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 I Have Waited For You [BtVS - PG-13] - Amy

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PostSubject: I Have Waited For You [BtVS - PG-13] - Amy   Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:22 pm

Title: I Have Waited For You
Author: Amy
Pairing: Spike/Buffy
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 6,248

Summary: As a series of mysterious disappearances sweep Sunnydale, Buffy meets William and they fall in love. When a bleach-blond, leather-clad vampire with a familiar face arrives in town, their relationship is tested, especially when it seems that William knows more than he's letting on about those going missing. Set in an AU Sunnydale.

Notes: This fic is set in an AU Sunnydale, where Buffy is still the Slayer. No Aurelius vampires (the Master, Darla, Angel etc.) ever came to town. Massive thanks to Sotia for beta reading this! *hugs* I've tinkered with this a little bit since being betaed, so any mistakes are mine. This is complete at 6,248 words, three chapters.

Last edited by Amortentia on Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:05 pm; edited 4 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: I Have Waited For You [BtVS - PG-13] - Amy   Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:22 pm

I Have Waited For You

Chapter One

May 2001

He watched her for some time, but didn’t dare approach. He’d never been able to talk to women, always having to admire from afar. Women never wanted to talk to him, either, dullard that he was.

Nose always stuck in a book, pen in hand, ink staining his skin, he turned out verse-after-verse of dross.

Of course they were never interested. But that didn’t stop him from hoping.

And so he watched the blond girl dance, her eyes closed, seemingly lost to the rhythm of the music.


Buffy sat down on the stool Xander had saved for her. He sent a hopeful glance her way, and she averted her gaze, choosing to look at the crowded dance floor, instead.

“Nice moves out there, Buff,” he said, and Buffy frowned. It seemed that his recent date with Anya hadn’t been enough to quash his longstanding crush.

“Thanks.” She took a long drink of her coke, and set the empty glass down on the table with a clunk.

The silence was slightly uncomfortable until Willow returned from the restroom, an excited bounce in her step as she neared the table.

“Buffy! Hottie on the balcony, totally checking you out.”

Buffy twisted in her seat and peered towards the upper level of the Bronze. A man—several years older than she was, by the looks of it—was indeed staring down at her. When their eyes met, he blushed and looked away.

“He’s cute,” Buffy said, noncommittally. In fact, she agreed wholeheartedly with Willow’s assessment of the man. He was thin, though his short-sleeved t-shirt afforded a glimpse of strong muscles, and he had the most defined cheekbones that Buffy had ever seen. His dark-blonde hair was adorably tousled, and the entire package deserved a very positive yum.

But she wasn’t going to go and talk to him.

“I can’t, Willow,” she said, when her friend encouraged her to approach him. Xander huffed and went to the bar for more drinks. “Not with the whole Slayer thing. I’m not going to waste my time on someone who’ll just leave me when he finds out the truth. My life is majorly weird. He’d wig out.”

We didn’t,” Willow reminded her. “Well, okay, we kinda did, with the whole Ahh, vampires! freak out. But we got over it.”

“Forget about it.” Buffy replied. “Not happening.”


Fate, it seemed, had other plans. On her patrol the following evening, she was crossing through Shady Rest Cemetery when there was a loud yell, followed by a shout of terror.

Hurrying off in the direction of the sounds, she came to a stop to see the hottie from the night before holding his own pretty well against a fledgling. He threw a punch that didn’t connect, and the vampire kicked him, causing him to trip backwards over a headstone.

Buffy pulled her stake from her pocket before jumping into the fray, drawing the vampire away from its intended prey and into a fight that was more fairly matched. Moments later, it was dust, and she turned back to the man, wincing when she saw the bruises and deep gashes on his face and arms.

“What… what was that thing?” He had an English accent, and sounded cultured, upper-class.


“It had fangs,” the man said. “God, I’ve only read of such things. Tell me it wasn’t a vampire.”

Buffy frowned, unsure if he was talking to her or himself.

“Are you all right?” she asked. “It got you pretty good.”

“I—” He looked up, and Buffy realised that his eyes were startlingly blue. “It’s you.”


He blushed. “I—my apologies. I simply meant that I have seen you before. At the dance club. I—saw you.” He looked down at his hands, and Buffy couldn’t help but smile.

“What’s your name?”


“I’m Buffy.”

“Buffy—” He breathed her name with a reverence that made her blush. He smiled. “Hello, Buffy.”


September 2001

William loved moments like these; when it was just him, and her, and the silence of the night. Her head was resting on his chest, blond hair pooling on the pillow. His heart swelled with love for her, and he could hardly believe that he had only known her a few months.

He felt that it had been providence that had led them to meet, that it had been her—the girl he had admired from afar—who had found him fighting the vampire in the cemetery.

She had taken him home, cleaned his wounds and entranced him even more. When she’d shyly given him her phone number, with a delightful blush and secret smile, he had been lost. And he didn’t want to be found.

Buffy shifted in his arms, and he hugged her tighter, pressing a light kiss to the top of her head. She mumbled something incoherent, something that sounded a little like his name, and he smiled.

He didn’t think he could love her more.

But there was a shadow over their relationship, and it wasn’t the Slayer thing, like she thought. It was his secret… the one thing that he had never told her, that he couldn’t bring himself to share with her.

He lived in fear that he would slip, that she—or one of her friends—would notice. Though, the fear of Buffy finding out paled in comparison to the fear that it would happen again. Those police reports…

William shifted uncomfortably—afraid to close his eyes—and clutched Buffy to him almost desperately.

He didn’t want it to happen again, but he knew that he wouldn’t be able to stop it if it did.


“So, what’s the what? New evil in town?” Buffy sat down at the research table in the Magic Box, and smiled at William, who had a series of newspaper clippings spread in front of him. He didn’t smile back.

Giles peered at her from over the top of his glasses. “It would appear so. Several disappearances over the last few weeks, no apparent connection between the victims.”

“Any clues at all?” Buffy asked.

“The police and newspaper reports all agree on one thing,” William put in, voice shaking. “They all disappeared from their beds.”

Buffy stared at her boyfriend, worried when she heard the tremor in his voice. She slid her hand across the table and into his, squeezing it in a silent question. He met her eyes, and she could see fear there. She shivered.

“I did wonder, at first, if this was indeed a matter for us,” Giles said, “but it does seem as though the disappearances are supernatural in nature; several of the victims went missing from within locked rooms.”

“Hmm.” Buffy looked at the newspaper cuttings and the print-outs that Willow had obtained from the police database. Her fingers were still laced with William’s. “So… I guess I should hit the demon bars, see if anyone knows anything.”

“I think that would be a good place to start,” Giles said. “I’ll have Willow scour the internet when she gets here, see if this has ever happened before.”

Neither of them noticed the widening of William’s eyes, or the way his jaw clenched at Giles’ words.


“Mmm… that was nice,” Buffy said, burying her face in the crook of William’s neck.

“Only nice?”

“Shut up.” She grinned, and bit him lightly on the shoulder. “You know what I mean.”

“Yeah.” William’s answer was short, terse, and he rolled away slightly, moving onto his back rather than his side.

The curtains at the open window swayed in the breeze, and Buffy shivered, goosebumps erupting across her skin. “William?”


“What’s wrong?” Buffy pulled the sheets up over her chest, and moved so that her elbow propped her up. “You’ve been acting weird all day. Ever since we got back from the Magic Box.”

“It’s nothing.”

She sensed that whatever it was that was bothering him, he didn’t want to talk about. She put her head back down on his shoulder. “Okay.”

They lay in silence; the only sound their breathing and the settlings and creakings of the house. Then: “I’m scared.”

Buffy had been drifting off to sleep when William spoke, but his words startled her to awareness, and she sat up. “What?”

“The—the demon, or whatever it is that’s making people disappear,” William said. “I’m scared of it.”

Buffy didn’t know what to say. In all the time she’d known him, William had never shown fear—not really. He had taken her Slayerness with a pinch of salt, and had accompanied her on patrol more times than she could count. Nothing had fazed him. “We don’t have anything to worry about, sweetie.”

“No?” William’s voice rose, and he sat up, too. “Because you’re the Slayer? We don’t know if that will stop it.”

Buffy opened her mouth to argue back, but stopped when she saw that he was shaking, and hugged him, instead. He really was scared. “We’ll find this thing, and we’ll kill it.”

William didn’t reply for a moment, but when he did his voice was quiet and deadly serious. “I don’t want to leave you, Buffy.” He brought his hand up and brushed the tips of his fingers across her cheek. “But know that if I ever did, I would do everything in my power to come back to you.”

She bit her lip, still not sure why he was so certain that this threat would come after them. She nodded, feeling her heart fill with love for him. “Same. I love you.”

He smiled, and kissed her slowly. “I love you, too.”


October 2001

Buffy looked up at the house, the full moon lighting up the area around it. 1280 Hollander Drive. Home to the latest disappearance.

“Anything look suspicious?” Xander had accompanied her on this reconnaissance, William having mumbled an excuse about inventory at the magic shop.

“Everything looks normal,” Buffy replied, gazing up at the very ordinary-looking house. “No slayer tinglies, no sign of any disturbance, nada.”

Xander broke the police tape, and pushed the front door open. “No lock. Huh, whoever lived here was just asking for trouble.”

Examining the house was a matter of minutes. There was nothing to see, nothing out of place. Suburban normality at its best.

“Great.” Buffy sighed. “We’re getting nowhere with this, and people keep disappearing.”

“We’ll get it Buff. Eventually,” Xander said. “We always do.”

They left the house, pulling the door shut behind them, and turned onto the street. “I guess. It’s just… this is really wigging William out; he thinks it’s going to come after him.”

“Could come after any of us.” Xander shrugged.

Buffy elbowed him. “Way to be reassuring, Xand.”

“Sorry.” He grinned. “Hey, I’m gonna head off. Anya’s waiting for me.”

“Okay. Thanks for coming with.”

He strolled off in the opposite direction, leaving Buffy alone with her frustrations. She contemplated doing a quick patrol before heading home to bed, but the thought of William waiting for her soon swayed her from that idea.

Nearing her house, she felt the telltale tingle on the back of her neck that let her know a vampire was close. She pulled out the ever-present stake from her coat pocket, and slowly turned around.

A flash of white-blonde hair caught her eye, and she gasped as she found herself staring into familiar blue eyes. Her gaze took in the long leather coat and heavy boots, before returning to his face with its razor-sharp cheekbones.

Mouthing wordlessly, she tried to take a step forward, but it was as though something had her feet pinned to the ground. She could only watch as the vampire with her lover’s face stared at her for several long moments, something akin to pain in his eyes, before turning and leaving without a word.

“Oh, God…” Heart pounding, she found that she was finally able to move, her feet pounding the pavement in the direction she’d seen him go in. “William!”


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PostSubject: Re: I Have Waited For You [BtVS - PG-13] - Amy   Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:23 pm

Chapter Two

October 2001

By the time Buffy returned home, the sky was lightening with the coming of dawn. She was exhausted, having searched everywhere she could think of for the vampire, to no avail. It was as though he had disappeared completely, and she was beginning to wonder if she had perhaps imagined him.

Common sense told her that it must have been a hallucination. She had seen William that afternoon, and it took a lot longer than just a few hours for a new vampire to rise after being turned. A call home, and to William’s apartment—just to check—had proved fruitless, however.

Pushing open the front door, she stepped into her house and was almost immediately pulled into a bone-crushing hug. William’s voice was frantic, his hands everywhere, and she felt the hot sting of tears in her eyes and on her cheeks.

“You’re okay,” she whispered, stroking his hair. “I thought—”

He pulled back, and stared at her, scanning her face and body for any sign of injury. “Where were you? God, I was so worried!”

Buffy pushed away from him, her fear transforming into anger that bubbled up and spilled over. “I’m the Slayer, William. I’ve done all-night patrols before.”

He slipped an arm around her waist, and tugged her back towards him. “Doesn’t mean I don’t worry.”

She looked up at him, sliding her palm over his chest and resting it over his heart. It was beating. “Did you go out last night?”

“No,” he said. “Inventory at the shop took longer than I’d thought; I didn’t get in until an hour ago. And when you weren’t here… with all the disappearances—I thought the worst.”

“Oh.” Buffy bit her lip, kicking herself for not understanding why he’d been so worried. She felt the last of her anger dissipate, and the confusion return in full force. She led him into the lounge, and they sat down on the couch. “I didn’t come home, because I was following something,” she said, taking his hand and finding comfort when her fingers found the pulse-point on his wrist. “A—a vampire. He looked like you.”

“What?” William’s mouth dropped open in shock as he took in what she’d said.

“A vampire!” Buffy stood up, and started to pace. “It was you, except with weirder hair and a big, black, leather coat! I spent half the night absolutely terrified that some vamp had got you and turned you!”

William stared at her with wide eyes, not sure what to say. “Buffy—”

“I was so scared.” Buffy interrupted. “And when I couldn’t find it… I started to think that maybe I was going crazy, imagining things. But why would I conjure up something like that?”

“I’m here,” William said, standing up and pulling her into a hug, trying not to let the confusion and fear he felt show in his voice. “It—it was a spell, or something. A vampire using a glamour to confuse you, throw you off your game.”

“But why would it run away?” Buffy’s words were mumbled, her face pressed against the soft cotton of William’s shirt. “When I saw you—it, I couldn’t move. I froze. Easy prey.”

William’s lips found hers, his mouth warm and caressing. “We’ll get everyone on it, do some research.”

She nodded, and tried to smile, the relief at finding him alive and here finally sinking in. “Okay.”


November 2001

Life went on. Buffy saw no further sign of the vampire with William’s face, and there had only been one more disappearance since Mr. Johnson of Hollander Drive. Buffy hoped that it would be the last.

The gang had tried to research the mysterious vampire, but with hardly anything to go on, it had pretty much been a useless effort. They were making slightly more progress investigating the disappearances; Willow had turned up some information on similar missing persons in the past, and so at least they now had something to go on.

Things were good. And so it came as no surprise that something bad was on the horizon; that was the way life as the Slayer worked.

“Guys!” Willow waved her hands frantically, trying to attract everyone’s attention. Pointing at the laptop screen, she continued, “I found something! Yay, progress.”

“Yay?” Buffy said. “Really-yay or Willow-yay?”

“Uh… well, yay with a side of uh-oh,” Willow replied. “Another disappearance, but there’s an eyewitness report this time.”

“What did they say?” William’s voice was sharp, his eyes piercing as he looked across the table at Willow.

Frowning, Buffy came up behind him, and laid her hands on his shoulders.

“Her name’s Alice O’Neill, she says that she and her boyfriend—David—went to bed, like normal. She woke up in the middle of the night for a glass of water, and when she got back to her bedroom, there was a dark shadow hovering over David, followed by a burst of yellow light… and a ticking or tapping noise, and then David was gone.”

“A ticking shadow?”

“Yep.” Willow nodded. “Should narrow down the search a bit. Hopefully, anyway.”

“I’ll go patrol,” Buffy said. “Keep an eye out. Searching for a shadow, though…”

“Yeah.” Willow shrugged. “At least it’s something.”

Squeezing William’s shoulders, Buffy leaned down and kissed his cheek. “Come patrol with me?”

“I’d rather not,” William replied, and stood up suddenly. Buffy had a glimpse of pale face and wide eyes before he swept out of the room and thundered up the stairs. Moments later, she heard the bathroom door slam shut.

Buffy stared after him, and sighed. The fear had been gnawing at William for weeks now, and no matter what she said or did, he refused to tell her why. A moment’s hesitation had her wondering whether to go after him, but when he got like this, she knew he preferred to be alone.

Ignoring Willow’s curious glance, she took her coat from the hallway, picked up her stake, and left the house.


She felt the presence almost as soon as she entered Peaceful Meadows Cemetery, and was instantly on her guard. It didn’t matter that this was one of the older graveyards, and as such had fewer new burials and less fledglings; vampire tinglies were vampire tinglies.

Stake in hand, she peered around the tombstones, her subconscious adding shadows and movement where there was none. She shivered.

Moving towards a mausoleum where she thought the shadows looked denser than they should be, Buffy felt her breath catch in her throat when she caught a glimpse of bright blonde hair and dark leather.

This time, she didn’t let herself hesitate, and sprung forwards, feet thumping across the grass in the direction of the crypt. Rounding the corner in time to see him running swiftly towards the gates of the cemetery, she sped up, determined not to let him get away.

They crashed together when she tackled him, pressing him up against the iron railings and trying to pin him down. They struggled, but she eventually got the upper hand, capturing his wrists behind his back and smashing his face on the metal bars.

“Who are you?”

“No one.” He even sounded like William, if a little rougher in accent. “Let me go.”

“Not until you tell me who you are, and why you look like my boyfriend.” Buffy increased the pressure on his wrists, pulling his arms tighter behind him.

“I can’t tell you,” he replied, sounding frustrated and angry. “You’ll find out soon enough, anyway. So just let me go, and get off home to your honey.”

“I’m not letting you leave,” Buffy said, matter-of-factly. “Now, tell me why you’re impersonating William, and I might consider just staking you and not setting you on fire, too.”

The vampire chuckled, his laughter infuriating in its smugness. “Oh, sweetheart, could you really do that to someone who looks like him? I know you, pet. You wouldn’t.”

She blinked, not liking the familiarity in his voice, or what he implied. She shook him. “Tell me! Who are you? What are you?”

“I’m a bloody idiot, is what I am,” the vampire said. “Too soddin’ impatient. Got here too early.”

“What?” She loosened her hold slightly, and he took the opportunity to pull out of her grip, darting away before she could grab him again.

“I’m a hundred and twenty years old, love.” He backed away, muscles tensed, ready to flee at a moment’s notice. “Time’s skewed my memories a bit.”

“You’re not making any sense!”

“Go home,” he said. “Go home, and ask him who he really is. Get him to tell you about all those missing people.” His last words were thrown over his shoulder, as he ran towards the wooded area at the back of the cemetery. “See you soon, love.”


Buffy didn’t even try to follow him this time. It’d be useless; in that, the vampire had been right. She would find it difficult to kill someone who looked like William, even if that someone was a vampire. She could do it… but she didn’t particularly want to.

Hugging her arms close around her body, she made for the cemetery gates, not feeling like patrolling any more.

As she neared Revello Drive, she was hit with the sudden feeling that something was not right. The night was too quiet, too still. There was a chill in the air that was unusual for Southern California, and her Slayer sense was tingling.

She sped up, racing towards her house just in time to see a dark shape pass through the solid wood of the front door. Heart pounding, she followed it into the house, bad feeling intensifying a thousand times as a ticking—or was that tapping?—noise filled her ears.

She tripped on the stairs, and cursed her clumsiness—why now, of all times?—tears clogging her throat. She knew what this was, what was going to happen, just as she knew that she was powerless to stop it. How could you fight a shadow?

Still, she had to try. When she finally reached her bedroom, a wordless cry caught in her throat as she took in the sleeping form of her lover—still dead to the world despite the noise she’d made in climbing the stairs, and the warnings she’d shouted out loud.

The shadow hovered over William, draping across him like a shroud. Buffy ran towards the bed, tried to grab at it, pull it away, but it was useless. Her hands slid through the thing like a knife through butter.

The ticking-tapping became louder and louder, followed by a flash of golden light that temporarily blinded her.

And then—

Then, William was gone.


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PostSubject: Re: I Have Waited For You [BtVS - PG-13] - Amy   Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:24 pm

I Have Waited For You

Chapter Three

September 1879

When William woke, he reached out across the bed, searching for Buffy’s warmth. It was automatic, something he had done nearly every morning for the last few months; he usually awoke before her. But she wasn’t there.

Groggily, he sat up, unfamiliar smells assailing his nostrils. The sharp, biting scent of a dying fire, a harsh, herbal, soapy smell on the sheets—which were different, too. Scratchier, not as soft as he was used to.

A dawning horror overcame him as he rose to full wakefulness, and he scrambled backwards, his head hitting the iron bars of the bedstead.

“No.” His words were mumbled, barely audible. “Please, God, no!”

He’d been sent back.

Shaking with the shock of waking up back in his old home, he felt the warmth of tears on his cheeks and his breath catching in his throat. He pulled the covers up over his head, tucked his legs to his chest, and began to mutter incoherently, the words almost lost in the tightness of his throat.

“Send me back, send me back, pleasepleaseplease, let me go back, oh God, I don’t want to be here.” He didn’t know how long he sat there, slipping into a state of denial over what had actually happened. He closed his eyes and lay back down, trying to pretend that he was back with Buffy.

At some point, blackness overcame him and he surrendered happily to the oblivion of sleep.


A scream roused him for the second time, and he shot out of bed, months of being with Buffy having trained him to know that a scream meant nothing good: demons, or monsters of some kind.

When he saw his mother, one hand pressed to her heart and the other covering her mouth, he remembered. He wasn’t with Buffy. The demon—time-shifter, he had taken to calling it in his mind—had finally caught up with him. Sent him home.

“William?” His mother’s voice trembled on the word, and she took a hesitant step forwards. “My God, it really is you!”

He found himself swept up into a tight hug, the wool of his mother’s dress rough against his face, and her favourite scent—violets—almost overpowering him. He sank into the familiar embrace, already feeling the constraints of this era pulling at him, telling him how ridiculous it was for a grown man to be taking such comfort from his mother.

But he didn’t care. His whole world had been ripped harshly away from him, and if she could make the pain stop for just one second, he would let her.


October 1879

Life went on. He didn’t want it to; he would have been perfectly happy with hibernating under his bed sheets for the rest of his life, but his mother would hear nothing of that.

After her first, hysterical greeting, she had gone back to being the refined older lady that he remembered, and she had taken to constantly chastising him for things that were far from his fault. Little slips into twenty-first century slang. Slouching at dinner when he should have been sitting upright. Habits he’d picked up from the future, which suited him far better than the repressed life he had been forced back into.

He hated it.

He had returned in late September, only two months having passed since his disappearance as opposed to the year and a half he’d spent in Sunnydale. He had no explanation for his mother when she asked him where he’d been, simply mouthing wordlessly and retreating to his room. She gave up asking after a while.

Every day was a struggle. Waking up was the hardest part, for in sleep he at least had his dreams—dreams of Buffy, and even of her friends. Daylight hours were spent in his library, all the books he had to hand on the supernatural spread across the desk as he searched for an answer.

By night, he roamed the graveyards and cemeteries of London, sure that if there was anything paranormal in nature, it would be there, in a place of death. He never saw anything.

The weeks wore on, his search for a way to return to the future fruitless. He heard nothing of any disappearances, no sign that the time-shifter was still around at all.

The rational part of him told him that he should give up, live out his life in the way that was expected of him—as a repressed Victorian gentleman—but his reckless side, the part of him that loved Buffy with all of his heart, told him to keep going, keep looking. Still, it seemed hopeless.

And then he saw her. A dazzling dark beauty, dressed in velvet finery. Standing at the entrance to an alleyway, her eyes were fixed on the night sky, a small smile on her lips.

When she turned to look at him, her face morphed into a vampire visage, and all of a sudden, like a wave crashing on the shore, the dots connected.

I didn’t come home, because I was following something. A vampire. He looked like you.

And he knew what he had to do.


November 2001

“No!” Buffy fell onto the bed in the spot where William had disappeared from, hardly able to believe what had just happened. She was numb, her eyes wide in shock but dry of tears. There was a gnawing, nagging pain in the pit of her stomach, and she curled up in a ball to try to make it go away.

All those weeks of William fearing this thing… Buffy had never really taken his worries seriously, and now—it had taken him. She knew that she should get up, call the others and double their efforts to find out what the demon was and how she could get William back, but it hurt to move.

And what were the chances, anyway? They’d been researching for months with no results. As the futility of the situation sank in, she finally let the tears fall.



She woke up to the sound of her name, and something rattling at her window. As she sat up, the events of the last few hours all came back to her at once, and her face crumpled.

“Buffy, love.” The voice was familiar… William’s, but a little rougher in accent. The vampire. “Slayer! I need to talk to you!”

Buffy shot out of bed, crossing to the window and thrusting it open, anger, and shock, and pain making her movements jerky and uncontrolled. The vampire was standing in the front yard beneath the big evergreen tree, arm raised and ready to throw another handful of stones.

She glared at him, hating the fact that he still wore William’s face, cursing herself for not staking him earlier in the night. “Go away.” Her words lacked their usual punch.

The vampire dropped the handful of pebbles and looked up at her with such tenderness in his eyes that she found hard to glance away from. He looked so much like William in that moment and with his loss still fresh in her heart, her feelings were conflicted, confused.

“Let me in, please,” he said, before running his fingers through his hair. “I didn’t think it’d be this difficult. I’ve—he’s gone, yeah? Taken by that thing.”

Buffy looked at him suspiciously, her mind racing as she tried to work out what was going on. It was all connected, somehow. The disappearances, the dark shadow, William’s nervousness over the last few weeks, and now—this vampire. Try as she might, however, she couldn’t make all the pieces fit. And there was only one thing she wanted to know. “Do you know how to get him back?”

“Yes.” He swallowed, and her eyes followed the bobbing of his Adam’s apple. “I can explain everything.”

Buffy didn’t reply, but moved away from the window and down the stairs, opening the front door to find the vampire on the doorstep, his expression anxious. When a few seconds passed by with neither of them saying anything, he raised a hand and pressed it to the invisible barrier. “I need an invitation.”

“Come in.” Her words were terse, and she wrapped her arms around herself, stepping backwards to let him cross the threshold. She led him into the kitchen, and leaned back against the counter, eyes hard. “Talk. How do I get William back?”

“You don’t.” He made a sudden move forwards, as though he wanted to catch her hand in his, or pull him against her.

“You said—!” Angry tears built in her eyes and threatened to spill over.

“Shh, love.” This time, he did reach out, brushing his thumb over her cheeks to wipe her tears away. She shuddered, but didn’t pull away, his touch achingly familiar. “Don’t cry. You know I hate to see you cry.”

“I don’t understand.”

“It’s me, love. I—I’m him. William.” He let out a slightly hysterical laugh. “The demon, the one you’ve been looking for? It’s a time-shifter. Brought me here in the first place… sent me—him—me back just now. Hundred and twenty odd years into the past. And I knew I had to get back to you, sweetheart. Got myself vamped.”

Buffy’s eyes had gone wide when he had started to speak, and now she was backing away, shaking her head. “No… you’re lying. I don’t believe you. This can’t be happening.”

“I have waited for you for so long, Buffy.” His voice shook on each word, and if the look in his eyes was anything to go by, he was telling the truth.

Buffy reached out a trembling hand. “William?”

“Yes.” He nodded, holding in unneeded breath as he waited for her to speak again.

“I don’t understand,” she repeated, squeezing her eyes tightly shut.

“I was from the past,” he began. “Went to bed one night—1879 it was—and when I woke up, I was here. Sunnydale, the year 2000. I didn’t know what had happened; everything was so confusing. A Victorian gentleman ending up in the twenty-first century? You can imagine.” He paused, and chanced a glance towards Buffy. Her head was tilted, but the stiff posture of her body told him that she was listening. “Anyway. I tried to get on with things, make a life for myself here. It was difficult, but I did it. Then I met you.”

At this, Buffy lifted her head and met his eyes. Smiling, he continued. “Realised that the supernatural was real… that what had happened to me must have been something demony.” He met her eyes with a grin at using a word so very obviously hers. “Fell in love with you. Never thought it would happen to me—that anyone would ever—” His voice cracked.

Buffy didn’t know what to say, what to think. She had the missing pieces to the puzzle, now, and everything was slotting into place. “And then people started disappearing, and you realised it was the same thing that had gotten you.” She bit her lip. “That’s why you were so scared.”

William nodded. “Dunno why, just had this feeling that it’d come after me again. Was right.”

“This is difficult to get my head round,” Buffy said. “This only happened tonight, for me.”

“I know, love. I was gonna wait, give you some time… but I couldn’t stand it. I’ve already waited for so many years. Got here too early, even.”

“You’re a vampire,” she whispered, as if that fact had only just occurred to her.

“Yeah,” William replied. “Only way I could think of to get back to you.”

“How?” She asked. “Not the vamping… I know how that works. But… don’t vampires wake up with the urge to hunt? To kill?” Her last words were barely audible. “You don’t have a soul.”

“I don’t. But I have something else.” He took her hands in his, and brought them to his mouth, pressing a kiss to her knuckles. “Love.”

Buffy broke away from him and started to pace. “No. No, I can’t. You want me to believe that you just woke up all fangy and thought Hey, I loved Buffy once upon a time, so I’m not gonna eat people? You’re a vampire. You can’t love.”

“I can! I do. I love you, Buffy.” He approached her, feeling his heart begin to break at the thought that she might reject him, after so many years of waiting. “Still. So much.”

They stared at each other in silence, William hoping that he’d done enough to convince her that what he said was true, and Buffy not knowing what to do. Everything in her was yearning to take him in her arms, kiss him, hug him and to just be thankful that he was there. But she was at war with the Slayer in her, the warrior who had always been taught that vampire equalled badness.

How could it ever work? They’d never be able to go out in the sunlight, never be able to do normal, coupley things like go on holiday together. Get married. Have children.

“Stop it,” he said, trying not to let the panic he felt cloud his voice. “I know you, Summers. You’re coming up with all sorts of reasons in that noggin of yours for why this wouldn’t work. Stop it, you hear me? Listen to your heart, and what it’s tellin’ you.”

“It’s telling me to forget about everything else, and just kiss you.”

William smirked. “Sounds like a plan to me.”

“But I can’t,” Buffy shouted. “I’m the Slayer! You know that better than anyone.”

“Exactly!” He was getting agitated, fear over losing her making his voice rise. “You’re the one, Buffy. A hundred plus years and there’s only been one thing I’ve ever been sure of: getting back to you. Please don’t shut me out.” His throat was thick with tears. “Please. Please.”

She shook her head, opening and closing her mouth soundlessly, her eyes stinging with unshed tears. Her heart was pounding in her chest, and she wondered if her next move would change everything, or if it would change nothing at all. He was still her William. The last few minutes had shown her that.

Biting her lip, she let out a choked sob and collapsed into his arms, squeezing him so tightly that if he were an ordinary man, he’d be struggling to breathe. She buried her head in his shoulder, finally allowing the tears to fall when she felt his arms slip around her, his hands burrowing into her hair.

“I’m here,” he whispered, lips meeting hers. “Finally done waiting. I’m here.”



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