Buffy rolled expertly to her feet and swung around to face her opponent who was slowly approaching with an evil grin lighting up his features, "You're gonna die, Slayer," he rasped out threateningly.
Buffy raised an eyebrow and blocked the vamps punch turning him so that his back was facing her and pushing the stake through his un-beating heart, "Boy if I had a dime for every time I heard that one," she muttered to herself. She rotated her shoulder wincing slightly when a shock of pain raced up her arm, despondent, she left the cemetery and started home. She had really been hoping to see Angel tonight, they hadn't gotten to see each other much recently.
She easily jumped up into the tree outside her bedroom window and crawled in to the safety of her home. It had been a long week, after they had stopped the reassembling of the zombie football player everything had been quiet during the days. At night while on patrol though Buffy had noticed a startling increase in the demon population out and about. The nightmares that had haunted her after her fight with the Master were less now than before she had destroyed his bones she still had them, complete with the acutely detailed feelings and emotions. Suffice to say that it was hard to sleep. With a small sigh she wrapped her shoulder and crawled into her nice warm bed closing her eyes and allowing sleep to overtake her, hoping that it would be peaceful.
Light flashed brightly and spastically all around her as legions of demons rose before her. She could taste the fear and pain that was palpable in the air surrounding her. Another flash of light and she saw Angel standing there looking at her by his side were three shadows, she couldn't see who they were. The light flashed again and she saw the mangled bodies of Willow and Xander, of Giles and Cordelia. Of herself, eyes open and lifeless.
With a start she shot up in bed, trembling in the wake of the images. She glanced at her alarm clock, it was almost time to get up for school, which was good. There was no getting back to sleep after that.
Buffy walked into the library and was greeted with smiles all around. "Hello Buffy," Giles said kindly.
"Heya Buffster, good patrol last night?" Xander asked eagerly.
"Yeah, any big bads we need to worry about," Willow said only half joking.
"Should be one anytime now, after all it's been a whole two weeks since the last one!" Cordelia added sarcastically.
Buffy rolled her eyes and grinned, "Hey everyone, patrol was fine. I did have this really weird dream though."
"Did it involve a sombrero wearing camel and pixie sticks?" Willow asked curiously. Everyone paused to look at her in amusement, she blushed in embarrassment. "Just me then?"
Before anyone could answer Giles spoke up, "Was it a slayer dream?"
Buffy looked at him in contemplation for a second, "I'd say a definite yes."
"What did I just say?" Cordelia muttered.
"What was it about?" Xander asked, going into his rare serious mode.
"There was a bunch of flashing lights and then out of nowhere came this huge demon army. I saw Angel standing behind me and there were these three other shadows standing next to him." Buffy paused not wanting to say the next part but knowing by now that all details were important, "I saw all of our bodies," she said hurriedly.
"All of ours?" Giles asked.
"Yes. You, Will, Xan, and Cordelia. And me" Buffy said quietly taking a seat beside Xander.
"Can I just say 'gulp'?" Xander asked nervously, not liking the details.
"I see," Giles said calmly.
"I knew hanging with you guys was gonna get me killed." Cordelia said angrily, pointing her glare at Buffy.
"Yeah well, without us you would have been dead a long time ago, your majesty." Xander sneered defensively.
Cordelia opened her mouth to reply but Giles interrupted her, "The shadows standing around Angel, do you have any idea who they were?"
"No, I couldn't get a good look at them," Buffy replied.
"I'll consult my books. You should talk to Angel." Giles told her.
"I'll help with the book stuff, we should be able to dig something up. Don't worry Buffy." Willow encouraged.
"I'm gonna go and leave the fighting to you losers." Cordelia said.
"And on that helpful note...I volunteer to be snack man." Xander offered.
"Angel?" Buffy called out as she walked into the mansion that Angel had claimed as his own.
"Buffy." She heard him say quietly from behind her, she quickly turned around and couldn't help but smile.
"I had a slayer dream last night," Buffy told him, deciding that she should try and get straight to the point for once.
Angel's face grew even more serious than usual and he nodded for her to come over to the couch and sit with him. "What was it about?"
She explained the lights and demon army, the bodies of her and her friends, and then the reason that she came to talk to him, "You were there too. And there were these three shadows beside you. I couldn't see what the looked like though," she finished.
She watched as Angel sighed and closed his eyes. "I think I know who they were," he started to say slowly.
"Wh-" Buffy cut herself off as she watched a figure seemingly float into the room.
"The stars have said it all, daddy," the woman said dreamily.
"Who is that?" Buffy demanded as she took in the woman's appearance. She could tell that she was a vampire.
"This is Drusilla," Angel introduced. "Dru, go into the other room for awhile." The woman looked at him childishly before gracefully going back to where she came from.
"Who is Drusilla?" Buffy asked angrily.
"Drusilla-is one of my children. I sired her over a century and a half ago," Angel said. "You said that there were four of us in your dream, right?"
"Yes. Drusilla is one of them? Is that what you're saying?"
"The air's changed recently, something big is coming and everyone can feel it. Drusilla was drawn here because of it," Angel explained.
"So you and Drusilla...who were the other two shadows?" Buffy asked, trying to keep the conversation emotionless.
"Back before I got my soul there were four of us who traveled together, the scourge of Europe. All of us from the Line of Aurelius."
"The line of what?" Buffy asked in confusion.
"Our bloodline-coming from the master himself," Angel said, trying to ignore her flinch. "Darla was sired by him. I was sired by her. Dru was sired by me, and Spike was sired by her. Together the four of us traveled all over the world, Europe specifically, and started reigns of terror, wars," he said, shame coloring his tone. "The four of us have the strongest link to the bloodline. We've been referred to as the Aurelian four throughout history."
Buffy was silent for a long moment as she processed the information of her boyfriends past coming from his own mouth. Finally she looked at him 'stay on track, Buffy.' "Okay, but Darla's dust. You killed her last year. You and Drusilla are here, have you heard anything from this Spike guy?"
"No. I'm rather surprised that he isn't here though. He and Dru were inseparable for over a hundred years. It's a good thing though, Spike isn't someone you want to go up against."
Buffy scoffed, "I killed the master and he was way older than this Spike, guy. What kind of name is Spike anyway?"
Angel's lips twitched slightly before he schooled his features into an expression of seriousness again. "Originally William the Bloody, Spike got his name after he began killing his victims with railroad spikes. And, Buffy, the master-however powerful he was-never killed one slayer, let alone two. Spike has."
Buffy froze at that. "Two slayers?" she choked out.
"Yes, one during the Boxer Rebellion, I was there for that one, newly ensouled. I didn't know what to do with myself. The other one I just heard about, in New York in the 70's, I think." Drusilla had drifted back into the room during Angel's description.
"I miss my Spike," she pouted. "Gone, gone away. Left me all alone, he did. Swallowed up by anger and sunshine."
"Dru, where is Spike? Why isn't he with you?" Angel asked, curious confusion taking over his features.
"My William got tired of his dark princess. Doesn't want me anymore. Gone, gone away, he 'as." Drusilla told them softly as she twirled around the room. Buffy watched unimpressed as she spun her way out of the room.
"I don't see what the big deal is. So he left her, I think the reason why is obvious," Buffy said, bored.
"No, Spike isn't like that. He stood by Drusilla for over-"
"A hundred years. I got that."
"No, you don't. No matter what or who Drusilla did he was there for her. He only had eyes for her. I never understood that about him. Dru was his one weakness, the fact that he's not here with her means something," Angel insisted.
Buffy considered this, a willingly loyal vampire was not something usually seen. "Maybe he came across another slayer-since they seem to find him so often-and got himself staked."
"Slayers never sought him out, he sought them out," Angel told her.
"So he has a death wish then?" Buffy laughed.
"No. Maybe. He wanted the challenge. Something to keep him busy, a reason to stay alive-or undead, anyway," Angel told her.
Buffy's interest was peaked even more at this, a vampire who needed a reason to stay undead. This Spike guy was sounding more and more interesting by the second. "Okay, but if he wasn't killed by a slayer why wouldn't he come with Drusilla? I mean, hello! Slayer here for the killing," she pointed out while waving a hand over at herself. Something occurred to her suddenly, "Angel, why would you turn an obviously insane person?" she asked gesturing over in the direction that Drusilla had left.
Angel was silent for a long moment, his inner struggle was evident. Should he tell her? He'd have to, "Dru...Dru wasn't always crazy. She's sensitive, has visions. I found her when she was in the process of becoming a nun to repent for them. I toyed with her, as Angelus, killing her family, driving her mad. And then on the evening that she was supposed to take her vows I turned her," he quietly explained.
Buffy looked at him, barely managing to repress her appalled expression. "I should go tell Giles about the Aurelian four. Although since Darla's dead and Spike's missing I dunno if they were actually the shadows in my dreams," she mutters as she quickly got up and left the mansion.
Angel watched her go before dropping his head in his hands. Hearing Dru start crying from the next room he sighed and got up, "Where the hell is Spike when you need him?"
"Ah, Buffy. What did Angel say?" Giles asked as Buffy entered the library.
"He said that he thinks the three other shadows were the other three that made up the Scourge of Europe. Darla, Drusilla, and Spike AKA William the Bloody." Buffy told him, plopping down on a chair.
"William the Bloody! Really?" Giles said in interest.
"So you've heard of him." Buffy said.
"Of course, the watchers council has expended great resources for information on him. The second most vicious vampire in history," Giles mused.
"After Angelus, or course," Giles elaborated.
"Yeah, well, Angelus never killed two slayer, he never even killed one," Buffy pointed out.
"No. According to history, Angelus was known for his sadistic nature, his love of torture and mind games," Giles started, speaking softly but firmly, his slayer needed to know who her boyfriend was. "Spike didn't relish in the torture like his grandsire did. He preferred a straightforward fight, the better the warrior the better for him. The most extraordinary thing that the Watchers documented was his apparent love for his sire, Drusilla."
"Yeah, Drusilla is in town by the way," Buffy said offhandedly.
Giles started, "And Spike?"
"Is not. It's got Angel all kinds of confused. Drusilla didn't seem very happy either."
"You met her?" Giles asked with a frown.
"Oh yeah, she and Angel are shacking up," Buffy replied bitterly.
"Angel's theory could be right."
"Sure, except the part where Darla's dead," Buffy pointed out for what seemed like the millionth time that day, it seemed like a pretty big detail to her, anyway.
"Giles? What with the 'oh dear' face?"
"There's a prophecy-" Giles began.
"Another one? Am I gonna die again?" Buffy asked, trying to laugh off the fear she felt at the word prophecy.
"Well, if it happens then you won't be the only one," Giles assured her. "It says-"
"Please just put it into words that I'll understand," Buffy requested.
"Very well. The demon army in your dream is prophesized to be the army that will rid the world of any creature with human blood in them. They are known as The Scourge, full blooded demons that want to ensure that they alone live on this earth."
"So humans, vampires, and any other halfblooded demon will be killed by them," Buffy said.
"Precisely. The prophecy mentions something about the Aurelian line being key to stopping The Scourge," Giles told her.
"Aurelian, Well that's Angel, Darla, Spike, and Dru," Buffy said. "Angel said that they are the Aurelian four, the only vampires left with a close link to the origin of their bloodline."
"Really? I don't think so. If the Aurelian four are the key and there are only three left then I think this is more bad than interesting."
"The prophecy wouldn't have been written if all the elements weren't going to be here when the time came. We know from experience that a vampire can be resurrected," Giles pointed out.
"Giles, Darla dusted, she didn't become a pile of bones," Buffy said, annoyed. "I'm gonna go patrol, can you fill the others in on everything?"
"Of course, be careful," he warned, but his slayer was already out the door.
Angel walked out of Drusilla's room and back towards the living room, his childe was even harder to manage now then she had been before. Entering the living room Angel froze. "Darla."