All About Spike - Plain Version
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Andrew found himself looking at ceilings
tiles and struts. This made no sense at all because he'd been dreaming
about some universe where he got to wear a tight black uniform and play with all
sorts of cool weapons. Also, his head hurt, and it was becoming apparent that
there were going to be repercussions unless he could crawl upstairs to the
bathroom. He closed his eyes to see if that lessoned the pain. No such luck.
Cautiously, he turned his head; there was the entertainment center. He turned it
the other way, feeling the cool concrete oddly soothing. In the other direction
was a gurney-like thing that Warren had set up and...Oh, shit! He yelped and sat
up, scooting backward on his butt away from the woman on the table. "Don't hurt
me," he quavered.
Hallie was not feeling good. She, too, had a
distinct premonition of oncoming digestive difficulties, and the idea of what
that would be like while tied to a table made her forget that she was tied up.
If she had felt better, the knots wouldn't have been a problem. The biggest item
on her radar was her hangover, and Andrew was just an annoying noise that she'd
slap away as soon as she felt better. If I ever feel good enough to get
revenge on anyone again, it's Jack Daniels I'm going after, she
thought. Her mouth felt like the bottom of an coal miner's laundry hamper. She
turned her head just slightly. Strange. Ratboy was gone. In his place was some
boy she knew she should have some vague memory of, but really couldn't bother to
waste the energy on. She tried to focus on this one, who skittered away from her
as soon as he saw her looking at him. He looked like he was going to cry.
She just hated that. A surprising number of these sleazeballs did all kinds of
crap—murder, rape, whatever -- and burst into tears when she so much as
threatened their golf handicap. She'd told OJ Simpson she was going to curse him
with girlfriends who were as beautiful as he was innocent, and he'd promptly
displayed more acting ability then than she'd ever seen in his movies. Of
course, D'Hoffryn just loved OJ's movies, so she'd seen the damned things
numerous times. Shame, really, that there was no category of artistic
revenge....She drifted pleasantly for a few minutes, occupied by thoughts of
making N'Sync pay for their crimes, when she realized she was still tied up.
Damn. This reality was so unpleasant. Next time she was definitely going to pop
out before the hangover arrived. She concentrated her brain cells and focused on
breaking the ropes. Nothing. Not even a fizzle. What the hell was going
on...?Then she remembered. Her pendant. Anya had her pendant. She stared at the
ceiling resentfully for a while. Then she licked her lips and tried to figure
out which of the two boys she saw actually existed. "You."
God, how pathetic, she thought. Human.
"You'll hurt me."
Well, duh, you fool. Then she realized,
mournfully, that minus her pendant, and severely hungover, she might not even be
capable of that. Unless, of course, she could scare the little bugger. She
turned her head the other way and tried to morph into demon face, but the
hangover was rapidly getting worse, and all she could manage was a really bad
case of acne. She sighed and turned back. "I won't hurt you." She paused. "If
you untie me."
"Oh, I don't know." Andrew said tremulously. "Warren will
be so...." His eyes widened at the way she glared at him. Hm. Think like a
Supervillain! He thought. She was tied up. Warren was not. Warren might
come back. Besides, how many people could boast they'd caught a
demon? However, in order to get away, he had to get by the table to the
stairs. Hm. How pissed would Warren be? Hm. He looked at where her hands
were tied to the table; there were several thicknesses of rope around each
wrist, and he knew her ankles were just as securely tied. She wasn't going
anywhere, at least as long as she was tied up. Tied up, she was just
another woman, just another experiment. He smiled slightly to himself, relieved.
His favorite solution to every problem was simple; do nothing and wait for
Warren. Here was a perfect opportunity.
Hallie cleared her throat. "Well?"
"Well, I don't think I should."
A scraping noise on the stairs made them both
turn. Jonathon stood on the stairway, wearing his Superman Tee-shirt, jaw
agape. His expression of astonishment gradually faded into one of disappointment
as he realized that Halfrek in no way, shape or form resembled a cheerleader.
She hadn't bothered to morph out of the demon face she'd managed, so she had a
rather severe skin condition as well. "Oh," Jonathon said faintly. No
cheerleader. No gratitude. Rescuing her no longer seemed interesting;
disposing of her seemed to be the problem now. He grimaced. Supervillains or
superheroes were supposed to get all the cool girls; what was going on here?
"Uh," Jonathon said. She was conscious, too, which
meant he was about to experience conversational awfulness that no doubt would
eclipse whatever torments had he'd survived in high school. How did you make
polite conversation with someone your evil genius buddy had kidnapped for
purposes he'd forced himself not to think about? Crap. He'd wanted to rescue a
cheerleader. This person just wasn't pretty enough to rescue. He sank down onto
the steps and sighed.
Hallie looked at him, then waited for five seconds
before looking again. He was still sitting there, pouting, and she wondered if
she'd inadvertently turned him to stone. She looked at the ceiling supports for
a while, then glanced back. Nothing. Was he just going to sit there? "You." She
said. "Untie me."
"Uh," Jonathon said, nervously standing up. It occurred to
him he would have untied her if she'd been unconscious, but he just couldn't do
it while she was looking at him. He hesitated, completely flummoxed by something
he hadn't expected. "Uh. It's ...the phone." He said faintly.
Inspiration dawned on Andrew's face. "Yeah, I'm expecting
"No, it's for me!" Jonathon said. "I'M expecting a call!"
"No, I am." Andrew snapped, jumping to his feet.
Jonathon leaped and whirled up the stairs, Andrew at his heels.
Out of Hallie's sight, there was a thump, and a scuffle, muttered threats and
insults, and then a door slamming. Her sigh reached only the ceiling.
She looked around again. No phone. No company. No
pendant. No way to get a hold of anyone. She was hungover, sick, and not
likely to improve if she didn't get some aspirin. Plus, she just was not in
fighting shape, and if those three twits came back, she'd have a great excuse
for revenge, but not a lot of opportunity.
Oh, God, this is going to look so bad on my quarterly
review, she thought. She closed her eyes and began chanting, softly and
uncertainly. Before she'd gotten far, there was a roar, a puff of smoke
that did her stomach no good at all, and an irritable-sounding cough. She
tried to spot anything in the green smoke. There were tentative footsteps
on the concrete, and the smoke swirled as someone waved irritably at it. Horns
emerged from the soupy fog, and D'Hoffryn peered at her, only his head and face
visible. "Hallie?!" He looked over her predicament. "What happened?"
For the first time, Hallie let herself get good and
joyously angry. "You know that rule about us getting revenge on our own?"
"Well, we need to talk about changing that."
God, the phone again. Buffy jerked awake and glared
at the thing. She was curled up against Spike's back, her arms looped bonelessly
around his middle, his hand curled back around one of her thighs. She groaned in
a very un-Slayer like way, and rolled over to grab the phone, vowing to turn the
ringer off when she was done.
"Xander, don't take this the wrong way, but if it's
another missing demon, your birthday present is in serious jeopardy."
There was an interesting pause. He was calling from the
Magic Box; she could hear the noise of the cash register behind him. Behind her,
she heard and felt Spike move, rolling over onto his back as she had, then
beside her. She glanced down and Spike was stretched thoughtfully out on his
side next to her, cheek propped on one hand.
"Well, does it count if it's the same demon?" Xander
"Tell me again why I should care?"
Anya was saying something in the background, her voice
alternatively buzzing and clearing in the earpiece. She sounded like a giant
bug. "Anya says Hallie left, then Spike..." He let that phrase dangle
suggestively in the air.
"What are you talking about?" Buffy demanded.
"Well, evidently there was some sort of history there
between Anya's friend and... Spike. I know you've been all buddy-buddy with him
Buffy's mood slid from irritated to outright pissed in one
"Why don't you just spit it out, Xander? What are you
trying to say?"
"Well, like I said, you know, Hallie broke his heart when
he still had a heart, so who knows what he'd do if he had the opportunity?"
Buffy thought rapidly, frowning, trying to figure
out something she knew she was missing. Spike reached out with one finger and
traced her thigh, distracting her from whatever it was that she was trying
to remember. "This was Anya's little vengeance demon friend?"
"Well, yeah." Xander said cautiously.
"So if she broke his heart, how come she's a vengeance
demon?" Buffy demanded triumphantly. "He didn't kill her then, why would he do
More muttering buzzing sounds just a bit too far away to
hear. Buffy glanced down at Spike, sensing impending distractions.
Actually, she was actively hoping for them. "Anya said Hallie left first, then
Spike took off."
"So?" Buffy said. She had the perfect defense, right in
front of her, and she couldn't use it. He was here with me, all night.
"Jeez, Buffy, what is it? You're sticking up for him."
"Somebody's got to." Buffy snapped. "You just
automatically blame him for everything." Something like shock slipped over
Spike's face, and he looked up at her with wary eyes. "Dawn was telling me about
this summer, Xander."
There was a tense silence, and when Xander finally broke
it, his voice was tight. "Yeah, so what does that mean?"
"He fought alongside you all summer, and you might be able
to forget that, but Dawn and I can't. And Glory tortured him."
"That's what he says." Xander said scornfully.
"You saw him, Xander. Do you think he did that to
"He's always getting into fights." Xander said contemptuously.
"He's always got bruises and stuff all over. Look at that shiner he had at your
party, and he didn't even bring you a present, did you?"
"Xander, you have whatever opinion you want." Buffy said. "But I
have an opinion, too, and at least I change mine when the person it's about
changes. I'll ask around about Anya's friend. " She slammed the phone down,
hard, then picked it up and ripped the cord out of the base. Spike watched
this with unreadable eyes.
"Talkin' about me, were you." It was not a question.
Buffy flopped down next to him. The day was at that
perfect time of afternoon, not too hot, not too bright, not too dark, not yet
cooling off into desert chill. Except Xander had spoiled it. "He talked, I
"You were sticking up for me."
She turned and looked at him, giving him a fierce look. "I'd do
that no matter what, you know? I change my mind! You've changed, you've done
things, and Xander just doesn't change..." She glanced away sullenly as he
brushed her hair out of her eyes.
"You talked to Dawn about more than boys, didn't you?"
"Well, let's face it, boys..." Buffy's shrug encompassed the
entire gender. "Not a big subject."
"Oh, really, Little Miss-I-Change-My-Mind?"
"Living or dead." She amended with a smirk.
"Well, thanks." He was looking at her again, far beyond
serious now, and she simply couldn't look at him. She had stuck up for him to
Xander, it was true. She wanted to believe she would have done that no matter
what, but she really wasn't sure. Desperately, she clung to the belief of Fair
Buffy, able to change her mind, able to grow. "So what did Dawn have to
It was her turn to reach out and brush his face, not
because his hair was anywhere long enough to obstruct her view, but because she
had to touch him. "I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you."
"Well, what did Xander say?"
"He said that that friend of Hallie's was still missing."
"He thought that you..."
"Ah...." Spike shook his head and dropped his head back to
the pillow. "And Anya said that?"
"How'd you guess?"
"I'm psychic." Spike said sarcastically.
The phone rang. Buffy jumped, staring in surprise at
the phone she'd disconnected, then realizing it was the one downstairs. She
jumped up, grabbing her robe, and dashing down the stairs. Spike got out of bed
and stretched, noticing that all the blinds were drawn. He looked around,
startled. She'd closed all the blinds so the sun wouldn't shine on him? No,
probably just a coincidence. He ambled his way across the floor, tripping
over his clothes, then kicking them out of the way. He scrounged in his pockets
for smokes, pausing as he encountered the big roll of bills. God, he had to talk
to Dawn, and who knew when that would be? He leaned in the hallway door, trying
to catch bits of the conversation downstairs. All he could catch was a
series of "Oh? Ew. Oh, no. Crap. Uh. Huh." Then the sound of
the phone being hung up rather more enthusiastically than was necessary.
After a moment broken by the sound of stomping feet, Buffy appeared at the base
of the stairs, not looking happy. She started up about the time he started down,
and they met in the middle. He turned her sideways till they on the same step,
then turned around, so that she was a step higher.
"And that would be?"
"Something weird is going on."
"This is Sunnydale." He got his hands into the pockets of her
robe, and she squirmed against him, grumpy but still persuadable. He kissed her
just once, hands cupping her bottom through her robe, inching her robe open.
Warm skin against his, heat spreading to his bones, he leaned against the wall,
kissing her again, gauging her reaction. "How weird?"
"I guess somebody turned half the chess club into newts, and the
trekkies at the Trek marathon were suddenly afflicted, with, uh, toaditis."
He pulled back and looked at her. "You are kidding,
"Nope." She leaned against him for a minute. "So now I really
have to go and act all Slayer like."
"I guess that means you have to get dressed."
"That's the plan." She muttered.
"Does that mean I have to get dressed?"
"Well," Buffy said thoughtfully. "I kind of thought, you could
drive me there..."
Visions of slow twilight driving, Buffy with her head on his
shoulder, suddenly appeared in Spike's brain. "I'll think about it."
"Think about it fast, because..."
They both jumped at the sound of the knock on the door. Oh, God,
Buffy thought, then remembered that the door was locked. However, there were
windows, and there she was with Spike, with her robe half off, and him
completely naked. "Oh, God." Buffy said out loud. Spike rolled his eyes at the
timing, and silently retreated up the stairs, giving Buffy a sarcastic look at
she composed herself and her robe. All neatened up, she fixed a smile on her
face, and headed toward the door. Of course, the house was so dark on the inside
that whoever was outside in the bright sun couldn't see inside anyway, but why
care about reality at this point anyway?
She positioned herself carefully behind the door so as to block
whoever was selling Girl Scout cookies or whatever from seeing that she was
still in her bathrobe. Definitely not good. She waited for the next knock, and
opened the door a fraction.
The green demon who'd come up from LA with Spike looked down at
her. She stared. He stared back. "Lorne?"
"Hey, sweetie." He looked at her, then smiled. "See you took my
"Wha..? Huh?" She looked down, realizing that it was possible to
see the fuzzy sleeve of her bathrobe as she held the door open. "Oh, uh, that,
"Never mind, sweetie, I gave you the advice, didn't I? You lucky
thing. Uh, anyway, there's been kind of an interesting twist. You might want to
"Well, I was just..." Lorne stepped aside, and Buffy stared at
someone she knew she should recognize, someone who looked vaguely familiar, but
not familiar enough to actually place.
"Hello, Buffy." Wesley said uncomfortably. They stared at each
other, former Watcher and Slayer, Buffy staring in open astonishment. This was
not prissy Wesley, not with that five o'clock shadow, wearing jeans -- okay, she
could imagine, in a theoretical way, Wes wearing jeans, but she figured he'd
press them or something, and probably make sure they were a perfect, dorky shade
of blue. But here he was, wearing faded blue jeans, his hands stuffed
uncomfortably in the back pockets.
"Wes." Buffy closed her mouth with a snap. "What brings you to
"Well, it's kind of complicated." Wes said uncomfortably.
I'm sleeping with my former mortal enemy, and somebody
is turning geeks into amphibians, maybe kidnapping demons. So what isn't
weird around here? Buffy thought.
"Try me," Buffy said. "It can't get any weirder."
"Yes it can." Wes said grimly. "Angel just stole Spike's car."
Continued in Chapter 35
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