Authored by: Tisienne (aka tistoo)
Rating: Porny, overall, though not this part.
Disclaimer: I am not now, nor have I ever been... Joss Whedon. No $$$ made.
Summary: Xander left Sunnydale partway into S7 with Dawn in tow. They made their way to Spike who had also left earlier than in the series. All sorts of things can happen, even without a Hellmouth.
A/N: I suck. There. It's said. It's been close to six months since I posted the last part of this, and all I can say is... I suck. RL has been a stone cold bitch (think Glenn Close boiling the bunny and you'll be about halfway to envisioning the RL bitchdom. LOL), as has work and the rest. I'm hoping to post two parts a month until it's done, but I can't promise.
That said, here's part 31, in case anyone still cares or is interested. *blushy face*
Edit: Originally, I had written in my A/Ns 'think Sharon Stone boiling the bunny'. Someone who was 'Anonymous' pointed out that it was Glenn Close. And they're right. Not entirely sure of WHERE my head was, so... thanks, whoever you are! *mwahs*
Previous parts can be found In the Spanderland.
And now, on with it.
* * * * * * * * *
It wasn’t hard to slip into the Hospital in the dark of the night; especially not with his special skills, which translated as vampire skills, some of which he’d learned from Drusilla but had rarely had the need or desire to use.
The fact that the Hospital had yet to arrive in the twenty-first century and still relied upon ordinary closed circuit cameras rather than the more dangerous—to Spike’s kind—digital variety worked in his favor, as well.
It was even easier to duck into an empty room down the hall from the one the bastard who’d hurt his bloke was currently occupying once he’d made a small stop in the nurse’s lounge on the third floor.
He checked the clock on the wall quickly, then hunkered down beside the door to wait.
It was mere moments later that he heard his cue and peeked his head outside to see that the two armed police officers on the soon-to-be dead-man’s door were thoroughly distracted by the three seemingly-drunk and half-naked student-nurses he’d ‘spoken’ with earlier.
He waited until both of the men had moved away from their posts, apparently to either assist or arrest the young and definitely attractive women, then slipped quickly along the wall and ducked into the fuckwad’s room.
The breathing corpse was sleeping, luckily enough, so Spike hid himself in the small bathroom, listening closely as the thrall wore off and the young women began making soft, embarrassed cries before apparently retreating to dress again.
‘Shut your yap,’ he muttered silently to his soul, ‘we’ll send th’ chits some flowers or somethin’, a’right? An’ th’ coppers got an eyeful, so you know they’ll not be tellin’ tales.’
Fortunately, that seemed to satisfy his big ball of conscience. The soul hadn’t liked the idea of using the women like that, but it was for Xander. That didn’t mean it wouldn’t try to brood, but hopefully saying thank you—anonymously or not—with the flowers would derail it just a bit.
A few more minutes, Spike figured, and it would be safe enough to wake the git with a hand over his mouth… and if the bloke even tried to call for help, well, he didn’t know what he would do. He doubted the soul would let him kill the policemen, and simply knocking them out wouldn’t work. They would have seen him, after all… and it might be a very bad idea to have the blokes disappear, in any case. Would definitely be noticed that they’d gone off somewhere, regardless.
Still, it didn’t matter. He would keep the shit quiet. He would find out everything the fucker knew… and he would end the bastard, just as he’d done the other two. Not just yet, of course, but once the git was out of Hospital and on his own again? Oh, yeah… this prick’s days were bloody well numbered.
* * * * *
Getting out of the Hospital had turned out to be even easier than getting in had been.
The fucktard himself had helped; had even been the one to suggest it, in point of fact.
So Spike had stood against the wall inside the door and when the big git in the hospital bed started thrashing around and gasping… and when the two officers raced inside to see what was wrong… Spike slipped out, neither of the gents even a bit the wiser regarding his presence.
* * * * *
Of all the things Rocko had known the night he, Tony and Mitch had gone after the Harris kid, the one he’d been the most sure of was that it was a really bad idea.
Yeah, he’d taken money from the guy who’d hired them. He’d ignored the questions he’d had that he’d never even bothered to ask because he’d been sure he wouldn’t have gotten any answers.
The drunk fucker’s stories—lies, he was sure—about the things the kid had done before running to Philadelphia had sounded good on the surface, but after weeks and weeks of watching the young man, Rocko hadn’t been able to match the stories with what he saw.
A guy who’d viciously murdered his own family and stolen from them… well, that didn’t mesh at all with the guy who worked as a waiter and tried to look after a young girl who had no claim on him at all.
And there was nothing creepy or weird about that relationship, either, no matter what his employer had tried to imply was going on between the girl and the two men.
Between just the men…? Well, yeah, Rocko was pretty clear on what was happening there. It didn’t take a genius to figure out, after all, but whatever. They were both old enough to make their choices, and from what he understood of genetics, it wasn’t exactly a ‘choice’, anyway, and was definitely no reason to kill someone.
So yeah, he’d been pretty sure that taking the kid out was a mistake. Unfortunately, Tony and Mitch hadn’t shared his opinion.
He still cursed the day he’d hooked up with them for this job.
They were thugs, pure and simple.
They had no… well, he couldn’t call it class because he didn’t have any of that himself, but they had no… compassion, he guessed he meant.
They looked at the kid—and the girl, in Tony’s case, which still turned Rocko’s stomach—and saw a payday and a bit of fun. It didn’t matter whether the kid actually deserved what they’d been hired to do… or that the girl wasn’t even a part of their contract.
It mattered to Rocko, though, which was why he’d stood back, trying to find the right words to abort the whole mission. He’d thought for too long, obviously, because Tony and Mitch had been on the kid and there was blood and then they were laughing… and if Rocko’s laughter was strained and sick-sounding, well, neither of the other men had had a chance to notice.
They’d been down and dead in seconds, broken and bent by the bleached whirlwind that had blown through all three of them with so much ease.
He’d never expected to live after that, but he had.
He’d not only lived, but he hadn’t been reported… and that told Rocko more than anything else just how much trouble he was really in.
When he’d felt the cold hand over his lips earlier, he hadn’t been surprised. Hell, he’d almost been relieved that it was finally over.
And then it wasn’t over because the bleached blond was whispering, asking him questions and warning him against calling the cops outside his door—as if he’d ever look to the police for help.
Maybe he hadn’t looked scared enough or something—because he actually wasn’t afraid, just glad the waiting was over—because the blond had done… something, God knew what, and his pale face had shifted into something bizarre and borderline deformed and there were teeth and…
Okay, maybe he’d finally been a little bit frightened. Still, he figured he deserved whatever he got. He should have checked the fat fuck’s story before he took the job.
So he’d answered the questions to the best of his ability, not even trying to hide his relief when the blond went back to looking human again with a soft and odd crunching sound.
Hell, he’d even volunteered answers to questions the ‘man’ hadn’t thought to ask and finally the… whatever he was… smirked and arched a brow at him.
‘You know this don’t mean I’m goin’ ta let you live, right? Almost killed my bloke, you an’ your mates.’
‘Yeah,’ Rocko had said, just as quietly. ‘Just do me one favor. Make sure that evil fucker dies first, okay? I’d really like to know he’s gone before me.’
So they had a deal, he and the creature who was so protective of the surprisingly not-so-dead Harris kid.
Now, it was just a matter of waiting to do his part.
It was the least he could do, considering.
* * * * *
“How you feelin’, luv?” Spike murmured as he crawled back into the bed after his little excursion. “Head still poundin’ away?”
The brunette groaned and opened bloodshot eyes just a sliver. “God… I think I finally get why my Dad was always in such a foul mood…” He groaned again.
A soft snort, even as he pulled his bloke closer, taking care not to jostle him too much. “Think it was just because he was a soddin’ jackass, pet. Th’ booze mighta given him an excuse, but he was a right bastard, yah…?”
He wouldn’t tell the boy about what he’d done… and more importantly, what he was planning to do.
He was almost surprised by the quiet acceptance the pillock in Hospital had shown. Bloke had recognized his own death but wanted to be in on getting the fucker who’d wanted his Xan dead, and… Spike wasn’t sure of how he really felt about that. Still, he’d take whatever help he could get.
But he’d have plenty of time to think about all of that over the next day or two. First things first… and the very first thing was to get his love feeling more himself and less like a pain-filled sack of shit.
“Here, Xan… drink this, yah? An’ take some more aspirin.”
The water was likely to do more good than the medicine, but why take chances?
* * * * *
It was harder to get in contact with Wesley Wyndham-Price than Dawn had expected; mostly because there seemed to be some sort of… well, she’d have said ‘Hellmouthy thing’, but Los Angeles was not one of those… Some sort of something going on in L.A.
She’d tried at least a hundred times, it felt like, and every attempt was met with the same recorded voice, claiming ‘this area is experiencing technical difficulties; please try your call again’.
Sculpted brows lowered, drawing together slightly, and Dawn spared one quick glance for her anxious best friend.
“It’ll be okay, Bails,” she said with a grin she knew didn’t quite meet her eyes. “Even if Wes doesn’t answer, Xan and Spike will be able to help. Besides… who needs the official Watchers, right? Buffy did just fine without them.”
She nodded decidedly, but when Bailey started to smile, Dawn suddenly realized just how much she wasn’t ready to be in charge of anything.
“Um… by the way, Bails…?” Dawn bit her lip. “I guess I should tell you about, um… vampires with souls. Because it doesn’t happen often, but, um… there’s something you should, um, know… about Spike…”
Bailey’s eyes grew rounder and rounder as they widened in response to Dawn’s words of explanation.
She’d actually had a few adolescent fantasies about the bleached blond ‘Uncle’ her friend lived with… as well as Xander, of course, and… how could that be if she was meant to wipe out his kind?
Sure, Dawn said he had a soul, but so did humans, and they did awful things on a daily basis! She just had to read the newspaper to know that much.
Of course, it wasn’t all humans who maimed and killed and destroyed, but still, to Bailey’s way of thinking, a soul didn’t make someone good.
By the same token, having an actual demon in addition to a soul didn’t necessarily make someone bad, and… she’d seen the way Dawn’s Uncles—both of them—looked after her. And even how they tried to look after her, meaning Bailey herself.
Heck, the two men had been inside her home more than once, and aside from Spike—the vampire—accidentally breaking her Mother’s porcelain souvenir spoon from Santa Fe, they’d been wonderful guests. To the point that DeeDee Scanlon had invited them to participate in her book group.
And suddenly Bailey understood the looks on the guys faces when her Mom had told them the group was reading ‘Queen of the Damned’.
She thought about all of it for a few minutes, even while everything she knew about Dawn’s blond guardian played through her head, and finally she raised her eyes to meet Dawn’s darker ones.
“I… I can’t say that I really want a Watcher,” she finally admitted. “Not if they’re gonna tell me that Spike’s a bad person.” Bailey blushed softly. “I mean, he offered to go to the Father-Daughter thing the Community Center is having. He said he’d even play my Dad and nobody would ever know any different because we’re both… ‘blond and slight and too sodding attractive for our own good’. And… and are you sure he’s a, uh… vampire?”
As much as Dawn hated to destroy the hope in her friend’s eyes, she couldn’t make herself lie. Not when Bailey would notice the way her body reacted to Spike the next time they met.
Of course, that didn’t mean she couldn’t tell the truth in a way that made the girl comfortable.
“Um, okay,” she answered after a moment or three, “yes, I’m sure. I know he’s a vampire, because…” And she went on to tell Bailey the whole of Spike’s story—or as much of it as she knew, which was more than either Spike or Xander were aware of.
Fortunately, the so-called ending of the tale left Bailey feeling good about Spike and Xander… and about Dawn being in their charge. In fact, she only hoped that if anything ever happened to her Mother and brother, there’d be anyone in the world who’d care enough about her to do what Spike and Xander had done for her friend.
And then she realized… there were people like that. And they were named William Suffolk and Xander Harris.
They didn’t love her, she knew, because she wasn’t Dawn, but… they’d be there for her because she was Dawn’s best friend, and…
“Yeah… I’m sure now, Dawn. I don’t need or want a ‘Watcher’, okay?” Bailey smiled. “Besides. Your sister was like me and Xander worked with her and so did Wi, I mean Spike, so I’ll manage. And the Mall is open now, so let’s go. Darian will give us a ride.”
Dawn blushed slightly but nodded.
One crisis averted… and Bailey was probably right. Giles had been the exception among Watchers, from what Dawn remembered. How many times had Buffy cursed the whole group when she’d thought Dawn wasn’t listening?
Heh. A lot.