Between the Days

by Jenna
Sequel to The Way Of It



Cordy woke up feeling safe, cradled in two strong arms. She didn't panic, feeling foreign arms around her, but relished the experience. Sometime during the night, Spike had molded himself against her, holding her to him. She hadn't really felt comfortable with herself since she had walked in on Willow and Xander kissing. And she certainly hadn't been comfortable with anybody else.

As intimate as the position was, there was nothing sexual about it. There was a need in his grasp, the vulrenability that she had read the night before, was still there. Cordy snuggled back into his embrace, enjoying the feeling of arms around her again. His arms tightened slightly, and she drifted back off to sleep.


***


Spike pulled the covers away from her prone form and smiled at her as she blindly reached for them. "Good afternoon pet, what are you planning to do today?"

Cordy pulled the pillow away from him and put it over her head. "I am going to get my beauty sleep."

Spike pulled it back away from her and poked her shoulder. "No, you aren't. I let you sleep late-" he looked at the clock "really late, but now it's time to get up and accomplish something."

She opened one eye. "Spike, go away. I was up until three- thirty talking to you. I deserve some rest."

"Yes, and it is now-" He looked at the clock again "four- fifteen in the afternoon. So that's over ten hours and you should get up." When she tried to burrow under the covers, he picked her up and carried her to the adjoining bathroom. "I'm sorry pet, but you'll feel better once you've had a shower." He placed her carefully in the shower, and turned on the water.

She shrieked as the first droplets hit her but as the water flow increased, she was reduced to spluttering and coughing. Cordy struggled to her feet and glared at the vampire, who seemed way too pleased with himself. "You understand, of course, that this means war."

In responce, Spike merely grinned at her and walked to the door. Before leaving he turned and threw a washcloth at her. "Wash yourself off."

In exasperation, she threw a bottle of bottle of shampoo at him, he caught it and tossed it back to her. "You may need this. We can play catch later pet, but you need to take your bath now. And close the door, you're making a big puddle on the floor."

Cordy realized there was a big puddle, and growled at him before slamming the door shut. But the heavy flow of the water wasn't enough to drown out the sound of his laughter.

She sighed and reluctantly turned off the shower. She really hated to admit it, but he was right. She did feel better, refreshed and awake. Tenatively she opened the door, half expecting another attack. The bathroom was empty, save herself. However, she noticed that the puddle on the tiles was gone and a neat pile of clothes rested on the counter by the sink. "i must have been here longer than I thought. Poor Spike, he must be bored out of his mind. And hungry!"

With that thought, she quickly dried off and put on her clothes. Rushing into her room, she thought he had left until a she heard a faint voice coming from the direction of her bed.

"When I suggested you take a shower ducks, I didn't think you were going to take an hour with it."

"I'm sorry Spike, I lost track of time. No clock in the shower, you know?" There was no response, so she took a step towards the bed. "Are you... very hungry?"

Spike stirred "Will you be a luv and get me some blood?"

"Of course, right now!" She bolted for the door. Downstairs, she nearly ran into Maria the Cook who was starting up the stairs.

"Cordelia!"

"Yes Mimi?" She tried to slide past the large woman.

"Don't you use that Mimi with me! I had to clean up your dirty dishes this morning."

"Oh, God! Maria, I swear I meant to do them this morning before breakfast. I didn't mean to sleep so late."

"You know I don't usually mind, but there were clearly dishes for two there. I don't want you to pick up that habit of your mother's. Trust me, bambina you won't find the love you're looking for in those one night stands."

Reflexively Cordy looked up the stairs. "No, no Mimi. It's not like that, he's a friend. He was taking care of me last night."

Maria hrmped and moved out of the way to let the younger woman pass. "If you say so. But if you need to talk, you know where I am."

Implusively, she gave her friend a kiss on the cheek. "Thanks." She bounded down the last stairs and nearly sprinted to the refrigerator. And froze.

Dimly, she heard Maria follow her back into the kitchen. "And I want you to stop drinking. You must have been really far gone last night. I found two bags of blood in there this morning. Gave me quite a shock. I don't know what you were planning to do with them."


Cordy turned around and stared at the cook. "What did you do with them, Maria?" "I threw them out. I didn't want them to break over the vegetables." Cordy dashed to the kitchen wastebasket and began rummaging through it. "What are you doing?"

She sat back and stared at the cook. "Where did you throw them?"

"The blood? I poured it down the sink. What would the neighbors think if they saw we were throwing out bags of blood?"

"Why would they see... oh nevermind! Maria, that was for a Science project. You should have asked me!"

Maria was unperturbed by the outburst. "Then you should have written a note." The clothes drier buzzed, alerting them the laundry was dry. With a sigh of exasperation, she picked up the laundry basket and left Cordy alone in the room.

Feeling rather hysterical, she grabbed a sharp paring knife, a dry goods measuring cup, a dishtowel and an apple. With one last desperate look out at the still sunny sky, Cordy ran back up the stairs to her room. "Okay, bad news Spike. Maria dumped out the blood, and it's still light outside."

Spike sat up and stared at her. It had been quite a while since his last feed and if he had been alone, he easily would have been able to beat the bloodlust. But there she was. He could hear the blood pounding in her veins, ready for the taking. Roughly, he turned his body away from her and stared at a spot on her wall. "And you have a plan?"

Against her better judgement she stepped forward. "I'll contribute a small amount of blood. No more than a cup. Or two. But no more than that. It should tide you off for a bit until we can get back to Willie's."

He turned back to her, gameface in place. "But what if I take more than a cup or two?"


She stepped back until her back hit the wall. "I'm going to draw it myself. So we won't have to worry." He sighed, and felt his human mask fall in place. "Do you know what you're saying?"

"Look, I won't let you kill me or anyone else in this house. No matter how sorry you are afterward. Will this-" she held up the cup again "help to keep that from happening?" He looked down again.

"Yeah. Yeah, it would. But, just to be safe- do you have a cross?"


***


Cordy placed the cross next to the knife sitting on the floor. She was sitting about a foot away from the wall on the far side of her room. Spike was sitting across the room, staring at her. If he tried to make a lunge for her, the plan was to fend him off with the cross, and knock him out with the bat in the corner, if necessary.

Personally, these precautions didn't reassure her any, but it did show her that he really didn't want anything bad to happen. Hand shaking only slightly, she picked up the knife and pressed it to her left wrist. In one quick movement, she slit it horizontally, and let the blood fall into the measuring cup.

Across the room, Spike shifted uneasily, but made no movement towards her. Cordy had cut her wrist deep enough that the blood was soon up to the halfcup mark, the cup, the cup and half mark. But as the blood poured in a steady stream into the container, she became hypnotised by the rich color red, and the pain.

Spike was at her side as the two cup mark was reached and seeing that she wasn't going to stop the bleeding, staunched the cut himself. "Thanks pet, I appreciate it. He poured the liquid in a large water glass and moved to the bed, facing away from her as he drank. He drained the glass quickly and turned back to her, to thank her again.

The glass fell soundlessly on the plush carpet as he ran towards her. Cordy sat leaning against the wall, numbly holding her wrist, watching in silence as blood flowed freely from a second cut. Frantically, Spike shredded the dishrag, and tied the strips tightly around her wrist. "What were you thinking?! Why did you do that? Why?"

He gathered her in his arms, and tried to hold her, but she held herself too stiffly to be folded into his embrace. She didn't even respond. Truly scared, he began shaking her, trying to get any type of reaction out of her.

Suddenly she collasped against him, and he felt tears soaking through his thin tee shirt. "Why did he do that, Spike? Why did he do that? What did I do?" Cordy began crying in earnest, deep heaving sobs that came from deep inside her.

Understanding a little at last Spike held her, stroking her hair as she screamed into his shirt and pounded his chest. Finally she fell asleep, spent from her outburst. The blond vampire rested his cheek against her neck, and breathed in her scent. And finally let the tears he had been holding back slip from his eyes.


***


Cordy woke an hour later, with Spike curled against her. She still felt tired, and more than a little embarrassed about her fit. Memories of shrieking and hitting Spike flooded her mind and she burrowed her head in the pillow. But she couldn't go back to sleep, because she had the distinct feeling of being watched.

Cordy rolled to her side and found Spike propping himself up with his elbow, staring at her in a concerned fashion. She opened her mouth to apologize, but he beat her to it.

"I'm sorry, Cordy. I shouldn't have let you give your blood. I'm sorry. I didn't want to hurt you."

She laughed, a coarse sound "I was just about to apologize for acting like a looney toon. And for messing up your shirt."

He looked at her seriously. "Don't apologize for having feelings, Cordy. Everyone does, and it's not good to repress them. But, why did you cut yourself, that second time?"

Cordy lay back down and lifted a hand to her head. "It's just... I liked seeing the blood. And feeling the pain. I don't know, sometimes I feel like Xander went to Willow because I did something wrong. In this world I've been brought up in, I've been taught to believe that the woman's job is to keep the man happy. And I failed that, somehow."

Spike brushed her cheek tenderly. "That's a rather outdated theory, pet."

"Is it?"

"Listen, I want you to know that I'm the last person you need to worry about judging you. The only thing I won't be able to understand is keeping anything from me. If we're going to be friends, we need to be comfortable with one another, and that means we are going to be totally honest with each other. Anything you want to know about me, just ask. But promise, to tell me if you ever feel like that again. Like you want to hurt yourself again."

Cordy pressed her cheek against his hand and looked into his eyes. "You... want to be my friend?"

He smiled at her. "Of course pet. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship."

She smacked him on the arm. "You silly. You stole that from something. A movie, I think."

"Maybe I did. Well ducks, what do you say? Are you up to 'seeing' Willie?"


She smiled back "Of course, pet." "That's my line!" Spike carefully helped her up "Careful here. You might feel a little woozy."

"Woozy? Me? Not a chance. I'm ready for a good old fashioned barroom brawl."

"You know, maybe we should have some type of a plan."


***


Willie wiped down the bar for the fourth time in an hour. It didn't really need it, but it gave him something to do. A person could get tense, running a place. He had restricted himself to cleaning the hour five times and hour. He'd found it made him look nervous if it was any more.

He was cleaning the small part of the counter next to the cash register when she walked in. "God, Willie. Don't you ever do anything else besides clean that bar? If I didn't know any better, I'd think you were in love with it."

He squinted lightly. Yep, it was her. The broad from the night before. "Oh, hello. You're looking... very well this evening."

"Save it. Remember, how I told you that if there was anything wrong with that blood I'd make you drink it?"

"Yeah, yeah, I remember that."

"Good. Well, I had a little accident with the bags, and I want you to replace them."

"Now look missy. I can't be doing that type of business. A man can't make a living like that."

Cordy leaned across the bar, a light smile playing across her face. "But, are you sure you're a man? I'm sure you don't usually do things like this, but I know you'll help me."

He leaned towards her, totally missing her look of revulsion. "And, uh... What will you do to help convince me?"

"She'll keep me from killing your bloody arse."

"Oh! Ah. Spike! How are ya. Just chatting with this... uh, is she yours?"

Cordy exchanged a look with Spike, before turning back to the weasel bartender. "Willie?"


"Yes?" "Don't you have a backroom to put your friends while we... talk?"

"Uh, yeah! Hey guys, can we have a little privacy here?" Three vampires got up and walked to the back of the bar.

"All of you." Cordy eyes didn't leave the bartender.

"I always say, never argue with a broad." Two more vamps joined their friends in the backroom. "Alone at last."

Spike reached out and grabbed the little guy by the collar and pulled him over the counter. "Let's get to the point. You overcharged my mate yesterday. I think overcharging is a crime for any species. So," He held Willie's hand in a vicelike grip. "the right thing to do would be to refund her money."

He let go and the other man ran around the bar the cash register. "Here ya go." He held out two twenties in his good hand.

Cordy didn't touch the money, but raised an eyebrow at Spike. In turn, Spike raised *his* eyebrow at Willie. The snitch wilted under they're combined gazes. A ten appeared in his hand.

Cordy took the money and put it in the inside pocket of her jacket. "You understand that I don't really need the money. It's just the principle of the thing." Willie looked like he'd be happy to fade into the shadows, but she turned back to him. "Also we need... four?"

Spike pretended to think. "Better make it six."

"Good idea. We need six bags of blood. To go."

He nodded and disappeared. They didn't say anything while he was gone, but he didn't take as long as he had with just Cordy, either. "That'll be..." They both stared at him again. "... Have a nice day."

Cordy smiled at him. "That's what I thought you said." And they turned and left without saying another word.

They waited until she had driven halfway down the block before bursting into laughter. "Classic."

"You ought to be an actress, pet."

"Well, I- oh, god! You didn't even get to do anything! I'm sorry Spike. I know you wanted to hurt him."

"I actually don't mind pet. It was all made up for when I walked in behind you."

"Well, it was pretty funny. But are you sure?"

"Positive, ducks. I can honestly say that it's the most fun I've ever had with the little rat."


***


Spike burst into laughter as Cordy fell of the bed in demonstration of an embarrassing experience she'd had involving the neighborhood hottie. "So then I never climbed that tree again. It was sad! It was the end of a chapter in my life."

Spike kept laughing, adding to her annoyance. "You... tied your skirt up around your waist in front of the whole neighborhood!"

"I was ten!"

"Well, yeah pet I can see that at eight or nine even, but not ten."

"Well, I haven't done it since."

"I'd hope not."

"But John Lee hasn't been able to be in the same room with me since and that was eigh

t years ago." Spike wiped the tears from his eyes. "And is he still the neighborhood.... hottie?"

"You betcha. Not my type anymore though, he's cute- but no sense of character. If someone popular told him glow in the dark shoelaces were 'in' he'd buy every pair in the shoe store."

"Do they still have glow in the dark shoelaces in the shoe store?"

"Actually, I don't know."

"Well, I wouldn't worry about an opinion given by anybody named John Lee."

Cordy looked at him thoughtfully. "Spike, what were you like when you where a vampire?"

Spike looked at her. "I still am a vampire, pet."

"I know that! I mean, what were you like before I knew you?"

He leaned over and kissed her lightly on the forehead. "Well, that is a totally different volume in a very long life, and I don't think it's one you'd particularly want to know."

She crawled under the covers, and waited under he did the same before turning off the beside lamp. "Will you tell me about it tomorrow?"

"If you want me to."

"I do."

"Then I will. But don't say later I never warned you."

"I won't. Remember that total honesty thing?"

"You're not going to actually take me up on that are you?"

"Of course. And no welshing on our deal."

He reached for her, and they snuggled together before drifting off to sleep.


****


The next day Cordy did keep Spike to his word, though it took a long time to get him to keep his word. Finally, towards the late afternoon, he caved and they barricaded themselves in her room with lots of snacks and blood. After all, as he said- it was a long story.

"When I first became a vampire, I might have been just an ordinary fledgling, but Angelus took a special interest in me, and decided to cultivate me. I think he had an idea of making a junior Angelus, kind of a brainless yes man."

"Or a yes vamp."

He looked at her "Yes, that would be better. Listen pet, do you really want to hear about this? It gets a bit gory."

Cordy took his hand and stared at him until he met her gaze. "No welching. If I've had enough, I'll say so and we can start up tomorrow."

"Determined little thing, aren't you? Nevermind. My first kill, was a strange one. I didn't even drink the blood. I remember, I tore out this drunken blokes throat. He fell down, in the alley. And I just kind of stared at him. I remember, even though it was dark, I could see the color of the blood clearly. I don't know why I didn't finish him. Angelus had followed me, I guess he finished it. It wasn't that I wasn't hungry, or that I didn't have the knack for killing. I just didn't want to kill *him*. He wasn't able to fight back or defend himself. It just seemed wrong, somehow. Later, I told him that I liked the thrill of the hunt, helped me work up an appetite." Spike fell silent, and stared up at the ceiling.

Cordy waited for him to continue, and when it became clear he wasn't, she squeezed his hand. "What did he do to you?"

He closed his eyes and drew her hand to his chest. "He caught up to me in the cemetery, at my own grave. Hadn't been back since I'd left it. And he raped me over the marker. It was probably the most shocking thing... when I was a boy, we lived in a bad part of town and this wasn't a new experience. But- imagine being given this gift, this amazing strength and power, and having to smother it while this degrading act was performed on you."

She reached for him again, but he pushed her off. Cordy wasn't offended, she saw the bloody tears streaking down his cheeks. Carefully, she wrapped her arms around him, fighting his resistance. "I'm sorry Spike."

He roughly shoved her away from him, and she nearly fell of the bed. "Why? Do you get some type of thrill from hearing my sob story? Are you glad you get to tell all your friends one hell of a story?"

"No, I'm sorry because no one, no one at all should have to go through that. And Spike, you are my friend. I have no one to tell, even if I was mean enough to want to." She reached for him again, but he rolled away from her. She bit back her temper. "Spike, are you okay?"

"It wasn't the last time that happened. I'm sure you've read all about how vampires have no morals, how they'd fuck anything. A sire's main power over a childe is sex."

Cordy sat up and used all of her strength to pull him into a sitting position. Yellow eyes stared into warm brown ones, and a low growl rumbled from Spike's chest. She sighed and propped his chin up with her hand, and used the other one to smooth the ridges on his forehead. Reluctantly, his human mask fell in to place. Seeing that he seemed in control of himself, she moved off the bed, and headed for the new mini fridge in the corner. "Want some blood?" There was no response, so she brought back a water bottle filled with blood, and a club soda and Snicker for her.

"Here ya go." Spike sullenly opened the bottle and took a large gulp. "I'm sorry Spike, you have been through a lot. I didn't mean to sound flippant. I just feel bad, for you and for Angel." He looked at her "The Angel now, with a soul. I know he's sorry. I can't imagine the type of guilt he must have, with over two hundred years of that on his shoulders. And I hope I never have to feel that type of degradation you've suffered." Spike still didn't say anything, and her heart ached. "Did he... did he do anything to you after he lost his soul again?"

"Not really. Not like that, anyway. He said... that it wasn't as much fun if I couldn't feel anything beneath the waist. I didn't let him know how fast I was healing. Still took too bloody long. God! I hated being in that chair. Listening to him fuck Dru all day." He looked at her "And it was fucking, you know. I really loved her. For too long. I sucked him whenever he wanted it- my mouth still worked, so I could still be around her, but when Angelus came back, it was like I had never existed."

The pent- up sobs finally broke and he dropped the bottle, curling into a little ball. Cordy quickly picked it up before it had the chance to spill too much and put it on the bedside table. "It's going to be okay now Spike. We'll take care of each other, okay?" He nodded.

She curled up against him, wrapping her arms around until he began to relax. After awhile, she sat up and watched him sleep. Resting her head on his shoulder, she pulled the covers up around them, and promised herself that she'd protect him from getting hurt again.


End

1