Part Three: Pain
Moving through the gloom to another door, she descended into the room she used as a dungeon for her captives. Once this windowless chamber had probably held nothing more important than wine and supplies but it served her well as a place to question demons. She threw her burden on the tight packed dirt floor, lit one smoky torch and went to get some chains to bind him. Vampires were generally smarter than most of the demons she dealt with. They had that human brain to work with. This made them deadly and difficult to keep imprisoned. The best thing to do with vampires was kill them immediately but there was this strange little book...she needed to know more.
Finding a sturdy set of manacles, the captor knelt and secured them around the vampire’s pale wrists and boot covered ankles. She tightened the bolts until she couldn’t see any light between the metal and the flesh. It would hurt him but that was really the point. Hauling the limp body over to the wall, she threaded the thick chains through a ring set into the stone wall. She gave the ring a sharp tug to make sure it was secure and stepped back to take her first look at the creature.
The guttering orange light from the torch danced across his lean face, which was half hidden by a tousled mop of black hair. Leaning in, the captor could see that the black was a dye. Golden brown roots winked from the crown of his skull. Reaching out, she grasped his face in one hand and forced it up into the light so she could get a better look. Razor like cheekbones, an angular jaw, charcoal lashes sweeping down across pale skin. The color of his eyes remained hidden but somehow she knew they were blue. Not the warm blue of a summer sky but the color of an iceberg floating through frozen seas.
She shook her head to clear the rebellious thought. It was laced with pain and pain was to be avoided. One last detail caught her attention...a semi circular scar looped through one eyebrow dividing the brow into three distinct parts...a blade had done that...wielded by a small Asian girl...the captor shook her head again...No! That was not a real memory.
Seeing that the broken tip of the crossbow bolt still protruded from his bloodstained chest, the captor grasped it in one small hand and gave it a quick pull. It came free in her hand followed by a fresh torrent of blood and an agonized yell from the vampire. She stepped back as the creature fought his way towards consciousness. She went to a wooden table on the other side of the room and perused a collection of knives and other weapons. Which one would prove most effective? It was time to get information...
In the drug and pain induced haze that held him, Spike struggled to come back to the world. He didn’t want to stay here in his dreams. This was were the memories lived...the cruel memories of why he had left this damned place to begin with.
* “I’m sorry you had to see that...I keep telling you to stay away.” Buffy said softly to Spike as he paced the floor of his crypt.
“Yeah, well since when do I do what you bloody well ask? Didn’t think I’d be walking in on you an’ your new bloke...” Spike lit a cigarette and took a long drag, trying to fog the memory of Buffy kissing the newest member of the Nancy tribe in town.
“You knew I was seeing him...Simon has been around for months. Ever since the Council sent him to consult on the Braga demon, he’s been helping us.” Buffy tried to explain.
“I know all about it Buffy, a human man who can accept you for who you are, who can help you fight the forces of darkness and take you for nice sunny picnics besides...I know all about it...doesn’t make it any easier on me.” Spike snarled, hurling the half-smoked cigarette to the stone floor.
“Then why do this to yourself? You wanted me to live and that's what I’m doing. Living,” Buffy whispered.
“Forgive me for hopin’ I’d be a bloody part of that luv but it don’t look like that's gonna happen. You told your friends, they were all appropriately horrified and shut me out...even Niblet and now y’got this shiny new fellow an’ they all love ‘im,” Spike retorted in return.
“Then why do you stay?” Buffy shouted, her reserve slipping.
A sharp pain knifed through Spike’s gut at the question. He stopped pacing and just looked at the golden girl he loved so much, letting all the pain he felt shine out of his eyes.
Buffy just ducked her head so she wouldn’t have to see and continued. “Why don’t you go? It would be easier...for you...and me. You could go anywhere...anywhere I’m not.”
Spike stood still for second before responding in a husky voice. “Best idea you’ve ever had, pet. Just remember...you told me to go. I wouldn’t do it otherwise. Live your life...be happy with that younger copy of Giles...I’d rather that than the hollow shell you’ve been.”
Buffy nodded her head and turned to go without response. Spike watched her go, watched the light fall on her golden head as she mounted the steps to the open doorway. The sunlight formed a halo around her head and he suddenly knew the madness of his love for her. Darkness in love with Light. He had been a fool to believe it could happen. The door shut behind her and Spike was left alone in his grave. It was time to go...*
“Who are you?” a low voice asked.
Spike raised his head, knowing he was very much in the now. The throbbing pain in his chest told him that. The cursed bolt was gone but the wound had not had time to heal. He would need blood to do that. He tried to open his eyes but his eyelids felt like they weighed a few tons. All he could manage was a glimpse of the shadowy figure standing in front of a torch. He couldn’t make out any features but he could see that whoever it was, it was small and human. If he could get free, he could make short work of his captor.
“What is this book you have?” the voice pressed on.
Spike tried to offer his best sneer but it fell short. The drugs in his system had left him without much muscle control. He squinted out at his surroundings through bleary eyes. It was dark, dank, and filthy. Just the kind of place one would want to interrogate someone and the kind of place Spike had studiously avoided for the past fifty years.
“Why are you here?” came another quiet question.
That voice...it was female, Spike realized. A bloody girl had captured him. If this got out his reputation would be severely damaged. He would have to kill a lot of demons to regain the level of respect he required. He managed a mocking laugh at his captor. She wouldn’t get anything from him, the silly bint.
The girl stepped forward and with blinding speed buried a small knife in the palm of Spike’s hand, pinning it to the stone wall. He felt tendons separate and at least one bone crack. He screamed in pain and surprise, swiping out with his uninjured hand but she was too fast. She ducked his clumsy blow and stepped back to her former position, just out of reach.
“Bloody bitch! What I ever do to you?” Spike hissed, trying to pull his hand loose.
“Answer my questions and I’ll take it out,” she whispered.
“Sod off. I’ve been tortured by people who know what they’re doin’ an’ I didn’t crack then. You don’t have a prayer.” The pain restored Spike’s wits and he felt adrenaline course through him, clearing his vision and sharpening his other senses.
“I have more knives, vampire. It would be easier just to tell me what I need to know,” came the reasonable voice again.
His captor turned her back on him and walked to a table across the room. She picked up a wickedly curved knife, much larger than the last, and held it up for him to see.
“We are just getting started, vampire...are you sure you want to do it this way?” she asked him with a trace of regret in her voice.
“Bring it on. I usually don’t go after humans much any more but in your case I’ll make an exception,” Spike hissed.
The girl started forward with her cruel looking blade and for the first time she passed to the right of the torch, giving Spike an unobstructed view of her face. The burning in his chest and hand immediately took second place to the crushing pain in his heart. It couldn’t be...she was gone...she had been gone for sixty-five years.
The girl stopped at the look on the vampire’s face. Was he breaking? Were those tears coursing down his hollow cheeks? Maybe more torture was unnecessary.
She stood in front of him...looking so much the same and yet very different. The same dark gold hair, the same clear hazel eyes, dusty jeans and a gray sweatshirt, functional sneakers.... but that look in her eyes...that was not the same...what did he see there?
Spike tried a few times and finally forced out a question from his constricted throat. It was barely audible, the harsh rasp...but she heard him.
“Buffy? Is that you?”
Continued in Part Four: Forget