Revenge For Love - (11) Reacquainting With Love


Chapter Summary: Dru tried to get Spike to think she still wanted him. Angelus, jealous of Dru's attentions on Spike, threatened Spike with a dusting if Spike didn't do it himself first. Spike and Dalton set up a fledgling to take the dusting for him, and Spike prepared the amulet to cover his essence. As Charmand suggested, the amulet worked but not quite how Spike thought it would. Buffy believes that Spike is dead as well. Not even their telepathic link was strong enough at the distance they were apart from each other. Now we see the repercussions off all of this. What happened with the amulet? Will Spike make it to Giles' place in time to stop Buffy from doing something very foolish?

**WARNING: Just a little reminder that this story is rated NC-17 overall, and it contains many graphic sexual situations throughout. This chapter has biting and sexual moments in it. I don't always warn with each separate chapter, but since there hadn't been any sex for a few chapters I'm sending out this little reminder to you readers.**

Disclaimer and Distribution notes are listed on the Index page of this story.

'Single' quote marks surround thoughts in this story. "Regular" quotes are around spoken words.

Spike's voice drifted off in the echoes of the hidden passage near his room. The moment the amulet lay draped around his neck and onto his chest, he panicked. Emptiness filled him where previous vampiric bands had been. Even his link with Buffy was close to non-existent. What he did feel from Buffy was pain, despair, and grief so strong that he nearly cried.

'Buffy,' Spike tried to reach out with their telepathic link. 'Buffy, luv. I'm all right!' There was no response back to him. The emotions he felt from Buffy were becoming unbearable, and he screamed at being unable to soothe her. This wasn't right. He should still be able to contact her. 'Damn it. This must have been what Charmand meant.'

As soon as he was sure Angelus was out of the room, Spike bolted down the passage. There was no time to wait for Dalton to check on him. He needed to get to his Mate before she tried something foolish. He knew what he would do if he lost Buffy. He hoped the Watcher or her friends were around her to try and stop Buffy from doing the same thing he would.

Spike dashed from the gardens of the mansion to the nearest sewer entrance without a care about sunlight exposure. He figured he wouldn't be in the direct sunlight long enough to burn. The sewers were the quickest way to the Watcher's house, and he needed to get there fast.


"Buffy, we mustn't jump to conclusions." Giles tried in vain to wrap his arms around Buffy to comfort her. "Spike said he had some plans to work on. Maybe this is a part of it?" He wanted to be hopeful for Buffy's sake, but he was concerned himself at her loss.

"You don't understand, Giles." Buffy lifted her head from her arms. Tears trailed down both sides of her cheek. "There's nothing. I've tried to send a thought to him, and I've tried to feel him. Reaching out does nothing. I'm just ... empty."

Buffy rubbed the bite marks on her neck. "You weren't supposed to leave me." She spoke out loud as if Spike were there to hear her. She rubbed the marks harder, but she still felt no response or tingling.

Giles stood up. "I'm going to make some tea and heat up some blood for you, Buffy." He was out of his element to counsel Buffy in this situation. A Watcher wasn't trained to care for a Childe when they lost their Sire. Neither did he know what to do with one Mate when the other perished.

Willow, after being pushed away again by Buffy, followed Giles into the kitchen. "What are we going to do, Giles?" She never remembered Buffy being this torn up about anything before. "She wasn't even this bad when Angel went all Angelus on us. Do you think Spike's really gone?"

"For all our sakes, I hope not. Buffy needs him." Giles readied the teakettle with fresh water. He prepared a tray with three cups, a little bowl of sugar, and a tiny pitcher of creamer. "I'm hoping that he's using some sort of cloaking spell, but that shouldn't have affected their telepathy. At least it didn't affect them the other night."

Buffy ignored the conversation in the kitchen. She didn't care why Spike was gone. She focused on the pain and emptiness where his presence used to reside. It was only a few days ago that she would have happily dusted the bleached Master Vampire herself. In the last few days a connection had burrowed so deep into her mind, body and soul that without their connection she was crumbling.

What was it that Charmand and Antoinette said about being bound for eternity, even beyond a second death because of the joining of their souls? Did that mean if she dusted they would be together again? What if she was wrong and Spike wasn't in Heaven? 'Then I'll fight my way down to tear Hell apart to find him.' She looked up at Giles' door. 'Just a few quick steps away to find out for sure.'


Spike kicked through bits of paper, wood and metal debris that tried to get in his way on his run through the tunnels. 'I have to reach her,' was the mantra he continuously repeated in his head while he ran. A greater sense of despair and desolation hit him from Buffy as he drew nearer to Giles' house.

Spike estimated he was still a couple blocks away. He tried to reach Buffy telepathically, but he still hit the proverbial brick wall during the attempt. "Remind me to punch that git for being the king of understatement," he growled loudly. 'Nice warning there, mate,' he directed his thoughts towards an absent Charmand.

With one block to go, Spike received clearer thoughts and emotions from Buffy even though he wasn't able to send thoughts himself. He was in such a desperate dash to reach Buffy that the thought didn't cross his mind to remove the amulet. 'Don't you dare do it, Slayer!' He practically screamed his thoughts in an attempt to reach his Mate any way possible.


For a brief moment Buffy stopped her creep towards the door. She thought she felt Spike for just a second before he was gone again. She closed her eyes. 'Don't bloody torment me,' she mentally cursed the powers. 'A little fraction of feeling isn't going to stop me.'

Willow looked out into the living room from the kitchen. She watched Buffy stand up and stare at the door. She tugged on Giles' sleeve. "Giles, I think that Buffy is ..." Before Willow could finish her statement, the door was already flung open, and Buffy ran outside.

"BUFFY!" Giles and Willow both yelled in unison. In their haste it actually took them longer to reach the outside because they were tripping over each other and everything in their path.

Buffy stood out in the direct sunlight outside of Giles' home. Her arms were spread open wide in offering, just waiting for the burning to begin. By the time Giles and Willow joined her outside, Buffy was weeping.

Willow stuttered in confusion, "I thought ... Shouldn't she be burning?"

Buffy cried harder. She looked up at the sky with pain in her eyes. "I don't care if my soul is purer than the demon, Antoinette. Let me die!"


"NO!" Spike yelled out. His voice reverberated off the sewer tunnel's walls with a matching strength to the voice that first called out. He jumped up the last few rungs of the ladder to the street and shouldered the manhole cover off. He left the hole open while he ran across the street, into the courtyard of Giles' place.

A flash of black and white blurred past Giles, who was standing at Buffy's side, and tumbled with Buffy back into Giles' house. "Spike?" He turned his head to look into the house where the snarling black and white blur covered Buffy with is body.

"Don't you ever ..." Spike kissed Buffy all over her face. "Ever ..." He shook her by the shoulders. "Do that again!" His demon growled loudly in anger while his inner humanity wept.

"Spike?" Buffy looked up at her Mate. She still couldn't feel his presence, but she felt the tingling sensation of her Sire and Mate wherever they touched. "Oh God, Spike! I thought you were dead."

Spike snarled. He hated to see his Mate in tears. Knowing that he was the cause of those tears grated at him even further.

Willow and Giles slowly walked back into his house. Many questions swirled around in Giles' head as to why Buffy hadn't dusted. She was out in the sunlight long enough to start to burn at the very least.

Spike growled possessively at Buffy. "What the bloody hell were you trying to do, Childe?" He gripped her upper arms so tightly that if she were human he would have broken her arm.

Being a vampire increased Buffy's threshold for pain. It also made her body less susceptible to injury. As a Slayer her bones were stronger than a human's. Her combined Slayer and vampire constitution gave further extensions to her thresholds. "I couldn't bear the loss of your presence. If you were gone, I was ready to join you. I can't live without you anymore, Spike."

Spike sat up halfway. He pulled Buffy up with him. "I felt your strong emotions, but you weren't hearing my thoughts." He rocked the two of them back and forth in a soothing motion. "I tried to reach you, pet." Buffy's words warmed his undead heart. Her devotion told him that he was cherished, and she claimed that she couldn't live without him. That told him she was no longer thinking of herself as being "dead".

Buffy looked up into the eyes of her Sire. Matching tracks of tears fell down their faces. She felt the warm tingling sensation burn hotter the longer they touched each other. If she wasn't seeing him with her own eyes, Buffy would swear that Spike was still gone. His presence was still missing in her spirit. "I see you Sire, but I don't feel you." Her voice choked on the words.

"I'm real, pet. I'll make sure you feel me." Spike, who had remained in his vampire face since leaving the mansion, yanked Buffy's neck to his lips and plunged his fangs into her skin. "Mine," he roared through a mouthful of her wonderful Slayer/Childe blood.

After re-entering the house, Willow tried to avoid the couple. Willow was pretty scared, but she realized that Spike and Buffy needed some "alone" time. She resolved herself to give them that privacy until a yelp of pain snapped her full attention back to Buffy. The sight of Spike roaring with Buffy's blood on his lips chilled her to the core.

Giles bolted to the kitchen table to retrieve a stake. Before Spike bit Buffy, he found himself a curious observer of how the two interacted. The moment he felt any real danger, his papa bear side made an appearance. Half a second before he brought his hand down to turn Spike into dust, a lustful moan from Buffy stopped him.

Buffy's body tensed from the fierceness of Spike's bite. With his fangs embedded in her throat, their connection was renewed and strengthened. Although she couldn't feel his actual Sire presence, she felt the mental mating ties between them snap back into place. "Oh my! Yours!" She moaned in pleasure after her initial yelp of pain. She clamped her mouth onto Spike's neck. Her fangs slipped into her previous marks, and she happily drank from him. "My Sire. My Mate. Mine!"

"Yours." Spike's voice answered Buffy's proclamation. A sense of relief washed over him. Mentally he could sense his Mate's telepathic link with him once more. It unnerved him that it was still a weaker link than what they previously shared. 'It must be an effect of the amulet. I'll be bloody glad when I can take it off again.'

Both fully "vamped", Spike and Buffy clawed at each other's clothes in earnest. Each swipe rewarded one or both of them with a better view of their Mate's body. No thought was given to the two humans standing stock still in Giles' house. All that mattered for the mates now was to renew and reacquaint themselves with each other.

Willow found it hard to decide if she should be appalled or aroused at the sight before her. Her best friend was tearing into Spike like a wanton and feral beast. She might have thought Spike was making Buffy do things against her will if she hadn't seen the look in Buffy's eyes that radiated the desire and need she had for everything she and Spike were doing to each other.

Giles pulled at the collar of his shirt. He gulped hard. With a come hither motion of his hand, Giles gestured for Willow to follow him back out the door. Once outside he locked the door. "Why don't we go get some breakfast in town? I think it would be better if we weren't there to witness what they're doing."

"That's ... That's a good idea, Giles." Willow stared at the closed door for a minute. "Will they be all right in there? It looked like they were going to tear each other to pieces."

"As awkward as it may seem, it appears that Buffy and Spike were renewing their claim in a bestial way." Giles led Willow out of the courtyard. He decided against driving in favor of walking to allow them more time to clear their heads. "Their demons and human selves all need the reassurance of their mate being alive and cared for."

"That is a pretty scary way to say I love you," Willow countered with a shiver.

"There are many aspects of their relationship we may never understand, Willow, and there are many different types of love." Giles tried to explain the situation quickly and simply. He had no desire for anyone to overhear any critical points of the conversation. He wasn't convinced about the Council's lack of knowledge about Buffy. He feared Travers sent operatives to watch them. "So," he kept his voice low for Willow's hearing only, "Demons react to each other on a more primal level. Although I have witnessed tender forms of affection between them, their other sides will also demand their own forms of expression and affirmation."

"I think I understand better Giles, but it still frightens me to see them act like that." Willow sighed softly. "I almost forget Buffy's new state until something like this shocks the realization back in."

Giles nodded. "We need to give her all of the support possible." They arrived outside of a small diner. "Hardly anything is happening in a "normal" way for Spike and Buffy either. We're all muddling through this, but we'll survive better if we stick together." He despised the thought of his Slayer being turned, but he wasn't foolish enough anymore to assume this was the end of his charge. He was willing to stand up to Angelus, the Council, or anyone else that came after Buffy.

Willow weaved around several tables to locate an empty two-seater in the corner. "I'm scared, but I won't desert Buffy. If only we could get Xander to understand."

"Xander has shown a lot of prejudice when it comes to those he deems as evil." Giles knew Spike wasn't completely good, but he had to respect the fact that Spike was willing to risk his entire existence and way of life to protect Buffy. Spike also seemed willing to fight whatever was necessary to keep her safe and loved.

Willow nodded. "He never liked Angel, but part of that was from his crush on Buffy." She'd been so mad at Xander for the last couple years because of his crush on Buffy. She'd loved him for a long time before she met Oz, and it had hurt to watch her best friend chase after her other best friend especially when she knew that Buffy didn't love Xander like that.

"He has taken great pleasure in repeatedly saying I told you so, as of late." Giles groaned in frustration. He had more reason to be upset with Buffy about Angelus than Xander, but he also wasn't going to blame her for everything either. Part of the blame lay at Jenny's feet for not telling them about what she knew and for staying late at the school alone when she should have been safe at home. He missed her terribly, but there was nothing he could do to bring her back. He needed to move on as best he could.

Willow noted the furrowing of Giles' brow. She squeezed his hand in support. "Once Xander gets a hold of something, he doesn't let go." Willow rolled her eyes. "He's all on the bandwagon to stake Spike, but I doubt that Buffy lets him anywhere near Spike. Her fangy display the other day proved that."

Giles nodded in agreement. "Yes, you are right. We need to watch Xander carefully." He sighed. "I am afraid that I don't trust the boy not to overreact emotionally when it comes to Buffy."

Conversation stopped when the waitress walked over to take their order. The two sat in relative silence contemplating the state of their lives while they waited for their order and then ate it.


Back at Giles' house Spike and Buffy were lost in their own world where only the two of them existed. Bits and pieces of their clothing were strewn throughout the living room, furniture was knocked over, and the two of them were practically fucking their way around the room.

Spike hovered over Buffy's body, buried to the hilt within her warm channel. He snarled and bit her shoulders and breasts while he pounded into her pussy savagely. The force of his thrusts slid them both along the carpet. She would have been pushed away from him if he hadn't grabbed a hold of her shoulders or waist to remain intimately connected.

Buffy was not idle in her actions either. Her claws, fully extended in her demon's façade, dug into Spike's back. Thin lines of red blood dripped over his shoulder blades, the scent of his blood driving the pair to further heights.

"Never leaving you." Spike grunted, punctuating each word with a separate plunging of his cock in and out of her body. He grabbed Buffy's shoulders, pulled back and flipped her over to her hands and knees without losing the warm sheath around his cock.

Buffy gasped in pleasure and shock at the change of position. She braced her hands against the floor. Her claws dug into the carpet and wood beneath it. She used any leverage she could get to push herself back when Spike pushed his cock forward. "I'll kill anyone that even thinks of touching you." She tightened her inner muscles to strangle his cock within her as she spoke.

Spike's head snapped backwards, and he howled. His body shook in ecstasy. His orgasm was ripped from his body with the tightening of her pussy around his cock. He curled his hands on her shoulders; claw marks being embedded in her front and back. He yanked her body up against his and buried his fangs into her neck.

"SPIKE!" Buffy yelled out in orgasmic joy. Her body rushed over the edge the moment his fangs entered her neck. The rush of Spike's cool seed within her womb did nothing to chill her, but it satisfied her body's need for his essence in any way that she could find it. Her muscles pulsed and rippled around his cock, milking each strong jet of thick cream deep within her canal.

Spike rocked his hips forward and back in shorter strokes that were no less forceful than his previous fucking. Even as his body emptied itself within her, his hunger for her remained. His passion for Buffy would never die, and he pounded against her womb harder with the round thick head of his cock.

"Yes, Spike. Yesssss!" Buffy's words slurred off when the colorful light display began behind her eyes. She bucked back against Spike, sending him to the floor. Quickly she turned around, straddled Spike on the ground, and impaled herself on his still stiff member with a bounce.

"BUFFY!" Spike bellowed. His voice echoed off every wall, bouncing back to them. His cock plunged so deep within Buffy's depths that he felt his throbbing head force its way past her cervix and deep into her womb. His eyes nearly crossed at the different feeling of this most secret place of his lover.

Buffy fell over on top of Spike. The brief shot of searing pain that radiated from her lower regions was nothing compared to the fullness and completion she felt with where her lover was now buried. She bounced a little to keep him deep within her as the force of that first thrust sent her into another orgasm.

Spike rolled Buffy beneath him. He lifted her hips up into the air. With a feral growl he pounded into his climaxing Mate. Every thrust relit the fire within Buffy's body and continued her orgasmic crest to near unconsciousness.

Anyone else would literally be crushed from the pressure and force of their lovemaking. No matter the intensity of this sex between them, it was lovemaking to their demons. It was a passion beyond the normal mortal feelings between humans. This connected them on an even deeper level. Spike's essence and blood filled his Mate while he consumed Buffy's blood and essence.

The lovers were lost to the outside world. Only one thing existed for either of them, that was each other. Unfortunately the outside world still existed, and it was about to intrude on their private world.


Willow and Giles walked leisurely back to his house. They hadn't been sure how long the lover's needed to be with each other before it was safe to go back home. Neither one wanted to walk into the middle of anything resembling what they left them doing. So, they casually talked about school, and other mundane things, until they heard a shrieking scream coming from the direction of Giles' house. Both of them took off in a dead run.


Inside Giles home an enraged vampire crouched over his wounded Mate. "Buffy!" He fought every urge to destroy the boy that did this.

Buffy lay on the floor naked and bleeding around the wooden stake embedded in her unmoving left lung. Only inches from her heart, she tried to remain still while the tears ran down her cheeks. "Oh God, Spike. It hurts." Her claws dug into her own hands in clenched fists.

At first Spike had been too stunned to even move. One minute they were pounding each other into the floor, changing dominant positions frequently, and the next he was yanked off his Mate. When he shook his lustful head to clear it and react, a stake was swishing through the air to his heart. Mere moments before the tip of the stake would have pierced his heart, he found himself with an armful of Buffy sporting a stake embedded in her lung with her back against him.

"Make it stop, Sire. Please, make it stop." Buffy cried out at the pain. She didn't know if it would kill her or not, crosses and sunlight had no effect, but it hurt like hell.

Cold brown eyes stared at the couple on the floor. His back rested against the wall opposite Buffy and Spike. He felt sick to his stomach to see the blood oozing out of the woman he'd had a crush on for almost 2 years already, but another twisted part of his mind told him that it was just what she deserved. 'The bitch wanted to play with evil. She'll end up dust right alongside him.' He stretched his arm out behind him to gather another stake into his hand. Slowly he took two steps forward prepared to stake the vampire caring for his Childe and Mate.

Willow and Giles burst through the door. "XANDER!" Willow yelled. All she saw was Spike leaning over someone with his back to Xander. Xander held a stake in his hand, and it was only a couple strokes from plunging into Spike's back.

"COWARD!" Spike roared, turned around, kicked Xander in the gut and forced him into the wall. He grabbed Xander's wrist. He pressed it tighter in his hand until the pain forced Xander to drop the stake. "How could you?" He brought his knee up to disable the boy.

Xander saw stars when the force of the kick knocked the breath out of him. The stars were joined with a searing white light when his balls were wounded by Spike's knee. He crumbled towards the ground in a heap of quivering pain.

Spike dropped the whimpering Whelp to the floor. He turned to a shocked Giles and Willow. "Do something with him," he ordered. If Spike had his way, he would drain the boy right then and there. His Mate was in danger though, and that was the only thing that saved Xander's life.

Giles stepped up to the couch. As he neared the end of it he inhaled sharply. The sight of Buffy lying in her own blood was enough to nearly stop his own heart from beating. He ripped Xander up off the floor, back into the wall. A very Ripper like voice emanated from Giles' lips. "If she dies, you die." He tossed Xander into a nearby armchair then headed to the bathroom for his first aid kit.

Willow's eyes practically bulged out of their sockets at the sound of Giles' voice. The entire atmosphere of the room was dark and foreboding. She had never felt so much negative energy in all of her life. It literally changed the room temperature with the chill. She walked over to Xander trying not to look at Buffy's pain stricken form.

Spike caressed Buffy's cheek. Buffy's teary eyes never faltered from her lover's gaze even when her body shook in pain. He knew the stake was near her heart, and he was afraid to remove it. One wrong twist of his wrist, and he would lose her. As much as Buffy wished to die when she thought she'd lost him, he would greet the sun himself if he lost her.

Giles returned to the living room with a metal box and a plastic shower curtain. He draped the curtain over the couch. "Spike, do you think you can get her up here without jarring the stake?"

Spike nodded. Nothing could express the gratitude he felt towards Giles for trying to help him instead of blaming him. He felt quite proud of the Watcher's display in front of the boy. He half expected the Watcher to finish what the boy had started.

Giles secured a fluffier pillow under the top of the shower curtain on the couch. He placed another pillow down a bit further in the approximate position of where Buffy's chest would be. He had no desire to see her dust, and they had to keep her upper torso as flat as possible.

Spike looked down at his beloved Buffy. "We have to try and get that out, pet."

Buffy nodded. She was in too much pain to speak to him verbally. 'Do what you have to do, Spike. Just don't leave me.'

"I'm not going anywhere, pet." Spike spoke out loud for the sake of the others in the room. He figured they would realize that he was speaking to Buffy. "On the count of three, luv." He slipped one arm underneath her legs and another at her shoulders. "One … Two … Three." He lifted Buffy up as softly as he could.

The few steps to get around the end of the couch and lay her down on it seemed like a mile to Buffy. She cringed and whimpered out pitiful little cries with each movement of her muscles against the embedded stake. Tears rolled down her cheeks. No amount of vampire or Slayer stamina seemed to be able to compete with the pain of the wood in her chest.

Giles examined the wound with a clinical eye. He tried to push his paternal emotions to the back of his mind but failed. Xander moaned behind them. Giles tossed a capped bottle to Willow. "Blow some of this dust into his face. If he wakes up again, do it again."

Willow caught the bottle. She walked over to her oldest friend with trepidation. She knew Xander hated vampires, but his actions were vindictive beyond anything she realized he was capable of. These were not the actions of her Snoopy dance loving best friend. She uncorked the bottle, pinched a little bit of the dust into her palm and blew it at Xander. About ten seconds later, Xander slumped forwards, asleep.

Giles never wavered his attention from Buffy's wound. He pressed as softly as he could around the wound. "It appears to be a clean piercing."

"Clean piercing?" Spike growled. "That is a stake that was shoved into Buffy's body, not some belly ring."

"I know that Spike," Giles yelled. He looked at Spike. "I was trying to ascertain whether or not the wood splintered when it went in, Spike."

"Oh." Spike hung his head a little bit. "Sorry."

'He's just trying to help, Spike.' Buffy gazed lovingly at her Mate.

"I know, pet." Spike sighed. "I don't know who to trust right now. Your best friend just tried to kill you."

Buffy started to shake her head, but the pain it caused stopped her. "You," Buffy barely made out the word verbally. 'He was trying to kill you.'

Spike's shoulders slumped.

"What did she say?" Giles inquired. He was unwrapping several layers of gauze and cotton from the first aid kit.

"She said he was trying to kill me." Spike waited for the burst of angry words to spew from Giles' mouth.

"I see." Giles picked up a scalpel. The Slayer/Vampire healing was sealing the wound around the stake too quickly. They were going to need to cut around the stake to remove it. "She couldn't allow that to happen to you."

The matter-of-fact tone with which the words were spoken surprised Spike. "You aren't going to blame me for this?"

"I believe the blame rests at Xander's feet. He should have realized Buffy would defend you, especially after her display the other night."

Spike stared open-mouthed at Giles. A moment of awkwardness passed between then. Giles cleared his throat to break the silence. "I need you to hold Buffy down. We don't want her to jar the stake into her further if she moves while I work."

"That won't be necessary." A decidedly female voice spoke from behind the men. An ethereal glow surrounded the ex-Slayer who stepped closer to the couch.

"Antoinette?" Spike stood up abruptly. "Why the bloody hell didn't you two tell me that I'd lose touch with her completely?"

"We warned you, William," Antoinette spoke patiently.

"Not bloody well enough. She tried to take a dance in the sun." Spike pointed at Buffy. "And now one of her little friends decided to take a piece of her when she defended me."

"I know, William." Antoinette patted Spike's shoulder. "I'm here to help." She walked over to Giles.

"I … I don't … understand." Giles stuttered. Spike called the woman Antoinette. Surely this wasn't the Slayer from Louis' Watcher diaries. "You're …"

"Yes, Rupert." Antoinette knelt next to the couch. She pressed the palm of her hand against Buffy's brow. "You were brave, little sister." She consoled the injured Vampiress. "The powers wish to reward your love." She had to admire the small woman on the couch. She had such a fire and passion to her. "You risked your own life to protect your Mate. You were willing to crumble to ash to join him when you thought he was gone. These are signs of the devotion and depth of your love."

Willow, Spike, and Giles watched the glowing woman tend to Buffy. They stared amazed when a glowing hand grasped the stake. The stake disappeared in her hand as if it was never there.

Buffy gasped. The pressure of the stake was gone. The searing pain that tore through her only minutes before disappeared. She inhaled and exhaled several times, testing the use of her unnecessary lungs.

Antoinette rubbed her hand over Buffy's gaping wound. The wound quickly sealed itself. New skin grew over the reddened skin to replace it. When she was done, she stood up to face Spike again. "This is a one time visit to this plane, William." She cupped Spike's chin in her hand. "A friend's heart has turned black. The circle knows of Buffy's existence. They will try to come after her, but do not fear the coven. They will protect you both."

Spike nodded. 'Why can't the bloody powers stop speaking in riddles?'

Buffy, who was rapidly regaining her sense of strength in the absence of the pain, turned her head towards Spike. 'What would be the fun in them just telling us outright?' She teased with a laugh.

Antoinette reached out one hand to clasp Willow's hand. Her other hand surrounded Giles' hand. "You both know what is truly right and wrong. Do not close your minds to what you do not understand. All is as it should be." With those last words she disappeared into the other realm once more.


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