Buffy walked through the hallway, searching for her friends.
She checked all the doors, but they were locked. The hallway wrapped around, so she followed it. She saw a flicker of light peaking from beneath a door to one of the rooms. She neared it and turned the knob.
Candles lined the mantle ahead of her. She heard music coming from a small CD player sitting a top a vanity. The tune was haunting. She sat at the vanity and stared at herself in the mirror. She looked tired, spent. Something in the mirror's reflection moved. She turned and stood in confusion. The room had changed. She was now inside a funeral parlor.
"What the?" she said aloud.
There were voices coming from another room. She walked out into the hall. She spotted a couple, dressed in black walking her way. Buffy, glad to see someone, anyone, approached them.
They looked at her teary eyed and continued to a room full of mourners. Buffy followed them. Everyone gathered around a coffin surrounded by pictures, flowers, candles. Soft music played, sounded like Debussy's Claire De Lune. She had a strong urge to see the body. She pushed through crowd.
"Ow, watch it Buffy," a voice said.
"Dawn, what's going on?" Buffy asked.
"It's okay Buffy. You just need time," Dawn told her.
Buffy was lost. What was she talking about and why was she here? Buffy got closer to the body. She glanced at the pictures surrounding the coffin. The candlelight bounced off the glass, making it hard to focus
Then she felt her heart stop.
There, atop the coffin, the image of Spike and herself, sitting in a park. They were smiling and with a small boy, maybe around 2 years old. He had Spike's crystal blue eyes. The boy sat on Spike lap as he held him tight.
She felt dizzy. Why were these pictures here and where did they come from.
She leaned over to see the body. Her eyes widened as she saw Spike lying with his hands across his chest. She noticed he was wearing a wedding band. Why was he...? None of this made sense.
They were all just in the hallway of the mansion, how did she get here? She thought.
She turned to the crowd. People were looking at her sympathetically.
This isn't real! "Spike's not dead, he's alive! I was just with him, holding his hand. He's not..," Buffy protested.
Dawn walked up to Buffy and stroked her shoulder. No one was listening to her. This can't be... She turned back at the body.
"This isn't you, you're alive, Spike..," she said to it.
The body just lay there motionless. She saw that there was a picture under his hands. She slowly pulled it out. A wedding picture? Me and Spike? she thought. He was wearing a tux and she was dressed in a beautiful white gown. She was lost in the image for a minute. They looked so happy.
Buffy turned back to the crowd, but everyone had left. She was alone.
Her surrounding changed again.
It was night and the fog was thick. She walked in a cemetery, holding a stake. She looked at it, not knowing how she got it. She instinctively got into slayer mode, hunting the grounds for new vampires. She forgot the fact that situation made no sense at all. Her heart sped up when she saw where she was.
She was in Sunnydale.
Buffy approached a fresh grave. She stood waiting for a newly made vamp to emerge. Like always, it began to emerge from the dirt. Buffy watched him. He stood up and looked at her hungrily.
"This must be my lucky night," he said.
"Must be..," Buffy replied, then kicked him in the chest.
He flew back and crashed into a tombstone, cracking it into pieces. Buffy walked to him as he rose to fight. He ran at her. Buffy raised her fists and punched him hard in the nose. He fell back, still on his feet. She rushed him and high kicked him again. He tumbled to the ground. Buffy stood over him and smiled, just before driving her stake through his heart. Dust.
She looked around for more. She felt herself being drawn to a familiar part of the cemetery. She walked over to Spike's old crypt. Memories came flooding back. She would come here at night needing to feel his touch. He would welcome her every time. She hated the way she used him like that. Nothing ever made her feel so alive. No one ever made her feel that way. Spike opened up a part of her that no one could. She opened the door slowly. Everything was the same. Candelabras lit, his small T.V. in front of his favorite comfy chair... Buffy smiled remembering how Spike wouldn't budge when Passions was on. She walked over to he chair and felt the fabric. So many nights she spent here.
Then someone emerged from the darkness.
"Care to tell me what you're doing here, Slayer?"
Spike walked into her sight. He had on his black jeans, red shirt and duster. He seemed... different.
"Spike, what's going on? First we're in a mansion, then we're... I think we're in some sort of dream thing, like maybe when the first slayer..."
Spike walked closer to her, wearing a mischievous smile.
"Okay, Slayer. You're out of your gourd. That's okay. I don't mind fightin' crazy birds," he teased.
Buffy looked at him, confused. Why was he talking that way. He was acting like old Spike. Soulless Spike.
"Do put up a fight though, pet. I'd like a fair brawl." He said.
Buffy back away from him. This isn't Spike. It can't be, she thought. He slowly came closer, smiling.
"Spike, I don't want to fight you." She blocked his first punch.
What was he doing?
She pushed him back in anger. "Spike, no! Stop!?" Buffy yelled.
Spike cocked his head to the side. He was confused now. "You didn't come here to fight?"
Buffy let down her guard. "No! Something isn't right. We're in some sort of... I don't know. I just know that you and I... shouldn't fight."
Buffy was forgetting why she felt this way. Her mind was clouded. Her old world was slipping.
"Okay. Then why are you here?" he asked her.
Buffy didn't know why either. She just felt drawn to the crypt... and Spike.
He watched her curiously. In his mind, they are enemies. "Right, I'll just let you be crazy on your own. I'll be downstairs... if you want to fight."
He reached the hatch and lowered himself. Buffy followed him. She watched him pour himself a drink from his bar. Buffy looked around the room remembering being down here. She saw the bed.
They shared that bed.
"Look, if this is some sort of Lets Play A Joke On Spike...," he said.
She walked closer to him. He backed away, drink in hand. She noticed he was eying the stake she held. She looked at it, then laid it down on the bar counter. Spike watched in amazement. What was she doing?
"Spike, I've been down here before. You and I have... been there... together." She pointed to the bed.
Spike laughed and sipped his drink. "Now I know you've completely lost your mind," he chuckled.
"No. It's true. I remember..." She looked down at his groin. Spike followed her gaze.
"What kind of dreams have you been having about us, pet?"
He slowly waked closer to her. Buffy stood, not backing away. He took small steps, clearly expecting her to.
"Not dreams, Spike. Don't you remember?"
He shook his head then he raised his eyebrows when she sat on his bed. "Buffy. I remember you hating me. I remember you never giving me a chance to prove to you that I can be an ally."
Just then someone came down into the room.
"Spikey, I found some more... what the.." Harmony approached, holding a stuffed unicorn. She dropped it when she saw Buffy. "Oh my God. Spikey are you okay?" Harmony asked.
Spike shot her a look of annoyance, then his gaze returned to Buffy. "Just fine, Harm," he said through his teeth.
Buffy rose from the bed and eyed them nervously. "I was just leaving," she said, unsure of what was even happening.
Spike watched her go. Harmony jumped out of the way as Buffy passed her. Spike sipped his drink and set it down on the bar. Next to... her stake.
His eyes widened.
Buffy neared the entrance to the crypt. She looked back at it not understanding anything that had just took place. Spike came running after her, ignoring Harmony who was yelling from below.
"Buffy, wait. Tell me, what do you think you remember," Spike asked. He stood close to her. She let him. "Just not here, let's go somewhere else," he said.
Buffy nodded and led the way back to the cemetery.
They walked together in silence for about five minutes. Spike would look at her then back at the ground. He seemed more lost than she was. He walked ahead of her then stopped in front of her.
"Look, I have had... dreams about you and I. I don't know what they mean. You and I are supposed to be enemies and all...," he stammered.
Buffy met his gaze, still looking lost. "Dreams?" she asked him.
He looked down embarrassed. "Yea, about you and I... look, you brought this whole thing up, about my bed... and I..." Spike said, covering up his sudden shyness.
She moved in closer to him and grabbed his hand. He looked down at her in shock. She noticed he backed up a little so she let go.
"I'm... sorry," she said.
He looked down at his hand then back at her. He moved closer to her until there were just inches apart. "What's this all about, Slayer?" he whispered.
She looked up and brushed her fingers to his cheek. His eyes widened as she did so. "I don't know," she said. She moved back and turned away.
"One minute we're..." She turned back, Spike was gone. She looked around for him, but he was nowhere to be found.
Suddenly she heard someone weeping, sniffling. She turned to see where it was coming from.
She was in the school basement now. It was dark and cold. She walked slowly through the room and came to a heavy door. She opened it to find Spike curled up in the corner, crying. She immediately ran to him and bent down. She rested her hands on his knees and squeezed.
"Spike, are you okay?" she asked.
His sobs stopped and he looked up slowly at her. He was a mess. He looked like he did the last time he was out of his mind down here after getting his soul.
"Is it really you?" he asked, tears spilling down his cheeks.
Buffy's wiped his tears and rested her hand behind his head. "It's me Spike. What are you doing down here?"
Spike looked around crazily, then back at Buffy. "I'm lost. I got lost. But you came. You really came."
Buffy moved closer. She wanted to take him in her arms and hug him tight. "Of course I'd come. Why wouldn't I?" she asked.
"Because of what I did. What I am. I'm a monster. A killer. You said so... I'm a thing."
Buffy rose and backed up. She felt like she was reliving this entire scene. She has been here with him. It came back to her. After he got his soul, and he lived down here. My God, why were they back here?
She heard someone approaching. She quickly turned to a fist coming at her. She was knocked down by a demon. She bounced to her feet and kicked it's chest. It fell back against the wall and slid down to the floor. Buffy mounted it's chest and punched it's face repeatedly. Blood poured from it's nose and mouth, as she raised for another punch, the demon morphed into Spike. His face bruised and bloody. Buffy jumped back in horror.
"S'okay love, this is what we do," he choked, coughing up blood.
"Spike. I'm so sorry" She said backing up against the wall. She slid down and brought her knees to her chest. She hugged her self tight and glared at a beaten Spike.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry..." she repeated.
Spike laughed. "You think I bloody care what you think Cecily? You're not even really here," Spike said.
Cecily pouted then advanced closer to him. She held out her hand and grabbed the book of poems from him.
"Hey!" he protested.
She turned her back to him and opened it. She read some of the words and laughed. "Oh, you were bloody awful, weren't you?" she teased.
He reached around and snatched the book back. She strolled to the door, turning her gaze back on him. "Don't you see, William. You were never worthy of my affections. Nor are you worthy of hers."
She held the bedroom door open. He saw an image of two people on the couch. When he looked closer, he saw it was Buffy and... Angel. She sat on his lap as they kissed passionately. Buffy, pulling on Angel's hair and moaning.
"What in the bleeding hell is that?" Spike shouted. He looked back at Cecily. She laughed loudly.
"See, that is her real destiny. You're just... convenient," Cecily teased.
A sharp pain hit him as she said those words. He remembered Buffy telling him that after their first...
No, she's wrong. Cecily is wrong.
"You have no idea what's been going on between..." He eyed Cecily strangely. She was backing up slowly as if scared, suddenly.
"No, I know quite well what you have been up to," she said, pointing behind him.
He turned to see an image of himself in Buffy's bathroom. Buffy was telling him she didn't love him.
"No!" Spike said, not wanting to see this. He knew what it was. Then he looked in horror at himself attacking Buffy. She cried and pleaded for him to stop.
"Noooo!" He turned with his hands over his face.
Cecily laughed. "Yes. That's you. This woman you claim to love... look what you did to her," Cecily told him.
Spike moved his hands away from his face and gazed into Cecily eyes. "I was soulless. I was... but now I'm..." Spike choked on his words.
Cecily moved closer to him and rested her hand on his chest. "Yes, you're human. I know. But do you really think that it matters in the end? We are judged by our actions, not who we are."
Spike shook his head in protest. He was human. He saved the world. Buffy loves him, right?
"William, you know better than anyone else that you will always be a monster. A pathetic, foolish monster."
Cecily walked over to the sink and looked into the mirror. She grabbed a razor that rested next to the soap. "You don't deserve to live. Not after all you've done." She turned and faced him. She ran to him with the razor and slashed his chest.
"Ow! What the..."
She raised her arm again and slashed his poured out from the wounds. She was trying to kill him. Spike grabbed her arm as she tried to slash him again and bent it, hearing it snap.
"What are you doing?" He threw her down to the ground. She laughed as she looked at her broken arm.
"Oh William. Must you always hurt the ones you love?" she teased. She rose again and leaped at him.
He grabbed her shoulders and held her away from him. "Never really loved you, pet." He threw her down on the bed. She looked up at him with a sly grin.
"Are you going to give it to me then? Like you did her?" she teased.
Spike turned from her in disgust and walked out the door, trying to ignore her laughter. It couldn't her.
He raced down the stairs, accidently knocking into a shelf that held some of his mother's knickknacks. He saw the old painting of his mom and dad. How happy they looked. He loved his mother's smile. It lit up a room. Pain ran through him when he thought of the last time he was here. When he had to kill her. Again. His own mother. So innocent. So sick.
"I am a monster."
Someone entered the room. He expected Cecily again. He tensed.
"Look, I'm really not in the mood..."
He turned to see a young boy staring up at him. He was dressed in dungarees and a hooded sweatshirt. Clearly of the present time. He had wavy light brown hair and blue eyes. He looked to be about 4 years old. The boy stared at Spike curiously.
"Well hello there lil' tot. I'm not really sure where we are or what..." Spike looked closer at the boys face. He seemed familiar.
"Daddy?" the boy said.
Spike stepped back. "No sorry kid. I'm not your..." He stared into his eyes. He felt such a strong connection with this lad.
"Mommy said you would be here."
Spike knelt down to be on the boys level. He looked into his eyes.
"Mommy? Sorry. I don't know what you..."
Spike was interrupted by the boy running up to him and wrapping his arms around his neck tightly.
"Hey, kid. You've got the wrong guy."
He looked behind the boy. The room disappeared. They were suddenly outside in the middle of mayhem. Buildings were on fire, people running around in chaos, and screams filled the air. He stood up, carrying the boy in his arms. "Where are we?" Spike asked.
The boy smiled at Spike. "Silly daddy," the boy said, playing with Spike's curls.
Spike walked around, still holding the boy. He noticed a frightened couple against a wall. When he approached them, they screamed.
"What?" Spike asked them.
The boy gasped as well, Spike turned to see he was scared. The woman approached Spike with her hands together as if she were praying. "Please don't do to us what you did to them," she said, pointing to the alley.
Spike saw them. Dead bodies. Men, women, children. All lying there with their throats torn out.
I did this? My God. I did this.
"Daddy, why did you kill all those people?" the boy asked.
Spike looked back at him, speechless. What was he to say? Yes little one, I killed all those people once upon a time?
He eyed the boy harder. He knew that look. He knew who he was. This was his son. His and Buffy's. He had her pout and his eyes. But why? How?
"Daddy?" The boy looked so scared. Spike felt a huge wave of sadness come over him. He let the boy down and bent down to eye level.
"I'm sorry. I can never be a father. Not after what I've done. I don't deserve you. I've taken so many lives. I'm not... worthy."
Spike had tears in his eyes. The boy glanced up in confusion.
"No. Daddy. Don't," the boy pleaded.
Spike turned from him and ran. He didn't know where to go, but he couldn't stand to see the look on the boy's face.
He came to a empty alley and crouched down, sobbing. He felt so ashamed. He could never have a decent future with this taint of the past. Spike now believed that he was never meant to have fulfilled the Shanshu. He was never meant to be given this chance. That's why he was probably going to die. It was the only way.
The only way to even it out.
He heard footsteps approaching. He wanted to ignore it. He'd seen too much. His head hurt. His heart hurt.
"Why the tears, sweet William?"
He knew that voice. He cringed. Drusilla.
He slowly looked up at her. She held out her hand to him.
"Leave me alone Dru. I have no patience for..." He stood up. "...Games. "
She swayed closer to him, humming a tune. "Oh, my William. Don't spoil the fun. It's just beginning," Drusilla purred.
Angel stepped back, unsure of his surroundings. He backed up and felt for the doorknob. It was locked. He turned and tried to smash the door down, no luck. It felt like steel. He walked towards the other side of the room. There was a small window overlooking a garden. That was his way out. He opened it and crawled out, falling into a bed of roses. He winced in pain as the thorns stuck him everywhere. He heard someone calling his name.
"Angel, over here," the voice yelled out.
He quickly turned to see Cordelia standing on a blanket, a picnic basket next to her, bottle of wine, and some glasses. He remembered this vision, or dream. She took his non-breath away. She had on a beautiful orange dress that flowed down to her feet. It blew in the wind, making her look more like an illusion.
Angel smiled and walked to her. He looked up, noticing he was in the sun. He smile grew larger as he approached her.
"Am I dead?" he asked her.
She looked like she was about to crack up. She smiled and poured him a glass of wine. "Angel, come sit with me." She lowered herself back onto the blanket.
He sat, staring at her in disbelief. "Cordy, how are you here?" He faced the bright sun.
"Not sure, Angel. I'm glad you are though." She smiled.
He touched her face. Real. His fingers brushed her lips. They felt so warm. She leaned in and kissed him.
"I've really missed you, you know," she said
"Cordy, You have no idea how much..."
Cordelia stopped him by kissing him again, this time with more passion. She pulled away and lifted her wine glass with a smile.
"Drink up," she said.
Angel, in a daze, lifted his wine glass and clanked it with hers. He brought it to his mouth and drank. The taste surprised him.
"Blood?" he asked her.
She looked in his glass to make sure. "Yea, blood. Guess you are dead, Angel. Then again, you always were." She laughed at him.
He rose and backed away. Cordelia's laughter echoed through the garden. He felt his skin began to burn under the sun.
"Oh no!" he said to himself.
He ran for cover. He spotted the window he crawled from and quickly ran towards it and jumped through.
The room was different. He walked around scanning the area. It looked really familiar. There were people all around, some with drinks in their hands. A band played near a dance floor.
He walked over to the bar. The bartender saw him and smiled. "What can I get ya?" he asked Angel.
Angel was confused. How did he get here? Sunnydale was destroyed.
"Just holler when you make up your mind then," the bartender told him.
Angel just nodded at him, still in a state of confusion.
The band was loud. Angel remembered how annoying the loudness was. Angel's eyes searched the dance floor and there she was.
She stood alone. She had her arms out as if ready to embrace someone. He swallowed and walked to her. A smile came over his face as he moved closer. He stopped. Buffy was holding out her arms, but for someone else. Spike. She wrapped her arms around his neck as he slid his around her waist. Spike kissed her lips as she stroked his face. They swayed, barely moving.
Angel felt nauseated. That was supposed to be me, he thought to himself.
Horror took over him when he saw Spike vamp out and sink his teeth into Buffy's neck. Angel ran to Buffy's aide but realized she was in his arms and it was he who bit her. Angel dropped her lifeless body to the ground and backed up slowly in disbelief.
She disappeared. No blood. No Buffy.
Angel shook his head as if to try to wake up from this obvious nightmare. Happroached the front door just as Connor walked in.
"Dad, what are you doing here? Isn't this place like too young for you? Like a few hundred years too young? Connor joked.
"No, I wa... was. just leaving," Angel stuttered.
Connor looked at the dance floor. He cracked a smile. "Ah, I get it. I don't blame you," he told Angel.
Angel looked back at the dance floor and saw Buffy again "What did I expect, anyway? Why are you here?" Angel asked him.
Connor motioned for Angel to look next to him. Angel turned to see Darla standing in the corner of the club. She smiled and waved at Connor and Angel. Connor flashed a huge grin and waved back. Angel, still confused, waved back her.
"Ya feel like some family time... Dad?" Connor asked him
Angel just went along with it. He wasn't even sure why. He knew it had to be a dream of some sort.
Connor walked ahead of him. Angel tried to keep up with him, but the crowd grew bigger. Angel pushed his way through the people, losing sight of Connor.
"Connor!" Angel shouted.
He pushed his way further then finally came to an opening. He wasn't in the bronze anymore. He cringed when he saw the lettering on the wall.
Wolfram and Hart.
"Great," he said to himself.