Last time: The first victim, Angelus, is revealed. A drunken Spike gets a little too close to the Slayer.

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.

Chapter 6


"Is it something in the drinks on this world?" Spike wondered. Here he was, once again waking up in a room he barely remembered falling asleep in. The banging in his head was new. No, wait. That was actual banging. There was someone at the door.

Spike rolled out of the massive bed, threw on his jeans, and walked to it while yelling, "Hold your horses" to the unseen visitor. It wasn't Blue, he had a key. He'd be willing to bet it wasn't the Slayer, mostly because she didn't know where he was staying…or at least he didn't think she did.

The suspense ended abruptly as he yanked the door open. It was a messenger, judging by the green uniform and the envelope being extended in his direction.

"Are you Spike?" the young man asked.


"This is for you, sir." As the hand-off was completed the delivery boy turned and hurried back down the hallway. Spike looked the cream-colored envelope over, on both sides, curious of its contents. The envelope itself was a heavy cream vellum, and the handwritten name on the front was written in an elegant script. Turning it over, he slid his pointer finger under the flap and lifted it to reveal the note inside.

'The honor of your presence is requested tonight, at Bluebloods. A transport will be sent for you. There is important information regarding the Slayer that I wish to discuss.' ~Udelis

The wizard, huh? It didn't appear that refusing the invitation was even an option, but Spike would gladly accept. He needed as much data on the Slayer as he could lay his hands on…and didn't that take his thoughts in the wrong direction?

Suddenly all he could think, taste or feel were the remaining traces of the Buffy he had snogged last night. Bloody hell.

Logically, he knew that it wasn't HIS Buffy. The bird not only looked different, she moved and even smelled different than her Sunnydale twin. The look in her eyes, a heartbreaking mix of desire, anger and loneliness, was the same look he suspected was reflected in his own. He'd felt those same emotions warring inside him since his breakup with Dru. Seeing it last night made him want to make all the pain go away…for both of them.

His initial attraction may have been a carry-over from the golden girl back home, but once he felt her kiss him back, it became all about the girl from Darkwood. It was her body he felt and her lips he tasted. Elizabeth. Not Buffy.

His mind was becoming overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings about both slayers. To his surprise, however, was the fact that none of those thoughts included their untimely deaths by his hands. When had that begun?

Spike couldn't wait to meet with the warlock that evening. If there was truly no way to avoid it, he would kill Elizabeth. For the first time since arriving, however, he found himself hoping that there might be another way.


Buffy woke up with a smile on her face for the first time in months. It was involuntary, of course, and as soon as her brain became alert, her standard frown was back in place.

Last night had been confusing, to say the least. On the one hand, she still chaffed at the audacity of the Elders for bringing an assassin here to kill her. She spent most of last night trying to lose him and his demon sidekick. She didn't get a moment's peace until they had finally given up and went for drinks. On the other hand, the same assassin had kissed her like no one ever has before. How was she supposed to deal with that? Enemies didn't go around sticking their tongues in each other's mouths or rubbing their bodies against one another. Especially not an enemy who had killed other slayers!

He was intoxicated, that was obvious. She was stone cold sober. What was her excuse then?


The car arrived at the hotel, and Spike was notified by the front desk. He jumped into the back of this world's version of a vehicle, which looked a bit like the cars from the 20's and 30's back on earth. The car didn't travel that far outside the city, when it turned into a huge half-circle drive that sat in front of a palatial white stone two-story building. The entrance had red carpet that lead from the drive to two enormous doors that were nearly twice the normal height. There were potted plants and Grecian columns across the front of the building. The crowning jewel was the large 'Bluebloods' sign adorning the roof that was lit with indigo blue spotlights.

Spike felt under dressed, as this placed screamed money. There were two uniformed doormen, both Carnyss demons, that let him pass without question. Once inside, a cute little thing asked to take his coat. He declined feeling the need to keep it close, and thankful for the cover it provided. The hostess, he assumed, waved him over and addressed him by name.

"Mr. Spike, your party is already here and waiting. If you'll please follow me." She made her way to another set of doors and opened one waving him forward.

"Just Spike," he said as he passed.

The outside did nothing to prepare him for what was inside. He was expecting a Gentlemen's club, the kind he and his father were members of back in England. He'd envisioned overstuffed leather chairs and cigar smoke swirling about. This WAS a gentlemen's club, but the only thing overstuffed in here appeared to be the men's trousers. It was a strip club - a very high-end, classy one, but still just a strip club.

They had reached the table occupied solely by Udelis. "I'm guessing the Elders don't frequent this place much, eh?" Spike looked around the dimly lit establishment, until his eyes landed back on the stage and runway. Three different girls were in various degrees of undress. As he took his seat a scantily clad waitress appeared at his elbow with a drink menu in hand.

Spike looked it over, noticing several blood options. After ordering a Human A+, warmed, he addressed the male witch. "You got me here. What was so bloody important?"

Udelis' mouth turned down at the corners briefly before he responded. "I'm sorry. I thought you might actually enjoy this little distraction." He swept his hand in front of them in the general direction of the ladies on stage. "Yeah, yeah, they're lovely. What's this have to do with the Slayer then?" Spike cocked his head to the side waiting for an answer.

"I can see that you're all business. I can respect that." Udelis took a deep breath. "Let's get right to it then."

The waitress managed to arrive at that exact moment with their drink order. Spike wanted to be annoyed, but the warm blood smelled divine. A sip or two would take the edge off. He may appear calm and determined, but between his encounter last night and the half-dressed women in the club, he was anything but. He was already straining painfully against the zipper of his pants.

Taking his glass from the server, he immediately took a swig. The viscous fluid coated his throat as he swallowed a few mouthfuls. He felt the warmth pool in his belly. Was there anything better than perfectly heated human blood? His brain fought the answer. He knew the one type of blood that made all others pale in comparison. He tasted it, once. His mind carried him back to China, and his very first slayer. The rush he got from her blood was unlike anything he'd ever experienced.

The memory was quickly interrupted. "So, as I was saying, I brought you here to share some information I recently discovered about our Slayer and her curse." Udelis looked around to see if anyone else was listening. "This is something that I haven't shared with the Elders yet."

That certainly got the vampire's attention. "Is that so?" And why is it you feel compelled to share it with me then?"

"Because, Spike, I know that you have interacted with her, more than once, and she's still not dead. I assume there's a reason for that. I think this may prove that you were wise to wait."

"Get on with it then, my blood's getting cold." Spike emphasized his statement by downing the rest of his glass.

"In my research, I found the original spell used to create the curse. What the Elders told you was true. For the most part." Udelis leaned in closer. "They left out something important. I don't know if was intentional or not, and I brought you here just to be safe."

Spike wasn't all that surprised to learn they hadn't been completely honest with him. "I don't see any of the wankers about, so…"

"The spell did create a curse that would be activated by the death of "an innocent" at the hands of a slayer, in a moment of pure hatred. What the High Lord didn't say was that once activated, the curse can also be broken. The original Elders wanted to allow the slayer a chance for redemption. They never intended for this to be a death sentence. I don't know if the High Lord was never told, or if he knew and deliberately left it out…the curse was created hundreds of years ago, after all."

The warlock may want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but Spike wasn't feeling as benevolent. "If I'm following this, mate, it means I don't have to kill the girl? If I don't, doesn't that get me stuck her in your world? Thought our deal was, kill the girl and back home I go?"

"I was very specific in the wording I used to summon you here, yes. But my exact words were only that you STOP the slayer, not KILL her. If you are able to break the curse, giving her back her humanity, it would still send you back home."

"That's a bit of a game changer, alright." Spike didn't realize he'd said that out loud until Udelis responded.

"So, you are open to the idea of not killing her then? I was hoping you would be. I don't think I could live with myself if I let you kill her knowing her life could be spared."

"Oi, not a monster here. If the bird can be saved, I'll give it a try. But make no mistake. If it comes down to a fight to the death, I will take her out."

"I'd expect nothing less." He nodded in agreement. "Thank you."

"How's the curse broken then? Some fancy potion? Reversal spell? Or let me guess, some true love's kiss bullshit?" Spike laughed at his last retort, only to be silenced by the slight reddening of Udelis' cheeks.

"Are you bloody kiddin' me?" Spike couldn't stop his eyes from rolling. "As much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, if I was the chit's true love, that curse would've been over last night." He drew in a breath as the truth of what he'd just revealed sank in.

Udelis asked immediately, "You kissed the Slayer?"

Now it was Spike's turn to be embarrassed. "It was a heat of the moment thing. I was pissed drunk. Didn' mean anything." Except that it did mean something, he just wasn't going to admit THAT part out loud.

"Oh." Was the only response. Then, "I think we've veered a bit of course here. That is to say, a kiss will not break the spell."

Spike jumped to the wrong conclusion again and sputtered, "I'm not about to do more than kiss her, if that's what you're getting at."

"No! I meant nothing of the kind. The curse can only be broken if the slayer can let herself feel genuine remorse, empathy, and yes, even love towards another. Basically, if she can feel the emotions that the curse stripped from her, all on her own, then the curse will be lifted, and she will go back to what she was before."

"Why didn' you just say so?" Spike demanded.

"To be fair, you hadn't given me the chance."

"True. Sorry mate. You got a plan as to how we're gonna fix her?" Spike was curious now as to his role in all this.

"I have been thinking about that. I think it will take some time, and I'm unsure how much time the Elders will allow." He raised his hand up to massage his temple. "The first thing is to try and stop her from killing anyone else. Whatever you've been doing seems to be working because there have been no new reported deaths since your arrival."

"That so? Haven't done much except tracking her with Blue. Had a conversation or two is all." Spike cleared his throat rather than expanding his explanation of the previous night.

Udelis continued on, "Well, I would keep doing that. Then, if you can get her to listen, try to explain the curse to her. She probably isn't aware of how she has changed, or that she has the power to change back."

"And if that doesn't work?" Spike questioned. Surely, there was something more they could try.

The warlock looked him straight in the eyes. "I don't know. I couldn't find any other information about the curse. I'll keep looking and will let you know if I find anything helpful. In the meantime…"

"Looks like I'll be gettin' all chummy with the Slayer." He shook his head as he raised his hand to order another round. "I'm sure this is going to end well."

Next time: Spike confronts the Slayer.