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Previous Chapter: Chapter 6
Next Chapter: Chapter 8

They arrived at the first cemetery a little after nightfall, since they first had to stop by the dorm to grab clothes for Buffy.

Well, the delay was less because of the detour, and more because they got distracted by the bed in the empty dorm room.

Buffy held his hand with both of hers, swinging it between them as they walked.

“Okay, so, what’s your real life story?” She asked, and smiled up at him sweetly.

“I didn’t lie to you at all, I just didn’t tell you that my father died in 1864 and my mum in 1880.” “Ah. And the travel?”

“Just took the better part of a century to get to all the places. I spent a lot of time with my sire and her sire and his sire just after I was turned.  Most of my travels through Europe were with them in the first 20 years.  Darla left first, headed back to ole’ Heinrich.  Then Angelus buggered off, and it was just me and Dru. We all met back up in China during the Boxer Rebellion, but didn’t stay long.” He finally took in her shocked expression as she put things together. “What?” “Dru… Drusilla? You know Angelus and Darla and Drusilla?”

“Dru’s my sire and my ex, yeah.” He frowned, recalling their first ever conversation. “Suspected you’d met her when you mentioned the crazy woman you knew that first day.  Care to share the story, pet?” She took a deep breath. “Okay, it’s kind of a long one. So, I was called when I was 15 and still living in LA. I got expelled for burning down the gym- it was full of vamps- and so mom and I moved up here.  That was right around the divorce like I mentioned the day we met.

“Anyways, we got here and suddenly I’m part of this whole prophecy shindig with the Master and some sort of harvest. I dusted Darla pretty much right off the bat, she’d turned one of Xander and Willow’s friends and was out on the front lines trying to help with the harvest thing. So then lots of other insanity happened and I was stupid and walked into the hellmouth.  The master needed my blood to get free, so he thralled me and bit me.  Dumped me off in a puddle and I drowned.” Spike looked at her, alarmed. “You what now?”

“I drowned.  Xander came to help me because I’d gone off alone, and he did CPR. But yeah, I was dead.  New slayer called and everything.  Nowadays I’m just a bonus.” “You meet this other bird?” he asked curiously.

“Both of them, actually.  Kendra came because no one gave the council the heads up that I didn’t stay dead. Oh, I’m getting ahead of myself though.  I managed to kill the Master, threw him through a glass ceiling onto a broken table. Leg went straight through his heart.”  They both chuckled.

“After that I got a few months of relative peace; went to visit my dad for the summer– minimal slayage in the vacation-y parts of LA.  That’s the last time I saw him, actually…

“Anyways, came back and pretty much around the same time Angelus and Drusilla showed up.  They did their whole evil thing, try to end the world, blah blah blah.  But Dru took Kendra out in the process. So, it was just me against your insane-o ex and her ‘daddy’ while they try to open this Acathala thingy and bring about hell on Earth.  Angelus managed to get the portal open, but I stabbed him and sent him to hell to close it.” She bit her lip and he could feel her heartrate spike.

“I don’t know if I want to talk about the last bit.”

“I know Dru’s dust, love.  Could feel the sire bond snap when she went.  Figured it was probably the slayer who lived on the hellmouth– also known as you.” “Are you sure?” She asked, wringing her hands in front of her.

He reached over and grabbed one of her hands, squeezing it. “Positive. Dru’s not been part of my life for a long time now. I was a little sad when I realized she was gone, but only because she was a part of my life– not because I still have any feelings for her.” She searched his eyes for any deceit, and found none.

“Okay.  Well she was just kind of losing it, crying and beating up on the statue.  When I tried to get near her she lashed out at me and wouldn’t stop.  I killed her with Kendra’s favorite stake.  She’d given it to me for luck just before she died.” He leaned down and kissed her hair. “I’m sorry about the other Slayer, love. That had to be hard for you.” “It was harder because she didn’t have any family.  She’d been taken and raised by the council her whole life.  It was nothing but training constantly, and that didn’t help her at all in the end.” “Council-raised slayers tend to go fastest, I’ve noticed. They don’t have what you’ve got- a big family of people keeping them here.” “Something like that.” She smiled. “So then a few months later Faith showed up.  She’s… interesting, honestly.  We- the Scoobies, I mean- spent most of the school year trying to stop the mayor from doing this whole ascension bit. I make the distinction because a couple months in Faith decided she was jealous of me and tired of playing by the rules, so she switched sides. I didn’t manage to track her down until right before graduation- that’s when everything was going down- and we fought.  I pushed her out a window.  She’s in a coma right now.” “Wow.”

“Yeah.”

It was quiet for a moment.  “Did you take out the mayor too?”

“Not before he turned into a giant snake.  We outfitted the whole graduating class with weapons and put dynamite in the school.  I managed to lead him through and we blew him up. Bye bye Sunnydale High, hello mayor chunks.” Spike smiled down at her, impressed.

“Seems I would’ve had my work cut out for me if I had decided I wanted to kill you. You’ve done well for yourself, Slayer.” “I’ve been lucky, really. I have good friends and a great watcher to help me.  I’d have been dead another hundred times over without them.” Spike slowed, turning her to look up at him. “I don’t think you give yourself enough credit, love. Angelus was a right nasty bastard, and Dru might have been crazy but she wasn’t an easy kill. Most slayers don’t even make it 6 months against fledges, let alone the master vampires you’ve faced.” Buffy’s response was cut off by a flurry of movement behind her- a couple of vamps leaving a nearby crypt had taken notice of them.

Spike stood back, deciding to leave her be with this easy fight and instead admire her gorgeous body.  She fought like she danced- fluid, always on her toes, putting her all into it. He’d never been more attracted to a woman than he was watching his spitfire, his Buffy, fighting with all her heart.

When she’d dusted the last vamp, she turned to where he leaned against a tombstone and raised an eyebrow.

“The point of you coming on patrol was to help, you know?”

Spike swaggered over to her, pulling her hips close to his so she could feel his reaction. “Wasn’t about to interrupt the bloody sexiest thing I’ve ever seen. Besides, you had it under control.” She rolled her eyes, wrapping her arms around his neck to pull him closer. “Next time lend a hand? I’ve got a suspicion fighting with me might be even more fun than watching.” After a few minutes of snogging, Spike pulled away so she could breathe. “Let’s head to the next cemetery, pet, see if we can’t prove your suspicion right.” She smiled, keeping herself tucked into his side as they took off towards the gates. She figured this walk was the perfect opportunity to learn more about his real past. “You said you changed everything when Dru left, when was that?” “1980- exactly 100 years after I met her.  That was a real punch in the gut, let me tell you. Angelus had been cursed with a soul not long after I was turned.  Then out of nowhere he lost it again and suddenly everything was about her precious Daddy.” He kicked at the grass bitterly, his jaw clenching.

“’Ve gotta be honest before I tell you more, though. Full disclosure? Back when I was still hunting humans, I had a thing about Slayers.  I wanted to put myself up against the best of the best- it turned into something of an obsession. Buffy, I won’t lie to you.  I’ve killed two slayers before.” Buffy looked at him worriedly, but didn’t shove him away.  “Is that why you were here? To kill me?” “Not at all. I came for the gem, stayed to try to see you.  I didn’t want to fight, except maybe to spar or summat.  After a few years in the demon fighting game I realized I didn’t want to be anything like the William that Angelus tried to mold me into.  And that meant not actively playing evil and screwing things up for the good guys just for kicks- thought to myself, ‘what’s more evil than taking out a slayer with experience?’ “Not to mention I’ve got too much respect for a good fighter. I’d like to think I was a worthy challenger to take out the two I did- they went out in a fair fight at least. But somewhere along the line it just lost its appeal.” “Can’t say I’m too sorry about that, what with the still being alive and all.” “Didn’t know you were the slayer at the start, sweetheart. But I think even when I was trying to be who my ‘family’ wanted me to be I wouldn’t have been able to kill you. Definitely not after I’d gotten to know you.” “Who did your family want you to be?” There was no trace of judgment in her eyes as she looked up at him, only curiosity.

“Mini-Angelus, really. Gettin’ off on torture and rape and mind games. Ashamed of all of who I was as a human, instead of seeing that I had some good qualities even then. Y’see, if I was ashamed it made it easier for them to walk all over me- they could use it against me. They knew taking pot shots at my poetry and status and demeanor would hurt me, even when I stopped letting it show.” “I’m so glad you got away from that.”

“Me too, pet, me too. Wouldn’t be who I am today if I was still under their thumb, trying to be what they wanted. ‘M comfortable with who I am these days. Can appreciate strength and delicacy. I think there’s something to be said for duality in all of us.” Buffy tried to think of a response, but words failed her. Instead, she leaned up and pressed her lips to his, kissing him and holding him close. It was less heated than the kisses they’d shared back at his apartment, more about feeling close and connected to each other than any sense of urgency. He relished in her heat and the feel of her soft body against him, and she lost herself in the cool of his touch and his solid chest beneath her hands.

After a few minutes, Buffy opened her eyes a little.  After only a second, they flew open. ”Look out!” She called, and Spike managed to duck the punch the soldier had thrown at him.

“Balls. You guys again?” he asked, weaving and dodging blows. Buffy had taken on the second assailant for herself.

“You know these people?”

“Not personally, no. These military types have been all over Sunnydale capturing demons- no one knows what they’re doing with them. Whole demon community has been in a right tizzy. Fought a couple of them Wednesday to get them away from my mate Clem’s place.” He landed a blow on top of the soldier’s head, who promptly lost consciousness.  He stepped back, seeing if he needed to step in and help Buffy.

Instead he was stunned once again by just how beautiful she was. Like poetry in motion, his girl. She anticipated the man’s moves, feinting and punching until she managed to grab him in a chokehold.  Her righteous fury lit a fire within him.  He knew that he’d never tire of seeing this woman fighting.

“Who are you?”

She shook him, but the soldier didn’t respond.

“Love, you might need to lighten the hold for him to speak,” he chimed in from where he now leaned casually against a headstone.  She flushed, but loosened her grip slightly.

“We’re with the Initiative. You’re interfering with United States Army business.” The grip went right back to choking. “I really don’t care. Take your buddy and go back to wherever the hell you came from.” She held on for a couple more seconds before throwing him on the ground next to the other one.

As he scrambled up, dragging his friend with him, he turned and asked a question.

“What the hell are you?”

She put her hands on her hips and answered definitively. “I’m the slayer. Tell your superiors you aren’t needed here. The hellmouth is mine.” After the men had disappeared into the woods she turned to Spike.

“I’ve got to tell Giles about this. Do you mind coming with and filling him in on what you know?” “Don’t mind a bit, but are you sure your watcher is going to take well to you bringing a vampire to share information?” “He’ll trust me. Or he should, at least.”

Spike just nodded, following her lead as she took off towards the watcher’s apartment.

“While we walk- you said something about a demon community in Sunnydale? You mean more than just the ones passing through whose heads I crack on occasion?” He looked at her, dumbstruck. “You mean you don’t know?”

“I wouldn’t ask if I did.” She snapped, flushing with embarrassment.

He held his hands up in surrender. “Hey, I didn’t mean anything by it.  Just surprised no one told you before now.  This is the hellmouth, pet, demon central. Some of ‘em make trouble- the ones you fight- but some of ‘em just come to raise their families. There’s a bunch of businesses around here run by the peaceful sorts. Hell, any place that’s staffed at night in this town has at least one demon working the late shift.” “How have I never noticed this?! There are demons just… living and working here full time?” “A lot of them look human enough, and the ones who don’t usually stick to the demon side of town.” “They have a whole side?!”

“The abandoned places in this city usually aren’t so abandoned. Whaddyou say I treat you to the darker side of the nightlife sometime, introduce you to my side of the city? I’ll be sure to point out if we run into anything dangerous so you can kill it.” “Um, yeah, I guess.” She sounded uncertain, though.

“Don’t be nervous, love. We can take out anything that might pose a threat, and I’ll introduce you to some of the harmless demons around.” Her expression turned anxious.

“Aren’t you going to be painting a target on your back? I mean, walking into any sort of demon bar with the slayer on your arm?” “Already got a target, love. ‘M pretty well known for my love of fighting in most circles. Figure I’m already halfway to traitor status, what’s another step?” “I don’t want you to get hurt because of me.”

“Puttin’ aside that bein’ with you is worth anything they could throw at me– I have the ring, Buffy.  Nothin’s gonna hurt me.” He looked down and noticed the Pouty Face of Doom incoming.

“Better not,” she huffed. “I’m not letting go of the best thing to happen to me since I became the slayer.” A slow smile spread across his face.

“The best thing?”

She nodded.

“The best thing. I’m not alone anymore, and this just feels so… right. I keep thinking- what if I’m the one in a million who gets it right on the first try?” He touched her cheek lightly.

“Neither of us can make guarantees, love, but for what it’s worth, I want you to be.” She stopped and kissed him soundly, holding her close in her arms.

“I want to be, too.”


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Table of Contents
Previous Chapter: Chapter 6
Next Chapter: Chapter 8

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