By Lady Eowen
RATING: PG, just like the show
PAIRING: Spike/Willow friendship
SPOILERS: None explicitly; events through Grave implied
SETTING: Sometime after Spike learns of Willow's return to Sunnydale (Season 7)
DISCLAIMER: I'm only borrowing them, Joss, I swear! I'll put them back exactly where I found them when I'm done! You won't even know I touched them! Lyric quote by The Barenaked Ladies, music covered by me on solo accoustic guitar. (Hey, if James can cover, I can cover.)
DISTRIBUTION: Ask me first.
SUMMARY: Spike's welcome home speech to Willow?
What a good boy, what a smart boy, what a strong boy
When you were born, they looked at you and said
What a good girl, what a smart girl, what a pretty girl"
-What a Good Boy, Barenaked Ladies
It's always the quiet ones. Every time. No matter how well you think you know her - or him - you never really do. And you say, What a sweet girl, What a nice boy, and She's too smart for that, and He knows better than that, and it's all true. All right up there on the surface for everyone to see, and tell the rest of the world about.
And nobody ever looks beneath the surface. That's where everything really is. The fears, the worries, the what-ifs, and the might-have-beens. And nobody sodding looks there, because nobody thinks that there's anything there to look at.
Which is just the way she thinks she wants it. Nobody to see the dark ugly bits, to see that she's really not such a good girl, no matter what her friends think. And she acts happy, because she has friends, and they like her anyway, just as she is. Right?
Wrong. Because she knows that whatever they say and whatever she does, she's always going to be the smart one. The nice one. The one who never gets into trouble, and who never does anything worth noticing. The one who'll always be there, but who'll never really fit in with the crowd. Because she knows that the vulgarians who make the rules never really like the smart ones. The only way she can really fit in is to stand out, do something that bloody screams, Look at me already, I'm right here.
Problem with that, which you never think of until it's too late, is once you've changed, you're not the nice one anymore. You're someone else now, and you can never go back to being just nice, even assuming you actually wanted to, which you don't. And that's a bigger problem than it sounds, seeing as you don't think it really is a problem until it's too late. Too late being when you realize that what you are isn't what you thought you were, and where you are is not where you wanted to be, and you've burned all your bridges so long ago there's nothing left but dust and sodding ashes. And regrets. There are always regrets.
You can't go back to what you were before, and you don't know where the hell you're going, and you're not even sure who you are anymore. When you take away everything you were, then what is there left of you? The good boy's dead, the Big Bad's out of commission, and the white hat was an illusion that didn't fool anyone except maybe you. When you went bad, you went bad all the way to the core, and no one - no one - saw it coming 'til it hit them in the proverbial knackers. Because unless you've walked down that road yourself, you have no idea how sweet it can be, or what kind of hell is waiting for you at the end, or if there's any chance of heaven at all after everything you've done. But you keep on hoping, because that's what you have left, even after all this.
Bloody hell, I'm rambling. What I'm trying to say, is, Welcome back, Will.