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05/18/17 04:16 am
pj! I remember wishing one of your stories would be finished seriously about a decade ago. Amazing. I just tried an old password I used to use and amazingly got in too. Memories!
03/20/17 01:20 am
10 yrs later, i finally rem my username and password. Pari, you rock. Hope you are well.
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Great post.
08/31/16 03:45 pm
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08/31/16 03:43 pm
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Authors Chapter Notes:
This is a joint fic written by both me and TwilightChild...hope you enjoy it :)

He really hadn’t expected to last this long.

Oh, he knew that he could hold his own in a fight. He was aware that his confidence in his own abilities was definitely cockiness bordering on arrogance -- or at least, would have been, had he not been well able to back that confidence up with victory after victory over countless opponents, including two Slayers. Yes, he knew that he stood as good a chance as any of them of surviving through this night.

That was the problem.

With the hordes of hell swiftly closing in on them, countless demons and monsters with weapons drawn bearing down on them in a full out attack -- what chance did any of them have?

Spike would have thought that among them, Illyria would have had the best odds of survival.

Ironic, that she actually went first.

The pouring rain had been thick enough to obscure his vision, as his eyes had searched the surrounding darkness for his comrades; even as he fought for his life, using a broadsword he had taken from a fallen opponent to cut down one demon after another, a part of Spike’s mind was focused on finding the others, making sure that they were all right.

*And when you got here, you couldn’t wait to see the backs of the lot of them,* he reminded himself with a painful sense of irony. *Now the end’s gonna come all too soon for all of us if you don’t…bloody well…*focus*!*

A blood-curdling warcry filled the air, momentarily drawing his eyes to his right, where Illyria had just torn an unfortunate demon’s head from its body with her bare hands. She was just spinning around to face his comrade behind her, to deal to him the same treatment, when a tremendous burst of flame seemed to fall from the sky, consuming the demon who had been her target.

Consuming *her*.

Instinctively, Spike had jumped back, narrowing missing the path of the flames himself, glancing up in startled alarm to see the dragon swooping down, vicious claws extended as he dropped swiftly to join the countless enemies they were already facing on the ground.

He had no choice but to simply keep fighting, as another demon rushed him, and he swiftly brought his sword down to sever the dark creature‘s head, before whirling around to face another three coming up behind him. His enemies were not stopping to see the spectacle of the dying Illyria -- so neither could he.

But her dying, agonized screams as the apparently magical fire consumed her mortal body to ashes filled his ears.

*The death of a common ‘half-breed’ for the once powerful god-king,* he thought with a bitter irony that was more sorrowful than satisfied.

He had been determined to hate Illyria from the moment she had destroyed Fred -- but in the end, he had come to think fondly of her, if not to actually like her. After all, she
*had* been rather difficult to like.

And now -- she was nothing at all.

*Note to self – don’t try to fight the bloody dragon,* he thought, bringing the sword down directly through the middle of some disgusting, reptilian-looking creature that had slithered up in front of him, hissing and spitting some sort of vile, acidic substance aimed toward his face.

Fortunately, it missed -- but Spike didn’t.

He really meant to ignore the dragon completely, and focus on fighting the other enemies that surrounded him – he really did. And the group of about eight demons currently warily circling him was doing a fairly good job of making sure that he did – until he heard another agonized scream in another very familiar voice.

He whirled around in a swift circular motion, slicing a bloody swath through the circle of demons surrounding him, before his eyes locked onto the source of the scream – which was now silent.

Charles Gunn was dead.

The dragon was facing Spike, its powerful wings beating the air, holding it in place just a few yards above the ground – the lifeless body of Spike’s former friend clutched in its fierce talons, as if the foul thing was deliberately displaying it to him, taunting him with it. One razor sharp claw, half the size of the black man’s chest, pierced it where his heart was, and had stolen the life from him in an instant.

Spike felt a blind fury rising up in him in response to the dragon’s silent, taunting challenge, and he raised his sword, fully prepared to go after it now, in spite of his prior, more logical resolve.

Illyria and Gunn were already dead because of this thing, and he would see it dead as well.

Apparently, he was not the only one with that idea.

Suddenly, the huge beast reared backward with a high, piercing cry that set chills and gooseflesh all up and down Spike’s arms to hear it – and a moment later, a dark figure appeared, gripping it’s scaly skin as it climbed up onto the creature’s back, a sword clutched tightly in his hand.

“Okay – I only thought I wanted to kill you before…” Barely carrying to Spike’s ears through the roaring of the battle and the whistling of the stormy wind around them, Angel’s voice was filled with a sardonic humor, somewhat lacking due to the sorrow of loss that had not quite hit him yet. “…now – well, let’s just say I wish I could do it more than once. But,” he shrugged, “this will have to do…”

Without another word he plunged the sword in his hand down with all his strength into the dragon’s back – and it only went about a foot into the thick, scaly hide, nowhere near deep enough to do any real damage. The beast reared back again, shaking its neck back and forth in an effort to dislodge the vampire on its back.

And its effort was successful.

Despite his best efforts to hold on, Angel was thrown from his place atop the dragon, landing several hundred feet away against a brick wall, dazed and unmoving. Spike’s eyes widened in horror as the dragon whirled around with remarkable speed, and began to move toward the fallen vampire.

If someone had asked him aloud, during better times, Spike would have claimed to be willing to pay tickets to see something like what was about to happen to Angel.

Now – his every effort became focused on keeping it from happening.

With a power that he had not known he possessed, he swung his sword in a wide arc, cutting down the thronging demons in his path, trying to keep him from getting to Angel, until he finally was standing behind the dragon, whose enormous head was drawn back in preparation to incinerate the dazed vampire, struggling to rise, still unaware of the mortal danger that was only seconds away from taking his life.

*Killing a dragon – how the bloody hell do you kill a soddin’ dragon?* Spike racked his memory for anything even remotely helpful in this situation, but only came up with cheesy movie references.

After all, he didn’t even know anyone who had ever faced a real live dragon before.

“Had to get ambitious, didn’t you, Peaches,” he muttered, more to himself than to Angel, though the older vampire looked up at him sharply as he got to his feet, just as Spike managed to get around in front of the dragon, his eyes focused on the belly of the beast, searching for any sign of weakness in its natural armor.

“Yeah, well,” Angel shrugged, a completely inappropriate grin on his face as he met Spike’s eyes in a moment that the blond vampire would always remember after that night. “Gotta give ‘em something to remember me by…”

Spike’s eyes widened in surprise at his words, just before the dragon let out a mighty roar above his head. He whirled around in a desperate attempt to stop the beast before it accomplished its goal, plunging his sword through a dark patch in the center of the thing’s chest, where he imagined that its heart might be…

…moments after the scorching flame flew from its mouth, engulfing his sire and reducing him to nothing more than ashes and memory.

“No!” Spike cried out, surprised in a detached sort of way by the anguish he heard in his own voice, even as he swiftly moved out of the path of the suddenly falling dragon.

It seemed that there was something to be said after all for the cheesy movie references.

He was just a moment too late, as the huge, heavy neck of the beast fell hard across the backs of his legs, knocking him – and pinning him – to the ground. His sword had flown from his hand with his fall, and he fought off a sense of panic as he struggled under the dead weight of the monster he had just slain, trying to ignore the agony that tore through his crushed legs with every attempt to pull them free.

And then, the remaining demons were surrounding him, their harsh, triumphant laughter filling the air, as several of them began to grab at his arms, his head. He struggled with true desperation, knowing that his last chance was swiftly slipping away, but there were just too many of them.

One of them placed a large, heavy foot against the back of his neck, pinning his head face down against the dirt, even as he snarled and snapped, trying desperately to fight with the only, best weapon he had left. Several of the demons together managed to pull his arms behind his back, chaining them tightly with heavy iron manacles, and then wrapping the chains tightly around his torso, binding his arms to his body and locking them down tight.

Spike struggled uselessly against them, even as his heart sank with the realization that he was already overcome. His mind raced, trying to think what they might be planning, how he might be able to find some opportunity to stop him.

Apparently they weren’t going to kill him -- not yet, anyway -- or he would already be dead.

And that was as far as the thought process went right then, because at that moment, four of the strong demons lifted the head of the dragon between them, dragging it carelessly off of Spike’s shattered legs and laying it aside.

He bit back a strangled cry of anger and pain, as two other demons lifted him up on either side, holding him on his feet between them.

Or rather, he would have been on his feet, if his feet had been capable of holding him up at the moment. Really, the two demons were supporting him almost completely; but the fire of agony that shot up his legs and through his body as his feet brushed uselessly against the ground made his back arch with pain, though he managed to hold back the second cry, unwilling to allow these creatures to see his weakness.

Well -- any more weakness than they had already seen, anyway.

The fighting was over now, with Spike’s friends dead, and him captured, and the demons surrounded him in a maliciously gleeful circle, laughing and cheering in some language that Spike did not recognize, clearly thrilled with their victory.

Then, strangely, they all began to grow quiet, their laughter turning to hushed whispers of excitement, as the circle shifted slightly, and then opened, revealing a tall, dark-clothed demon, taller than the others, and flanked by two similar to the ones who were holding Spike. They seemed very attentive to him, ready to jump at a moment’s notice should he give the command, and Spike easily concluded that he must be the leader of this hellish army that had laid waste to what was left of Angel’s crew.

*Well -- except me,* Spike acknowledged a bit reluctantly, inwardly rolling his eyes as he mentally added, *and they’ve obviously been saving me for the Big Bad over there, for some reason. Any moment now…*

His suspicions were confirmed as the tall, humanoid demon made a swift, subtle gesture with his hand -- and all of the demons fell to identical bowing positions on one knee, moving as one, as they had clearly been well trained to do. The only exceptions were the two still holding him, who stepped forward, dragging his useless legs under him and causing him to grit his teeth to stifle the moan of pain that rose in his throat.

When the roughly threw him down on his knees in front of the demon general, Spike fell forward onto his face, not in submission, but simply so overwhelmed with pain that he was certain for a moment that he was going to black out.

*So he does it while you’re soddin’ unconscious…easier way to go…*

But with an extreme force of will, drawing in deep, ragged breaths, he managed to maintain consciousness, and slowly, with an effort, raised his head to look boldly up at the calm, studious expression on the general’s face.

“Well, why don’t you bloody well get on with it,” he ground out, his voice low to disguise the weakness and shaking from his battle injuries. “You got your big victory, million to four odds, lots of cheers all around, yeah?” he sneered sarcastically, his eyes narrowed in derision as he pointed out the extreme advantage the demon army had had. “And I don’t know what you think you’re gonna get from me, but I’m not gonna beg, and I’m not gonna scream, and I’m not gonna roll over and do a trick, so you might as bloody well end it.”

The demon did not respond for a long moment, and Spike wondered if he understood English at all -- but then, the demon’s smile widened in begrudging amusement, and he shook his head slightly, wonderingly, and Spike had the vague satisfaction of knowing that his defiance had not escaped the notice of his captor.

*And why exactly that’s a *good* thing, mate, remains to be seen,* the dark thought crossed his mind, as he steeled himself to bear the force of the general’s anger.

Still, he was not prepared as the smiling demon stepped forward to stand beside him, and suddenly stepped down with one heavy booted foot across both of his crushed legs, bearing down with all of his considerable weight.

Spike could not hold back the choked cry of anguish at the brutal punishment, his back arching with pain before he collapsed forward, unable to support himself through the incredible pain that shot through his body.

Removing his foot from the vampire’s injured legs, the demon general crouched down beside him, gripping his hair and yanking him back upright. Spike opened his wide, shocked eyes to meet a pair of cold, dark ones smiling cruelly into his, set in a surprisingly human face.

“That’s one down already,” a low, soft voice full of menace spoke in quiet amusement. “That wasn’t even difficult. And the things you listed are only the beginning of what I’ll make you do, vampire.”

He released Spike’s hair, rising to his feet in a fluid, graceful motion, his voice changing, hardening, as he addressed the assembled demons in their own language, his tone severe and commanding.

The two who had held Spike before moved forward and yanked him to his feet, eliciting a muffled moan of pain at even the slight weight that was placed on his mangled legs, more badly damaged now than before.

The general smiled wickedly at Spike, striking his legs out from under him with a sharp blow with the hilt of his sword, commenting softly as the vampire struggled to keep his composure in the face of the merciless pain.

“They’ll heal up well enough -- when I want them to. You’ll walk again, Spike.”

Spike looked up at him sharply in surprise, through his pain, his apprehension rising as the demon’s smile widened in understanding.

“That’s right,” he went on with a nod. “I know who you are. Or rather -- who you were. Now -- you’re nothing but mine. And in time -- I’ll see that you come to know that.”

Those were the last words that Spike heard, spoken just as the unseen demon behind him brought his club down sharply on the back of his head, sending his world swirling into a darkness from which he would not soon escape.

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