Note: See first chapter for disclaimers
Also… yeah, "a bit more slowly" seems to have been ages longer than I ever intended it to be. I won't offer up any excuses, other than the fact that the real world is sometimes more distracting than I care to admit. I am not done with this story, and I will continue to work on it, but I don't know how long it will be before the next post. Thank you for your patience and for reading my quaint, little story! Feel free to leave a review if you're moved to do so! … Oh, and I may have been buzzed when I tidied up this chapter for presentation, so I apologize for any extra typos or spelling errors present.
The young man woke up gasping to a smell that had his stomach in knots.
The smell itself wasn't necessarily bad or good, and, if pressed, he wasn't sure he'd actually be able to describe it to someone else. It was more the onslaught of half tangible memories the smell brought with it that set him on edge – the brief sound of crazed laughter and desperate screams, visions of blood splattered against the wall and the dismembered parts of what were once people scattered about, the sensation of teeth breaking his skin and a belt landing on raw wounds, and the smell of blood – old blood, permeated with fear. Whatever this strange smell was, the thing causing it was bad news.
The young man inhaled again, trying to stir more memories, and, for the space of several seconds, he was frozen with a terror so familiar he felt homesick. Then his eyes widened. The smell was getting closer.
His voice caught in his throat momentarily, causing him to choke and sputter before it fought its way free. "Red? Red! Uh, um, Willow! X - Xander! Someone!"
Goldilocks was first in the door, her eyes sweeping the loo for threats while she pulled a jagged piece of wood from behind her. Red arrived just after, dropping to her knees by the side of the tub. He wanted to smile at how she reached out to him, but the fear that clutched at his insides twisted it into more of a grimace. Giles and the boy arrived last, hanging in the door way.
"Spike, what is it? What's going on?" Red took his hands in hers. Her touch was so warm.
He wanted to kiss her, just to assure her that he was okay. He couldn't, though, there wasn't enough time. Acting on instinct, his eyes scanned each of the four he could see and he sniffed the air cautiously, trying to ignore the approaching smell as best he could. Still only five in the house besides himself, the four he was familiar with in the room with him and the new girl in the other room – not too far outside the door of his loo, actually – and no one injured or scared, which meant they must not know it was coming.
His first priority was to make sure Red and the Boy got to safety. He briefly considered grouping the unknown girl in with them, but quickly dismissed the idea - he didn't know who she was or what she was capable of. Best to keep her with him and give his two a better chance at escape - which meant he needed to convince the two in charge of the danger that was coming.
He looked up into Red's beautiful green eyes for the longest of moments before turning to speak to Giles and the blonde. "You have to get them out of here – Willow and Xander – you have to get them somewhere safe. There's something... something bad coming, something horrible."
"What are you talking about, Spike?" The blonde seemed impatient, but he could smell the first traces of fear coming off of her and his two – Giles only tensed. He realized, in a distant corner of his mind, that if he pissed her off with this bit of news, he might be looking at a very miserable existence for the next few… however long it took her to get board of his screaming. He swallowed and hoped that she'd hold off using him as a chew toy long enough for him to get his message across.
Giles stepped further into the already cramped room, interrupting his thoughts. The older man had a curious look in his eyes. "Spike? What's going on?"
The young man shook his head, trying to sort through his words. "There's something… something… awful, something abominable on its way here. It's bad," he pleaded with the older man to believe him. "So horrible it makes you ill to even think about it. Evil and cruelty in its most basic form, is what it is. I don't know why it's coming here, but we need to get Red and the boy out of here as fast as we can – we don't have much time."
The brute and the blonde exchanged a knowing glance, while his girl and the boy exchanged a similar look.
The moment stretched on for ages and the young man could've cried aloud with frustration while the lot of them stood there trading meaningful eye contact back and forth. "Look, we need to get everyone who can't fight out of here before it gets here or they won't stand a chance. It's on its way, it's getting closer, and they'll be so much… so much dog food if they're not half way to Peru by the time it gets here! They need to leave – now!" He looked from one to the other and licked his lips. There wasn't time for this. "Sodding… Let me free and I'll distract the bloody bastard myself."
Buffy blinked at him, like he was speaking another language suddenly, but he ignored her and focused on Giles again. Giles had been showing a bit of kindness to him, today, maybe he would take him seriously.
"Please, Giles, sir," he hated that he was begging, but there wasn't anything that could be done about it. "Please. I won't run, I won't hurt anyone, I'll do exactly as I'm told and I'll hold it back to my last breath, but please – don't let it get its claws on them." He poured all the fear, sincerity and desperation that he felt into his words.
Giles' eyes flickered and an emotion moved over his face too quickly for the young man to interpret it, but, before either could find their voice again, Goldilocks was speaking once more.
"You're really going to have to cut the mysterious mumbo-jumbo crap if you want us to take you seriously, Spike." Her mouth was warped into a snarl and her tone was snide, but the panic was rolling off her in waves, now. "I mean, that could describe at least a dozen of the baddies we've encountered in the last week alone! Can't you tell us something more specific? Is it a demon or a vampire or some sort of ghost, or what?"
"Oh! Or what about what it looks like? Like how about how many legs does it have or what color is it?" Willow startled him as she chimed in, he'd been so focused on the two in charge. She looked so eager and anxious to help - it was if she thought all she had to do was word the question just right and he'd tell her all the answers.
He looked into her eyes for the space of a heartbeat or two before he unwillingly pictured what the approaching monster would do to her pretty face – her sparkling eyes and bright smile. Immediately, he felt his stomach clench and his eyes water and he dropped his gaze. He was such a useless fucking prat, paralyzed with fear and crippled with amnesia while some sort of abomination, that was chomping at the bit to destroy everything good with its reach, came closer and closer every moment.
"Please," he choked the words out, forcing himself to talk past the boulder sized lump in his throat and tearing his gaze from Red's. "Get them out of here – make them leave. I…" He tried to swallow, but there was no moisture in his mouth to swallow with. "I'll do anything you ask of me from here on out – I won't fight, I won't sass, I won't… I won't resist... I…." He felt a part of himself die with what he was promising these two, but he would do anything to keep from hearing his dark goddess scream like she had in his dreams last night. "I'll sell you the deed to my bloody soul! Just please, please, don't let them be here when he shows up."
Giles took off his glasses and polished them furiously with the hem of his shirt. His lips were pressed firmly together and he had that odd look in his eyes again. He motioned two people he cared most about to leave the small room, closed the door behind them, and crouched before the tub and its occupant.
"We believe you, Spike, but we need to know what we're coming up against. Xander and Willow have their weaknesses, but they're no strangers to fighting the forces of evil and they've both developed skills that Buffy and I have come to rely on in emergencies." The older man's voice was firm and low, projecting a sense of control that the young man desperately wanted to believe his captor had. "We need more information. What else do you know?"
"NOTHING!" The words burst out of him before he was ready, startling the two remaining in the room. His face was suddenly wet and his hands were shaking again, but he didn't care. He voiced an inarticulate cry of rage and gave a single, vicious yank at his chains before panting and forcing himself to swallow his frustration so that he could speak. "I know nothing, okay? I don't know who the hell you lot are, I don't know where I am, I don't know what I'm doing chained to a sodding bathtub, and I can't remember anything before bloody yesterday when I first woke up! So, no, Giles – no, Goldilocks – I can't tell you anything else about this bastard other than that the very idea of him makes me want to crawl under the damned tub and beg for a quick death!"
In the silence that followed his tirade, he could've sworn that the sound of his own panting was the loudest thing he'd ever heard.