Author's Chapter Notes:
Title: Somewhere only we know
Setting: Post ‘Chosen’, Post ‘Not Fade Away’
Disclaimer: All characters, storylines and settings are on loan from Joss Whedon. I do not own them so don’t sue me.
Acknowledgement: Inspired by the song; ‘Somewhere only we know’ by Keane and a few geography lessons :[ lol.
Oh simple thing
Where have you gone
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when
You’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

It seems unfair.

For years she’s fought; promised an early, heroic death, but in the end; she’s just like everybody else.

She can’t stop this any more than they can.

Give her demons; give her vampires; Hell; give her the First ever Evil- and yes- she can kick its ass.


Face her with Mother Nature; stand her in front of the iced over Southern countries of the world and tell her to fight; tell her to stop this ‘apocalypse’; to save the thousands, fleeing to the warmer states just to grant themselves a few extra days of precious life. Then... Then she’s just like everybody else.



No doubt Giles, of course, has everyone researching the ancient prophecies; seeking desperately, a last glimmer of hope; telling them this doesn’t have to happen. This isn’t the end.

The cold and bitter end.

But she’s older; wiser now. She’s not a fool.

Granted; demons she can deal with.

Gods she can deal with.

Evil... She can deal with.

But the hordes of people; packed into the rapidly cooling streets; praying; calling out to their God for the mercy he refuses to give.

The children crying for their lost mothers.

The mothers crying for their lost children.

The once powerful humans; now grappling at her feet; begging for the help that no one, not even she, can offer.

This she couldn’t deal with.

And that is what brought her here.

Alone, like the words of long dead men prophesied she always would be.

In a place; once so beautiful and loved; now long-forgotten. A broken; derelict shell, or crater, of its former self.

She stares across it; right to the other side where the setting sun glimmers at her like the eyes of someone she blocked from her mind long ago.

The vastness of the crater never ceases to amaze her.

The town; seemed so small to live there. The High School, the Bronze, The espresso pump, the Sun cinema...

Seven years of her life; erased like the photos she had to leave behind.

Like the belongings she never saw again.

A small, stuffed pig named after an old school teacher; sucked into the Hellmouth where no pink creature belongs.

So long since she last saw the stuffed toy she carried everywhere as a child; but one aspect she knows not to forget.

Graves; Jenny Calendar’s. Her Mother’s. Tara’s. Her own...

Gone; all gone.

Houses; buildings; land marks; memories.

All destroyed.

Her eyes try to focus on something; anything; that she can pick out from the destruction.

Some glitter of recognition.

Something to transport her back to the old days.

The ‘Scooby Gang’ sitting in the school library, researching the new evil terrorising the small town, to the sound of Cordy and Xander’s moans, and the gentle ‘click click’ of Willow’s computer.

She wonders briefly where they all are now; people who seemed so important to her adolescent self; now, not even a birthday card for the last seven years.

Xander was the first to leave them; taking off to a whole different continent; declaring a leave of absence from the good fight. The fight that killed the love of his life.

Buffy never blamed him for wanting to distance himself from her.

The Slayer was meant to be alone; all she does is destroy the lives of those around her.

Willow was the second to leave.

After Kennedy was killed, the bright witch became withdrawn and broken; retreating back to the coven she was welcomed into in England; breaking all contact with Buffy; promising to write every day; but forgetting her old friend after a week and a half.

Then it was Giles’ turn.

He turned in his Slayer handbook and followed Willow to England; taking with him a few new Slayers to train; leaving Buffy with the words; “You’re an adult now; these girls need me more than you ever did.” couldn’t even bring himself to say her name; none of them could.

Lost, and feeling so alone; desperate to hold onto her last familiar connection, she took Dawn to Italy; hoping to start a new, happy life in the friendly country.

Dawn met her future husband working at a local restaurant.

After they wed; Dawn thought it was a better idea for them to find a place; a life; of their own.

And from then on, Buffy was alone.

She’d stayed in Italy for a while, but found the bright lights and characters brash and painful to her tired eyes.

She moved back to L.A for a while.

Oh yes- she was no fool- she’d known, the moment his ashes had reanimated; she had known. Known he was back.

But he; like everyone else she thought she knew and loved; stayed away. Distanced. Left her alone in her cold, dark world.

Years passed; years of being a nobody again.

No ‘Chosen one’. No ‘One and only’ as Faith had said.

Faith who had moved to Minnesota with Robin Wood as soon as the bright yellow school bus reached its final destination. No goodbye.

Years of feuding and Buffy didn’t even merit a goodbye.

Slayers- the chosen two; left with nothing in common but a long forgotten history of blood and guts that neither would have cared to recall anyway.

Buffy saw them. New Slayers. Everywhere she went, there would be a new girl strutting the streets; all self-righteous and giddy with power; thinking she was special.

No one remembered the original Slayer these days.

The girl who gave up her life at age fifteen to follow a man called Merik into a new destiny.

No one knew about the death she had faced at age sixteen, the sacrifice she made at age twenty.

No one knew about the Slayer who had faced the forces of darkness all alone; the only Slayer.

She was unimportant now; a part of history to be swept under the rug.

And she resented it; the fact that she was so easily forgotten.

That no one; not even her friends and family; had bothered to contact her in over seven years.

Buffy walks toward the edge of the crater; tottering over the edge to get a better look; wondering what it looks like now; the mouth of Hell.

Not so tough now; now that it too faces the biting ice that will soon consume this warm state along with all others.

Closed. The mouth of Hell is closed. Not even the burning pits of Hell can offer her solace now.

As a teenager; sitting with her friends; laughing and chatting; she swore to herself. Promised herself she’d never be alone; not until Hell froze over.

She looks to the horizon, realising the sick irony of her life, then back down at the Hell Mouth, with its creeping vines of ice, slowly gaining speed on her.

She pulls away from the edge and pulls another coat around her; feeling the chill creep into her bones.

A familiar chill, but one she hasn’t felt for years and years.

“What’re you doing here?” she asks; surprised momentarily by how much her voice has changed since she last used it.

It sounds course and old, the same way she feels.

“S’the end of the world pet.” comes the soft reply, “Where else in the world would I be?”

She turns slowly, to face him; taken a back by his appearance.

He looks older; like herself; but still stunning with his platinum blond hair shinning in the dim light; bright and obnoxious as ever.

His eyes though, his eyes look tired; like he’s ready to call it a day anyway.

Years have passed since they last acknowledged each other, and yet, standing here on their old, familiar ground, suddenly no time has passed at all.

She’s a girl again; fighting for what’s right; living her life to the full.

And there’s so much to live for.

“I missed you.” she says; too little time left now to hold grudges against the man who discarded her from his life. “More than I’d like to admit.”

“Needed time.” he says, “Guess that’s bitten me in the ass now we have about a day to go.”

His tired eyes are cast to the horizon.

“Knew you’d be here Love; good ol’ SunnyHell.”

“Where else in the world.” she agrees, then she turns to face the crater again, “Knew since I was a girl that I would die here; in this town. We’ve been through so much in this town; didn’t seem right to go and die anywhere else.”

“Same.” he admits. “Think I’ve had more years than I deserve. But I’m ready to pack it all in; where else would I be?”

“For what it’s worth,” she says, “I’m glad you’re here.”

But she can’t touch him; can’t bring herself to lay a hand on his cold flesh.

Too much time; too much water under the bridge.

“Needed to see you Pet.” he says, “Before I go; before we all go.”

She turns back to him; her eyes studying his face; his oh so familiar features. She recognises the love and it bites her hard.

“You still...”

“Always.” he says. “Remember what I told you... You’re the one Buffy.”

“Not anymore.” she says, thinking about the armies of young girls; willing to fight this ‘apocalypse’ to the very end. “I’m old Spike. And I’m so tired.”

“Twenty nine isn’t old Buffy,” he replies; his tired eyes looking twice that age.

“It is for a Slayer.” she says. “Far older than I thought I’d ever be.” she closes her eyes and wraps her arms close around her body, “Death wish.” she repeats his old words. “Wanted my heroic death; wanted my name in the Watcher’s diaries; read by others in wonderment for years to come. Didn’t want to be the one who was beaten by the cold; like every other weak creature on this God forsaken planet.”

“Slayer,” he says in a wary tone; catching her attention by using his old sentiment. “You had your heroic death; twice if I remember rightly. This is our time Buffy,” he continues, “The only time when every single creature on this Earth will be equal.”

“I don’t wanna be equal,” she replies.

“Right.” he says, “Course not.”

“Spike,” she says, “I was somebody; really somebody. I saved the world, you know, on a weekly basis. And look at me now; I’m the girl that no one can stand to be around; the girl you ‘loved’ so much you didn’t even bother to tell me you were, oh I don’t know; not dead!” she bites her lip. “But none of that matters now. Because we’re all in the same boat; we’ll all be dead by this time tomorrow. I just thought... Kinda thought I’d be dying alone.”

He takes a step toward her.

“Not dying alone Love,” he says, “You should never,” he adds, “Have been alone for all these years. If I’d have known... I mean- I thought your Scoobies...”

“Lost contact.” she says, “Years ago now. Miss them sometimes. Think that’s why I’m here.”

“Me too.” Buffy spins around at the sound of a familiar voice. The owner of the voice stares back at her with eyes full of sincerity. “Room at this party for a good witch?”

“Will...” The Slayer stares at her best friend of seven years.

She’s aged well; the transition from girl to woman, blessing her features with an almost Elfin like quality. Her soft hair, now left long and wavy; but fiery red as ever. And eyes; like Spike’s; appearing older than her thirty years.


And like that; they’re embracing. No time at all has passed as the two school girls embrace; mourning the loss of their innocence. The loss of friendship. The loss of their lives.

“I missed you so much Willow.” Buffy sobs, “I’m so glad you’re here.”

“I can’t believe-” Willow says, “After everything we’ve been through; they’re just gonna take us out like this.”

“Nothin’ to fight.” agrees Spike, “Seems like kind of a bad deal to me.”

“Nothing you can do?” Buffy asks, “No big dark mojo you can conjure to stop this from happening.”

“Sorry.” says Willow. “Some things are just supposed to happen.”

“Well I’m more than ready.” Buffy admits, “My fights long over.”

“Me too.” agrees Spike, “No place left in this world for lone heroes.”

“No place left in this world for us.” Willow adds.

“No place but Sunnydale.” agrees another. “Should have known I wouldn’t be alone out here.”

The two women and their platinum friend spin around with surprise upon hearing the voice; matched with a jet black eye patch.


“Oh God- Xander!”

They both throw their arms around him; lost in their adolescent feelings of love and loyalty.

“Now I remember,” he says with a cheeky smile, “Why I liked this arrangement so much.”

“Xand!” laughs Willow, pushing his arm like she always used to. “How’ve you been?”

He can hardly keep the smile from his face; none of them can.

“Kinda lonely- I think.” he replies, “Missed my girls.”

The three embrace again.

“Didn’t really miss you Spike.” he tells the blond who grunts with mutual feelings.

“Least I have two eyes,” Spike replies.

“You’d be surprised,” he says, “But this eye patch has done wonders for my social life; the ladies- they totally dig it.” he turns to Willow, wiggling his eyebrows. “You digging it Will?”

“Like, twenty years ago maybe.” she replies; hitting home the reality of how long they’ve spent apart.

“Can’t believe how fast time flies.” Xander says, turning to look across the crater that was his whole childhood. “Can’t believe we’re all here together again.”

“Feels right.” says Buffy, “Like we’re back where we should be.”

“I can agree with that.” says Spike; looking over at the woman he loves.

Time has aged her; but the years have done nothing to diminish her fierce beauty; the flowing golden hair and bright, green eyes.

“Takes me back to our mortal enemy days.” Spike continues, “Feel like I should be bashing over the ‘Welcome to Sunnydale’ sign.”

“And we’ll all be in the library with Giles,” Willow adds, “Looking into more ways for Buffy to kick every inch of your un-dead ass.”

“Wonder what Giles’ is doing now.” Buffy says.

“Well- you know the G-Man.” replies Xander, “Probably in full research-mode, ready to slay the evil cold front that threatens to kill us all while we sleep tonight.”

“How many times-” asks a clipped, English accent, “Have I asked you not to call me G-Man?”

“I lost count.” says Xander, then, without commenting on the Watcher’s presence; turns to embrace him, “Good to see you old guy.” he says, whilst patting his back in the manly fashion.

“Xander.” he nods. “Willow.” he takes her into his arms and hugs her tightly. “Spike.” he offers a limp hand, “Well done for...” he looks at the crater, “Not being as terribly evil as we all believed.” then he turns to the last person. The tired eyes cast downward, trying to hide the frightened little girl still trapped behind them. “Buffy.” he says finally, pulling her into his arms and stroking her golden tresses. “Do I have to ask if you’ve done something with your hair?”

The aging Slayer laughs, pulling her arms tight around the man who fathered her for so many years.

“I’m sorry about how we left things Giles,” she says, clutching herself to his chest, “I wish you’d never left me.”

“I wish for that a lot too.” he admits. “Miss the more innocent days.”

“Oh my God!” squeals an excited voice, “I knew everyone would be here; this is such a typical ‘us’ moment.”

“Dawnie!” exclaims Willow, rushing over to the young woman, “Wow- you look incredible.”

Dawn giggles; still very much a child around those she always looked up to.

“I know-” she says, “Come on- who’s the man?”

“Nibblet,” says Spike, pulling his arms around her, “Not so Lil- Lil Bit.”

“Spike!” she says, “I haven’t seen you since that party down on California Beach, back in 2009! Damn,” she adds, “That music was pretty darn cool.”

“And the food!” Spike adds; swept up by her gusto, “Was a good night.”

“Hmm- Carlos didn’t like you though,” she says, “Thought you were gonna beat him.”

“Would’ve.” says Spike, “Damn jerk kept checking out short skirts.”

“Well that’s all in the past now.” the young woman says.

“Past?” Buffy asks, addressing her baby sister for the first time. “You...”

“Buffy.” says Dawn; wrapping her arms around her tightly, “I’ve missed you so damn much.”

“You and Carlos-”

“Oh years ago,” Dawn clarifies, “He wanted to go mainstream with his business and I was all ‘Argh!’ with the not-wanting and it was just so not going to work.”

Buffy nods with a smile, not understanding a word that her sister is saying; but enjoying the fact that here she is; right in front of her.

“You should have told me.” Buffy says. “I would’ve-”

“Did.” Dawn interrupts. “Left about thirty messages- but you haven’t turned your cell on in like, four years.”

“Oh... Right.” says Buffy, reaching into her pocket to pull out the long-neglected phone.

“So- Dawnie got married?” asks Xander, “And we thought our favourite little key was gonna stay all teenage-mood-ish forever.”

“Oh- I did that too.” Dawn admits. “It’s good for the skin apparently.”

“Dawn!” cries Willow, throwing her arms around her again, “Missed you!”

Everyone else joins the hug with a passion.

And if you have a minute why don’t we go-
Talk about it somewhere only we know
This could be the end of everything thing
So why don’t we go
Somewhere only we know

“Strange.” says Xander, “How quickly the world forgot about this little town.”

“News reports about the giant crater that used to be a town went on for about a week,” says Willow, “After that- nada.”

“Probably came up with some ‘sweep the terror under the rug’ explanation,” says Buffy, “Which completely undermines everything the Scooby Gang- and certain evil vampires- did.”

“Maybe everybody did that ‘mental-blocky’ thing that the residents of Sunnydale used to be so good at.” suggests Willow.

“Is this the place?” asks Buffy, “The place we used to love?”

She feels Spike take her hand; his feeling warm against her as the air temperature drops even further.

“You guys bring extra clothing?” asks Dawn, “Could be a long night.”

“Either that or a considerably short one.” says Xander; trying to be jokey, but shivering as his teeth begin to chatter.

“I have blankets.” says Giles, “I had a feeling I wouldn’t be the only one returning to Sunnydale for the last ever apocalypse.”

“I have sweaters.” says Willow, “About ten; I don’t deal well with the cold.”

“Maybe we should start a fire.” suggests Dawn, “All huddle around; share stories before we move on to Heaven.”

“Dawn that was mean.” says Xander, “We all know Spike’s going to Hell.”

His tone lets everyone know he’s kidding and Spike joins the laughter undaunted.

“Been there Harris,” he says, “At least it has central heating.”

“I’m thinking in the ‘Blazing fires of Hell’ kind of way.” Dawn says, “Hey- what happens if you catch on fire when you’re in Hell? Do you still go poof?”

Everyone groans at her question; sinking to the ground as Giles and Spike begin to build the fire.

“Matches?” asks Giles.

Spike raises an eyebrow; digging his trusty Zippo out of his pocket and flicking it open; letting the fire consume the small pile of wood they had managed to scavenge.

Quickly, everyone moves around the fire; huddling together as Giles spreads out the blankets; talking of old times and everything they’ve missed.

Willow and Xander embrace; Willow laying against Xander’s chest with his arms wrapped around her small form, and they sigh with contentment as they sink closer to the fire still.

Giles takes Dawn into his fatherly embrace and she cuddles him like a child hugs a parent; leaning against him with a smile as they too draw nearer to the fire.

And finally, Buffy looks a Spike. The man she’s since considered the love of her life; and she crawls into his arms without a second thought; wrapping them both in a blanket and kissing him softly before sinking down in his lap.

“I never stopped loving you, you know.” she says; low enough for only Spike to hear. “And I never will. You’re death destroyed me Spike.”

Spike looks at her with all the awe he’s ever possessed. The same way he’s always looked at her.

“I’ve always loved you Buffy; from the very first moment I saw you.”

“To the very last breath you take.” Buffy finishes; running fingertips over his cheek bone.

Oh simple thing
Where have you gone?
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when
You’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

Xander was the first to leave them; drifting off somewhere around eleven; warm in his best friend’s arms. Ready to finally meet the love of his life again.

Buffy saw him leave her again; sensed it like she’d always sensed death. But she smiled at the happy look on his face. And she knew it was right; this was right.

Willow was the second to leave.

Her hand still frozen to Xander’s in an eternal gesture of friendship and a smile matching his own on her face. Together in life, together in death. Her smile warmed Buffy and kept her holding on a little tighter to Spike. A tear spilled down Buffy’s cheek; a tear for the old friend she’d never forgotten.

Spike wiped the tear away; catching it in his hand and kissing her lips; tilting her head back and whispering the words, “It’ll be okay love.”

Then it was Giles’ turn.

He turned in his Slayer handbook, for good this time, and followed Willow and Xander. And Buffy knew that she finally was an adult; because of him. Her father; her mentor; her best friend.

But he was merely another human being. Another man, struck down by mother nature as she swept across the warm state of California.

He looked so old now; so old and frail as he let out his final breath; his fierce grip on Dawn finally loosening; letting her go. Letting himself go.

And Dawn was next. Her long brown hair falling like icicles around her face as her eyes closed. Her face still so fresh and young. So full of life. So much left to do. So much unfinished business.

But there’s a smile on her face too; like all along she’s wanted a reason to move on. Like nothing’s ever been the same for her either; nothing’s ever been the same for any of them.

The spell that had saved the world had, ironically, destroyed them all.

Made their lives, and everything they’d ever sacrificed; entirely meaningless.

Dawn smiles as she leaves the cold baron earth and follows her life long friends to a better place. A place where they can have all the time in the world together.

Buffy snuggles deeper into Spike’s arms.

“They’re all gone.” she whispers to him. “We’re the last.”

“We outlived them all.” Spike agrees. “Ironic as you like. Not ready to leave you yet though Love.”

She turns in his arms so she’s facing him, gazing up into his floorless face with wonderment.

“You’ve been such a surprise to the world William.” she whispers, touching his cheek and letting her hand rest there. “I’ve loved you to death.”

“I love you pet.”

“Just wish it didn’t have to end like this.”

Spike’s eyes closed as he recalled meaningless words, uttered by a demon years and years ago.

“To kill this girl,” he whispers, tears forming again, “You have to love her.”

“Do you love me enough?” she murmurs, eyes casting out across the cold horizon, “Will you do this for me Spike?”

His hold on her tightens and he buries his face in the crook of her neck, letting a few of his tears fall.

“I do. I will.”

She pulls away from him; heroic smile looking natural and radiant on her face, whispering of lost youth and scenes of yesteryear.

“When I told you...” she says, “I meant it. I truly did.”

“I know.” he replies. “I’ve always known.”

“You were a hero. You *are* a hero.”

“You’ve always been a hero.” he whispers, “That’s why I fell in love with you. You deserve to be remembered this way.”

He transforms slowly into his game face, more beautiful than ever and Buffy runs appreciative fingers over the defined lines of his face, smiling as his amber eyes warm her like tiny shards of sunlight.

“You told me...” she says, “Years ago. Told me that it would be you.”

“I guess I was smarter than you knew huh?”

She chuckles softly, “No.” she says, amused by his faux-frown, “Just my perfect equal. My perfect death.”

“I love you.”

“I love you.”

The fangs descended slowly and the hero tightens her grip on the vampire champion, letting his killing save her. Save her from a weak death at the hands of the earth. Cheating the natural order of things again.

Always by her own rules. That’s the beauty and irony as Spike pulls the intoxicating life force from her body.

Giving her her hero’s death.

She dies in his arms, feeling him surround her as she departs this world for a third and final time. Ready to meet her friends and family. Ready for the happiness she had found once before to take her and hold her close. Ready to see Spike again very soon.

Her blood warms him through and through and he holds her close to him, relieved as he finally feels her leave him. Her blood sings in his veins, making him feel closer to her than ever before, more in love with her than ever.

The burning feeling of loving her so much was one he was used to, and one that would finally be laid to rest by morning time.

Buffy had died a hero, and it was time for him to follow her.

The early morning sun rises over the desolate crater of the town that had meant everything to them. The home they had built together, over a foundation of hatred and distrust, growing and blossoming into a love that had been so stigmatised from the very start.

The road leading away from the town is chipped and battered from over-use. The road he had taken on a journey to regain his soul. A journey to prove to a beautiful Slayer just how much he loved her.

The sun looks distant and meaningless against the harsh white of the frost and ice covered land. Meaningless, but still deadly. More deadly to Spike than the bitter cold is to everyone else.

He looks over at them, cold empty shells now. Corpses, all of his friends.

He holds the body in his arms, then slowly places her aside so the sun can kiss him fully.

He smiles as he feels the familiar charring he had met once before; the licking of flames bursting forth from his own body and consuming his view.

This time he doesn’t laugh. He thinks of her and he smiles.

Another to always be cheating nature. The only hero to be faced with ice and snow, but to go out burning with a smile.

The roar of flames shakes the now peaceful world, but eventually the source they burn crumbles away and they flicker toward the sky, burning out forever, leaving a dark patch of melted snow, where a champion once sat.

Then all is peaceful.

And the long-forgotten town glistens under the smiling sun, a beautiful winter scene, to never again be viewed by any living soul.

But it doesn’t matter. It never did.

Finality sweeps the silent earth, preparing it for hundreds and thousands of years of peace.

And at last... It truly is over.

And if you have a minute why don’t we go-
Talk about it somewhere only we know
This could be the end of everything thing
So why don’t we go
Somewhere only we know

They’re finally free.


A/N: Sorry, this is what happens when I have geography lessons on the ‘big chill’. Please review :]:]

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