Title: Standin On Your Own

Author: Hope

Rating: PG-13

Summary: When a demon kills everyone the slayer loves, she falls deep into depression: No will to live, no will to fight. Because her heart is no longer in slaying, the PTB send back a certain blonde vampire to help get her back on track.....

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"Buffy...." Dawn's sobs were lost amongst the chaos around her. Her breath became shallow as another wave of magick ran through the room. Looking up with glazed eyes, she saw her sister huddled against the wall, staring absently at the bodies of Willow and Xander.

"Dawn!!" The teen could barely make out the form of the frantic blonde vampire as her vision began to fade. She heard him shout her name again before all her senses failed and her body slumped down, held up only by the chains holding her to the wall. "Nibblet!!" Another tremor shook the room, sending him sprawling to the floor. Opening his eyes, the vampire came face to face with the demon responsible for the chaos around them. The green creature grinned, revealing long rows of fangs. Spike snarled, swinging his leg under the demon and sending him to the ground. The monster tried to get up, but was caught under a falling beam. Spike was ready to rip the demon to shreds, but another violent jolt caused him to nearly lose his footing.

Shit. There was no time.

His eyes fell to the shaking slayer. She was the only one left, they were all gone: Red, the Whelp, Pixie, the Watcher, the ex-demon, and even his Lil Bit. Gone. Fighting back tears, he quickly pulled his coat off and crouched next to the girl. He wrapped the leather jacket around her small form and scooped her from the ground, giving the trapped demon one last venomous glance before taking off towards the door with the slayer in tow. He wasn't going to loose her, they had to get out of here....

Buffy shot up from her restless slumber on the couch, beads of sweat streaming from her forehead as her eyes darted around. Oh God. Burrying her head in her shaking hands, she fought back tears. It had been so long since she had gotten more than a few hours of sleep. Dreams of that night plagued her. Why hadn't she been able to save them? It was all her fault they were dead, her fault she was alone.......

Sniffling, she stood, walking slowly over to the door. She ran her fingers over the leather coat hanging next to it.

His coat.

The only part of him she had left. Clenching her eyes shut, she pulled it from the hook and swung it over her shoulders, savoring the comfort she felt as the leather enveloped her small form. She walked quickly out into the night, fresh tears threatening to spill from her eyes.

"Willow!! Down!!" Buffy words rang through the air, but the red head was too late, taking a heavy hit from the demon's claws. She slumped to the ground, clutching the gash in her head. Her panicked eyes looked up at the Slayer, begging for help.

But it was too late.

The demon said a few words and sent a violent wave of energy through the girl. She was gone, a lifeless form surrounded by a thick red liquid.

The slayer stumbled backwards, barely acknowledging the blow to her face. She could feel the blood trickling from her nose as she looked up at the vampire who had attacked her. He swung again, his fist connecting with her jaw. She didn't even wince, only watching as the creature continued to pummel her.

Backing the girl against a nearby building, the vampire grinned, ready to take out the unprotesting slayer. He leaned down, preparing to burry his fangs in her neck. but quickly vanished into a cloud of dust. Buffy's eyes remained vacant and she let the stake in her hand clatter to the ground. She paid no heed to the trail of blood running from her nose down to the corner of her mouth as she began her lonely walk of the streets once more.

Buffy watched in horror as Xander rose from the ground, clutching at the invisble force picking him up by the neck. Struggling for breath, he squirmed, but his body went limp as a large pop sounded through the room. The boy's body dropped to the ground, his neck twisted at an unnatural angle. "Oh God....." The slayer's lower lip trembled as she watched her friend fall to the ground, landing on top of Willow's lifeless body.

Buffy halted, looking around. Here again. His crypt. Why did her feet always bring her here? It's not like there was anything here for her, nothing of any importance.

He wasn't here to comfort her anymore, but still she came none the less. Habit, she supposed.

Pushing the door open, she walked in, surveying the damage. The placed had been in shambles since he died. As soon as the demon world found out he was gone the place was trashed and stripped of anything valuable the vampire may have owned. She shuffled over to the couch and fell onto the cushions. Laying with her head on the arm, she stared blankly at the broken television in the corner. How many nights had she spent in this same position, curled up on his matty old couch, staring into oblivion. Closing her eyes, she allowed herself to savor the bit of comfort she felt here, the twinge of safety in her now bleak world.

Wrapping his jacket tightly around her, she tried to focus on anything, anything but the memories that haunted her, tormented her. Usually she could concentrate on the sound the crickets made outside, but for some reason they remained quiet tonight. Listening for anything else, she picked up on a soft thump from the lower level.

Thump? What the hell....

Her eyes opened as whoever was downstairs began to rummage through the remains of Spike's things. Great, more petty thieves. She clenched her eyes shut, not in the mood to deal with it. Whoever -or whatever- could deal with her if they wanted, she didn't care anymore. She was tired of fighting, it hurt too much.

It was a demon, she could feel it as it grew nearer, climbing to the upper level. More likely to kill her then. She swallowed her tears, ready for whatever it was to end it. End her pain, her suffering, her lonliness......

"Slayer?"

Spike? No, it couldn't be, he was dead. Gone. Just like the rest of them.

"Buffy?" The shakey voice came again, only closer.

"No." She clutched her hands over her ears, blocking out the voice. "Not real...." Silent sobs wracked her body as she rocked back and forth. She wanted to die, she wanted it to be over. No more pain. No more.

Just kill me.

"Buffy?" The soft voice was right in front of her now, sending chills down her spine. She felt someone grasp her arms, trying to pry her hands from her ears.

"No!! No...." She pulled away and flailed her fists, keeping her eyes clenched shut. It was too much, now she was even hearing them when she was awake. She couldn't take it.

"Buffy!" The voice was harsh, demanding. The person clutched her arms, pinning them down on the couch. She struggled to break free but it was no use, she was too weak. Another sob went through her and she slowly opened her eyes, looking into the face of the monster.

Teary blue orbs locked with hers, reflecting unimaginable pain. His platinum blonde hair sat messily on his head. "Buffy...." He ran a cool hand down the side of her face, on the verge of tears himself.

It was him.

The girl leapt from the couch, enveloping him in the tightest hug anyone would think possible. The force sent them both falling to the ground, but neither seemed to notice. The sobbing slayer held tightly onto the vampire as if he were her only ties to this earth. The startled vampire didn't know what to do, but he was pulled from his shock when she pressed her lips to his, still crying. He broke the kiss and sat up, pulling the small girl protectively into his lap. She sobbed into his chest as he cradled her against his body, tears now streaming from his features.

"Shhh, don't cry, pet. Please, don't cry......"

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