Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all characters belonging to the show are not of my creation. I take no credit for them, and unfortunately I don’t keep them with collars and leashes to lead them around on parade.
Author’s Notes: ‘The Worst Betrayal’ has been nominated at the Shadows and Dust Fanfiction Awards!!! ^_^ Its been nominated for Best Angst, Best Original Character (for Danaia), Best Plot, Best Buffy/Spike Fiction, and Best Dark Fiction. Thank you thank you thank you!
Buffy wasn’t sure how long she had been kneeling and screaming. Her body shook with each scream, and her throat felt hoarse and raw. She again tried to crawl towards the door, but only fell forward when her arms gave way beneath her. Her screams were becoming sobs, and she barely noticed when warm, comforting arms wrapped around her.
She immediately began to fight when she was pulled up and against a warm, male body. Her blows were weaker than they should have been, pummeling hard against the chest and shoulders of the one trying to offer her comfort.
“Buff-ow! Buffy, stop!” Xander’s voice protested the abuse.
Still, she kept hitting, each blow becoming weaker. “It’s my fault!” she shouted. “I did this to him…” Her blows weakened until they were merely hard slaps as a sob wracked her body. “He’s here because of me!”
When she’d stopped fighting him, and Xander was sure he didn’t have a broken rib or two, he pulled his friend more firmly into his embrace. He held her tightly, confused by the sobs that caused her body to tremble. It was only after she’d rested her head against his shoulder that he dared to say anything.
“Buffy…what’s going on? What’s wrong?”
Buffy swallowed hard, her tears soaking into her friend’s shirt. “Spike…it’s Spike…it’s my fault he’s here…”
“No way!” Xander shook his head. “Buffy, whatever trouble Captain Pero…whatever trouble Spike got himself into, it isn’t your fault.”
She shook her head, forcing back another sob. “It’s because of me…I was there, with him right before…” She buried her head against his shirt. “I just left him…Xander, he was injured, and I just left him…”
“He’s a vampire, he can take care of himself…”
“I’m the one that injured him, Xander.” Her confession was barely audible, her face pressed up against his shoulder, as if to hide from the truth. “I beat him…and then I just left him there…” She shook her head. “He couldn’t even get up…”
“Well…” He looked down at her in confusion. “…what did he do?”
Another sob was muffled against his shoulder. “Nothing…I mean, he did…he did *something*…but nothing to deserve that…and sure as hell nothing to deserve this!”
“Ok, ok…” He stroked Buffy’s hair softly, then her back, rubbing it in soothing circles. He was trying to keep her calm, so he wouldn’t have to hear her sobbing her heart out over a vampire’s fate. “Ok, Buff, look…Spike…he’s been your stalker for years now, right? Whatever you might have done…I’m pretty sure it wasn’t completely uncalled for. He’s had this weird obsession over you, following you around…if you did something to discourage him, no one can blame you.”
Buffy closed her eyes, a wave of self-disgust washing over her. She lay silently in Xander’s arms for a moment longer, trying to work up her courage. “Xander…there’s something…” She swallowed hard. “When all this is done…when we’re finished here, and we get back to Sunnydale…there’s something I need to tell you. I need to tell all of you…”
Xander stared down at the blonde Slayer, who still hadn’t met his gaze. “Why do I get the strange feeling that I’m really not going to like whatever you’re going to say?”
She shook her head. “Its…” Her eyes widened suddenly, and she pulled back with a sharp jerk. “Xander…what are you doing here? You were supposed to be watching Danaia… please, PLEASE tell me you didn’t leave her alone with him…”
The carpenter shook his head, raising both hands in a peaceful gesture. “No, of course not!” He said. “She went to go get Spike some blood. I found the key to the office, and I locked it behind me before I came looking for you. It’s locked, Buffy. She can’t get in until we get there.”
Danaia struggled to keep hold of the containers of blood, and bags of food and supplies in her arms. She shifted everything to support it with one arm and hip while she attempted to open the office door...only to find it locked. She frowned for a moment, then rolled her eyes before rummaging through a pocket and pulling out her late husband’s key. She shoved it into the rusty lock and wrenched it to the side, shoving the door open.
Once inside, she dropped the food for herself and the humans by the door. The demon then glanced towards the cage before taking a look around the office, then right outside it.
She set down the rest of the supplies, all but one small bottle of blood, and a glass. She pushed back her hood, freeing her long silver hair to fall haphazardly down her shoulders.
The vampire was alone.
He was locked into the cell used for evaluations. In his exhaustion, he had fallen asleep, curled defensively on his side.
Danaia took a moment to study him as she moved slowly closer. His smooth, pale skin was a tempting sight. His long dark hair was tangled, and reached all the way down to his lower back. His features were pleasing to the eye, and despite his curled up position, she could tell that his size was certainly enough to please a female…
Her hands fiddled with the lock on the door. The key was on the desk, and she snatched it up and unlocked the cell.
As soon as the sound of the cell being unlocked was heard, Spike’s eyes snapped open. He scrambled up immediately, trying to back even further into the wall. When it was obvious that escape was impossible, he got on his hands and knees, head bowed and eyes cast to the ground.
She stepped inside and closed the cell door behind her. She studied him once again, watching his body tremble with the weakness of blood loss. When she was close enough, she brushed her fingertips across his back, immediately noticing his slight flinch away from her touch.
Smirking, she took a seat calmly in front of him. “Look at me, Vampire.” She spoke in a firm, commanding tone.
Spike hesitated, swallowing hard before reluctantly raising his gaze. His eyes lingered on her face, her lips, cheeks, and the green scales…before he forced himself to meet her gaze.
“Do you know me?”
Confusion crossed his face for a moment, before he gave a small shake of his head.
“No, of course not…” Danaia sat back casually. “But you do know my sister…in fact, the two of you shared a Master…the last Master you killed, I believe…”
There was a flash of fear and guilt in his gaze, before he quickly shook his head.
“Do not play your ‘innocent’ games with me!” Danaia’s tone was harsh. “I had no love for the bastard, and I’m certainly not one to mourn him. I can think of many reasons why you might have done it, but I honestly do not care. What I want to know, is if you know where or to whom they would have sold my sister after your Master’s demise.”
His gaze dropped from hers, back to the floor. There seemed to be a flicker of something harder in his eyes for a moment. His jaw set, and there was a look of almost…defiance?
Danaia grabbed his chin, forcing his gaze back to hers. “A simple nod or shake of your head would suffice…do you, or do you not know who Elaise was sold to?”
When he still had no answered, the demon lost her temper. She grabbed him firmly by the throat and lifted, shoving him back. He fell from his knees and hit the ground on his back, the sudden movement jarring a few ribs that were already cracked.
His training dictated that he not fight back, so he forced himself not to move a muscle, even as her fingers squeezed hard around his throat again. He stared straight up towards the ceiling, not daring to meet her angry gaze.
There was a sorrow in his eyes that took Danaia by surprise. She stopped long enough to wonder at his motives for not answering. Finally, she placed a hand under his head, her fingers moving through the tangled hair, and raised it from the ground, making sure that he at least saw her, even if he wouldn’t look her directly in the eye.
Danaia raised her hand directly in her line of vision, then began to move her fingers in quick motions, symbols that made a silent language that only slaves knew.
Spike’s eyes immediately focused on her hand, then snapped back to her eyes. He tilted his head, looking slightly bewildered as he studied her. When his gaze returned to her hand, he just managed to catch her question.
‘Please, tell me. Who has Elaise? Where is my sister?’
He took a moment longer to study her, and Danaia was struck by just how piercing the slave’s gaze was.
At last, he raised a hand, his fingers moving slowly to spell out the name. ‘Kondosk. Said he’d like to make her his Little Princess.’
She sat back, closing her eyes and nodding her thanks. She gently laid his head back down, composing herself before speaking again. “I have something for you.”
Danaia poured some of the blood into a very small glass, then set it aside. She looked down at the vampire, who was still lying flat on his back, now watching her cautiously.
“I’m going to take away the pain,” she told him.
His eyes widened a bit, and he swallowed, nodding desperately.
“I cannot kill you,” she clarified. “I’m not entirely sure what these humans have planned for you…but I can make the pain less, until the end comes.”
She ground up a fragrant herb in her hand, waiting until it was crumbled into tiny pieces before sprinkling it into the small glass of blood. She picked up the glass and swirled it, waiting until most of the herb had disappeared into it. Danaia then placed a hand under Spike’s head, raising it off the ground and pressing the glass to his parched lips.
He drank quickly, not giving her the chance to take back her kindness. His body shuddered, and he nearly sobbed in relief as the small amount of blood coursed through his system, accompanied by the potent drug inside it.
After setting the glass down, Danaia cradled the vampire’s head in her lap. She brushed away some of the dark hair, simply watching over him as the drug began to take affect. He met her gaze once again, his eyes filled with a gratitude he couldn’t speak. Tears filled his eyes even as he tried to blink them away stubbornly. Two fell, but the demon brushed them gently away.
Spike’s eyes closed, the tension left his body, and he slipped into the first real sleep he’d been allowed in far too long.
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