A/n here's the next chapter! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Still don't own Joss Whedon's characters…..
I made my way back upstairs and flopped on the couch and turned up the tele. I don't know what it is about this girl that gets under my skin. Sure, she tasted amazing and has a handy gift, but that should be all. But instead the sight of her bruised wrist from my less than gentle treatment was unsettling. I tried to push such concerns aside and watch whatever inane show was playing. Luckily, I only had to ignore my thoughts for a few minutes before I heard the shower turn back off downstairs. I frowned slightly. I had expected the girl to have been in there longer. A few minutes later I heard her hesitantly call out, 'Spike?'
'Up here love,' I yelled back loud enough for her to hear. I listened as I heard her slowly make her way up the ladder. When her head pops up, she looks surprised to see me lounging on the couch. I don't know what she expected me to be doing, sleeping in a coffin maybe. Her face suddenly breaks into a smile and I know she was reading my thoughts. The smile was brief, but it lit up her entire face for that moment.
I sat up and Buffy came over and sat down. Looking at her wet hair, I remembered that getting clean was only step 1 in the basic-necessities plan. 'You hungry pet?' She looked at me in surprise again, and I let out an exasperated sigh. 'Love, I didn't eat you in the alley because I didn't want you to die. Why would I bollocks that up now by not giving you what you need to survive?' Her look of surprise didn't go away, but it did change to something darker and I felt for a moment that I was the mind-reader. She was thinking that people could survive on much less than I was giving her. I felt my jaw clench and I said lowly, 'Yea, well, I'm not that kind of vampire.'
Slowly, Buffy's face relaxed and she broke my gaze, and said quietly, 'yea, I'm hungry.' I nodded and got up quickly from the couch. I went to the small fridge and pulled it open, knowing I had some food in there. Sure enough, there was a serve of spicy chicken wings at the front. I grabbed them, and a bottle of water. Sitting back down next to her, I snagged a wing before handing her the whole plate. She looked at me curiously and I shrugged with a grin. 'I like the taste.' She smiled again briefly before picking up one of the wings herself. She ate it quickly, though it seemed more methodological than enjoyable. I put my hand on hers as she starts her second. 'Slow down love, enjoy them. I'm not going to take your food from you.' She paused for a minute at that, and quickly glanced up at me before going back to eating, slower this time.
I watched her for a moment while I absently ate my wing, before snapping my gaze away from her to focus back on whatever show I had been watching before she had come up. Focusing back on that, I saw her posture relax from the corner of my eye. Clearly she did not like being stared at. We continued on in a comfortable silence for a few more minutes until I looked over at Buffy to see her lying on her arm against the side of the chair, food forgotten in the space between us, with a slight frown marring her face as she watched the show on the tele.
I couldn't help my lips twitching up at that, watching her trying to decipher the admittedly confusing show. When the character's suddenly found themselves in a maze-like zoo, Buffy let out a sigh of exacerbation, turning to look with me with that same frown on her face. 'What in the world is going on? Why are they in a zoo? And why is it so weird? What sort of zoo looks like that!' I smirk at her confusion but then shrug my shoulders. 'Dunno love, wasn't really paying attention between getting you fed and trying to make sure you didn't choke it down.' Buffy laughed softly at this, the first laugh I'd heard from her. Smirking at her again, I turned back to the show, trying to figure out myself what was going on.
After the show finished – and I never figured out what the bloody hell was going on – I glanced back over to the quiet girl to see she had fallen asleep with head on her arm. I blinked in surprise. I did not think she would be relaxed enough to sleep anywhere near me, considering the last 24 hours, and that wasn't even taking into account her obviously traumatic life. Whoever had her before me had certainly not been gentle.
Looking at the plate of wings between us, I knew I'd have to go and get more food. I doubted the remaining 2 wings would sustain her very long. Picking it up, I put it back in the fridge and turned back to my sleeping captive. Walking over to the couch, I carefully picked her up, hoping that I wouldn't wake her. Her breathing caught when I first picked her up but it evened back out as I walked carefully to the ladder and made my way down it with minimal difficulty, easily able to carry the slight girl.
I lay her down gently on the bed and picked up the cuff closest to her limp hand. Picking up her hand, I hesitated for a moment before clicking it on. I didn't think she'd wake up before I got back, but I couldn't take any chances. I straightened up and gazed down at the beautiful girl I'd found by some trick of fate. I shook myself out of it after a few second and strode off to find some supplies.
Blearily, I opened my eyes, finding myself in the in-between state of consciousness and unconsciousness. I wasn't sure what had woken me up, and I was more than tempted just to close my eyes again and let myself drift back off. Half-awake, I let my mind drift to before I fell asleep, frowning slightly as I tried to recall what was happening. Gasping, I tried to jump up, remembering falling asleep with Spike next to me.
I only got my head and shoulders a few inches off the bed before my wrist stopped me from moving, and I gasped again as my body flopped back onto the bed. I closed my eyes and took a deep shuddering breath, trying to calm down my body and mind. First, I opened my mind and checked my surroundings. Nada. Looks like Spike left the crypt for whatever reason. Opening my eyes, I tentatively checked my wrist, and saw that it was again chained to the bed, looking rather purple and sluggishly bleeding from where I had cut myself on the steel cuff by my sudden movements.
Slowly this time, I turned my body as I sat up, so that I was sitting on the edge of the bed with my wrist laying limp on the comforter next to me. Sighing, I leaned sideways to rest on the headboard, wondering at the time. It couldn't be too late; the room wasn't too dark yet. Closing my eyes, I reached out with my mind again, beyond just the crypt, trying to find someone to figure out the time. Finally I found a mourner. Even though he was grieving, I found myself transfixed in his feelings for a moment. The love he felt for his wife was something I hadn't felt before. It was so true, and pure and complete. He was content to spend time by her side, as he had been for the hours since he arrived after lunch with his sons.
Absently, I realized that meant it was well into the mid-afternoon. I suppose I couldn't be blamed for how much I slept all things considering, but I was still vaguely shocked at how the majority of my time had been spent over the last day. Especially considering that in that time, my abilities had been found out again, by a vampire no less. I shook those unpleasant thoughts, and went back to the mourner, and again lost myself in that unwavering love, imagining for a second that someone felt that way about me.
After the man left the cemetery, Spike still wasn't back yet and I let me curiosity get the better of me as I examined the room I was trapped in in the fading light of the afternoon. It was fairly bare bones, but it seemed to have the essentials. There was a decent sized chest of draws against the wall, with books and candles scattered on top of it. I could see the bathroom just to the right of where I was sitting on the bed. And of course, the bed I was sitting on, with its very soft red sheets. Though I quickly moved my mind from that as unwanted images sprang to mind as to why Spike would need such nice sheets. The thoughts both scared me and didn't at the same time. The last thing I noticed was the simple bedside table. Books and candles were scattered on this surface as well, and out of curiosity, I picked up the closest book.
However, I quickly screwed up my face and put it down. It was in some foreign or ancient language, and whatever it was about it looked foreboding. Definitely not about puppies or rainbows. Picking up the next one, I smiled immediately as I noticed the title was in English. I then promptly rolled my eyes at how easily excited I was. The title 'Crime and Punishment' sounded vaguely familiar, but I had no idea where I might have heard it from. I shrugged though, and opened it up to the first page.
I read a little bit, frowning. It was so dull. I flicked my eyes back up to the title of the chapter and snickered at myself. I was reading the forward. No wonder there didn't seem to be a story happening. I started flipping through the pages trying to find Chapter 1, when there was suddenly a bang and a crash at the other end of this long underground room. I jumped at the sudden shattering of the quiet, nearly losing my page in the book. Just as suddenly, Spike's head appeared in a hole that I hadn't noticed on the ground, quickly followed by the rest of his body as he hoisted himself from the under-under-ground into the room.
He stood up, brushing himself off, and looked over at me. In that moment I realized that I was essentially snooping around his reading material. He might not like that. Panicking, my hands suddenly fumbled with the book and it promptly fell out of my hands and was strewn on the ground. I felt my panic mounting as I looked at the skewwhiff way it was laying on the ground. What if he didn't care that I was reading the book but would become incensed about almost wrecking it by throwing it on the ground. I felt my hands shaking as I looked back up at Spike and noticed that he was almost all the way across the room to where I was sitting. On the bed. I knew that I wouldn't be able to stand up and get off the bed or in any other way get away from the vampire moving towards me so I just stared widely down at my shaking hands, too scared to blink because I knew how fast he could move.
Suddenly he was in front of me, and the abruptness of it forced the whimper out of me that I had tried to contain, and I ducked my head against any assault that was to come. I saw him kneel in front of me out of my peripherals, and jumped when his hands gently rested on my own. 'Buffy.' I flinched again as his voice broke the silence. He gripped my hands tighter, but not roughly as I had expected. 'Read my mind, love. Remember that 'm not the wanker who hurt you before. 'M not a nice man, but I'm not him pet.'
I took a deep shuddering breath, and reached out to the mind in front of me. I felt the difference between Spike and the others straight away and immediately felt all the muscles in my body collapse, having only been kept up by certainty that I was about to be in pain. 'Good girl,' Spike said softly, picking up the wrist with the cuff on it and promptly unlocking it. He again drew it to his mouth, and curved his tongue around the reopened cut on my wrist. He sighed in content after he'd licked up every drop, but then frowned as he stroked the area just above the cut and purple bruise. 'I'm going to have to find something else to keep you still.' He smirked at me, 'as much as I'm enjoying your blood love, this must be getting sore.' He kept stroking my wrist as he spoke, and I found myself relaxing until I was at the same level I had been at before freaking out about the book.
I peeked up at him, and noticed that Spike had a far-off look on his face. With my mind no longer reeling from panic, I opened up more to see what was causing that look. His mind was oddly open, clearly he'd forgotten about blocking me while he was calming me down. He was enjoying the lingering taste of my blood on his tongue. Weird as that was, I somehow felt like that was a compliment. Also, true to his word, he was discontent with the dark marks colouring my wrist, and was trying to figure out a more comfortable way to hold me down. But then he starting thinking about fur cuffs, and I could actually see his face light up as he thought about it. I chuckled under my breath at the look on his face, though I cut off my access to his mind, not wanting to see where that went.
The far-off look on Spike's face was replaced by a smirk. 'Listening in are we?' I shook my head. 'Not anymore,' I said with a soft smile, 'I was scared at what I was going to hear'. Spike snorted at that but stood up and went to grab my wrist, but stopped himself at the last second, and held out his hand instead. I let him help me up, and then he walked over to where he popped up from before. He kicked something and the thud it caused made me jump, and then he picked something up from the ground.
I looked over curiously and noticed that Spike had kicked some sort of metal manhole cover. 'Sewer access,' he explained with a grin. I made a face, and he grinned wider. 'Yea, figured I didn't need to worry about you scuttling off down there.' Scrunching up my face more, I shook my head from side to side. Spike's smile softened, and he held up the plastic bag that I hadn't noticed him holding before. 'Got a good range of food. Didn't know what you liked.' I looked at him, flabbergasted. I was happy he didn't want to hurt me, but this extra step of making me comfortable seemed too good to be true. He'd made it clear from day one that he wouldn't hesitate to hurt me, just like the rest of them. So why did he care?
As soon as I told her I had gotten a few different things 'cause I didn't know what she liked, she went oddly quiet, and the look on her face was confused. Confused about what? I actually liked the girl, if she couldn't tell. I'd still bite her, and I couldn't let her run off, but I didn't want to torment her. Wasn't my gig anyway, even if I didn't like her. I don't know what the bloke before me got off on, but I just wanted her to help me out to help me get the edge over other demons, or over the slayer. And she tasted good. I didn't need her to suffer.
Determinably, I walked over to her and watched her confusion take on a hint of fear. I stopped right in front of her, and put the bag of food down on the bed. 'Open your mind pet, and I'll tell you when you should be scared of me and when you shouldn't.' She looked up at me, still looking confused but also eager, and when I felt I had her full attention, I spoke. 'I like you pet'. Surprise surged over her face, but I put my hands on her shoulders to make sure I had her attention. 'I don't want to hurt you, not for no reason. 'ts not my thing, even if you were a pain in the ass. Now don' get me wrong. You run off or do somethin' else against our deal I'll stop you. And you taste amazing pet so I'd still bite you. But I don't get off on tormenting you orrite? I want your help, and sometimes your blood, but I don' need you're terror.'
She was silent through my little speech, and didn't say anything for a few seconds. Then, suddenly she smiled and started laughing. I just watched her, a bit confused by her reaction but glad she wasn't scared. She reached a trembling hand out, and I took it and pulled her into my chest. I felt her laughing change to crying, and I tried to pull back, but she had her hands twisted in my shirt, and she wasn't letting go. So I just patted her back as she cried her fear out.
I felt calmer now than I could ever remember feeling. No-one had promised me that much safety before. I felt like I could breathe. Spike had his reasons for keeping me around, but he would keep me around and safe and content. I'd never gotten that alone, and I certainly never got it before. I pulled back from where I had burrowed myself in Spike's chest, blushing as I realized I had been all pressed up against him for at least 10 minutes. Then my stomach rumbled, and I blushed harder and looked at the floor.
Spike reached past me and picked up the bag he had put on the bed, rattling it slightly. 'Ready for food?'
I nodded and he led me up the ladder to the upstairs area with the couch. He sat down on it and put the bag in front of him. Curious, I sat across from him and waited for him to reveal his snacks. He tipped it upside-down, and a whole variety of things fell out. There was a range of different chip packets, and few pre-packaged sandwiches, some chocolate bars, and some of the microwavable noodle packets. Picking up the noodle packet, I looked around with a frown on my face until I confirmed that Spike did indeed have a microwave. I was too hungry to that tonight though, and I just picked up one of the sandwich packets. I hesitated when I picked it up, and peeked through my lashes and with my mind at Spike. He was watching me patiently, and when he noticed me looking at him, he thought to me, 'I said you could take anything love, and I meant it.'
I smiled, and carefully unwrapped the sandwich before taking a bite out of it. I still felt abnormally comfortable and happy, but I pushed the oddness aside and chose to focus on the happy. Who knew how long it would last – I didn't want to miss a second.
Spike picked up one of the microwavable noodle things and stuck it in the microwave while I enjoyed my sandwich. When he was done, he stopped at his little mini fridge and got some sort of soft drink out and handed it to me, along with a bottle of water. 'Gotta stay hydrated love, were heading out tonight.' I looked at his questioningly as I smiled in thanks for the drinks. He grinned widely at me, 'I have a feeling that tonight is a good night to play some poker'.
Uh-oh how's Buffy going to feel about that? I know this chapter has been a long time coming, I hope you enjoyed it :) R & R and let me know!