TITLE: "Called"
AUTHOR: Marie-Claude Danis
EMAIL: mc@verticalcrawl.com
SITE: http://www.verticalcrawl.com/mostly
FEEDBACK: Hell yeah. Bring it on.
SPOILERS: Through fifth season.
ARCHIVING: Anywhere, but ask me first.
SUMMARY: Spike is called upon to fulfilled his prophecized purpose.
NOTES: Not beta'ed nor spell-checked, all mistakes are my own, and they might be
legions given that English is neither my first language nor is it the one spoken around
me at the moment. Please excuse my French :)



I flip the weathered playing cards in my hands idly, peering through the side window
but seeing nothing. Around me in the muffled darkness a dozen bodies are sleeping
restlessly, crammed into shape in uncomfortable seats that pretend to be "reclinable".
The taxing read-eye trip is hard on the living. Me, I feel like I've been on this bloody
bus for eons. If space permitted I'd be edging the seat in wordless anticipation, willing
the speeding vehicle to go faster still. Instead I recline achingly against the headrest,
a knee up against the empty seat before me, letting the seventy-second hour of this
godforsaken trek slither by quietly. The stench of warm overfed bodies around me
arouses my hunger to the point of violence, but I cannot let anything impede my
already crawling schedule. A stronger instinct instructs me not to. And I am not
convinced I could act against it should I posessed the will to.

Beside me in the near-empty bus are the only belongings I deemed important enough
not to be left uncaringly behind in New York. The omnipotent blanket, now faded with
age and the sun it's protected me from, holes pierced through its worn material by
errant cigarettes and dream-angry talons. It's got history, that one. I hate being slave
to a piece of fabric, but we understand each other. If it talked to other blankets, it
might pride itself in being much more than warmth to a creature who doesn't naturally
produce such luxury. I snort at the thought, hungered to delirium.

On its rough flannel surface is a stained canvas bag. In its belly one would find two
things only: a drained blood bag, feasted on millions of miles ago, and, in sharp ironic
contrast, a snow globe. The irregular pavement beneath makes its tiny white speckles
ripple in the unruly water, swirling around the Empire State Building as though caught
in a whirlwind. I stole it from an already-dead vagrant I'd fed on, selecting the toy
carefully amongst the useless junk surrounding the carcass. As I pocketed it, I knew
precisely of its purpose. It would come into play later. Soon, but not yet.

Months later, three days ago, I woke up drenched in cold sweat on the creaky
mattress I shared with the memory of a murdered victim. The strange hovel around
me had posed as living space for someone that had once lived and then to my sorry
self, and I knew with gut-wrenching certainty that I had to get out of there. And go
back home. It was time, finally.

I stack the cards neatly into a balanced pile on my knee, taping on its top surface
with a painted nail. Boredom was added hours ago to my plethora of roadtrip angst,
and along with hunger and anticipation, it was getting the better of me. Only a few
hours, a few hours and I will have the feasts of all feasts, its prophetic purpose
perhaps only an after-thought in my starving mind. I back-hand the cards away
angrily and they flutter across the aisle and into the empty seat across. My hands
ache for her, my tongue screams for her foreigh taste, my mind wrapped around one
single thought, the thought that's driven me across country so frantically, the thought
that's keeping the demon inside me in check until I reach her. She's sunk to the
dreaded bottom much faster than anticipated. My mind momentarily lets go of its
preoccupation and leaps onto a feeling that is brand new to me, but overwhelming.

Blanketed in intermittent shadows, I bend forward weakly and let my face slip into the
comforting ugliness of its demon, my hands covering it, trembling. It has to be soon, I
can no longer hold it in. Something in me expands with longing and pre-emptive
possessiveness. I want to kill, not to eat but to get closer to her, faster. Although I've
only recently been called upon this natural, instinctive purpose, generations of my
kind before me have had this happen in them. I've lived through a lot, but this is
without a trace of doubt the most frightening, haunting feeling fathomable.

I ache for my Childe.


The sight is to me similar in torture to the crazed hunger that knaws at my gut. Its
intensity almost makes me want to vomit, and the smell is more powerful now than
what I can reasonably bear. I've escaped dawn just as the insistant grey light started
to nib at my heels while I ran through the deserted streets. In my hand still bleeds
the ink of a pen broken in my haste, staining my palm with a scribbled address I did
not really need; I could smell her from worlds away. Sometime between the time I
left this town as fast as my legs would carry me and now, as it is calling me back so
forcefully, she has been reduced to a lifestyle as deplorable as my own. It is as cold
as death in the still room, and its humanity sickens me. I shake the humidity off my
skin in soft disgust. Behind me the fridge makes a strange noise, to then resume its
quiet hum. A drip is tapping at the tarnished chrome of the sink. The building's aging
structure shifts, cracking ominously. I close my eyes for a moment, the mundane
noises nagging at the edge of my hunger. When I open them again all I can hear is
her laboured breathing.

Used leather soles scratching at the ugly carpet, I slither to where she lies, my
broken one. The mattress sinks under my weight and I sit, the nook of her bent legs
and stomach curling around me like an unspoken invitation. She is all bones, her skin
colourless, her hair dull and mousey. She lies on her side motionless, an arm folded
under her head, the other coiled against her chest. The sheet is entangled with her
legs, useless. Her face tells of tired slumber. A chill shakes me and tears spill quietly
over my numb features.

Beautiful, beautiful girl. The stench of your readiness is making me dizzy. I can tell
without effort that you lost everything a long time ago, and more recently you lost
grip on even yourself. You haven't radiated of that infuriating slayer scent in a long
time, I can tell that as well. I'm meant to know these things, you know. You're ready.
You screamed at me and I came, like a caring father. I'm here, pet. I'm as ready as
you are. We're meant to live by synchrony now.

I can't keep the demon away anymore, it's useless. Game face doned, I place a
shaking hand on hers, meaning only to rouse her consciousness. She shifts under my
touch, her muscles stiffening in soft awareness. Already, the bond is forming,
promising of faith and lust. I bend to her and take in the intoxicating smell, nostrils
flaring with need against the sweat-slicked hair clinging to her neck.

She speaks my name into my ear, breathing it with utter trust. She is awake, her
hand twisting in mine to entwine lukewarm and cold fingers. "I'm here," I whisper
back soothingly, and she curls up in my arms as I take her against me. Sitting up
only by my hold around her, she lets the all-consumming pain flow out freely against
my chest. She too knows instinctively what this scene must play out. And like a willing
thespian she breaks apart like she is meant to, and I pick up the pieces. It is as
though we've rehearsed it a thousand times over. The execution is flawless.

No longer the chosen one, all I hold in my arms is the ghost of an undefeated foe, a
flesh and blood promise secretly made to me the moment my Sire turned me,
something I've belonged to since the beginning, unknowingly to all concerned. The
moment is almost defeaning in its importance.

I break away all the while clinging to her, putting my lips to her brow, canines
scratching at her skin between parted lips. She closes her eyes, her weeping quiet
and genuine, and welcomes me when in turn I press my lips to hers. She nestles her
tongue to my sharp teeth eagerly, tasting the familiar saltiness she's always been
meant to know as her own kind's, finally cealing to a close years of anonymous
darkness lurking in her. Until this day, she's never known its purpose. She welcomes
the answers.

Then my lips trail off the corner of her mouth and slide down her jaw to the slight
curve of her neck. In a perfect dance, she tilts her head to accommodate me, and
with a squeeze of her hand on my sleeve, I unceremoniously sink hungered fangs
into willing flesh. She gasps softly through strangled sobs, her hand gripping the nape
of my neck, fingers digging in the short hair. I snake possessive arms around her thin
frame, squeezing her to me. 'I will use your neck as a chalice.' Succulent, sacred
blood runs down my chin and down her shoulder and chest, dripping thickly onto the
off-white sheets.

Hours later, when I'm sated to satisfaction and shaking with exhaustion and arousal, I
release her limp form and quietly lie with her, offering my Childe a slashed palm to
drink from. The stagnant liquid stains her lips and rolls down her tongue, and she
swallows with a weak, grateful moan. I nurse her until her lips stop moving against
my hand, and then cover her, tucking her preciously against me.

And for the first time in centuries, I rest.