CHAPTER RATING: T
CHAPTER PAIRING: Spike & Tara
TIMELINE/SPOILERS: Through BtVS Season 4's “Something Blue”. (Story goes AU during “Hush”.)
DISCLAIMERS: All BtVS characters are the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy Productions. I’m just making up for their cruel treatment of Spike and Tara!
CHAPTER CREDITS: This story is a re-write of “Hush,” so lines/scenes from that episode are referenced.
CHAPTER NOTES: Here we go with the life-changing meet-up! It’s all AU from here, folks! :)
She was running for her life now. It began with her just being excited about sharing her spell notes with Willow, but what she found (or, more accurately, what found her) outside had her so horrified she could barely move quickly enough.
Tara scolded herself wordlessly for taking so long with her research. If only she had stopped with the first couple spell ideas. If only she had tried harder yesterday to find Willow. If only she had left earlier, while it was still light out. Then maybe there would be other students around to see this, to help her. Stupid, stupid.
She gulped down a mouthful of breath and pressed on, clutching her books and notes tight, watching the ground beneath her to make sure she didn't stumble on the root-and-earthquake-affected sidewalk. Her long skirt flapped and snapped at her legs depending on how wide her strides were. And maybe the boots she chose were not optional, but they had to be better than Birkenstocks. Oh Goddess, run! Run!
The monsters were behind her and somehow closing in. She couldn't hear the nightmare skeleton-like men since they merely hovered above the ground, soundless. But the rattling chains of the loping creeps who surrounded them were getting louder. Angrier.
Faster, girl, faster!
Although Spike could hear the clinking and scraping-on-the-pavement of chains, he knew it wasn't loose dogs. No, there was one distinct heartbeat. Female. Breath coming like she was at the height of ecstasy, and that made his jeans tighten a bit—but by the scent of fear bursting towards him, he knew that wasn't the case. Still, it was delicious: adrenaline and pheromones mixed with a sweet, spicy dose of Nag Champa. She was smothered in it, and he was reminded of a time when Dru had convinced him to take her to India for a sari shopping trip. The women wearing them had been such nummy treats. All pistachio and cardamom, chili and tamarind... He inhaled deeply and his grin widened even more.
Until he considered why she'd be running in fear.
No. No way some exquisite morsel like this was going to fall victim to a lesser vampire! All right, so maybe he couldn't kill anymore. He'd...well... If he couldn't have her, no one would!
He peered towards the university buildings. She hadn't arrived close enough for him to see, but she was heading his way, definitely. Grinding out the remainder of his cigarette beneath his boot, Spike slipped towards the sound a bit, hoping to intercept the likely fledge. He'd show him what a real vamp was like! (Well, kinda... Damn this sodding chip!)
But when the girl finally came into view, he stopped still.
Those were no fledges. What the fuck...?
The girl was frantically trying to get away, but she wasn't looking ahead. No, she was watching her footsteps, and she was headed straight for him, laden with heavy books.
"Pet! Watch out!" Spike yelled in warning. Only, no sound came from him.
He yelled again, panic rising as he realized that it wasn't just the stupid humans with this problem. No! God no! He couldn't speak! But...no... he couldn't be without speech! Not him! How was he going to...
Tara barreled into Spike, knocking both herself and her books to the ground in a cluttered pile. When she finally looked up, she found the most striking pair of blue eyes she'd ever met. They were also scared. The guy had probably been chased by these icky things, too. Heck, he probably didn't even know about the vampire problem in Sunnydale. Poor guy. He looked like a foreign exchange student. Kinda European, with those chiseled cheeks...
Girl, snap out of it!
As if Spike could hear the same command, he blinked himself back to the present. He managed to gather himself together enough to hurriedly pull her books into a stack for her.
As she reached for them, gratefully, she took his hand. She was definitely not going to leave this poor lost guy out here. Willow would just have to have an extra visitor tonight.
But something like conflict flashed through those blue eyes.
Spike shot his gaze over at the monsters that were nearly upon them and then back at the girl who, goddammit, he couldn't have eaten even if he hadn't had the techie-leash. Just look at those eyes, so trusting... His heart panged for a quick moment. Angelus would have had a field day with this little one, for sure. This close, Spike could feel the white magic pouring off of her in waves as strong as that incense. Bloody, buggering fuck.
Tara watched as the guy shook his head and made a strange gesture with his fingers that she didn't understand. He was wiggling them by his mouth.
Umm... cavities? Why would she care if he had cavities? Bad breath? He needed his toothbrush? Or... Oh! He needed his retainer! She didn't know how to tell him that they didn't have time to go back to his dorm room. He'd just have to skip wearing it for a while.
"It's okay," she mouthed apologetically. "We've got to go now." Tara glanced back to see how much time they had left. The hovering men were still across the courtyard, but the creatures that looked like escaped mental patients were close enough to hurl themselves.
His reading of her lips and the tug on his hand told him that she must not have cared that he was a vamp. His mind said that she was either naive or stupid. But the look in her eyes told him it was neither. He held the gentle palm firmly against his and used what vamp abilities the Initiative did leave him to get both of them the hell out of there.