All About Spike
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Things Present Things Past
By Estepheia and Marcee

Part 3 - Someone to Watch over me

As Buffy regained consciousness, frantic questions began pummelling her still fuzzy mind... *Where did the music go? and Why am I lying down? In a bed that's so not my own? Did someone put something in my drink?* Because her limbs felt kinda heavy. And rising above the clatter, another question taunted her: *Whatever happened, why did it have to happen, just when Spike was gonna ask me to dance?* She turned this one over in her head a few times. She had seen his question coming, and she'd been prepared to say something suitably rude but affirmative, like "Sure, as long as you don't try to cop a feel..." But now? Where was she?

Even with her eyes closed she could tell that Spike wasn't there. She would have sensed his presence. But someone else was in the same room with her, someone unfamiliar. Without opening her eyes, she took in the smells and sounds of the place. *Leather. Sweet tobacco smoke. Wood polish. Warmth. A crackling fire? The clatter of hooves?? The sound of wheels on a nearby road - huh? Horse-drawn carriages???*

Buffy raised her lids a bit just enough to take a peek. She was lying between crisp linen sheets in a museum piece of a four poster bed, complete with canopy and curtains. A typical Hammer Horror movie bed. She slowly turned her head and saw a thin man in his late forties, dressed impeccably in a very conservative grey suit with matching vest, gleaming cuff links and a golden pocket watch. He was covering what was obviously a chalk-drawn magical circle by unrolling an expensive looking carpet. An open leather bag, like a doctor's, sat on the floor. The man quietly put a number of objects inside: black and white candles, a large crystal, like the one Tara used to focus her magical powers, a little brass bell and a few items she couldn't quite make out.

*A warlock or a sorcerer. Oops. Bad news.*

The room she was in looked very old fashioned. It was illuminated by a petroleum lamp. There were bookshelves, some armchairs, a large desk, side tables and a small sofa. The walls were hung with paintings of horses and dogs. Everything appeared quite old and expensive. There were three large windows, but the curtains were drawn. Only one door led outside. Except for the bed it looked very much like an office. *Ok, how the hell did I get sucked into Masterpiece Theatre?*

She turned her head back and closed her eyes. But inwardly she readied herself for action. *Ew, my muscles feel like jelly! I wonder what kind of drug they gave me. Whoever `they' may be.* She could hear the man walking around and the sounds of a heavy chair being pushed nearer to the bed. Then the man sat down and began to turn the pages of a book.

"Now, where were we... `Chapter 22." He cleared his throat. "Mr. Rochester had given me but one week's leave of absence: yet a month elapsed before I quitted Gateshead. I wished to leave immediately after the funeral, but Georgiana entreated me to stay..." He had a slightly nasal voice, and a very crisp English upper class accent. He made Giles sound positively slang-y.

Buffy opened her eyes again. *Now this is weird! First drugs, then bedtime stories?* She turned her head to read the gold lettering on the binding. "Jane Eyre?" she said, startling the man. "Oh yuk, this is so before my time. Come on, can't you at least read the latest Stephen King or something?"

She sat upright and swung her legs out of bed. That's when she realized that something was seriously wrong. "Hey, look at those legs! They're all pale and thin! And who put me into this horrible nighty? How gross."

She got up. Her knees almost buckled, but she held on to one of the bed's posters. *Whoa, they must have kept me under sedation for ages.*

The thin man had risen from his chair, the book still clasped in his hands. At first there was a look of joy on his face but this was quickly replaced by confusion.

Buffy looked around "I have a feeling that I'm not in Kansas anymore," she said. "I must be over the rainbow."

"Kansas?" the man asked with a frown. He came closer. "Is everything alright with you, my dear? Please, you mustn't overexert yourself. You are still weak."

"Is this another one of your stupid tests?" Buffy snapped.

"Do you know, who I am?" he asked worriedly.

"Walks like a watcher, talks like a watcher, looks like a watcher... hey, you must be a watcher. You know what? Watch this." She turned around and walked towards the door. "So, Travis thought he could drag me out of my life to perform some tests on the recently resurrected? Just like that? Well, he'd better think again, cause I am so gonna kick his ass!"

"Maeve, wait," he hurried after her. She opened the door and walked down the hallway. There was a coat rack with several conservative looking coats. She was about to grab one and then rush out through the front door when Buffy caught sight of herself in a big mirror.

A slender figure of medium height, with pale skin and curly red hair, green eyes and freckles. That's not me! She touched her face, her reflection did the same. *Oh no, not again!* She groaned. She still remembered inhabiting Faith's body. She turned around to glower at the man who had followed her into the hallway. "Okay, so you mojoed me into this body. You know what? Been there. Done that. Undo it!"

"Oh dear Lord!" the thin man exclaimed in horror.


Continued in Part 4 - Get Ready to Rumble

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