Compass Rose

by Tabaqui


"Just take me home, Spike. They'll come looking and you'll just get dusted and -" Harris doesn't finish that, and Spike stalks over to him and jerks him around - pushes him up sharply against the car and leans in close - close enough to feel the heat coming off the solid, rangy body.

"You just want me to get you home quick before you're gone too long. 'Cause if I keep you out here for four or five days and you get back and they didn't even notice - that's gonna really hurt, isn't it? And you're afraid that's exactly what's gonna happen, aren't you? That they won't even notice. Won't care." Harris's eyes are wide and panicked and dry, and Spike wants to lean in a little closer and breathe in his scent, that's earth and wood and dust, blood and misery. But he doesn't. He just stares at the boy and Harris stares back until he can't anymore.

"Fuck you," he mutters finally - roughly - and he pushes Spike away - starts stomping down the highway, not even in the right direction.

"Can't leave, Harris" Spike says, leaning against the car and watching him, and Harris spins around, scowling.

"Watch me, Spike! You've got a lot of fucking nerve, dragging me out here - telling me shit about my life! It's a bunch of bullshit! You don't know anything about my life - or anything!" He spins around again - strides on for five, six more steps - and suddenly he's reeling, yelling - falling to the dirt, his body shuddering in pain.

"Told you, boy. You can't leave. Better get back here closer to me." Spike watches as the boy writhes - crawls. One foot, then two, then three and he shudders to a stop, panting.

"'What did you do, what did you fuckin' do?!" he gasps out, and Spike slides one hip up onto the bonnet of the DeSoto. He takes his time lighting a cigarette and taking the first few puffs. Harris is up on his butt now, knees canted wide and tucked into the bend of his elbows, right hand clasping left wrist. His hair is down in his eyes and his shoulders are shaking, but he's quiet.

"Just a spell, Harris," Spike says finally. And it is. A small spell, really. When Harris gets too far away, the spell kicks in. And it hurts. It hurts a lot, apparently, but Spike doesn't care about that. He just wants it to hurt enough, so the boy will know it's serious. There's a little glyph on the back of Harris's neck, painted in the demonic equivalent of henna.

"You try to get away - get in a car, say, or a bus - it'll just get worse and worse, the farther away you get. After about...a mile, I think? It'll kill you." Harris flinches -look up at him and his face is almost cartoonish with shock and horror.

What's it like, then, havin' a choke-chain on? Spike thinks savagely, and some of that shows on his face.

"You bastard," Harris says, but his voice is shaky and whispery and weak, and Spike flicks the butt of his cigarette away - gets off the car.

"Get back in, Harris. We've got some drivin' to do."

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