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Freedom by icemink
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A/N There is some violence on Buffy's part in this chapter and some bloodplay, so if it bothers you to see her that way, you may want to skip this chapter.

Chapter 23:

Spike paced impatiently in the shadows. Had Buffy been any other childe he would have simply taken her to a club, letting her eat whatever poor fool hit on her. But he wasn't sure how the former slayer would take to such a casual killing.

So instead he'd brought her to a run down part of town where he hoped a pretty blond girl would attract the wrong sort of attention from the neighborhood's human denizens.

Unfortunately, so far no one had risen to the bait. As her sire, Spike could sense strong emotions from his childe, so he could feel the hunger and frustration rolling off of Buffy. He was starting to think he'd have to come up with another plan. He wanted her to make the choice the first time she killed, not be driven by pure blood lust.

As he watched her leaning against the Desoto, he thought he could see the flaw in his plan. Despite her general appearance as a helpless girl, her body language told a different story. She didn't look around nervously at both ends of the dark street. She was obviously taking to her improved vampiric senses well, and trusting to them to tell her if anyone approached. There was simply no sign that she was at all nervous or scared.

Of course maybe that didn't matter. It wasn't as if anyone had walked down the street to begin with. The problem, of course, was precisely that these areas of town tended to be controlled by vampires. He had picked this area because he had recently recruited a vampire from the local nest and killed the others. He'd hoped the vacuum he'd created had yet to be filled by any of the undead and that the human predators might be out.

Just as he was about to give up, the sounds of drunken laughter could be heard echoing down the street. He could feel his childe practically quivering with excitement as two young men appeared from around a corner.

First one then the other fell silent as they saw Buffy standing there.

Spike could hear the smile in the voice of one of the men as he and his companion moved in on her. "Hey baby, are you lost?"

"Yes, I'm very lost and alone," she replied just a little too cheerfully.

Spike shook his head at her poor performance. Maybe he should get her acting lessons while they were in L.A. But her victims didn't seem to notice the false tone in her answer. Instead, the two men moved in very close to her, surrounding her.

"Well maybe we can help you with that," the first man said as he reached up to play with the shoulder of her dress.

They were almost pressed against her now, one in front one in back. Only the other day such a display would have filled Spike with anger and jealousy. But the two human males no longer posed a threat to him, at least as long as she didn't play with her food for too long.

That turned out not to be a problem. He could hear her snarl as she let her fangs extend and bit into the neck of the man in front of her. One arm snaked about him to hold him in place as she twisted her body so that she could grab the throat of the man behind her.

The second man didn't even have time to scream as her fingers curled around his throat in a death grip. He struggled for air, scratching and pulling on her unmoving arm as she drained the life out of his friend.

As soon as Buffy had attacked, Spike moved out of the shadows to join her. He stood behind her, placing one arm around her waist and stroking her hair with the other as he whispered words of comfort in her ear. He wasn't sure exactly why he did so. He didn't sense any alarm or panic from his childe, and yet he wanted this to be perfect for her.

She finished feeding off the first man and let his body drop to the pavement.

Buffy turned her head to look at Spike and asked, "Do you want the other one?"

Spike was surprised. Although he knew that she only needed to feed off of one human, most fledglings were so overcome by bloodlust that they glutted themselves on as many victims as they could lay their hands on. But he couldn't sense any bloodlust from her. Whatever she was feeling wasn't strong enough for him to be able to sense it.

"Don't you want him, kitten?" he asked.

She shrugged. "I'm full, and you have to feed too, right?"

Still confused, he nodded and took the proffered gift from her. She hadn't quite strangled the man, but he was nearly dead as Spike bit into the bruised neck.

Spike barely registered the taste of the blood as his mind swam with questions about his new childe. Questions he doubted even Buffy could answer.

He fed quickly so he could return his attention to Buffy. He dropped the second man to the ground and lifted up the hand Buffy had held him by.

The man had scratched her arm during his struggles. The scratches were healed, but there was still some blood on her arm where the light wounds had been. Spike lifted her wrist to his mouth and gently licked and kissed the blood away.

She giggled, as his tongue lightly tickled her. He smiled and lifted his head to regard her face. Her mouth was covered with blood. He'd have to teach her how to feed without making such a mess, but for now he didn't mind.

He cradled her cheek with one hand and began to lick the blood from her face. She giggled again and tried to return the favor. Although his face had started out clean, their nuzzling quickly spread the blood from her face to his.

Spike hardly minded. He was delighted at the childish pleasure she was taking in it. Not to mention the first hints of arousal he could sense from her.

He had begun to fear that something had gone wrong with her turning. That she'd come back not only physically dead, but emotionally too. Or worse, that she no longer took pleasure in anything.

After he had freed her from the Master he'd exposed her to sensations she'd never known either in her cell or during her spartan life with Ms. Post. It was partly her fear of being forced to live without feeling alive that had driven her to ask Spike to turn her. Had she come back and not been able to enjoy her unlife it would have been a cruel joy.

But now, under his kisses and his wandering hands she was coming very much alive. Spike was relieved, and as his worries began to drain away, his cock also began to spring to life.

At least until she disappeared. One moment Spike's hands were full of a giggling vampire and the next they were empty. For one panicked moment he thought she had been dusted until his brain registered the sound of her heels quickly clacking away from him.

"Bloody hell," he cursed as he began to run after her.

It made no sense. He couldn't sense any fear or panic from her. She seemed perfectly calm, and he couldn't deduce why she had suddenly run off. He didn't even get a sense of playfulness as if this were one of her games.

Not to mention the fact that if it was a game, she really ought to give him a better chance. She'd completely disappeared. It was only the fact that he was her sire that allowed him to follow her. She had been faster than him when she was the slayer; now she seemed to be twice as fast.

Luckily, since Spike didn't need to breathe, he could keep up a steady stream of curses as he chased after his wayward childe.

After what seemed like an eternity to Spike but was really only a couple of minutes, he caught up to her. She was in an alley fighting another vampire. Although Spike couldn't see her, he could smell and hear a frightened woman huddling somewhere in the alley whimpering as the two vampires fought.

Buffy couldn't have been fighting this other vampire for more than a minute, and yet she already clearly had the upper hand. As Spike watched in confusion, she knocked the legs out from under the vampire. Then she moved behind him and grabbed his head, twisting hard enough to rip his head off, effectively dusting him.

As the dust settled at her feet she began trying to beat it off the front of her white dress.

She looked up at Spike and complained, "This is why white was a bad idea."

"What . . . What are you doing?" Spike asked.

Buffy shrugged. "I heard a scream so . . . " Spike could almost see the realization that she was no longer the slayer dawn on her. "Um, old habit?" she offered as a sort of apology.

"Right well, you shouldn't do that now."

Not knowing what else to do, he moved past her to grab the woman who was huddled behind a dumpster repeating over and over, "Please don't hurt me. Please don't hurt me."

Spike was just about to bite the woman when Buffy pulled her out of his grasp.

"You can't eat her!" she told him.

"Why not?" he asked. He was suddenly becoming very nervous about where this whole thing was going.

"Because I saved her. I didn't save her so you could eat her," Buffy insisted.

Spike let go of the woman. She was too terrified to go anywhere anyway. Then he placed his hands on Buffy's shoulders and asked her calmly, "Why did you save her?"

"I don't know I just did."

"Do you . . . " Spike stopped, trying to figure out the best way to figure out his new childe. "Do you feel bad about killing those guys back there?"

"No," she said indifferently.

"Did you like it?" he asked hopefully.

"It was okay, I guess. I mean I was hungry, and I guess he tasted pretty good." She looked at him hopefully, as if she was trying to guess what he wanted to hear.

Spike sighed. "But you didn't have fun? Killing didn't get you off at all?"

"Killing the vampire was fun," she said and her face lit up. "Did you see the way I just twisted his head off?!" She was practically bouncing with excitement. "I don't even need stakes anymore. I mean a stake would have been nice, but you know it's not really fair seeing as how I'm really strong and fast and stuff."

Spike put a finger over her mouth to try and quiet her. "Look, pet. You can't go around killing other vampires."

"Why not?" she asked. "It's fun."

He sighed. "Because they're. . . They're like family. Annoying, usually stupid distant family, but family nonetheless."

"What about demons? Can I kill demons?" she asked hopefully.

"No," he told her firmly.

"But why not? Demons and vampires don't like each other."

"Because if you start a demon war, then everyone will be trying to kill us. And we have things to do. Have you forgotten about the Master?"

"No, I haven't forgotten," she replied forlornly. Then her face lit up. "Oh! I can kill him though, right? And he'll have lots and lots of guards."

"Yes, when the time is right we'll kill the Master, and probably a lot of his minions."

"So what are we waiting for? Let's go to Sunnydale. We can get there before the sun comes up. And they'll be all sleepy and tired right before dawn. It'll be perfect."

She started to run back the way they had come, dragging Spike along with her. She was moving just a little faster than he could comfortably keep up with, and he found himself stumbling along behind her. He yanked on her arm to try and stop her.

"What's wrong?" she asked as they stopped.

"Look, Buffy. There's a plan okay. We can't just go breaking down doors and expect to live. That's the whole reason I killed you, remember? Just trust me and stick to the plan, and I promise you lots of violence. Okay?"

"Do you really have a plan?" she asked suspiciously. "Cause you always said you had a plan before but you were really just making it up as you went along."

"Yes, I really have a plan," he snapped back at her. "And it includes us meeting with some vampires tonight, and you not killing any of them. Understood?" He pulled his duster back into place, tugging on the lapels for emphasis.

She stuck out her bottom lip and pouted.

"Buffy?" he demanded sternly.

"Okay, I won't kill anymore vampires tonight," she promised reluctantly.

He nodded and put his arm around her waist and began to walk her back to the Desoto.

For a few moments she was silent, but then he felt her squirm in his arm. "Spike?" she asked.

"Yes?" he replied impatiently.

"What if we're attacked? Can I kill a vampire if it attacks us?"

He sighed, "Yes, you can kill a vampire if it attacks us." Then he stopped and turned her so he was looking her in the eye. "But only if we're attacked. No 'He looked at me funny' or 'He said something mean to me.' It's got to be an actual attack. And not just someone touching you either, understand?" Not that he was going to allow anyone to touch his beautiful new childe.

She nodded reluctantly, and they continued on in silence. He had no idea what was going on in her head.

His musings were interrupted when he had a horrible sense of deja vu. What he'd said to her about being attacked was almost exactly like a speech Angelus had given him in Dublin after Spike had started a bar fight that had turned into a city block fight. As if it were Spike's fault that the Irish were so touchy about the rights of the British to rule over them.

Of course Angelus' version of the speech had been accompanied by beatings and torture, just to make sure Spike understood. Still, Spike couldn't shake the horrific thought that he was turning into his grandsire.
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