Summary- There are two vampires with a soul. The world is falling into chaos because of this anomaly. There is no way around it. One of them has to die. But which one?
Spoilers- This takes place after Buffy's Chosen and Angel's Destiny
Disclaimer- Joss Whedon owns all the characters from BTVS and ATS. I'm just borrowing. Although, I'm kinda reluctant to give back a certain bleach blonde
It had been four months since the battle with the First. Buffy hadn't spoken of that day since. Dawn and she had separated from the others, traveling the land of Europe. A vacation, Buffy had called it. And Dawn had agreed. They both needed a break. The siblings reveled in the normal bustle that surrounded them. They were just two regular girls seeing the sites and bonding.
After awhile, Dawn began to get worried, though. Buffy kept suggesting new places to go. She never mentioned going back. She acted as if they had always been on the move, and that they had never faced an ancient incorporeal evil.
Dawn had brought up the past herself, but was shot down quickly.
"Are we ever going back?" Dawn asked her sister.
Buffy had barely glanced at her. "We will. . . Hey, ya wanna go see that castle? Herrenchiemsee Castle? Did I say that right?"
"Yeah, Buffy. Whatever."
Buffy was stalling. This trip had far passed breakage. It had ventured into fleeing territory. Buffy knew it. Dawn knew it. And Buffy knew that Dawn knew it. But neither said anything. They continued to explore the beautiful sites and exotic food.
The truth was that Dawn wished the same thing Buffy did. She never wanted to join the others in Cleveland. She longed to pretend they were nobodies, who had done nothing special; and would never do anything special. Deep inside she knew that wasn't possible. The new slayers needed guidance. Faith was taking charge, but she couldn't handle the job alone.
They stayed inside that morning because it was raining. Normally Buffy would have dragged Dawn out first thing to start their fun-a-thon. Instead they stayed inside, Buffy watching a few French shows she didn't understand, and Dawn writing in her new diary.
She was on her third page of ranting when the phone rang. Dawn's adjoining room had a phone. She reached over and picked up. She was about to say hello when she heard her sister beat her to it.
Dawn straightened. Giles. And he sounded serious.
"Giles? I'm surprised to hear from you."
"Yes, well. . . It has been quite difficult getting a hold of you. You haven't staid in one hotel for long."
"There is just so much to see. So much to do," Buffy chirped.
Too cheerful, Dawn thought. It's all an act.
"I trust France is treating you well then," Giles stated.
"Oh yeah! Tons! It's treating us real well. Dawn and I are having a blast here. Yesterday we saw the Eiffel Tower. Then we ate at this maga cool restaurant outdoors. I had the Salade de Tomates et Mozzarella. And Dawn had the Soo. . . So. . . ffle au From something or other. The swiss cheese thingy."
"Yes, yes. Souffl¢ e au Fromage?"
"You speak French?"
"A little," he admitted.
"And here I thought you only knew Latin and Aramaic. Wow, Giles, I'm impressed."
There was a sigh from Giles. Here it comes, Dawn thought, the big bombshell. Something dark is about to rise in Sunny. . . Cleveland. I can practically hear him cleaning his glasses.
"Buffy, I'm afraid you should cut your vacation short. I have made a discovery that concerns you."
"A discovery?" Buffy spoke slowly. "Bad discovery? Or good discovery?"
"I wish I could be the bearer of good news. But I am sorry to say that this qualifies as dire. I have uncovered a prophecy."
"I'm not dying again."
"No, no! It isn't about you at all actually."
"I don't understand," Buffy said. "Why are you telling me then?"
"Because the text is about Angel."
"There is to be another apocalypse soon. I'm a little fuzzy on the date. The scroll I found speaks of a champion. A vampire with a soul. He will sacrifice himself to save all, with the heart of love. Because of this selfless act he shall be granted a reward."
There was silence.
"Buffy?" Giles asked after a moment.
"Yeah? I'm here."
"I think the news would be best sent by you. Everyone is quite busy here. Besides, I think Angel would feel most comfortable talking with you."
"D-Does it say what the reward is?" Buffy asked.
"No, it doesn't. Its precise words are: He shall be rewarded from the light above."
"The light above," Buffy mumbled. "Sunlight?"
"It could be a metaphor, Buffy."
"I have booked a flight tomorrow -"
"Dawn and I are going to Italy tomorrow!" Buffy violently interrupted.
"Buffy, I'm sorry to ruin your plans, but this is very important. Even if you don't deliver this news there is the matter of -"
"Apocalypse. Yada yada yada. Well, big news, Giles, I'm not the slayer anymore. I'm 'a' slayer. And this slayer is taking a leave of absence. I think I deserve it."
"Yes, you do. But that doesn't change the fact that-"
"Bye, Giles. I'll send a postcard."
There was a click.
"Buffy?" A pause followed. "Buffy, are you there?"
"She hung up," Dawn told Giles. "I'll try to reason with her. Bye, Giles."
With that, Dawn hung up as well. The dial tone filtered into Dawn's right ear. Dawn removed the receiver and stared at it. Buffy hung up on Giles. Buffy hung up on Giles!
Dawn exited her room. She made her way into the small sitting area of their suite. She found Buffy opening her blue suitcase.
"Hey, Dawnie. How does Italy sound?" Buffy said.
Instead of answering, Dawn changed the subject. "Who was on the phone?"
"Oh, that was Giles. He was just checking up on us."
The teen crossed her arms. She frowned. "Liar."
Buffy turned her head. "Huh?"
"Liar," Dawn repeated. "He wasn't checking up on us. I heard the whole conversation."
"Oh my God, you were listening in on my conversation!? I so knew that having a phone in your room was bad. I was imagining you calling some French boy at two in the morning. But this. . ." Buffy shook her head. "That was private, Dawn."
"It concerns me too. Buffy, I want to go home," Dawn said.
There was a choked laugh from her sister. "Home is rubble in a giant crater."
"Home is where our friends are. They need us," Dawn corrected. "We can't run forever."
"I'm not running. I'm just not ready to go back yet."
"When then? When will you be ready to go back? One year? Two? Twenty?"
"Please, Dawnie." The slayer's voice was soft. Pleading. "I can't."
"Buffy, I know this is hard."
"You think this is hard!? You don't know the definition of hard. Try being the slayer and then tell me what hard is."
Dawn's eyes grew larger. "That isn't fair!"
"People are dead. I was their leader. You don't know what it is like to know that they are gone because of you. If I go back I'll have to face that. I'll have to remember."
"You knew some weren't going to make it."
Buffy closed her eyes. She gripped the edge of the green armchair. "But I didn't know 'he' wouldn't make it."
"I told him to leave. He had finished what he was supposed to do. But he wouldn't go. He had to be the hero."
"Spike," Dawn whispered.
"I thought I had time," Buffy went on. "That he'd always be around. He was a vampire, ya know. Supposed to keep on going and going like the Energizer Bunny. He wasn't supposed to die!"
She watched as Buffy fell apart. She had no idea what to say or do.
"I should have made him go. I should have done something. But I left. He told me to go and I did." Buffy shook. She opened her eyes, but it seemed as if they were seeing something else. Something four months ago. "I knew that he was the one. I wanted to become a cookie for him. Except it was too late. Time was up."
Dawn scrunched up her forehead. Cookie? This wasn't the time to comment on Buffy's peculiar way of thinking, though. So she kept quiet.
Buffy met Dawn's gaze. "Why is it that we don't realize how important something is until it is gone?"
"Did you love him?" Dawn questioned.
Buffy's green eyes watered. "I think maybe I did." She took a deep breath. "But it doesn't matter now."
Dawn stepped forward. She put her arms around Buffy.
"I miss him too."
The slayer leaned against her younger sibling, the usual strong woman needing support. They clung to each other, crying, wishing they could change the past. But all they had was the future. A future without Spike.
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