Oh my baby baby, I want you so it scares me to death
I can't say anymore than "I love you"
Everything else is a waste of breath
Elvis Costello, "I Want You"
There was something wrong. Buffy hesitated on the threshold of her home,
automatically reaching into her jacket for a stake. The house was dark
and quiet. It was 2:30 a.m. she told herself, it was supposed to be
dark and quiet, but something about it seemed....wrong. She switched
on the light.
She picked up the videotape sitting on the arm of the couch and read
the title, "Ever After." Damn, she wanted to see that. But
between an outbreak of ghouls and rumors of a new Master vamp setting
up shop on the Hellmouth, she hadn't had much chance for anything as
nonessential as watching a video with her mom. This summer was turning
out to be about as much fun as 5 to 10 at San Quentin. She put the tape
back and she went into the kitchen. She frowned when she saw the empty
wine bottle on the counter. She checked the back door -- locked tight.
But the sense of something wrong remained. She saw but didn't notice
either the pan on the stove, or the empty mug on the table. She switched
off the light and headed upstairs.
"Mom," she said softly. No answer. Which could be because
mom was asleep, it being 2:30 in the morning? She eased open the door.
More quiet and dark. Caught between feeling frightened and silly Buffy
quietly crept to her mother's bed. "Mom?"
An empty wine glass gleamed in the light from the window. Her mom lay
on her side, knees bent, cradled in her own arms. The sheet that was
all she was using in the summer heat had slipped from her shoulders.
Buffy touched her mother's bare shoulder. She smelled of used wine and
soap and her hair was damp. She was warm, breathing, fast asleep. She
was fine. A feeling of enormous relief washed over her.
"Night, Mom," Buffy said softly as she pulled the sheet up
over her mother.
In the bathroom, she noticed a pile of damp towels on the floor. It
looked like Mom had had herself a Calgon night. Wasn't like her to leave
a mess though, but oh well. She picked up the towels and dumped them
in the hamper.
When she woke up around 9 the next morning, the house was empty, Joyce
had already left for work. Buffy ate a quick breakfast alone before
heading downtown to see Giles at his new place of business. She stopped
for a moment to admire the carved wooden sign: Sunnydale Books, (with
a big smiley sun beaming down on the words) new and used. Its previous
incarnation had been as an occult supply shop, before Spike had murdered
the proprietor during his last visit to town. Now Willow had to go to
Santa Barbara for her magic supplies and Giles had a new cover and a
perfect place to store the books rescued from Sunnydale High's destruction.
She walked down the steps and entered the shop, ignoring the "Closed"
sign. Giles was sitting behind the counter, his attention divided between
the manual and the cash register's monitor. He looked up at the sound
of the bell.
"Hey Giles. How's business?"
"Buffy. Good morning. How did last night's patrol go?" He
gratefully tossed the manual under the counter. "Any more information
on this new Master?"
Buffy shook her head. "Nothing. I spent all night down at the
docks, `cause that's where Willie said this new Master guy is hanging
out. Saw a lot of rats, a couple of drunken sailors. Oh, and this slimy
demon thing jumped me."
"Are you alright?"
"I am. He's not." She did a quick and brutal pantomime of
the demon's demise. "He kinda melted, which is good, cause no disposal
problem, but hard on the footwear." She smiled.
"Oh. What kind of demon exactly?"
"Green, warty, like a frog on steroids-- and Viagra. Bob Dole
has a lot to answer for. My first, and hopefully last." Giles grimaced
at the image thus conjured.
"It doesn't sound familiar. Perhaps Willow can do a search when
she gets in. What time did you say you were meeting her?"
"Ten-ish. We're going to orientation together. So how's the book
"It's an interesting change. Dealing with people who actually
"I can see where it'd be a nice change. So, Giles..." the
hair on the back of his neck rose. "..on a personal note."
"Is this absolutely..." he peered suspiciously over the tops
of his glasses.
"What's going on with you and my mother?"
"What! Umm that is, nothing."
"And why not? Are you just one of those Don Juans? A love them
and leave them kinda guy?"
"Buffy, I don't think this is really an appropriate subject."
"I really think mom would like it if you'd call," Buffy continued
"Not that she's said anything," she added hastily.
"All I'm saying is, she's alone a lot, with me being out on patrol
so much this summer. And I'll be gone in September so if you're embarrassed,
I mean, I'll be completely out of you guy's way."
"Shutting up now. Not another word. Really. So are you going to
call?" Giles sighed and decided on a tactical retreat.
"I'll think about it."
"Cool. Hey Willow!"
"Hi. What's up?"
"Spiiike!" Drusilla pleaded, reaching out to him as the flames
caught at the hem of her nightgown, and the cotton flared.
"Spiiike! Help me!!!" His princess shrieked spinning desperately
trying to get away from the flames. He stood helpless, as her white
dress and white skin crisped and burned. She was a charred skeleton
in a shroud of flames, somehow still standing, still screaming, blackened
claws reaching for him. The eyeless skull gaped one last time. "Spiiike..."
it wailed, before the last of her collapsed into a charcoal cloud of
ash that dissipated into nothingness.
"NO!" he screamed reaching out, trying to save her..
Spike woke and found himself reaching out into darkness. The same dream
again. The same bloody, lying nightmare. Dru hadn't burned, he wished
it had been that easy. There wasn't enough blood in the world to wash
the memory of her death from his brain. He could feel the sun leaning
heavily on the roof of the old motel, one of the several lairs he had
scattered around Sunnydale. He glanced at his watch and sighed when
it confirmed what he already knew, there were hours to go before sundown.
He hated summer. Endless days with nothing to do. He rolled over and
his eyes met the terrified eyes of the boy lying gagged and bound on
the bed next to him. He lifted the boy's head and fingered the marks
of his previous feeding thoughtfully, but let him drop. It wasn't food
He got up and put the video in the player. He sat down in the battered
Barcalounger, pointed the remote and pressed play. He unzipped his jeans
and grasped himself as static gave way to:
Joyce, naked, trembling, all the imperfections of her mortality ruthlessly
exposed to the camera. Sprawled on her back, open to him, her eyes squeezed
shut, her face contorted, her back arching in joyless orgasm. Her blood
tricking down between her breasts. On her hands and knees, her mouth
open in an 'O' of shock as he penetrated her...
Spike's own hand roughly abusing himself as he came, in perfect synchronicity
with his image on the tube, again. Fuck, he thought to himself, as the
tape faded again to black. I'm going to wear my fucking dick out if
I keep this up.
The first time he watched it was just for kicks, but it was going beyond
a joke now. Over the week since making the tape he'd watched it at least
two or three times a day. What the hell was wrong with him?
He'd come to Sunnyhell with a plan: death and destruction of everything
the Slayer loved. Not the most original plan, but a good one. First
the mother, then all of her friends. He knew exactly where the redhead
would be tonight, exactly when she would be unprotected, vulnerable.
The minions had been shadowing her for weeks, all it would take was
his word... But....
She was so perfect. His perfect victim. Defenseless, without the armor
of naivete, or youth's casual assumption of immortality. Death had already
laid its hand on her, the slow decline of her body had already begun:
she knew she could die. In his arms, she trembled with the certainty
of it. Her blood was saturated with the sweet black terror of it. He
wanted more of it. He wanted her.
Buffy wasn't the brightest candle in the box, but even she would figure
it out if her friends started dying off. It was just good luck that
he hadn't marked her throat, or anywhere else her daughter was likely
to notice. He could simply take Joyce and leave town, but that would
lead to an extremely brassed-off Slayer on his trail. Or, he could kill
the Slayer... he refused to believe that it couldn't be done. He didn't
like his odds though. He'd been paying attention as one after another
her enemies fell despite huge advantages and had concluded that this
Slayer was different from the others, not just in having friends, but
in having powerful forces ranged on her side. So for now, no showdowns.
He'd lay low. Keep his secrets and play with his sweet new toy in the
dark. He could wait a few more hours for sundown to come. He knew where
she was, waiting for him.
END part 2