“Do you see that?” Anya paced
around her kitchen, “It’s hideous! It’s
the most meanest, cruelest thing anyone’s ever done to me!”
looked away from the roomful of bunnies.
the meanest, cruelest thing regarding bunnies.” Anya corrected herself, “If
this is another curse from that Amy girl, there will be strong repercussions…
not like how you all were about the rats!”
picked up a white bunny, stroking its neck, much to the disgust of Anya.
eat that,” Anya suggested, and then backed away when Spike glared up at her,
“If you want to.”
you think D’Hoffryn could’ve?” Dawn piped up from behind her.
Anya turned, “I think his idea of vengeance is just a little bit more
dead—AH!” She shrieked as Spike held his
bunny out towards her. She ran from
him, and he chuckled, moving after her.
she screamed, lifting up a chair to fend him off. “Hello? Protector of the
Spike,” I stopped them, “Anya, do you have a box or something we could put them
slamming the chair down, “Yes, I’ll get one.
And you,” she glared at Spike, “I hope the First makes you kill
eyes widened and he frowned, and Dawn and I followed it.
Anya looked at the three of us, then gave a bright smile, “I’ll be right back
with that box!”
stepped into the bunny-filled room, and I turned to follow her.
I wanna ask you…” Spike stopped me with his whisper.
it?” I came closer to him.
lower, “Later… when the bit’s not around… we can talk?”
I can hear you anyway,” Dawn called from the other room, “Now or later… I’ll
still hear it.”
rolled his eyes, and then followed me into the room.
gonna go check into who could’ve cursed Anya with those bunnies,” Dawn said,
heading upstairs, “And now you’ll be free to talk about whatever it is I’m not
supposed to know you’re talking about.”
sighed, “How long before she grows up?”
for my age!” Dawn yelled from the top of the stairs.
slammed shut, and I watched Spike silence himself. His fists knocked against his hips, and he bit his lower lip.
up, “Just… I’m…”
my arms. “You know better than to beat around
the bush with me, Spike. Spit it out.”
stopped fidgeting and fell onto his hips.
He looked at me, “I wanted to ask you about your mum.”
fell open… it had to. I was going to
say something, but only managed to open my mouth.
He took a
step back, “Look, you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want—”
you want to know about her?”
sitting on the bed now, and nodded me to sit with him.
bad idea. Too physical with you lately,
Spike. I’m not sitting there. I’m not… I was sitting next to him now.
she was sick for a while, yeah?
Before…” his hands gripped at each other, as if fighting over which one
got to touch me.
watched his hands, “Before she died.”
clenched his knees now, “Did you… did you want to do something about it?”
My shocked face met his, which
had already winced at what he said, “Of course I wanted to do something about
he stammered, trying not to look at me but failing, “Something… anything… to
stop it? To keep her with you…
I don’t know what you mean… I
felt my head start to shake.
he swallowed, looking right through me, “Even if it wasn’t the right thing?”
and in the flash saw Mom lying on the couch… saw Mom brushing her hair. The air suddenly smelled of her, and I stood
standing next to me fast, “I’m sorry. I
away from him, his words barely interrupting my thoughts of Mom. Her smell… her touch… her voice… it all took
over inside me. It had been so long
since I’d thought of her… since I’d remembered her like this… I’ve been so
busy. I’ve forgotten her. What have I…
words fell out, and I could hear Spike gasp from behind me. His arms wrapped around me, but I pulled
away from them. Can’t think about you
now, Spike. I have to think about
Mom. God, Mom. I’m sorry, Mom. I’m so…
sorry…” Spike’s words came with my thoughts, “I didn’t mean to…”
mean to hurt you…” he was very quiet now, like he didn’t want to disturb me
with what he was saying. He didn’t care
if I heard it or not. “Just… wondered…
shouldn’t have asked…”
I turned to
him then, my blurry eyes unable to really make him out. I blinked.
It’s the only way I know how to stop the blur… just blink. Spike had his eyes to the floor, and he
have asked…” he whispered again.
“Why did he
ask?” Dawn cuddled into her blanket, “I don’t get it.”
I don’t know…
probably has to do with the soul…” Willow shrugged, “Right?”
nodded. “Nightmares or something…”
why Mom?” Dawn sat up straight, “When Angel was having his soul-nightmares, he
wasn’t dreaming about Mom, was he?”
“No,” I told her. But Spike’s not Angel… it sounded in my mind
like an alarm.
“I think it
will get better… once Giles is back.”
“It has to.”
nodded and stepped out.
“Nothing… just… all of us
talking like that…” she started to get out of bed, “It was nice.”
gonna talk to him about it some more?”
“I, uh… I
never really answered…” Dawn picked through her clothes, “I mean, maybe you
should tell him?”
“I wouldn’t know what to say.”
you’re thinking,” Dawn faced me, “You know that’s really all he wants to hear.”
suddenly remembering my plan for today, “Listen, I need you to tell Wood I’m
taking today off. Anya had an idea on
the demon that could’ve—”
him,” she stepped towards the bathroom, “But we both know the real reason why
you’re taking the day off.”
been gone ten minutes before I realized how right she was. I was already at the basement door. My stupid fingers couldn’t stop fidgeting. I don’t know what to say to him. Just say what I’m thinking? I can never do that right.
swung open, and I was suddenly terrified of his mere presence.
you,” he said. His voice is more
terrifying than his presence.
I managed out.
gone at this hour,” he stepped past me, “Thought it might’ve been one of the
usually come down this early?”
“No,” he muttered, fixing his
blood, “That’s why I came up.”
Awful silence fell between
us. I struggled onto a stool and he stood
in silence as the microwave heated. The
entire kitchen felt like one big microwave.
spoke, “No counseling today, then?”
was eager to break the tension, but couldn’t find any more words.
“Principal make you mad?”
and he turned to show his little smile before the microwave beeped.
trying to think of a way to help Anya.”
“Right,” he crossed towards
the basement again, “The bunny thing.”
I have to tell you what I’m thinking.
at the door, his head tilting a little.
The mad silence fell again and I shrugged.
“I knew it
was him!” Anya’s shout echoed off the walls of the apartment, “He warned
me. He told me not to tell anyone about
the ritual, but look what I did!”
were helping. Now I’ll help you.”
what? Clean up all the little bunny
pellets all over the floor?” Anya scowled, “I always suspected it was him, but
this is absolute proof.”
picked up the pair of glasses.
nodded, “Even demons need to see, Buffy.”
“Guess he’ll have to retake the eye exam.”
I can’t believe he left them,” she squinted at them, “He’s so stupid like
where can I find this guy?”
Continued in Part 20