Part one was HERE.
The Hounds of Love
“I wandered lonely as a cloud,” Spike recited, “across the sodding cemetery; when all at once I saw a crowd, a host of bleeding vampiry.”
The four vampires glowered at him. “Spike,” one said, “Angelus is mad as hell at you. He sent us to bring you back. Now you can do it the easy way and come with us yourself, or the hard way and we drag you.”
Spike tossed his head and laughed. “Yeah, sure. How is Angelus enjoying life in a wheelchair anyway?”
“Like I said, madder than hell.” The vampire’s frown deepened. Spike’s unworried aspect was making him nervous. “Maybe if you come back of your own accord he’ll go easy on you.”
“Not the brightest bulb in the box, are you?” Spike grinned, an easy, confident, grin that rattled the vampires even more. “Angelus walks out last night, everything working perfectly, and comes back with his back broken. Occur to you to wonder who did it?”
The leading vampire gulped. “Uh, you?”
“Give the vampire a cigar,” Spike chuckled. “If I can do that to Angelus, what do you think I’m going to do to you?” He slipped his right hand into a coat pocket, as if searching for his cigarettes, a familiar gesture that the vampires from Angelus’ pack had seen him make dozens of times.
“There’s four of us,” the vampire spokesman pointed out.
“That right?” Spike cocked his head on one side. “One, two, three …” He sprang forwards like a striking snake and stabbed the tips of his rigidly extended fingers into the spokesman’s throat. The vampire gagged and clutched at his neck. Spike brought his right hand out of his pocket holding a stake. He drove it into the vampire’s chest and sprang back again as his opponent disintegrated into a cloud of dust.
“Nah, you were wrong, mate,” Spike sneered. “Three.” He turned to face the remaining vampires and strode forward confidently. His left hand slipped inside his coat and emerged holding the baseball bat. “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.”
The vampires fell back slightly, but they didn’t flee. They were scared of Spike, certainly, but they also feared what Drusilla would do to them if they didn’t carry out Angelus’ orders, and they drew out weapons of their own and prepared to fight.
Spike carried the fight to them in a whirl of action. He swung with the bat, thrust with the stake, and kicked hard and accurately. One vampire went sprawling, dazed, the monkey wrench that he had been wielding flying away across the graveyard. Another exploded into dust. The third doubled up, clutching his groin, and then toppled to the ground as Spike brought across his bat in a vicious swipe to the head.
And then another six vampires emerged from the shadows and joined the fray. Spike saw them charging towards him, waving a variety of blunt instruments, and uttered the only expression that seemed appropriate to the situation. “Oh, bugger!”
There was no point in trying to flee, not from other vampires who would be able to match him for speed, and so Spike went forward to meet the charge. He ducked under a flailing blow with a golf club and kicked the wielder in the stomach, lashed out with his baseball bat and broke another’s collar bone, but was hit in the right arm and dropped his stake. His return swing with the baseball bat smashed into the side of the golfer’s head, dropping that vampire in his tracks, and he followed through with the swing and paid the one who had hit his arm back with interest.
While he was engaged with those opponents another slipped past him and seized him from behind, throwing his arms around Spike, and tried to catch Spike’s arms within the embrace. Spike drove back with his right elbow and freed himself but then was tackled around the legs by yet another vampire. He slammed the bat down onto the tackler’s head and broke the hold, but he had lost his balance under the impact of the tackle, and Spike fell backwards to the ground. The one with the broken collar bone kicked Spike in the ribs as he landed. Spike had done a lot of damage with the initial fury of his attack, and almost every one of his adversaries was injured, but now his momentum had been broken and the balance of the fight was tipping the other way.
Spike rolled away from the kicks, trying to get room to swing his bat, but one of the original four vampires came in from that direction and blocked his escape. Another boot thudded into Spike’s ribs. He swung his right arm around low and caught the kicker’s standing leg. The vampire fell on top of Spike and they grappled. Spike used his opponent as an inhuman shield against the other vampire’s kicks, and rapidly gained the upper hand, but now he was surrounded as all the vampires gathered round the struggling pair. More kicks and blows rained down, and some of them landed on Spike.
Spike growled with pain and rage and went into game face for the first time in the fight. To get out of this he would need every ounce of strength that he could summon up. His only chance of victory lay in taking each opponent out of the game as quickly as possible, to reduce their overwhelming numerical superiority, and that meant that he had to deliver killing or disabling blows every time. Spreading the damage out evenly would get him nowhere; they’d end up bloody and battered, but he’d end up unconscious and dragged off to face the wrath of Angelus and Dru. Not an acceptable option.
He threw the limp body of his shield at two of the surrounding pack, took a two-handed grip on the baseball bat, and rolled after the body. He lashed out with the bat in the other direction, taking advantage of the space he had gained, and struck home on a leg with force enough to shatter bone. He whirled the bat around, spun on the ground like a break-dancer, and regained his feet. A turn with the bat, rolling his wrists as he swung, deflecting a down-swinging tire iron and lashing out to shatter a jaw, and another adversary was felled and a little more space was gained.
He spin-kicked an opponent on his right, knocking that one backwards, and he continued round and aimed a strike with the bat at the vampire who had been directly behind him. Unfortunately the victim of the kick staggered backwards only as far as a gravestone, which brought him to a halt far closer than Spike had expected, and the vampire recovered his balance and came straight back at Spike with a downward blow that struck home on Spike’s right shoulder. The arm went numb; Spike’s hand lost its grip on the bat, and his own blow lost power and accuracy. The space he had gained was lost and the pack closed in once more.
Spike was forced on the defensive, the momentum of his attack broken, and he retreated to get his back against a gravestone and stood at bay. “Come on then, you bunch of pathetic wankers,” he taunted, twirling the bat, hoping to intimidate them into delaying their onslaught for long enough for the numbness in his right shoulder to wear off. He scanned the ground and spotted the stake that he had dropped earlier; it was too far off to reach, but now that he had it marked he would be ready to take advantage of any opportunity that arose to snatch it up. “I’ll smash your faces in and send you crawling back to Angelus with your tails between your legs.”
It wasn’t the most inspired repartee that he’d ever come up with, and he ran through song lyrics in his head trying to find a suitable quote, but the first thing that came to mind was The Jam’s ‘Eton Rifles’. There were certainly lines in the song appropriate to the situation, but ‘Thought you were smart when you took them on’ and ‘Hello hurray, I hope rain stops play’ were more likely to encourage the vampire gang than the reverse. He settled for repeating ‘Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough’ and snarling ferociously.
Behind him a female vampire climbed to the top of a gravestone and poised herself for a flying leap intended to tackle Spike around the neck and take him down. As she bent her legs a hand closed around her ankle and jerked her backwards, bringing her crashing down with her jaw impacting the gravestone. She bounced from the stone to the ground and lay stunned. A stake in a dainty feminine hand descended and the vampire exploded into dust.
Two of the crowd in front of Spike charged forward. It was meant to have been a coordinated rush by the whole pack but the others wavered, their attention on something behind Spike, and held back.
Spike met the charge with a wide swing intended to hit both of the attackers. The bat crashed into the jaw of the one on the left but the second was able to seize hold of the bat. He tugged at the bat, trying to wrest it from Spike’s grip, and Spike went forward with the pull and butted the vampire full in the face. The vampire released the bat and staggered back. Spike brought up his leg in a stamping kick and turned the stagger into a fall. He whirled, struck again to the left-hand attacker and knocked him down, and turned hurriedly as he sensed a movement behind him. He lowered the bat as he recognized the Slayer.
Buffy staked a vampire who was sitting on the ground clutching a leg broken by one of Spike’s earlier blows, came erect, and met Spike’s eyes. “Spike,” she said in a flat neutral tone.
“Slayer,” Spike greeted her, his tone equally neutral, and he donned his human features once more. He saw the other vampires recoiling and took advantage of their movement to jump forwards and retrieve his stake. He wasn’t sure that his arm was going to be working well enough to use the stake properly in combat, but it increased the intimidation factor, and the remaining vampires began to back off. Four had now been dusted, three lay unconscious on the ground, and the numerical advantage was now only three, all carrying injuries, versus two. One made a last desperate attempt to seize Spike, who beat him to the ground with contemptuous ease, and the others turned and fled.
Buffy threw her stake hard and accurately. It struck a fleeing vampire between the shoulder-blades and there was another soft explosion of dust. Only one of the original ten vampires got away.
Spike looked at Buffy warily, ready in case she attacked, but she made no move to initiate hostilities. He returned the baseball bat to the loops that he had sewn inside his leather coat, transferred the stake to his left hand, and grinned at Buffy. “Hello, cutie. Turned up just at the right time, you did. Ta.”
Buffy’s brows creased. “What’s tar got to do with it?”
“What’s tar but a gunk used in construction?” Spike parried. “What’s tar got to do, got to do with it? Who needs asphalt to repair the destruction?” He strode to one of the unconscious vampires and stabbed down with his stake.
The Slayer’s cold and watchful expression cracked despite herself and the corners of her mouth turned up. A brief giggle escaped her lips before she gained control again. “No, seriously,” she said, following Spike’s example and disposing of another of the fallen. “I just don’t get what you mean by saying ‘tar’.”
“Ta. No ‘r’ on the end. Means ‘thanks’ in English, luv.” Spike pocketed his stake and extracted his cigarettes as Buffy moved on and destroyed the last of the unconscious vampires.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard Giles say ‘ta’,” Buffy frowned. “Although,” she continued, “he might say it to you. I hear you saved Miss Calendar from Angelus. What’s up, Spike? I guess you’ve had a falling out with Angel – Angelus. And hey, last I saw, you were in a wheelchair, and from what I’ve heard around nobody expected you to be out of it any time soon. Still less out of it and recovered enough to take on Angelus and beat the crap out of him.”
Spike lit up a cigarette, took a drag, and let out a long plume of smoke. “It’s a long story. ’M not sure I want to go into it out here. By my count there’s one of this bunch unaccounted for, apart from the wanker who ran off, and I don’t know as I want the details to get back to Angelus and Dru.”
“I staked a girl vamp who was trying to sneak up on you from behind, before any of them knew I was here,” Buffy told him.
“That makes the numbers come out right,” Spike confirmed. “Still wouldn’t put it past Dru to have someone else sneaking around watching, mind. Oh, and ta again.”
“That’s okay,” Buffy said, pursing her lips and lowering her eyes to avoid meeting his gaze. Spike guessed that she was uncomfortable with the idea of having actually saved a vampire. “Uh, Spike,” Buffy went on, raising her eyes again, “it looks like you don’t want to fight me tonight, and I’m not gonna start anything after you saved Miss Calendar last night, I mean, I’ve been pretty pissed at her lately but Willow really likes her and Giles is, well, he’s majorly fond of her and it would have just broken him up if Angelus had got her, and I’ve forgotten where I was going with this. Oh, yeah. If you’re up for some kind of truce right now, well, that’s okay by me, and Giles is gonna want to know what’s up, so I think you oughta come see him. Only, if this is some kinda trick I will stake you dead.”
“No trick, luv,” Spike assured her. “Okay, let’s go talk to your Watcher.”
The meeting was going to have to be in a public place, as Giles was hardly likely to invite Spike into his apartment at this stage, and Spike wasn’t keen on letting Buffy or Giles know about his motel room until the alliance had been formalized. The school library was therefore the obvious venue, much more private and safer from vampire intrusion than a bar or coffee shop would be, and Buffy called in at her house to phone Giles and arrange things. She made it very clear that no invitation to the premises was going to be forthcoming, Spike wasn’t keen on standing around outside waiting for her, and so he went off to collect his car while she was making the call.
Buffy was standing outside when he returned, pouting and tapping her foot impatiently, and she took one look at the car and sniffed. “I am so not getting in that heap of junk,” she said, looking down her nose at the vehicle, “’cause, can I say ‘ewww’? Plus, all that stuff on the windows, not like you can even see where you’re going.”
“I’ll have you know this is a classic!” Spike protested. Buffy gave him an odd look, as if she was appraising him afresh, but he took little notice. “1959 DeSoto Fireflite four-door, Starlight Black, got the wedge-head V8 instead of the hemi, and …” He lost his thread under her impassive gaze. “Okay, I get the point about the windows. Could get pulled over by the cops, right, and I can’t just eat them now. Okay, I’ll take it off.” He began to remove the aluminum foil that was taped over the glass. “Means I can’t drive it during the day, but I suppose I can always put it back if I have to.”
“You sounded just like Giles for a moment there,” Buffy remarked.
“Nah, luv, nuffink like the geezer,” Spike denied, cranking up the Mockney a notch.
Buffy sniffed again. “If you say so.” She stuck a hand into the car and ran a finger over the seat then examined it. “I guess it’s cleaner than it looks. Okay, if you take everything off the windows I’ll ride with you. But if you lay one finger on me I stake you on the spot, you hear?”
“Don’t get your knickers in a twist, luv, your virtue is safe from me,” Spike assured her.
Buffy gave him a skeptical roll of her eyes and climbed into the car. She showed him the stake that she had ready in her hand. “I mean it,” she warned him, and then wrinkled up her nose. “This car stinks of cigarettes,” she complained.
“Wind the sodding window down, then, Slayer,” Spike advised her. “Or walk. Your choice.” He stripped away the foil from the rear window, returned to the driving seat, and started the engine. The cassette player started up, filling the car with the sound of Tom Robinson’s ‘2-4-6-8 Motorway’, and Buffy switched it off. Spike glared at her. “Leave it out, Slayer. My car, my music.” He turned the player back on.
Buffy glared back at him. Her hand went out to the volume knob once more, but then she hesitated. “I guess this song isn’t all that bad,” she admitted. “Okay, leave it on.”
“Big of you to give me permission to play my own tape in my own car,” Spike grumbled, but he didn’t make any more of an issue out of it. He couldn’t hope to survive for long in Sunnydale as an enemy of both Angelus and the Slayer; he had no option but to play nice with the bint. Also, she had probably saved him from being captured earlier, so he owed her one, and, come to think of it, she was a pretty smart bit of talent. Playing nice with her wasn’t necessarily going to be all that much of a hardship. He smiled at her. “So, what sort of music do you like, luv?”
Buffy wrinkled her nose again. “Will you stop with the calling me ‘love’?” she snapped, moving the stake even more plainly into view.
“Okay, okay, keep your knickers on,” Spike said.
“Knickers? That’s British for panties, right? You get your dirty mind off that subject right now, buster.”
Spike groaned to himself as Buffy began to berate him. It was only a mile to the High School, but the drive was going to seem like a long, long, way.
The meeting turned out to involve the Slayer’s whole gang, not just her and the Watcher, and Spike was nervous to the point of feeling intimidated. Not that he was going to let them see that, of course, and he leaned back in his seat and adopted a casually arrogant pose as he recounted his story.
“Remarkable,” Giles commented, taking off his glasses and wiping their lenses, as Spike drew to a close. “I must check my books to see if there is any reference to this ‘Whistler’.”
“I don’t believe him,” stated a dark-haired boy, who Spike remembered as the snack that Angel had pretended to offer him on the night when he had attacked the High School. “This has got to be some sneaky plan. I say we stake him now.”
“Uh, Xander, he did save Miss Calendar,” the cute red-headed girl objected. “Staking Spike now would be wrong.”
“A sneaky plan from Mister ‘I got bored’?” Buffy scoffed. “I don’t see it, and anyway, the whole bunch of vamps that were trying to beat him to a pulp kinda makes me think he’s telling the truth.”
“It could have been a set-up,” Xander pointed out, “just staged to make you think Spike can be trusted.”
Buffy shook her head. “No way, Xander. I saw it, and it was real. They weren’t pulling their punches and if I hadn’t stepped in he’d have lost.” She looked sharply at Spike. “I did notice that they weren’t trying to kill you. No stakes, no swords, just blunt things.”
“Yeah, they wouldn’t have wanted to kill me out there,” Spike confirmed. “Wanted to take me back to Angelus and Dru, didn’t they? Don’t think I would have enjoyed what would have happened to me then, not one bit.”
He shook his head and his mood turned somber. “Burned my bridges with them good and proper, I have. Dunno as I’d have done it if I’d thought on it longer. Dru’s never going to take me back now that I’ve turned on her ‘Daddy’. Even if she did, I couldn’t let her kill anybody, if I stop being a good guy I go straight back in the sodding wheelchair, and she’d never bloody stand for that. Loved her for a hundred and twenty years, I have, and I still do, even though she tossed me aside for Angelus. Throwing all that away just ‘cos I was pissed off at her and sick of the wheelchair, well, bloody stupid doesn’t begin to describe it. Still, made my bed, I’ll just have to lie in it, won’t I?”
“That’s so sad,” the red-head said sympathetically.
“Yeah, that sucks, man,” agreed the very short kid who seemed to be her boyfriend, speaking for the first time since his arrival.
“Well, I think it serves Spike right,” Xander’s tall and leggy girlfriend declared. “I mean, Order of Taraka, remember? Bug guy, me and Xander hiding in a basement, and, hello, Parent Teacher night, me and Willow stuck in the closet?”
“Sorry,” Spike told her. “The whole Order of Taraka thing was wrong. Should have stuck to doing it myself. Anyway, I see you’re out of the closet now.”
“Yeah, I am,” she said, with a sudden dazzling smile that was cut short as Buffy sniggered and the red-head blushed. “What? Hey! I’m not gay. I resent that.”
“Never said you were, luv,” Spike said, keeping his face straight. “Two nations separated by a single language and all that, pet. Meant nothing by it.”
“Uh, Spike,” Jenny Calendar said hesitantly, “there might be a way for you to get Drusilla back after all.”
Spike’s attention focused on her immediately. “What do you mean?”
“Well,” Jenny explained, “I found out how to restore Angel’s soul. That was why he was after me last night. He knows. I don’t know how he found out, but he does, and he’s desperate to stop me.”
“Dru had one of her visions,” Spike told her, his brow creasing. “Didn’t understand what she was wittering on about, they weren’t really keeping me in the bloody loop, but that’ll have been it.”
“Ah, yes, indeed,” Giles commented. “Jenny, you’re not seriously suggesting …?”
“It’s worth considering,” Jenny replied.
“Suggesting what?” Spike asked. “What are you on about? Get to the bleeding point.”
“I worked out how to do the curse,” Jenny went on. “I need an Orb of Thesulah to do it. Angelus smashed mine, and I’ll have to get a replacement, but maybe I could get two. You could be with Drusilla if she had a soul.”
The characters in this story do not belong to me, but are being used for amusement only and all rights remain with Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, the writers of the original episodes, and the TV and production companies responsible for the original television shows. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER ©2002 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer trademark is used without express permission from Fox.