- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 1
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 2
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 3
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 4
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 5
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 6
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 7
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 8
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 9
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 10
- The Secret Slayer, Chapter 11
What’s My Line? Part 2 Spike makes friends with a Scooby and the ceremony in the church has the same dire consequences.
After Spike delivered Beth to her apartment, and he checked to make sure her home was secure, he hurried back to the factory to check on Dru and the translation of the manuscript. He was glad to see that Dalton had some translated pages ready for him to read. He needed some good news tonight.
“By George, I think he’s got it.” Spike walked over to where Dru reclined on the bed, “We have the key to your cure, ducks. The bloody missing link, it was right in front of us.”
“Yes, right in front of us,” Dru murmured weakly. She turned over a card from the tarot deck that showed a golden angel flying in the sky.
“This will really piss the Slayer off,” Spike muttered, “Us playin’ with her boy toy.”
“Maybe if we get permission to play, it won’t be so bad?” Dru stuck her lower lip out in a tiny pout.
“Spike, what’s wrong?” Beth asked. She sat down next to the blond vampire. Beth was worried by the morose look on his usually contented face.
“Found out what it takes to cure Dru.” Spike drew circles in some spilled salt on the table with his fingertips.
“And this is bad because?” Beth pushed Spike’s drink towards him. She watched unhappily as he toyed with it instead of drinking it.
“It involves the Poofter and his blood,” Spike sighed deeply, “The spell is supposed to kill him. Somehow I don’t see you, the Slayer, or the Specter being too happy with me if that happens. Dru might not be happy about it either, but you never know with her.”
“What happens when you heal her?” Beth asked sadly. She was pretty sure she knew what was going to happen. Spike was going to have to leave with Dru, because unlike him, his Sire had no reason not to feed.
“I’ll have to take her away,” Spike answered, “I have to make sure she’s settled somewhere with someone to take care of her.” He noticed the sad look on Beth’s face. “I don’t want to leave you, but I can’t just let her die, Beth. Without her, we wouldn’t be here together.”
“I know that, Spike. It’s just hard knowing my boyfriend has an obligation to another woman.” Beth was busy staring down at her hands. So, she missed the softened look that the master vampire gave her. Beth gasped at the tingling shock she felt when his hand reached over to cover hers.
“‘m your boyfriend?” Spike asked in a shocked voice, “Is that how you see me, luv?” He wanted her to see him that way, but he hadn’t dare to hope she would look at him as a suitor. She had an eternity before her. She was still young. He wasn’t sure if was open to the idea of sharing eternity with anyone in particular.
Beth nodded. She still refused to look at the male vampire. She was so scared he wouldn’t feel the same way about her that she did about him, despite all the signs that were there. She knew she was young, for a vampire, but everything inside her told her that she’d met her match in Spike. He appealed to all sides of her: human, vampire, and Slayer. He was the only one that understood her as the Specter too. That had to mean something.
“Oh luv, how am I suppose to leave you now? ‘ll come back. I give you m’ word, and m’ word is m’ bond,” Spike whispered, “M’ oath as an Aurelian I will return to you.”
“I’m worried that things could go wrong, and you could get hurt,” Beth whispered back “Things have become so complicated since I met you.”
“Do you wish you hadn’t met me, luv?” Spike asked. He was suddenly worried that Beth wanted him to leave and never return.
“What?” Beth’s head finally popped up, and she searched his face. “No, never. You, Jack, and Clem are my best friends.” She turned her hand over, and she laced her fingers through Spike’s. “Unlife as I am is so much more complicated than my life used to be. Well, the life I had a few weeks before I was turned that is. That last month was Hell.”
Spike caressed the back of Beth’s hand with his thumb. “Things have become more complicated for me too, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, sweets. This spell just has me torn in too many soddin’ directions.” He sighed. “You know it’s your fault that my conscience is rearing it’s head more.” He wagged a finger of his free hand at her.
Beth chuckled. “Maybe that Giles guy can help you. He seems really smart,” Beth offered a supportive suggestion. She knew what Spike meant about being torn in too many directions. It was hard melding the three aspects of her personality into one.
Spike slipped into the high school library. He was still unsure why he was coming to talk to the Watcher. It wasn’t like the man had any reason to help him, a master vampire who’s rep was for killing Slayers. Okay, so Spike hadn’t attempted to attack this Slayer even when she was helpless on Halloween. He had helped the Slayer’s group with the vamp groupies, and he had warned them about the Order of Taraka being on their tails. That was all Beth’s influence. It wasn’t like he was doing any of it out of the goodness of his own heart.
Spike watched the sole occupant of the library pace around in circles muttering to himself. It would appear that the Slayer’s little male friend had found himself in a quandary about kissing the girl that he had hated for so many years. “‘Lo, Whelp,” Spike called out from the darkness.
Xander let out a little scream when he heard the accented voice. He was uncomfortable with the blond vampire despite the fact that Spike had never actively spoken to him before. The past year in the company of the Slayer had shown the boy another world that lay just below the normal one. He grabbed up the stake that laid on the nearby table. “W-what are you doing here, Spike?” Xander asked hesitantly.
“Put down the stake, boy. ‘m here to talk to the Watcher,” Spike drawled. He swept out of the darkness with his duster flared out behind him like a cape. “Where is he?” Spike sat down fluidly, and he put his feet up on the research table.
“Giles went to the bathroom. He should be back in a few minutes,” Xander stammered bravely. He put the table between himself and the vampire even though he knew full well it would barely slow the vampire down if he decided to attack, but it was a small comfort.
“‘ll wait.” Spike stared at the boy until the boy blushed and looked away. He chuckled at the reaction.
Xander struggled to find something to say to the unnerving master vampire. “The third assassin is a woman. She was asking around the school about the Specter today, and she tried to shoot Cassie during the policeman’s demo, too.” Xander knew he was babbling, but he couldn’t seem to stop himself. “We haven’t seen the bug guy again, but Giles said that to kill him we have do it while he’s all buggy. Cassie’s jealous of the new Slayer because she hit it off with Giles, and you can tell me to shut up any time now.”
“But you were tellin’ me all kinds of good information there, Harris,” Spike snarked, “Only thing you left out was how much you hated the cheerleader and how you’re not gonna kiss her again.” He delighted in the boy’s babbling. He’d learned a lot from him in a short amount of time. It beat having to spend hours torturing someone for only a tenth of the information he was given freely.
“You heard that?” Xander asked quickly. He blushed slightly when Spike tapped his ear to indicate his hearing was excellent. “I didn’t mean to kiss her. It was the heat of the moment kind of thing. Terror and the thought that we might die.”
“Yeah, those are really good shaggin’s,” Spike chuckled, “The old adrenaline’s pumpin’ cuz you’re worried it might be your last moment on the earth.” He leaned in towards Xander. His voice dropped to a lower deeper one. “You feel the fast and furious pounding of two bodies slappin’ together in the heat of the moment.”
“What? No, no shagging, just kissing,” Xander cried and jumped back from the table that he’d been leaning over to hear what Spike was saying.
“Ah well, your loss then,” Spike remarked. He sat back in his chair.
“I really hate you guys! You and Angel,” Xander grumbled. He finally got tired, and he sat down in the chair across from Spike.
“I can understand why you hate Peaches. He’s a right ponce, but what have I ever done to you?”
“You’re a vampire!” Xander stated succinctly, “And so is he.”
“You’re human, but you don’t see me holdin’ that against you, do you?” Spike shot back, “As much as this pains me to say, I have a certain begrudging respect for you, Whelp.”
“Why would a big bad vampire have respect for a human? Aren’t we just food to you?” Xander questioned. He found the statement by the vampire too out of odds with what he knew about vampires in general.
“You hang out with a Slayer. Probably seen more things in the past year or so than most people do in their entire lives,” Spike replied, “Instead of runnin’ screamin’ in the other direction like sane people do, you take up the sword and meet the baddie head on.”
“I’m screaming on the inside,” Xander muttered. For some reason, the honest words poured out of his mouth without restraint.
“But you still meet it head on, Harris. Not many humans would dare to call Angelus an ‘undead liar guy’ when they were moments away from being eaten,” Spike informed the boy. Although it was a lame taunt, he’d felt a shard of pride towards the boy when he first met him at the end of Angelus’ clutches.
“I really hate that guy!” Xander slapped his hand down on the table. He never had a chance with Cassie because of Angel moving right in. How could he compete with tall, dark and handsome? Life was unfair.
“You’re talking to the president and foundin’ member here, Harris.” Spike agreed wholeheartedly with the boy.
“Why do you hate him so much, Spike? You’re both vampires,” Xander’s voice was filled with curiosity. The ensouled vampire rubbed the teenager the wrong way. The vampire never talked about his past. In fact, the group never even knew he had ‘family’ until after the others were already in town.
“There’s only two things we have in common, Harris, and being a vampire is one of them,” Spike answered, “Dru is the other.”
“He told Cassie what he did to her before he turned her,” Xander whispered, “It made Willow and me sick to our stomachs when Cassie told us.”
Spike was speechless at the boy’s admission. He was unsure how to proceed with the conversation. If he bad mouthed Angelus too badly, he might lose credibility with the Slayer. Xander saved him from having to say anything because he continued on with his rant.
“I didn’t mind him at first. I thought ‘good someone to help Cassie’, but she fell for him right away. Then I hated him. I loved her and hated her at the same time,” Xander continued on. His voice took on a strange quality, “I-I tried to rape her, Cassie, while I was possessed by a hyena spirit.”
“Harris,” Spike growled warningly. He wasn’t sure where this was going, because obviously the teenager had something to get off his chest. However, Spike wasn’t like Angelus; he didn’t play with his food, and he didn’t hurt the women he loved. Rape was one of Angelus’ methods of pleasure that Spike never accepted or followed.
“Giles told me to pretend not to remember, and Cassie went along with it,” Xander spoke as if Spike had never said a word, “She’s never said she’s forgiven me. Yet, when Dead Boy told her the horrific things he did to Dru she forgave him wholeheartedly, saying that it was the demon who did it, not him because of the soul.”
“I’ll bet the Poofter loved that.” Spike rolled his eyes. “The git never did want to take responsibility for any of his actions.”
“My soul was there, Spike, but the demon was just stronger. It’s been eating away at me, and I don’t know what to do.” The boy’s eyes filled with tears that he embarrassedly dashed away with the back of his hand.
“A soul isn’t the be all to end all, Harris,” Spike said softly, “The Nazi’s all had souls, and yet their body count makes the Scourge of Europe’s look like a drop in the bucket. If you want forgiveness, ask for it.” He reasoned with Xander. “Not all demons are bad, and not all humans are good.”
“But, you’re soulless…”
“True, Harris,” Spike interrupted the boy before he could continue on with his thought, “But I do know the difference between right and wrong, I just haven’t cared in a very long time. Dru and I are the way we are because we were shaped by Angelus.” Spike lowered his voice again. “Think about if for a minute.”
Xander pondered Spike’s words. Spike wasn’t trying to say he was blameless, but he hinted that he wasn’t always an evil vampire. Was he different when he was turned. Was that why he was different from other vampires now, helping Beth, the Specter, and the Slayer? Questions swirled around in Xander’s head, but he left them unspoken for the moment.
“I’ll tell you something for your ears alone. If I hear you told anyone, I’ll have your guts for garters, ya hear?” Spike waited till the boy nodded his head before he continued. “I took to the freedom of being a vampire like it was second nature, and I have my place in Hell, but I never did the things that Angelus did. Before or after my turning.”
“The Watcher’s books say that you were a highway man and a ruffian before you were turned. That’s how you got the name William the Bloody,” Xander declared.
“Don’t believe everything you read, Whelp,” Spike chortled with glee. He was delighted to hear how wrong the Watcher’s were about his history. “Shouldn’t the Watcher be back from the loo already?”
“Oh, um,” Xander turned red, “I kinda lied about that. He’s out with Kendra finding her a hotel room. He should be back in a bit.” Xander was more confident now that the vampire wasn’t going to kill him.
The boy really does have a pair of stones on him. That was a big chance he took, he thought to himself. “So, besides hangin’ with the Slayer, what do you do for fun around this place, Harris?” Spike asked.
“Well, mostly I listen to my parents get drunk and get beat up by the jocks when I play pool,” Xander muttered sarcastically. His eyes shot to the vampire, and he studied him for a moment. “I saw you playing pool the other day. Could you, um, show me some pointers?”
Spike pondered the question for a moment. “Sure, why the hell not. I gotta go back to the Bronze after the meeting with the Watcher to walk Beth home. Suppose I could show you a few things.”
“Cool.” Xander felt good about himself for the first time in a long while. Maybe he wouldn’t hate Spike as much as he hated Angel.
The door of the room opened, and Giles entered the library. He was surprised to find the master vampire conversing with Xander as if they were long lost friends. The Watcher knew this wasn’t the norm. Spike’s behavior in the past few months totally went against everything Giles had been taught by the Council. The self proclaimed Slayer of Slayers had not only not attacked the Slayer, but he had actually helped her in several instances. This made Giles wonder what the vampire was doing in the high school library apparently awaiting his own arrival.
“Spike, what do I owe the pleasure of your company?” Giles asked. He moved behind the checkout counter to grab a notebook. Giles decided he wanted to record the visit for his own records.
“‘ve found myself in a bit of a pickle, Watcher.” Spike raised his eyebrow when he saw that Giles had notebook and pen in hand. “And I need your superior research techniques.”
Giles raised his own eyebrow, and drawled dryly, “Do tell.”
Spike chuckled deeply. He knew there was more to this Watcher than tweed and rhetoric. Spike dug some papers out of his duster pocket, and he threw them across the table towards Giles. He flaked the polish off his nails as he waited for the Watcher to finish studying the papers.
“Where did you find this?” Giles demanded.
“I have my ways,” Spike shrugged carelessly, “I’m not a complete dolt, I’ll have ya know. I need to get Dru healed and settled someplace else before we can part company.”
“This little ritual of yours will kill Angel… ”
“I say go for it!” Xander interjected.
Giles continued on as if he hadn’t been interrupted, “Somehow I don’t see Cassie being too happy with that choice.”
“Hence the problem, Watcher,” Spike muttered drolly, “I like the Slayer. She’s got stones. Really, though, it’s the reaction of m’girls that ‘m worried about. The Specter is a right pistol and, Beth? Well, she makes me want to be a better man.”
“You’re not a man, you’re a monster,” Giles growled.
“Never denied that, but she treats me like a man,” Spike said simply, as if that explained everything.
“Are you planning on turning Beth?” Giles asked suspiciously.
“Nope, that’s not in my game plan,” Spike drawled. What kind of Watcher was Rupert Giles that he didn’t even recognize a vampire in his midst. “Now about this little ritual…”
“They’ll be here, poodle. I have the Watcher’s guarantee,” Spike said calmly. Since leaving the factory, Dru had gotten more and more agitated as the time of the ritual drew closer.
“My party’s going to be ruined,” Dru moaned, “Fire dancing. The band has stopped and sound crashes, but the flames grow higher.”
“Are you sure Xander and Cordy are going to be okay guarding the door, Giles?” Cassie asked. Angel, Giles, and she walked through the door of the church’s main area of worship.
Spike smirked when he saw the trio enter the building. Persuading them to help him had been easier than he had expected. He had used academic fascination to ensnare the Watcher, he used Angel’s guilt against him, and he had complimented Cassie on her daring before asking her if she wished he had done it the easy way and had just kidnapped Angel to do the ritual. It was no skin off Spike’s nose if Angel died. He hated the big, brooding Poofter.
Spike’s smile turned genuine when he noticed the small black clad figure slip in the door behind the others. “Specter,” he called out, “Come here, luv, I saved the best seat in the house for you.” He’d had a feeling that the Specter would show. Somehow he felt less nervous because she was there.
Angel gaped when Spike solicitously escorted the black clad girl to a nearby seat. He was even more stunned by Dru’s non-reaction to the encroachment on her territory. That had been the one reason why Angelus had never been able to approach the fledgling William for a sexual relationship. As much as Dru loved to share her body with both of the male vampires, she guarded Spike’s body from Angelus like it was a temple.
“You bring the cross, Spike?” Giles asked. He moved to the front of the church, and he kept an eye on Dru.
“Right here,” Spike answered. He crossed to where the cross was lying on the altar. Spike picked it up with a glove-encased hand, and he tossed it to the Watcher.
“And the manuscript you ‘borrowed’?
Spike grinned at the Specter, rolled his eyes, and handed Giles the manuscript he had nicked the week before. “Let’s get this show on the road. Dru says we’re likely to have uninvited guests.” A sudden thought occurred to Spike. “We’re not going to be interrupted by that other Slayer bint, are we?
“No, I put her on the plane myself,” Cassie muttered, “Got her a ticket and everything.”
Spike nodded his answer, and then he turned his attention back to the Watcher. He lifted one eyebrow to indicate that it was time to start the ritual.
“Right. Right then,” Giles mumbled, “Angel, go stand by Dru and take her left hand in your right hand. Then, put your other hand over her heart. Dru, please put your hand over Angel’s heart.”
Dru waited until Angel had followed Giles’s instructions before she spoke to her sire, “Bad daddy. You ran away and left us behind.” The normally insane vampiress had a rare moment of clarity. “I would have done anything for you, Sire, but now it’s too late.”
The two vampires stopped talking as Giles’s voice filled the church as he chanted. Bright visible chords of light began to intertwine between the two vampires. Their heads flew back in shock as the light filled their entire bodies. Their faces were contorted masks of pain as the link connected them.
Cassie gasped. “Giles, are they suppose to be doing that, too?” She pointed towards Spike and the Specter.
Giles continued to chant as his gaze followed the Slayer’s finger. He had to hold back a gasp and continue his chanting when he saw that the same bright chords of light linked the blond vampire with the black clad girl. Although they couldn’t see the girl’s face because of her mask, the look of ecstasy on Spike’s face was a marked difference to that of the dark haired vampires.
The front door of the church burst open. Spike and the Specter look towards it as one person while Xander and Cordelia tumbled into the main area. When Giles said the words ‘so mote it be’ the bright chords of light connecting both couples disappeared.
“We got bug guy, but the policewoman is right behind us,” Xander gasped for breath between words, “We’re kinda not immune to bullets.”
Cassie checked to make sure Angel wasn’t drained by his experience before she started to issue orders. “Angel, take Xander, Giles and Cordy out the back entrance while Spike, Specter and I distract the assassin in here.”
Angel nodded his head in assent, and he herded the teenagers and Watcher out the back door. He kept watch on the surroundings as they hurried along the street towards Giles’s car for the return to the library.
“Daddy didn’t even say good-bye,” Dru said sadly. The vampiress was interrupted when the front door banged open and a red haired woman in a cop’s uniform burst into the church followed by several demons.
“‘ll take the bint with the gun, ladies. You get the demons.” Spike launched himself at the red headed woman.
Cassie and the Specter looked at each other, and they leapt at the demons on either side of the policewoman. That left the ugly demon with slimy horns for Dru to play with. She danced gracefully towards the demon whose total attention was on the beautiful ethereal creature. The demon was mesmerized, and when Dru got close enough she was able to thrall the creature to her will. The pair wandered off to the back of the church leaving the others to their knock-down, drag-out fight.
Spike threw the policewoman into a bank of candles that he had used to light the deserted church. She threw off her jacket, which was now on fire, towards some of the ratty drapes hanging on a nearby window. The drapes went up in flame with a whoosh, and the walls caught on fire.
Bollocks. Dru mentioned fire and flames, Spike thought. He jumped towards the policewoman, who raised her gun towards him. Spike grimaced in pain as the bullet ripped through his side. He was on her before she could pull the trigger again, and he snapped her neck with a sharp twist. Spike looked towards the Specter just in time to see the demon she was fighting grab a chain off the altar and swing it a few times before it threw it at the girl.
“Look out,” Spike shouted. The sound of the vampire’s voice caused the demon to falter. It threw the chain at him instead. The chain hit Spike in the head, and he stumbled into the big organ behind him. He could hear Dru screaming as she rushed towards him in an attempt to save him. The old and burning musical instrument broke u a little at the impact. A moment later the organ collapsed on the vampires. The huge brass pipes rolled out towards the demon that had hit Spike with the chain.
The Specter stared at where Spike and Dru were buried under the organ. She could feel that the male vampire was still alive under the instrument, but she was unable to get close to it. The Specter grabbed the knife from her waistband, and she plunged it into the heart of the demon. She stood over the demon as she watched the organ burn, her emotions in turmoil. The heat of the fire prevented her from getting any closer to the organ. She never tested how flammable she’d be, but she was pretty sure that she’d be dust if she tried to cross the wall of flames.
Cassie had just dispatched her demon, when she noticed the Specter standing as if dazed. Cassie saw that Spike and Dru were no where in sight, and she was unsure where they were. Maybe they escaped before the fire got too out of control. Cassie raced towards the Specter. She grabbed the dark clothed girl, and she dragged her from the church. Cassie watched as the Specter stood staring at the burning building.
Several hours later, the fire finally burned down enough that the Specter could approach the church. She’d never left the spot Cassie pulled her out to earlier. She was met at the door by Dru who carried a burned and unconscious Spike. The Specter gasped when she saw the male vampire, and she pressed her gloved hand against her face.
“Do not worry, Moonlight,” Dru whispered, “Our dark prince is just a little battered. I have sent my new caretaker on to my new home. As soon as our Spike is well, he will take me away. I will send him back to you when the time is right.” Dru stumbled off into the darkness with her burden.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/141356.html