The Watchers' Diaries: The Apocrypha
Entry 8 - Pain
of not one, but two letters from Spike caused Giles a twinge of guilt.
He'd been a bit remiss in replying, but the research Travers had set him
to had proved more engaging than he'd anticipated and he'd really wanted
to learn more about what Lydia had uncovered regarding funding slayers
before he'd written. Now, though, there was no excuse.
he'd have a quiet evening for it; no guests were invited over and he wasn't
supposed to see Olivia until tomorrow. His plans had been to follow down
some Sumerian texts that might have collateral bearing on the Nyzian Prophecies,
but he couldn't resist the lure of news from Sunnydale.
wounds, even gaping ones like I suffered. I'm doing better than in my
last letter. Sorry you had to read that; not really certain why I let
the damn thing be mailed.
longer considering leaving Sunnydale, either.
had Giles off the couch and reaching for the phone, mentally calculating
the time difference between Bath and California. What was Spike talking
about? He'd made no reference to leaving town in his last letter.
He must have accidentally grabbed the second letter first. Putting the
pages aside, he slit open the other envelope. The first thing he noticed
was that the writing seemed somewhat shaky, as if the author had been
putting words on paper as quickly as he could. With a feeling of dread,
he began to read.
to make you very happy. Buffy and I are quits. She's told me it has to
stop, and this time I believe she's serious.
felt his blood run cold. He'd been anticipating this moment from the start,
wondering what would happen when Buffy came to her senses and decided
to end the affair. Intellectually, he knew Spike wasn't like Angelus,
had seen it proved often enough, but there was always that small kernel
of doubt in the back of his mind. Drusilla was mad and no one understood
how that might affect a turning, and Spike had once admitted that Angelus,
for all practical purposes, had filled the role of his sire. What lessons
had he learned?
still in his bed, the perfect scene set for the discovery.
the image away and focused back on the letter.
been singing the same tune for weeks now — "We can't keep doing
this." "This is the last time." "Don't tell anyone."
Each time, though, she kept coming back for more. I'd even begun to hope
she might care for me deep down under all the mess. Just kept thinking
that if I kept working at it, things would get better, that we might have
you believe she actually told me she wanted me? She's denied it from the
start — acted as if each encounter was an aberration. Now, when
she's leaving me, she finally admits it. Said it made things simpler for
a little while when she was with me. She said she was using me, that she
couldn't love me, that she was being weak and selfish.
told me it was killing her.
caused Giles to wince. He could only imagine what effect they must have
had on Spike. He remembered all too well in those first days how Spike
had blamed himself for not keeping Doc from Dawn, how he should have been
faster, stronger, a bit cleverer.
wanted to hurt her. I thought — I hoped — that our time together
might be helping her. She'd reached a point where she'd relax, not run
off once the deed was done. We'd talk, I'd see her laugh and smile. She'd
even started to trust me.
things had changed. In the beginning, every time we were together was
like a battle. We destroyed things, Rupert, and never noticed,
so caught up in the moment. Buffy would limp home with bruises, I'd be
nursing bites and we'd lick our wounds until the next round. The last
week or so, though, it was different — gentler, sweeter. We weren't
so frantic to get down to business. And I began to hope.
caused him to wince again. Giles had tried not to think of the mechanics
involved and Spike had been blessedly mum on the subject, but now he couldn't
turn away. There was pain in these words, and he felt his throat tighten
for the hopes that had been dashed.
really blame it on Captain Cardboard, though his arrival was the signal
of the end of days. Yes, Riley Finn came back from the jungle long enough
to wreak havoc on my life. I swear, if this chip was out of my head, I
would have drained the bastard dry without a second thought. Should have
suspected something was up when Buffy came to my crypt, looking very cute
in black commando gear, wanting information on someone called "The
Doctor" who was trafficking in nasties on the Black Market. She tried
to be all business, but there was something about her that said she wanted
more. Asked her if the business was urgent, and she asked if I loved her.
What could I say? I've loved her for so long now. She asked if I wanted
her, and again, what could I say?
so vulnerable, so in need of reassurance. I thought this was going to
be it, the moment when she told me I was more than just a convenience,
that she actually cared for me. We made love that night, different from
all the acrobatics that had gone before. She even drifted off to sleep
next to me when we were done, something she hadn't done since our first
night together. I just watched her, wanting the moment to last forever.
walked in. We were in the top level of my crypt, so he found us immediately.
I was stupid, didn't put things together immediately. She must have known
Soldier Boy was back, been working with him to track down this dealer.
She must have known he'd come to my place sooner or later. Instead, I
couldn't resist the opportunity to crow over what I saw as a triumph.
Before he left town, Finn had told me he would stake me if I ever touched
Buffy — and here she was with me. If he was gonna dust me, I was
at least going to have a little fun first. Angelus always said one of
my problems was that a lot of times I don't use my head to think.
As much as
it hurt, Giles could almost see the scene. Of all the people to uncover
this liaison, why did it have to be Riley? He'd never been overly fond
of the boy and more than a little suspicious of his continued ties to
the government, but Buffy had thought she loved him and it must been shattering
to have him find her that way.
thing was, Finn didn't even react to seeing Buffy and me together. Buffy
reacted; she started scrambling for her clothes and hiding while she got
dressed. But Finn, he just stared at me and kept calling me "Doctor"
— the name of this dealer Buffy had been looking for. Didn't understand
what he was talking about, just wanted him to get the hell out of there
so I could get back to Buffy.
A stray thought
crossed through Giles' mind. Of course Riley would have gone to visit
Spike if he was hunting for information; he'd done it frequently before
— most likely because he knew he could bully whatever information
Spike had out of him without fear of repercussions. Buffy had to know
that. So why go to Spike if she knew Riley would follow?
had wanted to be found
want to think about the implications of that train of thought. Even with
their friendly communications, he'd always cast Spike as the villain of
the piece, taking advantage of Buffy in this difficult time. If Buffy
had gone to Spike knowing they would be discovered, that vision began
mentioned the eggs.
like a good idea at the time. An acquaintance of mine let it be known
that he needed someplace to store some Suvari eggs for about 48 hours
and was willing to pay for it. I checked the books at the Magic Box and
learned Suvari are pretty harmless and their eggs are considered a delicacy
by some. I agreed to do the job and got the eggs moved into my downstairs.
No special handling needed, but I decided moving upstairs would be more
comfortable for the duration. That's where Buffy had found me when I came
in. I'd had some wild idea that I could give her the money, maybe ease
some of the strain on her. I've been doing odd jobs for a while now, trying
to build up a fund for that proverbial rainy day. It's not a lot, but
it's enough to keep her utilities going for a couple of months. The money
I hoped to make from this would have kept the wolf from the door for longer
than that and still have given me plenty to spend on blood and smokes.
to laugh Finn's accusations off, but he just punched me and started searching
like he own the place. Believe it or not, Buffy actually came to my defense,
said I couldn't be this doctor. Said I was too incompetent, which bloody
well hurt. Finn countered that I was deadly, amoral and opportunistic.
Buffy didn't have an answer. It was like everything I've done over the
past year didn't matter. It hurt.
for the basement and I couldn't stop him. I tried to explain to Buffy
what was going on, but she wouldn't listen; just punched me and told me
to stop playing games with her. That was a laugh. She's the one who's
been playing games, running hot and cold, pulling me in then pushing me
away. She didn't want to hear that I loved her, then she wanted to be
told. I was a thing, I was what she couldn't live without. It's been nothing
but games this whole time, and I'm not the one who's been making up the
to leave. I knew nothing I said or did would make any difference at that
point and I might well say some things I'd regret later. I just got the
hell out of the crypt, found a place where I could be by myself. Behind
me, I could hear Finn telling Buffy to get out of there, that the eggs
two minutes later, I heard my home explode.
to put the letter down again, pacing about his flat. What the hell was
going on in Sunnydale? Demon eggs as delicacies? Riley accusing Spike
of being a black-market demon dealer? The crypt exploding? Unable to stand
it, he grabbed the pages and continued to read as he paced.
see Buffy again that night. Just sat out in the cemetery until daybreak,
trying to figure out what was going on. It felt like Angelus all over
again. I loved Dru for over a hundred years, but Angelus comes back, crooks
his finger and suddenly it was all about her daddy. I didn't matter. I
know it's not uncommon for a vampire to have deep ties to their sire,
but I loved Dru and it hurt to be thrown over so easily.
worse, though — deeper, harder more painful than losing Dru to Angelus
or finding her with one of her demons. At least Dru felt some affection
for me over the years. If Buffy feels any, it is so far buried she can't
admit it to herself. I was just a "convenience" as she so quaintly
put it, something to help forget her problems for awhile. I've listened
to her for hours on end. I've watched her back on patrol. I've worried
for her, over her. When she needed to lose herself, needed someone's arms
around her, I was more than happy to give her that. Even when she needed
something to vent her rage on, I was willing to take that as well. I love
her and I know she's going through a hard time, and I've wanted to be
her strength when she needed it. I've given everything I have, but it
doesn't seem enough.
It was a
cry of pain, of a man deeply hurt by the woman he loved. Giles glanced
at the clock, realized Anya should be in the shop and headed for the phone.
For the second
time that evening, he put the receiver down without dialing. Anya and
Xander were on their honeymoon. Giles wasn't certain who'd be watching
the Magic Box, but it was likely the Scoobies, perhaps even Buffy herself
at that moment. For some reason, he didn't particularly feel like speaking
with Buffy. There was too much here, a glimpse at an aspect of her that
Giles wasn't quite ready to deal with.
sun peeked over the horizon, I headed home to see what damage had been
done. Remember when we wrestled the bed downstairs and Tara and Willow
helped me pick out the carpets? It's all gone now, blown to bits. Someone,
probably Captain Cardboard, had tossed some grenades to stop the eggs.
Just about everything is wrecked; my records, books, my bed, the mementos
I'd kept from years gone by. I've got some clothes, sheets, a few pillows
and whatever I'd brought upstairs for what I thought was only going to
be a few days. Don't know if I'll fix up the place again; don't know if
I should bother.
did come back that morning, much to my surprise. I hadn't expected to
see her, figuring she'd be off with Finn, trying to recapture whatever
fantasy of normality he offers. She told me he was gone, and I stupidly
hoped that she'd come back for a little more comfort, maybe to apologize.
No, she'd come to break if off for good this time.
hundred and forty-seven days, my dreams were filled with ways I could
have saved her. For almost fifty days, I thought I had, only to learn
I'd done more harm than I could have imagined. She said she had to be
strong. Then she told me she was sorry and called me "William."
when I knew she really meant it. She wouldn't have used that if she weren't
saying goodbye. A hundred things, a thousand things flew through my head,
but I couldn't say a single one as she walked away, out of my life.
why Angel took off for LA now; he couldn't bear to be in the same city
with her and not be able to touch her or be with her. For the first time
since I woke into this life, I actually feel sympathy for him. The thought
of leaving's crossed my mind. Part of me wants to flee, put as much distance
between her and me as possible. Part of me wants to just curl up in a
hole until the pain stops, but that probably won't be until I turn to
dust. Maybe I should leave Sunnydale, travel the world again. Maybe I
should come home. If I show up on your doorstep, would there be a place
for me, Rupert, until I got my bearings again? I have a few friends here,
some acquaintances, but most of them know Buffy. As for family, there's
only Angel and Drusilla. Don't know where Dru is and don't really want
to know. Angel would probably stake me on sight, which is making Los Angeles
sound like an awfully attractive possibility at the moment.
still the Bit to worry about, but I doubt I'll have the chance to see
her again; Buffy won't want me around now that we're quits, and I won't
have the girl sneaking off in defiance of Big Sis. If I do go, I'll make
sure I say goodbye, spin her some tale — don't want her hating Buffy
on my account. She'll be hurt and cry, but I'll try to make it right by
this now. I've laid enough of my troubles on you and I don't know what
to do next. I will promise you I won't do a love spell and I won't go
stalking or hurting Buffy and her friends. Even with everything, I just
couldn't do that to her.
everything, I still love her.
blurred and Giles reached under his glasses to press his fingers to either
side of the bridge of his nose. His eyes were itching and no matter how
much he wanted to deny it, he knew the reason why. For the first time
since Spike had blown into their lives some four years ago, he sounded
completely adrift. There had been times when Giles suspected he might
be aching, but it was always hidden under that bravado, the snarky smile
and the easy assurance that he was, indeed, evil. When Buffy had been
dead, Spike had hidden his grief behind complaints that the Scoobies were
holding him back from killing things while on patrol. Only in rare, unguarded
moments had the pain been obvious in his eyes. He wasn't bothering to
hide it now and Giles knew how deeply he must be aching to let the mask
defiance of everything he had been taught and believed, Giles couldn't
help but feel Spike was the wounded party here. He was a vampire, a soulless
creature of evil who'd tried to harm them all more than once. Buffy should
have staked him long ago and never given it a second thought. And yet,
it was hard to picture Sunnydale without Spike now. He'd very much become
a part of their lives — an annoying, irritating part, to be sure,
but a part nonetheless.
through the pages again, wondering why Spike had chosen to open his heart
so fully to him. Ironic that in the midst of all the pain he felt, he
even tried to put to rest the fears he must have known Giles would have
about revenge. Perhaps he was the only one Spike felt comfortable dropping
his mask to; he certainly couldn't imagine any of Buffy's friends providing
a friendly shoulder and news like this would travel fast in the demon
community if Spike unburdened himself there.
Giles poured himself a scotch and reached for the second letter.
wounds, even gaping ones like I suffered. I'm doing better than in my
last letter. Sorry you had to read that; not really certain why I let
the damn thing be mailed.
longer considering leaving Sunnydale, either. While things are painful,
I do have a life here and people I care about. Besides, there's always
hope. I know what you're thinking — crazy, obsessed vampire doesn't
know when to quit. He's dangerous; stake him now. Grrrrr.
himself smile. This was more the Spike he knew; clever and not above a
bit of self-mockery.
truth, don't know how Buffy and I will end up, but I think we might be
at a point where we can actually communicate again. It got lost in all
the kissing and the shagging, and I've missed it. Nice to think we might
be able to actually sit out on her back porch of an evening and talk.
Will it happen anytime soon? Not likely, but the possibility is there.
to Whelp and Demon-Girl's wedding two days after I wrote you last. Interesting
cross section of humans and demons and Harris' family. The Bison Lodge
actually looked pretty nice; the bridesmaid's dresses were among the most
appalling things I've ever seen. Don't know if you're old enough to remember
Carmen Miranda, but it was one of those types of dresses, square neck,
little bit of fluff for the sleeves, close fitting down to the knees,
then rows of ruffles to the floor. Big fabric cabbage rose corsage right
over the heart. Best part? They were made from this bright shiny satin
in a green a frog wouldn't come near. Glad to see Anya decided to follow
the human tradition of making the bridesmaids look as hideous as possible.
serving as greeter and have to say that the Little Bit isn't quite so
little anymore. Getting as tall as me, when last summer she barely came
to my chin. Turning out to be quite the beauty, too, all thin and Audrey
Hepburn-like. I can't imagine Anya not wanting to send you pictures of
the wedding party when she gets back from her honeymoon, and I'll think
you'll be surprised to see how grown-up Dawn looks.
got poise, too, which was good because I'm afraid I'd come up with one
of my less brilliant ideas. Harris had said I could bring a date, so I
decided to take advantage of the offer and asked someone I knew to come
along. I'm afraid I was trying to make Buffy jealous and succeeded in
looking like a complete ass to Dawn. Hit the idea that the lady with me
was my date a little too hard, though I think she couldn't resist the
temptation to run and tattle to Buffy like I wanted. Gave me that look
she has, though. You know the one — the "why are you being
so stupid?" look.
that look very well. There had been times when Dawn seemed to wear it
constantly, and he knew Spike had been on the receiving end as often as
any of them.
are moments when I actually feel sorry for Harris. After spending time
in his basement, let's just say I hold the Fungus Demon Drusilla left
me for in higher regard than the Whelp's parents. The wedding hadn't even
begun and already his father was three sheets to the wind, publicly insulting
his wife and trying to pick a fight with Anya's friends. Buffy came running
to the rescue, facing a challenge never faced by a Chosen One before:
keep the groom's dad away from the booze, while trying not to mangle him
for making a pass at her. She rose to the task, though.
mingling, but felt too itchy to sit down when everyone else was getting
settled for the ceremony, so I just kinda loomed at the back against the
wall (it's a vampire thing). So I'm looming and Buffy comes by. We managed
to say hello in a civil manner and exchange a few words. She actually
admitted that it hurt a little to see me with someone else and I found
myself at once glad and wanting to make it better. That was when I decided
that it was likely best I go. I mean, if Harris saw me with Tarantula
(yes, my date was named Tarantula; she's a waitress at a club I know),
he'd feel compelled to make some comment, I'd feel compelled to respond
and it wouldn't be a good thing. Besides, Buffy seemed to be having a
good time and I really didn't want to ruin it for her.
me I didn't have to, that I had a right to be there, but I could see it
was hurting her. She's got so little joy in her life at this time, who
am I to take it away? Told her to wish the happy couple best of luck and
that it was nice to see her happy, even if it was just for them. She was
beautiful, with that glow she gets when everything's going right. Told
me she was glowing because her dress was radioactive.
soggy again, and I swore I wouldn't do that, but it was nice. We shared
a laugh and then she had to take off, see to things. It was good though,
and that's why I can't give up hope completely. May be a fool's dream,
but it keeps me going.
stay for the wedding, but grabbed Tarantula and took off. She knew why
I'd invited her, so there wasn't really a problem, although I had promised
her she'd get fed. Took her along to dinner then headed home. I decided
to stay where I am at the moment, so there's a lot to do there. Sorry
I don't have a better report for you on the festivities, but I think you'll
understand why I felt it best to depart.
remember to pick up the flowers you sent for Joyce. Funny, I thought she
would have forgotten with all the last-minute wedding plans, but the last
time I talked to her she mentioned them and that she found the gesture
very thoughtful. They were beautiful, even if I only saw them by moonlight.
on the stipend from the Council? The Doublemeat Experience continues and
I think we'd both like to see her out of there as soon as possible.
mention that Miss Chalmers thesis survived the Finn invasion; I'd brought
it upstairs with me to make some notes, so I should be able to send along
some commentary soon.
news I have for the moment, though I imagine something will pop up soon
since Sunnyhell is never quiet for long. Do me a favor and forget what
I said in my last letter, please? Better still, if this one has gotten
there first, just burn it without reading.
the pages once he was done and slipped them back inside the envelope,
as was his habit. The tone of this letter reassured him somewhat that
perhaps the situation was not as disastrous as Spike's last letter had
made it sound. The question also arose, disastrous for whom?
day he'd received Spike's first letter, Giles had been hoping Buffy would
come to her senses and break off the affair. There'd been enough repercussions
within the Council concerning Buffy's relationship with Angel; the reaction
to an affair with a non-souled vampire who'd killed two slayers was not
something Giles wanted to contemplate. A slayer and a vampire were simply
For a brief
moment, Giles considered calling Buffy and breaking Spike's confidence
to ask her side of the story. He couldn't picture the girl he knew diving
into a relationship where she didn't at least think she cared for the
man. Yet, according to Spike, Buffy had said she couldn't love him, that
she had simply used him.
was considered and discarded almost instantly. Buffy would not be forthcoming
and his questions would only raise questions of her own as to why he knew
this information. Besides, such a delicate conversation was best handled
face to face rather than over the phone and such a meeting would not occur
anytime soon. Worse, if Spike was indeed the injured party in this situation,
he would likely only suffer from Buffy's discovery that he had communicated
of Spike's first letter still lay on the coffee table where Giles had
left them before picking up the second. He considered them for a moment
before folding them and replacing them in the envelope. Perhaps it would
be best to do as Spike had asked and pretend he hadn't read it; that would
be one way of dealing with the situation. But that was where these problems
had started, hadn't it? All of them, even Spike, had ignored things they
didn't want to see — Willow's addiction to magic, Buffy's withdrawal
from the world around her, Dawn's loneliness, Spike's feelings —
and that way why things were reaching a point where some sort of explosion
Time to stop
hiding. At this moment, he didn't think flying back to Sunnydale would
serve much use, but there were things he could do here, advice he could
give, that might help matters. Buffy was still his slayer and he'd come
to regard her and her friends as family. He'd speak with Lydia in the
morning, push ahead on the idea of a stipend. No, it wasn't a stipend;
a young woman who had died twice and nightly put herself forward against
the forces of darkness deserved a salary to keep her and her sister in
letters to write, too. Just because Buffy hadn't written didn't mean Giles
should let himself be slipshod. He'd get the e-mail account set up, try
to stay in contact that way. He should do more than just be content to
Anya's quarterly statements about the shop come without question.
bit more energized, Giles made his way to his desk and pulled out his
stationery. Yes, he needed to write Buffy and get e-mail addresses from
Willow and Xander, but there was another letter he needed to write first,
advice and support offered. He owed him that much, at least.
and read both your letters. You may not believe this, but your news did
Continued in Entry 9 - Support