Spoilers: Everything from Seasons 1-5 of Buffy and 1-2 of Angel.
Summary: Ten years after her death, Buffy is brought back by the PTB to save humanity once again.
Disclaimer: I dont own it, if I would do you think I would have killed Buffy? Or broke her and Angel up? Im just rectifying Joss Whedons mistake.
Authors Note#1: I watched The Gift then was all sad so I put on my Sarah Mclachlan CD. Id heard the song Mary one hundred times before but as soon as I heard it I was inspired although its taken me a while to get it down (And I live in England and I dont have Sky Tv so I had to wait for the videos to come out, but I did start writing this fic as soon as I saw The Gift)).
Author Note#2: I know how Buffys actually gonna be brought back and I also know what happens between her and Spike. I have one word: Noooooooooooooo!
Songs: Mary by Sarah Mclachlan, taken from the album Fumbling toward ecstasy, Time by Backstreet boys, taken from the album Black and Blue
Dedication: Dedicated to Layne, coz you loved this fic even though it was just eight hundred words long at the beginning.
Thoughts are shown in double brackets.
Restfields Cemetery, January 2011
Buffy Summers awoke, confused and frightened. She shouldnt be here anymore, shed moved on to a better place, not the world of sunshine, fluffy clouds and puppies that shed expected of heaven but the beautiful, quiet tranquillity of her afterlife. A disturbed panic began to course through her naked body as she realized she was alive once again. Alive, alone and naked in a graveyard. Turning around she saw the headstone behind her. Buffy Anne Summers. 1981-2001. Beloved Sister, Devoted Friend. She saved the world. A lot.
((Well at least they gave me a good send off))
Around her the world was dark, the sky tinged pink with signs of the coming dawn. No one was around, why would they be, the only person to hang out at a creepy cemetery would be her and she was dead. Or not.
Detached and disconcerted she slowly made her way through the graveyard, not ashamed of her nudity for the simple fact their were no people around to see her.
Although the night was balmy the grass was cold and damp under-foot making her shiver. Her mind didnt register the cold, or her need for clothes or food or a drink to soothe her parched throat. Instead her mind forced her tired feet to walk on through the cemetery, her brisk, unnaturally stiff walk led her to the beach. Her feet were cut and bruised from the uneven sidewalk and a fine sheen of perspiration covered her body. Her body appeared different to how she remembered; thinner, paler. Everything seemed different, nothing said it out loud but something in the air whispered to her.
// Mary walks
down to the water's edge
and there she hangs her head
to find herself faded
shadow of what she once was
She says "How long have I been sleeping?
and why do I feel so old?
why do I feel so cold?
my heart is saying one thing
but my body won't let go."//
The sheer exhaustion of being brought back to life - however it had been done - and walking several miles from the cemetery to the beach proved too much for Buffy as she sank down onto the cool sand her mind slipping into blessed unconsciousness, thoughts of why and how shed been brought back evaporating from her head.
Spike strolled down the beach, clutching his duster around him for warmth. He didnt know why he was walking around alone only a few hours before sunrise. Maybe it was because he was lonely, because he missed her. He missed her constantly, like everyone else who knew and loved her, everyone else whos world was lit by her sunshine. Maybe he was missing her more than ever today because it was her birthday and everybody missed her more on her birthday - no that was wrong, they all missed her so much, but today was just a reminder that she wasnt there to laugh and joke and admit that she was growing old. But then again, she wasnt going to get any older because she was dead. Her friends and her kid sister and Giles had all grown older in the last ten years, grown old and moved on, building a special place for her in their hearts, but he wasnt able to let go knowing that maybe he could have prevented it, if he had tried to protected Dawn that little bit more. Angel had never forgiven him for that, never forgiven any of them for letting her die but he blamed Spike most of all. Spike was the only one with the strength to help Buffy, to stop Dawn from being bled whilst Buffy fought Glory. Angel had come from LA the evening Willow told him, he had sat at her grave all night, mourning her quietly, whispering sad words to her body beneath the earth, apologizing that he hadnt been there to stop it.
The lament thoughts of the past diffused from the blonde vampires brain as he approached the waters edge and saw a tiny, frail figure emersed up to her neck in water, eyes closed, chest rising and falling in a steady but slow motion of breathing.
If hed had breath if would have caught in his throat as he recognized the fragile body that belonged to the Slayer. More out of instinct than actual thought, Spike rushed forward, shedding his duster and dragging Buffy out of the cold sea.
His initial thought as he wrapped Buffy in his coat that some sick demon had dug her body up for some twisted ritual but at a second glance, he realized she was warm and had a steady pulse. "Holy shit Slayer, howd you always come back?" he asked bewildered.
Buffy eyes flickered open as he spoke and for a moment she lay perfectly still in his arms before her lips opened and a ragged voice spoke his name "Spike? Whats going on? Im dead."
"Obviously not any more pet, come on, lets get you and me somewhere where I aint gonna fry when the sun comes up."
Buffy lay curled up on the over stuffed couch in the mansion, Spike leaving her there to rush off and find Giles and the others. Shed begged him not to leave her here alone, she wasnt sure if it was being alone that scared her or being alone in the mansion, a place that was still distinctly Angel, even after what she remembered as two years of standing empty.
With a rush of apprehension and taut emotion the door of the mansion swung open to behold four unrecognized figures and a familiar blonde vampire.
"B-Buffy?" came the confused, unmistakable voice of Buffys best friend. Buffy peered closely at the four figures she didnt recognize and slowly she realized who they were.
Willow stood, shaking slightly, eyes reddened from tears, dressed in a rich green sweater and jeans, her hair was shorter, shaped stylishly, light wrinkles blemished her face around her eyes.
The next face Buffy studied was Xander, tall, slim and dark - the same could have been said for Angel, if only she knew where he was. Xanders usually smiling face was rigid, trying to hold in all the emotions bubbling beneath the surface, he looked very similar to the last time she had seen him only he lost the boyish glint in his eyes and gained a look of maturity she never would have though hed be capable of possessing.
Her gaze drifted to Giles, an old man with whitening hair and wrinkled skin. His fashion sense had not swayed, still he wore smart clothes even before six am in the morning. His gaze held hers briefly, hope, tears and the hint of mistrust glittering within in blue eyes.
Finally Buffys gaze settled on a young women with cropped brown hair and startling blue eyes beholding sadness and maturity beyond her years.
"Dawnie?" Buffy croaked, the first word she spoke to the people she held most dear "Oh god Dawnie, its really you."
"Buffy?" Dawn whispered her sisters name. And that was all Buffy needed, some little sign that they knew who she was and this wasnt all just a cruel trick. She leapt from the couch, stumbling a little, and embraced her little sister. Dawn held her sister tightly to her, scared that if she let her go itd be just another dream in which Buffy was returned to her only to be torn away when she woke up.
Willow, Giles, and Xander watched the poignant scene for only a moment before they knew undoubtedly that the woman returned to them was indeed Buffy and not an illusion. They all ran to Buffy and Dawn, holding them both in their arms in a emotional group hug.
Spike stood in the doorway, still detached from the group of people he had come to love as friends, and for a moment he felt like he had eleven years ago when hed first got his chip, when they had all been so close and he was an outsider, but then Buffy looked up from their large embrace and held out a hand towards him and he was once again one of them, being held and loved and wiping away each others tears of joy and relief.
Standing in a loving, tearful embrace they remained, no one saying a word, terrified that if they did they would break the spell that had brought Buffy back to them.
Finally they broke apart, drifting onto the two couches set in the spacious lounge area of the mansion. "Welcome back Buff" Xander smiled and squeezed her hand as he sat down beside her.
Buffy winced as she sat down, Spikes leather duster chafing her skin, taut across her thin body. She shivered and drew the coat futher around her taking a deep breath to address them all for the first time "I... This is... What... How long have I been gone?"
Everyone in the room averted their eyes nervously, so much time had gone, so many things had happened, it was hard to think how Buffy was going to adjust after having missed them all. "I need to know," She whispered "How much have I missed?"
Dawn looked at her with sad eyes from the other sofa, edging closer to Spike "Its been ten years Buffy," she told her quietly "Today would have been... is your thirtieth birthday."
Buffy gasped sharply, shed had no idea how long it had been, of course shed realised shed be gone awhile, all her friends had changed in appearence, but ten years was still quite a shock.
"Buffy," Willow began "I know its hard to accept, and I know theres a lot youve missed but-"
Buffy smiled weakly and cut her off "I want you to tell me, tell me it all, I need to know."