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Master by Aurora
Chapter Nine-Unraveling
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Chapter Nine: Unraveling

The following week had progressed, to Spike’s relief and slight disappointment, without so much as a peep from any of his vamps. However, he did notice a healthy boost in fear emanating from his subjects. Hell, even Damon’s disobedient lot walked on eggshells around him, terrified he’d set Buffy loose on them. The act had worked and now Spike was back where he belonged, at the top with everyone else under his thumb.

As for his wonderful actress, she hadn’t left the room since their little excursion to the Bronze. The past week had passed in a simple routine, similar to the one Spike and Buffy had established before the vampire’s unexpected declaration of love. Spike would leave before dawn, only to return once evening hit, and where once he would have expected sex, this time around all he and Buffy did was talk. Their conversations had begun as barely intrusive discourses, but eventually evolved into meaningful exchanges about one another’s lives. After a couple of days, the duo seemed to have reached a turning point, walking a fine line between what you would normally permit the outside world to know and what you usually kept hidden away inside. That ambiguous boundary was finally crossed one fateful evening when Spike had returned tardier than usual.

“Hey, you’re late,” Buffy commented as she turned her attention away from the television.

“Keepin’ tabs on me now, are we pet?” Spike joked, flopping down beside her after getting out of his infamous leather duster.

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” she smiled, flipping through the channels.

“Know me all too well, luv,” he remarked, enjoying the level of comfort they had finally managed to establish with one another.

“Busy day?” Buffy asked.

“Not really. Same old, same old,” Spike replied.

“You still up for another round of ‘Ask Anything’?”

“‘Ask Anything’? That’s the best name you could come up with for our nightly chats, pet? Little lacking in originality, don’t you think?”

“I think it’s catchy.”

“And I think it sounds like a bad weekday morning game show,” Spike quipped.

“Yeah, well what do you know, anyway? You’re just a big dope.”

“Real mature, luv.”

“Whatever. So who gets to start this time?”

“Went first last night, luv. Guess it’s lady’s choice tonight.”

“Okay, lemme think,” she said, tapping her chin with her index finger. “Oooo, I know. How long have you been head vamp of Sunnydale?” Buffy asked.

“You mean how long have I been Master?” he rephrased, receiving by an affirmative nod from Buffy. “I’d say about three years, give or take.”

“That’s not really long. Was anybody here before you?”

“Not really. When I came to this two-bit town, the vamps here were completely scattered. Definitely lackin’ in any real type of leadership. ‘Probly couldn’t organize a tea party without gettin’ themselves dusted. Was why it was so easy for me to take over this godforsaken Hellmouth,” Spike explained.

“Hellmouth?” Buffy inquired, slightly thrown but not really surprised.

“Has a ring to it, don’t ya think?”

“I guess,” Buffy responded. “So if this place is like vampire central, wouldn’t it need a leader? You can’t be telling me you’re the first one?”

“Well, there was the Master. Patriarch of my line, you know. Set up shop right here in Sunnydale and had a pretty good run. Rumor has it though that the ancient bugger bit the dust a few years back.”


“Technically speakin’ he was my great great grand Sire?”

“And Dru was your Sire Sire, right?”

“Yup,” Spike confirmed unenthusiastically.

“Who was hers?”

“Pfft! A poofter named Angelus,” Spike stated, disgust evident in his words.

“What’s so bad about him?”

“Tragedy really. The man was a legend, a vampire that broke the mold, and one of the Biggest Bads to ever walk out onto the scene. Angelus was my guru, my bleedin’ Yoda.” Spike paused, reflecting on something he thought amusing, a sinister grin plastered on his face. It made Buffy suspect he wasn’t reminiscing about innocent boyhood pranks. Getting back on track, the vampire continued. “Then, he messes with the wrong gypsy, gets cursed with a soul and, as far as I know, is livin’ out the rest of his days feastin’ on an array of vermin in some dank dark alleyway.”

“He killed a gypsy and they put his soul back? Does that mean vampires don’t have souls?” Buffy asked. She knew Spike wasn’t outright saying it but Buffy was getting the impression that Angelus was the type of psychopathic vampire who had wiped out entire European villages in a single night. Strangely, what irked her even more was how Spike seemed to view regaining one’s soul as some sort of nuisance.

“Nope. It flies away when we get turned. Would get in the way if it stuck around.”

“So this Angelus guy, was the Master his Sire?”

“No, a tart named Darla had the privilege of that title. She was the Master’s Childe.”

“I see. Is she still around?”

“Hell if I know,” Spike replied. “What’s with all the questions ‘bout my family tree, pet?”

To be honest, Buffy wasn’t really sure why she wanted to know. Maybe it had been finding all of Spike’s secret possessions. Perhaps it had triggered some buried curiosity in her that only now did she have the opportunity to explore. Buffy wanted to know more about him, try to figure him out, but with the way things were headed, she feared she’d be opening a Pandora’s Box. If she continued and discovered every dirty detailed truth about the vampire who claimed to love her, would she be able to be around him? Would she able to speak to him or even look him in the eye? Part of Buffy knew that discovering everything about Spike was only going to lead to disaster, but another, more inquisitive, side of her couldn’t help it. Buffy just had to know.

“Just curious,” the blond replied. “You said the Master got dusted? What happened?”

“Was this town’s piss poor excuse of a militia that got to him.”

“You mean those street kids?”

“Uh huh. Them and the slayer,” he clarified.

“What’s a slayer?”

“Typical white hat do-gooder type. A chosen warrior for the people and all that rot. The girl’s got enough muscle in her to take on a room full of vampires.”

“Who chooses her?”

“It’s some sort of supernatural lottery system. Girl goes to bed normal, then wakes up the next mornin’ with super powers and some Watcher knockin’ at her door,” Spike explained.

“A Watcher? Her life gets turned upside down and she suddenly has to deal with some creepy guy stalking her?”

“No, pet. It’s nothing like that,” Spike chuckled. “He doesn’t watch her in the sense that he’s peekin’ at her through some window with binoculars to his face. It’s more like he’s her sitter. Minds her and teaches her the slayery ways. ‘Til she kicks it anyway.”

“So, some major mojo picks some random girl, gives her powers to fight vampires, but the all inclusive package has an early expiry date?”

“That ‘bout sums it up.”

“Well that sucks,” Buffy commented.

“Just how things are, luv.”

“So where is she? She killed the Master right? That’s kinda big. Why isn’t she around here anymore?”

“Have to admit, the bint did clean this town up. But you gotta understand pet, she was no different from any of the slayers. In the end some lucky vamp got the better of her.”

“Oh.” Buffy paused. “Was it you?”

“No.” he lied. “She bit the dust way before I even got to this shit hole of a town.”

“So if she’s dead, does that mean some other girl got all choseny?”

“Yup, another fortunate girl picked to endure the burden of the world’s welfare on her shoulders.”

“Sounds crappy. Glad I’m not one.”

“Me, too,” Spike replied without thinking. “I mean, I’m glad you’re not one either. Would certainly present a conflict of interest if you were.”

”Ummm…yeah…so,” Buffy said, trying to steer the conversation to some other less uncomfortable topic. “You never said where the new slayer is.”

“You know the Watcher? Well he works for this Council of Wankers who basically have him and his slayer by a leash. Anyway, supposedly there’s another Hellmouth somewhere out there that’s also in desperate need of a slayer. Watchers posted her there this time ‘round. Figured good old Sunnyhell a lost cause.”

“Spike, why do you stay here? I get the whole leader of a clan thing, but you don’t even seem to like it here,” Buffy asked.

“I used to be real nomadic right after I got turned. Me and Dru, we’d go from town to town. The longest we stayed anywhere was a few days tops. Didn’t want the locals gettin’ too suspicious.” Spike broke off, taking a calming breath before he continued. “We were in Prague a little longer than we usually stayed in any one given place and one night I was stupid enough to leave Dru alone. She got into some trouble and before I knew it, we were bein’ chased down by a bloodthirsty mob. Dru was sickly ever since.”

“She got hurt?”

“Yeah. Had to take care of her. It was harder to travel around after that. Came to these here United States, wandered a bit more ‘til I found a place where I could take care of her and still be the Big Bad.”

“You took over the clan for her?”

“Basically,” Spike replied. “Even discovered how to make her better.”

“Then she left you. That wasn’t really nice,” Buffy remarked.

“Thanks for the sympathy, pet.”

The vampire and the California girl sat in uneasy silence for what seemed like the longest minute ever. Luckily for him, Spike glanced at the TV. “Show’s on pet.”

“Huh? Oh, okay.” Buffy said, grabbing the remote. “Didn’t expect you to be such a Dawson’s Creek fan.”

“Am not. Just watch it ‘cos you do.” Spike responded indignantly.

“Yeah right. I saw you wipe away a tear when Joey had to break things off with Pacey.”

“I did not cry. Even so, felt bad for the poor bloke. He got the short end of the stick; lost the girl and the pillock of a best friend.”

“Well, just in case, I got tissues ready if you need them,” Buffy joked.

“Ha bloody ha.”

Spike, though he wished it weren’t true, had actually enjoyed watching the show. Yet, it wasn’t the riveting plot twists that had made the experience more than just bearable. It was Buffy’s lovely presence and being able to share something with her that was outside of their usual Slave-Master dynamic that always brought him back for more.


“Yeah, pet?”

“When you go all bumpy, does it hurt?” she asked, deciding to ignore the television program for another round of Q and A.

“What’s that?”

“You know, your vamp face?”

“Oh.” He took a moment to consider her question. “No, not really. ‘S more like tingles, pins and needles almost. Why?”

Buffy shrugged. “Always wanted to know. So, do you only put it on when you’re gonna kil…bite somebody?” she asked, quickly rephrasing her words.

“No, not just then. Also do it when I gotta heighten my senses,” he answered.

“So, it’s like a mask?”

Spike shook his head. “The human face is the mask, luv. The ‘vamp face’ as you put it, that’s the first face we show when we wake up after getting’ turned. It’s our true face.”

“Can I see it?” The words had slipped out of her mouth before she had a chance to even think about what she was saying.

“You’ve seen it before,” Spike instantly countered, not liking how Buffy had suddenly developed some weird fascination with his demon side.

“When you…we were…I didn’t really get a good look,” she stated, blushing slightly.

He studied her, noting only genuine interest and mild embarrassment on her face.

“Fine.” Spike caved in, the bones and muscle rearranging as he put on his game face.

Buffy let out an unintentional gasp at the sight of him. She hadn’t seen a vampire that close up since the night she’d been captured. Sure, Spike had bitten her at least twice since then, but his face had always been buried in the crook of her neck. Also at the time, she had been a little too distracted with the wonderful things he was doing to her body to focus on anything else, let alone try and catch a glimpse of his face.

“Can I…?” She left her thought unfinished, raising her hand in indication as to what she wanted to do. Spike nodded and watched as Buffy scooted closer to him. The initial shock of seeing him in this manner had worn off and now only her stubborn curiosity persisted.

She slowly brought her fingertips to his cheek, allowing her warm touch to settle for a few moments on his cool skin. Gradually and lightly drawing her digits up to his brow, Buffy stroked the ridges with her fingers as her thumb traced over the sexy scar that marred his eyebrow. As her hand danced over his distorted forehead, she gazed into his yellow eyes, trying to search for remnants of his other less scary guise. Buffy was about ready to give up until she noticed it. There, behind the animalistic features and in the cat-like amber eyes, were glints of humility and love. She couldn’t help but smile. Buffy didn’t really care what Spike thought, this was not his true face.

The vampire tilted his head, wondering what it was exactly that she had seen in his game face that made her want to smile. It had taken all his energy not to purr like a weak little kitten when she had been touching his face. And now, here she was, grinning at him like a crazed woman. Good thing Spike didn’t read into things, or else he would have thought Buffy was finally falling for him.

Realizing that she had been staring for a good while, Buffy eased away from him. “Uhh, thanks,” she said, somewhat mortified.

“No problem,” he responded, morphing back into his human face.

Buffy gazed at him as he changed, amazed at how easily he could alter his looks in an instant. She hadn’t noticed before, but her heart had been racing ever since the moment she had asked Spike to vamp out. Only now that he had reverted back to his normal appearance, did the rapid thumping in her chest finally calm down. Her body was obviously trying to tell her something. Buffy should be afraid of Spike’s vampire appearance. It was a clear indication of danger and literally the last face any of his victims ever saw. The fact that Spike had victims was an issue in of itself where Buffy was concerned. Even with being witness to the barest component of Spike’s demon nature, namely his other face; she still refused to fully acknowledge what he really was. Buffy knew it had to stop, or else her denial was going to get her killed.

Spike watched Buffy watching him. He knew that the blurred line they had been walking the past few days hadn’t just been crossed, it had been completely wiped out.


“Look, pet, I think I’ve had enough for tonight. Let’s just watch the telly, alright?”

“Just one more question. I promise,” she pleaded.

“God, help me. Okay, what other query is rattlin’ around in that pretty blond head of yours?” he pushed.

“What exactly were you doing right before you came here?”

“So you are keepin’ tabs,” Spike replied, trying to change the subject.

“What were you doing?” she asked again, ignoring his quip.

“I was out,” he dodged.

“Out doing what?”

“Jokin’ aside pet, what are you, my mother?” Spike grumbled, getting up off of the couch.

“Spike, what do you do everyday before you come and see me?” Buffy was forcing the issue, wanting him to admit what she already suspected.

“I already told you. Watch the clan, do leaderish things. Nothing I haven’t done since you’ve arrived.”

“You killed someone today didn’t you?” Buffy said quietly.

“Where the bloody hell did this come from?”

“Just say it.”

“Fine. Yeah, I fed today, which usually results in someone dyin’,” Spike shouted at her, towering above her sitting form. “But I’m a vampire. Or did you forget that?”

“Guess I did,” Buffy answered. She made sure her gaze was in direct line with his. “But trust me Spike; I won’t be making that mistake again.”

Buffy suddenly rose from her seat and marched toward the bed, needing to get away from him. “Buffy wait,” Spike called out, grabbing her arm.

Turning her head back, she gave him an angry scowl. “Let go of me Spike.”

Buffy felt Spike’s grip loosen, allowing her to walk away, but before she could get far he began to speak. “You knew what I was, what I am. Why the sudden change of heart, luv?”

Buffy heard the hurt in his voice. She knew she was being hot and cold with him, but she couldn’t go on pretending Spike was just another Average Joe. Turning to face him, she gave an honest answer. “I’ve been kidding myself Spike. It’s hard to hate you when you’re the only person I can see. It was easier for me to just blind myself to the fact that you’re a vampire because if I didn’t I’d have no one.”

Spike saw the tear trickle down her cheek. He hated that he made her cry. He was always making her cry. “Luv…”

“No. Spike, nothing you can say is going to justify what you did. You’ll always be a cold blooded killer.”

“What do you want me to do? I need blood,” Spike responded, getting frustrated with the girl.

“Well, does it have to be human? Couldn’t it be like cow or pig?”

“I’m not baggin’ it. I worked too hard to get this clan back in order to just piss it all away by buyin’ pig’s blood,” Spike vented.

“There has to be something. Isn’t there anything else?”

“No, pet. Gotta hunt, gotta feed.”

“You’re not even trying. Spike, how could you ever expect anything to come from us if I can’t even look you in the face? I can’t be around you knowing you’ve just killed someone. How could you ever expect me to feel anything for you when you murder people without any remorse?”

“So what, you want me to stop?”

Buffy wiped her face with the back of her hand. “You just said you couldn’t.”

“Then what the bloody hell do you want me to do?”

Taking a deep breath, steadying her gaze with his and straightening her back so that she stood tall, Buffy offered her suggestion. “Use me.”


“Drink from me everyday, not enough to hurt me but enough to quench whatever hunger you have.”

“Have you gone completely carrot-top? I won’t do it. How could you possibly ask me to do that?”

“I’d rather lose a little blood than lose a piece of my soul every time you walk out that door.”

“No. I won’t. Won’t risk hurtin’ you Buffy.”

“You’ll hurt me more if you don’t.”

“It’s not just the blood, pet. There’s the hunt, the need for violence. If you deprive a vampire of that, it can be dangerous,” Spike commented.

“Then kill other vamps, or chase after rapists and murderers. I don’t know. I don’t care. Just stop killing innocent people.”

“You sure you know what you’re gettin’ yourself into?” he asked, slowly making his way toward her.


“Good to know you’ve thought this through.”

“Just promise me, Spike,” she pleaded, her eyes brimming again with tears.

“Alright, pet,” Spike conceded. Buffy had made herself perfectly clear. If he ever wanted any kind of relationship with her, he needed to stop killing. Just because he lived in a world without guilt, didn’t mean she did.

Buffy nodded and turned to go to bed. Spike observed as she slipped beneath the covers, taking the hint that it was probably time for him to leave. He headed towards the couch to grab his duster but before he could slip on the leather Buffy asked one last question.

“Where do you sleep?”

“Thought we we’re done with the third degree, luv.”

“It’s just that I never see you sleep,” Buffy commented, raising her head from her pillow.

“Sleep in another room, pet. Give you your privacy,” he replied.

Buffy drew her finger along bed’s comforter, eyes averted from Spike’s. “You can stay here, ya know. Still get’s kinda lonely.”

Spike nodded, resisting the urge to smile. She still wanted him around. “I’ll just watch some telly pet. Let you get to your sleep.”

“’Kay. Night, Spike,” Buffy said, snuggling into her blankets, feeling better now that she had Spike’s promise to ease her guilt.

“Night, luv.” The vampire glanced one last time at his sleeping beauty before he settled himself on the couch. Dawn would soon break, so sleep wasn’t that far off for him either. But until the sun peaked above the horizon, he would be dwelling on the fact that he’d just promised the woman he loved to do something completely against his nature. A small thing of a girl had managed to get a Master vampire to stop killing. Spike always knew he would do anything for the one he loved; he just never realized how much of love’s bitch he actually was.
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