Blood and Dust by Blackoberst


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Remember me? ("There been executions")
Remember me? ("I have no remorse")
Remember me? ("I'm high, power!")
Remember me? ("I drop bombs like Hiroshima")
Eminem “ Remember me?
*Sunnydale, CA*
Spike hated this fucking town. This place, with the Slayer attached to it, was where everything had gone to hell in a handbasket for him and his beloved sire.
Well, at least she used to be beloved. It had taken more than two years of trying to track her and her precious ‘Daddy’ through the world’s underbelly, but he could safely say he was over the bitch. Considering there was a theory one gets over a heartbreak after half the time of the relationship, two years meant he got off cheap.
Dru had high-tailed it out of Sunnydale as soon as the Master’s bones were ground to powder. She had taken the brooding git, Angel, with her. She hadn’t stopped until she’d reached a wish-granting demon in Africa, where she’d gone in and performed the trials herself before she was granted her heart’s desire: soul-less Angelus was back and in an even crappier mood than ever before. He’d spent the following months on a bloody rampage”emphasis on bloody”the likes of which only legends alluded to. Spike had tried his best throughout the whole fucked-up thing to get Dru to see him as her knight again. Despite her threats, and how she’d left, he hoped he could win her back.
She all but pushed him out in the sun for his trouble. Well, no, since she’d tried to do even that at some point. Angelus got in on the game of ‘kick-the-Spike’ as soon as they’d left the Sunnydale city limits, but he’d only gotten physical about it after the soul was gone. Spike had been overwhelmed by the tag-team of Angelus and Dru. They’d tortured him for a couple of weeks, then released him to join in on the killing. He’d tried his best to be the ruthless member of the group of old, but his heart just wasn’t in it anymore.
In the end, he had enough.
Enough of the slaughter, enough of the sounds of Angelus and Dru fucking like rabbits every single night, enough of the big git lording over him, and enough of her blaming Spike over and over again for everything that ever went wrong in their fucking dysfunctional family.
So he’d left, barely restraining himself from burning down the temporary digs Angelus had secured for them. He still didn’t know if leaving them un-dusted had been the right call. Ah, well, nothing like eternity to rectify that if need be. They’d won the battle because he hadn’t expected Dru to attack him. He would never make that mistake again. In fact, he’d probably start off by killing her first. Maybe next time.
Meanwhile he found himself”after some mindless wandering about”back in the little burg where Dru and Angelus had been reunited.
Brilliant. Maybe he should take up holy water showers while he was at it.
Still, it couldn’t hurt to pay his respects to the Slayer while he was in her neck of the woods. Maybe this time he’d off the chit instead of helping her make sure his great-whatever wasn’t resurrected.
God only knew he owed the bitch. Time for some payback.
*
“Well, this sucks balls.” Spike popped a cigarette in his mouth and lit up while contemplating the charred husk of the former Sunnydale High. He wondered how the place got like that. Probably something to do with the Hellmouth under the building, but the details eluded him. Since he was plum out of ideas about where to find either the Slayer or her watcher, he’d to go back to the tried and true methods of going to the nearest demon bar.
*
It didn’t take long for Spike to remember his previous visit to the dive, so as soon as he stepped in, he indulged in a little role-play and re-enacted his entrance. The results were more than encouraging. He’d found one of the more peaceful demons”Clem”who’d brought him up to speed on the last couple of years on the Hellmouth.
Some bugger almost opening a giant rock and sucking the world into hell, an almost-complete ascension, and countless other misadventures. Sounded like the fun never stopped. Clem even knew where the Slayer lived, but insisted she’d moved into one of the dorms, since she was a freshman in College. Which in itself was a bit of a mystery, since most demons steered clear of the college campus. There were some ninja-wannabees killing and capturing demons left and right, and they seemed to be based on that campus.
This of course meant they were between Spike and his prey. It was a mistake Spike intended to make them pay dearly for.
It would take some information gathering, getting minions on his side, and research, but just imagine the luck: Spike had nothing better to do at the moment, so he could go all in. Maybe he’d claim the title of Master of Sunnydale while he was at it. The Hellmouth might turn out to be fun.
~~~***~~~
*Spike’s lair in the caves just outside Sunnyale*
Being the Master was not as fun as he’d imagined. Even getting the job wasn’t as bloody as Spike would have liked. There were only a couple of demon challengers, and the two vampires with the most minions were two blondes who had basically thrown themselves at his feet an offered themselves as concubines.
Not that he was looking, but maybe a bit of mindless fun with Sunday and Harmony would do him some good. They certainly seemed enthusiastic enough.
Unfortunately that’s where the entertaining bits ended. The rest was a bunch of wankers scared out of their wits, but still trying to pretend they were tough. It wasn’t even the Slayer they were most afraid of, despite the way they told stories of her exploits. They were scared of a bunch of humans hiding in the shadows, making demons disappear.
It wasn’t only the vampires, either. As soon as Spike took the mantle of Master, there was a queue of all sorts of paranormal denizens at his door, waiting in line to tell him their woes, which mostly boiled down to ‘we’re missing so-and-so, please find him or her and stop whatever’s going on.’
It was almost enough to drive a poor vamp round the bend.
He needed to get out of the bloody lair”if only to get away from all the unicorns and turned frat boys”and he knew just where he wanted to go to.
~~~***~~~
*First bloody cemetery on the left, Sunnydale*
It wasn’t his usual MO, but he did have it in him to be patient from time to time. His first instinct had been to go to the Bronze, the be-all, end-all of teen clubs in town, but his current high profile meant he’d probably be accosted by any number of supplicants wanting this and that. Which is why he had been waiting in the some random cemetery for three hours straight. During that time he’d been so bored out of his mind he even did something he never thought he’d do. He acted like the actual town’s Master and staked a vampire that refused to swear his allegiance. Okay, so he hadn’t asked for the other guy’s acknowledgement, and he hadn’t given him much of a chance to run away, either, but at least he’d managed to distract himself from the tedious sitting around waiting for…
There was movement behind a mausoleum. He used every bit of stealth he had to go take a closer look. He almost wished he didn’t. A team of three Special-Ops looking guys were busy trying to incapacitate a Fyarl with Tazers. Spike cursed to himself. He’d wanted to get a whiff of the Slayer, maybe fit in a quick fight to the death, but the Powers that Be Wankers wouldn’t let him catch a break.
So it would have to be work, not play tonight.
The Fyarl tried to barrel over one of the humans in a desperate attempt to escape. Spike used the chance and knocked one of the demon hunters out. He then dragged him away as fast as he could, while still remaining undetected. By the time his victim’s buddies started yelling for their comrade it was already too late for them to find him.
Spike would at least get some answers about what was going on, even if his first choice of entertainment was a no-show.
~~~***~~~
*Spike’s lair, still in the caves, a couple of days later*
The US Army, calling themselves something as stupid as The Initiative. Of course they were the ones behind the commandoes and kidnappings of demons. From what the meat-sack told him, Spike was willing to bet his collection of Sex Pistols vinyls that it all came back to whatever Angel managed to get to the Americans from that Nazi sub back in the day.
It was just his luck to end up paying for the Great Git’s mistakes even after decades. And to think he’d come to Sunnyhell to get away from his Grand-sire and everything about him. Well, God laughs when man makes plans, or something along those lines. And the things they were doing to demons… It was bad enough to make his stomach churn. Dismembering, vivisection, torture disguised as experimentation, and, worst of all, ‘behavioral modification.’ Which of course was code for ‘trying to turn vamps and demons into weapons for Uncle Sam.’ It needed to stop.
In the meantime, though, the newly turned Forrest was getting on Spike’s nerves. Ever since he’d heard about the Slayer from Harmony he was chomping at the bit to go after her.
Since he’d given up the information he’d had on the army base as soon as he woke up as a vampire, his usefulness had all but evaporated. Turned soldiers tended to either be fiercely loyal to their sires, or loose cannons that believed they were above their station. This Forrest bloke was definitely in the latter group. In fact, Spike had half a mind to let him roam free in the hope of seeing the Slayer dust him. That way he’d finally have eyes on her with a nice little bonus of getting rid of a potential troublemaker. The idea had merit.
Then again, with Spike’s luck of late, Forrest would probably be captured by his former mates and made to sing like a bird about the lair and the new Master in town. Okay, that settled that, the git was dust the next time he opened his big mouth to say anything about”
“Who’d’ve thought little Miss Buff was the Slayer? I’ll probably do Riley a favor if I drain her before he manages to drum up the courage to ask her out. If she’s all you say she is, she’s probably gonna be the death of him otherwise.” He sneered. “I’d rather have the pleasure to snuff out good old Dudley Do-Right instead.” He tried unsuccessfully to leer at Harmony, not that she could tell the difference.
Enough was enough. “Mate.” When Forrest turned towards him with a raised eyebrow, filled with contempt despite the fact he was still unable to even control his game-face, Spike sent a stake flying straight into his heart. Bloody full of themselves fledges.
Now to figure out how to best exploit the Initiative’s overconfidence against them.
*
In the end, the best he could come up with was a ‘Trojan horse’ approach. Of course, that meant a whole bunch of vamps and demons working together for the greater good. There was no way any of this could come to a happy end, but it was the best shot. Of course, convincing said vamps and demons wouldn’t be easy, but he had nothing but time on his hands, with the quarantine he’d imposed around the Sunnydale campus in full force.
God, he hated being the sensible one. The thought brought him short. When exactly had he been the sensible one? He should just barge in there, challenge the Slayer to a good, old-fashioned fight to the death, and be done with the whole of it.
Except he wouldn’t. Despite his best efforts the demon population here in Sunnyhell had grown on him. There were even a couple of the good for nothing gits he could be persuaded to call mates. Which meant going at it in an ‘all or nothing’ suicide mission would bugger up their chances.
“Master, I found something you should see.”
Dalton looked as excited as he’d ever seen him, so it must have been something big. Maybe he’d finally found that back entrance he was looking for.
“If this text is right, then we might just locate it.” Dalton pointed to a pile of papers that looked about ready to crumble into dust.
“Find what? The tunnel I asked you to look for? That better be it, or I don’t know what I’ll do to you.” The threat was empty, since Spike had a soft spot for the bookish vampire who reminded him of his human days.
“This is so much better, Master.” He picked up one of the papers and waved it around. “This text mentions the Gem of Amara. And furthermore, it says it’s buried right here, on the Hellmouth.”
Spike burst out laughing. “Only you could believe that fairytale.” He made a dismissive gesture. “Next you’re going to tell me there’s Arthur’s sword stuck in some rock down there too.”
“Well, Sir, the thing is a couple of years back there was a ‘sword stuck in a stone’ situation. The stone itself, of course, was Acathla, and there was a demon who tried to pry it out in order to bring about the Apocalypse.”
Spike stopped laughing and stared at Dalton. “You’re taking the piss.”
“The demon in question even got so far as to kill the other Slayer”Kendra I believe her name was”before Miss Buffy used her own sword to cut him in pieces.”
“Ouch. That sounds bloody painful. Shame I missed it.”
“It was… yes… So you see, Sir, in this town…”
“Yea, I get it. Everything’s possible on the Hellmouth.” He sighed and sat down at Dalton’s table. “Now run this by me again.”
A new plan was forming. Better, faster, and cleverer. It might just work, too.

Remember Me? lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management US, LLC


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