All About Spike

Chapter: 1  2  3  4  5

Afterwhile
By ascian

Semi-series of short post-ep musings, from Spike's POV

This part is during/after Potential.



Potential

Unexpectedly, he finds that he enjoys playing the tutor. He's done it before, but mostly for minions, which was all violence and swagger. This is different.

He always used to love hearing himself talk, but now she is the one doing the talking, and he provides the show to back it up. He likes backing her up, likes the sense of purpose. Likes the wary respect and genuine fear that flickers across the girls' faces when they look at him.

It seems there is something of himself left, after all.

He stalks them for her, because she asks him to. It's a mockery of the real hunt, heavy footfalls and clumsy lunges, but these girls are easy prey. There are vague stirrings of real bloodlust when he pins them; he is, after all, still a vampire. The effort required to suppress the hunger is not great, but it feels almost like free will.

Plus, it's funny, watching them squirm.

Catching her eye, it's clear that she shares the joke.

As they walk together in the graveyard, a little apart from the gaggle of girls they are supposed to be instructing, there is a sense of... not contentment, exactly, but something like it. They're not talking, but the silence is gentle, and she is very close. Close enough to brush against his arm as she sidesteps something in the grass. He finds himself remembering that they were comrades, before, and something like friends.

It's easy to forget that last part, with everything that came after.

His mind strays. They were on the ground, before, he on his back and her sitting on him, probing for injuries from the fall she'd had him take. This is a pattern for them, and he is aware of the irony. He had also been very, very aware of their positions, of her solid weight on his hips, and her hand, cool against his tepid skin. Of the heat of her groin against his, and the way that her hand had curled around his when he pushed it away from his cracked ribs.

Her eyes drift across him now when she thinks he's not looking. In this context, among strangers, they speak less and communicate more, and she is willing to meet his eyes, which is also a new thing. She looks at him differently now, and he doesn't know why. The defensiveness is gone, and something else is there instead.

He knows he shouldn't be worrying about this any more. That whatever once lay between them is irrevocably altered, that he is unlikely to be invited back inside in this life. More than anything, he realizes what a stupid dream it was in the first place, to believe that because she chose to meet him on his own level, that it meant he had any claim to her.

She is her own woman, he understands now. Despite the desperate need with which she'd sought him out, again and again. Despite anything she might have whispered in the dark.

Usually so sure-footed, graceful as a hunting cat, she stumbles into him for the third time tonight.

As her shoulder touches his arm, a couple of forbidden thoughts crowd through his mind. Darkness and sweat, soft cries and empty promises.

Some dreams are not meant to see the daylight, he tells himself, but it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference.



Continued in The Killer In Me

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