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This is the Sun Going Down

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He'd gone to look for Buffy first.

After he’d woken up in LA, after becoming corporeal again, and after giving Angel the slip he’d gone to find her. He started by reaching out to some contacts and, through them, learned that she was in London. He’d hopped a plane and found himself lurking around bars and clubs, anywhere a group of young people might be. It took him two weeks to finally pick up her trail and he'd stood in an alleyway outside of a pub watching as she and some slayers in training came out of the door. 

 They walked toward him and he instinctually faded into the darkness behind him, watched them walk by drunk and laughing loud. The group was attracting unnecessary attention and he wanted to tell her how dangerous that was but it wasn't his place anymore.

Never really had been if he was being honest.

He'd thought that if he was going to speak to her, tell her what he'd been through, that he was still alive, that he wanted her he probably needed to do it right then but Spike didn't move. That magnetic pull he'd felt for her, the one that hadn't allowed him to leave no matter how low she brought him, or how much she embarrassed him, or made him beg didn't seem to be there anymore. He thought about speaking with her anyway before deciding against it.

Buffy would never let him be. She'd always be there, looking over his shoulder, making sure he was on the straight and narrow and Spike wasn't really sure he was interested in doing the right thing anymore. He'd already sacrificed his life for the greater good once and if that wasn't enough for The Powers That Be...fuck 'em. He was going to have some fun before he went out for a third time. 

He watched them disappear around a corner when the sound of high heels on cobblestones stole his attention. All he saw was long brown hair before the woman disappeared from sight but he was already at attention, his legs moved of their own volition down the street to where she'd been.

"Dru!"

Her name was out of his mouth before he could stop himself. He felt stupid, she was dead, he knew that that wanker Angel had put a flame to her but he'd seen that girl and immediately thought of her. He remebered when she'd died and how he'd been too involved with Buffy to really do anything about it. Guilt began to weigh down on him but he pushed it away, it was just the soul talking. Crying wasn't going to change the past.

"You need something?"

Spike turned at the sudden voice, angry for having let someone sneak up on him. 

"What?"

"Do you need anything?"

It took him a moment to realize it but the boy was flirting and where Spike would normally wave him off and continue sulking, he took a good look instead. Brown hair, skin as pale as milk, delicate pink lips and big brown eyes. If Dru had been born a man, she would have been this one. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it up, went over his options. He could wave him off like he'd first thought or he could start living his new life.

His fun life.

"I need a great many things," he said, just cryptic enough to keep things interesting.

"I think I might be able to help you out with one or two of them."

Spike grinned and leaned against the wall in a way he'd been perfecting for a hundred years, the boys heartbeat kicked up. He could smell his blood as it pushed its way to the surface of his skin and the blond started walking back toward that alley again. He didn't tell his guest to follow but he heard his footsteps not too far behind anyway.

He could feel it now. Those rarely used hunting skills coming back to life. Everything around him was in sharper relief, smelled brighter. He walked into the darkness, felt engulfed, swallowed whole and the kid followed behind him entranced. He leaned against the wall and took one more pull before he threw the butt down and crushed it under his shoe. 

"You're so hot," the brunette said on a groan and watched him with wide eyes, seemingly amazed that his come-on had worked.

Spike just looked at him for a second before saying, "come here."

He did as told and came closer, only lasted a second before slamming his mouth against Spikes and he let it go on for a moment, pushed him against the brick wall before breaking free.

"I can't believe this is happening," he said and the vampire didn't think he meant to say it aloud. He turned him around, pressed his front flush against the other mans back and listened to him cry out, let the anticipation grow. 

"You're ready," he whispered into his ear.

"Yes," he answered breathily, eyes closed and Spike bent his neck to the side, let himself slip into game face and bit. It took the boy a moment to realize what was happening, to begin to fight but he was easily subdued. Spike held his victims arms behind his back and focused on the blood slicking down his throat, onto the front of his shirt, seeping through to his skin and the kid was moaning, "noooo," really low but that only made it better. 

God.

How had he forgotten what a beautiful thing fear was?

The soul was beginning to kick in then, telling him to let him go but he ignored it. Humans killed each other every day, the soul would quiet down sooner or later. He closed his eyes and imagined Dru, the way she used to look after feeding, face flushed and lukewarm skin. Thought of it and sucked harder.

-

Five years later Spike sits in a dive bar in LA and tells some of this to an old acquaintance. His companion responds by making him aware of a place that he shouldn’t be surprised to find out about but is anyway. The Dollhouse, programmable people, anything your heart desires as long as you’ve got the cash.

“So I guess you’ve dropped that whole white hat thing then?”

Lorne gives a graceful shrug and pulls the umbrella out of his drink, folds it carefully and places it into his wallet. “I just realized being good and being bad aren’t very different. Both call for sacrifice and you’re still working on behalf of someone else doing things you don’t really want to.” Spike can hear bitterness dripping from every word and wants to ask what’s behind it. He keeps his mouth shut instead. “So no, I haven’t dropped doing good,” he continues, “but I’ve become a bit of a switch hitter.”

Spike snorts at that, “I bet!”

Lorne doesn’t rise to the bait. "But we’re not talking about me, we’re talking about what I can do for you.”

“And what do you think that would be?”

“I can get her back.”

There’s an electric quiet before he says lowly, “that’s impossible, she’s dead.”

"I have a contact for whom which nothing is impossible.”

And he’s very stupid to even be considering this right now, but he is. He’s desperate for her and if he was alive, his heart would be beating out of his chest. “What would you want in exchange,” he asks after a moment.

Lorne’s lips curl upward on their ends but Spike would never call what he’s doing a smile. "Let’s just say you’ll owe me one.”

-

Adelle Dewitt has seen her share of eccentric clients.

The man who specifically requested an active with acne, the woman who would only have a meeting if it was in her own bathroom. What she’s thinking is that she’s had much weirder requests than to have a meeting after dark but something about it…she shivers a little; it raises the hair on the back of her neck.

She’s through the lobby and on the elevator in a matter of seconds and when she enters her office, the client’s already there. 

Mr. Spike, as his file says and she's checked it 5 times since to make sure, is standing at the window and she takes the time to look him over. He’s not the type she would expect to have the finances or the connections to get in here but there’s an air about him that makes her nervous, makes her check to make sure the security camera is on and working. She’s used to dealing with dangerous people but something about him feels personal. Like he wouldn’t wait and send someone to dispatch with her, he’d probably do it himself. Maybe enjoy it as well.

“Penny for your thoughts?”

He’s British and that soothes her a little. He’s still looking out the window when she replies. “They cost a lot more than that.”

The client laughs and turns toward her. "A business woman, I can respect that.”

“Please come and sit,” she says while motioning to the seat in front of her desk. They both relax and she folds her hands in her lap. “Do you know what it is that you’re looking for?”

“Straight to the point then love?”

She smiles tightly. "You wouldn’t be sitting here if whoever recommended you hadn’t already filled everything else in.”

He concedes the point with a raise of his brows and she watches him for a moment, he’s attractive but there’s something…off. He catches her eye and she feels somewhat dizzy before looking away. Something’s wrong and then she realizes what it is. 

His stillness.

The way he doesn’t seem to possess the natural vibration most people have even when standing immobile. He breathes but there’s something strange about it, like watching a statue take a breath. Adelle can’t remember the last time a client made her this uncomfortable, she clears her throat. "Are there any particular actives you have in mind?”

He shakes his head, “no.”

“Are there any specific scenario’s you want to explore?”

“I’d like to see if you have anyone I fancy before going into that.”

She nods, stands and turns to reach for the book they have of all the actives pictures. When she turns back he’s at the door, looking into the hall. She gets up to follow but he’s already disappeared through it.

-

He's heard her walking in the hallway and makes his way toward the sound without much thought. He could only see the back of her, sharp shoulder blades and long brown hair that remind him of someone else, but where Dru was willowy and tall this girl is more petite and less lithe than just skinny. He wants to go back to his chair but there’s an energy about her that pulls him forward. She’s walking in the opposite direction and he feels transported, reminds him of a dream he's had. He reaches out and she turns around but instead of waking up he sees her face, her smile.

They look nothing alike but he has to stop himself from calling her name.

He turns to the woman standing beside him, she wears a knowing smile, “I’ll take her.”

-

The next day Adelle receives a package from a company she’d thought was long dead. When she opens it, there’s a wedge inside.

Later on, Topher calls her into his office. “I’m not sure it’s a good idea to use this imprint.”

Adelle stops short, she’s told him their client belonged to another house and has had their usual imprint sent over. It’s looked down upon for them to discuss specific elements of each request but she’s curious. "What do you mean?”

“Well,” He turns his swivel chair towards her, begins talking with his hands. "It’s not strange for clients to request a girl who’s a little…” he searches for the right word, “off, but this one,” he stops again and she knows something must be very wrong.

“What is it?”

“She’s not a little kooky, she’s certifiable and more than that she’s violent. I don’t think it safe to…”

“Echo's handler will be close in case something goes wrong.”

“But Ms. Dewitt…”

She puts her hand up to silence him. He’s right, they have an airtight contract in case of emergencies and they never send out actives with an imprint that can’t be trusted, but when the rapidly rebuilding outfit formally known as Wolfram and Hart came calling…well, one didn’t really have the luxury to refuse.

She takes a breath, smoothes down her shirt. "Just do it Topher.”

-

Spike stands in the center of the room he's had created for this specific moment and is sort of amazed by how fast things have gotten out of control.

“Where’s daddy?”

This is the third time she’s asked, it’s starting to smart a little, "he’s not here kitten.”

She moans low in the back of her throat, starts to pace, “I can’t feel him.”

“That’s because he’s out of town.”

She shakes her head, “I always feel daddy flicker inside of me. Where’s he gone off to Spike?”

He rolls his eyes and crosses his arms over his chest, “I told you he’s…”

“No,” she screams. "Something’s wrong with Daddy,” she walks up and grabs the front of his shirt pleading. "We have to help him. Nobody loves his little girl but Daddy.”

“I do Dru, I love you.”

But she’s quickly on her way to hysteria now and can’t stop. "No, you left me! You wanted the sun and you left me to rot in the dark!”

He looks stricken. “Buffy was…” he tries to explain but she cuts him off.

“No, you tried to snuff out my spark!”

“Dru…”

She starts to whine. "We have to find him!”

He tries to smile as he carefully approaches her, runs the back of his hand along her shoulder. "Wouldn’t you rather spend some time with Spike? We haven’t been together in so long pet.”

“We have to find my Angel!”

He grabs her forearms hard at that. "You’re Angel,” he says through clenched teeth and he knows telling her this is a bad idea but he's always hated how much she loved that poof, “is dead.”

Her eyes get big, “no…”

“Oh yes,” he says with perverse pleasure. "He’s dead and he killed you too!”

“No,” she wails and pulls away, throws herself across the bed and clutches Miss Edith close.

“That’s right Dru,” he screams. "Old Daddy dearest set you on fire. I’m the only reason you’re alive now and you should be thanking me!” He’s breathing heavy when he stops and looks at her. Her shoulders are shaking with sobs and he sighs, angry at himself for yelling when all of this must be horrible and terribly disorienting for her to be going through. He steps closer to the bed. “I’m sorry kitten,” he says soothingly but she doesn’t look up. He moves closer and takes a seat next to her, “Dru sweetheart, I’m sorry," but she still won't look up.

He leans forward and grasps her shoulder when she suddenly comes at him brandishing a piece of the dolls porcelain face, slices his cheek open with it like an envelope, and he should have seen it coming, Dru has never been one to play fair. Things move very quickly after that. He holds her back as she screams and rants and raves but when her watcher or handler or whatever they call him bursts through the door and asks her if she wants a treatment, she’s completely docile as she’s led away.

The head of security comes over and tries not to wince as he looks at the cut. He calls the medics but after a moment Spike waves them away. He’d thought it necessary for them to keep everything that had happened between them on her imprint. To try and pick up right where they would have if he’d run into her on a street in Tibet instead of picking someone to play her out of a line-up.

Spike looks at the destruction around him and thinks maybe it’s best to start leaving some things out.

He touches the gash absently and looks at the blood covering his hand, watches Boyd look away as he licks it off.

-

Later, Adelle reads the report of the incident. The medic says that the client will need a plastic surgeon to fix the wound and even then there’ll be a scar.

He comes back two days later to set up a new engagement and looks as good as new.

She doesn’t say a word.

-

“Hey ducks.”

He's created the same set-up from their first meeting--old, tattered, gothic--and Drusilla’s curled up with a new Miss Edith. She looks over her shoulder at the sound of his voice, gives a wicked smile and opens her arms in welcome.

“My Spike!”

He joins her on the bed with a grin. He’s had them get rid of some of her memories: The ones of meeting Angel again, of Buffy, of the break-up and of the attempted matricide. A part of him feels like this is a cheat but then he looks down at her face in the crook of his neck and the other part of him smiles. Moments like this make him happy that he’s never been above running a con game or two.

"I've had a vision," she says offhandedly, staring up at the tattered rose colored canopy of their bed.

"What of pet?"

"Me, about the spark inside me."

His jaw clenches as he tries to look casual. "What about it?"

"It's like an eclipse, a second of night in the middle of the day."

And he kisses her then because he can't do anything else, because he can't stop himself, and encounters the clean taste of mint instead of the blood he’d been unconsciously expecting. He pulls back, startled by how deeply he’s fallen into the fantasy but recovers, burying his face in her neck. Dragging his mouth lower and trying to ignore her hammering pulse, her pounding heartbeat. He helps her pull off the gown and runs his hands down her sides, barely touches anything vital but she's already moaning and he smiles, that hasn't changed. He does it again and tries to ignore the blush creeping up her collarbone before he moves to kneel beside the bed.

Dru looks at him through lust hazed eyes and asks in a sing-songy lilt, "what are you doing?” Naughty smirk firmly in place.

He glances up at her and answers, “why I’m tipping the velvet darling,” with the upper crust accent he grew up using instead of the cockney one he feels better suits him.

Her giggles turn into gasps as he tugs her towards him and she feels good beneath his mouth. Reminds him of how they were after Angel and Darla disappeared, before Buffy, before ever stepping foot into Sunnydale.

Just like he'd wanted.

And It would be perfect if it weren’t for one thing.

Her heat.

Dru would be warm sometimes, right after feeding or just getting out of the bath, but this girl was hot and getter hotter by the minute. The thighs under his palms were damp with exertion and he could hear her. Her quickly escalating heart beat, her blood cycling inward from her limbs, to the spot under his tongue and back faster and faster, raising her core temperature, getting her ready to come.

“Oh, Spike…”

And he pulls back because he has to. Because if he doesn’t he’ll bite and that’ll irreparably break the fantasy. No matter how well she does in this role and no matter how good human blood is, it’s nothing like the blood of a sire to its progeny.  He closes his eyes and moves into a seated position, tries to get himself under control. When he opens them again, she’s laying on her side peeking at him from under her arm and it reminds him so much of the real her that he feels like he’s going crazy. She wants to question him, he knows she does because he knows her, but she stays quiet as he undresses and lies down.

She reaches her hand out to touch his temple. "There's so many ants zipping around in there.”

He looks at her gently. “Yes, things are happening so fast and I’m just...finding it hard to focus.”

She grins and takes his hand into her own, says, “well, Spike just has to put his shoulder to the wheel then. No worries, Dru’s here to help,” before she wedges it between her thighs. He smiles curiously; he’s never heard her say that before, but then she’s moaning again and he’s forgotten all about it. He pulls her close, covers her mouth with his own, and slips his tongue inside. They stay this way for several minutes until her hand comes up and pushes him back.

"Spike,” she asks on a gasp and he finds that he keeps forgetting she needs to breath. "Do you love my insides? All the parts you can't see?"

He grins and fills in his half of the conversation. "Eyeballs to entrails, my sweet.”

She smiles vaguely and pulls him closer. They lay on their sides and he lifts her thigh up and over his own, pushes in, moves deep and she throws her head back on a long moan. She tries to manuever them so she can get on top but he won't let her. Doesn't want their first time to be over in a flurry of sweat and groans. He wants to take it slow, make it last.

-

He has a reoccurring dream of her.

They are in a long hallway with cream walls and a soft blue carpet runner beneath their bare feet. She’s wearing that ivory colored dress that he’d stolen for her when they were in Berlin that time. She’d worn it until it was nothing but rags. Until he’d had to take it while she was sleeping and throw it away. She’d screamed, cried, and searched for that dress until he’d had to go find it at the dump and bring it back.

It had always been her favorite.

They’re moving faster now, not quite running but not walking either. He looks in both directions and he doesn’t know where they’re going but he knows they’re going somewhere.

“Dru?”

She doesn’t answer, she never does.

He reaches out, almost able to touch her but falls just short of making contact. She's moving so fast now that he can barely keep up. Moving like she was before the accident, like when she was at her peek and then, suddenly, she stops and like always he follows suit. The breath he doesn’t need to live caught in his throat as she begins to turn around…

-

And his eyes slip open at the same moment they always do.

He never sees her face.

Spike reaches out to pull Dru close, he’ll have to send her back soon and considers waking her but doesn’t. He likes how different her face looks when she’s like this, so sweet, relaxed and innocent. He brushes her hair back, feels pin pricks of pain behind his lids and kisses her softly before cuddling her close.

She doesn’t taste the same but that’s okay; having a shadow of her is better than having nothing at all. 

He’ll get used to it.

He doesn't have a choice.