darkrivertempest: (Spike in Hell)
[personal profile] darkrivertempest
Since Elysian Fields is down at the moment, I'll post chapter 29 of Hunter's Bane here.

If you're new to Hunter's Bane - this won't make a lick of sense - so I suggest you clicky over on the right there >>> see Hunter's Bane? Yeah, that one. Click it. It will take you to the first 28 chapters - and many possible nightmares. If I have to lug this crap around in my head, so do you. ;)

NC-17/Adults Only!! *HEED THE WARNING!* This story is full of NASTY things that concern Hell. There. You've been warned.

Many thanks to my beta's [livejournal.com profile] dusty273 and [livejournal.com profile] imbloodyenglish



“How are you feeling today?” Tara quietly asked Xander as he sat on the end of her bed, back against the wall.

He turned his gaze towards her, focused somewhat and smiled gently. “I’m better than I was yesterday, or the day before that.”

Returning his smile, she pulled a book out of his backpack and handed it to him. “Your mom called yesterday,” she said hesitantly. “She asked if I could help you with some of your homework since you’ve been… sick.” She cringed inside at the half-lie, worried that one of these days she’d slip and tell him about his past, one he had no memory of, wondering if she was even supposed to be in his life at this point.

A frown creased his brow as he looked at the book, tracing the letters on the cover with his fingers. “Have I been sick? I mean, I feel okay now, except…” He drifted off.

“Except what?”

“It’s just that… well, sometimes I feel tired, like a weight is sitting on my chest, you know?”

Her eyes flickered to his heart, then returned to his face, nodding. “I understand.”

“Do you? Because I don’t. I don’t understand why I can’t remember anything past a week ago. I mean, I had to ask my mom how to go to the bathroom, and let me tell you, there was no end to the embarrassment with that scenario.”

She tried not to laugh, but a little chuckle slipped through. “I can imagine.”

Scooting off the bed, he lowered himself to sit in front of her, his eyes earnest. “What’s happened to me? I know you know something. I can see it in the way you look at me when you think I’m not watching.”

Oh boy. He may have lost his angelic status, but his powers of perception were highly tuned, possibly a gift to make up for the absence of memories, of things that he’d grown accustomed to before. She didn’t want to lie to him, but she was also aware that if she blurted out, ‘Hey, you used to be an angel and now you’re not,’ he wouldn’t take it very well, not to mention she’d probably be struck down on the spot by a wrathful God.

“I don’t know, honestly,” she began. Lacing his fingers lightly with hers, she studied his palms. “One minute you were here… then you left,” she whispered. “Then about a day or so later, you came back and you were like this.”

“Where did I go when I left?”

Shrugging her shoulders, she lowered her gaze. “I-I don’t have the faintest clue,” she muttered.
“You’re lying.”

Narrowing her eyes, she pierced him with an intense stare and reiterated in a low tone, “I’m not lying, Xander. Don’t you think I would’ve told you if I knew?”

Withdrawing his hands from hers, he sat with his back against her bed. “Would you?”

Throwing her hands up in frustration, she glanced at the ceiling and yelled, “God damnit! Would you throw me a freaking bone, here?”

Xander quickly covered her mouth, fear and shock etched on his features. “You shouldn’t say things like that!”

Removing his hand, she flung it to the side. “Don’t you dare tell me how to act or what to say, Xander Harris! If I want to curse at God and his infinitely stupid wisdom, then that’s my prerogative.” She moved away from him to stand, pacing the length of her room. “If you ask me, this whole situation stinks of questionable morality. If He was such a wonderful creator, then why the hell does he punish the innocent and reward the wicked, huh? Tell me that!”

He watched as tears started to form in her eyes, wondering what prompted such a tirade. “You shouldn’t make such hasty moral judgments about God,” he advised, causing her to stop and stare at him.

“What?” she asked cautiously. She needed to tread on this very fragile ground at this point if he was going to keep talking about God.

“Mortals can’t automatically suppose that if one person steals and another leads a virtuous life that the first one will be damned or the second one saved,” he explained. “God may see things very differently.”

She knew she probably looked like a gaping fish, but she didn’t care. “How do you know?”

Tilting his head as if listening to something, he closed his eyes and smiled serenely. “I just do.”

Crossing the room, she sat next to him facing the opposite direction, her head downcast. “Somehow, I believe you.”

He turned his head and brought his lips close to her ear, his breath sending shivers over her skin that she tried to ignore. “All I know is that I couldn’t be… away from you.”

“You couldn’t?” she nearly whimpered, gazing into his earnest eyes.

Raising his hand slowly, he began tracing the features he’d come to know so well, adoring the gentle swell of her cheeks and the seductive pout of her lips, loving her easy smile. So much power held within such a fragile person, he literally felt it radiating from her in waves and it filled the empty places in his mind, calming him considerably.

“When I try to think of my past, I get snippets of conversations and sparse images mixed in a jumble,” he explained softly. “Funny thing is, though… each one contains you, as if there has never been a time without your presence or influence.” He stroked her face with the back of his fingers, cherishing the way her skin flushed. “Now, I don’t have a gift with words, or maybe I do… I just don’t remember. But I do know one thing for certain.”

Laying her cheek against his palm, she nuzzled his hand and reveled at his passionate expression, the first she’d seen since his return. “What’s that?”

“In my dreams, I’ve had glimpses of Heaven,” he admitted, feeling her tense beneath his fingers. “But nothing there was half as beautiful as you.”

Her tears spilled over when she closed her eyes at his declaration as realization hit her. For her. He’d given it all up to be with her, she had no doubt. In the same breath, she cursed and thanked God for allowing him to return to her, knowing she could never fathom what he’d sacrificed to be here in this moment.

Pulling her to him, he held her as she sobbed, her hands clutching him as if he’d disappear. He laid his cheek against her blonde locks as he nuzzled her hair and embraced her tighter, relishing her scent of sandalwood and sage.

“I love you,” he whispered, pressing a kiss to her temple.

This caused her sobs to increase in volume as emotions assaulted her from every possible angle. She burrowed herself against his chest, trying in vain to crawl beneath his skin, clinging to him desperately.

“I’m so sorry,” she murmured.

His brows creased. “What for? Don’t you love me?” he asked simply.

She raised her head from his chest, swiping at the wet spot she’d left on his shirt, her eyes pleading with his. “I could do nothing but love you.”

“Then what are you sorry for?”

“I-”

A loud crash followed by the slamming of a heavy door interrupted her thoughts, as she listened to someone running up the stairs and then another bang of a door closing. Extricating herself from Xander’s arms, she sat up and paid attention to every sound the house was making.

“Something’s wrong,” she told him fretfully.

Truth be told, he felt the tense atmosphere seeping into everything around him, too. “Buffy?” he asked, worry evident in his voice.

Hearing nothing more for several moments, she relaxed somewhat, leaning against Xander’s shoulder. “Things are starting to happen.” She sighed heavily. “Things that have so many different outcomes I can’t clearly see which is the best path to choose.”

Smiling against the crown of her head, he poked her in the ribs earning him a slight giggle. “Do you always need to know what will be beforehand?”

Batting away his hand, she got up and walked to the window, staring out into the night, her arms crossed. She stayed that way for a time then turned and looked at him over her shoulder.

“Sometimes, it helps.”

~*~

Spike had never truly used his Pheromone Charm to its fullest extent, and with good reason. In fact, he couldn’t recall when he’d ever used it at all, relying mostly on his sculpted looks and seductive tongue to get him what he wanted. Now, though, as his claws dug into the concrete wall supporting him, the only thing holding him back from ripping the girl in two was a thin sliver of conscience.

One whiff and the victim became pliable, more amenable to coupling, though quite lucid. However, if the scent permeated the air for an extended amount of time at its highest potency, the female would begin ovulating, preparing her for pregnancy. Of course an Incubus could manually stimulate a female’s body in preparation for fertilization, but it damaged her body to be brought so quickly to readiness, the pain so debilitating no woman would want to mate afterwards.

Because he’d never employed it to its fullest potential, he’d forgotten that little side-effect when he tried to show Buffy what she was up against, wishing heartily that he’d thought of an alternative… but the girl was too arrogant. To keep her alive, he just might have to break her.

Eyeing the struggling Incubus, Giles pushed himself off the last step, climbing to the landing and barring Spike from advancing further. “You can’t touch her, you gave your word.”

Word? What word? He was having trouble concentrating as her scent lingered, teasing his cock and driving him beyond madness with the urge to shove her face-first into the ground and rut until they both fell apart.

“Step aside, Watcher,” Spike growled, his muscles rippling with barely contained power.

Faltering somewhat from the lingering effects of the pheromone, Giles braced himself on the banister in what he hoped was an intimidating pose. “You touch her and I’ll kill you myself… Diabolus be damned!”

Diabolus.

It was the cold splash of reality that Spike needed. Dropping to his knees, he drew his wings around his body, his whole frame shivering as he suppressed his desires.

The torc had other ideas.

The cool metal began burning the sensitive skin around his neck, throbbing painfully as it whispered insidious things in his mind, prodding Spike to fill Buffy with his seed and create the most powerful being the Underworld had ever seen. It promised him things that he knew were untrue, yet his blood responded in such a way that he had no willpower to counteract its demands.

Slowly, he rose from his crouched position and made his way towards the steps, pausing only to backhand the meddlesome man, watching him sail across the room and land in an unconscious heap against the wall. Then he climbed the stairs, his claws leaving etched groove marks along the wall.

Anya watched the door to the hidden training room open as Spike emerged, his entire being so taut with thinly veiled lust that she couldn’t help smiling to herself. “Someone’s gonna get it,” she sing-songed.

The Incubus stopped for a moment to study the ex-demon, considering if she would be a suitable substitute fuck, but the torc was linked to only one female… Buffy. Hissing his displeasure at her taunt, he continued on his way up the stairs to the first level of the house.

Opening the door that led from the basement to the kitchen, Spike halted as he sniffed the air, his nostrils filling with the scent of another dominant male presence. Knowing the boy in Tara’s room posed no threat, he immediately dismissed him as the source of the anxiety beginning to fill the environment.

The scrabbling noises on the rooftop had him sprinting up to Buffy’s bedroom, passing a shocked Tara who’d opened her door just as he dashed by, both heading towards the Slayer’s room. Neither bothered knocking as Spike threw open the door to see Buffy backing away from her window, whimpering and shaking her head ‘no’, as she pointed to the being who was desperate to gain entrance.

“Mine!” the male snarled, clawing at the invisible shield covering the house.

Spike immediately became fully enthralled in a blood rage, his hackles rising and his eyes tingeing red with lust and anger, as he put himself between the creature and his mate. “Mine!” he roared in retaliation, his outstretched wings blotting out the view of the people behind him.

Tara grabbed hold of Buffy and tried to drag her out of the room, but the younger girl held her ground. “I’m afraid if I move, someone will really get hurt,” she practically sobbed.

Seeing the wisdom of her statement, Tara nodded and stood firmly next to her sister, only to be thoroughly shocked as she watched Spike lunge out the window, taking the other male with him. A sickening crack of wood rent the night air as the two beings hit the tree near Buffy’s window, severing a sizable limb from the trunk on their way down to the ground.

“Whoa. Guess who just got mean?” Xander observed from the doorway, startling both girls.

Another crash, this time of something, or rather someone, being thrown into the metal garbage cans. Tara ushered Buffy and Xander down the stairs and out the back door of the kitchen, seeing their trash scattered in the driveway. Feral growls accompanied the thud of a body hitting the side of the house, the cracks in the concrete pavement a telling sign that Spike and whatever he was fighting would surely tear the place apart if they weren’t stopped.

From the shadows, they watched as a body was flung against the wooden privacy fence that splintered from the force of the impact, the Incubus trailing after to pick the creature up. But his opponent had other ideas as he grabbed one of Spike’s wings and tried to bend it at an unnatural angle, his claws shredding his back to ribbons in the process.

“Who is that?” Tara whispered to Buffy, shaking her from her fascination with the scene unfolding before their eyes.

“I haven’t a clue, but I think he’s from the same place Spike is from… they smell the same, and he has…” She shivered, remembering the possessive stare the demon had given her earlier. “His eyes… they’re like Spike’s.”

“So, does this mean it’s a good time to panic?” Xander asked, pointing to where Spike had apparently found a garden pitchfork, raising it high and bringing it down on the struggling being.

Eyes wide, Tara acted before it was too late. “Gwna na amhara!” she cried, stopping the pitchfork from entering the creature’s body.

Spike whipped his head in the direction of the female’s voice, growling low at her interference, throwing the garden tool so that it lodged in the trunk of a nearby tree. “How dare you meddle, you infernal witch!” he threatened, advancing on the group, as they stood their ground.

Prepared to defend herself, Tara was surprised to see Xander rush and stand in front of her, placing himself between Spike and the woman he loved. “Look, I know you’re an aggressively, bad winged dude, but I can’t let you-”

“Shut your mouth, insignificant whelp,” Spike snapped at him, looking at Tara over his shoulder. “You, come here… I want you to see what we’re up against!”

Buffy gripped her sister’s arm, afraid to let her go anywhere near Spike or the other man. “Don’t do this, it’s too dangerous!”

Gently extricating herself from the younger girl’s grasp, Tara followed the Incubus to where the other male laid, his chest rising and falling with his labored breathing. Taking her by the bicep, Spike shoved her eye level with the demon, hissing in her ear as she looked over his multiple injuries.

“If you think I’m evil, this one would pay no heed to your warnings and fuck her `til she died,” he ground out. “This one is young and happened to catch a whiff of something he wanted.” He then pulled her up to face him, glaring at her. “The next one they send won’t show mercy, and she’ll be dead before her body hits the ground.” Giving her a little shake, he turned her to face her sister. “What will it take to keep you from hampering my need to kill these miscreants and keep her safe?”

“Because he didn’t come here for her,” Tara spat, shrugging off his hold on her. “That thing over there came for you.”

Letting her go, Spike went back to where the demon still lay on the ground, standing over him and taking in his features. The bloodied demon returned his gaze, staring at him as if he were some sort of god, smirking.

Reaching down, the blond fisted a bunch of material in his left hand and pulled the being up to study him further. “Who sent you?”

“The same who sent you,” was all he would say, laughing somewhat.

Peering into his ice-blue eyes, Spike saw himself looking back, and it frightened him mightily. “Who are you?” he whispered harshly, releasing the boy and edging backwards.

Wiping a trickle of blood off his swollen lip with the back of his hand, the black-haired being managed to stand, sniffing and running a hand through his disheveled, wavy locks. “Must be a bitch not to recognize your own son.”

A collective gasp filled the air behind the Incubus, but he said nothing, studying the young male as he slowly circled him, looking him over. “How do I know you’re my spawn?”

“Son,” he hissed, glaring at the winged being. “Because you’re all she ever wrote about.” Digging deep in his pockets, the bruised demon finally retrieved a worn scrap of paper and handed it to Spike.

Carefully unfolding the fragile parchment, Spike stared for long moments at a rendition of his own face, faded words scratched underneath the picture.

Decorus slept near me this evening after making love. He is so beautiful, my Dark Prince! But I know he cannot stay, for mother and father would be so upset. I love him dearly, but I know it is not the same for him. Maybe one day, he will say that I am his Dark Queen and whisk me away from this life that I have not asked for. Maybe he will come to…

The remaining words were apparently continued on another page as the script ended with her hopes that Spike might feel the same as her. “Where did you get this?” he barked, emotions clogging his throat.

“Grandfather’s house.” He held up his hand, indicating he wanted his piece of memory back. “They never changed her room and I go there sometimes, to look around.” Shrugging his shoulders, the man mumbled, “She was very beautiful.”

Spike traced the outline of his features on the paper, his eyes never betraying the turmoil he felt inside. “Yes,” he murmured. “She was very beautiful.”

“Did you ever love her?”

Tensing from the presence at his back, Spike gruffly handed the paper back to his son and shuddered, causing several feathers to break off and land as daggers near his feet. “I cared for her a great deal, but I don’t believe it could be called love.”

“Will you tell others where we are?” asked the blonde girl that was off to Spike’s right.

“Tara…” The Incubus growled, shifting his eyes between his son and the witch.

She looked affronted and growled right back at the imposing figure. “What? I need to know what will happen. I need to keep my family safe.”

“You have no fear of him?”

Tara looked at the pale man and scoffed. “Of him? No. Of what he represents, yes.”

Spike looked at the witch thoughtfully. “What exactly do I represent?”

“Love.”

Both men looked at her, confused. “But Incubi were meant to fu-”

“I know what they’re supposed to do, Spike,” she interrupted. “I’m saying that your actions represent love. Love lies at the root of every action, whether good or bad. Even the deadliest of sins stems from deviations of love.”

“She’s got a point.”

Spike glared at the youth. “What did they name you?”

“Pax. My brother Dorum will be here within the week with the Seer.”

“Pax?”

He arched his brow. “Yes?”

“Shut up,” his father spat. “So you’re saying,” he turned back to Tara. “That the whole Heaven and Hell thing is because of love?”

She nodded, but Xander sidled up next to her and answered, “Lucifer loved himself more than God.”

“Cain slaying Abel?” he posed.

“Excessive want of God’s love and approval.”

“Judas betraying Jesus?”

“Excessive love of money and self preservation.”

“Herod slaying all the first-born males?”

“Definitely excessive love of power. He thought he was a god. The head honcho saw things differently.”

“You know, this Sunday-school lesson is darn skippy, but I’m freezing my ass off and to tell the truth, I’m a bit freaked out by everything that’s happened tonight,” Buffy chattered from the porch steps. She sorely regretted her outburst when she glanced at the two demons.

In the prior melee that trashed the yard, Spike and Pax had worked out enough of their pent up aggression to leave some breathing room, but once the attention was refocused on the blonde girl, the air became charged with testosterone once more.

“Mine,” Pax growled low in this throat, his progress towards the house halted by a palm to his chest that shoved him back.

“No,” Spike snarled, effectively blocking his son at every turn. “Mine!”

“She’s just a female to you!” Pax shouted, trying to land a punch to his father’s face. “You won’t love her!”

Spike wrapped his fingers around the throat of his arrogant spawn, pushing him against a splintered tree-trunk. “I’ll tell you this once, son,” he bit out the word, nostrils flaring. “That woman is braver than anyone you will ever know. She is, and always will be, mine.” He shook him to regain his focus. “You touch her and you’ll join your mother.”

Pax’s face paled. “You’d kill me for a fuck?”

A brief glimpse of shattered emotions flashed across Spike’s eyes. “I can’t let you harm her.”

Glaring, as his lip curled in disgust, Pax sneered. “But you will.”

Releasing his grip, Spike slowly stepped away. “Yes,” he murmured, staring longingly at the frightened girl several yards away. “I know I will.”

“We need to get inside,” Tara whispered urgently, her eyes darting to the shadows surrounding the backyard. “I feel something watching… something listening.”

Both demons raised their heads and scented the air, freezing the moment they smelled the slightest hint of sulfur. “Inside, quickly,” Spike ordered.

Everyone but Pax and Spike shuffled into the warm kitchen, Tara standing on the threshold, watching as they scouted the entire area for threats. Finding nothing, Spike slipped past Tara while Pax slammed against an invisible barrier once more.

“You promise my loved ones no harm?” Tara asked him, barring his entrance.

Lazing against the doorjamb, Pax smiled devilishly and winked at her. “As a demon, is my word worth anything?”

She studied his eyes, peering deep within until the sound of the garage door opening startled her. “You’re human enough,” she retorted.

Her admission sobered him greatly. “I give you my solemn oath that I will not harm those under your protection.”

Giving him a small smile, she nodded, laying her hand on his where it rested against the wood. “Ad daflu i berlewyg a achfre.”

The shield disappeared and he was granted access, just in time to see another woman enter through a side door, paper bags weighing down her arms, stopping once she glanced at everyone in her kitchen.

“I don’t want to know, do I, Tara?” Joyce sighed, placing the bags on the counter.

She smiled hesitantly at her mother. “Probably not.”

“I’m going to lie down,” Buffy announced with a yawn, rubbing her still cramping abdomen. “Tara? Can you come with me for a sec?”

Following her sister to the bottom of the staircase, Tara stopped her before she started up. “I can put wards on the room, but that torc he wears is powerful stuff, Buffy. If he really wanted to get in, nothing would stop him.”

Tears gathered in her emerald-green depths. “I know,” she whispered. “Just make them as strong as you can, until this,” she nearly sobbed, pointing at her stomach. “Goes away.”

Nodding, she followed her up the stairs and once Buffy was safely ensconced in her room, Tara laid protective spells and charms all over the wooden door, praying that it would be enough. If only Giles was…

“Dad!”

During the course of the evening, Tara had totally forgotten about Giles, who’d been training with her sister as she raced down to the lower level, hoping she’d find him whole.

~*~

Of the more harmless Imps Hell had to offer, Grimsby usually happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But not tonight. Tonight, he caught the tale end of a conversation that would blow the proverbial roof off of Hades, and once he told his master, it would ensure him safe passage for the rest of his unnatural existence.

“I can smell you,” a voice whispered to him from an open window at the bottom of a house. “Come here!”

Ambling over, Grimsby peeked beyond the dirty glass, gasping as he saw the master’s favorite pet and squealed. “Anyanka?”

“Grimsby? Is that you?”

“Yes, but… where are your magnificent wings?” he cried in a sorrowful voice, trying to crane his stubby neck through the crack in the window.

She snorted. “Gone! They left me here to rot!” she snarled before a smirk settled on her face. “But I’ve got a job for you, Imp, and if you play your cards right, you’ll be heavily rewarded.”

“Oh yes, mistress! Grimsby lives to serve.”

A feral smile crept across her lips. “Good! Here’s what I want you to do…”

And she told him everything.
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