What Lies Within - 6
They were at a complete impasse now, neither coping as well with the rape as they pretended, neither as affected by it as they felt they ought to be.
They would not have met - both still keeping studiously out of each other's way - except, once more, for Spike's new puppy. Xander, trying not to ride Spike too hard, assumed he had to be nice to him instead. So, whereas Spike was tempted to point out that leaving him alone could literally mean… leaving him alone, Xander made frequent visits to the crypt to prove he could 'do the nice'. Spike didn't really object - Harris was someone even sadder than him, and they always sparred eventually, making that part of his life seem normal and predictable.
One day, Xander suddenly cried excitedly, 'Hey! Vid-fest tonight. We're watching "Evil Dead". Spike, please, come over and make it… interactive viewing?'
Spike smiled but, as his back was to the boy, this was not seen. 'Who's gonna be there?'
Xander frowned at Spike's back. 'Everyone, I guess: Buff; Will; Tara; not Dawn obviously… scary, scary movie!'
'No one else?' Spike stood back, admiring his completed sound system. 'What'd'ya think?'
'Cool, Spike. What you gonna play? Grateful Dead?'
'Yeah, yeah, take the piss, mate.'
'So, you coming? Round eight?'
'You buying beer and snacks?'
'Snackettes already bought and just awaiting the eating.'
'Okay. But if the film gets too scary, I'm leaving.'
'Weird, Spike…. You are one weird vampire.'
Spike arrived, chucked his coat onto the stair rail, and went to the kitchen to get a beer.
Giles was there, opening one himself. They stared at each other, dumbfounded. Spike was totally thrown. The much-vaunted, cool nonchalance on seeing and thinking about the human did not materialise; instead, he felt a small squeak threatening, and clamped his jaw shut, ripping into a beer furiously.
'What the fuck are you doing here to watch "Evil Dead"?'
'I'm not going to watch you, Spike; will you get that ridiculous notion out of….'
'Not me, you total wuzzock! The film? "Evil Dead"? I wouldn't have come, if I'd known you be here.'
'We're not watching "Evil Dead" - is there really a film with that name? - we're watching "Pride and Prejudice". The boxed set.'
Spike paled inwardly and sat down shakily on a chair by the door. 'He lied.'
'No, I suspect he was lied to. Willow is choosing….'
'Oh, God. I'm leaving.'
Giles looked at him. 'Don't, Spike. Don't start some complex rubbish in your head about what I'm thinking. This is Buffy's house. I am NOT - do you hear? - NOT thinking about taking you upstairs to her bed!'
Spike spluttered his beer slightly. 'Jesus! What you sayin'? Hardly! All those bleedin' doilies and lacy bits an'… fuck! I'm losing me stones just sayin' those words!'
'Spike! I am not not thinking of it because of the décor of her bedroom. Get a grip! I'm not thinking of it because she's the Chosen One - the one above all others…? Chosen to fight the forces of darkness…? I'm not having hanky-panky in her bedroom with said force of darkness.'
'Oh… help! Hanky fuckin' panky? Pride and soddin' Prejudice? Lace? Doilies? I'm lost!' Spike ran out of the back door, desperately wondering where he could go to save his tattered streetcred.
Giles stood, dumbfounded, as the vampire stormed out theatrically. Something jarred, something wasn't right, but he couldn't put his finger on what that something was. He took his drink thoughtfully back into the living room and sat with the youngsters, watching the video but not seeing or hearing it.
At the first major snack break, he got up. Spike's duster was still hanging over the rail. He looked at in, pondering its meaning - it didn't have any; it was just a coat, but it gave him an excuse to go to Spike's crypt.
He slipped out of the back door quietly, not wanting an inquisition. He thought he'd made an easy escape, until a small arc of glowing red caught his eye. He turned, catching Spike throwing a cigarette stub away furiously. 'Are you every bloody where I am these days, human?'
'You're sitting just outside the bloody house I was in! What do you expect? And here's your coat, although why I bother….'
He thrust it at Spike, and the vampire snatched it back. 'So, okay, piss off now, then.'
'Spike, you're the vampire; you "piss off".'
'Right, I will.' He didn't actually move, though, but rummaged in his coat pocket for another pack of cigarettes.
'I've got your card marked, Spike.'
Spike gave him an incredulous look. 'Watcher. You have GOT to stop watching Jane Austen. That really don't wash as a threatening line.'
'It wasn't supposed to be threatening, Spike. It was just a statement of fact. I know where you are… coming from… where you live… what your gig is? And personally, I prefer Jane Austen…. Anyway, I see right through you, Spike.'
'Is that so?' Spike squinted at the human through the smoke and blew some in his direction. Lazily, he got off the table he'd been perched on and began his best saunter away, shrugging on his duster and scuffing his boots in the grass slightly. Giles followed.
'See, I was taken in for a while by that utter rubbish you spouted at me in your crypt. I think you do want things, Spike, but they are not what you told me.'
Spike increased his pace but other than actually running - and that would hardly fit with the newly regained stones - he could not shake the terrier-like human.
'You want someone who wants what you want all right, but I think you got a little seduced by being in this human body. I think you want human-style commitment. Soulless fuck? That's the last thing you want…. That's what you can have with any of your low-life demon friends. I think you picked me deliberately, just because I'm the last person in this world who would give that to you.'
Spike made a small gesture with his arm, as if trying to ward off something attacking him, but increased his pace once more.
'I'm right, Spike; I know I am. See, I sense things about you that no one else does. I've watched you, Spike, studied you for months now. I sense your need, your loneliness. You want to explore being human with me, don't you? You desperately want a human relationship: snuggling, cuddling, and….'
Spike put his hands over his ears at these offensive words, but Giles knew he could still hear perfectly. 'You revelled in being me, didn't you? Training with Buffy? Laughing with the gang? Being accepted? You see their happy faces and you want them to look at you like that. You see their friendship and their strength, and you want to be a part of that. You're trapped by that demon exterior, Spike, but within - where your heart lies - you're crying out for love.'
Spike whirled around and stood his ground. 'This is not happening. I'm not having this conversation with you. It's fucking ludicrous. You stand for everything I revile, everything I fucking hate. I loathe you! Piss off!'
'You can say what you like, Spike. It won't make any difference. You can hate me as much as you like; you still want what I could give you: the stability, the comfort, the… love, I suppose. You want to wake up next to me and listen to my heartbeat. You want to snuggle with me and share my warmth. You want to walk in my shadow and have that your only darkness. I'm the father you never had, the friend who will never desert you, and the human who can interpret your eternity. I'm what you've wanted for so long, Spike. I'm the salvation that threatens your demon.'
Spike's head began to turn from side to side in emphatic denial. Fuck the stones! He turned and ran, disappearing into the darkness, leaving Giles panting in the street. He leant against a wall, his heart pounding, his breath ragged. He'd had no idea he'd been almost running to keep up, and what with the talking and the thinking and…. Oh… bugger! Had he really just said all that? What the hell had he been thinking? He stood straight and stared in the direction Spike had run, jerking back so violently, he cricked his neck. Spike had returned silently and was standing in front of him. 'What did you fucking wish for, watcher?'
'Sub-bloody-conscious wish that second time when it didn't seem to work - what was it? Cus I'm thinking that maybe that weren't bullshit I threw at you back there. Did you wish to tread on the dark side with me?'
Giles winced. 'I may have let it flit across… but I repressed it sternly.' He began to cotton on. 'Oh, bloody hell. What about you? You were seduced by my warm bed, weren't you? Oh, God! Kissing warm lips…. You worked on this body so you could… cuddle it?'
Spike gritted his teeth. 'I am a Master Vampire. I cannot physically say the word "cuddle" let alone bloody wish for it.'
'You just did.'
'Fuck, fuck, fuck. All right, I admit it; I may have had it somewhere in the back of me mind…. So what the fuck does this mean?'
Giles paled and sat on the wall, his legs not obeying him any longer. 'I think I can tell you exactly what it means. We are trapped in a spell-induced parody of a Hollywood romance until….'
'Don't say it! Don't say it! Fuck, please, don't say it!'
'Until we play out our allotted roles once more.'
'You said it!' Spike stormed off once more with the air of someone who was utterly innocent of the deed, given Giles was the one who had spoken the unspeakable.
Giles followed him to the edge of the cemetery then tentatively went deeper. 'Spike?'
Once more, Spike materialised from nowhere. 'No. Absolutely not. No way. Not happening. I've thought 'bout it, an' I'm not doing it.'
Giles completely agreed. He tried to tell Spike this, but backing away from the advancing vampire, he fell into a newly dug grave. Spike peered over the edge. 'I should leave you in there.'
'Buffy would be fascinated with my account when I finally dug out.'
'Coward! Hidin' behind the slayer.'
'Pragmatist, Spike, now help me out.'
Spike effortlessly lifted him out and suddenly brightened. 'Do you think that'll count as one lovey-dovey bit of shit and make all this go away?'
Giles looked hopeful for a moment then despondent again. 'I have no idea. I sort of pictured one actual…. Well, you know.'
'Don't tell me. You didn't actually wish for a shag did you?'
'Not using that precise terminology, no. But semantics aren't going to help much, are they? What about you?'
Spike hesitated then groaned. 'Oh. Fuck….'
'Well, same thing, I suppose….'
'Very amusing, pillock. I kinda did think of that… first, but then I kinda drifted to picturing brekkies in bed.'
'Oh, well, that's not too bad….'
'Then a post-brekkies shag in the warm bed… an' then, well, one more for the road like.'
'A reversal spell! I'm going to ask Willow for a reversal spell.'
'Yeah, good idea, why not ask the slayer, too? Sure she'll understand this…. She can consult Harris while she's about it!'
Giles paled. 'I'll find one on my own!'
'Err… I could help.'
Giles took a step back, narrowly missing the hole once more. 'That's a good idea. Thank you. Sooner we stop thinking… what we are both thinking, the better. Are you thinking it now, by the way?'
Giles let out a small squeak but had the presence of mind to say, 'Tomorrow, Spike, come to the shop in the daylight. I can't have you in the dark…. No! I mean, I can't afford to….'
'Yeah, I get it; I get it.' Spike didn't point out that seeing Giles in the daylight was just what he needed to avoid, but turned instead and went back to his crypt.
Spike's presence in the shop the next day was actually greeted with pleasure by the rest of the gang. They'd almost come to not hate him, and his being there seemed to make things more normal. He smoked; he put his feet on the table; he tipped his chair and swung it irritatingly: quite normal. Granted, he was deep in research books - which was really weird - but other than that, it was a perfectly ordinary day for once. Even Giles seemed more his customary self, albeit slightly more reserved than usual and choosing his words extremely carefully… but that was only of the good. Xander sat eating doughnuts, beaming at everyone. Buffy and Willow chatted; Anya counted money. Only Spike and Giles seemed absorbed in their research.
After a while, Buffy pouted slightly and said, rather aggrieved, 'What's with the intense?'
Giles looked at her over his glasses, seeming to come back from a very long way away. 'Oh, yes… sorry. I have a project I'm working on….'
'Oh! Like projects. Good at projects. Project girl here!'
'No! Sorry, Buffy, you can't help with this one. It's rather personal, and I'd prefer to work on it alone.'
'Oh. 'K. No biggie. What you doin' then, Spike?'
Spike looked up and stared at her.
'What? What? Spike? Wiggins here!'
'Oh. No. I'm… err… working on a project, too. An' mine's personal as well, so sod off.'
She looked from one lowered head to the other and suddenly snatched up Spike's book. 'Reversal spells! Willow?'
Willow came over. 'What are you trying to reverse, Spike! Hey! Giles! This is bad! The Big Bad is being bad again!' She gasped. 'I think he's trying to get in your body!'
Spike's chair almost tipped right back, and he only just grabbed the table in time. 'Bloody hell! I'm not! I'm not even thinking about being in the soddin' watcher's body.'
'Just leave him alone, Willow; I'm sure there's a perfectly innocent explanation.'
Buffy looked at her watcher incredulously. 'Err… earth to Giles? This is Spike we're talking about? And I think it's time I….' She snatched his book as well. 'Oh! Giles! Reversal spells, too? You want Spike's body, don't you?'
'Good God, girl! Don't be so bloody stupid! Spike's body? Spike's… err… Spike's…. I have to fetch something from home. Err…. Pass me my jacket, will you Xander? Just bloody pass it! I'm going! I'll see you all later.' He sidled out, clutching his jacket firmly to his front and disappeared into the bright sunlight.
A small groan made them all turn their heads to the other player in this strange drama. Spike looked sheepish. 'Paper cut.'
Xander nodded thoughtfully. 'Yes… I can see that would make he-who-can-withstand-all-the-agonies-of-hell groan in pain. Okay. Enough. 'Fess. What's going on here, Spike? Buffy, back me up on this one!'
'Yes, come on, Spike. Tell us. I can make you, you know.'
Spike gave her a long look. 'Slayer, believe me when I say, you've got nothing that would drag it from me. Nothing.'
She laid a stake teasingly, almost lovingly on his chest. 'Nothing?'
Spike glanced down then back at her. 'Know what? I'd rather that than what I'm faced with, if you don't all sod off an' let me get back to the research.'
Buffy looked at Xander for support. Spike huffed. 'What you gonna threaten me with, some flab?'
'Hey! I told you; I've got issues!' Spike looked knowingly at the doughnuts then back at him with a slight grin.
'Still got all those weights, mate. You can 'ave 'em, if you want.'
'Okay…. Liking that idea… as an idea. Have to think through consequences for sweat and effort… and would I have to do the hanging upside down part? Because… not liking the blood rush there. Or the rising bile…. And hey! Don't change the subject, Spike!'
Spike got up. 'All right. I won't. I'll leave instead.'
Buffy shrugged. 'We will find out, Spike. And meeting tonight… Giles'?'
Spike squeaked and ran out under his blanket. The squeak, even more than the secretiveness, alarmed them considerably.
It was like an obsession. Giles could think of nothing else. Even when doing some tidying, when making a routine cup of tea, watching TV, when just breathing really, he thought about Spike and what they could do together. He had no illusions just how intense sex with Spike would be. He'd owned that body for four months and knew its power, its focus, its passions, and its capacity for the slow giving of pleasure. But even more seductive than all that, he knew that body's ability to feel pleasure, and he wanted to be the source of that gratification. Spike had been right: he did want to hear the vampire cum. He wanted it very much. He could almost hear the low, building moan, could almost picture the face screwed up with the intense effort to ejaculate…. Or was that screwed up in pain? Giles always tried to fight these final thoughts but, every time, they slithered in and seduced him.
He always started with the sex but ended up with torture, blood, pain, and screaming. Spike was right: he seemed obsessed with the vampire's dark side, and that obsession was threatening his very sanity.
Giles shook himself and cursed the bloody spell once more. This was ridiculous: he was hard again… but he was damn well not going to go upstairs and….'
'Let's just do it. Now! I can't stand this any longer!'
Spike stood in the doorway of the apartment, tense and agitated. Giles turned. 'Go away. For pity's sake, Spike, just go away.'
Spike came in. 'Let's just play this through, Watcher. I'm gonna die if I don't 'ave you. I can't think of nothing else. You're doing me head in. I'm in bed and the spot next to me is almost warm, like you just got out of it….'
'An' when I look up, I think I can almost hear you coming… coming back to the bed with me like. An' when you do, you hold me… and I'm gonna 'ave to stake meself if I go on like this! It's takin' away me evilness. I'll be soddin' buyin' yer flowers or something next. Let's do it. Get it over with and sod off back to our own lives.'
'You foolish, foolish vampire! Do you think these things don't have consequences? You know that they always do! Do you think I could let you seduce me to the dark side, have you drink me, drink from you maybe, and not remember that? And if we play out your needs? You'd have memories of me in the warm, soft bed, stroking your hair.…'
'Fucking stop. Just stop….'
'And I'd never be able to rid myself of the memories of finally knowing what it felt like to be taken by you, Spike. I'd hear your cries of pleasure for the rest of my life. Every time I had sex with someone, it would be with you. Every time I felt flesh, I'd want it to be just that little bit colder. So, NO! I won't do this! I will find a way out for us.…'
Spike came closer. 'I need you out of my head. I want to go back to the dark places, Giles, where everything is so chaotic, it's calm. This brightness confuses me….'
Giles came toward him. 'You must go. Now!'
'I know. I will. I shouldn't 'ave come. But I 'ad to.'
'I know; I was on my way to you.'
'No. You shouldn't come to me crypt. It would be too dark, too tempting for you….'
'But you came here, Spike.' Giles put a hand to Spike's cheekbone. 'And the bed is just upstairs - the one you so want to take me to.'
Spike laid his hand on Giles' and leant into the soft caress. 'I know. I tried not to come, but it was….'
'Yeah, I was too hard.' He pulled Giles into a rough embrace; it was too new, too weird to find a kiss that fitted them both. Their teeth jarred slightly. Spike suddenly pulled back, ripped off Giles' glasses and almost swallowed him whole.
Then the kiss was exquisite, intense, their passions flaring, two erections rubbing together, owning their need. Spike grasped the back of Giles' head and almost climbed on him. Giles staggered back and tripped over the coffee table. He fell heavily, cursing; Spike fell on him, groaning in agony as his chip went off.
'Giles!' Buffy hauled Spike off and sent him flying into the wall with a punch. 'Giles? Are you okay? Why did he attack you? Spike? What the hell were you doing…?'
Spike glared at her, glared at Giles, made to speak, but only shook his head and ran out.
Giles stared mutely at Buffy for a moment, regained some composure and turned away to the kitchen. 'It's hard to explain, Buffy. Don't blame Spike entirely. We have… issues… we need to work through. I did things; he did things. God, Buffy - can you imagine what it was like for us? We need to sort these things through without all this… interference.'
'Interference! Interference? Giles! This is not right. You're not right.'
'I'm sorry - that was utterly rude and unforgivable of me, and not what I meant at all. Buffy…. It's as if you were having an argument with Dawn. You say things - awful things - you do things, but you don't really mean any of it. If someone intervened - if someone took you literally - you'd want them to… butt out, wouldn't you?'
'Preferring the interference, Giles… but I get it, I do. Only… Spike is not Dawn! Dawn would not rip out my throat and eat me if she got the chance… well, not if Mom got to hear about it! Spike might. You're dancing with the devil, Giles. I'm the slayer; let me take care of this for you.'
'Buffy, you can't. Even you, with all your superpowers, cannot take care of this for me. So please, trust me; I know what I'm doing.'
Giles had absolutely no idea what he was doing. He walked, talked, ate, slept, worked, and relaxed to the sound of Spike's voice, the feel of his hard body pressing into him, and the unexpectedly sweet taste of that cool mouth. He researched frantically and finally thought he had a spell that would work. He put the idea tentatively to Willow one evening - without specifics - when the others weren't there, but she was horrified by the idea of magic used upon magic to rectify magic. He had to agree and, besides, he feared the one he'd chosen was too loose, too liberal, so he went back to the books with increasing desperation.
They might have managed to stay apart until he found just the right spell, but fate intervened. Buffy needed everyone to patrol with her one night: a particularly big nasty on the loose. Giles agreed but forcibly suggested they split up, Buffy and Spike one team, he and Xander the other. Spike immediately chorused his agreement to the split and began to walk away. Buffy, wanting to keep them apart anyway, shrugged and followed him. Giles breathed a sigh of relief, sneakily watched Spike's tight backside in his jeans for a moment, and then turned to Xander. 'Let's just go, yes?'
'Right with you, English.'
They patrolled into the woods where the demon had last been seen, and it attacked within a few minutes of their entry. Xander went down to a vicious blow; Giles tried to fend it off with his axe. They heard a shout; the demon looked up, and a slightly dishevelled Buffy ran into the clearing with Spike, trailing a little way behind. The demon grunted and ran off; Buffy made to follow it… but saw Xander.
'Xan? Are you okay?'
'Next time, I get to do the big manlies with the axe.'
She smiled. 'Don't worry - it got us, too. Can you stand?'
'Nah. I could crawl though?'
She looked around, making swift decisions. 'Spike, can you carry Xander home?'
Spike tried, but Xander winced at the pain, so Spike had to put him down again, clutching his head. Buffy looked annoyed. 'Right, I'll have to…. Spike, you and Giles track the demon. Find out where it's holing up and report back to me. Giles… no heroics until I'm with you, got it?'
'I'll go on me own, Slayer. Watcher can 'elp carry Harris.'
Buffy slung Xander over one shoulder, gave him a look and jogged off effortlessly.
Spike didn't look at Giles, which prevented him seeing if the watcher was looking at him. He started slowly after the demon, tempted to just speed up and lose the human.
'As much as I'm tempted to hang back and have you lose me, Spike, I'd be a little put out if the demon was still lurking.'
Caught out, Spike gritted his teeth. ''K. Not going anywhere.'
'Are you limping?'
'Uh huh. So that odd, uneven gait is because…?'
'Shut up, yer pillock, just shut up.'
'Of course…. And that damp patch on your lower leg is totally unrelated to the limp, yes?'
'I got slashed, 'k? Minor wound. 'S nothing.'
'You're bloody leaving bloody footprints, Spike! For Christ's sake, sit down.'
Spike leant his back against a tree and slid down it to sitting. Giles suddenly realised that Spike would have to take his jeans off for him to inspect the wound. Spike looked at him with an "I told you so" expression.
'Err… just how badly wounded are you? Can you make it back without me having to…?'
Spike hissed from between gritted teeth. 'I was okay 'til you went on about it and made me sit down. Now….' He held up his hands, soaked from holding his leg for only a moment. The ground around him was staining with his blood.
'Christ.' Giles undid the jeans and peeled them down. As he inspected the deep wound in Spike's leg, he murmured, 'When I had this body, I wore perfectly acceptable, respectable underpants. Might I suggest if you insist on being injured that, in future, you consider doing the same? There, I've stopped the bleeding with some pressure. If I bind it, we might make it back….'
It was a good plan and probably would have worked… except Spike leant forward and kissed him.