Season 5. Begins with
‘Spiral’ in the abandoned gas station, and goes far off-canon almost
When Dawn makes the ultimate
sacrifice to save her sister, friends, and the world, Buffy’s mind
snaps. When Buffy's friends give up hope of her ever recovering, and become
afraid that she’ll turn violent and uncontrollable, they call in the Council to help.
Fearing what the Council will do, Spike, forgotten and ignored by her
friends, steps in. Will he be able to reach the Slayer when no one else could?
Will he be able to keep her out of the hands of the Council and away
from her ‘helpful’ friends? How much heartbreak, guilt, and failure can
one girl stand before her indestructible spirit finally resigns the
fight and gives up hope?
YOU for reading and to Paganbaby for taking time out of her hectic life to beta this for me!
Her suggestions and commentary that always makes me smile! All mistakes
are mine because I can't stop fiddling right up to the last moment.
Rating / Warnings:
Warning for this chapter: Angst, violence, and aftermath of rape.
Main Character Death. Implied Rape. Plenty of angst.
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.
Spike tried to push away from the Watcher, Lydia, but she
was stronger than she looked. Or maybe whatever they’d laced his drink with had
weakened him more than he dared admit. He couldn’t even fight her enough to make
the chip fire – that could not be good. She was talking about something
Spike couldn’t follow as she braced herself against the wall. She kept him
upright only by leaning most of his weight against her and wrapping her arms
around his middle. His head swam. He tried to lift it up off her shoulder, but
simply could not manage it. He couldn’t remember ever feeling this drunk in his
life, and that was also saying something.
Some small part of his brain that was functioning knew it
was a trap to get Buffy out of their top floor suite and down here near the exit
so they could make a quick getaway, but he was helpless to stop it.
Spike felt the Slayer before he heard or saw her. He could
smell the adrenaline and anger boiling off her as she got nearer, and he tried
to ready the words on his lips to warn her. When she grabbed his shoulder and
spun him around his brain faltered and all he could say was her name. “Buffy…”
There were a thousand things that he wanted to say after
that. I’m sorry. I failed you. I love you. Please forgive me. Run! Trap!
Finally the word ‘trap’ made it from his brain to his lips, but it was too late,
Spike’s knees buckled with his full weight on them. He fell
to the floor and lost consciousness in the next instant. He wasn’t sure how long
he was out – it may have been a second or an hour – when he felt himself being
hauled up by one arm and dragged across the floor. He tried to get his feet
underneath him and walk, but his legs weren’t responding to his brain’s
commands. Buffy had him – he could smell her, he could feel her strength tugging
on him desperately. Then she was screaming for help. It was too loud in his ear
and he flinched, and then they both fell to the floor in a limp heap, arms and
Suddenly there was a flurry of motion and sound, people
were screaming and he felt himself being pulled away from Buffy. He forced his
eyes open and caught a flash of a tranquilizer dart sticking out of her
back, just at the base of her neck. He reached out to pull it out of her, but
his hand met nothing but air – she was suddenly too far away.
“Buffy…” he screamed … or he tried to scream. He realized
that it came out as barely a whisper when no one reacted at all to his furious
outburst. He fell onto his back …. No – didn’t fall, someone shoved him onto his
back. He blinked up, trying to focus his swimming vision, and saw a woman
standing over him with a stake.
This was it. He always thought he’d go down fighting. This
death would be more pathetic than his first death – just laying here doing
nothing while a fucking Watcher put a stake in him. A Watcher, for Christ’s
sake! He always thought it would be Buffy who would ultimately dust him. It
should at least be a Slayer. This was just wrong. William the Bloody
should go down fighting, not lying on his back like a git.
He tried to roll away, tried to lift his hands and stop
her, but everything was moving in slow motion. Well, everything he did
was in slow motion; either that or everyone else had taken their ‘Flash’
superhero pills today and no one had offered him one. Either way, he realized
all too clearly that he was not going to stop this bitch from dusting him.
Suddenly there was another barrage of motion and sound, all
much too loud in the enclosed casino. In the next instant, blood and other
unidentifiable gore splattered over his face, neck, and chest. He instinctively
closed his eyes when the red liquid flew at him. When he finally got them open
again, someone was dragging him away and talking to him. Why was everyone
talking to him? And what fucking language where they speaking, anyway? Didn’t
they know how to speak the Queen’s proper English? Bloody gibberish is what
it is … bloody … gibberish, he thought as the world once again faded to into
inky darkness and perfect silence.
“Spike!” the Bot yelled, her voice full of worry and
concern, as she strode quickly to where he lay on the floor of the casino.
He was surrounded by paramedics and police. One of the
policemen stepped in front of the Bot as she tried to reach the vampire. “Sorry,
miss – need to give them some room to work.”
The Bot stopped, watching the paramedics try to shock
Spike’s heart back to life. “You’re hurting Spike!” the Bot complained when
Spike’s body bucked and writhed wildly under the applied voltage.
Another officer joined the first, trying to hold the Bot
back, then a third came to help as the paramedics continued turning up the
voltage on the defibrillators and shocking Spike’s body.
“Stop! Stop hurting Spike!” she screamed as she elbowed one
policeman in the ribs that was behind her and punched one in the mouth that was
in front of her, sending them both sprawling onto the floor. The third officer
brought out a stun gun, but the Bot’s hand moved faster than he’d anticipated
and she turned the weapon back on him.
“Are your microprocessors damaged? That is painful to
humans!” she pointed out as he fell to the floor as well. The Bot flung herself
down atop Spike just as the paramedics sat back from his lifeless body.
When more police officers and security guards came to get
her off, one of the medics waved them away, shaking his head and frowning. “He’s
“No! He’s right here!” the Bot corrected, pulling Spike
away from the menace and into a protective embrace as she knelt on the floor.
“Miss, I’m sorry … but he’s … gone … he’s dead,” the other
paramedic told her as gently as he could.
“I understand that he is dead, but he is not gone,” the Bot
protested, keeping herself between the medics and their torture devices, and
Spike’s limp form. “Do you have some malfunction with your optics?”
“Ummm … no. I can see that he’s dead,” the man replied,
brows furrowed in confusion.
“Then I do not understand your contention that he is gone.
Clearly, he is not gone. Buffy is gone. The men in the truck took her. I saw it
from the balcony. I must ask Spike what to do,” the Bot informed them, as she
started to rise, picking Spike up with her.
“Miss … I’m sorry, but you can’t … take him away,” the
first paramedic told her, reaching a tentative hand out towards the obviously
“Well … because he’s dead. And dead people have … certain
“Yes, I am aware of that. I can fulfill all of Spike’s
needs,” the Bot asserted.
“Right, but what I mean is … errr…” the paramedic looked
for help from one of the policemen nearby.
“It’s the law, miss,” the policeman offered. “The deceased
must be taken to the morgue so we can make a case against the perpetrators of
his murder. You do want us to catch the people that killed him, don’t you? You
can claim his body from there.”
The Bot frowned in thought a moment. “But, I need him to
tell me how to find Buffy.”
“Who’s Buffy?” the policeman asked.
“Buffy is … Buffy. The men in the truck took her,”
the Bot offered, looking toward the emergency exit door.
“You knew the girl that was taken?” the policeman asked.
“Yes. She is my friend.”
“The best way to find her is to let our doctors have a look
at your boyfriend. There could be clues that can help us catch who took her and
who … hurt him,” the officer explained gently.
The Bot frowned again and looked down at Spike. She shook
him to try and wake him, but he remained unmoving and silent. “Spike? What
should I do?” she asked, leaning her face near his.
No reply came from the vampire, he didn’t stir at all.
The Bot looked back at the policeman, her face a study in
confusion. “You can find out what to do even though he won’t respond to verbal
The policeman nodded and came closer. “Yes. Our forensic
scientists are some of the best. If there’s anything to be found, they’ll find
The Bot nodded reluctantly, and the policeman waved a hand for the
Medical Examiner to bring a gurney over. Before long, Spike had been zipped up
into a body-bag and loaded into the back of the ME’s van.
“Can I … accompany him?” the Bot wondered as they loaded
him into the van. “I went with Buffy to the hospital.”
“Ummm … not really,” the same policeman told her. “Just
have your funeral home contact the ME’s office tomorrow.”
“I do not own a funeral home,” the Bot informed him. “I am
not certain Spike has accumulated enough plastic discs to purchase one. Do you
know what they cost or where to shop for one?”
The policeman furrowed his brow. “Uh, no, not off hand.
Here, just call this number and they’ll help you,” the officer offered, giving
her a card with the phone number and address of the Medical Examiner’s office.
“This is where you are taking Spike?” the Bot asked,
looking at the card.
“Yeah. That’s where they’ll look for the clues. Our
detectives would also like to ask you some questions about the girl that was
kidnapped. Do you feel up to that now?”
“My battery is running low. I believe I should return to
our room and recharge very soon or I will risk automatic shutdown,” the Bot
The officer nodded, but his brow remained furrowed. Nut
jobs. How did he always get the nut jobs? “Uhhh … Ok. Just let me get your
information and I’ll have them contact you later.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My friends call me BuffyBot.”
The officer’s brows went up. “Ummm … your first name is …
“Buffy,” the Bot corrected, enunciating slowly.
“Right, Buffy,” the officer repeated. “And your last name
The Bot thought about this a moment. “Vampire Slayer,” she
concluded, nodding decisively.
“Right” the policeman drawled, sarcastic disbelief in his
voice. “Is that hyphenated or …?”
“Two separate words, both capitalized.”
He wrote it down. “Date of birth?”
The Bot looked at him blankly for a moment, then said,
“Date of birth is the moment of emergence of offspring from the body of its
mother; the start of life as a physically separate being.”
“Right. And … Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s birthday is?”
The Bot stared at him intently she thought, trying to
determine the response he wanted. “Buffy’s birthday is January 19th,” she said
The cop wrote that down. “What year?”
The Bot frowned again, thinking. “Every year.”
The cop sighed heavily and rubbed at the bridge of his
nose. “Do you have any ID?”
“ID?” the Bot questioned.
“Identification,” the policeman clarified. “A driver’s
“Oh. No. Spike will not allow me to drive. I think I would
be an excellent driver – much better than the Other Slayer – but he won’t allow
anyone to drive his DeSoto. He said that perhaps one day we could nick the
Watcher’s car and I could drive that piece of shite into a pole, but not his
“Uh-huh,” the policeman grunted, shaking his head and
rolling his eyes. “You’re staying here at the MGM?”
“Yes. We are in the complimentary suite on the very top
floor because Spike is bloody brilliant at blackjack – but he doesn’t cheat
because that would be a card shark, and he’s a card sharp. He’s extremely
skilled. The key is knowing when to stop playing. It’s just like any other
The policeman blew out a long breath. “How do I always get
the freaks?” he muttered under his breath as he scribbled something on his pad.
“Okay, I’ll have one of the detectives contact you later. Sorry for your loss,” he said louder, then
turned, still shaking his head, and walked away.
After the policeman left and they'd taken Spike away, the Bot returned to their room
and plugged herself into the charging station. Her batteries had gotten to
critically low levels and she had been programmed to recharge at that level,
regardless of what was happening.
When she awoke some time later, fully charged again, she
set out to find Spike. Since she didn’t have a funeral home, or the money to
purchase one, she decided that she would go to where they took Spike and ask him
what she should do next. Maybe he had recharged by now too.
She had watched Spike enough to know how to trade in the
pretty plastic discs for actual money, and there were several on the table
beside the bed. She took them and cashed them in in the casino. Out front, she
explained where she needed to go to the doorman and he helped her into a cab.
She gave the driver the address for the Medical Examiner from the card the
policeman had given her, and they were off.
It turned out that the morgue was in the basement of the
county hospital. By the time she’d gotten there that evening, the morgue was
closed, but there was a security guard on duty near the elevators that she took
down from the hospital itself.
“Can I help you?” he asked, looking up from his graphic
novel when the elevator doors opened and the Bot stepped out.
She smiled her most friendly smile. “Yes, thank you, you
can. I am here to see Spike.”
“Ummm … there’s no one here but me, miss. Maybe you have
the wrong office. This is the morgue.”
“This is the correct location. I have a card. I just need
to see to him,” she explained, handing the guard the business card with the ME’s
information on it. “They took him from the hotel today and said that he would be
here. They said they could find out who took Buffy, even if he did not wake up.”
“Wait a minute …” the guard drawled, his brows furrowed in
thought. “You’re talking about that guy they brought in from that big
shoot-out/kidnapping on the strip today.”
“Yes. Spike. I just need to speak with him, please. It is
quite important – a matter of life and death really.”
“That’s really not allowed, miss,” the guard replied, his
The Bot frowned. “But … I need to see him. I don’t know
what to do without him. You asked me if you could help me and I said yes, so I
would like you to help me now. It’s very important that I talk with him.”
The guard sighed and pulled out some paperwork from a
drawer, flipping pages on a clipboard. “They’ve been backed up around here this
week … let me see …”
After a few moments he found what he was looking for. “Ok …
it doesn’t look like they got to him yet, so I guess it’ll be alright. But no
touching – you can just … talk.”
The Bot’s smile returned. “That will be acceptable. Thank
“Just call me a sucker for a pretty girl,” the guard sighed
as he rose from his seat.
“Thank you, Sucker For A Pretty Girl. I am Buffy the
Vampire Slayer,” the Bot offered as she fell into step next to him.
The guard looked at her with confusion a moment, then gave
a snort of laughter. “You into Dungeons and Dragons? My little brother plays
“No, I can confidently say that I have never been inside a
dungeon or a dragon.”
The guard chuckled again. “Don’t worry, your secret D&D
identity is safe with me.”
The guard opened a door and walked into a large, sterile
room. He checked the clipboard again, then headed for the wall of refrigerated
compartments as the Bot followed him. He opened one of the doors and then slid a
long tray out upon which was a large, black, plastic body bag with a body
“Are you sure you want to do this, Buffy the Vampire
Slayer?” Sucker asked, looking at her with concern.
The Bot nodded. “Yes. Buffy’s life is at stake. I do not
know what to do. I must talk to him. Spike will know what I should do.”
The guard gave her a curious look. Talking about one’s self
in the third person was a little creepy, but then, he worked the night shift at
the morgue. Everything was creepy. “Okay, I’ll give you some privacy, but no
touching the body, understand?”
The Bot nodded emphatically and folded her hands behind her
Sucker slid the zipper down enough to expose Spike’s face,
then left the room, closing the door behind him.
“Spike!” the Bot exclaimed excitedly, moving closer to him.
“I need a new directive. Some humans with weapons placed the Other Slayer in
the back of a large, square truck and I do not know how to proceed.”
The Bot stood over him and waited, but he still did not
open his eyes or answer her. She moved her face very close to his – as close as
she could get without touching him – and screamed, “Spike!” at the top of her
volume control modulator.
Spike jumped and tried to raise his hands up to cover his
ears, but they were caught in the body bag. He began to struggle wildly, still
half-dazed from the drugs he’d ingested and the shock treatment he’d received.
The commotion was too much for the supports on the metal drawer, and the whole
thing, including Spike, fell to the floor with an ear-shattering clatter.
“Spike!” the Bot exclaimed again, trying to pull the heavy
tray away from where he was still thrashing inside the body bag, being careful
not to touch Spike in the process.
“Buffy!” Spike exclaimed, his mind finally snapping into
focus. “Run! We gotta get outta here! It’s a trap!”
“It is?” the Bot asked, looking around warily. “What class
and category of trap should I prepare for?”
Spike stopped thrashing long enough to look around and get
his bearings. “Oh, bloody hell,” he muttered as he realized he wasn’t in the
casino any longer. He looked up at the Bot, his concern deepening. “Where’s
“I do not know. That is what I needed to consult with you
about, but the men said they had to take dead bodies here – that it was the law.
I did not know how to proceed.”
Spike began to struggle with the cocoon-like bag he was
trapped in. “Who do I look like, bloody Houdini? Get me outta here,” he growled
“Sucker said that I cannot touch your body,” the Bot
replied, tossing the body-sized, stainless steel tray she was still holding
across the room like a child would throw a stuffed animal.
“What the bloody hell are you on about?” Spike demanded.
“Sucker wouldn’t allow me to see you if I didn’t promise,”
she continued. “I am programmed to keep promises.”
Spike closed his eyes, clenched his jaw, and slowly rolled
his head from side to side for a frustrated moment, trying to rein in his anger. “Then slide the zipper down
without touchin’ my body,” he instructed through clenched teeth.
“Oh! I can do that,” the Bot agreed happily.
Just then the door opened and Sucker stepped in. “Buffy! I
thought I said not to touch…” He stopped and stood gape-mouthed as Spike rose
from the body-bag on the floor, still wearing the blood-splattered clothes he’d
had on earlier.
“Virgin, eh?” Spike asked Sucker as the vamp grabbed the
Bot’s hand and headed towards the door. “Shock that, workin’ ‘ere. Sorry, don’t
have time t’ make it better for ya, mate. Next time, maybe.”
“Wha…” Sucker continued to stammer, wide eyed, as Spike and the Bot
pushed past him.
“Thank you, Sucker For A Pretty Girl!” the Bot called back
over her shoulder, waving at him with her free hand as Spike pulled her along.
As they walked, Spike asked the Bot what happened. She
explained as quickly as she could, with Spike frequently prodding her to skip
over irrelevant details, as they rode up out of the morgue in the elevator.
“What should I do now? Do you know where Buffy is?” the Bot
asked as they walked the halls of the hospital, trying to find an exit.
Spike’s mind was racing, trying to answer that very
question for himself. He was furious with himself for being suckered, furious
with the Watchers, with Buffy’s friends, with the whole bloody universe. How was
he gonna find her now? It had been hours since they’d taken her; they could
literally be anywhere in the world by now.
Suddenly Spike’s long, angry strides came to an abrupt
halt. The Bot nearly crashed into him, but side-stepped at the last moment.
“What has happened? Are we no longer angry and tense?”
Spike didn’t answer, instead he turned in a slow circle,
sniffing the antiseptic air of the hospital. “Smell that?” he asked the Bot as
he stopped, facing down an intersecting hallway.
“No,” Spike cut her off as he began stalking slowly down
the hallway. “Fe, fi, fo, fum …” he murmured under his breath. “I smell the
blood of a …”
He pushed a door open and stepped inside one of the patient
rooms. “…Watcher,” he finished. “Hello, luv. Fancy meetin’ you again,” he
continued with a predatory purr.
Lydia’s eyes went wide with fear. She fumbled for the nurse
call button and began to scream at the same time. Spike was across the room
faster than she could get either her voice or her fingers to summon help. He
clamped a hand over her mouth and pulled the call box/TV control out of her
reach, dropping it on the floor beneath the bed.
“We don’t want any interruptions, pet,” he whispered
against her ear, his voice a silky, unveiled threat.
Lydia tried to push him away, but she’d been shot in the
shoulder by one of the security guards at the casino and pain radiated from her
broken scapula up her neck and down her spine.
Unable to escape or defeat him physically, she tried to
calm herself and use her Watcher training to outwit and overcome the threat. She
said something against Spike’s hand – not a scream, but words. He lifted his
hand slightly to allow her to speak. “You can’t hurt me…” she breathed,
remembering the chip that William the Bloody had. “Just go away and I won’t …
Spike grinned, showing his teeth in a wolfish smile. “I’m
gonna ask you a question and you’re gonna answer me,” he informed the Watcher.
“If I’m not happy with your answer, one of your fingers will be broken each time
I ask until you answer me properly. Am I makin’ myself clear?”
“You … can’t,” she stammered again, unable to stop her eyes
from flashing wide with fear.
Spike’s smile never wavered. “Meet William the Bloody’s new
apprentice,” Spike said genially, moving back a step to allow Lydia to see
BuffyBot standing behind him.
Lydia sucked in a frightened gasp, then tried to scream for
help again. Spike clamped his hand over her mouth, stopping the sound from
escaping. He pressed his mouth to the Watcher’s ear. “Now, if memory serves, you
did your thesis on William the Bloody, yeah? Just what do you think is gonna
happen after all ten o’ your fingers are broken? Can ya guess what comes next?
And then next after that … and after that?” he purred against her, his breath
cool against the frightened woman’s skin. “What was that cute little tagline ya
used? ‘William the Bloody don’t stop until everything in his path is dead’? It’s
the bit before the ‘dead’ that you should be worried about, luv.”
She shuddered and closed her eyes, then swallowed hard.
“What do you want to know?” she asked after a few moments, her words muffled
against his hand.
Three nights later, Spike and BuffyBot stood outside the
big square building that was the Watchers Council’s headquarters in London. Like
its inhabitants, the building had no personality or character – it looked
something like a giant block of baker’s chocolate … with windows. It was three
a.m. and the streets were nearly deserted in this older section of town which
housed mostly offices.
“You know the plan, yeah?” Spike asked the Bot for perhaps
the hundredth time.
“Yes. You have conveyed the plan to me two hundred and
thirty seven times. I have recorded it verbatim each time. Which reiteration
would you like me to recount to you?”
Spike blew out a breath. “None. Time t’ put the words into
action, pet. Are you ready?”
“I am fully charged,” the Bot confirmed.
“Right, let’s dance,” Spike instructed as he clasped his
hands behind his back and brought his demon up. The Bot grabbed him by one arm
and jerked him roughly forward, up the walkway to the front door of the Council
headquarters. At the door she paused, never letting go of him, and entered the
code Lydia had given them onto the keypad. Spike held his breath, metaphorically
speaking. If that bitch lied to him, he’d hunt her down and rip her eyeballs out
with a fondue fork, just like he’d promised her.
The lock on the door made a soft ‘click’ as it released.
Spike blew out the breath he’d been holding, and allowed the Bot to pull him
inside. The moment he crossed the threshold, alarms began to blare through the
whole building. Within a second, two guards appeared with crossbows, one from
each of two wide corridors leading from the main foyer deeper into the building.
“Stop! Identify yourself!” the older of the two shouted at
BuffyBot kept walking, unfazed, dragging Spike, who was now
thrashing against her, in her wake. “I’m Buffy Summers – you know – the
Vampire Slayer? Ring any bells? The person all you dolts work for.”
The two guards looked at each other across the lobby, then
back to the blonds. “Stop,” the older one said again, leveling his crossbow at
her in earnest.
BuffyBot stopped walking and dragged Spike up next to her.
She roughly shoved him down onto his knees at her side and surreptitiously
stepped between him and the guards. She planted one hand on her hip that jutted
out to the side, and glared at the man that had spoken.
“What part of ‘Vampire Slayer’ don’t you understand?” she
asked him angrily. “I’ve captured William the Bloody. If he escapes or gets
dusted because of your incompetence, you can be sure Quentin will know
“And will you please shut off that damn alarm!” she
“Uhhh … just … ummm … hang on a minute, Miss Summers,” the
older guard said as he moved to a console and turned off the blaring alarm.
“Thank you,” the Bot barked sarcastically. She reached down
and dragged Spike back to his feet. “I have to get this prisoner to the cell
block. Drusilla is still out there somewhere, I need to get back while I can
still track her.”
“Ummm … I’ve never … no one’s ever brought prisoners in
here before. For that matter, no one’s ever brought a vampire in here before,”
the older guard stammered, caught between confusion, fear, and suspicion.
“Oh, well maybe that’s because no one ever caught themost notorious vampire of all time before: William the Bloody, Slayer of
Slayers. But … whatever, if you’d rather I just dust him, I’ll let you
explain to my buddy Quent why he can’t interrogate the vampire that’s killed two
Slayers,” the Bot threatened, pulling a stake from the waistband of her jeans
and raising it menacingly near Spike’s chest. “Your name again? Just so I have
it right for my report to Quentin.”
“No! Wait, I didn’t say that,” the guard blurted out
quickly, holding one hand out to stop her. “I just said … I never saw it
“And I guess you’ve seen everything, huh? Ever see a
vampire rip someone’s throat out? I’m sure William wouldn’t mind a snack before
he gets locked up. C’mon over here … get a firsthand demonstration,” the Bot
offered, her voice dripping with saccharine.
The guard put a hand to his throat protectively. “Uhhh …
no, that’s ok. Do you need any … help getting it into a cell?” he asked
The Bot rolled her eyes and pushed Spike ahead of her down
the hallway the older guard had vacated. “As if,” she retorted as she strode
after her stumbling captive.
Spike let out another breath of relief. The bloody Bot
sounded more like Buffy than Buffy. Of course, he’d practiced all sorts of
scenarios with her on the long flight in the cargo-hold of a FedEx plane, but
still, you never knew what might throw her for a loop or when she’d start
talking about microprocessors and overflowing buffers. The other thing he’d
worried about was the night-watchmen knowing that Buffy Summers was already
their prisoner. Lydia had said they wouldn’t – they weren’t Watchers or anything
other than hired help. They didn’t go into the cell level at all or have any
contact with prisoners.
The pair of would-be rescuers navigated the labyrinth of
corridors to a freight elevator based on the map Lydia had drawn them, and took
it down underground three levels. The door opened to a pristine, brightly lit,
white room. There was no furniture in the small room, only another door and a
keypad. The door had a small window in it made of bulletproof, or at least
vampire-proof, glass. The two blonds moved up to the door in silence and peered
through the window. Spike had to force himself not to curse or gasp aloud when
he looked into the cell block. He pulled back and rested his back on the wall
next to the door – his eyes closed and head hung down.
“I don’t remember this part of the plan in any of your
scenarios,” BuffyBot whispered as she looked through the small window. “Should I
also lean on the door and pray?”
Spike shook his head and held his hand up, silently asking
her to give him a minute. He’d been hit with a supersized helping of déjà vu.
The other side of the door held a cellblock that looked suspiciously like one
he’d spent time in before – in Sunnydale, under the campus of the University. It
looked just like the Initiative’s setup. It wasn’t as big; not nearly as many
cells, but the setup appeared exactly the same. So who, exactly, was working for
whom in that scenario?
After composing himself for a few moments, Spike pulled
Lydia’s access card out of his pocket, slid the magnetic strip through the slot
on the locking device, and then entered in the PIN number that went with it.
Just like had happened at the main door, the lock released with a ‘click’
and the Bot pushed the heavy door open.
The two intruders slipped in and started moving silently
down the corridor. The place was spotless and each cell they passed was empty.
Spike began to mutter vitriolic curses under his breath as they continued down
the hallway. Had the Council changed their plans and taken Buffy somewhere else?
Had Lydia lied to them? Thoughts of murder and mayhem began racing through
Spike’s mind as they skulked between the empty, pristine cells.
And then, in the very last one, she was there. Spike nearly
shouted her name out loud as relief flooded through him. Buffy’s cell was just
as stark and cold as the others. There was a plain toilet bowl in one corner
that appeared to be made out of some type of molded plastic rather than
porcelain; the plastic being less likely to be broken and used as a weapon, he
supposed. Apart from that, there was nothing in it at all. No bed. No chairs.
Not even a mat on the floor.
Buffy was huddled in the back corner of the cell opposite
the toilet. She had a blanket wrapped around her – the only creature comfort
she’d been afforded. He could only see the top of her head as she huddled in the
corner beneath the blanket, but there was no mistaking that it was her. She
didn’t look up or seem to notice that Spike and the Bot were there.
The Bot reached a hand out toward the seemingly fragile
glass wall that separated them from Buffy. Spike grabbed her wrist before she
could touch it.
“No,” he whispered. “Electrified,” he explained simply as
he quickly swiped the access card in the lock next to Buffy’s cell. At once the
electric barrier fell and a door slid open in the clear wall.
The moment the door opened, Spike was knocked back by the
putrid smell coming from the room. His demon came up unbidden as the
unmistakable aroma of sex mingled with Slayer blood hit him. He staggered,
caught off guard by the intensity of it, then a growl began in his gut and
reverberated through the whole cell block.
Some part of him knew he needed to stay calm and quiet lest
they attract unwanted attention, but a larger part of him wanted to rip and
slash and bash and scream in fury. He wanted to gouge out eyes and tear still-beating hearts from
the chests of whoever dared touch his Slayer. Spike struggled against his need
for violence, trying desperately to regain control of the demon so they could
get Buffy out. Images of Buffy being raped flashed through his mind as the demon
raged against his effort to control and calm it.
The struggle between rage and calm was physically painful,
and Spike staggered and fell to his knees as he tried to regain control. He
pushed the heels of his hands against his eyes, trying to stop the visions of
Buffy being abused, but it didn’t help. He banged his fists against his head,
then fell to the floor, rolling around as if wrestling with an unseen adversary.
The Bot watched helplessly, unsure of what to do. This had
not been in any of the scenarios either. “I am not familiar with this ritual. Am
I to join you in this dance?” she asked him. “I do not know the proper response
to this stimulus.”
Finally Spike let out a long, undulating howl of agony and
anger. His whole body went rigid on the floor for several seconds, every muscle
pulled tight as a bowstring, then, suddenly, he went limp. His chest heaved with
unneeded breath – each inhalation bringing in more of the scent that had stirred
his demon in the first place. He finally forced himself to stop breathing, but
could not push the demon down, no matter how he tried.
After a few moments, he decided that this was as close to
control as he was likely to get, and he pushed himself up off the floor wearily.
He took in a breath through his mouth so he could speak and he could taste the
spunk and blood and other bodily fluids that hung in the air. He closed his eyes
and focused on Buffy. Get the Slayer out. Come back later and kill the
bastards. Get Buffy out now.
After another long moment, he steeled himself and stepped
into the cell. He could almost feel the stench of blood, semen, and human waste
on his skin as he moved into the enclosed space.
“Buffy,” he said as calmly as he could. “Buffy, it’s Spike,
pet. Here t’ get you out.”
In reply, Buffy recoiled and pulled the blanket over her
head as if to hide herself. Her fear was palpable and he could see her trembling
under the thin cover of the blanket. She looked like she was trying to embed
herself into the wall of the cell, to become invisible – a part of her
Spike laid a hand on her shoulder and Buffy jumped under
his touch. He felt his demon rage again, but he kept his voice as calm as he
knew how. “Buffy, luv … it’s Spike. Not gonna hurt you. We need t’ go.”
Her only response was to try and huddle closer to the wall.
Spike blew out a frustrated breath. “Gonna pick you up,
luv. Don’t fight me, Buffy. Not gonna hurt you, pet,” he cajoled as he reached
around her and slid her away from the wall.
“No, no … no …” she whispered and tried to scramble back to
her ‘hiding place’.
The blanket came off her when she did and Spike felt his
demon reasserting itself. Beneath the blanket she was completely nude. Her body
was covered in burns, bruises, cuts, and abrasions, all in different stages of
healing. There was dried blood, semen, urine, and feces on the blanket and the
floor beneath her, as well as on the skin of her legs and buttocks.
“Bloody hell,” Spike groaned, his stomach turning in
revulsion and renewed rage. Spike might’ve seen worse in his unlife, but this
was different. This was Buffy. Spike fought down the bile that burned the
back of his throat, and focused his rage on the mission at hand: Get Buffy out.
He could reap his vengeance later.
He steeled himself and wrapped the blanket back around her,
then, without trying to be cajoling or gentle, he snaked his arms around her and
lifted her off the floor. Buffy whimpered and pushed against his arms as he
settled her against his chest, carrying her like a child. Her protests were so
weak he barely noticed that she was struggling at all.
“What have they done to you, Slayer?” Spike wondered
forlornly as he carried her out of the cell.
Just then he heard the elevator open into the antechamber
at the end of the hall. He looked around wildly – they were sitting ducks here
in this corridor if whoever that was had a tranq gun or crossbow. On top of
which, if there were several of them it was doubtful they’d be able to fight
their way out since the Bot was the only currently lucid one that could fight
humans. And, as if all that weren’t enough, if whoever was coming sounded the
alarm, that would bugger their ultimate escape from the building.
Spike quickly spotted a slatted, unlocked door near them at
the very end of the hallway with a sign that said ‘Maintenance’ on it. In just a
second he’d come up with a new plan – which was pretty scary all by itself.
Spike still held Buffy in his arms as he peered out of the
slats of the maintenance closet to see who was coming and how many there were.
“No, no, no …” Buffy began objecting again, this time more
loudly, as Spike held her in the small, deeply shadowed room. Spike clamped one
hand over her mouth to quiet her, and she bit down on the fleshy ball at the
base of his thumb.
It wasn’t as hard as it could’ve been, he’d been bitten
harder in his unlife, but it still hurt like hell. Spike couldn’t pull away or
she’d alert whoever had come in to their position. He clenched his jaw against
the pain, keeping his hand pressed against her mouth as Buffy bit down harder.
Bloody hell! he wanted to scream as her teeth cut
into him, but he didn’t pull away or drop her. If the price of getting her out
of here was a chunk of his flesh, then he’d gladly pay it.
Spike focused on the hallway, allowing Buffy to use his
hand as a chew-toy. A solitary man with thinning dark hair and deep-set eyes,
strode down the corridor looking like he hadn’t a care in the world. The grin on
his lips was incongruous with his gaunt features and stark cheekbones – he
looked like a skeleton that had just won the lottery.
“Daddy’s home, toots!” he called happily as he walked. “Did
ya miss me?”
The man stopped in front of Buffy’s cell and turned to look
in. “Oh yeah, I can tell you missed me. Gonna have to take it easy on you for a
couple of days, old man Travers wants to see you on Monday. Be hard to explain
all our fun and games as resisting arrest. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still
have fun, Slayer-girl,” he continued as he drew his own access card from his
Weatherby slid the card through the reader, making the
force-field fall away and the door slide open.
“I bet I can still make you scream – we’ll just have to
make it hurt on the inside,” he continued jovially as he stepped into Buffy’s
cell. “I know you’ll still enjoy it just as much.
“But, first things first…” he said as he pulled a syringe
from a bag he had slung over his shoulder. He stopped and readied the syringe,
clearing the needle of air, and stepped over to the girl huddled under the dirty
blanket. Weatherby grabbed her arm through the cover and shoved the long needle
into her flesh right through the fabric … or tired to.
The needle went through the fabric and skin, but shattered
when it hit the Slayer’s 'muscle'.
The Bot uncovered her head and scowled at the man. “That
pierced my state-of-the-art, nanotube-coated, ultra-sensitive, silicone outer shell,” she informed
him. “And it hurt.”
Weatherby jerked back and scampered to his feet, sunken
eyes suddenly wide with surprise. The Bot took a determined step towards him and
he turned to run out of the cell just as the door closed and the force-field
came back up. The man barely stopped in time to keep from getting a full-body
“No need t’ leave so soon,” Spike drawled past his fangs as he waved his
keycard in the air absently from the other side of the barrier. Blood flowed
from his hand, splattering the white floor with drops of crimson, but he didn’t
seem to notice. “Thought you wanted t’ hear someone scream. I fancy hearing that m’self.”
“Who … how … who?” Weatherby stammered, looking between the
Bot and Spike as he backed away and over to one side of the cell.
“Thought you blokes were familiar with a Slayer. Give him a
demo of who you are, pet,” Spike told the Bot.
BuffyBot stepped forward toward Weatherby who kept backing
up until his back hit the wall. He tried to dodge left, but she cut him off. He
scampered back away from her, then he went right, but she was faster, sending
him back to the center of the wall again.
“Don’t kill him, pet,” Spike warned as the Bot drew her
right fist back. She nodded acknowledgement and swung at Weatherby’s chin. He
flinched back and raised his hands to protect his face, but she still connected
solidly with the side of his head. His head slammed against the wall and he
crumpled to the floor.
“Bloody hell,” Spike complained. “What kinda poncey villain
are you? Taken down by one punch from a little girl?
“Get him up and bring him over here,” Spike instructed the
BuffyBot picked the thin man up by the back of his neck
like he was a kitten. Holding him at arm’s length with his feet dangling off the
floor, she walked over towards Spike with the dazed, skeletal man.
“Stop there,” Spike instructed her when the man’s face was
about three inches away from the electric force field.
“Now then, reckon we’ve answered your question, you can
answer one o’ ours,” Spike, still in game-face, continued in a conversational
tone. “What’s in that syringe?”
Weatherby looked at Spike blankly as he tried to clear the
cobwebs from his brain.
“Come closer,” Spike beckoned the Bot. She moved
Weatherby’s face even closer to the field of electricity.
“Not gonna ask again,” Spike warned, looking at Weatherby.
“Tell me what’s in that bloody syringe or I’ll have ‘er fry you right here and
Weatherby shook his head and held his hands out in
supplication. “It’s … ummm … not really sure. They give it to Slayers for the
Cruciamentum. It … weakens them.”
“Is it permanent-like?” Spike continued.
“Uhhh … No. Gotta give it to ‘em everyday t’ keep ‘em …
sedate, like normal girls,” the dark man replied.
Spike nodded. “Big man, you are,” Spike growled. “Wanna
hear the Slayer scream, but can’t handle her if she’s at full strength. If I had
time, I’d show ya a thing or two about pain – but it’ll have t’ wait for another
day. In a bit of a rush, we are.”
Spike looked past the man hanging helplessly in mid-air to
the Bot. “Crush his dangly bits and let’s go,” he ordered matter-of-factly.
“What!? No! I … answered your bloody question!” Weatherby
objected, struggling against the Bot’s superior strength.
“No worries. I’ll reward ya for that,” Spike assured him,
smiling around his fangs. “We’ll get to the real screaming another time. This is
just to keep you … sedated ‘til I can get back.
“Do it,” he ordered the Bot, his demon face a mask of
barely repressed rage.
The Bot nodded again and stepped back from the electric
barrier. Almost faster than Spike could see, she dropped the man, slamming him
down onto the white tile floor with a hollow thud that drove all the air from
his lungs. As he wheezed and moaned, she picked him up by one ankle and drove
her other fist straight down between his legs like a sledgehammer. It sounded something like a fist
being slammed into a watermelon as all his external parts were suddenly
transformed into internal organs.
Weatherby wailed in white-hot agony and thrashed wildly as
he clutched at his groin. Within seconds, he went still and silent – the pain
and shock sending him into unconsciousness. The Bot dropped him unceremoniously
and he fell into a limp heap on the floor.
“Bugger. Was just starting to enjoy the sound o’ that,”
Spike groused as he opened the cell with the access card to allow the Bot out
before he headed back for the closet where he’d left Buffy.
Spike wrapped Buffy in his duster and picked her back up.
She pushed and struggled against him, protesting with a single word repeated
over and over again, “No.” He didn’t stop her from speaking this time, but each
time she said it a razor of ice slashed at his heart, bleeding him with freezing
shards of guilt and regret.
He’d promised her he’d keep her safe and he’d failed. Just
like he’d failed Dawn. Maybe he should’ve let Angel take her back to L.A. Maybe
none of this would’ve happened if he’d just let her go, not been so bloody
selfish and arrogant. Why did he think he could keep her safe? Had he ever had a
plan that had actually worked properly? What made him think this would’ve been
any different? He was a git, and Buffy had paid the price for his incompetence.
“I’m sorry, Buffy. God, I’m so bloody sorry,” he murmured
to her as she continued her litany of ‘no’s, pressing her palms against his
chest feebly as he carried her out.
The Bot checked the hallway outside the elevator on the
ground floor, but it was clear. She could hear the guards up at the desk near
the front doors – out of view of the freight elevator. She beckoned to Spike,
and he came out still carrying Buffy. She was still whispering ‘No, no, no…’ but
she’d given up trying to push him away.
The fire exit was only about ten feet away from the freight
elevator and Spike headed for it. BuffyBot strode down the hallway back to the
main entrance. She stopped at the guards’ small desk and instructed, “Make a
notation that no one is to enter the cell level without checking with me first.
Even contained, that vamp is extremely dangerous.”
The older guard nodded and began to write something in a
logbook on the desk.
“I’ll be back,” she told them, turning toward the front
doors. Instead of entering the PIN number to open the front doors, however, she
simply pushed on them, cracking steel and shattering glass. The alarm began to
blare again as she stepped through the mess into the cool London night, ignoring
the complaints and exclamations from the guards.
When the alarm began to sound, Spike pushed open the
emergency exit. The guards would have no idea that anyone had gone out that way,
what with the alarm already sounding from the Bot’s exit.
It had been touch-and-go for a few minutes down in the cell
block, but they had succeeded in getting Buffy back. Spike’s plan had worked
almost to perfection, although that was little comfort to him – he’d failed.
He’d failed to keep her safe and it tore at his heart, shredding it into a
bloody mass of agony and regret. His demon finally relinquished its hold on him
as his anger morphed into unbearable pain and guilt. Sobs began to wrack his
shoulders as he held Buffy, incoherent, drugged, weakened, and battered, in his
arms. She didn't seem to know him, didn't seem to comprehend anything that was
going on at all, she just continued to mutter 'no' over and over and over again.
Her voice was little more than an un-ending litany of feeble protest, but it
bore into Spike's heart like a laser.
After a few moments, the Bot came around the building and
joined him. Spike blinked back the blur of tears and together they walked away from the back of the Council’s nondescript
building to their waiting car, the alarm still blaring behind them.
As Spike gently set Buffy down in the backseat of their
rental, she scrambled away, pressing herself against the other door – as far
away from him as she could get. Spike felt a steel band cinch around his chest
and he had to wonder if he’d ever really have her back again after this. Just
how much could one soul stand? Even the Slayer had limits, her spirit wasn’t
indestructible; no one’s was.
His heart, already torn and tattered by what he knew had
happened to her, burst into ashes in his chest. His strong Slayer was gone. He
felt like he’d been carrying a small sparrow with a broken wing in his arms. He
worried that no matter how much he loved her or how hard he tried, she’d never
be able to fly again. He had failed Buffy on an epic scale. William the Bloody,
taken down by a pitiful herd of Watchers. How pathetic was he? Buffy would’ve
been better off without his ‘help’. If she ever did recover enough to fly on her
own again, it would serve him right if she flew away and never returned.
Don Francisco: Bird With A Broken Wing
Bird with broken wing
Locked up inside
A tiny cage
Till the day I heard your cry
And set you free
But as I reached in
To heal the hurt
You fled in wild dismay
Now your pain
Is made you blind as you can be
Echoes in the distance
Are almost all you hear from me
Each time I speak your name
You fly away
While the agonies of mindless flight
Is more than you can bare
Still you think it's because of me
That you feel this way
Soarin' far above the storm
On wings spread strong and wide
Is the vision that you've buried
You dash yourself against the stones
And flutter terrified
When my love will heal your wounds
And lift you there
Like a frightened child
Who starts away with every move
You want to trust
But watch so fearfully
Everything you're longing for
Is here within my hands
I'm waiting now for you
To come to me
Soarin' far above the storm
On wings spread strong and wide
Is the vision that you've buried
You dash yourself against the stones
And flutter terrified
When my love would heal your wounds
And lift you there
Like a frightened child
Who starts away with every move
You want to trust
But watch so fearfully
Everything you're longing for
Is here within my hands
I'm waiting now for you
To come to me
I'm waiting now for you
To come to me
I'm waiting now for you
To come to me
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