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.
_________________________

Buffy walked slowly up the stairs of Spike’s apartment complex, unsure if she should bother him this early in the morning. It was just past sunrise, and she still had a few hours before work started, but she wanted to see Spike again. The fact he was human again, but still fighting, amazed and worried Buffy, because he was mortal and weak now. When she woke earlier than usual this morning, her curiosity had gotten the better of her. She’d succumbed to the need to see Spike and ensure herself he was safe--and in his right mind again.

Her footsteps rang in her ears. With each step closer to his door, Buffy felt the need to run away, because it was Spike, human and alive, just beyond the wood panel. When she finally reached the door she forced herself to knock. Buffy only had to wait a moment before Spike answered the door.

“You the Good Morning Girl?” Spike’s question was riddled with humor, and it put Buffy at ease.

“Hardly, I’m more like Bad Morning Girl. Today’s a special occasion” Buffy tried for the same humor and walked in without an invite.

Spike ignored her candidness. “Special occasion?”

Buffy turned to look at him and saw he was in disarray. His hair was sticking up, and he was shirtless, with bags under his eyes. Buffy could see new scars traveling over his chest. One long scar started from under his ear down to his navel, and his left shoulder and arm were still heavily bandaged, blood slightly peeking from underneath. Feeling guilty, Buffy asked, “Did I wake you?”

Spike scratched his head and walked into the kitchen. “No, just making breakfast. Care to join?”

Buffy’s raised her eyebrows, clearly surprised that Spike would cook. “Sure, what’cha having?”

“Eggs, scrambled … and slightly burnt,” Spike called. She could see him from across the kitchen bar, which was open to the living room where she stood.

Buffy wrinkled her nose. “Burnt?”

“No complaining. I spent the last, well, forever never having to cook. This is new.”

Buffy entered the kitchen instead of continuing their conversation in different rooms. “Not even before you were turned?”

“That,” he paused, and Buffy watched him as he fought for the right words, “s’ not a very interesting tale. But no, not even then.”

“What were you, rich?”

He remained strangely silent, focusing on the eggs that did smell a bit burnt. He could have simply lied quickly, but Buffy noticed that he had picked to remain silent than to lie to her. In that moment, when she realized he didn’t want to lie to her, Buffy felt as if the rug had been pulled out from under her. “You were, weren’t you? Tell me.”

“Wanna set the bar? It’s almost done.” He ignored her again, and Buffy giggled.

“Yes, your worship.”

Spike finally turned. He raised an eyebrow at her choice of words, but it was Buffy’s turn to ignore him and raid his cabinets for plates and forks.

“So, that special occasion you’re here for, what of it?” Spike asked, a bit too casually.

“Oh, that. Just decided something.”

“And?”

Buffy hesitated to answer. The year he had been away, the fact he was human, all her thoughts and feelings. What she wanted, right now, was something different with him. He had risked his human life to save her without any expectancy of reward. Buffy could feel it, deep in her soul: this was a good man standing here with her. The war she had with herself, with her two hearts, last night, finally ended, because this was something she had never imaged Spike would choose, that he would show his remorse of his actions by picking a road to death. “New start.”

“New start of what?”

“Of everything,” Buffy whispered. She had made up her mind this morning and she wasn’t going to back down.

He was silent, and Buffy felt the shift in the air. She waited for his reply, for anything from him. Instead he grabbed the plates she had just set down on the bar and filled them with eggs. He tilted his chin towards them, “Eggs are done.”

“Thanks.” Buffy decided she was going to play along and sat down to eat her eggs. Spike joined her; he didn’t sit next to her, but one seat over. Awkward silence floated between them, and Buffy shifted her eggs before finally asking, “How did you do it?”

Spike paused in his contemplation of his eggs at the question. He set his fork down and looked at her. “Become human you mean?”

Buffy was still hesitant, but she wanted to know as much as she could. “Yeah.”

He shrugged before answering. “Made a deal with a demon, went through a nasty bit of trails, and earned back my humanity.”

“So you’ve been human since …?”

“It’s been a little over a year now, just a few weeks after you last saw me.” Spike swallowed a lump in his throat and began to stab at his eggs.

“What happened to you?” Buffy unconsciously reached out to touch the scar that ran from his ear to his stomach, but he recoiled from her touch.

“Demon got me a few months back, clipped me real good. Had to spend a few nights in the hospital.” He was as nonchalant with his reply as he could be.

“You almost died?” Buffy felt her stomach drop.

“A few times since I’ve been human. Learning to be a demon hunter without any superpowers is a real bitch.”

“Why? Why be a demon hunter? You could do anything you want.” Buffy was surprised to realize she wasn’t just asking Spike this, but herself as well.

Spike just stared at her for a moment, studying her, as if he could hear the hidden question. “Why not?”

“That’s your answer?” Buffy’s disbelief at his answer was emphasized by her sarcastic tone.

“Well, yeah. That’s my answer. Being human again after a hundred plus years is bloody confusing. At first I hated the idea, didn’t quite like the idea of killing and fighting, not after …” Spike shifted in his seat but continued on. “But once I got over it, it’s what I wanted to do. Besides I had to be of some use to you, after everything.”

Buffy looked down at her eggs and remained silent, not knowing what to say to that. Spike began to eat. He didn’t pressure her to say anything or reply to his reasons, but simply and calmly ate his breakfast. Buffy took a few bites herself, letting the silence continue. After a few moments she casually glanced at Spike’s direction, hoping that he didn’t notice. She noticed the cut on his arm from yesterday, pink and barely healing. She also noticed a few little scars littered here and there. Feeling uncomfortable about his scars, she quickly began to eat again.

After a few more bites of half burnt eggs, Buffy began to lose her appetite. Spike had been fighting for months now at least, getting hurt, but coming back for more. He did so without reason, without want, he did so just because he wanted to. And she fought because she was chosen to be the Slayer. She was the Slayer, it was part of her identity, but she was losing her powers. And here was Spike being Spike, still fighting, just without his vampire strength and healing. Could she do the same? Could she still be the Slayer without her powers? Could she still make a difference?

“Spike?” Buffy’s voice was tentative; she was unsure if saying what she was about to say was wise.

He glanced her way from his almost finished plate, his eyes shining with curiosity and surprise, “Yeah?”

“I’m losing my powers. Soon I won’t be the Slayer anymore.”

_____

The night felt heavy to Buffy, only because she was emotionally worn out. Sitting in her living room with all the others felt more so like a burden than ever before. Giles had heavy bags under his eyes, Dawn was tapping her right foot impatiently, Willow looked angry, and Xander looked more depressed than ever before. Buffy rubbed her arms with her hands; any kind of comfort she could give herself allowed her to keep herself together just that much longer.

There were books piled upon books in her living room, and everyone was looking through them, trying to figure out what was the cause of the town-wide emotional crisis. It was silent but Buffy felt like she could feel everyone in room. All their rich and terrifying emotions were pressing in on her. Frustrated, she got up to make her way to the kitchen for a drink when Giles called out.

“I found something.” He sounded tired, but his new-found enthusiasm crept through his voice.

Buffy turned to him, “Found what?”

Everyone turned their attention to Giles as he spoke. “A demon. It’s rather old and extremely rare. ‘Emoveren is known to cause intense emotions simply by his presence in any given area.’ This demon could very well be our culprit.”

Buffy nodded. “Sounds about right. Plus, it’s something I can kill, always a plus.”

“Where can we find this emo king demon?” Xander asked weakly.

Dawn looked at Willow. Her expression was both bored and impatient, “Can you do a spell?”

Willow blinked then scowled. “Probably, but without something from the demon I won’t be able to pinpoint it. It’ll be like throwing a dart at a really large target and hitting the center thinking you actually won a hard game.”

Buffy frowned and glanced at Willow. “But it’ll give us some clue as to where to look, right?”

Willow shrugged. “I suppose.”

_____

Buffy could feel Giles' disapproval plain as day as the group walked along the street. They were headed for the Hellmouth, which was as specific a location as Willow could give following her spell. Her Watcher had made no secret of his anger that Buffy had yet to tell her friends about her powers--or lack thereof, as the case may be. The only point in her favor was the fact she'd insisted they all stay together in their hunt for the demon. Travelling in a group did nothing to speed up their search, though, and Buffy quickly grew frustrated with their slow pace.

Her emotions were getting out of control. From one moment to the next she vacillated between anger and panic and impatience. She wanted to snap at Giles, tell him to stop staring at her, and she knew half the reason she was so angry was because he was right. She wanted to tell her friends; telling Spike had been the first step for her, and that conversation had lifted a weight from her shoulders. She felt now as if she could face these changes. She had to tell her friends. Perhaps after they dealt with this demon she would.

For now, though, she had to keep her emotions under control. The best way of doing that was keeping her mouth shut. Unfortunately, just as they passed a park near the high school, they ran into Spike. He still had his arm in a sling and looked as surprised to see them as they were to see him.

“Look who it is, the Assaulting Vampire. Come to force yourself on Buffy again, Toothy?” Xander’s quick change from depressed to seething anger hardly alarmed Buffy since everyone was barely hanging on.

“Nice to see you, too, No Show. Left anyone else at the altar?” Spike was quick with a reply, and Buffy knew this was going to get out of hand soon.

“Want me to do a spell for you, Buffy?” Willow’s eyes turned black. As she raised a menacing hand in Spike’s direction, a quick rustle of movement behind her caught Buffy’s attention. She turned to see Giles pulling a stake from his jacket pocket.

Buffy positioned herself between her friends and Spike. “Stop, this isn’t the time for this. We have a demon to find and kill.”

Willow looked outraged. “You’re protecting him?”

Buffy’s jaw clicked as she struggled to keep her temper in check, “Yes, I am, like I would protect you even though you almost destroyed the world last year!”

Willow looked affronted but didn’t say anything else. A moment later her expression held guilt and shame.

Buffy couldn’t see Spike’s face, but she could picture his indignation as he spoke. “Don’t need you to protect me, Slayer. I can handle myself.”

Buffy rounded on him. “Yes, you do! All of us are on an emotional high, and you aren’t a vampire any more. You’re just a weak human who--”

There was an explosion of voices behind her.

“Spike’s human?” Dawn’s shrill voice rose above the cacophony.

“Human, Spike? How? When? How?” Xander sounded panicked and unsettled.

“He’s no longer a vampire? Impossible!” Disbelief clouded Giles’ voice.

“That makes sense!” Willow was the only one who sounded awed.

Spike almost rolled his eyes and sighed. “Thanks for spilling my secrets, love.”

A high-pitched yet sonorous voice filled the air around them. “Emotion, emotion, I feel emotion. Yes, it’s good to tell secrets, because they contain emotion.”

Everyone turned to face the newcomer. A tall, angular demon in dark billowing robes came toward their group. Buffy immediately stood in ready battle mode. She noticed Spike do the same, even with his injured arm. The whole group looked prepared to attack when needed.

“I take it you’re Immobile Grin right?” Buffy asked, knowing full well this was their guy.

The demon looked offended but simply frowned and tilted his head to the side. “I am Emoveren, a demon which connects each emotion to the next, the next, and the next. Each of you contains emotion.”

“Yeah, we know. So how do we stop it?"

The demon looked aghast. “Why would you want to stop emotion? Emotion to me is like blood to a vampire, it feeds me … as well as it feds the other.”

“What ‘other’?” yelled Willow. Her eyes were still black.

“Anger. A good emotion.” The demon sounded pleased.

“OK, enough with the emotion talk. Either turn it off or I will.” Buffy was also feeling anger coming forth from within her.

The demon stared at Buffy and slowly shook his head. “You cannot kill, you are weak. Getting weaker, I feel your panic.”

Her friends turned to look at her, all of them looked concerned.

“Buffy?” Willow asked.

“You OK, Buffy?” Xander asked next.

“I’m fine, guys.” Now wasn’t the time to tell them. Buffy glanced at Spike and saw his eyes on her, his concern, but he didn’t say anything. She watched him turn to look at the demon.

“Battle’s not in your favor mate, it’s,” Spike counted the group, “six to one, not the best odds. I wouldn’t place my bet on you if I still gambled.” He looked to Buffy and quietly added, “Which I don’t.”

Buffy wondered if Spike was trying to convince her or himself, but she didn’t dwell on it. “No more talk. I’m going to end you.”

“I feel--” Emoveren was cut off as Buffy charged forward and landed a blow to his face.
The demon found himself surrounded by six very experienced demon hunters. Buffy grinned. Though she didn’t want to admit it to herself she felt even weaker than just a few minutes before. That didn’t stop her from feeling elation at the fact she felt confident that she could still defeat this demon. She spun around and hit Emoveren again on the face as it tried to block a blow from her, from Spike, and three weapons aiming at its head.

Willow began to chant a spell, her voice confident and unwavering. Buffy was distracted from Emoveren and so didn’t see him wave his hand and emit a rotten colored gas that quickly choked everyone close to the demon. Dawn, Xander, and Giles hit the floor, crying or raging, muttering the most incomprehensible things, their emotions blinding them completely. Buffy fell to the moist ground as well. She felt an intense wave coming, all her past hate, love, and fear coming to drown her. She hardly noticed when Spike fell, too, clutching his head, tears spilling from his eyes, under too much weight of his past life as a vampire.

But Willow finished her spell, and Emoveren was pushed back into a tree, where he collapsed to the ground. Buffy immediately felt the wave of emotion slow in its approach and a new clear sudden emotion came to her. It wasn’t determination; it was self-reliance, pride in herself. She knew absolutely that she could win. She had the ability, she had the experience. She knew what to do.

Glancing around, she found a sword abandoned in the grass and grabbed it. It was heavy, but she flexed her muscles and lifted the weapon., Adrenaline filled her, and she ran toward the lanky demon who was now just getting up. She slashed at it, letting the weight of the sword carry itself, and it struck true, slicing into the demon’s stomach. It stared at her wide eyed, and she slashed again, carving an X on the demon. It fell again to the floor, braced against the tree, blood pouring from its mouth.

Within mere seconds Buffy felt better, felt clearer. She didn’t feel overcome by emotion anymore. It was obvious the demon was dead. She began to pant, exhaustion slowly coming to her, but she felt it still, the pride.

Spike walked up behind her. “Nice work, love.”

“Thanks. I knew X marked the spot.”

Spike chuckled a bit and bent down to pick up something that had fallen from Emoveren. Buffy watched him furrow his brow as he examined his findings. “Can I keep this?”

He showed her a coin, the same type of coin that held the same emblem that had been popping up for months. She swallowed her worry. “Sure.”

Buffy heard her friends approach; everyone was recovering. She silently keep her eyes on Spike, who kept his eyes on her. Things were getting worse. Buffy had to let her friends know about her powers, and she had to figure out about the coins. Everything was connected, and it was getting closer, this unknown apocalypse.

________
Next...

Date: 2011-11-08 01:43 pm (UTC)
moscow_watcher: (Default)
From: [personal profile] moscow_watcher
Catching up with your story - and enjoying it a lot.

Profile

tennyo_elf: (Default)
tennyo_elf

July 2012

S M T W T F S
1 234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930 31    

Most Popular Tags

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags