Title: The Last Sunrise
Pairing(s): Besides Spike/Xander, now that would be telling, wouldn’t it?
Newly en-souled, Spike is at his most vulnerable of states. Fully rejected by the slayer, alone and in the dark, he has drawn himself inward, pulled away from everyone around him to wallow in the atrocities he had done. He will not feed, not even on animals blood, and living by himself in his rank crypt of his without any type of contact (human or otherwise), he is fading. (What happens when an accident gives him no choice but to feed or to die?)
Distribution: All I ask is you like to my page on this website, i.e. the original address of its publication. Feel free to do what you wish when you wish however you wish with this fic!
Reviews/Comments: May I has?
Authors Notes: Remember: This is Fanfiction…but if I make any glaring mistakes within the context of the Buffyverse – and I’m sure I will – I would like to know. While I can’t be absolutely perfectly exact as far as everything goes, it might be nice to not make any wretched mistakes in the course of my writing
Beta Reading: This Chapter has been Beta Read.
Spike entered the Magic Box through the back door. He had found his duster in a pile near the corner of his crypt, attempted to put on some clothes that would merit him at least somewhat of a normal appearance…as normal as he was, as normal as he ever could be. It was already nine in the morning when he got to the shop, blanket held over his exposed head, his flesh burning even through the protection of it. He would have hesitated entering, but it wasn’t exactly as though he had a choice so late into the day.
Willow was seated in the centre table, a vast array of books spread out and open. Spike wasn’t sure what the young wiccan was researching for, but from the looks of the illustrations, it wasn’t exactly rainbows and sunshine. Detailed diagrams of daemons surrounded her, all vicious, all, if anything, conservative in their gorish appearance.
He moved quietly behind her, not wanting to say anything until he had to, wanting her to notice him before he had to open his mouth.
She didn’t, but Giles did.
“What is it that you think you are doing?” the watcher reprimanded, “Spike, is that you?”
The blanket was still over his head, he had forgotten about it. Now, he didn’t exactly want to move it, didn’t want to show his face.
Willow spun around, swung herself around to look at him over the chair back. Spike turned, not wanting to meet her eyes, now wanting to think of what he had done…
“Spike,” she said, rising, “It is you!” she was moving towards him, and as she did, the blanket came around him closer, as though he were protecting himself. What had he thought, coming here! What had he been thinking!
Willow moved up, closer to him, pulling the blanket away from him. He gave a little resistance, but eventually let it slip from his grip.
Spike wouldn’t meet the young girls gaze, wouldn’t look into those prying eyes. He couldn’t bear it, couldn’t make himself.
Without glancing up, he mumbled, “Sorry Red, just needed to pick up some stuff is all, didn’t mean to go on scaring you.” He moved back, sidestepping Willow and making his way to one of the shelves that lined the back of the Magic Box in short, jaunty rows.
Browsing absently, he didn’t truly read the titles, though he should have, and grabbed two books absently before moving towards where he had meant to, moving towards the books he had browsed with a different kind of desperation less than a year ago. He took two more books off the shelves, this time reading the titles carefully, making sure they were the right the right selections before adding them to the pile in his arms.
He brought the bundle to the front of the shop and set them down on the counter.
“How much is it then?” he asked, digging in his dusters pocket absently.
Giles stared a long moment then reached for the books, scanning each one in turn as you might at a check-out counter of a local library. “It’s forty-two seventy-nine, Spike.” He said slowly, the words drawn out, even for the old watcher.
Spike dug deeper into his pocket, coming up with a pile of coins, a Zippo and something that had once been a theatre ticket (though to what play or movie had worn off long ago). He piled the mess on the counter and began digging into his other pocket, a bit frantic this time.
Giles reached out, putting his hand strangely enough on Spikes arm, telling him to stop. “That’s alright. Why don’t you just bring them back when you’re done.” He said, dropping the books one at a time into a plastic shopping bag.
Spike looked up, meeting the old watchers gaze, “What, you back to being a librarian then?” he half grinned, but it came out as more of a grimace, “’Cos I don’t see anything in it for you to just go on lending out your wares, shop-keep. Not exactly good for business now is it?’
Giles was looking at one of the books, staring at the title with a determined gaze.
“Spike, what are you doing with that?” he said, a shot of (franticness)panic? Horror? Dread? in his voice. Spike stopped dead on, not moving a muscle. He was like a rabbit trying not to be caught, though that rabbit knew himself already seen it was the best he could do to play all statue-like. Willow moved up behind him, coming like Giles shadow behind the shop counter to gaze down at the book.
“I can—“ Spike began.
“Metaphysical Womyns Studies: A Spiritual Guide to the Transition to Menopause,” Willow read, the words hanging in the air for a long moment.”
Spike stared. “Oh bloody hell, why is that bleeding in my pile anyway! You all up in arms because of something like that!” Spike reached out, even in his current state, grabbing at the book with a vampiric speed and slamming the book down on the counter.
Giles was still staring at him, still gazing at him as though he knew something more.
“What, you lot think I need help with my, what was it, transition into menopause. Fine then, I’ll just make my trip back here some other time, make sure to visit when one of your fine cronies is running the shack.” Spike started away, moving back towards where his blanket had fallen.
“Spike,” Giles called from across the room, voice low but loud, a heavy sound that meant something. It wasn’t the womyns-whatever book that had caught his attention. He knew that now, knew that it was only Willows mistake.
Back still turned to the pair, Spike sighed deeply. It was the other pair, the other books that drew the watchers attention. He knew they would, didn’t understand why he had even bothered with the bogus others.
“It’s nothing, just a bit of research, is all.” He called, not wanting for the older man to say anything.
“So what,” Giles started, “You’re planning on getting…another soul? Spike, what is the meaning of this. These books are the ones that you were looking at before you went to Africa?! I remember you pining over this pair in particular. Within these books are the (incites, are the carnet abilities) huh? Is that supposed to be a magical reference? I don’t understand. Maybe ‘the rituals’ instead involved in how to get back a daemons soul! A vampire’s soul!”
“You can’t mean,” Willow started, “I mean you just got yours back, you’re not planning on getting—“
“Sod off!” Spike yelled, “What I do is my business. It’s not as though either of you two have been there to offer much advice lately, so what’s with the chorus of opinions about what do or do not do now? Huh? You already said so, so hand over the books. Like I said, I need them for some bleeding research!” he stalked over to the counter again, eyes down, blanket in hand. Taking the plastic bag, he looked up at the pair a final time, “And I don’t need the two of you rubbing your noses in my personal life, do you hear! Not after—“ he spun around, leaving the store before he couldn’t keep the words back.
Books in hand, the vampire moved with the shadows – blanket still held aloft – towards the only other place that could be any help at a time like this. The Sunnydale Blood bank.
Jass had been a mortician years before, worked on the corpses, on the dead. For years his family had wanted him to get out of the business, wanted him to get out and fine some company that wasn’t already dead. When he finally did go out in search of that, what he did find was exactly what he had left at the morgue: dead folks!
Jass had been changed four years ago, and after a bit of ruckus he caused about town, he finally settled himself back into the night-time routine of mortician work. After all, what better job for a vampire than working with courses corpses.
He figured: good way to make some petty cash. The corpses that were the victims of the local vampires were something he could cover up in his report, not to mention all the free blood. On a good day, even, he could sell some of the free packets to the local population of the living dead. Talk about a decent living!
Spike stalked into the morgue, grimacing at the overbearing scent of chemicals and stiff death. The burly doctor stood across the room, hunched over a man-shaped cloth, working with his masked-face close to the dead-mans own.
Throwing off the blanket and dropping the shopping bag on top of the pile, Spike cleared his throat and made a move forward. Jass didn’t move, though he knew the young vampire had heard him. Even over the hum of florescent lights and air conditioning turned rather too high, any vampire would catch such a blatant sound.
Jass didn’t move, continuing to work on the dead man. Spike made a guttural sound in his throat again and waited. Jass slowly turned, a wide grin present even beneath the white doctor’s mask. He had known Spike was there from the start.
“Hang on a sec, will you.” He said, beginning to wheel the corpse into a back room, nothing more than a meat freezer really. Returning, Jass took of the mask and latex gloves, whipping the blood that had accumulated on them on his scrubs.
“Now what can I do for you? Are you here about a body—down from the precinct, or are you here for another reason…”
Spike stared at the man as though he were out of his head. “What the hell do you think I’m here for you git?”
“Spike?” Jass asked, looking down at the vampire cautiously, “It’s you isn’t it.”
“Course it’s me, who the hell else would it be!”
Jass shrugged, “Well, I’ve been getting a lot more business than I used to. Seems the spooks are more afraid of the dark than usual. Guess the slayer has got the creatures so up in arms they’re afraid to set foot outside their homes after dark. It’s funny really, not something you’d expect after reading even one of those old occult books. It’s almost like…” The mortician stopped, staring straight ahead, surveying Spike more carefully this time, looking him over.
Spike hated this, hated the stares. This is why he hadn’t left, this is why he wouldn’t leave again.
“What is with your hair?” Jass finally said, “It’s—“
“Yea, it’s brown okay. Now sod off, can’t a bloke do something different with his own hair. It’s not like it grows in all nice and platinum. Not like it’s easy to keep up with the constant dying and re-dying. Figured I’d just give myself a break is all. Nothing really different besides that.”
Jass shook his head, making his way over to the cooler on the far side of the morgue.
Spike, in turn, followed. “Already heard. You’ve got your soul back.” He said, opening the chest-like freezer. Jass made a motion for Spike to come up next to him, look inside with him. “Now that’s a trick if I ever heard one. And, that’s gotta be something to deal with. What are you now, like, one of those tragic figures. Anti-hero type who is destined to never find true happiness, but only ever wallow in his own dark nature. I’ve been reading up you know.”
“Yea,” Spike mumbled, “somethin’ like that.”
Jass chucked, nothing more than a single chortle as he shook his head. The young vampire had always been quite at ease. “Well, then what will it be. AB, A, you always seemed to have a thing for O-, but then again who doesn’t – the rare stuff always has a special tang to it, like a fine wine that only exists once in a decade.”
“Dosen’t matter,” Spike looked away from the cooler and knew Jass could see him doing this, knew Jass would be smiling as he stared. It wasn’t a cruel jester, the vampire just couldn’t help himself. “Just load me up with whatever of the cheap stuff you got. I need a fair bit and I need cheap. How about as much as I can get for,” Spike reached into his pocket, pulling out the wallet he had found while in the Magic Box, the filled wallet Giles had not allowed him to empty, “Twenty-three dollars and…two nickels and a quarter.”
Jass loaded up a brown bag with seven packets of O+ -- so close, yet so far away from the fine stuff, as the young vampire so elegantly put. Giving Spike a look as he left, Jass let out a sigh, a breath he hadn’t known he’d been holding.
“I’ll never understand why you come here. I mean, it makes sense for the fledges, and even some of those younger folk, but you’re a Master Vampire, you’ve already killed what – two slayers? Why do you need to be so afraid of her? It’s not like you’re exactly in mortal peril out there?”
Spike shook his head and snatched up the blanket, “Not afraid of her mate, I’m afraid of something else.”
Balancing the two bags beneath his arm, Spike left a quite distressed, Jass wondering what was the new Big Bad that had made its way to (or from) the Hellmouth. Then again, a new apocalypse always brought more merchandise in. A good apocalypse now and then was quite the business boost.
Beta Read by Shezza
Chapter 1: A Prelude
Chapter 2: A Genesis