Authors: 2writers4spike aka mabel_marsters & dawnofme
Warning: Mentions of Spike with others.
Betas: seapealsh & slaymesoftly. Thank you so much!
Anticipation: a: a prior action that takes into account or forestalls a later action b: the act of looking forward ; especially : pleasurable expectation
Summary: Having no idea how it happened, Spike finds himself back in 1977, reeling from a newly acquired soul and more guilt than most could handle. After dodging Drusilla, his main focus is getting back to his own time and back to Buffy in Sunnydale so that he can atone for all he's done. That is, until he sees the newly born slayer in 1981 and goes off in a new direction. Can he stop the events that brought misery to Buffy's life, or will he be forced to watch destiny destroy the woman he loves all over again?
Disclaimer: We own no part of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel the Series. We write this purely for fun and not financial gain. No infringement of copyright intended.
banner by dawnofme
The DeSoto screeched to a halt in front of the ‘Welcome to Sunnydale’ sign. Spike chuckled as he remembered the time that he’d knocked it down. He’d returned after Dru had cheated on him in Brazil. Drusilla. His laughter died away. Closing his eyes against the pang that remembering her gave, he sighed deeply. She’d been threatening Buffy, but he’d never meant to kill her – not really.
Spike threw the car door open and got out. The night was warm and when he looked up, the stars were bright in the sky. And all’s well in the world… Yeah, right! His lip curled into a sneer at the thought. The Slayer was now in Sunnydale. Home of the Hellmouth, and a place that had given the two of them plenty of unpleasant times in the past. His past – her future.
“You won’t kick my arse this time, Sunnyhell,” growled Spike.
Glancing around, he decided that he’d go to the Bronze. He could use a drink or three and was fairly certain that Buffy would show up there. The first couple of days at school were over and she’d probably be out trying to make friends; trying to fit in. If not, he’d call by her new home later. Although he would have been happier if he’d somehow managed to keep Buffy away from the Hellmouth, Spike couldn’t help but smile. Nothing he could have done would have prevented her from being kicked out of Hemery. Burning down the gym! He had to admit it – even as young as she was, Buffy had style.
Spike pushed the door open and winced at the volume of the music. Shite, I must be getting old – thinking it’s too loud. Spike grinned. He couldn’t help it. He was back on his old stomping ground and this time he’d be one step ahead of any action. A quick glance around told him that tall, dark and brooding wasn’t here. Spike knew that Angel and Buffy had finally met when she’d first arrived in Sunnydale, and he wondered if the old git had spoken to her yet.
Walking up to the bar, he spotted Red. Willow was sitting at a table with a dark haired boy, who had his back to Spike. That must be Harris, so where’s Buffy?
“Ow! Watch where you’re going!”
Spike stopped dead, turning his head away from the baby Scoobies, he stifled a gasp at the sight before him. Buffy! And a Buffy currently wearing the drinks that she’d been carrying. Bollocks!
“Um…sorry, love,” he muttered, unable to meet her eye. He threw a couple of bills on the bar counter. “Er…that’ll pay for some more.”
Then he turned on his heel and walked away as quickly as he could without actually running. Buffy frowned as she stared after the departing figure. She shivered as her slayer senses tingled. A vampire was nearby. She closed her eyes and concentrated. When she opened them, she spotted the vamp walking out of the club with his arm around a girl’s waist.
Oh, no you don’t. With a sigh, Buffy put the empty glasses on the bar, scooped up the dollar bills that that weirdo klutz had left, and followed the couple. As if talking to that librarian, watcher or whatever wasn’t bad enough. Now on a night out with what might actually turn out to be friends, she had to go and get with the slayage. Suck much? She meant her life, but had to giggle. The vampire wouldn’t be sucking on anything ever again after she’d gotten her hands on it.
“Be back soon,” she called out to Willow and Xander.
They stared after her as she jogged to the exit.
Willow and Xander weren’t the only ones who watched her leave. Spike thanked whatever gods looked after souled vampires when Buffy failed to pick up on what he was. Her senses were probably going into overdrive in the Bronze, as he’d already picked out at least five vampires in there - not counting himself.
He got to the alley and found a dark corner to stand in while he watched Buffy fight. Her technique was still a little raw in places but she was in total control of the situation. Spike almost felt sorry for the vamp; he didn’t stand a chance. Out of the corner of his eye – just as Buffy pulled a stake from inside her jacket – Spike noticed Willow and Xander running out of the club. So that’s how they find out she’s the Slayer. They stopped short when they saw their new friend locked in hand-to-hand combat.
Xander took two steps forward. “Hey, get off her, you big meathead!”
The vampire growled and took his eyes off the Slayer for a second to glare at the boy. Xander’s eyes widened when he saw the blazing amber eyes and the fangs. Buffy took advantage and rammed the stake into the vampire’s heart. She turned to face Willow and Xander before the dust even had chance to settle.
“Hey, guys,” said Buffy too brightly, as she dusted herself off.
Xander pointed to where the vampire had been. He’d heard her talking to Mr. Giles, the new librarian, earlier. Crazy talk, he’d thought at the time. But now he wasn’t so sure.
Buffy smiled sweetly, well aware that he was too shocked to take it in. There goes my social life. She liked Willow and Xander and had hoped that they would become friends. Guess not. “Just forget what you saw, okay? Trust me – it’ll be better if you do.” She turned and began to walk away.
“Buffy,” Willow called out. “Don’t go.”
Buffy heard the sound of running feet and soon she had Willow on her left side and Xander on her right. She stood still.
“Look, I’m really sorry, but I can’t talk about it. You could end up getting hurt.”
“I heard you talking with Mr. Giles,” said Xander, staring at her intently. “Is it true?”
Buffy rolled her eyes. Was her life ever going to get any simpler? She’d hoped that by coming to a new school that she’d have a chance to be normal, like she was before Merrick had turned up.
“Please, talk to us, Buffy,” said Willow in a small voice.
Buffy could see that the shy redhead was shaking and not with cold. Torn between keeping her calling a secret and finally having someone that she could talk to about all the craziness in her life, Buffy found herself suggesting that they try to find a quiet corner in the Bronze.
“I’ll tell you everything that I can.”
“Like why that big guy went poof?” asked Willow, her eyes huge.
Buffy smiled and took her arm. “Yes, things just like that. But you might not want to be my friend once you know all about me.”
“We’ll always want to be your friends,” Xander said, a blush coloring his cheeks.
“Don’t bet on it,” replied Buffy dryly.
Spike smiled as he watched the three kids go back into the club. The fact that from now on she would have a close circle of friends, not to mention old Giles looking out for her, was one of the reasons why Buffy became such a successful slayer. He doubted that any slayer before her had the luxury of true friends. For a moment, he envied the boy and girl that she’d walked away with. What he wouldn’t give to be a real part of her life, but the time wasn’t right, not yet.
He strolled back into the club and settled himself on a stool at the bar where he could see Buffy’s profile as she talked to her friends. Nursing the measure of Jack that he’d bought, he allowed himself the luxury of drinking her in.
Willow and Xander had taken all that Buffy had told them better than she’d thought they would. Maybe, having been born on the Hellmouth, they had known on a subliminal level what was going on around them every night. Although, Willow did keep glancing at people nervously when they passed by, and didn’t look like standing was an option just yet. Buffy was glad when the conversation returned to more ‘normal’ topics like which teachers were the most strict.
“Hey,” Willow said, nudging Buffy in the ribs. “There’s a hottie, totally checking you out.”
“A what?” asked Xander in horror, seeing his dream of dating Buffy go up in smoke before he’d even had a chance to do anything about it.
Both girls giggled at him and then Buffy turned to glance in the direction that Willow had indicated with a nod of her head.
“Oh, it’s him,” said Buffy.
“You know him?” asked Xander, looking at the man at the bar through narrowed eyes. “Looks a bit old for you.”
“He’s the one who knocked our drinks over me, earlier,” replied Buffy. She met the man’s eyes for a moment before he looked away. “He seemed kinda weird.”
“Turn to dust weird?” asked Willow nervously. She couldn’t get the fact that vampires were real and could look human out of her mind. What if Xander is a vampire? She shook her head. Don’t be dumb – he can go out in the sunlight!
“Hmm…I’m not sure,” said Buffy, looking back at Willow and squeezing her hand. She had a vague feeling that she’d seen him before. The bleached hair and the long black coat were hardly inconspicuous. But if she had seen him, then it was back in L.A., so what was he doing here? She started to rise from her seat but when she glanced at the bar, the white haired man had gone. A quick scan of the club produced no sign of him and so she sat back down and filed him away in the ‘look into it later’ part of her brain.
Spike left Buffy to walk home with her friends. Wandering the streets reminiscing of Sunnydale times past, he was pulled from his thoughts by a voice calling out his name.
He rolled his eyes. “I knew you’d be around here somewhere.”
To his left, Angel walked out of the shadows. “What are you doing here?” he asked harshly, stepping in close to Spike.
Spike sneered, leaned against a wall and lit a cigarette. “Could ask you the same thing, Peaches.” He blew smoke in Angel’s face purely because it would piss him off, and chuckled as the big git wafted his hand back and forth to disperse it. “Told you back in L.A., you’re not needed. The Slayer doesn’t need you – not while I’ve got her back.”
“It’s you she doesn’t need,” growled Angel, letting his demon show and baring his fangs.
Spike tossed his cigarette to the floor and pushed Angel away with both hands. “Piss off,” he growled, fangs glinting in the moonlight. “Least I’ll keep her safe.”
“I’ll keep her safe,” roared Angel.
Spike grinned and easily sidestepped his grandsire’s wild punch. “Careful, Gramps, you might pull something.”
“Oh, save it,” snapped Spike. “I can’t even be bothered to fight you. Just don’t get in my way…or the Slayer’s.” He turned on his heel and strode away.
Angel opened his mouth to warn Spike that the Master was ascending but decided against it. Buffy didn’t need Spike getting in the way and screwing things up for her. Spike always screwed things up. Angel decided to tell Buffy soon.
Once he’d stomped away from Angel, Spike’s feet took him inevitably to 1630 Revello Drive. The light was on in the bedroom at the front of the house. Spike walked over to a large tree to the side of the house.
“Hello, old friend,” muttered Spike. He smiled a little sadly. “Or should that be new friend, huh?” His days of lurking beside it were, technically, still several years in the future. “Anyway – you’d better be good at keeping secrets ‘cause I’m going to be hanging out here – a lot.”
He pulled out his fags and settled in to watch the house until dawn forced him move on.
Buffy was walking to the Bronze a few days later when she became aware that someone - or rather something – was following her. She stopped and put her hands on her hips.
“I’m so not in the mood for this. Show yourself now!”
Spike grinned. It was a fair cop. Before he could make himself known, Angel stepped up behind Buffy.
“There’s trouble coming and you need to be prepared,” he said, walking closer.
Spike bit back a snarl, but pricked up his ears to listen to what the sod had to say. Was it just him or was old Angel sounding a bit more like a bog-trotter than usual? Piling on the ole accent to impress the pretty girl? Spike ignored the little voice telling him that he often did the same.
“Right,” said Buffy. “And you’re telling me this because…”
“Because you need to know. The Harvest will soon be upon us and you have to stop it,” said Angel, smiling slightly at Buffy and walking around her.
She turned with him, never taking her eyes of him. Spike’s eyes narrowed when he noticed the way that Buffy was looking at Angel. That’s one thing that he would definitely prevent. Angel taking her virginity, getting a little too happy and losing his soul. Angelus could never be allowed back.
“Harvest? Is that it? When is it? What is it?” asked Buffy.
“Your watcher will know. The Master is rising and he must be stopped.”
Angel began to walk away.
“Hang on. Who are you?” Buffy called out.
Angel turned back to face her and smiled. “A friend.”
“Well, I don’t need a friend,” Buffy retorted.
Angel laughed softly. “I never said I was yours.” He twirled back around and disappeared into the shadows.
Spike felt anger burn in him as he watched Buffy. She stood staring after Angel for several minutes. Spike had to hand it to Angel – he was good at turning a bird’s head. Too bloody good. There was no point in talking to Buffy tonight. Angel had mentioned the Master. If the Master was here then his faithful followers would be here.
He stalked away – hunting now. He had to find one of the minions, then he’d know where the Master was. He strode into the oldest graveyard in Sunnydale. If you were seeking out a vampire, then a graveyard was a pretty safe bet.
“Gotcha,” muttered Spike as he saw a vampire, dressed in a gaudy jacket, slip into one of the mausoleums.
Spike followed, cat quiet, behind him. Once inside, he leapt into action, catching the vampire by the back of the neck.
“Word to the wise. If you want to blend in, don’t look like DeBarge." Spike flung the hapless vamp across the room where he crashed into the wall and slid down to the ground. The vampire was on his feet in an instant.
“That right? So how come you look like you should be back in the seventies?” he sneered.
Spike chuckled as he vamped out. “Been there and done that – twice. Never was one to blend in. Like standing out from the crowd.” The vampires began to circle, facing each other, and both seeking an opening for attack. “This…” Spike indicated his clothes with a wave of a hand, “is a statement. Whereas you just look like a ponce.”
With that, he lunged forward, pulled a stake from the pocket of his duster and thrust it into the vampire’s heart.
“Bugger.” Spike groaned as the dust floated in the air. He hadn’t found out where the lair was, but he hadn’t been able to look at that sodding jacket for a second longer.
He decided to call it a night and walked to the crypt where he’d made his home. It was the same one that he’d occupied the first time around. Least it was in better nick now – not blown to smithereens by Buffy and soldier-wanker.
Buffy marched into the library, the doors swinging shut behind her. “Giles? Are you here?” she called. Adding, “Of course you are,” when he popped his head up from behind a pile of books.
“Yes, Buffy, I’m here. What’s wrong?”
“Um…” Buffy stopped when she got close to the table and fiddled with the book at the top of the pile. “Do you know anything about ‘The Harvest’?”
“The Harvest?” Giles frowned. “I’m not sure. How did you come across this piece of information?” Although he didn’t show it, Giles was delighted that she’d come to him. Up to now, his new charge hadn’t been very enthusiastic about her calling.
Buffy turned away. “A guy told me last night on my way to The Bronze.”
“A guy?” asked Giles incredulously? “He just walked up to you and said ‘The Harvest?’”
Buffy glanced at Giles. “Well, it was more like he was lurking about following me, and then I told him to show his face. When he came out of the shadows, he said that The Harvest will soon be upon us and that we need to be prepared. Oh, and he said that you’d know what it is, so why don’t you?”
“Er…I didn’t say that I didn’t know. I just need to do some research,” blustered Giles.
Buffy grinned. It was way too easy to mess with him.
Giles grimaced when he saw Buffy’s expression. The girl just had no respect. “Did this helpful stranger have anything more to say?” he said sternly.
“He did say that the Master was rising.”
“The Master?” Giles dashed to a bookshelf. His fingers ran over the spines of the volumes there until he found the one he needed. He pulled it out and rapidly flicked through its pages. “Aha, here it is…look.” He walked to the table, pulled out a chair and sat down.
Buffy wrinkled up her nose. “Do I have to get with the books? I mean isn’t that like, your job?” She flopped in the chair next to him with a groan.
Giles rolled his eyes. “You need to hear this. How else can we prevent it?”
“Hmm,” huffed Buffy. “What’s with the ‘we’? You know it’s going to be me.”
Giles opened his mouth to retort but breathed a sigh of relief when Willow and Xander walked in. Initially horrified that the two of them knew Buffy’s secret, he was delighted to have found an enthusiastic researcher in Willow.
“Hey, Buff,” said Xander with a wave. “What gives?”
Buffy pouted. “Giles wants me to do research.”
“Man, that bites,” replied Xander.
“Really?” asked Willow, her eyes shining brightly. “Can I help?”
Giles smiled at her warmly. “You most certainly can. Perhaps you could use that infernal machine to check some things out for me.” He pointed to the computer.
The teenagers laughed. “Twentieth Century, Giles. Computers are here to stay,” teased Buffy. “Unlike tweed, which I hope goes out of fashion – oops sorry – it already is.”
“Enough of your lip. This is important,” replied Giles, the light tone of his voice softening the harsh words.
With a collective sigh, they all knuckled down to the work.