Sunnydale After Dark
Past Featured StorySummary:

Challenge response. 
Prompt: How would things go for Buffy and Spike if their conversation / Spike’s speech in "Touched" + Buffy’s profession of love in "Chosen" had happened earlier? Give Spike and Buffy a happily ever after that doesn’t end in a flamey death. 

Set in early S7 and canon through episode 7x05 "Selfless," which is where this story picks up. It then steers into a different direction, turning into a complete rewrite of S7, though some lines and plot elements will be borrowed from random canon S7 episodes and thrown into the mix. 
🎨 Check the Artwork Companion Story with visual edits for scenes starting from Chapter 10—["Artwork: Perfect Clarity"] 

[A/N—Next Update: approx July 28, 2024] 


Series: Entries for SAD Events
Beta: marinaeulalia
Banner Art By: VeroNyxK84
Categories: Season 7, Challenge Response, Episode Rewrite, Sunnydale After Dark Exclusive
Characters: Buffy, Spike, Anya, Caleb, Dawn, Faith Lehane, Giles, Guardian, Robin Wood, Scoobies, Sineya, The First Evil, The Potentials, Willow, Xander
Genres: Alternate Reality, Drama, Fighting, Friendship, HEA/HFN, Hurt/Comfort, Romance, Slow Burn
Warnings: (Click Here To Reveal) Adult Language, Alcohol/Drug Use, Character Death, Sexual Situations, Violence
Challenges: Selflessly Yours
Completed: No Chapters: 27
Word count: 177,597 Hit Count: 42,950 ePub Downloads: 65
Published: 07/24/22 Updated: 06/23/24


Print or Download Story: Printer Microsoft Word ePub eBook

Share Story:

View All Chapters

Story Notes:

This is my very first attempt at writing a long fic in English (I’m not a native speaker). I’m quite fluent but far from perfect, so please take this into account when reading. When I started publishing, the story didn’t have a Beta but was being sent to a good friend of mine - who is native - for proofreading.
Starting with Chapter 15, the wonderful marinaeulalia has been beta-ing all the new chapters; recently she’s also agreed to go back to the beginning and give some beta attention to the previous chapters, too. Thank you, Marina! I’ll add the beta-update dates in the chapter notes. 

WARNINGS EXPLAINED 
Alcohol/Drug Use: mild use of alcohol in a few occasions by characters who are of legal drinking age. No drugs. 
Character Death: I’m not planning on killing off unexpected characters, but if someone died in canon in S7, they might die here too.
Sexual Situations: this warning doesnt apply for chapters 1 through 9, but starting from Chapter 10 there might be some NC-17 scenes 
I wont change the rating of the whole story because smut is not the main focus here, although I know there will be a few scenes with sexual content in later chapters. I will frame those scenes with WARNING / END WARNING markers, so they will be easier to skip if its not your thing.

Every chapter will have as a title a quote from Spike, particularly from his epic speech in “Touched” but more generally also from other scenes in the same episode. At least, this is the author’s intention at the moment… Hopefully I can keep it up.

Dedicated to my lovely friends N. and M. Thank you for your support and encouragement! ILY 

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

1. We All Have Crosses to Bear by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 15 Comments: 17 Word Count: 2,290 Hit Count: 3,462 Published: 07/24/22

After the events of ep. 7x05 “Helpless,” Buffy pays one more visit to Spike, trying to get him out of the school basement. 
At home, she has a heart-to-heart with Dawn, who offers to help.

TW: references to the AR in S6. No graphic or detailed description of said scene, but it is referenced as Buffy explores her emotions/feelings after deciding to help Spike. Some mild references may appear also in later chapters. 
— 
[ moodboard, style update, and beta revision: July 24, 2023 ]
Thank you to my wonderful beta marinaeulalia

2. I've Seen Your Kindness... by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 10 Comments: 10 Word Count: 2,666 Hit Count: 2,788 Published: 07/31/22

Buffy enlists the help of Dawn and a reluctant Xander to get Spike to leave the high-school basement.
The task proves to be more difficult than anticipated
.

TW: some references to the AR in S6. No graphic or detailed description of said scene, but it is referenced briefly. Some mild references may appear also in later chapters.
— 
[ moodboard, style update, and beta revision: September 24, 2023 ]
Thank you to my wonderful beta marinaeulalia

3. ...And Your Strength by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 9 Comments: 14 Word Count: 4,669 Hit Count: 2,914 Published: 08/07/22

The Scoobies—Buffy in particular—are in the school basement dealing with a haunted Spike.
Will they manage to pull him out of there?

[ moodboard, style update, and beta revision: October 15, 2023 ]
Thank you to my wonderful beta marinaeulalia

Thank you all for the kind comments and encouragement I've received so far. It means more than you can imagine.

4. Listen To Me by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 13 Comments: 14 Word Count: 8,476 Hit Count: 2,759 Published: 08/14/22

Spike has been relocated at Buffy’s—elephant-in-the-room in tow—and everybody's adjusting to the new living arrangements. 
All with the impending doom known as ‘The First Evil’ looming over their heads. Only, they don’t know yet what they’re up against. 

Not Beta'd, but thank you to my amazing friend N. for some needed improvements on my English. 

And thank you to the SAD staff for adding “Perfect Clarity” to the featured stories. I’m truly humbled and honored.

5. Look At Me by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 9 Comments: 18 Word Count: 3,307 Hit Count: 2,739 Published: 08/21/22

REVISED & HEAVILY EDITED VERSION [October 3rd, 2022] 
Buffy deals with a worrying Slayer dream that leads to a heart-to-heart with Spike.

TW: mild references to the AR from "Seeing Red" 
 
Not beta'd, all mistakes are mine and mine alone.

 

6. The Best and The Worst of You (part I) by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 8 Comments: 14 Word Count: 9,543 Hit Count: 2,748 Published: 08/28/22

We left Buffy and Spike sharing a moment in the basement with a seething First Evil disapprovingly witnessing the scene. 
Will it strike? Will they be able to fight back? 

This chapter is labeled ‘Part I’ because, once again, I went well over 15k and I had to split it. 

Not Beta'd—Thank you to my friend N. for reviewing my English

7. The Best and The Worst of You (part II) by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 7 Comments: 8 Word Count: 7,115 Hit Count: 2,676 Published: 09/04/22

Part II 
Buffy and Spike are left to deal with the aftermath of the First's attack. 
Meanwhile, Spike's chip is misfiring and other people are getting ready to fight the First.

Not Beta'd but as always thank you to my friend N. for proofreading my English.

NOTE: starting from Ch8 the delay between chapters might be longer because I'm writing lengthier chapters and because sadly I have less free time now (work). I'll still try to keep the delay between 1 and 2 weeks. Thank you for sticking with me so far and for taking the time to leave your comments!

8. Exactly What You Are by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 8 Comments: 12 Word Count: 6,809 Hit Count: 2,590 Published: 09/25/22

Spike recovers from the ‘chip-ectomy’. Buffy deals with a new worrying dream. Elsewhere, the First is working on Plan B. 
— 
Not Beta'd, mistakes are mine and mine alone

9. I've Seen Things You Couldn't Imagine by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 10 Comments: 12 Word Count: 7,343 Hit Count: 2,583 Published: 10/09/22

The First strikes again, this time hitting very close to home. Buffy is overwhelmed but finds comfort and support in Spike. 
Meanwhile, old and new friends prepare to join Buffy in the war against the First. 

TW: mild references to the AR from "Seeing Red"

Not Beta’d—Thank you to my friend N. for proofreading

10. Perfect Clarity by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 6 Comments: 8 Word Count: 13,514 Hit Count: 1,957 Published: 10/30/22

Romance is blossoming amidst the winds of war. Spike’s past is coming back to haunt him in an unexpected way. 
— 
Warning for sexual situations (it's just one very short scene framed at beginning/end with xxxxxxx NC-17 xxxxxxx markers so you can easily skip it if it’s not your thing) 
Many lines are borrowed from a bunch of episodes—Credits in the end notes as usual.

Not Beta’d, all mistakes are mine and mine alone.

11. I Think We Got A Lead by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 7 Comments: 12 Word Count: 8,455 Hit Count: 1,852 Published: 11/29/22

The Scoobies are keeping up the fight against the First while Potential Slayers are making their way towards Sunnydale at great costs.
Buffy & Spike are getting closer. Somewhere else an old frenemy is in danger.

— 

Not Beta’d, all mistakes are mine and mine alone.

12. My Blood Doesn't Rush in the Direction of my Brain by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 8 Comments: 11 Word Count: 10,029 Hit Count: 1,660 Published: 01/29/23

Giles reunites with the Scoobies, but things don't go as smoothly as expected.
Buffy and Spike share a moment before they're forced to take care of some trouble.

— 

Not Beta’d, all mistakes are mine and mine alone.

13. This'll Change Your Tune (part I) by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 7 Comments: 12 Word Count: 5,905 Hit Count: 1,685 Published: 02/12/23

Buffy confronts Dawn and Xander on a delicate matter while dealing with a runaway Potential Slayer. 
Elsewhere, the First is plotting to regroup, anticipating nefarious consequences. 

TW: The events regarding the AR from Seeing Red are discussed on a few occasions, though not in detail.
— 

Not Beta’d, all mistakes are mine and mine alone.

14. This'll Change Your Tune (part II) by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 9 Comments: 12 Word Count: 8,580 Hit Count: 1,598 Published: 03/05/23

Spike stands up to Xander and Giles while growing closer with Buffy. 
Principal Wood calls for help with a situation at Sunnydale High. 

— 
Not Beta’d, all mistakes are mine and mine alone.

15. It's Bloody Chaos by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 6 Comments: 9 Word Count: 8,933 Hit Count: 1,633 Published: 04/08/23

The Scooby Gang deals with a Hellmouth-related situation at Sunnydale High. 
Spike’s past lays the ground for a present threat. 

— 
Thank You to Marina Eulalia from the bottom of my heart for lending her copy-editor skills to this story!

16. I Got Something To Tell You by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 6 Comments: 6 Word Count: 7,735 Hit Count: 1,460 Published: 04/30/23

New Potential Slayers join the gang at the Summers household. 
Buffy opens up to Willow about her relationship with Spike. 
The First plans its next move. 

— 
Thank you to Marina Eulalia for lending her copy-editing skills to this chapter, for all the improvements and the precious tips!

17. A Certain Amount of Connecting by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 7 Comments: 8 Word Count: 6,313 Hit Count: 1,403 Published: 05/21/23

Following the tip received from the Coven in the previous chapter, Spike & Buffy pick up a new Potential Slayer at the bus station (mentioned, happens offscreen) and then share a pivotal moment in their relationship. 
Willow receives a call from LA. 
— 
Thank you to Marina Eulalia for lending her copy-editing skills to this chapter, for all the improvements and the precious tips!

18. You're Not Fooling Me (Part I) by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 8 Comments: 11 Word Count: 4,181 Hit Count: 1,286 Published: 06/18/23

Two days have passed since Willow left for LA, and she comes back with an unexpected guest. 
Meanwhile, new Potential Slayers have joined the group and started a training program. 

— 
Thank you to Marina Eulalia for lending her copy-editing skills to this chapter, for the improvements and the precious tips!

19. You're Not Fooling Me (Part II) by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 7 Comments: 8 Word Count: 7,939 Hit Count: 1,046 Published: 07/09/23

Buffy and Spike get unexpected revelations. 
The First strikes, shaking the group’s spirits. 

CW: a character takes her own life (mentioned, non-graphic) 
— 

Thank you to Marina Eulalia for lending her beta skills to this chapter, for the improvements and the precious tips!

20. Say The Word by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 7 Comments: 8 Word Count: 11,040 Hit Count: 457 Published: 07/30/23

Buffy and Spike are in Gilroy for their secret mission. 
Back home, Faith struggles with her temporary role as leader. 
New Potentials join the group and The First is ready to strike again. 
— 
Thank you to my beta Marina Eulalia for the improvements and the precious tips!

21. Casualties in War by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 7 Comments: 10 Word Count: 6,688 Hit Count: 357 Published: 08/27/23

Returning from their Gilroy trip, Buffy and Spike must face a dire situation at home.
The First prepares its next move.

Thank you to my beta Marina Eulalia for the improvements and the precious tips!

22. Not A Quitter by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 6 Comments: 10 Word Count: 4,164 Hit Count: 373 Published: 09/24/23

Following the ambush that hit Buffy’s team at its core, the Scoobies are left licking their wounds and planning a counterattack. 


Thank you to my beta marinaeulalia for the improvements and the precious tips!

23. Wrong Bloody Calls by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 7 Comments: 8 Word Count: 4,236 Hit Count: 369 Published: 01/28/24

Caleb and The First get ready to “welcome” Buffy on her solo mission.
Elsewhere, Spike and Giles find common ground, and the vampire sets out to follow Buffy at the vineyard, while Dawn and Willow fail to find useful info about the Scythe.

Thank you to my beta marinaeulalia for the improvements and the precious tips!

24. A Footnote in History by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 5 Comments: 10 Word Count: 4,738 Hit Count: 114 Published: 02/25/24

Spike, Willow, Dawn, and a convalescent Faith must deal with the squad of Bringers surrounding the house and come up with an emergency defense plan.
Elsewhere, Buffy must face a determined Caleb while a group of Bringers are keeping Angel occupied.

Thank you to my beta marinaeulalia for the improvements and the precious tips!

25. This Town Really is Theirs Now by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 4 Comments: 7 Word Count: 6,806 Hit Count: 163 Published: 04/07/24

After defeating Caleb, Buffy rescues Soledad and they drive back to Buffy’s place with Angel, where his sudden appearance causes some friction. He gives Buffy an amulet before going back to Los Angeles.

Thank you to my beta marinaeulalia for the improvements and the precious tips!

26. You Get Some Rest Now by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 3 Comments: 4 Word Count: 2,763 Hit Count: 137 Published: 05/19/24

The Scoobies need some time to recharge and regroup after their separate battles against The First and its servants. During a chat with Faith, Buffy has an epiphany.

Thank you to my beta marinaeulalia for the improvements and the precious tips!

27. Before First Light (Part I) by VeroNyxK84 - Likes: 4 Comments: 7 Word Count: 3,360 Hit Count: 102 Published: 06/23/24

Buffy is afraid they might be running out of time, despite their recent victory against the agents of The First. An impromptu party awaits Xander when he’s released from the hospital, just in time to join a Scooby meeting.

Thank you to my beta marinaeulalia for the improvements and the precious tips!