|The Mask Within
Author: SGCbearcub PM
Spuffy/Post S7:BVS/S5:A She'd thought he was dead. He thought she was someone else. Wolfram and Hart thought they had the advantage. Boy...were they wrong.Rated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Romance - Buffy S. & Spike - Chapters: 14 - Words: 24,982 - Reviews: 69 - Favs: 35 - Follows: 47 - Updated: 03-21-10 - Published: 02-23-10 - id: 5771285
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Spoilers: Set post-Chosen(S7 Buffy) and post-Not Fade Away (S5 Angel). Inspired by and borrowing some elements of the graphic novels I've seen talked about by other authors. But I haven't read the novels, so I can't claim to any accuracy.
This little plot bunny attacked - er - escaped -uhm - was inspired by several fics over on Bloodshedverse. Namely, Spike chipped again, Buffy saves him. Sort of a detour from a novel length Spuffy fic that's taken over my life.
Posting on my other fics should (hopefully) resume in a couple months. The problem is the language you see. Everything I write lately sounds like I'm trying to write for Buffy. Which is ironic, because I'm not completely convinced my Buffy fics sounds like I'm writing for Buffy...
WARNING!!! Sex, gore, biting, and implied male rape (previous to story events). Oh, and angst. Because apparently I can't help myself.
The tall, dark-haired woman sitting elegantly on a bar-stool eyed her current business associate with amusement. After breathing that soft curse, the Immortal began to swear vehemently in Italian as he took in the blood-soaked scene. Even she, who had instigated many a massacre, was taken aback by the brutality of this one. Then again, most of her massacres had taken place in the boardroom.
She wasn't even certain it would be possible to count all the bodies.
Leather-clad dominants, naked submissive, silk-clad whores, and a few onlookers - who'd probably been wearing Armani - were scattered about the warehouse looking like they'd been run through a giant wood chipper. Arms and other body parts dangled from hooks and chandeliers. Thrown with such force they had been impaled by whatever intercepted their trajectory. Blood coated the floor like a gelatinous carpet, thick and sticky where it pooled.
She mentally added a new pair of shoes to her expense account.
The Immortal was still cursing, stomping past dead clients and kicking body parts out of his way.
"You said you wanted him broken in, Stephano," Lilah said dryly, making sure her amusement was audible in her voice.
Spike glared at them balefully, dangling from the chains the clean-up squad had used to contain him. According to the technicians, the facial twitching was a result of constant low-grade pain being delivered by his new chip. The supposedly improved chip Wolfram and Hart had contracted to have secretly installed when his old chip was removed, and activated after that fiasco of a last stand.
"I think he's broken," she said, less amused.
The Immortal stopped cursing and glared at the vampire who'd single-handedly destroyed a very illegal, very profitable sex club for criminal deviants.
"This is not what was supposed to happen," he stated furiously. "I can do nothing with this...this..."
His hand swept out to take in the vampire, the blood, and the bodies.
She had to admit, she was glad it wasn't her mess to clean up. The sex club had been fitted with reinforced steel doors, concrete walls, and bullet-proof windows. All woven together with the best magical enhancements money could buy. No one had gotten out. It had taken the response team three hours to cut into the building and by that time, everyone was dead. The enraged vampire had not discriminated. Slaves had been pulled from their cages - without benefit of a door. Bartenders, waitresses, even the dancers - all of them torn apart.
She wasn't even sure he had fed, beyond what he had needed to heal.
Not, Lilah thought distastefully, that she blamed him. The clients here had been rapists of the worst sort. Those who liked to hear a victim scream. Too bad the dying tended to spoil their fun. They would have been overjoyed to have a vampire at their mercy, and instructions to break him. Although given the file on this particular vampire, she was surprised at how he'd broken. She'd have suspected Angelus of this sort of mayhem first. Spike had always struck her as more...
Curious now, she ignored the sticky footing and made her way to the captive demon. It had taken three tranquilizer darts to subdue him and another to get him into the spell-forged chains. She had to admit, she was reluctantly impressed.
"Truthfully," she said, as she came abreast of the vampire, "I didn't think you had it in you."
He glared at her, but not with any noticeable shift in attitude. She leaned in slightly, widening her eyes.
"Buffy," she said gleefully, fluttering her fingers at him.
Well, he growled, but he was doing that anyway.
"Angel," she tried. "Drusilla?"
"What do you do?" the Immortal demanded.
She turned her head slightly to see him watching her, clearly puzzled.
She sighed with exaggerated patience. "I'm trying to see if he has any working brain cells left."
The Immortal scowled. "Does he?"
She grimaced. "Not that I can see."
The technician beside her eyed her uncertainly. "Actually, the damage appears minimal. The chip is causing some recurrent swelling, but nothing serious."
He flushed as she arched an eyebrow, then looked significantly at the vampire in question.
"We're not sure why it's firing like that," the technician mumbled.
She snorted. "Well...Bob," she said, after a contemptuous glance at his name tag, "I'm fairly certain it's because someone fucked him up the ass - causing him a great deal of pain while doing it." She leaned toward the red-faced technician as if imparting a secret. "That tends to piss people off."
The technician flushed even brighter. "Yes, Ma'am. That's not what I mean, Ma'am. It's just..." he waved the portable computer in his hand, "he shouldn't even be on his feet. We've had to dial back the sensitivity of the chip as far as it will go and it's still going off. We've reduced the pain setting, but it's firing constantly. If he was human, he'd be dead."
"He's already dead," she shot back. "And if he was human, we couldn't have installed one. Or have you forgotten we are paying you to solve that little design flaw?"
The technician opened his mouth, then closed it, uncertain if he should have an answer.
Lilah growled. "We can't send him to the Slayer like this. They're not supposed to know he has a chip - or did you forget to read that part of the project file too?"
The Immortal started to smile.
"If we cannot sell him for sex," Stephano said, "then we sell the violence, yes?"
Lilah frowned, unwilling to admit she didn't know what he was talking about.
"The fights, Bella," the Immortal said expansively. "We put him in the Pit. Until the chip is fixed."
Lilah eyed Spike dubiously. "He's a bit on the small side."
Pit fighters were the most aggressive, least human of their demon slaves. She wasn't sure Spike would survive the common areas, let alone the arena. Still, this screw-up had been expensive - in more ways than one. The firm had lost a lot of good-paying clients last night and the quarterly statements were more important than a speculative project. A couple good fights, a couple good wins, and the betting might balance this little fiasco.
They could still return him to the Slayer if he survived.
"Fine," she said. "But make no mistake, Stephano. You owe us. Don't put him at any more risk than necessary."
She turned away from the disaster chained to ruins of a once profitable business and headed for the door.
"We're making lemonade, gentlemen," she said bluntly, "if I have to kill all of you to do it."