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Aftermath
By Shadowlass

RATING: PG, for language

SUMMARY: Post-"Grave," Spike contemplates his change in status.

EMAIL: shadowlass2000@yahoo.com

DISCLAIMERS: Joss and ME and many other people, all smarter than I*, hold the rights to BtVS. If it was up to me, thereíd be a lot less magic crack and a lot more naked Spike.

*NOTE: David Fury not included.



You thoughtÖwhat? Iíd be completely changed? Lose my swagger? Forget how to speak, and maybe just grunt? After all, thereís nothing like a good grunt. Iím a vampire, for godís sake, not some random demon. I went to Cambridge, Ió

Oh. That was him, of courseóthatís what youíre thinking. Iím not going to say anything painfully obvious, like of course the man informs the beast, or that Iím a combination of demon characteristics and human character. Williamóhe may have been a bad poet, but he was a good man, and all that.

Rubbish. He was a useless sod whose finest moment came when he died in an alley. At least he was wearing his good suit.

And at least he got to be meóthatís an achievement, isnít it? A step up. And now I get to be him again. Or at least some approximation thereof.

A period of adjustment. My green-eyed friend didnít see fit to give me any sort of advice on what to expect with the William Blaise Soul, 2002 model. Not that I thought he would. Not that Iíd want him to. Iíve seen plenty make the transition the other way, and they take itówhat? Do you want me go on about how itís a different journey for every person who takes it? Rot. People write the most godawful garbage when theyíre pissed, and then idiots take them seriously. Everyone turns exactly the same. Same thing every damn time.

I wonder if everybody re-souls the same. Not a lot of everybodies to ask, of course. Not that I would anyway. Didnít see the gitís big show myself, but the afterparty wasnít much fun.

It doesnít seem that bad now. Nothing I canít handle. For a whileÖbut now, fine. Everything under control. Should have known everything would be different with me. The only thing weíve ever had in common is that we drink blood.

Oh. Right. One other thing. Fine, two. Why donít you shut the hell up? Iím not him, and Iím never going to be him. Wouldnít want to. Heís always been a self-important drama queen, whether strutting along with Darla under his arm or lurking around dark corners, looking like Heathcliff five minutes after the bint expired. Iím fire and heísÖnot ice. Jello, maybe.

Still, it would be nice to know what to expect.

Will she even understand what Iíve done? How do I tell her? And what do I say when she blinks and says that a soul doesnít matter; she really just prefers brunettes? Giants? The hopelessly thick?

Weíll see.

This will turn out well, I know. I didnít go to the middle of nowhere to let bugs play in my head for nothing. This will turn out well because thereís no other option. Not for me.

Iím still me. I didnít get a Spike-ectomy, Iím notóhim. William, I mean. Well, Iím not completely Spike anymore, but I havenít been since they shoved that damned chip in my brain. And for that matteró

Look. Regret is useless. Useless emotion. Iíve helped save the world more times without a soul than anyone else in Sunnydale. Except for them, of course. And what kind of thanks do I get? Here, Spike. Hereís my fist, hereís the door, hereís my back, goodbye.

Why should I be the one feeling bad?

Okay, itís happened a couple of times. Flashbacks, I guess. Memories Iíve never thought of before. All except forófor the bathroom. I tried to shove that one out but it keeps coming back again. Now there are others, too, and I donít want them. None of them have her in them, and thereís no reason to think of them.

Bloke has to eat, doesnít he? Look, thatís what vampires do. Blood. Thereís no easy way to get it. Or at least there wasnít a hundred years ago. Going against your biological imperativeóitís unnatural. Canít be blamed for doing what comes naturally. Itís unreasonable. What I said before. Regret is useless, and Iím not going to spend my time on it.

Have to lie down now. I seem to have come off a bit queasy. Must have had some bad blood.


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