Light Beyond The Darkness.

Chapter one.

Coming home.

The rain was coming down hard. So hard in fact Buffy Summers thought to herself that maybe she should pull over until it eased a little. God knows why she didn't though. Maybe it was the fact she knew that was no more that an hour from Sunnydale, home. Where her mother and friends had lived there whole lives. Her whole life revolved around this small town and she wouldn't have it any other way. It was where she went to university, done her shopping and hung out with all her friends. More then anything she wanted to get back and see them. It was where she had felt safe.

She had just spent her whole summer break with her father in L.A. God knows why, she was desperate to get out of town. It wasn't that she hated her father, she just didn't agree with things he had done in the past to her and her mother. When she had walked in on her father cheating on her mother, none the less in their own bed, he had tried to make Buffy promise not to tell her mother. At first to keep her family together she had kept his secret. Months rolled by and Buffy came to the sick realization that he was never going to end it with the young girl. She was only 17 at the time, two years older then herself.

Gathering up the guts one day she sat her mother down in the family living room and told her everything. It was like she pulled the plug on her father's whole life but she didn't care. She knew her mother deserved the truth, she didn't deserve to live in the lie he had created around her. A whole hour it took for Buffy to explain to her distort mother the wicked ways of her father. Down to the last detail that she could recall. Shattered, Joyce had stormed down to her husbands work to confront him of Buffy's allegations only to walk in on him with his mistress herself. Buffy remembered her mother coming home, her cheeks stained with tears and telling her that it was over. Hank came to the house a few days later, glaring at me hatefully as he did so to collect his things. Joyce stood back watching him, daring him to say something. Thankfully the visit was short. A few months later, Joyce had received divorce papers in the post and signed them happily before posting them back. Life was worth smiling about again.

In Buffy's first year of collage she had met a boy. Parker his name was. All throughout her first year they were an item and well into her second year although Buffy would often wonder why she was still with him. He was consistently cheating on her with other women around campus, some even girls she knew. However, he was very possessive and if he caught her even glimpsing at another bloke he would chastise her in public and sometimes it got so bad he would let the full fury go on her behind closed doors. Many times she stood in front of the mirror before classes finding ways to hide bruises that he had left on her due to his rage. Her roommate and best friend would often tell her that he was no good and she should leave him but she was too scared. What if he got worse?

Finally, she decided that enough was enough and finally plucked up the courage to tell him it was over. Naturally he lost his temper at her but instead of the usual chastising and belt around the head he had picked her up by the throat and threw her into the nearest wall. Crumpling to the ground he started screaming at her, calling her a slut and accusing her that he knew she was cheating on him. Then the beating started, his fists beating out their fury on her face, her stomach, her chest, anywhere he could land a cold, hard punch on her. His feet, bare, digging into anywhere his fists were unable to reach. Buffy had closed her eyes, trying to block out the pain, praying he would stop soon. She didn't even feel the hot tears that were streaming down her face. Suddenly felt her shirt being ripped open and his rough hand pulling at her already tender breast. She could feel his naked erection on her leg and before long she felt him roughly rip her skirt off completely before he moved his attention to her underwear.

Frightened Buffy opened her eyes and spotted the electrical cord that was connected to a marble lamp in arms reach. The lamp, she realized was just above Parker's head. Seizing the chance before he could hurt her anymore she yanked on the cord. It smashed on impact, knocking him out cold. Pieces of the lamp shattered everywhere around her as Parker's heavy body thankfully slumped off to the side. Buffy gathered all her strength and fled in her current condition at that precise moment. Sobbing she remembered crashing into her dorm room and into her best friends arms. The police and ambulance were called and all Buffy can remember is Willow sitting in the ambulance with her, holding her hand all the way to the hospital.

She had stayed in hospital for a week. Parker had given her two broken ribs, a broken collarbone, internal bleeding and multiple bruises. Joyce had told her that Parker had been arrested and was facing a number of charges. Willow had managed to find out that on top of the charges that the police had already laid on him from the statement and evidence they had collected from Buffy he had been connected to several other unsolved rapes around campus. Several other girls had also come forward to report their rapes from him.

Upon leaving hospital her mother had made her promise to get out of town until the trial was over. LA sounded good to her, a good place to lose yourself in, even if you had to stay with your father and the skank that broke up your parent's marriage. She had made a big point of flashing her damn wedding ring in her face the second Buffy arrived too. Made her sick just thinking about it. She managed to lose herself in the many mall's LA had to offer often spending hours just wondering around with nothing more then a milkshake in her hands. It seemed to be soothing for her somehow. About two months went by and Willow and her mum kept her consistently updated on Parker's trial. It wasn't looking good for him. Thankfully her lawyer managed to pass a motion for Buffy to be absent at the hearing, using her statement to the police as her defense instead. Then one day her best friend called her to tell her the good news. Parker had been found guilty of all charges and was sentenced to 25 years with no parole. He was to serve his time out in maximum security. The news sprung tears to her eyes. Finally she could go home!

She rushed back to her father's house as fast as she could to pack her things. Throwing her belongings in the suitcase she had brought with her, she bid her father goodbye before rushing out of the house. Home couldn't wait a minute longer.

She was knocked from her thoughts when a dog ran in front of her car. Slamming on the brakes she sighed in relief as she watched the dog run into some near by bushes. She let the car come to a complete stop and that's when she felt it. Her heart jumped into her throat when she felt the unmistakable thump of another car hitting her from behind.

"Oh no." she groaned bumping her head on the steering wheel. Bracing herself she unclipped her seatbelt before she opened the car door and stepped out into the cold rain. Buffy felt a drop run down her back, making her shiver slightly. In seconds her whole body was drenched. She walked to the back of the car to examine the damage. The car that had hit her had reversed his vehicle back, giving her enough room to inspect the rear of her car. In nothing but the pale moonlight she noticed both of her rear lights had been smashed and the boot had been crushed in from the impact.

"Stupid piece of crap car!" Buffy groaned kicking the rear tire. She turned to look at the vehicle that had hit her. She noticed it was a large van with barely had a scratch on it. She watched as a tall man hoped out of the van and walked towards to her but she was unable to see his face through the rain. She raised a hand to her head, to shield her eyes.

"Are you alright luv?" She heard him call over the rain. His accent was thick, British like.

"I'm fine. Sad I can't say the same for my car though." she replied.

"Sorry bout that."

"It's my fault … There was a dog. I slammed on the brakes… It was a thing." She hurried. The man laughed at this.

"Come on let's get out of the rain." He stepped back a few feet and opened the back sliding door. He watched as she gingerly stepped back towards her car. He could tell she was hesitant.

"It's alright luv I'm not going to hurt you." She didn't know why but she trusted this stranger, his voice seemed so kind and sort of familiar to her ears. She trustingly stepped into the van, out of the pouring rain. He followed soon after, closing the door. Buffy sat down on the floor as the man reached down into a box and handed her a towel. Gratefully she took it.

"Thanks." She smiled wiping her face. Looking over the towel her mind suddenly screamed "Oh my God" and she felt her skin go hot. She felt her heart pound wildly in her chest as the recognition of the man that was sitting in front of her came all too clear. It was William Giles or as all his friends called him Spike. No wonder she recognized his voice. She had only been crushing on this guy for forever and spent almost all her time in phyc class drooling over him and doodling in her notebook about him. Of course at the end of the class she would rip the paper to shreds and dump it in the trash so Parker wouldn't find out. But it didn't stop her knowing almost everything about the guy.

She knew that Spike and his father had moved to Sunnydale after his mother had passed away from cancer. She knew that his father's name was Rupert and he was the high school librarian. Well at least until the end of her Senior year where the school had been burnt to the ground when a prank went wrong just after Graduation. He now worked at the University library casually; the man always had a thing for books. She also knew that Mr. Giles owned a small retail outlet down near the mall called The Magic Box where he spent most of his time now. Buffy would often go down to help out; she had grown to know the man quite well during high school.

Now as for Spike himself she had first laid eyes on him she had been sitting in homeroom about two weeks after her Senior year begun. Principal Flutie had walked into the room with him in tow, his platinum blonde hair slicked back and all dressed in black. Flutie introduced him to the class as William Giles and asked for a volunteer to show him around the school. Before she could raise her hand, Drusilla, the schools psycho, shot her hand up. Neitherless to say, she hadn't had much of a chance to talk to him other then the occasional hi when he came to talk to his dad if she was around at the time.

She knew from mostly collage gossip that the pair had dated right up until just before the end of their first year of collage. It was discovered that Dru was in fact sleeping with her collage history professor. The pair high tailed it to England, to start a fresh. She remembered him walking into his dads shop one day, devastated, telling his dad he was going on a road trip. He had left before everything went down with Parker.

The thought refreshed in her mind that Parker was now out of her life and she could talk and do what ever she pleased made her also realize she had been staring at Spike over her towel now for a few minutes.

"Buffy, Buffy Summers you're in my phyc class right?" he asked.

"Yeah, you're William Giles. Rupert's son." She stated trying to act uninterested.

"You know my dad huh?" His eyes sparked with interest.

"Yeah he helps me out sometimes with research for class assignments he is a nice guy." She desperately wanted to get off the subject.

"Yeah he's pretty cool… So where you coming from?"

"I spent the summer with my dad in L.A while things cooled down for me here." She replied looking down.

"Hmm. Yeah I heard about what happened with Parker... I'm sorry." He said saddened. He remembered just how messed up she had looked in the hospital.

"Yeah good times." she replied sarcastically. She buried her head in the towel.

"I came and saw you in hospital … with Willow and Faith." Her head shot up at this. He came and saw her at the hospital. They had barely said hello to each other since he had moved here.

"You did? I don't remember seeing you."

"You where sleeping. We left flowers though. Thought it best to let you rest." She smiled at that. She wondered why Willow hadn't mentioned it to her.

"You know Willow and Faith?" So apparently he did know what happened to her. Apparently he had come to see her too.

"Yeah, I share a place off campus with some mates. Two of them being Oz and Riley." She nodded understandingly. Oz and Willow and been seeing each other for four years now. They had met in high school and were instantly connected. Faith and Riley had met on their first day on campus during sign up and had been inseparable ever since. Buffy started to wonder if he knew anymore of her close friends.

"Who are the other guys?"

"Angel, Wesley and Xander." Buffy almost laughed out loud. She knew these boys too. Angel and Cordy had been seeing each other for 4 years, Oz and Willow had introduced them to each other before the Spring dance. Wesley had been dating Fred since they met for the first time in biology at Uni and Anya and Xander had also been dating high school.

"So you would also know Cordy, Fred and Anya." She asked grinning.

"I do they're all really decent chicks … Anya she's a bit of a strange bint but Xander adores her."

"She can be a bit … honest." Buffy admitted. They laughed but soon went silent. How was it they were so connected but never actually close. Buffy finally spoke up.

"So where were you coming from?"

"My grandparents live in England. I spent most of my summer with them but I left my van at LA airport so I could stop in and see some mates on the way home." She went quiet for a moment worried he would get annoyed with her next statement. But she felt she had to say something.

"I know you probably don't want to hear this but I'm sorry about what happened with Dru." Instead of an annoyed look was expecting she was greeted with a soft smile.

"Don't worry about it. Truth is and don't get me wrong I did like the girl and we had a long history together but I knew it was doomed from the beginning." She had a look of curiosity on her face. She didn't understand. She had the understanding that they where so close, so in love.

"Why? I mean didn't you love her?"

"At one stage I thought I did. But if it was… I just think it would have hurt so much more. When it happened I wasn't really hurt and not even close to surprised… I see it as we where keeping each other company, killing time till we met till our mister or misses right came along. She has hers and she is happy and I think I might know where mine is." He smiled at Buffy as he looked deep into her eyes. She looked down feeling her face go hot once again and she looked back up at him, he could tell that his statement had hit her. He decided to break the ice.

"Besides Dru was not quite all there … she was a little bit..." Spike wavered.

"Crazy." She intervened.

"Yeah." He replied laughing with her.

"Besides a few months before it ended I knew it had to end. I just figured it would be me to do it." She nodded understanding. Buffy turned and looked out the van window. Seeing the rain had eased she turned back to look at him.

"It looks like the rain has died down. I should probably see if I can get my car to move." Spike's heart pounded as panic started to burn thought him. He didn't want her to leave. He had always found her interesting, mysterious ever since he had started at Sunnydale High. He had wanted to get to know her but every time he would look over at her Dru would go off. She had once said to him that every time she looked at him all she could see was Buffy, everywhere, swimming all around him, he had shook his head and shrugged it off but now when he looked back it didn't seem that crazy. He did worry about the girl, he cared for her, when he had found out what Parker had done he had wanted to kill him. He had to do something, say something, anything to stop her from leaving.

"Listen luv your car doesn't look to road worthy maybe we should move it to the side of the road. We can get your stuff out and I'll drive you home." Spike offered. Buffy looked up at him. He was so gorgeous; his blonde hair was now dry and sitting in soft curls. He was wearing blue jeans and a white top she noticed that this was not his usual clothing. Normally he would be wearing black jeans with either a red or black top with his famous black, long, leather duster. Buffy spied it hanging off the back of the seats at the front.

"Thanks, that's probably a good idea." She smiled. She had hoped he would offer her a ride knowing the car was in no condition to get her home safely. But most of all she enjoyed his company and was not quite ready to say good night. Spike smiled back at her as he pulled the van door open and stepping out, Buffy hoping out behind him.

"Are the keys still in the car pet?" She patted down her pant pockets.

"Yeah I'll just see if I can get her to move." She replied. She went for the car only to have him stop her.

"No you stay here we don't know how stable she is. I don't want you to get hurt luv." Buffy nodded her head lightly and watched as he walked to the driver's side of her car. She smiled as he got into her car, her thoughts wondering. He was worried about her she realized generally concerned for her safety. She shook her head vigorously. Even if he did there was no way she could get involved with another guy! It was a recipe for disaster. If Parker had taught her anything it was not to let anyone get too close to your heart. The loud scraping sound of metal on metal snapped her to what was in front of her. She cringed knowing there would of no way she would of got home without a tow truck in her car.

Spike cut the engine before hoping out and opening the back door. Buffy walked over to help him unload her bags from the backseat. Luckily Buffy realized, she had been in such a rush to get home she had chucked all her bags on the backseat instead of the boot like she normally would. The two hurriedly put her suitcase and bags in the back of Spikes van before Buffy locked the car and set the alarm. Satisfied that her car was reasonably safe, she shoved her keys in her pocket. Walking back to Spikes van, Buffy scampered into the front passenger seat as Spike closed the sliding door. Buffy jumped slightly when Spike slid into the driver's seat from the back rather from the front door as she had been expecting. He didn't seem to notice as he gunned the van's engine to life.

"So are you going to your mums or to the dorms?" He asked looking at her.

"Well I was going to go and see my mum first and then go to the dorms. I'll just have to catch a cab there." Buffy surmised.

"No worries. I can drop you off at the dorms after you see your mum." He smiled at her.

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah it's no problem. While I'm waiting I'll call Phil, he is the local mechanic I know. I'll get him to pick up your car tonight. He'll have it fixed in no time."

"Oh, I should really speak to my insurance company before I have it fixed."

"Don't worry about it, it's on me anyway. You may have slammed on the brakes but I should have been watching the road instead of playing with the CD player." Spike pointed to his CD player that was nestled in the dash as he smiled at her.

"Oh no, I couldn't let you do that." She gushed.

"Nah it's cool. Phil owes me a few favors anyway."

"Thanks that's really descent of you." Buffy smiled back at him. Secretly, she was swooning. Could her day get any better?

"Well I'm a descent kind of guy." Spike quipped back, laughing lightly.

"Well we better head off." With that he flicked on the headlights before getting back onto the road. Buffy grabbed for her seatbelt and clicked it in. Finally she was going to be home.