All About Spike

Arearea no Varua Ino (Words of the Devil)
By nepthys

Rating: R for language.
Spoilers: "The Gift".
Disclaimer: Not mine. Joss owns everything.

"I wonder if I've changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think that I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle."
--Lewis Carroll, "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland"


He brought her to Spain first. Driving to musty old cathedrals, palaces and museums that he remembered wanting to see when he was human. He would patiently wait in the car for her, having a smoke, until he heard the back door open and Dawn silently slide back in. She rarely spoke to him at first, though sometimes she brought him quaint little postcards of the paintings from the museum shop, which he would accept with a small nod and put away in the compartment.

By the time they'd reached Italy she was sitting curled up in the ragged passenger's seat, talking animatedly about how Italian ice-cream really did taste better than American and why Alhambra definitely was the most beautiful place yet. Whenever they reached a city they would stop and rent a hotel room. He'd spend the greater part of the day sleeping and watching soccer games on TV, supply Dawn with money stolen from the locals and tell her to go enjoy herself. When the sun went down, she returned to tell him of the things she had done in the day, what she had seen. She still cried at night, sobs muffled against her pillow, but she seemed to be doing better than back home. He hoped it meant he was doing something right.

He made the promise to Buffy because he loved her and would have promised bloody well anything at that moment -- but taking care of Dawn had become less of an obligation and more something that he wanted to do. There was something frighteningly addictive about being needed.

When he first met Drusilla she had already spent years with her sire, there was nothing new he could teach her. Instead they had spent decades in Europe, her teaching *him* --

{{-yes, darling, tilt his throat like *this*-}}

-- molding him to something different from the man he had once been. No longer was he a man, or a poet. Only a demon.

Drusilla had been his mother and his lover, everything he had ever dreamed of. He had believed then that they would stay together forever. Angelus dressed her in silks and gifted her with expensive jewelry ripped from bodies of noblewomen, but Spike set out to give her love, more dedication than anyone else. He took care of her after she was injured in Prague. They had been feeding on a beautiful local girl, blood oh so sweet and dizzying, cascading down their throats. Never noticing the flickering lights from the torches and distant shouts until it was too late, they were close and oh God, Drusilla was burning.

Over the years, he lovingly nursed her back to health, supplying her with enough blood to make the scars heal and vanish from her face and chest. Gave her exquisite porcelain dolls as 'companions' to Miss Edith and patiently listened to Dru coo at them and invent little stories about imaginary tea parties. He had been good at taking care of her. Surely she would love him for it, surely that would be enough? But she resented him for it. She wanted him vicious; she only loved him when he was cruel. For her, he wasn't demon enough.

The other one he had loved -- no, he would not think of her name, still hurt too much -- had only loved him when he was a man. And she *had* loved him. He was sure of it. But for her, he was too much of a demon.

"What am I to you?" she asked him once.

Spike rolled over on his bed, angling his head to look at her. "What's that, pet?" he answered her. Dawn was sitting cross-legged on her bed, cerulean eyes unreadable.

"I said, why do you take care of me? Buffy is gone now. You don't... It's not like you're gonna earn any scores with her now," she said, sounding almost angry.

"I promised," he replied curtly. "But you already knew that from the start, so why bloody ask?"

She shook her head. "I don't buy it. I just don't. I want to know the real reason, Spike."

"What's wrong with that one then?"

"But why would you go to all this trouble just for a promise?" she persisted. "Why keep it at all?"

Fuck. He didn't need this. He really didn't. "I already told you the answer. Can't help if it's not the one you were looking for, luv." He got up, yanking on his leather duster and stubbing his cigarette in the ashtray.

Dawn jumped up. "Where are you going?" she demanded.

He threw her only a brief glance before stepping out the door. "Gonna go get the car ready. We're crossing the border tomorrow."

He told Buffy once that he knew he was a monster.

There was no denying it.

He was reduced to buying blood from butcher shops, now. But chip or no chip, he still craved the kill, the adrenaline pumping, making him deliciously high; the wild rush flowing into him, making him *feel*, every fibre in his body burning and wanting more. Fighting Buffy had been like that. Loving Buffy had been like that.

There were few things in his life that he regretted. He had fought for her, and failed. That he did regret. They had managed to kill Glory, but still lost, in every way that counted. Sometimes, he would look at Dawn and wish that she had died instead of Buffy. Sometimes he missed his old life. Being powerful. Feared. He missed Dru, insanity included, and God help him, sometimes he even missed Angelus.

And he *had* considered bringing Dawn back to Giles -- fuck, what did he know about teenage girls? She'd be safe there, cared for. It wasn't like he would be breaking the promise. Even if he did... would it really matter? What was the word of a demon worth anyhow?

Dawn was curled up in the passenger's seat, staring out through a small hole she had made in the black paint covering the windows. The silence was making Spike uncomfortable. He'd fucked up, somehow. She had been dead quiet for eight sodding *hours*. Usually they'd be debating whether Big Macs tasted better than bangers and mash, or if the punk era really was the highlight of the century. At this point, he was prepared to discuss boy bands. If he could listen to Dru yap about dolls, he'd be able to get through that too. Maybe.


"It's just... I don't want to do this any longer. I'm tired of being everybody's burden, okay? You don't need to do this, you know."

Shit. Had to fix this. "Look, you're not a burden, all right? You're not." There. Fixing with dignity intact. He could do this.


"Yeah. Didn't I tell you? It's you an' me now, Little Bit."

"I know, but..."

"No 'buts'. I was gonna leave, anyway -- nothing there to keep me anymore, was there? And you sort of looked like you wanted to get out of there, too."

"I did."

"Well, what's the bloody problem then?"

"But even if you hadn't promised... would you still take me along?"

"Sure I would."

"You promise?"

"Yeah. I promise."

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