Author's Note: Set in S4 directly after Superstar. Spike's POV.


I fucked it up. Right, you happy? I admitted it.

Can you blame a vamp? With this bloody chip in my head, my entire unlife was falling apart! Couldn't feed anymore. Hell, I wasn't threatening in the least. That bint had left me, and I hadn't had a shag in months. Alright, and so I did start killing demons. Vampire here. Bloodlust is part of the package, and I needed to get it out somehow. Wasn't really expecting the demons to gang up and label me an enemy. I'm just doing what comes naturally, right?

So, yeah, my life was a proverbial shithole. Sitting in my crypt watching the telly every night and drinking pig's blood. Pig's blood. Swill I would never have touched before the chip. I'd killed two Slayers in my time and suddenly I was playing the part of the retired loser. Wishing for the glory days, never allowed to have them. Only thing that could make it worse was if Angel showed up to taunt me.

Wanker.

After Jonathan's little enhancement spell fizzled out, I decided that I could use a bit of enhancement in my life. Turn-about being fairplay and all. He had made me into some pantywaist all intimidated by his five foot nothing stature. He owed me. Didn't take me long to figure out where the Keebler elf lived and pay him a visit.

He was a high-strung fellow. Not at all what I remember from during his spell. And I managed to persuade him to cast the spell again. On me, this time. See, he didn't know that I had a muzzle in my brain.

I'll tell you what I was expecting. I thought the spell would somehow get this bloody chip out. That'd be an enhancement, right? Now I usually don't go for magical solutions. More bother than it's worth, most the time. I've had to make a few exceptions, though. Did the spell for Dru back in the day to get her power back. And for the opportunity to be a real vamp again? Fuck, yeah I'll do some magic.

Jonathan tried to warn me with a tale of some monster or something, but I didn't really care. There's monsters all around. What's one more?

Once the spell was cast, the world just kinda shifted. Could feel it in my bones that things were different. Alright, also I was in a house I'd never seen before. But I could also feel the spell. The house was pretty posh. One of those wide open parlor rooms you might find in a mansion, but it was dark and gothic-like. Like a vampire mansion.

I don't normally go in for mansions. That was always more an Angelus thing. Wasn't gonna complain to find myself in one, though. It did mean the spell had done something. I just needed to test the chip. I mean, I was a bit disappointed that there were no snacks lying around, and I couldn't smell any blood at all in the room I was in. Wasn't gonna let that discourage me. If there was no food in the house, I'd just have to go out and get some. I had missed the hunt, after all.

It was as I was about to head out that Harmony entered, inane smile on her face.

"My Spikey!" she squealed as she threw herself at me.

I'm not one to complain about something like that. After all, Harmony may be an irritating ditz, but she had a couple assets I appreciated. Said assets were pressed against my chest in her clinch.

The girl had some fine tits, after all. Like moonbounces. Just bouncier and even more fun.

She pulled those glorious jigglies away from me to toddle across the room and grab a sparkly handbag from the end table. She was dressed in her slut-wear, obviously ready to go out.

Right, so, Harmony was back with me. It meant I could get a shag, so I considered that a positive for the spell.

"We should go now," she said. "That way the crowd won't be too bad when we get there."

I nodded. "Yeah. When we get to..."

"The Bronze just gets so packed lately. I think we'll have to start looking somewhere else."

That was my clue that the chip was out. Me and Harm, feeding off dancers at the club.

Course, my ideal would have been me and Dru instead of me and Harm. But beggars and all, I'd take what I could get as long as it meant I was rid of the chip.

Cause the chip. This whole thing was cause of the fucking chip. I never meant for it to get turned around like it did. I mean, yeah, I shoulda gotten some more information from Jonathan before making him do the spell, right? I get that now. But best of intentions and all that.

Ah, got away from myself. Right, going to The Bronze with Harm.

Hadn't been there in ages. Couldn't rightly stand it with the chip in. All those pulsating bodies wiggling around, begging for me to take a bite out of them. The chip would probably set itself off just from the thought of what I wanted to do.

Harm was right in that the bloody place was chock-full. Didn't feel the usual bloodlust, but I figured it would kick in soon. Be nigh on impossible for it not to with the sheer amount of people packed in.

The bouncer let us right in, not even making us wait in line. I took that to mean that I'd just passed as one of the "cool people" to get in the club. Guess I was a bit dense.

It's like a spotlight landed on me as soon as I entered the place. Heads turned, people stopped dancing, and all conversation drew to a halt. Even the bloody band missed a beat at my entrance. Harmony was clinging to my arm possessively while in full vamp-face.

Thought she was planning on taking on the entire club what with her demon face on and her prepared stance. Like I said, a bit dense.

Some of the birds squealed after a second, running towards me while yelling my name. Not a welcome I'm accustomed to. Especially as I was expecting an all-out brawl.

"Back off, bitches!" Harmony snarled. Her grip became tighter on my arm, and I'll admit the confusion kinda got the best of me there. Wasn't quite sure what to do what with a fan club forming and security trying to push them back. When the bloke with the suit came over and led me and Harm away from the crowd, well, I went without hesitation.

Spell hadn't quite turned out like I'd thought it had.

"Spike, you're early, my man!" suit-guy turned around after having led us to the safety of a back room. He was a bit taller than me, but on the older side. Had that dumb-looking comb-over that geriatric guys use to try to hide the fact that they're not young.

"Yeah," I replied with all the confidence I could muster.

See, when wonder-Jonathan did this, the spell affected him, too, making him more sure of himself and all that. Spell doesn't work like that for vamps. It'll change the universe around them, but it didn't give me any special bonuses like info on what the hell was going on. Didn't need the self-esteem boost, that was for sure. Would have been nice to figure out why I was at The Bronze, though, if it wasn't for killing people.

"Well, let me get you some blood." Suit-guy turned and vanished.

Harmony had her little mirror out and was poking at her make-up while looking at her non-reflection. Not fazed at all by any of this, I suppose.

"I cannot stand that guy," Harmony said. "I mean, sure, Michael's nice and all for letting you be here. But he smells. It's the sweat, you know? And it's not like yummy food smell, either. It's nasty B.O. smell. I wish I could kill him. Just, you know, in a way where I wouldn't have to touch him."

I rolled my eyes. At least Harm was basically the same. I decided I might as well see what I could find out about the chip.

"Guess I could do it," I said with a shrug. I usually don't even bother paying attention when Harm babbles, much less reply.

She looked at me in surprise. "Oh, Spikey! That'd be so sweet! But you know you can't."

I raised an eyebrow. "Can't I?"

"Don't be silly! Of course - "

Course, Michael chose just that moment to return with a couple glasses of blood. The smell of it filled the room. It wasn't pig's blood. It wasn't cow's blood. It was human blood. Fresh human blood. I recognized the smell, and my mouth was already watering. It'd been for bloody ever since I'd had some decent blood.

As Michael handed me my glass, he also laid a stack of small index cards on the table beside me.

"What's that?" I asked.

Michael looked startled at the question. "Those are the names of the women who donated their blood for you tonight. Also, some included their phone numbers, home addresses, and email addresses for you." He coughed. "If you want."

Harm snatched the pile of cards from me before I could grab them. She started sorting through them. "I wish you would stop doing this, Michael! It just encourages them to make a play at my Blondey-Bear!"

I took a small sip of the blood. Seems Michael was being honest. The blood didn't belong to just one person. Was a mix of them. Different blood types. Was pretty fucking good, actually.

Okay, so I still had no idea what I was doing there, and why this manager bloke was acting like a perfect toady. I decided that I didn't really care. Chip or no chip, I was drinking human blood and being treated like some sort of rock star. Couldn't rightly complain about that, now could I?

Only thing better would be if I had the Slayer in front of me. Could have tested that chip right then and there with her.

I was congratulating myself on my good plan when a scrubby stagehand poked his head in the room.

"You go on in five!" he said before popping back out.

I turned to Harmony. "'Go on'?"

She was methodically burning each of the index cards individually with my lighter. It kept her well-entertained and there was always a possibility that a spark might fly out and light her on fire. Couldn't lose. She looked up only briefly at my question, though. "You know, for your poetry."

I was sure I'd misheard her. "Sorry, luv. Poetry?"

She gestured, waving the burning index card around as she did so. "Well, yeah. That beat poetry stuff you write." She rolled her eyes, blowing out the flame. "All the girls in town go nuts for it. You know I don't get it." Her eyes widened as they did when she suddenly started thinking. "Oh, baby! I still love your poetry! It's just a bit...hard to understand. But you look real sexy reciting it!"

Let me say this: I don't do poetry.

Really, don't bloody do poetry.

Okay, I may have dabbled a bit as a human. We didn't have TV and cars back then. Had to do something to kill the time. Now, though? Fuck, no. Especially not in front of a crowd that size.

"You know, pet," I said. "I'm actually not feeling well. Maybe be best I don't go on tonight."

Harmony didn't get a chance to respond. Michael spoke up first. "What? You have to go on! They're all waiting for you. We'd have a riot if you didn't."

"Yeah, Spike," Harmony looked up from her task. "Besides, this whole thing was your idea, anyway."

Before I knew it, Michael was dragging me out of my seat and walking me towards the door. Harmony was right. He did smell like B.O.

So I was led out like a dog on a leash to The Bronze stage where the band was announcing me. Bright lights were shining right in my eyes and blinding me to the crowd, but I could sense them. Oh, could I sense them. The smell of hot blood and desire wafted clearly to my nose, and the screams of adoration made my ears ring.

Was right put off by the entire situation, truth to tell. There was a mic in front of me, and the crowd was quieting down to let me do my performance. Catch is I didn't have a performance. I decided I had to get out of there, and fast. Regroup a little. Figure out where my place was in this new universe.

In one smooth motion, I grabbed hold of the mic, smiling my best predatory smile into the dark, unseeable crowd.

"Thank you, luvs," I said, voice low. I shot a glance at the side of the stage, happy to see that there was a path to the back exit of The Bronze. If I could just get it so the gaggle of oglers wouldn't be too upset...

"Unfortunately, my performance tonight has to be cancelled." It was as if the entire club groaned in one synchronous motion. Voices started protesting, but I held up a hand to wave them off. "Instead, my man, Michael, will be organizing a contest tonight. The winner will get a date with me next week." I grinned. "Sound alright, pets?"

I knew Harmony would bust her cute little top at that, but I didn't really care. I was thinking only of the moment.

As the excited murmur swelled around the club, I slowly backed up before moving offstage, away from Michael and Harmony and towards that back exit.

I almost collided with a girl. College age, maybe. Natural blonde hair tied back. She jumped when she came across me, nearly dropping the book she held to her chest. I could just barely read the title: Spiked: An Autobiography.

A low gurgle came out of the girl's throat as she looked at me. Great. A fan.

"'Scuse me, luv," I gently pushed at her shoulder, trying to get her to move aside. She was rooted firmly in place though.

Then she bounced on her heels suddenly, jumping up like a terrier. "Oh my god! You're him! I thought I might see you if I wandered back here and waited long enough, but I can't believe you're actually here! I'm so your biggest fan. I have all your books and albums! And, and, look!" She tilted her head to the side, displaying two red dots tattooed on her neck. "I've marked the exact spot where I want you to bite me!" She stepped closer. "You will bite me, right? Please, please bite me, Spike!"

I could sense her pulse racing faster than a ferret on speed. The girl seemed nearly about to have a heart attack. Even still, it was a tempting offer.

What the hell? I figured.

I went into vamp-face, grabbing her by the arms and pulling her up to my mouth. She squeaked but braced herself in excitement. I could use a quick bite before making my exit. And I couldn't rightly refuse a perfectly willing victim, now could I?

Just as I was about to sink my teeth into her tattooed neck, I heard a familiar voice call out.

"Put her down, Spike!"

It was a voice that compelled me to obey without even a thought. Glancing up as I set the fangirl down, I saw the Slayer standing in front of the back exit. All five foot something bundle of vamp-slaying kick-assery. She looked positively radiant standing in the dim light of the backstage area.

The girl turned as I released her from my grasp, yelling "You bitch!" at the Slayer and running away. She'd dropped her book on the ground.

"Slayer," I said, running my tongue along my fangs. This. Now this is what I'd been waiting for. What I'd been hoping for with this spell. The chance to fight hand-to-hand with the Slayer again. And maybe finally beat her this time.

Now my blood was rushing. So many times I'd faced off against this Slayer, and she'd managed to get the best of me each time. Was titillating and frustrating all at once.

She was slowly approaching me, rapacious look in her eye. She smelled of excitement. Musky sweat from The Bronze. And a touch of fear. It was the fear that was so delicious. She wouldn't let it show in her eyes, but I could smell it anyway.

"Spike," she said as she came within a couple feet of me. It may be a clich, but my name did sound like magic coming from her lips.

"Ready to take me on, Slayer?" I asked.

Her eyes widened for a split second before she lunged.

Then she was on me. Like, literally on me. Legs wrapped around my waist as she pressed those magical lips to mine and snogged me nearly senseless.

This wasn't to plan.

I should of pushed her away. That's what any self-respecting vamp would do. But her legs were holding on tight and she was writhing like a belly dancer. Her mouth was doing downright sinful things to my own, tongue invading my very senses. What can I say? I was overwhelmed by the little bundle of Slayer that had launched herself at me.

As I turned so her back pressed against the wall, I had a certain premonition come over me that we'd be doing this dance again and again. Like wayward warriors, always returning and clashing in a storm of passion and fire.

Infatuation with my enemy turned into something else entirely. Stoking the embers of some feeling that I dare not even consider in regards to this girl.

The future was all there in front of me in her touch. So caught up in this realization, I was barely aware that Buffy was moaning in pleasure as I dry-humped her against the wall.

Not exactly the best position to be in when a monster attacks.

Right, as you might guess, a monster attacked then. Came from the side, knocking us both over with her tumbling on top of me. Before I could even shake my head, the beast was swinging these huge, club-like arms at us.

Buffy was up in barely a second, fighting stance ready to take out the beast.

That's what made this Slayer so bloody brilliant. Resilience, intense focus, innate love for the fight. She'd come to be the yardstick by which I measure up all previous Slayers. None even held a candle.

I joined her in the fight, eager to do battle by her side. Oh, sure, fighting her would probably be better, but we could take out the monster first. Then see what happens from there.

Didn't get that far, though. The lumbering beast was finally bested by the two of us. Was a one-two punch from me to her, and she got the killing blow. As I looked to her to see whether we were gonna be fighting or snogging some more, the world shattered.

I could feel the instant it happened, see. When the spell broke. The world grew a little dimmer and there was almost a flash of light as if to signal that everything was back to normal.

Course, there was also the confused look on the Slayer's face that told me that she was quickly trying to work out what all had happened. I took advantage of her momentary disorientation. Knowing I wouldn't ever get another chance at it, I grabbed her about the waist and kissed her.

Okay, so I might act like she disgusts me. In complete honesty, though, a vamp would have to be blind not to recognize how hot she was. I figured I could get a few more seconds of pleasure out of it in lieu of our activities from before the monster attacked.

She didn't pull back like I expected. Hell, she actually started kissing back. Just as I was reaching a hand to try for a fondle, though, she broke away and punched me in the nose.

Now that was what I'd been expecting from her.

"What the hell did you do, Spike?" she asked. Her face was red and she was sputtering out her words as if she wasn't quite sure whether she should have stopped with the kissing.

My nose was bleeding all over my hand, though that's not such a big deal to a vampire. I glared at her. "Just got a bit of a spell from Jonathan is all. Though it might get my bloody chip out. 'Sides, you were the one coming onto me like a bitch in heat."

"I was not!" That was her indignant voice. I'd heard it many times during my stay in Giles' bathtub.

"Whatever you say, pet. Just remember: I was wanting a fight. You're the one that ended up throwing yourself at me."

Her eyes widened in that way they did when she got flustered or annoyed. I half expected to be staked right then and there, and I didn't care too much about it either. I'd had the Slayer crawling all over me not moments before. I could die with that.

Instead, she just set her jaw firmly and lowered her voice. "We will never speak of this again, okay? It didn't happen."

And then she left out the back exit, leaving me rather stunned.

Then she had to go and befuddle me even more by turning back around and locking her lips with mine one last time. It was a fast, but thorough, kiss. The type of kiss you do when you're having a quickie during lunch or something. Before I even registered that she was kissing me, she was gone.

Now I tell you, I know that vampires and Slayers are meant to kill each other. Right, I know all that. After all, I have killed two of them myself. So I know the utter wrongness of what had went down during the spell...and after the spell. No need to lecture me on that; I could teach the lesson.

Still, knowing that hasn't kept me from dreaming about her every fucking day and going out every fucking night in the hopes that I'll see her. And when I do see her, I can tell she's been having the same problem. It's the way she blushes when she sees me. Her heart speeds up and her blood grows a little hotter. Oh yeah. Believe me when I say that the attraction's mutual here, even if the Slayer would never admit it. Especially not while she has that huge lummox of a boyfriend.

So, yeah, I guess the spell just fucked everything up. My chip's still there. The other demons still hate me. And now I have to deal with this damn frustrating tension between me and the Slayer that wasn't really there before. Not like this. So I did fuck it all up. Probably fucked myself up for life, if I'd care to give two thoughts to it.

But you know? I think it might actually be worth it in the end.