Disclaimer- Joss Whedon owns the rights to Buffy and Angel
Spoilers- The ENTIRE series of Buffy and the finale of Angel
Summary- Learning of Spike's resurrection Dawn and she venture to LA in search of him. But they are too late. . . Or are they? Is there a way to fix things before they began to get dark?
Chapter 1- Seeking Out the Dead
"I don't understand, Buffy," Dawn said. "Why'd you break up with him?"
Buffy took a sip of her steaming coffee. It tasted rich on her throat, full of cream and sugar. She placed the blue mug back down on the green kitchen island. Her face remained unchanged by Dawn's question.
"I don't love the immortal," was the dry reply.
"But that's understandable. Things were still new."
"I'd never be able to love him."
Dawn crossed her arms. She stood before Buffy, her expression stern. "How can you know that for sure? I thought things were going so well."
A sigh escaped the slayer's lips. "Maybe I'm not meant to prosper when it comes to romance. Men and Buffy don't seem to mix. You love a guy and they turn evil, run off to the jungle, or decide to play hero."
There was a span of silence. Dawn's eyes softened.
"Were you talking about Spike?"
"That last one. The hero? Were you talking about Spike?"
Buffy stared down into her pale beverage. It was supposed to perk her up, but she felt tired and drained.
"Did you love him?" Dawn pressed on.
When Buffy raised her head again silent tears had made their way down her cheeks. Her mouth wobbled.
"It's so hard, Dawnie. I can't forget him."
"You're not supposed to."
"But thinking about him hurts."
The teen stepped closer. She wrapped her sister up in a comforting hug. "I know," she whispered.
Buffy's crying intensified. "I told him and he didn't believe me."
Dawn pulled back slightly. "What?"
"I told him I loved him and he didn't believe me." Buffy paused. "I waited too long. And now he'll never be able to know what he means to me."
"That's not true."
Both girls turned to see Andrew standing in the doorway. He wore a bathrobe and his hair stood on end from sleep.
"What are you talking about Andrew?" Dawn asked.
Andrew came into the kitchen. "Ah, gentle listeners, gather round while I replay my journey to the retched law firm known as Wolfram and Hart."
Buffy frowned. She wiped the wetness from her face. "On with it," she said.
"Yeah," Dawn said. "Get to the point. What did you mean before?"
A large grin spread across the ex-evil villain's features. "I was sworn to secrecy, but hearing Buffy's confession has . . ."
Buffy got down from her stool. She slammed her palms down on the surface of the island.
"In one sentence, Andrew. Tell me in one sentence."
Stricken by the slayer's wrath, Andrew sobered.
"He's alive," Andrew said.
"Who?" Buffy said, confused.
"Spike. He's alive in LA."
She hardly said anything the entire plane ride. Mainly she just stared out the window, watching the land below. Dawn tried to find a way to spark up a conversation but she was too confused to gather thoughts.
Spike was alive. The why and how were a blank. They didn't really matter anyway. Spike was alive and that's all the two girls needed to know.
Buffy got her voice back after they landed, gathered their things, and got off.
"That damned vampire," Buffy said. "The way Andrew explained things it seemed like he didn't have a good reason for keeping his return a secret." Her hands balled into fists. "The things I'm going to do to him."
Hopefully, Dawn suggested," Hug him, kiss him, and hold him tight?"
Buffy's lips twitched. "Well . . . Maybe. Later. After I shake him around a bit."
Neither of them had been to Wolfram and Hart. It didn't take long to find, however. The building was located down town, surrounded by other large businesses. Buffy and Dawn gazed at the law firm in shock. It looked like it had been in an earthquake. The other buildings on the street seemed fine, though.
The place had collapsed. There were cracks in the walls and windows had shattered. Buffy shuddered. She had an eerie feeling.
"They wouldn't have been in there when . . . What do you think happened?" Dawn said.
Buffy shook her head. "Of course not. And, I don't know. Demon raid? Magic? Who knows. Hey, maybe it was the amulet again! That thing loves to destroy things." After the last part, Buffy frowned.
The slayer surveyed the street. It was deserted. It was dead quiet, too still. Even this late at night someone should have been about.
"I'm going to look for clues," Buffy informed.
With her sister behind her, Buffy examined the site. Should I go inside? she thought. The entrance was blocked. With her slayer strength she probably could have made it through, but . . . She glanced at Dawn. There was no way she was taking the teenager into that place. Even if it was still standing she wouldn't have. The rest of it could fall at any moment too.
Buffy headed away, checking the side streets. At first there was nothing, but then she found bodies. Demons were scattered facedown on the pavement.
"What the . . .?" Buffy mumbled.
The corpses became closer together and more frequent.
Holding her nose from the stench, Dawn said, "I don't like this."
"Neither do I."
Something happened here. Something big.
Suddenly there was a moan. Buffy rushed off toward the sound. Dawn followed at a slower pace. The sound led them into a narrow, darkened alley. The bodies were piled up, and Buffy stepped on a few accidentally. Her hand came up to cover her mouth when she saw one that wasn't a demon and very familiar.
Buffy ran to his side. She knelt beside him. He wasn't fully conscious, but occasionally would moan or jerk. He was covered in scrapes, bruises, and stab wounds. There was even a singed part of flesh on his arm.
"Oh my God."
Dawn stepped into the alley. She gasped.
"Stay where you are, Dawnie," Buffy commanded.
"Is that Angel?" Dawn questioned.
"Yes. We have to get him out of here." She glanced up at the sky. It was lightening. "It'll be light soon."
"Where are we gonna take him?"
Using super-strength, Buffy hoisted the vampire up and over her shoulder. She carried him over to the alley opening.
"I don't know." She looked at her ex-lover, desperation coming over her. God, the sight of him squeezed at her heart. He was so beat up.
"Wait!" Buffy exclaimed. "The hotel. I don't think he sold it. We can take him there."
A short while later Buffy kicked the door open to the Hyperion hotel. It was dark. Dawn tried a light switch, but the electricity must have been shut off.
Buffy laid Angel down on a couch in the lobby. Her hand ran over his injuries lightly as she sat by his side. She wished she had a first aid kit. Hopefully his healing skills didn't need antiseptic.
Dawn stood behind the couch, watching in fright.
"Buffy, where's Spike? Andrew said he's been working for Angel," Dawn said.
"I don't know," was all Buffy could say.
"It doesn't mean anything. Right? He could have had a fight with Angel and . . . Or he didn't even know Angel was in trouble." Dawn sounded like she was searching for reassurance.
Buffy didn't answer. She removed Angel's shirt and used it to mop up the blood that trickled from a gash.
Time went by slowly. They didn't know how long it had been when Angel finally woke up. He gazed up at Buffy with incomprehension. After a moment his brain began to work again.
Angel lifted his head. "Buffy?" he croaked.
Buffy pushed him back down. "Don't move. You're hurt."
He winced. "Where are the others?"
"Gunn. Illyria. Spike."
Everything froze. It was hard for Buffy to breath.
"Spike was with you?" This came from Dawn.
Angel closed his eyes. "You didn't see them?"
Silence fell over the room.
"I'm the only one left," Angel whispered.
Something snapped within the blonde. She jumped to her feet and bolted. She ran out into the start of dawn. Her legs pumped wildly, propelling her toward the alley. As soon as she made it she combed the death scene. She lifted body after body.
Footsteps neared. "Buffy!"
Buffy turned to see Dawn. "Help me look," she begged.
Devastation had spread over Dawn's face. "He's not here."
Shaking, Buffy denied the statement. "No! He's got to be here! He wouldn't have left me a second time!"
Buffy's legs gave out. She crumpled to the ground as sobs escaped her. Dawn came over. She got down as well, hugging her sister.
"I'm so sorry," Dawn said.
Buffy just cried. Tears formed in the key's eyes as well. They held each other tightly, wallowing in grief.
They were so involved in their emotions that they didn't notice movement behind them. Buffy was ripped away from her sister and tossed a few feet away. Stunned, she didn't act quick enough. One of the demons hadn't been dead. It went at Dawn, imbedding its claws into her right arm. She cried out in pain.
Buffy scrambled up. Fire raged in her green eyes. She charged at the demon. Her attack was quick and brutal. Her fists flew into his face over and over. When she broke his neck, and his remains thumped to the ground, she gaped as if surprised the battle was over.
Blinking, Buffy forced herself out of her stupor. She went over to Dawn, lifting her arm.
"Are you all right?" Buffy asked.
Dawn nodded. Blood rolled down and a few drops slid off her arm. She paid no attention to it. The tears in her eyes had intensified. She threw herself at Buffy again.
"Life is so unfair! People keep dying!" Dawn cried.
Buffy stroked the teen's brown hair. Her gaze traveled across the battle scene. Her eyes widened as she made out what must have been a man. Gunn, she guessed. He was barely recognizable.
"I wish there was some way to stop this," Dawn went on.
"There isn't," Buffy said. "We just have to accept it."
"But . . ."
Green light spilled out of Dawn, enveloping them. Her head fell back, her mouth open, and her eyes enlarged.
"Dawn!" Buffy shouted with alarm.
The light absorbed into Buffy, making its way through her entire system. She couldn't help but yell at the intensity of it.
Yes, Dawn used her key power. I had a lot of trouble trying to figure out a good way to take them back to the past. It was either this or finding Jonathan's magic bone in the crater. L