Chapter Notes:

We now come to the conclusion of anything vaguely resembling canon ;-) Well . . . maybe not anything. And a quick reminder that the entirety of part II only spanned September through early December -_-u man, we packed a lot in there, ne? (oh, sorry, watching anime again . . . um, ne would be kinda a cross between "no" and "huh" And the little face with the "u" is a sweatdrop. Do non anime people use sweatdrops?)

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Epilogue

Ben was dead. Glory was dead.

His eyes were open, only the whites visible, and Dawn stepped forward, intent on closing the lids, only to be stopped by a firm hand on her elbow.

"Can't touch anything," Spike reminded her.

Dawn immediately fell back a step. Right. No touching. No prints. They'd been so careful not to be seen coming in, but that caution was worthless if she forgot herself.

Still, Ben deserved some respect for what he'd done. She bowed her head and offered up a prayer.

She didn't feel as bad as she expected. Actually, she was feeling pretty good. Maybe it was because, in some ways, Ben had already been dead for her. Really, he had always been dead. From the moment Glory was forced into his body he was doomed. But he'd taken a stand, done the right thing, so it was a good death this time around. Maybe it was terrible of her to think that made things better, but with her life she kind of had to. Ben had no family to mourn him, and he was still pretty new in town, so he didn't have many friends. If one person had to die to save everyone else? Well, better him than Buffy.

Better him than Buffy.

The phrase echoed through her mind and she stumbled as her knees nearly gave out.

"Oi, you okay?" Spike asked, lending a steadying arm.

Dawn nodded. "We did it," she said quietly.

"We did. And now we need to go," Spike urged.

Dawn nodded her agreement, but her brain was still stuck in the overwhelming relief. The hardest part of her plan had gone off without a hitch.

Spike used his vampy senses to verify the coast was clear, and the latex gloves she'd brought to open the door. Ben didn't live in the most affluent neighborhood, but it was nice enough that it was quiet at this time of night. No one saw them leave.

Halfway back to Revello Drive, Dawn collapsed to the ground, shaking, and laughing uncontrollably.

She threw her head back, arms spread wide. "We did it. God, we did it!"

Spike looked startled at first, and then he smiled down at her indulgently. "We did. Now I think we should get you up off the ground and inside where no one can see your crazy hysterics." He paused. "Might best stop by my crypt until your high wears off. Don't want your sis to think you've been drinking."

Dawn rolled her eyes, but let him pull her to her feet, too ecstatic to be put off by his nay-saying.

Glory was gone. There would be no tower, no bloodletting, no portal. Buffy wasn't going to die. Buffy wasn't going to die, and Willow wouldn't have to resurrect her. Which meant no super-depressed Buffy waling on Spike, and no doorway for the First Evil to slip back through. And no First Evil meant no Spike dying, and no hiding in LA without telling Buffy. Which meant no second death all alone and unloved for either of them.

Because now that the dying thing was out of the way, they had all the time in the world to get together. It was Buffy's pain after her resurrection that ruined the budding relationship between the two super beings the first time around. Without that, Dawn had no doubt Spike would eventually win her sister over. How could he not? It was hard to refuse love that powerful. Buffy had a few more hangups to work through, but Dawn could totally help with that. Her sister was already more willing to move past Angel this time around. The future was looking better already.

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Spike managed to get Dawn on her feet. She hugged him and, when she didn't show any signs of letting go soon, he shifted her around so that they could walk without tripping over one another. Been ages since he walked like this with anyone, all wrapped up together. He pressed a quick kiss to the top of her head while she was distracted. Never had a little sister, but he imagined this was what it felt like.

He was proud of her, even if she was acting like a lunatic. She had every right to be chuffed.

Had to admit, he'd not expected her plan to go off so well. Part of him was still waiting for the other shoe to drop. This was the hellmouth – mix in a dash of time travel and something bad was bound to happen. Almost thought it was all going to come crashing down when the hellbitch reared her head. But it'd been too late.

Bitch was dead.

"Think you can help me out here, Bit?" he asked. He nudged her forward a step.

Dawn only giggled in response.

Spike took stock of their surroundings. They were in an industrial area. The spot of sidewalk Bit had chosen for her breakdown looked to border a construction site of some kind. There was no one about, but if this site was active a security guard was bound to pop by eventually.

He rolled his eyes and shuffled them forward another few steps. Dawn stumbled along with him, forced to move her feet or be dragged.

"We did it," she kept repeating. "We actually did it."

He smiled despite himself, fondness bubbling up from the place where his heart used to beat. Cor, but she was an adorable little thing, wasn't she? Security guard be hanged, she deserved her moment.

Would have gotten it too if the wind hadn't picked up the moment he stopped walking. It sounded like a freight train and looked like a hurricane in a bottle. A teeming, writhing thing that bubbled and screamed, but never broke out of a neat little sphere.

That was what convinced him this was no natural storm. The violent sphere hovered in the air not half a dozen meters from them. Spike squinted in defense against the peripheral gusts and noted that the storm seemed confined to the construction site.

Yeah, definitely of supernatural origin, this. It was no trifling thing either; he could feel the power radiating off it in waves. As if taking down one Big Bad tonight wasn't enough? Unless this was the reason the Bit was so determined to do it now.

Beside him Dawn had gone eerily still, which seemed to confirm his suspicion. She knew something, she must.

"Dawn, what is this?" Spike yelled over the maelstrom.

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Chapter End Notes:

Stay tuned for consequences and more consequences

Thanks to all the lurkers who reviewed last chapter for the first time! And thanks to all of you who make an effort to review every time. I truly do appreciate it.

And now . .. Coming next weekend *drumroll* consequences, sci-fi, and Spuffy! Well, maybe not all in next Saturday's posting, but, you know, in general for Part III.

reenasas