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 2: I Know You

Buffy jerked slightly and blinked at her surroundings. One minute she was dreaming that she was in Spike’s arms, sleeping peacefully in his crypt, and the next she appeared to be in the old long-gone Bronze. And she appeared to be dancing, with Willow and Xander. A very young Willow and Xander.

As the dance went on and she began to enjoy the way her body was moving with the music, she realized that the whole thing seemed very familiar. She looked at the band, back at her friends, and down at herself and what she was wearing.

(Ohmygod, I’m dreaming about that night in the Bronze. The first time I saw Spike. The first time he threatened to kill me.)

Buffy looked around and marveled at how detailed her dream was. She could feel the wooden floor under her feet, smell the mixed brew of perfume, beer, and sweat that permeated the air. She could even see the beginning of a zit on Xander’s face if she looked closely.

(Wow, this is a freakishly real dream. I’m dreaming about zits. On Xander.)

Suddenly she felt the tingle on the back of her neck that meant there was a vampire nearby and she remembered Spike’s telling her one time that he had loved her from the first time he saw her dancing in the Bronze. She turned slowly, scanning the room for the blond vampire her neck was now telling her was watching her.

In real life, she hadn’t known he was in the club at all. She’d just responded to what she heard about someone being attacked outside and ran out. However, telling herself it was her dream to do with as she liked, she looked around the room until she spotted him prowling like a blond panther on the edges of the crowd, never taking his eyes off her as he stalked through the other patrons.

Buffy stared back at him until he raised his eyes to her face (And what the hell was he looking at all that time?) and blinked in surprise to find her looking at him. Their eyes locked and Buffy’s stomach clenched as the familiar cerulean orbs bored into her. She suppressed a whimper of longing, reminding herself that in this time and place, they were not lovers but enemies.

(He’s here to kill me. There will be no flirting with the Slayer of Slayers. Never mind what I know about what he’s got hiding under that long coat. He’s unchipped, unsouled and very evil.)

In spite of the pep talk she gave herself, Buffy couldn’t resist giving him a dazzling smile before she turned back to her friends and waited for the phone call that would tell her she was needed in the alley.

Spike froze in mid-stride when the Slayer focused her beautiful green eyes on him. It made him shiver, the way she was looking at him. As though she knew who and what he was. As though she...He shook himself abruptly.
(I must be losing it. Thinking about the Slayer like that. Not that she isn’t a hot little number. Movin’ her body an’ all, driving these little boys crazy. But I’m here to kill her, not shag her. I have my dark princess for that.)

He quickly went back outside and gave his minions their instructions while he faded back into the shadows to watch the Slayer. She didn’t disappoint him. She was out the door in no time and threw the minion off the girl he was trying to eat. Spike watched in admiration as she toyed with one of his better fighters, uttering bad puns and clever quips as she kicked his ass all over the alley. It was almost pathetic how easily she handled the vampire. Especially after he got in one lucky punch that rocked her back for a minute.

It was the last punch he got. With an incredible fluidity, she dazzled the vamp with punches and kicks until one of her friends tossed her a stake and she put it through his heart with one well-placed stab. She was wiping the dust off her hands when Spike stepped slowly out of the shadows, clapping slowly.

She looked up at him with no surprise on her face and waited for him to stop clapping.

“Who are you?” she asked, looking as though she wasn’t really interested.

“You’ll find out Saturday,” he said in what he hoped was an intimidating manner. There was something about the way this girl was looking at him. As though she could see right through him and wasn’t worried at all.

“And what happens Saturday?” she asked in a bored tone that implied she already knew the answer.

“I get to kill you,” he growled.

To his complete amazement, she gave him another one of those dazzling grins and said, “You get to try. If you can wait that long.”

“Oh, I can wait, little girl. What makes you think I can’t?”

“Because I know you, Spike,” she said, her expression softening for a minute. “I know you,” she repeated so low only he could hear it.

He could do nothing as she and her friends returned to the club but stand in the alley with “Huh?” written all over his face.

Inside, Buffy pleaded thirst from vampire dust and sat down to drink her coke and think about this incredibly real dream. She’d treated it just like any other dream at first – walking through the motions of fighting with the vamp. She did notice that the fight was much more one-sided than she remembered the first time as being. Due, no doubt, to her sixteen year old body being run by the much more experienced mind of the longest lived Slayer in history.

After fighting with Spike himself multiple times, Angelus several times, a hellgod, and a Turok-han, one overly cocky minion hadn’t even challenged her. The one punch to her jaw did hurt though, and she responded with righteous anger that ended the fight very quickly. She absently stroked the slight bruise on her jaw and wondered how a dream punch could continue to be sore after the dream had moved on to somewhere else.

Surprisingly, when the evening ended and they got up to go home, her dream continued in rather boring fashion. She walked home, greeted her mother (hugging her hard enough to make her mother wince before she reminded herself that in this dream her mother wasn’t dead yet) and went upstairs to get ready for bed.

(All right. I think I could find more interesting things to dream about than brushing my teeth. What happened to my nice dream about snuggling in bed with Spike? Why am I dreaming about him when he wanted to kill me? Oh well, I’ll wonder about it tomorrow. Maybe I can dream I’m asleep, dreaming about Spike...)


(Okay. This is officially getting weird now.) she thought to herself when she awoke the next morning in her old bed with the sun coming in the window. (I’m dreaming I have morning breath and I have to pee. I have got to be the most boring dreamer on the face of the earth. Where’s a good Slayer/prophecy dream when you need one?)

By the time she had dressed in a sixteen-year-old’s cotton underwear and a skirt much too short, she was beginning to get the sinking feeling that this was not a dream from which she was going to wake up anytime soon. The thought that she was about to relive the last five stressful years of her life all over again was not a happy prospect, but with the resilience of youth she was able to push it aside. She bounced down the stairs and into the kitchen, greeting her mother cheerfully and suppressing the little twinge she felt at knowing how different things were going to be in a few years.

Then she remembered that Spike was here. She had five years to convince Spike that she loved him. Five years to make up to him for all the pain she’d inflicted on him. Five years to spend time in his arms, in his bed. Five years to appreciate how precious those moments were going to be.

(Great. All I have to do is convince William the Bloody that the only thing better than killing this Slayer will be--)

Much to her surprise, the school day went fairly quickly and she was able to do the work without leaning too heavily on Willow’s brain power.

(I guess I did learn a thing or two in spite of myself.) she thought with amusement as the answers to much of her homework popped into her head. Willow looked at her curiously, but didn’t say anything as Buffy whipped through their history assignment.

As she knew was her habit, she went to the school library after classes were over, somewhat startled at the youthful appearance of her watcher. From the perspective of a woman in her mid-twenties, he appeared to be a very attractive, somewhat older, man, rather than the stodgy old codger he had appeared to her sixteen year old eyes. The comparison between the watcher she was now looking at and the weary, careworn head of the Council of Watchers that she’d left behind in what she was trying very hard to believe was the real world, was an eye opener and she realized that the years of fighting on the hellmouth had taken their toll on him just as much as they had on her.

“Ah, Buffy, there you are. I understand you had an unusual experience last evening?” The question indicated that Willow or Xander had already told him about the strange blond vampire and his cocky remarks about killing her on Saturday.

She chewed her lip briefly, wondering what she wanted to say to him. Although she tried to tell herself it was only a dream, so it didn’t matter what she did or said, the nagging feeling that this was very real for everyone else would not go away. She decided to hold her tongue until she figured out what was going on and just gave him the bare details of the encounter, leaving out that she already knew the vampire.

She did tell him Spike’s name, as she remembered that the vamp she staked had asked him for help just before she dusted him. Giles frowned and went to consult his watcher’s records for a vampire named Spike.

“You’re sure he called him, ‘Spike’?” he asked, thumbing through his books.

“His name is Spike, Giles,” she responded wondering if he would pick up on her certainty.

“Try looking under William the Bloody,” came a deep voice from the stacks behind the librarian.

“Angel!” Buffy felt her heart rate increase, then level off as she looked at the brooding vampire with eyes that had seen him at his best and worst. If he wondered why she was looking at him so intently, he didn’t say anything. If anything, he tried to avoid her eyes as he sought out the watcher and helped him find the correct book.

“Oh dear,” said her watcher as he read the short bio of Spike’s career as a vampire. “It says here he has fought two Slayers before – and killed both of them. He travels with his consort—“ he looked up quickly as Buffy coughed a muffled, “ho bag” into her hand, then went back to his book, “Drusilla. A seer before she was turned by...oh dear,” he glanced up again. “By Angelus.”

Buffy watched Angle flinch at the mention of his unsoulled self and the insane vampire he had sired.

“You will have to be very careful, Buffy. It would appear that this could be one of the most dangerous vampires you’ve faced yet.”

“More dangerous than the Master?” she inquired, trying to look more interested than she was.

(I guess it wouldn’t do to let them know I’m not worried about Spike killing me. Might be hard to explain.)

“Don’t underestimate Spike,” Angel said quickly. “He is nothing if not persistent.”

He stopped in confusion as Buffy laughed and whispered, “He is that.” She saw the look on his face and mentally scolded herself. “I’m sorry Angel,” she said, waving at him to continue, “please tell us more about him.”

By the time Angel was through telling them about Spike and he and Giles were making plans for Saturday night, the feast of St. Vegeous, Buffy had lost interest in the conversation. With her newfound perspective, she was very aware of the omissions in Angel’s stories about Spike, and also the edge of irritation in his voice that was always there in later years when he spoke of his grandchilde.

She could tell Giles was getting very frustrated by her lack of attention to their plans for Saturday night and she finally asked, “Are you both so sure he’s going to attack me Saturday? Maybe he’ll get tired of waiting and do something before then. Tomorrow night, maybe. At Back to School Night.”

She rolled her eyes as Angel and Giles ignored her and went back to making their plans for the weekend.

As the day went on and she lived every minute of it, including such mundane things as eating dinner and sneaking out of the house for patrol, it was becoming more and more obvious that she was not dreaming.

(Somehow, I’ve been returned to my sixteen year old self, but with all my memories and knowledge. I guess it’s time to let Giles in on what’s going on and see if he can help me get back to my own time and place.)

She decide to wait until Back to School Night was over and she had seen Spike again before telling her watcher what she thought was going on.

(If I have to be stuck here, I don’t plan to wait four more years before I kiss him for the first time.)


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