Title: Tart Hopes

Title: Tart Hopes: Seeing The Past

Author: Blaire Ryan

Rating: R,

Classification: Spike/Faith, Spike/Buffy nostalgia, Angel/Cordy Future Fic with a high dose of flashbacks.

Spoilers: Not any, just speculation.

Distribution: You Got the Stones?, Eternal Bitca, anyone else can have, just give me a holler where it is put up.

Disclaimer: To all the punks who own the stuff associated with B:tVS and A:tS.

Feedback: Desired much so.

Challenge: #38 at You Got the Stone? A sequel to my story Purposed Dream.

Author's Notes: Well, mi amigo Tommy decided to force me into writing a sequel by writing a damn challenge, so who am I to say no? This takes place in the sixties, just not the sixties some've us have experienced. Faith is a souled vampiress, extra strong and skilled, and Spike is a badass with a taste for blood, as usual. Though she doesn't have much in Seeing The Past, the next part, due out tomorrow or the next day at the latest, will have her story.

Dedication: To the writers at You Got the Stones? To Tommy, and Shadow for listening to my babbling.

Summary: Spike's trying to show Faith how good the dark side of her existence can be. She'd rather forgot that chapter of her past. Conflict much, or is there?

2067

I'd been hearing rumors for years that their were three active slayers, but not a single being, demon or otherwise, knew who the third was, or how she was called. There was the Russian, Natasha or something, that he'd heard about. She was one of those serious badass types, spent all her time slaying and enjoying it, but wasn't all that good. She'd been injured more than once, but never enough for another slayer to be called. Then there was that Krysta, olive-skinned South American with serious abilities, but little drive. She might last another year or two, but from what I'd seen, I doubted it. She didn't even guess that I was there, watching her from the shadows during her stay in New York. She was a little late to keep the vampire uprising down, though. I'd pretty much cleaned out the bowels of the town of those anarchist vamps. Can't have them ruining my bloody enjoyable world.

Back to the subject at hand, no vampire I'd talked to could even guess who this third slayer was. But then, no vampire I talked to was old enough to have experienced The War. The war that had nearly cleansed the world of all ancient vampires and demons. They didn't have knowledge of that deliciously dark, though annoyingly Angel-like, Slayer-come-vampiress.

I wasn't sure it was her, though, in the beginning. It could have just been one of those new breed of vampires. They were an annoying bunch, so strong and hard to kill. And they hated our kind, we "demonic ones." They weren't all bad, of course, a mate of mine is one of these new breeds. Michael's his name, and he's not a bad crowd to hang with. Got a couple of hot childer, too, actually. Not too old, but as powerful or more than any of us "ancient survivors."

It's kind of interesting, really, that the "ancients" now are nearly two millennia too young to have witnessed the crucifixion. Not that their had been that many before, but now there were none. Only one millennial vampire I knew of had survived, and that was, of course, the First One. He lives, of course, only because he is immortal in every sense of the word.

Yes, I'm not daft; I do know when I'm getting off topic. But you have to understand what I've been thinking of in the last fifty years. The war left quite a few of my old mates dead. It left me without a chip, too, but that was the least of my worries after ten years with that slayer that would never leave my memory. Like my dark princess, she would live on as long as I did.

Don't start to think I'm getting soft. I still do the killing thing, wouldn't be much to existence if I didn't. But, I've needed something to spark it up. And I thought, after stalking the slayers for a while, I might as well find out who this dark beauty if, and see what I want to do about her. Killing her would be a challenge, and fun, but so would taming her. Even Angel had a weakness to his goody-good attitude, as was seen when Dru and Darla caused that whole insane stint that left Darla as neutered as I was, and Dru as sane as I could never have imagined.

So, I would find this girl, and I would bring her to me, or kill her. Either way, it'd be a nice distraction from eternity.

May 2002

"Spike! Duck!" Buffy yelled, throwing the silver-tipped spear straight toward the "vampire" that they'd spent the last fifteen minutes trying to subdue. Neither Spike nor Buffy had ever encountered a vampire as strong as this one, and it would not die in any way they had tried. A stake through it's heart had left a sizzling wound that healed within a few minutes, and the holy water bomb had just left him wet. He was strong, at least as strong as Buffy, and not even remotely stupid.

This spear didn't even stop as it passed through the stomache of the menace, but the wound didn't sizzle, or start to heal right away. "Metal, it hurts him more!" Spike yelled as he planted a low kick to one of the vampire's legs, allowing Buffy to kick him in the face with her right foot.

As the annoyingly resilient enemy began to get up, Spike ripped one of the pieces of rebar out of the broken walls. Using it as an impromptu sword, he swung with all his inherent vampiric strength, evenly decapitating the foe.

Buffy held her ground, watching to see if he would stand back up and fight some more, but Spike collapsed onto the ground in exhaustion. He was hurting in places he'd forgotten he had, and if that damn teenage-looking vampire wanted to give another go, Spike would let him have the match.

The body didn't turn to dust, though, and Buffy was not about to stand down. She may have had a broken rib and probably fractured femur in her left leg, but she would not go down without one helluva fight. She didn't have to, though. The head, first, began to liquify and ooze. The body came next, and soon puddles of what looked like blood began to pool together. It spread across the entire floor of the burned-out factory. And finally, when all corners where reached, it evaporated and turned into mist.

Falling next to Spike, Buffy sighed and decided to let out what she'd been thinking. "You do realize we just nearly got our asses kicked by one vampire who admitted to being a fledgling, don't you? I mean, I've been around for quite some time now, and damn, it's been few and far between that I got it like that."

Spike nodded, took out a cigarette, and let out a little mumble of his annoyance about the fact she was stating. "Well, luv, we did beat him. Now, we know how to kill them if more of his kind come around Sunnyhell."

Buffy looked at him in surprise, "His kind? As in, there are more of them?"

Nodding affirmative, "I've been hearin rumors, actually. Seems like all the demon world is buzzing about their introduction into demon life. Half the demons hope our kinds will kill each other off, the others hope they cleanse the world of my kind so they can have an easier shot at ending the world by themselves. They don't like how fast we reproduce. These new ones are much slower, I guess," Spike snuffed out what was left of his fag, and tried to decide if he could get up.

"You knew this, for how long?" Buffy asked, already starting to stand. "We could've been killed, you moron! Why didn't you say anything?"

Shaking his head, along with the dirt off his duster, "Since about an hour ago, pet. That house we crashed to get this boy, they were talking in there. Couldn't you hear em?"

Punching him in the arm, "No, for some reason I was busy slaying those guards."

Grinning, "Well, ducks, do you forgive me?" Spike asked as he put his face very close to her earlobe, sucking just lightly.

Groaning, "Okay. I forgive you."

Spike smiled as they walk towards her house, "Dawn'll be asleep, right? No interruptions?"

"No interruptions."

2067

Well, I found her. I'll be damned. It's that bloody dark slayer from my Sunnyhell years. If I remember correctly, she told me she could ride me with muscles I never knew existed. She was in Buffy's body, and, I found out, was very right. We'd met during the war, of course. I knew she was a vampire, but never would have guessed she'd survive this long. Bloody hell, I was going to enjoy this.

2006

I couldn't believe it. I'd just killed a human. An evil human, maybe, but it was still a rush like none I'd had in nearly a decade.

As I stared at the technician, his eyes still open with that horrified look, I almost felt slight pitty. Then I remembered what they'd put me through in the last week before accidentally shutting down the chip. They'd tried to use a ultra-powerful x-ray on me, to find traces of some demonic element or another, and they'd fried it. It was completely burned out, as I learned, when sinking my fangs into the neck of this human who'd spent the last eight days finding how many ways I could feel pain.

It didn't take me long to find them. They were fighting to get to me, but it'd turned out to be just another battle in the war. The Scourge controlled this place, along with the humans in it. They were using it as a front to slaughter the vampires, along with all humans that didn't make their "selection" list.

Spike felt himself going softer by the second as he saw Buffy. She was so beautiful, he realized. She fought with grace and style that few he'd seen posessed, and it reminded him of why he'd gone so head-over-heals for her in the first place.

But as he ran into the fray to help, admiring Buffy and her technique, among the many other things, that it happened. He'd never seen it coming, nor did any other in the room. Sailing past Angel and his fighters, straight into his shining beauty, was a spear. The spear she had made and used against many of these new vampires, and lost the same night Spike had been taken. It was tipped with poisin, though it didn't need it. Landing directly in Buffy's heart, she'd been dead before hitting the ground.

Spike could never remember a time he'd screamed so loudly.