Title: Killed By Destiny
Fandom: Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Disclaimer: I own nothing. I bend to Joss Whedon's will and try my best not to murder his characters.
Summary: If only he remembered, maybe none of it would have happened.
Warnings: Souled!Spike, a mix of human au, a short character death (he gets better!), and lots of angst.
Notes: This is the sequel to Taking Back Destiny. Also, be warned, this is unbetaed.
Will tapped his fingers as he stared down Dawn. She was a crafty one. He always suspected her, but now he finally had proof. Will grabbed her wrist and two aces fell out from her sleeve.
“I knew you were cheating!” Will exclaimed.
A doctor came in and shushed him. Joyce laughed. Will hadn’t been able to prevent Joyce from getting the brain tumor or Dawn from coming. But he had been able to find the monks during his summer break. They told him about the beast and how it was getting closer, so Will told them a story. He told vampire with a permanent soul because he had warned him about the dangers of having the loose one. He told them about a marriage that would have never taken place because the bride had been previously dead. Will even told them a story about a redeemed slayer and a monster that never came to be. So now, he sat there with his little sister, watching over Aunt Joyce while Buffy and Giles dealt with the doctors.
“Oh, let her be,” Joyce said. “It’s just a game.”
“You only say that because you cheat in book club,” Anne, Will’s mother said as she came through the door with the rest of the book club. “Will called, figured we’d bring you some books to read while you were stuck here.”
Joyce grinned, “It’s good to know I’m cared about. It’s nothing really. They’re going to operate and everything will be fine. I’ll just have to wear a wig until my hair grows back.”
“Excuse me, ladies,” Will said kissing Dawn’s cheek then getting up out of his chair. “I’m going to check on everyone else. The doctors are really surprised on how many visitors she has. They think she’s robbing the cradle with a few.”
“Anne,” Joyce gawked. “Tell your son that he’s way too young to be hitting on me!”
Will avoid his mother’s playful swat and slide out of the room so the women could talk shop. He looked around the hospital lobby to see Buffy talking and flirting with Ben. Will knew there was something he had to remember about Ben. He couldn’t place his finger on it. It was on the tip of his tongue but every time he tried to chase that train of thought, it eluded him.
“Well,” Xander said wrapping his arms around Will’s waist. “If it isn’t the all important Doctor Elliot.”
“Shush,” Will laughed. “I’m not a doctor yet and I wouldn’t even be this kind of doctor.”
“You’ll still be giving people little pills.”
“No, I told you. I’m going to be a psychologist not a psychiatrist. I wouldn’t give out pills.”
“Then how am I going to get my meds?” Xander asked playfully biting into Will’s neck.
“A doctor is going to come over and tell you to stop.”
“I honestly don’t care. I want to get it all out before we have to go over to dinner with Anya and Jesse.”
“Oh, so we can be the ones to wrinkle our noses at the PDA?”
“Exactly. Your mom can bring Dawn home. Let’s go home, leave Buffy to her flirting, your mom to her gossiping. We’re not needed here.”
“Alright, you don’t have to twist my arm.”
Will spared one last glance at Ben. He knew it was something important he was supposed to remember about him. When he still couldn’t put his finger on it, he left the hospital with Xander.
Will raced up the makeshift tower in hopes of reaching Dawn before that man cut her. Everything had been a speeding train wreck from Joyce’s death to their valiant escape only to get caught in the gas station again. If only he had remembered sooner that Ben WAS Glory, but no. Because he was human, he didn’t remember. The spell had blocked his memories too. Now the ritual was going ahead as planned and he had precious seconds to get up to Dawn. He had prevented everything else, why not this?
Will watched in horror as he finally reached the top of the tower and saw Dawn had already been cut. Her blood dripped slowly down her skin and Will found strength he didn’t know he had. He gripped the Doc and tossed him easily off the side. Will raced to Dawn’s side, pulling free the shackles that kept her tied to the walkway.
“I was so scared, but I knew you’d come for me,” Dawn said burying her head into his chest.
The portal was swirling below them and Will already knew what he had to do. He led Dawn to Buffy who by now had reached the top of the tower. He forced Buffy to wrap her arms around Dawn before he began his goodbyes.
“There’s something that needs to be done,” he said both Buffy and Dawn looking at him confused as the world around them went to Hell. “Life is going to be hard after this, but you’ll get through it. Since you’re not going to die, the First isn’t going to attack. Promise me you’ll look after Dawn and you’ll live every day, I mean really live. Not just go through the motions. Someone once told me the hardest thing in this world is living in it. It’s true. Be safe, alright?”
He kissed both their cheeks and before they could put two and two together, Will turned around and ran towards the end of the walkway. He dived into the portal below, electric currents from the portal tore through his body, causing him more pain than he could imagine, then finally it was over.
Xander watched Will’s body convulse in the energy of the portal. Xander knew. He knew before Will’s body even hit the ground. Just the way Will was falling. The way his eyes were closed and his head almost seemed to snap back as he fell. Will was dead.
Will’s eyes shot open and confusion flooded him. What happened? He remembered everything being really bright. He remembered being happy and safe. Where was he now? Why was it so dark? He tried to move only to find that he was in a tightly closed space. A memory floated to the front of his mind. It was the memory of when he was a vampire. He was in a coffin. Was he in Hell now? Will pounded feverishly on the coffin, trying to break it open. His knuckles bled as the wood gave way and dirt began filling the coffin with him in it. He panicked and tried to use his memories from his turning to help him climb to the surface.
It seemed miles away and his lungs were burning for air, but he had to go on. Maybe it was a test or something. If he managed to climb out of the hole, he’d be back where he was happy. Will finally broke topsoil and pulled himself out. It was too dark. He was used to everything being bright. Then the noises, everything was garbled and jumbled. Nothing seemed to fit. He squinted trying to adjust, but the images just blurred. He steadily walked forward, but his legs were weak and he stumbled back. He hit something hard. He turned his head to look at what he hit. It was a gravestone. It read “William James Elliot. Loving son, caring brother, affectionate lover, devoted friend, the world will surely be lost without him.”
His eyes widened in confusion. He wasn’t dead. He couldn’t be dead. He had just been alive. He still was alive. He checked his pulse. There was his heart, beating like normal. It was trick. This world, it couldn’t be real. He wasn’t dead. He hadn’t been dead!
The roaring of some kind of monster followed by screaming pierced the veil of confusion that had fallen over Will. He ran away from the noise. He continued to run, everything was blurred and loud. He couldn’t see where he was going, so he just ran blindly, trying to escape.
“Will?” A figure was approaching him; he couldn’t make it out even as it got close enough to wrap its arms around him. “I thought you were dead. Did the powers bring you back?” The figure nuzzled him and Will shook trying to figure out who this person was. “What’s wrong? I was just about to put flowers on your grave.” The person waited. “Will, why aren’t you talking?”
It was all mixed up. There was too much stuff in there. Too many memories. He couldn’t remember. He couldn’t see. He pushed the figure away and stumbled to the floor. He scrambled, trying to get up and run. He needed the light, he needed to be safe again.
“Will! It’s Xander,” the figure grabbed him again. “Will, it’s Xander. The powers didn’t bring you back, did they? What happened? Will, please speak with me.”
Will fell into the person’s grip. Xander, that name sounded familiar. Memories began to flood his head, good ones and bad. Xander holding an axe to him and threatening his life. Xander laying in bed with Will, talking about if Kirk or Picard was the better captain. Xander tying him up to an ugly, orange chair. Xander on his back letting Will- Will shivered. Why were there so many memories?
Xander pulled Will in closer and stroked his hair, “Shhhh… it’s okay. We’ll figure this out. I missed you so much. But, I didn’t want you back like this. Trust me, Will. I’d never bring you back if I knew you’d end up like this.”
Will relaxed and let Xander look over him. He watched Xander’s face turn into a scowl as he inspected Will’s scabbing knuckles. Xander pressed them to his lips and looked at Will.
“How’d you get these? Did something attack you?”
“Climbed,” Will said hoarsely.
“You had to climb out of your own grave?”
Will gave a small nod. Xander held Will tighter and stroked Will’s hair, uttering small comforting phrases.
“We’ll figure it out. Do you want to come with me to the Magic Box? It’s dangerous here.”
Will remembered the roaring and the screaming, then quickly nodded again. Xander helped him up and began leading him away. He stopped and picked something up off the ground. He handed what he picked up to Will and remembered these. He smiled slightly, red roses. He remembered he used to get one for Xander every time they would go on a date. Xander had been buying roses to put on his grave. Will also remembered how expensive roses were.
“Hey, Will, you okay?”
“Have you,” Will cleared his throat since the words came out scratchy. “Have you been putting these on my grave often?”
“Every day for the past five months.”
Will was silent again. He had been dead for five months. How could he be dead for five months? He should be decaying and falling apart, but everything seemed to be in perfect working condition. The only part of him that was damaged were his knuckles.
“Come on,” Xander said pressing a hand against his shoulder. “We’ll take you to the Magic Box, have a huge research party. We’ll figure out what’s going on.”
The bell over the door rang as Xander opened the door and held it open for Will. Will walked in and found himself in the embrace of a red-headed woman. Will looked at Xander frightened and clutching the roses to his chest. Xander saw that Will’s memory was still reacting slowly. Xander couldn’t imagine the type of trauma Will had been through.
“Hey,” Xander said pulling Willow off Will. “He’s traumatized. It’s taking him longer to remember things than usual. I brought him here so we can help. Someone raised him from the dead.”
“I raised him,” Willow said with a smile.
“YOU WHAT!?” Xander bellowed.
Will cringed and whimpered. His ears were still sensitive to noise. Xander pulled Will into a hug, reassuring Will that he wasn’t yelling at him.
“I thought you’d be happy,” Willow exclaimed. “You’ve been walking around like the living dead. I was worried that I would have to be burying you soon too.”
“So instead of talking to me,” Xander lowered his voice, “you raised my boyfriend from the grave?”
“We all missed Will. And we all agreed that he could be in some Hell dimension somewhere. We could have saved his life. He’s better here.”
“Willow, do you know how much it hurts having him back like this? He didn’t even remember me when he first saw me.”
“It just proves my point. Wherever he was, was so bad it traumatized him.”
“No, I think it was breaking open his coffin, digging six straight feet up, and getting a good look at his gravestone that did a good deal of the traumatizing.”
“Will, I’m sorry!” Willow gasped and tried to pull him into a hug, but he shifted away from her. “We thought you’d just appear. We had no idea, then a group of vampires came and we had to run. If we would have known…”
“You keep saying ‘we’, who’s ‘we’?”
“Buffy, Jesse, Anya, Tara, and me, we all helped perform the spell. We didn’t think-”
“No, you didn’t think. Maybe if the powers had given you permission, but not like this. Not messing with nature. You didn’t listen to Will talk about his- about his visions. He saw the exact same thing happen to Buffy. If I would have known you were stupid enough-”
“Stupid!?” Willow was outraged. “Saving your boyfriend from a Hell dimension was stupid? I did you and Will a favor. I did what I thought was right.”
“No, you wanted to play God and hurt Will in the process. You remember high school? You remember what Will told you about being an evil witch? Well, this is a slippery slope. It starts with resurrection, ends with you going brunette.”
“Are you even listening to yourself? ‘Oh I’m Xander and I’m all high and mighty. I think I have authority over everyone even though only a few hours ago I was suffering from severe depression and leaving roses on my dead boyfriend’s grave.’”
“I was mourning. I can’t mourn over Will? I have to instantly forget about him once he’s buried?”
“But every day? You didn’t visit Joyce’s grave every day.”
“I wasn’t in love with Joyce the way I am with Will. What if it was Tara who died? Would you want her back even if it meant bringing her back sad and confused?”
“At least she’d be back.”
“I don’t even know you anymore, Willow. Come on, Will. We’re leaving.”
“Fine! Leave! But, I never ever want to see you around here again unless you can admit that I helped you both by bringing Will back.”
“Fine! Then you won’t ever see me again!”
Despite his anger, he managed to grab Will gently. He turned his back on his best friend for years and left the Magic Box. He still couldn’t believe she had done that to Will. It was unforgivable.
Will lay limply on the bed as he watched a frustrated Xander pack clothes into a suitcase while muttering about how what Willow did was completely unforgivable.
“I think I was in Heaven,” Will said once Xander moved onto a different suitcase.
Xander stopped in place and stared at Will, “Heaven?”
Will nodded. “I remember it was really warm and bright where I was before. I felt happiness like you couldn’t imagine. Everything here, it’s really dulled in comparison, but that’s not what I’m worried about most.”
“What are you worried about most?”
“What if I never get to go back?”
Xander sat on the edge of the bed and stroked Will’s hair, “I’m sorry.”
“I heard Buffy talk about it when I was a vampire. I never imagined. I didn’t think I could get into Heaven, but I did. Now I’m worried it was only because I sacrificed myself for Dawn and any other time I die, I’ll go to Hell.”
“I’ve been irrational and I’ve made things worse, haven’t I?”
“You were just protecting me,” Will closed his eyes. “Thanks. I’m not feeling like myself.”
“I’ll unpack. Leaving was a stupid idea.”
“No. I want to leave. I want to get out just in case the First comes. I really don’t want to die young anymore. Xander, I want grey hair.”
“Alright,” Xander stroked Will’s cheek. “Where do you want to go?”
“New York. I have always wanted to live in New York. Do you think they’ll allow me to attend a university there?”
“Any school would be lucky to have you.”
Xander kissed Will on the lips and twisted his fingers into Will’s hair, shaking some dirt that was still embedded in there loose. Whatever happened next, Xander and Will were in it together.