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Parting Gifts by angelic_amy
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Thanks to Megan for the beta.

Warning: There are NON-Spuffy elements in this chapter. Just thought I'd give you all a little heads up. But it IS important to the story.

Chapter 3: Reanimated.

A sudden rush of blood, a tingling of returning sensation, a gasp for the returned need of air and a set of eyes blinked open.

Buffy Summers was alive.

And by the looks of it, inside a wooden box…

Panic was the first emotion to overwhelm her at the realization that a coffin meant a grave, and a grave meant digging. She had dug herself out of a grave once before when the suffering of a young boy named Billy had brought everyone’s nightmare to life. She had been a vampire and had dug herself from her grave.

A second wave of panic rushed through her, fingers reaching for her neck and relief washing over her when she felt a pulse. The reprieve however was momentary, panic once again returning when it became apparent that she was going to have to dig her way out again. All she wanted to do was get out, all other thoughts concerning her return being forcefully pushed aside.

With all of her might, Buffy swung a balled fist at the bare wooden lid. A second, third and fourth punch followed before her fist broke through the wood and found air. She pulled her hand back, preparing for the inevitable dirt that would pour into her coffin. But none came.

Pushing away her confusion, she continued to beat her way out of the wooden box. A couple of punches and impeded kicks and a screech of nails being ripped from wood sounded. Gingerly, Buffy pushed the lid to one side, seconds later a clattering sound echoing through the space as it hit the ground.

Wherever she was, it was dark.

It took a few moments for her eyes to adjust, but when they did another wave of shock washed over her. Above her, was concrete. And it was also on three sides of her coffin. Although she had been able to push the lid off her wooden box, there was nowhere near enough room to climb up and over the edge. So Buffy turned her attacks to the one side that wasn’t walled in.

A few minutes later more wood clattered, followed by a thump as Buffy rolled out of the coffin and hit the ground. Dazed by the fall Buffy instantly regretted her haste; she would definitely have a bruise on her hip tomorrow.


Then she remembered. She was alive, again. Which meant her rest was over, and a tomorrow was unavoidable. A tomorrow that would be duty filled and ruled by her calling.

The feeling of loss was immeasurable. She wasn’t supposed to be here, she had been somewhere warm, somewhere safe, a place where she no longer had to fight demons. She had felt love, peace and completion. She had fulfilled her duty and it had been her turn to rest. And now she was back. She didn’t know why, or how, but she was back.

After being away from her sister, her friends and Giles for so long, you would think she would feel something in the ballpark of happy. All she felt was despair.

Curling into a little ball, Buffy wept for herself and for what she had lost.



Spike clutched a half empty whiskey bottle in his hand as he stumbled through Restfield Cemetery, headed towards a crypt he still visited nightly even though it had almost been five months now. Buffy had been dead for one hundred and forty seven days. A hundred and forty seven days without watching her fight, without feeling her fist smash into his face, or hearing a witty remark as she parried with a demon or vampire.

One hundred and forty seven days was not a long time. Not nearly enough time for him to grieve. Or move on. But the others had. The people who were supposed to be her friends, the people who had once been the most important in the Slayer’s life, had moved on in a matter of weeks. She was dead and there was nothing they could do to bring her back. They just had to live their lives. And that’s what they’d done.

It might have something to do with the person she had become that had made it easier for them to say goodbye. But it hadn’t changed Spike’s feelings for her one bit.

A part of Spike wondered why he stuck around, why he tortured himself by returning to her final resting place each and every night. If she knew, if she could see what he did, he knew that she would be laughing at him. Just as she had laughed at him when he had confessed his feelings for her. Laughed at him and made it blatantly obvious that he had no chance of ever being with her.

Spike would never forget the shock of what he had walked in on that night.

Buffy, naked in all her glory riding Angel like her life depended on it. And all Spike could do was watch. He had seen it in her eyes, the recognition when she realized he was there. Her green had fixed on his blue, and she had smirked. The smirk was far too much like Darla’s for his liking. Buffy could never be that cold, that… cruel. Maybe he was a little too confident in his judgment of her, because what he saw next was very much like something Darla would do. She had kept her eyes locked with his as she thrust her hips, stroke for stroke against Angel’s, in search of release. Buffy’s eyes had been on Spike as she came with a scream, seconds later Angel following with a roar that broke the younger vampire’s engrossed attention.

Spike had roared in anger at Angel for fornicating in his bed, and had been moving to attack him when Buffy had silenced him with a backhanded punch into the wall. Dazed by the blow, Spike had again watched as Buffy kissed Angel long and slow at the door, before closing it.

When he finally spoke the questions were numerous, and they flew out of his mouth before he had the time to think it over in his mind. What about Angel’s curse? How could she sleep with Angel and him not lose his soul? Was it Angelus she was fucking? Why in his bed, in his crypt?

Spike’s mouth had clamped shut the moment she began prowling towards him, caught like a fly in a spider’s web. Buffy was still naked, and whether it was the commanding presence of the Slayer or her nakedness that kept him silent while she spoke, Spike would never know for sure.

Apparently the law firm in LA that was constantly trying to destroy Angel’s life had brought Darla back from the dead, as a human. That had lasted a few weeks before Drusilla had turned Darla. Angel had tried to do the ‘right thing’ and send her back to her grave, the two had argued, fought and wound up in bed together. And against all odds, despite the fact that they were vampires and couldn’t biologically reproduce, they had conceived a child.

“Something about a prophecy, it was fated to happen, blah, blah, blah…”

Buffy told him all of this void of any emotion on the subject, cold and uncaring, the complete opposite of the woman he had fallen in love with. A lot of things had happened to her the few weeks prior, but he couldn’t believe it would change her so much. Bit by bit the optimism, warmth and feeling that was very much part of Buffy had been chipped away until all there was left of her was a machine, a Slayer who existed only for the fight.

When Wolfram and Hart had kidnapped Darla, and somehow managed to kill her and the child, even though she was supposed to be protected during the pregnancy, Angel had gone off the deep end. He had lost his child, a boy he had later discovered. They had taken away his son and it destroyed him.

And Buffy and Angel found… well, it wasn’t comfort they found in one another. No, they used each other, took their pleasure to numb the pain as their lives fell apart. The perfect happiness clause was something that could only be achieved if each party involved were actually happy to begin with.

Spike had tried to get through to her, tried to remind her of the things in this world that she had loved so much. He had tried to give her a reason not to give up. In his efforts he had reached forward, entwining his fingers in her hair. Before he knew what had happened, he found himself flat on his back as the naked ass of the Slayer wiggled its way over to where her clothes were strewn across the floor. T-shirt and jeans were thrown on quickly and a scrap of red lace was thrown in his face as she walked by.

“This is as close as you’re ever going to get, Spike.”

The next night when he had bumped into, well, truthfully, sought her out while she was on patrol, her long blond tresses were gone, replaced with shoulder length dark brown hair.

Life on the Hellmouth had only worsened in the weeks following the incident at the crypt. Glory’s attacks hadn’t waned and they were taking their toll on the white hats. Spike watched on as Buffy hardened, becoming more and more like the other slayer, Faith, he had heard a little about from her friends. After the haircut came a tongue piercing, a tattoo of a dragon at the base of her spine, and a complete wardrobe change. Relations between the once close friends disintegrated; the only thing keeping them together was the mission. Guard the Hellmouth, stop Glory, and try not to die.

“Should’ve listened to yourself, Slayer,” Spike cursed, kicking at a headstone as he walked by and relishing the pain it brought. Or maybe he should have gotten the hint and left town. Buffy hadn’t loved him and she more than made it clear that she never would, so why did he stick around?

Taking a big swig of whiskey, he continued towards the Slayer’s grave, silently wishing he had a bigger bottle. He wasn’t nearly as drunk as he would have liked to be for this.

As he staggered forward, a sound caught his ear. Spike’s face shifted into its vampiric countenance so as to send out his senses. Yes, there it was again. It sounded like… sobbing. And by the sounds of it, the noise was coming from dead ahead. Face reverting back to its human form, Spike picked up the pace. He wasn’t really in the saving lives department anymore, not like he had been before. But if someone was in trouble, and it was on his way, he’d help out. Where this sense of duty came from he had no idea; all Spike knew was that Buffy, the Buffy he had known before the shit hit the fan, would’ve wanted him to do this.

As he got closer, he felt the hairs on his arms stand up on end, and a shiver rolled up his spine. His skin felt electric in a way that was usually only reserved for…

“No,” he murmured in disbelief.

There was no way. Buffy, she had… Buffy had died. How was it possible that he would feel this, that he would sense her? Maybe the alcohol had addled his brain. Maybe he was imagining it. He thought and dreamed about her so often; obsessed about what he might have done to save her that night and maybe this was just some figment of his imagination. Well, he had to be certain.

Spike broke into a run through the graveyard. He tripped over a headstone, the whiskey bottle smashing against another grave marker, but he didn’t care. All that mattered was getting there. He would see with his own two eyes and then return to his crypt, and a new bottle of liquor.

The mausoleum came into sight and Spike upped his speed for the final dash.

His hands hit the steel of the door, fingers scrabbling for the handle, which he grasped and twisted, and the door swung open with a loud shriek.

There on the floor, curled in a small ball was a woman. A woman with short brown hair, her shirt riding up on her back to reveal a tat--

“Buffy?” Spike whispered with disbelief.

Tear filled green eyes blinked up at him, and then the room began to spin.

A/N: And there you have it. As always, feedback is greatly appreciated so please leave your thoughts. I respond to every single one.
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