Title : Second Chance

Author : Sophie

Part : 1/1

Disclaimer : Not mine

Rating : PG

Spoilers : The Killer in me

Summary : What if the Initiative hadn't show up and Buffy had to deal with another solution?

Buffy was watching the phone very intensely, as if she could make it ring with only the power of her stare.

Unfortunately, she didn't have that power. All the powers she had were totally useless right now.

She went down to the basement, knowing she would find Spike in the same position, lying on the cot, his body sometimes shaken by another attack. But he had been unconscious for some time now, so he probably wasn't really feeling it anymore. Although that was not really a comforting thought.

Buffy sat next to him on the cot, fighting tears. He didn't deserve to go that way. Slain by a stupid chip in his head. Technically, he would not die. He would just end up like this, like a vegetable.

Yesterday evening, he had asked her to stake him. To put an end to his suffering, but she couldn't. There was still a possibility that Riley could call. She had even gone to the Initiative caves, but there was nothing left. When she had got back home, Spike had slipped into unconsciousness. And as the next day had passed, Buffy had the dreadful feeling that he wouldn't wake up anymore.

He was gone.

Reality hit her and she let the tears run freely on her cheeks. There would be no way to bring him back.

She caressed his face, still amazed by its softness. It had been a few months now, but she remembered all too clearly the softness of his skin, the wonderful feeling of his body against hers, the way they fitted perfectly.and she remembered the nice moments spent talking, in bed or on her back porch, and fighting side by side.Why did you always realized those things when it was too late?

She leaned on him, brushing his lips with a kiss.

"I love you, Spike," she said through her tears. "You can rest now."

As soon as she had said the words, a white light flashed in the basement. A woman appeared, bathed in light. Her skin was a pale blue, with golden patterns. She was wearing a white toga.

Buffy was distracted from her grief for a minute and watched the woman, stunned.

"Who are you?" she finally asked.

"I'm a messenger from the Powers-That-Be. I'm here to help you."

"Oh.you are those higher beings helping Angel, right?"

"Exactly. He was the only vampire with a soul, until William got one of his own. So we took interest in him as well. It's not everyday you see a vampire reaching for redemption like he did."

"But what good did it bring him?" Buffy asked in an angry tone. "Look at him. He didn't deserve this. He's a good man."

"And that's why I'm here. I've got a proposition for you."

A flicker of hope lit up Buffy's eyes and heart.

"Can you bring him back?"

"Unfortunately, no, we are not allowed to do that. But we can give him back what was stolen from him all those years ago."

"What do you mean?" Buffy asked, confused.

"I can bring you back to 1880 on that fatal day to kill the vampire that turned him. And he would have a second chance to live a good and fulfilling life."

"But then I would never know him."

"No, you wouldn't."

"Can't you bring me back to just before the Initiative kidnapped him?" she asked without thinking.

"In that case, without the implant of the chip, he will probably end up killing your friends. He did try to kill the witch, didn't he?"

Buffy nodded. Of course. The chip had made him turn to them for help. All his actions and decisions afterwards had been his own choice. But it was the chip that had brought him here in the first place.

So there was only one option. She had no idea if this is what he would have wanted. She remembered him telling Dawn once that he was a total geek back in his human days, 'a stupid git writing bloody stupid poetry' were his own words. And he had told her that getting killed had made him feel alive for the first time. So who was she to decide to bring him back to a life that was apparently unsatisfying?

"I know what you're thinking," said the Messenger, watching Buffy's emotions displayed on his face. "William was young when he was turned. He didn't know it of course, but he was supposed to have a very promising life. He was to become a renowned author, get married, have children and die old. Don't you think he deserves that second chance?"

With a sigh, Buffy got up. Yes, he deserved it, and much more. At least that was something she could do for him. Even if that meant erasing him from her life forever. After a last loving look at his face, she turned to the woman.

"Ok. I'm ready."

She had closed her eyes because of the blinding light, and when she opened them again, she was in a dark alleyway.

"Where are we?"

"This is the place where William was turned. Or rather, is about to be turned. Oh, here he comes."

Buffy watched in wonder as the human and century-old version of Spike appeared. If the situation hadn't been so sad, she would have probably burst out laughing at his clothing and his hair.

He was crying, and that broke her heart. Whoever he was, William or Spike, she had always hated to see him cry.

He sat on a bale of hay, tearing apart some papers.

Drusilla appeared.

"And I wonder... what possible catastrophe came crashing down from heaven and brought this dashing stranger to tears?" Buffy heard her say.

"This is your chance," whispered the Messenger.

With the stake that had appeared miraculously in her hand, Buffy snuck behind Drusilla and staked her without a second thought, changing in a second the course of his life.and hers.

Through the cloud of dust, Buffy saw William looking at her with amazement. He blinked, and Buffy feared for a moment that he would faint.

"What happened?" he asked, with a more upper-class accent than the one she was used to.

"Nothing to worry about," Buffy replied softly. "You can go home now. You're safe."

She smiled sadly, turned to leave. He put his hand on her arm. She shivered at his touch. Even with a bad hair day, this was Spike. Her Spike. She fought back new tears.

"Who are you?" he asked, his eyes meeting hers. Those same blue eyes she knew so well. She lost her focus for an instant.

"Uh.I'm Buffy. And I have to go. Take care of yourself," she said, wondering if she could have come up with a more lame line.

"Wait! Is there some way I can thank you for."

"Don't worry, it's ok."

She forced herself to leave, took two steps back, before coming back to him. Without a warning, she put a sweet kiss on his lips.

"I love you," she said, feeling the need to tell him. It didn't matter anymore, and he would probably think she was crazy, but at least he would have heard her say it once in his life.

She returned to the Messenger and the white light engulfed them once more.

She woke up in her bed. Startled, she looked at the alarm clock. 7:30 am. Had it all been a dream? She wondered, feeling hope and at the same time knowing that if it was, then she would find Spike in the same vegetative state. She got up, climbed down the stairs, passed in front of her sister and the Potentials gathered in the kitchen, opened the basement door and went down.

And she knew.

It hasn't been a dream. Because there were no chains anymore. No cot.

No Spike.

He was gone.

Or rather, he had never existed.

She sat on the last step, torn between bursting into tears and feeling happy for him, because wherever he was, he was probably at peace. Well, he was probably dead for a long time now, but he had had the chance to live a good life. Or so she hoped.

She got up, returned slowly in the kitchen. The girls were all looking at her.

"Are you ok?" Dawn asked. "Is there something in the basement?"

The girls all exchanged worried looks.

"No. I was.I was just looking for Spike," she answered, watching her sister's reaction.

"Who's Spike?"

And that was the last proof Buffy needed.

"Ah, uh.no one. Don't worry. Uh, bad dream. I'll get dressed."

She could see Dawn was a little freaked out by her behaviour. Who wouldn't be? And she would be the only one to live with the memory of him. She didn't even have someone to remember the nice moments they had shared. Which was probably for the best, because she didn't think she could just mention his name and not want to cry.

Her eyes fell on the calendar. Today was the 14th of February.

The first day of her life without Spike was Valentine's day.

She tried to do her job correctly that morning but it was so hard. A few students had come to talk about their problems, and she was incapable of recalling who they were or a word they said.

She was about to go see Principal Wood to tell him she was sick, when he walked out of his office. Another man was with him.

Buffy froze.

The man was the exact replica of Spike. Well, except for his hair, which was a light blond. And he was wearing a very elegant suit. But aside from that, it was him. His eyes, his cheekbones. His smile.

She paled and stumbled back on her chair.

"Buffy!" Principal Wood exclaimed while rushing to her. "Are you ok?"

She took a deep breath and tried to smile.

"I'm fine. I didn't had breakfast this morning, and I just felt a little dizzy."

"Then please take ten minutes and go eat a little something."

"I wouldn't mind a cup of coffee myself," the Spike clone said - and oh God, he had the same voice and the accent. "Maybe you can show me where it is?"

"Good idea. Buffy, let me introduce you to our new English literature teacher, David Atherton. David, this is Buffy Summers, our guidance counsellor."

"How do you do?" David said, taking her hand and shaking it. It felt warm. And he looked wonderfully.alive.

What is going on? Buffy asked herself, her head in turmoil. What does it mean?

"I'll see you later, then," Principal Wood told them and disappeared in his office. There was a moment of awkwardness and Buffy forced herself to get back to reality. She didn't want him to think she was weird or something. He would probably figure it out soon enough.

"They walked to the cafeteria and she decided for small talk.

"So, what brings you to California?"

He smiled again and her heart skipped a beat.

"Well, the sun, certainly. I'm living in London and it's awfully rainy, all the time. And this was a nice opportunity to work in an American high school. This town looks charming," he added.

Wait till the sun goes down, she thought.

"So, your name is Buffy. That's a funny coincidence."

"Uh.it is?"

"Yes. My great-great-great-grandfather, William, used to tell that story where one night he was saved by an angel called Buffy. The story was passed along throughout the generations. Kind of a family legend," he finished with a slight chuckle.

"It's a nice story," she smiled back.

A student passed them by in a rush and David spilled some coffee on his shirt.

"Bloody Hell," he muttered, taking a napkin to wipe it off.

"What did you say?" she exclaimed with a shock face.

He misinterpreted her expression.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I shouldn't curse in front of ladies," he said with an apologetic look.

"No, it's fine. It's just.I had a friend who used to say it as well. You just reminded me of him."

"Ok then. Say, as I'm new here, would you like to have dinner with me tonight, and you could tell me about the ins and outs of this place?"

Wow. Way more direct than his ancestor. There was definitely a Spikeish feeling about him.

She pondered for a moment. She couldn't go out with him just because he looked like Spike. But at the same time, she couldn't know what kind of man he was if she didn't get to know him better. And since they were supposed to work together.

"What am I thinking! It's Valentine's day. You probably already have plans," he said, but his eyes were clearly showing he hoped it was not the case.

"Actually, no, I don't. Dinner would be nice," she said with a smile.

"Brilliant! So, see you later, then, Buffy."


She watched him go with a funny feeling clutching her stomach. A mix of happiness, fear and confusion. But one thing was clear.

She, too, had been given a second chance.