By Annie Sewell-Jennings
Her hair moved as though it were a live being, consuming her, flashing around her face, writhing like multicolored snakes as she danced. Blue threads fell in her eyes as she slowly dipped her head back, eyes closed in the lull of melody and breathless soprano, hips swaying hypnotically back and forth, hands stretched up towards the ceiling in a pulsing flash of color and light. Dark cranberry leather pants rode low on her slender hips, and a matching leather top that revealed her bejeweled belly button clung tightly to the curve of her breasts. She was decked out in her usual massive amounts of jewelry, beaded bracelets and plastic necklaces, her skin dusted with a glittery lotion that smelled like boysenberries, and her hair was wild around her face in its long multicolored locks. Heavy eyeliner hid her eyes from the world as she danced, and the sound of Portishead filled the club.
"Cause nobody loves me, it's true... Not like you do..."
The glass filled with scotch was cool against his hand, never warming because of his own cold skin, and he slugged back his drink, mulling over the alcohol and the girl all at once. She danced alone, slender limbs flashing in the lights, and she looked excruciatingly exquisite. The belly button piercing that she had gotten accentuated the slender perfection of her taut abdomen, and he'd watched as she'd done it, even when she'd punched him for smiling during her pain. Odd, how the world could be ending and yet there were still tattoo artists and piercing parlors doing good business. Perhaps permanence wasn't so permanent anymore.
It was why she'd gotten the small circlet of thorns tattooed into the small of her back, after all. The ink was still fresh and raw, plain and black, but the small crown that forever made her the failed martyr was visible in the low pants and leather midriff. She'd made it sparkle tonight, bidding him to rub the glitter over the small of her back, and he'd acquiesced. Now his hands smelled of boysenberries and Buffy, and the faintest whiff of cigarettes. The tattoo shimmered along with her hair, and her fingernails were like molten cranberries.
He watched her and thought that he was insane for living with her.
They'd returned to the warehouses out of boredom, out of the acknowledgement that there was nothing better to do, and only one thing had changed since her last visit - she was with him. Neither one of them talked about it, not wanting to admit it or confront it, but they both knew that neither one of them was here for anyone else anymore. She wouldn't revert to her pattern of fucking randomly, and Spike wasn't interested in picking up some young girl to shag and drink. They worked well together, in their dysfunctional function, and they were enough to make each other feel.
It was better to hate her than to be empty.
She had wanted to dance; he had nothing better to do. So he claimed an ashtray and sat on the end of the bar, watching her dance, watching her hair move. She had told him about the first time she had dyed it, how she had painstakingly tried to cover her old self in case anyone looked for her once her plane landed in Sydney. She'd also told him of going to the warehouses for the first time after arriving in Melbourne, of finding a torn flyer on the street and seeking escape from the pressures of the world. She had told him everything, confessed her sins, and Spike refused to redeem her. Even if he knew a way, he wouldn't.
They worked better if they were both destroyed.
His freshly polished nails tapped the glass thoughtfully, and Spike watched her, the silent figure alone on the dance floor, dancing with a sensuality that radiated from every pore of her lithe, leather-clad body. What they'd had between them in the beginning was merely sex, and yet it had evolved into an odd relationship of fighting, chain-smoking, passion and an odd sort of understanding. She was coming alive, different from who she had been in Sunnydale, and yet different from the girl he had seen slowly numbing herself at the bar almost two weeks ago. He refused to love her, and she refused to love him back, but the fact was that he loved irritating her, loved provoking her and annoying her, and loved being irritated and provoked by her.
It would do until the world was over.
Slowly, her head lifted upward, her eyes glinting at him dangerously underneath layers of heavy eyeliner and glittering eye shadow, like sparkling jewels, and she put her hands on her hips, fingers dipping underneath the waistband of the leather pants that hung low on her slender hips. Amber eyebrow arched provocatively, Buffy smiled at him invitingly, shrugging her shoulders from side to side, her mouth glossed and breathless as she crooked one finger at him, the carmine nails glistening like flames in the dark red lighting.
"Cor, I must've lost the plot," Spike muttered into his glass, and he finished his drink, shrugging out of his coat and abandoning it on the bar top, walking out to the dance floor and to the wild woman who demanded his company.
Lights flickered as he walked onto the dance floor, and she watched him approach, lean muscles and lithe body encased in black, his freshly lacquered black nails glistening dangerously underneath the light, and his hair shining with the malevolent seduction of a razorblade. He was walking suicide, and she was addicted to him. His ripe mouth curled into a smirk, eyes wicked and wanting underneath a thick layer of eyelashes, too dark to distinguish the deep lapis from his dark pupils. Shadows clung to his cheekbones as he walked, a swagger in his step and a sneer on his mouth.
The tempo was low and pulsing, throbbing as the song changed to project Shirley Manson's velveteen purr. "You look so fine, I want to break your heart, and give you mine," the singer murmured, and Spike wrapped his hand around one slender wrist, toying with the beads that twined around her bones. She flashed her eyes at him, placing her hand on his hip, thumb moving teasingly over the joint, eliciting a shiver from him.
Dancing with him was simple and sumptuous, and she brushed her hips against his, tipping her head back so that her hair fell back in a shower of multicolored locks. She looked into his eyes as he danced with her, one hand splayed across the sparkling span of her slender, taut abdomen, fingers brushing the undersides of her breasts in a manner that made her blood accelerate through her veins. Slowly, she lifted her arms over her head, crisscrossing her wrists as though they were tied together by sparkling chains, and she swayed her hips back and forth, never letting her gaze leave his. To do so would be a surrender, and it would break their contact.
Necklaces twined around her slender throat, accentuating the inviting slope of her neck. Spike looked at it with dangerous eyes, wanting to drink her and consume her, to swallow her taste and let her flavor mull inside of him. But destroying her would leave him alone with the greedy consumption, and enjoying her had expanded from killing her. Merely killing her would be temporary ecstasy - now Buffy-induced bliss was arguing with her, fighting with her, taunting her and dancing with her, and fucking her until he thought that he was going to die. It was drinking wine with her and watching her steal his cigarettes. It was watching her shower through misted glass, and listening to her breathing when she slept during the daylight.
And he was going insane, but sanity wasn't a necessity when the rest of the world was crashing down around him anyway.
The inviting curve of her jaw tilted, and she looked into his eyes, seafoam eyes covered with a fine fringe of black lashes, the amber freckles dotting the bridge of her nose with a childish innocence that she no longer possessed. Hair trailed down her shoulders, spilling over with false rainbows, and she slowly wrapped her hand around his cheek, her fingers brushing the erogenous area behind his ear, and Spike felt arousal slam through his body like a freight train at her whispering touch. He hissed in a breath and arched his hips slightly, and she chuckled until he got his revenge.
Sleekly painted black fingernails pushed upward and underneath the cranberry leather encasing her breasts, and Buffy felt Spike's cool fingertips trace the rounded slope of her breasts, heavy and warm. Her fingernails suddenly dug into his shoulder, throwing her head back with momentary ecstasy, eyes widening and breath quickening inside of her. "Jesus," she tried to whisper, but he had swallowed her words by crushing his mouth to hers, filling her mouth with his tongue and sliding his hands upward to cup her breasts completely. She arched against him, begging him for more, and he fastened one hand in her hair, bunching up the multicolored locks in his fist like a handful of confetti.
Red and magenta flashed over her cheek, and she looked like a portrait of ecstasy as he danced with her, slowly teasing her by brushing his hardened cock against her, and she snaked her hands down his back, reaching underneath his tee shirt to rake her fingernails down his spine. The pleasure-pain send him into waves of ecstasy, and Spike moaned, reaching his hands down to squeeze her firm, leather-clad buttocks. She released her moan into his mouth, reaching up to snatch a kiss from him, and while he was distracted in the warmth of her inviting little mouth, her agile fingertips reached downward to stroke the hardened length of him with her fingertips. The former Slayer smiled a wicked smile when he hissed into her mouth and thrust against her.
Slowly, she pulled away from his mouth, licking his lower lip with the tip of her tongue, and she looked at how easily she'd made Spike, William the Bloody, dissolve into a mess of want in front of her. Not that he hadn't gotten in his own blows; she was fighting to keep from thrusting against the tight crotch of her leather pants. Sparring through sex had replaced their old physical battles, and it was much more pleasurable to take him on in this manner.
"Never thought I had it in me, did you?" she asked tauntingly, and Spike grinned lecherously. She thought that his arrogance was so thick that it was almost palpable, and it tasted like Jack Daniels and sweat. He leaned in close to her, trailing his fingers against the frail bones of her clavicle.
"Well, Slayer, you don't have it in you yet," he said, the denim- clad hardness pressing suggestively against her thigh, and she laughed like bells chiming, wrapping her hand through his and gesturing with her head to the door.
Smirking, Spike followed her, stopping by the bar to pick up his coat and cigarettes. He shrugged into the duster and lit up a cigarette, passing her the Marlboro Menthols that she smoked. She picked up her own deep red leather coat and slipped into it, a cigarette resting between her lips. A slender flame sparked in front of her, and Buffy inhaled as Spike lit her cigarette for her, inhaling the flame and exhaling slender tendrils and wisps of smoke.
Just as they were preparing to leave the club, a gunshot sounded and a scream ripped through the club.
The music continued for a beat before the deejay silenced it, and the club fell into a dark, haunting quiet. The party had stopped for the first time since it had begun, and Buffy dropped her cigarette on the ground, extinguishing it as she ran into the melee, red leather flying behind her like a cloak. Spike followed her out of sheer curiosity rather than her concern.
In the middle of the dance floor, a young woman stood, her hair dyed a frenetic lime green that twisted in a multitude of insane braids down her back. Her right arm was outstretched, bracelets and armlets spilling down her slender limb in a tumble of multicolored cuffs and chains, and a plain revolver was in her hand. A young black man lay on the floor in a pool of blood, the dark liquid spreading out. A circle had parted around the young girl with the grass-colored hair, and her eyes were dead, vacant, as she unflinchingly held the gun in her palm. At the gasps and cries of the terrified youths, the girl smiled at them all maliciously, mindlessly. "We're all dead," she said, a low smile on her face. "None of this matters anymore."
Slowly, carefully, Buffy stepped forward into the light, her knee-high black leather boots stepping into the blood. She tossed back her brightly colored hair and spoke cautiously to the girl with the hair like poisoned limes. "Of course it matters," she said softly, raising her hands upward to show that she wasn't going to hurt her. "It always matters."
There was a silence as the girl looked into Buffy's eyes, gray eyes glittering, and she spoke with a smile in her voice. "No, it really doesn't."
With that, she lowered her arm, aimed at the leather-clad Slayer, and fired.
Screams. Shouts. Cries. Pleas. She heard them all as the girl fired the weapon at her, and prepared in that moment for the bullet, for the final blast into eternity, when she felt weight thrown on her and was knocked to the floor of the club. Her hair flew around her face and blinded her, and her cheek was splashed into the blood of the dead. She heard a cry of pain from behind her, sudden and hissing, and she felt cold hands grabbing her arms. Startled, she sat up, brushing her bloodstained hair out of her eyes with her fingers, blinking as she realized that she had survived. She had lived.
Because of Spike.
The vampire rose from the floor, blood coating his leather coat, and she didn't have time to ask if he was okay. She scrambled to get up and get the gun away from the girl with the braided green hair, but didn't have the time to do it. The girl lifted the gun to her temple, smiled viciously at Buffy, and pulled the trigger. Blood spurted from her head in a fountain of vermilion, spewing to the ground, and the girl fell to the ground, her green hair stained with splashes of red like a ruined Christmas.
Numbly, Buffy sat on the floor, her hands sticky with still warm blood, looking at the girl who had tried to kill her. The lights were hit, flooding the club with plain white light, and the sound of crying was audible in the crowd. Buffy felt like vomiting. Smooth fingers wrapped around her upper arm, and Buffy looked behind her to see Spike looking at her with absolute exhaustion. "Let's go," he said, and she closed her eyes briefly, accepting his hand up, her leather crackling like the tension and fear in the room. Still shaking from the experience, Buffy allowed herself to lean on him slightly for support, and he carelessly gave it, wrapping arm around her waist and passing her her box of cigarettes.
The crowd parted around her, and Buffy looked around, confused, until she realized why they were looking at her with such fear and shock. She had said something. She had done something. She had tried to save herself, and no one else in the room cared. They were more terrified of her and her desire for living than they were of the hellish death that had been played out before their eyes tonight. Panic bubbled up in Buffy's throat as she looked at these colorful clusters of dyes and glitter, realizing how close she had come to being another member of their sick collection. She had been so numb, so futile, so helpless and hopeless. Dead on the inside and anticipating her outer death. These children were nothing more than brightly colored fragments of fun, snorting coke and smoking pot in the hopes that they would die in a drug-addled haze.
They were all cowards.
And then she looked at her lover, her lightning-colored lover who had saved her life in spite of the fact that they were sworn enemies, and realized that he was as terrified of dying as they were. As she was. He cut glances at her underneath a fringe of ebony, and in his eyes was the same wonder that she had tried to save herself, even though he had ducked and saved her nonetheless.
Slowly, she stopped him at the door, resting her palm square on his chest, feeling the silence of his heartbeat. Softly, she reached her hand back to cup the base of his neck in her palm, looking into his sapphire eyes that glinted like confused jewels. When she saw his terror, his agony over dying, she reached up and kissed him with a softness that was foreign to them, unusual and exotic. Their kisses were always predatory and prowling, not gentle or understanding. But hers was, her mouth nipping softly at his, tasting the cool flavor of wasted cigarettes and the remnants of coppery blood.
When she pulled away, she looked up at him, and murmured to him words he was surprised to hear. "I'm never coming back here," she said, and he nodded his head slowly, closing his eyes and swallowing in relief.
"Yeah, luv," he said. "There's no point in coming back here."
With that, she linked her hand in his and turned her back on the vacuous youths who stared at her like she was a foreign creature, and walked out of the warehouse, abandoning that world forever.
(end part ten)
The lyrics mentioned in the story are from Portishead's "Sour Times" and Garbage's "You Look So Fine", respectively.
Continued in Part Eleven