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When Worlds Collide: The Journey by enigma_k
Chapter 1: We Go Not Gently Into the Night
“If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’” – Rudyard Kipling


The scenery was majestic in its beauty. Wide open spaces were covered with grass, cushioning his feet as he ran; rocks of various sizes and shapes littered the countryside as he raced out of the western Emyn Muil mountain range.

The vampire didn’t see it, his senses sharply tuned to the unnatural demons that beat a frenzied path across the land on legs as fast as he – keeping at least one day’s journey ahead of him. He didn’t hear the gasping breaths of the dwarf left far behind. His brother, Aragorn, and the elf, Legolas, struggling to keep up with his inhuman pace. He raced on, oblivious to their calls to slow down and wait for them.

He couldn’t.

He had to get to Buffy.


“They’ve turn northwest…towards Isengard,” Legolas gasped, having finally caught up to Kriger and taken point.

“Saruman,” two Rangers growled at the same time.

Wasting no more time dwelling on the evil wizard, the three hurried off, across the eastern plains of the Rohan, the Eastemnet. The dwarf not too far back, urged them on with a promise to catch up after he’d caught his breath again.


They’d been running for three days now without stop. No food. No sleep. Just a seemingly endless placement of one foot in front of the other. Day to night and back again, the cycle repeated itself, and it brought no pause in his relentless pursuit. Desperate now to narrow the gap between him and them.

It couldn’t last though.

Hell, the vampire was surprised he’d managed to go on this long and not collapse. That the others hadn’t either. Their will had proved stronger than their bodies, however.

But, if they didn’t catch the Uruks soon, they never would…

Spike pushed that thought firmly from his mind and continued to run. Through the rest of the day and long into the night. His demon thrilling to the chase as the light of the full moon rose again, reinvigorating his strength while also guiding him along the path.

As the hours had worn on, he could feel himself gaining on the pack of demons – the more easily navigable flatlands less straining than the rugged terrain of the mountains left far behind. The trace scent of Slayer steadily grew more pungent, proof positive that the distance between the two was narrowing. And that she was still alive. It gave him the incentive he needed to push through his utter exhaustion, to continue to hound the Uruks’ every step.

Gotta keep running.

Gotta keep running.

It was a mantra in his head. A steady rhythm pounding in his ears with each slap of each foot against the earth.

As the night crept closer to day, he began to sense their hesitation. Their growing belligerence at their unholy pace. Finally! An opportunity for him to close the gap even further. Though the beasts that had taken the Slayer and two hobbits were gifted with seemingly unending stamina, Spike knew that they would be unable to run forever. He knew their weakness.

It was the same weakness his own demon bore.

A need to feed.

He ignored his, however. The prize of his beloved back in his arms was worth a few more hours of hunger. If he didn’t stop, he’d be able to reach the pack just after daybreak.

Spike called back over his shoulders, urging the others to increase their pace. That their quarry had slowed as their need for food and rest was slowly overcoming their desire to further the distance between them.


Malevolent black eyes regarded the scene before her with sadistic glee. Following closely behind her master, Willow watched as Saruman inspected the creation of new Uruks, as well as the weaponry necessary to outfit an army of Uruk soldiers – swords, armor, helmets. Gargantuan trees tumbled into the pit from above, energy to stoke the flames necessary to make it all happen. It was organized chaos everywhere around her as demons were magically brought into this new world by foul means.

“Come, my child. It’s time to turn our attention to Rohan.”

“How, my master?”

“We will set the Hillman from Dunland upon them. Drive the Rohirrim to one location and annihilate them.”

“And their king? Will he not summon aid?”

“Their…king…” He fixed his protégé with an evil gleam. “Ah, yes…Theoden… Such a weak mind…He will not stop us.”

Willow caught his meaning and laughed delightedly.

“With Rohan out of the way, we’ll continue on to Gondor attacking from the north while Sauron crushes them in the east.”

Saruman led the redhead down the steps of the Tower of Orthanc towards the waiting warriors.

“The Horsemen took your lands. They drove your people into the hills, scratching a living off rocks,” the wizard cried, gaining the group’s attention.

“Murderers!” one man sneered, and those around him jeered the Rohirrim.

“Take back the lands they stole from you. Burn every village,” Saruman decreed.

The men closest to the wizard turned away, starting the procession out of Isengard and towards Rohan. The rest quickly fell into step behind the group’s unofficial leaders, fisting swords, spears, and various other weapons, their war cries ringing through the land. Their expressions dancing with maniacal delight, they raced off to settle the score with their longtime foe.


Buffy lay unmoving where she was unceremoniously dumped on her back by the Uruk responsible for her. Her upper and lower limbs, bound for such long periods of time had long since gone numb, causing her Slayer healing to temporarily desert her. Which was why she was still at the mercy of the demons that had taken her and the two hobbits, rather than being free and wending their way back towards Spike and the others.

Just the thought of the vampire was enough to bring tears to her eyes. She could only imagine his state of mind. The terror he must be feeling due to his inability to rescue her. Wondering if she were dead or alive.

Her facial features drew together in a slight frown as feeling began to return to her arms and legs. The move aggravated the swollen lip and eye she sported – compliments of the demon assigned to her. Apparently he’d not liked having himself nearly soiled on that first day, and was forced to stop periodically to allow her to relieve herself. However, the group hadn’t bothered to slow for her nature’s calls, which forced him to double-time it back to the pack each time it was required of him to stop. He’d repaid his inconvenience with a fist or two to her face.

‘Bastard’s lucky I barely have any feeling in my arms and legs. I’d so be whomping on his ass right about now.’

“Buffy, what is it? Why have we stopped?” Merry asked nervously, his eyes wide with fright.

“Shhh…” Buffy commanded, as the demons started bickering.

“We’re not goin’ no further ‘til we’ve had a breather,” one of the Uruks complained. He was standing in a small group a short distance from their captives. Other demons wheezing heavily beside him heard his grumblings and managed to snarl their agreement while struggling to draw air into their lungs.

The leader, Ugluk, sensing a possible mutiny, grumbled, “Get a fire going.”

“They want to rest,” she whispered once the pack moved off, watching the demons assessingly as they neared the edge of the forest a short distance away.

As axes hacked into tree trunks, a low keening moan echoed through the air. The Uruks were oblivious to the noise, but the hobbits heard. So did the Slayer.

Pippin jumped. “What’s making that noise?” he wondered aloud, looking about frantically for the source of the eerie caterwauling.

“You remember the Old Forest, on the borders of Buckland?” Merry whispered. “Folk used to say there was something in the water that made the trees grow tall... and come alive.”

“Alive?” Pippin croaked.

“Trees that could whisper. Talk to each other. Even move,” Merry added.

Buffy wasn’t paying attention to their conversation, too intent on the demons. And their sudden fascination with hers and the two hobbits’ extremities.

“Uh, guys?” At their questioning look, she told them to start crawling towards the forest. And possible safety. They’d nearly made a clean getaway when Buffy felt a restraining hand on her bound legs. She turned over to see a leering face of one of the Uruk.

“Go on. Call for help,” the demon hissed. “No one’s gonna save you—”

Buffy didn’t think to question the abrupt release of her leg, or the spear protruding from the Uruk that had loomed over her, for they were suddenly besieged by a group of riders that thudded into the clearing.

“Go!” she hissed, having turned back to the hobbits to see their slack-jawed expressions. “Hurry! While they’re distracted.”

Merry and Pippin scrambled to their feet, having managed to undo the other’s hands – their feet had not been bound like hers – and ran deeper into the forest. Their only thought, to get as far away from their captors as possible. Buffy, calling on every bit of Slayer strength she possessed, willed herself to rise and hobble after the pair.

She did it, too. Grabbing a discarded spear, she used the tip to sever the bonds holding her legs immobile. The sudden rush of blood flow caused her to hiss in pain, but she pushed it from her mind and staggered into the forest. As she gingerly stepped around overgrown roots and fallen branches, Buffy worked at the bindings at her wrists, driving the spear between her two hands so the arrowhead could do its job.

Behind her, she could hear one of the Uruk giving chase and shouted at the hobbits to make for the trees. Buffy wasn’t sure if she’d be able to climb the rather broad trunk that loomed in front of her, but gave it her best effort – it was amazing what a bit of adrenaline could do. She’d been halfway up the tree when she heard one of the hobbits call out.

“Buffy, look out!”

Her grip on the tree slackened as she was tugged forcefully from the relative safety of its upper branches; she could feel herself falling and braced for the jarring impact of the ground below.

Having lived on the Hellmouth for as long as she had, Buffy figured herself to be pretty shock proof. But, when the tree she’d been climbing suddenly came to life and easily caught her before she hit the ground?

She knew her mouth was hanging open in astonishment.

The Slayer felt herself lifted and was then perched on one of the higher branches of the tree person thingy. The Uruk that had been trying to manhandle her had been crushed under its feet like a worrisome bug. Another handful of seconds saw both Pippin and Merry plucked from their branches and resettled somewhere next to the Slayer.

“Little Orcs,” the tree rumbled.

“It’s talking, Buffy. The tree is talking,” Pippin exclaimed.

“Yeah, kinda got the memo there.”

“Tree? I am no tree,” the walking contradiction announced. “I’m an Ent.”

“An Ent,” Buffy mouthed, and the two hobbits just shrugged their shoulders back at her.

“A treeherder! A shepherd of the forest,” Merry suddenly realized.

“Treebeard, some call me…” the Ent went on.

“Hello, Treebeard. Whose side are you on?” the Slayer greeted.

“Side?” Treebeard questioned in a slow, monotone voice. “I am on nobody’s side, because nobody is on my side, little Orc. Nobody cares for these woods anymore.”

“I’m not an Orc. I’m human. And they’re hobbits. We’re pretty harmless, actually.”

“Human? Hobbits? Sounds like Orc mischief to me. They come with fire. They come with axes. Gnawing, biting, breaking, hacking, burning! Destroyers and usurpers, curse them!”

Buffy could feel the thing’s agitation grow, but didn’t know what to do or say to defuse its ire.

“It’s like Buffy said. We’re hobbits. Halflings. Shirefolk. Surely you know—”

“Maybe you are, and maybe you’re not. The White Wizard will know.”

“White Wizard?” the Slayer asked.

“Saruman,” Merry squeaked.


The sun crested the horizon and with it came hope for the vampire. He knew them to be within an hour of the pack of Uruks. ‘Only another hour,’ Spike thought.

And god help the lot if one hair on his Slayer’s head was touched. Not that they all weren’t going to die, but at least he’d be quick about it. All bets were off if Buffy was hurt. He’d learned a lot in the ways of torture at Angelus’ side. Things that no amount of time could diminish. It would be rather easy for him to revert to his old ways and exact revenge against one of his own.

The pounding of hooves drawing near shook him from his vindictive thoughts and he let out a shrill whistle, signaling to his brother and the others to take cover. Spike hid behind an oversized rock just seconds before a group of soldiers galloped past.

Aragorn recognized the riders and walked out into the open. “Riders of Rohan!” he shouted, drawing their attention. “What news from the ‘Mark’?”

Though Spike gazed questioningly at his brother’s bold posturing, he – along with Legolas and Gimli – joined his side.

The Horsemen wheeled about and formed a tight circle around the four. Just when something told Spike that they’d been penned in and were, in effect, defenseless, the mounted riders drew spears and aimed them their way. Trapping them with little room to maneuver.

“What business does a dwarf, an elf, and two Rangers have in the Riddermark?” their leader demanded abruptly, his heavy scowl evident beneath his helmet. “Speak quickly!”

“Give me your name, Horse Master, and I’ll give you mine,” Gimli replied, leaning casually on his axe.

Eomer glared down at the tiny warrior. “I would cut off your head, dwarf, if it stood but a little higher to the ground.”

Spike growled; Legolas had an arrow out and nocked before anyone could react.

“You would die before your stroke fell,” Legolas snarled.

Spike put a restraining hand on the elf’s arm, asking him in elvish to lower his bow; Legolas did so reluctantly, and only when Aragorn stepped forward and made introductions.

“I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn. My brother, Kriger of Rivendell,” he added, gesturing to the vampire. “This is Gimli, son of Gloin, and Legolas of the Woodland Realm. We are friends of Rohan and of Theoden your king.”

Eomer dismounted and removed his helmet. “William the Bloody,” he murmured quietly, causing a ripple of awareness to run through the group of riders. “I’ve heard tell of a man that rides a stallion by one of Shadowfax’s mares. And that no other, save the Elven King of Rivendell, can get near him.”

Spike quirked a brow but didn’t answer.

Surprisingly, his reputation with his steed went a long way towards diffusing the rising tension between the two groups. The Rohirrim were horse people, and for him to have tamed one of the legendary Shadowfax’s get proved his worthiness to them.

Eomer stepped forward and clasped hands with the Ranger. It was a signal to the others to draw away their spears. “Sorry.”

Spike nodded his acceptance of the man’s apology, his tense muscles settling now that a fight was no longer imminent.

“Théoden no longer recognizes friend from foe,” Eomer told them by way of explanation. “Not even his own kin. Saruman has poisoned the mind of the king and claimed lordship over these lands. My company are those loyal to Rohan, and for that we are banished. The white wizard is cunning. He walks here and there, they say, as an old man hooded and cloaked. And everywhere his spies slip past our nets.”

“We are no spies,” Spike told him. “We track a pack of Uruk-Hai westward across the plain. They’ve taken three of our friends captive.”

“The Uruk are destroyed,” Eomer told the Ranger abruptly. “We slaughtered them during the night.”

“There were two hobbits…and a girl…dressed much like Legolas here. Did you see them?” Aragorn demanded.

“I’m sorry. No. We left none alive. We piled the carcasses and burned them.”

“Dead…?” the elf whispered.

Spike was struggling not to let the news devastate him, when he wanted nothing more than to curl in on himself and allow his grief to overtake him. Burying it under his rising anger.

“Hasufel, Arod,” the Horseman called out. He snagged the reins of the two horses and held them out to Aragorn. “May these horses bear you to better fortune than their former masters. Farewell.” He remounted his own horse and circled away from the four. “Look for your friends, but do not trust to hope,” he called out. “It has forsaken these lands.” To his faithful he cried, “We ride north!”

Aragorn walked over to his brother and laid a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “Do not give up hope just yet. The fates aren’t as cruel as to take your beloved so shortly after finding her.”

“You forget who I am, Aragorn,” Spike told the human wearily. “I was forsaken long ago.”

Aragorn gazed at his brother with solemn eyes before swinging up into the saddle; he reached down and offered his hand to the vampire.

Once the four were mounted on the two steeds, they raced towards the smoke still billowing from the charred remains of the Uruk-Hai. Praying all the while that Buffy and the two hobbits weren’t among the dead.