A Natural Death




Dawn undressed slowly, her dark eyes filled with dreams. He had spoken to her, sat beside her, lent her his – oh God! The languid drifting turned into frantic, scurrying haste as she yanked her clothes back on. She had left her book bag in the cemetery as she dragged details on Victorian England from a reluctantly helpful Spike. The bag with the history notes Andy had made her promise to return the next day. She heard her voice, laughing as she told him they’d be in perfect shape. The rain began to splat against the window; big, fat drops that seemed to beat out a mocking message: “He’s not going to like you; he’s going to say you’re stupid.”

She hesitated, just for a second, before climbing out of the window, but some things make the knowledge that ghoulies and beasties exist pale into nothingness. Young love was one of them.

Besides, she thought, maybe Spike’s still hanging around. He’ll walk me back. Hey; he might even have taken my bag back to his place if he spotted it, and it won’t even be damp.

***

The bag had gone and Dawn, shivering and damp, was relieved rather than upset. The grass was soaked and it would have been too late to save the notes from getting pulped. She headed off towards Spike’s crypt, smiling as she imagined the look she’d get when he saw her. She liked it when he scolded her; it was so funny hearing him do the big brother act when he was so cool. Sweet. She wished Buffy wasn’t so mean to him; she didn’t know how much fun Spike could be and God, was she blind? He was so hot. Too old for her – yes. Dawn had let her crush die a natural death because anyone could see that Spike was totally head over heels for her sister and maybe, just maybe, a little bit old ... but she wasn’t blind to the cool factor. Spike occupied the place in her heart where a puppy would have gone, if Joyce had ever given into her pleas for a dog; not quite trustworthy if there was food around, but seriously cute.

She was almost there when she heard voices. Spike’s voice; a low humming stream of words that drew her towards him. She saw his bright head, raindrops sparkling like diamonds set in platinum amongst the curls damp air had teased out to play. He was leaning back against a tomb and talking to – thin air?

Intrigued and trying not to giggle, she crept to the side and around, peeking from behind some bushes.

The laughter died. A girl was on her knees in front of Spike and she was, was – oh, that was so gross! Sick fascination held Dawn still as her eyes betrayed her, fixing on the bobbing head, guided by a slim, pale hand, fingers ruthlessly tangled in blonde hair. If Dawn hadn’t known where Buffy was, she might have thought it was her sister but even knowing, the sight shocked her. She knew Spike wished it were Buffy and that made this so dirty that it pulled and tugged at her, low down, like cramps.

Spike’s head went back, his face locked into a grimace Dawn had never seen from the outside as he came. She heard him make a soft noise, a wordless sound of satisfaction and then the girl sat back, hand to her mouth, spluttering and gagging. He reached down and hauled her up, his hand tight around her face and kissed her. Dawn imagined how the girl must taste and bit her lip. It was disgusting and messy, made her sick to think of it, but she was aching now, wet and hot between her legs, every shift in position sending waves of pleasure through her. She wanted to touch herself, make her face match his but she knew she’d make a sound, no matter how quiet she was at home, in bed, in the dark.

Spike was taking something out of his pocket. Something that shone in the moonlight, something sharp. A knife. Dawn wanted to scream then, call out a warning but she didn’t move. Couldn’t. The girl leaned in, looking up at Spike, her head tilted back. Was she smiling? Was she scared? Spike’s smile was sharp edged and vicious, his face sliding towards demon even as she watched. The girl would see it, would run. Dawn would help her, confront Spike. Yes, that was what would happen.

The girl took the knife and waited. Spike tilted his head, considering her, and then took her empty hand and began to roll up her sleeve. When her arm was bared, he pulled her hand out, so her arm was extended in a graceful line. He ran a finger across it, where her elbow crooked and creased the skin and the hand with the knife came up and copied him, leaving scarlet blood beading the flesh, holly berries on snow.

Dawn was too far away to see them, to hear the gasp of pain, to see the beads run together into a thin thread; too far away to hear the sounds Spike made as he licked and sucked and swallowed. Didn’t seem to matter. The sounds and sights were in her head, filling it until it was swollen and light, a balloon about to pop, a bubble about to burst. The taste of blood was in her mouth; her arm ached and throbbed in time with the pulse that thrummed low down. Still wet. She was still wet. Then Spike’s head came up, his eyes found her, and she came, helpless spasms jerking her body as his eyes pierced her, held her, filled her.

The girl dropped to the ground, sprawled and limp. Her sobbing breaths – no, Dawn thought, that’s me. I’m making those sounds. She’s not moving.

Spike bent to pick something up, straightened, and stepped over the girl. He moved towards where Dawn was hidden, except she wasn’t and he’d known she was there the whole time.

He paused long enough to toss her bag at her feet and then turned away.

“Go home, Dawn. I’m still hungry.”



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