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 (This chapter mentions the AR!!)
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.
_________________________

Buffy woke Saturday morning feeling more tired than when she’d gone to bed the night before. It had been almost a week since she had called Giles and a few days since her battle with the demon Fi...Fa..Fes...the snake-y guy. Her failure the other night trying to kill the snake demon only furthered her worry. Each day Buffy felt a bit weaker, a bit more normal than she liked.

Slipping out of her bed, the next thought to pop in her mind was Spike. He had been hurt pretty badly and her efforts to find him last night had proven fruitless. Either he lived someplace Buffy would never have guessed, or he was hiding.

Buffy was crossing the hall to the bathroom when a knock sounded on the front door. Forgetting the bathroom, she anxiously headed downstairs to see who it was.

Buffy opened the door to see Giles waiting at the threshold. Buffy didn’t want to acknowledge her slight disappointment because she was happy that Giles had finally arrived; he brought with him only relief, no matter if he eliminated or confirmed her fears.

“Buffy, it’s good to see you,” Giles stepped over the threshold to embrace her, and she returned the embrace gladly.

“Yeah, me too,” Buffy broke the hug and stood back to let Giles bring in his bags. “I mean, it’s good to see you, too, Giles.”

“I would have gotten here sooner, but I was hard pressed to find out as much as I could from the information you gave me.”

“Did you find out anything?”

“Yes, I did. Maybe we should talk in the other room. The foyer is hardly the place for this discussion.”

“Oh, right. Living room?”

“That would work nicely,” Giles started for the living room, and Buffy followed him after closing the front door.

She watched Giles take off his glasses and pinch his nose. He didn’t begin to clean his glasses until he turned to face her directly. When he spoke again, his voice was a whisper.

“I have some rather bad news to impart, Buffy,” Buffy felt her heart sink, but continued to silently listen as Giles continued. “It seems that when you were resurrected the second time, since the Slayer line had already passed to Faith, your powers did not permanently come back with you.”

“H …how?” Buffy couldn’t feel her toes anymore.

“I’m not certain. I had always thought you were irrevocably connected to your powers once called, that being a Slayer is a permanent part of the girl chosen from then on.”

Giles turned away from Buffy and stared out the window. When he spoke again, it was in the same soft voice, “It seems I was mistaken. Various events combined can cause a slayer to lose her powers, though it is a very rare, almost unheard of, occurrence.”

When Giles turned to look at Buffy once more his eyes were full of sympathy, “Your dying and being resurrected twice has created a leak, for lack of a better term.”

She'd been wrong. Confirming that she was losing her powers was way worse than only speculating about it. Losing all her patience, all her reserve, Buffy blew up, “Is there any way to stop it? Is there any way I can…I don’t know, put a cork in it? Find a way to reverse it? Or get it back?” Throwing up her arms, she began to pace. “There has to be a way, Giles. I can’t go back to the way I was!”

Giles slowly walked up to Buffy to stop her pacing. He put a gentle hand on her shoulder, “I’m very sorry, Buffy, that I wasn’t able to find a way to stop this.”

Buffy looked up into Giles’ face, her own stricken one looking back at him, “There has to be.”

Again, Giles’ eyes were full of sympathy and love, “I’m sorry, Buffy. There isn’t. I thought you wanted to be normal?”

Buffy closed her eyes and looked down, “Not anymore.”

Giles let out a heavy sigh, and Buffy wanted to crawl back into bed. She wanted to wake up to better news, “Then I’m truly sorry that I couldn’t find out more for you. I’ll continue to look; perhaps Willow could help me find more options available to you.”

Buffy quickly looked back up, “No, no Willow!”

Giles furrowed his brows in confusion, “Why ever not?”

“Because no one knows I’m losing my powers. I haven’t told anyone yet.”

“If you were worried about this getting out in the demon world--”

Buffy quickly cut Giles off, “I’m not. A group of vampires knew, so the word’s out already.”

Concern and frustration was growing in Giles’ expression, “And what happened to those vampires?”

“Spike and I killed them. But the demon we thought might be spreading the word turned out to be a dead end I think, so the right demon is still out there, spreading the word.”

“Spike? Spike’s returned?” Giles’ sharp tone caused Buffy to look down again.

“Yeah, a few weeks ago. He hasn’t been around much,” Buffy turned her eyes back up to Giles, who had a stone hard expression.

“Has he been a nuisance? Demanded anything of you?”

“No, actually, he saved my life a few times and then disappeared.”

Giles seemed somewhat satisfied with her answer until the hidden meaning behind her words became clear to him, “You mean you’ve been patrolling recently and required assistance? Buffy, not telling the others and then going off to patrol in your weaken state was extremely foolish!”

“I haven’t lost all my powers yet! I am still the Slayer!” Buffy was more frustrated than furious.

“But soon you will not be!” Giles took off his glasses again to stare more intently at Buffy, “Everyday you weaken until you will no longer be the Slayer. Every day you put yourself more at risk by going out to patrol.”

“What else can I do? Giles, this is my life. I’m the Slayer now and forever. I can’t go back to being normal!”

“The sooner you accept that you may well be normal, the easier it will be for you.”

“I can’t! I can’t, Giles!”

Ignoring Giles, she turned away and went upstairs to the bathroom. She quickly shut the door and pulled off her clothes. She jumped into the shower, gasping at the cold water that was slowly turning hot.

Buffy didn’t want to accept any of this. That soon she would no longer be a Slayer. That she would be normal. She was already a girl who couldn’t get back into college who had to work at a job she hated to pay bills she never asked to be responsible for. Being the Slayer made her special. It had changed her, and while being the Slayer wasn’t shiny and wonderful all the time, it was important. She made a difference, she affected people all around. She had died to save the world!

The hot water suddenly felt cold. Buffy began to shiver. She held herself as tightly as she could, but it didn’t help her chills. Putting her head down, she began to cry earnestly. There wasn’t anyone who could understand her, to know what this was like. She was utterly alone and common, merely a speck of dust on the world.
_____

That night, despite Giles’ protests that she shouldn’t go patrolling, Buffy went out as soon as the sky turned dark. Buffy asked Giles not to speak about losing her powers to the others. He reluctantly agreed, only after extracting a promise that she would tell them soon. She wasn’t sure how they would react, especially since they all seemed to center their life on her being the Slayer.

Buffy stopped walking, suddenly overcome with emotions. She began to breathe in slow hard breaths, trying to ease the pain that was pressing in on her heart. Buffy resisted the urge to fall to her knees, everything she felt or could ever feel weighed double.

A few people were beginning to run in the streets, she could hear shouts from inside homes, and cars were now speeding down the road. Concentrating on the events around her distracted Buffy from her own inner turmoil.

Buffy tried to tell people to go back home or someplace safe, but most ignored her. A few began to shout at her for no reason. Buffy forced down her frustration and tried to help people, but it was no use. She knew the only thing she could do was return home and call the gang together.

She turned down a short cut towards home when she saw Spike, his injured arm in a sling. He knelt before a young boy. Buffy started towards Spike when the emotions she had been trying to keep down exploded within her. She stopped dead cold, trying to distract herself again by taking in the events around her. It didn’t work so instead Buffy watched Spike.

Spike stood, took the boy’s hand and began to walk down the street. Instinctively Buffy followed. Within moments he handed the child to a woman who was looking around in dismay. The woman hugged the young boy and gushed her thanks to Spike. He took the time to flirt shamelessly with the woman, and Buffy remembered his playful expression he wore whenever he flirted. Another wave of intense and painful emotions attacked her, and it felt as if her heart would stop. Spike began to walk again, and Buffy kept her thoughts on following him only, desperately ignoring the ache in her chest.

Buffy saw Spike stop in mid walk and hold his head, as if he had a sudden headache. When he started walking again he did so in a hurry, and Buffy had to adjust her pace to keep up with him. Eventually Spike walked into an apartment complex, which didn’t look expensive or dingy, just an average looking place for the average Sunnydale resident. Of course he would live in the last place Buffy would ever think to look for him, unless he didn’t actually live there. Needing to find out, Buffy continued to follow him in until she watched him from around a corner pull out a key and walk into a door on the second floor. Throwing caution to the wind, Buffy went forward and knocked.

Spike opened the door quickly and was immediately shocked to see her, “Buffy!?”

Buffy didn’t say hello, she just pushed past him into his apartment while he stared at her. She ignored his bare living room and the punching bag hanging in the corner and even the half-empty plate of what looked like old spaghetti rotting on the bar near the kitchen. She rounded on him in mid-stride.

“What is your deal?” Her emotions were tumbling forth now, and there was no turning back. She didn’t care that she had asked this before from him. All he gave her before were cryptic answers, and this time she was getting more from him.

“Excuse me?” His confusion and budding anger were clear on his face, but Buffy didn’t care.

“You come back to Sunnydale after a year being away, after you hurt me, and act like … like it was nothing! You save my life and walk away without saying hardly anything, then save my life again and just disappear after that!” If Buffy could growl she would, “You save my sister’s life and get hurt and don’t say anything, plus you had just the right information we were looking for! You come exactly when needed! I know something is up, Spike, you can’t hide it from me. I’m still the Slayer; I will find out.”

Spike was staring at her intently but slowly closed his eyes tightly, looking as if he was trying to hold on to something within him, “Yeah, I am hiding something from you. And I’m sure you’ll figure it out. But I’m not telling, not now.” Spike opened his eyes and took a step back from Buffy. He twitched a bit, “Not now, not …”

Buffy wasn’t sure what to make of his behavior and grew even more frustrated with him. “What are you doing, Spike? Why are you acting like this!?”

Spike began to walk away, casting a glance at Buffy when he stopped, “We’ve been through hell and back, Buffy, but this … this isn’t the time to be telling secrets. Something is wrong; emotions are flying all over the place.”

Buffy tried to rein her own emotions back, “I know.”

Oddly, Spike began to breathe heavily, “Buffy … Slayer, look, I know my word doesn’t mean anything anymore, if it ever did, but I’m not someone you gotta worry about. I’m just a stupid git trying to help.”

Buffy couldn’t hold back, “Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why help, why not just stay away? Soulless vampires aren’t known for their good nature.”

Spike couldn’t hide the guilty look on his face, “Not the time, sweetheart. Just mosey on home, and I’ll tell you the story some other day.”

“No, you’re telling me now,” Buffy crossed her arms and glared at Spike.

Spike’s anger got the better of him, and he stormed closer to Buffy, “They’re my bloody secrets to keep!”

“Not if you’re up to no good!”

“And I told you I’m not!”

“And how do I know!”

Spike, instead of acting on the intense rage that was showing on his face now, deflated and relaxed. He calmly gave Buffy a pleading expression before again moving away, “Please, Buffy …”

Anger wouldn’t leave her, though, “’Please’ what Spike? Like I asked you ‘please’?” Buffy watched Spike flinch when she said that, and it only fueled her more; the hurt was now taking over, “You shouldn’t be here, you should have stayed away. You have to be the most deranged vampire to come back here after trying what you did. What purpose did you think it would serve? Did you just think you’d come back here and try to win me back after a while?”

Spike clenched his jaw shut and stared at Buffy with a mixture of hurt, anger, and guilt. But Buffy choose to ignore the guilt and waited for his reply, which was short and pointed, “You should leave, just go.”

“And if I don’t want to?”

“Do you have some screw loose up there? There is some major mojo going on out there and you’re in here drilling me when the real threat is out there!”

Buffy decided she didn’t want to play this game anymore, suddenly she didn’t care, “I’ll find out what you’re hiding, and when I do, you better be prepared.”

“Right, I’ll be all ready then. Just don’t forget you’re chasing ghosts.”

Buffy stared at him in disbelief before storming past him and out of his apartment, ignoring what she thought was mumbling from her former lover.

________
Next...

Date: 2011-10-23 12:27 am (UTC)
fangfaceandrea: I thnk this is AWMP's (Default)
From: [personal profile] fangfaceandrea
huh. so she really is losing her powers.. oh poor Buffy.

And a Spike that's been gone for more than a year sure as hell has secrets and I can't wait to find out what they are.

great chapter!

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tennyo_elf

July 2012

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