Disclaimer: All characters belong to Joss Whedon, I'm just putting them where I want them for a little while. Kinda like catch-and-release lol.
Warning: Character death (only in a funny and sardonic way though)
This is a one shot. I had this dream a few nights ago and thought it would make a rather awesome story plus, I've yet to come across a proper 28-days-later style Spuffy fic.
The world had changed in the course of seven days. The sky was burning and cities lay in destruction, people scattered and few left….well, left in the state they had been before. Now, three quarters of the world's population were walking carcasses, disfigured monsters, killing anything they found and….well, eating mostly anything as well. Including humans.
They'd found out quite quickly there were two stages to the infection and it wasn't limited to humans, although it mostly killed the demon it infected. The first stage was only indicated by the eyes of the victim becoming cloudy and blue, as if iced over, and their skin becoming translucent. The second stage was initiated if the infected got the taste of human blood. As far as the survivors know, there was no cure for the infection, even in the first stage. The second stage rendered the infected practically impossible to get to as they became violent and…hungry, red eyes showing the final stage. Vampires remained immune but found the creatures created in the wake of the outbreak too much for them to handle, and their own numbers dwindled as they were pretty much just ripped apart by the former humans.
A blonde figure sat atop a building in central London, watching as masses of creatures roamed the street, hunting down prey and ripping everything apart. A brunette sat stood beside him, shoulders hunched and brooding gaze following the same direction as his counterparts.
'Is this our fault?' The darker figure asked. The blonde made a noise in the back of his throat.
'No. I don't think anyone expected this. Least of all the Senior Partners. This wasn't the Apocalypse they wanted. That tomb was a wild card. No one knew this would happen, Angel.' Spike looked up from his perch and searched out his companions eyes. 'I know you love the whole self-flagellation trip but this….this is no one's fault, except for whoever let that tomb out of its final resting place.'
'Fred, Wes….' Angel said, quietly, his eyes boring into Spike's.
'And Gunn, and everyone else we knew, yeah, they all got ripped apart or turned by this thing. There wasn't exactly anything we could do. We are no match for whatever these things are infused with. All we can do now, is run for the high ground and try to stay alive.' He thought for a second. 'Which is harder and harder without any butchers' open….' He trailed off, watching a group of "zombies" attack a particularly large demon below them. They took it down in seconds and ripped it apart.
'They really aren't fussy about what they eat either.' Angel said, grimacing at the scene as the rain began to fall from the red sky. Blood washed down the streets from carcasses and bones followed from the ones picked clean. The fires across the city still burned, casting their glow onto the clouded sky, the rain didn't dampen them at all. No matter how heavy it got, the fires still burned with the intensity of the disease that plagued mankind and everything else that lived on the planet.
'What was the last lead?' Angel asked Spike. Spike shrugged.
'They'd all come here to fight together. I know the whelp didn't make it. I know most of the slayers were killed or changed. These things are too much for anyone. And nothing alive is going to last very long without the sustenance we ALL need. Blood, food…water is probably the only thing readily available as long as it carries on raining.'
'So we head to the headquarters?' The brunette asked, looking across the city at the horizon. London had always seemed bigger to him than any other city, even though there were far bigger in the world.
'My guess, yeah.' Spike grumbled. He patted his pockets and grumbled when he found no cigarettes. 'Gotta make a stop first. Need supplies. They might not have any.'
Angel nodded, knowing Spike would probably raid the concession counter while he was getting "supplies". The blonde leapt from the roof, landing and taking off at a run, Angel hot on his heels.
Giles was definitely gone. They'd seen him wandering around the street a few streets before they reached the headquarters. His eyes were blood red and one of his arms was hanging in shreds. The tweed he'd usually worn and kept so neat was covered in blood and entrails and his glasses were missing. He'd run at them at full speed, inhuman sounds coming from his grotesquely mangled mouth. They dodged and Angel had flung out a sword, swiftly decapitating the former watcher. Only a small part of Spike took satisfaction in that, but then, the man had tried to kill him.
They found some of Xander just outside the headquarters. Well, they'd found a mostly eaten corpse with an eye patch. The rest of the street was deserted and it didn't take long for them to force an entry into the building. Most of that was empty too and the only thing showing previous occupation was the blood smeared on the walls and the overwhelming stench of fear and death in the place. Spike had felt the fear creeping into his skin when they searched floor by floor and found nothing.
Angel had felt the fear coming off of his younger companion and had tried to comfort him, only to be shrugged off in favour of a cigarette. The elder vampire rolled his eyes and carried on through the building.
The second from top floor was cleaner than the others. The stairs had blood on them, and one badly decomposed corpse, a young girl by the looks of it. 'Probably a slayer.' Spike had remarked sadly, before attempting to leave the stairwell by the door, only to find it was heavily barricaded from the other side. He kicked it a couple of times, and then swore loudly. 'Someone's done a good job of that.'
Angel pushed it, coming to the same conclusion as Spike and sighed loudly. He leaned his head against the door and swore softly, and the younger vampire began pacing.
'There's got to be a way through.' Angel grimaced at his counterpart, looking up, down and around. The stairs up to the roof were blockaded as well, and there was no other way out of the stairwell except back the way they had come. The British didn't have massive air vents like the Yanks did, so there was no winning situation there.
Suddenly a breezing noise caught their attention and they both looked in the direction it came from. The wall next to the door shimmered and swirled and then opened, to reveal a red head looking through at them. Spike and Angel both stopped, looking like deer in headlights. The red head smiled broadly and motioned with her hand, making the hole bigger.
'Buffy! Buffy! It's Angel, and Spike!' Willow shouted excitedly, waving her hands at the vampires and they climbed through the wall, which instantly became solid behind them. She pulled them both down the corridor to the end office, and opened the door, revealing a candle lit room with the windows boarded up. The vampires stood there, bewildered at the scene before them. Buffy was sharpening an axe, her feet up on the large oak desk. She looked up as Willow entered with the vampires and her actions stopped. The axe clattered to the desk, and she stood, her eyes wide and watery as she took in the newcomers. She ran towards them and as Angel smiled, opening his arms to welcome her back, she ran straight past him and barrelled Spike to the ground, punching him once and then smothering him with kisses.
'I knew you'd come, I knew it. Nothing puts you down.' She was crying and hugging him so tight, he thought he might explode. Angel stood, his mouth hanging open, his arms open for the slayer that hadn't run into them as they expected. It was rather comical to look at and Willow sniggered and the slayer pulled the platinum blonde off the floor, looking almost as bewildered as his elder. He stuttered as Buffy gripped his hand tightly, smiling at him, tears coursing down her cheeks. She looked to Angel and smiled at him too, as he regained his posture.
'It's good to see you both.' She emphasised. 'I knew you guys would make it. I'm so happy to see both of you.'
'Me too.' Willow nodded in agreement. 'We were starting to think there was no hope.'
Spike started for a moment and then stopped, raising a hand. 'I bought supplies.' He pulled the sack from behind them, where it had been dropped upon his tackle by the small blonde. Willow seized upon the sack and giggled, slightly maniacally.
'Oh god, food!' She emptied the contents onto the floor and smiled up at the vampires. 'You guys are amazing.'
'Thank you, so much. We were almost out. I think we've got half a loaf of bread left and that's it.' Buffy was still gripping Spike's hand. He looked down at her in wonder and smiled, brushing a strand of surprisingly clean hair out of her eyes.
'How have you guys pulled through so long? It's been weeks since the outbreak.' Angel asked, wandering around the office and looking around.
'We holed up here pretty early on. I assume you've seen Giles and Xander?' Willow asked grimly and got nods from both the vampires and carried on. 'Giles was caught early on, he snuck out for supplies, trying to be helpful. They got him before he even left the building. I had to teleport him away cos he just keep trying to get in. He did some….damage before….' She cleared her throat and wiped away tears. 'Xander was attacked by…..an animal. He got bit and….eaten.'
'Animal?' Spike furrowed his brow, looking to Buffy for confirmation.
'Turned out Anya was right. You know this thing affects anything that can move, anything remotely alive, except vamps?' Buffy said, looking at the floor and shuffling her feet. 'Xander…..got ate…by bunnies.' She ignored the bugged eyes of the vampires and looked to Willow. The red head carried on.
'He went down to the basement to check the generator, when he came back, he was being chased by about fifty of the bastards. They'd been nesting in the basement before the outbreak and of course, got affected somehow. And….well, we managed to kill them all, but not before we had a rerun of Monty Python.'
'Brilliant flick.' Spike said, smiling. And then stopped. 'Except when it's your mate being munched on. I'm sorry, pet.' Buffy smiled sadly.
'It's okay, we still got each other.' She took Willow's hand.
'It's just you two.' Angel stated. Buffy looked from him to Spike, who looked so crestfallen it was breaking her heart. She knew who he wondered about.
'Well…..it's not just us two.'
The brown hair was instantly recognisable, and she was cleaned from top to bottom. The only differences were the translucent skin and glassy blue eyes, and the muzzle over the mouth that stopped any biting. Willow had also gone to the trouble of covering her hands with mitts that stopped her scratching anyone. But essentially, the creature in front of them was Dawn.
'Giles bit her.' Willow explained. 'She turned into this after a couple of days and we had no choice but to restrain her. As long as she is like this, we can save our Dawn. As soon as she tastes human blood….that's it. She won't be saved.'
'How do you know Dawn is still in there now?' Angel asked, trying hard to ignore the fact that Spike had slid his arms round Buffy and was staring at the teenager with a aghast expression on his face.
'She can write.' Buffy whispered.
Willow nodded. 'She can't talk, the infection has taking over most of her basic functions. She doesn't need to eat, we have to keep her restrained. But she can write things, words, to tell us how she is feeling. She's terrified, and she doesn't want to die. That's pretty much what she keeps repeating.' She cleared her throat. 'I put a paralysing spell on her occasionally so we can wash her. I know she wouldn't want to smell like the dead.'
'You have a shower here?' Angel asked. Buffy nodded at him, releasing herself from Spike's embrace but holding onto his hand.
'Yeah we do. You're welcome to use it. We don't use electricity because the light attracts those things like mosquitoes. But we can use the kitchenette and the bathroom. So it's better than nothing. Willow is working with Dawn to find a cure, but it means venturing out once a week for ingredients.'
Spike frowned. 'You've been out there?' Buffy turned to him.
'I go out through the roof. These things are not very good at climbing. I go from roof to roof and get supplies that way. But the last two weeks….it's been hard to get out. They're getting hungrier, not many humans left to catch now.' She let go of his hand and moved to her sisters side, stroking the soft brown hair of the teenager as she lay on the bed, watching her sister with icy eyes. Her hand twitch and Willow noticed, moving towards her and passing a pen and a small white board to her from under the bed. Dawn gripped the pen shakily and wrote a single word on the board.
The vampire smiled. Dawn wrote another word and then dropped the pen.
He almost cried. He moved towards the bed and Buffy moved away from her sister's side so Spike could get closer. Her took her gloved hand and smiled softly at her.
'We'll find a cure, Bit, don't you worry.' The creature on the bed didn't change her expression, the eyes were still iced over and the skin was still almost see through. He squeezed her hand gently and smoothed her hair down. A growl sounded from deep in her throat and he winced at the change. He moved back and accidentally nicked himself on the chains surrounding her body. A drop of blood fell from his wrist and landed on Dawn's bare arm.
The room stared, knowing vampire blood wasn't the key to the second stage, but they held their breaths anyway. The blood droplet lay on her skin for a second before absorbing into her skin. Willow rushed forward in time to see the patch of skin turn to it's normal Californian shade for a second and Dawn's eyes uncloud, just enough to show Spike the terrified teenager being eaten by the disease.
Spike stared, as did Buffy and Willow.
'Vampires.' Angel whispered. 'That's why the vampires are immune.'
'It's human blood but dead. The zombies don't live on vampire blood, they just kill them. That's the cure!' Willow facepalmed. 'How could I have been so blind?'
'It wasn't exactly obvious.' Buffy said. Willow looked at her. 'To me anyway.'
'None of us figured it.' Spike said, looking down at Dawn, whose eyes had turned back to ice. 'Is it too late?'
'Maybe not. If I can have samples from you guys, I may be able to formulate a cure for everyone.' She looked down at her pseudo little sister. 'Right now, we can save Dawn. I figure, like with every cure, she'll need to imbibe it. If she drinks some vamp blood…'
'She won't turn into a vampire, will she?' Buffy asked, and Angel put his hand on her shoulder.
'No, she hasn't drunk any of ours. Hopefully it will just cure her.' Buffy nodded.
'Normally I wouldn't put faith in a "hopefully" but, we don't have a choice. We have to save her.' The slayer moved over to Spike, missing the dejected look on Angel's face as he once again lost out. Willow sent him a sympathetic look and then turned to Spike and Buffy.
'If we get some samples now, we can cure Dawn first. I can use fresh samples to test out. We may have to catch one of the zombies to test it. Might even be able to make a cure airbourne to fix everything.' The witch began to get a little bit excited. Buffy smiled and held out a hand.
'Let's cure Dawnie first. I want my sister back.'
'Oh god….I need a shower!' Dawn exclaimed as the ice faded from her eyes and her skin colour returned to normal. She gasped for clean air, struggling against the chains. Buffy unchained her sister and hugged her. 'Seriously, Buffy, I know you took care of me and all, but I need an hour under a nice hot spray and then a huge meal. Please?' Buffy nodded and smiled, letting the brunette teen run for the bathroom. She slammed the door and Spike started chuckling.
'You can take the zombie out of the teen….' He stated, looking over to where Willow was playing with blood samples and testing out ingredients. 'You reckon this is a win win situation now, Red?'
'Oh yeah. I think we can work this. It's not going to be difficult now. We've found the key.' Willow smiled.
Buffy looked over at Spike.
'Can we talk?' She said quietly. Angel heard and frowned into the coffee he was drinking in the corner, his brood returning at full speed. Spike rolled his eyes at his grandsire and nodded at the slayer, following her from the room. They moved past the office and into a second bedroom off the other side. 'I missed you. A lot.' She whispered and he softened for a second before she landed a punch on his face. 'And if you ever disappear and don't tell me you're alive again, you will be in big trouble buster!'
Spike gripped his nose, staring at her in shock before she launched herself at him, touching him everywhere he could.
They didn't leave the bedroom for another three hours.
Six months later…
'Buffy, may I have a word?' Giles popped his head round the door. Buffy turned away from her sparring partner, who promptly dropped his sword and looked over towards the watcher, former zombie. The slayer nodded and Giles stepped further into the room. He was still minus half an arm and covered in scars from his stint as a member of the undead, the biggest scar being from the decapitation he'd received from the vampires. He still shuddered at the memory of watching his body fumble around to replace his head on his body.
'What's up Giles?'
'Just wondering if you would enjoy a trip down to Kent soon? There's a small pocket of zombie demons that need dealing with. Spike can go with you, if need be.' He acknowledged the other occupant of the room. Buffy sighed and looked back at Spike.
'That cure we sorted?' She picked up a wicked looking battle axe. 'I'm glad it left some fun for us.'
With a smile, the two blondes followed the watcher from the room, heading for another fight to the death.
Ha, I know it was short, but it took my mind off things for a couple of hours. I had to get that dream down on paper. Hope you enjoyed it anyway