Spoilers: through Chosen
Summary: Two of the women in his life remember Spike.
Disclaimer: BtVS and all characters owned by Joss and ME
Feedback: always appreciated
Special Thanks: to Kelly for the beta
It wasn't a tangible thing, of course. It wasn't like anybody could tell just by looking at her. She walked, she talked, she sneezed, she slayed, just like always. She visited dozens of new slayers, made too many long distance phone calls, and racked up lots of frequent flier miles.
But she didn't think about him.
She kept him locked up inside her, inside her head, inside her heart. Afraid that if she let him out that she would lose him. And maybe some of herself, as well. In fact, maybe everything that was holding her together would just come pouring out and spill out all over the ground.
Whenever his name was brought up, it was usually by one of the new slayers, curious about the vampire turned savior. Buffy would always grow quiet. They would make respectful remarks about his sacrifice, and the subject would soon be dropped. But as time passed, she realized that wasn't right. That wasn't the way she wanted to honor him. He was real person, a vampire with a past; definitely not someone who should be spoken of only in hushed, reverent voices. Saint Spike?
God, he would hate that.
Even so, there had been no funeral for Spike. No memorial service. No eulogy. He would have scoffed at the very idea, she knew. Tell her he thought they were dull as watching paint dry, and besides, he had one of those when he died the first time. But she had to do something, though it was more for her than for him, she knew. Something a little bit...formal. And ceremonyish. She was the one who knew him. She kept the memories, but she had been hiding from them, afraid that they would be too painful. But if she didn't remember him, who would?
And she knew just where she wanted to do this.
One of the things she most regretted was that she didn't know more about his past. He was almost as reluctant to talk about his human self with her as he was to recount his killing days. But at least she could experience the place where he was born and grew up. The place where he died. The place he had risen.
So she made plans to visit Giles. And Spike. Giles even offered to come with her. She'd expected a scolding, or at least a reproachful look. Instead he smiled kindly at her over the top of his glasses. She thanked him, but told him it was something she needed to do alone.
As she wandered through the narrow streets of London, she tried to imagine him there. What had he looked like back then? What had he *been* like? Her limbs tingled with anticipation, and her feet seemed to instinctively know where they were going. She let them lead the way.
It was late, but there were still a few people around. She stopped under a lamp post and closed her eyes for a moment. There. She could almost hear the click clack of horses hooves on cobblestone streets, the sound of carriage wheels and rustling petticoats. If she concentrated hard enough ... someone brushed by her, and Buffy opened her eyes to see a woman dressed as if she were from another era gliding down the street. Buffy blinked, shook her head, but the woman was still there, a half a block further now, pausing for a moment before turning down an alley. She wondered dazedly if she'd somehow transported her self back in time, but then a car sped by and broke the spell. The realization hit a moment later. The woman she saw?
It was Drusilla.
Buffy's pace quickened as she headed toward the alley, until she was almost at a run. She'd let a dangerous killer walk right past her, and Dru could be claiming a victim at this very moment. When Buffy reached the alley, though, Drusilla was simply standing there in the darkness, looking up at the stars.
"Fancy meeting you here." Buffy said. She removed the stake which was tucked into the back of her jeans, holding it loosely at her side. "What are you doing?"
"I'm naming the stars. I name them every night," Drusilla said. Slowly, she turned her eyes to Buffy's. "Tonight, they're all named William."
Unexpectedly, a lump rose in her throat. Buffy took a few steps further into the alley. "You know what happened, don't you?"
Drusilla's gaze returned to the sky. "He was the bravest knight in all the land."
Buffy felt a sudden and surprising surge of compassion for the vampire standing in front of her. So broken and damaged. A lost soul. "Yes. Yes he was. I'm sorry."
Drusilla stepped forward and looked into Buffy's eyes. "No need to be sad. I always knew he would be. But the dance has changed. He's all around you now. I can see him. Smiling."
She spoke almost ... kindly, and Buffy felt drawn to her for some reason, as well as a little jealous. But this could also be just a dangerous game Dru was playing. Buffy gripped her stake a little tighter. Remember, Buffy - evil, soulless vampire, here. Evil, soulless, *insane* vampire.
Then a tear ran down Drusilla's face.
Evil, soulless, insane vampire - who loved Spike.
Buffy watched in fascination as Drusilla, arms outstretched, threw her head back and slowly began to turn in a circle, like a little girl. "Pretty man with pretty words. Sweet and innocent, dark and deadly. Full of spirit and imagination. Always searching, seeking, never finding."
Tears sprang to Buffy's own eyes as she remembered the night Spike first revealed his soul to her. Looking for the missing piece. The piece that would let her love him. She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand, and when her vision finally cleared, she found herself staring after the vampire as Drusilla walked, unhurried, toward the main street. As she reached the end of the alley she turned and smiled at Buffy.
"Be happy, sweetness. He finally found what he was looking for, after all this time."
"And what was that?" Buffy whispered.
"Something glowing and glistening. Something ... effulgent," she said, before disappearing around the corner. Buffy made no move to go after her, but instead sat down on a wooden crate and did what she had come here to do: she remembered.
She remembered the way he fought, and the way he kissed. The way he looked in that damn leather coat, and the way he looked in nothing at all. She remembered the expression on his face when he was vamped out and high on a good kill, and when he was curled up next to her, asleep, and finally, when he was bathed in that glorious, soulful light. Glowing and glistening. Effulgent, Drusilla had said. Buffy smiled. It was a weird word. Kind of pretty, though.
She'd have to look that one up.