By Valerie X
Sequel to Spike Shirtless and Bleeding
Giles picked up his bag and slung it over his shoulder.
“Do you really have to go?” Willow said, her sweet face crunching into a frown.
Giles chuckled as he dug out his boarding pass. “That must be the tenth time you’ve said that today, Willow. And the answer is still yes.”
“Okay, but you tell those stuffy council guys that you’re needed back here soon,” Xander said. “Because Anya and I aren’t having our wedding without you.”
Giles nodded. “Indeed. It shouldn’t take more than a few weeks. And remember, until then, be sure to - ”
“Patrol every night,” Tara finished for him.
“And take good care of the store,” Anya added.
“And find the Enoispep demon,” Xander said.
“Yes, yes,” Giles said. “And above all - look after Dawn.”
“Giles, I told you,” Willow said. “She’s perfectly fine with Spike.”
“I know you believe he‘s changed,” Giles said sternly. “But remember that it wasn’t so long ago when he tried to kill us all. And on several separate occasions.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Xander said, patting Giles on the shoulder. “You just go have fun in merry old England. We’ll keep an eye on the living dead.”
Giles hugged each of them one last time and then walked down the terminal, into the plane. “Do you really think Dawnie’s okay?” Tara asked when Giles was out of view.
“We visited them just last week,” Anya said. “She seemed fine.”
“Still,” Willow said. “She might have a lot of pent-up feelings.”
“And she might be living with a brutal killer,” Xander remarked.
Willow threw him a disapproving look. “For the last time, Xander. Spike is not evil.”
Spike pushed the girl into his apartment, his hands roughly grabbing her shoulders, his body hard against hers, his craving unbearable.
She gasped at his brutality, then giggled, and planted tiny kisses around his ears.
Her hands fumbled with the buttons of his shirt as they hurried into his bedroom. Once inside the room, Spike pulled away from the young woman long enough to shut the door quietly and remove the rest of his clothes. She tore her dress off in one motion, and Spike was happy to see that she was wearing nothing underneath it. He lunged at her.
“Wait just a minute,” she said, stopping his motion with one delicate touch to his chest. “I have something for you.”
“Your naked body is all I need, love,” Spike said. He ran his hands down her sides, causing her to shiver, but she still took a step back.
“You’ll like it, I promise.” She reached down to where she had dropped her purse and removed a bottle of choclate syrup.
Spike grinned, his tongue darting out of his mouth and dancing on his lips.
He lay down on the bed with the woman straddling him. He flinched as the warm liquid touched his chest, then relaxed and enjoyed the sensation as it dripped down his stomach. Just before the flow of chocolate reached his crotch, he felt the woman’s tongue lapping it up, licking up his stomach and over his nipples. He moaned, delighting in her touch, and when her face met his, he swallowed her mouth in a passionate kiss.
“Mmmmm, I want to consume you,” the woman said breathily.
Spike’s eyes flashed red. “Not if I do it first.”
He plunged his teeth into her neck and took in a large gulp of blood. The woman gasped, shocked by the pain, and tried to scream, but Spike put his hand over her mouth as he continued to drink.
When he could feel her body weaken, Spike took a stake out from underneath his pillow and plunged it into her chest. She exploded into dust, leaving Spike with blood dripping down his chin.
He wiped his mouth with the side of his hand and got out of bed. Her purse was still on the floor. Inside Spike found a wallet, complete with a fake college ID. She had been passing herself off as human so that she could lure mortal men into her bed and then make them a meal. He had spotted her at the Bronze, dancing and flirting, and decided he may as well try to fool her. She had believed him to be human, so she was all too willing to go back to his apartment.
There was fifty dollars in the wallet as well, which Spike pocketed. But what he’d really wanted was her ring. He dug through the dusty sheets until he found it. He examined the stone. It was real, and it would pay his rent this month.
Spike looked down and his naked body and groaned. Chocolate syrup, saliva, and vampire dust combined to make a disgusting, sticky paste. He’d have to shower before doing anything else.
The apartment was a spacious two-bedroom with an eat-in kitchen. But on nights such as this one, Spike was most appreciative of the bathroom. While living in a crypt was mysterious and dangerous, it was also filthy, and Spike never missed his old home.
He opened the frosted glass doors and stepped into the comforting steam. The water soothed his taut muscles and he realized that he was exhausted. The vampire population of Sunnydale was at an all-time high, and he had been spending every moment possible hunting them down. He barely remembered what human blood tasted like.
“You know,” came a female voice, “I can see your butt through that glass, and it’s totally gross.”
Spike poked his head up over the shower doors and saw Dawn standing in the doorway, wearing blue cotton pajamas with tiny pink hearts on them.
“My butt is not gross!” Spike said.
“Is too,” Dawn said. “Why are you taking a shower in the middle of the night?”
“Why are you awake in the middle of the night?” Spike countered. “And a bloody school night at that. Go back to bed.” Spike leaned back down and continued to scrub his body.
“Well someone woke me up by killing something in our house,” Dawn argued. “You’re not supposed to bring evil things in here.”
“Uh-huh,” Spike said as he poured shampoo into his hand. “Says who?”
“And when did you become the bleeding boss around here?”
“Today when I washed the dishes, even though it wasn’t my turn.”
Spike scrubbed his hair, building up a thick lather. “Yeah, well, when you learn to cook a sodding meal, then I’ll wash the dishes every night.”
Dawn smirked. “But if I learn to cook like you, then we’ll both die of food poisoning.”
Spike reached up over the shower doors and tossed a handful of suds at Dawn. She dodged them, giggling, and then grabbed a sponge from the sink and hurled it back over the top of the shower.
“What the -- bloody hell girl! Don’t go throwing sponges at me!”
Dawn laughed. Spike turned the water off and stuck his hand out. “Hand me the towel.”
“Fine,” Spike said as he opened the shower door. “You’ll just have to see my gross butt.”
Dawn shrieked and ran out of the bathroom.
When Spike had toweled himself off and put on clean clothes, he went into Dawn’s room to check on her. She was lying on her bed asleep, with a book resting on her stomach. Spike moved the book to her nightstand, pulled the blanket up to her neck, and paused to look at her. Her thick hair fell over half her face, her lips were slightly parted, and her shoulders moved up and down with each deep breath. He leaned over and kissed her forehead.
Dawn’s mouth twitched in a sleepy smile. “Night Spike,” she mumbled.
“Here it is: Enoispep,” Tara said, pointing at a page in the large, worn book. “Oh, this doesn’t look good.”
Willow leaned over and read from the book. “’An Enoispep is a demon who was once mortal, raised from the dead, who sustains its life by feeding off the lives of others.’”
“Sounds like a vampire,” Anya said from behind the counter.
“Sounds worse,” Tara said. “Look at this. ‘This demon can destroy anything mortal or demonic with an extended touch.’”
“So it could just touch you and kill you?” Anya asked.
“No biting required,” Willow said.
Anya opened the cash register and began to count the money. “Why do we care about this thing, anyway? It’s not like anyone’s seen it around.”
“Willy told Giles he’d heard some vamps in his bar talking about an Enoispep demon in town,” Willow explained. “So no one’s actually seen it yet. But it’s probably best if we find it before it starts feeding.”
“But how do we find it?” Tara asked her. “This is the only book that mentions it, and there’s no picture.”
Willow considered this. “I guess we just look for something big and slimy.”
“Hey!” Anya shouted. “Not all demons and big and slimy, you know.”
“And if this one isn’t,” Tara said. “Then we don’t even know what we’re looking for.”
“Maybe we could ask around,” Willow said.
“Sure,” Anya said sarcastically. “We’ll just go up to vampires around town and say, ‘Excuse me! Before you bite me and kill me, could you tell me if you’ve seen a demon?’”
“Anya,” Willow said. “If you’re not going to be helpful, be elsewhere.”
Anya glowered. “See if I ask you to be a bridesmaid.”
Spike woke up at three in the afternoon.
His sleep schedule had been seriously affected by becoming Dawn’s guardian. Every morning at seven he had to make sure Dawn woke up and left for school on time. Then he would sleep for most of the day, awakening when she was due home from school. After Dawn was asleep, he would go out, hunting until the sun rose. Most days he was awake from the afternoon until the early morning.
Spike groaned and rolled into a sitting position. He was exhausted. He felt as if there was a race on between him and the demons of this town, but it was futile to think that way. He could kill a thousand of them, but they’d still keep coming.
He’d said that to Buffy.
“Bloody hell,” he muttered. He didn’t have time to get depressed. He got out of bed and went into the kitchen before he could think about her anymore.
Dawn always came home from school hungry and went straight for chips and snacks. Lately Spike had tried to discourage this by giving her fruit or vegetables, but it always turned into an argument, if not a food fight. Yesterday Spike had bought some peaches, and he took one of them out of the refrigerator as a cup of pig’s blood was boiling in the microwave.
Spike jumped, nearly dropping the fruit, but quickly composed himself and looked around the house. His eyes narrowed and his skin tingled, ready for a fight. “You best get out of my house,” he growled. “Before I rip out your sodding spine and lick it clean.”
“Spike, it’s me.”
The sound was coming from inside his mind. He sighed.
“Dammit, girl! Can’t you just use a bloody telephone?”
“I need to practice my telepathy,” he heard Willow say. “Look, we think there’s a dangerous demon in town. Can you come to Magic Shop and see us?”
“Sorry, Red,” Spike replied as he took his blood out of the microwave. “The little bit’s coming home from school soon, and then we’re having dinner.”
He could sense Willow’s surprise before he heard her speak. “You’re having dinner? As in, cooking dinner?”
“That’s what I said,” Spike argued aloud. “So if you want to talk to me you can come by here around six.”
“For...dinner?” Willow said.
“Yes,” Spike said. “And if you continue to imply that I’m a poof, I’ll feed you pig’s blood.”
“No, no, I wasn’t implying anything,” Willow said quickly. “Okay, I’ll come over at six then.”
“Fine, now get out of my head!” Spike shouted.
Spike looked up to see Dawn standing in the apartment doorway. “Do you know that if you hear voices, it means you’re schitzophrenic, and you have to go live in a mental institution?” she said.
“If I go to a mental institution, I’m taking you with me,” Spike said, walking up to her. “And sticking electrodes in your little nose.”
Dawn rolled her eyes as she tossed her backpack onto the couch. “You are so gross. Do we have any Tostitos?”
Spike blocked Dawn’s path to the refrigerator and held a peach out towards her. “Oh, no, little girl. Here.”
Dawn looked at the peach. “Ew.”
Spike put his hand on Dawn’s shoulder and guided her to the couch. “Sit, watch the telly, and eat the sodding fruit.”
“Are you gonna keep talking to yourself?” Dawn asked.
“I was talking to Willow.”
Dawn’s face lit up. “Is she coming over?”
“Later.” Spike sat down on the couch next to Dawn and took a sip of his blood. “Some big nasties about, the usual.” Spike grabbed the remote off the coffee table and turned on the TV.
Dawn took a bite of the peach and made a face. “This is terrible.”
“It’s good for you,” Spike said.
“Then why aren’t you eating one?”
“Because peaches don’t bleed.”
Dawn scowled and continued eating. When she had eaten half of the peach, she checked to make sure Spike was engrossed in the “Beverly Hills 90210” rerun, and then shoved the rest of the fruit in-between the couch cushions.
“Hey, Spike,” Dawn said. “Tell me about the first girl you loved.”
“She was an evil bitch who broke my heart and I hope she’s burning in hell. Why do you ask?”
Dawn smiled dreamily. “I like this guy.”
“Uh-huh,” Spike said without looking away from the television screen. “Will you still like him if his limbs got torn off?”
Dawn reached out and slapped him playfully on the shoulder. “Spike!”
“So who is this boy?” Spike asked.
Dawn pulled her legs up onto the couch and turned to face Spike. “If I tell you, do you promise not to kill him?”
“Or maim him.” Dawn added.
Spike scowled. “I suppose.”
“His name is Steve,” Dawn said with a big smile. “And he’s really cute and really nice. And I think he likes me too, because yesterday I saw him in the hall and I said hi, and he said hi back to me, and then today I was at my locker and he walked by, and he said hi and he touched me on the shoulder.”
Spike stood up and began to walk out of the room.
“Hey!” Dawn said. “Where are you going?”
“I’m going to the bathroom to heave.”
Spike was in the kitchen when he heard the knock on the door. Cooking was a new experience for him, since it had been over a hundred years since he’d had any need for food. But he’d found that cooking was a lot like killing people: fun if you did it right, but a bitch if you had to clean up.
Willow greeted Spike with her characteristically charming smile and a box of donut holes.
“I figured you cook the dinner, and I bring the desert,” she said. “Wow, I feel like a grown-up. Dawnie!”
Dawn pushed her schoolbooks off her lap and rushed into Willow’s arms, even though it had only been a week since they’d seen each other.
“How’ve you been?” Willow asked her. “Has our favorite vampire been treating you okay?”
“Well, sometimes he tortures me,” Dawn said. She leaned closer to Willow and whispered, as if sharing a horrible secret. “Like today...he made me eat fruit.”
“This is great,” Willow said as she ate another bite of the meal.
Spike glowered across the table at her. “Why do you sound so bloody surprised?”
Willow turned to Dawn, trying to change the subject. “So how’s school?”
“It’s okay,” Dawn said. “I’m doing real good. And there’s this guy I like, Steve.”
“Oooo,” Willow said. “Tell me all about him.”
“Well,” Dawn said, her face flushed with excitement. “His name is Steve and he’s really cute and really nice and I think he likes me because-”
“Because one day the bugger touched her shoulder,” Spike interrupted. “And as soon as I see him I’ll break those bloody fingers right off.”
“Spike!” Dawn whined.
“What else is going on at school?” Willow asked.
“Well, there’s this girl I don’t like, Jonie.” Dawn said. “She’s really stuck-up.”
“Want me to kill her?” Spike asked.
Dawn nodded. “Yeah.”
“Spike!” Willow shot him a disapproving glance.
“I’m only kidding,” he said. He raised his eyebrows at Dawn. “Unless she’s a demon.”
“I think she is,” Dawn said, stifling a giggle. “A special demon, where the only way to kill her is if you cut off all her hair.”
Spike nodded, his face dark and serious. “If a haircut will end her reign of terror, I can’t see how I can refuse.” He shrugged. “And if I already have the scissors with me, I might as well disembowel the chit.”
The glasses on the table rattled as Willow kicked Spike.
“Bloody hell, woman, I’m only joking.” Spike said. “What crawled up your ass and died?” As soon as the words were spoken, Spike heard Willow’s voice in his head and his mouth fell open in shock “Where did you learn that word, Red?”
“What word?” Dawn asked excitedly.
“Don’t you have some homework to finish?” Spike snapped at her.
Dawn groaned. “Yeah, but it’s totally boring.”
“Maybe I can help!” Willow suggested. “What’s it about?”
“It’s a paper for English, about Lord Alfred Tennyson.”
“Alfie Tennyson?” Spike laughed. “I knew that bloke. He was a filthy bugger and no one liked him, except two-pence rent boys, if you know what I mean.”
“Huh?” Dawn said.
“Go ahead and do your homework, Dawnie,” Willow said. “I’ll come by and see you again real soon.”
“You have to leave?” Dawn’s face fell.
“How about this weekend?” Willow said. “Tara and I could take you to the movies or something.”
Dawn stood up and hugged Willow. “Okay. Bye, Willow.”
“Bye, Dawnie,” Willow said.
Spike and Willow stood on the street outside his apartment. A vampire and a witch in quiet conversation went unnoticed among the Sunnydale population that frequented the coffee shop and movie theater further down the street. Spike leaned against the brick building and lit a cigarette. “So tell me about this demon, Red.”
“It’s called Enoispep.”
Spike took a long hit of the cigarette and blew the smoke out of his nose. “Never heard of it.”
“It’s a human brought back to life, that kills other humans by touching them,” Willow explained.
Spike shook his head. “It sounds like something some ancient bloke made up to sell books.”
“So you don’t know anything about it?” Willow asked.
“Sorry, Red,” Spike said. “Is this thing around somewhere?”
“We haven’t seen it, only heard of it,” Willow said. “So I guess it might not be real.” She chuckled. “Of course, now that I said that, it’s probably going to go on a huge killing spree.” She checked her watch. “I better go. We’re going on a patrol soon.”
Spike nodded. “But hey, if you see any vamps in long red robes, steer clear. I’ve been hunting those buggers for days, and they’re a brutal bunch.”
“What are they?”
“The Order of Reitor,” Spike explained. “I should finish them off tonight, but you Scoobies stay out of their way. They’re stronger than a typical vampire.”
Willow gave him a worried look. “You sure you’ll be okay?”
Spike’s eyes seemed to glimmer as he smiled. “I’m not a typical vampire.”
Spike pounded on Dawn’s bedroom door again. The hallway was dark, and the light from under her door spilled over his bare feet. He had taken his shirt off, and the muscles of his chest tensed as he restrained himself from simply pulling the door off its hinges.
“Bloody hell, Dawn, what are you doing?” he shouted. It was time for her to go to bed, but she had barricaded herself in her room for the past few hours.
“None of your business!” came back her reply. “Just leave me alone!”
Spike growled through his clenched jaw. “Look, you don’t have to open the door, but turn the bloody light off and go to bed already!”
“You can’t make me do anything!” Dawn’s voice was upset, but strong in its defiance.
“What the bleeding hell is wrong with you, you lunatic!” Spike put his hands to his head and muffled a scream of frustration. When he was fifteen, rebellion meant sneaking out of boarding school late at night and smoking cigarettes in the rugby field. But apparently these days, adolesence was marked by becoming completely insane.
The door clicked open and one of Dawn’s eyes came into view. “If I tell you, will you promise not to yell?”
Spike fought down the urge to put his hand through the wall and forced a smile. “I promise not to yell.”
Dawn let the door swing open and stood in front of Spike in her pajamas. Though had just turned fifteen, she still looked like a little girl, wearing a pink kitten nightshirt, her long hair in lopsided braids she had done herself. But when she looked up at Spike, her eyes seemed older than the Earth. Which, he supposed, they were.
“I don’t want you to go out tonight,” she stated firmly.
“No offense, little bit,” Spike said. “But too bloody bad. This is the way it works. You go to bed, I go kill things.”
“Unless things kill you first!” she spat out, her voice catching on a sob.
“Nothing is going to kill me,” Spike said, as if the mere thought of it was laughable. He gestured to his bare chest. “This is the big bad, remember?”
“You said the Order of whatever in the red robes was really strong,” Dawn said quickly. “And if you die, then I don’t know where I’m gonna go, or what I -”
“Oh, cut it out already,” Spike interrupted. He pulled Dawn’s body against him and she pressed her face into his chest. He was instantly cured of the aggravation she had caused him. Something about her touch; he figured it could heal anything.
“For Christ’s sake, nibblet. When are you going to learn that you’re the only person on this sorry planet that I don’t lie to?”
Dawn turned her face up to look at him. “You were lying to Willow?”
Spike nodded. “The Order of Reitor are just some stupid vamps bumbling around town waiting for me to rip their sorry heads off. But they fancy themselves special, so they all wear this big gold medallions, which I plan to steal and hock, and I didn’t want the little witch getting her hands on my cash.”
Dawn stepped back from Spike’s embrace, her eyes lowered.
“And you better bloody well stop listening out the windows, before I toss you through one.”
Dawn smiled. “You couldn’t. These windows are shatter-proof glass.”
“Yeah? You wanna test that out?”
Spike lifted Dawn slightly off her feet, causing her to giggle and squirm happily. He pulled her into another quick hug before nudging her towards her bed.
“Now go to sleep and I’ll see you in the morning,” Spike said as he walked out of the room. “And don’t worry, nothing bad is going to happen.”
“Now that I’ve said that,“ Spike muttered to himself as he walked out into the night, “Something terrible is going to happen.”
Continued in Part Two: Blood and Baby Powder