Summary: Spike is prepared to die in the battle behind the Hyperion Hotel. But someone else decides to send him back in time ...
A/N: Thanks to everyone at buffyforums.net, Elysian Fields and Seasonal Spuffy who inspired and encouraged me to start writing this story. A very special and heartfelt thanks to my fantastic betas Stoney and GoSpuffy. I couldn`t have done it without you. If there is anything good at all about this story it is owed to you. All remaining mistakes are mine.
Disclaimer: All belongs to JW and ME.
Those days are all gone now
but one thing's still true
When I look and I find,
I still love you
Queen - These Are The Days Of Our Lives -
"Let’s go to work," Angel said. The rain was pouring down heavily in the dark alley behind the Hyperion Hotel. Demons were approaching out of the night, dozens of them, maybe hundreds, howling and gnashing their teeth. A dragon was swooping down on them, his roar drowning out the battle cries of the other creatures the Senior Partners had thrown at them. Spike wiped his face. It was still covered in the blood of the brethren he had slain earlier that night. He drew his sword and stepped closer. Spike had always known he would go down fighting and this would at least be a memorable fight.
He soon lost track of time. Had he been fighting for hours already? Or had only moments passed? Angel had attacked the dragon and in the thick of the fight and the darkness of the night he had soon vanished out of Spike’s sight. Charlie had stayed on his left side for some time but was eventually pushed away, towards the back wall of the Hyperion by at least a dozen vampires. Spike had tried to get to him, had tried to fight his way through bunches of demons. Most of them were of a species he’d never encountered or even heard of before. He slashed out and swirled his sword until the muscles in his arms screamed in pain. He chopped off heads and limbs of demons to his right and his left. It was a freaking carnival of carnage. But by the time he got through to Charlie there was just a limp body lying on the ground, drenched in blood. No heartbeat. ‘Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?’ Spike couldn’t help these words coming to his mind. When he turned around, his gaze fell on Illyria who was kneeling beside a demon. Her right hand was pressed firmly against its chest. A blue light was swirling around her right arm, coming directly from the demon's body. ‘She’s draining its power’, Spike realized, only seconds before Illyria rose. She walked towards him with an unreadable, strange expression on her face. She made a flippant movement with her right hand, grabbed him at the shoulders and pushed.
Spike fell. For a moment he was completely at a loss. What had just happened? Had Illyria gone mad? Well she hasn’t been sane from a human point of view in the first place. But still–she had at least been an ally, maybe even a friend. Then Spike hit the ground with a thud and his head bumped hard against the wall behind him.
He was still in the alley. It was still dark. But the demons were gone.
Just like that a horde of demons had disappeared into thin blue air, taking Illyria with them. Or maybe she had been taking them with her? Leaving this dimension with them and doing humankind a favor. Ridding planet Earth of a demonic threat of an apocalyptic nature.
And the rain had stopped as well. Spike looked around, grabbed his sword and pulled himself to his feet. He tried to find some mark to orientate himself by in the darkness, but the massive shadow that had been the Hyperion Hotel was miraculously gone as well.
Suddenly he heard someone calling out his name. The voice was familiar, but he could not place it immediately. He turned around and noted a man with glasses and in a brown leather jacket standing before him. A man he had last seen about a year ago, when they were not speaking to each other anymore but nevertheless were entering the Sunnydale High school together prepared for battle. A battle they didn’t know if they would make it out of. Spike hadn’t. Well, not really. Not corporeally.
"Rupert?" was all he managed to get out. Then he caught sight of a second man, who was standing directly behind the watcher. It was the man who had called out his name and whose voice had rung a bell in his memory although he hadn’t immediately recognized it.
Harris in a sort of an army coat with a gun in his hands. A cold hand gripped Spikes unbeating heart.
Harris who was looking at him with suspicion, bordering on hostility. A look, Spike had not seen from him for a long time. But what was sending chills down his spine now, was the fact that Harris was looking at him with two hazel brown eyes. Both completely unscathed.
Spike stumbled back and almost fell against a garbage bin. He looked around again and for the first time he realized that he was not in the alley behind the Hyperion Hotel at all. Yet the surroundings were still creepily familiar.
"What are you doing here?" Giles asked. Spike’s mind went blank. He just stood and stared at Giles and even though he faintly noticed that Harris was talking to him again, his words registered belatedly.
"... psycho killer too," Harris finished as Spike struggled to come to his senses.
"What the bloody hell is going on here?" he finally spluttered. Giles shot him a look that was half surprised, half - could it be - concerned?
"Are you sure you are all right, Spike?"
Spike looked at him, then letting go of all pretenses turned around to the wall behind him and shouted out desperately, "Illyria. Illyria, you bitch. Come back and get me out of here!"
Giles and Xander exchanged looks. Giles even more concerned, Xander amused.
"I am asking you again. Spike, are you sure everything is all right?"
Spike turned back, feeling desperate now and ... hopeless in a terrifying way. "Rupert, for the sake of ... whatever. What date is it?"
Giles frowned and watched Spike cautiously, "Why, it is February the 25th."
‘What year?' Spike thought frantically, ‘What year?' Yet he bit his tongue. There was no point in spilling the beans to Giles and Harris, who, of all people, wouldn’t believe a word he’d say.
Giles shot a glance back at Xander. "Maybe we should take him to his crypt?"
‘My crypt?' Spike was nearly choking. They couldn’t be talking about the crypt in Restfield Cemetery, could they?
Xander shook his head, "We haven’t got the time to take care of Spike, Giles. We have bigger fish to fry. Faith is a loose cannon."
‘Faith?' Spike vaguely remembered that he had once called the dark Slayer a loose cannon himself. Had that been the same conversation? He struggled again to get a grip on himself.
When had that happened? Obviously Faith wasn’t a loose cannon anymore. Not when she came to Sunnydale to help them fight the bugger that called itself The First Evil.
Dawn had once upon a time filled him in about what had happened when Faith first came to Sunnydale. She tried to become friends with the Scoobies but finally fell out with Buffy over whether or not to dust Angel and after that teamed up with the Mayor. But Spike hadn’t been in Sunnydale that year, except for his flying visit as a drunken and lovesick nitwit.
"This Faith" he began cautiously, "what’s the deal with her? What’s she up to?"
"Rogue Slayer, about yea tall," –Xander gestured with his hands at shoulder height, "dark hair criminally insane ..."
Spike stared at him incomprehendingly at first and then a memory stirred from deep within his mind. She had woken up from a coma. The infamous body swap had happened back then. Buffy had told him about it. First, as a tale from wartimes on one or two of the long nights, they had been patrolling the cemeteries of Sunnydale together. That was the warrior stuff. How she stabbed Faith with a knife in the guts during a desperate fight. How Faith had been in a coma for almost a year. How, when she woke up Faith had tricked Buffy by using dark magic and how Buffy had been mistakenly arrested by the Council’s wet team while she was trapped in Faith’s body.
Later, during one of those last two nights in the basement at Revello Drive, she had told him the other stuff as well. How Faith had gone to look for Riley and how Riley had completely failed to recognize something was off about her. They had sex, probably all kind of hot and kinky sex, given Faith’s tastes. Buffy had been devastated when she found out. But everybody was feeling sorry for Riley, the innocent farm boy from Iowa who in no way could have had a chance against the dark magic Faith had used. Who simply could not have known or guessed he was making love to Buffy’s body but not to Buffy. No one considered that the innocent farm boy from Iowa was a trained demon fighter and had dealt with something very similar to a body swap when Giles had been turned into a Fyarl demon only a couple of weeks before. Everybody pitied Riley, who had not, at least not knowingly, consented to have sex with Faith in Buffy’s body and had thus been raped.
Buffy had seen the truth in that and had shoved her own feelings of having been used, having been raped, by her own boyfriend’s body no less, under the rug. There was no doubt that Riley had not been doing it knowingly. He believed he was making love to his girlfriend. However, her body had been used whithout her consent and she felt betrayed too. She had moved on despite her hurt feelings and against her better judgment.
That had turned out to be a mistake of the major kind because when she had walked into a dim lit room in a vampire brothel those swept-under-the-carpet feelings of betrayal and anger had come flooding back leaving her helpless and emotionally gutted. Spike suddenly felt sick, remembering, that it had been himself who had led her there, knowing full well, what she would encounter.
"Spike? Spike, are you still with us?" Xander’s voice pulled Spike back into the present–well, if it was it the present–and he tried to focus on the two men standing before him.
Giles–bless his pitch black watcher’s heart–was looking even more concerned than before and Xander was looking even more suspicious. Spike quickly gauged the chances that Harris would get out a stake and dust him here and now.
"I haven’t seen her and I don’t know anything about her," he finally conceded.
"Useless as ever. How come I am not surprised?" Xander lowered his gun and nodded towards Giles. "Let’s get going. We have already wasted more than enough of our time with the walking undead here."
It was funny how the hostility in Harris’ voice cut into Spike, but he choose to ignore it for now. There were more important things to be considered. Giles shrugged his shoulders, turned away and a moment later they were both gone.
Spike leaned against the wall and slowly slid down against it until he was sitting on the ground, his knees drawn close to his chest and his arms wrapped around them. He closed his eyes.
What had Illyria done to him? And why? Why had she done it? Was there a way, to get back to the alley? Charlie was gone, but he had abandoned Angel and he had left L.A. exposed to a demon army. Not really the work of a champion, if you’d come to think about it.
There was no use in trying to get back from here. The portal, if Illyria had opened one, had been closed again. There was no sign or trace left of it.
Tired as he was, his thoughts randomly began to wander back to the past. He himself had also met Faith back in the old days. Faith in Buffy’s body of course. They crossed each other’s path at the Bronze and he shuddered, thinking how close they had been to making out together right there and then. He tried to remember what Buffy had told him exactly about how Faith had pulled off the body swap. She had fought her at her mum’s house. Faith had waited there for her. She had gotten to Revello Drive before Buffy and she had taken Joyce hostage ...
Spike snapped back to reality, got to his feet and started to run.
Chapter end notes:
Some dialogue taken from the AtS epsiode Not Fade Away and the BtVS epsiode This Year`s Girl.
Title and some lines taken from the song These Are the Days of Our Lives by my favorite rock band Queen. If you want to listen to the song, you can find it here:
Spike is quoting Lady Macbeth to himself. “Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.” Macbeth, Act V, Scene I by William Shakespeare.