"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
"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
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
"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
"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
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
"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
"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
"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.
"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
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.
"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
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
"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
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
"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
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
"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
"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'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
"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
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!)