Improv II: The Revenge
by the Webrain
August 2000

Disclaimers: None of these people are ours, we just like to

Fandoms: The Talented Mr. Ripley, BtVS, Once A Thief, the
Lost Boys...

Spoilers: Lots, including our own stories. Go at your own risk.

Ratings Note: NC-17

Acknowledgments: With much love to Dawn Sharon, who reminds
me of things when I need it.


Te: Spike: cover, steam, hand

Lounged while it cooked.  Or Xander did anyway.  Body tired.  Mind
totally restless from having been on pause while the Warrior killed.
Oz seemed restless too.  Uneasy as he lifted the cover of the big
boiling pot, sniffed twitchily.

And Xander caught his breath.   For a second, seen through a curtain
of moonlit steam, Oz's face was... human.  Fur and fangs obscured,
black in black eyes just shadowed.  A human face, bony and really
really young.

It caught Xander like a little sock to the gut.  Not so much the face
itself  but the fact that he'd pretty much forgotten about its
existence.   Had forgotten about the guy whose face it was.  Had

That guy.  That Oz, the young musician guy he'd just been getting to
know, who could do a decent trade in quips despite an almost Tibetan
monk-like adherence to the two-word sentence structure; who'd held
Willow's hand in a way that would have made Xander jealous right
back to kindergarten and might have broken his heart if it hadn't
been nuzzled safely next to Kendra's own.

That swingy-sway-ey possibly bi but hey, I ain't judging guy that
had taken up Xander on his dance invitation and stayed on the floor
with him in a way that was easy enough to not have had to be
entirely joking....

That guy.  Who had played the guitar in a way that at least *looked*
cool and musicianly.  Who he'd really, without putting it into words,
had looked forward to getting to be friends with.  Who he hadn't
apparently gotten to know well enough to miss.

Who had never -- well, probably never -- killed anybody.  Not anybody
that Xander... knew. anyway.

That guy.  That human Oz-guy who was... not the guy who was watching
him from across the fire.  The steam had cleared.  Oz's face was
raised, clearly illumined by the moon -- too-long teeth stretching his
lips, too broad bone pulling the skin of cheek and forehead to tautness.
Fur sticking up in tufts and spikes over black eyes like holes bored
right into his skull.

A snarl of a face overlaid with the misty ghost of a human boy who
wasn't anymore.  it looked like something that *hurt* to be in.
Xander reached out across the pot and for the first time since the
first time, Oz... flinched.

And Xander almost pulled his hand back.  Would have.  Old Xander
would have and hell, the heat from the pot was burning him, but
whatever the hell 'that guy' might have asked for, given, 'that guy'
wasn't Oz.  And Oz  -- this Oz -- was someone he would, corny as
fuck but true, stick his hand in a fire for.  And apparently Oz
needed to know that again.

And even as he was finishing the thought, Oz pressed his hard,
furred face against Xander's hand.   So apparently he did.  And
that was okay.


spike: Deb:  coffee, console, sand

 The Italian sun is utterly foreign to Tom.  He's used to the fickle
New York sun that either beats you down like a huge, harsh hand or
punishes you by hiding, sending you aloof glances from across the
room, just to make sure you're still looking for it.

But here in Italy, the sun is like a benevolent god.  Every day it
strokes him and licks over him until he's covered with the color of
it kisses.  If he could, he would never go inside, would never wear
clothes until sundown.  He'd lie on the beach in the sun warmed
sand or on Dickie's boat and let the sun love him.  Change him.

Dickie feels the same way.  Must feel the same way, since he too
spends every moment he can outside.

Tom tries to imagine Dickie as he must have been in New York, pale
and cold, and can't.  Dickie is too warm, to alive to be anything but
what he is now.  Golden.  Gold from the tips of his hair to his long,
elegant toes.  Warm, like the embodiment of the sun.  Tom can feel
heat radiating from Dickie's body lying next to his on the deck of
the boat.  When Dickie turns his head and sends Tom a lazy smile,
he knows his cheeks flush, but manages to

"I love days like today."  Dickie's voice is just as warm and lazy as
his smile.  "Days like today are like a long, slow fuck.  You know
you're going to come eventually, but there's no hurry to get there."

And Tom can only agree.  A perfect day.  No Marge when they woke up,
so it was just them.  Just them on the terrace drinking Dickie's
always perfect coffee, listening to Bird on the console, turned up
just enough so they didn't have to shout in order to be heard. And
then sailing out into the bay, letting the wind take them far away
from the villa, from Marge, from the world until it was just them.
Just them and the water and the sun.

Dickie makes a contented little noise and closes his eyes and Tom
marvels at this rare moment of Dickie still, Dickie at peace.  Dickie
in no hurry to return to the world and Marge.  Dickie content with
him.  Just Tom.

And Tom thinks this day, the essence of this day, will never end as
long as he stays in Italy, as long as he stays with the sun.


debchan: Te: green, tape, liquid

Sixteen times for the mind. It's a woman's voice, matter of fact
and perky in that intensely Afro-American way that makes Oz feel
every inch of his white skin, and his suburban lifestyle. When they
were 14, he and Devon went through a hip hop phase.

It wasn't pretty.

He wishes he can place the fragment of lyric, it's one of those
burrowers, little worms of phrase that putter around the brain
until you can concentrate on nothing but the itching little holes of
missing you-ness that will be gone until he...

Digable Planets.

Yes, the musically brilliant and somewhat politically terrifying
second album, Blowout Comb. His tape is worn out, despite the
little sadness of knowing the music wasn't written for him.

It's satisfying. The worm reverts to its benign state and Oz can
resume afternoon contemplation. Which is the way Devon has
always refers to it -- not him. Oz has always thought of it as the
pre-nap rundown. The set-up before the big event, the sunshine
surrender of naptime.

His dreams are always stranger at naptime. Longer, more vivid, less
dilute. The greens are more pure, the reds... he can taste the reds.
And right now, the only thing he wants to taste is the inside of
Willow's sex. Sweet, soft burrow of woman, her scent changing as
they make love again, and again.

But there's strangeness in his mouth now, dirt and old, old lust. No
wild like animal wild, and a part of him knew as soon as he woke.

As soon as the aches settled into stings -- dirt there, too. Veruca.

And he lets himself feel the surge she brought, her wide colorless
eyes, blind to everything but prey and the power. The wolf. He
wishes he'd gone to her before now, known her, and who she was
before the moon came and he lost himself.

He wants to curse the moon, and thank her for her bounty.

There are points on his body, where the change hits hardest. The
tingle along the whole of his skin, the ache in his gums. The strange
liquid of his spine.

The truth behind the afternoon contemplation revealed: Oz is
terrified to sleep, and more terrified to wake after whatever path
his wants, the wolf, and the hiding moon have made him take has

The fear is old, though, alive long before it had a reason.

Willow has gone, and doesn't know.

The sun still shines.

His door is locked, and barricaded, and his windows are closed
against the call he knows could come at any moment. Any time he
opens himself to it...

Veruca's eyes follow him down into sleep.


Te: OK, Spike: toy, salt, doors

Nothing covers anything here.  The sea doesn't cover the
sand, it just pulls away from it, pulls sand away from the beach,
exposing the mussels and starfish that thought they were safe.

Uncovers all the bits of glass and bottlecaps and lost toys
that were hidden, leaves them on the sand to dry and die and then the
wind blows the dry sand off the beach, onto the road,  And the sand
doesn't even cover the road, it just wears away the asphalt so that you
can see the bones underneath.  And pretty soon maybe all there'll be is
bones and then the bones'll get etched way and then maybe there won't be
anything at all

So, is that bad?  It's hard to say.  Very hard to say what is
bad or not bad anymore.  He'd thought for a little while he'd escaped it
by finding something good.  Something  *his*.

And Michael promised with everything.   With his words, with
his body.  And most especially with his hunger.  See this is the part,
the thing that made it all righter than right and wrong.  That made him
know it was real.

Because he'd seen Michael hungry. Before.  And after.  And it was
the *same*.  The same hunger.  The same amount of hunger.

 So he knows that none of it had been a lie. And
Michael's still gone.


So he'll wait a little while still.  A little while, because
Michael's not that strong and when the hunger gets bad Sammy know's
he'll come back.  Or would.  But maybe the bike will take him too far
away.  Or maybe he'll find someone else.  Or maybe maybe lots and lots
of maybes and Michael's really *not* that strong and the waves just

But he can wait a little bit longer and let the wind dry salt onto his
face and let Michael's Doors songs play on the 8-track in the car
far enough away that he can't really hear them, even though he doesn't
have to anymore to have the words stuck in his head.  Beautiful friend,
the end.

He can wait and it'll be okay, because eventually the sun
will go down and then, sometime, maybe someone else will come along
who's hungry too.


spike: Deb: orange, weight, rush


debchan: Te: Law, wire, cat

The tripwire was better than most, or rather its surroundings. The
same silvery-grey everywhere. Mac avoided it, of course, but he still
had to admire the owner's attempt.

So what if he lived in a black and white photograph? The common
thief would be barbecue from the lasers the wire was connected to
by now.

Mac was no common thief.

Which was why he managed to simultaneously duck, jump, twist, and
pray when, in his pride, he tripped the second wire. He landed with a
thump on the federal prison colored parquet and waited for the
sizzle and light to die down.

Did a quick perusal of himself as the alarms started to scream -- and
realized that the laser had sliced open a flap at the front of his pants,
displaying his lucky red silk boxers for all and sundry.

Who revealed themselves to be an extremely pissed looking Li-Ann, and
a snickering Vic. Holding the damned diamond fertility totem casually
and all but howling.

Wonderful. Mac carefully moved past the double wires and slipped out
running with his partners, having to yank Vic faster because he was
laughing so hard. Mac considered, not for the first time, a quiet life
outside... this.

Something where he hardly ever broke the law, never had his genitals
in severe danger of removal.

He knew he wouldn't ever really do it, not even if the Director ever
allowed the leash to slip. It isn't that he doesn't want it, it's just...

He changed in the van, far too accustomed to Vic's style of "driving"
to lose his balance too often. Li Ann rolled her eyes, Vic kept looking
back to laugh -- those were definitely singe marks on the boxers. Any
other night he'd change the boxers, too, knowing it would make Vic go
quiet and Li Ann attractively stony, but.

But. The statuette was just to appease some Ontario crime lord
which the Agency had some deal with. The deal would fall apart sooner
or later, and some drug dealer would still have a hideously ugly and
expensive *thing* that had nearly cost Mac his balls.

The jeans were tight, and comforting. He paced the back of the van
as much as possible, stooped and swaying, feeling a lot like a cat on
the deck of a ship. Li Ann didn't say a word, Vic yelled at him to sit
the fuck down once, twice, then took to driving even more erratically.

Keeping his feet was worth a smile, facing the Director's riding crop
and mockery was not. He surrendered to the childish urge to sulk
mostly unobtrusively, and received his just reward of being summarily

Left last and alone and.


Mac slipped into his apartment at 4:08 a.m. Flipped on the light and
was faced with the staggeringly uncomfortable post-moderness of
his home. The Agency's apartment, chosen for him, based on several
personality tests. He'd never had time to redecorate. Always
something to do. Some way to humiliate himself for the sake of
something slightly ridiculous in the shadows.

To be that thing.

Flopped on the couch and imagined himself, spun the apartment out
into a ghostly half-image in front of him, with a Mac-thing on a
couch-thing that shifted and squared itself.

The angles resolved, the few curves offered their equations in a
gibberish Mac didn't come close to understanding, but.

That was kind of the point.

And himself, still more lines and angles, black clothes in perfect
contrast to the whites and reds. Just another part of the whole.

Would anyone be able to see him if he simply sat like this? Still
and perfectly matched to absolutely nothing that breathed, or was
warm and irregular to the touch?
"I hate you."

Aloud, and not shocking enough. Square, succinct phrase, directed at
nothing, no one, and the room and himself in it. A reckless impulse
and he stared up into the glass and black light fixture with
everything clear on his face. It was where he *knew* one of the
cameras was located.

Hoped someone was watching.

Terrified for the next half-hour that someone would come to the
door and take him away for re-education and Directorial healing.
Desperate for the half-hour after that and.


And sat in the light until his eyes finally closed.


Deb: Te: grass, screen, white

It had been a calculated move on Xander's part, asking to move outside
for the talk they had to have. Inside Giles' apartment, he'd only ever
been a kid. Outside in the courtyard there was maybe a chance he
could be something else.

Even if that something was only a liar who had caused everyone,
absolutely everyone he loved, pain.

As it happened, he could be that *and* the freak who couldn't decide
whether to bask in the long-missed California sunshine or remain in
the shadows. Xander was healthy, but very pale... in the end, it had
just been easier to live on Spike time.

Spike who had driven him back here in a sickly reflection of their
original escape. And what had he left for? Had he really believed it
was only for a promise? Xander felt his scars ache in the sunshine,
white scars on white skin, a pleasant, drunken buzz -- he'd had time
to find the sensation familiar, and almost soothing.

Proof of his humanity, and also of his belonging.

Spike wasn't far. Xander would find him in town, or Spike would
find him come nightfall, and they would talk about what Xander would
do... There was a pit in his stomach, and an ache behind his eyes at
that thought, and then Giles came out with iced tea for each of them,
letting the screen door slam behind him.

He seemed older and younger at the same time. Lean, pared down.
Skin tight over competent muscle and.

"Angel told us, you know."

"I... I figured."

Giles nodded, squinted up into the sky. "You let us believe... well. I've
had some time to think on things, Xander." Giles never quite looked at
him. "You were protecting him, weren't you?"

"I had to."


"I... I made a promise. I've broken too many."

Giles shook his head. "Demon lovers... you've walked a line for him,
you've played your fairy tale game. I presume the time of the
promise has passed?"


And then Giles looked at him, and Xander could feel every scar, every
slash, cut and puncture. He could see them in Giles' eyes. Anger there,
which was only what he deserved, but sadness, too. "Do you love him,

"I don't know."

"I don't think you plan to stay, do you?"

"I don't --"

"No, Xander, you *do* know. You'll be going back with him, wherever
back happens to be, because he loves you, doesn't he? In whatever way
he knows how, Spike loves you, and you..." Giles trailed off again,
seemed to search the sky for long, long moments.

The tea was sweet and cool on Xander's throat, the sun was high and
warm. He could smell freshly cut grass on the air, and honeysuckle.
"Giles --"

Hand over his, warm, so warm and Giles drifted his index finger over
Xander's skin softly, and just once. "I need you to go, Xander. Go to
him now and leave at first sundown.

"I... I'll think of something to tell the others, and I'll give them
your love and heartfelt apologies and whatever other pap I can think
of, just.... he was never the only one."

And it was a pull, old, old need and maybe Spike didn't, or he could,
and he could remember Giles' kiss, and the feel of his arms around
him. So *warm* and it didn't have to go this way, he could still... but
Giles took his hand away and turned his back.

And Xander knew exactly how easy it would be to have it back with
a sudden clarity that dazed him. Whatever needed to break, whatever
seals had to be removed, it had been done and Xander was now...
something to be wanted.

Power and disgust and a heaviness in his cock and Xander walked out
through Giles' apartment, into the blank, open sunshine on the other

Headed toward the factory.

And never looked back.


debitchan: Te: coat, sidewalk, horn

Faith is cursing the rain when the blare of a passing horn announces
that she has, indeed, wandered off the sidewalk in her attempt to
light a wet cigarette in the rain and walk at the same time while
also shitfaced.

She flips whoever off, shakes water off her boots and keeps trying.
It's her last one, there's no fucking way she's giving up on it.

The back of her neck and all down her spine is cold and slick with rain,
she left her coat at the party. And all Faith wants to do is get inside
and naked -- except for her boots, she really likes the boots -- and
start dancing around, right in the middle of the someplace warm and
dry until she gets arrested, in a fight, or laid.

Whichever came first.

But first, the cigarette. This would go better if there was more than
a few drops of fluid and some fumes in her lighter and... hey.

Perfect flame appears, right in front of her.

Fucking kismet.

She uses the opportunity properly, and the first hit of smoke tastes
nice and expensive, just like the silly bitch at the party she'd stolen
the pack from. Nice and spicy-sweet, but the sounds she'd made just
made Faith snicker. Which she did now, as the flame disappeared back
where it came from.

Faith widened her vision and discovered... yep, that's a vampire all
right. Spike, yeah, that is the one.

"Thanks, man. Hope you've got a smoke for me for after I dust your
ass. Too bad you're so fucking skinny. I *like* the coat."

"Tsk. Is that any way to speak to the man who provided your
precious nicotine?"

"Lemme think. Yeah, it is." Faith patted herself down, spoke around
the cigarette. "Damn, no stake. I'm feeling weak, and oddly
feminine. I think I'll just pound the heel of this boot through your
chest 'til I hit something interesting."

"Stakes as strap-ons. You girls really are all the same."

Faith grabbed her crotch and winked. "Daughters of Eve, baby."

"Oh, you're *much* more fun than the other one."

"What can I say? Buffy's got that stick so far up her ass she
spits wood."

"Wonderful. That should remove enough space for Angel to
pretend he can satisfy her."

Faith snickers and Spike sketches a little bow.

Takes up a fighting stance. "When you're ready, luv."

Faith finishes her cig and does the same and... pauses. Begins to
circle. She likes the punk look, she likes the leather, the accent
and attitude are refreshing... "Hey, do you make stupid sounds
when you're fucking?"

"A moan here, a groan there, nothing special."

"No squeaks? Yodels? Anything like that?"

"You ought to know better than to dive the muff on... Buff."

"Oh, you're a fucking poet."

"It's a gift, luv. So are we gonna fight? Or did you want to see
what kind of sounds I could make *you* make?"

"Do you have more cigs?"

Spike smiles, steps out of his crouch. "Dry and safe as houses in
my coat, pet."

Faith thinks it might be time to revisit her opinion of the rain.


debitchan: Te: ring, grip, ball

And then there's the tropical paradise dream, where a child-sized
Rock gives him complicated directions to find the cave whorehouse
behind one of the seemingly dozens of waterfalls the island boasts.

He's dressed like Tattoo.

In fact, they both are.

Luckily, stripping the super-wide lapeled suit off reveals nothing
more ominous than a Hawaiian shirt and... OK, the white swim trunks
are some kind of 70s all right. Xander ditches the shirt and dives in
to the water, swimming and swimming, but also kind of sight-seeing.

Palm trees and bananas and pterodactyls.

That weird kid Roy from Y camp that year, on a raft with Connie
Chung and a giant beach ball.

Xander has a mean backstroke and takes advantage, studying the
amazing blue sky for flaws and finding none. No big scary falling paper
mache clouds this time around, nope, no sir.

Some blink later and he knows he's closer. There's music playing for
one, and Rock's there again, this time as a bouncer.

He's wearing a Speedo, which is comforting. Rock in more clothes than
that just seemed vaguely wrong.

Rock takes him aside to explain the inherent racism in that thought,
but Xander keeps seeing Geordi La Forge instead of Kunta Kente, and
he's wearing a bright red banana clip.

And a Speedo.

Xander decides to just nod and look chastened. He will open himself
for mockery later, when he offers Rock his attempts at Jive.

Though this offense may be bad enough to warrant a trip to his
neighborhood to be glared at by his father, and fed exceedingly well
by his mother.

His younger sister would berate him about the Republican Party, and
then and then...

Xander grovels an apology and runs past him into the cave.

Where it's jungle night at the Bronze but also -- and this is
important -- a whorehouse.

The trick is to pick out the whores from the teenagers.

The tight clothes, the bored, despairing looks, the rank smell of
waiting sex and Xander realizes that he's doomed. Gives up and starts
dancing to The Time who have apparently come down really, really far
in the world, but it's all right because everyone in here is at least
as white as he is.

Except for her.

Eyes closed, hair whipping in controlled arcs, body. Body.


It's a million tiny braids instead of a few big ones, it's out and free
instead of tied down. And Kendra is moving. Dead serious, but body
absolutely lost to it, Xander  can tell. It's in the clench-flex of
muscle and the sway and swing and the way everybody in the room has
cleared a space for her.

Of a sudden she pulls two knives from her sleeves and dances with
them, eyes still closed, but face relaxing, mouth going a little slack
and. Jesus.

Whicker-flash of steel through the air and she's not moving any
slower, but she's moving hotter. Curves instead of angles and the
crowd doesn't press back any further, even though Kendra's reach
is not insignificant, and she's not remaining in one spot.

Xander is rooted, too. He doesn't blame them.

And it's like waiting for it. Feeling the hunger building behind his
aching eyes, in his fingers and dick and belly but it doesn't spill over
until she opens her eyes, flashes both knives past them so fast but
doesn't blink.

And Xander can see the reflection of a brown so deep it's almost
back, angled straight for him and he understands. Something about
crush and pity and trying so so hard.

Suddenly she stops utterly, high leg coming down with a hollow boom
and she's military straight and the knives are crossed at her throat
and Xander lunges but by the time he gets there, it's Faith's arm
he's holding, and she has only the one knife, and her grip is anything
but lyrical, and she's all in red, encased in it, vinyl shining like blood.

Smiling gently, pushing him away.

The butterfly clips in her hair are alive, deep red wings and insectile
black bodies, burrowing into the thickness of deep brown. And he
wants to run his hands through it again, toss the butterflies away
and save her.


But she just pushes him again and turns her back, leaps up onto the
stage and begins to stalk Morris Day.

And the Bronze is suddenly the world's biggest boxing ring, and
Xander spends the rest of the dream looking for a fight that never

And wakes up lonely.


thespike: Te: Tea, pills, air

Nature abhors a vacuum, which is why the wind always sweeps the
plains. And also why my throat can ache for no reason at all.

I take my pills with air. It's a game I play, and a challenge. Pull
the flesh of my throat into my throat by main force and then. Open.

Whoosh, down they all go.

I lose if one sticks, but I don't really deduct any points or anything.
Those things are nasty. Horrible little things of bitterness and
dissolution. Them and me. It's what they do.

All I do if I lose is scrub my tongue with my fingers, my carefully
short nails. Find something that tastes strong. Ginger tea, without the
tea. I used the actual root to scrub once, but it made all my food Thai.
I could live without Thai scrambled eggs.

I didn't eat the second day, or the first day of non-gingerness.

They noticed after that, even though I was careful to sit with the
screamers and hair triggers.

I must not have dipped my head enough, or maybe they saw me shoveling
the mashed potatoes on to little Martha's plate. I don't know. I got
a special private session with Doctor Abraham, and we played the is
she or isn't she game.

Suicidal. I'm not, though. I just wasn't hungry.

They already know my body image is bad. Or think they do. I like my
body, it's just my face. And my hands.

Sometimes I dream I'm one of those broken up statues in the books,
just my torso, maybe part of one thigh. Only I'm not just a statue.
I can feel. And sometimes, when nobody is looking --  I can sense
this -- people will touch me. Soft and gentle, like I'm something special.

My face isn't there, and my hands aren't, so all people see is this
blameless body, and they love me a little.

I told the group about that one right away. I know what makes the
counselors happy, and everybody took a turn saying no, Faith, no. No,
no. Not that way. You have a beautiful face. Your hands can do
beautiful things!

They always surround my pictures with the pastel-ly ones from
the just-passing-throughs, like Sue and Merry. Trapping in all the
reds and violence. It's OK, though. It's like sleeping in a padded
room, knowing you could leave anytime you wanted. It's just
comfortable and fun.

And this place isn't comfortable or fun -- except for the indoor
camping the night counselors sometimes do, with marshmallows
roasted over a trash fire in the stairwell, I like that, a lot, because
they let me come, even though it's mostly the just-passing-throughs.

But it's very white, white walls, white sheets. White floors and
ceilings and coats. It just makes me want to hide more. You'd think
blues and greens would be more therapeutic. And we don't play enough
games. They like to keep the criminal in the criminally insane.

It's my redemption, though, and that thought always makes me want
to paint the walls even whiter, and make the sun shine in on me, and
the rest of us, no matter how much it makes my head hurt and I
think that's the meds. No matter how much it hurts we couldn't
close our eyes and hide. We would just walk in the light, all day and
all night until all the darkness burned away.

Ginny says that just makes her think of radiation poisoning.

Ginny has issues.

I like my burning. I think I'll try to draw it next time. White chalk
on magenta construction paper. The fire, and the torso, and maybe
most of a smile.


spike: caramel, blue, gaze

When Xander was five, he liked to think of Carmel as just a
misspelling of the glorious truth. A city devoted to caramel, sticky,
potentially painful to the teeth. Buttery and smooth. Maybe not as
cool as Hershey, but East Coast people were pale and surly, so that
was all right.

Caramel was made for summer.

It was a random memory, but it was his. The sort of thing that
appears at odd moments, threatening to unbalance him. Maybe a gift
from his sire. His beautiful dam. Drusilla had been touched by God,
once -- Xander knew this as well as he knew the taste of Willow's
blood. She had been touched, and sometimes the touch passed to her

Spike had delighted to tease at first, offering tales of what others
of her children had done to themselves before dying horribly, but as
time had passed he'd let it be.

But Spike could tell when one of the memories came, and sometimes
watched him warily.

Waiting for power, maybe, because they weren't really just
memories. There was always the sense, the tiny, tiny possibility
that Xander could *change* those memories... and they weren't
always his.

He remembered the first time Willow had touched herself, and how
she'd cried and panicked afterward.

He remembered dancing with Spike in Vienna, the feel of silk
dragging across his breasts and bare legs beneath.

But it didn't happen often, and Drusilla encouraged him, and Spike
taught him. How to dress for fighting, how to make the humans beg
for the bite. How to hunt.

How to take a witch.

It was a lesson Spike had learned from experience. Xander
remembered the taste of his own flesh, obviously from a failed
attempt. It was the first thing he did after his parents. An old,
old drive. Unfinished work, sharp and necessary in his new mind.

Tara, he simply shot with a crossbow. Willow, he took.

And it was so good to have her in his arms, and not worry about
time, or being seen. The beat of her heart, fast enough for the both
of them. Inside hot enough to burn and Drusilla holding her head
still with her knees. Gripping Willow's hands and taking the spells
into herself.

Spike at her belly before Xander could stop him, taking the first
taste that by rights should have been his. But inside... oh.

Her tears were crystal bright in the dimness, her breasts soft
and fleshy.

Drusilla stayed with her in the days, fogging her mind and Xander
could almost smell it sometimes, the constant struggle. The
beautiful sway of captivity. Xander knew in another life that Willow
was his forever, and tries to capture that feeling, but this Willow
still fought, even when his fangs slipped in. Even when he slipped in
and held her firm on his cock.

She was white all over, save for the deep ginger at her sex and
under her arms. He did not mar her with more than his helpless
bites, tiny drinks to leave her languid and him hungry.

Sometimes Dru would have to pull him away, determined he would
not lose his pet, and Xander lost himself in her, in her dark, heady

Whispered mother against her mouth and held her gaze, charmed and
helpless and held for Spike. Hard, ruthless fucks deep in Drusilla's
eyes. Blue and sweet fading green to yellow, having his blood while
Spike took his body.

And when Spike was done and Xander had painted Drusilla with
himself, it was out into the night. At Spike's side -- Drusilla mostly
hunted alone -- and struggling to hold on to the ache. There was a
strange magical burn on Spike's forehead that he worries at

Wonders at -- Spike felt it all the *time*...

Brother, now, forcing him against walls, dancing with him with the
victim in between. Opening himself with a grin and oh, he tasted. So
spicy and strong.

They killed Willow together, both inside her, one on either side of
her beautiful slim throat. Taking and taking her limp body until
something in Xander broke and he had to destroy it. Rip it away
from Spike and tear her body apart and rip her hair out and beat her
and beat her and beat her.

Spike scolded him for taking what was left to the Slayer, but he
*had* to. Had to. Please, another.


Drusilla held him to her breast and sang and it was beautiful and

And they were ready when the Slayer came.


spike: Te: chrome, angel, prick

The first thought he has is that lipstick just makes Spike look
malnourished. The second is that he didn't know Spike wore
lipstick. The third was wondering how badly scuffed Spike's boots
made the chrome.

The fourth, fifth, and sixth thoughts were, in order: Ow, Hey, that
hurt, and oh, shit.

And then it all sort of fuzzes out to being pinned to the hood of
Uncle Rory's car, shirt bundled in a white fist pressing hard
against his windpipe.

And Spike.

"Say, that's a nasty looking scar you got there, Spike. Might that
be from where the chip came out?"

Slow, easy game-face grin. "It might."

"Well, let me be the first to congratulate you on the return of
your old life. Now if you'll just excuse me, I'll just go let the
gang know so we can celebrate the return of mortal fear."

Long inhale. "I dunno, pet. You seem to be celebrating fine all by

"I imagine you've missed that smell."

"I have."

"It'll be gone pretty fast if you kill me, you know."

And Spike hauls him upright again. Kicks Xander's thighs apart and
leans in close. "Now who says I plan on killing you quick, then?"


And yes, it's a woman's voice making Spike stiffen. A very familiar
woman's voice. All dreamy and psycho and hello.

"Oh, nice to see you back again, Drusilla. You kids getting back

Xander is wonderfully, beautifully ignored for the next several
seconds, but Spike doesn't let go. Just lets his head fall back on to
Drusilla's shoulder and Xander can't tell, but he's pretty sure
she's doing something to the brand new scar and *Jesus*.

Spike thrusts against him several times, and Spike's moaning, and
suddenly Drusilla is staring right at him. Mouth open, eyes wide and

"Hey, if you guys need a little privacy I could..." And Drusilla
reaches toward him with one finger. There's blood on it. "I could...
um. Hey --"

Slick and cold down the center of his face, over his nose and he has
the absurd urge to laugh, really laugh, and then the finger pauses
on his lower lip.

"Is he a cheeky boy, Spike? It's been so long since I've had a cheeky
little baby boy..."

Spike straight up again and glittering at him. "Oh, he's the
cheekiest cheeky little boy I've ever seen, pet." Kisses her on the
cheek. "And he's all... yours. How shall I serve him?"

And she never stops looking at him. "Cold, Spike. Very, very cold."

Which is when Xander remembers that pointless struggle is always
an option and he gets in one good kick to Dru before the entire sky
explodes. He has a moment to wonder if vampires could survive
nuclear winter with the cockroaches before he realizes that he's
still alive, and still on the hood of the car, and that Spike is
glaring at him.

From over Drusilla's shoulder. She holds him back with frightening
ease, and shakes her finger at Xander with a pleased little smile.
"Now, now, pretty. Any more o' that and you won't get any biscuits
with your tea, now will you?"

"I guess not?"

Speaking hurts, nearly falling off the car when he tries to use his
lack of being held down to anything to run... that also hurts. But
when Drusilla sweeps him into her arms the sudden horizontal to
vertical makes absolutely everything white out and he knows he must
be moaning now but the only words he can think of are don't, and
please, and he doesn't want to give them the satisfaction and.

It's cold between them, Drusilla and Spike nuzzling at his throat. No
softness, and every nuzzle leaves a little slash in his throat, brush
of fangs to skin and there's no room to do anything but jerk a little.

Forgets, shakes his head and it's the kind you don't feel. Just
pressure and the sudden spill of blood in what feels like a wave and
Spike's hard and Dru is holding him and someone is touching him too
much. All over and the bites come one-two and his scream is a silent
rush of breath.

And... it doesn't fade right away. Nothing does. It's all just right
there. The wet sounds, and the empty street, and old leather and old
silk and metal-shear stink of blood. Xander can feel his collar
getting wet, clammy against his body. Flat animal growl and the next
bite makes his knees buckle but there's a strong hand between his

Holding him and riding him and the only way to make it stop hurting
is to writhe and the next growl seems pleased.

And the thought: Anya will go after them herself if she finds out
first. Prick-slash, sharp, sharp end of a fingernail, or maybe an
icepick just under his nipple, and they'll cry he's gonna make them
cry and the next bite sends blood gushing over his own lips, he's
choking on it almost, and it seems wrong somehow that there's no

Kiss it away.

Sinking now, and the pull is a steady, throbbing ache and it's.

Like an old-fashioned flash bulb. Everything is luminous and *there*
for half a heartbeat. Slow. And then gone, everything but the
sucking sounds, and pressure here, and there.

And it seems to go on forever, into the black slow, and slow.
Pressure at his mouth, then, more gentle, and.

There's no word for it, only the sensation of cream, warm and
fresh and thick and too expensive too drink but oh so good. Right
there. And the taste is there, too, for a long while and by the time
it's gone and there's light behind his eyelids again he knows.

He *knows*.

Mmmmms a scream into Spike's hard throat and pounces, losing hold
of the wound for a second and screams for real, all the screams,
the old ones and the new ones and he *knows*.

He can feel Spike, thread between them of pain and blood and oh, oh
sex, *yes*.

Pins him down to the pavement and tears his throat open and works
himself hard against him.

"Oh... Oh, yeh, pet, that's right. Eager little bunny, aren't you --

The sire. Oh, great, oh fine. His voice. Death and life and hate and
need and suddenly Xander tears in harder, trying trying. Had to get
in kill him kill him kill him -- up by the scruff of the neck and held,
toes not reaching the ground and *no*.

No. No...

Blue eyes like the sire's, only wide and sweet and to be inside
those eyes to be... "I love you." Did he? So strange, so many sounds
and words and air crushing in around him, like if he could just
concentrate the angels would come down, and shake their heads.

"What's his name, Spike?"

"Xander, and luv?"


"Did you give him a little help in the rising? He's a mite early, don't
you think?"

"We mustn't plant them anymore, Spike. Sometimes they don't grow
if you do that."

"Right." Spike rubbing at his healing throat with a wince. "Well, he's
certainly still a cheeky little bastard. Bit more feral than I like."

"Then we'll just have to teach him manners. Will you be a good boy
or a bad boy, Xander?"

And it pushes through everything else. Makes it fade in the face of
her, still holding him. He reached out, ran his fingers over the curve
of her breast, leaned in as best he could. She let him go and he went
farther, burying himself against her throat and holding her, holding
her and feeling Spike watch and smirk.

Smell his cigarette, like a fire someplace loved.

Go to him, and lick where he's been, taste the human in Spike's
mouth, long to go back and kill himself and oh, he's so hungry... And
it's Spike he answers, Spike hard against his leg, sleepy-eyed and
pleased with himself.

"I'll be as bad as you want me to be."


spike: rust, afternoon, skirt

There's rust on the pipes here. On the mirror, too, right along
the left bottom corner. Buffy's reflection crumbles red and metal
here, which is OK. It's all right, because then she doesn't have to
think about the way her bra stood out stark and aquamarine against
the dirt-colored carpet.

Not so much an accusation as an announcement. She wants to scoop
it up and bundle it away, but she doesn't want to put it on yet and
the scrambling would make her look young, inexperienced.

Or something.

Buffy likes the way Faith looks at her breasts, the way her lust-girl
grin goes a little slack. The way she takes in all of Buffy, from her
hopeless hair to her bare shoulders to the skirt that she didn't
bother to un-ruck before she came out of the bathroom.

She can feel Faith's spit drying down there, or trying to as it
mingled with her... her. She doesn't like the words for it, but Faith
just calls it girl come, or better yet just come.

Only maybe she spells it c-u-m, like in the pornos. Or maybe she would,
just to see if what face Buffy would make.
Faith took the rest of her clothes off while Buffy was in the bathroom,
and she's sitting cross-legged on the rumpled, squeaky bed. There's
nothing on her face but happy, dim lust. Sorry, most of my brain is on
vacation, please see my gonads.

And she can. Soft-looking and pink, shadowed with glossy dark hair. It
makes Buffy gulp. She doesn't know if she's ready to... do anything
about that yet. She doesn't even know what she's doing here, just came
over, maybe start patrol in the afternoon or something.

Just hang out and Faith had kissed her too many times, too deep and
knowing for Buffy to do anything but open herself up.

Faith's scent is strong in the air, just as aggressive as it should be,
making Buffy wrinkle her nose a little.

Faith made her yell.

Faith's reaching for her and Buffy starts to move, and she can almost
feel where the first touch will come -- the front of her thigh, pushing
at the soon-to-be stubble. And Faith is smiling a little wider now,
openly staring at Buffy's groin and something *snaps* and she's
moving to cover herself and then moving to conceal the move and
finally just moving.

For the bra, and her shirt, wherever it is and "I... I have to go."

"Night's young, B..."

"Um. Test. I have a test tomorrow, and I promised Willow I would..."
And Buffy trails off weakly and Faith holds her there for a long, long
moment, just with her knowing dark eyes that suddenly look inward.

And Faith slumps back on the bed. "Sure thing, B. Patrol later?"

"Yeah, um. I..."

Another look, eyebrow almost arched, but it's a brittle kind of arch
just the same so it's.


"I'll meet you at the cemetery."

"Right. Um... see you..."

And escapes. Something.


spike: jelly, wicker, late

Joyce has wicker lawn furniture, and every time he sees it, all
Xander can remember is that his mother had wanted some for as
long as he could remember. Nothing fancy, just some workable patio
furniture with that lacquered braid feel that Xander, personally,
has always hated.

Probably because his mother never got it.

And here comes Joyce, all lemonade and smooth, cool face and cloud
of expensively done hair and if he can't resent Buffy, then he can
damned well resent her. No husband to ruin her life, enough money
for as much fashionably uncomfortable furniture as she wants.

She's smiling at him, dark little knowledge shared between them now.

A kiss in the kitchen, a fuck in the foyer... Xander wonders if the
alliteration trend will keep up. They have *this* now and, and.

And he never used to hate her.

This is entirely new, just like *this* is.

"You're awfully quiet today, Xander."

"I'm working on my strong, not-quite-a-chatterbox type." Open
mouth, words fall out.

She smiles at him, and it's a familiar one. Same old aren't-you-a-
charming-young-man-if-a-bit-on-the-scruffy-side. It fades into one
of the newer smiles, narrow eyed and blatant. Joyce makes him aware
of his body in ways Anya can't.

Not enough knowledge, experience.

He takes a sip of the perfect lemonade, and searches her eyes as
subtly as he can. He promised himself he wouldn't do it this time, but
here he is and he has to. *Has* to. Willpower always comes late to
these parties and Joyce... Joyce returns his look with a basilisk wall
of lust and... it's not self-satisfaction so much as it is the sum of
those words.

Joyce is satisfied, perfectly within herself.

Making Xander a warm-blooded sex toy.

And he'll pour every inch of this anger into it, leave bite marks on
her upper thighs and slap her ass and fuck her through the mattress
and back. Fuck his spine right out through his cock until he's
jelly-legged and dazed.

And when it's over, she'll let him hold her for just about long enough
for him to almost forget the hints of Buffy in her scent, and how
fucking *dirty* it makes him feel, and then he'll be dismissed, with a
sweet smile and eyes already elsewhere.

Until the next time.

And the question isn't why he keeps coming back.

The question is why he won't *ask* himself that question.

Xander leans across the table and kisses her, just to make her jump.
They are, after all, still outside. Anyone could be watching. Xander
gropes her breast for good measure -- braindead fourteen-year-old
style, and walks into the house.

She'll follow in her own good time.


Continue to Bride of Improv.