Author's Notes:

A/N #1: Let me start off by saying that this fic began as something that I wrote solely for my own entertainment. The idea of 'what if it had been Spike who Buffy met in Season 1 instead of Angel' came to me one night, and I decided to just start writing. Then I decided heck, why not share it in case other people might be entertained, too?

A couple of things you'll need to know about this fic before beginning:
-Yes, so far in a lot of places I have just taken Angel out of the episode and stuck Spike into his place. That said, Angel and Spike are of course different people, so this is not just a series rewrite with Spike speaking Angel's dialogue. That would be friggin' boring. Though the differences in some places right now are only subtle, I can promise that as the story progresses, it will begin to veer from canon more and more.
-A certain amount of episodic knowledge is assumed. There will be some explanation as a quick refresher for those who haven't seen these episodes in a while, but not much.
-There will be significant portions of BtVS dialogue contained in many of these chapters. I have been diligent in my attempts to identify any and all of them. That said, if you notice that I have overlooked anything, please let me know so I can add it to the A/N. I hate plagiarism just as much as you do, and wish it would die a fiery, gruesome death.
Okay, I think that's it. Basically, I just wanted to say that this story, although I am taking the writing of it very seriously, is mainly just being written for the fun of it. So, I hope you enjoy it too.
A/N #2: Some dialogue (or in other cases, the spirit of it) has been lovingly lifted from Season 1, 'Welcome to the Hellmouth'.


One of the worst things about being called as the Slayer, Buffy decided, was that the tingly feeling on the back of her neck? Meant that she was actually being followed. Most likely by something that wanted to kill her.

Oh, to be able to go back to the days where walking alone at night just put her at risk of a good old-fashioned mugging.

Still, when she stopped and turned, she found nothing out of place. Not that she knew this street, or the neighbourhood, well enough yet to make a judgement of what counted as 'in place' versus out of it, but… everything was quiet. Serene. There was a man two driveways down on the other side of the street watering his garden. He saw her staring, and waved.

Ignoring him, she turned and continued on, punching the pavement just a little bit harder with every step of her heels.

|#|+-+-+|#|

All right, this was starting to get annoying. Whoever, or whatever it was that had been trailing her a few blocks back was still there. Allowing her just enough distance that the presence tumbled off the edge of her consciousness every minute or two.

But then it would scrabble up and over the edge of her mental cliff. Jump back up onto solid ground, dust itself off, and just keep poking her.

Either her stalker was kind of new at the profession, or they were messing with her.

Which, really? Not something she appreciated. Buffy Anne Summers was born and raised to be the mess-er, not the mess-ee.

Luckily the town she'd just landed in was small enough that from her current location, she could turn down just about any side street or alleyway and still reach her destination without much of a detour. That, and being the Slayer, she could pretty much take whatever route she wanted.

Including that nice, secluded little alleyway.

A few yards in she stopped and surveyed her surroundings. Did the sort of thing she'd never done before she became the Slayer, and looked up.

And… Yahtzee.

|#|+-+-+|#|

From her perch on the metal bar, entire body balanced straight up in the air, with the blood rushing in a direction her brain was deciding it was not supposed to go, Buffy watched her follower come into the alleyway.

Oh. Well. It was just some dumb guy.

Who was seriously in the wrong decade, from the look of him. A black trench coat like the bad guys in old movies from the seventies used to wear. Bleached blonde hair that made his head look like a light bulb.

Still, even though she couldn't see much more than that, Buffy could tell that he didn't have an overall terrible body. The light bathing him highlighted just enough angles, told her that while he wasn't overly tall, nor was he carrying an excessive amount of muscle, he was… tight. Compact.

A speedy little sports car compared to the hulking SUVs most guys seemed to want to go in for these days, which was…

Focus, Buffy.

She decided to blame the irrational detour into check-out-my-stalker-land on the still-rising blood pressure in her cranium. Apparently it was starting to bring on delirium.

So she was glad when he finally made it far enough to be in the right position for her attack. Flexing her forearm muscles, she set herself in motion. Swung down feet first, and let go, aiming for his back.

Which she would have hit. Would have driven the balls of her feet just between Creepy Dude's shoulder blades.

Except he ducked.

At the last second, the last millisecond… he freaking ducked.

Which was so not of the good, because she wasn't exactly holding on to anything anymore, meaning the outcome of her brilliant little move was up to physics at this point. She'd sent herself sailing through the night air with just enough torque to land on her shoulders, head cranked to the side. Inertia kept her legs and feet going through, and they crashed to the boardwalk an instant later, splintery jolts firing their way up her nerve endings.

During the long seconds that she took to recover, with her lungs gulping back the air that had been stolen from them, her mind putting together this sequence of events to figure out what the hell had just happened, she was surprised not to hear any footsteps approaching. Not to find a face hovering over her, some smug grin staring down.

Instead, she heard a quiet rustling. Followed by the clink of metal colliding with metal, and then the whisper of a flint being struck.

Groaning, she turned over onto her stomach and hauled herself upright. Tried not to make it look as painful as it was.

"See what you were trying to do there," he said. Or, it was more of a rumble. Like the echoes of some far-off thunderstorm. The sort of thing that was pleasing when heard from a distance, where one could easily forget the danger that actually lurked in its depths. "But the execution was just downright sloppy." Though he was still protected by the shadows that bled down from the buildings around them, the end of his cigarette burned bright. An amber jewel hidden in some deep, dark cave.

"Who the hell are you?"

"I mean. I'll admit. Might've fallen for it," he said in a conversational tone, as if she hadn't even posed the question. With slow, deliberate steps, like a man surveying some recent work he'd done to the kitchen floor, he moved toward her. Kept far enough away that she didn't yet put her guard up, but came just within the outer boundaries of her comfort zone. "If I'd, y'know… had the IQ of a bread box."

Okay, so… from where she was standing now, Buffy could see that yeah, he was packing a more-than-half-decent physique. The leather coat didn't do much to show it off, but the fitted black t-shirt he wore underneath that certainly did. But again… not supposed to be taking mental note of his guy-ness.

Especially since he was kind of a dick.

Did she mention the accent though? English. Silky. Like the feel of chocolate mousse running down her throat.

Still, bigger fish here, Buffy

"All right, look. You've got exactly five seconds to tell me why you're following me, or I'm leaving. If you keep on with the Richard Ramirez impression, well… I'll just make sure my next attempt isn't so sloppy."

"Oh, come on now." God, she swore she could hear him pouting. When he took a step forward, his face finally illuminated, she saw that she'd been right. "Don't be that way. Was just taking the piss a little. At your expense, yeah, but figured you wouldn't mind a few pointers-"

Buffy was already walking away. Whether it was because she'd already made it to the count of five in her mind, or because she wanted to not notice that somehow, he was really making the Billy Idol thing work for him, she didn't want to know.

A hand curled around her arm, and she spun around as he pulled her, their combined forces meaning he had to clench just a bit tighter once she was square with him to stop her from over-rotating. "All right, all right. I'll play nice." He stepped back, hands raised in surrender. "First, let's have a look at you though. Up close."

Realizing what he'd said, her head snapping back in a mixture of surprise and disgust, she crossed her arms. "Uh, no. How about let's not."

"Y'know. Thought you might be a bit taller. Always hard to tell from a distance. And Christ, you're wearing heels as it is." He shook his head. "Pretty spry though. Almost did clip me back there."

Don't hit him, don't hit him, don't hit him. "Yeah, did you hear the part where I said 'let's not'? What part of that made you think I actually wanted the narration?"

He just grinned at her.

"Look, do you want to tell me what the hell it is you want from me- since apparently you know me well enough to already have expectations about my height –so that I can just leave and forget that this is happening right now?"

He studied her with that bemused expression of his, those blue blue blue eyes sparkling in what little light actually filtered down to them, before it all melted away into something a little more sombre.

"'S not like that. Don't want something from you. Just so happens… I want the same thing you want."

"Oh yeah?" This would be good. "And what is it that I want?"

This time, when he took that slow step toward her, moving as if he were swimming in a pool of molasses, it seemed as though he wanted to make sure that she was attuned to every cubic inch of his body. That she was really paying attention to him. "To kill them," he said, the thunderstorm having returned. "Every last sodding one of them."

Although he said it with an intensity that made her almost want to agree with him, the fury with which she was fighting against this whole destiny thing was a few measures of magnitude stronger. "Ooh, sorry. That's the wrong answer! But don't worry, you do get this lovely watch and a year's supply of Turtle Wax!" she quipped, enjoying the way his smouldering stare turned into a look of annoyance. "What I want is to be left alone."

She was walking away again, and though he didn't grab her to stop her, his voice had enough strength to halt her steps. "'Fraid it doesn't work that way, pet. You're standing- quite literally –on the Mouth of Hell. This isn't a craving for a mocha frappuccino," he spit out the name of the beverage in an almost venomous tone. Using those six syllables to mock everything that he obviously thought she was. "Can't ignore it until it goes away."

Hands clenched into firm little balls, she spun to look at him again. He was holding something else now. Had tossed the cigarette and was turning the new object in his hands. A small black velvet box. The kind that jewellery came in.

With this guy though, she wouldn't be surprised if he opened it to reveal a severed finger.

"Don't turn your back on this." The way he said it, she couldn't figure out if it was a demand or a plea. He tossed the thing at her though. "If you do, you won't be ready. And you've gotta be ready."

"What for?" She didn't even want to know. But couldn't stop herself from asking.

"For the Harvest."

Okay, generally speaking, when people used otherwise harmless-sounding old-fashioned words to describe things, it meant badness. Big, big badness.

She knew she should ask more, should ask for clarification, but instead all that came out was, "who are you?" After all, any guy who talked like he had in the last few seconds… he wasn't just some weirdo who was trying to wrestle her phone number out of her. He was a part of this. A part of it. The unending, unable-to-take-the-hint-and-just-screw-off, trying-to-kill-her it.

A grin tugged on one corner of his mouth before he quashed it. "Let's just say… I'm a friend." With a one-shouldered shrug, he started to turn away.

For some reason, she didn't want him to get away that easily. "Yeah, well… maybe I don't want a friend."

He smacked a hand to his chest. She noticed there wasn't any jiggling of excess body fat. Just the dull thump of bone meeting a wall of muscle. "Oh, dear. Excuse me then, love. Gonna go straight home, crawl into bed, put my head on my pillow and weep until I fall asleep." He smirked at her. "Broken my heart, you have."

When he turned around again, she didn't have any more verbal harpoons to throw at him. She doubted he would've responded if she'd made another attack, anyway.

With an intense urge to hit things now scrabbling through her body, dancing down her nerves like a colony of ants on their way to a mound of sugar, Buffy just glared after him. Caught in a bubbling stew of mixed feelings. Anger, insult, frustration, and worst of all… just the tiniest glimmer of attraction. Then more anger, at herself for being attracted to that. For thinking thoughts that even remotely resembled yummy in relation to a mysterious creeper who'd followed her here and then proceeded to just act like some arrogant jackass.

It was only after she'd turned to continue on her trek to the Bronze, arms swinging at her sides, that she remembered what she held in her hands. It skimmed against her thigh, and she looked down in mild surprise at it. Prying it open, the hinges whining like a teenager being asked to do housework, she didn't actually find a detached body part.

A silver cross, simplistic in its design, yet somehow kind of beautiful, stared up at her. She could do nothing but stare back.

Who the hell was that guy?

[[END]]