Buffy AU Fanfiction
Set after Buffy – the vampire slayer, during the fifth season of "Angel" (at the end of episode 2 "Just rewards") leading into AU
Summary: When Spike asks Fred for help, an unknown power decides to give him a break. But to what price? And who else is playing that game?
As soon as Spike and that new woman, Fred hadn't really caught the name, had left, she picked up her phone and called Angel to let him know they had another item on their agenda for the morning meeting:
"Angel? I just wanted to tell you I'm going to bring Spike and, uh, someone else into the morning meeting. The situation has changed a bit since the last time we talked. I can't tell you anything specific right now but it's important. I want them to be there in the beginning, we can send them out before we discuss everything else."
A bit surprised by Fred's definiteness. Angel didn't even get a word in, he prepared to interrupt her a few times but she didn't even hesitate after the first awkwardness when she announced to bring in Spike and a surprise mystery guest to their little morning powwow.
Most mornings the former team of Angel Investigations didn't even bother with a full meeting. Everyone of them had their area of expertise, their department and what good would the details of their different projects really be to one another? Ever since Angel had agreed to take over Wolfram and Hart – well, the L.A. Branch – to get Connor a new life, he had felt more isolated from his friends then ever before.
Actually, the isolation didn't feel that different from the time he decided to fire his crew after Darla had been turned or back when everyone besides him lost that day he turned human – seemed like a dream he had years ago. But this time everyone except him had lost more than a year, he wasn't even sure what they remembered instead and he could never talk about what really happened. Time hadn't been reversed, he had given the order to have their memories altered. He hadn't had much time while making the deal. It wasn't regretting his decision as much as it was the guilt about everything that happened what ailed him. Why hadn't he been able to be a better father for his only child? How had it all come to the point where he had to resort to magic of the darkest kind? And exactly how was he supposed to go on from here?
He couldn't even go out and work off his frustration with killing demons anymore. To top all of that Spike had arrived out of nowhere rubbing his nose in it. Without him he probably wouldn't have been able to get rid of Hainsley so quick and relatively clean. The fact that the younger vampire knew him so well and was generally good at reading people just made him all the more annoying.
Spike. Angel sighed. After all the things he did to him before getting a soul, Spike had finally gotten his revenge by worming his way into Buffy's heart. When he went to Sunnydale, he had wanted to die for her or at her side but she sent him away because of Spike, leaving him the responsibility to be her back-up if they failed and now he was stuck here. Forever! But even if she hadn't sent him away, he wouldn't have wanted to end up as a phantom.
He glanced at the clock, sighed again and reached for the mug with his morning blood. Having worked all night he would get up to his suite and sleep after the meeting. Well, at least that was what he was planning to do if they hadn't already filled his day with appointments... Better check, he could never remember that stuff. His finger automatically went to the button that connected him with his secretary: "Harmony!"
Maybe Spike was kind of impressed how quick the woman found the way to that canteen and talked the cashier into giving him a free cup of blood. Saying they were due to have a meeting with the C.E.O. at 8 o'clock. Invoking Angel's title worked like a charm, the blood had exactly the right temperature and it seemed a bit more exotic than pig or cow. It unearthed a distant memory: "Alligator! It's been a lifetime since I had alligator's blood. Only tried it because...", he stopped when he realized the person at his side was still a stranger. "Because sometimes you liked a good fight before feeding and you didn't feel sufficiently challenged by a human back then.", she ended his sentence. Spike looked her over and contemplated just exactly who he was dealing with. "Right.", he said calmly but with definite annoyance. "How much do you know about me? How old are you, Fallon?"
She gestured for him to sit down at one of the tables, sitting down across from him and sighed before she answered: "As far as I know my existence started about 22 earth years ago. But time is a different matter in other dimensions and I used to be able to see everything that happened in the past. Part of my preparation for restoring you was getting to know your history."
"Right.", he repeated. "You volunteered to help me after you got to know everything? Bloody precious that is."
"Sort of.", she replied looking at her feet now, "It's hard to explain and I don't really want to talk about it."
"Well, if you're not gonna talk to me, you can just sod off.", he said matter of factly, taking a big swallow of his alligator blood. "I don't fancy getting hugs from someone who stalked out my past and isn't even willing to answer a few bloody questions." Aha, now she's looking at him again. She just needs a last little shove: "Do you think it's fair? Knowing everything about me when I don't have a clue about whatever you are?"
She seemed to reach a conclusion then and he was ridiculously proud for not getting violent again or threatening her. Coping with coming back from the dead was hard and, without Buffy around, the battle between his demon and his soul was getting harder every second. As a phantom he hadn't been able to act on any of his impulses and even after he'd let off some steam the night before, he was just aching for a real fight.
"Spike, I never was prepared to actually interact with you.", she ran a hand through her locks and the red curls danced around her face. "My Goddess, she has a special interest in vampires and vampire slayers", taking a deep breath she decided to just admit it: "I used to be responsible for Buffy Summers, protecting her as best as I could. I was the one taking her away when she sacrificed herself and when she got resurrected... I lost her and they... they said she wasn't my responsibility anymore. I... I couldn't let go. She has been my purpose for all the time I remember, for all of my existence. So, I still followed her around but I couldn't help her anymore.", she was looking everywhere but into Spikes face. "I volunteered to restore you, because you are important to her. You were there for her when I couldn't be. She misses you and I figured it would be one last thing I could do for her." He didn't expect her to cry, but tears were brimming in her eyes and she tried to wipe them away with her hands. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."
Flashback:"You asked for help – and here I am. Will you let me help?" The presence feels familiar somehow. He steps into the light and it engulfs him. Buffy! Glimpses of her face flash by. "I love you.", tear filled eyes lock with his. "No, you don't. But thanks for saying it.", he's not stupid. He still remembers what she had said about it before, doesn't he? "I can't love you, I could never trust you enough for it to be love." "I'm using you. I can't love you." He also remembers the first time she was pleased with him: "That thing. It wasn't even real... What you did, for Dawn and me, that was real. - I won't forget it." Almost getting himself killed protecting her sister that had gotten him a first chaste kiss. Dying for her and saving the world gets him hearing the words he always longed for. It makes sense.
This light that is sinking into him, fills him with all kinds of wonderful feelings. Fills him with an echo of her scent, makes him experience holding her into his arms again. Then it suddenly stops. In front of him is a face he has never seen before: a woman with deep brown eyes and red locks embracing him...
There are so many questions he would like to ask. But his thoughts are jumbled and the woman who he wants to answer them is sniffling pitifully. Comforting her seems like a good course of action. Without fully registering what he's doing he starts to awkwardly pat her knee and immediately regrets it when she starts crying for real. Her head sinking down on the table while he looks around, panicking at the sight of half a dozen faces turned to them. If he could blush, the red would start to creep into his face now. The vampire stands up and walks to the side of the crying figure, purposefully turning his back to the onlookers and nervously rubs circles on her back. "Shhhh, don't carry on so, love.", he murmurs. "I'm here for you, pet." Maybe it's just because he is in a vulnerable state of mind but whatever Fallon is, he is starting to care about her.
Lorne was having a rotten morning. This one little starlet had called him six times during the night. He probably wouldn't have been able to sleep one way or the other but she didn't know that, did she? He sweeps into Wolfram and Hart in his normal cheerful manner but it feels like a mask he's wearing. The green demon with the red horns and the tender heart really is anything but looking forward to that morning meeting with the old team. They hardly ever listen to what he has to say. Just using him to read auras if need be. Lorne closes his eyes for a minute and pitches the bridge of his nose. Show must go on.
Fred is frantically trying to re-organize the lab team, she needs to free up her best scientists to work on finding out what kind of portal was opened in her office, which dimension it had been going to and so forth. The residual energy is stronger the closer to the event you work. But all the other things still have to be done. There is a schedule to keep. As head of the department it's fine to change the priorities but you have to make sure you're not causing another catastrophe by putting something off too long. Additionally she wanted more time before the meeting. Just enough time to read through some stuff, take some notes and clear her head before everyone wanted to hear what happened and what she was planning to do. "Come on Fred, people are counting on you.", she mumbles to herself.
Wesley and Gunn were the first in the conference room. They had arrived nearly at the same time and spent an awkward moment facing each other in front of the door before shuffling around to get inside. They decided to sit down on opposite sides of the table and mostly eyed one another, hoping everyone else would be there soon. When Fred and Gunn had started their relationship, it had been hell for Wesley. So bad he decided to move out of the Hyperion and even work separated from the other guys, recruiting a couple of freelance workers. There had been months were he was only coming in if the others needed his help. But ever since the couple had broken up, the tension between him an Gunn tended to built up as soon as they stayed in the same place for more than fifty seconds. They constantly butted heads over the way things should be handled and usually were very careful to have Angel there as sort of a cushion. After feeling refused by Fred, Wesley had started to be a more hands on guy, developing mechanical devices and perfecting his fighting technique. Gunn on the other hand felt like he had lost Fred because he was 'just the muscle' and had readily agreed to Wolfram and Hart boosting his brain with all kinds of knowledge. The fast track to expanding his horizon.
Now, voices can be heard and both men immediately direct their attention to the door. A few moments later Lorne is opening it and letting a slightly disheveled looking Fred through to enter the room. For a heartbeat it seems as if time has stopped, when she greets them with one of her shy but stunningly beautiful smiles. She resumes talking to Lorne, dumping the papers she was carrying on one end of the table without paying them any more heed. Shuffling through her notes she eventually says: "It's good to see y'all. I already told Angel but I didn't have time to phone all of you, I kind of changed the agenda a bit on account of some things happening this morning..." Before any of them can ask her to tell more, the door opens again. They expect to see Angel but instead it's Spike holding it open for a very beautiful young woman with red locks and a radiant smile. "Who's that?", asks Gunn at the same moment as Wesley asks: "How come Spike is holding that door?" "Yeah", Fred replies: "that's exactly what I wanted to talk about."
The arriving pair has yet to walk in when Angel's voice clangs into the room: "Hey Spike! Haven't seen you acting that cavalier in ages. When did you pick up the trick of touching things again?" The recently corporealized vampire turns to see his grand-sire walking towards them and has trouble getting a grip on his instincts to fight. Of course Angel had always been able to rile him up pretty easily and being the older vampire, he had always overpowered the younger. After a few seconds that feel like ages Spike settles for answering: "Just a few hours ago, mate." Then adding: "Want to go and spar a little?" with a cocky grin. "That would hardly be fair.", Angel replies easily, "I don't know much about ghosts but my hits would still go right through you, wouldn't they?" Having walked nearer the whole time the dark haired vampire stops just a few inches from Spike, standing much too close for comfort. Ignoring the platinum blond, he's noticing the lady for the first time. "And this would be our mysterious guest.", he quipped giving her one of his crooked smiles. "Hello. I'm Angel." He stretches out his hand, apparently intending it to glide right through Spike and is a bit startled when he bumps against a solid form. Spike uses his confusion to clock him. Angel has just enough time to register the huge grin on the face of his grand-childe before Spike throws an arm around the unknown woman and lets the door swing shut.
Needing only two seconds to compose himself, Angel rips it open again to see his friends yelling at the former ghost and his companion who seems to actually become see-through the more the atmosphere thickens. "Alright.", he breaks up the argument. (Actually more like a screaming contest.) "I think it's time that Fred tells us what happened."
After the young scientist has finished her recount of the events in her office, leaving out any details of the things Spike had told her, just informing the others that he had asked her to look into a way to get his body back, before he had been gifted with one, temporarily. She hands out copies of an impromptu agenda to deal with the case.
"As you'll probably see, I gave confirming the information supplied by our newest acquaintance the highest priority.", Fred starts to talk about the plan. "There have to be some records. Of course it would be helpful if you are kind enough to tell us more. Every little bit could really help us out here.", she smiles and looks at the strange phantom woman who had regained the appearance of a solid person during the first minute of Fred's tale before continuing: "Then there is the problem with locating the amulet. Did it really get lost last night?" Angel looks a bit sheepishly, "Well, I tried to destroy it on the graveyard, then Hainsley was there. I didn't see him take it and I don't know where it is now."
Wesley added: "A retrieval team was send to the graveyard but they couldn't find it. If the young lady is right into guessing that it was tinkered with we could safely assume that someone stole it." Everyone ignored Fallon's snort: "Young lady, my ass...", she becomes aware of people watching her. "...umption would be that someone watched your actions very closely to use that relatively short amount of time to get the amulet and prepare a spell or something similar by the morning."
"Would you like to add anything else, umm, some information about your goddess and yourself. I'm sorry. I don't think we have been introduced. Wesley Wyndam-Price", the former watcher supplied then indicates everyone should follow his example and state their name. "Charles Gunn", the man with the shaved head and hard eyes barks out. "Just call me Lorne, cupcake.", the green-skinned demon in the bright colored suit smiles and gives a small wave. "Yeah and Peaches and the science queen should not have to introduce anymore . Can we speed this up? I'm bored.", an exasperated vampire intervened before planting his feet on the table.
The redhead scowled a bit but started talking nonetheless: " I was named Fallon. My goddess, the Lady Morrigan is mainly worshiped in the land of the fay. But she gathered a few followers here as well, especially in Ireland which possesses a lot of possible portals to the fay realm. She has a special interest in vampires and vampire slayers. I think there is some kind of feud going on between her and the creator of the first vampires. However, the watcher's council should have had some notes on her and a coven under her patronage, practicing magic to protect people from vampires, coming to their attention about eight or seven hundred years ago. I don't know exactly where they were based then. They've existed long before. The last of their leaders vanished about five hundred years ago, after his twin brother was turned. It was then, when the warlock came up with a spell to anchor someone's soul back to the body even if that body was taken by a demon.", she paused there, thinking about what else to say. "She also sends protectors to all potential slayers and some other people she deems special for the fight, you might call them 'guardian angels'. I think that is a customary expression in this dimension.", she rolled her eyes a bit at all of them before continuing: "She has much more power in the fay realm, she can manifest there and everything. Oh, her holy symbol is a cross, of course." She was obviously finished speaking for now, looking pensieve and crossing her arms.
"Your name is Irish.", Angel pointed out in an attempt to get Fallon into a chat.
"Yes, Angel, that is right. I think I pointed out that my goddess has a bond with the Irish people. That might be one reason I got that name. I am however not interested in talking to you or listening to you stating meaningless facts.", everybody looks at her, a bit surprised at the hot reaction. After a brief moment of uncomfortable silence she adds: "Oh goddess, I never liked you."
"What do you mean never liked me? We've only met a couple of minutes ago"
"That might be true from your perspective. I, on the other hand, met you the first time years ago - when you started meddling in Buffy's life. I knew you were trouble the first time she set eyes on you. When you gave her that little silver cross as a present? I mean, I knew that you followed her before but she had never seen you and you had not tried to harm her so it wasn't that important and maybe you helped her with your meddling but you were still trouble." "Calm down, love." "Calm down? No one else has ever hurt her the way he did. Nobody. If I didn't knew how much he hurts himself over her, I would really hate him." Spike feels the need to explain her outburst: "You see, Fall here used to be Buffy's guardian angel." "Protector." , she injected sullenly. "Whatever.", he motioned for her to be silent. "She always watched out for Buffy and apparently that left her with some unresolved issues towards you. Don't worry, she'll get over it."
"So, why aren't you with Buffy anymore?" Angel asks, oblivious to the sore subject he's touching. "Because she died, you stupid git.", the ghostly woman explodes. "And not like the first time, just for a few seconds, no, I already had taken her to the afterlife. Apparently that means my job is done except that I won't even be allowed to care for her when she really dies, now. And they forbade me to see her after I was caught one time too many trying to help her when she was no longer officially my responsibility. Stupid jobsworths. Why should I care more about some silly rules than I care about my ward? Whatever, I couldn't go anywhere near her anymore, so when they were looking for a volunteer to take on Spike's case, I took it."
"And restoring his body was supposed to be the first step of your plan?" "It was supposed to be the only step of the plan. At least as far as I was involved. It would have cost all of my energy to do it, everything I could give - my existence would have ended."
"What?", nobody was shocked more about this little revelation than Spike who scrambles to hold his balance and decides to put his feet back to the ground. "You think getting my body back would be worth dying over?", the flat of his palm hit the table in front of the woman he had spent the last hour with. "What are you talking about Spike? I wouldn't have died, I would just have ceased existing." She responds unfazed. "Oh, alright then. What have I been thinking? That's worse! Didn't think you could be so thick, pet." At what moment has he stood up? Now, he is all but screaming and picks up pacing around.
"I didn't think you'd get so bent out of shape over this. It was not that long ago I was just another stranger, possibly dangerous, to you." Fallon mumbles. Then she talks with more emphasis: "There is always a prize, Spike. I was prepared to pay it. Wouldn't have hurt anyone on this plane of existence. It's not like you would have ever gotten to know me." The platinum blond vampire grits his teeth and remains silent. He wouldn't have been able to explain it if somebody asked. That woman was special to him, precious, sure he hadn't been able to see her all those years but he had felt the same presence he sensed right now – maybe he had thought her just another part of Buffy but now he knew better. "Frankly, after the last two years it would have been a relieve.", he heard her say and that would have had him started if they were alone, but now was not the time.
Wesley took it on himself to get back to topic: "So what's the situation, now? What went wrong? If that is the right way to phrase it."
"I'm not sure. I felt him and me being bound together during the process, that's probably the reason he's so put out as well - There's a connection between us.", she received a dirty look from Spike. "Makes us care more about each other than it would normally be the case. Something blocked me from giving him the last bit of my energy and somehow trapped me here. Might have been intentional, might just be a side-effect. Fred mentioned the results from my scan being very similar to Spike's original readings. But I don't have a clue what that means. I just, I can feel the amulet through my bond with Spike and I know it has something to do with this. You have to get it back. Somebody used it to interfere."
"And what a tragic thing that was. You being getting visible and stuck here." "No need to mock me, William. What if whoever did this decides to destroy the amulet? You could really die and who knows what happens to me. Not that I'll complain I just wouldn't want anything bad happening to you."
"Yeah, and is that the bond speaking or...", he goaded her. Ignoring him she said: "Okay, is there something else we have to discuss or can we leave now? Because I get the feeling Spike is really anxious to talk to me without an audience."
"I could give you sanctuary if you don't feel comfortable with him. My apartment is right upstairs." Angel threw in. If she said yes to his proposition maybe he'd get to talk to her later. "Er, thanks, I guess. But I really don't want to jump out of the frying pan into the fire and I do hope I never become that desperate." "You're free to go, of course, just be careful." Wesley answered in Angel's place, eying their leader who looked like he had just been hit.
"Alright.", Fallon said, while Spike was storming to the door and ripping it open. "I'll see all of you later, probably."
The Shadow feels a grim satisfaction over the information he'd been able to get. Jumping through time and space is a delicate matter but he gets better at it. Additionally, he is sure no one saw him skulking around Wolfram and Hart. Things are set in motion. What the future will bring? He doubts even the Gods know.