Rating: R. Darkish with lots of blood and angst. Oh, and naughty language. Did I mention lots of blood?
Setting: Veers off from Dead Things. Runs parallel to the rest of S6.
Disclaimers: Alas, these characters actually belong to people and companies with way more money than I could ever hope to see and are played by actors far prettier than I could hope to be.
Pairing: Um... not right now, thanks.
Distribution: That would be neato, but ask first so I know where, 'kay?
Feedback: Oh, yes please! firstname.lastname@example.org
Author’s notes: This is my first fanfic. Please be gentle. Most of it was written before S7. The story begins immediately after Dead Things and continues through the rest of S6 as an alternate but parallel universe. It is assumed that the other events of S6 do still occur... just... without Spike there. I took some liberties with minor stuff, like the gestation period of a Suvolte demon and such.
Warning: Bad things happen to Spike. And he's not all shirtless and pretty when they happen. Okay, he's shirtless once, later on, but not so much pretty. Also, if blood bothers you... you probably shouldn't be reading about vampires in the first place.
– Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
PART 1: BLOOD
Section 1.1: Falling
i gotta full moon
a smaller room than i need
a candy store a sexy whore
yes i bleed
a sifting sand and an electronic hand
yes i'm fine
i've got a pissed off god
a government shock
yes i'm blind
and i fall
well i fall
well i fall
yeah i fall
– I Fall
The Damned, 1977
He is plummeting to the ground. Roaring fills his ears and he isn’t sure if it’s the air whipping around him or his own frustration bursting from his throat as he falls. Leather flaps around him like useless, tattered wings. He flails wildly in the darkness, desperate to connect with something he can grasp onto; something to keep him from being swallowed up by the earth as it rushes to reclaim him. Knows its hopeless. His body convulses when it impacts.
Muscles coil painfully as awareness stirs. No. Not falling. Not fallen. Curled fetal on cold cement. The darkness persists. All he can smell is blood. Thick. Dried. Dead. Even so, it makes him hungry.
No, not his – animal. Pig blood. Right. His then. His nose is clogged with it, blocking off all other scents. His stomach lurches.
A faint humming sound. All around. Machine. Electric currents. Not a threat. Behind him, a clock ticking. A bit further off – what’s that? Breathing. Threat? Human. Slow… steady… ah, sleeping. Not a threat. Not yet.
Reminded, he parts his lips; takes a tentative breath.
That’s the ribs. One, two, maybe three. He exhales. Won’t try that again for a bit.
Still dark. Eyes won’t open. Wait. Left eyelid scrapes like sandpaper. There we are. Clears things up a bit. Now, where the hell–
Nope. Not an alley. Course he’d already figured that. Lights blinking – red, green, amber. Computers. Fluorescents. Stairs. Hard to make out with his face pressed against the floor like this. Tries raising his head –
Not the chip, no. Not quite so sharp. More like a dull thrumming on the back of his skull. His brain knocking to be let out. Not so fast mate. Might need you. Heh.
Okay, moving– bad idea. Best to lie still. Looks like the room’s spinning about enough anyway. Let it do the moving for now. Sandpaper scrape. Dark again. Good. Better.
He waits. Focuses on the ticking of the clock. One, two, three, four…
…Two hundred forty. Four minutes. The knocking subsides enough for a fresh go at it. Okay. Good. Eye open. Yeah. Familiar. Wait a minute… She’s here. Buff– the Slayer. Standing off in the corner. Watching him. No… not her. Not even human. No heartbeat. He squints. It’s… cardboard. A life-size cardboard cut-out of a woman. Bird from Star Trek, looks like. The blonde with the cat suit. Big tits. Fuck-all, which one was she? She’s staring at him, lips curled in haughty cardboard seduction.
Oh. Yeah. Wonderful. He knows where he is. He lets his good eye go closed again. Despite the pain of his shifting ribs, he inhales enough to allow himself a beleaguered sigh.
“Do you think he’s okay? I mean, he looks kinda… dead.”
“Of course he looks dead, you idiot. He’s a vampire. Vamps are dead. Well… mostly.”
“I just meant, you know, he hasn’t moved yet. Shouldn’t he have moved by now?”
“Maybe we should… uh… poke him with a stick or something. Just to check…”
“Oh, good idea, Frodo. Go ahead. Go poke him with a stick.”
“Well… I was just saying. I'm – I’m sure he’s okay.”
“Listen guys, it’s fine. We hit him with enough tranq to knock out an entire House of Klingons. He could be out for days yet.”
The voice came nearer. Just a few feet away now. Standing over him. Close enough he could leap up right now and rip out the throat it came from before the speaker had a chance to realize what'd happened. He could. If circumstances were a bit different.
“The longer the better. Hadn’t planned on grabbing him so soon, but this is good. I can take my time now. Collect more data. Really tweak the program. Plus we need to plan out what we’re gonna do once the program’s ready. I’ve got a few ideas…” The voice moved away again. “Til then, just keep watch and let me know if he wakes up.”
He’s awake. Has been for hours; ever since the two nerds, Warren and the scrawny blond one, had clumped their way down to the basement, arguing loud enough to wake the dead, literally. Something about the actors in the Bond movies. He could have told them it didn’t matter which was best, since James Bond was a fucking nance anyway. Fluttering about like a poof, drinking dainty little martinis as if it were something to brag about. Always saving the world from villains too stupid to just shut the hell up and kill the bastard already. Now, a real villain – someone such as himself, would know to just snap the hero’s pompous little neck, take the girl for himself and go about his bloody day. Just common sense, really.
The little one, Jonathan, had stirred from his nap when they entered, pretending to have been awake himself. He didn’t join the debate. Didn’t say much of anything. Well, that’s one at least.
Spike keeps his eyes closed, not moving, not breathing. Concentrates on wrapping his brain around what the hell is going on. He listens to the stupid gits – who seem to fancy that they’re holding him prisoner – as they chatter and bicker about every kind of nonsense. Bloody idiots. He tunes them out after a bit, careful to perk his ears up whenever they make mention of him or what they might be planning. Not much luck there. Some mention of getting away with “it,” whatever “it” is. Probably not important. Still a bit too woozy to focus much.
He spends a lot of time feeling. Starting with the tips of his toes and working his way up, he takes an account of his condition. Legs all right. Spine all right – good thing, that. He’d gotten to be a bit touchy about the spine these days. One broken rib. One mending. One apparently healed now. Concussion, back of the head – happens when your head's pushed hard enough into pavement by angry little fists. Cracked cheekbone. Split lip. Split twice apparently. Mended but swollen yet. Left eye, pretty much healed by now. Right eye, swollen. Swollen quite a bit still. Could probably open it some if he tried. Not just yet though. Nose broken. Ugh. Two places. He fucking hates when his nose gets broken. It’s not the pain. Depending on who happens to be dishing it, pain can be quite invigorating. It’s not the the loss of smell from all the blood backed up either. Though that does cause a bit of a panic in him, admitted. A vampire uses his nose more than his eyes, after all. A broken nose right now is a weakness. It’s also just bloody annoying. Vampire healing ability is a wonderful thing, but noses are a bit dodgy. Get all crooked and such. Your average vampire – gets his nose broken, thinks nothing of it. He moves on – grr grr grr, bite bite bite – whatever. But when a bloke cares about appearances, keeps himself up, he’s got to be careful how it comes back together. He already knows he’ll have to break the thing again just to make it right. Already healed too much all crooked. He suspects the Slayer knows about his little pet peeve. That’s why she seems to get the nose every bleeding time.
The Slayer. Stupid sodding self-righteous bitch! Surely she’d martyred herself on the pike of justice by now, it being the “right thing to do” and all. "Oh officer, I've done a terrible thing and I'm here to pay my debt to society." Bollocks. If you ask him (and nobody ever did) society should be paying her. He’d been dead long enough to know that one life really didn’t matter all that much. Nor did a hundred. Nor a thousand. Had the world stopped spinning when William the Soon To Be Bloody had kicked off? Hell no. Didn’t even pause to mark his passing. As well it shouldn’t have.
‘Course… that doesn’t really explain why he’d spent every night of her absence sobbing into his mug of blood, knowing that it was supposed to have been him to die that night. They’d as much as discussed it, hadn’t they? It didn’t explain why he had stuck around so long, honoring a promise to a dead girl. Looking out for her little sis, who, aside for the green glowy thing, was just as insignificant as any other human really… when you think about it. Just two girls. An easily replaced Slayer. Her whiney kid sis. Humans. Food. Why should he care?
He’s standing over the drained corpse of the late Miss Cecily Addams, blood dripping from his chin. Some of her hair had fallen over her throat when he tore at it and he pulls it now from his teeth. He is new to this and sloppy. Blood on his clothes. Too much wasted on the floor. For an instant, he looks into the dead eyes beneath him and he fancies that they are staring into him. Seeing something that he no longer can. A tremor passes through him and he takes a step away from the mess. This can’t be right. He couldn’t have done this. What beast has done this?
A hand on his shoulder, sliding up to his neck. Caressing, comforting. She presses her body against his back, reaching from behind him to wipe blood from his face and daintily lick it from her fingers. He turns his head to her. She brushes her lips to his ear. “Shh, pet,” she whispers. “Sweet boy. So hard for you, isn’t it… when it’s someone you love?” Her tongue flits out lightly, tickling his earlobe. He inclines his head, leans in to her. “Don’t fret, dear. See how pretty you’ve made it? Like a dolly. All yours, my William. Yours to play with…” She floats around him, facing him and he is caught up in her, his goddess, as he always is when she turns those dark eyes on him. The fresh blood is vibrating in his veins, warming him. His momentary confusion is quickly giving way to desire. She arches up and strokes along his jaw with her tongue, lapping up the spilled blood. “…Yours to taste.…”
He brings his mouth down to catch her own in a kiss, taste the blood on her tongue. Whatever it is he had felt, that strange tickling at the back of his mind, that feeling of something missing, something wrong, something… something he needs to remember… it’s gone now. It mustn’t have been important, not as important as this new feeling. Heat of desire. Surge of power. She pulls him down with her as the plaything beside them grows cold, forgotten.
Something misssing. Something forgotten. Something important.
Yeah, okay. He cares. And it pisses him right off. It’s just that none of it makes sense. He doesn’t understand it. Has tried to understand it. And hell, he shouldn’t be expected to understand it! So, he cares! So what? Doesn’t mean anything. He’s still bloody evil right? Doesn’t have a soul. Like she said. Stupid bint. All her fault, anyway. Let her throw herself to the wolves. Makes things easier for him.
He can picture her, all melodramatic and teary. Throwing herself to the mercy of the magistrate. That lower lip of hers all trembly-like. Eye’s all big and sad. Holding out her wrists for the handcuffs to be slapped on…
‘Course at this point, his thoughts take a bit of a turn. He almost smiles.
Her face is set. Determined. She raises her jaw a little bit. There. Better. Gazes at her reflection. Swollen red eyes stare back at her steadily. Full-on Resolve Face.
“This has to stop,” she tells Mirror-Buffy. “It’s just… it’s not you, it’s…”
She starts over.
“You–” She brandishes her toothbrush at her reflection. “You can’t feel… You can’t… And– and– whatever it is you think you feel you have to stop. Right now. ‘Cause it’s wrong. It’s… way, way wrong. This whole thing is just a huge mistake and we both know it. It has to stop.”
She pauses to let that sink in. Mirror-Buffy frowns.
Buffy realizes she’s still holding the toothbrush and sets it by the sink. She gazes at her hands. Runs her fingers over her wrists absently; sees that the bruises are gone. She can’t even feel where they had been. Her knuckles aren’t red anymore. She looks back up at the face in front of her.
“I’m sorry,” she whispers.
Continued in Section 1.2: Wake