Title: Bloody Beginnings
Unrivaled desperation. That's the only phrase that comes to mind when he sees her walk into the bar, one arm wrapped around a scrawny nothing of a vampire, the other twirling the ends of her long blonde hair in an attempt to give it a flip. Spike suddenly pictures her in a room full of cheerleaders, all wrapped tight in their sleeping bags on the floor, dressed in silky night clothes only their pyramid mates will ever see, a random Doris Day movie on the television, all of them wishing that certain brand of toxic perkiness came as naturally in Sunnydale as it did in Hollywood.
There's familiarity about the girl but he can't think of her name and doesn't care to waste time bothering. Sliding from his barstool, half empty glass of something horrifically American in his hand, Spike sidles up to the girl and with a quick flash of fang and a 'piss off' he's chased the newborn off her arm.
"Hey, you can't just tell my minions to leave," she stomps her foot, pouting at the fast retreat of what Spike can only imagine was her Saturday night meal come to Tuesday night breakfast.
"Sure I can," he tells her, lowering his voice to an octave he knows will make her thighs quiver. "Be dead inside a week either way."
"But he's the one with the car." She stares at the exit, a look of annoyance that may be panic in her eyes. Spike can hardly tell, she's a fairly blank slate.
"What do you care? You're going home with me." Spike says, handing her his drink and waving at the bartender for another.
"I don't even know you," she says, 'You could be some sort of ax murderer or something."
"And this would be a problem?"
"Well, no," she says slowly, "but I don't have a change of clothes with me."
"Right then, no ax murdering until we've nicked you some new duds." Spike pulls her towards the door, ignoring the waitress as she tries to hand a sloshing glass in their direction. "Preferably something with a few less feathers," he mumbles as a mouthful of boa slaps him in the face.
Air whistles between his lips as his shoulders tense, all semblance of calm racing away from him as if it too knows what follows the shrill siren's cry.
"What is it Harm'?" he asks, turning to face the half-nude and fully annoying girl.
"Do we really have to do this whole ritual thing tonight? I mean couldn't we just pay someone to do it, or I don't know, make them do it?" She always looks to her nails as if the secrets to the known world hide behind chipped pink lacquer. "You're always telling me what a bad ass vampire you are and how you can make these stupid newbies do anything you want. So I don't see why we have to go through all the trouble of killing the goat and dumping it on the thing so it releases the other thing all for some dumb ring."
"Harmony, love, snooky muffin thing," Spike keeps his tone neutral, a well-practiced art after a century with Drusilla, "Why don't you do me a very large favor and just get ready so we aren't late. It is not exactly the easiest thing getting a goat in the middle of Los Bloody Angeles and I'll be very put out if I've paid this prat to drag Billy the two-horned kid up Sunset Boulevard for nothing."
"But I thought we were going to hit the clubs tonight." She raises her foot as if she means to stomp it, but she rethinks the movement when Spike's knuckles turn white and slowly lower to his sides.
"Give off would you?" He cocks his neck to the side, staring at her through half-lidded eyes. If he twists just the right way he can almost envision her without a head and suddenly he is all smiles again. "Come on, we'll meet up with Lucius, Lucas or whatever his name is, do this little ritual and have the map before midnight. And as soon as we know where the Gem of Amarra has been locked away all these years we'll party like it's 1999. Right?"
"Oh yay!" she stands on her toes, rocking up and down with excitement, "could we stop and get a robe somewhere? We could pretend it's graduation again, without the big snake, because that wasn't much fun. And actually it wasn't much fun getting bitten and waking up in that sewer, I mean, if I ever find the guy that left me there I'm gonna kick his ass, of course I bet Buffy already kicked his ass and "
The only thing, at this point, that Spike can think to do is to break her neck. He ponders for a moment the satisfying crunch that would come of it, and in that moment Spike decides that never again will he pick up a woman at a bar who doesn't have to pause for breath.
Spike grabs a long knife from the nightstand and tucks it into the back of his jeans. Lifting a bucket from the floor and peering inside to see the box that holds so many secrets, he heads for the door. Knowing that he is about to unlock the key to true immortality is the one thing that keeps his hands from gripping Harmony's neck. That and the knowledge that at some point tonight, when the ritual is over and the night just beginning, he will, undoubtedly, douse her with a bucket of goat's blood.
And that, he decides, will make unlife worth living, at least for a little