a/n: well here it is, the last chapter. i'd like to thank all of my reviewers for their wonderfull words and enjoy!
He remembered a girl.
It was always dark, always hot, always burning. It didn't used to be this way. He knew that but he couldn't remember how it used to be. He dreamed though. Not while he slept. You didn't sleep where he was, you were knocked unconscious. While he was out he dreamed of her. Of the girl. His girl. Pretty little blonde thing. Stronger than she seemed.
He met a blonde down here. He knew her. Remembered her from before. She was familiar but he didn't know why. She remembered even less. But they knew they were family. Twisted as it was, they fought together. Fought against the pain, against the fear, they fought to remember who they were and why they had been sent for punishment.
What had they done in life to deserve the worst that a hell dimension had to offer?
Angel stalked through Restfield cemetery letting his senses guide him toward Buffy. Behind him Oz and Xander were talking quietly about the last time Dru was in town. Beside him Giles walked in silence, he was deep in thought and Angel guessed it was to do with all of the dead Watchers. According to the files Willow had found Drusilla had decimated the Watchers Council, killing every Watcher in the UK she could get her hands on. No doubt there were several others who had been killed as she made her trek back to America.
It didn't matter to Angel that his childe had killed dozens of Watchers, what mattered to him was that she had come for Buffy. Come to exact her final revenge for what happened to Spike. Angel knew Dru, he'd made her what she was, and the one question he now desperately wanted answered was the one about Spike?
What the hell had happened to Spike?
Whatever had happened to Spike had turned Buffy into an empty shell of the person she had once been and had sent Dru on one of the largest killing sprees she had ever been a party to. The Watchers were dead and now Dru was in Sunnydale, getting closer and closer to finishing her task.
Angel stopped suddenly, throwing out a hand to stop Giles. He'd just caught a familiar scent on the wind. They were close. Angel directed everyone in the direction and they emerged into an older part of the cemetery. There, just a few rows away, Buffy was lying on her back on the top of a large concrete tomb. It was the very edge of the cemetery bordering the area sectioned off for the new graves. The section was empty now but given a few weeks would be filled with the dead, people Buffy had refused to save.
Giles made to move toward Buffy, to warn her, but it was too late. Drusilla emerged from behind a group of mausoleums and walked, almost danced, toward Buffy. Angel swallowed a growl that turned into a gasp when Dru didn't attack.
She climbed onto the tomb and lay down beside Buffy.
The sudden transition from dark to bright white light was almost blinding. But that wasn't the worst of it. The worst was that something about the transition unlocked the thousands of memories he had forgotten. Memories of the blonde he knew as family. Darla. Memories of a girl, The girl, the one. He remembered the pain, remembered the burning, the heat. He remembered the torture of hell, the torture of angry little men with a world spinning quickly out of their control.
But he remembered Her.
And he'd brave the tortures of a hell dimension, the tortures of terrified little men, a million times over for Her.
He became aware of others, the vast emptiness was no longer empty, there were beings, two of them. They emerged from the blinding white and looked at him with a curiosity, an awe, he didn't understand. And They spoke. They asked him questions, silly little things he saw no reason for them to ask. But he answered, happy for a conversation that didn't involve trading insults and strategy.
Gradually the room around him began to shift, colors started to appear amongst the white. Gold was seeping back; gold that reminded him of sunshine, of Her.
For a long time they lay together in silence. There was no need to talk, Buffy knew that if Dru was in Sunnydale she had done all she could. Done what Buffy had wanted to but human conventions made impossible. She was the first to break the silence, so intent on watching the stars and ignoring the world she didn't notice the tingles on the back of her neck alerting her to another vampire.
'Killed 'em all,' Drusilla informed her. 'I found these.'
She stretched out her arm and let the thing fall, dangling from her fingers. Buffy's eyes were drawn to the object. A simple gold chain with three rings hanging off it. Three gold rings, two that Spike had given her. Her hand was shaking when she reached out to take the necklace and the rings from Dru. They were shaking so much that Dru had to reach over and help her undo the clasp so that she could slide two of the rings free. She slipped them on to her finger and felt silent tears slip down her cheeks. She held her hand up to admire the way the rings looked, the way they fit perfectly on the third finger of her left hand.
The necklace and the last ring went around her neck. She was oblivious to their audience.
They lay in silence for a long time, staring at the stars while Buffy cried.
For a love that defied logic. A love that defied reason. A love that had proved more than any other, They would do anything.
Joyce made her way to the front of the group, smiling sadly, and came to a stop between Angel and Giles. For a while they watched Buffy and Dru in silence, the wind bringing their soft voices to them so they had heard everything. The Scoobies and Angel had heard Buffy's part in the deaths of all those Watchers. They'd heard but they refused to understand. The rings just caused Angels eyes to bug out of his head. No one really knew what to think but Angel had had enough. He took a step forward intent on interrupting when Dru shot upright startling everyone with the big smile in her face.
For them They would do anything. For Her he would do everything. For Him the world had come to a stop.
Dru sat up suddenly and the big smile on her face had Buffy following. Dru slipped off the tomb and started walking out into the empty section. Buffy followed, confused, and behind her the Scoobies and Angel moved closer. Dru started twirling in giddy circles and the others came to a stop right behind Buffy, not one of them was willing to take the final step and touch her though.
'Dru?' Buffy croaked, she saw no reason to be happy.
'No more darkness!' Dru sing-songed. 'There's gold in the white room, sunshine singing again. No more flames.'
'Dru?' Buffy whispered, she felt hope where there should have been none. She alone understood Dru's words and they were stopping her tears melting her heart. 'What are you saying?'
'William the Bloody, our Spike!' she clapped her hands and skipped forward, pulling Buffy in to a dance, twirling her around. 'No more pain, no more tears, no more burning! My Spike, your Spike, our Spike!'
'What-' Buffy started to ask but her voice broke off when a clap of thunder sounded in the air. A fork of lightening hit the ground before them throwing everyone off of their feet. A second bolt of lightening struck knocking everyone back down as they struggled to get up. Two more claps of thunder, one more bolt of lightening and then there was stillness in their air. Buffy lifted herself to her feet and raised her eyes to the burnt ground before them where the lightening had struck.
He was there.
He was bruised, he was bleeding, his jeans were torn, his t-shirt gone. He was wearing no shoes and there were claw marks slashing his chest open. There was blood everywhere.
And she didn't care.
His mouth moved but she was running before she even heard his words. She threw herself onto him, wrapping legs and arms around him. She was crying tears of joy. Hysterical words of love raining down on him with her tears. It happened in the blink of an eye but the wind carried his words, brought them to the still fallen Scoobies. Two words that conveyed far more than they should have been able.