William slept.

He felt the power of his new, unnatural body coursing inside of him. He also felt an emptiness, which quickly dissipated. All that was left was the blood.

As he came into his power, he began to become more evil--possibly amplified by his still heightened human emotions. His list of victims steadily grew, and whispers began to circulate of the depraved new vampire with the bleach-blond hair and the railroad spikes.

Spike awoke.


Oliver Pike and his twin sister hid in the closet when the men came knocking on the door. Big, burly, and dangerous looking; Oliver had never seen them before. Quiet, likely trying to avoid the neighbors' attention, they broke down the front door and began to rummage, looking for something or someone.

"Ollie, why are they here?" his sister whispered, her voice reedy and tense.

"I dunno, but I'll keep you safe." he replied fiercely.

He could feel his heart speed up as the sound of footsteps circled the apartment. He tried to quiet his breathing, but whatever the reason, the footsteps eventually made their way towards the closet. The door creaked opened and a man reached in, his hand closing around the bony wrist of Oliver's little sister.

"Found you, little Faith. Time to come with us, we'll keep you safe."

But Oliver would have none of this. As the stranger began to tug on Faith's arm, he leaned forward and bit down, hard, on his thick arm. The man let out a yelp as Oliver waged his attack. He was on his own; his mom wouldn't do anything. She was passed out, as usual, on the couch.

Oliver fought as hard as he could, but it was no use. The other man quickly crossed to the closet and picked him up despite his struggles; the other finished fishing Faith out of the closet.

"FAITH!" Oliver screamed. No good.

The last thing he saw of her was her pink Power Ranger light-up shoes.

Once the man with his sister was gone, the man carrying Oliver knocked him out and fled. By the time he awoke, there was no sign of what had occurred except the broken lock on the front door.

For years, Oliver looked for his sister, asking questions, but no one had any answers. Eventually, he gave up, drowned himself in drinking.

Oliver Pike had been roaming the country for the last seven years, slaying demons and vamps. After so much time working on his own, he'd finally given in, joined the establishment: a regular, blue-collar Watcher. He had successfully been keeping his mind far from Buffy and Sunnydale. He'd been through the California town once on the trail of a demon, but after hearing there was a slayer in town he quickly skipped out. After all that had happened, he'd had no desire to see Buffy.

He'd kept himself busy with work. Now, after a long string of violent assignments, he was in Los Angeles, helping the vampire with a soul make sure the whole world didn't go to hell if Buffy couldn't stop all this first.


Spike could feel the amazing power from the amulet flowing through him and out into the hellmouth. As he stood there with this energy coursing through him, crackling over his skin, he briefly wondered what would happen to him.

He could feel the sun on his skin now, burning, but for the first time in over a hundred years it didn't hurt. For the first time in over a hundred years, he felt true bliss, true completion, in a way that even Buffy hadn't been able to provide for him.

He closed his eyes and let the light take him.


Pike stood ready for the possibility of a fight, tension ridging his muscles, when warmth suddenly filled him and light spread out from his center. He felt... whole in a way he'd never experienced, but the feeling was driven by a sudden and intense pain. He was driven to the ground, and he was sure a whimper escaped him. An eternity later (though it was likely only a moment) he recovered; the pain dulled.

When he recovered his senses, Angel was crouched next to him. "Are you alright?" the vampire asked urgently, a hand on his shoulder.

"Fine," Pike said breathlessly. "Fine. I'm..." He pressed a hand to his forehead. "I've got to go." He stood suddenly and strode towards the door.

"Go?" Angel called after him. "Go where?!"

"Sunnydale!" Pike called over his shoulder. By the time the souled vampire tried to speak again, Pike was gone.


As he rode towards Sunnydale, Oliver Pike was thinking about his sister. He had been trying to keep her out of his mind, but ever since he'd met Buffy, back in high school, she'd flit across his mind. Sometimes his thoughts kept him awake, wondering if he would see her again. She had been taken when they was six, and as hard as he'd looked, he hadn't seen her since. Maybe Buffy or her new watcher would know something about her--maybe she was even with Buffy. But his hopes weren't high: so many potentials had been killed lately. Chances were, even if those men had kept her alive, she was now dead.

He'd been so lost in his own thoughts that he couldn't comprehend the sight that met his eyes as he reached his destination. There was a huge pit where Sunnydale should have been. He knew it was where Sunnydale should have been, because the sign was still there. As he drove by, it toppled and fell. He didn't see anyone around, just a school bus. He parked his bike in front of the bus and got off. Still in shock, he walked around the bus. A familiar blonde was standing there, her back to him. A man was facing her. "What did this?" he asked, and she had simply one word for him: "Spike."

Her voice was filled with pain, and something inside Pike's chest ached. It only grew; everywhere hurt, he felt like he was dying. Did some demon get me? he wondered as he crumpled to the ground.

He must have made a noise as he fell, because Buffy spun around and Faith and Giles raced towards him. The girls froze. Faith saw a ghost of her Ollie in the man's face. It was the only thing she remembered from before her watcher took her. Buffy saw Pike, her high school love who had saved her from the mental institution. Giles, the only one who had run all the way to Pike's side, was trying to pinpoint the pain, but it seemed to be coming from everywhere. "Will you two wake up and help me?" he snapped. Faith pulled herself out of her trance, and helped Giles carry Pike onto the bus. They laid him over two of the seats. The pain seemed to be diminishing; a few moments later, he managed to sit up.

"What are you doing here, Pike?" Giles asked. "I thought the Council sent you to help Angel at the second front."

Pike rubbed his forehead and answered. "I don't know. I just knew I needed to come help. So I did. Apparently, you didn't need any help."

The driver was trying to turn the engine, but it just wouldn't work. "Actually, you wouldn't know anything about engines would you?" Giles asked, not really expecting an affirmative answer. What would Pike, a promising young Watcher, know about mechanics? Buffy, who had come followed them onto the bus to see if Pike was alright, snorted. When Giles looked at her questioningly, she just shook her head.

Pike looked up at her. It had been so long... She was as beautiful as ever. He'd been so afraid that he'd come here to find her hurt--or worse, to not find her at all, only to hear of her death. "Buffy..." he said slowly.

She shook her head. "Not now, Pike. It's been... it's been a long time, and it's been a hell of a day. We'll talk later."

He nodded once, sharply. Giles looked between them questioningly, but they had both gone stony-faced. He knew better than try to get anything out of Buffy when she looked like that. He sighed heavily.

Once Giles was satisfied that yes, the pain was gone, no, Pike didn't know what had happened, and no, Pike had had no idea the bus was here of what was going on, he reluctantly allowed the younger Watcher to get up and go look at the engine. Pike grabbed the toolkit off his bike and walked over to the hood of the bus. A few minutes later, he called out to Giles. "I think I found your problem. I think it stems from the giant hole in your hood, but that's just a preliminary guess." Giles laughed. "Okay, I think I can fix this, if I take my piece of shit bike apart and put it into the bus parts that are broken. But then I'd need a ride." Giles looked at Buffy, who nodded.

"I guess you could ride with us, at least until you get a bike running again."

So began Pike's work on the bus.

The engine wasn't running right by nightfall, so they all just slept on the bus. Close to morning Buffy was already awake, waiting for the sun to rise and everyone to rise with it. Pike was in the front of the bus, sleeping, when she heard him say "I'm drowning in footwear!" He sat up quickly and took a minute to gain his bearings, rubbing his face with an open hand. "Weird dream," he mumbled, curling back up on the seat.

Buffy was shocked. Just last night, Spike had been having the same dream, had said the same thing. That on top of Pike coming to Sunnydale randomly, and then the whole writhing in pain thing--something wasn't right here, and she was going to find out what it was.


FULL FIC DISCLAIMER If you recognize it, it isn't mine!