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
Grunting, Buffy shoved at the door to Spike’s crypt. It scraped along the floor and she squeezed through as soon as the gap was wide enough to allow it. She glanced at the still broken hinge and scowled. Spike hadn’t mended it yet. Wiping a hand across her forehead, Buffy walked over to the chair and sat down with a thud.
What’s wrong with me? I feel so weak.
For the past couple of days she’d begun to feel strange – it worried her because Slayers weren’t supposed to get ill. When she’d asked Giles about it he’d just brushed her off with platitudes, but she’d seen him polishing his glasses as she left and that scared her. It was obviously bothering him too, so why didn’t he want to talk about it?
Spike had been conspicuous by his absence since she’d told him that Giles knew of him.
“Spike? Are you here?”
Her voice echoed back at her.
“Spike?” she repeated, quieter this time.
He wasn’t there. Twisting in her seat, she glanced around the crypt. It looked deserted. With a sigh, she heaved herself to her feet and walked to the old refrigerator that Spike had somehow hooked up to the electrical supply grid. As she pulled the door open, the stench of rancid blood was overpowering. Leaning against the wall she bent double and gagged harshly, eyes watering. The fridge was still cold – how long had it been since he’d eaten? Or added to his supply? Ice settled in her stomach that had nothing to do with refrigeration. Spike was gone.
Buffy slid down the wall until her bottom hit the dusty floor, wrapping her arms around her knees and hugging them tightly. Spike had had her back for so long, yet just when she needed him the most he had left her.
Why did I tell him that Giles knew? Is that why he’s gone?
The tears that she refused to let anyone see began to fall. She hated the fact that as soon as she’d begun to feel weak that her first thought had been to seek out Spike. Even more so, she hated the fact that she was so upset when she couldn’t find him.
Spike threw down the pickaxe and tilted his head back. “Yes!” he roared. “I’m through!”
Without the need to worry about the Slayer discovering him, Spike had decided to tunnel down from above to find the hidden tomb containing the Gem of Amara. He hadn’t been able to believe his luck when the place to dig was actually inside another old mausoleum right at the back of the cemetery, concealing him from any prying eyes. Deciding to camp out there until he had the Gem in his possession, Spike set to work with the tools he’d stolen from the groundsmen.
He’d started to dig the night he’d raced out of The Bronze and now, several days later, he was only a matter of feet away from his goal. Rubbing a hand across his face, smearing the dirt already clinging to it, Spike took a deep breath and lowered himself down into the crypt.
As he landed, his feet slipped out from under him and he fell face first on top of a skeleton.
He rolled off onto the floor, dusted himself down and then looked around. Spike fingered the large pendant that was fastened around the neck of the skeleton that he had landed on. Smiling wryly at how he’d originally thought that had been the gem he’d been seeking, he moved around the tomb towards where Harmony had found the real one. It took him a little while to pick it out amongst the numerous other artifacts, but there it was.
“The Gem of sodding Amara! Not gonna lose you this time.”
Slipping it on the middle finger of his right hand, Spike had a real sense of deja-vu when he picked up an ornately carved cross.
“Not so much as a sizzle.” He grinned. “Wait ‘til Buffy sees this!”
His smile faded. The vampire still had to face up to the Watcher and there was no way that old Rupe would be pleased about him being invulnerable.
He shrugged and the smile played on his lips once more. I’ll cross that rickety bridge when I come to it. Glancing down at the ring, he grimaced. “Poncey looking bloody thing.” Spike twisted it around until the stone was palm side and swapped one of his other rings onto that finger also. Now it looked like he had a plain gold band on, nestling next to the silver skull ring.
Satisfied that it was less noticeable, he shoved other rings, chains and precious stones into his pockets, cursing inwardly that he hadn’t thought to bring a bag. Still, he could always come back - no point in leaving all this lovely jewelry here; he’d easily be able to fence it at Willy’s.
Standing on the tomb, Spike managed to haul himself out of the previously hidden vault. He dragged a stone slab across the floor to cover the hole that he had made and then brushed off his hands.
In one corner, there was a pool of light streaming in from where some tiles were missing from the roof. Spike sauntered over to it and lifted his face, feeling the warm rays on his skin.
“A fella could get used to this,” he muttered, revelling in its heat.
His eyes drifted to the doorway. He’d come here under cover of darkness and he’d have to sit on his arse for another four hours or so if he were to leave the same way.
“Bollocks to it.” He’d keep the fact he had the Gem secret but four hours in here with nothing to do but watch dust motes dancing in the shaft of sunlight – what could a vampire do? Just got to get back to the crypt unseen. Not so difficult, surely?
Spike hesitated at the doorway. He knew that he’d be safe from the sun’s lethal rays, he’d worn the ring before after all, but it still felt strange to walk out into the sun. Shaking his head, he refused to let himself dream about how life with Buffy would be different now he could join her in the light. His fingers went to his lips. When he thought of the kiss, they seared as if hers had only just left them.
“Shouldn’t’ve done it, Spike,” he muttered crossly as he stepped outside. But, hell it’s so hard! She was a woman now, not a child. Her eighteenth birthday was just a couple of days away – was the time right to tell her how he felt? Should he tell her his whole story? He glared at the sky. Whatever forces sent him back to the seventies had done him no favours. If they’d sought to punish him then they surely had. Watching the love of his existence grow from a babe in arms, to a gawky kid and then into a beautiful girl that he had no right in loving at all had been torturous – and still was. But if he could go back to that time and be offered the choice – he knew what he’d say. Send me back, so I can keep her safe.
“Oh, I am so fucked,” he sighed and jogged home, anxious not to be noticed.
The door to the crypt stood fractionally open and the hackles went up on the back of his neck. He knew that he’d left it closed tight. Just my sodding luck that some git has decided to move in. Shifting his features, he growled softly. If they’ve nicked my bloody telly I’ll…
Then he caught it. The faintest whiff on the breeze. His face changed back and he moved forwards with a grin. Buffy! She’d been round to see him. Bet she thought old Spike was playing hard to get by not being here. He chuckled at the thought.
Spike pushed his way inside, making a mental note to fix the hinge, and looked around the gloomy interior.
“Buffy? You here, pet?”
He knew the answer almost before the words left his lips. The scent of Buffy was too faint for her to still be there. Raising his chin and sniffing loudly a couple of times, he decided that it had been a day at least. He wondered if she’d looked for him before that. Had she missed him? His stomach growled and he walked over to his fridge, the door was open and he wondered how he’d even managed to notice Buffy’s scent with the rancid blood’s pungent aroma filling the place.
Suddenly bone weary from his exertions and lack of food, Spike leaned back against the wall and rubbed his hand through his hair. A shower of dust and dirt followed the movement of his hand, he stopped thinking about Buffy and decided what he needed was a bloody good shower, change of clothes and plenty of blood. He dug his plunder from his pockets and stashed most of it behind a loose stone in the corner of the crypt. Keeping some back to swap for cash at Willy’s, he was whistling tunelessly as he dropped down into the sewers to go to the bar. Once he’d had his fill of blood he planned on treating himself to a night in Sunnydale’s only decent hotel. The shower he’d managed to rig up at his crypt got him clean, but a stream of cold water wasn’t exactly pleasant to wash in.
Giles watched Buffy walk slowly away with anger building inside. How could the Council still demand this barbaric and often fatal ritual to be held? The most basic of things that a Watcher and Slayer needed was mutual trust and here he was betraying that trust in the worst possible way. He hadn’t even spoken with Jenny about it.
Wearily, he took off his glasses and polished the already spotless lenses. Would his relationship with Jenny even survive when she inevitably found out the secret he had kept from her after so vocally voicing his disgust that she’d kept the details of Angel’s curse to herself?
He put his glasses back on, grabbed his jacket from the back of the chair and rushed out of the library. Giles knew what he had to do – tell Quentin that he would have no part of the Cruciamentum and then find Buffy and confess.
Sauntering down the street with a bellyful of the best otter blood that Willy had to offer and his pockets bulging with dollar bills, Spike was feeling pretty damn good. Now all he needed was a bloody good shower, a soft bed and a good night's and most probably next day’s sleep.
His fingers wrapped around the chain that he’d kept back from what he’d fenced at the bar. It was made of plaited strands of gold with a small emerald pendant hanging from it; Buffy’s birthday present.
Wrenched from his reverie by a scream that had him racing towards it, Spike’s legs pounded against the pavement. He hadn’t been able to resist walking to the hotel via Buffy’s house – as always hoping to catch a glimpse of her.
At first he thought the figure being manhandled by an enormous vampire was Buffy, but then he realized it was Joyce.
“Oi, you pillock! Fancy picking on someone your own size?” His eyes blazed amber as he shed his human features.
Both Joyce and her attacker turned to face him. Joyce, seeing yet another vampire, screamed again and managed to wriggle out of the creature’s grasp. On legs that threatened to give out under her, she staggered up the porch steps and into the house, slamming the door shut before sinking to her knees and weeping with shock. She shuddered with each inhuman growl she heard from outside.
The vampire glared at Spike and then at the door to the house. “You’ve just cost me my bait!”
“Bait?” said Spike, brows furrowing. He slowly circled the other vampire, trying to decide how to play the situation.
“Yes, bait,” growled the vampire. “I needed the Slayer’s mother to bring the Slayer to me.”
Bollocks, he knows who Joyce is. He forced a smirk on his face to hide the growing terror that something bad was going down. “Slayer? You?” Spike laughed derisively. “Gimme a break, mate. Take it from one who knows – killing a Slayer’s not easy. They’re smart. She would have seen through your plan of holding her mum hostage, plus it’d seriously piss the bint off. You’d never even feel the stake sink in before you were just floating in the air in a million specks of dust.”
The vampire roared and lunged for Spike, managing to land a good blow to his head before Spike had a chance to move.
“I will kill her! I am Kralik and it is my destiny!”
Spike rolled his eyes. “Well, my destiny is killing some git called Kralik!” He leapt into attack, grunting when his fist hit the larger vampire square in the jaw.
“No! I was brought here to do it – not you. I spent all that time shut in a box and I won’t let you take my glory. I have killed the Council members – their test is ruined!”
“What?” yelled Spike, ducking a wild blow from Kralik. “What test?”
Fury made him even stronger and he sucker punched the vampire in the stomach so hard his hand almost touched the spine. Kralik went down like a stone. Spike threw himself on top of him and pulled out a stake from inside his duster. Pressing it against Kralik’s chest, Spike bent down low and snarled, “What test?”
“Why should I tell you? You’re going to kill me regardless.”
Spike pushed the stake in a little deeper. “Because it can be quick or it can be really, really slow. I’ll only ask once more. What. Fucking. Test!”
“Cruciamentum,” muttered Kralik. “The Slayer’s powers are gone. Let me up and we can share her!”
Kralik took advantage of the shock his words instilled in Spike and pushed the smaller vampire off him. Caught by surprise, the stake flew out of Spike’s hand and fell with a rattle on the sidewalk as Spike did the same. Dazed, Spike was unable to rise before Kralik was on him – their positions switched from moments before.
Kralik pushed the stake into Spike’s chest, just piercing the skin.. “I forgot to say that I don’t like sharing!”
Spike grinned up at him. “That right? Well, I forgot to say that I have the Gem of Amara so go on, mate. Stake me – it won’t kill me!”
Laughing, Kralik threw the stake away and wrapped his hands around Spike’s neck. “I don’t think a little jewel will help you if your head is bouncing on the sidewalk!”
Spike closed his eyes as the vampire began to twist his hands. The irony of being killed by some insane bastard on the same day that he’d gotten the Gem of Amara was just sodding typical of the luck he had. This was it – he was going to have his head ripped off then the bastard would kill Buffy. He struggled frantically but couldn’t dislodge Kralik.
Then the weight on him disappeared and as he opened his eyes, he was blinded by dust. Blinking furiously, he saw Buffy standing over him holding a stake. Spike held the back of his head as he managed to get to his feet.
“Nice timing, pet. But I had it covered.”
He tilted his head and waited for the comeback. It didn’t arrive. To his horror he saw that she was crying. “Hey, what’s wrong? Don’t cry.” Spike gently took the stake from her hand.
“I’ve been looking for you for days. Where were you?” She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. “You said that you had my back – that you’d be there for me, but you weren’t.” Her eyes were wet with unshed tears but it was the anger in them that made them glisten. “There’s something wrong with me and I needed you and you weren’t there.”
Spike caught her as she fainted. “Oh, Buffy. I’m so sorry. I’m here for you now.”
He scooped her up in his arms and carried her to the door, kicking it with his foot since he had no hand free to knock. “Mrs. Summers, open the door, it’s safe. The…man who attacked you has gone. I’ve got your daughter here. She’s ill and needs you.”
Spike heard the bolts sliding back and Joyce’s worried face peered out of the narrow gap that she opened it by.
When she saw her daughter in Spike’s arms, she threw the door wide open and gestured for him to bring her inside. Spike shook his head, not wanting to get an invite into the house in such circumstances.
“Oh,” said Joyce as realization dawned. “You’re the other vampire!” She stared into his blue eyes. “You look so different when you’re not…”
“Yeah, I know,” replied Spike, dropping eye contact.
Buffy stirred and opened her eyes.
Spike was spared explanations when Buffy whispered, “I’m so tired…”
“I know, love. Your mum’s going to take care of you.” He set her down onto her feet, holding her steady until he was sure that her legs would hold her. “I’ll be going then,” he said, nodding his head at Joyce. “Take care of her.”
“Wait!” called Joyce as she stepped onto the porch and put her arm around Buffy. “Who are you? Why are you helping us?”
Spike ignored her and broke into a run.
“Thank you for bringing her home,” Joyce called after him.
Slayer wanted me to see Giles – so she should be pleased that I’m going to! Got to find out what that Kralik meant!
Giles closed the door to his apartment behind him. What an unmitigated disaster. He’d gone to find Quentin and discovered that the vampire had broken free and left a trail of bodies in his wake. Giles’ hand reached for the telephone just as his door was hammered on from outside.
“Oh, good Lord! The creature has found me!”
“Giles, open the sodding door! I know you’re in there. It’s about Buffy,” roared Spike.
He walked towards the door. “What do you know of Buffy? Is she all right?”
“I’m not shouting through a couple of inches of wood. Watcher, open the door!” Spike snapped impatiently. “It’s important.”
Jolted into action by the fact that whoever it was knew what he was, Giles cautiously opened the door. He gasped and stepped back when confronted with Spike’s vampiric features. The vampire gave out a loud feral growl when his outstretched hand hit the invisible barrier that prevented him from entering.
“Invite me in,” snarled Spike.
Confident that the vampire couldn’t enter, Giles allowed himself a small smile. “And why should I do that?”
“Because I need to know what you did to Buffy, and I reckon you really don’t want your neighbors to see me, do you?” Spike struggled to rein in his temper and willed his features to change to human. “Look, Buffy told you about me. I’m –”
“Spike,” interrupted Giles. “Yes, she told me all about you.”
Spike tried a smile. “Well then, let me in.”
“Absolutely not,” replied Giles. “I’m not a young and impressionable girl. Your lies won’t work on me. A vampire with a soul. There is nothing documented apart from Angelus’s curse. Couldn’t you have even thought up an original story?”
For a second Spike’s features shifted back. “I told her the truth,” he said quietly. “And I want you to tell me the truth about why she’s lost her powers. What is Cruciamentum?”
Giles paled. “Is Buffy all right? Have you seen her? I was about to call her home when –”
“She’s fine,” snapped Spike. “Well, not fine, ‘cause something’s been done to her, but she’s safe with her mum.”
The Watcher sagged against the wall. “Oh, thank God.”
Spike’s anger was fuelled by the human’s obvious relief. He must have known what was going on.
“What have you done to her?” Spike’s voice was low; he rolled the stake around in his left hand. Hell, he wanted to hit something.
“I must warn them, Kralik is –”
“Oh!” exclaimed Giles. “Ah! He raised his hand. “She said that you don’t kill – so it proves that you’re lying – either to me now or to her previously.”
“I don’t kill humans, you pillock! Demons are fair game. I’m looking out for Buffy – what are you doing? Why is she so weak?” Spike punched the wall beside the door with his right fist and gained a little satisfaction that Giles leapt backwards.
“It’s all over,” said Giles regaining his composure. “She’ll be back to normal in several days time. Now go – preferably far away from Sunnydale – before I turn you to dust.”
Spike smirked nastily. “I’d like to see you try, Watcher.” He raised the stake. “I’ll make you a promise now. I’m not leaving Sunnydale.”
“A stake won’t kill me,” said Giles, his eyes widening as he realized what had just said. A stake to the heart would kill a human as efficiently as it would a vampire.
Shaking his head, Spike said. “You know how stupid that sounded, don’t you? Like I said before. I don’t kill humans as a rule.” He turned the stake over and threw it with force at Giles. “But, I didn’t say I wouldn’t hurt someone who had hurt the Slayer!”
Giles fell to the floor, clutching his calf, the stake embedded some two inches into the muscle.
“Put her in danger again, and so help me I will kill you.”
Spike turned on his heel and headed back towards Revello Drive.