Timeline: Season 2(after Halloween) and later in season 7
Spoilers: AU from Beneath You(7.2) In this world, Buffy takes Spike home
Disclaimer: All ME.
Blue Moon (5)
"Come in!" she called out after a moment’s hesitation.
A pimply boy entered, shooting nervous looks at her face, in between checking out her boobs and the office. He sat down on the edge of his chair.
"So," Buffy cleared her throat. She spotted an appointment book. There was a clock on the wall, and with a feeling of triumph she said: "You must be Duane DiMarco." He nodded. "Can you give me the gist of why you’re here?"
"I don't know if you’re the right person to talk to, you know. I'm worried about my brother, you see, and I don’t know who to tell." He cleared his throat. "He's changed. I mean, he's been living in our basement since he graduated, and he was always kind of bad at school. Fighting, absent a lot. But now…he never comes out in the day anymore, he's totally become a night person."
Buffy leaned forwards a little further. "Go on, I'm listening."
"He looks different, very pasty and pale, and he smells funny, and he doesn’t raid the fridge anymore."
"And what do you think is the matter with him?" Buffy asked.
The boy hesitated. "I thought drugs, at first."
Buffy's face fell a little. "Oh."
"But then I saw him hanging out with some pals near the graveyard…" Buffy perked up. ".. and they had weird scary faces…"
He looked at her nervously. "What should I do? Would you think I'm crazy if I said I thought he's become a…."
The boy looked at her in stunned relief. "O god." He started to sniffle. "I'm so afraid. I hoped it was impossible. Do I have to kill him now? I don't know if I can."
Buffy patted his hand. This counseling stuff was easier than she'd thought. It was nice to be able to help someone.
She said: "I have this friend, who deals with people like that. Write down your address, and she'll check on him, and if he's really what you think, she'll, um, take care of it."
"Is there no way to change him back?"
Buffy shook her head. "No, there really isn't. I'm sorry. Will your parents kick up a fuss when they notice he's gone?"
The boy wiped at his eyes. "Actually, I think they'll be kind of relieved. He's been a lot of trouble to them. It's just that I'll miss him. He always took care of me, before, you know."
"He's not really your brother anymore, you know, "she said gently. "A demon has taken over his body."
"But why hasn't he killed me, or my parents then? He easily could have."
Buffy had no answer to that. She knew Angel had killed his family, and she'd sort of assumed every vampire did. She could ask Spike from the future, he was pretty easy to talk to. Her "client" left, sending her a sad little smile.
Buffy started to fidget. What was she supposed to do now? No reason to stay, if there were no more counselees, right? She stepped out of the office, and started to look for a way out. The place reminded her a little of her own school , but the layout was different. A tall African-American man nodded and smiled at her as she roamed the hallways. She nodded back cheerily. A teacher? The exit was easily found, and Buffy was when she found herself on the same street as the old high school. A look back at the entrance revealed "Sunnydale High" in huge letters above the entrance. Wow. It looked like a completely different building! She sure hoped she hadn’t been the one to destroy it, but considering her track record...And who’d be fool enough to rebuild on a Hellmouth?
Spike settled next to Previous Buffy on the couch with a feeling of anticipation. He hadn’t felt like that in a long time.
He smiled at her. "Everything shipshape in the past?"
Buffy looked at him from the corners of her eyes. "Hmm. Actually, I met the old you again, and we had a fight. Remember, Halloween?"
Spike made a face. "Ouch. Well, I apologize for that. Didn’t hurt you too badly, did I?"
She flapped her hand dismissively. "Naah, I was okay. I kicked your ass, anyway, so no apology necessary. It was funny, meeting you here didn’t make me hesitate at all when I met you in my time. Just did what I had to do."
Spike nodded. "I know, that’s just you. You’re a true warrior, I admire that. Don’t have it myself, you know; my sodding feelings always get in the way."
She looked at him again. "You’re looking better. More I-was-turned-when-I-was-thirty than I-was-turned-when-I-was-forty this week. Making less with the insane, I guess?"
"Thanks, yeah, getting better at keeping it together."
"Love life improve any?"
"Still fourteen below. Yours okay I hope?"
Buffy blushed prettily and played with the hem of her top. "Great, actually. You know that feeling, that you met the love of your life?"
Spike swallowed. "Um. Yes."
Buffy didn’t seem tot notice his discomfort. "I think Angel’s it. He’s so perfect, he makes me feel so safe and loved…"
"So, you talk to him? Tell him everything?" he asked, jumping at the chance to find out what had been the Great Poofter’s attraction.
"Like with you? No, I can talk to you more like I can talk to Willow, my Willow, like girl-talk. Angel’s not the talking kind. He has all these deep thoughts, and has experienced so much, it’s just awesome."
Well, he’d asked, hadn’t he? What could you expect from a sixteen year old? Might as well have asked Dawn about the bleeding meaning of life. Still, it made him feel a little queasy to hear her talk like that about Peaches. Change the subject, mate, before you start heaving.
"The other Buffy asked me to tell you that she prefers a French manicure, so if you would please not paint them in pearly colors again."
She made a sulky face at that, but rallied quickly. "I’ll do yours instead. I’ll go ask Dawn if she has any funky little stars or something."
"Mine look fine the way they are! You’re not doing my nails any other color than black or natural!" Spike protested.
Yeah. Like he could withstand the combined forces of Teenage Buffy and Dawn. The two of them had a grand old time painting his nails in every color of the rainbow, and sticking stars and whatnot on them, smiley faces even. He must be the softest wanker in the sodding universe.
Dawn went to the mall with a friend, and he and Buffy were alone again. They watched reruns together in comfortable silence. A cookery show quickly bored her. She turned her attention on him again.
"How well do you know Angel?"
"What do you want to know, pet?" Spike looked at her warily.
"Well, " she sneaked looks at him though her lashes, " Angel is obviously not around right now. So, where is he, are Buffy and he still together, that kind of thing."
"Can’t answer any of them, and you know very well why. Dangers of time paradox and so on."
"You sound like Giles," she pouted.
"I’ll take that as a compliment, pet." If the old stuffed shirt ever heard that…
"Duh, no, I meant as in old and stuffy and British!"
Spike couldn’t help a grin at that.
The she started on him again. His, or, well, the present Buffy had never struck him as particularly curious. More like "how many do I have to kill?" than wanting to know what they were like un-vamped.
"Do all vampires kill their families? Did you?"
"You’re a regular fount of questions, girlie. Why do you want to know?"
Buffy explained about the schoolboy with the brother.
"I see. Many vampires probably don’t. Maybe in the first panic and bloodlust after you’ve clawed your way out of a grave, not knowing who you are or what you’re doing there. But deliberately kill your loved ones? I certainly didn’t, and I’d wager most of them don’t. They tend to get away as far as they can from their families, in a desire to be totally free of ties of love and obligation. Might put a crimp in one’s style, you know, seeing the look on the faces of your family if they discover what you’ve become and what you're doing." At her look: "Never saw mine again. Wanted to keep…other vampires away from them."
She stared at him with wounded eyes. "Angel says he killed his own family—Angelus I mean."
He must be daft. He should have realized this was not about him, always about Angel.
"Best ask him, then, pet. Not for me to say what he did and why."
Willow came in from campus, and after hearing that Buffy from the past was back, immediately did the aura check. Like with the other Buffy, there was no evidence that an outside force was doing any tampering.
"It’s almost as if you two, the two Buffys, were doing it yourselves. Did you happen to make a wish to a vengeance demon?" Willow asked.
"I don’t even know what a vengeance demon is!" Buffy protested.
Xander and Giles came in, carrying a huge board. Giles started to explain proudly. "Look, Buffy, this are two calendars, one for 1997, and one for 2002. I colored the dates 2002 Buffy went in the past red, with blue for the dates in the future when you visited us. Nifty, don’t you think?"
"Great, nifty goodness. How will this help?" Buffy asked, looking at the board dubiously.
"It will help us keep track of the exact moments the switch happens. We don’t see a pattern yet, but one may emerge. At what time did you, um, travel here today?"
"Five to three, in your Buffy’s office, I think. What is it she does? Counseling? Wow. I never imagined that would be my career."
"Neither did we, dear, neither did we, " Giles muttered. Willow and Spike shared looks.
"Here, I have this, I need to give it to you in case I switch back. It’s the address of a kid who came to me today, we have to stake his brother, who’s probably turned into a vampire." Buffy held out a crumpled piece of paper to Giles, who took it gingerly.
"Um, right, one of you Buffys had better check it out on patrol tonight. If you are still here, one of us will come along."
They all went about their business. Buffy thought the whole setup was completely off. A house full of people, and half of them didn’t even talk to each other. Xander ignored Spike, in fact, everybody pretty much ignored Spike. Senior Buffy made Spike cringe, Giles ignored Dawn, Dawn cold-shouldered Willow…and still no Mom. And she was getting really bored, too.
She tried to think of what had happened before the first switch. A normal patrol, in one of Sunnydale’s many graveyards, staking vamps…No, that wasn’t true. There had been no vampires that night. There had been a weird looking demon with a beautiful necklace. Could that have been the vengeance demon? Well, if so, she was absolutely sure she hadn’t wished vengeance on anyone. Besides, the demon was dead.
Giles knocked on the basement door. "Spike?" he called out. There was no answer. He trod gingerly down the steps, and saw the vampire had opened the blacked out window, and was staring out at the evening.
"Rupert, " Spike acknowledged him.
"I’d like to ask you a few things about the soul, if that’s alright with you. You seem to be doing quite well, lately."
Giles was still talking to Spike’s back. He turned, and Giles was struck again by the improvement that showed in his face. He looked at Giles, considering his question, and nodded.
"You asking this out of pure, unadulterated watcherly curiosity, I presume?"
"Um, yes, I suppose so. Shall we go upstairs? This place is rather lacking in comfort. Not to mention the sound of the washing machine."
Spike hesitated. "It’s a bit crowded up there, mate. Prefer a bit more privacy, myself."
"I can sympathize with that! I’m doing everything I can to find a flat soon. We can use the dining room, they’re all away or in their own rooms."
They settled themselves a bit awkwardly at the dining table. Giles produced a bottle of decent Scotch, and poured them a generous tot each.
"Didn’t know I rated the good stuff, Rupes."
"I thought a celebration was in order, Spike. Or would you prefer William? You’re the first vampire in recorded history to win a soul. No small feat!"
There was a silence, but a surprisingly comfortable one. They sipped their drinks. After a few moments Giles coughed and said: "Alright, Spike, I’d better start, shan’t I? What I’m most interested in is why you went after the soul."
Spike stared into his glass. "Remorse. Despair. Pride."
The silence stretched out. At last Giles accepted there would be no other answer forthcoming, or at least not at that point, so he plowed on into the next question.
"How did you get it?"
Spike told the story of his journey to Africa and the ensuing events, keeping to the barest of facts.
"I’m impressed, Spike. Also very curious. You gave the impression it was quite easy to find out how to acquire a soul. Could any vampire have found out and tried it?"
Spike shrugged. "Wasn’t that hard to get the info from a couple of friendly demons."
Giles smiled. "I think you must be a unique kind of vampire. When I remember Angelus…which I’d very much prefer not to, nothing was further from his mind than regaining the soul! You actually seeking one is unprecedented."
Spike threw back the remaining scotch. "Can’t say I enjoy being compared to the bloody berk. I’ll be off, now, Rupert. Thanks for the Scotch." He made to rise, but Giles put a hand on his forearm and gently drew him down again.
"Come, Spike, not so hasty. Have another one. Now that you’ve regained your sanity, we should discuss what you can do with a soul, what role you could play for the forces of good."
"Please!" Spike made a face. "You’re giving me a horrible feeling of déjà-vu! Didn’t you try this tack already, and I didn’t like it then, so why the repeat?"
"I think a soul is couple of notches up the scale from a chip, Spike, you should take it more seriously."
"Maybe. So far, I’ve been rather busy, what with separating hallucinations from reality, don’t you know? I’ll see about doing good when my life is in order again."
"And what would be a well-ordered life for you, Spike?"
"Good question, Rupes, good question. No answer yet."
Giles didn’t have a response to that. He got up and had started to clear away the glasses, when he was stopped by a question from Spike: "Rupert? What exactly happened to Tara? And Willow?"
"Good God, Spike, are you saying you don't know? Has no one told you?"
Spike smiled wryly. "Just rumors from the demon world. Maybe you’ve noticed the gang’s not exactly talking to me. I didn’t want to ask Willow herself."
"But surely Buffy…" Giles spluttered. Spike shook his head.
"That's absurd. Truly absurd. You've been living in her basement for how many weeks now? Good God. She was taking care of you, she could have filled you in!"
"She protected me, fed me, kept me clean - surely the rest was up to me?"
Giles pursed his lips. "I'd say there was a little more to it than that…She owes you…"
"She owes me nothing, Giles, absolutely nothing," Spike interrupted. "We're not friends."
"I suppose not; I wouldn’t know what to call it, but surely…since your…connection…a little more consideration…After all, gaining a soul is something of major importance in the universe, tipping the mystical scales as it were. Makes you player, instead of just another vampire…"
"Hey!" Spike protested good-naturedly, and Giles shook his head at his lack of vehemence.
"You have changed!" Giles sat down again, and uncapped the bottle of scotch once more. "I need more alcohol to tell you about the events last May. Pity Buffy didn't, she saw more of it firsthand than I did. And even Xander! Saved the world, you know!"
They kept on drinking steadily, as Giles told his tale, and it was two very sodden Englishmen that sat at the table as the night grew older. Giles wondered again at the impetus that drove a vampire to regain a soul.
This time Spike answered, some of the old gleam in his eyes. "I was jealous of Angel, mate." Giles leaned forward, riveted. "Wanted to have hair like him, knew I needed a soul."
"Oh, for fuck’s sake, Spike, stop taking the piss!" Ripper taking him over when he was sloshed, as always.
Spike’s fist slammed into the table hard. "You know this, Rupert. For her! To make her love me, blasted idiot that I am...never happen. Hates me. Hates to be reminded of what we did."
He stared hard in to the glass he was gripping, unable to prevent a choked sob from escaping. Giles awkwardly patted his shoulder.
" Women… no saying what they'll do, Spike. Say one thing, want another. No point trying to change for them - half the time they realize later they didn’t even really want you to…"
Giles ended up on Joyce’s couch, assisted there by Spike, whose capacity for alcohol didn’t seem noticeably diminished. Spike went down to his basement, waiting for the rest of his life to happen.
Buffy was running through unfamiliar woods at great speed. She was naked, filthy, her snarled hair whipping around her while she ran. She could smell herself, a truly impressive stink compiled of years of sweat and piss and blood and decay. She had a stake in her hand. She was The Slayer.
She ran into a clearing, and paused. There was no single recognizable feature, just humps of earth and stone, but Buffy knew in her blood this was a graveyard. The slayer paused at a tumbled heap of rocks. She reached between her legs and smeared her juices on a rock.
Buffy turned over in bed, and even in her sleep thought ‘Ew!’ Why was she doing that?
The slayer slowly stalked among the tombs, half-crouched, ready to spring. Then she put her head up in the air and sniffed. A low growl escaped her throat. She withdrew in the shadows of a low hillock. A vampire neared. His was a terrible visage, that made Sunnydale vampires appear civilized by comparison. His normal face must be completely misshapen. He had no jaw, and his forehead sloped as if caved in by an injury. He scented the air in his turn, and turned his face in the direction of the Slayer.
She stepped out of the shadows. She sang a taunting phrase to the vampire, and starting prancing around on a low tomb. She wiggled her ass in his direction, lifted her breasts to show off their weight and firmness, and again reached between her legs. She lifted the glistening hand high and licked the fingers one by one. The vampire advanced at a trot, his excitement clearly visible, for he wore no clothes either. They started circling each other. The Slayer moaned and tossed her head. The vampire lost all semblance of control and threw himself at her, slapping the stake out of her hand.
The Slayer roughly grabbed his huge cock and thrust it unceremoniously inside her. They bucked and rocked violently, giving voice to their feelings with horrifying yowls and screams. Their nails raked bloody trails on their backs and breasts, and who was beast and who was woman was hard to tell.
Buffy squirmed and twisted under the covers. She knew so well how the Slayer was feeling. There was nothing like fucking a vampire, no release so great.
The vampire lost control first and bit into the Slayer’s neck, growling even more loudly than before while he spasmed. The Slayer rode his orgasm, coming vocally herself, and then whipped out a stake that her tangled hair had hidden and rammed it in his chest. He exploded into dust. The Slayer lay motionless for a moment, panting, and then got up and searched for her other stake. She threw her head in her neck and howled her joy at the moon.
Like Tarzan, Buffy thought, falling into deeper sleep, hand still between her legs.
Continued in It’s now or never (6)