Notes: Tagrea, aka P3X-744, is from SG-1 episode 6.20 "Memento". The poem Spike quotes part of is "Phoebus Arise," by William Drummond (1854-1907).


Less than an hour after his hosts' first reference to a mysterious Gate, Spike found himself stepping through it, leaving Earth-- if he understood the lady Major's brief explanation aright-- for another planet. Or, more accurately, Jackson stepped through it with Spike riding pig-a-back, the amulet clutched tight in his hand. No one had wanted to find out what would happen if the invisible lead connecting Spike to the gaudy thing were stretched out over billions of light-years, even if only for the length of time it took to transit a wormhole, and he couldn't exactly carry it through himself.

Jackson hadn't been all that thrilled at the prospect-- he'd muttered something about having already had enough visitors in his head for one year-- but hadn't been able to come up with another plan in the time they'd had left. Which was just as well; as off-putting as it was, trying to share a noggin with a brassed-off linguist thinking irritably at him in Arabic, it also offered the first taste of physical sensation Spike had experienced since burning up in the Hellmouth.

He knew the muted warmth of the Tagrean sunrise on his face was just an illusion, the bunching of muscles in ridiculously fit thighs and the chill of the wormhole's passage a consequence of Jackson's actions and not his, but he couldn't help reveling in the moment nonetheless. No telling how long it might be-- or even if-- suchlike would be his own to feel, again.

"Phoebus, arise, and paint the sable skies with azure, white and red..." he murmured, foreign lips and tongue shaping the words to his command, then slipped free from Jackson's body, not interested in sticking around to be cast out forcibly. He savored the last morsels of sensation as long as he could-- the flex of jaw, the scrape of teeth against lip and tongue, the vibration of voice in chest and throat-- but they faded along with everything else as he stood on his own ghosty feet again. Spike gritted insubstantial teeth against the loss, then turned his attention to the landscape around them.

Carter had been first through the Gate, followed by a motorized sledge he'd heard the soldier-boys refer to as Fred, and she stood in front of them now with worried lines crinkling around blue eyes. "Daniel?" she asked. "Are you okay?"

Jackson took a deep breath and assured her that he was fine-- though he favored Spike with a sharp glare that said there'd be words between them later. Spike barely noticed, however, as he'd already caught a glimpse of the ship looming large behind Carter, bigger than any manmade object had a right to be. The Gate had been just another bloody portal to Spike, but this was something else entirely; more than the foreign sun, which wouldn't have affected his ghosty state in any case, it drove home the fact that they were effectively in outer space, as if he'd stumbled into one of the sci-fi shows he'd occasionally watched on the telly.

Prometheus, he thought he'd heard them call it; probably the first of its kind, with a name like that. Fire from the gods. But Prometheus had also been the source of all mankind's misery; Pandora's box had been Zeus' response to Prometheus' gifts to man. He wondered if the Americans had considered that when they'd named the thing. Personally, he'd have gone with a classic like Enterprise or even Serenity; feisty little band of do-gooders against an overarching evil threat sounded about right for what he'd picked up about what was going on with them. Bloody well defied coincidence, the way he seemed to have fallen in with the intergalactic version of the Scoobies; the Powers that Love to Bugger Things Up had probably had a hand in it.

Well, regardless of what they threw at him, Spike was still as much his own vamp as he'd always been. Whatever was up with Peaches and some Senator that'd had that General's knickers in a twist, it would work itself out without him; for now, he intended to enjoy the ride-- and work his way back to Buffy as soon as he could.


-(but stay tuned for future adventures of "The Vampire Through the Gate")-