Part 8: Identity

Well, that was fun, Spike thought. He watched from the deep shadow of the stacks as the White Hats scurried about; the big kid and the girl he’d watched them rescue last night were on their knees next to the fallen woman fretting over the bolt in her shoulder and trying to stop the bleeding. The smell of the blood made him a bit peckish, he probably should have eaten before he came out. The other two stood staring at the Watcher while he argued with the Slayer. He looked as pissed as Spike ever remembered seeing him and he kept his hand firmly on the crossbow he’d snatched away from her a moment too late. The Slayer didn’t look too terribly pleased herself.

“That thing isn’t my mother! My mother’s dead!” She shouted and tried to free her weapon, the Watcher didn’t give an inch.

“That woman is Joyce Summers; for all intents and purposes she is your mother.”

“For all intents and purposes? What the hell does that mean?!”

“It’s all a bit complicated. She is your mother, but from an alternate dimension.”

He’d heard of those before, word was most of them were pretty hellish.

“Oh, c’mon,” Buffy scoffed.

“Giles!” Cordelia interrupted. “You can explain it later, we need to get her to the hospital right now!” Larry had already lifted Joyce into his arms.

“You’re right. Go.” Giles said.

Larry didn’t need to be told twice. He ran out, followed by the other teenagers.

“We’ll talk about this later,” Giles told Buffy. He let go of the crossbow and followed the others.

The Slayer stood alone in the darkening library, slashes of sunlight separating her from her observer. “Damn straight we will,” she muttered and stormed out of the library.

Spike headed for the tunnels.


Larry drove like a maniac but she’d still lost a lot of blood before they got her to the ER. The doctors seemed oddly incurious about how she’d ended up with a crossbow bolt in the shoulder. They patched her up, told Giles she’d have to stay overnight, and stuck her in a room on her own.

“Try and get some sleep,” the nurse told her. She turned off the overhead light, casting the room into twilight.

Joyce lay there, wishing she could sleep The pain in her shoulder had been reduced to a dull throb by the drugs but she couldn’t get the pain and the hatred she’d seen on her daughter’s face out of her head. She’d looked so hard, and unhappy; and that awful scar! What had they done to her child? She heard the door open and close and footsteps as someone approached the bed. She looked up, expecting a nurse.

The angles of his face seemed harsher, and there was darkness at the base of his silvery hair. He looked tired, and angry. “Spike?”

He cocked his head, surprised. “Y’know, it’s funny. You seem to know me, but I don’t know you.”

Joyce sat up, wincing when the stitches pulled. “It’s a long story.”

“S’alright, I’m in no hurry here – already had my dinner.” His teeth gleamed unambiguously and his eyes were very blue and empty.

Not her Buffy and not her Spike. This Spike had never been chipped, never been forced to make nice with humans instead of killing them. The humanity inside him had never had a chance to creep back into his personality. This was the original cold-blooded monster. She didn’t know him at all. She hesitated; what and how much should she tell him?

He seemed to sense her indecision. “I overheard a bit. You’re the Slayer’s Mom, but from another dimension. Maybe you’ll get the chance to tell me all about it later. Right now, skip to the part about how you know me.”

She sighed. He wasn’t going to like this story but an obvious lie would probably piss him off even more. “About a year from now you were captured by a government group and they put a chip in your head that kept you from harming humans. You joined up with us, you help Buffy kill demons.”

He grimaced. “I sound bloody pathetic.”

“That’s how I know you. You used to come round and talk sometimes. I think we were both grateful for the company.” Spike growled at the implication. “And Dawn thought you were beyond cool.”

“Dawn? Who’s that then?”

“My other daughter.”

“The Slayer’s got a kid sister?”

Joyce didn’t want to say the words. She’s still hasn’t really accepted it. “No, not here she doesn’t,” she said finally.

“Got killed with that other you and Dad.” Joyce didn’t correct him. “Reunion didn’t go quite as you hoped.”

“She didn’t know – she thought I was something else… Giles should have warned her.”

“Yeah, he should have. Even I’d heard the Slayer’s parents were dead.”

“How did it happen?” He cocked his head. “Giles wouldn’t say. I know it’s a bit morbid, but I want to know.”

Spike nodded. “Fair enough. What I heard was that this big deal vamp Lothos came to Los Angeles special for your daughter, because of some ballocks about reincarnation and destiny. He tortured and drained you and your hubby, and I guess the kid sis, left you for the Slayer to find. Think you were still alive when she got there.”

Joyce shuddered. “Oh. Buffy must have been – my poor baby.”

Spike raised an eyebrow. “S’pose. Your poor baby dusted that idiot Lothos, a couple of hundred of his minions and had made quite a dent in the general vamp population before the Watcher took her off to Ohio.” He eyed Joyce speculatively. “Quite a little firecracker that girl of yours.”

“Thank you.”

“Hmm.” He was suddenly right beside the bed, looking down at her in a way she’d never seen – or never caught – ‘her’ Spike looking at her. “Pretty girl, pity about the scar.”

Joyce winced.

“Can see where she got her looks from.” His eyes glittered coldly. “You’re an interesting woman Joyce.”

“I try. So, how’s Drusilla?”

She clawed weakly at the cold fingers lifting her by her throat and stared in shock into yellow eyes. She can’t speak, can’t breathe, and damnit what had she said to set him off? Thin lips parting over sharp, sharp teeth as he hissed: “She’s dead you bitch!”

He let her go. Took a step back. Shook off the demon. “You didn’t know.” He didn’t apologize of course. “Couldn’t have bloody known.” The IV had pulled itself loose from her arm; Spike reattached it with unsettling expertise, gently smoothing a fresh bit of tape onto her arm. He sat down in the visitor’s chair and sagged.

“What happened?” She whispered.

“Bloody mob, attacked her in Prague and tore her to bits. I got her away from them, but she was never well after that.” Joyce nodded. “That other me told you about that then?” The laser beam of his attention was focused on her for a moment before his gaze retreated inwards again. “I came here hopin’ the Hellmouth would be a bit of a tonic for her, and to search for a cure. It did seem to lift her spirits a bit. Then I got hold of the DuLac cross and manuscript and found out what I needed to cure her.”


He shot her that look again. “Yeah. Thought we’d finally got lucky since the souled git was right here, bein’ held captive by the Master. But when I asked great-great-grandpa batface for a loan of him the evil old bastard refused! Said he couldn’t have his favorite daughter upset, that little red-headed cunt, smirking and pouting about.” Spike jumped out of the chair and started pacing in a treacherously familiar way. She remembered him perched on her kitchen counter drumming his heels against the front of the cabinet. Tapping his fingers on the table over a ‘cuppa’. Surfing through the channels at twice the speed of light. Never still.

“I bloody begged him, but he wouldn’t give in. Had to go back to her, empty-handed. I failed. She looked at me, didn’t blame me. Told me she was going to dance with the stars. She couldn’t dance by then. Couldn’t bloody walk and no matter who I brought her, she wouldn’t feed. Not even from me. Didn’t take long after that. I woke up one morning lying next to a pile of dust.”

“I’m sorry.” He glared at her suspiciously.

“Why? Were you pals with Dru too in never-never land?”

“We never met. But I know what she meant to you.”

“Yeah. Well, don’t think it means I won’t kill you.”

“I know. So. Why did you stay?”

“Revenge. I’m going to kill the Master. But I was getting a bit bored waiting. Thought bagging a Slayer might be fun.” He smirked at her pained expression. “That’s my specialty y’know.”

“I know. You’ve killed two Slayers. One in China, one in New York.”

“Bloody hell, is there anything my double didn’t tell you?”

Posted July 29, 2003

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