Fic: Those Were The Days Of Our Lives (2/?)

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Those Were The Days Of Our Lives
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Title:Those Were The Days Of Our Lives
Author:flow (flowspuffy)
Era/season/setting:BtVS season 4/AtS season 1
Rating:NC-17 (for later chapters)
Summary:Spike is prepared to die in the battle behind the Hyperion Hotel. But someone else decides to send him back in time …
Spuffy will happen in later chapters of this fic.
Author’s Notes: I posted the first chapter of this fic for round 26 of Seasonal Spuffy.
To my utmost dismay, this fic is still a WIP and at the moment I don’t know if and when it will ever be finished. However, I decided to post a couple more chapters here.
I want to thank Stoney, GoSpuffy, debbicles and Priceless for the inspiration and support.Y’all are amazing!
Disclaimer:All belongs to JW and ME

Chapter 2

1630 Revello Drive looked peaceful from the sidewalk on the other side of the street where Spike was standing. Memories came flooding back to him. He had spent too many days in this house. Some of them had been happy days. Talking and laughing with Joyce in the kitchen over two cups of hot chocolate. Teasing Dawn or poring over her homework, rehearsing irregular French verbs and the acid citric cycle with her. There were other memories he held very dear. Buffy standing on the top of the stairs, looking down at him, trust in her eyes and maybe even respect. Buffy coming down those same stairs in a white blouse, her knuckles bloodied.

There were also memories that tasted bittersweet. Endless nights spent with Dawn playing cards, watching silly sit-coms on the telly, braiding her hair. Everything and anything just to pass time while none of them could think of sleep, the loss of Buffy still raw and the grief tearing into them. One day he had even gotten a karaoke machine just to cheer Dawn up and, after some awkward first experiments, they had spent a lot of evenings singing duets.

Most memories were loaded with the weight of those endless days and nights during the last months they spent together though. A time in which they had waited for The First to strike, had waited for another of the girls to hang herself up in one of the bedrooms, had waited for another to have her throat slit open by a psychotic priest, had waited for the next one of them to be possessed or triggered to kill half of the population of Sunnydale. Like he had done.

And then there was one other memory. The worst memory of them all. A memory of a girl in a pale grey bathrobe, pinned down to the floor of the bathroom, crying, pleading and he …

Spike put a firm lid on this specific memory.

The upper bedroom window, facing the street, was dark.

It was the smaller bedroom, the one that had been Buffy’s until Tara had died.

He crossed the street and walked down the narrow path on the right side of the house alongside the kitchen windows to the backyard. Lights were shining down here from one of the upper windows. It was the master bedroom that must now belong to Joyce.
The other room was dark. That one was either Dawn’s or just a spare room. Dawn had been sleeping over at her friend Janice’s the night the body swap had happened. At least that was, what she had told him. What she remembered. Didn’t mean it had happened. She might not have been there yet. Might not be there yet, Spike corrected himself. He didn’t even know what her bedroom had been used for before she arrived. Maybe it had been a guest room or a storage room.

The curtains of Joyce’s bedroom were drawn but through the thin white fabric, he could see the silhouette of a woman moving around the room. The silhouette of a woman with long curly hair.

Spike opened the back door quietly and walked into the hallway. He hesitated at the stairway. As a fighter Faith was neither as skilled nor as inventive as Buffy. But she was ruthless and she probably was desperate right now.

He drew his sword and laid it on the dining room table. No need to risk wounding her. No need to fight her inside Joyce’s bedroom either. She had heard him and was coming down the stairs, holding a struggling Joyce in front of her.

Joyce, clearly expecting Buffy, gasped when she recognized the figure in the black leather coat standing in her dining room. As did Faith, her eyes widening in surprise. “That’s a vampire. How the heck did he get in?”

Spike chuckled. “I have an invitation, Luv.”

“Are you kidding me? How many of you have an invitation into this house? Don’t tell me you’re another undead toy boy of hers. Has she promised you true love in high school just like her other vampire boyfriend?”

“We actually met in high school, but not the way you might be thinking.”

“Does it matter what I think as long as I kick your ass?”

“I wanna see you try. I think I still owe you a good punch in the face.”

“Still owe me? I’ve never met you before.”

They had both been circling each other ready to strike. It was Faith who made the first move, lunging at him. Spike dodged the blow and kicked her ribs hard with his left foot. Faith stumbled backward, but soon regained her fighting position now eying him more cautiously.

“What are you up to, bat boy ?”

“None of your business.”

He ducked under another blow that had been right predictable and knocked his elbow into her face. He had to give that to her. She could take it. She did not stumble this time and got him with a roundhouse that he hadn’t expected. He flew back over the dining room table and crashed into the cupboard near the window, wood splintering and Spike held his breath for a second, half waiting, half dreading a sudden piercing of a sliver through his unbeating heart. It never came and in one fluid movement he did a quick kip-up, preparing for Faith’s stake ready to strike.

Instead, she was lying on the floor apparently knocked out cold. Bending over her stood Joyce with an axe in her hand. For a chilling second he thought she had killed her but Faith was already stirring again and he threw himself on her, quickly grabbing her wrists and pinning them down to the floor. She struggled, wriggling like a panicked kitten, but he pressed her down her firmly with the weight of his body.

“Joyce, quick, get me something to tie her up!”

“I beg your pardon? Would you care to explain what you are doing here Spike? What is going on?”

“Joyce, please. I don’t have time to explain now. I need something. A rope, a chain, maybe Buffy has manacles in the weapons chest in her bedroom?”

Joyce hesitated, then said, “I have handcuffs in the drawer of my bedside table?”

Spike quickly decided that he did not want to know why Joyce kept handcuffs in her bedroom.

“Like mother, like daughter,” he muttered, but called to Joyce to, “Go, get them.”

“What did you just say about my daughter?”

“Get them. Now!” Spike yelled. He nearly lost his grip on Faith’s wrists as she struggled to throw him off. He rose to his knees, jerked her up until she was almost sitting on his lap and twisted her arms behind her back. Faith screamed at Joyce, “Don’t listen to him. Don’t trust him. He’s a vampire. He doesn’t even have a soul. He’s not Angel. He’ll kill us both. Get a stake and help me get rid of him.”

A moment later Joyce came rushing back down the stairs, a pair of handcuffs in her hands. Spike took the handcuffs relieved that they were not lined with pink fur. He fastened them tightly around Faith’s wrists and then let go, sighing in exhaustion. A second later he noticed his mistake and grabbed Faith’s legs, while she desperately tried to kick his face.

“Joyce, you need to help me.”

Faith wasn’t giving up easily and Spike lost his temper.

“Bloody hell! Joyce, get me something to gag her and a rope to tie her up. And hurry up.” After a moment’s consideration he added, “Please?”

His eyes locked with Joyce’s and her gaze held him steadily for a while. He knew she was weighing him up. Then she obviously came to a decision, rose and opened the door to the basement … his basement, where he had spent so many dreadful nights haunted by nightmares filled with the screams and the sobbing of people he had killed. Then he had spent two more nights in that same basement. Two nights that had terrified him but he still treasured the memory of every moment … oh, and now shut up, it’s not the right time to go down memory lane … only to return with a rope and a towel. He grabbed the rope Joyce tossed him in midair and quickly tied it around Faith’s ankles. Faith screamed at him and spat in his face. He cursed himself for not having gagged her first. Finally getting the deed done and securing the towel with a firm knot, he dropped back on his feet and sighed in relief.

Joyce watched him closely, now standing on the other side of the dining room table, the axe still tightly gripped in her hand.

‘Good for her,’ he thought.

He rose to his feet, held his hands up, palms towards Joyce and said quietly, “Please, do me a favour and come over here Joyce. There must be some magical device Faith is carrying with her. I want you to search her, cuz we need to find and destroy it before she can cause any harm with it.”

“Why do you want me to do it? Why don’t you search her instead?”

“Cuz I’m still a vampire and her slayer senses will probably go haywire if I put my hands on her body.” Spike did not add that he always had suspected that Faith had been a survivor, probably sexually assaulted or abused, long before her calling. Maybe even going back as far as into her early childhood. She had put others through pain and suffering, but that didn’t lessen the crimes that had been committed against her and he wasn’t willing to put her through the ordeal of another male laying his hands on her body against her will.

Joyce slowly walked across the room, her gaze fixed on Spike. Then she bent down, never letting go of the axe and searched the pockets of Faith’s denim jacket and her black leather pants. There it was, in the right front pocket. It was a strange looking piece made of metal, almost reminiscent of alien technology and probably destined to be worn like a glove. Joyce looked at it closely, turning it around in her hands.

“Be careful, Joyce. I don’t know, how it works exactly. Best to just destroy it.”

“How do you destroy a thing like that?”

Spike shrugged, then took the metal clasp out of Joyce´s hands, dropped it on the floor and crushed it under his boot.

When he looked up, Joyce was again watching him with an inquiring look on her face.

“Please, explain yourself, Spike.”

“Joyce, I know you have a thousand questions and I promise you I’ll answer them … well, some of them. But I am running out of time just now. I need to be gone quickly. And I know, this will come as a bit of a surprise to you, but I need to take your car.

“I’m a good driver. Okay, I crashed Rupert’s car, but there were extenuating
circumstances …” he conceded after a moment of awkward silence.

“Don’t you think, we should call Mr. Giles and ask him to take care of Faith?”

“No! Don’t call Giles. Point of fact, don’t call anyone. Giles will only get the Wankers’ Council involved and they will …”

“But they are responsible for Faith. Why shouldn’t they get involved? It seems to be the obvious solution.”

“Bugger this, they only allowed Faith to remain in a coma for the last year because they still had Buffy on duty. Otherwise, they would’ve had Faith killed more quickly than you or I can say slayer, just to get a new girl called.”

“Do you really think … ?”

“Trust me. I know.”

Joyce was again studying his face carefully and he desperately tried to think of something to say that might convince her or maybe at least to look trustworthy enough.

Finally, Joyce came to a conclusion. “I don’t think I would have ever considered taking you seriously if Mr. Giles hadn’t tried to poison Buffy last year on order of the Watchers’ Council.”

Spike sent a quick prayer to the Powers that often screw you right and proper for the Cruciamentum and who would have thought finally something good would come from their attempt to kill Buffy?

“But that doesn’t explain, why you were able to fight Faith. Buffy told me, there has been a chip transplanted into your brain to keep you from killing or even hitting people.”

Damn, Joyce was perceptive and she wasn’t stupid. He hadn’t had time to come up with a proper plan. He was just making this up as he was going along. Not as if proper plans had ever been his strength anyway.

“I think … maybe, there has been a shift inside of her when she went rogue. The Slayer power becoming darker, more demonic and that is why she now registers as a demon with the chip.”

It wasn’t even far-fetched. It was what had happened with Buffy when she came back. Some tiny shift had happened and the demonic essence that had always been inside her, though unbeknownst to her, had gained more weight. Enough so that she had suddenly slipped under the radar of his chip. He had called it ‘wrong’, Tara had called it a molecular suntan. The truth was probably somewhere in between. In the end it had only made her stronger and he suddenly smiled remembering her standing at the bottom of the stairways down in the basement of this very house and telling him with an almost triumphant look on her beautiful face, “We are going to win this.”

“You think that’s funny?”

He was startled. “No, no I don’t think it´s funny. I was just … distracted.”

“What are your plans?”

“I want to take her to L.A. To Angel and his chums.”

Faith squeaked at that.

“Angel? Buffy’s ex? What’s he got to do with it?”

“Well, first of all, he is a git, just like she’s a bint. That makes them perfect for each other. And then he is all about this redemption thing. He is going to take care of her. To help her get back on the wagon.”

There was a long pause and Spike was suddenly itching for a cigarette for the first time in a year or so as he felt scrutinized by Joyce´s brown eyes.

Then Joyce said softly, “You know, this is probably unprecedented and maybe it is reckless as well, but I see your point. Maybe you are right. So take her off to L.A. But promise me you won’t harm a hair on her head.”

“Fair enough, Joyce. I promise.”

Faith was trying to talk to Joyce although Spike had thoroughly fastened the towel.

“Mmmphhhh. Mmkillmme.”

Spike was moving quickly now. Buffy could be home any minute. He was not ready to face her. ‘After all’ he thought bitterly ‘he had been running away from her for more than a year now.’ He took the car keys from Joyce and threw the securely tied up Slayer over his shoulder. “No word to Buffy about this, if you please, Joyce.”

“Are you asking me to lie to my daughter?”

“Just asking you not to tell her if she doesn’t ask you. She doesn’t need to know I have been here tonight. Angel will call her and tell her about Faith. She will know, that the problem is being dealt with.”

Joyce nodded and Spike finally left, heading for the Jeep that was parked outside the house.

A good three hours drive later he pulled up at the alley behind the Hyperion Hotel.

Not more than five hours had passed since he had fought a demon army in this very place, standing side by side with Angel, Illyria, and Charlie in the pouring rain. It felt like an eternity now.

Spike parked the car and slowly approached the building. He wasn’t sure exactly where he had stood when Illyria had shoved him through the portal, but it must have been somewhere nearby. He carefully walked down alongside the massive brick wall, brushing his hand along as he went. If there was the slightest chance, just a tiny possibility, that the portal was still open … he bargained, begged, prayed … but the stones remained what they had been. Bricks a century old, that were completely unimpressed by apocalypses or time loops. They did not even bother to slightly emit some smoke and under his fingertips they felt solid and cold as the night.

Spike sighed and turned around. “Illyria,” he called out into the darkness. Even to his own ears it sounded silly, almost pathetic. Yet he tried once more, “Illyria. Please get me back. Don’t leave me here stranded. Illyria – get your blue ass down here. You stupid, filthy harlot!”

He knew his shouting was futile and his cause was lost but he stayed. Just trying to hold on to the illusion that someone — Angel, Illyria, maybe even Lorne — would walk down the alley any moment, greeting him with a smile and a hug. Or in Illyria’s case maybe just with a thin-lipped, “the-white-haired one may worship me now.” Heck, he would even do that. Happily do it if he could just go back.

Finally he pushed himself off the wall and walked back to the car to make his way through the quiet streets of L.A. to the office of Angel Investigations.

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