Distribution: Please ask (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dedication: To my Roswell chatroom buddies who suggested this pairing
Feedback: Yes, please.
Author's Note: One night in Roswell chat, someone got the bright idea that a Spike and Maria pairing would rock. Who was I argue? Two alternate endings: 3A (Spike) and 3B (Michael).
Maria knew something was up when she witnessed her mother putting laundry detergent in the fridge. "Mom!" she calls out. No response.
"Mom!" she rasps out more insistently. "Oh, hi, Maria," Amy answers absentmindedly. "Since when has SpotBGone become a perishable item?" Maria asks Amy.
Amy looks at the laundry detergent sitting on one of the shelves on the fridge and takes it out. "Sorry, honey, my mind’s been wandering today," she tells Maria. A pile of groceries is sitting on the kitchen counter and Amy wonders what other items she put in the fridge.
Amy shakes her head as if to clear it. "Listen, Maria, we need to talk," Amy halts and begins again. "Something happened today. Um, something unexpected."
"Your " father called. He’s in California, a place called Sunnydale. He wants to see you, Maria," Amy rushes out.
Maria’s heart leaps momentarily. "Daddy called?" A cold anger surfraces to replace her shock. "I don’t want to see him!" she grinds out.
"Maria, I ..." Amy tries to speak.
"Did you ask to see you, too?" Maria asks.
"Uh, no, he, um, just asked about you," Amy shakes her head, sounding saddened yet relieved.
"Then I don’t want to see him!" Maria adds.
Amy sits down on a chair. "Maria, I understand how you feel. I know he hasn’t exactly been here for you or me, and it’s been tough. But, as bad as you may feel about him and as corny as this may sound, he IS still your father. And I’d like to think that maybe you two could have some sort of relationship again. I don’t want you miss out on the possibility. I think you should go see him," Amy encourages her. "He’s sending a plane ticket for LA and a bus ticket to Sunnydale today," Amy adds.
"Where has the hell has he been anyway? And why does he think he can just pick up the phone and say "Hey, sorry I walked out on you and your Mom and missed the last 9 years of your life but I want to see you now so here’s a plane ticket!" Maria huffs.
"I don't know, Maria," her mother responds with a sad look. Amy's shoulders slump and her face drops, tired and overwhelmed by it all.
"Mom, I’m sorry," Maria draws near. "Maybe you want me and Daddy to ..." Maria breaks off, finding the words ‘me and Daddy’ coming out of her mouth too strange and painful. "Forget it, it’s just too late."
Amy says nothing, merely stares at Maria. At the sight of her mother's tired face and disappointed look, Maria sighs deeply. "You really think I should go, huh?" she asks her Mom.
Amy manages a small smile in reassurance. "You’ll always wonder what would have happened if you don’t."
Maria closes her eyes. "Fine, then, I’ll go. But I’m not promising anything." Maria resolves. "I know, honey." Amy comes over to give Maria a hug.
Maria runs to the Crashdown to tell Liz of her impending visit with her father. Liz concurs with her decision to go. Three days later, her plane ticket for Los Angeles and bus ticket to Sunnydale arrives. The flight and bus ride passed in a blur.
Despite her comments about not wanting to really see her Dad, all Maria could think about was ...What was he like now? Would he be the same tall, lanky man with the infectious smile and snappy wit? What would she say to him? What would he say? What would he think of her? Why did she even come?
The short taxi ride to her father’s hotel flew by even quicker. With her heart nervously pounding, she walks up to the hotel desk. "What do you mean, Anthony DeLuca hasn’t been here in over 3 days?" Maria is flabbergasted.
"We’ve been holding his mail and messages but he hasn’t shown up yet," the hotel clerk advises Maria. "Can I at least go to his room? Maybe he left a message there for me?" "Sorry, miss but hotel policy doesn’t allow that."
Policy, schmolicy! Maria thinks. That’s not going to stop me from seeing my Dad. Her previous experience of breaking into a hotel room comes to mind. Michael and her rummaging through the FBI agent’s motel room. She smiles at the memory, then pushes it aside.
She sneaks in to her father’s room by the way of a maid’s empty cart. Suits, shoes, ties, toiletries ... all were meticulously arranged. But aside from that, there was nothing, not a single thing that gave a clue to what happened to her dad. Even the trash was empty.
Out of the corner of her eye, Maria spots a fluffy white object lying inside the closet, propped up against a wall. She walks slowly towards it.
It was a stuffed dalmatian dog. "Oh, Daddy! You remembered." Tears well up in her eyes and she stoops down to grab the stuffed dog.
Maria fights to hold back the sudden flood of memories assaulting her. Her dalmatian puppy Prince jumping up on her, almost knocking her over, her father laughing as she frolicked on the living room with the dog. Her father joining her and Prince in a game of chase. Her father taking Prince out into the yard for a game of fetch when Maria finally became to exhausted to play.
She quickly flicks the tears away and grabs the Dalmatian toy. Wandering around the streets of Sunnydale in slow, plodding steps, she becomes lost in a haze of disbelief and depression at her father's no-show.
Night falls. Maria's steps are fast and snappy as anger replaces depression.
Turning at a corner, Maria's progress is halted as "Oooooooof!" she careens into a blonde male stranger. "Hey, watch where you’re going, shortie, or Spike’s gonna get nasty," the English-accent-bearing stranger snaps.
She turns to looks at him, an apology hovering on her lips. "I’m sorry!"
Maria squints her eyes then slightly shakes her head. "Wait. Spike? What kind of name is Spike?" she says in an I-can’t-believe-someone-would-name-themselves-Spike tone.
The blonde stranger gives her the once-over and responds, "Trust me, you don’t know want to know how I got it! And what, pray tell, is your name, shortie?"
"Definitely not something like Spike!" she mutters under her breath. Spike smiles and adds, "I think I'll call you Mildred."
"Maria! My name is Maria!"she declares to him.
"As in ‘I just kissed a girl named Maria’?" Spike asks.
"You wish," Maria responds.
"I don't know, shortie. You might like it," Spike taunts her.
She bristles at that and opens her mouth for a scathing retort but Spike interrupts, "Of course, my taste runs to brunettes," Spike scoffs.
"Puh-leeze, like anyone would want to kiss you! You look like you lost a battle with white paint!" Maria whirls around and starts walking the other direction.
Spike dogs her footsteps, relishing the taunts he hurls at her. Deciding not to waste time on the walking Dutch Boy ad, Maria keeps her silence. Barely. Her temper is simmering.
"What’s the matter, Mildred ... dog got your tongue?" he goads her.
She grits her teeth, trying to hold on to her temper.
"Hey, Mildred, I think your dog just mistook your blouse for a toilet and peed on it. Can’t say I blame him. Where do you get those shirts, love, TackysRUs?"
That's it, she decides, no one got away with insulting her clothes.
"Please ... I’m not the one wearing the long trenchcoat when it’s 100 degrees outside. Didn't someone tell you the X-Files refugee look is SO over? Get some new material, dude!"
Their words escalate. A short blonde full of attitude enters the picture.
"Feeling a bit chompy, Spike? Oh, wait, I forgot, you don’t have any chompers left. So, how’s life through the end of a straw?" the blonde Buffy directs a sweet, sarcastic smile at him. Spike glares at Buffy.
He looks past Buffy as he cackles to Maria, "I’ll get you, my pretty ... and your little dog, too."
"And you, blondie!" he addresses Buffy, "I’m looking forward to the day when the straw I’ll be sipping through is filled with you!" With that parting shot, Spike leaves.
Unable to decipher Spike and the blonde's cryptic comments, Maria just tells the newcomer, "Thanks!".
"No prob!" Buffy responds. "Don’t mind Spike, he’s ... delusional," she tells Maria.
"Or maybe he just had one too many blows to the head," Maria adds.
"Could be," Buffy smiles.
Maria takes her leave and starts walking back to the hotel. "Maybe I missed something in the hotel room, something that can tell me where Dad is," she thinks to herself.
She turns past a darkened, shadowy corner, still deep in thought. Out of the corner of her eye, she senses movement from the shadows. Suddenly, a stunning blow catches the back of her neck. Blackness overwhelms her and she collapses to the floor.
Maria wakes up groggily. She finds herself sitting up in a darkened tunnel, one that smelled remotely like a sewer. She tries to get up but notices her hands and feet are tied.
She tugs at them but they don’t give an inch. She glances around the room and notices two men slumped over. One of them looks suspiciously like Spike.
"Ah, Sleeping Beauty awakes," she hears. She turns and sees a hideous demon, something that looked a like cross between Marilyn Manson and a werewolf.
She prepares to scream but the demon holds a hand over her mouth. When he releases it seconds later, Maria gasps. "Oh My God, you’ve kidnapped me! No, wait, you’ve ... you've ... what’s the term for being taken by something like you?"
"Lucky," the demon claims. "You will be part of our becoming," the demon says cryptically.
"Becoming what? Uglier than you already are?" Maria bites back.
The demon ignores her comment and continues, "The time has come. You will be part of our sacrifice. Once the blood of three humans mix with ours, we will become all powerful." The demon smirks and leaves.
"Careful, shortie, you don’t want to make them mad," a now awake Spike pipes in.
"You! Figures I’d be stuck here with you!" Maria spits out.
"Yeah, you knew I couldn’t wait to get you all to myself!" he quips.
"Well, why don’t you do something? Help me out of these things!" she wails, as she presents her hands to him.. She notices that Spike has made fast work of the ties that bound him.
"I think I like you tied up this way, Mildred!" Spike smirks.
"Spike!" Maria shrieks in frustration. Spike merely smiles. "Alright, fine. Why don't you just make those, those things go away then?" she tells him.
"What do you suggest I do, flash them with my irresistible smile and charm them into letting us go?" he laughs.
"Oh, God, no, we’ll never get away from them that way!" she says cuttingly.
"I could always say "You've got the wrong species. I don't think it says, "Mix 2 parts human with 1 part vampire in the Becoming recipe," Spike says drolly.
"What? What are you talking about?" Maria blurts out, bewildered. Spike grins evilly and turns into vampire mode.
"Oh my God!," Maria cries out in shock. "This is not happening to me! I am not sitting here with a vampire. I am not having a conversation with a vampire. Especially one named Spike!" she wails.
"I hate to break this to you, shortie, but this isn’t one of those lame ‘It was only a dream’ things!" Spike cracks.
Maria thinks to herself, Why not? Why couldn't it be all a bad dream? She shakes her head as if to say, hey, if there were aliens in Roswell, why shouldn't there be vampires in Sunnydale?
A thought enters her mind.. "You’re not going to eat me are you? Because I’m anemic. Very anemic. Comes from years of sniffing cedar oil," Maria blabs.
"Eat you? I’m not a cannibal!" Spike retorts.
Maria feels relieved.
"Besides, you're not my type, Mildred!" he adds.
Indignation sets in. "Will you stop calling me that! My name is Maria!" she yells at him.
"Whatever you say ... Mildred!" he smiles. "God!" Maria rolls her eyes and then glares at him.
As words fly between her and Spike, a slight feeling of deja vu hits Maria. There is something familiar about the sarcastic banter bandied about, something familiar about Spike's cocky manner. He reminds her of someone. Someone with spiky brown hair and a bad attitude.
"Okay, enough of this!" Spike gets up to leave. "Wait, you can’t just leave me here!" she says.
"Why not?" Spike asks.
Maria looks up. "Because those ugly things might come back!" she argues.
"So?" he says nonchalantly.
"So, if I die, I’ll, I’ll come back as a ghost and haunt you forever. Or better yet, I’ll sic Buffy on you," Maria threatens.
"Oooooh, that just gives me chills! On second thought, I think I’ll stick around. I’ve always wanted to watch a Becoming," he smirks.
"Spike!" she yells out in frustration.
"What, Mildred?" he smirks.
"You can’t do this! You have to help me!" she pleads.
"I'd love too but ... can’t miss my nightly manicure! So ... toodle-loo!" Spike turns to leave.
"I knew you were a wuss!" Maria calls out.
"Cute, Mildred. But it’s not going to work. Ole Spike is above such things," he saunters off.
"Wanker!" she tries again.
Spike stops. "Now that wasn’t nice!" he responds.
Maria glares at him.
Grunts and howls emanate from the next section of the sewer.
"Today must be your lucky day, Mildred! Looks like the Slayer has arrived," he informs her.
More grunts and howls follow. "Someone’s getting their butt kicked," Spike notices.
"The Slayer?" Maria questions him.
"Yeah, your friend from earlier today. Tiny blonde, smart mouth, funny name, packs a wallop?" he explains.
"You mean Buffy?" she asks.
"Yeah, she’s kinda like you except you pack more of a whimper than a wallop." Spike mocks.
"Oh, I’ll show you a wallop!" Maria responds back.
A string of demons rush in from the adjacent room and heads for Maria. She frantically tries to get away, dragging her butt to a safe corner. "Liz is never going to believe this!" Alex would probably make some crack about her butt dragging on the floor, Maria thinks to herself
"Spike! Buffy!" she calls out for help as the bad imitations of an 'American Werewolf in London in drag' inch closer to her.
Spike also comes face to face with two demons. What the hell!" He shrugs, then clobbers one and ducks as another one flies at his face. The second demon catches him by shoulder and they wrestle on the floor, exchanging blows.
Buffy drop kicks an "ugly" then whirls around and takes a jarring punch to the face. She is winded but comes up swinging. Other demons circle her and she fights them one by one.
Maria desperately claws at the rope around her hands and feet. She sees a broken piece of glass on the floor and moves towards it. Grabbing it with her fingers, she turns the glass piece inwards, trying to cut the bonds on her hands. She manages to slice pieces of her skin in the process. Wincing a little but still concentrating on the task at hand, she manages to fray the bonds just enough to loosen them. She unties the ropes binding her feet together. Seeing one demon barreling towards her, Maria heads away from him.
Spike finally manages to get away from the demon he was wrestling with. He sees another demon advancing on Maria. Maria looks as white as a sheet with twin cheeks of red providing the only color on her face.
"Ah, hell!" Spike huffs out and cuts off the advance by slamming his head into his foe's belly. The force knocks the demon against an adjacent wall and he collapses. "Ole Ugly face gave me a headache," he remarks to Maria as he gets up.
Another demon takes Spike by surprise and clobbers him from the back. Spike goes down. Buffy also has her hands full of the resurgent demons.
The leader of the demon pack, the one who approached Maria earlie, comes straight at Maria. "You will still be part of my becoming!" he shouts.
Maria searches for a weapon, anything to hold him off. Her eyes alight on a broken piece of pipe nearby. Her hands scrabble the floor to get it.
"I got three words for you: No way, pally!" With that Maria swings the pipe at the leader’s head. A picture of Alex grinning and giving her a thumbs up sign flashes through her head.
The leader’s head snaps back from the blow but then rights itself. He smiles.
"Uh,oh, not good!" she thinks.
"You have spirit. That will make my becoming even more sweet," the demon laughs.
"Oh, yeah, let’s see how sweet this feels." She prepares to thwap him again but the demon manages to grab her wrists and take away her weapon.
"Now would be a good time to have powers," Maria thinks. A vision of a nice, big bear with nasty teeth and claws going after the head demon would be good. Or maybe a vision of vampires gang tackling him. Or having the ability to shapeshift into something like dirt. Or walking into Mr. Ugly’s mind and convince him to jump off a cliff.
Just then the demon makes a grab for Maria.