1. Prologue Part I
The Sunnydale crater 2003
"What do you think we should do, Buffy?"
"Yeah, you're not the one and only chosen anymore. s' gotta live like a person. How does that feel?"
"Yeah, Buffy… What are we gonna do now?"
The not one and only chosen anymore turned to face her friends, still with that wide and plastered smile on her lips.
"We wait," she said and turned back to the crater. "We wait here for Spike."
Dawn held back the sudden prick of tears and laid a trembling hand on her sisters' shoulder. She could feel Buffy tense under her touch.
"No. He's not. He's coming back." She shook her head but didn't turn around, kept up her steady vigil. "He always comes back."
Giles shook his head and with a firm grip around her elbow swivelled her around to face them all. He could see her hold back the tears and how her lips trembled. His slayer was broken and he knew who to blame. It seemed as it always came down to Spike.
"He's not coming back, Buffy. He's dead." Pause. "And maybe that's for the best…"
"Giles, stop it!" she warned coldly. "I am not fighting with you about this again! He's not dead! He will come back." Voice breaking. "Don't you get it? He'll. Come. Back. That's what he does. That's what he always does."
"I wanna see how it ends."
"Not this time," Xander said and pulled her in for a hug. "I'm sorry, Buffy. So sorry. But… he's gone."
"Xander's right," whispered Willow and joined in for the hug. "Spike's dead."
Buffy swallowed back the sobs and leaned her head against Xander's' broad shoulder.
"I know…" Sigh. "But I returned from the dead. Why can't he? "
"Can we rest now, Buffy? Can we rest?"
Suddenly Buffy felt a tingle in the left hand and looking down she saw that the skin was pink after the fire burn caused by her holding hands with Spike.
"What is it, Buffy?"
Buffy was just about to say something when her eyes rolled into the back of her head and she fell to the ground lifeless.
Dawn let out a piercing scream and dropped to the ground beside her sisters' still body.
There was no response and Buffy kept lying there without a sign of life. No sound. No movement. She was breathing but only barley and her heartbeat was very weak. The others stared in confusion and fear. What was happening to their leader?
Suddenly Buffy's eyes shot open and there was a yellow spark in them before it faded away and return to the normal hazel colour. She slowly got back up on her feet, patting away helping hands.
"Buffy, what happened? Are you okay?"
Buffy meet their concerned gazes and smiled a predatory smile that made the others skins crawl. There was something…
"I'm fine." Turning around to face the crater. "Let's leave. It's safe to say that school's out for the bloody summer…"
2. Prologue Part II
"Any terms of a plan?"
"'bit more specific."
"Well, personally; I kind'a wanna slay the dragon. Let's go to work."
And the sword fell.
Spike squinted against the thick layer of rain, trying to make out the hunching form of Charles Gunn. The injured man seemed to hold is own, swinging that axe at the blood- thirsty demons that just kept coming at them.
To the left, Spike could see Illyria swapping away her opponents like insignificant bugs. She was magnificent in all her raging glory and Spike sent a quick thought to the departed Wesley. The ex-watcher had done a good job with her.
A little further ahead, Angel systematically pounded on a tall demon with his sword – eyes focused on the huge roaring beast above.
Spike was a little bit anxious that the elder vampire would be too distracted by the dragon to notice the enemy that crept up behind him.
The dark haired vampire spun around just in time to block the incoming blow from an ogre.
"Thanks!" he yelled in Spike's direction and made history short with his attacker.
Spike simply shook his head and concentrated on his own problems. Which proved to be massive.
The giant swung its meaty – and rather impressive, fist down towards the smaller (much smaller) vampire with a wide grin on its lips.
Spike gracefully jumped out of range and pierced the giant's hand with his sword, grinning as it roared in pain.
Another huge fist descended and swatted Spike away with such force that he flew several meters away and collided with a brick wall. The impact was enough to force the wall to give in and Spike fell to the ground with brick stones and debris falling over him.
It hurt to say the least.
Next thing the rubble was drawn off of him and he could see Illyria's grim face staring down at him. He gratefully took the outstretched hand she offered and fought to get back up on his feet.
"Thanks, Leery," he said between breaths. "Right decent of ya."
"My pet will not be harmed," she simply announced and then she was off again – ripping out throats and spines without any real effort.
Spike stared after her for just a moment, silently marvelling over the fact that the crazy god king actually considered him her 'pet'. Oh, the irony…
There was a sudden cry of pain from somewhere behind Spike and as he turned around he could see Gunn go down – pierced by a sword. The poor guy had at least lasted more than ten minutes. And he had sure made them count.
There was really not time to stop and grieve over the lost friend; another demon was on Spike in a matter of seconds. Swinging its axe and growling fiercely.
It didn't really impress the vampire who killed it plainly with a beheading.
The dragon roared over Spike's head and as he turned his attention to it, he could see that it had its eyes set on Angel. And the elder vampire seemed clueless about his fact as he was busy defending himself against a fyarl demon.
Spike sprinted against the dark haired vampires' direction, never letting his eyes waver from the dragon as it opened its big jaws and let out a stream of fire.
Angel swung around just as he was hit by the fire. Before the vampire went up like a torch, his eyes met Spike's and the younger vampire could have sworn he saw Angel's lips form the word 'Buffy'.
"No!!" Spike screamed again and fell to his knees at the spot where Angel just moments before had stood. He stared down at the pile of dust on the concrete and traced it with his fingers, feeling the familiar line that had bound the two vampire's together break inside of him.
Angel was gone. Truly gone…
"The time of grief has not come yet," said a monotone voice over his head and Illyria's hand appeared into his view as she dragged him up to his feet. "We need to do more violence."
Spike met her unwavering stare and held back the harsh words he wanted to shout at her. She was actually right; the time for grieving would come – if they survived. Now they had to worry about the oncoming army that had their sights on killing the two remaining rebels.
Spike clenched his teeth, picked up the sword and threw himself out into the battle once again.
It could have been seconds, minutes or even hours later when Spike, weak from blood loss and weary after swinging the sword time and time again, made an error of judgement that would prove to be fatal.
He hesitated for just a second when he saw the sword come swinging at him, and it broke his defends and skewered him like a pig.
When he fell to his knees he could hear the god king scream his name from a distance. She sounded afraid that he would leave her alone – like the others had. And he probably would.
Spike spit out blood and raised his gaze to the grinning demon that stood over him with his sword raised for the kill.
"Go on then," he coughed, grinning in the face of his executioner. "End it."
As the sword descended, Spike could suddenly see a strange figure behind the demon. It appeared to be a man with the most terrible taste in clothes. He seemed to smile against him and did he hear him say:
"You think you know…What's to come…What you are. You haven't even begun."
Spike blinked and then everything faded to black as he felt the sword separate his head from the rest of his body.
Before all that remained of him was dust, he had the time to think about one last thing.