Title: The Red Curse
Pairing(s): Various/Spike, Fred/Wesley, others as story develops
Rating/Warnings: NC-17 (Non-con/Rape, BDSM, torture, violence, language) Previous Parts
Part 17: Suffering
Riley watched in horrified fascination as Spike's body seemed to ripple and contort. Every tendon stood out in sharp relief, and a shadow began to form in the air around his pale body. The sounds of the base alarms seemed to fade away under the pounding of Riley's blood in his ears. So it was finally going to happen. Riley held his gun at the ready, though frustration burned within him when he considered just how useless it would be. “Spike! Fight it!”
“Shit,” Johnson hissed. His eyes moved in uncertainty between Spike and the door, no doubt having reached the same conclusion Riley did and wondering if it would be safer to make a break for it and risk facing Illyria.
Behind Johnson, Eve had gone deathly pale, her hands clutched to his shoulders. “Oh god, what do we do?”
To Riley's surprise, Johnson pulled a knife from beneath his coat. It lengthened into a fully formed sword in his hand. “Now? We probably die.”
Xue Fei jerked his head up and released a roar. Riley fell back just in time to avoid the spines that shot out from the furred shoulders. The tiger immediately rushed Spike, and slammed several spines clean through the vampire's hanging body.
Spike cried out and made a choked noise, his eyes bursting open to stare at the spines in shock.
The cat wrenched away, and the blood-tinged spines pulled free. Spike was left with several gaping holes in his abdomen, his breath coming in pained wheezes.
Johnson was still backed into the wall in front of Eve, but he glared at the tiger. “You can't kill him, idiot.”
An irritable snarl was directed at the scientist.
Riley stared at Spike, and noted that the dark shroud that had surrounded his frame seemed to have abated. “Wait.” Riley watched for a few moments more, just to be sure. A small kernel of hope began to form. “I think he stopped it.” Cautiously, Riley approached Spike's naked and bloodied form. “Spike, can you hear me?”
Spike's eyes slid open, glazed with pain and weariness. He nodded, then shut his eyes and spoke in a voice strained with agony. “She's not... not trying to tear through anymore. I think Puss rebooted the system.”
“For how long?” Eve demanded. “We need to get out of here.”
“No, baby,” Johnson said, and Riley whipped his head around when he heard the pet name. “We need to stay here. It's the only chance.”
Riley frowned, and observed that there was an odd closeness to Johnson and Eve that hadn't been there when they'd first arrived.
“Riley,” Spike croaked, eyes open once more. “Get Angel.” He tilted his head in Johnson's direction. “If... if this twat thinks he's better off in here... means it's the safest place in all the bloody world.”
Riley swallowed, but nodded grimly. “One suicide mission, coming up.”
Spike imagined he could feel the metal creeping about to fill the new holes in his body. But his head was clear, and Glory's laugh had faded. “Thanks, Puss,” he said, relief filling him.
“What the hell just happened?” “Johnson” asked.
Spike sneered at the man in the lab coat. “Can drop the disguise, Lindsey. Everyone in here knows it's you.”
“Nah, thanks. I think I'm good as I am. Answer the question.” Lindsey gestured at Spike with his sword. “One minute you're screaming at us to haul our asses out of here, then you get skewered and everything's okay?”
“I could hear Glory,” Spike said. “In my head. She was coming. I think the shock of Puss's attack sent her running.”
Eve frowned. “How?”
“Well, I don't know, do I?” Spike snarled, pain ratcheting through him with the words. He froze, then, as an idea came to him. He looked into the eyes of the face that Lindsey wore. “Hit me.”
“Glory comes to me when I'm unconscious,” Spike said. “Use the hilt of your sword. If you knock me out, I can talk to her, see if I can suss out what's holding her back.” He shook his arms. “I'm no use to anyone strapped to this bloody thing.”
“That's a stupid idea,” Eve said. “You won't be awake to fight her back. What if she just uses the opportunity to burst free?”
“Won't make much difference,” Spike said. “Either way, I can't beat her.”
Lindsey cursed under his breath and took a step forward, sword at the ready.
“Don't!” Eve said, but Lindsey shrugged her off when she grabbed for him.
Spike shut his eyes and braced himself.
It took Lindsey three tries.
Riley paused as General Sharp hurried towards him from down the hall. Riley could hear muffled gunfire in the distance.
“I'm about to issue the order to evacuate, and call for a nuclear missile to be targeted to the base.” General Sharp's eyes were bright with frustration. “For all the good it will do us.”
Riley gripped his gun tight, but his muscles shook with weariness. He hadn't slept for a long time and it was beginning to take its toll. “Sir, I'm going to take the visitors and fall back to Spike's cell.”
“No, you're not. That thing has killed too many of my people already. And you've
ignored too many of my orders, Finn. Do you understand how ruined my career would be if word got out just how much from you I let slide?”
Riley knew very well, and was grateful, but he persisted. “Spike says the safest place is in the room with the wards.”
“In thirty minutes, it won't be. If there's any chance to take that thing down, I'm going to do it.”
A new voice spoke. “You'd be making the wrong choice.” It came from a haggard man, who stood in the middle of the hall. Riley recognized him as the man who had been outside with the demon woman. “Illyria can control time,” the man went on. “If there is any true danger to her from your plan, she will simply slow time and make her escape.”
Anger flashed in General Sharp's eyes. “Who the hell are you?”
“Wesley Wyndham-Pryce.” The man turned his head as, somewhere close, screams began. “You will need to run, now. Illyria has chosen me as her guide, and I will distract her as long as I can.”
Riley didn't wait for General Sharp's response. He bolted down the hallway towards the room they were keeping Angel. As he passed a bisecting corridor, he saw the woman in blue holding a soldier by his neck. Riley clenched his jaw and continued on – he knew any intervention would just lead to his own death.
He was panting hard when he reached the room. Its occupants looked angry and afraid. “Spike does want you to come to him. All of you. But we need to move fast – Illyria's penetrated the base. There are wards in place around her sarcophagus that Spike thinks will protect us.”
Angel was immediately, eagerly out the door. He gave Riley a look, but didn't show any of the aggression that had been present for their previous encounters. “Lead the way.”
Each time Spike returned to the howling abyss, it seemed easier to bear. Spike panted as air seemed to whip by him, and awaited the usual dread-inducing voice to come to him from the shadows.
But Glory didn't show herself, or even speak. The howling surrounded him for an indeterminable amount of time. Eventually, Spike tried to move. But he was stuck, and only able to just barely breathe.
“Glory!” he finally gasped. “I know you're in here, bitch. You told me this was your place.”
The howling abruptly stopped and Spike let out a yell of terror as he dropped through darkness. He crashed onto something soft, and as he adjusted from the fall he saw that he was in his old cage in Ambrus's bedroom, surrounded by a ridiculous number of large, decorative pillows. The door to the cage was open, and Spike shuddered as he heard the water running into the bath in the room adjacent.
He gazed around the room, but there was no sign of Glory.
The sound of wood sliding against wood drew his attention. A drawer on the chest across the room had moved open on its own. Spike knew the contents of those drawers well – they were where Ambrus kept his toys.
He ground his teeth, but was unable to quite suppress the surge of dread the sound caused. “This is getting bloody tedious,” he snarled. “I get it, all right? You know all my recent nightmares. Get some new material.”
Something black crawled over the edge of the drawer and dropped to the ground, then surged towards the open cage door. Spike had a moment to realize it was a straight jacket before the thing was on him. It crushed against his body and he fell back in stunned panic, rolling about as he tried to squirm free of the clinging leather. It followed him and molded to his chest, the sleeves drawing themselves over his arms as the rest closed over his back. He thrashed and tried in vain to resist as his arms were firmly crossed about his belly and belted into place. He heard the buckles thread behind his back before they were viciously tightened, and he felt the collar of the jacket pull snug against his neck. More straps tickled as they slowly slid over his arse.
“Glory!” he shouted, and hated the edge of fear in his voice. “Come out, you sodding coward!”
Something brushed against the back of his head, and when he turned to look, a huge cock gag levitated before him. It was the same one that Ambrus had used on him, back when he'd first been captured. When he'd still been – more or less – whole.
At that moment, the last straps of the straight jacket fastened so tightly that they dug painfully into the flesh of his crotch. Spike yelped, and the cock gag shoved between his lips and teeth as if forced in by a powerful enemy – only there was still no one to be seen. Spike gurgled and roared as the gag edged deeper, straining his jaw around the hard length, until it reached his the back of his throat. The buckles cinched cruelly at his scalp, until they cut into the corners of his mouth.
The door to the cage slammed shut.
Spike couldn't breathe – and for several seconds he pressed his forehead harshly into a pillow as he tried to tell himself that this wasn't real, that it wasn't happening. But it was hard when he felt every burst of pain and fear so keenly.
Eventually, after a long while, he calmed enough to tug experimentally at the straight jacket, but it was bound tight enough that he had no leverage. The frustrated tinge he felt caused another fresh wave of panic at the suffocating gag and he convulsed in a helpless terror, before he went still again. Tears leaked from between his clenched eyelids.
He stayed in misery for a long while, unable to move, to breathe. Then, slowly, he came to a realization. And as he did, a tendril of metal began to slide about his leg.
Instead of simply causing additional fear, this new threat also fed his suspicions. Glory!
he thought – and how exactly did that work, when he was already inside his own head? I know you can bloody hear me!
Another tendril of metal curled about his neck, chilled and heavy. It pulled him onto his back before it grew stiff and still. A third tendril wrapped about his free ankle, and his legs were spread.You're trying to distract me, to scare me off.
A fourth tendril rose up from between his legs and began to slowly grow in width. It didn't take a genius to realize just where that one was going to be headed. Spike squirmed, and his hip joints throbbed as his legs were only moved wider. If you don't bloody stop this, I'll have Puss spend the rest of his life jabbing me through.
The metal between his legs froze. An annoyed scoff sounded, and suddenly Glory was there, on the edge of Ambrus's bed. A red dress lined her curves, and she gazed sullenly off to the side.
“I could make you feel like every bone in your body was breaking,” she said.
The metal slipped from his neck and ankles, and the gag disappeared. Spike immediately sat up and gasped in gulps of air to his burning lungs. When his breaths had finally slowed, he asked, “What did you mean, when you said you needed it to be 'perfect?'”
Glory directed a severe glare his way. “Oh, and now all of the sudden you're acting like you don't know? I'm in your mind, Precious. I know what you're doing.”
“Not acting,” Spike said. He tried to keep his tone civil – no use in pissing her off if she was being cooperative for once. “Just want something a bit more specific.”
Glory seemed to shrink into herself, and a gleam of frustrated tears formed in her eyes. “It's your stupid body... if you'd just been reduced to a quivering wreck properly like those idiots were supposed to do, this wouldn't have happened.”
Spike narrowed his gaze. “What wouldn't have happened?”
Glory gestured around the room with a “duh” expression. “You think this is normal
? I never so much as dreamed about Ben, let alone talked with him while he was sleeping! I had to fight hard to force your ass to let me in, but you kept on pushing back and we kind of... meshed together too much. And then you got that whole head trauma thing, and it started getting worse.” Glory shuddered, her expression one of sorrow. “I can't come out... it hurts too much.”
Spike stared for a moment, before he barked out a laugh of disbelief.
Glory's eyes turned murderous. “Shut up! You have no idea how hard it is. I shouldn't even be able to feel
Spike couldn't quite keep the smirk from his face. “So what you're saying is, because you're stuck so closely to me, all the damages and pain done to my body –”
“Would get spread to me like herpes if I took over.” Glory looked disgusted. “I only get a break when you're in here. Otherwise the pain is there, taunting me, just around the corner. It's not fair.” She bowed her head and threaded her hands in her thick blonde hair.
So, there it was. As long as Spike was in some sort of pain, Glory wouldn't come out.
The hellgod immediately jerked her head up, and blue eyes blazed new anger. A slow, threatening smile formed on her face. “I hope you're not going to be thinking what I'm thinking you are, Precious. Because I may not be able to do much out there...”
Suddenly, Glory disappeared. Spike felt a warm hand grip under his chin and bring his face up, fingernails digging into the hinge of his jaw. He tried to pull away, but the hold turned vicious, and another hand clenched into his hair.
Ambrus's green eyes stared down at him, his cock hard and ready and covered in metal.
Spike suppressed a moan of terror, familiar feelings rushing back stronger than ever.
“...But I can still cause a whole lot of suffering in here.”