Chapter Four: Cuts Like A Knife
After he was out of the way, she got home to find a distraught Willow crying at the kitchen table, grappling with withdrawal. Getting her calmed down and back in her bed had taken another hour. A bad feeling coiled tight in Buffy's stomach.
Buffy made Dawn's lunch, smoothing peanut butter onto slices of bread. How could she have just let him walk away? Worse than that, told him to get away. She scrawled out a note for her sister.
Grabbing her duffel bag, she ran back down to the docks to take care of some unfinished business. BAfter her errand was done,, she stuffed her purchases in the bag.
She glanced at her watch. It had been nearly four hours since Spike had walked away from her.
Her stomach ached, waves of uneasiness flowing over her. Angry and hurt Spike was capable of a whole lot of damage in four hours. Throwing the bag over her shoulder, she took off for Spike's crypt at a run.
Breathless, she pushed open the door to his crypt. It was even worse than she had imagined.
The furniture that he had chosen so carefully was reduced to wisps of stuffing and splinters of wood. Chunks of wax from broken candles lay everywhere. Shards of glass and puddles of liquid lay on the floor. Worst of all, a trail of blood meandered from the center of the crypt to the hole that led to the lower level. Buffy climbed down.
Reaching the lowest rung of the ladder, Buffy stepped down onto something squishy. It was Spike, lying in a crumbled heap. She carefully picked him up and carried him to the bed.
She was able to see what he had done to himself.
A wooden stake protruded from his chest, blood soaking the front of his shirt. Removing the long sleeved shirt he wore, she tugged on his wrist. Feeling something damp there, she pulled up his cuff. He had slit his wrist. Pulling at his shoulders, she ripped the shirt into two pieces.
Throwing it off, she grabbed his other wrist. He had slit that one too.
She stared up in his face. He looked like a corpse. His lips were tinged blue, his face a bloodless white. It was wrong, deeply wrong, to see him so still. He was the most vibrant person she had ever met.
Fighting down panic, she carefully pulled the stake from his chest. She pulled the top sheet off the bed and ripped it into strips, trying to remember the combat medical training Riley had taught her. Looking around, she found an open bottle of grain alcohol.
Did she need to clean the wound? He was a vampire. He couldn't get an infection. Could he?
She was so stupid, so stupid, so fucking stupid. She knew how to kill vamps, not fix them. What if she did the wrong thing?
Wincing, she poured alcohol over the wound. Spike didn't even stir. She bound his chest and wrists tightly, doing the best job that she could. Buffy settled him back on the pillows, pulling the coverlet up over his chest. He hadn't moved since she had been there. He couldn't die, right?Spike was a vampire, so he couldn't die. Then why was he so still?
She wrapped her arms around herself, shaking. What was she supposed to do?
He'd been hurt badly before. Yeah, like when she dropped a church organ on him. She remembered the scars that had bubbled over the side of his face. The wheelchair he'd been in for months. Drusilla had taken care of him, cured him. How do you cure a vampire?
She thought of Angel. Blood, he had taken her blood and it had cured him.That was poison.
This was-. Well, a suicide attempt, really. Quite possibly a successful one. He hadn't dusted, though.
Running upstairs, she finds the little refrigerator on its side, door ripped off. Inside it are three slightly warm bags of blood. Hurrying back to Spike, she sits beside him. Ripping a bag open with her teeth, she opens his mouth and slips the corner of the bag inside, squeezing it.
Blood pours over the sides of his mouth, dripping down his neck. She tries again, with the same result.
She starts to cry, powerless and desperate. "Don't do this to me," she whispers.She rests her head against his forehead, her tears dropping onto his face. "I need you." Buffy kisses his cold lips over and over. "Please don't leave me."
She paces back and forth in the crypt. What can she do? Call Giles? Would he know what to do?
She doesn't have a phone and can't leave Spike. It's up to her. Focusing, she concentrates.
Blood. It's all about the blood. She has to get him to drink it. He has to wake up enough to drink.
How do you get Spike's undivided attention? Hurt him, or fuck him.
Determined, Buffy strips off her clothes. After finding what she needs, she returns to him.
Pulling off the coverlet, she straddles Spike's body. Clenched in her hand is a sharp, small dagger.
She presses down on the wound in his chest, increasing the pressure steadily until blood blossoms on the white bandages. Getting no response, she slices her wrist, pressing the wound into his mouth.
At first there is nothing. Then there is a gentle, barely noticeable sucking. She feels him drawing her blood in. She knew he couldn't resist the blood of a Slayer. He nurses her wrist for several minutes, his features never changing.
Blood. With vampires, it's all about blood. She cuts a fine line across his shoulder. Buffy fastens her lips to the wound, sucking his blood into her mouth. Drinking deeply, her throat burns with the richness of it.
Images and feelings sweep over her in a torrent. Angelus embracing Drusilla, biting her neck as he fondles her breasts. Jealousy. Willow and Tara, looking lovingly into each other's eyes. Envy. Dawn talking animatedly, waving around a textbook. Tenderness.
She focuses on the images and feels a thread connecting them.She pulls hard on the connection, following it with her mind.
Suddenly, she is elsewhere. She is surrounded by darkness. A dim glow arises from a distant corner.
Buffy works her way towards it, stumbling and squinting in the dark. Feeling her way along the wall, she rounds a bend and sees a line of objects displayed on the wall, illuminated by candlelight.
A plastic box, its surface lightly traced with metal tendrils. Inside it is a pitcher, steadily pouring blood into a chalice. The stream is never ending, the chalice never overflowing.
A mirror, its surface flowing with moving images. She sees a slashing sword; a burning sun; a flaming cross.
A rack of weapons. Dried blood coats the tips of arrows, the blades of swords, the edges of knives.
A torch on the wall illuminates a display case of miniatures. Holding the torch, she bends close to see them clearly. Some of them look familiar. One looks like Willow. Several are smashed to pieces. One lies facing inward and she turns it over. It is her mother.
A flat panel of glass holds Dawn's image. It continually shifts, constantly in motion. Buffy continues to follow the light.
She knocks into a bookshelf that holds leather bound books with large gilded titles. Holding the torch close, she can make out a few. "Poetry" "Lore". "Magic." "Demons." "Music".
Rounding the last corner, she reaches her destination. She blows out the torch and tosses it aside.
She is in a chapel, a stained glass window filling the room with daylight. The walls are covered with growing vines of roses heavy with blooms, their fragrance powerful. Racks of flickering votive candles surround a low marble altar.
Lying on the altar, on a bed of thousands of rose petals, is she. Golden tendrils of hair flow over her shoulders. Clad in a pink gown, golden slippers adorn her feet, and a delicate crown tops her head. Her chest rises and falls, deep in slumber.
Kneeling in front of the altar is Spike. His head bent in supplication, his quiet sobs echo through the chamber. "I've lost you," he weeps, "I just keep losing you."
The truth of the situation hits Buffy. She is inside his fears, his desires. Somehow, she has trespassed into his mind.
"That's not me, Spike. That perfect, unattainable princess. That was never me."
He turns around to face her. Blood mars his temple and covers the right side of his face, dripping down his neck. 'How dare you?" he hisses. He stalks over to her, burning with fury.
Buffy stands her ground.
"Always barging in where you're not wanted. I want some peace, Slayer. I want to be alone," says Spike angrily.
Buffy smiles at him, and then slaps him across the face.
"Right. So you can just sit here feeling sorry for yourself, worshipping at the altar of your failure."
Spike raises his fist, swinging to hit her. She catches it, holding his hand in a steel grip.
"I need you to come back with me." She turns his hand over, unbending his fingers, and slips it into hers.
"You think you failed me. But you're wrong."She gently kisses his fingers."You brought me back to life."
Lifting her head to hers, she kisses him, putting all of her feelings into it.
She feels his features change. Pulling back, she looks into the face of a demon.
"You can't bring yourself to see me as I am. I'm a demon," he growls.
"You're more than a demon. It's just a part of who you are."
"It's a part you can't ignore. It's the reason you hide away what we have,"says Spike.
"It's a part of you that I desire, Spike. It's part of why I need you." He pulls her into his embrace.
Suddenly she is elsewhere.Spike has her pinned to the bed, pounding away inside her as he drinks her blood. Relief that he is here, alive, sends her over the edge.Sparks of color and light explode inside her mind, as she is overwhelmed with pleasure. She hears him roar his release as comes.
He lies on the bed next to her, his golden eyes flaring in the dark. Beads of sweat cover his body and he is shaking hard.
"More blood," he rasps.
She fetches him the bags of blood and watches while he consumes them quickly. pike lies back, completely spent. She pets him gently, rubbing the ridges of his forehead. He turns to her, pulling her close to him.
"I'm sorry," says Buffy," this whole thing was my fault."
"I knew the score, Slayer," he croaks." We have a bit of fun, no one finds out, everything's grand."
She rolls on top of him, bracing herself with her arms so she doesn't hurt him. She leans down to kiss his lips. "That's not all this is."Cupping his head in her hands, she gazes into his eyes.
"There is a bond that we have between us. I can feel it when I'm not with you. I can close my eyes and see it, this long silvery chain that connects us. I felt sick inside, knowing something had happened to you. I went inside your mind when I drank your blood. What we have- I don't even understand it."She bites her lip, looking confused.
Gingerly, he rolls her off him, spooning her. "Rest now, pet." Exhausted, they lie together, falling into sleep.
Continued in Chapter Five: Lesser of Two Evils