Speaker-to-Customers (speakr2customrs) wrote,

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The Hounds of Love Part 3

Here’s the third part of the Season 2 fic that I’m writing for Spike month at 12monthsofbtvs. 3,230 words, rating PG13-ish, taking the story through ‘Killed By Death’ and ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’. Two more chapters to go, and so it’s going to be a struggle getting it done in time for the 20th November deadline; I’ve lost a lot of writing time through computer problems over the past couple of days, but my spare computer is fully operational now and I’m going to stay up and write for the rest of the night. Cross your fingers for me.

Part one was HERE. Part two was HERE.

The Hounds of Love

Part Three

“You sure you should be out here, Slayer?” Spike looked Buffy up and down and frowned. “You’re not looking too good.”

“I am too looking good,” Buffy objected.

“Well, yeah, maybe you are,” Spike conceded, eyeing her appreciatively, “but you’re not looking well, and that’s the truth. You should be all tucked up at home in your little bed, not wandering around graveyards.”

“I’m the Slayer, Spike, it’s my job to wander around graveyards,” Buffy pointed out.

“Look, pet, the dodgy geezer in the pork pie hat said the deal was that I had to help the Slayer. So, if you have to take the night off sick, that’s not a problem. I can cover for you. The flu’s not something you want to take chances with. I remember when the flu killed more people than the Great War. Anyway, probably be a quiet night tonight, seeing as how Angelus is stuck in the chair, and we killed more than half of the minions the other night. Doubt if they’ll be up to much mischief.”

“So what makes you think Angel - Angelus won’t send out for food? And I mean people, not stealing blood from the hospital.”

“When it was me in the chair Dru brought me a dog,” Spike said bitterly. “Yeah, guess you’re right, luv, she won’t treat her precious Angel like that. Nothing but the best for him.”

Buffy wrinkled her nose at him. “That is so ewww. I mean, a dog? And you sound like you miss eating people.”

“Well, yeah,” Spike admitted. “’S what a vampire does, innit? Not gonna pretend I don’t miss it. Made the deal, though, and I’m stuck with it. I’ll help you save the Happy Meals from Angelus.”

A movement in the bushes distracted Buffy before she could reply. She moved forwards rapidly and discovered a lurking vampire. She went straight into the attack without waiting for Spike, missed her target, and received a blow across the side of the head that knocked her to the ground. The vampire followed up immediately, dropped onto her stomach with both knees, and punched her in the jaw.

“Dozy bint’s right off her game,” Spike muttered. He charged forward and kicked the vampire in the face, dislodging it from its position on top of the Slayer, and then delivered a punch that sent it sprawling. Spike moved in for the kill. The vampire reached up and clawed at him; Spike caught the arm, twisted and pulled it into a straight arm-lock, and put his foot down on the vampire’s throat. He heaved up and stamped down simultaneously. There was an ugly cracking sound and the vampire’s head parted company from its body.

“You okay, Slayer?” Spike asked, brushing himself down to remove the dust. “Slayer? You hear me?” There was no answer. Buffy lay motionless. Spike checked that she was breathing and sighed with relief. He hated the Slayer with a bitter burning passion, yeah, it was only because of his stupid wish that he was helping her out, but somehow he couldn’t stand the idea of anyone else killing her. Especially a mediocre minion getting lucky only because the daft bird had the sodding flu and was way below par. She deserved better than that.

Buffy stirred. She coughed, sat up, and coughed again.

“You okay, Slayer?” Spike repeated.

“Of course I’m okay,” Buffy replied. She scrambled to her feet, wobbled, and fell down again, sitting down hard on the grass. “I’m just a little dizzy. I’ll be fine in a moment.”

“You’re sick, Slayer,” Spike told her firmly. “Pillock like that’d never have laid a glove on you if you were on form. Get on home to bed, I’ll see to things out here.”

“I’m fine,” Buffy insisted. She struggled back to her feet and promptly walked straight into a gravestone and fell over again.

“Don’t be daft,” Spike chided her. He held out a hand; she glared at it for a moment before reluctantly accepting his help. “Fact is, I think you’d be best going straight to the doc. Maybe even hospital.” He reached out and touched her forehead. “You’re burning up, pet. Running a hell of a temperature. Come on. I’m not gonna take no for an answer.”

“Get off me, Spike,” Buffy snapped. He obeyed, released her arm, and she took two steps before falling once more.

Spike was ready and he caught her arm, halting her fall before she did any damage. “Ready to listen to reason yet, luv?”

Buffy glared at him for a moment and then her expression softened. “You’re right. I hate to admit it, but, yeah, if I try to Slay like this I’m gonna end up dead. I can’t even walk straight.” She coughed again, swallowed, and spoke again with obvious reluctance. “Thanks for helping me out there, Spike. I was out of it for a little, I guess that vamp could have killed me if you hadn’t been there. Thanks.”

“Owed you one, didn’t I, Slayer?” Spike shrugged off her thanks. He extended his arm for her to hold and supported her as they left the cemetery.
- - - - -

“Come in, Spike,” Giles invited, holding his door wide open and gesturing towards the interior of his apartment.

Spike’s eyes widened. This was unexpected. “Ta, mate,” he said, and stepped inside.

“We have discovered a spell to revoke the invitation if necessary,” Giles went on, “but, although it goes against everything that I have been taught, I believe that we can trust you. Take a seat, if you wish.”

Jenny Calendar was sitting on the couch. Spike nodded to her and took a seat opposite.

“I gather that we are indebted to you yet again,” Giles continued. “You saved Buffy from what could have been an exceedingly awkward, possibly even fatal, predicament.”

Spike’s first impulse was to make the most of the affair but some long disused social graces surfaced and prompted him to downplay it instead. ‘A Champion wouldn’t brag,’ an inner voice seemed to say, ‘especially not to a fellow Englishman. It would be bad form’. “Wasn’t a big deal,” Spike found himself saying. “Just a run of the mill vamp, the Slayer would have taken him out in a couple of seconds if she hadn’t been poorly.”

“Be that as it may, I thank you,” Giles said. “Ah, do you drink tea? I’m afraid I don’t have any blood in the house. Perhaps I should look into getting some.”

“I’d love a cuppa, thanks.” Spike’s hand went to his coat pocket for his cigarettes. He glanced around, noticed that there were no ashtrays in sight, and put the packet back in his pocket.

“Have you managed to get replacements for your broken records yet?” Jenny asked him, as Giles occupied himself making tea.

“Not yet,” Spike replied. “That Whistler bloke promised them, but he hasn’t come through yet. Hope it hasn’t slipped his mind.”

“Perhaps he has come through, in a way,” Jenny said. “I’ve found a place that is selling off a collection of old punk rock records, and I’m pretty sure the ones you want are there. I didn’t buy them on the spot, just in case you’d had a mystical delivery, but I put down a deposit to hold them and I’ll go back and get them for you tomorrow.”

Spike raised his eyebrows. He was surprised by her friendly attitude; he wasn’t used to that sort of reaction from humans, once they knew that he was a vampire, but then he had saved her life. He gave her his biggest smile. “Ta muchly, that’s decent of you,” he said. “I’ll get some cash out of the machine later to pay you back.”

“No need for that, Spike, it’s on me,” Jenny said. “It’s the least I can do.”

“Oh. Thanks.”

“Milk? Sugar?” Giles asked.

“Milk, two sugars, thanks,” Spike told him, and got out his cigarettes again by reflex. He put them away once more, and Giles noticed the action as he handed Spike the tea.

“You may smoke if you wish, Spike,” the Watcher said. “I don’t mind once in a while, although I wouldn’t want the place filled with smoke on a regular basis.” He retrieved an ashtray from a shelf and put it down close to Spike’s arm.

“Ta, mate,” Spike said, and lit up. He noticed a pained expression cross Giles’ face for a moment at the familiar ‘mate’; presumably the Watcher still had some reservations about the vampire.

“Ah, would you care for a biscuit?” Giles offered.

“Wouldn’t say no,” Spike said, and reached for the proffered plate. “Custard Creams? Smashing. Import them specially, do you?”

“There is a store in town that keeps a small stock of English foods,” Giles informed him. “HP Sauce, Branston Pickle, Weetabix, and so on.”

“Weetabix? Have to get some of that,” Spike said. “I could crumble it up in my blood, give it a bit of texture, y’know.”

Giles turned slightly green. “Ah, quite. Not a way of eating Weetabix that I have any intention of trying myself.”

“Rupert’s not an adventurous eater,” Jenny commented, a mischievous light dancing in her eyes. “I still haven’t been able to persuade him to try sushi.”

“Should think not,” Spike grinned at her. “Raw’s no way to eat fish. Deep fried in batter, with chips, salt and vinegar, and wrapped in the Daily Mirror, that’s the way to serve fish.”

Giles raised his eyebrows and the corners of his mouth twitched. “Quite.”

“I guess the English are going to stick together even if one’s a Watcher and one’s a vampire,” Jenny said.

“Well, yeah,” Spike said. He fell silent again, still slightly unnerved by the way that they were treating him pretty much as if he was a human, and took a bite of his Custard Cream.

“I found the records when I was looking for an Orb that we need for the resouling spell,” Jenny explained. “I had one, but Angelus smashed it. My supplier was killed that same night, and I don’t know what his sources were.”

“It turns out that I had one already,” Giles added. “I used it as a paperweight. However, we need two if we are to ensoul Drusilla as well as Angelus.”

Spike screwed up his mouth. “Got mixed feelings about that, y’know. I love Drusilla, yeah, but I’ve got to admit she’s as batty as a fruitcake. Chuck a soul into the mix, all that guilt and stuff, and I dunno what it’s gonna do to her. Might send her totally off the deep end.”

Jenny’s expression grew somber. “I know. I don’t see what else we can do, however. It’s either that or stake her, and that would be a horrible way of repaying you for all your help.”

“I gather that Angel spent many years sunk in depression and misery after being cursed,” Giles said. “Perhaps that will have given him the experience that would enable him to help Drusilla deal with the, ah, ramifications of the curse.”

“Maybe,” Spike said, unconvinced. “S’ppose you’re right when you say that there isn’t really anything else that you can do. Just got to hope that it comes out all right. You’ve got one of those Orb thingies now? Think maybe you should curse one of them right off and do the other one later?”

“I have considered that, yes, but I rejected the idea. If we curse Drusilla first it will drastically reduce the combat strength of our opposition, but against that is the fact that she will be left to deal with the effects in the stronghold of the enemy, which I think is inadvisable for her mental health. Similarly, a souled Angel in the wheelchair and at the mercy of Drusilla and her minions is not likely to come out of the experience unscathed.”

“So maybe we should grab Angelus, soul him up, and stash him somewhere safe until he can walk,” Spike suggested. “Few weeks should do it, I think, ‘cos I was starting to get some feeling back. Now’d be a good time, probably, as they’re right down on numbers after the damage me and the Slayer have done in the last few days.”

“An excellent plan, Spike,” Giles praised. “It’s a shame that Buffy is in hospital or I would say that we should proceed immediately. As soon as she is discharged, and passed as fully fit, then we will do exactly that.”
- - - - -

The factory was deserted. Spike and Buffy scoured the entire building but there was no trace of anyone. The wheelchair was gone, as were Drusilla’s dolls and clothes, and the only articles remaining were a few items belonging to Spike that had been vandalized or despoiled. The bloodless corpse of a small white dog lay in one corner with flies crawling over it, causing Willow to shed a tear or two and Cordelia to screw up her face in disgust.

“So the birds have flown,” Xander commented. “And, you know what? I’m thinking maybe somebody told them that we were coming.” He glared meaningfully at Spike.

Spike raised his eyes to the heavens, or at least to the dilapidated roof of the old factory. “Oh, come on, leave it out. Why would I do that? This whole raid was my idea in the first place, tosser.”

“You’re just trying to get us to trust you so that you can sell us out,” Xander accused.

Giles pushed his glasses further back on the bridge of his nose and gave Xander a stern look. “That is hardly logical, Xander. Spike has already saved Jenny’s life, has saved Buffy from a seriously life-threatening situation, and has reduced the number of Angelus’ forces considerably. He has, in my opinion, been of so great service to our cause that it outweighs anything that he could hope to gain by betrayal. I am not greatly surprised that Angelus should have abandoned this hideout. He was vulnerable to us here and moving to an unknown location was a sensible precaution.”

“And Drusilla has visions of the future, too,” Jenny pointed out.

“Indeed,” Giles agreed. “I think you owe Spike an apology, Xander.”

“Apologize to a vampire?” Xander shook his head. “A card-carrying member of the Evil Undead? No way, José.”

“Suit yourself,” Spike said curtly, and he occupied himself with checking to see if any of his possessions were salvageable. He wasn’t particularly annoyed at Xander’s suspicion, it was no more than he had expected.

“That is so not fair, Xander,” Buffy put in. “You’re being a jerk.”

“You are being a bit of a poop-head,” Willow agreed. “I say yay for the saving of Miss Calendar, and yay for the Buffy-saving, and thank you Spike, and I think we should be nicer to you, ‘cause hey, you were a real scary enemy, but having you on our side is pretty cool.”

“I’m on board with that,” Cordelia agreed. “Sorry that my boyfriend is being a jerk, Spike. Not that I’m gonna be inviting you into my house any time soon, and if you need a ride you can find someone else’s car ‘cause I won’t be inviting you into that either, but otherwise, yeah, I’ll play nice.”

Xander pouted and looked around. “Have you all gone nuts? Oz, hey, you’ll back me up, right?”

Oz twitched an eyebrow. “No, man, I think you should give the guy a break. Hey, he’s probably the only guy on Earth who hates Angel as much as you do, so maybe you should even be friends.”

Xander bobbed his head, taken aback. “Uh, yeah, there is that,” he conceded. He gritted his teeth. “Sorry, Spike.”

“’S okay,” Spike acknowledged. He found one pair of undamaged jeans, but grimaced at the wreckage of everything else that he had owned. “There’s bugger all else here,” he grunted. “Think I’ll go off and kill something evil.”
- - - - -

Spike didn’t get involved in the affair of the mysterious haunting that was afflicting the school until the very end. Jenny and Willow’s plan to exorcise the evil presence didn’t seem to call for the assistance of a member of the evil dead, even if he was on the side of Good these days, and it wasn’t until the school had been sealed off from the outside world by a ferocious swarm of supernatural wasps that Spike took it upon himself to investigate. Wasps posed no threat to a vampire.

They posed no threat to Buffy either, because the swarm parted to let the Slayer in when the ghostly presences called her to the school, and she entered the building some ten minutes after Spike and the conditions for the re-enactment of the tragic events of 1955 were fulfilled.

The spirit of James possessed Buffy, the spirit of Grace possessed Spike, and the two replayed the actions of the past. The argument, the confrontation, the threats, and the fatal shooting.

This time, however, the victim didn’t stay dead. Spike came to his feet, relatively unharmed by the bullet that had passed through his chest, and Grace used him to convey her message of forgiveness to James. The star-crossed lovers used their host’s bodies to share one last passionate kiss and then departed to their eternal rest.

Spike and Buffy came to their senses and found themselves wrapped in each other’s arms. Hastily they disengaged and stepped apart.

“Uh, sorry about that, Slayer,” Spike said.

“That’s okay,” Buffy said awkwardly. “It wasn’t you, I get that.” She sniffed.

“Not coming down with the flu again, are you, Slayer?”

“What? Oh, no. It’s just, it was so sad, you know? I guess James picked me ‘cause I was the one he could relate to.”

“Bloody lucky he did,” Spike observed. “You couldn’t have got up from that bullet the way I could.”

“Sorry,” Buffy said, looking at the bloodstain on Spike’s T-shirt. “Are you okay?”

“No permanent harm done, pet. Might find I’m blowing smoke-rings from an unusual place for a while, that’s about it.”

Buffy’s lips twitched in a smile, but it didn’t last long. “I still don’t get how love could go so wrong,” she said. “He loved her, but he killed her. Does love ever go right?”

“Wrong person to ask here, luv,” Spike sighed. “I mean, dunno if things are ever going to work out between me and Dru.”

“And between me and Angel?” Buffy asked, not really talking to Spike.

Spike shook his head. “Dunno about that either. Tell you this, though, Slayer. Angelus was a right wanker for walking out on you, soul or no. I’d have stuck around. Stayed off the blood and destruction bit. You’d have been worth it.”

Buffy looked at him with wide eyes and then spun around and walked away quickly.

“Now, why’d you say that?” Spike muttered to himself. “She’s a tasty piece, that kiss wasn’t any bloody hardship, but worth changing your whole life for?” He thought for a moment. “Yeah. She loves him. Love makes anything worth it. Question is, does Dru love me? And will she love me with a soul?” He lit up a cigarette, inhaled deeply, held his breath for a moment, and looked down at his chest. “Well, would you look at that? I was right. Not a trick you see every day. Wonder if I could charge money to see it?”

Continued in CHAPTER FOUR

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.

Tags: fic, hounds of love
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