Fool For Love


All was quiet in a mist-shrouded graveyard. Suddenly, the peace was shattered as Buffy pounded a vampire, dressed like a Van Halen reject, to the ground.

"You know, it's probably none of my business but I just gotta ask..." Buffy said.

The vampire lunged at her and she backhanded it.

"You smell this bad when you were alive?"

She kicked the vampire into a headstone.

"'Cause if it's a post-mortem thing, then boy, is my face red..."

She flipped him over the headstone and whipped out a stake.

"But just so you know, the fast-growing field of personal grooming has come a long way since you became a vampire."

Buffy somersaulted over the headstone, stake raised and ready to strike. But the vampire seized her arm as she landed, span her around and plunged the stake into Buffy's abdomen. Her eyes went wide with shock and pain as she looked down at the stake protruding from her body.

Buffy gripped the shaft the stake and, with a gasp of pain, pulled it out. Her sweater was soaked with her blood.

For the first time in a long time, Buffy felt fear. She turned and fled, trying to escape the vampire. The hunter had become the hunted. Her wound slowed her, however, and she cast terrified glances over her shoulder.

Suddenly, the vampire leapt in front of her and she stopped with a gasp, looking around desperately for an escape route.

"You're going? But you were having so much fun a minute ago!" the vampire said.

Buffy brought the stake up but the creature easily knocked it from her grasp and tossed her against a nearby crypt. She doubled over in pain as the vampire picked up her stake and approached with a predatory grin.

Buffy was helpless. She realized that this is the Moment she'd been dreading but always knew would come. She was going to die.

As the vampire raised the stake for the killing blow, he was suddenly tackled to the ground by Michael. He rained blows down on the vampire and took out one of his swords but the vampire knocked it from his hand before he can use it and took off across the graveyard. Michael was about to give chase when he noticed Buffy's obvious distress and rushed to her aid.

"Buffy! What happened?" Michael asked.

She held up her bloody hands, and then collapsed in arms, unconscious.

The following day Michael applied first aid and dressing Buffy's wound.

"I can't believe I passed out. Do you think I'm a total wuss now?" Buffy asked.

"Oh, yeah. I like a girl who can play a few hard sets of tennis with a major stab wound." Michael told her.

"You said it wasn't that bad."

"I said I've seen worse. There's a difference."

"Well, at least no major organs got kebabed."

"I still think you need to see a real doctor."

"That would put me in a real hospital, which would get my real Mom real freaked out. I can't do it. Don't worry. Accelerated healing powers come with the Slayer package. And the boyfriend who comes complete with combat medical knowledge? That's just a Buffy Summers bonus."

Michael kissed her.

"So tell me about the bad guy - or guys. What do you think they were?" Michael asked.


"How many?"


Michael was surprised.

"So... what? He was like a super-vampire or something?"

"No, he was the regular kind. He just beat me."

"That ever happen before?"

"I'm in the best physical shape of my life. I mean; if you're asking how it happened, I don't..."

Suddenly the door to Buffy's room flew open and Dawn ran in.

"Dawn!" Buffy said annoyed.

"Sorry to interrupt the sex-capades. I just wanted to tell you that Mom's coming." Dawn told them.

Michael hid the bandages and tape just as Joyce entered the room.

"Hi, Michael." Joyce said.

"Hey, Joyce. How're you feeling?" Michael asked.

"I'm fine, bordering on chipper and tomorrow planning on being obnoxious."

Smiling, Michael said, "Glad to hear it."

"Buffy, when you have a minute I'd like to go over the grocery list for next week."

"You got it." Buffy said.

"Are you disinfecting something?" Joyce asked noticing the bottle of pure alcohol.

"Huh? Oh, uh..." Buffy tried to think of an answer.

"I was thirsty," Michael joked.

"It's mine! Some nail polish experiments are doomed before they even begin." Dawn said.

"But you keep pushing the envelope, honey."

Joyce smiled and left, closing the bedroom door behind her.

Smiling at Buffy, Dawn said, "Did I just pull a Slayer-related Mom cover-up thing? Come on, who's the man?"

"You are." Buffy said. "A very short, annoying man."

Stung, Dawn's smile faded.

"If I show you something, you promise you won't tell?" Buffy asked Dawn.

Dawn crossed her heart and Buffy lifted her shirt to reveal the bandaged stab wound. Dawn was awed.

"Oh, cool!" Dawn said, then off Buffy's look, "I mean, gross!"

"And Mom cannot know. Okay? You'll help me with the household stuff?"

"Oh, sure. I save your butt and you dump all your chores on me." Again off Buffy's look, "I got it. You're covered. We're good. Just lucky it's not bikini season."

Buffy smiled and stroked Dawn's hair.

"So Dawn takes household duty. Kaz and I'll take tonight's patrol." Michael said.

"Just you two?" Buffy asked.

"Just us two."

"Do me a favour? Will you take the gang along with?"

"Okay. I will patrol with the group tonight."

"When do I get to patrol?" Dawn asked.

"Not until you're... never."

That evening Kaz, Michael, Willow, Xander and Anya went patrolling.

Michael and Kaz moved stealthily among the headstones, ducking from shadow to shadow. Michael paused behind a large marble slab and raised his arm; fist closed, and pumped it up and down twice before moving further into the cemetery.

Willow, Anya and Xander followed about twenty yards behind them, munching potato chips and making no effort to conceal themselves.

"What's with the hand move? Does that like mean something?" Xander asked Willow.

"It's code. I think it breaks down to 'choo-choo.' " Willow replied.

Willow mimicked pulling a train whistle.

"It means to follow them. That, or wait here for them." Anya said.

They watched Michael and Kaz's covert movements for a moment, then Willow turned to Xander.

"Ask." Willow said to Xander.

"Hey, Michael! What's the..." Xander made the hand gesture "all about?" he yelled.

"It means yell real loud so the vampires who don't know we're coming will have a sporting chance." Michael yelled back, exasperated.

"Why the Hell are we being stealthy anyway?" Kaz asked.

"They're more vulnerable than us." Michael said to Kaz.

"See, now he's all mean and sarcastic." Xander said to Willow.

"That's because you were doing all the yelling, Mr. Stealthy-Pants." Willow retorted.

"It's their fault." Anya shouted to Michael.

"Guys, I'm thinking if we split up, we could cover more ground. Tell you what? I'll take the cemeteries, you guys get the Bronze." Michael called.

"Are we not being covert enough?" Anya asked.

"We're sorry!" Xander said.

"Sorry." Willow added.

"We'll be sneakier. Promise." Said Xander.

Xander munched loudly on a handful of chips.

"Okay. Just ditch the chips and watch our backs." Michael said.

"Done." Willow said.

Willow reached into the bag and grabbed a handful of chips herself before setting the bag down. Michael and Kaz moved off into the cemetery again.

To Anya, Xander said, "You know what he's like? He's like a cat. You know, a big jungle cat. How come I'm not like that? It's just so cool."

"I think you're cool." Willow said to Xander while munching her potato chips.

In the Magic Box the reading table is piled high with books. Giles and Buffy were into some deep research.

"Here's another one. Early 18th Century Slayer." Giles announced.

Buffy closed her book with a sigh and set it on the stack.

"Good. Let's hope she'll be more helpful than this last one." Buffy said.

"Why? What does it say?" Giles asked.

"Same as all the others. Slayer called... blah, blah... great protector... blah, blah... scary battles... blah, blah... oops! She's dead. Where are the details?" Buffy asked.

"Details? Well, it says this Slayer forged her own weapons."

Giles handed the book to Buffy.

"Gotta love a gal with an anvil. But where are the details of the Slayer's last battle? You know, what made that fight special? Why did she lose?"

"You didn't lose last night, Buffy. You just..."

"Got really close. I slipped up, Giles. I've been training harder than ever and still I... And there's nothing in any of these books to help me understand why. I mean... look, I realize that every Slayer comes with an expiration mark on the package. But I want mine to be a long time from now. Like a Cheeto. If there were just a few good descriptions of what took out the other Slayers, maybe it would help me to understand my mistake, to keep it from happening again."

"Yes, well, the problem is after a final battle, it's difficult to get any... well, the Slayer's not... she's rather..."

"It's okay to use the D-word, Giles."

"Dead. And hence not very forthcoming."

"Why didn't the Watchers keep fuller accounts of it? The journals just stop."

"Well, I suppose if they're anything like me, they just find the whole subject too..."

"Unseemly? Damn. Love ya, but you Watchers are such prigs sometimes."

"Painful... I was going to say."

Buffy and Giles shared a meaningful look.

"But you're right. Accounts of the final battles would be very

helpful. But there's no one left to tell the tales."

Buffy had a sudden revelation.

"What?" Giles asked.

Buffy shoved Spike against the wall and held him there.

"Ow... Wait. Not ow. You feeling all right, Slayer? This stuff usually hurts."

Buffy span him around to face her.

"Don't even start, Spike."

"What do you want?"

"Slayers. You killed two of them."

"I did." Spike said warily.

"You're gonna show me how..."

In the Bronze Spike and Buffy sat at a corner table. Spike greedily drained a mug of beer while Buffy stoically watched.

"You know, there quite a few American beers that are highly underrated. This unfortunately is not one of them." Spike said.

"Update, Spike. We're not here to discuss the fine choice of hops. It's about two Slayers: one in China during the Boxer Rebellion, one in New York."

Buffy held up a wad of cash and snatched it back as Spike tried to grab for it.

"Both got killed by you. Tell the tale, you get the cash." Buffy said.

"Right. You want to learn all about how I bested the Slayers and you want to learn fast. Right, then. We fought. I won. The end. Pay up."

"That's not what I..."

"What did you want, eh? A quick demo? A blow-for-blow description you can map out and memorize? It's not about the moves, love. And since I agreed to your little proposition, we can do this my way. Wings."


"Spicy buffalo wings. Order me up a plate. I'm feelin' peckish."

Buffy sighs and turned to signal a waitress.

"Excuse me..."

The movement aggravated her injury and she winced in pain.

"As I thought. Some nasty thing got a taste of you." Spike said.

"Don't get all excited. I'm fine." Buffy told him.

"Oh, right. Stuck in a dark corner with a creature you loathe, diggin' up past uglies, 'cos you're fine."

"Just tell me what I want to know."

"I told you. No one's narrating on an empty stomach here."

Buffy shook her head in exasperation.

"Were you born this big a pain in the ass?"

"What can I tell you, baby? I've always been bad."

Spike began to recount his story.

In London 1880, a very different Spike was sitting and composing poetry off in the corner of a dinner party.

Spike's hair was longish and unruly and he was dressed as a proper Gentleman, complete with tie and reading spectacles. He was awkward and bookish, with none of his confident swagger.

"Luminous... oh, no, no, no. Irradiant's better." William said to himself.

A waiter approached and held out a tray.

"Care for an hors d'oeuvre, sir?"

"Oh, quickly! I'm the very spirit of vexation. What's another word for 'gleaming?' It's a perfectly perfect word as many words go but the bother is nothing rhymes, you see.

The waiter smiled patronizingly and moved off into the crowd. William's eyes were drawn to Cecily, a young woman, just entering the party.

"Cecily..." William said.

He turned back to his poem with renewed purpose and jotted down several more lines, then got up and moved through the crowd toward her.

A group of young aristocrats, a woman and her two male companions, were gathered, discussing current events.

"I mean to point out that it's something of a mystery and the police should keep an open mind." The woman said.

One of the men turned to William as he passed by.

The other man spoke to William, "Ah, William! Favour us with your opinion. What do you make of this rash of disappearances sweeping through our town? Animals or thieves?"

"I prefer not to think of such dark, ugly business at all. That's what the police are for." William said haughtily. He looked at Cecily, "I prefer placing my energies into creating things of beauty."

The third aristocrat snatched the poem from Spike's hands.

"I see. Well, don't withhold, William." He said.

"Rescue us from a dreary topic." Said the first man.

"Careful. The inks are still wet. Please, it's not finished." William said.

"Don't be shy." The second man said, then read " 'My heart expands 'tis grown a bulge in it inspired by your beauty, effulgent," He laughed. "Effulgent?"

Everyone laughed, mocking William. Uncomfortable, Cecily glanced at William and walked off. William shot the man who read out his poem a sour look, snatched back his poem, and followed her.

"And that's actually one of his better compositions." The other man said.

"Have you heard? They call him William the Bloody because of his bloody awful poetry!" the woman said.

"It suits him. I'd rather have a railroad spike through my head than

listen to that awful stuff!" the second man said.

William approached Cecily who was sitting on a sofa, away from the main party, and looking out the window.

"Cecily?" Spike said.

Cecily turned and sighed when she saw him.

"Oh. Leave me alone." Cecily said.

"Oh, they're vulgarians. They're not like you and I." William said talking about the other guests.

"You and I? I'm going to ask you a very personal question and I demand an honest answer. Do you understand?"

William nodded.

"Your poetry, it's... they're... not written about me, are they?" Cecily asked.

"They're about how I feel." William replied.

"Yes, but are they about me?"

"Every syllable."

"Oh, God!"

"Oh, I know... it's sudden and... please, if they're no good, they're only words but... the feeling behind them... I love you, Cecily."

"Please stop!"

"I know I'm a bad poet but I'm a good man and all I ask is that... that you try to see me..."

"I do see you. That's the problem. You're nothing to me,

William. You're beneath me."

Cecily stood and walked off, leaving William devastated and alone.

William staggered down the street in tears, ripping up his poems as he went. He bumps into a passer-by and drops the pages.

"Watch where you're going!"

Spike gathered up the torn sheets and made his way toward a nearby alleyway.

William was sitting on a bale of hay and finishing the job of destroying his poetry. He looked up at the sound of a woman's voice to find Drusilla standing serenely in the dark alley with him.

"And I wonder... what possible catastrophe came crashing down from heaven and brought this dashing stranger to tears?" Drusilla asked.

"Nothing. I wish to be alone."

"Oh, I see you. A man surrounded by fools who cannot see his strength, his vision, his glory... That and burning baby fish swimming all around your head."

William backed away from her, nervous.

"That's quite close enough. I've heard tales of London pickpockets. You'll not be getting my purse, I tell you."

"Don't need a purse." Drusilla said and smiled.

Drusilla pointed to William's heart and head in succession.

"Your wealth lies here... and here. In the spirit and... imagination. You walk in worlds the others can't begin to imagine."

William was riveted by her insight into his character.

"Oh, yes! I mean, no. I mean... mother's expecting me." William said.

Drusilla opened the collar of his shirt.

"I see what you want. Something glowing and glistening. Something... effulgent."

William was beside himself. Finally someone who understood him.

"Effulgent." William said sotto.

"Do you want it?"

William had never wanted anything more.

"Oh, yes!" He touched her chest, "God, yes."

Drusilla looked down for a Moment as her face changed and her fangs descended. Spike reacted, more confused than afraid. She pulled back his shirt collar and buried her fangs in his neck. Spike cries out in pain but his cries quickly turned to moans of pleasure as Drusilla ended his human existence.

Michael, Kaz, Willow, Anya and Xander were crouched behind headstones as the vampire who staked Buffy made his way through the graveyard. Michael saw him first.


"What you got?" Xander asked.

"That's him. Let's go."

The vampire slipped into a crypt as the five of them cautiously approached. Boisterous laughter was coming from inside. Michael motioned for the others to stay put as he stole up to the crypt entrance and peered inside. Michael saw the vampire with four others and backed off, frustrated, he returned to the others.

"It sounds like a party in there." Xander said.

"Forget about crashing. There's too many of them. We'll come back at daybreak when they're asleep and we're better armed. It's okay. We can kill them just as dead in the morning."

As they walked off Kaz spoke quietly to Michael.

"Something's up, there's no reason why we can't take them out now, have you got something else planned?"

Michael didn't answer; he just looked sideways at Kaz

Buffy and Spike were shooting pool as Spike related his story.

"So you traded up on the food chain. Then what?" Buffy asked.

"No, please. Don't make it sound like something you'd flip past on the Discovery Channel. Becoming a vampire is a profound and powerful experience. I could feel this new strength coursing through me. Getting killed made me feel alive for the very first time. I was through living by society's rules. Decided to make a few of my own. Of course, in order to do that... I had to get myself a gang."

Yorkshire, England 1880, in a coalmine, during the day.

Angelus had Spike by the throat, choking him.

"Perhaps it's my advancing years that makes me so forgetful,

William. Remind me. Why don't we kill you?" Angelus asked.

"... ike." Spike choked.

"What's that?" Angelus asked.

Angelus released Spike in disgust.

"It's Spike now."

Drusilla and Darla were standing to either side of Angelus.

"You'd do well to remember it, mate." Spike was now talking in his usual way.

"I'm not your mate. And when did you start talking like that?" Angelus asked.

"Look, we barely got out of London alive because of you. Everywhere we go, it's the same story and now." Darla said to Spike.

"You've got me and my women hiding in the luxury of a mineshaft, all because William the Bloody likes the attention. This is not a reputation we need." Angelus said.

Spike took a deep swig from a wine bottle.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Did I sully our good name? We're vampires."

"All the more reason to use a certain amount of finesse." Angelus said.

"Bollocks! That stuff's for the frilly cuffs-and-collars crowd. I'll take a good brawl any day."

Angelus approached Spike menacingly.

"And every time you do, we become the hunted."

"I think our boys are going to fight." Darla said in a singsong way to Drusilla.

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