All About Spike
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By Rocky

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This part contains spoilers for Get it Done.

Part 14

I couldn’t sleep.  Nothing but visions of Ubervamps every time I shut my exhausted eyes.  God… not enough.  It’s not enough.  I wandered aimlessly around the house, tiptoeing past sleeping bodies… dead bodies.  Could be dead.  Would be dead.  Because I turned it down.  Why?  Why did I think I knew what to do?  The whole reason I jumped through that portal was because I don’t know what to do.  God… what are we gonna do?

I was stepping down the basement stairs before I actually realized what I was doing.  Going to Spike… for what?  To cry?  Should I tell him what I saw?  He’s… he’s probably still mad about what I said.  And, if anything, now I’m going to be even worse about it… now that I know what’s coming…

I saw him when I reached the bottom.  I could smell the cigarette smoke rising to my nostrils… dizzying me a little.  He’s smoking again?  He was crouched in the center of the basement, shiny leather-clad back to me, thumbing through a book.  Smoke billowed up as he flipped a page.

“Bad dream, Slayer?”

I stepped closer, noticing blood dripping down his ear.  My hand stretched over it on instinct, “Are you okay?”

His head jerked away, “’m fine, Slayer.”

Okay, only a couple words so far and Slayer’s been two of them.  Something is wrong with him.  Great.  Mood-swing much, Spike?  I ran a finger over his ear again.

I jumped when he slammed the book down.  He stood, whirling around, “God, Buffy!  Don’t bloody touch me!”

My jaw could have just slammed to the floor like the book… and if I opened my eyes any wider, they could hit the floor too.  The hand that touched him was now a tight fist, clenched hard to my side.

“Don’t… touch you?”

The cigarette drifted to his lips again and he nodded, blowing smoke my way.

“Why not?”  My voice cracked, probably from anger… maybe sadness… maybe from cigarette smoke.

He backed up, leaning against a pillar, hands in his pockets, “That’s how it all started, isn’t it?”

I didn’t say anything… partly because I didn’t have anything to say, and partly because I wasn’t sure about what he was saying.

“Isn’t it?” he stood straight up now, “The touching… made me soft, didn’t it?  The warmth of you… obsession with you… started it all.”

“So, everything is my fault?” I knew it was a childish thing to say.  I wasn’t even sure why I said it.

“Damn right it is!” he flung the cigarette to the floor and stomped on it, drawing himself closer, “One day it’s ‘not ready for you to leave, Spike!’” his foot scraped against the wood, but his eyes never left me, “And the next it’s ‘go ahead and go, Spike.’”  His eyes narrowed.

I couldn’t look at him.  My eyes fell to the floor.  I’m sorry, Spike.  It’s been so hard.  Everything’s just so… I have to make all the decisions, and I think I just made the worst one.  The girls… it’s all my fault.  Everything is my fault.  My thoughts ran like railroad tracks, intersecting each other.  They never formed into words… instead they piled inside of me until I felt hot tears in my eyes.  They rose to find blurry Spike.

The hardness was leaving his face, and he stepped back a little.  “See?  I don’t know what to do with tears, Buffy, I don’t know… dunno if you want me to… to hold you or… to kill you.”

It didn’t help that he said that.  Why did he say that?   Tears slipped out, stretching warmth down to my chin. Don’t do that.  Rub them off.  It doesn’t help to cry like this.  Doesn’t make pain or bad decisions go away.

His cool fingers began to brush them away, finally cupping over my cheek.  His stare fell into my eyes just as I started to clear away the stupid crybaby feeling.  He dropped his hand.

“Whatever you want…” his voice shook, and he gulped before speaking again, “I’ll do as you ask…”

I focused on not crying, even though every word pierced my heart.  I don’t know what to ask for.  I don’t know what I want.

“I’ll always do as you ask of me.”  He hung his duster on a nail, “I’m yours.”

Hold me.  Be strong.  Help me.  Save me.  I don’t know…  So many words flushed over my mind, trickled over my tongue.  Nothing came out.  Just silent pleas to his silent back.

I was up the stairs in a flash.  I slammed the door so hard I was sure it woke up every potential in the house.  I splashed water over my face, trying to cleanse off the feeling.  The feeling of guilt… of failure… of desperation.  I’m the Slayer.  I need to be stronger.  I have to be.

“I mean, they never stop!” Xander glanced away from the road, “Giles just picks up more girls anywhere he goes...  He’s like a rock star!  That’s what it is!”

“He’s not bringing anymore girls, Xander,” Dawn spoke up from the back seat.

“See, that’s what he says, but I’ll bet he’s already got four new push-Xander-over-the-edge teenage slay-girls on the way!”

“You’re on.” Dawn sat back in her seat, “How much?”

Xander glanced into the mirror, “What?  How much?  It’s a gentleman’s bet, Dawnie.”

“Spike once told me gentlemen’s bets were for tightwad money-grubbin' po—”

“Could you just, like… not do Spike quotes in the car?  We could end up in a ditch.” Xander sighed, “Besides, what does Spike know about being a gentleman?”

The conversation drifted out of my head.  I stared out the window.  At least Dawn and Xander think about Spike, too.  Maybe everyone’s in a think-about-Spike phase.  Maybe it’s not just me.

Spike... Spike.  Just… all I can think about.  I have outdone myself this time.  I’ve screwed him up so much with orders and requests and actions.  I just string him along… I think.  Just keep him around until he’s gone.  Because he will be gone.  He can’t live forever.   Well… he can, but he can’t stay with me forever.  He won’t… stay with me forever…

And the night I told him to just go… if he was gonna keep holding back, he might as well go.  His face just twisted when I told him he was better then… more useful to me without the soul… more convenient.  I shuddered, just the thought of the words chilling my spine.

“You alright, Buff?” Xander asked.  “Been kinda quiet.”

“I, uh… just feel a little…”

“Yeah, I get that.  Traveling millions of years through time’s gotta take some kind of physical toll... even for our Buffster,” his hand patted my shoulder.

That’s not even it, Xander.  It’s what I saw.  It’s what I know.  It’s what I did.  I closed my eyes.  Gnashing teeth opened wide, crying out, swallowed me whole.

Then we pulled up next to the Hellmouth.

Principal W—Robin sent me home early.  ‘Get some sleep,’ is what he had said.  Get some sleep?  Yeah.  Great idea, Prin—Robin.  ‘I’ll just get right home and start dreamin‘ up our apocalypse!  Hey, I might’ve even helped start it!  Go me!’  That’s what I should’ve said back to him…

I could hear the girls in the backyard.  I went in the house, heading for the kitchen.  The basement door was open, and I could hear girls down there too... training.  I had just started to walk away when the girly shriek came from below.

“What is it?  What’s wrong?” I bolted downstairs.

Spike was crouched in a corner and turned his head when I reached the bottom.  The girls were huddled together near the stairs.  Vi’s shocked face turned to me.

“Buffy!  Did you know you have rats in this house?”

My heart stopped racing, and my hand rubbed my eyes.  “Rats?  Uh, no.  I didn’t know that.”

“Pretty nice-sized one, Slayer.” Spike stood, dusting his hands. “Ran behind those boxes there.  Can still smell ’im.”

The girls made a combined, “Ewww.”

“Okay, girls.  Go outside and practice with Kennedy.” I huddled them upstairs, “Spike and I will take care of the rat.”

He half-smiled, turning back to the boxes.  “Look tired, Slayer.  Must be runnin‘ on empty.”

“Yeah,” my eyes wandered across the floor, “Not much with the sleep lately.”

“Anything you’re sharing?” Spike glanced back before sidestepping quickly.

“Oh, it’s… it’s nothing really.”  Nothing really?  It’s enough to keep my eyes open every second… why didn’t I tell him?

“Right,” he nodded, like he had expected my non-answer, “He’s back there.  Behind the shelf.”  He stood across from it, “You pull out the shelf, and I’ll catch him when he darts out.”

I grabbed the front of the shelf, “You sure you can catch it?”

He chuckled, “Had enough practice, love.”

I yanked out the shelf, and jumped back when the brown fur scurried across the floor.  Spike dove on top of it.  I heard him grunt, and his bones shifted.  I heard his teeth sink into the squeaking rat.  My stomach turned, and I felt the air catch in my throat.

He must’ve heard me, because he stopped seconds later, throwing the rat to the floor… either that or he had… drained it already.  He stood, wiping his mouth on his sleeve before turning around.  His face was soft again.

“Sorry, love… force of habit.”

Oh, God.  That was just disgusting.  “It’s okay.” I tried to lie, “I, uh… I think I better go upstairs now.”

He nodded, looking embarrassed.  He stepped back towards his bed.

As soon as I closed the bathroom door I lunged for the toilet.  God, as long as I live, please don’t let me ever see that again…

Continued in Part 15

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