I just, um, happened to come up with an extra story. :shuffles feet: So here it is.
By Barb C
Disclaimers: The usual. All belongs to Joss and Mutant Enemy, and naught to me.
Distribution: Ask and you shall receive, I’d just like to know where it ends up.
Synopsis: Buffy’s pretty sure the vampire’s who’s captured her is crazy. Because if he’s not, she is.
Author’s notes: This story takes place in the same universe as “Raising In the Sun,” “Necessary Evils,” and “A Parliament of Monsters.” It’s set about a year after “Zombie Barbie Says You’re It.”
The guy was hot. Hot enough you didn’t immediately notice that he was also, like, old. Not ancient old, more like… Giles-old. There were sharply chiseled lines at the corners of his eyes and mouth, and his thick brown curls were greying at the temples, but he was delectably lean and muscley, and when he rose from the chair to walk to her bedside, he moved with an easy athletic swagger. He was also pinging her vamp-sense like crazy. Which might or might not explain the spectacular black eye spreading halfway down one spectacular cheekbone.
Also, she was handcuffed to the headboard of the bed. Naked. A big, sturdy wrought-iron and oak headboard that would take a lot of effort even for Slayer strength to shatter.
“Where am I?” she croaked. She felt awful. Feverish and nauseated and dizzy. “And who the hell are you?”
Hottie McHotterson sighed, his tight black t-shirt pulling momentarily tighter across his nicely-defined pecs. “Right where you ought to be, Slayer. Don’t suppose it’ll do a bit of good to say it, but just lie still an’ think of England, and all this’ll be over before you know it.”
Buffy bucked against the cuffs with all her strength, and the ostensibly indestructible bed lurched beneath her, creaking ominously. Wow. Terrible as she felt, she hadn’t expected that. Adrenaline really was a wonder drug. She subsided, panting, and glared at her captor. “When I get loose – and it is when -“
McHotterson’s eyes (piercing, blue, very) crinkled in amusement. He propped one hip against a dresser and folded his arms across his chest. “And to think there’s been times you’ve begged me to do this. You’re going to be brassed as hell when you snap out of it and discover you’ve smashed up our bed. Might as well relax and enjoy the ride.”
“Our bed?” Buffy strained upwards in outrage, to the accompaniment of some undignified jiggling. “In your dreams, you room-temperature sleazeball!”
McHotterson was staring, with a frankly creepy expression of lustful adoration. Not just staring. Staring like he had the right to be staring. Like she was putting on a show for him or – oh yuck, was he getting turned on staring at her… wait a minute.
Buffy froze, gazing down at herself in slowly growing horror. The changes weren’t huge. Her body seemed to be in really good shape, at least as good as McHotterson. But things weren’t quite where they should be any longer. She wasn’t just sick. She was… old. Mom old. “Oh my God,” she whispered. “What did you do to me?”
“Not a bloody thing,” said McHotterson, his tone strangely gentle. “Time’s the culprit, not me. Long story short, pet, you’ve had a dose of Glarghk Guhl Kashma’nik venom, and you’ve been off your head for the last day or so.” He sounded (and come to think of it, looked) tired but determined, as if he’d explained this a dozen times already, and was prepared to explain it a dozen more. “I killed the bastard, Willow got in from L.A. an hour ago, and she’s brewing up the antidote. You’ll soon be right as rain. In the meantime, I’m your husband, and – “
Oh, no he didn’t. “You’re a vampire! If you’re going to lie to me, at least make it something I’ll believe!” Buffy spat. “I don’t know what sort of sick little Vampire Knows Best fantasy world you’re living in, but I’m not playing along with your twisted reindeer games!” She strained against the cuffs again. If she could get even one hand free, or lure him into range of a kick – he might be buff, but he wasn’t very large. Nowhere near as tall as Angel.
Hottie wasn’t falling for that one; he kept a respectful distance. “Take a look around, pet. No games here.” With that, he plucked a broken-spined paperback and a pair of wire-rimmed glasses from the top of the dresser, planted the glasses on his nose and plunked himself down in a chair in a wide-kneed sprawl that did nothing to disguise the fact that he’d gone all bulgy in the groinal area.
Don’t look don’t look don’t –
He had to have something stuffed down there.
“Can you be just a little more disgusting?” Buffy snapped.
McHotterson regarded her over the rims of his glasses. She licked already-dry lips. If anything, the stupid wire-rims just made him hotter. They’re nerd glasses, Buffy told herself severely. Librarian glasses.
“Not my fault you’re fetching in chains.” McHotterson reached down and adjusted himself ostentatiously. “How’s that?”
“You’re a pig!”
The vampire smiled – no, that was definitely a smirk – and cupped his… cuppables. “Trust me, Slayer. When you come to your senses you’ll appreciate the view.”
“The only view around here will be your dust!” She was definitely feverish – that didn’t even make sense. Frustrated, Buffy looked around the bedroom, desperate for any means of escape.
There was something familiar about the room, although she was sure she’d never been here before. She’d remember a bed like this, or that big carved wardrobe in the corner, or, heck, any bedroom equipped with blackout curtains and beeswaxy snowdrifts of candles on every flat surface. Could she yell loud enough for someone outside to hear her? Eventually, she suspected, she could break the bed, but she was pretty certain McHotterson wouldn’t just sit there reading On the Road while she tried. He must have doped her up to get her here, and he could probably do it again.
She tried to remember the last thing she remembered – had she been at school? At the Bronze? On patrol? Had anyone been with her? Her head ached – she remembered arguing with her mother and dozing through algebra class and plodding through graveyards, stake in hand, but she couldn’t pin any single one of those things down as what she’d been doing today. Or yesterday. Or… nothing.
Buffy smacked down growing panic. OK. Think. Step one, escape. Step two, kick Hottie’s tight little ass. Step three, find Giles. Step four, reverse horrifying Momifying Freaky Friday spell. Step five, mainline Nyquil. There was some trick you did to get out of handcuffs, something about compressing the bones of your hand, wasn’t there? Giles would probably know. Unfortunately, major Giles lackage at the moment.
She snuck a glance at McHotterson. He seemed to be absorbed in his book, but there was a watchful glitter of blue beneath those long dark lashes. She’d have to keep him distracted while she dislocated her thumbs, or whatever. “What’s your name?”
Hottie glanced up. “Go by Spike, mostly.”
The obvious comeback would be “Someone’s overcompensating,” but someone, just as obviously, wasn’t. “That’s a stupid name.”
“Says the bird whose parents mistook The Preppy Handbook for 1001 Names For Baby.“
“You realize you can’t get away with keeping me here. My Watcher’s probably looking for me right now. And my friends. And Angel.”
She watched him closely when she dropped that name. Angel had some sort of rep in the vampire community. They either hated him or were scared to death of him. Spike just looked vaguely irritated.
“Watcher’s in England,” he informed her. “Friends already found you. Angel’s in Los Angeles. Look, pet, if I thought I could prove to you it’s 2031 instead of 1998, I’d take you outside and show you the flying cars, but the fact is, you’re barmy. Loopy. Full-goose bozo, street-rat crazy, two french fries short of a Happy Meal. Last time I let you loose, you decided you were the Queen of Persia and yours truly was Angelus, and popped me a good one.” He gestured at the cuffs. “Hence, precautions. Not keen on further bruising ‘nless you’re willing to kiss it better after.”
“You’re the one who’s crazy,” Buffy gritted through clenched teeth. “Like I’d ever try to hit Angel.” Her left hand was a smidge looser in its cuff than the right. Maybe if she tried at a slightly different angle… “Wait, are there actually flying cars?”
Spike rolled his eyes. “No.”
“Then this can’t be the future,” said Buffy triumphantly. “Future equals flying cars.”
The vampire snorted. “Been waiting for flying cars since 1926. Bloody things still haven’t made a showing.” He brightened. “Wall-to-wall telly’s bloody brilliant, though.”
This was dangerously close to becoming a conversation. Her wrists were getting sore. Ooh – had her hand slipped farther through the cuff, just a fraction of an inch? “OK, tell me this: If this is really the future, why is Angel in L.A. instead of here? With me?”
Anger, frustration, and compassion flashed across Spike’s mobile face in quick succession. He laid his book down on one knee. “Big brooding berk thought he could do more good there than here,” he said at last, as if someone was dragging the words out of him with fishhooks. “And this isn’t the future, it’s the present. I’d forgotten what a raging nitwit you were at this age.”
If he was trying to piss her off to distract her from the subject of Angel, it wasn’t working. “And you’re what, my rebound vampire?” She tried for a scornful head-toss, not easy when you were flat on your back. “Not likely. Angel’s special. He has a soul.”
When Spike flinched, it went all the way down to his bones. Score. When he spoke, his words were as carefully measured as her mom’s chocolate chip cookie recipe. “So I’ve heard. Got more than that now. He’s human.”
“Then I know you’re lying,” Buffy shot back, “Because there’s no way Angel and I wouldn’t be together if he were human. And there’s no way I’d touch a disgusting thing like you even if I’d never met Angel at all.”
She’d hoped it would get him mad. She had no idea how mad it would get him. She could see little demon-yellow sparks crackling in his eyes, leaping and dying in the blue. A muscle worked in his jaw, fencing in cutting words behind a palisade of sharp white teeth. All he said was, “Got an education coming to you, then.”
Another half-inch. Ow, ow, ow, ow, she was going to leave half the skin on her hands in these cuffs. If she could just get a teeny bit further… “I’d shake in my boots, but you took them. And who’s going to give it to me, you? What kind of lameazoid vampire are you, anyway? You capture the Slayer and all you can think of to do with her is tie her to a bed and play house? How incredibly pathetic is that?”
In an instant Spike was beside her, book tossed aside, stupid hot glasses sliding down his stupid hot nose, gorgeous blue eyes like the heart of a blowtorch. Cold fingers twined hard in her hair, jerking her head off the pillow. Dammit. Still hot in close-up. She could smell him, tobacco and old blood and a dark, earthy, not-unpleasant scent that made her toes curl – she’d thought only Angel smelled like that, but it must just be clean, non-sewer-dwelling vampire B.O. She could see the pulse (pulse?!) beating in the vein of Spike’s temple, feel the tremor of weariness and fury in his muscles.
“Listen to me, you stupid bint.” The cold, deadly snarl cracked and broke mid-insult. “I’m the kind of vampire who loves you. Enough to sit here and let you rip my heart out and grind it into powder, if that’s what it takes. If you don’t get some hair of the dog, you’ll die, an’ I’m not letting that happen. You’re bloody well going to live to remember every word you’ve said to me, if I have to – “
The truly scary thing was not that she was tied up with a probably-psychotic vampire inches away from her throat. It was that the probably-psychotic vampire believed every single word he was saying. It wasn’t fair, when Angel grudged her any crumb of his inner life (not meaning to, even; he’d just forgotten such things could be shared, if he’d ever known) that this sumptuous banquet of feeling be spread before her, poisoned delights she dared not taste. She could almost be jealous of the figment Spike saw when he looked into her eyes.
“Spike,” she whispered, and then, the name welling up out of nowhere, “William.”
Relief blazed up in his eyes. Buffy popped her fist out of the cuff and punched him square in the nose.
“Aaaaaah!” Spike howled, flying across the room to crash into the dresser. Wow. Didn’t know her own strength. “You unregenerate bitch!”
Buffy tore her other hand free and rolled out of the bed, putting the bulk of it between her and the fangy nutcase. She staggered dizzily before finding her feet. Blood from her torn wrists freckled the sheets. That wasn’t good. Stakes, she needed stakes. Could she make it to the chair he’d been sitting on, and smash it? “What can I say, sweetie?” she cooed. “I need space in a relationship.”
“You need your sodding head examined!” Spike flailed to his feet, clutching his bloody nose.
“Daaaaaaaaaddy,” came a treble voice from the hallway.
“Can we come in yet?” a second voice sing-songed.
“No!” Spike bellowed. “I told you, your Mum’s got a spell on her!”
The door banged alarmingly, as though kicked by a small foot. “You guys ALWAYS have spells on you,” the second voice said aggrievedly.
“Jess, don’t do that!” an older, boy-pitched voice admonished.
Buffy’s jaw dropped in horror. It was hard to tell with Spike’s presence still overloading her Slayer-sense like whoa, but… “Oh my God!” she stabbed a shaky but accusing finger. “You sired a whole Brady Bunch of evil vampire children!”
“Believe me,” Spike growled, “I had some help.” He was across the room in one of those zippy vampire moves, blocking her way to the door. “Alex! Get your sisters out of here and fetch your Aunt Will! Now!” He spread both hands, pleading. “Slayer. Buffy. Love. Somewhere in there you know me. You know them. Just calm down, and for Christ’s sake trust me – “
It sounded so real when he said it, so achingly, awfully real. Love for her, fear for the kids, exhaustion and determination and hope and a billion other emotions that couldn’t possibly be real, because vampires had no souls, and didn’t feel those things, couldn’t feel those things, and if they did they were only sick hollow parodies of the real, bright, true human emotions.
It couldn’t be real. Could it? Buffy bit her lip. She straightened, cautiously edging around the corner of the bed. “It’s just… I’m really confused,” she said, in a small, lost voice. She swayed a little, caught herself. “I – I don’t know where I am, or what’s happening to me, or… help me, William. Please?”
Her captor melted like chocolate on s’mores, eyes softening, brow wrinkling in concern. “Oh, love,” he murmured. “My poor lost lamb.” He held his arms out. “Come here, pet. Spike’ll make it all better, I promise.”
With a smile of gratitude, she took two steps closer and knocked him cold.
Buffy pawed frantically through the dresser drawers. Spike was still a crumpled heap in the corner, but that wouldn’t last much longer. He was already starting to moan and twitch. Nothing. He must have hidden her clothes. Well, two could play that game. Yanking a black t-shirt over her head and stepping into a pair of jeans that swam on her, she bent down and whispered into his ear, “Sucker!” before dashing for the door.
The hallway beyond stopped her dead with a shock of renewed familiarity – this was her house! Stunned, she froze in the bedroom doorway. She’d been tied up in… Mom’s room? But what had happened to all Mom’s things? What had happened to Mom?
She whirled around, ready to storm back into the bedroom and beat some answers out of Spike, when she heard the footsteps. Someone was coming upstairs. Braced for another fight, Buffy almost burst into tears when Willow’s auburn head rose up out of the stairwell, her pixie face completely not thirty years older. Behind her was a fair-haired girl of six or seven, hanging on the banister and staring up at Buffy with big, anxious, and very familiar blue eyes. Spike hadn’t just collected a few random kids to populate his Twilight Zone family; he must have turned his own actual daughter. Pity and revulsion wrestled in her gut.
“Buffy!” Willow halted, only a few steps away. She sounded nervous. But then, Willow always sounded nervous. She was gripping a hypodermic in one hand, which? Not so always. “You’re here! In the hallway. In Spike’s clothes.”
“We’ve got to get out of here, Will,” Buffy interrupted. “There’s a crazy vampire in Mom’s room who thinks – wait. How did you know these were Spike’s clothes?” She frowned, trying to concentrate over the pounding of her head and the roiling of her stomach. There was the Roman candle of Spike on her senses, and there was the sparkler of Cindy Lou Vamp on the stairs, and right in between… Oh, God. No. Not Willow.
“Who did it?” she demanded, fury overwhelming the part of her that just wanted to run away and cry. “Who turned you?”
Willow gave an embarrassed little half-shrug. “Um. Spike?”
“He is dust,” Buffy snarled. “And then you are too. I’m so sorry, Will, but – “
“It’s not like I bloody sired her on purpose!” Spike’s voice, bearing a striking resemblance to the aggrieved child’s, came from the bedroom. He lurched out into the hall, rubbing his jaw. “She made me do it!”
Buffy threw up her hands. “I can’t believe this!”
“Kinda did, Buff,” Willow said with an apologetic grimace. “And it was an incredibly dumb idea.” The hand holding the hypo flashed out at impossible speed, and Buffy felt a sharp jab in her neck. “But sometimes,” she continued, as Buffy collapsed gracefully to the floor, “being a vampire really comes in handy.”
A lot of the last two days was a blur. A lot of it, unfortunately, wasn’t.
Something adjusted the ice pack on the back of her neck. “Back in the land of the living, pet?”
Spike’s voice drifted down from somewhere far away. A happy, carefree land, where she’d been stricken with terminal laryngitis shortly before tangling with Gargle-Pashmini demons, and consequently had said nothing even slightly incriminating, tra la la la la. Buffy moaned and burrowed further under the pillow. “No. I’m considering slipping into a permanent vegetative state.”
She felt the bed shift under his moving weight, and a cool, long-fingered hand rested on her brow. “Fever’s broken. You’re sweating cobs. Will said you’d be out of the woods once that happened.” A pause. “May as well wake up. I’m not spending another night on the bleeding couch.”
Buffy peeped out from under the pillow. Spike was leaning back against the headboard, a raw steak plastered over his black eye. Vicki and Jess were curled up between them, fast asleep, and Alex had collapsed across the foot of the bed, his half-laced, grubby sneakers hanging off the edge. There was barely any room for her to move.
“Oh, God. Your poor face.” Buffy sat up and extended a tentative hand, fingertips brushing the purple-black mottling along his cheek – the cuts where the lenses of his glasses had shattered were already closing, but what with the weirdness of vampire circulation, even with supernatural healing bruises always took a little longer.
Spike cocked the eyebrow unobstructed by beef products. “It’ll heal. You still pack a hell of a punch, Slayer. Just in case you were wondering.” He let out a breath as she mapped the extent of the damage. “You were out of your tree, love. I don’t take it personal.” His chuckle was a bit strained. “Ego’s bruised worse’n my phiz, I promise.”
“Spike,” she whispered – she didn’t think she dared call him William, not just yet. “I’m…” What could she say? That she hadn’t meant it? They both knew that when she’d said it, she had. “I’m so sorry.”
He was looking down, finger-combing Jess’s hair, where the stubborn elf-locks knotted at the nape of her neck. Buffy laid her hand atop his, caressing their youngest’s head. “We were different people back then. I mean, seriously – if Past You met Present Me, what would you do?”
The unbruised corner of his mouth quirked. “Snap your neck, feed you to Drusilla, and fuck her on your grave. Or get punched in the nose a lot for trying.”
“And they say romance is dead.” She burrowed into his chest with a sigh. Spike wasn’t any different now than he had been twelve hours ago, but now the smoky-earthy scent of him was familiar and comforting. “You were right about one thing. I did appreciate the view.”
The chuckle was genuine this time. “Did you, now?”
“Mm hmm. And I believe something was mentioned about kissing you better.”
Spike yawned. “Long as you don’t mind me dropping off during. I could sleep for a week.”
“Sleep good.” She flung an arm over Jess and around his middle and snuggled closer, eyes drifting closed. “I didn’t kill you.”
“Noticed as much.”
“No, seriously. I didn’t kill you,” she offered, the realization a small triumph. “I mean, I was thinking about smashing the chair to make stakes and everything. But I had you down, and I didn’t do it. That’s something, isn’t it?”
Spike nudged Alex’s knee to the left with stockinged toes, shifted Vicki’s elbow, pulled Buffy closer and settled down among the pillows. “All things considered, love? That’s everything.”
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/347657.html