Tie her up, torture her until she liked him again.
Yeah, that was the way. Dru always loved being tortured. That was what he should have done. Been the man he was, the evil vamp she'd been with for a hundred and twenty years, instead of weeping and crawling and blaming everyone else. He'd just been so shocked by her dumping him like that, had just fallen apart. Wanker! Should have shoved a red-hot poker through her. She'd have fallen on his neck in ecstasy. Should have remembered she liked things raw. Hearts freshly ripped out of chest cavities and still steaming and dripping blood were the gifts she liked, not diamond necklaces.
Too bloody romantic, that was his problem.
Even after seeing the Slayer and the ponce making googly eyes at each other last night. Couldn't get out of there fast enough. Stomach turning, that sight had been! Spike shuddered and tossed back his mescal. That should put him off romance for a century!
And they thought they could be friends. Amazing what people can delude themselves into. He'd laid it out for them.
'You'll fight and you'll shag and you'll hate each other till it makes you quiver,' he'd said last night, 'but you'll never be friends. Love isn't brains, children, it's blood. Blood screaming inside you to work its will.'
God, didn't he know that! That was the way it was for him.
So why was he sitting in this flea-bitten Mexican cantina instead of roaring on down the road to Dru?
Because of what Dru had said. The excuse she had come up with for dumping him.
'I can still see her floating all around you, laughing,' she'd said. 'You're all covered with her. I look at you...all I see is the Slayer.'
The Slayer! Just the thought made him want to hurl. Except that would be a waste of that pretty Mexican chiquita he'd eaten just a while back. Laughing? Yeah, the Slayer would've killed herself laughing if she'd heard Dru say that. Bust a gut, she would. So why wasn't he laughing as well? Guess the thought was too sick-making for that.
The filthy, sawdust-covered floor was rising and falling under his feet as he headed back to the bar. He wished it would stay still. He wasn't that drunk.
"Uno más. Ah, hell, just give me the bloody bottle," he said as the bartender started to pour the drink. "No, that full one over there."
"Con gusano," the bartender warned.
"Yeah, yeah. Worm and all."
Worm meant cheap, meant rotgut. The better brands didn't have the worm. It was just for show, for those nancy-boy frat gits who wanted to say they 'ate the worm'. But rotgut was what he wanted right now, pouring like lava down his throat. He upended the bottle for a long slug, tasting the mescal harsh and smoky and peppery on his tongue, then sneered at the worm floating at the bottom. The worm sneered back.
Okay, maybe he was drunker than he thought.
He slumped back into his seat at the long plank table. The demons next to him didn't give him a glance, which was what he wanted, why he had stopped at this particular cantina. It was a demon bar and no one would care if he accidentally slipped into gameface if he got too squiffed. A couple of Nouris just a little down from him were already betraying their snake faces.
"...Makes me feel all slimy," the demon next to him was saying. He was a pinched, scrawny, little sod in surprisingly good clothes and he looked human even with that lugubrious, hound-dog face of his. Only the demon vibes Spike could pick up told what he really was—a Hvroth.
The male vengeance demon opposite him shrugged. He was blond and had a young-looking, vapid face like those nancy-boy frat gits Spike despised.
"So don't do it."
"They pay. You have no idea how many people want to know their futures. I keep putting the price up and still they come."
"I should have your problems," muttered the vengeance demon and Spike grinned.
The two were severely spifflicated, even worse than Spike and the Nouris, and not holding it well.
"You wouldn't say that if you had to do it. Why can't I be like that Deathwok demon in L.A.? What's his name? Krevlornswath. Lorne. Has a bar called Caritas. Karaoke bar. All he has to do is get them to sing. Must be nice."
He waved at the barkeep who came over and poured him something that was purple and smoked. And stank. Spike hurriedly took another slug of his mescal to keep himself from heaving.
"So what do you have to do?" asked the vengeance demon without real interest, pushing back a little to get away from the stench and almost falling off his chair as he did so.
"Go into their heads. Not their heads here. Their heads in the future. I get in there and that gives me access to their memories and I know what's happened to them by that point. Then I come back and tell them what that's gonna be."
"They still in there when you pop in? Don't they notice? Some guy drops into my head, I'm gonna notice."
"Nah. My being there shoves their consciousness out for the count. Once I leave, it wakes up again and they don't have a clue I've been there. I know. I've checked."
"So what's the big?" asked Spike irritably, wishing he'd get to the point. "Sounds like easy money to me."
The Hvroth jumped at the unexpected interjection, then gave him a rancorous look. "Have you ever been in somebody else's head? It's disgusting! All these ugly desires and hatreds and resentments. And that's not even the demons! Demons with the raw evil are bad enough, but humans are vile! They've got all this whiny crap like love and conscience and regrets mixed in. Sticky, gooey stuff. Yechh!"
He shuddered and swiped dramatically at himself, as if trying to wipe something off.
"Grosses me right out! I feel dirty all over."
"Aw, poor guy!" said one of the Nouris, easy tears welling up with the amount of booze it had consumed.
The vengeance demon patted the Hvroth's shoulder in alcoholic commiseration and the Hvroth gave them both a small, sad smile.
"Thanks for understanding."
"Aah, quitcher belly-aching," said Spike in disgust, drunk enough to be contrary. "You're only in there for a minute. How bad can it be?"
"It's bad. Believe me, vampire, it's bad."
"Pfft." Spike grinned when everybody else glared at him. "Sounds like a piece of cake."
"It's not! Not even if it's your own head you're going into. And I've got to do other people's disgusting heads."
"Other buggers, maybe you've got a point." Spike upended his bottle again, then sneered. "But taking a look in your own head? That can't be that bad. Wish I could do that."
"Wish you could," said the Hvroth bitterly. "That'd show you."
"Well, why not?" said the vengeance demon. "See how you like it." And flung his arms out drunkenly in a wide, sweeping arc.
Spike suddenly felt as if he were whooshing along through the air. For a moment he thought the booze had finally gotten to him. Then suddenly he was standing beside a bed and he wasn't drunk anymore. He was completely sober.
The shock to his senses was dizzying. He swayed giddily, then lost his balance and fell on the bed.
"What the fuck?"
He stared upwards. The ceiling was made out of earth, not wood or plaster, and there were roots twisting through it. He turned his head very slowly and cautiously to look around. The whole room seemed to have been dug out of the earth. But there were rugs and candles and furniture and a whole lot of books and LPs in shelves all around. The light came from a bulb in a tattered lamp on a night table, so the place had electricity.
It was clearly someone's home.
He sat up warily and looked down at himself. Black duster, black tee, black jeans, Docs. His own familiar hands when he held them up in front of his face. Okay, this was him. Spike.
Then realization hit him.
He was in his future body! Had to be! He was going to tear that vengeance demon apart when he got back! The asshole had no right! Didn't matter how drunk he was. No one messed with Spike! He'd teach that bastard for daring to play games with a master vampire!
He jerked to his feet, stomped over to one of the bookcases and yanked one of the LPs out. It was 'Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols' and the cardboard sleeve had the worn places and the small rips and tears he remembered. It was his LP, all right. The one he had owned since November, 1977.
Which meant that this dump was his place.
He cursed furiously, then whirled and glared around him. There was a ladder to one side, leading up to an open trapdoor and another level. He shot up it.
The upper level had stone sarcophagi, urns, benches, candelabra and, incongruously, a fridge. He flung the wooden front door open and found himself staring at a cemetery.
"What the fuck am I doing living in a sodding crypt?" he yelled.
He had always had money for decent digs, took it off the people he ate or ripped it off whenever he had the opportunity to get at a bundle.
The question delivered up a memory.
Memories cascaded. A cold, sterile lab with tile and glass walls. Half-baked soldier boys and sick little gits in lab coats. The Initiative. Gone now, so no revenge possible, sod it.
More memories. Of breaking free. Trying to eat that bint, Willow. Failing. The agony whenever he tried to feed, caused by that chip in his head. Having to go to the Slayer for help just in staying alive.
A blind fury was threatening to take over his brain.
The humiliation! Begging the Slayer for help? He should have died first!
No, he wouldn't. He was a survivor. He'd do whatever was necessary, suck it up and deal, wait for that moment when he'd be rid of the chip and be able to get his own back. Spike gritted his teeth. Looked like he had a lot to revenge himself for.
Pictures, feelings, helpless frustrated angers crowded his brain. Being treated like a thing by the Scoobies, used with contempt and derision by people who would have peed their pants if he had been free of that chip and still been the lethal master vamp he was without that thing lodged in his brain. Being shoved around by that wanker, Harris, that wimp he had given a concussion to and tossed into a heap in the factory just last night in his own time period. Should have ripped the loser's throat out instead while he had the chance.
And the Slayer! Having to take all the shit she handed out because he couldn't fight back, getting his nose busted whenever she was in a bad mood and felt like taking it out on him, being treated like dirt by her—that stuck up, intolerant, self-righteous prig!
He slammed the crypt door shut so hard that it nearly fell off its hinges, then flung a candelabra against the wall to relieve his feelings, candles flying everywhere.
Then he froze, his eyes widening as other memories flooded in. In love? With her?
"Oh, please, somebody stake me!" he snarled.
It wasn't possible! He couldn't have been as stupid as that! He sorted through memories and winced in mortification and revulsion. God, no! He couldn't have acted that way!
Begging for any crumb, totally whipped, turning into a sponcy, crawling, no-balls wimp. Far worse than even with Cecily and Dru! He nearly threw up.
There was a bottle of JD still a quarter full standing beside the fridge. He grabbed it and took a long slug to blot out those horrific recollections.
Oh, there were going to be changes made! He'd remember all this. Get out of this future self's head and back to himself again, and he'd make sure things took a whole different turn. Wasn't ever gonna get to this point, this nadir of his existence. He'd change things. By every sodding deity in the pantheon, he would. Bloody hell, he'd stake himself before he allowed himself to end up like this!
Love's bitch? Yeah, he was. But he wasn't ever going to wind up the Slayer's bitch.
And why was he still here anyway? Didn't that little weasel of a Hvroth say it was only for a minute? It had been a hell of a lot longer than a minute already.
A little trickle of ice-water ran down his spine. Sodding hell, he couldn't be stuck here, could he?
How had that vengeance demon worded it? Spike realized that he didn't know. All that fucker had said was, 'See how you like it.' The spell itself could have been worded any way at all. A moment, a day, a year, forever. God, to be stuck here forever!
Spike fell into his worn green armchair, hugging the bottle of booze to his chest. Life couldn't be that unfair!
Wait though. He wasn't that sappy ponce he'd turned into. He was himself. Spike. From before he'd gone insane and fallen for the Slayer.
He took a sip of JD and rolled it across his tongue thoughtfully. The only real drawback to being here was the chip. But there were ways to work around it. The reason his future self hadn't made use of them was because the Slayer had already turned him soft, gotten to him before he even realized it. Wasn't going to happen this time.
And the Slayer herself? He could hit her, couldn't he? After her resurrection. After she'd come back wrong. They'd found that out last night.
In love with pain, was he? Boy, did she ever have that wrong! Dru was the one in love with pain, twisted that way by Angelus. Spike had never been. He was neither masochist nor sadist. He could endure pain and his future self had done so, hoping he could make the Slayer love him by enduring every fucking thing she chose to dish out. No more.
She was the one in love with pain. She was the one who'd been ripped out of Heaven and found she couldn't feel after that. Was desperate to feel anything. Oh, yeah, he'd give her what she asked for. He'd make her feel. But he didn't think she was gonna like what she was gonna feel.
He grinned nastily. It was payback time.
And he'd be getting something out of it too. He'd just remembered all of what his future self had experienced last night. The way they had fought, bringing that house down around them. The way she had ripped down his zipper, impaled herself upon him. Those Slayer muscles of her sheath clenching upon him, milking him. The heat and the passion and the raw greed.
An animal in the sack was Buffy Summers once the Slayer in her was released. And she didn't even admit it to herself, didn't even really know it. Angel had never released it, the way Spike understood things; Angel had stayed human the one time he had slept with her. And those two nancy-boys, Parker and Finn, hadn't been anything but human and so couldn't release it. She'd have held that part of herself back, forced it under, terrified of breaking them in half. But no human could ever satisfy a Slayer, so she had never found out what she was capable of.
She'd found out last night. Spike didn't break and so she'd been able to cut loose. Screamed like a banshee, she had; damn near eaten him up alive. Yeah, that had been great sex. Wouldn't mind getting more of that Slayer tail. Something to look forward to, that was. Real enjoyable.
Blamed it all on him this morning, of course. Denied it all, her own involvement, everything she'd done, all the many nasties they'd indulged in and the way she'd enjoyed them. Wasn't her fault, oh, no. She had just succumbed to his evil desires.
'A' vampire got her hot? Only one vampire? Yeah, right. He knew better. If he hadn't got her hot, she wouldn't have turned into that snarling, clawing, insatiable lustbunny she had been last night. Hung up on Angel, she might be, but he had never gotten to her the way Spike had. Her shock last night and her horror this morning told Spike a lot.
'You were just...convenient,' she'd flung at him, trying to pretend that last night had been nothing out of the ordinary for her. Rushing right back to the Nile, where she and the Scoobies owned massive real estate.
His future self had been bitterly hurt, but this Spike saw right through her. Spike was the last person anyone could call convenient. He was always irredeemably inconvenient. And he was going to prove it.
Maybe this was going to turn out to be a win-win situation. Go back and he'd change things; stay here and he'd...change things. Teach her a lesson. Give her what she bloody deserved.
He finished the bottle and tossed it aside. Might as well get some kip. This body was knackered. He leered smugly. It had been a long and very satisfying night. Maybe when he woke up, he'd be back in his own time and place. That was what he desperately wanted. Then he could start figuring out how to fix the Slayer. Because there was a lot she had to pay for and he had never been a turn-the-other-cheek kind of guy. More of a pay-you-back-in-spades.
He stripped off and fell into bed without bothering to turn out the light.
He woke up with a jerk when something thudded painfully into his stomach. His vamp senses knew immediately that it was past eleven p.m. and that the Slayer was in the room.
She was standing several feet back from the foot of the bed and what had hit him was a heavy pillar candle. She had thrown it at him. Couldn't come up and politely shake him awake. Oh, no. She had to lob that candle at him. His lips drew back in a snarl.
Then he couldn't help grinning when he looked her over. She was buttoned up right to her throat, completely covered up. Boots, jeans, prissy black knee-length coat over a black sweater with long sleeves and a rollneck that went right up to her chin. Even her hair was pulled back into two tight, ugly braids. It was a style that didn't suit her. She looked a lot better with her hair loose and tumbling over her shoulders.
But glamor wasn't what she was trying to convey right now. 'I'm a chaste, modest, prudish, virtuous, vestal virgin,' she was trying to say. 'I'm not capable of doing any of those dirty, disgusting things I did last night. Never! Look at me, all schoolmarmish and severe, hardly an inch of skin showing. I'm a good girl, I am. A freaking nun.'
He laughed and she glowered at him. She had another fat candle in her hands ready to throw at him, but she put that down now, seeing that he was awake.
"God, do you sleep through anything!" she snapped. "I was like yelling, and nothing."
Another lie. She hadn't yelled. He'd have woken if she had; he'd just been sleeping, not out cold.
"Always good at the big lies, aren't you, Slayer? Always the hypocrite. Wrapping yourself up like that won't work, pet. I know where you live now. I've seen the nympho inside."
He fired the pillar candle back at her with all his force. It hit her right in the pit of her stomach, knocking out all her breath. The look of shock on her face was priceless. Spike grinned.
This isn't going to go the way you all are now probably thinking it's going to go. Trust me, people. I'm the most rabid Spuffy girl on the planet! :D