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 15

Buffy felt a tingle in the healed scratches on her neck and knew that Spike’s unintentional claiming was still active. She paused and shut her eyes for a second and was rewarded with a wash of excitement and anticipation that she knew was coming from the blond vampire. Wishing she knew more about claiming and the side effects, she tried to send a message of confidence and warning but couldn’t tell if he received it or not.

In a whispered conversation, she told Jenny and Willow where they could hide while they worked on the combined curse/spell. Her intent was to keep Angelus busy fighting her long enough for them to work their magic on his demon.

“I promise you,” she said to Willow’s frightened face, “I will not let him near you. If it comes down to it, I’ll stake him and let the future worry about itself. You just stay behind the machinery, and let me do the rest.”

“And what about William the Bloody and Drusilla?” Jenny asked quietly. “I believe you when you say Spike won’t harm you or us, but what is to prevent his consort from doing to us what she did to Kendra?”

“Spike will,” Buffy said shortly. “All right, let’s go.”

When Spike felt Buffy approaching, he suddenly became very animated and began stalking toward Angelus, growling about his having “taken my soddin’ woman for the last time.” Keeping one eye on Drusilla, who had stopped dancing to watch with interest the two vampires preparing to fight over her, he insulted, provoked and generally distracted Angel to prevent the older vampire from hearing the entrance of Buffy and the witches.

Had Drusilla not whirled at the sound of Willow sneezing in the dusty room he might have been able to keep the other vamp busy until the spell was well underway. However, the sneeze and Dru’s subsequent wail of, “The sun is here to take my daddy away,” tore Angelus’ attention off the advancing blond and focused it on the petite form entering the room.

“Well, hello, lover,” he crooned. “I didn’t really expect to see you so soon. Thought you’d want to take a while to mourn the passing of your boy friend.”

Buffy blinked at him in genuine confusion for a second, before she realized that he meant his soulled self and not Spike. Angel had not heard her speech about Spike’s unconditional love for her and apparently thought he was still the love of her life, even though she thought she had made it clear that they had no future together.

When she realized what he meant, she smiled grimly and said, “Haven’t lost him yet, demon.”

While she and Angel were exchanging pleasantries, Drusilla was working her way toward the Slayer, swaying back and forth like a cobra as she did so.

“Sunshine thinks she has captured my sweet William. She wants to pull both my lovely boys into the light with her, but they don’t want to leave their dark princess, do they Miss Edith?”

She cocked her head as though listening for a reply, then snarled at the Slayer.

“Miss Edith says you tried to take what’s mine. She says I should kill you like I did the other Slayer.”

As Dru moved closer, trying to get the Slayer to look her in the eye, Spike was crossing the room swiftly and he grabbed her around the waist just as she got to Buffy. Although the slayer was careful not to look the insane vampire in the eyes, she couldn’t help but be distracted by her weaving approach and sing song voice.

When Spike grabbed the dark vampire before she could reach for the Slayer, Buffy’s attention was distracted enough that Angel was able to leap for her, his weight carrying them both to the floor. The force of the fall with the vampire’s large body on top of her, knocked the wind out of her and she was immobilized for a few seconds as she struggled to get air into her lungs.

Angel took advantage of that to pull her hands over her head and fully pin her down, using his legs to hold hers still. When she tried to buck him off, she could feel his erection pressing into her crotch and she recoiled reflexively.

“Oh,” he snarled, “the virtuous little bitch doesn’t like that, eh? Maybe before I kill you, I’ll have to pop that cherry you’re so proud of.”

“Too late,” she snarled back as she bashed her forehead into his face and tried to pull her arms free. She cursed her sixteen year old self for the baby fat coating the body that had become taut with muscle in her own time. She knew that if she was in her own body she would have been able to overpower the large vampire, but in this body she felt more helpless than she had in years.

While Spike was busy trying to contain a shrieking, struggling Drusilla, Angel bared his fangs and prepared to sink them into Buffy’s exposed neck. Just as he reached for her throat, the marks on it flared into visibility and Buffy could feel them emitting some sort of power. The snarling vampire recoiled in fear and astonishment as Spike’s claim became visible, allowing Buffy to free one hand and use it to push his head back far enough for her to wriggle out from under him. She rolled to her feet and fell into a fighting stance as he gaped at her

“You…you’ve been claimed! How…who…no one claims a Slayer.” His surprise was replaced with anger, “No vampire claims what’s mine. I’ll kill you and him.” He advanced on the slayer, snarling the whole time. “Tell me who it was. Did you stake him for it, or do I get to rip his head off?”

Surprised that he couldn’t tell that the tiny marks belonged to Spike, Buffy breathed a sigh of relief that she could feel was echoed by the the vamp still wrestling with Drusilla. The dark vampiress was shrieking about spells and witches and gypsies and tearing at Spike with her nails and teeth in an effort to break loose and attack Willow and Jenny.

Buffy couldn’t risk taking her eyes off Angelus long enough to watch the seer, and she prayed that Spike would be able to control her while she kept the fuming master vampire busy. When he charged her again, she was ready for him and leaped over his head, kicking him as she did so. She whirled and planted another kick in his back, sending him to the floor hard enough to stun him. When she didn’t follow up with a stake in his back, he staggered back to his feet with a knowing smile.

“You can’t kill me, can you, lover? I knew you couldn’t. It would break your little teen-aged heart.”

He stalked toward her, only to be met with a flurry of punches and kicks that put him back on the floor, bruised and bleeding, but undusted. He sat there, blinking up at her angrily.

“Give it up, Buffy. Admit it. You. Can’t. Kill. Me. You love me too much.”

Buffy rolled her eyes at his arrogance and spat back at him, “I can kill you, if I have to. News flash, Angel, I already have. Sent you right to hell, in spite of how much I loved you. And, Angel? This time around? I don’t think I even like you very much.”

“Then why haven’t you…” His face showed his sudden understanding and he leapt to his feet with a roar. “Where are they? You’re stalling me! Trying to put that miserable soul back. I don’t want it, Slayer. I won’t go back to being what I was.”

Buffy positioned herself between the furious vampire and the large piece of machinery behind which Willow and Jenny were frantically chanting, trying to finish their combined spells before Buffy had to stake him.

Angel’s roar had distracted Spike long enough for Drusilla to break free and she flew across the big room to where the chanting was almost ready to take her daddy away again. Buffy turned to run toward Drusilla and Angel tackled her to the floor once again. This time he wasted no time on threats or taunting, just reached toward her nearest body part with his fangs. Spike was frozen in place for a fraction of a second, torn between saving Buffy and saving the two chanting women.

When Willow screamed, he crossed the floor in two leaps, tackling Drusilla away from the shrinking red head. Before the spitting, hissing vampire could rip into him again with her claws, he brought his fist up and with a soft, “Sorry, luv,” he connected a hard uppercut to her chin that knocked her unconscious. He gave Willow and Jenny an apologetic shrug, then whirled to help Buffy, only to find the Slayer kicking his grandsire’s semi-conscious body all over the room.

“If,” smack! “you,” whump! “don’t stop,” crack! “trying to bite me,” bam!, “I’m going to stake you anyway and the hell with your freakin’ redemption!”

He grinned in admiration as she punched and pummeled the large vampire until she could drag his unconscious body up to where Willow and Jenny were finishing their interrupted spell casting. She dropped him in front of the frightened women, put her hands on her hips and said, “Well?”

“Done!” Willow said, sagging with relief. Jenny nodded her head and they all turned to watch Angelus’ body stiffen and shake as the spell hit him and his soul was restored. Turning from the now-groaning vampire, Buffy looked from Spike to the still unconscious Drusilla. She reached a tentative hand toward his bleeding face which was covered in cuts from his lover’s claws.

He flinched back away from her hand and cringed at the pain that flashed across her face.

“We need to go, Slayer. She’s gonna be really brassed off when she wakes up. Better if we’re on our way to South America by then.” The two blonds stared at each other for what seemed like forever before he said, softly, “I’m sorry, Buffy. I wish it could be different.”

She nodded silently, afraid to trust her voice as he lifted the limp vampiress to his shoulder and turned to go.

“Take care of yourself, luv,” he said as he walked out of the building without looking back.

“You too, Spike,” she whispered almost to herself. “Come back to me.”

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