Hunted by Sigyn
Chapter #1 - Hunted

“Is that my blood?” Spike asked. It was two days after Thanksgiving, and he still hadn’t told them what they needed to know about the commando lab. He was chained in the bathtub – they were pretty sure it would contain him. Buffy had been the one to move him. She had to admit, he certainly seemed weak.

Buffy tossed the plastic bag from the butchers in her hand. “Actually, it’s mine.”

Spike sputtered a laugh. “Wish it was!” he muttered.

“I mean it’s mine until you talk.”

    “I’m still too weak to remember everything,” he said, looking archly at the ceiling. “I haven’t eaten in a week. Unless you count some far too lumpy gravy, and whatever aging juice you poured out of that ground round.”

    “The butchers were closed for Thanksgiving weekend,” Buffy said. “I wasn’t going to go slaughtering something for you.”

    “You couldn’t have gotten your witch to summon a chicken or something?” he asked.

    “I wouldn’t waste her magic on you,” Buffy said.

    “Yeah, I guess she’s too busy wallowing to think about the likes of me,” Spike said. “Your little witch has a bad case of the miseries.”

    Buffy shrugged. “Willow’s going through a bad patch at the moment,” she said. “Her boyfriend skipped town.”

    Spike rolled his eyes. “Ain’t love grand. He leave her, I take it?”

    “He had issues,” Buffy said.

    “Dating a witch, I see why he would.”

    “Actually, she was the normal one,” Buffy said. “Oz was a werewolf.”

    Spike laughed. “Now that’s an image I won’t soon forget!” he said. “I guess little red had a thing for the big bad wolf after all.”

    “Very funny.”

    “What big teeth he must have had. I suppose that puts a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘doggy style’, eh?”

    “You’re sick.”

    “I take it he hunted her down? I feel a little Duran Duran coming on. Mouth is alive with juices like wine, and I’m hungry like the wolf!”

    “He didn’t want to eat her.”

    “Hey, don’t knock it,” Spike said. “It can be pretty sexy.” He stopped. “Though actually, you’d know all about that, wouldn’t you.”

    Buffy scoffed. “You’re disgusting.”

    “And you’re kinky. So now that we both know our weaknesses, can I have my blood please?”

    “I’m not kinky,” Buffy said.

    “You were dating a vampire, goldilocks. You let Angel hunt you into his bed, and you claim you’re vanilla?”

    “Angel didn’t hunt me,” Buffy said. “We fell in love.”

    “We fell in love,” he mocked melodramatically. “How many times have I heard that? Angel was more of a wolf than your witch’s sweetheart.”

    “I’ll have you know, Angel was a perfect gentleman. If anything, I seduced him.”

    Spike laughed. “He made you think you did. He’s good at that. That puts it all entirely on you, so you blame yourself when it goes wrong.”

    “No,” Buffy said.

    “I’ll bet he loves that it hurts you,” Spike said slyly. “Bet relishes how much pain he’s caused you. How much he still causes you.”

    Buffy turned to him. “You don’t know him,” she said glibly. “You know a demon who wore his skin, not Angel.”

    “You really think he’s changed that much?” Spike asked. “That because he can feel remorse, he’s not still a demon? He wants to own you, and feed on you, and cause you pain, and you think he’s not a demon?” Spike shook his head. “Believe me. I know Angelus. I know what he wants.”

    “He wants what’s best for me,” Buffy said. “He stays away because he doesn’t want to hurt me. I’m the one who wouldn’t push him away, who wouldn’t let go. I’m the one who wouldn’t end it.”

    “And it’s all my fault,” Spike said, in a high voice. “I’m the one who god has turned his back on. I’m the one who’s evil,” Spike said. “You think I haven’t heard this before?” he said, in his own voice again. “You didn’t live a hundred years with Dru, love. You didn’t watch him stalk a hundred young girls. He’s had me cleaning up his messes ever since.”

    “He’s changed,” Buffy said.

    “You don’t change your nature, pet,” Spike said. “Not even if you get a soul dropped on it. I can’t hurt you now, but I still want to. And I’m never gonna pretend I’m suddenly good ‘cause of it.”

    “Angel is good,” Buffy said.

    Spike shook his head with a strange little smile. “They all sounded like you, even the ones that were still human, that he hadn’t gotten around to eating yet,” he said. “I’ll bet he hunted you.”

    “You’d lose,” Buffy said.

    “All right,” Spike said, energized. “I’ll tell you exactly how he did it.”

    “That’s ridiculous, he probably told you while he was all... evil and stuff.”

    “No, he was too busy mackin’ on my girlfriend,” Spike said darkly.

    Buffy was startled. She’d assumed, back when Spike had said Dru acted strangely around Angel, that it was only on her part. “Drusilla?”

    Spike nodded.

    “You mean he and Drusilla... while he was....”

    Spike looked at her oddly. “He tortured you, threatened your friends and family, slaughtered at least fifty people, and you’re upset because he shagged his ex? I mean, that’s what bugs me, but, you know–”

    Buffy shook her head. “He didn’t remember any of what he did.”

    “Doesn’t mean he didn’t do it. Doesn’t mean he was telling you the truth about that, either. No, he told me nothing about how he got you. He did a lot of posturing about how well he knew you. Not the same thing. I’ll tell you how he seduced his younger victims, shall I? The pretty ones. The protected ones. The ones he wanted to feast on slow, not just kill.”

    Buffy scowled. “There’s no way it’ll be the same thing.”

   “Then it can’t hurt to hear it. I’ll tell you what he used to do. You’ll tell me he got all soulful and different and he wasn’t using the same tricks for a slightly less gruesome end.”

    “Fine,” she snapped. “But if you’re wrong, you’ll stop playing dumb and tell me everything you know about that lab.”

    “All right, then. Give me a sip of that blood, first, love. I’m a bit peckish.”

    “Right.” She crossed her arms and only stared at him.

    Spike glared at her. “All right, I’m out right starving!”

    Buffy dangled the plastic bag just out of his reach. “You get the whole thing once you start to sing.”

    “Very funny.”

    “That’s it,” Buffy said. “I’m ending this freak show. You don’t know anything.” She reached for the stake on the bathroom sink.

    “All right!” Spike said, and she set it down. “First, Angel would have watched you. Learned your patterns, figured out where you’d be at any given time. He lurked in shadows. Stalked you. He might have done that for months.”

    “No,” Buffy lied.

    Spike shook his head. “You wouldn’t have known,” he said. “The first time you saw him, he probably gave you a gift. My guess is jewelry. Not so expensive you’d reject it, but nice enough not to want to toss it. Silver maybe. Whet your appetite for more.”

    Buffy’s eyes narrowed.

  “He’d never really leave after that,” Spike said. “But he’d have been elusive as smoke. Show up at random times, never quite tell you what he was doing, just enough to get your curiosity racing. You’d wonder if he was interested in you, or if you just happened to be interested in the same things. If you had so much in common, he’d be even more exciting.”

    Buffy waved him on.

    “Possibly he gave you some backhanded compliments,” Spike said. “‘I don’t usually like girls with big noses, but you’re lovely.’ That sort of thing. That lowers self esteem, but makes you think at least he likes you.” Buffy tried not to think about how Angel had said he’d expected her to find the entrance to the tunnels, but just a little earlier than she had. “He might also have started giving you orders he didn’t expect you to obey. This makes you feel like you’re in control, but establishes his right to give them.” And how Angel had told her – the slayer – not to go down into those same tunnels. “Oh!” Spike went on. “And the smoldering over the shoulder glances as he walked away. As if you had a cord tied to his eyes, and he couldn’t stop looking at you. He was good at those.”

    “Go on,” Buffy said.

    “Well, he did play the cavalier gentleman well,” Spike said. “Oh, his favorite trick. Early on, did he say you looked cold, and then give you his coat just to ‘inadvertently’ show you some sexy injury he’d gotten?”

Buffy couldn’t suppress a tiny wince, and Spike grinned. “Well, that one struck a nerve. You know how often he had me give him those injuries, so he could seduce someone to their death? He used to rip those coats off other victims, just so he could hand them out. He had a collection of them.”

    “You’re such a liar.”

    “Maybe, love, but I don’t need to. Truth is so much more fun.”

    “Angel was always being attacked by other vampires,” Buffy said. She turned away so he wouldn’t see her eyes and busied herself at the sink, washing the cup she planned to pour his blood into. “He wouldn’t have had to fake an injury.”

    “Maybe not,” Spike said. “But once he had one, he’d have used it for all it was worth.”

    Buffy felt sick.

    “Now. Once he’d made contact, he’d get really possessive if you were anywhere near another suitor. As if you had no business having one. He might have acted the same around your friends, I’d bet he hated wanker boy Xander. He used to pick them off, one by one, but I’ll bet he got more subtle once he got all moral. This possessiveness serves him twice. First, it establishes you as belonging to him, if only in your subconscious. Second, it clears the field.” He looked sly. “Makes you isolated.”


    “Now he ups the ante,” Spike said, ignoring her. “In the past, he’d set some ruffians, possibly a minion or two on his prey, so he could rescue her. In your case, I’ll bet he just stalked you and waited until someone else attacked.”

    Buffy wouldn’t look at him.

    “By this time, he’d feel like your pet. There’d be no other suitors, and you’d feel like he belonged to you. Did he establish himself in your house next? It was a more common practice before hotels were everywhere. Either way, I’m sure he got invited in. Told you you were beautiful. How much he wanted you – and that you should stay away.” He chuckled. “Best trick of all. Stay away from me. You won’t listen. That makes it all your fault.” Spike shook his head. “By this time your heart’s racing like a millwheel, blood pumping, flushing through your skin. Tastes better that way. Back then it was all kisses flaming into fangs, but hey, he got a soul. I’m sure it was all innocent.”

    That was so exactly what had happened that Buffy was almost frightened. She glanced at him, and Spike frowned. His head tilted slowly, and his lips parted. “You’re awful pale, slayer.” He sounded much more concerned than she thought he had any right to be. “I just read your life to you, didn’t I.”

    She didn’t like the softness in his tone. “You are a monster,” Buffy said. “Angel was...” She couldn’t find an excuse.

    “Got an easy out with that name, don’t he,” Spike said. “A demon called Angel. He didn’t kill you. I’ll grant you that one. But he hunted you, as he did all his victims. And once he had you, he never let you go, did he. Hovering at the edges. Sneaking between you and any other man. Never letting you forget that you belonged to him.”

    “He’s not like that,” Buffy said.

    “You mean like last week?” Spike said. “Stalking you again, touching base with all your friends. Oh, no. He wasn’t getting just enough of a finger into your life so you can’t forget him. That was all innocent.” He looked at her sidelong. “He ever throw you the, You’re my destiny line?” Spike looked up at the ceiling. “He loved to throw that one at Dru.” He shook his head. “Fickle bitch,” he muttered. Buffy swallowed, and Spike added, “How about the, I loved you from the first moment I saw you? I saw your heart, or I could read your soul. Something along those lines. He read Dru’s soul, told her it was evil, and proceeded to torture and kill her family until she believed him.”

    “Angel admits that what he did was wrong,” Buffy said. “He says Drusilla was the worst thing he ever did. You, you’re just a monster.”

    “I admit what I do is wrong, too,” Spike said. “I don’t try to make human beings love me for it.”

    “All right, then,” Buffy snapped. “What little games did you play when you wanted a victim?”

    “I’d go up to someone,” he said, his voice seductive, “tell them I wanted them, and take them.”

    “What if they didn’t go with you?”

    “I’d pick the ones that would,” Spike said. He leaned forward. “For your information, goldilocks, that’s most of them. That’s how I got your friend Sheila.”

    “She wasn’t my friend. And what makes that any better?”

    “Fine,” Spike said. “But at least I’m honest about how evil I am. I don’t hide behind a soul, playing the exact same tricks, and claim I’ve changed.” He tilted his head. “How old were you, pet? Fifteen?”

    “Sixteen,” Buffy lied. Angel had told her he’d watched her in L.A. before she’d turned sixteen.

    Spike smiled. “And you seduced him, Lolita. He groomed you right well.” He gazed at her. “I’ll bet you bared your throat to him, didn’t you. Begged him to feed off you.” His eyes narrowed slightly. “Is that his scar?”

    “Angel loves me,” Buffy snapped. “And I love him. We can’t be together, but that’s never going to change.”

    Spike shook his head. “Then congratulations, pet. You’re another in a long line of willing victims.”

    Buffy hit him, hard, across the face. His head lolled. He hissed, and then slowly turned back to face her, his ice blue eyes hard as diamonds. “Well that’s sweet,” he growled. “Slap around a chained and helpless prisoner.” He was breathing hard, and his jaw shook in anger. “I guess Angel taught you more than you know.”

    Buffy knelt down and grabbed him by the shirt, stake in hand. He glared at her defiantly, daring her to do it. “Self defense, pet?” he said, low and heady. “Did I hurt you?”

    There was a long moment as their eyes met, fury sparking. Then Buffy released him, roughly. “No,” she said. “You didn’t. I know what Angel is. And I know what you are. You’re just a vampire. You spill lies, and you hunt, and you kill... and you can’t hurt me.”

    “Truth hurts,” he said. “Treasure your pure eternal love. Dru and all the others send their blessing.”

    Buffy stood up and threw the bag of blood into the tub before she stalked out. She didn’t know if he could reach it chained, but she wasn’t about to feed it to him.

    “Get any more information out of him?” Giles asked as she stalked through his livingroom.

    “He’s a liar,” was all Buffy said as she grabbed her coat and stormed out.

    She was halfway back to her dorm before she lost her grip on the rage and crumpled. She sank onto a bench and, much to her chagrin, wept bitterly. She was never going to stop loving Angel. She was always going to look back on their love as a hopeless tragedy, star-crossed lovers destined to be together, fated to be apart. She was never going to lose that love-struck teenage girl inside her who believed in fairy tales and true love, where Angel was the angel of her dreams. And all of that burned like acid.

    Because she knew Spike had told her the absolute truth.