Disclaimer: All the characters of BtVS and Ats belong to Joss Whedon and Co., no matter how often I wish it were otherwise. But the original characters are mine mine all mine.

Summary: This is post season 7. The First has been defeated with a minimum of death and destruction. (If you're one of those militant Spuffy people don't continue reading, it will only upset you.) Spike has pulled himself together and gotten the Hell out of Dodge. "Where has he gone?" you ask. To New York of course.

A thin rain fell on New York City, almost invisible except for where it met the light of a street lamp. Spike stalked the streets a cigarette hanging from his lips. Two months ago he had left Sunnydale behind but he hadn't been able to leave the pain behind. It followed him everywhere he went, all the way to New York City. Spike hadn't been here since the late seventies; he couldn't believe the changes a mere 25 years could bring. Times Square, once a haven for hookers, pimps, and drug dealers, was now full of happy gaping tourists snapping pictures and spending money. Disney had taken over. At least the neon lights were still there. They lit up the sky turning night into day. This was as close to day as Spike was going to get and he was grateful for it.

For several days Spike had felt as if something were directing him. Tonight he had planned to loiter in Times Square watching the people go by but instead he headed for the subway at Port Authority. He got on the uptown A train and took it almost to the end, to 190th Street. When he exited the station he turned right and entered Fort Tryon Park. He couldn't remember ever having come here all those years ago. Yet he seemed to know where he was going. He soon reached a clearing and he could see the Hudson River flowing on his left. Straight ahead was a large stone building that looked like a castle or an old monastery. Now Spike was curious and so he made his way to the front of the building. There was a street light there and by its light he read the sign declaring the building to be The Cloisters Museum of Medieval Art, a part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Strangely, the door was ajar. After hesitating for only a moment Spike entered the building. At the top of the stairs he found himself in a large hall. A few lights barely illuminated the space but Spike could see that he wasn't alone. A figure stood in the next room apparently examining one of the exhibits.

The figure seemed to sense Spike's presence and turned. Spike walked forward until the two were only a few feet apart. The figure turned out to be a man, pale skinned and dark haired. Like Spike he was dressed all in black.

The man cocked his head to one side and said, "I have to say, I didn't expect to meet a vampire here. And a vampire with a soul no less. Let's see, blond hair, leather duster, soul. You must be Spike, a.k.a. William the Bloody."

Spike's eyes narrowed. "You seem to know quite a lot. Who and what are you?"

"My name is Morgan. I am half human, half demon. I've heard quite a bit about you on the demon grape vine."

He stopped and he and Spike both turned to the doorway. A man was standing there, a human. He hesitated at the threshold until Morgan waved him in.

"Come on in. We were just getting acquainted. I'm Morgan, this is Spike and you are...?"

"Lindsey," said the man.

Morgan's eyebrow's rose. "Lindsey, formerly of Wolfram and Hart?"


"Well, well. Aren't we a group? Gentlemen, I think it's safe to say we have been brought here," said Morgan, stepping aside to reveal the exhibit behind him.

It was a stand with three swords on it. They were black as pitch, like slits in the dim light.

"So who are we talking about?" asked Lindsey. "The Powers That Be?"

Morgan shrugged. "Your guess is as good as mine. But the alarm system has been disabled and there isn't a guard to be found so we are supposed to be here. There are three swords and three of us."

Spike leaned forward and peered at the swords. "There's an inscription on each of them. It's Latin I think." He brushed away a bit of dust and read the inscription out loud. "The Three Shall Be As One. They Shall Be the Line Against the Darkness."

"So what does this mean?" demanded Lindsey. "We're the Three Musketeers?"

Morgan raised an eyebrow. "I think there's only one way to find out."

They each reached out and took a sword. Simultaneously they pulled the blades out of their scabbards. The blades too were black. The three men looked at each other. Then, not knowing why, they crossed the swords with a clash of steel on steel.

A brilliant light shot up from the center of the swords, then disappeared leaving the room darker than it had been. The three stepped back and lowered their swords.

"Well," said Morgan, his voice a little shaky. "Now we know. I gotta say, I think I would have appreciated a letter or a recording rather than having the information dropped into my mind but at least we know."

"This doesn't make sense," said Spike. "I'm a vampire, you're a demon and you're a lawyer who worked for Wolfram and Hart. Not exactly champion material."

Morgan frowned. "Maybe that's the point. We aren't going to judge anyone are we? We don't see things in black and white. And I'd be willing to bet that we've got a lot more compassion than the average hero."

He turned to Lindsey. "The first thing we have to do is get you up to fighting speed. Fortunately for you this just happens to be something that we know quite a bit about.

"Come on. We'll go back to my apartment and have a really big drink. Then we can figure out what happens next."