Grateful thanks to Green for
beta reading this story and improving it in so many ways.
April 1997. New Orleans.
In the past he had compared her skin to every white flower that ever
blossomed, to snowfalls, doves and moonlight. Her pale cheeks had flushed
delicately with pleasure; not at the words themselves, halting and trite
as they were, but at the devotion and adoration in his low, husky voice.
Now he looked at her and was silent. She was dying, caught in a slow slide
back to the grave. Words could not change that and the rage built up in him
every time he stroked her lank, tangled hair or kissed the hand that tried
to find the strength to touch his face and failed.
“How did we come to this, love?” he asked her, despair making him cruel,
“and why are you just letting it happen? Why won’t you feed? Why won’t you
fight it? You want to leave me? Is that it?”
He was trembling now, stalking around the bedroom, hands squeezed into
fists with nothing to hit. His anger would have excited her in the past;
his jealous suspicion would have made her purr with satisfaction, but now
she winced, her eyelids fluttering as his loud voice sent ripples of pain
through her head. He saw her face pucker up and sank to his knees beside
the bed, penitent and ashamed, resting his head against the soft quilt.
“My sweet boy,” she whispered. “You worry too much. I read the cards
last night –”
His head jerked up sharply. “You promised me you wouldn’t! That’s why
you’re so tired today. Why do you do it, Dru? It can’t help you, you know
She shook her head, groping for his hand. “I felt the stars were in
place; I had to know. They told me where I must go. You will go first to
prepare the way and I will follow.” Her eyes sparked for a second, with
a feverish light. “You will betray me – no, hush, you must. It’s needed.
It will be for me that you do it, you’ll see. You’ll know when the time
“Dru! There’s never been any woman but you, you know that.” His voice
was hurt but tinged with guilt. It had been so long since he had taken
her – but he hadn’t given in. Hers until the second death, that’s what he
Her lips curved in a knowing smile. “I know that, my darling. No other
woman. And now I’m hungry.”
“You are?” He jumped up eagerly, her words forgotten. “I got you
something nice. Been keeping her quiet as a surprise. I’ll go and get her.”
He left the room and came back with a young girl, hands bound tightly
behind her. Terror had robbed her of the strength to struggle and apathy
was providing a merciful numbness as her heart beat out its final strokes.
Spike dragged her over to Drusilla and laid her so that her neck was inches
away from Drusilla’s mouth. Keeping her in position, he curled his arm
around Drusilla’s thin shoulders, lifting her up. “Go on, love,” he urged.
“Feed. Be strong.”
Drusilla’s face twisted and her fangs appeared. He smiled with encouragement
and then sighed as she failed to bite hard enough to break the skin. “Let
me help,” he said. The girl watched his handsome face alter and found breath
for one gasped plea for mercy before he bit down, delicately, carefully.
The warm blood flowed into his mouth and when it began to trickle down his
chin he pulled away and bent to Dru, kissing her softly, letting the blood
pour from his mouth to hers. He fed her like that until the girl died in
“Rest, pet,” he said, tenderly smoothing the covers over Drusilla, rejoicing
in the faint flush of pink on her waxen face.
“I feel better,” she whispered. “Spike? What month is it?”
“It’s April, love, why?”
“Spring...the time when all that lives comes back to life again. Not
my time. I’ll be well again in autumn, when everything is dying. But you
must go there now, Spike. Promise me. Find out what it is I’ll need. Make
sure there’s a place for us, a welcome mat laid.”
“You never told me where, love.”
“The Hellmouth, of course. Where else?”
Spike gaped at her in shock. “Sunnydale? Dru...you know what the Master
said last time we went there.”
She tittered, the borrowed blood invigorating her. “Said you were a
disgrace to the line.”
Spike looked sulky. “He said Angel and you had a lot to answer for when
you made me and he trained me. Pillock.”
“He was pleased about the Slayer you killed,” she offered.
Spike brightened. “Yeah, I think he was...it was a good fight. Did I
tell you how she had me and then the lights went out?”
Drusilla smiled, snuggling down and closing her eyes. “Yes...but you
can tell me again. I like that story.”
“Well, I got her cornered on this subway train–”
April 1997. Sunnydale. Tuesday afternoon.
Xander walked down the corridor towards the hyena cage, resisting the
urge to look back and see if Buffy and Willow were watching him with admiring
glances. They probably weren’t, so if he didn’t look back he could imagine
they were without feeling that he was being a complete loser.
”There is a method to my patheticness,” he muttered. The corridor opened
out into a large area, fenced off at the far end. Four people, who really
did deserve the label ‘loser’ and would have it tattooed on their foreheads
if Xander were ever World Dictator, were holding Lance over the fence, and
scaring the life out of him. Xander sighed. Some would say Lance asked for
it, but he hated bullies with every fibre of his being. Vampires were worse
and demons in general pushed them down to third on the list but still, yeah,
bullies were bad. He should know.
He walked over a weird symbol painted on the concrete floor in a truly
revolting shade of red, and grabbed at Lance, pulling him to safety. He
was just enjoying some verbal sparring with Kyle when the world around him
The hyena growled –
And Xander wasn’t alone anymore.
Xander left the Bronze, heart hammering with pleasure at that last vicious
jab. Willow’s face...why had he never realised how exposed people were,
how easy it was to bring them down with just a few words? And they were starting
to fear him now – he watched in amusement as they scattered out of his way,
the girls glancing at him appraisingly through down swept lashes; the boys
just failing to meet his challenging stare.
Fun though it was, he wanted out. There was something stifling about
the club tonight, something that made his throat close up as he was accidentally
brushed by bodies that weren’t kin to him. Kyle and his friends were still
in there but he had stayed away from them, still resisting the call to join
them. They were his pack, yes, but they were still playing. Xander wanted
to do more than play.
The alley beside the Bronze was dark, but not for him. Tonight his eyes
twisted the blackness, squeezing out every droplet of light from the stars
above and the streetlights below. He sniffed the air, raising his head
to catch every message it brought him, a thousand whispers merging in a
soft, cool breeze. The scents in this alley were singing to him, plucking
at his sleeve and brushing his face. Blood, death, food; it stank of these
things. He had never walked down it alone after sunset before.
Xander turned into the alley, quickly swallowed by the shadows, a giggle
forcing its way between his lips. It was so funny to remember that he’d
been scared to walk here. When a clump of shadows began to move, he carried
on walking, lips twisted in a grin. Two shapes, writhing in a parody of affection,
desperate moans and whimpers from one, a low growl from the other.
A feeding vampire. And he _still_ wasn’t scared. Just hungry. How funny
Spike swallowed, and turned, an incredulous glare on his face. He had
an audience? What was it with this town? He’d spent the day listening to
stories about a new Slayer in town and too many hours negotiating safe
passage with a minion of the Master’s. The ugly old bugger wouldn’t even
see Spike face to face. Just passed on a warning that Spike was only allowed
to feed once a night and he might find time to see him tomorrow. As if
there was a shortage of food! He knew what the Master was trying to do;
get Spike so angry that he left, or gave him an excuse to kill him. Temper
rose within him and he threw a punch at the youth, his fist moving so fast
it blurred. The boy just stood there, swaying out of the way of the blow,
still with that stupid laugh bubbling out of his mouth.
“Do you mind?” Spike said acidly. “Some of us are trying not to get
hiccups.” He cocked his head, studying the youth in front of him. Human,
but with a tang of magic about him that made Spike feel a tremor of unease.
The boy’s eyes...dark under thick eyebrows, eyes that looked at the world
and saw a toy made to be broken and taken apart. Scary eyes. Familiar eyes.
“Is she dead?” The boy tried to sound indifferent but there was an edge
of excitement roughening his words.
Drusilla’s eyes. Yes. The same wilfullness, the same indifference to
anything that interfered with gaining pleasure or inflicting pain.
“Will be soon enough. Look, mate –”
The boy looked at him directly for an endless moment and Spike felt
the stirrings of a lust too long unsatisfied. It might have ended there
– not the time, not the place, and the boy was disturbing him on many levels
– but the woman’s blood had sprayed over his face and the hand he had clamped
over her gasping, gaping mouth. Without thinking, he brought his fingers
to his mouth to lick them clean. The boy was close and he moved closer, capturing
Spike’s wrist in strong fingers and bringing the stained fingers to his
Spike felt a tingling anticipation spread through his body at the first
warm touch. Twisting within the boy’s grasp, he placed the palm of his
hand over the lad’s mouth and nose, letting him take the scent of the blood.
Spike was hard already, and as the warm breath sighed out to cover his hand,
he had to bite his lip to cover the moan that rose from him.
“That’s right, boy,” he whispered, as a tongue lapped eagerly around
his fingers. “That’s – hey!”
The dark eyes were blazing now and the grip on Spike’s wrist was painful.
“Don’t call me that.”
Spike pursed his lips, his own temper rising. “Wasn’t planning on formal
introductions, mate but whatever. My name’s Spike and my hobbies are
biting people until they stop asking me not to and keeping up with the
The lad looked confused for a moment and Spike raised a cynical eyebrow.
“Xander.” The word was dragged out of him with difficulty, as though
it was a word he’d known once but forgotten.
“Well, now we’re best friends, so let’s get on with it before we have
The mood shivered, like a glass vibrating as a high note sounded. Just
before it shattered, Xander’s grip loosened and he bent his head, drawn
to the enticing scent of fresh blood. Spike felt the rasp of his tongue begin
again and decided to speed up the cleaning. Parting Xander’s lips with his
fingers, he slipped two fingers inside the furnace of his mouth. Xander
seemed oblivious to the sensations he was evoking, intent only on the unfamiliar,
intoxicating taste, but the process went on long after Spike’s fingers were
bare of blood. Xander was sucking and biting, his tongue swirling around
the cool fingers that had invaded his body so casually. Spike let it go on
a moment longer before pulling them out. Xander’s eyes were glazed, less
human than before and Spike wondered, fleetingly, just what had been done
to him. Did it matter? Well, maybe. Spike didn’t fancy waking up all furry.
He’d forgotten the blood that lay in an intricate webbing across his
cheek. Xander hadn’t. He leaned forward and nuzzled against Spike’s neck,
making the vampire flinch before his arm came up to circle around Xander’s
shoulders, pulling him closer. Xander’s busy tongue explored every contour
of Spike’s face, finding and cleaning every dried droplet. His breath was
blood scented and every exhalation was surrounding Spike with a cloud of
Finally, Xander began to pull back, his job done. Spike’s arm held him
in place and his eyes, gleaming with arousal, told him wordlessly that he
had gone too far to retreat. Spike’s other hand came up and his thumb
traced a line across Xander’s eyebrow and down to the strong clean lines
of his jaw. Finally, it hooked under his chin, tilting Xander’s head up
slightly, exposing his throat.
“You scared I’m going to bite you, pet?” Spike said in a throaty, humming
voice that wriggled inside every opening Xander’s body had and made itself
Xander shook his head. He was scared but not because of that. He was
frightened because his body wasn’t quite his any more. Forces were moving
within him, reshaping emotions and desires, simplifying and refining all
“It’s good to be a little scared, you know. I won’t mind.” The voice
was insinuating now, mocking but not unfriendly. Xander wanted it to stop
it talking. He was having trouble with words; trouble making them fit what
was inside his mind. He was shedding concepts as a snake sheds skin and he
had a feeling that if he thought about what he was doing he might find a
reason to stop. He didn’t want to stop.
“Going to have you now. Last chance to run. I’ll catch you, of course,
but I’ll let you try.”
Xander grinned, feeling assurance flood back, as though the very idea
of running away had freed him from fear. It was his lips that took Spike’s,
a simple hard press of skin on skin at first. He’d kissed girls before –
not many, but some. They had giggled, noses and teeth bumping his own awkwardly,
mouths gaping like foolish fish. He had done his best to match their movements
but he couldn’t say that it had been as much fun as he’d expected. This
was different. The lips against his were cool and firm, opening up just enough
to let their tongues meet. The kiss deepened and suddenly Xander was moaning,
little whimpering noises, wrapping his arms around Spike, feeling Spike’s
hands move down his back, palms flat, stroking him through his cotton shirt.
The hands pulled impatiently and his shirt came untucked. When Spike’s hands
slid against his skin Xander felt his hips jerk forward reflexively. When
the vampire’s nails scored his back, raking it from shoulder blades to waist,
he threw back his head and howled, the sound torn from him, leaving him
emptier of humanity than he had been before.
Spike laughed, eyes sparkling with appreciation. This was going to make
up for the long journey and all the crawling he’d had to do. The lad was
such an intriguing mix of naivety and lust. No time to teach him much, but
Spike decided that he wanted more than he could take in an alley. He thought
of Drusilla but she was far away and this – this was nothing. It didn’t
“Listen, mate. This place is going to be crawling soon when they kick
the kiddies out of that club. Let’s go somewhere quieter.” Spike caught
Xander’s arm and tugged at him.
Xander annoyed him by looking down at the body on the floor, hesitating
at the thought of leaving her. The woman was starting to move, her hands
groping, scrabbling pathetically against the ground. Spike cursed mildly
and went to her, dropping to his knees and looking up at Xander. “Come on
then – do it fast.”
Xander fell to his knees beside Spike, head tilting as he looked at
the woman. “She’s dying...”
“Yeah, think I took a bit much. She’s not going to make it.” Spike’s
fangs flashed as he grinned. “Be a kindness to put her out of her misery.”
With a swift, practiced, movement he bent his head and tore out her throat,
drinking for a moment before thrusting her at Xander.
Xander stared at him, the body of the woman lying across his thighs.
“You’re sharing food with me,” he said slowly. “Why? You’re not one of my
“Don’t know what you mean, pet, but we’re the same. Can’t you see it?”
“I’m not a vampire.”
Spike’s eyebrows lifted, his mouth expressive. “You’re a human with
something else inside you. You want blood. I’m a vampire with a demon who
wants it too. When the sun rises it might be different but tonight, right
here, right now – we’re the same.”
Xander looked down at the body. “She smells good.”
“Sure she does. And she’ll taste better. Feed.”
And Xander did. He was drawn to the wound Spike had left, the skin already
opened by teeth so much sharper than his own. He worried away at the flesh,
ripping off shreds, feeling the cooling blood gloss his lips and coat his
fingers. Spike stood guard, a little disdainful but approving. The boy wasn’t
exactly neat but there was something exciting about watching him. Spike
wondered if he would have cared if the woman were still alive. Probably not.
Xander was lost in an experience so intense that it left no room for
any emotion other than pleasure. When Spike’s hand fell onto his shoulder,
shaking him roughly and then pulling him away from his meal, he growled
angrily, baring his teeth.
“Someone’s coming and best we get the hell out,” Spike said. “I promised
someone I wouldn’t hunt more than once a night while I was here and he’s
not the sort of person you disappoint. Come _on_”
Xander was still resisting, snarling and trying to carry on feeding,
when suddenly he went very still, his face turned towards the high, light
voice of one of the people approaching.
“Buffy, are you sure Xander came down here? On his own? I mean, even
with you here, I’m all terrified and –”
Xander sprang to his feet and looked around wildly. Spike’s eyes narrowed
but he didn’t waste time asking questions. They left just as Buffy and Willow
arrived, the sound of their footsteps drowned by Willow’s scream as she
stumbled over the body.
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