It is dark with fires burning all around the alley of the battle Spike was last seen in. Bodies of demons of all sorts lay round as Spike is laying on the ground face-up bloody and bruised from the long battle. He is not quite dead yet but is barely conscious out of any energy to carry on the fight. Standing ten feet away are two demons talking about what they are going to do with Spike.
Dioxin: Let’s finish him off and dust him now.
Shlareth: No, that is too quick of death for him. We should make him suffer for thinking he could take on the Black Thorn.
Dioxin: What exactly do you have in mind for our hero?
Shlareth: Oh I have the perfect plan for revenge...
Buffy is living a normal life in Rome or as normal as it gets for Slayers. She spends her time during the day in the Slayer school training the new Slayers who are discovered and brought in from all over the world. It was her dedication to her work which caused the end of her relationship with The Immortal. Also contributing to their doom was the never ending dreams or nightmares about Spike which would creep into her system at least twice a week. Dreams or nightmares which she would call out his name as she would awaken from her sleep still happen to her even though it has been so long since she last saw him. But as she wakes up she tries to ignore it and gets ready for her day of teaching Slayers of all ages and backgrounds. She walks into her office in the Slayer school and calmly asks her assistant Jamie if she has any messages.
Buffy: Anything new to report.
Jamie: Same ole same ole.
Buffy: Right no apocalypses today.
Jamie: None so far but it is still early its only 9 o’clock.
Buffy walks into a gym full of Slayers which acts as her classroom as she imparts knowledge of all the times she saved the world and how her training has helped her. The Slayers are in awe of the stories she is telling. After a long session Buffy tells them all to take a lunch break. Buffy returns to her office and takes a seat at her desk tired of what is almost becoming the same old routine. She teaches the Slayers all she knows then sends them to Giles for the second part of their training which takes place in the afternoons. Suddenly Jamie comes in with a message.
Jamie: This just came in from LA something about a vampire on a rampage and is piling a nice lil body count.
Buffy: (half-listening) How many we talking here.
Jamie: About three dozen mostly women and a lot of them young too.
Buffy: Well just send some newbie to check it out and report back to us.
Jamie: How bout Karen she has been itching for some action.
Buffy: (getting up) Fine whatever tell me if she has gotten anything worthwhile.
Buffy leaves to the kitchen to get something to eat. Semi-retirement has her bored as she no longer goes on patrol. She leaves that for the other Slayers to do. She only fights in battles where it is the end of the world type of thing which only a few has come up in the past year or so. Fighting only when she feels it is needed and her experience with preventing the many apocalypses she has encountered over her years as the Slayer will come in handy.
Several days have passed and Buffy repeats the same routine but with some slight differences so she knows the days aren’t repeating like the mummy hand incident. Buffy is sitting alone in her office going over a list of Slayers who will be arriving in a few days when Jamie walks in.
Jamie: Still no word from Karen.
Buffy: (sighs) She had better not be partying in LA she knows that work comes first.
Jamie: What do you want me to do about it?
Buffy: (now standing) I should have never sent a newbie to LA it was only a matter of time before something like this was gonna happen.
Jamie: Not her fault, she probably took care of the vampire and went to check out the club scene there.
Buffy: Look I am going to set her straight once she gets back here. I mean when I was the Slayer as in the only Slayer I always knew that work came first. (under her breath) I just knew how to get away with it better.
Jamie: What was that?
Buffy: Uh…nothing. I’ll get a Vet to bring her back here. Who’s around?
Jamie: Rona just got back in this morning everyone else is out on assignment.
Buffy: Alright I’ll go have a talk with her.
Buffy is sleeping and has a nightmare where she dreams she is fighting Spike but not as herself as she would often dream but through the eyes of the first Slayer Spike killed. She is staring at Spike as she is just the spectator in the fight between the Chinese Slayer and Spike. Finally the fight reaches its climax and the Slayer dies. Buffy wakes up in a panic not realizing what just happened. The next day Buffy is anxiously awaiting a phone call from Rona so she can tear into Karen. She sent Rona to bring back Karen and to find out what happened to the vampire. Buffy is sitting in a meeting room which is used to hand out assignments to Slayers. Buffy’s cell phone rings.
Buffy: Rona is that you put Karen on the line so I can give her the scolding of a lifetime.
Rona: Fraid I can’t do that Buffy. I just found her― she’s dead.
Buffy: (horrified) What!
Rona: Looks like she has been dead awhile and whoever did this had his way with her. He must have tortured her before he killed her. She’s a mess Buffy.
Buffy: What could have done this to her?
Rona: I don’t know must have been that vampire (inspects Karen’s pockets) I found something, a note. (reads it) It says “Slayer #3 Courtesy, William the Bloody” (crumbles the note) wait that name sounds familiar isn’t that…
Buffy: No it’s not him (shakes uncontrollably) it can’t be him.
Rona: (angry) I don’t know who it is but I swear I will kill him.
Buffy: Don’t! (calms herself) I mean we need to gather some more intel because we don’t know exactly what we are dealing with.
Rona: I don’t care! He killed a Slayer…
Buffy: Look we don’t go carrying out revenge…we don’t work that way.
Rona: You don’t maybe but I…
Buffy: Please listen to me just calm down and see what else you can find out and don’t go after him until we know for sure who is doing this…that’s an order.
Rona: Fine…whatever you say but don’t talk to me like I’m a newbie I can take care of myself.
Buffy: (stands) Ok then, call me if you find out anything.
Suddenly it her that name “William the Bloody” only one vampire went by that name― Spike. She sits back down unable to comprehend what has just happened. Some vampire was able to take out a Slayer and is calling himself “William the Bloody” this just doesn’t make sense she thought. Spike is gone so it can’t be him but why would another vampire kill in the name of someone else. Earlier she had read through the stories of bodies turning up in LA of all the people killed who were all tortured to death and had bite marks on their necks. The papers called it some sick serial killer. But Buffy was still unable to think clearly decides that she needs to do some research on Spike’s past to see if she can learn anything new.
Jamie: Something happen, did you get a call from Rona yet.
Buffy: (choked up) Yeah Karen is dead.
Jamie: Oh my God how did this happen.
Buffy: Vampire got her, the one she was looking for. I need you to send someone to pick her up and bring her back. Cuz I need Rona to keep looking for this vampire.
Jamie: Right. Right away. Going as we speak.
Buffy: Not moving.
Jamie: Oh sorry (leaves).
Buffy: (to herself) I can't think right now. I need to get the Hell out of here.
Buffy is walking home and decides that she needs help to relax a bit so she walks into the first bar she sees. She walks up to the counter and takes a seat. There are people scattered around the bar mostly people sitting and having idle conversations. She orders a drink from the bartender.
Bartender: What can I get you young lady?
Bartender: You sure that is mighty strong for a lil ole girl such as yourself.
Buffy: Just leave the bottle willya.
Bartender: Sure you’re the boss (places a bottle in front of her and a shot glass).
Buffy: (removes the spout and proceeds to drink straight from the bottle) Ahh…better.
Behind Buffy are two demons wearing trench coats and hats sitting at a table talking and having a good time. Buffy now bored listens to their conversation after something catches her attention.
Demon 1: …Yeah I still think you should have taken that job at Wolfram & Hart.
Demon 2: I would have but too much corruption even for me to deal with.
Demon 1: Didn’t they say they were going to transfer you to their LA branch.
Demon 2: That’s what they said but I heard too many stories about that place especially with that psycho running the joint.
Demon 1: Yeah who the Hell did he think he was going up against the Black Thorn as if he could make a dent in them and live to tell about it?
Demon 2: I didn’t know having a soul would let you grow another pair you know what I mean.
Demon 1: I know I have enough pairs as it is.
Demon 2: They got what was coming to them besides I gotta go the smell of humans is making me sick.
Demon 1: Fine but you’re paying this time.
The demons get up to leave and as they pass Buffy one says something that has her thinking.
Demon 2: …and to think he went down with his old partner in crime…
Back in Buffy’s apartment she is getting ready to go to sleep. She lifts the covers for her bed and crawls in. She reaches under her mountain of pillows and reveals Mr. Gordo dressed in a leather duster reminiscent of the one Spike used to wear. She gives him a squeeze as she goes to sleep. A new nightmare for Buffy begins as she is fighting Spike in the eyes of Nikki Wood. She is helpless as she watches the fight go back and forth until Spike finally snaps her neck. Again she wakes this time her hands firmly clenched around Mr. Gordo. She drops him onto the bed as she gets up deciding that she can’t get anymore sleep tonight.
Outside Willow’s apartment building is Buffy who needs someone to talk to. Plus she knew that she could always come to Willow. Willow like Buffy was in semi-retirement only helping out when needed. She only stayed in Rome because Buffy wanted her there in case of the end of the world scenario. She stays with Kennedy who works at the Slayer training school when an extra Slayer was needed. Buffy calls Willow’s phone.
Buffy: It’s me Will do you think we can talk.
Willow: Now as in now…now uh I guess so. Can it wait until tomorrow?
Buffy: I didn’t wake you did I?
Willow: No, not at all you would be surprised what good movies are on this late at night.
Buffy: Great I’m coming over.
Buffy two minutes later shows up at Willows apartment door and knocks.
Willow: That was fast.
Buffy: Kinda in the neighborhood.
Willow: Come in…
Buffy: (she walks in and waves to Kennedy) Hiya there. Uhm do you think that me and Willow can talk privately it’s kinda personal.
Kennedy: Sure just bring her back in one piece now (walks away).
Buffy: (sits on the couch) Will something has come up and I’m not sure what to do.
Willow: (sits next to Buffy) What is it this time demons of the flying kind…cuz those were a real pain in the ass last time…
Buffy: No nothing like that it is a vampire.
Willow: Well that’s definitely new and scary never seen one of those before.
Buffy: Totally not the same. This one has left a trail of three dozen people that we know of so far including a Slayer.
Willow: Oh…just one vampire though.
Buffy: Yeah but for some strange reason this one is going by the name “William the Bloody”.
Willow: Sure that’s original I mean why I don’t steal a name like “Sabrina”. I mean didn’t he have that name trademarked.
Buffy: Don’t think so, plus I never heard of any vampire killing in the name of some other vampire.
Willow: At least we know it’s not the original, because Spike is dead (Buffy glaring at Willow)…or I mean he’s in a better place.
Buffy: Yeah but this one is killing just like the old Spike because back when he was trying to kill me he would taunt me telling me how he would torture people before he killed them. This vampire must have known Spike before because he is copying him down to every last detail.
Willow: Some kind of copycat maybe.
Buffy: Something like that plus there is all of this other stuff going on. I overheard these two demons talking about Wolfram & Hart and Angel getting himself into trouble against the Black Thorn. But something else they said really got to me they said his old partner in crime came back.
Willow: You mean when he was evil, could they mean Drusilla they were part of the gruesome foursome. But why would she help Angel now I mean she wasn’t always on the sanity wagon.
Buffy: No, Drusilla is a complete loon and there is no way she would help Angel do any good. But the only person who would help Angel would have to be…Spike.
Willow: You of all people should know that he gave his life to close the Hellmouth. You were last one to see him down there (Buffy looks hurt) you never told me what actually happened down there.
For Buffy talking about Spike was a tough subject and has never said his name out loud since Sunnydale. Her constant dreams and nightmares about him were nothing compared to Buffy reliving their last moment in the Hellmouth together. Nothing hurt her more thinking about Spike than the last things they said to each other “I love you” “No you don’t, but thanks for saying it”. Buffy would never tell anyone what happened down there because it was too painful even now.
Buffy: Uh…nothing…nothing just uh do you think you can come by and help with serious research mode.
Willow: Sure no problemo but do you think I can maybe get some sleep now.
Buffy: I’d better go but thanks Will…
Willow: Hey what are best buds for.
Buffy returns home to her apartment opens the door and turns on the light and sees Dawn standing there with a glass of water and one hand on her hip.
Dawn: And where have you been sneaking out in the middle of the night. I went to get a glass of water and looked in your room and saw you weren’t there…so what’s his name…
Buffy: What no…no guy I just couldn’t sleep and needed to go for a walk. Since when do I have to sneak out or ask for your permission?
Dawn: That’s all. You just couldn’t sleep.
Buffy: No, that’s not completely true…
Dawn: Aha so it is guy then.
Buffy: No not exactly it’s a vampire.
Dawn: Another one, Buffy you have issues. Serious I need a vampire in my life issues.
Buffy: Nothing like that, it’s about Spike.
Dawn: What do you mean?
Buffy: There’s some vampire in LA calling himself “William the Bloody” and is on a killing spree.
Dawn: That’s was Spike’s name before back when he was evil. I don’t get it why does someone want to call himself that.
Buffy: It’s not just the name he is killing just like Spike used to and I don’t know what to think.
Dawn: This is so weird this is the first time we’ve said his name since we left Sunnydale Buffy. It was like he never existed...like he never sacrificed himself to close the Hellmouth.
Buffy: (closing her eyes unable to speak) It’s not like that it’s just…I better get some sleep (walks past Dawn to her room).
Buffy walks into her office in the morning ready to get down to research about “William the Bloody”. She puts her things down and walks out of her office and sees Willow.
Buffy: I didn’t expect to see you this early.
Willow: You know me nothing like research to get the juices flowing…I mean the neurons firing.
Buffy: Thanks Will I gotta talk to Giles.
Buffy walks down to the gym where Giles is teaching basic training to the Slayers when she walks in.
Giles: (to the slayers) Yes, why don’t you all take a breather? (to Buffy) Yes Buffy is there something wrong?
Buffy: I need to know if you ever heard of any vampires who steal another one’s identity or kills in the name of someone else.
Giles: Well in all my research the closest thing I have ever encountered to that would be this clan of vampires in 1600’s. This group of about seven vampires all assumed the same name, clothes, and nearly everything else as their leader. They all claimed one name and killed under that name. From my understanding they all committed suicide once their leader died thirty years after they formed. May I inquire to the reason for this knowledge?
Buffy: You sure that’s it no other cases.
Giles: None that I know of. Again I ask?
Buffy: Someone in LA is calling himself “William the Bloody” and I want to know why.
Giles: I see…and this struck a nerve with you I’d imagine.
Buffy: (angry) Look can you just help out with the research. I already got Willow helping out and I just…
Giles: Ok Buffy as soon as I finish up here I’ll come up.
Buffy walks back to the meeting room where she sees Willow and then notices Dawn trying to hide behind a book.
Buffy: What exactly are you doing here and don’t tell me you are doing research because I can see that.
Dawn: Today is a school holiday that is only celebrated in Europe. It’s called bring your sister to work day.
Buffy: I believe that just like I believe “my dog ate my homework” we don’t even have a dog.
Dawn: This is about Spike or somebody pretending to be him or the him he used to be. I need to be here. I wanna help.
Buffy: Fine but once this is over…
Dawn: Back to school got it.
Buffy: (Giles walks in) So what have you got so far.
Willow: Nothing much about vampires copying other vampires except this one case in the 1600’s about this group of…
Giles: Right I am well aware of that and have already told Buffy about it.
Willow: Way to steal my thunder and hello to you too Giles.
Suddenly Buffy’s cell phone rings and it’s Rona on the line. She answers the phone.
Buffy: Rona what have you got.
Rona: I know who has been doing this and it’s― Spike.
Buffy: (shocked) What!
Rona: Look this vampire is a total Spike freak he has got the same bleached hair and the same leather jacket as Spike. He evens smokes cigarettes just like Spike. I didn’t get a look at his face though I just saw him walking away from another victim. The sun was about to rise and I lost him.
Buffy: Are you sure it was Spike?
Rona: I don’t know if it was Spike or just someone looking like him but from the back it sure looked like Spike to me.
Buffy: Uh just see what else you can find out ok gotta go (hangs up).
Willow: Did she just say― Spike? As in “William the Bloody” Spike.
Dawn: Spike is he…
Giles: This must be some sort of mistake.
Buffy: I’m heading to LA. I have to see this for myself.
Giles: I don’t think that is entirely wise. We still don’t know who we are dealing with.
Buffy: You don’t understand whoever this vampire is he’s good and I have to stop him because he’s already killed one Slayer. Willow I need you to check on this Black Thorn and Dawn I need you to check what happened at Wolfram & Hart and Giles I need you to check on any more vampire copycats.
Dawn: Got it.
Willow: Uhm Ok.
Giles: I totally disagree with this course of action…we should…
Buffy: I’m not asking Giles (walks out).
Buffy arrives at Rona’s hotel room the next day and notices that the door is unlocked as she enters. It’s nighttime in LA and she cautiously turns on the lights and has a quick look around. She finds no one in sight so she decides to clean up a bit after her long flight from Europe. After cleaning up she walks out of the bathroom and sees Rona entering stake in hand and jumps at the sight of Buffy.
Rona: Whoa there, what are you doing here? I saw the lights on and I knew that they keep the light on for you but not after you checked in. I just thought that you were maybe… nevermind, again what are you doing here, and I have everything under control.
Buffy: Why was the door unlocked I could have been God knows what and gotten in here.
Rona: I leave it unlocked because I always forget where I put my key besides I’m a big girl now and a Slayer.
Buffy: Being a Slayer doesn’t give you permission to be reckless. Just tell me what else you’ve found out.
Rona: Are you here because you needed to hear this in person or are you looking over my shoulder again?
Buffy: Look I’m just here…
Rona: This Spike guy has left two more corpses since we last talked and I haven’t seen him since. I found a couple of demon bars and someone calling himself “William the Bloody” is saying he’s back and loving it.
Buffy: Some vampire calling himself…
Rona: No, this vampire is saying he is the original “William the Bloody” not some copycat or wannabe.
Buffy: Kay we need to split up in the morning and see what else we can dig up. I’m going to give Willow a call to see what they’ve come up with.
Buffy gives a call back to Willow in Europe.
Willow: Yeah Buffy uhm we’ve don’t have much at the moment but here’s what we got so far. This group the Black Thorn from what I can tell is a group of very powerful demons not much else is known about them. Dawn was able to find a connection between Wolfram & Hart and the Black Thorn. It seems that Angel and a group of people took them on and pissed off a whole lot of demons. Giles wasn’t able to dig up anymore instances of copycat vampires in recent history. Buffy hold on a sec Giles wants to talk to you (Buffy hangs up).
Buffy: So from what they can tell so far there is some connection between Wolfram & Hart and this Black Thorn group. We just got to find out what the deal is with this vampire pretending to be Spike.
Rona: Maybe this vampire has a Spike fetish wouldn’t be the only person I know with one.
Buffy: (glaring at Rona) Totally not the same and we’ll go out at sunrise but I need some rest. From now on I’m in charge and we do things my way.
Rona: (under her breath) Wouldn’t be the first time…
Buffy: (walking to the only bed) What was that?
Rona: Nothing and on my bed. I was here first, I called it.
Buffy: (lying down) Just get some rest I’m too tired to argue.
Buffy is asleep and Rona is lying uncomfortably on the floor tossing and turning. She sits up angrily and looks at Buffy.
Rona: (getting up) Fine while you are on my nice comfy bed sleeping I gotta vampire who needs dusting (walks out).
Buffy has another dream but this time it’s about the Slayer Karen who just died. The dream puts Buffy in the eyes of Karen who is following Spike through a dark abandoned warehouse. There are desks scattered around and tall columns filling the warehouse. Karen is stalking Spike about thirty feet away and there is scattered bits of moonlight shining through the broken windows of the warehouse. Spike is walking smoking a cigarette when suddenly he stops dead in his tracks as he catches a scent that is familiar to him. Karen watches him stop and runs and ducks behind a desk for cover. Spike smiles as he recognizes the scent and drops his cigarette. Karen waits a few moments and peeks around the desk and finds Spike gone. Looking around she doesn’t see him so she gets up and slowly pulls out her stake and walks toward the spot he was last seen. She looks down at the cigarette puzzled then she looks up and Spike drops down on her from a beam from the ceiling and knocks the stake out of her hand.
William: Funny thing about Slayers you all smell the same like newborn kittens who are just begging to be eaten.
Karen: I’m here to stop you!
William: (smiles) So were the other two Slayers I’ve killed. So where are your manners Slayer do you have a name or shall I call you Slayer number three. But before you tell me I’ll tell you mine…I am William the Bloody a name that has been forgotten too long but will be feared again.
Karen: You’ve killed two Slayers before?…well I have been trained by the best and I’m gonna…
William: Doesn’t matter whose trained you…you’ve all fell at my hands. Your blood is boiling as we speak and I look forward to tasting it (lunges at her).
This is a tough battle between Karen and Spike but with Spikes knowledge and experience fighting Slayers he has the upper hand most of the battle and is able to counter almost everything that Karen throws at him. Suddenly Karen does a leg sweep and catches Spike off guard and Spike lands on the floor. Karen pulls out her back-up stake and aims for Spikes chest. Spike crosses his arms and blocks it and smiles knowing that was her last move in her bag of tricks. He grabs hold of her wrists and wrestles the stake from her and proceeds to savagely beat her. She is lying on the floor barely conscious and barely breathing and barely alive.
William: Now is where the fun truly begins…do you know how much I can drink from you and you would still be alive. Now scream for me Slayer number three.
He picks her up and holds her up with his right arm as she is limp unable to fight back. Spike sinks his teeth into her neck but she doesn’t scream so he uses his free hand to break her arm. She finally lets out the scream he was looking for and he’s in total bliss. He has his way with her until she lets out her final scream and Karen is dead. He drops her and lets out a big laugh as the blood drips from his mouth.
William: Someone must like me up there (looks up) or maybe not. But three Slayers in one lifetime I must be lucky. How did I ever get so lucky? I must commemorate this occasion and leave a note for the world to see. (writes a note and places it in her pocket) The world will forever remember that the great William the Bloody has bested three Slayers.
Buffy wakes up from her nightmare panting and shaking. It really is Spike who is back but he must have lost his mind again she thinks to herself. Spike thinks he’s still William the Bloody. He died the day he got his soul back. But now he’s back here in LA killing after closing the Hellmouth. This is too much for Buffy to take in right now. She walks to the bathroom and splashes water on her face and looks in the mirror wondering what all this means. Buffy walks out the bathroom and calls out for Rona.
Buffy: Get up Rona I just had this dream and uh (notices she gone) damn it Rona what are you thinking are you trying to get yourself killed. (picks up her phone and calls Willow) Will I need you to do a locater spell and find Rona.
Willow: You’re talking about some serious long distance mojo here Buffy. I mean I’ve never done one so far away before and I…
Willow: Alright, alright I’ll call you once I’ve got something.
Continued in part 2...Guess Who?...