Author’s Notes: The Count of Monte Cristo belongs to Alexandre Dumas — Spike’s journey was taken from the idea of the book and is used in the skeleton of the Series.
Prelude: Mission Complete
White was the color of the table that held the black suitcases that hosted the men who started the conversation.
“Where has he been spotted?” The commander asked his assistant.
“He’s still in Sunnydale, sir. The Slayer is still protecting him,” the oriental officer told his senior and handed him the newest files.
The commander looked over them, reading in between the lines, looking over the photos and snorting at the love-fest the vampire and the Slayer were caught in.
“Disturbing,” he said. He looked up and threw a picture of the lone vampire on top of the table. “He’ll be an excellent candidate.” He stared at his other officer whose face was stone cold. “Agent Finn, were you not instructed to dispose of the hostile a few weeks ago?”
Riley Finn clenched his jaw and met his superior’s eyes. “The Slayer said she would dispose of him, sir. I took her word.”
The commander eyed the pictures of the vampire and the Slayer in different sexual positions. “She took care of him all right.”
Some of the agents chuckled. “Did you know she was having relations with the creature?”
Riley fisted his hands to calm himself. “Yes, sir I did.”
“So you failed, Agent Finn, did you not?”
Riley took a deep breath and nodded. “Yes, sir I did.”
The commander smiled and closed the files, handing them back to his assistant. “Then I suppose you’ll make it right, won’t you, Agent?”
“No mess-ups this time. Right?”
Riley nodded. “Consider it mission accomplished.”
He was about five foot eleven with light brown hair, square jaw and a soldier’s body. Scored perfects in all physical, weapons, and combat tests. His father went to West Point and so did he, he was the government’s pride and joy.
Loyal to the cause above all else.
He walked up to his commanding officer, and saluted.
“Agent Marshall reporting for duty, sir.”
Riley looked up at the soldier before him and saluted in return. “At ease, Soldier.”
“I’ve been briefed this morning by General Polis, the mission must not fail.” Riley paused and looked at him. “Any questions?”
“No questions, sir.”
“Good. We leave at sixteen hundred hours for the little town of Sunnydale, California. It’s Hostile 17’s long awaited day.”
Chapter 1: Did You Hear Thunder?
“I regard this restitution as a weight thrown into the scale to balance the evil I have done.”
The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
“Chicken burger… again… yum,” Dawn frowned at her dinner.
A sore and tired Buffy cringed. “I would’ve made it home earlier to make the Alfredo I’ve been promising you, Dawnie, but I ran into some vamps on the way home.”
Dawn put on a brave face and smiled. “No biggie, Willow made some awesome subs before she left for class.”
Buffy looked at her sister and pain shot through her. “I’m sorry, Dawn… I’ll try harder next time.” This was not what a responsible sister did, this was not what responsible caretakers did. They were home at five o’clock and had dinner going before the Simpson’s started.
Dawn grinned. “Don’t worry about it… I had time to finish my homework.”
“Good,” Buffy nodded and threw the burger bag in the trash. She sighed as she saw the dishes weren’t done… and she forgot to pay their light bill today–she’d have to run out fifteen minutes before work tomorrow to do it.
“I’m turning in early today–I have a big math test tomorrow.”
Buffy looked at her. “Did you study?”
Dawn nodded as she picked up her school bags and set them neatly by the front door. “Willow helped me.”
“Willow helped you,” Buffy almost whispered back. “Right, well that’s great!”
Dawn smiled and went to her sister to kiss her cheek. “Relax, Buffy. Have a peaceful night…”
The sentence was cut off as the front door was thrown open and several people shuffled in.
Both sisters ran to the front to see what the commotion was about. Xander and Willow–along with Tara who was trailing behind them dragged in an unconscious Spike.
“Buffy!” Willow screamed.
The Slayer raced forward, her heart in her throat. “What happened to him?”
Willow and Xander set Spike down on the couch as he groaned. “We don’t know. We found him like this.”
Buffy quickly knelt by him and opened his coat. They all gasped as they saw his stomach sliced and diced.
“What is it? What’s wrong?” Dawn tried to come forward but Willow grabbed her upper arms.
“C’mon, Dawnie, let’s get some towels.”
“But I want to see!”
“Dawn. To your room, now!” Buffy cried.
Small pickling tears were in the teenager’s eyes. “I hate you!”
Buffy winced as the door to Dawn’s bedroom slammed. “Get me alcohol, towels, water… there are needles in your room, Willow, mom kept them in the bottom drawer in the bathroom cabinet.”
Willow and Xander nodded and went to look for the items.
Spike thrashed and groaned as Buffy tried to check where else he was hurt.
“Do you know who would hurt him?” Tara asked as she helped Buffy by taking off the vampire’s shoes.
“He probably got into a bar fight,” she said, sighing. She gently fingered the largest wound in his chest. Spike’s eyes shot opened and he cried out, trying to sit up. Buffy pressed him down and cradled his head against her chest. “Shhh…” she whispered. “It’s ok…you’re safe now.”
“Buffy?” he whispered.
Tara watched the small exchange and smiled. She knew what was in Buffy’s heart, but a serious boyfriend was not what the Slayer was ready for… nevertheless you can’t control the heart. It will just make you miserable to hold it back.
“What happened? Who did this? Why didn’t you fight back?” she asked him.
He closed his eyes and sighed. “Bloody bints…”
“Spike?” she slapped his cheek lightly to bring him back. “Wake up… you smell like a bottle of tequila.”
He chuckled and then winced. “Told them I had a girl…”
“Told who?” she asked him, hovering over the vampire.
“Bloody sluts… then their boyfriends got mad ’cause I called them … dirty hoe’s…” he chuckled.
Buffy shook her head and looked up as Xander and Willow came in carrying the first aid items.
“What happened?” Willow asked, soaking the small towels in the water and handing them to Buffy.
“Bar fight,” she said, rolling her eyes and ignoring a semi-conscious Spike as he jerked in his daze.
“Bar fight? You see, those are the cool things I never get to do,” Xander said as he sat down.
All the girls glared at him and Spike chuckled. “You don’t heal fast, Xander–you’d look like a quilt and might not even survive,” Buffy told him.
Xander went pale. “Note to self. No bar fights.”
Willow nodded. “Plus you’d be screaming like a girl.”
Xander gawked at her. “I would not–I can take a knife wound.”
“You can tackle a flesh wound,” Tara smiled and handed Buffy the needles.
“I’m being cornered,” Xander protested.
They ignored him and went back to tending Spike.
Hours later Spike was all sewn back up and was sleeping peacefully on the Summer’s couch.
“You’re sure you’re going to be ok with evil undead in the couch?” Xander eyed Spike’s sleeping form.
Buffy smiled and shoved him out as Tara pulled on him. “I’ll be fine, Xander.”
“Just call if you need anything, ok?”
“I will,” Buffy smiled and sighed as the door closed after them.
She nearly jumped when Willow tapped her shoulder. “I’m sorry, Buffy.”
Buffy pressed her index fingers to her temples. “It’s fine, Will, I’m just tired… and I work a full shift tomorrow…”
“Get some rest, I’ll stay here with Spike.”
Buffy shook her head at her friend. “He’ll be all right, just needs to sleep.”
“As do all of us,” Willow reminded her.
“I checked all the windows–he’ll be fine until morning.” She told her friend.
“Ok.. then I’ll see you tomorrow?” Willow asked, stopping at the stairs and looking back down at Buffy.
“Will… thanks for helping out with Dawn… she told me…”
Willow smiled at her. “She’s almost my little sister too… don’t mention it.”
Buffy smiled gratefully and watched her go up the stairs. A small moan from the couch made her go into the living room to investigate.
Spike was sitting up, clutching his stomach.
“Get some sleep, you’ll heal faster,” she told him.
He looked up to her and then back down. “Who did the sewing?”
Buffy shrugged and sat down across from him in the table. “I did.” She swatted his hands away to check the stitching.
“Bloody great,” he mumbled.
Satisfied that they were healing properly she swatted his knee. “Thanks, Buffy for not letting my guts spill out.” She said sarcastically.
Spike studied her… she looked worried. He was sure it was not for him… she would never worry about him.
“Look, I’m fine, why don’t I head out for my place, don’t want to impose anymore.”
He stood up, wincing.
Buffy grabbed his hand and made him sit back down. “Stay… you can come up stairs with me if you sign a hands-off disclaimer.”
He studied her. “What’s this? Last time we met you clearly told me that I didn’t belong in your life.”
She bit her lip, knowing he was right. “I was under the influence…”
“Of what, a truth spell?”
She winced at that and looked down at her hands… she had caked blood on her fingertips–his blood. The blood that she had tried to save, precious borrowed blood.
“You needed help…”
“I don’t need your help… I would’ve been fine on my own.” With that he huffed and walked out of the house, ignoring the ripping stitches.
She tried to sleep, she really did. But the bed was too warm and the sheets were too clingy.
Patrolling at 3:30AM was the best she could so… it wasn’t like she *needed* to sleep. Sleep was a commodity.
With that self assuring thought she slipped into something comfy and the Slayer went to slay.
The cemetery was dark and empty. There wasn’t a living creature there. Not even un-living ones. She considered taking out her frustrations on a threatening, rabies carrying Raccoon but she realized what she was about to do and she frightened herself.
That’s how she ended up in a small hill. She’d only been here once or twice. It was a nice hill, you could see the town from there–it was mostly dark since Sunnydale was afraid of it’s own nights. Little children were tucked into beds, and creatures of the night roamed in secret. Above all the Slayer watched.
“There’s a storm coming.”
She jumped and turned to look at him. “You scared me.”
“Good, I still have the touch,” Spike smirked and reached out for her hands. She let him take them. “Can you hear the thunder?”
Buffy looked up to him. Full moon above, incoming clouds in the scorching night. Fine cheekbones shining in the night. “I can’t hear it.”
He took her hands and pressed them against his heart. His dead heart–the one that didn’t beat.
She shivered and unconsciously pressed herself closer to him. “Feeling better?”
“Worried about me, pet?” he whispered. The thin, cold breath of his against her heated face. She closed her eyes and let the scent of tobacco rush over her.
“Why did you get in the bar fight?” she whispered.
He sighed and she could feel him pulling away. “Frustrated, pet, it’s called being bloody frustrated.”
She watched him as he watched the city below them. The vampire that watches over his town.
“Why are you frustrated? They raise the price of the flowering onion in the Bronze?”
He growled but didn’t look at her. “You have no idea what it feels like.”
He took out a cigarette and lit it up.
“Have no idea? About wha–“
“Loving someone,” he turned to look at her. The frustration was there in his eyes. He loved her–that she knew. But being away from her was killing him like it killed her to be with him. “Loving someone and not being able to be with them… to touch them… like an invisible wall.” he took a drag and avoided her eyes. “At times I feel deader than when I actually died.”
She looked down at the ground and studied the decomposing animals that the ants stored away. “I do know.”
“You know nothing!” he cried.
She glared back at him.
“‘Cause you don’t care, Slayer–you’ve never cared about anything but you and yours…I’m not yours. Though I want to be I’ll never be…”
“You’re drunk and I’m leaving,” she said with determination and started walking away. His arms snaked out and grabbed her, pressing her against his chest.
Yes–she could smell the alcohol on him, but it was old –this rant was of pure frustration. She also felt a familiar poking in her stomach. She tried to pull away. “We can’t–I told you it’s over.”
“Is it really?” he sneered.
She looked at him. “Is this the way you want it, Spike? I mean really want it? Forcing me to do something I don’t want to do? For what? So you can get rid of your boner?”
It was like she poured a bucked of holy water on him. He let her go and stepped back.
And there it was–the horror on his face.
His eyes were the palest blue when he was scared and she could hear him breathing hard–the bulge in his pants quickly melting.
He met her eyes. She was almost afraid… he’d go too far, afraid she might not stop him…afraid of what she might have had to do if he would’ve thought with his dick.
“Buffy…” her name from his lips came out as a whisper, a shadow in time.
She shivered and wrapped her small arms around herself, looking down, at the dying tree, anywhere but those shame filled eyes.
Thunder was heard in the distance. “There’s a storm coming…” she whispered.
“There always is,” he said after a while.
“I should head home…”
“Buffy?” She turned to look at him for the first time after he pulled away. There were tear tracks on his face, he didn’t bother hiding his pain, shame, frustration or love.
“Yes?” she asked, her voice a little small–she wondered if people saw so much emotion when they looked into her eyes.
“Tell me… I mean… what I’m trying to say is–“
“Spike,” Buffy said, almost in frustration.
He ran his hands through his hair and flicked his half way smoked cigarette away. “If you tell me… if you ask me I’ll stay… otherwise I’m hitting the high road.”
Buffy stared at him for nearly five minutes, not really registering what he said.
“You want to leave?” she asked, and she surprised herself when she found that her voice was shaking with emotion. She hated him for making her feel yet the adored him for it.
Spike shrugged and studied his unpainted nails. “Don’t got nothin’ to stay ‘ere for.”
“Nothing?” she asked.. was that hope in her voice? She cursed herself.
He looked at her and wiped the ruminants of his tears away. “This is killing us, Buffy. I want you, you want me, yet we stay away. Stay away until it consumes me and I do something stupid like I almost did.”
“I mean you can control yourself, right?” she asked… there it was again. The sound of hope in her voice. Was that her voice? Maybe she wasn’t talking at all and this was all a dream. A nasty bitter-sweet dream that smelled like pistachios.
His blue eyes met hers again. He shook his head and hung it down–in shame.
It took her a moment to process what he just said. “Ohhh…” was all she could answer. She fidgeted for a while and though she didn’t look at him she could feel he was still there. He wanted something from her… what was it again. She couldn’t remember… it was gone with the wind.
“What do you want me to say?” she asked him.
He took it the wrong way and clenched his jaw, striding past her towards his crypt. “I don’t want a bloody thing,” he shouted to her without looking back.
She stood there and watched him leave.
The black SUV turned off it’s lights as it turned into Revello drive. It stopped in front of the Summer’s household.
“How many life forms inside?” one soldier asked the one with an infrared camera.
“The sensors only pick up heat from two humans.”
Riley looked ahead and clenched his jaw. “She must be out patrolling with him… we’ll wait until she gets home.”
She did ask herself why exactly she was following him but when she caught up with him she said nothing and neither did he.
She took his hand and pulled him to her, melting her mouth against his. He was too lost in familiarity to feel her pulling him towards that hill. Hands that touched and explored, mouths that tasted and smiled.
Before she or he knew it his coat was serving as a blanket for their bodies–there on top of the town, wondering who was now watching whom.
It wasn’t clear yet it was. ‘Cause he clearly heard when she said ‘I love you’.
It was almost dawn by the time they headed to her house. They were holding hands and smiling. It was a strange feeling, she observed.
This was Spike. She couldn’t love him yet she wondered now if she could ever stop. They would bump against each other and kisses would be exchanged, hands would touch hair.
It was different… was new… it was blissful.
She assumed he was going upstairs with her. After all… this made them official? Right?
But he stopped on the porch steps. She looked at him questioningly. “Aren’t you coming in?”
He smiled and pulled her in for another kiss. Kisses that were now blending with each other and she now felt she’d been kissing him all her life.
“Gonna get some clothes and some blood from m’crypt. I’ll be back in a few.”
She looked at the sky. Rain was coming in the early morning. “The sun…”
He shushed her with another kiss–his hand tangling beside her right ear. Too lost in another kiss–another lifetime–that she didn’t feel as he gently pulled one of her earrings off. She noticed only when he pulled back and jingled it in her face.
“This will help me find my way home,” he smiled at her.
“Home?” she asked, though she tried to glare it melted into a smile.
“Yeah… home to you and nibblet.”
She shook her head and pulled him back for more kisses–more lifetimes.
“You’re a crazy vampire, you know that?”
He smiled against her full lips and inhaled the smell behind her ear. It smelled of Freesia shampoo with a hint of her vanilla musk.. somewhere there was the scent of the grass on the hill were she had writhed in pleasure.
“I’ll be back before you know it…” he pulled on her pinky. “Keep the bed warm… I’ll.. climb in.” He said suggestively.
She smiled and pulled away. “Then hurry up–I don’t want to be in bed with ashes.”
He turned to leave but stopped and looked back at her. She was standing there, in the light of the porch light watching him go. He’d never had it so good.
“I won’t be long,” he said.
She grinned wickedly at him. “Do you want company?”
He studied her–all disheveled and rosy. “Nahhh… I know the way.”
“Then hurry up and come back,” she laughed lightly.
“I will–in a minute,” he said, biting his lower lip.
“What are you doing?” she was still laughing at the way he looked too happy and swaying lightly–as if he would drop any second of pure bliss.
“Just… remembering you–just this way… like you are now,” he said, still smiling. He was sure his face would cramp if he smiled much longer.
She shook her head–still laughing. “What do you see?”
He cocked his head to the side and started walking backwards. “A most extraordinary woman.”
She placed her hands on her hips and cocked her head just like him. “Go on.”
He laughed. “I’ll tell you the rest when I come back… I promise. I can make a bloody list.”
“A list is good.”
He said nothing but turned around to walk off–he wanted to be back as soon as possible.
She watched him walk away and smiled. God she had it bad. Since when did bleached heads become so attractive?
She smiled back at him when he stopped at the edge of the street and blew her a kiss. She blew him one back and waved.
Yup… she had it bad.
The men inside the van looked on at the scene in disgust.
“Follow the vampire,” Agent Finn told the driver as they saw Buffy enter the house. “It’s him we’re here for.”
Spike felt like singing ‘Oh Happy day’ as he waltzed quickly towards Buffy’s house. In his arms he had his small black bag filled with his clothes, smokes and blood. Enough to last until he could steal more money from Xander to buy some more.
The sky was lightening so he hurried, though the clouds of the coming rain would buy him time, he didn’t want to risk it–for the first time in a long time he wanted to live. Hearing Buffy say those words to him over and over tonight has almost made him grow a soul–he hated it and loved it at the same time.
If you asked him a year later he would’ve told you that the arrow came from right in front of him…but out of nowhere. He was grateful his bag was slung across his body… it stayed with him as he hit the floor unconscious.
The agents moved fast as they picked up the limp body of the vampire.
“Move out,” the leader said. They carried him quickly to the SUV. Tied his hands and ankles, blinding his mouth and unceremoniously dropped him in the back of the car. The four men filed in quickly not even breaking the speed limit as they left town.
Buffy woke from her bed around 9:30 AM. She woke up alone.
Her brows furrowed, she remembered waiting up for Spike but finally dozing off, she was too tired. Plus she knew he would come back, he only left for a little while.
She padded her way out of her room to find that both Willow and Dawn had left. She was alone in the house. He wasn’t even in the basement. All that was left of Spike was the drying blood on her mother’s sofa.
Spike woke up to find that his whole body was on fire. Or was it on ice? He couldn’t tell…
He groaned. Ok–was it all a dream? Was he drinking all night and dreamt the whole thing up?
A metal something poked his ribs and he growled, opening his eyes.
Something was wrong–something was very wrong. The bouncing feeling he was getting was because he was in some type of air craft… his hands and feel bound and three men dressed in black with automatic guns pointed at him. “Don’t move, Hostile 17.”
Panic came from his throat. There was only one group of people who called him by that.
“We’re almost there.”
“Almost where?” he growled, trying to sit up. One of them brought the barrel of the gun in contact with his face, sending his head in a whiplash. He coughed, blood ran down his throat from his broken lips.
“You don’t ask questions, creature! Shut up.”
Spike shrank back, in his head chanting that Buffy would find him or that he’d be able to escape.
It was night outside the helicopter… he could make it…
“Don’t think of escaping,” one of them said. The same one that hit him. His radio came to life and he nodded–as if following orders. He squatted in front of Spike and quickly took out a large knife. Another soldier opened up the sliding door of the ‘copter, letting the night wind come in.
Spike looked down and gasped as he saw the ocean underneath… a small island in the middle of it. The ‘copter began to decend and that’s when Spike started struggling for real.
The knife was brought to his face, butting him across his sharp cheek. He hissed and pulled back. “Watch the face, mate!”
The soldier chuckled. “We’re ready, Marshall.” The one that opened the door told the one who had cut him.
Agent Marshall looked at Spike and smiled. “In myth vampires can fly.” he quickly cut the bonds of his feet and hands and grabbed Spike by the lapels of his coat, shoving him towards the open door.
The wind blew in his face and he panicked as he realized what their plan was. He could’ve taken them all… if he didn’t have his chip… he would make it out of this–he always did.
Marshall got in his face and sneered. “I’ll take care of your girl, buddy, she won’t need a thing.”
Before Spike could react he was shoved out of the helicopter and into the shallow waters by the island.
Marshall watched as the vampire hit the water, his black bag still attached to his body.
He grabbed his radio, checking for frequency. “Sir?”
“Yes Agent?” a shaky voice came through the radio.
“Very good, head back to base.”
With that the helicopter turned around and left the shores of the Moroccan island.
The cold water hit Spike like a sledgehammer. He would’ve given up–in the weak condition his body was from the drugs. But he kept hearing Marshall’s words to him. “I’ll take care of your girl, buddy, she won’t need a thing.”
He growled and swam, swallowing sea water as the waves crashed around him, feeling the pull of the tide. He swam until he was sure he was drowning and waving.
It was sometime later when his body washed up on the shore. Still with leather duster and still with his small bag.
He groaned and lifted his head as it was pancaked with sand. Cold sand–this was no longer California. He pulled the top of his body up, essentially ending sitting down, staring out into the sea.
The gentle kissing of the waves and the sand was all that was heard. Dawn was coming…he must have been out for over a day.
He slowly stood up, swaying as if he were still being trashed by the waves. He shook his head, tasting the sand and dried sea water in his mouth and turned to look at the island. There were palm trees and a large beach. One of his boots was missing so he stepped unevenly as he stared out into the jungle.
His words echoed back to him. He listened to the night… loneliness was in the wind. He looked around some more–confused. Why hadn’t they just killed him? Dumping him on an island was just… crazy.
They wanted him alive. On this island….
He looked around some more, legs like jelly under him as he sunk to his knees. So this was his payment? Find the love of his life only to be ripped from her?
He felt tears coming to his eyes. He was no longer in California and he was lost. The only people that knew where he was were certainly not going to tell Buffy where he was at.
Then the haunting words came back to him… “I’ll take care of your girl, buddy, she won’t need a thing.”
He ripped the bag off him and ran to the tip of the shore, grabbing sticks and sand, flinging it at the calming sea.
“Buffy!” he screamed. Threw more sand. “Buffy!”