Life After Death

Chapter 1

The sun was beating high in the sky, sending out its midday pulses. The air was warm and children ran about in the sunshine, everywhere there was excitement, except in the room of a blonde nineteen year old. She lay motionless in a dream. She wasn't breathing and her heart was still, around her people stood with their heads bowed and their eyes dry from crying, but there was hope, there is always hope, because dead does not always mean what we think it does.
Suddenly the bedroom door burst open, and behind it stood a tall dark haired man, there was worry on his face as he walked over to the lifeless body, he touched her face with his cold hands but this gave him no comfort. The curtains had been drawn but even in the darkness I could see the distress in his eyes, we stood silent for some time all of us, standing, staring. Not at her but at the stillness of the air, she had always been active but now there was nothing, we all saw this but no one said anything, we all hoped that she would sit up; she'd say she was ok and then everything would be fine.
As the sun started to set I knew it was hopeless, I walked out of the room glad to be alone, but I wasn't alone. I had been wondering where he was; I had not said anything because he shouldn't have been there anyway.
"Hello luv." he said in his casual way as if nothing had happened, but he was upset, I could tell, I always could. We had a connection; we saw things unseen by the others. He pulled a cigarette and lighter out of his pocket in the way he always did, everything he did was familiar to me now. There was something I hadn't noticed though, I liked it, I liked the way he walked, how he spoke, the way he slightly tilted his head when he smiled. He wasn't smiling now. No one was.
He took me outside and we went for a walk, we walked not saying anything for what seemed like an eternity but eventually we stopped outside the remains of Sunnydale High.
"This was where I first tried to kill her." He said it as plain as day, but I knew what he meant. He had spent years trying to kill her and now she was dead, but he didn't want her to be, for the last year he had been in love with her, and now she was gone forever. "What happened?" I asked but I had heard the story many times, she had bragged about how he could never kill her and told me about most of his long battles with her. Even though he had loved her he was wishing it was him that had killed her, he had always said it would be him but now that would never happen.
We sat there for hours as he told me again the stories; the stories about their fights, no matter what had happened they could defeat each other and that's why he had loved her, she reminded him of himself, like a reflection. When he had died, his reflection had died with him, but now she had died leaving him no comparison, no worst enemy, no one he loved to hate.
As he talked I listened to his voice, not hearing the words but the person behind them, I heard his accent, I saw him smile while he remembered the past. I loved the way his head tilted gently to one side, I loved the way he held his cigarette, I noticed how much better he looked with his hair spiked up all over the place, I loved the way his eyes seemed to be bluer out here compared to when we were inside. I couldn't believe it - I was sitting thinking about how amazingly sexy he looked, and she was lying there. I wanted to forget all about her, but I couldn't, I knew he couldn't either.
When we arrived back at the house the tall dark haired man was sitting at the kitchen table clenching his fists, he held them so tight that the palms of his hands started to bleed, "Angel, stop it, you'll get blood on the carpet." I yelled. Angel turned to the vampire I had come in with, and then he yelled back at me,
"What is wrong with you tonight, your sister is dead, and you go off and vanish with her worst enemy?" I ran upstairs and sat on a chair in her room. Soon Angel appeared and sat next to me, "I'm sorry," he said, "I'm just upset and it's weird seeing you hang around with Spike." I told him that he would have to put up with it because Spike was the only one I felt I could talk to at the moment. I looked down at my sister, once again hoping she would wake up, hoping she would sit up and give me a hug, she would hug me and say that she was ok, there was nothing to worry about but nothing happened. I heard the door and looked up to see Spike walk in, that look on his face, the listening look, he wanted me to tell him what was wrong, why I was acting weird but it was obvious it was her fault, she should have let me do it, then she would be ok. I told him all of this, I told him that she was going to wake up any minute, any minute now, she would make everything ok again, and there would be no more pain and no more confusion.
We walked over to my room and sat on my bed, I felt so alone, everyone I knew and loved where vanishing before my eyes. I told him all of this because he understood it; he had seen his family die when he had been granted immortality. He lived forever while everyone around him died. We sat for hours and I told him everything, I told him what was wrong in my life and he told me what was wrong in his. But my life is worse, I told him that it was, I just said it, just before he left.
"And to make it worse I fancy an evil vampire."

Chapter 2

The sky was red with the setting sun, the streets were empty and quiet, and the house was dark, with only a single light to illuminate her. I stood at the door, I wanted to go in, but they wouldn't like that, they hated me, all of them.
The door opened slowly and her sister stepped through the door, her eyes where dry from crying and her fingernails were bitten down. I felt sorry for her. "Hello luv." I said and leaned against the wall to light my cigarette. I tried to act normal, but I was still upset.
I took her outside and we walked to Sunnydale High. I remembered it well. "This was where I first tried to kill her." I said, I knew she liked hearing the stories, I told her them all the time. I started to tell all the stories all the fights I had had with her sister. It helped me forget the events of the day before.
I started to walk her back, neither of us wanted to go back but we had to, the others would be worrying where she was. The kitchen light was on, so we went in the back way. Angel was there, my grand sire. We had abandoned him years ago, Drucilla and I, because he gained a soul. He saw me come in with her sister and anger grew on his face, and he yelled,
"What is wrong with you tonight, your sister is dead and you go vanish somewhere with her worst enemy?" She ran upstairs. I knew where she was going, I went to follow her, but Angel stopped me. "Don't you dare go near Dawn." I sat down at the kitchen table. He went upstairs but I knew she wouldn't talk to him, soon afterwards he came downstairs sulking, "She wants to speak to you." he said. I ran up the stairs, she was in her sister's room. I sat down beside her; I wanted her to tell me everything. She said that her sister would wake up, she would wake up any minute, sit up and everything would be ok. I wanted her to sit up too. I had tried to kill her for years, but Buffy was the same as me. We could never kill each other, and for the last year I had been in love with her. I had tried to change for her but it hadn't worked. Now I wished it was me that had killed her. I always told her that I would, that I would be there - chip or no chip.
We went into Dawn's room and told each other all the problems in our lives, she told me about her parents' divorce, her mother's cancer and her sister's death, now she had nowhere to go. I told her about my life in England before I died, I told her about Cecily and how she had rejected me, I told her about Drucilla and the two Slayers I had killed, I told her about my victims, the people I had killed. Then I told her about my chip, how I couldn't kill anymore, I had to live on pigs' blood, I had to sit in my dark crypt with nothing to do.
She told me about her life with Buffy, how she had always felt second best to her sister. She said that now she was alone with no one to talk to, but she had me to talk to and we did talk, we talked for hours.
I started to talk about how pathetic my life had become. After I had had the chip put in, I was good. I lived with Giles for a few weeks, but he wasn't very good company. Then I moved into Xander's basement, that was where I was worst, it made me realise how terrible my life had become. I was harmless, and then for about a day I even had to wear some of Xander's clothes (that was the worst part). When I finally got a crypt, Harmony came back, she annoyed me so much. But by then I had realised my love for the Slayer. I was obsessed with her.
Dawn talked about Buffy as well, she talked about how Buffy had looked after her and how she was skipping school, and she insisted that her life was worse. The last words she said before she fell asleep stuck in my mind. "... and to make it worse I fancy an evil vampire."
I walked down the stairs, I looked up and Angel was there, "She's asleep." I said and sat down at the kitchen table. Now that I had a chip in my head I was getting on better with my grand sire. for the first time I noticed the others. They had been here the whole time, there were all of her friends, I wondered who would look after Dawn, neither of us could, Angel and me, we were dead.
The sun was beginning to rise, so I invited Angel to stay at my crypt during the daylight hours. He said ok, so we went off into the cemetery. When we arrived I went straight to the fridge and got a blood for myself and a blood for Angel. We sat in silence for what seemed like forever, we were both thinking about Buffy, she couldn't be dead, she was Buffy. When we were evil we had never managed to kill her, she had stopped the world from ending so many times. There would be another Slayer, we knew that, but no one was like her. We talked for hours about her, about our lives before her, but we couldn't bring her back. Angel went to bed about lunchtime, and I sat down to watch Passions. No one could imagine what the future would bring, but I preferred to remember the past.

Chapter 3

The sun rose on a different world that it had set on, something had changed. In an upstairs room a blond girl of about 19 sat up from her sleep. She got up, got dressed, and went downstairs.
When I came downstairs she was sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast. I sat next to her and she threw her arms around me, she was back, she wasn't dead she was alive and she was never going to go away again. For that moment I didn't wonder why, I didn't care.
By lunchtime Willow, Tara, Anya and Xander were there too. We were all surprised but no one asked any questions. She insisted we go out for lunch, we went to the coffee house and met up with Giles, we talked and ate until sunset.
Just as the sun was setting I ran to the cemetery, I ran through the gravestones until I reached Spike's crypt. I burst in the door with a huge grin on my face. I found Spike in the lower part of his crypt, where his Buffy shrine had been before it was destroyed. When he saw me he stood up and walked over to me, "She's alive!" I said, but he didn't believe me. I dragged him up the stairs. Angel was upstairs so I tried to drag him out of the crypt with Spike, I was acting like a little kid but I didn't care, they had to see her too.
When we arrived at my house she was there in the kitchen with Willow, when Angel saw her he rushed towards her. They stood forever holding each other, Spike stood at the kitchen door and with one smooth movement a lit cigarette appeared in his hand. He looked at them with jealousy in his eyes. I remembered what I had told him the night before "...and I fancy an evil vampire." He hadn't realised it was him, or if he had, he had chosen to forget because she was back. He looked so sad seeing them together, he tried not to show it, but it was obvious. I got him to come outside and sit on the porch, so he didn't have to see them. I told him about how I had just come downstairs that morning and found her there eating breakfast, and for the first time that day, I started to form questions in my head. I was confused, I didn't understand why she had come back.
We sat on the porch steps staring into space until she came outside. "What happened last night?" I asked her. "I don't know." she said, then she explained that the last thing she could remember was jumping off the crane thing and hitting the ground. Then she had woken up in her room that morning. She sat down in between Spike and I. "Where's Angel?" Spike asked in that voice, that sarcastic voice. I loved the way he spoke when he was annoyed. When he was being sarcastic he made that face as well, and he seemed to spit the word Angel. He was all I could think about. Buffy was explaining that Angel was phoning the office in LA to tell everyone that she was ok. I looked at my watch subconsciously, 1:30 am. I was beginning to get tired and I had homework for the next day. I said goodnight to Buffy and went up to my room.
When I woke up the next morning I was petrified in case she hadn't woken up, in case it had all been a dream, but when I got downstairs she was frying eggs. As I went to put my jacket on as I left for school I saw Angel's jacket, he must have stayed. Then I thought about Spike, he was probably feeling more alone than usual. I couldn't stop thinking about him all day at school, I couldn't concentrate. During art I found myself drawing pictures of him, his face vamped out and his teeth showing. The teacher liked it, she kept asking me if I liked horror movies, but he was real, I knew him. Next I drew him normal, in his human form, with a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other. All day I doodled, in my workbooks, in my jotters and on my folders. some of them were realistic, others cartoons.
After school I didn't go home, I went to his crypt instead. He was sitting in front of the TV, his feet up on the table and a bag of blood in his hand. I walked over and sat next to him. "Hello luv, what are you doing here?" he asked. I just said that I didn't feel like going home. He offered me some blood, but he knew fine well I wouldn't take any. But then he spotted my notebook, the one I had been doodling in. It was open, he asked me what it was. "We had to draw a friend in art today, and I don't like any of the people in my class." I lied. He told me it was good and asked if he could keep it. I tore the page he had been looking at out of my notebook and handed it to him, he took some cellotape out of my bag and stuck it on the wall. I was so happy, he liked it and he didn't mind that I had drawn him. He looked pleased.
We just sat talking for hours, he was trying to get me to draw stuff, pictures of different things inside the crypt. He kept commenting on how good an artist I was and the drawings I did he stuck up on the wall. It kept my mind off Buffy for a while until she came looking for me. She burst in the door of the crypt and she talked about how worried she had been, she completely lost her temper when she saw the pictures on Spike's wall. She dragged me home and gave me a long lecture about vampires. I explained about the chip but she would not stop.
When I went to bed I couldn't sleep, it just wasn't fair. Spike was well over 100 years older than me and I hadn't even left school. "Life's not fair."

Chapter 4

The downstairs room was darker than usual. Even when I had lit the candles it seemed too dull. I looked at the rune that had once been a shrine, I longed for her even more now that she was gone. I touched my cheek and realised I was crying, I couldn't believe it, I was crying over a Slayer. I had been obsessed with her, I nearly killed Dru for her and now everything was gone. My shrine lay in ruins and she lay dead only a few streets away.
"Spike where are you?" It was Angel, I covered what I was looking at over with a sheet. "What is it?" I asked when he reached the bottom of the stairs. He came and sat next to me. "What are you doing?" I didn't say anything, but he had known me for over a century and I couldn't hide anything from him. "You miss her don't you." he asked, I denied it but he didn't believe me. He disappeared upstairs to get a blood for himself from the fridge.
Round about sunset Dawn came running down the stairs into my underground room, she had a huge grin on her face. I didn't believe her when she told me, she said that Buffy was alive! She dragged me upstairs and then dragged both me and Angel all the way to her house.
We went through the back door to find Buffy and Willow sitting at the kitchen table. Angel rushed over to Buffy and threw his arms around her, and they stood holding each other for almost an eternity. I leant on the frame of the kitchen door and lit up. I was so jealous of Angel and he knew it. After a few minutes of this Dawn dragged me outside. She could see I was jealous.
When we got outside she explained to me that she had woken up that morning to find Buffy eating breakfast in the kitchen. I was confused but glad. We both were, then I started to think about what Dawn had said the night before. She had told me she liked a vampire. Then more than ever I wanted to know who she meant, I knew it wasn't Angel - she hated Angel - but it couldn't be me. It couldn't.
Buffy came outside after a while. Dawn asked Buffy about her resurrection but none of us had any idea what had happened, least of all Buffy. She explained that the last thing she could remember before waking up that morning was diving off the crane and hitting the ground. She sat down in between us, which normally would make me happy but I didn't feel the same way about her. "Where's Angel?" I asked, bringing my cigarette up to my mouth, not really caring what had happened to my Grand-sire. Buffy explained that Angel was using the phone, he was calling his offices in LA to tell the others that Buffy was OK. I saw Dawn look at her watch, I knew she had school the next day and she look a bit tired. She said she had homework to do and went up to her room. I sat alone on the porch with Buffy for a while but Angel appeared. He said he was staying with Buffy for a while so I walked home on my own. It occurred to me that Dawn was the only person I talked to, everyone else was preoccupied with there own lives and with Buffy. They didn't even care how it happened, they didn't have any questions. But I was confused and so was Dawn, everything had gone back to normal. When I got home I opened the fridge and found a beer, I sat down and opened the large chest that lay under the table.
Out of the chest I took my gun, I had nearly killed Buffy with it before but didn't. The gun made me feel better. A few weeks ago I had let Dawn look at the gun, I remember that afternoon. It was hard to forget, because now there was a huge dent in the wall where it had gone off.
I don't know why but I couldn't stop thinking about Dawn. She would always talk to me, I think she trusted me more than she trusted her sister. We could talk to each other about our problems like what we had done the night before. Eventually I settled down in front of the TV.
I jumped nearly ten feet in the air when the door opened, it was Dawn. School was over and she had came to see me instead of going home. She came and sat down next to me. "Hello luv, what are you doing here?" I asked, taking a drink from my blood bag. She explained that she didn't feel like going home. Then I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. I stood up and picked up Dawn's notebook, I was shocked, on the open page was drawn a picture of me. I was sitting on a bench with a cigarette in my hand, it was good but why had she drawn me? "What's this?" I asked and she explained that she had to draw a friend in class, and she didn't like anyone in her class. I was so happy that she had picked me and asked if I could keep the picture. She tore it out of her notebook and handed it to me. I used some of her cellotape and stuck it just above the dent in my wall. She was such a good artist, it was amazing.
We talked for hours, I kept trying to get her to draw stuff, stuff around the crypt like the TV and stuff. They were so good but then Buffy appeared. She burst through the door and complained about how worried she had been. She flipped when she saw the picture on my wall, she dragged Dawn out the door leaving me alone again. I looked at all the pictures Dawn had drawn, she had left her sellotape so I stuck them all over my walls. I went and turned on the TV but I couldn't stop thinking about her, and I was really angry at Buffy. Now I was all alone in my crypt. I had helped Buffy so many times, now I didn't matter and I wasn't trustworthy enough to look after Dawn. Life's not fair.