Invitations

Title: Invitations
Author: Dea Brynhild Ensomhet
Timeline: AU
Rated: PG-13. Take the necessary precautions: practice responsible reading.
Email: BrynSpikess@hotmail.com
Archival: Just ask and ye shall recieve.
Disclaimer: Don't own any of the Buffy or Angel cast/crew/characters/plotlines/etc.
Inspiration: "The past is never there when you try to go back. It exists, but only in memory. To pretend otherwise is to invite a mess." - Chris Cobbs
Last updated: 1/27/05

~~~~~***~~~~~

Inviting Your Memories Home

Darla sighed. Leave it to Dru to trust Spike, and be betrayed. That’d been Darla’s mistake, trusting Angel, and look what happened. A tossed cigarette. Third degree burns. And Spike definitely took after Angelus. She wouldn’t be surprised if the boy went out and got himself a soul eventually.

Angel. Their coupling hadn’t released his soul. Everything she’d tried to bring him back had been in vain. She remembering the last time she’d tried. He’d been so close when she’d offered him the bleeding Slayer’s mother. Smiling at the memory, she decided to find out if invitations lasted through reincarnation.

~~~~~***~~~~~

No Invitation Required

Joyce frowned as she heard knocking. Buffy hadn’t returned from going to confront Spike, and Joyce was worrying. She opened the door, recognizing the visitor.

“Hello, Mrs. Summers.” The woman on her porch greeted her.

“You’re Buffy’s friend, right? Darla. You tutored her in History.”

“You remember me.” Darla smiled as she entered the house, closing the door. “It’s been a while.”

Joyce nodded. “It has. I don’t think I’ve seen you since …” she trailed off. Four years ago. Barbecue fork wound. Oh, shit.

“Time to finish what I started.” Glittering eyes sharper than ivory fangs, and Joyce screamed.

~~~~~***~~~~~

Inviting The Stars To Tea

One scream and Dawn awoke, grabbing stake and pepper spray from the nightstand as she rolled out of bed. Straining her ears for any sound, she tiptoed to the top of the stairs. Vampire, drinking her mother. She backed away, creeping to her room as silently as possible.

How the hell... Did mom invite a vamp in? She grounded me for inviting Harmony in. Black kettly pot. At least then Xander was here.

Step inside. Lock door. Grab phone.

Gotta call Buffy. She'll take mom to the hospital. Mom'll be fine. She'll get a transfusion. GottaCallBuffy, Mom'llBeFine, gottacallbuffy momllbefine godacalbufimomlbefingodacalbufimomlbefin...

~~~~~***~~~~~

Inviting Trouble

Buffy came home to blood. Splattered on the floor, dried in streaks down the door, licked off of the fingers of the woman walking down the stairs.

Buffy froze, staring at her. “Darla. You’re dust.”

“Used to be.” Darla shrugged. “Not anymore. Angel didn’t mention you had a sister. She tasted like mint.” She frowned, rubbing her abdomen. Drinking the child had felt strange, and she didn’t like the rush of power that had crashed through her after the last heartbeat. Turning her had been a whim.

“Angel knows you’re back?”

“And he didn’t tell you. Fancy that.” Darla smirked.

~~~~~***~~~~~

Returned Invitations

“I felt the key for a moment!”

Her followers exchanged glances nervously. “Most Phenomenally Well Endowed Glorificus,” one of them finally spoke up. “Pardon my most humble insight, but the only reason you’d be able to feel the key, is if it were destroyed.”

Glory fumed. “My key is destroyed?”

“No, Excellent Exalted Lightly Scented One. The key cannot be destroyed permanently. Merely its current form has been destroyed. It will remanifest.”

“It’s not the same thing anymore?” Glory sighed. “It’s probably not even in Sunnydale now. Perfect.”

Her minions didn’t move. “What’re you waiting for? Go! Find my key!”

~~~~~***~~~~~

Invitations Lost In The Mail

Darla ran while Buffy fought Dawn. She broke into a car, collecting Dru on the way.

"Spike isn't mine anymore. He's taken root like weeds and wildflowers." Dru moped.

"I know, dear." Darla consoled, looking for somewhere to hide during the day.
Dru eyed her grandmotherdaughter. "You've been naughty. Licked the icing off the cake. Now the Slayer won't fall."

"Fall? You mean die?"

“Same difference,” Dru giggled, rhyming. "Fall. Die. Lightning strikes the castle tower, people watch and cry." She shrugged. "Won't happen now, maybe later. Key's gone missing but still exists."

Darla tuned out the rambling and drove.

~~~~~***~~~~~

Revoking Invitations

The phone rang. He picked it up, "Hello?" No answer. He almost hung up when he heard a faint,

"Angel?"

The receiver was at his ear in a flash. "Buffy? What's wrong?"

Pause, then a halting dull voice. "Mom is...dead. So's Dawn."

Angel gasped. "What happened?"

All the emotion that the voice had previously been lacking was back in full force, venom dripping. "Darla."

"Are you alright?" Of course she’s not. Angel tried again, "I'll be there soon. I'll bring Cordelia and Wes."

"Angel?"

"Yeah?"

"You didn't tell me she was back. If I ever see you again, you're dust."

~~~~~***~~~~~

Forged Invitations

"Dawn... didn't really exist in the first place?" Angel tried to wrap his mind around the concept.

"Not exactly. She started existing at the end of the summer. It's the memories you have of her that don't exist." Apparently Angel and Buffy weren't talking anymore, and Rupert’d deemed it wise to inform Wesley of the details surrounding Dawn, incase it would have consequences, for example like making Darla extra powerful. Wesley vaguely remembered a young brown-haired girl who would follow Buffy into the library sometimes. Who would’ve thought…

"This is so weird." Cordelia muttered. "Where's she now?"

"Buffy staked her."

~~~~~***~~~~~

Uninvited Guests

“I wanna go home!”

Sahjahn grimaced at the whine. “For a god, you're rather powerless.”

“Exiled, you twit. Of course I'm low on power.” Glory tapped her foot. “Why won’t you tell me where the kid is?”

“You’d use the child to open a portal you don’t know how to close. It would rip the universes apart. Everything would cease to exist.”

Glory considered. “You’re like the master of dimensional portals. You’d close it.”

“Possibly. What’s in it for me?”

Glory grinned. “I’d have to kill the kid to open the portal. Dead humans can’t kill you.”

“Count me in.”

~~~~~***~~~~~

Inviting Death With Open Arms

Dawn ran moments after Darla disappeared. Buffy immediately call her friends and told them what happened, and to meet at Crawford mansion.

Buffy easily tracked down and captured Dawn. She chained up the fledgling and stepped back, standing next to Willow and Xander, starting the soul restoration spell.

But the chains weren’t as strong anymore. Dawn broke free, attacking. Buffy pulled her off of Xander, the Slayer taking over for a moment. Vampire. Heart. Stake slid in like butter. Dust.

Story of Buffy’s life. She couldn’t kill Angel before Jenny, and she couldn’t stop Dawn before she’d broken Xander’s neck.

~~~~~***~~~~~

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