All About Spike - Plain Version
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Chapter: 1 2 3 4
Journeys Part Three: Revelations (Draft)
Sequel to Journeys Part Two: Awakenings; part of Journeys Series
Thank you so
much to all the wonderful people who’ve been reading this over the last two
years. I can’t tell you how sorry I am that it’s been so long since I updated,
and I hope you’re not too disappointed now that I have, because this isn’t a
finished chapter – it’s a draft.
I waited a long time before
deciding to do this, and it was a very difficult decision. I haven’t written
anything for months, and don’t see that changing in the near future. Sending
the draft version of the rest of Journeys out feels a bit like sending children
to school naked must feel. It’s awful, and embarrassing, but if you don’t, the
teacher and the kid’s friends wonder if he’s, like, dead or something, and
they’re happy to see him even if he is naked! (Does that only make sense to
Aside from the naked children
analogy, for me the deciding factor in choosing to send this out was this; If I
was given the chance to read a draft version of Lynn’s long unfinished ‘Secrets
and Lies’ (also known as the ‘Chains Series’), would I take it? Fellow fans,
you could not tear me away!
Whether you choose to read
the story in this state is up to you. If you do, please keep in mind that this
is a draft.
There are a lot of unfinished and missing scenes, nothing is polished, and there
are inconsistencies galore. There are plot points that have not been totally
worked out, some that will make no sense, and scenes that will contradict
others and make you go ‘Huh???’ Not all of my plot notes are included here, so
lots of stuff will downright confuse you. You’ll find some notes to myself are
interspersed, so reading the Journeys draft will probably also give you some
insight into how my brain works, something I’m sure you’ll all be endlessly
fascinated by! (snort)
I’ll be releasing the
approximately 500 pages of the draft over the next few weeks.
Does this mean I’ll never
actually finish the story in polished form? Honestly, I don’t know. I do know
that I devoted my entire life to it for more than two years, and it would break
my heart to leave it in this incomplete state.
Personal news: I finally
became a grandmother! My granddaughter was born last week, and I am enjoying
her immensely. Between cuddling her and helping to plan the weddings of two of
my children (#2 Son and The Daughter), I am happily very busy!
September 15, 2004
This chapter is for Mezz and
AllyV who didn’t ask me one single time at WriterCon when they would see the
next chapter. Not. Once.
Part Three: Revelations
You’ve never looked into my eyes, but
don’t you want to know –
What the dark, and the wild and the different know?
(((Giles would be looking at angel even
more differently now that he’d seen how Spike can behave without a soul.
Also – some talk of Spike's obsessions
turning into a truer love. And his learning to relax. Guard yes, but not
He was there when they walked in.
He hadn’t sensed him, and, later, Angel
would put the oversight down to the fact that they were all covered in seriously
large amounts of demon slime, and that this particular slime reeked of rotting
eggs. His nose was full of the sulfuric scent, which, he would assure himself,
was powerful enough to throw all his instincts off.
He was tired, too. They’d hardly slept
since they’d given in to Cordelia’s insistent demands that they destroy the
nest of LY!!—Drex!! El demons that had been wrecking unprovoked and, as Cordy
put it, totally uncalled for, not to mention possibly sacrilegious to the
fashion gods, havoc on Rodeo Drive. They’d tried to avoid the job by arguing
that the usually deadly LY!!—Drex!! El demons hadn’t actually killed anyone yet, but Cordy had crossed
her arms, tapped her foot, glared, and reminded them that the demons had, in
fact, harmed people as they looted
the exclusive shops, and that that should be enough to merit their involvement.
It had taken them more than two days,
but they’d located the nest and wiped it out. Despite being covered in the lime
green slime, they were all feeling satisfied and victorious. Cordelia had taken
a moment out of the gushing she was doing over some of the ‘spoils’ she had
claimed from the nest to complain about her ruined shoes, and the increasingly
gregarious Fred was teasing Gunn about the sticky green mess covering his head.
As soon as he caught sight of the
distinctive blond head, Angel stopped dead, his good mood gone. How dare he?
How dare he come here? Invade his home? The initial outrage was quickly
followed by wondering exactly what trouble the other vampire was about to stir
up. Spike and trouble, in his experience, nearly always went hand-in-hand.
He was leaning casually against the
front desk with a small duffle bag at his feet. Dressed in his usual black, but
without his trophy duster, he looked thin and almost elegant, smoke from his
burning cigarette swirling about his head. His blue eyes were running over them
with a mixture of amusement and contempt, an expression that, like trouble,
Angel usually associated with Spike.
Cordelia’s gasp and Angel’s deadly expression
had Fred and Gunn looking at the blond curiously.
The icy rage in Angel’s voice brought
Gunn’s crossbow up. He leveled it at the intruder’s heart; a move that probably
would have been more threatening had the weapon been loaded. And if Gunn’s head
wasn’t coated in green goo.
Spike eyed the weapon with derision,
before shifting his eyes to Angel. He smirked.
“Is that any way to greet family?”
“You are not my family.”
“’s that right?”
Spike’s derision was in his voice now,
and his expression stated clearly that they both knew differently. Angel felt
his anger go up a couple of notches. Damn him!
“Leave now and I won’t kill you.”
Cordelia turned to Angel. “Why are you
giving him a choice? Don’t you remember what happened the last time he was
here? Just kill him!”
Neither vampire looked her way. Their
eyes were steady on one another. Angel took a step closer to Spike.
“I mean it, boy. You’re not wanted
“Too bad then, innit? Because here,” he
gestured, “I am.”
Over the years, the younger vampire had
honed the skill of driving his grandsire quickly over the edge, and apparently
absence hadn’t lessened his prowess. Angel growled, vamping out, and advanced
on the blond. He grabbed his arm and turned, throwing him toward the door.
Fred, Gunn and Cordelia scurried out of the way. Spike smashed into the wall
near the door, the impact sending a web of cracks through the plaster.
To Angel’s surprise, Spike didn’t launch
himself back at him. Instead, he stayed where he was, turning to lean back
against the wall. His body pivoted just enough to allow him to watch Angel’s
approach. His lips curled into a sneer, and his expression was an odd mixture
of anticipation, contempt, and something else; something Angel couldn’t read.
“Still here?” Angel snarled, advancing
slowly. “You want me to throw you through
the door? It’ll be a pleasure, boy, believe me.”
Angel reached for him, planning to make
good on his words, when Spike spoke again. Softly; his words going no further
than Angel’s ears.
“Blood of Aurelius. Sanctuary is
Angel froze, his eyes widening.
“You heard me.” Spike's lip curled
again. “Sire.” The last word was tacked on in a contemptuous drawl.
“How dare you?”
Spike’s expression smoothed over to
blankness, and he seemed to slump down against the wall as he muttered quietly,
“’s not hard at all, Angelus. Not hard at all.”
“How long?” The words fell between them like piercing spears of
Spike straightened, shrugged a little,
and his face took on a familiar cockiness that served to add fuel to the fires
of rage burning through Angel.
“Not long. A few weeks, a month or so.
Just a quiet room, and no visits from any of you lot. I’ll stay out of your
“You’d better. I don’t want to see you
or hear you or even know you’re here. Do you understand?”
Spike inclined his head.
“Cordy,” Angel kept his eyes on Spike as
he spoke. “Find him a room. As far away from mine as possible.” He ran his dark
eyes over the blond. “Make sure it has lots of morning sun.”
“I will not give him a room!”
“Give him a fucking room!”
Angel swung away, ignoring Cordelia’s
shocked sputtering and the confusion and questions on the faces of the others.
Without another word, he went into his office and slammed the door.
Spike eyed the closed office door before
shrugging. “Family,” he snorted. “Ya gotta love ’em.”
“Why are you here?” Cordelia demanded.
It was clear she felt it was her duty to ask the questions her boss had failed
to ask. Not that he planned to give her any answers.
“None. Of. Your. Business.” He paused.
Gunn stepped forward. “I can make it
“’s not yours either, mate.” Spike
dismissed him, his eyes going back to Cordelia, as he shouldered his bag. “Just
give me a key, and I’ll be on my way. You won’t even know I’m here.”
“That’s so not possible. You’ve played
too big a part in some wish-I-could-forget-them moments in my life.”
Spike arranged his face into a smirk.
“Left an impression, did I? Good to know.”
Spike almost sighed with relief when the
bint actually chose a key.
“I’ll take him up,” Gunn volunteered,
glancing between him, the bitch and Angelus’ office. But Cordelia refused.
“No. I have a few things I want to say
to this psycho blood boy.”
She turned and led the way out of the
lobby. Spike followed.
“I hate you, you know,” she began.
“Yeah? It’s mutual.” Actually, he’d
never given Harris’ former chippy enough thought to hate her, but with every
word that came out of her mouth as they climbed the stairs, the sentiment
He tried to blank out his mind as
Cordelia went into a lengthy tirade of verbal abuse while he followed her to
the room she’d chosen. She took the stairs slowly. Flight after endless flight.
God, couldn’t she just shut her bleedin’ hole? he wondered. Her tone was
grating on his exhausted nerves, threatening to make him do something he’d
regret. Well, maybe not regret
exactly… Spike figured that anyone who could actually stomach eating her would
be doin’ the world a favor.
The bleedin’ Christmas lights he’d been
forced into seeing at every turn for three days now, flashing their gaudy and
generally revolting words of peace and joy, and the unending sound of carols
being played on every radio station, and here in L.A, even on the streets, had
only served to make the last few endlessly long days even longer. His head was
throbbing, almost as if the chip had fired earlier. It bloody well felt like
the familiar aftereffect headache anyway. Which it wasn’t. He hadn’t tried to
bite anyone. But, if he heard ‘The First Noel’ one more time, all bets were
God, he was tired. So damned tired. The
tension inside him built with every step they took, and every word out of the
yapping bitch’s mouth.
Cordelia continued to bang on. Blah,
blah, blah, Angel. Blah, blah, blah, hurting. Blah, blah, blah, Buffy. At the
mention of h- the Slayer’s name, Spike exploded.
“Shut your gob, you bloody cow,” he
grated, and backhanded Cordelia viciously across her mouth.
The chip fired, and his head exploded
with renewed pain.
Spike clutched his head in agony, and
staggered, almost falling to his knees.
The chip worked. The fucking thing still
What the hell was going on? Was it
shorting? Decaying in his brain and working when it bloody well felt like it?
His mind was racing, and a terrible fear
seared through him, finding its way through the excruciating pain. What if it
was her? What if heaven had
changed her, or something had gone wrong with Red’s spell, and she’d come back
Dear god, don’t let it be that. Let it
be the chip, not her. Never her. If
she was no longer human…
Couldn’t bear to see what that knowledge
would do to her if she ever gained it.
Cordelia got up, her hand clutched to
her bleeding mouth.
“What the hell was that for? God, why am
I asking? I just called you a psycho, didn’t I? Well, you know what? I’m not
the same little girl I was in Sunnydale. I know how to fight back now.”
Spike glanced at the stake in her hand
and curled his lip. Again. Damned if he was going to reveal the fact that he
felt like a small bomb had just exploded inside his skull.
“Much as I’d like to take you on, I
think you’d best discuss dusting me with Angelus before you do anything he’ll
have to kill you for.”
“My god, you’re a completely insane psycho! Angel would give me a huge
“Why don’t you give me the key and trot
off and have a little chat with him about that, ducks?”
“You hit me! You can’t think he’ll
actually let you stay here now?”
Spike didn’t much care, but he still
managed to snatch the key out of Cordelia’s hand before she stormed off. If he
had to break into a room, he wouldn’t be able to lock the sodding door, and
that would probably lead to the bitch coming and going as she pleased. He
gripped the key tightly for a moment, leaning against the wall as he rode out
the worst of the pain.
He’d found out part of what he needed to
know. The sodding chip still worked. Sometimes. Maybe. He had a hundred
questions about that, and not a bloody clue how to find the answers.
His head hurt like hell, but the pain would
recede, and be forgotten. The satisfaction of smashing his hand across that
bint’s yapping mouth, though, could well last for years.
“Are you crazy? He can’t stay here!”
“I can’t ask him to leave, Cordy.”
“Sure you can. All you have to do is
open your mouth and let the words ‘Get the hell out of my hotel’ come out.”
She was furious with him. Why had he
given that madman a room? And why, even though his eyes kept straying to the
blood on her lip, and he looked angrier than she felt, which was saying
something, was he refusing to explain himself?
Angel shook his head. “Spike stays,
Cordy. Don’t ask me again to kick him out. Believe me, I don’t want him here
either, and I’m sorry he hit you, but it makes no difference. Just stay away
“Have you lost your mind?” she demanded.
Her eyebrows rose. “Again?”
Angel walked over to her and wrapped his
hands around her upper arms. Cordy started to relent, expecting him to
apologize to her. Instead he lifted her, set her outside the door of his office,
and shut the door firmly in her face.
She wanted to scream when she heard the
click of the lock.
dropped his bag onto the floor of the depressingly average hotel room. An
almost crippling pain was still shooting through his head, and he felt twinges
of the nausea that sometimes accompanied the courtesy-of-the-sodding-Initiative
lit a cigarette, visually explored the room until he spotted an ashtray and
swept it up as he went to the window. Christmas lights were flashing on the
streets below. With a low growl, he pulled the curtains closed to shut them out
and took a deep drag on his fag.
have thought his bleedin’ sorry excuse for a grandsire could have come through
– once. Pillock.
a little, Spike felt his shoulders hit the wall behind him, and his body began
sliding down, sliding, slowly, as if his legs could no longer support him. With
a little jolt, his bum hit the floor, and he stopped moving. His eyes, blank
and unfocused, stared sightlessly into the dark of the room.
to light another cigarette, or to smoke one or crush one out, he didn’t do much
else in the way of moving for nearly forty-eight hours.
put the lid on the last bowl of leftovers and put it into the refrigerator.
Since no one had actually taken a single bite of any of the dishes, they were
technically probably not leftovers. They were, like, parts of a delayed meal,
or something. Provided either she or Dawn ate some of them later. If not,
they’d probably turn out to be garbage.
was Christmas day.
weren’t any boughs of holly, and she sure as hell didn’t feel jolly. There
weren’t even any halls to deck,
providing she’d been in the mood. Well, er, no tree, anyway. She and Spike had
planned to get one the night after they’d gone to see the Lord of the Rings.
That plan had gone to hell, and since then, her mood hadn’t been anywhere near
the kind of mood that could have gone through the family Christmas decorations
for the first time since her mother’s death. She didn’t think she could bear
any ghosts of Christmases past right now.
had put up Dawn's stocking, and laid the gifts she’d gotten her on the hearth.
They were still there, untouched. Dawn hadn’t spoken to her since the day after
the – since the day after.
Buffy closed her eyes and gripped the
handle of the refrigerator, squeezing, as she relived the day after
confrontation with her sister. She’d been dreading it, knowing it was going to
be hard. She’d known Dawn was probably upset. Okay, not probably, was.
The whole flying at her with her fingernails curled into claws and her words ‘I
friggin’ hate you’, had made that pretty clear. The sobbing she’d been able to
hear behind her sister’s locked door for the rest of the night had driven the
Buffy is angry at everyone. She was mad
at Dawn and Spike and Xander. She was upset with Giles for no reason whatever
that she could think of, and most of all, she was angry with herself.
Buffy knew there was nothing she could
do to change things. The chip didn’t work. Spike’s leash was broken beyond
repair, and she could never trust him anywhere near Dawn again.
She had been so sure, so sure he had
changed. But when she’d looked into his eyes when the chip hadn’t fired; when
she’d seen the joy there… It had shocked her; terrified her. She’d had the
horrible, and horribly familiar, fear that she was going to have to dust him.
But even so, she hadn’t been prepared
for the strength of Dawn’s fury, and the cold depth of her anger.
Dawn had been waiting for her when she
had to do it, didn’t you?” Dawn began. She’d been leaning against the wall near
the base of the stairs, with her arms crossed. Waiting. She straightened as she
spoke.Anya, who’d been sitting with her, had risen and slipped silently out of
the house, her face uncertain and confused.
took a deep breath. She’d known this confrontation was coming, but that didn’t
mean she was ready for it.
now, at Christmas time. Do you think I haven’t had enough traumas in my life
this last year? You just wanted to make it complete by kicking my best friend
out right before the holidays, right?
Merry Christmas, Dawn!”
Dawn. I know you care about Spike…”
you don’t know. You weren’t here. You were busy being dead, and he was busy
taking care of me. You left me. You and
mom both left me. But Spike didn’t. He stayed. And every single day he was
there for me. And now he’s…” Dawn swallowed convulsively. “I went to see him
this morning –”
did what?” Buffy was horrified. Hadn’t she made it clear? No, of course she
hadn’t, she reminded herself. She hadn’t told Dawn anything last night. Hadn’t
told her that Spike's chip wasn’t working. “You can’t go near him, Dawn. Not
he was like a whole different person.” Dawn ignored her sister’s interruption.
“Because of you. Because you are
such a bloody bitch. Can’t you ever just be nice to people? Ever?
for awhile I actually thought you’d changed. Really changed.” She shook her
head in a gesture of self-disgust, rolling her eyes heavenward. “I was so stupid. Why do I keep hoping? I should
have known…” She looked back at her sister. “Didn’t take you all that long to
get back to your old self, did it? The biggest bitch on the planet! And you’re
gonna do what you always do, aren’t you? Make sure no one around you enjoys
their life too much…”
an expert at it, you know. It’s certainly working on me and Spike. Why don’t
you spread your holiday cheer to Giles tomorrow? How about Tara – oh, no wait,
you can’t! She’s out of town. I guess you’ll have to wait ‘til she’s back. Then
you can ruin her life, too!”
grabbed at Dawn’s arm as her sister whirled to run up the stairs. Dawn’s whole
body jerked at the force of the grip, and she cried out in pain.
is – Spike is dangerous, Dawn. He can hurt you, and he will. Xander warned me,
tried to remind me…” She saw again the relief and joy that had been in Spike’s
eyes when the chip hadn’t fired. The memory helped to firm her wavering voice.
“Without a soul… Spike – we can’t trust him. We have to…”
brought her clenched fist down on Buffy’s forearm, trying to break her grip.
“Take your hand off of me,” she demanded furiously. Her eyes were swimming with
tears and Buffy knew her sister was determined not to let them fall in her
presence. She glared at her until Buffy reluctantly released her arm. “You
already threw me into a wall the other night. Don’t you ever, ever, use your ‘I save the world Slayer
strength’ on me again. Do you hear me? And you don’t have to worry about me
spending time with Spike. Not anymore. He left.”
Buffy could feel the reaction to those words spread through her body, leaving
ice in its wake. She felt like she couldn’t breathe. “What?”
gone. Because of you.”
possible, Dawn’s glare intensified, and Buffy could read nothing but accusation
and anger and – and hatred there.
you’re wrong, you know. Spike loves me. He would never hurt me. Ever. Even without your
Buffy met those vivid blue eyes. She had
known Dawn would be angry, but she was still shocked by the intensity of her
reaction. Did Dawn really think she had left her? That their mom had as well?
She needed to talk to her about that. Tell her... But even more than that, she
was concerned about something else – something she could see in the depths of
her sister’s eyes. Something she hadn’t expected, and didn’t understand. She
watched Dawn race up the stairs.
After the sound of the slamming bedroom
door made its way down to her, Buffy sighed and buried her face in her hands.
She pushed them up through her hair and clutched her head tightly.
Now what? She wondered. She could
understand Dawn’s anger and hurt. She could even understand if Dawn felt
betrayed by her death, as if she had willingly left her. In a way, she supposed
she had. And she also understood that Dawn would be angered by her warning
about Spike. She knew they had become very close while she’d been – gone.
But, in god’s name, why would her sister
look at her with that lurking in the depths of her eyes – that
terrible overwhelming fear?
brief pause. “Spike.”
didn’t beat around the bush. “Did the Slayer tell you?”
the chip not working? Yes.”
she okay? Is Dawn?”
is angry and worried. And, as far as I know, Dawn isn’t talking to her.”
gave a little snort. “I – I need your help.”
must ask you, Spike. Have you fed?”
give me your word?”
I haven’t fed. Just the usual revolting pig swill.” Spike paused; then
continued quietly. “Do you accept my word? Have I – have I –” He couldn’t force
out the words.
voice was steady. “Earned that?” he finished for him. Giles barely paused.
long silence stretched over the phone wires.
you,” Spike said at last. He didn’t even attempt to conceal the emotion in his
voice. “Can you come to L.A.?”
Spike gave another little snort, this one laced with derisive amusement at his
own impatience. He was a bit surprised when Giles didn’t hesitate.
shall we meet?”
can think that he hasn’t seen any sign of Spike since he showed up – and it
will have been a few days. Two in spikes room, Angel POV:
and Cordelia were sitting near the registration desk, laughing together, when
Giles came into the lobby. They looked up, their expressions registering their
surprise as they recognized him.
Cordelia’s wide smile made her pleasure plain. “I haven’t seen you in – well,
From the looks of remembered pain on everyone’s faces, Angel knew he wasn’t the
only one finishing her sentence silently.
spoke first, easing the awkward moment. “Hello, Cordelia. You’re well, I hope?”
Cordy relaxed, sending a grateful smile to the Watcher. “You’re looking pretty
dapper yourself,” she added, and Angel watched her run her eyes ran over the
long olive coat, the blue t-shirt and the worn jeans the Englishman wore. “Much
less tweedy. It suits you.”
reaction was different. He rose slowly to his feet, his body was tightening in
anticipation of bad news. Something unsuited to a phone call. The last time
that had happened, when Willow had… Angel couldn’t think of any other reason
Giles would come to his hotel. They’d kept in touch, haphazardly at least, for
the first year or so after he’d left Sunnydale, but not much since. And he had
no idea how much Wes kept in contact with his former co-worker.
eyes darted between the two men, and her warm tone faltered. “Is – everything
thank you, Cordelia.” He nodded at Angel. “Hello, Angel.” Giles' voice was
calm, but decidedly cool.
Angel’s voice was cautious.
here to see Spike,” the Watcher told them.
knew it!” Cordelia exclaimed. “He did something, didn’t he?” She glared at
Angel. “I told you he was hiding from someone. Her eyes went back to Giles.
“You’ve been hunting him down, right? How did you find out he was here?”
– ? Oh.” Cordelia frowned. “And, um, why?”
his business, I imagine. Is he here?”
Angel replied. “He’s staying here, anyway. I’m not sure if he’s in his room or
not.” He was. Even though he hadn’t seen any sign of him since his arrival,
Angel always knew precisely when Spike left the hotel and when he returned. He
could feel him. “533.”
expecting me.” Giles inclined his head toward the stairs. “This way?”
an elevator,” Angel offered, wondering distractedly if Wes and Gunn had managed
to repair it after the last damage it had incurred. He’d almost never used it
Giles was already on his way up the stairs. “This is fine. The exercise will do
me good. Thank you.”
and Cordelia stared after him.
you think he’s gone completely wacko?” Cordelia asked, tipping her head to the
doubted it. But he was beginning to feel like he might.
on POV – one or two?))
room was relatively small, and aside from the overflowing ashtray, almost
militarily neat. The bed looked untouched.
himself was not so undisturbed. His hair, usually so ruthlessly smoothed back,
was wildly disarrayed. Giles blinked in surprise at the mass of wild curls.
Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knew he’d seen Spike’s hair in this state
before, or near enough as not to matter, but it still struck him as odd,
and – unexpected.
can think about how b isn't talking to anyone. she seemed furious, as if she
was angry at the world. Dawn wasn't speaking to her, Christmas had been a nightmare
during which Xander and Anya had tried to make it a celebration
is surprised that Spike took off so fast, since tenacity seems to be one of his
main personality traits, but puts it down to depression.))))
Slayer okay? Dawn?”
different than they were this morning, to my knowledge,” Giles told him, coming
into the room. “How about you?”
snorted. “Been better, mate.” He led the way to the requisite small round table
flanked by two uncomfortable chairs that sat in front of the window. Spike
emptied the ashtray into the wastebasket, and took the second chair, bringing
the ashtray with him. The air was already blue with remnants of smoke, but he
lit up again, anyway. Giles tried not to cough. Or reach for the pack.
Resorting to smoking when he’d learned of Buffy's resurrection had been one
thing. Lighting up with the regularity of a strobe light while getting
completely pissed was quite another. He’d tried to put his lapses down to
Spike’s unruly influence. He was determined that he was not going to pick up
the habit he’d shed along with his Ripper persona.
need to know what’s happening with the chip,” Spike said bluntly.
didn’t fire when you hit Buffy. It seems clear that it has malfunctioned.”
think it has, Watcher.” Spike raised his eyes to meet those of the other man.
“But I don’t know.”
sat opposite Spike. His hands were folded and hanging loosely between his
knees, and his body was leaning slightly toward the vampire.
you attempt to feed?” He asked, and there was a wealth of disappointment in his
voice, a note approaching betrayal.
But I hit that bitch – Angelus’ sidekick.”
– you mean Cordelia?” Giles was shocked.
The night I got here. She was yammering on and on, and she said something about
the Slayer and brood boy, an’ I –” His hands moved expressively. “Know I
shouldn’t have. But I don’t regret it. So, if you wanna leave now...”
the chip fired?” Giles asked instead, and could almost see the wave of relief that
went through Spike at his lack of outrage.
yeah, full on. But I found out something else, too. Something worse.”
B—Slayer wannabe is part demon.”
His shock was even greater this time.
guess. That twittery one told me. Ran into her in the kitchen the other night.
Third night I was here, I think it was. I popped in to nick some of the
grandsire’s blood, and she told me where I could get my own. Don’t even
remember how it came into the conversation.”
um, Fred, I think her name is. New addition to the camp of champs.”
Cordelia is still part human?”
would KNOW Fred was human. He didn’t realize it about cordy cause he was so
upset and exhausted.) finding out that cordy is part demon has really confused
Spike and he doesn’t know what to do about it. He’s tempted to go out, take on
some demons, see if the chip has somehow reversed itself and now only works on
demons and that he can kill humans again, but he decides he shouldn’t pick a fight
with demons if it turns out he can’;t fight them. Besides, this was Angelus’
town. And what if brood boy actually rescued him? That would be intolerable.
Time to call Giles, see if he can help him get some answers.)))))
was the impression I got, but I dunno for sure. Didn’t quite know how to ask.
Gave a minute of thought to askin’ Fred if she was human herself, but I was
pretty sure she’d object if she said ‘yes’ only to have me smack her upside the
head to see whether or not my brain would explode.”
need to find that out,” he paused, his eyes meeting Spike’s. “Do you want to
men looked at each other seriously before they both broke into reluctant
smiles. It eased a lot of the tension in the room.
there's a question. Once upon a time, Watcher..."
could almost see scenes of their past flashing through Spike's mind. No doubt
the time the vampire had spent chained in his bathtub figured prominently in
somehow not as appealing now,” Spike went on.
I think you’d better. Like you, I don’t think we’ll run into a lot a
stood, facing each other, and Giles braced himself.
so you know, Watcher, I’m not feeling even a twinge of anticipation. It’s
relaxed slightly, and Spike chose that moment to strike. His fist connected
with Giles’ jaw, and they both howled with pain.
one hundred percent human, right?” Spike asked, clutching his head.
sod it all. That bloody well hurt.”
exactly tickle for me either, you know.” He paused. “Can’t hold back much,” he
explained. “Damn thing seems to have some understanding of intent.”
were holding back?” Giles groaned, cupping his jaw. Already, it was beginning
to swell. He ran his tongue along his teeth to make sure they all seemed
secure. They did.
yeah,” Spike admitted. He went to a small cooler sitting on the nightstand. He
pulled out a jar of blood, and set it aside, taking out an ice pack instead,
which he applied to his head. “Not a lot, mind you,” he said, eyeing the
Watcher, and Giles could plainly see that the lie was being offered in an
effort to make him feel better. Spike removed a second ice pack and held it
the question made Giles think of Chevy Chase saying, “Lip balm?” in some
foolish comedy Xander had talked him in to watching. But he accepted it
gratefully, and after Spike had replaced the blood in the cooler, the men sat
down again, each holding a flexible ice bag to their respective injuries.
need to find someone who can help us test the chip out thoroughly,” Giles
commented after a few minutes of nursing his jaw. He was thankful to hear that
his voice hadn’t taken on some odd inflection or thickness from the punch. Holding
back, he thought in disgust. He’d damn well watched Spike work out often
enough, hadn’t he? He should be bloody grateful he was alive. “I have a couple of contacts. I can make some calls.”
I guess, “Spike agreed. He hesitated. “What about B—the Slayer?”
looked up, and Spike went on quickly. “What if something went wrong with Red’s
spell? If it’s her? If she’s not completely human anymore?”
kill her, you know.” Spike got up and began pacing. “She’s coming back to
herself, but she’s still fragile right now. I don’t think she can take one more
thing. And this? It’s gotta be one of her worst nightmares. Almost like –
almost like getting turned.” His voice broke a little.
took pity on him. “Let’s see if we can’t make sure the chip isn’t shorting out
at all first. Maybe some little electrical connection just didn’t – connect –
when you hit her.” For the most part, electronics were a mystery to Giles. He
wasn’t even sure if ‘electronics’ was the right word in this instance. After all,
the chip wasn’t plugged in to anything, was it? “Before we worry about any
other consequences, let’s get the chip evaluated thoroughly.”
given this a lot of thought, Rupert,” Spike began. Then he paused, his mouth
twisting in self derisive amusement. “Haven’t thought of another bloody thing
since I got here.” He went to the window, drawing back the curtain to look out
over the flashing holiday lights decorating the endless expanse of city. “I –
Dawn. I love her, Rupert, an’ I’m not gonna let her down. Not gonna leave her
like she feels a lot of others have.” His hand clenched tightly into the folds
of the curtain, crushing the fabric hard. Slowly his fist relaxed. “When the
chip didn’t fire, I thought maybe it was my chance… Prove to the Slayer that I
could…” He paused, swallowed. “It doesn’t matter,” he went on. “I know the
Slayer will never trust me anywhere near her kid sis without a working chip in
my head.” His fist clenched again. This time it took him a little longer to
force it to relax. “If it’s not working, I -- I want a new one put in.”
stared at his rigid back in shock.
turned and faced him.
you arrange that?”
wasn’t the chip. The doctors Giles had arranged to meet with did extensive
testing, and found it to be fully functional. The chance of it just randomly
not working on Buffy were extremely slim. Impossible, the doctors had said, but
Giles knew enough to know that nothing was ever truly impossible.
explanation of who the doctor’s were? Needed?)))))
left the logical conclusion that the problem lay with Buffy. It also left Giles
wondering if Spike would have gone through with his stated wish to have a
working chip implanted if the current one proved faulty. When he’d asked him,
Spike had just shrugged. He would never know now. Perhaps Spike would never
really know either.
and Giles sat at a rather cramped booth in a dark corner of a pub near the
Hyperion. Giles had had something to eat, but even with a few things on the
menu the watcher knew the vampire enjoyed, Spike chose to chain smoke instead.
He was nursing a beer, and fidgeting in his seat. Giles watched him, taking a
long drink of his own beer, while he waited for Spike to share whatever it was
that was making him so restless.
think she’s still human,” he said at last. “B—the Slayer.” (using this too much
hadn’t needed the clarification.
doesn’t feel different to me. Doesn’t smell different.” Spike stared into his
beer. “And she tastes the same,” he added very quietly.
was Giles’ turn to shift in his seat. He really didn’t want any details on
their sex life, not even something as simple as kissing. Oh, dear Lord, he
thought, wincing inwardly – he hoped Spike was talking about kissing. He
could tell himself he’d accepted their relationship, even that he was growing
comfortable with it, if it, er, still existed. But a mind free of any details,
was a mind that allowed sleep to come a great deal more easily.
find some reason to do a series of tests on her when I get home. I had thought
about doing it right after she was brought back, if you remember. But someone
persuaded me to wait. Perhaps I’ll insist on a complete physical as well. She
detests doctors, and hospitals, but I think I can use her death and resurrection
as a plausible excuse. And it quite likely is the reason there’s a
problem. Perhaps the magic Willow used altered her in some way. Not making her
non-human, exactly, just – different. Some little thing that’s confusing your
chip. A CAT scan, some molecular studies, perhaps, a complete blood workup...”
you, her blood’s the same.” Spike looked out over the crowd. “I’m not mistaken
on that, Watcher. I’d know her blood anywhere.”
You’ve drunk from her?” Giles sounded
looked back at him. Hadn’t he just said so a minute ago? Thought the Watcher
had taken it a little too well. Maybe it had just sunk in. “No. Well, not
cut her hand.” Spike grew defensive. “Was just a taste. ‘s not like she
objected.” He paused. “Well, to that anyway.”
you should explain what, exactly, you’re talking about,” Giles pressed.
nothing,” Spike mumbled, avoiding his eyes.
see if I have this straight. You feel that Buffy has not undergone any
significant change because her blood is the same. Blood you tasted before her
death, and have tasted again since her resurrection.”
finished his beer. He glanced at Giles’ glass. “Get you another, Watcher?” He
rose without waiting for a reply, and went to the bar. Giles stared after him.
What wasn’t he telling him, and more importantly, why? Aside from the guilt
he’d expressed over his perceived failure to keep Buffy alive, Spike didn’t
express much in the way of regret for past deeds. It didn’t seem to be a part of
the vampire’s nature. So what had he done that he was so reluctant to talk
about now? When, before her death, had he had the opportunity to drink from
Buffy? And why had his Slayer never told him?
slipped back into the booth, pushing a heavy glass stein toward Giles.
a favor to ask,” Spike said. He seemed to have no intention of answering Giles’
raised a brow.
about the bit. I want her to know I haven’t fed. Want her to know the chip’s
working, and I haven’t hurt anyone. An’ that I didn’t try to either. Except for
hitting that bitch that hangs out with Angelus, of course.” He shrugged. “You
can tell her that if you want. Your call. And I want you to tell her I’ll be
back. Don’t know when, exactly, but I don’t want her thinkin’ I’ve abandoned
her. She’s got a lot of issues with that. Will you do that?”
eyed him speculatively. "This," he gestured between the two of them,
"relationship must work both ways, Spike. Before I agree to help you out
any further, I want you to tell me about Buffy's blood. The whole story,"
he tacked on. It wouldn't do to give Spike an out. He too often seemed to find
a way to use them.
took another draught of his beer. He reached for a cigarette, but the pack was
empty, and he crumpled it up and tossed it onto the floor with disgust.
watched it roll across the old tile. Litterbug, he thought.
was after – after...”
read that devastated expression. “After the tower,” he supplied.
Spike swallowed. “I don’t remember much. Guess my health took a turn for the
worse.” He looked up at Giles, and his lips twisted a little in a ghost of his
old smirk. “An’ – a little angel brought me somethin’ to make me better.” He
stared into his beer again, and waited.
Watcher was a bright fellow. He didn’t have to wait long.
confirmed his conclusion with a nod, and watched the expressions flickering
across the other man’s face as he mentally worked out the details.
she let you drink from – no. No,” Giles said again, his thoughts crystallizing.
“Buffy’s blood. From their freezer. Dawn brought it to you.”
she did, mate.”
was silent a moment as he let all the implications go through his mind. And to
wonder why the possibility had never occurred to him before. He should have
long ago become used to the things young people would do for their friends.
Hadn’t Xander and Willow taught him that? Hadn’t Buffy? “Dear Lord. Getting it to you... The chances
that child must have taken...”
the rapid recovery. The increase in strength we saw when you fought the
quite a punch, our – your Slayer’s blood, Rupert. Strong, powerful. It was –”
gonna taste her again.
gonna have her blood in your mouth, in your throat. Never gonna feel her power,
her passion. Never gonna have her body in your arms, never gonna… Never. Never…
think about her.
fucking think about her.
clenched his fist, pausing briefly before going on. “Never tasted anything like
it. And I could never mistake it. She cut her hand the other night an’ I – I –”
Spike squeezed his fist tighter. “I tasted her. Blood’s the same. No question
in my mind.”
two sat quietly for awhile, nursing their beers.
you suppose that could be an explanation?” Giles asked thoughtfully.
drunk her blood – having been restored by it. Do you suppose your chip
recognized that somehow, and no longer sees Buffy as – well, not inhuman, but
not different from you either? Rather like a blood tie between vampires.
Kindred, in a sense.”
a theory, it was of a rather more mystical nature than those the doctors had
espoused. Those had revolved, for the most part, around the possible altering
of molecular structure or something of that sort. Being based on blood,
thought, his own theory could be said to have some scientific
underpinnings. Giles gave a mental nod,
rather pleased with himself for having come up with it. After all, his own
experiences had led him to believe that mystical explanations should hold at
least as much weight as scientific.
a theory I’d expound on at length to the Slayer,” Spike said dryly, remembering
Buffy’s horrified voice, ‘Oh.
My. God. Were you trying to turn me?’. “Don’t think
it’d go over too well – suggesting she was somehow related to vampires.” And
she doesn’t know – not about Dawn’s involvement.
“I rather think it would be the other
way ’round. You related to her.”
expression clouded further. “Still not seein’ it as something she’d wanna hear.
An’ it sounds a bit far-fetched to me.” He paused, before admitting tiredly,
“But then, I’ve never had a clue how the chip could figure the difference
between humans and non-humans anyway, so who am I to say?”
it makes as much sense to me as some of the other possibilities running through
my head since the doctors told us everything was fine with your chip – that
Buffy’s cell structure was somehow altered during re-entry, so to speak, and
your chip no longer registers her.”
this going to be relevant??:
He realized his mistake when she rolled
her eyes at him. “Really? Oh, god, thank you, thank you! I’m so glad, so
relieved! I’m way up there on the normal scale when compared to demons!”
He knocked her elbow out from under her,
so that her head flopped to the ground.
“Ouch!” she protested.
“Didn’t hurt,” he derided her. “Chip.”
He gestured to his head, indicating the general state of him not writhing in
finished his beer and pushed the stein away.
don’t suppose it makes much sense to be hashing through this until I’ve had a
chance to run some tests on Buffy.”
find something wrong with her, an’ she’s gonna feel like a freak. Even if it’s
not demon related. She already feels – well, bein’ the Slayer an’ all, comin’
back from the dead a few times...”
know.” Giles’ mind had been working along the same lines. “I shall just have to
find a way to reassure her that she’s human and normal. Or – as normal as a
slayer can be said to be.”
was watching Spike’s hands. They had stopped their desperate fist clenching,
and were now carefully shredding a paper napkin. “When I first became her
Watcher, she used to talk a lot about being a normal girl.” He paused. “She
doesn’t so much anymore.”
never be normal,” Spike said. “’Cause she isn’t. She’s the Slayer. Never
understood why she was so anxious to blend in when she was born to stand out.”
made it sound so simple and straightforward.
Spike not specifying that Dawn be told he hadn’t fed or tried to feed. This
knowledge would ruin the scene later with Buffy. Perhaps he can just say that
he wants Dawn to know he’s coming back, and that they might hold off with the
chip news until they’ve tested Buffy in case it might be something that upsets
Dawn or adds to her worries.)
it if you’d keep my whereabouts quiet for awhile,” Spike muttered a little
later, changing the subject. Not that the Slayer would ask, Spike told himself.
Had to care to ask, didn’t she? He swallowed, opening his mouth and forcing
sound out. “In case the bit asks or somthin’. Just feel like I need a little
time to myself. But I want Dawn to know I’ll be comin’ back. I know I already
mentioned it, but I want you to give me your word you’ll tell her. I don’t want
her worryin’. An’ she will.”
girl loved him. That he knew. He could feel it all the time. Like a little light glowing
inside him. Aside from some words
spoken to him in a vision, ‘You’re
what I need, what Dawn needs, and I’m counting on you, to protect her’, it
had been one of the only things keeping him going through most of the long
summer of Buffy’s death. That and his promise.
the only thing that matters.
The only thing that can.
keep your confidence, and I give you my word that I’ll speak to Dawn. You might
consider giving her a call yourself, though. My guess is that she’ll want to
hear from you.”
didn’t comment, his eyes remote.
drew a deep breath. “I have a favor of my own to ask,” he began. He waited
until Spike seemed to be paying attention. “Not long ago, I asked you if you
would be willing to write your memoirs for me. You refused. I’m asking again.”
eyes met his. The vampire looked exhausted suddenly, as if all the, er, life
had drained out of him. All of the energy. As if he’d been pushing himself, and
pushing, and pushing, and had just suddenly, completely, lost the ability to
continue on for one minute longer. Giles had never seen him like that, not even
after Glory had beaten him to a bloody pulp. Spike had always seemed so alive
to Giles. Annoyingly alive, usually. He’d always seemed to exude some – something.
Even when he was still and silent. Certainly, he was always impossible to
ignore or overlook. But tonight, he seemed different. Lifeless. Empty. Almost
like he’d been when they’d first found him after Buffy’s death. He was moving
and talking, but his eyes held the same nothingness they;d held then. Empty, deadened pools of blue.
the battery of tests he’s been subjected to earlier had worn him out.
don’t be daft, Giles, old man. It doesn’t have a bloody thing to do with the
tests, and you know it.
shrugged, and let his eyes drift away, gazing blankly out into the open areas of
you want, Rupert,” he said quietly. “I’ll do what I can.”
stared at him, feeling genuine concern for his well-being; for his safety. For
a moment, he contemplated asking Angel to keep a close eye on the younger
vampire, but he soon let the idea go. There was no love lost between the two,
and the situation would be very difficult, not to mention damned unpleasant, to
try to explain to Angel. Giles frowned, wondering why Spike was staying with
the other vampire.
you.” He paused. “Do you need some alternative place to stay?”
gave no sign of having heard him.
made a decision and straightened his shoulders.
have another favor to ask, as well,” he told the blond. Ignoring the fact that
Spike was not acknowledging him, Giles went on. “It’s about you, Spike. About
head, which had fallen onto the back of the booth, rolled toward him. “What is
don’t know what will happen between you and Buffy when you eventually return to
Sunnydale. But, for some time now, I’ve watched you change. I’ve watched you
grow, and begin to become something new, something beyond what I’ve always been
taught a vampire could be. I hope – I hope you’ll continue on that journey – to
become this new being.
I hope you’ll do so regardless of Buffy’s feelings, or the decisions she makes.
I don’t know what Buffy feels, but I do know that this much is true: ‘You
can’t make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved; the
rest is up to the person to realize your worth.’ I’m not suggesting that
Buffy doesn’t love you, or that she does. I don’t know, though I do believe she
feels something for you.” He was relatively certain his Slayer had very strong feelings for the vampire.
Whether they were, or could ever be, what Spike wanted, he hadn’t a clue. Buffy
certainly hadn’t said anything to him, and, in fact, he didn’t think Buffy was
even aware that he knew of the nature of her relationship with the vampire. But
her actions and behaviors since she’d been resurrected had made him believe his
Slayer felt some – connection – to Spike. “All you can do, Spike, is keep
striving to be something better – something more – than what you were.
What happens after that is up to some other power. You can only control you.”
looked at Giles. His mouth opened once or twice before he spoke. “You seem to
be under the mistaken impression that I’m no longer evil, Watcher.”
raised his brows, refusing to dignify Spike’s words with a verbal reply. They’d
spoken of this before, and Spike knew perfectly well how Giles felt about the
subject. He was making every effort to judge Spike on his current actions. And,
aside from witnessing him nicking cigarettes more than once, he hadn’t seen him
do anything evil for months now. Though it might deeply offend his own
environmentalist tendencies, it was
rather a stretch to fit litterbug into
the category of ‘evil’.
shifted a little uncomfortably under the Watcher’s steady regard. “And do you
have one of these pithy little quotes handy for every occasion?” he asked.
the vampire’s annoyance entirely, Giles looked pleased that he had noticed. He
touched the knot of his tie. “Yes, actually.”
vampire rolled his eyes, and took a final swallow of his beer. Without another
word, he rose and left. Giles watched him go out the door. He may be willing to
give Spike the benefit of the doubt when it came to his evilness, but his
manners remained quite often utterly deplorable. As was often the case, Spike
had avoided a serious discussion by ignoring most of what Giles had said. Or at
least pretending to ignore it. Long ago, Giles had begun to understand that
Spike had a habit of not commenting on things said that touched the deepest
places within him.
contemplates that Spike was not much of a quitter, he’d always been remarkable
tenacious – obnoxiously so, in some cases. and the fact that he’d taken off for
LA, PLUS the fact that he wasn’t coming right back – well, Giles thought it had
a lot to do with Spike’s lingering depression. They’d never actually talked
about it, but there was no doubt in Giles’ mind that spike had been suffering
some pretty severe depression since Buffy’s death – even perhaps in some forms
since the Initiative chip had been implanted.
return had not suddenly made Spike’s depression disappear. That’s not how
depression worked, something he knew well from personal experience. He had to
admit he didn’t understand vampire physiology at all. There were so many
contradictory things. No breath, Angel had told Xander, explaining why
he couldn’t give Buffy mouth to mouth resuscitation when she drowned in The
Master’s lair. Yet both Angel and Spike breathed all the time when they fought,
and Spike certainly needed breath to smoke his unending cigarettes. Not to
mention air was required to speak. No blood circulating, which seemed to have
no effect on their ability to, er, engage in sexual relations. He let his mind
drift to how much simpler his life would have been if that hadn’t been the
how much duller, another part of his mind whispered.
Ripper peeking through.
hadn’t meant that! Giles assured himself. He had no interest in Spike’s and
Angel’s, er, sexual activities. But their ability to love Buffy… Now that, he
admitted, he found fascinating. He’d mused on it many times – the unlikelihood
of two vampires both loving his Slayer so deeply. And Spike, without even the
benefit of a soul…
also still felt guilt. And now he worried constantly about how to protect b
& d – something he’d never had to contemplate before – he was having a lot
of trouble dealing with that. He knew spike felt he had failed them both that
night at the tower, and was determined not to fail them again. If spike said
casually over chess “I’m having some trouble concentrating lately.” He could
pretty safely translate that into. “My mind is spinning all the time, and I
have no idea what’s real and what’s not” or, depending on the tone and body
language, it could even be translated to:
even “I’m fairly certain I’m going completely bonkers, but I’m not sure
how to test myself for that.” He was getting fairly good at translating spike
Giles is aware that Spike gets almost NO sleep. Giles reminded himself that
Spike had been taking care of himself for a long time. Chances were he had a
fairly good handle on it. Still…
sighed and finished his own beer. His mind went to Buffy, and his brow creased
Continued in Chapter Two
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