Chp 33 Shines a Good Deed
We will remember them…
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Shines a Good Deed
Spike was licking her neck! Buffy smiled as she drifted up from the dark of sleep: to be fair, there were very few parts of her body he hadn’t licked but he always returned to the back of her neck, running his tongue down across her shoulder and up again, down and up – she loved the sensation – JEEZ!
The soft dark vanished as her eyes opened, she could feel pain across her shoulder, something hot running down her back and Spike’s tongue lapping at –
“Are you drinking my blood?” It was less of a question than a squealed shriek. She tried to turn over, but a hand whipped down across her mouth and the familiar weight of his body covered her own.
“No noise, Slayer! Not unless you want every vamp and demon in these woods to hone in on you. You’re bleeding like the proverbial stuck pig and they’ll smell it. Anyway, I’m hungry and seeing as how I was the one who had to carry you for miles, I reckon it’s the least you can do for me.”
Buffy struggled to stay still. She was confused; Spike’s voice sounded odd and not just because he had a mouthful of Slayer blood. Suddenly her brain jolted into action and she gasped as she realised that the breasts pushing against the soft grass underneath her body, had no bra, T-shirt or jacket across them! She was naked to the waist.
“What the hell’s happened?” she mumbled through his hand. “OK, I won’t shout. Let me move.” She bucked herself upwards, wincing as pain shot through her, but her strength was still enough to send Spike sliding to one side.
He lay flat on his back, wiping blood from his lips; in the dim evening light that was flickering through the trees, Buffy could see he was grinning. “You were shot, Slayer. I reckon you haven’t had that much experience of guns, have you, Yankee Girl? I knew you couldn’t outrun a bullet. It creased across the top of your shoulder and along the back of your neck. It’s not a deep wound but it’s provided lots of lovely gore.” He sighed. “I feel much better now.”
Buffy sat up, pulling her knees to her chest. A few feet away she could see the bloody remains of her jacket and T-shirt. Something glittered and she felt a sigh of relief as she realised Henry was sitting on top of the pile, blinking indignantly at her.
“You almost squashed Toadie when you fell over,” Spike commented, sitting up and seeing where she was looking. “He wasn’t best pleased! Let me look at that wound again.”
Buffy flinched away automatically as he moved behind her and heard the vampire sigh. “Slayer – if I’d wanted to, I could have drained you of every ounce or turned you or just finished you off! I would have done my second Slayer! You’ve no idea how that would have helped my reputation. Liam would be furious. And if it hadn’t been for the overwhelming desire to forget all about this little jaunt - which I can’t do unless we both eat the charm - I’d have had myself a really, really good day!”
Spike heard his words drop into the silence and even to him they sounded false, a carefully constructed, couldn’t care less front to hide the fact that he was – scared! He had to face it – oh, he wasn’t afraid of the Slayer herself; he couldn’t even remember the last time he’d been frightened of anyone, but he was terrified of the way she made him feel.
All these years, since Dru turned him, his life had been painted in black, deep red, purple, black and more black. A great wall of darkness surrounded him and he’d been happy to live like that, swimming in the glory of death and destruction. But now – why had he picked up the Slayer when she fell? It didn’t make sense – she was his deadly enemy, and OK, he needed her to eat the charm so he could forget, but he knew that thought hadn’t even entered his head when she’d gone tumbling to the ground.
He’d swung her into his arms, frightened that she was dead, which was bloody stupid, and terrified because a tiny golden chink had appeared in his darkness and he didn’t know how to stop it from spreading. Words trickled into his mind and for a second he was William again, sitting at a desk in school, ink staining his fingers, a copy of Shakespeare open in front of him, hearing the teacher’s voice quoting from The Merchant of Venice, “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”
“Does it hurt?” he asked now, trying to sound off-hand, as if he’d enjoy knowing it did.
Buffy shrugged, then winced as pain lanced across her neck. “A bit, but it won’t last. Jeez, you must know about Slayer healing, Spike?”
“Slayers, vampires, I reckon we’re all cut out of the same cloth,” he muttered. “We need to clean it, Slayer. I can see dirt in the wound – unless you want me to lick it again.”
Buffy didn’t reply; she inspected her clothes, gave up her top as ruined, then tipped Henry off her denim jacket and pulled it on, her fingers stupidly shaking as she did up the buttons. The tear across the back was heavily stained with blood, but at least the front covered her. “A thousand times no. It’ll be OK. Listen, how many demons escaped from the chateau?”
Spike shrugged. “No idea. Some for sure. They’ll be roaming round the woods with German patrols trying to catch them. Bloody farce. Told you, Slayer, they’d make a good army if organised.”
Buffy got to her feet, wincing as the denim rubbed her neck and shoulder. “In your dreams, Spike. We still need to stop those doctors. Professor Walsh should have returned from Berlin by now.”
Spike stared at her. “Have you been eating stupid pills, Slayer? We trashed his laboratory, helped his guinea-pigs escape and, for all we know, got his son and daughter-in-law slaughtered. Don’t think he’s going to be much of a threat.”
Buffy bit her lip. How could she tell him that either Professor or Doctor Walsh fathered a child in the future who became the woman determined to rid the world of monsters by making them unable to kill. The dim woods spun round her for a second and she shut her eyes to banish the dizziness. She was so certain this was why she’d been sent back – to stop the infant Initiative from experimenting here in France. Was she wrong? Jeez, had the whole stupid escapade been Quentin Travers’ attempt to get rid of her once and for all?
Well, he’d failed in that, but then she’d failed, too. She’d found a mission and nothing she had done had proved successful. She was tired, dirty, hungry and breaking every Slayer rule in the book, letting Spike feed off her blood. She rubbed a grubby hand across her eyes as lights flickered across her vision and blinked out at the darkening woods. She blinked again – “Spike – I can see lights over there. Windows, a building.”
Spike looked puzzled. “Of course you can. It’s the chateau.”
“Why not shriek a little louder, Slayer? I really don’t want to spend all night long defending your dubious honour and life from roaming vamps.”
“But we were running away from the chateau!”
“You’ve obviously never been hunted by a pack of dogs or men with large pitchforks and blood lust in their eyes! The safest place to be is where they least expect you. In our case, the sodding chateau. I carried you round in a circle and we’re in the woods on the far side from the main entrance.” He paused, then went on, “I didn’t want to go too far. We’re supposed to eat the rotten charm near here, aren’t we?”
Buffy nodded, then wished she hadn’t as pain lanced across her neck again. She wished the healing process would hurry up and start. The bullet graze burnt like fire and her head ached as well. She dug around inside her pocket and pulled out her half of the black and purple striped candy. It was covered with fluff and looked decidedly unappetising. But it would take her home. All this would vanish from her mind – the unchipped Spike, Joy, baby Aurora, Colonel Monroe, Valerie the witch, even Henry – Henry!”
“How’s Henry going to get home?”
Buffy slipped the charm back into her pocket as they turned to stare at the toad who stared back indignantly, his eyes unblinking.
“Hop?” Spike said hopefully.
“Not helping! We can’t just – go – and leave him in the middle of the woods in France. He’ll get – I don’t know, eaten by a bear or something.”
Spike sighed. Bloody colonials – their lack of knowledge about Europe was nothing short of disgusting. “They don’t have bears in France, Slayer!” He paused and glanced over his shoulder. “At least, I don’t think they do.”
Buffy rubbed her hand across her forehead; she was so hot. “Bears, wolves, big birds, anything will make a meal of a toad.”
Henry – who had lived though more wars, apocalypses and centuries than they would ever know – couldn’t quite understand why they were making such a fuss. He would have sniffed in disdain if he could have sniffed. The human and the vampire had far more important things to deal with, except they didn’t seem to have noticed yet.
“Carry him forward to your own time, then,” Spike said. “He doesn’t weigh much. Can’t see that the charm will damage him. I’d offer, but I don’t think my Dru would take to him. She’d either eat him or make him wear one of her doll’s bonnets.”
“Silly Dru…” Buffy muttered. “ She can’t have Herrnay. Hate her. Be glad when she thumps you, mumps you, dumps you – ”
Spike glared at her. “Dumps me – what the hell are you talking about? Does that mean what I think it means? Dru loves me. We’ll be together for ever, Slayer; that I can promise you.” He shook himself. He was tired of talking; he wanted this finished, needed to get back to his old bad ways, find Dru, enjoy the mayhem of a world at war. He was the Big Bad of all Europe. It was about time he started acting like it.
Fishing his half of the charm out of his pocket, he tossed it in the air. “Right – I’m ready when you are, Slayer. Let’s eat these sodding things and get back to our normal lives.” He leered at her – “And I promise I’ll let your Mum thump me on the head when we next meet!”
Buffy sank onto her knees. She was so hot. “Dumps, thumps, mumps, bumps,” she muttered. “Can’t think of the right word. Slumps, pumps, dumps, jumps – jeez, my head hurts so much.”
“Slayer!” Spike was at her side, his cold hand sliding across her forehead. “Bloody hell, you’re burning up, Buffy.”
With an effort, she forced herself upright. The last thing she wanted was to have Spike looking after her again. OK, she’d been shot; it wasn’t the worse thing ever to happen to her. Hey, she’d died twice! A stupid wound from a dumb German bullet was nothing. “It’s just the Slayer healing,” she lied, focusing her eyes and turning away from the vampire. “I’m perfectly OK.”
Spike pulled her round to face him. “Don’t lie! How many fingers am I holding up?” he snarled.
Buffy swayed on her feet, fighting to see through the mists that were clouding her eyes. “Two and that’s a very rude gesture.”
“Stupid bint. Not when the palm’s turned outwards; then it means victory,” Spike muttered and cursed fluently, stepping forward to catch her as the Slayer’s eyes closed and she collapsed into his arms.
A muddy black boot thudded against the door of a small shed on the far side of the chateau grounds. Wood splintered as the lock gave and Spike strode inside, carrying Buffy in his arms. It was pitch dark inside but he could see and smell it was where the chateau groundsmen kept their gardening tools. A mowing machine, scythes, spades, secateurs, trowels and sacks of compost stood along one wooden wall.
Spike half dropped, half placed Buffy on the ground and stood looking down at her. The poison from the wound was obviously battling with the Slayer’s healing powers. Her face was flushed and she tossed back and forwards, as if desperate to wake up. He ran a hand through his ragged brown curls and vamped out. Now what? Did he leave her here? Yes, of course he could. He’d done his best. Got her under cover. That was far more than she could ever expect of him. He’d put a couple of miles between them, eat the charm and then all this would be forgotten. When she woke up –
If she woke up, a voice in his head added - when she woke up, he forced his mind to suffocate the other words - she’d eat her charm and then just vanish and all this poxy magic rubbish would be at an end. There was no way he wanted to be here when the German patrols came back to the chateau or when the French workmen found the broken door of the shed in the morning. He had had enough!
Suddenly he knelt and touched her face; her skin almost burnt his hand. The fever was raging and he knew he had to break it or she wouldn’t survive the night.
Buffy was in the crypt – sprawled out on her stomach on Spike’s bed, her body hot and aching from what she’d been doing for the past couple of hours. A wonderful lassitude was spreading through her limbs; every muscle felt sore but in a good way and Spike was doing what she liked best after sex – rubbing an ice-cube along the back of her neck. Oh god, that was so good; she stretched her limbs, feeling the tingle that really good sex left behind in her nerves, luxuriating in the icy touch on her skin – knowing that she would soon have to wake up completely, get dressed and run away, back to work, back to Dawn, back to the banality of her life – but not yet, for a few minutes more, she would just enjoy what he was doing….
And with a face creased with worry, Spike rubbed the ice cubes he had stolen from the chateau kitchen up and down across the fever stricken Slayer’s neck……
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