The Man He was Meant to Be by Behind Blue Eyes
Summary: It is said, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”. Does this hold true for Buffy and Spike, even after ten years? Has all this time apart changed them so much that they are unable to fit into one another’s lives, or have they changed just enough to finally meet on the common ground of mutual respect?

Post "Not Fade Away"
Categories: General Fics Characters: None
Genres: Action, Romance
Warnings: Adult Language, Sexual Situations, Violence
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 2 Completed: No Word count: 2653 Read: 2923 Published: 05/30/2014 Updated: 06/04/2014
Story Notes:
Hello gentle readers. Long time no write! I've been having a major writer's block lately. So when this story came to me I decided to go with it, in hopes that writing at least something will get the creative juices flowing and I'm able to finish up another story, Fallen.

1. Chapter 1 by Behind Blue Eyes

2. Chapter 2 by Behind Blue Eyes

Chapter 1 by Behind Blue Eyes
Author's Notes:
Now, I’ve completely disregarded the comics. I don’t read them and what little I do know about them, I will let you know there will be no zompires, spaceships nor giant cockroaches, and definitely no space sex with Angel.

This can be read as a sequel to “Revelation”. BUT it is not necessary to read “Revelation” to understand this story. (Though I’d love for you to read and let me know your thoughts.)

As always, many thanks to my amazing beta, Sanityfair. Love ya lady!
“No matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim,

there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away.”

~Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore






“Bloody. Hell.” Spike winced. Every inch of his body felt it had been ripped apart and sewn back together by a blind man. With his feet. Eyes closed, he reached out with his other senses. He was met by the earthy smell of dirt and decay and the siren song of a steady heartbeat. With a painful turn of his head, he ventured a look toward the owner of this enticing rhythm.

“Hey.”

Standing several feet away by a small fire, was the last person in the world he thought he would ever see again. “Buffy?”

“Yeah, sleepyhead. I was wondering when you were gonna get up.”

“Buffy?” Spike stared owlishly, unable to wrap his head around that of all people, she was actually there.

“Yes, silly.” She walked over to where he was lying and crouched down. He wanted to reach out and touch her. All he managed were a few finger wiggles.

“Now, don’t move. Just rest and you’ll be right as rain in no time.”

Spike narrowed his eyes. Something felt off. It looked like Buffy, even the voice sounded like hers, yet his gut was telling him not to trust what he was seeing. Even with the immense pain of each shallow breath rubbing broken ribs together, he inhaled deeply, filling his lungs. Letting out a ragged sigh, he closed his eyes.

“You’re not her. Are you—”

When he looked over again, Illyria was staring at him.

“Blue.”

“Don’t you find her form pleasing?” Illyria cocked her head to the side as if she was studying a struggling bug pinned to a spreading board.

“Now there’s a loaded question. How do you know about her? Buffy?”

“Fred’s memories. After she found out Angel would not return her affections because he loved another, Fred needed to know more of this…Slayer.” Illyria stood, looking down at Spike.

“Fred was once in love with Peaches? Why all these intelligent birds fancied Tall, Dark, and Brooding is a soddin’ mystery.” Spike slowly sat up and leaned against the cold stone wall. The ratty blanket covering him pooled to his lap.

“Care to tell me why I’m starkers, Blue?” Spike raised a scarred brow.

“I tended to your wounds. Some were bleeding heavily and required sutures.”

“Ah.” Spike slowly raised his hand to his throbbing head, and in the process discovered an area of baldness. Moving his hand, he found more hairlessness mixed in with patches of tangled tufts of hair. He looked up, eyes wide.

“My hair! What the hell happened to my bloody hair?”

“The wound to your head was severe.”—Illyria watched him frantically feeling his head now with both hands—“For a creature with no reflection, the value you place on such a trivial notion as appearance is intemperate.”

“Listen here, Carly Simon, vain or not, you scalped me like a bleedin’ Indian!”—If possible, his eyes widened further—“You didn’t take liberties with other parts…”—Spike pulled away the blanket and looked down—“Oh, thank bloody Christ.”

“You had no injuries to your genitals. Nor do I have use or desire for such appendage, vampire.” Illyria eyed his lap in clear disgust.

“Right. Strictly business. Good.” Spike nodded and took in where they were. The cave was small. Just large enough to hold them, a battered cooler, and a small stack of fire wood. “And speaking of business…the others?”

“You know of my Wesley.”—Spike ignored her use of “my” and just nodded—“Gunn succumbed to his injuries shortly after you and Angel charged the demon horde.”

“And Angel?” Spike could feel deep down his grandsire was gone, but he needed confirmation.

“The dragon posed a great obstacle.” Illyria had a faraway look as she spoke. If Spike hadn’t known better, it resembled something akin to remorse.

“No surprise he went down in a blaze of glory. Bastard always played the martyr.” Spike stared into the fire. Though there was no love lost between them, he was going to miss his arse of a grandsire.

Neither spoke for some time. When the heavy silence was getting to be too much, Spike needed to move. Needed to do something. He tried pulling himself to standing, failing miserably each time. “Care to hand me my trousers?”

“You are in no position to leave.”—Illyria opened the cooler and pulled out clear plastic packet—“I understand your kind needs substance for recovery. Though I found the task menial, I procured human blood.”

“I don’t drink human anymore. Strictly Wilbur for me.” Spike eyed the blood, his fangs itching to break free.

“You do not wish to consume my offering?”
Spike instantly recognized Illyria’s stormy expression. He’d seen it enough. Old One or not, she was a woman or technically, her essence was in a woman’s body, and he knew entirely all too well ‘that look.’ She was pissed and at any moment the shit was gonna hit the proverbial fan. Better to take the blood.

“Actually, this time I’ll make an exception. Since you’ve gone to the trouble and all.”

Illyria carried the cooler over to Spike and he took out a packet. Calling forth his demon, he ripped into it with his fangs and guzzled it down. It was cold and thick, but he already felt it working. After his third, he closed the lid and shook off his ridges.

“So what’s next?” Spike shifted, feeling the extent of his newly mending bones.

“Vengeance.” Illyria remained near the fire; her eyes burning with the same intensity.

“That’s all well and good, but I wager I won’t be in any shape for fighting for at least a day or two…”

“This is not your fight, vampire.”

“Like bloody hell it isn’t!” Gathering all his strength, Spike stood. He barely held his ground as his legs shook and threatened to buckle under his weight.

“No, it is not. This is my retribution, mine and mine alone.” Illyria moved to stand toe-to-toe with Spike.

He felt her grief radiating off her in waves. Palpable, soul-wrenching grief. Without another word he understood with absolute clarity her needing to do this alone. She needed to find her way in a world where she was no longer a superior being, or a ruler with immense and ancient powers. A world where she was no longer able to annihilate her opponents with a mere thought. A world where she lost the only being she ever cared for, Wesley.

In all their time together, Spike never realized how much he and Illyria were alike.

With a nod, Spike lowered himself to the floor. The rest of their time together was spent in silence, until he drifted off to sleep. When he awoke, Illyria was gone.

Several nights later, belly full of blood and shaving off the rest of his hair with a dagger left by Illyria, as he had done two years before, Spike left a cave to start another chapter in his unlife. Alone.
End Notes:
Please take a moment to write down your thoughts. Thank you.
Chapter 2 by Behind Blue Eyes
Author's Notes:
Thank you for all those who took the time to read the beginning of my little fic. Many thanks to my beta, Sanityfair!
“Please, just kill me now.” Buffy rolled her eyes, her sarcastic plea loud in an otherwise quiet room.

“Buffy, you yourself claimed the Watcher’s Counsel never took the time to truly speak or listen to their charges. This is the perfect opportunity to genuinely open the lines of communication between Watchers and Slayers.” Giles leaned over slightly and lowered his voice, trying not to further disrupt the meeting in progress.

“I know, I know, but did you haveta pick this one?”—Eyes narrowing, Buffy glared at Giles—“Oh, now I get it. I’ve done something wrong and this is my punishment, isn’t it?” With a tilt of her head, Buffy gestured toward the presenter at the front of the room.

“The Vampyr walks amongst the shadows, committing evil under the cover of darkness. I myself have touched darkness, but the night wasn’t my only time for evil. Yet I’ve redeemed myself, fought against the evil lure of…um…evil. As I, there are others who’ve cast aside their villainous ways.”

For dramatic affect Andrew stopped pacing and pivoted to face the group of young Watchers. Straightening the lapels of his tweed jacket he continued, “Or more specifically one special Vampyr. One who against all odds, bravely fought for redemption and on the side of good. From your studies some of you know him as William the Bloody. Others, like myself, know him by a much virile moniker. Spike.”

Buffy grabbed the arms of her chair, the wood cracking under the pressure. Still after six years, small things like hearing his name, the smell of cigarettes and leather, even a Billy Idol song made her stomach lead-heavy and for days later she was lost to her thoughts and needed time alone. Each time it hurt a bit less. Day to day she was coping, not forgetting. Never forgetting.

“I had the distinct pleasure of working alongside this remarkable Vampyr. In Sunnydale, against The First Evil and then in Los Angeles, when argh—”

Before Andrew could get out another word, Buffy rushed him and had him by the throat. Only his toes left touching the floor.

“What. Did. You. Say?” Ever the Slayer in charge, she held him in place awaiting an answer.

Giles wasn’t too far behind when Buffy leapt from her chair and charged the front. Along the way he ordered the other Watchers to clear the room. Giles now stood off to the side, trying to keep calm despite Andrew sputtering for air.

“Buffy, is this completely necessary?”

“Giles, he saw Spike in LA! Alive! Well, not alive, but not a big pile of dust from the bottom of crater a-la-Sunnydale, and he never told me!” Buffy tightened her grip.

“I understand your anger Buffy, and it is completely justified. Clearly this was a gross miscalculation on Andrew’s part withholding invaluable information from you. However, I suggest if you want an answer before he’s rendered unconscious, it would be wise to let him breathe.”

Eying Andrew’s increasingly reddening face; Buffy heaved a resigned sigh and released him. Instantly he crumpled to the floor, wheezing and clutching his throat. She waited and watched him recover, his face returning to its normally pasty hue and his breaths slowing and leveling out.

“You okay?” Buffy crouched in front of Andrew.

“Yes,” Andrew squeaked, still holding his throat.

“Good. Now Andrew, I’m not the same Slayer I was back in Sunnydale. The hit first, ask questions, well, never type of gal.”—Buffy grabbed Andrew by his lapels and hauled him to his feet, roughly banging his back against the wall— “But I’m feeling a bit nostalgic, if you catch my drift. So I’m going to ask you again, when exactly did you see Spike in LA?”

“I swore allegiance to Spike’s plight and you are asking me to commit the ultimate betrayal. I can’t be the Captain Faro Argyus to this Republic.”

“Andrew.” Buffy’s tightening iron-grip and no-nonsense tone left little room for misunderstanding.

“Fine, I’ll talk! But know this confession was made under protest and severe duress.” Andrew squirmed, his feet slipping as he tried to gain footing.

“Dually noted, now spill.”

Andrew cleared his throat. His eyes took on a faraway look launching into storyteller mode. “Come along gentle listeners. Let me take you back to five years ago to the unforgiving, mean streets of LA. The stench of smog and desperation hung heavy in the night air…”

“Cut the crap, Andrew!” Buffy shook him slightly, bringing his attention back to her.

“What? I’m just trying to set the scene. All good stories start with a big opening scene. Just ask all the greats: Tarantino, Scorsese, Hitchcock.” Andrew winced as Buffy’s grip tightened further, her knuckles digging deeper into his chest.

“Andrew, setting the scene is not necessary, I assure you. Especially at this juncture, you may not make it to the opening credits.” Giles shook his head, his patience waning.

“Fine, steal away my thunder. Everyone now-a-days are such critics. Like I said, it was five years ago. During my first big undercover mission, when I infiltrated Wolfram and Hart’s evil stronghold to free our captive slayer Dana.” Buffy released Andrew. He slid down the wall and she stepped back.

Buffy remembered this as if it was yesterday. The Coven had given them information about a Slayer in LA who was locked away for years in a psych hospital. Buffy took personal interest in Dana, remembering her own experiences years before. Both real and otherwise. She couldn’t begin to fathom everything Dana must’ve gone through. Originally, she was going to retrieve Dana herself and give Angel a royal ass-kicking for joining up with the likes of Wolfram and Hart, but at the last minute she got called away and Giles sent Andrew instead.

It should’ve been me.

Buffy felt the instant pang of regret for not being the one to go to LA. Taking a deep breath, she refocused. Over the years she’d learned to accept that no amount of regret would change the past, but this didn’t mean she couldn’t change the future.

“Buffy, where are you going?” Giles called to her as she headed toward the door.

“I’m calling Willow. If anyone can tell me where Spike is, it’s her.”



~*~



“Okay, I’ll see you when you get in.”—Buffy paced the length of Giles’ office, her gaze shifting between him and the clock—“And Will, sorry about waking you. Totally spaced on the time difference. Bye.”

Buffy ended the call and dropped into the high-backed chair across the small mahogany table from Giles. “She’ll be on the next flight.”

Giles closed the lid of the teapot, leaving the tea leaves to steep, and then continued to set the table for afternoon tea. Buffy watched in amusement Giles’ compulsory need to keep his hands busy while he talked. Today a matching antique English tea set was the substitute for his glasses and handkerchief.

“Buffy, I know the possibility of Spike being alive is, well, is—”

“Overwhelming? Totally mind blowing?”

“I was going to say, unprecedented.” Giles set a plate of heart-shaped Linzer cookies in front of Buffy.

“Giles, I know your feelings about Spike. Back in Sunnydale…” She toyed with a cookie, breaking into pieces.

“Sunnydale was a long time ago, and I’ve had time to reflect on my choices to…”

“Dust Spike?” Buffy wiped the crumbs and raspberry jam from her hands then started on another cookie.

“Yes, that and many others made. Granted, at the time doing away with Spike seemed warranted, but after his ultimate sacrifice and the long process of earning back your trust, I feel as though this wasn’t one of my wisest decisions.” Giles poured them some tea.

“Looking back, I get why you did what you did. Not saying that I agree, but I get it. It’s just after all this time, I don’t know how I really feel about Spike being back. For so long I thought he was gone. Like gone, gone. Now the thought he may or may not be back, it’s a lot to take in. The only thing I am sure of is that I need to know for sure. After that, I don’t know. You know?” Buffy continued spooning heaps of sugar into her tea, stopping only when Giles covered the sugar bowl.

“Oddly enough, I do.” Giles patted Buffy’s hand, giving her a soft smile.
End Notes:
Small Side Note: Faro Argyus: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Faro_Argyus was “Captain of the Senate Commandos who was bribed by Count Dooku to free Viceroy Nute Gunray from Republic captivity.” I don’t follow Star Wars but after reading about this character I felt this would fit (if I’m wrong, tell me). Also, this character’s only appearance was on “Cloak of Darkness” and the voice was done by our one and only James Marsters!

Please take a brief moment to let me know your thoughts. (Especially about Andrew, another character I sadly don't write often) Thank you.
This story archived at https://spikeluver.com/SpuffyRealm/viewstory.php?sid=37381