“Okay, you take the 30,000 on the left...” Gun clasping his bleeding side.
“You're fading. You'll last 10 minutes at best.” Illyria stated bluntly.
“Then let's make it memorable” giving her a weak smirk as he tried to stay standing.
Spike turned toward Angel “And in terms of a plan?”
“Bit more specific.”
"Well personally... I kinda want to slay the dragon.” He paused watching the demons continuing their assault.
“Let’s go to work.” Lifting his long sword and running into the fray.
The demons charged. The little group was still greatly outnumbered and out sized.
Spike muttered under his breath “Great stupid Poof.”
“Mind if I play?” Spike vaguely heard the voice but was preoccupied with a smaller demon to recognize it.
Occasionally catching glimpses of demon after demon falling to the ground. A rush of bodies stormed the battlefield helping the warrior on their side. Maybe just maybe we have a chance now, he thought.
When the alley filled with a blindingly bright light he could only cover his eyes. The world seemed to still and quiet in a moment. With the light receding he could see every demon was gone.
“What the bloody hell was that?”
“Yeah.” He had been too distracted by the fact he wasn’t about to be killed to notice the other players on the field. Until now. It’s her.
“Oh my god, Spike. You’re alive.”
“Buffy.” He whispered. They stood a few feet apart, staring into each others eyes unmoving.
“Hey, you came for our party.” Angle chided Buffy trying to break the silence.
Bloody Hell man, Spike thought none too pleased with the interruption of her focus.
“What? Uh yeah, heard you could use a hand. I’m always up for an apocalypse.”
She keeps staring at me not him. Spike keenly aware of her.
“Anyone hurt? We should get back to the hotel we’ve got enough room for everyone.”
“He will not make the trip.” Illyria stated nodding in Gunn‘s direction.
“Xander help me.” A weakened Willow went to Gunn placing her hand on his forehead. She muttered something under her breath and his wounds diminished.
“Is that everyone?” Buffy called out.
No one answered “Then let’s get out of here.” Angel said leading the way.
Buffy could not even begin to fathom this night. Spike. He’s alive. A distant memory of Xander standing in Giles’ old apartment faded into her thoughts. “How? What? How?” Buffy smiled to herself at the bittersweet moment from about four years ago when she found herself momentarily engaged to Spike, and strangely happier than she had been since Angel. Four years. A lifetime ago. So much had happened since then. So much loss. Tara. Anya.
Buffy kept to her thoughts to process what was going on as quickly as possible.
Spike is alive. How?
I love Spike. Does he still love me?
What do we do now?
Facts only brought more questions none of which she could answer now. But someone knows about Spike’s reappearance. And I will get answers.
All the living staff of Angel Investigations, and the Scooby’s filled the lobby of the Hyperion. Each group sticking to a side of the room, the only one not choosing a side and lurking in the shadows of the office was the resident bleach blond vampire. This was not going to be a pleasant chat.
Buffy was flanked by Xander, an energy depleted Willow, and Andrew.
“So what brought you guys to town?”
“Giles and Willow are friends of a coven,” giving a nod to the red headed witch resting on the couch. “They saw something big going down. So we hopped a planed and here we are.”
“What was with that light? Not that I’m complaining, but shouldn’t the two vamps be dead along with the demons.” Gunn broke in.
Willow straightened up a little, “Yes, but I modified the spell not to harm anyone who was on the good side. I asked the coven to put a protection spell over all of you until we could get this sorted out.”
Annoyed by the interruption at his conversation with Buffy, he interrupted the pair speaking. “You didn’t call. Some warning would have been good.”
“You don’t want to start with me on who didn’t call whom.” The tiny blonde’s voice clearly marked with a tone warning of her struggle to control her anger, a struggle which was not on Angel’s side.
Deciding it was in his best interest to drop it, as he could feel the tension and fury coming off of Buffy. “So you said we need to talk. What can I help you with?”
Buffy raised an eyebrow and Angel knew a little too late that this was not the right thing to say to the obviously furious slayer. “Oh I don’t know. How about you and Spike tell me about what the hell he’s doing here?” Pointing to the office but her angry eyes never leaving Angel’s. “That would be nice to know. Since he died a year ago, imagine that I am a bit surprised that he’s standing over there.”
“Okay about that-Spike get out here.”
The blond sneered at being ordered. “I am not your servant or crony to be summoned.” He took a cautious step into the main area of the room. Noticing for the first time a few of the group who were not there. His face grew strained in a look of horror he tried to cover but couldn’t.
“Spike what is it?” Buffy’s demeanor towards him softer and less volatile than it had been towards Angel.
“Bit. Did- I mean… What happened at the hellmouth?”
“Oh God. NO! No Dawn’s in London. She’s in school and I didn’t want to drag her away for this when she probably wouldn’t be able to do much.” Pausing at his obvious relief. “We lost some of the girls, and Anya, and you. But I guess not you. Robin was hurt pretty badly but he’s alive. He and Faith ended up in Ohio at the new hellmouth.”
“Now,” turning back towards Angel with the anger back in full force. “What happened after the hellmouth?”
“The one you gave me.”
“Yeah, well I got it in the mail one day and then Spike just reappeared. There was a spell so he couldn’t leave the building, then he could leave and we had this apocalypse and he stayed to help or die really.”
“But that was months ago.” Andrew’s meager voice chimed in.
“What do you mean? Andrew.”
“Well ah, when uh I was here for the crazy slayer, well Spike was here.”
“How long after Sunnydale did Spike reappear as you put it?”
“I don’t really remember exactly.”
Illira offered the information. “From my memory of the other’s life, it was less than one month’s time.”
Buffy turned to Illyria “Thank you.” She stared at the ground for a minute, then standing up “Angel. Office NOW!” She stormed towards the room.
“Buffy I am not the one you’re angry with.”
“At the moment you are.”She paused before continuing to the office.
“You better go man. If you make her wait no telling how much worse it’s going to be.” Gunn offered honestly.
The dark vampire followed after her, not looking forward to being locked in a room with a vengeful slayer. Even if she was his ex. That may not work in my favor tonight. She slammed the door behind him.
“Hell hath no fury. Thank god I’m not one of you three losers.” Gunn laughed.
“Come again? She’s mad at him.” Spike said.
“Only at the moment. When she’s done tearing into him who do you think she’s going to go after next? You probably for not calling and little pipsqueak there for knowing and not saying.”
You are so buggered mate. Thinking it best not to press his luck Spike started upstairs to avoid what confrontation may come to him. Not that she can’t very well find you in here if she wants too. “If she wants too. That’s the whole point isn’t it?”
“Spike.” Willow’s soft voice halting his escape.
Joining him on the stairs. “It’s probably not my place but Buffy-she’s had a really hard time since you,” pausing to think over her words. “Since you disappeared. For what it’s worth, we’ve all missed you being around.”
“Okay not so much Xander, but me, Buffy, Dawn. It wasn’t the same without you.”
Immediately she went back to her seat.
Spike wasn’t sure what that was about. Doesn’t matter, he decided. Yet he knew it did.
“How could you not tell me he was alive?”
“Well first of all he isn’t, and he wasn’t always… well corporeal.”
“Angel I have been on a plane for an entire day. I am not interested in word games. What are you talking about?”
“When he first appeared here. He was a ghost.”
“A vampire ghost?” A very slight mocking in his voice.
“Hey it’s true. We weren’t even sure he wouldn’t disappear at some point which he was doing quite often.”
“And when he didn’t why didn’t you call me?”
“He didn’t want you to know. Why are you getting so upset about this you love him? He said casually.”
When Buffy didn’t respond he looked her over carefully.
“You do. You love him.” With a tenderness to his voice. “Wait, you love him. Are you kidding me?”
“Angel stop. I do. I love him.”
“Unbelievable. Why him?”
“I can’t explain it exactly. But in the past few years he was there for me when no one else could be. In ways that no one else was. He sacrificed his life or unlife I guess so that I could live. I wasn’t planning for it to happen but it happened and then he was gone. I am furious with you for not telling me, you should have regardless of what he said because it was fair to me, but you didn’t. Look you were my first love. I’ll always love you in a way, but it’s different with him. I’m not seventeen anymore. I’ve died twice, I’ve lost people I care about. Spike is by no means perfect. We had major issues but in the end when it was important he did what he almost always does.”
“What is that?”
“He put me first.”
After a long pause “So what about those cookies?”
“Still not done.”
She had been drained after the conversation with Angel and had major jet lag. Finding her vampire gone she decided it could wait a little longer until she was rested and thinking clearer. After giving Andrew a promise that they would be having a conversation in the morning, she went to bed. Unfortunately, once there she slept fitfully and gave up at four in the morning.
“Might as well greet the morning” she grumbled “while it kicks you in the head.” She put on sweat pants and a less baggy top and went down to the kitchen for some coffee and food.
Spike couldn’t rest. Couldn’t even hide. He just wanted to go back to her. Even if she stakes me I need to look at her. Not that I think she would. Though he had not entirely convinced himself. He had sat in the attic staring out at the LA sky for hours without realizing it. He looked at the hall clock as he walked down the stairs. It’s late or early, guess I have to wait till morning to know my fate. He wandered the house knowing that she had long gone to sleep. Until he felt the familiar vibes alerting him that a slayer was around. His slayer. You can hide like a wanker or go and face the music.
When it came to slayers, Spike was always one to dance.
“All the kiddies tucked away then love.”
She shouldn’t have been surprised to see him standing there, but in a hotel with two vampires and a demigod or whatever she was, Buffy’s spidey senses were hazy on specific locals.
“Yes, where did you disappear too?
“Amulet. Weren’t you paying attention?”
“I mean after we came back to the hotel.”
“Well, decided to give the very pissed off slayer a little breathing room before she found me.”
“You think I would do that?”
“Not stake me necessarily, but I wasn’t up to hearing what you might have been saying then.”
“Will you sit down? I want to talk to you, not scream or fight just talk.”
He sat down beside her silently.
“Why didn’t you tell me? I would have come back. Don’t you think I would have?”
He paused to gather the words “When we said good bye- I thought maybe we should leave it at that.” His voice barely above a whisper.
“But we didn’t.”
“Didn’t what pet?”
“We didn’t say goodbye. I told you I loved you and left.”
“I guess we said all we needed to say then.” He was straining to control his quivering voice.
“No we didn’t. I never thought you wouldn’t be there when we won. You asked me the night before what we were but I didn’t know. I couldn’t think about it with the weight of the world on me and everyone I cared about in danger. But I thought I would get the chance to figure it out and then you were gone, and you shouldn’t have been.” She gasped for air through her tears trying to finish before he could leave. “I meant it. When I said I loved you I meant it.”
“I still mean it.”
“Buffy.” His voice, barely above a whisper. He cradled her face in his hands. “God I’ve missed you.” He leans in to kiss her. Their lips almost brushing against the others. A clank jolted them apart as Andrew came stumbling into the kitchen.
With vampire reflexes Spike had Andrew pinned to the wall by the throat. “I will kill you, soul or not if you don’t get out of here right now.”
“Buffy wouldn’t let you do that.” His shaky little voice whined.
Buffy stood behind Spike “You’d be surprised what I would let him do to you right now Andrew. I think he told you to get out.”
He bolted back through the door the direction that he had just came from.
“Timing has never been our strong suit.”
“Yeah well it’s overrated.” He reached our grabbing her wrist and pulling her towards him. Instead of the kiss she was expecting, hoping for; he simply held her to his body, tucking her head beneath his chin.
He felt her tears soak through his shirt. “I never thought I’d see you again” she sobbed.
“Here I am. With you.” There was awe in his voice.
When she was cried out Spike let her go, she sat back down in the chair.
“So what are you going to do now the apocalypse is averted once again?”
“Go home, well Giles’ home. He has a property in England, I live in a cottage on the edge of it. I think it was a care takers house or something.” She waited a moment before making up her mind. “Spike.”
“Will you come with me?”
“You want me to come with you?”
“Kind of why I asked. And hey if you start feeling homesick for LA you can just hop a plane and come back. Wait do vampires fly? I mean can you go on planes? And I’m babbling.”
“With his usual cocky smirk “S’alright, nice to hear again. I’m not much for planes but yeah we can. Buffy- what are you trying for? I mean what is this?”
“I’m still figuring it out. I mean I tell a guy I love him then he’s gone then he’s not. I’m not exactly sure, yet. – You want to figure it out with me?”
There was no question “I’m in.”