Walking Through Ducks and Cemeteries
He asked the skinny brunette girl that hung around Draco’s slayer where to find the one he was looking for, despite what Buffy said. He’d already had visits from Vi, Rona and Chao-Ahn. Draco’s brat and her friends had also been completely ignoring the rule of no Spike-fraternizing as well.
He had not expected to find his latest mini-obsession hanging off of the side of the roof. He wasn’t trying to stay away, but Buffy should have known he couldn’t have even if he wanted to. She was blonde, a slayer and slightly unhinged. It was a blend of both his types. Spike just stood there and watched her for a moment.
Kasie had her feet hooked on the roof and was bent backwards over the side of the building, the stone cool against her back. She didn’t mind the cold weather. She would rather have cool than heat.
She heard the vampire come up to the edge of the roof but didn’t look up. Instead, she unhooked one of her feet and poked him in the leg with it.
“Are the broody one or the bitchy one?”
“I’m Spike,” he said, not wanting to admit to being bitchy. “Thought we might find a nice cemetery to take a walk through, ducks.”
Kasie finally leaned up, shaking off the blood rush. “You can walk through ducks? I didn’t know vampires had magical powers.”
He actually snorted with laughter. “So you’re one of those then. It was... nice cemetery to take a walk through comma ducks. It’s a nickname. I do that.”
“Oh. I have those. Never been called a duck before. That one’s new.” She hauled herself up to her feet and swayed a bit. “Oooh, rush.”
Kasie shook it off again and grinned. “So, where are we going? You know, my watcher said to stay away, but you’re the most exciting thing to happen since one of the elves got in a fight with my biting plant.”
“You didn’t think the troll was exciting? Or Willow nearly going all Maleficent? You know, every time Red does that, I seem to miss it.”
She pouted as they started to walk to the stairs leading off the roof. “I missed it too. And the trolls were okay, but we didn’t really do anything. I threw a chair at one. And kicked another. After you’ve battled hellhounds and an old, crusty master vamp, dumb trolls don’t really get the blood pumping.”
“No,” Spike agreed, “I suppose not, but then again, any fight is a good fight. Or maybe I just like hitting things. Hellhounds? Really?”
Kasie nodded. “Mac was the one who fought those. Got her arm practically chewed off. I dealt with the vampire.”
She skipped down the stairs, jumping the last four to the platforms. “So we’re going to a cemetery to walk through ducks. Which one?”
“Have a preference? Because I’m new to these parts.”
She certainly did jump about like a cat. Or possibly a monkey, but cat was sexier.
As a matter of fact, she did. Kasie grinned at him over her shoulder and started toward a side entrance to the Council. It led to a smaller cemetery but it was one of the places the zombies came from. Mac never liked to patrol there, but Kasie actually liked the zombies.
Spike followed her out and they walked side by side. “You know, I’ve never gone vampire slaying with a vampire. This is the first time I’ve talked with a vampire in a while. When they weren’t, you know, trying to eat me.”
“Why did you talk to them before?” Spike asked, honestly curious.
He wasn’t going to talk about his past slaying experiences because then he’d have to talk about Buffy, and Spike just wasn’t prepared to do that. He almost had with Faith before the world ended in Sunnydale, but Buffy had interrupted their smoke break.
“I used to steal stuff,” Kasie said casually. “Vampires needed someone to get holy relics and they called me. I was good, too. I used to grab silver stuff for werewolves but mostly vampires and other demons. As long as I got paid, I didn’t care who I worked for.”
They walked into the cemetery and Kasie hopped on top of a tombstone. She jumped from stone to stone lightly. Mac was used to her acrobatics on patrol. Kasie had never been able to just walk
Spike watched her curiously. She was interesting to be sure.
“So I’m guessing that the expanded Scooby Gang doesn’t let you steal any longer, them being all white hatty and stealing being, for the most part, wrong.”
“No,” she said with a pout as she sat down on a headstone. “I got to redo the security for some magical museum exhibit, but the only stealing I get to do now is off of vampires before they turn to dust.”
Kasie reached around her neck and pulled up a necklace she had grabbed from a dusting a few weeks before. “Grabbed this one right before he went poof. It’s sparkly.”
“Do you miss it, how you were before all of this?”
He was honestly curious because he used to miss being wholly evil because it was easier, but being on Team Angel and annoying the hair-gelled nancy had it perks too.
She considered the question. “I miss the freedom, sure. I could do whatever I wanted and had everything I wanted. I don’t even like fighting then suddenly I’m some superhero that fights all the guys who wrote my checks. I like hanging out with Mac though. And even though Oz can get on my nerves with his quiet zen routine, he reminds me of a friend who used to look after me when I was really young.”
Kasie snorted and put her necklace back under her shirt. “I miss not worrying about my choices. I don’t do black and white. I do green and sparkly.”
“I get that,” Spike said. “Before I got my soul back it was always worse case scenarios. That’s what I needed to be the cause of. Being evil is much easier than having morals, not that I have many, mind.”
“And we have company. I could handle this if you don’t feel up to a slay.”
“Damn,” she responded, making a face at the vampire. “I forgot my popcorn. It’s no fun watching if I can’t eat something.”
“And I shall remember to bring popcorn next time,” Spike said before trotting off to dust the vampire. “Sorry, mate, but didn’t anyone warn you a bunch of slayers took up shop in these parts?”
Kasie snorted and started picking at her nails. “Buffy says vampires will always keep coming around because they’re hoping they have one good day and can bag themselves a slayer. I just think they’re as screwed in the head as we are.”
Spike totally stopped and turned to look at her. “What did you say?”
The vampire he’d meant to dust punched him.
She started giggling but stopped. “Oh, did you not mean to do that?”
“Bloody hell,” Spike said, then turned to look up at his opponent with his game face on and snarling.
The other vampire seemed shocked to be being attacked by a vampire. Spike used that moment of shock to stick his stake in the fellow’s heart.
She started laughing again. “He looked like Scooby Doo when he’s seen a ghost. That was hilarious.” Kasie almost fell off the tombstone because she was laughing so hard. “I wish we had a rewind button.”
Spike took a finger and wiped the blood off of the corner of his mouth then licked his finger.
“Now what was it you said Buffy was always saying again?”
She was still giggling. “It’s just something she told some of the other slayers who got cocky. She said that all vampires need to take them down is one good day and that we’ll never know when that day will be.” Kasie laid back and perched herself precariously on the headstone, balancing carefully. “Hey, didn’t you kill some slayers?”
“Two,” Spike said. “I’m the one that said that to her. We were talking about the slayers I killed. How all demons were looking for the one good day where they slip it in, kill themselves something real. All slayers, death is your art. You make it with your hands day after day. That doesn’t change because there’s more of you. I can see it in each of your eyes. Every slayer has a death wish because you dance just a bit too close to it.”
Kasie sat up. Everything he said made sense to her. She heard the other slayers say she had a death wish because of her complete lack of care of gravity or how close she got to vampires to steal their things before she slayed them. She knew that one day she would get too close and that would be it, but she was going to keep pushing the line.
It wasn’t that he got it, because saying he got it didn’t even scratch the surface. It was like he crawled inside them, picked apart their brain, and then threw it in their faces when he crawled back out. She understood how he managed to take out two slayers.
“Do you ever want to go back to playing the Reaper?” Kasie asked after a moment. “Do you ever want to go back to staring in our eyes and being the one that we step too close to?”
“Honestly? Sometimes yeah. It was easier to be wholly evil. At least I don’t piss and moan about it, though. Problem is I sort of like your kind now. You’re comfortable. Rona hugged me like I was an old friend. That brat and her brood seek me out to talk, and a part of me likes it. I get a little too chummy with Faith when we get together, makes her boyfriend angry. The brat reminds me of a combination of Buffy and Faith, and your Scottish friend is tough. She moves like a brawler. Had she been called, I’d have liked trying to kill her. You’re a bit... off, aren’t you? Spent damn near two centuries with a crazy bint. Out of her bleeding gourd, so I know it when I see it. All you slayers are a bit off, and seeing and doing what you do, you have to be, but you... you’re a bit more than that. I can almost smell the crazy on you.”
She smiled widely. “Why do you think my name is Kasie? I got called a nutcase so often I just made it my name. Being sane is overrated. Put me in a crazy house and I’ll have all the fun in the world.”
“Kasie isn’t your real name? What is it then? Not that I’d call you by it in public or anything, but you know I’m sure that it didn’t say Spike on my birth certificate.”
“Nope,” she replied, making a zipping motion across her lips. “Only two people know it and you are not one of them.”
“My real name’s William. Just tell me your real first name,” he asked, smirking and stepping close to her.
She shook her head and covered her mouth with both of her hands, even though she did believe he would keep it a secret. Mac hadn’t told anyone, not even Oz, but Kasie still had trust issues. Names were powerful things. She didn’t go handing hers out like pieces of bubblegum.
“Why not? Who would I tell? I like knowing the real names of things. If I tell you why they really call me William the Bloody will you share? And it’s not the reason the books say, though I did come by Spike as the texts note, but the idea of the railroad spikes came from somewhere else.”
Kasie didn’t like to read but Mac would sometimes read aloud at night before they went to bed. She knew a little about Spike, but if there was more to the story, she wanted to know. She was too curious. She wanted to know what made him tick, because he was definitely different. To him, being a vampire wasn’t a state, it was an art of being.
She lowered her hands slowly. “Where did the idea come from?”
“Nuh uh, quid pro quo, pet. You first. What’s the real first name?”
For a moment, she debated giving him just a false name, but he was being honest so far. “Beth,” she replied after a moment.
“Short for Elizabeth?”
“Bethany,” she muttered.
Spike nodded. “They originally, when I was human, called me William the Bloody Awful Poet. Wrote poetry. Loads of it. None of them got it. It was too... cerebral for them. A bloke said he’d rather have a railroad spike shoved through his head than listen to me. I obliged him several years later.... and everyone in the room who laughed at his little quip.”
She grinned. She understood revenge. “Be careful what you wish for,” Kasie said lightly. “I blew up my foster dad. The story would be better if he had made an explosion joke beforehand, but he didn’t.”
“Foster dad not a winner then? Or was this an accidental blowing up?”
may have unscrewed the gas line in the kitchen where he lit up his evening cigar,” Kasie said, folding her legs up under her on the tombstone. “He was the only bad one I had. The three before were awesome. I hated to go. Him, though, he was a prick. So he was blown to pieces and I left. I’m not fire crazy like Draco, but that was fun.”
She looked over at him carefully. “You’re not related to him, right? I don’t see it. Just because you have blonde hair and you’re British doesn’t mean anything. That’s like saying I’m related to Buffy and she’s way too well-adjusted to be related to me.”
“We have some of the same mannerisms apparently. Some people just shouldn’t be parents or things get all twisted up. I had to stake my mum. She was sick. Physically not mentally, though after her trying to seduce me as a vampire for a long time I thought maybe the latter too, but it was the demon that did those things. I let that demon wearing my mother’s face control me for over a century after she was dead. Messed me right up. Did a lot of bad things as a vampire. Broke me down when I got my soul, but eventually, I got past it. I think Malfoy’s a bit like that. He’s at the getting past point.”
Kasie never knew her real parents, so she couldn’t understand letting someone control her like that. She was always free to do what she wanted until recently, but even now she didn’t feel controlled.
But she still did what others considered bad things. She took from people, good people, and gave to the bad people. But they were never good or bad people in her head. “Do I have a soul?” she asked, confused. “Or do I just screw up a lot?”
“Screwing up does not mean you don’t have a soul. You think when I got mine back I was instantly on the right and true path? Not on your life. I was as much ruled by my passion as I was as a soulless vamp. I still do things for selfish reasons. Screwing up means you’re human and I’ll take a flawed human over a saint any day of the week and twice on Sundays.”
Kasie punched him on the shoulder. “I like you. You answer my questions instead of looking at me weird.”
“I spent over a century with a woman who played with dolls, had tantrums and thought the stars spoke to her. Not a lot I can’t handle.”
She was about to make another comment when another vampire walked up. Kasie glared at it. “Can you not see that I am bonding with another vampire? Go away!”
The look it gave her made her laugh. “Since when did all these vampires get such great facial expressions?”
Kasie stopped laughing when the vampire raised his hands into fists. Something glittered on one of his fingers. “Ooh! You have a shiney. I want it.” She turned to Spike. “Mind if I take this one?”
Spike stepped to the side and gestured for her to have at it.
She casually hopped off the stone and walked up to the vampire, eyeing his hand. “This would be easier if I had a knife. Because then I could chop off your hand, kill you, and then take the ring. I don’t guess you’d mind waiting while I go back to my rooms to get a sword or something?”
When the vampire swung at her, she ducked. “That’ll be a no.”
The easiest way to grab the ring would be to manage to grab the ring when his hand was open-palmed then kick the body away. She had done the move plenty of times but the success rate was only 50/50.
Kasie always worked defensively. In her experience, tired fighters made mistakes and made it easier on her. She was used to dodging. It was almost fun.
The more she ducked out of the way, the angrier the vampire got. He got a lucky hit to her arm and she shook away the sting. “That hurt, you punk.” But she noticed his form wasn’t as strong. Kasie managed to grab his hand on the second try and gripped the ring, before kicking the vampire in the torso. He punched her in the mouth with the other hand and she kicked him again. When she had the ring in her hand, Kasie pulled the stake out of her pocket and plunged it into the vampire’s chest. As he scattered in the wind, she licked her split lip absentmindedly as she looked over her ring. “You are very pretty.”
“I like to think so,” Spike said, knowing she was not talking about him but unable and unwilling to resist the joke.
He was already in her line of sight but when she tried to look at him, Kasie eventually went cross-eyed. She shook her head. “What? Are you speaking for the ring? Are you possessed? Ooh, that would be fun. Or would it be like it was now with all the other voices?” Kasie looked away in thought. “Am I possessed? How do you become possessed? Am I going to throw up soup or crab walk down the stairs? But how would something possess a ring? Can I become possessed just by touching it or do I have to put it on?”
Her mind was doing that thing where it wouldn’t shut off. Question upon question filed through and she kept asking questions.
So more barmy than he thought.
Her lip was bleeding again, so Spike wiped it then licked his finger.
“You hear voices then? That’s familiar. I don’t think you’re possessed because you’re still you controlling you. A thing can be possessed most time with a curse. Willow would probably know about more about it. Even your boy Malfoy, being he used to be into dark magic. And it depends upon the curse whether or not it transfers by touch or by wearing.”
Kasie didn’t want to ask Willow about it, especially if it would be a trigger, but she might ask Draco. She wanted to go flying again sometime because that was too fun. “Never dealt with curses,” she replied distractedly. “Beyond the cursed objects I had to steal. What do I taste like? The last vamp that got a taste got dusty and I didn’t have time to ask him.”
“You taste like a slayer,” Spike said. “You taste like power and otherworldly things.”
He stepped very close to her.
“Things that would bother other slayers don’t seem to trouble you. I like that.”
Kasie slid the ring on her thumb, which was the only finger that was big enough to hold the large ring. She wiggled it and when nothing happened, she dropped her hand.
They were standing very close. If he had been human, she could have felt his body heat, but he was cool. That was strange and interesting. “Very little troubles me. Normal people look at the world normally. I tend to look at it upside down from a very high point. I may not ask questions people want to know, but I tend to ask the right ones.” Kasie shrugged. “Plus, when you’ve worked for the bad guys, not much can faze you.”
She cocked her head. “So, including me, that makes how many slayers you’ve tasted? Did you drain the other two you killed?”
She would not ask these questions if other slayers were around. They would make everyone else uncomfortable, but she really wanted to know. Because maybe she could prolong her own life by hearing what the other slayers did wrong.
“Just the first, and she’s the only one that I bit. I broke Nicki’s neck, stole her coat.”
He wasn’t talking about Buffy. He couldn’t do that. Not to one of the slayers she lived with.
Kasie perked up at that. The proper response to hearing that a sister slayer was killed was probably not interest, but he had taken something from a kill. She got that. “What, that coat?” She started to run her hands over the coat. The leather was smoothed and worn and cool from the weather and his lack of body heat. “This is nice.”
“I thought so too. It was destroyed once in a fire, but it was rebuilt through magic. Keep running your hands on me like that, though, luv, and I’m going to have to insist you buy a chap some dinner.”
“I can afford it. I’m loaded.” Kasie kept looking over the leather and looking at all the small imperfections and dents and creases. “Why do you need a coat if you don’t get cold?”
“I like it,” Spike said, leaning closer to her.
She didn’t even seem to notice. If he didn’t know she was a few smokes short of a full pack, he’d have been offended that she didn’t think him a threat and was letting him stand so near.
Kasie tugged at it. “Can I wear it sometime? I want to be all dramatic.” She started looking around his back. “How is this thing not covered in holes? Are there any blood stains?”
“I’m beginning to think it has magical powers,” Spike joked before sliding his duster off and draping it around her shoulders.
If anyone saw this, they’d freak out. He hardly ever let anyone wear his clothing, but he liked her. She was comforting in this Drusilla-Buffy hybrid sort of way, yet she was also unique in that she was still her own person despite the elements that reminded him of others.
The sleeves were a bit longer on her, but she still twirled around like she was in a dress. “Yep. I want one. I would take this one but you would fight me for it and I like you. I don’t fight those I like. Sometimes. Most of the time. All the pockets you could make into this thing!”
He started chuckling. “I’ll be sure to tell Santa.”