AN: Takes place during
Criss Angel is a Douchebag. Still a lot of talk in this chapter, but there should be some action coming soon.
Sam looked around the apparently empty hotel room and coughed. “Spike, you there?”
“Over here.” Spike was leaning by the window.
Sam nodded. “Good. Stay there.”
Spike’s mouth quirked. “Any particular reason?”
Sam ran his fingers through his hair. “It’s just – I get uncomfortable, uh, going to the bathroom when you’re all disappeared like that.”
“I see.” Spike gave Sam a little wave. “Well, get on with your necessary business then. I’ll be out here, not peeping.”
Sam headed into the bathroom and shut the bathroom door, clicking the lock behind him. A short while later there came a knock from the front door of the hotel room. “Could you get that?” called out Sam.
“Actually, mate, no.”
When Sam emerged, Spike was still by the window, smirking. Sam glared at him before answering the door. “Ruby. Come in.”
She pushed past him. “We’ve got seals falling left and right and I have to come find you in Magictown – who the hell is that?”
“Enchanté,” said Spike with a smile.
Sam put his hands behind his head. “Ruby, this is Spike. He’s been traveling with us the last couple of weeks. Spike, Ruby.”
Ruby gave Spike a once over. “Yeah, right, because you and Dean always pick up a few buddies before you go hunting.”
“I wish I’d had some choice in the matter myself. Have you heard Dean’s taste in music?” asked Spike.
Ruby set down her bag. “So what’s really going on here?”
Sam shrugged. “Spike’s a ghost. He says he’s a hero from another dimension–”
from another dimension,” averred Spike.
“And his essence is bound to an indestructible amulet that Dean and I found, so until we figure out how to destroy it or send him home, we’re stuck with him.”
“Love you too, Sammy-boy.”
Sam gave Ruby a strained smile before taking a seat.
“Can I see the amulet?” she asked.
Sam pulled his jacket off the back of the chair and fished the amulet out of a pocket. “Here you go.” But when he dropped it in her hand, it sizzled until she dropped it to the ground.
“Was that soaking in holy water or something?” she demanded, sucking on her fingers.
Sam shook his head. “No! Spike, you didn’t mention that this thing burnt demons.”
“You didn’t mention that she was a demon. And in my world, it didn’t. Or at least it didn’t hurt m- vampires. Well, not vampires with souls anyway.” Ruby and Sam both looked blankly at Spike, who hitched his duster around his shoulders uncomfortably. “Well, it didn’t.”
Sam picked the amulet up off the ground and held it up, letting Ruby get a better look at it.
“I don’t recognize the design. What’s it made out of?”
“Brass,” said Sam.
Ruby nodded. “Put it away. It makes me uncomfortable, looking at it.” Sam wrapped it up, and Ruby stared at Spike. “It feels wrong. You feel wrong.”
“Coming from a demon, should I consider that a compliment?” asked Spike. Ruby turned sharply away from him.
“His story about coming from another dimension may have something to it. I’ve never heard of anything like this, but with seals falling, maybe reality itself is getting weaker,” she muttered in a low voice.
“I can hear you,” sang Spike.
Ruby turned back to him. “You’re really a dick, you know that?”
“Could you two both chill out? Spike, Ruby’s a demon, but she’s on our side. Ruby, Spike’s an ass but he hasn’t actually been proven wrong about anything yet.” Sam sighed. “So, do you think him being here has something to do with the apocalypse?”
Ruby grabbed her bag. “I don’t know. Maybe. Probably. Nothing’s a coincidence lately. I’ll have to do some research. Do any other demons know about him yet?”
“No,” said Sam.
She hesitated. “The angels?”
“Good. Try to keep it that way. In the meantime, is there someplace we can talk in private?”
Sam looked back, and Spike flopped onto the bed. “Oh, go on you crazy kids. Turn the telly on before you go?” Sam switched the set on before heading for the door. “Too da loo.”
Once again, Sam returned a half hour later to find Spike unmoved. “How do you do that?”
“No body means no body aches, no pins and needles, no reason to move.”
“That makes sense.” Sam went to the mini-fridge to grab a beer, which he opened and took a long swig from, making sure to smack his lips as he finished. Sure enough, Spike was staring at it. Sam smiled and stretched out on the other bed.
Spike pursed his lips. “So, one of you poofs finally gets a bird in the room and she turns out to be a demon. Why am I not surprised? Of course you’d be making the beast with two backs with the very thing you supposedly hunt.”
Sam twisted his head. “How the hell’d you know that?”
“I have eyes, boy. And it fits in with your general attitude of angst and self-loathing.” Spike smirked at the thought. “Still, if this world’s like mine, not all demons are completely down with the evil. Maybe she is on your side.”
Sam eyeballed his companion then took another long drink. “You know anything about switching sides from evil to good, vampire?”
Spike arched his eyebrows. “Caught that, did you?”
“I have ears.” Sam examined the bottle, from which most of the beer had already sadly disappeared. “What did your slayer pal think about that?”
Spike snorted. “Buffy? If only I could say I was the first vampire she got involved with.”
“So it was okay because of that soul thing you mentioned?” asked Sam, staring straight up.
Spike laughed, bitterly. “Soul was a consequence of that little dalliance, not the cause.” He closed his eyes for a moment, but when he opened them Sam had turned to him in curiosity. “Where I come from, it’s a demon that makes you into a vampire, gets into your blood, pushes the soul out. Over a hundred years, I was a demon. And I didn’t exactly have a conscience. Oh, I felt pain, grief, anger, desire, even love. Or at least something close to it. But guilt? Mercy? Compassion?” Spike shook his head. “Those were foreign. Only reason I went and got myself a soul was because I thought it would make her have me again. After that, that’s when the guilt came back, and the shame.” He looked over at Sam. “What I’m saying is, if the chit’s helping you, it’s because she wants something. If I were you, I’d find out what that something is.”
Sam remained silent for a few moments. “I’ll keep my ears open.” He finished the beer before continuing. “Dean, uh, he and Ruby don’t get along so well.”
Spike grunted. “Understood.” He brushed his nose with his finger. “He doesn’t need to know about the whole vampire thing either. You know how he gets.”
“Yeah,” Sam repeated the Spike’s gesture. “I know.” He swung his legs off the bed. “This calls for another beer.”
“Right.” Sam drained this bottle in companionable silence, both of them content to watch the inane soap opera on the television. Eventually Sam looked at his watch and stood. “Time to go to the magic show?” asked Spike.
“That’s right.” Sam pulled on his jacket, careful to leave the amulet on the table. He headed to the door, but Spike cleared his throat.
“Listen, Sam. Those powers of yours, the ones Dean’s always bitching about.”
Sam didn’t turn to face Spike. “Yeah?”
“I’ve done the trip from black hat to white hat. But I’ve seen the other way about too, you know. Nice girl, real bright, got messed up with forces she didn’t fully understand-”
“And wound up dying horribly,” finished Sam. “I know: I’ve heard the cautionary tales.”
Spike sighed. “No, she didn’t. Almost ended the world is what she did. Don’t know exactly what stopped her; I wasn’t there. But when I got back, after I got the soul and all, after she’d come back to the side of goodness and light and puppies, she, uh, well-”
Sam turned. “Spit it out, Spike.”
Spike shook his head. “She wasn’t human anymore. She was this whole other thing. Powerful, scary powerful. But not quite human.” He swallowed. “Don’t know how else to say it. Anyway, make of it what you will.”
Sam left without a word.