Prologue

Goodbye Sunnydale…hello Roswell.

Spike was sitting in the chair in his crypt, still and quiet, held tilted up as he stared at the ceiling. The abundant energy and talkative nature he was known for were completely absent. It had been a few days since Buffy had told him that being with him was wrong and that she couldn't ever love him so it was over. This coming only a few weeks after the incident behind the Police Station had him extremely depressed. Incident, right, she'd pounded him into the ground remorselessly. Nothing he said had gotten through to her, the blank look in her eyes as she hit him over and over still haunted him. The look on her face when she told him that their relationship was killing her wouldn't leave his mind either. He was also trying to ignore the fact that she'd just left him there to die. He knew she hadn't wanted to kill him, she could have if that had been the case, he hadn't been fighting back. But the fact that she left him there in the alley behind the police station so close to dawn without knowing if he could make it to shelter in time for daylight stung. That she hadn't bother to check on him at all after that or apologize rankled as well. She'd paid about at much attention to him as a punching bag, which was what he'd effectively become. He meant nothing to her, the bruises and fractures she'd inflicted that took over a week to heal, told him that. He had no other purpose to her other than something never someone as she delighted in telling him as often as possible to use as a tool, be it as a punching bag or to scratch an itch.

Everything he had done to help her, all the times he'd tried to show her that what he felt for her was real. The devotion he'd shown not just to her but to her memory, the way he'd tried to fulfill his last promise to take care of Dawn to the end of the world after her death. None of the ways he'd tried to get her to connect to life and him after her resurrection had worked. It was all pointless in the face of her rejection, just thrown back in his face. He didn't know how it had gotten to this point when all he'd wanted to help, all he ever wanted to do was help her…no matter who the her happened to be in his life. Suddenly he sat up, that thought had resonated within him. All his existence, be it in his life or unlife that was all he'd done. Try to please and gain the attention of the woman who held his heart, first Cecily, then Dru and now Buffy, his mother could be included in that list as well. The problem in that is that no matter how hard he tried he always seemed to fail. The situation with Cecily was nothing less than a disaster and no matter how much care he'd given Dru she would never be over what Angelus had done to her. The same thing could be said for Buffy, her problems had been compounded by Captain Forehead even before her delusional friends ripped her from heaven, as if the bloody Chosen One could go to a hell dimension after a hero's death. He still couldn't bear the thought of what he'd done to his mother.

He couldn't stay, the realization almost drove him to his knees. He wasn't helping Buffy, he was hurting her, but how can I leave her and the Niblet. Dawn, he'd promised to protect her to the end of the world. You already failed at that once, he scoffed thought of the look on her face as she saw him plummet of the tower before he could stop that bastard from cutting her and opening the portal that took her sister from her, then the despair in her eyes when she her sisters broken body lying on the ground after closing said portal. As for Buffy, he was walking proof that you could be dead while still walking around, and from the look on her face she was dying inside.

"Okay, time to think this through", he spoke for the first time. "Alright Spike what are the options here…I can stay, stay and continue to put up with the condescension, self-righteousness and disgust." He almost snarled he remembered the various indignities the Scoobies had subjected him to over the years. The Scoobies, they were another equation he had to consider. Demon girl and Glenda were a bit of alright in his books but Red, the Whelp and Watcher were a different story. He had no doubt the Whelp and Watcher were just waiting to use any excuse to dust him and Red was on a massive ego and power trip lately.

No, continuing as is was not at option. "I've made mistakes, I'm the first to admit it. I've done some terrible things in the past, but that's just it, it's in the bloody past! I'm killing myself trying to do the right thing here and what do I get for it". He barely noticed he'd left his chair started pacing and his voice was rising in agitation. "I've bleed for her, hell all of them. I've turned against my own kind against everything I've ever known, I've helped them time and time again and for what. Another round of kick the Spike and playing the scapegoat, being a dirty little secret..." His voice trailed off as he sighed. "And the bunch of bloody do-gooders are the biggest bleedin' hypocrites. Everyone gets a second chance but Spike, everyone gets forgiven but Spike. Not like I'm the only one of them that can claim that I've tried to kill them in the past. Hell, I'm not the only that's killed period, Demon girl's job was to commit the most imaginative destruction possible for over a thousand years. Those people the singing demon the Whelp summoned are still dead last I checked and no one's even mentioned his responsibility in that."

Spike slowed to a stop in front of his chair before dropping back into it. "All the same where would I go and what would I do if I did leave. I'm a protector and provider, it's who I am, not just what I do." He sighed again before tilting his head back to look at the ceiling. After gazing at the ceiling for a moment, his thoughts cycling between staying or leaving. "This is bloody bullocks!" he suddenly screamed at the ceiling. "I can't leave and I can't stay." He stood up in a rush of motion and started pacing again. "This is going nowhere, I need to kill something", he stated and nodded decisively, "that'll help me figure out what to do". With that Spike moved around the crypt picking up various weapons and stashing them all over his body before putting on his treasured leather duster and striding out into the night with purpose.

A few hours had passed and although Spike had come across a couple of fledges they were completely outmatched by his much superior fighting skills. The lack of a good fight had increased his anxiety about the decision he was trying to make. He was highly agitated at this point, he'd stayed out hours later than he usually did looking for a fight and dawn was swiftly approaching. The entire time he was searching the same thoughts were going round and round his head with no resolution in sight. "I just need to kill something, one good fight!" Just as he was about to pack it and resign himself to a night of introspection and dare he say brooding, he shuddered at the thought, he saw a faint light in the distance and heard what sounded like a struggle. "About time", he said under his breath, "I was about to start beggin' for a sign from the bloody universe" then began running toward the light. The closer he got the clearer the sounds became, until he could hear muffled cries for help and the rhythmic sounds of chanting.

Spike slowed a bit as he got close enough to clearly see what was going on, wanting to get the lay of the land before just jumping into the middle of a ritual. There were four rather large demons in front of him performing some sort of ritual, the demons were armed to the teeth and dressed in some sort of strange amour that looked like a soot colored metal/leather blend. The demons were like nothing he'd ever seen before, not that he'd seen every type of demon there was, even in his over a century of unlife. He shrugged, beheading worked to kill pretty much anything anyway. They were all around 6'5 and well-muscled, their skin appeared to be a mottled dull grey brown and looked almost scaly. The demons had 6 fingers on each hand topped with brownish-black claws. Their faces weren't human looking in the least, they had elongated wolfish snouts with stained fangs, pointed ears like elves and deep-set coal black eyes. There were no discernable differences between them although the demon that seemed to be leading the chant had a large scar bisecting his snout, mentally Spike dubbed him Scarface. Only, three of the demons were chanting and holding onto glowing crystals while the remaining demon was restraining two teenage girls, that looked to be either sacrifices for whatever the demons were attempting to summon, or cargo for wherever they were trying to go. Taking in the scene Spike made the split-second decision to free the girls first and hope that he'd had enough time to stop the ritual the demons were performing.

Spike drew his sword and using vampiric speed managed to come up behind the demon holding the girls and decapitate him. His appearance startled everyone but the demons continued chanting. "Run," Spike told the girls as the body fell. Two of the demons stopped chanting and handed the crystals they had been holding to Scarface who never ceased his chant, they then drew their swords and charged Spike. After making sure the girls had followed his instructions he met the clash of the sword of one of the demons, thankful for his vampiric speed as he was barely able to evade a strike from the second demon. These demons seemed to be well versed in swordplay and for a second he found himself struggling to keep up with both at once. It was only his decades of experience that kept him from being dust.

The first demon swung for his head as the second one aimed towards his midsection. Spike caught the blade heading for his head against the edge of his own. He then slashed downward as he turned toward the second demon kicking him back then stepping close to the first demon, drawing the next swing of the second demon toward the first. He then thrust kicked the first demon away from him while beheading the second. "Need to be more careful what you wish for in the future Spike", he muttered to himself as he noticed the voice of Scarface rising in cadence, signaling to him that whatever ritual was being performed he needed to kill the last two demons immediately or things could get go south quickly. Using a sudden flurry of sword strikes, blows and kicks Spike maneuvered the demon he was fighting nearer to Scarface. Once he had that demon on the defensive he abruptly turned and ran toward Scarface, picking up one of the dead demons dropped swords on the way, throwing his sword through Scarface's chest and beheading him with the one he'd just picked up. Immediately turning to face the last demon he didn't see the glowing portal start to open behind him where the chanting demon had stood. He was caught off when the final demon lunged at him imbedding the sword Spike held in it's chest while pushing Spike through the portal.

"Bullocks" was all he had time to say.