Pairing: Sort of S/X Rating: Teen for alluded content – slavery Word Count: about 700 A/N: spuffyduds is doing homework. She tweeted about service marks (a subset of Trademarks) but both her and my mind went different places. This piece is inspired by that discussion. It turned out a bit darker than I meant it to. Unbeta'd so please point out any idiot errors to me!
He struck a match against the brick of the alley, glad for the masking smoke of his cigarette. Seemed his sources had finally coughed up useful information along with blood. Harris was here. Of that he was certain. The real question was; what condition would he be in?
A flash of the yellows stood in lieu of any fancy pants passwords, and once inside he only received wanted attention.
"We have a wide variety at the moment. They of course have been trained to perform a variety of services."
The sales guy – or sorry 'associate'. Spike couldn't help but roll his eyes at that distinction. Dress'em up how you wanted, they were still slavers. Just a special kind.
"For ease of selection, here is a list of the service marks. They are tattooed for permanent reference." The fellow shouldn't wear that shade of yellow; it sallowed his green skin tone like fluorescents did humans.
Spike glanced down the list. The usual stuff, submissive, bondage, various sexual positions. Then there were the more esoteric items: whippings, sensory deprivation, blood play. How someone was trained for those, well he might be a curious cat but some things did not need knowing.
"In the mood for a boy, not too young through." He took a drag from his cig, urbane boredom being key to any negotiations. "And I'm back to favouring brunets."
"We have different length terms. All we ask is only temporary marks from the service." Here he tilted his head in what was probably meant as a flirty manner. "As the humans say, if you break it you bought it." He started to giggle.
A quick hand to the associate's throat ended that annoying noise.
Spike let him sputter for a few moments before removing his hand. "Gather me a few, won't you?" He bit back a smirk as the fellow scurried away. Been a while since he intimidated anyone; felt good. He heard the clatter of chains minutes before anyone appeared. This place must be bigger than the intel let on. While he could raze this place to the ground, with a team they could rescue the captives.
Xander wasn't in the first batch. No that would have been too easy. So Spike wandered up and down the lot as if considering. "Is this the best you can do? Heard you had good stock." He sniffed. "Don't want a waif; need someone who can take some damage."
The fulsome apologies and more scurrying were somewhat satisfying, but he wasn't here for his ego. He was here for something much more important. Xander's absence had left the remaining Scoobies in a tizzy.
"Sir, these are not as well trained. We can not provide our normal guarantees..." The caveats may have continued but Spike wasn't listening. In the middle of the heavier guarded slaves, was the one he'd been seeking. He ambled past. This was still a negotiation. Appearances were key. He just hoped Harris would play along.
"Couple here might do. Need a closer look at number three n four." He took another puff. "And six."
He looked Harris over. A ball gag distended his jaw. His hair hadn't been cut or washed. The service tats were down the side of the neck; witch would have to glamour those until they could get them removed. Some weight loss, but what caused Spike's lip to curl were the welts on his back. That showed that the whipping was for more than kinks. Too many marks. Too many things to fix.
Spike turned away. A bit of haggling later and he walked off with a short term lease, and a short leash which held the missing Scooby. Lease meant he'd be able to find the slavers again when it was time to do damage.
They were at the end of the alley when a hand brushed his arm. Spike turned, disgusted with himself. Too long. A quick snap undid the gag. "Just a bit further, then the birds will take care of ya."
Harris opened and closed his mouth a few times. Damn, Spike had forgotten water. Didn't seem to made a difference; boy was always one to natter on. No nattering this time. Just one word.