A/N Hello folks. This will be short. Please see The Summers File for a challenge, lengthy A/N, and a desperate plea for info about two lost fics (well, lost to me). The main reason this was so long delayed was I wanted to deal with the Seeing Red Bathroom scene, and season 6 generally, and I didn't know how to do it yet. Now I know, so, here it begins-How I'd have BtVS proceed. Read and review as you like. Emailed detailed criticism is quite welcome.

Also, now that I think about it, anybody know how AfterDark's coming with For All Time? And there was one cool Farscape x-over that had Spike just showing up on Moya.

Also, I'm happy to trade beta'ing services. I need a beta! I beta 4U, U beta 4 me. Yadadadada. Yadadadada. For example, this is not beta'ed, it's practically a first draft!

Spoilers: Any US airing is fair game, and will be hopelessly AU at some point.

Disclaimer: I only originated the plot, ME, et al, owns the characters.

Distribution: That's fine, just let me know where it goes.

This might as well be Spike's Theme, I bought the album for the one song.

Artist: HOOBASTANK Album: Hoobastank Title: Running away

I don't want you; To give it all up; And leave your own life; Collecting dust...

And I don't want you; To feel sorry for me; You never gave us; A chance to be...

And I don't need you; To be by my side; To tell me that; Everything's all right...

I just wanted you to; Tell me the truth; You know I'd do that for you...

Why are you running away?

Why are you running away?

'Cause I did enough; To show you that I; Was willing to give and sacrifice

And I was the one; Who was lifting you up; When you thought; Your life had had enough

And when I get close; You turn away; There's nothing that; I can do or say

So now I need you to; Tell me the truth; You know I'd do that for you

So why are you running away?

Why are you running away?

Is it me, is it you; Nothing that I can do; To make you; Change your mind;

Is it me, is it you; Nothing that I can do; Is it a waste of time?; Is it me, is it you

Nothing that I can do; To make you; Change your mind; So why are you running away?

Why are you running away?; What is it I've got to say; So why are you running away?

To make you admit you're afraid

Why are you running away?

Annal of the Slayer Summers

From the Book Acathla, 56:17

Regarding her love, and the gate to hell opening behind him, she said, "Hush. Close your eyes." And the demon did, she kissed him tenderly, and ran him through the length of the blade. Upon the bloody swordtip entering the portal, it began to close, and Angel was taken bodily into hell and her heart with him; so did the Slayer Summers preserve humanity for the third time...

The Empress, Part 1, Chapter 1, An Amicable Settlement

"Dawn, who did you break up with?"


"You're putting butter on club crackers. You've gone through half a pack. That's break up food."

"Well, I had a fight with Noelle." And I'm so hoping you get a good visual there, sis. Ah, and she scores a 9 in eyebrow gymnastics. Better let her down. "But not a break-up fight, 'cause the before would have been, eww! I mean, if I was gay then, sure, she'd be a catch, but, eww!"

"Ok. Do I need to look at Noelle mean until you make up?"

"No. It's kinda over. The 'he' we were having the mutual hissy over is kinda with some other girl. So. No diff."

"Aren't you needing to beat the boys off with a stick, anyway?" Buffy walked around the kitchen island until she was facing her sister. "And aren't you needing to help finish Anya restocking the Magic Box?"

"Well, I can't really beat them off with a stick, 'cause with your training me, I'd get arrested. And then they might actually start to stay away from me, not of the good." And I can tell you're thinking-like they stayed away from me. And I really don't need even one more of these. The taste is cool, but, thinking about it, again, eww; it's like licking a stick of butter. That's what spoons and peanut butter is for. "And yes, I need to be moving along."

Dawn hopped off the stool, and made for the door.

"Uh, Dawn? The food?"

Dawn flipped her hair to one shoulder and huffed. Then she wrapped the open cracker pack back up in tin foil, put the spread in the fridge, and shelved the crackers. "Buffy," Dawn shifted her weight pensively. "Thanks, you know, for the tactical training, and you know, I could beat them off if I had to.....And thanks for asking what the deal was with the crackers. Not so long ago you wouldn't have noticed, and, you know, thanks."

From a certain point of view, a Slayer is an awesome serial killer. Counted by thousands, this one's kills could barely be numbered on one hand. And Dawn knew from Spike how her prey regarded her. Terminator Energizer Bunny. Knock one down, and you just wake up the next one and you don't know who that is, until the disappearing starts. Still, Dawn was not surprised, despite long months of apathetic, inattentive coldness from her, to see her sister's eyes brim as she walked up to get a hug.

"Buffy. Exhaling easy, inhaling not. Ease up."


Dawn stopped on the threshold. "I love you, Buffy."

"I love you too. Don't walk home by yourself."

Well Dawnie, time for your favorite passtime while walking alone, moody navel gazing.

Can't say I've had an easy life. So, okay, nobody's molested me (ever), or beat me (well, lately, or ever much-but monsters do count), and my parents are divorced, and Mom-not going there today and oh, by the by, my blood can open portals between here and hell dimensions and I'm really only a one year old person. Going on two. Normally, I'm a glowing green ball of lightning, or something. I look sixteen, I'm told I'm easy on the eyes and boys, well, they get near me when they can. Of the good. Hey, trying to work up a downer here, back on negative topics. Oh yeah, what did I catch Buffy calling me to Giles? A hormone bomb? Thanks, like she'd remember. Well, it was only five years ago for her, she probably does. Not that I'm going to go easy on her, no, Buffy also without even trying lays the mother of all guilt trips on me by killing herself so I could live. To be a thief? Self to self, shut up! I'm working on that one. And my blood could've stopped the apocalypse just as good as hers. And oh, wait, she's still late for the grave. She's what six in Slayer years so that's, what, 105 in people years? And not wrinkle on her.

The weeks right after Buffy got back were so bad, and then the next year had just taken the edge off, not getting better, but by scar tissue building up where the feelings got sharp. Buffy remembered I needed to eat, but she couldn't much be bothered to talk. And never about anything real, nothing that mattered. And really, I can see how what matters is relative. Boys, low priority, Buffy had been in heaven. But she didn't want to talk about that either. And alright, theology is so not my topic of choice, but with a reliable first person account of the afterlife...ok Bible reading is not going to earn any points in my high school social circles, but, hello, relevant much? Yes! Now!

Really didn't help now that Giles was back, he knew that stuff and pretty much didn't believe any of it, and then he tells you the parts you don't hear in Sunday school. Hahaha. Sunday school. I remember going. Daddy took me. Wherever the asshole is, he probably remembers taking me. And I've never really been. Buffy thinks her life's weird, and it is, but mine is, like, fake normal, totally invented. Anyhoo, what I didn't learn for real in Sunday school, Giles sets me straight on. I mean the Watcher can name half the people on the committee that put the Bible together. For crying out loud, bureaucrats out of Imperial Rome? Yeah, you know they did a perfect job putting it together. Willow, before.....well, Tara-so not going there. Oh ho hey, light changed. Don't want to find out about heaven that soon. Speeding cars have the right of momentum, which always trumps the right way.

Now before I almost stepped into traffic I was...Oh yeah, Will explained about the Torah, and then she starts babbling about Gaia. It's too much.

If a religion adds up to more than try to help people and at least not hurt them, it's time to trim the fat. Simplify and add lightness. Ok, from Physics class, who said that, Buckminster Fuller or Dean Kaman? And whoa, didn't you have reports still to do to make up from all that time you missed the last time things went nuts? Got about a week to finish those. Funny how having a good friend try to unmake you puts a person right off their academic equilibria. Equilibria, ah physics. Can't stand a word of it but Kevin sat right in front of me. Sometimes he stretched. Such square shoulders on that dear boy. I still scored a B, in spite of the distractions. A 4.25 QPA doesn't suck for the Key girl.

In about a year, I can take college level classes from UC Sunnydale, an maybe even go a semester early. Sucks Buffy can't go. Slaying, college, and paying bills, not mixy. And at this rate, two vampires, one 'roided commando, and one schmuck, no babies for Buffy either. No hubby. Can Slayer's even have kids? Think I fake remembered Giles telling mom Slayer's are barren. Mega-suck!

Yeah, gotta say, compared to her future, mine's so bright, I gotta wear shades. So Noelle can kiss my ass. While Buffy saves it. So one of us can have kids.

Woo hoo. Magic Box right ahead, er, well, left ahead. It's still pretty light so I'll just slip up through the alley.

Dawn had been training for three months, and she was ahead of the curve and improving, but in the end was a mortal young woman with a human metabolism. When the chloroform soaked handkerchief was fixed by a firm, gloved hand to her face, she struggled only briefly before going limp in his arms.