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Fic: Awake

Title: Awake
Creator: drizzlydaze
Rating: PG
Setting: Post-series, of course. Ten years later.
Word count: 917
Prompt: 5. What if Illyria got in contact with Buffy on Spike's behalf after ten years apart?
A/N: Just another reunion fic. I will possibly add an ashtray follow-up exploring the implications.



“Where’s the Illyria?” Buffy said.

Looking grim and nervous, Wesley hemmed and hawed as all Watchers were trained in, and finally said, “I think it best that I prep you first.”

She did not interrupt him, so he continued, “Illyria has… impulses and, in some way, felt this to be a… a debt…” he trailed off. “But that is not for me to explain. I was going to warn you that the host,” he paused strangely after this, eyes becoming more distant, “sometimes… for want of a better word, resurfaces. It’s impossible, I know, since the soul was d-destroyed, but it appears we still do not know all there is to know about the process. Over the years, Illyria has become more understanding of the human condition not only from experience in years, but also from the host’s influence.” His eyes flickered to the door. “Bear in mind, however, that the vessel is… but a vessel.”

“I thought you said we didn’t know enough about the process,” Buffy said, eyes twinkling. “Anyway, just let Illyria in.”

He opened the door and Illyria strode in.

The second thing that struck Buffy was blue. Blue hair, blue eyes, even tinted blue skin. Buffy stood there, mouth gaping, and felt like it were her brain that had been liquefied.

“Buffy,” Illyria said, voice majestic and arrogant, and exactly that of a god-king. “Buffy Summers, the original Slayer. Finally I see you in person… and still I do not understand.”

“I’ve seen Illyria for about ten seconds and I can already think of better things you could have ‘prepped’ me on!” Buffy told Wesley, her anger thawing out her disbelief.

“You are no great beauty. A warrior of the people, perhaps, but nothing to my strength. You dare not speak to me and only gape like a golden fish, passing remarks to Wesley.” Illyria circled her, head cocked in a rather familiar position but more… alien. “I can see nothing special about you.”

“Way to romance a girl,” Buffy said. The vessel is… but a vessel. That was becoming clearer and clearer as Illyria continued to speak. Now Buffy’s overriding emotion, having emerged from the chaos, was fury at Wesley and everyone else on the LA team.

“I can see nothing special about you,” Illyria repeated, showing no sign of annoyance at the interruption—in fact, showing no sign of awareness of the interruption at all, “but I can feel it. Unquantifiable, unquenchable feelings and—” Illyria broke off, hands clenching hard. “Memories. Overwhelming memories.”

Buffy could find nothing to say to that.

“I have come because it is necessary. A small number of years have passed since inhabiting this vessel, but I feel more and more conflicted with each passing day. It is necessary to come because of this chaos.”

A ghost of a smile lifted Buffy’s lips. “You don’t know why you came to see me. Methinks you were yanked around by your own subconscious.” Wesley had said impulse. That seemed about right.

“Explain.”

Buffy could not, so she quoted, “It appears we still do not know all there is to know about the process.”

Wesley glared at her.

Illyria was staring into space. Apparently, that was the Old One’s version of thoughtful. “Chaos, yes, not unlike the black tangles of the olde world. I have chosen a definitive course of action.”

Before Buffy could say anything, the blue leeched from his skin and hair, lightening his eyes, and the skin-tight red armour grew into a very familiar black ensemble. Illyria stood there, de-blued, staring at her with a cold expression at odds with his appearance.

“No,” Buffy said weakly. “No, you’re not him.”

Illyria agreed. “But I am all that is left.”

Instead of ashes, instead of dust, his body was perfectly preserved in a case of blue. Buffy felt the tears welling up.

“Cryin’ for me?” It was a low, rough voice with a smile on the edges.

“Stop it,” she said harshly. “You’re a… you’re a… living lie.”

“Better than a dead truth. Dead truth might be more accurate, seeing as I’m dead and… truth.” He scratched his head. “Been in your company two minutes and you’re already manglin’ my English.”

She let out something that was either a sob or a laugh.

“You know why I came,” he continued. “I got… I can’t—still can’t get you outta my head. Not after ten soddin’ years, not after havin’ my insides charbroiled and my own bloody self messed about till I dunno who I am.” He walked closer, a Spike walk with a Spike smile, and said, “Yet… I still know who you are.”

“I don’t know who you are,” she said in return. Her voice was thick.

He let his hand lightly rest on her hair, and she forced herself to look at him properly. His gaze was familiar, soft and agonising. For a moment, she thought he might be Spike. She moved in and he leaned in, and their lips met. She tasted salt in the kiss.

Then she said, “Spike,” and that was what made her pull away and say, “Please turn back.”

The blue eyes she knew so well froze over and darkened. His expression was less awe and more alien puzzlement. “What is this?” he said, looking alien and sounding human in the body of a vampire.

She swallowed. The host… sometimes, for want of a better word, resurfaces. It was a good question, ten years in the making. “A wake.”

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
spuffy_luvr
Jul. 3rd, 2013 09:16 am (UTC)
My suspicions panned out!

EXCELLENT use of the prompt, with a lovely dose of angst. :)
drizzlydaze
Jul. 6th, 2013 12:21 pm (UTC)
Yay! Here's an imaginary cookie for guessing where it was headed.
shapinglight
Jul. 3rd, 2013 09:16 am (UTC)
:sniffle:

drizzlydaze
Jul. 6th, 2013 12:22 pm (UTC)
:)
rebcake
Jul. 3rd, 2013 09:40 am (UTC)
Argh! It could so easily have gone this way. Wesley's discomfort is so right on. He dodged a bullet, but has probably been the Qwa Ha'zan (or whatever Illyria's guide is called) for all these years. Buffy is wonderful in this: still fun-loving, furious, thrown, and emotionally overwhelmed. Great job!
drizzlydaze
Jul. 6th, 2013 12:23 pm (UTC)
Your icon is wonderful.

Thanks! I was worried about writing Buffy's reaction to such a bombshell (more so than a usual reunion, after all).
rahirah
Jul. 3rd, 2013 02:07 pm (UTC)
Oooh, now that's a scenario I haven't seen before...
drizzlydaze
Jul. 6th, 2013 12:26 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear it.
slaymesoftly
Jul. 3rd, 2013 02:29 pm (UTC)
Excellent use of the prompt. Not one I would have imagined. Brought a lump to my throat.
drizzlydaze
Jul. 6th, 2013 12:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks, 'tis fun twisting prompts.
treadingthedark
Jul. 3rd, 2013 02:57 pm (UTC)
Wah!!
drizzlydaze
Jul. 6th, 2013 12:27 pm (UTC)
Gah!!
brutti_ma_buoni
Jul. 3rd, 2013 06:28 pm (UTC)
Oh no! Well done, that was genuinely shocking to read. And of course Illyria has the same voice still - totally logical and yet somehow we are misdirected.
drizzlydaze
Jul. 6th, 2013 12:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It's all about the twist. It was interesting trying to avoid the pronouns.
zanthinegirl
Jul. 4th, 2013 05:36 am (UTC)
Oh, dear lord the angst! I didn't see this coming until you used the "he" pronoun. Gah! But really, really well done. Not a take I've ever seen before!
drizzlydaze
Jul. 6th, 2013 12:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It was an interesting challenge avoiding the pronouns. A lot of 'Illyria this', 'Old One' that.
kikimay
Jul. 4th, 2013 10:22 am (UTC)
I love this scenario, especially for Illyria's characterization. Great ficlet!
drizzlydaze
Jul. 6th, 2013 12:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you liked my Spike!Illyria.
foxstarreh
Jul. 5th, 2013 05:44 am (UTC)
Owwww...


Pretty and painful.
drizzlydaze
Jul. 6th, 2013 12:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks, glad you liked it.
red_satin_doll
Jul. 8th, 2013 02:14 pm (UTC)
I was thrown at first with the changes in pronoun and I had to read the story, then go back to Wesley's line's at the beginning before the whole thing hit me upside the head. SHIT. I have never seen this done in a fanfic before - and why not? It's a brilliant idea, superbly told.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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