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The Vessel

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Summary: After the battle is over in the Alley - the 'God-King' is not particularly satisfied. What if she empowered and crafted a 'vessel' to sail backwards in time and change things? What if that 'Vessel' was Spike? 'Post-Chosen. Post-NFA.'

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Highlander > Spike-CenteredIncompetentDreamerFR18511,3900114,2157 Nov 098 Apr 12No

The Charm of Spikitus

Author's Note: I'm trying to make headway on the front of finding a beta-reader to bounce ideas off of and help in other regards and I've had several commitments over the last week but I'm running into a struggle over being able to effectively communicate with any prospective helpers. Alas, it will all settle itself in due course and in the meanwhile, as I grow more dedicated to this story, I truly hope you all enjoy it! Also, to blatantly steal a turn of phrase from my own favorite fanfiction author - 'Feedback - it's the coin of the realm!' Also, I still own no copyright over any character mentioned within this story and am only borrowing them so they might amuse my bedeviled little mind. Whew, two chapters in one day! I'm getting on a roll, here! Anyways, on with the show and I'll close f*cking mouth, now! ;D

Winter had made Rome a special kind of wonderland.

This is something, throughout all the chaos he'd found himself in recently, he could clearly
understand. This realization brought clarity to him, something in desperately short supply.

Luv, I'll make it back to you.

Spike winced as he watched the clamoring troops practice their drills.

They were a rough crew, that was for sure. This band of thugs and heathens was all that Spartacus had to use as an army?

This lot doesn't stance a chance in Hades.

Contrary to what he would have led the 'Scoobies' to believe, Spike was very well-educated in his mortal life. As such, he knew all too well of Spartacus and the slave uprising. He knew that the fate of Spartacus himself was lost to the ages but that the whole lot of them, the man's entire 'army', were destined to die.

His form shifted in the shade, his alabaster skin a visible contrast to the bronzed and chiseled warriors all around him. He shuffled from side to side, clutching at the stained robes he'd adorned, dearly missing his 'duster.'

Such dark thoughts were an unusual companion to the vampire.

Life was a lot simpler back when it was just fist and fang, Luv.

As his eyes trickled over the rocks which formed the first line of defense in the temple, which was
the central structure of the slave encampment, he spied Methos and several other men engaged
in heated conversation just over the horizon.

His advanced vampiric hearing, further enhanced by 'Illyria's gift', allowed him to listen in.

"This is madness, Viritus! You expect me to believe that the Senate would 'ever' listen to reason?" Spartacus was displeased. "I have known you for a long time, but not long have I accounted for you as a fool - I wish you to hasten such days into oblivion." The man was eloquent and passionate.

Methos, having allowed the leader of the rebellion to speak, interjected his own thoughts.

"Be that as it may, I'm just relaying a series of 'rumors' to you. What you do them with them, is at your own discretion, yes. You just need to be amenable to any situation that avoids more meaningless bloodshed." Methos finished, his voice having picked up pace as he'd went along. The man was nervous.

Spike's ears prickled as if a parabolic dish picking the airwaves.

"Ah, there's the reasonable and wise Viritus, as I live and breathe..." Spartacus said, the sound of smacking flesh indicating he'd clapped Methos on the back. "The one whom was always there as I was a child, playing the part of mentor to foolish, young brow-beater!" A smile was obvious amidst the mirth in the man's voice.

"Regardless of past relations, to yourself or otherwise, the Senate has no clutch on Glaber. It's grown weak and ignorant of the situation at hand. They've bestowed on him the task of crushing us and I fear that this only emboldens him." A new voice, pompous and cofident enters the fray, that of 'Gattacas' if Spike recalled correctly. "He's hungry for legacy and his guts will burst if he's to gorge upon us - he won't be swayed to peace through conventional means."

At this, a pause seems to run it's course through the men before Spartacus breaks the silence.

"Ever still, we have to remain vigilant in the defense of this temple. This is where we can rediscover our vigor and replenish our forces. So long as we remain here and continue to train and continue to arm ourselves, we have a chance to buy that most essential commodity: Time. That, which is so neccessary to trade for something much more powerful..." Spartacus's words trailed off.

"And what magical weapon is this that you speak of? A fireball from the God's, perhaps?" Gattacas said, doubt lining his every word.

There was a moment of consideration over words chosen that followed.

"That which is the most powerful weapon of all, my friend..." he trailed off, his next words bringing the conversation to a close. "... hope."

I'd buy all the hope in the world if I could but afford it, mate. 'Cuz we're all gonna need some. Spike's eyes closed as he further contemplated the mess he'd been flung into.

The wick of the candle was lingering somewhere just between life and death, when a nock came upon his chamber door.

"Go away.." said Spike, caught between crack no. 47 and crack no. 48 on the floor.

"I've a gaggle of drunken whores behind me clamoring to be debased!" Methos's muffled voice
conveyed through the heavy wooden door.

"Well, right bloody on, then!" Spike rocked himself up from the collection of feathers he'd lain
upon. He undid the hatch and flung open the door.

"Hmph. Your taste in the fairer sex leads something to be desired," he admonished, eyebrows raising a tad. Crixus and the man he'd been introduced to as Agron, stood before him, looking ready to wage war. They'd fastened armor to their chests and wielded blades. "These have to be the ugliest birds I've ever seen in my life."

Spike winked at Agron who funnily enough winked back.

Spike frowned.

"Oh, but what a mighty kiss, we can give!" Crixus retorted, hefting his blade up and slashing it in a blurring arc through the area before him, an audible zing! being heard.

"Really, they're children, Spikitus. Won't you just give them the luxury of joining them in their... festivities?" Methos implored, a grin tugging at his lips.

"Oh, right then, since you asked so kindly..." Spike said, dropping his jaw and his face going plain as day.
"...not a bloody chance in hell," he said, his face souring.

Going to close the door in the men's faces, Methos stuck his foot in, his face straining red as he spoke.

"A word?" Methos spoke quickly, even as his foot was broken in the door. Spike noticed this, saw a quick look of concern flash over Crixus's face and instead of creating a scene, capitulated.

"Very well then, five minutes. Then I'm off to beddy-bye." The door creaked open slowly, as Methos turned to his companions.

"Just a moment, yes. I need a moment with the 'cook.'" He snuck inside, allowing himself and Spike a moment of privacy.

Methos took in Spike's disheveled appearance and aggravated demeanor.

"Something wrong, comrade?" Methos said, a twinge of concern escaping his voice.

And finally, for one of the first times since he'd pulled a Marty McFly, Spike had a moment to try
and figure out what the hell was going on.

"Okay, it's time, mate. It's time, you and I, to have words about what the bleedin' hells going on here, why I'm suddenly pulling an 'Artist formerly known as me' routine with this 'Spikitus' nonsense and further more -" he trailed off, his face screwing up. "... 'cook'?"

"Ah, yes..." Methos trailed off, a long breath being expelled.

Spike was inpatient, his foot tapping quickly along the floor.

"Well, give me a moment, friend." Methos said, holding his palm to his thigh as he cradled his broken foot to the ground, resting his back against the mattress. "You seem to have been in a bit of a hurry to snap my foot off, just a moment ago."

"Oh, come off it," said Spike, his words reflecting unabashed annoyance. "I could snap your neck clean in two and you'd turn your skull turtle and continue on about your soddin' day as if nothing ever happened!"

Methos groaned as he massaged his foot, the bone visibly showing as he removed his footwear. Even as he spoke, electrical blue charges roamed across the expanse of his ankle, healing him.

"True as that may be yes, it still fucking hurts." As the healing comes to a close, Methos takes in Spike's exasperated condition. "Oh very well, I'll explain, you sensitive child."

"Go on." Spike commanded, relaxing his stance and posture.

"It's like this..." Methos began, his words taking on the lilt of one more scholarly as he spoke, as if explaining something very simple to someone very dull. "I can't very well have marched into the encampment, proclaimed you to be a time-traveling demon who sustains himself on the blood of the living, could I?" He asked rhetorically.

A shrug of Spike's shoulders encouraged Methos to continue.

"Okay, so in lieu of a presentable truth, I had to invent a believable fiction. So, as far as you're concerned, this is your reality, so long as we're here." At Spike's reluctant nod of understanding, he continued on. "You are Spikitus, a strong and stalwart Gaul whom having had his family murdered by the Republic of Rome, has devoted his life to the cause of their destruction. You're a warrior from your clan, one of high praise and ability with a particular and desirable skillset."

"So far, so good - now what's the rub?" Spike asks, not particularly sure if he wants to hear.

A grin tugs at Methos. "You're a fascinatingly good preparer of foods for your tribe. You butcher, strip and season all the meals for your fellow warriors and do so exceedingly well, yes." Methos finished, nodding his head.

Spike's eyes widened. "Bloody hell, man! Why not just tell them I've got a potato-peeling hobby! You've relegated me to the kitchen with the women! Are you daft in your old age?" Spike asked, flustered.

Methos taps his finger against his temple, in the universal gesture of 'contemplation.' "Not quite as much as one could be led to believe, yes. You have a need to survive on blood - this is a way that gets you there. You go out with the Gauls and assist them in snaring the meals and whilst you prepare them, with no one the wiser to see, you can snack and 'drink' of their blood to your fill while you have privacy over the fire. It's actually quite ingenius of me and kinf towards you for such consideration on my part, thank you very much."

Recognizing the words to ring true, Spike doesn't dispute his position or backstory much further.

"Very well but I'm spitting on all your meals." Spike said, baring his tongue.

"Oh, I wouldn't have it any other way, Spikitus. In such a short time of knowing you, I'd be insulted if you didn't." Methos waggled a finger at Spike, then turned to the door.

"Now, can we join these men and not insult our hosts further?" Methos questioned, taking Spike by the forearm and leading him out the door.

"Oh, bloody hell, I give in. What do they want?"

"Why, as a fellow Gaul, what else could they want with you?" Methos asked cryptically, no response solicited from Spike.

"They want to attack you with sharp objects. And you're going to let them." At Spike's upraised eyebrow, Methos led them out to the courtyard of the temple where the 'games' were to begin.


Fist furiously sent flesh flapping as Spike reeled from the blow, his cheeks rippling in slow motion
as seen by Methos.

Balls, he hits like a mule!

Hitting the ground, Spike wipes blood from his chin as he stifles a grin. The crimson trickles down
his neckline and stains the bland garment he wore. He looked up at Agron, finding that the other men was living just as much for the fight as he was.

Alright, this can be my kind of crowd.

At once, Spike becomes a blur of motion to the audience, not quite to the extent to have them run for the hills and say their prayers but enough to leave them astounded and shocked none the less. His foot snakes outward, catching Agron at the back of the knee, sending the man falling to the ground. Yet even before his head can smack against solid soil, Spike has grabbed him by the back of his neck and is sidestepping forward, exhibiting his weight in a judo-style hip toss which sends the hulking german spiraling to the gorund face-first.

(Crack!) A stray tooth shuttles outward from underneath Agron but the Gaul isn't deterred. He rolls to his side and out of the way of Spike's boot, clutching it from the ground and pulling with a twist. Spike's leg crumbles as if made of paper and he goes to one knee, in just enough time for Agron to follow up with a stiff uppercut that sends Spike reeling backward, rolling against the dirt.

"Your man..." Spartacus begins, his eyes trailing over Methos. "He fights well, for a Gaul."

Methos shakes his head, studying Spike's motions, as an outsider for the first time.

"No. No, he doesn't," says Methos. "He fights well... for anyone." The addendum carries stiff
meaning and Spartacus nods his head in agreement.

"Aye, he does."

"Ah, if Agron doesn't break him in half, I'll have to take our newcomer to task," bristled Crixus, hefting an axe over his shoulder as he watched the fight unfolding before him.


A meaty arm draped across Spike's forhead, knocking him backwards into a group of
cheering and frantic Gauls, a particular visceral blond woman clutching Spike by his hair and dragging his neck backward, kissing him open on the mouth.

... the bloody hell? Spike barely had time to think, before he was relinquished and ducking under another massive blow from the muscular gladiator. He quickly turned, eyed the pretty blonde and shook his head, rolling on his feet underneath another charge from Agron.

"You can run, my lily white friend, but you can't hide from me!" Agron taunted, wiping blood from
his own mouth as he motioned for Spike to come forward and attack him.

Spike, all the while, seemingly glowed with joy. There was a vibrance to him now, one which wasn't there previously, Methos would note.

"You hit hard mate, but you haven't seen me running. You've seen me 'dancing', something I haven't done in awhile." Spike then, taking an unneccessary deep breath, presses his advantage as he sees a chink in the gladiator's defenses. With a great effort, he steps off from his left leg and runs with blinding speed towards Agron, but instead of moving for a direct attack against the powerful Gaul, he actually jumps to the right of the man, soaring through the air.

"Look! He flees, the cowardly do--urfff!" As Agron had gone to mock him, his wordx were proven premature. Spike had pushed his weight off of the sidewall of the temple, twirling his foot about in a blazing arc that hooked Agron underneath the chin, sending the man sprawling backwards several feet, landing in a heap of soiled laundry.

A woman's used pair of undergarments falls atop Agron's head as the crowd cheers.

"Spikitus! Spikitus! Spikitus!" The crowd is in a frenzy, amazed at the prowess and abilities
of the newcomer.

"Astonishing, Viritus. Where did you find this man, again? You said he was a Gaul?" Spartacus asked, his eyes roaming over the heaving form of Spike.

"Ah yes, he's from a nether region, up in the North-" As Methos went to explain Spike's origins and maintain his cover, Crixus cut him off.

"That man's no Gaul," said the 'Undefeatable.' "I'm bested all manner of Gauls and I know one when I see one! This man lays false claim to origin!" Crixus is yelling to the crowd, pointing his sword at Spike. "We have a deciever in our midst and as such, I will see him close fucking mouth!"

"Hey now, I don't want any troubl--" Before the words can escape Spike's lips, Crixus is already upon him. This time, the strikes are stronger, the fervor in the attack more apparent and the fight no longer a game.

Spike easily ducked under Crixus's mighty axe, his eyes catching Methos's, searching them for a solution to the issue. Methos unfortunately just shrugged his shoulders.

Bloody hell, what do I do know? Spike wondered, searching the environment for any quick way to subdue the massive gladiator.

He isn't allowed much time to persue other options, as he barely ducks under a massive swing of
the axe. It draws close enough to take a piece of Spike's side with it, blood quickly staining his shirt and leaking unto the ground.

Losing his footing, Spike stumbles backwards, trying to avoid throwing any blows toward Crixus, uncertain in that moment wether or not he had the restraint vital to insure he didn't seperate the man's head from his shoulders.

"Now look here, we can settle this..." (SWISH!) Spike ducks under another massive lunge. "... the easy way, or the hard way, mate." (SWACK!) Another duck-under. "The easy way?" Spike's words come in ragged breaths as he exhaustedly avoids the champion's blows. "You put the pointy... (deep breath)... end of that... (inhale) somewhere other then my side... and we have... (exhale)... a nice cuppa' tea... or..."

(CRACK!) As quick as Spike was, anticipating another's movements can be an entirely different matter. Having zigged when he should have zagged, Crixus was able to hammer the hilt of the sword into Spike's jaw, blood letting loose everywhere and whipping up against the crowd. Spike fell to one knee, looking up at Crixus.

"Okay...(inhale)..." Spike stood up, cracking his knuckles. "Hard way it is then."

What happened next stunned the crowd. Spartacus made move to intercept Spike's motions but was too late as Spike suddenly became a blur of motion, barreling into Crixus with explosive strength.

"Arghhh!!" The air popped out of Crixus's lungs as he was flung back several feet by the might of the blow. He smacked through a table at the far side of the clearing, only briefly able to regain his senses long enough to find the top of his axe at his throat, Spike's very pissed-off face shadowing it.

The crowd was silent as Methos held Spartacus back from intervening.

"Wait..." The Immortal beckoned of the revolutionary. ""

And so Spartacus held tongue.

Then there was laughter.

"Ahhh.... ahhhaahahaha..... ahahaha..." Crixus, lay on the ground, blood trickling down his chin and spitting it back unto the ground, howling in a fit as if he were a hyena. "Ahhh... ahhahahha...."

Raising his eyebrow, Spike looked at the men, then back to Spartacus.

"Is he two fries short of a Happy Meal?" Spike questioned aloud, his face visibly confused.

"THIS..." Crixus said between the spitting of blood and crackle of laughter. "...this is a GAUL! I take it all back, my countryman! I take it all back!" Crixus claps Spike on the back, nearly leaning on him as they venture back towards Spartacus.

The confusion on Spike's face is evident but in the end, he relents and just lets a smile poke outward on his blood-stained face.

Fist and Fangs, luv. It's something simply wonderful... is the thought that enters Spike's mind as he walks into the temple to tend to wounds.

The End?

The author is currently looking for one or more beta readers for this story. If you are interested, please email the author or leave a private review.

You have reached the end of "The Vessel" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 8 Apr 12.

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