|FICLET: Do not go gentle
||[Jan. 9th, 2007|01:27 pm]
Five Stages of Grief, but it never seemed right, despite getting to 3,500 words. I've fiddled with the thing off and on for ages to no real avail, so - resolution and all - post it, forget it and move on. This is the second of the orphaned fics. This one obsessed me for a few weeks last year shortly after writing |
Set: London, 1976
Pairing: Spike, OC
Rating: NC-17 maybe
He barely registered the girl’s presence. She was hardly his type anyway, small and well rounded, pre-Raphaelite red curls framing an attractive enough, but unremarkable, freckled face. She was dressed in faded jeans and a flowered shirt at complete odds with the predominant black of the new-punk clientele that favoured the club. Her soft curls and hippyish clothes had gained her a few sneering asides from the other drinkers, but she seemed unconcerned.
She’d been watching him steadily for almost half an hour, cornflower blue eyes unwavering. He’d glanced her way once or twice, guessed she might be summoning up the courage to come over and talk to him, but he hadn’t given her any encouragement because… really – not his type, and he’d only just eaten, anyway.
Besides, he was enjoying moping. Dru has fucked off again, lured away on one of her regular dalliances, this time with some slimy, snake-hipped, snake-skinned demon; although he suspected a large part of old slithery’s charms were down to his stash of hash-befuddled hippy-hangovers in the railway arches over at Waterloo rather than anything else he had to offer.
Bloody women. He doubted he’d ever understand them.
He sensed the girl slide on to the stool next to him, saw her signal the barman from the corner of his eye, and sighed as a glass of whiskey appeared on the bar in front of him.
He picked up the glass and downed the amber liquid in one. “Thanks for the drink an’ all, pet,” he spoke without turning toward her, “But I’m not interested in company.”
“No, I don’t suppose you are.” Her voice was low and warm. “But maybe I could offer you something to change your mind.”
He snorted. “Doubt that very much.” He turned towards her and let a flash of demon touch his eyes. “Really. You should go,” he purred, voice heavy with menace.
She smiled at him. “Does that usually work?”
The smile threw him and caught his attention in pretty equal measure. He frowned at her curiously. “Well… yeah. Normally puts the willies up unwanted guests.”
“I’m sure it does. Sorry. I should probably introduce myself.” She held out one small hand. “Elizabeth Fellows, member of the Council of Watchers.”
He kept his gaze level, but his sudden wariness was betrayed by the narrowing of his eyes, the subtle but unmistakable tensing of his body, ready for flight – or fight. “Oh?” he said calmly. “And that should mean somethin’?”
She shrugged, lowered the ignored hand, picked up her handbag and began to rummage in its depths. “You,” she went on, frowning into the bag, “are Spike. Also known as William the Bl… Oww!” She gave a sharp cry of pain as Spike’s hand captured her wrist in a steel-tight grip
“Excuse me for bein’ a mite cautious an’ all.” His voice was low and controlled. “Wanna just tell me what you’re up to? I’d hate to have to snap this pretty little arm of yours.”
“Cigarettes.” She gasped and pulled her hand out of the bag, showed him the packet clutched between darkening fingers. “That’s all.”
Spike dropped her wrist, grasped her bag and kept eye contact as he searched it, fingers touching the usual female detritus, finding no evidence of anything sharp and wooden. He picked out a heavy, silver-coloured cigarette lighter and held it up to glint in the subdued lights from the bar. “Nice.”
“Isn’t it?” Elizabeth rubbed her wrist ruefully. “I picked it up in New York. The Council...” she hesitated, then went on “…has business there at the moment.” Back in control, she held the packet of cigarettes out to Spike and raised an eyebrow questioningly.
Spike hesitated for a second, then took one and slipped it between his lips. OK… whatever the game was, he was prepared to play along. For now. “So, you’re a Council dolly, huh? Odd choice of career.” He flipped the lighter, frowning into the flame and offered it to her.
“Family business. Following in the paternal footsteps.” She held his hand as she lit her cigarette. “He lacks the requisite son.”
“So daddy’s a Watcher, too. Nice,” Spike snorted.
“Daddy, grandfather… whole string of watchers stretching back through recorded time.” She shrugged, drawing deeply on her cigarette, watching him as he lit his own. “Can’t tell you how much fun dinner time conversations were.” Her voice was heavy with sarcasm.
“I can imagine.” He signalled for another drink. Despite himself he was intrigued by the little redhead and whatever it was she was doing. Quiet night, after all, and moping wasn’t half the fun Angel made out it was. “So, of all the bars in all the world you walk into this one, huh?”
“Not exactly. You do leave a bit of a trail, you know. The Council think that you’re careless. Or stupid.” She narrowed her eyes at him. “Clearly you’re not stupid. Personally, I think it’s just that your bravado means you don’t much care about covering your traces.”
“Bravado?” He grinned and looked at the glowing tip of his cigarette. “Think you know me, do you?”
“Some. I wrote my thesis on you.”
He gave a snort of laughter. “You did what?”
“Wrote my thesis. “William the Bloody: A case study in vampire longevity.” A weighty and learned tome, I’ll have you know. You were an… interesting subject.”
“So you’ve come to see if I match up to your learned opinion?”
“Right… so if it’s not academic interest, what do you want?”
She nodded briefly. “Two things. First – the place you and Drusilla were holed up in? The house over in Lambeth? Don’t go back there. The Council know you’re there and they’ve planned a… little surprise for you. You’ve been around too long, Spike. They don’t like vampires who live too long, especially ones who are quite so flamboyantly chaotic. And even more so when they bring their chaos to the Council’s own back yard.”
Spike narrowed his eyes at her suspiciously. “Why are you tellin’ me this?”
“I told you,” she shrugged and took a last draw on her cigarette, breathing out a stream of smoke as she crushed the remains in the ashtray. “I did my thesis on you. I’ve grown oddly of fond of you.”
“Fond?!” Spike glared at her. “I’m not a bloody puppy! Take that back!”
She smiled and stared at the glass in front of her. “Besides,” the smile faded and there was a spark of anger in the blue depths of her eyes, “I’m tired of the Council. I’m tired of their bloody complacency, their stuffy, overbearing, over-controlling certainty that they’re always right, no matter what. I’m tired of their need to subjugate the poor girls who…” She pressed her lips together and looked up at Spike. “They need to be shaken up once in a while.”
Spike raised an eyebrow. “So, what? I’m your go at rebellion?”
She shrugged. “Maybe.”
“Against the council or against Daddy?”
She gave a tight smile. “Amounts to much the same thing.”
“Ah-ha.” Spike watched her profile as she took a sip from her drink. “And the second thing?”
“I would like…” she hesitated and turned toward him. “I would like you to do something for me.”
“Right. Payback.” Spike snorted and raised his glass to his lips. “What?”
“I’d like you to have sex with me,” she said calmly.
Spike spluttered into his whiskey. “Oh, well cut to the chase why don’t you?”
“Well, I figured you wouldn’t be one for the romantic dinners à deux or the hand-holding in the pictures. And I believe in being upfront.”
“Well, you’re certainly that!”
“And you’re shocked?” An amused smile curved her lips. “You’ve never been propositioned before?”
“No! I mean… no, I’m not… Are you out of your tree?”
“I don’t think so.” She swallowed the remainder of her drink, wincing slightly as the spirit hit her throat. “So,” she raised an eyebrow, “are you man enough?”
“Never had any complaints…” he purred.
“I’m sure you haven’t.”
He looked at her for a moment then shook his head. “Call me paranoid, pet, but…”
“I had no reason to tell you I was a Watcher.” She shrugged. “I’m not armed, as you’ve seen. We can go wherever you choose. And I’m not stupid. You could kill me in a second without turning a hair if you suspected anything.” She kept her eyes fixed on his, her gaze calm and open. “There’s no Watcher-type subterfuge. I’ve told you the truth.”
“Yeah.” Spike was still suspicious. “An’ you don’t think there’s plenty of more normal blokes out there willing to scratch your itch? You don’t look the vamp-hag type.”
She winced. “No. Not just any vampire. You specifically. I want it to be you.”
“Well, that’s understandable.” He shrugged modestly and she gave a snort of laughter. He narrowed his eyes and watched her through the smoke of his cigarette. “What makes you think I’d be interested in your…” he touched the tip of his tongue to his teeth and tilted his head, letting his eyes travel slowly over the swell of her breasts and linger on the curve of her throat, “…offer?”
She gazed back at him levelly despite the self-conscious flush that touched her cheeks. “The chance to screw the Council – literally as well as figuratively?” She shook her head. “Curiosity, maybe. I don’t suppose you’ve ever…” she hesitated “…had a Watcher.”
He nodded slowly, watching her. “True. But then, never killed one either…”
“You have, as it happens.” She shrugged uncomfortably. “But that’s my risk, not yours.”
Spike examined the glowing tip of his cigarette. “Don’t think I’ve ever been a revenge fuck.”
“Well, even in your long and varied career, I guess there’s room for new experiences.” She picked up her cigarettes and lighter and slipped them back into her bag. “So – what’s your answer?” She was trying for businesslike, but her vulnerability shone like a beacon. A very tempting beacon.
He looked at her consideringly. Never fucked a Watcher. There was a certain… appeal. He shrugged. Why not? “OK. But I get to say where. An’ I’m not promising breakfast in the mornin’…” Unless it’s mine, he thought as he followed her out of the bar.
He’d almost forgotten the feel of a willing, living body. He'd been loyal to Dru for what felt like forever, used to the coolness of her body that matched his and felt neither warm nor cold. He’d almost forgotten how hot it was, living flesh, wet warmth tight around his cock, the feel of a heart racing against the deadness of his chest, pulsating blood millimetres away from his lips, flushing the skin, raising beads of sweat, the intoxication of being surrounded by all that heat and hope and humanity and life…
The sudden smell of blood tipped him over the edge of a quick, hard climax, brought the demon surging to the surface, the blood-lust singing in his veins in response to the heady heat of her body and the scent of arousal. He buried his face in her neck, let the tips of his teeth graze the flushed pale skin, raise red-metal drops of blood, took a first taste of her. She groaned and arched against him, crying out as she tipped toward orgasm, hands raking blunt nails across his back, legs tight around him, desperately pulling him closer, deeper, riding the waves of her release. He grinned. This was the best. The best time to take them, blood rich with the taste of passion and release. But what made it perfect? What made it perfect was the spice of fear.
He pulled back, watching her flushed face relax, waited for her to open her eyes, to see the demon staring down at her, the blood on his lips, to understand what was about to happen, to fear. But there was no fear. She gazed up at him calmly, blue eyes challenging. “Go right ahead,” she said softly.
Spike frowned. That wasn’t part of the game plan. Partly he was peeved at being denied the fear, partly he was tempted to go ahead anyway – but mostly… he wanted to know what the fuck was going on.
He rolled away, pulled back his game face, propped himself on one elbow and glared at her. She lay on her back, watchful. It was then he saw the source of that initial smell of blood, the staining on her thighs. He reached out a finger to touch it, brought the finger tip to his lips and slowly licked away the mingled taste of her blood and juices and his come. She shivered and he raised an eyebrow. “Well, well…”
“You’re surprised? This day and age, with the free love and all?” She sat up, folding her arms self-consciously over her breasts.
“Don’t be. Time’s running out and all things being equal I wasn’t aiming to die a virgin.” She laughed and shook her head. “God, how melodramatic does that sound?”
Spike frowned at her curiously. “You talk like dying’s somethin’ you’re expecting sooner rather than later.”
“Ah. Well, the thing is I am.” She pulled her legs up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. “I’m dying. Not in a ‘one of the two certain things in life’ way, but more… specifically.” Her voice was controlled. “I have a particularly nasty form of… well, no matter.” She shrugged. “Suffice to say, I’m not due to be around much longer.” She looked over at him. “I don’t want to die – not like that. I’ve seen what it does to you. I’m not ready. Not nearly ready. And I’m not giving up without a fight.” She turned to him, a small smile curving her lips and quoted, “’Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light’.
Spike snorted. “Dylan. Great Welsh poof.”
She laughed. “There speaks the poet.”
“Poet? I’m no poncy poet.”
“You forget. I know you, William.” She reached up to touch his cheek. “Which is why I’ve chosen you.”
He pulled back, suddenly on guard. “Chosen?”
“I don’t see the point of raging. Waste of energy. I’m more for planning. So, my plan is this. I’m not ready to go.” She was watching him intensely. “I do not want to die. God, I’ve barely lived. I want you to help me. I want you to turn me. Now. Before I have to face…” She closed her eyes briefly, pressing her lips tight against the fear. “Now.”
He frowned. He could hear it in her voice, see it in the fevered blue of her eyes, the burning desire to live, to grow, to clutch life to herself and use any opportunity to keep it. And he recognised something – the desperation to be more than what she’d been, the realisation that the life she had been leading, when it came to it, wasn’t worth a fuck. He felt a sudden surge of something he hadn’t felt for decades – pity. He bit down on it and shook his head. “Wrong vampire. I don’t. You say you did some sort of thesis on me, then you know. I don’t sire. Always one for the simple life – last thing I need is some bloody fledgling followin’ me around, an’ I have no desire to perpetuate the old family line; leave all that to Grandma and Grandpapa. I kill, pet.” He ran a slow finger over her throat and she shivered. “Quickly or… not so quickly. S’what I do.”
“I know. But then, I figured you’d never been asked before.”
“You’d be surprised.” He got up from the bed, hunted among the discarded clothes for her bag and retrieved cigarettes and lighter. “It’s not the answer.”
“It’s an answer.”
“No. It’s not.” He lay back on the bed and lit a cigarette, frowning.
“It’s the only answer I have left.” Her voice was grimly determined
“I turn you, you’ll be just as dead as if whatever it is you’ve got kills you. You’re a bloody Watcher. You know that.”
“Unlife is not death. I don’t believe there’s anything after this, no new life in paradise with wings and a halo. This is it. Unlife gives me hope of something.”
“But you won’t be you. D’you get that? What you’ll be… it won’t be you.”
“Are you so far from who you were?”
He shrugged into game face and grinned as she winced away. His free hand flew up and grasped her throat “Believe it, pet,” he growled, “I’m a million miles away from what I was. And now we’ve had our bit of fun, I think maybe it’s time I did what I do best. Well,” he reconsidered, yellow eyes travelled lasciviously over her body, “… maybe second best.”
She gasped as his hand tightened. “Do what you want. This is endgame for me, Spike. Whatever way it comes.”
He watched her face for a moment, then dropped his hand. He lay back on the bed, pulled back his game face and drew hard on his cigarette. “Why me?” he asked as she gasped breath through the pain of her bruised throat.
“Why me? No shortage of evil undead out there’d turn you, with or without the fuck. Why me?”
She rubbed the marks on her neck. “I hadn’t… I mean… it was you turning up on the Council’s radar that set me thinking. It became something of an obsession.” She gave a tight smile. “Do you think maybe I’m more than a little unhinged?”
He shrugged. “Some might say sanity’s over-rated.”
“They may be right.” She turned to him, running her hand down over his stomach. “I could do with a little insanity in my life right now,” she said as her lips followed her fingers.
“Best begin your lessons, then,” he growled, guiding her head downwards.
In the end he didn’t kill her that night. They stayed in the run-down hotel room as the noise from the street strengthened with the light filtering through the worn curtains, as the day wore into evening, as the darkness returned. She was a willing student, an intoxicating mixture of broken innocence and desperation, eager to try everything, to do everything, grasp at every sensation her could offer, taste every perversion, pleasure and pain, insatiable with the reckless energy of someone with nothing left to lose. In quieter moments she’d talk and he found himself listening – about the loss of her mother, dead when she was a child, about her father’s iron control, about the tight, small life she’d lived with him, about her lack of experience of the bright new world she caught glimpses of, about love given and rejected… She whispered her secrets to him, things that touched vague, half-remembered feelings from his past, raised spectres he’d thought long laid to rest. Despite himself, he was drawn to her; in another life, he thought, another time, he’d have grown to like this frail girl with the fire for life that had never had the chance to burn. But he couldn’t do what she wanted. He had his reasons – reasons that stopped him from offering her the chance of unlife and what that unlife meant, reasons that brought a twinge of pain and a prick of long-suppressed memory reburied before it could surface. Reasons he wasn’t going to acknowledge, least of all to himself.
He woke to find her watching him, blue eyes weary. “You’re not going to do it, are you?” she said quietly.
“No. I told you… I don’t.”
“I can feel it, you know? Already. Soon I won’t even be able to do this…” She stretched her hand in front of her, turning it slowly, and gazed at her fingers as if in fascination. “I’ll find someone else,” she went on, her voice low.
“No.” He leaned over her, let his lips graze her forehead lightly, and then trail down over her cheek to tease hers. “You won’t,” he purred.
“Won’t I?” She closed her eyes with a sigh, arched her head to expose her neck to his mouth.
“No.” His tongue brushed her skin, lingered at the marks he’d already left.
“No…” she gasped as his hand slid between her thighs, “no-one else…” She barely whimpered when he drove his teeth into her neck and finished it.
Outside in the night-quiet street he pulled the heavy silver lighter out of his pocket, and stared at it, frowning, for a long moment. Then he sniffed and shrugged, straightening his shoulders under his short black jacket. New York, she’d said. Council business, huh? Now, what kind of business might the Council have there? A slow smile curved his lips. Maybe time for a trip. Little bit of entertainment. He heard the punk scene was coming on nicely over there; maybe time to go and give the Yanks the benefit of his experience. He glanced up at the darkened windows of the shabby hotel briefly, slipped the lighter into his pocket, and turned away.