All About Spike - Plain Version
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“Don’t touch me.” He was huddled on the ground under a tree, his arms wrapped around his knees. He’d been struck by another wave of memories, over-whelming, as usual. He just wanted her to go away.
She’d been looking for him, but up until now he’d managed to avoid her. She’d almost tripped over him, coming upon him unexpectedly. She reached down to put her hand on his shoulder. “Spike.”
He jerked back. “No.” His face was moist with tears. “I’m bad. You’re good. Don’t.”
She knelt beside him, keeping her distance. “Good? You think I’m good?” She laughed. “I haven’t been good for a long, long time.” She sat on the ground, crosslegged, and stared at him. “You’re serious. You think I’m good. Let’s see how good I am. I beat you up when you were trying to help me. That was very good, wasn’t it?”
He snuck a look at her face, then closed his eyes. “I...I let you. I wanted you to. To put it on me.”
“Put it on you. Not beat the crap out of you.” She looked for a response, but he sat quietly. “Okay. Here’s good. I pretended we didn’t exist. Hid you from my friends. Wouldn’t tell them we were lovers.”
“Because you’re good,” he said softly.
“Because I was embarrassed. Because I wanted them to think I was still good. Which I wasn’t. If I ever was.” She put out her hand to him again, but he flinched, so she pulled back. “I neglected my sister. So much that she started cleaning out half the stores in Sunnydale. She was crying for help, and I was too busy boinking you to notice.”
“I helped.” He sniffed back his tears. “She was my friend, and I ignored her.”
“Heck, I didn’t say you were good. I said I’m not.” She crossed her arms over her chest and thought for a moment. Met his eyes and turned her head away. “How about this one. After you left town, I went over to Xander’s, shared a few beers, and screwed him.” She took a deep breath. “Not because I cared about him; not because I needed to feel. Because I missed you.” She glanced back, to see him staring at her. “I used him. See, it wasn’t you. It was me, all along. The user.”
He was biting his lip so hard, a little drop of blood trickled from the wound. “But I...”
She reached out to him again. This time, when she placed her hand on his shoulder, he didn’t pull back. “You helped me feel. You helped me reconnect with my life. Neither of us are good, but neither of us are bad, either. Not anymore. You get it?”
He shook his head. “Not really. I’m a monster. You aren’t.”
“I’m not so sure. Sometimes. And no, you’re not. Not anymore. I know you’ve changed, Spike. Anya told me what happened. What you did.” She placed her hand on his. “You did something horrible before you left. I did horrible things too. But I missed you. I wanted you. I ached for you when you were gone. Believe that.”
He raised his eyes and looked at her. Really looked at her. She was his bright and golden Slayer. She was his dream. But when he looked closer still, he saw. She was only human. “I want to believe.”
She put her arms around him, and held him. His tears soaked into the fabric of her shirt. She had a few of her own. “Just let me love you now, okay? Just let me love you.”
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