Disclaimer: The work contained within is merely my playtime with the characters created by Joss Whedon and I in no way own any of them, or anything like that. Unfortunately. It sucks. But I'll just continue my plot to kidnap and clone James Marsters for myself.
Rated NC-17. Just in case.
Si Primo Venit
Paranoid Or Stoned?
Buffy's eyes burst open from sleep and she sat bolt upright, sweat covering her. That was a dream she didn't want to repeat at all. She'd started off with a fantastic dream about building rollercoasters and owning a farm, which had quickly turned into walking into a room to see Angel killed a maid. His hair was long and it looked like more of a memory than a dream. But again, not wanting a repeat.
She got out of bed, dressing quickly, heading for school. It was a little after seven, so she was early, but she knew Giles would be there. And as if on cue, as she walked into the library, there he was, with Jenny, apparently sharing a coffee. Their body language spoke volumes and she squicked a little at the thought of what they had been doing.
'Hey.' Buffy said, taking a seat. 'So, I was sleeping all soundly, having a nice dream about theme parks and ponies, when suddenly, bam, Angel.'
Giles stood straight, smiling apologetically at Jenny. 'You had a dream about Angel?'
Buffy shook her head. 'I was in Angel's dream.'
The librarian removed his glasses, blinking rapidly. 'I'm not sure that's…'
'Giles, there was stuff in this dream that I couldn't possibly know about. It was Angel's past, he was dreaming it, and somehow I got sucked in.' Giles looked at her. 'There's something wrong with him.'
'I know. I've seen him. He wanted to know why he was back.'
'Well, haven't you been looking into that?' She demanded.
'We have. Spike has been researching a while, but he was more insistent the last time I saw him.' Buffy frowned.
'Angel did this thing – he's been staring at things that aren't there.'
'Yes. He did that last night. But then he started…well, for lack of a better term, he freaked out a little.'
'Spike did it too. Last night.' The Slayer thought back to their encounter. 'He was fine. We were patrolling, he was normal, almost himself again and then…bam. He stared at something, I couldn't see anything and then he was gone.' She looked to her Watcher. 'Do you think…whatever it is, is affecting both of them?'
'It might be so.' Giles looked at the time.
'So we're going to help them?'
The library doors swung open and Xander walked in. 'Where do we start?' Giles and Buffy looked at him in surprise. The teen smiled bashfully. 'Look, I'm aware I haven't been the mostest best friend to you when it come to the whole Angel thing, but, if this thing involves Spike too, I'm in. He's not a bad guy, for a vampire, and he knows how to listen to a man moan about the ladies.'
Buffy let the comment slide, and looked to Giles.
'Well, we start, not surprisingly, with research.' He moved to the office as Jenny approached him. 'I'll get what we have already.'
'Rupert, I'm going to go. You have everything I know. I have papers to grade and you know this stuff…'
Giles nodded, running a hand down her arm. 'Perfectly understandable. I'll see you later.' He leant down and gave her a quick kiss, ignoring the disgusted noises from Buffy and Xander. Jenny smiled at him and left. The librarian turned to the teens. 'Let's see what we have already.'
A few hours later, and several missed classes, the group were joined by Willow, and they ploughed through the information they already had. None of them had found any link causing the vampires to be brought back from hell, and Buffy had moved to
looking at prophecies. She'd gone through half a dozen about cheese and confused, she'd put them to one side. Her hand drifted over a new page and she sighed heavily.
'Found anything?' She asked Willow, who shook her head. Xander slammed his book shut.
Buffy frowned, and looked back down at her page, skimming over the notes. The words jumped out at her catching her attention. The Man within defeats the Beast.
'Hey.' She motioned. 'This looks promising.' Giles looked up from the counter. Buffy looked over the rest of the page, disregarding another passage about cheese. '"At the mouth of Hell, two warriors fight. One for light and one filled with both. The Man within defeats the Beast and the pair will be fulfilled."' She looked up. 'I have no idea what that means.'
Giles took the page from her, reading through it. 'The pairs will be fulfilled.'
'Well, we have a pair of vampires.' Xander pointed out. Willow nodded in agreement.
'But who's the man?' The red head asked. Xander grinned.
'I have been referred to as such.' Willow hit him. Buffy smiled at their antics and then looked back to Giles.
'Is there more of this prophecy?' She queried and he nodded.
'It looks like it. But it's in an archaic form of Latin that will take some time to translate.' He frowned at her. 'I will get started on it straight away.'
Spike tossed and turned, pushing the covers off the bed and groaning as he pulled himself from the nightmare. He opened his eyes to the darkened room and swam out of unconsciousness, the remnants of the dream burning into his memory. He knew suddenly that he wasn't alone, although he heard no heartbeats and smelt no one else there. But the prickling at the back of his senses let him know he had a visitor.
He sat up, and let his eyes adjust to the darkness. Standing at the foot of his bed was a figure, an obviously female figure with long hair.
'Spike…did you miss me?'
He jumped, her accented voice the last thing he ever expected to hear. 'Cath?' He asked, trying to focus on her. He scrambled out of bed, pulling the curtains to the side to let the light in.
'You got my gift.' She smiled, and he laid eyes on her for the first time in ninety years. She was as beautiful as he remembered, with her red hair loose like he liked. She was wearing the usual clothes she'd always patrolled in, disguised as a boy. And her smile…god he'd missed her smile. He stared at her, gobsmacked to see her. 'It is good to see you, Spike.'
He moved forward, but she backed away.
'You're not quite the same though.' She whispered. He shook his head.
'It's been a long time,' he admitted. She looked at him sadly.
'And you've fallen for another.' He didn't answer. 'Will you kill her too?' His head shot upwards. Cath was leaning towards him. 'After all isn't it what you were born for? To slash and bash, maim and kill. Slayer of Slayers.' Suddenly Cath was gone and Darla stood before him. 'My darling boy. My first. And such victories you had. Pity you went and got yourself saddled with a soul. How many Slayers is it now? Five? Oh no, Angelus took the last one.' Darla smirked. 'Well, technically he took both of them in the carnal sense.'
Spike felt sick and he turned away. Darla didn't leave him be, moving round to stand in front of him. 'I hadn't seen you coming, boy. But it doesn't matter.'
He didn't hear her properly as he backed away, shaking his head. 'No. Leave me alone.'
Cath was there again and he shut his eyes tight, unwilling to see her. It's not her. It's not her. It's not her.
'Oh it's me, Spike. Remember? The Slayer you loved? The one you killed? You know how it goes. You care, we die. And we weren't the first.' She smiled, but he didn't see, his eyes still tightly shut as he pressed himself into the wall next to the bed, wishing she would go away. 'You'll get everyone you care about killed. It's just how you work. That's your real curse. After all,' she sneered, 'You don't need a soul.'
Buffy opened her eyes to find herself in a luxurious bed, and she rolled over, seeing she was not alone. The man beside her reached over, his fingers trailing down her back, under her top. She arched into the touch, her mind suffused with arousal as his hands roamed over her skin. She moaned and he moaned too, kissing a path down her neck. She had her back to him as he pulled her into a spooning position against his cool body. His kisses continued and his lips caressed the pulse point in her neck.
He slipper pyjama top off and his hands continued to roam freely, pushing her further and further into ecstasy. She closed her eyes, letting the sensations wash over her as he pulled her naked body even closer to his own. Their carnal intimacy spiralled and he thrust against her, pulling her head round to kiss her fiercely as he rhythmically pounded into her, making her cry out. As she neared the precipice, he vamped out and she fell over the edge, barely seeing the eyeless priest watching, as his fangs slipped into her jugular.
In the library Buffy, awoke with a gasp, sitting straight up and knocking several books off of the shelf she'd fallen asleep against.
In the mansion, Angel awoke on the stone cold floor where he had passed out, his ghosts tormenting him. He could still taste Buffy in his mouth.
In his apartment, on the carpeted floor, his face pressed uncomfortably against the skirting board, Spike opened his eyes, guilt suffusing his being. He turned, looking up, feeling sick to his stomach as Cath smiled at him. 'You will kill her. It's what you do best.'
Angel looked up, gasping for unneeded air as the ghost of Kendra circled him. 'You want her.'
'No.' He protested weakly.
'Take her. Take what you want. Pour all that frustration, all that guilt into her and you'll be free.' The dead slayer's voice surrounded him as she drew closer.
'No!' He tried to shout but it came out as a quiet yell. Kendra smiled, leaning in closer.
'You can't live for eternity with all that pain. This is what you are. This is why we brought you back. Take her. And then you'll be ready to kill her.'
Buffy headed down the stairs as Giles emerged from the office, a book in his hands. He looked up as she approached, not really noting the shocked look on her face.
'Buffy, take a look. These letters contain references to an ancient power known as The First.'
'The First?' She looked confused. 'The first what?' She ignored the approach of Xander, who listened to what Giles had to say.
'Evil. Absolute evil, older than man, than demons - very few have heard of it, fewer believe in it. But it is a force that transcends all realities, all dimensions, and if focused, could have had the power to bring Angel and Spike back.' He looked over at Buffy, finally noticing how pale she looked. She focused on the book.
'So it's evil. Which is bad.'
'Traditionally, but we don't know that this is-'
'Hey.' Buffy cut him off, seeing the picture in the book and pointing at it. 'I saw him. I had a dream...'
Giles frowned. 'Another one? What happened this time?'
'I'm not...I know I was with...someone. I got bit. And I saw this guy.'
'Was the dream about Angel?' The librarian asked, concern in his tone. Buffy shrugged, her eyes flashing to Xander briefly, who looked apprehensive.
'I don't know. I don't know if it was Angel or Spike. All I know is, I was being killed and I saw this guy.' She looked up at her Watcher. 'Who is he?'
'They're known as the Bringers, or the Harbingers... High priests of the First. They can conjure spirit manifestations of the power, set them on people. Influence them, haunt them...' His eyes widened, as did Buffy's.
'They're what's working the mojo on Angel and Spike.' The Slayer stated.
'We gotta stop 'em.' Xander put in, peering over to look at the picture of the no-eyed priest.
'You can't fight the First, Buffy, it's not a physical entity.'
'But I can fight these priest guys?'
Xander nodded. 'If we can find them.' The slayer thought for a second, looking at her friend.
'Xander, what are you doing tomorrow?'
The boy shrugged. 'Nothing during the day. What do you got in mind?'
The Slayer looked at him, her expression pure business. 'Well, it's Christmas. Time to look up some old friends.'
Getting information from Willy's had left them still at square one, and Buffy had finally instructed Xander to go home. She was heading home herself when she remembered that her mom had made her promise to invite Faith over for Christmas Eve. The younger slayer was on her own, and whilst Buffy didn't feel like sharing the love, she knew she had to at least extend the olive branch. So she headed for Faith's motel, her thoughts anywhere but with her, more wondering where the two vampires in her life had got to.
Knocking gingerly on the motel room door, Faith answered quickly, brandishing a stake. When she saw it was Buffy, she dropped it, but didn't look pleased to see her.
'Hey.' She greeted the older girl and Buffy smiled.
'Hey.' The blonde pushed a strand of hair behind her ear, ducking her head a little. 'So, me and my mom, we were wondering if you wanted to come over for Christmas. There's always a surplus of food, and y'know, it's a time to be together and all.'
Faith eyed her carefully. 'Well...there was this party I got invited to...big deal kinda thing...' She was clearly full of crap, putting on a brave front. She shrugged. 'I guess I can blow it off.' She turned, grabbing her coat and heading out into the night with Buffy. After a few moments of silence on the way to Revello Drive, Buffy sighed.
'It's hot, huh?' She asked and Faith nodded.
'Yeah. I've been in some humid places but this is ridiculous.'
Silence fell again, until they reached the Summers' residence and they went inside to find Joyce waiting with hot chocolate. The older woman greeted them both warmly, and they sat down to watch some films. The evening progressed slowly, and Buffy remembered that she had gotten Faith a little gift. She hadn't felt it fair to leave the girl out after all. She headed upstairs, telling her mom to leave her presents alone.
As she opened her bedroom door, the hair on her neck stood on end. Angel stood by the window, looking every inch like Angelus, except he was almost sweating and she calmly stepped into the room, leaving the door open.
'Buffy...' He gasped out.
'What is it?' She asked cautiously.
'I had to see you...' He stared at her, but his focus was not on her eyes. 'I don't know...You shouldn't be...' He didn't finish, his eyes roaming over her and Buffy suddenly felt like she was dinner.
'Angel, stay calm. Just tell me what's going on.'
His eyes flickered to the side, and he appeared as though he was listening to something, but his eyes twitched and he winced. He looked back to Buffy. 'You have to stay away from me.'
'You came to see me to tell me I can't see you?' She asked, confused. He reached out to her and she took a step back, her eyes wide. 'Angel, something is doing this to you. You just have to control it...I know you're confused.'
'I think you're the one who's confused. I think you need to...' He closed his eyes, standing still. Buffy looked around the room, wondering who was speaking to him.
'Angel. Please. How can I help you?'
He snarled, grabbing his head. 'Leave me alone!' He shouted, but Buffy wasn't sure if it was directed at her. Then he threw himself out of the window. Buffy rushed over to see where he was but he was gone, out of sight. She whirled around to see Faith come up the stairs, stake drawn.
'Was that Angel?' The brunette asked, and Buffy nodded.
'I'm going after him.' She stated, heading down the stairs. 'Will you stay here, in case he comes back?' The other slayer nodded.
'I'll play watchdog. I really don't get it though.'
'I will explain.' Buffy said, the promise directed at her mom and Faith. 'I will, later.' And she headed out the door.
'You have to do it. What else are you good for?' Cath sneered as Spike cowered from her words. He had his hands over his ears and tear tracks were plain to see on his cheeks. He scrambled backwards, eager to escape her.
'Get away from me!'
'Don't you want it, Spike? That sweet ambrosia? Nothing better than Slayer's blood.' The words kept coming, kept taunting him and he buried his head in his arms, trying harder to get away.
'I'll never hurt her.'
'You were born to hurt her.' Cath snarled at him. 'Have you learned nothing? As long as you exist, you will hurt her.'
He looked up. 'No.'
The ghost of his dead love looked at him with disdain. 'No? You've already killed four, five including Kendra. How could you not hurt her? Sooner or later, you will drink from her.'
'No.' Spike repeated, shutting his eyes. For hours he'd listened to her, allowed her to burrow into her mind. He'd been weakened, and the dreams had not helped. Dreams of holding Buffy in his arms, then killing her. Snapping her neck, or draining her. It didn't matter. Every way he was responsible for her death. How could he avoid it? It seemed so set in stone.
Cath laughed, and the sound was cruel. 'What are you going to do? You don't have the strength to kill yourself. And the sunrise won't work.' She gestured to his leg. 'Thanks to the gift that made you want to be a man.' She mocked. Her words hit something within Spike and he opened his eyes.
'You're not her.' Spike realised suddenly. How could he have been so blind? So stupid? Of course this wasn't Cath. Catherine could never be so cruel. She'd hurt with her fists but she'd never say these things. Why would she encourage him to be a better man, then tell him to kill an innocent? He pulled himself upright. The visage of the dead slayer scowled, and suddenly she was gone, becoming Darla again. He shook his head. 'No. Not real. Just ghosts.'
'I am not just a ghost, William.' The image of Darla said. 'Maybe you're not as stupid as I thought.'
He stared at her. 'What are you?'
The face of his Sire smiled. 'You should be thanking me, really. I didn't realise by dragging him back, I'd be bringing you along with him. But of course, I thought I could make it work to my advantage. It doesn't matter though, sunrise will be here soon and not all vampires have your ability to enjoy the light.'
Spike frowned, confused by her words. 'I don't...' The words sunk in. Not all vampires. 'Angel.' She smiled evilly. 'You've been twisting him too. Making him see...'
'Oh he's so much easier to play. I should have realised. You always were a little more...perceptive. But then, he was all broody and tortured. You like the game too much.' She shrugged. 'Like I said, it's too late now. And he was always the prize for me. He dies, I win. Or he could kill the Slayer still, but either way...' She shrugged again. She smiled at him again and then disappeared. Spike looked around, the fogginess of the past few days clearing from his mind. He grabbed his coat, stepping outside and scenting the air.
He had to find Angel before he did something stupid.
He'd picked up the younger vampire's scent from the mansion, and he followed it across town. Sunrise was coming; he'd been able to smell it for a long while now, and he hoped that he would find the other vampire quickly. The temperature in town had dropped significantly in the past few hours, and the streets were dead as he raced through them. Angel's scent led him through the outskirts and up to the lookout, where you could see the whole town.
And there the great lug was, standing on the hill, looking out over the houses and various other buildings, a sad look on his face.
'This is a really stupid idea, you know.'
Angel didn't turn, didn't acknowledge him. He just stared. 'I bet half the kids down there are already awake...Lying in their beds, sneaking downstairs...waiting for day.' He looked up at the slowly lightening sky. Spike rolled his eyes.
'You know it wasn't real right? Whatever was haunting us.'
'It wasn't haunting us. It was showing us the truth.' The brunette said, his tone even and calm. Spike snorted.
'That's bollocks and you know it. This is just another easy path for you. First you separate Angelus from Angel, to relieve some of the guilt. Now you're jumping off a bridge to stop yourself doing something you wouldn't do anyway.'
'If I stay, I'll kill her.'
Spike stepped in front of him. 'You really think I'd let you?' He was practically snarling, and Angel flinched, taking a step backwards. 'You seriously think I'd stand by whilst another Slayer I loved got killed?'
Angel's eyes snapped to his. He'd admitted it now, and there was no taking the words back. The darker vampire eyed him carefully for a few moment. 'You...' He didn't finish. 'Of course you do.' He sighed. 'I wanted to lose it, Spike. I wanted to take her in my arms, become the monster again.'
'It's too hard.'
'You're damn right it is.' Spike almost lost it, but he held on the edge of his cool, even though every part of him longed to give Angel a good smack. 'Every day is harder than the next. And you know what? That's what makes it worth it. Everybody struggles. That's life.' Angel looked at the older vampire as he continued. 'Maybe this power did bring us back. But that just means it needed us for something. Which puts us in the driving seat, Angel. We're in control.' The younger looked away, his eyes on the horizon, waiting for the sun. Spike growled. 'You think you're alone.' He said, trying to keep the tone of his voice level. 'You're not. You're not the only souled vampire. You don't have to shoulder this alone.'
Angel looked at him then, and they both bristled, sensing the coming sunrise. 'Why are you here, Spike? Why do you care?'
'Because she loves you. And I'm not watching her suffer because you're a prat.' He paused. 'And like it or not, you have the power to make a difference in this world. To make amends. But if you want to take the cowards way out, then you're obviously not as strong as I gave you credit it for.' He snarled. 'Burn for all I care. Or live. For her sake. She had to watch you die once, Angel. You want to hurt her that badly again?'
They both knew she was there, watching, her tears a scent on the wind. Angel didn't want to turn, didn't want to see her face, her tears cause by him. Spike didn't look either, but he knew time was short.
And then it started. One or two flakes, followed by more, floating to the ground.
It was snowing.
Spike took a step backwards, looking to the Slayer finally. She looked at them both with tears running down her cheeks. Angel turned to her and began to walk slowly in her direction. Spike watched for a second as they embraced and then moved past them, heading back into town through the deepening snow. White crunched under his feet and his mind took him back to the last time he'd seen Catherine alive, in the snow. He smiled at the memories of the snowball fight, not allowing himself to think beyond that.
A hand on his shoulder brought him out of his reverie. He turned, seeing hazel eyes looking at him with gratitude. She reached up, brushing snow from his hair. He looked around, confused.
'Why aren't you with Angel?'
'He went home.' Buffy replied. 'He knows now...that he was played. I think you cleared a few things up for him.'
'I thought you'd be walking arm in arm in the snow. Being romantic and all that crap.' Spike mused, his eyes not leaving hers.
'I could have done.' She spoke quietly. 'But romance and Angel...not the sort of thing to mix these days. Besides...' She smiled softly. 'I want to be here.' She hooked her arm through his, and he looked at her, stunned. Buffy nodded. 'You can walk me home.' She said, and he nodded, stunned by the request. She rested her head on his shoulder as they walked.
'Thank you, Spike.'
To Be Continued
I thought I'd leave you with a little Spuffied chapter ending there ^.^ totally didn't think I'd get this finished tonight, but hey, I just kept typing!