The Tesla coil was built, as was the step-up generator that was needed to provide the necessary power for it to work from the mains. It had taken hours, and in the middle of it Jack called to say that Hammond had arranged for a storm warning to be issued in two days’ time - which meant that they had that long to figure out a way to lure Adam to the device in the first place.
First of all, though, someone had to convince Spike to turn on the machine and get electrocuted again. It didn't seem like an easy job, and they could hardly threaten him into doing it. Unsurprisingly, the task fell on Sam's shoulders.
Sam knocked on the door that led to the room which Spike had claimed, but got no answer. Hesitating for only a split second, she opened it and quietly walked in.
Spike hadn't bothered to undress, although he had taken the trouble to remove his leather duster. He had merely sprawled on the surface of the bed, and was lying perfectly still.
Sam thought that Spike looked different while he was asleep. When he was awake, he was a man of action, always seeming ready to do something
. He seemed so fiery, normally.
Now, he didn't. Spike looked like he was at peace, like whatever drove him during his waking hours was slumbering alongside him. Sam had noticed that Jack looked much the same, whilst he slept - she'd seen him several times when they were on missions off world together.
"Spike?" Sam called, quietly at first, but then louder when the vampire in question didn't respond. Sam wondered how deeply a vampire normally slept, and if one slept any deeper when they were sleeping to recover from injuries. Janet would probably love to examine one.
Still, Spike didn't respond. He hadn't moved at all. Briefly, Sam wondered if he might be dead, but quickly dismissed that as irrational - although she couldn't entirely dismiss the feeling of panic that accompanied the thought. Anyway, didn't vampires turn to dust when they died? Sam was sure that Willow had mentioned that. Besides, Spike hadn't been staked or decapitated, so he really shouldn't be dead. Or no longer undead, Sam supposed.
Still, Sam couldn't quite shrug off a slight feeling of nervousness. She could hardly check Spike for a pulse - the man had no heartbeat - and Sam couldn't think of anything else to do other than shaking him, which probably wasn't the best of ideas.
Sam was very surprised when she found herself with her hand on Spike's shoulder. She had no recollection of putting it there, or even of planning to put it there. She put it down to instinct.
However, Sam was infinitely more surprised when Spike caught her wrist, twisting it painfully whilst jerking himself upright, and, his face ridged and his eyes yellow, he put his rather elongated teeth against Sam's throat.
It all happened in rather less than a second - vampires can move very
fast when they want to - but Spike quickly woke up fully, and, ashamed of his reflex action upon being awakened, hurled himself away from Sam, back across the bed, stammering an apology.
Only then did Sam's heart start beating rapidly, and she realised that, if Spike hadn't pulled away, she would be dead by now and there would be absolutely nothing that she could've done to stop it.
Sam could've made light of the situation, say that she was like that in the mornings - Daniel certainly was - but she didn't. She didn't wait for her heart to stop beating so rapidly, she merely walked round the bed - oddly enough, Spike seemed afraid that she was coming towards him - and put her hands on each of Spike's shoulders. He flinched.
"Look at me." Sam said, seeing as how Spike was looking at everything but her. Eventually, Spike managed it. Sam, looking into Spike's eyes, said "It's okay. Really, it is."
Spike broke away from her. "No, it's not
okay! I nearly killed you, just because you woke me up!" he nearly shouted. Sam hoped that the others couldn't hear them.
"Spike, I'm not a porcelain doll. I've nearly been killed before - hell, I have been killed before! You don't have to worry about me, I can take care of myself." Sam said in a level voice.
Spike caught her eye, smiled grimly, hated himself for it, and said "Really? How's your wrist, then?"
Ah. Now that Spike mentioned it, it was rather painful. Nevertheless, Sam shrugged it off, saying "I've had worse injuries."
Spike growled. "That's not the point, Sam, and you know it. I could've killed you just now." he snarled. He wasn't angry at Sam, not really, but he could hardly snarl at himself. Although he was absolutely certain that he'd be in for a bout of Angelesque self-recrimination later.
"But the point is you didn't. You could've, and there wouldn't have been a single thing that I could do to stop you, but you stopped yourself, Spike. You. Just you." Sam said, smiling slightly.
Spike sat on the bed and muttered "That doesn't make me feel any better."
Sam sat beside him, took one of his hands in her own, ignoring her aching wrist. Spike noticed that the wrist was already purpling, bruises in the shape of his fingers appearing on her skin. He ran a finger down them, and Sam erupted in goose bumps from the touch. Spike noticed, but didn't let on.
"No, I'm sure that it doesn't make you feel better." Sam said, quietly, barely more than a throaty murmur. "But I'm still here, Spike. I don't mind." She took a deep breath, repeated herself "I don't mind."
Spike looked up sharply, eyes boring into hers. "Really?" he said. Sam, suddenly finding that she didn't have enough breath to speak, merely nodded. Spike's answering smile was radiant. "Well now, isn't that something."
They sat in silence for several moments, each indulging in their own thoughts. Then Spike asked, reluctantly - he didn't want this moment to end - "Why did you come up here, anyway?"
The thought of what she was going to ask Spike to do splashed over Sam like cold water, absolutely ruining the mood. Spike noticed, and, frowning, asked "What's wrong?"
Sam took a deep breath, was about to speak, changed her mind and let it out again. Then, she began speaking before her will to do so faded entirely. "Willow and I have designed a device, and the rest of the group have helped to build it. We think that it will kill Adam." Spike's eyes narrowed, sensing a catch coming. Sam took another deep breath. "We need someone to turn it on."
"You want me to get electrocuted again." Spike said. As his face had become an inscrutable mask, and his voice was bland, Sam couldn't tell what he thought of the proposition. She nodded.
"No." he said flatly. Sam's breath whooshed out of her - she hadn't realised that she'd been holding it. Spike stood up, pulling his hand from hers, then paced the room briefly. Then he repeated himself: "No."
Then Spike left.
After a second, Sam went downstairs. She'd heard a crash, and a yelp of pain. She went down to see Buffy helping Xander up, the front door open and a figure wrapped in a blanket running down the street.
Willow sighed, saying "I guess he didn't take it so well."
Sam looked down, rubbing her injured wrist. "I guess not." she murmured, so quietly that no one could hear her.
When Spike left, he headed straight to a demon bar. Not Willy's, the Slayer knew about that one and would probably look for him there. He headed to one of the less salubrious drinking establishments, of which Sunnydale had a surprising amount.
Spike sat himself at the bar - despite being open 24 hours, most demon bars didn't do much trade during the day, even in Sunnydale. Too many demons were nocturnal, so the place was mostly empty - and ordered a pint. To his mild surprise, he was given one promptly. The service in most of these bars was usually awful.
He drank the pint in a few seconds, told the barkeep to keep them coming. The barkeep nodded - at least, Spike assumed he did. The barkeeper was a peculiar type of troll with its head protruding from its stomach.
It was somewhere around Spike's twelfth pint - he'd slowed down his drinking considerably when he remembered his lack of funds, and just hoped he had enough to get roaring drunk. Given that he had a vampiric metabolism, he was barely even tipsy yet - when he heard a familiar voice.
"You're in the wrong place, William." Spike stiffened, wondering if he had indeed heard what he thought he'd just heard, or if someone had spiked his drink. He turned around.
To his mild surprise, Spike hadn't imagined it. Drusilla was standing there, looking the same as she ever had. Standing at her shoulder and slightly behind her was a suited man with dark hair and green eyes. Spike briefly wondered who he was, but then decided that he didn't care and finished his pint.
Only then did Spike say anything. "And where exactly should I be, Dru?" he said, speech slurring slightly. He wasn't really that drunk, but he was just drunk enough to think that it seemed suitable.
"You know exactly where you should be." Drusilla answered.
Spike focused. There was something odd about this, but he couldn't quite lay his finger on it... then he had it. "Dru, how long have you been sane?" he asked mildly.
Drusilla slapped him. "Stop changing the subject, William. You know where you should be, and I suggest you get back there." Spike touched the spot where Drusilla had slapped him - it hadn't been a hard slap, but still, Spike was surprised that she had done it all.
"She wants to electrocute me, Love." Spike noticed the brief flicker of surprise followed by anger that passed over the other man's face at the word Love
. So, it seemed that Drusilla had moved on. Good on her. "I'm not particularly keen on heading back there."
Drusilla turned to look at the other man, who nodded then wavered like a heat mirage. Then he was gone. Spike blinked in surprise. He'd never seen anything like that before.
Drusilla closed one eye, then the other, then both. "She doesn't want to electrocute you, you know." she said. Spike noticed her hands were balled into fists and that a thread of tension had made its way into her voice. He wondered what was going on here.
But Spike knew it was true, what Drusilla was telling him. Sam didn't
want to electrocute him. That had been evident by her change in demeanour when he had asked her what she had wakened him for. That had taken the wind from her sails more than him nearly killing her.
However, the fact remained that even though Sam didn't want Spike to be electrocuted, she had still asked him to be. Spike couldn't quite get over that.
"And just how difficult do you think it was for her to ask you?" Drusilla said, almost as though she was following on from Spike's train of thought - which, given her psychic abilities, might well be the case. Spike noticed that her voice was even tenser, and he wouldn't be surprised if her nails were drawing blood from her palms, so strongly was she clenching her fists.
Spike sighed noisily. Drusilla had a point, one that Spike had been trying not to dwell on. Would Sam have asked him at all if it hadn't been the only way?
Spike was pretty sure she wouldn't have. He thought Sam would've chosen another way, if one had existed.
Drusilla smiled, a bittersweet smile that quickly dropped her face as she began to make a high pitched keening sound. Spike started towards her, but promptly stopped when he saw that half the flesh on her face had vanished.
Suddenly, the suited man appeared again, caught Drusilla and then vanished as promptly as he had arrived.
Spike blinked, wondering if he was dreaming after all. Then he shrugged. There was nothing he could do about it in either case.
Besides, Spike had an apology to make.