Dating Harmony had seemed like a good idea at the time, at least to Spike’s alcohol-addled mind, but he wasn’t the most patient version of himself of late, and she was getting on his last nerve, rattling on and on about France and what-all while he was trying to work. Couldn’t she understand that the Gem of Amara was important? Didn’t she care that it was the very thing that would help him bag his Slayer?
He snapped and turned on her, lifting a nearby piece of wood and shoving it straight through her chest where it– had no effect what-so-ever.
Spike pulled the wood out again and stared at it.
Harmony slapped his arm. “What was that for?”
He ignored her and made a grab for the ring on her finger. She all but threw it at him. “If that's all that matters to you, then take it.” Her voice broke a little as she added, “I would have just given it to you.”
Spike concentrated on the ring, refusing to let himself be distracted by the pang of guilt pulling at him. He stepped away from Harmony and was just about to place the Gem on his own finger when his senses went haywire and Drusilla stepped out of the shadows and into the crypt directly in front of him. He stopped, mid-action, and stared at her, scared that if he blinked she might disappear back into his imagination.
Harmony continued to sniffle and whine in the background. It grated Spike’s nerves afresh. Two momentous things had happened back-to-back and she was ruining the moment, damn it. The temptation to stake her again surged but, before he could move an inch, Drusilla hissed and commanded her to hush.
Harmony fell silent.
Something within Spike unclenched. He smiled at Dru, amazed at her all over again. With Harmony thralled into being background furniture, Dru’s attention was on him and him alone. His blood sang. Her eyes drifted to the Gem.
Spike swallowed and lowered himself to his knees. There was no way in hell he was going to mess this up. He was seconds away from having everything he ever needed.
“Dru, love,” he crooned, holding the ring out to her.
Drusilla let him slip it on her finger before holding her hand up to admire it better in the lamplight. She grinned but her eyes were hard. Their gaze returned to Spike, who she backhanded in the next second.
He fell backwards, the fingers of his left hand instinctively reaching for the spot beside his mouth where she’d struck him. They came back bloodied.
“Did you think you could win me back with trinkets?” demanded Drusilla, glaring down at him.
Spike pushed himself forward, back into a kneeling position. “Dru, love, that’s not–”
“I know what it is,” she snapped. “It doesn’t make up for what you did. Only one thing will wash away your betrayal.”
It was on the tip of Spike’s tongue to protest his innocence and explain his actions to her once more, but he pushed that instinct aside. “Anything, love,” he vowed instead. “Name your price and I’ll pay it.”
“The Slayer’s blood,” said Dru instantly. “She’ll bleed out and you’ll be free from her siren call.”
Spike’s chest deflated. “That’s all well and good, pet, but–”
“Hush,” said Dru.
Spike shot to his feet, fuelled by sudden rage. “That won’t work on me. I’m not weak-willed like sodding Harmony.”
Drusilla tsked him. “Words don’t matter. I see your heart.”
Spike rolled his eyes. “Not this again.”
“Yes!” exclaimed Drusilla. “Don’t tell me what I can’t see!”
Spike raised his hands in a placating motion. “Know there’s nothing that can change your mind on this. Not tryin’ to talk you out of going after the Slayer, just think that it’s a lost cause. The thing about her is, she tends to win – infuriating as it is.” He shrugged. “Guess that doesn’t matter. If your heart’s set on it, I’ll go along with–”
Drusilla jabbed a sharp fingernail at his chest. “You will stay out of this.”
“Enough!” she said, turning to sweep out of the room. At the last second, she paused to click her fingers.
Spike watched as Harmony followed after her. He stared at the empty space before him for a long minute, barely able to believe the turn of events, before he swore and started throwing things around.
Goddamn it, he’d been screwed over again. “What is it with bloody women?” he roared. Another golden cup hit the wall with a clang. He lifted something else and flinched at the hiss of flesh. Shit. That was a cross. He needed to pay attention to what he was picking up. He needed to think.
Shit shit shit.
Drusilla was powerful. If she wanted to kill Buffy, she stood a real chance, and that was before he’d handed her the power of invulnerability. Fuck, he’d really screwed up now. This new error in a long line of bloody brilliant mistakes meant he really had to do it: admit to himself that he didn’t actually want the Slayer dead.
If he didn’t help her take down Dru, or at least give Buffy a heads up, she’d be a goner. That thought twisted his insides. Of course Drusilla knew that. That had no doubt been why she’d gone about her plan like this.
“Bitch,” he said under his breath. He couldn’t understand why she never just left things alone. If she’d stayed with him, he’d have kept his nasty little nightmares to himself and none of his feelings would matter because he’d never act on them. She had to have known he’d never act on them, right? Not if they were together. But she’d gone and bloody well forced his hand.
Spike picked up the cross again and sent it flying at the doorway Dru had vanished through. At least it was some small comfort that she’d taken Harmony off his hands and that he’d never have to hear her bitching at him again.
Buffy had been having a blissfully boring day before a vampire had to just turn up and ruin it.
“What’s with you?” she snarked. “You’re like a bad penny.”
Spike spread his hands. “Not here to fight.”
Buffy shrugged and punched him in the nose. “Pity.”
Spike growled. “Will you just bloody listen? This is important!”
Buffy went to hit him again in reply, but he danced just out of reach. She sighed. “Fine. Make it quick.”
To her surprise, he wasted no time in outlining his B.S. story: Drusilla’s back, she’s got some thingy that means she can walk about in the sun – god knows she needed a tan – and couldn’t be killed, and…
“God, are you done? You can’t seriously believe I’m buying any of this.”
Spike’s jaw dropped open a little before he clenched it tight. “You know what? If you want to die, go right on ahead. Don’t let me stop you,” he snapped.
Buffy watched him stomp off into the shadows, briefly considering going after him before shaking off the idea. She had better things to do, not least of which to pick out an outfit for her date with Parker.