Return to Hell(mouth)

Author: Michael685197 <michael.gillanders1[at]>

Disclaimer: Now that Buffy's over do we really need to put this? Even though Joss Whedon and Co. will gain nothing but a bag of peanuts and a ratty mat… BTVS and everything associated with BTVS belongs to M.E. (not me but Mutant Enemy), Joss Whedon and everyone else.

Author's notes: Okay Buffy ran away after she sent Angel to Hell, but never went back. It is mid Season Four in the Buffyverse, Joyce has died at the hands of the Mayor, three-quarters of the '99 class died too. Before Faith lured him through the school and escaped within an inch of her life. Buffy is friends with Anne and Gunn, works at that little crappy café place and lives in that rat hole called an apartment with Anne, who loves Charmed. No Anya, she left when she discovered Xander was going out with someone that wasn't her. Oz is here, but not with Willow, she is with Tara. British spelling used. NOT BETA READ!

Ships: B/X, F/X, W/T, G/OC and maybe some Anne/Gunn (Hey anything's possible!)

Rating: PG-13. May be lower… better safe than sorry though, huh?

Chapter 1

#112 Pearson Arms, Los Angeles, Saturday, 1:27PM

Buffy had been missing from home for 18 months now and a year and a half was a long time. She missed her mom, she missed Giles… god she even missed Cordelia. She'd made a few friends, Gunn, and Anne had become her best friends. She had met Gunn on her patrol around Los Angeles, he thought she was a vampire and vice versa. Then they'd put crosses in each other's faces and nothing happened. They began to patrol together, with his gang and her slayer skills. These days, there was hardly a vamp in sight.

Anne… formerly Lily… Buffy had rescued from hell. They were roomies, and were colleagues. But most importantly they were friends. Buffy had missed out on college by now so she had no qualifications to speak of… she was only 19, though she acted 40.

"Hey, Anne." Buffy greeted.

"Hey, Buff." Anne responded, the nickname 'Buff' made her flinch Xander and Willow used to call her that. "Sorry… did I do something wrong?" Her blue eyes met Buffy's greenish-blue one's in concern.

"No… just a memory is all." Buffy replied. "I miss them. My friends, my mom…"

"Your lover." Anne added.

"I think I saw him the other day, with a person who looked like Xander's girlfriend…"

"Cordelia? Buffy, you told me this stuff. I know." Anne nodded, "I see Rickie everywhere."

"No I really saw him taking out a demon. With another guy, I think I heard him talk… he was Irish."


"No the other guy. Cordy was just sort of… there being rescued."

"Do you know how unlikely that sounds? Your old flame… who supposedly is in hell, is with the girl who he doesn't like that much and an Irish guy?"

"I know… maybe I'm being stupid."

"No, maybe you're being in love." Anne sighed, "I know how that feels, she looked at her bare arm, where the tattoo was etched. Buffy nodded, understanding, "I t-think I'm going to call home."

Anne's eyes widened, "Really? It's been a year and a half… won't you're mom be pissed?"

"Duh. But I need to call her… now I think I've seen Angel… I need to know the what." Buffy dialled the number; she got an answer phone "Maybe I'll call Willow." She dialled another number. This time she got an answer.

"Hello, may I ask who is speaking?" An elderly sounding voice replied.


"I'm sorry dear, you've got the wrong… wait, Willow… Willow Rosenberg?"

"Yes, do you know where she is?"

"W-well dear, I may be wrong but her parents moved out and she went to college."

Buffy sighed with relief, "Thank God, I thought she was dead. I know what Sunnydale is like. Thank-you Miss…"

"Torrance." The woman supplied.

"Thank-you Miss Torrance… Goodbye now."

She hung up, "That's a complete bust. Willow and her parents have moved out. Willow's out at college and her parents have moved away."

"Buffy… not to rain on your call home parade but we've got little money and a large phone bill ain't helping."

"Just one more call. I swear, if this is a bust, no more calls, okay, Anne?"

"I guess. But I get the TV choice tonight."

"Sure. Sunday's are pretty empty TV nights."

"Are you kidding Charmed is on!" Anne exclaimed.

Buffy rolled her eyes, dialling one more number, she, once more, got an answer, "Hello?"

She got a gruff male voice to answer, "Hello, who the hell is this?"

"Mr. Harris? Is Xander there?"


A muffled voice came though, something that sounded like, "Thanks dad," Then a series of rumblings then a second of silence, "Hello?"

"Hello, Xander?" Silence.

"Buffy?" His voice was breaking.

"Xander? Are you okay?"

"Okay? OKAY? Buffy, nearly seventy-five percent of our class died and you could have stopped it! Do y'know what? Your mom is dead and you could have stopped it. Joyce is dead!"

Buffy began to cry, "I-is… Willow… is she okay?"

"She is fine. Nearly died a couple of times, but Faith stopped it."

"Faith? Who's Faith?"

"The new Slayer. The slayer who won't run away when she has boy troubles."


"I don't wanna hear it. Buffy, you need to come back by tomorrow. I don't want you back, but the world is going to end."

"Don't you have the new Slayer?" Buffy asked, snidely.

"As much as I hate to admit it… you're the more skilful Slayer. You know what to do. You're Buffy." Xander told her, with slight hostility in his voice, "Even though I hate that you got Joyce and three-quarters of the kids I grew up with killed… you're still the Slayer. Hey, you died and you're still here." He joked, weakly, without the hostility in his voice.  

"S-she wasn't t-turned was she?"

"No, she was eaten by a snake." Xander said, the hostility coming back making Buffy forget she'd ever known this boy. "Hey, much better, huh?"

"Xander… of course not. Is she really g-gone?"

"Yes. We tried to stop her from coming to the graduation ceremony… tried to stop her from fighting. But, unlike some people, she wouldn't give up. Get your ass over here by tomorrow or everybody dies." Then he hung up.

Buffy cried for the loss her of her mom, loss of her old life… and her possible loss of a best friend. "I'm going home, Anne."

Anne hugged Buffy, "Why?"

"My mom is dead, the world is gonna end and my best friend hates me. That's why I'm going home."

"I'm coming with."

"No." Buffy said, "You can't. This is a journey I need to make alone… I need to be alone… to think about stuff."

Anne sighed, "I'm coming with."

"Tell Gina I quit. Tell Paula I never liked her. And if you see," She pulls a picture of Angel and her out of her pocket, "This guy say 'hi from Buffy'. OK?"

"Sure." Anne said, "I still don't like this 'I'm going alone' thing."

"Anne? It's me. I am alone."

Anne cocked her head, "You don't have to be."

"I do. I'm sorry, but I do. I'll call you when… I reach my destination."


"Well… yeah but I meant my journey of self-discovery."

"You'll call when you get to Sunnydale though right?"

"Of course. Now, I just gotta go see someone."

Gunn's lair, Los Angeles, Saturday, 2:35PM

"Hey doll face, what's the what?"

"I'm leaving."

"Okay, what brought on this sudden…"


"Oh, don't those happen every day in Sunnydale?"

"Yeah, but Xander says he needs me on this one."

"Xander… that guy you laid and he lost his soul?"

Buffy glowered, "That was Angel. Xander was my best friend."

"Oh. The one who brought you back to life?"

"Wait… who told you that?"

"Anne." Gunn replied.


"I was bored, called by your place asked a couple of questions about your sweeties and… she comes out with all sorts of unfiltered crap. I only catch a couple of things, about Xander, some Todd guy and the oh-so-great Angel."

"You mean Scott. Not Todd."

"Whatever. So doll face is leaving down for good?"

"Not for good, but I won't live here anymore."

"You'll come back and see us?" Gunn asked.

"Sure. You were a great friend."

"Don't go soft on me Slay Gal, it'll make me look wimpy."

"See ya around, Charles Abraham Gunn."

"I was severely pissed when I told ya that."  

"Liar." She began to walk away. Soon it would be the walk from her job, her apartment and Los Angeles.  

L.A. bus depot, Los Angeles, Saturday 4:43PM

She hugged Anne, "I'll call ya."

"You better. Or I'll hunt you down and kill you. Not literally." Anne hugged Buffy, briefly, before Buffy turned and caught the bus to Sunnydale, with her small duffel bag, which had all her belongings in.

"I'll miss you." Buffy whispered.

Anne walked away from her, tears running down her face. "God, Buffy. Don't leave." But the bus had pulled away. Anne peaked at the next bus leaving for Sunnydale. Next one was Monday at 8AM, the one she was going to catch.

Buffy waved at Anne until she was a small dot far away in the distance. She stared at her bag, before falling asleep. She was awoken by the bus driver's bored-sounding voice, "SUNNYDALE LAST STOP." She found that it was only she and the bus driver.

She got off the bus, deciding to go to Giles's to find the 'what'.

It was dark, so she pulled out her stake and continued her way down the street to Giles's.

Giles's Apartment, Sunnydale, Saturday 8:54PM

She knocked on the door, almost shy to go in. "Hey, what's the what?"

"Buffy!" Giles exclaimed, "My god."

"H-hey B-Buffy." A girl stuttered.

Willow had fainted. Oz looked stoic. A slut looked unimpressed.

"You must be Buffy." She said in a Bosnian accent that sounded slightly mixed-up in a way that showed she never stayed in one place too long, "I'm Faith."

Xander was the only one of her close friends who didn't look surprised, Giles looked at him, "You knew." He said, "You knew she was coming back and you didn't tell us."

Xander shrugged, "I knew she'd like to surprise you."

"Why is she back?" The nervous girl asked, "You said she'd never come back."

"Why? Why? Duh, apocalypse…" Everyone looked blank, except Xander, who had a grin on his face. "There isn't an apocalypse is there?"

"Well… two." Giles said, "We averted them both, however. Narrowly, if it weren't for Faith, Willow and Xander we'd all be dead."

"You… managed to save the world without me?" Buffy asked, almost meekly.

"The world somehow managed to go on." Xander said, melodramatically.

"Is mom really d-dead?" Buffy enquired, very nervously, hoping Xander had lied about this too.

"I'm sorry but… yes." Giles replied. "She died in the crossfire of the Mayor… ascending. As did many of your classmates."

"And Buffy could have stopped it." Xander added, and there was a silent agreement.

"But y-you guys did stop millions of people from dying."

Xander tilted his head, "But you could have stopped hundreds more from dying. But you left us, and let us deal with your shit. Well… you're not wanted for murder anymore, Angel is back and he went to L.A. with Cordelia, who dumped me because and I quote 'I was too busy mooning over my precious Buffy' to lavish all my attention on the Queen Bitch of Hooker Wear, umm…your mom would have accepted you back into her house, you know? If you hadn't ran away she wouldn't be dead. She'd be alive, smiling, to see you alive."

Buffy began to cry. Willow was still unconscious, though the nervous girl was fanning her back into consciousness, Giles looked calm and collected though something in his eyes said his body language was lying, Faith, the new slayer, looked bored… Xander, almost instinctively hugged her, comforted her until her sobs were becoming less. After around a half-hour of crying, Buffy stopped, Xander let go of her. Willow walked to the dorm she shared with the 'Roomy from hell'. Buffy left after Willow.  

Buffy heard Giles and Xander talking as she followed Willow, "Are you trying to let her think we've forgiven her?" Giles asked.

"No. But she was crying her eyes out; I couldn't… leave her there. I told you how I feel about her… I don't want to, but I do. And I know you… love her like a daughter."

"She left us for a year and a half, Xander!" Giles exclaimed, "She c-can't love us that much."

"But, Giles, she came back." Giles sighed and rubbed his glasses, "Okay, a little late… and got loads of people killed but…"

"Stop defending her!" Giles screamed, "She left us, got lots of people killed… Joyce killed…" Xander was slightly frightened he was going to rub his glasses in to oblivion, "And nearly us all."

"Giles… me, Willow, goddamn even Cordelia chose to fight for the forces of good… we knew long lives weren't on the cards but we fight. Buffy took off on a get-over-herself mission and we… dealt."

"Yes, we really 'dealt' Xander."

"Giles we saved billions of lives!" Xander reminded him, "What would you have rather saved hundreds or billions?"

"Xander its not bloody maths! This is people's lives we talking about."  

"We saved the world Giles." Giles knew from his tone it was the end of the discussion. "C'mon Faith."

They walked home in near silence, "You love her don't you?"


"That Buffy girl. The other slayer, you love her."

"I don't wanna discuss this with my current love life with my ex thanks, F."

"Come on X, admit it. You lo-ve her, you want to snog her, you want to fuck her!"

"Snog?" Xander said, his eyebrow rising.

"It means 'kiss' Xan, and the song? Rachel taught me it before she… died." Xander opened his mouth, "Anyway stop changing the subject… do you love her?"

"I did." Xander admitted, "Don't tell anyone or I'll rip your lips off."

"Then what will I kiss you with?" Faith asked innocently.

"You wouldn't be kissing me anyway. You dumped me remember?"

"'Cause we had sex once in three months. And I'm very sexually active."

"Why do you think we only had it once?" Xander asked.

Faith rolled her eyes, "Xan… I believe you told me… in a very loud voice before I physically threw you outta my room."

"I don't wanna talk about this, Faith." Xander insisted.

"Okay… whatever. Let's talk about Buffy."

Xander inhaled, "Okay, let's talk about you physically throwing me out of your room."

Six months ago, Faith's Apartment, Thursday, 9:45

"Okay… Xander. I'm sick of this shit." Faith said, "You're not all here."

"I already knew that, sweetheart."

"I meant in this relationship. This is my first good relationship, Xander… the only one that lasted more than a night." Faith sighed, "It's like you're in love with another girl… you're not cheating on me are you?"

"No, Faith."

"You are… with that Willow. That 'shy and innocent' act is pure bull ain't it?" Faith asked, "What does that get you going?"

"No. I'm not cheating on you with Willow or anyone else… it's just…" Xander sat on the cheap bed, "I don't know, okay? I guess I'm guilty for the deaths of three quarters of my class and I miss Buffy…"

"That's it ain't it?" Faith enquired, poking him in the chest, "That Buffy girl… you love her?"

"Of course I love her. She was my best friend before she ran away."

"I meant 'in love' with her."

"No." Xander denied.


Xander flushed, "Do you wanna know why we've only had sex once? Because I… I… can't keep up with you, Faith."

"So that's it, huh?" Faith asked, "I'm too active. So you… suddenly decide… hey, I don't want this relationship, it's not that Buffy chick?" Xander shook his head. Faith then picked him up and pushed him out of the door, "Don't come back. Ever." Then once he was out of the way, Faith broke down crying.

Now, Streets of Sunnydale, Saturday, 9:22PM

"You cried?" Xander asked, thoroughly amused.

"I… I… I…" Faith stuttered, blushing, uncharacteristically, "I lo… really liked you… had respect for you and you were my first real relationship and when we broke up… it kinda hurt." Xander looked surprised, "but I'm so over you now, it's like you never existed in my romantic life." Xander's ego soon deflated.

Xander and Faith went their separate ways eventually. "Hey." A girl said from behind him, he twirled around with his stake in his hand. "Don't worry I don't bite." Buffy gave a small smile.

He didn't lower the stake. "You can put that down now." She said.

He withdrew the stake, "How long have you been following me?"

"Long enough."

"Don't go cryptic on me, stranger."

"Long enough to hear you and Faith talking." She finished.  

"Keep out of my business Buffy." Xander told her, "I may have missed you… but that doesn't mean I forgive you. I mean I get why you ran away. I probably would have if I'd had to kill a person I loved, but what I don't get is why you stayed away for nearly two years!"

"I wasn't ready. I knew you'd hate me." Buffy whispered, tears in her eyes.

"I don't hate you, I hate what you did and I hate the deaths of those students you could have prevented. But I could never actually hate you. And neither can Willow or even Giles. Giles will be hardest Buffy. You really screwed him up. You screwed us all up. But Giles is really angry. He nearly polished his glasses out of the rim."

"I missed you." Buffy said, smiling.

"I missed you too." They hugged.

Nearby, Same Day, Same Time

"Is she the one?" A British male voice asked.

"Yes, she's the one." A British female voice answered.

"And is he the one?" The male asked.

"I'm… not sure." The female hesitated, "I think so. But I'm not certain. Do nothing until we are certain."

The male nodded, "Yes. We will do nothing." He wasn't sure he could do nothing, but he was going to try.

Now, Streets of Sunnydale, Saturday, 9:22PM

"Where's Willow?" Xander asked.

"With that girl… Lara."

"Tara." Xander corrected.

"Are they… I don't know… a couple?"

Xander nodded, "Oz is still in Sunnydale but he just sorta hangs with me and Willow alternatively, he doesn't come to the meeting anymore… he can't stand to see his girlfriend in love with another person."

"Who is…female?"

"Yes, Willow is bi." Xander explained. "She gave up on men, deciding they were scum."

Buffy's eyes widened, "She doesn't feel anything for me does she?"

Xander rolled his eyes, "No. I think Willow will be able to resist your irresistible charms." He said, overdramatically, with his hands crossed over his chest.

"So… w-where do I live?" Buffy asked.

"Still at your mom's… you inherited it."      

"Cool… um so how do I pay for it?"

"Get a job?" Xander suggested, "It might be good to rent it too."

"God, I miss her." Buffy whispered, "Why did I have to leave? If I'd dealt like a normal teenager…" She started to cry again, "Mom…"

Xander held her up, once more. My White Knight, Buffy thought, though she was not sure where the thought came from.

"I miss her too, Buff."

"But you barely knew her…"

"No, when you left I barely knew her… we all got to know her. A little too well, enough that she would get herself killed." Xander said, his voice getting quieter, as he tried to swallow back tears, "Especially me, I went to see her everyday after school."

"I bet she appreciated it." Buffy murmured.

"Her shopping bill didn't." Xander grinned, "I ate her cupboard out. She always complained but had a smile on her face… she kinda reminded me of you. Only more mature."

Buffy felt even more guilty, "I-I want to go home."

"Are you sure?" Xander asked, "I mean everything's the same, except your bedroom that uh… went through some minor changes."

Buffy glared, "What did you do?"

Xander blinked, innocently. "Nothing, miss. I didn't do anything."

"If my room is not mine I will kill you."

"How could you survive without your precious Xander?"

"I think I'll live on." Buffy said, sarcastically.

Xander smiled. He finally had his Buffy back… and she… even though she didn't know it… had her Xander back.

Nearby, Same Day, Same Time

"Can we go now?" The British male asked, like a child.

"No." The female whispered, shushing him, "I think he may be the one."

"May? How can we be sure?" The British man asked.

"Listen. He'll forgive. He'll at least accept her back into his heart." The female replied. "Yes. Yes. He is. He is the Slayer's one. The Slayer's one and only."

"Should we tell her?" The British Man said, stepping out of the shadows. It was Giles…