By Sweetprincipale

Set in early Season Five. When Dracula called Buffy 'kindred'', he was doing a bit more than just saying they had a lot in common. Hungry for knowledge of herself and her power, Buffy didn't realize what kind of connection he had forged with her until he left town, and the damage was done. Hoping to break his hold over her, Buffy requests help from Spike. However, the way you break the hold of one vampire is to let another one possess you more fully. But, it'll only be temporary, right? Simple business, that's all…

Dedicated to: All the talented readers who kept me inspired, reviewed, and supported me!

Author's Note: This piece references some things mentioned in the very early chapters. If you are confused about symbolism or specific events, just remember that this is a reeeeally long piece and I've been carrying it in my head for two years.


"Hi. Am I waking you up?"

Wesley blinked. Daniela was still sprawled across him, naked perfection in alabaster and mink, all the pretty textures that he should not be lucky enough to enjoy.

"I didn't expect that you would be up quite so early. I seem to remember you staying out most of the night on patrol."

"Well, I've got a couple minutes before I go to class," Buffy said, "and patrols have been faster lately with everybody helping. With Spike helping." She smiled affectionately at her husband who was still waking up. He was sitting groggily at the kitchen table. Buffy stifled a giggle as Spike Jr. hopped up and stuck his head in her abandoned cereal bowl. It took Spike a few seconds of blinking to realize what had happened.

"Here, get out of it!" he exclaimed.

"I imagine that would make patrol much easier."

"Right. Um. Speaking of patrol—let me start again. Did you hear from Angel lately?"

"Alas, no."

Buffy cocked her head. People still use words like "alas"? "Well, we saw Angel last night." Spike growled and Spike Jr. high-tailed it back to Bitty Buffy.

"Oh, thank heavens! Is he all right? Where was he?"

"Here, in town. He's fine. Correction. He was fine until he tried to shish-kabob Spike. He ended up shished. Not in a fatal way. Just in a very hole-y way. That's hole with an e. And no w."

Wesley took a moment to sort that out. "You staked him?


"Dear Lord."

"Believe me, he deserved it. I seriously might have killed him, if I hadn't known how important he was to you and Cordelia and everyone." And if it wouldn't have put a damper on Mom's budding a friendship with cultured artsy people.

"You needn't restrain yourself on my account," Daniela's sleepy voice drifted over the phone.


"I'm still evil, my love. Fashionably so, and is not revenge very fashionable?"

Buffy frowned. "Yeah, well, don't be too evil around my mom, okay?"

Daniela's voice came closer. "Don't you know that evil things are still able to love, mon enfant?"

"I do." Vows on top of vows. Buffy slid over to the table and draped her arms over Spike's neck.

"I find Joyce utterly loveable— and so do the Slayer and her Kindred One. I haven't lived so long by being stupid." The vampiress chuckled softly. "You needn't fear for your mother or her friends— or even Angel. It would cause my Kindred One untold sorrow to lose him."

Wesley abruptly lost interest in his employer and wayward friend. "Kindred? Daniela! You said—"

"Hang up, Luv." Spike gently took the phone as heated French and more heated moans began. "Unless you have a voyeuristic streak you'd like to explore?"

"Nope." Buffy slid onto his knee. "I think after class I want some deep dish privacy. Just you, me, and the kittens locked out of the room and watching Animal Planet to keep them busy."

Spike groaned lustfully— then frowned. "You can't just stick them in front of the telly to entertain them. They need some proper toys. A scratching post and one of those rings where you bat the balls into the hole."

"You're one sexy cat-daddy. Travers' owes me a Drac is Dead bonus. We'll blow it all on a honeymoon and cat toys."

"Mmm. I love the way your mind works."

"I know how your mind works," Lorne handed the pale, silent vampire another whiskey. "You don't actually have to sing for me to feel your emotions. You're lost. You need a challenge to take your mind off of your heartbreak. You need to be useful. You need to feel like you're the good guy. You need a shower." Lorne wrinkled his nose as he surveyed the blood-stained, scruffy figure at the back table of his club.

"Shut up. Sorry. Not in the mood."

"Hmm. Well—" Lorne felt distinctly uneasy, but he couldn't say why. It was part of the empath's curse-slash-blessing. As the daylight was approaching, the thought of sheltering a broody, violent vampire until dark made him sigh. He had silk sheets and a seabreeze to slip into. "Could you be not in the mood back at your place? You have just enough time to make it home before Mr. Sun flambes you."

"Let it," Angel muttered into his drink. Stab the hero with pointy sticks. Fall in love with an evil, murdering weakingly with a bad dye job. Women! No pleasing them. "I save the day, and she doesn't even appreciate it! She staked me! Three times! And she called him 'honey'!"

"I see the whiskey is kicking in. Okay, time for me to kick you out."

Angel let himself be led, slurring as he protested. "I mean, where are the women who appreciate a guy storming in an' setting them free from enslavement? Since when does the guy who storms in to kill the soulless monster get the business end of a stake!?"

"Maybe it was the storming, Angelpuss. Or the fact that if a woman calls him 'honey' she might not want him dead. Depends on the lady. Anyway, I— ARGHHH!"

It was at that moment that a swirling portal opened up, right off stage left, and a hideous Drokken Beast came snorting and clawing from it. "A Drokken!" Lorne screeched, reaching for a chair.

"A what?" Angel sobered up instantly.

"From Pylea! Kill it!"

"You have a no-violence-in-the-club rule!" Angel protested, circling as the beast howled and sniffed.

"That's for ordinary demons, not demons from my home dimension who eat humans—ow! And want to eat me!" Lorne screeched as the Drokken took a swipe and split a table like tissue paper.

"Well, at least I get to save someone tonight!" Angel roared, vamped, and lunged.

He took the Drokken Beast's head in his hands and snapped its gnarled gray neck as they struggled. The vampire fought recklessly, imagining it was Spike he was savaging. In moments, they fell in a heap, the tusked-figure still and lifeless on a carpet of mossy green grass.

Grass? Grass!?

Angel scrambled up. Twin suns glistened harmlessly overhead. "Uh… Hey?"

Lorne's voice came from far away."Nice job, you killed it. Now, get back to this side before the portal—"

The swirling mist abruptly blinked out of sight. "Closes?" Angel finished, feeling panicky.

Something distracted him from his feeling of dread. Shouting. Running footsteps. Frightened breathing.

A girl in ragged clothes with long brown hair flying out from her slender form came tearing across the clearing. Two red-skinned demons with sparking metal rods came shouting after her.

"You'll be punished, Cow!"

"Upstart slave! You'll be lucky if they let you live!"

Slave? Cow? That was a girl, a human girl, if his nose didn't deceive him. "Hey. Excuse me. Kind of an out of towner here." Angel flagged the runners down. The girl kept going. He saw her making her way up a rocky pass at the edge of the forest.

"Human? Another cow, a bull, this one!"

"Look at the size of him. He'll fetch a good price."

Angel grinned. "Do you sell humans like cattle?"

"It's what you are in Pylea, Bull. Hold still and this won't hurt. Move, and there'll be pain!" One figure held out a large metallic circle— a collar.

Angel swiped viciously when his attackers were in range. One fell to the ground. "You were right. I moved— and there was pain."

A few minutes later, Angel stood over a pile of limbs and metal. He felt… ruthless and alive and he liked it. As he came down from the post-battle adrenaline rush, he remembered the frightened woman. He remembered the world he needed to get back to.

"Pssst. You can't stay out there. More will come."

Angel turned, startled. It was the girl, half-hidden behind a tree. "Where are we? What's the deal with—"

"We'll talk once we're hidden. I- I haven't talked to anyone in a real long time," she whispered nervously. "But I can talk to you. You're not… you're not gonna hurt me, right?"

"No. I'm—" he sighed, "believe it or not, trying to be the good guy, even though I'm a monster."

"Monster? What kind?"

He detected a note of Texas in her voice. "Are you from around here?"

"Heck, no." She led the way north, high into the jagged cliffs above the forest. "I lived on Earth. Think I must be in Hell."

"Pretty sure this isn't Hell. I've been there. It's hotter. And no sun. No grass."

"Well, wherever we are, it's bad. Thanks for savin' me. I don't much care what kind of a monster you are, actually."

Angel rolled his eyes heavenward. Storming in, saving the girl in distress—check. Getting home without being sold as steak? Still on the to-do list. "I'm—Liam. Some people call me other things, but you can call me Liam." Not an Angel. Hopefully, more man than demon. "What's your name?"

She turned and looked at him, a hesitant smile and bright, bird-like eyes in a thin face. "Winifred Burkle. But you can call me Fred."

"I've got bad news."

Buffy dropped her bookbag on the floor, panic tightening her insides. "Mom? Giles?"

"No!" Spike looked horrified. Silly chit. That would have involved him rushing into the burning daylight and shouting through lecture halls to find her. Family an' all that. Once, he would have worried about his wife's reaction to the announcement he was about to make. Now? He felt an unshakeable sense of calm.

"What then?" she sauntered up to him, bending to scritch the kittens as they rolled at her feet.

"Angel's been sucked into a portal. They want Willow and Tara and the rest of our jolly band of Four Corners to un-suck him. Watcher Junior may assist if needed."

"Yeah, sounds about right." Buffy giggled. "It would take the strongest magic on earth to make Angel suck less."

Calm gave way to a persistent trickle of heat, just like embers flared to life in the presence of fresh air. A sudden image came into his mind, dark water tangling two white bodies, lips on hers, breathing into her mouth.

Drownin' in you, Summers.

She breathed back, and the vision that didn't belong to him vanished. He gasped out, "God, I love you."

Buffy blinked, some sort of mental interference blurring his words. Breathe for me.


It was a struggle to get free, oxygen thick and unwilling to move, water like layers of lead.

Harder, harder.

He wouldn't let go of her, dragged her from the depths of swirling black water until they both broke the surface together.

We did it. We did the hardest things.

Speaking of hard things… Buffy slipped into his embrace, plastering her body to Spike's as she asked, "What do we have to do? Um. About Angel?" She searched his face to see if he'd felt it too, a shared surge of energy, something in the air between them.

"Nothing for now. The girls and Rupert will handle it. Xan'll go where Anya goes. Think they ought to be safe enough. Besides, Daniela's there." He smiled foolishly. For the first time in years, he and his Slayer both had people who could cover a shift. "If we want to go, we're welcome."

"Yep. I'm sure we could. Not that we need to!"

"So…?" One dark brow raised.

I want to stay in," Buffy answered automatically.

"I was hoping you'd say that," Spike sighed, sweeping her up in his arms.

Buffy sat up with a gasp.

She was in a dark, cavernous room, complete with blurry edges, palatial bed, and golden chalice.

Crap. I've been here before— and it wasn't good. Who hit the cosmic rewind?

"Spike!? Where's my husband!?" Her hackles went up, her muscles coiled, and—

"I'm right here, Gorgeous. Lay back down. Unless you want to get that ruddy big cup full of O Neg."

Buffy whipped around and saw him lying carelessly beside her. "You're here! In my dream. Wait, are you actually here in—"

"Bora-Bora. Duck."

"Yep. You're here. Why? Wasn't this Dracula's spooky dreamstate timeshare?"

Yeah, but he's dust. We're healed. We own this place now." Spike rolled over next to her and tugged her bare arm, feeling her skin as warm and solid in their dream world as it was in their waking one.

"Does this mean we're going to have sex in our dreams, too?" Buffy reclined against him, smirking.

"I believe that's a distinct possibility." He peeked under the sheet. Both naked. "A ruddy certainty."

"Oh, man. I'm going to be so exhausted!"

"You?! I'm just an ordinary vamp and I have to satisfy the strongest woman in the world. No wonder this place comes with my own personal drinks cabinet." Spike groaned playfully.

"One, you're no ordinary vamp. Two, I think I'm very easy to satisfy, when you're the one doing it. You're successful—multiple times a night." She leaned over him, giving him a petulant pout for complaining.

He nibbled her pout and paused, staring up at her. "This hasn't happened every night since Ol' Spooky popped his clogs. That's probably good. You'd want a break from me sometimes. Wouldn't you?" Drusilla had. She'd gone off on jaunts for weeks, even months.

"Stop that." Buffy ran her hand through his hair caressingly frowning as she picked up on old pains. "It'll be good to have some breaks, sure. 'Cause absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? But, Spike…" she held up her hand, sporting a diamond ring and another, subtler band, "we're never apart. Thee in me and me in thee."

"Our circle be unbroken," he rejoined, his ring finger sliding through hers, circlets of blood twinning on white and peach skin.

"You're mine forever, Kindred One."

She was right. He liked that— in this case. "Which means you're mine forever, Slayer."

Her eyes were shining up at him, blood pulsing for him, even in her sleep. "I wouldn't have it any other way."

He sighed as she did, holding her heartbeat to his silence and enjoying the perfect echo. "Kindred."


Thank you all so much. I hope that you've enjoyed reading this piece! Your kind comments will be answered, I promise. I couldn't do this without your encouragement.

Author's End Note: If you loved this story, I would love it if you would check out CrossRealms: You an' Me Against the World by S.C. Principale. It's on Kindle Unlimited and newly released, re-covered, and re-formatted! Thank you!