Taking the Fall
I do not own any of the characters, settings, concepts, etc, present in this story. I take no credit for them, and am making no money from them. They belong to Joss Whedon (Buffyverse, etc) and Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake, etc).Author's note:
I'm so ashamed. I wrote fanfiction. And when I'm s'pose to be working on my book too. Woe is me!
Oh well. Hope you like.
+++1 – Taking the Fall
He could here Dawn screaming he did. He felt the knife wounds in his back as he arched desperately, cat-like, to regain a semblance of balance where none could be had. He fell silently, but let out a jagged yell of pain when he was pulled up short. His pin wheeling arms had caught something. A protruding beam whapped him in the gut, and he clung to it. Getting his bearings, he looked up. He hadn’t fallen far, only about a third of the way down.
Above him, he could hear Dawn crying.
Looking below, he spotted the Slayer beginning the climb. Gritting his teeth, he hauled himself forward, clinging to the surreally made framework. The blood had already stopped trickling down his back. As Buffy got closer, he began the climb for the second time.
For all that she was the Slayer, she was getting tired. Spike was wrangling up the steel beam work with swift yet awkward movements, maybe six or seven feet ahead of her. He paused and looked down, face tensing as he watched her beginning to struggle.
“Go,” she called. “Get to Dawn.” When he hesitated again, she barked. “Go! Go protect her!”
He nodded stiffly and shot upward, a new urgency suffusing his climbing. In the end, he was the first to get there.
It was then that things went wrong.
“…let the blood flow…”
Doc turned and didn’t even bother to comment on the vampire’s return presence. That horrific tongue shot out, but this time, Spike was prepared. He caught it, wrapped it once around his wrist, then used it to hammer throw Doc into the middle distance. He didn’t bother to watch where the demon landed, heading straight for the weeping Summers sister at the end of the metal walkway.
“Spike,” Dawn managed to sob. “It hurts.”
“I know, Bit. Come on, I’ve got you.” He lifted her in both arms. She was half tucked into his coat; everything smelt of worn leather, old tobacco and that unpinable scent that was just Spike. “Big Sis is on the way.” It all felt safe…
Just as they got to the middle of the walkway, there was a seeming explosion of light and chaos. Dawn struggled in his arms and got to her feet. Her blue eyes fixed on the growing point of light.
“Spike,” she whispered. “Let me go.”
His eyes snapped to her face. “Bit,” he said warily. “What’re you plannin’?”
“I have to jump…”
She sighed, tired. “Spike, I know about the ritual. I have to stop it.”
The tower shook, and lashings of otherwise beautiful light struck the town around them, leaving craters and screaming people.
“Look what’s happening!” He could hear the anxiety in her voice. “Spike, let me go. You know you have to let me go...”
Over head a dragon rippled into existence and swooped past, buzzing and growling at the tower and its occupants. Spike felt like he was dreaming. How could this have all gone so wrong? He realized she was still speaking. He watched her, anguished, as she winced and splayed one hand over her abdomen. She met his gaze, eyes filled with tears and suddenly ancient.
“…Blood starts it, and until the blood stops flowing, it'll never stop.”
The world slowed down then. Something in the vampire’s brain went -click-.Cause it's always got to be blood.
"The blood flows, the gates will open. The gates will close when it flows no more."
Blood is life, lackbrain. Why do you think we eat it?
Wonder stole over him. Of course. It was all so simple. The pain could rip a person apart – but the sacrifice…it would be worth it.
He thought of Red and Glinda, their heads bent together over a single spell book. He thought of the Watcher, herding the whelps into a semblance of informed order. He thought of the Idiot and Anya, struggling to live normal lives through it all. He thought of his sire and Queen C, helping the helpless in LA. He thought of Dru, off somewhere walking the world alone again. He thought of Joyce, safe and at peace in the ground. He thought of the girl before him, ready to give herself for a family, a world she only really had for a few months.
He thought of the Slayer, still struggling with her waning energy toward them. He thought of the sun in her hair, the shape of her eyes when she smiled. He remembered the one kiss, the way he’d earned it. He figured this way, his soul was saved for sure.
“You’re right, Nibblet,” he whispered, wrapping his arms around her. She hugged him back, and he felt her shudder with sobs. “I have to let you go.” He carefully shifted her hair over her shoulders, angled his head. The bones shifted for the second time, and he felt his teeth grow in his mouth. “It has to have the blood.”
Carefully thinking non-harming thoughts, he sank his fangs into her throat.
On the scaffolding below, Buffy watched the vampire drain her sister and let out a yell of anger and helplessness. The Slayer rose in her, snarling again and again…
‘I knew it!’
Rage gave her the strength to go on.
Dawn gasped, tensing, and then slowing went limp as she succumbed to blood loss. In those precious minutes, Spike’s chip never once went off. It was a real bugger of a thing that he discovered how to beat it now.
When he’d taken all he could safely take, he laid her down, wrapping her in his duster. She watched him with dazed eyes as his demon face slipped away. “Wha…?”
“I’m sorry, Pigeon,” he whispered, crouching over her, “But this is the best way I know to keep my promise.” He vaguely sensed the Slayer finally arriving at the end of the catwalk. He grinned, but never took his eyes from Dawn. “I’ll letcha keep the jacket. Smells a bit, but old things do that. Look after the twits downstairs. And tell that daft bint I love her, ‘k?”
A drop of her blood had caught like a bead at the corner of his mouth. Now it fanned, leaving a butterfly shaped blot on her forehead when he kissed it.
As he turned, he caught the Slayer’s horrified gaze. Saw her begin to shake her golden head. As he ran down the walk way, he heard her screams.
“Spike, no, don’t do it! Spike!”
As he plunged into the miasma of light his last thought was, ‘Maybe she loves me, just a little.’
Then the pain took him, ending only when a bolt of lightning speared his chest, shattering him into nothing.
At the foot of the tower, Giles and the Scoobies looked up. As the portal shutdown and faded, they found themselves showered with sparse ashes and blue sparks that smelt of leather and tobacco (and something else) when they touched the skin.
Carried down to them by the now clear night air, was the sound of a woman sobbing.
Elsewhere, the Powers regarded the face of a very angry Joyce Summers. Exchanging significant glances, there was a chorus of sighs, and they threw up their hands as one.
“Oh, all right!” they cried.
In the center of the Thronos Rokke lupanar, a new kind of vampire clawed his way to the surface of the earth and lay gasping at the feet of the Executioner.
As she and several werewolves bent curiously over him, Jason caught her eye.
He grinned. “Do you think if we told Jean-Claude he followed us home we could keep him?”