TITLE: "Beware the Jabberwock" (1/?)
AUTHOR: Marie-Claude Danis
EMAIL: mc@verticalcrawl.com
SITE: http://www.verticalcrawl.com/mostly
ARCHIVE: My site, or anyone else's if you ask.
FEEDBACK: Hell yeah. Bring it on.
DISCLAIMER: We are mere figments of Joss Whedon's imagination. Get used to it.
PAIRING: S/B-ish, bad case of angst.
SPOILERS: Through fifth season.
SUMMARY: Set seven years in the future, Spike is alone in New York, raising Buffy's
NOTE: This story is going to be *long*. This first part wasn't beta'ed or even
spell-checked, and written drunk and tired to boot. My apologies.

"Beware the Jabberwock" (1/?)


There's nothing sadder than a poorly fed idiot.

Sitting on the counter, I wipe my mouth with a disgusted hand, peering down at the
dying convenience store clerk on the dirty linoleum bellow me. Truth is, I can't even
finish my meal; his blood tasted awful. Too thin, too pale - a sloppy kill by all
accounts. He'll have to just die now, I'm certainly not finishing him up. Such is fate,
buddy. I don't know what you did to deserve getting only half-drained then left for
dead. There's no dignity. It's worst than a stab in the back. It's pure disinterest from
the undead, which you have to admit is a new low, eh pal?

Bored, I swing my legs around to the other side of the counter and look around me at
the deserted store. A pinball machine trills its little music annoyingly in the far back,
and somewhere to my left an automatic coffee machine starts a fresh pot. Still a bit
peckish, I grab a Twinkie and jump off my perch.

"Ripe for the picking..." Pastry in mouth, I grab a plastic bag and stroll about the
aisles, selected random items for the roadtrip ahead. Chocolate, some juice and
ready-made sandwiches usually do the trick. I grab a few packs of smokes on my
way out.

The door closes behind me with a dingle of its bell, and I find myself in the cool night
air once again. Can't see the moon behind all the clouds, and the atmosphere has an
icky feel to it. The neon lights above me buzz and light my old Ford Meteor in a way
that makes the aged paint look like a negative of my chipped fingernails. It faintly
glows of a yellowed white, bearing the marks of too many miles spent on
unmaintained back roads. Highways are so dull. Routes have scenery, and truck
stops, planted here and there like candy machines for me.

I turn around and wander to the side of the building. I reach a gray door with a
weathered washroom sign. I knock.

"You done in there?"

Comes her voice, "Almost." I hear a clunk.

I frown, stifling a yawn. "What are you doing?"

"I need help..." her muffled voice admits sheepishly. I chuckle and walk in.

My pet is standing on the toilet lid, facing the mirror above the sink, fingers clawing at
a braid against her shoulder. "What's wrong?" I pick up the dropped brush from the
ground and the dirty clothes she changed out of.

"I can't get the elastic band off..."

I dump the clothes and brush in her opened bag at my feet. A moment later the
offensive hairtie is thrown in the garbage can along with a knotted chunk of blonde
hair. I give her loose hair a vigourous shake. "There. All pretty. You ready, princess?"

Back on the road, I put on Tom Waits and my passenger and I sing along loudly. An
hour later, she is asleep on her colouring book.