Alternate world AND characters are all mine (so are any mistakes).

Chapter Notes:

Line taken directly from BTvS Season 2, "Halloween".

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

"Nobody loves no one."

("Wicked Game" - Chris Isaak)

Chapter 1

Sunnydale, CA

He was pissed. Both figuratively and literally, as it turns out. Pissed drunk. The world overhead was spinning in a way that made him want to throw up the two bottles of whiskey he had just sucked down. Spike could feel the burning liquid edging up the back of his throat. To vomit would not only be an embarrassment to all vampire kind, but it would amount to nothing less than alcohol abuse. He promptly swallowed any thought or inclination to purge his stomach's contents.

Instead, he allowed the scent of damp and decaying earth to fill his lungs unnecessarily and forced himself upright, using the slick blades of grass as his only stronghold. He looked around blearily at the tombstones surrounding his grassy repose, knowing he would need to move soon. To stay put would risk him passing out in what would become his final dusty resting place, should the sun rise over his current position. "Not like anyone would miss me," he thought bitterly.

He sighed as he let his eyes slowly shut. His head suddenly felt like a dead weight (pardon the pun), and it was talking all his strength to keep it from rolling backwards. What little remained of his functioning brain cells screamed at him that falling asleep was not an option. It was a death wish. As images of Dru and her various demon companions swirled in his mind's eye, he began to care less and less about moving. Was life really worth living if it meant living alone? Perhaps turning to ash in the early morning sunrays would be a welcome end to all his suffering.

"Sunshine an' ashes, what the bleeding fuck were you on about, Dru?" Had she seen him go up in flames? Was that what she had meant? No. That couldn't be the way of it. You're surrounded by her. You taste of ashes. There's nothing even I can do for you now.

The Slayer. So maybe he did get a little obsessed with his mortal enemy. What self-respecting baddie wasn't? It didn't mean he wanted to throw away a century of blood, sex and devotion. Spike wanted nothing more than to put the girl six feet under. How could Dru possibly think he had somehow grown to care about her? How could she walk away from him…AGAIN?

There was no mistaking the implications of Dru's ramblings. With a disgusted sneer he slurred, "An' it's not like the bitch'll give me the time o' day! She's too good and proper for that, yeah? I know it. Just 'nother bint taken in by the broodin' poofter. Don't wan' anymore of his sloppy seconds." As drunk as he was, even Spike could hear the lack of conviction in his last statement. Who was he kidding? He'd give his right arm to have the Slayer look at him the way she used to look at his he was some kind of bleedin' hero.

His eyes blinked back open as he stared up into the heavens. The sky was pitch black, like the raven hair of his dark princess. How he missed it. The feel of it as he brushed the long strands out for her, sometimes running his fingers through it like a comb.

Just then, the clouds moved away to reveal a shining moon. The silver orb shone so brightly it brought another image to his mind. He no longer saw the long black locks of Drusilla. Instead, it was the flowing tresses of the slayer in action, at night, with moonbeams reflecting their silver pallor on her skin and hair. God but she was a vision.

Thinking about the two not-so-loves of his unlife did nothing to improve his current mood. If anything, he was now more maudlin than ever. The truth of it was that he was damn lonely. Not since the night he was made vampire had Spike ever felt this alone in the world. The emptiness was more than just the lack of a bedmate, though if he had to keep wanking it, he was concerned he might do some permanent damage. No, the void he felt was the lack of any real connection to another person. It brought back memories of William, and Spike would not, could not, allow that to happen.

He wasn't that pathetic tosser anymore. He was a killer. A master vampire. He was someone to be feared not pitied. Yet, he found that he pitied himself right about now. Sun's not sounding so bad after all, huh?

Spike squeezed his eyes back shut as he chased the terrible thought out of his mind.

"Fuck that!" he yelled at the moon. In a move that even surprised him, Spike rose from the ground and stumbled his way to a safe place to crash for the night.

The crypt was cold and dusty, but he would likely be its only inhabitant aside from the skeletal remains in the tombs around him. He would grab some shuteye, and then wake up tomorrow to figure out how to turn things around in this god forsaken town. Spike was back, and it was about time folks knew it.

Elsewhere (in an alternate reality)

An emergency meeting of the Darkwood Elders was about to commence. The matter which brought them together on this particular night was of grave importance. In the history of their leadership, they had never been faced with a problem such as this.

The Elders, as they were often referred, were a panel of elected officials whose job it was to oversee the enforcement of law, the management of business practice and municipal policy, and finally, to act as the Council of Watchers for the line of Slayers. In a population made up of both human and demon-kind, the Slayer played an important role in maintaining a peace between the various races. To avoid any racial unrest, the Elders themselves, were made up of a diverse and inclusive group of creatures.

The room was filled with the sound of a gavel cracking against the wood of the table. That signaled the members of the council to take their respective places. "This meeting will come to order," said the tall Ano-Movic demon, thereby ceasing the voices of those carrying on side conversations. All eyes were on the High Lord as he continued, "I want to begin by thanking you all for coming tonight. I appreciate the fact that this has been an inconvenience to many of you, but feel the situation warrants our direct attention." There were nods of agreement all around the table.

"As you may know, rumors have been circulating that our Slayer has been involved in multiple unsanctioned deaths in the past few months. These killings were done without thought or provocation. With no actual proof of her wrongdoing, we were hesitant to act before trying to neutralize her through standard protocols." The red-skinned creature paused before continuing, raising his fingers up to massage the base of the horn protruding from his left eyebrow. On a deep exhale, he went on, "Our local law enforcement has tried to subdue her. They have failed and sustained several casualties. Mercenaries from the Demon Brigade attempted a stealth attack. It failed as well. To make matters worse, our forensic teams have gathered evidence from the victims, and have proven that the Slayer was responsible for at least 20 deaths that we know of, so far."

This caused an uproar among the other Elders, as everyone began to talk at once. The crack of the gavel sang out three loud raps as the word "Order!" was heard.

"Ladies and Gentlemen of the Council, we cannot allow the Slayers' behavior to continue. We have exhausted our best resources to no avail." At this point, a human hybrid standing off to the side of the room was motioned to come forward. He was human in appearance, with a salt and pepper beard and mustache and no hair whatsoever on top of his head. He wore a long scarlet colored set of robes that swished at his heels as he walked. Once he had reached the table the High Lord began, "Standing before you is Udelis. He is a powerful warlock. He came to me once he heard of the atrocities perpetrated by the Slayer. He believes he has information that could prove very useful in dealing with our situation. A Prophesy, actually."

The Elders started to grumble quietly, until the High Lord raised his voice once again. "Please. I beg of you. Please, hear him out."

A Kawaini demon spoke up and encouraged Udelis to continue.

"Thank you Elder Trar'anath. I know that it is hard to believe that the tragedy we are facing could have been foreseen. However, I believe that I have found a Prophesy that is directly related to the recent killings. It speaks of a Slayer that turned on those she was supposed to protect. According to what I've read, by breaking one of the most sacred oaths of her calling the slayer triggered the ill effects of a curse. The results of which led to horrific behavior and countless deaths. I haven't found the details of the curse just yet, but I think you'll all agree this sounds very much like our current circumstances."

The warlock was interrupted by another member of the council, "So far, you've told us nothing of value. If you can't tell us how to stop her then this is nothing more than a waste of our time."

The High Lord responded, "You haven't let him finish. Please go on, Udelis. Tell them the rest."

Udelis bowed his head toward the High Lord in appreciation. "I thank you for your continued patience. As I was saying, she is formidable, possibly even unbeatable. As long as she suffers the effects of the curse, she will not stop killing. She is incapable of telling friend from foe. She is incapable of listening to reason. However, there may be another way. The prophesy refers to the existence of a Slayer of Slayers. A being from another world that can be summoned here to defeat her. "

This news was met by another swell of conversation, the Elders clearly more interested than before. The warlock was addressed immediately, with several inquiries as to how the summoning could be performed.

"Have no fear, I have come prepared. The High Lord, upon hearing of this possible solution, asked me to bring the necessary ingredients to do the Summoning tonight!"

"I make a motion to put this to an immediate vote. Do I have a second?" The High lord watched as three other council members raised their hands. "Seconded. All in favor?" With resounding ayes the motion passed.

"To the vote then. All those in favor of summoning the Slayer of slayers, say aye." A chorus of "Ayes" was once again heard from around the table.

"All opposed, say nay." Nothing but silence.

"Hearing none, the ayes have it. We will commence the summoning at once. Please have the Demon Brigade send in four of their officers, just in case the creature is hostile or unable to be reasoned with. We shouldn't take any unnecessary chances."

As the warlock set out the required elements and chanted the words, somewhere on another world the Slayer of Slayers slept like the dead…passed out face down and drooling on a dust covered sarcophagus dripping with cobwebs.

Soon an icy cold feeling started creeping up his jean-clad legs, from the tips of his Doc Martins, past his knees, rising towards his waist. That was enough to rouse him!

"What the buggerin' fuck?"

If felt like he was being dipped in ice water, but there was no water here. Spike quickly looked around the darkened space, barely able to see. He patted down his leather coat and pulled his lighter from one of the pockets. In the few seconds that took, the freezing chill continued its climb up his torso. His arms were next as he tried and failed to light his lighter.

Spike had felt a great many things in his life and the unlife there after, but nothing like this. This was different. As his alcohol addled brain tried to react to the strange sensation, the cold worked its way up his neck and face until it reached the top of his head. He was completely entombed in the sub-zero numbness, and as he started to think that this might not be so bad (there was no pain at least) he suddenly felt a shock of electricity course through him, as if struck by lightning!

"Bloody hell!" he screamed. And then it all stopped. The tingling shock, the cold…it was all gone. Spike hadn't even noticed the soft carpet he landed on, the brightness of the room, or the thirteen faces staring at him.

Someone cleared their throat grabbing the vampire's attention, while others quietly chuckled at the loud outburst.

"What tha'?" Spike looked around, finally, realizing that he was either dreaming or he was no longer in Sunnydale. At least not in the crypt, anyway. It was the strange assembly of humans and demons that had his attention at the moment.

The warlock, who Spike had not even noticed, took a step towards him with hands raised in supplication. "Are you feeling alright? I imagine you feel a bit strange from the teleportation. Welcome to the City of Darkwood. My name is, Udelis, and these fine people are the Council of Elders. We have summoned you here in the hopes that you would help us with a problem we're having. You are the Slayer of Slayers, are you not?"

Teleportation. Slayer of slayers. Just how much did he drink? This can't be for real?

Spike rubbed the back of his neck with one hand, as he tried to make sense of everything. His mind was spinning, again, but this time as a result of something other than the booze.

"So, you lot jus' teleported me to god knows where, thinkin' I will help you with your little problem. Hate to break it to you, put I don't wear a bloody white hat. I don't know what you've heard about me…yeah, I may've helped the slayer a time or two, but that was it. Helping folks, that's a Slayer's job, innit?"

The High Lord wasn't sure he quite understood all of that, but at the mention of the Slayer, he spoke up. "You see, that's just it. It's our Slayer that IS the problem. She's killing, out of control and we need someone that can stop her. We'll give you everything you'll need…money, housing, nourishment, and weapons. We just need you to kill our Slayer."

Did he hear that right? They WANT him to kill their Slayer? They're going to pay him to kill HER!

As a smile slowly formed at the corner of Spike's mouth, the Elders heard him say, "Well! This is just... neat!