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Never Alone by Lilachigh
Chp 4 Sign of Faith
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Chapter 4 Sign of Faith

In England, Buffy is convinced she has one final task to accomplish for Spike. And his voice in her head is insisting that she hurry as time is running out - fast.....

Sitting with her scissors poised above the precious stuffed pig that Spike had miraculously returned to her, Buffy hesitated.

She was quite convinced that she had to send a sign to someone, somewhere, that she had faith in Spike and believed that somehow he would return. He’d believed in her survival - he’d parcelled up the photo of her, her mother and Dawn and together with Mr Gordo, had posted them to be passed from demon to demon to find her after the end had happened.

Well, she had nothing of Spike’s to send him, to show him how she felt, except -

She hesitated. She would have to admit something to herself that she’d buried in the very depths of her soul for years. Not so much a case of out of sight, out of mind, more like never ever, ever happened.

‘Scared, Goldilocks?’ came a sardonic voice inside her head.

Buffy squared her shoulders and sat up straighter. ‘Never!’ she said aloud, her voice echoing round Giles’ empty apartment. ‘And if you ever mention this to anybody, ever, I will kill you all over again!’

She turned the pig over and cut gently through the stitches holding his tummy together. The material split open easily as if it had been cut and restitched before. Buffy wriggled two fingers inside and felt something crackling. Sheets of paper. She pulled the folded squares out and laid them on the table in front of her.

She felt tears begin to burn her eyes and brushed them away, impatiently. Her fingers were trembling as she unfolded the thin sheets that she’d stored away years ago.

In front of her lay her wedding lists - the guests, the presents, big and small, and the seating plan, the details of flowers and bridesmaids, the music and all the food needed for the reception. All done for her and Spike‘s wedding - written with such love and enthusiasm when Willow had cast her little lust spell on them.

‘I was so happy,’ she whispered, remembering.

When the spell had been broken and things had gone back to normal - or what passed for normal in those days - she’d sneaked back to Giles’ house when he was out and found the clipboard with all her lists pinned to it.

She’d meant to tear them up, burn them, make some grand gesture in front of Spike to show him exactly how horrified she’d been to find herself kissing him, to discover they’d actually been engaged.

But she hadn’t. She’d taken them home, and without even reading them again, she’d folded them up very small and hidden them inside Mr Gordo. And then she’d forced herself to forget they were there. Until now.

She smiled as she read them again. Spike had been right; she had asked for ‘Wind beneath my Wings’ for their first dance, but she’d forgotten that he’d wanted her to walk up the aisle to the theme tune from the X-Files.

There was the seating plan, with Xander’s name being put in and crossed out and put in again, several times at various tables, getting further and further back away from the bride and groom. That was Spike’s writing.

There was even a little scribble across the top of one sheet of paper that she translated as ‘Don’t forget to ask Riley to wedding.’


Buffy touched the lists again. She wanted desperately to keep them, but knew this was her sign of faith. Her way of showing whatever powers that be existed out there, that she did believe that Spike could come back to her.

She found an envelope in Giles’ study and put the lists inside, then she hesitated over what to write as an address. She had to send her ‘faith gesture’ somewhere, otherwise it wouldn’t be a gesture. She had to believe that at the end of the day, Spike would one day see it, read the lists and know what she was still feeling.

She would have sent it to Clem, but had no idea where he would be. She wasn’t at all sure if ‘demon post’ worked across the Atlantic, and besides, she wasn’t too happy to go looking for one in the refined streets of Bath.

She sighed. There was only one person who could she trust with this - one person who would know what to do, and however much he hated the idea, would pass the package on to Spike. Angel.

Without stopping to think any further, Buffy scribbled his name and address on the envelope. She wrote ‘Please pass these on to Spike’ on a scrap of paper and put that inside with the lists. She glanced at the clock on Giles’ desk. The morning was racing past. She still had to sort out the plane tickets for her and Dawn to travel on to Italy.

She picked up her jacket and the envelope and raced out of the house.

The beautiful city of Bath was busy, the pavements crowded with tourists, admiring the architecture, heading for the Roman baths, the expensive shops, walking the streets that Jane Austen had mentioned in her novels, pointing out places to each other in excitement.

And the travel agency was full to bursting; people were waiting five or six in line at each desk. Buffy groaned. ‘Why does everyone want to make their travel plans today,’ she wailed out loud. ‘Giles will kill me if I don’t get these tickets organised. Oh - I’m so sorry! Did I hurt you?’

She’d turned too fast and knocked against a little old lady standing behind her in the doorway, almost sending her crashing to the floor.

Buffy reached out and steadied her. ‘I’m sorry. Hey, do you feel OK? Did I hurt you?’ She gazed round desperately, but no one else seemed bothered. ‘Can I get you a glass of water? Would you like to sit down?’

The old lady gave a dry little gasp. ‘Oh, thank you my dear. No, I’m not hurt, but just a little shaken. Would you mind if I sat on that seat over there for just a moment, just until I feel quite right.’

Buffy gently took her arm and led her across to a bench under some trees. The gentle shade was soothing. She sat down, too, knowing she couldn’t just walk away.

‘You’re an American, my dear, I can tell by your accent.’

‘Yes, that’s right. I’m Buffy Summers. I’m from California.’

‘Buffy - what an odd name. I’m Miss Lucilla McGregor. Beautiful weather I believe you have in California, and oranges grow there?’

Buffy laughed. ‘Yes they do, and we have smog sometimes and endless traffic in places, but it’s home.’

‘And are you here on holiday?’

A shadow crossed Buffy’s face and she pulled the envelope out of her bag, to check it was still there. ‘No, my sister and I - well, we lost our mother a few months ago and several friends in that earthquake I expect you read about. So we’re going to Italy for a while – I’ve got a job there. I was going to buy the tickets when I bumped into you.’

‘But you’re not happy about going to Italy,’ Miss McGregor said shrewdly.

‘Oh yes, well, that is I was, but you see, there was this man...well, he wasn’t actually a man, I mean, he was...but, oh it’s very complicated. Anyway, he....he went away and I need to let him know, if he comes back, that is, that....’ she stammered herself to a halt.

Miss McGregor pulled a lace handkerchief out of her voluminous handbag and patted her pale cheeks. ‘And do you love this man?’ she asked with interest.

Buffy bit her lip. ‘Yes,’ she said softly. ‘But he doesn’t believe me. And he must.’

‘And do you really believe he will come back?’

There was a long pause, then, ‘I don’t know why I believe, but yes, I do. It’s as if...’ she laughed nervously but somehow she could say things to this dear old soul that she could never have said to Willow or Giles.

‘It’s as if we’re connected by a sort of thread and although it’s worn very thin, it still hasn’t broken. I feel he’s lost and if I could just tug on the end of it, he’d know where to come to.’

‘And is that letter for him?’

‘Yes, I’m sending it to a – a friend to give to him if....when....’

‘The Post Office closes very soon, dear, if you want it to go off today,’ Miss McGregor said softly.

Buffy groaned. ‘Oh no. I need stamps and I simply must get these flights booked.’

The old lady gave a little cough. ’I never married myself, but I have been in love and although I’m sure you can’t imagine a silly old woman like me feeling such things, I do know what great emotions can do to you.’

‘Did he...did he die, in the War, perhaps?’

Miss McGregor smiled. ‘Oh no, my dear. He died...well, he died a long time ago. I met him when I was travelling abroad. It was a very fleeting romance. He was much enamoured at the time with another. They’d had an argument, we met at a party, I fell in love, he didn’t. It’s an old and very silly tale and I’m sure you don’t want to bother with it when you’re so preoccupied.

‘Now, I hate to presume and I’m sure you have no reason to trust me with such an important errand, but I am going to the Post Office myself, to collect my pension, you know. It would be no problem at all to have your little package stamped and sent on its way.’

Buffy’s eyes shone with thanks. ‘Would you really? Oh, that would be great. Look, here’s some money. Could you send it airmail? I feel....I’ve been told...it needs to get there fast.’

‘Too right, luv,’ the voice in her head drawled.

Miss McGregor watched as the young American girl hurried back into the travel agency. So that was the Slayer. Well, well. She’d been told that there were many now, but this one was very lovely and so full of life. She could understand what William had seen in her, why he’d fallen in love....

She swayed slightly as she recalled an evening sixty years before, oh how she’d loved him, had yearned for him to turn her, so she could be by his side. But he hadn’t. He’d refused, but ...she reached up and touched the scar that lay hidden beneath the high collar on her lace blouse.

All she’d ever wanted was for him to be happy. The powers knew that and so she’d been given this task...

Buffy didn’t see when the frail hands opened the brown envelope, or when an ornate amulet she would have instantly recognised was taken from Miss McGregor’s bag and placed inside.

It was late when she came out of the travel agency with the tickets; the old lady had gone. The sun was setting and a little breeze ruffled her hair. The crowds had thinned and the rush hour traffic had died away. She sighed. n a few days she and Dawn would be in Italy, about to begin a new life. It was what he’d wanted. One of the reasons he’d given his life.

Buffy turned towards the west, where she’d left her soul mate, her best friend, her heart – and wondered.

To be continued

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