Chapter 1 – You're Spike, Not Him
Solemnly, I watched Willow pack her things, wondering if she'd get upset when I tried to ask her one more time not to go. Things around the castle were so uncertain these days and we had no idea how long the Aegis would keep us safe from Belial. For four days we'd cooped ourselves up in the castle, fixing things, cleaning away the battle scars, healing and learning. Classes had resumed the day before on Willow's insistence and life was trying to settle back to normal. Except, one of our outposts had gone dark. Lima was gone.
Well, the city was still there, but all of our slayers there were gone, the safe house packed up like no one had ever been there. Kennedy said it was the creepiest thing she'd ever seen and that she was bringing all of her girls to Scotland ASAP. I wondered if that was another reason Willow wanted to leave - to avoid seeing her ex.
I'd called all the slayers back to Scotland from everywhere, because this was the only place I'd be sure they were safe. I was also hoping that if we kept them in big groups and in constant contact with each other and with us, that no one else would go missing. With the Lima outpost gone, we were looking at about thirty missing slayers, veteran and brand-new alike.
And then there were the threats made directly against my best friend, according to everyone who hadn't passed out at the end of the battle, like I had. Belial was after Willow specifically, because of what she'd done in LA. Did Willow think she could protect us by leaving? Was that it? Or was it the "I'm close to going evil" excuse again? Sure no one, especially not Buffy, wants a crazy Willow, but she seemed so solid these days. She didn't need to leave right now.
Trying to talk some sense into her, I asked, "Are you sure Belial won't be able to get you in this other dimension? I mean, it's not like he's stuck here, right? He just can't get to his home hell dimension."
"Mmm," Willow agreed, zipping up her bag and throwing the strap over one shoulder. "Home fiery home..."
I gave Willow a look - you know the one - glaring until she broke down and said, "Okay! Okay! Yes! Verigard assured me that demons can't enter where I'm going. I don't even think Angel could get in."
"And you'll be back soon?" I insisted, giving her a pouty lip and no-nonsense eyes. "As in, yesterday?"
"I have to control this, Buffy," Willow whined, frowning at my lip, obviously upset that I'd brought it up again. "I'll be back when Verigard thinks I'm ready."
"What do you even know about this guy?" I asked, scoffing and getting rid of the ineffective lip. "He could just be leading you into a trap, Will!"
"All my former guides and teachers trust him, Buffy, and some of them are seriously old. Like, thousands of years old. It's an honor to even be granted an audience. I have to go!"
Slowly I said, "Well, alright. But I don't have to like it."
"You'll be so busy with running things and with those boyfriends of yours, you won't even notice I'm gone."
I smiled at the mention of Angel and Spike, unable to help myself. Things had been good for the past few days, though Angel was still torturing Spike with the fact that the blond had destroyed his car and he was never allowed to drive, ever. That's okay. Spike and I could be passengers together, since I had yet to pass Angel's stupid driving test. At least Suzie, my right hand slayer at the moment, was a good driver. Like, getaway driver good.
"See?" Willow broke into my thoughts and pointed at my smile. "You'll be fine."
"I hope-" I started to say, but was cut off by my phone ringing. "I hope so, Will," I finished, checking the ID and seeing that Xander had texted me. Isn't technology great? "I gotta go. Xand needs me for something, defcon-one he says. Is that uber-urgent or fluffy-bunny urgent?"
Willow shrugged. "You'd better go in either case. Illyria's opening the portal for me in just a few minutes."
I wanted to ask if Willow was sure we could trust Illyria, but she'd just get pissed and call me paranoid. So, I pulled Willow into a hug and said, "Be safe."
"You, too," Willow said, hugging me tightly. "Don't do anything I wouldn't do."
"Does that apply to boyfriends?" I asked with a chuckle. "Because then you're really limiting me here, Wills."
"Fine," she laughed letting me go. "Other than adult time with boys, don't do anything I wouldn't do."
"Same goes for you, Missy!" I smiled, letting Willow go and waving once in goodbye before heading for Xander's office. What the hell could be brewing this time?
Finally getting some time alone together for the first time in almost two days, Angel and I crashed around our bedroom alternating between fighting and kissing. Fangs out and at the ready, I was trying to leverage him into a position where I could bite his neck. I needed the sweet blood calling to me from just under the surface of his skin, but the fucker wouldn't let me have it. At least not without a fight.
"C'mon, Peaches," I yelled, punching him in the face, "quit being such a tosser." This was still about his car, wasn't it?
He laughed, "I just want to see how long it takes before you say it." Stepping forward, Angel kicked me, the blow landing on my lower abdomen and sending me sliding back a few feet.
"Oi!" I winced. "That was mighty close to hitting the package, mate."
"That's what you get for having a hard on during a fist fight, sunshine," he growled, grabbing me by the shoulders and kissing me so hard my fangs started to dig into the inner flesh of my lips.
Shoving him away, I laughed, cackled really. "Like you're not sporting a stiffy under those tragically awful trousers?"
"I plead the fifth," he said, just before I pulled his legs out from under him and tackled Angel before he could roll away. I locked my arms around him, immobilizing his hands at his sides, and tried to ignore the way that bloody artifact he had to keep in his pocket dug into the flesh of my thigh. There were much more interesting bits and bobs digging into more sensitive pieces of flesh to spend too much of my energies worrying about the Aegis.
Growling, I told Angel, "I'm going to bite you and then bugger you so hard, you'll be saying it first."
He laughed, a stubborn, wild glint in his yellow eyes. "Never gonna happen."
I tried to scoot up on him so I could reach his neck, but Angel broke my hold on his arms and flipped me, crawling on top of me and trying to pin down my arms with meaty hands. "Ah hah!" he cried in victory, but his voice got strangled at the end when I thrust my prick against his, wriggling under and grinding into him. "Damn it, Will!" he cried in response. "That's not fair."
"Wasn't goin' for fair, luv," I replied with a smile. "Was goin' for distracting." I shouldn't have said anything, because as soon as I did, Angel pulled up and out of the way of my snapping fangs. The wanker was making me pay for sinking his car. I thought he understood how it wasn't really my fault. Damn it.
"Fine!" I cried. "I'll say it, you poncy sentimental bastard!" I tried once more to get around his defenses, but Angel was ready for me again, chuckling when I failed.
Smiling down at me and making my chest do fluttery things that were really best left to alive people, he asked, "Well?"
"Angel, I..." I was about to finish and give him what he wanted to hear when the big guys upstairs decided something was more important than me getting laid. Again.
"Ow." The first pangs of a vision always feel a bit like a sadistic fucker taking a power drill to both temples, shredding and slicing the nerves until they're all on fire and my brain feels like it's ready to explode.
"What? Did I hurt you?" Angel growled seductively, though his expression changed when he inhaled and the scent of my pain made his eyes dilate and his smile fade.
"Ow. Ow. Ow! Bloody vision, luv. Fuck!" Screwing my eyes shut, I tried to ignore the pain so I could try to understand what the Powers were showing me. Something in the back of my head was dimly aware that Angel was holding me in a tight hug, kissing my face and neck to try to ease the pain.
Suddenly, I found myself in the eyes of a predator, a demon by the feel of things, since nothing human could feel so…heartbreakingly slimy and devoid of anything soulful and good. We were hiding in the bushes, delighted that our trap was working so beautifully. One more step and, there! The girl was ours, along with her precious friends, and that witch-bitch nowhere around to stop us. Lovely! Our mouth watered at the thought of all that tasty, powerful slayer flesh and at breaking that wrought-iron will we'd heard so much about.
Suddenly the vision was dark and smelled moldy, mildewed, like a cave or a basement. Or a dungeon, I suppose. Chains rattled and voices screamed. Female voices, all of them. And the one that rose above the rest, the one I recognized painfully well, was Buffy's. She was yelling and screaming, the tears soaking those pretty cheeks of hers, as our grimy hand approached her and wiped them away. Her arms were locked in very heavy chains above her head, and her feet were shackled to the wall, giving her very little range of motion. Just enough for what we wanted from her.
The vision got blurry and started to fade just as I felt us push into her unwilling body, ripping her open and taking our pleasure as the warm smell of her blood rose to our eager nostrils, bathing our cock and our hands as her delicious screams rose to a pitch we wouldn't have expected from such a brave throat.
"Noooo!" I keened, thrown out of the vision, sobbing and fighting against Angel's tight embrace. "Why? You fucking bastards," I cursed whoever had sent me that vision. "There's a god damned reason I could never…" and then my stomach lurched and Angel managed to shift me over so that when I lost my lunch – sheep's blood and chicken fingers – none of it splashed onto him.
"What's wrong, Spike?" he asked, a worried clench to his brow and jaw as he wiped my mouth with a towel I'd left on the floor. "What did you see?"
"So…awful," I cried, shivering as I leaned against him. "Never, never wanted to see that. Got my soul back, I did. Just so I wouldn't be tempted. So I wouldn't…"
"What?" Angel shook me gently and sat me down on the bed, holding me close.
"The girl," I managed to choke out. "He's got a trap set for her. Wants to break her. Wants to take her and … break her and feast on her flesh." I told him. "So many others," I remembered. "There were so many others there, too. And as he … so much power!" I sucked in a breath that was half moan of anguish and half remembered pleasure from that rush of power when we… "Ugh. No!" I cried. "No, no, no. I won't do it. I can't now," I looked up at Angel. "Don't you see? I've the spark. Supposed to make me better for her. So I can be hers."
"What girl, hon?" he asked, kneading the back of my neck to get me to calm down. "Will, come back to me. Shake it off and tell me what needs to be done."
Still confused as all fuck, I asked him, "I'm real, aren't I? I'm not him? I'm me?"
"You're Will, you're Spike, and you're mine, always," he replied, hugging me closer, so I was practically on his lap. "I love you," he whispered, kissing my neck, bringing me around slowly.
Head clearing now as the vision faded from my memory a little, I gave him a withering look and asked, "What girl do you think? Our girl."
"Buffy's in trouble?" he asked, suddenly freaked out and less concerned about consoling me, his arms around me loosening as he worried about her. "When? Where? How?"
"Trap set," I shivered, remembering the way he watched from the shadows. "Got a dungeon. Lotsa girls there. All slayers, I think. So much power. But he wants the Big Kahuna. He wants Buffy to be the first to die."
"We gotta get you up and moving, Spike," he said as he shoved me off his lap and stood, flailing around, looking for something. Ah, his shoes. He tried stepping into the boots he'd found, but was having a hard time of it. "What the…?"
"Those are mine, Ange. Don't go bats on me. We've still got a little bit of time before he takes her."
Finding a pair of big sneakers, Angel slipped into those instead, tossing me my jacket. Sighing, I stood up and put it on, grabbing my phone from the pocket and hitting the speed dial.
There was no sodding answer. Bloody fucking hell!
I hung up and dialed again. "Yeah?" a feminine voice answered, and I was guessing it belonged to a slayer named Stephanie, but I wasn't sure.
"This is Spike, duck," I said. "Sorry to be rude, but I need to know where Buffy is, pronto."
"Uh…okay," she said, and I heard movement on the other side of the line.
"Please tell me she's still in the building," I said, taking Angel's shoulder and stepping into my boots.
"No, I don't think so," Stephanie replied, the sound of fingers tapping keys almost loud over the line. "Ah, says here General Summers is with her squad. They've been deployed to rescue a brand new slayer in Glasgow."
"Send me the address, would you, luv?" I asked her, trying to sound charming and not on the brink of losing my mind in worry again.
"Sure thing, sir," the girl agreed. "Do you require anything else?"
"You've a nice phone voice," I told her, earning a slap on the arm from Angel as we made our way from our room.
"Uh, thanks," she replied uncomfortably.
"Look, just send Xander and some of Willow's witches to the conference room, yeah?"
"Alright," the girl said happily. "There's an order I can do something with."
"Ta, pet." I said in farewell.
When I looked up, I saw Angel wrestling with his phone and getting very frustrated with it. Approaching him, I asked, "Who're you tryin' to call, luv?"
"Buffy," he answered, slapping the phone into my hands so I could figure it out for him.
"You're such a bloody luddite," I muttered as I worked the buttons, handing it back to him once it was ringing and pulling him down the hallway. "And I already tried."
"Shit," he exclaimed after a minute of walking. "She's still not picking up."
"Let me try again." After a few seconds I told him, "Buffy's turned off her phone. Probably so she can snatch the new girl without drawing any attention."
"I wish she wouldn't have gone out without us," he muttered, jaw clenched in worried anger. "We should be with her, not fucking around doing our own thing."
"You know why you have to stay here, Angel," I told him, following him into the conference room, which was still empty. "It's our job now to keep everyone safe until someone figures out what to do about the archdemon. And Buffy's team is really good. Harris must have thought they were the best people for the job. "
"Yeah," he sulked, pacing the room back and forth as people began to filter into the room. "Yeah."
Yay, first chapter! This is the fourth episode of my Vampire/Slayer Archives. It follows directly after 'Consequence'. I hope you enjoyed this chapter, so please send me a review with any thoughts, comments, or praise. Oh, I suppose criticism is okay, too...
Also, Wooo! This brings me up over 500K words total! Go me!