A/N: And then people wanted to see Jack meet Spike. This is set BEFORE the main story.
Undead Bonus Track II: Faces
Spike leaned across to the man on the next bar stool. "Well, you're not what you pretend to be, are you? I can smell it."
The stranger, hanging out in this bar of demons as though he belonged, raised an eyebrow. "And you're telling me your other face is that pretty?" He took a swig of his drink – water, it looked like – and turned away, staring at the bar.
Smiling to himself, Spike took a long pull from his bottle of beer and looked the man up and down. Six feet, maybe more, broad shoulders and chest, dark hair, farm boy looks. Too fresh-faced for a place like this and too comfortable not to know exactly what he was doing. An anomaly. Very intriguing.
If the man was aware of the scrutiny, he didn't seem bothered by it.
"So what are you then?" Spike asked. "You're not a demon, not a spirit, not a fairy," he caught the glint of laughter in the man's face and kept going, "not a monster, not dead. And not a Slayer, unless that's the best disguise she's ever come up with."
That earned him a spark of interest, quickly stifled. "Sounds like you know her personally." The accent was unplaceable, almost deliberately so, but with just a hint of something that made Spike think of home. He smirked.
"We've been around the block a few times."
"Know where I can find her?"
Now Spike was more than just intrigued. He was downright interested. "What do you want the Slayer for?"
"Why do you care?"
Spike leaned in again. "Because if anyone's taking her out, it's me."
The stranger turned to him, lips curling. "Is that 'taking her out' with wine and chocolates, maybe a nice meal somewhere? Or did you have something more permanent in mind?"
"What's it to you?"
"Nothing at all." The man held up his hands, still smiling. "Just interested." He fished in a pocket for a moment, then with a final wink at the vampire, he dropped a note on the bar and headed for the door. "Be seeing you."
Spike picked up his beer, swilling the contents and watching the foam rise and fade. Then he slammed the bottle down.
"Bloody hell." Grabbing his coat, he headed for the door at a half-run.
The flapping coat drew his eye as he looked up and down the alley.
"Oi!" he yelled, slowing his run to a fast stroll. "Hey, wait up."
The man paused, then turned to look at Spike. "Did I forget something?" he asked, hands stuffed nonchalantly into his pockets and that damn annoying smile still in place.
"What do you want with the Slayer?"
"I thought we'd compare notes about hairstyles. I'm thinking of dying mine." The grin didn't fade as the man moved closer. "How does she feel about blonds?"
"Let me know when you find out." Spike looked up into eyes that held the same humour as the smile. Amused, for sure, and with an edge that made him decidedly uncomfortable. Behind the clean-cut looks, Spike knew that he was looking into the face of a predator. For someone used to being at the top of the food-chain, it was unsettling.
The man's voice was low and commanding. "Can you suggest where I might find her?"
Spike shrugged, stepping back a little. "She'll be out there somewhere. Looking for things to slay, that kind of thing. So what's it about? You heard she had a vacancy for a tall, dark, mysterious stranger in a long coat?"
"And why exactly would I talk to a vampire about a Slayer?" came the reply, without a suggestion that the reference had been understood. "Even one as interested as you."
"It's not interest," Spike said, as casually as he could manage. "Just, you know, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. All that stuff."
"What makes you think I'm her enemy?" The man's eyes flickered up and down, before coming to rest on Spike's. "And what makes you think I'm your friend. I think you might want to pull yourself together. Your...obsession...is showing."
Despite himself, Spike glanced down, his hand going automatically to his zipper. He heard the stranger's derisive laughter as he turned to walk away. Swearing, Spike forced himself to concentrate, to feed the right thoughts to the chip in his head. He wasn't going to hurt the guy. Just, you know, frighten him a little.
Moving quickly, he caught up with the man, reaching out a hand out to spin him round. With reflexes faster than Spike had anticipated, the stranger grabbed his wrist, pulling his hand aside and bringing his other arm round. Spike blocked the intended blow, forcing himself to hold back as he shoved the man off.
"You're not even trying," the man said, his breathing only a little harder than before. "Is that all you got? All mouth and no-"
The return of that bloody smile was enough to make Spike lose it, cutting the sentence short as he grabbed the lapels of the man's greatcoat, spinning them both round and shoving him into the wall of the alley. The expected stab of agony from the chip didn't come, and he risked following up on the movement, pinning his victim to the brickwork. As he pushed against the taller man, he felt hands come up and grip his own arms so that they were locked in each other's grasps.
"What are you?" Spike muttered, feeling the man's breath on his face as he shifted, apparently getting more comfortable.
"You tell me."
At this proximity, Spike could almost hear the stranger's heartbeat, just as he could feel the steady rise and fall of his chest. Their faces were inches apart, and Spike felt the man's heat spreading through his own, cold body. The calm eyes that looked into his gave nothing away.
"You're not human," Spike said. "Not entirely." He leaned closer, smelling the otherness that he'd noticed before. "Lucky me." He pressed closer, almost nose to nose with the man as the blood-lust rose in his mind, overtaking all other thoughts. Not human.
Dimly, he noticed that his victim didn't even flinch when he vamped out, running his tongue over sharp teeth. Spike was stronger like this, every sense heightened to a pitch and it was now that he smelt the blood. Looking back and down, he saw that the hand gripping his arm was grazed, knuckles glistening in the dim light of the alleyway. The man must have caught his hand as Spike slammed him against the wall. Very slowly, still pushing hard against the shoulders under his hands, Spike leaned backwards, bringing his mouth closer to the tempting redness. It still smelt different, not quite right somehow, but there was enough humanity there to drive all thoughts from Spike's head except one. Feeding.
He ran his tongue up a finger, feeling the body against his flinch reflexively as he kept going, following the scent that was driving him insane. As his mouth closed down on its target, searing pain burst through the side of his head.
The moment passed in a blur, and it wasn't until he found himself slammed against then sliding down the wall that Spike realised the pain hadn't come from the chip. It had come first from contact with the open cut, then with the closed fist as the stranger punched him hard in the jaw. The force of the blow was enough to send Spike reeling, letting the other man turn the tables, grabbing the leather coat and using Spike's own momentum to throw him against the wall. Instead of following up, the man stepped back, watching as Spike fell to the ground, reeling with pain and surprise. His tongue felt as though it was on fire.
"Always thinking with your teeth," the man said, pulling a handkerchief from his pocket and wiping his knuckles. "I guess some people just can't be taught."
"What the hell?" His human face back in place now, Spike pawed at his mouth. "What did you do to me?"
The stranger raised his eyebrows. "You brought that on yourself. Let me give you some advice." He moved swiftly, grabbing a handful of Spike's coat and yanking him up so that they were nose to nose again. "In the future, trying using what's left of your brain and just say no." He let go, dropping Spike back against the wall. "And stay out of my way while I'm in town. Unless you want me to find a permanent solution to your," he paused again, the knowing smile back in place, "obsession." With a last flicker of his eyes up and down Spike's body, he stood upright again, buttoning his coat and turning to leave.
Spike watched, glaring at the man's back as he strode down the alley and away, coat flapping behind him. Then, using the wall for support, he pulled himself upright again. His mouth felt like he'd eaten raw chillies and his head was still spinning. What he needed was another beer, to take the taste away. He'd left half a bottle sitting on the bar, hadn't he? Settling his coat properly on his shoulders, he headed back inside, half-hoping that someone had had the nerve to pinch it. That was what he needed right now - something to punch. That would more than make up for the rest of the evening. Right. That was a plan. A good plan.
With a last glance down the alley, just to check, Spike turned on his heel and headed back inside.