Spike was holding his son and telling him stories about Sunnydale and the people that were important to his mother. He was trying to keep Brone distracted because he kept asking where his mother was. Then he would reach up and pat the bruises on his father’s face. Spike kept telling him that his mama would be back and she would never leave her little boy.
Somewhere in the back of Spike’s mind he knew that he should have told Buffy the truth. There was a lot things they should have said. But he hoped it wasn’t too late. That somehow the last few years would mean more. Her words kept going through his mind and he somehow feared that she would never change the way she saw him.
The door quietly opened and Buffy slipped into the room. She never looked at Spike but knelt down and held her arms out for her baby. Brone ran to his mother and threw his arms around her neck. Daddy was right his mama had come back. Buffy stood and whispered her love to her child and carried him back to his bedroom. Spike never moved. He sat and listened as he heard Buffy tell Brone a goodnight story and sing him to sleep. Most nights listening to the ritual he felt a comfort and peace in him. Tonight it almost seemed like a death knoll.
Eventually everything was quiet and Buffy came back into the room. She went to stand by the fireplace and gazed into the fire. Then her words came softly to him.
“I was relieved.”
“What do you mean?” He leaned forward so that he could hear her.
“When you told me that we couldn’t go home I was relieved. I was miserable that they brought me back. It was too much. I knew here that you would take care of me and no one would think less of me for it.” It felt so good to let the words out. She had been holding them in for so long.
Her words surprised him. He had failed her once when it really counted. She had to jump off that tower because he had failed to protect Dawn. But somehow she still turned to him. The tears slowly started to roll down his face. Spike stood suddenly and walked to the other side of the room where she couldn’t see how much her words meant to him.
“I didn’t even ask about the portals. Everything that I need to know you’ll tell me. I trust that you will tell me the truth.”
She looked up so she could see how her words were affecting him.
“Spike, look at me, please.”
He turned slowly. The tears were still evident on his cheeks and the guilt ripped through her. But before she gave more she needed something from him.
“Promise me something.”
“Promise that when the portal opens you will be there. You will go home and tell them everything. That you will take care of Dawn and the others. I know they will give you a hard time but please for me.”
She needed to know that they would be okay. That he would be there for them
and protect them in her absence.
At his words she seemed to relax. Like a great weight had been taken from her. The guilt she carried for being here and happy was lifted from her. As always he would take care of things for her. She walked to him and took his face gently in her hands. He tried to look away from her but she wouldn’t let him.
“Spike, listen to me. Okay?” She was so scared to bare her soul to him. Afraid to let go and truly love him in spite of who and what he was. But no matter what she did he was the only one for her. And she understood that now.
He nodded his head.
“I am your wife because I want to be. I am the mother of your child because I want to be. Even if that portal opened right now I would still be your wife.”
He began to sob as she slowly took away his fears of her leaving him.
“I make love to you because you are the only one who can touch me like that. I don’t care if you have a soul or still a vampire because you are the only one for me. Do you understand?”
She was now sobbing as much as he was. Never again would she leave him in doubt. Gently she brought his face down to her and kissed each bruise whispering I’m sorry with each one. Then she kissed his lips and brought the passion simmering to the surface. Pulling back she looked into his eyes and smiled.
“Love me, Spike?”
“Always, Baby, always.”
He slid his hands down her back to cup her bottom. Bracing her as she took a small jump and wrapped her legs around his waist. He carried her back to their bedroom where they fell across the bed. In the hours as they made love with an openness and honesty that had never been there before, they conceived their second child.
Chapter 23 – A Real Good Life
There was a small gathering outside the cottage. Eachann, Hans and Saoirse were all there. Brone was with Hannah at her home. Spike stood and paced as his wife was in the cottage trying to bring their second child into the world. It had been almost thirty-six hours since labor had started.
“Bloody hell, she has stopped screaming. What the hell are they doing to her?” Spike hadn’t been present at Brone’s birth as was the custom in this land. He didn’t understand what was going on and hated being away from her. Buffy’s screams from earlier had torn through him. The first time had been so easy for her. This had sounded like it was killing her. Then a short time ago the screaming had stopped.
He stopped his pacing and turned to the sea letting the cool ocean breeze wash over him.
“Spike, help me. Oh, God, Spike.” He heard her. It was almost a whisper but with his vampire hearing he heard it as if she had shouted it. He turned and ran for the cottage. As he opened the door he stopped as the heat from the fire hit him. Then the smell of sweat and blood almost sickened him. There was also the smell of fear in the heavy air. A fear that was so primitive it came from the soul. Spike growled as the vampire took control. Saoirse standing near the door saw the change come over Spike and followed him as he ran down the hallway.
He flung back the door of the bedroom and almost fell to his knees as he saw her lying there. Her hair was matted and sticking to her face. She turned as he came through the door and her eyes were wild with pain. The nightgown she wore was shoved up over her swollen belly leaving her exposed to the women in the room.
The heat was even worse in this closed up room and he yelled for someone to open the windows as he headed for Buffy’s side. Then he saw it. A knife in the hands of the midwife. He stopped in mid stride and turned to her. Grabbing her by the front of her dress he shoved her against the wall.
“What were you going to do with that knife?”
The woman drew back in fear and stammered out to him.
“Sir, she isn’t going to make it. This way the baby will have a chance.”
Spike grabbed the knife from her and turned it toward the woman’s stomach. If it wasn’t for Saoirse grabbing him and pulling him back he would have plunged it into the woman. The pain would have been worth it. As he let go of her she ran from the room followed by one of her assistants.
Turning back to Buffy he went to kneel beside the bed. She felt colder than him as he laid his hand on her face. One of midwife’s assistants, Mary, had remained behind. She had opened the windows as Spike had commanded.
“What is wrong with her?” Spike turned to look at the young woman.
“The baby is facing the wrong way. It is across her belly not up and down. We tried to turn it but the child turned back.” Mary came to stand at the foot of the bed.
Saiorse returned from the bathroom with a wet cloth for Buffy to suck on. She had been crying for water a few moments ago.
“Can you try again?” There had to be something that could be done. He was not going to let Buffy go so quickly.
“Sir, we can. But I don’t know if it will help. And I have never done it myself.”
Mary moved to reach for Buffy when Buffy whimpered.
“You Spike. Only you.”
Spike turned to Mary and asked. “Can you tell me how to do it?”
Mary nodded her head glad that she didn’t have to be the one to try. She had only seen it done and didn’t want this kind of responsibility. Spike began to give orders to clear the table in the main room. Saoirse and Mary quickly moved everything off and covered it with blankets for Buffy to lie on. Spike gently laid her down and moved to the end of the table where her legs were almost hanging off.
“What do I do?” Spike stood between his wife’s legs and looked up at Mary who was standing beside Buffy on his left. Saoirse was standing on the right side of him holding Buffy’s hand.
“You are going to need to put your hands into the birth canal. But you can only do it between contractions. Otherwise the pressure could hurt her.”
Spike looked down and swallowed hard. This was terrifying him to have Buffy’s life and the life of his child literally in his hands. He waited until the next contraction was over then gently began to insert his hands into her. She instinctively tried to close her legs against him but Mary and Saoirse reached out to hold Buffy’s legs apart for him. He kept his hands pressed together as the walls clamped down on him during the contraction. Her body was trying to expel him. When she relaxed again he reached further into her.
“What am I feeling for?” He could feel something under his fingers.
“Sir, if you close your eyes and try to picture what you’re feeling it might help.”
Spike threw his head back as the emotions went through him. He closed his eyes and gently touched the object under his fingers. It felt like a shoulder.
“I think it might be its shoulder.”
“Push it up so that you can find the head. Once you find the head turn it so it will come down the birth canal.”
Spike gently pushed the shoulder back with his right hand and felt for the head with his left. He soon felt the roundness of the head and reached with his left hand for the other shoulder. Soon he had both shoulders between his fingers. As the next contraction came he waited for the baby to slip down into the canal. As it did he began to slowly pull his hands out as the contraction died.
He turned to look at Mary waiting for the next instructions. She told him that Buffy just needed to push one or two times and the baby would probably be born.
“Buffy, do you hear me? You just have to push a couple of times and it will be all over with.” He whispered to her as he went to her side and Mary moved to the end of the table.
But as the next contraction came Buffy didn’t respond. She was too weak to push hardly at all.
“It would help if she could squat. Then the baby would just have to fall.” Mary explained to Spike.
He climbed on top of the table behind Buffy and with the women pulling he brought Buffy to a sitting position. Then he encircled his arms under her arms and hauled her up. She was too weak to put any weight on her feet and limply hung in his arms.
He wouldn’t give up.
“Buffy, if you don’t put your feet down and push this baby out, I will reach inside of you and rip it apart to get it out of you. Do you hear me? I will tear that child into little pieces to save you. It’s up to you.”
As the next contraction ripped through her she put her feet down and grasped her knees. Leaning back against Spike for leverage she gave the last of her strength to push her child into the world. The small girl lay limply in Mary’s hands for a moment then let out with a loud cry.
Spike laid Buffy back down on the table and hopped off to stand beside her. He gently brushed the hair back away from her face.
“Do you hear that Buffy? That’s your baby crying for you.” He continued to whisper encouragement and love to her as Mary cleaned up the baby and took care of the last stages of birthing with Buffy. Saoirse helped Mary as much as she could. She held the small baby in her arms and took her to meet her parents. Buffy drifted in and out as Spike held the child next to her.
“What’s her name?” Buffy croaked out to Spike.
“Mary Saoirse.” Spike looked over at the two women who had helped him bring his daughter into the world. It was the finest tribute that he could think of.
Saoirse walked over to touch the child’s cheek and put an arm around Spike’s shoulder.
“She’s beautiful, Spike. Well, I guess you did it. You are in a very small group of heroes. You saved your wife and child.” She patted him on the back.
Spike leaned down to Buffy and kissed her on the cheek. He had done it right this time. The child and Buffy were both okay because of him.
During the next couple of days Buffy slept as she regained strength. She only woke when Spike would bring her food or the baby to feed. On the eve of the second night she was feeding Mary and Spike was putting Brone down for bed. Buffy lay there and listened to the sounds of her husband caring for their son.
Spike returned to the bedroom and came to lie on the bed next to Buffy. He leaned over and gave her a kiss.
“I never in a million thought I would say this, Spike.” Buffy rolled her eyes and giggled. “But you are good as a father and a husband. And you know we really do have a good life.”
Spike’s heart melted at her praise. He reached a hand out and caressed Mary’s hair.
“Yeah, baby, we have a real good life.”
Chapter 24 – Without You
It is now 45 years later.
Spike left the meeting of the council in a fit of anger. The young men taking over the governmental running of Moralynn no longer wanted to listen to him. He was considered to be part of the old ways. They were the people who were afraid of expanding the borders of Moralynn. They let fear stop them from making peace with the people outside their homeland. So, he left. Let them deal with the consequences of their actions.
His body called out for a release to the tension coursing through him. He wished he could go home and throw Buffy against a wall and take her the way he used to be able to. It had been years since their sex life was so active. As she had grown weaker with age their lovemaking grew to consist of gentle caresses and careful moves. He didn’t begrudge her the changes. He was just thankful for every day that he had with his Buffy.
The cottage was dark when he approached. He stepped cautiously through the front door hanging his cloak on the hook by the door. His eyes scanned the room and felt nothing unusual He assumed that Buffy would be sleeping by this time. He saw the letters as he lit a candle on his worktable. There was one for each of them. Giles, Dawn, Willow, Xander, Tara, and Anya. Next to the letters were her journals stacked neatly in a pile. The journals she had begun when she knew that she would never go home. Fear clutched at him. Why had she laid these out?
Turning quickly he headed down the hallway toward her bedroom. Buffy was not asleep. She wasn’t even in her bed. As he turned to search the rest of the house he saw her. She was wrapped in a blanket slowly rocking in her chair.
“God, Buffy, you scared me! I thought you had gone and jumped off the damn cliff or something.” He scolded her.
She gave a soft laugh.
“Like I could get that far on my own.” She looked across the room at her husband. “Come, take me there. I want to smell the ocean.”
Crossing the room to her side he knew that tonight would be the night. He bent down and gently scooped her up into his arms. Settling her against him he carried her down to the edge of the cliff. Years ago he had fashioned a chair there from a trunk of a fallen tree and that had become her favorite spot. He sat with her in his lap her head lying on his chest.
Her hand slowly caressed his chest.
“I’m glad that you came home early. I wanted you with me.”
“Always, Baby.” He felt the pain start to pool in his heart. It was too soon.
His hand began to caress her leg gently.
“There is one thing that I wish I could have.” She had a catch in her voice.
“And what is that, pet?”
“Another lifetime with you.”
“Well, Love, I could still turn you.” He had made the offer once
before but she had turned him down then as she would now. He didn’t really
want her that way and was glad when she did. She wouldn’t be the woman
“Oh, that’s what you would need on a permanent basis. A tottering old vampire whose fangs would break on her first kill.”
He laughed at the picture she gave, laughter that quickly turned to sobs. The tears couldn’t be held back anymore and he pulled her to him burying his face in the crook of her neck.
“What am I going to do without you, Baby?” His voice cracked through his sobs.
Buffy ran her fingers through his hair. She let him cry. It was good that he mourn now. He would need his strength later.
“You’ll live. You will get up each morning and go to bed each night. And one day you’ll go back to Sunnydale and take of them for me.”
He pulled back and laid his head on the back of the chair. She let her hand drop to his chest again but he reached up and took her hand. Slowly he rubbed his thumb over the back of her hand.
“Spike?” She whispered a few moments later.
“I love you.”
The tears spilled down his cheeks again. She had never actually spoken the words. But he knew that she did. She had told him in another million ways. Her smiles. The way she took care of him. The way she loved their children. In the way she touched him.
And that was all she needed to let go. She hadn’t denied him the one gift he had wanted above all else. Her heart. He had known all along that it was his and that was all that counted.
Buffy laid her head in the crook of his neck and took one last ragged breath. And then Spike was alone. He didn’t move for the longest time. He held his wife in his arms and just stared out to sea as the tears poured from his heart.
Tomorrow would come soon enough.
Chapter 25 - A Reason to Be
Buffy was wrong. He didn't live. He existed. She had been his purpose and his light for almost sixty years. There was no reason for him to be in this world anymore. All he could do was wait. Until the time that Willow would open the portal and he could return home. Maybe then he could muster some enthusiasm for each new day. At least emotions would surge through him instead of this numbness that permeated every fiber of his being. He couldn't let himself feel anything because if he did he didn't think he would ever recover.
So, he quit his work with the government and shut himself off. The only people he continued to visit were the friends he had made when they had first come to this world. Then he watched as they too died and left him. After a few years he was alone. There was no reminders left of the life he and Buffy had shared. Except for the children and grandchildren who continued to visit and leave his nourishment he was alone. He closed himself off from everyone and lived surrounded by her things. After she had died he had moved down the hallway to the children's old room. When his loneliness became unbearable he would lie in their bed and pretend that her scent was still on the musty sheets.
Spike existed in this fashion for almost twelve years. One early morning there was a pounding on the door that roused him from the half sleep he was in. Stumbling to the front door he tore it open ready to attack whoever had disturbed him. Standing there was his grandson Lugh.
"Grandfather, Enrica is in labor. The midwife has gone to deliver out in the country. Please help." The young man was in a panic. This was his first child and he was afraid of everything.
"And why would you come to me for help? Surely there are others in the village who could help." Spike stared at the man who stood on his doorstep. He must be jesting to come here and ask this.
"Enrica is frightened and she trusts you. Because of what you did to bring my mother into the world. Please, sir, remember how you felt." Lugh was pleading. "This is your blood about to be born. Your first great-grandchild."
Spike knew he had no choice. Buffy would never forgive him if he didn't.
He turned and grabbed his cloak from the hook. Lugh looked at him with such gratitude Spike felt guilty for trying to turn him away.
Thankfully, Enrica's labor and delivery was easy. Spike made Lugh stay with them and help deliver his child. Somehow he remembered what Mary had done and fumbled through the rest. Spike wrapped the baby girl in a blanket and held her close to his chest. Staring down at the small face he could see Buffy in her face. But her eyes were the startling blue of his. Already this child was making a claim on his heart.
"Grandfather, would you please name her?" Enrica looked up from her bed at the man holding her baby. Lugh had always been frightened by his aloof attitude but she knew that he was just heartbroken.
"Zaira Anne." Spike softly spoke the words to give this tiny child her name. She was already his princess.
He came almost every day to see her. Holding her in his arms and rocking her gave him a peace he hadn't known in quite a while. As she grew older she would follow him everywhere. Whenever he went somewhere she would ride in front of him on his horse. By the time she was ten Spike had given her own horse. By the time she was twelve he was training her.
The gifts she had inherited from her great-grandparents were evident early on. She had Buffy's Slayer gifts and his vampire abilities as well. When she was first learning as a baby he had taught her to temper her abilities so as not to hurt others. And so that she wouldn't be seen as a freak. As she began the process of puberty he started the training. He had wanted her to remain a child as long as possible. But she needed the lessons to be able to understand and use her gifts. Besides he only had a few years left with her. It was understood that when the portal opened he would leave.
Her parents were furious at the influence that Spike had on their child. They felt this was not the best way of life for a young girl. But when they had attempted to speak with him about it he had coldly told them that Zaira had never been their child. That she belonged with him. The fools wanted her to waste her gifts. They were embarrassed by her abilities and wanted to hide them away. By the time she was fifteen they were already attempting to marry her off. But Spike would scare any potential suitors off.
Zaira would come to visit him every chance she got. She would read through Buffy’s journals and flip through the sketches of her time in Moralynn. Spike would try to avoid talking about Buffy but Zaira was always asking him questions. Trying to understand where she came from.
The two of them had taken to patrolling at night to give her actual experience fighting demons. But she had to sneak from her bedroom in order to do this. Finally, Spike knew that this couldn’t continue because it was tearing the girl apart. She didn’t want to hurt her parents and she didn’t want to hurt him. So, as the time approached for him to leave he distanced himself from her. Her fate would show itself soon enough. He had taught her all he could and the rest he knew she could handle.
Finally it was time. The day the witch said the portal would reopen. He moved slowly through the cottage. He packed her journals and the sketches. The letters were placed in there also. The only other thing he took was the sword. He went to her room one last time and touched her things. Tried to find her here in a place she would never be again. Turning quickly he headed out grabbing the satchel on the way.
Once outside he headed toward the beach.
Chapter 26 – Home
Willow stood and watched as the portal grew bigger. She reached out and grabbed Tara’s hand. Suddenly a man stumbled through the light. The girls didn’t recognize him at first. He was no longer the peroxide blond that had first gone through the portal. Spike now had shoulder length curly brown hair. As he regained his bearings he shook his head and reached a hand out for the shelf that was next to him.
“Where’s Buffy?” Willow asked him urgently. As Spike looked up at her with sadness in his eyes, a blond girl wearing his duster came though the portal behind him. She fell against Spike and put her hands on his back to steady herself.
“Thank god, Buffy, we were worried…” Tara stopped as the girl looked up at her.
It wasn’t Buffy. She looked almost exactly like Buffy except for the blueness of her eyes.
“Spike, what did you do to Buffy? Where is she?” Willow was alternating between fear and anger. Spike had to have done something to her.
Spike stood up straight and pulled his cloak from his shoulders. He stepped closer to Zaira and looked down into her eyes.
“Go Back, Zaira, while there is still a chance.”
The portal still shone behind them.
“No, we both know this is where I belong now.”
He sighed and pulled her to him in a hug. This was something he knew was going to happen from the moment she followed him. It was something that he wanted to happen but didn’t want her to feel obligated to be here with him.
“Spike, where is Buffy?” Willow was on the verge of losing control as the portal started to close behind Spike and the girl.
He turned to look at her.
“Call everybody and get them here. We need to talk.” He picked up the satchel and taking Zaira’s hand began to go up the stairs. Willow came over to block him still asking where Buffy was. He hadn’t wanted to tell her like this but he knew he had no choice.
“Willow, I’m sorry but she’s dead.”
Then as Willow collapsed he caught her.
After they had gotten upstairs Tara hurriedly made phone calls to everyone. All she said was that there was a problem and they needed to come quickly. Spike sat in the armchair with Zaira at his feet. All Willow could do was cry and ask him what had happened. But he wanted everyone to hear at the same time. Slowly, they all arrived. The fear clutching at them as they saw Spike and Zaira. Dawn was the last to arrive home cracking jokes about a costume party when she first saw them. Then she realized it wasn’t Buffy sitting there. She almost fell on the couch on the other side of Tara. Xander and Anya squeezed in next to the girls and Giles brought a chair from the dining room.
“Now, exactly what is going?” It was Giles that first asked. His eyes never leaving Spike. As she sensed the anger that was radiating around them Zaira reached up to clutch Spike’s hand.
Spike began slowly explaining about the portal. Willow through her tears confirmed what he said. That it was the words to the song that had opened it. Then he told them of Moralynn and the time differences. He looked up at Giles to agree that this was possible. Giles nodded his head at his unspoken question. Then he told them Buffy had died of old age almost twenty-nine years ago. His voice cracked, as he had to tell them. Dawn began sobbing burying her face in Tara. Xander stood and called him a liar. He threatened to stake him unless he told the truth.
“Sit down, Xander. I am telling the truth.” He gestured for Zaira to hand him the satchel. As he pulled the journals and sketchbooks from the bag he laid them on the table. That was when Anya saw his wedding band.
“Are you married to her?” She asked gesturing toward Zaira.
“No, I was married to Buffy. This is our great-granddaughter, Zaira.” He proudly smiled down at the girl and ran his hand down the back of her head.
“That is bullshit. There is no way she would marry you!” Xander burst out.
“It’s all there.” He said gesturing toward the books on the table. Then reaching into the bag he pulled out their letters and passed them around.
Dawn slipped from the couch and began to flip through the sketchbook. Stopping to look at sketches of Buffy pregnant, of her nursing their child, of her as an old woman. Spike looked down at this child and his heart broke. It wasn’t fair to her to lose Buffy twice.
Willow finally spoke up the tears drying on her cheeks.
“We could do a spell to reopen the portal from when you all went through. Then Buffy could come back.”
“No! You would take away her life. She didn’t want that. She was happy.” Spike stood and stared down at her.
“Happy with you! You must be joking. You had to have tricked her or something.” Xander stood and was standing toe to toe with Spike.
“She was happy. If you attempt that spell you would kill thousands of people. Take away the lives of her children and their children. You would take away Zaira.” He strongly stated as he looked at each of them.
Dawn stood gathering the books and her letter in her arms. She announced she was going to go upstairs and look them over. As she left the room the others settled down and began to read their letters. Spike and Zaira went into the kitchen. His grief almost overwhelmed him as he saw the sink full of dishes that Buffy had started washing. He walked over and began to finish the chore. Zaira was fascinated with everything in the kitchen and wandered around playing with things. Soon Tara and Anya came into the room explaining that Giles, Willow and Xander were discussing the spell. He sighed but knew that they would do what they wanted.
He went back into the living room.
“Giles, I need to go and get changed. And pick up a few things. Please don’t do the spell until I come back.”
Giles stood and looked at the vampire before him. He had read the letter from Buffy saying how happy she had been. How good Spike had been to her. Spike was different somehow. Not just in appearance but in attitude. He had heard him in the kitchen cleaning up. The Spike he had known would never do that. So, he agreed to wait for his return.
Spike left and went back to the kitchen to get Zaira. Anya was busy plying her with questions. About her world and who she was. Zaira was holding her own but he knew later the changes would hit her.
“Come on. I need to run a few errands.”
As he left with Zaira, Tara and Anya ended up tagging along. The first stop was the crypt where he changed into jeans and a t-shirt again. Then he grabbed his stash of money and blood. After that they went by the grocery store. He wasn’t really sure of what to buy but Tara and Anya contributed ideas. Zaira kept just throwing things in the cart that looked good or smelled good. She was slowly becoming dazed at everything around her. Finally they were done and headed home. As the girls started to put things away Spike went to check on where things were. The three in the living room were tense and silent. Willow kept wiping tears from her cheeks and Xander looked angry. He kept glaring at Spike. And Giles just observed him. They told him they were waiting for Dawn before they made a final decision.
Spike went upstairs to check on Dawn. He knocked softly on the door and opened it cautiously. Dawn was sprawled out on her bed reading from the journals. She looked up as he came in.
“Niblet, I’m here if you want to talk or ask questions. Okay?”
She just nodded her head. He didn’t want to leave her like this so he went to her running his hand through her hair. Then he bent and kissed her gently on the head. She looked up at him in surprise.
“Spike, did she miss me?”
“More than life itself. Not a day went by that she didn’t mention your name. Every night she would tell you that she loved you and tell you good night.” He answered her honestly.
Then Dawn returned to her reading. He went back downstairs to the kitchen. Not being able to be idle he began to cook. Zaira would be hungry soon and Dawn needed to eat. Soon the smell of baking chicken filled the house. The three from the living room came into the kitchen to see who was cooking. The three girls and Spike were busily doing things to prepare the meal. Spike sent Zaira in to set the table. Dawn soon came down to join them. Tears fell from her eyes as she saw the changes in the vampire she had come to care for as a father. This was what being married to Buffy had done for him. She came to stand beside him as he mashed potatoes and ran her fingers through his hair. She pronounced it cool and told him not to change it.
Then she turned to face the rest of them and told them to leave Buffy where she was. She had been happy. Happier than she had been here. The tears overwhelmed her and she turned to bury her face in Spike. He held onto the girl as she let her grief out. Xander stormed from the house saying Buffy wouldn’t really want it this way. That somehow Spike had cast a spell on her. Spike understood that Xander was hurt and would take awhile for him to adjust. After awhile the rest of them sat down to eat. Mostly it was picked through as nobody was really hungry.
After dinner Dawn had taken Zaira upstairs so they could become acquainted. Willow and Tara disappeared to their room. Giles stayed with him and helped Spike put the leftovers away and clean the kitchen. They didn’t really speak but there was a quiet truce between them.
As night took over Spike made a final check of the house. Making sure the doors were locked and everything put away. Giles was sleeping with a book open on top of him. Spike gently took it and put on the table. He did the same for his glasses. Reaching up he turned the light off and then made his way upstairs. First he checked on Willow and Tara softly opening their door. They were both asleep with Willow curled into Tara. Shutting the door quietly he made his way to Dawn’s room but they weren’t in there. So, he opened the door to Buffy’s room and found Zaira and Dawn asleep on Buffy’s bed. He came over and covered them with the comforter.
Since Dawn’s room was free he decided to sleep in there. He stretched on the bed and contemplated the day. Things were going to be okay. It would take time but they would accept him. And somehow they would accept Zaira. Giles would be fascinated by her abilities and would love to train her.
But overall he knew he was headed in the right direction. And wherever Buffy was she was probably looking down on him and smiling. And he knew in his heart that she would be proud of him.
The End Almost
May 21, 2007
************************* News Bulletin*********************************
The weary news anchor came to sit at the desk. The camera’s light came on to tell him he was on the air. Then he slowly began to speak.
“Dallas fell today to the onslaught of the demon attacks. General Riley Finn, our country’s foremost expert on demonology, says that the home defense is doing everything they can. People are warned to stay indoors especially after dark. New York, Orlando and Chicago are still holding off the demons. No one has been able to figure out why these portals have opened in these cities.
We do have good news from Sunnydale, CA however. A group of civilian insurrectionists have managed to close the portal that opened in that city. From what we understand they are now making their way to Dallas. The group seems to be led by two young women with extraordinary powers. Accompanying them from what we are told is their father and grandfather, two powerful witches, a thousand year old ex-demon, a highly trained soldier and a demon of unknown origins.
When the group was asked who they were the father and grandfather replied:
“We few, we happy few, we band of buggered…”