The Dark Side of Bliss

Capter 5

It was a silent Buffy, who that night went patrolling with Spike. She had asked him to go with her, even if according to the schedule they had set up shortly after Buffy had announced her pregnancy, that night she should have gone out with Eric, while Spike and Xander should have taken the other circuit, which included the park and the morgue.

None of them had questioned her request, especially when they had taken in her pale face and puffy eyes and the palpable tension in her body.

They were walking down the graveyard, looking around for any signs of vampire’s activity. Buffy could feel Spike’s eyes on her. She knew he was waiting for her to talk. She almost shook her head, realizing how well she had come to read Spike for the past months.

If someone had told her that she would trust Spike so much she would have ever believed…that had been until Willow and Giles had been taken. She had come to respect him even before knowing about his soul.

She knew that neither her friends nor Giles fully understood the strength of the bond, which had formed between Spike and she for the past three months, and to be honest, she didn’t understand it either.

What she knew was that Spike had held her when she had cried, had protected her and fought by her side that was enough for her.

“Ducks?” He asked in a low voice.

Buffy turned toward him, he was cocking an eyebrow at her, and in his eyes she could see curiosity. She didn’t talk and just shrugged her shoulders.

“I know you want to ask me something…” He continued.

Buffy nodded, unable to do something else. Her world had just turned upside down…what Giles had told her, kept ringing in her ears, making her stomach tie in painful knots.

She took a deep breath before saying, “Up to this evening, my main concern about my baby was…whether I would have ever seen its first birthday, you know…with me being the Slayer and stuff…little did I know that I could go all psycho…”

“You know…” Spike stated matter of factly.

“Yep…Rupert told me about it”

“Did he?” Spike asked surprised.

Buffy nodded. Did everyone but her knew about what was going on?

She shook her head, judging by the surprise in the vampire’s voice, apparently yes. She was the only one who hadn’t had a clue about the changes in her own nature.

“I cut myself-,” She said in a low voice, without looking at the vampire, “I don’t know how it happened. One moment I was talking to my mom, a moment later my mom made me notice I had shredded the glass in my hand. And you know what?” She swallowed and quickly said, “While I was looking at the blood…my blood…I found myself craving for more” She tilted her head up and weakly smiled at him before saying, “So…I wigged and asked him what was happening. Image my surprise when he told me about…” She couldn’t finish her sentence. She closed her eyes and rubbed her temples with her fingers.

“Did he tell you we’re not sure whether you’re reaching it?” Spike said.

Buffy weakly nodded looking around, she hugged her shoulders with her arms, and said, “I’d always believed pregnant Slayers would make perfect targets…you know…back in the day, when Angel told me that with him I could never even hope to have children…I told him I didn’t want them…that I had even killed my goldfish…but actually? I was scared…scared of what could happen…scared I could get weak-” She bitterly smiled and hissed, “Instead yay us, we get darker, cool uh?”

Spike opened his mouth to speak, but a growl coming from a nearby grave interrupted him, Buffy took a stake from the waistband of her trousers, and pointed at him with it saying, “We’re not finished, got it?”

She didn’t wait for him. She couldn’t.
She needed to fight.
She needed to know.
She had to know, if she had already become a monster…and there was only one way to find out.


Spike snorted. Why had Giles let her out of the house that night? She was in no condition to slay. She was too scared, too unstable.

She needed the fights to channeling her energies…but not when she was too scared of herself to think straight.

He followed the Slayer, which was proving quite difficult. Buffy was running almost as if she had the devil itself at her heels.

He stopped on his tracks, though, when he saw the newly risen vampire, being pummeled by Buffy. She effortlessly threw him against a headstone with enough force that the stone cracked.

No…not cracked. The impact pulverized the stone.

The newly risen vampire shook his head, stunned, and slowly rose on his feet. Buffy wasn’t moving; she had put her hands on her hips, a bored expression on her face, “C’mon” She said, “I don’t have all night…no, wait! I do, you don’t…”

The vampire snarled and charged her. Buffy didn’t move, she didn’t even flinch. Spike frowned, puzzled. He could hear her frantic heartbeat…and something else…she was filled with energies…and from the look in her eyes, anger.

He took a step forward, ready to intervene, when the Slayer suddenly moved and grabbed the vampire that had charged her, by the neck and threw him on the ground.

Spike opened his mouth and his frown deepened, when she purposely pierced the newly risen vampire’s throat with her stake, pushing it into his throat with the heel of her booth.

Blood was gushing out from his throat and mouth as Buffy pushed the stake deeper and deeper. She looked at the vampire for some instants, a blank expression in her eyes as she lightly crouched and extracted the stake from his throat. She held the vampire down with her right knee, her right hand gripping the vampire’s torn throat, as she observed the bloodied stake, her head tilted on side, then with a quick movement she staked the vampire.

She slowly rose on her feet, apparently oblivious of her surroundings and Spike slowly got close to her.

<Has she already gotten so far? >

He silently wondered. Buffy’s voice made him lightly start.

“Don’t worry, I’m still me,” She said, turning toward him, she took a deep breath and continued, “Where were we, before we were so rudely interrupted?”

“What exactly were you doing, ducks?” He asked.

“Hmm…dunno…graveyard, night, stake…vampire Slayer…do any of these things ring a bell?” She dryly said.

“To a casual observer it might have looked like you were torturing the poor bloke…”

“What…are you feeling sorry for him?” She snapped. She shook her head and marveled, “Ok, I admit it, I went a bit over the top”

Spike cocked an eyebrow at her, but didn’t say anything.

Buffy rolled her eyes and said, “Ok, make it way over the top…but it wasn’t the Obscuritas…it was me…I decided to do that…I wanted to see whether I could do that…”

“Do what? What did you want to prove?” Spike asked.

They started walking again; Buffy was hugging her arms, and Spike couldn’t help noticing how she didn’t even care about the blood on her hands. They kept walking, in silence.

Minutes passed before Buffy turned toward him and said, “I wanted to see whether torture gave me the creeps or a happy”

“And the answer is?” Spike asked.

“It gave me the creeps” She raised her arm and quickly pulled up her coat’s sleeve, goose bumps were covering her skin, “Look…” She took a step back from him and shrugging said, “so I guess it’s official: I’m not a monster, yet….” She pursed her lips before saying, “ Although that’s the second time I’ve done something like that…”

“I already told you once, you’re not a monster” He smirked, then added, “you can be a bloody pain in the ass, Summers, but you’re not a monster….” He shrugged and added, “and besides, the other time you were looking for information. You were being the Slayer, although from what I’ve heard a bitchy one…”

“How do you know about…?” She started, then she rolled her eyes and said, “Sorry, I forgot…you even knew my shoe’s size when you arrived here…” She sighed and whispered, “I wasn’t a pregnant Slayer when you told me that”

She cocked an eyebrow at him when he snorted and said, “You know? You never told me about the second Slayer you killed”

“I did” Spike replied. He had ever talked to anyone about that night…not even to Eric. His reports about the event of that night had almost been a Cliff Notes version of what had really happened.

Not even Drusilla had really known…he had made sure she didn’t…couldn’t see, read that part of his mind.

“Nope, you didn’t.” Buffy said breaking his train of thoughts, “You said, and I quote you here, ‘She was rogue, she was a bitch, the Eletti ordered me to kill her and I did’”

“I even told you not to stick your nose in it” Spike grumbled.

“So what? Bite me….” She deadpanned

“Not a smart thing to say to a vampire, ducks…” Spike replied grinning at her.

Buffy weakly smiled and shook her head. She toyed with another stake she had produced from the pocket of her black coat, and then asked, “When you said she was rogue…you meant Faith rogue…or ‘Gee-I’m-Pregnant-let’s-become-a-monster’ rogue?”

“Ducks-” Spike started.

“I want to know… I need to!” She hissed

“Why?” He asked. He could see her eyes bright with unshed tears. She really needed to know…yet, Spike didn’t know whether he could tell her. He didn’t know whether he was strong enough to.

“I want to know, what’s ahead of me,” She stated simply. She shrugged and asked, “Was she pregnant?”

He clenched his jaws. She had the right to know what could possibly happen to her.

< To aid the Slayer in her never ending battle against the lighten her burden >

The words of the Oath he had recited so long ago came up in his mind. He had blindly believed in every word he had said, he had meant every syllable of it. Later, he had killed two Slayers in his unlife…but those words were still true to his heart, were still his reason of existence.

Whatever he had experienced that night was over. That Chinese Slayer…of what was left of her belonged to the past. The blonde girl, the Chosen One in front of him…was asking for his help, for his guide.

He was surprised by how easily the words came out from his mouth, “It happened during the Boxer’s Rebellion. I had been sent there, although I didn’t know why”

“What happened when you found out?” She asked, stopping walking.

Spike stopped walking as well, and looked around for some instants before saying, “She had already gathered the demons and the warlocks…one of us had blown his cover-”

“Heta7tantos” She said in a low voice.

Spike nodded, “You can say it, ducks….”

“What happened?” Buffy asked.

Spike didn’t talk at first. Buffy was looking at him, eagerly waiting for information, clues…anything that could help her.

He swallowed before saying, “I don’t know how many demons…how many people I bloody killed that night and last but not least I fought her…” He paused before adding, “She was eight months pregnant”

“How long did it take for you to kill her?” Buffy asked.

“Sorry luv, didn’t have a watch with me, didn’t check it out….” He said, gritting his teeth. That wasn’t true. He knew how long it had taken; he had relived that night in his nightmares enough to know. “Hours…it took hours. Those were the longest hours of my life.” He shook his head then added, “She was very strong…she almost got me…”

“But you killed her…them”

“Yes…I did…” Spike coldly said. He gazed down at her and added in a cold voice, “There is something else you’d like to know? The way I killed her, perhaps?”

Buffy shook her head and said, “No…it’s enough…it’s enough to know, we’re not unbeatable….” She tightened in her coat, and whispered, “C’mon…let’s finish this patrol….”


Spike was actually beginning to feel sorry for the vampires that were getting in Buffy’s way that night. Although she hadn’t tortured any other vampire, she was hurting them bad, before staking them.

She hadn’t uttered a single word, since he had told her about the second Slayer. She had barely looked at him, except to make sure he was watching her back while they were fighting.

They were walking now, they had almost completed the circuit, they usually reunited with the other team and together they escorted Buffy home, much on her insistence.

“Did she have horns?” Buffy suddenly asked.

Spike looked at her puzzled, “What?” He asked.

“Rupert told me there might be physical mutations …did she have horns…a tail?”

Spike shook his head, “What in the bleedin’ hell are you trying to do, ducks?” He looked at her; she had stopped walking and was looking at him, her arms crossed over her chest.

Spike let out an unnecessary sigh and said, “No, she didn’t have horns, she didn’t have a tail either…her skin was thicker…and her eyes were orange, though. Are you bloody happy, now?”

Buffy shrugged but didn’t talk. She started walking again and Spike had troubles catching up with her, “Look, I know it’s hard for you…”

She stopped walking and turned toward him, flashing him an angry look, “You know nothing, Spike!” She hissed, “You don’t know what’s like knowing you could harm your own baby…. you’re never going to be a father…”

Spike got close to her, his jaws were clenched, Buffy shook her head and whispered, and “I’m sorry witness the return of the foot in the mouth disease” She swallowed and said, “I need to know everything, Spike…I want to know each detail…I’m the only Slayer who didn’t stay dead, I defied prophecies and bad omens…I fully intend to have this baby…”

Spike nodded at her, a light smile crossed his lips, “That’s the Slayer I know and…”

"If you say love, I'm gonna scream like..." Buffy's voice was indeed interrupted by a female scream, she shrugged and finished, "...that"

She didn't wait for him, and ran toward the voice. Spike rolled his eyes and followed her.

He almost ran into her, Buffy raised her hand to silence him, in front of them Electra had just begun feeding on a girl.

Buffy coughed and said, "Are we interrupting something?"

Electra tilted her head up from the girl's neck, her lips were dirty with blood, she snarled, "It's you...”

Buffy took a step forward saying, "Why, did you miss me?"

Electra morphed back in her human face, she held the girl against her body, she looked at both Spike and Buffy then smiling said, "What is this, the bottled blondes’ night out?” Her gaze fixed on Buffy then she added, "You'll have to be careful now with that stuff, especially in your condition..."

Buffy sighed and said, "You know Electra? I've really had a crappy day...I'm not really in the mood for let go that girl and get it over with..."

Electra tilted her head on a side, resting it against the frightened girl's, she shrugged and said, "Ok” She placed a kiss on the girl's temple and said, and “Sorry, honey...I'm busy now... " With a movement almost too swift for the eyes to catch, she snapped the girl's neck, taking a step back when the body fell on the damp grass.

"Bitch..." Buffy hissed.

She took in Buffy's horrified gaze and shrugging asked, "What? Oh, well…” The vampire said looking at the lifeless body at her feet, she tilted her head up to look at Buffy and quipped, “You asked me to let her go, you didn’t specify how.”

Buffy took a step toward her and so did Spike. Electra didn’t move she arched a delicate eyebrow at them and said, “You don’t really want to fight me, do you? Especially after last time….”

Buffy and Spike exchanged a glance then as one, moved toward Electra, the vampire sighed and said, “I guess you want after all…”


Buffy hit her first, her fist solidly connected with the vampire’s face, sending her on the ground, balancing on her arms, Electra got up, punching Spike who had attacked her from her shoulders, managing to say, “I’m deeply disappointed, William…you’re getting sloppy!”

“Shut the hell up!” Both Spike and Buffy said in unison

Electra smiled and shaking her head said, “Do your loved ones know how much in sync you are?” She dodged a punch from Buffy and pushed her away; she shrugged and said, “Sorry, sweetheart...I don’t like fighting pregnant Slayers, that’s William’s ground…”

Spike’s kick caught her in the stomach; she blinked and almost doubled over in pain. She shook her head and mumbled, “Whoa…that was good…”

She spun kicked, hitting him on the face, with enough force that she sent him flying on the damp grass. She was about to talk, when a noise caught her attention, Buffy who seemed apparently oblivious of it, took advantage of her distraction and slipped behind her, she circled her neck with her arm, pointing a stake to her heart with the other and hissed against her face, «Lesson the second, Electra… never underestimate your opponents »

Electra lightly frowned; she turned her head toward Buffy’s and whispered against her ear, “Can you keep a secret?”

Buffy blinked, surprised, she pressed the stake more strongly against the vampire’s heart and hissed, “Shut up…”

“You never learn, Slayer” Electra continued, her voice low and hypnotic against her ear, “*never* got distracted…” She kissed her cheek, and then surprised her by vanishing into thin air.

Buffy staggered, surprised, the skin of her arms had burned when Electra had vanished. Buffy looked around, and then sighed.

She was approaching Spike when a sudden sharp pain exploded in her left arm, she blinked surprised and lowered her head, a big dart, similar to those they had sometimes used on Oz, was emerging from her arm. She fell on her knees, gasping, taking in big gulps of air.

She looked around, while her head began furiously spinning. Electra had disappeared, while Spike was still lying unconscious face down on the damp grass.

She could hear blood buzzing in her ears; she couldn’t help a weak cry, when with her right hand she removed the dart.

She clenched her teeth and shook her head, trying to get rid of the sudden dizziness, “Is this day ever going to finish?” She murmured.

She crawled on the damp grass, from where she was, she could see Spike, she took a deep breath, ignoring the sudden wave of nausea that seemed to tear her stomach up, her right hand went on her belly. She didn’t even seem to notice she was still clutching the dart in her left hand.

<Please don’t let them kill my baby…>

She thought. She swallowed and called in a cracked voice, “Spike?”

The blonde vampire slowly raised his head, he was in his game face, Buffy slowly crawled toward him, she abruptly stopped though, when Spike growled, “I can hear your baby’s heartbeat”,

“What?” She asked, shaking her head in disbelief. She closed her hands in fists, only then did she notice she was still holding the dart in her hand, “Bastards!” She whispered, realization dawning

“Ducks?” Spike asked.

Buffy jerked her head up, she looked at him, he had morphed back in his human face, and he was frowning, she slowly raised her hand and showed the dart to Spike, the vampire slowly got on his feet, then bent next to her, and helped her on her feet.

He took the dart from her hands and sniffed its tip, then threw it to the ground hissing, “They’ve given it to you!”

“What...what did they give me?” She asked.

~ It’s an organic compound... of muscle relaxants and adrenal suppressers. The effect is temporary~

“The stuff they gave you for the Cruciamentum …” Spike said, he looked around, and Buffy couldn’t help shivering when Spike’s eyes narrowed, she followed his gaze, she had to swallow while sudden goose bumps covered her skin, when she saw them: there were four men who were quickly heading toward them. All of them were armed to the hilt, with tranquilizer guns and crossbows, and they looked like they were ready and willing to use them.

Spike lightly grabbed her wrist, shaking her temporary numbness away, he started to run, and she had troubles catching up with him, he kept looking behind his shoulders as they ran through the graveyards, the four men at their heels.

“Remind me to beat the crap out of Eric if we make it,” He hissed

“Uh?” She panted. She felt her heart beating so furiously in her chest that she was afraid it was going to burst in it, both for the fear and for the run.

“Forbid me to have the sodding chip taken off…” He continued.

They zigzagged through some graves and trees. Spike suddenly stopped and she almost tripped onto him.

There were three men in front of them, Spike snarled when one them, a middle-aged blonde man, raised a cross brandishing it against his face. The vampire turned his head, growling while his grip on Buffy’s wrist lessened

One of the men, a short brunette, who was on the right aiming a crossbow at them stepped up, he was slim built, his strong features contrasted with the gentle expression in his blue eyes, his voice was soft when lowering his weapon said, "We can make things very simple, without any bloodshed, it's up to you, Buffy…"

Spike loudly snorted at the man’s words, and she took a step back, that man’s voice stopped her, though, when he said, “Do you really think you can stop us, Buffy? The Council… ”

"I'm not part of the Council anymore, I quit, remember?" She said, venom dripping from her voice.

The man stepped toward her, he looked at Spike and nodded saying, "I see though, that your acquaintances with vampires haven't diminished…"

"And you guys are still obnoxious asses…glad to know that some things don't ever change…"

The man smiled at her words and said, "Alas, some things *do* change, Buffy."


The patrol in the park had been uneventful, to say the least. Not a single vampire, not even a newly risen one, which had seemed strange both to Xander and Eric. They had completed their circuit in record time, and were now heading to the graveyard, to meet Spike and Buffy.

Xander hadn’t uttered a single word during all the patrol, his mind still focused on the conversation between Giles and Spike, a conversation he had overheard. Not that he had meant to, he had wanted to go and warn Giles about what Willow had told him about Buffy. To say that what he had overheard that afternoon had upset him meant using the mother of all euphemisms.

Xander was scared and angry.

When he had gone to Giles and Buffy’s apartment that night, he had been surprised to find a still shaken Buffy, asking Spike to go patrolling with her. They had left shortly after. Giles and Eric had exchanged a glance but hadn’t talked.

Xander had asked Anya about the Obscuritas. His girlfriend had explained to him what it was: Slayers who got in touch with the dark side of their powers…and this could be possibly happening to Buffy…and it was something they couldn’t fight, couldn’t stop. It was something that was coming from within her.

He had avoided looking at Eric almost all night; he shook his head and said in a low voice, “I heard a very interesting conversation between Giles and Spike this afternoon …”

Eric didn’t answer him, Xander turned toward him, the vampire was walking next to him, looking around. His face was serious, he looked like he hadn’t heard what he had told him …or so Xander thought, because Eric stopped walking and said, “I know…William heard you, he told me about it”

“What’s going on, Eric?” Xander crossed his arms over his chest, “Is there any way for us to help her?”

“She is the only one who can help herself…” The vampire shrugged and said, “We can’t do anything…”

“What does it mean we can’t do anything?” Xander asked.

Anya had told him more or less the same things, yet he refused to accept that, they had beat the Mayor and had prevented the Ascension, they had kicked the crap out of Adam and survived a night of vivid nightmares after that…nothing could be worse than dreaming of Snyder pretending to be Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now, in his mind.

He stepped closer to Eric and said, “There has to be a way…there has to!”

The vampire turned toward him, his voice was low when he said, “Sometimes there aren’t ways out, Xander…” He put his hands in the pocket of his jacket and whispered, “At least not ways we like…”

Xander took a step back. “Do you think she’s going to reach it?”

“I don’t know…Buffy is very different from every Slayer I’ve ever met…or heard of” Eric replied.

Xander blinked surprised, Eric didn’t usually use Buffy’s name, when referring to her. He shook his head and opened his mouth to speak, but was silenced by Eric’s hand on his arm. Xander noticed how the vampire’s eyes had narrowed, he followed his gaze and his heart almost skipped a beat, when he saw three men heading toward a black van, parked on the street.

He noticed that all of them were bleeding; they had been probably hurt, two of them were carrying an unconscious Buffy in their arms, the other was walking, and he was looking around holding a crossbow in his trembling hands.

Eric dragged Xander behind a parked car. Xander looked at him, frowning, the look in the vampire’s eyes, was beyond cold. He sniffed the air for a second, while the grip on him became almost painful. Xander didn’t talk though. His gaze shifted again on the men, he was wondering why they weren’t rushing there to try and free Buffy.

“Who are they?” Xander asked in a low voice.

“The Council…they have found out about her pregnancy…” Eric hissed.

Eric turned toward Xander and the young man would have rather preferred seeing the dark-haired vampire in game face, than seeing the cold fury in his brown eyes, and how his lips had formed a thin line.

“Do you have a plan?” Xander asked.

Eric slowly nodded and said, “Go and warn Rupert…I'll follow them and see where they’re taking her…”

“Why don’t we stop them, now?” Xander asked.

“Because if we do, there will be others…they won’t stop...not with a pregnant Slayer”

The grip on Xander’s arm lessened, and Xander already knew that his arm was going to be sore for days. He nodded at the vampire while he silently slipped in the shadows. Xander swallowed looking around, when he was sure the men were distracted, he began running.

Hoping Eric wouldn’t lose them.

Hoping they wouldn’t be too late.


The strong scent of fresh blood hit his nostrils, forcing Spike to open his eyes. He shook his head and grimaced in pain and frustration as he looked around.

The bodies of four men were lying on the ground…and he knew neither Buffy nor he had killed them.

~ Alas, some things *do* change, Buffy. ~

He slowly got on his feet, the pain in his head was still throbbing and so that on his shoulder, it had all happened so quickly, he had managed to hit one of the men, before the chip had gone off, one of the men had held him, while another had kept him still, brandishing a huge cross at him.

Spike had seen other men appearing from behind a mausoleum, yet Buffy had run, but she hadn’t gone very far, another dart had been fired, it had hit her on her leg, she had staggered for some seconds, then her body had gone limp on the ground.

She had been barely conscious then, their gazes had fixed for an instant, Spike had managed to break free from that man’s grip and had kicked the man that had been in front of him, the other had used the cross to pierce his leg, and Spike’s hand had burned when he had taken it off, snarling.

He had managed to hit one the men another time, before that pain, had excruciatingly exploded in his head. He had bent on his knees, but had jerked his head on a side, when from seemingly nowhere a bolt had been fired, hitting a man who was charging him

The man had fallen on the ground and so had others. He had rushed toward Buffy, he had knelt next to her, Buffy had blinked, trying to weakly warn him before losing consciousness, he had turned and the rifle butt of one of the tranquilizer guns had solidly and viciously connected against his face.

He had distinctly heard his bones cracking. He had felt a sharp pain on his left shoulder and their combination had overpowered him…even if for a little while.

It had been enough…because Buffy had been taken.

…And he hadn’t been able to do anything to stop them from taking her.

<Very good job…face it mate, you *are* getting sloppy! >

His right arm absently went to the stake that was embedded on his left shoulder, luckily for him; the stake had missed the heart.

“Amateurs” He grimaced, removing the stake.

He looked around, whoever had fired those bolts, had done a remarkably good job; too bad it hadn’t been enough.

The Council had taken Buffy. The same people who had pledged to defend and guide her had taken her.

While he slowly headed out of the graveyard, he couldn’t shake away a little voice in his head, which couldn’t blame who had taken Buffy.

He couldn’t shake away the thought that once he would have done the same thing. A pregnant Slayer who already showed most of the signs associated with the Obscuritas was to be dealt with, no matter what.

He clenched his jaws when images from a night of a century before filled his mind. “Won’t go that way. Not this time” He hissed.

Yet, those words on his lips tasted bitter, bitterer than every lie he had ever told in his long life.


Watchers armed to the hilt, who had come all the way to Sunnydale to take away the Slayer in her own town…. that was something Electra hadn't expected.

She hadn't even known they had found out about the pregnancy.

"This qualifies as the worst timing, ever!” She growled, jumping from atop the mausoleum where she had hid during the attack.

With cat-like grace she landed on the ground. Spike had just gone away, she could see his fading form, she could smell his blood, and his rage…. she was delighted by it.

She let fall on the ground the crossbow she had taken from one of the men she had killed and shook her head, while a snarl fought to escape from her lips.

She knew what was going to happen to the Slayer. A pregnant Slayer posed a concrete danger, one that was going to be dealt with. Not that seeing the Slayer crying out in pain or Spike being stopped by humans hadn't been pleasant, on the contrary, but she had other plans for them.

She could have killed all the watchers who had attacked the Slayer and she nearly had but something had stopped her.

She would have been utterly surprised if she had known how much her thoughts matched Eric’s; someone had to stop them for good…she had worked too hard, too long, to be stopped by the Council

She viciously kicked one of the bodies growling, "You couldn't have chosen a worse moment to grow a pair!"

She stopped kicking the body and ran a hand through her hair, her demonic features slowly morphed back in her human mask. She tilted her head up, observing the night sky for some seconds, a soft smile played on her lips

~ And it will be darkened by the ambition of he, who will try and lose she who was borne by mistake. ~

The night was still young, and she still had many things to do. She let out a chuckle and shook her head saying "Hell must be freezing over, I'm going to help the Slayer…. what’s this world coming to?"

As corny and clichéd as it sounded to her own ears she couldn't help saying, "Hopefully to its end…"


His senses had been filled by what had happened on the graveyard. The smell of blood, pain, tears, adrenalin, fear, satisfaction had been so strong that Xavier was surprised his head hadn’t started spinning.

Too much blood, too many deaths, too much pain.

And amidst all of that, the rogue Eletti.

She was strong, full of magic; she reeked of magic, it was so powerful that it wasn’t even funny.
Not that there was something funny in what was going on.
The Council had taken the pregnant Slayer, ready to sacrifice her.

Because Slayers were expendable, they were just tools for the Council. It had always been that way.

Whether they called themselves Watchers or Eletti, they all swore to protect the Slayer; yet, they rarely did it, for real…and when some of them tried to serve the Slayer as their oath recited, they were blocked, defeated by a huge gear of rules, written in blood and tears, rules to protect the Council, rules to protect the secrecy of the Eletti.

Until, someone decided to risk everything…the pain, the blood, the tears…for one single person…or as in Electra’s case, for her own ambition.

The rogue Eletti was planning something, Xavier was sure of that, not that it took a genius to figure it out. He had read between the lines of the report sent by the Eletti and the Gheraious...noticing the mistakes in her attempts to kill both the Slayer and the Eletti for the previous months: mistakes not even an Eletti in training made, and sure as hell not someone as old and experienced as Electra.

Why hadn’t she spread the word about the existence of the Eletti? Why had she set in motion a heta7tanatos and let it fail? Why had she poisoned Spike? And now, why did it look like she had acted to protect the Slayer and the Eletti? He counted four dead men on the ground, and was reasonably sure the Slayer and the Eletti hadn’t killed them.

He had seen how she had looked up at the sky, totally oblivious of her surroundings and then had murmured something about helping the Slayer before vanishing into thin air.

“Just like one of the frigging weird sisters …” He mumbled

Xavier stuck his hands in the pocket of his coat, thinking.
There was just one thing he was good at: spying, being a shadow.
It was time to spy.


# "You can't do that, because it's *wrong *"

Faith could see Buffy's lips moving, through the mirror of her bedroom. She stuck out her lower lip in an exaggerated pout and repeated, "You can't do *that* because it's wrong"

She couldn't help laughing at those words, her laughter turned into a surprised gasp when her reflected image said, "You know the difference, so well…don't you?"

She took a step back, instinctively putting herself in a fighting stance.

The image in the mirror crossed her arms over her chest and chuckled before mocking, "*you* can't do that, because it's wrong” She marveled before adding, "you've already hurt me so much…"

Her arms fell on her sides and she couldn't help stepping back, while the reflected image jumped out of the mirror.

Buffy's face was dirty with blood; tears were rolling down her cheeks, her white sweater, under the black coat was stained with blood and grass.

"I've changed" Faith said.

"Changing face is not the same thing, Faith…that’s cheating" Buffy's voice was weak and full of sympathy.

Faith brought her hands to her face, while Buffy continued, "Your changes haven't washed it away."

Faith raised her hands and looked at them; lipstick and mascara were staining them.

"You can't wash it all away just like that…" Buffy's voice continued. She stretched a hand toward hers; Faith took it and couldn't help noticing how weak her grip was.

"B. What’s the what, are you afraid to hurt me?"

"I'm gripping your hand…but you're stronger now." Buffy said. They exited the bedroom and walked through the hallway, she realized Buffy was leading her to the bathroom.

Faith frowned, at her words. She could hear water running behind the closed door of the bathroom.
Buffy opened the door, and Faith blinked, when the salty sea's smell hit her nostrils.

She took a step forward, smiling when she felt sand under her feet. They were on a beach, lit up only by the moonlight.

She turned toward the blonde Slayer saying, "Hey, B, since when you've brought sea here?"

"Don't you like it? You can't get lost …" Buffy said, "You can wash it all away here".

"I can't…erase it all…"

Buffy shrugged, "Oh…well, you can start…you'll have to sooner or later…you know?"

Faith looked at the sea, it seemed endless, an endless sea of sapphire blue lit with silvery sparks. It was breathtaking. She looked up at the sky; it looked like the moon was calling her, like a beacon. She sighed saying, “B. isn’t that beautiful? You know? I read somewhere that life started from the sea…”

She looked around, when she didn’t answer, but the blonde Slayer had disappeared.

"B? Buffy?" Faith exclaimed, urgency in her voice.

"Slayer’s not here, Slayer…" A male voice suddenly said from behind her shoulders.

Faith looked around, she knew that voice. She had already heard once.

She spotted a figure walking toward her…and she couldn’t help starting when a lighting tore up the sky. The figure kept getting close, and Faith noticed how the lighting’s violet light emphasized the pale skin of that man, his chiseled features, his blue eyes were sparkling with a mischievous gleam when he said, "What a wicked shame, isn't it, Faith?"

"Where. Is. She?” The brunette Slayer asked. "What did you do to her, Spike?"

Spike smiled at her, shortening the distance between them, "Like you care…” He said, “I didn't do anything to her…you're the one who bloody hurt her-” He took another step, closing the distance between them and whispered, "Again-" a beat, then the blonde vampire got closer to her, his lips whispered against hers, "and again"

"I can't erase what I did!" Faith shouted, pushing him away from her, and another lightning covered her words.

"So” Spike asked, “Are you just going to stay here and look at the sea?"

He cocked an eyebrow at her and turned his shoulders at her, slowly walking away.

"What else can I do? I don't…."

The blonde vampire turned and tilted his head on a side, just like he had done that night, the year before on the Bronze, saying, "Life started from the sea…but you know how sea works… it gives…"

Faith, stood still. The vampire looked down at the shore, then slowly added, "it takes back…” He looked at her then shrugging said, "That's why fishermen used to rely on lighthouses to find their way back…"

"Wh…what? I don't…"She trailed.

The vampire interrupted her, he looked around and said, "Slayer's still here, Slayer…just follow the light, don't hide from it…isn't it what you're looking for?"

He mock saluted her and turned, slowly walking away in that seemingly endless beach.

"Hey, wait! How can I follow it?” She called, running after him, but he was slowly fading, almost as if he was melting with the night and its dark colors.


Faith's hand went on her face as she slowly opened her eyes; the isolation cell was dipped in the dark. She hadn't realized until that moment, how much time she had been spending in the dark, lately. She wiped away sweat from her forehead and sighed, resting her head, against her pillow.

"Just once” She said in a husky voice, she tilted her head up and continued, "I wish you guys weren’t so cryptic"

She slowly pulled herself in a sitting position, resting her back against a wall, she hugged her knees against her chest, murmuring, "Ok, I got it…she needs help, problem is…how the fuck can I get out of here?"


His eyes were on the window; on that blue night lit by so many stars that it almost seemed impossible it had rained for most of the day.

Giles shook his head trying to focus his attention on the book he had been researching on. He could hear in the background Willow typing on her laptop.

The truth about Buffy was out; he hadn’t been surprised to know that Willow had already been on to something.

Buffy had asked him to keep researching, her whispered words and the grim resolve behind them were painfully echoing in Giles’ heart.

As most of the Watchers, he had always believed the Obscuritas to be a myth, a legend told to scare them, the young, soon to be watchers, from caring too much for the Slayers.

Facts were proving him wrong.

He closed the book and sighed, the more he read about the Obscuritas, from the texts both Spike and Eric had given him, the more he was afraid.

How come had he never read such accounts, while he was in the Council? How come Watchers weren’t prepared to such an occurrence?

Yet the text had been written… old reports about pregnant Slayers and the way the Obscuritas had slowly taken possession of them, eroding piece by piece their humanity, the Eletti had them, and the Eletti were watchers…they were part of the Council.

The watchers were supposed to help the Slayers, help them facing everything.
Yet, in almost twenty years in the Council, he had never read reports about the Obscuritas.

Buffy was showing the same signs: heightened strength, more honed senses…and the craving for blood.

He took his glasses off and tiredly pinched the bridge of his nose. Spike hadn’t told him a lot about the second Slayer he had killed, the one who had reached Obscuritas.

He had just told him she had put together demons and warlocks to end the world.

~ There wasn’t anything human in her any more ~

His eyes went again on the window, while he felt his stomach twisting in sudden and painful knots.
He slowly got up from his chair, unconsciously gripping the book in his hand. He didn’t see the way both Anya and Willow were looking at him.

His heart was strongly beating in his chest; he got close to the window.

~ Giles, I’m sixteen years old…I don’t wanna die…~

“Buffy…” He murmured. She had been so young, so fragile, when she had told him she didn’t want to die, yet she hadn’t bailed from her destiny, she had met her fate, knocking him unconscious not to let him go.

Color drained from his face, when from the window, he saw Xander. He was running, fear and worry, clearly etched on his face.

His book slipped from his hand, but Giles didn’t even hear its thump when it landed on the floor. The frantic beating of his heart had deafened him.

“Giles...what’s going on?” Willow asked, concerned.

The former Watcher didn’t hear her, he went to the door, and opened it, just as Xander, got on the threshold. The young man was panting, his face was very pale.

“Xand?” Willow’s voice, was more than concerned now…she sounded scared.

Giles felt Willow’s hand on his arm, he didn’t turn to look at her, he couldn’t. Her concern was coming to him in waves, now.

“What happened?” She asked her voice small.

The truth on Xander’s face was too clear, too evident.

The Council … they’d always known the Obscuritas was real, that’s why they tried to kill the Slayers when they became too old, using that cruel ritual…using the Cruciamentum. That’s why the watchers had to give themselves the test to the Slayer, to test their faith to the cause, their devotion to the Council.

Giles felt it, knew it even before he spoke saying, “The council…they’ve taken Buffy!”


Prologo 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9
10 11 Epilogo