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Third Life

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Summary: “I’m sorry, Pigeon,” he whispered, “But this is the best way I know to keep my promise.” AU seasons 6-7,one shot that may go further.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > Spike-CenteredStrangerFR1844,55566313,23814 May 077 Feb 08No

Dealing the Hand

Author's note: Know what's buzzy? Uploading a story and getting 2 review + 30 hits in the first fifteen minutes. I just had to update. Have fun boys and girls.
Disclaimer: Ain't mine. Any of it. Meh.

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2 – Dealing the Hand

She watched them freeze in surprise when they saw her, sitting on the hotel lobby couch, hands shaking very faintly, eyes huge with tears. As he said her name, Angel thought she looked like a shock victim.

“Buffy…?”

“We lost him,” she managed, voice coming out tiny and choked. The voice of a little girl sitting in the dark. “We lost Spike.”

+

There was nothing but darkness, and so in the darkness, Spike dreamed.

At first things went badly.

“No, no! Not ankle boots! For the love of God, not ankle boots!”

There was a long suffering sigh. “Spike.”

He opened his eyes, and peered blearily at his surroundings. He was under a blanket, at one end of the sofa in the Summers’ lounge. At the other, twitching in her sleep, was the Slayer. There were tear tracks on her face, and every so often, her breath came out in a sort of shudder. He frowned and touched her cheek. She shivered and tears leaked from beneath her eyelids, but she didn’t pull away.

A hiccup drew his gaze to the armchair. Dawn was there, wrapped in his duster, the only evidence of her presence a skein of wavy brown hair and her closed eyes visible over the upturned lapels.

Spike felt his face soften. It was okay. They were here, both of them, safe and mostly sound. Tired, frayed, but whole. It was okay. He was here. He wasn’t ashes. He must have just been unconscious…

“Spike.”

“Argh!”

Perched on the edge of the couch, between him and Buffy, was Joyce Summers.

“You’re dreaming,” she told him kindly.

He stared at her, eyes still wide. “Yeah,” he breathed. “Sure looks that way…”

Carefully setting down her cup on the coffee table (Spike could smell hot chocolate), she sighed and patted his arm. “I don’t have much time, you won’t be unconscious for much longer, but one thing you should know now, is that the portal did kill you.”

The vampire subsided back onto the couch arm, eyes gone rather glazed and shocky.

“But, you’re not completely dead.”

His head shot up. “What?”

Joyce gave him that brilliant smile Buffy had inherited. “I pulled a few strings. Since you sacrificed yourself for my girls, I was given a say in what would happen to you. I found a way to give you a third life. It’s a parallel universe, of sorts. Things will be different, strange. You’ll be a different kind of vampire too, but you’ll keep a few of the elements that you had before.” She gave him a pained look. “I can’t say anything outright, but know that I haven’t sent you back into the world helpless.”

He watched her get up and kiss the faces of her sleeping daughters. Before she walked out of the room, Joyce turned.

“Thank you, Spike, for keeping them safe.”

Then everything seemed to slip like sand under his feet, night invaded his eyes and was suddenly parted by a sword of white light.

Spike woke to the new world, covered in someone else’s coat, and bathed in moonlight.

+

In the blue darkness of her room, Dawn watched a similar moon with a leather duster bundled in her lap.

“I hope they let you in,” she whispered, struggling against tears. “I hope you found heaven.”

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Btw, thanks to the wondercrumps who reviewed the first chapter...now do it again!
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