Summary: Spike is forced to relive the death of his mother in order to prepare him for facing a powerful evil that is linked to his past.
Warnings: Future slash (see AN)
Canon/Spoilers: Set vaguely around series six: Buffy works at the DMP but has not started a relationship with Spike yet; Xander and Anya are still planning their wedding; the Trio have been identified. No major S7 spoilers except for the episode "Lies My Parents Told Me" as it uses the backstory revealed there.
Also, the series will occasionally cross over with AtS, whose timeline I've been even more flexible with. More details nearer the time.
Author's notes: I've got two other Buffy fics going, another Spuffy and a Giles-Buffy bonding fic, as well as a load of Harry Potter fics. Please check them out too.
Another IMPORTANT note: although this fic won't contain slash (very little romance at all, actually), the series will later include Xander/Andrew. You can't say I didn't warn you. Anyone who gets that far and then complains will get a very very annoyed response.
I know the prologue's short. But it's quality that matters, right?
Thanks a lot to my beta, dawnofme.
Foreshadow I: Grief, Despair and Hope
Prologue: The Mouth of Hell
The crowds were pressing in on all sides, everyone rushing away from the scene. He was hurrying as fast as he could towards it.
"Out of my way. Excuse me, please. Move!" he snapped at the crowd.
The ground had opened up. A huge pit lay where the buildings lining the road had once stood. Blue lightning was crackling around the scene, and the sheer power of it stopped him in his tracks. But only for a second.
Creatures from the other side, monstrous creatures, that no human had ever laid eyes on would start crossing to their world any second. He had to hurry.
He was only an amateur, really. He knew deep down that he had no hope of closing the Hellmouth. But he had to try. For his family's future.
He ventured as near as he dared and began to chant.