All About Spike - Plain Version
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Sequel to Dangerous
Sequel to "Dangerous", post-Season 7. Set 30 years after the events of the previous story. Rated NC-17
Thanks to my beautiful beta, Julia, to TrueCrystal for her honest criticism, and to the LiveJournal Community for their encouragement and support.
He'd expected screaming. Expected tears and shouting and a tantrum that might last for days.
Instead, she just stood there, her face a cold mask, the only sound the precision crunch of the cell phone under her boot. Her expression never changed, not when she batted away his hands, not when she pushed him out the door, and shut it in his face. Flat, empty cruelty was all he could read in her face, and it reminded him so much of Buffy that it staggered him.
He got the screaming and tears, of course, just not from Dawn.
It wasn't long before rage welled up effortlessly inside him, his frustration peaking and exploding. Hadn't he tried? Hadn't he done everything for her? He ran to the living room, snatched up the first thing that would shatter, and hurled it at the bedroom door.
"What the hell do you want from me?" he shrieked. "I've done everything for you, you bloody ungrateful bitch!" He aimed a kick at the door, expecting it to fly from its hinges, but it held. His howl of incoherent rage shook the lamp shards on the floor in front of him.
Elsewhere in the building, he could hear the murmur of voices; he'd woken the neighbors. Fuck. The last thing they needed was to face the cops tonight. He covered his face with one hand, tried to tether the building anger. Turned smartly on his heel and headed for the disused kitchen. He needed a drink.
By the time he'd downed a third of a bottle, he was missing Drusilla. Odd how that always happened. It'd been years since he'd even laid eyes on her, let alone held her, but when he needed, wanted comfort, there she was. Couldn't figure out whether it had to do with her being his lover or his sire; didn't reckon it mattered, in the end. He closed his eyes, held the bottle a little closer. If he were still, he could feel it again, all those years when they were in love, when he'd been happy. Fool's Paradise, he supposed. Ignorant bliss. But bliss, still, and oh, how he wanted it back. Just for a moment, just for one more day. Longed for a time when he was simply what he was, no guilt to ride him, no twisted, forbidden desires to make him unnatural. He laughed sourly. One thing all the years of guilt had done - he almost had the comfort of his memories again. All the blood he'd spilled since he'd got his soul - it was so fresh and new and constant, it made his memories of Drusilla happy again. Almost.
He didn't know when he'd started crying, but it was only to be expected. Couldn't have the drink without the humiliation, could he? He sunk lower in the chair, took another slug. Damn them all, and damn himself for a lily fool.
"You're pathetic, you know that?" He hadn't heard Dawn come out, and he gazed up at her blearily. She'd shed her fierce costume and stood clad in an old t-shirt, one from before, worn and thin, the makeup washed from her face.
"Yeah. Always was, pet."
She sighed loudly and plucked the bottle from his hands. Took a sip herself and grimacing, dropped it to the floor below. "Think she'll bring him with her?"
Spike shrugged, leaning over to grope for the whiskey. "You're the one who talked to her." He craned his head over, trying to see where it'd gone, till he felt her weight settle over him, her knees hard against his hips, and her forehead resting against his hair.
"I don't want her here, Spike," she whispered.
He caressed her hair, his other hand wrapping around her waist. "I know, pet, I know." Wished he could say something to comfort her, but he wasn't sure there was anything to be said. Buffy's visit couldn't be anything good - whatever it was, it was just going to be painful for them both. "Do you -" His voice faltered, just a bit. "Did she say what she wanted, love?"
Dawn stiffened against him and turned her head away. She didn't answer.
"Dawn?" He reached out a hand to turn her face towards him, tears shining now on her face as well. "What did she say? What does she want? Tell me."
She pushed away his hand, pulled back sharp from him, grief and anger and something else warring in her features. "You, you prick. She wants you back."
The shock ripped through his body, and he pressed his shaking hand to his mouth. It tasted like Dawn's tears. "What?" Then he shook it off, the horror and the grief and that useless, yawning hope - Dawn was playing him. He shoved her hard to the floor, spat out the truth to her tearstained face. "Tell me another one, you little bitch. Yeah, that's real funny. Think because I'm pissed, you can lie to me like that? Like I'm going to take it?" His voice rose again. Sod the neighbors.
"I'm not lying!" Dawn scrambled to her feet, her hair obscuring her eyes, arms crossed defensively over her chest. "That's what she said, asshole." She frowned, fighting tears. "I can't stay here. I can't. She'll come back, and you'll just bend right back over and let her screw you again, won't you? Won't you?" She was crying hard, now, hugging herself tight for comfort, and she looked like a frightened child, that kid hiding from Glory.
He grasped her arm, tugged her down to him, into his arms. "I'm so sorry, Dawnie," he murmured.
"Fuck you." She sniffled, her face buried against his neck, her tears sprinkling his skin. For a moment, he thought she would pull away, but then she sighed and relaxed into his embrace. Her fingers bunched themselves round the cotton of his shirt, clinging tightly to him as though he were about to bolt. "I hate you," she said. "I hate you for doing this to me."
"I hate me, too, precious," he murmured.
"You know what I really hate? I hate being Buffy's little sister. That's all I ever was, and it's all I'll be forever, thanks to you." She sniffled again, wiped her face on his sleeve. "I'm not as pretty, not as scary, not as big a badass." A note of satisfaction crept into her voice as she continued, "At least I know I fuck better than she does. Don't I, Spike?"
"Not very gentlemanly to compare, Bit."
She laughed out loud, then, genuine giggles that shook them both. "Since when were you a gentleman, Spike?"
"Since always, love. Never heard me compare Buffy to Dru, did you?"
Dawn snorted loudly. "Like Buffy wouldn't have kicked your skinny ass all over town." She leaned back her head to look up at him through lowered lashes, and placed her hand possessively on his inner thigh. "You know I'm right. I fuck so much better than she does." He felt the cool tip of her tongue trace the shell of his ear. "And I know what you like, don't I?"
She was right. "Yeah, you are better," he said. She was, and she knew it, ready to try anything, willing to do whatever he liked - things that Buffy would never deign to do - and she loved not only the chains and paddles and exquisitely pleasurable pain, but also the long, slow, extravagant fucks where they whispered sweet words and sometimes even fell asleep still joined, so that when they woke it was as if they were simply continuing instead of starting over. Even human, Buffy never -- He pushed the thought away automatically, and turned his attention to Dawn's hand, wiggling slowly toward his groin. He clasped her hand, lifted it from his thigh. "Dawn…" Meant to tell her he had thinking to do, meant to sit out here and drink till he passed out, till he didn't have to think about anything, anymore. But it all died on his lips when he saw her face; it was a mass of anger, fear, jealousy, and naked need. He knew that look, that fear - watching your lover go back to what you thought they'd left forever. It pained him to see it in Dawn. He loved her - not like the love he had for Buffy, that unrelieved ache when she had gone, the wave that turned his belly leaden and made his knees buckle - but love, nonetheless. He didn't want to see Dawn hurt, not on his account.
He didn't push her away. Instead, he lifted her hand to his lips, murmuring wetly against it, "Thought I was pathetic, love."
"Well, you are," she replied, smiling. "But maybe in bed you're not a total loser." She leaned forward to brush her mouth against his, tongue teasing his lips apart. "Come to bed, Spike."
He needed time - time to suss it out, to figure out what this meant and how he should feel, and it wasn't conducive to rational thought, Dawn's fingers tracing patterns down his shoulders, and her continuing kisses leaching the taste of whiskey from his mouth. He let himself be pulled out of the chair, out of his thoughts and self-pity, and into the bedroom.
The bedroom was lit by candles, the bed pulled back, and the lack of breakables lost in the shadows. Smiling, Dawn reached into the bedside table; the handcuffs she withdrew glittered in the candlelight.
"In the mood for a little punishment, love?"
"No - in the mood to give some," she said sharply. "Get on the bed, Spike."
He'd been too many years with Drusilla, too green when she took him. He was conditioned so by her pleasures, her quirks and needs, that the click of the handcuffs brought instant arousal. The chain ran through an eyebolt in the ceiling; enough slack to raise up on his knees, turn over back-to-front, but not quite enough to lie down. From the confident smile on Dawn's face as she tied the blindfold, he didn't think he'd be lying down for a while.
She pressed the barest kiss against him, and then was gone. He'd expected her to start strong - she usually did. Spent enough years in Buffy's shadow that she liked being on top in a way that had nothing to do with the sex. But this time, he waited, and waited, kneeling naked and blindfolded. He'd begun to wonder if she'd left, punished him by leaving him trussed up for Buffy to find. Spite always was Dawn's strong suit. But then he heard the whisper of cloth as she slipped off her shirt, and felt the press of her body along his back. Her skin was smooth and cool, her breasts soft against him as she threaded her arms around his torso.
He felt the tears on his shoulder before her heard her stifled sob. "You all right, love?" he asked softly.
"Why, Spike? It's never me. Why isn't it ever me?"
He could hear the catch in her voice, the longing that had always been there. Monks may have had enough power to make her real, but it hadn't been enough to make her secure. "Love..."
"Shut up!" Her fingers tightened on his chest, nails digging angry furrows along his skin. She sniffled, but her voice was rock-steady when she spoke, "I didn't say you could talk, did I? You're always fucking talking." Then she was gone from the bed, her tears drying cold on his back. When the first blow fell, he was unprepared. Jerked forward, his upraised arms pulled painfully back by the chain. She didn't pause, just kept striking, her words punctuated with blows, fierce and angry. "I hate you! You made me this way, and you still don't give a shit about me!"
"Dawn, sweetheart..." he started.
"Shut up!" She grabbed a fistful of hair, jerking his head back hard, and hissed, "If you say one more word, I swear, I'll make you sorry you ever laid eyes on me, Spike."
He believed her. After all, she'd learned it from Buffy. Once again, she struck him, arms and shoulders and back and thighs, neck and chest, and even the soles of his feet, tucked under him. Not hard enough to break the skin but too hard to sustain arousal. He let her strike where she wanted. It was only what he deserved.
He didn't know how long she hit him. His back, his arms, his hips all ached from tension and the rod. He'd learned long ago to let his mind slip away from the physical whenever there was pain to be endured. Pity he still needed the bottle to do the same for emotional pain. Dawn collapsed in a storm of weeping, huddled against his stinging flesh. Anger in about equal measure to despair, he guessed. When she grew quiet, he ventured to speak, just a whisper. Meant to console, to comfort, but what he said was, "Can't help what I feel, pet."
"Why can't you love me, instead, Spike? It's not fair - she's always - it's just not fair."
"I do love you, Dawn." God help him, he did. Loved her now, shaking against his back, loved her writhing beneath him, the whipcrack of her temper, the unpredictable energy so much like his own, but he loved her in his memories, too - the big-eyed girl who didn't know where she fit in, the braver-than-she-ought delinquent, too sexy for her own good. He'd always loved her, one way or another.
"But not as much as her."
What could he say? His silence said it all.
He felt her uncoil from his back, flinched when the tip of something sharp touched his chest. He knew that feeling too well. Stake.
"Maybe I don't want to share you, asshole. If I just kill you, then the bitch doesn't get to have you." Her voice quivered, the tip of the stake skittered against his skin.
"You kill me, you don't get to have me either, precious." He could feel her trembling, knew without seeing that she was close to tears once more.
"I don't have you now, Spike, so what's the difference?"
He ached to touch her, hold her; all he could do was hang there, helplessly. "You have got me, Dawn. Didn't leave you before, not going to leave you now. " He frowned, spat out the truth between them. "Doesn't matter how I feel about her. She doesn't want me. Never did; not really. "
Dawn sniffled, the stake falling away to the floor. "No, she said--"
"Said it to wind you up, pet. Said it because she knows how you feel - knew it would hurt both of us. She's good at that. Always was."
There was silence for a moment, and then she kissed him, her mouth opening gently against his. The brush of her nipples against him made him shiver, kissing harder as he leaned into her touch. The welts along his shoulders burned beneath her palms, but now her touch was soothing instead of angry. He wasn't sure when she reached up to release the chains, loosed his hands to draw her closer, skating over her skin. The pain and anguish and longing coalesced between them, and, when he drew back from her, she crumpled, wrung out, against his chest. He slid the blindfold from his eyes and pulled her down, settling her head in the hollow of his throat, arms tight 'round her, one hand cupping her breast, so comforting and sure. "I won't leave you, Dawn," he whispered. "I swear it."
She tugged him upwards for another kiss, and sighed against his lips. Her mouth tasted like salt.
There was screaming. And blood. Sound and taste and smell brought him upright, disoriented. Took him a minute to remember where he was - their apartment, with Dawn safe beside him. He didn't know which one of his thousand nightmares it was - there were so many of them that formed the tragic chorus of his everyday life. He flopped backwards with a sigh, rubbing his fingers against Dawn's side. Her face was half-hidden by a veil of hair, her hand curled up beneath her chin. His touchstone; still here, still his.
Lying in the darkened bedroom, covers piled around him, he let himself think about it. Let himself…hope? Fear? that it was true. He wasn't stupid enough to think she was coming back out of love. She'd never really loved him; he knew that now. He doubted she'd return to him unless there was something she wanted. It worried him. And the worst part was that it didn't matter, whatever the reason. He ached and pined and couldn't push her away, no matter how he tried. If she called, he'd follow. He glanced at Dawn, sleeping soundly beside him. Wasn't fair to Dawn. But then, he supposed, fair didn't enter into it.
She'd long been asleep when he finally rose, wandering around the apartment restlessly. Daylight pressed outside, but he couldn't sleep. So he sat and worried. Drank a bit more, but his heart wasn't in it. Mostly he smoked and tried not to think about Buffy.
He failed miserably, of course.
He remembered everything about the last time he saw her. She'd been out all night with Angelus; she almost never hunted with him anymore, not since the day he'd eaten at the butcher's.
He found out later that they'd murdered an entire foster family - two boys and three girls. The couple was blamed; the wife killed herself, the husband got the chair. If Spike concentrated, he could even recall their names.
He'd been drinking - he did a lot of that in those days, getting maudlin and insensible, easier to bear the thought of her with Angel when he was too drunk to hear their fucking through the walls. By the time she came back that morning, he was drunk - but still not drunk enough to sleep without the dreams - so he remembered it all clear as glass.
"Spike, get up," she snapped. It was her demanding voice, that same commanding tone she always used when she wanted him to snap to, and, like a soldier, he obeyed. Sir, yes Sir! She said jump; he jumped. See, your honor, I'm not responsible; I was just following orders. He began to giggle helplessly. The crack of her foot against his shin quelled the worst of it. "What is it, love? Woke me up to tell me how useless I am? Figured that out on my own."
"Shut up. Here." She flung something into the corner where it landed with a dull thud and a little, gasping cry. "Keep an eye on that while I get cleaned up." He didn’t have to look up to see the sneer on her face; she hadn’t looked at him with anything less than disgust in quite a while. "Don’t worry, I won’t take you away from your drunken wallowing for long."
"A minute’s too long, love. The wallowing’s already behind schedule for tonight. But if you’d like to stay, I think I could be persuaded to make the show a bit more interesting." He levered himself upright, only a bit wobbly, and reached for her face, soft in the low light, dotted with a faint sprinkling of blood. Always such a messy eater. "Or you could join me," he whispered seductively, nuzzling just under her ear. He wasn’t so drunk that he didn’t remember what she liked after a kill. He slipped an arm around her waist and drew her, unresisting, to his side. "Come on, sweet," he murmured against her skin, laying slow, deliberate kisses along the shell of her ear. "Wallow a bit with me." She kissed him then, the taste of blood sweet on her tongue, and her hands slipped under his shirt to make his skin jump. His, she was his, made with his blood and pricked with his mark, and she’d come ‘round again, he always knew she would. He pulled her backward to the chair, smiling and sure.
"Buffy?" Angel’s voice came floating through the closed door, arrogant and amused. He didn’t bother to knock, just flung it open and lounged in the doorway, smirking broadly. "The shower’s running, honey. Don’t want to waste all the hot water." Buffy smiled at Spike for a moment, then said, nonchalantly, "Oh, well, maybe later." She pointed vaguely towards the corner, saying "I’ll be back for that later, anyway." She brushed Angel’s chest with a languid hand as she moved past, and both went out the door without looking again at Spike.
He sagged against the chair, listening to their laughter move down the hall, his eyes filled with angry tears. He couldn’t lose her, he couldn’t. Wouldn’t – not to him. His memory got a bit fuzzy here because, as he'd raged inwardly, he'd heard something. Oh. The thing Buffy had brought home. He got up and made his way to the corner, a little unsteady from drink and anger, and he was already trembling, but it hadn’t been helped when he found the girl. A tiny thing, no more than three, crying and blood-spattered, and hanging on desperately to some filthy toy.
The child just lay there, tears drying on her face, barely whimpering. Probably in shock. She stank of fear and so much blood...he couldn't…. How could he ever have? They’d brought her here, which meant no quick and painless death for her; they'd brought her back to play. A wave of nausea swept over him, and he knew that he just couldn’t - couldn’t let it, couldn’t watch it, couldn’t live with it. He bent and picked the child up gently, tried to stop shaking long enough to comfort her, soothe her fears, but his cold, cold hands threatened to set her off again. Two ways to save her, so he made a choice. The wrong one, as it turned out.
He ran from the house, racing daylight to leave the child at a hospital, setting her on the desk of some dog-faced night nurse before he made a dash for home. Didn’t make it – got caught by the daylight, burned the shit out of his face, had to spend the day cowering in a storm drain. But the girl was safe and gone. He tried not to think about the reception he’d face when he went home.
When he got back that night, Buffy wasn’t angry; she was gone, and Angel with her. The next night, the two of them broke into the children's ward and tore the girl to pieces. They left a note for him there that the police made much of: No good deed goes unpunished.
And the sad part? That no matter what she'd done, what she wanted, whatever hell she planned to put him through, there was a very large part of him that couldn't wait to see her. Maybe that was Dru's influence as well…or maybe he was just the same masochistic bastard he'd always been. It occurred to him, not for the first time, that things would have been so much easier if he'd never laid eyes on Sunnydale. No chip, no humiliation, no ball-cracking Slayer to fall head-over-heels for. No soul. Mixed blessing, that - now he had one, the thought of himself without it wasn't so appealing as it might have been. Now that he knew, really knew, what it mean to be without? Might be his own version of hell, but it was his. Gave him choices, even if they were the wrong ones. Hadn't had that, before, he didn't think.
He wondered if things would have been different. If Sunnydale would have been the same, if the crises would have been the same, if Buffy would have been the same, if he and Dru had looked elsewhere for her cure.
Probably not. Wouldn't have stopped her and Angel from…. Anyway, world might have ended right then and there. Or ended with Adam. Or Glory. Or any of the other assorted apocalypses Buffy'd stopped. Presumably not the last one, though. Enough bleeding irony there to last ten lifetimes - without a soul he stopped two apocalypses; the simple act of getting one nearly caused another. The funniest thing was that he hadn't stopped to consider what would happen once he turned the girls. Hadn't thought of anything, really, except that she finally saw him, finally wanted what he'd always been, was finally ready to admit it. All he remembered was a kind of surprised joy.
When he could focus again, he'd realized that the First was still out there, still breeding monsters, still planning to finish the job. They hadn't stuck around to see, of course – Spike had no intention of remaining in that hellhole – but, if it had happened, they would have known. Packed up the girls' crap, fed 'em one good meal, and got the hell out of Dodge.
To their surprise, the world hadn't ended. Not that night, not the night after, not at all.
In the years after, Buffy only expressed mild curiosity about it, and Dawn was apparently content to pretend none of it had happened. Spike was the only one who worried, and wondered. He finally decided that the First was like most Big Bads – more mouth than muscle. Push came to shove, all it had was that whispering, persuasive voice. All talk, no show.
They'd never have known what happened, if it hadn't been for Angel.
They'd come home late one night, and he was waiting. Sat atop his obviously-overcompensating Mustang like some sort of fucking king, grinning from ear to ear. To Spike, the meaning was clear: something bad was going to happen. Wasn't quite enough to make Spike shudder, but it was close.
For one brief moment, Spike was afraid that Angel had come to try and kill them - brought that band of goody-goodies from LA after them. That train of thought lasted only until Angel jumped from the car, stalking towards them with an exaggerated swagger, brilliant smile in place. Spike knew that walk, knew that smirk. The boy scout wasn't currently in residence.
He'd known whatever it was couldn't be good, but looking back, he hadn't a clue how bad it would get. Didn't know then that he could hate Angel more than he already did. Never say never, he supposed.
Should have killed him that night, Spike reflected. If he had, she'd never--- he stifled that thought with another shot of whiskey. Wouldn't have done anything but delay it. She was already as good as gone.
Continued in Chapter 4
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