Disclaimer: The work contained within is merely my playtime with the characters created by Joss Whedon and I in no way own any of them, or anything like that. Unfortunately. It sucks. But I'll just continue my plot to kidnap and clone James Marsters for myself.
Rated NC-17. Just in case.
Author's Note: I told you I got impatient. Enjoy your double helping!
Si Primo Venit
It had been a hell of day, and it wasn't even close to being finished. Buffy had bumped into Scott as she'd left the library, hanging with his friend, Pete and Debbie. Scott was a nice guy, very sweet and very attractive, and clearly interested. Problem was…
She dealt with too much heartache already and her head was a jumbled mess and bringing another guy into her already dangerous life would probably just cause more trouble and her mom's credit card was probably maxed out on ice cream.
So when Scott had pulled her to one side, away from his friends, making small talk and little jokes, telling her she looked amazing….she'd bolted. Like a bat out of hell.
Chances were he probably wasn't interested in the crazy chick now anyway.
After she'd left, she'd wandered the campus, thinking about going to the mansion to check on the vampires. But she'd said she'd go with Giles and she wasn't sure she could handle either of them if they were still feral. The shock of seeing them alone had thrown her the night before, she had barely any sleep and the little she did have was wrought with nightmares.
So she'd gone back to the school and bumped into Debbie. The girl had smiled and offered her a touch of support, and recommended Mr Platt, the school counsellor. He'd helped Debbie out a lot with her issues and Buffy had checked the time. He was still in office hours; the school day was only just beginning to wrap up. She'd thanked Debbie and headed for the office of the counsellor, knocking nervously before entering.
And then she'd found his body ripped to shreds.
No, her day was not going well. She was currently sat in the library, a little shaken from finding Mr Platt in that state, trying to narrow down their list of suspected killers. Which unfortunately, still included Oz. Giles was running over the incident report, and Faith stood by, having turned up just after the body had been found. Willow was sat next Buffy, offering support to her friend. She had no idea where Xander was this evening, and Ms Calendar was apparently doing end of day teacher stuff.
'The creature is especially brutal. I think the charming phrase the coroner used when describing Mr Platt was "pureed". But he did confirm that Platt had been dead just a few hours when Buffy found him.'
'Which means the guy was killed during the day.' Faith stated, her eyes sliding to the other slayer. Buffy didn't respond; there was still a dead man. The timing cleared Oz, certainly, but it meant that there was still a killer on the loose.
Willow pumped her fist in the air. 'Yes!' She noticed everyone looking at her. 'Sorry. I got a little….I mean, it's horrible. Horrible.'
'It's okay, Will.' Buffy sat up straight. 'We're all glad Oz is off the hook.'
Giles looked at the clock in concern. 'Indeed. But shouldn't he be here by now? The sun sets at half past five.'
'He was meeting Debbie for some class notes.' Willow offered. 'He'll be here soon.'
Faith raised a hand. 'So how are we gonna figure out what killed this guy? Lay a trap or something?' She folded her arms over her chest and Buffy sensed that she was frustrated. The other slayer was often restless, and she wasn't much of a daytime person. She revelled in the night, and Buffy didn't quite share her enthusiasm.
'Well, clearly we are looking for a depraved, sadistic animal.'
The library doors swung as Oz entered. 'Present.' He quipped, moving straight to Willow. She tilted her head at him and he shrugged. 'Hey, I may be a cold blooded jelly donut – but my timing's impeccable.' Willow stood, smiling widely at him.
'But you're not! It's a "kill in the day" monster. One hundred percent for sure!'
Oz absorbed the information, and then nodded once. 'Okay.' He hugged Willow tightly, his relief evident if not totally expressed.
Giles cleared his throat. 'I wish we had time to celebrate properly. Unfortunately, it's imperative that we find out who or what is doing this.' He paused, looking at his notes. 'Now. We have two victims. Jeff Walken, and now Platt. Perhaps they have something in common-'
'Missing internal organs?' Faith provided and Giles looked at her, raising an eyebrow.
'Debbie.' Oz said, suddenly. Everyone turned to him and he continued. 'Victim number one. Jeff. He was in Jazz band with us. They used to horse around.'
Faith's eye boggled. 'They were screwing?'
'I don't think so. But he hid her music comp book once.' The werewolf shrugged.
'Good enough. And we know Debbie knew Mr Platt. She was seeing him and she recommended him to me.' Buffy said, thoughtfully.
'She said he was good, but a bit of an ass.' Oz supplied. 'Add this and stir. I ran into her just now – sporting a nasty black eye.'
'Okay, pretend Debbie wanted Platt dead. Maybe he fought back.' Willow suggested, looking to Buffy.
'No I saw her just before I saw him. No black eye there. And he died in a instant. Didn't even lose his cigarette.' Buffy stood up. 'Could be – boyfriend Pete's the one doling out the punishment.' Everyone began to move at once.
'We have to find them both immediately.' Giles said
'Deb was in the hall a minute ago.' Oz replied, watching everyone mobilise.
'We should split up. Faith, you and I will team. Willow, you stick with Buffy.' The Watcher ordered.
Oz nodded. 'I'll…lock myself in the cage.'
Buffy and Willow hurried through the darkening school, heading straight for the girls locker room. As they entered, they found Debbie, stood in front of a mirror piling make up on her face.
'It's tricky covering a fresh shiner like that. You know what works?' Buffy asked, watching the other girl jump slightly and turn around.
'What?' Debbie answered warily, eyeing both the girls.
'Don't get hit.' Buffy deadpanned. Debbie frowned, and then turned, gathering up her things. Buffy moved closer, attempting to reach out to the other girl. 'What's going on Debbie? I'd be the farm you know.'
Debbie shook her head, still putting her things in her bag. 'You're wrong. I don't know anything.'
'Now – normally? I'd say – you want to play "I have a secret" – fine. But people are dying.'
There was a long paused as Debbie stopped, realising that her exit was effectively blocked by the two girls. She began to reply, stammering through her words.
'It's – it's not his fault. I mean, he's not himself when he gets like this….'
Buffy looked at Willow, who frowned back at her. 'You mean Pete.'
Debbie nodded. 'It's me. I make him crazy. He just does what he does because he loves me too much…'
Willow chimed in. 'So it is him? But weren't Mr Platt and Jeff murdered by an animal?'
Buffy understood suddenly, that Pete was not all he appeared to be. She fixed Debbie with a hard look, knowing the other girl had an explanation. 'Pete's…not like other guys, is he Debbie?'
Debbie's eyes widened, and she realised she had just given Pete up. She panicked, suddenly heading for the door. 'I've got to go.' Buffy stepped into her path, blocking her way.
'You have to talk to us. We can't help you until you do.'
'I didn't ask for your help.'
'Well, when are you going to?' Willow snapped. 'I mean, if Pete kills you, it'll be pretty much too late.'
'Debbie, we're running out of time.' Buffy said gently. Debbie stared at her, terror in her expression. 'Where can we find him, Debbie?'
It was clear that the girl was beginning to freak out. Her entire body was tensed and shaking, and she held onto her bag with white knuckles as she stared at the blonde in front of her, her face white and sweating. 'I – I don't know.'
Buffy shook her head. 'You're lying.'
Debbie tilted her chin up, trying to appear brave. 'What if I am? What are you going to do about it?'
Willow winced. 'Wrong question.'
Buffy pushed Debbie around, turning her to face the mirror. She didn't use her full strength, just enough to let the girl know she meant business. 'Look at yourself.' She demanded. 'Why are you protecting him?' Debbie looked away, avoiding her own face. 'Anyone who really loved you, wouldn't do this to you.'
'He's going to change. He promised.' Debbie pleaded.
'Maybe.' Buffy looked her in the eye. 'At best, fifty fifty. Lame odds when you're betting your life.'
Debbie stared, her bottom lip quivering. 'Would they take him someplace?' Her voice was meek. She was giving in.
'Be away from Pete?' The girl was panicking again. 'I can't-'
'You can.' Willow interjected. 'And we'll both help you. Believe me, we understand. But you have to choose. It's got to be you over him.'
Debbie went still, her eyes growing cold, his hold on her and her dependency on him winning over. 'I could never do that to him. I'm his everything.'
Buffy was losing patience with the girl now. 'Great. While you guys enjoy your grim fairy-tale, two people are dead. Who's gonna be next?'
The battered girl didn't hear. She stared at herself in the mirror, wrapping her arms around herself. She shook her head, almost rocking from side to side as she repeated "he does love me" over and over. Buffy leaned down, taking the girl gently by the arm, looking at Willow.
'We'd better go. We have to find Pete.'
Debbie carried on repeating the words as Willow stared in concern. 'I think we broke her.' The redhead surmised.
Buffy shook her head sadly. 'I think she was broken before this.'
Walking into the library to find a werewolf and some rage contorted version of Pete duking it out was unexpected to say the least. Buffy had left the small group, as they'd found Giles and Faith returning at the same time, and she'd grabbed the tranquilliser gun, intent on taking both monsters out. But Debbie had ruined that plan by yelling a warning to her boyfriend and grabbing the gun.
The shot went wild and hit Giles, who looked at the dart and muttered something before hitting the deck. Buffy had shoved Debbie away, and the girl had slipped out of the library, as Oz-wolf had the same idea. Pete was caught off guard as Buffy slammed into him, and punched him hard. He'd returned a blow, and then run for the stacks, knocking over a bookcase to prevent her following. She almost snarled at the obstruction, before turning and throwing the tranquilliser gun to Faith.
'I'll take Pete.'
'I got the wolf.' Faith replied and the two Slayer headed in opposite directions, Willow following the darker Slayer to look for her boyfriend.
Buffy chased through the stacks, and into the hallways, keeping Pete in her sights. He turned suddenly, heading down a corner and she followed, losing him quickly. She stomped her foot in frustration, wondering where he went. She looked around, and her gaze was drawn upwards, seeing blood smeared on the wall. She frowned, moving over to the wall and the window near the smear of blood. Bingo…
Climbing through the window and following his trail of blood wasn't difficult, and she found herself outside a shed. She opened it cautiously, and sighed as she spotted Debbie's lifeless corpse on the floor. If the girl had just listened…..another dead body. It was surprised how adjusted she was becoming to all these dead bodies. It could not be normal.
A punch to the side of her face caught her off guard, and she fell backwards with Pete landing on top of her, pummelling her with his rage infused strength. He was yelling, punching, and Buffy couldn't make out what he was saying or get a hit in herself. She raised her arms, protecting herself from the blows, desperately thinking of a way out.
The weight suddenly lifted from her and she held her arms in place for a second, listening as the scuffle continued away from her. She slowly dropped her protective shield, looking over to see Pete fighting with a pale form. At first she thought it was Angel, but the figure was too lithe, too compact. The hair wasn't quite as blond as the last time she'd seen him and he was scarred all over. Spike.
He fought like an animal as he beat Pete down, and then grabbed the boys neck, strangling him. He tightened his hold and the monstrous form of Pete began to struggle, weakened, gasping. After a few minutes, he stopped breathing altogether, and Spike dropped the body, stepping back, watching as the boy returned to his non-raging self. He baulked, gagging, and then turned, vomiting into a shelving unit before dropping to his knees. He remained there, huddled on the floor as Buffy got to her feet, approaching him slowly. He didn't seem to know she was there until she put a hand on his shoulder. He turned, still on his knees, and saw her.
His face crumbled and he started crying, leaning in to hold onto her tightly, wrapping his arms around her waist.
'Spike?' She asked quietly and he cried harder.
'Oh god. I found you. I found you.' He whispered. 'Buffy…'
She stared, not knowing what to do. Her own tears began to fall as she just stood there, the distraught vampire clinging to her like his life depended on it.
Giles was silent as they approached the mansion. Buffy had made him aware of Spike's escape, and he had not said anything on the matter. He'd merely asked if Angel was still restrained and she had replied that when she had returned Spike to the mansion, Angel was still chained up but seemed slightly more coherent. They had stopped by the butchers to grab some blood for the pair of them and had headed over at dusk.
She'd moved Spike away from Angel for the time being, just in case they fought again. He'd seemed to be in shock after what had happened in the shed with Pete, and had barely stopped crying even after she left. So she wasn't sure what state he would be in when they arrived.
Angel was stood, pulling at the chains when they got there, and Buffy waited at the door with Giles until the vampire noticed them. His eyes brightened at the sight of Buffy and he rushed forward, only to be stopped by the manacles. He gave her a questioning look.
'Buffy?' He asked, and she nodded. 'What's going on?' She didn't step forward, unsure of his condition.
'Are you Angel or Angelus?' Giles asked, his tone cold. Angel looked at him, his eyes flickering to the Watcher's damaged hand and he winced, almost unnoticeably, obviously remembering what he had done.
'I have my soul.' He mumbled, and Buffy almost sagged in relief. Giles nodded, then turned to Buffy.
'Where is Spike?'
'Spike?' Angel asked, confused. Buffy pointed towards the end of the large room.
'Second door on the left. It was the only usable room.' Giles nodded. 'I'll come and check on him in a minute, I…I need to talk to Angel.'
The librarian nodded and walked past Angel, keeping his distance from the brunette vampire as he stared in confusion. He left the slayer with her former lover, slipping into the bedroom that she had said Spike was in. The blond vampire was resting on the bed, which had seen better days. The vampire himself looked like he had certainly seen better days. He was lying on his side, and Giles could see the damage that a century in hell had dealt him. His once shockingly white hair was a dirty blonde, and he was in desperate need of a shower. Scars covered the majority of his pale skin. Overall, compared with the state of Angel as Giles had seen him, Spike appeared to have suffered worse in their tenure in hell than the other vampire.
'Spike?' He asked quietly, wondering how his friend's psyche had held up.
The vampire stirred, slowly opening his eyes to the darkened room.
'Giles?' He rasped, his voice rusty from disuse. 'That you?'
'Yes.' The watcher confirmed. Spike slowly sat up, wincing.
'So I'm back.' He stated, not really asking. Giles didn't answer, he just watched the vampire slowly swing his legs over the side of the bed. He sniffed the air gently, frowning. 'Angel too?' He asked. Giles nodded. 'Figures.'
'Do you know how you returned?'
Spike shook his head, and his eyes dropped to the floor. 'I suppose this means I didn't dream it. I killed that boy.'
Giles grimaced, his thoughts flashing briefly to Pete. 'Unfortunately so.'
'She should have killed me.' Spike muttered and Giles almost took a step back in surprise.
'Buffy? Why? The boy was violent and responsible for three deaths. There was no guarantee he would have been redeemed.'
'Doesn't matter. Gypsy restored my soul. Just more blood on my hands.' The vampire muttered, his eyes unfocused and glazed over.
'Spike, you have returned from a hell dimension of unspeakable torment. And from what I understand, you saved Buffy. Twice, if what she tells me is correct.' Giles moved forward, coming to stand in front of the battered vampire.
'Twice?' Spike raised his eyes to the watcher, confusion on his face.
'Angel attacked her in his feral state. Both of you were…like animals. She may have been able to subdue him herself, but you stopped him before he could do anything. And that boy you….he was attacking her. He would have killed her, had she not found a way to escape.'
Spike absorbed this quietly, his hands fisting in the bedclothes. Giles took a seat next to him, holding out the container of blood in the paper bag he had brought. The vampire looked at it, and at the space on his hand where his finger was missing.
'He did that?'
There was no question of whom he spoke about. Giles nodded, and Spike sighed, taking the container.
'I should have stopped him.'
'I am still alive.' Giles said, 'And Jenny is too. At some point, we all owed our lives to you.' Spike didn't say anything to this; he simply reached over and placed the container on the floor beside the bed.
'I don't want to stay here.' The vampire whispered. 'Not with him. And not with this stench of death.'
Giles nodded. 'I believe your flat is still accessible. I kept an eye on it for you.'
'You never knew I was coming back.'
The watcher smiled. 'But we are friends, are we not? And that is what friends do after all.'
Spike almost smiled. 'You have strange taste in friends, Watcher.' The man nodded.
'I suppose I do.'
The door creaked open and both men looked up as Buffy entered. She looked upset, but didn't say anything. 'Hey.' She greeted Spike. 'Feeling better?' Her eyes moved to the unopened container on the floor and she frowned. Angel had drank his straight away, which was odd as he'd never drank blood in front of her before. 'You haven't…' Spike followed her gaze and shrugged.
'It can wait.'
The Watcher and the Slayer shared a look but neither said anything. Giles looked back to Spike. 'So you wish to return to your apartment?'
'Yeah. If anything, I could use some clothes.'
'What happened to your duster?' Buffy asked. The vampire shrugged.
'Don't know. A lot of it…' He closed his eyes briefly. 'It's a blur.' He was lying and they both knew it but they didn't press further. Giles was itching for details, but he wasn't a fool as to broach the subject whilst it was still raw.
'I'm going to wait outside, Buffy. Spike, when you are feeling better, perhaps you would join me for a drink one evening? I have a nice bottle of Glenfiddich stashed away?' The vampire looked at him, not able to raise a smile just yet but he nodded in acknowledgement. Giles smiled tightly and left the room, as Buffy stayed by the door, her eyes lingering on the injured vampire.
'You seem to be pretty banged up. Angel doesn't look that bad.' She said quietly. Spike shrugged lightly but didn't clarify. 'So you're going back to your apartment?'
'Yeah. I'll leave in a bit. Once I've gotten a bit of strength up.'
'Okay.' She chewed her lip. 'There's some new stuff going on. Another…' She started and then stopped, thinking he probably didn't want to hear about Faith right now. 'Anyway, I'll catch you up when you're feeling better.'
'Sure thing, Slayer.' He wouldn't meet her eyes and she felt a bit sick. He blamed her. He had spent a century in hell and he knew it was her fault. She wasn't fast enough or smart enough and now he bore the wounds from her betrayal. He'd never look at her again.
Buffy choked back a sob. 'Okay. I'll…er…I'll see you later.' He shrugged, remaining on the bed as she slipped out of the room. Angel watched as she walked back into the hall, his eyes following her every move. She'd unchained him before and he had moved to stand in front of the fireplace.
'You're leaving?' He asked and she nodded.
'I need to patrol. I'll come back with some more blood tomorrow okay?'
His mouth drew into a thin line. 'What about Spike?' He asked, his tone sharp. She looked at him, seeing how much better he looked compared to the other vampire. How had he escaped all the wounds that Spike bore?
'He's going back to his apartment.'
'Oh.' Angel looked dejected. 'Is he okay? I sorta remember seeing him but…not.'
'He's alive. Bit worse for wear.' She shrugged and then looked at the door. 'I have to go. I'll see you tomorrow, okay?'
'Okay.' He watched her leave, then turned to the door concealing Spike, his mind whirling. He took a step forward and hesitated. Another step.
Before he knew it, his hand was on the door.
And he opened it.
To Be Continued...
There you go. Your double helping for the weekend. Maybe you'll get some chocolate sprinkles in the form of another chapter before the week starts. Unless my arm stops working after I get my new tattoo tomorrow ^.^