Chapter 34: Where I find my Heaven

Eli groaned against the wall of the tunnel as he clenched the left side of his stomach. Rufus was standing above the wounded wizard…shocked at what he just did.

'I shot him…' Rufus told himself again and again inside his head.

As Eli raised his hand covering his stomach he saw in the poorly dim lit area that the metallic red blood was now practically painted onto his fingers. He glanced up at Rufus and gave him an innocent and very much pleading look that asked for help.

Rufus took a step back when he saw the pain that his former friend was going through…letting every moment slip on by without bracing that any second his ex-friend could die in the sewers.

"I…" Rufus stuttered to find words.

"Don't say you're sorry." Eli muttered in pain.

Rufus blinked a few times, feeling that any moment tears of guilt may start streaming down his cheek.

"I guess you had become exactly like Angelus …a killer." Eli said.

The bad wizard took in a sharp quick breath.

"It was an accident." Rufus made up an excuse to make him feel better.

"Say what you want to make you feel better." Eli winced and held his side even tighter.

Rufus too also winced but it was a different type of pain. A pain he will have to live with longer than Eli would have to agonize.

Eli shifted on the floor of the tunnel. "You know the pain is not as blinding and gruesome as it seems…I mean it's just a little piece of metal stuck in my body…shouldn't be too hard to…" Eli closed his eyes and bit his lip in pain as he shifted once again on the floor. "Not hard to…" then he let out a scream in pain and removed his hand from his side and watched the bullet that was moments ago lodged in his abdomen come magically floating out of his body and holding itself in midair.

Rufus gasped at the site of the bullet.

"I love magic…" Eli spoke, seeming that he had more strength in his words than before. "It's full of surprises…when fools use it."

The good wizard climbed to his feet and looked at the bullet floating and spinning around in its position, seeming to be frozen in time until it was given an order on to whom to attack.

"I guess I am a good wizard…good enough to heal my own bullet wound…" Eli said and glanced back down at the bullet before watching it move with lightning speed across the tunnel and be swallowed into Rufus's body in pain. "And good enough to act as a weapon too…"

Rufus fell down on the ground when the bullet entered his heart.

"You might have destroyed the orb that was needed to cause the earth to go back to the way things were Rufus…but there is one last way…one only way left to break the spell…and I'm sorry that this had to be the only way." Eli explained.

After explaining to a man that was almost half listening and half melting in pain, Eli saw within seconds his nemesis die on the dusty floor. He felt that the death he caused had been an accomplishment and yet a burden on his soul.

'Magic had consequences.' It was pretty much the first thing that Eli learned when he discovered his power. And killing a man is the consequences he'll have to live with till he dies, just like Rufus will have to live his afterlife with the consequences of using his magic for evil.

"Sorry old friend…" Eli muttered and within two seconds he had magically vanished into thin air to look for his only two friends that he knew.

Eli appeared in the middle of an opening outside the streets of Las Vegas. He glanced up at the sky and noticed the sun starting to rise over the horizon. He gave a little smile at something so beautiful and so full of life…something that he felt he hadn't witnessed in years. However, when he looked at the destruction of the buildings around him he had to wipe the smile from his face and grimace.

'Please God…please…' Eli prayed and looked around within the rubble of twisted metal of where the casino was for any sign of life.

The dust from the explosion had not settled yet—it seemed to linger just a few feet above the ground.

Eli squinted and tried to make out figures as best he could. When he heard a sound come from the far end at where the hotel's entrance was he yelled out, "Is anyone there?"

Still recovering from his almost death experience from the bullet, Eli couldn't rush as fast to the figure as he liked but he still quickly moved closer.

"Hello?" Eli called out again and then stopped dead in his tracks when he saw Spike.

The bleached blonde stumbled out with a hurt leg and blood coming from a cut on the side of his face.

"Spike…" Eli breathed a sign of relief at finding one out of two of his friends. The wizard rushed over just in time to catch the unstable and weak vampire in his arms.

"Buffy…" it was the first thing Spike muttered when he came in contact with the wizard.

Eli ignored the vampire's request and checked Spike's head wound for any serious damage. "You are going to need some stitches on this cut…" Eli explained.

"Buffy…" Spike muttered again in a daze but still with determination.

"Spike she's…" Eli stopped when he heard something come from the rumble around him.

The dust was finally settling and causing the visibility to be a bit clearer. The wizard squinted and saw a woman stumbling out along with a man and child.

Spike too followed Eli's gaze when he saw a number of humans come out the remains of what once Angelus's casino. The man coming out of the wreckage and coming closer to the two was Lewis…and he was carrying someone in his arms. Noelle was following close beside Lewis. The little girl had a cut on her arm, dirt on her face, and eyes that were already shredding tears.

Lewis stopped a few feet away from Eli and Spike and stared at them.

"Are either of you Spike?" Lewis asked the two.

Spike let go of Eli's arm and started to get his thoughts together when he heard the stranger call his name.

"I am…" Spike whispered and glanced down at the motionless person in Lewis's arms.

Lewis looked down at the unconscious Slayer in his arms and then back at the wizard and vampire. The three men were oblivious to fact that more humans were coming out of the wreckage with remarkable ease and that little Noelle was starting to cry even harder.

Spike then stepped forward and saw for the first time Buffy's peaceful beautiful face that he never thought he'd see again. A face he remembered eighty years ago.

"Buffy…" Spike whispered in tears.

Eli lowered his head down and too let tears fall for the fallen Slayer.

'It's my fault…' both the wizard and vampire thought at the same time.

"She saved us…" Lewis told the both of them. "She got us out of a prison…and gave us a chance to live again…she never gave up."

"She never did." Spike mumbled and closed his eyes and let more tears spill down his cheek.

"When the explosion happened…she only thought of others and getting us safe…and got herself hurt." Lewis explained, "Before passing out cold she muttered your name."

Spike's head shot up quickly and looked at Buffy's face. He soon realized that the peaceful look on his love's face wasn't one of death…but the way Lewis spoke about her seemed to cause Spike's mind to jump to that conclusion.

The vampire reached out quickly and took Buffy into his arms while never letting his eyes leave her face.

"Love? Buffy?" Spike whispered to her.

Eli blinked in surprise when he too realized that the Slayer wasn't dead. He then traveled a little bit closer to Buffy and Spike.

"Is Buffy going to be okay?" Noelle cried.

Eli heard the tiny voice and looked down to see the girl pulling on his pants to get his attention. The wizard had always been uncomfortable when being around children, however when he saw the little blue eyes begging him to comfort her he couldn't resist. Eli stooped down and rubbed small circles on Noelle's back to make her stop crying.

"Buffy?" Spike whispered again and started to kneel down on the ground with Buffy still in his arms. The pain in his one leg hurt so bad that he couldn't support himself let alone his love too any longer.

"Come on love…rise and shine…" he whispered and ran his hand across her small face.

Buffy slowly moved her head from side to side as she was starting to regain consciousness. Her eyes began to flutter and she finally opened her eyes to see the most beautiful blue eyes that she ever seen.

Spike let out a sob of happiness when he saw her eyes meet his.

"Am I in heaven?" Buffy whispered.

The site before her was glorious. The sun was starting to rise and Spike was holding his arms around her while light was starting to pour onto his body. 'It must be some sort of heaven…' Buffy thought.

"No love…" he whispered and kissed her forehead and combed his fingers through her hair. "You're with me and…and you're alive…"

"Are you alive too?" she asked in confusion.

Spike looked up at the clear sky and the sun slowly creeping over the horizon and smiled. "It would seem that way wouldn't it?" he said as he looked back down at Buffy.

"I don't understand…" Buffy started.

"Gem of Amara…" Eli said and interrupted the happily reunited couple.

Spike and Buffy looked over to see Eli still comforting the six year old but still watching them in admiration.

"Gem of—but Angel had it…he—then he destroyed it." Buffy explained.

"That's what he thinks…" Eli smiled.


"So what, you don't get the ring because your period of self-flagellation isn't over yet? I mean think of all the daytime people you could help between 9 and 5." Doyle told his friend as the two of them stood on the roof and waiting for the sun to go down.

"They have help. The whole world is designed for them, so much that they have no idea what goes on around them after dark. They don't see the weak ones lost in the night, - or the things that prey on them. And if I join them, maybe I'd stop seeing, too." Angel explained.

"And who'd look out for all the insomniacs?" Doyle shrugged.

"I was brought back for a reason, Doyle, and as much as I would like to kid myself, I don't think it was for 18 holes at Rancho."

Angel took off the tiny ring that was on his left hand and sat it on ledge of the roof as he bent down and searched for a rock to smash it with. Doyle glanced down at the ring and then over at his friend's turned back. In one quick moment he snatched the Gem of Amara up and placed it in his pocket for safe keeping. Doyle replaced the real one with a fake ring that anyone could find in a Cracker Jack box.

'Sorry buddy…it's too power and useful to be destroyed…maybe you don't deserving to have it…but maybe one day someone else will.' Doyle thought as he watched Angelus smash the fake ring.

"Oh, and that Rachel girl with the crazy boyfriend called. Said to say thanks, and that she found a little faith. Said you'd know what that means." Doyle quickly changed the subject and gave Angel a smile that the vampire soon returned.

Present day…Vegas…

"…Doyle gave the ring to Whistler, a good friend of his…who gave it to me---he was good friend of mine…" Eli explained with a smile as he told the tale to Buffy and Spike of the journey of the Gem of Amara.

Spike chuckled at the irony of the Gem of Amara landing back in his position once again after all these years. Buffy too smiled as she started to sit up straight a little bit.

"Are you sure you can sit up?" Spike asked in worry as he climbed to his feet with her. The two clung to each other as they stood on there own two feet.

"I can if you're by my side…" Buffy smiled up at him as she wrapped her arm around his waist.

Spike smiled and kissed her forehead. "I thought I'd lost you again…Angelus wanted me to believe you were dead…"

"And did you believe him?" Buffy asked.

"A part of me did…but another part of me didn't seem to think you were gone. What happened? How did you get out?" Spike asked.

"Long story…how about you? How did you know I was trapped?" Buffy asked.

"Long story…" Spike shook his head.

"You'll have to tell me all about it…" Buffy muttered as she rested her cheek on his chest and closed he eyes, basking in the feel of the new sunrise warming there bodies. She felt Spike's hands rub her back and run her through her messy dirty hair. She felt loved and beautiful even with all the aches and pains shooting through every inch of her body.

"Buffy?" the sound of Noelle's voice made Buffy open her eyes to the reality of what was around her.

Spike and Buffy looked down at the small child that was pulling on Spike's leather duster. For some reason Noelle didn't seem to be afraid of the souled vampire that dressed in tough apparel that was meant to scare others.

"What are we going to do now?" Noelle asked.

Buffy and Spike glanced away from the small child and looked at each other. The Slayer turned and looked at the humans that were once Angelus's prisoners laugh with joy and cry in sadness at how bad the world had gotten until they were freed. Buffy watched as a mother hugged her two children close to her. She saw two lovers embrace at finding one another again.

"The Little Bit's got a point…what are we going to do now luv?" Spike asked.

'Yeah Buffy, what are we going to do now?' Buffy thought to herself.

The Slayer knew that there was a world out there that needed to be fixed, needed to be put back in order, and needed a Slayer to work the nightshifts. She also knew that it will take years to have things back to the way they use to, before she died. But at the moment Buffy didn't care; the future seemed light years away in her mind.

Buffy looked at all the people around her that were celebrating there life and what they had overcame. Buffy smiled and felt a warm feeling start to grow from inside her. It started to replace the cold one that had been living inside of her since the day she punched her way out of her grave.

'What am I going to do?' she thought to herself.

'I'm going to live…' Buffy thought as her smile grew more confident and strong.

'Live for Dawn…live for my friends…' Buffy thought to herself, 'Like they intended on me doing…'

THE END...yay!! Thanks for all the reviews you guys...after three long years i can say...THE END...hehe.