Disclaimer: I own nothing here except the story itself. The
characters unfortunately don't belong to me, I'm just borrowing them.
Author's note: This is yet another post 'Gift' theory of Buffy's
inevitable return. I sadly have no inside knowledge, so all of this is complete
and utter speculation and fantasy, as usual.
"Why not? I mean if the monks could
do it, maybe we could do it too." She said still forming the plans in her mind.
"Okay, okay. Say it could be
done, how do propose we find out how? I'm not fancying a trip to far off monk
country to round them up. You have no idea how they did it, or if it can just
be done for anyone." Spike said, wishing it was a viable option, but knowing
that it was ridiculous.
"I'm not talking about just anyone,
I'm talking about Buffy." She said softly.
"Don't you want her back?" She
asked him pleadingly.
"You know I do. I'd give anything
for that to happen. But magic? Spells? You're talking about stuff that's
dangerous. And magic is certainly not something I know anything about."
"But you helped me before. You took
me to that guy who did know stuff." She pleaded.
Bring forth the knowledge
She sat and
waited. Nothing happened. She repeated the spell again, this time louder and
more forceful. She waited for the answers to come, or a flash of light, or
anything. The room remained silent and still. A tear ran down her face and she
wiped it away hastily.
this working?" She complained.
there for a few minutes more and finally decided that it was obvious the spell
was useless. She gathered up the remains of the items she had 'borrowed' and
blew the candles out. She stuffed everything in her bag and stood up.
She put all
the other books away carefully and shook her head sadly. There had to be
another way. It just might take a little longer than she hoped. She carefully
closed the door to the shop and hurried down the street. She wasn't looking
where she was going and ran right into a tall, thin man, wearing a black robe.
She started to scream when the man put his long, bony finger to her lips
at him with quiet terror. She knew she was in big trouble. Not only had she snuck
out, but now she was probably going to die. Right now, she could really use
Buffy. Her hands were shaking and she tried to be brave.
you?" She asked nervously.
"I am what
you are seeking." He responded calmly, in a thick European accent.
seeking anything except getting out of here." She said, trying to move past
her arm gently.
"Do not be
afraid. I am here to help. I heard you calling." He replied.
didn't call anyone, and I'm pretty sure I don't have your number." She said
with confidence that she didn't feel.
answers, no?" He said to her quizzically.
stared at him distrustfully. The spell? Had it worked?
You-you have answers?" She asked him nervously.
wish to know where you came from, how you came to be?" He asked her.
you know? Do you know what I am?" She asked anxiously.
his head and smiled, revealing crooked rotten teeth.
want to know if it can be done again." He told her.
"Can it? I
mean can I bring my sister back?"
a figure leapt from the shadows and pounced onto the man sending him flying to
the ground. Spike pummeled the man with his fists.
from her!" He shouted.
"Stop! Spike! Don't hurt him!"
looked up at Dawn curiously.
is this…" Spike said as he looked towards the man who was underneath him, only
he was now gone. "guy?"
Now he's gone!" She shouted at Spike, who was still in a state of confusion
over the disappearing man.
the bloody hell is going on? Who…what was that?" He asked her still
searching the spot on the ground.
the answer to all our prayers and now you ruined it." She said with tears streaming
down her face.
walked over to her with a grim look on his face. He grabbed her shoulders
me, whatever that thing was, he was not the answer to anything. I thought you
had dropped this nonsense about bringing Buffy back. Besides, what exactly do
you think you're doing out here at this hour, alone? Buffy would…" He started
but she cut him off.
won't do anything, Spike. She's dead, remember?" She said dripping with malice.
Spike hung his
head and let go of her arms.
have to remind me. Look, forget about this. I mean it. Now let's get you home
before Giles finds out you're gone." He said, trying to end the discussion.
not like it matters to you anyway. She wasn't your family. You probably never
even loved her anyway." She said bitterly.
head snapped back angrily, but then he stopped himself.
"Stop it. I
did love her. She was everything… Everything to me. But I'm not gonna sit by
and watch you mess with things. What if you succeed? What if you do bring her
back and she's not right? What if…I just can't let you do this. Don't you want
to remember her the way she was?" He said calmly, trying to keep his anger and
hurt feelings in check.
at him with a hard face. She knew that he was right. If Buffy came back wrong,
it would be horrible. It would be just like her mother and she couldn't go
through with that. But this was different. She was created this way, and she
was alright. She could see that he would never understand or approve.
just take me home please." She said softly.
at her and wanted to say more, knowing that she had fooled him once into
thinking she had given up the idea. He knew she was stubborn, just like big sis
had been. He was going to have to keep a closer eye on her.
He said quietly taking her arm.
in silence most of the way. Dawn kept looking sideways at him, knowing that she
had hurt his feelings earlier.
She said cautiously.
sorry." She said softly.
alright. Just don't ever go out like this again. You could've gotten hurt or
worse." He said with concern.
"No, I mean
about the 'you not loving Buffy' part. I didn't mean that. I was just angry,
you know?" She said trying to smooth things over.
stopped walking and looked at her.
"You know I
did, and I still do. If there was a way, and it was safe, I'd bring her back in
a heartbeat. But, there isn't." He said, still attempting to get through to
She said as they started walking again.
over at him once more.
she cared about you too." Dawn said carefully.
think so, pet. She tolerated me towards the end, but that was about it. Not
that I minded. Being tolerated was better than being staked, you know?" He told
her with a small smile.
really think she did. I mean, she told me stuff." Dawn said looking over at him
stopped walking again and faced her.
What sort of 'stuff'?" He asked, his curiosity peaked.
that she knew you were different, and that she trusted you. She trusted you
with the most important thing in the world to her…The one thing she was willing
to die for… Me." She said with a smile.
she did." He said quietly thinking about what she had said. He looked at her
again. "Although, doubt she'd be pleased, me allowing you to sneak out and
almost get yourself killed tonight."
almost get killed, Spike." She rolled her eyes. Then turned serious again. "You
know she wouldn't have trusted you like that if you really were someone, or
something that she hated. It wouldn't have made sense." She said to him matter
"You have a
point, but still…let's just give it a rest. I don't see any reason now in
talking about it." He said softly.
told me that she kissed you." She added with a mischievous grin.
told you that?" He asked her.
said that she was so touched by what you had done for us, that she couldn't
was sort of sweet and innocent like…but I wasn't exactly in a position to enjoy
it much. I was slightly humiliated at the moment, plus, I recall my face looked
like it had been ran over by a truck." He told her, remembering what a mess he
was. Why did Dawn have to bring these memories back now?
you have to admit, she must have cared a little." She said to him but he only
looked at her unconvinced.
"Well, I think she did care.
She just couldn't tell you. But I bet she would have, eventually." She added
with a smile.
we'll never know, now will we?" He asked, trying to further his point against
messing with magic. And also not wanting to give himself the false hope that
she had ever thought of him with anything other than contempt or pity.
not." She said calmly.
night, Spike went to pay a visit to the witches. He figured that someone else
needed to know what Dawn had been up to. He figured Will and Tara would be able
to talk some sense into her. He still was not convinced that Dawn had given up
answered the door.
something up?" She asked curiously.
I hope not." He said as he walked into the room.
He now had established invitations at
everyone's homes once again. It was only natural after everything that had gone
on. No one had even given it much thought, he had just been invited. For all
intents and purposes he was now one of them.
sitting on the couch with their cat when Spike walked into the room.
something wrong?" She asked noting the concerned look on his face.
"I came to
you guys, because well, you're witches and this has to do with magic." He said
as he sat down across from Tara. Willow sat down next to her girlfriend and put
her arm around her affectionately.
Y-you need a spell?" Tara asked.
it's about Dawn. She's got ideas in her head that she can bring Buffy back." He
tried that once, with her mom. It didn't go too well." Willow said, still
feeling a little guilty for encouraging her on that one.
this is different. She thinks that because the monks made her out of Buffy that
she can make Buffy out of herself." He told them.
was silent for a minute until Willow spoke.
incredible! Why didn't we think of that?" She said excitedly.
Spike both looked at her curiously.
didn't think of it because it's impossible." Tara said to her firmly.
what I said." Spike chimed in.
it might work. I mean, we'd have to do a ton of research, but that's okay…"
Willow said anxiously, her mind racing.
Please. You know that this can't be done. Remember what I said to you about the
natural order of things? This is no different." Tara explained, knowing that
her love only wanted her best friend back.
is different. This isn't a resurrection as much as a…as a…restoration. That's
different." She pleaded with her.
Will, I didn't mean to come here to put ideas in your head. I came so you two
could talk some sense into her." Spike said, wondering if he made a mistake
right, Willow. We can't let her try this, and you can't be thinking about it
either." Tara told her, trying to be the voice of reason.
slumped down on the couch and hung her head in defeat.
thought that maybe…" She started.
It-It's wrong. No matter how much we may want it to be right, it's too
dangerous." Tara said firmly taking hold of Willow's hand. She then looked over
at Spike. "We'll talk to her."
nodded her head sadly in agreement.
please just trust us. This sort of magic is just too risky. Buffy wouldn't have
wanted you to put yourself in danger like that. And she wouldn't have wanted you
using magic to bring her back. Remember how upset she was at you when you tried
this before?" Tara said with a very serious look.
remember, but this is different. I used this spell to gain knowledge and then I
met that guy and he said he knew. He could help. Don't you see? It's
different." Dawn pleaded with them.
in silence as they talked. She knew that Tara was probably right, but this was
Buffy, her best friend. If there was an opportunity to give her another chance
at life, and do it right, she didn't see the harm in at least trying. Yet, she
kept her mouth shut.
Willow?" Tara said nudging her.
answered, as she had been lost in her own thoughts.
that this isn't possible." Tara reiterated.
Yeah. Not possible." She said quickly.
give up. No one is on my side. Just forget it. I promise I won't do it again."
Dawn said, this time finally giving in. She was tired of everyone trying to
talk sense into her. The whole idea was a dumb one anyway. You can't just go
bringing back every person in your life that leaves you.
Tara said with a smile. "You know we're here for you. We only want what's
Dawn muttered unhappily.
to get going. I have an appointment." Tara said looking at the clock. " I just
started doing Tarot readings and it's my first client, so I don't want to be
late." Tara asked as she got up to leave.
thought I'd hang out with Dawnie for a little bit, if that's okay?" She asked nervously.
"Yeah, sure. Wish me luck." She
fine, Sweetie." Willow said as she got up and kissed Tara goodbye.
had left, Dawn sat on her bed clutching one of her stuffed bears. Willow moved
and sat down next to her.
your side." Willow said softly.
She asked skeptically.
"I am. You
said you summoned someone who knew what to do?" She asked.
up instantly, and tossed the bear aside and leaned in close to Willow.
said he knew the answers and stuff, but he didn't get to finish on a count of
Spike attacking him." She said eagerly.
we're gonna have to get him back. Dawn, we can do this." Willow said to her
about what Tara said? Everyone is going to be mad." Dawn said coming back to
but if we get Buffy back, how can they possibly be mad?" She asked.
point. Oh, Willow! You are the coolest!" Dawn said throwing her arms around her
neck and hugging her.
"I am also
gonna be in so much trouble if Tara finds out, so you cannot say anything. And
Dawnie, if this doesn't work, or if it goes wrong…" She started seriously.
"No, I mean
really. We will have to take care of it before anyone finds out."
go wrong. I know it won't." Dawn said assuredly.
started. Do you have the knowledge summoning spell?" Willow asked.
my bag." She said going to her closet and pulling out her bag of 'borrowed'
Let's get this started." Willow said taking a deep breath and hoping she wasn't
going to regret this.
walked through the cemetery slowly. He had come here almost every night since
it happened. He always brought flowers and always made sure things were kept up
around her final resting place.
down in front of her grave and brushed some fallen leaves away. Tonight he had
a single red rose that he placed down among the other flowers he had brought
previously. Some of them were dying now, and he picked those up to take with
him when he left.
have dead flowers. It's just not right… He thought to himself.
out and touched the cool marble with his hand. He traced the outline of her
Buffy. It's me again." He said softly. "Yeah, yeah, I know. You still can't get
rid of me." He chuckled to himself.
himself up against the headstone and looked up at the sky.
that sister of yours is a real handful. She's got this crazy idea to bring you
back. Can you believe that? Don't worry though, Luv. I told her just to leave
you be. At peace and all. But still…to have you back? Well…Let's just say it's
tempting." He laughed.
He pulled a
cigarette out of his pocket and lit it.
know you hate smoking, Luv." He said as he took a drag. "But I'll be careful
not to drop any ash on you." He smiled to himself.
there in silence for the longest time until he finished his cigarette. He put
it out on the bottom of his shoe and put the butt into his pocket. He wasn't
about to litter on her grave.
trying real hard to keep her safe, you know. For you. She snuck out the other
night. I promise to keep better watch next time…You know what she said to me?
It's kind of funny actually. She said that she thought you cared about me." He
laughed. "Oh, I told her she was crazy, but part of me was a little pleased, I
admit. Not that it matters…I loved you anyway…"
He got up
and brushed himself off. He touched the marble one last time, resting his hand
there for a few moments before finally removing it.
you…" He said quietly, holding back the tears that always plagued him now. He
felt so ridiculous crying for her. He was supposed to be a monster, wasn't he?
Monsters didn't cry. Monsters didn't care, but he did. So what did that make
and walked slowly away, as he lit another cigarette.
again." The tall, thin man said as he appeared before Willow and Dawn.
sorry about last time. He didn't know any better." Dawn apologized for Spike.
"I knew you
would call me again." He said calmly.
help us?" Willow asked nervously.
"I have the
Answers. So should we be writing this down or something?" Willow asked with an
tell you what you wish to know, but what you do with the information is up to
you. I will not help any further than that." He said gravely.
Well, then tell us what we need to do and-and we'll take it from there." Willow
wish." He told them. "You want to know how you were created?" He asked Dawn.
can it be done it again?" She asked him.
be done, but I will say no more about that…I will just give you the knowledge,
and from there, you form your own judgments." He said cryptically.
to them the information on how the monks had created Dawn. They had used a very
ancient ritual, that predated the written word. The monks had divined spirits
from the heavens to grant them the power to create life.
several items needed to perform such a spell, including blood from the intended
donor, hair, and fingernail clippings. All of the things with a strong amount
of DNA. But to ensure that an exact clone was not created from the donor, a
picture or drawing of the intended likeness was necessary.
case, one of the monks had made a sketch of a young girl, who resembled the Slayer
enough to be convincing as a sister, but unique in her own right. Dawn felt the
hairs on her neck stand up at the thought that she was created out of a simple
sketch that some unknown monk had made.
went into detail about the spell involved in altering everyone's memory to
include Dawn. They listened intently, out of sheer curiosity, but knowing that
portion of the spell wouldn't be needed for Buffy. Everyone already remembered
difficult step was to summon a soul to inhabit the body, thus ensuring that the
life they created was true and real.
done that before." Willow chimed in. "I mean, I gave Angel his soul back."
not the same. This is more complex. You did not actually summon a soul, you
merely reinstated a curse. That's different. The process is different." The man
tried to explain.
Continue." Willow said intimidated, shrinking back down in her chair.
explained the ritual that was used to summon Dawn's soul, involving a sacred
crystal that would be difficult to obtain. Once they had everything written
down, they had questions.
this soul thing, can you summon a specific soul, or is it just random?" Dawn
you all that I can tell you." He told them.
if we call the wrong soul?" Willow asked him nervously.
given you the knowledge that I have… That is all." He said, and with that he
This is a little trickier than I thought." Willow said uneasily.
want to try don't you?" Dawn implored her.
there for a minute before she answered. She contemplated the consequences. She
knew deep down, she shouldn't be doing this, but lately her magic had been so
powerful. She was able to zap the energy of a hellgod. She was able to restore
Tara's mind. If she could do that, she could definitely do this.
want to try. We just have to do a little research about that soul part. I think
we can do just about everything else, but we have to make sure it's Buffy we
bring back. It can't just be someone else walking around in her body. Plus, we
have to find a sacred crystal." Willow explained.
just tell me what to do." Dawn said
Here's what we'll do…" She said confidently as she relayed her plans.
had passed since Willow and Dawn had formed their alliance. Each of them felt
guilty for lying to everyone, and knew that there was going to be some serious
explaining to do. But if it worked, then maybe a little forgiveness would be in
order. They were both counting on it.
managed to find someone who had a sacred crystal on the Internet. She had
ordered it right away, and it had taken the entire time to get here from China.
She had also found a way to alter the soul summoning spell to bring forth a
specific soul. She only hoped that it would work.
had to be performed at sunrise, the dawning of a new day. Dawn had realized
just then where her name had come from. Apparently the monks weren't too
creative, and just picked the first name that came to mind. They had prepared
everything and were planning on doing it the very next morning.
think, Will. This is gonna be the last night without Buffy." Dawn said
Willow said uneasily, having second thoughts.
Just wait. This is gonna be amazing."
planned to meet Dawn outside of her house around 5am. The sunrise was at 6:45
and they wanted to be at the sacred spot in the woods that they had mapped out,
well before then. The spell would take a lot of time, and they wanted to be
Dawn sat in
her room anxiously watching the clock. It was still only early evening and she
knew that she'd never be able to sleep. She decided to watch some TV
downstairs. When she came down, she noticed Spike had just walked in.
Nibblet." He said with a smile.
What're you doing here?" She asked.
to check on you, like I always do. Has she been behaving?" He asked Giles.
doing much better I think." Giles said happily.
standing right here. If you want to know how I am, just ask me." She said
rolling her eyes.
pet. So how are you?" He asked.
Couldn't be better, as a matter of fact. What's on TV? I'm in the mood for some
mindless entertainment." She smiled as she plopped down on the couch.
was just watching the news." Giles said hurrying over to change the channel.
looked more like Jeopardy to me, friend." Spike said with a smirk.
I like to keep my knowledge up, you know. Plus, I like to brag to myself when
I'm smarter than they are." Giles added almost inaudibly.
wrong with that. Those questions are so easy anyway." Spike said as he sat down
on the couch next to Dawn.
questions are actually quite complex…never mind." Giles said. "I think I'm
going to go in the kitchen and make some tea."
left the room, Dawn continued to channel surf. Nothing was capturing her
interest. Her mind was too preoccupied with what she and Willow were about to
"So, you do
seem to be happier. Things finally settling in?" Spike asked her inquisitively.
"I guess. I
mean, it's not like I'm used to things, but I think that things will get
better." She said trying not to reveal her optimism.
they will. Things have to get better."
They sat in
silence for a short time until Dawn looked over at him.
visit her grave every night?" She asked him, out of the blue.
asked, taken off guard at her question.
wondered. You know, I go there a lot and there are always fresh flowers there…"
She told him.
mean they're from Me." He said defensively.
not?" She questioned.
at her and shrugged.
yeah, they're from me. But how did you know?" He asked her.
shrugged, "I just knew…Do you think she hears what we say when we talk to her?"
She asked him wistfully.
think so. At least I like to think so…You know, I had a lot to say to her, and
never had the chance. Most of the time, she wouldn't give me the chance, so now
I figure I have a captive audience, you know?" He said with a laugh.
smiled, "She was really mean to you sometimes, huh?"
yeah. I deserved it, I guess. I mean, it's not like I didn't give as good as I
got. Your sis and I…well, it was complicated. Obviously, there was the whole us
trying to kill each other phase, that lasted way too long. Neither of us had
the heart, you know?"
"When did you
realize that you loved her?" She asked him.
thought for a moment before he answered.
I have no idea. It was just like one day, I woke up and realized that there was
something else going on. Course, I was horrified, rightly so. But eventually, I
just accepted it. But the complete truth is that from the moment I saw Buffy, I
knew it was all over for me. I knew that this girl was different, special
even...She'd be the death of me…" He said remembering the first time he had
laid eyes on her.
never killed you."
literally. But the person I was then? He's gone…dead. Buffy changed all that
for me. Well, Buffy and this little chip in my head. But mostly, it was Buffy.
See, the chip forced me not kill or hurt anyone, but Buffy…She made me want to
be a better man. She made me want to be alive again, and that was something I
never wanted before."
Buffy did all that, then how come you're still hanging around, still trying to
be good and all? I mean, since she's not around…" Dawn asked.
matter, Luv. That's what change is all about. I didn't change for her, I
changed because of her. There's a difference. I can't change the things
I've done, or what I am. But I can change what I do from here on out. I made her
a promise that I'd keep you safe, and I intend to keep up my end of the deal."
He said with a smile.
proud, I think." Dawn smiled.
Dawn said quietly touching his hand.
away from her uneasily. The thought that anyone, especially Buffy, would be
proud of anything he had done, was making him uncomfortable. He appreciated her
words immensely, but didn't feel he deserved them. He rose to his feet.
get going. If you need anything…"
tomorrow?" He said as he walked towards the door.
You can count on it. I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be a really good
day." She said with a large grin.
looked at her curiously, but then shrugged it off. He headed out the door, to
make his nightly visit to Buffy.
Dawn rushed hurriedly down the street with two large bags of magic supplies
slung over each of their shoulders. Dawn had managed to climb out her window
without alerting Giles and Willow had slipped out of bed quietly, telling Tara
she couldn't sleep and was going for coffee. Tara thought it odd for Willow to
be up so early, but was too tired herself to make much of it.
girls said nothing on their journey, each alone with their own thoughts about
the magnitude of what they were undertaking. Both of them wanting more than
anything for everything to go smoothly, and not horribly wrong.
reached the spot in the woods and put their bags down.
ready? W-we could still back out." Willow asked Dawn nervously.
I'm not backing out. Are you?" She asked concerned.
ready. Let's get the circle prepared." She said, as she opened her bag and
removed several candles and assorted stones.
a white powder around them forming a circle. Willow placed four candles around
the edges representing the elements. Willow had gone ahead the other day and
hidden a medium sized cauldron behind some brush. She pulled it out now and set
it in middle of the circle.
various potions that she had made beforehand into the cauldron. The sacred
crystal was then placed onto a large rock, which worked as an altar, that made
up the center of their circle. Everything was now in place and Dawn and Willow
stood back and surveyed their setup.
looks good. I think we're just about ready." Willow said glancing around.
the robes." Dawn said reaching into her bag.
moved her mother's sewing machine into her room and sewed the ceremonial robes
a little bit each night. Giles had heard the machine going and just assumed
Dawn had taken up sewing as a hobby to occupy her mind. He had been pleased to
see that she was finally coming out of her funk and being useful. Only he
didn't know what she had really been up to.
the long black velvet robes on and each had a large crystal hung around their
necks. Willow looked at the horizon and noticed the faintest hint of color. She
turned to Dawn.
time." Willow said determinedly. "Are you…"
ready and I'm still sure." Dawn said anxiously.
nodded her head in agreement.
positioned themselves around the circle and began reading aloud from the spell
books that they had created just for this purpose.
the ritual with the conjuring of the physical form. Willow recited the text and
Dawn stepped forward and dropped a small lock of her hair into the cauldron,
followed by some of her fingernail clippings. She then produced a small dagger
and made a small slash across her forearm. Her blood dripped slowly into the
cauldron as Willow continued her chanting. Dawn then pulled out the picture of
Buffy that she had chosen for the ritual and placed it on the makeshift altar
next to the sacred stone.
three drops of blood onto the photo then rejoined Willow at the edge of the
circle. A strong wind had picked up around them and the sky was becoming a
brilliant pink color due to the suns impending arrival.
"I call to
thee Goddess of life, return to me thy blessed soul" Willow called out and Dawn
A flash of
blinding light engulfed their sacred circle and a bolt of lightening struck the
crystal making it glow a bright blue color. The photograph of Buffy burst into
flame. As it burned away slowly, they continued their chanting.
thee, bring forth our lost soul…" They chanted wildly over the roar of the wind
and the crackle of the energy that surrounded them.
glanced towards the sky and noted the sun's first rays were beginning to peek
out over the horizon. They joined hands tightly and put forth all of the energy
that they had combined to finish the spell.
restore, return!" They shouted.
bright yellow ball of energy erupted from their joined hands and shot out at
the crystal. The crystals color changed from blue to gold and suddenly
evaporated. The picture of Buffy was completely burned away and a thick cloud
of smoke hung in the air around the altar.
sudden flash, the wind and the energy were gone. Willow and Dawn fell to their
knees by the sheer power of the ritual they had just performed. They sat,
breathing heavily, staring at the cloud of smoke before them. Their hands were
shaking and tears had begun to run down each of their faces involuntarily.
work?" Dawn said barely above a whisper.
know." She whispered back, her head pounding.
finally managed to pull themselves up and approached the spot where the smoke
still hung heavily. A small burst of wind suddenly blew through, clearing the
smoke and standing before them was a face they never thought they would see
their open mouthed with shock at the sight of Buffy, standing motionless and
wide eyed before them.
Dawn asked frightened.
clutched onto Dawn tightly as she watched the reaction of the person in front
of them, still leery of what they had actually accomplished.
looked at them curiously and then looked at her surroundings.
guys?…what the hell?" She finally managed with confused sarcasm.
Willow said as she ran forward to embrace Buffy tightly. Dawn followed and they
both stood there clutching her tightly.
appreciate the love and all, but what's going on? Why am I out here? Why are
you guys dressed like that?" Buffy asked inquisitively, more than a little
don't remember, do you?" Willow asked her friend through tears of joy.
Remember what?" She asked, looking around.
died." Dawn said sadly, not knowing of any other way to say it.
face turned into a mask of sadness and shock.
"What? I-I died?"
She asked, as she leaned over onto the rock altar for support.
um…well we…" Willow stammered.
what all of this…" Buffy said taking in the cauldron and the burned out
candles. "You did magic? You-you brought me back?" She said disbelieving.
mad, Buffy, please. We jut missed you so much. Don't worry, we did it right. We
used the spell that the monks used to make me." Dawn said crying and clutching
onto her sister, praying she would forgive her.
you helped her?"
Buffy muttered softly, not sure what to make of the whole situation. She didn't
remember anything about being gone. The last thing she remembered was speaking
with Dawn on the tower. After that, it was all fuzzy. Then it occurred to her
that she had no idea how long she had been gone. "How long, you know, was I…
three months." Dawn said quietly.
months? My god…" She said as the reality hit her. She started to cry.
girls sat in the middle of the circle holding each other and crying. They had a
lot of catching up to do, and more than a little explaining when they told
everyone else what they had done.
they all got up and cleared the evidence of the ritual away. Everything was
stuffed back into the bags, and the cauldron was pushed back into the bushes to
be retrieved later. Buffy was still in awe of everything they had told her, and
the fact that she had been dead. Actually dead, not just for a minute like
before, but for months.
all tired and spent. Willow and Dawn from the powerful magic, and Buffy from
the knowledge that she had risen from the dead. They staggered back to Buffy
and Dawn's house slowly. They passed the cemetery where Buffy had been buried.
Willow and Dawn hesitated as they passed.
"Am…Am I in
there?" Buffy said as she noticed the other two girls uncomfortably looking
towards the cemetery.
Willow said softly.
"I want to
see." Buffy said, wiping her tears away.
should just…" Willow said, trying to steer her in another direction.
have to." Buffy said with quiet determination.
walked slowly to the spot under the willow tree where Buffy's headstone
resided. Buffy stopped abruptly when she saw her name engraved on the marble.
Dawn stood there holding onto either side of her, both had tears running down
me?" She asked.
it-it was." Dawn said uncomfortably.
closer and knelt down at her own grave. She saw the pile of fresh flowers that
adorned it. She smiled softly to herself. She reached out and touched the
marble as she read the inscription.
the world…a lot?" Buffy chuckled. "Who's idea was that?"
all…we all thought it was kinda appropriate. But Xander thought of it." Willow
said with a smile, watching her friend's reaction knowing that it must have
been very unnerving to be sitting at your own grave.
like it. It's funny…" Buffy said quietly.
brought me the flowers? There are enough here to keep a florist in business."
She said trying to be lighthearted about the whole thing, even if it was
Willow shifted nervously. They both knew who was responsible for the flowers,
but weren't sure what Buffy's reaction would be.
they're from…Well…Spike, mostly." Dawn said quietly.
looked down at the flowers and picked one up tenderly. A tear ran down her
cheek and she looked up at them.
did all this?" She asked her voice shaking.
comes here every night, and always brings flowers…" Dawn said softly.
looked at them and said nothing. Her heart heavy with the thought of the
lovesick vampire bringing her flowers every night.
real upset when you died. I-I mean we all were, of course, but he was pretty
bad…" Willow said quietly.
Buffy asked curiously.
he like, cried and everything." Dawn added.
Cried? In front of people?" Buffy asked in shock.
It was awful. I mean we were all crying, but he…well, he…" Willow said trying
to explain, but feeling uncomfortable about the whole situation.
absorbed this bit of information quietly to herself. She stood up slowly, still
clutching the flower she had picked up.
to go home." Buffy said softly.
silently walked out of the cemetery and on towards the house. No one knew what
they were going to say or do. Dawn and Willow were silently worrying about the
trouble they would be in, and Buffy was completely befuddled about how to make
an entrance. Somehow, just waltzing in and saying, 'Honey, I'm home' didn't
seem to work in her mind.
reached the outside of the house and Dawn and Willow both agreed that it was
probably best that they go in first and try to prepare Giles. He probably was
frantic by now with worry over Dawn's whereabouts, as it was nearly nine
in the corner of her porch, just taking in the surroundings that she had always
been so familiar with. This was by far the strangest thing that had ever
happened to her, or probably to anyone ever.
through the door with Willow close behind. Giles ran to the door frantically.
Thank heavens! Where the devil have you been?" He asked as he clutched her
tightly, then looked at Willow. "Did you find her?" He asked.
were sort of together." She said quietly.
He questioned, unsure what was going on. Willow would never intentionally allow
him to worry like that.
get all parental and mad, we have something to tell you." Dawn chimed in.
you're gonna need to sit down probably." Willow said taking his arm.
this all about? I need to call Xander and Anya and tell them that I found you.
Not to mention Tara. She was worried about you as well, Willow." Giles said,
confused about what was happening.
listen to me. We did something. And now, before you say anything, yes we know
it was dangerous, and not advisable, but it worked." Willow said triumphantly.
worked?" He asked her bewildered, sensing impending doom.
the same magic that the monks used to make me, Giles. We brought Buffy back."
She said with a huge grin.
there in open mouthed shock. He removed his glasses and put his head into his
hands. Tears threatened to surface, but he choked them back and composed
"Let me get
this straight…" He started.
Buffy said quietly as she stood in the doorway sheepishly smiling.
looked up at the vision before him, and felt his heart leap to his throat. The
girl he loved so much, as much as he would have had she been his own flesh and
blood, was returned to him.
God…Is it really you?" He asked as he rose to approach her.
appear so." She said quietly.
lunged forward and embraced her tightly. The tears he had held back were now
flowing freely and without shame. They finally parted and everyone sat down and
tried to take everything in once again.
Dawn explained what they had done, and Giles was upset at them for taking such
a risk, but he couldn't be too upset because the end result had turned out so
called Tara and tried to calm her down. She was at first furious at Willow, but
shed tears of her own when she learned that the spell had been successful.
Xander and Anya were called next and told what had happened. They hurried over
as quickly as they could.
nearly passed out when Willow had told him what she and Dawn had done.
really Buffy?" He had asked over the phone once the initial shock had worn off.
"I mean, it's not like zombie, undead, Buffy is it?"
really her. I mean, I think. She seems totally the same, but a little confused.
But I guess coming back from the dead tends to be a little unsettling." Willow
and Anya had arrived, Buffy went to the door to greet them. Xander had tried to
prepare himself, but it was still emotional for him actually seeing her
standing there. He grabbed her tightly and kissed her cheek.
Buff…We've all missed you so much." He said full of emotion.
all are very pleased that you're not dead anymore. Oh, and that you're not a
zombie." Anya added with a smile.
Anya." Buffy said sincerely, knowing that Anya still had difficulty expressing
sat around talking, and trying to catch Buffy up on what had been going on.
Everyone had kept up with the slaying in her absence. No new Slayer had been
called, since Buffy had technically already died once before. Xander and Anya
told her that they were engaged and Buffy was extremely excited for them.
There was a
lot of hugging and crying involved and before anyone knew it, the sun had set.
Anya had decided to go home reluctantly. Xander hadn't wanted to leave, but
they knew that Buffy needed some time alone with Dawn. Willow and Tara had soon
followed, everyone vowing to return in the morning, afraid that they would wake
up tomorrow and all of this would be a dream.
and Buffy finally sat alone in the living room. Giles decided to let the
sisters have some privacy and excused himself to his room, where he needed to
reflect on the events to himself.
Buffy sat silently next to each other holding hands. Buffy looked at her
know what you did…It was really, really dangerous." She said pointedly.
but it worked…I just missed you so much, Buffy." Dawn cried.
"I know, I
know." She said as she held her sister in her arms.
"Dawn, no. How
can I be mad? You gave me back my life." Buffy said smoothing Dawns hair away
from her face.
"It was the
least I could do…You gave me my life, Buffy." Dawn said quietly.
each other tightly and Dawn finally looked up at Buffy.
there's someone else you need to see." Dawn said cautiously.
looked at her sister knowingly and nodded her head.
"I know. I
will." She replied, knowing that they were referring to Spike, who still was
clueless to her return.
"He is so
gonna die when he sees you, Buffy." Dawn said with a huge grin.
already dead, Dawnie." She said with a smile.
right. But if he wasn't…" She laughed.
She said taking a deep breath. "Dawn, has he been hanging around a lot?"
mean usually he comes by once a day or so, just to check up on me. He's been
good, if that's what you mean." She said, sticking up for him.
helps out and stuff, even though I haven't been here?" She asked, still trying
to determine how she felt about the vampire.
He patrols with the gang and everything. They're cool with him now. When
you…well, died, he was such a mess. Everyone felt kind of sorry for him. I
mean, they could really tell that he loved you, you know?" Dawn said, hoping
that her sister believed it too.
doesn't he?" Buffy said softly, more to herself than directed at Dawn.
up slowly and went to the coffee table to pick up the rose she had brought from
her grave. She put it to her nose and smelled it. A smile crept to her face.
She turned to Dawn.
to go. Tell Giles not to worry. I just need to see a friend." She said quietly.
watched as she went to the hall closet to retrieve a jacket. Buffy noticed that
all of her things were still in place and she smiled. She took out the coat and
put it on. She took a last look at Dawn and smiled, and walked out into the
her way slowly to the spot she had come to know so well over the years. Spike's
crypt. She used to go there when she was looking for a fight, but in the end,
she had gone there for solace and protection. Now she wasn't sure what to
expect when she walked through the doors. Should she knock? No, she never did
before, so why start now, huh?
approached the heavy door and took a deep breath before opening it slowly. She
walked into the darkness cautiously. The stone door made a loud crashing sound
as it swung shut. She silently cringed, as the sound seemed especially deafening.
swear, if that's you, you're gonna be in big trouble. I told you not to come
out here at night…" Spike said as he emerged from the shadows, intent on giving
Dawn a good talking to. He stopped dead in his tracks when he saw who was
Buffy asked tentatively.
stood there staring at her, afraid to approach her any further. Afraid that she
wasn't real, and he had dozed off and was still dreaming.
you?" He asked with a shaky voice.
on. Has it really been so long that you don't recognize me?" She asked
playfully, trying to keep things light despite the heavy feeling in the room.
you're…" He stammered, as he steadied himself against the wall.
Yeah, I heard." She smiled, as she walked closer to him. As she did, she saw
that he had tears in his eyes.
this…Are you…real?" He asked, wanting to touch her, but afraid if he did she'd
I'm real. Dawn and Willow brought me back." She said quietly.
Cursed Spike quietly. "I told her not to mess with this stuff. And Will? I
thought she had better sense." He muttered.
mad?" Buffy asked a little hurt and confused by his reaction. "I thought maybe
you'd be a little happier to see me."
I'm happy. My god Buffy, I can barely stand up, I'm so bleedin' happy. But… is
it really you? You're not all…well, evil or anything?" He asked cautiously,
still afraid to get too close to her. She was still as beautiful as he
remembered, maybe even more so now.
still me." She said, inspecting herself as she inched closer to him.
uh…death becomes you, Luv." He said, trying to make himself laugh, but it
wasn't working. He only could stand there motionless and babble at her like a
slightly, knowing he was more than a little taken by surprise.
"I guess I
can say the same to you." She said with a sheepish grin.
there gaping at her. Too shocked to do anything but stare. He watched her face
as she studied his reaction. He looked down and noticed the rose she had in her
hand. She saw what he was looking at and smiled.
that this was from you…That they all were…Thank you." She said quietly, unsure
what else to say. The moment was quickly becoming even more tense and awkward
than she had anticipated.
so disturbed had wrenched at her heart. Her feelings for him were clouded and
jumbled. She remembered their last conversation, at her house before the fight
with Glory. He had been so kind and brave. Willing to die for her and her
sister, despite the fact he believed she thought he was a monster, and would
never return his love.
She had wanted
to say so much to him that night, tell him that her feelings had changed, but
there wasn't time. She never thought that she wouldn't get another chance to
tell him. But here she was now, a second chance. Another time to get things
right. She moved closer to him still, until they were only a few feet apart.
you to have pretty things…" He said softly, indicating the flower.
emotions began to over take him and he began to sob, despite his best efforts
to control himself. He felt like an idiot and was ashamed that she would see
him like this. He covered his face with hands.
watched as he cried and felt her own sobs forming in her throat. She looked at
him with tears in her eyes and he looked at her. For an instant, they stood there,
watching each other though mists of tears, until Buffy finally took flight.
She ran to
him without even thinking. Her feet just moved and she was unable to stop them.
He opened up his arms to her and embraced her tightly, as if it were the most
natural thing in the world to them. He covered her face with gentle kisses, the
whole time muttering through his tears.
"Oh, god, I
love you so much…" He said to her over and over again, and she cried harder.
Their tears were now flowing together. As he kissed her face, the taste of her
tears washed over him.
their lips met each others impulsively. Their kisses had a sense of need and
hunger, that neither one had ever felt before. They frantically clutched each
other, both afraid to stop the madness, desperate for the feel of one another
in their arms. Buffy had surrendered herself to her emotions and her heart, and
didn't give a damn about consequences at this point.
that everything had changed, been altered forever. Knowing that she had died
had cleared her head about a lot of things, especially her feelings for him.
Life was painfully fleeting and she knew it now more than ever. This was her
second chance, and she doubted that there would be a third. She knew that there
wasn't time to waste on anger or grudges. The past didn't matter anymore. She
had a fresh outlook on things, and from here on out, all that mattered was the
finally pulled themselves away from each other and both stood there
breathlessly. Spike knew he didn't need to breathe, but his reflexes had taken
over. His entire body was numb with shock. They stood there staring at each
other, both completely overwhelmed by their display of affection.
Spike broke the silence. "Well, now I know you can't be Buffy." He laughed
quietly. "She'd never do that."
at him tenderly, and touched his face.
would." She said softly.
at her and kissed her forehead lightly. He pulled her back into his arms and
held her tightly.
"I never thought
I'd see you again…I missed you so much." He whispered into her hair.
She said quietly, then pulled back to look him in the eye. "There is so much I
need to say to you…"
"I don't want
to talk about this now. I just want to hold you and feel you and know that
you're real…" He said softly. "We'll have plenty of time to talk later." He
told her, not wanting to ruin what was happening with words.
I need to say it now." She said with a determined look. "I don't know when it
happened, or how it happened, but things aren't the same now."
say that again. You're back after being dead for three months." He said with a
touch of sarcasm.
too, obviously. But I meant me. Us. We're not the same anymore. I knew it even
before. I just couldn't tell you. I wanted to. I wanted to say a lot of
things." She said looking at the floor, shifting her feet. She was nervous and
uncomfortable talking about the feelings that she had bottled up inside for so
what?" He asked anxiously, still afraid he was dreaming.
to tell you that you aren't a monster. Not by a long shot. Not anymore." She
said looking him in the eye. "What you did, what you've continued to do…that
means something. I didn't want to believe it, I fought it as hard as I could.
But I can't pretend to myself, or to you that all you are to me is some
monster. It's more than that. I don't know how or why you've done the things
because of you." He said, interrupting her. "The moment I saw you, something
inside me changed. Sure, it took a little while for me to recognize it and
accept it, but it was there, all along. I just had to let it happen. I don't
know why it happened, but what I feel for you is real…The only real
thing I've ever felt…" He said, softly turning away from her.
"I know. I
see that now. I believe it…What I feel is real too…" She said unsure of
is it that you feel?" He asked, not entirely confident that he wanted to know
at him somberly and swallowed hard. She wanted to say it, but the words were
not coming easily. She was trying desperately to push her fears aside and allow
herself to speak the truth without regrets. She walked to him and took his hand
in hers. She looked into his eyes.
at her, surprise registering on his face. The words out of her mouth didn't
seem right. It wasn't possible. He must have heard wrong.
at him and sighed.
you. I don't know when it happened. Or how it happened. But I do."
He let her
declaration sink in briefly before pulling her in for another desperate kiss. They
stood there lost in their emotions, neither one wanting to stop the energy that
was between them. Finally they parted and Buffy started to laugh nervously.
supposed to laugh when I kiss you." He said, his pride a little wounded. "What
exactly is so funny, Slayer?"
Sorry. I don't know why I'm laughing…its just…its all so ridiculous. Here I am
back from the dead, and here we are making out like fools…It's all just a
little too unreal and majorly weird." She laughed.
"It is a little
bit ridiculous, isn't it?" He said as he began to laugh along with her.
slightly. I think it's just gonna take me a minute to wrap my mind around all
of this." She said, still giggling.
at her seductively and pulled her close to him again.
you're doing that, I think I'll wrap my mind around you…" He whispered into her
ear as he kissed her again.
up on the floor this time, kissing each other. Both wanting to savor every
moment they had. Trying hard to make up for lost time. Each of them had not
wanted to stop, but both knew that it was best they wait before taking their
new relationship any further. When they finally managed to tear themselves from
each other, they sat on the floor and Spike held Buffy tightly to him. She
rested her head on his shoulder and he stroked her hair gently.
this is going to sound a little stupid, but…welcome back, Buffy." He whispered
into her hair with a smile.
good to be back." She replied with a smile.
there together in comfortable silence, holding each other tightly, until the
sun rose again. Buffy looked up and noticed the small glimmer of light through
a tiny window at the top of the crypt. She smiled to herself. It was the
dawning of a new day.