All About Spike - Plain Version
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CHAPTER 16 - TO GO DOWN FIGHTING
Late Wednesday Night
He lay face down in the dirt in the open grave. The spell paralyzed him and he was helpless. His mind and soul screamed but his body remained unmoving.
He had betrayed Dawn. He had phoned Wolfram and Hart. Dawn would die under the knife because he had been a bleeding idiot who signed a contract with evil. He had signed in blood and let himself be spellbound. Buffy had taken pity on him, taken him into her house and her arms and now her sister faced death because of him. In a hundred long years he had seldom given in to despair, but now he wept in shame.
Gradually feeling began to return to his body and he was able to move. He clumsily wiped the tears from his face and struggled to his feet. The grave was six feet deep. He had to get out and rescue Dawn. He had to make it right somehow. He reached up and tried to pull himself out of the grave. The handcuffs and the dislocated shoulder made it impossible and, in agony, he collapsed back down to the bottom.
He had all night to figure how to get out. He dug two footholds in the grave's steep side and crawled up again. As his head cleared the top of the grave, he saw Drusilla. The soil gave way and he fell backward.
He lay on his back in the grave, looking up into the darkened face of his former lover. She examined him coldly and four other vampires joined her. She was regal, the Mad Queen, and the minions clustered around her in obsequious obedience.
"Dru, my love."
She pointed to her whitened eye, still slowly recovering from the stab wound. He had stabbed her with a cross, and her beautiful face would probably always bear a scar.
"Kill him," she ordered the minions.
He didn't stand a chance. But he appealed to the hundred years of memories they shared. "Don't slaughter me like an animal, Dru! At least give me a chance to fight. You always loved to see me fight."
She paused and looked down. "Remember Mexico, Spike. Remember the dog pits and the lovely dogfights." She hissed. "They tore each other to pieces." He saw the bitterness in her face. He remembered the Judge had once condemned the two of them, "You two stink of humanity. You share affection and jealousy." When he had stabbed her with his jury-rigged cross, he had killed the last humanity in his dark beauty and only a monster stood before him.
I'm going to die, he realized. It was a surprise how much he wanted to live. He had to save Dawn. He had been accepted by the woman he loved. He had so much to lose. How many poor sods that I killed wanted to live as desperately as I do. Justice was a bitch. At least I'll go out fighting this time; not meek and sniveling like the last time. Somehow he had always known that he would go down fighting.
And buried deep inside was the foolish stubborn optimism that had guided his life for the last 120 years. Perhaps he had one more escape in him. Perhaps if he fought hard, he could somehow get free and rescue Dawn.
Dru nodded to a minion and clapped her hands. The minion jumped into the pit with him . . . Spike sized it up warily. It was probably only a few months from the grave, a stupid fledgling that had attached itself to anyone stronger, anyone who would do the painful job of thinking. It grinned and approached confidant of its strength.
He really shouldn't have a chance against its greater speed and strength. But it was over-confident. He stepped sideways, out of its charge and whirled, slamming the handcuffs into its temple. It reeled and he plunged his thumb into one of its eyes, gouging it out. The monster screamed and slashed with its fangs. Spike reeled back, his arm torn and bleeding.
The pain and smell of blood maddened the creature and it slammed him against the wall of the grave. The side crumbled, burying them both. Spike choked on the dirt and frantically clawed his way out. He emerged before the fledgling and while it was still pinned by dirt, he gouged out the other eye, leaving it blind. The crumbled wall left the grave shallow enough that he was able to scramble out.
He emerged and Drusilla nodded. Her eyes showed recognition that, human or vampire, he was the Spike who fought even when he knew he couldn't win. This was the being who had attacked an entire mob in Prague to rescue her. For a moment, they exchanged a last glance, recognizing the century of love and pain that bound them.
Dru nodded at two of her minions and they closed in.
Of course it was a hopeless fight. He didn't stand a chance against two. They toyed with him, slashing and tearing at him with their fangs. When he would close in on one, the other would pry him loose. But he got in some blows. They were both bleeding and one had broken teeth where Spike had smashed it in the mouth with his handcuffs.
Nothing was fatal. The pain drove him mad and the lose of blood weakened him. Finally they held him up between them and Dru approached. "Do you want it?"
He lifted his torn and blood streaked face and stared deep into Dru's demon eyes. "Never." he breathed.
"I'll let you die, Spike." Her voice was low and dangerous. "And I won't turn you. My minions will. You'll wake up alone, hungry and stupid. Mommy won't be there to feed you and Daddy won't teach you how to think. You'll have eternity to suffer." Her three minions closed in on him.
They took turns draining him. His last conscious sensation was one of them forcing blood into his mouth and he knew he was damned.
* * *
The phone rang. Willow glance worriedly at her friend. Buffy had not retreated into her self as she had when Glory had taken Dawn, but her face was pale and she had not slept. She gazed dully at the phone and Willow had to answer it for her.
"Summer's residence. Willow speaking."
It was Angel. "Tell Buffy that we have both Park and Stanhope located. The ceremony will probably be tonight. Get here before dark."
Willow looked across the room at Tara. Her lover returned the look. They had lost so much time and had only returned fully to each other last night. They both looked across the room at Buffy. "We'll be there," Willow promised.
* * *
He woke up. Groggily Spike tried to breathe and inhaled dirt. He choked and opened his eyes to total darkness. He tried to scream and the dirt crumbled into his mouth, clogging it. Not for him a coffin or even a simple cloth over the face. He had been thrown in the hole and buried like rubbish.
He flailed in panic. Hunger, fear and confusion filled him and he could hardly move in the heavy dirt. He was strangling on the dirt and the pain in his guts ripped him apart. He clawed frantically.
Eternity passed before his hand emerged in the air. Desperately he dragged himself out of his grave, shaking with panic. He stared at the dark in confusion. Where was he? Who was he?
"Vampire." He turned and something was thrown at him. He grabbed it and went mad with the smell of blood. He bit deep and the sweet liquid coursed down his throat, bringing the first relief from hunger, the first sanity back to his clouded mind.
Then the food turned its frightened brown eyes at him and began to pray.
Startled Spike let it go and it reeled away, collapsing into the dirt.
The hunger raged through his body, but his mind was beginning to clear. His food was human. He focused, seeing for the first time a terrified migrant worker, dressed in shabby clothes. The man was bleeding heavily, muttering something.
He stared. The man was food, skin stretched over rich pulsing blood. He could smell it and hear the flutter of the man's frightened heart. The air was rich with the odor of fear. With a roar, Spike reached for the man, a wolf seizing a sheep, a cat clawing a mouse.
As he raised the man to his mouth, he recognized the muttering. It was Spanish, "Hail Mary, full of grace." Prayer. Confused he let the man go again and screamed his agony and bewilderment into the night.
"Kill him. You need the food."
He turned and saw the witch. He didn't know who she was, but hate filled him and he charged at her. One of several men guarding her reached out with a cross and Spike reeled back, his hand burning. He bared his fangs at her and lunged again, tears of frustration in his eyes and again they beat him off with crosses and holy water.
He turned to run off into the dark, away from the pain and confusion. "Stay." His feet couldn't move.
The witch beckoned and the bleeding man rose to his feet and stumbled back to the vampire. The smell of blood was maddening, but Spike glared at the witch and closed his mouth, defiant. Of all the sensations filling his confused brain, hate was the greatest.
She stared at him clinically. Finally she casually said, "Be still." He felt his body freeze.
"Put him in the van. He'll need more blood to think clearly."
Spike found himself deposited in the van and a small tense man crawled in the back with him. Spike closed his eyes. But closing his eyes didn't block the world out. He could smell. The odors of the van, the sweat of the nervous man beside him, the earth on his body and clothes and sweet and faint in the background, the odor of a young girl.
Pictures of her seeped into his mind. Long gleaming hair, wide innocent eyes, the warm texture of her arms around his neck as she impulsively hugged him, her sweet giggle and a thousand other pictures. Her face, rigid with terror as he was thrown off the tower, leaving her alone with Doc and his knife . . . He groaned, not understanding who he was seeing, why he was having these memories.
The man beside him misunderstood the groan. "Stay calm. I'll give you blood." As the van started, he took a bag of blood out of an ice chest, cut a hole in it and inserted a straw. He shoved it into Spike's mouth. The vampire sucked and drank the deep, rich liquid. The pleasure was so intense it was almost painful. The van was quiet as the man fed the hungry fledgling.
He could think more clearly as the pain in his gut subsided. Suddenly he had a strange clear picture of doing this before, of sucking blood through a straw. Only he had been chained in a bathtub. He had been sucking blood through a straw from a novelty mug. The blonde holding the mug was mocking him, laughter in her hazel eyes. "You want something nicer? A look at my.. poor neck? All bare and tender and exposed.. all that blood just .. pumping away.. " He had licked his lips desperately, torn by lust and hunger. "Giles, make her stop!"
"Buffy." The man's eyes widened as the vampire spoke. But Spike didn't see him. Images of Buffy were flashing through his mind. He desperately grasped for them, like a man drowning in darkness, clinging to a last flickering light. The memories that tumbled through his head were so vivid he could taste them. He closed his eyes and ran his fingers through his hair as over a century of memories began to return.
The bag of blood fell and he found himself with a straw dangling from his lips. The small man who had been feeding him was up at the front of the storage space, hammering against the wall that separated them from the front of the van.
"Help! Let me out! He's moving! He's going to eat me."
Spike looked at the small man with amusement. He strode to the front area, relishing the return of his strength, reveling in his sharper predatory senses. He lifted the man up with one hand. It was amusing to listen to the man gibber and squeak. I'm free, Spike thought. I'm finally free of that bloody chip. I can be the Big Bad!
And all I had to pay is Dawn's life and Buffy's love.
He put the man down. Looking at the man's terrified expression sickened him. The man knew that he had been set up as food for the evil blood-sucking fiend. I'm not that predictable, Spike thought bitterly. If I'm going to be a killer again, I'll choose my own soddin' prey, not have the witch select it for me.
"Bring me another bag of blood." The frightened man skittered over to the ice chest and brought Spike another bag. Spike regarded the man sourly. He definitely looked edible and the demon within wanted to tear his throat out.
"I am going to ask you some questions and if you want to live, you'll answer. And remember," Spike inhaled deeply. "I can smell when you're lying."
The man nodded fearfully.
"What's your name?"
"Don. Don Ferris."
Spike winced at the name. It sounded like Dawn and his mind filled with the image of the terrified child as the bastards had torn her blouse. She had been so brave when they had been in the back of the van together, overcoming her fear to concentrate on untying him and helping him plan an escape. He shook his head in bewilderment. The chip was gone. He shouldn't be feeling guilty. He shouldn't care about a human child.
"Well, Ferris, where are we going?"
"I don't know." The little man cowered. "I really don't. I'm just following orders. Mrs. Stanhope needs to perform a ceremony and we were hired to bring you there. But I don't know where the ceremony is supposed to happen."
"Ceremony?" For the first time, Spike felt a stirring of hope. "What day is today?"
"Friday, the 22nd.
Spike's eye's widened. It was the night of the new moon. He had risen from his grave after only two days. Tonight would be the night that they would sacrifice the Key and apparently the ceremony hadn't happened yet. Dawn was still alive!
Continued in CHAPTER 17 - VAMPIRE
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