A/N: The lyrics in this chapter are from the song "Punk Rock Song" by the Bad Religion.
Part VI: Bad Religion
Buffy sat in the Magic Box, staring blankly at a book. It was October. It would be Halloween soon.
And almost three months since Willow had headed out of town with Spike. Three months since the candlelight vigil that Willow's own parents hadn't even attended. Three months since the world had stopped making sense.
Three months of mourning.
Willow's side of the dorm room looked the same as it did the night she left for L.A. Buffy had the strangest feeling that if she boxed up any of Willow's things, she really would be gone forever. A part of her she never told anyone about was glad that Wills was a vampire, because it meant that it was possible that she could come back, and she would babble, and they'd laugh, and go to the Bronze, and it would be just like before, except better, because now Willow would be able to defend herself when baddies came calling.
Buffy shook her head. She had to stop thinking of Willow as well… Willow. She knew that Wills wasn't human anymore. She wasn't like Angel. She was a vampire without a soul. But it was hard to accept, having not seen it for herself. Maybe if she could just see that Willow was no longer Willow, maybe if Wills came back and she was all leather and skanky and kind of gay like the vamp Willow from the other world, Buffy'd stop missing her so much…
But if she ever came face to face with Willow, wouldn't she have to stake her? Wasn't that the whole reason Angel had sent Willow off with Spike – to spare all of them the pain of having to kill the thing that wore Willow's face?
She could ask Riley about chipping her… but then what? Keep Willow as a pet vampire forever? And did she really want to get all best pals-y with the Initiative? The whole operation was starting to give her the wiggins.
Sighing, Buffy gave up the pretense of researching and pulled out her phone, checking for missed calls. Angel had promised to tell her if Willow called him. No matter how stupid it was, Buffy had hoped that maybe Wills would call and they could meet on Halloween, since that was supposed to be some sort of evil day off or something. So. Evil takes a day off, Slayer takes a day off, they meet, Buffy gets closure, nobody dies. Simple, right?
Refusing to stop and think, Buffy dialed Angel's number.
"Angel Investigations," Cordelia's voice came over the phone.
"Cordy. Hi," Buffy responded, a little uncomfortable.
"No, Buffy, Spike and Willow still haven't called, but I'll get Angel anyway since you'll insist on talking to him." Cordy didn't pull the phone far enough away from her mouth for Buffy to miss her huff of annoyance and muttered, "Pathetic, much?"
She didn't say anything.
"Buffy," Angel's voice came over the phone. Buffy could just imagine him, all tall and dark and broody and – No, she chided herself. Don't go there.
"Have you heard – "
"No. Not since Spike called just before they left the country."
"And you don't know where they are?"
A pause, as if Angel was considering not telling her something. A stab of anger made her bite her lip. But before she could work herself up enough to say something cutting that, well, she wasn't sure what it would have been but it would have been very… cutty, Angel said, "All I know is they're somewhere in Brazil."
"Brazil? Oh… Oh," Buffy repeated herself, suddenly uncertain as to why she had needed to know so badly.
Looked like Wills showing up for Halloween was even more unlikely now.
"Thanks, Angel," Buffy said hollowly.
They hung up.
Have you been to the desert?
Have you walked with the dead?
There's a hundred thousand children being killed for their bread.
And the figures don't lie they speak of human disease.
But we do what we want and we think what we please.
Music blared from the stereo system in the airy living room of Spike and Red's villa. Spike grinned to himself as he recognized the punk rock song. Red had been saying lately that it was impossible to live (or unlive, as the case may be) with him without developing a taste for the genre.
Spike stood at the end of the hallway, watching as Red danced naked through their lounge. The sun had just gone down and they both slept in the nude. With a sway of his hips, he went to join his princess, one hand on her hipbone and another sliding up her body to cup her breast. She turned her back to him, sensually moving against him in time with the music, her red hair contrasted beautifully with her white skin. The moonlight streaming in through the large windows played over them both, making them look every bit the supernatural creatures that they were.
They'd spent the last few months roaming through the rural areas of South America, inspiring nightmares and gorging themselves on blood. Unsurprisingly, Spike's Red Princess was a quick learner. She absorbed all he had to teach about controlling the demon, hunting, killing, clinging to the shadows, and tracking by scent. She was still more of a scrapper than a real fighter, but she was getting there. She'd never be strong enough to fight fair against another demon (or a Slayer for that matter), but that was fine seeing as she had her magic to even things out.
Not being into the mumbo jumbo himself, Spike had tracked down a coven of dark witches in Argentina and had them tutor Red in exchange for not being tortured to death. They'd done such a good job that Spike had even kept his word, he and Red moving on without eating any of the chits. Red had pointed out that the coven would be a good ally to have. After all, you never knew when an extra witch would come in handy, and it was best not to cross those who had the power to curse you.
She had shuddered, and Spike knew it was because she was imagining life with a soul.
Then had begun their tour of the smaller towns, a meandering path that led them towards Brazil. Spike had resisted Brazil at first, filled as it was with bad memories, but he'd always been bad at denying things to women (he'd even given in to Harm, a time or two), and so he'd eventually resigned himself to covering over the old memories with new. As they traveled up the road, a row of corpses in their wake, Red had started to make something of a name for herself, filling Spike with pride in his little sister. They called her Senhora Sagramento in Portuguese; La Señora Sangundo in Spanish.
The Bleeding Lady.
He'd been right, thinking there was something of Angelus in her. She lived for the complex game, keeping all the mortals guessing. Always thinking away, that was his Red.
She'd developed the habit of rescuing children from abusive parents, letting the brats live while she stole into their houses and snatched the adults. Sometimes she tortured them while Spike watched, inflicting every pain upon them that had been visited on the child. Other times she killed them quickly, lovingly presenting Spike with a corpse to drain. Still others she used in arcane experiments, applying her logical mind to crafting new potions and spells.
Always she left a little poppet at the houses she visited, a doll made of straw or cloth, the hair dyed red with the blood of her victims.
Many of the children built shrines to her, thinking she was an avenging angel. When Christmas came, street vendors started selling cheap tin pendants engraved with a doll-like woman, charms meant to invoke the protection of Santa Senhora Sagramento. Amused, Red refrained from hurting anyone wearing one of the charms, and occasionally would save them from other demons.
Of course, if ever she found a perpetrator of the crimes Senhora Sagramento was meant to punish daring to wear one of the pendants, she tore the sod limb from limb and left the pieces on the steps of the nearest cathedral.
"Just think how confused the goody goods will be," she'd crow at Spike, eyes sparking. "I'm saving the widdle children, but oh, oh the way I'm doing it."
And then he'd forget what he was doing or what he was going to say next, because the sight of her with blood on her lips and darkness in her eyes would be too much for him and he'd have to bury his fangs in her neck and his prick in her thighs, his craving for her stronger than the call of blood.
Sometimes he thought that her saving the kids wasn't just some big mindfuck for the Watcher's Council. There were pieces of Willow in there, pieces of the human Willow who needed to help, to be a savior. But Spike never said anything. After all, Red never made a fuss when she caught him reading Shakespeare and she smiled when he picked flowers for her. He knew there was more than a little William left in him.
But for whatever reason – maybe because he finally had a woman who was solely devoted to him, who understood him, or maybe because he'd just had enough time to step out of Angelus' shadow – he didn't mind so much anymore.
"Want to go for a swim?" Red purred into his ear, rousing Spike from his thoughts. Their swimming pool glowed softly just beyond their patio doors, the night lighting making the water seem ethereal and otherworldly.
"You go on, luv. I'm just going to have a smoke first."
Red nodded and sashayed out the patio door, leaving it open behind her. Spike went to get his fags and his lighter, and then he padded after her, the white tile of the villa floor giving away to the hard-fired terracotta flooring of the patio. Spike watched Red slip into the pool, remembering fondly the night they had filled it with blood.
Been a pain to get it clean again. They'd wound up making minions just for the task, and dusting them afterwards. Red didn't like having minions underfoot, and Spike… Spike was a sucker for a well-executed pout.
That was how they'd ended up owning this villa, after all. When Red had got a hankering for civilization again, they'd started drifting toward cities, looking for a place to call theirs. Spike had had his eyes out for an abandoned warehouse or something along those lines, but Red had wanted more. She needed running water, and the internet.
Spike had to admit, he didn't mind their satellite package, or having one of those DVR show recorder things. Red had set the box so that he never missed Passions, and this way he could fast forward through the commercials.
They'd eventually settled in the city ofFortaleza. There was a pretty good nightlife for demons, a big enough population that it took a while for the humans to notice someone had gone missing, and Red could sit in on night classes at A Universidade Federal do Ceará. After she'd slaked the blood thirst of the newly turned, her old thirst for learning had reasserted itself. Her Portuguese wasn't good enough for her to be getting much out of it yet, but Spike knew that she'd be speaking the language like a native and probably teaching a class or two in no time.
Their villa was twenty minutes outside of the city, a rambling building of brown stucco and red-orange tile that was right on the beach, bought with funds Red stole over the computer. Compared to most vampiric lairs, it was a palace of light. But that was alright: they'd invested in some heavy curtains, and Red somehow seemed to belong here, an unliving contradiction.
How one being could be at once so bright and vibrant and so full of darkness, Spike didn't know, but he was willing to spend the rest of eternity finding out.
It was a testament to the happiness he felt when he was with his Red Princess that his poetic thoughts didn't make him frown.
His cig finished, Spike dropped the butt in the ashtray sitting on the patio table, and then took a running jump into the pool, resulting in a mighty splash. Red laughed at him, coming over to run her tongue along his neck before wrinkling her nose at the taste of chlorine.
"Want me to drive you to class tonight, petal?"
"What will you do while you wait?"
Spike kissed her. "I'll pop in Dona Santa and see if I can find us a bloke to munch on later."
Red giggled, winding her arms around Spike's neck and her legs around his waist. He moved them to the shallow end of the pool so that he'd be able to stand up with both of their heads above the water.
"If you're going to Dona Santa, you should wear your leather pants. You always get more puppies with your leather pants."
Spike had to laugh too.
"Right, luv. I'll wear the leather pants, and I'll have a puppy for you to play with when I come get you."
Dona Santa was a gay club filled with pulsing music, flashing lights, and horny men of all ages. Spike went in wearing a red silk shirt unbuttoned enough to show off the muscles of his chest, and tight leather pants, the ones reserved for the nights when he was the bait, luring unsuspecting bloodbags into Red's clutches.
He turned heads as he made his way to the bar, a swagger in his step and a predatory gleam in his eye. Ordering a Jack and Coke in near perfect Portuguese, he slung it back in one go and then perched on a bar stool, striking a provocative pose and waiting for the lambs to come to slaughter.
He didn't have to wait long before a young stallion wearing his own pair of leather pants approached and asked Spike to dance. Spike looked him up and down, taking in the golden skin and dark hair that marked him as a native Brazilian, and agreed. He still had time to kill before Red's class ended, and they could get down to the real killing.
So he went to the dance floor with his bloodbag – Sergio, his name was – and set about seducing his dinner. He touched, he gyrated, and ran his fingers through that thick black hair, knowing he was driving Sergio wild and always avoiding the contact the human wanted most: the throbbing bulge in Sergio's leather pants, matched by the one in Spike's own.
The music slowed, and Spike turned Sergio in his arms, tilting the man's head back and suckling at his neck while he thrust against his back. Sergio moaned, and Spike did too, imagining the sweet blood flowing down his throat and fucking Red next to Sergio's corpse.
"The bathroom," Sergio murmured in Spike's ear in Portuguese. Spike shook his head. "Too public," he answered in the same language.
"Would you like to come back to my place?" Sergio said.
"I'd love to. We just have to pick someone up first."
Red skipped down the steps at the front of the Universidade, wearing one of the brightly patterned dresses that were all the rage in Brazil just then, the short boxy skirt flaring around her hips. The look was completed by her spiky heels.
Spike bit his lip, imagining those heels digging into his back.
"I'm not into girls," Sergio said from the backseat of the Mustang, an almost petulant air about him.
"Don't worry," Spike reassured the puppy. "She's my sister."
Sergio still looked skeptical, but he relaxed, leaning back in his seat. Red opened the door and climbed in the front, turning to smile at Sergio and introduce herself in clumsy Portuguese.
They chatted haltingly for a few minutes, Sergio pausing every so often to give Spike directions to his apartment building. Once the Mustang was parked in guest parking, they all got out and piled into the elevator. To Sergio's obvious surprise, when the elevator doors closed Spike pressed him to the wall and shoved his tongue in the human's mouth, unashamedly dry humping Sergio in front of Red.
His sister politely studied the elevator buttons, not bothered in the least.
The elevator pinged and they got out on Sergio's floor, following him to the door of his flat. He glanced between Spike and Red.
"Não se preocupe comigo. Eu só vou assistir televisão," Red assured him.
Don't mind me. I'll just watch TV.
Sergio looked to Spike, and Spike licked his lips, sensually drawing one hand down the exposed skin of his chest.
Sergio let them in.
Red helped herself to the television, sitting primly on the lumpy sofa and flipping the channels. Sergio started to speak, but whatever he was going to say died in his throat as Spike dragged him towards the bedroom.
Red focused on the sounds coming out of the human's bedroom, her nose quivering as she took in the scent of lust, liquor, and Spike. Her Dark Prince was making Sergio beg for his touch, for the release that Spike kept denying. Red could feel the roiling sensation of dark contentment flooding into her through the bond she shared with her Blood Brother, her body tightening.
She let her hands run over her breasts and down to her thighs, experiencing everything that Spike experienced; the heady rush of seducing Sergio so completely and the sweet friction of sex, the music made of human whimpers.
Spike orgasmed, and Red did too, her hips arching up off the couch into the empty air.
It took several delicious minutes to come down from the high. Purring to herself, Red stood and made her way toward the bedroom.
She found Spike and Sergio naked, Sergio bent over the bed with Spike standing behind him, gripping his hips. They made a beautiful image, one so pale and the other a dark golden brown. If Red were the type to share, she'd consider turning Sergio just to have him pose with Spike for her.
But Red didn't share.
Sergio noticed her presence and shouted something at her in Portuguese, straightening up. But Red wasn't listening. She was lost in Spike's blue eyes, in the dark passion and devotion she saw there.
Sergio tried to pull away from him, but Spike held the man fast, though not tightly enough to set off his chip.
Red looked into his eyes, her irises flooding black as she called upon her magic. "Be calm, Sergio," she said in her broken Portuguese. "You are safe."
Sergio's struggles stilled. He fell under her thrall, swaying lightly from side to side as she approached him. Spike still held him, his hands like white marble against Sergio's skin.
Glad that her heels made her tall enough that they wouldn't have to move, Red shifted smoothly into vamp face and delicately sunk her fangs into the big vein in Sergio's neck. Eyes still black, she kept him calm, leaning over the man's shoulder to pass blood from her mouth to Spike's.
Spike moaned, his lips red from her bloody kiss. Red did it again, passing one mouthful of blood to Spike for every one that she swallowed, Sergio trapped between them as they both began to thrust against the mortal in a slow rocking rhythm.
It wasn't until Sergio was nearly drained that Red let her power over him break. Eyes clouded by her thrall became clear, only to cloud once more with encroaching oblivion.
He gaped at Red, recoiling and croaking, "Senhora Sagramento!" Twisting, he looked at Spike, feebly trying to grip his arms, as if there was any help for him there. When he caught sight of Spike's face – fangs and demonic ridges, eyes burning like twin flames – he cried out and uttered his last words in a broken whisper. "A belo morte."
The Beautiful Death.
They let his corpse drop and had sex on his bed.
"Looks like you have a name now too," Red giggled, coiling herself around her Spike like some great cat basking in the sun.
Spike snorted, lighting up a cigarette. "Maybe they'll start making shrines for me next. You 'n me, Red. We could be a new religion."
Summer was nearly upon them when Red started to notice a watcher in her night classes. And not just a watcher, but a Watcher, if the woman's appearance and heavily accented Portuguese were anything to go by.
Red told Spike, and spent a night watching him pace and rave, missing that evening's class. He didn't like this, he ranted. Not that he didn't think she could take care of herself, it just made him nervous, was all. It would be different, if he didn't have the chip. If he didn't have the chip, so much would be different. He could defend her from any demon, but against humans she was on her own.
He couldn't bear the thought of her being staked.
Red tried to soothe him, and he snarled, kicking over one of their chairs. He was going for his cigarettes when she realized that it was William who was afraid, and so it must be Willow who offered comfort.
They spent the night curled together, looking out the open patio doors to the stars above. No sex, no blood, just tender touches and whispered words. William recited a poem, and Willow wept to hear it, burying her face in William's neck.
Willow, William, Will.
When the sun rose, they retreated to the darkness of their bedroom and sprawled across their massive bed to discuss what to do about the Watcher.
If they killed her, it might bring the Slayer, the Council, or both down on their heads. Spike didn't think they were ready for that, and sensing his determination, Red bowed to his will. She'd only been a vampire for a little less than a year, after all.
In the end, they decided to leave the Watcher alive, and act as if they hadn't realized what she was. If they waited long enough, she'd reveal what she was doing. Humans always did.
Three weeks later, Red received a note at the end of her night class.
Senhora Sagramento & A Belo Morte:
The Council has an offer for you
Meet me in front of the Cathedral do Fortaleza at sunset tomorrow
It was written in English.