Thanks to Megan for the beta! Sue, hope you like sweetie!
A/N: Because someone asked I'm going to try an explain things quickly. The Buffy in this chapter is Canon!Buffy. She's been resurrected, but not to her world. The other one, lets call her BizarroWorld!Buffy - she's dead, just like Canon!Buffy was. Is this making any sense?
Canon!Buffy = alive in BizarroWorld. BizarroWorld!Buffy = dead. Hope that clears it up!
Chapter 4: Remembering.
One moment Spike was standing before her, and the next he hit the floor with a loud thump, completely out cold. Buffy started, curling her knees up to her chest and pushing herself as far away as possible until her back was pressed up against the cold roughness of a concrete wall. Arms were wrapped tight around her knees as she began to slowly rock back and forth.
A little voice in her head was convinced this was all some sort of horrible nightmare, and it would pass so long as she closed her eyes and remained still. The logical side of her brain pointed out that in all the time she’d been gone, however long that may have been, she’d never experienced a nightmare before. All she’d felt was comfort. And now that was gone.
The tears started up again, rivers of salt tracking down her cheeks. Closing her eyes, Buffy dropped her head to her knees, calling a silent wish to return to the place she’d come from. Over and over again she repeated the mantra in her mind, forgetting everything but her desire to return.
Movement in front of her stilled her rocking for a moment, but resumed again when she realized it must be Spike coming to.
With a groan the vampire sat up, scratched at his head, and tried to remember why he was on a concrete floor.
Walkin’ through the cemetery, dropped the whiskey as I was…
“Bugger,” he muttered as he thought about the wasted liquor, before his train of thought continued.
…comin’ to the crypt to…
Spike gasped when he remembered, his eyes immediately darting around the small room. There, huddled in a corner, was Buffy. “No,” he murmured in disbelief.
It couldn’t be true; he couldn’t really be looking at the Slayer right now. She’d… she’d died.
Spike clenched his eyes shut and blinked them open, twice, not trusting his eyesight nor his alcohol addled brain. But both times he opened them she was still there. With two fingers he pinched his left forearm hard enough to leave a bruise, and winced at the pain. There was no denying that he was awake. And Buffy was still there.
His heart began to soar with happiness. She was back, she’d returned from the grave. And for the first time he was thankful for her ponce of a father’s demands about the burial arrangements. If Buffy had been in the ground, and had to claw her way through soil… he didn’t even want to finish the thought. Spike had done it himself and it was not a pleasant memory.
Lifting himself to his feet, Spike slowly began to approach the obviously traumatized girl.
It was funny what death did to a person. Apart from the act of removing oneself from a grave, Spike had reveled in his. The demon agreed with him, allowed him to be so much more than he had been in life. William the wannabe poet had been weak, too afraid to go after his hearts desires or speak his mind. When he became a vampire, William the Bloody—the disparaging nickname forced upon him by his so-called friends—took on a whole new meaning.
He murdered, raped, and pillaged, leaving a bloody trail in his wake, and had a damned good time while doing it. The Slayer of Slayers, he’d been this close to adding a third to his list of accomplishments. That had been the plan anyway. But no, he had to go and fall in love with this one, didn’t he.
Dru left him because of his ‘obsession’. Twice. Last he heard of her, she’d set up home in New York and had herself her own little gang of lackeys now. He was better off without her. Ever since the Initiative, ever since they’d put that little piece of plastic and metal in his brain, the desire to hunt, to feed from a warm body, and to kill, had faded. He wasn’t the man—the vampire—that Drusilla had known. And she no longer held the power over him that she used to.
The only woman who had power over him now was curled in a little ball a few feet from him.
Now that he thought about it, this wasn’t typical behaviour for Buffy. At least not the Buffy of the last few weeks before she died anyhow—that Buffy didn’t cry. She was as unemotional as she was strong.
Spike frowned. Maybe she was in shock; coming back from the dead could do that to a person.
“Buffy,” he murmured softly, then blinked as if remembering. He wasn’t supposed to address her on such a personal level.
When she didn’t answer him, he inched towards her, careful to avoid the scattered pieces of pine. She’d obviously heard or sensed his movement because she stopped rocking. He waited for a moment to see if she’d respond, but when she continued to ignore him he took a few more steps and then crouched in front of her.
Spike could see the tension in her shoulders, her body language practically screaming anxiety. The air was tinged with the smell of salt from her tears, the slight coppery tang hinting that she’d hurt herself when she’d broken out of her coffin.
“Slayer,” he said gently. Spike reached forward, his fingertips ghosting over her hair before coming to rest on her forearm.
Buffy’s reaction was instant, a startled cry escaping her lips as she flinched away from him. The Spike of old wouldn’t have taken the small movement personally, but that was before the woman before him shattered his heart into a million tiny pieces. Now everything she did or didn’t do, said or didn’t say, he took personally. Her pulling away like that, when all he was trying to do was offer comfort, caused a sting of rejection to stab into his un-beating heart. Spike felt rejected, again. But all the rejection in the world wasn’t going to make him stop caring. Buffy was hurt and she needed help.
Once more he tried to reach for her, immediately regretting it when her fist shot out and connected with his nose. And to think, under an hour ago you missed that… he thought sarcastically.
“Bloody hell,” Spike cursed, standing bolt upright and stalking away. “Try and do the right thing, help a girl, and a bloody nose is payment. Thanks a bunch, Slayer.”
Buffy’s wide scared eyes softened his angry expression, and once more he was struck by thoughts of how much this woman before him was so very much unlike the Slayer he knew. “Buf… Slayer,” he corrected, figuring a less personal moniker was more appropriate, especially considering their past. “You can’t stay here. Let me take you some place safe, somewhere we can bandage those mitts.”
Whether it was the distance between them, or the gentle yet somewhat forced tone of voice Spike was using, but this time it seemed that Buffy listened. Her eyes darted up to meet his, unshed tears causing them to glisten in the dim light. The stare was held for a moment before her gaze flickered to her cut and bloodied hands.
Spike watched her as she lifted them for closer examination, not missing the way they trembled. He didn’t think he’d ever seen her this way before, so scared, so lost. Well, except for that one Halloween when she’d dressed up as an eighteenth century maiden. At the time, Spike had reveled in her fear. This time it was he who was fearful, his worry for the Slayer’s state of mind consuming him. He was at a complete loss of what to do.
With Dru it had been easy. When she was frail or weak, or just plain out of her mind crazy—which to be honest was a great deal of the time—he knew what to do. Spike took care of his women. Something about being needed brought out strength in him, made him feel worthy. With Buffy it was a completely different story. She needed help, that was certain, but whether or not she would accept it was the issue.
Well then you won’t give her a choice…
When Buffy’s expression became a vacant stare, Spike decided if he were going to do anything to help her, now would be the opportune time. While she was obviously still very shaken up, she appeared to have mellowed out. He slowly approached the crouching slayer, trying to make his movements as unthreatening as possible. Obviously, he didn’t try hard enough.
Just as he was about to reach for her hand to lift Buffy to her feet, her left leg shot out and spun in a low arc, sweeping Spike off his feet, the vampire grunting as he hit the ground hard. If he’d been human, the fall probably would have knocked the air from his lungs. Before he could react the nimble slayer was straddling his hips. It had taken her under a second to drop him, and even less time to pin him to the floor, a splintered piece of wood from her coffin pressed hard against his chest.
Spike should’ve remembered how quickly Buffy could move when she wanted to.
He opened his mouth to address her, but before he could get the words out she had leapt from his hips and ran towards the crypt’s open door. Spike scrambled for purchase, finding his feet too late.
She was gone.
Spike didn’t know what to do. He’d scoured Restfield, hoping to find Buffy still inside its walls but as he’d suspected, she was not. The scent of her blood clung in the air near the locked gates at the east end—a smear of blood on the iron suggesting she’d grabbed onto the bars to haul herself over—but then the scent dissipated. Apart from the blood, there’d been no trace of her.
Logic told him that he should check the obvious places first: her home, Giles apartment, and the houses of her friends. Perhaps she’d go to one of them. This in itself presented a couple of problems, and not just the fact that the group was no longer on pleasant speaking terms, things that Buffy would be completely unaware of. The white hats had fallen apart since her death, although the cracks had been there in the weeks leading up to it. How they would take to seeing her, Spike didn’t know. More importantly, Buffy wouldn’t know where to look for them. His instincts told him to check their old dwellings, that they were people she would try and make contact with first, but he could be wrong. He hadn’t expected her to press a stake to his chest but she had done just that. Where ever Buffy was, she would be alone.
Which is why Spike had to locate her now.
Finding himself on the main street and realizing there was far too much ground to cover by himself, Spike riffled through his pockets for some change and made his way towards the nearest pay phone. Dropping in some coins he dialed a number and waited as it rang. After a few rings it was finally picked up at the other end.
“Willow, it’s about Buffy,” Spike blurted out quickly, his eyes scanning the street for sign of the missing slayer.
“Spike,” Willow sighed impatiently. “Buffy’s--”
“Alive,” Spike interrupted. “I was visitin’ her grave and sh--”
“How much have you had to drink tonight, Spike?” Willow questioned, interrupting Spike’s explanation. This wasn’t the first time the vampire had called convinced the Slayer was still alive.
“’Bout half a bottle, but that’s not the point. She’s alive. I saw her.”
Willow sighed again. “Spike, I don’t know how many times we’ve gone through this. Buffy’s dead. She died over four months ago, remember?”
“God dammit Red, bloody well listen to me!” Spike roared with frustration. “She’s back.” He tried to think of something to say to prove to the wiccan that what he was telling her was the truth. A thought occurred to him, eyes going wide in realization. “She was wearin’ a green shirt and those black trousers she used to patrol in.”
The other end of the line was silent for a good thirty seconds. What Willow had initially brushed off as a drunken dream was suddenly given more credence. Buffy’s funeral had been during the day so Spike had been unable to attend. Furthermore, he hadn’t been around when Willow and Giles had selected the outfit to bury her in, the vampire unable to bear being anywhere near the Slayer’s house.
“Spike,” Willow finally spoke. “Where is she now?”
“I don’t know,” he answered. “That’s why I called. She took off, could be anywhere. Too many damned places in this town she could be. Which is why I called, I could use some hel--”
“I’m sorry Spike,” Willow cut in. “I’ve got my hands full at the moment.”
Spike clenched his jaw as anger began to simmer beneath the surface. He knew things between the once best friends had been anything but friendly at the end, but he didn’t see how that should be an issue right now. Buffy was alive, alone, and probably scared out of her mind.
“Can’t you get someone to look after Ta--”
“No, I can’t. I’m sorry, Spike.”
Before he could argue the line went dead.
“Bloody HELL!” With a violent tug he ripped the receiver away from the pay phone, throwing it down the street. Stepping outside the booth, he shouted with rage, almost as if Willow were standing there to hear him. “She was your FRIEND!”
The urge to be violent, to cause destruction—and even pain—was almost too much to ignore. But Spike knew the longer he wasted trying to make himself feel better, the longer it was going to be that Buffy would be out there, alone. He couldn’t bear the thought of her being out there by herself, especially after what she had just gone through. All reminders of how badly she’d treated him before her death were suddenly banished from his mind. What mattered right now was finding Buffy and taking her somewhere safe.
Spike was alone in this but he didn’t let that deter him. He was just going to have to find Buffy himself.
A/N: Hope you all like, feedback is loved so any comments or questions would be greatly appreciated!
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