Ten Years After

Chapter 9

In the end Spike stayed for another couple of hours. Dawn reassured him that she wasn’t ‘too squicked’ by his description of his dealings with dealers, she said that after all he had never been an angel – in any sense of the word! She also reassured him that she didn’t think Giles would withdraw his apology – it had been an apology for his own failure to understand that Spike was able to keep his demon in check – and nothing Spike had told her made her doubt that this was still the case.

They had drunk coffee, and more wine, and he had left a somewhat inebriated Dawn in the small hours of the morning, with plans to meet the next evening, after she had done some daylight sight-seeing. She had held him tightly when they said goodnight, and Spike had not been that surprised to feel his body respond to her proximity.

After he left Dawn’s hotel, Spike made his way a couple of miles across the city to a fairly large hospital. He walked confidently past the security guard at the entrance, flashing a security card that identified him as Doctor Williams. Acquiring this had been no problem – ten minutes flirting with a female staff member a month or two ago, and she probably hadn’t noticed it had gone for hours. His dealer ‘friend’ had not queried why he’d wanted it adapting for his own use, and the security guy had now seen him and it often enough that he could probably walk in even without it. But he was a good visiting doctor, and always wore his pass!

However when he was shagging his pretty French night-shift blood technician, despite being even more enthusiastic physically than usual, his mind wasn’t really there. As his hands cupped her breasts whilst he thrust into her from behind, his mind was imagining nipples that still pointed skywards, and as she panted, and bit her lip so that she only muttered ‘Oui, oui!’ he imagined a voice that was Californian overlaid with English yelling ‘Yes, yes!’.

This didn’t cause him to pay any less attention to the niceties of what was a fairly regular interruption to the young lady’s otherwise fairly boring night-shift, and she still looked flushed and satiated when he collected his ‘extra three or four units to help with his research, that would just be thrown out otherwise’.

Having checked her shifts for the next week, Spike left, whistling to himself. He asked himself whether he felt guilty about either the use of sex to get what he wanted, or the wandering thoughts during it. Of course not! She’d enjoyed it hadn’t she, and, c’mon, vampire here – a vampire has more than one driving urge to satisfy.

Back in his ‘appartement sous-sol’ (he loved the French for basement flat – ‘apartment without sun’), he warmed himself up a unit of A+ and put on the television. He didn’t really watch it; just let the ebb and flow of all-night news and soap opera repeats form a background for his thoughts.

Their conversation had confirmed what he had concluded when sitting last night in the same way; Dawn was, as far as anyone could tell, some sort of Immortal. Like him, really. She’d also grown and matured beautifully, well she’d matured just to the point of physical perfection anyway, if his knowledge of biological development was right.

She was bloody good company, easier to talk to than her sister ever was; but then she always had been, even all those years ago when she was little more than a child. This grown-up, university educated, Dawn was someone he wanted to get to know better. Someone he rather thought he could get very attached to.

Could he be around her for long without falling in love with her? Could he cope with the possibility of falling in love with another Summers girl? Would Dawn be shocked if she realised he found her sexually attractive? On the other hand could he live with himself if he just cut and run, when Dawn had asked him for his help in coping with something which was very new for her?

Spike had spent most of the one hundred and thirty three years since he was turned, and much of his adulthood before that, being in love with someone. Cecily, then Drusilla for so many years, and then Buffy. Only in the last few years had he not been emotionally involved with a woman. Both spineless William and soul-less Spike had always been in love. Odd then that souled Spike – an amalgam of both his predecessors – should be the one who had eventually managed without emotionally charged relationships.

Not that he was indifferent to the women who were, or had been, part of his life over the last few years. But the one he’d got closest to was not the sort of woman who encouraged deep romantic devotion, nor gave it. No, Ilona Costa Bianchi was more what good old Anya had called an orgasm-buddy.

After South America his personal quest had taken him to Europe, and he’d looked up the former CEO of Wolfram and Hart, Rome. Now the senior partner in Costa Bianchi e Soci, and happy to acknowledge that she owed it all to Spike. Well to Spike, Angel, Wes, Gunn, Connor and Illyria, mainly Illyria; but the one who’d come knocking on her office door was Spike.

Ilona was a pleasure to bed. Well a pleasure to desk, or to office floor as well, but mostly a pleasure to bed. Spike let his mind drift off his present problem, forced it to skim past the problem that had taken him to Rome in 2006 (‘Pah! We will think of that no more!’ a voice in his head said), and let it linger on the voluptuous Signorina Costa Bianchi.

Ilona with the long black silken hair. Ilona with the voice that could make a laundry list sound suggestive. Ilona with the knockers that mere breathing mortals could suffocate between! Spike liked Ilona. She was good company. On the whole Spike usually liked the women he had sex with, including Yvette the blood technician. Had all the night shift on the blood-bank turned out to be boring, middle-aged or male, he would have simply stolen the odd unit once he’d got a pass into the hospital. He brought her flowers, or chocolates, and only dashed off after sex if she was busy, but he wasn’t even the tiniest bit in love with her.

The same was true of Ilona. She had contacts. In 2006 she had given him the information he had wanted (‘No, not going there, leave it!’ he admonished himself), and she had also provided him twice with valid EU passports. He laughed out loud at this point, and thought that he must show them to Dawn – she would appreciate Ilona’s sense of humour – the first had shown him to be a Dutch born EU citizen called Willem van Pyre, the second, current, one was in the name of William Aurelius.

But if he had not liked her, he might have asked Ilona for help on the grounds that she ‘owed him one’ for giving her her own law firm, and left it at that. As it was he visited her in Rome for a couple of weeks once or twice a year, they ate out, drank excellent wine together, went dancing, and even, on one occasion, went to La Scala together. They looked good together – both men and women gave them obviously envious glances. And they enjoyed sex together.

Despite the pretty satisfying sex only an hour or two ago, the thought of sex with Ilona had Spike’s cock straining at the zip of his trousers. Hands and mind wandered together, as he remembered highlights of his last visit, between his trip to Belgium and arriving in Paris. Ilona in intricate and expensively engineered black lace underwear, Ilona spread out on cream silk sheets, Ilona who could give a tit-fuck that would make a succubus cry with envy.

It took only a few minutes mentally picturing Ilona’s breasts enveloping his cock, her dark hair brushing against his body, her muttered words of endearment before her mouth dipped down between her tits and licked the head of his cock, before Spike orgasmed. He sat quietly in his chair, and let the sensation drain away, clearing his mind.

Now he could think with his brain not his groin. What to do about Dawn? The more he thought about it the clearer it got. He had always felt that he had returned after Sunnydale, and survived the Wolfram and Hart episode, for some reason; even though at times he told himself he was flattering himself to think it was anything more than dumb chance. Doing some damage, in a small way, to those humans who preyed on other humans in one way or another might just be helping him find some sort of redemption, but it wasn’t really what he thought he was being kept for.

Now, though, he thought he had his chance. He had once promised to protect Dawn till the end of the world, but he’d thought that promise redundant. Until a few days ago, as far as he knew, she was doing a perfectly good job of protecting herself, or being protected by her sister and her friends; she didn’t need Spike to honour that promise. Only, Dawn did need him. Dawn would need him to be there for her in a way that no-one else could. This was his chance to mean something, to make a difference. He would be the Guardian of The Key.

If he chose to be.

He reckoned he had three choices. The first was to wish her all the best and run away, get on with his life as he had been leading it until last week. The second was to acknowledge the attraction he was already feeling and let himself fall in love with her. The third, and hardest, would be to become her faithful protector and guardian whilst flattening down any sexual attraction in case she couldn’t see him that way. Be a brother figure and a place of safety for her.

If he was being presented with this as a chance to redeem himself – save himself from ending up in a permanent hell eventually – only the third option could possibly be right. But was thinking ‘Wow, the Powers That Be saved me to be a Guardian throughout time to The Key’ being a bit presumptuous? He, Spike, was not that important in the scheme of things. He was flattering himself that any higher power knew anything of his existence.

He had a feeling that even if he set off to stick to Option Three he would find himself drifting into OptionTwo, and maybe scaring Dawn off. Suddenly it didn’t seem quite as clear as he’d thought. His mind went round and round the same circle until ‘Shit!’ he said, out loud, ‘I’m no good at bloody profound thought – can’t answer the soddin’ questions! Leave that to the bloody Watchers Council. All I can do is take it a day at a time!’ He glared, yellow-eyed, at the television, switched it off, laughed to himself, went to lie on the bed and drifted into sleep. His last coherent thought was “She’s bound to ask me sometime what I was doing in Columbia in the first place. Have to tell her. How can I tell her? Can’t be any good to her if I keep things like that to myself. What will she think? Don’t even bloody know what I think.”


***


Back in L’Hotel du Vieux Saule Dawn was asleep hours before Spike, but she had also been doing some thinking before sleep. She had not been as inebriated as Spike probably thought she was; “a twenty year old is at peak performance when it comes to holding their alcohol”, she thought, only slightly giggly, remembering a biology lesson from sometime in the past at which she had learnt that ‘after the age of twenty your nephrons start to die off, and can’t handle the alcohol as efficiently’. “At least I’ll always have tip-top nephrons”, she thought with amusement.

Dawn had not been too drunk to notice the bulge in the front of Spike’s trousers when they had hugged at the end of the evening. She had elicited the same response from other men in the past, but she was very pleased that she could have that effect on Spike. As long as he wasn’t shocked that she’d had that effect – neither of them had actually mentioned it - but she didn’t think he’d responded as if he was shocked at all. With those blue eyes, chiselled cheekbones and well kept body, Dawn knew, he could have his choice of women – vampire or no vampire – and so she was flattered as well.

Sex and seduction had been very much at the furthest back recess of her mind when she’d decided that she needed to see him. It was there, granted, but no more so than if she’d had the chance to meet a favourite movie star or football player – probably even less. She had realised that the teenaged crush had not gone away, but could easily develop into a much more grown up thing, by the time they had finished that first meal together.

Then she had worried that any flirting might freak Spike out as being positively incestuous, or that he might still see her as about fifteen. However the way he spoke to her made it clear that he had easily adjusted to her being an adult, and both the slightly smirky lingering glance at her chest and the bulge in the trousers tended to confirm that he didn’t see her as totally sister-like! Dawn was happy with this – it made her feel good. She wasn’t sure it would make Willow or Giles feel good – and she was positively certain that it wouldn’t make Buffy or Xander feel good – but hell, she was an independent woman, she could flirt with who she liked! If it went further than flirting then she, Dawn, would be a very happy woman.

She considered the rightness of these feelings in view of what Spike had told her of his life over the past few years. The Watchers’ Council always taught that there were absolute black and white sides when considering vampires demons and humans. Vampire or demon was in the black column, human was in the white column. However Dawn had worked for The Council long enough, and had access to enough of its records and historical documents, to know the reason behind such teachings.

Throughout all the centuries of historical documents the subject of evil humans cropped up quite regularly. Should Watchers use The Slayer against such evil? Occasionally non-aggressive demons had also been mentioned, and should the Watchers stop The Slayer from killing them? Every time the first question cropped up decisions had been based solely on one over-riding principle – a Slayer must never be allowed to harm a human – not because humans were intrinsically good, but because any Slayer who realised that she could use her power in this way, without being struck down in some fashion, might turn to evil herself. Or as Andrew had put it whilst looking at one of the documents with her on one occasion “Beware the Dark Side, Luke – or even Leia!”

On the subject of non-aggressive demons the decisions had been equally firm – a Slayer must never be admonished in any way for Slaying. A Watcher must never advise his Slayer against killing any demon, in case she hesitated at another time when called to do her duty. This primarily was to keep the Slayer alive as long as possible, not to mention her Watcher.

It had to be said that this did not appear to be for any Slayer friendly reason, but because the time between the death of one Slayer and a Watcher reaching the next could be quite long; especially if the next Slayer turned out to be a girl of whose potential the Council had been unaware. This left the Council less powerful for a time, and also increased the risk of the new Slayer’s powers being abused; either by herself or, more likely in most societies in years gone by, by some male.

There was also the acknowledged fact that a ‘Field Watcher’ who kept his Slayer alive for three or four years was more likely to make it to the top in the Council (where the real power lay) than one whose Slayer had died fighting a demon within months of being called.

So Watchers Council Rules were very clear for good, historical, reasons. But they existed for The Slayer, or these days The Slayers. They did not exist to be obeyed by members of the category ‘Vampires with Souls’. ‘Be a great name for a group that, must tell Spike’, Dawn thought, momentarily side-tracking herself. Then ‘Hmm – interesting that the first person I thought of was Spike not anyone else!’

‘Back to the subject in hand,’ she admonished herself. It was not necessary to insist that Spike live by Slayer rules – after all he was a bloody vampire – albeit a somewhat less bloody vampire than he had been! They’d already basically invented a codicil to the ‘no exceptions can be made for non-aggressive demons’ rule to cover Spike and Angel, and it didn’t seem to have caused the death of any Slayers.

If Dawn were a Slayer she thought she would not be able to cope with the concept of ‘a souled vampire who occasionally eats bad people’ – it was too grey, and Spike was right, stopping to weigh things up was not a survival trait for Slayers. But it was obvious to her that Watchers over the years had been much more aware of shades of grey than The Slayer ever found out. They had employed ‘The Wet Team’ for hundreds of years to cope with shades of grey – well, also to cope if a Slayer started to bend the rules!

She was a Watcher – her training actually was designed to make her weigh things up! So Spike did not need to live by Slayer rules, and neither did she. She only needed to weigh things carefully and make balanced decisions, using all the knowledge available to her, and that was what she had done. Slayers could not become involved with vampires, even souled vampires, without their ability to function being compromised, and that way lay badness, and possible Slayer death, not to mention possible ending of the world. She knew that that was the main reason that Giles had always been so disproving of Buffy’s relationships with Angel and then Spike. Well that and the fact that Buffy was only seventeen when she’d slept with Angel – which Dawn still thought was a bit yuck – physically he had been a bit too old for Buffy then!

Having made sense of her own decisions, Dawn felt happy. Giles would probably agree with her, if not immediately, then after some calm discussion! She curled herself up into a ball under her duvet, and her last thought before finally succumbing to sleep was ‘I wonder what he was doing in Columbia anyway?’


***


  • Chapter 10

  • 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.