All About Spike - Plain Version
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Chapter: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Interlude 8 9 10 11 12 13
The Watchers' Diaries: The Apocrypha
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Entry 11 - Communication
let the phone ring, figuring the machine would pick it up. After all,
the shop was supposed to be closed and he didn't particularly feel like
alerting anyone to his presence here. The Whelp, for one, would be furious
to learn Spike had taken to spending a fair amount of time inside the
Magic Box during the day. Spike liked to tell himself it was a convenient
place to be "unavailable" to casual crypt visitors, but even
as he sorted through the mail, he knew that was far from the whole truth.
also told himself he showed up to sort through the mail because there
was always the possibility there might be a letter for him. He didn't
want to admit that the quiet and books held their own attraction, an oasis
of calm in the chaos that formed his existence.
answering machine clicked on and Anya's voice filled the room. "Thank
you for calling the Magic Box, serving Sunnydale's magical needs since
2000. We're closed at the moment, but if you leave a message after the
beep, someone will get back to you as soon as possible."
would play through the messages once this call was done, make a list for
Anya. Spike had already done two such lists, each sitting on the counter,
awaiting her return. It wasn't much, just another small thing to keep
machine beeped and the caller came on. "Hello, Anya, it's Giles.
I know you're probably not there, but when you do get this message, would
you please call
grabbed for the receiver. "Rupert, it's me."
What are you doing there? Where's Anya?"
missing. I've been coming in, making sure the mail doesn't pile up too
Xander know you're doing this?"
you think the Whelp would tolerate me doing anything with the shop?"
pause. "Good point. So no word from Anya."
Spike caught the cord in his free hand as he shifted position. "There
are rumors she's with D'Hoffryn; he's gone to ground, along with Halfrek."
yes. The, ah 'justice demon' you wrote me about. I've managed to do some
research on her. Apparently a lesser demon, most of the information I
was able to find comes from the early twentieth century. I couldn't find
much on her origins. Was there something in particular you were interested
remembered the dark-haired demon smiling and primping in his direction.
"Just trying to figure out where she might know me from. Doesn't
matter in the grand scheme of things."
suppose not. Spike, I got your letter today."
Damn, he wanted a cigarette. "Buffy's okay; at least physically.
Tara told me that much."
Yeah, we bump into each other every so often, have coffee or something."
He let out a sigh. "Not so often now, since she and Red seem to be
getting back together. Anyway, she stopped by; let me know that Buffy
had gotten the antidote into herself at last."
last? I thought Willow asked you to make sure she drank it."
that moment, Spike really wished Giles hadn't called. This would have
been much easier to gloss over in a letter. "I'm afraid I let her
down. Said my piece, got all huffy and stomped out."
at once, the frustration bubbled up. "What do you want from me? I've
been pulled this way and that. I shouldn't have said it to her then, but
it had to be said sometime. You're not here, Giles. You don't see what
turned, leaning against the counter and letting his head drop back, trying
to get some of the tension out. "What do you expect of me, Giles?
It's not like I'm the souled one, all full of good intentions. As I'm
constantly being told, I'm an evil thing
it. Spike, I didn't call to listen to you feel sorry for yourself. I called
well, frankly, your last letter has me worried. Everything
seems to be going wrong."
considered a moment before answering. "Remember a couple of years
ago when I was working with Adam?"
your betrayal is something I want to be reminded of."
not the point." He sighed. "Remember when I turned the lot of
you against each other? Said one thing to the Whelp, another to Red
pack of lies." Giles' voice was tight across the line.
wasn't supposed to go like this. Spike felt his shoulders tense, the old
defenses go up. "She did treat you like a retired librarian and you
the silence that followed, he said, "I'm not trying to rake up old
memories. But that's how everyone's acting. Red jumps guiltily every time
someone mentions magic. Harris is trying to reassure himself he's not
like his father by acting exactly like him. Anya's disappeared; Tara and
Dawn seem to have assumed crash positions and Buffy
stopped, his mouth suddenly dry. "I can't read her anymore Giles.
I used to think I knew what was going through her head. Now, she's distant;
the body's here, but when you look in her eyes, she's somewhere else.
No just with me, either. Any luck with that shrink?"
Spike listened hard enough, he would swear he could hear Giles cleaning
his glasses. "Unfortunately, the Council has done very little in
the way of caring for the Slayer's mental health. The only work that's
been done in any recent memory is apparently a bit concerning Faith, and
I don't think it's necessarily applicable here. There doesn't seem to
have been much of a call for it before now."
can't really believe that."
have my doubts, but all I have to rely on is the records. I looked earlier
this year, but I couldn't find any mentions of mental illness or difficulties."
because they covered it up." He pinched the bridge of his nose. He
could feel the pounding start behind the eyes. "The average lifespan
for the Slayer is, what, three to five years once she's been called?"
is generous. The average is most likely three."
we can safely say that there have been between thirty-five to forty-five
slayers since I was turned."
on when that was
couldn't help but smile. "1880. First half of the year. You've been
wanting that info for a while, haven't you?"
silence. This time, he was certain he heard a pen scratching on paper.
"To be quite honest, yes. I think your estimate may be accurate."
really get a good look at a slayer until about 1896 -- Angelus never had
the stomach for a dangerous fight -- and didn't actually fight my first
one until 1900. So we can probably lower the estimate to between thirty
first slayer you fought was in China."
dangerous ground. "Yes."
you killed the first one you fought."
was kill or be killed, Giles. That's the nature of the game. I'm trying
to make a point here, give you something from a different perspective."
he heard that scratching sound. Giles was taking notes. "Sorry. Go
seen at least three slayers in the last hundred years who seemed to be
having some trouble aside from the usual death wish. I've seen another
that was what I would call crazy; she managed to get herself gunned
down with her bootlegger boyfriend. That's four women, Giles; at least
ten percent. Are you going to tell me there hasn't been a need for the
Slayer to get a little psychiatric help before now?"
much longer silence, so long that Spike almost thought the line had gone
dead. "There is a specialist the Council retains to help Watchers
who've lost their Slayers. I've had a session with him myself. He might
possibly be able to assist Buffy."
closed his eyes as a deep sigh of relief left his chest. At last; something
that might do some good.
have to talk to him, of course, see if he's willing."
him over here. I don't care what you do, just get him here. I'll spill
my guts to your Miss Chalmers, give her names, dates -- she can find out
exactly what sort of pitiful existence Dru rescued William from. Just
get the man here."
there's the problem of getting Buffy to accept his help. She's not particularly,
ah, fond of the Council. If she finds out he works for them, she might
suspect his motives."
I was Buffy, I'd be suspicious, too. But if you come along, you'll be
able to convince her it's a good idea. She'll listen to you. You may have
to take the reins from her hands again for a while, but if she's getting
real help, it might be worth it."
pause. "You know he'll tell her a relationship with you isn't healthy."
it was his turn to fall silent. "Yeah. I know," he said after
a long moment. "It's not like I've really had her, though. Just held
on as tight as I could and pretended."
haven't asked how you are holding up."
well as can be expected. Try to stay out of everyone's way. Don't fancy
talking to Buffy with the others around; probably wouldn't accomplish
much. I've seen her out on patrol a few times, but there's always someone
you going to tell the others about the two of you? I mean, if Buffy doesn't."
I walked right up and announced, 'Guess what? Buffy and I have been doing
the horizontal mambo, only she dumped me after Soldier Boy came back,'
Harris would stake me then and there. Or, he'd laugh, say I was delusional
and then stake me. Don't think it would really do any good. Buffy needs
to make that decision for herself. Maybe with my threat hanging over her
head, she'll be pushed to action."
in another direction. Be careful, Spike. Buffy does not like having her
telling me? Whenever I've seen her given a choice between A or B, she
somehow always manages to invent G. I mean, a rocket launcher to take
out the Judge? Brilliant."
that was Xander's idea."
a man some illusions, Watcher."
bit of a dry chuckle. "Very well. I do intend to call the house,
see if I can find out why Willow hasn't returned my e-mail. I won't mention
that we spoke, though."
it. If you did, I think I'd have a very angry Slayer on my doorstep. Don't
care to see that at the moment."
leave a message on the machine if I can convince our fellow to come. Then,
I suppose the hard part will be getting Buffy to agree."
any help on this end, I'll do what I can. Oh, meant to tell you: I finished
some comments on the thesis and mailed them off a few days ago. You should
be getting them soon."
take it you did not mention what a pitiful existence Drusilla rescued
give away all my mysteries? No. However, I think she'll be quite happy
with the Angelus information I've included. Let me know what you think."
looking forward to it. And, Spike
you for coming in, even if it's only to sort the mail. I appreciate it,
and I'm sure Anya will as well."
was that warm feeling again, the pleasure of having his efforts recognized.
"I still owe you, Rupert. I'm a man that pays my debts."
come to believe you are, Spike. Take care."
rung off then and Spike replaced the phone in the cradle. He looked at
the flashing light on the message machine. Yes, he could copy off the
calls but he felt restless, just as he had for the past week or so. Even
with this latest hope from Giles, everything was in limbo. It was as if
everyone knew the timer had been activated and was just waiting for the
question was: when?
Continued in Entry 12 - Just a Few Comments...
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