Author’s Notes: This fic comes from a prompt from blackoberst: What if Spike busted Buffy out of the nuthouse when her parents didn’t believe her explanations about Lothos. He wants the Slayer free, sane and able to give him a good old fight to the death. Only things, obviously, don’t go the way he predicted. Dru’s whereabouts are up to you.
Spike came up with his best plans when he was drunk.
Or at least they seemed like his best plans when he thought them up. Later, once he was sober again, they seemed like his very, very worst.
However, right now he was in the middle of a spectacular bender, and this plan seemed like the greatest plan he’d ever had. And it was so simple, impossible to screw up.
He leaned over her bed in the darkness, the sight of her stopping him in his tracks. She was so small, so frail-looking. Nothing at all like the other two…
Hell, she didn’t even look like she’d put up much of a fight…
Suddenly, her eyes snapped open, and before Spike could even blink, he was on the ground, a tiny blonde pinning him down. “Who are you?” she growled.
Oh yeah, this was how it was supposed to be… Spike grinned as he slipped into gameface, ready to take this one out and add a third one to the list.
As soon as his fangs were in place, she screamed, jumped off him, and scrambled backwards on the floor until she hit the wall. Then, she pulled her knees to her chin, her head turned from him and hidden as she rocked, whispering to herself over and over again.
“It’s not real… It’s not real… It’s not real…”
Spike sat up, his head tilted to one side as he observed the girl for a moment. “What’s not real?”
“Vampires…no vampires…no vampires…” she replied, still not looking at him, still clutching her legs.
“Uh, yeah vampires,” Spike replied with a frown. “Come on, you’re the bloody Slayer, you daft cow. You know vampires…”
“No!” she screamed, holding her hands out in front of her, as if to shield herself from him. “No vampires! They aren’t real. They aren’treal.”
Spike stood up and looked around him. Wait…bars on the windows, straps on the bed…what kind of hospital was this?
Oh, bugger, the Slayer was in a loony bin…
Well, that wouldn’t do at all. There was no glory in killing a crazy Slayer. It was only fun when they fought back, not when they whimpered and said you weren’t real. Then it was a mercy killing, and mercy killings were for people with, well, mercy.
Which meant it was time for Plan B. And seeing as he was still well and truly pickled, Plan B seemed even more brilliant than the oh-so-very-genius Plan A.
So he sauntered over to the Slayer, picked her up by her shoulders, and slammed her hard against the wall. She immediately crumpled, unconscious, and Spike slung her over his shoulder and walked out the door.
Oh yes, this plan was going to go perfectly…
*** *** ***
Fuck, drinking that much had been a bad plan…
There wasn’t a part of him that didn’t hurt. He was one giant ache, and he’d wish he could just cur l up and die if he wasn’t dead already. With what he was sure was a very manly whimper, he rolled over and pulled Drusilla’s warm body into his arms.
Wait…warm body? And what was that scent? It was, well, it was nice, but it was certainly all wrong. That wasn’t Dru. Not at all.
He opened his eyes, groaning as he did, and found his face nearly covered in golden hair. Yeah, definitely not Drusilla.
However, that didn’t exactly tell him who she was. Narrowing it down to “not Dru” still left him with quite a few options of who it could be.
Then, he breathed her scent in again, and a distinct part of it caught his attention, making him grin. Oh yeah, he knew who this was.
Now on to the next question.
What the hell was he doing with a sleeping Slayer in his bed?
He was fairly certain he hadn’t shagged her, though as he raked his eyes down her small but suitably curved body, he thought that might not be the vilest thing he could do. He’d certainly been tempted in New York, and this one looked just…delicious.
She rolled over onto her back and raised one of her arms over her head, letting her shirt ride up. His eyes darkened at the small piece of skin the action revealed to him, and he wondered if maybe while she was here anyway, he might as well sate his curiosity and find out what it would feel like to fuck a Slayer…
Only Drusilla might not like that too much. She’d…
Spike’s train of thought came to an abrupt stop as he suddenly remembered why he had sought out the Slayer.
There was a Slayer on that side of the bed and not his Dru for one simple reason – Drusilla was gone. She’d left him, thus inspiring the drinking binge that had led to his current massive hangover. And while in the midst of that drinking binge, he’d reached the conclusion the best way to get Drusilla back was by killing a Slayer.
If he killed three Slayers, that would spread around the demon community in no time at all, thus ensuring Drusilla heard of his manly act of prowess. And then she’d come back. Because how could she not want to be with the man who had killed three Slayers?
So why hadn’t he killed this one?
She mewed softly, stretching again before her eyes opened. For a moment, she simply stared at him before recognition passed across her features and she was screaming and throwing herself off the bed and onto the floor. She crawled into the corner and wrapped her arms over her head, muttering softly to herself.
Oh, right. He hadn’t killed her because she was fucking insane. Lovely.
“Could you maybe keep your crazy to a minimum for the time being, luv? I’ve got a headache.”
“This isn’t real…not real… Just wake up, wake up.”
“Look, Sybil, you’re awake, this is all real,” Spike said, speaking slowly. “Vampires are real, and I’m a vampire. Slayers are real, and you’re the Slayer. Now why don’t you just…”
She put her hands over her ears, holding them firm as she rocked back and forth, muttering and refusing to look at Spike. He sighed and flopped against the pillows. “Bloody perfect,” he muttered to himself. “I trade in one nutter for another.” He winced slightly at having that sort of thought about Dru, but he supposed it was true.
Although Drusilla had been the more fun sort of crazy. Most of the time anyway. This Slayer was just…
Spike watched her for a moment and sighed. She certainly didn’t seem to be any sort of threat – especially since she was apparently denying he even existed – and she was currently keeping her crazy ramblings fairly low. Which, really, gave him only one real option.
Go back to sleep and hope he could figure out what to do about her when he wasn’t hungover.
*** *** ***
He had no idea what to do with her.
Spike supposed he could kill her, but it just didn’t seem right. If she’d been anyone else, he would’ve offed her that morning just to get her out of his hair, but she wasn’t anyone else. She was the Slayer. And Slayers merited a death in battle. Especially this one, if the rumors were to be believed. From what he’d heard, she’d managed to single-handedly take out Lothos and a whole slew of his minions. Granted, Lothos had been a ruffley-sleeved ponce, but he’d been an ancient, powerful ruffley-sleeved ponce, and Spike doubted facing him had been an easy task.
If he killed her now, it would be easy. And killing a Slayer when it was easy, well, that was a waste of a perfectly good Slayer. Sure, as soon as you killed one another one popped up, but the Powers that Be were never nice enough to make it the closest girl. He spent way too much time trying to track down the latest Slayer, only to have her have snuffed it before he could get there. Now that he finally had another one, he wasn’t just going to treat her like fast food.
Still, his plan to kill his third Slayer to woo back Drusilla had merit. Dru had been amply impressed when he’d killed the last two, and if he did it once more, she’d surely want him back, at least until he could find a fourth one to kill and impress her all over again.
Which meant he had to do something about this one and her crippling case of crazy.
She ignored him completely, choosing instead to hug her knees under her chin and stare blankly at the wall behind him. Spike rolled his eyes, muttering to himself as he got out of the bed and walked over to her. If there was one skill he’d perfected since he’d been turned, it was dealing with a crazy woman.
He knelt in front of her, cutting into her line of vision. “Hey, Psycho Slayer, I’m talking to you here.”
“Not real, not real, not real…”
“Oi! Real here, Goldilocks! Come on now, look at me.”
She did look at him. Oh, did she look at him… Her eyes were all fire and anger as she ground out her response, “You’re not real.”
Spike was still and silent, the only movement the ticking of his jaw.
Then, he punched her. Hard. In the nose.
She blinked, then her eyes widened in shock for just a moment before she turned her head and started muttering again. “Not real, not real…”
“Oh for fuck’s…” Spike grabbed her arms, shaking her. “I just hit you in the nose, you stupid bint! You’re bleeding. Tell me how that isn’t real!”
“It’s not!” she yelled. “It’s all in my head.”
“So me hitting you is in your head?”
She turned to look at him, pouting. “Yes.”
If she wasn’t so damned infuriating, she would’ve been adorable… “Touch your nose. That’s blood.”
She did, looking down at the red stain on her fingers for a moment. Then, she met his eyes again. “No it’s not. I only think it’s blood.”
“See, now I think you’re fucking with me.”
She pushed him off of her, making him stumble backwards. “Just stay away from me!” she screamed, then turned her head and curled in on herself again.
Spike shook his head, trying to get a grip on himself and remember his resolution not to kill a weakened Slayer. She wasn’t making it easy though – in the very short time he’d known her, she’d already managed to climb right up the list of the most irritating people he’d ever met.
He stood up and stalked back up to her, grabbed her by her arms and hauled her off the floor, her feet dangling. “This is real, you daft cow. Your nose is really bleeding because me – the vampire – hit it. And you, you’re the Slayer. We’re supposed to fight to the death. It’s sort of a thing.”
She struck out at him, breaking herself free of her grip as she sent him backwards to the floor. She landed in a crouching position, then got to her feet, standing over him. “There are no vampires. There are no Slayers,” she said, enunciating each word. “I’m just a girl. Just a normal girl.”
Spike looked up at her, his eyes dark. “You’re not normal. You’re so much more than normal.”
“No. No,” she replied through clenched teeth, shaking her head vigorously. “This is going to stop. All of it is going to stop.”
Spike got back to his feet. “Sorry, ducks, but you are what you are. You don’t get normal.”
For a moment, she simply stared at him. Then, something dark passed across her face and she struck out, punching him hard in the face. Spike’s head jerked back, but then he was smirking at her, bouncing on the balls of his feet. “Yeah, now you’re getting it, luv. Show me some of that Slayer fire.”
“I’m not the Slayer!” she screamed before lunging for him, attacking him with gusto.
Hangover all but forgotten with the adrenaline rush of fighting a Slayer again, Spike responded in kind, falling back into the steps of his favorite dance. And this girl… Oh, he’d never had a dance partner quite like her…
Every move she made seemed to be a mirror of his own, keeping either of them from getting the upper hand. Already it was as if he could feel her in his blood, and it wasn’t long before his face was changing, his fangs descending, as his demon clamored for the surface, responding to her call.
At the first sight of his demon, she stopped suddenly, stumbling back. Spike stopped as well, panting as he waited for what she was going to do next. He expected her to yell again, go back to denying what they both knew was true.
Instead, her shoulders slumped as she bowed her head. The tang of salt hit the air, and Spike knew she was crying, though he doubted she’d look up now and let him see those tears.
She didn’t. She simply whispered, her words barely loud enough for him to pick up, even with his heightened senses. “Just do it. Please.”
Something churned uncomfortably inside her at her nearly-silent plea. He wanted to kill her, sure, but like this? Even after the bit of fire she’d just shown him, this was wrong. It wasn’t how things were supposed to be. “Slayer…”
“I…I can’t. If this is real, if this is what my life is, then I don’t want it,” she said, a little louder now. “You…you’re a vampire, and I’m…If I’m…that, then this is how it’s supposed to end for me. So just do it, and let’s get it all over with.”
Spike felt himself torn in two directions. On the one hand, he still wanted that epic final battle – he still wanted more of her – but he could smell her blood from where one of his hits had landed during their fight, and the call of Slayer blood was powerful. Besides, was he being foolish to want to drag it out just for the sake of more glory? A dead Slayer was a dead Slayer, and Dru would be likely to appreciate it either way.
He took a deep breath to steady himself, then moved to her, taking her into his arms and pressing his fangs against her neck. The tips rested just at the point before piercing her flesh, and she slumped in his arms, offering no resistance. Instead, she wrapped her arm around him, fisting the material of his t-shirt and keeping him close, welcoming her end.
Spike closed his eyes, breathing in her scent and reminding himself of how sweet Slayer blood was. All he had to do was press down a little further and her life would be his…
For a long moment, they stood together, locked in the near-deadly embrace, waiting for something neither of them could put a name to.
Then, her stomach rumbled, breaking the silence.
Spike pulled back at the noise, arching an eyebrow as she looked up at him, a sheepish expression on her face. “Nuthouse food kinda blows,” she said by way of explanation.
“And I’d wager it’s kind of hard to eat when you’re drugged up and strapped to a bed,” Spike replied.
“It does tend to put a damper on things, yeah.”
Spike disentangled himself from her and took a step back. She didn’t move towards him again, and that left them at an impasse.
The music had changed, and neither of them knew the steps anymore.
*** *** ***
Crazy or not, Spike had thought it was probably for the best not to eat a delivery guy right in front of a Slayer. So he’d simply paid the guy – even tipped! – and taken the pizza without any sign of being more than human.
And now he was watching her eat it. He should hate himself for this. She was the Slayer, and vampires did not feed Slayers. Feed off them, sure, but give them pizza? That was a definite no. And they certainly didn’t watch them eating said pizza and think it was the most adorable pizza eating ever.
Only she was kind of adorable. In a completely objective way, of course. She’d gone back to sitting by the wall, and had somehow managed to devour half a large pizza in under five minutes while maintaining a dainty appearance. Maybe that was some sort of Slayer skill Spike hadn’t been made aware of yet.
He was amazed at just how small she was. When they’d fought he’d felt her strength, her power, but watching her now, she looked like barely more than a girl. “How long have you been a Slayer?”
Spike didn’t realize he’d actually asked the question aloud until she looked straight at him, swallowing her last bite of pizza. “A couple months.”
“And you already took down a vampire like Lothos?” he asked in disbelief.
She shrugged. “It was him or me, right?”
“But now you’re okay with me killing you.”
She squirmed uncomfortably and put what was left of the piece of pizza she was holding back in the box. “Yeah.”
“No you’re not,” Spike said, hoping he was right. Because he didn’t want to turn a good old fashioned epic battle between good and evil into a mercy killing. Not because of…any other reason.
She held her chin up defiantly. “I am.”
“What changed between then and now, then?” Spike asked. “How’d you go from a Slayer strong enough to take down an ancient vampire to a sniveling little girl in a nuthouse?”
She winced at his description of her current state but didn’t argue the point. “My parents put me there.”
Spike’s eyes widened. “Your parents? Bloody hell…”
Her back straightened, and Spike could see her grow defensive. “Their daughter was ranting about vampires trying to kill her. What else were they supposed to think?”
“Maybe they could’ve thought you were telling the truth,” Spike replied. “And not locked you up because they couldn’t deal with it.”
She looked down. “I’d already caused them enough problems. Of course they wanted to get rid of me.”
He pushed back the sudden urge to move closer to her. “How’s that then?”
She picked at a spot on her hospital-issued clothes. “I was a bad daughter. I couldn’t keep it together enough, and it made them fight, and then my dad left. I made my dad leave her; my mom probably hates me for that.” She wasn’t looking at him now, but Spike watched her shoulders shake and he knew she was trying not to cry. “If I could just be normal again, if I could just forget there were vampires or slayers or any of that, then he’d come back and everything would be like it was, and my mom could be happy.”
So quickly he didn’t even realize it was happening, she shifted in his mind from “Slayer” to something else. Someone else. A person – not a fight, and not food. “Look, uh… what’s your name?”
She glanced up at him, obviously surprised by his question. “Buffy.”
“Look, Buffy…” He paused. “Really? Buffy?”
“Yes, Buffy,” she replied, her eyes narrowing. “Got a problem with that, blondie?”
“It’s kind of weird for a Slayer. I mean, it doesn’t really scream badass demon fighter chosen by…” She glared harder and he cleared his throat. “No, no problem at all. Buffy’s a lovely name. Mine’s Spike.”
She snorted. “Sounds like something you’d name a dog.”
“I earned that name, I’ll have you know. Tortured people with railroad spikes, I did.”
“Railroad spikes?” Buffy rolled her eyes. “You must be totally old.”
“Oi! I’m barely over one hundred.”
“Geezer,” Buffy muttered.
Spike thought he should probably be irritated with her. Instead he found himself smiling lightly before he grew serious and finished what he had been about to say before he asked her name. “Look, Buffy, if your father left your mum, I seriously doubt it was because you were a ‘bad daughter.’ Whatever problems you were having at the time, that doesn’t mean you drove him away. And if you were getting sudden superpowers and fighting a wanker like Lothos, well, decent parents would’ve been a bit more supportive.”
Buffy glared at him again. “What do you know? You’re a vampire. If you even had parents, you probably ate them.”
Spike snarled low in his throat and pointed his finger angrily at her. “You shut your gob. You don’t know the first thing about my parents. And I can tell you neither one of them would’ve shut me up in a bloody nuthouse like a dog either.”
“Go fall on a stake.”
“If you were a halfway decent Slayer, you would’ve tried to drive one through me by now.”
“Yeah, well, I’m not!” Buffy yelled, the intensity of her outburst taking Spike by surprise. “I suck. I got my Watcher killed, all my friendsand my parents turned on me, I got committed, and now I’m sitting in some hellhole eating pizza with a vampire. I’m the worst Slayer in the history of Slayers.”
“Actually, there was one who got hit by a train the day after she was Called.” Buffy looked at him blankly, and Spike added, “No lie. Very next day, she was chasing this big slime demon thing, and she just ran right across the tracks without looking. Little bits of Slayer everywhere. Wasn’t pretty.”
Buffy looked back down. “Okay, so I suck a little less than her.”
“You just need a confidence boost, is all,” Spike told her. He rubbed his hands together. “Tell you what, we’ll go out, find you a nice fight, and you’ll see how good you can be. How’s that sound?”
Buffy looked back up at him in disbelief. “And why exactly would you want to help me?”
“Killing Slayers is sort of my hobby,” Spike admitted. “But it’s not fun if they’ve got the temperament of a kicked puppy. You’d be one hell of a fight if you’d perk up a bit.”
“So you want to improve my mental health so it’ll be more fun to kill me?”
Buffy shrugged. “All right, I’m game.”
“Sure. You were sorta fun to fight.” Spike could’ve sworn he saw her blush, and he ignored the fact that made something flip in his chest.
“It was sorta fun before you went back to being a big pile of crazy.” A pizza crust sailed across the room and hit him right in the middle of the forehead, and Spike couldn’t help but grin.
A/N: Reviews please? Want to read more of this one?