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Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past BTVS episodes and especially the Spanderverse series of stories.
Notes: Story number Twenty-One in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Points of View, Four”.
Everything from the television series through the defeat of Adam also occurred as depicted, in the Spanderverse.
People’s thoughts are depicted in italics. You’ll find emphasis depicted with an underline.
WARNING: Adult language and disturbing sexual content ahead. This story starts to curve close to Dark!Fic territory in later chapters.
Ch 17 – Achilles Heels
Spike walked fifteen feet behind Dawn, trying to give her space, while ensuring her safety. From his vantage point, he could keep an ear open as well for any distress when a car wasn’t passing directly by him. He wished it wasn’t necessary. If he had to hear one more time which boys had nice asses, he might vomit.
Next to Dawn was her best friend and, it seemed, constant companion Janice. When the two hens weren’t together, they were talking on the phone. She also had Lisa, a pretty black girl and Monique, Lisa’s sister with her. All of them seemed to have a one track mind and their girlish squeals were giving him a headache… or so he imagined. Vampires, he knew, didn’t actually suffer that malady, but teen girl’s were certainly as potent as any pain spell so he was sure they could induce one in even the undead.
Dawn was, of course, perfectly aware of Spike’s presence. She’d insisted that he leave her and her friends alone. She was the Slayer’s sister and could handle herself, after all. Plus she knew the danger and would avoid the alleys and so forth. She was packing a pencil thin stake and had a crucifix in her front jean’s pocket. When he’d simply scowled at her and she knew she wasn’t winning this one, she’d surrendered… a little. Instead, she’d gotten him to promise to stay behind them so that her friends wouldn’t know they were being followed all night. She also had to promise to head home right after the movie let out at ten; she still had school in the morning and everyone, even the Buffybot, was on her case about schoolwork, schoolwork, schoolwork.
Vanessa strolled casually fifteen feet behind Spike and twenty feet above his head. She watched as he followed behind the gaggle of teen girls that he was obviously shadowing. Below her, following along were five utterly silent and pale children. The three mothers she had turned were out scouting for a red-headed, college age girl. When they found her they would follow her home for further investigation later.
Spike, Spike, Spike… teen-aged girls? You naughty boy, she smiled nastily.
In front and below her, she could actually see Spike stiffen and look around straining his senses. She laughed lightly and silently as he peered at the crowds around him, trying to espy why his vampire sense was warning him he was being watched.
So, you don’t think enough of me to know when I’m near, but add a group of us and you’re on alert, then? Well, look around dearest soon to be really dead Sire. You won’t think to check the rooftops and the children are too easily blended into the crowds of parent-figures around them.
Spike spun around, continuing to walk, and then faced the girls in front of him again. He was sure that he was detecting fellow demons nearby; probably vampires, and yet he wasn’t spotting any. He shrugged the knot out of his shoulders and moved up a few feet on Dawn and her friends.
Must be vamps hidden in the alleyways nearby, he thought to himself. Good thing we’re near the theatre.
In front of him the giggling girls took a sharp right and entered a flashy, crowded movie house, but Spike couldn’t feel any relief. Dawn was about to be sitting in a completely darkened room. Who knew how many vampires were sitting in there waiting to get their claws and teeth on her? Well, that wasn’t going to do.
When he entered the theatre himself, he felt a brief moment of panic before he found her again. Two of the friends were missing, but the other one… Lisa, he thought, was holding a wad of bills. Figuring the other two were off to the ladies’, he snuck his way into the corridor leading to the two-screened portion of the movie house. He noted the one Dawn would be sitting in; he knew she was seeing ‘Along Came A Spider’ with that essence of cool, Morgan Freeman. The bloke was aces in Spike’s book.
Dashing into the theatre, he wandered first down one row, then across the front and then back up the other. When he’d returned to the doors, he exited and made his way back to the main floor of the movie house; the staff none the wiser. He hadn’t detected any thing out of the usual.
Spike again felt the chill of a predator somewhere close and scoured the floor for the source of his tension. Still seeing nothing, he sought out the Bit, again.
Vanessa watched as Spike quite purposely ‘bumped’ into one of the thin, white teens he’d been following. She was peering in through the wide windows, unwilling to risk being spotted by entering. On her face was another puzzled frown.
Why her, Sire? She’s so young… and thin… and… and vacuous. I can tell that just by looking at her!
The girl was looking quite annoyed with him and kept sending embarrassed glances at her friends who were obviously getting a kick out of her being chatted up by the leather jacketed man. Vanessa could almost imagine the lines he must be trying on the girl. She could nearly feel her friends’ mixtures of amusement at her embarrassment and jealousy over the attentions. Spike, after all, was a gorgeous looking male.
Apparently getting nowhere, he turned and headed for the exit in her direction. Moving rapidly, gliding silkily through the crowds, she dashed around a corner. From there, Vanessa climbed up the wall and returned to her rooftop perch, gazing down in hatred at her negligent Master. How she despised him! How she had missed him.
Foolish, Vanessa, she berated herself. Foolish and empty. Don’t weaken, dear… he deserves what he’s going to get!
The children had vanished across the street, but she could see their eyes glittering in the shadow of another alley. Whoever had designed this town had foolishly included so many dark places for her kind to stalk and hide.
Spike strolled out and immediately took the same alley she had. With furtive glances over the edge of the building, she watched as he made his way to the emergency exits of the movie house. Curiously, she saw him yank on one of the doors and slip into the dark interior of the building.
What is he doing? If he wanted to stalk the young lady into the cinema, he certainly didn’t need to break in the rear.
As she puzzled over what his intentions were, Spike reappeared re-shutting the door. She saw him close his eyes and inhale deeply, scenting for something and she quickly pulled herself away from the roof’s precipice, lest he scent her and look up.
When she heard a squealing noise, she risked another peak and saw that he was jamming the door he’d broken into. Again she wondered what he was doing… there was another rear door that he’d left alone, so it didn’t appear that he was trying to trap the visitors for a mass slaughter in the aisles. At the same time, he was now making it difficult for any other vampires to break in… without the same level of noise he was creating, anyway.
Is he… is he trying to keep us out? He does appear to be looking for trouble… watchful for it. And… and this girl… he didn’t seem very aggressive to me. Just like with the red-head, could he not be stalking this young lady for a bite? What the hell is he up to?
As Dawn and her friends waited for the current run of the movie to finish and people to exit, she was turning beat red. Her friends were merciless in their teasing over the ‘hot, older guy looking to score’.
“No fair keeping him to yourself, Dawnie. Especially if you ain’t interested! Send him my way,” Monique was on the edge of seventeen and was even more into the boys then Dawn, Lisa and Janice. “Besides, he was way more my age!”
Hah! You wish, Dawn thought.
“He was a real cutie,” Lisa added.
“Dawn! You totally should have invited him to coffee after the movie, or something,” Janice exclaimed.
“Jan, that was just Spike! You’ve seen him around, haven’t you,” Dawn raised an eyebrow. It was actually possible that none of her friends had seen Spike, considering his schedule. “He’s like… a favorite cousin of the family or something! Don’t be nasty-gross!”
“Hey, I think you’ve mentioned him! Isn’t he the hot friend of your sis,” Jan exclaimed. “Oh my gawd,” she turned to the other girls, “He like, wears leather all the time and he smokes! He’s like one of those really cool biker dudes, without the sleazy hanging around in front of school and catcalling!”
“Well, like I said… give him my number,” Monique exclaimed with a laugh.
“Like you could date him anyway,” Lisa said with a roll of her eyes. “Momma would flip out if you brought home a white boy.”
“Who said anything about bringing him home!? Listen sis, there are some guys for the parents and other guys that are just for you.”
“You are such a slut.”
“Hey! Watch your mouth,” Monique grinned. “Besides, you’re only a slut if you do more than make out, which I don’t. Much to the boys’ torture,” she laughed. “Besides, don’t think I haven’t seen you staring at the white boys… especially that junior, R.J.”
“Oh my gawd, he is so cute,” Jan immediately exclaimed. “It just sucks that he won’t date freshman. I would so love to grab a hold of some of that fine ass. Next year, he is so on my dance card!”
“Not if I get to him first,” Dawn kidded… sort of. She really did like R.J. a lot.
“You guys haven’t got a chance,” Monique stated. “He’s a football star. He only looks at cheerleaders,” she said disgustedly.
“You find this out for yourself,” Lisa smirked.
Monique rolled her eyes, but didn’t answer as the crowd noises suddenly grew around them with the movie exiting.
Spike had bought a ticket, of course, with money Xan had handed him. Just in case the damned pimply usher came through.
He knew exactly where Dawn was seated with those bubble-headed friends of hers and kept looking from the screen to where she was sitting. He was ducked down, as he promised her that once she reached the safety of her seat, he would leave them to it.
So I lied, he directed silently at her from his seat in the back corner. Should never trust the word of a vampire; especially one who has a stake in you staying healthy.
When Spike heard Morgan’s voice, he tuned back into the movie but it was shit. So full of implausibility, he couldn’t get into the plot. But he would be happy to pay Xan’s money just to hear Mr. Freeman read the telephone book, so he really only paid attention when the man was on screen. Otherwise, he kept track of Dawn and everyone sitting beside, in front of or behind her. When she got up to go to the restroom, so did he, finding somewhere out of the way where he could hear even a muffled yell and then following her back into the theatre, all the while keeping out of sight. No need to get her pissed at him, after all.
As the movie reached its ‘exciting’ climax, Spike again slipped out. He had warned Dawn that he’d be hidden out front to walk them all home and he didn’t want to risk her spotting him anywhere but there. She had the temper of her older sis, which she already proved when he tugged her away to tell her that he was checking out the alleyway and didn’t want her going into that darkened room until he came back and gave the all clear.
When Dawn left the building with her friends, she automatically glanced around. She’d picked up some good habits from Buffy and she always took a quick look to see if anyone appeared to be staring at her… according to Buffy that could mean a vampire. And she’d been right… there was a vampire watching her.
She smiled at Spike casually as she turned in the direction of home with her friends. Her pals hadn’t spotted him, of course. She may not have either, if she didn’t already know that he was there waiting for her.
“So, like tell us more about Spike, Dawn,” Jan excitedly said. “Do you think he and your sis are doing it?”
The air in Dawn’s throat nearly choked her and she had to work to restrain her sudden anger. It wasn’t Janice’s fault that she didn’t know about Buffy. She didn’t mean to be as insulting as she sounded.
“No! I mean… no,” Dawn stammered. “Of course not. Besides, Spike is already involved with one of my sister’s friends.”
Once Dawn had finished berating her for her homophobia, however, she’d managed to make it clear that both
“Do I know who? Cause I’m totally going to be mad if it’s serious. Spike is a major hottie!”
“Yeah, you’ve seen him around at the house.”
“Him,” Monique exclaimed. “Oh, now that is just completely unfair! How’s a girl supposed to compete if its ‘only boys’ allowed?”
“Oh my gawd! Are all of your sister’s friends gay,” Jan exclaimed. Jan tended to ‘exclaim’ things a lot.
“Uh… well, actually….” Dawn laughed.
Again, Spike was following fifteen feet behind the group and staying to people’s lawns so he could duck behind bushes or trees if need be; not that he didn’t feel ridiculous! But this was the way Dawn wanted it, so that was good enough for him.
He smirked broadly as conversation turned to Xander and him. He wondered if that Jan girl would be surprised to learn that Spike was still just as much surprised as she was. Being with Xan was not the idea he’d had when he first met him. And if the witches could get rid of his hitchhiking personality, he was looking forward to surprising himself some more.
Ahead of him, Spike saw something short, bipedal and very fast converging on the girls’ position. Behind it, several more were racing toward them as well. Even before his senses started warning him of fellow blood-drinkers close by, he was moving like a running back for them. Yelling a warning to Dawn, he shouted for the girls to duck down.
Naturally, being the only one with prior experience, Dawn was the only one to immediately react. But the lead… dwarf? child? halfling? … was on her before she could move enough. With a scream of alarm, Dawn went down, wrestling with what appeared to be a small kid, except for the fangs and yellow eyes.
Monique was screaming an aborted ‘what the hell’ when she also was tackled with a cry of alarm. Beside her, Lisa tried to yank off the rabid midget when another one jumped onto her back and yanked her backward to the pavement.
Janice stood frozen, shaking and screaming as two kids wearing really bizarre Halloween make up raised their clawed hands and hissed at her. Before she could get angry enough to yell at them for their joke, Dawn’s ‘cousin’ or family friend, Spike rushed past her. He slammed a fist into one of the kids, sending it careening into the other one still trying to scare her and then he was yanking on the one atop Dawn.
Jan didn’t realize there was true danger until she heard Lisa scream in sudden shock.
“Help Lisa,” Dawn yelled at Spike, while pulling out her pencil-stake. He hesitated, but she gave him a shove and then jumped on top of the mini-vamp that had tried to bite her.
Even as he turned away, he heard and felt the vampire dust behind his running form. In front of him, Jan was trying to get to Lisa, but the two kid vampires were blocking her and making threatening moves. Behind his shoulder he yelled at Dawn to help her friend.
Reaching Lisa, he yanked the bloodrat off of her where it had clamped its strong hands onto an arm and was trying to pull her off of her feet. His own stake quickly reduced that one to ash. Less than two feet away, Monique was screaming to beat the band with the fanged brat less than inches from her terrified face.
“Stay down,” Spike yelled at Lisa, while he rushed to Monique. Taking a handful of vampire by the back of the neck, Spike threw the bratling yards away and then turned to check on Dawn.
She and Jan were struggling to hold one of the fang crew down, while there was no sight of the other.
Two for the younger Summers, he grinned with absurd pride.
Monique was still screaming her fool head off and Spike was about to tell her to pipe down when the little vampire he threw was suddenly on his back, a small but sharp pair of fangs biting into his neck!
Oh, that’s just swell, he thought with pain, anger, and embarrassment. The little fiend was sucking hard.
As Spike fell to one knee, he heard Dawn’s last vampire dust away. His head was starting to hurt as the vampire leached the cow’s blood from his artery and he felt the world start to sway a little. Behind him, the Monique bitch was doing nothing to help, while at least the Lisa girl was beginning to beat on the little biter’s head.
“Spike,” Dawn yelled, sounding in a panic.
Her voice gave him the sudden drive he needed to throw off the feeding vampire’s lethargic effect and he managed to get a hand around the throat. Yanking, and bringing a fair amount of flesh with it, he slammed the ‘little boy’ down on the sidewalk. A quick thrust of his stake and the last vampire attacker was also dust.
“God, Spike, you’re bleeding!”
“Oh, God… oh, God… oh, God,” Jan was repeating over and over, while falling heavily to her butt on the sidewalk.
Lisa had rushed to her sister’s side who was still trying to scream, though her voice had gone extremely hoarse by now. Both girls were crying hysterically.
“This is so not good,” Dawn muttered. “Spike, how bad are you hurt?!”
“It’s nothing, Bit.”
“Don’t lie to me,” she shouted. “I’m a Scooby! We don’t lie to each other!”
“Hey,” he said, grabbing her hand and giving a gentle squeeze. “I’m alright… really. Hurts like a bitch, but I’ll have a cup o’blood at the apartment and I’ll be healed in no time. The little shit may have bitten me, but he still had the tiny fangs of a kid, okay? Now let’s help your friends.”
“We gotta get to my house, Spike. We’ve got blood there for you and then we can decide how to handle them,” she nodded toward her still collapsed and crying friends.
My god, but she sounds so much like the Slayer, Spike thought as he watched Dawn take a firm hand of the situation.
A fair ways down the block, Vanessa watched everything from behind a tree. She had to discover what Spike had been up to, so she’d sacrificed her little ones to find out. She had known that he’d be able to easily defeat them. What she had wanted to know was what he’d do when they attacked the girls he was following.
He protected them!? He… he protected the human girls!
As the shock began to wear off over what she’d witnessed a sly smile came to her face. Spike had apparently taken a special interest in the skinny, dark haired girl and she had genuine feelings for him as well, obviously. He hadn’t morphed when attacking her minions which made her wonder if the girl, whoever she was, knew what she was caring for.
Well, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that Spike has apparently developed some sort of protective instincts for her… like a favored pet? Well, I can find a way to use that… looks like I needn’t chop off Dru’s limbs to get to him after all, she quietly laughed with elation.
End Chapter 17