Chapter One - Beginnings
TITLE: We Belong Part 1
DISCLAIMER: Buffy is the property of Joss Whedon while everything Dark Hunter belong to Sherilyn Kenyon.
SUMMARY: Glory’s appearance sends Ash on the road to Sunnydale.
Notes: I am assuming if you are reading this then you know whom the Dark Hunters are and will not go into too much detail.
Time line: Set Mid Season 5 for Buffy, just after Blood Ties but there will be some differences.
As for DH, it will have spoilers through Acheron but will be set a few weeks after Night Embrace.
Artemis awoke with a start. She had imagined it. That could be the only explanation. There was no possible way. Even as she was thinking it, she knew it was true.
Glorificus had found out how to get home.
Cursing, she jumped out the bed, flashing her clothes on as she did, before throwing the doors of her bedchamber open and going in search of Acheron.
“Are you okay?” Marlina her handmaiden jerked up when she saw her enter the hall.
“Do I look alright?” she snapped. “The piss has hit the fan.”
“Shit,” a tired voice came from behind her. “The saying is the shit has hit the fan.”
She whirled around, intent on chewing him a new one but the sight of him balancing on the balcony wearing nothing but leather pants astounded her.
“Leave us.” She glanced at Marlina who nodded before entering the nearest door and shutting it behind her.
When she had turned back, Acheron was looking back outside. Like most things, Glorificus slipped from her mind as she took in the beauty of him.
“Quit with the staring Artie, it’s getting old.” Acheron said without even looking at her.
She walked over trying her hardest to show him what she was offering. “You never bothered before!”
“You see something enough, you get bored of it.” He answered pointedly.
Her face screwed up. “Fine then, be that way.” She turned to walk away but his voice stopped her.
”I’m tired and I’m pissed Artemis. I am not in the mood for your games.” He sighed.
“Okay,” she stopped in her tracks and turned back around. “Glorificus has found out how to get back to her dimension.”
“What?” that got his attention.
“Those little hobbits of hers figured it out.” She answered as a chair appeared from nowhere and she proceeded to sit down and check her nails.
He stood and started pacing. All he had asked for was some peace but hell no, let’s screws with Acheron. It seems it’s what all the cool kids where doing right now.
“What are you going to do?” her voice stopped him.
“Me, why the hell should I be involved?”
“Do not take that tone with me.” She glared.
“You really want to play this game?” the room darkened as his eyes changed colour. The normal swirly silver transforming into a dark red.
“Okay…just find a way to fix it,” she answered hoping no one had sensed the change. “You’re the only one who can.”
The rest of his clothes appeared on his back as his eyes turned back. “What about the Key?”
Her silence put a chill through him. The look on her face said it all. “What did you do Artemis?” he raised his voice as he stalked over.
“Nothing personally.” She shrugged. “But the monks…they…the Key’s in Sunnydale.”
“Say that again?”
She nodded. “Idiots.”
“Your telling me, not only is the fucking Key in the same town as the bitch goddess. But the said town is Sunnydale, as in on top of a hellmouth Sunnydale?”
She nodded again. “Talk about sucking.”
“Stop with the panicking Artie,” he deadpanned. “It’s not as if we’re screwed.”
As he had figured, the expression on her face proved she hadn’t got his sarcasm. “Well we are screwed, if she does come back, you know what will happen.”
He rolled his eyes. Then a thought came to him. “Sunnydale…isn’t that where the slayer is?”
“One of them.” Her eyes clouded over.
His backpack appeared in his hand and he was about to flash out but she jumped up stopping him.
“You still owe me!“
He bit back a growl before turning to her. “I’ll come back when everything’s finished.“
“It’s not good enough.“ She pouted.
“We both know if she manages to do this, we are fucked. Not just the humans but everyone.“
She looked as if she was about to argue but she finally acquiesced.” I want you back as soon as you fix it.”
Biting back an answer, he disappeared.
“Don’t say bye then!” She sulked.
The said slayer was currently walking through one of Sunnydale’s many cemeteries, nearing the end of one of her nightly patrols.
By her side was her one time enemy and now confidante, William the Bloody more commonly known as Spike.
If anyone had told them this time last year that they would be inseparable, they would’ve had them committed.
One incident had changed all that.
She had been on a date with Riley. As usual, it had been yawn inducing and thankfully, they were on their way home. They were walking past Willy’s when a noise from the alley caught her attention.
Stake in hand, she ran into the dark with Riley tailing her. The sight she saw stopped her in her tracks. A group of vamps were attacking a human.
There was blood everywhere, there was no way whoever it was would survive after all that being taken out of their body. However, she would make sure their death hadn’t been in vain.
She rushed the group, throwing the nearest two for Riley to deal with when she saw a flash of white hair. For some reason, her heart started racing.
“Buffy they’re humans!” Riley yelled as he grabbed one.
She wasn’t listening. She flung the other two against the wall and knelt beside the body hoping against hope that it wasn’t him.
“Spike!” she gasped at the sight of him lying on the ground. His face had been demolished and he’d been stabbed at least ten times from the looks of the wounds.
“S…” He couldn’t get the rest out as his mouth was split open. He gave her a slight nod.
“Let’s get you home.” She put his arm around her and stumbled as she tried to get them both standing.
It was in that second that it came to her. She didn’t want him dead. She hadn’t for a while now. He was as sarcastic and annoying as he ever was but it was what made him what he was. And if anyone was gonna do the honors it would be her. And when she did, it would be a long time in the future, if ever.
“Thanks for that,” Riley frowned walking over. “Could’ve done with a hand.”
“Your still standing aren’t you?” she pushed past him, half carrying and half dragging the vampire, in no mood for his tantrums.
“And where do you think you’re going?” he followed her, not even asking if she needed any help.
“Taking him home, he’s in no state to do it himself.” She kept going.
She took a quick look at Spike now that they were out of the alley and wished she hadn’t. He was far worse than she thought. His eye was welled shut.
She finally managed to get him home with help from a very reluctant Riley.
She got him stripped and managed to clean his wounds before leaving him to sleep it off.
The next night, he came to say thanks, offered his help in fighting a Fyaryl demon and they had been a team ever since.
For the last few days, there had been something up with her though. Her usual banter wasn’t there and whenever he could, he’d steal a glance and it was obvious her body was here but her mind was elsewhere.
Even her dusting's had been straightforward and un-punly.
“Okay I give in.” He finally stopped and grabbed her hand.
“What’s wrong?” her head whipped up.
“Oh, you can talk then?” he spoke, as he moved them over to the nearest bench and sat them down.
With a sigh, she laid her head on his shoulder. “When did it get all shitty?” it was a statement rather than a question.
He didn’t answer, he couldn’t.
He just wished he could stop her hurting, but like so many others before her, it was something she had to do herself. She had to realize she wasn’t on her own in this, that she had others to help her.
For a change things seemed to be going fine with their lives. Joyce was recovering from her illness, Dawn was as safe as she could be. The witches were even talking about having a commitment ceremony.
He knew what she was thinking though. It could have easily gone the other way. Luckily, Buffy had got there in time when Joyce had her relapse. God knows what any of them would’ve done if they’d lost her. She wasn’t just Buffy and Bit’s mother, she was all of theirs. She had been more of a mum than his own had and he couldn’t and wouldn’t imagine life without her.
“I think I’m cursed.” Buffy’s voice came unexpectedly.
“How do you work that out?” he took his lighter and cigarettes out of his pocket.
“Think about it Angel, Riley, Mom, Dawn.” She looked up at him.
“It’s not a curse, its called life pet,” he put one in his mouth and lit it. “Shit happens, nothing can change that.” He took a drag. “The real challenge is how you cope.”
“When did you get so brainy?” she smiled.
“Always has been kitten, you just never noticed because you were always trying to bang my brains out.”
She laughed at the double meaning. “You wish. Can you imagine that, they were all bad enough when we became friends, it would be coffins for all if we started dating?”
“Would be worth it.” He grinned as she stood up, glad she was happy at least for the moment.
“Almost as funny as you dating Harmony.” She took a cheap shot.
“Hey,” he looked offended. “Like soldier boy was scientist of the year.”
“Okay truce.” She nodded, linking her arm with his.
He looked at his watch. “Right, let’s get you home to bed. You have college tomorrow.”
“That sounds about as good as Harmony moving in.” She frowned.
“You still having the dreams pet?” he started walking with her behind him.
He knew she was without having to ask. He stayed over nearly every night and more often that not, she would hear her tossing and turning.
Whatever it was, was enough to worry her which worried him but until she admitted it, there was nothing he could do.
She nodded. “We better get going,” she changed the subject. “I wanna say bye to Mom and Dawn before they leave for Arlene’s.”
“Okay pet, let’s go.” He put his arm around her and led her out the cemetery.