A Little Compassion by Alexannah
1. Bloody Humans! by Alexannah
2. Reading Material by Alexannah
Bloody Humans! by Alexannah
As I’m British, I’m going to be writing in British English, except for dialogue when I will keep to the character’s speech patterns. Just thought I’d warn you now so I don’t get accused of inconsistency.
I don’t know Latin, I use an online translator and then my best judgement (which is really just guesswork). So the illness name might be completely off. It’s supposed to translate as “vampire killer”.
Chapter One: Bloody Humans!
Despite the very uncomfortable vibrations of the train, Spike had somehow fallen asleep, but awoke just as it pulled into Sunnydale Station. He stood up, swayed a little, took a swig of whiskey and meandered towards the door, bumping into several seats on the way. He managed to disembark from the train with little more than a bump on the head from where he had fallen down the step, earning himself funny looks from the few people who were actually around that time of night.
“What’re you lookin’ at?” he muttered. “Bloody nosy humans.”
Spike left the platform, intending to find a payphone. He moved slowly and hesitantly, unlike his usual confident stride, one hand on the wall for support. Every now and then, he paused and wiped his forehead with the back of his hand or took another swig of whiskey. When he finally found a phone, he lifted the receiver, rummaged in his pocket for a quarter, and stopped.
“Damn,” he muttered. He had never had to phone the Slayer before and had no idea what her number was. He pulled out a fistful of change and a blotchy pen and called Information.
It took over half an hour for Spike to call every Summers listed in Sunnydale. Most he had to try several times because the phone stopped ringing before the person the other end could wake up enough to answer it. He was down to his last few coins when, at last, a familiar voice answered.
Spike nearly fainted with relief at the sound of Joyce’s voice. “Mrs. Summers? It’s Spike.”
“Oh! Er, hello, Spike. How are you?”
“I’m sorry, Mrs. S, I can’t chat. I’ve only got a bit of money left and I need to talk to Buffy.”
“She’s not here. Is it an emergency?”
Spike closed his eyes and slid down the wall. After all that and she wasn’t even bloody there. Damn inconsiderate.
“Because if it is,” Joyce continued, “I can give you her college number.”
“Hold on a moment.” There was a rustling sound, and Spike nearly broke the biro in two in his impatience. “Here it is.” Joyce read it out and Spike scribbled it down. “Good luck.”
“Thanks, Mrs. S – Sorry for waking you up.”
“That’s alright, Spike. You should drop by sometime. I keep those little marshmallows stocked especially for you.”
Spike smiled. Good old Joyce. The only human he actually liked. If it wasn’t for the fact that she wouldn’t have a clue what to do about them, he would still be on the phone to her pouring out his troubles, instead of getting ready to call her daughter.
It was late when Buffy got in. Parker had taken her for a spin in his car, and they had got so engrossed in each other that the sun had set without either of them realising. Willow was in Oz’s room, so Buffy didn’t have to worry about disturbing her. She undressed, collapsed into bed and was just drifting off to sleep a while later when the phone rang.
“That better not be Giles with another apocalypse,” she muttered to herself, sitting up and reaching for the receiver. “Hello?”
There was a pause at the other end. “Slayer?”
She knew that voice. “Spike? What –”
“Save the niceties,” he cut over her. “I need to see you. Alone. No weapons, none of your bloody groupies.”
“And I should think ‘This is not a trap’ why?”
He paused again. “Because I need your help.”
Buffy sat up. “Which of my friends are you holding hostage this time?”
“None, okay? Look, I don’t have time for this. I’m desperate. I don’t have anyone else to turn to.” He paused again. Buffy thought he sounded strange. “I’m at Sunnydale Station. I’m alone. Can you meet me there?”
Buffy rubbed her eyes, thinking. “Fine. Who needs sleep anyway.” She replaced the phone rather harder than was needed, threw back her covers and reached for her clothes. She threw a pink sweatshirt on over her pyjamas, slipped on her trainers and left the dorm on the way to Parker’s.
His car keys were on his desk in plain sight. Buffy took them and left his room quietly.
“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” she muttered to herself. Outside, it was raining. The forecast had predicted heavy rain all night, with flooding in some areas. Buffy found Parker’s car, unlocked it, sat behind the wheel and started the engine.
Just a little dent. She could pay Parker for the damage. Buffy changed the gear out of reverse and rolled forwards, steering carefully round the other cars towards the exit and the road.
As she drove, Buffy wondered what Spike wanted. Contrary to what he had asked of her, she was armed with a stake, because there was no way on earth she was meeting up with him without one. His tone, though, was different from normal. Less I-want-to-kill-you, more please-help-me.
The rain was almost clouding the windscreen. Buffy turned the radio on and wound the windows down slightly to wake herself up. A few near misses later, she turned into the station car park, stopped the engine, wished briefly she had brought a coat and ran for cover.
The place was almost deserted. Buffy spotted a woman in the ticket office and approached her.
“Hi,” she said, “I’m looking for someone, have you seen him? Tall, long black coat, blonde, English accent?”
The woman barely looked up, just pointed in a direction behind Buffy. “Been there over half an hour.”
“Thanks.” Buffy paused. “He didn’t have anyone with him, did he?”
It looked like Spike had kept his half of the deal so far. However, Buffy kept one hand on her stake just in case. She walked in the direction the woman had pointed, stopping when she saw him by the payphone.
Spike looked a mess. He seemed to be asleep, sprawled in the corner. An empty whiskey bottle lay on the ground beside him. His coat was definitely shabbier than when she had last seen him, and his hair was unkempt, the roots starting to grow out. Buffy hesitated.
She moved forwards slowly. “Spike?” she said again. He stirred a little, but didn’t wake. Buffy stopped about half a foot away and poked him with her foot. “Spike, wake up.”
“I thought you said you wanted my help?”
Spike opened one eye. “Slayer, that you?”
“Yes, it’s me. Wake up. Thought vampires were supposed to be nocturnal?”
He shot her a glare and started getting slowly to his feet. “Long trip.”
“Uh-huh. Would you care to enlighten me why you woke me up in the middle of the night, in the pouring rain, to come and meet you here?”
Spike didn’t answer straight away. He straightened up, swayed, and moved and sat down on the nearest bench. Finally, he said quietly, “I need you to help me find something.”
“Something … like, something you lost? … A spell? What?”
He shook his head. “Don’ know what it is. Spell, potion, something …”
“Why would I help you? How does helping you help me?” Buffy demanded.
“It doesn’t.” Spike met her eyes. “But I don’ have anyone else to ask and I can’t do it on my own.”
“So, back to my question, why should I help you?”
He closed his eyes for a moment. When he spoke, he sounded as if it were through gritted teeth.
“Please. I’ll do anything. I’m … begging for your help.”
Buffy stared at him. “I don’t understand.”
He swallowed. “I’m sick, alright? … I’m dying. I don’t know what the cure is, only that there is one. I don’t want to die,” he added, quieter.
There was a long silence while Buffy slowly processed the information.
“How do I know this isn’t a trick?” she said finally.
Spike looked insulted. “You think I would seek you out and beg without being desperate?”
“Okay, good point.” Buffy paused. “Right, let’s step into Dreamland for a moment and suppose I help you find a cure for this - what’s wrong with you?”
“It’s called Caedo Lamia.”
“Caedo Lamia, and you get better. Completely back to your normal self. Your normal, killer self. Why would I do that?”
Spike was quiet for a moment before replying. “I don’t know. I suppose I was relying on that compassion you humans are supposed to have.”
“I have compassion, Spike. Just not for vampires as a rule.”
“That’s funny, you seemed to be full of it when it came to An -”
Buffy punched him in the face before he could even finish his sentence. “Let’s get one thing straight, mister. If you want me to help you, mentioning Angel is the best way to make it not happen.”
“Noted. I’ll be good,” Spike muttered, rubbing his nose. “Look, I don’t care what happens afterwards. I’ll do anything you want. Just help me. Please.”
“Anything?” Buffy raised an eyebrow.
For a moment Buffy just stared at him. Finally she said, “I haven’t made up my mind either way yet. I need time. But the sun will be up in a few hours, so I’d better get you out of here. Can you walk?”
As she had spoken, hope had started to appear on Spike’s face. “Yeah, just.”
Buffy grasped his arm and helped him to his feet. Once up, he kept a hand on the wall for support. “The car’s outside.”
“Well, obviously,” he muttered. Buffy resisted the strong urge to kick him.
It was still pouring hard. Buffy reluctantly put his arm round her shoulders and hurried him forwards. Once by Parker’s car, she dropped his arm quickly. “Get in.”
He obeyed, and she got in the driver’s seat hurriedly, shivering. He noticed.
She glared at him. “Aren’t you?”
He shrugged. “Vampire, remember.”
“Of course,” she muttered, turning the keys. “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding!” The engine refused to start.
“Hit the dashboard,” Spike said helpfully.
“How is that supposed to help?”
“Well, hitting something makes me feel better when things go wrong.”
“Of course it does; you’re evil.” Buffy closed her eyes and counted to ten under her breath. When she reached ten, she turned the key again and the engine kicked in.
“Ah-ha!” She shot Spike a triumphant look. He just shrugged at her, closed his eyes and leaned back in his seat. He didn’t move for a minute or two, then opened one eye. Buffy was struggling with the gearstick.
“Do you even know how to drive?”
She glared at him again. “I know how to drive. Just don’t practise much.” She put the car in the right gear and started pulling out of the space, just as there was a clap of thunder. She shivered again. Her clothes and pyjamas were completely soaked through.
Buffy jumped a mile when something soft suddenly fell around her shoulders and she nearly ran into a parking ticket machine. “What the -” She stopped, realising that Spike had somehow removed his coat and draped it over her. “What did you do that for?”
“You said you were cold.” Spike raised an eyebrow. “I can always take it back if you would prefer -”
“No,” Buffy said quickly. “I just meant – why?”
He shrugged. “I brought up your ex, I lend you my coat. Call it quits.”
Buffy gave him a funny look, but didn’t protest. The coat was much warmer than her sodden clothes.
For about ten minutes the car was completely silent. Spike looked as though he was asleep, although Buffy was pretty sure he was just resting his eyes. Her theory was proven when he suddenly announced, “I’m bored. How far away is … Where exactly are you taking me?”
Buffy had been thinking about this. “You’re going to stay at my mom’s place till I can figure out what to do with you.”
“Oh.” He sounded surprised.
“It’s just … I was expecting you to just dump me in the nearest mausoleum or something.”
“Just because you’re going to be in my house does not mean you’re a guest,” Buffy said firmly.
“I wouldn’t dare think otherwise.” Spike took his cigarette lighter out of his pocket and began playing with it. “So how far away is that?”
“Put that thing away. It’s about half an hour. Find a way to entertain yourself.”
Spike sighed, replaced the lighter, paused, and started rifling through the glove compartment. “Ooh, CDs. Mind if I put some music on?”
“If it shuts you up, please go right ahead.”
He flipped through them. “You like Queen?”
“It’s my boyfriend’s car. Those are his CDs.”
“He has good taste.” Catching her eye, he said quickly, “Musical taste, I mean.”
“Out of curiosity,” Buffy said as Spike perused the track listing, “how did you get my number?”
“Your mum gave it to me.”
“My mom?” Buffy narrowly missed a tree.
“Don’t worry pet, I like your mum. I wouldn’t bite her. Besides, even I’d be pushed to bite someone over the phone.”
Buffy shot him a glare. “Just so we’re clear, when I get you back to my place you’re getting chained in the basement. I’m not taking any chances.”
“If it makes you sleep better.”
To Be Continued ...
Reading Material by Alexannah
Sorry this took a long time, my beta returned the chapters to me a while ago but I've only just got around to going through them. *guilty grin* Next update will be sooner, and I'm also starting a couple more stories soon and updating Misfits.
Chapter Two: Reading Material
Spike inserted the Queen CD and started playing with the volume. As the first few bars of the first track began, he replaced the box, dislodging what looked like a personal organiser.
“Hey, reading material. I like this guy.”
“Spike! Put that back!”
“If he wanted to keep it private he shouldn’t leave it lying about where anyone can just –”
A piece of paper fell out of the organiser. Spike took one look at it and raised his eyebrows. “Dated this guy long, have you?”
“His name is Parker and it’s none of your business.”
Spike didn’t reply for a moment, reading the paper. “Actually, I think it is my business. I don’t want a depressed, heartbroken Slayer on my hands. You won’t be able to focus on helping me.”
“What are you talking about?”
Spike dropped the paper and rifled through the organiser. Buffy tried not to look, knowing that taking her eyes off the road would be a very bad idea. “Bloody hell, Parker gets around. Hey, you’re marked down for tomorrow.”
“What? Are you sure? We don’t have anything arranged for tomorrow -”
“It’s the fourteenth today, isn’t it? You’re down for the fifteenth. It just says ‘Buffy’.” Spike flipped a couple of weeks back. “And there’s a Jemima ticked off. And -” he went further back “Alice, Kate, Emily – Barely a fortnight between them. Wow, what a life.”
It was extremely lucky that there was no one coming either way, that that particular stretch of road was relatively dry due to the overhanging trees, and that there were no bends or obstacles, as Buffy’s resolve ran out. She applied the brakes hard and suddenly. Spike, not having a seatbelt on, nearly went through the windscreen. “Bloody hell, woman!”
“Give me that.” Buffy snatched the organiser once the car was at a standstill.
It was just as Spike had said. Buffy thumbed through the entire diary, while Spike rummaged in the glove compartment again. It was filled with girls’ names. Flipping forward two weeks from her entry, her mouth fell open as she saw ‘Willow’ written clearly in the middle of the week.
For a few moments she just sat there staring. It had to be a mistake. But the handwriting was distinctively Parker’s.
Of all the -
“Er … Buffy?”
Buffy barely registered Spike’s use of her actual name. “What?”
“You might want to see this other stuff.”
The piece of paper that had fallen out of the organiser was a list of students that Parker had obviously printed, some of the girls highlighted. The list was annotated, with comments such as ‘Good for a second time’ or ‘Too clingy’. His wallet was in the glove compartment as well, and hidden in one of the pockets was a photo of Buffy – or, to be more precise, Buffy’s head attached to a porn picture cut from a magazine.
The low-down, disgusting, using pervert!
Buffy noticed Spike pocket the thirty dollars cash that were in the wallet, and didn’t bother telling him off. She herself felt like committing some sort of violent act. Instead, she dropped Parker’s possessions on the floor, grasped the steering-wheel firmly and pressed hard on the accelerator.
Spike swore again as he was thrown backwards in his seat. “Do you have a death wish or something? I thought I was a dangerous driver.” He paused. Buffy was staring straight ahead, her knuckles white on the wheel. The needle of the speedometer was moving steadily up. A bend was approaching.
“For goodness’ sake Slayer, slow down! You’re no use dead.” The bend was getting nearer. Spike pushed Buffy roughly into the car door and slammed on the brakes himself.
“Ouch!” Buffy punched him in the face. Spike ducked a second blow, rubbing his nose.
“Feel better?” he enquired.
If looks could kill, Spike would have been dust. “Just put that stuff back. And shut up.”
As Spike replaced the organiser and wallet, Buffy closed her eyes and took several deep breaths. Men. Finally she opened them, and her heart sank. “Oh, crap.”
Buffy reluctantly wound down the window as the police officer approached. “Can I see your licence, Ma’am?”
“It’s three AM and I’m in my pyjamas,” Buffy exploded. “Do I look like I have my damn licence?”
“Sorry, Officer,” Spike said quickly. “She’s just pissed off because she just found out her boyfriend is a user.”
“Oh, thanks, Spike,” Buffy muttered sarcastically.
“Have you been drinking?”
“She hasn’t, it’s just me,” Spike insisted.
“Still, if you can’t show me a licence, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to come with -”
As he spoke, Spike got out of the car and walked around. Buffy heard a scuffle followed by eerie silence, and he got back in calmly.
“What did you do?”
“Relax, I didn’t kill him.” A glint in appeared in his eyes as he glanced back. “Tempting though, I haven’t eaten in a while.”
“I’m calling an ambulance,” Buffy muttered, pulling out her phone. Spike put a hand on hers as she started dialling.
“Use his phone. You can’t be traced then.”
Buffy hesitated. “Oh. Good idea.”
A few minutes later, Buffy started the car again. Spike turned the music up and she tried to concentrate on the words, to avoid thinking about Parker or the fact that they had left an unconscious police officer behind or that the person singing along to the music was a vampire she was supposed to decide whether to help or kill.
“Spike, either sing in tune or don’t sing at all,” she finally snapped. He glared at her, but stopped.
After a few moments, Spike looked back at her. He had been staring at her for at least a minute before Buffy said impatiently, “What?”
“Nice pyjamas, Slayer.”
She had forgotten she was only wearing a sweatshirt over her yummy sushi pyjamas. Still, Spike probably wasn’t going to go and tell the entire demon world what she wore at night. He would most likely never admit he had gone to her for help.
“So,” she broke the silence again. “Tell me about this … Cado Lamb.”
Spike sighed. “I don’ really know how it works. I just know it’s lethal.” He glanced at her. “And bloody painful.”
“Really?” Buffy said mildly. “Any more information would be helpful.”
“I think it started as a curse. Only it’s an illness – like a plague.”
“Is it contagious?” Buffy asked warily.
“Highly.” Spike saw her expression. “To vampires. You’re human, you’re safe.”
“Good to know.”
“And I think demons can catch a different type … So, basically, one demon gets it, and the rest push them away to avoid getting it too.” His voice turned bitter. “Even Dru.”
Buffy wasn’t sure how to respond to that and silence fell. No wonder Spike had come to her for help. No demon would go near him. She felt a stab of pity for him.
It dissipated a moment later when he, obviously trying to change the subject, said, “What are you going to do about this boyfriend of yours then?”
“I – None of your business!” Buffy had momentarily forgotten about Parker and resented Spike for reminding her. “Break up with him, I suppose.”
“That’s it?” Spike raised his eyebrows.
“Well, what would you suggest?” Buffy asked, before suddenly wishing she hadn’t.
“Oh, I don’t know … something creative.” Spike ran a finger over the dashboard thoughtfully. “It’s a nice car. You could drive it into a lamp-post.”
“Now, see, this is what separates me from your type,” Buffy said firmly. “I’m not going to deliberately damage Parker’s car, no matter how much he deserves it. It’s not right. It’s not up to me to decide.”
Spike shrugged. “Fine. I’m sure he’ll get the message and learn his lesson if you just talk to him. Because guys like that just love to listen.”
She ignored his sarcasm and let out a sigh of relief when she saw a familiar sign pointing them towards home. “We’re nearly there.”
The atmosphere was awkward, and Buffy kept her eyes firmly on the road. What he’d said about teaching Parker a lesson actually made some sense, but she was determined not to let him know she thought that. Neither of them spoke until, at last, Buffy pulled up in front of her mother’s house.
It was completely dark. Joyce was obviously asleep. Buffy went to check her pockets for her keys and remembered she was in her pyjamas. “Damn!”
“You’re joking,” Spike said flatly.
There was no way she was driving all the way back to college with Spike in tow to get her keys. And she didn’t want to wake her mother. Buffy was deliberating when Spike solved the problem for her by breaking the lock.
“Spike! You’re paying for that!” she hissed furiously.
“What? I’m tired, and I didn’ want to wake your mum.”
“How considerate,” Buffy muttered. “Just go in.”
Spike was already inside, having been invited before. Buffy told him to be quiet and closed the door behind her. She would have to get him to wedge it shut behind her with something when she left. She paused. That would be tricky, as she had planned to chain him in the basement. She would have to rethink that one.
“Go down there. I’ll be down in a minute,” she whispered, directing him towards the basement. He opened the door and started down the stairs. Buffy wedged the back door shut from the inside, and fetched the spare front door key so she could leave once she had sorted Spike out. Then, thinking that she ought to give him something other than a cold floor to lie on, removed the cushions from the sofa and a spare blanket from the cupboard and ventured downstairs.
To her surprise, Spike was already in the shackles. He looked up and tossed her the key. “You took your time.”
“Do you want these or not?” She showed him his ‘bedding’.
“Yes,” he said quickly, before adding, “Please.”
A few minutes later, Spike was falling asleep in the makeshift bed. It still didn’t look particularly comfortable to Buffy, but he didn’t seem to mind the manacles too much. He just seemed grateful she hadn’t staked him the moment she saw him.
Buffy left him to it, returned upstairs and wrote a note to her mother.
Hi, Mom -
Spike asked me for help last night. He’s in the basement. DO NOT unchain him, or go within biting distance. He says he wouldn’t bite you anyway because he likes you, but I’m not taking any chances. He’ll probably sleep all day anyway. I’ve got classes in the morning so I have to go but I’ll drop by later. If I decide to help him, I’ll stop at the butcher’s on the way back.
PS: Spike was the one who broke the lock. I’ve told him he’s going to pay for a new one.
Buffy was almost falling asleep by the time she arrived back at college. There was a ditch running alongside the car park, and it was filled with rainwater. Buffy paused after turning the engine off, remembering what Spike had said.
Oh, to hell with it.
Buffy turned the key again, and manoeuvred the car right by the ditch. She gathered up the organiser and other bits and pieces, noticed that the Queen CD was missing – probably in the same place as Parker’s cash – and turned off the car engine, but left the brakes off.
There was something very satisfying about pushing his car into the water. It was almost up to the windows. Suddenly feeling a lot better, Buffy returned to her room.
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