All About Spike

Chapter: 0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  x  x+y

descant descending
By macha



Eurynome the neverending
know me in the darkness sending

descend: to pass in discussion from what is logically prior or more comprehensive

thread: to arrange a thread, yarn, or lead-in piece in working position for use in a machine

cante fable: interwoven song and story, a preliterate bardic formal structure and the oldest known form of the folktale


so this is what we know: the vampireís fucked, alright? royally, eternally, screwed. used to exude an elegant menace, style to the nth, and a positively demonic joie de vivre. preternaturally sensitive to the chinks in armor, killer repartee: straight to the jugular, talk you to death. animal magnetism, sleek and swift, poetry in motion, death and glory. always about the blood. gone, all gone.

maybe. chipped and chained, eunuched, he shoulda thrown in the towel, except that boy never knew when to fold his hand. instead he goes for the smoking blanket option, fighting his kind and making bad bargains with white hats. well, whereís the logic? but logic has never appealed: born to be a bank clerk, like any poet, but this ainít William, and that worldís gone forever. still the best street fighter of any century he happens to be in, but wasted all wasted protecting a Slayerís family and friends, fixated on keeping his promises, treated like dirt. gone, all gone.

maybe. so, do we blame the Slayer? always, that thing for Slayers, he bit off more than he could chew this time, no kidding. couldnít kill her, couldnít save her. changed for her, and she didnít notice, didnít believe the evidence of all her senses (gone for broke, this Slayer). touched her, and found himself on the other side of the galaxy. settled for what he could get, and then couldnít get it. and then didnít want it. neutered, broken, buggered, pissed off, and under the weight of a whole helluva lot of misconceptions, went off to Africa, questing. gone, all gone.

maybe. succeeded, at any rate, by pain everlasting, judging from his eyes. gave up the fight and joined the choir eternal. worst thing, he got so quiet: where was the spark, the snark? not looking to atone, thank god, been round that bend before, but all the fighting going on in his brain this time, pulled down by the weight of voices, relying on costume, resorting to cutouts. crucified, there goes the sizzle. gone, all gone.

maybe. whatís left just isnít even enough to make connections. stuck in the basement, umbilical arising from the earth devouring, it rises up to bite him on the ass. stuck in the closet, ready to quit? so then, world wants him gone, no wonder, nothing left much but his canines. and some flickering desire to somehow help, how pitiful is that? loves the Slayer, still canít touch her. nothing bloody left of him but a spark that burns. gone, all gone.

maybe. gave up and went to dwell in nether regions, someone elseís war fought on whatís left of his body. why not? disgrace to demons everywhere. all that teeming life eating away his unlife. hardly a crumb from the Slayer. all suffering and no sufferance. no rest for the wicked. gone, all gone.

maybe. and out of that, an old story. back to the beginning. you need a special slip with a stamp. but ainít we in a sodding engine? all aboard.


before form, function. before function, feeling.

feeling. longing and loss are hers, caught in the teeth of time that will not end, in space she never dared to let him enter. blood on her hands, and thatís the only part he could not see. inside those clear blue eyes she wanted to fall into, horror and shame still live, but those are spent for himself. even the dark in her he saw was light. longing and loss are his, caught in the teeth of time that will not end, in space he never dared to let her enter.

function. this is a dance of levels, and of levelers, and those who stand and wait. these are the gates she means on his behalf to shatter. this is the day the doors on the stairway down can all be entered. in this ritual she gives over everything she has and is reborn. when she has paid her price and finally stands naked, she will be clothed in power. this is a story older than the world. this is the game that she was born to play.

form. memory has a shape. it leaves bones in the air, transparent. it sings time. she balancing on the axis of her pre-Adamic double helix with his matching DNA in ribbons wrapped around her, spooning her safe, protected by the map of his body, sleeping in dreams they share, revolving slowly in the empty sky. to love. to wake. to give. to live.





The god of the underworld and the Slayer, both dealers of death in their proper realms, will play the game of life, but only one will understand it. And the power they have to win will not reside in the majesty of their offices, but rather in what they value enough to risk.


Itís time now. Everyoneís waiting. This is the day. See this door here? Thatís the one you need to go through. And donít forget to take the key. Okay, wake up.


Before the World, the Word.

But even before the Word, the First Slayer began in silence, and her power rose with her out of Darkness to exist only in the moment of Death.

And it came to pass that as one died, the next was called, throughout recorded time.

But when the earth beneath wakes hungry, then one will come, and die, and two shall rise, one light, one dark, and the dark one shall covet light, and the light one shall fall into darkness.

The Slayer that was will drown, and the Slayer that is will jump, and the Slayer that shall be will storm the gates of the underworld.

And then in the final days either the Slayer will shatter or she will shatter the walls between dimensions, depending on whom she chooses to stand with her, and in any event this will be known in the demon worlds as the end of days.


floating downstream i was, in that dream, flowers laid out all around me, down to an island of glass, my perfect knight gone all away, and nobody left to sing my songs with. all my birds still died, just like in coal mines. they promised me theyíd kill her, the black gate opened, and she was ready, dancing with death, i wanted to eat her up myself. but Angelus sent me the wrong Slayer, otherwise i might have saved both wicked boys. thought they were quarrelling over me, all that time, but all that scent of Slayer on them both should have warned me. Angelus fled the field, he did. she was stronger than him, and thatís what nearly killed her. imagine. i havenít eaten a gypsy since.

my dark prince, i still canít see the moment that he fell to her, but it was early. i was still weak, from Prague. mothers told grim fairy tales about us to their children at bedtime. he had no walls against me, none, until he lost himself and all i could find was just the shadow of that boy who played with me. he didnít leave his shell under any of my thimbles.

would she ever have looked into my eyes that night in the library? Daddy kept her busy elsewhere, well away from me. from the first day we came she kept herself well hid. i would have liked to linger over that one, turned the dolls around to watch while i put her away carefully in separate packages, into those boxes that the Judge arrived in.

he promised her heíd kill me, i remember, i didnít like that game at all. i see him turning slowly in the sky, a catherine wheel, dying again and again and again just so he neednít come back to me. and even so, such exultation in him that he had escaped me, me that had come to save him. no family feeling at all, he was so ungrateful. i looked into his entrails steaming and saw nothing but change, his heart gone all away beyond to a world in which we died, all, gone, lost to that same small girl who never once strayed within reach of my eyes. my sight never had such borders till she came. we were both blinded by her, me and my boy. everything burned away inside her light.

i donít like poets anymore. i thought heíd always love our songs. i thought weíd walk through worlds together. even Miss Edith had to look away. poor lost boy, what could i do but cast him out to die again? if only he had killed her for me at the start. what did he see in her, that i couldnít see when i counted stars?

i turned the dolls around. iím tired of dancing.


Who was that on the phone?

Oh, Buffy called.

She called? Well, now I know it must be the end of the world.... So, what?

What what?

What did she say, for heavenís sake, are you gonna get like this forever, like after weíre dead and gone, every time her name comes up?

Probably. Thereís an armageddon coming.

Well, big whoop, like as if we couldnít figure that one out, given the signs. So whatís the plan? Are we joining forces?

Later, maybe. Right now sheís got a quest to make first, and she wants some help at this end.

Now she picks for a quest? She hasnít had any time between deaths and resurrections to schedule that for a quiet moment instead? Okay, okay, weíll rally, so whatís she questing after anyways?

Itís Spike.

Another evil scheme?

No. Sheís off to....

Donít mumble, spit it out. Her name is Buffy. You can say it, if you really work at it.

Sheís going down beneath to get him back....

Down there? For him? You gotta be kidding.

No.... She never did that for me.

So Dad, tell me about Spike.

Not in this lifetime.

Cordy, were you aware that Spike and Buffy had formed a relationship? Or that he had managed to gain a soul?

Buffy doesnít exactly rush to tell me about her lovelife, Wes.

Well, a bit of advance intel might have been nice. It sure blows all the predictions about the vampire with a soul out of the water, doesnít it? Iíll have to go back through them all and start from scratch. Where did he go to get it?


Why didnít you ever do that, Dad?

Out of the mouths of babes. Letís get started, boys and girls. We have some serious workings to do.

We really need to have the lobby floor retiled after this.

Hey, still an apocalypse coming, folks? Not a good investment, Iím thinking, until after the day.


Have you got the key?

In my heart forever.

How will you find him in the dark?

I can always find him.

Come back to us, please.

I will. Thank you. Going now. Whereís the door?

At the end of the meadow.

Huh. Will you look at that?


Itís not as though I havenít had plenty of time to think about it since.... I donít remember a single moment with her that I didnít endanger all that innocence. I donít even remember ever being much help. Always she was alone, and I never offered comfort. Because I was unclean beside her. Because I heard Angelus whispering stage directions inside me. Spike, you know, developed that thing for Slayers. Angelus, I discovered, had also a thing for Slayers. Thing was, he wanted to kill her every time I touched her. Thereís no cure for that one, either. It took everything I had just to walk away.


What is the right thing in the world she lives in? I saw such light in her, but all dark inside me, and cold, so cold, my heart, the world. She was too warm, too bright, I should have done what I always did before, and killed her, brought her to darkness with me. Slayerís meant to be a creature of darkness: thatís why I loved the dance. Family, friends, falling away: meant to kill her, I did mean it, set out to do it, I am still a monster, kept my edge, gloried in slayer blood, snake in the garden, dancing the dark dance, and I could feel it, that she wanted to dance too, give up, give in, give me what I deserved, another trophy. And suddenly instead, when the moment came, when her eyes opened, her body tight against me, when the moment came, my opening, she wanted it, I looked into her eyes and I fell forward into her, opened, so far. And there she was, Slayer and girl together clothed in light, claiming my power and hers as one, silent, and damaged, but even her pain all mythic, live current, so raw. And I was lost, she had become too real to kill. We met inside outside, the first real moment in more than a century of unlife, and thatís the moment when I died again, claiming myself instead as other than what I could be. In her wide eyes I saw my heart that could not beat, my soul lost to the demon, climbing up, and climbing out, I lost myself, drowning in her, burned up in sunlight.

Why did I try to climb beyond my nature into light? True, a manís reach should exceed his grasp, but then I am not a man. Maybe thatís why all that I did went wrong. The closer I came, the farther away she got. It is over, isnít it? We fight, we die. Wishing doesnít change that, so I guess we donít get to die of love, should have known that from the first time round. No matter what I did, for her, I couldnít separate the monster from the man, couldnít be what she needed. Thought for a bit embracing the dark might have been what she wanted. Thought for a long time I could help her balance the load, learn to use both the light and darkness inside her - happens I know a bit about that - but that wasnít right either. And I couldnít bring her out of the darkness where she was lost and into her own light, because, hey, creature of darkness here, bit of a light allergy. Made a good demon, but a very bad man. Girl deserved more. Trying doesnít count. I donít forget the sins that really count: itís why still every night she will not let me save her.


Bad dream, bad dream. Crypt door. Another lifetime. Breathe. He wasnít even real. He had no soul then. I wasnít real either, not even sure about the soul part. Didnít take any Slayer powers to speak of to destroy him, though, did it? In love Buffyís the Slayer, oh yeah. No wonder they all leave me. Two years since he set down his shotgun by the verandah steps. Angel told me he killed his family and I put down my crossbow. Iím not that girl any more, no kidding. Angel was cursed with his, Spike went and sought his out.

Okay, Slayer, time to open the door and get the damn vampire back, thereís a plan. Hope heís not staked, or mad, or broken, while I lay here dreaming. I know heís dead but heís never not been dead, all the time Iíve known him. Gotta collect him so he can help me fight this yearís apocalypse because?...: on my balance sheet, he goes down as an big whopping asset. Right, note to self, Anya, bad influence. Shower, change. Willow, Giles. White gloves, pocket watch. Timeís a-wasting. Men on the chessboard, ten feet tall.† Eat me, drink me. Down the rabbit hatch. No fruit for Buffy. Bag the assets. Mom always liked him, gotta count for something, and anyway I just know sheíd be thrilled to find me nesting.


Okay, whoís the hero then?

Maybe there isnít a hero.

Hey, thereís always a hero.

Itís the twenty-first century, we donít even go for heroes.

Wait, thereís an antihero.

No, there isnít. God, where have you been, stuck in the fourth season?

Well, Buffyís, like, lost her aura for me these days. I think she went dark.

Sheíll never go dark.

Anyway, we donít like her. Sheís not all perky, like she used to be.

And jokes, where are the jokes?

No black and white, theyíre changing canon, itís all for the demons now.

The demons? Jeez, try out the Scoobies, you wanna see demons.

Itís just no fun any more, they hardly even kill stuff.

Well, Gilmore Girls is on.

No wait, there might be Anya this week.


April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

(T.S. Eliot, ďThe Burial of the DeadĒ, from The Wasteland)


Adonai, Helomi, Pine. Adonai, Helomi, Pine.
The gods do command thee from thy majesty.
O Mappa Laman, Adonai, Helomi.
Come forward, blessed one.
Know your calling.
Come forward, blessed one.

Osiris, keeper of the gate, master of all fate, hear us.
Before time, and after, before knowing and nothing.
Accept our offering.
Know our prayer.
Here stands the warrior of the people.
Let her cross over.
Let her cross over.

Accept our humble gratitude for your offering.
As in life you have given death, so in death you have given life.
Go forward, blessed one.
Know your calling.
Now once more in death, you will give life.
May you find wings to the kingdom.

Go forward, blessed one.
Know your calling.


Then the Slayer appeared before the god Osiris. And he said, "Begone! This is not the world of the living. You have no jurisdiction here." "I come in peace", she said, "on business of my own, that serves both life and death, both light and darkness." "How can that be?" he said. "What is your purpose?" "I seek the vampire Spike, who was once called William." "But surely it is the business of Slayers to send the undead into the Underworld, and not to recover them from it?" "It's true, that is the more usual order. But - what can I say? - I'm just not the usual Slayer. And as for the vampire he's also one of a kind. This vampire is mine to call, and I mean to claim him, since I have need of him in the work I have to do." "You mean to tell me *he* has a calling?" "He does, and it is by my side he is meant to fight." ďBeen a long time since I laughed out loud", he told her. ďAll part of the special edition Slayer package, and my free gift to youĒ, she answered, all perky. ďThe dead and the undead alike are mine", he said, "but as you have made me laugh once, at least, I will play you for him, if you like." A senet board appeared in the air between them. "What stakes?", said the Slayer. "Winner take all." "Done."


her beauty in that meadow stopped the heart.
she waded in, alone, and took the light with her.
that moment when she moved beyond us all
and left us
and bereft
the Queen of Earth and Air


The Slayer set out for the underworld
And she left behind her love
And she strode through the meadow and into the stream
And she left the world above

And she took all the radiance she bore
With her to the world below
And she took her heart that she kept so dark
And the seed she had yet to sow

And she met the god Osiris there
Who dwells at the end of night
And she crossed his river of blood, and dared
To come bearing her own small light

The Slayer confounded her destiny
Demanding a dead man rise
And thereby amused the god of the dead
And he offered her a prize

Her shadow sat down with the god of the dead
And they played the Game of Life
And the Slayer entered the world below
And the God thought of taking a wife

She laughed, but she would not eat or drink
And she moved on every throw
So the Slayer travelled among the dead
In the dark of the Great Below

continued in descant descending 1 weapons

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