Chapter Five ~ It's Always the Eyes
Double Destiny II
It's always the eyes
It was her eyes that convinced me she was telling the truth. They lit up
the whole room when she talked about him, and her life before.
It was right then that it hit me; she hasn't truly been alive since I had
met her. She was just going through motions, and because she had so
much life in her, I hadn't a clue.
How had I missed that?
Maybe MacLeod wasn't the only one living with a veil covering his
perceptions. I can remember taking pride in the fact I always saw
through the various masks that everyone wore-and how I used that
knowledge for whatever means necessary at the time. It was how I
became the brain behind the Horseman. It was how I destroyed the
Horseman. It was how Kaylas was finally defeated...and yet, I didn't see
what was clearly shown for the world to see in Buffy's face if only they
looked hard enough?
How had I missed that?
Chuckling softly at myself, I finished the last of my bourbon, and poured
myself a beer. "Much better," I whispered, idly wondering how many
times I had thought the same thing in my life. Five thousand years of
*There's no fool like an old fool...* Darius' calm voice reverberated
through my mind, and I could only nod in agreement.
"How true, my friend...how true," I answered back as I leaned back
against the bar and closed my eyes. Flashes of the past seven years with
Buffy flew through my mind as I thought of my latest revelation
concerning her. As I studied each picture of her-searching for that life
I saw in her eyes just minutes ago-I could only sigh when my fears
It wasn't that she didn't smile or laugh, or cry or scream-she had done
all those things. It was just the passion behind them wasn't there. And
I hadn't even noticed it was gone because it's been missing from my life
for longer than I care to thinking about. Was it with Alexis that I had
last lived life? Or was it during those first years with MacLeod as his
friend? Before Ariham and Richie's death nearly broke the Scot...
The air stirred around me and I opened my eyes to see the vampire
standing next to me, pouring himself a tall glass of bourbon. I couldn't
help but wonder if he had been awake the whole time Buffy and I were
talking, and just let us be. A part of me wanted to ask, but I didn't. The
conversation would have been far too uncomfortable to sit through, and I
was in no mood for rolling around in my angst. As Buffy would say, 'I'm
*so* not in the mood for this crap.'
Snickering to myself, I watched the liquid in the bottle dwindle, I let out
a soft laugh. "That bottle's getting quite a work out today," I said as
Spike tipped the glass my way.
"Cheers mate," he whispered before downing the whole thing in one
My eyebrow shot up, amazed at the sight. Not even Immortals could
drink that much without succumbing to alcohol poisoning.
"Vampire physiology, mate," Spike said, pouring himself a second glass
and which finished off the bottle. "Boozing it up is quite an expensive
habit for my kind," he told me as he stared at the full glass. "But
sometimes, it's worth it. Nothing like a good bottle of bourbon to take
the edge off."
I snorted in agreement, staring at my empty glass. "Do you know that
beer has been one of the only constant things in my life? For five
thousand years, man has fermented barley and I have drunk the
"Five thousand years? That's a long time to be drinking beer."
"It's a long time to be alive."
Spike chuckled in agreement. "And here I thought 200 years was a big
deal. It is with my kind, you know," Spike said as swirled the glass,
nearly spilling the alcohol. "We're a bunch self-important dimwits with
delusions of superiority," the vampire added with a tinge of mock
confidentiality. "It gets us killed more often than not."
"Immortals aren't much different. Especially the headhunters."
"I imagine so," he whispered, his eyes falling on the sleeping slayer
across the plane. "It's changed her."
I tipped my head in question. "It has? How?" It suddenly occurred to
me that through him, maybe I would finally be able to see who she was
before her Immortality touched her. This vampire knew her when she
was nearly a child...an innocent.
"She's taken a human life. It's made her darker...harder. And she
doesn't care for it, either," the vampire commented. "Not that she ever
really enjoyed slaying." He sighed softly. "Did she ever tell you about
her life before?" The vampire asked me as he pulled out a cigarette and
rolled it in his fingers.
I nodded, thinking about the conversation Buffy and I just had less than
an hour before. I learned more during that confession than in the seven
years before combined. "Bits and pieces. She gave me the run down,
but she wasn't much for sharing the details," I answered as I watched
him fiddle with the cigarette.
Spike nodded in understanding after he lit it. "I can see that," Spike
whispered, his eyes taking on a far-off quality, as he appeared to be
remembering. His gaze shifted to me. "She never wanted to be the
slayer. And for two years, she fought it with everything she had. Mind
you, I didn't know all the gritty details at the time-being the enemy and
all-but after she died, her friends eventually told me everything..."
As I listened to him weave Buffy's tale, I couldn't help but find myself
drawn into her story. It had all the elements: pain, heartbreak,
happiness and joy...triumphant comebacks mixed in with heart
A tale of heroes, I thought to myself as I leaned back in my chair and
closed my eyes-Spike's mesmerizing voice lulling me-taking me to
that place in my mind where I could almost see the events being played
Lothos, the Master, Darla, Angel, Angelus, Spike, Dru, and so many
other foes that it nearly sent my head spinning. So young, and to have
survived so much...
If I hadn't been convinced beforehand, after speaking with Spike, I knew
for sure after hearing her story; she was the One.
Out of all the Immortals I have met, and even more that I have read
about, she was the only one that had a heart both soft and resilient
enough to survive the end of our race. I could almost see her life's path
in my mind's eye-a never-ending road filled with twists and turns, and
hills and valleys.
But a road that I was sure that she would reach the end of-because for
her, there was no other choice but to do so.
It was her destiny.
An hour and a half later
Midway across the Atlantic Ocean
"It appears that fuel gage has malfunctioned, Mr. Peterson," the pilot
told me right after he had gotten me alone. "We initially planned to
land at Mirabeli International in Montreal to refuel, but that isn't
possible now. Instead we will land at Bangor International in Maine in
*Maine?* I asked myself. *Ah hell...* "That'll be fine, monsieur. Thank
As I watched the French pilot disappear out the main cabin, for a
moment, I stood there, stunned. All that planning...the new pre-paid
cell phones, the endless time spent lurking about in an attempt to keep
the watchers at bay, and it was all for nothing.
They already knew.
"How?" I asked, pinning Spike with my glare. "How in the bloody hell
did they find us? After everything we did!"
Spike shook his head before pulling out a cigarette and lighting it. "You
sure you covered everything?" I nodded my head. "Trust everyone?
Joe? The flight crew?" I nodded again as I once again watched the
vampire begin pacing with a burst of energy. After nearly a minute, he
stopped with a scowl on his face. "Magic mate. It had to be. If the
Watchers knew she took that head the other night, they could've gotten
some of her blood and did a locating spell. They're pretty accurate."
Spike paused, then let out a soft snort. "Hell, they don't even need
blood! The sheets from her bed, the wash cloth she used last...the
toothpaste that she held twice a day each day...you get the picture."
"Is there anyway to block them? Like a stealth aircraft hides from
radar?" I asked intrigued. Every time I think I've seen it all and done it
all, I find something new that I have no experience with. Magic. Who
would've thought? Sure, when I was younger, ritualization and
ceremonial magic were part of my life. If you wanted a God's attention,
you gave an offering, said the right words and prayed that you were
heard. If you wanted to know where the game would be the next
morning, the leader of the hunting party would ask the shaman or
healer of the group to do a, I guess, a spell, to find out where you had to
go to eat the next day.
And most of the time, it worked, but I never gave it too much thought. It
was a part of my life and my culture--just as much as Christianity or
Judaism or Islam is for a good half of the world population today. As
Buffy would say, it was a 'no-brainer.'
So, here I am, five thousand years old, and I find out that a whole group
of people use magic...real honest-to-gods magic to locate people. What's
next? Love spells?
Rolling my eyes, I forced myself to concentrate on Spike's answer. "--
protection spell. I can't do one now, but with the right ingredients, I can
do something simple...like keep Buffy off their radar. It'll mask her
presence--like blocking her from the magical realm or something of the
sort," Spike explained as he began to systematically search the other
half of the main cabin for something.
Just as I was about to ask him what the hell he was doing, it hit me. He
was searching for a bug or recording device.
*Gods, I'm too old for this cloak and dagger stuff,* I thought to myself as
I began to do the same. *It's all your fault MacLeod,* I added inwardly
wishing the damn Scot actually cared enough to say something back.
That is, if he had been here. His eyes had barely changed when I told
him what had been happening with Buffy the day before. Although I
had caught a flicker of concern, almost immediately, those once lively
and warm brown eyes quickly had turned cold.
MacLeod just didn't care anymore.
Kicking myself, I pushed the errant Immortal out of my head and went
back to work. With less than hour before the plane landed, we had to
make sure we weren't bugged, or all our plans were for naught.
Shaking my head, I decided to once again go over everything that was
done the day before once Joe had called me with the news. Did we miss
Maybe it was just a coincidence that the fuel gage was broken.
*Not bloody likely,* I answered myself. I had made sure that this jet had
been gone over with inch by inch yesterday. As soon as Joe had called
me, I had laid out the groundwork to get the hell out of Paris. Although
the CEO and owner's name of Luxury Airliners wasn't mine, it was one
of my aliases. There was no way this could've happened unless it was
And if the Watchers messed with the fuel gage, I wouldn't put it past
them to bug the hell out of the place as well.
Maybe, if we're lucky, it might be a recording device and not a bug...this
way we might be able to still regroup with our lives.
That is, if we can get the ingredients for Spike so he could perform the
"Found it!" Spike yelled out, yanking out the bug and holding it in the
air. "Bloody thing was whining. Thank God for supernatural hearing!"
I ran over to Spike and held the thing in my hand. A wave of relief filled
me. It was a recording device, not a bug. "Get that line that this was
connected to, and follow it. If I'm right, at the other end will be a tape
recorder," I ordered over my shoulder as I strode over to the bar and
opened up the bar refrigerator to pull out another beer. Once the cap
was off, I leaned back and took a healthy swallow of the only thing that
had helped keep me sane for the past five or so thousand years.
*Gods, I needed that,* I thought to myself as my mind began turning
over our problem. In less than forty-five minutes, we are going to be on
land in Bangor with a bunch of Watchers there ready to take us
I lifted my eyes and found myself gazing at the sleeping slayer across the
room. We really should've woken her up as soon as the pilot told us the
news, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
And I would bet that Spike felt the same as well.
This may be the last time she would feel safe for a long time, and I didn't
want to be the one to take that away from her.
*What a sap, Old Man,* I told himself as I heard Spike come in with two
micro recorders and an additional microphone.
The blond vampire tossed them across the bar at me before sinking into
one of the bar stools across from me. Not even a minute later, he shot
up out of his seat and began pacing in front of the bar. Every movement
of his was jagged and stilted--anger radiating from his being as he
clenched his jaw.
"I can't fucking believe it!" Spike said, his voice rising with each word as
his face flickered. "I really didn't want me to be right about this," he
said agitated. "I hate magic. Do you want to know how much I hate the
bloody stuff? I've been known to call across continents to see if Red
would be able do a spell for me and it be workable despite how far apart
we were!" He sighed, running his fingers through his already mussed-
up wavy hair. Suddenly his face snapped up to meet my eyes. "I've got
an idea...we might be able to pull this off, and get someone else to do
the spell." As he lit another cigarette, I couldn't help but wonder where
the last one went. For an inhuman being, Spike seemed incredibly
human to me. "I'll call my contact--tell him the scoop and he'll get
someone on it. But I doubt if we'll be able fly anywhere. It's going to be
a long drive from Maine to the Hellmouth, but it's the only way we'll be
able to use my demon contacts."
I nodded, ignoring the feeling of uneasiness creeping up my spine.
Demon contacts? The last time I bothered with demons, I found myself
with a sword in my gut, and some little short blond woman with horns
and eyes that flashed neon green when she was angry trying to possess
me through copulation. I think she may've been a hybrid-succubus or
something of the sort, but those two Fyral demons she had guarding her
were impossible to kill.
All I could do was run.
That was five hundred years ago, and until now, I've kept my distance
Too much of a hassle.
"Bangor Maine, right?"
I nodded, watching him as he ran towards a seat where his black coat
had been tossed. After pulling out a cell phone from the front pocket,
he dropped the coat and studied the keypad.
"Okay...Maine..." Spike's voice trailed off as he began punching numbers
on it. After nearly a minute he spoke. "Whistler? We gotta problem.
Get a pen and paper and write this down. Our plane..." Spike stopped,
his eyebrows raising in question at me. "What's the name of our plane,
"Luxury Airliners number one."
"LA number one is landing at Bangor International in little over an half
an hour. We need a pickup...I don't care...yeah, he's fine. I had a
feeling it would be him...just tell him to cover the seat with
plastic....bloody chaos demons and their fucking slime...he needs to take
us to a car...tinted windows...preferably SUV...yeah...me, the slayer and
another man like her. Yeah? Oh, Ben Adams...wait! That's not the
name he's using right...Ben, what's the names on your passports?"
"Suzanne and Alec Peterson," I told him as got out from behind the bar
and headed towards Buffy. Kneeling down in front of her, I gently shook
her shoulder. "Buffy love, time to wake up....we have a sit--"
Buffy's eyes fluttered, and almost immediately she sat up, her body
tense and awaiting action. "What's wrong? What happened?" she asked
as her eyes scanned the room and finally settling on the pacing vampire.
"Who's Spike on the phone with?"
Rubbing my eyes, I told her everything.
Fear flickered in her eyes for a just a moment as she sat there taking
everything in, staring at the floor. I don't know what I had been
expecting when she lifted her eyes to mine, but it sure as hell wasn't
exasperation. It was like she had expected it. I couldn't help the
sardonic chuckle that bubbled forth in response.
Obviously, this wasn't anything new to her.
"The damn demon...he better be able to help us," Buffy whispered as she
turned her attention back to me. "Are you okay?"
I arched my eyebrow at her and said nothing, hiding my surprise. No
one could change a course of conversation faster than Buffy could, and I
really wasn't in the mood for anymore heart-to-hearts that day. I already
had my fill. Arching my eyebrow, I said nothing, hoping she wasn't
expecting an honest answer because there was no way in hell that I was
going to go through that whole thing again.
"Bloody wonderful, Beth," I said as I stood up and held out a hand for
her. She looked down at it and then back at me with a smirk
reminiscent of Spike's and took it. Pulling her to her feet, she took her
hand out of mine and began rubbing her face with both hands with an
almost euphoric look on her face.
I've seen her do that a thousand times, and it still arouses me.
Bloody woman, I thought to myself as I turned back to see Spike slipping
the phone back into his coat pocket.
"I don't want to do this," Buffy whispered as she stared at the opened
doorway of the airplane. She turned to Spike as he tried slipping past
her, and grabbed his hand-halting his progress. "Spike! I don't want
to do this!"
The blond vampire stopped mid-step, and looked over his shoulder at
her. "Slayer-we've been through this," he said as he began walking
again, tugging on her hand as he moved. "I know you don't want to do
this, but we do have to get off this bloody plane and out of this airport
before everything is shot to hell, okay?" He growled out, his jaw
I couldn't help but feel for him at the moment. Buffy was one of the
most exasperating people I'd ever met, and stubborn as a mule to boot.
And she had a tendency to lash out when she was scared or fearful--like
now. Having taken the brunt of her mouth quite a few times myself, it
was almost comical to see her do the same to Spike.
What a paradox she was.
"Oh, all right," she muttered, yanking her hand free. "I just don't know
why in the hell you have to be the rational one suddenly...I mean, where
the hell were you a decade ago-"
Spike whipped around-his eyes flashing-as he stood blocking the
door. "I can't believe you would bring this up now! You just had to wait
until after we fucking shagged for you to start dredging up all our dirty
Uh oh...now we're in trouble. There had to be at least a dozen, if not
two, watchers out there, and suddenly Buffy just had to bring up a
decade-old argument with Spike?
She must be scared shitless.
"Well?" She snapped, inching closer to him. "Where were you? I'll tell
you where you were! You were playing both sides by the middle-
screwing around with both of our heads-just so you could get that
stupid chip out-"
"I had a plan!"
"A plan! Get real, Spike! Your plans always fall apart-which makes me
wonder what the hell I'm doing right now following along with another
one of your brilliant ideas that is sure to-"
"Is this really necessary?" I asked as I leaned against the wall, eyeing
them. Buffy whipped around to glare at me, but suddenly stopped, her
She turned to Spike and whispered two words I had a feeling she never
uttered before to him. "I'm sorry."
At first, he looked stunned, but after a moment or so, he smirked back
at her, shaking his head. "It's okay, love." He looked over her head at
me. "Ready mate?" He asked me.
"As ready as I'll ever be," I said softly taking Buffy's hand and gently
tugging her back towards me.
She followed, looking up at me, unable to hide the question in her eyes.
"We have a part to play, Bethie. Remember? Newlyweds?"
She nodded, looking a bit more embarrassed than I expected her to be.
Wasn't it just three hours ago that she told me she made her choice?
Sighing softly at the ways of women--in any age--I grabbed my overnight
bag and swung it over my shoulder. "Let's do it," I said meeting Spike's
Growling softly, he grabbed his duffel bag and started walking.
I couldn't help but think it was going to be a long day--no matter what I
Suddenly Buffy tensed up again, her eyes glaring at the vampire in
response to his jealous exit, and for the second time in less than five
minutes I nearly groaned out loud in exasperation. I understood why
she had attacked Spike, but the timing couldn't be more off. She was
scared, and to be honest, I couldn't blame her. The things that I had
learned about CoW in the past couple of days didn't do much for my
peace of mind either. But it wasn't the time or the place to allow those
emotions to get the best of us.
"Beth, lay off him. If you have a problem with him, deal with it later," I
snapped as I started to jog, dragging her with me to catch up with Spike.
When I heard him growling, I nearly threw my hands up in the air, and
quit right there and then.
Let them do this by themselves, the old, wise part of myself whispered.
Baha Baha sounded real good to me at the moment. Wasn't it me that
just had his heart broken a few hours before, and suddenly they're the
ones that are all out of sorts?
No, I couldn't do that anymore. There had been a time when avoiding
messes like this one was a full-time job for me, but that wasn't so any
more. I couldn't leave her anymore than I could have left MacLeod ten,
twelve years before when his life had exploded around him.
That decided, and my resolve strengthened, I grabbed his arm, and
forcibly turned him around to face me. Jealousy and anger surrounded
him, and I just shook my head at him in mock sympathy--arching my
eyebrow for added emphasis. I refused to feel sorry for him. Bloody
hell, he got the damn girl-now he could learn to live with her. "Get over
it, Spike. It's just for show, and don't let her pull you in. We have more
important things to worry about right now than what happened ten
years ago, or if I'm holding her hand instead of you.
"I know you're both worried, but there's nothing we can do about that
except for to follow the plan. Okay?" I asked looking at both of them.
They both nodded.
"Good, let's go then!" I muttered as I let his arm go and began walking,
squeezing Buffy's hand for luck.
As we headed out to the terminal, she leaned over and pecked my
cheek. "Thank you, Alex," she whispered using my alias, giving my
heart that extra lift that I found myself yearning for--always.
"You're welcome, Suzie," I answered back ignoring the growling vampire
He would just have to learn to deal with it. Bloody fool got the girl
already, what the hell
else did he want from me?