tennyo_elf: (SadSpuffy)
[personal profile] tennyo_elf
Title: Originally Normal
Beta: Science and TJBW (lots of credit goes to these two, they did a wonderful job editing this story)
Rating: FRT
Genre: Season 7 AU
Summary: It's been a year since season 6 and things are going OK for Buffy. That is until things start going wrong and someone finally comes back into her life.
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Buffy slumped in Spike’s arm chair in his living room, impatiently tapping her fingers on the side of the chair. She glared heatedly out the balcony doors, but her mind wasn’t focused on the landscape seen from the apartment. Her mind raced with thoughts on her current situation. She had to hide at Spike’s since her association with him wasn’t as well known as she thought, and it was safer than her own home. Now everyone knew about her and her powers. They were also now aware of the supernatural, but how they knew just overnight stumped her. Of course she had a hunch that it was related to the vampire named Or’Divi.

Or’Divi also stumped Buffy. Spike couldn’t find anything more on this vampire. Willow sat on the floor just a few feet from her scouring the internet for any clues on exactly what kind of vampire they were dealing with. Buffy was grateful that it was just a vampire that was causing all this mayhem. Even with her losing her powers she could handle one crazed vampire. Yet Buffy still felt nervous. She needed to know what was going on with this vampire and why it used these coins.

“Anything new, Wills?”

“No, nothing so far.” Willow let out a heavy sigh and continued on with her research.

Buffy looked around Spike’s apartment trying to occupy her eyes and her mind with anything else other than the endless questions regarding what was obviously a coming apocalypse. When that failed she looked back at Willow. “How’s your girlfriend? Is she also on the Buffy hate bandwagon?”

Willow gave Buffy a reassuring smile. “No. I think this Buffy hate thing is only infecting half the city.”

Buffy wasn’t so reassured. “Great, so just half the city wants me dead.”

Xander came into the apartment, looking just as perturbed as Buffy felt. “Well, people are rallying outside your house, some are even protesting for vampire rights. The weirdness is just … weird. Finally people are admitting to the strange supernatural things that happen in Sunnydale, and they want the one person who can protect them from the things that go bump in the night out of town. Definitely something is up!”

Buffy slowly stood and put her hands in the back pockets of her jeans. “Nice way of saying thanks. But yeah, obviously this is connected to Our Deli guy.”

“Or’Divi.” Willow corrected Buffy but quickly furrowed her brows. “Wait, the name.”

Buffy and Xander looked down at Willow, who was still sitting on the floor with her laptop

“It sounds Latin, or similar to Latin.”

“What does that mean?” Buffy asked.

Willow’s face lit up. “It means that if I can just figure out the origin of the name or translate the name somehow, I might be able to get more information!”

“That would take too long. It could work, but by then you would be dead.” Anya’s voice caught everyone by surprise. She stood at the open doorway, looking ready to flee at a moment’s notice.

Buffy lifted her chin and stared hard at Anya, but didn’t say anything to the vengeance demon.

Xander, on the other hand, wore an expression of delighted shock and almost jumped when he spoke. “Anya! What are you doing here?”

“I’m leaving town, as of now.”

Xander took a step closer to Anya and gave her a split second smile. “So you’re stopping by for a quick goodbye?”

Buffy kept her eyes on Anya but started to back away from Xander, wanting to give them a little room. She exchanged glances with Willow, who had stood as soon as Anya had appeared.

“Yes and no. I can’t stand it any longer. The bad guys are probably going to kill you, horribly, and I don’t want to stand by and watch. D'Hoffryn will probably send his people after me so I’m putting myself at risk for this, sticking my neck out for you.”

“And your point being, Anya?” Xander’s voice was low and drawn out. There was no effort to be rude or annoyed.

“It’s about the Hellmouth, okay? This Or’Divi, who’s like thousands of years old, is trying to do something with the Hellmouth. I’m not sure, because I was just forced to do lackey work, which was seriously underpaid.” Anya huffed at the thought and continued on, “But you should get out now. His plans are almost complete.”

“Do you know anything about why everyone is against Buffy?” Xander’s voice was now soft, and he took another step closer.

“You’re about to get killed, Xander, and all you can think about is Buffy! Can’t you just think about yourself and run? I … I don’t want you to die!”

“You know it doesn’t work that way, Anya, I’m part of the Slayer gang. Fighting evil is what I do. I’m not leaving.”

Anya pouted and couldn’t look Xander in the eyes, as her own filled with tears. “Another lackey is controlling people, using them as food for the Hellmouth, making it stronger and also gunning for Buffy since she already killed two of his other guys.” Anya tried to look at Xander, but as soon as her face met his she looked down. “I can’t say any more, or my ass will be fried. I have to leave.”

Xander stood silently for a moment, keeping his eyes on Anya. He gave her a slight nod. “Take care, Anya.”

“Don’t give me that look, Xander.” Anya shook her head. “Take care, too, and don’t die, though you probably will … maybe we’ll see each other again?”

“Sure, maybe one day.”

“Maybe I’ll be human again when that happens, not that it will matter if you’re dead.”

Xander smirked before giving Anya a sad smile. “I’ll look forward to it.”

Anya smiled back to him and then quickly teleported.

Buffy walked up behind Xander and gently put a hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry.”

Xander again jumped as if he was being pulled out of his thoughts and turned to face Buffy and Willow. “Don’t be. We know more about our Big Bad, and I know Anya will be safe away from the fight. Like she said, maybe one day I’ll meet her again.”

Xander’s brave front warmed Buffy, and she smiled at him.

Willow leaned forward and embraced Xander. “I have more information to go on now and seeing you with Anya makes me want to visit Aura.”

“Aura?” Buffy was curious as this was the first time she had heard Willow’s new girlfriend’s name.

Willow let go of Xander. “I’ll introduce you to her after we save the world again.” Willow pressed her lips together. “But I want to check up on her before we hit serious research mode.”

Xander playfully tapped Willow on the arm. “How about I walk you there?”

“Better safe than sorry.” Willow turned and grabbed her things from the floor.

“I’ll just stay here and do nothing, because it seems there is nothing I can do.” Buffy grimaced at the thought of being stuck in Spike’s apartment.

The front door closed, and everyone quickly turned towards the next person to interrupt them. Spike was looking at them in question as he locked the door with one hand while holding onto groceries in the other.

“You lot forgot the town’s after Buffy and decided the flat needed to be aired out by the completely opened and unwatched front door?”

Buffy’s eyes grew big at the realization of their carelessness. “Anya just stopped by. We now know that a demon is controlling people. We just need to find out what so I can…” Buffy trailed off for a second, her thoughts turning to her weakening powers, “…So we can kill it.”

Spike nodded, “Good, so why are we all standing around?”

“I’m going to walk Willow to her girlfriend’s place. We’ll be looking for more information there.”

“Why not here? Call Red’s girl over, and we can have a party, figure out where this demon is and kill it.”

Xander and Willow looked between Buffy and Spike, and Willow shyly walked closer to the front door. “Well, I don’t think Aura is big on the whole killing demon thing … and, um, I think it might be best not to have everyone together in close quarters. We might all get a bit cranky.”

Spike stared at Willow dubiously before walking to the bar and putting down the bag of groceries, “Sure. Right, we’ll spread out, and let the demons pick us off one by one.”

“I’m sure Willow and Xander can handle themselves, Spike.” Buffy’s reproach was filled with annoyance.

“Willow the Witch is twitchy with using magic, and Xander is weaker than I am, don’t see why we can’t stay together.”

“It hasn’t come to that yet. It won’t come to that. I’m not letting some common death threat get in the way of us living our lives.”

Spike and Buffy were so busy glaring at each other that neither noticed as Willow and Xander slipped out of the front door.

“Oh, this is living our lives? You haven’t told your Scooby friends about you getting weaker, and you got half the town wanting to see your arse high tailing it out of here. We’re scraping by as is.”

“Have you forgotten this is routine for us, Spike? I’m not letting something like this stop my friends from doing what they want.”

“And if what they want puts them in danger? You okay about burying your friends?” Spike got closer to Buffy, squeezing his fist shut, trying to stay in control.

“No one wants them dead Spike, just me. I’m the one with the target on my face.” Buffy got closer to Spike, too, crossing her arms to keep herself from getting violent.

“Don’t know if that’ll change anytime soon. Demon’s controlling people, once they know who your friends are, it’s a safe bet that they’ll be the next targets.”

“But not now, it’s better to act normal anyway, or we’ll give ourselves away.”

Spike clenched his jaws and almost got in Buffy’s face, his fury just visible below the surface. “Yeah, well, caution never hurts anyone.”

“And when did you get so cautious?” Buffy was as close as she could get to Spike, making sure she didn’t break eye contact.

“Human now, remember? I’m breakable, and I know how breakable they are, too.”

The words I don’t want to see you hurt were left unspoken, but Buffy heard them anyway. She couldn't control herself and glanced at his lips and drank in his closeness. He was leaning closer, and so was she. Her arms untangled to rest her hands on Spike’s forearms. He clasped her elbows, and together they pulled each other in. Their lips were just touching when the front door slammed shut. They pushed away from each other just in time to see Giles and Dawn enter the living room looking at them suspiciously.

Spike turned his back to unload the groceries he recently bought, and Buffy tried to act casual as she walked closer to Dawn.

Giles watched Spike before turning somberly to Buffy. “Is anything amiss?”

Buffy puckered her lips slightly. “No, no. Nothing is amiss. Totally amissless.”

“I’m happy to hear it.” Giles changed his demeanor quickly. “Picking up Dawn wasn’t too difficult.”

“People were staring at me all day at school, though. It really wigged me out. I had to tell the teacher I wasn’t going to finish summer school.”

“You okay with that, Dawny?”

Dawn shifted her weight and gave Buffy an incredulous and sardonic glare. “Well, it means I’m stuck in Sunnydale for another year. Obviously.”

“Why are you being so gung ho about leaving Sunydale, Dawn?” Buffy had been stumped for months on Dawn’s behavior. Her concern for her younger sister had been shuffled behind all her other worries lately, and now seemed like the only time they could talk.

Dawn looked up at Giles, who gently replied, “I’ll see if Spike needs assistance with the groceries.”

When Giles was in the kitchen, Dawn lost her rebellious expression and deflated. “I’m not you.”

“Of course you’re not me, Dawny, why would you say that?”

Dawn again looked nervously to the kitchen and then back to Buffy. “I’m just normal, you know. I’m nothing special.”

Buffy stared blankly at her little sister, not sure what to say. She began to open her mouth but Dawn continued on.

“It’s cool. I figured it already. If I leave Sunnydale I can be around normal people who are like me, and I’ll fit in. I’m not sure what I can do. I mean, I could be anything I really want to be. I could change my mind, though.”

“I thought you liked me training you? You’ve been kicking vampire as—butt lately.”
Dawn shrugged. “Good self defense? I could be closer to you?”

Buffy furrowed her brows in concern and simply looked at Dawn. She had barely formed tears in her eyes, her arms were crossed, and her shoulders were hunched. Buffy couldn’t believe she missed this from Dawn. Her own flesh and blood was drowning in insecurities. She had been so wrapped up in losing her powers and Spike, she had missed something as important as Dawn’s silent cry for help. Buffy, though, knew what she should do.

Stepping closer to Dawn, Buffy stroked her sister’s hair as she spoke. “Dawny, listen to me, you don’t have to leave Sunnydale to be around normal people.”

“You guys are so far from normal.”

“Hey, let me finish.” Buffy smiled, though, and continued to speak softly to her sister. “I haven’t told this to anyone yet, but Dawny, I’m not going to be the Slayer soon.”

Dawn slowly took that in. Her body language quickly changed once she understood what that meant. “What? You … you’re not going to be super strong? What’s happening? Are you okay?”

Buffy tried to give Dawn another reassuring smile, but Buffy didn’t know if that got across to Dawn. “I’m okay. It has something to do with the spell that brought me back, the fact I died one too many times already. It’s not sticking to me anymore. But that’s okay. I’m going to be okay. I’ll just be Buffy, your older, normal sister.”

“But Buffy, you’ll never be normal! You were like a little Godzilla even before you were called. I doubt losing your powers is going to make you stop being who you are.”

Buffy blinked at Dawn’s reaction and then stood straighter. “You think so?”

“I know so. At least I’ll also know I can kick your butt if I want to after your powers are all gone. We’ll be even then.”

Buffy scoffed. “We’ll never be even. I’ll be able to take you any day.”

Dawn rolled her eyes playfully. “I still think I’ll leave. You wanted me to see the world anyway, right? I can’t do that here.”

Buffy scrunched up her nose. “Yeah, I suppose so.”

Dawn smiled and looked more at ease than she had in months. Buffy smiled back, a real genuine smile. Buffy felt relieved at how well Dawn was taking the news, maybe even taking it a little too well. Perhaps this was something Dawn had always wanted? Maybe this was something that Buffy wanted too as well. Maybe it was time for her to be as 'normal' as she could be.

A shrill ring filled the air, and Buffy grabbed her cell phone. She flipped it open after noticing it was Willow. “Hey.”

Willow began to speak hectically. Buffy’s jovial face fell, and a serious expression took its place.

“Buffy, what’s wrong?” Dawn’s panic caused both Giles and Spike to appear from the kitchen.

“Okay, okay, I got it Willow. I’ll head right out.” Buffy shut the phone harshly and glanced up at everyone. “Xander’s being controlled. He went to get a weapon and is heading here. Willow says that she’ll be caught up in it soon, too. Her magic was the only thing keeping it at bay.”

Spike’s worry was apparent, and he moved next to Buffy. She looked at him, and when she found reassurance in his gaze, she grabbed his hand. “She say anything else, love?”

“Yeah, Xander keeps sprouting a name: Mens’tis.” Buffy looked at Giles. “Does that name sound familiar?”

“Unfortunately, no, it does not. I believe, so far, all these demons that have been cropping up are …”

Giles went dead silent. His eyes glazed over. Buffy felt her heart twist when she saw her sister’s eyes do the same.

“Guys?”

Spike squeezed her hand. “I don’t think they can hear you.”

“You don’t think…?” Buffy began to back away from her old Watcher and sister.

Giles and Dawn slowly inched forward in unison. And together they began to speak. “Mens’tis requires your death. Mens’tis requires your death.”

Buffy looked between them and Spike, horror clear on her face. “I guess that answers that question.”

“Yeah, I think so, love. Time to head out.”

“Ready when you are.” Buffy’s voice shook. She was devastated that her friends were beginning to turn on her, even if it was mind control.

Spike, while still tightly holding her hand, led Buffy quickly to the front door, dodging the zombified movements of Giles and Dawn as they tried to follow. Together they raced from Spike’s apartment, not daring to look back.

Buffy kind of missed the emotional high demon.

________
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tennyo_elf

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