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.
Disclaimer: All belongs to JW and ME
The hot water was gushing down, cleansing the blood and dust and dirt he had brought back with him from another time, another year. The heat cleared his mind of thoughts. The steam fogged his vision. He leaned his head back on the frosted glass of the shower cabin and allowed himself to get lost in the drift of the water for what seemed to be an eternity. When he slowly came back he grabbed a bottle of shampoo, lathering his hair and his body. The wounds and cuts from the battle in the alley and the bruises from the fight with Faith were already healed and gone.
He carefully considered his options.
He could stay in Los Aangeles. Maybe once again try to worm his way into the Fang Gang. He had succeeded before. But when he came back as a ghost Angel already knew about the soul. It hadn’t stopped him openly discussing the possibility of wiping out his existence by destroying the amulet. And even after he had proven more than once that he was willing to fight the good fight, Angel had offered him money, a position, an expensive car, if only he would leave. In the end, it had been Fred’s death that had brought them closer. That and the mutual decision to not let hundreds of thousands of innocent people die, just to save one girl, no matter how much they loved her.
There was no way Angel would put up with him at this point in time. Even if Wesley would put in a word for him. And Wesley, as generous as he had been, wouldn’t go that far. Not for the sake of a vampire he hardly knew more of than the written reports of his atrocities over the course of more than a century in the Watchers’ Council’s books.
He could always open his own business. Hang out a shingle. It didn’t necessarily have to be in Los Angeles. He could go to New York, or even back to the continent. Maybe Paris, London or Berlin. Plenty of places where demons could be found and the hopeless needed help.
But he wasn’t a loner, never had been. It was partly the reason why he had fallen for Lindsey’s farce in the first place. He needed to belong. He wanted to have a purpose. He strived to be part of something bigger than him.
He could take Wesley’s advice. Lay low, let things evolve like they had done before. Try to change as little as possible, or maybe even nothing at all. But the mere thought made him feel nauseous. There were so many things he had done. He had betrayed Buffy and her friends to Adam, he had been reduced to being their punching bag, he had chained Buffy up and threatened to let Drusilla loose – God, what had he been thinking then? – and finally there would be those empty, haunted months after Buffy’s death. The endless nights he had grieved with Dawn while the Scoobies were scheming behind their back, planning Buffy’s resurrection. And when she finally had come back … no. No way he could drag her down again until they both hit rock bottom.
“Are you trying to single-handedly use up the water supply of L.A.? Geez, Spike, this is Southern California. Water is not regenerating itself here. You must have been in that shower for almost an hour.”
Cordelia’s voice cut through his thoughts and Spike turned off the water. When he left the shower stall Cordelia was still in the next room, talking to him through the half-opened door.
“Wesley asked me to bring you a mug of blood. He said he wasn’t sure when you last had anything to eat. Or drink? Or feed? Whatever … I don’t really think …”
Spike wrapped a towel around his hips and stepped into the room, “Thanks for the blood, pet.” He held out his hand for the mug, suddenly noticing that his stomach was growling.
Cordy opened her mouth for another quip when all at once her eyes went wide and the mug she was still holding in her hands fell to the floor, spilling blood everywhere.
“Watcha doing? I hope that hasn’t been otter blood that’s been wasted here …” Spike’s voice trailed off. Cordelia pressed her hands to her temples. Surprise, shock and terror flickered across her face in rapid succession.
“It’s you … there is you … and there’s light … I don’t understand … it’s burning … you, the light is burning you from the inside …” Suddenly she screamed in pain and Spike took a quick step catching her halfway through her fall and securing her in a close embrace.
“Sshh … sshh … pet, I’ve got you. It’s alright, it’s gonna be alright …”
A second later all hell broke loose. Angel burst into the room and found Spike and Cordelia kneeling on the floor in a puddle of blood, Cordelia’s face firmly pressed against Spike’s chest and his face buried in her neck. Wesley followed on Angel’s heels, a crossbow in his hands ready to fire. Angel instantly vamped out and lunged at Spike. Spike twisted around, blocking Angel’s killing blow with both arms, trying to keep him off his throat but clinging to him at the same time because Angel’s back was the only obstacle between his heart and Wesley’s bolt. As quickly as the chaos had erupted it subsided when Cordelia called out, “Stop it … Angel, let go of him now. Crossbow down, Wes.” Her voice carried an authoritative tone, that had an immediate effect on both men in question.
“It was a vision … just a vision … Spike was comforting me …” Cordelia added in a now calm, almost matter of fact tone.
Angel, who had released his grip on Spike’s throat, got up on his feet. Spike was lying flat on his back, his towel having been lost somewhere during the fight. Wesley, pale in the face, exhaled a long deep breath.
Spike flashed him a smirk “What? You think I went all fang-y on your secretary and tried to bite a chunk out of her, chip be damned?”
Cordelia covered her eyes with her hands and spat, “I. Am. Not. His. Secretary. Would you please put something on?”
Spike got up to his feet, found and grabbed the towel and made his way back to the bathroom to pick up his clothes.
“Cordy, this vision of yours, what was it about? Do we need to look for someone?”
“It was about him, Angel.” Cordelia looked at Spike who came back from the bathroom buttoning his black jeans and pulling his t-shirt over his head.
“He was standing in a cave … and there was sunlight … it was like beams of sunlight and it looked as if they were coming out of him or streaming through him … and they set him on fire … he was burning up from the inside … it was horrible … and disturbingly beautiful at the same time.”
Spike smiled softly, “Don’t worry, pet. And don’t let yourself have nightmares about this. I’ll just avoid caves and I’ll be safe as houses. There’ll be no Roman candle with my name on it. Well, not as long as I can help it.”
Cordelia stared at him, then shrugged, turned on her heel and headed towards the elevator. Angel gave him a long hard stare. “It might be a mistake to take this as a joke, Spike. Cordelia’s visions have proven to be very accurate. She’s not insane like Drusilla.”
“Oh, Drusilla’s visions were always accurate. It just wasn’t easy to figure out what she was ranting about. ‘Sides, I don’t know why you would bother anyway.”
“Suit yourself then.” With that Angel left the room as well.
Wesley came closer, crossbow still duly lowered, his piercing blue eyes searching Spike’s face thoroughly. “I take it from your calm appearance that you know what Cordy’s vision is about? That this is something that will happen in the future, but has happened to you in your past?”
Spike simply nodded.
“Is it connected to the events, that brought you here? When I asked you about the where and how of your time travel, you mentioned nothing about burning up.”
“Nope. It’s not connected at all. It was a completely different incident that happened more than a year ago.”
“So how come you are here at all, although you burnt to ashes long ago?”
“Courtesy of a very evil lawyer or The Powers That Be. Take your pick. I never figured out who was really behind that and I stopped bothering long ago. But I can assure you, that there will be no reprise and Novikov can sod off for all I care.”
“Did you decide then, where you will go and what you are going to do?”
“That I did.”
When he made his way upstairs Cordelia was sitting behind the desk again, a telephone receiver in one hand, scribbling in a notebook with the other hand. Angel was nowhere to be seen and Spike sighed, realizing that there would be no second offer of blood of any kind.
He turned around to Wesley and bowed his head in a slight, almost not noticeable nod. “I owe you, mate.”
“Not at all. Please don’t hesitate to call me if I can be of any use.”
It was a polite but very distinct dismissal. On his way to the door Spike passed Faith, who was still sitting on the green sofa.
“Hey you, just a sec.” She stood up and looked at him, a strange expression on her face. “I´d like to have a word with you.”
“Go ahead,” Spike said, taken by surprise.
“Why didn’t you kill me yesterday when you had the opportunity to do so?”
“Because he has a chip,” Cordelia chimed in from the desk, interrupting her phone call for a moment. “He can’t kill humans anymore. Only demons.”
Spike held his breath. If she went on, spilling that he wasn’t even able to hurt or hit a human, his game was up. If Faith made the connection, started to ask why he was able to kick her in the face if he wasn’t able to kill her his cover was blown as well. But for once his luck held. Cordelia was already talking on the phone again and Faith was obviously distracted.
“Oh … and here I thought … ”
“What were‘ya thinking, luv?”
“I wasn’t good enough for you to kill me …”
“Huh? Sorry, I didn’t follow you around that bend, pet.”
“They call you the Slayer of Slayers. Thought it would tarnish your reputation if you kill the second Slayer instead of the first. The spare Slayer instead of the real Slayer, you know.”
“That what you’re thinking?”
“It’s kinda the obvious explanation, isn’t it?”
Spike looked at her, considering … he had known Faith only for a very short time and they had had a very bad start. Things hadn’t gotten any better after he’d punched her in the face the night Buffy had been kicked out of her home. But Buffy had told him later that Faith was the only one who had asked her to stay. And while the Hellmouth was collapsing around them Faith was once more the only one who had waited for Buffy, while all the other newly-called Slayers were running for their lives. Maybe … maybe Buffy would not have made it out of the Hellmouth in time if it hadn’t been for Faith, who was calling out to Buffy, yelling at her to leave. He weighed his words carefully.
“Listen, dark Slayer …” but Faith already cut him off. “See? Even you call me dark. I’m the evil slayer. The bad one. Not a true adversary for a demon, am I?”
“Looked in the mirror lately? Cuz if you do you might notice you’re brown-haired and doe-eyed. That’s why I call you dark Slayer. Besides …”
“When Buffy died at the hands of the Master a new Slayer was called. A chick that went by the name of Kendra. And when Kendra died …”
“… when her throat was slit open, to be more precise,” Cordelia engaged in the conversation once more, “by your girlfriend, if I remember it correctly.”
Spike cursed under his breath, then snapped back, “If I remember it correctly she was another vampire’s girlfriend back then and she was acting on his orders.” Faith looked bemused. “Looks like I missed some important memo here. What are you talking about?”
“Never mind luv. What was I going to say?”
“You were talking about Kendra …”
“Yeah, right. When Kendra died, you were called. You understand what that means, don’t you?”
“Not quite, but try again.”
Spike spoke softly now, “In every generation, a girl is born. One girl in all the world. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer. That’s you, Faith. The Slayer line runs through you. Not through Buffy. Buffy still has her powers and her strength and she will continue fighting the good fight because that is what she is and what she does. But you are not a spare slayer. You are The Slayer. The Chosen One. And the calling never goes out to someone who isn’t worthy. Think it’s time you rise to the challenge.”
Faith looked thoughtful but said no more. Instead, she returned to the sofa and Spike knew he was finally dismissed.
Originally posted at https://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/675258.html