Title: Lost and Found (Peacemaker Prophesy, Epilogue)

Author: Nimue

Rating: PG-13

Feedback: Yes, please

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, UPN, Fox... Just Borrowing.

Summary: It is six months after the first attempt on Emma's life. Buffy

and Spike have reunited the One. Giles is still in town, but will he be for long? Dawn is taking on more responsibility with the help of Spike and Buffy.

Special thanks: Here we are, at the end. I want to thank *everyone* on ff.net and on BAPS who has sent me *loads* of feedback on this story. I could not have done it without you. I never would know when to quit and when to continue were it not for all of you. So, thanks. I have not made any decisions on book four, but if you would like to see it, please let me know. If no one says anything, I will be happy with what I have written and grateful for what I have received from you all and from my muse. Thank you all again

Also, I especially want to thank my wonderful and talented beta, Elizabeth, for being a great second set of eyes, and a fabulous friend.

Lost and Found

"Right then. Let's try it again," Spike said, assuming fighting stance. The Magic Box training room had become a second home in recent months. Between playing with the new powers that they had been given and training for what was to come, it seemed as if they were in that one room as much as they had been at home.

"Was it bad?"

"No, no, Pet. Try it again," Spike encouraged. She landed a quick right hook, followed by a pretty decent left jab and a round house planted straight and true into Spike's gut. He let it hit, although he probably could have blocked it and flipped her into the mat. "Ooof," he grunted,

stumbling back a few steps quite dramatically.

"I...I'm sorry. Was it better?" she stuttered.

"You're coming along like a pro, Nibs," Spike answered, walking towards her, sizing her up. She had been learning fairly quickly. Form was solid and there was something to the whole Slayer blood theory as a teenaged girl usually didn't pack such a wallop.

"But?" Dawn said, crossing her arms and cocking one leg to the side. Train with Spike to fight. Train with Buffy on attitude, he thought, watching her tap her foot impatiently.

"But," he continued, letting the word drag out. Dawn fought off a giggle. "Something's missing, Pet."

"Like what? Don't try to get me to wear leather. Very passé this year."

"What, now you're the sodding fashion police?" Spike huffed.

"We did alright with you. Well, as best we could with what we had to work with," Dawn quipped. She and Buffy had taken it upon themselves to re-vamp Spike's wardrobe a bit. Today they got him to wear a royal blue button down with a white t-shirt underneath. The black jeans... he wasn't giving up that easy. Almost as hard to get him dressed as Emma. Dawn smiled. Buffy was right. The blue set off his eyes.

"Can we get back to the battle?" Spike asked with an air of annoyance, teasingly pushing Dawn.

"What?" Dawn asked, shaking her head to clear it and blushing a little.

" I believe we were discussing a missing piece of your fighting style," Spike repeated.

"Fine, fine, what?" the girl snapped, annoyed.

"You just don't look... mean. Or even angry," Spike said, contorting his face and gesturing wildly, not sure how to explain it.

"I'm not!" Dawn whined. "I'm training with you. I don't need to be angry."

"Training to fight big bad evil," Spike responded, coming at her with hands raised and a grimace on his face.

Dawn giggled madly. "*So* not you," she commented. "Bad puppy evil, maybe."

"Sod off," he huffed in mock offense. Not being the baddest of all evil in town, or even in their house sometimes, was now a badge he wore with comfort. Still, the entire world did not need to point it out at every opportunity.

"Not *mean*?" Dawn whined. "I can fight without being mean-y faced."

"Not unless you intend on relying on your super abilities to whine a demon to death," Spike shot back. Dawn smirked. "Now *that*'s better."


"Because!" Spike uttered in frustration. "Watching you spinning around and kicking with all that flouncy soap opera hair and little girl face in a sodding flash of lip gloss... feel like I'm sparring with Holly Hobby."

"Holly who?"

"Sod off."


"Argh, Buffy?!"

"You always call Buffy when you get flustered."

"Do *not*."

"Do *too*."

"Then stop looking at me like bloody Cindy Lou Who while you're attempting to kick me across the bloody room."

Dawn smirked again, then flipped topics as if she had never started down this road. Another talent inherited from her sister. "Will you do the wall thing again?" she asked, smiling. Dawn lived for getting Spike riled up. Now she got why Buffy and Spike had so many stupid verbal sparring matches and then Dawn got to baby-sit while they patrolled for five hours at a time.

"Dawn, it's just a thing..."

"You couldn't do it before."

"Fine," Spike responded, giving in. There was no victory when it came to any of the Summers girls. He had a feeling Emma would be no exception when old enough to finish wrapping him around her little finger. Not that she hadn't done it already, but he could avoid admitting it until she could speak and remind him of it.

Spike looked at the far wall of the training room then took a hard run at it, darting straight up the wall, turning to catch the adjoining wall, then spin kicking down into the punching bag.

"Yay!" Dawn squealed, jumping up and down in place and clapping. Despite his unaffected facade, Spike had thought it a pretty neat trick as well. Many new little interesting abilities had come out of the One. Every day there was something new, most of which he and Buffy had had much fun trying out.

"We get back to work now, Niblet?" Spike asked, feigning frustration.

"Fine. And I'll try not to be so Holly whoever."

"Hobby," Spike corrected as she caught him off guard with a right hook.



"As much as I would like to, Buffy, you know it's best I go back," Giles said, leaning over a stack of volumes at the long suffering wooden table of the Magic Box. "I never intended to stay this long."

"Why did you, then?" Buffy asked, pulling a crawling Emma back into her lap.

"Because I," Giles began, "I thought I should help." Buffy looked at him incredulously. "Alright, fine, Buffy. Because I like it here. I like being around you and Emma and the others and strike me down for saying this, but I have even enjoyed Spike's company."

"What? The great Watcher admits to consorting with evil Vampires?" Buffy sighed dramatically, hiding a smile. Giles blushed, wiping his glasses.

"I think we both know that he hasn't managed a good spot of evil for some time now. The Vampire bit is a little dodgy as well at this point," Giles defended. "Besides, he has proven quite useful at research. Did you know he could read in twenty seven languages?"

"Why yes I did," Buffy answered. Because suddenly I can too, she thought. And English as a first language had been taxing enough. "That's exactly why I am with him," she joked. Tara had been dusting the books behind Giles and shot Buffy a glance that screamed "liar". Buffy blushed. "Well, it's part of it," she sighed. "You know I'm all about the research."

"Oh, please, Buffy. The One has not changed anyone that drastically," Giles responded. Buffy smirked at him. "Still, I need to return to the Council. If what Emma said is correct, then one of us needs to be monitoring them."

"Do you think it's the entire Council?" Willow asked, pulling up a chair next to Buffy.

"Well, if history is indeed reconstructing, then no. Spike had told me that Emma mentioned Draconious being the only one involved in starting the divergence. The remaining members of the Council attempted to right his wrongs. She also said that Draconius was rising again. My guess is.."

"Quentin," Buffy said, shivering. He'd always managed to give her the creeps.

" I tend to agree," Giles commented.

"Won't they... don't you think he might suspect something... you know, since you've been here with us for six months?" Tara asked, still straightening the book shelves.

"He may be wary, but he'd have no reason to suspect that a baby managed to thoughtfully explain her own prophesy," Giles countered. "It does, however, explain why all of the information that he had given me on the translation of the Prophesy had led me to faulty conclusions. Only Jenny's portion seemed to be mostly correct."

"Quentin was purposely hindering your translation," Willow added, adding up the pieces in her mind..

"I would have never known had Spike not recognized the language and mapped out a translation matrix."

Xander reached down to Buffy, gesturing for Emma and Buffy handed the wriggling bundle to him, straightening her sweater after Emma let go. "Little creepy that the guy reads ancient tribe-speak," Xander commented, sitting down next to Willow.

"It's a One thing," Buffy commented.

"She understands it as well," Giles said, tilting his head towards Buffy.

Xander shuddered. "Spooky, much?" Emma was crawling up his shirt on a mission to tug his ears, so Buffy refrained on tossing some object from the table at him.

"Still, I think I can convince Quentin that I, that you, know nothing more that what I had told you originally. We will have to play it close to the chest, though. It may seem that I have taken sides with him."

"I think we all know where your loyalties lie, " Buffy responded, smiling softly and patting his arm. Giles smiled back at her, wishing he could just stay. For once, he felt as if he too had found a home.

"When do you plan to leave?" Anya asked, stepping from behind the counter and towards the crew at the table.

Giles sighed. "Don't fret, Anya. I won't keep you from sole control of the store too long."

"No," Anya said, shyly smiling. "Actually, I think this time I might miss you."


Lenora sat in the circle, surrounded by candles. A celtic cross laid out in front of her. Slowly, she flipped the cards one by one. Fingering the warn images as they played through her fingers. A door opened behind her. Her blindness never seemed to effect her ability to see.

"You know the Lovers have become One. The Chariot has been unleashed," Lenora said in a cracked, dry whisper.

"Yes, Mistress," he said, standing just outside the ring of candles.

"The power is devastating. They have no idea the sword they wield. It is as if... as if a wall has been built around them."

"Then tell me, Mistress. What shall I do to shatter the wall?" Quentin asked, standing still outside the circle.

"Oh, the One will not be broken. Not this time," Lenora answered, still feeling the slippery cards slither through her fingers.

"Ah, but Mistress, you must know a way," Quentin said, soothingly.

"What the armies of Hell could not do, one amongst them can."

"But you said that the One could not be broken," he asked, furrowing his brow.

"It cannot," The whisper sounded like a howling desert wind. "But there are others within the wall. The spell has been cast. The enemy lies within."

"I am in your debt, Mistress," Quentin said, bowing.

"Mind your desires, Draconious," the sorceress hissed. "For every seed you sow that does not come to flower, the One becomes stronger."

"Then I must succeed soon, mustn't I" Quentin asked, a wicked grin spreading across his face.

"It is done," Lenora answered, her voice laced with annoyance. "Leave me."

Quentin watched her flip the final card. The Wheel of Fortune. He turned, letting the door click softly shut behind him.


Buffy stood in the doorway watching silently as Dawn threw punch after punch, kick after kick, and Spike either moved to block or valiantly took a hit. His blue shirt was now untucked and his hair a little ruffled, errant curls beginning to ease their way out of the sleeper hold of styling products. She smiled, watching them both. Like a lion teaching a cub to wrestle.

"Hello, Pet," Spike said, grunting as he took a hook to the shoulder. Buffy no longer found it odd that he knew she was there even when, like now, his back was to her.

"Hi," she answered, still smiling and leaning against the door frame. Buffy let a little thought of mentally unbuttoning his shirt fill her mind. Spike stopped dead.

"Niblet," he said, a little out of breath. "Why don't we take a break?"

"Tiring you out?" Dawn joked. Spike turned towards Buffy with a devious grin. Had to avoid telling Dawn that her sister was currently mentally undressing him and that was the cause of the sudden loss of breath.

"No, just think your sis'd like to take a crack at me," he answered, raising an eyebrow at Buffy. Buffy's smile turned into a grin. *That* grin.

"Fine, fine," Dawn said in mock annoyance. Legs are killing me, she thought. Must not limp from room. "Know when I'm not wanted," she sighed dramatically, as she stepped past Buffy and pulled the door closed behind her.

"Drama queen," Buffy muttered, walking towards Spike.

"Gee, wonder where she gets that?" Spike asked, smiling and letting his hands settle on Buffy's hips.

"Couldn't be from the 'Shudder, the bloody apocalypse' Vampire that lives in the same house," Buffy joked in her pathetic London accent. She grabbed the collar of his shirt and pulled him closer.

"Or the 'OoohmmmyyyGGGGoooodddd, the world is ending and I must rush in to save it' Slayer," Spike responded, letting his voice creep up at least ten octaves and twice the speed. Buffy punched his shoulder, pulling back away from him.

"But I didn't come in here to talk about Dawn," Buffy said, assuming fighting stance. Spike stared at her oddly for a moment. Don't think you came here to train either, Spike thought, instinctively getting in position to do battle as well. Then it dawned on him. She fights when she has to, when she needs release, and when she is upset.

"So, what then, Pet?" he asked, deflecting a blow that would have just caught his palm anyway. She was silent, sparring aggressively. If he could read her next move before, since the night they joined, he could anticipate her every move and she his. It was more a dance than ever. Neither of them could win. Didn't matter. The point was the dance.

"Slayer?" Spike asked, raising one eyebrow and throwing a lazy left hook which she tossed to the side and answered with a quick jab.

"You know that Giles is leaving tomorrow?" Undercut. Right hook.

"He had mentioned it, Love. At least he got to stay for Emma's birthday." She ducked under a sweeping swing of his right arm.

"Yeah, she won't let that stuffed bunny go," Buffy panted as he leapt over her leg sweep.

"Think Anya would have liked to butcher him for giving it to her." Spike let Buffy make contact with a slow jab to the chest. If it makes her feel better, he thought.

"I think Giles has really started to like you," Buffy said as Spike came at her. She threw an absolutely flawless back flip over the pommel horse from a stand still. Spike stopped, looking at her for a second with a cocked head and wondering eyes.

"That was bloody *brilliant*," he commented, staring at his tiny partner in awe.

"Thanks," she answered, tugging down her shirt and hopping back over the equipment. "Not as good as the wall thing, though."

"Why, is that a compliment?" Spike asked, hoping to elicit a reaction.

"Don't let it go to your head," Buffy answered, tossing another jab and starting the dance anew.

"It means a lot... to me at least... that you two get along," Buffy said, spinning from an errant punch.

"Finally won daddy's approval?" Spike snarked, ducking.

"I'm serious, Spike," she answered, her face slacking, her eyes losing their sparkle. He could see the tears begin to pool behind her eyes and shuddered as if her sadness was his own. Spike caught her wrists as she jutted them forward for balance and stopped her mid kick.

"What is it, Pet?" he asked, tugging her towards him. "Just say it."

"I don't want him to leave," she whispered, looking like a little girl. She stared down at her sneakers, shuffling her feet. " I like the way it's been. Since, well, since what happened between us... happened... and Giles stayed and... I like it. It seems... normal and happy in a sort of come home from work covered in demon goo kind of way."

"It's as if you had your dad back?" Spike asked, lifting her face with his fingers.

" I missed him. I miss my mom. My real father."

"Your *real* father should be shot from a cannon for leaving you and the Niblet in the lurch," Spike said, annoyance in his tone. "And for what it is worth, I miss your mum too. Wish she could see you now. See you with Emma. Think she'd like that."

"Yeah," Buffy said wistfully, the tears dribbling slowly down. "But she left. Dad left. Giles is leaving..."

"He'll be back, Love. You can count on that," Spike replied, wrapping an arm around her waist, pulling her tight against him. She rested her head on his chest, her fingers toying with the hem of his shirt.

"I know," Buffy whispered, "But I'm still tired of people leaving."

"You've had more than your share, Pet. I'll give you that. But it's part of life. People come and go. They leave. They die. Most *don't* come back," he said, kissing the top of her head. She chuckled through the tears. "Guess you just hold on to what you *do* have and make the best of it."

Buffy pulled her head back and looked up at the eyes she had known since the beginning of time. They danced like crystal blue water in the sun. "But you won't leave me, right?" she asked, wrapping her arms around his neck.

"Fraid you're stuck with me for all eternity. Being the One and all," Spike said melodramatically.

"Heaven help us," Buffy snarked, still drizzling tears from huge green eyes. He touched her face with heartbreaking gentleness, brushing the tears off with his thumb.

"Well, at least we will never be bored," Spike said, smiling softly at her. She chuckled again.

"How is it that you always know, that you have always known, even when I *hated* you you knew, how to make me feel better?"

"Because I loved you then and I love you now and always. You truly are my Everything," Spike said, kissing her nose. She closed her eyes, feeling him everywhere. Around her, in her mind, in her heart, swirling around in her soul.

"I love you," she whispered, shifting onto her toes and kissing him gently. He lifted her onto the pommel horse, setting her gently on top, her lips still pressed to his. Her legs dangled loosely around his waist.

"Say it again," Spike purred, raising his hands to her face. Every time she said it, he felt his heart sing. He kissed her once again with a little more fire.

"I love you, Spike."

She nibbled his bottom lip as he held her face to his, his mouth softly searching hers. Buffy pulled him closer, her legs wrapping tighter around his waist. "I need you," she whispered softly.

"Buffy, you are my World," he said, catching her pretty eyes in his gaze.

"Love me," she said softly, her hands caressing his face.

"Always," he answered, her lips sealing his in a kiss.

Every day, she thought as she lost herself in him and he in her.

Lost and found.

End Book Three