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Spike woke up all of a sudden, finding himself chained to a stone wall. He was naked and his body ached everywhere, his head was spinning. What the hell had happened to him? How did he bring himself into this situation?

Slowly, the memories came back…

8 hours earlier

It was still early in the night and Spike was looking for something – anything – to do. He still didn’t know how to control his demon and was looking for a distraction from his own thoughts. Then he heard it, the sounds of fighting, people cheering the fighters on; that might be just what he needed tonight.

He had no problem finding the right building and just entered as if he belonged there. Nobody even thought about stopping him. What he saw in there was not what he expected, but still promised some fun. There was a big cage with a Weevil in it and people – humans – entered the cage for a fight. The Weevil was totally out of control, attacking immediately but most of the men managed to escape from the cage with just a few bruises.

The scent of sweat and blood made Spike hungry for a fight, for blood. He didn’t really think about it when he entered the cage, his eyes already flashing golden – he just wanted a good fight, some violence to satisfy the needs of his demon. When the Weevil rushed towards him, Spike’s features shifted and he showed his demonic face. It was a good fight, the Weevil didn’t give up and neither did Spike. In the end, Spike was the winner – he had some bruises and from his left eyebrow trickled a bit of blood into his eye, but the Weevil was dead, his neck broken.

Spike felt good, better than he had in a long time. He turned around to leave the cage, his features softening to human again, when he felt himself hit by something in the back – then everything went dark.

Those bloody bastards must have knocked him out with a drug or something, and judging from the bruises all over his body, they thought it was funny to beat up someone who was unconscious.

Spike tested the chains that held his hands together on his back and wrapped around his ankles. They were too strong to be broken and seemed to be connected to a ring in the wall. He could not move much, was barely able to sit up but sitting was still better than lying on the concrete floor, waiting for whatever might happen next. This wasn’t the first time he was held captive, and as the chains were strong enough to keep him here, he might as well relax and try to get some rest. Resting the back of his head to the wall, he shifted a bit to get as comfortable as possible and closed his eyes.

Cold water splashed over his head and brought him back, within a second his eyes flashed golden, his game face showed and he tried to lunge at the man standing a few steps away from him. The chains held him back, didn’t even allow him to get to his feet, but Spike noticed with satisfaction that the man took a step back at the sudden assault. To see the fear in the eyes of his captor was even worth the pain in his wrists, where the chains dug deep into his flesh as he lunged forward.

Still in game face, he half smiled half growled at the man who was cautiously advancing him again.

“I don’t know what you are, but you’re going to replace the creature you killed – until you’re the one who loses a fight and gets killed.” The dark haired man had a low, cold voice and didn’t show the tiniest sign of emotion when he crouched down in front of the vampire, barely out of reach.

“In your dreams,” Spike snarled back.

“We’ll see… you’ll beg me in a few days to let you into the cage, just to make the pain stop.”

“As if you were the first who tries to break me,” Spike couldn’t help himself, he started to laugh like mad.

Then the pain started… Spike didn’t know how much time had passed, how many times he had been beaten and kicked but he felt less and less like himself. His demon took control more often than not, especially as he began to starve. The constant damage to his body used a lot of energy for healing and he didn’t get any blood – but wasn’t willing to admit what kind of creature he was and what kind of food he needed. 

His hunger grew until it was more important than anything, the pain didn’t matter any more. But every time someone entered his cell, his demon surfaced, craved for the blood he could hear rushing through their veins. Fortunately his captors weren’t aware of the fact that he would’ve attacked everyone if they’d thrown him into a cage with a human, his hunger was just too much to be controlled any more.

But then something changed, he could hear shouting, guns, fighting – and some of the voices were familiar. He was too far gone to really care, but when two deliciously smelling humans stormed into his cell, an almost forgotten part in his mind recognized them. 

“Gwen, Ianto, stay away from me,” Spike growled, knowing he wouldn’t be able to keep himself from draining them as soon as they were in reach of his fangs. 

Both stopped their approach immediately, Ianto held his gaze and Gwen seemed to be unable to look at him.

“Gwen, go and get Jack,” Ianto told her. Then he addressed Spike and said calmly: “Jack will be here in a minute, he’ll help you.”

Unimpressed by Spike’s snarls and growls, Ianto just stood there and waited patiently for Jack. 

Jack arrived a minute later, glanced at Spike and turned back to Ianto.

“Please, wait outside, you don’t have to see that.” His concern could be clearly heard.

“No, I’m staying right here.” Ianto answered and made clear that it wasn’t up for discussion.

“Won’t force you to go.” Jack shrugged and slowly approached Spike.

“Don’t think I’ll have to tell you what to do, do I?” He asked the vampire while he crouched down in front of him, just out of reach.

When Spike realised what Jack had planned, he flinched back a bit and growled: “No!”

He didn’t want to kill Jack again, despite his hunger. He knew all too well that Jack might come back, but that he really hated to die. His inner fight was visible on his vampiric features, part of him craved the blood he could smell in Jack and Ianto, yet another part didn’t want to hurt anyone – especially not someone he cared for.

But when Jack moved closer, practically wrapped himself around Spike and placed his throat at Spike’s mouth it was too much to resist. He could hear the blood rushing through Jack’s veins, feel his heartbeat pulsing at his lips, smell Jack’s unique scent. With a growl he sank his teeth in Jack’s throat and drank greedily the hot human blood. Jack wrapped an arm around him and grabbed him by the back of his head, holding him close.

After a few moments he slowed down, savouring the feeling of the delicious blood, now rushing through his body. He could feel himself getting stronger with every mouthful he swallowed. When he tried to stop, Jack grabbed him harder and whispered “Drink.”

Spike stopped thinking then, enjoyed the blood that was so freely given. His eyes travelled to Ianto who stood there, watching them with a mix of horror and jealousy in his eyes. Jack’s heartbeat faltered a moment later and Spike swallowed one last mouthful of his blood before slowly sinking back to the concrete floor. Jack came to rest on top of him, still wrapped around the vampire’s lean form.

His features smoothed and his eyes turned blue again. Now looking human again, Spike looked at Ianto who was still watching him. 

“Care to remove those soddin’ manacles?” Spike asked. “Wouldn’t mind to get rid of them now.”

“Sorry, don’t trust you yet, you’ll have to wait until Jack is back with us.” Ianto replied with a concerned look to Jack’s limp body.

“Not gonna bite you.” Spike tried his most innocent look.

“And that’s exactly what you’d say to get me close enough to bite me.”

“Y’ sure look good enough to eat, but Jack would dust me if I’d harm you.” Spike replied with a smirk. 

Before Ianto could answer, Jack stirred and sat up with a gasp. Jack’s eyes immediately drifted to Spike, he seemed to be glad to see him all human looking again.

“How are you?” he asked with a bit of concern in his voice.

“’M fine, thanks…” Spike replied, a bit ashamed that once again he had killed Jack. He didn’t know what else to say and squirmed a bit under the questioning look that seemed to see right through him and inside his soul.

“Then let’s get out of here; Ianto, hand me the keys please.” Jack was all business again and caught the keys Ianto threw to him with one hand. Quickly he unlocked the manacles and chains before he moved a step back.

Spike moaned in pain when he moved his legs and arms for the first time in days but still enjoyed to be able to stand and to move. He looked down at himself, still naked, covered in bruises and dried blood. Suddenly self-conscious, he turned to the wall a bit before glancing at Jack again.

“Can’t go out like that, got any clothes for me?” He had barely finished his question, when Gwen came back in with his own clothing in her hands. Even his beloved duster was there.

“Found those in the room across the hall, thought you might need them.” She said, not really looking at Spike but unable to keep her eyes completely away from him. Gwen blushed, handed the bundle of clothing to Ianto and quickly left the room again.

“I’ll wait in the SUV.” She mumbled on her way out.

Spike quickly grabbed his jeans and started dressing, almost feeling like himself again when he was wearing his usual outfit down to his old, comfy boots. All he needed now was a long, hot shower and a comfortable bed to sleep for at least 12 hours.

They quickly left the building; it was the same warehouse the fights were hold in. Spike didn’t even care to look back, he just wanted to get home. The drive back to Spike’s apartment was made in silence – they all knew that they would have plenty of time to talk later.

“You’re okay with staying alone?” Jack asked with concern when Spike opened the door in front of his apartment house.

“Just need a shower and some sleep, ‘m really fine.” Spike answered with a tired smile. “I’ll call you ‘s soon as I’m awake again.”

He felt so exhausted – physically and emotionally – he couldn’t even think about what had happened. After a quick hot shower he fell on his bed, still damp as he didn’t even care about drying himself. He curled up under the covers and was sound asleep within seconds.

Spike couldn’t tell how long he had slept, but when he woke up it was dark outside again. His body was still aching in numerous places, but he didn’t really care – he’d been hurt so many times before, it wasn’t bothering him any more. The worst of the damage to his body seemed to have healed because of the human blood he got from Jack and in a few days the rest of his injuries would be gone too.

He checked his fridge, only to find that the blood in there had gone bad, before he had another long shower and dressed into his favourite pair of jeans and his favourite red shirt. Now he felt ready to face Jack and the rest of the team and made his way to the hub. On the way he stopped at a butcher’s to get some more blood, he knew he would need more than usually until he was healed completely.

When he stepped through the door and saw the genuine concern in the face of his team mates, he felt at home. Despite the fact that he was here for a little more than a month, it felt like home to be among people who didn’t just tolerate or use him but who really cared about him. But he couldn’t bring himself to display his feelings openly, so he just shrugged when asked if he was fine and answered with a smirk.

“’M fine, takes more than a bunch of wannabe bad guys to mess with the Big Bad.” He winked at Ianto who looked at him in disbelief and couldn’t suppress a chuckle when he saw Jack smile at him.

“Ya know what they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” He grinned again and made his way to the microwave to warm some more blood. Looking back over his shoulder he asked “So, how long have I been gone?”

He really felt stronger than before, more in control than he had been for a long, long time. First the chip had been messing with him, then the soul came on top of it and all the time his demon had been suppressed. But slowly he seemed to find a way to deal with the conflicting desires in his mind, he didn’t try to suppress his demon any more but tried to give him what he craved for. And a good fight or a good shag were not only good for his demon, but for his soul too.

Lost in his thoughts, he didn’t really listen to Jack telling him that he had been held captive for four days before they had found him. He just enjoyed being with those people who didn’t just see the evil in him but cared for him and accepted him as he was. There wasn’t the slightest hint of accusation in their eyes, no disgust about him drinking blood, and especially no fear. 

Spike considered himself lucky to have found them, it was almost as good as having a family again. He just knew that he could deal with everything, if he allowed himself to accept their help.

For now, they were done with talking and went back to a normal day – or what was considered normal at Torchwood.