TimeLine: Not set in any season, but the gang are all in their early twenties. Joyce is still alive, no Riley, Dawn is around, but there is no big bad.
Future AU – Spoilers – Season Four - Anything from Beer Bad and before.
Summary: After a violent accident, Buffy finds herself all alone. And Spike is the only one that can handle her.
A/N: I wanna say a 'bigger-than-usual' thanks to my beta Lady Brandywyne as she helped me so much with tweaking this chapter! And thanks for all her work on this fiction!
Chapter One: Accident
Buffy smiled as she walked along side her friends, happy just to listen as they chatted randomly about the film they'd just seen.
"And then it was like *pow* and *shqwa*!" Xander imitated, fake shooting stars in the sky as he re-played various scenes from the movie.
Willow smiled at Xander's antics, turning to her girlfriend, "Did you like the movie, honey?"
"I think so...but what was with the Chinese pom-pom maker?"
"I don't think there was a Chinese pom-pom maker in the whole film, baby." Willow frowned at Tara.
"There was a guy sitting a few rows down with a fuzzy head of hair though. I can see where that might have been confusing." Willow smiled reassuringly.
"The Chinese were making bombs in that film. As with a lot of American films, other cultures are the bad-Xander, stop that!" Anya thwapped her boyfriend as he started dancing.
"Are you ready? Are you ready for love? Yes, I am!"
"Xander if you don't shut up, you better get yourself ready for the couch!" Anya, hit her boyfriend over the head playfully with a magazine she'd picked up at the cinema.
Buffy sighed, watching the jovially conversing couples with barely concealed longing. And jealousy. It had been two years since she'd last been on a date and after that disaster had sworn off the idea. First Angel, then Angelus, and then Angel again, then Parker, then Jack (her date).
First, she'd spent three hours getting ready, only for him to turn up at the door in torn jeans and a t-shirt. She'd been expecting fine dining, or at least as fine as Sunnydale could manage, but had ended up getting a burger at Wendy's. She'd envisaged a midnight stroll down the beach, swinging her sandals from her fingers and his jacket over her shoulders. What she'd got was a walk through the dank alleyways of the 'bad' side of Sunnydale as Jack attempted to spook her, a vampire attack, one very freaked out date and no lift home.
Needless to say, since then the idea of dating, let alone getting involved with someone had been unappealing. Well, that wasn't entirely true...but the only person, and she used the term oh-so-very loosely, that she ever thought might be able to handle getting involved with her, caused her too much fear to even dare to try.
There was just too much history standing between them... not that it was all bad, mind you. But there had been far too many repercussions the last time she'd given her heart - she couldn't afford to let it go again. No matter how desperately she sometimes wanted to.
Buffy sighed at the depressing thought. She'd promised herself for Christmas that she wouldn't let this get her down; that she wouldn't think about it anymore. But she couldn't control her dreams. She could never control her dreams.
Scary, terrifying, infuriating, sexy, amazing, beautiful dreams. Flashes of white-blonde hair, sea blue eyes and a deep, husky voice whispering the dirtiest, sweetest, most loving things against her skin.
She shook her head, trying to shake the images. Her eyes closed momentarily as she rubbed her hands over her suddenly depressed face. *Come on, Buff, feet forward and keep the mind off the annoying peroxide blonde!*
She didn't realise the curb had ended two meters ago.
She didn't hear the scream.
She didn't see the car.
She didn't feel the ground.
She didn't feel the bones break.
She didn't say a word.
"Ms. Summers? Buffy, can you hear me? We're going to move you onto the stretcher now. If you can hear me, take a deep breath and brace yourself."
"What have we got?"
"Twenty-One year old female, she was hit by a car. She's still breathing but it's shallow. There are numerous fractures in her right arm, left wrist and her left leg is broken. She has severe contusions on her lower back with noticeable lack of response to pain stimulus in her lower extremities."
"What's her name?"
"Buffy, if you can hear me, try and squeeze my hand."
"There's no pulse...we're losing her!"
"Bag her and begin compressions – charging…"
"...And it's back, okay people, she needs 100 cc's of--"
"Mrs. Summers? I'm Dr. Kate Walker. I treated your daughter when she was brought into the Er. May I speak with you privately for a moment?"
The whole gang rose from their seats at the doctors' sudden appearance.
"Please, you can tell us all...we're all family." Joyce said as strongly as she could while her youngest held her hand so tightly that it was white. "How is she?"
The doctor gave her a tight smile, "I have mixed news for you. When your daughter was brought in there some complications but we have Buffy stabilised at the moment." Her eyes briefly flittered to the relieved group, and then back to Joyce. "However, she has lapsed into a coma."
The room broke out in a hushed exclamation of disbelief.
"How can she be stable if she's in a coma?" Willow asked, tears in her eyes.
"Ms. Summers may be in a coma but she isn't on life support which is a very positive sign under the circumstances. It is not uncommon for a patient to lapse into a brief restive catatonic state after such an injury is incurred. We will know more, depending on how long it takes for her to wake." The blonde doctor allowed her gaze to travel around the group, before resting on her patient's immediate family.
"T-that's a good thing, right?" Dawn stuttered, looking between the doctor and her mother for reassurance.
"It should be." Dr. Walker confirmed with a little hesitation. "There is a very good chance that she will wake up within a short period of time."
"You said there was mixed news." Giles prompted, shrewdly determining that the doctor wasn't finished telling them the whole story.
"Yes." The doctor stated, taking a deep breath. "While Buffy is breathing on her own, she has suffered a great deal of trauma. Many bones in her arms and one of her legs were injured as a result of the collision. We set them all as best we could and most, if not all of those should make a full recovery."
"What exactly are you saying?" Joyce asked, hugging Dawn close.
"I'm saying that if and when Buffy wakes there will be further complications. I'm afraid her spinal chord and several of her vertebrae were damaged in the accident. She's likely to be paralysed from the waist down." The doctor finished in a soft voice, her eyes misty with compassion.
The silence screamed through the cold, sterile walls.
No one could move.
"We'll know more when she wakes and we can run a few tests."
Nothing was said.
"I'm so very sorry."
TBC…want more, review!!!