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Water flowing underground
same as it ever was
Soul searching - The sequel to Family. 
18th-Apr-2005 05:40 pm
knitting sketch

The search is on. I finally gave in and started writing the sequel fic to Family:Blood Calls to Blood.

My thanks to bogwitch for the super-fast beta, and calove for agreeing to help me out with characters I've never written before.

Disclaimer: The usual - none of the characters is mine.
Rating:PG for language.

The alley behind the Hyperion Hotel was awash with freshly spilled blood, the rain sluicing it into the gutter in torrents. And still they came; wave after wave of seemingly unstoppable demons bent on destroying the pitifully small band of figures fighting with their backs to the wall. As each line fell, another replaced it; a never ending horde clamouring for annihilation.

In the sky above, the dragon screamed, its jaws peeling back revealing a deep maw containing neither flesh nor bone, but pure darkness. With a roar, the thing that had assumed the dragon’s form, spewed forth, fracturing into three parts, each rolling away from the battle and up into the storm that accompanied it. As they did so, a figure plummeted to the pavement, still clutching the sword that had dealt the dragon the mortal blow. Crumpled on the gore soaked ground, Angel raised his head briefly and blinked the blood from his eyes before losing consciousness.

Above the rooftops, three clouds, blacker than the rainstorm that had heralded the beginning of the conflict, billowed and grew, changing shape, reforming and finally solidifying in the forms of a wolf, a ram, and a hart. The rain stopped. Something worse replaced the storm. Fog, rolling in from the direction of the bay, bringing with it the faint metallic odour of dark magic. As the fog thickened, it grew colder, blacker, and foul-smelling, turning rapidly into smog, the kind that conceals, smothers, binds and kills.

Gunn was the first to fall, unable to hold off the attackers he could no longer see. Illyria was next; cursing the loss of powers she once had to sense and anticipate the enemy. Spike continued to fight on a while longer, his heightened vampire senses guiding his moves. But he was alone and eventually, overcome by the sheer numbers, he too fell and was buried under a mass of blood-hungry demons.


He knew she was there before he saw her, sensed her before he caught her scent above the acrid smell of the corpses that pinned him to the sodden pavement. Before she grasped his arm and hauled him to his feet, he could taste her fiery anger punching its way through the suffocating clouds.

Spike opened his swollen eyes and grinned at her. "The Big Poof had a plan after all then." He scanned the alley for signs of the others. "Did he make it?" he asked her anxiously, still searching the battleground. “Where is he?”

Spike turned back to face the slayer but she had thrown herself into the fight before she'd heard his question. There were other girls fighting alongside her, skilful and strong, slicing heads from bodies with apparent ease. Illyria was with them but, even so, they were outnumbered. As quickly as they sent a demon to its death, another took its place.

Spike gazed at them in awe, feeling as if he'd died and gone to heaven. He rubbed his face, feeling the blood welling from fresh wounds, wincing in pain as he gathered his strength to fling himself back into the fray. "Not heaven then," he muttered.

As he turned to join them, a sudden blast of power threw him to the ground; the heat singeing his coat, adding further to the damage it had suffered from the dragon’s fire. He watched with amazement as the demons stopped their attack, responding to some unheard call to retreat. He saw Illyria turn her attention to the Slayer who had led the counter-attack. She held out her leather-clad arm towards her and pulled it back rapidly as it drew sparks from the power-shield that surrounded her. The demons silently disappeared into the fog, which quickly turned back into mist before dissipating altogether. The rain returned, a fine drizzle at first, then gathering strength, cascading in icy sheets, from a sky that gradually brightened with dawn’s imminent arrival.

Spike lurched painfully to his feet. "Where’s Angel?" he shouted. "We have to find cover."

Illyria continued her scrutiny of the woman who had earlier pulled Spike to his feet. "Your leader is there," she said. Without changing the direction of her gaze, she pointed at a battered figure slumped in the Hyperion’s rear entrance, cradling Gunn’s head, shielding him from the worst of the rain.

Spike strode over shrugging his singed duster off his shoulders as he did so. He held it out to Angel. "Here, use this," he said softly. "Is he going to be OK?" Not waiting for an answer, Spike’s eyes swept the alley once more. "How’d you pull this off?" he asked, indicated the girls standing before them. "Put out a 911 call while you were airborne, did you?"

Angel frowned and glanced beyond Spike at the slayer who held Illyria's attention and was running towards them "Buffy . . .she . . ."

Spike never heard the rest of Angel’s explanation. Strong hands gripped his shoulder and swung him round. He was pulled into an embrace that would have done serious damage to a human body and his lips were assaulted by a passionate kiss. His blood sang in response and he leaned in, opening his mouth, welcoming the tongue that caressed his. The soft moan that greeted his response shocked him into breaking the embrace. His eyes flew open and stared into the green ones of the slight figure that continued to grip his arms like a drowning woman clutching at her rescuer.

"Bloody Hell, Slayer," Spike gasped. "What’d you do that for?" He glanced over his shoulder at Angel. "You saw that, right? She kissed me. You really should keep a closer eye on your bird, mate. She’s loopier than Dru ever was."
18th-Apr-2005 05:31 pm (UTC)
That was a fab fic!

And I love your icon. Hee!
18th-Apr-2005 05:41 pm (UTC)

On both counts.

Did I not mention that this was the Prologue to a longer fic? Ooops! Must remedy that.
18th-Apr-2005 09:23 pm (UTC)
Terrific start. I'm looking forward to reading more.
18th-Apr-2005 09:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Kathy. I anxed (is that a word?) over this for months. The Muse kept coming along and giving me lines for the battle but no clues about the plot for the rest of the story. Stupid vampire, he's all poetic and totally impractical. ;)

I'm going to have to write like crazy before I go away and oh my goodness, it's less than three weeks to go.
19th-Apr-2005 01:39 am (UTC)
*Bounces* Happy, happy! I've been waiting for this. I loved Family but it begged to be continued.

I was there! Right in the fight, feeling the cold, black fog and the victory snatched from the jaws of defeat.

This is going to be *such* a ride!
19th-Apr-2005 02:30 pm (UTC)
Well you encouraged me to start it. And Spike kept nagging at me with those eyes and the cheeks . . .

This is going to be *such* a ride!

I hope so. Your confidence in me is touching. I hope you're willing to wait the long months I'm in France. I may have chapter ! finished and beta-ed before I go, it all depends if I can map out the ending and plot the route to take us there.
19th-Apr-2005 11:54 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I did encourage you, otherwise you might have waited just so you could see Spike begging so prettily.

I'll grouse a little about waiting but one thing about fanfic--there is always wa-a-a-y more to read than I have time and I certainly won't forget about your sequel. Those months will probably fly for the both of us.

I hope meanwhile we'll get timely reports from you letting us know what a wonderul time you are having.
9th-Mar-2007 04:23 pm (UTC)
I have a confession to make.

I've already checked the ending and know that Buffy and Spike won't end up together.

But now, without high expectations on a shipper front, I'm going to read "Soul Searching" as a general fic and I'm sure I'm going to enjoy it.
9th-Mar-2007 04:31 pm (UTC)
Hah! They say confession is good for the soul. So I have one to make, too. It was written as genfic, though Late Starter reckoned I wouldn't be able to stifle the Spuffy altogether and she was right. I like to stick as close to cannon as possible and, given the sacrifice Spike makes in the 'flashback' in the next couple of chapters, you can imagine how tempted I was to give the Spuffyites the ending for which they hoped.

Hope you enjoy it anyway.
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