Chapter 12
The Return

Cole-Pierce pulled a portable vidphone from his pocket and dialled a number, “We need a doctor, we need one now! Make it one of your special operatives.” he said.

“Who did you call?” Spike asked.

“The Watchers Council, they have access to more resources than we do.” the watcher answered.

“How long?” sobbed Dawn.

“About ten minutes.” he answered.

“I really don’t understand how this is possible, you said she was 45 when she entered the portal?” the doctor was asking Spike and Dawn.

“Yes, she was born in 1981 and she entered the portal in 2026.” Spike said.

“Well, I don’t know what’s happened but, I’d have to say, physically she’s about 20 years old.” the doctor said shaking her head, her brunette hair, cut shoulder length, waved as she did.

Dawn just looked at her in amazement, Spike raised an eyebrow.

“Is she still a slayer?” Jennifer asked.

“I’m having her blood checked now, we should know in about twenty minutes.” the doctor answered.

“But how is she?” Dawn managed to ask, she had lost some of the control that she had built up over the past 400 years. Seeing her sister had just been too much.

“She’s a little dehydrated and she has yet to regain consciousness, but other than that she seems to be in excellent condition for someone who’s 542.” the doctor answered.

“So, she’s gonna live?” Spike asked as he stood so he could look down on the doctor.

“Yes, defiantly.” the doctor said.

Both Spike and Dawn let out a sigh of relief.

“Doctor?” came a nurse’s voice from behind her.

“Yes?” the doctor answered as she turned round. The doctor and nurse moved away so they could converse in private.

Dawn saw the nurse hand the doctor a manila folder with a small wad of paper in, the doctor opened it and read the first page, then looked up at the nurse. She asked something which Dawn couldn’t hear, the nurse nodded in reply, the doctor then walked back towards Dawn and Spike.

“Um, Miss Summers, I need to get a sample of your blood for comparison.” the doctor said.

“It’s Ms Summers and why?” Dawn asked.

“I need to compare your blood to your sister’s.” she answered.

“Okay.” Dawn said with a small amount of suspicion.

Dawn followed the doctor to a cubical where she drew a vial of blood from her and sent it to the lab for tests.

“And we’ll know in about twenty minute if what I suspect is right.” the doctor said.

It was twenty two minutes later when a nurse returned with Dawn’s blood test results.

The doctor pulled the blood results from the manila folder and held it up next to Buffy’s.

“Damn, I was right.” the doctor said as she walked towards where Dawn and Spike were sitting.

“Your blood has trace amounts of an unidentifiable energy running through it, presumably from the Key.” the doctor said, “And so does your sister’s, according to these tests the energy is identical.”

“She has Key energy in her?” Spike asked in amazement.

“It certainly looks that way.” the doctor answered.

Dawn was about to ask another question when they were interrupted by screams and yells from within Buffy’s hospital room, Jennifer ran to the door of the room followed by Spike then Dawn and the doctor.

Just as they reached the door it burst open and a wild eyed Buffy was looking straight into Jennifer’s eyes. There was a flicker in Buffy’s eyes, as if she recognised something, but then it was gone and Buffy struck out at Jennifer with enough force so that if she had been plain human she would have gone flying across the room, but because she was the slayer she was able to block Buffy’s punch.

“Buffy!” cried Dawn as she tried to get close enough to her sister to look in her eyes.

A noise came from Buffy’s throat that sounded like “Dawn?”

“Yes, please calm down.” Dawn pleaded with her, Buffy was slowly becoming less tense.

“Dawn?” she said again, her voice was slowly coming back too.

“I-I can’t believe it’s you.” Dawn said as she got closer to Buffy.

Buffy roared and struck out at Dawn sending her flying, she would have flown through the wall if Spike hadn’t been quick enough to catch her.

The doctor used this distraction to inject Buffy with something Spike assumed to be a sedative.

“That better be strong.” he said.

“Strong enough to keep a werewolf out for 36 hours.” the doctor said with a small smile before turning to the orderlies, “Why was she not restrained?”

“She’s just a girl, how were we to know?” the largest of them said.

“She’s a slayer, you idiots.” the doctor said, “Now get her back to bed and restrain her.”

Dawn was still in Spikes arms she was sobbing into his chest.

It was almost 24 hours later when Buffy began to stir.

“I’ll be damned, she shouldn’t be stirring yet.” the doctor said checking her pulse.

“D-Dawn?” Buffy said with out opening her eyes.

“No, Buffy, I am Doctor Fernadez.” the doctor told her gently, “I’ll send your sister in soon.” The doctor checked Buffy’s vital statistics and recorded them on her chart.

“How is she?” came a male voice from the doorway.

Fernandez turned around to see an older man, about 70 or so she reckoned, standing there leaning on a walking cane.

“And who are you?” she asked.

“Someone who wants to know how Buffy is doing.” the man said his grey hair went down to the middle of his back and was tied back in a ponytail.

“She’s doing fine, Mr…” she was trying to get a name.

“Is she awake?” he asked taking a step forward, and ignored the instated question.

“Barely, but you really can’t be in here.” Fernandez said.

“She saved my life once, she wouldn’t mind.” the man said.

“Jacques?” Spike said coming up behind the man.

“Spike.” the man said with an incredible amount of warmth in his voice.

“You look great for the oldest man alive.” Dawn said coming up behind Spike.

Jacques Regnier was only the fourth gatekeeper since the mid fifteen hundreds, he had taken over the mantle of Keeper in 1999 with the help of Buffy and the entire gang, of course neither Spike nor Dawn had been in the group, but Spike was the one who had captured Jacques in the first place, necessitating another round of kick the Spike by Buffy.

The first three Gatekeepers only lived for a little under 150 years each, with the aid of powerful magicks. Jacques had surpassed them in terms of both magickal ability and longevity, this was mainly due to the fact that he was forced, when he became Gatekeeper, to bond directly to the Gatehouse, the building in Boston where all the things that shouldn’t be in this reality are held in magickally secured rooms.

Locked in the infinitely big house were creatures like The Kracken, Springheel Jack, The Ghost Herd that rides the sky. Also held in the house is the Flying Dutchman, although this can somehow escape every now and then.

“D-Dawn?” came Buffy’s voice almost as soon as she heard her sister.

“Buffy!” Dawn exclaimed as she ran to her bedside.

“W-what h-happened?” Buffy’s eyes were open now and she was trying to sit up, Fernandez and Dawn moved to help her.

“What do you remember?” Dawn asked.

“F-fighting Angel, falling, then white, blinding white.” Buffy said her voice carried lots of pain, “The only way I could get through was by holding onto your memory.”

“That fight was over 400 years ago.” Dawn said gently.

Buffy stared at Dawn in shock, “T-then H-how?”

“Did you come back? We don’t know.” Fernandez said.

“I-I need to rest.” Buffy said.