What Lies Within - 1
Willow packed away the remaining ingredients of her spell, rather disheartened. You'd think one measly "Do My Will" spell would have worked, but nothing. Make me two inches taller - nothing. Make my hair less red - nothing. She read the incantation one more time. Okay, there were a few words she didn't understand: something about time, but hey! She'd been trying for hours; how much longer could one spell take?
She swept up the potion and was about to throw it into the shop's trash, but Giles came up from the stockroom. She tucked it behind the till; she'd get it later. Buffy and Xander arrived, and all was well until, cursing the sun, Spike crashed in.
He looked morosely at the teenagers. 'Bloody hell! Don't anyone have a job 'round here?' Ignoring their pointed looks, he flung himself into a chair and lit a cigarette. It was the last in the pack, and he scrunched up the box with a worried look.
Giles, putting some books away, said rather tiredly, 'What do you want, Spike?'
Spike tried a winning smile, saw it was utterly wasted on everyone, so swapped seamlessly to his I'm-a-poor-helpless-vampire voice. 'I'm a bit skint like. Any work? Nice juicy demon for me t' kill?'
His hunger began to gnaw in an untimely fashion, and he eyed the last half-inch of his cigarette in panic. 'Something, surely! Research?'
'I'm not paying you to draw obscene body parts on my Illustrated Guide to American Demonology, Spike.' Giles held up a book with an accusatory glare.
Spike gritted his teeth and pretended to be fascinated by a small chip on one nail. It grew quiet in the shop. Willow left for school, Buffy for work; Anya went to the basement to do some much needed stocktaking. Giles became engrossed in some research. He came across a reference to London and looked up to mention it to Spike. The vampire was behind the counter, quietly attempting to open the till. 'What the hell are you doing?'
Giles came over furiously and removed the offending hand.
Spike clenched his jaw, seemed about to attempt some skin-saving lie, but only said, equally furiously, 'I'm bloody starvin', and I'm fuckin' owed it! You pay like a friggin' haggis, Watcher.'
'I don't want to have to pay you at all, Spike. I loathe you and everything you represent. Paying evil to assist the righteous - it's an unfortunate expediency, that's all.'
'Bloody hell, Giles, you are such a fucking…. I need that money!' He reached out again, but Giles slammed the drawer on his fingers. 'Ow! No need to do that! I bloody wish you could know what it's like, you bugger. I could rip your gullet out soon as look at you for that!'
Giles gritted his teeth. 'And I wish you could do a couple of month's honest, hard work, Spike, and know what it's like having to earn money, then put up with the likes of you crawling in, trying to steal it.'
'I wasn't stealing….' The argument continued, despite a puff of metallic dust that emerged mysteriously from the direction of the till and settled on them both. Giles ignored it, brushing it off distractedly, as he said, 'Get out, Spike. Now! And don't come back - ever. I'm terminating this agreement. Buffy can live without you, and I most certainly can.'
'Fine!' Spike looked at the dust on his coat and pouted for a moment: it struck a chord somewhere in his memory. 'Fine, you git! I hate you all - ALL of you - but especially YOU!' He poked Giles in the gut as hard as he dared, grabbed his blanket and left.
The next morning, Spike woke slowly. The hunger had gone, which surprised him because it had driven him into painful dreams and made him wake during the night craving even his own dead blood. He didn't want a cigarette, which was also odd, as that was usually his first thought on waking. These were minor problems to ponder though, because, for some utterly terrifying, brain-seizure-inducing reason, he had woken up in Rupert Giles' bed. He sat up, looked down, screamed, fell out of bed, almost vomited, swallowed warm saliva, felt his heart pumping, breathed, panted, screamed, and did vomit - copiously - over some carpet slippers. He scrambled up and staggered like an old man to the mirror. 'Oh… fuck!' He laughed hysterically, and Giles' voice and face said, 'Oh fucking, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck….'
He'd not only woken up in Rupert Giles' bed, but in Rupert Giles' body as well.
Spike looked down at the soft pyjamas. He looked out of the window; he tore down the stairs, tumbling over painfully as he misjudged a step. He ripped open the front door.
He stepped out into the sunshine and turned his face up to the brilliance. Tears sprung to his eyes. He slowly peeled off the jacket and trousers and stretched naked to the sun.
Whatever else happened - whether this was a dream, whether he went back, didn't go back, died, didn't die - it was all immaterial for this one moment. He'd had this, and it was sublime.
'Oh! God! Giles!'
Spike opened his eyes and looked at Harris thoughtfully. The git didn't seem to notice any difference, which seemed incredible to Spike, given he felt entirely himself inside this new exterior.
Xander peered around the hand shading his eyes. 'Giles! No to the nakedness! Not flattering and strangely disturbing!'
'Fuck off, Harris.' Spike turned and slammed the door on the astonished human. He stood naked, his back to the door, thinking. Harris had seen Giles' body too… it wasn't a dream. If it wasn't a dream then it had to be… a fucking spell…! The bloody glittery dust - he knew it!
He was in the bloody watcher's body, and - sod's soddin' law - he just knew where that pillock Rupert Giles was. Spike pouted then grinned and laughed at the feel of someone else's muscles responding to his desires. He tore upstairs again and stood in front of the mirror, trying out every expression he could think of. He suddenly twitched up an eyebrow and… looked down. Slightly impressed, he played with himself for a while but then had an idea and tore back out into the sunshine. He sat on the small set of chairs outside the door, stretched out fully to the sun and encouraged his erection to grow in the warmth. Alive or undead, he'd never wanked in the sun, and this was something very… special. The erection intrigued him. It was soft…. Okay, it was hard… but soft, too, not like his at all, and… bloody hell - was it hard work to get off! He pulled harder but winced when it made him sore. He gave up and sat looking at the offending part for a while, then grinned and shrugged - so much to do, and so little time to do it all in! He reckoned the watcher would be pretty well trapped for an hour or two until he found the stones to attempt a daylight flight - if he even attempted that at all - so… two hours. What else did he want to do?
Spike grinned and dashed back inside, frantically looking around…. Where was it? Where did he keep it? He rummaged, looked, pondered, and cursed; he was wasting precious time. He had a brainwave, rushed back to the bedroom and found the missing wallet on the nightstand. Oh, yesss…. Clothes…? What to wear…? The selection dismayed him. He dug deep into the wardrobe, found some really cool jeans and began to tug them on…. Too small! He paused. Uh huh - humans changed shape. All the good stuff didn't fit. Wasting time…. Anything…. He dressed, grabbed the wallet and keys, and ran out. Keeping a wary eye out for a blond vampire under a blanket, he grinned when he didn't see one, and drove hastily to the mall.
Oh…. Bliss…. He spent until he could think of nothing else to buy and staggered, trip after trip, back to the car. He drove to Clem's and woke him up. 'Mate! It's me, Spike…. Spell, you know. Got some hot kit…. Keep it for me, hey? Don't hand it over unless it's me.… Password…? "Bollocks", 'k?' Clem nodded complacently and helped his friend carry the packages in.
Bloody hell! Nearly lunchtime. He'd get stopped soon. He felt them conspiring against him somewhere, tutting and being shocked at him. Fuck them. What else…? Oh! Yesss! He stopped at a restaurant and sauntered in. 'Everything.'
'I'm sorry, Sir?'
'Everything. Anything. Just keep it coming, yeah?' He threw Giles' card at the astonished waiter and sat eating for some hours. Top button now undone, he finally hit the streets again. What else…?
There had to be something.
'Hey! Watch where you're going.' A spotty youth pushed Spike to one side. Spike cursed as he thought about ripping the boy's eyes out. Fucking chip… that he didn't have any more! He actually giggled as he slid up to the boy from behind. He tapped him on the shoulder and, when he turned, punched him, breaking his nose. Oh, that felt so good. Oh? Fuck? His knuckles! He looked at his bleeding hand. One sodding punch, and he was bleeding? Spike shrugged: it was worth it. He hit the boy repeatedly until they began to attract a lot of attention. One last kick and he ran off. Four hundred metres later, and he had to slow to a jog. Another two, and he staggered, panting, into an alley. No one was following him.
What else? His hand hurt, but it had been so good hitting that boy. Just some anonymous boy…. Oh bloody hell! Why hadn't he thought of that first? Before sun, before spending, before wanking…. Fuck! He got back to the car and made his way over. He charmed his way in and descended the stairs.
Xander turned. 'Giles? Dressed body… good! Like to see the dressing. What's goin' down?'
Spike giggled. 'You.' He hit him and almost cried with the pleasure. Every jibe; every punch; every snide, stupid, hurtful, hated, resented, cheap shot, Spike now revenged. Unprepared, bewildered, Xander went down. When he was down, Spike hit him with a baseball bat, and the boy lay screaming on the ground. Spike stood tall, swinging the bat idly in one hand. He couldn't decide what to do: crush the balls or the skull? Both were good options and needed savouring… but no time. Make a decision….
Balls were good; go with the balls - crush them and leave him alive.… Yeah! That'd be fun! He fondled the bat, toed the boy so he rolled over in agony… and saw what was about to happen. He screamed again but, this time, fear overwhelmed him, and he fainted.
'Xander! Oh, God! What's happened? Giles? What's happened?'
Fucking witches! Just when you don't want them…. Could he slip a kill in and not have her notice? He quite liked her, or he'd have killed her, too.
'Demon! Big one! Get the Slayer.' ("Good plan, Batman - leaves me alone with Harris again!")
'Giles! I want to stay with Xander. You go. Giles! Hurry! Buffy!'
Shit. 'Okay.' Yeah, like he was gonna do that! Uh huh…. On the other hand….
Oh…. Yeah! Now, that was a really good idea….
Could he pull it off?
He drove to the slayer's house and, once more, charmed his way past obstacles. Joyce smiled as he went up the stairs, and he smiled charmingly back at her.
He paused just outside the slayer's door and shook himself like an actor about to go into his greatest performance. 'Buffy!'
'Giles? What's up? I was just about to come over.'
'It's fairly urgent, I'm afraid. I've just had a call from the Council. I have to test you immediately. There's a chance you aren't you.'
'Giles? Stop babbling, and what's wrong with your hand?'
'No time to explain, Buffy. Look, I have to run this over you….'
'That's a car key.'
'No, it's not. It's an ancient, mystical device…. It's disguised, okay? It's very powerful and potent… and for fuck's sake, Slayer, just lie down, will you?'
Buffy looked at him strangely. Spike immediately sat on the bed and hid his face in his hands. 'This is getting too much for me, Buffy; sometimes I think I'll just give it all up and go back to England. I'm so worried about you.'
'Hey! Giles…. Come on…. Do your testy thing. Look, lying down.'
'Good. Now, it has to be skin. I'll start here… on your arm. Let me know if you feel… err… cold chills.'
'Cold chills good or bad?'
'Bad. Very bad.' Spike ran Giles' car key up Buffy's arm. It was so perfect; the skin glowed with health, the muscles underneath perfectly formed. Giles' penis swelled, and Spike grinned, imagining running the key up her thigh and over places where she might enjoy cold chills. All in good time…. He glanced at the clock. Not much time. Fucking speed up.
'Can you lift your sweater? Sorry, look, just take it off…. Come on, it's only me.'
Buffy looked reluctant but took off her sweater, revealing a thin, silky thing underneath. 'What's this called?' Spike felt the material between his fingers and just managed to brush the back of his hand against one hard nipple. The phone rang. Buffy was caught between shock at Giles' behaviour and desire to answer the ring. She picked it up.
Spike fled. He made it to the car and screeched off. Parking around the corner, he thought hard. What to do now…?
Fucking fuck! Leave! Just do a runner with the bloody body! He'd never be caught: how could they find him? Money - he needed money. He rummaged in the wallet - bloody English git! Nothing! Except… that was interesting! Spike found a small piece of paper with a pencilled number. He grinned and swung the car away from the curb, heading for the bank. He sniggered quietly… the number worked, and he withdrew as much as he could from the ATM and headed for the airport.
He was alive now and needed a bloody passport.
He sat outside the apartment for a while, eyeing it suspiciously. It was evening already, and he suddenly felt very vulnerable. The place seemed empty, but he had no ability to tell one way or the other: life was shut off to him; this body so dead, in so many ways.
Fuck it. Risk it. He went in. All quiet. He breathed a sigh of relief and ran up the stairs to the bedroom, rummaging for a passport. He looked everywhere, reached a hand to the back of the wardrobe shelf and found… something else. He eyed the porn magazines with astonishment, flicking through the unexpected content briefly. Now… that was an interesting turn up for the books! These explained at lot. He grinned and shoved them back. Passport - where the fuck was it?
He found it, took a watch and anything else that looked valuable or useful, and ran back downstairs.
His body stood in the doorway, waiting for him.
He skidded to a halt so violently that he actually fell over and banged his elbow. He climbed stiffly to his feet, tears in his eyes.
The body spoke. 'Hello, Spike. Had a nice day?'
Giles had not had a… nice day.
He, too, had woken slowly, but his first thought was that he had gone blind during the night. It was utterly black, and however much he blinked or rubbed his eyes, he was still blind. This distracted him for all of about three seconds until hunger, so painful that he pictured eating his fingers, slammed into him. He actually winced at the pain, not just in his belly but suffusing his whole body.
In the dark and starving…. This was not good… but…. He sat up and felt as if he'd flown to that position. He felt his arm and knew it was not his: it was like touching steel wrapped in silk. He felt his face, his chest, all over his body - terrified, fascinated, bewildered.
He patted the bed to find the edge, and his hand connected with something small, cold and hard. He clicked the lighter and screamed. He was in Spike's crypt. He didn't need to look down… but did it anyway. It was Spike's body he'd been feeling up. He'd thought so at the time but had not let the hideous thought really register, in case he made it true.
Oh! The hunger! He could think of nothing else. He had to put something into his body… and blood obsessed him. But he was still Rupert Giles: completely himself - merely in another's body. Could Spike's body be so strong, the needs so potent, that they affected his rational mind? Blood! Oh, dear God! He needed to bite and tear and suck. He had to get out and find some blood. He staggered through the dark to the ladder and climbed up to the relative light of the upper level.
He looked down and stilled, annoyed. Trust Spike… and why was he erect? Spike's body had no right to be erect. Erections were utterly inappropriate, given the extremity of the circumstances. He had to get to Buffy. Well, he had to dress first and then get to Buffy.
Giles suddenly gasped. If he was here then…. He tore downstairs… and how high he had actually just jumped from? He climbed back up the ladder and did it again. His rational brain told him it was impossible - dangerous - but his body whispered, "Just do it". He did and felt power and strength flooding through the muscles… but blood! How he needed blood!
He lit some candles and looked for clothes. Ah… no furniture. He guessed the untidy heap on the floor had been yesterday's and felt incredibly odd when he thought that Spike had taken them off, but he was going to have to put them on. He sniffed them cautiously. Images crashed into his mind, and scents - like potent memories - assailed him: cigarettes, blood, sex. It was all there… but not actually scent… more like memories hovering over the fabric that he could now tap into. He went around the crypt, sensing things. Incredible…. A candle whispered, 'Drusilla'; a discarded book shouted Angel's name: Spike's world was alive in a way Giles had never expected.
He dressed quickly, enjoying the way the clothes slipped easily and comfortably over the hard body. The hands distracted him while he dressed, and he stopped to look at them. He'd never noticed how beautiful they were and twisted the rings to line them all up. He chuckled for the first time since finding himself in this predicament.
No time for frivolity. He had to warn Buffy.
Giles raced up to the top floor, cursed, ran down again for a blanket and rushed up once more. He opened the door, stood behind it cautiously, and eyed the bright sunlight. Covering himself, he stepped out… caught his hand on fire and rushed back in, screaming. He splattered it with beer from a half-empty bottle and tried again. Same hand again - the other one this time, too. How did the bloody vampire do it? Giles fetched another blanket and tried with two, crawling slowly. It worked in a fashion, but he couldn't see or hear and needed to breathe, even though he knew he didn't have to do that now. He crawled back. He looked at his watch…. No watch! Bloody vampire! And… oh… so hungry! Why couldn't the damn vampire buy himself some food and a decent watch?
Giles clenched his jaw guiltily, recalling yesterday's conversation. Well, Spike had his wish: Giles was beginning to understand what it was like to be a…. His head snapped up…. Spike had his wish! Bloody hell!
Somehow they'd sparked off a spell. Willow! Bloody girl! Giles cursed quietly and took a deep breath, wincing at the unused muscles straining in his chest… and what was that now? That wasn't hunger, but it was just as bad. Dear God, what was it? His hand went up to his mouth…. A cigarette! He rushed back down and fumbled through the bed, under the bed, in every corner. Finally, he began to cry. This was too much. He needed a cigarette almost as much as he needed blood…. More! No, less! Blood! Oh, God! He was going to KILL that bloody vampire when he got hold of him!
Giles knocked something over as he kicked angrily away from a small piece of furniture. Oh -alcohol. Another need. He ripped off the top and swallowed urgently, gulping the raw liquid down… and it was so, so good. Now the blood craving went away slightly; now the…. He sat up, wailing in anger. Now he only needed a cigarette more! He could actually picture one in his hand - even got a pen, which had been tucked into a book, and put it between his lips. It made him feel slightly better… but not much.
He looked morosely at the bottle of alcohol and finished it off.
A few hours later, Giles felt depressed enough (and drunk enough) to explore. He flicked through a small stack of books with no expectation of interest. He stopped and went back through them carefully. They were all his! He recognised them… but not the post-it notes attached to the pages. He picked up the whole stack, another bottle of something, and floated up the ladder. Trying to focus, he read the notes at random. Some of them were translations of arcane words. Some were comments on the philosophy, some just notes that related the page to other pages or books. Fascinated, he returned down the ladder and rummaged some more. He found notebooks full of scribbling and carried them up, too. Fragments of poems, a couple of short stories, some letters…. He held the notebooks in his hand and felt a prurient guilt at this raking-over of Spike's life. Or was it fear - fear that he would discover he had been looking at a mask all these years? He returned the books to their small box beside the bed and lay down thoughtfully.
There was a long time still until darkness. He gritted his teeth and tried the blanket trick once more, but the sun - now directly overhead - caught his boots and his fingers again, making them smoke. He began to pace in desperation. Blood - the need overwhelmed him. He paced right to one side then spun and paced back, did a quick calculation and worked out he had to do that circuit another fifteen-hundred times before nightfall.
He cursed and brushed a large cobweb out of his hair. Something caught his eye. He frowned and leaned closer. A small name was scribbled alongside the cobweb: "Bob".
He looked around the walls carefully: "Brian", "Smudge", "Badger"…. At every cobweb, there was a small, scribbled name. Giles shook his head, bemused, but continued his pacing: four… five….
To give him his due, he reached one hundred before he thought about staking himself. How did the vampire cope with the boredom? Obviously - reading, writing, and…. Giles looked down and shrugged: it would pass ten minutes. He went down to the bed, undressed, and lay in the dark.
Bloody hell! That was some erection. He felt incredibly envious (but sneakily amused that Spike didn't have anyone to use his erections on, either) - (and shouldn't that have been… enjoy his erections with?) Giles shuddered at the slip, but continued.
He began a slow rhythm, and sat up, almost gasping at the pleasure. As with all the other sensations from this preternatural body, this was intense, sharp, addictive. He found he could prolong the pleasure at will, as if his brain had more control over the flow of blood than as a human, and he allowed that, the whole body being magical, this might be true. Ten minutes passed and he had hardly begun. The pleasure drew out like a long, delightful climb up a steep mountain slope. It was hard work, but the effect when you got to the top… and then ran at full pelt down the other side, your feet lifting off from the path, being able to fly, feeling as if you were a God, and - my God - the orgasm shuddered through him, and he thought his body would tear apart from the delight and still it went on (could an orgasm last this long?); he thought he would die but then fell gently back to the pillows… utterly satisfied.
Giles scratched slightly on one prominent rib and contemplated the mess on Spike's belly, the bed, and… good grief! Had the vampire's hair been gelled before?
At least some time had passed - at last! He wondered idly if there would be time for one more before…. Oh bloody hell! Blood - someone PLEASE feed him! He tried to sleep the pain away. Maybe there were rats down here…? He pictured a juicy rat heart full of blood, entrails to suck on… and was he going to be sick? He had to get out of this body; it was taking him over. He decided to replay the last Test Match in his head - for sanity and decency's sake - and had reached England-all-out-for-seventy when he fell into a light doze.
When he woke, it was almost dark. He dressed and stood at the door like a man possessed. He tested it with his hand - no burn. He ran. He ran like the wind and merged with the darkness. So strong, so fast, so thin, so powerful - so much better than everyone else…! Giles winced as he ran. This body, this bloody seductive body - he had to leave it.
He had to feed it.
He'd give it back to Spike… let Spike feed it!
Hunger burned him.
He had to feed it!
He ran to the back of the shop where he'd bought blood for Spike before. A man he didn't recognise was unloading meat from a small van, and looked up at his approach. 'Spike. How y' been?'
'Hungry.' Giles saw no point in trying to explain things and peered hopefully into the van. 'I need some blood.'
The man raised his eyebrows slightly with a 'duh' expression. The Spike eyebrow raised too, expectantly.
The man stuck out his hand and smiled unpleasantly.
Giles grimaced. 'Look. I'm a bit…. I don't have any money on me at the moment. I'll owe you.'
An amused smile slid across the man's face. 'Your manners are improving, vampire, but the answer is still no. You know the deal. Ten dollars crosses my palm; a pint of blood slides down your throat.' He held up a small flask of blood and waved it in Giles' face. Giles felt his knees weaken at the scent, which he could detect even through the old milk carton. A nauseous faintness washed over him, but he stood straight and stared fixedly at the grinning man. 'Ten dollars?'
'Yep… not changed since the last time you were here.'
'Uh huh. When I…. When an acquaintance of mine buys it here, he only pays a dollar.'
'There ya go. Supply and demand. You need it more, Spikey boy.' The man tapped the side of his head nastily.
Despite this non-too subtle reminder, Giles cracked. He saw red - literally: a red blur like blood fogged his vision and his thoughts. He needed the blood. He lunged at the man, ripping the flask out of his hand, punching him back into the wall.
Was that his scream?
That was the filthy floor of the alley, so he guessed he was lying prone and sobbing… and the pain! It was intolerable! He'd never felt pain like it. It seared through the soft fibres of his brain; it worked on his nerve endings. This was not behaviour modification: this was sadism.
He'd had no idea.
Giles staggered up, tears rolling down his face. 'Please. I'm desperate.'
The man laughed. 'You're always desperate, Spike. That's the fun. Ten dollars or….' He grinned and twitched up an eyebrow. 'You can pay in kind again.'
Giles, still holding the side of Spike's head, said in a puzzled tone, 'Err, I'm sorry?'
The man kept his eyes fixed on Giles, but undid his pants and took himself out. He winked. 'You this desperate yet, Spike? Cus I love it when you are, and it's been… what? Least a month.'
He waved the blood in front of Giles once more. 'Love that sweet mouth of yours, Spike. Hey! Maybe more than ten dollars next time, what'd'ya say? Raise the stakes?'
Giles turned on his heel and walked slowly towards his own apartment. He felt sick, but this was nothing to do with the previous pain or the hunger.
He took a short cut and was nearly in sight of his block, almost home, when a large demon sprung out in front of him. 'Vampire!'
'Oh… bloody hell!'
The creature advanced. Giles backed off: no way could he take that on by himself. 'Look. Let's just agree to differ, shall we? Go on our….' The demon attacked. Giles only lifted his arm in defence, but it backed off, groaning. Giles stared at the almost delicate-looking, slim fingers and punched again. The demon's arm snapped. Giles couldn't believe the power in this thin body. He waded in and when he eventually snapped the creature's neck, it was the man from the butcher's shop that he saw in his mind. He stood looking down at his conquest and felt a confusing morass of emotion.
It was time to go home.
When he saw his apartment, he felt as if he'd been away a very long time. He could sense his own body inside. He didn't know how he knew it was there, he just did.
He was profoundly grateful.