Welcome To Mystic Falls, Spike
WELCOME TO MYSTIC FALLS, SPIKE
Spike followed the directions to Mystic Falls, VA that Angel had given him. The stupid ponce had made such a fuss about Buffy's new beau that Spike had agreed to go check on the blonde Slayer just to shut Angel up. He finally found the driveway he was looking for and pulled in. It stretched on for a while before opening up in front of a large Tudor style mansion. Spike whistled and got out, staring around at the expansive property.
"This is a step up from that apartment in Rome, love." Spike said. Instead of going straight to the door, he decided to walk to grounds and see if Buffy was even home. She was apparently driving a Mercedes that she'd inherited when her friend Lexi had been killed. He checked the garage and anywhere else a car might be parked, but there was no sign of a Mercedes.
Heading back to his car, he decided to drive into town and check the place out. He'd come back later to see if she'd returned. The town square looked exactly like a picturesque little Southern town square that he'd seen in dozens of movies. The Mystic Grill looked promising. It was the only real place to hang out from what Spike could tell. He parked his car on the street and headed inside. The place wasn't too busy, so he made his way to the bar and took a seat. Buffy's smell was somewhere in the place, but she was nowhere to be seen.
A tall, blonde boy walked past carrying a tray of dirty dishes. "Hey, mate." Spike said, stopping him. "Do you know Buffy Summers?"
"Oh yeah! She was in here not too long ago with Elena and Caroline." The boy eyed him warily. "Who are you?"
"An old friend. Any idea where they went?"
"No idea. They were doing a girls' day."
The boy moved off and Spike sighed. "You're new." A voice said behind him. He turned to find an older, fairly attractive woman in a nice linen pant suit and pearls. "Did I hear you asking about Buffy Summers?"
"Yeah. You know her?"
"We're friends." She held out her hand. "Carol Lockwood. I'm the mayor of Mystic Falls."
"William." Spike said, shaking Carol's hand. "Mayor, huh? She doesn't trust mayors."
"She's never mentioned that to me."
"Well, the last one she knew tried to kill her and her entire graduating class."
"I can see where the mistrust comes from. I'm not looking to kill her, though. She's been a real help to our community and to the Gilbert family. She's become very active on the Founders Council as the legal guardian for Elena and Jeremy Gilbert and as the future Mrs. Salvatore."
"She's just a regular upstanding citizen."
"More than you know." Spike found that comment weird, but he let it slide.
"Wait! 'Future Mrs. Salvatore'?"
"Yes. Damon popped the question recently. He has impeccable taste. The ring is gorgeous!"
Spike fought hard not to punch this woman in the face. No need to kill the messenger. "I'm sure. Listen, I need to see her. Any idea where I can find her?"
"The Salvatore Boarding House, of course."
"Yeah, I tried there…. She wasn't home."
Carol sighed. "There's a party this evening that she'll be attending."
"I wasn't invited."
"I'm inviting you. I need a plus one."
Spike smirked. "Tell me more about her work on the Founders Council."
Spike stood outside the mansion and shook his head at all the formally attired people walking into the house. Angel had mentioned that this town had a thing for big, fancy parties. Spike made his way around the expansive front of the house, searching for any sign of Buffy. Unfortunately, Carol found him first. The woman was nice, but she seemed like the clingy sort.
"William! What are you doing out here?" She said, making her way towards him.
"I'm keeping an eye out for Buffy."
"She'll come inside. You should wait for her in there." She wound her arm through his and led him towards the door. Spike steeled himself to run into the barrier and then dash off, but to his surprise he passed over the threshold with no problems. The owners of the house were dead…. Or vampires. Lovely. Buffy sure knew how to pick them.
"So, how long will you be staying in Mystic Falls, William?" Carol asked.
"Not long." Spike said, looking around for the vampires he could sense. "Just passing through."
"How sad." Spike felt a familiar tingle and knew that his Slayer had arrived. He searched for her, but couldn't find her. "There she is." Carol let go of Spike and made her way towards a blonde woman looking warily around her.
Spike didn't recognize Buffy at all. She was completely done up in a deep purple, strapless, form-fitting, satin A-line gown with pickups all through the skirt. The top had a slash of tight ruffles that looked like flowers that had sparkles throughout them. At her hip was another set of ruffle flowers that sat atop a deep, daring slit that exposed her entire left leg. The back of the dress was laced up tightly like a corset. Her shoes were the same shade of purple, high-heeled peep toes. Her hair was curled and teased so she looked like she'd just rolled out of bed. Her makeup made her skin seem to glow and her eyes…. Something was different about them and it wasn't the makeup.
"Buffy, you look absolutely stunning." Carol said, walking up to Buffy and her date.
"Thank you, Carol. You look pretty amazing yourself." Buffy said.
"I have someone that would like to meet you. Excuse us, Damon. Hello, Elena, Stefan, Caroline." Carol took Buffy's arm and steered her away from the little group she was with. "His name is William."
"And he is….?"
"He's here from out of town, but he's interested in your work here on the Council and as a Slayer."
"And he came to you instead of me?"
"Well, I've tried going to your house a few times, but you're never home." Spike said as she drew up to him.
"Oh, you have got to be kidding me." Buffy rolled her eyes at him. "First Angel, now you?"
"Well, from what Peaches told me, I got worried. Thought I'd come check on you."
"You two know each other?" Carol asked.
"Unfortunately." Buffy said, glaring at Spike. "Excuse us, Carol." Buffy grabbed his arm and dragged him off. She seemed to possess a greater strength and grace than she had the last time he'd seen her. "What in the world are you doing here?"
"You look amazing, by the way. How come you've never dressed up like this before?" Spike was still trying to figure out what was so different about her.
"Stop stalling. Why are you here?"
"I told you…." He grabbed her hand, meaning to be charming, but the temperature of her skin was wrong. "Wait…. Why are your hands so cold? And your eyes are different…." He looked at her, hard, and took a whiff of the air in front of her. He took a step back, shaking his head in shock. "No…."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah…. I'm a vampire." She sounded so nonchalant about it.
"Are you out of your sodding mind!" Spike exploded.
"Keep it down, would you? And no, I'm not out of my mind."
"Buffy! There you are." A man said, walking up to Buffy and wrapping an arm around her waist and taking her hand to kiss her knuckles.
"Just what I need!" Buffy groaned.
The man eyed Spike warily. "Who's your friend, love?"
"Oh, I see…." Spike said. "You must be this Damon Angel keeps ranting about."
"No. He's Klaus." Buffy said, dislodging herself from Klaus's grasp. "Damon is somewhere else at this party."
Klaus…. That name was familiar. He was the big bad vampire that made Angelus his bitch. "So you're the big bad, eh?"
"More like the big thorn in my side."
Klaus chuckled at her sour face and ignored Spike altogether. "You look utterly ravishing tonight, darling. I'm so glad you could come."
"I need a drink." Buffy turned and marched away from Spike and Klaus.
Klaus looked at Spike. "Who are you, friend?"
"Oh, I'm not your friend." Spike said. "I'm hers."
"That doesn't tell me your name."
Klaus smirked. "William the Bloody."
"Haven't been him in a long while, mate."
"That's too bad." Klaus turned and walked off, heading for the stairs where a group of…. Great, more vampires…. Were gathering.
"Uh, if everyone could gather please!" One of them called from the stairs. Spike looked for Buffy and found her at the bar. She turned looked around for someone and Spike didn't miss the slight eye roll when she saw him making his way towards her. "Welcome. Thank you for joining us."
"What kind of friends do you have here, pet?" Spike asked when he finally reached her.
"Shh!" Buffy waved him off when she spotted a woman walking down to join the vampires on the stairs.
"You know, whenever my mother brings our family together like this, it's tradition for us to commence the evening with a dance. Tonight's pick is a century's old waltz. So if all of you could find yourselves a partner, please join us in the ballroom." The speaker moved down the stairs.
Spike glanced at Buffy. She'd never danced with him and he wasn't sure she'd do it now. What the hell…. He held his hand out to her. "How well can you waltz?" She looked at his hand for a second, but never got to answer. A man…. Vampire…. With dark hair and dazzling eyes walked up to them.
"There you are." He said, looking at Spike with wary eyes. "Who's your friend?"
"Damon, Spike. Spike, Damon." Buffy said. Oh, so that was Damon.
"Spike? As in….?"
"Yes." Buffy looked at the woman on the stairs making her way back up and then looked across the room for someone else. Spike could sense that she wanted to talk to the woman on the stairs, but she didn't want to do it alone. Why didn't she want her…. Fiancé to go? Damon seemed to notice this, too, and Buffy looked at him. "She wants to see Elena and I…. alone."
"Well that's not going to happen." Damon said.
"You may be all-powerful, but she's an all-powerful witch."
What the hell? "What am I missing?" Spike asked.
"A lot." Buffy looked up at the now empty staircase and then at the people grouping up around them and heading for the ballroom.
"It would be rude not to dance, you know." Damon said, holding out his hand.
Buffy sighed. "It is tradition." She took his hand and looked at Spike.
"Oh balls…." He turned and walked off, but he didn't get far.
"There you are. How well can you waltz, William?" Carol grabbed him and pulled him towards the ballroom to dance. Spike went along with it, noticing Buffy's smirk. He promised to get her back for it later as he chose a spot near Buffy and Damon, but not close enough to make it obvious he was eavesdropping.
As they started to dance, Damon said, "Why do your exes keep popping up like this?"
"I have no idea." Buffy said, keeping up with the steps, much to Spike's surprise.
"How are we supposed to plan a wedding," Damon turned her into hold and pulled her close as they moved in the box steps around the room. "When these distractions keep appearing?"
Buffy smiled and Spike felt a jealous pang. She really did love the bloke. No wonder Angel hated him so much.
"Who said we're planning a wedding?" Buffy quipped. "I thought you just wanted a more solid title."
"Well, 'husband' is a very solid title." Buffy shook her head at Damon. "Besides, I just remembered how stunning you look in formal wear."
"Maybe. But I'm not the only one in this room staring at you."
"Yeah. A good portion of them are vampires." Spike didn't miss the slight glare that Damon shot him and he was sure that Buffy didn't miss it.
Damon smirked at Buffy. "You'd be surprised how many human men stare at you." Spike had to agree with that. The bird was gorgeous.
"You're an excellent waltzer." Carol said.
"Time to change partners, love." Spike turned Carol into someone else just as Damon turned Buffy. She ended up trading partners into Klaus's arms. Spike stepped away from the dancers, leaving the poor redheaded woman standing there with no dance partner. Damon tried to come back for Buffy, but another blonde vampire had him and was dancing him away. Spike groaned and moved towards the wall, keeping his sharp hearing out for anything Buffy and Klaus said."Alone at last." Klaus was saying. Buffy didn't say anything, and if she did, Spike missed it. "Why is your old flame crashing my mother's party?""Angel went and told him about everything that's been going on here." Buffy said. "How much I've changed because of Damon…."
"And neither of them like it?"
Of course not!
"Of course not." Buffy echoed his thoughts.
"And now Spike knows about your new lifestyle. How's that going?"
I haven't gotten to rip into her about it.
"He seems pretty upset."
"I could have him ejected for you."
Damn well better not, you sodding prick!
"Please don't. I don't want any drama tonight."
Thank you, Buffy.
"As you wish." Buffy started looking around the ballroom distractedly. Spike couldn't tell what she was looking for since Buffy obviously couldn't find it. "What is it, love?" Klaus asked.
Buffy shook her head. "I'm just…. Overwhelmed."
"It happens to us all in the beginning. You'll get used to it."
"I meant…. I think Damon wants to actually have a wedding, Spike's suddenly in town, you're after me, and now Stefan's…." She shook her head again, trailing off. So maybe she wasn't as in love with Damon as Angel thought. Then again, Buffy had a bit of a commitment problem.
"Stefan's what?" Klaus prodded.
"I think he's still in love with Elena."
"Hi!" The redhead from earlier said, walking up. "You ditched me."
"Sorry, pet. Not a fan of this dance." Spike said.
"You seemed pretty good with the Mayor."
"How old are you?"
"Nineteen." Spike lifted an eyebrow. "Ok, I'm here with my parents. I'm sixteen."
"Too young for me." Spike looked up and noticed Buffy moving away from Klaus with speed that he could barely track.
Spike managed to catch her just as she made it across the hall and into a library. "What's going on?" Buffy asked with a glance at Spike as he walked in behind her.
"We need to talk to Esther." A young, dark haired girl said. He figured her for Elena, so the vampire must be Stefan. "But Damon won't allow it."
"Oh, he's talked to you, too, huh?"
"Who's this?" The other vampire in the room asked, eyeballing Spike. Spike thought he looked like Angel's younger brother, so he was definitely Stefan.
"He's…. Spike." Buffy said, glancing at him. Spike mentally shrugged at the lame introduction. Their history was long and sordid and apparently this wasn't the time to get into it. "So, what do you have in mind?"
"You're not going to like it." Elena said.
Buffy sighed. "Guys, I don't want to hurt him just to get upstairs to see her."
"You may be able to get past Damon, but Elena won't. Not without a scene." Stefan said. "I'll just incapacitate him…."
"How? By breaking his neck?"
"That would work."
"No! We are not hurting him. I'll talk to him."
"Which will take too much time. I think this offer might be time sensitive."
"Can someone fill me in here?" Spike asked finally. He'd had enough of them talking over his head. "I'm really lost."
"It's too much to cram in a nutshell." Buffy said before looking at Stefan. Spike rolled his eyes. Always so damn bossy. "He just needs to be distracted so Elena can get past him."
Stefan looked at Spike. "Well, he could act like Angel and tell Damon to take a break from you."
"It wouldn't be acting, mate." Spike said. "From what I've heard…."
"You heard wrong." Buffy snapped. "But that plan could work."
Spike looked at Buffy. "Wait, is what you're planning to do dangerous?"
"Could it get you killed?"
Buffy shrugged. "Maybe."
Spike sighed. He trusted her completely when it came to stuff like this. "Well, you've always been good with maybe situations. I'll go pick a fight with your sweetie-bear. But I bloody well better get some explanations before the night is out." He turned and marched out.
Damon wasn't hard to find. He was searching for Buffy and not being shy about it. Spike moved into the other vampire's path, blocking him from getting near the stairs and seeing Buffy and Elena. "Have you seen Buffy?" Damon asked.
"I was searching for her myself. But since I've found you instead…."
Damon rolled his eyes. "Look, Angel can stop sending his lackeys…."
"I'm not a lackey! And I'm sure as hell not that ponce's lackey!"
"And you're here because?"
"I'm looking out for the bird. I do love her and I care about her. I don't want to see her with the wrong man."
"What makes you think you're the right man?"
"Never said I was." Damon looked surprised. "Yeah. I know I'm not what she needs. I wish I was, but…. I'll never be what she needs or wants.""What about Angel?"
"I don't think the wanker's right for her either, but I can't tell him how to feel. I always was the smarter one of the two of us."
"How do you know I'm not the right man?"
"You kill people."
"I'm a vampire.""But you don't have to kill people."
"No. I don't. But that's what vampires do."
"And now you've turned her into one."
"It was her choice. Unlike some of the men in her life, I let her make her own decisions. She's actually pretty good at making them."
It was Spike's turn to look surprised. Damon had a point there. The men in Buffy's life did like to take her choices away from her. He always figured that had been his appeal to her: that he always let her choose. He was starting to worry that maybe Buffy liked men that told her what to do.
Damon sighed. "Look…. I get that you and Angel are worried about her. I do. And honestly, I'm still amazed that she even gives me the time of day after everything I've put her through. But I love her and I will do anything…. Anything…. To keep her happy."
Spike nodded. "Well…. The warning still stands."
"If you hurt her in any way…. I will hunt you down and kill you in the nastiest way possible."
"Fair enough. Willow's already made that threat, though. And she's scarier than you are."
Spike blew out a breath that could also be interpreted as a laugh. "Big Red is the scariest person I've ever met."
"So, have you seen Buffy?"
"Oh. Yeah. She and Elena are upstairs with that Esther woman."
"I was sent out here to be the distraction so they could get up there without you making a scene."
Damon growled and shoved past Spike. Spike smirked, taking a small pleasure in pissing Damon off, and followed. Stefan was standing guard at the bottom of the stairs and he stopped his brother before he could hit the first stair.
"Stop, Damon." Stefan said calmly.
"Oh, you're in on it too!" Damon said, his voice low and dangerous.
"They're up there with the world's most dangerous witch with no protection. They are not fine."
"Just let them handle this. I trust them."
"I don't trust Esther."
"Calm down." Spike said. "Buffy has handled worse." Damon turned and stormed off. Spike looked at Stefan. "I hope he's not right."
"I don't think Esther came here to kill any of us. I think Elena's right. She's on our side."
"And which side would that be? I'm still unclear on what's going on."
"Klaus killed Esther a thousand years ago, but a witch friend of hers put a spell on her body. We've been looking for a way to kill Klaus and he was toting around a coffin that no one could open. We figured there was something in there that could kill him. Bonnie…. A friend of Elena's who's also a witch…. Managed to open the coffin and released Esther. We think she's here to help us kill Klaus."
"Why does she want to see Buffy and Elena?"
"We don't know. But that's why they're up there. To find out."
Spike glanced up the stairs, suddenly hoping that Buffy would appear there. When she didn't, he shook his head. "I need a drink.
That's where Buffy and Elena found Spike a few long minutes later. "Where's my fiancé?" Buffy demanded.
"He's off somewhere with a stiff drink." Spike said. "Like myself." He held up a glass of scotch in a toast.
"You didn't kill him?"
"Turns out, I actually like him."
Buffy shook her head. "Elena, this is Spike. Spike this is….""Your surrogate daughter. Yeah, Little Bits told me about her. It's nice to meet you."
"Little Bits?" Elena asked.
"That's his little pet name for my sister. Careful, he might give you one before the night's out." Buffy said. She turned back to Spike with a suspicious look on her face. "So, you like Damon?"
"He's not a bad apple like Forehead says." Spike said. "Angel just doesn't like him because he's got your heart." He took the final swig of his drink and set the glass down on the bar. "Can't say I fault him for that, though. It's the only thing I don't like about your beau."
"I'm glad you approve."
"Not sure I approve of this little change of yours, though."
Buffy shrugged. "A lot of people don't. But…."
Spike held up his hands. "It's your life. At least you're not a soulless beastie. I'd hate to have to kill you." He smiled that charming, thigh melting smile and Buffy smiled back. Yeah, he still had it.
"The champagne toast will be given out shortly. We'd better go take up our positions." Buffy kissed Spike's cheek and headed off with Elena.
Spike wandered after them at a leisurely pace. The woman he now knew as Esther stood on the stairs holding a champagne glass. She clinked a spoon against the glass to get everyone's attention. "Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Waiters are coming around with glasses of champagne. I invite you all to join me in raising a glass. It provides me with no greater joy than to see my family back together as one. I'd like to thank you all for being a part of this spectacular evening. Cheers."
"Cheers!" Everyone answered back.
Spike shook his head and watched as everyone took a sip of their champagne. He glanced over at Buffy just in time to see Klaus walk up to her and take her champagne flute. He said something to her before leading her off to another room with her arm linked in is. Elena looked after Buffy with panicked eyes.
Spike sighed and started making his way after Buffy. Unfortunately, Klaus had brought her into a hallway and disappeared into one of the doors. He sighed and made his way down the hall, listening for Buffy. He must be getting old because he missed them. Buffy came storming out of a door that he'd passed and headed back towards the ballroom. Spike followed, but Damon intercepted her before him.
"Buffy. Hey." Damon said.
"Damon." Buffy said.
"Are you ok?"
"I'm just angry."
"You didn't get what you wanted out of your little chat with Esther?"
"Actually, I did. That's not what I'm mad about."
"Well I'm mad. You cut me out of your plan. You had Spike distract me."
"It was better than what Stefan wanted to do."
"You shouldn't have cut me out at all, Buffy. We're supposed to be together…."
"Do you think I liked going behind your back? I didn't. I don't! But Elena and I needed to be up in that room and you…."
"You could've been killed."
"It was a risk I was willing to take."
"Well, I'm not!"
"Calm down, Damon. You're overreacting."
"What if that had been me up there?"
"I would've worried, but I trust you. Why can't you trust me?"
"Obviously you don't. I'm not a fragile little human anymore."
"Have you guys seen Matt?" A young female voice asked. Spike was still hiding in the hallway, eavesdropping in Buffy and Damon, so he didn't know who it was. Not Elena, he was sure.
"I'll go find him." Buffy said, and Spike heard he walk away. Damon sighed and headed off in a different direction.
"They're not good for each other." Spike turned, startled, to find Klaus standing there.
"How would you know?" Spike asked.
"Because I know her. He won't be enough for her."
Spike nodded slowly. "I get it. You're in love with her, too."
"You don't stand a chance with her."
"That's your opinion." Klaus smirked and walked off.
Spike shook his head and went after Buffy. The sounds of a scuffle were coming from outside and Spike knew that's where he'd find Buffy. Spike caught up with Stefan just as he caught up to Buffy. She rushed outside to see Damon snap a vampire's neck.
"Damon!" Buffy scream.
"What are you, crazy?" Stefan demanded.
"Maybe a little." Damon said. "Far be it for me to cause a problem." He turned and walked off.
Buffy growled and shook her head angrily. Spike broke away from the small group of people and walked over to her. He took her elbow and ushered her back inside. "Let him cool down." He advised.
"No. I need to talk to him." Buffy sighed. "I need to sort this out. I'll find you later, Spike. Stefan, get Elena home please." She walked past Spike and Stefan and headed after Damon.
Spike looked at Stefan. "Is this how all the parties around here go?"
"Pretty much." Stefan said.
"What a fun town." He reached over and grabbed a piece of stationary off the table. He pulled a pen out of the cup and quickly jotted down a note to Buffy. "Here," Spike handed Stefan the note. "Make sure she gets that."
"You're not sticking around?"
"I'm not much help here. Besides, something tells me that she's going to be at it with Damon for a long while."
"I'll tell her you said bye."
"Nah. Just give her the note." Spike turned and headed out the door. He couldn't wait to tell Angel to piss off and screw up his own love life.