|Story Title:||Can't Buy Me Love|
I’d Do Anything
Spike tries to succeed in ending Billy’s nightmares where Buffy failed.
Edmond “Eddie” Giles Rosenberg-Maclay born March 11, 2010
Joshua "JJ" Harris was born on April 21st, 2004
The twins (Danielle Dawn, "Dani" and William Rupert, "Billy") were born on February 12th, 2004.
Annie was born on February 14th, 1999
Spike and Buffy were married in February 1999
Buffy was born January 19th, 1981
William/Spike was turned by Dru in
All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.
Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions and got the memories from the 'Rome' Universe in May, 2003.
The ‘Wish-World’ lasted from January 19th, 2005 to January, 16th 2010.
I’d Do Anything, from the musical, "Oliver" (You may also recognize from a Dawn dishwashing detergent advert)
Julia "Buttercup" Utonium is the tomboy of the Powerpuff Girls. Her personality is "spice". She is the toughest fighter of the Powerpuff Girls, and can be the surliest Powerpuff Girl at times, but is practically fearless, loyal, and quick-witted. She can be selfish at times, often reckless, and she is frequently sarcastic.
ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise:
Special thanks to 'epd4' for betaing this chapter!!
|Rating / Warnings:||
NC17. Content is only suitable for mature adults. Contains explicit language, sex, adult themes, and other adult situations that some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY.
(same night), Thursday, April 22nd, 2010, 11:00pm:
“WHAT!? How?” Spike exclaimed, Billy still clinging to him as he sat on his son’s bed. “Bess? Bess is … Bess is … gone. You heard the vicar’s wife – read the diary … dust.”
Buffy shook her head. “I don’t know how … but that wasn’t Dani in the dungeon, it was Bess.”
Buffy turned to their daughter, who was still watching Billy with concern. “Dani, honey … do you remember the dreams?”
Dani turned her eyes to her mother, who was now kneeling beside her bed, and nodded her head.
“Tell me …” Buffy requested softly.
“We played with Bob … and had yucky cauliflower and fed it to the deer,” Dani recalled for Buffy. “And watched the fireworks …” Dani continued, her voice trailing off.
“And then what?” Buffy questioned.
Dani scrunched her face up in thought, moving her pursed lips from side to side as she tried to recall what other dreams there were, before finally giving up with a shrug. “That’s all… we watched the fireworks and caught fireflies in a jar and took them in the tent …”
“Have you ever been in the dungeon with Billy?” Buffy questioned.
Dani shook her head slowly, looking over at her brother who had stopped crying but was still on the verge of hyperventilating, taking deep, shuddering breaths.
“How do you know about the dungeon?” Buffy pressed.
Dani shrugged. “Billy told me…”
“But you were never there with him?”
Dani shook her head ‘no’.
Buffy looked back at Spike who was looking at her with a furrowed brow. “Would you mind telling me what the bloody hell is going on?”
Buffy sighed and pulled herself up to sitting next to Spike and Billy on their son’s bed. “Our ‘little bits’ have a little bit of secret, apparently,” Buffy began, running a hand down Billy’s back. “They share dreams…”
Spike’s brows shot up as he looked from Dani to Billy and then back to Buffy.
“So, you didn’t know, either,” she surmised.
“Like a bond? Since when?” Spike questioned.
“Forever, apparently,” Buffy repeated what Dani had told her within the dream.
“But why is he dreamin’ ‘bout Bess? He doesn’t even know Bess and Bess is … gone,” Spike argued.
“She didn’t feel too gone to me …” Buffy admitted, her hand going to her neck where she could still feel the child vamp’s fangs slicing into her flesh. They sat in silence a few moments, the only sound was their son’s ragged breathing and sniffles as he tried to calm down. “Let’s … let’s go downstairs so Dani can get back to sleep…” Buffy suggested, standing up and tucking her daughter back under the covers.
“Is Billy okay?” Dani asked, looking from Buffy to Spike and then at Billy.
“Yeah, baby – he’s gonna be ok. It was just the dungeon dream… we’re gonna fix it for him soon,” Buffy assured her, although she wasn’t so sure how they were going to fix it.
Downstairs, Buffy sat at the research table while Spike paced around the great room, holding their son in his arms to try and get him to go back to sleep.
“So, what, you think Bess is still … walkin’ around, being held in a dungeon somewhere?” Spike asked as he came near her.
“Do you have a better explanation for these dreams he’s having?” Buffy questioned, motioning towards Billy who was starting to calm down in Spike’s arms. “He shares dreams with Dani … there’s a bond of some sort there – Bess was made from Dani … Bess is … Bess is like his twin … or triplet or whatever, too.”
“With that logic, then wouldn’t it be more likely for our Lemon Drop to have the dreams?” Spike questioned.
Buffy shrugged. “I don’t know … it’s just a theory. Billy’s … he’s just got such a wide open heart. If some part of him felt Bess’ pain … he’d be the one to try and help her. Dani’s … she’s not quite so trusting, she’s tougher, Billy’s … like you.”
Spike cocked a brow in disagreement with her contention that he wasn’t ‘tough.’ Buffy sighed and rolled her eyes. “Billy’s like William – he gives his heart freely, wholly; Dani’s like Spike, she’s rough and tumble and not quite so trusting…”
“So, what do we do now?” Spike wondered as Billy closed his eyes, his arms around Spike’s neck and his head resting against his father’s strong shoulder.
Buffy rubbed tiredly at her eyes, propping her elbows on the research table, and Spike came over to her and rubbed her shoulders with one hand as he held Billy against him with the other. “We have to figure out where she is …” Buffy began.
“Could be anywhere … vamps have been known to keep playm… ummm, prisoners – could be the ones that turned ‘er still have her … or could’ve … traded or sold her.”
Buffy looked over her shoulder at him. “Vamps keep other vamps prisoner?”
Spike shrugged. “So I’ve heard …”
Billy had finally calmed down and had actually fallen back asleep in Spike’s arms, completely exhausted from the lack of actual rest over the last few nights and waking up scared out of his mind all the time. Spike took him over to the couch and lay him down gently, careful not to wake him, and covered him with a throw, before joining Buffy at the research table again.
Buffy dropped her chin to her chest so Spike could rub the tight muscles of her neck as he stood behind her chair. Buffy closed her eyes as Spike’s strong fingers worked their way up the sides of her spine from her shoulders to her scalp, kneading the tension from them. She tried to remember everything she could from the dungeon dream and relate it to Spike … what it looked like, what it felt like, what it smelled like, what the doors were like and the cells, on the off chance that Spike had actually encountered that particular place at some point in his long life.
Spike massaged her neck and shoulders as she spoke and wracked his brain for somewhere he knew that would fit that description, but he couldn’t recall anywhere exactly like that. When Buffy had told him everything she could remember, she stopped talking and the pair grew silent for a long while, each lost in their own thoughts. Dani’s face from the Fourth of July dream flashed in the dark behind Buffy’s lids, smiling and joyful, excited over the prospect of fireflies and sleeping under the summer stars – then her daughter’s blue eyes morphed to gold as a furious, deadly vampire, growling and flashing razor sharp fangs lunged at her. Buffy jerked back from the vision at the same moment Billy started screaming.
Buffy jumped up from her seat, knocking Spike backwards, as she raced over to their son who had been sleeping on the couch.
Buffy grabbed him in her arms and began rocking him, cooing softly, assuring him that it was alright, but Billy fought against her, pulling back and wriggling free of her embrace. “Let go! NOOO! Let go! Let go!” he screamed at her and she released him, not wanting to hurt him.
“Billy, honey … it’s ok,” Buffy began as her son scrambled off the couch and got to his feet, tears streaming down his face and his chest heaving with frightened breaths.
“NO! You lied! You said it would be alright and you lied!” Billy screamed at her, his whole body shaking in fear and anger. “You’re a big, fat liar!” he accused.
“OI!” Spike exclaimed as he reached him, grabbing him by the shoulders and turning him around. “I’ll have none a’ that in this house! Apologize to your mum!”
“NO! She’s a liar! She said she would help Dani and she didn’t! She said it would be alright … open the doors, it would be alright and it wasn’t! Now the doors are open and they won’t close! I run and run and I can’t get away and Dani’s gonna catch me! She’s gonna kill me!” Billy spun back around to face Buffy, who was sitting in stunned silence on the couch. “It’s all your fault!” he screamed at her before running up the stairs and away from them.
“OI! Get the bloody hell back ‘ere!” Spike commanded, but Billy just kept going.
As Spike started after him, Buffy laid a hand on his arm and stopped him. “He’s right …” she admitted, shaking her head slowly. “I’m a big, fat liar … I didn’t fix it, I made it worse. I have to go back … I have to fix it,” she told Spike, as she looked up at him, her face grim with worry and frustration.
Spike blew out a long breath, his hands on his hips as he tried to think. “I’ll go …”
“No, Spike, I…”
“Buffy, luv … he’s hurt now – that soft, trusting heart you were talkin’ about, well it’s got a bit of a nick in it,” Spike told her. “He’ll get over it, but right now, I think I need to go …”
Buffy blinked back tears and nodded. She hadn’t meant to lie to Billy, she thought she could fix it … she just hadn’t been prepared for what she found in that cell.
Spike brought up his game face and turned in a fast circle, scanning the dark, dank, underground room he found himself in, and quickly found Billy cowered in the corner. He rushed over to his son and picked him up. Billy wrapped his arms around his father’s neck just as a loud banging began on the heavy doors on the other side of the room.
“Dani…” Billy whispered to his father, as he clung to his neck.
“Ok … listen to me, little man,” Spike began. “I’m gonna put you down…”
“NOOOO! Don’t leave me! Please!” Billy screamed, holding tighter to Spike.
“I won’t leave ya’ … but I need to talk to … Dani now. You stay here. Stay in the corner and don’t move. I promise I won’t leave ya,” Spike insisted as he pried his son off him.
“NOOOOO!” Billy screamed, trying to hold on as the heavy doors swung open with a loud clang – banging back against the solid rock walls.
Spike pulled free of his son and dropped him back in the corner where he’d been, swinging around just in time to be tackled and knocked to the floor by a girl who was smaller than Buffy in stature, but not in strength.
Spike growled at the girl, but she was undeterred, growling back just as menacingly, as they wrestled on the damp floor of the cavernous dungeon’s antechamber for control. Spike knew from what Buffy had said that he couldn’t allow her to get the upper hand, or he’d surely lose. He’d hoped that Buffy had exaggerated the strength the child vamp had, but he was disappointed to find that, if anything, she’d underestimated it. But Spike had two things that Buffy didn’t have … he had his weapon and he had … “Bess!”
At the mention of her name, the child paused, momentarily taken aback. No one had called her ‘Bess’ in years … how many years? She wasn’t sure anymore – it was like something from a different life or a long ago dream. That was all the opening Spike needed, he rolled on top of her, pressing her face into the dirt and gravel on the floor and sank his fangs lightly into the back and side of her neck, growling like a lion chastising an errant cub.
When Bess tried to move, Spike bit down harder and growled deeper until she stopped resisting. Spike slowly released the hold he had on her neck, but kept his mouth close as he continued to pin her down with his body, holding her head to one side with his hands to keep her neck exposed.
“You may be used to being in charge ‘ere … but it’s ‘bout time you learned to respect your elders, girl,” Spike whispered harshly against her neck. “You followin’?”
Bess nodded her head as much as she could with him holding it.
“I can’t he-aar you,” Spike sing-songed gruffly, his voice rumbling against her skin.
“Yes …” Bess answered through gritted teeth.
“Yes sir,” Spike corrected with a deep growl.
“Yes sir,” Bess mimicked sarcastically, rolling her eyes, and Spike growled loudly and bit back down into her neck, shaking his head slightly and tearing at her flesh.
“Yes, sir … yes, sir!” Bess screamed, holding her arms up above her head and morphing back to her human features in surrender.
Spike slowly released his hold on her neck, but kept her pinned down.
“Now … If I let you up, you gonna be a good lass and do as I say?” Spike questioned.
“Yes sir …”
Spike took a deep breath and pushed up off her, pressing a knee into her back to make sure she stayed down until he got to his feet. When he was off her, Bess rolled over onto her back, holding a hand on her neck where he’d bitten her to staunch the bleeding. She’d been bitten before, defeated before … she knew what that meant and what he expected now.
Bess got to her feet, standing in front of Spike. She reached down and began lifting her torn and tattered cotton dress up. Spike grabbed one wrist and stopped her, just as she’d gotten the hem up to her waist, revealing her bare body beneath.
“What the bloody hell are ya doin’?” he questioned, pulling her hand away from the fabric and letting the dress fall back over her waiflike frame.
Bess looked at him like he was crazy. “You … you bested me … I am yours …” she stammered to explain.
Spike froze momentarily, unable to move or think as his stomach churned in disgust and his heart threatened to explode from his chest. This was his daughter … fourteen years old, offering herself to him – to a stranger, to the vampire that bested her. How many times had she done that? How many times had she been taught that lesson by her elders? How many times had she been violated because she was a fledge and just a step slower than the others? Despite her strength and skill now, as a newly risen vamp she would’ve likely not had that much power or the experience to defeat older vamps.
Tears stung Spike’s eyes as he turned away from her and looked at Billy, who had stayed in the corner as Spike had instructed with his knees pulled up to his chest and his head buried against them. Spike had never been more glad for complete darkness before in his life … what would that do to their son to see what he thought was his sister like this? Spike took several deep breaths to try and compose himself, still facing away from her. He should’ve been there for her … but how? If he hadn’t met Avengelyne, hadn’t met Dru, the outcome for Bess, according to Buffy, would’ve been the same. Destiny…
“Does my body not excite you, sir? I’m told that it’s exceptionally pleasing,” Bess cooed from behind him, pulling Spike from his thoughts. “Or would you rather I pleasure you with my mouth?” she questioned, reaching out to touch Spike’s shoulder.
Bess had lost her English accent from the years she’d lived in America as a child, but growing up in the 1800’s still shown through at times in her voice and words. She’d learned new words and vocabulary from the guards and new vamps that were brought into the dungeon over the years. News from the outside world of wondrous inventions and contraptions was always a welcome distraction when a new prisoner was introduced to the cellblock.
“NO!” Spike screamed, turning back around to face her.
“I … I do not please you?” she asked again, a worried look on her face. “Oh … I understand … the boy. You would like him instead?”
Spike growled in anger and pain and frustration, her words and actions cutting deep gashes in his heart and boiling his blood with revulsion. Spike picked her up by the shoulders and slammed her against the nearest wall. “NO! Don’t ever say that again!” he screamed at her, shaking her like a ragdoll before finally getting control of himself and dropping her on the floor.
Bess looked at him with confusion, unsure what she’d done wrong, not knowing what to do to please this newcomer who had bested her. “If you would tell me what it is you desire, I’m sure I can …”
“What I desire, Elizabeth, is for you to shut your gob for a bloody minute!” Spike screamed at her as he paced back and forth, staying between her and Billy, but not looking at either of them.
Bess stayed silent, unmoving, waiting for this unpredictable vamp to tell her what he wanted her to do next … he was the strangest vamp she’d ever met, and she’d met a good many over her long life. Spike continued to pace, now that he had her attention … and her mouth shut, just exactly what should he tell her? Spike tried to think of her as a vampire … just a random, soulless vampire that, for whatever reason, he wasn’t staking but trying to help. He didn’t want to think of her as ‘Bess’ … he didn’t want to see his own eyes staring back at him when he looked at her … he didn’t want to see his daughter.
Spike took a deep breath and stopped in front of her, closing his eyes and admonishing himself to see a vampire there when he opened them, not his daughter – but it didn’t work. Spike looked down on her and all he could see was a child made of him and Buffy … all he could see was Bess and Dani, carefree, happy girls with the whole world in front of them, and tears stung his eyes.
Spike dropped down into a squat in front of her, letting one knee fall to the ground and morphed back to his human features. “Do I look familiar to you?” he asked her, searching her hardened, blue eyes – eyes of a fourteen year old going on one hundred and ten, for some glint of recognition.
Bess looked at him carefully, then shook her head fearfully – was she supposed to know him? Would she be punished if she didn’t?
“Bess … think back – far, far back. Do you remember your father?” Spike questioned.
“Yes … he … he was a steel worker in Philadelphia,” she offered tentatively.
Spike sighed and closed his eyes a moment. “No … your real father, not John … William … William Weckerly.”
Bess’ brows furrowed in thought. Anne had often spoken of their real father and mother, but Bess didn’t really remember a lot about them – just small snatches of memories, like faded snapshots in her mind, remained. She had a memory of her father taking her to work with him one Saturday … he normally didn’t work on Saturday, but for some reason he had to go in. Anne had gone shopping with their mum and Bess had begged to go with him and he finally agreed, warning her that it would be ‘quite tedious.’ She remembered his desk … it was gigantic to a three-year-old, and she remembered some students stopped in and her father spoke at length with them about something …
Bess raised her eyes and met Spike’s, still lost in the old memory of the man behind that huge desk. “He … he was a teacher. He had a big desk and books and …” Bess shook her head unable to remember specifically what he looked like as much as the feelings he inspired in her. She thought he was perhaps the smartest person on earth – those students seemed duly impressed with his knowledge of whatever it was they were talking about. Certainly her father was quite versed in all matters of any importance.
“I am your father,” Spike announced slowly, dropping his cockney accent for the voice of his youth. “I was a teacher .... a professor at university. You came with me once, do you remember? You sat in one of the student’s desks and looked at a picture book while I met with some pupils … we stopped on the way home near Charing Cross for a pence scoop of iced cream.”
“But … that’s … that can’t be true …” Bess stammered, her brows furrowed in confusion. “He … mother said he … he died, he was a warrior and he died in battle and when our real mother was killed, we were orphaned …”
“It’s true, pet … I died, just like you did,” Spike assured her, reaching out a hand and touching her arm. “I am your father, Bess. I was that man behind the desk… and now I’m a demon, like you.”
Bess closed her eyes and contemplated his words, for a moment she felt something stir deep within her … she really wasn’t sure what it was – longing? nostalgia? recognition? Like the snapshot of her father at his desk, she couldn’t really get it to come into focus, and then it was gone … like a cool, passing breeze on a hot day. She opened her eyes and looked into his … they did look somewhat familiar.
“When?” Bess asked, wondering if whatever that feeling was would come back – she hoped not. She’d survived a lifetime without feelings … since that fateful night near the River Thames. Feelings like that only brought pain and that was something she’d had enough of – she’d learned long ago that it was really best to just not feel at all. It had been easy when she was first turned … the anger and hunger of the demon seemed to consume her; it had gotten harder after she’d gotten here. The long, monotonous days allowed too much time for her mind to wander and for feelings like sadness and melancholy and desolation to creep in, but she’d learned how to control it over the years, how to push those feelings, along with memories of her ‘other life’, far, far down in the darkest recesses of her mind.
Spike sighed. “When you were a child … just before you went to live with the Weatherfords. I … I thought you’d be safe there, I didn’t know … I didn’t know this happened to you,” Spike tried to explain. “I didn’t know you were a Slayer… or had been turned.”
“What would you have done if you knew?” Bess questioned, searching his eyes … is that where that feeling had come from? His eyes? She forced her gaze down to the floor, away from the penetrating blue of his. Feelings were bad.
Spike ran a hand back through his hair and stood up. “Not sure …” Spike hedged. What would he have done if he’d met Bess, the Vampire Slayer? Fought to the death? Killed his second Slayer? Been dusted by this pint-sized keg of dynamite? Would he have recognized her? Would it have made any difference?
“If I’d known you were here, I would’ve looked for you sooner.” Spike hedged, side-stepping her question slightly. “Just where is ‘here’?” he asked, looking around at the dreary room as the drip…drip…drip of water running down the walls and forming puddles on the floor rang in his ears.
Bess stood up in front of him and shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ve heard others say that it’s hell … but I’m not certain.”
“I’ve been to hell … this isn’t it …” Spike informed her, although he thought it was a close second. “Where were you before you were here?”
“Don’t be shirty with me, Buttercup,” Spike warned, leaning in close to her neck. “I may be your father, but I’m still the vamp that bested you … never forget. Now tell me what you remember.”
Bess nodded solemnly and stepped back from him slowly before beginning to pace back and forth in front of Spike as she talked. “I remember Mr. Travers came and brought me to England … and I was the Slayer … I remember fighting demons and wishing I could just go home … I remember my fourteenth birthday … Mr. Travers took me to Piccadilly Circus and let me pick out anything I wanted from the shops… I remember writing letters to mother and father and Anne and William and crying all the time… I missed them so much. Then, I’m not sure what happened … we were patrolling down by the Thames … Victoria Tower Gardens, I think, and … the rest is just a blur. There was a fight, but I can only remember bits and pieces of it … there were too many vamps … I fought, dusted a couple, but ...” Bess shrugged.
“Did they …” Spike started, unable to voice what he knew had happened to her, but hoped beyond hope hadn’t.
“Did they pass me around a while before they turned me? Do you know how much blood you can drink from a Slayer and still keep her alive but too weak to fight? They did …” Bess confirmed his worst fears, her voice even … completely flat, without emotion. “I begged them to just kill me, but that wouldn’t have been any fun – right? They drank, they used me for their pleasure …they humiliated me, they laughed …they drank some more … on and on it went.”
Spike’s jaw clenched and his chest tightened. He knew this … he knew when he’d read that Watcher’s diary what had happened to her. A Slayer as a prisoner … it would’ve been a dream come true for a nest of vamps – their very own fountain of youth and vigor. He wondered why he'd never heard of anyone bragging about having a Slayer as a prisoner in all his travels. Of course, he'd heard plenty of stories from vamps claiming to have killed Slayers ... but they were a dime a dozen, like claiming to have been at the Last Supper or the Crucifixion or Woodstock ... he never put much stock in most of them.
“I’m sorry …” Spike offered, not sure what else to do or say.
Bess stopped pacing and shrugged as if what happened to her didn’t mean anything. It had been her classroom where she honed her ability to push her feelings away, to lock them in a dark corner of her mind and toss away the key. “Their greed got the better of them and was their downfall. It went on for a couple of weeks, then one night, they took too much … and they decided it would be better to turn me than let me die … they thought I would still be their playmate when I rose.” Bess ‘humphed’ scornfully.
“I hunted every last one of those bastards down and made sure they suffered before I dusted them. They begged … they begged me to dust them. Did you know you can actually skin a vampire and he won’t dust? Did you know you can remove a vamp’s entrails while he watches? Eyeballs, gonads, even brains … And if you give him some Slayer blood … even demon Slayer blood, he won’t even pass out – he’ll feel every bit of it – and if it starts to heal, you can just start over.”
Spike stared at her, not quite believing his ears. This wasn’t Bess … this wasn’t that little girl he’d given to Wanda, it wasn’t even the fourteen year old, homesick Slayer that Travers wrote of; this was a battle-hardened, tortured and scarred, century-old demon. There was no remorse in her voice for any of it … not for her own suffering or the suffering she meted out to the vamps that had harmed her; if anything she was nonchalant about her own abuse and proud of the tortures she’d inflicted on her abusers. Not that Spike could blame her for that last part … he would’ve liked to have done it himself. That also explained why he never heard anyone bragging about it ... they never had a chance to.
Spike finally cleared his throat and pressed forward, trying to keep his voice even. “How did you end up here?”
Bess shook her head. “I had just hunted the last of the bastards down. Word was he was holed up near Westminster Abbey thinking that the new fledge would be too frightened of the church to go near there - he was wrong. I was coming back to my lair ... crossing the lawn in Victoria Tower Gardens and … I don’t know what happened. When I woke up, I was here …”
“Where is ‘here’?” Spike questioned again.
Bess shrugged and shook her head again.
“How do you get blood? What happens down ‘ere?” Spike questioned.
“A man comes once a week and gives us blood … sheep, pig, cow sometimes,” Bess offered as she stood facing him.
“Do you know the man? His name?”
“Is it the same man all the time?” Spike wondered.
“Mostly, but there have been … I don’t know – a few different ones over my time here. How long have I been here, do you know?” Bess asked, stopping and looking at Spike.
Spike blew out a breath. “Over a hundred years…”
Bess nodded and resumed her pacing. It felt more like a thousand years.
“What happens ‘ere?” Spike repeated his earlier question.
“Papa?” Billy questioned from the corner … his voice barely a whisper, interrupting Bess’ answer and pulling Spike’s attention away from the Slayer-vamp and back to his son whom he’d nearly forgotten was there.
“It’s alright, Junior … come meet your … come meet Bess,” Spike coaxed, going over to where Billy was still crouched in the corner.
Spike picked his son up and started walking back towards Bess with him. “Some light in here would be brilliant …” Spike suggested and in a moment there were three torches burning in sconces on the wall.
“Elizabeth Anne, this young lad is William Rupert,” Spike introduced them before casting a harsh look on Bess. “He’s not to be touched … in any way. Is that clear?”
Bess looked into Spike’s eyes and saw a flash of gold – a warning. “Yes, sir…” she replied before looking at William. “Are you a vampire too?”
“No …” Billy replied in a small voice, clinging to his father, still not sure about this. She looked like Dani … she felt like Dani … but she wasn’t actually Dani?
“Bess isn’t gonna to hurt you or scare you anymore … isn’t that right?” Spike questioned the older Dani doppelganger.
“Yes, sir … I mean … no, sir … ummm, what’s the correct answer to that question?” Bess wondered.
“The correct answer is, you’re gonna play nice with the boy, Buttercup. If anything else in here frightens him, you’re gonna protect ‘im, yeah? ‘Cos if he wakes up one more time and tells me you tried to hurt ‘im or scare him, I’ll be back and I won’t be as nice as I’ve been t’day. Ya got me?”
Spike set Billy down and knelt down in front of him. “It’ll be ok now … I need to talk to her a bit more, then we’ll go, yeah?”
Billy nodded then looked up at … Bess? then back down to his father. “Are you sure that’s not Dani?”
“Yeah, I’m sure … you wait for me back over there, okay?” Spike requested, tilting his head back towards the corner where Billy had been before.
Billy nodded and headed back for the corner and Spike stood up and took Bess by the arm, leading her out of that room, through the open doors and into the cellblock.
“Who are all these prisoners?” Spike questioned as they walked in the dark down the long hallway. He could see that they were all vamps, men on one side, women and girls on the other side of the long hallway.
Bess shrugged. “Some Slayers … most are just … people, I don’t know.”
“But all vamps,” Spike pointed out.
“And what happens ‘ere?” Spike asked again.
“The men come with their torches and crosses and stakes and chains … they choose two or three and take you to the white room,” Bess began.
“And?” Spike prodded when she didn’t continue.
“And … the men will sometimes give us something in our blood, I don’t know what, it just tastes funny … or they’ll read spells from books while we copulate …” Bess told him matter-of-factly.
Spike stopped walking and turned to face her, his brow furrowed in confusion. “They read spells while …” Spike couldn’t even finish the thought, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath as he tried again to just think of her as a random vampire … it wasn’t working.
Bess shrugged. “Yeah … but they’re very clear … no fighting, no biting, and vaginal first – always. Of course, once that’s done, then they don’t care, we can do whatever we want until they take us back. That’s the only good part about this whole place … those few hours in the white room every week. Sometimes we can get extra time in there … play nice with the guards, get them off too,” Bess offered, her voice even, as if she was telling him the rules of cricket or baseball. “But we always have to fuck each other first … it’s the rule.”
Spike’s time in the cells under Sunnydale when he had been taken prisoner by the Initiative flashed in his mind – they had wanted to ‘observe’ him and Harmony … bloody sick wankers. Was this the same thing? Had the Initiative gone medieval?
“What the bloody hell do they want?” Spike asked her, wishing desperately that he could’ve protected her from this horrific fate. Who were the real demons here, the prisoners or the guards?
“Vamps that ask questions and make trouble get taken to the blue room … the only thing that comes out of the blue room are screams. We do what they say, when they say, how they say … we keep our mouths closed and our legs open and …”
Spike glowered at her, his jaw clenched in anger and she stopped talking and shrugged. “You want to know or don’t you?”
“Where are these rooms?” Spike questioned and Bess pointed down the long hallway.
Spike led the way, Bess following behind, down the seemingly endless cellblock until they finally came to the end. On the right was a white door, on the left a blue one. Spike opened the white door first and stepped inside. It reminded him of an operating room at a teaching hospital. The room was round and, indeed, white … sterile white, in sharp contrast to the filthy cellblock just outside the door, and had an observation deck above it, all the way around, and three small padded tables that looked like doctor’s examining tables near the center of the room. The back wall was lined with cabinets, but when he opened them, they were empty. Apparently Bess had never seen what was in the cabinets … so she couldn’t relay that information in her dream.
“’ave you ever been in the blue room?” Spike questioned as he continued looking for clues in the white room.
“I told you, the only thing that comes out of there are screams … vamps go in, they don’t come out …” Bess reminded him.
Spike sighed. There wasn’t anything here to indicate where they were or who was holding her prisoner. On their way back down the hall, Spike tried questioning the other prisoners … none of them knew who was holding them or where they were, but he wasn’t sure if that was because Bess didn’t know, since this was her shared dream with Billy … either way, it got him nowhere. There were vamps from all over the globe here – not just from England, so it was possible they weren’t even in the U.K. where Bess had been captured, they could be anywhere in the entire world.
Spike and Bess walked the rest of the way down the hallway, back to where Billy was waiting, in silence. How was he going to get her out of here when he didn’t even know where ‘here’ was? Although Spike thought he had put an end to Billy’s nightmares, he had no idea how to end the one that his daughter was living every day. His heart ached for her – he was her father and he’d let her down. How was he going to fix that?
Spike stopped in the center of the room and turned to her. This slip of a girl with the strength of a Slayer magnified by a century-old demon, a girl with an iron will who was so much older than the fourteen years that she looked, so much wiser and more hardened than any girl should ever be. Robbed of her childhood, robbed of her innocence … even if he got her out of here, he could never give that back to her.
“Bess … I … I promise that I’ll be back, not just in a dream, but for real, one day. I swear I’ll get you outta ‘ere. I won’t rest until you’re ‘ome with us, where you belong,” Spike assured her sincerely, searching her eyes for a glint of hope or belief in their blue depths.
Bess met his eyes with hers. His words sounded so heartfelt, his eyes searching hers seemed to look beyond the surface down into her being and that cool breeze billowed softly through her mind again. What was it? What was that feeling? Bess closed her eyes, breaking the connection between them. Surely he must be putting her in a thrall with his gaze … turning the key that kept things like hope and trust and belief in anyone other than herself locked securely away.
“I love you, Bess,” Spike whispered softly, reaching a hand out to touch her dirt-streaked face.
Bess opened her eyes but took a step back from him, not allowing him to touch her. “What … what should I call you?” she questioned, ignoring his words.
Spike shook his head slightly and dropped his hand. “Whatever you want, pet. Father … Papa … Dad,” Spike suggested, but Bess had a confused and pained look on her face. Her dad was John Weatherford … it didn’t seem right to call this vamp Dad.
Spike blew out a breath and ran a hand through his hair. “How about ‘Spike’, then?” he offered and Bess nodded her agreement.
Dropping her gaze down to Billy who was still in the corner behind Spike, she assured him, “I’ll make sure he’s ok when he’s here … I won’t scare him or let anything hurt him.”
Spike nodded; he knew that was as much as she could give at that point. He wondered if she’d ever be able to give more to anyone.
“I’ll never give up on you, Bess – never. I’d do anything for you. Never doubt my love; no father could love his child more. I won’t let you down again – that’s a promise.”
I'd Do Anything - from the musical, "Oliver!"
how's it go then Dodger? It's all 'bowin' and 'hats off'...
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