All About Spike - Plain Version
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Sound and Fury
Author's Note: Parts of this story takes
place in the "Magic Box" universe, although it's
not part of the main storyline. Call it an ancillary piece,
if you will.
"Dracula? Poncy bugger owes me eleven
pounds for one thing." --
Spike, Buffy vs. Dracula
"You're joking, right?" Spike fingered
the stem of his wineglass and considered the man sitting across
the table from him. "You want to pay me
to write some stories for you."
The man shrugged, an easy, graceful gesture
of his shoulders. "It is a small thing. Call it...a whim."
His accent was thick, caressing each syllable.
Didn't fool Spike for a moment. He knew exactly how easily
a voice could be altered, an accent changed...and he hadn't
needed acting training to do it. Still, it might be fun to
play along for a little longer -- especially since Spike didn't
have to pay for the drinks while they sat at the outdoor café
enjoying the evening air. "So, *Count,*" he said,
carefully emphasizing the title, "what type of stories?"
"There is a new novel that is all the
rage in London. Perhaps you have heard of it? It is called
Spike resisted the urge to laugh. Normally
he wouldn't have bothered, but there was still the prospect
of money to be considered. "I've seen it at the booksellers,"
he allowed. Read it in one bloody sitting, even with Dru
nagging at me that she wanted to go feed while the sun was
still out. "Supposed to be about a vampire, isn't
Dracula smiled, nodding his head slightly.
"I will admit to some small conversations with the author."
"Really think it's a good idea to let
the populace know how we can be killed, mate? Might put a
crimp in the social lifestyle."
"On the contrary. I think it will make
us far more attractive to our victims. The darkness...the
"The lack of reflection...not eating
or drinking...the knitting needle through the heart..."
As Spike lifted the wine glass to his lips,
he savored the puzzled frown on Dracula's face. "There
are no knitting needles in Stoker's novel."
"No, but they're generally made of wood
and have a nice pointy end to them. Someone reads about stakes,
they might get ideas."
A deep sigh. "We are straying from the
point, William. Will you accept my offer?"
Spike let his fellow demon stew for a few
minutes. Twenty quid was mighty tempting, especially since
Angelus and Darla had decided to leave Spike and Drusilla
in Paris for a few months while they went wandering. The pair
were doing all right for themselves, but Spike wouldn't be
averse to bit more of the readdies. He'd learned there were
things better bought than taken, especially if one wanted
to be welcome in the places one wanted to frequent.
"Let me get this straight. You want me
to write six stories in the vein of Stoker's piece of purple
prose, all of which feature a devastatingly handsome Transylvanian
Another shrug from Dracula. "You might
not wish to be quite so specific. Mr. Stoker might take offense
if it was too obvious whom your central figure is.
Might I suggest a name...Alucard?"
This time, Spike couldn't suppress a grin
as a line from Shakespeare flashed through his brain: Art
thou Base? Common? Popular? The count so wanted to be
popular, was probably that way when he could breathe. "Right.
Alucard it is, then. Maybe not Transylvania. Someplace equally
Dracula did his best to drawn his dignity
around him like, which looked about as good as the cloak he
insisted on wearing. "I grow weary. Will you do it or
"I'll do it." As the count nodded,
Spike quickly added, "Money in advance, of course."
It only took a second for Spike to realize
the ponce didn't have the cash on him. "Surely, we can
trust one another..."
"No money, no stories." Spike leaned
back in his chair. "You can order me another drink as
An annoyed expression on his face, Dracula
dug into his jacket and pulled out his wallet. "Will
ten pounds serve for the moment? The rest upon completion
of the work."
"Done." Spike made certain to snag
the bank notes as quickly as he could. "Come see me in
a week. I'll let you know how it's going."
Business done, he finished his wine and departed,
having no desire to share Dracula's company any longer. So
what if the bugger wanted stories to glorify himself? The
possibility of actually seeing his work in print was appealing
to Spike, even if they'd likely end up in the penny dreadfuls.
It'd be a wonderful excuse to put pen to paper.
He found Drusilla in an alley off Esplanade
des Invalides, finishing off a young man. Looking up from
her meal, she smiled, fangs glinting in pale gaslight. "My
Spike. Come to drink from the chalice with me?" She pouted.
"Or have you already fed? There is an air of satisfaction
"So there is, pet. So there is."
He drew closer, sliding up behind her and slipping his arms
about her waist. "It's not from blood, though."
He nipped at her ear, letting the planes of his face shift
as he did. "Something quite delicious, though."
She pressed back against him, letting loose
with a low murmur of pleasure. "I like delicious."
He smiled, letting his hand slide upward over
the curve of her corset. "Then let's finish your little
snack and see how delicious you like it..."
Spike was thankful for the peace that had
settled over the rooms he shared with Drusilla. With the quiet,
his muse was free to come out and play, his pen scratching
over the surface of the paper with a fair rapidity. With three
of the commissioned stories already finished, he was hopeful
to make progress on the fourth tonight.
It was the only reason he'd supported Dracula's
suggestion he take Drusilla out for a nice evening. Didn't
like the way the poncy bastard kept sniffing about her, but
at this point Spike didn't have much of a choice if he wanted
to get some work done. His dark princess was a demanding mistress
and while poetry whispered against her lips or written in
blood across her skin might delight her, she was not so understanding
of his urge to put pen to paper. For the last several days
she had been fretful and sulky, resenting every moment he
spent at his desk, even if it was while she slumbered.
So he'd sent her out to enjoy herself in another
man's company while he reveled in the arms of his other mistress.
It had been far too long since he'd lost himself in the words.
He'd quickly realized into those first few days that neither
Darla nor Angelus would tolerate a moon-struck poet hanging
about, and he'd begun the efforts to remake himself in a more
At the moment, though, he was happy to fall
back on an old and secret fantasy: sitting in rooms in Paris,
glass of wine at hand, writing stories someone was willing
to pay him money for. Only hours before, the tousled sheets
on the bed had tangled about him and his lover as they enjoyed
the pleasures of the flesh that were not discussed in Polite
Society. All that was missing from the scene was a bottle
of absinthe, and that was by choice. He wrote better with
a clear head. When Dru came back, however, he'd remedy that
oversight, lapping the green liquid from the hollow of her
Just the thought of the combination made his
pen fly all the faster over the paper.
She lay helpless beneath him, head lolling
back to reveal the graceful white curve of her throat -- unblemished,
unmarked, pure. It took all of his restraint to merely lean
forward and let his tongue glide over the surface. That was
enough to make her moan with pleasure, the sound reverberating
through his chest. Emboldened, he let his tongue stroke her
again, tasting the sweetness of her skin. The idea that he
would be the one to initiate her into the arts of pleasure
was almost more than he could bear. He wanted to prolong it,
savor the moment until that instant when his fangs descended
and he pierced the innocent flesh that even now was displayed
trembling before him.
As he dipped his pen into the inkwell, sounds
floated upward from the street. "I think not," came
Drusilla's voice. "What would Daddy say?"
With a frown, Spike laid down the pen and
moved to the window. At this hour, the street was deserted
save for the two figures below. Even from the third floor,
he could read the frustration in every line of Dracula's body.
"But it has been such a pleasant evening, my dear. Why
should we let it come to an end?"
Spike felt the urge to go downstairs and beat
the wanker for daring to even make the suggestion, but the
way Drusilla was swaying stopped him. After seventeen years,
he'd come to recognize the signs that his beauty wasn't seeing
the world quite the same way the others were and knew it was
best not to disturb those sights unless absolutely necessary.
Of course, Dracula couldn't possibly possess the same knowledge
and who was Spike to spoil the fun?
"It all comes to an end," she chirped.
"Even me, even you. Over the hills and into the dales
where my Spike waits for me." Her head lifted toward
their window. "He waits."
Spike smiled as her eyes met his and blew
her a kiss. Then the moonlight caught the glint of jewels
at her throat...jewels that neither he nor Angelus had gifted
"I am waiting," Dracula said, using
his patented seductive tone as he stepped closer. "How
much longer must I wait?"
"Not much longer. A mere century and
then you will find her." Her expression changed. "She
will take it all."
Apparently, Dracula didn’t have the
patience for a century because he took Drusilla in his arms.
"Your words, they are beautiful, like drops of wine.
Not as sweet as the wine of your lips, I am sure."
With that he kissed her and Spike considered
risking the leap to the street below. A broken leg would heal.
Before he could move, however, she had wrenched herself free,
hand striking a sharp blow across Dracula's face. "Daddy
will not like that," she hissed. "He will do to
you what he did to the other of you."
She stepped back and straightened her clothes,
suddenly prim and proper. "I must go in. My Spike is
waiting for me."
With that she left him there, hand pressed
to his cheek as he watched her enter the building. As he took
his hand away, Spike noted with pleasure the dark streaks
of blood. Good girl.
Light footsteps on the stairs and she was
through the door, her face cheerful. "Did you miss me?"
"Incredibly, my love." Spike caught
her in his arms and kissed her. She melted into him for a
brief moment before pulling away.
"You lie," she said sternly, but
there was a teasing note to her words. "You have spent
all your time writing."
"And made great progress, which gives
me all the more time to spend with you."
She let him undo her laces and strip the clothes
from her body. The necklace he let be, rubies glittering fire
against her pale skin. "His gift to you?" Spike
demanded as he pushed her back onto the bed.
"He thought to please me. Said it made
me beautiful." She looked up at him with large dark eyes.
"Does it make me beautiful?"
His answer was a growl as he pressed himself
down on her body. She lay helpless beneath him, head lolling
back to reveal the graceful white curve of her throat. This
throat was far from unblemished, though, bearing the mark
of the one who'd made her. Still, he let his tongue find its
way along that curve, drawing her taste into his mouth. "Mine,"
She smiled sadly at him. "For now."
"Mine!" he insisted, kissing her
hard to drive any image of her precious "daddy"
from her mind. She arched, pressing against him and there
were no more words.
When they were done, she cradled his head
upon her breasts, stroking his hair as they lay curled together.
"When do you think Grandmamma and Daddy will be home?"
Spike squeezed his eyes shut. At least she'd
forgotten for a little while, seen him and not Angelus. "I
don't know, pet. They didn't say."
"I was thinking that he might not appreciate
the gift the count gave me. Might take offense at it."
"And perhaps stake the wanker? Can't
say I'd regret that."
"I was thinking that perhaps we should
sell it and not tell Daddy where we got the money. Then there
will be no unhappiness."
He lifted his head from her chest and saw
a gleefully mischievousness gleam in her eye. Definitely sane
at this moment. "We could have a lovely time," she
said with a smile.
And what Daddy didn't know wouldn't hurt him...
Spike signaled the waiter for another bottle
as Dracula read through the manuscripts. Perhaps "skimmed"
would be a better word, because the Dark Ponce couldn't possibly
be reading that fast. He kept nodding at appropriate intervals,
though, so the work likely met with his approval. Not that
Spike would ask, of course; under no circumstances would he
let it appear he was begging for praise from this fool.
He was two glasses into the new bottle when
Dracula at last put the papers down. "I must admit, I
am a bit surprised. It is excellent work, William."
It was difficult to hide the grin that threatened
to break out over his face. Too many years had passed since
anyone had praised his writing. Dru always did, but he was
never certain if it was his words or the way he said them
that she liked. "You asked, I delivered. What do you
plan to do with them, by the way? Not that it concerns me.
Now it was Dracula's turn to smile. "Shall
we say I think it might be amusing to feed the public's...hunger
regarding our kind. I know of a publisher whose readers might
be particularly interested in such stories."
"You think stories are going to get you
victims?" Spike didn't bother to hide his grin. "Sounds
a bit daft."
"The publisher I have in mind caters
to a, shall we say, 'select' audience of both men and women
who would find your work particularly inspiring." Still
keeping a tight hold on the manuscripts, he reached for the
bottle and poured a healthy amount into his glass. "Given
some of your tales, I believe the ladies I am thinking of
will find them quite...stimulating."
"Playing the old seduce and kill game,
eh? Seems like a lot of effort."
"Ah, but I am not as young and rash as
you, William. I do not plan to kill the ladies in question.
At least, not immediately. There is a certain enjoyment of
having them in thrall, eager to greet you." Dracula drank,
emptying most of his glass.
"So you keep them on the string...blood
and sex, is that it?" Spike pondered his own glass. It
was an interesting concept, but Dru would probably have some
objections. He might have to share her with Angelus, but she'd
made it painfully clear that he was her property and only
allowed to stray as she saw fit. Flexing his fingers at the
memory, he added, "Let's you hang around one place longer,
too. No trail of bodies."
This was met was a smile. "There may
be hope for you yet. Perhaps you are growing out of your 'string
of corpses' period. If one is to survive..."
"Why should we worry about that? We're
damn near immortal with only the Slayer to be frightened of
-- not that anyone ever sees one of them."
Now Dracula's smile was patronizing. "You
are young. You will learn. Now," the count picked up
the bottle and considered the remaining liquid, "why
not order us some champagne? We will celebrate your accomplishment."
"And the ten pounds you owe me."
If the older vampire thought he could drink Spike under the
table and avoid paying him, he had another thought coming.
"Mustn't forget that."
"Of course not. Catch the waiter's attention."
Spike turned in his seat, scanning the café
for their waiter. Not finding him, he turned back to search
in the other direction...
...And found that he was suddenly alone.
Not only was Dracula gone, the manuscripts
were gone as well, vanished with whatever gypsy trick the
bastard had used to get away. Spike stared at the empty chair.
It wasn't just that the man hadn't paid him; all those carefully
crafted words were gone. He had drafts, but no fair
copy but the one he'd handed over. How could he have been
He sat there for several minutes, experiencing
a painful twisting in his gut he hadn't felt for years, not
since the last time he'd heard his poetry read in public.
This was different; he knew this was actually readable, might
even be good. And it was gone.
First, he'd have to make new copies, squirrel
them away where neither Angelus nor Darla could find them.
Then he'd find a way to get back at Dracula. Bleeding ponce
took his work and still owed him ten pounds.
The waiter approached. "Will there be
anything else, Monsieur, or would your prefer the check?"
At Spike's shake of the head, the man laid a piece of paper
on the table.
Not ten pounds...eleven, if one included the
check he'd left Spike to pay for.
The covers were lurid colors, staring up at
Spike from the box. "Giles, please tell me the publisher
sent these by mistake and you didn't order them."
Giles took another bite out of his donut as
he leaned over Spike's shoulder. "Good, they've arrived."
"Victorian Vampire Tales?"
Spike lifted a volume from the box, wincing at the art of
a Hammer Horror film reject menacing a swooning maiden's virtue.
"'Dark and erotic stories from the hidden imaginations
of nineteenth century authors?' What were you thinking?"
"That Anne Rice does very well for us
and this should too."
"You're starting to sound like Anya."
"I'll take that as a compliment."
Giles reached out and took the book from Spike's hand. "This
got very good reviews in London, but it hasn't been released
here in the States yet."
"This is not what I thought
we meant when we decided that if you saw something that would
work for the shop you should order it." Despite his grumbles,
Spike continued to unpack. There were an even dozen including
the one in Giles' hand, which matched with the packing slip.
It wasn't a bad way to spend a rainy afternoon,
Spike had to admit. The rain had kept customers away from
the Magic Box, but having Giles back in Sunnydale when the
world wasn't about to end made Buffy's eyes shine, which in
turn made Spike happy. She was sitting at the research table
at the moment, putting together another batch of the aromatherapy
packs Tara had designed for the store, able to chat with her
watcher while she worked.
"If you're that anxious to get rid of
it, why not put a display out up front?" Giles suggested
as he sat at the table, laying the book down on the surface.
"I'll wager they'll disappear pretty quickly."
"Looks like pretty standard horror stuff."
Xander picked the book up, leafing through the pages. "I
mean, the D&D geeks might go for it, especially with the
word "erotic" on the cover."
"You drool on it, you buy it, Harris."
Spike considered the stack of books on the counter, wondering
if a display might work. "Don't you have a building to
put up, anyway?"
"Rain shut the site down; can't work
while it's pouring. Besides, where would I rather be than
with my best friend?"
Buffy gave Xander a smile and Spike decided
to let things drop. His ongoing antagonism with Harris was
fairly under control these days, but the occasional flare-ups
didn't make Buffy happy, which made Spike unhappy. Besides,
unlife was good at the moment. He had his slayer, a successful
business and all the violence he could wish for helping Buffy
keep Sunnydale safe for Christmas and puppies. He could cut
Harris a little slack.
God, he must be soft in his old age.
"So this is a big best-seller in London?"
Buffy asked, tying a neat bow on the cellophane wrapped packaged
in front of her.
"I wouldn't exactly call it a best-seller,"
Giles admitted. "The stories are reprints from a small,
exclusive magazine that was published in the late nineteenth
century. I'll admit they are somewhat lurid as the authors
were catering to certain...tastes, but lurid seems to sell
Xander let out a hoot. "You've go to
listen to this: The idea that he would be the one to initiate
her into the arts of pleasure was almost more than he could
bear. He wanted to prolong it, savor the moment until that
instant when his fangs descended and he pierced the innocent
flesh that even now was displayed trembling before him.
They actually paid someone to...hey!"
Spike had practically vaulted over the counter
in his rush to snatch the book out of Xander's hand. "I
am not paying for that," Xander huffed.
Spike didn't pay him any heed, his eyes scanning
the pages. "I don't believe it...that sodding bastard."
He flipped to the table of contents. "Four of them?"
He looked up to find the other three regarding
him curiously. "Is there something you'd like to share
with the class?" Buffy asked.
Here was a pretty turn of events. Both Buffy
and Giles knew he'd fancied himself a poet while he breathed;
he still wrote the occasional odd bit for Buffy. Harris had
no clue and Spike didn't particularly feel like handing the
whelp fodder. He should have thought of that before he reacted.
"I wrote that," he admitted. "In fact, there
are four stories I wrote in the book."
It was news that merited Giles removing his
glasses. "There is nothing in the Chronicles to indicate
that William the Bloody passed his time writing horror stories."
"Possibly because I didn't bother sending
them press clippings. Besides, Dracula commissioned the stories,
so he probably claimed ownership. I mean they're credited
to..." he glanced at the table of contents once more.
"Wm. T. B."
"William the Bloody?" Xander asked
innocently. Amusement was starting to quirk the corners of
his mouth upwards.
"I'm going to stake that prat. I swear
it. Doesn't matter about his damn gypsy tricks; I will find
a way to stake him." Spike looked at the pile on the
counter. "I wonder if people like them?"
Giles was looking more and more confused.
"You're saying Dracula -- the Dracula -- commissioned
you to write these stories?'
"Yeah. The four here and two others.
Paid me twenty quid. Well, offered me twenty; only paid up
"So he owes you ten pounds."
"Eleven, actually. I was handing them
over in a café and he managed to stick me with the
bill when he took off."
"Wait a minute." Xander was clearly
having fun with this. "Why would Count Dracula, the Dark
"'Bater," Buffy inserted with a
"Stop that. Anyway, why would he want
to do something like that?"
"Publicity." The cover of the copy
he held was bent. He'd take this one home. It'd be nice to
read what he'd written once more. "Thought it might help
entice ladies into his bed."
"With that?" Xander laughed. "No
offense, Spike, but that stuff's pretty overblown."
"It was the literary style at that time,"
Giles said. "And with that magazine, he was clearly going
for a certain audience who might be receptive."
"I take it these people liked things
that wouldn't be approved of by the Parent's Television Council."
Buffy rose, coming around the table to hold her hand out for
the book. A bit reluctantly, Spike handed it over.
"But why would Dracula feel the need
to go to such lengths?" Giles was getting his "research"
expression. "I mean, even then he was centuries old.
Surely he knew..."
"No he wasn’t. Centuries old, I
mean. Less than a hundred when I ran into him in Paris."
"But Dracula dates back to the middle
ages. The stories of Vlad the Impaler are quite well documented."
"Yeah, well what's not so well documented
is the fact Drac apparently made a pass at Darla in the early
eighteen hundreds, wanted to make her one of his women or
some fool thing like that. Angelus took offense and bye-by
"We saw Dracula here in Sunnydale."
Giles' voice was insistent and more than a touch indignant.
Not surprising since Spike had just taken a whack at a very
old and long-established fact. "I can assure you he was
very much corporeal."
"You saw someone who claimed to be Dracula.
Long dark hair, sallow skin with dark circles under his eyes,
bad dresser, stupid cape, talks with a lisp and a bad accent?"
Buffy looked up from the book. "Uh, yeah.
Sounds like him."
"That's Sydney. He's an actor. From Cornwall.
Decided to take up the Dracula mantle a year or two after
the dusting. Apparently becoming a vampire didn't stop his
yearning for the spotlight. Why do you think he gave Stoker
so much info? Loved playing the game."
"There's nothing in the Chronicles..."
Giles protested weakly before he began cleaning his glasses.
"Do you think a publicity hound like
him would admit he was just playing a part? Doesn't mean he
wasn't dangerous; he won't stop at obtaining more glory."
Spike looked toward Buffy. "Why do you think he came
after you, luv?"
Their eyes met and he was rewarded with a
shiver. "And his ability to disappear in a puff of smoke?
Turn into a bat?"
"Gypsy tricks. Smoke and mirrors. There
are ways around them if you know what to look for."
The conversation was clearly disturbing Buffy;
but then "Dracula" had managed to get to her, held
her under his thrall so he could taste some of that delicious
slayer blood. Spike decided the prat deserved a staking for
that if nothing else. Stepping closer, he bent his head to
whisper in her ear. "I'll teach you how. Keep you safe."
Buffy nodded and started back toward the research
table. Then she turned back, glancing down at the book she
still held before looking up at him. "Spike, would you
mind reading me one of your stories tonight? I'd love to hear
She was smiling a wicked little smile, one
that promised it might take them a very long time to get through
even one of the stories. "A bottle of wine? My place?"
Giles was doing his best to ignore what was
happening while Xander was wrinkling his nose. Buffy paid
no heed to either, her eyes still locked with his. "Sounds
She handed the book back to him, their fingers
brushing for the briefest of instants. Oh, yeah. His unlife
was very good right now. He felt generous enough
he could forgive Dracula the theft of his manuscripts. He
might even forgive the wanker the eleven pounds he owed him.
But probably not.
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