The Dark Side of Bliss


She felt numb.
Buffy didn’t think she had ever felt that numb in her life. Everything since Giles had talked to the guys of the Council was a blur to her. She recalled talking, she recalled Willow making her floating in the air, she recalled the Council guys freeing them…and then Faith telling them that Xander wasn’t waking up.

The rush to the ER was even blurrier. She didn’t remember what Giles and Willow had told the doctors. She vaguely recalled hearing Anya crying and Willow and Giles trying to comfort her. She recalled seeing Faith vanish under her very eyes. She recalled thinking they hadn’t had time to talk. She hadn’t had time to tell her what had happened and that she didn’t have to tell anything about Spike to Angel.

It had been like watching everything from the outside. She had watched her body moving, she remembered her body moving…but she didn’t feel a thing.

Even now, she could see Giles and herself entering their house, she could see the empty coffee mugs, Willow’s laptop, tomes sprawled on the coffee table and the floor. The only thing she could clearly smell, see was the blood’s stain on the floor.

Spike’s blood.

She still hadn’t regained her whole strength. Both Eric and Spike had told her it would take a while, but her senses had returned…to full force. She ignored the low growling of her stomach at the sight, but was surprised when she realized it wasn’t hunger…it was nausea.

She shook her head, and looked at Giles. He had barely talked as well since they had exited the lighthouse. On the outside nothing had changed. She had sought his hand…or, at least, she recalled her body doing that. He had taken it…had squeezed it.

Yet, she didn’t remember feeling anything. She wondered, for a second, whether Giles was feeling the same.

Giles took the empty mugs and went to the kitchenette.

“Would you like some tea?” She heard him asking.

His voice was wary, tentative. She nodded her head and let herself sit on the couch, covering her eyes with her hands.

She had been released from the hospital, Anya and Willow had insisted on them returning home. She hadn’t said a word, had barely shaken her head.

Xander…was in a coma.

He was in a coma…because of her. Because she was a pregnant Slayer. Because he had tried to resist the brainwashing.

She saw Giles, even before hearing him sitting next to her.

“How are you feeling?” Giles asked.

She saw herself swallowing before saying, “Fine…”

She felt his hands grazing her hair, and heard him sighing.

“Buffy…” He started.

She saw herself looking at him, her sight blurred for the tears that were filling her eyes.

“Don’t…” She said.

Giles tilted his head down. “I’m sure Xander’s conditions will improve. The doctors are optimist. He’s young and very strong.” He said.

Her heart. Buffy could hear her heart beating…and something squeezing it. She hadn’t felt it, until that moment. She could hear her labored breath, she could taste tears in her throat now.

“I…” Buffy started in a nasal voice. “I put my best friend in a coma…” She eventually said.

She felt her head furiously spinning, the colors which, until that moment had lost of intensity becoming harsher, brighter. She closed her eyes, gripping the edge of the couch. She felt her body, now. She could feel it, for the first time in two days.

She didn’t know if that was a good thing…but at least her head had stopped spinning.

“You did not do such a thing!” Giles replied.

Buffy opened her eyes. “I did, Rupert! Or, if you wish, the Council did…but they used me! And that’s a fact, it’s not the little obnoxious bitch talking!” She said, almost spitting her last words.

Giles didn’t talk. Buffy saw him closing his eyes.

Part of her was happy to see him ashamed by his previous swords. Part of her wanted to hurt him…as much as he had hurt her in that lighthouse.

“I’m sorry” Giles said. He opened his eyes and continued, “I’m so sorry.”

Giles seemed even more tired than she was, and was still too pale.

She couldn’t do that to him. She couldn’t hurt him, she realized. She loved him too damn much to ever hurt him again.

She told him how much she loved him as much as she could…but in that moment, that feeling inside of her was so strong…so powerful that it took her breath away.

She loved the man in front of her, with everything she was. She stretched a hand to caress his face and said, “We haven’t really talked about stuff…ever…”

Giles took her hand in his and nodded, “I…couldn’t. It was almost…”

“Like tempting fate?” She said. “Like…the powers that be, could look at us and say, ‘Hey, guys…thought that was pain? Here it is some’?”

Giles almost smiled at her words and said, “Yes. It might not have been wise of me…but…I was so happy…I didn’t want to jeopardize what we had...”

“Have” Buffy, corrected him. “Have…and will. Look, what you said? It was like being gutted…it was worst than with Angel…because it was coming from you and because everything you said is true…”

Giles shook his head; he kissed Buffy’s fingers and whispered, “No, luv…it wasn’t. I used the…”

“It was the truth, Rupert…” Buffy said. She took a deep breath, and turned to better look at him. “What was worst? Part of me…I don’t know which, felt that it wasn’t really true…your brainwashing, I mean. Call it denial…but part of me felt it…and it all made it worse. Because you were saying the truth…and there wasn’t a demon to blame this time.”

She saw him looking at her surprised, “You knew? How?”

She shrugged, “I told you…denial. I refused to accept it…I couldn’t. That’s me, Buffy…princess of denial. But that’s not the point…I wanted to kill you…but I couldn’t…I kinda love you, you know?” She tilted her hand up, interrupting him before he spoke and said, “But…what you said is true. I’m princess of denial, but not that much…I lied to you guys, I hurt you…I can be the uber bitca when I want to…and even when I don’t want to…”

Giles brushed her cheeks with his fingers and for a second Buffy didn’t talk. It would have been so simple to just pretend it hadn’t happened. But they couldn’t …not with the Obscuritas hanging over them. Not if they wanted to get over what had happened.

“Buffy…” Giles said. “What I said…”

“Was a test…I know now. But you know what I was thinking while you told me those things?”

Giles shook his head no.

“That we didn’t talk about stuff even before we got together. You never told me about Jenny. I know you loved her…but you didn’t tell me what happened that night…we never talked about it. You told me I’d have your support after I freed Angelus…and you showed it…but we never talked. And later…when I was in the midst of my angst fest with Angel…we never talked about it, I never apologized to you…”

“For what?” Giles asked, and he really seemed surprised by her words.

She let out a laughter and said, “Where do you want me to begin? For not telling you about Angel…for making you stay in the Mansion when Faith poisoned him? My God…for saying that you were old and gross?” She swallowed, steeling herself for what was about to say, “For Jenny?”

Giles shook his head. “There is no need…”

“The hell there isn’t…Giles…we’re good at repressing bad things…we’ve always been…did you know that Willow called you once the emotional marathon man?”

Giles weakly chuckled at her words…it was a watery sound, and Buffy knew he was on the verge of tears, just like her.

“I wasn’t aware of that…” Giles said.

“Well…I do the same. I can be a drama queen at times, but the important stuff? I’ve always kept it inside of me…but now? I think we need to talk all of this out…”

“There is one thing you forgot to mention, Buffy…” Giles said.

“That would be?” She asked.

“I am your watcher” He shook his head and added, “I love you. I always have in a way and mostly…I know you…I’ve always known you. And there is something about Jenny…about Angelus that I can tell you now: you…gave me the strength to go on. You have always given it to me… ”

“Always?” She asked.

Giles smiled at her, “Always…since the very beginning. But I believe you are right…I think we will have to talk…but not tonight.”

“Why not?” She asked.

“Because we will have time, luv…all the time in the world.” He softly said.

Buffy couldn’t help blinking when Giles got up from the couch and then knelt in front of her, she took her left hand in his and said, “Buffy Anne Summers…will you marry me?”

She opened her mouth to speak, but closed it when Giles showed her his onyx ring, the one he always wore on his pinky finger.

“This ring has been in my family for generations…” He smiled as he softly said, “I’d be honored if you chose to accept it…”

Buffy swallowed, unable to utter a sound. She took the ring in her hands and looked at him for a second before saying, “I didn’t see this one coming” She took a deep breath before saying, “I can’t…” Seeing his face fall, she hastened to add, “I will marry you…in my heart we already are…but this ring?” She smiled at him and giving it back to him added, “You’ll give it to our child…”

Giles smiled and rested his head against a belly whispering, “I love you…both of you…”

“We love you too, Rupert…” She whispered back, closing her eyes, a hand brushing Giles’ hair. “We love you too…”


She walked slowly toward the phone.
Faith needed time to think. Hell…she needed a drink…and a handbook to understand what the hell had happened two nights before.

It had been cool. She had come to an understanding about her powers, which was of the good…even better, when she thought of how Buffy had looked at her before she had vanished. She had looked at her with…acceptance, forgiveness.

She wanted to know if Xander was all right…but she could only make a phone call.

<Sucks to be you…>

She thought. She had felt herself vanishing, had seen her surroundings changing. They had been outside the hospital, the rain pouring down over them; they had been still stunned by what had happened. Faith had seen Anya paling when she had seen Xander, and a dark haired guy talking to Spike for a second, and had had the second surprise of her life when she had seen Spike kissing Willow’s lips before going away with him…the first had been when she had seen Willow snuggling with him after the Council’s guys had left.

So, one thing was clear: Spike was being a good guy because of Willow…although that didn’t explain all the stuff he had known when they had been in that room.

She had wanted to ask Buffy, but then had felt her body starting to vanish. She had felt her head spinning and her skin itching.

Part of her had wanted to stay with them…but she had known she had to come back to prison. That night had helped to understand how much she had changed…but she couldn’t take risks, not yet. It was still too soon.

She had seen the blonde chick, who still looked like her, in the isolation cell.

“You’ve been waiting for me?” She had asked.

The chick had smiled, returning to her true face, and had said, “I always keep my promises”

Faith had nodded. The blonde chick had looked at her before saying, “You have done a good job, Faith…you ought to be proud of yourself…”

“I wish you had told me a few things before I got there…but, hey, it was cool…”

The blondie had smiled but hadn’t talked.

She had waved her hand and had slowly started to vanish…it was then Faith had smelled it…the same smell of her dream.

Sweet, inviting…and dangerous.

She had wondered, in her dream, whether sin smelled like that…a flicker of amber in the chick’s eyes as she vanished had answered her question.

Sin…smelled like that…it smelled like the blonde, angel-like chick. Only…it hadn’t been an angel, she was sure of that, now. She had heard that one of the guards of her block had been killed two nights before. She had been killed shortly before the blonde chick had appeared in her isolation cell.

She had been able to discover the cause of death: a massive loss of blood. She hadn’t been surprised about some of the rumors…if the woman had lost so much blood that it had killed, where was that blood? Not on the pavement, not where they had found her.

She had been screwed, again.
Would she ever learn not to trust chicks who pretended to be good? Granted, Gwendolyn what-was-her-face hadn’t pretended to be an angel…but the substance was the same.
She had been used, again.

Yet, something didn’t ring a bell. Why had she sent her to Buffy to help her? If she was bad, and in her heart Faith didn’t have doubts about that, why had she sent her to help Buffy?

Faith shook her head, as she tried to make sense of what had happened. She took the receiver in her hand and looked at it. She had to make that phone call.

Lots of things weren’t making sense…and she needed help.

She dialed the number while still thinking about Buffy’s pregnancy, Willow’s powers, Spike’s behavior and the blonde angel-like chick, who smelled of sin…and had probably sucked dry one of the guards to enter the prison.

She *so* needed help

“Angel investigations” Wesley Windham Pryce said on the other side of the line, “We help the helpless”

The Watcher. Her watcher. She had tortured him, once. She had told him terrible things. Yet, when he talked, she recognized in his voice, the one which had guided throughout her dream…the one which had kept whispering: “the light within the darkness”

Her guide, her watcher, part of her soul.

She took a deep breath before saying, “Wes? It’s Faith.”

A pause, and then his gentle voice, now wary saying, “Faith…is something wrong?”

“Yes…a couple of things are so not five by five here…” She said.

“I’ll call Angel…” Wesley tersely said.

“No…” Faith exclaimed. She nibbled at her lower lip and added, “I mean, not right now. I…” She paused. Damn why was it so difficult to talk now?

“Faith? Are you still there?” Wesley asked.

“Yes…it’s just…how are you Wesley, really?” She said.

It was Wesley’s turn not to talk and Faith was afraid he would hang up on her. She needed to talk to Angel…but, and that was something she hadn’t expected, she needed to talk to her Watcher too. They both did.

“Wes?” She said.

“I am…fine, all things considered.” He said after a short silence.

“Cool…I mean…I’m happy to hear that” She softly said, meaning it

She heard Wesley sighing, and was surprised when he asked, “And you? How are you, Faith?”

She smiled at his words and said, “Not so bad…considered what happened for the past two days…”

“Is everything alright?” He asked.

“It’s a long story…and…” She paused. Wesley could tell Angel…and maybe, just maybe, they could come seeing her. She took a seat, ignoring the glares she was getting and said, “It all begun two days ago, there was this blonde chick who got into my cell pulling a Touched by an Angel…”

“A what?” Wesley asked.

“Way too much TV here, Wes…” Was Faith’s only reply.

She closed her eyes for a second and was surprised when she could see him, almost as if they were in the same room. He was sitting on a chair, she could see he was wearing a white shirt, and wasn’t wearing his glasses. He looked older…and she knew she was partially responsible for the haunted look in his blue eyes.

She kept telling him what had happened, while she still had her eyes closed, and when she heard the voice of one of the guards telling her the time was up, she couldn’t help touching the image she could see with her mind’s eyes.

She heard Wesley’s sharp intake of breath when the jolt of energy filled both of them whole. And then…he stretched a hand to brush her face with his fingers.

The essence of the Slayer and the Watcher…their bond, was now finally starting to mend. She had touched his soul, and hers had whispered how sorry she was for what she had done to him that night.

His soul…his beautiful, pure soul had forgiven her, and Faith felt tears stinging her eyes.

A short silence, and then Wesley’s weak voice said, “I will inform Angel. We will visit you…”

“I’m counting on it…” She said. She didn’t leave him time to reply and hang up the phone.

It took her a moment to realize that she hadn’t mentioned her suspicions about Spike, to her Watcher. Somehow, her instincts had told her not to. She recalled the way he had acted in the lighthouse, the words he had said before and after the Council guys entered the room…and then, she recalled the way he had tenderly kissed Willow’s lips.
Images of her dream…sprung to her mind. She would wait…she had to. Somehow, she was sure that she would know, should something happen…that was the Slayer’s job.

<That’s what I am, the Slayer!>

She heard Buffy’s voice saying those words…and with her, all the Slayers who had lived in her skin for those brief, precious moments. She was the Slayer.

She could feel her heart beating, so fast that it almost hurt. She knew she still had a long way to go, as far as redemption was concerned. She still feared the little, gnawing creature inside of her, yet, for the first time in months she couldn’t hear it whispering.

All she could hear was Wesley’s voice…in her heart, in her soul. It was telling her not to fear anything, not any more. It was telling her she was finally home.
She was whole.


“What do you mean…a sponge?” Spike asked.

Eric looked at his Eletti, barely resisting the urge to sigh. They were in his house; they were sitting Indian style on the floor of his living room, practicing meditation. He hadn’t been surprised when, shortly after having left the lighthouse, the younger vampire had asked him to practice meditation, just like old times.

He had known William needed to focus, to clear his mind, especially now, with both the Slayer and Willow pregnant. What had happened two nights before had both scared and thrilled William. He had waited for the younger vampire to ask his questions. He had seen him struggling with himself before approaching the subjects both of Willow’s pregnancy and of what had happened in the lighthouse.

“I admit the term is incorrect and…” Eric started.

“Rude?” Spike finished for him. “You have just called my baby a sponge, you tosser!”

Eric looked at the blonde vampire: he still looked stunned by the news. An Eletti was going to be a father. William was going to have a baby…conceived on his last day as a human. He was going to have a baby from the woman Eric loved. The woman he had silently loved for…a month? A century? Eric inwardly shook his head at that thought. He looked at William; he didn’t think he had ever seen him that happy.

“I didn’t mean that as an offence, William” Eric said.

“I know” Spike said in a low voice. Eric looked at Spike as he took an unnecessary deep breath before asking, “Will you tell the Eletti?”

Eric cocked an eyebrow at him. Once he would have called the Eletti right away…he wouldn’t have saved William, he wouldn’t have allowed an Eletti to have a life, to know love and happiness. He forced a smile on his lips saying, “Are you kidding me?” His smile faded though when looking at Spike he said, “I can’t.”

What could he tell the Eletti? That he had let his Eletti break every single rule they had? That he had defied their direct orders when he had allowed Willow to go back in time? His contact had told him something was going to happen…soon, very soon. The only thing that mattered to him now, was trying to protect both William and Willow.

“They would…” He said in a low voice.

“Stake us?” Spike finished for him.

Eric shook his head. “No…” He slowly said. “They wouldn’t. William…I told you once, long ago…the only way for an Eletti to quit is by dying on mission. Staking us would be far from their thoughts”

Spike looked at him for a second, without talking, when he did his tone of voice was casual, yet it couldn’t quite hide the fear he was feeling. “Would they kill Red and the baby?”

Eric had made a mistake, he realized: he had always protected William from the Eletti. He had done so since the very beginning, building layers and layers of lies to prevent them from discovering his Eletti’s unorthodox methods and William from their wrath, their cruelty.

The only way he had to protect William, now, was telling the truth, without layers. “They would kill Willow…but they wouldn’t harm the baby, not this baby.” He said, realizing he hadn’t been able to hide the bitterness in his voice.

“You won’t tell them…” Spike said and his words came out as a statement, a question…and a plea.

Eric shook his head. He knew the Eletti were aware of many of the things that had happened there for the past months. He knew they were planning something. He just hoped they could find a way to protect Willow from them.

“I won’t…but William?” He said. “We will have to be more careful than ever…”

Spike just nodded at his words, he lightly shook his head and changing subject asked, “What in the bloody hell really happened in the lighthouse? Since when Red is so powerful?”

He had expected that question. He knew it would come. “Since the Philomela spell.” He said.

“The spell not to let her talk?” Spike asked. “Anya told me about it…”

<He can’t protect her if he doesn’t know the truth>

He thought. It had taken for him decades to find a counter spell for the Philomela, but oddly enough, only two days to find out what was really happening to Willow and her powers.

“The spell” He said, “was more powerful than that. Much more powerful”

“What…” Spike started.

“You have to understand…” Eric coldly said, “There was too much at stake, too damn much…”

“I know that…” Spike said. “I understand that and so did Willow…but you are not answering my question”

“I used it as a security net…” Eric said.

“What do you mean?” Spike asked.

“You forgot about the Witch didn’t you?” Eric asked. “Until you were assigned to Sunnydale, you forgot about her…”

“I recalled her face…” Spike said, he tilted his head down and Eric saw how he almost looked ashamed by his words when he said, “I had flashes, but mostly it was like trying to remember images for a dream.” He looked up and shrugging said, “It’s all foggy…I remember of having forgotten about her, yet I remember everything that happened. I hate magic…”

Eric almost smiled at the younger vampire’s words. “It was the spell…” He eventually said, “it amplified all the other spells we put on her when we sent her back in time…all the spells I did after you were activated…”

“Speaking of which…” Spike said, “You will have to tell me one of these days what happened when I went away…” He shook his head and continued, “but not now…”

“Problem is I didn’t know, I couldn’t know she would get pregnant…” Eric said. He still recalled that day…he recalled Willow’s face, her eyes after William left his house. He hoped William couldn’t sense what he was feeling…of how, part of him, almost hated him for Willow.

It took him a glance at the younger vampire to know he didn’t know…he didn’t even suspect.

“Of course you couldn’t…” Spike said.

Eric inwardly shook his head before saying, “It looks like the spell is still working…on your baby…only…” He paused. “Your baby is like a sponge… from what I’ve been able to gather…”

Spike shook his head and blankly asked, “Why?”

“It looks like it absorbs the magic around it, but…as you have probably noticed the magic is stronger…it’s magnified…and that’s Willow. She is a witch, she has powers. The baby absorbs the magic. That’s why we couldn’t hear its heartbeat…and that’s why Willow was feeling so weak…”

Eric saw Spike running a hand through his hair, processing what he had just told him. He could see, from the look in his eyes, he was already considering the options; he was already forming a plan.

“Will it be dangerous?” He asked. “For Willow…and the baby?”

“I wish I knew, William…” Eric said. It was the truth…he didn’t know what would happen to Willow in the long run. He didn’t know whether there was something that was going to fade as the pregnancy progressed or if it was something permanent.

“What I suggest, however,” He said after a second, “is to keep her as far away from magic as we can for the next weeks. The magic the baby has absorbed so far, although powerful wasn’t really dangerous. It was dark…but it came from the Slayers…which have learnt to control their darkness…and from me...and I think you know …”

“How tightly you control your own powers…” Spike finished for him.

Eric nodded and continued, “We don’t know what would happen if the baby absorbed pure, uncontrolled dark magic”

“So” Spike said in a low voice, without looking at him, “Let me see if I get this…the Slayer is risking Obscuritas and Willow risks absorbing dark magic ”

“As I said it’s not just a matter of absorbing it…she magnifies it. She used my powers to pass through the shield on that beach and from what you have told me, she used the magic in the lighthouse to help you free the Slayer.”

“Oh, joy…” Spike said under his breath. “She is still so bloody weak…and hasn’t left the whelp’s side for two days…”

Eric pursed his lips. He knew William wasn’t going to like what he wanted to tell him, but he had to. Something he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about ever since he had seen Willow entering the Lighthouse. “There is something to be considered, though…” He said.

Spike tilted his head up, he had probably seen something in his face, or heard it in his voice, because he was intently looking at him, waiting for him to drop the bomb.

“Whatever it is…” Spike started.

“Electra…” Eric just said.

“What about her?” Spike asked. It took him a second to get the meaning behind his words and when he did he empathically shook his head no and said, “Don’t. Bloody. Think. About. It! Willow isn’t going anywhere near that cow! Am I clear on this, Eric?”

“I understand what…” Eric started. And it was true. He understood what he was feeling and part of him had been rebelling against that idea…but the other part…wondered what it would take for Willow to defeat the rogue Eletti, with her own powers.

“You really don’t!” Spike replied. He wasn’t raising his voice, he didn’t need to. Eric didn’t remember having ever seen him so furious about something he had told him.

He chose to ignore, though, how William’s words had cut deeply into him.

“She might be of invaluable help, William. Think about it…she could…” He said, instead. He stopped talking, though, when he heard a noise coming from outside the apartment.

He didn’t hear what William was saying, his sense were totally focused on the noises he could hear from outside.

He had been told the Eletti would do something. Even William had felt something was brewing. When he heard the knock on the door he instinctively knew it was someone from the Eletti. He shot a glance at the clock on the wall before getting up.

He looked at Spike, the blonde vampire was looking at him, and Eric thought he had probably felt something wrong as well…or maybe he had just been able to read it on his face. William had always been pretty good at reading him.

“I’ll get the door…” He said, sounding calm, collected. “William…I want you to consider what I said.”

He left the room, ignoring William’s puzzled expression. He went to the door and waited for a second before opening it. He wasn’t nervous…or afraid. He had known, deep within that something like that could happen. He had known the Eletti would find out sooner or later. He had made a choice…and he didn’t regret it.

Yet, he couldn’t help blinking in surprise when he saw the man standing on the door: he was tall, about William’s height, with short blonde hair and piercing blue-green eyes. He looked older than the average Eletti – because he had no doubts he was one -, which was unusual, he looked in his late thirties.

He had seen that man, once…when he had been alive. He had seen him in a London graveyard, on a gloomy, rainy morning, dressed in black, his pale face haunted, his soul and heart annihilated, shattered. Even now he was dressed in black, and part of that haunted look had remained, but it was only a fragment of what it had been that morning. The look in his eyes was cold, and from his posture he could say he was there to do business.

He thought about William, for a moment. He knew what his reaction was going to be. He knew he was probably going to smell rain and tears, just like that morning.

“Eric” The man…the Eletti, said.

“Xavier…” Eric said.

“Can I come in?” The younger vampire asked.

Eric took a step back. “You don’t need to be invited in, you know that…” He said.

Xavier nodded before entering the house. “Is your Eletti here?” He asked.

Eric noticed the way the younger’s vampire eyes wandered the whole room in a second, he saw how he lightly flared his nostrils before saying, “He is here…good. It will make things easier…”

“Leave him out…”

Xavier raised his hand, “I’m afraid I can’t do that.” He looked at Eric, and said, “The Eletti sent me here for the both of you.”

“You’re an Umbra?” Eric asked.

Xavier shrugged, “Call me whatever you want, Gheraious. There are rules and they are to be followed, always. I make sure of that. And I got to say…you guys are in trouble …”

“Eric what in the bloody hell…” Spike’s voice stopped when, entering the room he saw the man.

He saw recognition in William’s eyes as he looked at the man, and what was left of his blood leaving his face.

“Xavier?” Spike said in a low voice. He was incredulous.

“Since we all know each other I think we may skip the formalities. Gentlemen…” He said gesturing with his eyes to the other room, “If you may follow me…we need to talk.”


Once, when she was a demon, Anya had forced a man to cry all of his tears. It had been a routine assignment, but what had happened when the man’s fluids had ended and his eyes had plopped out of his skull had surprised the then demon.

The girl, who was sitting on the side of a bed in the ICU of Sunnydale hospital was afraid she would end up like that man. She had gotten past the point where she could produce actual tears and her eyes hurt.

Everything hurt.

She sniffled, and had to clear her throat before saying, “I think Willow wants to see you. The doctors say the swelling is diminishing…so, why don’t you wake up? Please Xander?”

She had begged him to wake up…for her, for Willow, who was pregnant and looked like she was about to collapse when she wasn’t crying. The doctors had said that hearing the voice of a loved one could maybe help him. She had bit her tongue from telling them it was useless. He was in mystical induced coma. She hadn’t said that…she had just cried…and cried…and cried some more…like that man, so long ago. The man whose eyes had plopped out of his skull and had fallen on a floor wet with his fluids.

She hated what was happening. She hated that he had been so foolish that he had resisted the brainwashing. There were other people in the room! They would have stopped him! And if Buffy had gotten angry at him, she would have reminded her that it was her fault…that it had been her powers to do that to him.

She sighed. There were moments she felt she had gone crazy…moments where she hated everyone in that town, including Xander for making her cry, for making her *feel*. She had chosen to become a demon because she didn’t want to feel pain any more. The hatred didn’t last though, probably because she was too tired to hate. She was tired, but she didn’t want to rest. She couldn’t rest. What if something happened while she was asleep? What if Xander…

What if he died while she was sleeping?

So she wasn’t sleeping. She hadn’t slept since the day before Buffy had been kidnapped. She shivered and took Xander’s hand in hers, his left arm was all covered with stuff…wires, and IV needles, but his right arm was free and so was his hand, and she had become acquainted with that hand for the past two days.

She had spent hours just looking at his hand, memorizing each detail…the form of his nails and fingers for example…she hadn’t ever noticed them…but now she could have described them in a heartbeat, or the little scar he had on his forearm. She didn’t know how he had done that. For hours, that afternoon, that little scar had been the most important thing in her life…she had obsessed over it, wondering how he had done that to himself. Had it been a demon? A mugging?

She still didn’t know…and she wanted to ask Xander. She wanted to ask him so many things. She wanted to tell him so many things. She sniffled, again, and stretched a hand to caress his hair, it was gray on his temples. What had he seen? Giles had told her what had happened…yet, he was still there, he wasn’t in a coma. His hair wasn’t more gray than when he had gone away from his apartment.


She jumped on her seat, turning around to look behind her shoulders. Who had called her name?
She shook her head. That was it…she was losing it. Lack of sleep was finally frying her brain.

Make a wish…

She let go of Xander’s hand and got up from her chair and looked around in the room. She knew that voice. It had been her guide for over a millennia. It had refused her to give her powers back…when she still wanted them, when she didn’t know Xander. When she wasn’t in love…when she didn’t remember what love was like, how it ripped the heart out of a chest…and how it kept beating to hurt the person more.

She swallowed and began nervously twisting her fingers. A wish…hadn’t all that mess, also known as her current life as Anya Emerson begun with a wish?

A wish…just one wish.

She looked at Xander: he was so pale, he didn’t look like the man she had fallen in love with. She looked like a boy, a frail, broken boy.

A wish…it had to blossom in her heart, before passing through her lips. She knew how it worked…but she knew it had a price. Like everything else…like love.

She closed her eyes. Ignoring her heart. Ignoring her feelings.

Just one wish, Anyanka…but choose wisely

Why now? Why now that she was so…desperate? Why hadn’t she heard that voice sooner? Why hadn’t he come to her sooner?

Because you weren’t ripe…

D’Hoffryn answered to her silent question. What the hell did that mean? Ripe? She was 1200 years old…she was beyond ripe!

You were a child then…

D’Hoffryn said. Anya took a deep breath. She had to. She was sure she was going crazy. Because there was no way D’Hoffryn was telepathically talking to her.

She had lost it. Soon she would drop on the floor…like that man’s eyes, she would make a sound like the plop those eyes had made…and that would be the end.

My dear…since when are you so morbid?

“Since my boyfriend is in a coma!” She exclaimed to the empty room.

He wasn’t there. He wasn’t talking to her. She didn’t believe it. She couldn’t. Not in that moment. Not when Xander was in a coma, and her eyes hurt, from within.

Do you need proofs? D’Hoffryn asked. His voice couldn’t hide amusement.

She couldn’t help nodding her head and then shook it. She didn’t want proofs. She wanted…the only thing she wanted was…

The machines linked to Xander’s body started bleeping. She let out a yelp, turning toward them. She had seen enough movies to know that there was something wrong. A second later, two nurses and a doctor entered the room, and the doctor started shouting orders while he practiced a cardiac massage to Xander.

Is it enough as a proof, my dear? D’Hoffryn’s voice politely asked.

<Stop it…not his heart! Don’t stop his heart! Stop hurting him.>

Anya thought. She took a step toward Xander’s bed, but a nurse pushed her away, telling her she had to wait outside.

“We’re losing him!” A nurse shouted.

The doctor took one of those things she had seen on tv to revive his heart with electricity. She couldn’t even remember what they were called. She shook her head.

Come to me…make a wish, and I will. D’Hoffryn said.

Anya closed her eyes. Since when D’Hoffryn was so powerful? She felt tears…actual tears stinging her eyes. She had been wrong, she still had tears to shed. Although she wouldn’t have been surprised if the moisture she was feeling was actually blood.

She opened her eyes, letting the tears fall, without bothering to wipe them away. She turned her head and saw Willow watching the scene in the room, her hands on the window. She was crying.

She looked at Xander, he was paler now. A sob escaped from her lips and she covered her mouth with a hand, when she saw his body being revived by those…what was their name again?

Anyanka? There was curiosity now, in D’Hoffryn’s voice.

Anya pursed her lips, and slowly headed out of the room, unnoticed. She walked slowly through the hallway, and didn’t stop, not even when she felt a burning feeling on her chest, and a moment later she felt the familiar weight of a medallion pressed against her chest.

It’s yours…just wish it. D’hoffryn said.

She exited the ICU and went to the elevator.

“Will he be safe?” She asked in a cracked voice when the elevator’s door closed.

Of course. D’Hoffryn said. He will the moment you make your wish.

New tears added to the ones she had just shed, the salt of them was burning her skin, yet she did nothing to stop the tears from falling. She wasn’t surprised when the doors opened and she looked at the street. It was Sunnydale’s Main street, and it was deserted.

Make your wish, Anyanka and come to me. D’Hoffryn said.

She took a deep breath. She was feeling the medallion weighing against her chest. She didn’t remember it to be that heavy. She looked down, only to find she wasn’t wearing her sweater and jeans any more.

She was wearing a tunic, a black tunic.

“I wish” She said aloud, trying to clear her throat, without succeeding.

Come to me, Anyanka

She started walking, oblivious of her tears, her eyes fixed on the deserted, spooky street. “I wish to…” She said.

She could already feel it. She could feel her face slowly morphing and it hurt. Never had it hurt before.

Make your wish, my dear.

“I wish to become…” She said.

Yes, dear…you are ready now. From your heart to your lips.

Anya stopped. “Promise me he will be safe. Whatever happens…he will be safe” She hesitated for a second before whispering, “From me…”

You have my word, Anyanka

She stopped. She could see him now, waiting for her at the end of Main street, he was looking at her, waiting. Waiting for her wish.

“I wish to become Anyanka again…” She said, and in her last moments as human, as the human woman she had become she hoped Xander would forgive her. She hoped he would wake up. She hoped he would recall how much she had loved him.

She collapsed on the pavement of Main street, as she heard D’Hoffryn’s voice saying: “Done! Welcome back Anyanka!”

He was looking at her. Willow didn’t know he was there, she hadn’t heard him coming. She didn’t know he was looking at her, observing her. He was allowed a few more seconds. Spike didn’t move.

Just a few more seconds…to be a friend, a lover…a father.

He had walked to the hospital, total oblivious of his surroundings. If Electra had showed behind his shoulders and had staked him, he wouldn’t have noticed. He wouldn’t have cared.

The Eletti had talked. The Eletti had given their orders, and that time he had no choice but to follow them.

~ “The only reason they are allowing you to stay here is because of the peculiarity of the Slayer’s condition.” ~

Xavier’s voice had been soft while he talked, but his eyes, his face had been a cold mask of professionalism, so different from the face of the man he had seen once in a graveyard. Spike had had troubles looking at him.

He had always known the Eletti were sick bastards, he just had no idea they could play so dirty. Eric, on the other hand, hadn’t looked surprised. Had he really thought that they had forgiven him even his slightest mistake? Had he? It had taken him more than a century…but he knew now.

The Eletti didn’t know what forgiveness was, that’s why they had sent him; there was no other explanation.

He shook his head. Willow was in Xander’s room, at his bedside, she had the boy’s hand in hers, and was listening to what a doctor was telling her. She looked tired and afraid. Spike clenched his jaws, steeling himself.

He was about to set up his best show…ever. It had to be convincing. It had to be his masterpiece.

~ “Things will have to change, though.” Xavier had said “We have rules, Spike…whether you like it or not. You can’t choose which rules you may follow and which ones you can ignore when it suits you.”~

The Eletti had chosen the perfect person for that assignment. Xavier wasn’t going to listen to him, to his reasons…and not because of the rules, not because of their calling. He wasn’t going to listen to him because of a choice he had made, once. A choice that had almost killed him.

Besides, although he hated to admit it, the Eletti were right. It didn’t matter that he had defied their orders out of love, out of desperation. He had.

His methods had always been unorthodox but he had never really defied the Eletti’s orders. Never had he really gone against the orders to save someone. Even when he had exchanged Drusilla’s safety for Giles’, three years before, he had done so keeping in mind his assignment. He had always preserved the secrecy of his calling. Things had changed when Willow had been kidnapped.

~ “They know about you…about the Eletti. We can’t change that” Xavier had said. “And your Gheraious will face the consequences for allowing you to do that, for lending a hand in that. As for you, Spike. You have to find a way to fix what you have done”~

What he had done. He had fallen in love, he had made friends, he…belonged. For the first time in his life he knew what belonging really was. That was going to change, now.

~ “I won’t” He had said.

Xavier’s face hadn’t betrayed any feelings.

He had looked around in the living room of Eric’s house, his lips had lightly twitched before he had said, “Oh, you will” He had said, “Because this isn’t a choice you can make. These are the options you have: you can stay here and find a way to fix the mess you did, or…you can go away and let us take care of the mess you’ll leave behind. These are the only choices we are giving you!” ~

Spike tilted his head on a side. In the end he had made a choice. The only choice he had. He had chosen to do what the Eletti expected him to do. He had watched as Eric prepared the relocation spell, which would bring him to England. He had been sent away…because of what he had done.

The doctor who had been with Willow left the room, and Spike swallowed, taking a step forward and he lightly knocked against the window. Willow tilted her head up and smiled at him and he couldn’t help recalling the first time he had seen her smiling at him like that.

~After Eric had left the house he had asked to Xavier: “What’s going to happen to him?”

“I have no idea.” Xavier had said, “A Gheraious can’t start making his own rules, and yours did.”

“He did it for me!”

“He shouldn’t have, that’s the point.”

“History hasn’t changed!” Spike had exclaimed.

“Are you sure about that?’” Xavier had asked. “You are an Eletti, that much is true. You have done everything you were supposed to. Everything. But she brought back something with her from the past. Something which doesn’t belong here.”

“It wasn’t his fault.” He had hissed.

Xavier had looked at him for a moment before saying: “You are right. It wasn’t. It’s your fault, and you alone, will face the consequences.”~

Willow left Xander’s bedside and slowly headed out of the room.

It was time to begin. No one set up a show better than an Eletti, Spike thought as Willow slowly headed out of the room.

Yet, for a moment, when she exited the room, he forgot about everything, about his orders, about his calling. He was deafened by the baby’s heartbeat and Willow’s. He resisted the urge to swallow and stifled his hands in the pockets of his duster.

He had been wrong two days before: he had really forgotten what it really meant to be an Eletti. He had forgotten what lies and deceits were…it was time to remember. He took a step toward her asking, “How is the whelp?”

Willow turned her head toward the window and said, “He had a cardiac arrest half an hour ago, he’s still weak…but he’s better now…” She looked at him and frowning continued, “Did you see Anya?”

Spike shook his head. “Didn’t see her” He said.

Willow shook her head whispering, “It doesn’t matter. She is probably just taking some air. She hasn’t left Xander ever since he was brought here.”

“Maybe she is with the Slayer” He said, trying to sound…what…confident? Casual? Normal? He didn’t know.

“No, they released Buffy. We forced her…she didn’t want to. She wanted to stay with Xander, she feels responsible. But she needs to rest”

“Yeah, well….she’s strong headed that way” Spike said, “and so are you. You should go home, Red. You shouldn’t be here.”

“I know, I know. I need my rest. It’s just…” Willow sighed, she looked at him saying, “I’m afraid.”

Spike didn’t talk. Willow seemed to notice, but she didn’t comment, she just took a deep breath before adding, “The only time I tried to close my eyes since we came here, I had nightmares…” She tilted her head down and said, “I know I need to rest for the baby…”

“Yeah,” Spike said in a low voice, “the baby…”

~ “That’s the only way” Xavier had said.

“What happens if I refuse?” He had asked.

“Do I have to tell you?”

Neither of them had said a word for a second, eventually Xavier had said, “When the Slayer’s baby is borne, you will leave Sunnydale. These are the orders. In the meantime the only thing you have to do is trying to fix the mess you did. And that’s the only way you can really do that.”

“So that the Eletti will kill two birds with a stone” Spike had said.

Xavier hadn’t answered to his question. He had just looked at him and had said, “These are the orders. As Eletti you have to do what you are told.”

“What if I decided to sod it all off? What if I decided to quit?”

Xavier had cocked an eyebrow at him before saying, “You can’t. Didn’t your Gheraious tell you that? An Eletti can’t quit.” He had smiled looking at him, “they let you live the vampire’s high life after China but don’t think, not even for a second, that they had forgotten about you, that they weren’t looking out for you. They always had. You are an Eletti, Spike. Did you think that dying for the cause, accepting a demon inside of you would be the last of it? It was just the beginning. ”~

Willow was looking at him concerned, now. She was probably feeling that something wasn’t right. “Are you alright?” She asked.

“No” Spike said, thinking that was probably the only truth he was going to tell her that night.

“What happened?” Willow asked and Spike noticed how she looked on the verge of tears.

He couldn’t do that to her. He couldn’t break her heart. She had already been through so much for the past months. Yet he knew he had to.

“Look, Red…I don’t think we have to talk about this now…”

“Talk about what?” Willow asked. “Is everything alright? Spike …” She trailed.

“We’ll talk about it when Xander is feeling better. You have already too much going in your mind now..”

“Spike, please…talk to me” Willow said.

He knew. He knew she would push the subject. He wasn’t surprised he knew her so well. Funny, they had been together for three months, yet part of her had always been inside of him, ever since he had seen her for the first time.

Whether the first time was in a London’s Graveyard, or the Bronze.

“If there’s something you need to talk about…I’m here…” Willow said. She looked almost scared now.

Spike nodded.

~ “Once you do that” Xavier had said, “we will talk about the rest. But for now, this is your assignment”~

“I have thought about it a lot” He started, “actually I haven’t stopped thinking about it for two days. Even in the sodding lighthouse…that was the only thing I could think about.”

“Think about what?” Willow asked, she got close, to touch him, but he took a step back. He ignored her hurt look and said, “I don’t think I can…go on. I don’t think this is going to work”

“What…?” Willow asked, “I don’t understand…”

Spike looked at the red-head. He had said so many lies in his unlife. His whole life had been built on lies, but never had it been so hard for him to lie as in that moment.

“You” He said, “the baby. This can’t work. It wasn’t supposed to happen.” She was shaking her head in disbelief as he continued, “It was my fault, though. I was a selfish git when I was alive and I still am”

“Stop it” Willow hissed. “Just…stop it! I don’t believe you! I can’t…”

Spike shrugged his shoulders. Part of him was almost happy she wasn’t buying it. She had to believe, though. Those were the orders. That was the only chance he had to save her and their baby. “I don’t care” He said, “it’s not my problem, Red. Look…”

“No, you look!” She exclaimed, she was raising her voice, and Spike knew soon someone would tell them to be quiet. Yet he didn’t stop her. “Look at me…look at me in the eyes and tell me you don’t want me…and you don’t want our baby!”

“It’s not my baby” Spike hissed. Willow took a step back, and looked at him, wide eyed, almost as if he had physically hit her.

“What are you talking about?” Willow asked in a nasal voice.

“You heard me, Red. It’s not my baby. It’s a mistake. An Eletti can’t have children. An Eletti can’t have a relationship with a human. What happened in the lighthouse served as a wake up call.” He turned his head for a second, but he returned to look at her. He hadn’t stopped looking at her ever since they had started talking. He owed her that much. It took all of his willpower however to keep looking at her while he said, “I was sent here to protect the Slayer, not to shag her best friend!”

For a moment the sounds around them faded, and the green of Willow’s eyes unnaturally glowed, it only lasted a moment then she whispered, “You are lying.” She swallowed and took a step toward him continuing, “You are a spy. You are supposed to lie”

Spike chuckled. He couldn’t help it and he didn’t care whether he sounded like Giles had two days before. He understood now what he had felt…more than he thought he ever could.

“I am…” Spike said. “and a spy with a kid…a girlfriend? Isn’t going to work, Red. It isn’t worth it.” He tilted his head on a side and shot an almost disgusted look saying, “Besides this isn’t even my kid. It’s William’s and he died a very long time ago”

“I know” She said, “I was there! I watched you die.”

Spike resisted the urge to blink at her words. The images he had seen in the lighthouse were finally making sense now and Spike for a moment, was tempted to tell her the truth but he didn’t…he couldn’t do that to her. He wasn’t going to condemn her to die.

“I was there” She continued, “I saw Drusilla sinking her fangs into your neck, I heard her sucking you dry…and then making you drink her blood. So I know William died…just like I know this child is yours. ”

“Yeah…” Spike tilted his head on a side, “well…you saw me dying. You knew what you had gotten into so…don’t play the guilt card with me. I’m sorry, Red. I can’t…”

“So” Willow said, her voice cracked, “this is it? You’re breaking up with me? You thought about it for a while and decided to screw what we shared, what we have?”

He was drawing blood. He hadn’t even realized he had dug his nails in the palms of his hands until he smelled the blood and felt it dampening his skin, yet his voice was calm when he said, “Have? What do we have Red? We’ve been together for three months…not a lifetime. Trust me, I know what a lifetime with someone is…”

“Why are you doing this to me?” Willow asked. Tears were rolling down her cheeks now, and she was swallowing hard, and Spike thought it had to hurt her throat.

He didn’t answer her. He couldn’t talk now. He couldn’t afford to say a word, or he would screw everything up.

“Aren’t you even going to answer me?” Willow asked.

Spike shrugged his shoulders. He was surprised when his voice didn’t come out cracked when he said, “Don’t see the point…”

Willow nodded at his words. “You didn’t do what I asked you…”

Spike cocked an eyebrow at her, she wiped away tears from her face and said, “Look at me…in the eyes and tell me that again, tell me you don’t want me and you don’t want our baby! Because it’s yours, Spike! It’s your baby! You are William!”

He had been taught to tell blatant lies looking a person in the eyes. He had been taught how to control his posture, the muscles of his face while telling lies. He had lied to Willow ever since she had exited Xander’s room and had done so looking at her, for most of the time. Now she was asking him to look at her…and tell her the biggest lie of all.

He looked at Willow, his eyes bore into hers and he was dimly aware of the fact that she was taking a step back. He could hear her breath, her heart frantically beating in her chest. He could hear his baby’s heartbeat, a tiny sound he already loved with everything he was.

One, last second to be a friend, a lover, a father.

“I don’t want this baby” He eventually said. “And I don’t want you. From now on, I’m back to be what I’m supposed to be, the Eletti in charge of Sunnydale’s hellmouth and the Slayer.”

He had half-expected Willow to slap him at those words…but she didn’t. The redhead shook her head and hissed, “Get out of here…”

He nodded at her words and turned, he had made just a few steps when he heard Willow saying in a voice that was barely more than a whisper, “I don’t believe a word you’re saying, Spike. I don’t know what happened to you tonight…but congratulations daddy, you have just broken my heart!”

Spike didn’t talk. He didn’t even turn to look at her, he resumed walking, feeling Willow’s eyes on him, until he entered the elevator. Even then he didn’t let his mask fall, he kept looking ahead of him.

Willow had told him once about the nightmare she had been forced to live over and over. She had told him that in that nightmare half of his heart had been ripped out of his chest, he wondered if it hurt more than what he was feeling in that moment.

He had thought about telling her everything but if he had, he’d have condemned all of them to death. Xavier had been very clear on that. If he hadn’t done what he had been ordered to do, if he hadn’t left Willow they would have sent him away…and they would have killed them all. When the Eletti wanted a slaughter, they got it. If the Eletti decided to kill the people who knew about him and his calling, they wouldn’t set up an old ritual…they wouldn’t take such a risk. He knew that.

The elevator’s door opened and the only thing Spike wanted was to get the hell out of there and come back to his crypt, but first he had to patrol. That night he needed the fight…he needed to kill as many demons as possible. Later…he was going to crumble down upon the weight of what he had done…what he had been forced to do.

He had just exited the hospital when he saw Xavier, sitting on a bench, his face serious, the blue-green of his eyes cold. When he had first seen him that night he had been surprised. Last time he had seen him it had been over a century before, on a rainy morning, in a graveyard he had spied from afar with Eric, protected by shadows and stones.

He had asked his Gheraious to be with him, while he had spied that funeral. He had had Angelus’ trust, but he hadn’t cared about that. He had wanted to see, to mourn.

The first thing he had noticed about him that night was the smell. It had filled the air around him; he hadn’t smelled it for over a century, yet he hadn’t problems in recognizing it.

The air had smelled of rain and tears. Part of him had known the smell wasn’t really there, that it had been his mind producing it, together with images of that graveyard, where that blonde man had looked at a grave, his heart, his very soul shattered.

Because of him.

Spike shook his head, getting close to the bench: “Are you going to spy on me forever?” He asked.

Xavier tilted his head up to look at him, he managed a weak smile before saying, “Even the Eletti are not that sadist”

“I beg to differ” Spike said. He was surprised he could talk to that man, let alone having a conversation.

Xavier shrugged, “Only until the Slayer’s baby is borne, then you will have a new assignment…”

“Are you staying here?” Spike asked.

“Precisely. As your Gheraious ad interim” Xavier said.

“Eric is my gheraious” Spike said. The dark-haired vampire had chosen him, trained him. He had been his guide, his mentor for over a century. “What have they done to him?”

“Nothing” Xavier said. “We don’t kill each other, you know that.”

“I’m not sure I know the Eletti. I’m not sure I’ve ever known them.”

Xavier got up from the bench saying, “Well, welcome to the fold, then…” He looked at him for a second and said, “I don’t know what they will do to your Gheraious and I don’t care…I’m here to do a job, that’s all. Speaking of which…”

“I broke up with her. I did what I was asked to do…” Spike said through gritted teeth. “Are you bloody happy now? Are you satisfied?”

“The answer is no, to both of your questions. I’m not satisfied. I’m not here to seek vengeance, Spike. I didn’t choose to be here, I’ve been sent here.”

“Please… ” Spike started.

He was surprised when Xavier quickly moved and grabbed his neck interrupting him. He didn’t squeeze it, he immediately let him go and said, “As for being happy…you should know better than anyone why I don’t even remember how it’s like…to feel happiness”

He took a step back and said, “Report tomorrow to Eric’s house. We will talk about the Slayer’s pregnancy.”

Spike nodded at the other vampire’s words. He saw him leaving, his tall figure disappeared among the shadows of the night. If he had staked him, a moment before, he would have accepted it. When he had heard that he had died, he had mourned his death. He had felt responsible for it.

If he had staked him, he would have understood. After all he had killed his daughter, and it didn’t matter that he had done so upon her request, to spare her from a fate worse than death. It didn’t matter that he had seen thankfulness in her eyes as he had snapped her neck.

It didn’t matter that he had been haunted by what he had done. Killing Emilie had made part of himself implode …he hadn’t been the same after that. Yet he knew that it didn’t matter to Xavier, his father.

He had said he wasn’t looking for vengeance. Spike hoped he hadn’t lied. Because the father of the first slayer he had killed had now Willow’s life, his baby’s life in his hands.


She could see Spike slowly walking down the streets, his face an unreadable mask which couldn’t hide though, his pain. She saw him fighting demons, his eyes dry, while his soul screamed all the grief, all the remorse he was feeling. It was delicious.

A few words and the image before her disappeared, replaced by that of a young redhead crying in a corner of a hospital room, with silent sobs which rocked her body. She could see green sparks around her growing with intensity, unnoticed by her. She was too heartbroken to notice how her baby was absorbing the dark, powerful magic still hanging in the room.

Electra licked her lips before whispering other words and the image of the redhead faded, replaced by the Slayer and her watcher making love in their bedroom, lost in each other’s eyes and kisses, they were totally oblivious of what had happened to their friends, their loved ones.

She smiled and once again whispered a few words, letting out a laughter when the image of Anyanka, dressed in a black tunic, being hugged by D’Hoffryn, filled the Solomon’s mirror.

She whispered a few words and other faces alternated on the mirror: the other slayer and her watcher dreaming of each other in their respective beds, matching smiles on their lips, the dark-haired boy in a coma as the brainwash consumed his will, the Gheraious waiting to be heard, the blonde Umbra with a hole in his heart, sitting in the dark in a living room, crying, the cursed vampire dreaming of his sire.

Electra whispered a few more words, and the image in the mirror changed, once again, showing a dorm room, the image was blurry, but the vampire already knew that. She saw the blonde witch turning and tossing in her sleep before letting out a weak cry. She was having bad dreams, she always had. The others didn’t know her yet…but they were going to, very soon.

“So it is written” Electra said, “So it shall be done.”

She covered the mirror with a blue velvet sheet and said smiling, “Sweet dreams, Tara”

Humans and demons, were all where they were supposed to be.

It had been worth spending a night in an isolation cell…to help the two Slayers. It had been worth setting up her little shows for the past months.

“Now” She whispered, “The players, my players are all here.”

She closed her eyes and tilted her head up, smiling. If she concentrated enough she could feel the energies in the air. It wasn’t time, yet. Things had to happen for the next months, but it had finally started.

The end of the world had started.

The End.

Prologo 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9
10 11 Epilogo