DISCLAIMER: The Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel characters are the property of Mutant Enemy, Joss Whedon, and Fox Studios. The story contents are the creation and property of Djinn and are copyright (c) 2001 by Djinn. This story is Rated PG-13.
Having It Out
Spike dropped his hand. "What is your problem?"
Buffy glared at him.
"What? I can't talk to you?"
"That would be a good start."
"We've played this song, Slayer." Spike tried to make her look at him, to make her feel what he was. She just walked away. "You kissed me. Twice. Your idea. I was ready to walk away and bang, you grab me. Lips all over me. What do you call that?"
"No. I'd call it a moment of sodding clarity."
"You would." She walked faster.
He hurried to catch up with her.
Then she stopped. In front of a ramshackle house.
"The nest. Or so my source said."
He frowned. "Source? I thought I was your source?"
"As if, Spike." She didn't even look at him as she kicked the door open.
The downstairs was empty.
"Ok then, we do this the hard way." She headed for the stairs.
"Nobody here, you know." He sniffed the air again to make sure.
"Uh huh." She stomped up the last few steps.
"But if there were, they'd hear you coming," he muttered. Damn girl. Leading him on. Taking the little bit she wanted...needed. Then running. "You're just scared," he yelled up after her.
"Scared of what?" Buffy's face was grim as she came back down.
"Of me. Nobody there?"
"Shut up, Spike."
He grabbed her arm as she tried to pass. Yanked her to him. "Damn you. What is this? Kiss the boy, abuse the boy time?"
"Oh come on. I bet you like to be hurt."
"Not this way."
"I so don't want to continue this conversation." She threw him off easily.
"Well, you're going to."
"Why? So you can follow me around some more like a lovesick puppy?" She laughed. "That's tired."
"What's tired is you. What's tired is me—a vampire—helping a slayer. Helping you. It's not just tired. It's bloody exhausted."
"You want to end our little partnership, Spike? That's fine by me." She punched him hard, sending him into the stairwell. "You really sure you want to stop pretending that you know the real me just because I told you a few things?" She kicked him into the far wall. "You sure you want to make believe you're a real vampire for just a minute? I'd like it. I'd like to have something I can fight."
He stood up slowly. His face transformed. "With pleasure."
She laughed, her face full of disbelieving scorn. "Take your best shot, cripple."
Pure rage filled him. It warred with the hurt and disappointment he already felt. Rage won. His fist connected with her face. He felt the first flarings of the chip. A sharp bright flash of pain. Then nothing.
Buffy got up slowly. She studied him warily. "Do that again."
He didn't stop to think. He kicked her across the room. The chip didn't react. A wild frenzied yell filled the house. It took him a moment to realize it came from his own throat.
Free. He was free.
Free of pain. Free of goodness. Free of her.
She circled him. "Finally I can kill you with a clear conscience."
"You've been killing me for two years, you bitch."
"No, I really haven't. It would have been too easy. Like rolling a drunk or something." Her kick was lighting fast, but he absorbed the energy, rolled with it and was up quickly. His own kick caught her by surprise and sent her reeling into the stairwell. "How's it feel?"
He advanced, but she was already up. Waiting for him.
"It feels great, you monster." She lashed out, her fists hitting him in short staccato bursts. One, two, three, and he was off balance. She kicked out and he was flying through the air.
She pulled out a stake. "You know what will feel better? Staking you."
"Not as good as sucking the life out of you while you squirm." He circled her, watching her carefully.
She feinted, but he didn't fall for it. Caught her hand as it came in for the real kill and twisted it viciously. He heard something crack.
She kicked him ferociously, cradling her wrist. "You son of a bitch. You think this will stop me?" She pulled another stake out. Threw it like a dagger with her good hand.
He moved but not fast enough. The stake buried itself in his shoulder. He roared in pain as he pulled it out. "Close." He threw it hard, but she caught it.
"Patsy." She said as she moved closer again.
He kept to her bad side. Made her defend herself with her injured hand.
She kicked him into a wall again and his wounded shoulder began to bleed more freely.
He growled and got up slowly. "Let's finish this."
"Fine with me." She spun blindingly fast and kicked hard. He danced back just in time to deflect most of the blow. But not fast enough to stop her from taking another step. Her leg flashed out again but she suddenly stumbled. The stake clattered away as her foot slid in his blood. She tried to correct but he was already there, grabbing her and spinning her so that her back was against him. He held her close. She couldn't get fighting room. He could smell her. Her perfume, her blood pulsing, her own scent. "Goodbye, Slayer."
She went slack in his arms. Didn't fight him as his teeth touched her skin. Didn't move as he stood there, her jugular inches from his mouth.
He pulled away.
She didn't move.
He eased his grip on her shoulders.
"Just do it." Her voice was ragged. Ancient and weary. "Do it. But don't turn me."
He leaned in again and opened his mouth. Then stopped. There was no pain. He could feed. Off of a slayer. He remembered the rush from the first slayer he'd killed. This would be his third.
He could be the vampire that took down Buffy.
He suddenly pushed her away.
She fell to her knees and looked up at him.
He walked away from her, then turned and sat down on the stairwell. He could feel his whole body trembling. This was what he had longed for. To be free. To be a true vampire again. And what did he do with it? Nothing. He couldn't do a thing. This snip of a girl had neutered him more truly than any chip. "Damn you!"
She heard him. Her look was one of shock.
"You've taken everything. Everything. And there's nothing left in its place. It's all empty. Empty and angry and useless." He stood up and walked over to the stake she'd dropped.
He tossed it to her. She caught it without taking her eyes off him.
He knelt down in front of her. "I'm nothing. Nothing because of you. I gave up everything that made me who I am. Dru. Killing. Everything. For you. And for what? To end up here, like this?" He pulled up her hand. "I don't want this anymore."
He let go of her hand and watched her eyes. Refused to look at the stake, didn't want to see it slash down. "Do it fast."
Her eyes were cold, full of pain. Dead. He let his face go back to the human form. He wanted to touch her and hated himself for it. "Just do it."
For a second he saw hatred in her eyes. He didn't look away. Wouldn't give her that.
But she didn't move. The seconds ticked away and she didn't strike.
"Do it then," he whispered. "Or do you want your bloody lapdog to do some tricks before you put him down?"
She set the stake on the ground and looked down. "We're quite a pair."
She looked up. Her eyes brimmed with tears that she blinked back fiercely. "You and me. A pair of losers."
"I don't know if I'd call us losers."
"Then what the hell is this?"
A new voice rang out. "Whatever it was supposed to be, it's going to become your execution."
They both turned. A large vampire stood watching them. Five others came through the door and stood behind him.
"If you don't mind," Spike said, "I think we're having a breakthrough here and you're putting a damper on it."
The leader sneered. "You chose the wrong place to have it, traitor."
"That's such a negative word." Spike rose in one fluid motion and saw Buffy do the same. He looked at her wrist. "Sorry about that," he whispered.
She nodded. "And the shoulder."
"It'll heal. But I'm still up for a fight. How about you?"
"Oh yeah." She smiled at him.
In all his life, he'd never seen an eviler smile. The other vampires didn't stand a chance.
A moment later, Spike waved dust away from his face. "Uh, Buff, you think you could aim some other direction next time? Don't fancy dust in the hair if it's all the same to you."
Buffy seemed to be fighting a smile as she jammed her stake back into her jeans, wincing as her wrist no doubt protested the overly macho stunt.
"Hurts?" Spike asked as he tried to stuff a piece of his shirt into the shoulder wound.
"It'll be ok. Here. Let me." She tore a longer strip and tied the pad into place.
He reached out then stopped. She didn't look up at him. "What the hell," he said as he let his hand drop onto her hair. He stroked it softly and felt her relax slightly. "I'm in love with you."
He stared down at her head. "It's all different now."
It took her a long time to answer. "Yeah."
"I'll make you proud. You'll see."
She pulled him to her and kissed him fiercely, then let him go. "I suppose, when the big moments come, you will make me proud." She backed up, shaking her head. "But every other second you'll be a pain in the ass."
"Will too." She walked out of the house.
He hurried to catch up to her. "Hold on."
She stopped. "What now?"
"Something I've been meaning to do." He leaned in and kissed her as hard as she'd kissed him. "I never get to go first."
"Is it a contest now?"
"Always will be if I know us. And I think I do." He let his arm drop around her shoulders. "You and me kid. We're some team."
She just sighed.
"You're still not completely on board with this." He tightened his grip. "But you'll fall for me. You wait and see."
She surprised him by wrapping her arm around his waist. "Let's just concentrate on being Sunnydale's most dysfunctional couple for a while, ok?"
"Whatever you want, pet. Whatever you want."
He felt a rush of pure joy fill him as Buffy's arm tightened around him. He was so happy he almost didn't notice the litter of kittens playing in the bushes.
"Do it and I will stake you."
Spike kept walking. He had more important things to do. Like walking his lady home. His lady. He glanced at Buffy.
She looked up at him. "What's wrong?"
Her eyes were still distant. But they weren't quite as flat, as dead. In fact, they looked a little bit peaceful. He grinned at her. "Wrong? Not a bloody thing, luv."
He didn't even mind when she rolled her eyes and said, "Let me rephrase...a total pain in the ass."