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
Spike slipped unnoticed into the back of the spectators’ seating and, shielding his eyes from the glaring sun, tried to pick Buffy out in the sea of crimson caps and gowns. He caught a glimpse of red hair and then the profile of his Slayer sitting next to Willow.
The principal of the school concluded his commencement speech and began calling out the names of the students. One by one, the class of 1999 crossed the platform. Spike leaned back in his chair and grinned as Harmony strutted the stage as if it were a catwalk. The future was not certain, because she still lived in Sunnydale, but at least the ditzy bint might have a chance to live a little while longer. Spike knew she had made a piss poor vampire.
Feeling eyes on him, Spike glanced around and caught Giles, twisted around three rows ahead, glaring at him. Without smiling, the vampire gave the watcher a little wave and rolled his eyes heavenward when Giles quickly turned back. When Buffy’s name was called, Spike stayed perfectly still and watched her beaming face as she crossed the platform.
His heart swelled with pride and satisfaction. The baby that had gripped his hand so tightly not too many years ago was now a high school graduate. His thoughts were nowhere near fatherly when she descended the steps and he got an eyeful of shapely calves and her high heels. Older memories of a passionate, mature Buffy flooded his mind. Memories that always over shadowed the ones of Buffy growing up. Spike shifted uncomfortably in his chair and once she was seated again, he rose from his spot to leave.
He was halfway down the concrete steps leading to the street when a shadow fell over him. Lightning fast, Spike turned to see what had caused it, glancing up when he saw the graduates gasping and pointing at the sky. With a sigh of relief, he watched the eclipse. Staring into the sun as it was overshadowed was something most vampires didn’t get to do, but he’d taken advantage of many of these eclipses over the decades, once the sun was completely covered and darkness fell. They meant a few extra minutes of hunting time and with all the humans out to get a look at the phenomenon, they were usually easy, distracted prey.
Spike heard the grating sound of the manhole cover before he saw them. By the time he got to the street, five vampires were grinning at him.
“You here for the party too?” one asked.
“Nope. No party. The mayor’s dead. And there are way too many of them, including the Slayer, her armed watcher and her armed friends.”
One of the females put her hands on her hips, her long ponytail waving in the wind. “I’m hungry. Jeff said if we showed up and helped the mayor, we could have all that we could eat.”
“Yeah,” another female said, “we’re not going anywhere.”
With a stake gripped in each hand in his coat pockets, Spike shrugged. “It’s your funeral, not mine.”
He turned to watch them walk past him and was just about to stake the two nearest him when Giles appeared at the top of the steps.
After getting over the shock of seeing the five vampires heading his way, Giles took a stake out of his tweed jacket and brandished it saying, “I knew it!” Over the growls of the vampires, the watcher added, “There was no way that there were two good vampires in the world.”
Ignoring that statement, Spike drove his stakes into the backs of the vampires and prepared to fight the remaining ones. Two turned to advance on him while one of the females rushed up the steps at Giles.
The two young vampires were no match for the decades old Spike who’d had to redo over twenty of those years. Before their dust settled, Spike was up the steps and gripping the ponytail of the vampire still fighting Giles. A chorus of students yelled in graduation victory and threw their caps into the air as Spike shoved the vampire off behind a tree and did away with her.
Spike glowered at the still panting Giles. “I don’t give a stuff what you think of me. Good or bad, I’m here to stay—and just so we’re clear, Angel is not a good vampire. His soul was a curse, for fuck’s sake.”
“And what about yours?” Giles said it a little breathlessly, but he was standing up straight now. “Were you cursed with it?”
Before Spike could answer, Jenny and Mrs. Summers appeared behind Giles.
Jenny touched his shoulder and said, “There you are.”
“Buffy is looking for you,” Mrs. Summers said. When she finally noticed Spike, her eyes lit up. “Oh, it’s you! Spike, right?”
Shifting uncomfortably and frantically thinking of an excuse to make a quick exit, Spike could only nod.
“Buffy talks about you all the time,” Joyce said. Giles and Spike stared at her with twin expressions of shock, but she seemed oblivious. “She’ll be thrilled that you came to her graduation. Why don’t you come with us and say ‘hi’ to her?”
“Spike has to go,” Giles interjected.
Jenny got in front of Giles. “Don’t be so rude. I’m Jenny, by the way.”
“Nice to meet you,” mumbled Spike.
He found himself following the little group back up the stairs. Giles caught up to Joyce and spoke quietly to her; loud enough for Spike to hear, she said, “I know what he is, Mr. Giles. He saved my life when you were busy giving Buffy those shots to make her weak, and Buffy says that he looks out for her. That’s all I need to know.”
Good old Joyce. Spike gazed fondly at her until he realized that Giles was glaring his way.
“Mom! There you are.” Buffy held her little scroll with a dark ribbon and rushed to hug Joyce.
Spike stood off to the side as multiple pictures were taken. Xander and Willow gave him curious looks every so often, but Buffy smiled shyly at him.
“Hey,” Cordelia said as she came up to the group and pointed at Spike. “Isn’t he a vam—“
“Time to go!” Buffy said. “Party at the Summers’ house.”
Buffy watched her friends go off to say goodbye to their parents and told her mom that she’d meet her at the car. With keys in hand, Joyce smiled at Spike before walking off with Jenny and Giles.
Spike had distanced himself from the group and was standing in the shadow of a tree, just out of reach from the street light above. Her heart was still pounding in her chest from being so near to him. After a quick glance around to see if anyone was watching, she walked over and stepped into the shadow with him. Slowly, the eclipse was ending and the darkness around them began to fade to light.
“Thanks for coming to my graduation.”
With a shrug, Spike said, “Know I wasn’t invited, but it’s a big day for you. Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
“It’s after graduation. Are you going to answer my questions?”
“Promised I would, didn’t I?”
“Come back to the house with me. We’re having a small party, but we could talk afterward.”
Shaking his head, he said, “I don’t know. I’m not really good with people. And you’ll be busy with all your friends.”
“You’re my friend too and I’d like you to come.”
Buffy silently begged him to say yes. She wanted to spend time with him and she desperately wanted some answers. For days now, Willow and Buffy had spent their time either talking about how much Willow loved Oz or coming up with crazy scenarios for how and why Spike had been looking out for her all this time. Giles tried to remind her that Spike had killed two slayers in the past and that his helpful ways were probably a ploy to get close so he could kill her. She’d been shocked when she’d first learned that he was William the Bloody, the Slayer of Slayers, but Giles didn’t know how long he’d been looking out for her. She doubted very much that he could keep up the ruse for that long. And he mentioned having known her all his life? She had so many questions.
“Okay. I’ll come,” he finally said. And when she jumped up in excitement, he added, “Just don’t expect me to be the life of the party.”
As giddy as she was, she couldn’t help the laughter. “That’s funny. Life of the party.” And her knees nearly buckled when he bestowed upon her the first full on smile she’d ever seen from him. His eyes lit up and she was lost in them. Giving herself a mental shake she asked, “Did you bring your car?”
“Great! Let me go tell Mom that I’m riding over with you.” In her excitement she raced off, but then halted and asked sheepishly, “Where are you parked?”
“On the street, in front of the school.”
On the drive over, Spike turned up the music and hoped that she’d just sit back and listen, but after two minutes of the Ramones, she reached over and turned the radio off.
Buffy glanced out the window at the brilliant sunset and then said, “First question. Giles told me about you killing the mayor on the golf course in broad daylight and now you show up at my graduation too. How are you able to go out in the sun without getting fried and how long have you been able to do it?”
“I’ve got a little magic working on my side,” he said, being purposefully elusive. “And I’ve been able to do it for awhile now, just hadn’t had much reason to do so.”
“Until you killed that demon thing that was our mayor.”
“That was good enough reason, yes. He was planning on ruining your graduation and turning into some kind of big snake demon.”
As they pulled up to her house, Buffy asked, “How did you know—”
“Look, let’s get you inside so you can celebrate. Maybe later, we can sit down with Giles and we can all talk. There are some things that I’d like to ask him and I really don’t fancy having to repeat some of the things I’m going to tell you tonight. He’s going to want to hear it too.”
Spike got out of the car and rushed to her side to open the door for her. Unable to take her eyes off him, she got out of the passenger seat and stumbled on the curb. He caught her arm and steadied her and she couldn’t have been more embarrassed. She had the reflexes of a ninja most of the time, but something about Spike just tied her in knots and had her stumbling like a klutz.
“Sorry. It’s a good thing you’re always there to catch me.”
“Always,” he said with feeling, melting her already heated heart.
Spike got goose bumps when Buffy warmly invited him into her home, but as soon as they were in, her friends called her over and Spike was left to himself. He ended up sitting on a couch next to some kid named Jonathan, who he thought looked familiar. It dawned on Spike that the kid was one of the geeks with Warren when he’d shown up wanting information about his chip. The kid tried to strike up a conversation with him, but one death stare was all it took to shut him up. The music wasn’t too bad. Willow’s wolf boyfriend and his band played a few sets before they turned the radio on.
Buffy introduced everyone to him one at a time and he tried to play nice. When he’d teased Willow and asked if he could call her Red, she’d blushed prettily and nodded. Xander had asked what Spike wanted to call him. Biting his lip to stop from saying git, he shook his head and said that he’d just call him Xander.
Joyce ambled about the room, picking up here and there and Spike got the idea that she wanted to wrap the party up. He stood and took a serving dish from her. On the way to the kitchen, he grabbed cups from those he passed and took them with him. Seeing the back door, he decided he needed a smoke and he quietly went onto the back porch and lit up.
It was surreal to sit in the same spot where he’d once sat while consoling the distraught Slayer after she’d learned that her mom had to go to the hospital. And to think, he’d come that night to blow her head off. Here he was now, with a second chance to make things right. Every time he had a moment like this where he remembered his past, he felt even more determined to get things right this time around.
The door opened behind him, but he knew it was her and didn’t look back.
“Hey. Whatcha doing?”
He held up the lit cigarette for her to see. “Smoking.”
Buffy came and sat next to him, but scrunched her nose as the smoke wafted around her. “Cigarettes are foul.”
Spike paused with it in his mouth and stared at her as he took one last drag. Casually, he let the cigarette fall on the step below and crushed it with his boot.
“You didn’t have to do that.”
“Won’t smoke in front of you if you don’t like it,” he came back with a shrug.
“Thanks.” It was quiet for two beats. “Um…I don’t suppose you could suck on a breath mint after you have one, could you?”
He thought it was a strange request, but he patted his pockets and shrugged. “Sorry, I’m fresh out.”
“Oh, here. Have one or two of mine. Do you like white Tic Tacs?”
He watched in amusement, his head tilted slightly, as she pulled the little case out of her pocket. “Can’t say as I’ve never tried one before. And why are you all concerned about the state of my breath?” he asked and then popped the three tiny mints that she put in his opened palm into his mouth.
Spike nearly choked on them when after she stuck her pink tongue out and put two in her own mouth, she said, “Well, if we’re going to kiss…”
It was too much for him. He stood up and was just about to suggest that they go back inside when he got a glimpse of her vulnerable and open eyes. Taking one look at the closed door and not seeing anyone near, he held his hand out for her and led her down the steps and to the right, out of view of the windows. She leaned against the house and gazed at him.
“I’m not a high school student anymore.”
“No you’re not,” he said in a deep timber. Reaching out to touch her hair, his heart soared when she didn’t flinch from his touch. Spike moved the Tic Tacs to one side of his mouth and swallowed hard. “You are a beautiful women now.” He’d said it almost to himself, giving him permission to be with her. He’d had eighteen years of practice at keeping his distance. She looked down at her shoes. “Don’t look away when someone calls you beautiful, because that’s what you are. And you deserve a hell of a lot better than to be hiding in the shadows with the likes of me.”
“Don’t say that.” The frown on her face reminded him of the days before when she’d had so much weighing on her.
“It doesn’t bother you that I’m a vampire?” She shook her head and he continued. “Soul or not, I’m walking death.”
Before her hand could reach his face, he closed his eyes and then got lost in the sensation of her hand caressing him. “I’m pretty sure it’s just not that I have a thing for vampires with souls, because I see something pretty incredible in you. Especially when you’re looking at me.” He opened his eyes and tried to stay focused as her hazel eyes took in the sight of him without hesitation, without regret, without sadness.
Buffy leaned forward and as soon as their lips met, he gathered her in his arms and kissed her with abandon. He’d waited years to do this and she felt incredible, all pliant against him. She tasted of the mints.
They broke apart, reluctantly, when the back door opened.
“Buffy?” her mother called. “Are you out here?”
“I’m here, Mom,” she said, stepping forward and into the light. “Spike and I were just talking.”
Joyce acknowledged Spike with a quick nod when he stepped into the light and she said to her daughter, “Mr. Giles is leaving, but he wanted to say goodbye to you first.”
Spike jumped when Buffy grabbed his hand and pulled him towards the steps.
“Thanks, Mom. Spike and I need to talk to him about some slayer stuff. Do you mind if we leave with Giles?”
“Buffy,” Joyce wheedled. “Do you have to work? Tonight?”
“Sorry, but evil never takes a break. Even on graduation night.”
Very conscious of their joined hands, Spike could only shrug when Joyce looked imploringly at him, though he was more than happy to put off their little talk. He just didn’t see a way out of it. He’d made her a promise and he was going to keep it.
“I’m sorry, Joyce, but she’s right. I’ll watch out for her. I promise.”
Joyce quickly glanced at their hands and then back at Spike. “I know you will and I’m counting on it.”
~ * ~ * ~
Thirty minutes later, they were settled on the couch in Giles’ apartment with the watcher sitting across from them in his easy chair. Both Buffy and Giles kept quiet as they waited for Spike to say something. He took a deep unneeded breath and directed his question to Giles.
“What can you tell me about time travel?”