By MustangSally and RivkaT
Sequel to Serious Moonlight; part of The Bowiehabarata
"The shrink seems to think that it's all because of mom's dying. The acting out
beforehand because mom was sick, and now the violence afterwards. There's all
those stages of death and grieving and the rest of it. She talked a lot about
Keebler-Roth and the stages of death - I forgot what they were," Buffy admitted
and watched the familiar streets between the hospital and home flicker by. She
was really sick of this route. At least with the sunset she could roll the window
down and breathe something other than 50% cigarette smoke.
"Kubler-Ross' five stages of death. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression,
Acceptance," Angel said.
"Pop-psych crap. I been dead an' the stages are: Death, wakin' up, getting'
hungry, getting' really hungry, killin', an' THEN realizin' it's fun to be a vampire.
The last bit can take up to a fuckin' century, of course."
Sitting between Angel and Spike in the front seat (there was entirely too much crap
in the back seat of the DeSoto for anyone to sit), Buffy felt the ugly glare zing over
her head like a crossbow bolt. She was entirely too tired to consider attempting to
smooth over the Spike/Angel issue or even trying to figure it out.
"You can, you know, crash at the house," Buffy told Angel tried to ignore the
gagging noises Spike began making.
"No, really, the crypt is fine."
"There's the basement, that has crypt-like qualities?" Buffy pressed. "Spike used
to stay there."
"Before I got promoted upstairs," Spike said and tossed his cigarette out the
"We need to go over to the sound check Citalia is having tomorrow afternoon.
Xander's setting up chairs or something. You've got the blacked-out car windows,
I don't," Angel said.
Out of the corner of her eye, Buffy could see Spike's nails tap an unhappy beat on
the steering wheel.
"If she can stand it, I can stand it," Spike muttered.
Spike pulled in front of the house, nearly taking out the Lightfoots' mailbox again
and killed the lights and the engine. The unhappy trio made their way into the
house. Somehow, walking between the two black-clad vampires made Buffy feel
both very safe and very nervous at the same time. The two of them represented
exactly one-half of the men she'd actually had sex with, which meant that fifty
percent of the guys she'd slept with had been dead, which was pretty weird when
you thought about it. If you were actually counting the number of sex acts
committed, in overall sex episodes, Spike represented, like, 50% of all sex had -
more if she wanted to count variety of sex had. Angel and Spike - they couldn't
have been any more different or any more the same. Angel with his darkly
handsome athletic football guy kind of look and Spike all about sharpness and not
taking home to Mom. Un-souled, they'd both tried to kill her. Then again, Riley
had been an augmented human and Parker had just been a shithead, which mean
that allegedly human guys weren't that much better. At least with vampires you
knew what you were dealing with - without souls, you were dinner; with souls,
you had a sex partner who you couldn't go to the beach with before nightfall, a
dinner date who hardly ate, someone whose music, fashion, and entertainment likes
and dislikes had been set before you were born, and someone in your bed who
didn't have a heartbeat.
But then there was that great vampire skin thing . . .
Spike went straight to the refrigerator and got himself a beer. He fang-faced for a
moment and uncapped the beer. This was a pointless macho display, Buffy knew,
because Spike had only used the bottle opener in the drawer by the sink several
"The Niblet's meltdown's got to be some magic thing about Citalia, not about
grief. Who goes that mad over not bein' able to a concert?"
"He once punched a hole in a wall because he couldn't find his gloves," Angel told
Buffy. "Magic was not involved."
Buffy shrugged and began looking in the refrigerator for something with dinnerlike
"We were in the Alps, it was fuckin' freezin' and I was pissed as a newt."
"His gloves were in the pocket of his overcoat."
"An' ol' Angelus was the picture of quiet sobriety."
"Cold pizza? Anybody?" She held up a box and looked at Angel and Spike. "Well
I'm human girl, hungry girl, and tired girl. After cold pizza, I am taking a shower
and going to bed. You guys just go ahead and figure out who's bigger and badder.
Don't mind me."
There was extra cheese on the pizza, which was the only good thing to happen that
day. Both Spike and Angel looked at her as though she were eating road kill
straight off Route 66 as she tucked into her cold pizza by folding it in half
lengthwise and trying to eat as much in a single bite as possible.
"Beer?" Spike asked Angel.
This time, Spike used the bottle opener.
Okay, it was time to play `how weird is my life'. Angel and Spike in the kitchen,
drinking beer out of bottles and having some low-key conversation about how hard
it was to get replacement parts for classic cars while Buffy ate cold pizza. If she
shut her eyes, she could pretend that they were three normal people on a normal
night in a normal world.
"Two hundred bucks just to get the ignition key replaced."
"That sucks, good and proper. Should have gotten the dumb bird to cough up the
"Oh, well, that's a bit different, I suppose."
They were still talking about cars when Buffy pitched the empty pizza box in the
trashcan and headed upstairs to shower.
Showers were up there with chocolate and sales on Sam and Libby shoes in terms
of sheer goodness. Buffy stripped off her clothes and shoved them in the onceagain
-full hamper. There had to be a spell of constant fullness on the hamper;
there was no other explanation. She turned the water on hot and full and twiddled
with the showerhead until it was set on pounding massage. She could have done
an endorsement, "After a full night of Slaying, I can't wait to get home to my
Waterpik Shower Massage." Shutting her eyes, Buffy stuck her face in the spray
and imagined all the stress of the day rinsing off her like dust.
So much better. For a few minutes she could just think about the hot water and
how it was softening her muscles like cooking pasta. So much better . . .
The shower curtain was ripped away and Buffy screamed as something began
making a high pitched "reet reet reet " noise. Blindly, she reached behind her for
the loofah on the stick and jabbed at whatever it was.
"Slayer! What the fuck are you doing?!"
Buffy blinked water out of her eyes and saw a wet and outraged Spike dancing
back beyond the reach of the loofah.
"What the fuck are you doing?" she screamed back at him. "I almost staked you!"
"Didn't you ever see Psycho? Shit!" He shook his head and water splashed further
around the bathroom. "I was playin' a joke, bit of an `itchockian `omage, if you
"Not funny. Whole bunch of not funny!" she snatched the shower curtain back and
put it between the two of them. "Sneaking up on me in the shower is not funny."
"Buffy!? Are you all right?" Angel's voice, over his fist pounding on the door,
indicated his agreement.
"I'm fine!" she shouted.
"She's more than fine, she's fantastic!" Spike chimed in.
"You asshole," she hissed.
"Well . . ." She could just about hear the gears rumble as Angel came up with the
right thing to say. "Don't scream if you don't mean it."
"Sorry!" she yelled.
Meanwhile, Spike was bent over double, laughing silently to himself. This didn't
amuse Buffy any more that the shower curtain trick did, so she pulled the
showerhead off the bracket and aimed the water spray at the silently snickering
vampire. Caught full in the face with the water, Spike batted at it as though he
could somehow shoo away the spray. Now it was Buffy's turn to laugh and she did
as he staggered towards her, with his head turned as far away from the water as
possible, like a cat caught in a garden hose. She was only sorry that he didn't have
his duster on. The damn thing probably hadn't been cleaned in decades.
"You wench," he swore and reached out until he grabbed the spray and turned it on
Buffy whooped and ducked farther back into the shower. Spike followed, his boots
leaving muddy tracks on the tile and inside the tub itself. Backed into the corner,
the only thing she could do was try to glare at him as he dripped closer to her.
Finally, he had his hands over her shoulders, pinning her to the wall while the
water sprayed down her left side. There was an unholy gleam in his eye.
"Think you're funny?" he asked.
"Think you're funny?" she parroted back as obnoxiously as possible.
His kiss was obnoxious too, rough and nasty and full of teeth. She liked it. She
also liked the way that the wet T-shirt on his hard chest felt against her breasts and
the way that his wet jeans chafed at her soft skin when he pushed her up against the
tile wall of the shower. This was almost as good as the shower massage was for
getting rid of tension.
"Shouldn't be doing this. Dawn's in the hospital," she murmured.
"Can't be in a permanently guilty state. Not good. Look at Angel."
He pinned her head up against the wall with his hand on her jaw, and began
making a rough examination of the inside of her mouth with his tongue while he
jammed the shower head back into place with his other hand. Fighting against the
wet leather of his belt and the wet denim of his jeans, Buffy finally managed to
unfasten all the fastenings and pull his hard cock out of his pants. Spike hissed
pleasantly into her ear when she took the length of him into her hands and
squeezed, as though she was checking a zucchini for ripeness. In a non-vegetable
move, he grabbed her ass in both hands and hoisted her up against the wall and she
managed to insert tab A into slot B even though the water was now running into
her face and down between the tiny gap between their bodies.
She couldn't hold back a groan, not sure if she wished Angel were still in the
hallway or not. The heat of the water had brought Spike's body up to human
temperature and the unusual heat inside her was strange and wonderful. Spike had
a blissfully lustful look on his face as he thrust into her and shoved her back
against the wall. Wrapping her arms around his neck and her legs around his wetdenim
covered hips, all she could do was hang on and let each and every sensation
wash over her with the water. The denim was rough, his skin was smooth, his teeth
on her earlobe was sharp, the tile against her back was cold and the water pounding
down over everything was deliciously hot and stroked far more of her body than
hands alone could have.
He was breathing hard in her ear, even though he didn't need to and her chest was
heaving as though she'd been running miles. It was total sensory overload. He
might have whispered something in her ear but she couldn't hear it over the
rushing of the water and the fast patter of her own heart. It wasn't going to take
long, because she was already burning and sparking inside almost before she'd
managed to slip him inside. Something about the angle and the pressure managed
to grind her clit almost directly against his body and she was gasping for breath in
a few delicious moments.
A little sound crept out of her mouth instead of the full-fledged scream that had
been waiting. The pleasure grabbed her by the back of the neck and shook her
brain loose. She went rigid all around him and clung to his shoulders. Spike
muffled some sound of his own into her shoulder and the cold burst inside her.
Still shuddering, she was vaguely aware of sliding down the tiles until they were
both in a heap at the bottom of the tub with the water still coming full-blast onto
"I think we flooded the bathroom," she muttered and nuzzled her face into the now
soft and dripping mass of his hair.
"Dirty girl needs a wash now, right?" he asked and reached for the shower gel.
Later, Spike's clothes and boots were dripping into the tub and they were bundled
in sheets and towels in Buffy's bed. Washed free of gel and smelling like her
shampoo, Spike's hair was suspiciously soft under her fingers. She wrinkled her
nose at him when he looked questioningly down at her.
"Did you ever think of laying off the bleach for awhile?" she asked.
"Would that make a difference to you?" he asked and she could tell that he didn't
mean his hair.
"Don't start," she said and pulled away to curl up in the sheet by herself.
"Hey, I ain't sufferin' from the delusion that if there was any possible way you
could have Angel wiv'out Angelus I'd be out on my ass. The fuck-off bit is, I'm
settlin' for that."
She sat up, pulling the covers up around her chest.
"I can't handle you being needy right now. Come back when Dawn's in the clear
and this Citalia thing is over and done with, and then you can be as needy as you
want. I can't hold your hand because I'm using both of mine to hold myself
He raised himself up on his elbows and stared at her, surprised wonder making him
look younger and less Spike-like.
"Don't get all pissy about Angel. The curse is the curse and that's that. I might as
well wish my mom alive again, as Angel un-cursed. Mom is dead, Angel is cursed
and you're here now."
Spike sucked in his cheeks and thought, which she wished he wouldn't do because
it made him look malnourished and kinda gay.
"Right. I can do the supportive thing - I think."
Buffy groaned in a way that had nothing to do with sex and everything to do with
Dealing With Spike and threw herself back onto the bed. She was starting to
wonder if Drusilla had started out crazy or spending a hundred years with Spike
had done it to her. Spike grabbed her and pulled her across the bed until her head
was resting uncomfortably against his shoulder and he patted her on the back with
a hand that felt strangely like a paddle.
"You just rest an' I'll take care of everything."
Biting back a not-really-sane giggle, Buffy squirmed around until she got
comfortable and eventually fell asleep.
Having Angel bust him out of bed at the crack of noon wasn't Spike's best way of
starting the day. At least Buffy was long gone and that awkwardness was skipped.
He was even less enthusiastic to be making his way through the underground
tunnels of Sunnydale where there were things slimy and creepy enough to give him
the willies - especially rats the size of sheep.
"You know what I can't understand," Spike began, keeping an eye out for rats.
"Bet I do," Angel said and continued tramping along. This tunnel carried a slow
trickle of foul-smelling water and decayed leaves, and they both had to walk
carefully to avoid becoming fragrant in the wrong way.
"Very bloody funny. No, what I mean is, you go all dark n' broody after a moment
a' happiness. What I can't figure is where you get perfect happiness wiv'Buffy.
Have you had an actual conversation wiv'her or were you just gazin' into each
"I've had conversations with her."
"For more n'five minutes? You've experienced the illogic, the bad grammar, the
complete and utter ignorance of anythin' not involved with slayin', shoes, an'
"Yeah," Angel said and continued.
They walked along for a good ten minutes, and dodged the bright light of
Sunnydale sun beaming through the grates. Spike waited as patiently as he was
"She's pretty. She's an amazing fighter. She has that innocent thing."
"You're deeper than I thought," Spike sneered and lit a cigarette. "Pretty, I'll give
you, amazin' fighter, that too, but innocent? Let's just say it ain't a permanent
situation. Did you know that she can--"
"Shut up," Angel warned.
"--out of a parkin' meter?"
And the cigarette was on the ground and Spike was being held above it by a good
three inches by a hand around his throat.
"I'm not happy you're having sex with her, and I'm even less happy hearing the
details, all right?"
Spike laughed and it echoed weirdly down the tunnels.
"Where's your sense of humor, Sunshine? Least when I got a soul, I didn't get a
stick up my ass with it."
"Pity the Powers that Be didn't give you a gag," Angel said and dropped Spike.
"Wanker," Spike muttered and rubbed his neck.
"Asshole," Angel said without turning as he continued into the tunnel, coat
flapping around him.
"Sticks and stones."
Something rat-like scurried by Spike's foot and he tried to be very cool about
shying away from it. With any luck, Angel hadn't seen.
The bells on the rear Magic Shop door, the one conveniently shadowed by
overhanging buildings, rang as the vampires passed through. No one was in the
back rooms, so they moved forward. Spike found himself gawking at the gawkworthy
sight within. For some reason, there was a six foot plus slightly scaly green
demon, complete with horns and a blindingly tangerine suit loitering near the
register. Anya and Willow were behind the register, looking apprehensively at the
"Ah, Angel, he says he's a friend of yours . . ." Willow stuttered.
"Angelcakes. Why did I have to leave LA for the 'burbs? It better be good, because
I am not a Dockers and Docksiders kind of guy," the demon complained and
swished over to Angel and enveloped the vampire in a bright orange hug.
Oh this was cute. Was Angel now out of the coffin or something? Spike settled
for crossing his arms over his chest to watch the unfolding scene.
"Why are you here?"
"I was hoping *you'd* tell me that, mon ami. Cordelia was fairly insistent."
"I need you to listen to somebody sing."
"I'm a demon, not an agent. Tell your friends that they have to make the rounds
with the demo tapes the same as everybody else."
"Citalia is having a concert tomorrow night and we think that she's casting some
kind of magic when she sings, only no one here can sense it."
"The only magic that girl casts needs a mixing board. And a good surgeon. That
girl's as plastic as an Amex card. Still, if you really want me to listen --"
"Hang on, what's the Poncy Green Giant got to do wiv'anythin'?" Spike objected.
The demon turned and settled red eyes on Spike.
"So who's the rough trade?" he asked.
"Spike, this is the Host. He's an anargogic demon," Angel said as if that explained
"Oh yeah? I used to have one but the wheels fell off."
"What he means, my peroxided little friend, is that I can read people's destinies
when they sing. I'd invite you to my club but we don't have Never Mind the
Bollocks on the kareoke machine."
"Your loss," Spike said. "So he's gonna' read Citalia's destiny when she sings? I'll
tell you what her destiny is - she quits messin' about with the Niblet and the rest of
her little playmates or she ends up kacked."
"Not just handsome, but charming as well. You must have been very bad to be
inflicted with this one." The Host shook his head. "You know, your karma is just
getting blacker and blacker."
"An' how are we getting' 'im into see Citalia? Don't exactly blend, now does he?"
"And you do?" the Host asked. "The Eighties are over, Billy Idol."
"Xander's working on the concert, some kind of carpenter thing," Angel waved a
dismissive hand. "He can get us into the rehearsal this afternoon, but we have to
get there soon so security won't be that high."
"Absofuckinglutely grand. Carpenter-Boy gets to drop a light on me."
An hour later, Spike was developing a crick in his back from setting up chairs in
the floor seat area of the stadium. He stood up and wondered if lower back pain
was a side effect from having a soul. He certainly couldn't remember being
stooped over like a cripple before. Green Queenie in a purloined blue jumpsuit
with a baseball hat hiding his horns and Steve Wonder sunglasses hiding the rest of
his demon self was doing little more than shifting the same chair back and forth in
half-inch increments. He must have belonged to a union somewhere. 527 Local
Kareoke Bar Demon Poufs, LA Division. Must be a big brotherhood in LA.
"How much longer?" Angel asked Xander, who was looking officious in his hard
"Can't tell. Divas are temperamental."
"I'm getting' temperamental standin' round lookin' like the Village People."
"Young man, there's a place you can go/I said, young man, when you're short on
your dough," the Host sang in a clear tenor. "You can stay there, and I'm sure you
will find/Many ways to have a good time."
Spike was seriously starting to hate this demon.
"You can be the cowboy," the Host suggested. "Xan the Tool Man is the
Construction Worker, I get to be the cop because I sing lead, and Angelcakes
would be the Indian Chief."
"I'm in serious danger a'chunderin' right here an'now," Spike warned.
"Why the Indian Chief?" Angel asked.
"Because you're so brave," the Host said and laughed at his own joke.
"Guys, Citalia sighting, downstage right," Xander instructed.
Spike had to angle himself around the Big Green Pouf to see the stage from where
they were hiding behind the empty chair-trolleys. It was a pity that he didn't have a
camera to capture Angel in a flannel shirt and a worn ball cap looking like an extra
from The Perfect Storm. A small figure wandered out on stage, drawing his
attention away from blackmail. If that was Citalia, she didn't suffer much without
her makeup and costumes. A tiny blonde girl in a baby-doll T-shirt so small that a
stripper would have blushed, and her flat little tummy glimmering with a piercing
over the waistband of her low, low, low rise white jeans. He was practically
getting hard just staring at her. In bad light he might have mistaken her for Buffy.
A glance over to his side showed that Xander and Angel were drooling as well.
Expectedly, the Host seemed only mildly interested.
Spike walked a pace behind Angel towards the soundcheck. He just knew the Host
"George? You out there?" she called and shielded her eyes from the light.
"Right here waiting for you, sweetheart."
"This sucks! I can't see. I'm going to fall and break my neck," she whined.
Spike had a sudden and ugly Harmony flashback.
"You don't have to dance, sweetheart, just sing so we can get some levels," the
post-punk manager suggested and stretched himself a bit more comfortably in his
folding chair, spreading the fur coat he must have stolen from Elton John around
Was the auditorium cold? Spike couldn't tell. It wasn't cold enough to mist
vampire breath so it couldn't have been cold at all. Another bloody pouf wanting
to show off his wardrobe. There was a powerful lot of that going around lately.
Maybe it was cold; Citalia's nipples were standing out like gumdrops. Spike
surreptitiously adjusted himself.
"Okay, dancing is like, no. Tommy, play 'The Sun' please?" she asked with a
toothpaste smile to the obviously bored keyboard player behind a set up that might
have been at home on the Enterprise.
They keyboard player went into a lengthy introduction where shimmering notes
danced round the auditorium like soap bubbles. Citalia stood in place doing
graceful swan-like things with arms that did not seem to have bones and rolled her
neck with the athletic grace of a dancer. When she finally raised the cordless
microphone to her lips the clear, fine sound shocked Spike down to his boots.
"The sun whose rays are all ablaze with ever-living glory, does not deny his
majesty, he scorns to tell a story!"
The same surprise flashed from Angel to Xander to the Host, who quickly smiled
with his fine white teeth in his fine green face.
"Girly hits the high ones. Brava," the Host marveled.
Up onstage, Citalia continued. "He won't exclaim: "I blush for shame, so kindly be
indulgent." But, fierce and bold in fiery gold, he glories all effulgent!"
Realization rattled around inside Spike's head like the silver sphere in a pinball
machine until it hit the triple score bumper.
"Fuck, indulgent. A hundred years and the rhyme is indulgent. Fuck me
All Angel could do was raise an eyebrow at him, Spock-fashion.
"I mean to rule the earth, as he the sky-- We really know our worth, the sun and I!"
"Okay, honey, how about something that might make the top Forty?" George
"God, I get so bored doing all the same stuff," Citalia complained and moped
cutely in the spotlight. "Can you start 'Back for more', Tommy?" she asked and
showed off some more expensive teeth.
This time it was techno-flavored pop with enough of a bass line to make Spike's
toes itch inside his boots. This wasn't what he'd heard from her on the radio, this
ass kicking nasty bitch delivery.
"I can't use what I can't abuse/And I can't stop when it comes to you/You burned
me out, but I'm back at your door/Like Joan of Arc coming back for more."
"She's fuckin' adorable," Spike muttered.
On the other side of Big Green, Angel was smirking.
"Faithful much, Spike?"
"Go fuck yourself. No wait, you'd be havin' it off with the love of yer miserable
life an' you'd go all Angelus again." Spike mimed surprise and then turned evil
smile #2 on the other vampire. "An' that'd be a hell of an improvement. Least
Angelus could have a bit a'fun."
"Fun is punching your lights out."
"Take a bash at it then, you fuckin' great wanker."
Angel took a half-hearted swipe at Spike's head but Spike stepped back and Angel
had to pull his punch to avoid whacking the Host instead. This gained Spike a
dirty look before Angel went back to being impassive.
"Are they always like this?" the Host asked Xander.
"Not really, they usually just pound the undead shit out of each other."
"Play nice bite-y boys or I'll separate you," the Host warned. "Keep your fangy
little mouths shut so I can hear Senorita Citalia."
Up onstage, Citalia was working herself into the final crescendo of her song,
stamping across the stage and pointing emphatic fingers at an invisible audience.
"I came to cut you up/I came to knock you down/I came around to tear your little
world apart/I came to shut you up/I came to suck you down."
All right, if the rest of her album was this good, maybe taking Dawn to the concert
wouldn't be a complete torture. Citalia had a sweet, tight little body and the kind of
neck that just begged for the biting.
"That's great, fine. Terrific," George yelled over the music.
Citalia tried to stick the microphone back in the stand and dropped it, where it
kicked up feedback that made Spike's ears ring. She then bent and picked the
microphone, giving the world an amazing view down the front of her little shirt.
The pop diva then giggled and scampered offstage in a flurry of blonde hair.
"Doable. Very, very doable," Spike offered.
"Yeah," Xander breathed and then caught himself. "I mean in a fantasy kind of
way. Fantasies are important, right?"
"Yeah," Angel agreed. "Fantasies."
"She's very blonde. That nightingale isn't going to Princeton except by bus, if you
know what I mean," the Host said. "Interesting vibe though."
"What did you get?" Angel asked and turned to the green demon.
"I've got to think about it, digest a little. But we'll just say that the wrapping
doesn't match the package."
"Airplane blonde?" Spike asked.
Angel raised both eyebrows, which was a stretch for him.
"Blonde hair, black box," Spike explained.
This time, the Host stepped out of the way so Angel's clout landed square on the
back of Spike's head. It hurt, and Spike grinned, knowing he hadn't lost his edge.
Continued in Part 17