Prisms Part One - Black
Couldn't have missed her. Not from clear across the bleedin' state much less across the street.
Course I could have picked her up in the middle of a crowd what we're on such good terms n' all and that I knew her scent by heart.
I was out of the Watcher's house, enjoyin what I could of the night; hey, just because I am currently, how shall we put this, out of order doesn't mean I still don't like the dark. Besides the stupid git wouldn't let me watch my soaps and I just had to cool off, what with me not bein' allowed to gut him like a fish. I figured I'd cruise a few alleyways, maybe the graveyards around the town, get lucky, come across a demon or somethin' and take out my pent up aggressions on that poor bastard. One must keep in practice after all.
Regrettably I hadn't gotten any nibbles; humans say on the night of a full moon evil walks and maybe that's true, maybe that isn't. I never cared what kind of moon it was when I did my stalkings, but on this night it seemed evil was practically snoring.
Till I saw her. Than I realized that supernatural evil had just given way, that evenin' at least, too something more...human.
She was upwind of me and while I could only really make her out as she walked from one pool of light to the next, under the street lamps, the scents told me more than the eyes ever could have. Though they did tell quite a bit.
She was walking with that brisk stride women do when they really want to run but can't because of high heels. A mixture of speed and efficiency I suppose. It was supposed to look like a strong walk, a 'don't get in my way because I have actual places to be' kind of step. Course the rest of her body language ruined the image completely. Arms hugging herself tightly, head bowed till chin almost met breast bone, her gaze probably locked on the earth directly in front of her not really seeing it.
Anyone who looked at her would probably have thought to themselves, 'Ah, now there goes a lady who's had a really bad day.' then dismissed her from memory. If they could smell what I was, at that moment, they would have realized that this girly girl had just about the worst day possible.
The first dead give-away was the smell of sweat, cigarette smoke and alcohol. She never would have gone for something like that, or some place for that matter. Well, the Bronze maybe, but this reek was more of the kind one would find in a hole-in-the-wall down by the harbor. But that odor could have been explained away. No the kicker was the smell of blood. Not your run of the mill, 'let's slit the jugular and see how far it shoots' blood either. This was thick blood.
Mixed in with all sorts of other…materials.
And than there's all the emotional crap too, that humans carry around like luggage. Believe it or not we can smell those as well. Fear, predictably, is my favorite but others are pretty recognizable as well.
In this case it was shame. Coming off her in big, waves that could have knocked over a building and gave me a splitting headache for a moment. Added that to her tab.
Did I mention I have pretty good hearing too? No? Well I do. And even from this distance I could hear the muffled whimpers and those little choking noises that people make at the back of their throats when they're trying to hold back a scream. You can bloody well bet I'd recognize that sound anywhere, being the cause of so many in my time.
I decided to ..tag along, follow her home y'know. Not to make sure she'd make it okay but, maybe there was an off chance some night beastie would think she'd make a good snack and I could rip it to pieces.
Again, in that regard I was out of luck, she entered the campus and moved across the darkend lawns straight for her dorm, the one she shares with her best friend in the whole wide world.
Best friends, uh-huh, I'll bet. Let's see how true their friendship really is, see if my little missy here will spill her guts regarding her eventful evening. '
I'll watch through the window', I decided, 'It's not like there's anything on the telly.'
Now that was a impressive display. I had no idea she was capable of such acting skills. Why, if I had the resources I'd have awarded her an Oscar on the spot. As it was I had a very hard time not clapping and shouting out 'Bravo!'
She really did a fantastic job, my little chippy, and of course argued my point that no one trusts anyone quite nicely. I suppose she spent a few minutes 'putting on her face' before she entered her room. I missed that part, pity really, would have been amusing. Anyhow, from outside on my perch I could get a pretty good look inside the room and she came waltzing through the door like she was walking on air.
Great big smile plastered on her face, top o'the world. I'm sure.
They talked about something for a few minutes but I couldn't make it out and I'm no soddin' lip reader either. Eventually she stripped out of her clothing, slipped into a robe, grabbed some basket of toiletries and, tossing a comment over her shoulder, vanished again.
So… there's just me, out on a limb, her roommate, still glancing at a magazine. And we waited…
I was beginning to get a little bored and thought about calling it a night, maybe catch some reruns.
Luck was with me though. Her roommate noticed the discarded garments and, being such a good friend she is, got up off the bed to put em' away in the laundry basket.
I have no idea how she can pick up my kind so easily, it's not like she can smell us, well, not me at least I bathe regularly. So it wasn't too surprising too watch her not realize something was amiss until she got a good, long whiff of her recently departed roommate apparel. And she couldn't even do that until she practically shoved her face in the bleedin' things.
Humans. How pathetic.
Regardless, she did get a good lungful of em' but still didn't pick up on just what was on the up'n'up. Not yet, no it took her a little longer. She had to hold the clothes up carefully, y'know, examine em' like a detective from the yard back home. Hell, I could see the message staring me in the face but no, not her. Not till she saw the tears along the sides, the holes in the stockings leading up the side of the leg.
Then she got it.
I would have laughed had I not been wishing to remain silent, and I had to muffle a few quiet snorts just the same. First her eyes got real big, and I mean really big. I doubt she gaped that much when she met Angelus for the first time and Angelus is very much worth gaping at.
Then her jaw dropped and she stood there for a few moments like a royal idiot.
Just… stood there while her mind munched on that little bit of information that it just processed not moving, not even blinking. Heck, breathing probably was a secondary concern at that moment and we all know how important that is…or in my case was.
She was out the door like a shot, a flurry of hair and movement, whipping around the corner and down the hall. I could almost hear her screaming her the little chit's name.
I doubted they would be back for quite a while so I figured I'd do a little pokin' about of my own. Casually I reached out and eased the window open, true I couldn't actually go inside as I had never been invited but that was alright, not what I had in mind anyway. Hunching down on the sill, which is quite hard despite supernatural strength, I took in a deep lungful of air, they don't get much use but still do the job. I went through the scents, females..two…both easily recognizable. I'm still, to this day, having an internal debate which one I hate more, sweat, various foods..couldn't believe they liked that on their pizzas, then I got it. Male…more than one.
Mentally cataloging them I closed the window up again and easily lept to the ground. I was definitely going to head back to the Watcher's now. My entertainment wasn't over yet, there were arguments to be had, tears to be shed and promises of bloody vengeance to be made. I figured this would be better than sweeps week.
I saw them in my mind and that of course is where it began to go all bloody wrong, the two of them, my little chit naked, curled up in a corner like they do in all the movies, cold water running down on the two of em' as her friend held her close. Crying together emotions all-a-tizzy doing anything and everything to make the pain go away, the last few hours simply not happen.
"That's right little slayer," I said out loud. "Hold your Willow close, help her through these hard times like you do everybody else. Try and help her forget that she's been raped."
I expected to laugh out loud.
I expected to enjoy the rest of the evening like I hadn't in a very long while.
I expected to go back to my fellow countryman's house and sit on the sidelines and enjoy.
But nnooo… I couldn't get that lucky.
Not me, not poor ol' 'Don't mind him daughter, he's a neutered vampire' Spike.
I started feeling angry. I mean, so bloody furious my other nature got the better of me and for a few minutes I spent the time snarling my rage out at the moon. Not that over inflated hunk of rock ever cared.
I couldn't understand it, I couldn't get the sounds Willow had made out my head. They just rung in my brain over and over like the worst demo tape ever made stuck on infinite playback and that image of her false smile for the Slayer. Bloody hell! It was so perverse, so out of place and ungodly… my respect for her actually went up a notch. Dru couldn't have done better which is saying something.
I argue the point now, as I did at that time, that I didn't care about Wicca girl and her little Slayer buddy. I still don't, my reasoning was thus: I was angry because a bunch of snotnosed little punks had done what I, with centuries of experience and a taste for real panache, had been unable to do. Hurt the Slayer.
A few minutes after coming up with that argument I realized that there were some things even I, being a hell spawned demon made flesh in the body of man, would not do.
I didn't get it then, and don't get it now, where exactly does the demon end and the remnants of the human begin. I mean, I was shocked at the revelation! I had values?
It began in the back of my skull, like that itchy, tingling feeling you get right before you sneeze, but in this case all the scratching in the world wouldn't alleviate it. It grew and grew and was crushing across my mind and it wouldn't be stopped, I snarled, I screamed and raged.
I put my hand through a tree…which hurt.
And in the end I gave up. With a sigh I accepted it.
I, William Blood, William the Bloody, scourge of Europe and parts of Asia…a Childe of Angelus for Christ's sake…was going to do something noble.
With a snarl I set off across the campus at a brisk run, had to get back to Giles after all. Didn't want to miss the big meeting.
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