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Brave New World by JamesMFan
Thirty Years
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Thirty years.

Buffy couldn’t help thinking what an odd figure that was. It wasn’t as pathetic as say a mere ten years but not anywhere near as dramatic as a hundred. She also couldn’t completely comprehend it. Thirty years passing by without her knowing it seemed very wrong to her and she didn’t believe it. It crossed her mind that maybe she was in an alternate dimension. That would make sense considering how much seemed to have changed. However, she thought it was a much simpler explanation.

“Spike, don’t dick me around,” she stood and stretched. “I’ve been through too much crap today to pretend I understand your British humour.”

He stood too and shook his head. “Not joking. Haven’t seen you since you jumped through that portal almost thirty years to this day.”

“That was about five hours ago!”

Spike swallowed. “Maybe where you were.”

And that phrase reminded her of a conversation they’d had a year ago. Where she had told him about how it had felt longer when she was in heaven than the 147 days he had professed it to be.

She looked him the eyes and saw that he wasn’t joking. He really meant it had been thirty years since they’d last been in a room together. Yet to her it had been only hours. Everything had changed for him and yet she remained the same. Pretty much reversing the usual vampire/human relationship.

A feeling of panic started in her gut and she felt nauseous. He was a completely different Spike. One who had brown hair and wore suits and worked for something called H.U. One who, now that she studied him close, wore a wedding ring on his left hand.

Buffy took several steps backward, recoiling. Moulding herself into the corner of the cell furthest away from him.

He noticed her gaze. “Right. Yeah. About that…”

Married. Married?! How could he be married? How could Spike have gotten married in the five hours they had spent apart?

“You’ve got to understand, I…we tried…Willow, she –”

He was trying to get an explanation out but Buffy held a hand up to him. Willow. Willow and Xander and Giles and Dawn! Thirty years had passed, thirty years in which everything and anything could have happened. They would be so different. They’d look different. Smell different. Feel different.

She was still trying to figure all this out when Coleman and two uniformed officers burst into the cell with Norman flapping his arms and babbling behind them. Coleman grabbed her shoulder and shoved her face-first into the wall, yanking her arms behind her back. Buffy knew what he was doing but didn’t even try to stop him; she was still too caught up in her whole life being turned upside down.

Spike held his hands up. “There’s no need for that. There’s been a misunderstanding!”

They didn’t listen to him. The two officers were trying to usher him out of the cell but he was shoving them off and making them considerably angrier. One of them even brought out the stick weapon that liked to knock people out.

Coleman screeched at him. “Put that away!”

The officer looked pissed off but did as he said.

“We’re going to have you for this, Summers,” Coleman hissed in her ear, as he cuffed her. “You’ve sealed the deal by attacking H.U’s top man.”

Top man. Buffy looked over her shoulder at Spike who was trying to calm down the officers but then breaking into swear words and insulting them when it didn’t work.

Norman was shaking his head erratically. “No, he attacked her!”

“Shut it, Wagner.” Coleman spat.

Spike held his hands up like an Evangelist preacher. “She’s a Slayer!”

The whole room went silent then and, to Buffy, seemed to halt. Nobody moved, as if posing in a freeze-frame. Coleman broke the stillness by backing away from her in what she supposed was fear. The two officers pointed their evil knocking-out sticks at her.

“Somebody get the Slayer restraints!” Coleman shouted.

One of the officers scurried out of the door as Buffy turned around to face the room. Coleman took another step back. Spike took a step forward. Norman just stood rooted still.

The lawyer spoke, confused. “Then why did she kill that man?”

“Because he was a vampire,” Spike said eyes still locked on her.


Buffy laughed bitterly. “So? It’s kind of my job description, Norman. I slay vampires. I’m a Vampire Slayer, hello!”

Norman frowned. “Slayers haven’t been called ‘Vampire Slayers’ for over ten years.”

“She doesn’t know that,” Spike said softly.

It was pretty much then that everything seemed to sink in. How it wasn’t just the people around her who had changed but the world itself. How her calling seemed to have become obsolete and how she really didn’t know anything anymore. She’d become an outsider. Like a caveman stumbling into the modern day world, killing without thinking, completely unaware of how societies rules had changed.

Coleman turned to the vampire. “And how exactly do you know that? You’ve got about five seconds to tell me what the fuck is going on.”

That’s what she wanted to know too. She wanted to know what the fuck was going on and she wanted to know how she could get back her world, her time.

“She’s been in a parallel universe a…a holding place, a waiting room if you want, for thirty years. She doesn’t know how the world has changed,” Spike answered Coleman but his eyes were for her. “Buffy’s still living by 2003’s rules and laws, or lack thereof.”

“Bullshit!” The detective snorted.

Norman looked intrigued. “That would make her a…time traveller!”

“Is that such a stretch of the imagination, considering how much has changed in the past few decades?” Spike asked them.

Buffy wondered how much exactly had changed in the years she had supposedly been gone. It had only been thirty years. Only thirty years she scowled, self-deprecating thirty years is a long time. Too long. But she still found it hard to believe that in thirty years vampires had seemingly become on par with humans in the right to ‘life’ stakes. No pun intended.

Coleman snorted. “I can’t believe you, of all people, are defending her with this crock of shit. Wagner mentioned you seemed to know her. Is this true? Sounds like a conflict of interests to me. We should get someone else assigned to her case.”

Buffy and Norman both jumped when Spike grabbed the man around the throat and slammed him up against the wall. It seemed thirty years had turned Spike into a serial neck-grabber. The cop’s eyes bugged out but he said nothing.

“Listen to me, you tosser!” Spike whispered coldly to him. “You’ll do nothin’ of the sort. In fact, you’ll release her into my custody. She’s the Council’s problem now, you got me?”

“She’s a murderer! She’s not above the law.” Coleman spat back.

The vampire growled. “I think it’s fair to say she has a set of special circumstances. She’ll be tried by the Council and H.U, if she’s tried at all. They own her. Not you.”

Buffy didn’t like the idea that she was owned by anyone but if it got her out of the god-awful cell she was willing to let it slide. And when she was free she would get the hell away from this place and this Spike and find Giles. He would know what to do.

The officer came running back in holding a pair of handcuffs that looked about five times thicker than normal reinforced cuffs. He moved towards her. Buffy had had enough of this shit. She pulled her wrists apart and snapped the cuffs as if they had been made of elastic bands. Then she waved her now free hands at the cop. He halted where he was.

Buffy, now adorned with some fetching handcuff bracelets, turned to face Coleman who was eyeing her with disdain. Spike let go of his neck grudgingly and the detective straightened up, rubbing his neck.

“I’m going to need official word from the Council,” he croaked. “I won’t release her until they fax the appropriate documents through. That’s final. Try to take her before and I won’t have any qualms about bringing out the wooden bullets.”

Spike rolled his eyes. “Little melodramatic, but I’ll play nice. For now. Get them on the phone and while you’re at it get Miss Summers a coffee and a few of those nice donuts you fellas love so much.”

Coleman glared at him, practically radiating ‘fuck off’ as he and the other two cops sloped out of the room. They left the door open, perhaps in some sort of show of good faith. Or maybe they really did trust Spike. Which was new: the whole Spike being trusted and respected part.

“God, this is just…wow,” Norman flushed, rubbing his face. “I just…wow. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask you to keep me on as your lawyer, Buffy. I’d love a chance to represent you at the Council Trial.”

Spike shook his head. “I don’t think so, fledge. If there’s a trial she’s getting the best lawyers –”

“Thanks, Norman. I’d like that.” Buffy nodded to the boy.

“Oh, thank you. Oh. I’m going to have to call my boss to let him know what’s going on. This is…really, this is groundbreaking stuff!” Norman practically sang as he ran out of the cell.

This left the vampire and the Slayer standing face to face on opposite sides of the small cell. She’d always felt that Spike knew her better than some of her friends but now he was almost a stranger. In that moment Buffy had never felt more alone in her life.

“Buffy –” he started.

“I’m going to find Giles,” she interrupted. “I need him. He’s…he’ll fix this.”

Spike looked down at the floor and rubbed his forehead. “There’s nothing to fix, Buffy.”

“I need Giles.”

He looked up, forehead creased. “I don’t know how to say this. I’m not good at this type of thing. A lot of time has passed since…we…Buffy, we lost Giles.”

“Lost him.” Buffy blinked, her body going still. A small laugh escaped. “Well, we’ll have to find him then. I’ll find him.”

Spike shook his head, slowly, eyes sad. “He’s gone. So is Dawn.”
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