Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the property of big people with much more money than I have, who will undoubtedly continue on with their full, happy lives never knowing of my existence, or that I quite illegally used their characters in a piece of writing for the internet.

All comments are greatly appreciated, of any type.

The Blood Link

By Rashaka

1.1 *

1.2 CHAPTER 1

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that

catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Banderdsnatch!"

-Lewis Carroll



Ellie stumbled through the hedges, landing on her side in the grass. Little thorns and branches left tiny abrasions over her skin, a myriad of miniscule red drops welling to the surface of her skin. But they were too few and too small. It wasn't enough—she knew it wasn't enough. With her small chest heaving, the twelve-year-old wrenched herself to her feet again and began to move forward, desperately trying to stay upright. In the darkness her eyes—normally the cool grey of early morning—were dilated near to being completely black, and her head felt heavy, like she had had too much candy, only the dizziness was in her brain instead of her belly.

Frantically she looked around for anything sharp—anything she could use for slicing. In her dash from the wizard-lawyer's car she'd dropped the stolen knife, and now Ellie had nothing to cut skin, only huge slabs of stone and flat, even grass. If she only had more blood! With blood she could raise the— the— things. With blood she could keep herself safe.

Thick, orange curls, a colorless brown in the moonlight, fell into her vision, and she weakly brushed them aside. The locks were too long, almost shaggy—when had she gotten her hair cut last? Her mom used to cut her hair. Ellie wanted her mother so badly. She wanted Charlie and Jessie and her dad and her little hamster…

The hamster you killed! Devil Child! Hellspawn! Only a devil child could possibly do such terrible, disgusting things!

No no no! she was in her aunt's house, crying again. Charlie and Jessie upstairs, too far away … Jessie still hadn't woken up. But Charlie was awake, Charlie would protect her. Where was he? Why couldn't he hear Aunt Jenn?!

You killed it! Everything you touch is dead! Little brat! How dare you mother leave me with a monster instead of a child!

No! Aunt Jenn, it wasn't my fault! They were chasing me Aunty! They wanted to take me away, just like the other kids! I needed the blood! I had to have the blood to make it all go away! Aunt Jenn! Stoppit! Please, stoppit! I'm not evil, Aunty! I didn't' mean to! Please, that hurts! Please! Charlie?! Where are you Charlie?! CHARLIE! ! !

Car tires squealed in the cold night, and Ellie lurched forward, the feeling going out of her limbs. She had to get away… they were coming… Lights in the distance, and then footsteps. Many, coming from the direction of the car she'd jumped from. The thrumming of boots running across gravel, echoed in the empty night air next to her heavy breathing, and then flashlights through the bushes. She hadn't gotten far enough away, and she didn't have enough blood to raise it… No! She couldn't let them take her again! Not like the others! Maybe—maybe if she could do enough damage with her teeth, she'd still have enough time to—

"Well well, what do we have here, eh? Awfully lil' thing to be out all alone in the graveyard, aren't you?"

Ellie, still on hands and knees, raised her tear- and dirt- streaked features to the voice. It sounded strange, like a old movie. Through the haze in her eyes she saw black clothes, long black jacket.

"Are you the reason that pack over yonder is making such a ruckus? They don't sound too happy not to have you, love."

Straining her eyes, she tried look up in the dark and see him better. He hunched down obligingly, a look of mild curiosity on his face as he inspected her the way one inspects a new toy. His skin was white in the moonlight, and when Ellie reached out to grab his wrist, she knew.

He's one of them! Her mind screamed. You can use him! Whatever you do you can't go back!

"Hey! Watch the leather, pet! What is—" Ellie didn't release his wrist, but she brought her own tiny hand up to her mouth and bit savagely. It was painful; she hated pain! But she still bit and the blood still leaked down her mouth and wrist, sprinkling onto the soft earth.

"What the hell are you doing you—"

Now, before he bites you!

Ellie caught his wrist with her bloody hand as well, wrapping her fingers tight against the skin, and reached out her mind and grabbed.

It was like swimming in darkness. Things echoed in the monster's mind, flashes of people and sounds and tastes and emotions, but Ellie paid them no attention. She had him. She was safe now, she was in control. He was fighting her, but something else was in there with them too—some bright, shiny thing that sent out strange, rhythmic… somethings. She didn't know what it was, but it was as foreign there as she, and somehow she it was keeping him from trying to bite her, and limiting his ability to resiat. He was old though, and Ellie didn't know how long she could keep him. She had barely loosed enough blood even for this. But she had control of him now, and with him she would be safe—for as long as her power held.

Take me away from the men with the lights and the things with them! Take me somewhere safe!

The vampire called Spike was dimly aware of voices shouting as he collected the child in his arms and began to run, but it didn't seem to matter much. He had to get her away; he wasn't exactly certain why, but he had the overwhelming sensation that it was vital. When he tried to question the thought, even as he ran full-out into the night, his thoughts could not seem to focus.

All he knew was that he had to get out of the cemetery and get her away. The headlights of an oncoming car flashed at his sensitive eyes once and he blinked, slightly jolted as his vision blurred. When he could see clearly in the dark again, Spike looked down at the tiny girl in his arms. Wasn't there something wrong about this? Wasn't there something he should be fighting? He felt—restrained, caged, trapped. Why was he running down the street at night with a strange child in his arms? Something was definitely going on—

Grey eyes gazed into his, large and turning almost opalescent in the sickly glow of the streetlights.

Safe. Spike had to go somewhere safe, and away from the bad people at the cemetery. He had to protect the girl. Nothing else was important right now.

When her door crashed open Buffy Summers jerked awake, jumping violently from the couch and dumping blankets and popcorn on the floor as she went. Her startled gaze beheld the odd vision of Spike, sitting propped against the inside of her once again closed front door with a small body clutched firmly in his arms & lap like a lifeline. The hood of the heavy sweatshirt his strange cargo was wearing had slipped partway down, revealing a mass of bright, fiery curls and small, freckled cheeks.

"Spike?" Buffy snapped, striding forward with Slayer-mode turned up to the 'high' setting. "What's going on? Who is that. And why did you bring her here?"

The blond vampire, for his part, jerked his head up and stared blankly at her for a moment, then seemed to blink. Like a person waking up from sleepwalking. Buffy judged this to be definitely odd behavior for Spike, who took hyperactive awareness to startling new heights even among vampires.

"I don't know. I think—I—I don't know. He looked down. "She seems to be asleep," he added, as if it ought to explain something very important, but he wasn't sure what.

The Slayer's green eyes tightened. She needed to know what the hell was going on, and fast. "Spike, why did you bring an unconscious little girl to my house? Where are her parents?"

"I didn't—" he started confusedly, and then suddenly he was shoving the red-headed body away from him, scrambling across the floor to get as far away as possible.

"SPIKE! WHAT THE HELL IS—"

The vampire's azure eyes jumped hecticly back and forth between the Slayer and the now unconscious child. "She was in my head, Buffy! Oh god she was in my head, it was like what Dru used to do sometimes, only much much worse! God Slayer I couldn't even THINK of anything else, you have to—"

Buffy slapped Spike hard, sending his head wrenching to one side. "Pull yourself together," she ordered, with a cursory glance to the sleeping stranger on her floor. "She's still unconscious."

Spike's eyes lost that panicked look, and Buffy felt her worry start to calm down as well. The number of times she had seen Spike's blue gaze with that look of horror she could count on one hand, with fingers to spare. Even now he had his head in his hands, and his shoulders were tensed up like skin on a drum.

"I found her in the cemetery on Chancey and Marx," he began, "on the way to follow a lead on that Crenna nest. She was barely walking, and I caught sight of her just as two cars pulled up outside the cemetery. I knelt down to talk to her, and she just grabbed my wrist and—"

He shook his head violently. "It's— She took over my head, love; she needed to use me to take her away from whatever or whoever was jones'ing for her. I think she wanted to be somewhere safe, and I must have instinctively brought her to you, I s'ppose. But she was able to control my body, my thoughts…"

Spike cautiously glanced up from his hands, and was slightly relieved to see Buffy wasn't angry at him for bringing a potentially dangerous person into her house, no matter how much he was now internally kicking himself in the shins for it. His love only looked pensive, and was staring at him in that distant way which meant she wasn't really looking at him at all, just thinking intensely.

"How, do you think?" she asked finally.

Spike swallowed a wave of discomfort as a notion started to take form in his thoughts. He remember now how the girl had looked up at him when he first spoke, and how she had grabbed his wrist and then savagely bit into her own, drawing blood. It had been the human blood that distracted him, just long enough for the little chit to jump in and steal his willpower away from him completely. If he was right, he'd brought right to Buffy's door the only thing that could strike almost as much fear into vampires as a Slayer. The girl—the child—could be a great ally or a terrifyingly dangerous foe. And if she was out of control, as he was beginning to fear she was now that he could concentrate, then they were all in for a big load of shit.

"I think she's a necromancer."

T.B.C.