I want to dedicate this fic to you but there is character death so I'll settle for just wishing you happy birthday.
Characters: Spike, Dawn, Angel
Title: Lost Souls
The earth was starting to crumble around them, but the souled vampire and the slayer only had eyes for one another. They dimly heard Faith called Buffy’s name.
“Gotta move, lamb,” Spike said. “I think it's fair to say school's out for bloody summer.”
“I mean it. I gotta do this.” He held his hand out to stop her from doing something stupid.”
Buffy took his hand and intertwined her fingers with his. Spike could feel an unnatural warmth when her fingers met his and suddenly their hands were aflame.
Buffy gazed softly into his eyes and uttered the words he had been waiting his whole unlife to hear, “I love you.”
“No, you don’t. But thanks for saying it.”
The earth shook beneath their feet and Spike broke their clasping hands, “Now go!”
She didn’t move, “No – I’m staying. I’m not leaving without you.”
That was the last thing he remembered before there was a great flash of light and he was enveloped by the darkness.
The next thing he knew, Spike was in an expensively furnished office. He looked around frantically for Buffy. Somehow, they had a second chance.
There was no sign of her. “Buffy!”
“Spike?” The big foreheaded ponce was here. What did he do?
“Where the hell is she?” Spike yelled and rushed at Angel only to find himself standing in the middle of the desk.
He tried to grab Angel by collar, “Please tell me she got out of there.”
He looked down at his hands, which were currently somewhere in the middle of Angel’s chest. It made no sense.
“You’re incorporal,” Angel said.
“No shit, Sherlock!”
The look on Angel’s face frightened him and suddenly he didn’t want to hear about what happened Buffy. There was a shuffling of feet as the other people in the office began to leave. The only thing he had noticed about them was the fact that they weren’t Buffy.
“She died, Spike. She never made it out!”
“But I did!”
“You were wearing the necklace.”
“That bauble saved me?” Spike pointed at the gaudy necklace.
“Yes – don’t ask me how, because I haven’t a clue.”
Spike shook his head, “She was holding my hand. Maybe she got caught up in it too? There could be some way we could get her back.”
“We can try,” Angel said.
He didn’t sound convinced and that more than anything made the reality of the situation come crashing down. He was back, but it was to a world without Buffy in it.
Angel didn’t like feeling sorry for Spike. It went against everything that he always believed in. Spike was a menace. From the very start he was a nuisance, picking fights and attracting the wrong sort of attention. If he had been a meek human, he more than made up for it as a vampire, loud and brash. Angelus had been used to being the only man and initially it had been good to have some male company, but the novelty quickly wore off.
Angel didn’t know what else to do. He didn’t want Spike here, he could barely look at him being reminded of Buffy’s death. Why couldn’t she come back? Why did have to be him? He knew it was selfish, the last time Buffy had come back from the death had apparently been very difficult for her.
He didn’t know what else to do, so he called Dawn and she agreed to get the first flight she could to Los Angeles. It had been a week since Spike’s perplexing return and all the occupants of Wolfram and Hart’s office building were careful to try and avoid the sombre and angry spirit that roamed their halls.
Dawn’s face was pale and drawn.
“You look terrible,” Angel couldn’t help blurting out.
“Losing your sister can do that to you,” she said.
“I’m sorry for your loss. She was an extraordinary woman.”
“You didn’t really know her anymore,” she said. ”But yes – she was.”
The outburst left Angel speechless, but he could hardly disagree.
“So, where’s the peroxided pest?” She was wringing her hands. “How did he take it?”
“It’s strange, he hasn’t spoken once since I told him about Buffy. He just wanders around the building walking through people and walls.”
“Sounds creepy,” said Dawn. Her glib response didn’t mask her concern.
“Talk some sense into him,” Angel begged. “I have Harmony running surveillance through the security cams. Just ask her where he’s brooding.”
Dawn nodded. “Thanks for letting me know. I wanted to make things right with him before..” Her voice trailed off. “Before Sunnydale imploded. So, so thank you.”
Without waiting for a reply, she turned around and left the room, slamming the door behind her.
Dawn was barely holding it together. She was devastated at the loss of her only family and struggling to come to terms with a life without her older sister. When Angel had rung and told her about Spike’s unexpected return, she had been shocked. Although, she was happy to know he was back, the feeling was somewhat dulled by the pain of her sister’s loss. She stood at the door to the rooftop, her hand hovered over the door handle. She bit her lap and took a steadying breath.
Open it quickly before you change your mind.
The door squeaked loudly and she stepped onto the roof. There was a cool breeze and she blinked a few times in order for her eyes to get accustomed to the darkness.
“Spike?” She looked around her.
She caught glimpse of a familiar head of peroxide hair. She was surprised at the feeling of joy at the sight of her old friend and she hurtled towards him. His eyes widened and his mouth gaped.
She stopped about a foot away from him. She had forgotten herself, it had been a while since they had been friends. Still, it hurt to know there was as still distance between the one person whom she had grieved Buffy with the last time, the one person who felt her loss as much as she. Xander was mourning Anya and he didn’t have enough room for her pain. And although Willow and Giles missed Buffy, they had shiny new lives to look forward to taking over the Watcher’s Council. Buffy was their martyr. They couldn’t know the deep black hole that was in her heart, in her soul. Buffy.
Spike was standing in front of her and she realised that she was crying.
“Sorry,” she said. I missed you.
“No, I’m sorry. She should be here not me.”
Seeing the despair in his eyes and the listlessness in his expression was too much for her. Unable to hold in her pain any longer, it found a voice. Her tears became sobs, wracking her body. She slid to the ground, realising it was unfair to Spike to ask for any comfort.
He bent down beside her, “You let it all out, pet. Buffy’s worth every one of those tears. Don’t let anybody tell you any different.”
A finger wiped away a tear and Spike jerked away. “Did you feel that?”
His voice sounded uncertain, afraid. It reminded her of the early days of his soul when he was unsure of his welcome.
She swiped at her eyes and nodded slowly, “Why?”
“I’m going to try again.”
Dawn was confused what he meant. He clenched his jaw and closed the space between them. He put his arms around her. The hug was brief and she could see his eyes were filled with tears.
“I’m really here. I shouldn’t be able to do that.”
Dawn smiled, “I missed you, asshole.”
She flung herself at him, went right through him and landed on the floor. “What the hell? You’re a ghost!”
“Your friendly neighbourhood Caspar.”
Dawn’s lip quivered and started to laugh. “You a ghost! Only William the Bloody..first a neutered vampire..”
“Oi, you checky bint!”
“Then a souled vampire, now a ghost!!”
“You’re one to talk, it’s like the kettle calling the pot black. First mystical energy, then a key and now a pain in the ass.”
“I don’t know why I missed you,” she retorted.
“I missed you too, Bit!”