Ch 8 In Which Spike has a Bad Night
Two days after the events of chapter 7
Spike’s night was not going incredibly well. And considering it was only nine o’clock, that didn’t bode well for the rest of the night. While making himself scarce for the typical evening round of let’s-train-the-new-Immortals-to-death, he actually got pounded by some fyarls and vamps working together. Oh, he’d beaten them, but lost a lot of blood in the process. Unfortunately, there was no way he could buy some in the state he was in; couldn’t be seen in an obviously weakened state, not by the local demons, they were just itching to have a go at him. And where the bloody hell was the Slayer in all this? Probably with her sodding boyfriend.
Debating the wisdom of returning to the mansion when he knew that the scent of Immortal blood would be strong still, he reasoned that if he lost it, they were all strong enough, and plenty willing, to fight him off. And maybe Delvin would finally just stake him. He snorted. Cupid hates me, he decided. Made me his bitch and tossed me away. I could handle being the bitch when I was getting something that resembles affection back, but this is ridiculous.
Spike pushed open the door and rushed toward his room, deliberately not scenting the air, and hold his mouth closed. If he could make it to his room and lock the door, they’d leave him alone, and tomorrow night, he’d have healed just enough to go get more blood. Unfortunately, he opened the door to his own room to reveal the object of his unwanted affections with his back to the door.
“What the hell are you doing in here?”
Delvin started guiltily at the cockney snarl behind him. He set the journal down, knowing he had no real excuse. “Xander wanted you to patrol with him tonight, so I came to get you while he was showering.” He turned and gasped at the gashes and bruises on the vampire. “What happened to you?”
“Well, I wasn’t here so you decided to have a bit of a read?” Spike growled, knowing he was perilously close to losing it. The air he took in to speak tasted faintly of the Immortal. “Fine, I get that you don’t like me, I get that you don’t trust me, but you’ve no right to go reading my things. Get the fuck out!”
Delvin nearly snapped but stopped himself. He had violated the vampire’s privacy, never mind that the journal had been out and open. For a moment, he’d been reading William’s horrible poetry again, though it had improved some in a century. But this wasn’t William…was it? Was a demon capable of the feeling in those lines? He swallowed and forced himself to look at the vampire. Its eyes were rimmed with gold. “You need blood,” he stated as calmly as he could.
“Unless you’re offering to open a vein, get out,” Spike snarled, his slight control slipping further. “Tell the whelp, I’m not available.” When Delvin hesitated, Spike growled, slipping into full-out grr face. He grabbed the Immortal by the arm and thrust him out of the door, slamming it. Taking gulps of air he didn’t need, Spike spun lashing out at everything in his path. When the room was it shambles, he collapsed in the corner, willing himself not to think of the four endless fountains of the purest blood wondering the house around him.
Delvin nearly slapped himself. An emotionally and physically (literally) drained vampire told him to leave, and he’d just stood there like a newbie without a clue hearing his first challenge. He went to find Alexander.
“Over here, Del!” came the cheery response. Xander bounced out of his room. “Is Spike back?”
“Yes, but he won’t be going with you.” Delvin hesitated. “Where does he keep his blood supply? He was pretty banged up.”
Some of the cheer leaked out of Xander. Patrolling with Spike was the only thing normal in his life these days, and wasn’t that a statement about his life in general. “He keeps it in the spare fridge down in the basement, but he’s out unless he picked some up when he when out. How bad was it?”
“His wounds were still dripping, and he looked like he barely had any control left,” Delvin answered, having learned early on that Alexander took nothing less than the whole truth.
“I could probably go get some for him when I go out patrolling,” Xander said, wondering what had gotten a hold of his friend to beat him up so badly.
“I’d like to come along this time,” Delvin said. “I’d like to talk with you about something and this is as good a time as any.”
“Sure,” Xander said, cheering up. The other Immortals didn’t usually have much to do with patrolling, but patrolling alone wasn’t fun. Making up with Willow was one thing, but he’d still heard no word on the Buffy front.
They were half way to the first cemetery when Delvin made himself speak. “Alexander, despite my age, you have much more experience with demons and vampires and such. Most normal Immortal’s have the good sense to stay away from places like this,” he teased.
Xander smiled. “Normal is for wimps. Me, I’m a tough, manly, chest-hair producing Immortal.” Delvin laughed. “So, what do you want to know?”
“Angelus aside, what do you know about a vampire’s…spiritual makeup?”
“You mean like with the soul and/or demon and such,” Xander asked, cautiously hoping that his teacher was dealing with his prejudices concerning Spike. Delvin nodded. “Well, I know the running theory is that when a vamp is made the soul goes away and a demon takes the place, but I’m kinda doubting that theory just a little. I think it’s probably true as far as minions are concerned, because, well, they really have no personality, no independence, nothing. But, I think in the case of childer, the soul just sort of goes into hibernation. I’ve read legends about vampires that get old and less evil with time, and I can only thing that after a while, the demon calms down and the soul slowly wakes up and begins to merge with the demon. I doubt the demon notices, or else it would fight it. But the most powerful vampires in the chronicles seem to have something resembling a conscious, so…” He shrugged. He didn’t have any proof, except what he’d seen with his own eyes.
“So, what do you think about Spike as far as that goes,” Delvin said, not looking at his student. If Alexander was right about this…
Xander didn’t have time to answer because they came across a small gathering of fledges. It didn’t take long until they were all dust. Putting his axe and stake away, he caught his teacher’s eye. “Even when he was turned, Spike never lost the ability to love, which is something I don’t know that a demon can do. Angelus, Darla, and all the others certainly didn’t. I don’t think Dru ever loved him…was obsessed with him maybe, used him, certainly. But it was impossible to look at him when they were together and say that he didn’t love her. Now with the chip restraining his demon…don’t tell him I said so…I think his soul is pushing for a merge. Now, I don’t think his soul will ever dominate the demon…from what I can tell from a few stories, William wasn’t the type that could dominate anyone, much less the demon of a master vampire like Spike. But, I think, the soul is actually helping Spike to adjust to the chip, and that’s why Spike isn’t fighting it more. He wants to live, and if his soul can help him do that, he won’t fight it. He won’t admit it, but he won’t fight it. Why the sudden curiosity?”
“It’s not sudden, Alexander. I don’t suppose I can explain what it was like when I found out that one of the gentlest men I’d met in well over a thousand years was murdered and this, snarling demon came after me wearing his body. I hated myself for being too weak to stake him. Diane would have, but she wasn’t in London at the time,” Delvin tried to smile. “Then a hundred and fifty years, give-or-take, later and this demon is calling around asking for my help for one of my own.”
“Well, the last bit might be a bit hard for me to understand,” Xander said, steering them toward the butchers to get Spike’s blood. “But the first part.” He swallowed. “I never told you why I started doing this. Before Buffy moved to town, I had two best friends. We were always together, me, Willow and Jessie. I was fifteen, when one of my best friends in the world was murdered and I staked what took his place.” Delvin looked at him with surprised eyes. “What, just because I’m not a thousand years old, doesn’t mean I haven’t experienced some of the more dramatic things that the world can throw at you. Hello, grew up on a Hellmouth.”
“You did at that,” Delvin said, chuckling. Really, why was he at all surprised? Just because somehow this child managed to retain an air of innocence and frivolity rather than carrying himself like the hardened warrior he really was… And though Alexander refused to speak about it, obviously, not all of those scars had come from demons. He waited outside for the boy to get the blood from the butcher. Another thing grappled at his mind. He’d seen Alexander interacting with local demons beyond killing them, and he could only say that the demons were…scared…of his charge. It would explain why none had come for them at the mansion. It was only the minions and fools that attacked Alexander when he was out. The creatures of average power tended to treat Alexander like a police officer that they would love to have for their own personal pet, but knew better than to try. In return, he left them alone so long as they didn’t draw his attention.
“Okay, I got it, let’s head home before this stuff spoils,” Xander announced, rousing Delvin from his thoughts. “You weren’t brooding, were you? Please say that after me getting to know you a bit, you’re not going to turn into a brooder. Brooding is bad.”
Delvin laughed. “I only brood when I’m drunk, and then not always. And do you know how hard it is to get drunk for us?”
“Oh, good.” Xander let out a sigh of relief. “Cause Deadboy broods. I mean, broods, as in the broodmeister, mister broody-pants, king and lord of all broodiness. And I don’t think I could take it if I found out that you’re from his cheery little kingdom of the Brood.”
Delvin laughed hard. How could anyone brood with this young man anywhere near them? Alexander just quirked a funny little grin and kept them moving.
They made it back to the mansion without being interrupted. Xander went to heat up a mug of blood for Spike, putting the rest in the fridge. He bade the others good night and went up to Spike’s room. He knocked lightly.
“Spike, I got you some blood.” He heard something but no response. “Spike?”
Twisting the door knob, Xander cautiously entered the room. “Damn,” he whispered. The place was trashed. Not a stick of furniture was unbroken.
“Get out,” came the rasp from the corner. Hesitantly, Xander approached and set the mug on the floor near the vampire and backed away. He didn’t leave though, just watched as Spike made a swift grab for the mug and drained it in one go. Some of his wounds that had still been open closed but were still raw and angry looking.
“Do you need more?”
“Won’t help. Just go.”
“What do you mean?” Xander asked, though he had a clue.
“No.” Xander closed the door and locked it, something he figure Spike had simply forgotten to do earlier. “It’s because it’s not human, right?” Spike wouldn’t look at him. “That’s what I thought. You can live on animal blood, but it’s not as good for you.”
Finally, Spike raised his head. “Pet, if you don’t leave, then Delvin will stake me.”
“I’d stop him. You’re my friend, Spike, like a brother. A vampire-ey big brother that irritates me sometimes. I don’t know if you’ve noticed how much I tend to protect my friends, but it’s a nasty habit that I haven’t quite broken yet. So how do we do this?”
Spike shrank away as Xander approached. “Do what?”
“Spike, I have a body full of mostly human blood that you can’t really hurt me by taking. So I say, your main meals can be pig’s blood and once a week, you drink from me to get your vitamins,” Xander explained, settling down, practically trapping the bleach-blond vampire in the corner. Inwardly he was shaking like a leaf, but he didn’t let it show, falling back on his joking standby. “Come on, Spike. I want to help. You helped me by getting me a teacher. Let me help you. How do we do this?”
Spike was shaking with the hunger, but he held himself back. “You sure, Xander?”
Xander rolled his eyes. “Can you bite me, or do I need to cut myself?”
“You’re not really human anymore,” Spike pointed out, his eyes drawn to the veins on Xander’s neck. “But it doesn’t have to hurt. Not if the person is willing.”
Xander tipped his head back in response and shivered when Spike’s cold hands caressed the vein. He forced himself not to move away as Spike moved in.
Spike eased his fangs into the willing neck, expecting himself to wake from this realistic dream at any minute. Normally in his dreams, it was Delvin making the offer, but occasionally Xander did. But the second the hot potent blood hit his tongue he knew it was not dream. In his dream, the blood always tasted human, and this was in no way as bland. It was like lightening dancing across his senses. He swallowed and took another pull, almost weeping with gratitude. Xander twitched, his hand coming up to hold Spike’s head. Not going anywhere, pet, Spike thought, and kept drinking. He felt full all too soon, and though part of him just wanted to glut himself on the incredible blood, he knew that would be an abuse of this gift. He gently pulled his fangs back out, licking away all traces as the blue lightning sealed the flesh without a trace.
Down stairs, Greg was getting a snack when a knock came from the front door. He didn’t feel a Presence and he’d been repeatedly told that vampires couldn’t come in uninvited, so he just made sure he had a sword nearby when he went to answer it.
Tara clutched her book, looking at the young man in the door way. “H-hi, I’m T-tara. From the other d-day. I n-need to s-s-see the twins.”
AN: Meh, You don't really need to read this. You know what I'm gonna say and You know what want: reviews, contructive critiques and all that. Thank you!