A/N WARNING~ this story contains some spoilers for episodes that have not yet aired in the UK.

Summary

Set After the episode of AtS 5 (Damage) Spoilery for Episodes: Harm's Way & Damage

Slight AtS/BtVS Crossover, but not enough to warrant a crossover category. B/S pairing. Buffy is finally trying to put the past behind her and make a new life for herself and Dawn, in Rome. She is still unaware that Spike is "alive"

Coins In The Fountain

ROME

It had been almost four months since the reduction of Sunnydale to rubble. Instead of getting, a much needed rest, Buffy had discovered that she was busier than ever.

Something for which she had been grateful, the nights had been the hardest to bear. When it was still, and the others slept, she had taken to watching the moon, remembering her last moments with Spike. Not the horror of his impending death in the hellmouth, that was something she tried not to think about, but those quiet moments when they had held each on his cot.

After they had found themselves without a home, they had checked into the nearest Holiday Inn. To take respite and to grieve for all they had lost. With her slayer healing, Buffy's wounds had all, but healed within a couple of days.

Faith had taken Robin to the nearest hospital. She had been fearful of his condition, after his close brush with death. He had really managed to get under the other slayers skin in a very short time. Something, no other man before him had ever managed to do. She had barely left his side during the duration of his stay.

As the days had passed, the group of survivors had started to decrease. Rona, Vi, and the other girls had returned to their families. That had left Buffy, Dawn, Giles, Andrew, Willow, Kennedy, and Xander.

Within a week of Sunnydale falling into the hellmouth, Xander had left to go to Africa, Willow, and Kennedy to Brazil. It had broken her heart that the scoobies had finally disbanded and gone their own way. It was just another step to being an adult. Accepting that things never stayed the same, no matter how much you wished that they did.

Just week after all the others had gone; Buffy, Dawn, Giles, and Andrew had left the US. Firstly, they had gone to London. The remaining members of the Watcher's council had summoned Giles. He had been a key part in its reformation.

Andrew had expressed a wish to be trained as a watcher. Surprisingly the boy had taken to his new vocation like a duck to water. Even though he had taken to wearing tweed suits, and adopting a terrible English accent. It had kept him out of their way, while they searched for new slayers.

Buffy, Dawn and Giles had spent most of the summer months travelling Europe, locating other chosen ones. Their search had taken them to places such as Paris, Rome, and Munich.

Rome, the eternal city had been the place to steal her aching heart. They had even managed to take in a little sightseeing during their stay. Dawn had dragged her sister to see the famous Trevi Fountain. As Buffy had stood at the edge of the fountain, she had tossed a coin into the water and closed her eyes. She had made a wish that she had kept close to her heart. No amount of nagging from Dawn had prised it from her lips. She smiled, as she remembered Dawn telling her, not only had she made a wish, but also that she had sealed her own fate. Because legend had it, that if you threw a coin in the fountain, you were destined to return.

Buffy had been surprised at her sister's knowledge, until she had seen the guidebook in her hands.

Now, here she was two months later, standing on the balcony of a rented apartment, which overlooked the very same fountain. She had found a small measure of peace and uniformity to her new life. Dawn was attending an English school in the city. She only had another year until she would be attending college. That would bring more changes, but Buffy didn't want to think about that. She preferred to focus on the now. Looking back just hurt too much and the future, well that would take care of it's self as it always did.

The sun began to rise, bathing the square in a golden glow. The beauty of her surroundings never failed to touch her; she could see her place of work from her lofty position. The café Greco was still shuttered. It wouldn't be open for business for at least another two hours. She loved working in the ancient café; it was one of the oldest around. After her disastrous foray into the fast food business, Buffy had been afraid, that she would end up working in the Italian equivalent of Double Meat Palace. However, for once the fates had been a little kinder to her.

She sighed as she watched a pair of lovers, wrapped in each other's embrace. Buffy followed their progress as they walked over to the left side of the fountain. They stopped at the lesser fountain. It was called the small fountain of lovers. Buffy knew the legend well. Couples that drank from the mini fountain would forever be faithful to their partner. She watched as they partook of its waters. Hearing their happy laughter, the familiar ache in her heart manifested it's self. She placed her hand on her chest, her tiny fist curled in frustration.

Feeling like an intruder, she went back inside and closed the balcony doors. She glanced at the clock. It was nearly time to wake Dawn for school.

She walked to her sister's room and roused her.

"Why can't it be Saturday?" groaned Dawn as she rolled over in an attempt to go back to sleep.

"Because it's a Tuesday Dawn," said her sister firmly.

"It's not fair, if we were in England I wouldn't even have to go to school. They all get to leave at sixteen. But no, we had to live here!" snapped Dawn as she trundled off to the bathroom.

"Yeah, isn't life a bitch," grinned Buffy, as she returned to the kitchen.

Dawn joined her a few minutes later. She flopped down on the sofa.

"How can you be so chipper in the mornings? I know you stay awake for hours after I've gone to bed," said Dawn sleepily.

Buffy handed her sister a strong cup of coffee. The hot liquid went a little way to reviving her.

"I may not be the only slayer anymore, but I still have the stamina," Buffy replied.

Buffy buttered the toast and placed it on the table. She switched on the TV, grateful that the building had cable. With all the training of the other girls, there had been little time to master anything, but the basics of the Italian language.

"So, what are you gonna do for the day, besides your dead end job?" asked Dawn resentfully.

"That dead end job pays for your food and shelter, might I remind you!" Exclaimed Buffy.

Dawn had the grace to look ashamed at her outburst.

"I'm sorry Buffy, I just miss our old home and our friends so much, especially Anya and Sp..." Dawn wished she could bite off her tongue at that moment.

She saw the pained expression on her sister's face.

"I think I'd better get a shower," said Dawn as she exited the room with lightening speed.

Buffy sighed. Why did they always avoid saying Spike's name? Because you do. Her inner voice replied. It was true; she hadn't uttered his name since Giles had asked who had caused the destruction of Sunnydale.

Half an hour later, Dawn was dressed and ready for the day. She kissed Buffy on the cheek.

"Sorry about earlier, you know I am always a little cranky in the mornings. Besides I guess one upside of living here is the hot boys," grinned Dawn.

"Dawn!" said her sister warningly.

"Got ya!" laughed Dawn as she exited the apartment.

Buffy switched off the TV, preferring the silence as she got herself ready for work.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

LA~ Angel's Limo (Night)

"What's with all the secrecy?" asked Spike.

"You'll see," said Angel mysteriously.

Spike rubbed at his arms. They were healing nicely, but still a little tender. Fred had done a good job fixing him after the psycho slayer had sawn them off.

Nothing like having your hands removed to give you a little clarity in life, mused Spike.

"Giving you pain?" asked Angel as he noticed the action.

"A little, but I guess that would please you," said Spike sarcastically.

Angel didn't respond, staring out into the LA night. Spike gave up questioning him and settled back into the comfort of the leather seats.

"Not much longer, we're almost there," said Angel.

"Would be nice to know where 'there' is, but as usual you're not in a sharing mood," grumbled Spike.

The limo slowed down. The chauffeur got out and opened the door.

"Wait a minute, this is...."

"LAX," finished Angel.

"We're going on a trip? Didn't know we had reached that stage in out relationship," smirked Spike.

"No, we aren't, but you are," Angel replied.

"Why?" asked Spike.

"Let's just say, two little birds told me something," said Angel.

Spike looked at him in confusion.

"You've finally gone off your rocker. Talking to the animals Dr Doolittle? I knew the evil law firm would turn you in the end," said Spike.

Angel looked at him impatiently.

"Andrew and Harmony, not actual birds. On the other hand, they are both a bit featherbrained. Digressing here, let's just say neither of them are good at keeping quiet," said Angel.

"You're sending me to Buffy?" asked Spike incredulously.

"How's your Italian?" asked Angel.

"Better than my Chinese, but I'm still not going," said Spike.

"Never had you pegged for a coward William. Pain in the ass maybe, but not that," Angel sighed.

"Tell Jeeves or what ever the chauffeur's name is, that we're leaving," said Spike, as he started to close the door.

"Sorry about this, but you leave me no alternative. Why can't you ever take the easy road Spike?" asked Angel.

Spike felt a sharp sting in his neck; he turned to see the chauffeur with a syringe in his hand.

"You bastard, what have you done to me?" demanded Spike as he slumped forward, unconscious.

"Given you a helping hand, if you'll pardon the pun," said Angel, to Spike's inert form.

The unconscious Spike, was safely installed in a seat of Wolfram and Hart's private jet. Angel, belted him into the seat. He took an envelope out of his pocket, as well as a bundle of bank notes and put them into Spike's hands.

"Give Buffy, my love," he said sadly, as he exited the plane.

He watched as the doors closed and the engines fired up. The plane moved off for take off.

"Arrivederci, old adversary. Make her happy, or I will be paying you a visit," said Angel quietly, as he watched the plane leave the runway.

TBC