"A Death Song for Clem…"

Summary: Poor ole Clem finds himself on the wrong side at the very worst time…

PG-13



Disclaimer: All BTVS characters remain the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and all other owner/creators of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series... Archived at the Cicelyverse page of the Buffy Rebecca verse, www.geocities.com/buffyrebecca/Cicelypg.html .

Spoilers for Angel to the bitter end...Flee at once!...

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LA…About 4am…

The battle is over…

Do not expect a happy ending, you knew the odds…That the gods or fates or whatever allowed the four heroes enough time and strength to make their joint ends glorious must suffice…

And yet, victory has not come…Indeed, as the night has worn on and the weary, anxious army makes its search for its dearly won, deeply desired, precious trophies, the bodies of the four…It has become clear that new forces are arriving to replace the fallen champions of the Light…

Some stand their ground and die, most make the show of courage, then flee, many immediately join the flow of panicked rout in the early morning dark long before seeing the new enemy bearing down upon them…

"They've come!...They're coming!!…" cries fly about from those capable of speech…

One fleeing figure stumbles over others…Falling hard on one side…He considers rising but finds it painful…

No, best to wait…Be trampled in this mob with a bad leg…Play dead and hope to fight off anything that prefers its meat cold…

She came…?

Or did she?…He hasn't seen them, only heard the cries and smelled the human scent…But that concentrated scent surely left no doubt about it…No ordinary passel of human females would be pouring into this fray…

Slayers…He nervously winced at a burst of pain in his injured leg…Gotta keep still…Hope it all passes him by…

But the thought intruded…She must have come with them…

He pondered, wishing he could risk an ear scratch…Clearly he'd had bad luck in getting roped into this one on returning to Hell…After a career on Earth of avoiding conflict, you finally go home and they tell you 'congratulations, you're in the army now' and shove you back through the Hell-Earth portal…

Still, once again he'd managed survival…And if she was out there, leading…He was likely saved…For ole times' sake at least, he'd be welcomed…Especially if the word passed back was wrong and Spike had beaten the odds once more…Like he always had…

But even if good Spike and his soul were gone, it'd be fine…She'd remember her lover's ole pal…And so would the Slayers, if the tales of how their memories were passed on were true…

He'd be safe soon as the others'd fled back to Hell and the light came up…Just gotta stay still and…



Harsh screams terrified him…Demons…But demons in agony, fear…Hmmn…Sounds like the Batous clan…Yep, the sounds of the claws clicking on the street…Dead giveaway…

Speaking of dead…He now, without moving anything but eyelids, very cautiously eyed the corpse that had suddenly fallen by his face…It quivered a moment, the face staring at him…Recognition…

Right, he stood me a drink last night just before we crossed over…Haynes?...Sociable guy…Wanted to hear what I knew of what we'd be facing in Spike and if I thought she'd figure out the Immortal's little ploy in time and come…Couldn't offer much, though I told him about Spike taking those six ghouls that time when we were heading over to see that Brit movie marathon…And the Immortal guy?...Ploy?...Got me pal…

"He told her he and his Partners could bring William back if she'd play along…Refuse to cooperate with Angel and support her Watcher's Council's thinking that he'd crossed to the Dark Side…If she did and kept away, she get him back when they'd had their chance to corrupt Angel, win or lose…"

"What?..." he'd said immediately… "She'd never play along with that…"

"Did…" his companion had given a knowing smile, fixing him with one of three independently mobile eyes…

"No…Gotta be a trick…She'd never…Not for Spike…"

"Maybe not for Spike…" another smile…Two of its four hands clutching drinks…

"But for her husband…"

Husband…?

A familiar scent caught his attention, ending his reverie…A harsh, cold, but familiar voice startled him…

"Get up…" Buffy prodded his sore side…

You…? She stared at the loose-skinned, vaguely doglike creature now trying to sit up, despite pain and considerable stiffness…

"Hey, Slayer…You found Spike yet?..." he happily asked…

"What are you doing here, Clem?..." she said, ignoring the question…

"They made me come, ma'am…I didn't want to…" he said, sheepishly…A bit perturbed by the coldness in her voice.

"You shouldn't have come here…" she replied…No emotion in her voice…He tried to stare up into her face…Hard, cold…Tracks of tears running through the dust or, no…Ashes…On her face…

She'd smeared ashes on her face?...

He caught other scents now, more Slayers…A few stopping, staring at him and the Greatest of the Slayers standing by him…One seeming to vaguely recognize him as she stared, the others checking for danger, puzzled by their leader's delay by him…

"It's all right…" Buffy called to them… "Continue securing the area…Go on, leave me a mo…I'll be along presently…" They began moving on…

"Is that….?" the Slayer who'd recognized him, a short, thin nervous-looking brunette, had paused…A little like poor old Miss Drusilla, he thought…

"Clem, yeah…Go on…" Buffy waved her off…

The other Slayer hesitated, then at Buffy's hard stare, left…

"Whatdaya mean, husband?..." he'd asked his barmate as he'd signaled for a round on him … "They were just datin'…Broke up before I left Earth though I thought they might be getting' back together after he got the soul…"



"I mean what I said…Husband…"

Whoa…Way to go, Spike…he thought…

Though...He mighta invited an old pal…

"Was it a nice ceremony?..." he asked innocently…His companion staring at him with two of his three eyes…The third fixed on an attractive female…

"In 1880?...How should I know?..."

1880?...

Odd...Somehow...It rang a bell...Somewhere...

"1880?..." he repeated, aloud...Blinking...

"So you know..." Buffy stared at him... "Do you all know?...Did you fellas all have a good laugh before you came in from Hell?..."

"No, Slayer...I..."

"Hey, it's a riot...The idiot reincarnated Slayer...Her husband's lost soul calling, pleading, screaming to her in every way he can for a century from where he's trapped, pushing Spike to go after one Slayer after another till he found me...I swore as I died, I know that now...I swore I'd save him..." she paused, trembling...

"But I failed...Thanks to you guys and your pal the Mortal...Mortal since four hours ago that is..."

1880...London...The house in London...He thought...

"He thought he had me..." Buffy coldly smiled... "And maybe he did, for a while...After he helped me break into the Council archives...Showed me the letters Cicely...I...Wrote to him...My Watcher's field notes...Her...My jewelry...It's true, I was ready to do anything...And when Andrew came back...Told me he'd seen Will safe, corporeal...I was ready to turn on the Council, betray my friends if necessary...But I never trusted him..."

"I was there..." Clem whispered...

"To see him die again?..." Buffy looked at him... "Did you enjoy it?...Did they have a crowd?..."

"No...I mean..."

"The others, they told me it was only two hours ago...I only missed it by two hours...If Willow had just..." she wasn't paying attention to him now, just staring off...

"God help them when I get back to London..." she whispered... "If I find out Giles knew...God help them all..."

She paused...And saw him again...His desperate face, like a stricken puppy with the long, loose-skinned ears sagging...

"But I don't think even God can help you now..."

But it was his turn not to hear now...He stared off...Seeing...

A room, filled with people...All humans...In fancy dress...Antique formal suits...Long ball gowns, flowers in the women's hair...Music playing, a tune he recognized...He saw that he too had on a dark suit...Holding a cup of punch in his hand as the fellow next to him, a red-faced, slightly drunk, angry-looking man was going on about...

He groaned as she grabbed him...Pulling him fully to his feet...

"Slayer...I'm...I didn't want to join up here, they forced...Mercy, Slayer...Please...Ow!" he broke from her momentarily loosened grip and threw himself at her feet but she dragged him by one hand to the side of the road...



"You pathetic idiot", said she... "Don't talk to me of mercy. Until today when William fell I knew mercy, I preferred to give demons who gave up quarter. I spared you and many of those whom I had taken alive; but now not a demon's gonna live of those whom Heaven delivers into my hands before the city of Angels today- and of all demons it shall fare hardest with the ones like you who knew my Will and something of our story and yet came in league with those who took him from me. You say you didn't wish to come, you're got roped in, you're innocent? Why then didn't you lift a finger to help your friend, knowing when I learned the truth I'd come? No answer? Therefore, ole pal, you too shall die. Why should you whine in this way? William's gone, and his demon alone was better than you are. I too- see you not how I've beaten so many foes and how even your Partners honor me with their fear? I was a heroic Slayer twice over, wife to a noble soul, a mother whose daughter bears the power of the Glorificus Key, and have a goddess for my best friend, but the hands of doom and death overshadow me all as surely. The day will come, either at dawn or dark, or more likely, at the noontide, when one shall take my life also in battle, maybe with his spear, with an arrow sped from her bow, magics, or a lucky shot from his gun when none of my friends are around to help me."

William...And Cicely...Dancing...He saw them...From the side...William Soames Walthrop, that jumped-up parvenu student in his new, ill-fitting suit...

Damn nobody poet...What can she see in him?...What did Henderson sneering at them beside him call him the other night?...Ah, Right...

William the Bloody Awful...

I was there...I was...Human, then...

I...Loved her...

"I was...there..." he began...Trying to hold down his terror and speak... "Slayer, I...Remember...Wait!...Wait!...Cicely, I knew...Listen, Cicely!!..."

He started to hum the tune, a tune she recognized...

"You Bastard!!..."

"Wait!!..." he croaked... "I loved you, Cicely!!!..."

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