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Third Life

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Summary: “I’m sorry, Pigeon,” he whispered, “But this is the best way I know to keep my promise.” AU seasons 6-7,one shot that may go further.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > Spike-CenteredStrangerFR1844,55566313,35214 May 077 Feb 08No

Waking the Stranger

AN: I know, I haven't updated and I refuse to apologize, because honey-bunches, the inspiration was not forthwith. But, for some disturbing reason, it is now. Gah.

Waking the Stranger

Very, very slowly, Violet steadied herself and reached up with her other hand to pull back the collar of her shirt. As that provocative few inches of skin over her pulse point was reveled, she watched his face blank, cobalt eyes widening, the colour spilling into his pupil, making him look eerily blind. He sat up in a slow, liquid movement, her in his lap. One arm coiled around her waist, the other gripping her wrist slid to her opposite shoulder, holding her steady.

Violet turned her face away and crushed her eyes closed. She felt his lips on her neck, twin pin pricks as his teeth sank in…

And oh, Holy Mother, this had never happened before.

Many – most in fact – of the St Louis vampires, those under Jean-Claude’s command, were from a line whose powers were geared toward sex, towards pleasure. To Violet, it had always seemed so much a surface thing. Fantastic sex, sure, but rather meaningless.

This was something…other.

This was wicked and hot and decadent, and it was invading parts of her brain she didn’t even know she had. There was something dark and sweet, horrid and perversely beautiful winding like a serpent out from him to her. The sensation dove down, into the place where her other self slumbered.

He didn’t have an animal to call, apparently, but whatever it was that bound itself so deliciously around the leopard – fleshy silk cords begging to be cut to ragged pieces – was something ambiguously animal all on its own. It soaked into her like molasses, thick, rich and filling her gasping mouth with the faint taste of aniseed.

The leopard inside her struggled blissfully against her bindings, and in the stranger’s arms, Violet arched herself sideways, pressing her throat to his mouth. The leopard slid her claws into the meat of the cords about her, Violet set her nails to his shoulders, eliciting a feline snarl from him and the sound was shivering bliss upon her skin.

She didn’t know it, but her head had fallen back, now cradled by the hand that was once upon her shoulder. Her eyes gazed unseeing at the ceiling, glazed and burning cat-green. She arched forward, inhaling thickly; there wasn’t a hairsbreadth between them from hip to collarbones.

Something else passed between them, a leaking of memories. From Violet spilled impressions of sunlight and wind, running with a kite through long yellow grass, sudden darkness and Chimera’s face swimming overhead before it shattered into a million snowy pieces that melted as she was wrapped in her Pard, their voices whispering warm things against her skin.

From Spike (William, sometimes) rushed glimpses of brocade curtains and his mother’s hands on his face, her own morphing horribly and later turning to sorrowful ashes blown away by Dru as she laughed and danced amongst graves where Buffy stalked, green eyes flashing first with hate, then with terror and tears as he bid them all goodbye and fell forwards into the lashing brilliance.

And all the while, Violet was drowning happily in what felt like hot treacle and tobacco smoke. He let loose another rusty snarl that ended in muffled laughter, sheer joy, and shifted, bore her down, biting deeper, oh the world was gone in fluid blazes of sensation and sticky heat.

It was too much, too wonderful.

Her eyes rolled back and it was like her soul spinning away, sideways and inside out, touched all over with stars, wrapped in her own thick black fur.

Sleepily she noticed he had let her go, was hovering over her, shaking hands touching her face and neck, the blood that had leaked onto her skin.

“Oh God, oh Hell, oh no, no, no…”

She managed to lift one hand and clumsily ran her fingertips over his cheeks, the dark brush strokes of his eyebrows, the line of his jaw. Her hand caught and slipped on her own blood left there.

“Please, please don’t die, luv, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, don’t die, don’t die,” he was saying.

Violet let out a soft drunken laugh.

“Not gonna die,” she managed, slurring a good deal. “S’all good…mmm, ooh, th’ never happ’ned with the others.”


“Mmph,” was the affirmative mumble.

She felt him gently turning her head, touching the old scars on her neck and shoulders, where others had bitten.

“Shit-oh-dear, kitten, what’ve you been doin’?”


Spike was at a loss. He could feel his sense of self filtering back now, the primitive parts of him folding back into the dark corners of his brain. In all his hundred-odd years, feeding had never been like that. That was…had been…bleeding hell, there weren’t even words…

When he’d realized what he’d done – seen the soft smudges and trickles of red on her skin, those ragged punctures, become aware of the familiar feel and taste in his mouth – he’d been horrified. It seemed that at some point he’d acquired a set of morals and the ability to feel awful, soul-shredding guilt (soul-shredding? Did that mean he had one of those now, too?).

Now, since apparently the lovely little minx sprawled on this big, unfamiliar and frankly rather poncy bed wasn’t going to cark it, Spike was feeling a great deal better. She was well and truly asleep now, occasionally making contented squeaks the way small happy animals do, and resting her cheek on his palm.

Bizarrely, something about her led him to think of the witches’ little black and white moggy. He couldn’t help it; there was an oddness about her, a curling, coiling, kitty-cat vibe that left him seeing velvet rosettes on the backs of his closed eyelids.

It didn’t really bother him, though. He’d always liked cats, and they’d always liked him well enough. Red had nearly had a coronary when Miss Kitty Fantastico had hopped up onto the Summers’ couch where he was sprawled one evening, and decided to make friends by going to sleep on his chest.

The girl – Violet, he remembered – was fast doing the same. He gathered her up and she tucked her face against the pulse of his neck –

Wait a tick.


In his neck.

Well, bugger me.

He rested Violet on the bed next to him, tucking her into those ridiculous satin sheets, and put two fingers against his throat, counting. It was slower, much slower than a human’s (‘specially when you had your teeth up close and their little hearts went a mile a minute), but this was so slow, even compared to the most gentle of heart rates.

Well, Joyce had said he’d be different. He wondered what else would be new.

Ever cautious, he climbed from the bed and stalked, naked and unashamed, about the bedroom. There was a bedside table on either side of that stupid bed, the left containing non-prescription painkillers, the other, condoms. Now, just what were they insinuating? Not that he minded. He was himself, after all, and thus, thoroughly degenerate, lacking only someone to be degenerate with.

There was also an empty wardrobe against one wall, and a solid oak door on the opposite wall, leading to an en suite overdone and toffee-nosed enough to match the prattly bed. Who the hell would have soap made into tiny fleur-de-lise? Or swans, for Christsakes?

As he dug amongst the useless frippery in the bathroom cabinet, Spike caught a glimpse of himself in the huge freestanding mirror adjacent to the vanity. The image presented was of some long limbed creature, snow skinned, as he’d always been after his turning, eyes chips of changeable blue, and those had been like that since the day he was born. His hair was still bleached artificial white, but free of any product and so sat in its natural state of undefined curls, looking perpetually sleep-mussed.

There was also the scar to consider. It was fully healed, though still tender in places. He traced it with delicate fingertips, marveling at the spider webbing of jagged blue. He knew, knew, that the center point of it, over his heart, was where the portal struck its killing blow. That was what had turned him into so much dust on the breeze.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and then to earth, he supposed.

A sudden surge of memory, and he gripped the vanity with one scrabbling hand.

He’d been underground, clawed his way up, broken the surface, spitting soil, earth beneath his nails.

His nails…

He looked down at his hands. It was a little difficult to tell under the chipped polish, but his nails were completely free of dirt. Someone had gone to the trouble of making sure he was squeaky clean before slipping him into the big fuck-off bed and adding sweet wee Violet to the mix.

He suddenly had a horrible thought and leant closer the mirror. Spitting soil…had they brushed his teeth as well? Because, really, there were some things a bloke just couldn’t be expected to put up with when he was unconscious and vulnerable to the unwanted attentions of unknown…people?

Hadn’t he seen animals? Talking animals? Not that that was unusual, he’d met those before, but from what he remembered, the wolf had walked and spoken almost like a man, and that was strange.

And in one particular context, disgusting. And against the laws of God and man. And most law-abiding demon species, come to that.

In an attempt to distract himself, he studied his new teeth. Before, they had remained human looking up to the point when his face had shifted. These were a vampire cliché; needle-point eyeteeth, top and bottom, like those of a cat. Still thinking of his demon face, he tried to shift, to pull it forward.

Demon, he thought, monster mask, other face.

Something happened, but not what he expected. There was no ugly thickening of bone or tooth beneath his skin. His eyes didn’t flash yellow. Instead, his skin clung suddenly to the already angular contours of his face and became faintly incandescent, giving him a frightening, skull-like visage. His teeth lengthened in his mouth, but not uncomfortablely. The blue of his eyes consumed his pupils and glowed as though someone had set the insides of his eye sockets on fire.

Oh hell, Joyce, he thought, what’ve you made of me?


Violet slept soundly as Spike carefully wiped the drying blood from her neck and shoulder. He himself had indulged, but felt extremely silly all the while, and taken a plunge in the miniature swimming pool that some poofter somewhere was probably calling a bath.

As William, he’d been born to a reasonably wealthy family and hadn’t wanted for much except social acceptance and ‘darling’ Cecily, but this sort of excess was just plain odd. After playing the role of street punk for so many decades, and having gotten used to nicotine-stained walls, dusty TV screens, spiders’ colonies in crypts, such frivolity was suspicious and deeply weird.

If it hadn’t been for the whole sacrifice-for-the-sake-of-the-Summers-women, exploding into little bits, crawling out of the earth and that unlife altering Joyce intervention, he could’ve quite easily believed this was an elaborate prank by Dracula.

And that bastard still owed him ten quid. He’d probably never get it now, he thought glumly.

When Violet was reasonably free of blood (it would have been strangely satisfying to leave it there, but these new morals came with a consideration of other people’s comfort, especially for people who’s blood he’d used as a wake-up snack), Spike curled up with her under the covers with her, chest pressed seamlessly to her back, his nose against the back of her neck. He figured there was nothing else to do, unless he wanted to leave the room and face whatever what on the other side in nothing but a satin bed sheet. Besides, she smelt orange blossom, and some pleasant undertone that had him seeing velvet rosettes again.

Just as he was dozing off, there was the sound of boots on stone beyond the bedroom walls. The doorknob turned with the very faintest of grating noises.

Someone was coming in.

AN2: And that, ladles and jelly-spoons, is the closest I'll ever get in my prudely way to ever writing a shagging scene. Yeah. Gonna go bathe now.

The End?

You have reached the end of "Third Life" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 7 Feb 08.

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