Spike: So what kind of beastie are you? Ahh a Xiomora demon is it. Preying on a helpless couple are we? Well you should try fighting another demon, bet it will give you a bigger rush. Now turn around you slag so we can have at it.
Spike is standing in a dark alley behind an apartment building when he notices a demon cornering a couple that was making out. He tries to get the attention of the demon so the couple can run away. When the demon turns around toward Spike the couple runs away scared into the building.
Spike: Big boy ain’t ya, been snacking on plenty of humans I gather. Well just try to take a bite out of me before I rip your head off.
The demon roars as it comes after Spike and he just smiles. They fight with the demon swinging wildly at Spike and he just dodges it. Eventually the demon gets tired and Spike rips a small pipe off the wall and drives it into the chest of the demon. The demon screams as it falls to the floor, then Spike walks over and breaks his neck. Spike satisfied with himself pulls out a cigarette and lights it as he walks away toward his motorcycle.
Spike: Let be known to all the beasties here that I’m back and here to stay.
Spike hops on his bike and drives away. Suddenly from a window in the apartment building shows two men wearing robes and their faces covered with their hoods. They watched the whole fight between Spike and the demon.
Thadius: I don’t think so…William.
Buffy is still in bed curled up and under the covers. She is depressed and doesn’t want to do anything but sleep. But she can’t sleep with so many thoughts running through her head. She forces herself up out of bed and decides work is the only thing that will get her mind off Spike. She cleans up then gets dressed and leaves her bedroom and sees Dawn talking with Willow.
Buffy: You two still here, I told you I’ll be fine.
Willow: What you just wanted me to leave; I mean what kind of friend would I be then.
Dawn: Did he at least say where he was going or when he would be back?
Buffy: No, he just wants to probably be as far away from me as possible. I have that effect on men as they always want out and when they want out that means far away. I just want to go back and get some work done. I fell behind on so much since this whole thing with Spike. I need to start training the newbies again.
Willow: Sure Buffy I mean work definitely does a body good especially a heart achey one.
Dawn: You really want to go back to work now; I mean this would be perfect time to use your sick leave.
Buffy: I’m fine really can we just go.
Buffy enters the Slayer school and sees Giles along with Jaime. They are both surprised to see her and by herself as they look around for Spike.
Giles: Spike must be home sleeping I’d imagine but do you intend to keep him around to help train the Slayers. He might be useful as he helped with the potentials. I just hope he doesn’t have any relapses.
Jaime: Giles was filling me in about what has been going on and it is really fascinating.
Buffy: (unsure of what to say) Spike won’t be here helping us today.
Giles: Sad to hear that, I just thought he could be an asset to us provided that he doesn’t distract you from your duties.
Buffy: He’s not…here, he left. He left me and had to be alone because…look he’s not coming around.
Giles: I see, I’m sorry to hear that Buffy do you think you will be alright after everything that has happened. Are you sure you can be here?
Buffy: I’ll manage, I’ve always managed and maybe I should just be a manager with a nametag that says “manager”.
Giles: Buffy I wasn’t trying to…
Buffy: So where is the fresh crop of newbies?
Jaime: Downstairs in the gym.
Buffy: Catch you two later (leaves).
Giles: Did you two know about this?
Willow: We just found out this morning. Looks like he left awhile ago but no one knows where. Poor Buffy, she has had her heart broken by every man she has ever loved. I don’t know how she deals but she does.
Dawn: She has always been able to survive through these things. Maybe she just needs to give having boyfriends another break.
Giles: We need to watch after her. We all know how strong she is but a person can only take so much heartbreak.
Jaime: Where do you think this Spike is now?
Spike comes back to his old apartment in LA and finds it a mess. It looks like someone may have been living there while he was gone. Tired from his fight he decides to take a rest and lays down on his couch. Minutes later someone knocks on his door.
Spike: (half opens the door) What do you want?
Landlord: You haven’t paid your rent in a long time…what do you think I want.
Spike: You’ll have your bloody money soon enough. (closes the door) Just need some work is all.
Landlord: (outside) You just got your two weeks notice. Don’t pay up and you’re evicted, you got that (walks away).
Spike: Stupid wanker (yells) you’ll have your sodding cash.
The two robed men are in a room talking to each other. They are preparing to leave and discuss what they are going to do next.
Polaris: Thadius where shall we look for William the Bloody? I have a feeling that he is still in LA. But why would he kill that demon?
Thadius: Evil demons don’t need to act rationally. They are just monsters who do as they please. Perhaps that demon angered him in some way.
Polaris: Soon as we find him he shall make the greatest sacrifice to date for our Lord. When he reaches our Lord he will regret all those sins he has committed.
Thadius: I look forward to this hunt. I had wished only we had caught him earlier. But in time he will meet his fate.
Buffy is through with her training of the newly brought in Slayers and has sent them off to Giles. Tired she walks to her office and sees Jaime.
Jaime: Buffy, mind if we have a word.
Buffy: What is it?
Jaime: I know that this isn’t my place but I think I should tell you that men have broken my heart as well.
Buffy: (unsure how to react) I’m sure I got you beat.
Jaime: Just hear me out. I once dated a man who I thought was the most charming and delightful person on the planet. We were seeing each other for months and I thought he would ask me to marry him any day now. One day he told me that he found someone else whom he met at work that could make him feel like no one else could. This woman apparently was able to make him feel something that he said he never felt with me. I was devastated that the man I loved would leave me and said that he felt I never gave him that same feeling. I felt that I could never love again or be happy again but I was wrong. I met someone again who made me feel love again. What I’m saying Buffy is that you can move on and be happy again.
Buffy: There is no possible way for you to know that.
Jaime: Course no one can predict what fate will bring us but fate has brought me Giles…or I mean I wasn’t saying that me and Giles are…but someday Buffy things will change and get better.
Buffy: (confused) Sure whatever you say. I’m taking my lunch now (leaves).
Buffy arrives home at her apartment tired and wanting to get some sleep and something surprises her as she enters.
Willow: Surprise, this is a get well party for you Buffy. Not that you were sick or anything but like a cheering up party.
Willow has made a banner that says “Get Well Buffy” and Dawn is standing next to her with a party hat on. Behind them are Jaime, Kennedy and Giles who are there to try and cheer up Buffy.
Buffy: This is too much too soon you guys, but thanks anyway I appreciate it.
Willow: Right Buffy I should have known that what was I thinking. Let’s just throw a party when Buffy doesn’t feel like partying.
Buffy: Will, this is great I just need to go to my room for a sec and I’ll be right out.
Dawn: I helped decorate too you know. I helped with the party hats (Buffy walks away).
Buffy is in her room not ready for this party but knows that she has to get out there and put a smile on. She is hurting still but doesn’t let it show on the outside. She changes and heads back outside to the living room and runs into Kennedy.
Kennedy: Buffy I got filled in to what happened and I think that it’s messed up that it went down like that.
Buffy: Me too, but I think that he needs some time and some space and then maybe he will come back. But he doesn’t I’ll be fine.
Kennedy: Ever thought of going after him. If someone I loved left me like that I would try to look for them and probably tell them off.
Buffy: I don’t know right now. I thought about it but I don’t know what we would say to each other. I hate him for leaving me and breaking my heart again but I can’t bring myself to continue hating him. He will always be in my heart.
Kennedy: That thin line between love and hate can be a real bitch sometimes. If you keep jumping over it, you forget which one is which anymore and it just blurs together.
Buffy: I know but it does help a lil to talk about it. Thanks Kennedy. (calls to Willow) Hey do you think we can talk.
Willow: Sure Buffy whatever you want.
Buffy: Do you think that you can do a spell to see how Spike’s doing? I want to make sure he’s Ok.
Willow: I could do that but I just need something of his to channel his essence. Did he leave anything of his behind?
Buffy: Fraid not, he took what he had with him.
Willow: Sorry Buffy but since we don’t know where he is I needed something of his.
Buffy: (sighs) Never mind just wishful thinking I guess. I hope that he’s alright.
Spike is at a demon bar sitting at the counter having a drink and talking to the bartender.
Spike: …so you’re telling me that no one here needs a demon for hire. I could work as a bouncer. That ponce you have working security on this joint is a joke. A human could walk right past him.
Bartender: He’s been here forever and I never had any problems. Since when does William the Bloody need a job here. (mocking) I thought you were back and everyone should fear you again.
Spike: The name’s Spike now and I just had a change of tune. Need to get some honest work at a demon bar to pay the bills and what not.
Bartender: I don’t have any jobs for you here try somewhere else.
Spike: This is the last bar in town you must have something. My landlord has threatened to evict me and I need some work. Forget it I don’t want to work at this sodding place anyway (leaves).
Buffy is getting ready for bed and slides under the covers. She grabs Mr. Gordo and falls asleep but has a dream about Spike. She’s dreaming that Spike is being chased by a group of demons and that they eventually catch up to him. He fights back but is brought down and beaten up by the demons. Suddenly Dioxin appears and orders the demons to kill Spike so he ends up in the Hell dimension. The demons all converge and eventually Spike is dust. Dioxin laughs as he disappears along with the other demons. Buffy wakes up calling Spikes name and she has the feeling that he is in trouble. She gets dressed and leaves her place for Willow’s apartment. Once Buffy reaches Willow’s place she bangs on the door. Willow groggy and cranky answers the door.
Willow: (eyes closed) Whatever you’re selling we don’t want any. (opens her eyes) Buffy what’s wrong?
Buffy: (walks in) Will I just had this bad dream and I need your help.
Willow: What now, do you want me to do a spell so you don’t dream anymore, that might be tricky.
Buffy: No I need you to find Spike. I think that he’s in trouble.
Spike is walking down a back road to his apartment when he sees the two robed men in the distance standing there waiting for him. He walks up to them and pulls out a cigarette.
Spike: And who might you two be. Let me guess you two are not here to offer me a job right.
Thadius: We have been waiting for you William. We are both here to introduce you to your fate. Soon you will be in Hell with Dioxin who will make you suffer for all the evil you have done.
Polaris: We should introduce ourselves I am Polaris and this is my brother Thadius. Our group has been serving Dioxin for a long time now. But regretfully there are only two of us left. We worship the Hell God Dioxin who makes demons like yourself pay for the sins you’ve committed.
Spike: So what is it you two do exactly by worshipping this Dioxin? And what is it you want with me I am no longer William the Bloody. I don’t do those bleeding things anymore. I fight for the side of good now. So run along and sacrifice some other demon.
Thadius: Our job is to kill demons and send them to Dioxin. We don’t believe your lies and we are the fighters of good. Dioxin is the only one who can make sure demons like you are made to suffer for eternity. We have been fortunate to run into you.
Polaris: What possible good could you have done to undo all those people you’ve killed? You have been gone awhile now but you returned to LA to kill people William. Once we heard William the Bloody was here in LA we had to come and find you. Your death will make the greatest sacrifice to date for the great Dioxin.
Spike: Listen you two I’m not William the Bloody. I am Spike and all I want to do is go home and take a nap. I understand what you two do but I have a soul and you can rest assured I will not hurt the innocent anymore.
Thadius: And what was your soul doing when you killed those people here in LA recently.
Polaris: You think having a soul lets you get away with what you’ve done.
Spike: That was different, I wasn’t in control then I was…look are you going to let me go or do I have to hurt you two.
Thadius: We are not afraid to do this as we know where our future lies but you will soon know yours.
Polaris: Let’s end this existence of yours now William.
The two robed men attack Spike and he tries to fight them off. The men both attack and are able to keep Spike off balance for most of the fight. When Spike goes to attack one of them the other attacks Spike in the back. They continue to fight for awhile until Thadius pulls out a dagger and stabs Spike with it while he was distracted by Polaris. The dagger pierces his body in the upper left side of his chest and goes straight through. Spike immediately falls to the ground in pain and unable to move. The two men smile and look down at Spike.
Thadius: In ten minutes time your end will come. The poison in your blood contains the essence of the sun. Soon it will flow through the rest of your body and you will burn to death from the inside. This is a fitting death for a monster like you.
Polaris: There is no cure or antidotes so don’t bother begging for your existence. You will meet Dioxin soon and he will be pleased to see you. You are one of the many demons that still exist in this world that is not in Hell yet.
Thadius: We will seek out the others so they can join you. Goodbye William (they both walk away).
Spike reaches toward his wound and is immediately burned when he touches it.
Spike: Oh Bollocks.
Buffy and Willow are still in the apartment discussing how to find Spike.
Willow: …like I said earlier I’m gonna need something of his that I can channel to find him. But you said you don’t have anything.
Buffy: Here Willow use this (hands Willow something) this is a letter he wrote me before he left and this is a strand of his hair I found in the sink. This is the best I got.
Willow: Uhm this should be enough I think hold on a sec.
Willow places the letter on the floor and places the peroxide strand of hair on top of it.
Willow: Ok I can do this (chants).
The letters lift off the page and forms a map of LA. Then the strand of hair lands on the alley where Spike is. The strand of hair glows in pulses but is erratic and fades with each pulse.
Willow: Buffy I’m reading that something has happened to Spike. I think something really bad.
Buffy: Oh God what has he gotten himself into. Will, can you send me there?
Willow: Buffy I don’t know what to focus on around him to send you to him. I need to bring something back here but I don’t know what is around him. I could accidentally bring back another person.
Buffy: (pleading) Spike needs me Will. I have to help him. I’m not going to leave him again to die. Only you can do this Willow.
Willow: (sighs) Ok I think I’ve got something get ready.
Willow chants and focuses on something to trade for with Buffy. Suddenly a trash can appears in the living room in front of Buffy and Willow.
Buffy: You’re trading me for trash thanks a lot…
Buffy disappears and transports to where the trash can was which is down the alley from Spike. She sees him in the distance on the floor and runs to him.
Buffy: (crying) Spike what happened to you? (looks at his wound) who did this to you? (looks and sees the two robed men walking away barely visible before they disappear in the shadows) Spike…
Spike: Didn’t expect to see you here pet. Come to see my offing is it?
Buffy: No I’m here to save you worthless butt again. I’m gonna call Willow and…
Spike: (in pain) No point luv, gonna close the book any minute now. The poison in my body has no cure and there’s nothing you can do.
Buffy: There has to be something I can do, you can’t leave me again. I don’t think I can take it. Spike please let me help you.
Spike: (clutches his chest in pain) It’s started luv the poison is going through my body as we speak. Can we just talk? I never thought I’d see you again. It feels like I haven’t seen you in forever.
Buffy: Spike why does this always have to happen with us. Why must you leave me every time we are together? I’m starting to think you don’t like me anymore.
Spike: I love you Buffy, always have, and always will. I just felt it was the right thing to do because I know that you will never…
Buffy: How can you say that I don’t love you after everything we have been through? We both know it was no picnic in the park, Spike. We both have had our ups and downs. But I wanted to tell you that it was worth it, all of it. Spike you and me are never going to have it easy or simple. But what we have is worth it and I know that we can make it work.
Suddenly smoke is rising from Spike’s body as he goes into intense pain as he is burning from the inside out. Buffy grabs his hand and holds on it.
Spike: No more time left luv, guess this is the long goodbye. Pet wherever I end up know this that I will continue to love you and my love will always be with you. You’re the one Buffy and the only one for me (pain increases and is unable to speak).
Buffy: I just have one more thing to tell you Spike. You said something in your letter that hurt me so much that I have to let you know that you’re wrong. You said that I could never love you like you love me but you’re wrong. You may never have felt it but it was there all along. (squeezes his hand tighter) Spike…I…truly…really do…with all my heart and soul…I…
Suddenly Spike’s pain reaches it’s peak as the smoke from his body turns into flames and he turns to dust right in front of Buffy. Buffy in shock and utter disbelief reaches for where Spike’s head was and grabs nothing but air. Buffy stands up in a sort of trance and in shock starts to rant to herself as she walks down the alley.
Buffy: …right when I was about to tell you Spike…boy you sure pick the right time to turn to dust don’t you…it’s not like you couldn’t wait another minute before you left me again…
Buffy continues to talk to herself ranting and waving her arms in the air as she speaks. Bordering on insanity she continues to rant while she is walking.
Buffy: …why don’t I just leave and get myself killed so I don’t have to see or talk to Buffy anymore…do I have some hideous disease or something… (smells herself) do I have some sort of odor…Mr. I love you but you can’t love me back…I like dieing so why don’t I do it again…if you come back a ghost I still going kick your ass…your dumb little plan almost worked you know…dieing so I would never have found out what happened to you…sorry to spoil it…I’m bored so why don’t I just leave Buffy again…well I’m certainly not gonna miss your stupid British accent…or your peroxide hair…or your smoking…or your extremely hot body…so long Spike guess this is goodbye forever…until you come back again of course…oh one more thing Spike I might as well say it now…I love you as much you love me…
Finally Buffy snaps out of her rant and cries as she drops to her knees. Accepting that Spike is gone she cries as she knows that he isn’t coming back this time. She hates missing the chance to tell him and let him know how much she loves him. She continues crying and pulls out her cell phone and calls Willow.
Willow: So a ticket for two back to Europe that will cost ya.
Buffy: (composing herself) Just me Willow. Spike’s not coming with.
Willow: Oh so he’s staying in LA then. Is he alright at least?
Buffy: (starts to cry again but stops) No…he’s dead. Just get me back and I can explain.
Willow chants and trades the trash can again for Buffy as she appears back at Willow’s place.
Willow: How did this happen? Who did this? Are we going after them?
Buffy: No, I mean I don’t know who did this I only caught a glimpse before they left. But Spike is dead this time and not going to pop out of thin air again.
Willow: We don’t know that, stranger things have happened. Or maybe we better not get our hopes up.
Buffy: I saw him dust right in front of me Will. And this was as real as any other vampire I’ve seen dust. I just (starts crying) know right now he’s in pain and I can’t do anything about it.
Willow: Buffy come on now, it could be worse or he could be…we don’t know where he is now. Let’s just hope that he is in peace.
Buffy: You don’t understand Will, I know where he is now and what is happening to him. He’s in…and he’s got me there with him.
Willow: Buffy you’re not making any sense right now. You know where he is? And you’re there but here? I’m way beyond confused here Buffy.
Buffy: I have to get out of here. I need to rest or something.
Willow: Yes sleep is good, sleep makes people feel less tired if that helps which I don’t think it does right now but…
Buffy: (hugs Willow) Thanks for all your help (leaves).
Buffy is asleep and having pleasant dreams about Spike. She is remembering all the good he has done and the memories of them being together. She eventually wakes up cranky not wanting the dreams to end this time. She goes back to the Slayer school determined to find out why the people she saw wanted to kill Spike. She enters the meeting room and sees Giles, Willow and Dawn talking.
Buffy: I need to go back to LA and find whoever the Hell did this to Spike. They killed a good man and are gonna pay.
Giles: Buffy you don’t want to carry out this road of revenge for Spike because it leads to nothing but darkness.
Willow: I hate to say this but I doubt Spike would have wanted you to just go out and kill them.
Dawn: Spike didn’t deserve this even though he did a whole lot of bad stuff but whoever did this should be taught a lesson.
Buffy: I know who did this and it’s not much to go on but I will find them no matter what I have to do. Two guys in robes I saw walking away from Spike had to be the ones who did this.
Willow: I don’t think that I can have any part of this if you are planning to do what I think you’re gonna do.
Giles: Buffy listen this is not you. You are not someone who just carries out plots of revenge because of someone’s death. You have duties and responsibilities here.
Buffy: I’m going and that’s that. I could either take the long way or Willow…
Willow: Sorry Buffy…I can’t help you with this. I know how revenge can make you crazy and you only end up hurting the ones closest to you.
Buffy: Fine (leaves).
Dawn: I hate to be them when she finds them.
Continued in Chapter 2...So this is Hell...