Shoulda Kept The Receipt
Okay, so I'm still getting writer's block on The Claws That Catch,
so naturally I'm doing the sensible thing…I'm starting another challenge response! This one is a response to #4670, by Coldhands, but don't read it yet…it has spoilers.Standard Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
is the creation of Joss Whedon and is owned by Fox Television (I think. If I'm wrong, smack me). Doctor Who
belongs to the BBC.
This will eventually have some spoilers for Doctor Who, but I'm not sure when.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Shoulda Kept the Receipt
Spike staggered forward, staring at the unmoving form lying on the pile of bricks. The gate had closed, the world had been saved, and the Bit hadn't had to die to do it…but the cost!
He was vaguely aware of the others slowly gathering around. The Whelp, carrying Demon Girl in his arms; the Watcher, staring aghast with the scent of fresh death on his hands; Red and Glinda, holding each other up and clinging on desperately; and the Nibblet herself, making her painful way down Glory's tower, shedding a tear with each step. But he wasn't actually paying attention to any of them. His eyes, his ears, his every sense was fixed on Buffy, straining to pick up the slightest sign of movement, the tiniest sound, to tell him that she was still alive.
Her body lay in a nearly horizontal shaft of sunlight, so he couldn't approach, and even as he watched, the rising sun made it seem to glow, the light rippling across the still, white-clad shape. It was almost as if the light came from the body itself.
They all stood there, staring, and Spike was just about to sink to his knees in despair when he heard it.Thumpa.
His head snapped up and he stared unmoving at the white-clad form, and somehow managed to hold his breath even though he didn't normally breathe anyway. Had he imagined it? Did he dare hope?Thumpa.
Still staring, eyes wide, he slowly straightened up.Ba-Bump.
The others were all standing around, beginning to slump, and Dawn was just starting to sob.Ba-Bump. Thumpa.
"She's not dead," Spike said wonderingly.
Willow shook her head, while Dawn sank down to sit on the bottom steps of Glory's tower, beginning to break down crying.
"No," Spike said, "I mean she's really not dead."
"Spike, please," Tara said, tears beginning to flow down her cheeks.Thumpa. Ba-Bump. Thumpa. Ba-Bump.
Spike started forward, but had to duck back into the shadows as his scalp sizzled.
"I'm not in bloody denial, you gits! I can hear a heartbeat!"
The entire Scooby Gang froze in shock, staring at the fallen Slayer.Thumpa ba-Bump, Thumpa ba-Bump,
stronger and faster now, but so strange…he'd never heard a heartbeat like that before…but he didn't care, it was Buffy,
and if she died because these idiots didn't get her to hospital, he was gonna soddin' well end
them, chip or no chip…
And then Giles practically lunged forward, grabbing her wrist with both hands and feeling for a pulse.
"My God," he whispered. "He's right."
And then they were all standing around her, crowding so close that Spike couldn't see, even Dawn, one hand still pressed to her bleeding stomach but hardly noticing.
Spike eyed the shafts of sunlight that were crowding him ever closer. He was going to have to seek shelter any minute, but how could he leave before he knew --
And then Buffy's eyes snapped open and she sucked in a long gasping breath. She sat bolt upright, her face frozen in shock, mouth open and eyes wide and staring blankly ahead.
"B-Buffy?" Dawn said.
"Shh!" Buffy replied, waving one hand at her sister. Everyone exchanged uncertain glances as Buffy flicked her eyes in all directions, head barely moving.
"Do you hear it?" Buffy whispered fearfully.
It was Willow who found the courage to speak first.
"Hear what?" she asked nervously.
Buffy gave her a well duh
look. "The drums,"
she fairly hissed.
Another, longer exchange of glances, while Buffy turned her attention back to whatever distant horizon was holding her attention.
"Ba-ba-ba-bum, ba-ba-ba-bum," she whispered faintly. "Ba-ba-ba-bum..."
And then it was Dawn's turn to swallow fearfully and take the lead.
"We…don't hear any drums, Buffy," she said.
Buffy listened intently for several more seconds. Finally, she gave a single, tiny nod. Her face slowly relaxed, and a hesitant smile crept across it. Her eyes began to shine with joy.
"Neither do I," she said in a wondering voice.
Her eyes fluttered closed, and she fell back on the bricks in a dead faint.
Questions? Comments? Death threats? Anyone? Beuller?