DISCLAIMER: Joss owns the kids, I just get to play with them when his back is turned.
SUMMARY: ‘She is fine as the Slayer; it’s the girl that’s crumbling.’
SPOILERS: Season 6 ‘Bargaining’ through ‘After Life’
DISTRIBUTION: lists, my site, organized insanity, anyone w/ the say so, otherwise just ask…
FEEDBACK: mmm, I’d love some. Thank you. firstname.lastname@example.org
AUTHOR’S NOTES: Okay, I was honestly very intrigued by the Spike that we got glimpses of in the first few eps of this season. Post-traumatic, frustrated, heart-sick, determined, snarky and mean. I wanted to know what was going on in that devious mind of his, and to that end, this is just a glimpse into the life of Spike in the week that followed Buffy’s resurrection. It starts during the events of ‘Bargaining’ and ends the day before ‘Flooded’ occurs and functions on the assumption that they brought Buffy back on a Tuesday night (Wednesday morning) with ‘Flooded’ occurring the following Tuesday. It’ll make much more sense once you’re actually reading it. I promise. Now go on…
AN2: The title was lifted from ‘Fight Club’ by Chuck P. The titles for each chapter are lyrics from various radiohead songs. Also, all recognizable dialogue is taken directly from BtVS episodes and are the property of their respective writers, etc.
- - - -
I'll laugh until my head comes off
I'll swallow till I burst
Until I burst
I have seen too much
I haven't seen enough
You haven't seen it
I'll laugh until my head comes off
- - - -
He did not sign on for this shit. Sure he’s perpetrated his fair share of bloodshed and misery in his existence, hell, he’s *proud* of it. Head held high and all that. But the blood of a thousand innocents covering his hands does not justify having to play babysitter to the kid sister of the dead Slayer who still haunts him in his dreams. And it certainly does not warrant the mind numbing fear that’s spiraling out of control in his head as he hunts every nook, cranny, and shadow in this godforsaken hellmouth for the slip of a girl who disappeared into thin air the moment he turned his back.
No, defanged vampire childcare was most definitely *not* in the bloody brochure.
Where would a fifteen-year-old girl run off to in the middle of a demon riot? Hell, if he knows. And part of him, that part that remembers that he *is* a bleedin’ demon, wants to say ‘fuck it’ to the search and rescue of the week, and join in on the looting before the town’s reduced to ashes and there’s no more fun to be had. After all, it’s not like there’s anything holding him here. He could easily hop back on his new toy and motor right out of this wretched town that has been nothing but heartache and headache to him since he first set foot in it three years back.
No reason to stay.
(I'm counting on you... to protect her.)
He doesn’t have time to think about that now. It doesn’t matter anyway. It’s not like she’s here to call him on what a fucked up job he’s doing at protecting the girl. She’s not here to remind him that if he hadn’t failed in his promise to keep Dawn safe, she’d still be here to yell at him.
Or something like that.
The thinking’s starting to give him a headache, and since he has a permanent migraine machine embedded in his frontal lobe, he would like to avoid all non-chip related headaches, thank you very much.
Right, screw the ‘analyze Spike’s unbecoming-for-even-a-neutered-demon guilt’ bollocks. First things first, locating the ‘Bit and beating a shred of sanity into that thick Summers’ skull of hers, then he can get good and snookered to ride out the daylight in the privacy of his very own crypt.
How very pathetic.
He runs over his mental checklist of places where Dawn could be hiding and there isn’t a location he hasn’t already tried. Twice. Ah, sod it, maybe for once in her short, pretend life the chit did the sensible thing and ran *away* from the danger.
Right then, back to the house of witches and former keys it is.
He kick starts the bike and cuts corners in his haste to have this over with. All of it. Now.
Funny, the day he showed up on the Watcher’s doorstep, beaten, broken, and half-mad with hunger, he’d thought that his unlife couldn’t possibly get any worse. He should have known better. Should have known that things could only get worse from there. There’s *always* room for improvement in the pain-and-mental-torture department. A few decades spent under Angelus’ tutelage practically tattooed it into his consciousness.
(William, my boy… ((the resounding crack of joints giving as bones meet solid wall and cruel fingers tighten into harsh bruises ringing his exposed neck)) I think that you need a little reminder of just who belongs to *whom*…)
He shrugs off the memories of yet another existence lost to him as he cuts the engine on the bike and crosses the short span of yard separating him from the house that he swears he will stop entering each and every time he goes and does just that. He can’t decide if he’s become even more of a glutton for self-torture than before the Slayer died, or if he’s really just biding his time until the day returns where his invitation’s revoked once more, keeping the vampire back on the outside of their little Scooby world.
Exactly the way it *should* be.
Exactly the way he *shouldn’t* be giving into the panic that assaults his insides as he slams the front door behind him. His eyes immediately scanning the house for signs of struggle, mouth yelling out the Nibblet’s name before the rest of his senses pick up on movement somewhere upstairs.
Fear. Panic. Relief. Anger. Rage.
Each hits him in rapid succession as he registers Dawn walking dazedly down the stairs. He’s too caught up in threatening bodily harm and slow dismemberment to notice the slight warning tingle that resonates in his blood. He’s starting to pace, starting to work himself up into a good tirade when Dawn interrupts him in her best timid-as-a-mouse tone:
Oh no, she’s not getting out of it that easily. The little girl penitent act isn’t going to spare her the punishment she’s earned for disobeying him – even if all he can dish out is a sound tongue-lashing – she’s going to endure it.
“Yeah? I've seen the bloody bot before. Didn't think she'd patch up… ”
His eyes land on Her descending the stairs and he freezes, mid-pace, mid-sentence, recognition and shock driving all further rational thought from his mind. Seconds melt into minutes into an eternity of him not moving, not reacting, not hoping. He’s not quite sure when his mouth caught up to the present, words he can’t hear spilling from his lips, his eyes unable to move from her face.
He hesitates. Drinking in the details. His eyes skimming her flesh, torn, and bleeding, and coated in the grave. Searching her for some clue as to this miracle, but finding only death and power clouding his senses.
Buffy? Slayer? Nothing. Just glazed, hollow, not there.
Something’s not right.
This cannot be happening. This cannot be happening. This cannot be happening.
(Till the end of the world. Even if that happens to be tonight.)
Ladies and Gentleman, please return all seat backs and tray tables to their upright and locked positions… we’ve just reached the end of the world.
Continued in Thursday -- light another candle and release me