The Blood Line

Isabelle

A Slave To A Call That Once Was Nothingness

Summary: Giles had taught Buffy Summers to be intelligent and ask questions but for the sake of his sanity he hoped she had no questions to ask. "To each generation a slayer's born. She alone will stand against the dark forces of nature. But for that to happen the previous Slayer must procreate with the chosen line of the Aurelius clan." The infamous William 'Spike' Stafford was chosen to be Buffy's mate.

AN: Once again this is my universe of Buffy, so I'm going to make all the rules. If there's any tradition or concept or event you don't understand just write it in a review and I will try my best to answer it within the next story chapter.

--

She would always remember the first time they had met.

"You must be Buffy."

He put his hand out to shake hers and she stared at it.

She could feel the room full of her Scooby Gang watching her for her reaction to his fairly pleasant introduction. Of course, her anger towards the situation hadn't stopped her from noticing his good looks as she was sure they did. He was lean and charismatic, with the deepest blue eyes.

But they weren't Riley's.

And she did what she had done with every other male that had showed her interest, she paid him no mind. She allowed his hand to remain disgracefully in the air, while she looked to Giles in contempt.

"I see," William chaffed back as Giles ushered them away from the others and into his closed office. "You don't particularly like me. I'm not exactly fond of the situation myself. As you know, I do have a separate life of my own. In England, I'm what you would call a secular businessman. In addition to that I must manage my estates as the Duke of Kent."

"I can tell from that scowl on your face that you must have arrangements of your own," he continued as he peered out at Riley through the blinds of Giles' office. "In that case I think we should handle this inconvenience as soon as possible. If you would rather not get to know each other beforehand that would be fine by me."

The room went silent. Giles said nothing and she looked at him with a piqued stare.

"You've got to be kidding me," she quietly hissed. She didn't want her friend to hear them. She didn't want them to hear her because they would pity her. In this situation, their pity would break her heart even more. She watched him shrug in confusion; obviously not understand what he had said wrong. "What?"

Giles finally chimed in, wiping his glasses and staring at everything but them. "I think you just made it sound as if she were a prostitute."

William shook profusely. "I did no such thing."

"Yes! You did, you ass – "

"Buffy," Giles interrupted her, quickly turning to William with disdain. "You should definitely apologize. If Buffy is to be the mother of your child one day you are to show her the uttermost respect. And I swear on my life, William, if Buffy doesn't feel like she is being respected, you will never come near her. Council or not."

He seemed to think over his words, but she didn't care what William's conclusion was.

"I am sorr – " she heard him begin as she opened Giles' door and walked away from Spike and the whole situation. She could hear their calls after her but she didn't care. She knew what she had seen in him and how was she to depend on a man with no heart.

He was nothing to her.

And for the next couple of weeks, he remained that way to her.

The first time he had saved her life was the first time she allowed herself to feel something besides anger for him. The night had been a normal patrol, in which she refused to acknowledge he could help and he secretly followed her anyway. She hadn't meant to admit it but she knew he followed her during patrol. At first she only sensed vampire. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that her senses started to scream Spike. She knew that every night he would watch her. Farther distances when she was lightsome, and closer distances when she was distressed. In the recent days, he had come close enough she was sure he could have touch her.

On this particular night, she had just uttered one of her notable puns when a newly risen vampire had switched their positioning. He placed his sharp teeth at the skin of her neck, and in those impending moments she knew death was guaranteed.

She closed her eyes, feeling nothing.

The nothingness was fine until she realized that her void was also physical.

There was no pain, no death, no silent release of life because the vampire in questioning had never bitten her. When she opened her eyes it was a scene she least expected. As she laid there on the ground, she found herself laying in the arms of her fated mate. He stared down at her with his piercing blue eyes and she could tell he was just as frightened as she was of the scenario. Not the impending death that had been so close to occurring but her lack of reaction to that exact thought. What was scaring her the most about those few seconds in Spike's arms were her thoughts of nothingness.

She hadn't felt anything. And when she opened her eyes to feel the weight of his piercing blue eyes, she realized she was being judged for her inactivity; for her nothingness.

It was the first time she realized that she had a destiny; a failed destiny.

Spike was supposed to protect her and on this particular night and all the nights previously he had not failed her. In this weird and twisted story, she was the one who was failing him. All his sacrifices were for a person who didn't feel anything. So when he saved her – when he looked at her, the nothingness went away. She truly didn't want his sacrifice to be for nothing. The moment he had allowed her to see his burden, she realized something she had never realized before. She could see her future; know that she had one because he was going to make sure it happened.

That changed everything –

Did it mean she would love him? Have a child with him?

No. But – Did it mean she could see his un-beating heart a little more clearly?

Yes. It did.

--

She didn't mean to be there after midnight.

By herself.

In the Sunnydale cemetery.

And as she struggled to keep up with her target, Willow Rosenburg realized it hadn't been one of her smartest decisions. Sighing quietly, she tried to quicken her pace. William, or Spike as he liked to be called, would not evade her tonight. With her questions, her mind remained unease. As much as it wasn't safe for her to be outside by herself in Sunnydale, it was even less safe to leave Spike with his hidden agendas.

Of course, she hadn't meant to find out.

She was simply curious as to why the Council thought it necessary to send Buffy two Watchers. She quickly found out that there were no books on that subject; Especially because in the thousand year plus history of the Watcher's Council, there had never been such a thing. But there was a protector that every Watcher's Diary seemed to allude to. A mate. Pure curiosity, she should swear that's what it was. But when she looked it up, she had gotten more than she had bargained for. Her blood froze as she sat there in the High School library, reading page after page of a fate that awaited her best friend. According to the text, Spike was a vampire with a soul. What's more, Spike was here to protect Buffy; even if that meant his death.

So many questions ran through her head as she ran from the library.

Was Giles keeping this secret from them?

Did Buffy know why Spike was here?

Did this fate include a relationship?

Love?

She didn't know. But that was the part of the story that left Willow with unease. She wanted to know Spike's role. And she also wanted him to explain why he had lied. It sounded selfish, when compared to the gravity of everything else, but she felt she deserved an explanation. She, like everyone else, had welcomed Spike into her life, no questions asked. She could see from the moment he arrived in Sunnydale that he was lonely. Buffy had taken an immediate dislike to him – and yes, she understood the reasoning now, but the situation at the time had sadden her. When Buffy wasn't around, he was always so fun, and free-spirited, and witty, and smart. He was the first person she had ever met that she could make scientific jokes with - Was it wrong to think that made him a good person?

Most importantly, she thought he was a good person because he was there to help Buffy.

But now she had figured out the truth.

As she watched him follow Buffy, she was conflicted between being angry and feeling sorry for him. He looked like a little lost puppy as he watched Buffy in between trees and buildings. He tensed when she looked like she was in trouble; waited for her to catch her own feet. He always stayed close enough in case she really needed him. She found it strange for someone who always claimed to hate Buffy, to be so -- concerned. Normally, Buffy never let Spike join them on patrol and normally Spike never asked to. They all assumed it was for the best. No one wanted to hear Buffy and Spike argue for the hour or so while they roamed the dark streets for vampires.

Now she could see that their hate for each other might only be a one way street.

As she shortened the distance between herself and Spike, she knew he had picked up on her scent. His shoulders tensed as he turned around and looked for her. He stayed quiet as he walked between the trees to stand right in front of her. He didn't look happy but then again neither was she. "What are you doing here?"

She gave him her serious face. "We need to talk."

He looked around and whispered, "Couldn't it wait?"

She shook her head. "No. I know why you're here."

She alluded to both of the things she knew he was hiding. She could tell by his questioning gaze that he didn't know if she was talking about his stalker tendencies tonight or the reason he was in Sunnydale in the first place. He turned his confusion into look of innocence. Clearly he planned to deny them both. "Yeah?"

She could feel the hurt rise in her heart again. "How could you do that?!" She finally yelled out. He looked around again, she was certain, to make sure Buffy was out of hearing distance. Quickly looking back to her, he opened his mouth to interrupt, but she didn't give him the chance. "How dare you talk and socialize with us, all the while planning to knock up my friend. I want to stake you. Except you know – I can't," she finished lamely, while working with her hands awkwardly. "You're soooo lucky I watched you follow Buffy. I mean – "

She hadn't meant to mention that part yet. It was enough drama already, without bringing the 'you stalk my best friend' conversation into the mix. However, she was surprised by his reaction. He sort of looked embarrassed. Promptly, her anger changed back to compassion. Her emotions seemed to be doing a lot of that lately. "Look, I didn't mean to spy on you. I went searching for you because I was mad. I was going to march right up to your face and tell you to screw off."

"Understandable," he replied tightly, as he clenched his jaw.

She softened at his un-comfortableness. He wasn't being defensive because he didn't want her to know the truth. It was more to it than that. He didn't want her to see his insecurity; insecurity about his place, insecurity about his mission, insecurity about himself; mainly, his insecurity about Buffy. "But – I saw you following her. So I followed you. You didn't notice I was there. Not very attentive for someone who's a vampire. But when I saw who you were watching, I realized why you were so distracted."

"She didn't even acknowledge that you were there but whenever she looked like she was in trouble, I didn't have a doubt in the world that you'd step in and save her. Okay," she said putting her hands up defensively, "so I don't agree with your friends forcing this relationship on Buffy. She deserves, like anyone else, to be able to pick who she loves."

"And I don't want you to touch her either," she said, quickly adding to the list of things she didn't agree with. "But maybe," she continued, hinting to things she had seen in him since their first meeting; hinting at the behavior he had displayed tonight. She could see his defensives breaking down at her concern and interest. "If you let her see this side of you – in the future, it wouldn't be so bad. Maybe you could even be friends."

She finished, sure with every intelligent cell in her body that Buffy could come to like this side of Spike.

--

It was a long and unproductive day of fighting. Of course, fighting would be barren if it's against the person you are supposed to protect. He couldn't help but shake his head as he followed Buffy on another night of patrol.

Things had calmed down considerably since he had arrived to Sunnydale four months ago. He had adjusted to life as a vampire. Animal blood didn't taste nearly as appalling as it originally had and now he was getting into the routine of things. Following Buffy to school, to the Bronze, to her house, to the mall. It was hard to be indifferent when half those moments included imminent danger.

He hated to admit that there was more to Buffy Summers than he had imagined. When she was not scowling him, she could be enjoyable. His bickering which had originally stemming from his resentment had turned to being done purely for amusement. She could take him. Physically, mentally and emotionally, he was sure. She was bold, brave, and resourceful to the likes of which he had never seen.

Destiny aside, he could understand her light.

Maybe it was the destiny talking for him.

He wondered how he had quickly gone from hatred to attachment in the span of four months, but he had come to the realization that he didn't care. The Watcher's Council had always said that allowing a Slayer and her mate to meet at a young age was a dangerous thing. He was starting to see why. Had he met Buffy earlier in life he might have killed her; maybe have killed the entire world.

Because the longer he was near her, the more he couldn't live without her. Knowing she was safe, knowing she was happy, knowing that no one had touched her, knowing that nothing had tainted her. And in his immaturity of his earlier teenage years, he would have suffocated her with his presence. Hurt anyone who had dared make contact with her.

No. This way was better. He was starting to realize that her life was more than worth his un-life. The night that he had saved her within seconds of it ending, he realized it would have ended his fate then and there. And he was coming to the conclusion that no fate wasn't any better than a destined one.

"I – ," he stalled, not really knowing what he wanted to say. Willow was naive to think that this situation would work out well. Buffy would never like him and he couldn't bring himself to admit that he possibly could. He hadn't wanted them to know that he watched Buffy during her days and her nights. He was fortunate that Willow had only found out about the latter. It was hard to put into words why he acted the way he did but this might be his only opportunity to do so. "I don't feel anything," he started. "Even with the soul, it feels as if nothing in the world matters to me. Nothing matters except making sure Buffy's safe. The thought of harm coming to her is like having a thousand knives jabbed into my skin. Every minute of the day I worry that I'll be one second too late. That because we don't communicate or connect or talk for that matter, some good for nothing prick is going to get the best of her."

He shook his head. "They don't put this in the Watcher's Diaries. The pull of the bond. It's more like a push. As much as I don't want to feel anything for the girl, something inside me. God – sometimes I wake up in sweats. It's just unbearable."

"You love her?" Willow swooned.

Spike had to smile at her innocence. "It's not love, Red, but it's all I got right now. It's what keeps me going day in and day out. Maybe I don't love her right now but maybe –"

Willow nodded her head excitedly at his words and smiled. "Maybe's good."

She liked his 'maybe'.

He liked his 'maybe'.

Maybe Buffy would like his 'maybe' too.

He was hoping it was soon.

He knew his lies were going to catch up with him. And he didn't think Buffy or her gang would appreciate who he really was. Especially what he was doing –

--

At thee exact same moment Spike had come to his conclusions, Buffy stared at the engagement picture of Lord William Stafford and Lady Drusilla Ramsay in the Enquirer. She didn't want to look away. All this time he had –

Suddenly, Spike was all she could think of as she stormed to Riley's.