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Between Dreams and Reality by Irishrose
Rating “R” for Dark material. Alludes to rape, but no graphic material is contained.
Spoilers: BTVS early to mid-season 7
Distribution: It’s yours if you want, just let me know.
Disclaimer: All characters are property of the mighty Joss and ME.
NOTICE: This is a VERY dark fic. Premise: what would happen if the FE had the Bringers capture Buffy instead of Spike? Giles and the SiT’s have shown up a touch earlier. Spike’s trigger no longer exists. Picks up early to mid season 7 and goes AU from there.
A/N: Special thanks to Cat who Beta’d this fic for me! You were amazing and more patient than anyone I know.
PROLOGUE - Left Behind
Dawn was surveying the damage. The house was wrecked, again. There were girls everywhere babbling incoherently and crying. Xander was tending to Andrew, who’d been injured in the struggle with the Bringers. Giles, in all likelihood, had yet another concussion and Spike was still unconscious. Dawn knew that he wasn’t completely dead since hey, no dust, but that much blood loss *couldn’t* be good, even for a vampire. Willow and Giles managed to close the large wounds to his neck and abdomen with suture they’d stolen from the hospital, but he was still unconscious.
That wasn’t even the worst of it. The really creepy looking Turok-whatever vamp killed two of the Slayers-in-Training, before suddenly leaving with the rest of the Bringers in the middle of the battle. That was when they found Spike. That was also when they realized they couldn’t find Buffy. The Bringers had evidently taken Buffy and all but mortally wounded Spike. They were all nearly defenseless now. Without Willow’s magic, the Bringers could come in and pick them all off one by one until there were none left. Dawn slowly sank down next to the stairs and cried.
Buffy rattled against the chains. The no-eyes creepies left her alone once she awoke and found herself in her current predicament. She was chained to the floor, and barely able to move, in what was probably one of the many caves around Sunnydale.
She’d freed herself from this type of situation more than once before, though she seemed to be having difficulty now. She would manage escape again though. She needed to get back to the others and see what damage the Bringers had done. If the goons fought the others as they fought Spike, she wasn’t sure there would be much to get back to, but she needed to try.
They’d been ill prepared for the attack. Though Giles brought what was left of the Council with him, including the information on The First, it wasn’t enough. They had barely even begun training some of the girls before this attack.
“I trust you are comfortable?”
A voice called out through the cave. It was all too familiar, though she hadn’t heard it in years. The Master. The one she defeated not long after arriving in Sunnydale. This had to be The First.
“Sure, all I need now is a TV, and a soda, and I’m good,” Buffy said in a cheerful voice.
“Good to see you remain your usual witty self,” The First remarked. “We’ll see just how long that lasts, shall we?”
“You realize I’m going to get out of here right?” Buffy questioned. “I’ll be waving goodbye before you know it. Too bad my friends aren’t here to watch me stomp all over you. Well, figuratively speaking.”
“I think at the moment, you will find your friends have their hands more than full,” The First sneered. An interesting rendition with The Master’s toothy grin and red mouth.
“Then you won’t mind me getting back to help them,” Buffy said, giving the chains another jerk.
“You’ll find those chains don’t give very easily. I had my boys reinforce them with an old Tolo’thrian spell. Not infallible, but they should do the trick for now,” The First commented, seeming amused with itself.
“So, are you just lonely or are you holding on to me for a reason?” Buffy replied.
“Oh, I definitely have a reason, Slayer. You took away two of my most depraved warriors in this dimension and swayed them to the other side. I plan to get a little revenge,” The First said, with a look to Buffy that made her shudder.
“You know, if you’re going to be all big and evil, you might want to get your story right,” Buffy retorted. “I wasn’t responsible for Angel’s soul. Little band of gypsies in Romania did that I believe,” Buffy stated, as if contemplating the fact.
“Ah, but my dear, you are the one who gave him purpose. True, he wasn’t my brightest and bravest anymore, but at least he wasn’t around trying to lead some crusade against me. Now you’ve even managed to recruit Spike. I simply can’t let this sort of thing go unanswered you realize,” The First explained.
“Great, so you’re planning on boring me to death down here with your sob stories?” Buffy asked.
“You my dear, will be my challenge. We must, after all, balance the scales of good and evil, yes? I can’t have a strong Slayer and those two all running amok now can I? No, Slayer, *you* will be the price paid for those two souls. I will most certainly enjoy breaking you while my followers eliminate the Slayer line. You will be the last...and then you will be mine,” The First said in a matter-of-fact voice.
“You are dead wrong if you think I will ever be yours. I don’t care who you kill, or how much you beat me, I will *never* be yours,” Buffy spat at The First.
“Sweet child, who said anything about beating?” The First grinned at Buffy. “Yes, I imagine some of my followers will beat you. But you see child, I’ve been watching you for some time now. I know that being helpless and alone is your greatest fear. And since I can’t take your powers from you indefinitely, I’ll just have to resort to something else to break you,” The First said, shrugging one shoulder.
“I think you’ve seen one to many James Bond movies,” Buffy retorted, despite her growing panic.
The First gave a small laugh before continuing. “No, I had something much different in mind for you,” The First replied as a strange purple demon with horns protruding from it’s neck entered from an opening in the cave wall.
“Now, I’ll leave you two lovebirds alone. I’m sure you two can… entertain…yourselves while I’m gone,” He said. The realization dawned on Buffy’s face as The First vanished in his trademark flash of light.