All About Spike - Plain Version
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Chapter: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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 betas, Julia, and Carolyn Claire, and to the LiveJournal Community for their encouragement and support.
About the time the first punch landed, he realized that he'd finally gone full circle. From lovesick git getting beaten by demons to lovesick git being beaten by demons. It was like he'd never left Sunnydale. He grabbed a bottle, smashed it up and over into some scaly thing's - well, it was on the front of its head, it must be a face. It staggered back, roaring, while Spike levered himself to his feet with a bloody grin. Finally, something he could fight.
The first twelve bars had been a bust. Nothing but snot-nosed kids, or middle-aged drones drowning their troubles. He was the scariest thing for miles, and any attempts of his to provoke a little violence resulted in the sea of humans parting like he was goddamn Moses with his staff. Figures. Got thrown out of three; tried to flash some green and get jumped for it in two more - nobody wanted anything to do with him. In between the first and last, travelled on ever-less-steady legs from place to place. Hours till sunrise, but still felt risky in this sprawling city.
It was after midnight when he found the demon bar. Some kind of glamour on it kept it hidden till he walked right beside it - the worst kind of hangout, too - full of misshapen things even he couldn't name, and the smell of drugs thick in the air. Could cut the hostility with a knife - all the heads swiveling about (some more than others) when he entered. Vampires weren't apparently very welcome here. Better and better. He eased himself onto a barstool and ordered a beer. After a moment's thought, he ordered some blood, too - might as well take advantage of the fact that he could. The blood was old, and bore the first hints of disease, and it was priced entirely too high. But it was human, and warm, and blessedly guilt-free. He drank it down in one long draught.
Shook out a smoke, and picked up his beer, turning to scan the bar for likely sources of trouble. His fingers flexed involuntarily as he watched; he badly needed to hit something. Simply going home was not an option - he couldn't decide whether the worst-case-scenario involved them being gone from the apartment, or being there together, waiting for him. Either way, he just wasn't up to it without a bit of--the hand on his shoulder gave him pause; large, tight, and heavy. Here we go,he thought.
A gravel-rough voice rumbled in his ear, "We don't like your kind, here."
With studied nonchalance, Spike reached to remove the hand, dropping it with casual distaste. His demeanor spoke of wanting to wipe down the jacket where the offending talon had grasped. "Piss off."
"What did you say to me, you filthy little meat sac?"
Spike's fist was faster than the eye could follow - certainly faster than his vampire-hating demon could dodge, since it flattened the thing to the ground, where it lay, unmoving. He had enough time to wonder whether he'd killed it outright, when the rest of the crowd rushed him at the bar.
What a rush, was his first thought. He threw himself sideways as the demons surged forward, grabbing the last one and tossing it roughly against the wall. It's short-lived screech of pain brought the others up short, and they turned almost as one to see Spike behind them, grinning as he leaned against a table. This was going to be fun>.
The first few blows he blocked, caught the next, shoving back hard till the demon buckled against the one behind him. Easy as pie, no fancy moves among this set - big and slow and dumb, and just exactly what he needed. They hadn't figured out yet that they could come at him from more than one side, so the fight wasn't all it could have been, but still, felt good. He caught a couple of blows - one in particular right on the nose, staggering him back. Punch, kick, jump, punch - felt so natural, it took him a moment to realize that he was waiting for something. Something was missing, and he couldn't quite figure what it---
He stopped dead in the middle of the bar. Buffy. He was waiting for Buffy to join the fight. He felt his love and longing laid bare like a great pulsing wound; he howled with fury at how she managed to gut him even when she wasn't there - and then they had him. Threw him to the floor, and he felt a sharp, hot pain on his right side, demons kneeling on his legs and back. Would've gone badly, too, except his fumbling fingers found the lighter and a pile of bar napkins soaked with whatever rotgut that passed for liquor in that place. He was frankly surprised he didn't burn. The place went up like it had been soaked in gasoline, and the demons scattered, leaving him free. The bartender'd been the first to scarper, so Spike helped himself to a bottle of something that looked consumable before he sauntered out.
Cracked his neck, took a long draught and watched the pretty fire till the sirens drew near. He smiled as he sauntered away. Turned out to not to be such a bloody awful night after all.
It was nearly light when he stumbled in; he passed three neighbors on an early morning jog. Their averted eyes and their habit of crossing to the other side of the road when he dragged himself into view was as much a testament to his and Dawn's frequent battles as his grotesque appearance this morning. Didn't need a mirror to show him the damage, when he had horrified neighbors. He sighed, leaning heavily against the door of the apartments. Bloody hell. They'd probably complain at the tenant's meeting again. He had a hell of a time keeping Dawn from laying into all of them last time. He didn't fancy moving again so soon.
He pulled himself slowly up the stairs, pausing to ease his ribs - at least three cracked, if not broken. Hard to tell, with this amount of drink in him. He was sore from top to bottom, one eye swollen nearly shut, and a lip to match, blood in his hair - not all of it his, of course - broken nose, and one nasty-feeling place in his back where he was pretty sure they'd tried to shove a pool cue through his chest. On the wrong side, of course. For big hulking things, they weren't very bright. Plus, he was pretty sure the cues were fiberglass.
He steadied himself with one hand while he worked the lock with the other. Once upon a time, he had minions to stand watch; didn't bother with sodding lock-and-keys. Yeah, that was it. He'd get some minions, and they could do…he lost his barely-formed thought as the door swung open. He kicked it shut behind him, and dropped his coat in a heap on the floor. Broke another lamp as he hopped around removing his boots. Damn things seemed to be superglued on. Finally he gave up and just sat down to do it. The room swam a bit, though from the whiskey or the cut over his eye, he wasn't sure. He shed the rest of his clothing bit by bit, as he wandered down the hall, until at last he crawled in, naked, next to Dawn. Automatically gathered her into his arms, making a contented noise.
"Don't touch me," Dawn began, but Spike leaned over to plant a wet kiss on her shoulder.
"Shh, pet. Sleep. Shh." He was snoring moments later.
Drusilla was waiting for him outside. He could hear her calling, her sing-song voice pulling him from sleep. He slipped from bed and wandered naked to the window, staring down to where she stood, silhouetted in the light from the car park. How had she found him?
She raised one gloved hand in greeting, motioning him down to her like she used to do. The thought was all it took, and he was there, naked before her, his fingers trembling as he traced the line of her jaw. Was she real? She was; her cheek was firm and smooth as she nuzzled into his hand, ran her own fingers down the length of his body.
"What are you doing here, Dru? It's been so long…"
"Shh. I've come to tell you a secret, my beautiful killer. You're too thin - you can't eat salt."
"What?" He glanced down to see her hand resting over his heart, the lace scratching at his skin. "I'm fine, love. I ate last night." He pulled her closer, laid his cheek against hers. "Dru - what - why are you here?" He pulled back to search her face for meaning, and asked, "You - you haven't come back to me, have you?" Any joy that thought might have heralded was lost in thinking what Dawn would do - if there wasn't room for Buffy, there certainly wouldn't be room for Dru.
"Silly boy. You don't belong to me, anymore." She kissed him, and he shuddered with the memories it brought. "You still taste of despair," she said. "Even when they steal it away, you'll still be nothing but ashes."
Her face was etched with pity, and he couldn't bear it - not from her. He turned away to find himself in the bedroom, Dawn sleeping and himself spooned around her. The daylight beat down overhead, and Drusilla murmured in his ear - prophecies and rhymes and all her beautiful nonsense, but he couldn't hear a word. "Dru…" he whispered, "You'll wake her up. Shh."
Her answering laugh echoed off the empty walls, but the sleepers didn't waken. "She won't wake up now. You saw to that." She wandered to the edge of the bed, staring down at Dawn, lying motionless amid the blankets. "She's very pretty, Spike. Like you." She slowly lifted her gaze to meet his across the room. "She's not why I've come."
Now she was walking through the alley, a familiar alley, one from years before. Behind the Bronze, and there was Buffy, and Xander and Willow, their laughter ringing against the bricks. "Kill her, Spike." Drusilla whispered. "Kill her for princess." And then it grew dark, and all he could hear was the quiet thump of earth against a shovel. "That isn't what I meant," she said, petulantly.
"It never is, love," was his reply.
He didn't wake till late again, his head throbbing and his body aching with last night's excesses. He wasn't sure he'd have woken even when he did, except that the shouting reached his ears. He reached beside him in the bed; had Dawn woken, as well? His hand reached the bare expanse of empty sheets at the same time he realized where the shouting was coming from: the living room. Buffy's voice, and Dawn's. Fuck.
Continued in Chapter 6
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