Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Can't Buy Me Love

Chapter Title:


White Room

Chapter Summary:


Spike spends time in the white room … will he make it out?


Time line:

April 2010



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 1880 1890; first came to Sunnydale in September of 1997


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.



Music Referenced:

White Room, Cream


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.


(Next morning), Monday, April 26th, 2010, 8:30am, London:


Spike moaned and rolled up to a sitting position on the cold, damp floor when someone started clanging sharply on the bars of his cell early the next morning.


“Stop that bloody racket!” Spike exclaimed, holding his still aching head.  He was sure they’d given him something more than just the drugs in the tranquilizer darts the previous day. He didn’t know what it was, but he’d been unconscious or in a fog for hours … he wasn’t sure how many. He'd never had a hangover this bad in over a century … even after he ate that flower child at Woodstock.


“It’s your lucky day, buddy boy – assume the position,” the man at the gate ordered.


Spike stood up slowly and looked at the men in the hallway. They had crosses, stakes, a brightly burning torch, and shackles. Was that supposed to strike the fear of God in him?  “Sod off!” Spike snapped, putting his hands on his hips and standing his ground.


The man that had been banging on his cage shrugged. “Suit yourself. White room or blue room … doesn’t make any bloody difference to me,” he told Spike nonchalantly. The man turned to one of the other guards. “Tell Weatherby we’ve got one for him to play with.”


“Hold on a bloody minute now,” Spike cajoled, holding his hands up to get them to stop. “What’s this all about?” he asked, as if he didn’t know.


The man that was obviously in charge of the escort to and from the rooms looked down at a clipboard in his hands, then back up at Spike. “Ok … you’re new, so I’ll cut you some slack – this time. Turn around, get down on your knees against the back wall, cross your ankles, and put your hands on your head, interlacing your fingers. Keep your mouth closed and your demon down – don’t try any smart stuff and no one will get hurt. In fact, if you’re a good boy, you’ll get a nice shag out of it. No harm, no foul.”


“A nice shag, eh?” Spike questioned, cocking a brow. “Don’t fancy you wankers much; prefer blondes,” he quipped with a smirk as a small glimmer of hope that they'd be stupid enough to let Buffy out of her cell to join him. Oh how he would love it if they brought her into the corridor with him so the ass kicking could commence.


“Don’t nobody much care what you prefer,” the head man told Spike. “There’s a piece a’ poon-tang waiting – you want it or not?”


Spike took a breath, turned around and assumed the position against the back wall and a new plan formed in his mind.  There were only four of them … he could take them easily, get their keys, find Buffy and Bess and get out. Come back with reinforcements … blow the whole bloody place up with the wankers in it.  Spike tensed as he heard the key turn in the lock, getting ready to spring on the men … about then he heard someone else call from down the hall, “What the fuck’s the bloody problem, Mac? Need a tranq for ‘im?”


“Naaaa, Smitty … new boy, just ‘aving to ‘splain the rules. Hold your position; we’ll be out in a sec,” the man that had been speaking to Spike called back.


Spike blew out a deep breath and closed his eyes, his chin dropping to his chest in resignation. He could take these wankers, but wasn’t so sure about his chances against another sniper with a tranq gun; he’d barely gotten the floor to quit moving under his feet as it was.


Spike needed a new plan and now. Think you bloody git! Think! Spike admonished himself silently as the men shackled his ankles and wrists and pulled him up to his feet.


“Let’s go,” Mac commanded, pushing Spike ahead of them out the door and then down the hall towards the white room.


Spike tested the shackles on his wrists, but they weren’t giving.  He blew out a breath as he shuffled down the hallway and tried to think.  He wouldn’t screw Harmony for the Initiative, he definitely wasn’t gonna screw some random vamp for these prats to get their rocks off … or create a Super Slayer with. Maybe they would be arrogant enough to bring Buffy after all ... that would be sweet.  Spike couldn't wait to wipe the floor with these egotistical bastards.


“Since you’re new, a couple of rules,” Mac pulled Spike from his thoughts as they walked down the hallway.


“Yeah?” Spike questioned, slowing his pace even further to have more time to think.


“First rule, keep the demon down, no fighting, no biting,” Mac informed Spike. “Second rule, missionary position, cum in ‘er quim. If ya got more after that, then whatever floats your boat. I’d bugger ‘er bung-hole m’self … she’s a got a fine ass, this one.”


“And don’t she know it?” came a comment from one of the other men and all Spike’s escorts began chuckling knowingly.  


“I love plowing that one’s back field,” another one interjected.


Spike frowned and his hope that it would be Buffy who would be joining him crumbled. “So … what, when I’m done, you blokes get sloppy … fourths?” Spike questioned. “Don’t seem quite fair, does it? You doing all the hard work and me getting’ all the goodies,” he questioned, hoping to get them thinking. Perhaps get them a bit disgruntled with their employer.


“As tight as this one is, you could have sloppy twentieths and it wouldn’t make a bit of bloody difference,” Mac informed Spike and the others nodded their agreement enthusiastically.


Spike rolled his eyes. That didn’t work. He needed a new plan.


Mac stepped in front of Spike as they reached the end of the hall and opened the white door. He stopped Spike just inside the room and began unlocking the shackles. Spike’s eyes scanned the room and the mezzanine above. Whoever the other party was in their little show hadn’t been brought in yet, the tables in the center of the room were empty.  There were perhaps thirty men and women in the observation area above the stark, sterile room; some in white lab coats, others obviously Watchers in their tweed, still others looked like they were perhaps sorcerers or witches.  Spaced evenly around the ‘arena’ were four snipers with tranq guns. Bugger.


“A new twist on the ‘nooner’,” Spike mumbled under his breath as he rubbed his wrists and waited for Mac to unlock his ankles.


“Look, mate, follow the rules, don’t ask questions, don’t make trouble and you’ll be alright.  A good fuck, a good pint of blood … what more could you want?” Mac advised one last time.


“And if I don’t?” Spike questioned, still scanning the room for a way out of this, not just out of this room but out of this whole mess, not just for him but for Buffy and Bess too.


“There’s plenty more where you came from,” Mac advised him. “You’re disposable, like a used condom.”


“Right…” Spike drawled, as he took a breath and sauntered towards the padded tables in the center of the room. He searched the faces peering down at him, some had clipboards ready to jot notes, some were chatting amiably about the weather or making plans for lunch, like this was just another day at the office.  Spike shook his head and snorted to himself. And they thought the vampires were the barbarians – the demons. As he listened to the hushed conversations and scanned the faces of the onlookers, he searched for Travers, but he didn’t see him.  If he could get a hold of the Council Head, hold him hostage, use him as leverage, they’d have to let them go … Wouldn’t they? But he needed to get by those snipers first.


Spike was pulled from his thoughts and his survey of the audience by the door opening again. He turned around just in time to see Bess being led in by Mac.  Spike drew in a sharp breath and banged a fist on his forehead in anger. Of course it would be Bess!  Travers was a sadistic son-of-a-bitch. There’s no way it could’ve been anyone else.  The crass and vulgar comments the guards had made during their walk down the hallway burned in Spike's gut and anger flared anew within him. He had to get them out of here. He silently vowed to make it as painful as possible on everyone involved in the tortures that had been meted out on his daughter.


Bess looked up and her eyes met Spike’s across the expanse of white floor as Mac unlocked her shackles.  A look of relief seemed to spread across her features, but it quickly changed to worry.  Spike stood frozen in place as she walked across the floor towards him after Mac and her other escorts had left the room, locking the door behind them.


“I’m glad you’re unhurt,” Bess began. “The men were not as kind to … Buffy.”


Spike clenched his jaw – looking past the young blonde, trying to keep his anger from blossoming into uncontrollable fury. Buffy told him what they’d done to her and he’d raged against the bars of his cell for what seemed hours afterwards, trying to get out, trying to get to her, but to no avail, the bars were too strong. 


“Spike?” Bess questioned, laying a hand on his arm.


Spike looked down and met her eyes. The worried eyes of his daughter stared back at him and he felt his anger and frustration building even higher within him. Spike took a deep breath. He needed to stay calm, keep his mind clear - he needed a plan and he needed it fast.


Bess stood on tip-toes and leaned against him, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling her mouth near his ear. “You must do this. If you don’t they will remove you. You will be taken to the blue room. No one ever comes out of the blue room,” she reminded him.


“I can’t ... I won't,” Spike choked out through clenched teeth.


“You must,” Bess insisted, taking hold of both sides of his head and pulling his mouth against hers, smashing his lips against hers in a brutal and violent kiss.


Spike tried to pull away, but her strength was more than that of a vampire, more than a Slayer; it was a Slayer’s strength multiplied by a demon nearly as old as he was. Spike fought her, pushing on her shoulders, but she was unmovable. Finally, in desperation, he swept her legs out from under her with one of his and they both tumbled to the floor.  The vampires struggled on the floor for a few seconds until Bess pinned him down, holding both of his hands in one of hers and pressing her hips against his. She turned his face up to hers with her free hand and dropped her mouth near his ear again.


“If you want to survive, you must do this.  Close your eyes … you don’t need to see me. I can be anyone – call me any name you desire,” Bess advised him quietly enough that only he could hear her. “Do not fight me. If we fight, they will remove you … possibly both of us!” Bess admonished him, still talking quietly.  She knew from the dream that he wouldn’t want to do this. He’d made it abundantly clear that he did not desire her, but she also knew that there was no choice.  If he was to have any chance at all of keeping his promise, he was going to have to do what was expected; they were going to have to copulate.


“I bloody well will not!” Spike whispered back, his voice low but adamant.


Bess let go of his face and slipped her free hand between them, unbuckling his belt, unbuttoning his jeans and sliding the zipper down. Spike struggled under her, trying to get away, trying to push her off, trying to turn over, but nothing was budging the keg of dynamite that had him pinned down.


Suddenly Spike heard voices above them calling out whispered greetings to a newcomer. He tilted his head back and looked up. Travers.  The Council Head’s eyes met Spike’s across the long distance as he looked down at the ‘field of battle’. Travers folded his arms over his chest and smirked smugly as he watched Spike struggle against his own daughter. There was no way for Travers to lose – Bess would either succeed in mating with Spike, or Spike would struggle and fight enough that one of the snipers would sedate him with a tranq dart and he’d be hauled away to the blue room.  It was a no-win situation for Spike; a no-lose situation for Travers, and the wanker was enjoying every minute of it.


Bess pulled Spike’s cock out of his pants and began stroking roughly up and down its length, pulling Spike’s attention away from Travers and back to her.  “Stop!” Spike demanded, kicking his feet and trying to roll his hips to the side to dislodge her.


“Stop fighting me,” Bess instructed, her voice low but commanding. “Just lay still – I’ll do everything. Close your eyes and stop moving!”


“No! God damn it, stop!” Spike repeated in a desperate whisper, cursing his own body and the demon within for responding to her hand as she jacked him to hardness.


Spike heard several men begin chanting some kind of spell as Bess lifted up and began to position herself over his now hard cock. As she released her hold on his hands and raised up to take him into her, Spike bucked with all his strength and rolled her over onto her back, landing on top of her.  He grabbed her hands in his and pressed down against her body to hold her still, his mind racing to formulate some kind of plan to keep the promise he’d made her.


Spike leaned down, his mouth near her ear. “Just pretend. Fake it,” he whispered as he began moving his hips against her, his quickly softening cock rubbing harmlessly on her stomach. Bess’ dress, which was bunched up around her waist, along with his jeans, which still clung to his hips, and his duster, which fell over their lower halves, hid the fact that there was no penetration from the observers above them.


Spike kept his mouth near her ear as he pretended to ravage her and Bess responded with moans and cries. “Listen careful now,” Spike whispered to her as their bodies gave a convincing performance for the crowd of onlookers. “Tell Junior to tell Faith – we’re alive, we’re under the Watcher’s headquarters on Baker Street. Get here soon. Got that?” he asked her before moaning loudly himself as if near climax.


“Tell Faith, under Watcher’s, Baker Street, hurry,” Bess summarized then cried out and arched her back up against him.


“Right,” Spike confirmed before growling loudly and thrusting his hips against her one last time before collapsing down on top of her and wrapping his arms around her shoulders, keeping his mouth near her ear.


“He doesn’t come every night any longer,” Bess whispered worriedly.


“’S ok, just do what you can, pet. I swear I’ll get you outta here,” he whispered to her.


“But who will get you out?” Bess questioned wrapping her arms around his back as he lay atop her.


Spike snorted softly. “You will… you and Junior.”


The chanting ended and the spectators began talking amongst themselves again. Spike looked up at Travers with undisguised hatred and revulsion, but Travers just smiled at him. The Council Head gave Spike a small salute, touching two fingers to his forehead and then pulling them away sharply in the vamp’s direction. Travers was finally getting his revenge against the rogue Slayer and her demon lover. Humiliation and degradation was just the first step in his ever expanding plan to use them to fulfill his own destiny and then destroy them.


Travers signaled to Mac, who was watching the ‘show’ from the other side of the observation deck, and the man nodded his understanding and headed back downstairs. Just as Spike was re-buckling his belt, the door opened and Mac led another vamp in, a big, burly guy with wild eyes and a venomous laugh.


Spike stepped forward, putting himself between the newcomer and Bess. "Oi, Mac. Thought I had dibs on the girl t’day,” Spike called to the jailer.


“Sorry, mate … boss’ orders,” Mac explained, tilting his head towards Travers who was watching with an amused smile on his lips.


Spike looked up at Travers, narrowing his eyes angrily, then back to Mac who was starting to unlock the new vamp’s shackles. “Thought we had to keep the demon down. Wasn’t that one o’ your bloody rules?” Spike questioned, looking at the mountain of a vampire who towered over him by several inches and had at least sixty pounds on Spike.


Mac shrugged. “This one’s fit for Bedlam … rumor is that’s where he come from. I don’t know why they even keep ‘im. He don’t follow any of the soddin’ rules,” Mac complained. The jailer dropped the shackles from the big man’s ankles and backed up fast, exiting the room before the crazy vamp could take a swipe at him, then slammed and locked the door quickly.


“Kralik,” Bess hissed from behind Spike, grabbing Spike’s arm as he took a step towards the newcomer. “He’s … deranged … demented.”


She’d endured a lot over her long life, rapes and tortures of every description, but Kralik was the most sadistic thing she’d ever met.  They’d only put her with him once before. He nearly dusted her when he’d lost his hard-on and flew into a wild, blind rage – breaking a wooden leg from one of the tables and raping her with it, even as tranq darts embedded into his flesh from the snipers. As the darts hit him, he pulled the splintered and bloody piece of wood up over his head and had come within seconds of embedding it into her chest. At the last moment, she was able to roll away from him and off the table and he slammed the stake into the table’s padding instead of her. He was the strongest vamp she’d ever met, fueled by insane adrenaline and unbridled psychotic aggression. 


It was one of the only times she could remember the guards showing any kindness towards her at all. They were generally as callous and unfeeling as Kralik, but that time they had actually helped her. After the doctors had done all they could for her, Mac had carried her back to her cell and one of the others had gotten clean blankets so she didn’t have to lie in the dirt; they even gave her extra blood for several days without asking for anything in return.  At the time she didn’t know why they’d done that. She later deduced that she was their favorite ride in this demonic amusement park and they were afraid the ride had been closed permanently – they were just doing their best to keep that from happening.  When she was healed, everything went back to business as usual, but they never put Kralik with her again … until now.  She thought that he had been a victim of the blue room. Certainly any other vamp that fought was hauled off to the mysterious chamber that nothing but screams ever escaped from; to say she was surprised and disheartened to see him still among the undead would be a gross understatement.


“If you fight they’ll…” Bess began, her voice worried, both for herself and Spike.


“Ain’t gonna fight,” Spike assured her.


“Then what?”


Spike shrugged as he sized up the behemoth of a vamp who had just noticed them. “Use my boyish charm, sparkling personality, and powers of persuasion.”


“And if that doesn’t work?” Bess questioned as she looked behind her for something to use as a weapon. They’d since replaced the wooden tables with metal ones, the countertops that the doctors used on one end of the room were granite. The cabinet doors might be wood, she couldn’t tell. She’d rather fight and face the blue room or dust than give herself to Kralik again.


Spike shrugged again. “Reckon we’ll put on a bit of a bible lesson for the folks, ‘David and Goliath’.”


Spike stepped forward, pulling his arm away from Bess, adjusting the collar on his duster and then hooking his thumbs over his belt buckle, giving his best master vamp, Big Bad look to the psycho from Bedlam.


“Sorry, mate. Girl’s off ‘er game t’day … just got no fire to her.  Why don’t ya leave her to me for a day or two and you can have her after that?  I’ll get her fixed up for ya … raring to go,” Spike offered amiably, as he sauntered towards Kralik.


Kralik looked at him curiously, tilting his head to the side as if considering Spike’s offer intently. “Go fuck yourself,” he growled at Spike, starting towards him and, by default, towards Bess who was now a few yards behind Spike.


“I knew you’d see through that. Ya’ know, you’re right.” Spike continued to talk like he was speaking to an old friend as the larger vamp approached him. “A handsome guy like you – you probably have girls throwing themselves at you day and night; must get shagged … what … two, three times a day? Me? … Man, I haven’t had any in months… Can’t you give a bloke a break?”


Kralik stopped moving just a couple of feet from Spike and narrowed his eyes, looking Spike up and down, sizing him up. “Girl’s mine. You can have what’s left when I’m done,” Kralik offered.


“Bloody hell…” Spike moaned, rolling his eyes. “Ok … if that’s the way you want it,” Spike acquiesced, taking a step to the side and waving an arm for Kralik to pass.


Bess’ eyes went wide when Spike stepped to the side and waved Kralik towards her and she redoubled her efforts to find something that would serve as a stake.  She began frantically yanking on the locked cabinets that lined the back of the room until she found a drawer that wasn’t locked. She pulled it out, dumping a pile of shiny medical instruments on the floor. She sighed in relief when she found the sides of the drawer were solid wood and she stomped down on it, splintering it into several pieces. Bess picked up two jagged, sharp, stake-like pieces of the drawer, then turned back around quickly to face Kralik, who had just passed Spike on his way to her.


When Kralik got about two paces beyond Spike, Spike brought up his demon and charged at the larger vamp, hitting him in the back and knocking him to the ground with a hard thud.  The snipers all raised their weapons, ready to tranq the fighting vampires, but Travers stopped them, ordering them to stand down. The white room had just been transformed into the Colosseum in ancient Rome … and Travers had thrown the Christians to the lions… or Spike and Bess to Kralik, as it were.


The two vamps growled viciously as they wrestled on the floor for control, sounding like two male lions fighting over a pride of females. They knocked the heavy, metal tables over as they grappled and struggled against the other; biting, hitting, scratching, kicking ... doing anything they could to gain the advantage.  Bess moved forward with her stakes as Spike and Kralik rolled around on the floor – first one on top, then the other.  Not aware that she couldn’t dust Spike with a stake, she hesitated – their movements were too unpredictable for her to strike with any confidence.


Suddenly, Kralik threw Spike off him, sending the smaller vamp skidding across the smooth floor and crashing into the wall head-first.  Spike shook off the stars that were swirling in front of his eyes and struggled back to his feet, fists clenched, all senses on alert, completely focused on the behemoth from Bedlam.


“I’m gonna warm up with you … then move on to your girlfriend!” Kralik roared at Spike as the large vamp started back towards him.


“I’ll rip your bloody head off and shit down your throat ‘fore you get your little dick outta your pants!” Spike threatened back, starting back towards the center of the room and Kralik.


“Yeah? You and what army?” Kralik growled.


Spike stood up from his crouch and smirked as Bess approached the mountainous vamp from behind, one stake drawn back ready to strike.  At the last possible moment, Kralik glimpsed her shadow on the floor and whirled on her, slamming against her jaw with an iron fist. Bess dropped one of the stakes as her head snapped violently to the side, but she recovered quickly and spun around, catching him in the solar plexus with her fist and doubling him over as pain radiated out from the hub of nerves to all parts of his body. 


Spike couldn’t stop himself from watching this Slayer fight for a moment. She moved like the wind … just like her mother, strong and graceful. Her face, still human, was a study in concentration as she came down on the back of the larger vamp’s neck with both hands clasped together like a human sledgehammer and raised her knee up to meet his face at the same time.  Kralik screamed out as blood poured from his nose and mouth and he fell to the floor.  Bess was on him in a second, her other stake raised, poised to strike, when three tranq darts hit her almost simultaneously.  Bess screamed out in pain and tried to pull them out, but, despite her extraordinary strength, her small frame succumbed quickly to the drugs. Her shoulders slumped and her arm with the stake fell uselessly to her side as she tried to fight the effects of the tranquilizers and remain conscious.


“Noooo!” Spike screamed as the darts hit her, glancing up quickly at Travers who wore a smug look on his face. Now the Romans were actually helping the lions. 


Spike moved forward quickly to help his daughter, but it was too late. Kralik threw the barely coherent Slayer-vamp off him, propelling her several feet in the air like she weighed nothing, like a rag doll. She landed hard against the cabinets that lined the wall at the back of the room and cracked her skull against the unyielding granite countertop, then sank to the floor. 


Bess held her head and tried to stand back up, but her legs buckled and she fell to her hands and knees. Her stomach heaved and blood ran into her eyes as she tried to get back to help Spike. She could hear the men fighting but her spinning head and blurred vision made it impossible for her to see what was going on. She crawled toward the sounds, making it only a few feet before she collapsed in an unconscious heap. The stake she’d had was still clutched tightly in her hand, the darts still embedded in her flesh.


Kralik grabbed up the stake that Bess had dropped when he hit her and jumped back to his feet just as Spike reached him. The stake in the larger vamp’s hand slashed a deep gash across Spike’s stomach as he swung it at him and Spike jumped back and screamed out in pain.  Kralik took full advantage of the opportunity, tackling Spike like an overzealous linebacker zeroing in on an injured quarterback, and driving the smaller man down with all his strength onto the hard, unforgiving floor.  In an instant, Kralik was pressing the stake against Spike’s sternum. 


“Where’s your army now?” Kralik mocked as he pressed the stake into Spike’s heart.


Despite the pain, Spike began to laugh evilly as shock and confusion splattered across the larger vamp’s face.  Kralik pulled the stake out and stabbed in again … and again, and again, but the wounds healed almost as quickly as he could make new ones. What the fuck? Then the larger vamp saw it – a brief glimpse before the wound healed. A shiny glimmer of green blinked back at him from one of the gaping chest wounds.


Kralik’s eyes narrowed … could it be? The legendary Gem of Amarra? When Kralik hesitated, Spike punched him in the jaw, left … right … then left again, rocking the crazy vamp’s head from side to side. But Kralik barely noticed the barrage – his whole focus had changed.  Kralik growled savagely and began stabbing the stake into Spike’s chest repeatedly. Spike screamed out in pain and tried to block the attack, despite the wounds healing, they still hurt like a motherfucker when they were being inflicted.  Finally, Kralik found it again – that little green glint in the bright lights, and he stuck his whole hand into Spike’s gaping chest wound, wrapping his fingers around the small, glimmering stone.


Spike finally realized through the pain what was happening and he grabbed the larger vamp’s wrist with both of his hands to stop him from removing the Gem from its hiding place next to his heart. The wound in Spike’s chest began to heal around Kralik’s hand as the men struggled against each other for control of the Gem.  Spike screamed out in agony as the larger vamp won the tug-of-war and pulled his hand, and the Gem, out of Spike’s chest. As Kralik yanked his hand out, Spike's rib bones, which had started to heal around the larger vamp's wrist, shattered with a sickening crunching sound and a wet sucking noise accompanied the tearing of Spike's soft tissue. Spike's left pectoral muscle and lung were shredded and three ribs were shattered; Spike writhed in pain, holding both hands over his chest, as an oozing, gaping maw of splintered bones and torn flesh was created in Spike’s sternum by the crazed vamp.


Kralik held his prize up in the air in victory, stupidly showing it to everyone in the ‘arena’, to all the researchers and Watchers, guards, and doctors looking on.  Spike summoned every ounce of courage and strength he had and slapped the Gem out of the larger vamp’s hand, sending it skittering across the white floor and into the maze of overturned tables in the center of the room.


Kralik roared in anger and started across the floor on hands and knees, following the bright red blood trail it left on the sterile, white floor.  Spike held his bloody, broken, and ravaged chest with his right hand and started after him, grabbing the larger vamp’s foot with the other hand and yanking him backwards – sliding him back across the slick floor in the opposite direction from the tables. Then it was a race for the Gem. Spike got to the jumble of tables first and began searching for it frantically, the pain in his body overpowered by sheer willpower and determination to find the Gem. He pushed the overturned tables out of the way, flipping them and sliding them in a frenzied attempt to get to the bauble before Kralik ... and then - there it was! Spike reached for the small, green jewel just as Kralik caught him and hurtled the smaller vamp away, sending Spike sliding across the floor towards Bess.


Spike hit Bess with enough force to send them both crashing against the cabinets a few feet away. The surgical instruments that had been dropped on the floor earlier scattered, flashes of light bounced off the sharp, shiny blades as the two blondes slid through the middle of the pile. Spike was still bleeding from the gaping wound in his chest and excruciating, searing pain radiated out to all parts of his body from his broken ribs; he tried to breathe through the pain but quickly gave that up – it hurt more to breath than not. He concentrated on forcing his mind to stay conscious and focused. This was no time to give up or give in. 


Spike could hear Kralik growling and overturning the tables, still looking for the Gem in the center of the room. He covered Bess’ body defensively with his own and began pulling the tranq darts out of his daughter’s flesh. He hoped that she could wake up; hoped that she could defend herself, because he wasn’t sure how long he’d last now. Before Spike could get all the darts out, he was jerked up by the scruff of his neck like he was nothing more than a kitten and tossed through the air, landing on the floor a few feet away from Bess. 


Where is it!?” Kralik demanded as Spike held his broken ribs and bloody body with his right hand and struggled unsteadily back to his feet.


“I bloody well don’t ‘ave it,” Spike pointed out, bent at the waist, holding his ribs, unable to stand up straight.


Kralik growled and stormed towards him, the bloody stake he had used to find the Gem still in his hand. He lifted Spike up with one hand around the smaller vamp’s neck and pressed the stake against his chest.



“Got no army now, pretty boy ... no Gem, either,” Kralik taunted, holding Spike around the neck with his feet dangling free, nearly a foot off the floor. “Tell me where it is and I’ll make this quick,” Kralik threatened – or perhaps it was a promise. “Otherwise, I’m gonna take you apart piece by piece until I find it.”


Spike gurgled a crazed and painful laugh past Kralik’s grip, which turned into a wet cough as he spit up blood from his lungs and painted the larger vamp’s face with a spray of red. 


“You think that’s funny!?” Kralik roared in anger, tightening his grip on Spike’s throat and pressing the stake closer to his heart. “I’m gonna send you straight to hell!”


“I’ll … save… you … a …seat,” Spike gasped out past the larger vamp’s grip. Spike raised his left hand to the psycho’s chest and pressed a stake against Kralik’s sternum; the stake he’d pulled from Bess’ hand just as Kralik yanked him away from her.


Spike opened the bond with Buffy … he’d felt her ‘knocking’ for a while, but couldn’t let her in lest he lose focus. Don’t give up, he sent to her quickly. Don’t let them have the littlest bit…


Spike! What’s wrong? I have an idea! Bess! Bess can tell Billy where we are in a dream! He can tell Faith, Buffy’s thoughts rushed out. She'd been trying to reach him for ages.


Good idea, pet … I love you – never forget – I love you, Spike sent back.


Spike! What’s going on? Spike!? Buffy called back, but he had closed the bond and focused his full attention back on the vamp that had him by the throat.


Kralik growled in anger and both vamps pushed their stakes into the other’s flesh, punching the other’s ticket to hell with the jagged, deadly wood.




 White Room, Cream


In the white room with black curtains near the station.
Blackroof country, no gold pavements, tired starlings.
Silver horses ran down moonbeams in your dark eyes.
Dawnlight smiles on you leaving, my contentment.

I'll wait in this place where the sun never shines;
Wait in this place where the shadows run from themselves.

You said no strings could secure you at the station.
Platform ticket, restless diesels, goodbye windows.
I walked into such a sad time at the station.
As I walked out, felt my own need just beginning.

I'll wait in the queue when the trains come by;
Lie with you where the shadows run from themselves.

At the party she was kindness in the hard crowd.
Consolation for the old wound now forgotten.
Yellow tigers crouched in jungles in her dark eyes.
Now she's dressing, goodbye windows, tired starlings.

I'll sleep in this place with the lonely crowd;
Lie in the dark where the shadows run from themselves.


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