Author: DarkRiverTempest PM
Season 4 - Starts with the episode "Something Blue" and goes off canon from there. Spike and the Scoobies have no idea what the chip is capable of... and once it starts to misfire, Spike becomes a wealth of information.Rated: Fiction M - English - Humor/Angst - Spike & Buffy S. - Chapters: 14 - Words: 38,110 - Reviews: 60 - Favs: 35 - Follows: 47 - Updated: 09-12-09 - Published: 01-27-09 - id: 4823045
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Thank you all for being so patient with this story - I've been re-editing it and it's taken some time to get it done. I have the next few chapters already done, so be on the look out for quicker updates. :D You know the drill - everything belongs to Joss, I own NOTHING, except my own twisted ideas. Some quotes from the episode "Hush".
"Name's Spike, we've met."
"We have? Are you a student?" Riley asked, slightly confused. The man did look familiar but he couldn't place him.
"At one time," Spike answered cryptically. His grip on Riley's hand lessened as he withdrew from the handshake, his head aching slightly from the forceful clasp.
"Graduated then?" Riley said with a wink and a nod as he stepped back a little when students started shuffling by him in and out of the classroom.
"Long ago, mate," Spike smirked. He was actually enjoying this, this duping of a Commando. Here he was, probably their nemesis numero uno, and they didn't have a clue.
"Spike's observing me in classes this week, Riley… for his… umm," Buffy explained lamely, looking at the vamp for help.
"My master's thesis in Psychology. At Oxford," Spike finished for her.
Nice save! he could hear her say in his mind. If only she knew he was telling the truth about graduating from Oxford she might think of him in a different light.
"Wow! Well then, you've come to the right place. Welcome to Psych one-o-one," Riley said with a flourish, indicating they were to enter the room and find a seat.
They entered the room but Buffy was pulled aside by Riley, Spike forgotten in the hulking man's presence. "So, are you and him…" he hinted with a bit of hurt.
Buffy looked at him blankly. "Me and him what?"
"You know, are you guys… an item?" he asked, getting flustered in the process.
She looked in Spike's direction finding him settled in the back of the room, an empty chair next to him, growling at any student that came near the seat with the intent of taking it. She gave the student teacher a small smile and shook her head. "No Riley, he's not my guy," she said with a hint of sadness.
A feeling of relief came over him and he released her arm, watching her ascend the steps to the back row and sit next to the man that was supposedly observing her for his work.
The man who now had white curls hanging around his face where his honey blond locks used to be. Riley stared in disbelief. His face was now thinner and dark circles were heavy under his eyes. Any illusion of softness was edged away by the harsh angles of his cheekbones and the hollowness of his eye sockets clearly showed the face of Hostile Seventeen.
Riley walked quickly to Professor Walsh's side and pulled her out of the room. "We have a situation."
"You'd better, pulling me out of class that way," she groused back at him, highly annoyed at being man handled.
His lips thinned and he turned her around to look at the class from outside in the hallway. "Scan the upper row and tell me what you see."
Maggie Walsh perused the back row of her class, noting that Willow Rosenburg was absent… because she normally sat next to Buffy Summers, who was now sitting next to… "Hostile Seventeen!" she gasped.
"That's the situation. I'm not sure Miss Summers is aware of her proximity to a Sub-T. She probably thinks he's human, and for a moment, he looked the part," Riley whispered in confidence, trying to explain how the escaped vampire slipped past him and into the class. "Plus, there's something neutralizing the affects of sunlight on it."
"That will be even more useful. Find out what it is. For now, put a tail on him when they leave. We can't cause a scene on campus grounds," Walsh ordered then returned to her class.
Standing outside in the hall clenching and unclenching his fists, Riley stared at the dangerous menace sitting next to Buffy, who was currently leaning over and whispering something in her ear. And she was laughing! He had to keep a tight watch on the lab rat to make sure his lady came to no harm. Blowing out a pent up breath, he edged backed into the classroom as Walsh began her presentation.
"So… talking about communication and talking about language… they're not the same thing folks. It's about inspiration," she intoned heavily as she scanned the class. "Not the idea, but the moment before the idea when it blossoms in your mind and connects to everything. It's about the thoughts and experiences that we don't have a word for."
No word for how amazin' Buffy is, Spike mused as he listened to the old hag drone on. He wasn't paying much attention anyway, just biding his time until her class was over, so he started doodling on a sheet a paper he snagged from the Slayer.
Buffy was writing her lecture notes when she heard Spike's thought, her hair hanging down to hide her reaction. She smiled to herself, glancing over to him and then froze.
Spike! Your glamour!
He was sketching a picture of something from his childhood when he noticed his hand and heard her thoughts all at the same time. The pink tinge that had covered his skin was now faded to a mottled gray white and he bet his face looked the same way. Reaching up, he ran his fingers through his hair and pulled at white curls that had come loose as he pursed his lips.
"Well bugger me," he muttered.
"Miss Summers, is there a problem?" Walsh asked in an imperious tone.
"Uh, no… just a little, um, upset stomach is all," Buffy fumbled. Put your hood back up! she pleaded and Spike quickly complied.
"See me after class if you would," Walsh said, brooking no argument. She turned back to the board and began writing assignments for future dates.
"Oh, this is all I need," the Slayer muttered under breath. She glanced over at Spike whose face was so withdrawn into the cowl she could barely tell he was there.
We need to leave now, pet, it's not safe for me here, his panicked thought stole across her mind.
She frowned. 'Why?' she mouthed.
The vamp's eyes darted to the two figures at the front of the classroom and back to Buffy, but she didn't catch on. He then nodded his head slightly in the direction of the hulking man and the sour faced professor, as she looked down the rows at them.
Professor Walsh, normally curt and to the point, was drawing out her lecture with a hint of a smile, while Riley was sitting behind the desk, staring at… Spike! And his leg was moving a mile a minute giving away how antsy he was. A deep and unrelenting chill started creeping up her spine as she slowly turned back to Spike.
She had to give him credit; he wasn't quaking with fear or itching to hit something. He just sat there with a blank look on his face, his eyes lost, as if he were drowning within himself… like a torture victim.
Spike? she whispered across his mind. He made no indication that he heard her but kept his eyes aligned with Riley's.
"Class, I trust you'll remember the assignment. I know your parents will if you flunk this course and lose the money they paid," Walsh told the groaning class, dismissing the students.
Spike was still in a trance-like state when Buffy snapped her fingers in front of his eyes and he finally responded. "Have to leave now, pet," he said impatiently, getting up from his seat.
Pulling on his sleeve, she turned him to face her. "Why? Why are they a threat to you?"
He didn't want to tell her that the bloke was playing for the other team as she might just turn him over to them. "Buffy, please, let's just disappear… vanish, fade away… your choice, but let's do it, yeah?"
"Miss Summers?" Walsh interrupted.
"Sorry, Professor. What did you want to see me about?" Buffy apologized and moved towards the front of the class, Spike shadowing her closely.
"It seems you saw fit to bring a 'guest' to my class. You know my rules. I'm curious as to why you felt you could break them," she inquired as she glared at the figure behind the girl.
"Well he's a visiting… um, student finishing his uh… well, he just wanted to observe the class for his theatrics," she faltered looking at Walsh and now Riley who had sidled up closer to her.
"Thesis," Spike corrected her softly.
"Er, thesis!" Buffy repeated.
"I highly doubt that," Riley accused as he stood close to Spike with his arms crossed.
Buffy frowned at Riley then turned her attention to Walsh. "Excuse me? Are you calling me a liar?"
"Considering that your right eye is twitching, your voice is quavering, and your pupils are dilating and contracting then I'd say yes… you're lying," Walsh answered in an analytic tone.
Spike knew his cover was blown; it was just a matter of getting out of the room without being caught, though he knew he had to protect Buffy and the why's of that left him stunned. He cared for her, wanted to see her safe and happy, regardless of what happened to him. Time to pull out the Big Bad.
"You should've killed me when you had the chance," the blond vamp drawled with a devilish grin, waggling his eyebrows towards the hulking grunt.
It now made sense to Riley, recalling Buffy's conversation about Spike and his waggling eyebrows. Though he'd never admit it to anyone, it was a cocky, sexy gesture. "A mistake I intend to rectify," he ground out as he grabbed Spike by the collar and braced him up against the wall.
"Riley, be a good boy," Walsh ordered her TA as a mother would to a wayward child.
It all happened so fast that Buffy didn't have time to protect Spike, standing there in stunned silence. Protect Spike? Yes, her heart said. Protect Spike because… you care. You care what happens to the bleached pest, you care that he seems lost most of the time these days, you care about…
She stopped that train before it crashed. All right, I care! she thought, the idea echoing in Spike's mind.
Diverting his focus, the vamp raised his eyes to hers and grinned widely. "`S alright, pet, I know I'm irresistible."
Rolling her eyes, she swept out her leg, catching Riley's feet in the process. Both men went down, with Spike bouncing up to stand next to her, as her swift kick sent Riley rolling towards Walsh in disbelief.
"What are you waiting for? Retrieve him," she ground out as she watched her aide skid across the floor.
Lumbering to his feet, Riley charged at Spike, taking no notice that Buffy was blocking his path. "This is for making me think that you liked me!" she yelled as she landed a backhand to his cheek and a sucker punch to his gut. He went flying across the room and landed in a heap, unconscious.
Walsh stood with her mouth agape as she watched Hostile Seventeen stride over to Riley and bend down to pick him up by the scruff of the neck, forcing him against the wall in the same position that he'd been in earlier.
When Spike turned to look at Walsh, he flashed a little fang, but not fully vamping out. "You need to keep your soddin' pet on a leash," he growled. "And close your mouth, it attracts the flies."
Walsh closed her jaw and tried to reason with the Hostile. "You can't kill him. The chip prevents it."
"What the hell are you people?" Buffy's eyes darting between the comatose man pinned by Spike and the mad professor blocking the door.
Crossing her arms, Walsh's eyes flashed in anger. "That's classified and on a need to know basis. And you don't need to know."
"This thing, inside my head… it prevents me from killin', yeah?" Spike interrupted, his fist slowly closing around the man's windpipe, causing the chip to fire but paying no heed to the blood dripping from his nose.
"Yes," the professor answered, studying his reaction to the behavior modification.
"So why am I a soddin' Jeopardy contestant? How is it that I became a fuckin' informational guide when this bleedin' microchip chooses to fire?" the vamp hissed irately, having finally dropped Riley on the floor and now advancing on the older woman.
"That shouldn't happen. Dr. Angleman supervised the surgery himself," she shot back, refusing to be intimidated by the creature standing a mere two feet in front of her now. "The neurotransmitter was placed around the hypothalamus. When it senses a surge such as with rage, or fear, or in your case the need to kill, it sends jolts of electrical current to short circuit those tendencies. Like Pavlov's dog, you become trained to avoid situations that cause the pain of the current."
Without thinking, Spike grabbed Walsh and threw her up against the wall, vamping out completely. The current she earlier described raced through his brain and swirled around his head, yet he retained his grip on her. Blood dripped down his left ear and his nose, landing on his lips as he spoke.
"I'll never be your bloody dog!"
Buffy watched the whole thing take place and moved not one muscle to help Walsh. She didn't know the whole story, but it was a safe bet that whatever happened to Spike, her psych professor was a big part of it. Seeing the struggle Spike was having with the chip and the urge to tear his tormentor apart, she went over to the hurting vampire and the scared witless woman, laying a hand on his forearm.
"We need to go, Spike."
Noticing Buffy's hand, he released Maggie Walsh, letting her slump against the wall for support, the buzzing in his head bombarding his brain with mindless, numbing facts at high speed, having no power left to voice them. Unable to stand on his own, he slumped against the Slayer, uncaring that he was covered in blood.
As they turned to leave, Walsh dared to speak. "We'll find you eventually. It's only a matter of time… and then we'll take you apart, piece by piece."
Gathering what remained of his strength, Spike slipped through Buffy's fingers, and lowered his face to Maggie's. She just stared at him with one raised eyebrow, sure of her promise to find and destroy him.
Suddenly, he spat the blood that had dripped from his nose onto her face, wishing to prove her wrong. "That's the only piece of me you're going to get."
Then, without a backward glance, he walked out of the room with Buffy, praying he was right.