Warnings: Adult content. Some M/M sexual content.
Disclaimer: The Bee owns nothing including these characters.
Summary: HAU. Set in the year 5000BC Spike's clan is dying in the grip
of the last mini-ice age. While they are reluctant to leave the cave of their
ancestors, they know that they will freeze and starve if they stay. Suddenly,
they find a stranger in their midst. A member of a nomadic clan that can
show them the way to salvation.
Warnings: Not a lot of sex but what there is, is graphic.
Thanks to Naughty_Fae for the pre-read. All errors are by choice of the Bee.
Archived at: http://www.captainperoxideandthewhelp.com/
Anyone else wishing to take it should ask first please.
Link to previous chapters HERE
Special thanks to Petxnd for the wonderful banner
The young woman took off at a sprinting run that rivaled the speed of a frisky colt. Her
long, trim legs drove her fast and hard as she dashed across the open field toward her goal,
and her focus gave no sway to the young men who squatted, digging in the stones and dirt.
As she passed, each of them stopped in their work to watch her go by, with lust and
admiration clear on their faces.
As she approached her destination, she gave no consideration to requesting an invitation
or inquiring as to her welcome. Instead, without slowing, she dove through the folded back
flap of the canvas tent and skidded to a stop.
Her dark eyes were huge and her ample chest heaved from the exertion. The man she had
come to see didn't even look up. Instead, he continued in the logging of his journal and he
waited while she gasped and caught her breath enough to tell him what today's urgency was.
"Wesley!" *gasp* "Wesley!"
"Please, Miss Chase. How many times have I told you that when we are not engaged in
coitus, you are to address me as Dr. Wyndham-Pryce. Now, if you are through
hyperventilating perhaps you can tell me...."
"They found one. Just like you said! Right where you thought! Oh, em, gee, Wes, it
is incredible! It is...."
The rest of her sentence was caught up in the whoosh of wind that was stirred by his sudden
dash from the tent. He slapped his khaki hat on his head and he darted across the field
of excavation toward the obvious area of excitement.
This archeological dig had been the dream of a lifetime. While the earthquake that had
taken out the entire town of Sunnydale had left thousands of people homeless, dead and
injured, their tragedy had been his good fortune. When studying for his master's degree,
Wesley had written his thesis on the hypothesis that this area had been inhabited by peoples
and clans long before the first evidence of Native Americans.
His paper had earned him scoffs and sneers from his peers. It had been summarily dismissed
as just so much unfounded speculation and fantasy and Wesley himself was not to be taken as
a serious scientist. He was determined to prove them wrong and this gaping hole in the earth
was exactly what he needed.
It was possibly his only opportunity to locate some sort of evidence to support his theory. As
a professor of archeology at the University of Southern California, he had the students and
the financial wherewithal to establish a full-fledged dig, and he had wasted no time in
organizing the field trip.
The dean of the university expressed concerns and objections to the school's funding being
used for this flight of fancy, but Wesley's earned tenure gave him rights and privileges that
even Dean Rayne could not override. He had his dig with the express understanding that
failure was simply not an option.
The sides of the crater were a timeline. The lower they went, like the rings of a tree, the
further back in the centuries they traveled. The digging crew of student volunteers had
found bottles and coins from the turn of the twentieth century beneath the crust of the surface
and that was just the beginning of their adventure. On and on, the bounty of eyeglasses
and discarded trash elicited 'Oh's and 'Ah's.
They found a treasure trove of Chinese artifacts from a colony of immigrants. Opium pipes
and delicate figurines from a people who worked like slaves in the construction of a railroad
that linked the West to the more civilized East.
A foot or so lower, they encountered a black, thin layer of charcoal that told them a fire
had swept through and probably wiped out a budding town constructed of lumber and
canvas. Almost as though they had a personal connection to these pioneers, the students
cheered the determination of the inhabitants who rebuilt directly over the ash and destruction.
After a large gap of no visible finds, the group was thrilled and astounded by a shard of
broken pottery and a collection of colorful beads. At a level and depth that marked it as
over a thousand years ago, the artifacts and remnants located were that of the Native
American tribes that were believed to have been the original inhabitants of this region.
For the band of student scientists, it was a day of celebration that was the beginning of weeks
of careful cataloguing, photographing and collecting of the fragile remains of an earlier
people. The amount of the find and the condition of the painted items was astounding.
It would fill an entire wing of the prestigious museum at the Sunnydale university and it
would secure Wesley's reputation.
But it wasn't enough. It wasn't what he came here for, and he ordered that the dig in the hot
sun continue. Some of the others shook their heads at him and questioned his lack of
enthusiasm over the bounty, but no one considered refusing. Every student there understood
the honor of working next to a man of Professor Wyndham-Pryce's stature. It was
the opportunity of a lifetime.
Descending the precarious ladders that were propped against the side of the crater, Wesley
eased himself down rung by rung. He noted that at every level, the students had abandoned
their posts, left the crater and now watched from above in awe and silence as their leader
traveled back in time thousands of years.
Wesley's heart slammed in his chest. He hadn't even taken the time to ask what evidence it
was that Lindsey, his student assistant, had uncovered. Whether it was something as simple
as remnants of a campfire ring or something as wonderful as stones shaped into prehistoric
tools, all that mattered was that this find would prove Wesley's theories.
When his foot touched the bottom rung, Wesley hopped off to the side and onto the narrow
dirt ledge that led around to where he could see Lindsey squatted down, gently swishing his
dry paintbrush over the surface of his find. Wesley clutched the crumbling wall of the crater
and he shuffled sideways as quickly as he could as he called out, "What is it? What have
you found? Is it weapons? Please tell me it's weapons."
Lindsey stood up, flexed his cramped back, and grinned so wide he feared his face might crack.
"Better! Wes, it's better than anything we could have hoped for! It is a complete skeleton!
We have a body!"
The rest of the day was an exercise in organized disorganization. After a few moments
of allowing his eyes to accept the unbelievable, Wesley had hurried back up the ladder and
begun shouting orders. Immediately, he forbade any of the students from using their cell
phones to leak this astounding find to friends or even family.
He ordered only two students be allowed near the bones at any one time and he created a
steady parade of two down, two waiting and two climbing out. The position and location of
the fragile bones was to be charted on graph paper that included measurements of the depth
of the find, calculated by both measure tapes and a surveyors mark.
Next he called in the student that was minoring in photography, and he had over one
hundred pictures taken of the area, the crater, the descent, and of course the location of the bones.
Even with the confirmation of carbon dating to assign an age to them, Wesley wanted no
doubts or questions as to the legitimacy of his discovery. Once every precaution and all
possible charting and logging was complete, Wesley gave the order that had everyone
quivering in anticipation.
"I want the entire skeleton, along with three feet of surrounding soil, carefully excavated. Once
it is removed, I want it reassembled along with anything found near it on the long table in my
tent and I warn you, if anything is damaged or compromised, heads will roll!"
For the next seven days, the area became a compound of top secret activity. The entire end of
the crater that had swallowed up the town of Sunnydale was cordoned off with yellow
caution tape. No one was allowed to come or go without the express permission of
His days were spent standing in the blazing sun and staring down into the abyss as he
oversaw the group's careful efforts, and his nights found him cocooned in his private tent
writing frantically in his personal journal. Not even Cordelia with her offers of a massage
or her suggestions of candlelight dinners could detract him from his obsession.
Finally the removal began. Basket after basket was raised by ropes up the side of the crater
by the careful, strong arms of the student archeologists. As soon as the containers reached
the surface, they were rushed to an area where they were hand-sifted and every bone, shard
or suspicious stone could be removed.
The human remains were immediately transported to Wesley's tent to get them out of
the elements before the effects of the sun or the atmosphere could cause any further
deterioration or damage. Under Wesley's watchful eye, Lindsey was personally assigned
the task of reassembling the bones into the shape of the man.
On the day the entire set of bones was laid out in their proper order, Wesley hustled everyone
out and he dropped his tent flap. He wanted to be alone to look into the face of the past. It
was overwhelming. It touched him emotionally in a way he had never known possible. By
that evening, with no food or water in or out of the tent, Cordelia grew concerned. Quietly,
she slipped inside where she found him silently standing at the side of the table.
The only light in the tent came from two flickering oil lamps, but its yellow glow was enough
for her to see the tears in his eyes when he looked up at her.
"What is it, Wes? What do you see in those bones?"
Wesley's voice cracked and he gazed back down. "Everything. I can see it all. These bones
tell the whole story of this man's life. It is all here. It is speaking to me."
Gently, Cordelia rubbed her hand lightly up and down Wesley's arm as she stood next to
him. Her voice was low and showed the respect and reverence of a church.
"Tell me, Wes. Tell me the story that you see here. Who was this man? What is he
Wesley tipped his head as if he were listening to a soft voice no one else could hear and he
began to speak.
"He was in his forties when he died. That sounds young to us, but for his time that was
an astounding age. His jawline, sharp cheekbones and frontal lobe indicate his ancestors
were Scandinavian. He would have been fair-skinned with blond or white hair. He was
probably an inhabitant of the northern regions, and when the last mini-ice age struck he
must have made his way over the mountains to here. It would have been a nearly
impossible journey to make. It speaks volumes to his determination. His bones indicate
that the first half of his life was hard and he was no stranger to malnutrition, but his later
years saw an abundance of food that included protein as well as fruits and vegetables. His
build was slight but the joints show he had a dense, muscular form."
"What about this? What does this stuff mean?"
Cordelia pointed to the other artifacts that were scattered on the table with him, and
Wesley smiled and nodded.
"Those are the items that were buried with him. The formed stone was the tip of his spear.
The shaft was wood and disintegrated long ago. These were flint rocks for starting a fire and
this is a flake stone for cutting meat and furs. For him to be buried with all of these items tells
us the most important thing of all. He was loved. His passing was mourned. The light
staining on his bones is from a layer of spices and wild flowers that were spread over him.
He mattered to someone very much."
Cordelia rubbed her hand over Wesley's back and she pointed to one last item.
"What about this bone? Where does it go?"
Wesley nudged the item with the tip of his pencil as he scowled.
"That is the one that has me slightly bewildered. It isn't a bone. It is a wild boar's tooth. There
is evidence from other finds that a clan leader or great warrior would place a boar's tooth on
a strip of leather around his chosen mate's neck to show that they were a couple. Much like
a wedding ring of today. I'm not sure of the significance of a man wearing such an item but if
he wore it in death, it was important to him in life. I just don't understand...."
Cordelia placed a peck on Wes's cheek.
"It's all right, Wes. He's allowed to keep a secret. Some things are for him alone. Him and
the person who loved him."
Thanks for reading. This story was a bit off the mark from the usual Bee story so
I would love to hear what you thought.