Prologue to Life/I Know You by Slaymesoftly

ReviewsRating: NC-17

Summary: A response to a challenge at the Bloodshedverse where Buffy is returned to her season II body with all her post Season VII memories. She is there due to a spell Willow performs to try to help Buffy get over mourning for Spike.

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Chapter 11

The Slayer allowed herself a few minutes of mourning for her sister slayer and for her inability to prevent Angel from losing his soul, then stood up and with a determined look on her face she raced to her watcher’s apartment. She banged on the door until the disheveled-looking man let her in, then immediately went to the phone and began dialing Willow’s number.

As soon as her sleepy friend answered, she began giving her instructions, which she then had to repeat as Willow came awake and realized who was talking to her so rapidly.

“B-Buffy? What are you saying? Angel doesn’t have his soul anymore? What do you want me to do?”

“The first thing you need to do is a dis-invite spell for your house. Right away. I don’t know how long it will be before he starts trying to—Just do it, Will. Now.”

Buffy paused for breath. From the corner of her eye, she could see the blood drain from Giles’ face has he processed what Buffy was telling her friend. To her surprise, an equally upset Jenny Calendar appeared behind him, wearing Gile’s bathrobe and clutching it around her slender body.

“What’s the next thing, Buffy?” came Willow’s voice over the phone.

“We’re going to need someone to do a spell to restore his soul. Someone who can recreate the curse...” She kept her eyes on the self-styled techno-pagan and was gratified to see awareness and then nodding acceptance in the warm brown eyes.

Buffy nodded back and asked Willow to go to her house as soon as it was daylight and do a dis-invite spell there also. She could see that Giles was already looking in a book for the proper words to work on for his apartment.

Jenny immediately went into the bedroom and began throwing on her clothes. She needed to get back to the school and into the computer lab immediately if she was going to locate anyone who might know where to find the curse spell.

Buffy next called Xander to warn him not to let Angel in, should the vampire show up at his door. She could almost feel the self-satisfied smirk on her friend’s face when she told him Angel had become dangerous, and she had to fight the urge to run over there and smack it off. Fortunately for him, the boy had enough sense to keep his “I told you so” to himself and Buffy hung up after warning him to be careful.

While Giles worked his dis-invite spell, Jenny came out of the bedroom and walked over to Buffy.

“How did this happen? I thought you were going to be sure that he didn’t have that moment of happiness?”

“Apparently, I’m not the only thing that makes him happy,” she replied, rolling her eyes.

Jenny just blinked, then nodded her head and began to put her jacket on.

“Where are you going?”

“To the school, to begin searching for the curse.”

“Not now you’re not,” the Slayer said fiercely. “Not until daylight. You don’t go anywhere at night without me.”

“Why is that, Buffy?” came her Watcher’s cold voice. “Is there something else we should know that you haven’t told us?”

Buffy sank down onto the sofa and put her head in her hands. Suddenly the slayer was gone and there was a young woman who had seen too much death and pain fighting to hold back tears.

“I’m getting scared, Giles. I couldn’t save Angel’s soul; I couldn’t save Kendra. What if everything is going to happen all over again, no matter what I do to change it?”

“Then we will deal with it when the time comes,” he said soothingly. “But you need to tell us what we have to worry about if we are going to be of any help to you.”

The gypsy woman looked at Buffy with haunted eyes and asked, “Can we start with why I can’t go out at night without a bodyguard?”

Buffy met her eyes and said flatly, “Because Angelus will find you and kill you before you can give us the spell we need.” She turned her eyes to her Watcher’s stunned face. “And you really do not want me to tell you how he uses her death to torment you. One of the things I know about Angelus is that he loves to toy with his victims before he kills them. He is a master at mental torture. It’s why Drusilla is the lunatic she is. He made her mad before he turned her.”

“How do you know this, Buffy? Surely Angel didn’t tell you?”

“Actually, he kind of did tell me about Dru, although he left out a lot of details. When...when he has his soul, he’s ashamed of it. It was Spike who told me more about what Angelus was like before he lost his soul.”

“Which brings us to the next question. How does William the Bloody fit into this? Where and how did you become so familiar with the killer of slayers that you trust him as much as you obviously do?”

Buffy sighed and leaned her head against the back of the couch, closing her eyes.

“I really had hoped to put this off for awhile, but I guess you have a right to know. When Angel loses – lost his soul, in my time, Spike was in a wheel chair healing from a broken back.” When her watcher raised his eyebrows questioningly, she nodded shortly, verifying her part in that, and then went back to her story. “He spent months being tormented by Angelus; watching him ...well, watching Angelus and Dru together; having to depend on a sadist and a lunatic for everything, including food.

“When the two loony tunes decided to end the world by restoring Acathla, he came to me for a truce. Turns out Spike likes the world the way it is. He offered to help me stop them, if I would let him take Dru away somewhere far from here. They, Angelus and Dru, didn’t know he could walk again, so he was able to take Angel by surprise and give me time to get in and attack him.”

“And what happened? I presume you were able to stop Acathla?”

“I was too late. Angelus had opened the portal and the only way I could stop it was to stab him and send him through it.”

“I’m sorry, Buffy, that must have been difficult for you.”

“You have no idea,” she said shortly. “It made me run away to LA and quit slaying for months.” She stopped and looked at her clearly concerned Watcher. “That was the sixteen year old me, Giles. The one that thought Angel was the love of her life, her soul mate. I’m not that naive little girl anymore. If I get a chance to kill him now, I’ll take it. That’s why I’m hoping that Willow and Jenny will come up with the spell to re-soul him before I have to kill him again.”

“And this trust of Spike stems from that one incident in which he helped you in order to save his girl friend from Angelus?” Giles was wearing the face she had seen way too many times in her lifetime and she answered with what could only be called a snarl.

“No, it stems from years of his helping me, caring for my sis-family, protecting my friends when I couldn’t be here to do it, and loving me unconditionally no matter how I treated him. Not to mention, the whole going-up in-flames-to-save-the-world thing.”

Giles flinched back from the very strong and obviously angry girl.

“I’m sorry, Buffy. I just find it very difficult to believe that William the Bloody could turn into someone to be trusted. Not without being cursed with a soul, like Angel was. What would possess him to do such a thing?”

“Did you miss the ‘loving me unconditionally’ part of my little tirade?” she asked with a sad smile. “He did it for me. Because he loves – loved me.”

“He loved you? Without a soul? Extraordinary! I should like to speak with him about this –“ He broke off, remembering that the Spike she was referring to was dead.

“But, Buffy,” he said gently, “this is not your Spike. This one is still in love with Drusilla.”

“So he keeps reminding me,” she said wryly.

Giles blinked in surprise.

“You’ve talked about this? He knows?”

“I haven’t told him very much. But he knows there is – was – will be something between us. He just hasn’t realized it yet.”

“And, yet, still you trust him?”

“Yes, I do. And that is the last time I will have that trust questioned. By you, or Xander, or Angel, or anyone else.”

Her expression was pure Slayer and clearly indicated the conversation was over as far as she was concerned.

When no one was able to break the silence that followed her ultimatum, she stood up and headed for the door.

“I have to get home to warn my mom. Angel has a free pass to my house that she doesn’t even know about.”

“Be careful, Buffy.”

“I’ll be fine,” she said with no inflection. “If he’s counting on my feelings to protect him this time...” She didn’t finish her sentence, just shrugged and went out into the night.

When she got to Revello Drive, she was surprised to see a light on in the kitchen and her heart rate sped up as she hurried up the walk. Fearing what she would find, she rushed into the kitchen, only to find Spike sitting quietly with her mother and sipping on a cup of hot chocolate.

“You let him in?” she practically shrieked at her mother. “You know what he is, and you let him in?”

Her mother looked embarrassed and said haltingly, “I...he seemed so worried. And you weren’t home yet. And he was so sad...and, yes,” her chin came up as she remembered that his was her teenage daughter lecturing her. “I let him in. It’s my house and I’ll invite in whom I please.”

Buffy just sighed and rolled her eyes. Then she whirled on the vampire.

“What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be trying to get your ho-bag of a girl friend out of here like I told you to?”

His eyes flashed amber for a second, and Buffy unconsciously reached for the stake in her waistband. They glared at each other for a minute, then the vampire’s shoulders slumped and he said quietly, “You were right, pet. She won’t leave her precious ‘daddy’. Couldn’t stand to watch them anymore, so I came to find you.”

“I’m not quite sure how to take that,” she said, relaxing a little.

“Can’t say I’m sure how I meant it,” he gave her a small smile and she smiled back and pushed the stake back down.

“But I wasn’t here. Why did you come in?”

“Thought you wouldn’t want your mum all alone here without you to protect her. I figured the great poof prob’ly has an invite, yeah?”

“Yeah, he does.”

“Buffy,” her mother said in her best what-the-hell-is-going-on-here voice.

Ignoring her for a minute, Buffy stepped closer to Spike and said softly, “So, you stayed here to protect my mother, huh?”

“Well, that, and she makes great hot chocolate.” He beamed at Joyce, than turned to Buffy to growl, “Tell anybody and I’ll kill you.”

Buffy heard her mother gasp at that remark, but she was too busy laughing at him to reassure the older woman. When Joyce saw that Buffy wasn’t afraid of the vampire, she sat back down and sipped at her own cup.

“So,” she said conversationally, “are you two going to tell me what’s going on? And who is the ‘great poof’?”

“Un, that would be your daughter’s ex boy friend,” Spike volunteered even as Buffy was frantically trying to signal him with her eyes.

“Boy friend? Ex boy friend? My sixteen year old daughter has had a boy friend long enough for him to be a ex, and I haven’t met him?” Her mother’s tone was cool and disappointed.

“Sixteen?” he turned wide eyes on Buffy. “You haven’t told her yet? Your own mother?”

“Told me what? Buffy what is going on around here?”

With a fierce glare at the grinning vampire, Buffy attempted to tell her mother about her true situation, but she could see that it was asking a lot to expect a woman who had just found out about her daughter’s calling and vampires and demons, to make a leap of faith and believe in time travel and alternate dimensions.

“You—you’re not sixteen?” her mother asked with a bewildered look between her daughter and the vampire who was nodding enthusiastically.

“My body is. But the person inside it? Not so much, Mom. I’ve been around for another 6 or 7 years. Very rough years, I might add. So if I seem...”
“Bossy? Cranky? Full of myself?”

“Shut up, Spike,” She spoke without thinking, then suddenly the familiarity of that phrase made her stomach clench and she grasped the kitchen counter with white knuckles as she fought off tears.

Joyce watched in bewilderment as the vampire immediately stopped grinning and flowed from his seat to her daughter’s side and held her gently while she blinked back tears.

“ ‘M sorry, pet. Used to say that to me a lot, did you?”

She leaned toward him, nodding her head gently and resting her forehead against his chest just so she could inhale his scent for a short period of time. She finally stood up straight and pulled back, looking up at him apologetically.

“Sorry, I just really miss you...him...sometimes and it’s hard to be around you and not...”

“I’m sorry I can’t be him for you, pet. I wish I could be. But I’m not. You can push my buttons all you want, but it’s not gonna change that.”

She nodded and moved away from him, only to see her mother looking back and forth between them with a puzzled frown.

“Am I missing something here?” her mother inquired.

“I’ll explain it later, mom,” Buffy said tiredly. “Why don’t you go back to bed. I’ll stay up until Willow gets here in the morning to do the dis-invite spell. Just let me check the upstairs before you go up there and make sure there’s nothing there that shouldn’t be.”

Buffy went quickly up stairs and carefully checked all the rooms, including the closets, before locking the windows closed and calling downstairs to let her mother know it was all right to go to bed.

Meanwhile, Joyce was putting the hot chocolate ingredients away and the mugs in the dishwasher. She watched the vampire from the corners of her eyes and saw that he had a very pensive look on his face.

“So, in her own time my daughter and you are together?”

He started at the sound of her voice and shifted uncomfortably.

“Well we were, it seems. She really hasn’t told me much about it, jus’ that we’ve known each other for a long time and I help her with her work. And, that ‘m not around anymore.”

“You left her?” There was a touch of motherly disapproval in her voice.

Spike grinned at her ruefully, “Don’t be grabbin’ a weapon, there, Mum. I think ‘m not around in the now-he’s-a-big-pile-‘o-dust sense of the word.”

“Oh. Oh! I’m sorry, Spike.” Joyce looked horrified at his casual acceptance of his death.

“Not to worry, Joyce. Slayer’s planning to do things a little differently this time. Wants to avoid all the bad stuff she knows about. Dunno if it’s gonna work – didn’t keep the poof from losing his soul again, or newbie from meetin’ her end –“ he stopped at Joyce’s muffled gasp and ducked his head.

“Sorry, Joyce. I forgot you didn’t know about that. Slayer’s really gonna kill me now.”

At her startled expression, he grinned again, “Figure of speech, luv. Jus’ meant she’ll be brassed off that I let it slip out like that .”

Shaking her head at the way Buffy, and now Spike, had her in a permanent state of befuddlement the past week, she said good-night and went to meet her daughter at the bottom of the stairs.

After assuring her mother that the upstairs was safe, and making her promise not to open any windows and to scream if she heard the slightest unusual noise, she kissed her mother good-night. If Joyce was confused by the unusual amounts of physical affection Buffy had shown this past week, she resolutely pushed any thoughts of why that might be to the back of her mind.


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