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Previous Chapter: Chapter 3
Next Chapter: Chapter 5

“It’s not so much the lack of fresh human blood.” Spike paused to take a long drag from his cigarette, holding the smoke in his lungs for a moment before slowly blowing it out.

His lungs didn’t work the same way as a human’s, of course, but they were still able to carry the nicotine into his bloodstream, which reacted the same way even though his circulation was a steady sweep instead of a pulse. Once the smoke was clear from his lungs, he continued answering the Dutchman’s question about his peculiar feeding habits.

“Now, don’t get me wrong, that part’s bloody awful all on its own, but there are ways around it if you’re willing to completely give up your dignity.”

He’d considered it, a time or two, when the craving for human blood fresh from the tap became almost overwhelming. Getting it from Willy’s wasn’t bad, whatever he preserved it with – probably magic – not overloading it with a sweet taste like the hospital blood, but it wasn’t the same as fresh from a human body. Which, if not for the whole dignity issue, could be got easily enough from a suck house.

He was good-looking and long past being a fledge; he’d have his pick of place and clients. Just have them cut themselves, and he could lap up the blood like a cat with cream, getting what he needed while giving the addicts a hit of the chemical mix in his saliva. He’d never got quite that desperate, thank god, but if doing it had addressed one of the things he craved most….

“It’s the bite I really miss,” he said quietly. “Nothin’ quite like sinking your fangs into human flesh and letting the blood out to play. If I try it with a living one, though, this hunk of plastic in my noggin sends a zap through the ol’ gray matter.”

“The scuttlebutt about town said something had been done to you by government agents,” the Dutchman said, his tail-like tentacle absently stroking along Spike’s inner thigh while one hand caressed his hip. “But there wasn’t much explanation of exactly what. Just that it kept you from feeding as vampires normally do. Rather barbaric, really, muzzling a predator and keeping it from its normal food source while also leaving it vulnerable to that food source.”

The two of them were stretched out on the Dutchman’s bed, naked and comfortable. The hotel he’d chosen was one set up for demons, and he’d asked for a room with no windows. Fairly sure of himself, the Dutchman was, and Spike had to admit it was with reason. Reality had been even better than the dream. He hurt in all the right ways and places, the aches you only got from being shagged senseless by someone who knew what they were about. One thing that could definitely be said, the man bloody well knew how to use all his various appendages.

The one tentacle not currently retracted finally finished its path along Spike’s thigh, delving just under his balls to give a couple of light caresses. Then it slithered downward, and the Dutchman gave him a questioning look. In answer, Spike shifted, giving easier access. It slowly wiggled its way inside, warm and slick and still at its thinnest width. The tip twitched, sending sparks of pleasure shooting through him.

“I was human once,” the Dutchman said. “Obviously not anymore,” the tentacle gave a pulse, thickening, “but at one time, I was human. I have no idea if my blood is still anywhere near the same, but you could try it if you’d like.”

Thoughts more than a bit hazy with what the tentacle was doing – pulsing and twisting, stroking sensitive tissue as it started to stretch him in preparation – it took Spike a moment to fully understand what the Dutchman was offering. He shuddered, moaning softly, and took one last pull from his cigarette before putting it out in the ashtray on the nightstand next to him. Then he rolled, straddling the other man’s hips. The tentacle gave a final pulse before sliding out of him.

There was a sort of pinching sensation and pressure as Spike lowered himself onto the Dutchman’s thick erection. Maybe, if there was time before the Dutchman had to go back to sea (assuming you aren’t right there on the bloody ship with him, the thought whispered through his mind before being shoved aside), he’d have a go at the other man’s arse. He could get that with a woman, though, which was the gender he tended to lean heavily towards. For now, seemed a good idea to take advantage of what he could only get from the man beneath him. The tentacles and a real cock rather than a strap-on.

The Dutchman reached up to rest his hands on his hips, but didn’t try to take control. He lay still and let Spike ride him, moving up and down, clenching his muscles around the thick, heavy fullness whenever it was buried all the way inside. They’d done hard and fast in the dream and when Spike had first arrived at the hotel. This time, though, he wanted to take it slow, to let the pleasure circle and build.

His eyes drifted closed, head tilting back as unneeded breaths shuddered through him. Then, when the time was right, he leaned forward, face shifting so he could sink his fangs into the Dutchman’s throat.

Warm skin against his lips. Just the right amount of resistance before his fangs broke through. And then, with a muffled cry, he tumbled over the edge, plunged into a pool of bliss that tasted of human blood tinged with the sea.



It was late afternoon when Spike returned to his crypt via the underground route. He could have stayed with the Dutchman until sunset, but with the whole Glory situation, he didn’t want to spend too long out of reach if Buffy needed him.

Buffy…. Thoughts of her and the Dutchman flitted through his mind as he limped towards his chair. The fresh blood – somewhere between human and pig in effectiveness, it seemed – had helped, as had the soft bed, but his leg and ribs still hurt, and he was fairly certain his face was still bruised. He dropped down into the chair with a groan and leaned back, closing his eyes.

Never, in all the centuries since the Dutchman had been cursed, had a bride-to-be failed to become his bride. Spike intended to do his damnedest to buck that particular trend, but the necklace supposedly picked someone who wouldn’t. And someone the Dutchman could love. He mulled that thought over. Just because the Dutchman could love someone didn’t mean that specific someone could love him. He knew that all too well when it came to himself and the Slayer.

He loved her. Despite the fact that she tended to treat him as if he were dog droppings she’d scraped off one of her oh-so-stylish shoes. Despite the fact that she was the bloody Vampire Slayer, and he was a vampire. The Dutchman treated him well, but even though Spike had turned to him for comfort when he’d needed it, there was no spark there. He liked the man well enough – more than Harmony, though that wasn’t really saying much – and he was bloody fantastic in bed, but that wasn’t the same as loving someone. He wasn’t going to sacrifice himself for the sake of the Dutchman.

For Buffy, though…. Spike opened his eyes and leaned forward to stare at the floor between his feet. He’d do it for her. Was that why the necklace had chosen him? He’d spent over a hundred years with a seer. He knew there was no such thing as a future writ solidly in stone. He also knew that some were so bloody likely that they might as well be.

If he knew that giving himself up to the Dutchman would keep Buffy and Dawn safe, he wouldn’t hesitate. Right now, though, he didn’t know that. What if it turned out there was some simple solution to stopping Glory, but they absolutely needed Spike there for some future apocalypse? There always seemed to be another one right around the corner with the Slayer and her lot. He was stronger than any of them but for Buffy herself, and he was faster and more experienced than she was. She’d lived a long time for a slayer. What if taking away one of her allies turned out to be what ultimately caused her death?

There was also the desire to actually be around Buffy, basking in her presence even if she despised his. It was a bit selfish, that, but vampire and all. He was a bloody paragon of selflessness and altruism compared to most of his kind. Probably because most of them that didn’t turn sucker tended to throw themselves gleefully and fully into what it meant to be evil.

He’d always just been happy to throw himself into what it meant to be Spike, damn the shackles of either end of the whole morality spectrum. If he wanted to rescue a puppy, he’d bloody well rescue a puppy. And then maybe rip off someone’s head and play a spot of football with the sodding thing. Well, maybe not so much that last with the bloody chip in his head, but the fact remained; he refused by be constrained by how good or evil something was.

The door suddenly banged open, startling Spike out of his thoughts as Buffy strode inside, a wild look in her eyes.

“Well, well, if it isn’t the–”

“She knows.”

Bloody hell. No need to ask what that meant. There was only one thing it could. Glory had somehow found out about Dawn. He didn’t think the hellgod actually had her yet, though.

“What’s the plan?” he asked, standing up and glancing around his crypt. He had a decent cache of weapons, but nothing that seemed like it would be particularly useful at the moment.

“We need to head out of town. You, me, Dawn, everyone else.” She wrapped her arms around herself and started pacing. “We need some kind of transportation. Something big enough for all of us.”

The DeSoto could handle it, if they put Dawn in the middle seat up front, shoved Harris in the trunk, and had one of the witches sit on the other’s lap. It wouldn’t exactly be a comfortable ride, though. He could nick an RV from the dealership on the outskirts of town, though pulling that off in broad daylight would be a bit of a trick. He could do it, but….

Gloar’max, he thought suddenly, nodding to himself. The demon had an RV for family camping trips, and he owed Spike big from their last poker game.

“Right. Got it covered,” he said. “Shouldn’t take more than twenty minutes to get what we need.”

Buffy stopped her pacing and gave him an odd look, as if she’d expected him to argue. No doubt her friends had, outraged at the thought of running away. Sometimes that was the only choice you had if you wanted to survive. As much as he tended to dive headfirst into trouble, Spike had always been a survivor.

“Scarpering seems the best bet, to me. If Glory could track the key, she’d have found Dawn out long before now,” he pointed out. “We put enough distance between us and her, she’s not going to be able to find the little bit.”

Buffy nodded, nibbling on her thumbnail, brow furrowed in thought. Then she sighed and started pacing again. “I wish I hadn’t given that damn ring to Angel,” she muttered.

He stared at her, not quite believing what he’d just heard. Ring? She couldn’t mean the Gem of Amara. Could she? It was the only thing that made sense, but she had to realize it would have had a good chance of neutralizing the effects of the chip.

“You’d trust me with that?”

She stopped and took a slow, deep breath as she looked at him, slowly nodding. “Yeah,” she said quietly. “Yeah, I’d trust you with it. What you did for us… what you keep doing…. I’d trust you. I do trust you. That’s why….”

She took another deep breath before bending down to pull a knife out of her boot. Then she stood and cut her arm, holding it out to him. “You’re still hurt. We need you healed up. Now. So… So, go ahead. Drink me.”

He stared, mesmerized, as the blood welled up from the cut. A drop slid down and fell to the floor. Two. And then he was there, moving without conscious thought to stand beside her, her arm held gently in his hands. Just the smell alone made his head swim a bit, like he’d downed a bottle of good scotch.

“You sure about this?” he asked quietly, barely resisting the urge to just go for her blood. She nodded, but wouldn’t look at him. “Buffy?”

She looked up at that, and he saw something close to fear in her eyes. Closer to nerves, maybe. That and eagerness and a touch of shame. She wanted him to bite her, he realized, but she didn’t want to want it. He could get mad about it. Throw a fit and point out how much she needed him at his best, and how slayer blood had enough oomph to clear up the remnants of Glory’s torture. He could do all that, and kill whatever goodwill and trust she felt for him. It wasn’t love, but it was at least something.

“Whatever you need from me,” he said softly, “it’s yours. No strings attached. You know this. If you’d rather not give me your blood, it’s fine. I’ve managed with worse injuries than these.”

She took a deep breath, letting it out in a soft sigh. “I don’t think I’m sure about much of anything right now. Up is down and right is Tuesday.” She managed a small, wry smile. “But I am sure that I need you, and I need you at your best. Leave me enough to fight, but other than that…. Take what you need.”

Satisfied that she wasn’t likely to regret it, he leaned down to run his tongue along her arm, catching up the spilled blood before closing his mouth over the cut. Where the Dutchman had been midnight skies and the deepest depths of the ocean, Buffy was sunlight and wildflowers. She was fire and the wild energy of Slayer spice. Her blood tingled through him like liquid lightning, rushing through and washing away the lingering pain.

He lapped at the cut, introducing more of the anticoagulant and euphoretic in his saliva. She moaned, and he could smell her sudden arousal, could taste it on her skin and in her blood.

The Dutchman had offered out of the desire to seduce. To coax Spike to him with what he could give him. Buffy offered from a place of trust. She trusted him to have her back. She trusted him not to take too much. And she trusted him not to take it too far.

He took one last mouthful – less in all than she’d have given at a blood drive – and forced himself to pull away. Buffy blinked at him, looking a little dazed.

“You look good,” she mumbled. Then her cheeks reddened. “I, I mean better. You look better. The bruises are all gone.”

He felt better, all the various aches and pains pretty much gone. His leg still felt a bit stiff, but he was fairly certain he could manage without limping now. All because of the young woman standing in front of him. He reached out to gently cup her cheek, and she let him, for just a moment, before pulling away.

“So, um….” She cleared her throat awkwardly. “You, you said twenty minutes?” He stared at her and raised a brow. She couldn’t be suggesting what his brain was stupidly jumping to, but wouldn’t hurt to twit her a little. Her cheeks flamed again. “For, um, for the transportation?”

“Right. Yeah. Should only take about twenty minutes to get it all sorted.” He headed back towards the underground, grabbing up the blanket he used when playing a spot of tempt Mr. Sun, just in case. Then he stopped and turned to look at Buffy. “We can do this, love. You and me? We’ve pulled off a lot together ever since that truce. Even managed to keep your watcher alive during that, and I didn’t give a rat’s arse about him at the time. But the little bit? Her, I like. She’s bit a like a fungus, isn’t she? Grows on you after a while and all.”

That earned him a smile, a small one, but it made it all the way to her eyes. “I could say the same about you. Come on.”

She brushed past him, leading the way to the underground. Spike followed her down. He’d follow her anywhere.

Even straight to his own doom.


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Previous Chapter: Chapter 3
Next Chapter: Chapter 5

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