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One Tin Soldier


by
D'Nalia



Part Four

Spike lit another cigarette before looking at the General, "What do you want to know, Mate?"

"I only know what Xander has told me about vampires, I have hundreds of questions; but I'll settle for just hearing the basics."

Spike got out of his chair and started to pace, "Right. Here goes. When a vampire turns someone, they drain the person of most of their blood. As they're dying, the vamp will feed them some of his blood. The more blood they get fed, the stronger the connection and the more powerful the new vampire is when he wakes up. But if a vampire decides to become a Sire and take a Childe, there's a lot more involved. More blood over a longer period of time, and the Sire teaches the Childe what he needs to know to survive."

Spike got a sad look on his face, "Each vampire has a lineage, and in my case it was The Master, Darla, Angelus and then Druscilla. She's the one that turned me. But my Dark Princess was insane, Angelus made sure of that before he turned her. She turned me, and then forgot about me. I was a lot stronger than a minion, but I had no control. All I wanted to do was kill and feed. Angelus chained me to a wall and fed me some of his blood. He was a right bastard, but he took care of me and taught me what I needed to know to survive. It took months, none of it was very pleasant, but I learned."

The General decided he didn't really want to know how Spike had been trained, but he did have more questions. "You said Druscilla was gone?" he asked quietly.

"She died a while back, my link to the entire line was broken." Spike made an ugly sound, "It's probably a good thing. A Sire has total control over a Childe. A Sire says to do something, the Childe does it. Even if he tells you to walk into the sun. Angelus lost his control over me when he was cursed, so none of the rest of the line has any say over me."

General Marshall looked at Xander, "Angelus, is that the vampire you told me got cursed with his soul?"

"Yep. Good ol' Angel. I never liked him, but I prefer him with a soul."

"Bollocks." Spike said. "The bloody gypsies didn't curse him with his soul, they gave him a conscious, a fucking guilty one at that. Bastard never had one before."

"So you're saying that vampires have souls?" The General asked.

Spike shrugged, "Don't know, Mate. But it never made sense to me, Angelus' curse that is. Having a bleedin' soul never stopped anyone from killing and torturing."

A knock on the door cut their conversation short. Xander waited until General Marshall had left to talk to the doctor before he cornered the Blonde Menace. He locked the door and leaned against it, blocking the vampire's only exit.

"Okay, Spike. What are you up to?"

"What do you mean, Mate?" Spike asked innocently.

"Oh no. Don't even try the 'I'm innocent' look on me, Spike it won't work. You hate humans, Happy Meals on legs, remember? But you go out of your way to save Rom. And listen to how you're talking! You sound completely different. No, 'Oi! Bloody wanker!'" Xander said in a very close imitation of Spike's usual form of speech. "And you're answering questions, and I think you're actually telling the truth. You never tell the truth if you can help it. So, what's going on, Spike?"

Spike scowled, "I don't suppose you'd be willing to let this go?"

Xander smirked, "Nope. Answers. Want 'em. Now."

Spike threw himself back into his chair and glared at Xander, "Fuck. All right, I'll tell you. But this doesn't get out. I'd never live it down."

Xander nodded agreeably and waved at him to continue.

"I figured out as soon as you introduced me to the others that they were the ones giving me the blood, including Rom. That makes them my responsibility. If they get hurt, I take care of them, turn them if I have to and they're agreeable. If they die, they get avenged. Vampires weren't always monsters, at least not to their own people. See, a vamp would claim a territory, everything and every one in that territory would be under his protection, in return, the locals let the vamps feed and protected them during the day. It was a pretty sweet deal. The vamps would bring in new businesses, doctors and teachers, made sure anyone who needed help, got it. There are still some places in the world like that."

Xander was fascinated, "So, a vamp would sort of be like a Baron or something? But what about the minions?"

Spike shook his head, "Weren't any minions. Didn't need them, did they? The ones who got turned became Childer, and stayed with their Sire."

"But, if it worked so well, what happened?"

"Bloody religion, is what happened. The Church didn't really like the fact that vamps had all that power. During the Inquisitions, people were tortured until they told where the vamps were hiding. Priests and soldiers would go in and burn the place to the ground, then convert all the villagers. The vamps got pissed and declared war. Any human not under a vamp's protection was fair game. They started making minions and killing as many of the non-protected ones as they could. But there's a Hell of a lot more humans than there are vamps. Most vamps that survived went into hiding."

"Wow. How come I've never heard about this before? And how did you find out? You aren't that old."

"Angelus had a lot of books, I liked to read. Wasn't much else to do during the day." Spike shifted into his game face and tilted his head to one side. "Rom's waking up." He said. "We need to get to him before anyone else does. And we'll need blood, a lot of it."


~*~*~*~*~


Xander spoke to the orderly at the desk before joining Spike in Rom's room. Rom wasn't quite awake yet, but he was close.

The young man was moaning and thrashing around on his bed. Xander moved to Spike's side, "What's wrong with him, Spike?"

"He's still in a lot of pain. He'll heal completely, but it'll take a while." Spike sat on the edge of the bed and put his hand on Rom's head. "Ssshhh, relax. The pain will pass." Rom quieted when he heard Spike's voice. He went completely still, then his eyes shot open.

Xander watched as his face rippled and changed. The new vampire lunged at Xander, but Spike held him back. Pushing his Childe back down on the bed and holding him there with one hand on his chest he said, "Where's that blood, Mate? He needs to feed to heal."

Xander didn't say anything; he just went to the door and spoke to the orderly again. He waited out in the hall for the tech from the blood bank to arrive. Refusing to think about the fact that Rom had tried to attack him.

He accepted the blood from the tech without saying a word. He went back into the room and handed Spike the first pack of blood, keeping his eyes off Rom.

Rom's quiet voice finally brought Xander's eyes to him. "Major." Rom panted in pain. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean..."

Xander smiled, "It's okay, Rom. You should see how I get when someone tries to keep me away from the Ho Hos."

Spike laughed, "He's not kidding, Rom. The whelp has always been vicious when it comes to chocolate." Spike handed Rom the blood and his Childe greedily drank it down. Rom finished the blood and whimpered. "Sire, please. More."

Spike gave him more blood and took one for himself. "Drink, Rom. All you can handle. The more blood you drink, the faster you heal." Spike drank his own packet of blood and waited for Rom to finish his. He took the empty pack from his Childe and ripped his own wrist open. Holding it to Rom's face his said, "Drink."

Rom sank his fangs into his Sire's wrist and sucked in as much blood as he could. He could feel his Sire's power running through his veins. Spike never pulled away, he accepted another pack of blood from Xander and continued feeding his Childe.

Rom finally fell back to sleep, his fangs slowly receding from Spike's wrist. Spike tucked him and brushed his dark hair off his head. Spike stood up and staggered a little. Xander grabbed him by the waist and helped him into a chair. "Spike, you okay?"

"Just tired. He took a lot of blood."

Xander cursed and grabbed another pack. "Here, drink it."

Spike sucked down the blood and sighed in relief. "Thanks, Mate. I needed that."

"I still say you're acting weird." Xander said.

Spike opened one eye, "What? You still going on about the way I talk?"

"Well, yeah. I've spent hours listening to you talk, Spike, and you don't sound like yourself."

Spike chuckled, "Yes, actually I do sound like myself. My old self. Do you know what I did before I was turned?"

He immediately had Xander's undivided attention, "I thought you were a thief or something. Then I saw that picture. What did you do?"

"I," Spike said in a very snobbish voice, "was a barrister in my father's firm. Lord Henry Bloodwell."

"You were a lawyer? Really?"

"Yes. Went to Oxford college, graduated with honors."

"Is that how you got the name William the Bloody? Because your real name was Bloodwell?"

"No. I used to write the most bloody awful poetry. I'd wanted to be a poet, not a barrister."

"That still doesn't explain why you're acting so weird."

Spike pointed at Rom, "I'm a Sire now, I've never had a child before. Since Druscilla is gone, it means I've started my own lineage.  I want it to be one that the old ones would be proud of. And I have a responsibility to care for the rest of the squad as well. Maggie is going to make sure I get to know my human family, I need to make sure they're safe and cared for. For the first time in a very long time, I'm not alone any more. I'm not going to let anything fuck this up for me. If that means I finally have to grow up...so be it."

Xander didn't say much, but he knew how Spike felt.

Spike's eyes went to slits as he lit another cigarette, "Now we just have one problem, Xander."

"What's that, Spike?"

The vampire growled, "Someone let that demon loose, and I want to know who."




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