Disclaimers: Everything belongs to Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon. I'm just having fun with the characters

Summary: Picks up at 'Seeing Red', only Spike didn't attack Buffy in the shower but she still insists they can't go back to the way they were. Warren is still insane and Willow…well you'll see. Angel is also in this and I've taken major liberties with the story line from that show's canon as well. Pretty much AU from 'Seeing Red' timeline…doesn't start out with B/A, but, as always, goes there

Pairings: Buffy/Angel, Spike/Tara

Warnings: Character death, in a fashion

Reviews: Welcomed and appreciated


"What 'cha up to Buff?" Xander came up behind the Slayer as she leaned into the bushes in her front yard.

"Just making sure there aren't any more cameras lurking about." She stood up and looked up at her friend, a sad look on her face.

"And admiring this beautiful sky." She waved a hand before noticing the slightly green pallor to her friends face. "You doin' alright Xand? I mean, you did do a bit of the heavy drinking-to-forget, maybe you should still be in bed…"

He cut her off. "I'm done sleeping it off; I need to be with my friends. I need the support, the camaraderie, the pity." Both turned to see Warren run up the front walkway, a gun in his hand. The look on his face frightening Xander but angering the Slayer.

"You think you can just do that to me? That I'd let you get away with it? Think again…" Warren raised the gun and opened fire on the Slayer. Before she could really think, Buffy shoved Xander to the ground just before Warren ran from the yard, firing the last of his rounds above his head.

"Sweet fancy Moses! Where the hell did he get…Oh god!" Xander crawled over to Buffy as blood spread from the wound on her chest.

"Buffy? Buffy?" He pressed his hand against her chest, trying not to panic as she sputtered blood, attempting to respond to him, but failing.

"Buffy, please…" Her breath was coming in ragged gasps as she stared blankly into the beautiful sky she had been admiring earlier, shock setting in.


Spike was in a foul mood. Okay, he admitted to himself, one of his more obsessed moods to be sure, never-the-less it was foul. Which was why he had burst into the back door of Buffy's house, a blanket pulled over his body, attempting to shield himself from the sun's rays.

He did a quick about face in his judgment when he realized he had come to plead with her. What the bloody hell had he been thinking? Buffy had rejected him and as usual, he just couldn't, wouldn't, accept it. He had fantasized that if he could get her alone, if he could just make her see how much she needed him. How much he needed her…

Throwing the blanket off, he shook his head. Bugger this. I won't beg her, he promised himself. I can't let her know I came with my tail between my legs, pleading for another chance. I'll just hang in the cellar until the sun sets and then I'm outta here. Yeah, they'll never even know I was here. I got a bit of pride, he thought, not much maybe, but a bit.

The sound was like a car backfiring. But Spike knew better, he knew it was gunfire. Who the hell used a gun in Sunnydale? Stakes, knives, magical swords, spells. But guns?

The shattering of the window drew his attention up the stair case. Buffy! He took the stairs three at a time, bursting into the bedroom just in time to see a bullet explode out of the white witch's chest and splatter blood onto the front of Red's shirt.

Tara's eyes were drawn first to the vampire that had come into the room and then to Willow. What was on the front of her shirt, she asked herself?

"Your shirt…" The blond collapsed, a bright red stain fastly spreading.

"Tara?" Willow knelt over her lover. "Tara? Come on baby, get up." She turned to Spike.

"Please, do something." She begged.

Spike quickly went to the two women. He shook his head.

"Red, she's almost gone…there's nothing…"

With tear-filled eyes, she turned to Spike.

"Save her Spike, I know you can. Please Spike…you have to do it." She was pleading.

He hesitated. "Willow, I can't, you don't know what you're asking…"

She cut him off, her grief quickly turned to anger, her eyes turning black with grief and rage.

"We don't have time for this! You save her Spike, or I swear you'll suffer such pain…"

He looked up at the Wicca with an incredulous expression.

"If I turn her, she won't be your bird, you know that." He had to move fast, he could sense Willow's power as well as her anger, he could almost smell it, and he knew she would hurt him, kill him more likely.

"You do it Spike, before it's too late. I'll take care of the rest." Her voice was deceptively soft but he saw the intent behind her eyes.

Tara's pulse was so weak, if he didn't move now she couldn't be saved. And if he didn't do what Willow was demanding of him, he knew his fate wouldn't be any better.

"Fine, but this is on your head." He morphed into his demon visage as he cradled Tara in his arms. He felt the beat of her heart weaken. As the last of her life force ebbed from her body, Spike bit into the soft flesh of her neck, drinking the last of her essence from her. There wasn't much, so it didn't take long. He bit the flesh of his wrist and held it over her lips, letting it drip into her mouth.