Chapter Eleven- Inner Demons
Chapter Eleven: Inner Demons
She gasped, paralyzing shock taking control of her body as the blinding pain filled her. For a few crucial moments she couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, couldn’t think. Spike was taking long and deep pulls from her. She could feel him draining her. If she didn’t stop him soon, he was going to kill her.
With all the Slayer strength she could muster, Buffy forcefully pushed Spike away. The impact of her palms against his chest brought him back to another time, in the not so distant past.
“I know you feel like I do,” Spike could feel himself say, longingly gazing at Buffy as he paced before her. “You don’t have to hide it anymore.”
A battle worn Buffy glared at him, her arms wrapped around her minimally clothed body. There was nothing more than a flimsy grey robe concealing her from the unwanted stares of the vampire she could never love.
“Spike, please stop this,” she exasperatedly requested, becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the whole situation.
Bridging the gap between them Spike took an unyielding step toward her. “Let yourself feel it,” he huskily demanded, placing his hands firmly on her hips, trying to pull her towards him.
Buffy resisted, considerably irritated. “No.”
“You love me,” Spike desperately insisted, his hands working their way over her unwilling body with touches that were no longer wanted and caresses that now stung.
Spike fell off the cot from the force of Buffy’s powerful shove. His eyes widened as comprehension began to sink in, the strong coppery taste of her empowering blood still lingering in his mouth.
“Buffy?” he hoarsely whispered as his ice blue eyes focused on her right hand, which was firmly pressed against her bleeding neck.
The Slayer began to speak, her tone desperate, her face consumed with fear. Spike couldn’t hear her though. Only a few muffled garbles broke through the haze. He was being taken somewhere else by the existential whirlwind that was the Prokaryote Stone.
His newly transformed mother stood before him in the parlor, the fireplace’s glow illuminating her revitalized features. She no longer appeared ill. Instead an inexplicably radiant quality suffused her being. William had never seen his mother look so healthy. Again, he noted the irony in the fact that she was now dead, but she still looked wonderful nonetheless.
“Oh, William,” his mother began in response to his compliment, “you're so... tender.” She placed a delicate hand on his face.
Oblivious to her subtle ridicule, William continued on with subdued excitement. “Well, this is as it should be, mother. You and I together. All of London laid out before us.”
“Ah, yes. Us,” she said, smiling disdainfully.
William, ignorant as ever, smiled brilliantly. “First, we'll feast. Then the night is yours. Theater, perhaps. Dancing? Tell me, what's your pleasure?”
His mother turned toward him, staring him dead in the eyes. “Pleasure? To take my leave of you, of course,” she stated matter-of-factly. “‘The lark hath spake from twixt its wee beak? ’You honestly thought I could bear an eternity listening to that twaddle?” she condescendingly asked.
Spike growled involuntarily as the memory finished playing in his mind. He shook his head vigorously, trying to shake it away. His fists flew to the side of his head, desperately pounding at his temples in the vain attempt to end the visions. It was futile however. The second he peered back over to where a distraught Buffy was now standing, he was pulled back.
“Ow, no, stop it,” she determinedly refused, her fear lying just beneath the surface of her angered annoyance.
Her words were ignored as Spike’s hands continued to inappropriately peruse her body, groping at her flesh as he desperately tried to kiss her. Buffy frantically struggled to push him off. “Spike no…Ow…What are you…”
Fevered emotions fueled the struggle, which quickly escalated to the sound of fabric being ripped as it echoed throughout the bathroom. In one unguarded moment, Buffy lost her balance, clutching at the shower curtain, which inevitably ripped off of the rod, sending her already sore back to crash down against the side of the tub.
“Ow!” she bellowed.
Why was this happening to him? Of all the misdeeds to choose from in his past, why show him these two? Why did the stone have to remind him of the two lowest moments of existence? Spike wasn’t allowed the time to postulate an answer. His mother wasn’t finished with her malicious diatribe.
“I feel extraordinary. It's as though I've been given new eyes. I see everything,” she whimsically explained. “Understand...” she paused before frowning at her son, “everything.”
William was becoming increasingly disturbed by his mother’s sudden exposition. “Mother…”
She ignored him, her tone sustaining its nasty quality. “I hate to be cruel,” she started before abruptly stopping. “ No, I don't. I used to hate to be cruel in life. Now, I find it rather freeing,” she cheerfully confessed. “Nothing less will pry your greedy little fingers off my apron strings, will it?”
William took a step back, uncomfortable with the shift in his mother’s behavior. “Please stop,” he pleaded, unable to look her in the eyes.
Once more, she disregarded his request, approaching him slowly. “Ever since the day you first slithered from me like a parasite...”
He interrupted her, flabbergasted by her words. “What're you s—”
She supplied him the bitter answer before he had a chance to complete the devastated question. “Had I known better, I could have spared myself a lifetime of tedium and just dashed your brains out when I first saw you.”
With a disgusted huff, she stepped away from him, her voice rising in exasperation. “God, I prayed you’d find a woman to release me, but you’d scarcely showed an interest. Who could compare to your doddering housebound mum? A captive audience for your witless prattle.”
His mother dug the knife in deeper and all he could do was stand there, utterly helpless.
Spike scurried back, keeping his distance from an advancing Buffy. He shook his head again, not wishing to believe the painful words spoken by his own mother.
“Whatever I was, that’s not who I am anymore,” he shakily announced, his ambiguous words coincidentally directed in Buffy’s direction.
Confusion was instantly added to Buffy’s fear. “I know Spike. This isn’t you. The stone is doing something,” she started to explain, not understanding that he was still under the Prokaryote Stone’s influence.
Snickering mockingly, William’s mother took a step toward him. “Darling, it’s who you’ll always be. A limp, sentimental fool.”
Having had just about enough, Buffy raced over to the hallucinating vampire, grabbing him roughly and hauling him up to his feet. She shook him violently, hoping it would jostle him from whatever delirium that had ensnared him. She was about ready to do anything just to get Spike to snap out of it.
The momentum of her shaking spun them around, causing their feet to become tangled in the chains on the cold floor. Losing her balance, Buffy fell, bringing Spike down on top of her.
The face of his mother drifted into oblivion as Buffy struggled beneath him. He knew what was coming. He knew what memory he was about to relive. But he couldn’t do anything to stop it. He was trapped to relive the moment he truly felt like a monster.
Spike stared down at Buffy, his expression maddened as something primal, something animalistic, took him over. She continued to struggle beneath him, but for once he was stronger, faster. Desperation fueled him, his mind focused on one thing. He was deaf to her pleas.
“No! Stop it!” Buffy cried out, her voice screeching in panic.
“I know you felt it. When I was inside of you,” he muttered, his eyes wild, his grip painfully demanding.
His frantic hand pulled and tugged at any available piece of fabric. Not hindered in the slightest by the sound of her robe ripping, unaffected by the tears cascading down her cheeks.
Buffy continued to squirm on the floor, trying to extricate herself from beneath Spike’s unusually heavy form. Glancing up into his eyes, she saw nothing but an emotionless void in their depths. He wasn’t fighting her; he wasn’t trying to get up. Spike wasn’t even moving. He simply remained motionless above her with a hauntingly vacant expression on his face.
William staggered back up against the rough brick of the fireplace, his mother closing in on him. Her contempt for the son that had sired her was now clearly seen on her no longer docile face. “Do you think you’ll be able to love her?” she spat scathingly. “Think you’ll be able to touch her without feeling me?”
He squirmed, trying to get away as she invaded his personal space. It didn’t deter her in the slightest. His mother would not stop until she had completely torn his heart into shreds.
“All you ever wanted was to be back inside…”
Buffy finally slipped out from under him, rolling onto her stomach and crawling away from Spike. She froze from the feral roar that was emitted from behind her. A steel grip latched onto her ankle, brutally dragging her back to him with one strong jerk.
‘Oh God! Please don’t let this be happening,’ Buffy inwardly prayed. ‘Not again.’
Flipping her violently onto her back, Spike pinned her arms above her head. As hard as she tried, Buffy couldn’t muster the strength to free herself. The delusion he was currently seized in made him inexplicably and extraordinarily strong. Not to mention that the blood loss wasn’t helping her either.
Buffy ceased struggling when she realized Spike had stopped moving. Looking up at him, he was gazing back down at her, his cobalt eyes lost in another vision. He remained frozen, hovering above her with hands like vices around her wrists.
Buffy’s frantic screams resounded throughout the bathroom. They did not, however, dissuade the vampire on top of her from his forceful assault.
“No. Ow. Ow!” she shouted. “Please, Spike. Please!”
“You’ll feel it again, Buffy,” he urgently assured her, his voice dripping with maddened conviction.
“Please don’t do this,” Buffy hysterically implored, a heartbreaking sob escaping from her lips.
Her pleas continued to go unheeded as Spike reached for the top of her ash colored robe, clasping it brutally in one hand. “I’m gonna make you feel it,” he furiously promised, nearly ripping the garment in half.
Buffy blinked as Spike suddenly disappeared above her. She sat up, horrified to see him flying through the air, painfully crashing into the basement wall with a resonating crunch. She became even more alarmed by the sight of the person who had pulled Spike off of her. Buffy stared dumbfounded as Wood marched with a seething focus toward a debilitated Spike.
The vampire however was none the wiser to the nearing threat. He simply remained on the floor, slumped against the cracked wall. Nothing could permeate his mind. Nothing could free him from reliving his nightmares.
“You finally got your wish, didn’t you?” his mother disgustedly wondered, her small but deadly body too close to his own. “Sank your teeth into me. An eternal kiss.”
William shook his head frantically. “No. I only wanted to make you well,” he insisted, his voice quivering as he tried to defend himself against his own mother.
Wood glared down at Spike, sneering in abhorrence. “I’ve been waiting for the longest time for you to fuck up,” he wrathfully stated as he pulled a wooden stake from out of his back pocket. “I don’t know how people could actually think an animal like you would ever care for anyone but yourself.”
Spike kept still, his empty gaze falling upon the small space separating him and the looming principal.
“You wanted your hands on me,” his mother hissed resentfully. “Perhaps you’d like a chance to finish off what you started,” she suggested, placing her hands on his body in a manner that was beyond inappropriate for a mother.
William pushed her away, trying desperately to extract himself from her advances. “I loved you. I did. Not like this.”
“Just like this,” his mother persisted. “This is what you always wanted. Who’s my dark little prince?”
Buffy fought to get to her feet. The world spun around her, her head lightheaded from the lack of blood in her veins. She couldn’t let that stop her though. Wood was all stake happy and Spike was stuck in la-la land. She had to stop Robin before he killed the incapacitated vampire.
Bolting in Spike’s direction, Buffy knocked Wood aside, the stake in his hand clattering as it slid across the floor. Crouching in front of Spike, she reached out to him, to see if he was alright. What she got was not what she had been expecting.
The vampire jolted abruptly, as though he were being electrocuted from an internal source. Gaining a brief moment of consciousness, awareness returned to his previously blank gaze. A bellow ripped from his lips, his arms shooting out in front of him as he jumped to his feet, shoving an unprepared Buffy out of his way.
Wood jumped into action, smacking Spike down again, thinking the vampire was attempting to resume his attack on the Slayer. Spike crashed to the cement floor, another ferocious snarl emanating from his throat though he remained in a motionless heap. Raising his stake up high, Robin readied himself to plunge the splintered piece of wood into the chest of the vampire who had taken his mother away from him so prematurely. At last he would have his vengeance.
“STOP!” Buffy screamed, colliding into Wood with every ounce of strength she had left.
The sound of Buffy’s screaming had Spike suddenly hyperventilating, his chest frantically heaving unnecessarily as memories inundated his mind.
With one final slayer-strength powered shove, Buffy sent Spike hurtling through the air, his flight quickly impeded by the protruding bathroom sink. She managed to her feet, gripping her robe closed; trying to salvage whatever sense of decency she had left.
Panting erratically, Spike also picked himself off the floor, his azure eyes incredulously wide as realization hit.
Buffy’s tear streaked face was contorted in a mixture of hurt and fury. The enraged words flew out of her mouth almost instantly. “Ask me again why I could never love you.”
With Robin momentarily out of commission, Buffy spun on her heels, dropping to the floor to check to see if Spike was okay. “Spike. C’mon snap out of it,” she urgently pleaded.
He didn’t respond. He couldn’t see her. It was another Buffy staring at him, disheveled and livid, her burning glare boring holes into his soul. And suddenly, as though he had blinked her away Buffy was gone, replaced instead by his demon faced mother. She stood there, her amber eyes staring at him with the same hatred and disgust he had seen in Buffy’s.
“There, there, precious. It will only hurt for a moment.”
Almost as soon as the vision of his demonic mother voiced those words, Spike helplessly watched as she disintegrated into dust.
“I’m sorry,” he croakily whispered, the prophylactic stone induced fog lifting from his brain. “I’m sorry,” he repeated.
Buffy gave him a confused look. “It’s okay Spike. It’ not your fau—umph!”
Distracted by trying to help Spike, she hadn’t felt Wood approaching. Using the element of surprise to his advantage, he forcefully knocked her out of the way, stake back in his hand. His mind was made up. With the adrenaline pumping, he was convinced that Spike needed to be eliminated.
Though Robin was fast, he still couldn’t compete with a woozy slayer’s swiftness. From the floor Buffy retaliated, kicking his legs out from right under him. Wood landed on the floor with a loud thump, but he appeared unfazed, getting back on his feet in no time. Buffy recovered just as fast, firmly situating herself between Spike and the danger that presented itself as the Sunnydale High Principal.
“Get away from him,” she ordered, the unspoken warning blatant in her unyielding voice.
“Move out of my way,” Wood obstinately responded, refusing to budge. In his opinion, he knew better than Buffy. He hadn’t been tricked by Spike’s little remorseful act.
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” Buffy ominously remarked as her fist shot out, delivering a solid right hook to Robin’s face.
Staggering back, Wood stared in astonishment as he tentatively touched his now bloodied lip. Standing straight, he dropped his hand to his side as his face returned to its grim expression. “Why are you protecting him?”
“Here’s the more important question. Who made you judge, jury and executioner?” Buffy scornfully inquired, her stance defensive in anticipation of another attack.
“He’s compromising the mission,” Wood accusingly pointed at the sullen vampire sitting on the floor behind her, who at the moment was still repeating his guilt ridden mantras of ‘I’m sorry’s. “Are you willing to compromise the world for one vampire?”
Buffy’s demeanor remained unchanged. Wood had a lot of nerve to use ‘the mission’ as an excuse to get rid of Spike. She knew that he had found his window of opportunity to exact his revenge. She’d be damned if she let him go through it.
“This has nothing to do with the mission and you know it,” she bitterly retorted.
Wood shook his head. “He’s a vampire, Buffy. His sole purpose to for existing is bloodshed. One of these days, he’s going to destroy you just like he did my mother.”
The unexpected words were spoken in a much louder voice, an element of consciousness audible in the tone. Two sets of surprised gazes looked to Spike, who seemed to have returned to the land of the sane, no longer lost in his own hallucinated inner battle. Slowly, he rose up off the floor, his gaze locked on Buffy, completely dismissing Wood’s presence.
Robin took advantage of the distraction. Pushing Buffy out of the way, he aimed his stake for the vampire’s chest. The stake did not pierce the heart. It didn’t even break the skin. He didn’t even have the chance to lower his arm.
Like a bolt a lightning, Spike’s hand caught Wood by the wrist, painfully wrenching the weapon from out of his grasp. Robin wasn’t given time to holler at his potentially broken wrist. Spike’s other hand clamped around the other man’s neck; his grip near choking as he spun his would be assassin around, throwing him up against the cold hard wall. Wood gasped for air, desperately clutching at the hand wrapped around his neck, trying to relieve the unyielding pressure against his trachea. Spike pushed him up higher and harder against the wall, making the tips of Wood’s toes barely graze the floor.
“Never touch her,” Spike coldly commanded, his eyes flaring with rage, hints of the demonic amber trickling into the sharp blue of his irises.
“Spike,” Buffy calmly called to him, gently placing a hand on his rigid arm.
He turned his head to look at her, fury still blinding him. It all dissipated when he saw the weariness in her eyes. Nodding, he let go of Wood, letting the man fall.
Robin broke out into a fit of coughs, his lungs burning as he inhaled large gulps of air. “See what I mean,” he managed to rasp out, standing back up while holding his assaulted throat. “He was going to kill me.”
Spike snorted. “Hardly. I’d have a right mind to, though, seein’ as how you had the gall to manhandle Buffy.”
“Spike, let’s just drop this,” Buffy tiredly beseeched, slipping her small hand in his. The vampire turned toward the Slayer, about ready to walk away when Wood suddenly began to speak.
“I didn’t mean to hurt Buffy but she can’t see what’s staring her in the face. You’re a monster Spike and you always will be,” he explained spitefully.
Spike pivoted on his heels and stormed back to Wood, getting right up in the dear ole principal’s face. “Since the moment I met you, you’ve been pushin’ my buttons. I don’t know what you’ve got against me but piss the fuck off!” he growled threateningly.
“His mother was a slayer, Spike,” Buffy whispered sorrowfully. Sighing, she gazed sympathetically into Spike’s perplexed eyes. “The one you killed in New York.”
Spike heard what she was telling him but he didn’t cringe or flinch at the news. He didn’t show much of any reaction really. He simply looked over at Wood with an impassive acceptance. “Killed a lot of people’s mothers,” he gruffly stated, numbing guilt underlying his cavalier attitude. “Even my own.”
Buffy said nothing in response to Spike’s confession to matricide. Not because she’d been rendered completely speechless by shock but simply because there was nothing truly left to say. Sure she was a little thrown by the revelation but like all of Spike’s prior sins, it didn’t change how she felt. The devastated glances he threw in her direction were reason enough to not hold his past transgressions against him. Buffy slipped her hand back into his and gave it a reassuring squeeze. She smiled warmly when he stared at her, his expression conveying a blend of relief and awe.
“I guess the guilt clause was left out of that whole soul contract of yours, huh?” Robin snidely criticized, angered by Buffy’s offhanded reaction to Spike’s admission.
“What is it that you want from me?” Spike bitingly asked. “An apology? Some kind of grand gesture with me fallin’ on my own bleedin’ stake? Well guess again, mate, ‘cos it ain’t gonna happen,” he mercilessly stated. “Yeah, I was the one that did in your mum, but at the time she was the slayer and I was a vampire.”
Wood sneered in disgust. “So that just makes what you did okay?”
“Never said that, mate,” Spike retorted. “But at least your mum died for somethin’. She was a warrior and in the end, she died tryin’ to make the world a better place. A better place for you.”
Wood remained silent, unsure how he should respond to what Spike had just told him. He didn’t want to listen to the vampire’s logic. He wanted to cling to the belief that Spike was evil and that he should be killed, even if only to calm the searing need for retribution in his heart. Yet he couldn’t disregard what Spike had said. He couldn’t ignore the truth behind the words. The restless feelings of payback were beginning to cool down as Wood’s own guilt over his actions consumed him. All he could think of now was how disappointed his mother would’ve been in him.
Spike continued with his melancholic rant, the elusive remorse Wood had commented upon earlier now flooding into the vampire’s dull blue eyes. “Least she died for a reason. Her death served a purpose. Least you weren’t the reason why your mum bit the dust,” he hoarsely uttered, choking back a sob as unshed tears filled his red rimmed eyes. “So yeah, I’m not weepy ‘bout offin’ your mother but that’s ‘cos I got enough grievin’ to do over my own.” Spike spun on his feet, turning his back to Wood, not wanting to show the other man the distraught condition he was in.
Robin eyes grew wide as he observed the vampire. He could barely put a coherent thought together as he watched a single tear escape the vampire’s defenses. Wood had never seen Spike with his guard down. He’d never witnessed the vampire so vulnerable. With his beliefs concerning Spike’s evilness now shattered, Wood let the stake he had held in his hand drop to the floor. With the sound of wood on cement echoing throughout the basement, Robin ran up the stairs, unable to deal with what he had just experienced. Not stopping once he reached the main floor, he bolted out of the house, needing the air and alone time to figure his shit out.
The moment Spike had sensed Wood’s departure he had sunk down on the cot, burying his face in his hands. After a few moments, he could not stifle the raging emotions tearing at his heart anymore. Sobs began to wrack through his body as his palms became damp with the tears that he could no longer suppress.
Suddenly, he felt himself wrapped in a gentle, comforting embrace. Lifting his bleary gaze to the owner of the two arms tenderly holding him, Spike couldn’t stop his lip from quivering as Buffy looked at him with such compassion and warmth. Burying his face in the crook of her healing neck, Spike allowed the guilt he had been repressing for so long to break free.
All Buffy could do was to soothingly stroke his platinum head and whisper reassuring words in his ear in the hopes that after this purging of emotions, the First would relinquish its hold over Spike.
A/N: Some dialogue taken from Lies My Parents Told Me and Seeing Red.
Big thanx to Darkezza for the superb beta job. Couldn't do it without you Joy!
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