" Xander asked arching his
brow to his best friend, Spike rolled his eyes at him. Suddenly a
fierce explosion erupted in front of the position Spike, Xander and
several other freedom fighters held their positions.



"What the fu…" Spike started to say but stopped when he noticed
someone was running towards them at full speed.



"Run!!" Dawn said as she ran past them. Not needing further
instructions Xander and Spike followed her.



"Fall back!" Spike commanded and one by one the fighters retreated
from the abandoned warehouse that Parisian use to house her weapons
and also doubled as a barracks for many of her best soldiers. Seconds
after Spike, Dawn, Xander, and the rest ran from the building they
were all thrown to the ground by another, more powerful explosion.
After the dust settled each stood to assess the damage and to ensure
that everyone had gotten out. Spike quickly moved to Dawn who was
slowly getting up and dusting herself off.



"You ok, little bit?" Spike asked as her turned her about, checking
her over.



"Yeah, I'm fine, I'm fine." She said trying to shrug him off. "Get
off me, geez." Spike stepped back satisfied that she was ok.



"What the hell do you think you were doing in there?" Spike demanded.



"Taking out the building and the baddies inside, duh." Dawn
replied. "That was the objectives, right."



"Yeah it was after we had gotten information about Parisian's
headquarters and taken as many gun as we could carry!" Spike roar in
anger, causing Dawn to move back a bit in fear. "Damn it Dawn, you
can't go off all cock diesel like that every time we have a mission.
I think next time you should stay home." Spike said and then slaked
off.



"What?" Dawn said as she followed him. "You can't keep me home like
some child, Spike."



"If that's how you choose to behave that's how you'll be treated, you
could have gotten hurt little bit, or worse."



"Newsflash Spike, I'm not a child anymore, I'm twenty years-old. I'm
a woman now, thanks to you, you've raised me well. You've protected
me like you promised you would, but now it's time to cut the
umbilical and let me stand on my own two feet. I can take care of
myself, and you know I can. You taught me everything I know, and
since you're the best fighter I know, I think I'm pretty darn lucky
to have you as a teacher. Just let me show you what I can do,
Please." Spike just sighed clenching his jaws.



"Fine little bit, fine."



"Oh and Spike could you stop calling me that in front of the guys,
it's a little disconcerting." Dawn pleaded as she flashed one of
her `pretty please' smiles. Spike chuckled despite his anger and
simply nodded. Dawn quickly pecked him on the cheek as they walked
arm in arm back to their headquarters.
4 by Pari
~~



"Whoa." Willow stated what everyone one in the room was thinking.



"It seems time there is different, I think it's been four years
there." Tara said.



"Fours years?" Buffy repeated. "We have to find away to get him back,
now."



"We will, I look through the books again. Maybe there's something."
Tara said.



"I'll help you look." Willow added.



"Ok, it that what I'm gonna look like when I'm twenty?" Dawn asked
with a huge smile of delight on her face. "Cause if it is, let me say
now, wow!"



~~



"So Spike has hooked up with me and Dawn in that world, and were like
kick ass Slayers, freeing that world of baddies?" Xander asked, quite
please at this knowledge. Buffy nodded her head to him.



"Yeah and you and Spike are like best friends." Dawn added which
brought a slight frown to Xander's face.



"We are?"



"Yep." Dawn answered with a bright smile.



"Also it seems that time there is different, faster. For every day
that passes here, it calculates as a year there." Tara stated.



"So Spike's been gone for fours years?" Xander asked a little
confused.



"From his perspective, yeah." Buffy answered. "Which is what it's
imperative that we find away to get him back."



"I'm still so sure that's a good thing."



"He's been there for fours years, helping you and protecting Dawn,
much like he did here, and he hasn't once feed on a human, although
he could he hasn't, not once." Buffy defended. "That says something."



"Look Buff, I know you've been, much to my dismay, sleeping with
Spike…"



"No, it's been more than that Xander, much more I was just too afraid
to admit it to you guys or myself. Truth is I," Buffy paused as the
reality of what she was about to say struck her. "I love him, I love
Spike. I'm in love with him and you can think I'm crazy for falling
for another vamp, but keep it to yourself cause it won't change the
way I feel. And this time I'm not going to lose, I'm not going to let
him walk out of my life, I'm not going to push him away, and I'm not
going to allow you or anyone else ruin it for me, not this time. This
time I'm going to fight, I'm going to get him back and then I'm never
going to let him go again." Dawn, Tara, and Willow all smiled at
Buffy's declaration of love for Spike.



~~

"Hey whatcha doing up here all alone?" Dawn asked as she moved out
onto the ledge beside Spike, who sat looking out over the scarcely
lit city, which was now buzzing with some life, much more than when
Spike had first arrived there. Spike knew it was due in part to their
efforts.



"Nothing, Just needed some quite time is all." He replied with a sigh.



"Oh," Dawn said as she began to stand up. "Ok then I'll leave you
alone." Spike reached out and grasped her hand gently.



"Come now Lit…Dawn, you know I never mind your company, luv." He said
with a smile, which she returned.



"Look at it Spike, there's life down there now, thanks to you."



"We all did our part."



"Yeah but you were the inspiration, if you hadn't come in our world
when you did, we'd all be dead now, I know it and so do you."



"Oh no not you, you're a Summer's girl, and there's one thing I do
know, the Summer's girl are survivors."



"Oh, tell me about them." Dawn said as she snuggled closer to her
friend and the only father she had ever known. "You never speak of
them, I'd like to know what they were like, what you were like."



"That was another life Dawn, it seems like a lifetime ago." Spike
said with a sad sigh.



"But you still remember?"



"Every second."



"So tell me, when did you first meet Buffy, when you first knew you
were in love with her?" Spike smiled at the memories now flooding his
head.



"Well, the first time I saw her, I wanted her, oh I wanted her badly."



"In a shagging sort of way?" Dawn interjected with a smirk.



"No, oh well yeah, but shagging her while I bleed her dry."



"You wanted to kill her," Dawn asked a little taken aback by his
words.



"More then anything, and I tried my damnedest to make it happen, but
I never could quite follow through with it."



"Why not?"



"I think it was cause deep down inside, I fell in love with her the
moment I saw her and I never really wanted to hurt her, and Dru knew
it even before I was aware."



"Dru?"



"Drusilla was my maker, my sire my first true love."



"Wait I thought Buffy was your true love."



"Yeah but not my first. My love for Buffy is different then my love
for Dru, though both are very valid and each equally deep, and
strong, they're different. It's hard to explain, but I would have
died for them both if they'd ask me too."



"So what was it about Buffy that drew you to her, I mean falling for
the Vampire Slayer could be very bad for your health." Dawn said with
a chuckle.



"She threw a mean right punch."



"Huh?"



"The way she moves, oh I knew I had found my match." Spike said with
a chuckle.



"So you got off on her beating the shit out of you?" Dawn asked with
a giggle, which turned into a full ledged laugh when Spike simply
nodded his head. "Freak."



"God I miss her." Spike said with a sigh as the smile left his face.



"And Dawn?"



"I miss her too, but not as much cause I got you."



"No, mean what was she like?"



"Lets see, hardheaded, stubborn, sneaky, often made me mad enough to
strangle her. She was funny, sweet, honest, and besides her mum, she
was the only one in the lot that treated me like a person instead of
a thing. She was never afraid of me, and I think I liked that most
about her. She was a lot like you were her age."



"It's been six years now, you ever think about what they're doing?"
Dawn asked as she laid her head on his shoulder.



"Nope, I've made up my own world for them where they're both happy.
Buffy's found love and has a family, little bit's off in college
about to head out into the real world. And in knowing that they're
happy, I'm happy."



"And that's what keeps you going."



"No, you keep me going." Spike said causing Dawn to smile broadly as
they continued to sit looking out over the city, in silence.



~~



Two Months later:



"That was Giles on the phone," Buffy announced as she walked back
into the living room. "He says he's been researching nonstop since I
first told him about what happen to Spike. He's pretty sure that
Spike being in the other world won't effect either, at least not in
an exploding or imploding sort of way." She said as she folded her
hands across her chest. She had put most of her energies in to
finding a way to get Spike back. She'd go to work, patrol, take care
of Dawn, but most of her waking thoughts were on Spike and getting
him back. None of the others seemed to mind, since it was the first
time since she had come back that she had shown any kind of passion
for anything, although Xander was a little miffed that Spike was the
reason for this change, he made no remarks.



"So did he find anything on how to get Spike back?" Tara asked as she
sat beside Willow on the couch.



"Yeah," Buffy said excitedly. "He said he may have found a way, but
he wasn't sure if he'd be able to get the needed ingredient, which is
right here in Sunnydale."



"So, he's coming back? He's not staying is he?" Anya inquired,
causing Xander to smile. He had missed her greatly while she was away
but now she was back, and although she wasn't speaking to him, or
acknowledging he was alive in anyway, he was still happy just knowing
she was all right. Xander had vowed that he would find a way to get
her to forgive him.



"I think he's just coming back to help." Buffy said reassuringly.



"Did he mention what this ingredient was?" Willow asked and Buffy
just arched a brow and shook her head no.



"Anyway, he'll be on the next flight, so he'll be here some time
tomorrow. So, what did I miss on our favorite channel?"



"Nothing much." Xander said.



"Well, I don't know if I can watch anymore." Willow said sadly.



"Well, neither could Dawn, she's gone to Janice's for awhile, she
said she may spend the night, but she'll call you to let you know for
sure." Tara said.



"I wish I could tell him to hold on cause were bringing him home
soon." Buffy said as she sadly looked over to the bowl on the floor.



"Well," Anya spoke as she stood. "I have to get back to the shop,
make sure everything is up to par for Giles."



"Ah, you need help?" Xander asked as he quickly moved to her side.
Anya just glared at him.



"No thanks, but hey I do need a husband…oh wait you don't want that
job do you." Anya said with a shrug and she pushed past him and
walked out.



"Don't worry Xander," Willow spoke as she moved beside him and began
rubbing his back. "She'll forgive you someday, she just needs time."



"I know, and I'm going to give it to her as much as she needs, as
long as I can have her back. I'll do anything to get her back." Buffy
looked sadly down at the floor as her heart sank, for she knew
exactly how Xander felt. "Well, I'm gonna go too, but call me if you
need me."



"We will." Buffy said with a smile as she walked him to the door, and
then headed over to the bowl still on the floor.



~~

"Just look at them William, they're so happy." The old woman said as
she sat on the bench with her arm linked with a man that one would
have thought was her grandson. "We created this, this safe haven
where the children can come and have fun. Now if we could get the sun
to shine again it would be perfect."



"I'm working on it." Spike said as he smiled at the frolicking
children who ran wildly about the playground, which was watched over
by the freedom fighters, who had evolved to policing the city from
Parisian's army, which was now smaller in numbers but still a threat.



"I know you are," She said softly as she patted his hand. "And if
anyone's gonna do it, I know it will be you." She smiled sweetly at
him. "And maybe you'll find a way to get home."



"I am home."



"You know what I mean…*cough, cough*" She barks, leaning forward a
bit as her body convulsed, Spike gripped her as so she wouldn't fall
over.



"You ok luv?"



"Yes William, I'm just old and I'm dying."



"Naw, you'll outlive us all." She looked at him skeptically with a
smile.



"I just want to live long enough to see the sun again, to feel it on
my face. Just once before I die."



"Yeah, me too little bit, me too."



~~



"Giles!" Willow beamed as she embraced the Englishman at the door.



"And it's nice to see you too Willow." Giles spoke through a
delightful chuckle, as he was pulled into the house where he was then
attacked by Dawn and Buffy, and then received a firm handshake from
Xander.



"You can't have the shop back." Anya shot from her spot on the couch
beside Tara.



"That's not why I'm here, besides the shop's revenue has doubled
since I turned it over to you. So I think letting you continue to run
it would be in my best interest." Giles said causing Anya to grin.



"Welcome home Giles." Anya chirped as she stood and gave him a big
hug, with Tara following suit.



"Gosh it's so good to see you all, I have missed you a great deal.'
Giles said as he removed his glasses and wiped at his eye, and then
placed them back on his face. "So, show me Spike so I can assess the
situation and see if my idea is even plausible."



"He's in here." Buffy lead the way. Giles moved to the bowl and
watched the scene before him in awe.



"Good Lord." Giles sat back a bit, removing his glasses again to
clean them before placing them back on. "And he's been in there for
two months?"



"Two months, seven days, and eight hours." Buffy said, absentmindedly
never looking up from the screen. "But for Spike it's been sixty
seven years, roughly."



"Good Lord." Giles repeated.



"So, what's the plan, how do we bring him back?"



"Dawn, she's the key." Giles stared as everyone looked to him
confused. "You're still the key, and I'm sure you still have mystical
powers, your blood can still open realms."



"That's the plan, use Dawn to open the world where Spike is?" Xander
asked.



"Yes that's the plan, the only one I have been able to come up with
anyway."



"Yeah and we all know how well that ended last time." Xander said.



"Of course it's only a suggest, and we wouldn't attempt anything
until we know for sure that it's safe. But personally I think that
it's the only way that we'll be able to do it from this side."



"I don't kno…" Buffy spoke but Dawn cut her off.



"I'll do it." All eyes fell to her. "I want to do it, for Spike."



"Dawnie I don't know…"



"I do, he would do it for me, he has. He's been my protector in both
worlds and if I can help bring him back, bring him home, I'll do it."
Buffy smiled at her baby sister with pride as she stroked her hair.



"So," Buffy then turned to Giles. "What do we have to do and how soon
can we do it?"
5 by Pari
~~



"Are you sure this is the right place?"



"Yeah, I got the info from a very reliable source."



"William, man you know I'd follow you into hell, but something about
this just doesn't feel right." The younger man clutching the shotgun
to his chest said as he peered around the corner, facing the
warehouse they had been watching for three hours.



"What's the matter J.J. gotta feeling they know were coming?"



"Well… yeah as a matter of…"



"Good, you've got keen intuition, cause they do know were coming."
Spike said as he moved out, running towards the warehouse and then
stalking behind another corner.



"Oh, man." The younger man groaned as he followed suit. "So what's
the plan exactly?"



"We go in there take out this crystal orb they have running in there
to keep us all in the dark. My sources tell me that Parisian has
brought some guys from another realm that did the mojo that puts out
some kind of deflector shield or force field, blocking the sun's ray."



"Whoa, hold on…"



"Yeah I know it sounds Mulderish, but trust me ok." Spike said this
staring the man in the eyes, letting him know that he was serious.



"With my life man, you know that." The younger man said. "What the
hell does Mulderish mean?"



"You know it's from the x-fi…bloody hell." Spike cursed remembering
they didn't have T.V. shows in this world, and must parts didn't even
have electricity. Spike hoped to change all that soon. "Never mind.
So, you ready to do this?" The man nodded. "Is everyone where they're
suppose to be, cause we only have one shot at this. They know were
coming, so we don't have the element of surprise here, but we have
the numbers, so let's do this."



"And why are we doing this again?" The younger man asked.



"I made a promise to a lady. Let's move out!" Spike signaled as he
and several dozen other armed fighters ran towards the warehouse.
They entered with no resistance, spreading out as so they wouldn't
all get ambushed in one spot.



"Welcome, we were expecting you." Parisian spoke from her position
two decks above them as she glared down at Spike. "And there's
someone here that really wants to say hello." Spike sensed the
presence but not in time to block the fist, which smashed into his
face sending him flying against a far wall.



"Hello, Spike." A female's voice spoke gently to him. Spike recovered
fast getting to his feet, but nearly fell over again at what he saw.



"Buffy?" He was stunned, it was Buffy but with jet-black hair that
fell to her waist. She was dressed all in black even the makeup she
wore was dark in nature.



"You know?" She spoke as she quickly moved forward, kicking him in
his midriff, sending him flying to the ground again. "I really hate
that name. I prefer Anne, if you don't mind." She then reached down
and yanked him up and threw him across the ground. This went on for
several minutes, Buffy pummeling Spike, who wouldn't fight back.



"William!" Nina, a female fighter called out to Spike from her
position behind an old abandoned car. "Joe, help William." At her
command another fighter moved in to assist Spike, striking Buffy from
behind sending her dazed and to the ground. Spike slowly stood in
time to see Joe pull out his gun, and aiming it at Buffy's chest,
readying to fire.



"No!" Spike yelled as he dove knocking Joe away from Buffy who still
sat on the ground.



"What the hell is wrong with you? She was kicking your ass and you
wouldn't even fight back." Joe yelled in anger. "I was just trying to
help you out."



"It's Buffy…I can't." Spike huffed trying to catch his breath.



"She's not your Buffy, look at her. I mean would your Buffy be
kicking your ass like that?" Spike smiled a bit at that. "William, if
you can't take her out I…"



"No! You go find the crystal orb that's keeping it dark, destroy it,
I'll finish this"



"You sure, you can handle it?"



"Yeah," Spike said as he turned to Buffy, who was now standing fully
recovered, ready to fight.



"Are you sure Spikey?" Buffy asked with a sinister grin. "Cause rest
assured when this is done, only one of us will be left standing…right
next to a big pile of dust." She declared as she unzipped her jacket
and then tossed it aside.



"We don't have to do this we can take down Parisian together and walk
out of here. You still have a little sister, she's old now and
doesn't have much time left, but we could go see her. She really
wants to see you again before she goes on."



"I don't think so."



"She's your lil sis."



"She was a pain in my ass." Buffy said rolling her eyes. "Always
wanting something always needing protection. I had no life because of
her, until Parisian came along and saved me, she gave me eternal
youth and power."



"Yeah and seat in hell." Spike added.



"Maybe, but since I don't plan on ever dying, I'm not too worried."



"Buffy there still a chance for you, you don't…"



"Look are we gonna fight or not, cause I've been hearing a lot of
smack about William the mighty warrior. I mean you've single handedly
taken out most of our forces. So, come on show me how big and bad you
really are." She then did a round house, landed right on his nose,
sending him stumbling back clutching his nose. She didn't give him a
real chance to recover before she moved on him, swinging giving blow
after unrelenting blow. Spike succeeded in blocking most of them, but
the more damaging ones landed home. Buffy back handed him throwing
him to the ground. Spike spit out a mouth full of blood as he glared
up at her. He slowly moved his hand to his back seeking out a
weapon. "Why won't you fight? Oh I see Parisian told me that I may
remind you of your beloved slayer, newsflash I aint her." She said as
she charged him once again, but was stopped dead in her tracks. She
looked to him wide eyed, opening her mouth to scream before she
crumbled to dust.



"I know she was a better fighter." Spike said dropping his stake in
the dust at his feet. He flopped to his knees beside the pile of
dust, staring down at it with pain in his eyes.



"William!" Spike hadn't heard his comrades calling to him, pulling
him to his feet. "William we did it. We destroyed the orb, we did it,
man." Joe said with excitement.



"Where's Parisian?" Spike asked never taking his eyes off the dust
that was beginning to be scattered by the breeze.



"She got away, opened a portal before we could get to her. Sorry."



"Let's go home."



"Yeah it'll be dawn soon. Never thought I'd say that again."



"Dawn." Spike repeated as he turned and began.





~~

"Is that normal?" Giles asked sipping his tea and watching the bowl
of water, which Dawn was refreshing by pouring more water into the
bowl.



"What the loopiness?" Dawn asked as they watched the screen faze in
and out, never giving a clear, focused picture. "Yeah, Tara thinks it
happens whenever time has passed there."



"And since it's been a week here it's been…"



"Ninety-four years for Spike, I think it's time we bring him home."
Buffy said as she stepped into the room. "So what's the plan?"



"Well Tara, Willow, and Cleo are setting up at the site," Giles began.



"So why are we here and not there?" Buffy asked anxiously ready to
go. "And are you sure about this shaman guy, Cleo?"



"We're here because this is where Cleo, which is a world renowned
shaman and we were lucky to get him to help us, will be teleporting
Spike, he can only open the portal on the exact spot that Spike left
at, but…" Giles paused removing his glasses to pinch his nose.



"What?" Buffy asked crossing her arms.



"Spike's been gone for a very long time. It's only been a few months
for you, but for him it's been years, nearly a century if my
calculations are right. We don't know where he's been, how it's
changed him."



"He's been doing good, you saw it for yourself." Dawn defended.



"Yes, but the scene has been fazed out nearly the entire time I've
been here, which would be seven years for Spike, and a lot can happen
in seven years, a lot. I just think we should be prepared, which is
why I wanted Cleo to transport Spike here in a contained area."



"Contained area?" Buffy repeat not sure what Giles meant.



"I had Tara do a spell in the basement, once Spike is there he won't
be able to leave the basement, at least not until we can determine
that its safe, and he's ok."



"So that how were gonna welcome Spike home?" Dawn asked displeased
with the idea. "After he's been gone for so long, we're going to
bring him back like a caged animal, that's the plan?"



"Well, ah, yes actually it is." Giles said replacing his glasses back
on his face.



"Well that SUCKS!" Dawn declared folding her arms across her chest.



"I agree it really does suck." Buffy said stunning Giles, who thought
she of all people would be in agreement.



"But it really is the best way to go about it Buffy, safety should
be…"



"I know Giles, safety should come first but it still sucks. I don't
know if I can handle that, locking him up. When I see him I'm…I just
don't know if I can handle that." Buffy said with a far off look on
her face.



"Ah Dawn could you excuse us for a moment, there's some things I need
to discuss with Buffy." Dawn rolled her eyes at him.



"Right, grown-up talk so the little girl will just go in the other
room." Dawn mumbled as she stalked off.



"Buffy," Giles began only to have Buffy cut him.



"Giles, I know what you're gonna say. I've imagined this day for a
while now, so I'm just going to be the adult here and come clean. My
concern for Spike and getting him home…it's not because of guilt or
because I feel I owe him some thing, well not complete. Truth is I
miss him and I need him. I want him back so badly that I…" Buffy
paused as she began wringing her hands. "I love him." She muttered in
a low voice, and then she looked up to face Giles, who was now gaping
at her in shock. "I'm in love with him, with Spike. We've been seeing
each other for months, and I denied how I felt. I was ashamed of what
the others would think, what they'd say, but then he was gone and…and
I thought I would never see him again then I didn't care. I just
wanted him back, wanted him home so I can tell him that I'm sorry and
that I love him. So you can save the `Dear lords' cause I've made up
my mind. I'm sick of everyone thinking they know what's best for me,
and always expecting so much of me. I did my duty and I died for it,
but even then I couldn't get my peace, my heaven. Well, when I'm with
Spike I feel, I feel like I did when I was in heaven. I feel so loved
and I never have to worry or pretend, I can just be, and I won't give
that up again, I can't." Buffy finished staring at him defiantly.



"Ah…right then." Giles said, as she looked to his feet unsure of what
to say. "So this spell Cleo is doing to open the portal, he'll need
Dawn's blood, but it has to be fresh so she should be there. So, I
was gonna ask you if you'll be ok here alone?"



"Oh," Buffy said as her face began to turn beet red. "Yeah I'll be
fine."



"Good, Oh Dawn!" Giles called out to her as he hastily left Buffy
standing alone and embarrassed. Suddenly Giles popped his head back
into the room. "You…Spike…for months?"



"Yep." Buffy said.



"Dear Lord." Giles said rolling his eyes as he disappeared around the
corner again leaving Buffy giggling after him.



~~

"I tried, I really did luv."



"It's alright William." The frail old woman spoke softly as she
stroked his arm, which was wrapped around her. They sat a top the
tallest building in town looking out over the city this over the
years had become their spot. "Buffy hasn't been my sister for many
years, It's all over now, it's finally over."



"Yeah." Spike said as he buried his nose in the soft gray head of
hair.



"I'm sorry that you lost your only way home."



"I told you I am home, right here with you."



"William, we both know I don't have very much time left." She spoke
as he closed his eyes tightly to the thought of her not being
there. "Now that Xander's gone on and I'm soon to join his, you'll be
all alone in a world that's not yours."



"Lil Bit, you're not going anywhere and neither am I. This is my home
now I can't even remember that other place. Those other faces, they
mean nothing to me now. And when you pass, which will be a long, long
time from now, I'm going to still be here doing what we started
together, slaying all the demons of this world."



"The slayer," Dawn giggled. "You told me once that your world had
one, and that when you left it was my sister, whom you've tried to
kill like the two others you had killed. Now, my dear William, you
have become a slayer. Now, is that Irony or poetic justice?"



"Neither, It's evolution, I've grown, thanks to you."



"Oh no, you were something special before I meet you. You never once
tried to hurt me, you only cared for me and loved me like any great
father would, and I will always love you for that. You gave me
something I never thought I'd have again, hope."



"And soon you'll have sunlight again, cause it will be sunrise soon."
He said looking out over the horizon.


~~



"Yes it will be sunrise soon, so we need to hurry up and do this."
Giles announced to Cleo who was still sitting on the spot Spike had
disappeared through months before, chatting in Latin. Suddenly he
became in gulfed in a blue energy that rose high into fading night's
sky.



"Bring the child forth!" Cleo yelled and reluctantly Giles and Dawn
moved up. Cleo reached out his hands and slowly Dawn took it. With
swiftness Cleo had pulled a knife hidden in his robe, and sliced it
across the palm of Dawn's hand.



"Aghhh." Dawn squealed as she tried to pull away but Cleo had a firm
grip. As her blood hit the ground within the blue energy, the energy
instantly turned blood red. Giles, Dawn, Willow, Tara, and Xander,
who all had been standing around, stood back watching in amazement.
6 by Pari
~~



"Oh William look the sky is a pretty pink." Dawn said as her wrinkled
eyes began filling with tears.



"I see it luv. And soon the sky will be a beautiful blue, like your
eyes. And there will be clouds of different shapes and sizes. And
then the sun, oh the sun will be shining bright and it will make your
skin so warm."



"You had better get back inside William before you're turned to ash."



"No worries luv, I've got plenty of time. You're getting your wish
luv, you're going to see the sun before you die. Just like I promised
you I would. Look Lil bit can you see it just the tip of it peeking
out above the horizon." Spike spoke as he pointed out to the sky. His
own eyes now filled with tears. "Ok, let's get you back inside now,
you can watch the rest from your bed. You don't want to over do it."
Spike said as he shifted to move, but then realized that Dawn wasn't
moving at all, her dead weigh still pressed against his
chest. "Dawn," He called to her as he leaned her back and peered down
into her open eyes, which were still wet with tears. "Lil Bit." He
said shaking her gently. "Dawn, Dawnie, no, no, NOOOOO!" Spike
screamed as he clutched her now lifeless form to his body, rocking
her as he buried his face in her hair and cried. After a few seconds
he sniffed back his tears as he continued to cling to her, looking
determinedly out at the sky. He clinched his jaws as he felt his
flesh begin to sear and pop, but he continued to stare unfazed
undeterred. "I'm coming Lil Bit, I'm coming."



~~



As suddenly as it had begun, the red flames engulfing Cleo dispersed,
leaving him in a breathless heap on the ground. Everyone rushed to
him. "Are you ok?" Willow was the first to ask. Cleo just nodded and
wave his hand.



"Well, did it work?" Dawn asked as she continued hugging her now
bandaged hand to her chest. Again Cleo nodded taking deep cleansing
breaths. "Then let's hurry and get back to the house." Dawn said
anxiously.



"Let's wait until Cleo has his bearings, a spell like that can take a
lot from you." Giles said as he helped Cleo to his feet. "Besides if
it did work and Spike's back he can't leave until Tara lifts the
confinement spell."



~~



As soon as the burning of his skin had become almost unbearable and
the darkness had just been about to consume him, it had stopped. He
opened his eyes, which had been tightly shut and peered around his
dark surrounding. Even with his vamp eyes it took him a moment to
adjust. He noticed stairs and a door at the top, he swiftly moved
towards them only to be slammed backward onto the floor. "What the
Fuck." He said in a near growl and then he tried once more, before
finally giving up out of frustration. "Ahggg!" He roared.



She nearly jumped out of her skin at the war cry she heard. She was
so startled she dropped her freshly made cup of tea on the kitchen
floor. She stood quietly for a second wondering where the sound had
come from, when it dawned on her the cry and noises she was now
hearing all emanated from the basement. She moved to the door and
with very shaky and sweaty hands she reached out and turned the knob.



He instantly tensed up and crouched low when he heard the door
beginning to open. He pulled on him game face something he hadn't
done in many years, but deemed it necessary now that he was in a
strange, though familiar place. He wasn't going to run and hide, that
wasn't his style, no he would face whatever came down those stairs
head on, and make it wish it had never crossed his path.



She peeked down into the basement, reaching out to the wall that
housed the light switch, she flicked it on.



He closed his eyes to the sudden offensive bright lights, slipping
back in to his human façade as he turned from the light, shielding
his eyes.



"Oh my God, Spike?" Buffy spoke in squeaky voice as she placed her
hand over her mouth. Spike just glared at the woman before him, still
crouched in a defensive manner.



"Buffy!" Dawn called out as she rushed into the house with the others
close behind her. "Buffy, did it work?" She continued yelling as she
made her way to the kitchen. "Is Spike…" She halted just behind her
sister at the top of the basement stairs. "Spike!" Dawn yelled with a
goofy smile on her face. For the first time since he found himself in
his `new' surroundings, Spike felt a calm."



"Dawn?" He said softly and then took note of Buffy once again and
began growling before he pounced.



~~



Sometime later, in the living room:

"How is he?" Giles asked with surprising concern.



"He's still out," Buffy said as she sat on the arm of the couch. "The
spell you did, it won't"



"It just put him to sleep," Tara spoke up quickly. "He'll be fine, it
was the only thing I could think of. When I saw him coming at you
like that, he was so wild, so…"



"Like the old Spike," Xander finished. "Would now be a good time to
say I told you so?"



"Yes, if you want to get beat down." Buffy said with a warning arch
of her brow and Xander imitated zipping his mouth close as he sat
back comfortably on the couch.



"How's Dawn?" Willow asked.



"Happy now that Spike's home, and scared now that Spike's home and so
different." Buffy replied hugging herself.



"We have to keep in mind that's it's been a very long time for Spike.
He may very well have forgotten this world and everyone here."



"Well, he seems to remember Dawn, that's a good thing right?" Willow
said with a smile.



"He'd never hurt Dawn, never tried not even when he was the big bad.
He always protected her."



"Yeah why is that?" Xander interjected. "I mean you'd think he would
have used Dawnie to get to Buffy."



"Well, the monks may not have wanted that, maybe they wanted someone
just as strong as Buffy to look after Dawn, incase Buffy couldn't."
Tara suggested and all eyes fell to her making her nervous. "Or maybe
not."



"No actually that makes perfect sense." Buffy said. "But why Spike,
scourge of Europe and not Angel, the vampire with a soul?"



"I guess we'll have to do some research on that later, but right now
we need to figure out what we are to do about Spike. I really don't
think we should let him out in his current state. We don't even know
if his chip still works." Giles said removing his glasses and rubbing
his eyes.



Down in the basement:

Dawn sat on the top of the basement stairs watching Spike as he
slowly began to come around.



"Mmm." Spike groaned as he slowly began to sit up, rubbing the back
of his neck. He instantly felt that he wasn't a lone, and he shot his
eyes up to meet Dawn's.



"Hey," Dawn spoke with a weak unsure smile. "Ah…how do you feel?"



"What happened?" Spike asked still rubbing at his neck.



"Oh, uhm." Dawn began slightly shocked but very pleased that Spike
was speaking, behaving more like a man then the animal that nearly
attacked Buffy earlier. "Tara did a spell and it kind of put you to
sleep."



"Tara?" Spike looked up to her with questioning eyes.



"You know Willow's girlfriend, well ex-girlfriend but they're working
it out, and are on speaking terms now, and I can see you so don't
care."



"Willow?" Spike repeated again in a questioning tone.



"Yeah you know `Red'?" Dawn said using the name that Spike had given
Willow, and recognition glimmered in Spike eyes. "You remember don't
you?"



"She's a witch." Spike stated and Dawn nodded.



"Yeah, but she doesn't use magic anymore, four months magic free."
Dawn said smiling proudly. "You don't remember us anymore do you?"



"I remember you, Lil Bit." Spike assured causing Dawn's smile to
broaden. "And Xander, he was a good friend."



"Really you think so, I thought you hated Xander?"



"Not in my world, back there we were good friends, for many years."



"Yeah I know." At that Spike looked to her confused. "Tara did a
spell that allowed us to watch you sometimes, so we knew some of the
thing you did." Spike nodded his understandings. "So, do you remember
Giles and Anya and Buffy?" He shot his eyes back on her at hearing
the last name, but then quickly looked back down.



"Vaguely."



"Are you hungry? We have some pig's blood in the fridge, I can get
you some if you're hungry."



"No thanks, maybe later."



"I'm going to go let the others know that you're awake, but I'll be
right back." She then stood and headed out. Dawn entered the living
room causing everyone to leap to their feet.



"How is he, is he awake?" Buffy was the first to speak.



"He's ok and yes he's awake."



"I'm going to go see him, see if he's hungry…"



"He's not I already asked, and I don't think you should see him.
Maybe he should get some rest first, he's been through a lot." Dawn
stated and Buffy eyed her wryly.



"He doesn't want to see me?" Buffy asked with a hurt tone.



"No, no that's not it Buffy…uh well yeah that's kind of it, he says
he vaguely remembers you guys, all except Me and Xander."



"Cause in the other world you and Xander befriended him. He spent a
lifetime with you two." Giles offered an explanation.



"Well I don't wanna see him." Xander spoke up quickly.



"Well, that's a good thing, cause I'm sure when you open your big
mouth you'll make him forget all the good times he had with `his'
Xander." Dawn said a bit pissed. "God Xander you really should get
over it already. Buffy didn't like you, she preferred vamps life goes
on, so go along with it. Geez." Dawn said as she walked out rolling
her eyes. Willow and Tara smiled at Xander who stood stunned, but
silent, for everyone knew that Dawn was right on with what she had
said.



Buffy and Dawn headed back to the basement, where Spike was pacing
about the floor. He stopped and looked up to them as they stood at
the top of the stairs. Spike immediately tensed his eyes drifting
from Buffy to Dawn and then back. Dawn took note of his fear and took
another step down towards him, Buffy reached for her.



"Dawnie, No!"



"It's ok, he's not going to hurt me, he'd never hurt me, but he
thinks that you will hurt me." Buffy burrowed her brow to the
implication. "Spike, its ok Buffy's my sister."



"I know that." Spike said as he took slow steps to the stairs as Dawn
continued to take steps down. "But she doesn't think so."



"No she does, Buffy loves me,"



"Maybe once, but not anymore, she's a vampire Dawn. I thought I
killed her but she fooled me somehow."



"No, Spike she's not your Buffy, she's not from that other world,
look at her." Dawn said as she made it to the bottom step. Spike
swiftly gripped her yanking her down and behind him. Buffy moved to
stop him, just as Spike pulled his gun from his waistband and aimed
at her. "No! Spike please don't, she's not your Buffy, look at her,
look at her, she's not your Buffy." Spike narrowed his eyes, studying
the small woman before him and then memories flooded his mind.



**Buffy I love you…You don't love me, you just love getting beat down…
You're an evil, disgusting thing…That's my girl…I am not your, you
don't have a soul, there is nothing good or clean in you, you are
dead inside, you can't feeling anything real, I could never be your
girl.**



Spike lowered his gun slowly and released Dawn from his
grasp. "You're right she's not my Buffy." He said as he looked down
to the ground. "Can I leave now?" Spike looked back up to Buffy.



"Oh uhm, yeah?" She looked back to Giles who now stood in the doorway.



"Yes, I think it will be ok." Giles said as he looked to Tara.



"Let the spell be broken." She spoke. Spike just stood looking around
as everyone watched to see what he would do.



"It didn't work." Spike announced.



"It did, you can leave the basement now." Tara assured.



"But I'm still here, I wanted to return home."



"You are home." Dawn stated. "This is your home."



"You mean the other world?" Giles asked and Spike nodded his
head. "We closed that realm forever when we brought you back, it can
never be opened again. We did that to assure whoever opened it to
begin with couldn't do it again."



"So, I can never go back?" Spike said more as a statement to myself
then a question.



"No, I'm afraid not, but you still have a home here, your apartment,
your job working for the realtor, he says you're the best collector
he has ever had. We told him you were away for awhile, but he assured
that your job would be here when you returned and you've only been
gone a little over two months so..."



"Two months?" Spike questioned.



"Yes," Tara began to explain. "For you it was longer, but here it's
only been a couple of months." Spike moved to the stairs and everyone
at the top suddenly moved back. Spike ascended making his way to the
top with Dawn close behind him. He stopped as he came upon Buffy, who
didn't back off but stood facing him, wanting to reach out to him.



"Hey you." Was all the she could think of to say, Spike simply eyed
her wryly.



"Hey," He replied and then moved past and out into the kitchen,
leaving Buffy to feel a bit jilted. Spike walked past the others
standing about the room, nodding in a friendly manner to Xander who
stood gaping at him, Spike then moved to the back door.



"Hey, wait." Dawn called to him. "Where are you going, you can't
leave yet, we just got you back."



"I'm not leaving you Dawn, its just…I need time…alone. You know to
get reacquainted. I'm just going to go to my place, as I recall you
have more then enough roommates here, without me putting you out."



"Oh no, you can sleep on the couch," Dawn suggested having Giles eye
her. "Oh that is if Giles wasn't already using it."



"Don't worry lil bit, I`ll see you later." Spike said giving her a
bright smile.



"You promise?"



"I promise."



Two nights later:

Buffy had just finished her shift at DMP, and she decided to do a
sweep of the cemetery. Part of her mind was on her task, but mostly
she thought of Spike. She was wondering what he was up to, if he was
ok. Just as she was about to be totally lost in her thoughts of Spike
she heard his voice, cursing. As she rounded the corner of a
mausoleum, she found Spike taking on three vampires, but before she
could move to help him, he had emptied his gun into them.



"Whoa, I gotta get me one of those things, whatcha packing in it
anyway?" Buffy asked.



"Silver bullets." Spike answered as he dropped the empty clip from
his gun and replaced it with a fresh one.



"Didn't think guns were your style." Buffy said jokingly.



"You know nothing about my style, slayer." Spike stated as he hoisted
his gun back to his belt. Buffy, a bit hurt, looked down to her hands
nervously. Spike took noted of the hurt in her eyes, and quickly
tried changing the subject. "So what are you doing out and about?"



"I'm the slayer, the chosen one with the sacred duty." Buffy said
sarcastically. Spike just stared at her. "And you, what are you doing
out and about?"



"On my way home from work, saw some suck heads, dusted them."



"Oh, thanks for saving me the trouble later." Buffy said as she
fidgeted. "You should come by the house soon." She blurted out and
Spike cocked his head to the side, looking at her. "Dawn, she misses
you, really wants to see you. I'm just not convincing her that you're
ok, you know her she needs to see for herself."



"Yeah, I remember"



"Oh…what else…do you remember?"



"A lot. It's coming in bit and pieces, I see something, go to a place
and the memories come back."



"And what do you feel, when you remember?"



"I feel," Spike began taking a deep sigh as he looked up to the
sky. "I feel as though I don't belong here, like this is a dream that
I can't wake up from."



"Oh," Buffy said dropping her head, feeling disappointed. "Ok, well I
better get home, Dawn worries if I'm out too late." Spike nodded.



"Tell Lil Bit I'll be by tomorrow night with Pizza and a movie."



"She'll like that. Well good night."



"Night." Spike replied and Buffy walked off in the opposite direction
to Spike.



"Stupid…didn't think guns were your style…stupid, stupid." Buffy said
as she slapped her forehead. She was so distracted with cursing
herself that she hadn't noticed the open grave she was about to fall
into. Before her next breath she felt strong arms wrapping around her
waist, as she was turned and then pulled against a hard chest.
Startled, she stared up into sea blue eyes.



"You should be more careful slayer." Spike spoke softly with his face
and mouth mere inches away from hers. He could feel her breathe and
smell traces of burger and cola on it. "You might fall."



"I already have." She said in a near whisper as she raised her hand,
wrapping it around his neck, and pulled him closer, gently pressed
her lips to his.



Spike froze as Buffy ravaged his mouth with hers. After a few seconds
Buffy realized Spike wasn't moving and opened her eyes to stare at
him. She quickly moved from his grasp, seeing his disinterest. "God
I'm sorry," Buffy said embarrassed as she looked nervously about,
everywhere but in Spike's eyes.



"It's ok, I better get going now, don't forget to tell lil bit I'll
see her tomorrow." Spike said before turning and walking off. Buffy
looked after him for a moment before she could find her voice.



"Ok." She then slowly turned back on to her trek home.



~~



"Are you sure?" Willow asked for the umpteenth time as she dug her
spoon into the tub Buffy was hugging to her chest.



"Yes I'm sure Will, I can tell when a man isn't interested and Spike
was so not interested. God I was so embarrassed." Buffy grumbled as
she put a huge spoonful of rocky road into her mouth.



"Whoa, I'd never thought I'd see the day when Spike would turn down
some Buffy goodies."



"He didn't actually turn them down…he just was busy…uh…oh who am I
kidding he didn't want my goodies." Buffy whined with a pout. "Which I
shouldn't be surprised by at all."



"What? You have to know he's the crazy one, it's so not your fault."
Willow defended even.



"Oh yes it is, he's been professing his love for me for years and
what did I do, laugh, taunted, and beat him up for it, and now when I
finally realize I love him, that I want him, he's not interested any
longer. It's fate, fate hates me."



"No, It's just time, for him it's been a very long time. He's been
fighting a war for nearly a century that's bound to change anyone,
make them hard and cold. You just have to remind him what it was that
he loved about you, romance him a little." Buffy looked to her friend
skeptically. "Either that or you move on and give up the Spike
goodies." Buffy shook her head to that idea.



"He'll be over tomorrow to see Dawn, I'll get dressed up, fix a nice
dinner." Buffy said smiling now, as Willow frowned.



"Maybe you should let me cook the dinner, you are trying to get him
interested again, and not…you know…uhm make him sick."



~~

A knock came to the door and Dawn jumped excitedly as she skipped to
the door. "Spike, Spike, Spike, Spike," She opened the door as her
smiled brightened. "Spike!" She squealed as she leaped into his arms,
nearly causing him to drop the pizza he held.



"Hello Dawn." Spike said with a smile as he embraced her, burying his
nose in her hair and breathing deeply. At that moment Buffy appeared
in the doorway. Spike's eyes bulged a bit at the sight of her, she
wore a black satin dress that hit just above her knees, and her hair
was swept up from her neck, she was a vision and she caught herself
smiling a little as she noticed that Spike was gaping at her. `Thank
you Willow.' Buffy thought to herself.



"Hello, Spike." Buffy greeted.



"Hello, Slayer." Spike replied as he crossed the threshold with Dawn
still in his arms. "You look…nice." Spike said awkwardly.



"Thank you, you too." Buffy said as she noticed that Spike was
wearing tan cargo pants and a black button down shirt. `WOW' Buffy
thought as she closed the door and followed Spike and Dawn into the
dining room.



Spike took in the spread before him the table was filled with a grand
feast. "What's all this?" He asked arching his brow as he cut his eye
to Dawn.



"It's a welcome home Spike, we're happy to have you back, we missed
you so much dinner." Dawn announced with a giggle. Spike smiled
warmly at her as he reached out and stroked her hair.



"Thanks Lil bit."



"Oh don't thank me, it was Buffy's idea." Spike then turned to Buffy
who was leaning on the doorframe feeling like an outsider. "I'll go
get the drinks, and put this in the fridge for later." Dawn announced
as she took the pizza from Spike and made her way to the kitchen.
Spike turned his attention to Buffy who still stood, nervously in the
doorway.



"You did all of this for me?"



"You deserve it, you've done a lot for us, protecting Dawn."



"I do that because I love her." Spike interjected quickly, which
pleased and stunned Buffy a little. Although she suspected that was
his reason, Spike had never spoke of it before.



"I know you do, and we've never…I've never said thank you, so thank
you Spike."



"You're welcome…Buffy." Spike said coyly again stunning Buffy. He
hadn't called her that since he had arrived back. He took a step
towards her. "You look beautiful." He said softly, and Buffy looked
at him in surprise.



"Thank you." She said and then looked down shyly. "Nice of you to
notice."



"I've always noticed. You've always looked beautiful." Buffy smiled
as she gazed up into Spike's eyes, longingly. Spike took another step
and found himself inches away from where Buffy stood. He leaned in so
close their noses almost touched. Buffy's breathing increased in
anticipation and her lips parted, her tongue darting out lick at her
now dry lip. Spike reached out his hand and stroked her cheek. "About
last night…"



`CRASH!'



Both Spike and Buffy turned towards the noise. "Dawn!" Buffy called
out but got no answer. Spike pulled his gun and moved cautiously to
the kitchen door, with Buffy close behind him. The entered the
kitchen and found Dawn sprawled out on the floor. Buffy rushed to her
side. "Dawnie, Dawnie!"



Fade to black…on to the next episode: `The Keys of the Future.'

(You think you know what's to come…you haven't even begun!)
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