Things Present – Things Past
By Estepheia and Marcee
Part 10 - Teacher's Pet
the group wandered in (well, Spike didn't wander so much as he dashed madly
with a burning blanket strewn over him) Xander locked the door.
"What do you think you're doing?" Anya squawked.
"We're closed for the day, An," he answered.
"Oh no we're not.
Think of all the money we stand to lose!"
stomped back to the front door and unlocked the dead bolt.
twisted it back.
grabbed for it again and a small scuffle developed.
it, you two," Giles said. "Anya, we have
work to do. We should close the store
for the day."
you put me in charge and I say...We. Stay. Open!"
She enunciated loudly and unlocked the door with a flourish.
cares about the soddin' money, Buffy's life is at stake," Spike growled, "Sit
your ass down and grab a book."
was startled by his commanding tone, and for once, had nothing to say. She just quietly turned the dead bolt back
into place and made her way behind the counter.
"Xander, why don't you go ahead and show Maeve
the training area - get her started," Giles suggested.
nodded. He motioned to Maeve with his
left hand, his right arm was still sore.
Anya had created a makeshift sling for him before they left the house
this morning to keep it stable. She was nervous
he might be out of work for a while and even mentioned to Willow that she might
consider researching a healing spell for him...of course, only after this
Buffy/Maeve puzzle was solved.
they were out of sight, Giles motioned for the group to gather around the
have a few theories," he said, "but I didn't want Maeve to overhear."
"D-do you think this has to do with the resurrection?"
Tara asked nervously.
Giles removed his glasses and began to wipe the lenses
"Possibly," he answered.
looked irritated, "The spell worked.
Buffy came back just fine. You all
saw her - she was Buffy. She's been Buffy.
Maeve's appearance has nothing to do with the resurrection." She crossed her arms across her chest as if
inviting someone to defy her.
"I don't know why this has occurred. There are several possibilities," Giles
"Well, what others?" Tara asked, hoping to ease the
tension in the room a bit.
entirely possible that Maeve has already died and her spirit has been summoned
by someone, and has taken up residence in the body closest to her own."
she's a Slayer too," Anya figured aloud.
"Precisely," Giles agreed.
"But then, where is Buffy's spirit?" Anya asked. "Is it trapped in there with Maeve?"
she's back in hell!" Willow exclaimed.
"Poor Buffy." She took a deep breath, "We have to get her back. I did it before and I can do it again." Tara shook her head sadly, but tried to calm
her lover by caressing her back in slow circles. "I'll just find another
"You'll do nothing of the sort!" Giles snapped at her. "We don't know anything for certain yet," he
explained rationally, "and until we do, there's no use panicking or jumping to
conclusions. The Council should be
faxing over the journal shortly. Maybe
that will give us a clue. Until then,
try to find a previous case of something similar transpiring. Before we can proceed with any kind of plan,"
he looked at Willow sternly, "we need to know exactly what caused this."
Buffy and Maeve simply switched bodies," Anya guessed. "Like in that movie `Trading Places'."
"At this point, anything is possible," Giles
conceded. But he didn't look convinced.
was a moment of terrified silence while the gang imagined the horrible places
Buffy's spirit might be trapped. They
exchanged worried glances.
"We will find Buffy," Giles said. "We will
get her back."
looked at his family of misfits fondly, "Now get to work." He walked to the office in the back of the
moment he disappeared, Willow quickly snuck upstairs, pulling Tara behind her,
to investigate locator spells and specialized time travel wormholes. Anya remained near the counter, where she
felt most comfortable, flipping through the inventory list, hoping to happen
upon an item that might help in determining the cause of this mix-up.
I'm dying for a smoke, Spike thought. He was pacing the length of the shop trying
to ascertain what his part in all this was.
He felt powerless. I really need
to hit something! He considered
putting his fist through the wall, but he knew that Anya would have his head if
he damaged anything in the store. He
contented himself with pacing, rubbing the back of his neck and occasionally
growling. The vampire was drowning in
worry and a daub of self-pity - but was shaken from his preoccupation by
"Spike, a little help!"
was standing at the door of the training room.
"I can't spar with her," he raised his sling, "like this."
couldn't spar with her completely healthy, loaded with steroids and hopped up
on coke," Spike answered wryly.
Xander replied. "Think you might want to
make yourself useful? You know, more
useful than, say, standing around like a corpse?" Xander sneered, "Oh wait, that's right," he
smacked his forehead, "you are a
as a general rule, don't stand around," Spike explained, "I'm a special case."
"Well," Xander prompted, "Help?"
shrugged. Not like I have anything better
to do, he thought. "Just tell the
little lass to keep her stake in check. Wouldn't want her getting carried
and Xander walked into the training room.
Maeve was sitting on the couch with her (Buffy's) ankles crossed waiting
"Maeve, this is Spike.
Spike, Maeve," Xander stated.
Spike rolled his eyes.
you weren't formally introduced," he answered.
"Maeve, we know Spike is a vampire, but we'd prefer it if you didn't
kill him." He leaned in and feigned a
whisper, "I'd have to sweep up his remains and I REALLY hate sweeping."
He didn't earn a laugh. Not even a smirk. "That was a joke, Maeve."
"Oh," she said and smiled sweetly at him.
"Anyway, just don't kill each other." Xander headed
for the door, "Have fun!"
Maeve didn't make a move to get up.
"Well? Shall we
get on with it, then?" Spike asked.
It's so strange
to look at this girl and see Buffy. Oh
God, I miss her.
stood. "This is a bit uncomfortable for
me," she said. "I've never had to fight
a vampire I did not intend to kill."
for me, too, Sweetness," he said. Although
I've had plenty of experience fighting a Slayer I didn't want to kill, he
thought. Unfortunately, you're not her.
began to circle Spike. He smirked and
watched her lithe form glide across the floor.
Got to give it to the girl, she
already knows how to use her body. She raised her fists, her eyes trained
on her target.
"So? 1880, huh?
Boy that was a good year," he commented.
do you insist on conversing while we fight?" she asked as she wound her circle
tighter around her quarry.
"Makes it more interesting."
"You were around in the 1800's?" she asked.
launched a fist at the vampire's face.
He dodged it easily by leaning back and to his right, but remained
standing in the same place. She kicked
at his chest; he grabbed her foot and yanked her forward slightly. She lost her balance and landed on her back.
did you live?" she asked as she gracefully got to her feet, "Your accent? Is it
bad manners to ask a vampire where he LIVED," Spike grinned. "And if you ask one of us when he was turned,
he'll tell you he shagged one of Solomon's wives before turning her, which
would be a pack of lies, of course."
watched in fascination as a crimson blush spread across her - no! - Buffy's
did you?" she blurted out, before covering her mouth with her hand, horrified
at her own forwardness.
laughed. "What do you think?" he asked with a leer, gesturing for her to attack
overcame her embarrassment rather quickly and dove into a front handspring,
taking the vampire by surprise. She
twisted in the air and smashed both feet into the vampire's gut. Maeve fell to the floor, but immediately
rolled to the left and stood. Spike was
doubled over, clutching his stomach. The
Slayer took advantage of her opening and landed a swift kick to his head. He shuffled backward. Maeve leapt toward him again and tried to
backhand him as he rose, but Spike grabbed her arm before she could do any
damage. He held her there for a moment
and searched her familiar face for any sign of the woman he loved. She swung her free hand at his chin, but he
caught that one, too, and held her tight.
The Slayer cocked her head confused and a little unnerved by his intense
She not in there , he thought. Then shook his head to rid himself of that
thought. Back to the game. He released his grip on her and moved sideways
quickly, out of her reach.
countered his sideways move and began her flurry of attacks again. Spike easily dodged punches and defended
against kicks. It was the gymnastics
that generally took him off guard.
Her brows began to furrow as she fought.
think." Punch. "You." Kick. "Are a." Punch, punch. "Contradiction." She halted
her attack and looked at him thoughtfully. "And you are not really trying to
defeat me. You are merely defending yourself. Why aren't you attacking me?"
Spike's grin faltered.
"It's a long story," he sighed.
would not have asked if I wasn't willing to listen," Maeve said and changed her
stance. She was obviously no longer in
have a seat then," he gestured to the mat on the floor. Maeve obliged. He sat down across from her.
try to make a long story short," he began.
"About a year and a half ago this secret military group took up
residence in Sunnydale and was hunting vamps and demons and yanking them off
the streets, out of their homes... out of the bloody bushes." He paused, expecting an interruption or
witticism, but then remembered he wasn't talking to Buffy.
"So anyway, they grabbed me and stuck me in a cell."
"Like a prison?" Maeve asked.
"Yeah. And they
experimented on us."
different for everyone, I suppose. But
for most of us, they stuck this thing in our brains..."
"While you were awake?" She
looked somewhat faint.
"No, no. It was a surgical procedure. In fact, I didn't even know I had it at
"Why did they do that?"
"Well, it prevents me from hurting things."
There was a moment of stunned silence, then, "How?"
causes severe pain in my head every time I try to hurt a human. Can kill demons, though. It has something to
do with nerves, impulses, brain stuff. I
don't know how it works, it just does," he said sharply.
horrible," Maeve exclaimed.
yeah?" Spike answered warily. "I'd have
thought you'd be all for it, being a Slayer - killing my kind, and all..."
"Still, for them to experiment on you - without your knowledge...
it's a violation! I believe in what I do, I believe that your kind cannot be
allowed to walk the earth, that it is my duty to rid the world of vampires. But
I do it quick. I have no desire to see them hurt, humiliated or caged. Only dead."
Spike nodded. "I s'pose that's one way of looking at
"What other way is there?" Maeve asked. "I
never asked to become a Slayer. Did you ask to become a vampire?" She never
waited for his answer but continued. "You follow your calling and I follow
mine. At least, that's what I thought until I met you."
Spike snickered cheerlessly. "Right."
"So, tell me
more," she said. "How did you feed?"
The vampire answered, "Stole blood from the hospital
a butcher down the block from here who will occasionally sell pig's blood to
the suntan-challenged." He looked
"What happened to the people who did this to you?"
were destroyed. Long story. It wasn't pretty." There was a predatory
smile on his lips.
considered everything she had just learned about the vampire sitting before
you cannot harm me because of something they put in your brain," she
restated. "But if you did not have this
thing, you would return to killing?"
considered the question. He had
considered it many times before...many, many times before. Probably more than he wished to count. He already knew the answer, but still wasn't
sure how to respond. If anyone else had
asked, anyone else but Buffy, he'd
have said `Of course. That's what I
do. That's who I am. I'm a soddin' vampire... I eat people!'...but
what did he have to gain by lying to this girl?
He leaned back, resting his weight on his hands.
"No," he said simply.
Maeve tilted her head.
considered this question, too. It was a
bit tougher. He decided to be as honest
as he possibly could with his answer.
not entirely sure," he knitted his brows in deliberation. "At first, I thought it was because I was in
love with Buffy." Maeve's eyes widened
in surprise, but she remained quiet. "I
figured, if I killed someone, she'd be upset - and I didn't want to make her
upset. I thought that she was my
conscience...my soul. But now, I'm not so
sure. After she died..." Maeve's eyes
widened further. "I kept fighting the
good fight. I worked side-by-side with
her little group of scamps. You know,
part of a pack again." Spike was lost in
his reverie. "After all those years of
mayhem, I'd forgotten what it's like to be human. Felt things I hadn't felt in long a
time. I had friends - what I'd like to
think of as real friends," he paused,
"and a little girl that actually likes and trusts me. And I love her too." He shook his head...was it
with regret or was it simply dismissive? Maeve couldn't be sure. "I just don't think I could go back now, even
if I wanted to." God Buffy, how could I
let you do this to me!
was astounded. Spike was astounded. He'd never told anyone about these feelings
before...he was barely able to tell himself. He got up, suddenly peeved about
going all sentimental and pathetic. When
did I turn into such a poncey git? He began to walk the length of the room. Man, I need a drag.
Slayer sat patiently watching the vampire stroll gracefully across the
room. No wonder Buffy didn't stake him, she thought, he is so very handsome. Her face was beginning to get hot. Her thoughts might have progressed further as
her gaze traveled the length of his body had Spike not turned his attention
back to her at that moment.
"But back in the day," he said to the girl, "they
called me the Big Bad."
morphed into vamp face and smirked. "And
I was." He didn't notice her
embarrassment or anxiety; he was too busy trying to mend his broken image.
"The Big Bad?" Maeve asked precariously, rather
unnerved by the wicked display.
bagged myself a couple of Slayers, I did."
He smiled proudly, then reverted to his human guise.
looked at him in shock, which turned into wariness. Which was good. He was,
after all, a vampire.
There was an awkward silence.
Then: "So you and Buffy are in love?" she asked
"I didn't say that."
"Are you married?" she asked.
We're not married. Not even together." His tone made it clear that he did not
want to elaborate.
Another awkward silence.
decided to change the subject. "Buffy died? This body?" she sounded slightly
first time she drowned. She was fighting
the Master," Spike explained. "Xander,"
he motioned with his head toward the door, "the poof with his arm in a sling...
he was able to revive her."
"Oh!" Maeve was shocked. "Is he a warlock?"
"Harris? That pillock? Not a
chance." He shook his head, smiling.
"Was another Slayer called?"
story, actually," Spike said, remembering.
I was so proud of Dru. "She was killed, too. So another Slayer was called..."
see," she said. Although I do not see how
that was even remotely funny. "And
where is this other Slayer now? Does she fight along side Buffy?"
"She's in jail."
look of astonishment. If she weren't
taught better, her mouth might have dropped open.
"So Buffy fights alone, then?"
no. We all help her. Me, Xander, Willow, Tara, Giles...we all watch
her back," Spike clarified. "In fact,
when she died the second time, we all continued fighting together, even without
her." Spike continued before Maeve could
ask the question, "She dove into a portal to save the world and her sister's
Maeve could only nod slightly in her stunned silence.
"Willow was able to resurrect her from the grave."
must be very powerful," Maeve whispered nervously. "The Council allowed this?"
"Oh God no," Spike said, "The Council doesn't even
"How can they not know?"
"What do you mean `how can they not know' - we didn't
tell them, that's how, Luv."
"But, do you not all work for the Council?"
Hell no. Buffy put those gits in their
Manners or no, Maeve's jaw dropped.
work for ourselves. For each other. For the world. For fun." He smirked. "And for Buffy. We're her...friends."
Maeve didn't understand. Friends? Slayers weren't supposed to have
"B-but the Council," she stuttered.
the Council," Spike said. "You think
they give a rot about you? That's not
why you Slayers fight, anyway. Buffy
knew the drill. She fights cause that's
what she was made to do. That's what
gets her going, what gives her a happy feeling." Spike grinned. "Am I right, Maeve?"
didn't know how to answer. "I-I fight
because it is my duty. It is what I have
been told to do. I-I fight for the Council,"
Spike answered sarcastically. "Not
because it's fun, huh?" He bent close to her ear and whispered, "Not because of that rush you get when you're
pummeling your enemy?"
cool breath sent shivers down the girl's spine.
She shook her head, `no'. But her
heart was racing and her face was turning pink.
you were fighting for the wrong reason then," he suggested as he stood. He
looked down at Buffy's small frame, smirking at the flush on her face. "Maybe that's why you ended up here." He thought about that for a moment.
once asked me how I bested those two Slayers," he began pacing again, " I told
her about the death wish."
Maeve listened (and watched) attentively.
told her that every Slayer has one. What
made Buffy different was...is her ties to the world: her friends, her
family," Spike described. "I warned her,
though, that one day she was going to give in to it...and that would be the day
that it would all be over."
dropped her gaze to the clasped hands that were resting on her lap. It was the
only outward sign of what was going on within her. Otherwise, she remained
controlled and calm.
the predator within Spike sensed her vulnerability and her sense of defeat. Yeah, I could take her. She's just going
through the motions. He thought with
absolute certainty, and surprisingly, little smugness.
approached her and, after a moments hesitation, put a tentative hand on her
shoulder. "Gave up, did you, pet?"
She didn't answer.
It took a moment, but then she looked up at.
Her eyes were full of shame and sadness.
"We'll get you back to your life," he said. "And when we do, you'll live better than
you've ever known." He took her hand and
lifted her gently to her feet. "I'll teach
you to love the fight." He licked his
lips and smiled at her. She was
mesmerized by his eyes. He stepped back
and his visage shifted. He touched the
tip of his tongue to his fangs and motioned for Maeve to begin. "Let's dance."
Continued in Part 11 - Party on, Buffy!