Prequel ~ Yes
“Hello, my Kitten.”
Walking down what passes for a street, but is too narrow, urine-soaked and dark to be anything but an alley, she suddenly appears beside him, pale and resplendent in red silk. As if they’d been walking along together for hours--for lifetimes--she slips her cool little hand into his.
“Hiya, Dru. Decided to eat me, yet?” Xander gives her hand a companionable squeeze, not even remotely startled or afraid her; partly because he’s extremely drunk, partly because he’s asked this question dozens of times before.
And having asked dozens of times, he’s pretty sure of the answer.
“No . . . silly Kitten. Mustn’t be afraid of me,” Dru chastises, swinging their linked hands playfully, her dark eyes shining up into his as if she has a secret. “So pretty and sweet and good enough to eat, my Kitten . . . but I won’t. I’m being very good and soon, I shall get my reward.”
“Are you sure you don’t mean your just desserts?” Xander slurs. A year ago, and he’d have been stammering. Hell, a year ago, he’d have been shitting his pants.
“I’ve had my dessert already. She tasted like raspberry cordial,” Dru confides. “So lovely and warm . . . she tingles in me like tiny bumblebees.”
“I fuckin’ hate bumblebees,” Xander says with an all-over shudder. Once, he would have felt pangs of anger and grief for this poor dead girl who tasted like raspberry whatever. Now, he’s comfortably numb to most feelings, except his strong dislike of stinging insects and a dull species of wonder.
Namely he’s wondering if Dru’ll be hanging on his arm all night, or if she’ll disappear on one of her ‘errands’ and leave him to walk to his rooming house in peace.
“Bumblebees tickle my skin and sing me pretty songs about flowers,” she announces.
“They make me swell up and have to go to the emergency room,” Xander replies, remembering his disastrous twelfth birthday party. But at least the nurses had sung him happy birthday once the swelling had gone down.
“I can teach you to understand their songs.” In the cloudy, diffuse moonlight, Drusilla’s crimson dress flows and shimmers like a river of blood. She’s as light as fairy dust on his arm and cooler than the coolest breeze sub-Saharan Africa can conjure.
“I took Spanish for four years and I still don’t know what half the menu at Taco Bueno means.” Xander muses. “And being fluent in Bumblebee? Not like being fluent in Es-span-yol. It so won’t impress the ladies--”
Dru stops them a few feet from the lights and semi-fresh air that is the next intersection. “Hush, Kitten.”
So he does, because, despite their odd brand of quasi-friendship, he knows he’s still walking along, holding hands with a vampire. A serial killer. A nut-job with permanent blood-lust on the brain--
--who has halted their progress down Stink Alley to converse with a rat. The grip she has on Xander’s hand demands that he stay and take part. Or at least observe. With a suffering sigh, he doesn’t even try to hold his breath; mouth-breathing seems like the better option.
After a few minutes of reciprocated nose-twitches--which is weird, but he’s seen weirder in the months that she’s been stalking him--Dru hisses loudly, angrily at the rat, flashing gameface. The rat squeaks in terror and disappears behind a heap of--something.
That rat is both smarter and saner than me. Xander thinks wonderingly. It’s kinda funny, until he catches the devastated look on Dru’s face.
Proving beyond a doubt the alley-rat’s ultimate superiority to himself, Xander pulls her closer. “What? What’s wrong?”
“He says things that aren’t fit for a lady’s ears.” Tears sparkle in Dru’s big, loony eyes. Xander shrugs, feeling horribly useless.
“Well . . . alley-rats aren’t as classy as tame rats, or even lab rats. It’s an inescapable fact of life, I guess.”
Dru sniffs, her lower lip trembling in a way Xander’s girls have brain-washed him to be helpless against. “He said I was wicked and cruel, and that my dollies all hate me.”
He folds her hand between her own, trying to rub some warmth into it, though he knows it’s a useless gesture.
“Nah, you’re not wick--okay, you’re not cru—hey, I’m sure your dollies don’t all hate you.” Crimson-tinged tears roll down her white face and Xander’s fumbling out his less-than-clean lucky hankie to wipe them away. “And you know, some dolls are just malcontents, anyway . . . and, if that rat’s so smart, how come he lives in an alley, hunh?”
Exactly when did he start using the soothe-Willow voice, the soothe-Willow logic and his lucky hankie on the soulless fiend that likes to hold his hand under in dark alleyways? Why does the fact that a rodent may or may not have hurt Dru’s feelings bother him?
God only knows.
Well, maybe not God.
Xander sighs, and a voice in his head that sounds a lot like Anya’s asks him what the hell he thinks he’s doing in a dark, stinking alley, holding hands with Drusilla--with a monster, for crying out loud?
Bearing that in mind, why is he still alive when Anya’s dead? What makes his waste of a life so much more special?
Nothing, he tells the Anya-voice, just as he has for the past ten months. Especially now that you’re gone. I’m just putting in my time on this planet till something eats me or I drink myself to death. . . .
Looking down into Drusilla’s scary, adoring eyes, he knows that he won’t be getting eaten tonight, and somehow, that’s the most awful realization he’s had in a year crammed to bursting with awful realizations.
“Poor, lost Kitten. . . .” Dru whispers sadly, putting her hand up, letting it hover a scant inch away from his heart before resting it on the damp cotton of his shirt. She sways to the strong, slow beat, her eyes slipping shut momentarily. “So empty . . . so much darkness swallowing up your light.”
“Swallowing?” Xander snorts, blinking away a tricky bit of treble-vision that is certainly not caused by tears; he covers her hand with his own. “Try swallowed.”
Her eyes flicker open and the sharp, cold light of comprehension shines out of them. Xander can feel her seeing into him, through him. He can sense her thrall prodding the drunken numbness that has surrounded him like a protective fog for nearly a year.
God bless alcoholism, he thinks, with surprising gratefulness to his dead parents and their rotten genes.
“Kittens don’t like rats,” Dru says suddenly, her voice as solemn as you please. The non sequitor makes Xander smile just a bit.
“Or bumblebees,” he adds blithely, tugging her towards the mouth of the alley. Seconds later, they’re finally at the intersection--what passes for one in this shithole, one-horse town he’s landed in--that’ll take Xander to the room he rents by the week.
Cold fingers brush his face fleetingly and Dru bounces up on tip-toes--darts in to lick his earlobe. “Sleep well, my dark kitten.”
“I believe the correct term is black-out . . . black-out well--but thanks just the same,” Xander tells the suddenly empty air where she’d been standing. The hand she’d been holding is already warming up again.
As usual, he wonders if he’s hallucinated this meeting. Dru always seems appear when he’s piss drunk. Or when he’s half asleep under a Van Gogh sky, between one settlement and the next, one Slayer and the next.
Or maybe he really has gone crazy.
He looks down at the hankie in his hand, wonders if the faint trails of crimson will still be there in the morning.
The tears of a demon. . . .
From behind him, a strange noise--a slithering sort of lurch--comes from the Well of Stench that is the alleyway. Xander looks back the way they came and of course, sees nothing but shifting shadows and trash that’s been exalted by the milky moonlight, and made interesting.
He shoves his lucky hankie in his pocket. Those crimson tears are a gift from Dru; proof of his own shaky sanity. Proof that man is indeed slightly saner than rat, if not smarter.
The sound happens again, only slightly louder. Or slightly closer.
“That you, Dru?” He calls, though he knows it’s not her.
Dru simpers and prances. She does not slither and she most definitely does not lurch.
--maybe keeping Xander’s demon-magnet ass alive while he staggers, drunkenly oblivious, down spooky alleyways is Dru’s gift to him; the whole proof-of- sanity could just be a fringe benefit.
The sound happens again, and this time it’s closer to the mouth of the alley and louder; too close and too loud for Xander’s comfort. The alcoholic fog he’s been living in for ten months is finally pierced by a thin, cold trickle of unease.
Even for a child of the Hellmouth, the night still holds some terrors.
It’s eight, short, relatively well-lit streets to his rooming house and Xander runs, all the way. Runs like he hasn’t run since Sunnydale truly became Sunnyhole.
He hurtles through the rooming house’s shoddy wooden front door--which doesn’t lock--and takes the steps three at a time. After four dim, narrow flights, Xander lets himself into his lightless room and locks his door, leaning on it, heart pounding, chest heaving, lungs burning.
Just when his breathing has begun to slow, his sweat to cool--just when he’s starting to think he really has been imagining this all, or that maybe the noises had been some local kids’ idea of a practical joke--there’s a noise at the door.
Like a stray cat scratching for a meal.
Poor kitty, a faint, Willow-ish voice in his head sighs. Xander looks down and has to fight a sudden bout of nausea.
Yeah, a kitty that’s blocking the light that was coming in under the door? Yuh-huh.
All the same, he wonders if he should open the door a crack, take a look out just in case it really is just some hungry stray--
--the door knob turns once to the right and once to the left. The Willow-voice falls blessedly silent and Xander is ever so glad he was sober enough to lock his door. Most nights, he’s not even sober enough to shut it.
Leaning on the door, he waits for whomever or whatever it is to pound on the door--or at least try the knob again. When it doesn’t, when the faint light that had been blocked slips in under the door again, Xander closes his eyes and sinks to his dirty floor, quietly sobbing and trying not to retch.
I’m sorry, Ahn. Sorry your life was over before it really began, sorry I couldn’t be the man you needed me to be. Sorry I’m such a waste . . . maybe I should’ve died instead of you, but I didn’t. And I’m glad I didn’t.
I’m not ready to die. . . .
Xander closes his eyes to stop the tears from falling, but they seep out from under his lids until his breath hitches and slows.
What feels like hours later, Xander stands up slowly, in deference to his aching back, knees, head and brain. He unlocks his door and cautiously peers out--
Nothing in the hallway or the stairwell but the usual litter.
Relief hits him like a punch in the gut and his bladder? Suddenly feels very full. Creature or no creature, it’s imperative that he get to the fourth floor lav. He opens the door wider and already has one foot out the door when he notices them:
Thin gouges, at about a foot above eye level in the slowly-rotting wood of his door. Snarls and splinters curl away from the wood and a dark, oozing substance that can only be some kind of ichor, or slime is oozing down the door.
Looking down, Xander notice he’s also standing a puddle of the same.
A smell like like garbage and rotting meat--like the alley—drifts up to him and, bladder forgotten, he runs to the bathroom to throw up.
Laying on the filthy bathroom floor, emptied out, Xander feels clear-headed for the first time in months.
There’s puke on his shirt and bile-drool on his chin—not to mention an adventurous cockroach scurrying up his pants leg--but Xander’s smiling to beat the band because he’s realized something quite wonderful and strange.
He’s had an epiphany--a revelation, if you will.
With Hellmouths, with Slayers, with magic, with monsters—he is caput-ski, finito. Done, so stick a fork in him because the simple fact is--
That part of his life is over.
His saturation point has been reached--Xander Harris has hit a wall. He’d hit it a year ago, when the only person he could imagine spending the rest of his life with got killed defending a murderer.
Funny, though, that it took him the better part of a year to figure it all out.
Xander starts laughing.
He’s laughing when he levers himself upright, shaking the cockroach out of his pants; laughing while he runs rusty sink-water runs over his grimy hands. Laughing as he splashes the drawn, piratical face he sees in the cracked and pitted mirror.
“You’re done, buddy. It’s Miller-time,” Xander informs the pirate, who looks sorely in need of a parrot. The smile he receives in return is haggard, and rather pathetic.
Still laughing, he staggers back to his room, his vision already turning black around the edges as his inebriation catches up with him again. Between the laughter, the wonky vision and trying to stay upright, it’s no surprise that he doesn’t notice her standing by his doorway, a confused blur of pale and red, with flashes of gold.
He trips over his own feet and right into her arms.
“Hello, my Kitten. . . .” Dru says, so softly he can barely hear it. She holds him up easily and the chill that radiates off of her is comforting, as is the hand that soothes his damp brow.
“Hiya, Dru.” The world is darker than ever and the predicted black-out is imminent. The only thing he can still see clearly is wiggy, golden eyes that for some reason, still don’t frighten him. “Decided to eat me yet?”
1 Ties That Bind
“ . . . yuck! Gonna hurl. . . .”
A voice drifts in from the mouth of the alley.
The champion lays face down on a carpet of corpses, wounded and waiting to die, but he lifts his head slowly, pain-stakingly. He ignored the whines and growls of dying fiends, and squints through the heavy rain that seems to fall endlessly.
In Spike’s blurred and doubled vision, two shadowy figures, backlit by flickering streetlights, step toward him lightly, from body to body.
Above him--and unnoticed--there’s a gout of orange-green flame, followed by a triumphant roar. A few seconds later, the sheeting rain momentarily takes on a bitter, ashen tang, like old pennies and death. A dull throb of grief cuts through Spike’s pain and exhaustion.
“Naughty dragons,” comes a second voice, petulant and entirely too familiar. “Always making fire and chaos. Silly things.”
“They smell real bad, too,” the first voice adds. "Or maybe that's just all the dead demons we're stepping in. Oh, here's a stupid question: why are we here, again?"
“Because Daddy is gone; gone, gone, gone to a place where the stars can’t see him. . . .” the second voice sighs wistfully. “It's too late for poor Daddy. But not for my William.”
To his left and out of the corner of his eye, Spike catches a brief glimpse of cobalt and pale in the red/mud/grey morass of bodies. Shuddering, he closes his eyes to regroup, to rethink, to breathe. But only one of those things comes easily, at the moment.
When he opens his eyes again, she’s right there above him; a pretty bit of horror and madness that he once loved--still loves, after a fashion. Her eyes twinkle gleefully and she leans forward to put a warmish hand to the chilled, wet skin of his cheek. As if the will has been sucked out of him, Spike collapses onto the cooling demonic flesh beneath him, shuddering with numbed fright.
“Oh, no, oh God--someone help me. . . .” he gasps, trying to crawl, to get away from the stench of dead demons and the lighter, more threatening scent of dead roses. His tired, non-responsive limbs give no more than a feeble twitch.
“Hush, now, pretty William . . . Mummy has come to help you, just like last time.” The wet, black velvet of her dress hisses and whispers with her swaying and Spike shudders, filled--for the first time in over a century--with mortal terror.
“No, Dru. . . .” he whimpers, afraid to look up and hoping that this is, at last, the end. That she’ll let it be the end. “If you ever loved me, please, just let me die.”
Indulgent tsking from Dru, and from the first voice . . . giggles, of a very disquieting nature.
“Sorry, pulse-boy. No can do.”
A larger, rougher hand than Dru’s grasps Spike's shoulder and he’s turned over onto his back, to gaze up into a familiar face.
“You. . . .” falls from Spike's numb, swollen lips.
Next to Dru, what’s left of Sunnydale’s white knight smiles engagingly. ”Yeah, me. And if the lady wants your sorry ass around--for whatever reason--then around your sorry ass is gonna stay.” A flash of merciless, golden humor in cold, dark eyes. “And guess who gets to do the honors?”
Spike looks from one dead, soulless face to the other--and back again--in utter disbelief--
“No--you can’t be serious. . . .”
--which once again melts into mortal terror.
“We’re going to be a family again, my William. Just you, me and Kitten--and I get to be grandmummy!” Dru bounces and claps her hands in delight. Kitten giggles eerily, like a clown, or a hyena.
“Gonna be so much fun being your Sire, Spike.” Faster than his newly-human eyes can follow, Spike’s being pinned and straddled by Kitten’s dead weight. “Well, fun for me, anyway.”
Kitten lunges forward already in gameface and Spike tries to twist away from the soft lips and sharp fangs. It’s no use; they’re suddenly at his throat.
“No! Not you--never you! I’d rather die!”
“Spike . . . be nice for Daddy, or he shall be very cross with you,” Dru advises like the world’s worst case of deja vu, all over again.
“Yeah, Spike, Daddy might even have to discipline ya.” The giggle that accompanies the chill whisper is hoarse with hunger and desire. Kitten’s hands clamp down hard on Spike’s wrists for agonizing eternities and he screams.
Under and above the pain and terror is Dru’s laughter, like the pealing of small, silver bells.
“Please--I don’t want this!” Spike sobs, as Kitten’s razor-sharp fangs pierce his jugular. Blood is drawn from his body so quickly, he feels it rush through his veins, feels his newly-won heartbeat stutter and slow.
Pleasure, to the point of pain, to the point of pleasure again.
“Mummy’s sweet boys play such lovely games,” Dru singsongs. “Soon William will be William, Kitten will be Kitten and Dru will be Dru. And we’ll all play together!”
“Don’t let him do this! Dru!” Spike pleads as Kitten’s body starts grinding down against his own, slow and insistent, knees pushing his legs apart. To Spike’s own horror, the legs that couldn’t carry him away from this doom, can wrap around Kitten’s waist and urge him closer. What little blood remains in his dying body is attempting to flee south; incontrovertible proof of where his body’s ultimate priority lies.
“Please. . . .”
Spike’s no longer sure whether he’s asking for salvation or damnation. He’s almost beyond caring when Kitten’s fangs rip indelicately out of his neck.
“Don’t--!” Spike’s body jerks and spasms once, in a last, futile effort at a last, futile climax. It’s the most wonderful, awful, frustrating thing he’s ever experienced.
“Hush, sweet boy. Don’t weep.” Dru’s voice is even nearer than the darkness that crowds out his vision. “Daddy and Grandmummy will make everything all better.”
“Goddamn right we will, Dru. Hey, Billy-boy,” another high-pitched giggle from Kitten as he sits up, letting go of Spike’s fractured, useless wrists to bite into his own. “Who’s your daddy?”
Blood from Kitten's mangled wrist spatters Spike’s face and he clamps his lips shut, turning his face away. Unfazed, Kitten shrugs and pinches Spike’s nostrils shut, settling in to wait.
After nearly a minute, strange, muffled sounds of despair ring off the alley walls.
Then there’s silence, broken only by slurps and the occasional giggle.
“I’m not sure if you can grasp this with that miniscule mass of useless tissue you call a mind, but I. Don’t. Love you. I will never love you; no matter how many gifts you give me, how many times you fuck me--how long you leave me chained to a bloody wall!
“I. Hate you! I have always hated you! I will always hate you!”
Spike sighs shakily against the crumbly brick that has long since stopped irritating his skin. “For now, yeah.”
“Well, okey-dokey!” Kitten enthuses and cheerfully continues fucking his childe into the wall.
“Um, I dunno, use your imagination,” Kitten says dismissively, obviously entranced by the way Dru’s sucking on his finger and not really paying attention to whatever his whey-faced fledge is groveling about.
Dru giggles around his finger; one of her fangs slices open his finger, which of course makes Kitten hard and--
--and that goddamn fledge is still blinking up at Kitten stupidly, waiting for marching orders.
Kitten sighs in exasperation. “Well--fuck, Hal, slaughter his family, or something! Take some damn initiative! Be a do-be, not a don’t-be!”
“Yes, Kitten.” The fledge bows and scurries off toward the back exit of the factory. Sire and childe continue canoodling, lost in their own little world.
“My Kitten is so strong and masterful,” Dru lets go of Kitten’s bloody finger to say, her loony eyes practically glowing with pride.
“Fuck yeah, I am. Anything for Sire.” Kitten’s psychotically intense sincerity would be frightening to just about anyone who isn’t batshit-insane.
He stands up, pulling his giggling Sire out of her own chair--throne is more like; and hand-made for her by none other than her darling boy. He swings her up into his arms like Errol Flynn and sweeps off toward whatever gutted office serves as their bedroom.
Kitten pauses and casts a patient, amused glance at Spike--who’s still naked and stillchained to the bloody wall. “What’s up, Billy-boy?”
“Let me out of these!” Spike demands, rattling his manacles and chains like the ghost of Christmas Bondage-Bitch. “Can’t keep me in chains forever.
Drusilla tsks reprovingly but Kitten merely grins. “Gotta say the magic words, soldier?”
Spike sneers. “Fuck. You. Git.”
“Closer than last time, but still two words off.” Kitten gives Spike a stagey, but heated leer--that Spike recognizes as being one of his own--before sighing. “Think we should let him down, Dru?”
Drusilla pouts and hides her face in Kitten’s neck. “I think pretty William needs his Daddy.”
Kitten morphs into gameface, his golden eye as merry as it is predatory.
“You’re absolutely right, as usual. I’ll just have to set aside some time and give Billy-boy a little extra attention later.” The promise is made to Dru, but Kitten’s eye never leaves Spike’s face. He shudders and looks away.
“Can’t wait, wanker,” he mutters. Kitten laughs heartily. Spike thinks there’s something quite horrible and hellish about that kind of undentable good humor. It almost makes him long for the days of Angelus.
“Man, who knew life could be so damn fun once you were dead?” Kitten asks rhetorically, striding off with Dru. Her laughter is clear and bright, like a peal of small, silver bells.
Then the lights in the main area go off and Spike is hanging alone in stuffy semi-darkness.
When Dru’s delighted screams and the heady, tidal scent of sex drifts out to him, Spike closes his eyes and bites his lip till it bleeds. He tells himself he’s counting the minutes and hours till Kitten returns to him with rage and dread, not anticipation and a hard-on that could shatter quartz . . . but Spike’s never been good at lying to himself.
Never is this fact driven home more forcefully than when, just before dawn, Kitten’s hands are suddenly on Spike’s wrist, still warm with stolen blood. The manacles release with a chink and rattle and Spike is sagging forward into strong arms.
“I could strip the skin from your body--cut you open and play hacky-sack with your internal organs before sewing them back up inside you, and you wouldn’t give one iota, would you?” Kitten whispers, his soft, cool lips brushing Spike’s ear. “You’re so tough, I don’t think anything I could do to you would make you play the meek little sub for longer than it takes to spit in my eye . . . but you know meek and submissive is not what I want from you.”
Kitten pushes Spike back against the wall, one hand keeping him upright, the other gently cupping Spike’s face. “I could keep you in chains forever—and make you enjoy it –but that wouldn’t get me what I want from you, would it?”
“Fealty,” Spike snarls. In the faint light coming in from streetlights, he can see Kitten’s pale, muscular body; the scent of sex and Dru and Sire clouds Spike’s senses and a wave of wanting rolls through him, leaving him shivering.
“My blood runs in your veins, Billy-boy; your fealty is a given.” Kitten smiles, leaning in to nuzzle Spike’s neck, soft dark hair brushing Spike’s face; that does nothing to abate the shivers. “You know what I want.”
“Oh, yes. Love, right?” It’s easier to snark with his eyes closed, but it’s by no stretch of the imagination easy. “Are you as bloody daft as Dru? Already said I could never love you, Sire or not! Can’t bloody stand you--”
“Hush, childe.” Kitten chuckles, and it’s barely audible over the crackle that is a face restructuring itself, but Spike hears and obeys.
Facial ridges press against Spike’s jaw and fangs prick his jugular. Twin rills of blood run down his neck and chest and he’s so hard, it feels like he’ll die if he can’t come. Spike moans when Kitten bats his hand away from his cock.
“No.” That voice is velvet wrapped around steel, and it makes Spike harder and more desperate still.
This is my punishment, he thinks despairingly, near tears, This my hell and I deserve every bit of it.
“Please,” he whimpers and something within him cracks . . . is shattered. He supposes it’s the last of his resistance. Has to be, since the last dregs of his dignity went weeks ago.
“The magic words, Billy-boy,” Kitten urges, his tongue rasping over Spike’s Adam’s-apple. “Say them.”
Another fit of shudders and shaking takes Spike’s weak, starved limbs; he’ll be days recovering and that’s with Sire’s blood to help him along. In the meantime, he shudders and shakes.
Wants and crumbles.
“Fuck--” Spike licks dry lips. “Fuck me . . . Sire.”
“My William,” Kitten murmurs approvingly and with speed that’s dizzying even to Spike, they’re on the floor. Grit, splinters and bits of broken glass poke into Spike’s back, ass and legs.
In the meager light, Kitten’s eye glows like a cat’s. His body is a dead weight. A right weight.
This is Sire, Spike’s demon whispers, all but wagging it’s tail in excitement. Sire, Sire, Sire!
And Spike understands--this isn’t simply mindless fanaticism on the demon’s part, but a statement of pure fact; the reason for its existence.
As unavoidable a thing as there ever was--this is Sire.
With what feels like the last of his strength, Spike wraps his legs around Kitten’s waist, his arms around Kitten’s neck and Kitten is pushing into him, hard and fast and bloody.
It hurts. It’s the best thing Spike has ever felt. It’s--
--it’s being claimed--it’s bleeding for Sire and Spike’s paradigm, his whole world has shifted.
“Mine,” Kitten growls softly and Spike nods, in the midst of a full body earthquake.
“Yours,” he agrees as fangs slide into his neck like ice-cold needles. When his demon senses the gifts of body, blood and fealty have been accepted, pleasure, pain and love merge.
Reality is obliterated in a flash of cold, white light.
By the time the white fades back to murky darkness--by the time Spike’s mentis is compos enough to process once again--he realizes he’s in a shivering heap on the dirty floor and Kitten’s striding away from him, toward the bedroom Spike hasn’t yet seen.
Something wells up within Spike, from the broken-open place that wasn’t dignity and isn’t quite a soul. The welling hurts in a way that makes Spike hard and soft all at once. Makes him purr.
Sprawled on a filthy floor; covered in dirt, scratches, blood and come; splinters and shards embedded in his skin--his insides all but rearranged, Spike feels . . . content.
This sense of well-being, of belonging, of rightness, like nothing he has ever known, expands until it fills him; becomes him.
“Well, don’t lay there all night, William. Clean yourself up and come to bed. Dru’s expecting you,” drifts back to him in the negligent, self-assured tones of a Master.
Sire, Sire, Sire! The demon is beyond ecstatic.
“Yes,” Spike acknowledges and accepts, already on his feet to obey. He ignores the blood and semen running down his thighs in favor of staring after Kitten. “Yes, Sire.”
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