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Fic: Teenage Dirtbag

Discussion in 'Introduction To The Watcher Diaries' started by sosa lola, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Thank you so much. Sorry to hear that you have experience with cutting.

    I have two endings in my mind, my sister doesn't like one of them at all. :D
     
  2. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Part 21




    I knock my head against the ceiling again. This bloody treehouse is ridiculously small. “Are you sure no one’s gonna look here?” I watch Xander drape a tablecloth on the giant book we’re hiding and place a glass vase with an artificial flower on top. We’ve decided to keep the book with the information on summoning vengeance demons within reach in case we found a way for the real William and I to exist together in the same reality.

    “This treehouse has been abandoned since the McNallys fled Sunnydale two years ago.” He pushes the concealed book to the corner next to a tiny plastic chair. “Besides, if Giles finds out this book is missing, the first place he will search is your room.”

    My nose twitches at the smell of mildew stale air and I feel a sneeze flare up. I pinch my nose against the sensation and glance at the neat suburban house through the stained glass window. “Two years, eh? House haunted?”

    He shrugs. “It’s Sunnydale. Who the hell wants to live here?”

    “You?”

    “I was born here. It’s different.”

    “Buffy?”

    “She’s the Slayer. It’s a destiny thing.” Xander wipes the dust off the tiny chair and then sits on it. He looks around the place with nostalgic fondness. “Man, we used to have a lot of fun up here.”

    Nothing fit the small space but three little chairs, a few old rolled treasure maps that collected way too much dust, some hardhats, and a couple of binoculars. Dust lies over every surface. Most of it is on the posters hanging on the weakening wooden walls and the floor showing our foot prints.

    Next to the couple of glasses thickly encrusted with dried up mold is a piece of uneven cut wood. I lean back against the dirty wall and take a look at the sloppily carved word ‘The Crib’. My eyebrows go up in ridicule and I show it to Xander.

    “You trippin’?” he says in the worst imitation of a black man’s accent. “Fresh Prince was the hype back in the day.”

    I put it back and crawl towards the window, hoping for some fresh air. The whole window frame gives out when I push against the glass. I trip back and the wood underneath me creaks.

    “Watch it, Spike. This treehouse wasn’t built yesterday!”

    I squint at the light creeping through the fractured window frame. “Who built this rot?”

    “Jesse’s dad. We wanted to help, but he got Mrs. McNally to distract us with ice cream in the park.” Xander smiled at the two other differently colored plastic chairs that faced the one he’s sitting on. “He was pretty cool.”

    He seems to be lost in happy childhood memories when I clear my throat. He snaps out of it immediately. “Right. Better get this research party startin’ soon. Off to the library.” He drops the rope ladder through the hole and starts climbing down.

    The ladder sways slightly as I descend. The man who built this collapsing playhouse couldn’t have made a rigid wooden ladder? The kiddies must have fallen off quite a bit.

    Xander meets me at the end of the ladder. “We better hurry. Willow wants us to go to the school basketball game tonight.”

    “You hate sports.”

    “With the passion of a bull chasing red.” Xander grimaces as we walk down the pavement. “There’s also that Hogan Martin guy who thinks he’s so hot. Like we should all be awed by him ‘cause he can put a ball in a net.”

    I spot a cluster of tykes taking a piss out of an old miserable bloke. “How about I interest you in another plan for tonight?”

    “Not banging you, Spike.”

    I punch his arm. He yelps.

    “No, nitwit, now that you know I’m a century old vampire, thought you’ll take advantage…”

    “Vampires don’t do it for me either.” He evades the expected punch with a laugh. But then I trick him with a swift one to the guts. He cowers. I’m satisfied.

    “Last one?”

    “Swear,” he whimpers.

    I sigh. “Before I was indecorously interrupted, I was going to tell you that I know almost all of Angel’s dirty little secrets,” – that got his attention – “So, let’s use that knowledge to take the mickey out of the old brood. Give him something to do.”

    “Very considerate of you.” He gives the nod of a professional therapist. “Guy’s been locking himself in that mansion for a week. All doom and gloom, your classic Angel. He needs some company.”

    “And who’s better than us, right? We’ll brighten his night.”

    “Let’s just hope he doesn’t get too happy.”

    “Oh, believe me he won’t.”

    Xander gives another therapist nod, most probably copying his own. After the last incident, Rupert was adamant that Xander seeks professional help. Xander went along with it as long as the matter stays a secret between us. He’d been to two sessions so far. He says the biggest challenge was to come up with believable stories to replace the supernatural. Bet it’s why he enjoys going there.




    ~*~*~*~*~




    The trip to the mansion was a doss. Angel wasn’t there. Like a bloody rat, he predicted the earthquake and turned tail. Now Xander’s grouching all the way home. Cars passing by and honking can’t block his relentless grizzle. He won’t stop yapping about that silly match his friends went to and some bloke named Hogan Martin.

    Turning around the curb, I slap my hand on Xander’s mouth and let out a low whistle.

    There’s Angel dawdling down the pavement with Buffy in one of their usual depressing romantic strolls.

    We slip over the wooden fence and hide behind a tree, just in time to see Angel stopping Buffy in her tracks to whisper oh so tenderly, “And no matter what happens, I’ll be with you.”

    Buffy’s eating it up, eyes glistening and glancing down to his hand holding hers.

    Angel attempts a sexy lopsided smile. “I’ll love you even if you’re covered in slime.”

    Xander and I share matching gag faces. Even Buffy isn’t impressed. “I liked everything up until that.”

    Angel opens his mouth. Stops. Sniffs the air. “We’re watched.”

    I turn to Xander. “We’re caught.”

    We hold up our hands in surrender and come out of hiding.

    Buffy’s eyes widen. “What are you guys doing here? Shouldn’t you be at the game with Willow and Oz?”

    “And why should you have all the fun?” I jump over the fence and face her with arms crossed over chest. “Think we’re trading an exciting demon hunt for a mildly interesting match?”

    She’s about to reply when suddenly a frown takes over her face and she looks at Xander. “Nice save?” she asks him in confusion.

    Xander looks as confused. “How did you…”

    “Buffy, I think I’m going to leave,” Angel interrupts, already about to make a quick exit.

    “Why the rush, Romeo?” I call after him. “Said you’ll be with her no matter what. What? Was that all talk?”

    “William,” Buffy reproaches.

    I hold up a hand. “Careful there, Slayer, you don’t know how many women he said that, too.”

    Angel starts to stammer. “I didn’t… what are you…”

    “You see, the poor sod got burned. A pretty bird with the name Sarah Gilfried ruined him for all women.”

    Buffy frowns. “Sarah who?”

    Angel startles. “How did you…”

    “Who’s this Sarah?” Buffy turns to Angel with accusation in her eyes. Obviously his stunt with Faith still troubles her mind.

    “Buffy, I swear it was a long time ago. Before your great, great, great grandfather was born.”

    Xander nudges my shoulder. “Wish I brought popcorn!”

    I take a smug step forward, my mind running through every adventure I had with Angelus and all the tales Drusilla told me about his pathetic life as a human. “And even if an aristocrat lady like Miss Gilfried agreed to pursue a relationship, you were eventually going to lose her to the Immortal. Not that I think you’d be around to see Rome, don’t think Grandma bitch would have found you as fascinating if you weren’t a tiddly muck up.”

    “Grandma bitch?” Angel repeats in shock.

    “Drusilla’s grandma, isn’t she?” I come up with the quickest save.

    Angel’s mouth hangs open. Buffy just stares at me pensively.

    “Watcher records,” I answer Angel’s unasked question. William is a bookworm, ‘course he read all about it.

    “The watcher records knew about Sarah?” Angel asks incredulously.

    “You’d be surprised what they have on you,” I lie again then turn to a silent Buffy with a smirk. “Once he crashed a wedding party and beat the groom to death with his own arm.”

    “Good cripes, Buffy,” Xander exclaims. “That is not a guy you want to be with. Not marriage material.”

    I turn to Xander with a nod. “She wouldn’t want a git who was chased out of London by an angry mob. Hiding his arse in an abandoned mine shaft in Yorkshire.” Angelus was mightily brassed off. His good name sullied and in fear of being hunted. I chuckle at the memory. “Very degrading.”

    Angel’s eyebrows furrow in bewilderment. “I was never chased out of London by an angry mob.”

    Caught off guard. “You weren’t?”

    “Did the watcher records say that?”

    Bugger! I was the one who got us chased out of London. Spike not being there meant Angelus and his ladies still lived in luxury.

    I try to come up with a good cover up story when Buffy shakes her head. “I… I need to go.”

    Angel rushes after her. “Buffy, wait! That was all in the past when I didn’t have a soul. It doesn’t mean anything now.”

    She looks up at him, her face really disturbed. “It’s not you, Angel. I… I have to go.”

    She vanishes into the night while a troubling feeling stirs in the pit of my stomach. Is she going to ask Rupert about those watcher records? Would I get in trouble again?

    “You’ve changed.” Angel eyes me dryly. “I’d expect this immaturity from Xander, but not you.”

    “Hey!” Xander exclaims in offense. “But yeah, you got a point there.”

    Angel shakes his head and stalks away.

    “You were right,” Xander comments with a satisfied grin. “That was bitchin’ fun.”

    “Do you think Buffy will get us in trouble?” I ask anxiously.

    He drapes an arm over my shoulder. “The watcher diaries have all the scoop on Angel. Willow told me that last year. You’re safe.”








    ~*~*~*~*~




    Victory cheer takes over the school the next day. Our little ponce of a principal has thrown a celebration for the basketball team’s latest win. Xander and I stuck around to observe the racket for a while before heading towards the library.

    Library doors swing open and the chatter dies inside. Grave faces stare at us with eerie silence. I crack a smile to hide the growing worry within me. “What’s with the long faces? We won the game. You lot should be happy.”

    Rupert’s face is ice solid; his grim eyes are bare and more menacing without his glasses. “We’ll be a lot happier if you told us how you managed to possess my son’s body.”

    Anxious smile disappears. Heart sinks. “What?”

    “Your name is Spike and you were a vampire for one hundred and nineteen years,” Buffy says calmly, perched on the research table with Willow and Oz occupying the chairs on her right and Wesley on her left. “We know you’re hiding the truth from us.” She fixes her hard gaze on Xander. “Both of you.”

    Willow looks accusingly at her long time best friend. “Xander, how could you do that?”

    Heart hammers painfully fast, I don’t think I can feel my legs. It’s over. They know. It’s… over. I don’t even hear what Xander stammers trying to explain because my gaze is frozen on Rupert’s. His eyes numb with absolute hate and despair.

    Wesley pushes his chair back and flips a page on a book he’s holding. “I have studied and done research on Angelus in my years in the watcher council and I have never heard of the name Spike.”

    “Because he’s not from our reality. Right, Spike?” The look in Buffy’s eyes. That’s the Slayer. Menacing and dangerous. Not the girl nervous enough trying to reconcile with me last week.

    Xander holds up his hands. “Now wait a minute…”

    “Shut up, Xander!” Rupert barks.

    Xander shrinks next to me. This isn’t the first time Rupert loses his temper on him, but it was never this personal. “I took you into my home, fed you and mended the cuts on your wrists every time you had a relapse all while you were betraying me behind my back.”

    Buffy gawks at Xander in shock. “You slit your wrists?”

    Willow jumps to her feet and glares at me. “You told me he stopped!”

    Buffy turns to her. “You knew?”

    Xander turns to me. “You told Willow?”

    I swallow a bile that rose in my throat, eyes on Rupert’s hard face. He’s right in front of me, not a trace of the loving father I’ve come accustomed to.

    “Where’s my son you bleeding bastard?”
     
  3. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    Oh, this is going to get good. Spike busted. BTW no typos. I have got to see how this plays out.
     
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  4. cryptwarmer

    cryptwarmer I'm in charge of morale!

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    Black Thorn
    Oh hell yeah, this is getting REAL! Seriously, I am going to be laying in bed pondering over what might happen next tonight...oh so good!!!!

    Thanks so much for this story.
     
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  5. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Thank you, guys! The ugly is on its way. Spike doesn't stand a chance now. :( And I'm still undecided about the two endings in my mind.
     
  6. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Part 22




    It all comes rushing back; the stench of liquor and blood intermingling with the smell of old metal that lingered in the old factory. The peaceful pacing of an unconscious Xander’s heartbeats clashing with the raging drumming of Willow’s. The box of supplies, the broken bottle, and the ugly face of the demon. Those last minutes as a vampire, dead and unfeeling, come bolting by like a blur.

    It’s hard to remember how I was able to function without breathing. How I craved the foul smell and taste of blood. I don’t miss it. I don’t want it. But it seems that soon I’ll have to go back.

    My death sentence is about to be carried out.

    They’re all looking at me with a mixture of different emotions on their faces as I laid it all out. The whole sodding story.

    “So you were cursed by a vengeance demon for kidnapping and abusing Xander and Willow and she sent you here as Mr. Giles’ son.” A fascinated Wesley recaps with his eyebrows so high they created three folds in his forehead. “In that world William exists as a hundred and forty-nine-year-old vampire, and Mr. Giles is childless.” He sits back in his chair, crossing his fingers and nodding in absolute captivation.

    “A world where Giles doesn’t have a son.” Buffy ponders that idea with a headshake. “Sounds too weird to me.”

    “That Giles must be really lonely.” Willow looks at me for confirmation. I turn my gaze to Rupert, the only one not seated at the table, standing by the counter and mindlessly rubbing the earpiece of his glasses with his thumb.

    “Wait, if William didn’t exist in your reality…”

    “William exists,” I interrupt Buffy urgently. “He’s me, but I was born a century earlier.”

    “Still, the William who is Giles’ son is the one who told us about the spell to restore Angel’s soul.”

    “Right,” Willow chimes in. “William and Miss Calendar worked together on it. Unless she didn’t die?” Her face lights up with hope.

    “Angel killed her there, too.”

    “Oh.” Brief moment of disappointment passes when she starts snapping her fingers. “Wait. How did the other Willow in that reality save the other Xander and the other Cordelia from the other Angel when he locked them up in his apartment?” She looks at her boyfriend. “Whoa, too many ‘other’ in that question.”

    “Four,” Oz provides helpfully.

    “Look, aren’t there more urgent stuff we should focus on right now?” Xander asks, sounding slightly miffed. “Like Buffy’s ‘aspect of a demon’ thing?”

    “Buffy reads minds.” Willow beams.

    Xander looks at Buffy in awe. “Professor X style?”

    Buffy smiles. “I was so freaked out last night when I kept hearing your thoughts. It’s still happening now.” She narrows her eyes at him. “Right now you’re thinking if I can learn foreign languages by reading the language centers of the brain of an expert.”

    “Awesome,” Xander laughs.

    “No, it’s not ‘awesome’,” Giles snaps and makes his way back towards the table, clutching his glasses so tight I won’t be surprised if he breaks them right then. “It’s appalling how you three can joke about when William’s life could be in danger.”

    The three in question shrink in their seats, heads downcast in shame. The lump in my throat isn’t getting any less painful.

    Wesley nods along with Rupert’s speech, a glint of triumph glistening behind his tedious glasses.

    Rupert leans forward against the table, eyeing the guilty faces sternly. “So far, we have no means of knowing William’s whereabouts.” Then he directs his gaze at me for the first time in a while, his bare eyes glacial and intimidating. “You were going to summon the demon that brought you here. How were you going to do that?”

    I force that lump down my throat. Those eyes which used to be bright with love and warmth, now cold and uncompromising. Don’t think I’ll ever get those pesky flutterings in the pit of my stomach anymore. His dad stunt is officially over.

    I swallow thickly and lower my gaze to my tightly closed fists. “There’s a book.”

    “And where is that book?” His impatient demand causes me to flinch.

    It’s hard to breathe. Air is too thick to swallow. Bleeding… **** my eyes are starting to sting. Blood gathers in my cheekbones and a sense of belated dignity is finally catching up with me.

    “In a treehouse,” Buffy says suddenly.

    All eyes are on her. She shrugs. “Xander thought it.”

    Xander slams his hands on the table. “You’re not supposed to read my thoughts without my permission! Consent, look it up!”

    Rupert looks between the two. “And where is that treehouse?”

    Xander shuts his eyes and grinds his teeth together. Buffy recoils. “Ew. Xander, gross!”

    “Serves you right for reading my thoughts.”

    “It’s Jesse’s treehouse, right?” Willow asks feebly, earning a glare from Xander that makes her sink in her chair.

    “Willow, go get the book,” Rupert orders without a second’s pause.

    She darts her wide eyes at me, both filled with pity. “But, Giles…”

    “At once.”

    I push my chair back and stalk away from the table. “Yeah, Red, why don’t you get the book? Can’t wait to be rid of you lot.”

    “Spike…” Xander exclaims in shock. I turn around to face the astonished girl with a casual grin. “You won’t miss it. It’s under a cover. The biggest thing in that tiny playhouse.”

    Willow takes an unsure step towards the door then looks at me in sympathetic hesitation.

    “Don’t bugger about. Snap to it!”

    She springs ahead with Oz trailing after her.

    “Spike, what are you doing?” Xander’s in my face now, eyes aghast, stiff with hurt and confusion.

    “You thick? I’m going home.”

    “But…”

    “But what?” A glitter of malicious cruelty seeps into my voice. “Think I’d rather stay here and play school boy with a ham-fisted geek for a friend? Lost your marbles there, mate. I was a widely-feared vampire, known for killing two slayers, and you lot cower before my presence. Think I’d trade that for…” Nastily looking the boy over, “This?”

    Dismayed, Xander stares at my implacable face. “You don’t mean that.”

    “Oh I bloody well mean it,” I flare angrily, distancing myself from him. The hurt in his eyes is awful. Last thing I want is to upset him, but what choice do I have? They’re sending me away. Rupert will do anything for his son to be put to rights. None of them want me here, might as well show them I don’t either.

    “He doesn’t,” Buffy’s voice cuts through the air calm and distinct. “He’s just acting like a jerk because it’s easier.”

    Nasty little slayer! Can’t get past her. She turns me around, her face firm and adamant. “Look, it’ll take Giles hours to figure out how to summon that demon. We’ll hit the books. Find a way for you to stay here.”

    I stare right into her determined eyes. This isn’t a joke. She’s serious.

    “She’s right.” Xander attempts a comforting smile. It works. Until Wesley clears his throat.

    “Are you sure this is the best way to exercise your efforts?”

    “As sure as I’m gonna exercise my fist in your face,” Xander shoots back.

    Wesley winces at the sudden hostility and adjusts his glasses. “Giles won’t rest until he summons that demon. A task well within his capabilities now that there’s a book. I’m afraid you won’t have time to find a solution to Spike’s problem.”

    As if on cue, Rupert marches out of his office with his jacket on.

    “Giles, where are you going?”

    “I already have the ingredients. I’m off to get them,” he answers Buffy in a rush, and the library doors swing back behind him. My chest tightens as my mind flashes back to the night Rupert answered the phone call from the magic shop. He had agreed to receive the package of the rest of the supplies since I already paid for it. He’s got them all. He’s all set.

    “How did he get the…?” Xander asks, bewildered.

    “We don’t have much time. Step on it.” Buffy, already read my thoughts, leads the way to the staircase.



    ~*~*~*~*~



    Books scatter about in the stack level. I rest my back against the empty book shelves – as much rest as a bloke can get from a shelf pressing hard against his backbone – and observe the two devouring the large volumes in their laps. Xander’s eyes skim through the text searching for a key word. He’s plowed through three books in the past thirty minutes clearly without comprehending a word. Just hope he didn’t skim over something important.

    Buffy is a slower reader, mostly because she keeps glancing Xander’s way. She shifts, her shoulder brushing against his, and she eyes him warily.

    I lower my gaze to the book in my lap. There’s nothing that addresses the possibility of two individuals with the same essence existing in one reality. It’s the wrong book. They’re all the wrong books. Rupert alone knows the right ones. The poetic irony of it all. I muffed my chances with the man and now he can’t stand the sight of me. ‘Cause taking over his boy’s body and lying about it for months isn’t a good enough reason, eh Spike?

    “Why did you cut yourself?” Buffy’s question drifts soft and timid.

    Xander’s jaw clenches. “We have more important stuff to deal with, Buff.”

    “Why didn’t you tell me?” The hurt slips into her voice with a touch of unveiled guilt.

    He shrugs, his eyes fixated on the page he’s reading.

    “How are…”

    Xander heaves a sigh and snaps his book shut. “Look, I’m okay, really. I’m even seeing this guy. He knows what he’s talking about.” He opens his book again with a groan. “See what you did? Now I lost my page.”

    Buffy turns her gaze back to her book. “Good. Counseling is good. Just hope he doesn’t get killed when you’re ready to open up.” I tilt my head at her wistful tone. Sounds like our slayer dipped into the world of therapy but it didn’t take.

    Buffy smiles up at me. My cheeks warm up in embarrassment. Silly little eavesdropper.

    “Well, this is Sunnydale, so fat chance.” Xander casts Buffy a reassuring smile when she glances his way. “I promise to make the most of it before that happens.”

    She smiles back. Sappy moment comes to an end. Buffy lifts an eyebrow at me. I go back to reading right away. Not going to think it, slayer.

    Willow and Oz show up together to join the research party. “Giles has all these ingredients down there,” Oz comments, seizing a book.

    Willow sits cross-legged next to Buffy and grabs a volume. “How did he know what to get before reading the vengeance demon book?”

    “William tried to summon the demon before and Giles caught him so he kept everything.” Buffy looks up apologetically. “Sorry. Not William. What was your name again?”

    I roll my eyes. “I am Willia…” I give up with a sigh. “Spike.”

    Willow frowns in curiosity. “Why did they call you ‘Spike’?”

    “Because he used to torture people with railroad spikes.”

    “Can you bloody turn that off?”

    “Really can’t. And it’s so distracting. Can’t you guys not think very loudly. It’s hard to concentrate on this boring book as it is.” Buffy nods to Xander. “Yeah, I wish I paid more attention to Latin, too.”

    Xander shakes his head in complete admiration. “This is so cool.”

    Buffy grins.

    And there they are; little adolescent scouts trying to solve a mystery. My mystery. Never seen myself as the slayer’s helpless client. From forming an alliance with the slayer to stop Angel’s mad plan to end the damn world – straight up macho stuff as Xander would say – to sitting about waiting to be rescued like a defenseless pipsqueak.

    That doesn’t stop the nagging question; why do they want to rescue me? I get why Xander does it, but the rest of them, not like we had some heart to hearts in the past months. They should be down there with Rupert setting up for the spell, not up here noses stuck in books just because I look like their little chum.

    “Getting rid of you doesn’t feel right.”

    Growling as a human doesn’t have the same affect. Buffy responds with a crooked smile.

    “It feels ookie,” Willow gives her two cents. Xander and Oz nod in agreement.

    Everybody got used to Buffy’s new skill they’re catching up quick on her sudden remarks. Should pipe down the thought train. It isn’t safe to think with nosy parker there prying on every brainwave.

    She frowns. I wiggle my eyebrows.

    Wesley makes his unwanted presence known, clearing his throat again by the top of the stairway. “Mr. Giles wants your presence downstairs.”

    Xander sits up in alert. “He’s done already?”

    “It appears so,” Wesley answers uncertainly, trying to avoid eye contact with me. “He’s already seated in the middle of the circle.”

    That’s when I smell a whiff of burning in the air.

    “I’ll talk to him,” Buffy assures me, sprinting to her feet and striding down the stairs. We follow her, solemnly ascending to the library’s main floor. Rupert has cleared away the table and chairs and painted an uneven red circle on the floor. He’s sitting inside the circle with a large golden goblet already smoldering and surrounded by several bags and bowls of various herbs and powders.

    Buffy crouches next to him. “Giles, how about you give us till tomorrow morning? If we don’t find a solution, we do it your way.”

    “William could be in grave danger, Buffy.” He takes a bowl and pours some of its powder into the goblet. “I won’t waste a second.”

    A hand suddenly grasps my shoulder. Xander looks more disturbed and frightened than I feel.

    That’s when Rupert sits back holding the book open with one hand. He looks up at me, face deprived from emotion. “What’s the name of the demon?”

    “I don’t know.”

    His eyes darken. “You’re lying.”

    “He’s not, Giles,” Buffy says quietly, rising up and exiting the circle.

    With a heavy feeling in my chest, I tell him what I know, “There are names of vengeance demons mentioned in the book. I also found Anyanka, the one who cursed Xander.” The boy’s hand squeezes my shoulder. “But I couldn’t identify the one who cursed me. I don’t think she’s in there.” If my suspicions are right, those familiar features could belong to Cecily. I don’t suppose she was turned into a demon when I was alive, perhaps a few years later. The book in Rupert’s hold is three centuries old, Cecily wouldn’t be in it.

    “Then her name is Cecily,” Buffy says, biting her lip when I release a heavy sigh.

    “I’m not sure it’s really her,” I explain. “And most demons try to detach themselves form their human interspecies, preferring to be addressed with a new name.”

    “Like you and Angel,” Oz says.

    I give a small nod, detesting the comparison with Angel.

    “Oh, Cecily, I breach thee.” Rupert’s chant startles us all. He adds more herbs into the goblet and proceeds, “Come before me.”

    My heart skips a beat as I wait for a hideous demon to appear, but nothing happens. No hideous demons afoot.

    “Maybe Cecily doesn’t exist in our reality?” Xander suggests, his hand finally leaving my shoulder. He starts waving his fingers in circles. He usually does that when he explains a Star Trek plot point. “I don’t know all the facts, but I’m assuming you knew her before you were turned into a vampire, right? Who was she? Your sister? Were you two related?”

    Lost for words, I don’t feel like explaining what meant Cecily to me. But if I don’t, Buffy will and I’ll be damned if she does. “She… she was someone I had feelings for.”

    Xander purses his lips, considering his theory. “And once again ladies and gentlemen, Xander strikes, but he doesn’t score.”

    “Don’t sell yourself short.” Oz holds up a hand. “Cecily may exist, but maybe she doesn’t turn into a vengeance demon. Maybe Spike’s existence drove her to become one.”

    “What a comforting thought,” I retort. Xander pats my back for support.

    “Could this meaningless discussion come to an end?” Rupert barks in frustration, flipping through the pages in the book.

    “Perhaps you could try one of the names in the book,” Wesley points out. “It doesn’t have to be the same demon who did the original curse.”

    Rupert seems to approve because he’s scanning the names and descriptions the same way Xander scans movie titles in the paper, very seriously and thoroughly. He points his finger on a particular name and places the book on the floor.

    “Oh, Zephyra, I beseech thee,” he recites the ritual and adds more herbs to the fire. “In the name of slighted paternities, appear before me.”

    The sudden puff of smoke startles me, my mind flashes back to the appearance of ‘Cecily’ in the factory. This demon version isn’t prettier. She’s more wrinkled and repulsive.

    “You have called upon me, wronged father,” her resonant voice a tad less deep than Demon Cecily’s. “How do you wish me to discipline that ungrateful child?” She glowers at me, flicking her dark cape behind her.

    “You curse children?” Willow asks in shocked abhorrence.

    “Only the disobedient and churlish. Do right by your parents and you shall be safe.”

    “What about bad parents?” Buffy challenges with hands on hips. She reconsiders all of the sudden. “Not saying that my mother is bad. She’s great. She’s…”

    “Buffy, please.” Rupert turns to Zephyra. “A vampire has taken over my son’s body due to a vengeance demon’s curse. The vampire and the vengeance demon are from a different reality.”

    Her glare for me dissolves into a look of compassion to Rupert. “Was your son insolent?”

    “My son is innocent,” he whispers, the pain in his voice makes me feel about two inches tall. “I am a wronged father because my son was taken away from me.”

    “It’s not Spike’s fault, Giles.” Xander’s voice as pained and low as Rupert’s.

    Jaw set on steel, Rupert jams his eyes shut. “Xander, I don’t think it’s wise for you to open your mouth this instant.”

    “I know. I just… you can wish William back without getting rid of Spike.” Xander does the unwise and approaches Rupert whose fists are stiffly closed. “This was done to him. He didn’t wish for this to happen.”

    Rupert doesn’t punch him. He wearily stares at Xander’s despairing face. “But he lied to me. To all of us.” He pinches the bridge of his nose with a tired sigh. “This isn’t easy for me to let slide.”

    “I know I don’t deserve to be asking you for favors, but Spike was there for me. He saved my life,” Xander’s voice wavers slightly and suddenly I realize this isn’t just about me and Rupert. What would happen to Xander if I’m to disappear? He’s not one for sharing and showing weakness. He needs someone to notice, to take his hand and force him to deal.

    “He… I need him, Giles,” Xander pleads in the most heartbreaking voice I ever heard. “I don’t think I can… not without him. Please.”

    A long moment in heavy silence passes as Rupert stares pensively into Xander’s rueful face.

    “It’s your call,” Zephyra urges, appearing disinterested in all the drama. “You make the wish, I grant it.”

    “Giles, please,” Xander begs once more.

    Rupert moves his gaze to Buffy and Willow who look distraught as well. His gaze stops at me, the eyes behind the glass dark and unreadable. He turns to the demon at last, his head slightly downcast, and icy fear begins to trickle down my body.

    “I wish for my son to be here.” Short, precise and to the point. Softly spoken. Quietly delivered. I can see Xander about to breathe a sigh of relief when Rupert’s head shoots up. “And for the vampire to go home.”

    “Giles, no!”

    Breath caught in my throat, I whip my head to the demon’s twinkling eyes. “Wish granted.”

    “Spike!” Xander wraps his arms around me, holding me tight, desperately trying to keep me in his world. But my body starts to fade, growing transparent with each second, I frantically look around at Buffy’s stunned expression, Willow covering her face with her hands, Oz’s parted mouth, and eventually Xander’s petrified tearful eyes.

    All fading away into white. Cold, freezing white presses against my face like a clobber, and a gasp escapes my lips at the rapid cooling in my skin. Panic overtakes and the frozen stabbing pain sends my heart raging.

    Until it halts to a stop.

    My heart, doesn’t pump, it stops.

    I suck in as much air as I can. Make it work, make it pump.

    Nothing. White fades and my heart doesn’t work. I want it to but I can’t think with all the noise.

    Loud, loud drumming. Strong smells of sweat and blood. A broken bottle in my hand shaking next to a frightened face, wide green eyes pleading I let go of the red locks in my fist. That very familiar sensation; fear. Agonizing fear. I can feel it. I can smell it. Everything is back as it once was. Pounding, orders, blood swishing in veins.

    I grab my head, the bottle slips and crashes on the floor, and I scream.

    I scream to block it all.

    The noise and the smells… the dominating sensation of panic and fear.

    I’m trying to breathe. I inhale and it shoots out, but… nothing. The hands grabbing my head are too strong they’re about to crush it.

    I look up, and Willow is eying me warily, inching closer to…

    I leap to my feet, dismissing her cry of fear, and check the unconscious Xander’s pulse. Still alive, but that gash of blood on his temple. Must get a move on. Get him to a bleeding hospital.

    I race up the stairs and kick the door open. Then jump from the top to the floor only to dodge a sudden swing of a spade. I snatch it out of Willow’s hands effortlessly and bark in her alarmed features, “I’m on your bloody team!”

    I haul Xander up to my arms and start running for the door, stopping temporarily to glare down at the shocked redhead. “You coming or not?”

    Still shocked and dazed, she compels and apprehensively steps up the stairs.

    “On with it!”

    She sprints to my side in a second. I heave an aggravated sigh. I fling Xander on my shoulder and grab her hand, then stride down the empty dark streets.
     
  7. cryptwarmer

    cryptwarmer I'm in charge of morale!

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    Black Thorn
    Phooey on Giles...but three cheers for everyone else!
     
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  8. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    A masterpiece! Buffy reading their minds is a nice touch. And no typos.
     
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  9. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Poor Giles. If I was in his place I'd have ripped Spike to pieces, except he'd be wearing my son's face so I wouldn't. :D

    Buffy reading minds made this so much easier. Spike wouldn't have shared all the things Buffy heard him think.
     
  10. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Part 23





    Heartbeats are everywhere. Ticking hearts going at a different time, different speed, never stops. Not even the strong smell of antiseptics can quell all the thudding. It used to be a blessing not to hear them. To be ignorant of it all, the piercing wails of a child, the frustration gliding out of the mother dragging a dozen children with drumming hearts into the white hall soaked in the stench of synthetic clean death.

    It’s not just the heartbeats doing my head in, the blood flowing through veins, rich and inviting, echoes hard in my ears. Sounds and smells, sharper and more pronounced, striking from every side.

    The hunger grows within me. Surging blood from each grief-struck face calling out for me. My tongue presses against my fang, sharp and ready.

    I shake my head. Xander is being treated in the room before me. Can’t think about feeding when Xander is in there. Hurt and insentient.

    An alluring smell tickles my nose. Blood. Human blood in bags. The nurse stops the medical cart very close to me. One of the impatient patients is demanding to be let in. Eyes caught on the rich red inside the plastic bags. With a speed I forgot I used to have, I snatch one of the bags and try not to crush it inside my pocket.

    Gentle, Spike, you don’t want to stain your beloved duster.

    A familiar scent is approaching. Willow stops in her tracks with an eep when she sees me. “Spike,” she squeaks in anxiety. “You’re still here.”

    “Xander isn’t out yet.” Her mouth hangs at my answer. What she expects? ‘Course, I’ll still be here. “Where were you?”

    “Me? Nowhere. Surely not calling anyone. Nope.”

    “You called Buffy?”

    “I… I…”

    “Good thinking.” I look back at the white door in front of me. Won’t be bad to have the whole gang present when Xander wakes up.

    Willow’s pounding heartbeats slow down, and I notice the confusion in her features. “What is it?” My gentle question makes her twice as confused.

    “You’re different.” She keeps her distance, but the strong waves of fear within her have diminished. “One minute you were all grrr and holding broken glass to my face. Then you rushed us to the hospital. Like you… like you care about Xander.”

    “I do.” There’s doubt, it’s terrifying how I can sense it. Not just from Willow. Blood flows at a different speed from one person to the other. Waves of different emotions have a distinctive smell without having an actual scent. How did I get used to this? Too much is going on at once. Strange how it hasn’t driven me mad already.

    “When did that happen?” Willow asks with genuine curiosity. “It was you who did that to him.”

    I feel a hint of a smile. She’s always been the most open-minded and willing to hear the other side out.

    I slip onto a chair and stare down at my ethereal pale hands. They’re too white it’s sidetracking and unnatural. It was just a few hours ago when these hands were tanned with color, pulsed with life instead of power. My pale hands can crush a rock in a blink of an eye, strong and malicious to break a vase on Xander’s head instead of the gentle warmth that wrapped gauze on his slit wrists.

    “I was sent into an alternate dimension for months. Xander and I were friends there.”

    Willow appears to have felt the sadness in my words. She sits next to me, just a faint hint of fear overshadowed by kindness.

    “When were you sent there?”

    “You won’t remember. A demon appeared at the factory and punished me for...” I give a shrug. She nods and glances at Xander’s door. “Now I’m back,” it rolls out of my mouth with more resentment than intended.

    “Because your punishment is over,” Willow says with a skeptical tone, not naïve as I expected.

    “No. It just begun.” With a heavy heart – useless unbeaten heart – I remember it all; the family and friends, the future wide open with possibilities gone forever by a wisp of words.

    Buffy is here. Can sense her powerful presence, another set of frantic heartbeats on tail, and his stench as well.

    “Willow,” Buffy and Oz yell in union when they see her sitting next to me. She rushes to her boyfriend’s arms and they embrace in happy relief.

    I don’t have time to dwell on it with hunk boy looming over me. “What’s he doing here?” he hisses and puffs up his manly chest.

    “Where’s Xander?” Cordelia grabs Willow’s shoulders and tries shaking the answer out of her.

    “Still inside,” Willow yelps, slipping out of Cordelia’s grip. “The doctor said it won’t take long.”

    “You!” Shrill voice and angry eyes, Cordelia stalks towards me and pokes a perfectly sharpened nail in my chest. “What have you done to my boyfriend?”

    “Your boyfriend?” They haven’t been caught, Xander and Willow, Cordelia still sees him as old faithful.

    “Tell me you haven’t cut off his droopy ears! Did you set his floppy hair on fire? Did you break his boney elbow?”

    My mouth hangs open slightly. “I… uh, smashed a vase to his head.”

    Her eyes almost bulge out. “With the few brain cells he has, are you nuts?”

    “Do you even like him?” I exclaim in amusement.

    Angel steps between us, his squinting eyes bore holes right through me. “Spike, you better get out.”

    “No. No.” Buffy walks into my personal space and we almost bump noses. “I’m not gonna let him get away again. I brought my special stake for this.”

    Angel pulls her aside. “Buffy, there are so many people around.”

    The family drama is interrupted by the doctor showing his face out of Xander’s room. Cordelia pushes Angel and Buffy out of her way and stands before the doctor. “How’s he? Can I see him?”

    “He’s still unconscious. But it won’t be a bad idea for him to wake up around his friends.”

    Cordelia dashes inside like a flash, exactly what I’m about to do… before Buffy bumps noses with me again. “Where do you think you’re going?”

    Willow takes hold of her arm. “Buffy, Spike brought us here.”

    “Your point? He kidnapped you and hurt Xander.”

    Willow glances between me and her, her face sympathetic and uncertain at the same time. “Yeah, but he’s kinda changed.”

    “Changed? How?”

    I throw a fleeting look at Xander’s room through the ajar door. Cordelia is in there, clutching Xander’s hand to her chest, staring down at his unresponsive face with fear and concern.

    She loves him, the weight of that realization bore down on me like a merciless draught. I find myself leaving the hospital as Buffy and Willow argue over my intentions.


    ~*~*~*~



    My feet dragged me there, couldn’t stop them, didn’t want to. He’ll stake me on the spot. He won’t spare a glance. I’m not his son. He doesn’t have one here.

    Here I am, standing before Rupert Giles’ house with a death wish. I sniff the air, none of the familiar smells are there. It’s too late at night. He probably finished eating his supper now.

    Forming a tentative fist, I knock on his door and wait… maybe just for a second I can pretend that things haven’t changed. That I still have a room in there, that my dinner is waiting for me inside the oven, that his eyes will twinkle at the sight of me and he’ll yell at me for coming home late.

    The door opens and I brace myself, but instead of Rupert, a man I’ve never seen glares at me.

    “Is Rupert Giles here?” I ask with a strange feeling in my gut. Who the hell is this bloke? This is our flat, I’m sure.

    “Who?” he grunts in annoyance, scratching his scruffy head.

    “This isn’t Rupert Giles’ home?”

    “No.”

    I throw a glance inside. That’s our home… looks like it, the couch is different… he… doesn’t live here in this reality?

    “My mistake. Sorry.” I walk away, with a sinking feeling inside. Right. Why would Rupert get a two bedroom flat when he doesn’t have a son? He probably lives somewhere else. Come to think of it, Rupert wasn’t with the others when they arrived to the hospital. Did something happen to him? Does Buffy know he’s in trouble? Shouldn’t she do something?

    Maybe I should look for him…

    Maybe not, a voice inside growls, I’m a vampire now, not one of them. Time to face the bloody music. I’m back in my old pale skin.

    I’m a monster.




    ~*~*~*~





    Xander’s back home. I can hear the faint rhythmic beat of his heart through the closed window of his bedroom. His parents aren’t arguing tonight. Good. Let the boy rest some.

    I watch him sleeping and note he differences between him and my boy. They look exactly the same on the outside, but this one hasn’t really been through half of what the other went through. I don’t suspect he will since Cordelia hasn’t caught him cheating.

    His heartbeats quicken. He’s about to wake up. I watch with anticipation as his eyelids slip open, fluttering slightly, then he notices me standing outside of his window.

    Our eyes lock for a moment. His heart begins drumming in panic. He flings the cover away and approaches the window. Hope swells within me, he’s right in front of me, a thick gauze pad strapped to his head. Nothing separates us bar the glass of his window.

    But his hazel eyes aren’t welcoming. There’s hatred and fear and none of the usual friendly merriment. He snaps his window curtains shut, and it’s then when I realize, everything has changed. Can’t start all over, especially since I had it easy there, I was one of them, loved and wanted.

    Heart thick with loss and sorrow grows heavier just as the dark sky begins to pale. Perched on his house’s wooden fence, I light a fag and inhale the bitter taste in. Smoke dances about the air and then dissipates into the cool atmosphere.

    After everything that happened, it’s hard to go back. Nothing seems to matter anymore, neither here nor there. My eyes are captured by the thin orange veil in the far horizon, watching it break through the lightened dark color of the sky.

    “You’re still here?” Xander’s voice drifts from behind. He’s standing at the front door of his house in striped pajamas – the same ones I woke up in as William Giles – so close to the door, not a step further. “Taking stalking tips from the king of stalking himself?”

    I try not to growl when he compared me to Angel. “Wanted to see for myself that you’re safe and sound.”

    “Because we’re the bestest of buds?” said with a voice dripping with sarcasm.

    “We actually were,” low and wistful, desolate and full of yearning, but it passes through his head unnoticed.

    “Right. The parallel universe thing. Willow told me all about it. You may fool her, but not me. I know this is one of your scams to finish off Buffy’s friends one by one.”

    “That’s Angel’s game. Not mine. I go straight for the prey.” I can see the cynicism in his eyes even when he’s standing far away from me.

    “Then what are you doing here?”

    “Told you.”

    “I don’t believe you.”

    A small smile unfurls, the fag in my lips almost slips to the ground. “Yeah, mate, you have to work on your trust issues. They’ll hold you back.”

    He takes a step back. “They keep me safe.”

    “They may drive the people who care about you away.”

    “You mean like you?”

    It was unbearable. The intense hammering of his heart, the thick waves of fear, and the way he stares at me. I give him my back and light another fag, inhaling deeply as the tip flares an angry red.

    “You know, the sun’s about to come up,” he says with a surprising uncertainty.

    The crisp morning air, heavy with dew, crackles from the grass underneath. My heart rests with ease, unfazed by the dark sky losing its ink, showing the faintest traces of blue.

    “So you’re gonna stay there?” The increasing level of uncertainty curls up my lips.

    “Are you inviting me in?”

    “I’m not an idiot.”

    “Of course, you’re not.” I take another drag and let the smoke out through my nose. Interesting how smoking gives a calming effect, should have done more of that as a living boy, but Rupert wouldn’t have allowed that.

    “Seriously, you’re just gonna sit there.”

    Rupert did run a tight ship in that flat, didn’t he? He never minded a sip or two of his Whiskey, but an innocent ‘you got a snout, pop?’ sent him off the rails.

    “Guess your time as human boy made you forget. Sun and vamps? Not so mixy.”

    “Why do you care?” I shake my head at the endless brattle until I realize Xander is half way across the front yard. He jumps back when my eyes focus on him.

    “I don’t,” he gives away, heart beating fast. “Just questioning your sanity.”

    He’s out in the yard. He would have been standing next to me if I hadn’t looked over my shoulder. “You think I should hide for cover? Somewhere close.”

    He holds up his hands. “Not my house?”

    “Think Jesse’s treehouse would do? It’s a block ahead.”

    “How’d you know that?”

    “Told you, we were friends.”

    He stares at me in shock, the truth finally dawns on him. I feel a glint of hope when he takes a step forwards. There he comes, getting closer, can hear his blood pumping through his veins. Rich and ripe pulsing with life. My mouth dries at the sight of his exposed neck, that familiar feeling that strikes when the odor of Rupert’s cooking fills the air. Budding thirst subdues, fangs sharp and willing…

    “Don’t,” I bark, jumping off the fence, the cigarette falling to the grass.

    Xander freezes in place.

    I’m out of his sight, vampire speed to my advantage, overwhelmed with what just happened over there. That overpowering thirst, so strong and dangerous, can’t control it.

    Even if he does learn to trust me, I don’t think I can trust myself around him.

    Not when he has all that blood flowing in his veins.

    I’m a vampire. He’s food.

    It’s hopeless.
     
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  11. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    It's great! On TV you can always forget the sense of smell, the sound of beating hearts and blood flow that shows up in a few episodes but is ignored the rest of the time. The idea that Xander may finally be convinced but Xander and Spike had better keep their distance is a great story element.
     
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  12. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Thank you! The way the super vampire senses are emphasized here parallel the way Spike felt their disappearance in the beginning of the story after he became human. After a while, Spike won't dwell on them much because he will get used to them.

    I don't know if Spike can get this Xander's approval. The other Xander knew Spike as Giles' son, a shy and decent human boy, and was his best friend. The real Xander knows Spike as a vampire who tried to kill him and his friends several times - not to mention, Spike is now a soulless vampire with urges he didn't have as a human and can't fight as a vampire, not without a chip in his head to tame him.
     
  13. cryptwarmer

    cryptwarmer I'm in charge of morale!

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    Black Thorn
    So happy to see an update! I love all the feelings. I even liked the parts with Cordelia which is a character I have no use for! I love seeing the way people act, vs the way they feel, vs what they think. Very satisfying!
     
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  14. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Thank you! Glad you liked the Cordelia parts. She always makes fun of Xander when around people, but when they're alone, her true feelings for him appear like in Go Fish.
     
  15. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Super thanks to @zombiegurl for being my awesome beta.


    Part 24






    I’m at my wit’s end. This irresistible urge to make Xander mine is consuming me. Gets harder every day to keep it under bloody control. I lick my lips and run my tongue over my teeth, staring at him from behind a bush. The Scooby gang are out and about in the cemetery, fighting off a nest of vampires. The fight would have been over if Buffy had brought Faith along instead of Xander and Willow, but the slayers are in the outs as it seems. I didn’t care to investigate. Can’t bring myself to care about the Slayer and her team anymore. Only one I give a toss about is him.

    Xander lands a punch on a larger vampire, then shakes out his hand, wincing in pain. He gets flung over the tombs and slams against a tree for his trouble.
    I look for the Slayer, but she’s nowhere to be seen. Willow isn’t around either. Time to intrude. I start approaching the boy and his attacker. Xander starts to get back to his feet, barely holding the stake in his hand. The vampire snatches the stake and tosses it away, and is about to pounce, but I pounce first and dust the wanker right where he’s standing.

    “You again?” I take Xander’s tone as a ‘thank you’ in the most ungrateful manner.

    I lick my lips again. The intense hatred in his eyes, the curve of those lips, and the tousled hair. I can’t hold it back. I can’t. I’m about to explode.

    He seems to have sensed that something is wrong with me and begins to step back. “No, not again, you son of a bitch!”

    I spring forward and pin him to the ground, his screaming which used to give me a pause, has no effect on me anymore. I flash my fangs and go for his neck, but he headbutts me hard. I loosen my grip on his wrists, and he makes use of that by connecting his fist to my jaw. It’s an okay punch, and doesn’t really hurt, but makes me want the feisty little bugger even more.

    “Xander! Where are you?” Willow yells from behind a nearby tree.

    Her voice is all the warning I needed to grab the lad and make a big exit. I fling his resisting body over my shoulder and run to the other side of the cemetery. I have him pinned up against a tree and slam my mouth against his, kissing him hard. It would’ve gone smoothly if he wasn’t moving his head left and right, trying to get away.

    “Hold still,” I growl, feeling my hardness against his lower stomach.

    His hands press against my chest, trying to push me away, and his eyes are glistening with unshed tears. “Get lost! Take a hike. Go find Drusilla! Just leave me the hell alone!”

    I rest my forehead on his and whisper with intensity against his lips, “I love you.”

    “Gross!” He headbutts me again and escapes towards the direction of his friends, but I clutch his wrist before he takes a couple of steps. “You’re as nuts as the vampire you used to date,” he says desperately, trying to pull his hand away from my grasp. “And for God’s sake, stop trying to break me and Cordelia up!”

    My nostrils flare as the image of the girl fills my mind. Every time I see Xander with her, it sets my blood straight to boil. It had taken all my willpower not to rip the girl’s heart out of her chest. I had a plan, knew how to be rid of the bloody bint. I had given away the truth about Xander and Red snogging under her nose. She didn’t believe me, laughed in my face. I wanted to tear that smirk off, but for some reason I restrained. Don’t know how I was able to. Now I don’t think I could hold back if I saw them together again.

    “You’re a two-timing tosser. She’s gonna see through you.”

    “We stopped. Willow and I… we haven’t shared a single smooch since that night you vampnapped us. I’ll never do it again. I won’t hurt Cordelia.” Xander pulls against my grip but it’s iron solid. “You said we were friends in that other reality. This isn’t friendship! The you-wanting-to-jump-my-bones thing is all on the twisted side of ugly.”

    I try to kiss him again, but he steps aside.

    “Man!” Xander exclaims, puckering his mouth. “The whole stalking and biting thing is getting old. I hate you! Can that get into your undead skull?”

    I pull his resisting body closer and look right into his eyes. “I’ll do whatever it takes to…”

    He shoves me away with his free hand and shuffles out of my reach. “It takes nothing because there’s no it! I’m straight as my stake!” He hopelessly glances at the piece of wood lying in the grass. “Even if I swing that way, you’re the last person on earth that I’d ever… you’re a freakin’ evil bloodsucker. And you’re much with the dead!”

    I tilt my head to the side. “Buffy sees nothing wrong with it.”

    He rolls his eyes. “Yeah, newsflash, not Buffy. Besides, Angel has a soul. Last time I checked, you don’t have one. Not that it makes a difference, because I don’t make out with the undead.”

    I cringe at the mere mention of the foul thing. That bloody soul I used to have as a human was why I’m in deep shit. I wouldn’t have looked twice at Xander if I wasn’t a wussy human tyke trapped in the same room with the boy. It’s bloody confusing, whatever traces of humanity I brought here with me have worn off, but the intense desire for this mortal has gotten more intense. He’s all I think about, all I dream about, he’s in every face I see, every scent I smell. He’s everywhere, yet out of my reach. A forbidden fruit that I want to sink my teeth into and make him mine for eternity. Two creatures of the night, the way Drusilla and I were before she ran around with smeg demons.

    “Just get out of this town!” Xander says suddenly, desperation swirling out of him in waves.

    I realize the boy isn’t in my hold anymore. He’s slipped out of my grip and stands next to another tree, a few steps away, with a stake clutched in shaking hand and he aims it at me. “If you go all fang-crazed on me again, I’m gonna get Buffy to kick your pasty ass into the sunlight.”

    He hates me. It hasn’t been as clear to me as now. I want to say that it didn’t matter, that I’ll still turn him and keep him close, kicking and screaming. I know, though, that it’s not what I want. What I really want is my Xander from the other reality. The Xander who loves me, who desperately clung to me, trying to keep me with him before I was zapped back to this hell.

    I swallow the bile in my throat, shifting my gaze away from the hatred in his hazel eyes.

    “Xander!” Willow calls from behind a bunch of bushes, sounding much closer now. “Where have you been?” She stops when she notices a tense Xander aiming his stake and follows his line of sight. She gives me a small smile and waves. “Oh, hi, Spike.”

    Red is the only decent person out of the damn lot. Girl recognized that I did save her chum’s life when I rushed him to the hospital and always has a smile for me. Must be our little talk at the hospital. She told them all about my little trip to the other side. It’s probably why the Slayer hasn’t staked me yet.

    “I saved his life,” I put it out there. “From a giant vampire.”

    “Screw you, Spike.” Xander flips me the finger and stalks off.

    Willow hesitates before smiling at me again. “He’s a little pissy ‘cause he didn’t do well in math today. But thanks, for you know, saving his life. That’s very… thank you.” She waves goodbye and runs after her friend.

    I watch them leave, feeling the sour ball of pain inside my gut growing bigger as if it’s about to pop and break me with it.

    “Spike.”

    That calm voice with the underlying steel makes my skin crawl. Angel is the last person I want to see after another humiliating encounter with Xander.

    I purse my lips and turn around. He’s got his cheased off face on, eyes all red and his eyebrows stand on end like little furry animals.

    “Starting to lose your touch, eh? Usually you’re on my case every waking moment, day and night.”

    Angel had taken me in after I got back. Something about keeping an eye on me while I chose to remain in Sunnydale. He’s a vamp of his word, making a habit out of following me about everywhere I went.

    “This is the second time you attacked Xander this week,” he said with a hard tone, and his eyes narrowed.

    “Didn’t attack him, Joe Soap! Saved him from a vampire, didn’t I?”

    Angel’s eyes kept on squinting, as if unfazed by the true fact I just provided. “You were trying to turn him.”

    I shake my head and give a pretense scoff at the absurdity of his claim, which, of course, was the truth, but he doesn’t need to know that. I reach for my fag to calm my unsettling nerves. I knew I couldn’t get anything done with him breathing down my neck.

    I take a long drag and feel the burning smoke slither down to my malfunctioning lungs and let it sit there, a hot cloud boiling in my chest. Living in this realm gets harder every day. This sweltering desire to touch Xander, wrap his scent around me, hear his heartbeat drum in my ears is going to be the end of me. Sooner or later, everyone will be fed up with my larks and Buffy will drive her Mr. Pointy into my heart.

    “Why?” A vein bulges out on his forehead. “To hurt Buffy?”

    This time my scoff is real. “World doesn’t revolve around that bitch.”

    “Then why are you following Xander around trying to sire him?”

    My cigarette dangles from my lips, with smoke flaring up a dancing line in the air. I look at Angel, who appears quite confused at first. Seconds later, his face begins to congest as if he’s suffering from severe constipation.

    “Xander Harris?”

    A surprising surge of exasperation on Xander’s behalf soars through me. “At least I’m not harboring feelings for the bleeding Slayer,” I bark defensively. “Now that’s twisted.”

    “Xander Harris?” he repeats, still looking constipated.

    I suck in some smoke and hold it in my mouth, then blow it out into his face. This move would’ve had satisfactory results if he were a human. Angel waves the smoke away, still wearing his disgusted expression.

    “You don’t know him.” I spit the cigarette out of the side of my mouth to the ground. I don’t bother to put it out as I fetch for another one.

    Angel most likely hasn’t come across Xander rushing into a fight bigger than himself to rescue someone he cares about, or he probably did but as usual he’d only had eyes for the Slayer.

    “I know he’s annoying,” he puts in.

    A chuckle escapes my mouth. “He’s a bit of a knobhead, I’ll give you that, but there’s more to him.” There’s so much Angel doesn’t see, so much Spike has witnessed when no one else did, like all the times Xander took a punch for someone, or all the times he put himself in danger to save someone or the world. The underdog of the Scooby gang, unnoticed and dismissed as the weakest link. Kind of like Spike was in the Angelus heydays in Europe.

    “Does it have to do with that alternative universe you were in?” Angel asks, getting a clue. “Was their Xander less of an airhead?”

    I open my mouth to defend the boy’s honor, but then stop when I realize that both Xanders are not the same. They are the same in essence, but are made different by the unsimilar circumstances and experiences. My Xander had to suffer through a vengeance demon’s curse, solitude, depression, and suicidal urges. This Xander, on the other hand, hasn’t been cursed, his friendship with Buffy and Willow is tighter than ever and he is in a loving relationship with a beautiful girl. I swallow a lump as realization sinks in because he’s happy.

    He’s happy, my mind repeats as the demon inside roars and fights against my strained control to hunt for the boy. Let’s face it, he’s never going to be mine. Might as well run into sunlight because this romance is doomed to never exist.

    “You didn’t answer me,” Angel says.

    “There’s nothing to answer.” I let out a sigh and inhale another drag of smoke.

    Shuffling my feet, I make my way back to the mansion, my temporary household. Kind of morbid, isn’t it? Angel chooses to live in the mansion where he had been impaled into hell by the love of his life. His own way of penance is to dwell on past mistakes for the bulk of the day. A sight I had to endure every day for the last week.

    At least he gets to be with the person he loves. The thought twists my guts as I hear Angel trailing after me.



    ~*~*~*~*~



    The tip of the cigarette glows cherry red and I blow the smoke into the air. It curls through the tree branches and billows in dense clouds of cloying trails as I stand in the Harris’ empty backyard.

    It’s Christmas Eve. I was aware that the holiday was near when I woke up to the stench of burning sage that Angel used to repel the ghosts haunting him. Since he was generous enough to let me stay with him, I told him about The First Evil messing with his head and trying to drive him barking mad. The whole adventure with the First was sorted out right away thanks to yours truly.

    I took advantage of the ponce and the Slayer taking a romantic stroll down the chilly Sunnydale streets to check up on Xander. I remember him being attacked by a vampire while he camped out in the backyard to avoid his parents’ drunken fights.

    His parents are fighting, all right. Sounds of plates crashing and deafening insults are hard to miss.

    But Xander isn’t sleeping in the backyard.

    Must be with Cordelia, curled up by the fire, or an expensive electric heater, engaged in succulent snogging and sweet snuggles. I stare at the cigarette between my fingers, short enough to burn me. I drop what’s left of it to the ground and smash the butt to ashes with my boot. Ashes, the way my heart has been since I came back to this hell.

    The nausea swirls unrestrained in my empty stomach. Stopped feeding on humans for Xander, not that it did me any favors. The lad despises the ground I walk on. There you have it, a vampire who hasn’t had blood in days. Not even the foul animal blood Angel keeps in his fridge.

    A snowflake lands on my nose and I wipe it away. Right, magical snow. Better head back to the mansion. There’s nothing for me here.

    I shove my lighter in my pocket, trudging down the pavement. There’s a chill in my blood that surpasses the cold weather, growing frostier with the falling snow. I pull my coat closer as the coldness seeps to my veins and fills the never-ending dark void that consumes everything.

    My body come to an abrupt stop when a faint drumming of a human heartbeat becomes stronger. I lick my lips as my eyes instinctively turn gold. An unshaven, scruffy man staggers toward me with a beer bottle in his hand, slurring an incomprehensive song.

    Sod it! I’m famished, and I’ve got a right hankering for trolleyed geezers.

    I don’t waste time with chitchat. I approach the man and grab his shoulders to steady him.

    “Yo, man. How’s it hanging?” He bursts into a gale of unmanly giggles and brings up his bottle for another sip.

    I snatch the drink and toss it aside. The sound of the glass shattering on the pavement snaps the man out of his drunken daze.

    “What’s going on?” he exclaims, the stench of alcohol flowing from his breath.

    My face morphes into its vampire guise and then I plunge my fangs into his neck. His screams are long lost music to my ears. Blood, pure human blood, rushes into my mouth and fills me with strength. I relish the taste, drinking every drop, and making up for the last few days of pointless deprivation.

    When I drain him, I let the lifeless body drop to the ground, licking my stained lips clean. I stare at my latest kill and all I feel is an emptiness inside. Who am I fooling? I’m a vampire, a soulless evil vampire. The chances of Xander dumping his fine bird to be with me are slimmer than Angel shagging the Slayer again.

    I amble back the mansion with my shoulders slumped. I lower my gaze to the pavement, now covered with a white blanket of snow. Now that I’ve tasted blood, the demon inside is roaring for more, for Xander’s blood.

    I grit on my teeth, trying to stop the images of Xander’s neck and Xander sucking blood from my prickled wrist.

    I don’t want a vampire version of him, even though I know the second I see him I’m turning him into one. I want him as he is. Never going to happen though, never going to be mine.

    I stare at the still dark shadows inside the mansion and for a moment I consider sleeping outside, and wait for tomorrow’s sun to put me at peace. If this dimension is everything like the one I left behind, it’ll keep snowing all day tomorrow and the sun will be hidden behind the clouds.

    It’s useless. I shuffle my feet to Angel’s room where his king size bed rests unused. I doubt Brood Boy and his bint will be back any time soon. I don’t see myself sleeping in Drusilla’s old room, not tonight.

    I sit on Angel’s rusty mattress, and it gives a slight squeak under my weight. I kick off my boots and lay back, gazing at the dull ceiling.

    Buh, humbug! Christmas has never been this cruel to me before. Last one I had ruined all of them for me. The delicious aroma of Rupert’s dinner properly set on the dining table. Xander blurting out his usual lame jokes and Rupert sassing him back, while I’m enjoying the show and stuffing my mouth with the Watcher’s delightful cooking. Best Christmas Eve, not counting the time Dru and I dined at Bouillon Ollé in France. Although we feasted on the restaurant’s staff and customers.

    I slip into a restless sleep, imagining myself back at Rupert’s house with Xander and the Scooby Gang.

    Sudden grunting and panting stir me out of my slumber. I turn to the other side of the bed and find a naked Angel on top of an equally naked Buffy, grinding their bodies together.

    “What the hell?” I jump up and make yacking noises. “You should warn a bloke first!”

    They ignore me completely. Angel bites on Buffy’s nipple and her cry of pleasure mingles with my cry of horror.

    I make a quick exit out of this nightmare when a thought pops into my brain. If they keep at it, a more horrible nightmare is going to rear its ugly head. Angel will lose his soul, and since torturing Buffy with bodies of her friends is his ultimate pleasure, he’ll pluck them one after the other, including Xander.

    I should stop them, but they’re nowhere at sight, I realize, standing in the middle of a bedroom I recognize. That long mirror, the study desk, the computer, and then my gaze falls on the small notebook on the familiar green pillow. William’s odes to Xander.

    This is my old room from the alternative universe. Technically, William’s room. Still, how did I end up here?

    I notice the framed pictures on top of the dresser are the same, one of William with Rupert, and another of William with Xander, and also Buffy and Willow in the Summers’ backyard. Everything appears the same.

    “Spike…Spike…” a familiar, faraway voice calls me from behind the closed door. “That’s you, Spike! It’s Xander!”

    An old pain that sits in my guts burns faster. Is this true? Am I back?

    “Spike,” Xander’s muffled whisper fills me with a joy I haven’t felt in a while.

    I try to move, but my feet are glued to the carpeted floor. I reach with a hand to the doorknob, but’s far, far away. I want to see him. I want to see the love in his eyes, a love that will replace all the hatred I’ve grown accustomed to.

    Xander speaks again, but it’s faint and uncomprehensible. “Willow and William found a way… get you back… book in the Cleveland…”

    I can’t hear you well, is what I want to say, but the words are trapped in my throat and all I manage to let out is a strangled noise.

    Iter in Mensura,” Xander says from the other side of the door. “Iter in Mensura,” he repeats again, and I reach for the doorknob once more about it’s still far off.

    I try to call out his name, but nothing comes out. I take a deep breath and yell with all my might, “Xander!”

    I bolt upwards and frantically look at my surroundings. This isn’t my bedroom. I’m back at the mansion. Angel darts into the room. “You okay?”

    “Xander…” I pant. “He was here.”

    Angel frowns. “That’s impossible. He went to Aspen with Cordelia for Christmas.”

    “I’m talking about my Xander.” If my heart could beat, it might explode out of my chest. “He was calling me outside the door.”

    Angel nods at the entrance. “This door?”

    “No.” I’m beginning to feel a tad irritated with him. “My door. The door to my bedroom.”

    Angel stares at me. “Hate to break it to you, but this is my bedroom, which you’re not allowed to sleep in. You have a perfectly good bedroom…”

    “It wasn’t this room,” I interrupt him, slipping my feet to the floor and starting pacing in the room. “I was back in my old room at the other reality.”

    “Spike, it’s just a dream.”

    I shake my head. “No, it was Xander. He found a way to get me back.”

    Angel scratches the back of his neck. “How?” His tone shows that he’s humoring me.

    “It’s a book in Cleveland. Iter in Mensura. Must be the name of the book.”

    Angel narrows his eyes. “Are you planning to go back?”

    “Yes, I’m going back to Xander.” I start fiddling with a large book on the shelf. Can’t sit. Can’t stop moving. Hope is finally a bright star in a hopelessly dark universe.

    “Are you sure about this?” Angel sounds hesitant. Must have grown used to my company.

    “If I stay here, I know I’m going to kill Xander or myself eventually.” I grab a small book and flip through the pages and then toss it on the bed, locking eyes with Angel. “I need to be with him.”

    Angel nods and then lets out a sigh. “So, what’s the plan? You’re going to Cleveland to fetch the book?”

    I bite on my lower lip. “I was hoping you’d do it.”

    His eyebrows fly up. “Why would I do it?”

    “Because I’m going to be busy.”

    He snorts. “Busy doing what?”

    “Getting a soul.”

    Angel’s gob drops to his feet.
     
  16. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    Another great installment! I haven't read any other Buffy fiction, but this is one I am going to stay with.
     
  17. sosa lola

    sosa lola Scooby

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    Thank you! Only two chapters left and it's bye bye to this baby.