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Such Hell

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Summary: Before "Wild at Heart" and his v-chip, "BtVS"'s Spike pays a visit to Roswell and runs into Isabel.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Roswell > Spike-CenteredmalaFR1513,7720191529 Feb 0429 Feb 04Yes
"Dear Isobel, I hope you're well and what you've done is right/


Oh it's been such Hell, I wish you well, I hope you're safe tonight."


--Dido, "Isobel"




He hated the dry desert-like air of New Mexico almost as much as he hated the warm silk of California's. Before arriving in Roswell, he'd had visions of kicking through the sand with his steel-toed boots and unearthing some sort of alien craft so Drusilla could play with the corpses. There were two things wrong with that picture: the fact that he had no Dru and the fact that Roswell was as dull as piss. However, anything was better than listening to Harmony bitch and ramble. . .anything was better than envisioning dismembered Chaos demons and his princess screaming at him. He'd left them all behind. Brazil. Sunnyhell. It was all worthless shite.


Tourists overcrowded the little town, which made it easy to feed, but there was nothing else handy about green plastic aliens hanging from the rearview mirrors of cars and cute little diners that served foods named after Will Smith movies. It was fang-grinding commercialism.


But as fate and boredom would have it, he found himself walking into the Roswell's main cute little diner, the CrashDown, one night shortly after his arrival. He'd seen short blue-green uniforms and long legs through the window and been mildly intrigued. Nothing like a little veal to spice up his diet.


He dropped into an empty booth near the door. . .noting several unwashed "X-Files" fanatics crowded around a table near the back. A young bloke with a blank but pretty boy face, like Angelus, was talking to an insipid little dark-haired waitress at the counter--not the owner of the legs that had drawn him in. They were speaking in hushed, urgent, tones, as if the busy clatter of patrons around them didn't seem to matter. He cocked his head, hearing random names spill from their lips. Michael. Maria. Something about a hotel room and making out.


Ah, youth.


Spike snorted, turning to check the table for a menu or something else more interesting than "The Young and the Clueless." Perhaps they would be dessert. . .the little gel certainly seemed syrupy enough. He pulled a laminated menu out from behind the napkin dispenser, letting his eyes lazily drift over the idiotic names. Alien Blast? Crash Crumb Cake? A Ripley Burger with a side of Newt? He laughed out loud, muffling the sound against his palm when the junior copy of his sire jerked around, a paranoid glint in his dark eyes. Whelp.


A whelp that. . .that smelled. . .odd.


He cocked his head, eyeing the boy as he slowly turned back around on his stool and back to his little chippy. What the Devil. . ?


But the thought trailed off as another waitress appeared from the back room, jerkily grabbing a tray of drinks and plopping them down in front of the rowdy geeks who couldn't keep their eyes or their paws off of her. He couldn't blame them. Not one bit.


Her long blond hair was pulled back in a ponytail and crowned by a ludicrous pair of silver alien feelers. Her eyes were dark and filled with resentment. Her uniform appeared to be borrowed, because it seemed an inch or two short and equally tight. Not that he minded. Her familiar legs seemed to stretch forever and the buttons of her top seemed to be ready to burst forth with bountiful bosom.


The menu slipped from his hands and he grinned. Veal. The main course.




~*~


She was having a lousy night. Dishes were stacked up a mile high in the kitchen, the latest truckload of vacationing losers from Hickville didn't seem to understand the meaning of "Hands off or I'll break them". Neither did Jose and his helpers on the grill for that matter. Liz was too busy making eyes at her brother to help out. To top it off, the only reason she was working at all was a favor to Michael. Because he'd wanted to whisk Maria away and apologize for being an asshole to her. So that called for poor, lonely, dependable Isabel to take Maria's shift. Somewhere in the middle of the alien-human love drama that her brother and his best friend were embroiled in, her own life had ceased to exist. No more parties. No more casual dates with boys on the football team. She was too busy covering up all the secrets that Max and Michael seemed to forget every time their hormones kicked into gear.


She blew a strand of hair out of her eyes, walking away from the Gillian Anderson Testosterone Brigade and up towards the table that had gotten filled while she was in the back. . .because the one person sitting in the booth really did seem to fill it. Like he would punch anyone who tried to join him. The low lights gleamed off his bleached, bone-white, hair. He was dressed in all black but he wasn't goth. . .more like a biker without the excess fat and chains. He wasn't bad looking. And he definitely wasn't from Roswell. And he was staring at her.


Isabel bit back a groan and tapped her order pad against her palm as she reached the table. Great. More advances to fend off--even if they were from a male of the interesting variety. "Can I give you a few more minutes to look at the menu?" she asked, cockily glaring right back into his blue-gray eyes. "Or are you ready to order?"


The man stretched lazily, muscles shifting under his black leather trenchcoat, and he just grinned. It wasn't a nice smile. . .more cold and hungry than anything, but not intimidating. Nothing was really intimidating when you knew you'd crawled out of a spaceship sometime before the age of six. He arched a black eyebrow and it seemed to go perfectly with the sharp planes of his face. "I gave the menu a gander, Pet, but you aren't on it."


His voice almost made her drop her pen. It was like a deep Southern drawl had collided with a Cockney burr. Sexual harassment had never sounded better. She shook herself, continuing her best glare. "Look, Buddy. . .either order or take a hike. I've heard it all before," she assured, icily.


Both eyebrows went up. "But have you tried it?" One arm was thrown casually along the back of the seat. "Don't knock it till you've tried," he whispered flirtatiously. Suddenly, something made his eyes darken. . .and he looked at her. Really looked. His gaze shifted over to the counter, to Max, and then back again. "Well, I'll be buggered." Wonder filled his tone.


Isabel shivered, tightening her grip on the chewed up sparkly pen she'd poised above her note pad.. Multiple chills ran up her spine and she couldn't shake the realization that he knew. This stranger had somehow guessed her secret. She took a few steps back. "Do you want food or not?" she demanded, trying not to let the panic in her voice carry over to where her brother was sitting.


The man shrugged and she barely felt it when his hand closed around her wrist. His cool fingers were too gentle for her to pull away from. Every nerve ending screamed for her to jerk away. . .but she was caught. "Not," he murmured, staring at the inside of her wrist. At the veins.


He looked fascinated.


After a few seconds, she finally garnered up the strength to pull back. "My brother is right over there," she hissed, cradling her hand close to her body. "And he'll kick your ass after I do, Creep. *Get out*." She stepped aside, gesturing subtly for him to get up.


He looked over at Max and Liz and rolled his eyes. "I'm shaking," he cracked, without batting an eyelash. "What would he do? Bore me to death?"


Isabel felt the laugh bubble up before she could stop it. "Get out," she repeated softly, forcing the smile away. "He might bore you. . .but I'm much, much, worse."


The black-clad creep finally stood, offering a mocking little bow. "Since you put it so nicely, Love, I'll take my leave."


Thank God. She breathed a sigh of relief as he headed for the door and yanked it open. She could see a hideous, old, black car parked right outside. It had to be his. "Come again soon!" she offered with mock cheer. When I'm not working.


He stopped in the doorway, that cold grin quirking on his lips again. "Oh, I will." His eyes flickered over her chest. . .making her wish Maria's uniform wasn't so damn small. He seemed to zone in on the name tag Liz's father had made for her the last time she'd subbed. "Isabel?" It was as if he was rolling her name around on his tongue like a wine connoisseur. "I'll visit another time all right, Isabel," he assured.


His coat flared out behind him. The bell jingled and the door slammed. He was gone.


She didn't even realize she'd taken the name tag off and was clutching it until the tiny pin jabbed into her flesh. "Asshole," she muttered. Liar, she said to herself. Her name had never sounded like that. And she wanted to hear it again.




~*~


Spike whistled as he unlocked the DeSoto and hopped in. Aliens, eh? Beautiful, blond aliens with attitude, no less. Suddenly Roswell was looking a lot more entertaining.


~*~Part Two~*~


"Dear Isobel, I hope you're well and what you've done is right/


Oh it's been such Hell, I wish you well, I hope you're safe tonight."


--Dido, "Isobel"




It didn't surprise her that the ugly black car was still outside when she pulled the door of the CrashDown shut and slid the keys into her pocket. It was predictable--just like being asked to close so Max could take Liz out star- gazing.


The bleached stranger was sitting on the hood, smoking a cigarette. He was holding it with his middle finger and his thumb, switching to a more traditional grasp whenever he tapped ash onto the pavement. "Hello, Love!" he greeted cheerfully, giving her jeans and crop top a lewd once-over. "Did you have a nice shift?"


She zipped up her hot pink vinyl jacket halfway and flipped him the bird. "Fuck off or I'll call the cops." Not that she really expected Valenti and his flunkies to be of any help.


"Call the FBI, too, while you're at it." His eyebrows did an annoying dance and she finally placed who he reminded her of. . .Michael. "I'm sure Mulder an' Scully would love to get a load of you."


"They're fictional, and you're a lunatic." She gave him the Ice Queen glare that made most of Roswell High yelp and run away.


He just tapped his foot on the front bumper and shrugged, unaffected. "Maybe you should drive with me to the loony farm, Miss Isabel," he drawled softly, eyes narrowing. "Or are you waiting for Scotty to beam you up?"


She crossed her arms over her chest, wondering why the street was so deserted when there were usually people everywhere at this time of night. "You're mixing your t.v. shows, Bleach Boy." Okay, she could change her nail polish color and play cds with her finger. Could she blow up people with it, too? Was she going to have to find out?


"Spike," he corrected, flashing her a genuine smile. It made her knees quiver just like the first sound of his voice had. This guy had charisma in spades and wasn't afraid to use it. "I've had enough of insulting nicknames an' plenty of telly in my time. Consider me pop-culture compliant."


"Consider me bored." She tossed her head and turned on her heel. . . ready to walk up the sidewalk and away from the parked car that looked like it came out of a James Dean movie.


His voice followed her and she knew he was hopping off the hood, tossing away his cigarette and walking behind her. "You are that, aren't you? Bored by this little town? By havin' to live your life according to their petty human standards? By people underestimating you? By the small-minded sods who feel you up but don't have any idea wot they're touchin'?"


"Shut up!" she snapped, not looking back at him. But, God, he was right on target. . .


Then he said the one thing that made her stop. The one thing that made her turn around and face a breathlessly handsome psycho with a dumb name.


"There are others things that walk 'round with human faces besides you and your brother, you know."




~*~


The arteries in her neck were pulsing. It was like staring at a glass of the best Australian Shiraz in the light--the reds and purples playing just below the surface of her pale skin. Would it be like drinking fine wine after the shit poor beer of human blood? Or would it be poison? Would he die after just one sip? He'd never bitten an alien before, but the prospect was a challenge he couldn't resist.


Her foot tapped restlessly against the sidewalk. "What are you talking about?" She was almost a poster child for ennui. Almost. The spark of interest in her eyes was undeniable.


The street was deserted. There was no need to be coy. He shrugged, gave her a winsome grin, and went game-faced. The boredom was instantly gone, replaced by shock and more shock. "Vampires, Pet," he confided. "Count Dracula and the like and all the other lovely things that go bump in the night." He leaned forward, watching her face grow even more white as he shifted back again. "Little green men and women aren't all that special," he assured with a wink.


"I am not green!" she spat, tossing her head.


It took a few seconds for her to realize that she'd admitted exactly what she wasn't supposed to and the dawning horror made Spike lose any semblance of politeness. He had to steady himself against a shop window as he laughed his arse clean off. "Yes. . .oh, God. . .ha! I-k-knew I w-would--get it out of you."


Miss Isabel was not a happy little happy meal. "Oh, go to Hell!" she muttered.


He straightened up, gasping for air he didn't need. "My sire went there. Sent me a postcard." He dashed tears from his cheeks with his knuckles, glad for the amusement after months and months of non-stop flagellation.


She crossed her arms under her delicious breasts, leveling him with a look that probably froze weaker creatures. "Fine. You got me. I'm an alien." The last word was said with a sneer. "Now what are you going to do with the information?"


Spike closed the few feet of distance between them, watching her flinch but stand her ground, and he grasped her hand like he had inside the Crash Down. He raised it to his lips. "Absolutely nothing," he whispered as he kissed the inside of her wrist, feeling the blood rushing under his caress.


Her mouth was next.


~*~Part Three~*~


"Dear Isobel, I hope you're well and what you've done is right/


Oh it's been such Hell, I wish you well, I hope you're safe tonight."


--Dido, "Isobel"




Isabel kissed the vampire back instead of pushing him away and running. Her arms were around his neck and she was close enough to feel his lack of a regular heartbeat. His body felt firm, and his lips were cool. It was exhilarating, better than letting Chris Larkin go up her shirt in 8th grade. She'd missed being close to someone. To anyone. It was the price to pay for who she was in life--Isabel Evans, the extraterrestrial, and at school--Isabel Evans, the ultra popular, untouchable beauty. She'd been the good girl while Max and Michael risked life and limb for their love stories. Maybe now it was time for her to take the risks? God, it felt good to take this one...


Spike's neck was smooth and cold under her fingertips and she played with the closely shaved ends of his soft, white-blond hair, urging his head down. Away from her lips. "I'm on the menu now," she told him softly.


The vampire's growl echoed through her skin, the vibrations made her toes curl inside her shoes. "Funny, Miss Isabel. What if I get food poisoning?" he asked loftily, into her throat.


What if? She hadn't thought about that. "Then we pump your stomach," she suggested, laughing into his shoulder.


"Ha bloody ha."


Before she could react, he swept his arm under her knees and lifted her up, starting resolutely back towards his car.


"Hey! Let me go!" she demanded, kicking her legs half-heartedly. "This is kidnapping! This is alien abduction!" She was struck with the absurd urge to giggle. She never giggled.


"No, its not. Its take-out." The vampire gave her another one of his beautiful grins as he deposited her in the passenger seat of the DeSoto FireFlite.


She offered him a lofty, impatient question in return. "Now what?"


"Well, since a feed is out...might as well trade one oral fixation for another," he mumbled as he slid into the driver's seat and rolled down the window. "Fancy a smoke?" he asked with a wicked chuckle.


"A smoke?" she repeated incredulously, with a tinge of disgust.


He retrieved an abused hard pack of Camels from an interior pocket and tapped out two. "Would it besmirch your honor?" he mocked. "I can't fathom that it would kill you."


She wasn't about to tell him how she'd lectured Michael last year after catching him with a cheap package of Parliaments behind the Guerin trailer, how she'd made the cigarette disintegrate in his mouth and he'd choked on the disgusting ingredients. "What the Hell...why not?" She accepted one of the offered coffin nails and held it lightly between her lips as Spike flicked open a Zippo and lit the other end.


"That's a girl." He nodded approval when she didn't cough and lit his own. "See," he murmured through clenched teeth, "the way I see it, a bloke and a chippy got only two things to do, besides the bite, in a car an' I don't ken you're the type to do the more active one on a first encounter."


"How would you know?" She exhaled bitter smoke and watched it curl out the window in thin, spiraling, lines. No, she wouldn't cough. She wouldn't flinch. She certainly wouldn't agree with him. She wouldn't give this cocky thing the satisfaction of knowing he had her pegged. It was as good as admitting that she deserved a crappy-assed night working at the CrashDown.


"'Cause I'm old and dead and I know women." Spike shrugged casually and tapped the edge of his cigarette out into the air. "The ones I haven't killed, that is."


"If you know women, then why are you in Roswell alone?" she shot back.


"Shut up, Miss Isabel."


"Bite me." She tapped out ashes and glowered at him with triumph. "Oh, that's right...you can't risk it. Guess you're weak in more than one way."


She waited for him to growl at her, for him to yell, for him to disagree and tell her what to do and where to go. She waited and smoked. It didn't take long to figure out he wasn't going to yell. Because she was right.




~*~


He watched her for several seconds in silence. The curve of her cheek was pale, almost translucent, in the lamplight that streamed into the car. Watching her ample chest rise and fall was a separate treat altogether. He consciously mimicked her motions, inhaling and exhaling when she did.


She was right. This luscious little piece of extraterrestrial veal was right. Why was he in Roswell alone? Was he still moping over Dru? Was he bored with Harmony? Really? The truth was, he was seriously lacking in the un-life department. Kicking up dirt and aliens was an idle excuse to not be in Sunnyhell licking his wounds. Having a cig' with a moody, underaged, waitress was the most interesting thing he'd done of late. It was a glorious, unthreatening, little game that was nothing like the monotony of getting one's ass kicked by the Slayer.


Moments passed. Camels finished and thrown away, they sat together, staring out the painted over windshield at black streaks.


"Spike?" She turned to face him.


"Isabel?" He turned to face her.


Their mouths meeting again was the natural conclusion. He tasted ash and humanity--humanity despite whatever she was. It tasted pure and sweet and foreign. He broke away, morphed into his game face, and snarled. The connection between them broke and he drew a fang across his lip. Blood erased the taste of her.


"Get out of the car," he said softly, dangerously.


"What?" Her gorgeous brows drew together, confusion clear in her eyes.


He reached across her and opened the passenger door. "Get out of the car or I'll break your pretty neck," he elaborated harshly.


Before she could speak again, he shoved at her, and she stumbled out onto the dusty concrete--caught off-guard by his apparent 180. He could hear her startled gasps for breath, her accelerated pulse.


"Thanks for taking my order, Miss Isabel," he whispered into the night as he shut the door and fumbled for his keys.


It was time to leave the desert. Time to go home and be what he was meant to be: a bloodsucking bad ass.




~*~


Bits of rock and glass dug into her palms as she crouched on the ground. She knew at least one knee was skinned. The DeSoto peeled out of the parking space, narrowly missing her, and sped down the street. She watched the red tail lights disappear into the darkness. Several minutes passed before she allowed herself to slowly stagger to her feet and shake off the shock of too many actions and images at once.


"You're welcome, Spike," she said to herself. "Come again soon."


Tomorrow night Liz and Maria would be working their shifts again. The boys would be hanging outm mooning over them, and urging her to go out since she'd been such a good sport. Everything would be back to normal--tedious and annoying.


Isabel touched her lips, wincing as she curled and uncurled her fingers. She stared down at the bloody scrapes on her hands and smiled.


Not quite.




--Fin--

The End

You have reached the end of "Such Hell". This story is complete.

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