Chapter 9 - Parental Units Part 2
Spike shoved a piece of almost-burned bacon into his mouth, the crispy
sound almost drowning out the noise of Jeopardy that filled the room.
One of his legs was thrown over the side of the armchair and the other
one was casually bent in front of him, the naked foot resting on the floor.
Sundays, he thought, were definitely underestimated. Sure, it wasn't exactly
a day for orgies and drinking contests, but it was great for slacking
and seemed to have the effect of a deep tissue massage and weed. He smiled
and pushed the arrow button on the remote that was resting in his grease-free
hand, flipping through the channels. Paradise Hotel, M.A.S.H, some boring
Civil War program on Discovery, Oprah… He sighed and took another piece
of bacon from the plate that rested between his legs, wiping his hand
on his torn jeans while chewing. …Firefly, some hip-hop video. Oh! Porn.
Spike slouched back into the chair a little bit more, putting the remote
down. He grinned at the sight of the couple getting it on on the TV screen,
a blonde young woman faking pleasure as she got fucked from behind by
some hairy guy whose face apparently wasn’t important enough to capture.
He sure could use some release since he still was latently horny from
last night. Angel had toyed with him and then had finally decided that
he wasn't in the mood and needed to go home and look through his tax reports.
To Spike’s dismay, the doorbell's sudden buzz pierced through the porn
sounds. He grimaced and reluctantly pulled himself out of the armchair,
putting the plate down at the floor. “I’m comin’!” he grunted, throwing
on a shirt. He padded over to the hall, squinting at the offensive sunlight
that attacked him through the living room window. Opening the front door,
he sighed and shifted his weight. “Hi mum,” he said.
Jenny was standing outside, looking a little misplaced in the somewhat
shabby hallway. Her proper but still modern outfit made her look a little
like a social worker on a house call. A friendly smile played on her lips,
and she tilted her head a little, looking almost curious. “Just thought
I should stop by,” she said and walked past him into the apartment, shedding
her jacket. “I haven’t seen you in a while.”
“Well,” Spike said, shoving his hands in his pockets. “I’ve been busy.”
He felt a little awkward. It was just too early for polite parent-socializing.
Jenny raised an eyebrow as she noticed the sounds of slapping and groaning
coming from the living room. “Expanding your cultural horizons?”
Spike squirmed and walked over to the living room, turning the TV off.
“Yeah, something like that,” he muttered, trying to hide his embarrassment.
He wouldn't usually care about getting caught watching porn, but mothers
and smut weren't a winning combination.
Jenny followed him into the living room and pulled a chair out from where
it was standing in the corner of the room. She sat down and glancing out
over her beloved son’s messy apartment without any comments. “So, how
have you been?” she said as Spike slumped down into the armchair. She
watched him closely as if she was trying to read his face like a skin-covered
“Great mum,” he said. “Been workin’ a lot.”
“Just make sure you take time to have fun too,” Jenny smiled.
Spike chuckled briefly, squinting as he looked out of the window. “Sure.”
He was silent for a moment. “I’ve started boxin’,” he stated. “A co-worker
is teachin’ me.”
“Oh?” Jenny said sounding genuinely interested. “You like it?”
“Yeah,” Spike answered.
As Spike's words fluttered to the floor and faded away, the silence slowly
started filling the room like a mental fog. For some reason, neither of
them seemed to be able to come up with something say, something suitably
general but not weather-related. Spike slumped down a little deeper in
the chair, legs spread wide, shoulders drawn up a little. He picked up
a small piece of bacon that he had dropped on the seat of chair and started
fiddling with it like it was a tiny toy.
“So, William, how are things with Angel?” Jenny asked after a couple of
minutes of uncomfortable void.
Spike groaned. “Nobody calls me that,” he said, irritated.
Jenny sighed. “Well, it’s your name, isn’t it?”
“And whose fault is that?” he said, glancing at Jenny.
“Well then Spike, how are things with Angel?” Maybe it was the intonation
or the pitch, but whatever it was, her pronunciation of Angel’s name had
a vague nuance of dislike that would have been easily missed in a less
Spike crossed his arms and looked out through the window again. “Fine.
Jenny’s shoulders fell a little. “Good,” she said flatly.
* * * * *
Many years ago
Spike could barely hear his own voice over the sounds of laughing, talking
and loud mainstream music that filled the crowded bar. “Cheers, mate!”
Spike slurred as he clanked his beer bottle against his buddy’s. Well,
buddy was probably an overstatement since he couldn’t really remember
his name at the moment. In fact he didn’t really know half the people
around the table, but he didn’t care. He was drunk and everybody was his
“Can’t believe how much Dallas sucked yesterday,” someone stated.
“Bloody stupid sport,” Spike said, making a semi-threatening gesture with
his glass. “Didn’t they read the memo about balls bein’ round?”
The tipsy brunette sitting next to Spike, clinging to his arm like he
was a wobbly buoy in a sea of beer, giggled, sounding like a baby hippo.
“You’re talking about soccer, right?” She asked.
“Football.” Spike said, getting that universal look that meant that someone
had offended the person’s team/hobby/fandom/misc. “The name was ours first,
you know,” he muttered.
She smiled and pushed a strand of hair out of her face with an unsteady
hand. “You’re soo cute when you’re being all British,” she said and kissed
“Whatever you say,” he paused for a moment, scanning his brain for the
mental note with her name on it. "Cheryl,” Spike added, grinning.
Cheryl yawned and placed her head on Spike’s shoulder. “Think it’s time
to go home.”
“The night’s barely started, love.” He turned her head and kissed her
When Spike pulled away, Cheryl giggled again. “You’re cute, but I have
to go.” She got up on somewhat unstable feet and grabbed her handbag.
“Oh, come on,” he said and took her hand. “Be a bad girl and stay out
after curfew.” He smiled his sexiest smile, with his head tilted a little.
“Sorry, I’m tired.” She carefully pulled her hand out of his grip. Smiling,
she started walking towards the exit. She turned her head and blew Spike
a kiss before the rustic bar door closed behind her. Spike almost pouted,
then sighed and downed the last of his beer.
As always, people leaving seemed to have sort of a contagious effect.
Around the table, the others started moving a little, looking at the clock.
“I think I’m following the chick’s example,” a tattooed blond guy said.
“I’m working tomorrow.”
“Workin’?” Spike said and crossed his arms. “Can’t really imagine you
“Well, I sit in the newspaper stand, 'borrow' cigarettes and read Playboy.
Occasionally I sell something.”
Spike chuckled. “And you need rest for that?”
“Hey, folding out all those centerfolds is tiresome,” the guy said and
got up from his chair. All the others around the table also started reaching
for their jackets and drinking the last of their alcohol.
An unpleasant feeling emerged in his chest, but he pushed it away. “Come
on guys, it’s only…” he looked at the Heineken clock at the wall. “One.
Seriously, just another beer, it’s Saturday.” His voice was a little desperate.
The big guy standing next to him chuckled. “Shouldn’t you be at home by
now, tucked in under your Spiderman sheets like a good kid?”
“Hey, I’m 21!” Spike slurred, crossing his arms.
“You know, getting a fake ID that says you’re 21 doesn’t mean that you
actually become 21,” the guy answered, grinning. “It’s still the day that
your mom squeezed you out of her pussy that counts.”
Spike grunted and got up from the chair, grabbing the duster that had
fallen down at the floor sometime during the evening.
“See you Saturday,” the guy said and slapped Spike’s back. The other ones
also said their goodbyes as they left the bar, leaving him standing alone
at the table, suddenly feeling sort of lost and lonely.
He sighed and pulled on his coat with clumsy movements. Suddenly, the
feeling was there again. Like something slowly wrapping around his intestines.
He felt sort of cold, and pulled his duster closer around his body, but
without result. With quick steps he made his way through the thinning
crowd. He pushed open the door with a sharp motion and the warm night
air hit his face. It didn’t feel soothing, though, it felt like a damp
blanket that clung to him like a second skin. He pulled out the flask
of very cheap and crappy booze that he had been carrying lately as a last
resort in times of drought. It burned its way down his throat and left
a smoky aftertaste on his tongue. Combined with the fuzzy drunk feeling
in his body, it made him feel sort of sleazy. His mind was slowly getting
more and more foggy, and as he started walking down the main street, he
tried half-heartedly to stay on the sidewalk but failed miserably. The
city around him seemed really dark and gloomy, and the brightly colored
signs that announced the sex shops, the cafés and the underground clubs
only made it seem even more tragic than a desperate and heartbreaking
town like LA usually was. Luckily, most of the oncoming traffic consisted
of pedestrians, and to his own surprise he dodged most of the happy couples,
drunk teenage girls and loud groups of guys that crossed his path. He
didn’t feel too good, he really didn’t. There was the faint nausea, the
headache-to-be that was lurking somewhere deep in his brain, but there
was also that dark, unpleasant feeling that kept slowly covering his soul
like a vicious tar leakage. For a moment he closed his eyes tightly before
stumbling over something and almost falling on his face in a pathetic
slapstick manner. He groaned and grabbed a lamp post to steady himself
while looking out over the street, looking for a taxi to bring him home.
* * * * *
The sound of his name echoed through his head like a game of verbal pong.
He faintly heard the sound of what probably was his own groan as he closed
his eyes tightly, trying to shove the noise away. Suddenly he started
becoming aware of the taste of dead badger in his mouth, and light hitting
his face like a 1000 watt industrial flashlight. He groaned again and
turned his head, feeling a small pool of drool on the pillow.
Sounds. Again. He twisted, and slowly started opening his eyes, feeling
like they were clogged up with sand and glue. Moments later he squinted
up at his mother who was looking down at him with a stern expression that
he hadn't seen on her since… well, never. His mum wasn't the stern type.
Which meant that he was in serious trouble. He opened his mouth to make
an excuse, but only tragic gurgles came out.
"I stepped in you puke in the hallway when I got home from the airport
Bloody hell. Right, he puked in the hallway. He probably should have cleaned
it up before…
"And in the bathroom."
Fuck. He started trying to free himself from the cocoon of sweaty beddings.
"Exactly how drunk were you yesterday?"
He glanced up at her, noticing that her arms were crossed in a not so
friendly manner. He didn't answer; instead he just pushed his face into
the pillow, trying to force himself to fall asleep again.
"You're a minor, William." She was silent for a moment. "Don't do this
to yourself," she continued with a hint of shiver in her voice.
Spike closed his eyes tighter and turned his head away from her. "It's
my life," he groaned in an unsteady voice.
"Look at me." Her voice poked at him in a very uncomfortable way. "William,
look at me," she said a little louder.
Spike sighed and turned slowly, feeling the quilt tightening around his
"You're not ok," she said simply, dropping her hands to her sides.
"I drink. I'm a teenager, that's what we do," he snapped.
She closed her eyes for a moment, looking tired. "That's not what I mean,
and you know it."
Spike felt an anger rising inside of him. "What I know is that it's bloody
early in the mornin', and you're in my bedroom whinin'!" He stared at
her with searing eyes as he pulled himself up on the bed. Pushing the
bedding away, he stood up on unsteady feat. "I have to take a piss," he
mumbled, stumbling past her.
"William!" she shouted.
When he turned there were tears in her eyes. She suddenly looked lost,
almost like a wounded animal. He had only seen that look once before,
and he lost his track, feeling almost like she had slapped him. "I know
that we've been through a lot. I know what Rupert's death did to you,
but you have to deal with it." She took a step closer. "You're not ok,"
she said, placing her hand on his arm. "You have to let me help you. Alcohol
isn't going to do the trick."
"I don't need help," he grunted, pulling his arm away like she had burned
him. "I need some goddamn sleep."
"We were best friends," she said quietly. "It wasn't long ago, you know.
We talked about everything. Why won't you talk to me about this?"
"I'm not a bloody kid anymore!" His jaws twisted. "You can keep your shrink
crap to yourself! I'm fine!"
Now she was full out crying, desperation shining in her eyes. "Since he
"He's gone! End of story!" He headed towards the door once more, looking
"William please…" she said, grabbing him by the shoulders.
"Fuck off!" he said, shoving her away with a furious motion. She stumbled
back into the room, and for a moment they both stared at each other in
shock. Everything was completely silent except for their rapid breaths,
which suddenly seemed very noisy. Finally, Spike inhaled loudly. "Bathroom,"
he said in a low voice and turned his back on her. Storming out of the
room he could feel her eyes burning into his back, making him all disturbed
and shivery. As he burst through the bathroom door he locked it quickly,
falling to his knees in front of the toilet just before his stomach expelled
the last if its contents. At this point it was mostly bile, and the taste
made him even more nauseous. Everything felt horrible and awful. His whole
being seemed to consist of nausea, of dirty and gross things that just
didn't seem to want to spill into the toilet. When the spasms finally
stopped, he let his head fall down on the toilet seat, the slightly cool
plastic soothing against his sweaty skin. He was shaking, and suddenly
a vicious headache pierced though his brain. Closing his eyes, he slid
down from the toilet, ending up on the floor with his knees pulled up
against his chest. Breathing was painful, swallowing was painful, moving
was painful. Behind his closed eyes, his tight chest, his tense muscles,
black feelings were screaming at him, tearing at his guts. He cradled
his head in his arms, squirming on the hard floor.
Chapter 8 < >