Chapter Four: Rendezvous

Buffy was sitting in the club with her two best friends. She and Willow had been attempting to work on their French earlier, but Buffy was too involved in her own head to really pay attention. All she could think about was the vampire she had met earlier that night. Despite his highly noticeable attire, he didn't seem the kind of vampire that had only died within the past thirty years. Usually vampire tended to wear the style of clothing they wore when they were alive, but she had a feeling William didn't die during the 80s. He had overpowered her, which meant that he had to be a strong vampire. The older vampires were, the stronger they tended to be. Buffy thought that this vampire was a lot older than he made himself to be.

Angel didn't act he like he was that old of a vampire. Though Buffy knew that he had power. Angel was over two hundred years old. But he was always brooding because of his soul. Buffy didn't get the feeling that this new vampire was the brooding type. With her only observation of a vampire with a soul being Angel, Buffy wasn't sure what to expect from another vampire with a soul. If he was telling the truth. And even though she had no reason to trust him, she didn't think that he was lying.

Buffy didn't know why she was supposedly sent another vampire with a soul. One that was already nothing like Angel. But William had suggested that he knew Angel. She half wondered if she should ignore his pleads and ask Angel if he knew anything about a vampire named William. He made it sound like he knew not just of Angel, but of all her friends. Was this guy stalking her? She would have known if someone was following her though. How did he know her? Every time she asked about those things, he just said it was 'complicated'.

She really wanted answers from this vampire, but he was so insistent that they needed to be alone to talk. Normally, Buffy would be involving the whole gang with something new like this. A second souled vampire claiming to be sent by something called the "Powers That Be", who also apparently sent Angel, sounded hinky. Especially when he showed up in the middle of nowhere and offered an invitation for a secret rendezvous. There was no way she could keep that a secret. But there was something about this vampire that intrigued her. And there was something that told her that she had to go to that meeting and keep it a secret.

If it was a setup, she was sure that she could defend herself. He might be a strong vampire, but Buffy was confident that she could take him if she had to. Though she had a feeling that she wouldn't need to do that.

Spike went to the hotel room early, just to get his thoughts in order and plan for upcoming things. When Buffy had asked for his name, he didn't know what to say. He felt that Spike was a traceable name, so he opted for William. There were plenty of vampires named William, and so long as the Slayer didn't tell anyone or go digging around and find his picture in some book, he should be safe. He wanted to be the one to explain exactly who he was without the bias of a book, or even worse, Angel. Spike had no reason to trust this Buffy, and she had no reason to trust him, but he had to give it a shot.

He wasn't sure how he was possibly going to explain everything. How did a souled vampire from the future convince his old love, who has no idea that he loves her or that they even know each other, that he was really from the future and how he was a bad-guy-turned-good? How can he even begin to explain to her how she was going to die?

There were so many ideas running through his head. He didn't know where to start, he didn't know how credible he would sound, and he had no idea if she was even coming. Spike believed that he hadn't scared her off, but he practically announced that he knew Angel and he prayed to some pain in the ass force that Buffy hadn't asked Angel about him.

He somehow realized that maybe he could have approached her a different way, or that he shouldn't have overpowered her. Maybe he sounded too desperate. Now he was worried that Buffy wouldn't take what he had to say seriously because he was essentially begging her to listen to him and to not ask anyone else questions. Did she think he was a poncy? Or worse, that he was like Angel?

He had to stop this track of thinking. It didn't help to think about it any longer. That was yesterday. And he couldn't change that, not after coming back over five years into the past. He already had a better introduction than his original one. He knew he had scared her the first time he and Buffy had actually met. He was sure that she had gone running back to her Watcher and beloved Angel to figure out who the latest Big Bad was. Spike had threatened her the first meeting as well, which meant that at least this time he hoped that Buffy had left their introduction without her thinking that he was someone she had to fight.

He knew given the circumstances, he had already made a better impression on her. Spike just hoped that it was good enough to convince her to show up.

As Giles, Ms. Calendar, and Buffy's friends were stressing about St. Vigeous, Buffy was busy getting the final touches done for parent-teacher night. Everyone, including Cordelia, was getting weapons together, but Buffy was cutting peppers and other vegetables for that night. She could worry about St. Vigeous on Saturday if she survived parent-teacher night. Buffy was too stressed to think about St. Vigeous when Thursday night was just a few hours away. After she had been reminded of punch, the Slayer went out to get lemonade. The trip to the grocery store gave her plenty of time to think.

It was easier than she expected not to tell her friends about Sunnydale's newest vampire. Everyone was so freaked out about Saturday that she figured it was best not to worry about telling them about something else. Why worry them with something that wasn't even technically a problem? Yet.

Of course she would tell Giles and her friend's everything, just not right now. William wasn't a threat at that time. Plus, she might as well give him the benefit of the doubt. Something inside her told her not to overlook him as just another vampire.

While it was weird to think of another vampire with a soul trying to help her, she couldn't help comparing him to Angel. Angel was somewhat helpful right away, but he was very secretive about who he was. Finding out that he was a vampire had been a shock, and though she was able to get over him being a vampire, it definitely put a roadblock in their budding romance.

William, on the other hand, was very upfront about what he was. She could tell that he didn't want her to get the wrong impression of him. He even admitted to being a bad guy in the past. Angel never talked about his past. She doubted that he had always been broody, but he never so much as hinted at what kind of vampire he had been. Giles said Angel had been "as bad as the rest."

What if William was worse? What if she was making a mistake by not telling her friends about William? What if he was a really evil vampire in the past? Or worse, that he was lying to her about having a soul and could still be evil? Buffy put those thoughts aside. She knew in her gut that this was no ordinary evil vampire. He had something important to tell her and she had the feeling that she really needed to hear it. Going to see him alone might not be the brightest idea, but she was curious. She had to go meet him tonight.

The parent-teacher meeting came and went that night. Principal Snyder had managed to find and talk to Joyce Summers about how troublesome her daughter was. When the two Summers women had gotten home, Buffy was sure her mom was going to ground her. While Joyce was not pleased with what Snyder had told her, she had chosen not to punish her daughter. Instead, the two had a long discussion in which Buffy promised to make a bigger effort in school. After that, Buffy went to her room to plan the rest of her night.

Buffy had a sense that William had no intention of harming her, but she decided that it was better safe than sorry if she went armed. She placed a stake in the waistband of her pants, a bottle of holy water in her jacket pocket and replaced the small necklace she had worn that night with the silver cross Angel had given her. After she was sure her mother had gone to bed, Buffy snuck out the window.

She was sure Angel wasn't out tonight, but just in case, Buffy decided to take a non-direct path in the form of a short patrol in the direction of the motel. Sunnydale was very quiet, with barely a soul, or lack of souls, around. Buffy walked through every cemetery between her house and the Sunnydale Motel. The motel wasn't that far away, but Sunnydale had quite a few cemeteries, even within a thirty block radius.

Buffy stayed in the shadows as she approached the tacky, run-down building. It wasn't exactly cosy, but it was as close to anonymous as anyone could get in Sunnydale. She quickly rounded up the stairs, keeping an eye out and making sure no one was around to see her. When she got to the second floor, she dodged past each door as she checked to find William's room. Just as she was passing room 14, the door next to it flew open and Buffy spotted a bleached blonde head in the shadowing light. The vampire extended the door open and Buffy slipped inside.

Before William could close the door behind him, Buffy was already reaching for the stake behind her back as the stench of blood hit her nostrils. The Slayer whipped around to face the vampire that had been smart enough to lure her into a secluded room without so much as anyone knowing where she was.

"You won't be needing that," the vampire spoke as he turned around after securing the chain in place.

"What are you talking about?" Buffy still held the stake behind her back.

"The stake. I know it's in your hand. You won't need it," William stated.

"You mean because you'll kill me too quickly for me to pull it out fast enough?" Buffy asked. "I'm faster than you think."

"I know exactly how fast you are, but that's not what I meant. I really mean to talk. Though I figured you could never trust a handsome vampire with a soul just yet," the bleach blonde smirked. "I knew you would come prepared for a fight."

Buffy didn't say anything as she watched the vampire walk past her into the room. He didn't seem to care that she might try to fight him or defend herself. She then noticed the origin of the blood smell‒a styrofoam cup of blood sitting on the desk. William put the lid on the cup and stored it in the mini fridge by the TV set.

"Is that…" Buffy began to ask.

"Pig's blood. From the butchers. Take a look," the vampire opened the fridge door for Buffy to peer inside. On the shelves there were four styrofoam cups. The closest one had a receipt taped to it, with "pig" clearly printed on it.

"You drink pig's blood?" Buffy looked up at the bleach blonde.

"It's not my favorite. It's actually revolting, but I stomach it." The vampire turned to sit on the bed. She noticed that he was just wearing an open red button down shirt over a simple black T-shirt and black jeans. His leather duster was hanging up in the open closet and his boots had been neatly set underneath it. Buffy thought his features seemed a lot softer without the coat and boots.

"I almost thought you weren't going to show. Or worse, that you had told someone about me," the bleach blonde looked up at her, hoping the Slayer hadn't set him up. "Did you?"

Buffy pulled out the desk chair to face him. "I'm surprised I came myself. And no, I didn't tell anyone. I don't trust you, but I thought that I should hear you out." Buffy rolled her eyes, "Just in case you were telling the truth."

The vampire smiled, "You believe me? I'm flattered."

"No, I don't believe you...I just think that you may not be completely lying. Which, you better not be, because if you are, I will not hesitate to kill you." Buffy set down the stake on the desk to emphasize her point.

"Relax, Slayer," the vampire raised his hands in the air. "I didn't come all this way to lie to you. I don't want to make you mistrust me."

"What do you mean, 'all this way'?"

"I guess I should get right down to it then. Alright, before you accuse me of lying to you, please keep an open mind. What I'm gonna say sounds blimey crazy, even to me, but I assure you it's the truth. But I should probably start off by telling you my real name."

"You lied to me about your name? Why should I believe anything you say?"

"I didn't lie. My name is William. Or at least it was. It was my name when I was human. I just didn't want to give you my actual name in case you told Angel or Rupert." Buffy just looked at him. "It's Spike."

"Spike? I'm guessing you didn't get that name from experimenting with your hair."

"Not exactly. You see, I didn't want you to find out who I really was before I got the chance to tell you myself. I have a colorful…" Buffy raised her eyebrows at his word choice. "...bloody past. I was the Big Bad for a long time. Pre-soul of course. But something changed me." You changed me, Spike thought. "And I chose to get my soul back."

"I'm supposed to believe that an evil vampire chose to get his soul back? Really? At least try to make me believe you," Buffy quipped.

"How or why I got my soul isn't important. Just trust that I have one and that I'm here to help you."

"Fine," Buffy rolled her eyes. "Let's just say you have a soul. Why would a second vampire come all the way to Sunnydale when there's already one here helping me?"

"Because I know that Angel won't be enough. Something very bad is going to happen to you and everyone else you love and care about. I was went here to stop it. I know everything that's about to happen."

"Great. So you were told by these Power people or had some kind of vision or whatever. Why couldn't Angel be told about the future since he was supposedly sent by the same people? Why did it have to be you?"

"You misunderstand. I didn't come to Sunnydale from somewhere else because of a vision. I came from Sunnydale...and this is where it starts sounding crazy," Spike half giggled-half exhaled, "from another time."

Buffy just gave the vampire a blank stare.

"I'm from the future."