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05/18/17 04:16 am
pj! I remember wishing one of your stories would be finished seriously about a decade ago. Amazing. I just tried an old password I used to use and amazingly got in too. Memories!
03/20/17 01:20 am
10 yrs later, i finally rem my username and password. Pari, you rock. Hope you are well.
12/23/16 01:12 pm
I donate every month. Please donate to keep this site up!
10/06/16 08:34 am
Great post.
08/31/16 03:45 pm
And anyone else who loves this site, it's worth mentioning there's a nifty little "Donate" option just below the shout box here! ;)
08/31/16 03:43 pm
Just wanted to take a moment to thank Pari and all the mods for maintaining such a great site!


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Authors Chapter Notes:
I used nearly all the dialogue from the episode Chosen for this chapter, but only for the purpose of starting off this story.

This is unbeta’d but hopefully it won’t be too awful and you’ll enjoy it =]

Oh, and to anyone reading it, the 4th chapter of 'Am I Safe With You?' will be up soon, I’m really sorry for the delay, life has been crazy at the minute.

As Buffy raced for the bus that was speeding from the collapsing town, she felt her heart pull her back. But she knew she had to make it out, had to live, for Spike. Using the beginnings of grief to power her legs she ran from roof top to roof top, finally catching up with the bus, she dove straight off the building landing painfully on the roof of the vehicle, grunting at the impact. She managed to maintain her grip on the scythe, holding onto the side on the bus she watched as her home was swallowed by the hellmouth.

Slowly the bus came to a stop, the crater that was once Sunnydale close behind them. Buffy heaved her tired, aching body and hopped down to the ground. People began spilling from vehicle; her friends approached her as she stared at the gaping maw in the ground. The Scoobies, minus two, together again, united in post-apocalyptic triumph.

"Looks like the Hellmouth is officially closed for business." Faith said, pride shining through in her voice.

"There is another one in Cleveland... Not to spoil the moment..." Giles, Watcher until the end. He couldn't believe Sunnydale, his home for the last seven years, was no more. Although he often thought of how he hated the hellmouth, it was sad to see the town crumble away into the earth.

"We saved the world." She said it unnecessarily, but Dawn needed to say it to make it real. Like if she said it then the statement turned to fact. Sunnydale, gone, wiped off the map by the bunch of people currently stood around her.

"We changed the world. I can feel them, Buffy. All over... Slayers are awakening everywhere." The awe in Willow's voice shook them all; they really had changed the world forever. Willow could feel the power coursing through her and every other Slayer in the world, and she had to admit, it gave her a rush. But not the ‘veiny face, black hair, even blacker magic' kind, the 'warm tingly' kind. The kind of feeling that brought back memories of when she'd first met Tara back at U.C Sunnydale.

"We'll have to find them." Dawn remembered how she had felt when the spell Willow cast to find potentials had located her as one, even if it had turned out to be a dud. ‘Thousands of girls, all over the world were discovering their new, and until now, hidden strength and it must be scaring the hell out of them'. She thought silently, but decided not to voice her concern; they had more than enough to worry about.

Like the sun, it was beating down unforgivably. ‘Spike must be avoiding the dusty-making rays inside the bus...I never saw him get on...but he did, he must have done...'

"We will." Still high on her magic rush, Willow was more concerned for Buffy. She was just stood on the edge of the crater, staring. It wasn't so much her silence, she knew after an apocalypse all she wanted to do was sit and lose herself in a daydream. But it was the empty look in Buffy's eyes, the look that was devoid of all emotion. The look she had only seen in her best friend's eyes after Glory snatched Dawn.

"Yes, because the mall was actually in Sunnydale, so no hope of going there tomorrow." Giles half joked, he knew what a travesty the loss of Sunnydale's mall would be to certain people of the group.

"We destroyed the Mall? I fought on the wrong side..." Dawn couldn't help but feel slightly put out, but then again there were plenty of other malls that Buffy and she could visit, especially now that Buffy didn't have to guard the hellmouth anymore.

"All those stores gone... The Gap, Starbucks, Toys R Us...Who will remember these landmarks unless we tell the world of them?" Xander spoke with awe colouring his voice, everything that was once Sunnydale was just...gone. What would they do now? He felt the need for something to do, after everything that had been sacrificed today, and over the last seven years, now more than ever he felt that he had to do something. The town he had grown up in, had lived in, and nearly died in, was gone...Taking Anya with it.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us..." Everyone apart from Buffy threw Giles an exasperated glance; did he ever let the Watcher in himself go? Especially after what had just happened? The others were thinking of the rest they deserved, but his mind was still on the job.

"Can I push him in?" Faith voiced what everyone else was thinking, she then gave Giles a playful shove. Like Willow, she too had notice the blonde's silence and lost gaze, she had also noticed the absence of the blond vampire. The vampire Buffy seemed to have laid claim to in the final days before the battle.

"You got my vote." Smiling good naturedly at Giles, Willow's look returned to worry though and Giles wondered what could be troubling her. Though as he saw her gaze return to Buffy he thought he had an idea. Buffy had been silent since the bus stopped, but The Watcher was baffled as to what his Slayer could be thinking. They had done it; she could finally live the life she wanted, as a ‘normal' girl, at least for a while.

"I just wanna sleep, yo. For like a week." Light laughter floated among the group, Faith decided that whatever was up with her sister Slayer could be healed by time and all that other touchy-feely crap, so decided to just let her grieve for her lost champion.

"I guess we all could. If we wanted to..." Dawn trailed off, Buffy wasn't smiling, she wasn't...anything. No emotion crossed her face, her eyes staring endlessly into the deep pit before them.

"Yeah, the First is scrunched, so... What do you think we should do, Buffy?" Willow wanted to hear Buffy talk, to look up, just to show some small sign of life. The blank look on the Slayer's face causing her more and more panic as the minutes passed, trying to pull her out of her thoughts was not as easy as it seemed though.

"Yeah, you're not the one and only chosen anymore. Just gotta live like a person. How's that feel?" Faith's voice barely pierced the fog surrounding Buffy's mind, but that one word managed to sneak through.

Live. How was she supposed to live now? The one thing Spike had wanted, the one thing she didn't think she would ever be capable of now. Buffy had listened to the people buzzing around her, but just couldn't seem to care. All she felt was the gaping hole that had been brutally ripped from her heart, which seemed to be getting bigger. She felt her pain surround her like a blanket; this couldn't be real.

‘Spike is gone...forever.'

By now everyone was looking worried, Buffy had yet to move, let alone talk. The inner circle of Scoobies recognized the look she was wearing, the sightless gaze, expressionless face. It had happened nearly exactly two years ago when Dawn was taken by Glory.

"Buffy...? What are we gonna do now...? Buffy?!" Dawn had never seen her sister like this, she had heard about her episode two years ago, but seeing it was completely different. Suddenly something clicked.

Spike... She hadn't seen him on the bus because he never got on, and he sure as hell didn't run out into the sunlight with her sister, he wasn't suicidal.

‘Unless the amulet...and he had to...' The thought made Dawn shudder, he was fine. He had to be, he was Spike.

"Where's Spike? He's not on the bus... He...he...made it...didn't he?" She waited a moment for her sister's response. "Buffy?" Dawn ignored the desperate tone in her voice, and Buffy's continued silence was grating on her already frazzled nerves.

That's when Buffy let the memories overtake her. Spike...The sound of his name finally tipped her over the edge, she let herself go. She was falling, far, deep into the very back of her mind. Or maybe into her heart she wasn't sure, she didn't care, she just wanted to be where Spike was, and now that was in her memories and feelings. A small smile crept onto Buffy's face.

She never felt her knees give out. She didn't feel herself hit the hard ground, didn't see her friends rushing towards her, and didn't hear Dawn's cries, Willow's worried urgent voice, both calling her name desperately.

All she heard was Spike's deep, soothing voice; she only saw his beautiful face, un-burnt from the pillar of fire he had burst into. He looked perfect, he looked real.

And for Buffy that was enough. Fully immersing herself in the memories she let go of the world and all those surrounding her.



Chapter End Notes:
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