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27 July 2007 @ 11:57 am
Fic: The Rose Remembers (8/?)  
Author: Eurydice & Pepperlandgirl
Fic Title: The Rose Remembers
Summary: Nicholas and Buffy reach an understanding. A truth is revealed.
Rating: NC17 Spike/Buffy, Nicholas/Danny
Warnings: Violence and sexual content.
Banner number: 47 by athenamuze
Setting: About 2 1/2 years post-NFA and 6 months after the movie
Disclaimer: Not ours, as much as we would like them to be.
Author Notes: This is a crossover with the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer but honestly, you shouldn't have to be familiar with the show to be able to understand the fic. However, by reading the fic, you *will* get spoiled for the entire series. Just so that you know. Banner by moscowwatcher.
Previously: Buffy had a Slayer dream where Giles was killed, and in an effort to stop it from happening, went with him to Sandford, the town where her dream took place...
Previous chapter: Chapter 7. Crossposted to sandfordpolice pepperlandgirl4.





Chapter 8


Nicholas had one order of business to deal with once he finished speaking to Dr. Jenkins. Find Buffy. Get an explanation. He had only ever seen one person with the sort of strength she exhibited, and that hadn’t been a person at all. It had been a vampire, and Nicholas didn’t even think Gabriel would have been strong enough to knock down a door made of stone. And she clearly wasn’t a vampire. What did that leave?

Danny was waiting for him at the station, his face pale and drawn. As bad as the reverend had been in the catacombs, he was about one hundred time worse once they emerged from the castle. Danny had turned green, and had been quiet for the rest of the afternoon. It was honestly a wonder to Nicholas that the man had survived at all, and he couldn’t help but think that if they had been just thirty minutes later, he would have died from shock.

“Is he going to be alright?” Danny asked softly.

“He’s been stabilized. The doctor said he’ll be in intensive care for awhile.”

“Why did she leave him like that? Why not just…”

“I don’t know. But I intend to find out. Buffy, and Spike especially, seem awfully close to this Drusilla. They probably have enough information to shed some light on this.” Among other things.

“Let’s go. Do you now where they are?”

“No, but there aren’t too many options, are there?”

“As long as you don’t go for whatever’s behind door number three,” Buffy said from the open door of his office. She shook her head and grimaced. “Nobody needs that many sets of knives. Except for maybe Gordon Ramsay.”

Danny began to laugh, but one look at Nicholas’ face, and his smile died. “Dr. Jenkins said the reverend is stabilized.”

“Oh, that’s good. Have you had a chance to talk to him yet?”

“No,” Nicholas said. “He’s in intensive care. It might be a few days before we have a chance to speak to him. Did you see any sign of Drusilla at the castle?”

Buffy shook her head. The downward pull of her mouth indicated her displeasure with that. “I think I’ll have better luck tonight when I’ve got Spike with me. I kept getting turned around.” Her gaze flickered to Danny for a moment before she ventured a step inside. “Which brings me to why I’m here. Could I talk to you for a second, Inspector?”

“Yes, I think we have a few things to discuss.”

Danny moved towards the door. “I’m going out with Walker to help with the curfew. It’s almost sunset.”

“Radio me if anybody gives you any trouble,” Nicholas said, though he suspected nobody would give them any guff. Especially since news of what happened to Reverend Harner had spread throughout the village.

Danny nodded and shut the door behind him, leaving Nicholas alone with Buffy.

“He’s a good man,” she said as soon as they were alone. “He reminds me of a friend of mine.”

Nicholas couldn’t help but smile a little. “He’s a good officer, as well.” He tapped the end of his pen against his notebook. “What did you need to talk about?”

“Spike. And, well, eating. He kind of needs to, and nobody here is making it easy for him.”

Nicholas frowned. “I don’t understand. What does he usually eat? I mean…where does he usually get his…blood?”

“The butcher’s. Usually. But your local one wouldn’t sell to him. And when I tried to go and buy some instead, the guy behind the counter looked at me like he expected me to start bleeding out my eyes and asking for brains.”

“Oh. That’s just Harold. He’s a bit…high-strung. He started managing the counter after the NWA mess, and if you worked for his former bosses, you’d be a bit high-strung, too. I’ll take care of it. But first, I think you should tell me why you can kick through walls made of stone.”

He had to give the girl credit. She had a great poker face when she wanted one.

“Technically, it was a door.”

“Whatever it was, it was made of stone. But for you, it might as well have been made of foil.”

“Tell that to the heel I broke.” When he didn’t even blink at her unsuccessful joke, Buffy sighed and plopped down in the chair opposite him. “You wouldn’t buy the hopped up on adrenaline story, would you? It’s actually a really good one. Giles even has pictures he drew once, except, well, those are kind of creepy.”

“No. I’ve been hopped up on adrenaline. More than once. I’ve never put my foot through a wall…or a door.” His lips twitched. “Though I might be interested in Giles’ pictures. I’d like to see how something like that could be artistically rendered.”

“Believe me. Calling what he does art is generous.”

Silence lapsed as she chewed at her lip, clearly trying to determine how best to proceed. Finally, she half-shrugged, though he imagined it was more for herself than him, and relaxed back into the chair.

“Well, first off, I’m not really a psychic.”

“I never really believed you were. And since you don’t share Spike’s allergy to the sun or hunger for blood, you’re clearly not a vampire. Are you some sort of…” Nicholas paused, searching his brain for the best word. “Demon?” Even as he said it, he didn’t believe it.

“No. I’m what they call a Vampire Slayer. Extra strength, shorter lifespan, special destiny, yadda yadda. Basically, it’s my job to try and keep the world a safer place. Just like you.”

“A Vampire Slayer?” Nicholas suddenly wished Danny was still there. Danny would think of a thousand questions to ask, giving Nicholas a chance to process everything. But he did know the first question Danny would have asked, if he had stayed. “So you’re like a super hero?”

Her nose wrinkled. “Why do guys always jump to that place?” she complained. “But no. I’m just a girl who can benchpress a few more pounds than you can. And run faster. And jump higher. And yes, I know that sounds like a super hero, but I’m not. There are hundreds of girls like me.” She paused. “Just not quite as experienced.”

“Why didn’t you or Mr. Giles mention this before?”

“You didn’t even know vampires existed before. You really think you would’ve been open to the idea of a girl like me being able to toss you across the room without breaking a nail?”

“I suppose I’d be as open to the idea of you tossing me across the room as you are to me defending myself against vampires.”

Buffy winced. “Ouch. Well. I guess I deserve that one. Though you did okay with that Gabriel last night.”

“But you doubt how well I’d do with a stronger opponent?” Nicholas shrugged. “I don’t blame you. I certainly don’t have a decade of experience or supernatural strength, but I can hold my own.”

When she hesitated, Nicholas almost thought she was going to venture even more arguments about her obvious superiority. He was taken aback, then, when she said, “So what kind of weapons experience do you have?”

“I’ve won a dozen medals for marksmanship, I hold a black belt in karate, and I’m an expert swordsman.”

“Well, the karate will help,” Buffy conceded. “But a vampire is still stronger and faster than you’re likely to be. Your best is to try something long-range if you can. Especially if you know how to shoot.”

Nicholas couldn’t believe he was in a place where he had to prove himself to a strange, American girl. In fact, he couldn’t remember the last time he had to prove himself, and his abilities, to anybody. But he knew the best way to find Drusilla would be to pair off into teams, and he didn’t want to waste any time that night arguing with Buffy about it.

“If I know how to shoot? Would you care for a demonstration?”

She rose from her chair and smiled. “Maybe it’s time we both see what the other is capable of. Let me run back to the hotel and get the crossbow from Giles. Where do you want to meet?”

“Meet me right outside. We should probably get away from the village a bit. I don’t want to attract a crowd.”

Nicholas waited until Buffy left the station before he radioed for Danny’s return. He knew Danny would be interested in this little demonstration, and hurt if Nicholas didn’t think to contact him. And Danny didn’t lose any time in getting back to the station.

“What are you going to do?” Danny asked as they watched Buffy cross the village center.

“Settle a few things.”

“Oh, Spike’s with her.”

Nicholas squinted his eyes, looking up to the cloudy sky. The sun was still up, but it was low on the horizon. It wouldn’t be long until nightfall. “Must be dark enough not to bother him.”

“I could be one of those super-vamps, able to walk the day and all that Anne Rice nonsense,” Spike commented. Buffy smacked him lightly on the chest. “Or it could just be dark enough for me not to be fussed with. Right.”

A crossbow was strapped to Buffy’s back. “Where are we going?” she asked.

“Reaper’s farm, right?” Danny asked.

“Yeah. It’s still empty. We’ll have to drive up.” Nicholas nodded at the car.

“It’s been years since I’ve in the back of a police car,” Spike said, opening the door. “About thirty, in fact. We were in New York…”

Buffy held up her hand. “Is this another ‘Me and Dru’ story?”

“Maybe.”

“Save it then.”

Spike smirked. “Yes, ma’am.”

The hair on the back of Nicholas’ neck and hands stood on end as he started the car. He still didn’t like the use of guns—and he thought a crossbow was close enough—but a part of him always relished the chance to demonstrate his skills.

* * *


After so many years without seeing hide nor hair of Buffy, Spike thought he could watch her work with Nicholas all the way into the sunrise. He’d seen – and felt – her expertise the night before, and from the way his body was pleasantly sore in all the right places, he knew she was keeping her strength and skills up. But this was a Slayer who was honed into the perfect weapon. Without the burden of facing everything alone, she had been able to grow sleek and even more deadly until each movement was a blur of grace.

He was hard the very first time she did a high kick that knocked ol’ Nicky on his ass. At his side, Danny stiffened in concern, but Spike nudged him amiably with his elbow.

“He’s all right,” he assured. Already, the Inspector was rising to his feet, looking less than pleased that Buffy had succeeded in felling him so swiftly. Spike grinned. He’d seen that look on a lot of guys’ faces over the years. “She only makes it hurt when it counts.”

Danny nodded, but he never took his eyes off Nicholas. It occurred to Spike that he might have to restrain Danny from jumping into the fray if Buffy beat up on Nicky too much. But, Spike considered as the sparring continued, he might not have to worry about that. He knew Buffy would hold back on the blows she landed, but she wasn’t landing many. Nicholas was fast, dancing and ducking away from each attempt. But he was still taking a purely defensive stance, rarely attempting to make a move against Buffy.

“He’s goin’ to have to be braver than that,” Spike said. “He hangs back, and Dru’ll eat him alive.”

“He’s just watching,” Danny muttered. “Waiting for his opening.”

As soon as Danny finished speaking, Nicholas made his move. A high kick connected with Buffy’s chest, and then he dropped low, attempting to sweep her legs out from under her.

She leapt at the last moment, avoiding contact, but Spike was impressed by the way the man retained his balance, even returning to a defensive position before Buffy’s feet came back to earth.

“That was good,” he heard Buffy say. “What you need to do, though, is not stop. I was vulnerable for a second. And if you have enough time to get back into a ready, you have enough time to look for another opening. Let’s do that again.”

Nicholas seemed to be eager to do just that. But this time, he didn’t lead off with a kick. She blocked his first hit, but the second attempt got her in the shoulder, momentarily knocking her off balance. He tried to sweep her legs out again, and once again, she leapt into the air, avoiding his kick. But unlike the first time, Nicholas didn’t immediately drop back to a defensive position. He rolled to his back, his foot going up to connect with her stomach just as she landed.

This time, he hit. Squarely in Buffy’s solar plexus. It was enough to knock her backwards, but what would’ve been a fall for a normal human being, she turned into a half-twist, half-roll to end up six feet away, crouching down like a cat ready to pounce.

“Better.” She grinned. “Pull stunts like that on most vamps, you shouldn’t have any problem going in for the stake.”

Nicholas jumped to his feet, but his face was still set in a grim frown. The smile he should have been wearing was on Danny’s face.

“But will it be good enough against Drusilla?” Nicholas asked.

“No,” Buffy said. “But you’re talking about a vampire who’s been around for hundreds of years, and is crazier than the world is wide. It’s probably going to take both me and Spike to bring her down. And we’re the best.”

Nicholas grinned. Spike thought it was the first time he saw the other man look anything other than dour. “You’re modest, too.”

She shrugged, but Spike caught her pleased flush. “Hey, you save the world for the fifth or sixth time, and modesty starts to seem really overrated.” She gestured toward the crossbow that still sat off to the side. “Wanna try something long-range? If you have any chance at Dru, that’ll be it.”

As Nicholas agreed, Spike leaned back against the fence he and Danny stood next to and reached into his pocket. “Your boy a good shot?” he asked.

“The best,” Danny answered without hesitation.

Spike didn’t bother to correct him. In Danny’s eyes, he imagined Nicholas Angel was the best at anything he did.

“Pick the target,” Nicholas said, accepting the crossbow from Buffy.

She turned her back on Spike and Danny and peered through the dim light. “That tree,” she indicated, pointing.

Nicholas aimed the crossbow. “Any particular spot on the tree?”

“On the trunk. Next to the lowest branch. Think of it as a vampire’s heart.”

Nicholas squared his feet, closed one eye, and fired. Spike opened his mouth, ready to scoff. He hadn’t set himself properly. It didn’t even look like he aimed properly. But the bolt whistled through the air and lodged itself in the tree.

On the trunk. Next to the lowest branch.

“Told ya,” Danny said.

Spike had to give the man his due. He might look rubbish as he was doing it, but he got the result. “Now he’s just got to hope Dru wants to come out and play tonight,” he commented.

Nicholas silently handed the crossbow to Buffy. She took it and raised the weapon to aim. After a few moments, she pulled the trigger, and the bolt hit so close to Nicholas’ that it almost looked like there was only one bolt in the tree.

Nicholas nodded. “Nice work. How much damage will a high caliber gun do to a vampire?”

“It might slow ‘em down, but it won’t stop them. You go ahead and keep this until we finish this business.” She smiled. “I trust you not to wreck it. It’s Giles’ favorite.”

“Thanks. I’ll take good care of it. I’m going to arm Danny with his Baretta. It may not stop her, but if we find her, it sounds like slowing her down is the most we can hope for anyway.”

“No, it’s the most you can hope for,” Spike murmured. He took a deep drag on his cigarette. This whole bloody assignment of Angel’s was a pile of wrong, and the sooner he saw the back of it, the happier he was going to be.

He caught a flash of gold from Buffy’s hair.

Except then he’d be losing his Slayer all over again. Because she had a life she was living, and he had…

Spike scowled. He had Angel. Wanker.

“When we get back to the station, I’ll give you a radio. I think it might be best if we can stay in communication. Me and Danny are going to stay on patrol tonight. I don’t want another person going missing like Reverend Harner. We might not get so lucky a second time.” Nicholas paused. “If you can call that lucky.”

Buffy nodded like she knew what exactly was going on. It prompted Spike to frown over at Danny.

“What’s this about the Reverend?”

“Oh, last night Drusilla snatched the Reverend from the church. We discovered he was missing this morning, so we went to look for him in the catacombs.” Danny nodded Nicholas and Buffy and lowered his voice. “I wasn’t there for the whole thing, but apparently those two nearly came to blows over Buffy coming with us.”

Spike’s eyes narrowed. He remembered Buffy coming in and arming up, but she’d said it was just to do the search. She hadn’t said a word about anything being amiss.

General Buffy was still in charge, apparently.

“Yeah, Buffy can be a bit of a bitch when it comes to getting her own way.”

Danny’s eyes widened. “Well, you know, I wouldn’t say that.”

“Are you going to be searching the catacombs tonight?” Nicholas was asking.

“That’s the plan. If Drusilla is down there, Spike will find her.”

That might have been Buffy’s plan, but Spike was beginning to think he needed to come up with one of his own. One where he laid a few ground rules first.

Drusilla would be stopped. But fuck if he was going to lose his pride at the same time he lost his sire.

* * *


Drusilla always heard the saddest, most beautiful song as night approached. The wind whispered the mournful words of a million tears, and the very soil seemed to cry out to her. It was hungry. The earth was hungry, and her stomach growled in sympathetic pangs. The song always woke her from delicious dreams of blood and torture. Sandford was thick with the agony. And below all of the endless screams, she could still hear her mother’s song. The moon whispered it to her.

She liked to dance when the blood ran hot down her throat.

As soon as the sun was gone, Drusilla rose from her bed and drifted out of her room and down the stairs. Her feet rarely touched the ground when the moon was this full, and the air was so laden with sorrow. She’d go to the castle first, where the bittersweet aroma of death was the strongest. She’d dance there with the bones until her Spike came out to play.

And Spike always came out to play. Spike remembered their games well. He may not follow the rules, but that didn’t mean he didn’t know them.

“Drusilla.”

She froze. His voice. A small whimper escaped her throat. Why wasn’t he asleep? What did he want? He always sounded so hard. And the way he spoke to her! There had once been a time that if anybody ever spoke to her that way, Daddy would have punished his irreverent tongue by ripping it out of his head and feeding it to her in bits and pieces.

“Drusilla, come here.”

Still whimpering, she drifted closer.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

“Miss Edith wants a bite to eat.”

“Miss Edith isn’t here.”

“She’s hungry. She just wants a bit to eat. Just a sip.”

“You know the rules, Drusilla. You can only eat when I tell you to. And what did I tell you about meals?”

“Not to drain anybody dry.”

“Right. But no eating until you give me your report.”

Drusilla still didn’t like his tone. Spike was out there. Spike was waiting for her, waiting for their games. She knew he was still bleeding over the Slayer, and that she had lost him. Some nights, the clouds over the stars cleared, and she saw everything very clearly indeed. He’d taste like ashes in her mouth. The Slayer would be his end. But Spike needed to understand that she still knew the rules they made. She began to move to the door.

Drusilla.”

His sharp tone sent a delicious shiver down her spine. This wasn’t his real voice. Or his real mask. But he wore it for so long, he forgot the bloody face underneath.

“Tell me what you’ve seen. Please, don’t make me hurt you.”

Drusilla’s features shifted, and she regarded him with yellow eyes. “You’re weak. You think I can’t see it? They’re all dancing around you…dancing, dancing, and laughing at you. Like they always have. Like they always will.”

He didn’t speak again. He didn’t have to. He merely narrowed his hard eyes and her face burned as a dozen welts erupted across her skin. Drusilla shrieked and turned away from him, clawing at her cheeks until blood flowed over the red burns.

“Don’t make me do that again, Drusilla. Please, be reasonable. Just tell me what you’ve learned, and you’re free to go for the night.”

“Spike.”

“Spike is here in Sandford?”

Drusilla’s vampire features melted away and tears mingled with the blood as she nodded.

“What about Angel?”

“No, my Spike is here all by himself.” She sighed. “But he’s not mine anymore, is he? The Slayer has found him again, and she’ll never let me have him back.”

“Buffy is here as well?”

“Yes. She found our present today. She didn’t like the blood.”

“No, she wouldn’t.” He looked at her again with his muddy blue eyes, and Drusilla immediately tensed. He only looked at her when he wanted to hurt her. Otherwise, he couldn’t stand to see her face. He smiled when he saw her obvious fear. “Go, Dru. But remember, you’re not allowed to kill anybody. Remember what happened when you killed that boy?”

Drusilla cupped her cheek and moaned softly. “I remember.”

“And don’t fight with Spike. He’s mine to deal with.”

Drusilla closed the distance between them and touched his shoulder. “Spike misses you, you know. Daddy, too. I can hear the stars crying for you, like they cry for me.” She dropped her voice to a bare whisper. “But nobody’s going to come for us. Nobody’s ever going to come for us. They don’t miss you enough to save you.”

Wesley’s mouth set in a hard line and he pushed her away with enough force to send her stumbling across the room. “I don’t need them to save me.”

“No,” Drusilla said, turning to the door. “We were both lost a long time ago.”


To be continued in Chapter 9...
 
 
 
prairiestar: nick heart dannyprairiestar on July 27th, 2007 11:51 pm (UTC)
WTFWESLEY?!

I need to know what's going on... you are doing clever, cool things.

If I'd read that latest comic book season of Buffy, would that help? Or is it okay for me to be confused at this point?

I loved the scene of Spike and Danny watching Nicholas and Buffy spar. It's awesome how similar Danny is to both Andrew and Xander, except that he neither hates nor crushes on Spike. He only has eyes for Nicky... ;P
pepperlandgirlpepperlandgirl4 on July 27th, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC)
You should be confused at this point. Neither eurydice or I have read the S8 Buffy comic, so that has nothing to do with what we're doing. :) But never fear! All will be revealed in good time...

I imagine Danny is a bit awestruck by Spike and Buffy since they're both practically super-heroes, but in the end, he's all about the pure awesomeness that is Nicky :D

prairiestar: nick heart dannyprairiestar on July 28th, 2007 04:55 pm (UTC)
You should be confused at this point
*phew*! OK, just checking. I wanted to make sure it was as good and WTF? as it seemed to be, so I wouldn't be disappointed later if I found out I had just misunderstood what was going on.

he's all about the pure awesomeness that is Nicky :D
As am I. I didn't even know that I wanted a Buffy vs. Nicholas training scene until you guys started leading up to it, at which point I started grinning in delight.

I'm embarrassed about how badly I'm geeking out over this story. But BTVS is a favorite fandom that I never get tired of, and HF is the new darling. So please excuse all my gushing comments. I'm just a really happy fangirl right now. :)

neek_loveneek_love on July 28th, 2007 01:29 am (UTC)
PHWOAR!!!

What a twist! Wes, you sneaky wee man...
Cannot wait for more!