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This was written for the Livejournal community seven_seasons.
The closer we get to Christmas, the slower my updates will be (you all know how it is) but I'm going to try for at least one chapter a week of each fic. Love 'Em and Leave 'Em will be finished soon, anyway. I hope you like this one!
Chapter 1 – Obsessive Intentions
“We've prevented the Master from freeing himself and opening the Mouth of Hell. That's not to say he's going to stop trying. I'd say the fun is just beginning,” Giles said dryly.
“More vampires?” Willow asked in disbelief as they all stopped walking.
“Not just vampires,” Giles said with a slight shake of his head. “The next threat we face may be something quite different.”
“I can hardly wait!” Buffy replied in a peppy voice, idly sucking on her lollipop.
“We're at the center of a mystical convergence here. We may, in fact, stand between the Earth and its total destruction,” Giles said, staring at the girl in front of him, unable to believe that the weight of the world rested on her young shoulders.
“Well, I gotta look on the bright side. Maybe I can still get kicked out of school,” she said in a hopeful tone, turning away from Giles, ignoring his reproachful look.
“Oh, yeah, that's a plan. ‘Cause lots of schools aren't on Hellmouths,” Xander said, walking as close to Buffy as he dared.
“Maybe you could blow something up,” Willow chipped in. “They're really strict about that.”
“I was thinking of a more subtle approach,” Buffy said thoughtfully. “You know, like excessive not studying.”
“The Earth is doomed,” Giles muttered, turning away from the group.
“Hey, what do you ladies say we Bronze it tonight?” Xander asked, turning around to walk backwards, clutching his backpack in his hands.
“Sounds good to me,” Buffy said, seeing Willow nod in return. “Maybe tonight there won’t be an evil vampire set upon ending the world. That was a real downer.”
* * * * *
“How goes the plan of excessive not studying?” Xander asked later that night, passing out drinks to the two girls at the table.
“Well, I’m here with my friends, living a fun life of doing absolutely nothing – I think it’s going pretty good,” Buffy said with a smile, taking a sip of her drink.
“Major bonus to relaxing – no vampires tonight,” Willow added.
“Yeah, I…” Buffy trailed off, frowning as a powerful feeling seemed to overwhelm her. She felt incapacitated as it swept over her, hating the twinge of fear that raced up and down her spine.
“Something wrong?” Willow asked, noticing how Buffy had immediately straightened, becoming a little more in tune with her surroundings.
“I… I don’t know,” she said, looking around the interior of the club. “There’s something… but I don’t even know what I’m feeling,” she admitted grudgingly, remembering Giles’ words to her.
“The point is, a Slayer should be able to see them anyway. Without looking, without thinking. Can you tell me if there's a vampire in this building?”
She felt it now. Something she’d never felt before, not even when she faced off with Lothos. “You guys… stay here,” Buffy murmured.
“Need help, Buffster?” Xander asked, already making a move to stand up.
“No!” she said, more forcefully than she intended. “No, just… just stay here.”
“Buffy, if it’s something you need help with-”
“What I need is for you to stay here,” she said, feeling as if someone was watching her as she stood up. “You’re safe…er,” she added as an afterthought, walking through the Bronze, trying to figure out the source of what she was feeling.
Wandering around the club for several minutes, Buffy soon grew tired of the cat and mouse game that she was playing with the unknown predator. Deciding to lure him out, she walked to the exit of the club and pushed the door open, letting it slam against the brick wall as the cooler air hit her face.
Leaning against the wall when the door closed behind her, Buffy waited until it opened again, sucking in a sharp breath when the overwhelming feeling swept over her again, causing her to clutch her stake more tightly in her hand, needing some form of security to hold on to.
Buffy could feel something approaching, watching the door intently as she waited.
Spinning around at the sound of the voice, Buffy’s breath caught in her throat when she saw the man behind her. “Do I look lost?” she retaliated, more than a little irritated that someone had managed to scare her.
“Staring at the door as if you could open it by sheer force of will, I’m guessing there’s something not quite right with that picture.”
“No, I’m not lost,” she said, her tone calming slightly. “And you are?”
“William,” he replied, appearing to be amused about something.
“William,” she repeated, noting that the name didn’t seem to fit who he was. “And what’s your nickname?” she asked, smiling when he looked at her with a raised eyebrow, trying not to notice the boyish good looks, contradicted by the scar that sliced through his eyebrow. The way he seemed to be focused solely on her.
“What makes you think I have a nickname?” he replied, taking a step toward her.
“I have a spidey sense about these things.”
Buffy watched as he slowly approached her, inhaling sharply when he pushed her into the wall behind her, his hands pressed to the wall on each side of her face, leaning in close. “Spike.”
The simple word seemed to roll off his tongue, slamming into Buffy’s gut like a ton of bricks. Giles’ lectures over the last couple of days, the books she’d been forced to read when hearing about the Harvest, the threats of a possible apocalypse if it came to pass…
“You’re him,” she whispered in disbelief, feeling paralyzed with fear.
“And who would he be?” Spike asked quietly, knowing exactly who she was talking about, enjoying watching her squirm.
“You’re the Master,” she choked out, wishing that she could do something to defend herself, wanting to always be on the offensive and not the low end of defense, especially in her current situation.
“Never much cared for titles,” he said with a smirk. “But feel free to call me Master anytime, love.”
“You’re wondering how I ended up free, are you?” he replied, never moving an inch, obviously enjoying the scent of fear that was practically radiating off of her.
“I think I covered that with the ‘how’,” she replied, getting a tiny amount of her bravado back as she looked up at him.
“Yeh… well… seems your rescue mission the other night didn’t work out the way you wanted. Which, in turn, worked out nicely for me,” he added with a smug smile.
“But… but I killed him,” she whispered, almost talking to herself, unable to wrap her mind around the fact that the most powerful vampire on record was standing with his hands inches from her throat and she wasn’t dead yet.
“Not before I was already free, Goldilocks,” Spike replied in a bored tone, idly running his tongue along his bottom lip as he studied her. “You know… I was going to add another Slayer to my collection tonight. Figured I may as well make it quick for you since you were so kind as to inadvertently free me from that underground prison.” Buffy trembled as she looked into the clear blue eyes, seeing nothing reflected in their depths as he slowly moved his hand over her hair. “But,” Spike continued, tilting his head to look at her. “I think it may be more fun to play with you a bit.”
“I don’t like games,” Buffy replied, surprised at the strength in her voice.
“Lucky for us,” he whispered, leaning in close until his lips were nearly brushing against hers. “There’s more at stake here than a simple game.”
Buffy swallowed, nearly closing her eyes when she felt him move even closer to her before he pushed away from the wall. Refocusing on her surroundings, she looked each way, searching for where he’d gone, becoming more disconcerted when she didn’t see a trace that could’ve proved he’d even been standing there.
As if he didn’t exist.
But she knew he did. The trembling was just beginning to set in as she took in a shaky breath, her chaotic thoughts giving her an instant headache as her stomach flipped in trepidation.
The Master was free. It was her fault. And now he’d set his sights on her.
This site is not affiliated with big scary corporations that could sue my pants off, I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer (though I desperately want Spike:) This site and its content is meant to entertain, not infringe:)