"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,

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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."


"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."


"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

"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

"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

"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

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

"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?"

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