Do Wishes Not Made Out Loud Still Count?
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It had been a satisfying night on the Cleveland Hellmouth. Buffy patrolled through the alleyways catching peaks of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The free concerts they did in the summer had a way of bringing in the vamps, though now after putting five of them to rest the place was quiet for the night. The music tonight would have been heaven for Spike. The blaring Punk Rock covers from the indie bands would have had him on a high for weeks. She was actually surprised he hadn't shown up for it. Heading toward the beautifully lit museum the breeze came off Lake Erie and lifted the hair from her hot face. It was no surprise that there weren't more beasties out tonight, it was too damn hot. With a near record breaking heat wave, even the vamps were sticking to indoors.
Things between her and Spike now were good. She'd found out he was alive again due to a jealous Immortal. The guy couldn't wait to gloat to her about how he'd gotten the better of Spike and Angel when they had come to Italy. He had been mistaken if he had thought the news would amuse her, she hadn't been laughing when she'd broken his jaw with her fist and stormed out of his mansion. The first thing she had done was to track down Andrew and his groupies and had gotten the story from him. Next she had called Giles, only to find out that a big show down was going on in LA, seems Hell was getting ready to open there literally. It hadn't taken long to pack a bag and hop on the next plane to LA.
The night had pretty much been like this one, scorching. But it had been from hell coming forth, not just the normal “Global Warming.” The closer she had gotten to Angel's location, the hotter it had become. Pot holes were bursting forth from the ground, even though the rain poured down. Her boots were sticky on the melting blacktop and she had to run quickly to keep them from melting with it. She was only a block away when a dragon shot into the night's sky. That night she had ran like she never had before. The horror she saw before her eyes almost brought her to her knees, especially when she saw them in the thickest of the fray. Side by side they all fought, beating back the legion of demons that spilled from the earth. Fatigue set in and at times they had to run just to get to better ground. It had been near dawn when the calvary had showed up. Fifty slayers and the rest of the Scooby gang. At the time she didn't ask questions and neither did she answer any, she was just grateful that they were with her.
It was after dawn by the time that everything was winding down. Willow and several members of the London coven managed to close the point from where the demons were coming. She was swiping the head off a demon with the scythe when she saw the spear fly through the air. Calling his name and saying a prayer Buffy watched as the spear found it's mark, embedded in Spike's torso. It had been thrown with such a force that it planted itself into the ground . Buffy watched in horror as Spike slid down the spear until he was embedded into the ground. At least her prayer had been heard because he was hurt but did not turn into dust.
Four hours after it had started, the fight was over. Twenty slayers were dead, along with Charles Gunn. Faith died saving Angel's life, taking the ax in the chest that had meant to cleave the vampire's head off. Dawn almost died saving the life of Xander, the club she took had shattered her hip and would probably leave her with a limp for the rest of her life. In the moments before she had fallen unconscious she told him that she loved him, that her childhood crush on him had never faded and that if she died at least he would be the last thing she saw.
In the end bodies lined the streets for a five block radius, human and demon, sometimes you couldn't even tell which body part went with what species. Everyone was thankful that Angel had kept the lease on the Hyperion hotel that morning. The front lobby was turned into a triage of sorts for those who wouldn't need to immediately go to the hospital. Buffy would have loved to have gone with Dawn, but knew she was fine with Xander. A few had stayed behind, including Angel to see to the dead. Illyria had decided that “the vestiges of men who weren't fit to lick her boots” needed her and that she would be accompanying them back so they could worship and learn from a real God. She was making it her job to bring them up from the slime so that they could be more useful in the future. For some reason that no one could figure out yet she had become attached to the young Slayers and had taken to calling them her pets. Spike assured everyone that it was indeed a good sign.
They had stayed for a week, making the most of Angel's hospitality and taking the time to tend to wounds. The battle had been bigger than anyone had dreamed possible, and now major recuperation would be needed. A small memorial was had for those who had fallen, it had been Buffy's job to get a hold of the parents she could and do the hardest part of her job and that was to tell someone that their child was not coming home. With every call she had made it broke a little more of her heart. Sometimes it felt like there was nothing left of her to give. A big decision had to be made, and that was who was going to take over the Cleveland Hellmouth. It had been Faith's post, her city to watch over. The action was nothing like Sunnydale, even for the size of the city. Cleveland was a pothole compared to the crater of Sunnydale.
Buffy had chosen to take Faith's place. Even this small of a hellmouth needed someone more battle tested than anyone they had. And besides it got Buffy far away from Italy and the Immortal, that it itself made Cleveland all the more enjoyable. Before she had left she knew the time of “The Talk” would come from Spike and Angel, she had been glad and prepared, heck she had even been the mature one and initiated the conversation over coffee in the kitchen one night while the wounded slept and the able patrolled. For once her vampires had acted like men and not rutting schoolboys. She explained to both of them that while she cared for both of them equally and was glad to see both of them alive that at the end of the day it was better for them to stay as friends and let the past rest where it belonged, and that was buried deep in the crater of Sunnydale.
They had both shocked her, saying they knew. It was time to let her go, and because they both loved her they would. It was then that Angel told her about Cordy, how she had come to be his best friend and that it wasn't until it was too late when he realized that he had loved her. Angel explained to her that's what he wanted, to have someone love him despite everything, despite Angelus. Cordy had. He hoped to find that again someday, with those words Angel had stood, told her to call if she ever needed him and left, leaving Spike staring into a cup of coffee and the two of them alone.
Neither she nor Spike had been able to speak at first. Both had been too amazed to see each other face to face for the first time in a year. Buffy had sat and listened while he told her the story of how he had come to LA and he and Angel's fight for the Shansu prophecy. When the time had come she explained about the Immortal and how if it wouldn't have been for him, they wouldn't be alive now. She'll never forget the words he said to her and pulled her into a hug of friendship.
“I learned something this year Pet, I learned what it's like to be a man. To stand on my own two feet and how to do the right thing, just because it's that. Even made a friend or two in the process. Couldn't have done it without you. For the first time I'm all right on my own and I don't' need a woman to bullocks it all to hell. Got Blue for that anyway.” His hug had startled her, especially when it was just that a hug between friends. It threw her for a loop to feel and hear the heart beating in his chest, and to feel the warmth of his skin.
Sitting on a bench looking out over Lake Erie she realized for the first time how content she was with life and still amazed at how everything had turned out. Their had been major casualties, true, but the world was better for it. In the process a prophecy of the good had come true, for not one but two people that would always be in her heart. Seems Wesley had misread a few thing in the Shansu that Giles corrected. It was meant for two not just one. Angel and Spike were both human now with souls fully attached and even better kept their vampire skills. Angel for the past six months was on some kind of sabbatical in Tibet and Spike was helping to train the new slayers at the academy in London. For once in her life, it was actually good and chaos free.
Her sister was home doing what every young woman dreamed of, planning her wedding, Xander having popped the question during the summer once Dawn was able to walk again. Willow was in New Orleans teaching young women how to control their magic in a program set up by the London coven. Giles was running the academy and Andrew was on a book tour promoting his best selling sci-fi novel. Kennedy being the next senior slayer in line would be coming soon to take over as head Slayer here so that Buffy could join the rest in London, the decision had been made by all of them that Buffy would not be able to do what she was entitled to do, fully retire from active Slayer duty.
Yep all was content, too bad content was boring. Looking out over the water Buffy decided that she was bored. She needed a challenge, something to keep her own her toes while still letting her lead a normal life. College had been a thought that quickly faded with the need to earn a living to provide for her sister, but even that was now gone. The council paid for everything, and Dawn's shopping habits were soon to become Xander's responsibility.
What she needed was an adventure. Looking out over the water she made a wish if only in her mind. Buffy wished for adventure, but the kind of adventure where you could still have a somewhat normal life that didn't include nightly patrols. A minute later when she saw the brilliant flash of light she knew she was in trouble. Damn it couldn't a girl even keep wishes in her head anymore.