This is a sequel to a short four chaptered story I wrote for Halloween for a Live Journal community several years ago. Go here to read the first story titled: Ghosts, Goblins, and Ghouls… Oh My!
Title: Oh My… We’re Where Exactly?
Setting: BTVS AU 7, pre-series
Disclaimer: Don’t own anything but the plot and the original characters
Warnings: Lots of original characters
Rating: NC-17 to be on the safe side
Summary: After the events of Ghosts, Goblins, and Ghouls… Oh My!, Spike and Buffy return to Skald Hill Manor for Xander’s car. You would think they’d know better than to explore an formerly haunted house, wouldn’t you?
“Tell me again why we’re picking up Harris’ car,” Spike said to Buffy. He was glad to have alone time with his lady love, but going back to Skald Hill Manor hadn’t been what he had in mind. Maybe a graveyard patrol and some time at the Bronze was what he would have appreciated more.
Buffy chuckled at how irate Spike seemed to be. “Apparently we missed the ghost cat last night with all the other ghosts. When Xander went to get his car, he got really weirded out.”
Spike raised an eyebrow. “Weirded?”
“Well, wigged is so high school.” Buffy wrinkled her nose. “Besides, everyone else is busy. Dawn went to Janice’s. They wanted to discuss Lex Luthor and Smallville. Willow and Tara are taking that night class that Tara had to drop. Xander won’t come back, and he’s convinced Anya to go to a movie with him.”
“Guess it’s us then,” Spike replied.
“Can I drive?”
Spike raised an eyebrow. “Somehow I don’t think Harris would appreciate me lettin’ you drive his car. I’m pretty sure the only reason he didn’t bitch about my comin’ along was because I can drive, and you can’t.”
Buffy stuck her lower lip out in a pout. “How am I supposed to get better if nobody ever lets me practice?”
“We’ll take you down to the demolition derby, pet. You’ll be a shoe in for winner.”
“Hey! I am so not that bad!” Buffy cuffed Spike alongside the head with a gentle fist. “Big old bully vamp.” Then, she grabbed his hand, and together they walked through the dark trees towards Skald Hill Manor.
“Nice night.” Spike looked up at the sky. “Perfect night for a stroll with m’Slayer.”
Buffy peered up at the stars. It was a cool, crisp November evening. “You’re right. It is the perfect night for just me and my boyfriend.”
“I’m your boyfriend?” Spike was astonished by the Slayer’s words. Their relationship was on the upswing currently, but he had no idea she thought of him as her boyfriend. Of course he wasn’t a boy. No sir-ee, he was a man.
Buffy gave Spike a put upon look. “Sheee-yeah. You don’t think I do this with every guy I meet do you?”
Buffy and Spike finally burst through the trees into the clearing where Skald Hill Manor stood. The Victorian style house stood dark and imposing under the moonlight. The wind made the dried out leaves rattle on the tree branches, and on the porch the swing creaked in the breeze. Xander’s car was still parked in the driveway.
“Meeeerow!” The specter of a cat — which must have been completely white when living — bound down the porch stairs towards Buffy. It twisted around her legs like it was glad to see her. “Meeerow!”
“I guess this is the cat that Xander was talking about.” Buffy tilted her head. “Sure seems happy to see me.
Spike stared up at the big, old house. He felt a peculiar connection with the building. He knew it had nothing to do with the age because it was older than he was even taking in to account his human years. It certainly didn’t have anything to do with the condition of the building, because while the house was still nice on the inside the outside left much to be desired. “Wanna go inside and explore? We might be able to figure out something about those paintin’s.”
“I don’t know. Wouldn’t that be considered breaking and entering?” Buffy asked hesitantly. She peered up at the porch. She wasn’t too sure that the owners would like it if they just went inside on a whim.
Spike shrugged. Breaking and entering didn’t bother him. “We’re just doin’ a follow up to make sure the exorcism worked.”
Buffy chewed on her lip before she let out a sigh. “Xander did mention something about a hidden door behind a copy of the Slayer Handbook.”
“There you go then.” Spike pulled Buffy up the steps onto the porch. “I’m still curious why Glinda and I didn’t need an invite to get into the place.” He knew that they should have needed one. Despite the soul that Willow had put in her vamped lover, Tara still needed an invite.
“Willow could dig further into the ownership,” Buffy said with a shrug. While she thought it was odd too, she wasn’t worried about it. Lots of things in Sunnydale were odd.
“Meeerow.” The cat leaped across the long porch, and it disappeared through the closed door.
“Even the cat agrees.” Spike led Buffy towards the same door. He pushed against the wooden barrier, and it easily swung open like it had the night before. That was something he planned on looking into later, but right now there was a house to explore. “After you, m’lady.” He bowed to Buffy.
Buffy wrinkled her nose. “I’m no lady. You first, buster.
Spike shrugged. He stepped into Skald Hill Manor with caution. “Whoa,” he muttered. “Didn’t feel that before.”
“What?” Buffy asked anxiously. Nothing appeared to be wrong with Spike, but now she was worried. “What did you feel?”
“I guess we were too busy last night to feel the magicks,” Spike replied. He touched the doorjamb with one hand. “House is covered in it.”
“Maybe it’s how you and Tara got inside last night,” Buffy offered. “It’s not bad, evil magic is it.”
Spike shook his head. “I don’t think so. I’m sure you’re right, Slayer. It’s probably why everything’s so well preserved in here despite the lack of outside attention.”
“I’ll take your word on it.” Buffy cautiously entered the foyer. “Xander and Anya went that way. Let’s start there.”
“You’re the boss, Slayer.”
Spike let Buffy lead the way into the library where they found the ghost cat curled up on a sofa, purring loudly. “It was lit up last night,” Spike said. “Switch must be around here someplace.” He looked around the room. “Ah-ha, and then there was light.”
While Spike turned on the lights, Buffy moved to the bookcase. “Some interesting books here. We should copy some of the titles down for Giles. He can contact the owner to see if he can buy them.” She blinked when light flooded the room. By chance, she found that she was standing right in front of the Slayer Handbook. Buffy carefully pulled the book towards her.
There was a swishing sound when the hidden room’s door opened. Buffy peered inside. She wasn’t too sure about going in the room, but it was the best chance of finding out some clues. “It’s kinda dark in there. We need some better light.”
“Hmmm.” Spike glanced back at the foyer. “I’m sure I saw a kerosene lamp out in the other room.” He sauntered out of the library. Within minutes he was back with a lamp. He pulled out his Zippo, and he lit the wick. “Here we go, luv.”
“Perfect. Let’s see what’s in there.” Buffy took the lamp from Spike’s hand, and she carefully entered the hidden room. She suppressed a shudder at the enclosed space. “Not much room in here.”
“Never was.” Spike peeked in behind Buffy. “I remember one time when I was a boy, m’cousin and I found the one in our London house. Meade thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.”
“Did you even know what sliced bread was back then?” Buffy asked. “Not much in here. Just a box of books that I can see.”
“Not really, but we had a great time pretendin’ at being knights and brigands with our tin soldiers.” Spike smiled sadly. “It was the one time though. Then, he went home to the States. Didn’t see him again until I was older.”
“Oh, look at that.” Buffy bent down to pick up one of the books. The gold titling was starting to peel off, but she could still make out the name on the cover.
“What did you find, Slayer?”
Buffy blew dust off the book in her hand. “It’s the journal of that Elizabeth chick in the painting upstairs.”
“Maybe we can find something out about this ghost cat,” Spike muttered. He glanced at the cat again. It was still perched on the couch where it purred loud enough to fill the room with the sound. The only thing missing was a crackling fire in the fireplace, Spike thought with a snort. “Only on the Hellmouth would anyone think a ghost cat is normal.”
“Oh, yeah. Maybe something on the cat, for sure.” Buffy opened the front of the book. “The first entry is dated November 3rd, 1843.”
“What does it say?” Spike moved to Buffy’s side.
“Spike and I arrived here two days ago from the future. We’re inside the bodies of William Jamison and his wife, Elizabeth.” Buffy looked up at Spike in shock. “Is this a joke?”
“Does it feel like a joke, pet?” Spike took the book from Buffy, and he moved out into the lit library. “It doesn’t say how we got there though.”
“Maybe we never knew. There’s at least one vengeance demon in town,” Buffy replied. “Although, Anya’s more likely to grant a wish that eviscerates a man than one that sends us back in time.” She started skimming the book more closely.
“Too true.” Spike circled the room looking at book titles and knick knacks.
“Hey, it looks like William’s partner is named Wyndam-Pryce. Wonder if he’s related to Wesley.”
“Who’s Wesley?” Spike looked over at Buffy who was hunched over the journal. She so rarely consented to researching that it surprised him that she was willingly reading the entries. Maybe it was because they were her own that caught her attention.
Buffy waved a hand in the air. “When Giles was fired from the Council they sent Faith and me a new Watcher. That was Wesley. He’s working in Los Angeles with Angel these days.”
“Meade was a Wyndam-Pryce. His mother was my father’s sister Natalie.”
“This guy’s named Sherwin. He’s married to a Natalie.” Buffy tapped the book’s open pages. “William was Natalie’s sister.”
“I was named after m’ Uncle William.” Spike tilted his head in thought. “He died before I was born, but no one would ever give me the details.”
“Was he married to an Elizabeth?”
“You know, I don’t rightly remember,” Spike replied. He was a little chagrined about his lack of knowledge about his human life, but it had been a long time since he’d thought about it. There were things he tried hard to repress like his mother’s final, dusty death. “He was a bit of a black sheep. Youngest son, ran off to America to find his fortune, and convinced his sister to toss aside the peer of the realm she was paired with to go with him. It just wasn’t done back in the day.”
“Apparently it was or they wouldn’t have done it,” Buffy said. She was ever so glad she was born in the times she was. Being a society gal wasn’t all it was cracked up to be if what she’d felt back during Ethan’s chaos spell was anything like the real thing.
Spike chuckled. “I suppose you have me there, luv.”
“Meeerow.” The ghost cat stretched and arched it back. It leapt off the sofa to go investigate the opened secret room.
Spike returned to his perusal of the library’s books. “Hmm, Principals and Aspects of Time Travel by Sherwin Wyndam-Pryce.” He lifted the tome off the shelf. “Might come in handy. We’ll take a look at it soon.” He slipped the book into his pocket.
“Meeerow.” The cat appeared in the doorway again. It ran over to Buffy, twisted around her legs, and then ran back to the secret room’s entrance.
“Think its name is Lassie?” Spike asked in an amused voice. “It definitely wants you to follow it.”
Buffy didn’t feel exactly enthusiastic about the idea, but she stood up anyway. She handed the journal to Spike. “Here, you take a look at this.” She grabbed kerosene lamp again. “Here I go.”
“You make it sound like torture.” Spike flipped open the journal.
“I don’t like small enclosed areas now. You know that.” Buffy referred to her rude awakening in her grave over a year before.
“Meeerow!” the cat howled from the secret room.
Buffy edged towards the door. She peeked inside. “What on earth is wrong with you, cat?”
The cat pawed the wall near the corner of the room. Then, it turned to stare at her with big, round eyes. “Meeeerow.”
“Hold your horses.” Buffy entered the room with slow, measured steps, and she knelt by the cat. When it pawed the wall again, she put her hand out to touch the spot. She could feel where the wood was slightly indented. “There might be something here, Spike.”
“Hold on.” Spike stuck his head in the door. “Be careful. It might have a booby trap.”
“Yeah, I get that.” Buffy pressed her fingers into the indention. “Can you hold the light for me?”
“Sure. I suppose.” Spike stepped into the room. He stiffened when the cat passed through his legs on its way out. He took the lamp from Buffy, and he bent over to shine it onto the indention for her.
As soon as Buffy started to press hard on the notched hole, the door slammed shut behind them. “Crap, I don’t like the looks of this.”
“Neither do I.” Spike turned to look at the door. Suddenly a strange whirlwind of power swarmed around the two supernatural creatures. “What the bloody hell?”
“You think this is it?” Buffy asked. She reached out to grab Spike’s hand.
“Could be.” Spike tightened his hand around Buffy’s. Unsure of what was going to happen next, he blew out the lamp. It wouldn’t do them any good if they set the place on fire. He set the glass lantern on the floor in the corner before he gathered Buffy into his arms.
Blackness upon blackness surrounded them. Then, a bright flash of light caused Spike and Buffy to close their eyes. They fell to the floor with their hands still entwined. Silence surrounded Skald Hill Manor. The only sounds that could be heard was the door to the secret room popping open, and the purring of the ghost cat while it watched over the unconscious pair.
The man giggled almost manically. He glanced at his friends to make sure they were busy playing the video game he had bought to entertain them. If everything went right, he’d be where the Slayer would never find him, and he’d be free to do whatever he wanted. It would be nice not to have to worry about being detected by the police or have to deal with stupid minions.
The man uttered the magical words in a slow, soft voice. A whirlwind of powerful magic swirled around him until he blacked out.
Originally posted at https://seasonal-spuffy.dreamwidth.org/322620.html