Authors: the_moonmoth & bewildered/bewilde
Length: ~11,200 words this chapter (79k in total so far)
Warnings: Sexual situations, bad language, violence, smut. Suicidal ideation. Temporary Spike/Other and Buffy/Other.
Summary: Spike travels back in time to change the future. It goes poorly.
Notes: We're back! Maybe? Well, we have a new chapter at least. Between Moony's parenting woes and Bewildered's 24/7 work schedule, things have been tough lately, but we're trying very hard to regain some (slow) momentum. Yay! Some dialogue taken from Fear Itself, for which we cannot take credit. Many, many thanks to rahirah for a very thorough beta. And if anyone is left feeling a little lost and uncertain about our characterisation of The Tea, we would like to refer you to this important cultrual PSA regarding what British people really care about when having a brew (hint: it has nothing to do with that loose leaf bollocks). Enjoy!
You can read previous chapters here on LJ, or AO3, or EF.
“Oh, untwist those knickers, Rupert,” Spike said as the door closed behind Buffy. “You know it hurts that you mistrust me so, it really does.”
“And yet, I am unmoved,” the old git said. “Tell me about this fear demon.”
His stare was moderately stoney. Not full on, stone-cold-bastard stoney, which Spike was well aware Giles was capable of (his chest gave a sympathetic twinge at the memory of being shot through the heart only recently), but on the spectrum. He supposed, in comparison, this was a warm welcome. Still, wouldn’t do to be too compliant.
“What, no have-a-seat? No would-you-like-some-tea? Just dive right in without even a nod to the niceties?”
“You aren’t nice.”
Spike grinned, pleased. “And you’d be one to talk, wouldn’t you? They say it takes one to know one, and all that.”
“Spike,” Giles sighed. “If you’re going to try to kill me, please do so by traditional means rather than irritating me to death.”
“Now that would be one for the watchers’ diar-- all right, all right! Bloody hell, I remember you being more fun.”
Giles gave him a shrewd look. “So I’m no longer around in your time.” He drifted off pensively, murmuring, “As I thought.”
What the…? How had he gone and got that idea? Bastard had failed to notice Buffy staring at Spike’s arse -- otherwise he’d have likely peppered said arse with the fabled rock salt -- yet he could somehow infer… what? That Spike was from so far in the future that old Giles had popped his clogs? He snorted.
“Feel free to get back to business anytime, Ripper.”
Giles’s look was one of pure, unadulterated annoyance, but his question was one of distracted curiosity. “How do you know that name?”
“What, Ripper? How do you think I know it?”
Giles sputtered in outrage. “Are you trying to tell me that we were… that we become… friends?”
Spike blinked, and then he shrugged. Wasn’t what he’d been going for, but watcher’d said it, not him.
“More than our nation of origin in common, you know,” he offered. Then, with a flash of resentment that took him by surprise, “Not that you ever…” He looked away, clenching his jaw to keep the timeline-altering words inside.
“Indeed,” Giles said, still looking mildly flustered. “Well, then…” He took his glasses off and dug under his ridiculous cape for a handkerchief, which, once produced, was put to thorough and prolonged use. Spike rolled his eyes. He was fairly used to the meandering way the Scoobies operated by now, but it was still infuriating at times.
Then again, Spike knew a thing or two about being infuriating.
“Tell you what,” he said airily. “I’ll help myself to some refreshments, get myself comfortable and the like, and you let me know when you’re ready to talk.” He swept into the tiny little kitchen nook.
“Yes, yes,” Giles said distractedly, before he seemed to snap out of it. “Now wait just a minute!”
“Or what? You’ll polish your specs at me some more? Colour me terrified.”
He’d spent enough time in the watcher’s flat to know exactly where all the important stuff was kept, but it would annoy Giles more if he had a good rifle.
“What are you doing?” Giles sounded more surprised than suspicious as Spike started pulling out spice jars and putting them back in the wrong order. Spike threw him a leer over his shoulder as he banged a cabinet door shut and moved on.
“Oh, Rupert, don’t tell me you’ve never had a vampire rummage through your drawers before.”
“Not one I couldn’t stake,” he said darkly.
The next cabinet contained Giles’s teapot, a dainty little white number made of china so thin you could practically see through it.
“Something funny?” the watcher asked tightly, as Spike pulled it down with a delighted laugh and waved it at him.
“I’d forgotten about this. What kind of tosser uses a pot?”
“I,” Giles said with gravitas, sombrero tassels a-swinging, “am an Englishman.”
“Right.” Spike smirked. “One who’s overly concerned about keeping up appearances for the Americans, when any bloody idiot knows real Englishmen make it with a bag, too much milk, and a mug thick enough to crack heads with.” Further excavations produced a box of PG Tips and the yellow Kiss the Librarian mug. “Now this is more like it.”
“Yes, well,” Giles said shiftily. “When in private, one does occasionally… Oh, give it here!” he finally snapped, at Spike’s wary fumblings with the kettle and the gas hob. Spike considered it one of life’s great mysteries why Giles had never got a proper electric kettle, but in the virtually-alcohol-free world Spike was now inhabiting, he was fully prepared to risk his unlife with primitive combustibles for a proper mug of imported tea. Therefore, he considered it rather good of Giles to step in and take over, and so decided to ease up on him, just a smidge.
“Milk, no sugar,” he said, backing off the couple of steps it took to get to the living room, and sprawling comfortably on the couch. “I’m not a monster.”
As the water boiled, Giles muttering in concert, he let his eyes slide closed, remembering the few glorious hours he’d just spent with Buffy, her scent filling his old (soon-to-be) home as she breathed in and out, in and out, peaceful and alive and letting him be there. He hadn’t seriously thought she’d stay. Sure, she’d seen her way to letting him tag along on patrol this last week, and was even acting almost friendly, sometimes. She was inquisitive, he got it; he was just happy she was letting herself indulge that inquisitiveness. With him. Made a bloke wonder what else aside from time-travelling, world-saving missions the girl might get inquisitive about, under the right circumstances. When she’d danced with him like that, yeah, made a bloke wonder. He wasn’t stupid, though -- knew he’d caught her at a serendipitous time, when she was all soul-curious after her own little misadventure. Knew her acceptance that he could -- did -- love her was something to be cherished in and of itself, and not to expect anything else out of it. Knew, even, that her staying over didn’t really mean much, not to her, no more than crashing at Harris’s basement, or with the witches (witch -- Tara definitely wasn’t on Red’s radar yet). And yet, to him, it was everything, because the last time before then that he’d seen her in his crypt she’d been dead, laid out somewhere cool and safe until they could bury her body, and he’d snatched a kiss from her cold forehead and...
A sensation like falling -- his boots being kicked off the coffee table -- and Spike startled awake to find the watcher looming over him.
“Buffy!” he said urgently as he shot upright, narrowly missing the steaming mug of tea that was being thrust at him as he looked around wildly. “She was... She was here, wasn’t she?”
“Yes.” Giles was watching him closely, a slight frown behind his jiggling tassels. “She went to her mother’s.”
Spike took a couple of deep breaths. “Joyce. Right.” He all but snatched the proffered tea out of Giles’s hands, sinking unsteadily back down onto the couch.
“You’re having trouble keeping events straight?” Sitting down opposite him, Giles removed his sombrero. That didn’t bode well. Spike forced himself to calm down. That, and relax his grip on the mug. Wouldn’t do to crush it and have to go through that rigamarole again.
“Not… exactly,” he said cautiously. He still wasn’t sure how much he trusted Giles, but more importantly, he had to assume that anything said here would get back to Buffy, and probably her friends, too, and the watcher might be blind as a fruit bat about some things, but he wasn’t a complete idiot. He was fully capable of joining some very inconvenient dots if Spike gave too much away. “I, uh, I get worried about her. Yeah. Very dangerous job, slaying.”
“Ah, yes.” Giles gave an uncomfortable cough and started ferreting around distractedly. “Buffy mentioned your, ah, declaration.”
“She did, did she?” That was… well, no, it wasn’t unexpected, since she’d done exactly the same thing in his own timeline, but something told him (even if it was just hope) that maybe it wouldn’t be for group mockery purposes this time. Not that he cared two figs what the sodding Scoobies thought of him, or Giles for that matter, but it’d speak to Buffy having a different mindset this time, and that’d be… that’d be something.
Giles finally scared up a notebook and pencil, thumbing a little clumsily through the pages. “And is it, ah, true?”
Now that was surprising. “You’re asking me?”
“Well, you would seem to be the authority on the matter.”
“Uh, right. Yeah. Yeah, I would.” He gathered himself. “Not sure as I see it’s any of your business, though.”
“I thought you said we were friends,” Giles parried. “In the interests of said friendship--”
“Mercenary bugger, aren’t you?” Spike grinned broadly, kicking his boots back up onto the coffee table with deliberate insouciance. “Now we’re having fun.”
“Is that what you call it?”
Spike held a hand up to his chest. “You wound me.”
“Hmm,” Giles agreed. “I certainly tried. And yet just a few days later I find you catching forty winks on my sofa. You have a very unconventional attitude to danger.”
“First tea, now compliments.” Spike tongued his teeth. “You want to be careful, Rupert. A vamp might get the wrong idea.” It was half-hearted, though. He could see from the watcher’s expression that it was finally time to get down to brass tacks, and the panic left over from waking just now was making him feel decidedly more cooperative. “Listen,” he said. “I am trying to help. Know it might not seem like it, but…” he shrugged.
“The fate of the world depends on it?”
Giles nodded, seemingly on more familiar ground, and took up his pencil. “So, what can you tell me about the fear demon?”
“Er, well, that was it, actually. Small, spooky, easily squished under the slayer’s dainty heel. Oh, and it’s in a frat house on campus -- forget the name, but apparently you broke in with a chainsaw.”
“Yeah.” Spike considered that a moment. “Never was sure why that was necessary, but far be it from me to judge how you get your rocks off. Suppose you keep it hidden away with the manacles and whatnot.”
He noted with glee that while Giles tried to ignore the comment, a teeny tiny flush spread up his neck.
“And that’s it?” the man plugged on tenaciously. “There’s really nothing else? What about the letter, then?”
Not much more, was the answer to that. Willow had given it to him already sealed, and merely told him to hand it over to Giles with the ring, the latter of which he was no longer certain was a good idea. At least not yet. But he had to give the man something.
“Willow wrote it to explain what I was doing here, but I never read the contents. Said it was just for you, and that you’d be smart enough to trust her.” He very much enjoyed the flicker of doubt and regret that crossed Giles’s face at that.
“But she didn’t trust you enough to let you in on what it said?”
Well, that stung more than he liked to admit. Touché. “Trusted me enough to send me back,” he said defensively.
“Willow sent you back?” Giles put down his pencil. “She was the witch who cast the spell?”
“Uh, yeah.” Spike frowned at the stupidity of the question. “Why? Who did you think it would be?”
“Well,” Giles said. “You are from the future. It might well have been anyone.”
“Might well it have been?” Spike mocked. “Too bad, really, since another witch might’ve got the spell right. While we’re at it, maybe you can see your way to teaching Red some Latin.”
“She made a mistake in the incantation?” Somehow, Giles didn’t look nearly as surprised as Spike had expected him to.
“Yeah. Was only supposed to be here two days. Two bloody days. Just long enough to get the Gem and hand it over for safekeeping. Instead I’m stuck here until bloody Christmas.”
Though, after the week he’d just spent with Buffy, he suddenly wasn’t feeling half so pissed about that anymore. Giles just looked relieved, probably that he wasn’t going to be stuck with Spike for two years. Stupid bugger. He didn’t have a clue how much better a deal he was getting now than he would soon be getting from Spike Jr.
“And then you will return back to your time, leaving the Gem here?”
Spike nodded. “S’how the spell works.” Even though he wasn’t so sure about that first bit Giles had said. Maybe instead of returning to the future, he’d just cease to exist, if the past changed sufficiently. At the time they’d done the spell, he hadn’t really cared -- it’d seemed like a pretty good idea, in fact. Now… god, if he could actually do it….
“And with whom are you intending to leave the Gem of Amara?”
“Haven’t decided yet.”
“I see.” It was clear from his expression that he’d assumed -- correctly -- that Willow had meant for him to take it. But Spike wasn’t Willow, and Willow wasn’t here, and Spike was starting to have some serious reservations about the plan, reservations that his previously un-sober brain had failed to present to him. Besides, it wasn’t like he was in a hurry anymore. “Can you at least tell me who it’s for, and to what purpose it is to be put?”
Spike chewed on that for a moment. This was where it started to get dicey. If they didn’t believe him, or past-him did something after he was gone to bollocks it up, then giving too much away now could ruin everything. It wasn’t like he was the Scoobies’ favourite vamp around town -- they might decide that he couldn’t be trusted, once they knew who it was for. But if he gave them too little info, the ring might bloody well end up with Angel again. It was a big risk.
Spike was a risk-taker.
“It’s for me,” he said. “I needed it… about a fortnight ago, my time. The world ended.” It might not have been strictly true, but it was true enough for Spike. “With the Gem, I can stop it.”
Giles sat back with an exhale, and began to clean his glasses once more. “An apocalypse. I see. Yes, that would certainly make the most sense. The magic involved in time travel is so risky as to be… Wait. You can stop it?”
Spike blinked, not really hearing him. Giles started wittering on excitedly about vampires and indestructibility and fighting alongside the good and the great, but it was background noise to Spike’s realisation, because for the first time, he actually believed it.
“Yeah, I can stop it,” he said again, firmly, cutting Giles off.
Slowly, almost reluctantly, Giles put his glasses back on and levelled his gaze at Spike. “It’s not that I don’t believe you,” he said, the tone of his voice almost confessional. “I admit, a time-travelling ally is… frankly, it’s a wonderful thought. But you have to understand that the Spike of our time, and my experience of vampires in general, is…” he trailed off with a gesture, as though words failed him.
Spike gave him a small smirk. “You ever read anything about me to suggest I’m one to follow the crowd?”
“Well, no. But neither do you have a soul.”
Spike waved that off as a minor irritation after his revelation. And besides, Buffy had all but admitted he didn’t need one, not for the important stuff, and that was all that really counted. “No,” he said. “Got something better.”
Giles really did look bewildered now. Poor bloke. “What?”
“Love, mate,” Spike said with a small smile. “Love.”
There was a searching pause before Giles said, quietly, “I see what Buffy meant, now. You are quite changed.”
That was… warming. Obviously he couldn’t just let it stand. “You gonna remember that once you’re dealing with Spike-Lite again?” he needled.
“I daresay I shan’t,” Giles said, but it was disappointingly without rancour. Fine. Whatever. Let the warm fuzzies flow. Spike sat back, enjoying a feeling of wellbeing he hadn’t experienced since first setting his sights on Sunnydale all those years ago. A feeling of direction, of purpose, and of confidence. Quietly exultant, he finally took a sip of his tea. And vamped out in horror as his tongue tried to curl up and die.
“You son of a bitch! I said no sugar!”
Giles’s smirk disappeared behind the rim of his own mug.
Harmony’s smirk lingered in Spike’s vision long after she’d gone, like some kind of demented, aggressively pink Cheshire Cat. The infuriating tart had come over to the mansion just to torment him, it seemed, with her insistence that him being taken bloody prisoner was some bloody elaborate sex game and her bloody refusal to go get him the means to bloody escape! ARGH! And to top it all off, she’d sat in his lap with her gravity-defying assets right in his face (corsets coming back into fashion had been an unexpected but very welcome turn of events) and stayed there just bloody long enough that he’d started to get absorbed in a nice little bit of make-believe about being taken as a sex slave by a horny and domineering Slayer when she’d caught sight of her glittery little watch, squealed something about karate class, and high-tailed it out of there, leaving him with nothing but a sultry au revoir, a raging hard-on, and some very confused feelings about his id.
The sex slave bit totally would’ve ended with his escape and victory over the Slayer, mind you. Yeah. She definitely seemed the type to forget herself and let all her juicy, blood-ripened parts near his fangs while in the grip of passion. Girl was so tightly wound, when she finally went, she’d go hard, and it’d be the work of a moment to bite her somewhere pulsating, and drain her dry while she was busy thrashing around and moaning his name.
Thank god so-called-future-Spike had left him enough length in his chains to get his hands into his trousers, or the days would be even longer. And where was that do-gooding arsehole these days, anyway? He seemed to be spending more and more time away from his pathetic little headquarters, often just coming home long enough to toss Spike some blood, booze, and a change of clothes, before falling asleep on the couch. And then last night he hadn’t even come home at all, and Spike had had to rely on the coolbox rations, which most egregiously did not contain any liquor.
Then again, his dickless counterpart staying away wasn’t all bad. The tit had, judging by the bitter, aggravating scent that clung to him whenever he returned, been spending his evenings with the slayer, which was both infuriating and mystifying, and not a little bit worrying. Spike had been clinging to the hope that his future self was in fact playing some sort of long game and at any moment, the wanker would turn on the slayer, either killing her, or -- even better -- disabling her just enough that Spike himself could do the honours of drinking her dry. He'd spent many of his days here in confinement pleasurably imagining possible scenarios for said treachery, but it had been... how many days? He'd lost count. But in any case, so many days that Spike himself would have long since abandoned such a boring plan and started a rumpus. Either his future self really had had his balls removed, or he had somehow been enspelled into being entirely unlike himself, a sad state of affairs that Spike could only pity. Not having to face that for hour after hour was a relief -- a meagre one, because he was still bloody well chained up, but a relief nonetheless.
And well, all right, he also despised the bastard, and occasionally laughed at his comeuppance -- by now Spike was sure that future-him was in fact from an alternate universe and not his own, so mockery held no irony -- but pity was in there too. Mocking, hate-fuelled pity.
Perhaps he was holding off for the sake of Willow. Spike had wondered the first few nights why the twat hadn't been coming home covered in his future lover's scent, but then he'd remembered that the bloke had been muttering about not changing the future, and so of course he wouldn't want to bollocks up his future lay. Willow was a bit twitchy, as he recalled; wouldn't do to spook the girl before she was well in hand.
Still horny, and casting around for a scenario that didn’t involve… anyone with blonde hair... he tried to imagine what Willow would be like as a lover. He'd not spent much time with her, of course; his ill-fated alliance with the slayer had not involved her groupies, and so they'd only really interacted when he'd borrowed her to help get back Drusilla. She'd been attractive enough, he supposed -- that pink and lilac ensemble had been fetching as fuck, and he'd have enjoyed killing her, if she hadn't been so potentially useful -- but she didn't really seem like his type for the long haul. Still, if he wanted to understand his enemy, perhaps it behooved him to try and get into his head. Which, well, ostensibly it was his own head he was getting into, so it shouldn't be too difficult.
He closed his eyes.
He remembered crying on her fuzzy shoulder, blood pumping through her jugular just inches away, and that was an enticing enough memory that he started there, nuzzling into that sweet warmth.
I haven't had a woman in weeks, he murmured into her skin.
In his vision, Willow arched into his lips coyly. You can have me, she said. But first you have to get me the things I need. For the spell.
Spike imagined himself heading off to the slayer's house, and he got to mock Angel for a bit, which in his vision went on a fair bit longer than it had in reality, with a good dozen more clever insults, and some playful mock-threatening of Joyce.
You touch her and I'll chop your head off! Angel whined.
Yeah, you and what army? Spike scoffed.
That would be me.
The slayer took him by the throat, bending him back over the kitchen island, warm belly pressed right up against him, pert breasts heaving -- Spike groaned and unzipped his jeans at the thought -- and he ground his erection into her softness as Angel looked on furiously through the invisible barrier of the doorway. (Joyce had conveniently vanished -- he was a monster, but he wasn’t that kind of monster.)
Buffy's eyes were hot and furious, gazing down at Spike, and he gave her his most evil grin, because he could smell it, that she wanted him, and her hand tightened on his throat and then she wrestled him down to the ground, straddling his hips.
Angel why don't you just... stand there and watch.
The slayer ripped off her shirt.
Spike didn’t waste any time filling his hands and then his mouth with her detestable breasts; the slayer clutched at his back helplessly as he feasted, humping him desperately, as if she’d never had anything as good as Spike before -- which he knew for a fact she hadn’t, because Angel -- and as Angel roared in impotent rage, Spike ripped the slayer’s clothes to shreds, until she was naked atop him, her hands scrabbling frantically at his trousers.
What's your hurry? he purred, nibbling on her throat.
She freed his cock, stroking it feverishly as she slid down his body. My hurry is my intense desire to get you out of my life, she said, sucking him deep for a moment, giving him a farewell lick on the way out. You tend to cause trouble. And she arched back up, golden hair damp with sweat, and impaled herself on him.
She rose and fell above him like a Valkyrie riding to battle, clawing at his chest, and when Spike felt she’d had enough time in charge, he flipped her over, hooking an elbow under her knee and fucking her like he knew she’d always wanted, hard and deep. Her eyes glared hate up at him.
I violently dislike you, she hissed, and then screamed as she came. Spike kept going, because he bloody well could, and she soon took command again, her hands on his throat as she rode him some more.
Angel was still watching, of course -- though he’d fallen silent, because Spike could only take so much of his infuriating voice -- and in Spike’s fantasy they were suddenly right in front of the door, and then Angel knelt down as if in supplication, just outside the barrier, and Buffy reared up, still fucking Spike like an animal, and staked Angel right through his pathetic heart, his dust blowing over them as they rolled and bit and snarled and fucked, and as Spike felt his release coming, he sank his fangs in and drank deep, pumping his essence into her as he sucked hers out, until she was all full of him, and he of her, all of her, all his, and oh god, Spike! she gasped with her last breath, and in the real world Spike jolted and came into his hand, grunting with the force of his release.
He hastily added on an epilogue to his fantasy, in which he went back to the factory and did Willow right proper. She was a fireball, she was. Red hair. Mmmm.
Mmmm, yes. That felt good. After untold aeons in the catacombs beneath this tacky, modern establishment, The Book finally felt the touch of daylight on its cover once more, the caress of dust-free air, the tantalizing whisper of magic. The walls practically radiated with the scent of barely-post-pubescent musk, a potent mixture of hormones, alcohol, and lust that The Book felt certain could be taken advantage of. And reality crackled with the magical potential of All Hallow’s Eve, building as the sun made its way across the sky and the dark grew ever nearer. Oh yes, this was a fortuitous re-awakening indeed. The Book was pleased.
It was easy work to send its will through the young male who had procured The Book from its prison, whispering its plan in the dark recesses of his mind. Draw the symbol. Make it an offering. Bring my master forth. For this was The Book’s sole purpose, and it would not be thwarted again.
The Book quivered in delight as its pentagram took form, each stroke of the brush bringing its designs closer to being. And better still, two more young males entered the room in which Destiny would be Awakened -- The Book rubbed its pages together in anticipation. Which to choose, which to choose…
Ah, yes. That one. The Book saw power, raw and untamed, thrumming untapped just beneath the veneer of humanity.
There really was nothing better to feed a ravenous hell portal than yummy, yummy werewolf blood.