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 7

When she could no longer feel Spike’s signature in the club, Buffy slowly came out from under the stairs and headed for the ladies room. She leaned over the sink to wash her sticky hands, although part of her wanted to keep the scent of Spike on her as long as she could. Before she put her hands under the running water, she brought them to her face and inhaled the scent of his semen.

She remembered when she used to run home from the crypt, desperate to get away from him and his pleading eyes as he tried to coax her into staying in his bed. The nights that she found the pleading too hard to resist, the nights that she weakened and allowed herself to sleep wrapped in his protective, cool embrace, she would wake up feeling the Spike-scented stickiness between her legs and before she was awake enough to remember that she hated him, she would stretch and inhale the heady aroma of their mixed spendings. Then she would remember that she was lying in the arms of a soulless vampire, who couldn’t possibly love her the way he said he did, because – hey! soulless – and she’d jump up, grab her clothes and run home to scrub off any trace of him.

But the nights she ran out of the crypt as soon as she was finished with him, ignoring the pain on his face when she wouldn’t meet his eyes or tell him “good-night”; those nights she would just get into bed without showering and go to sleep surrounding by his scent. She shook her head at her future self, amazed at her ability to deny what her body knew. She’d never once wondered why, if Spike was so unimportant to her, she needed to keep his scent on her if she didn’t have him nearby while she slept.

Knowing Kendra would be wondering what was taking her so long and not wanting to chance the other Slayer’s running into Spike, Buffy quickly soaped and rinsed her hands so that she could join her friends. She took a deep breath and plastered her “I’m perky” smile on her face and headed for the table.



Outside the Bronze, Spike stopped to light a cigarette and try to get a grip on what had just happened. He couldn’t deny any longer that when this Slayer said, “I know you,” she was telling the truth. He also couldn’t deny that the way his body responded to her nearness was not completely the result of her knowing when and how to push his buttons.

Snarling with frustration over his lack of information, he strode off toward the warehouse district, stopping only to grab a belligerent drunk for a quick feed and a bonus buzz. He hoped that the minions had fed Dru and that she would be asleep by the time he got back. He knew the last two times he’d gone out he’d come back covered with the scent of the Slayer. He’d been able to pass it off as the close contact involved in fighting with this incredibly strong slayer, but this time the Slayer’s unique and delicious smell was going to be mixed with the unmistakable odor of sex. He knew Dru didn’t love him the way he loved her, but she was capable of tremendous possessiveness, and he had no desire to be subjected to a temper tantrum or a crying fit.

Fortunately, she was sleeping with Miss Edith in her arms, and he was able to stay away until he could get cleaned up and wash the smell of Buffy from his body. When he finally stretched out on the bed next to the woman he’d loved faithfully for over a hundred years, his mind whirled in confusion.

(I love Dru. She’s my black princess, my wicked plum. Why is this Slayer actin’ like there’s somethin’ between us? I just met the chit and she’s actin’ like I’m some long-lost lover. She’s gonna explain this to me tomorrow or I’m gonna have her for dinner.)

As much as he told himself that he was only leading the Slayer on until he got his answers, as much as he insisted to himself that he could kill her at any time, in the back of his mind there was a nagging fear that if it came down to it he wouldn’t be able to drain her. He would drink her blood. There was no doubt about that; he’d never tasted anything as powerful or as arousing as the blood he’d sipped from her cut lips and tongue. But the idea of taking it all and leaving her broken and lifeless just had lost all the appeal it had when he first came to town.

********

The following day Buffy skipped her history class and cornered Giles in the library.

“Giles, I need to know something. Things are going to begin to happen soon. Big, future-changing things that I’m going to have to make decisions about.”

She looked up at him, her big green eyes looking more like the sixteen year old he still wanted to believe she was as she pleaded with him to tell her what she wanted to hear.

“Buffy – I don’t know...I don’t know what to tell you. The Watcher in me wants nothing more than to be able to sit down and record everything you can tell me about your life for the next five years, but the idea of knowing what is going to happen to...to people I care about and not being able to stop it...”

He looked at his slayer with sudden understanding.

“Dear Lord. You HAVE been put in an untenable position. What was Willow thinking!” His outrage on her behalf got a smile from Buffy. She wondered how he would react when she told him about being pulled out of Heaven.

“Giles, hear me out on this.” She looked him in the eye and said with every ounce of the confidence that outliving any other Slayer and defeating the First Evil had given her, “I think I was put here for a reason. Whether Willow did the spell or not, I don’t think she was in control of how it went. I think I’ve been given a chance to stop some really, really bad things from happening. I don’t know how the future is going to change, but it can’t be any worse than what I’ve already been through.

“I think instead of worrying about changing things, I should be TRYING to change them. I can stop Angel from losing his soul, Ms Calendar—“ she broke off when she saw the look of horror on her Watcher’s face.

“No, no, Giles! It’s OK. It isn’t going to happen. I swear.”

He sat down with a small “thud” and said in a shaky voice, “Angel loses his soul? Angelus comes back? To Sunnydale? And...and Jenny? Ms. Calendar? What has she to do with this?”

“Get out your best pens and a big pad of paper, Giles. It’s going to be a long afternoon.”


When Buffy had given Giles a rough overview of the things that could potentially happen over the course of the next several months – leaving out exactly what it was that made Angel so happy he lost his soul – they took a break while Buffy got a Coke and he digested the information she’d given him. He went over the notes he’d taken, making note of the items that seemed important enough to risk changing and those that didn’t seem to matter.

He was just about to ask her to clarify some of the things she’d told him about Spike and Drusilla and the ritual to restore the vampiress, when they heard a voice at the door.

“Rupert, I want to—oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you had company. I’ll come back later.”

“No, Jenny, it’s all right. I’d actually like to hear your opinion about something.” He looked at Buffy for permission to share her story with his girl friend and she nodded her head.

He quickly told her about Buffy’s true age and apparent transport from several years in the future to their time. When he told her about the possibility of Angel’s losing soul, he saw her blanch and hastened to assure her, “It will be all right, Jenny. Buffy feels she knows what caused it and can avoid the situation this time around.”

He turned to his Slayer and asked, “What do you think caused the curse to be broken? Was it something likely to happen?”

“Why don’t we let Ms. Calendar tell you?” Buffy spoke to her watcher, but she never took her cold eyes off Jenny Calendar’s puzzled brown ones.

“What? Don’t be absurd, Buffy. What would Jenny – Ms. Calendar know about it?”

One look at the dawning realization on his lover’s face told him she knew exactly what the younger girl was talking about and his face fell.

“Jenny?”

She turned anguished eyes to the gentle man she’d come to care for so much.

“I’m sorry, Rupert. I wanted to tell you, but my uncle...” she took a deep breath and glanced at Buffy’s challenging face before she continued.

“I’m a member of the tribe of gypsies that originally cursed Angelus. I was sent here to see that he continued to suffer. There was some...concern...when he started helping Buffy and appeared to be acquiring a circle of friends, that he was no longer suffering from the soul as much as he was intended to. I am supposed to see to it that he is not happy. To continue the revenge, I suppose although I would think by now he has paid a sufficient—“

“That’s not the only reason,” Buffy interjected angrily. “Your uncle had another reason for wanting you to keep him unhappy –a damned important one!”

The computer teacher looked at the young girl in surprise. “I’m sorry, Buffy. I really do not know what you’re talking about. Perhaps I should have been more forthcoming with you and Rupert about my background, but I don’t see wh—“

“Ms Calendar, what do you think will happen to the curse that is supposed to make Angel miserable if he experiences a moment of true happiness?”

Buffy waited with her arms crossed while the older woman’s face gradually revealed her understanding.

“Oh ,dear God. A moment of happiness, and the curse will be broken. He will lose his soul. Angelus will return. No wonder my uncle was so adamant that he remain unhappy.”

“Yeah,” Buffy nodded. “Angelus will return. And, trust me, Ms Calendar, you really don’t want that to happen. And neither do I,” she added softly. “Neither do I.”

Giles stared from one to the other, anxiety and horror on his face.

“Do I even want to know why that is, Buffy?” he asked her directly, clearly referring to her words to the woman he loved.

“I doubt I really need to explain it, Giles. I’m pretty sure you understand why it would be a very bad idea.”

He nodded his head with understanding, unconsciously moving closer to Jenny. He was still incredibly angry that she would have kept such a secret from them, but his fear of losing her was stronger and he put his arm around her tightly.

“I presume you know what caused his moment of happiness in your time?” he said, looking at Buffy with his best Watcher face. “And that you have an idea how to prevent it?”

“Oh yeah,” she grimaced. “Not a problem. No way is he getting—Well, let’s just say, if he gets that happy this time around, it won’t be my fault!”

She saw from the way Jenny’s eyes widened that the other woman got it, but Giles just frowned and said, “Well, good, then. We should be alright this time around.”

Buffy shrugged. “We should be. Unless there’s some big cosmic reason why Angel needed to lose his soul for awhile. I don’t think we can just assume that it won’t happen some other way.”

“Right then, we will need to warn everyone to be cautious around him from now on.”

He looked at Buffy intently. “Are you planning to tell him any of this?”

She sighed and shrugged again. “There’s someone else I have to talk to first,” she said enigmatically. “But, yes, I do think we need to bring everyone up to speed on this. At least as far as my being from somewhere or somewhen else is concerned. The strain of pretending to be me at sixteen is getting kinda old.”

The two adults nodded their heads as they tried to imagine what it would be like be trapped in their teen-aged bodies. Both shuddered slightly at the thought and looked at Buffy sympathetically.

“Well, then. Why don’t we plan to meet later tonight and you can tell you story to everyone at once?”

Buffy nodded, saying, “Make it well after dark. I have someone else to talk to first – and I may want him here.”

She said her goodbyes and left before either one could follow up on her cryptic remarks. However, her watcher, by no means a stupid man, followed her exit with suspicious eyes. He had an uncomfortable feeling he knew exactly who the other person was.

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