Giles was furious; Xander had to take him. He'd put up with having the obnoxious vampire chained in his bathtub for over a week now. He had company coming. Xander had to take him.
Xander pleaded poverty. Xander pleaded parents. Xander, all the time thinking about sex and the lack of it, pleaded general incompetence and incapacity.
Fury turning to seething hatred, he tried Buffy. He didn't get past his first, watcher-like, mature, calm argument. She flatly refused.
So, he was stuck with him. He went up and leant in the doorway, looking murderously at the sleeping vampire.
'Bloody hell! Don't do that!'
'I'm bloody hungry. Feed me!'
Giles sighed. He thought about the slim body even now flying across the miles to be with him. He'd just have to explain to her. She'd understand; she worked for the Council. Giles was sure she'd understand why she couldn't shower or bathe, why she had to wash in the kitchen, why…. Bloody hell! Why did he have to have a vampire chained in his bathtub?
'Are you gonna feed me or fuck me?'
'Well… leaning there, all… seductive like… I just wondered.' Spike smirked and then pouted, but Giles only turned pointedly and went to warm up some blood.
He sat, revolted, feeding it to the irritating dead thing. She'd understand but would… it?
'I have someone coming from England for a few days. You are utterly forbidden to speak to her, attract her attention, or make yourself known to her in any way. Do you understand, vampire?'
'You ashamed of me, Rupert?'
'Do grow up, Spike. I want your promise. If I don't get it, well, you won't get any more of this.' He pulled the straw away from Spike and held it just out of reach. 'I'll shut that door and leave you in here for the whole five days. Your choice.'
'You have no idea how loud I could shout and scream if I got real hungry.'
'Not with duct tape over your mouth, you couldn't.'
'I plan to one day, but you ain't ready for it.'
'I shan't even acknowledge that with a reply. Promise.'
'Yeah, yeah. So….' Spike slipped into his mature, helpful vampire expression. 'Who is she then? Old flame? Internet-buy-a-bride?' He giggled at his own joke, stretched out in the bath and, with a lazy wave of his hand, added, 'Turn on the telly, pet.'
Giles looked at him, knew this wasn't going to work, but did as he was asked.
He checked over the apartment one more time for dust and general bachelor grime and, satisfied that it was fit for his infrequent, female guest, went to the airport to collect her.
Spike heard them come in. He could hear everything in the apartment. He grinned. This was going to be fun. If you were chained in a bathtub, unable to get off yourself, listening to other people was a pretty good substitute….
Spike pouted slightly as he played with this thought. It brought back unpleasant memories of another time, listening to another couple having sex when he couldn't. Angelus had always made sure that Spike could hear what he was doing with, and to, Drusilla.
Suddenly, listening to the watcher and his bint from England didn't seem so appealing, and Spike listened to the low murmur of voices with annoyance. The clink of wineglasses pissed him off even more. Laughter made him so mad he began to work at the chains once more, pulling his wrists against them until they bled. The chatter stopped, and a long period of quiet followed it. Spike could picture what they were doing: soft lips exploring, tasting, enjoying. It was too bloody much, and he couldn't even put his hands over his ears to stop the silence. Voices rose again, amused voices, more fucking clinks, and another silence. Spike dashed the heel of his hand across his eyes but cursed when he saw the blood on his wrists, now presumably across his face. He licked softly at his torn skin, enjoying the comfort of the blood. It looked as though it was the only comfort he was likely to get for a long while. The silence ended once more, and then he heard soft footsteps on the stairs. No… that was just too much again. He couldn't lie here and listen to them shagging. He didn't want to hear Rupert Giles coming in her…. Spike did a quick rewind. He didn't want to hear him coming at all! Much better!
It got quiet; Spike held his breath - which was cheating, somewhat, as he held it all the time anyway. Music was turned on. Spike relaxed. Poncy fucking classical that it was, at least it drowned out the squidgy noises.
He leant back and tried to sleep, but sleep would not come. How could it? He spent his unlife fighting and fucking, running like a blur through… life, and now he couldn't. Now he was chained up like an animal.
The noises began in his head again: rage like a maddening roar; impotence, a scratch of nails on blackboard; fear, a maniacal giggling in his head. Like any chained wild beast, captivity began to overwhelm him, and he began to sink under the despair and the fury. Tears threatened to come, but this only tipped him the other way, back to the uncontrollable rage that made him tug at his chains, desperate to rip them from their secure fastenings. Unable to break them, he started to gnaw on the pale flesh of his wrists, willing to bite through to the bone if only he could free himself from this restraint.
Blood began to flow down his forearms. The bracelets became loose and slippery - but still not enough to pull free. The blood invigorated him. Although it carried the flavour of a pathetic vampire reduced to drinking its own blood, it gave him the strength to attempt to break free once more, straining his whole weight and strength against the chains, tugging them, jerking them, frantic to be free.
'Stop it! Will you please stop that…! Good God, what have you done, Spike?'
Giles stumbled into the room, rumpled, sleepy, dressed only in soft pyjama bottoms. He stared at the blood sprayed across the back wall. He stared at the ghastly figure in the bath, coated in blood, streaked with… were they trails of tears? Oh, and the wrists, the torn skin with a glimpse of white beneath….
Giles nearly heaved but held it in and softly closed the door behind him. Without further comment, he took the towels off the rail, soaked them in water and brought them over to Spike. He perched on the side of the bath and tentatively offered them to the vampire, but Spike only turned his head away, closed his eyes, and appeared to be trying to escape from the moment into his own thoughts.
Giles sighed and took one wrist in his hand. He dabbed gently at the blood and the ripped skin; he washed down the forearm as far as the bare skin fetched, pausing at the edge of Spike's T-shirt sleeve. He picked up the other wrist and gave it the same treatment.
He paused and looked at Spike's face, then gently washed that, too.
'Let me go.'
Giles hesitated in his washing. Inches from the vampire's face, the soft, pleading voice seemed more affective, more genuine, somehow. He moderated the tone he would have used and replied softly, 'You know we can't, Spike. You need to tell us about the Initiative; until you do, we can't let you go.'
Spike did not reply to this but opened his eyes suddenly, and stared at Giles. Giles was taken aback by the intense blue. This was the closest he'd ever been to Spike, and he was not sure he had ever had real eye contact with him before. He was astounded by the humanity of the person he saw looking out from those eyes. He would have expected a soulless, flat expression - more insanity perhaps. The look confused him, and he defended himself from the confusion by going on the attack. He sat back and glared at Spike. 'The bloody rattling woke me! I told you: no disturbance!'
Spike jerked his head back, his expression bitter now. 'Interrupt your fucking orgasm, did I human?'
'I beg your pardon?' Giles actually winced at this suggestion.
Spike gave him a 'yeah' look. 'Pretty fucking obvious what you were doing, mate - music to drown it out?'
'I was asleep - on the couch! And why I should be explaining myself to you…. So, I would appreciate no more crude aspersions, thank you very much, Spike.'
Spike looked puzzled. 'On the couch? Uh huh. I thought….'
'No, you are not thinking anything about any of this. It is none of your business. You are something dead that I have in my bathtub, nothing more. I'm not explaining myself to you. I'm not even talking about this with you.'
'Couldn't get it up, hey?'
Giles clenched his jaw. He debated just leaving but didn't want soft, painful laughter to follow him out. 'She had come a long way, Spike. She was tired.'
Spike tipped his head on one side a little. 'So… she went up on her own, cus she was tired?'
'Spike! I'm NOT discussing this with you! No, I thought she might want to… recover… and that is as far as I'm prepared to discuss this with you!'
'Uh huh. So, she comes all this way to see you; she's all riled up and 'appy; she's full of wine and soft music, and you… suggest she sleeps alone. Oh, good one, mate.' Spike began to laugh, but there was no particular malice in the sound. He shook his head softly. 'What a waste.'
'I'm not having this conversation with you, but don't speak of her as if she were a snack or something.'
Spike twitched up an eyebrow. 'I wasn't talking 'bout her and, seeing we're having this conversation like, bet she ain't asleep now.'
Distracted by the image the in the second half of Spike's comment, Giles entirely missed the first. 'Err… what?'
'Well… if I woke you up… bet I woke 'er up, too. Why not go in an' see if she's okay - not scared by the scary clanking noises from the bathroom.'
Giles squinted at him. 'Go in?'
'Well, duh, watcher. She'll be lying in that big double bed of yours, all warm and cosy like, all soft and malleable, and probably wondering what you're doing.'
'I doubt that.'
'Trust me; she'll be thinkin' of ya, maybe wondering why you don't come in!'
Giles looked askance at him. 'As if I can now… knowing you'd be in here… listening….'
Spike's expression lost the amused, teasing confidence, and he suddenly seemed very young, very… vulnerable? Giles shook himself lightly. This vampire was very, very clever.
Spike merely said quietly, 'Yeah, put the music on again, pet, will you? Promise, no more chain rattling. Bit tired now.'
Giles stood up and threw the blood-soaked towels in the bin. He put a hand on the door, but then turned to Spike once more. 'Err… is there anything you want before I…?'
Spike shook his head, his eyes closed, his expression weary.
'Right. Well, I'll see you in the morning.' Annoyed at the ridiculous formality of this adieu, Giles shut the door behind him a little too firmly. He paused outside the bedroom door then, with a soft knock, went in.
By the time the morning came, Spike was so depressed he didn't even care that he was sitting in blood-soaked, smelly clothes, chained in a bathtub with very, very sore wrists. He didn't open his eyes when the door opened but only said with some venom, 'Enjoy your shag?'
'Err… who told you?'
'On feeding roster for the dead. And holding of the straw not going to happen.'
Spike grinned, cheered up by someone sadder than him. 'Hold something else for me then, pet? Cus, like, all horny now, and can't do it with these on….' He held out his manacled, scarred wrists in a seductive gesture but rolled his eyes when he saw it was completely lost on the boy. 'Don't you play bondage with the demon? Jeez, what a waste; she'd tie up so nice!'
'Hey! Stop with the… and what do you mean?'
'Oh, come on…. Don't tell me you've never thought of how good it would be to take her when she was all tied up and struggling like. Maybe for real?' He twitched up an eyebrow. 'That's the best: when they struggle for real. Nothing makes you hard like it… the power….'
Xander threw the mug of blood at him and stormed out. Spike would have grinned but, instead, he pursed his lips at the destruction of his breakfast and leant back with a sigh.
It was a very long day. No one came in at all. They just left him there all day in the empty apartment, getting hungrier and hungrier and angrier and angrier. Neither did him much good, he just had to lie there against the hard porcelain, chained. Finally, he heard voices downstairs: soft laughter, murmuring, television being turned on then off, music, sounds of cooking, silence, more laughter. He wanted to shout out and tell the human that he hadn't been fed, but did not doubt that he would make good on his promise and tape him up. Being taped up for three days was less appealing than being hungry, so he kept quiet and began to count the tiles again, just for something to do.
It grew late. Spike heard footsteps once more on the stairs. This time they were accompanied by soft voices; there was no doubt the watcher had taken him up on his suggestion. They were going into the bedroom together.
Spike swore under his breath and waited desperately for the music to come on. It didn't. He heard… noises that he didn't want to hear, and began to hum. More noises made him start to sing. He hadn't sung for a long time and couldn't remember anything he liked, so ended up singing commercials to himself. Surprisingly, the noises stopped fairly quickly. He'd only reached "You Take My Breath Away", which sort of amused him, when silence made itself rather noticeable from the bedroom.
Spike had never slept with a human, but he thought that one trip of the car around the burning sugar plantation was a little… short… for an orgasm of any sort. He listened with interest as soft steps sounded on the stairs once more, as the kettle was put on, and then at the silence. No one came back up.
He mulled this over for a while then shrugged and tried to will himself to sleep. At least in sleep he could pass some of this interminable time. He woke instantly when the door was opened and watched Giles through lowered lids. It was dark in the bathroom, and the human made wearily to the sink and leant on it, his head lowered. After a few moments, he looked up and peered at himself in the mirror. Spike could see the haggard expression and looked amused at the apparently empty bath behind it. He couldn't resist, and rattled the eerily suspended chain a little.
Giles jumped as if he'd been shot. He whirled around. 'Fuck!'
Spike laughed. 'You allowed to say that? Being all English and fucking mature like.'
'I forgot! I forgot I had you chained in here. Bloody hell, what a bloody awful day.'
'Forgot. Forgot! Well, that explains a lot then.' Spike wriggled to try and get comfortable, gave up the effort, and sighed despairingly.
Giles bristled a little at the vampire's tone. 'I have had other things to think about, you know. You, chained in here, are not my number one priority, Spike.'
Spike whipped his head around, his expression furious. 'Well, maybe it should be, mate. I'm not a fucking… thing! Well, okay, maybe I am, but I'm still alive. Well, okay, I'm not, but I still need stuff! I've 'ad no bloody food since yesterday; I'm sitting in foul fucking clothes that are bloody smelling, and I've been left on me own ALL bleedin' day with no one to talk to!'
Giles came over and sat on the very end of the bath. 'Xander was supposed to feed you.'
Spike merely nodded at the smashed mug pieces all over him. Giles sighed. 'What happened?'
Spike shrugged. ''He can't take a joke, I guess.'
'No, Spike, it's just that your sense of humour isn't funny to anyone else.'
'You think I'm amusing.'
Giles hesitated at this. He'd been about to contradict Spike forcibly, but the sudden and unexpected thought had slipped in that he did, indeed, find Spike rather amusing - occasionally, when he was in the right mood. Instead of the bitter reply, he only smiled slightly, and they both felt the subtle change of atmosphere in the room. Giles looked at him. 'You're a mess.'
Spike smiled. 'Yeah. Need a shower and some fresh clothes. How 'bout it, hey?'
Giles nodded. 'Tomorrow, I'll go and fetch you some, and we'll see.' Spike nodded then picked thoughtfully at a small chip on one nail. 'So… how's it going?'
Giles pursed his lips and looked down for a moment, smoothing the material of his pyjama trousers over his thighs. 'Fine. And, once again, I'm not having this conversation with you.'
'No, course not, granted. But fine ain't much of a recommendation.'
Still not looking up, Giles only raised an eyebrow. 'It's… complicated.'
Spike did not reply and the silence encouraged Giles to add a soft, 'I…. I've been a little distracted, I think, and it's so long since….'
'Since you had someone? Yeah, know that feeling.'
'I was going to say, since we last met.'
'And you can hardly claim celibacy! What about that hideous, blond girl you were… seeing? Some friend of Cordelia's?'
'Seeing? Seeing? Okay, yes, I was seeing Harmony - she was, is, called Harmony - but believe me, Giles, she don't count. I was meaning proper… seeing.' He smiled a little as he said this last, and Giles finally looked up, smiling a little, too.'
'Bummer when you can't get off, ain't it?'
Giles raised his eyebrow. 'Remembering that I'm not having this conversation… yes, it is.'
'What you tried then?'
'Oh, come on, human. It's just sex, just physical, just what we all do. I reckon diffidence and embarrassment's your main problem, mate.'
'Uh huh, you've come to that conclusion lying here thinking about my sex life, have you?'
Giles only meant this an as ironic sort of joke and was a little taken aback when Spike nodded. 'It's obvious, ain't it? I mean, look at you that first night. She was probably waiting for you to leap on her an' ravish her, and what did you do? Friggin' slept on the couch!'
'Ravish?' Giles started to chuckle. 'Ravish? Disturb her petticoats? Rip her bodice and ravish?'
'Hey! Shut up!' but he began to laugh, too, and they felt that subtle shift of atmosphere once again.
Spike considered Giles through lowered lids. 'So, come on, tell me; what did you try?'
'Shut up, Spike. How many times do I have to tell you: I'm not having this conversation with you? And just the usual… you know… err … what do you mean?'
Spike tried not to smile and ruin the mood. 'Well, how long did you get her ready for like? That's the key to women, you know.' He had the grace to smile slightly at this implied boast, but continued, 'Get 'em so they want it more than you then just take 'em.'
Giles nodded wisely. 'I am now being given sexual advice from a vampire. Yes, this is one of those moments I am going to put on my list - my quite considerable list - of things I do not admit are actually happening to me.'
'Oh, don't give me that. You know damn well I know what I'm talking about. I've been shagging for over a hundred and twenty years.'
'You are only one hundred and twenty six, Spike. Had an interesting childhood, did you?'
'Fuck you. Look, all I'm saying is, I know what I'm talking about. And hey! Remember, I had to shag the dead. Shit, your foreplay's gotta be bloody good to make an inroad there, I can tell ya.'
Giles winced. 'I don't even want to know, Spike. And I'll thank you for not concerning yourself any more with my love life. I am quite capable of… getting someone ready.'
Spike groaned. 'You can't even talk 'bout it, can you? How the hell can you do it, if you can't say it? Fuck, cunt, clit, balls, cock, cum…. Giles, you've gotta loosen up… say 'em!'
'I most certainly will not, and to quote the ghastly Americans, I am SO not having this conversation with you.'
'Bet you didn't go down on 'er.'
Giles frowned. 'Go down on her what?'
Spike spluttered. 'You're joshing me now. Giles? I'm serious; tell me that was a joke?'
Giles smiled and raised an eyebrow. 'Had you going for a moment though, didn't I?'
Spike laughed, impressed. 'Yeah, you did, an' that don't happen often. But I'm glad like, cus 'least I know you're going 'bout it right.'
'I know what it is; I didn't say I actually did it.'
'Uh huh. And that would be…?'
'Spike! I utterly refuse to discuss my sexual preferences with you! No nice girl would ever countenance that sort of behaviour.'
'What! What? Oh, how sad are you? I guarantee she'd be eating out of your hand - who wouldn't? Fucking hell, mate, they love it!'
'Not having this conversation, Spike. You are a demon. You are dead. What you do with your hideous female companions is entirely your business. She is a very special young woman; I would never treat her like that. And, besides, I find it rather distasteful.'
'Oh, now we're getting to it. You don't like it.'
'No, I don't. It's all rather… fleshy.'
'Not hard and smooth?'
'Exactly. What? No! What do you mean?'
'Nothing, pet, nothing. So, you didn't get her ready; you did the 'bis, but it weren't much cop…. That about the gist of it?'
'No, Spike, I'm not discussing this anymore. I told you; I've been very distracted… and having you in here listening didn't help.'
'I wasn't listening.' Spike held up his still bruised and torn wrists. 'Remember?'
'Oh, yes. Well, whatever, it was all ghastly, and I'd rather not talk about it.'
'But you went back up tonight.'
'Yes. She insisted.'
'Oh. Bit of a passion killer that, ain't it? Havin' to perform on cue like.'
Giles shuddered. 'Impossible.'
'So… you left?'
'Told her I needed some tea, yes.'
'Long cuppa, mate.'
'I was rather hoping she'd fall asleep.'
'They never do. They lie awake, keeping themselves going like, waiting for you, planning how they're gonna humiliate you some more.'
Giles shuddered again. 'You think?'
'I know. Not that I've 'ad a human one. But Dru never let up on me sometimes. Even when I was shagged from shagging An… an other things.'
Giles heard the save but was too caught up in the image of the reception waiting for him in the bed to ponder its provenance.
'So, I have to go back in then?'
'If you want your life to be worth living, yeah.'
'Oh God. I'm just not - and remember, I'm not actually saying this to you - in the mood.'
Giles knew it was coming, had scant time to consider his reply before the soft, seductive words wrapped around him. 'I could help….'