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Price of Secrecy

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Summary: AU. Spike comes to Sunnydale during the Harvest mourning the death of Drusilla in Prague.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > GeneralRunewolfFR1324,904041,41318 May 0318 May 03No

Price of Secrecy 2

Spike sat on a park bench in the middle of one of Sunnydale's innumerable parks, looking down at the unconscious form of the girl in his arms. The girl who had not woken up. He checked again. Nope, not up. He double checked. No. Not awake. He placed her on the bench and paced around it. Getting out of the cemetery had been fun and all, but this was now a waiting game. If he wanted to talk to her, that is. He gently searched her pockets, taking care not to be rough enough to rouse her and considered her id.

Willow Rosenberg. An unconscious redhead with a far better body than was readily apparent. Not that he cared about that. Spike snorted at himself. Oh well, if I'm going to recruit a conversational buddy, they may as well be curvy. He considered the other pieces of identification with amusement. "Psi Corps?" "League of Red Headed Men?" Address. Address. Now thats a thought. He scooped up the girl and wisked her to her humble abode. (After he checked the Perly's in his car) and deposited her gently on her porch. Ok. She's home.

Spike turned to walk off and realized that in this town, he couldn't just leave her on her doorstep. He considered ringing the bell, but nobody seemed to be home. The situation had him briefly puzzled then he remembered something that had happened once with Drusilla. Sweet, mad Dru....

Willow woke up suddenly on her front porch and coughed slightly. That smell... it was enough to wake the dead. My front porch? As she stood, she heard a car drive off and caught a glimpse of a black car easing the road. Then she looked at her door and gasped. Tacked to the door was a note.

"You passed out at the cemetery. I brought you home cause it seemed the right thing to do. Go inside, and stay away from creeps like that in the future. Never settle.

P.S.- Watch out for the thorns. --S"

Above the note, stuck through the loop on the knocker, was one of Ms. McGraw's prize red roses, complete with about a foot and a half of stem. Willow grabbed the note, shot an anxious look at Ms. McGraw's house, and went inside.

After dropping his future confidant off, Spike cruised his DeSoto down the streets of Sunnydale. Food. Then a place to stay. Spotting a pizza delivery car, he decided to fall back on one of his favorite schemes.

****************************************************

Xander stared at the ceiling of his hospital room. In some ways, he felt very, very mellow. But that was just the drugs. The rest of his mind was screaming. He would never see Willow again. He would never see Jesse again. Both were bad thoughts. He could see them both so clearly. Jesse's wit. Willow's smile. Willow's red hair in the light. I never gave her back her Barbie doll was his last thought before the sedatives took effect.

**************************************************

Spike followed the pizza car until it moved into a nice respectable neighborhood and pulled into a driveway. He gave the house a quick one over. Nice. Tasteful. Red would probably like it. He quickly pulled in behind the car and hopped out. "Hello, old boy. Just made it home in time, I see." Spike did his best nice Brit imitation. "How much do I owe you for the pizza?" In his opinion, he was getting quite good at it, too.

The pizza boy gaped. "You're Olga?"

Spike eyed the boy. He didn't want to leave a trail, but he could always change his plans. "I'm visiting." His voice was low, menacing and commanding. He still had it. The boy, identified at "Denny" by his name tag, gave him a skeptical look. Spike vamped out for an instant. Denny offered the pizza.

"Its yours." Denny quivered in place. "Do you want my car? Can I go now?"

"Do I look like I need your car?" Spike looked at his lovely DeSoto, and at the pathetic excuse for a delivery vehicle.

"NO SIR. I'll be going now sir. If you need a pizza, ask for me to deliver it and its on the house, sir." Denny groveled backwards, like a supplicant moving away from an angry god. Spike let him go. After all, Red might like pizza.

******************************************************

Willow huddled in the middle of her bed, shaking. The memory of her near escape haunted her. She felt so alone. Once again, her parents were gone. Jesse and Xander didn't answer their phones. She didn't think she wanted to talk to them now. She had. She had wanted someone to tell her everything was ok. Someone had. She looked at the rose on her dresser. Tall. Defiant. When Willow was five, she had run her bicycle into Mrs. McGraw's rosebush. Mrs. McGraw made
her parents pay for the "damages" and made her pay for it with her birthday money. I'm ok. And I don't want to talk about it. Willow reached over and turned her phone buzzer to off. I'm sleeping in tomorrow and thats it. There were advantages to being able to write your own notes.

********************************************************
Spike checked out the pizza. Anchovies and pineapple. Appalling. He strode to the door and pushed the buzzer. A middle aged woman with two pink poodles answered the door. "Helllooo there." She cooed. The poodles yapped at Spike. "Stop that darlings. Don't bother the nice pizza man."

"No prob, Ducks." Spike let a little of his patented Spike charm radiate out. "They look good enough to eat."

"Would you like to come in while I get my wallet?"

"Love too, Ducks."

Shortly thereafter, Spike looked around his new house. He did have quite a large amount of things to move out but it would suit his purposes nicely. After all, you had to be understanding when you took immediate occupancy.

*******************

Darla lay on the cool stone floor of the Master's prison. She could still hear his soft words in her mind. "You have failed me once, my precious. As you are my favorite, I am giving you the most rare of things. I am giving you a second chance. Find out what went wrong. Nothing must stop the Harvest. Nothing. DO YOU understand? CAN YOU understand? She could still feel the force in his fingers as they had held her a foot above the ground. The power in his hand as it curled around her throat. She swallowed, painfully. Her eyes showed her a small shadow through the fall of her hair. Movement. "Who?" Her voice cracked painfully.

One of the nameless minions hovered on the outskirts of the room. "Mistress?"

"Yes?" Every word was an agony. A symphony of pain as her body began to heal. Each word felt different. Why wouldn't the minion go away and let her be?

"I saw a man, Mistress. He took the offering. He was one of us, but I'd never seen him before."

Darla's eyes narrowed. Angelus? Could it be her errant child, weakened by the curse, plaguing her? "Tall and dark?" Her voice sounded harsh to her ears.

"No." Not Angel then. Who? "He was wearing a leather duster. I think he was blond. He followed Thomas and his prey there. I thought he was just guarding Thomas' back. I didn't know, Mistress. I would have done something. Truly I would have." Darla listened to the minion grovel as she gathered her strength to pull herself to her feet. She could picture an arrogant grin the gleam of golden eyes in her mind. Obviously, he hadn't know what he had been doing. Or perhaps Thomas had moved in on someone he had targeted. He had always been obsessive. He was here. He was obviously recovering from the loss of Drusilla. Recovering enough to kill.

"I can tell the Master. I can let him know that it was the blond's fault, not you." Darla's eyes narrowed. Spike would have no insurance against the Master's wrath. In one swift instant, she was in motion. "I don't think so." Her jaw clenched against the agony of speaking. The dust that had been the minion settled drifted down in the air, painting the world grey. The grit aggravated her eyes. The pain was exquisite. The Master was not kind. Neither was she.

Darla smiled softly. Through the haze of her pain, she looked forward to seeing her favorite grandson. William the Bloody. Her Spike.

***********************

Spike found himself losing his concentration. He could hear the shrill screams of the sirens as the police vehicles fled the scene.

He was TOO much for them. They were meaningless. He caught a whiff of perfume, and turned, to see Drusilla. Soft music eclipsed the sweet screaming of his victims. A cool breeze wafted through the air, causing Drusilla's hair and dress to flutter becomingly. "Are you still my Spike?" Spike couldn't speak. "Granny doesn't like you, Spike." Her eyes shifted to gold and she lunged at him. Then Spike sat up.

He was in a bed in a pastel pink room filled with unicorn statues. An insistent chiming pealed through the house. The
doorbell.

Spike pulled to his feet and shook his head slightly. The air was cloudy in here. The floor wasn't too steady either. It was
shifting under his feet. He made his way gingerly out to the main entrance and peered through the key hole. There was someone on the porch. He appeared to be consulting a day timer. Spike's vampiric senses could make out "we SHOULD have an appointment. She never misses them." Shit. Spike considered the front porch. It was shaded by an elm. Ok.....

The door swung open suddenly. Henri heard the door swing open behind him and turned. Standing in the door was a man. A tall (compared to Henri), blond god who wasn't wearing a shirt. This was NOT his 2:00 appointment. Not that he minded.

"'ello." said the god.

"Bonjour, Monsieur." said Henri. "I have an appointment with Olga."

"ah." said the god.

"It was for two."

"Sure."

"Is she here?" As he contemplated the god before him, Henri cursed the heavens. He was either the spawn of Olga, or her... her... He couldn't even think it. The world could not be that cruel. "We were going to discuss redecorating." I brought the ... sample... she wanted to see." Henri displayed a hideous euchre and turquoise swatch of fabric. He couldn't keep a tone of disgust out of his voice. "Distinctive..."

"Prefer red and black myself."

Henri perked up. "Classic colors. They look wonderful with leather and wood."

"Come in then." Spike turned away from the door and moved into the house. "Shut the door behind you." He had intended to kill whoever disturbed him. He still did. His eye rested on the mural of Olga painted down the hall. But he really needed a decorator.

He whirled, his hand closing around Henri's neck as his eyes gleamed gold. Henri swallowed nervously. "I don't like wood. Can you work with metal?" Spike's voice was flat.

"Metal is good." Henri's voice was quiet, but firm. "I draw the line at plastic." Spike smiled. "You've got spine. I think we'll
get alone fine." Henri relaxed for a moment, until he saw the fangs move towards his throat. He did struggle. Alas for Henri, it didn't do him any good. As Spike drank, he mused. He would need minions. Right now, one that could paint would be useful. As Henri died, Spike gazed down at him at smiled. He sliced his wrist and offered it. "Care for a drink, mate?"

HARVEST TIME

In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.


--Sunnydale Hospital--
--7 AM--

The funny thing about observation periods is that they watch you. To make sure that your brain isn't scrambled. So they wake you up to ensure you're not in a coma. And every time they wake you, they leave you alone in the dark with only your roomies' snores to keep you company. Every time they leave you a million images flit past your eyes. Jesse. WILLOW. They were the Three Musketeers, dammit. This wasn't supposed to happen. Vampires weren't even supposed to exist. They were both gone. Both of them. So why can't I get past the fact that I'll never see Willow again? Why does that change everything?

Xander regarded the intern steadily. "I'll be leaving now. I'm fine."

"We really can't keep you. But take it easy, huh?"

"I'll do that later." Xander strode past the intern and into the sunlight.

"I have a librarian to see."

*************************************************************************

--Sunnydale High Library--

"I phoned the hospital. Young Mr. Harris has been released. I recommend that you keep your distance. We can blame the head wound for anything he saw. IF he chooses to remember." Giles fingers idely spun the globe before he descends from the stacks.

"I don't know..." Buffy shifted from one foot to the other under Giles' determined gaze.

"We've lost two innocents so far? Do you want to make it three?" Her eyes fell to the ground. "You cannot continue to deny your calling. Lives are lost while you pursue your "normal life"." Giles covered the ground between them and placed his hands on Buffy's shoulders. "Few know of the age of the world. Or its legacy of daemons."

Deep in the stacks, Xander Harris listened. And learned. They might not tell him willingly, but he needed to know what had torn his life apart. Even if that life wasn't really in the world he thought it was.

****************************************************************************
**

--The Sunnydale Sewer system--

Darla slipped through the tunnels of the Master's lair. To where a fledgling stirred. "Hello, Bait." She knelt in the dust beside the form of the young vampire. Jesse's eyes openned and beheld her golden gaze. "My name is Darla, and I'm going to be one of your new best friends."

His eyes widened. "I have best friends. Forever friends."

"And they would be?" Darla paused. "Would one of them be that blonde... girl?"

"Just met her." Jesse sat and cocked his head to one side. "Somehow, I don't like her anymore. But I miss Xander and Willow."

"Tell me all about them."

"Well, Willow has red hair..."

****************************************************************************
******

Meanwhile, Spike removed all traces of pink from his new home.

The End?

You have reached the end of "Price of Secrecy" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 18 May 03.

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