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Things Present – Things Past
By Estepheia and Marcee
R (for violence)
Most of the characters and institutions depicted in this story are property of
mutant enemy and Joss Whedon. No infringement of rights is intended.
NOTE: This is a response to the following challenge posted at Death Marked
and one other Scooby learning about William/Spike's past.
It must of course be a B/S fic and preferably have a
also must include:
phone call from Angel
spirit of the slayer from 1880
Part 1 - Hanging by a Thread
St. John Willoughby snapped the leather bound volume shut, closed the iron
bindings meticulously and produced a jagged iron key that hung on a silver
chain round his neck to lock the grimoire. He rose from his comfortable
armchair and put the book down on the leather seat to walk to the huge four
poster bed that took up most of the room. The girl that lay among the frilly
cushions was deathly pale. Her eyes were closed but her chest was moving. There
was still life in her. But not much.
brushed red curls away, vaguely noting that they looked as dull and lifeless as
the girl herself. He lightly touched the healed scars that disfigured her
throat, but there was no reaction. He hadn't expected one.
had always known that he would lose her. That after a handful of years of duty
he would stand at her grave and mourn her. He had read the Journals, studied
the Council's history, and had striven for professional detachment. But nothing
could have prepared him for the heart-wrenching pain that accompanied the loss
of her. And she wasn't even dead, yet. He took her limp hand into his and
kissed it lightly.
was a light knock at the door. It was the maid. She curtsied and held a silver
tray out to him. There was a card lying on it. "There are some gentlemen
to see you, Sir," she said with a thick Irish accent.
took the card but he didn't need to read the name. "Thank you, Mary. How
nodded. "Very well. I will receive them here. They will want to see her.
Have the cook send up tea and sandwiches, and tell Dawson to serve
The maid curtsied again and left quietly.
let go of the unconscious girl's hand and picked up the grimoire. He couldn't
let his visitors see it. He hid it in the only place where they wouldn't dream
of looking, underneath the blankets.
St. John Willoughby braced himself for the scrutiny of his superiors. Dealing
with the council directors was scarier than encountering demons and vampires.
an hour later there were seven empty tea cups scattered all over the room and
the cucumber sandwiches had been eaten. Four of his guests were roaming the
house, searching the library and questioning the servants, as if a sudden
change of allegiance of the house's owner was somehow reflected in his
surroundings. Perhaps it was, Willoughby podered, while hiding his disgust and
self-loathing from his distinguished guests.
other two guests, Horatio Bateley, a beefy man in his late fourties, and Arthur
Hartford, a gaunt man in his early sixties had accepted his offer of brandy.
Hartford was leaning heavily on his cane and there was a pronounced limp,
whenever he walked around. Bateley was sitting comfortably in Willoughby's
armchair. Both had made it quite clear, that Willoughby had no real choice in
the matter and that the Council expected him to comply. As always.
Edward," Director Bateley said, while swirling his second brandy in its
glass, "we have to put a stop to those disappearances. We can't allow
those creatures to hunt directly under our noses. The Council has a reputation
to uphold. We need a new Slayer, old boy."
can't tell you how sorry I am, Willoughby," Director Hartford added, with
more sympathy but similar determination. "I know this is hard for you, but
as long as she remains that way, the world is without a Chosen One. She has
been like that for almost 4 months now, and the forces of Darkness know that
the Council is without a Slayer. Bateley is right, a new Slayer needs to be
a shame, old boy, but you must admit that she didn't pass the Cruciamentum. Not
to our satisfaction," Bateley continued.
just stood there, outwardly calm, nodding as if his reason forced him to agree
with their words. But inwardly his rage was building. How dare they talk about
Maeve like that! She had fought for the Council for almost five years, one of
the youngest Slayers ever to be called and she had fought and studied well. And
still they had subjected her to the Cruciamentum. And he had obeyed their
orders unquestioningly, taking her powers away. Even without her superior
strength she had managed to vanquish the vampire that had been unleashed on
her. After the test Willoughby had rushed into the mansion where she and the
vampire had been locked up to congratulate her. He found her bleeding from a
gaping wound at her throat. He had managed to still the bleeding, managed to
save her. He had told her how proud he was of her, but she had only stared at
him for a long time, then she had turned away and closed her eyes.
wound was long healed, but she had never opened her eyes again. Willoughby was
convinced that it was his betrayal that was still festering in her, that kept
her hovering between life and death.
me one more week, Sir," he pleaded. He poured himself another cup of tea,
trying to look collected. If they had an inkling of the desperation he felt,
they would refuse anything he asked for. "I think she can still hear me.
Farnham sent me some herbs that Cheyenne shamans use in their vision quests. I
believe they may help me get through to her."
saw Hartford and Bateley exchange glances. Hartford nodded slightly. Bateley
shrugged and reached for more brandy. "One week," he said gruffly.
if it should come to the worst," Hartford said not without kindness in his
tone. "you don't have to do it yourself. We will send someone. There is no
need for you to go through that. And afterwards you'll get leave. Take your
family on a trip to the continent. Italy is nice at this time of year."
The Watcher nodded. "Thank you, Sir."
the other four Watchers continued to search the house. . Willoughby invited
Hartford and Bateley to Dinner, and they accepted. They had already met his
wife Louisa and his sons George and Charles on previous occasions. Willoughby
listened to their polite, non-Council related conversation. He smiled when
Hartford discussed the latest plays with Louisa, he smiled when Bateley
complimented him on his cook. He was still smiling when they finally left.
A week was all he needed to cast the spell.
Continued in Part 2 - Just Like Old Times
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