Characters: Angel, Buffy, Dawn, Drusilla, Faith Lehane, Robin Wood, Spike, The First Evil
What if Robin Wood had succeeded in killing Spike?
Buffy arrives just in time to see Wood staking Spike, her horrified face is the last thing he sees, her name the last thing he says before turning into dust.
Traumatized and betrayed by the very people who were supposed to help and guide her, Buffy shuts down, she locks herself in the basement and refuses to talk to anyone for days, when Giles tries to defend his and Wood's actions she responds with a punch that breaks his jaw and renders him unconscious.
The Scoobies try to be supportive but they don't really understand, Buffy tells them she is tired, tired of everyone expecting her to be perfect, tired of people telling her what to do, what to say, how to feel, tired the home invasion and having to care for everyone without even a thank you, much less payment, tired of pretending she is not still in love with Spike just because it makes her friends uncomfortable.
When Faith arrives to town Buffy tells her about the offer of more power in exchange for part of her humanity, feeling she barely has any humanity left anyway she tells Faith they should both take upon the offer, Faith tells Buffy she has sacrificed a lot already and that she can't give her humanity up because Dawn needs her.
Buffy realises Faith is right, Dawn needs her, not to be the Slayer but to be her big sister.
She takes Dawn and Spike's car and leaves Sunnydale.
Dawn has conflicted emotions about Spike's death, she misses him but she doesn't understand how her sister forgave him, she cries in the car. Meanwhile Buffy wants to take them both as far away from Sunnydale as possible, there is no plan beyond that.
She keeps dreaming about Spike, Spike telling her he loves her, Spike telling her he wants to help her and to please let him help her, she doesn't want to think about the dreams.
One night while Dawn is asleep, Buffy feels a vampire right outside of motel they are staying at and goes to investigate, only to find Drusilla waiting for her inside the car, speaking gibberish to herself.
Buffy knows she should dust Drusilla but she can't get herself to because she meant so much for Spike, instead she urges Dru to run, Drusilla surprises her by telling her she is here because a vision of Spike sent her and she knows he is dust but a part of his soul lingers close to Buffy, since he only earned it for her.
Drusilla tells Buffy she is to guide her and Dawn to safety, at Spike's request, Buffy is not sure she believes the crazy vampire and very sure she can't trust her but reasons with herself it's a good idea to keep an eye on her.
Drusilla lets Buffy tie her arms and legs and put her in the car's trunk with a protective blanket with the condition that they go to New York, where she and Spike were last happy, where so many tasty treats walk about and where is safe according to her.
Just as they are getting to the state of new york, Drusilla has a vision that makes her scream.
Meanwhile Faith decides to take upon the offer of the shadow men after all, Angel arrives right on time to join in the battle, but the power to stop the First has an elevated price, all of the potential slayers within a 1500 ratio, including the ones living at the Summers home drop dead without ceremony, Faith manages to save the day but something feels different, it takes a while for her to realise her soul is gone.
Angel tries to help Faith with her soul but she doesn't want his help.
In New York, Drusilla insists she must stay close to Dawn and protect her while her knight is gone, but she still wants to go kill people for blood and for fun, not knowing what else to do, Buffy decides to try and show Drusilla she can redeem herself too, if only as a way to honour Spike's memory, Drusilla is not very enthusiastic about it, but she insists Spike told her to obey Buffy until he can find his way back.
Buffy tries to convince herself she is not keeping Drusilla around just to hear stories about Spike from her or because she keeps saying she can sense his soul holding onto Buffy.
She still dreams with him.
While this is happening the authorities are trying to find out why did so many women and girls suddenly died for apparently no reason the same day the town of Sunnydale became a crater.
Buffy realising she is in love with Spike and has been since before he got his soul
Supportive Xander and Willow, even if they don't get it
Buffy talking to Dawn about the bathroom incident and why she forgave Spike
Summers sisters bonding
Buffy visiting Nikki Wood's grave
Complicated resurrection rituals involving Spike's dust and his sire's blood
The First making fun of Giles for not realising Buffy was in love with Spike
Crazy conspiracy theories by people who don't know about the supernatural
Buffy getting drunk
Buffy and Dawn ice skating
Drusilla teaching Dawn something Buffy doesn't approve of and Dawn saying Spike had promised to teach her before he died
Conversations about what the soul is, what it does and what it means to have one
Drusilla having PTSD from Prague or from Angelus
Can Not have
Willow, Xander or Anya dying
Drusilla hurting Buffy or Dawn (she can try, but she must not succeed)
Whatever it has a happy ending or not is up to the writer.