Spike had arrived in Sunnydale two weeks ago, after following a lead on another portal to Hell. This small, seaside town looked idyllic during the day, with a thriving business district and a large University full of students to spend their parent’s money. The daily hustle and bustle on the streets was a sham that many residents had accepted. They quickly retreated to their small, cozy homes as soon as the sun set, locking the doors and windows, curling up with their crosses and wooden stakes.
He thought back to his lone evenings in the vast countryside of England. He had investigated and questioned the identities of many of the demons he'd encountered. Many thought he was mad, but there had been a few who were willing to not only tell him things, but show him as well. He had seen more than any mere mortal should ever have to see.
A month ago he was in Bedford, England, where he was born. Nice place to live, he thought. If you're a vampire. Bedford was known as Porta of Abyssus by the locals, or the Gates of Hell. Things from your worst nightmares poured out into the world from there. Spike’s job was to stand between those nightmares and the world.
He had watched them. He had learned their ways. He knew how they fed, where they lived, and how they killed. He trained during the day in abandoned barns, honing his strength in secret, practicing for a fight that he knew would soon come. He had sought revenge at first, but he learned something during the months he'd spent training. He had a talent. He was to be a slayer of demons. He was to be the Slayer.
Life had been hard for young William. He had been born to a single mother, who died giving birth. The nuns, who ran the local orphanage, then raised him. The orphanage was crowded and the nuns were forced to be very strict with the children to keep the place running smoothly. No room for error, Master William He had heard that line for many years as he was disciplined harshly. William had been a studious child, always trying to please and protect others, but there were times that he'd rebelled. He was strong-willed as well as being physically strong, and trouble always seemed to find him. He was different from the other children, in many ways, and ridiculed because of it.
He lived there longer than most of the other children, and never once did a family express interest in him because of the records the nuns kept. They had referred to him as a problem child. William's fourteenth year at the orphanage was to be his last. Not because a loving family had taken him in, but because he left. He left after a series of events that changed his life forever.
One night, as he lay in bed, listening to his stomach growl from the small dinner he was served nightly, he heard a sound in the hall. He rose from his bed, dressed only in a nightshirt, and crept to the doorway to locate the source of the sound. What he saw changed him forever. Sister Francis was lying on the floor, her habit was pushed up around her waist, her legs spread wide. But that was not the most disturbing sight. Her throat had been bitten. Two holes on the side of her neck still showed the blood glistening in the fluorescent lighting. She was dead. He could tell by the odd angle of her neck and the glazed look on her face. She was so pale. He rushed to her, covering her, so others wouldn’t see that she had been violated.
Screams erupted from his room behind him. He quickly rushed to find several men... no, not men... demons, attacking the other boys in the room. William ran into the room in an attempt to save his bunkmate, Wesley. Wesley's screams had stopped, but the demon was still drinking from his neck. William sped towards the demon, who tossed Wesley's limp body to the side, preparing to take William on. William leapt into the air, successfully landing a kick to the demon's head, knocking him flat on the floor. William then grabbed his head, and with a sharp, abrupt twist, broke his neck. The other demons saw William's attack, and scattered, as he immediately rushed toward the next victim’s attacker.
Making sure they had all fled from the dormitory, he went to Wesley. Kneeling, and then rocking his dead friend, and surrounded by dead bodies, a priest arrived. He was hauled away, accused of being possessed by the devil, for causing the deaths of several orphans, and the murder and rape of Sister Francis. An exorcism was planned to save his soul from eternal damnation.
He ran at his first chance. Living and learning as he tried to escape the demons in his mind.
He could sense a vampire was near; the same type of hybrid beast that had killed his only friend, Wesley. The same kind of beast that had caused him much pain, both mental, at the things he had witnessed, and physical, from the priest who thought he was possessed. Vampires were the worst of all the demons he knew. He had studied many types of demons and had learned that some were even productive members of the communities where they lived. He originally assumed that they were all soulless creatures, devil spawn perhaps, and had quickly learned he was wrong. Spike found that good and evil were in all creatures, they simply made a choice on how to live their lives. However, the only exceptions to that rule were vampires. He had never come across one with anything but evil on its mind.
He stalked his prey, stake raised, as he came around a large crypt. Spike expected to see a group of vampires feeding or perhaps a lone one feeding, but that was far from what he was presented with. Sitting on top of a long sarcophagus, was a stunning blond, reading a book in the moonlight. He knew she was a vampire, but he was strangely drawn to her. Her sparkling green eyes met his as he stood there. Her beauty was breathtaking. He was speechless, so she spoke for him.
"Hello there, stranger. Aren’t you a bit lost? Sunnydale cemeteries are the last place a young man should be traipsing around." She paused, cocked her head to the side and said. , "Cat got your tongue?"
Spike snapped out of his daze as she shifted her sitting position. He wasn’t sure what to do for the first time as he stood facing what he knew to be a master vampire. The tiny hairs on the back of his neck prickled, as he got closer. He knew he should stake her, dust her where she sat, but something stopped him. This worried him. Was he under her thrall? Still he was silent.
The vampiress laughed. "Are you ok? I couldn’t have scared you yet, I haven’t even flashed you any fang. Name’s Buffy, and you are?" She hopped off the sarcophagus, and sauntered over to the man. She noticed the stake in his hand, and stopped in her tracks. "Seems, you have an agenda, dear man. And you aren’t even going to introduce yourself before we fight to the death?"
Spike gripped the stake in his hand, "My name is Spike, and I am a demon slayer, and you, vile vampiress, are a demon." He shivered as the temptress stepped closer.
"I may be a demon, but I have done no harm." She circled him, tracing his shoulder line with her pointer finger. She maintained am an arm's-length between them, as she came back around to face him.
Spike’s knees felt weak. What was she doing to him? "You may have been waiting for your next victim, having set a trap. You may have been waiting for me."
Buffy smiled, "I’ve never met a slayer, tell me, how did you get this job? Please, tell me you were mythically chosen by the Powers that Be." She giggled and hopped back up on the crypt and picked up her book. "Spike, I’ve been around for over a hundred years and have read all the classics. But this book," she held up the huge hardback book so he could see the cover that read, The Stand, "will be a classic one day. Fabulous writer that Stephen King, has such a vivid imagination. Have you ever read it?"
Spike couldn’t believe he was standing, stake in hand, in front of a master vampire discussing modern literature. Was she different? Was this a trick? Was she trying to lull him into a false sense of security, then drain him? "No, Buffy the vampire, I haven’t read King’s The Stand. Are we going to fight soon? This conversation, as genuinely interesting as it is, is just stalling the inevitable."
Buffy set her book down, and stood on the grave. "If you want to tango with me, all you had to do was ask. But fighting, isn’t so much my style. I’m housebroken or haven’t you heard. Sire’s got me on a pig blood diet. Says it's a step one in my redemption plan. So, if you’re looking for a fight, I could do it, and piss off Daddy. Or I could to the "right" thing and walk away. Look, Spike, it’s time for me to go. Maybe our paths will cross again. But next time, you won't win my unbeating heart if you try to dust me." In a flash, she had grabbed her book and was gone.
Spike was once more speechless. Had he met a "good" vampire? Was he simply fooled by her beauty? He had some research to do, and had already learned that Willie’s bar was the place to go. He needed to find out more about Buffy and her do-good sire.
Walking to the bar, he remembered her grace, her sparkling eyes, her smooth, pale skin. Buffy, odd name for such a beautiful creature. He secretly hoped that he’d see her again. History had told him that there were no vampires worthy of unlife. Was she an anomaly? And wasn’t he?