((AN: [....] is mental communitcation))
'Willow, Willow, Willow, Willow....'
"Hurry up, Spot, if this takes all night, I swear to God...," an annoyed voice chirped in his ear, causing him to stumble in surprise. He squeezed his eyes shut, stopping in the middle of the road. Gotta do it, he thought. Gotta get it done. Just go and find some bint....
And he found her. Lovely girl, standing in a halo of a streetlight. Alone. Anxiously awaiting some ride, perhaps, someone she cared for. The last thread of sanity in him wondered why he was ingraining her face into his mind, speculating about her life. He watched her from the shadows, an innocent standing there, and mused about what her parents would think, if she had a boyfriend, and if the wanker would miss her, what her laugh sounded like....
He leapt from the shadows drunkenly, and yanked her into the alley with him. He knew what her scream sounded like. What her fear smelt like. What about a smile, huh? No, not going to get that.
He was so weak with hunger and delirium, it took him a little while to get her shoved up against the wall. He held her by the throat with one hand as she pleaded, tears glistening in her eyes. Please don't's, and take anything you want's mixed in with don't hurt me's.
But that's what he was going to do, wasn't it? What he was supposed to do. Hurt her. Take her life. His shaking hand shifted to her shoulder, pinning her there as his face contorted in demonic rage. He rushed at her neck, biting hard, half surprised when the chip didn't punish him. It would punish him if he didn't do this. He knew what her life tasted of now. He drank deep, a thirsty man in a desert, blood burning his parched tongue.
He pulled away and watched her slide bonelessly to the ground, his human face back in place. Curious, he thought. How strange it was to be standing here again, in this very moment. He'd been here before. Many, many times, in many different places. In different times.
He turned, only a little less weaker than he had been before. God, did he want more.
"Good job, Spot. Now go get one of the Slayer's friends and come back."
He nodded, even though he knew somewhere that they couldn't see him. It didn't matter; that's what he was supposed to do.
No one, not even he, noticed the girl stagger out of the alley, holding a hand to her bleeding throat, and run off.
"Oh goddess..." Willow breathed, the elation of having finally broken into Warren's computer crashing quickly as she read what was on the screen before her. Spike. Oh gods.
So she was right. The three nerds did have Spike. And what they were doing...Warren had described it with pride. And in detail. She felt sick to her stomach. They were planning on doing something tonight, but he hadn't specified. She needed to find Buffy, and fast.
She stood up, and started down the stairs, when a noise made her freeze. The house was dark. The only light on was in her room, since a tight budget was forcing them to cut down on electricity.
"Hullo?" she breathed, making her way down the stairs slowly.
Not a sound. Only the darkness answered. She reached for the light switch, looking around the living room, when her breath caught in her throat. Spike.
He moved slowly out of the shadows, purely predator. Stalking. She'd seen him like this many times before, and had hoped never to again. At least, not when looking at her. His lips were bloodied, his skin paler than she had ever seen it. Skin sunken into his face, making his eyes and cheekbones stand out in a frightening way.
"Spike?" she asked quietly, backing up. And then he was on her. Her shriek was cut off as he slammed her against the wall, knocking the breath out of her for a moment. One cold shaking hand clapped over her mouth, hard, her own teeth cutting the inside of her lip. She stared panicked into his wild blue eyes, feeling sorry for him and terrified beyond imagination of him at the same time.
He slowly raised the other hand, bringing it to his lips in a shushing motion. She nodded quickly, watching as he turned his head, pointing at the thing inside his ear. He growled suddenly, and smashed his fist through the wall beside her head, causing her to shriek out again, the sound muffled by his hand. But she was beginning to understand. He was making it sound like he was killing her.
He slowly removed his hand from her mouth and rested his forehead against hers, as if all his strength had suddenly been drained. He was shaking, terribly, and she realized it was because he hadn't eaten anything, if Warren's notes were correct, in two weeks. Cold fear leapt up in her throat again. She remained still, fearing to make any move at all, as he tapped the side of her head, then tapped his own temple.
She furrowed her brow in confusion, as he repeated the gesture a few times, before she understood, and shook her head quickly. No magic. He growled and did it again, harder. His bloodshot blue eyes inches from her own, pleading. This was serious. It wasn't really magic anyway, just a psychic ability, right? She closed her eyes, reaching out just a little, snatching onto the thread she had laid in his mind that horrible summer, and....
[Willow, Willow, Willow, Willow....]
[Willow....help....robot boy and his pals....]
[We know, Spike, we know. Buffy's out looking for them right now. Please don't kill me?] she added as an afterthought, hoping it didn't drive him over the edge.
His shoulders shook in silent laughter. His head rolled against hers.
[Killed a girl. Pretty girl. Standin' there all alone, in the dark. Had to, they told me to, had to. Pretty girl with a mommy and daddy. And a wanker boyfriend. Why'd they leave her alone? She didn't need to be alone. She laughed pretty. I know she did....]
His internal rant continued. Willow paled at the horror of it. He had killed again. And by the way he was describing it, even though he was obviously on the edge of sanity, he had felt guilty about it.
[Spike!] she interrupted. [What do you have to do? Why are you here?]
[Want me to bring them a friend of The Slayer. Hurry up, Spot, won't be waiting all night. Gotta do it.]
[I know. I know. Let me...uh....write a note for Buffy. Do you know where they will take me?]
[1315 Elm. 1315, 1315...]
[Alright. I have to move, Spike.]
He didn't move. He still had her pressed to the wall, his forehead on hers, talking once again about the girl he killed.
[Brown hair. She probably liked to braid it. Pretty girl. Oh god...] his nostrils flared, scenting the blood of Willow's cut lip. [Hungry...so hungry.]
Willow stilled again, fearing for her life.
[If...if you kill me, they'll be mad. They'll punish you more.]
He nodded against her head.
[Gotta go. Gotta do it.]
She pulled a pen out of her pocket and wrote the address down on the wall behind her, hoping she got it right even with the awkward angle of her hand.
[Take me then, Spike.]
[Spot, they say...]
[No, you're Spike. You'll always be Spike.]
His thoughts stilled. Almost a minute passed before he thought anything else at all.
[Sorry. Don't want to. Sorry, Willow. You're a pretty girl too.]
He pulled his head back and then slammed it hard into hers. Pain blossomed in her head, and her knees gave out. He pulled her along behind him, gathering her up into his arms when she could no longer walk. Dizzily, she watched as he yanked the door open and stumbled out of the Summers' household. Her vision blurred, and she struggled briefly, before the darkness overwhelmed her.
Continued in Chapter 7