All About Spike - Plain Version
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CHAPTER 8 - PROPHECIES AND SLAYERS
Spike stared down at the phone. What the hell was he supposed to say to Buffy. "Honey, I'm human!" was just too weird. "Hi, I've got a soul. Let's shag," had the advantage of honesty but probably wouldn't work. "I was staked. Did you miss me?" was pathetic. He almost gave up, then decided to just wing it. He dialed Buffy's phone number.
The phone rang. And rang. At the end of three rings the answering machine clicked on. He stood speechless. The answering machine clicked off. Bloody brilliant, Spike! Yeah, that's how to impress the slayer. He glanced over at the small clock by the bed. It was four in the morning. Buffy would have loved waking up so that she could hear about how Spike spent his weekend.
If he didn't call now, however, he probably would never get up the nerve again. He composed a quick message and phoned again. "Buffy, this is Spike. I'm sorry I missed taking Dawn to the party but something important has come up. I'm with Angel in LA."
He hung up the phone and wished he could believe that she cared. She wouldn't, but Lorne's words stuck with him. "Someone called you a soulless demon. Now you have a soul. Its time for you to go back home."
For the first time in weeks, he fell asleep with hope in his heart.
* * *
It was getting close to dawn, a rough time for Angel. Connor had been an early riser and he and his son had always had the hour before dawn to themselves. He stood in the darkened hotel and ached to hold his child again.
He heard a muffled sob and turned. Anything was better than being alone with his thoughts. He followed the sound and found himself in front of Wesley's room. It was Spike. He hesitated and finally opened the door.
Inside Angel saw the blonde turning restlessly in his sleep with tears pouring down his face. Suddenly Spike woke. He blinked wearily and finally asked "Angel?"
"I didn't mean to wake you. I heard you and came to see what was wrong."
The human sat up. "Bawling like a great baby." He wiped his eyes angrily. "How do you stand it Angel?"
"And the memories." Spike ran his fingers through his hair as if he could rip out his brain. He winced as he brushed the lump on his skull. "We've killed and hurt so many people. How are we supposed to live with the guilt."
One of the great torments to Angel's soul had been not only his own deeds but also the fact that he had created Drusilla and through her, Spike. Even when he had stopped killing, his creations had continued. When he had finally left his pack, one his last sights had been Spike, drenched in the blood of a slayer, swaggering through the streets of war-torn China. He tried to see the monster in the bed before him and only saw a miserable young man.
"The guilt never goes away." Angel admitted quietly. "But at some point you realize that other people are more important." He thought of Connor. "Helping other people doesn't bring a single victim back, but it makes living with guilt a little easier. Or . . ."the vampire smiled ruefully, "you can hang around in the gutters for a hundred years and wallow in self pity."
Spike sighed. "I don't think I'm going to last that long in a human body." He looked startled and shifted uncomfortable. "Speaking of bodies, where's the loo?"
"Down the hall to the right." Angel watched as Spike got up, muttering something about it being bad enough to be stuck with a bleeding human conscience, but having to put up with human kidneys was the last straw.
The vampire reflected on his own words. If Lorne was right, the young man was a pawn of the Powers-That-Be and their prophecies, as cursed as he and Darla and Connor. Angel sighed and left the darkened room.
* * *
Spike's stomach woke him up. The aches and pains from his bruises and cuts were minor compared to his hunger He hadn't eaten anything yesterday and was as ravenous as a fledgling.
Before hunting for food, he washed up and tried to straighten his hair. The haircut had made him look like a bloody fop a hundred years ago and now it was just a tangle of sandy curls. He needed a shave and it would be nice to have something besides these soddin' blood-crusted sweatpants, like a shirt, or shoes.
He found Fred at a desk in the lobby. "Food? Well we have some donuts and coffee. There's cream in the refrigerator. And we have tea that we keep for Wes . . . We have tea." She led him to the kitchenette and showed him how to heat a cup of water in the microwave. While getting the cream, he noticed a couple of Angel's bags of blood and realized, with some pleasure, that he would never have to drink pig's blood again.
One bite was a revelation. He stared at the donut in shock. He had nibbled on a donut out of curiosity back in his vampire days but it never tasted like this. Fried dough slathered with sugar was downright nummy. He gobbled it down and then ate another with delicious little sprinkles on it. The third donut had a cream filling. Human tastebuds were fun!
The green demon joined him, dressed in a terrycloth robe. Lorne poured himself some coffee and watched as Spike gobbled donuts two, three and selected number four, a little marvel dripping with chocolate icing. "Really into the calorie scene, aren't we?"
Spike gingerly put the donut down. Human bodies gained weight! How many ads had he seen on the telly for diets and pills and painful looking exercise equipment? After a century of living in a vampire body that remained unchanged, he now faced the possibility of looking like something out of Jerry Springer. Visions of bloated Harris rose and he shuddered.
Lorne was still speaking. "We need to find something for you to wear before those pants start walking on their own. Why don't you take a shower and I'll bring you something."
One thing about being in a hotel, there were plenty of showers. When Spike finished, he found some clothes waiting for him, bright yellow slacks and a charming blue shirt covered with swirls of chartreuse, lemon and purple. It was hard to find an outfit that would make him look more ridiculous than Harris's Hawaiian shirt and shorts had, but the Host had risen to the occasion.
To top it off Angel was waiting for him as soon as he returned to the lobby. The vampire's eyes widened slightly but he kept his face impassive as he said, "Follow me." He led Spike to a study heaped with books and documents.
The books were everywhere but if one looked there was a pattern to the heaps. "Wes. . . one of my former colleagues was studying the prophesies. The Powers that Be seem to be heavily involved with the Master's line. We were mostly concerned with the documents that involved Connor, Darla and myself. But there were others."
Spike looked at the papers. They were in piles. None appeared to be in English. He could recognize Latin, Greek, some archaic French, but most seemed to be in unknown languages.
"The references are coded. Connor, for example tended to be called the Child of the Vampire, Darla was the Mother or the Favorite."
Spike reflected. The Master had always liked Darla best and trusted her with the most important errands. "So what do they call you?"
Angel had the grace to look embarrassed. "The Champion. Also the Father. The one or two prophesies set before the curse call me Satan's Angel."
Spike smirked. Then his sire turned to the other documents. "Drusilla has quite a bit of stuff written about the Mad Queen, these are about the Master himself and I think these," Angel pointed to a modest pile, "may be about you."
Intrigued, Spike stepped over to the pile and leafed through it. "What do they call me? Do I get to be a champion or at least a mad king?"
"No, you are The Slayer of Slayers and I think the later references call you Keeper of the Key."
Spike whipped around, startled. "What? Keeper of what?"
Angel met his eyes. "It wasn't about Connor, so no one has examined the documents very much. But I think the prophecies say you are the Keeper of the Key. There's a lot of stuff written about a mystical Key and you seem to be tied to it."
Spike looked down at the documents apprehensively. Last year Glory, the hell-god, had tried to use Dawn as a key to return to her own dark dimension. Did the pile of documents mean others might try to hurt the Niblet? He frowned.
"I'd like to look at these."
Angel nodded. "Fine. But remember, prophecies are tricky and if you let them, they can dominate your life. But if Lorne is right, and a lot of them involve you, I guess you have the right to know about them."
If the documents were about the Lil' Bit, they could be important. Spike picked up the pile and took the papers over to the desk. His sire left and Spike sorted the documents out, trying to make some sense of things. He sighed; he really did not like studying. Back in the days of being William the Wanker in Victorian England, he had fancied himself a scholar. It was part of the past he had thought he had buried a century ago.
But he had promised a lady to look after Dawn and if these writings contained knowledge that could protect her, he would have to study them. So he brushed up his childhood Latin and Greek and began to wade through the papers.
Within a few minutes, his eyes ached and he searched the desk for some sort of magnifying glass. What do you know, this Wesley character had left a pair of glasses in the drawer. Spike tried them on and they seemed to help a little.
The material he could translate was infuriatingly vague. One document seemed to say, "The Key will allow the Bearded One to flush (pass?) to the Valley of the (Seaweed?). " Another seemed to read that " The (sorcerer?) shall chase the Key and it/she shall rise above (Raw Eggs?)." He was about to forget about it when he read "The Slayer of Slayers shall be humbled in the opening (Mouth?) of Hades and be brought to his (Knees?) in the metropolis of messengers.
Bollocks! He had certainly had his arse royally kicked in the Hellmouth and since angels was another word for messengers, the other line was probably referring to the wonderful time he was having here in Los Angeles. So some of this stuff was true and it probably meant that poor Dawn would have anything but a safe and quiet life.
He heard a noise and looked up. And met hazel eyes. Buffy was standing in the doorway looking at him.
He stared at her wordlessly, struck again by her sheer beauty. Then he suddenly realized what he looked like. Here he sat unshaven, with long soddin' curly hair, battered features, yellow pants and the ugliest shirt in existence and, oh yes, wearing glasses. Bloody, bloody hell! He whipped off the glasses, hiding them.
He sat paralyzed, gazing apprehensively at the woman he loved.
Continued in CHAPTER 9 - BUFFY
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