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On Your Own, Part One is the sixth issue of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine comic book series. Written by Andrew Chambliss and illustrated by Georges Jeanty, it was originally published on February 8, 2012 by Dark Horse Comics.


The uptick in the zompire population has the SFPD on Buffy's trail again — but this time, they need her assistance. However, Detective Dowling must settle for a little help from the bleached-blond vampire Spike, as Buffy has become distracted by a rather personal problem that will lead her to Robin Wood.

  • New two-issue arc!
  • Executive produced by Joss Whedon!
  • New regular cover artist Phil Noto (Wolverine and Jubilee).[1]


In New York, 1973, Nikki is fighting a vampire. She's weak and the vampire is ready to kill her. The vampire recognizes she's under the effect of sedatives, but he also smells in her blood that Nikki is pregnant. He threatens both Nikki and her baby, which angers her so she stakes him. Nikki's watcher, Bernard Crowley, goes to her and tells her that she shouldn't have done the Tento di Cruciamentum. Nikki answers that the mission is important and all Slayers do it on their 18th birthdays, so she shouldn't be an exception just because she's pregnant. She says that the vampire threatened her baby and that gave her the strength to fight back, but she's still unsure with what she'll do with her pregnancy.

In San Francisco, present time, Buffy is with her sister talking to her and telling her the news. Buffy has no idea who the father is, but Dawn asks her to narrow it down by giving the list of the potential fathers. The problem is that list has everybody who was at Buffy's housewarming party. Dawn believes that maybe it wasn't that night, but Buffy is clear about it: she hasn't had any non-slayer action lately, so she got pregnant when she blacked out. Dawn tells her she understands that people do stupid things while getting drunk, such as Dawn herself ended up a giant, a centaur, and a doll. She asks her sister if she remembers being alone with someone at the party, so Buffy tells her about being with Riley who is married, Andrew who she can't be sure why she even thought about his name, Root who doesn't shower, Tumble who showers infrequently, the neighbor whose name she couldn't remember, and Spike. Dawn is very surprised when she hears Spike's name, but Buffy explains that, with the Seed of Wonder now broken, it could be possible that every vampire rule is being rewritten. Buffy then recognizes that those are only the guys she knew at the party, so she understands that she is on her own. Dawn reminds her that she has her and Xander. This reminds Buffy of Willow, but Dawn says that her mobile was disconnected last time she tried to call her. Dawn offers to stay with her and miss her courses until they figure it out, but Buffy has another plan and she made a call.

Dowling is at the embarcadero waiting for Spike, who arrives with his spaceship. Surprised, Dowling says he has a lot to learn about vampires, but Spike tells him that not all vampires have a spaceship.

Back to 1973, Crowley asks Nikki about the father, telling her that maybe the father can raise the baby. Nikki says that she sees a lot of bad stuff and, when she blows off steam, she doesn't ask for names. She tells Crowley that the baby gave her strength to fight the vampire when she was powerless, so maybe the baby could be her reason of fighting. Crowley tells her that, if she puts that burden on the child, it would always blame her.

In present time, Robin Wood is talking to Buffy in a coffee shop. He says he doesn't have an easy answer to give her. Buffy wants to know what it was like to grow up and have a Slayer as a mom, so Robin tells her. He knew about demons and vampires when other children of his age believed in the tooth-fairy. He was closer to Crowley than he was to his own mother. And, if he was lucky, she'd take him to patrols, or else he had to wait for her to return, if she would return again. Waiting for her was hard and it always took longer than he expected, but she always came back, until the night she didn't. Buffy concludes what she has to do, understanding that Robin grew up resenting his mother for what she did to him. Robin then reminds Buffy that he's alive and talking to her because Nikki decided to have him. He believes that Buffy should consider giving birth to the baby.

Back in time, Nikki is fighting vampires, slaying most of them but one. Her watcher arrives to help her and stakes the last one after it almost kills her. Two more vampires attack, each of them getting dusted by Nikki and her watcher. It's the first time that Crowley follows her to patrol, because she's pregnant. He says that he has trained himself so he could help her, but he can't believe that she went out to patrol. He has rented her a cabin to stay there, but, for Nikki, only the mission mattered. Nikki worries that the Watchers Council will find out about her pregnancy when there will be nobody to fight the vampires. Crowley assures her that he'll cover for her until the baby is born and that the Council will never know about the baby until Nikki decides to give him to a family so they can grow up safely.

Back to the present, Dowling obliges Spike to wear a bullet-proof vest, following the department's policy. Dowling wants to know how to dust vampires, expecting to find a nest so he can practice. Spike tells him he's not even close of being ready to even see a nest, so he suggests waiting for something nasty to come to feed and then they'll attack. Dowling, unable to dust a vampire and wanting to know more, asks Spike how a vampire is a Slayer's friend. Spike summarize their story: he wanted to kill her, he failed, he had the chip, he had a thing with the Buffybot, a thing with the real Buffy, then he got his soul, and they went separate ways. Dowling asks him if they still have something going on, to which Spike replies that Buffy only goes to him when she wants something dark. He wonders if Dowling fancies her, saying there's nothing he would love more than seeing her with a guy who had no idea about what's going on during nights. Dowling believes that dating a cop is not the best thing, because of the many things he has seen. Spike informs him that he has seen nothing compared to Buffy, Dowling is probably the one that wouldn't be able to handle it.

Walking from the coffee shop, Buffy wonders how come Nikki didn't give Robin up for adoption, so he explains that Nikki put up walls with everyone she came to contact with. After he was born, Nikki couldn't stay with a guy for more than two weeks. It would have killed Nikki to stay away from Robin, but all she had to do was stay away from slaying.

At the hospital, Nikki has just given birth to Robin. She tells Crowley that she doesn't want to go back to slaying. Crowley promises her that he'll deal with the Council. He mentions that she has been a Slayer for three years and most Slayers don't last half that long, that she's killed countless vampires and saved thousands, so he believes she now should walk away for her son. Crowley gives Nikki new passports and tickets to take Robin and go away. She tells her baby they'll be a family.

Robin tells Buffy that Nikki lived with him in South America and in Mexico, but only for a year or so, until she went back to New York. He explains she couldn't stay away from slaying and continued to patrol until the night she died, some time passed before Robin realized why: Nikki was the Chosen One, she couldn't ignore her calling no matter how hard she tried. But Robin tells Buffy she isn't his mother and has done things that Nikki hadn't: saved the world many times, raised Dawn when her mother died, and led an army, so he believes Buffy could raise the baby. He adds that a big difference between her and Nikki is that Buffy lets people help her. Before saying goodbye, Robin gives her a final advice to not do it alone if she decides to have the baby. Buffy promises not to.

Spike sees that Buffy sent him a text so he wants to go to her, asking Dowling to drive him. Dowling finds the chance to tell him to talk to Buffy about his feelings, before she gets too old and it's too late for them. He understands that Spike isn't over her, which Spike tries to deny telling him that he's been over her since they "brought down a house." Dowling says he's a cop and he understands people, knowing that the only reason Spike doesn't admit his feelings is that he's too scared of hurting her. He reminds Spike that Buffy is a big girl and she can handle anything.

Spike goes to Buffy's place and finds her by the pool. She asks him how are things with Dowling, so Spike states he's a nice guy but also nosy. Spike begins to say he has something to tell her, but Buffy interrupts wanting to start talking first before her words disappear. She tells him she wants to do something very hard and asks for his help. Spike promises her anything she needs. Buffy tells him she's going to have an abortion. She explains she thought that she could do what Nikki couldn't, that she could walk away from slaying, that she had everything that Nikki hadn't: Dawn, Willow, Xander, and Spike. She reveals that she was ready to ask Spike to run away with her, but she's not ready for a baby yet. She considers herself the best in slaying, but, when it comes to real life, she wasn't: she can't hold on to a job, her roommates are ready to kick her out, she can't control alcohol and the proof of that is that she got pregnant and she can't even remember the daddy. She concludes that the problem is not the slaying, but herself. Tearing up, she asks Spike to go with her to have an abortion and to be there next to her. Standing up, Spike gives her his hand and agrees.


  • Flashbacks of Nikki Wood reveals that she was pregnant during her Cruciamentum. Buffy herself had her Cruciamentum on her 18th birthday in "Helpless."
  • Buffy makes several references to her housewarming party when she "blacked out" in Freefall, Part One, leading her to believe she became pregnant then.
  • Dawn references her one-night stand with her ex-boyfriend's friend (Anywhere but Here) and all the transformations she went through, from being a giant (The Long Way Home, Part One), a centaur (Time of Your Life), and a living doll (Living Doll).
  • Buffy asks Dawn if Willow is available, Dawn mentioning that Willow's cell phone was disconnected. This was likely because of her adventure in Quor'toth in Family Reunion.
  • Buffy explains that Spike could be a possible father because "all the vampire rules were being rewritten" since her destruction of the Seed in Last Gleaming, Part Four, a reference to the rise of zompires.
  • Crowley uses the same type of metal arm guard and brass knuckles to fight vampires that Robin later wore in his fight against Spike in "Lies My Parents Told Me," having raised and trained Robin. 
  • Spike recaps his relationship with Buffy throughout the series: he tried to kill her but failed ("School Hard," "What's My Line? Part Two", "The Harsh Light of Day"), got a chip implanted in his head that prevented him from doing so ("The Initiative"), had a thing with a robot Buffy ("Intervention"), had a thing with the real Buffy ("Once More, with Feeling" to "As You Were"), received his soul ("Grave"), and they went their separate ways ("Chosen").
  • Spike claims to Dowling that Buffy only went to him when she "needed dark." Buffy herself would label Spike her "dark place" while she daydreamed in Last Gleaming, Part One.
  • Spike openly pushes Dowling to date Buffy because he was "normal," proving his words about wanting a normal life for her in Freefall, Part Four.
  • When Spike questions if Dowling liked Buffy, he didn't deny it, saying instead that she shouldn't date a cop. He'll confirm his feelings for Buffy in Welcome to the Team, Part One.
  • Spike replies: "I've been over Buffy since the night we first brought down a house," a reference to when Buffy and Spike first slept together in "Smashed," literally bringing down the house they were in.



Organizations and titles[]





Death count[]

  • Four vampires, staked by Nikki Wood (in flashbacks).
  • Two vampires, staked by Bernard Crowley (in flashbacks).

Behind the scenes[]


  • Georges Jeanty's alternate cover is a homage to The Tomb of Dracula #10 (1973) by Gene Colan, the comic issue known for the first appearance of Blade the vampire slayer.
  • The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center are visible in the skyline during Nikki's Cruciamentum in 1973, having opened in April of that year.
  • Dowling and Spike meet by the sign of the Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood.
  • Buffy and Robin meet at the historical bar Vesuvio Cafe. They walk through Columbus Avenue and pass by Caffe Greco.
  • Nikki and Crowley patrol by the Washington Square Arch.


  • On Your Own, Part One was the 68th best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 29,878 sales in February 2012 at comic specialty stores.[2]


Pop culture references[]



Cover artwork[]



Buffy: "Remember how many guys were at my house-warming party?"
Dawn: "I remember the cops tried to shut it down because the party got too crowded."
Buffy: "The list is just as crowded."
Crowley: "If you go through with this... you're only going to hurt that child."
Nikki: "Maybe. But you saw what I did today when that vamp threatened my baby. I dug down deep and fought back. The baby could be my reason to fight."
Crowley: "If you put that burden on a child, Nikki... he will blame you for the rest of his life."
Robin: "Right in front of me, Buffy. You aren't my mother. You've done things she never could. You've saved the world more times than I can count. And you raised your sister while doing it. Then you led an arm of slayers. That's why I think you can have this baby. The difference between you and Nikki is... when things get tough, you let people help. So if you decide to have that baby... don't do it by yourself."
Dowling: "You aren't over her."
Spike: "I've been over Buffy since the night we first brought down a house."
Dowling: "I'm a cop. I read people. And the only reason you won't tell her how you feel is because you're afraid you might hurt her. But, like you said, Buffy's a big girl. She can handle whatever you throw at her."
Buffy: "Robin told me how Nikki tried to run away from slaying after he was born. And I thought I could do what she couldn't. I thought I had everything Nikki didn't. Dawn, Xander, Willow... you. I was ready to ask you to run away with me. But then I realized... I'm barely able to hold on to a job. I live with roommates who are about to kick me out. And I can't even hold my alcohol well enough to remember who got me pregnant. I can handle the slayer stuff. I can do what Nikki couldn't. But everything else? I'm not ready. At least not now. It's not the slaying. It's me."