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Prequel to my Holiday Fic, (Not Quite) Home for the Holidays.
“Where are you going Pookie Bear?”
“Out.” Spike grimaced, he hated that stupid nickname almost as much as he loathed the girl. Just once he wished that the sodding idiot would simply let him alone, but he knew it was futile. Without looking, he could see Harmony sulking on the bed.
“When are you going to be back?” she whined. God, her voice could grate nails.
He made the mistake of actually looking at her then. Hoping to stare her into silence, instead he caught a glimpse of her arranged artfully on the bed, trying to convince him to stay just a little bit longer. Spike scowled at her.
Unrelenting, she moved her hands over her body, “It’s just that I get so lonely for you sometimes. And I don’t know where you go or what you do when you’re not here with me. Come back to bed, Blondie Bear.”
Sodding hell, the chit was going to annoy him to death. It was worse than having a flock of minions to take care of. Harmony expected things of him. Demanded to be kept informed of his comings and goings, as if they were high school sweethearts.
If he didn’t know that he was damned lucky to have anyone…that nobody else could tolerate him in the half-eviscerated state he was now… he would have had half a mind to simply stake her. Again. Only this time so that it took.
It was one of his recurring fantasies, right alongside the one where he finally got to sink his fangs into that Slayer bitch and drain her dry. He didn’t understand why he hadn’t been happy to let bloody Dracula take care of his Slayer problem for him. Course it wasn’t like he had much dealings with the Slayer anymore anyway. Once in a blue moon she came by asking for his help, but most of the time it was like he didn’t even exist.
Not that he cared. He was happy that the Slayer stayed well away from him. Happy, damn it! Whenever he bothered to think about her and her shampoo commercial hair, which was not often at all. In fact, it was rarely ever. Hardly at all.
Most days he spent his time fantasizing about staking the stupid bint he’d been saddled with. Yes, staking Harmony was something that he fantasized about almost daily. He couldn’t deny that at first he’d been glad of the company, but that feeling had begun to fade quickly. No, until recently his rational mind had imagined that eternal loneliness would be even worse than her sodding company. Harmony just rubbed his last nerve, like a never-ending toothache. Only thing worse than enduring the ache would be the permanency of the cure.
Spike just didn’t think he was cut out for celibacy. He’d tried it in his human days, and hadn’t liked it.
At first, at least, the sex with Harmony had been good. Not great, but good. And he knew for damn sure that it was better than the alternative. If that old wives tale were true, he’d be blind for sure. Vamps were not meant to be solitary creatures.
But Harmony’s company was hard to take. And he had lived with Drusilla for a hundred years, so that was saying something. He knew well enough what difficult women were like.
And then there was the thing about the blood. Spike just didn’t get it. Harmony was a vampire, for Crissakes. An unchipped vampire. What’d she have to go and start drinking his supply of bagged blood for? He knew she did. It vanished way too fast. She wouldn’t admit to it though. But he’d seen the tell-tale remains in the trash. What was with that, anyway?
At least it gave him an excuse to go out.
As if he needed an excuse!
He was a master vampire, dammit! Undead over a hundred bloody years! Killed himself two Slayers in his day! Had earned himself another name: Slayer of Slayers. Unlike Dracula, he’d earned his sobriquet, not sold his story to some poncy writer for a few quid and suddenly found himself an instant celebrity in the demon and human world alike. No, Spike’d had to track down the bints himself, and then take them on one on one. Nothing about his fame had been cheap. He’d worked hard to earn himself that title.
Of course that day was long past now that he was permanently hobbled by bits of plastic and wire, but he knew that he had better get used to it, unless he could get the bloody chip out of his head. Let’s see how long that fair weather friend of a Slayer lasted then.
Ignoring the girl mewling on the bed, Spike made sure to slam the crypt door on his way out. This was what he was reduced to. Slamming doors to show his frustration. He needed to find something to kill. Preferably several somethings.
Otherwise he’d have to start a fight at work.
Now there was a joke and a half. What kind of life was that for a demon? Solid, law-abiding work! Well…almost.
Even if his job did entail taking out the odd demon or two. As well as other, less tangible fringe benefits.
And the sad fact of it was, working at the Rooster had become his sanctuary away from Harmony. The fact that the pay was good and the work not unpleasant had become secondary to his desire to be someplace that she emphatically was NOT. Even hanging around the Slayer and her lot, on the rare occasions when she’d tolerate him, which was only when she needed him for something, even that was preferable to staying home. It wasn’t that he actually liked spending time with the Slayer and her lot. Not at all. It was just better than the alternative. And it paid a damn sight better too.
Spike was late to work, but not by much. Jim, the owner of the Club, didn’t mind. He was just glad the Spike was finally there. Kept the patrons and the other workers safe from the things that went bump in the night.
Of course sometimes the patrons were the things that went bump in the night, but Jim tried not to notice. As long as they behaved and nobody got hurt, their money was as green as anyone’s. Especially now that he had Spike there to help keep the more ‘rowdy’ crowd in line. On occasion Spike even served up the odd spot of beer or whatever.
Surprisingly, Spike had found that he actually rather enjoyed his job. He usually got a good look at the entertainment, and the free drinks were a definite plus, especially since he didn’t even have to steal them. On the best nights he got to beat up a few drunk demons that were passing for human and had temporarily forgotten where they were. If he didn’t need the money so desperately he’d probably keep coming here just for the fun of it. Well, that and the chance to get away from the missus for a bit. And to forget the other blonde who seemed to populate his dreams of late. If nothing else, he was likely to die of sheer frustration if he didn’t find some relief now and again.
The crowds at the Rooster had been getting steadily larger since Spike had come to work for Jimmy. Of course, not finding your patrons snacking on the help, or corpses in your parking lot, tended to be good for business.
But the shows had been improving too. Used to be there were only one or two girls a night. Now there were at least five or six. And they were prettier too. Or maybe that was just Harmony’s influence; making everyone that wasn’t Harmony seem more attractive.
Spike poured himself a tall one and took his place by the stage, nodding to the human bouncers, George and John, before turning to watch the girl that was baring her stuff on the stage. Taking a deep draught he realized that if he absolutely had to work (and he did) this was the best gig he could ever hope for. The occasional cash the Slayer threw his way was barely enough to cover his smokes, let alone set him up with a reliable source of nourishment. Some help she had turned out to be. If he had to depend on her non-existent kindness, he would have starved months ago.
Now, if he could just get Harmony to shut up once in a while, he could almost be content. And if he ever really needed dosh, well, he had his stash. Or he could take to robbing the patrons, or perhaps he’d simply give in and work Thursday nights.
When he’d unexpectedly found himself in need of ready cash to secure to steady flow of pre-packaged blood, he’d tried the thievery route first, of course. He was a fair pick-pocket, if he put his mind to it. But it wasn’t much fun.
Then he’d tried scaring a few gits into giving up their wallets, and that had been more satisfying, until he came across one bloke who refused to be intimated. Back in the day Spike would have wiped the floor with him, but as things stood now, courtesy of G.I. Joe, he was defenseless against humans.
The end result had been bad. Unable to fight back, he’d been beaten and bruised so badly he’d barely made it home before sunrise. Of course he hadn’t told Harmony. He’d come back to the crypt with tales of having had a run in with the Slayer. The truth was far too embarrassing.
After that experience he decided to drop mugging from his repertoire. If he ever got caught there was nothing he could do but run. If the intended mark had been just a bit faster on the uptake, if anyone as much as snagged his arm, Spike would be trapped, unable to get away or to fight back without the chip going off. He wouldn’t risk that again.
But the possibility of being forced to work Thursdays made him shudder. Thursday nights were Lady’s Nights. Although Spike knew that some of the other bouncers did it, he swore he never would. Take his clothes off for a bunch of fat, old broads? Not likely. He may not have much left to him anymore, but at least he had his pride.
At least he thought he did, until he turned around to get himself another beer and came face to face with a screeching Harmony. Fuck. She’d followed him. He was sure to get an earful now.
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