Note: This is based on last week's AtS spoilers. Don't read this if you have no idea whatsoever how Spike returns. That's about as spoilery as it gets, though. The title is from the bizarrely hilarious song by Blur.
Theme from an Imaginary Film
Spread-eagled on the bed, Spike stares up at the ceiling. His hand curls as if he wants nothing more than to be clutching a bottle. Spike was always the drinker. Angelus got drunk on other things.
Angel steps out of the bathroom and walks over to the closet. Doesn't say a word in response to Spike; he's too busy pretending he didn't hear anything. Hard to do, though, when that subject is filling the room like dying roses.
Oh, he knows full well that Buffy was telling Spike the truth. She loves him. It was all over her face, clear in every word. What pisses Angel off is that she lied to him about it. I'm not ready for a relationship right now. Spike's not my boyfriend. Cookies baking blah blah crap. See ya, Angel. It's been fun.
Apparently, Spike loves her back. How fucked up is that? Always had to screw in on his territory, Spike did. Next thing you know, he'll find himself some bitch and get her knocked up, just so he can have his own kid too. Sure, Spike's not corporeal, but obstacles never do stop that bastard.
What Angel can't figure out, though, is if she and Spike were in love - he can't help cringing at the concept, even though he hasn't thought of much else since Spike went on his lovelorn pisser tear - then why the hell is he here? Bonded to Angel, okay, but why didn't those two run off together before Spike had a chance to dust?
Why isn't he making any sense, even in his damned thought processes?
And why the hell doesn't Spike believe her?
All this is a load of shit. Still pretending to ignore the bastard, Angel proceeds to fold every bit of clothing in his closet, even though most of them were perfectly fine to begin with. Then he goes back to the bathroom, nearly plugging his ears to block out the drunken ramblings, and inventories the counter. Hmm ... he'll have to stop by Target on his way home from work tomorrow.
Which brings up another point. He's pathetically domesticated now. Discount stores? Shopping lists? Holy fuck, just get him a 401(k) and be done with it, already. That's what Buffy's supposed to have, right? Normal guy who cares about crap like that. Hell, he even has a kid, though said kid is currently up in Tahoe, getting ready for university. Still, he's practically the ideal guy for Buffy now. And what does Buffy go and do? Falls fall for a son of a bitch like Spike.
As if my life didn't suck already ....
To hell with it. He's through with all this puissant moping. Gonna figure out a way to get rid of Spike, then take his life back. That Wicca woman in the paranormal division's got a crush on him; she'll do it and probably let him cop a feel while she's at it.
Except when he walks back into the bedroom, he stops short.
Spike looks utterly miserable.
Suddenly, Angel's mind careens back to a night in London, a hundred-odd years ago. A cigar and Scotch after whip-screwing William for a couple of hours. Face bloodied and legs still twitching, the fool looked up at him and whispered, "Drusilla's fond of me, but that's all. How do I make her love me?"
God help him, he's going to set things straight. He hates Spike, but he loves Buffy enough to do right by her. Doesn't mean he's going to tell her what happened here, though. Some things are better left to their own devices. And if she never finds out about her ghost lover, well, then, bummer for the both of them.
"Quit your damned whining, Spike. She doesn't love you? That's not true, and you know it."
That gets the boy's attention. "What the hell do you care about it, anyway?"
"You're right. I don't give a damn whether you two get together. In fact, it isn't going to happen because, hey, you're incorporeal. Bummer. But since I'm cursed with having you around all the time, last thing I want is to have to listen to your crap."
He sits down on the edge of the bed and leans in close. "Do you still love Drusilla, even though you two are never going to get back together?"
Spike looks up at him, defiant eyes gleaming. "Damn straight I do. Don't want to be within a hundred miles of her, but I'm always going to love her."
"Then welcome to the magical world of me and Buffy. Can't be with her. Frankly, even if I could, I doubt we'd last more than a couple of weeks. So don't worry about me as a threat."
A sudden bark of laughter. "You? A threat? Hardly." Spike pauses. "I was dying. She was being nice. The end."
Oh, this is getting to be too much. "Buffy's not Jasmine." Off Spike's blank look, Angel continues. "Never mind. She's not one to go around saying 'I love you' to everyone she meets. So if she said it to you, then it's the real deal."
"Then why can't I believe her?"
"Maybe you shouldn't."
Spike looks up at him, whip-sharp and startled. "Don't much care for you playing your agenda, Angelus."
"I'm serious." Oh, yeah. He can play coy. "What good's it going to do if she was telling the truth? Not like you can go after her, what with you being dead."
No response to that. Angel turns around and fingers the buttery leather of the coat he bought with his first dividend check. A clever grin tugs at the corners of his mouth. He indulges himself for a minute, then turns back to face the bed. Spike has disappeared.
Angel always wins.
Continued in Fading Fast