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Title: "What Almost Was"
Author: flaming muse
Pairings: Spike/Ethan
Rating: R
Spoilers: none; set decades before the series
Summary: Spike almost meets Ethan (and Ripper).
Warning: slash
Note: a holiday card fic for estepheia, who requested Spike/Ethan
Disclaimers: The characters belong to Joss and various corporate Powers That Be. I make absolutely no profit from playing with them.
Distribution: Please ask.
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The pounding music reverberated in his bones, and the multi-colored lights twisted and writhed as if imitating the mass of dancers beneath them. Even for normal human senses the scene would have been overwhelming, but for a vampire the intensity of sight, sound, and smell in the club was like an all-out attack. There was nowhere Spike could turn for even a sliver of peace. It was exactly what he had been searching for.

His body throbbing with the music like he had an overactive heartbeat, he prowled toward the bar through the crowds of sweaty, undulating bodies. Leaning against the sticky counter, he slammed back the shot bought by the blonde with the Farrah Fawcett hair but declined the pills she offered. He preferred his drugs second-hand.

Spike scanned the dance floor for that night's treat. Dru was off hunting unsuspecting Londoners on her own, so he could play for a bit before having his dinner. Perhaps a nice redhead with blank eyes and something interesting in her veins, or a pretty blond boy with enough hair to grip while Spike fucked his mouth and then drank deep from his throat.

Then he saw the young man. Tall, lean, and graceful as he swayed to the music, he was standing at the edge of the dance floor with a bottle of beer in his hand. Unlike most of the rest of the crowd, he wasn't watching the dancers; he was watching Spike.

Spike was more than happy to return the favor. The man's skin was dusted with glitter and sweat, and his eyes were sharp with eyeliner and interest. Spike smiled knowingly and let one ringed hand drift to rest suggestively on his belt. The other man's eyes sparkled, his lips twisting into an appreciative grin, and Spike knew that he had found the night's entertainment.

The man walked toward him, and Spike met him a third of the way across the crowded floor.

"You're quite adventurous, dressing like that in a place like this." The man's hand gestured fluidly to Spike's leather and chains and then to the flashing disco around them.

"Do what I like," Spike said, taking the bottle from him and enjoying a long swallow of beer.

"Yes, I can see that." The man smirked and took a sip of his own when Spike handed back the bottle. "What did you have in mind?"

Twisting his fingers into the gauzy fabric of the man's shirt, Spike pulled him forward and kissed him. The man responded with enthusiasm, tasting of alcohol and smoke and leaving a tingling buzz on Spike's tongue when they broke apart.

"Full of surprises, aren't you?" Spike said, leaning close so that he could be heard over the music. He swirled the citrusy sweetness of the magic around his mouth with delight.

The man ran a long finger up Spike's neck to rest over what should have been his pulse point. "And so are you," he said. "I'm fond of surprises."

"I've got plenty more, mate."

"As it happens, I have no other plans for the evening." His grin grew.

Spike drew him in closer, brushing their lips together once more. He could sense only a slight twinge of apprehension beneath the power and confidence pouring off of his prey. Spike knew that the man's blood would be utterly delicious, the magic in it able to provide a greater high than whatever drugs he had taken. Killing him might prove to be a bit of a challenge, but a good fight would make the meal even more enjoyable.

They kissed, mouths opening wide and tongues and bodies rubbing together, but the man stepped back after he lifted his head to breathe. Spike glanced up to see him looking at something across the room, his eyes lit with pleasure.

Spike turned to see what had caught his attention but could detect nothing of interest besides the gyrating crowd of humans.

"Sorry, love, but it turns out I have a prior engagement after all. Perhaps another time," the man said, slipping out of Spike's arms.

Too surprised to argue, Spike watched his dinner glide across the floor and disappear among the dancers. He considered going after him, taming him before tasting his blood, but a lithe brunette dressed in silk and velvet caught his attention as she descended the stairs into the club.

All thoughts of eyeliner and magic flew from his head as he headed toward Drusilla. There was no question that he would rather have an easy meal before feasting on her all night than chase after one glittering boy with sparks in his eyes.