Hey! That's My Life
Buffy sat in an ugly hospital chair waiting for news on Spike. He was mauled pretty badly and the doctors didn’t even bat an eyelash when the Scoobies had told them it was a couple of wild dogs that had attacked them. Xander was taken to an examining room for stitches on his arm and forehead. Anya was also taken to a room complaining about how she was going to look ugly for her wedding.
The doctor’s just looked at her peculiarly and ushered her off to a room. Willow, Tara and Buffy made their way to waiting chairs and sat in silence. Buffy new they were sad about Spike even though it wasn’t there Spike. It was Buffy’s Spike. The cocky vampire who thought he could take on the world, but really couldn’t.
He had saved Xander if Xander’s ranting were anything to go by. He had jumped in and stopped Xander from being brutally mauled. The Spike Buffy knew not the Slayer Spike who the Scoobies held in high regard. The Spike who had saved Xander had been none other then the vampire Buffy said could never change… could never be good.
If it was all for Buffy’s benefit, to show Buffy that he could be good it was a very risky thing to do. Some how Buffy didn’t think it was. Some part of her was telling her that it wasn’t for her… it was for Spike. Spike had wanted to save Xander for whatever unknown reason. Spike had wanted to help.
Buffy tried hard not to reflect on the feelings she had felt when she Spike lying a few feet away from her dying from blood loss. They felt so strong and real and they hadn’t exactly gone away. She had to keep telling herself he’d be fine because some part of her was panicking.
She had wondered if that was how Spike felt when she died if that was how Spike felt every time Buffy took a stupid chance on patrol. If that’s how he felt every time Buffy talked about wanting to go back to heaven. Had Buffy underestimated the severity of his… feelings? Did he really love her? Could she love him?
All these questions floated around in her head as they waited for word on Spike. A newly patched up Xander was explaining what happened to the police and how Warren and Jonathan and that other guy were involved. The ‘Evil Trio’ was taken to jail. Jonathan had confessed all to the cops from what Xander had said. He had gone to the police station with them and the cops had given him a ride to the hospital.
Xander had just enough time to see Jonathan breakdown to the cops and confess everything. All the robberies and weird things that the cops couldn’t find suspects for were explained away by Jonathan who was careful not to reveal too much of the supernatural that was involved.
The cops had come in with Xander to the hospital and had question Tara and Willow. Buffy had slipped off to the side knowing that their information would be good enough. She couldn’t talk to the police because of her vampire status.
It would seem to weird. The nurse had tried to get her patched up, but she said she didn’t need it. This was true. The cuts she had that were deep were healing over nicely that by the time they got to the hospital they were nothing more then scratches.
Now they were all sitting in the waiting room wondering what could be up with Spike. Buffy tried to reason with herself that with his Slayer powers he would be healed up in a jiffy. He had some deep stab wounds but Buffy had had worse herself. They had already been healing by the time she got to the hospital with Spike cradled in her arms.
“They aren’t telling us anything. He has to be all right. I mean… he’s the Slayer.” Xander said breaking the silence that had come over the group.
He had been lost in his own little world. The Spike that was currently residing in his best friend’s body was much like the Buffy he had gotten to know. He was rude and obnoxious and had an air of bravado to him. Yet he had saved his life. He had jumped in front of that ugly monster and had sacrificed himself so Xander could escape with a few minor cuts.
“Yeah, I mean I’ve had worse during my time as the Slayer.” Buffy said to him.
“He’s going to be fine. I mean he has to be. We got him here in time.” Willow said. Tara shook her head and squeezed Willow’s hand in reassurance.
“Spike’s tough. He can take a lot.” Anya said.
They went back into their own little worlds again each thinking about how it was just going to be a normal patrol night and how everything had went horribly wrong. There were no words to describe how unbelievably bad tonight had gone… how unbelievably bad everything seemed to be going since the whole dimension swap. Buffy looked around at the people surrounding her.
“Hey guys does everyone seem… frozen to you.” Buffy said. They all looked up to see that everything in the hospital had stopped.
“Okay this is freaky.” Xander said. He got up and looked outside of the hospital.
“Cars and people are all stopped outside too.” He said.
“What do you think it is?” Willow asked.
“If I had to guess I’d say magic.” Anya said and Willow rolled her eyes.
“Pretty strong magic to freeze everything… except us. Whoever did this must be mighty powerful.” Tara said.
“Why thank you. Actually I am pretty powerful… not to toot my on horn or anything.” The group looked up to see a handsome man sitting on the counter of the nurse’s station.
He had brown hair and brown eyes and seemed tall even though he was sitting. He was fashionably dressed in black slacks and a maroon button up shirt with a black tie and black jacket. He looked as though he had stepped out of the pages of some fashion magazine or something. There was a playful smirk on his face that Buffy thought she had seen before.
“Who are you?” Buffy asked.
“Oh you probably don’t recognize me. I think I looked something like this the last time.” The man said snapping his fingers as he hopped off of the desk. Suddenly his whole appearance changed so he looked like a homeless man with dirty clothes and big bottle glasses.
“You’re… you’re the crazy guy that came to my job asking about the fish and the Doublemeat nuggets.” Buffy said pointing at him.
“Yeah sorry about the look,” The man said snapping his fingers again to appear as the sharp dressed man.
“But ‘The Voice’ thought I should go incognito. Whatever I just think he likes seeing me looking all ragged. Can’t stand that there’s actual good looking people out there. Course I’ve never really seen him so he might be good looking too. Whatever I’m not crazy by the way.” The man said.
“Wow that was a babble that would beat even Willow.” Xander said.
“Yeah sorry got away from myself for a minute there, but I digress. I came here for a reason.” The man said.
“Really and what reason would that be?” Buffy asked. “Well… to scold all of you.” The man said.
“Really, why do we need… scolding?” Willow asked.
“Oh many reasons. If I were to get biblical we could be here for days… perhaps weeks, but it’s a good thing I don’t listen to those Higher Beings. They think they know better, but really they don’t know shit from shinola.” The man said.
“You know the Higher Beings? Are they what’s involved in this dimensional switch thing?” Willow asked.
“Well yeah, you’re on the right track with that one, but there was a bit of an… uproar. We, um, well we’re not exactly the most organized bunch. I mean we’ve got so many champions running around that we can’t keep track of them… and even more rouges out there that we can’t keep track of as well… but I digress again. I do that a lot.” The man said.
“Why don’t you start by telling us who you are.” Buffy said.
“Okay, well my names Brian… pretty plain for someone of my power, but it’s my name.” Brian said.
“So, Brian are you like Whistler. Immortal demon sent down to even the score between good and evil.” Buffy asked.
“Nope, wrong on so many levels. I’m not a demon and I’m not immortal… at least I don’t think… I’m somewhat of an… well an Angel… guardian Angel actually.” Brian said.
“Don’t angels have wings… and harps and Birkenstock, maybe a bright shiny halo.” Xander said.
“Oh please… well actually we’re supposed to walk around like that, but gross. Can you imagine the tastelessness? Sorry I like a bit of taste in my wardrobe. Besides the big ups find out what I’m doing they might just send me to the bad place anyway.” Brian said.
“Wait so what exactly are you?” Buffy asked.
“Well ever see the show ‘Charmed’.” Brian said.
Willow and Tara shook their heads yes as did Anya, but Xander and Buffy shook their heads no.
“Well three out of five ain’t bad. Anyway they were pretty close at getting the Guardian Angel thing right except we don’t answer to ‘Elders’, we aren’t called ‘White Lighters’, we can’t die because we’re already dead under any circumstances, and we were all witches at one point or another. Pretty powerful witches.” Brian said.
“So, you’re dead.” Tara said.
“Have been for quiet some time actually. Most of the older ones like myself retire and move on to heaven. Just never found the need to. I get to help make decisions that run the world and I’ve got power. Besides I work with my best friend so what’s not to love.” Brian said.
“I sense a but coming.” Willow said.
“Well you’d be right there. The Powers that Be… those are the guys I answer to, well they make up most of the decisions, based on the information we give them. They decide if you’re ready to die, be born, apocalypse and what not. It’s like one big negotiation up there.” Brian said.
“They deal with everyone’s death. That’s a lot to talk about in one day.” Xander said.
“Well yeah, but time moves relatively slow up there and most of the time your Guardian Angel decides the course of your life. The Powers only interject on the big things of their warriors, but they’ve been messing up for quiet sometime.” Brian said.
“How so?” Buffy asked.
“Well I think it started… when Darla came back.” Brian said.
“Darla came back!” Buffy, Xander and Willow shouted.
“Yup, guessing Angel didn’t tell you about him. Well he’s really not my problem. The Voice has to deal with his destiny, but anyway. Darla came back and she and Angel did the wild thing and a baby was conceived.” Brian said.
“What! Vampires can have kids!” Xander screamed.
“No, just those two. It was foretold. Anyway no one was really sure what this kid was going to bring. Most of us thought it was the apocalypse and others, a very select few, thought it was going to be peace. So what do the Powers do… they send the kid to a hell dimension hoping it would give them some time. Well that’s when the uproar started, but now I’m forgetting you guys.” Brian said.
“In this time, Buffy dies, which was a real screw up. The Spike here dies which is another real screw up. I wasn’t in on that, but if I had been I would have said no. I mean as your Guardian Angel Buffy I knew it wasn’t your time to die yet, but everyone was so busy with the Angel Darla Connor thing that they just thought they’d kill you for a little while to avoid some confusion.” Brian said.
“So I died to give the Powers time to… get unconfused.” Buffy said.
“Exactly! But there was a balance that Maddy and I were just beginning to see. Maddy’s the Guardian Angel of the other Spike… you know the Slayer Spike.” Brian said.
“You watch every dimension?” Willow said.
“Guardian Angel’s watch every dimension they’re assigned to, yes, but I only watch Buffy. There’s just the Slayer Buffy and the Vampire Buffy.” Brian said.
“You watch over me.” Buffy said.
“That most be… tough.” Xander said.
“It is, I have to make sure that both Buffy’s are going down the right path. So when there was only one Spike and one Buffy left and they were both vampires we saw a disturbance, but leave it to the Powers to not care.” Brian said.
“But Spike was brought back. I brought him back… we brought him back.” Willow said.
“Well yeah, but you think you just came up with that idea all on your own? Sorry to burst the bubble, but I had a long talk with your Guardian Angel and he agreed we had to bring back Buffy and Spike so he pulled a few strings.” Brian said.
“So what happened that’s causing everything to go wrong?” Anya asked.
“Well there was an uproar on the Angel front. Cordelia was brought up as a Higher Power… which was not part of the path.” Brian said.
“What’s that got to do with Buffy and Spike?” Xander asked although he was concerned about Cordelia. There was something wrong going on in LA and Xander wanted to know, but Spike had to get back to his own dimension before anything could happen.
“How about everything. There was an uproar with the Angels. Apparently someone thought it would be a good idea to bring Cordelia up as a Higher Being and then send her back down again, but not as Cordelia. It’s kind of hard to explain, but Cordelia was supposed to give birth to a Goddess that was supposed to bring world peace. It was a dumb idea, but one that would keep Connor, that’s Angel’s son, in play without further confusing anybody. It was destined to fail though.” Brian said.
“You talk about it like it already happened.” Tara said.
“It was avoided, thank god, by The Voice. He got word of what was happening and made sure that Cordelia wasn’t pulled up into heaven. Good thing to he did it just in time. Of course this meant that Angels couldn’t be trusted anymore. The stupid guy who thought he could solve the worlds problems was Connor’s Guardian Angel. He didn’t want his charge to die because who wants that, but he screwed it up for the rest of us.” Brian said.
“Again what does this have to do with Spike and Buffy.” Xander asked.
“Hold up I’m getting there. It’s a fairly complicated story. Even though the balance between Angel and his people was restored, the balance here was shaky, probably worse then shaky. It was pretty bad… has been pretty bad for quiet some time now. The Voice, he saw something. He’s a seer. He saw great pain here in Sunnydale, both Sunnydale’s due to the balance being disrupted.
“The problem being that instead of working together, Buffy and Spike were working separately. That cannot happen apparently, because your destinies are linked together.” Brian said.
“Wait Buffy and Spike are linked together?” Anya asked.
“In a way. How I’m not sure. I’m really not allowed to see that far into the future so don’t ask. They could just need to work together, but their… issues are getting in the way of that.” Brian said with a knowing look on his face.
Buffy flushed. He knew what was going on between her and Spike. It seemed natural if he was really what he said he was. He knew things about her that she didn’t even know about herself. He knew her future.
“So when this was brought to the attention of the Powers of course me and Maddy and The Voice expected that they would give us permission to do a little interfering as is our jobs, but what did they say… ‘let it run it’s course’. You know in the thousands of years that I’ve been doing this job never once was I told to let it run it’s course. Not when it was this big.” Brian said clearly irritated with the whole situation.
“So what did you do? I mean you’re here now setting things straight in your own twisted little way. And why would the Powers not let you change things?” Anya asked.
“Because they’re afraid. They’ve already got Angel to worry about. Vampires in the everlasting paradise are not something they want up there. I mean that’s why Shanshu was created… you’ll learn more about that later, hopefully. Spike is a risk… well the vampire Spike just as the vampire Buffy is a risk. They’re risks to everything that the Powers hold true. If they can succeed in curbing their bloodlust and evil ways because of their own reasons then it just transcends everything the Powers are about. They’re pretty black and white up there.” Brian said.
“So they don’t want Spike going to heaven… is that a possibility?” Buffy asked.
“A very distinct one if your destinies are linked.” Brian said.
“So why the swap? Why’d you switch them.” Willow asked.
“Well it was the easiest way to make them see what the other is going through. Kills two birds with one stone really. We figured that if they knew what the other was going through they’d lighten up, maybe talk, have a conversation realize that they need each other. I don’t know but that idea seems to be going up in flames because instead of realizing what the other is really about you’re avoiding it.” Brian said turning to Buffy.
“What is it you want me to find out. I mean if you’re supposed to know everything about me why don’t you just tell me.” Buffy said.
“Ah see this is where I can not help you Buffy. I’ve been doing it for twenty-one long years now and you’re quiet a handful… not to mention the other you… you’re both more then I ever bargained for.” Brian said.
“So you don’t have any answers for me.”
“Here’s one.” Brian said.
He turned to the other Scoobies and waved his hand in front of them. They all froze like everyone else in the hospital and outside.
“What does that mean?” Buffy asked.
“Well, I could be cryptic, because I’m good at it, but I’ll give it to you straight. Close your eyes and listen for a second… what do you hear?” Brian asked.
“I don’t hear anything. Everyone’s frozen there’s nothing to hear.” Buffy said.
“Ah, but that’s not true is it. Close your eyes again and think. What do you hear?” Brian said.
Buffy closed her eyes again and listened for whatever it was she was supposed to be hearing. Everything was deathly quiet. Nothing was moving. She couldn’t hear any sound coming from Brian but she figured that was because he was dead. She couldn’t hear anything.
“I don’t hear anything… well except my own voice now, but…”
“That’s what you need to hear. You need to hear you. Not everyone else. Everyone else is just background noise. You need to learn how to tune them out… without me freezing them.” Brian said.
“So what you’re saying is I need to listen to myself.” Buffy said.
“You need to follow what you want… what you think is best. With the occasional nudge from the other you. Just feel what you’re feeling and don’t let anyone tell you that it’s wrong… not even yourself.” Brian said.
“Wait you said I was supposed to be listening to myself. How am I gonna do that when you told me to listen to the other me. I thought you said you weren’t going to be cryptic.” Buffy complained.
“Sorry that’s the best I got. You’ll understand when the time comes. I have to go. The Powers can sense when I’m down here. If I get caught I’m in for fiery depths of a hell dimension and then you’re really screwed.” Brian said.
“Okay I’m left not knowing much.” Buffy said.
“You know enough. Hopefully no more trips to the hospital. Just listen to what the other Buffy is trying to tell you. If you can understand her then you’ll understand Spike. That’ll lead you to where you wanna be.” Brian said.
“You sound so confident.” “Well they didn’t give me this job for nothing.” Brian said as he turned back to the rest of the Scoobies. He walked up to Xander and placed his hand in front of Xander’s face.
“What the… did you just freeze us.” Xander said noticing that Brian was closer to him then he was a few seconds ago.
“Yeah sorry about that. Had to talk to Buffy alone. Quick question before I go. Did you happen to invite Angel and the gang down for your wedding?” Brian asked.
“No, why would I do that?”
“Because you have to… trust me if you don’t there’s gonna be some major backlash. Just invite them.” Brian said.
“Okay kind of last minute, but I’m sure we can fit them in. How many are there?” Xander asked.
“Well there’s Angel, Cordelia, Connor, Gunn, Fred, Lorne… and just invite Wesley. I’m pretty sure they’re all back on good terms.”
“Okay they’re invited. Anything else you want to add?”
“Well, Xander, I’m not your Guardian Angel or anything, but I do know him. He’s a good person. Just, she’s really the one Xander. Don’t let your fear shake you. She’s really the one. Remember that.” Brian said.
He popped out of the room and everything unfroze.
“Whoa where’d Brian go?” Willow asked
“Had to leave before he was thrown into the fiery depths of hell.” Buffy said. She was still thinking about what Brian told her. It seemed complicated, but she was sure she could at least give it a try.
“Looks like we have to have more guests at the wedding. Brian’s orders.” Xander said.
“Really who?” Willow asked.
“Everyone in LA that’s with the LA gang has to come. He said that they needed to come.” Xander said.
“I guess we could fit them in no problem. They’ll have to be at the same table though.” Anya said. They began to discuss arrangements when a doctor came up to them.
“Are any of you here for Mr. William Summers?” He asked kindly.
“We all are.” Willow said.
“Well… I have some news for you.”
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