Part Four: Forget
“Buffy?” he repeated urgently.
She raised the knife again. “Heard of me, have you? I thought everyone had forgotten the Slayer of Sunnydale. The new one in Buenos Aires gets all the glory. The way I like it. By the time demons find out about me...its too late.”
She advanced on him with the knife.
“Buffy...what are you playing at? It’s me, y’can’t tell me a few ounces of black dye make me that different, you know me. Put that bloody knife down.” Spike demanded.
The girl shook her head. “No I don’t think I will and I prefer if my demons just call me Slayer by the way. It maintains that important professional distance.”
Before he could respond, she slashed the blade across his abdomen shredding his shirt and baring the blood-soaked skin beneath.
“Bloody hell! Stop! Buffy...it’s Spike!” he cried, recoiling from her knife.
“Finally we’re getting somewhere. You have a name, vampire. Spike? Is that it?” The Slayer said approvingly.
The pain Spike had felt when he first saw her face sank into a kind of dread. Spike looked at her in disbelief. She didn’t know him. Even after seventy-five years, she should remember him. He hadn’t exactly been the bloody paperboy. What was wrong with her? He had to figure it out quickly before she got tired of carving him up and just killed him. He could see that his death would mean nothing to her. He was just another monster.
“Yeah...Spike...William th’ Bloody...ring any bells?” he said slowly.
She just looked blank. “Every demon believes it is world famous, sorry to disappoint you but I guess you aren’t as important as you think,” she replied, turning the blade in her hands so the blood dripped in the dirt at her feet.
“Buffy!” Spike shouted. “You know me!”
The name rang in her ears and the smoky little room faded away as time rushed backward.
*”You left him? What is wrong with you? Did the whole Bison Lodge Day of Disaster not make an impression on you? Why would you let him go Buffy? He loved you!” Xander shouted at his friend.
Buffy retreated a little and sat down on the sofa in the apartment she shared with Dawn.
“Yes, the wedding that wasn’t made an impression but this isn’t the same thing, Xander. Simon...” Buffy said tentatively.
“Simon what? Treated you too well? Accepted your crazy life? What Buffy? What was wrong with this one?” Xander interrupted.
“I didn’t love him.” Buffy lost her temper and shouted back.
Xander stared at her with his mouth open for a second before shaking his head in disgust. “This is about him isn’t it?” he asked in a deceptively calm voice.
Buffy pulled a lighter from her pocket and turned it in her hands. “About who?” she replied.
“Mickey Mouse...Spike! That's who! You are still hung up on that dime store Prince of Darkness and can‘t commit to a normal relationship.” Xander accused, pointing his finger at the silver lighter in her hands.
“Maybe I made a mistake Xander...sending him away. I have this sick feeling in my stomach all the time now...like what you said about Anya that time...” Buffy tried to get Xander to listen to her.
“No...do not compare me and my stupid mistake to this. I screwed up and I lost my best friend and the girl I loved. I’m never going to see her again and that's a bad thing but you sending Spike away was what you had to do. He was no good for you Buffy...evil...bad...remember?” Xander pleaded with Buffy who still wouldn’t take her eyes off the lighter.
Xander sighed and sat down next to Buffy. He took the lighter from her limp hands and threw it across the room where it landed on a chair. “ Buffy...this is no good. You have to stop with this. Willow and Tara aren‘t the only ones allowed to be happy. You can be too.”
“Maybe I could track him down. He’s only been gone a year...a guy like him leaves a trail wherever he goes...” Buffy whispered.
“Oh and the duties of the Slayer are out the window? Who’s supposed to save the world while you’re out looking for the bleached wonder? Buffy, I’m right about this, you have to forget Spike...your life is here in Sunnydale.” Xander argued persuasively.
“Forget Spike, here in Sunnydale. Forget Spike, here in Sunnydale. Forget Spike.”
The words echoed in her mind. She looked up at Xander and smiled weakly...
“If that's what I have to do...I will.” she said.*
Buffy blinked. Did she just zone out or something? She focused on the vampire again.
“I don’t know you, I don‘t want to know you. I just want to know what the deal is with the book. Planning to raise some hell beastie or something? What’s your evil, Spite...or was it Spike?” Buffy replied to Spike’s impassioned plea.
Spike slumped in his chains, feeling defeat wash over him. He wasn’t reaching her. Was this a spell? Was that why she was still alive? Still young? The price was her memory?
“What about all the others. They all gone from your mind too? The witches? Red an’ her blond girlfriend?” Spike growled as he tried not to notice her knife drifting closer to his flesh.
*“Th’ witches? Red an’ her blonde girlfriend?
“Tara! Oh God Buffy, quick do something! Tara! Hang on baby, we’re coming!” Willow screamed.*
Buffy slammed the lid shut on that memory, her heart racing as she remembered that horrible day. How had the damned vampire known about Willow and Tara? She jabbed the knife into his abdomen again and twisted. He howled in pain and bucked against his restraints.
“No more...” she hissed. “No more about them. I don’t know how you know but that's not what I need from you. The book...what is it for?”
He didn’t answer. He just looked down at the blade sticking out of his stomach. He could take a lot of damage but this was bad. The mention of her friends had pushed Buffy too far. There was far more than simple amnesia going on here. He saw the room fade in and out, the outlines of his tormenter wavering, the pain was getting to him.
Buffy sighed. He was getting stubborn. Time for a break. She walked back to her worktable and picked up a small vial of milky liquid. Taking the lid off, she sniffed the contents. She bought this off a local demon that liked to stay in good with the good guys as well as the bad. It was a powerful tranquilizer and might make the vampire more willing to talk when he came to. She carefully dipped a small wooden dart in the liquid and stopped it back up.
Walking back to the bleeding demon, she nonchalantly jabbed him in the neck with the dart. He barely twitched. His eyes closed and his head lolled forward. Buffy pulled both her knives out of his flesh and cleaned the gore off of them with a soft rag. Good weapons care was very important...who had taught her that?
She looked at her captive carefully...he was completely unconscious. She felt safe in leaving him for a short while. The night was only half over and she still had half the town to patrol. He would be secure enough here until she got back. Extinguishing the torch, Buffy grabbed her knapsack and headed upstairs. She made sure the lock on the door was tight and ventured back into the night.
Continued in Part Five: Elsewhere