The soldiers manhandled Buffy away from the tent with a sword to her throat. She could see that the others had been surrounded; weapons bristled in a circle with her friends at the middle. "Okay!" she said angrily and wrenched at the hands gripping her. The hands dropped; the sword was lowered. Freed, she moved toward the others.
Giles was holding himself still, posture suggesting caution and an attempt to appear unthreatening. "Buffy, I think we may need to let this issue go for now. As long as Spike isn't being harmed, our efforts to free him are likely to be taken poorly. We're needlessly antagonizing them." At them he gave a subtle tilt of his head to indicate the soldiers.
"Giles, they put a collar on him. He can't speak or fight--we don't know what Braveheart in there's going to do to him."
"He probably just wants some pretty man to pour his wine and give him blow-jobs," Anya said matter of factly. The men's faces turned queasy. Giles shifted his gaze down and cleared his throat while Riley blinked several times, opened his mouth, then closed it again.
Xander took a deep, uncomfortable-looking breath before saying, "Well, it's not as if Spike doesn't have some karmic payback coming."
Willow frowned unhappily at him for this remark. "Xander. We're talking about rape."
"Oh for god's sake, he's a vampire," Anya said. "He's done everything under the sun, except, of course, not under the sun. He's probably been buggered six ways from Sunday."
"Anya does have a...colorfully expressed point." Giles glanced at Buffy. "What might traumatize a human is unlikely to stir more than annoyance in a vampire. In fact, given Spike's tendency to manipulate circumstances to his advantage, he may be better situated than ourselves."
"Oh, like Mata Hari!" Willow offered. A collective pause followed her remark, everyone's faces reflecting their doubt, dismay, or confusion, before she added, "Though if he can't talk, that'll make it kind of a challenge. I mean, the only wiles he's got to fall back on are--" She broke off abruptly.
"Yes," Giles said. "Let's--let's not go there."
"And that's a luxury we have," Buffy noted sharply, arms folded to keep her hands from flying off toward anyone's throat. "Unlike Spike."
She stalked off, cutting a line through the muddy camp toward the sleeping area they'd been assigned, trailing a guard behind her, and not really caring if the others followed. Spike was evil, annoying, and as Xander rightly said, deserving of a karmic ass-kicking. They weren't talking about kicking here though, but possibly other ass-related acts that she'd only allowed herself to imagine once or twice when alone, in bed, and close to nodding off. She didn't like to think of it now. The slayer wasn't supposed to care what happened to monsters, but when they looked to you for help with desperate blue eyes--when they looked human and helpless instead of properly monsterful--it messed everything up. Instinct told her to turn around, knock down the tent, and rescue Spike from the dishy, tall-as-an-oak warrior who, when she thought about it, probably had no interest in vampire ass, so why was she even worrying?
Buffy sat down on a log near the campfire and stared out at a huge sky that had blushed while she'd been brooding. The sun was setting on this particular hell, tingeing everything pink and the darkest gold. As the others straggled up, she met their gazes, wondering if they felt as homesick as she did. They looked it, and that was comforting; though if your entire family was away from home together, didn't that make them a kind of mobile home?
She wanted everything to be as simple as slaying vampires and dragons, and when Anya said, "This whole portal thing sucks. Everyone's cranky and not talking to each other and the only person getting hot barbarian action is Spike," Buffy decided that summed things up pretty well.
After Buffy was strong-armed off, Spike kept glancing at the tent flap, expecting her at any moment to come roaring back like a Valkyrie and drag him away to safety. Never mind she couldn't stand him. Times like this, you hung together with the devils you knew.
But she didn't come back. He heard the conversation she exchanged with the rest of them, heard her squelch off through the mud, and then mass squelching as the entire herd of useless hangers-on tromped off in her wake, leaving him to the tender mercies of Mighty Conan. Disgusted, he contemplated flinging himself to the furs arse-up, a gesture to convey his jadedness and indifference to mere buggering. Not like Anya was wrong, after all.
Instead, he held the sulking stance he'd adopted while his captor, who was really not so much Conan as the spitting image of that massive Qui-Gon mac, sat and studied a pile of maps. Exciting stuff.
Eventually Spike got bored enough that he broke his stiff-necked pose and looked around the tent. It was a good piece of work, rigged up on poles, stitched together from leathers, and boxing in a few chests of supplies, table and chairs, sleeping furs, and a fire. A lamp dangled over the table, oil burning and smoking.
When his gaze swung back around, Qui-Gon was watching him. "Saigath la mnoich hai?" he said. Or something to that effect.
Yeah, thanks, mate, could use a pint, Spike didn't say, because he had a bloody fucking collar around his neck, thanks very much. He didn't intend to grunt, so he just stared back with daggers and disdain until Qui-Gon chuckled at him. Chuckled! Cheeky bastard. Spike worked his jaw around, savoring the taste of violence from pure memory.
"Ngahi mn'tckatha," said Qui-Gon, talking not to Spike this time, but past him to a figure who was rustling the entrance. A servant came in with a plate of food and a pair of flasks. The smell of burnt fat hit Spike's nose and drew a grimace from him, but he smelled blood too and fixed his attention on the flask that it came from. The servant left as soon as he'd delivered his goods, and Qui-Gon motioned Spike over and offered him what was clearly din-dins for the pet vampire.
Not that he'd turn up his nose at--hmmm, he sniffed--blood from the hoof, still warm. He quaffed it all and tossed the flask aside when he was done. This made the other man pause with a hunk of meat halfway to his mouth. "Br'na," he said, a bit sharply.
The twinge that hit Spike was beginning to feel familiar, as if some intrusive finger were plucking a harp string in his head, trying to get his attention. The big guy looked expectant then irritable when Spike didn't respond to his remark, and he moved his frown to Spike's collar. It didn't take a Uni degree to put it together; looked like the magical metal collar malfunctioned if your pet didn't speak barbarian.
Ha, Spike thought, and smirked.
The funny lasted for about five seconds, and then Qui-Gon decided to teach him a few commands. Like, "pick up the flask" and "kneel at my feet." It was humiliating, and then just boring, kneeling there while the oaf ate. He was tidy, give him that much, didn't spit or spill his dinner on Spike's head, but even so, Spike hadn't endured this kind of flummery since Angelus fucked off and got himself a soul. Christ. He'd forgotten how irritating it was, pandering to some lordly sod, scraping and bowing and arse-licking, all of it terribly literal most nights.
Spike didn't figure this one to be any more fond of his plaything than Angelus had been, but it didn't matter, he'd endure. So it bemused him to realize as the evening passed that Big and Scruffy was treating him exactly like a dog in need of training, with labored patience and no real unkindness. He was obviously trying to communicate, and though his point-and-prattle act was about as effective as mime, Spike reluctantly paid attention; if he was going to be stuck on his back here, knowing the lingo would come in handy.
Spike's tendency to manipulate circumstances to his advantage, Spike thought in Giles's smarmy tones. Wanker.
The evening ended up exactly where Spike had expected, in bed, on his knees. But first Qui-Gon directed him by hand gestures through a ritual of foot-washing and unfrocking--his feet and garb, not Spike's. And oh, this is great fun, he thought, pained with distaste as he worked off the man's boots. His feet weren't grotty, though. Lucky break there. He tried to rush through everything, but big hands forced his movements to slow, and when he was bent over the task, fingers carded his hair in an intimate way. Spike gritted his teeth, cursed Buffy and her infuriating friends with every nasty malediction he'd every heard, and did nothing else, because every time he even thought of escaping, he seized up and simply didn't try. Seemed the collar did its job for some things.
Eye-level to the Hulk's lap, Spike tried to determine what he was in for, but the rough trousers and tunic made it hard to tell.
Foot number two lifted itself out of the bowl of soapy water, away from Spike's hands. "Sabeth na chlarim."
Yeah, right. I'll get right on that. Spike set aside the bowl and, at a loss for what to do next, arched his brows, aiming for an expression that said "your move" and also "fuck you." In reply Qui-Gon smiled down at him like a big friendly dope. Then he stood, drawing Spike up with a touch to the chin.
Ritual disrobing, check. Belt off, tunic off, trou off. Naked behemoth, check. A full-body bath apparently wasn't in the pre-bed ritual of your barbarian gentleman. Made sense. He was ripe of course, but not too nose-curdling.
Spike stripped his own clothes off when prompted and then submitted to curious inspection, staring fixedly off to the side as big hands played over his shoulders and chest and hips. When his head was tilted back he didn't really have a choice but to meet the man's eyes. Or, he did, but he wanted to glare. He had a point to make. He might be collared but he wasn't going to roll over like a poof. And he felt he'd made his point pretty well, right up to the moment when he rolled over like a poof and was forced to glare at the bed furs instead.
And then it all went to hell. He blamed Buffy for every inch of it. Not only had she abandoned him to this stupid fate, she'd had his heart and knackers in a twist for so long he'd forgotten how to get laid. Three, maybe four months had passed since the last time he'd dipped in pocket and where did his moping get him? Portal-tossed and bollocks-down under some swinging dick, ready to burn up like tinder. If the bitch had just given over as she'd so clearly wanted to, no matter what she protested, he wouldn't be in this state.
"Mn iha ctha, mn sheyla," Qui-Gon soothed, stroking his back, easing his thighs apart, and working himself in, oiled and enormous and sweet sodding fuck.
Spike groaned. That he could manage. No words, but pathetic noises on cue, no bloody problem apparently. It felt like a fucking redwood was driving up there and he'd always hated when Angel did this to him, but it was a special, miserable kind of hate, one that made his eyes glaze over and his body go boneless and aching and helpless as a kitten being carried by the scruff, and when the big guy pulled him upright and onto it proper, he groaned again, and meant it. His head was lolling heavily on a shoulder that felt like rock. Lots of rock back there, he couldn't help but notice. A mountain of it, and he was shifting the mountain as he worked himself back.
Right. Time to put pride on hold. The mountain was gasping and when a hot hand closed over his prick, Spike gasped too, eyes flying open wide then fluttering shut again. Oh yeah, he communicated with tiny grunts. His entire body convulsed in demand, pushing forward, grinding back, over and over, while his master tended him with a tightening grip and mutters that sounded like harsh curses and poetry. It was like riding a hobby horse, if you had the entire horse shoved up your jacksie. It was brilliantly vile and he could feel himself getting slick all over, back and front, writhing against unyielding muscle until he had to yell or die. His voice came out throaty and angry, a choked snarl. Hearing himself aloud sent a shudder through him, notched up his need to something like pain, made him arch and twist more wildly, which drove the brute deeper and his own prick higher against his belly. He was close, fucking close and there, right there, and then he was there, flaming out like a car crash, pieces of wreckage scattering, and then he was a feather slowly descending, bliss settling in behind his closed eyes, a cat-curl of smugness in the aftermath.
Yeah, he thought, going lax as he hung crucified and sated on the ebbing hardness inside him. Not a terrible fate, after all. Workable angles if he wanted to make the effort, and what the hell. Give him a few more days; he'd have this poor bastard eating out of his hand.