To End it All

The gang has gathered in the basement. Buffy chains Spike to the wall in preparation for the spell to possess him with the spirit of the First. Willow is off to Buffy's right with a spell book in her hand and Xander, Anya who has just arrived, and Dawn are standing to her left. Buffy clicks the shackles into place.

"So this demon's name was Eshana?" Anya asks.

"Yeah," Buffy responds.

"Why you know her?" Xander asks.

"Not personally, but she has a bit of a reputation around the office so to speak."

"What kind of reputation?" Dawn asks.

"A bad one."

"Bad as is… she's done horrible things?" Xander asks.

"Bad as in she sucks… She'll grant just about anything, doesn't even take the time to encourage a little creativity. It's disappointing really, for instance, Buffy's wish, I would have pushed her to come up with something a little more… bloody."

The whole room glances at Anya especially Buffy and Spike, but Anya just glares back with a 'what did I say' face. Buffy then looks into Spike's eyes as she locks the last cuff. Within in his eyes she sees a comforting gaze filled with trust and love. She softly kisses him on the lips not caring that anyone else sees.

"Ready?" She asks Spike waiting for his answer before she steps back and picks up the dagger of hope.

"Ready as I'll ever be." Spike says.

"Willow?"

"I'm set," Willow responds.

"Alright, let's do this then."

Buffy stands before Spike now with the dagger of hope in her hand ready to attack when the time is right. As Willow begins to chant in Latin Buffy catches Spike's glare and holds it tight. She stares into his blue eyes, into his soul, and lets him know that she's there for him. The scoobies behind her look on as the dagger begins to glow brighter and brighter and a dark mist fills the room. From seemingly no where a wind flows through the basement whipping Buffy's hair to the side. The darkness hovers above Spike's body. Willow chants louder. Then in a swirling vortex the darkness starts to funnel into Spike's body, and for the first time he breaks eye contact with Buffy. His head jerks up and the swirling vortex of darkness is fed into Spike's body through his mouth. Buffy looks on with shock and fear.

Buffy prepares herself to stab her lover. Willow's chanting stops and Spike's head falls limply back down. He's staring at the floor now then slowly he lifts his head. His blue eyes are now black and he gazes at her with pure evil. A low chuckle rumbles out from Spike's lips. Buffy listens to the inhuman sound and finds herself fearful of the creature that's taken over the body of a man she trusts.

"You think this will help you… putting me in the vampire's body," the First says through Spike's mouth.

"I'm thinking this might help," Buffy says holding the dagger up.

"You could kill any entity I possess and I will simply be set free… go ahead kill your dead lover."

"This isn't just any dagger… it's the dagger of hope."

"And what is that supposed to do?" The First says as he stands up within Spike body and charges at Buffy. Spike's arms jerk on their chains and the First stares down Buffy with Spike's dead black eyes trying to intimidate her.

"Let's find out," Buffy says as she shoves the dagger into Spike's chest."

At first the First laughs an evil unnatural sound, then it feels something happening. Spike's black eyes glare down to look at the dagger protruding from his chest. It starts to glow stronger and then through Spike's lips the First starts to scream. Spike's body pulls violently at the chairs as his screaming grows louder. Buffy looks on as the body of the man she loves is encompassed with white light coming from the dagger as it thrashes about.

As the white light dims and slowly fades away a single tear falls down Buffy's face. She watches as Spike's body falls limp to the floor hanging from the chains, the bright light is gone and the dagger has stopped glowing. Immediately she rushes toward him and turns him on his back. Spike's unconscious. More tears start to fall now and Buffy pulls the dagger from his chest. Then Buffy turns and goes upstairs.

"Did it work?" Xander asks once Buffy is out of sight.

"I think so," Willow responds.

"She seems pretty broken up… maybe someone should go talk to her," Anya says.

"I will," Dawn responds heading up the stairs after her sister.

--

Upstairs Buffy sits alone in the kitchen wiping the tears from her eyes. Dawn walks in behind her and Buffy turns to see her sister enter the room. Dawn sits down beside Buffy prepared to offer sympathy and compassion.

"He'll be okay," Dawn says comforting her sister.

"I hope so," Buffy responds.

"You… you really love him don't you?"

"Yeah… he's a different man now Dawn. He'd never hurt me again I promise you that."

"I believe you… I want you to know… Buffy I support you and if you want to be with Spike I support that too."

Buffy smiles at her sister wondering just when it was that she had grown up so much. Buffy pulls Dawn into a big hug to show her how she feels. Tears start to fall down Buffy's face and Dawn squeezes her tight.

--

Hours have past and the basement is now empty except for the still unconscious vampire lying on the floor with a gaping chest wound and the slayer who sits beside him cleaning that wound. Buffy has pulled Spike's shirt off over his head and now sits at his side with a bowl of warm water and a wash cloth tending to his wound. Then slowly his eyes flutter open to reveal once more sparkling blue orbs. Buffy looks down at him and feels relief flood through her body. The feeling of seeing him there alive is enough to bring tears to her eyes.

"Buffy," Spike chokes out.

"Shh, I'm here."

"Did we do it?"

"Yeah, yeah we did."

"Good."

"I love you Spike," Buffy says as she leans down and gives Spike a kiss.

THE END.


A/N: Thanks to everyone who's read this story. Your reviews have made me very happy :)