Chapter Two: Sweet Savage
“So…how are you?” Spike was silent after Xander’s question, giving him a long, steady look. The women talked and laughed in the kitchen as Dawn finished fixing dinner, leaving the men on their own in the living room.
“Look, if we’re just going to talk in bleedin’ circles, let’s not even start.” He saw that Xander was surprised at his outburst. “We both know that the situation is far from comfortable, but we don’t have to make it worse with these stilted conversations we keep having. Maybe things would get back to normal if we started acting bloody normal!”
“Sure, man; whatever you say.” Spike sighed in frustration, tipping his head back to look at the ceiling.
“See, that is not normal. Even before…everything, you never acted like that. You insulted and joked, but you never just gave in to whatever I said. You’d have probably killed yourself before agreeing with me.” Xander smiled slightly. “You don’t have to act like I walk on water; that’s not gonna make things all better.”
“So you’d prefer I call you a jerk and argue with everything you say?” Spike glanced at him.
“Yeah, I think that would be bloody spectacular. At the very least it’d liven things up a bit.” Xander leaned back and nodded, reaching to flip on the television.
“See? This is much better.”
“Oh, my God,” Anya whispered as she boosted herself up to sit on the counter. “They’re actually talking! I think I just saw Spike smile.” Dawn looked up and grinned.
“It’s about time. I hope this means they’ll start working things out cause I can’t take much more of the tension.”
“I know. Xander keeps asking me what he should do; like some grand gesture is just gonna make it all go away.”
“What about you? How are you doing?” Anya picked at a loose thread at the hem of her shirt before wiping a weary hand across her face. She shrugged.
“I don’t know. Things are still pretty rough.” She leaned back against the cupboard. “I still have the dreams. They stopped for awhile, but a couple nights ago I went out- I forced myself to go out to the car by myself. Xander needed something. I was so proud of myself; I haven’t been able to go out alone since…well, you know. Then a car backfired down the street.” Anya shook her head and Dawn saw that her eyes were watery. “Suddenly I couldn’t move, and it was happening again.”
“What was happening?”
“The cutting and the- Drusilla and- all the pain. I was there again and it was so real.” She closed her eyes in misery and whispered, “I feel like I’m going crazy, Dawn. Do you think I’m going crazy?”
“Oh, sweetie!” Dawn took Anya’s hand. “You’re not crazy. You went through something horrible; this is how your mind is dealing with it. It sucks, but it’s all part of the process. Did you tell the therapist?” Anya looked down at the floor, unable to meet Dawn’s eyes.
“No. Not yet, but I will.” She glanced up and saw Dawn looking at her skeptically. “I promise.”
“She’s there to help you, An. She can only help if you let her.”
“I know. It’s just weird talking to a stranger about personal stuff and…intimate problems.” Dawn smiled.
“You mean sex?”
“Among other things.”
“Since when have you had a problem talking about sex in front of strangers?”
“I know,” Anya laughed. “Giles’s sense of propriety must be rubbing off on me, right?”
“Yeah, like that’ll ever happen!” Anya giggled, but Dawn could tell she really needed to talk about what was bothering her. “So…what kind of sex stuff?”
“Xander and I haven’t, you know, made with the lovin’ in quite some time.”
“Really? Because of…”
“Yeah. I want to. I try to, but then when we…start, I feel…I don’t know, dirty. But Xander has been so sweet about everything.” She paused, looking sad. “And I’ve just been such a bitch lately. I get irritated over every little thing and I snap at him. Alot. And I’m jumpy.” She tipped her head back, closing her eyes tightly. “It just…never stops, you know. Sometime it’s hard to make myself get up in the morning. I just keep wondering – when is it going to end? When will I finally be over this?”
“I wish I could give you some simple answer, but I’d be lying if I said getting over something like this is easy. It’s going to take a lot of work and time, and only you can make the effort. But I’ll tell you one thing; talking to me, talking to Xander or the therapist or all of us, that’s a good thing. It means you’re not shutting yourself off and it means you’re trying to heal.” Dawn put her arms around her friend. “You’ll get there, and I’ll be here for you whenever you need me.”
“I’m so glad we stayed out here. I don’t know how I’d get through this without you.”
“Well, that’s what best friends are for, right? You were there for me through all my crap; I’m glad to do whatever I can to help you.” They were quiet for a while as Dawn finished making supper. Anya watched her thoughtfully, glad that she had such a great friend.
* * * *
“Things went well tonight, don’t you think?” Dawn asked as she curled up on Spike’s lap later that night.
“I have to say it wasn’t completely awful.” He pushed her hair aside and gently kissed her neck. She smiled slightly as she snuggled closer then said sadly,
“Anya’s not doing so well. I wish…”
“I wish I could’ve healed all of her, her body and her mind.”
“I know, luv. I wish I could’ve prevented the whole sorry situation.”
“I think about what it must have been like for her, for both of you, and I just…” She broke off as she choked up and Spike stroked her back comfortingly.
“It’ll be okay, sweet. Anya’s a fighter; she’ll muddle through and come out of this bloody mess even stronger.”
“You really think so?”
“She’s survived living with Harris all these years, hasn’t she?” Dawn laughed into his neck, lightly punching his shoulder.
“Would you be serious!” He pushed away slightly so he could look her in the eye.
“I was. Anya is definitely a survivor, and she’s got an amazing friend; she’s gonna get through this. You’ll see.” Dawn nodded and leaned back into the comfort of his arms.
* * * *
Everything was hazy. It was hard to see, and there was pressure, something holding him down. He looked around, but all he could see were formless shadows. He could make out something in the distance, but his mind couldn’t piece together what it was. He studied it, trying to make sense of the images. Slowly he began to understand as everything sharpened and slid into focus. All at once, he knew he was looking at Dawn, but…something wasn’t right. She was looking at him, but her eyes were empty. He lifted his head slightly and saw that she was lying in a pool of blood. He tried to get up and go to her but he found he couldn’t. He glanced up and realized someone was leaning over him; it was a woman and she had her eyes closed. The woman moved on top of him causing spirals of pleasure to radiate through his body and he realized he was naked. Her eyes snapped open, meeting his gaze and she started to laugh, a harsh, grating laugh that sent a shiver of foreboding down his spine. He moved to push her away, but her hands pinned him to the ground and she began to move on him again.
“No, stop,” he tried to say, but the words seemed stuck in his throat. He turned his head away and his gaze again fell on Dawn, her empty eyes seeming to watch him and his betrayal. He reached his hand toward her, not understanding why this was happening. The woman took his chin and turned his face back to hers. Leaning down to look in his eyes she whispered,
“You belong to me now.”
“NO!” He sat up suddenly, confused. He jumped when a hand touched his shoulder. Dawn looked at him in surprise, her eyes wide.
“Spike? What’s wrong?” He looked at her for a moment before searching the room with his gaze. His eyes met hers again and he shook his head wordlessly, pulling her to him as tears threatened. He closed his eyes, his face twisting into a mask of anguish. “Spike, seriously, you’re scaring me. What’s wrong?”
“I…had a bad dream,” he said, his voice hoarse.
“Must’ve been one hell of a dream. I’ve never seen you so worked up.” She pulled back. “What was it; what happened in your dream?”
“I don’t want to tell you.”
“Why not?” He wouldn’t meet her eyes. “Spike?”
“It was…bad. I can’t…” He broke off.
“Sweetie, you’re shaking! Come here.” She pulled him close. “You don’t have to talk about it. I’ve never seen you like this!” They lay there holding each other, Dawn rubbing his back soothingly, but Spike was unable to forget the nightmare. He lay staring blankly at the wall long after Dawn drifted back to sleep, scared that somehow his dream was a prophecy of things to come. His arms tightened desperately around her, his words a harsh whisper in the quiet room,
“I love you.” And silent tears streamed down his face.
* * * *
The place was cheap and tawdry, a pay-by-the-hour type of place if he had to guess. Exactly the kind of place she had always hated and yet the kind of place he thought suited her best. Sorcha liked to play the part of a lady. In reality, she was nothing but a whore, paying for the things she wanted with the pleasures of her body. Lucius had been taken in once, but his stupidity had cost him everything and he never made the same mistake twice.
Sorcha had told him once that he was the strangest vampire she’d ever known, and she was right; he was different. He didn’t view humans merely as food, although he did feed on them. He had good friends who were human, and he’d been in several relationships with human women. He lived in their world as one of them and was accepted in their lives and welcomed in their homes. He didn’t usually feed on his friends preferring to kill strangers, but many of his women had thought being with a vampire was an erotic fantasy come to life and enjoyed letting him feed from them.
He enjoyed his life and didn’t appreciate Sorcha barging back in, turning everything on its ass, but he had contacted the others and they all thought Sorcha’s story merited a hearing. He shook his head and chuckled as he studied the place she had stayed at after he had kicked her out this morning. She must be seething with anger over not getting her way with him, but it had given him great joy to throw her out of his home. He wished he could leave her here longer, but the others had already convened; her presence was required. He knocked on the door, preparing himself for her fury.
Sorcha opened the door and found Lucius standing on her doorstep, smiling of all things. Smug bastard! She knew he had enjoyed humbling her, making her stay in this disgusting hovel. No one else had ever made her feel cheap or unsure of herself and yet he managed it easily every time they met. She hated him more than she’d ever hated anyone. That was probably the reason she wanted him so badly. She grabbed his shirt and dragged him into the room, slamming the door shut as she turned and shoved him onto the bed. She was on him in an instant, ripping at his clothes, desperate for the feel of him inside her. He willingly obliged her need, and she was surprised that he gave in so easily; she had expected a fight. Lucius moved quickly, turning her on her back and pressing into her so fiercely it hurt. She writhed excitedly beneath him, reveling in the slide of his flesh against her own. They bit and clawed at each other as they moved, making pleasure and pain interchangeable. He bit the side of her breast viciously as they rocked to a shattering climax, and she sunk her teeth into his shoulder before letting out a scream of triumph.
The feeling of triumph was fleeting, however, as he rolled off her immediately and straightened his clothes. He flung a fifty at her and said coldly,
“I hope that’s all I owe you; I didn’t bring much money with me.” She glanced at the bill lying on the bed and then looked at him incomprehensibly for a moment before his meaning became clear. Fury swept through her and she flew at him, her nails clawing at his face. He shoved her away easily with a laugh.
“Really darling, I couldn’t possibly go again right now. Give a guy a little time to recover.” He tucked in his shirt and headed for the door. “The others are gathering for a meeting; they want to hear your story.” He looked at her as she sat huddled forlornly on the bed. “I’ll wait outside while you get dressed.” As he shut the door she hurled a lamp after him, watching in satisfaction as it shattered and fell to the floor. She was filled with blind hatred and she wondered why he didn’t want her the way she wanted him.
Lucius walked to the car, unsurprised that he had given in to his desire for her. He supposed it was only normal; he enjoyed sex with human women, but he never let completely loose with them unless he planned to kill them. With Sorcha he could be the beast he was without worrying about hurting her. In fact, he had found that pain made her even more responsive and wanton. He could tell she thought she had won there at the end and he had enjoyed degrading her. She was always so much fun to torment, and she always came begging for more. She strode angrily from her room and stormed to the car, her obvious anger making him smile. He would have her again when they got to his house. Perhaps this time he would make her bleed.
Dawn was worried about Spike. Ever since the nightmare he’d been unusually quiet and tense. She wished he’d talk to her about it, but every time she asked his eyes filled with fear and his face was so sad it made her heart ache in sympathy. When they patrolled he was like a man possessed, driven and intense. She didn’t know what had happened in his dream, but she got the feeling he was trying to protect her from something. She wished he wouldn’t worry so much; she would know if something bad was coming soon and she hadn’t had even a twitch on her radar. She wondered if he was ill, maybe some sort of sickness only vampires got? It sounded ridiculous, but she’d learned that nothing was beyond the realm of possibility when it came to the supernatural. She’d try again to talk to Spike; if he wasn’t a little more forthcoming she’d call Giles. But she hoped that Spike would trust her enough to tell her why he was suddenly acting as though the end of the world was near.
Xander woke up to Anya’s screams. He quickly woke her from her dream and then held her as she cried. This had become almost a nightly ritual, the bad dream and then the comforting, but he had never seen Anya so inconsolable before. She tried to speak, but could get out nothing except harsh, hiccupping sobs.
“Shh, it’s okay. You don’t have to talk right now; you can tell me later. You’re here in our house, and no one can hurt you.” He stroked her hair, trying to calm and comfort her. She shook her head, pulling away from him.
“Dawn!” she choked out, gasping for breath.
“You want me to call Dawn?” he asked reaching for the phone. She shook her head violently, knocking his hands from the phone.
“Something- bad,” she sobbed, thrashing around.
“Shh, don’t. You’ll hurt yourself.” Xander tried to stop her flailing, but she reared back and punched him. “Ow! An, what the hell?” She looked at him, stricken and fell against him sobbing. He pulled her close and rubbed her back. “It’s okay. I’m sorry I yelled. Please don’t… Please be alright.”
“Something bad- Dawn. She- hurt! Something- bad- Dawn!”
“Something hurt Dawn?” She nodded weakly, running out of energy. Xander held her, wondering why she had dreamt of Dawn.
“Hafta go see,” she demanded.
“We’ll call in the morning.”
“No!” she said, struggling away from him again. “Now! Call now!”
“Okay, calm down. I’ll call, but it was just a dream. Dawn is fine.” Xander told her as he dialed. The phone rang a few times before Spike answered. Xander started to explain, but Anya reached out and grabbed the phone.
“Spike is Dawn okay? Is she there; is she okay?”
Spike was surprised at the desperation in Anya’s voice, and tried to calm her down.
“Dawn is fine, pet; she’s right here next to me. Why, what’s wrong?”
“I had a bad dream. Well, that’s actually become almost normal to me, but this one was different. Usually I dream about the…torture, but this one was about Dawn. She was hurt…so badly.” She broke off on a sob. “I found this…room, and when I went in she was just…lying there! She was broken and bleeding and I couldn’t do anything. She just…died as I watched.” She paused for a moment before whispering, “They were having sex right next to her! Right next to her…body.” Spike froze in shock.
“I couldn’t see their faces, but it was awful. Are you sure Dawn is alright?” Spike didn’t say anything for a second, too stunned to speak. “Spike? Spike!” Her panic penetrated the fog he was in and he forced himself to speak,
“Yes, yes I’m sure. She’s right here. Do you want to talk to her?” She said she did so Spike passed off the phone and then left the room.
Dawn watched him leave as she reassured Anya, wondering what had upset him. When she got off the phone she sought him out and found him sitting in the living room; he hadn’t even turned on the light.
“What’s wrong?” He didn’t look at her as he responded.
“Did she tell you about her dream?”
“I had that dream.”
“You did?” He nodded. “That’s what got you so worried? But it was just a dream; why-?”
“I was the one having sex,” he said abruptly.
“Oh.” He turned to look at her.
“‘Oh’? That’s all you have to say? Aren’t you hurt and disgusted? Aren’t you worried?” He tensed when she touched his arm.
“It’s a little unsettling, but it was only a dream.” He tried to pull away, but she wouldn’t let him.
“It wasn’t just a dream; Anya had the same dream. That makes it something more, don’t you see?”
“First of all, Anya has a lot of bad dreams; just because this one sounds similar to yours doesn’t mean it’s the exact same dream. Second, you would never do that! It was a nightmare, not a vision. I know it must have been awful, but that’s all it was; don’t put so much stock in it. What you saw will never happen.” She pulled him to her and he held her close, praying she was right, but in his mind he saw Dawn’s empty eyes and feared that it was more than just a bad dream.