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
Strolling though the cemetery one night, Spike saw Buffy and Angel walking along hand in hand. He growled softly. What the girl saw in Captain Forehead he’d never know, but she was young and impressionable. Too young. He waited until the couple had gone their separate ways before catching up with Buffy.
“Hello again,” he said when he got beside her.
“Spike,” said Buffy. “Where’ve you been? I haven’t seen you around for a while.”
“Been busy, you know, with this and that.”
“It’s been quiet since Angel killed the Master’s vessel,” Buffy said, glancing at him.
“What? Angel said he killed the vessel?”
Buffy stood still. “Why? Are you saying that he didn’t?”
“Um…no,” Spike replied. “But I found him first, and I took out the vampire who was with him.”
Buffy chuckled. “Some manly pride being hurt there, Spike? Angel got the main man and you just got the sidekick.”
They began to walk down the street. The silence stretching uncomfortably between them.
“How long have you been watching over me?” asked Buffy quietly.
“Huh?” Spike looked off, unable to meet her eyes.
“You were there, weren’t you?”
“Don’t know what you’re talking about, pet,” said Spike, beginning to increase his pace.
“In the asylum,” called Buffy, standing still. “It was you who told me to lie, wasn’t it?”
Spike stopped but didn’t turn around. He shuddered at the thought of what she’d gone through in there because of him.
“How long have you known me? Since I was called, like Angel?”
He squeezed his eyes shut. “I’m nothing like Angel.”
“That’s not what I meant,” said Buffy.
Spike sighed. “I know, pet. I know.” His voice sounded weary. “All your life,” he added quietly before resuming his walk.
Buffy’s mouth fell open. “But why?”
“Maybe I’ll tell you one day.” He glanced back briefly. “Maybe I won’t. I will tell you one thing though. You should stay away from Angel. He’s not what you think he is.” Spike ducked down an alley and out of sight.
Buffy raced after him and Spike turned around to see her brandishing a stake at him. “I know you’re a vampire! So tell me why I shouldn’t stake you?”
Spike opened his arms wide and smiled lopsidedly at her. “Do your job then, Slayer.”
She hesitated and slowly lowered the stake. “Why is a vampire watching over me?”
“Asked Angel that too, did you?” Spike scowled.
He waited for the shocked expression but to his dismay, she simply shrugged. She was closer to the broody git than he’d thought if she’d already sussed out what he was.
“I know that he’s a vampire,” whispered Buffy.
Closing his eyes, Spike said, “But you hold hands with him – you don’t threaten him with sodding stakes.” Oh, way to go, Spike. Could you sound more like a pathetic, jealous pillock? When he re-opened them, he saw Buffy staring at him incredulously, and so quickly added. “Anyway, like I said before. I’ve got your back.”
“Jesus!” Spike looked to the sky in frustration. “Can’t you just let it bleeding drop?” One glance at her face told him no. “I killed a couple of slayers in my time – maybe I just reckoned it was time to help one?”
Before she could reply, he spun around and ran down the alley lightning fast, vaulting over a chain-link fence and disappearing into the darkness. Buffy stared after him for a time before putting the stake back in her pocket and slowly making her way home.
Buffy gazed at her reflection in wonder. Is that really me? The dress was just perfect, so soft and floaty. The cream complemented her complexion, emphasizing her soft golden tan. Her mom had helped her put her hair up and now all but some loose tendrils were swept away from her face.
Her stomach flipped with excitement. Best of all, Angel had said that he’d meet her there. She frowned as she thought about Spike. He was also a vampire - she knew that now - but she was puzzled about why she couldn’t sense that he was. Her slayer senses were off with regards to Angel, probably due to his soul, but Spike?
She shook her head. No need to think of him now. She was going to Spring Fling. She had a beautiful dress. Her friends would be there. Buffy was also sure that even if she didn’t see him, Spike would be there too. She kind of liked the thought of him watching over her and grinned at her reflection. He was like her security blanket. Several times over the past few weeks, when she’d been in a tight spot, he’d appeared, with his leather coat swirling around as he fought and his white hair gleaming in the moonlight.
He kept trying to convince her to stop dating Angel, growling in frustration when she just ignored the comments and left him standing there each time. When she’d asked Angel about him, he’d looked shifty, but had merely said that they’d known each other a long time. The Watchers’ Diaries had filled her in with the bloody pasts of both her vampiric friends. She hadn’t told Giles about Spike yet. She wasn’t really sure why. Willow and Xander didn’t know that Spike was a vampire.
The doorbell rang and her mom called out to her as she walked to the door.
She took a last look at her reflection, blowing it a kiss, before she ran downstairs to her friends. Only it wasn’t Willow or Xander. It was Giles. A very distressed looking Giles. She halted halfway down.
“Buffy, we need to talk,” he said gravely.
“Do you have overdue library books?” Joyce asked her. “How much do you have to owe for the librarian to call by the house?”
“Mom, please,” said Buffy. “Can I talk to him alone?”
“All right, all right. But any fees are coming out of your allowance, young lady.”
Giles forced a smile at Mrs. Summers. “Since I’m chaperoning tonight, I’ve volunteered to drive some of the pupils to the dance – you never know what’s lurking on the streets.”
“That is very kind of you,” replied Joyce still looking a little bemused. “You do hear some terrible stories.”
They waited until her mom had disappeared into the living room and then they walked into the kitchen. “What’s lurking on the streets? God, Giles, could you be more suspicious? And please don’t tell me that the world is going to end.” Buffy held out the skirt of her dress. “I’m going to Spring Fling and to hell with the world!” She twirled around.
Giles grabbed her arms. “Listen to me! This is serious.”
Buffy pouted. “It better be life or death ‘cause Mom paid a fortune for this dress and—”
“It is,” Giles interrupted. “Only this time…” He swallowed hard. “This time…”
“Giles, what is it? You’re scaring me.”
Giles met her eyes. “Only this time, Buffy, it’s life or death for you.”
“What?” She sat on one of the kitchen stools with a thump. “You’re joking, right? I mean it’s life or death every time I patrol.”
“I’m sorry.” Giles sat down next to her. “There’s a prophecy…”
“What does it say?” Buffy’s eyes began to fill with tears. She knew what he was going to tell her.
“It says that you will die tonight.”
Buffy’s hand flew to her mouth. “No. It’s wrong. It can’t be. I’m only sixteen, Giles. I don’t want to die.”
“You won’t,” said Giles firmly. “Not if I can possibly help it. I think that we’d be better at the library, don’t you? Your mother…”
Buffy stared at him blankly and then gathered her thoughts. “Library. Right. Good. Wait, Willow and Xander…”
“Are on their way there now. I called them and told them to meet us there. I wanted to come to tell you while we were alone. Come on, I’ll drive you there.”
They made their excuses to Buffy’s mom and left for the school.
Angel was running along the streets towards the school when Spike stepped out in front of him.
“Get out of my way, Spike. I don’t have time for this.”
Spike looked him up and down, taking in Angel’s shirt and jeans. “Thought you were taking Buffy to that dance – that Spring whatsit?”
“Fling,” supplied Angel.
Spike snapped his fingers. “That’s it!” He scowled at his grandsire. “I hope you’re not standing her up.”
“Holy crap, will you make up your mind? I thought you didn’t want me to see her.”
“Well, I don’t, but I’ll kill you if you don’t turn up when I know that you said you would.”
“Can it, Spike. Buffy’s in trouble.”
Spike’s whole demeanor changed. “What’s going on?” He grabbed Angel’s arm. “Tell me!”
“It’s the Master.”
“I thought I stopped him getting free,” said Spike.
“I stopped him,” corrected Angel. “Giles found a prophecy. It says that Buffy will die tonight.”
Spike began to shake his head violently. “No, no way. She’s not dying. What else did it say? Did it say how?”
“I’m not sure. That’s why I’m going over to the library, to help Giles and the others find the solution to this. It said something about the Anointed One leading her into Hell.” Angel pushed past Spike and ran on.
Spike let him go. “That’s why she died, you sodding coward. Too much ‘let’s look at the books’ and not enough ‘let’s fucking kill something’.”
He racked his brain trying to remember what Buffy had told him about the night she had died for the first time. Drowned! She drowned. Spike knew where to go. He needed to stop by his crypt for some weapons first. He cursed under his breath as he ran. It just had to be in the farthest cemetery from where the Master’s lair was, didn’t it? Still, Buffy was safe in the library. He had time.
“So that’s it?” said Buffy. “I die tonight. There’s nothing we can do?”
Giles shook his head. “Apart from keeping you here – no, I’ve found nothing that can deny the prophecy.”
“Staying here sounds like a good plan,” said Willow through her tears.
They were all sitting around the large table in the library, apart from Angel who was leaning against the counter.
Buffy shook her head. “I’ve got to go, Will. If I don’t hundreds could die – will die.” She stood up, wiping her wet eyes with the back of her hand. “I knew that being the Slayer meant that my life expectancy sucked, but I had hoped I’d at least graduate high school.” She smiled weakly. “Um…I guess I’ll…”
She couldn’t finish, because she wouldn’t be seeing any of them again. She bit the inside of her lip to keep from crying as Willow and Xander hugged her. Once free from them, she turned to the door only to find herself enveloped in Angel’s arms. She clung to him tightly. “I love you,” she whispered.
“I love you, too.”
She pulled away from him and strode towards the door, picking up a crossbow and bolts on the way.
“Buffy! I’m coming with you,” said Angel, following her.
She whipped around. “No! I need you to promise to keep them safe. If I…if I die, they’ll need you.” She turned and ran out the doors.
A small boy appeared almost immediately. He held out his hand, so she took it and allowed him to lead the way.
Spike’s mouth tightened into a grim line as the entrance to the Master’s lair came into view. I should have killed the bastard weeks ago. Bleeding coward! I’m as bad as sodding Angel. He skidded to a halt when he saw the Slayer and a little boy disappear inside. “No!” he roared, vamping out, legs pounding on the ground as he ran as fast as he could after them.
Although they’d only been a few seconds in front of him, he caught no sign of them as he scrambled his way down the tunnel. “Please don’t let me be too late. I can’t watch her die again.”
Spike rounded a corner and almost knocked over the small boy who had led Buffy there. The Anointed One. With a feral growl Spike grabbed the child’s head and ripped it from his shoulders, before it disintegrated into dust. He wiped his hands on his jeans and moved more cautiously now. The Master was close. He could feel him.
“You are not the hunter. You are the lamb.” The Master’s voice drifted up towards Spike.
“You know, for someone who’s all powerful, you sure know how to hide.”
Buffy! She was still alive. Not much farther and he’d be there.
“I’m waiting for you,” replied the Master. “I want this moment to last.”
“Well, I don’t.” Buffy tried to move away from the Master but she couldn’t. He grasped her neck.
“You’re the one that sets me free.”
She could feel the sharp edges of his teeth on her neck. A solitary tear slid down her face. She’d failed.
“No, I’m the one that sets you free!” said Spike as he stepped behind the Master. “This ends now!”
The ancient vampire turned around, lowering his hand, forcing Buffy to bend almost double, but keeping her securely in his grip. “With one flick of my fingers, I’ll snap her pretty little neck.”
Spike growled and swung the honed blade of the axe with all of his might. He grunted as it hit the Master’s neck, and almost fell over with the momentum as it sliced cleanly through. “For future reference, you ponce. Don’t talk – just do it! Have you never seen the bad guys in the movies? They always talk too much.”
He let go of the axe and fell to his knees next to Buffy. To his relief, she lifted her head and gazed up at him. “Spike. You saved me.” She wrapped her arms around his body and sobbed in earnest.
“Shh, pet. It’s all right. Ole Spike won’t ever let anything hurt you. I promise.”
He held her, rocking her gently in his arms, until her sobs subsided and then helped her to her feet. She kept tight hold of his hand. Spike kicked the severed head a little farther away from the torso, just in case.
“He didn’t dust?” Buffy’s tearstained face looked up at him.
“No. I think his bones need burning or some such. I think we can leave that to your Watcher.”
They were almost at the entrance to the tunnel when Xander and Angel ran up to them.
“She’s all right,” said Angel. “She’s alive.”
“She’s right here,” said Buffy firmly.
Spike chuckled. That’s my girl.
“Spike saved my life. If he hadn’t been there…” Her voice hitched.
Spike squeezed her hand. “Hey. No need to go down that way of thinking, is there? You’re alive and the Master isn’t. That’s all that matters.” With his free hand, he gently stroked her cheek. “Now go and tell your Watcher that he has some bones to destroy.”
The girl had been through enough and he had no intention of introducing himself to Giles tonight. He dropped a chaste kiss on the top of her head and pulled his hand free.
“Take care of her, okay?” He directed this to a shell-shocked looking Xander, rather than Angel, but it was the vampire who replied.
Spike turned right out of the tunnel and jogged into the darkness.