12 In Which Spike and Delvin Clear the Air..sorta
Spike’s head went up and his nostrils flared. They were home. Delvin and Xander anyway. He shrugged and went back to cleaning. He was a bit ashamed of the mess he’d made of his room earlier and with the Immortal blood humming in his veins, he had energy to burn. He didn’t want to face Delvin’s questions about how he healed so fast on only animal blood either, so he’d just stay in his room and clean up. Yup. He wasn’t at all wanting to face that Immortal, not unless Xander was there to calm him. Both of them, really, because Spike was still mad about Delvin reading his bloody poetry. If Delvin confronted him about anything right now, Spike would do something that eventually he’d regret…huh.
Demons didn’t believe in regret until they felt it. They certainly never recognized that they might regret an action before hand. Spike took a half-panicked breath. He did a mental inventory: violence still sounds fun, check. Still what to nail the Slayer to a wall (and not in any way that the kinky bitch would enjoy it), check. Still wanted to rule the city, then maybe the state, and possible the world…not really. Shit. And the thing about Slutty, sure he wanted her dead, but then he imagined the look on the whelp’s face if something happened to one of his friends…and he knew that even without the chip, he wouldn’t touch the bitch, no matter what he wanted.
Spike groaned and sank onto his mattress, having had to throw out the frame. “I don’t have a soul,” he said. “I don’t regret bein the scourge. I don’t regret those I’ve killed. But I’m bloody talking to myself. Aaarr.” He lay back with his hands over his face. “Clan. They’re my clan now. That’s why I don’t want to rock the boat, is all. Has nothin’ to do with a soul. Right. After all, most vamps no better than to truly miss off a master or sire. And Delvin is sorta the Sire/Master of this big bloody house, so my demon is simply recognizing that pissing him off would be bad. Don’t care what he thinks just so long as he lets me stay. Right.” He sighed. “I don’t believe me either. William, you son of a bitch, you’re hiding here somewhere aren’t you?” He laughed hysterically. “I’ve sodding lost it.”
A knock on his door pulled him out of it. He sniffed. Delvin. Damn.
Delvin grit his teeth. “I’d like to speak with you, Spike. Just for a few minutes, and I’m not going to do it through the door.” William might be in there, he reminded himself, and Spike really wasn’t as bad as he used to be. “Please.”
Spike’s eyes widened. Did Delvin honestly just say ‘please’? Reluctantly, he unlocked the door and cracked it. “The whelp’s alright, right?” he asked, not knowing any other reason why Delvin would be here.
“Alexander is fine. May I come in?”
Spike let the door open the rest of the way. Delvin came in, looking at the damage the vampire had done after he left last time, then at Spike who stood with his arms wrapped defensively around himself.
“I wanted to apologize. When I saw you weren’t here earlier, I should have left. Instead, I violated your privacy. Whether or not we get along, that was wrong of me.” Spike’s eyes had gone wide with disbelief. He honestly had expected no kind of courtesy from me, Delvin realized with disgust at his own behavior. Spike had already hidden his surprise, but Delvin couldn’t forget it.
“Well, I accept the apology. Not like a soulless bastard like myself has a right to expect to be treated human,” Spike said bitterly, while a voice in his head was screaming at him to be quiet, accept the kindness where he could. No. William was a doormat. Not Spike. Spike wanted to be accepted, but as he was, not as a person to be discarded. He’d take the apology, but that didn’t mean he was going to act like it didn’t matter. It did. “Anything else?”
Delvin hesitated. “I do have a question, one that I don’t expect you to answer, but… when you were changed…how did it happen? Did William fight? Did he even realize what was happening?”
Abruptly, Spike was angry. “You won’t like that answer. I know you won’t. Still want it.” The Immortal nodded. “Dru asked me if I wanted the power to get back at them. She asked if I wanted to belong. And your pure, sweet William grinned his first truly evil grin and said, “God yesssss”,” Spike hissed. “He didn’t fight when she bit him, even though it hurt like hell, and he eagerly drank her blood when it was offered. He didn’t know exactly what was going on, but if the Devil himself had offered the same at that moment, he’d have taken it.”
Delvin stepped back. “You’re lying. William wouldn’t have...”
“EVERY VAMPIRE! Every last one made a childe of our clan was given a choice!” Spike shouted. “Not the minions, but the childer are. It’s part of what makes them so strong, is that they all gave consent. Even if that consent was obtained through trickery, we all gave it. I wasn’t tricked though. I saw her true face and didn’t flinch. Darla wanted power. Liam wanted the favor of a pretty girl. Dru just wanted the voices to stop, and I wanted revenge.” He laughed bitterly. “Maybe you shouldn’t have gotten his hopes up so high.”
Delvin froze. “What do you mean?”
“’William, you must tell her. She seems a good sensible girl. How could she resist your affections?’” Spike quoted. “Well, I told her. Did I ever tell you what she said? ‘You’re beneath me.’ After being mocked by the whole lot of them. ‘You’re beneath me.’ She was attainable, compared to the one he really wanted. It clicked with those words. If he could even be considered by her, then the one…he hadn’t a prayer. And as he wept his heartbroken tears in an alley not far from the party, a beautiful if mad monster offered him the love he wanted. He took it. I took it.”
“William never spoke of another. He always spoke of Cecily,” Delvin replied desperately. Despite how much he wanted to deny the events of that night again, it made too much sense to him. William was a fragile boy. That sort of utter rejection would have made him willing to take acceptance anywhere he could get it.
“The laws against sodomy made him nervous.” Spike replied flippantly, knowing if his heart could beat it would be pounding, demanding he shut up now! The emerald eyes snapped to him. “And you were always so much more beautiful than Cecily. He didn’t want her. He was settling for her. His desire fueled mine, and in my fledgling state, it never occurred to me that I could drive you away by giving you immortality. Stupid me, right?”
“So this was my fault?” Delvin asked, trying to sound incredulous, but it only came out sad. He hadn’t known that Will desired him. He HAD known that Cecily was selfish and shallow. And he had encouraged Will to go to her, hoping that the young man could find his happiness.
Spike wanted to rage and blame him, but he couldn’t. He was an honest demon when it came right down to it. Not out of some sense of honor, of course, but because he was a horrible liar. “No. William made the choice to accept, Dru made the choice to offer, and Cecily made the choice to reject me. William was better at hiding his feelings than anyone knew. You couldn’t have known.”
“Do you regret it?” Delvin looked as though he was bracing for another answer he didn’t really want.
“No.” Spike couldn’t believe he’d asked. “Regret existing? Regret having someone to belong to for a hundred years? Regret controlling my own destiny and throwing off those society restrictions? Hell no,” he enunciated clearly. “I’ve had a good run. Things are changing now, but I can’t regret that either. If I hadn’t gotten the chip, may it fizzle out any day now, then I wouldn’t have gotten to know the whelp. He’s a good friend. If I hadn’t gotten to know him, I’d be out there in a crypt somewhere, being treated like the Slayer’s ashtray, and you wouldn’t be here.” He looked at the Immortal with sudden clarity. “I’ll probably regret telling you all this though, won’t I?”
Delvin swallowed. Would he really be so cruel? No. “I won’t use any of this against you. I don’t know how this will change how I see you, but…” He didn’t know how to continue. “Alexander trusts you. And I’d know if you were lying, honestly. I don’t like it, but it’s not something I can change so there we are.” He sighed, looking back at the broken furniture. He fished out his wallet and left a wad of cash on the uneven dresser. “Get yourself some new stuff. Yours isn’t redeemable,” he said, and left. He paused outside the door and took a deep breath. Striding in the direction of his student’s room, he readied himself for an only slightly less stressful conversation.
“It’s unlocked,” Xander yelled, looking up from the journal Delvin insisted he keep. Delvin walked it, looking preoccupied. “What’s up, teacher-man?”
“Do you plan to give Spike your blood regularly?” Delvin asked calmly. There was no way pig’s blood would make that much difference that quickly. And in the state he’d been in, Spike couldn’t have force him.
Xander put his journal down slowly. “Yes. Once a week, to keep him healthy.” He didn’t know what he’d do if Delvin tried to stop him. He grew worried. “Did you speak with him about this?”
“No. He and I spoke of other things, but I noticed he was incredibly well for how he was earlier and I’m not stupid, student mine. I didn’t attack him,” Delvin said, realizing the reason for the concern in Alexander’s eyes. “Gods and devils, I’m not that horrible a person.”
“You haven’t exactly been reasonable about him,” Xander said with a shrug, relaxing. “When I offered, he tried to stop me because he figured you’d stake him if you found out.”
“I’m tempted to stake you for going out right afterward,” Delvin said, ignoring the implications of a vampire turning down freely offered Immortal blood for fear of him. “If you are going to do this, make it at the end of your night. Give yourself time to recover before going out. Understand.”
“Yes, Delvin. I’ll make sure no one tells us about prophecies right after I donate blood,” Xander said in annoyance, only to be slapped on the back of the head. “Hey!”
“I mean it. A slightly weakened state is all some of the creatures around here are waiting for. You must take more care with your own safety. You can’t save others if you’re serving as a demon’s never-ending platter.”
“I understand,” Xander said, and Delvin nodded and made to leave. “Taught by Death. Literal or figurative?”
“Literal,” Delvin replied over his shoulder and left.
Xander watched him go, now very irritated. “But what does THAT mean?”
AN: Finally, Del and Spike are getting somewhere. It's about time, right? Yeah well, I make no promise for how fast they'll move. Gimme feedback, please. I like it, I love it, I want more of it! :)