Summary: See Chapter 1
A/N Sorry this chapter is so short after such a long delay. Also, disregard everything we now know about Spike's mom and their history after the last episode. I don't want to deal with that.
"William!" Lady Carlisle stuck her head out the door. "Dear, you can come back in now."
Spike pushed himself off of the wall he had been leaning against, uncrossing his arms at the same time. Spike had been waiting outside while his mother and Nora try on some of the lady's dresses from her youth. The dresses were obviously outdated, but the style flattered Victoria more than the ones currently in fashion. The dresses, as well as a new hairdo, were the first steps in "Operation Edward". She hadn't wanted a makeover at first, but Spike explained that while she was lovely, she looked like Victoria. If she wanted Edward to see her as something other than a surrogate sister, she'd have to shock him into it.
Entering the lounge, Spike's attention immediately went to the girl standing nervously in the center of the room. Nora and Lady Carlisle stood on either side of her, proud smiles on their faces. And they have every right to be proud. Spike's mouth went dry as he took in the changes.
Victoria looked at the ground, blushing furiously. "Really?
"Oh, yeah, pet. If Edward's jaw doesn't drop when he sees you, he's blind."
Victoria took a deep, cleansing breath, as a weight left her shoulders. Looking up, she smiled brightly at Spike.
"So, what's step 2?
"Ah, ah, pet. All things in time. Let's give Step 1 a chance to work first."
"Oh…Ok. I need to go anyway. There's a seminar tonight."
"All right, luv. Have a good time."
After Victoria left and Nora went back to her normal duties, Spike experienced a weird sense of déjà vu as his mother picked up her embroidery and he sat down next to her with a book of poetry. His mind wasn't on the words though, as his heart swelled with love and pain, thinking of his mother and how much he had missed her. However, he was also in pain because he would keep trying to get home to Buffy and Dawn for as long as it took. They need me, even if she won't admit it! But he didn't know if could handle leaving his mother again, especially not now that he knew all this new information about her and her family.
"William?" His mother's voice was so soft; he barely heard it even with his vampiric hearing. He pulled himself out of his thoughts to realize he had been staring into space, the book closed in his hands.
"What's wrong, dear?"
"Uh…" He had spent too many years as a Big Bad to feel comfortable with expressing his feelings, especially when they could hurt the woman who was, and was quickly becoming again, the most important woman in his heart.
"Is it about your Buffy?" Spike looked up, his eyes wide with shock.
"I'm sorry, dear. I heard you speaking about her with Victoria. It sounds like you really care for this girl."
Spike sighed, putting the book onto the table next to him. "Yes, Mother. I do. I love her."
"And she doesn't love you?"
"All she sees is the monster."
"Then she doesn't deserve the man."
Spike sighed again. "Assuming there really is a man in me."
Lady Carlisle set her embroider down and moved forward in her chair to be closer to her son.
"William, don't talk like that. I raised you. I know you. I know the good man in you is stronger than any demon. You are still my son, still my brave, loving boy. When you get back to your time, go to her and let her see you. And if she still can't love you, then you need to get past it because this is destroying you. And you are too strong to let that happen. Furthermore, you need to live for you before you can live with her."
Throughout his mother's speech, the pain in Spike grew. A hundred years worth of walls around his heart crumbled as he broke down crying in his mother's arms. He no longer knew where William ended and Spike began. And he wasn't sure if it mattered anymore; they were, after all, the same person.
The moon floated over the peaceful Californian night. The rows of gravestones glowed in the eerie light. The only sounds were the common ones of a fight between the slayer and the enemy, as she participated in the never-ending story of her life.
Tonight, though, her heart wasn't in the battle. The fledgling's brown hair blurred to a bright white, the coat billowing out as the vampire spun to kick her lengthened and darkened until it became the traditional duster. The ridges of his game face smoothed out into Spike's human face, smirking at her as he goaded her on in their "dance". All of the delusions caused her to pause, the pain in her heart overwhelming everything – until the pain in her face exploded from the vampire's punch. Buffy then went on autopilot, and the vampire quickly turned to dust.
Gone…like every other vampire in my life. Buffy sank to her knees as the grief overpowered her. Tears flowed freely. I wish I could have told him how I felt.
Eventually, the tears subsided. She shakily climbed to her feet and staggered home as the sun peeked over the horizon. Walking into her house, she jumped in surprise when she saw Dawn, Giles, William and her friends sitting in the living room, worry on their faces.
"Buffy. Ah…two things actually." Giles stood, gesturing for Buffy to take his seat. "Remember the demon I was investigating before this whole Spike thing? I believe he's about to make his move."
"He's probably the one who cast the spell, too." Dawn piped up from her seat next to William. Giles looked over at the girl, flustered from being interrupted. He nodded and continued.
"Yes. We have to research more to be certain, though." Giles stopped, almost scared to tell her the next part – tell all of them actually since the rest didn't know it – he only wanted to tell the bad news once. He sat down on the edge of the sofa. "There's more. Uh. When I began researching this, I didn't know much about time travel. I still don't, as it's not really something the Watcher's Council holds with. But from what we do know, I believe we have a problem. About three weeks from now is the anniversary of William's death." William went white, still unnerved to think about his dying. "If William is not there for Drusilla to turn him, then there will be no Spike – in any time. He'll simply disappear. And, I believe, that William also will disappear, because after that fateful night passes, the world is not supposed to have a place for you in it."
Now everyone was staring at Giles with white faces. "But I could be wrong."
Buffy stood, walking over to the dining room table and the books strewn over it. "Then let's get started. We need to find more answers."