All About Spike - Print Version
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By Rachel A.
Sequel to Geek The Girl; part of The Geek Series
Summary: Willow mentioned the shindig ... figured we're all part of the team.
Disclaimer: These characters don't belong to me, alas.
Spoilers: Through "As You Were"
Thanks Cynthia, for a kick-ass beta. And Laura, for not kicking my ass.
She said she'd kill him if he told anyone, and he
believes her, but he's decided that it doesn't matter.
If he has to choose his death at her hand, he'll take
quick over slow any day. That's what it would be, if
she knew he was talking. Fast. Clean. Stake. Sounds
Today he tells someone, but she won't find out
because it's not a someone she would ever speak to
of her own accord. Perhaps she wouldn't even care,
because it's also not a someone whose opinion is
worth a whit to her. In fact, Spike's pretty certain
she wouldn't consider Clem a someone at all.
Clem is not a human and, in the crudely drawn
definitions of the Slayer, non-humans are
non-someones. Things. Nothings. Really, he may as
well be telling a volleyball, like Tom Hanks in that
wretched shipwreck picture, but still. If she did find
out, and she did care, and she did kill him, he thinks
he'd probably be relieved.
Of course, he can't tell Clem everything. Because
everything is just a little bit too painful, too
perverse, too fucking humiliating to give voice to.
There are somethings he can't even admit to himself,
let alone to another sentient being. So he mostly tells
the good parts.
He talks about what it's like to bag a slayer, to hear
her begging for more, feel her clawing and biting,
see her face contorting in pleasure and pain. He
brags like a recently deflowered schoolboy, and
Clem is significantly impressed, and for a few
moments Spike can pretend he's proud of all he's
But Clem isn't a very good demon, and eventually he
asks, "Do you love her?" and, later, "What happened
to your eye?"
"Shut up," Spike says, and turns on the television.
"It's time for Passions."
He opens a beer, (his fifth of the day and it's only
one PM, but who's counting anymore) and hands
one to Clem.
"I don't like this show so much lately," Clem says,
sipping his beer. "Ever since they made Timmy a real
boy it's gotten kind of boring."
"What, you think he should've just stayed a doll
forever? Isn't that even more of a bore?"
Clem shrugs, not caring. Clem doesn't really care
about much of anything. It's one of his better
qualities. Sometimes it's nice, Spike thinks, to be
with someone who won't fight you at every turn,
someone who'll defer to you and respect you and be
bloody well impressed by you because you're a
badass motherfucker. Or, at least, you used to be,
which is more than Clem can say for himself.
During the commercial, Clem asks again, "You do
love her, right? Cause, I mean, that's what it sounds
"She's a crazy bitch," Spike growls, and drinks.
"But, you do..."
"Timmy's not even in this episode."
Spike nods, and turns off the television. No point
without Timmy, really. Clem starts shuffling cards at
the table, and Spike marvels at the banality of their
existence. Creatures of the night, playing gin rummy
and drinking beer in the middle of the day like a
couple of rednecks at a trailer park. He takes some
comfort in the fact that his wife beater is, at least,
the wrong color.
"So, are you guys like, dating now?" Clem asks as
he deals. "Or are you just..."
"Oh, please! Like I'd actually date her? Right. That's
a bloody joke."
"But, you love her? I'm confused."
"Well, yeah I love her, but you know, I've got an
image to maintain here."
"Oh, I gotcha," Clem nods. Like it makes perfect
fucking sense. Spike really likes hanging out with
About twenty minutes into their game, there's a little
pitter patter upstairs. Spike's first thought is that it's
Buffy, come 'round for a quick shag or perhaps a fist
workout, and he feels momentary panic. What if she
heard him talking? She really will kill him, and Clem
too. Or, worse yet, what if she decides to humiliate
him in front of the one sentient being on the planet
who still thinks he's even remotely cool?
Then he remembers. It's daytime. She never comes
here in the daytime. Unless she's invisible or
someone's life is at stake. Nobody comes here in the
daytime. Well, except Clem.
"Shh," he hushes, even though Clem hasn't said
anything in a long time. "There's a prowler upstairs."
"Are you sure? It sounded like the wind to me."
They sit in silence, listening to the tiny footsteps
above their heads, and then the sound of the trap
door creaking open. Spike begins estimating the
distance from the card table to the weapons chest,
and how fast he can get from here to there.
"Hello? Anybody home?" an anxious, feminine voice
calls down. A familiar voice.
Now this, this definitely can't be good. This one
hasn't been down here since the summer, since a
long, hot night in June when she and her girlfriend
brought him blood in bags and forced him to eat.
Forced him to keep going.
He can't help wondering now; did they know, even
then, what they were going to do? Had they been
planning that early on? He knows they couldn't have
foreseen the way it would turn out, the way she'd
come back, but if they had, would they have gone
through with it? And would they have bothered
keeping him around?
Stupid, pointless questions all. The only important
thing to ask is, what is she doing here now? What
possible tragedy could've brought her to this place?
And, God help him, had she heard the things he'd
been saying about Buffy?
"Uh, yeah, come on in," Spike says. Clem gives him
a knowing wink, probably expecting the voice to
come attached to the Slayer.
"Should I get lost?" Clem asks quietly, but before
Spike can answer, or even figure out what his
answer might be, Willow is standing in front of them
with a strange, possibly phony smile.
She looks a little better than the last time he took a
good look at her, shivering and pale on Buffy's
porch Christmas night, but still not great. Not back
"Sorry, Spike, I didn't know you
"Hey," Clem nods in acknowledgment and holds out
his hand. To her credit, Willow shakes it without
"Hi," she says. "Willow."
"So," Spike says, interrupting the
getting-to-know-you ritual. "What brings a girl like
you to a place like this?
Maybe it isn't a tragedy, he thinks, taking in her
obvious discomfort. Maybe his words to her that
night made an impression and she's come to him for
help. Maybe she's realized what her real problem is,
and that he might be, at least, a sympathetic ear.
Or maybe she's lonely without her gal pal, and she's
come down for a little bit of the touch. Maybe she
hasn't forgotten their strange, fumbling bathtub kiss
after all. Maybe he's become the Sunnydale vamp
stud, rendering services to girls sorely in need of a
visit to the dark side.
Or maybe she found out about him and Buffy and
she's here to stake him. It's really a coin toss.
"Wanna play cards?" Clem asks her, stupidly.
"Oh, no, no thanks. I um-I can't really stay. I just
wanted to....Spike, are you okay? What happened to
She ducks her head towards his, and he looks
pointedly away, trying like mad to think of a
reasonable and impressive explanation. He never
answered Clem about it either, and now they're both
looking at him, waiting for something. Her concern
makes him somewhat queasy for reasons he isn't
even capable of considering.
"Uh, yeah, I'm fine. Just uh...little accident. Got
drunk. Don't remember, really. Something about a
They both nod, and he can't tell if they're
unconvinced or just underwhelmed.
"So, what were you saying?" he asks, willing her to
resume her rambling and drop it.
"Right. Yeah. Well, there's this....thing
that's....happening, and...well, I figured since
you're...and we...well, I thought you might want
"Spit it out, Red. Some of us have unlives to lead."
She blushes, and he is a little bit sorry. It's not like
he's got anything pressing, after all. Still, couldn't
hurt for her to think he's got more to do that sit
around listening to her prattle.
"Sorry. It's just, it's no big deal, really. We're just
having this...thing, this party thing. For Buffy's
birthday, you know. And, um, it's at the house
Sunday night...maybe eight-ish?"
Why is she telling him this? He doesn't know. Is it
some sort of warning? Stay away from the house
that night or we'll throw cake and balloons at you?
"Uh-huh..." he nods, warily looking her up and
down. He notices for the first time that she's
carrying her school bag, and that her fingers are
clutching the strap hard enough to turn her knuckles
"Well, so...you can um, bring a friend if you want.
Maybe-maybe if you're not doing anything, Clem..."
"Wait a minute, are you inviting me?" Spike asks,
"Well...yeah, that's the idea. I offered to be the party
planner so, I'm a-planning. We're gonna have punch,
and lots and lots of food."
"Sounds cool," Clem offers. Spike just stares at her.
"So, uh, consider yourselves invited then." Willow
grins, all chipper delight and
"Thanks!" Clem says. Spike continues to stare.
"Well, I've gotta go to class. Um...bye." Spike
watches her leave, still stunned into immobility.
He'd like to go after her, to ask her why, why in the
name of all that is holy, did she think to come round
here and give him a special, out-of-her-way
invitation to this shindig. He'd like to ask her if it
was Buffy's idea, even though he knows that it
wasn't, and that, in fact, she probably had no idea
Willow was going to invite him. She'll probably be
angry about it. But still, he'd like to ask. He'd like to
know if it's because of that night he sat on the porch
and told her a horrible Christmas story, if she
wanted to invite him for herself because she thinks
of him as an actual friend.
He'd like to thank her, for treating him this way, but
he's just too fucking confused to say anything to her
"She seems nice," Clem chimes in after she's long
gone. Spike nods.
"Yeah. Yeah, she is."
She said she'd kill him if he told anyone, but he
realizes now that he was a fool for believing she
genuinely didn't want to get caught. Going through
it, in his mind, it's all pathetically obvious. Of course
she wanted to get caught, but not out of any desire
to share their "relationship" with her friends. Not out
of a need to make it legitimate, reputable. No, it was
just the opposite. She wanted someone to find out
so that she'd be punished. So that she'd be forced to
She told Tara. He's certain of that. But Tara is far
too kind to give her what she was looking for. Tara
didn't deal out the harsh judgment she craved, so she
arranged for Riley to do it.
He doesn't know if it was a conscious act, or
subconscious sabotage, but he's certain some part of
her knew Riley would find them. She had to know.
It would be sheer stupidity to think anything else.
Sometimes he wonders what things would be like
for him if he hadn't fallen in love with Buffy. Like
today, standing amidst the ruins of his home, his
spirit as broken and ruined as his furniture, he looks
back on the events that have led him to this point,
and he asks himself: why? how? When did it start
and could it have been prevented?
If he'd never gotten himself caught by the soldier
boys, never had this chip put in his head, would this
sickness have grown in his heart? What if he'd never
come back to this town at all?
Or did it go back even further? Was he infected the
first time he came here, with Dru?
He tries to pinpoint the moment, the fatal mistake,
because if he can track down the roots maybe he can
reach inside and dig himself out. Truly, though, it's
nothing but a pointless brain teaser. He'd do just as
well to sit here pondering where fate might've taken
him if he hadn't given himself over to a madwoman a
hundred years ago in hopes of finding love and
transcendence. Doesn't matter "why?" Doesn't
matter "what if?" It's too bloody late.
Karmic retribution, perhaps. What kind of past life
could he have led to end up with this? He imagines
himself in another time- a prince or a robber baron
or a conquering hero- romancing dozens, thousands
of women, then leaving them all pitiful and used up.
Leaving them without love or mercy.
That must be it. It's the only plausible explanation
for the countless recurrence of this tableau in his
lifetime. Payback's a bitch.
Becoming a vampire changed a lot for him, but
maybe nothing can change your karma. Maybe
nothing in this world or any other can make him stop
loving so hard, and failing so miserably.
The fates conspired to turn the woman he loved into
a confused maelstrom of hatred and anguish. A
she-devil who couldn't even find humor in his
suffering- only annoyance. And it had to be so.
Otherwise this scene wouldn't have played itself out
so perfectly. The woman she'd been before would
never have gotten close enough to wound him this
He gave himself to her, completely. He submitted to
her, allowed her to work through her needs, her
darkness, her malice. Let her be what she needed to
be; the one in control, passive-aggressive though
that control may have been. The one who loved less,
or not at all. He let her feed off his love, and his
darkness, and his death, in hopes that it would
somehow bring her back to the light. Return her to
herself. Problem was, he let himself forget one vital
fact: as soon as she got a taste of that light again,
she'd be leaving him far behind.
She said it was killing her, this thing between them.
Came down here in her frilly blouse and spouted
break-up clich�s in a little-girl voice, and what it all
boiled down to was the same old story. You're
Not good enough. Not evil enough. Too good. Too
evil. Too dark. Too light. Too fucking bad, William,
but it looks like you lose again.
He tried to show her the shadow world, but the
thing of it is, any world that would have him isn't a
good enough world for the Slayer.
It's been two days since she left, and he's only just
begun to clean up. See what might be salvaged.
He's sorting through shards of vinyl, trying to locate
a record that's whole, when she appears before him-
something out of another dream. Another path not
taken. A path barely seen before it was obliterated
by the tornado of Buffy.
She winces, making an all-encompassing hand
gesture towards the wreckage.
She looks out of place here, good and peaceful
standing amidst the chaos and ash, but then he looks
at her eyes and remembers the chaos that's inside
her. There are shadows there. The shadows of the
put-upon, the passive, the feeble, and the dumped.
The power-hungry demon that lurks inside every
hapless loser. He knows it well.
"You didn't hear? Soldier boy and the Slayer blew
up my house."
"Oh," she says. Then, the "Ohhhh," of realization.
She makes it sound cute, almost cartoonish. What
does she think of it all, he wonders. What would she
think of it if she heard his side, if she was willing to
listen? What if she didn't have Buffy to tell her the
difference between right and wrong? She doesn't
sound particularly disturbed. Sometimes he thinks
her moral compass might be as skewed as his own.
"Yeah," he nods. "Koo koo kachoo."
"Huh. Well...I didn't come here to, um...well, I never
got the chance to-to thank you."
"Yeah, for...I know it was kind of a while ago, but,
at the party? When you, um...almost, sort of stuck
up for me? I just wanted you to know I appreciated
It takes him a long, awkward moment to figure out
what the hell she's talking about, and he uses the
time to pick himself up off the floor and dust some
dirt off his pants. He looks hard at her- pale whites,
and sharp reds, her clothes a random but sparkling
disarray- and he tries to replay the events of the
party-without-end in his mind, to place her within.
His thoughts are scrambled and cloudy, though, and
everything is viewed through a gauzy, syrupy haze
of gold and brown and tiny blouses and the smell of
burger mixed with artificial peach.
"In-in the kitchen," she prods him gently, and it
finally clicks into place.
"Oh, that. Well, to be fair, I didn't do much speaking
on your behalf, pet. Your little friend did the job just
fine on her own."
"Oh, yeah," she nods, all sudden smiles and nearly
hysterical enthusiasm. "Tara, Tara was great! Really
great. But, she's also...you know, kind of biased. I
mean, of course *she* didn't want me to do magic.
But with you...just knowing you didn't think Anya
was right, it made me feel less....ganged-up-ony. It
made it a little easier for me to say no. So, um,
Once again, the little girl has left him speechless. It
hurts him, her kindness.
He knows she isn't always kind, that she's capable of
great, if inadvertent, cruelty. Stupidity. Careless lack
of regard for consequences. Selfishness. But he's
certainly not one to judge. Not when she's being so
nice to him.
"It was hard, though," she continues, filling in his
slightly rude silence. "I was thinking about what you
said, on Christmas, about the power, and...it was
really hard feeling so powerless. It was frustrating. I
felt totally useless, you know? And you're right.
That's the worst part, is giving up that control and
just being....well, whatever I am now."
"You're welcome," he finally manages to say. Really,
he hadn't been so high-minded in his defense. Just
didn't want to get turned into a toad or have the
house explode or what all. Her energy could be very
unfocussed at times. But it's probably best to keep
his reasons to himself.
She gives him a thin smile and stuffs her hands into
the pockets of her bizarre, fuzzy coat.
"You need some help cleaning up?" she asks.
"No. No, I haven't quite decided what I'm going to
do with all this rot. Might just move."
"Moving can be good. Very cleansing."
Cleansing. Right. Used to be, a good killing spree
was all he'd need to cleanse himself. Got Angelus's
ghost out of his head right quick. At least
temporarily. But that's not really an option
nowadays. A new place might be just what he needs.
Maybe a new place in a new city. New sodding
country might do the trick.
"You like it here in Sunnydale?" he asks her.
"Wouldn't wanna relocate to, say, Sweden? Or
She giggles- a light, awkward, tingly sound that's
somewhere between delightful and irritating.
"No, I've got too much homework to do," she says,
and he smiles for the first time in...he doesn't even
know. "Speaking of which, I should probably be
hitting the books right now. Um, let me know if you
move. I've still got some candles looking for a good
She starts to leave, and he should really let her, but
there's one thing he needs to know.
"Why did you invite me to that party, anyway?"
She turns on her heel and looks at him questioningly.
Like the answer is obvious, and he's a fool for not
knowing. For a small, pathetic moment, he's
convinced that she's in love with him, and that's the
"Well...I mean...you're- you're part of the team.
Sorta. You're a Scooby. Kinda," she says. He raises
a cynical eyebrow. "What? You are. You're
like...Scary Scooby. Like Scary Spice, you know?"
He doesn't know. Not at all. But it's really nice to
hear, even if it's absolute rubbish.
"Well, thanks. For the invite. Can't say it was a good
time, but I sure didn't wanna leave."
"Kinda like life, I guess," she says. He can't decide if
that's profound, or the stupidest thing he's ever
heard. After she's gone, he realizes it's just sad. She's
sad. They're all sad. What a sad, sorry lot.
And maybe Willow's right. Maybe he does fit in,
because none of them could possibly fit anywhere
else. Scary Scooby and Geek the Girl and Droopy
Boy and his Demon love and, of course, the Slayer.
Nothing like them in Detroit, that's for certain.
A few hours later, he finds a Dead Kennedys album
in one piece, with the cover and linar notes. He
decides to stick around Sunnydale at least a little
while longer, and maybe ask Willow along the next
time he plays poker with Clem.