Disclaimer: I own nothing. How sad. I could put Spike to good use.

Hero Trip: Prologue

Buffy Summers pushed the tape recorder toward the man that sat across from her, who stared blankly at the device, emotionless as he had appeared from the moment she'd met him. From the image he was projecting―goth decked in all black clothing, fingernails painted the same color, heavy boots, platinum blonde hair and a stone expression―she wondered if she would be able to crack him. He oozed arrogance, despite the lack of feeling displayed by his visage, and though technically the case was strong enough to withstand a tight-lipped perp, she wanted an explanation. Pressing the button to begin the reel, Buffy spoke firmly and clearly,

"Please state your name for the record,"

The man continued his self-induced silence, only crossing his arms about a well defined chest, and pinning her with an icy stare from cobalt eyes. In the quiet she met his gaze, and for a moment separated the man from the crimes he'd been accused of. He didn't seem at all as unhinged as his indiscretions would imply, but from her extensive psychiatric training, and basic common sense, she knew... appearances could be immensely deceiving.

"Your name please, sir," she reiterated with a bit more force to grab his attention. He seemed unaffected, for the most part, simply raising a dark, scarred eyebrow to acknowledge her. Buffy was growing slightly agitated at his lack of response, but before she could restate, he caught her off guard,

"What's yours?" He asked, the rumble of his deep voice, complete with rich British accent, wound its way around the interrogation room. "Since we're swapping pleasantries an' all."

Buffy was taken aback by his tone, the sharp disdain and seduction coating the words. She'd never known someone to be both sultry and contemptuous in one statement. But then, from what she knew of him, this man held many a contradiction within his psyche. In any other situation, she would retort with her own quip or well-put barb, but...

"It's Dr. Summers. Elizabeth." she replied, not breaking contact with his deep ceruleans, trying to appear confident, "but my friends call me Buffy."

"Well, I don't see as how we could be friends, so...Elizabeth it is."

Not skipping a beat, Buffy moved on with her questioning. "And what do your friends call you, Mr. ..." She then made a show of flipping through his file, as if his name, even he, was not important enough to remember. No sense in stoking an already oversized ego. "Beverley." she finished, regarding him as she closed the manila folder that held his information as gathered by the LAPD. Brow furrowing slightly, she added, "Or is it William the Bloody? The Big Bad? Spike? Vampire? I've heard them all."

"Prefer Spike. An' I have no friends," he stated fluidly before placing a fingertip to his temple. "Except for the ones in 'ere. And they don't call me anything."

Buffy gave a small smile at the slip of information he'd provided her with. "That's right...Spike..." she said, testing the name out, "you were diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at 21." looking to him, she gauged his reaction.

He frowned disapprovingly, and she wondered if he'd shut her out once more. But, surprisingly, he spoke, "I don't take much stock in things like that. Neither should you, pet."

"When did you stop taking your medication?" she asked, ignoring both his rebuttal as well as the endearment.

"Medication?" He scoffed, dismissing the idea entirely, "The things they can't see...they call it madness. But it's fraud. The lot of it. The diagnosis, the pills, the shrinks," he spat this word with such a level of revulsion, Buffy had to push farther away from table, putting more distance between herself and his elevating anger. "Tie me down, drug me up, just to stop me telling the truth. I won't lie for them!"

"What is the truth?"

"There is so much you can't feel...lurking about. So much."

"You feel it?" she ventured, then prompted, "Do you?"

"I walk in worlds you can't begin to imagine," He whispered, deceptively soft. Buffy, though, could hear the menace in his words. A look at his eyes showed them to be glossy, disoriented. "I do what I must." Was his declaration, tone suddenly losing all indication of feeling. No remorse for whatever he was hiding.

"What did you do?" She inquired carefully, knowing a false step would halt the interview. She could tell Spike did not want to continue, but didn't think he feared conviction, jail. He'd seemed nonchalant when charged and brought in. No, not stopping for punishment, but for whatever voice was governing him, whatever hallucination...

He'd already said too much.

"Part of me wanted to save them. The other...the other needed to destroy."

"Murder. You murdered six innocent people, William." she established, using his given name for emphasis.

Her words caused an immediate alteration.

He smirked at her, and Buffy barely contained a gasp at the appearance of his wicked smile. Pearl-white teeth, pointed and sharp. His canines elongated, not drastically, but enough to be noticed as hazardous.

As fangs.

Vampire...

She shouldn't have been surprised. After all, it was the unusual markings on each victim that had condemned him. Still, she hadn't been prepared. Connecting his nicknames to his crimes, and now his appearance...

"Shame on you, luv."

She started, assuming he'd caught her staring, but he continued, sounding close to entertained.

"All the knowledge you have of human behavior. Shouldn't call even one of 'em innocent. But, yeah. It was six I snuffed."

"You tortured and ravaged every one of them. Each more innocent than you." she retorted forcefully, bothered by his flippancy. And he, bothered by her response, rose quickly from the table, fists clenched, chair flying back to clatter against a wall. Buffy stood as well, apprehensive and regretting her demand of the detectives to leave them alone, and him unshackled. Swallowing hard, she attempted to speak while keeping her voice from conveying anxiety at her vulnerable position: on the angry side of an unpredictable man.

"Why?"

His stance relaxed here, and she let out the breath she hadn't been aware of holding.

"Death is my art." was all he offered her. Not the answer she was after.

"No. Why six?"

Spike leant onto the table before him. Supporting his weight with both hands on metal, he bowed his head and remained quiet for an extended period. The psych in Buffy chastised her emotions. She hadn't gone about this the right way. Startled by the realization of his potential danger, she'd rushed the question. For the extent of this investigation, she'd wanted to get inside the mind of the killer, find why he ended lives the way he did. Now she had him...moments away, and she may have fucked up royally.

"6,6,6," once again his words derailed her musings.

He lifted his gaze as she did her own.

The expression on his countenance made Buffy take a step back. Not fury, not mirth, not even the coldness of earlier; none of the few tendencies he'd exhibited in this cell were present.

His face, his eyes, his mouth just―content. Complacent. Serene. She hadn't expected that. Not from a supposedly violent man. Bravado, definitely. Stoicism, maybe. But, as he continued, he displayed a tone of calm detachment, an attitude of peaceful indifference, as if it wasn't he being exposed.

"6,6,6," he repeated. " 'S the number for Hell. That right doctor?" he asked, the sound of his voice wafting toward her, light and mesmerizing. She nodded dumbly as she watched him round the table and advance upon her. Fixed on him, his face, his eyes, his mouth, only by instinct did she back away. Give a glance for the guards that were nowhere to protect her. She was trapped. With him. And he was pushing forward.

"For evil: 6,6,6. But 'm not evil. What I've done isn't sin."

"No?" she asked warily, hitting the wall behind her. Cornered as he crept closer. His walk slow, predatory...seductive. Once more. She was baffled. But that was soon overtaken...she was soon overtaken.

"No." He confirmed, stopping mere inches from her. He raised a hand to her face. Fingers gripping her jaw and pushing her head to one side, he bared her neck.

"You see, Elizabeth," He went on, his breath coasting along her flesh, her name rolling languidly from his tongue, raising goose bumps in spite of her now unavoidable fear. "The world is full of martyrs." A pause. And then, "Just begging to die for a cause,"

Leaning close, he stroked her hair, his gentle motions incongruous to the harsh manner he'd previously exerted. At her ear, lips brushing her skin, he murmured,

"My. Cause."

before burying his fangs in her throat.

She felt the blood leave her, felt herself dying platelet by platelet. But, most of all, she felt him. Deep and Deadly she felt him, until they pulled him off.

A guard wrenched Spike from her, kneeing him in the back. He fell, and Buffy's blurred vision focused upon her attacker.

He watched her bewilderment, her inability to speak. He chuckled. Spit up blood. She knew it was hers―didn't care. All she saw was that they were taking him from her. Hauling him to his feet, Spike struggling all the while. They fought him to stand. They fought his hands behind his back. They fought, and it felt like chaos.

But he looked at her. For the third time that day. Really looked. So emotionless. So placid. And she was stilled.

"You're going to prison," she heard a guard bark. Spike smiled slow, flashing teeth covered red.

"No," he shot back, eyes locked on Buffy. Talking only to her. "I'm going to Hell."

And as they dragged him off, and Buffy put a hand over the wound he had created, trying to stifle the blood, the betrayal in her body at the feel of that killer so close, she heard him,

"A pity, really. I've always felt so Christ-like."