“It’s not that I mind the rain, under normal circumstances,” Harris said, for the third time in the last hour.
Spike had actually come to tolerate the berk, for the most part, since they’d started to patrol together regularly, but if he didn’t come up with another topic soon, Spike wouldn’t be held accountable for his actions.
“…but a little bit of rain is one thing, and this is taking things to extremes, don’t you think? No, more than merely extreme,” Harris corrected himself, “this is excessively excruciating extremeness.”
Spike wondered if he could scout ahead a bit, and scare up a fledge to attack Harris. Would the chip react to the potential of pain as easily as it did the actual event? He knew that direct thoughts of mayhem on certain ‘Scoobies’ had managed to wreak havoc in his brain, but if he were farther removed from the actual act of aggression, and the potential of pain, would the chip consider that when it came time to pay a penalty for his actions?
“How many days in a row have we had rain, again? Is it twelve, or thirteen? Oh, thirteen. Maybe that’s an omen, or something. The gods of obnoxious weather are punishing us for cursing them every time it gets cold and nasty. And wouldn’t that be ironic? They hate us for calling them names when it gets so dismal out, so they punish us by making it even more wretched.”
Spike found himself taken by the idea of second-hand paybacks that avoided the chip’s backlash, and eagerly began to plot scenarios in which he might manage to avoid the repercussions of his actions while still enjoying the consequences. He’d occasionally watched Harris get slammed head first into a tombstone in the past. Unfortunately, he couldn’t remember if he’d stood by and watched the incidents without at least trying to do something to stop them, or if he’d been so eager for a fight that he hadn’t allowed the activities of any overeager vamps to go unpunished.
“Every time it gets dreary out, it’s an attack of the weather gods, trying to remind us that there are worse things than a cold, wet drizzle. But see, there really aren’t that many things worse than the trickle of cold water that finds its way under your collar, and soaks into your clothes, so that you’re as pitiful as a wet cat.”
The scenario had promise. It was much better than listening to Harris try and come up with another dozen ways to complain about the bleakness of the night. Spike knew exactly how cold and damp it was tonight, and he had no interest in listening to a pup like Harris torture Spike with his lack of eloquence. It seemed that lately, the only way he’d come up with to stop Harris from running his exceedingly obnoxious mouth was to find yet another way to make him uncomfortable enough that he cut the evening short, and left Spike to patrol in peace.
“Spike? Yo, bleach for brains!”
He came out of his ruminations to discover that he’d let his imagination run away with him once again. “What the bloody hell do you want this time, you gormless nit?”
Harris frowned at him, as if not quite certain he’d been insulted, but shook his head as if to clear it before pointing behind Spike and calmly announcing, “I just wanted to let you know there’s a vamp behind you.”
Spike let his senses expand, and realized in the blink of an eye that Harris was right. He swept to the side, taking by surprise a clumsy fledge so fresh from the grave that he still had soil in his hair. Trapping him up against a handy memorial to some tedious statesman, Spike pulled out his stake, not in the mood to play with this one.
“Hey!” the fledge squawked, his voice breaking in his haste to catch Spike before he had a chance to put his miserable existence to an end. “It’s okay. You can keep him. Or we could both have a bite. Looks like he’s a healthy specimen, I bet we could entertain ourselves for hours with this one…”
“I don’t think so, you pitiful little pipsqueak. He’s mine, and I don’t share.” He belatedly realized that he’d unconsciously claimed the nob some time ago. But if he was going to keep Harris, he’d have to train him to know when to use that tongue of his, and when it was time for silence. The idea had promise. He dusted the fledge as an afterthought, and turned to find Harris blinking rapidly at him.
“Did you say…” He stumbled to a halt, his umbrella slipping out of suddenly senseless fingers to fall to the side, allowing the steady drip of rain from the overhead trees to wet his head, the drops sliding through his hair to wend their way down and under his collar unnoticed.
Spike unleashed the smile that made all the good little prey’s bones melt. Harris was no different, his gaping mouth, and the scent of human pheromones perfuming the air a tribute to Spike’s charms at seducing his victims. Harris watched him approach warily, his instincts finally kicking in enough to alert him to the presence of a predator. Spike came to a halt before him, reaching up to close his mouth with one finger’s pressure under his chin.
“It’s best to keep your mouth closed, Xander,” he purred, “unless you’re prepared to use it.”
Belatedly, Harris took a quick step back, and fumbled for words. “Um… That is… I mean…”
Spike winked at him, and turned back to the path they’d been following. “Come along now, Harris. Won’t do to have you catch a cold in all this nasty, wet weather, now would it?”
Spike smiled to himself, as he heard Harris rush to follow. Oh yes, this would be so much better than watching some fledge torture Harris for him. He should have thought of this months ago.