Author's Chapter Notes:
It is highly recommended you read my first two Fanfics as this is the third part of a trilogy. Starting with "William The Bloody Is Back" followed by "The Thin Line Between Love & Hell".
Who Has The Last Laugh

Dioxin is talking to Spike while they are in his temple. Spike has gone through his personal torment for longer than he can take and is relieved that it is over even just for the moment. He has agreed to hear what Dioxin wants from him if it gives him the slightist chance of seeing Buffy again.

Dioxin: I am glad to see you finally have agreed to end this torment of yours. I was wondering what was taking you so long because I know you couldn’t have put up with it much longer. No person can and especially you.

Spike: What is it you bloody want from me?

Dioxin: I was very impressed at how many demons you were able to kill that day. Also as I looked in your soul I saw many more. What I want is for you to be my personal reaper. I want you to be my grim reaper and bring back those who I need here. It won’t be very hard for a killer like yourself. You are a demon that can kill any other demon. That is why I need your help.

Spike: Grim reaper? Have you gone completely mad? I’m not going to be your errand boy and going off to fetch all these demons for you. Go piss off.

Dioxin: I’m disappointed Spike but you’ll come around and do as I say. You know exactly what is going to happen now don’t you. We’ll see how long you last this time.

Cut to:
Buffy is back in the meeting room in the Slayer school with Giles, Willow, Dawn, and Kennedy who are all discussing ways to bring back Spike. They are trying to research other ways to bring back Spike or re-open the portal back to the Hell dimension. Buffy with a heavy heart is trying her best to find a way no matter what she has to do.

Giles: Buffy, I must say this doesn’t look too promising at the moment because something like this hasn’t really been done before. Generally speaking people don’t go about trying to bring back demons from the dead for any good reasons. Most of these rituals are for bringing back evil demons.

Willow: I don’t think we need another case of “William the Bloody” here Buffy. That’s the kind of stuff I’m finding also.

Buffy: I guess then we need to focus our attention back on re-opening the portal. Is there anything besides my blood that can do it?

Willow: Not that I know of at the moment. I mean I have heard of other stuff that can let you go to other dimensions and there are spells that can do that also. But those are some dangerous black magic stuff and I don’t want to get back into that.

Buffy: I understand and wouldn’t ask you too. Just I need to know again why the spell needs all my blood this time.

Dawn: Buffy you did that before and we aren’t letting you do that again. You are not going to try and leave us again are you?

Buffy: No, no I’m not going to do that to get Spike back. Besides that was totally different with the whole world ending and the dimensions all starting to melt together.

Willow: Buffy the spell this time requires the blood of the entire person who is entering it. Somehow the barrier between dimensions is up way stronger than before and it needs all that energy to open it.
Buffy: So that means basically I would have to give up all my blood just before I enter and that doesn’t sound fun at all. I would be going in there a corpse and that’s not my idea of rescuing Spike.

Willow: Well technically you don’t have to do it right before you enter but you do need the amount of blood that would fill your body though. I’m talking about the whole eight pints that is in your body.

Buffy: Oh.

Giles: Losing three pints is just about the limit for anyone so we can’t go even close to that and expect you to survive.

Kennedy: Any chance we could fool the spell by adding someone else’s blood?

Willow: I already thought of that and maybe using some kind of loophole by using all Slayers blood. But it needs to be from the person who enters first to open it up. After that I guess anyone can go through.

Buffy: Ok I think I got it for now maybe we should just take a break and give it another go tomorrow. I got to round up the newbies so they don’t start to slack off.

Buffy leaves but still has her mind on Spike and decides she has to get Spike back in her life. Without him she feels this emptiness that can’t be filled by anything other than him. She knows the only way to get Spike back at this moment is her blood but knows that the eight pints will kill her all at once. Buffy goes home after her long day.

Cut to:
Spike is back dealing with his personal torment for what seems like weeks to him even though only a couple of days have past. He has refused to be his reaper as he doesn’t want to kill demons for Dioxin and be under anyone’s control. Although he knows that he can’t take this punishment for much longer as he starts to lose himself. He can hear Dioxin’s voice.

Dioxin: How long are you going to fight this? You know very well that you aren’t in any position to bargain. Must you keep going on with this needlessly? Your foolish pride will be your ending.

Spike: Sod…off…

Dioxin: (smiles) I have all eternity to wait but do you and what about her. I thought you wanted to see her again. Maybe I was wrong.

Spike: Buffy…

Cut to:
Buffy is getting ready for bed and slips in under the covers. She reaches behind her for Mr. Gordo again. She talks to him again and explains to him what is going on.

Buffy: (places Mr. Gordo on the bed in front of her) Mr. Gordo I just don’t know what to do about Spike. I have to get him back not only for me but he is suffering there in Hell and I can feel it. Willow tells me that she needs all eight pints of my blood this time to open the portal and everyone knows that I can’t lose all that at once. But you know now that I think about Mr. Gordo all I have to do really is show up with eight pints of my blood for the spell. I don’t have to give it up all at once. Just some everyday until I have about eight pints worth. That should work right (he doesn’t respond) it has too. I have to do this Mr. Gordo it could take forever to find another way.

She grabs him and holds him tight as she goes to sleep deciding that she will give up the blood needed to open the portal to rescue Spike.

Cut to:
Spike is slowly starting to crack as he can no longer deal with his torment as it is causing him immense amounts of pain. He continues to hear Dioxin's voice.

Dioxin: Isn’t that what you wanted all along? Just to be with her again? I know how much she means to you so should jump at this chance I am offering you to see her again.

Spike: How do I know any of this is real? I don’t want to see her unless it’s really her. None of your sodding knock-offs.

Dioxin: I did mean her and the real Slayer. No more of that image you created for yourself. I will let you see her again but only if you agree to be my reaper. My followers have dwindled in numbers as there is only two left. I believe you met them. I need you to be my reaper and bring demons here as it takes far too long for them to come here now. I like a steady flow of demons coming here but there are still some special cases I want here now.

Spike: If I say yes how exactly will I see her again. Will it be in here or can I go back there to see her? I don’t want her to see me like this. All going completely crazy and insane while I am here.

Dioxin: All you need to know right now is that I promise you will see her again. You will get nothing else until you agree and say yes.

Cut to:
Buffy has gone to the Slayer school and goes through with her daily routine of teaching the Slayers as she tells the others to keep researching. They are trying to find another way while Buffy has already figured out her plan and decides not to tell them so they can continue working on another plan. She grabs some bags they use to carry blood and brings them home. She starts her plan in secret in her room as she cuts herself and lets the bag slowly fill up until there is at least a pint in it. She stops once she starts to feel dizzy.

Cut to:
Spike finally agrees as he makes a deal with Dioxin knowing this maybe his only chance to escape or at the very least see Buffy again. Spike again wants to make sure he can really see Buffy again as he misses her so much.

Spike: Nice of you to finally end this you ponce. Not quite sure I like that reaper title connected to my name but I will do as you ask. I want…no I need to have one last chance to see her.

Dioxin: I have a list Spike that I need to have filled and don’t worry it is not too long. The sooner we get started the sooner you can be with her again. Know this I am giving you the chance to see her but after that you will return to your sorrow as you can never leave this place.

Spike: Fine I bloody get you already. I know where I’m heading when I’m finished so let’s get started on this mission of demon hunting.

Cut to:
Buffy starts to feel the toll on her body physically but tries to hide it. She shows up at the Slayer school and feels weak. She is in the gym helping the Slayers move some weapons when she finds that she can’t pick up a heavy axe. Now realizing how weak she is Buffy asks one of the other Slayers to move it for her. Buffy tries to make sure she can cover up her weakness for awhile and hopes that this is only a temporary problem.

Cut to:
Dioxin and Spike are talking together in his temple. He wants Spike to start his mission of being his reaper and collecting demons to bring back to his dimension. In order to do this Spike receives the Orb of Isis which allows him to travel among dimensions.

Spike: And what might this be, a trinket that I can use to scare demons into submission. “Come with me or I will throw this at you”.

Dioxin: Let me tell you Spike what you now carry. This is the Orb of Isis. You can now travel to any dimension freely to do my work. Just tell it where you want it to go and it shall send you nearby. Ask it to send you to a certain demon and it will take you there. Ask it to send you to a certain dimension and it can take you there. That trinket is very powerful indeed.

Spike: Nice piece of hardware (throws it up in the air and catches it) feels flimsy though.

Dioxin: All powerful it is but also very delicate. I’m sure I don’t have to tell what should happen to you if that orb was damaged in any way.

Spike: No need for all that. I know exactly what I got here. So you just give me a name and I say it then this orb will send me there. Can we get this over with and start this reaper business?

Cut to:
Buffy starts to let some things slip as she trains the newbies and but no one seems to notice. As she goes to start her training for the day she forgets what she is suppose to do next. She covers it up by asking a newbie what was suppose to be the next lesson. One of the newbies tells her its bow and arrow lessons. She tries to demonstrate for them.

Buffy: (holding a bow and arrow) This is some target practice. I all want you to watch carefully what I am doing.

Buffy pulls back on the bow and can’t pull very hard. She smiles at them and tries again with the same result. She shakes her head and forces it back with all her strength which causes her to miss terribly at the target. All the newbies start to laugh.

Buffy: As I was saying this is how you not shoot an arrow. You guys start taking turns practicing and I’ll watch for awhile.

Buffy walks back across the room and sits down behind the newbies as they all start target practice. She can’t believe that she is so weak she can’t even shoot an arrow. Buffy tries her best to pay attention to the newbies and watching them shoot the arrows.

Cut to:
Spike begins his first mission and begins to hunt down the first demon on the list. Now that Dioxin has given Spike the orb he can start his mission as a reaper.

Dioxin: Let me program this first one for you. I will make sure the orb sends you to the first demon on the list and back here. Hand it over to me.

Spike: You don’t trust me.

Dioxin: Not entirely…yet. Let’s see how this first mission goes then I will show you how it works.

Spike: Fine all yours. (hands the orb to Dioxin) Just tell me who or at least what he looks like. So I can bring this demon back to you.

Dioxin says something in a demon language and then hands back the orb to Spike. Suddenly a portal opens in front of Spike.

Spike: (looks at the portal and then Dioxin) Right…and off I go then. Are you going to tell me what this bugger looks like?

Dioxin: He’s the only demon where you’re going. I shouldn’t have to tell you what he looks like. You are quite familiar with his kind. Let’s see if you can pass this first test.

Spike: (sighs) No doubt this one is a nasty bugger. I’ll be seeing you.

Spike jumps into the portal and finds himself in LA again. He shakes his head as he knows that he will have a fight ahead of him. Not knowing who or what to look for he begins by going into the first building he sees. He walks into an abandoned apartment building searching for his first demon to bring back to Dioxin.

Cut to:
Buffy walks into her office the next day extremely tired from the blood loss. She has a hard time staying awake and just as hard time focusing. She tells herself to put her head down for a minute and it turns into an hour before she wakes up. Just as she wakes Jaime comes in wanting to know why she is late for a meeting they had planned.

Jaime: Am I interrupting you with something? I mean if you had something else you needed to work on a little warning would have been nice. I have been sitting in the meeting room for over ten minutes. Buffy is everything alright?

Buffy: I’m so sorry Jaime I must have lost track of time. I didn’t have breakfast this morning and I must be a little out of it today. What were we suppose to meet about today?

Jaime: We were supposed to go over some new assignments and briefings for some of the Slayers. There are some new cases popping up that we need to look at. I have gathered all the cases in these folders. There are a couple of cases that I think are high priority.

Buffy: Ok I’ll be down there in a minute. Let me grab something to eat really quick and I’ll meet you down there.

Jaime: Thanks Buffy I’ll be waiting (leaves).

Buffy sighs as she gets up hoping that this blood loss doesn’t keep her from doing her work. She still needs to be focused while she is here at work otherwise the others will start to wonder. Buffy heads toward the kitchen to get something to eat and runs into Giles.

Giles: I heard from one of the Slayer’s about your bow and arrow exercise. You really shouldn’t be teaching them that weapons are used for fun and games. Remember that you have to take those lessons seriously as the others Slayers look up to you for guidance. (notices Buffy not paying attention) I know you don’t like lectures Buffy but you do need to listen.

Buffy: (trying to focus) I get you Giles and I was just trying to lighten the mood and that’s all. Rest assured that it will never happen again.

Giles: Are you alright Buffy? You seem a little distracted.

Buffy: Oh what no. (trying to change the subject) I was just on my way to get something to eat and you know me nothing comes between me and food. Not that I am a fat girl or anything. The last thing I want is to be known as “Buffy The Fat Vampire Slayer”. You don’t think I’m fat do you?

Giles: (taken aback) No, no quite the opposite Buffy you are in great shape. What is this all about?

Buffy: Nothing Giles. I got to go meet Jaime afterwards so… (walks away).

Giles looks at her puzzled for a moment as she walks away. Buffy tries hard to focus at the task at hand as she knows that it is important for her to help Jaime plan the missions.

Cut to:
Spike has a look around the building and doesn’t find anyone right away. It looks like some people may be living there. He continues walking until he hears some noises in the distance. He keeps walking until he finds a room at the end of a hallway and can hear a TV on inside. Spike knocks on the door.

Demon: Who’s there?

Spike: (trying to sound menacing) The reaper. The one who is going send you to Hell.

Demon: Go away!

Spike: Not a chance…

Spike kicks the door open and is shocked at who the demon is. It’s someone that Spike recognizes who is equally as shocked to see him.

Clem: Spike…is that you? Gosh this is like something right out of the movies.

Spike: Bollocks…

Cut to:
Buffy is nearly complete with her plan as she is only a few days away. She has several bags full of blood and only needs a few more. Again she goes through her nightly ritual and cuts herself. This time however she passes out right after she finishes bandaging up. She sleeps for an entire day and dreams about what she may have to do to rescue Spike. Her dream has her with a sword and can see an army of demons that she has killed in the past waiting for her. Undeterred she slowly walks toward them.

Cut to:
Spike is unable to bring himself to kill Clem who just looks at him in amazement.

Clem: Spike you really scared me back there with that whole “I am the reaper” thing. How did you get here? I heard some rumors that you died and then came back but didn’t believe it.

Spike: Bloody too long a story to tell. Let’s just say you hit the nail on the coffin except I did that twice. The whole dieing and returning bit.

Clem: Wow what’s your secret. Do you have some good luck charm I should know about? Well let me say it’s good to see you again Spike. You want to go and have a drink. I know this great bar not too far from here.

Spike: No, I’m supposed to kill you and send you to Hell but I know I can’t. You bloody don’t deserve it. There has to be some other way.

Clem: You mean you really are the reaper? What did I ever do to you Spike? Please don’t kill me. Remember all the fun we had back in Sunnydale. I’ll make it up to you I promise.

Spike: I’m not the one who wants you dead. Some other demon wants you dead and in Hell. I was just sent here to find a demon and kill them. And it turns out the demon happens to be you.

Clem: Who told you to kill me? Are you some sort of hit-man now? Just go back and tell them you did and I’ll skip town right away. No one will ever find me or know that I even exist.

Spike: I’m not going to kill you already. Calm down. A bloke named Dioxin sent me to kill you and I’m going to find out why. Just wait right here.

Spike walks back outside of the building leaving Clem. He sees the portal re-open for him and he enters. He walks back inside the temple to confront Dioxin.

Dioxin: So is the mission done and is ready to join us?

Spike: Not yet, not until you give me some answers. Why Clem? He is a demon that never killed anyone that I know of. What possibly could he have done to deserve this?

Dioxin: This is why demons like you can never do my job. Let me explain to you why Clement. He has as you say not actually killed any humans. But he still has done some significant damage. Do you know how the balance of good and evil works?

Spike: Afraid I missed that class in demon school. Why don’t you tell me then.

Dioxin: See all of you on earth think in small terms and can’t open your eyes to what’s around you. There exists a balance of good and evil which your universe was based upon and created from. The reason demons exists is to balance the good toward evil. The reason the Slayers exist is to balance evil toward good. Each exists only to balance the other. Without one there would be no need for the other to exist. Then your universe would simply not exist. So the reason that demons exists is to strike fear into the hearts of humans if nothing else. Some choose to kill but if done too much and too often it tilts the balance toward evil too much. You should know what I mean after all you are one of worst demons who have been around the past hundred plus years. Again why Clement? It is because he hasn’t killed anyone with his entire time on earth nor stuck fear into any humans. His existence is wasted and pointless. Therefore he must be sent to me.

Spike: Give a bloke a chance to fix it. I’m sure I could get him to scare a few humans. Just give him time.

Dioxin: His time is through on earth. There is no bargaining to be done. Bring him to me if you want to see your Slayer again.

Spike: You sodding wanker. Fine. (pulls out the orb) How’s this bleeding thing work.

Dioxin: You just say the name of who you want to go to and it will know. Now say Clement.

Spike says Clement and the portal opens in front of him.

Dioxin: Simple isn’t it. Just don’t go anywhere you aren’t supposed to or I’ll know. Bring him to me and know this is also why I choose Clement. Now go.

Spike walks back into the portal without acknowledging him.

Cut to:
Buffy wakes up the next day not realizing that an entire day has past. She is extremely dizzy for a second and has a hard time focusing and looking at the clock. Then she realizes what time it is and can’t believe it. Dawn comes knocking as she gets up and Buffy tells her that she can come in.

Dawn: Did you just get up? People have been calling all day. Why didn’t you pick up the phone? Everybody wants to know what happened to you because you didn’t show up at the school this morning.

Buffy: I’m sorry I couldn’t get out of bed this morning and I have been really tired lately. I should have called first but I won’t let it happen again. Did anything happen?

Dawn: I just got off the phone with Giles and he said he got Kennedy to fill in for you at the last minute to train the newbies. But nothing else important happened.

Buffy: That’s good. I’m glad I didn’t miss anything. You just got back from school?

Dawn: Yeah. Buffy you have been really quiet lately and always seem out of it at home the past few days. Why haven’t you been able to sleep lately, is it because Spike is gone?

Buffy: (annoyed) Don’t talk about Spike that way. Why does everyone have to talk about him in the past tense like he’s dead? He’s not…he’s just stuck in another dimension right now.

Dawn: Buffy I didn’t mean it like that. We’re still working on it right now but we just don’t have anything solid right now. You know that these things take time.

Buffy: Spike doesn’t have the luxury of time and is just waiting for me to rescue him right now. (calms herself) I’m sorry for jumping at you just now. I’m just so worried about Spike.

Dawn: It’s Ok we’ll talk later (leaves).

Dawn realizes that something is wrong and that Buffy won’t tell her. Buffy is sorry for jumping at Dawn but doesn’t want anyone to tell her that Spike is dead and not coming back. She won’t accept it and won’t stop until she has him back in her life.

Cut to:
Spike finds himself back in front of Clem’s building and goes back to his room. Clem sees him and tries to run and hide but Spike tells him he won’t kill him.

Spike: Look I’m not bloody here to kill you so don’t bother to try and hide.

Clem: How do I know you’re not back to finish your job?

Spike: Do you trust me or not? I’m here to try and figure a way out of this.

Clem: (stops trying to hide) Ok then. Can you at least tell me what’s really going on here?

Spike: Some Demon in a Hell dimension wants me to kill you because you aren’t evil enough. It’s a riot isn’t it?

Clem: I’m not evil enough? But I’m a demon. I’ve done plenty of evil stuff before. Sure I may not be the most fearsome guy around but I just know that I’m just as evil as everyone else. How did this demon contact you and what are you getting in return?

Spike: Simple really I have been dead and in his dimension for a good while now after I died for the second time. You see for us demons when we die not all of us end up with a nice long nap. Some of us go to Dioxin and have to live there in Hell for an eternity. That’s why I’m here again. He has asked me to get demons for him to send to Hell. You just happened to be the first on the list. Normally I would tell him to sod off. But I made a deal with him and I just can’t back out of right now. We need to find some way to out of this for the both of us.

Cut to:
Dawn meets with the gang and tells them something is wrong with Buffy as she isn’t acting herself and the other express their concerns and talk about what they noticed also.

Dawn: I think that there is something up with Buffy but she won’t tell. At home she always seems tired and she just eats then goes to bed. We haven’t really talked at all the past few days.

Giles: I know that something is bothering her but she won’t open up. She was acting rather strangely the other day when I talked to her.

Jaime: Also when we were going over assignments she seemed particularly uninterested when I was presenting her with the cases that have come up. I asked her what she thought and she didn’t have an answer and said to go ahead with whatever. She usually is always hands-on with the planning of the missions and who to send where.

Willow: Maybe she is still trying to get over Spike. I mean I have been working non-stop to find a way to bring him back and Buffy hasn’t really asked me how my research has been going the past few days. I would have thought she would at least ask or lend a hand you know. She could have accepted the fact that he is gone and probably not taking well to it.

Dawn: No, that’s not it at all. When I talked to her yesterday and brought that up she got all upset about us not talking about him being dead. I don’t think that she thinks he’s gone and not coming back.

Giles: Something else it must be then as the Slayers have also noticed that she is not acting normal. They would often tell me how hard she trains them but now she is much more passive and doesn’t really try to lead by example.

Willow: I don’t know what this is but it can’t be good. Tomorrow we should just all come out and ask what’s been bothering her then maybe she will open up.

They haven’t figured it out yet what is going on but decide to confront her to openly discuss their concerns.

Cut to:
Spike and Clem discuss what they are going to do and eventually decide that Clem goes back through the portal and that Spike promises to rescue him later but has to buy Dioxin’s trust for now.

Spike: Look all I know is that he wants you in his dimension and I don’t think he really cares how it happens. I could kill you or we can go through the portal. I think the latter would be a lot less painful don’t you.

Clem: I don’t really like this at all Spike.

Spike: Like I said I need him to trust me. After that I’ll find a way to bring you back here. I couldn’t leave you there with all the stuff that he can put you through.

Clem: You were there before right? So what did he do to you?

Spike: Nothing I care to talk about or want to relive again. Don’t let him beat you like he almost did me. Hold on to something and you can make it through.

Clem: I’m still not sold on this Spike. But I do trust you. You let me crash with you all those times back in your crypt. I guess then I really don’t have a choice here. So how are we going to do this?

Spike: How about me and you fight it out. We’ll make Dioxin think that while we were fighting we fell through the portal.

Clem: That works and plus I’ve been taking some karate lessons. (shows some moves) See Spike.

Spike: Right…Ok lets go to the portal. Remember you have to look like your fighting me.

Clem: Not a problem Spike.

They walk back outside and Spike says Dioxin and the portal opens up in front of them. As Clem in about to walk into it Spike stops him.

Spike: What is it you are going to hold on too? I want to know.

Clem: Oh it’s nothing really…there is a girl I’ve been meaning to ask out but haven’t had the chance to. When I get back I’m finally going to go ask her. I guess this whole thing has made me realize how much I like her. Please Spike don’t leave me there.

Spike: That’s a good thing to hold on to. Nice thing to look forward to. I am kind of holding on to the same thing.

Clem: You’re going to ask out Shelly?

Spike: No, but the reason I’m doing all this is about a girl.

Clem: I see…so how do you want to choreograph this?

Spike: Just wing it (throws him into the portal).

Continued in Chapter 2...The Things We Do...

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