All About Spike - Print Version
The Watchers' Diaries: The Apocrypha
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Entry 1 - Letters from Home
letter with the Sunnydale postmark was a welcome surprise. There had been
several transatlantic calls since Giles' return to Bath, but no letters.
It hadn't surprised him, really; Buffy and the Scoobies were very much
children of modern America, and he had long ago discovered letter writing
was something of a forgotten art in that country. Perhaps he would break
down and get an e-mail account; electronic communication might prove more
into his favorite chair, the rain beating gently against the windows,
Giles turned the envelope over, savoring the anticipation before actually
opening it. He felt a slight disappointment when he realized the return
address was that of The Magic Box. Most likely Anya had sent him a progress
report on how the business was doing. The handwriting was not hers, though,
the letters more looping and flowing, a style Giles had not seen since
his school days.
got the best of him at last, and he carefully slit open the envelope.
There were several sheets inside, all covered with the same flowing handwriting.
No, it couldn't be from Buffy or her friends. They had the most appalling
handwriting. Unfolding the sheets, he began to read.
probably the last person in the universe you'd expect a letter from, but
I thought you might like to hear what's happening here on the Hellmouth.
Giles flipped through the pages until he reached the signature, a single
he returned to the beginning, wondering what the vampire could possibly
have to say that would cover so much paper.
managed to keep ourselves busy since your departure, trying to track down
a demon who seems to have a fondness for freezing museum guards and stealing
diamonds. No luck on that front, though anything you might know would
and Anya are continuing with their marriage plans, although Anya is starting
to show a certain longing for her demon heritage that could mean trouble.
Don't know if it's pre-wedding jitters or she's really having second thoughts.
Droopy Boy is being amazingly mature about the whole thing, much to everyone's
surprise. Perhaps there's a prophecy somewhere in your annals about sodding
idiots growing up and the world ending?
has moved out of Casa Summers, thanks to Willow's little forgetting spell.
However, she's still seeing Dawn, and Red is hoping the two of them will
get back together. I doubt that'll happen anytime soon. Appears that there's
this rat Willow had who was really a girl and Willow finally managed to
de-rat her (you may know more about this -– I couldn't get a coherent
background). Anywise, this girl Amy is apparently also a witch and more
than a little willing to dabble in the Black Arts. She's hooked Red up
with some bad stuff and bad people. The man's name is Rack, and if I didn't
have this sodding chip in my head, I'd let him know it's time for him
to close up shop and move on. He's gotten Red hooked on the dark stuff,
and is feeding off her energy – that's been his usual mode of operation.
Apparently, Red's sworn off it, but I can't imagine Rack letting such
a tasty feed go so easily. Don't ask me how I know him; it's a long story
and I can hear you clucking your tongue at me all the way from here.
realized he was indeed clucking his tongue. Putting the letter down, he
fetched himself a scotch. Somehow, he had the feeling he was going to
fortified, Giles picked up where he'd left off.
real trouble came when Red decided to drag Dawn along while she got her
"fix." They went missing for hours, Buffy worried (the girl
does need a lojack) and I got dragged in to help find the Nibblet. What
followed wasn't pretty. Turns out Red had managed to conjure up a demon
while she was on her little power fling, and it'd ended up following them.
To make a long story short, Willow stole a car, crashed it, damn near
got Dawn eaten by this demon, and fried it while Buffy was in the process
of kicking its ass. Dawn had a broken arm, and I ended up taking her to
emergency while Buffy dealt with our addict.
and I had a long chat while we waited for her to get her arm set. She's
feeling lonely and cut off. Seems Buffy's been either smothering or ignoring
her, and everyone else – myself included, sad to say – have
been pretty much ignoring her now that Buffy's back. Fortunately, Tara
seems to take a real interest in her and, despite the problems between
her and Red, is still making an effort to let the Nibblet know that someone
cares. I'm going to try to do better myself, but that may be difficult
due to certain other circumstances.
you might guess, the certain other circumstances include Buffy. She's
not doing great, Rupert, but I think you knew that when you left. After
she came back, we started talking. Rather, she started talking; I listened
and tried to make her smile on occasion. I think maybe it's the fact we
have a shared experience. After all, we've both had to claw ourselves
out of our coffins and that's something you don't forget, no matter how
long you go on. I'll make a confession; I've known since shortly after
she came back where Red wrenched her out of, only she made me promise
not to let you lot know. She so desperately wanted to make everyone think
it was alright, that they'd done a good thing by bringing her back. Maybe
it would have been better if she'd let out everything that was inside
her then, instead of letting it fester.
desperate to feel anything, but it's also like what she does feel, she's
afraid of. She's blowing hot and cold on me, and it's driving me mad.
She seeks me out, we snog madly, then she turns ice queen and runs away.
Only it's gone beyond the snogging now, and she wants to pretend it never
know what you're doing at this moment. You're picking up the phone to
call the airlines, hop a plane over here and stake me. Put the phone down.
I have no intention of hurting her; I'd stake myself before I did that.
realized his hand had indeed reached for the phone. With an effort, he
replaced the receiver and continued to read.
will kill me if she ever finds out I told you, but I've reached the point
where I need to talk to someone, and I feel we can at least speak man
to man – or vampire to watcher, as it were. I love the girl, Rupert,
and love her enough to know she's the best damn thing that's ever happened
to me, dead or alive. I'll take eternal damnation, Dru, Angelus, Darla
and all the rest if that's what it took to get me to this moment.
being soggy. I'm not writing this to let you know I feel sorry for myself,
because in some ways I'm not. The best thing I can do for Buffy is be
strong and not indulge her behavior any longer. She's leaned on all of
us and needs to stand on her own two feet and face what life's dealt her.
Only when she does that will she start to heal.
you knew that, didn't you? It's one of the reasons you left, because she'd
come to depend on you too much. All slayers have a death wish; I've seen
it in their eyes. But I never saw it in Buffy's eyes until now. She longs
to be away from here, and I fear that someone's going to slip in and have
that one good day. She's got to find a reason for living, be it Dawn or
me or whatever it takes.
me and the girl aren't talking at the moment. Things are…complicated
between us, but I still want to do what's best for her, and that's why
I'm writing you. Quite accidentally, I discovered my chip doesn't work
on her. Works on every other human around; I know because I tried and
got the migraine to prove it. It doesn't, however, work on Buffy. (I will
spare you the gory details on how I proved it.) So, unless this chip is
Buffy-centric, which I doubt, there's something about her that isn't firing
used something called the Protocols of Osiris to bring Buffy back. That
much I've managed to extract from Tara. I could go and look it up at The
Magic Box, but that would raise some eyebrows and suspicions. Besides,
while I've done a spell or two, I'll be the first to admit it's not really
my area of expertise. You've got the background and training, and with
the resources of the Watcher's Council at your command (somebody must
owe you some favors), I'm sure you can find out how the bloody thing was
supposed to work and what could have gone wrong. Perhaps it's just a remnant
of an other-wordly Buffy, but I'd rest easier if I knew.
cut a deal with Anya, and she'll let me use the store as a mail drop,
so you can write me care of that address. (She's insisting on my help
with inventory in return for this favor. Lo, how the mighty have fallen.)
Write soon. I'll keep my eye on her, but the clock is ticking.
hello to the Mother Country for me,
the crackling fire in the fireplace, Giles suddenly felt very cold.
Entry 2 - Intentions
held the letter out of Spike's reach. "No joke. I need someone to
watch the shop for a couple of hours. Xander and I have a meeting with
the caterer. Buffy's working and I trust you with the cash register more
than I trust Willow with the merchandise. Besides, being here isn't good
for her recovery. So, since I'm letting you use this address for a mail
drop, I think you can do me the favor of watching the store this once.
a sigh, Spike relented, figuring the letter was more important than the
indignity of playing shopkeeper. "You can hang your coat on the rack,
and I've left instructions on how to write up sales and run credit cards,"
Anya said as she headed for the door. "Use your discretion if anyone
wants anything from upstairs; I think you have an idea what's dangerous."
paused on the threshold. "And, Spike, I know how much is in the register."
that, she was gone, leaving Spike alone in the shop. Grumbling, he hung
up his duster and returned to the counter where the letter lay waiting
for him. He should be glad she hadn't insisted he wear an apron or one
of those stupid tags Buffy had told him about -- "My name is Spike.
Ask me about our curses!"
opened the envelope and extracted a few sheets covered with Giles' impossibly
tiny writing. He'd been waiting weeks for the response, popping into the
Magic Box through the sewer entrance every few days, trying to pick the
times when it was most likely no one but Anya would be there. Which is
how he now found himself manning the shop during the mid-afternoon when
all good vampires should be asleep in their crypts. Ah, well, his sleep
cycle had been shot to hell months ago.
Spike, the letter began formally, giving Spike cause to smile. Habit
could be the only explanation for such a convivial greeting.
will confess to some surprise and even a bit of pleasure at receiving
your letter. Communication from Buffy and the others have been spotty
at best, so any news is welcome. I'm certain Anya is currently driving
you all mad with the wedding preparations. Well, perhaps not you since
I don't believe you're part of the wedding party, but given your proximity,
I seriously doubt you will escape unscathed.
I received my invitation, but I must confess to some trepidation as to
whom she might be planning to invite from her acquaintances. After a thousand
years of being a vengeance demon, I'm certain some of her friends are
There are moments I wonder if Xander truly understands what he's getting
into. Demon/human matches are never easy and very few of them ever work
out, though I have some hopes for this one since Anya has chosen to live
as a human.
the way, if she hasn't mentioned it, I'm certain Anya will include you
in the list of those whom she expects a gift from. She and Xander have
registered at Robinson's-May, so be forewarned.
frowned. The watcher was probably right, and a gift wouldn't be out of
line if he wanted to stay on Anya's good side. Not that he cared, personally,
but it could be important to Buffy.
bell over the door tinkled and three girls entered, busily whispering
to each other and giggling. They were about Dawn's age, he reckoned, and
immediately headed for the table not far from the counter where Anya had
arranged a display of candles. Keeping one eye on them to make certain
they didn't nick anything, Spike returned to his letter.
sorry to hear about Tara. There's a certain steadiness about her I had
hoped would be a good influence on Willow. However, even without her experiences
with Glory, the idea of having one's memories manipulated by someone you
care for is repugnant and I respect her decision. If you should see her,
please give her my warmest regards.
to Willow, it is precisely as I feared. When she performed the resurrection
spell, she was working with forces she truly didn't understand and it
has left its mark. Perhaps I am to blame for all of this. I should not
have allowed her to perform the ritual to restore Angel's soul to him;
she was not ready for such forces. Since then, she has been steadily increasing
in power with no true guidance.
I do not know this "Rack," I have an excellent idea of the type
of lowlife you are describing, having had my own experiences with that
element. I fear you are right in your assessment that she has not seen
the last of him -- or of Amy. If Willow's power is now truly out of control,
Rack will be drawn to it, and he may threaten to cut off her "friend"
as a way of compelling Amy to bring her back. And yes, I do know the story
behind her ratting, and there are a few items you should know as well.
burst of giggles, and Spike looked up to discover the girls were casting
surreptitious glances in his direction as they pawed through the set of
candles that were supposed to help one's love life. Unable to resist,
he flashed them a smile and they dissolved into more giggles before turning
away to chatter among each other.
mother was a powerful witch who managed to wreak a great deal of havoc
and pain with her pursuit of her youthful dreams. When we attempted to
break the transposition spell she had cast on Amy, she attempted to kill
Buffy, but only succeeded in destroying herself. Amy, despite her own
trauma, seems to have followed in her mother's footstep. You might recall
the love spell which had every woman in Sunnydale -- including Drusilla
-- pursuing Xander. Amy was responsible, and turned Buffy into a rat.
Later, she used the same spell on herself and was unable to reverse it.
Willow took care of her until, well, such time as she managed to uncover
the reversal spell. Watch for her; there will likely be more trouble.
must thank you for confirming what ritual Willow used to bring Buffy back.
Not surprisingly, the Council is highly interested in Buffy's return and
are busily involved in their own research. I used your information to
steer some of my friends in the right direction without mentioning the
source. I didn't think you would particularly mind if the Council didn't
know of your involvement. The spell is indeed a powerful one, with a heavy
cost to those who use it. I imagine Willow kept most of the details from
the others, though Tara should have had an inkling and Anya certainly
should have known better. Anya was probably also the source for the artifact
they used; not all of her suppliers are above board or human.
is no mistake that you and I were excluded from this plan. Dawn I can
understand; she had been through enough and it would be best not to get
her hopes up. But we would have tried to stop this insane plan and Willow
knew it. You know how powerful blood magic is; it is, after all, at the
very heart of a vampire's creation. Despite our differences, I do believe
you care enough for Buffy that you would not have risked the possibility
of her coming back wrong.
girls approached the counter and Spike reluctantly put the letter aside.
"These are supposed to help make a boy fall in love with you, right?"
the leader asked as she put the candle on the glass top.
quick sniff told him they'd grabbed the combination of vanilla, cinnamon
and amber, a scent designed to invoke passion. He considered telling the
girl what she wanted to hear, but looking at the long dark hair and eager
eyes, he decided she was a little too young for passion. "Not the
best. Try this."
moved from behind the counter and fetched another candle from the display.
This scent was lighter, purer, a blend of ylang-ylang and moss, suitable
to promote mild romantic and happy feelings. "If it's love you're
wanting to find, this should work much better. And this," he hefted
another candle, "will help reinforce it. Light it first and extinguish
did not mention that his second suggestion would provide an aura of protection
for any silly spell they might be considering. It'd be best to tell them
they were too young to be dabbling in such things, but he had enough experience
with Dawn to know exactly how well that would go over.
the sale rung up and the sound of giggling thankfully absent, Spike returned
to the letter. He was nearing the end and he hoped there would be no more
you write about Buffy concerns me in more ways than you can imagine. I
had hoped that my departure would help her see that she needed to take
more control and interest in her life; I fear I was wrong. Perhaps I should
have stayed, tried to talk more directly with her. Difficulty is, every
time I attempted it, she shied away, content to let things rest in my
hands. Even after that appalling incident with Dawn at Halloween, she
preferred to leave the discipline to me. I should let you know that I
heard Dawn complaining to you on the back porch later that night about
how mean I was to her. Hopefully your speech on why vampires are bad and
what boys really want took root better than mine.
to the other matter
I imagine it will not surprise you that I was
not particularly cheered by what I read. Firstly, Buffy's behavior is
quite out of character and may be the sign of another, more serious problem.
you were frank with me, so I will be frank with you. I would
be happier if you were far away from Sunnydale and from Buffy. I think
a relationship with you is the worst possible thing for her to be involved
in at this or any other time. That your chip does not appear to work on
her does nothing to ease my worries. Your behavior in the past regarding
Buffy has been reprehensible and somewhat unstable. Nor is that my only
concern. You are a vampire. She is the Slayer. I have never believed that
such a relationship is either feasible or desirable. And before you convince
yourself that this is simply because I do not care for you personally,
let me add that I had many of these same objections regarding Angel.
for all my objections, I have no power to stop whatever relationship the
two of you are engaged in at this point. As you so rightly pointed out,
the time has come for Buffy to stand on her own, make decisions and stand
by the consequences. That you wrote me about your concerns has eased my
fears slightly -- but only a little.
do make this promise: if you harm Buffy in anyway, if I hear you have
mistreated her or harmed her or Dawn, I will not appear in Sunnydale to
stake you, assuming Buffy does not do so herself. That would be far too
simple and too painless. But you will pay.
the research on the Protocols yields useful information, I will let you
know. Please, write again. Much as I dislike it, you are my only correspondent
and my only coherent source of news and I would like to remain abreast
of the latest developments. I will end now, as I would like to post this
before it rains and the clouds are gathering. Are you familiar with Bath?
My flat is near the Crescent and I am within easy distance of the old
folded the letter and slipped it into the pocket of his duster. Glancing
at the clock, he wondered how long before Anya returned and he could get
away. He needed to think and he desperately wanted a cigarette.
Entry 3 - Research
arrived much sooner than Giles expected, coming with the morning post
and just as he was about to depart to meet colleagues to catch a train
to London. Travers' invitation had been rather unenthusiastic, but as
Giles was still officially Buffy's watcher, protocol demanded he be present
to hear what had been uncovered so far in the research on her resurrection.
Without really thinking, he stuffed the letter in his jacket pocket, and
dashed through the rain into the waiting taxi.
and Caldwell greeted him warmly upon his arrival at the railway station.
"I imagine you'd rather be back in sunny California at this moment,"
Caldwell quipped as they made their way down the platform.
assure you, the close proximity of a Hellmouth dampens the appeal somewhat."
Giles squinted up at the dull gray sky. "Although I know a few vampires
that would likely enjoy this weather."
being early, the cars were filled with London commuters, and it took a
few minutes to find three seats together. As they settled, Caldwell commented,
"I'd forgotten you actually worked with a vampire during your stay."
There was Angel and
grinned. "William the Bloody. How could I forget that? You should
have seen Lydia when she came back from Sunnydale, Rupert. She kept on
about actually getting to meet the subject of her thesis and how charming
he was. Remember, Thomas?"
could I forget? Apparently she thought he had the bluest eyes. She sighed
after she said that. She actually sighed."
The two men
laughed and Giles managed a smile. "I think he would be quite amused
to discover he has an admirer."
and Caldwell continued to exchange stories and gossip, starting with Lydia
and moving out from there, Giles remembered the letter he'd stashed in
his pocket. Retrieving it, he glanced at the address, done in that old-fashion
looping style he was beginning to associate with Spike. Satisfied his
companion would be occupied for a few minutes, he opened the envelope
and extracted the sheets, all letterhead from the Magic Box he noted with
a touch of annoyance.
I do have
a passing familiarity Bath. It was not fashionable in my day, but our
not-so-happy little family did pursue bit of mayhem there at one point.
Unfortunately, the constant rain made Drusilla less manageable than usual,
which made Darla cranky which made Angelus unhappy which
I will stop there. I have seen the baths; they provided a nice retreat
when a little solitude was in order.
quite pleased to receive your message and sends her love. She's feeling
a bit lost herself these days, missing Red and trying to find her way
alone. She is stronger than she looks, though, and I think she'll do fine,
even with being part of the wedding party.
up to realize his colleagues' conversation had stopped. "Urm, shop
business. News on how things are going. My partner's getting married soon,
so she's making some temporary changes." He began to refold the sheets.
"I'll read it later."
did not arrive until lunch was winding down. The morning had been spent
in a review of what the Protocols of Osiris actually were, along with
a few accounts of some of the more spectacular failed attempts that had
Giles squirming in his seat. How could Willow have even considered this?
More importantly, how had it managed to work?
As the group
took a short break before regrouping for the afternoon section, Giles
seized the opportunity to retire to a quiet corner of the Council's main
conference room and extracted the letter once more. It had felt as if
it were burning a hole through his pocket most of the morning, especially
each time Travers had looked in his direction.
looked pretty bad the last time I saw her, only a few days after the accident.
She looked like someone going through withdrawal and it wasn't pretty.
Buffy has made an effort to clean all the magic items out of the house,
so she's getting the help and support she needs -- at least as much as
Buffy can give her. Don't happen to know of a local chapter of Magic Users
Anonymous, do you?
heard anything more about this Amy, but then I haven't been over at the
house much and I don't expect it's something Red would volunteer.
what you said about "letting" Red do the spell to restore Angel's
soul, I seem to recall you were rather unavailable at the time. Something
about you being tied up and me complaining about not wanting to have to
pick librarian out of the carpet. She's got a stubborn streak almost as
bad as Buffy's and when she makes up her mind to fix something by magic,
precious little can stop her. She chose this path. It's not your fault.
himself smiling. There was something oddly comforting in Spike's assertion
and more than a grain of truth. When had he come to know them so well?
On a happier
note, I've actually been issued and invitation to the wedding. Harris
even told me I could bring a date. Don't worry; I'm not even considering
asking Buffy. It's clear she prefers what we have remains hidden from
her friends. By the by, message received and understood; I wouldn't expect
less of you. You're the closest thing to a father she has that I've seen
and I know you don't find my intentions honorable, so a few threats are
understandable. I think I actually would have been disappointed if you
hadn't made them.
hear my information about the spell was useful; if anyone has the resources
for this research, it's the Council. I might wish the wankers to hell
otherwise, but I can't fault their library.
of the Council of Wankers, is there a reason why they send the Slayer
out to save the world but can't be bothered to make certain she can afford
to keep a roof over her head, not to mention a growing sister? Surely
there must be some precedent for supplying the Slayer with funds. This
is no idle rant on my part; I'm afraid money is still very much an issue
for Buffy and she's found herself employment to do what she can to solve
not with the idea of her finding work. The idea that she's been reduced
to flipping burgers, however, is unsettling. Yes, she's taken a job at
that fine Sunnydale establishment, Doublemeat Palace. I know you know
the place because I remember seeing the wrappers in your trash. It's terrible
to see her there -- horrible uniform, ugly hat, an atmosphere of despair
that kills the soul by inches. It's beating her down. I can see it in
her eyes, feel it in her touch and it frightens me more than you can imagine.
that look before, Rupert, in the eyes of a slayer just before I killed
are you well?"
at the voice. The room had begun to fill for the afternoon session, and
Henderson was looking him with some concern. Dropping the letter to his
lap, he took off his glasses and reached for his handkerchief. "Fine,
expression." He gestured toward the letter. "Bad news?"
he'd felt at reading Spike's words must have shown on his face, Giles
realized. "Usual Hellmouth activity," he lied. "There was
a bit of a touch and go incident, but it all came out well."
didn't look convinced, but he nodded and moved away to take his seat.
Common sense dictated the letter be put away again to be taken out in
a more private setting, but Giles felt compelled to forge ahead as quickly
as he could.
to convince Buffy she could do better, but she keeps saying she needs
the money. Hell, I could get her money if it came down to it, but she
doesn't want it that way. I shouldn't be surprised, but it's damn frustrating
to try and help her sometimes. I can feel her slipping away and she's
not grasping at any of the lifelines I'm tossing out.
with Social Services aren't helping. Dawn's had some problems with school,
so they've been sniffing around. I'm afraid I might have accidentally
aggravated the problem at one point; happened to be there when the rep
came visiting, trying to suss things out with Buffy. Woman seemed pre-disposed
to taking Dawn away, though Buffy's managed to work out a temporary reprieve.
You can imagine how crazed this is making her. Between that and the job
just say I try not to let her patrol alone. That is, when she has a chance
to patrol with her new schedule.
moment, I thought she was getting better and that I'd have good news to
report. She started to take an interest in things, to smile a little more.
The jokes she made when slaying were actually a bit funny sometimes. Then
came this. I know she needs to stand on her own two feet, but we've got
to be able to find something that will allow her to stand tall. Any suggestions
are welcome at this point, and anything you can do to get the Council
to cough up some cash would a godsend. Between the two of us, surely we
can up with something.
changes for better or worse, I'll let you know.
He felt little
comfort in the words, for there had been none offered. The reports on
the research had begun again, voices droning on. Giles only heard one
word in ten, mulling things over in his head.
ended with no real conclusions and a decision to meet again in another
two weeks. For a moment, Giles considered stopping Travers before he departed,
bringing up the subject of a stipend, but decided against it. Travers
would see it as the perfect opportunity to give the Council power over
the Slayer once more, and any offer made with that attitude was bound
to be rejected. Worse, if Buffy discovered he and Spike had had a hand
in the offer, it would likely damage her relationship with them both.
Lydia Chalmers caught his eye and an idea began to form in his head. He
patted his breast pocket where the letter now resided and made his way
toward her. "Lydia, didn't you write your thesis on William the Bloody?"
Entry 4 - Plans
as bad as the beating from Glory, but Spike still felt the ache. He had
some herbs, procured earlier that day from the Magic Box that would help
— aspirin not being particularly effective on vampires - but they
tended to fog the mind a bit and he wanted to be clearheaded to deal with
Giles' latest missive.
dispensed both herbs and the letter with annoyance. Apparently she was
supposed to go look at an ice swan for the wedding and had hoped he'd
show up so she could leave the shop in his hands. One look at his face,
though, and she'd decided he would scare away the customers.
paid no heed to her complaints; he wasn't particularly in the mood to
play shopkeeper for her, even if it meant she might feel less inclined
to allow him to use the shop as a mail drop. He was tired, sore and wanted
nothing more than to sleep until the pain went away. It'd be in a lonely
bed, too; Buffy likely wouldn't come calling after their bout in the alley.
gently onto the pillows of his bed, he pulled the pages from the envelope.
Giles' writing was never easy to read, and his swollen eye made it more
difficult. He thought of tossing it aside, swallowing the herbs and some
blood and forgetting it all until he felt better. The thought was only
a passing one.
I had better news to report, but the Council unfortunately seems to be
in the early stages of its research. The last report I heard only went
through the Fourteenth Century and did nothing but reaffirm my certainty
that Willow did a foolish and dangerous thing with this spell. It was
a distressing afternoon and I must confess your letter (which had arrived
in the morning post) proved a comfort, even with its less than cheerful
knew that your chip no longer functions around Buffy, that might give
them a better idea of where to look. Unfortunately, the Council would
also consider you an immediate threat and would either send orders to
Buffy to kill you or send a team to accomplish the job. Roger Iverson,
watcher to the last slayer you killed, argues for it on a regular basis;
he was particularly appalled to learn I had worked with you and hadn't
taken the opportunity to "accidentally" plunge a stake into your heart.
So he had
enemies. Not particularly surprising. It'd taken about forty years and
encounters with several other slayers to realize he'd been marked as a
target, someone the young women were trained to recognize. Nikki's death
had likely only moved him up the list.
would these men do if they realized their precious slayer had not only
worked with him, but come to his bed? It was something he didn't care
members of the Council are hostile toward you, however. In fact, those
who have seen little or no field work find you an object of intense interest.
It is rare that any have the chance to actually study a vampire on a long-term
basis in the wild, so to speak and I know of more than one person who
would leap at the chance to interview you. I've been peppered with questions
regarding your background, personal habits, etc, most of which I have
refused to answer. For some reason, I find the idea of betraying any confidences
distasteful. I have, however, informed Quentin Travers, the head of the
Council, that you are a fan of Passions and enjoy Wheatbix in your
blood. You would have found his annoyance quite amusing.
we can use this fascination to our mutual advantage. You might recall
Lydia Chalmers from the Council's last visit to Sunnydale. It seems she
was quite taken with you during her brief interview, so much so that it
has become a bit of a joke among her fellows. You were the object of her
thesis, a well-thought out piece of work even if it relies on sources
which I have come to realize are in error. For example, if Angel turned
Drusilla in 1860 and she is your sire, you can hardly be 200 years old
as many books claim. I have taken the liberty of forwarding a copy of
Miss Chalmers' thesis to you under a separate cover. She would be highly
appreciative if you could read it and provide some annotations and corrections.
Send them to me and I will make certain she receives them.
It took Spike
a minute to recall the woman Giles spoke of. Blondish hair pulled back
severely, glasses. She'd fluttered when he'd smiled at her, though he
couldn't remember any particular effort to charm her, just trying to figure
out why the Council had come knocking at his door and chosen not to turn
him into a pile of dust.
the paragraph and grimaced at the thought of reading the woman's thesis.
What was Giles thinking?
you do this, you might ask? Because I found your suggestion the Council
pay Buffy a stipend an excellent one, and I have convinced Lydia to do
some investigation into possible precedents for such an action. She is
better-connected then I at this moment and Travers has some faith in her
abilities. In order to make a stipend palatable to Buffy, we must ensure
there are as few strings attached as possible. Travers will never extend
such an offer with no strings, but I will do what I can to minimize the
damage. Lydia may also prove useful in the future.
reason to read the thesis. He'd play nice and do as Giles asked. He was
doing this for Buffy, he reminded himself.
still working at the Doublemeat Palace? I understand your concerns about
her well-being and the effect it might have on her, but if Social Services
is becoming a problem, then even that employment is better than none.
She was quite right to refuse your offer of money; while your intention
may have been to help her, a questionable source of income would hardly
aid her cause to keep Dawn. Thank you, though, for keeping an eye on her
where patrolling is concerned; it gives me some peace of mind.
said about the look in Buffy's eyes set me to thinking. I will confess
to some unease since I've returned home. At first I attributed it to readjusting
to life in a different clime and at a different pace, as well as the circumstances
under which I left Sunnydale and concern for Buffy. Now I realize it is
not simply that, but a growing concern with the way the Council handles
slayers. Travers and many others see them as a tool, a weapon in the war
against the forces of darkness; they expect the girl to be totally dedicated
to this task with no other interests to distract her. I once thought that
was as it should be, but now I have my doubts. I wish I could trust you
enough to enroll you as an ally, use your experience to better train slayers.
Even if you were willing, that the Council would accept such help is beyond
the realm of possibility.
dropped the pages in shock. Him? Train slayers? Next Giles would be suggesting
he become bloody watcher.
was he doing now? Writing letters on Buffy's activities, seeking advice,
doing what he could to help her. About the only thing he wasn't doing
was seeing to her training. When his wounds had healed, though…
for the herbs and tossed them down his throat, following it with a large
chaser of blood. Not going to think that way.
my rambling. It was not my intention to burden you with my thoughts. Have
you heard anything more about the situation with Social Services? How
is Dawn dealing with this? Are she and Buffy communicating? How is Willow's
recovery progressing? I wish I knew of a support group that could help
her, but the people in Sunnydale who would understand what she is going
through are precisely the type of people she should avoid.
I am glad
to hear you were officially invited to the wedding. Like it or not, you
have become very much a part of our lives and it is fitting you be included
in this special occasion. I had hoped to be able to be there, but it seems
unlikely at this point. Pity, as I think you and I have a great deal to
discuss, much of which is difficult to do by letter.
You and me
both, Rupert. You and me both.
that by the time this letter reaches you, Buffy will have either found
other employment or come to terms with the work she's doing. I can understand
your frustration, but do what you can to help her. Willow brought her
back, but I fear it is up to you to keep her alive. If you need anything,
let me know. If you need to call me, use the phone at the Magic Box; I
will make things right with Anya.
the letter to one side and gingerly slid into a prone position. Damn.
This hadn't been his intent when he'd written the watcher initially. He'd
needed someone to talk with and he'd been hoping there'd be an answer
to Buffy's problems in Giles' musty books. Even if there was, it was clear
it wouldn't be coming soon.
Entry 5 - Bodies
came as a bit of a jolt to Giles to realize he'd actually begun to look
forward to Spike's letters. He found himself sorting quickly through the
post each time it came, looking for an envelope from Sunnydale and experiencing
a small pang of disappointment each time one was not there.
tried to tell himself it was just because of the news about Buffy, whom
he was concerned for. He'd only received one brief note from her since
his return to England, painting a far different picture from Spike and
their few phone calls had been filled with uncomfortable silences and
guarded sentences. If anyone had told him a year ago he believe Spike's
accounts rather than Buffy's, he would have thought them mad.
of the things I enjoy about your letters is that they're so full of glad
tidings. Of course, mine aren't much better, so that puts us on equal
I surprised the Council has yet to uncover anything? No. The Council plods.
The Council has always plodded. If they didn't, they might be more effective
against my kind. I've garnered a fair amount of information about them
during my study of Slayers, and there are times they act like they're
stuck in the Nineteenth Century. The old "the sun never sets on the British
Empire" mentality. Before you start clucking your tongue, let me remind
you that I remember when Disraeli made Victoria Empress of India.
wasn't clucking at all, but chuckling. Spike had somehow managed to echo
his own opinion exactly, though he'd never admit it.
Chalmers' thesis has arrived and is currently sitting on my bedside table.
Perhaps it is a well-thought out piece of work, but her style's a perfect
cure for insomnia. It's taken about three days to get through the first
two chapters and this is my bloody life she's writing about. I'm making
notes like a good boy, though I fully intend to be selective about what
I let her know. No reason to give your enemies too much information on
oneself, is there? Actually, I'll amend the above. I found her summary
of Angelus highly amusing and will happily give her copious notes on what
the Poof was like in those days. A man's got to have some fun.
have to say I like your idea of gathering support before attempting to
push for a stipend. Points to you, Rupert, for not rushing in blindly.
Although Buffy never said a word to me about Travers, Joyce was fairly
forthcoming in sharing what Buffy had told her. Sounded like a perfect
miss Joyce. Lovely, lovely lady. Never hesitated to offer me a cup of
hot chocolate when I dropped by, and was always willing to listen to my
problems. Ripped me a new one about the stunt I pulled with chaining Buffy
up, though; I'd come by hoping to get re-invited in, but she refused.
Said Buffy had her reasons and I'd have to earn her trust before I was
allowed back inside. Told me that if I tried to hurt her daughter, she'd
take an axe to me like she did when we first met, only it wouldn't be
with the blunt end.
to believe she's been gone nearly a year. I stroll by her grave on a regular
basis, make sure everything's alright. Wish she was here now; she might
be able to get through to Buffy.
it really been a year? Putting the letter aside for a moment, Giles tried
to wrap his mind around all that had happened in that short space of time.
Joyce's death. The fight with Glory. Buffy's own death. The nearly five
months of patrolling and trying to keep the demons and vampires convinced
Buffy was still alive. Coming home to England, only to get the phone call
from Willow that Buffy was alive. Back to Sunnydale. A smile and hug,
but tired, tired eyes. Offering to let Buffy lean on him while she got
better, only to find she was simply letting him do the thinking for her.
Learning she'd not been in a hell dimension at all. Making the decision
much, so short a time. A glance out the window showed the day was gray
and overcast, a far cry from the clear blue skies of Southern California.
He'd ask the rector to add Joyce's name to the remembrances for Sunday.
asked how the others were doing. I saw Red the other day and she seemed
in better physical shape, though still a bit jumpy. Apparently she's not
allowed into the Magic Box without a chaperone, which is probably the
best thing for the moment. We talked about general subjects like the plans
for Buffy's birthday party and what she should take this semester. She
was very much in her "Willow trying to pretend everything's fine" mode,
so there's still a lot of stress going on there she doesn't want to admit
haven't seen Dawn in a few weeks. Buffy has put her foot down about her
visiting my crypt, as that's hardly the image one wants to give Social
Services, young girl visiting a man alone in a dangerous cemetery. Nibblet
showed up one afternoon anyway, and I put my foot down, backed up what
Big Sis said. I received the trademarked pout for my pains.
key turned in the lock and Giles looked up as Olivia entered. "I brought
the stuff you wanted," she said, putting the bags she carried down. "What
time are your guests coming?"
eight; should be plenty of time to get supper together." He rose from
his chair and gave her a light kiss.
if you get yourself lost in research." She gestured to the pages he still
held. "Information from your colleagues?"
glanced at the pages before setting them down on the desk and picking
up one of the bags. "Actually, a letter from Sunnydale. All the latest
gave him a gentle push. "Why don't you finish, then? I'll put everything
away. I know you want to hear how Buffy is doing."
Olivia puttering about the kitchen, Giles settled back into his chair.
seems to be making some effort to reconnect with Dawn, though I don't
know how successful she's been. She's making an effort at the job as well,
being perky despite that incredibly stupid hat she has to wear. Reminds
me a bit of the bot, though, the few times I've stopped by, the smile
a bit too fixed.
this, though, she's not really connecting with the Scoobies; I've seen
her withdraw from them at the Bronze, watched the smile fall from her
face when they aren't looking. I'll admit that I like having Buffy in
the shadows with me; she's suddenly within my grasp, all warmth and fire
-- at least until she realizes she's let her guard down a little too much
and flees. This isn't like it was when I first wrote you. She comes to
me now, seeks me out. There's enough of a connection between us that I
can sense her, and I don't mean the usual vampiric "ooh, dinner" type
of sensing. It's like there's a signature that cries out "Buffy" when
she's near. I had that to some extent with Drusilla, but I always thought
it was in large part because she's my Sire. Dru seemed to have the same
reaction to Angelus, knew when he walked in the room.
is different, though. It's stronger, more intense, and I can tell when
she's approaching, not just in the same room with me. What's more, I think
she can feel it too. I would say blood was calling to blood, but we've
done nothing to warrant that. There are times when she trusts me, when
I see her come to life again, and hope springs eternal.
felt at once repelled and relieved. He wished Buffy would come to her
senses and end this liaison with Spike. No good would come of it, of that
he was certain.
knew how Giles felt and still wrote, seemed to be dealing with him honestly.
If his objective had been to rub Giles' nose in his success at finally
luring Buffy to his bed, there were far more graphic word pictures he
could have painted. Instead, his words were filled with concern.
sentence stood out, and Giles re-read it to make certain he'd not mistaken
Spike's meaning: I would say blood was calling to blood, but we've
done nothing to warrant that.
hadn't bitten her. The thing that had haunted Giles' dreams since Spike's
first letter had not happened. He'd assumed sex would include biting;
all the extant research on the mating habits of vampire seemed to indicate
it was a common occurrence.
course, when had any of those authors actually had the chance to observe
pulling his mind out of the research gutter it was headed for, he focused
on the next paragraph.
fragile, though, more fragile than I often want to admit. Worse, she's
managed to acquire some enemies who seem to be playing with her mind.
It started when they turned her invisible (which I didn't tell you about
because I didn't know most of the details, and what I did know is private
between Buffy and myself), but a few days ago, they tried to pin a murder
theory, I don't know most of this, but remember how I said Willow was
a bit jumpy when we met? She also talked far more than she should. Our
old friend Warren (from whom I commissioned the bot) has decided upon
a career as an arch villain (which is probably better than flipping burgers
at Doublemeat Palace) and joined forces with two of Buffy's schoolmates,
Jonathon and Andrew. They stole a diamond from the Sunnydale Museum and
used it to create an invisibility ray, which Buffy got caught in. Willow
managed to help Buffy become visible (without magic, you'll be happy to
know) and that's when they discovered these three were behind various
things that have been going on around here.
few nights ago, Buffy and I were out in the woods when time began to get
all wonky. We were fighting demons, then not fighting them, then Buffy
hit a girl, who went rolling down an embankment. The girl was dead when
I got down there and Buffy was convinced she'd killed her. She wasn't
thinking clearly, talking about turning herself in, so I got her home
and went back to take care of the body. Unfortunately, I botched the job
and the police found it. Buffy was going to turn herself in despite my
efforts but stopped when she learned the girl was connected to Warren.
Seems the demons we'd been fighting had been Rwasundi, who cause temporal
distortions and hallucinations for humans. The Rwasundi must have been
summoned by Warren to frame Buffy, because it turns out the girl had been
dead over twenty-four hours when we found her. I thought I smelled fresh
blood when I moved her, so he'd clearly put a glamour on her as well to
make her appear newly dead.
worries me is that Buffy looked almost relieved to be turning herself
in, ready to walk away from Dawn, me, the Scoobies, everyone. I'm beginning
to believe what's wrong may be more than just what Red did to bring her
back. Can I really be the only one that sees it? Do Harris, Red and Demon-Girl
really believe that everything is as hunky-dory as they pretend? If they
do, they're bigger idiots than I thought them to be.
I'm over-reacting. I saw Buffy last night, briefly, while I was on my
way home from a blood run. She told me she knew she hadn't killed the
girl and that she knew who did. Didn't give me half the details Red did,
but at least she told me. Also told me she was mad at me for trying to
dispose of the body, that the police would have quickly realized she hadn't
been responsible. I pointed out that by the time the incredibly brilliant
police force of Sunnydale had deduced that, Social Services would have
moved in to take Dawn away. Didn't have a reply on that one, just told
me she'd pulled the late shift at her job for the next week so she wouldn't
be able to see me. Told her I'd take patrol and she shouldn't worry.
very civil, lasted only a few minutes, but she didn't have that haunted
look about her. Wasn't running away, but taking care of business. It wasn't
the greatest, but maybe it's a start.
this, and only Spike thought to write and let him know what was happening.
Xander, of course, would be busy with the wedding, and Anya had both the
wedding and the shop to occupy herself. Willow might have dropped word,
though she would be more likely to do that via e-mail rather than pen
to paper. Perhaps he should get that modem hooked up. He'd ask Olivia
if she knew how to handle it.
to hear you won't make the wedding. Would be nice to have another adult
to talk with, though I've been given hints I may well be expected to help
entertain the guests Anya's invited. I know Buffy would like to see you
again. She misses you something terrible, to the point that she's actually
talked to me about it. If I could, I'd spirit her away from Sunnydale
and bring her to visit you. If it rained enough, I might even be able
to go sightseeing with her during the day.
more to report, except to remind you Buffy's turning twenty-one soon,
and you know she'd like at least a card. Send something cheerful that'll
put a smile on her face. She's so beautiful when she smiles and I haven't
seen that enough lately.
for the offer of the phone. If I need to call, I will, but I wake each
night hoping things will get better and I won't have to call in the Cavalry.
Problem is, I already did by writing you, didn't I?
slipped the pages back into the envelope, but made no move to rise for
several minutes. There was supper to start and guests to arrive soon --
several younger members of the Council, including Lydia Chalmers. At least
he could tell Lydia her thesis had arrived safely.
comfort when he wanted to be halfway around the world in an instant.
Post-Older and Far Away
Entry 6 - Reasons
the person I was hoping to see."
in Anya's voice made Spike pause on the steps that led down into the central
portion of the Magic Box. A grim-faced Whelp seated on a stool in front
of the counter did little to reassure him he wasn't about to be accused
Even as he
hesitated, Anya was around the counter and grabbing his arm to pull him
forward. "I need your opinion on something."
looked grimmer and Spike had the terrible feeling he was about to be used
to settle an argument. A wedding-related argument. "Um, vampire, remember?
We're not known for our taste."
sure," Xander grumbled under his breath. Spike decided it wasn't even
I've known lots of vampires in my thousand years, and a great many had
wonderful taste." She indicated the fabric samples on the counter. "Xander
and I are having a disagreement as to whether or not the napkins should
match or contrast with the tablecloths. I'd like your opinion. The green
is the color of the tablecloth."
And a hideous
green it was. What was it about becoming a vengeance demon that gave women
such awful taste? Wait. If they'd exhibited good taste in, say, men before
they became vengeance demons, they wouldn't have taken such a route. "Um,
matching?" Spike offered, wondering whose side he'd come down on. Matching
wasn't great, but it was better than the alternatives.
relieved and a moment of male solidarity was achieved. "See, Ahn? Even
Fang Breath thinks we should do matching."
wasn't the answer she wanted, given the way Anya was pouting. "If it was
up to you, what would you choose?" she demanded.
white." He flashed her a smile. "Anything other than that would have me
poor mum rolling in her grave. Anything from Giles?"
over to pull an envelope from the space next to the cash register and
thrust it into Spike's hands. "I should have known better than to ask
As he beat
a hasty retreat toward the front door, Spike heard Xander saying, "He
has a point about the white…"
Glad to have
escaped the land of wedding preparations, Spike wandered down Sunnydale's
main drag, heavily populated in the early evening. He was eager to read
the Watcher's latest news, but he didn't feel particularly like wandering
back to his crypt. The night was pleasant, hinting at an early spring.
On a whim,
he stopped at the Expresso Pump and ordered up a large cocoa. A single
sip told him it wasn't anywhere near as good as Joyce's, but it did buy
him the right to occupy one of the establishment's tables and he claimed
one that allowed him a clear view of the people strolling by. Settling
into one chair, he propped his feet on another and pulled the envelope
from his pocket.
hear that you received the thesis and I do understand your difficulties
in getting through it. Miss Chalmers' style is, unfortunately, just as
solid as her research. The comments will be welcomed. She knows I maintain
some form of contact with you (though I have intimated it is through Anya
rather than directly) and was pleased to learn you'd begun reading.
to make as many comments regarding Angel as you wish; they will be more
than welcome. There's been an increased interest in him due to certain
recent events and several younger members of the Council, Miss Chalmers
among them, are competing to see who can produce the best paper. I am
certain that your particular…viewpoint of Angel will be greatly prized,
and I trust you will express yourself in your own inimitable style. I,
for one, would like to hear the origin of the nickname "Peaches."
So the news
of Angel's fatherhood had made it across the Atlantic; it was the only
possible spin Spike could put on the phrase "certain recent events." Not
surprising, really. Every demon on the West Coast knew and more than one
had been more than happy to communicate the news to Spike -- at least
until he made it painfully clear the topic was off-limits with him. He'd
spin Miss Chalmers a right pretty tale about the Great Poof, include all
the embarrassing details he could remember. Rupert should enjoy that.
are more mentions of Angel to come; I especially look forward to your
comments on the theory that Angel sired Drusilla out of his jealousy over
your liaison with Darla.
on his cocoa and barely managed to avoid upsetting the cup as he hastily
set it down. Darla? Him? Sure, when they were drunk and Angelus wasn't
available, but he'd spent a hundred years blotting out those particular
Wait a sec.
He reread the paragraph and smiled. The Watchers' precious records had
gotten it wrong yet again, and Giles knew it. Spike wondered if the theory
was Miss Chalmers' or belonged to someone Giles had a particular dislike
for. He'd have to skip ahead to check.
continues to plod on the subject of research into the protocols of Osiris,
and I have formed my own small group to see what we can uncover. This
is strictly unofficial, so not all of the material is available to me,
but we will do what we can. There are certain items the spell requires
and I need to see if you can uncover where Anya procured the Urn of Osiris
and what happened to it after the ritual. This could have a powerful impact
on our findings.
hope someone is actually watching Willow when she's allowed in the Magic
Box, rather than just accompanying her and leaving her at the table once
they get inside. There's a reason why I put the more dangerous texts and
items upstairs and I imagine Anya would be the first to notice if she
tried to go up there. However, even the simplest of spells could prove
destructive in her current state. I fear the only way to "cure" this is
for her to go back to ground zero and decide whether or not she really
wants to do magic and why. Given life on the Hellmouth, I imagine there
are numerous temptations vying for her attention.
brings up a point I've been pondering, Spike -- just how much magic do
you know? You seem to have a fair knowledge of the demon world and I know
you have done at least one major ritual, but how extensive is your knowledge?
When Willow's spell blinded me, you seemed to have a good idea where to
look for a reversal spell. I'm asking partly for my own curiosity, but
also to know how to explain what I do uncover.
a frown to Spike's face as he wondered how much he should share. He couldn't
lie and claim he'd done little or none, as Giles would see through it
instantly. He had to know how much research had gone into the ritual to
restore Dru's health and that it wasn't something to be undertaken by
a rank amateur. Of course, Red had been close to that when she'd ensouled
Angel and only a little better when she brought Buffy back.
Dawn, it was probably best that you enforced Buffy's desires as to her
visits to your crypt. I do hope you are making some time to visit her,
though, as you said you would attempt to; she grew quite attached to you
during the summer and I have the feeling from your letters that Buffy
might not be providing all the attention that she needs. If more comes
of the Social Services issue, please let Buffy know I'd be happy to do
what I can to provide a reference for her. I know she won't tell me herself
until too late, so I fear I will have to rely on your good graces once
confess that the anniversary of Joyce's death had slipped my mind. Strange,
but sitting here so far away, it's easy to think of her as still with
us, perhaps just stepped out to the kitchen to fetch more tea or cocoa.
She was a great source of strength and I sometimes wonder if Buffy has
ever truly grieved for her loss.
and I did discuss you once. It was after the disinvite spell, though I'm
unsure as to whether it was before or after you spoke with her. She was
worried -- and with some justification, I might add. Angelus caused her
a great deal of distress when he told her that he and Buffy had been together
and with the death of Jenny Calendar and his other tricks, she was not
at all happy at the idea of yet another obsessed vampire stalking her
daughter. To my surprise, she was upset you had behaved in such a manner
because she held a genuine affection for you, far more than she ever did
for Angel. I believe she hoped the two of you could make your peace with
one another eventually.
and the words on the page momentarily swam out of focus. Dear Joyce. What
would you think of me now? I hope you know I'm doing my best with your
girl and I'll make her happy if she lets me.
a request for flowers to Sunnydale Florists to mark the anniversary and
sent word to Anya to pick them up and make certain they're placed on Joyce's
grave. Could you please check with the florists before they close that
evening and deliver them if Anya should forget? I didn't think you would
mind the imposition.
you prove to be my only source of news, much to my annoyance. I have heard
nothing from Buffy regarding the incident with the girl you describe,
though her behavior is not as out of character as you might think. Remember
Faith, the rogue Slayer we were looking for at one point? After you had
left Sunnydale the first time, Faith worked with us for a while. She was
somewhat uncontrollable, giving in to her darker impulses and one night
accidentally mistook the Deputy Mayor for a vampire, plunging a stake
through his heart. The man died and Faith disposed of the body over Buffy's
objections. Faith turned rogue shortly thereafter, joining forces with
the Mayor. To make a long and complicated story short, she is now serving
time in prison for what she did, but not before causing a great deal of
havoc and emotional upset.
remembering. He'd snarked at Giles' request for help, saying he'd point
the girl in their direction, but he'd walked away with a firm intention
to avoid the woman. Rogue slayers were nothing to laugh at; he'd seen
only one, a girl in Chicago during the Twenties. He had watched her fight
four of his minions at once, high on bathtub gin and cocaine. Angelus
would have been impressed with her viciousness.
It was just
his luck; he'd tried to help Buffy and bollixed it in more ways than one.
How was he to know Faith had committed murder? He'd been fruitlessly chasing
after Dru at the time.
felt very strongly that Faith's behavior was wrong, that she should have
gone to the police immediately, even after I told her the Council had
ways of dealing with such matters. Believing herself to be in a similar
position, I have no doubt her first instinct was to turn herself in and
that she was unhappy with your efforts to help her. She might have well
viewed a confession as a possible escape from her current unhappiness,
but it is also in keeping with the girl I know. For what it's worth, I
believe you were honestly acting in her best interests -- the repercussions
you mentioned with Social Services were all too possible, especially when
one considers Buffy was previously accused of Kendra's murder.
It made some
sense, but Spike couldn't help but think Giles was wrong in this. That
Buffy would be horrified at the idea of causing an innocent girl's death
he had no doubt, but Giles hadn't seen how she'd been that night. More
than ever, he wished the man hadn't decided it was necessary to return
ways, however, I fear your behavior may be less than helpful. I am not
at all surprised that Buffy is feeling some separation from Xander, Willow
and the others -- I imagine she still harbors resentment toward them for
bringing her back. If you encourage her to slip away from them, no matter
how delightful the process may seem to you, she won't have a chance to
work through these feelings. Will her friendship with them be the same
as before? I doubt it, no matter how hard they try to make it so. Too
much has happened for them to fall back into the simple, trusting ways
and I predict stormy weather before all is done. Buffy needs to face her
issues, rather than hide from them.
as I don't wish to pry, you mentioned the existence of a bond between
yourself and Buffy. I will accept your statement that you have done nothing
that would allow blood to call to blood (and yes, I know exactly what
that means -- the by-product of being too well read on the subject), but
I cannot help but find myself curious as to what could be causing such
a pull. Aside from the obvious, can you think of anything that might be
the source of this?
he really didn't want to know about Buffy's sex life -- probably didn't
want to admit she had a sex life -- but his concern was obvious. Spike
hadn't given the words a second thought when he'd written them, but they'd
clearly sent Giles into a panic. He was probably imagining some horrible
dark ritual Spike had performed without Buffy's knowledge, evil doings
that should not be spoken of by any decent man. Likely the Council had
books full of such things, locked away in a "special" section where those
who were too innocent for such prurient knowledge could not be harmed.
With a chuckle,
Spike reached for his cup. If he was cruel, he could have a great deal
of fun with this. Of course, too much fun and Giles would appear in Sunnydale
to stake him. Discretion was the better part of valor.
has been dispatched for Buffy's birthday. Let me know what disaster decides
to befall Sunnydale this year. As you might have noticed, her birthdays
never pass quietly.
the pages and tapped them idly against the table. They were speaking past
each other at the moment. Was it because of the distance that separated
them or because Giles didn't want to see how tangled the situation was?
Spike didn't want to believe the latter and knew it wasn't merely the
former. Maybe it was him projecting his own fears onto the situation.
Maybe he was so deep into the thing that he couldn't see straight.
been his intention to open this dialogue with Giles, merely to get help.
Now he found himself enmeshed in a conversation that was veering far from
its original course. Unfortunately, what he'd said in that first letter
was still true -- he needed to talk to someone, and no one in Sunnydale
public space now?"
brought Spike out of his reverie. Xander was standing on the street side
of the low cement wall that surrounded the Expresso Pump. "Man's got the
right to enjoy a cuppa, Harris."
for the cup and shook it to find it empty. Shoving the letter back into
his pocket, he stood, eyeing the trashcan thoughtfully. He was about to
attempt a basket when one of the servers stopped and held out her hand.
With a shrug, Spike handed the cup over and prepared to leave.
still standing there as he reached the sidewalk. "I think Anya might be
re-thinking green for the tablecloths."
hell did she find that color? I've seen six-day corpses that looked better."
"Must be Martha Stewart's color of the moment. What can I say? I'm just
hoping that once this wedding is over, some sanity will be restored."
"This is Anya we're talking about, remember?"
seem to be anything else to say, so Spike started away down the sidewalk.
After a moment, he heard Xander call after him. "Spike."
what could possibly be going through the Whelp's head, Spike turned back,
fully ready to fall into a nasty mood. Xander didn't speak immediately,
staring at the sidewalk. Then, he looked up. "I wanted to say good job
the other evening -- with the thing and all at Buffy's. Glad you were
actually a thank you, but it came pretty damn close. A hundred smart replies
flitted across Spike's brain and he rejected them all. "Not a problem.
With a smile
and a touch to his forehead, Spike headed on down the street. If Xander
could say a kind word, maybe there was hope after all.
Post-Older and Far Away
Entry 7 - Many Happy Returns
unusual for England in February, but not completely unknown. Giles hoped
this storm was the last gasp of winter and that spring would be close
behind. It'd been some time since he'd enjoyed an English spring and he
was looking forward to the sight if for no other reason than he had grown
tired of the incessant winter rains. Clearly, six years in California
had left their mark.
travelling was easier between London and Bath; no need to keep an expensive
car in working order to make the trip. The station was in walking distance
of his flat and if the weather was foul, as it was today, there were always
cabs. Still, he had to admit a certain regret for the loss of his convertible,
even if he'd been fully aware of the amusement it'd cause. How had Spike
described it? Shiny, red, shaped like a penis. Even under the influence
of a mind-wiping spell, the vampire had managed to get straight to the
heart of the matter.
The cab let
him off in front of his building and after paying his fare, Giles made
the quick dash inside without dropping any of the books he carried. The
research he'd been asked to do shouldn't take more than a day or two,
but Giles couldn't help but wonder if Travers wanted him busy and out
of the way.
resident expert on Angelus, Travers had said, and you might be aware of
some circumstances that would shed some light on the Nyazian prophecies.
You've actually met most of the parties involved. There might be some
things others have missed. While it was flattering to have his field work
acknowledged and be lauded as an expert, Giles couldn't help but wonder
if they wanted him occupied while their research into the protocols of
the books on the nearest table, Giles fetched the mail and dropped the
small stack atop the books before going to change out of his suit. A brief
shower later, he was clad in more comfortable clothes as he sorted through
the various circulars. When he saw the envelope with the Sunnydale postmark,
he smiled and tossed the rest aside for later. A few more pages than usual,
which Giles hoped meant Spike had good news for him for once.
birthday has come and gone and we have managed to survive, wonder of wonders.
It was, as expected, a fiasco, and I suggested at one point that she might
want to consider not celebrating the day. I mean, the Judge, you turning
into a Fyral demon, the Bit learning she's the Key, and I imagine the
Council probably insisted on putting her through that insanely stupid
ritual when she turned eighteen. Waste of a good slayer, I say.
to raise an eyebrow at that one. Where had Spike learned about the Tento
di Cruciamentum? He knew he shouldn't be surprised since he was coming
to realize the vampire had a considerable amount of knowledge about slayers
and the Council, much of which was known to few outside the inner circle.
A pity he hadn't known about Spike's research capabilities while they
were in Sunnydale; they might have come in handy from time to time.
you all about the festivities, but first I want to answer a few of the
questions you put to me. Don't know if anyone bothered to mention that
a group of Hellions rode into town the night Willow raised Buffy; they'd
encountered the bot first, damaged it and the bloody thing led the Hellions
straight to where they were doing the ritual. That's what interrupted
them, and I'll wager the Urn of Osiris was probably destroyed at that
asking Anya in a roundabout way, but her mind's totally consumed with
the wedding at this point, so I doubt I'll get anything from her until
after she and the Whelp get back from their honeymoon. I also tried talking
with Tara, but she's become strangely reticent concerning anything to
do with Buffy.
looked like the avenues of information were being cut off for both of
them. Perhaps he should write Tara himself, let her know he was looking
into the spell. She'd always been so protective of Willow, though, that
he doubted he would have better luck.
to your encouragement, I think Miss Chalmers will be quite pleased with
what I ultimately send her. Yes, I will tell the "Peaches" story
-- and I'm not the one who gave him that nickname. By the way, I happen
to know exactly what "recent event" you're referring to. Every
vampire on the West Coast with an ounce of brains knows about it, along
with half the general demon population. Buffy, on the other hand, does
NOT know. If she did, I think we all would have heard about it.
can think of a gentle way to let Buffy know her great love has had a child
by the she-bitch from Hell, I'd be glad to hear of it. For my part, that's
a mire I want to stay as far away from as possible. I've got enough trouble
with Angel hanging over us; don't need more.
Spike would have heard about Angel's son, but hadn't wanted to let the
information be imparted in a letter. Certainly Spike was watching out
for his own interests in the matter, but here was one point where they
might actually intersect with Buffy's in more way than one.
As far as
Giles knew, Buffy had never truly let go of her love for Angel. It'd caused
some problems for her and Riley and clearly there were issues with Spike
as well in that regard. For a brief moment, he hoped that if anything
good came out of this liaison, perhaps it would be that Buffy could move
beyond that lost love.
the magic -- you've seen the only major ritual I've conducted on my own,
when I healed Dru. Don't like the dark rituals if I can avoid them; too
many hidden costs beyond whatever sacrifices are prescribed. I've done
a fair number of minor spells in my time and do just fine with general
things that have a broad effect, but I've never developed the control
for the finer touch. Not to say I haven't been exposed; the Aurelius line
is lousy with the blood magic peculiar to vampires. Darla was the main
practitioner in our happy little family, having learned most of her stuff
from the Master himself. I spent twenty years acting as her second in
rituals, about the only thing she thought I was good for. Angelus often
couldn't be bothered and Dru, well, would you want Drusilla's help warping
powerful forces to her will? When the group shattered after the Boxer
Rebellion, I happily left it behind except when desperately necessary.
the Du Lac ritual had been cut short by Buffy's intervention and Angel
not completely drained as required, that Drusilla had returned to full
health spoke of a higher level of mastery than Spike gave himself credit
for -- or was willing to admit to. The healthy respect for the forces
dealt with was reassuring, though. Even without an answer to what could
have gone wrong with the spell, Giles had already begun to think ahead
to the possibility that another ritual might be needed to restore whatever
balance had been lost. Even if Willow was in any condition to do what
was required, Giles did not think such it would be wise for either her
or Tara to participate, given their involvement in the resurrection. At
the very least he would need a second and he had no doubt Spike would
be more than willing. Better her mentor and her lover than strangers or
those she held resentments toward.
of magic, remember when I asked if you knew of a local chapter of Magic
Users Anonymous for Red? I was joking somewhat -- you don't give up that
kind of power with twelve steps and positive thinking mantras. Leave it
to the Hellmouth, though; Red has joined a group entitled Spellcasters
Anonymous. Probably a group of Wicca wannabes who caught their first glimpses
of something nasty and ran scared. Type of power Red's been dealing with,
she could wipe them out with a flick of her little finger. Hopefully they're
at least giving her support with her self-esteem issues, because that's
one of her big problems and always has been.
Only on the
Hellmouth. He wondered if they had their own version of the Serenity Prayer.
what I might think would cause me to be able to sense Buffy and her me.
I don't know -- perhaps the fact we're having incredible, passionate,
earth-shattering sex at every opportunity might have something to do with
the letter, reached for his handkerchief and began to clean his glasses
vigorously. No, he did not want to think about that. Perhaps a scotch
you've cleaned your glasses, I'll admit I'm not sure why. Part of it is
her scent; there is something distinctive about Slayers, at least to me.
First time I saw Buffy, I just knew she was the one I was looking for.
I'd been given the description of young, short, blonde, but there were
plenty of those at the Bronze that night. Buffy, though, stood out instantly,
out on the dance floor with Red and Whelp. The longer I've known her,
the more that scent's been refined; I know when she changes shampoo or
bath gel and that she favors light, floral scents. These days, it's heavily
mixed with that special Doublemeat odor, though I'd never let Buffy know.
Part of it is probably the fact that there comes a time of night when
I'm waiting for her appear whether my conscious mind knows it or not.
She can, and has, surprised me at times when I'm not expecting her.
Buffy's end, I thought Slayers were supposed to be able to tell when vampires
were about. That is part of the training, isn't it? Close contact has
probably given me a distinctive signature in her mind as well. At least,
that's my rational explanation for it. Sometimes, though, it defies description.
had never been particularly good at focusing on picking vampires out in
a crowd. For her, it'd always been something about the way they dressed
or did their hair. But Spike didn't know that. He might have to do further
research into vampire mating rituals after all.
Buffy often defies description, which brings us to her party. I wasn't
officially invited, as I think I told you, though Red let the information
go without hesitation, and Buffy didn't seem that surprised to see me
come through the kitchen door. Turned out to be quite a gathering. Nibblet,
Red, Whelp and Demon Girl, of course, but Tara also appeared and Buffy
invited one of her co-workers (girl seemed pleasant enough, but barely
said a word in my presence the entire time). I brought Clem, one of my
poker buddies (yes, he's a demon, but a well-behaved example) as I thought
he might add to the fun.
think any of us were prepared, however, for the guest Harris decided to
invite. Seems Anya's starting to get the urge to do "couple"
things with other people, and since she doesn't know any couples that
admit to being couples, she had the Whelp invite one of his work buddies,
a guy named Richard. Picture Riley Finn without the personality. Moment
he walked in, knew the Slayer could break him in half with just a flick
of her wrist. Harris, however, was all, "Show him where to park his
car, Buffy, because he's too stupid to follow directions."
didn't look too thrilled, but played along (probably to get Harris off
her back). Amazingly, though, as soon as they left, Tara started saying
the wanker was "cute." Cute! Said she wasn't an expert in guys,
and asked if Clem and I thought he was cute. Clem agreed with her. Well,
I don't play poker with him because of his great mind.
seem Buffy thought Richard was particularly cute, though she managed to
be polite, like when admiring a new puppy that might piddle on the carpet.
She certainly wasn't encouraging any of his offers to fetch her a drink
or get her food or spend time together. He kept staring after her with
these big mooneyes. Suppose I can't blame him; couldn't keep my eyes off
her myself. Stupid git. No matter what you might hear, I was NOT jealous.
help chuckling. Ah, to be young and in love. Spike was clearly jealous,
even though he was loath to admit it. Giles remembered when he was younger,
and there was a lady who'd caught his attention only to
Did he just
admit Spike was in love with Buffy? Up until this point, he'd always avoided
the issue, never wanting to admit the feelings Spike expressed were truly
real. But there'd been his grief at Buffy's death, his affection for Dawn,
and a hundred incidents of tenderness and friendship. He'd very much been
a part of the team that summer, joking easily with the others. It was
only when Buffy had returned that he'd retreated into his snide Big Bad
persona, avoiding the others. Caught up in everything else, Giles hadn't
really noticed at the time, but now he wondered if that had been Spike's
way of dealing with his own resentment over Willow's spell.
Yet his devotion
to Buffy had never wavered, and Giles realized he might just have to admit
the feelings Spike expressed might very well be real. Unfortunately, that
might make things even worse.
to think the Scoobies might suspect something, even if they don't want
to admit it could actually happen. Harris is being especially blind; about
a month ago he caught Buffy and I together in Buffy's kitchen. Nothing
much was happening except a little exchange of affection, but Xander acted
like I was the only one doing anything. Even suggested at one point that
I needed a girlfriend. I imagine, though, that what he's denying could
possibly happen is exactly what spurred him on to bring Buffy her birthday
less sure about, but she's seen me show up at the house and left us alone.
She even gave Buffy a back massager for her birthday, said it was for
taking out on patrol and could provide instant gratification for all her
little acheys. I was good, Rupert. Didn't say a word. Didn't have to,
since Buffy looked right over at me.
one is Tara. She's really begun to blossom since she separated from Red,
but I'd never quite realized what a wicked sense of humor she has. The
first time was when she had the stones to ask me if I thought Richard
was "cute." Later, she caught me in the hall with Buffy and
asked if anything was wrong. I tried to play it off (since I assumed Buffy
hadn't changed her stance on keeping her friends in the dark about us),
said I had cramp Buffy was helping me with. She looked me dead in the
eye and asked, "In your pants?" Not a stutter or hesitation.
Later, I made some comment and she asked how that cramp was. Then she
suggested I put some ice on it. Could've knocked me over with a feather.
others suspected something was going on seemed likely. That they weren't
certain or were in denial was probably the only reason he'd not yet received
frantic phone calls for America. Those would likely be coming soon.
back to the festivities. Did the usual, with cake and opening presents.
Aside from Red's present, Harris and Anya gave Buffy a new weapons chest
Harris had made. Nice piece of work, actually. Wouldn't mind one like
it myself. Dawn's gift was a leather jacket -- and here we come to the
heart of the tale.
continued on -- and on. In fact, the sun came up the next morning and
we were all still there. There'd been a few times when people had mentioned
that they should be going, but no one moved. It wasn't until Buffy and
I had a disagreement and we decided one of us needed to leave that we
realized no one could leave. We physically couldn't make it to the door.
reason this upset Dawn, and she raced upstairs in a fine display of fifteen-year-old
angst. Buffy went after her, followed by me and most of the Scoobies.
Turns out Dawn was feeling neglected and thought our attempts to get out
of the house meant we didn't want to be around her. Buffy tried asking
if Dawn had done some sort of spell to keep us there, but Dawn decided
she didn't want to speak to any of us, so there was going to be no information
phone lines dead, it was decided our best course of action would be to
do a general reversal spell, let us slip through whatever was holding
us there. Problem was, Buffy had cleared all the magic supplies out of
the house so Red wouldn't be tempted. Not surprisingly, turns out there
were a few items that just "happened" to be missed in the sweep.
Good for us, not so good for Red and definitely not good toward rebuilding
her relationship with Tara.
turned out, it wasn't even good for us; Tara's spell didn't break the
barrier keeping us in and managed to loose a demon trapped inside a sword
Buffy had brought home from patrol. She'd thought the ugly had gotten
an ounce of sense and departed in the face of the danger that is her,
but it'd only gone into hiding. So Tara accidentally brings forth the
demon, which immediately tries to kill all of us. Botched it badly and
only managed to slice Richard up nicely before disappearing into the wall.
trapped with a wounded civilian and a big ugly -- and Anya starts to get
cabin fever. Understandable as we were coming up on near twenty-four hours
of the party that would not end with a demon in the walls and wounded
upstairs. Didn't help that I'd been unable to keep the demon from slicing
Harris in the arm. Problem is, Anya with cabin fever starts acting like
Anyanka, cold and determined. She wanted out and decided there was one
person capable of breaking whatever spell we were under: Willow. It's
no secret that Red and Demon-Girl mix like oil and water, but it was never
more apparent than at that moment. Red said she couldn't do it and Anya
countered that is was more like "wouldn't."
hand it to Red, she actually seemed to understand that if she got a taste
of the type of power that it would take to break through the spell, any
effort she's made at controlling things so far would fall by the wayside.
That, however, wasn't particularly a concern of Anya's and she decided
to push the issue. Of course, Harris picks that moment to side with his
woman for once. Tara then surprised me again by coming to Willow's defense.
Had the guts to tell Demon Girl that Willow wasn't going to do it if she
didn't want to and if Anya decided to force the issue any farther, she
was going to have to go through Tara.
down, saying she would solve this herself. When she headed off, Tara took
Clem and Sophie to the kitchen. It was clear she was still upset with
Red over the stuff, even if she was quick to leap to her defense. That
left me with Willow, who was indulging in her second favorite pastime,
beating herself up over her failures, real or perceived. To be more accurate,
beating herself up over her failures, real or perceived and getting her
friends to give her absolution. I've played the game with her myself --
under some very odd circumstances -- but not this time. Told her she'd
screwed up and that if she really wanted Tara back, she needed to earn
Tara's trust before she'd be let back inside. Yes, I was thinking of Joyce
when I said it; it was good advice when she gave it to me.
have time to say much more as we suddenly heard Anya carrying on fit to
wake the dead. Seems her idea of solving the problem was to ransack Dawn's
room to find evidence to support her theory Dawn was responsible for whatever
spell was holding us there. What she found was a nice little cache of
goodies lifted from the Magic Box and other places. We all should have
recognized the signs; if nothing else, there was Sweet's talisman around
her neck even if Harris was the git who'd summoned the demon, but more
were there. Remember the jacket I said Dawn gave Buffy for her birthday?
Nice piece of leather, accessorized with the story security tag. It's
like the girl wanted to be caught, one of those "cries for attention"
you hear so much about from psychologists when they get a TV gig.
his mouth go dry. How long had this been going on? Clearly for some time
and neither he nor Anya had noticed. Things had been such a mess following
Sweet's spell that Giles had forgotten Dawn's insistence that she'd only
picked up the talisman accidentally. Buffy wasn't the only one who'd been
going to have hell to pay for this one, Rupert. Anya won't easily forget
the insult -- the words "punitive damages" were used -- and
there'll be the fallout with Buffy, though that might not be as bad as
might be expected. Buffy's eyes seem be truly open now about how much
she's been shutting Dawn out, which is real and true progress.
all this angst, Buffy managed to get out that Dawn had made a wish to
her new guidance counselor, a woman she hadn't met prior to that. She'd
wished people would stop leaving her -- hence the trapped in the house.
Moment Anya heard that, she knew exactly what was up. She started yelling
for someone named Halfrek, who's apparently a vengeance demon specializing
in mistreated children. Since a vengeance demon's spell can only be broken
by her command or destroying their power center, Anya expected her old
friend to show up front and center and get us out of there.
did show -- and was promptly run through by our other demon. By this point,
Buffy and I had realized we needed to get it back into the sword, so she
grabbed that while I tried to hold it. Thing broke free and dived into
the wall, but Buffy shoved the sword in after it, which did the trick.
Demon caught, she broke the sword over her knee, solving that problem.
left the matter of Halfrek. Anya dove for the woman's pendant, probably
planning to break it to end the spell. Turns out vengeance demons don't
die easily, so Halfrek was able to object before Anya got her hands on
the thing. She told us Dawn's misery had been readily apparent, which
was why she offered her the wish. Scolded us all for our behavior and
said we deserved to be stuck together. Then tried to make a big exit,
only to discover she was stuck there by her own curse. Only way for her
to get out was to lift it, which she did. What can you expect from a vengeance
demon who grandly informed us she preferred to be called a "justice
demon?" Like me saying I'm sunlight and soul challenged.
a snigger. The idea of political correctness reaching the demon world
was ludicrous -- but Giles had learned long ago that there were any number
of demons who seemed to operate on very human levels.
by, could you do me a favor and see what you can uncover about Halfrek?
She seemed to know me -- called me William, even -- but I didn't recognize
her, I think. It was very strange. Maybe I ran into her shortly after
I was turned, 'cause I adopted "Spike" fairly quickly. I'll
look at my end, but I know the best demon books went home with you.
Halfrek gone, we were free to leave. Door opened easily and everyone made
their escape. Xander and Anya took poor Dickie boy to the hospital, while
Red took a short walk with Tara. I was the last one out, and when I looked
back, I saw Buffy closing the door, deciding to stay in with Dawn. Would
have liked to lure her away, but she needed the sis time.
this year's tale of woe. We've all survived with relatively little damage,
and even some progress on Buffy's part. Should've seen her dealing with
the demon problem, Giles. She was aware, in charge, setting me to watch
the folk upstairs while she went downstairs with the firm control of a
general. Then, at the end, seeing her with Dawn, knowing things were going
to get better for them, that they could work it. I saw a genuine smile
on her face at one point, too, saw her actually be happy to be with her
friends. I could live through a hundred birthdays like hers if I knew
I'd see that smile. I know slayers have their own expiration date, but
rest assured I'll do my best to make certain it's a long time coming.
in a few weeks; I'll drop you a line and let you know how it went.
a smile on Giles' face as he laid the pages aside. He was not at all happy
with the idea that Dawn had been shoplifting, but for once he'd actually
heard hope in Spike's words. The tone of the letter was lighter as well,
more the snarky wit he'd come to associate with the man. Buffy was doing
better. Maybe, just maybe, even if they couldn't find anything wrong with
the spell, she would be able to find her way once more.
remember if he'd managed to unpack the books that would cover vengeance
demons or if they were still in storage, Giles made his way to the kitchen
to fix himself some dinner. He hummed as he set the water to boil for
the pasta, in a far better mood than when he'd arrived home. Yes, maybe
spring was just around the corner.
Post-As You Were
Interlude - Catharsis
club was crowded with Thursday night regular, but Spike was certain this
was the one place in Sunnydale where he wouldn't be disturbed. The Scoobies
would never think to come here and the local vampire population had learned
Armand's was Spike's territory -- no feeding allowed.
nights, the idea that a town located on a Hellmouth would actually support
a thriving Goth club was a source of amusement; college students and young
professionals playing at being Creatures of the Night, the very thing
they denied existed during daylight hours. Spike had found the place on
his first trip to Sunnydale but it was only after he'd settled into life
as a chipped wonder that he'd begun to patronize it regularly. He would
sit, drink and laugh at the Anne Rice wannabes, enjoying the peculiar
feeling of superiority it provided him. He enjoyed being a regular, having
casual acquaintances who stopped to say hello, the bartender who knew
how he liked his drinks. There were a few ladies who asked him to join
them on the floor on a regular basis, but nothing had ever progressed
beyond that. For one thing, he was certain some had figured out he was
a vampire. The club's owner certainly had.
other reason he'd ignored veiled invitations was why he was grateful he
was welcome to occupy a corner table as long as he wanted, drinking brandy
and pouring his heart onto the page. Rupert, I'm about to make you
didn't even know if he'd mail the letter; the words were raw, intimate,
with none of the caution or consideration he usually used when writing
Giles. All he had was the hope that if he put his feelings into words,
the ache might somehow be less.
up his glass, Spike took another sip and closed his eyes as he felt the
brandy burn a fiery trail down his throat. For an instant, his mind flung
him back across the years and he could almost see himself in his rooms
at Cambridge, feeling sophisticated as he drank brandy and wrote bad poems
to the goddess of the moon instead of reading his Latin text.
caused his eyes to open and the glass to return to the table with a sharp
click. God, he'd been such a poncy git during his undergraduate days.
Going on and on about beautiful things, refusing to acknowledge anything
that might be unpleasant. "Do not have anything in your home which
you do not believe to be beautiful or know to be useful," William
Morris had said. William the Git had embraced only the first half of the
statement, a desperate attempt to shut out the less pleasant aspects of
She'd called him William and meant it. Was it because Buffy had wanted
him to know how serious she was or because she finally saw the man behind
the monster? The part of him that was William clung desperately to the
hope that if she saw the man, he might one day have a chance.
part of him that was Spike wanted to make Sunnydale burn and the Slayer
pay for her rejection of him.
third part knew he could never cause Buffy great pain; he wanted to make
her sting, feel some of what he felt, but he loved her too much to truly
hurt her. That part also knew that if she walked in at this moment and
said she'd reconsidered, he'd gather her into his arms.
words onto the page, telling of Riley Finn's return. Hurtful words, explosions.
Spending the night outside wondering what had gone so terribly wrong.
Creeping home at first light to survey the damage.
sensed rather than saw the woman standing next to his table. Looking up,
he found his waitress watching him. Like the others, she was dressed in
something straight out of a Dracula movie, tight black velvet bodice over
a black chiffon skirt, though the burgundy streaks in her shoulder-length
hair didn't quite go with the outfit. "Another one?"
considered the glass and the small amount in it. With one quick motion,
he downed it and held it out to her. "Another two."
earned him a raised eyebrow, but Tarantula took the glass and headed for
the bar. So what if he'd had three already? There was money in his pocket
for once and he wasn't so far drunk that he'd cause difficulty for Harry
or any of his customers.
pages he'd already written were spread out on the table before him. Picking
up the pen, he continued, detailing his last conversation with Buffy.
It was like a damn had broken, the words coming rapidly now. Thoughts
spilled directly onto the paper with no pause for interpretation or consideration.
with everything, I still love her.
was done. The words were all said and all that was left was to sign his
name. He did so, and reached for the envelope he'd previously addressed.
Before his courage left him, he folded the pages, shoved them inside and
licked the flap before closing it.
been a while since we've been graced with a truly broody vampire."
looked up, not bothering to hide his annoyance. "Wrong vampire. You
want broody, go to LA."
chuckled as he took the chair on the opposite side of the table. "Considering
you are the only one I've actually had a conversation with, I think that
would be difficult."
chose that moment to return and place the two brandy snifters on the table.
Without asking, Harry reached out and took one. "I wanted to thank
you for the idea of the squirt bottles for the holy water. Came in quite
handy the other night."
like a good idea," Spike said with a shrug. It'd been during the
summer that he'd first approached Harry with some suggestions on handling
some of Sunnydale's more unsavory and undead denizens after dusting three
in one evening, the last in a dark corner of the club. The man had taken
Spike's rantings about just wanting a quiet evening without having to
play cleanup because he was busy doing that elsewhere surprisingly well.
A week later, Spike found himself conducting Vampire 101 for the club
employees and designing a basic protection supply list. The work earned
him a few hundred a month and half-priced drinks at the bar.
your suggestion about negotiating a bulk rate at the Magic Box worked
out quite well. I should tell Anya it was you who suggested I talk to
her; she might give you a commission."
The word came out a little more forcefully than Spike had intended. "I
mean, I'm not really looking for a commission or anything like that --
I'd just rather Anya didn't know I was involved."
would wonder how Spike was familiar with Harry. Then she would tell Xander,
because it was obvious Anya told Whelp everything, although Spike had
to wonder how much Xander bothered to hear. The way Spike's luck went,
though, Xander would hear that bit of news and spread the word to Willow
and Buffy, all of whom would come tromping in to see what big bad evil
he could possibly be up to in this place. Not only would Spike lose a
retreat that was his and his alone, but given the way the Scoobies dressed,
Harry wouldn't thank him for their presence. Harris in particular would
bring the tone way down.
reached for the brandy, still chasing the warmth to numb the pain. Writing
had helped, but there was still a big hole inside his chest. "I saw
you writing," Harry noted. "Finally writing your memoirs? Still
say you'd be as big as Anne Rice, possibly bigger."
get me going on Anne Rice. You know my opinion there." Spike took
another swallow. Most of the regulars knew as well, thanks to Spike getting
rather drunk at one point and holding forth extensively as to why she
was just wrong. That had been at one hundred and twenty-three days after
best revenge is living well. Write your own book and outsell her."
Harry chuckled. "That's why I started this place. Someone else had
one, but it was filled with idiots who went on and on about the 'Lonely
Ones.' All soppy and high school gothic romance ignoring the unpleasant
parts. We live in a place where there's a tremendous amount of supernatural
activity and most of it's not friendly. I give people somewhere where
they can play at the darker, more dangerous sides of their nature before
they go back to their humdrum lives and pretend none of this exists."
winced and swallowed the rest of his drink in one gulp, desperately wanting
the burn of alcohol down his throat. You just love to play the thought
that you might misbehave
he put the glass down, Harry was looking at him, all humor gone from his
face. "Okay, I think I just overstepped a line there. I haven't seen
you like this since
the summer, which I do not want to talk about." He didn't
care that his voice was snappish; he hurt and there was a great temptation
to lash out at something. The chip would go off, but then he could concentrate
on the pain in his head instead of the pain in his chest.
enough. I'll have Tarantula get you another snifter since I stole one
of yours." Harry stood, started to turn away, but turned back. "I
meant what I said. The best revenge is living well. Come on in Saturday.
I've got a new band in you might enjoy. You can charm the ladies and that
might make you feel better. Your recent absence has been noted."
shook his head. "Can't. Believe it or not, I have a wedding to go
to on Saturday."
I think I understand." His eyes flicked down to the table. "Want
me to mail that for you?"
stamped it yet
problem. I'll just add it to your bar tab." Harry scooped the letter
up and walked away.
stare at his empty glass, Harry's words setting themselves up on a nice
replay loop in his head. Living well
he certainly wasn't doing that
at the moment, what with a destroyed crypt, broken relationship and mangled
heart. Funny thing was that he now felt like tucking his tail between
his legs and running out of town seemed like giving up, like he'd been
beaten down and proved to be everything that had been said about him.
what to do? Clean out the mess downstairs first, decide what he needed
to keep and what needed to go. Stop flopping at the Crawford Street place
because it didn't smell of Buffy, didn't remind him of her everywhere
he looked. Crawford Street belonged to Angel; the crypt was Spike's home.
It would take time, but he could rebuild; maybe not in the same way, but
for his own comfort. Maybe he'd get a nicer TV.
that's what he'd do. Live well and show that his world hadn't ended just
because Buffy left him. He'd survived when Dru had left and he could do
it again. In fact, he wanted Buffy to see he could do just fine without
her. He'd show up at the wedding on Saturday with a smile on his face,
all right with the world. Maybe he'd even bring a date like Harris had
knew exactly what type of date he'd like to show up with: tall, leggy,
with a body that wouldn't quit. Someone who would cause every male head
to turn and envy him. That would show her. Not hurt her, but give Buffy
a little twinge that it could have been her on his arm.
was starting to feel just the tiniest bit of warmth inside and knew the
brandy had begun to work its way into his system. It was a great plan,
but his problem was to find the right girl. For a moment, he thought about
asking one of the ladies he knew at Armand's, but quickly nixed the thought.
This wasn't the time to be giving mixed signals, and he didn't actually
want to go with someone who thought this might be a signal they were seeing
each other. For one thing, he couldn't quite rid himself of the image
of Buffy throwing herself at him, insanely jealous, telling him and everyone
else that she'd been wrong and she did love him. It was a lovely thought,
even if it would never happen.
other thing was that he didn't really want to lead anyone on, set them
up to be hurt like he'd been. Which left out just about every girl he
appeared with the promised drink. As she put it down, Spike looked up
with a grin. "Doing anything Saturday afternoon, pet? I've got a
proposition for you
Entry 8 - Pain
of not one, but two letters from Spike caused Giles a twinge of guilt.
He'd been a bit remiss in replying, but the research Travers had set him
to had proved more engaging than he'd anticipated and he'd really wanted
to learn more about what Lydia had uncovered regarding funding slayers
before he'd written. Now, though, there was no excuse.
he'd have a quiet evening for it; no guests were invited over and he wasn't
supposed to see Olivia until tomorrow. His plans had been to follow down
some Sumerian texts that might have collateral bearing on the Nyzian Prophecies,
but he couldn't resist the lure of news from Sunnydale.
wounds, even gaping ones like I suffered. I'm doing better than in my
last letter. Sorry you had to read that; not really certain why I let
the damn thing be mailed.
longer considering leaving Sunnydale, either.
had Giles off the couch and reaching for the phone, mentally calculating
the time difference between Bath and California. What was Spike talking
about? He'd made no reference to leaving town in his last letter.
He must have accidentally grabbed the second letter first. Putting the
pages aside, he slit open the other envelope. The first thing he noticed
was that the writing seemed somewhat shaky, as if the author had been
putting words on paper as quickly as he could. With a feeling of dread,
he began to read.
to make you very happy. Buffy and I are quits. She's told me it has to
stop, and this time I believe she's serious.
felt his blood run cold. He'd been anticipating this moment from the start,
wondering what would happen when Buffy came to her senses and decided
to end the affair. Intellectually, he knew Spike wasn't like Angelus,
had seen it proved often enough, but there was always that small kernel
of doubt in the back of his mind. Drusilla was mad and no one understood
how that might affect a turning, and Spike had once admitted that Angelus,
for all practical purposes, had filled the role of his sire. What lessons
had he learned?
still in his bed, the perfect scene set for the discovery.
the image away and focused back on the letter.
been singing the same tune for weeks now — "We can't keep doing
this." "This is the last time." "Don't tell anyone."
Each time, though, she kept coming back for more. I'd even begun to hope
she might care for me deep down under all the mess. Just kept thinking
that if I kept working at it, things would get better, that we might have
you believe she actually told me she wanted me? She's denied it from the
start — acted as if each encounter was an aberration. Now, when
she's leaving me, she finally admits it. Said it made things simpler for
a little while when she was with me. She said she was using me, that she
couldn't love me, that she was being weak and selfish.
told me it was killing her.
caused Giles to wince. He could only imagine what effect they must have
had on Spike. He remembered all too well in those first days how Spike
had blamed himself for not keeping Doc from Dawn, how he should have been
faster, stronger, a bit cleverer.
wanted to hurt her. I thought — I hoped — that our time together
might be helping her. She'd reached a point where she'd relax, not run
off once the deed was done. We'd talk, I'd see her laugh and smile. She'd
even started to trust me.
things had changed. In the beginning, every time we were together was
like a battle. We destroyed things, Rupert, and never noticed,
so caught up in the moment. Buffy would limp home with bruises, I'd be
nursing bites and we'd lick our wounds until the next round. The last
week or so, though, it was different — gentler, sweeter. We weren't
so frantic to get down to business. And I began to hope.
caused him to wince again. Giles had tried not to think of the mechanics
involved and Spike had been blessedly mum on the subject, but now he couldn't
turn away. There was pain in these words, and he felt his throat tighten
for the hopes that had been dashed.
really blame it on Captain Cardboard, though his arrival was the signal
of the end of days. Yes, Riley Finn came back from the jungle long enough
to wreak havoc on my life. I swear, if this chip was out of my head, I
would have drained the bastard dry without a second thought. Should have
suspected something was up when Buffy came to my crypt, looking very cute
in black commando gear, wanting information on someone called "The
Doctor" who was trafficking in nasties on the Black Market. She tried
to be all business, but there was something about her that said she wanted
more. Asked her if the business was urgent, and she asked if I loved her.
What could I say? I've loved her for so long now. She asked if I wanted
her, and again, what could I say?
so vulnerable, so in need of reassurance. I thought this was going to
be it, the moment when she told me I was more than just a convenience,
that she actually cared for me. We made love that night, different from
all the acrobatics that had gone before. She even drifted off to sleep
next to me when we were done, something she hadn't done since our first
night together. I just watched her, wanting the moment to last forever.
walked in. We were in the top level of my crypt, so he found us immediately.
I was stupid, didn't put things together immediately. She must have known
Soldier Boy was back, been working with him to track down this dealer.
She must have known he'd come to my place sooner or later. Instead, I
couldn't resist the opportunity to crow over what I saw as a triumph.
Before he left town, Finn had told me he would stake me if I ever touched
Buffy — and here she was with me. If he was gonna dust me, I was
at least going to have a little fun first. Angelus always said one of
my problems was that a lot of times I don't use my head to think.
As much as
it hurt, Giles could almost see the scene. Of all the people to uncover
this liaison, why did it have to be Riley? He'd never been overly fond
of the boy and more than a little suspicious of his continued ties to
the government, but Buffy had thought she loved him and it must been shattering
to have him find her that way.
thing was, Finn didn't even react to seeing Buffy and me together. Buffy
reacted; she started scrambling for her clothes and hiding while she got
dressed. But Finn, he just stared at me and kept calling me "Doctor"
— the name of this dealer Buffy had been looking for. Didn't understand
what he was talking about, just wanted him to get the hell out of there
so I could get back to Buffy.
A stray thought
crossed through Giles' mind. Of course Riley would have gone to visit
Spike if he was hunting for information; he'd done it frequently before
— most likely because he knew he could bully whatever information
Spike had out of him without fear of repercussions. Buffy had to know
that. So why go to Spike if she knew Riley would follow?
had wanted to be found
want to think about the implications of that train of thought. Even with
their friendly communications, he'd always cast Spike as the villain of
the piece, taking advantage of Buffy in this difficult time. If Buffy
had gone to Spike knowing they would be discovered, that vision began
mentioned the eggs.
like a good idea at the time. An acquaintance of mine let it be known
that he needed someplace to store some Suvari eggs for about 48 hours
and was willing to pay for it. I checked the books at the Magic Box and
learned Suvari are pretty harmless and their eggs are considered a delicacy
by some. I agreed to do the job and got the eggs moved into my downstairs.
No special handling needed, but I decided moving upstairs would be more
comfortable for the duration. That's where Buffy had found me when I came
in. I'd had some wild idea that I could give her the money, maybe ease
some of the strain on her. I've been doing odd jobs for a while now, trying
to build up a fund for that proverbial rainy day. It's not a lot, but
it's enough to keep her utilities going for a couple of months. The money
I hoped to make from this would have kept the wolf from the door for longer
than that and still have given me plenty to spend on blood and smokes.
to laugh Finn's accusations off, but he just punched me and started searching
like he own the place. Believe it or not, Buffy actually came to my defense,
said I couldn't be this doctor. Said I was too incompetent, which bloody
well hurt. Finn countered that I was deadly, amoral and opportunistic.
Buffy didn't have an answer. It was like everything I've done over the
past year didn't matter. It hurt.
for the basement and I couldn't stop him. I tried to explain to Buffy
what was going on, but she wouldn't listen; just punched me and told me
to stop playing games with her. That was a laugh. She's the one who's
been playing games, running hot and cold, pulling me in then pushing me
away. She didn't want to hear that I loved her, then she wanted to be
told. I was a thing, I was what she couldn't live without. It's been nothing
but games this whole time, and I'm not the one who's been making up the
to leave. I knew nothing I said or did would make any difference at that
point and I might well say some things I'd regret later. I just got the
hell out of the crypt, found a place where I could be by myself. Behind
me, I could hear Finn telling Buffy to get out of there, that the eggs
two minutes later, I heard my home explode.
to put the letter down again, pacing about his flat. What the hell was
going on in Sunnydale? Demon eggs as delicacies? Riley accusing Spike
of being a black-market demon dealer? The crypt exploding? Unable to stand
it, he grabbed the pages and continued to read as he paced.
see Buffy again that night. Just sat out in the cemetery until daybreak,
trying to figure out what was going on. It felt like Angelus all over
again. I loved Dru for over a hundred years, but Angelus comes back, crooks
his finger and suddenly it was all about her daddy. I didn't matter. I
know it's not uncommon for a vampire to have deep ties to their sire,
but I loved Dru and it hurt to be thrown over so easily.
worse, though — deeper, harder more painful than losing Dru to Angelus
or finding her with one of her demons. At least Dru felt some affection
for me over the years. If Buffy feels any, it is so far buried she can't
admit it to herself. I was just a "convenience" as she so quaintly
put it, something to help forget her problems for awhile. I've listened
to her for hours on end. I've watched her back on patrol. I've worried
for her, over her. When she needed to lose herself, needed someone's arms
around her, I was more than happy to give her that. Even when she needed
something to vent her rage on, I was willing to take that as well. I love
her and I know she's going through a hard time, and I've wanted to be
her strength when she needed it. I've given everything I have, but it
doesn't seem enough.
It was a
cry of pain, of a man deeply hurt by the woman he loved. Giles glanced
at the clock, realized Anya should be in the shop and headed for the phone.
For the second
time that evening, he put the receiver down without dialing. Anya and
Xander were on their honeymoon. Giles wasn't certain who'd be watching
the Magic Box, but it was likely the Scoobies, perhaps even Buffy herself
at that moment. For some reason, he didn't particularly feel like speaking
with Buffy. There was too much here, a glimpse at an aspect of her that
Giles wasn't quite ready to deal with.
sun peeked over the horizon, I headed home to see what damage had been
done. Remember when we wrestled the bed downstairs and Tara and Willow
helped me pick out the carpets? It's all gone now, blown to bits. Someone,
probably Captain Cardboard, had tossed some grenades to stop the eggs.
Just about everything is wrecked; my records, books, my bed, the mementos
I'd kept from years gone by. I've got some clothes, sheets, a few pillows
and whatever I'd brought upstairs for what I thought was only going to
be a few days. Don't know if I'll fix up the place again; don't know if
I should bother.
did come back that morning, much to my surprise. I hadn't expected to
see her, figuring she'd be off with Finn, trying to recapture whatever
fantasy of normality he offers. She told me he was gone, and I stupidly
hoped that she'd come back for a little more comfort, maybe to apologize.
No, she'd come to break if off for good this time.
hundred and forty-seven days, my dreams were filled with ways I could
have saved her. For almost fifty days, I thought I had, only to learn
I'd done more harm than I could have imagined. She said she had to be
strong. Then she told me she was sorry and called me "William."
when I knew she really meant it. She wouldn't have used that if she weren't
saying goodbye. A hundred things, a thousand things flew through my head,
but I couldn't say a single one as she walked away, out of my life.
why Angel took off for LA now; he couldn't bear to be in the same city
with her and not be able to touch her or be with her. For the first time
since I woke into this life, I actually feel sympathy for him. The thought
of leaving's crossed my mind. Part of me wants to flee, put as much distance
between her and me as possible. Part of me wants to just curl up in a
hole until the pain stops, but that probably won't be until I turn to
dust. Maybe I should leave Sunnydale, travel the world again. Maybe I
should come home. If I show up on your doorstep, would there be a place
for me, Rupert, until I got my bearings again? I have a few friends here,
some acquaintances, but most of them know Buffy. As for family, there's
only Angel and Drusilla. Don't know where Dru is and don't really want
to know. Angel would probably stake me on sight, which is making Los Angeles
sound like an awfully attractive possibility at the moment.
still the Bit to worry about, but I doubt I'll have the chance to see
her again; Buffy won't want me around now that we're quits, and I won't
have the girl sneaking off in defiance of Big Sis. If I do go, I'll make
sure I say goodbye, spin her some tale — don't want her hating Buffy
on my account. She'll be hurt and cry, but I'll try to make it right by
this now. I've laid enough of my troubles on you and I don't know what
to do next. I will promise you I won't do a love spell and I won't go
stalking or hurting Buffy and her friends. Even with everything, I just
couldn't do that to her.
everything, I still love her.
blurred and Giles reached under his glasses to press his fingers to either
side of the bridge of his nose. His eyes were itching and no matter how
much he wanted to deny it, he knew the reason why. For the first time
since Spike had blown into their lives some four years ago, he sounded
completely adrift. There had been times when Giles suspected he might
be aching, but it was always hidden under that bravado, the snarky smile
and the easy assurance that he was, indeed, evil. When Buffy had been
dead, Spike had hidden his grief behind complaints that the Scoobies were
holding him back from killing things while on patrol. Only in rare, unguarded
moments had the pain been obvious in his eyes. He wasn't bothering to
hide it now and Giles knew how deeply he must be aching to let the mask
defiance of everything he had been taught and believed, Giles couldn't
help but feel Spike was the wounded party here. He was a vampire, a soulless
creature of evil who'd tried to harm them all more than once. Buffy should
have staked him long ago and never given it a second thought. And yet,
it was hard to picture Sunnydale without Spike now. He'd very much become
a part of their lives — an annoying, irritating part, to be sure,
but a part nonetheless.
through the pages again, wondering why Spike had chosen to open his heart
so fully to him. Ironic that in the midst of all the pain he felt, he
even tried to put to rest the fears he must have known Giles would have
about revenge. Perhaps he was the only one Spike felt comfortable dropping
his mask to; he certainly couldn't imagine any of Buffy's friends providing
a friendly shoulder and news like this would travel fast in the demon
community if Spike unburdened himself there.
Giles poured himself a scotch and reached for the second letter.
wounds, even gaping ones like I suffered. I'm doing better than in my
last letter. Sorry you had to read that; not really certain why I let
the damn thing be mailed.
longer considering leaving Sunnydale, either. While things are painful,
I do have a life here and people I care about. Besides, there's always
hope. I know what you're thinking — crazy, obsessed vampire doesn't
know when to quit. He's dangerous; stake him now. Grrrrr.
himself smile. This was more the Spike he knew; clever and not above a
bit of self-mockery.
truth, don't know how Buffy and I will end up, but I think we might be
at a point where we can actually communicate again. It got lost in all
the kissing and the shagging, and I've missed it. Nice to think we might
be able to actually sit out on her back porch of an evening and talk.
Will it happen anytime soon? Not likely, but the possibility is there.
to Whelp and Demon-Girl's wedding two days after I wrote you last. Interesting
cross section of humans and demons and Harris' family. The Bison Lodge
actually looked pretty nice; the bridesmaid's dresses were among the most
appalling things I've ever seen. Don't know if you're old enough to remember
Carmen Miranda, but it was one of those types of dresses, square neck,
little bit of fluff for the sleeves, close fitting down to the knees,
then rows of ruffles to the floor. Big fabric cabbage rose corsage right
over the heart. Best part? They were made from this bright shiny satin
in a green a frog wouldn't come near. Glad to see Anya decided to follow
the human tradition of making the bridesmaids look as hideous as possible.
serving as greeter and have to say that the Little Bit isn't quite so
little anymore. Getting as tall as me, when last summer she barely came
to my chin. Turning out to be quite the beauty, too, all thin and Audrey
Hepburn-like. I can't imagine Anya not wanting to send you pictures of
the wedding party when she gets back from her honeymoon, and I'll think
you'll be surprised to see how grown-up Dawn looks.
got poise, too, which was good because I'm afraid I'd come up with one
of my less brilliant ideas. Harris had said I could bring a date, so I
decided to take advantage of the offer and asked someone I knew to come
along. I'm afraid I was trying to make Buffy jealous and succeeded in
looking like a complete ass to Dawn. Hit the idea that the lady with me
was my date a little too hard, though I think she couldn't resist the
temptation to run and tattle to Buffy like I wanted. Gave me that look
she has, though. You know the one — the "why are you being
so stupid?" look.
that look very well. There had been times when Dawn seemed to wear it
constantly, and he knew Spike had been on the receiving end as often as
any of them.
are moments when I actually feel sorry for Harris. After spending time
in his basement, let's just say I hold the Fungus Demon Drusilla left
me for in higher regard than the Whelp's parents. The wedding hadn't even
begun and already his father was three sheets to the wind, publicly insulting
his wife and trying to pick a fight with Anya's friends. Buffy came running
to the rescue, facing a challenge never faced by a Chosen One before:
keep the groom's dad away from the booze, while trying not to mangle him
for making a pass at her. She rose to the task, though.
mingling, but felt too itchy to sit down when everyone else was getting
settled for the ceremony, so I just kinda loomed at the back against the
wall (it's a vampire thing). So I'm looming and Buffy comes by. We managed
to say hello in a civil manner and exchange a few words. She actually
admitted that it hurt a little to see me with someone else and I found
myself at once glad and wanting to make it better. That was when I decided
that it was likely best I go. I mean, if Harris saw me with Tarantula
(yes, my date was named Tarantula; she's a waitress at a club I know),
he'd feel compelled to make some comment, I'd feel compelled to respond
and it wouldn't be a good thing. Besides, Buffy seemed to be having a
good time and I really didn't want to ruin it for her.
me I didn't have to, that I had a right to be there, but I could see it
was hurting her. She's got so little joy in her life at this time, who
am I to take it away? Told her to wish the happy couple best of luck and
that it was nice to see her happy, even if it was just for them. She was
beautiful, with that glow she gets when everything's going right. Told
me she was glowing because her dress was radioactive.
soggy again, and I swore I wouldn't do that, but it was nice. We shared
a laugh and then she had to take off, see to things. It was good though,
and that's why I can't give up hope completely. May be a fool's dream,
but it keeps me going.
stay for the wedding, but grabbed Tarantula and took off. She knew why
I'd invited her, so there wasn't really a problem, although I had promised
her she'd get fed. Took her along to dinner then headed home. I decided
to stay where I am at the moment, so there's a lot to do there. Sorry
I don't have a better report for you on the festivities, but I think you'll
understand why I felt it best to depart.
remember to pick up the flowers you sent for Joyce. Funny, I thought she
would have forgotten with all the last-minute wedding plans, but the last
time I talked to her she mentioned them and that she found the gesture
very thoughtful. They were beautiful, even if I only saw them by moonlight.
on the stipend from the Council? The Doublemeat Experience continues and
I think we'd both like to see her out of there as soon as possible.
mention that Miss Chalmers thesis survived the Finn invasion; I'd brought
it upstairs with me to make some notes, so I should be able to send along
some commentary soon.
news I have for the moment, though I imagine something will pop up soon
since Sunnyhell is never quiet for long. Do me a favor and forget what
I said in my last letter, please? Better still, if this one has gotten
there first, just burn it without reading.
the pages once he was done and slipped them back inside the envelope,
as was his habit. The tone of this letter reassured him somewhat that
perhaps the situation was not as disastrous as Spike's last letter had
made it sound. The question also arose, disastrous for whom?
day he'd received Spike's first letter, Giles had been hoping Buffy would
come to her senses and break off the affair. There'd been enough repercussions
within the Council concerning Buffy's relationship with Angel; the reaction
to an affair with a non-souled vampire who'd killed two slayers was not
something Giles wanted to contemplate. A slayer and a vampire were simply
For a brief
moment, Giles considered calling Buffy and breaking Spike's confidence
to ask her side of the story. He couldn't picture the girl he knew diving
into a relationship where she didn't at least think she cared for the
man. Yet, according to Spike, Buffy had said she couldn't love him, that
she had simply used him.
was considered and discarded almost instantly. Buffy would not be forthcoming
and his questions would only raise questions of her own as to why he knew
this information. Besides, such a delicate conversation was best handled
face to face rather than over the phone and such a meeting would not occur
anytime soon. Worse, if Spike was indeed the injured party in this situation,
he would likely only suffer from Buffy's discovery that he had communicated
of Spike's first letter still lay on the coffee table where Giles had
left them before picking up the second. He considered them for a moment
before folding them and replacing them in the envelope. Perhaps it would
be best to do as Spike had asked and pretend he hadn't read it; that would
be one way of dealing with the situation. But that was where these problems
had started, hadn't it? All of them, even Spike, had ignored things they
didn't want to see — Willow's addiction to magic, Buffy's withdrawal
from the world around her, Dawn's loneliness, Spike's feelings —
and that way why things were reaching a point where some sort of explosion
Time to stop
hiding. At this moment, he didn't think flying back to Sunnydale would
serve much use, but there were things he could do here, advice he could
give, that might help matters. Buffy was still his slayer and he'd come
to regard her and her friends as family. He'd speak with Lydia in the
morning, push ahead on the idea of a stipend. No, it wasn't a stipend;
a young woman who had died twice and nightly put herself forward against
the forces of darkness deserved a salary to keep her and her sister in
letters to write, too. Just because Buffy hadn't written didn't mean Giles
should let himself be slipshod. He'd get the e-mail account set up, try
to stay in contact that way. He should do more than just be content to
Anya's quarterly statements about the shop come without question.
bit more energized, Giles made his way to his desk and pulled out his
stationery. Yes, he needed to write Buffy and get e-mail addresses from
Willow and Xander, but there was another letter he needed to write first,
advice and support offered. He owed him that much, at least.
and read both your letters. You may not believe this, but your news did
Entry 9 - Support
Box was dark, just as it had been since Anya had closed for the wedding,
the only illumination provided by what light filtered through the grating
over the main window. Spike supposed he should feel some guilt at sneaking
in while she was away, but there was the small matter of seeing if he
had mail from Giles.
quite a bit of mail piled up on the floor under the slot, along with a
few notices for packages being held because they couldn't fit through
the slot. Spike scooped the material up and carried it to the counter.
Quickly, he sorted through the stack: circular, circular, invoice, circular,
circular, chamber of commerce birdcage liner, circular
was there, about halfway down, so he had no idea how long it had been
waiting for him. For the first time since their correspondence had begun,
Spike felt some trepidation at the idea of opening one of Giles' letters.
He'd had few regrets in his one hundred and twenty-odd years; letting
Harry mail his pitiful wailings was one. He couldn't remember everything
thing he wrote, but what he did was pretty pathetic. How the Watcher would
respond had been weighing on Spike's mind ever since.
that no one would interrupt him in the shuttered store as long as he didn't
turn on any lights, Spike tore open the letter, tilted the pages to catch
the filtered light from the windows and began to read.
and read both your letters. You may not believe this, but your news did
sadden me, if only because of the pain it has clearly caused you. I am
glad Buffy has broken it off because I feel it is the best thing for her
to do -- which I am certain is no surprise to you -- but I am sorry for
the manner in which it happened. While I may question some of your actions,
I have come to believe you have honestly tried to make things better for
Buffy and to care for her as best you know how.
Of all the
things Spike had imagined Giles would write, nothing had prepared him
for this. He swallowed, unable to continue for the moment. There was a
part of him that longed for someone to acknowledge he was trying to do
right by her, and here it was from the last person he'd expected it from.
of a relationship is never easy; it is far too easy to get caught in the
trap of recriminations, bitterness and might-have-beens. From what I know
of your history, while you have a number of years on me, I believe I may
well be your elder in this arena. If you will allow, I would like to trespass
on our familiarity and offer some advice.
not insult you by mouthing platitudes; the pain you are feeling is quite
real and will not be dismissed by a few quaint phrases. Only time will
dull the pain and that process is individual to each of us. Remember that
for all she has been through, Buffy is still very much a young woman and
finding her way in this world. For all the hellgods and apocalypses she
has faced, she is still somewhat sheltered and unsure of herself. I say
this not to excuse her, but to remind you that your own experience is
much broader. Even laying aside the issues of a vampire and a slayer,
you were reared in a very different time and place with a different set
of ideals and values. You each see the world in a way that may not be
that you spoke at the wedding; do not try to read too much into it. I
left Sunnydale not because Buffy could not stand on her own two feet,
but would not, despite my efforts to help her do so. As far as
I know, Buffy has never spoken with Dawn about the incident at Halloween;
she left that completely in my hands, despite my prompting that she needed
to provide some guidance for her sister. I had hoped that by removing
myself, she would be forced to take up her responsibilities. Instead,
she simply found another place to hide.
Just as Spike
had accused her of doing. Another swallow, and he decided that it was
best to settle himself on the floor. He'd likely be here for a while.
this failing in someone I care for as a daughter is neither easy nor pleasant,
but I think we are both keenly aware of Buffy's flaws. They are a part
of her and their presence has done nothing to diminish our feelings. But
we should not ignore their presence or let them cloud our judgement. If
Buffy is to ever find a place for herself in this world, she must learn
that she cannot simply place her future in the hands of others. If you
truly love her, do not let her use you as a way to avoid her responsibilities.
and foremost, you need to tend to yourself and your needs. Allowing yourself
to be used only diminishes you and I feel you have far greater potential
than what we have seen. Yes, when we lost our memories I said that when
I looked at your I felt familiarity and a vague sense of disappointment
because it is true. I have seen you show courage, fortitude and loyalty
in the face of insurmountable odds; I have also seen you act maliciously,
cowardly and for your own gain with no thought for those around you. You
are better than that. I still feel that the placement of the chip in your
head was for a higher purpose than mere government experiments, but only
you can uncover that purpose. Perhaps the time to do so is now.
let your love for Buffy so consume you that everything else in your life
is lost. It might be time for you to leave Sunnydale -- not because I
desire you to be away from Buffy, but so you can discover who you are.
Do not, under any circumstances, however, go to Los Angeles and confront
Angel. It would not please me to learn he had dusted you.
a smile. Maybe old Rupert was just being polite, but he certainly had
a way with words. If he didn't want Spike dusted by Angel, it was most
likely because he wanted to reserve the pleasure for himself.
a visit home would prove a restorative for you and I am certain there
are ways to smuggle you into the country even with the heightened security
that accompanies travel these days. If you do decide to return to England,
you have a place to stay, William -- as long as you promise not to eat
all my Wheatbix and rinse your mug once you've finished your blood.
It was that word that made the offer sincere and real. Oh, Giles would
be glad for him to be gone from Sunnydale, but perhaps there was some
genuine sympathy there. Whatever the motivation, Spike could feel the
tug inside to see the Mother Country again. It would nice to walk green
hills, enjoy actual weather. The last time he'd been in England, Dru had
been sick and there was precious little time to do anything but worry
over her and get them transportation to America, Sunnydale and the Hellmouth.
If he returned
now, he could linger, think through things, decide what he should do without
all the distractions life here presented. Wasn't sure how he'd feed, but
Bath likely had a butcher shop that would be willing to sell blood.
truly believe there is a possibility you and Buffy to build a lasting
relationship built on mutual trust and respect as well as affection, then
you should follow your heart in this matter and stay. It is not what I
wish for Buffy, but if you believe it to be possible, it is not my place
to stop you. If, however, she cannot return your affection, I urge you
not to pursue it. Doing so will only cause you more pain. Try not to let
your heart blind you in this matter, but listen to your head as well.
of England flew from his head. Was Giles giving him his blessing? Upon
re-reading the words, Spike realized that was far from the intention,
but the words were something much more. For whatever reason, Giles was
actually giving advice based on what was best for him, not what
the watcher wanted or what he might think was best for Buffy.
back, letting his head rest on the glass of the counter. Follow your
heart. He wanted to so desperately, but he knew Giles was right. If
she couldn't -- wouldn't -- love him, it was better to walk away. Problem
was, it was difficult to know if there was any hope as long as she played
the game of being kind in private, rude in public. Until the moment she
admitted she could speak with him without having to justify it as shaking
him down for information or some other foolery, they were locked in a
game that wouldn't change and only hurt them both.
advice I can offer is to think before you act. When one is hurting, it
is all too easy to lash out blindly in an effort to numb the pain. I know
too well the temptation to give in to that urge and you were witness to
one such occasion. The effect is only temporary and often causes more
harm than relief. If you have managed to pass that point with only the
attempt to parade another girl in front of Buffy to make her jealous,
there may be hope for you yet.
On a happier
note, I must confess to a bit of envy that you are able to watch Dawn
blossom into a young woman. I'm looking forward to the pictures though
I confess a bit of trepidation at your description of the dresses. Suffice
to say Xander does not love Anya for her subtle and refined taste -- not
that Xander would know such if he tripped over it.
So he wasn't
the only one who thought the Whelp an uncultured oaf. That was a consolation.
I am still
working on the compensation issue. Miss Chalmers has uncovered several
situations where Slayers were actually paid stipends by the Council because
of varying circumstances. We are attempting to work this into a coherent
presentation as to why this should be extended to Buffy as a way of making
certain she can perform her calling without resorting to seeking menial
rush to any decision concerning your status in Sunnydale. Think through
your options and let me know. Take care. Be well.
He sat quietly
for a long time when he'd finished, watching the light patterns on the
floor slide into longer shadows. There was much to consider in Giles'
words, some of which he didn't particularly want to. The man spoke the
truth, though. He'd let Buffy use him and not called her on it, so glad
to just have her near him for a little while, lose himself in the fantasy
that she might care. Hell, in some ways it was like shagging the bloody
bot -- only the bot didn't hit him.
kept her dirty little secret, but the time for that was past. There'd
been too many secrets since she'd come back: where she'd been, how she
felt, what had passed between the two of them -- and she wasn't the only
one. Willow casting spells that went bad, Dawn's stealing, there were
others, he was sure. Problem with secrets was that sometimes vital information
was hidden until everything blew up in the worst possible way. Even if
it didn't blow up, it festered inside you.
down at the pages in his hand. They weren't friends, not by any definition
of the word. They seemed to understand each other, though, two men who
loved the same woman and wanted to see her safe and well. Their methods
differed, but the purpose was the same. Maybe he couldn't ask for friends;
maybe the best he could ask for was an ally. If that was so, he could
certainly do worse than Rupert Giles.
than he had in some time, Spike levered himself off the floor and stuffed
the letter in his pocket before heading for the stairs that led down to
the basement. Making his way toward the trap door to the sewers, he considered
snagging some Burba Weed, but didn't. Wasn't actually any fun knicking
the stock when Demon-Girl wasn't there to complain or threaten to make
him work it off. When she came back, then he'd do it.
to come back, anyway, when she returned to open the shop again. There
might be more mail from Giles and Spike thought it wouldn't hurt to see
how Anya was holding up. After all, he thought, us demony-types
gotta look after each other. No one else will.
the pocket that held the letter. Make that almost no one else.
Setting: Post-Normal Again
Entry 10 - Back to Normal
Olivia had forwarded the letter from Bath
when it became apparent Giles would be tied up in London for
at least a week. It was at times like these he was glad the
Council's main building had comfortable accommodations for
those who might need to be in residence for one reason or
another. Better than staying in a hotel and the easy access
to the Council library at odd hours was a definite plus.
The one problem was that the doormen seemed
to take a special interest in everyone's coming and goings
and what mail was received. "News from the Slayer, then?"
was the question when the letter was handed over.
Did Travers have the men on watch, reporting
back on what came and went? Giles wouldn't be surprised; the
more he was welcomed back into the fold, the more jaded he
became. "I do have a few other correspondents in Sunnydale,"
he said, keeping his tone purposefully light. "A business
partner, for one."
The man nodded as Giles went on his way. He'd
have to tell Olivia to slip any other letters inside a covering
envelope; wouldn't do to let Travers or his spies know just
what he was receiving.
He found Lydia Chalmers in the dining room,
enjoying tea, papers spread out across the table. "Join
"Don't mind if I do. Go ahead with your
work. I've got something I'd like to read."
She ducked her head to glance at the postmark.
"Sunnydale? Do you think it might be William's comments?"
Henderson had been right; Lydia Chalmers was
possessed of a rather large crush on a certain vampire after
all of one meeting. Giles felt a twinge of guilt for using
that crush to his advantage, but let it pass. Lydia had quickly
moved from tool to willing conspirator. "I'm not certain.
If it is, I had hoped it would be somewhat thicker. Probably
just more news from Sunnydale."
A quick glance confirmed that it was indeed
the latest news, and Giles had no reason to doubt this would
be just as cheerful as his other letters.
If I was a wiser man, I would be able to
take your advice to not put too much into whatever scraps
of kindness I receive from Buffy. Unfortunately, a century
of living has taught me that I'm still love's bitch, no matter
how many protests I might make to the contrary. Every ounce
of common sense I possess says I should walk away from here,
but I'm well and truly tied. What's more, how can I walk away
when I think I've finally realized exactly what's wrong with
I don't know how the research is going
at your end, but I think our problem has nothing to do with
how Red's spell was performed and everything to do with Buffy's
state of mind. Any possibility the Council has a shrink that
might actually be able to handle the problems of a slayer
who's returned from the dead? A few months on Dr. Freud's
couch might do her a world of good -- although Freud might
get too caught up in the symbolism of a young (presumably
virginal) girl being called to thrust stakes into the hearts
of the reanimated shells of men.
Giles put the pages down for a moment. "Lydia,
has there been any work done recently on the psychological
aspects of the Slayer?"
She frowned. "I don't think so. Most
of the work done in the last few years is what they were able
to glean about Faith — and much of that comes from what psychological
profiles the Council could get its hands on from the prison
psychologist. Is there trouble?"
"No, just something Spike wrote triggered
This particular revelation came about painfully,
as most do here in Sunnydale. Ran into Buffy on my way home
from doing a little grocery shopping a few nights ago. It
was awkward, so I decided to stick to a nice, neutral topic
and asked her how the wedding went after I left. Turns out
it didn't. Harris apparently up and bolted, leaving Anya at
Giles' exclamation was unfortunately loud
enough that it attracted the attention of others in the room.
"Sorry," he said in general and turned his eyes
back to the letter, trying to ignore the curious glances.
Have to admit that left me more than a
bit surprised. If there's one thing in this world I thought
was predictable and dependable, it was Xander Harris. Boy
puts one foot in front of the other and follows something
to the bitter end once he's said he'll do it. He's the one
member of the blasted Scoobies I could see with the house,
picket fence and 2.5 kids, even if the idea of a little Harris
gives me the willies. Buffy seemed shaken by it, too, and
sounded a bit annoyed at the fact the Whelp thought he and
Anya could get back together after he'd hurt and humiliated
her. Don't know a thing about that, now do I?
"Giles, is anything wrong?" Lydia
looked genuinely concerned, and Giles began to wish he'd retreated
to his room with the letter instead of joining her.
"I just learned my business partner was
left at the altar." He shook his head, re-reading the
paragraph. "I don't know what could have possibly gone
through Xander's head to do such a thing."
"That was the young man who worked with
"Yes, and, well, he and Anya seemed so
happy together. They only announced their engagement at Halloween,
so this is quite a shock. Oh, thank you," he said to
the waiter who poured fresh tea into his cup. "I'm surprised
no one's called."
"Perhaps they couldn't reach you. You
have been busy with your research and the investigations we've
" But he'd also gotten
his computer set up and sent e-mails to Willow, Xander and
Anya, asking them to write back. So far there had been silence.
Any possibility we might have had of a
pleasant conversation was scuttled by the arrival of Red and
the Whelp himself. Harris made some smart remark about not
being surprised I was "tagging along" with Buffy
on patrol. I was ready to ignore it, but Buffy jumped up all
guilty-like and made out that she was trying to interrogate
me. Can't have a simple conversation with Spike; has to be
all about finding out information. That was enough for me
and I decided it was time to take my groceries and go home.
It was clear I wasn't welcome.
Now, I know I shouldn't let Harris get
to me, but I'll confess to being a bit on edge of late. That's
the best explanation I can think of rising to his bait when
he told me that I should run along. Told him he should know
a thing or two about that, making big exits and all. That
hit home and we started puffing our chests at each others,
a couple of bull seals making ready to do battle. Willow tried
to stop us, but when Xander pointed out that I couldn't hurt
him, I decided the headache would worth a few good punches
in the face. Problem was, he sucker-punched me just as I finished
putting my groceries down.
Fight didn't go anywhere from there, because
Buffy started moaning like she was in pain. It was clear she
wasn't okay — her eyes were unfocused, she was pale (and
I mean my type of pale), and obviously in some type of distress.
I suggested we get her to my crypt since it was nearby, but
Harris took control of the situation and made it clear she
was their friend and they didn't need my help, preferring
to walk her all the way home instead of letting me carry her
a short distance. Made me mad to be shut out like that, told
my concerns didn't amount to anything.
Giles could understand the feeling quite well.
They were both shut out; him by distance, Spike by jealousy
within the group. It had to be jealousy of some kind; Giles
could think of no other reason for Spike to be so shut out
after they'd worked together so closely over the summer. Based
on Spike's previous letters, Giles was fairly certain Willow
and Xander had begun to suspect Buffy might reciprocate some
of Spike's feelings, even if they didn't know the extent of
what had happened. Xander's reaction seemed much the same
as he'd had with Angel: do whatever he could to separate Buffy
from Spike without caring if that was what she wanted. Angel
had borne such efforts somewhat stoically; such was not Spike's
thing is, the next evening Harris shows up on my doorstep, telling me
we need to go demon hunting. Doesn't ask,
just assumes. Suddenly I'm an integral part of the team. Hell, who am
I kidding — I'm the hired muscle who's called on when needed. I
went, though. Turns out Buffy had been poisoned and was having delusions
she was in some kind of asylum where Sunnydale was simply a figment of
her imagination. As often happens in demon-poisoning cases, Red needed
the demon itself to whip up the antidote. Since Harris is at least bright
enough to know he can't tackle these sorts of things himself, I was invited
along for the ride.
What he'd neglected to tell me was that
the demon was a Glarghk Guhl Kashama'nik. Didn't think there
were any about in North America; last time I saw one was close
to fifty years ago in Montenegro. Ugly, mean things. Probably
summoned up special just for Buffy by those three annoying
little rodents who are after her. Anyway, Harris and I capture
the thing and wrestle it back to Buffy's. Made sure it knocked
into the whelp a few times, which soothed my temper a little
bit. Chained the beastie up in the basement and held on while
Red poked it to extract the skewer. She headed off to put
the antidote together in the old-fashioned chemical way, while
I stood guard in case the thing got loose.
I should probably mention that Anya's apparently
taken off for parts unknown and left the Magic Box closed
in her absence. Harris has a key so he was able to get the
herbs Willow needed. Don't know when she's coming back or
what her plans are for it, but thought you should know.
That was not good news, and the fact Anya
had sent no word, made no provision to keep the shop open
worried Giles deeply. Had D'Hoffryn been invited to the wedding?
Was it possible Anya might be considering a return to vengeance?
He feared for Xander if that was so.
I did get a chance to see Buffy later.
Willow had handed off the antidote and asked me to make certain
Buffy drank it before leaving us alone. I wanted to talk,
to tell her that she was right, that keeping secrets was
killing her and she needed to stop doing that before she could
get better. Before I could get more than a few words out,
though, she told me I needed to leave her alone, that I wasn't
a part of her life. Don't know if it was the delusions talking
or if she meant it, but it was the last straw for me. So I
told her what I thought, without wrapping it up in the hearts
and flowers like I'd intended.
For a while now, I've been convinced that
much of what was going on with Buffy was her refusal to accept
some of the more primal nature of her calling. She is a vampire
slayer; killing my kind is what she was born to do. I've seen
her on the hunt, both by her side and as her opponent. She's
magnificent, Giles, the best I've ever seen or fought. But
possibly being drawn to the darker side of her nature isn't
the problem here. She's miserable, has been ever since she
came back, and she can't help herself. Somehow, she's managed
to work herself into a nasty case of martyrdom, become addicted
to the misery her little friends caused when they pulled her
out of heaven.
That's why I've been her dirty little secret.
Sure, I could see her keeping quiet if that first night was
all we had. Then it might have been an aberration, lust on
her part no matter how much love there was on mine. But she
kept coming to me, telling me with her body that she wanted
me even if her mouth wouldn't form the words. She couldn't
tell her friends, though, because she might actually have
to be happy if she did. They'd either understand and help
her — and we've seen how wonderfully successful their help
can be — or they'd turn away and I'd be waiting there for
her. Either way, she'd find some peace.
Giles reached for his tea, wishing it was
something stronger. Had Spike really said this to her? They
were strong words, though Giles saw more than a grain of truth
in them. Perhaps they needed to be said, but Buffy seldom
reacted well to blunt statements.
Buffy needs to start living again, get
off the bloody hero trip for a while. She needs to stop keeping
secrets, because that's a large part of what got her here
in the first place. She won't admit to her hurts, her joys,
just keeps it all bottled up inside, festering away. She tried
to make everyone think they were right and she'd needed rescuing
from some dread hell dimension; you saw what fun that caused
when she was forced to admit the truth. Now she doesn't want
to admit her desires because actually putting it out in the
open would stop this ugly little cycle.
I told her all that and gave her a choice:
she lets her friends know about what's passed between the
two or us, or I will. Either way, the secrets are going to
stop. Buffy needs to live for herself, not some twisted ideal
of what she thinks she's supposed to be. Do I think this will
bring her back to me? The wild fantasies hope so, that she'll
admit to her feelings and we can begin again from a better
place, but somehow I doubt it. Most likely, her little gang
will rally around her to keep the big bad Spike away, help
her "get over" her attraction. If she stops beating
herself up, though, starts to live again, I think I can deal
with it. Maybe we can both move on.
Spike was at the end of his tether; that much
was clear. Anger, frustration were all evident from his words.
Pushed much farther, and there was no telling what he might
I'll keep my fingers crossed on your proposal;
not having to worry about the financial aspect would remove
another barrier to Buffy actually dealing with her own problems
rather than the rest of the worlds.
Finally, I have to thank you for being
there and listening to my ramblings. Knowing I had this outlet
has been more of a lifeline than you can possibly imagine
over these past few months. We have our differences, but we're
both trying to do right by Buffy and your efforts and advice
have been a comfort. Next time we see one another, I owe you
a few pints.
P.S. As I ended this, I heard of the Queen
Mother's passing. You should have seen her during the Blitz,
Rupert. Made me proud to be English. Strange to think I have
seen the installation of the first Empress of India and the
passing of the last. Don't matter what the history books say;
Victoria couldn't hold a candle to Elizabeth Bowles-Lyon.
Giles folded the letter and slid it back into
the envelope. "Lydia, I think you'll have to excuse me.
Tell the others I won't be able to make it tonight."
"Of course, but
Rupert, what's wrong?"
Her eyes were worried behind her glasses.
He pushed away from the table, reaching down
to take a final sip from his cup. "I think I need to
make a phone call, and I don't know how long it will take."
Post Normal Again
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?
Entry 12 - Just a Few Comments...
It wasn't until Giles slid the papers out of the envelope that he realized
he was a bit worried about what Spike might have written regarding Lydia's
thesis. He'd tossed the idea out simply as a carrot to draw her into his
plans and hoped Spike would be able to come up with something appropriate.
was when he'd thought her as a tool, someone who might be of use but nothing
more. Now he'd begun to appreciate her abilities and found not a tool
but an ally, one he was loathe to insult by handing her a poorly written
critique. Spike might be able to write coherent letters, but this was
another arena entirely.
pub was quiet and Giles took a sip from his pint before picking up the
sheet of notepaper that lay atop the pile of larger pages. Unlike his
letters, Spike had mailed this in a larger envelope, allowing the pages
to arrive flat and unwrinkled. At least he had some idea of presentation,
which was a promising sign.
it is in all its glory. Don't know if it's what she's looking for. It's
been an age, literally, since I last had to write commentary and I was
told then that I strayed from the point far too often.
When would Spike have written commentary? Giles had been surprised at
the polish of Spike's letters, a marked contrast to the Big Bad persona
he wore. But commentary?
answer came back almost immediately: at university, before he was turned.
Another clue there was more to him than they all knew and another piece
in the puzzle.
apologies for having taken so long in getting this to you, but I imagine
Giles has supplied some indication as to how interesting things can be
on the Hellmouth.
a creature of darkness and evil, I appreciate the unique opportunity you
have provided by allowing me to read and comment on your thesis. After
all, it's not every day a vampire gets the chance to correct some of the
misconceptions and misinformation that may spring up in a century or more
a note as to your sources. The Chronicles, while extensive, are at times
based on rumor and garbled stories from frightened peasants. As such,
the actions of one vampire are often ascribed to another. I realize that
this particular volume is the seminal text for most of the research done
by the Council (along with the diaries of various watchers), but it is
a compilation of material, much of which has been lost or destroyed. It
is not actually a primary source but a secondary one, a consideration
which I find often overlooked. Also, many of the facts on the Order of
Aurelius are simply wrong. Peregullum has an excellent section on the
Order that corrects many of the errors in the Chronicles, as least based
on what I know of the family lore that was passed down to me. I would
also recommend Tresmyrion for some of the more esoteric pieces.
had to have been at university; Giles recognized the faintly academic,
pedantic tone immediately. Oxford or Cambridge? he wondered. If
I knew his last name, I could check.
cannot comment on the veracity of the Watcher Diaries as a whole except
to note that at times my recollections of events are somewhat at odds
with the excerpts you quote. This can be put down to a) I was there and
the watcher wasn't, b) perspective, and c) personal biases. We all have
mention your sources because, unfortunately, much of the early part of
your thesis is based on certain fallacies that have crept into the Chronicles.
To begin with, I am considerably younger than the almost two hundred years
listed. Second, I far prefer "Spike" to "William the Bloody."
Third, I have absolutely no idea where anyone got the idea that the Great
Poof was my sire instead of Drusilla.
sounded a bit more like Spike. Giles made himself a mental note to explain
Spike's various nicknames to Lydia.
bloodline flows as follows: the Master made Darla, Darla made Angelus,
the Poof made Drusilla (after driving her mad), and Drusilla made me.
Since the date listed for Drusilla's turning is fairly correct -- no,
I won't give you the exact date as I'd never reveal a lady's age -- that
makes it rather difficult for me to be almost two hundred since she hasn't
reach one hundred and fifty yet, now doesn't it? As to the deeds attributed
to me during the early part of the nineteenth century (when I was not
yet even a gleam in my father's eye), most of them can be put down to
various other vampires, including several from the Order of Aurelius.
I am, after all, hardly the only vampire to be turned who was named William.
Angelus' human name was, in fact, Liam, the Irish derivation (and another
excellent reason to adopt a different name).
I can think of was that following the death of Yujan Wu in 1900, her watcher
or some other chronicler assumed since I had killed a slayer and Dru and
I set out on our own shortly thereafter, I must be a more senior or "master"
vampire. A master doesn't have to be older, but one who has kicked sufficient
butt so he won't be mistaken for or treated like a minion. Being the head
of your own family or killing a slayer makes one a master. Doesn't mean
there aren't others further up the food chain who can still call you on
things. The Master was the Master until the day Buffy rammed a stake through
his heart and even after killing two slayers, crossing him is not something
I would have done lightly, if at all.
have numerous comments regarding Angelus, but since they are not necessarily
germane to the main body of your work, I have appended them in a separate
provide a correct summary of my early history, I was turned in the late
1800s by Drusilla (making me between 120 and 130 years old) and became
part of the lovely little family known as the "Scourge of Europe."
It was, I must confess, a reputation made mostly by Darla and Angelus,
though Dru and I did our parts in the next twenty years to uphold it.
My original splash was made as William the Bloody, but I quickly chose
to adapt "Spike" as more in keeping with my new life. We were
a quartet until 1898 when Angelus was first cursed with his soul by the
gypsies, then Darla, Drusilla and I made our way through Poland, Russia
and onto China over the next two years while Angel tried to find himself.
Showed back up just in time for the Boxer rebellion and Yujan Wu's death,
only to decide his soul prevented him from enjoying the normal life of
a vampire and taking off again.
must applaud you for your assertion there is "no evidence" to
support Hodgson's theory that Drusilla was sired by Angelus out of jealousy
over my liaison with Darla. Bloody well right, there isn't. Even if the
theory weren't impossible because his timeline's all wonky or ignoring
the fact Angelus would have nailed me to a church door to greet the sun
for attempting to move in on his woman, I wouldn't have bedded Darla on
a regular basis for all the tea in China. Mean, controlling, as likely
to stab a lover in his back as pleasure him -- I prefer to walk away from
bed with my body parts intact, thank you. You can quote me on that.
took another pull on his beer. He was going to enjoy this. Hodgson had
been pushing his theory for a decade now, ignoring any evidence to the
contrary. During Giles' brief return before Buffy's resurrection, they'd
ended up in a rousing argument in the middle of the Council's central
reception hall, highlighted by Giles yelling, "I think he bloody
well knows who his own sire is, you git!"
dispute your use of the word "random" to describe the travels
Drusilla and I undertook following China. Sounds like we simply blew with
the wind, not caring where we went. To the contrary, we always required
that the place we landed be entertaining. Dru was often governed by her
visions while I favored those places that provided the latest in music
and entertainment. It was this combination that led to the diverse nature
of our travels. Believe me, it was not my idea to travel to Norway in
December of 1933. I would have preferred Paris or even Berlin in all its
decadence. I most certainly would have preferred anywhere except
Prague in the spring of 1997, but Drusilla had a vision so off we went.
page 128, you misspelled "Marseilles." That wasn't me anyway,
but a vampire named Harvey, who is of no consequence and long since dust.
statement "William the Bloody has fought two slayers and killed them
both" is erroneous. I've killed two slayers, but have fought nine
at last count. Yes, the number is a bit high for the average vampire,
but I'm hardly the average vampire. I'll admit to seeking out slayers
ever since Angelus first told me of their existence; one can't ask for
a better fight than with a slayer at the top of her game, either against
her or on her side (being one of only two vampires I know of who can make
that claim). I've also fought two slayers at once and lived to tell about
it, which is an interesting but painful story Rupert Giles can relate
survived these encounters by studying the slayers closely and learning
how to read them. Pit a random vampire against a slayer and the odds lie
heavily with her; she is trained, focused and usually dedicated to her
calling. Only when the slayer is wounded or tired -- not just exhausted,
but tired of the fight, tired of life -- do the odds switch. Random events
do happen to shift the balance, but there's a good reason vampires fear
the slayer. With five of the seven slayers I fought who survived, I realized
the odds were not in my favor and chose to break off rather than be staked.
The sixth was Kendra and I was doing quite well until Buffy decided to
take her place.
was a good thing he hadn't known any of this when Spike had first blown
into Sunnydale nearly five years ago. It'd been bad enough learning their
new foe was the Slayer of Slayers, but if Giles had known the vampire
had survived five additional battles, he might have well packed Buffy
off to a safe place.
felt one corner of his mouth quirk in irritation. Pity Angel had not seen
fit to share any of this information at the time. Not that it likely would
have made any difference; Buffy and Spike seemed to move in some bizarre
dance to which only they knew the steps.
seventh, as you might have guessed, is Buffy Summers, quite possibly the
finest Slayer the Council has ever known. Quick, clever, attractive and
highly skilled at kicking ass. I notice your thesis ends before I came
to Sunnydale (you did forget to add "charming" to your final
analysis of me), but if you consider an appendix or addendum at some point,
you might wish to consider interviewing both Buffy and myself, not simply
relying on Giles' accounts. I think the two of us might offer us a unique
perspective and give the Council a fuller appreciation of Buffy's accomplishments.
brought a smile to Giles' face. He'd love to see Travers' reaction if
a series of joint interviews were proposed. He'd have to suggest video
tape to Lydia.
realize that my notes are somewhat general in nature, but more detailed
ones would take far longer and I wanted to get something off to you. If
I should think of anything further, I'll send them off via old Rupert.
If you have questions, he knows how to get in touch with me.
(aka William the Bloody)
Lydia would find the comments more than adequate (and probably show them
off to everyone within five minutes of their receipt), Giles put the letter
aside and turned to the remaining pages.
was only with great difficulty that he did not spew his beer over the
pages. Need to make copies before I give this to Lydia. The first
word was written in the looping style Giles had become familiar with;
the next two words were scrawled in a different ink and underlined, as
if added as an afterthought.
appalling amount of paper has been wasted regarding that oh-so-special
unique, one-of-a-kind vampire with a soul, Angelus, more commonly known
as Angel. There are prophecies, papers, books, chronicles detailing his
accomplishments, methods, defeats and why he's just plain gosh-darn different.
Because of recent events, even more attention's been turned on him.
a vampire should be able to father a child is not completely outside the
realm of possibility. The Balkans are filled with stories of dhampires
and I actually met a man some ninety years ago who may well have been
one; just looked at me and knew what I was. It was not an encounter
I care to repeat. Leave it to Angel, though, to go the legends one better
by not only fathering a child but managing to get one on another vampire.
Given the way watchers love to look for the meanings behind prophecies,
I'm certain the question "Why him?" has frequently arisen. The
answers are beyond me.
basic facts of his origin are correct as far as I know: in 1749, a drunken
Irishman stumbled into an alley, thought he'd found himself a bit of slap
and tickle and woke up with ridges and fangs. Given the little I was ever
able to pry out of Darla of what she knew of his human life, Liam (as
the bog dweller was known) was worthless; gambled, drank, whored, brawled
and busy working his way through his patrimony as fast as he could. The
odds were he would drink himself to death, die in a bar brawl or of syphilis.
Unfortunately, he met Darla instead.
can't vouch for any of the details of his career before I arrived on the
scene. There were tales and stories, but they seemed to shift and change
each time they were told. Sometimes, it seemed Darla and Angelus had participated
in two separate events with people who looked amazingly like their partner.
That Angelus was subject to obsessions, stalking and terrorizing the object
of his "affections" I can verify by the evidence of Drusilla.
Normally quite mad, there were times in the 120 years we were together
she remembered very clearly the pains that had been visited on her. Even
accounting for her state of mind and way of speaking (Dru never says anything
straight if she can use an analogy or a metaphor), I believe the Chronicles
may well be understating the extent of Angelus' cruelty.
but it almost seems as if the writers refer to two separate beings: the
demonic Angelus and the souled Angel. Sometimes I wonder if the gypsies
didn't just curse him with guilt rather than a soul, because post-curse
Angel seems to have more scruples than pre-death Liam. The curse does
not, however, prevent him from acting like a poncy bastard.
By the time I showed up on the scene, Angelus had cruelty down to a fine
art, a fact I became quickly and painfully aware of. He was the unquestioned
head of our little family and brooked no opposition or challenge. We were,
in fact, dysfunctional even for a vampire clan and I've at times thought
the four of us might make a nice edition of Jerry Springer. Of course,
we might end up by eating the audience, but no loss there.
the next twenty years, we careened across Europe, happily causing chaos
wherever we went. We fought, which was not surprising considering Angel
and I developed different ways of looking at the world. I prefer the adrenaline
rush of a good brawl, wading in all fist and fangs. Keeping after someone
until they're a quivering mass of jelly that can't defend themselves just
isn't my style. Angel, however, began his career by terrorizing his village,
culminating in the murder of his entire family. (The idea that this is
a common practice among vampires is something of a fallacy; let me state
for the record that my father predeceased me and my mother died peacefully
in her bed at a ripe old age.) Somewhere along the way, he got the fancy
idea that it was more "artistic" to terrorize a victim before
you killed them. There were times when it appeared he got off on the terror
more than the blood itself.
is what ultimately led to his undoing and the Great Poof we know and loathe
today. In 1898, Angelus decided to stalk and kill a gypsy girl. She was
innocent and trusting and I'm not certain she actually understood what
he was. Her tribe took exception, grabbed a handy Orb of Thesulah, and,
voila, one souled vampire to go. And go he did. Took off running for the
hills without a word (and most of our money in his pockets, I might add),
not to be seen for two years.
we next find our hero, it's in Peking during the middle of the Boxer Rebellion.
Sweet-talked Darla into believing for a moment that he had decided to
turn back to his bad old ways. Not sure why she believed him, except that
she likely wanted him around instead of me. (Don't believe that female
vampires aren't subject to little things like PMS; Darla was. For the
two years Angel was gone.) We might have easily fallen back into our old
patterns except for two events. First, Darla discovered Angel letting
a group of missionaries go instead eating them like a proper creature
of darkness. Second, I killed my first slayer.
wasn't happy with this. I'd just upset the balance of power by doing something
neither he nor Darla ever had. They couldn't safely dismiss me any longer.
Darla was the one who forced the question, offering him the choice of
eating the child of the missionaries he'd spared earlier or leaving. He
chose to leave.
Chronicles don't have much information about Angel for the next ninety-odd
years, nor does the vampire community. He wandered, avoiding most of our
kind, brooding on his fate. I ran into him once in New York during the
early 1980s; at that point he looked pretty bad, almost unrecognizable.
I considered stopping out of sheer curiosity if nothing else, but he made
a break for it and I didn't actually care enough to pursue.
1996 on, his activities are fairly well documented. Moved to Sunnydale,
helped the Slayer, lost his soul again, got it back, got sent to hell,
came back, helped the Slayer, walked out on her (causing endless repercussions,
the bastard), moved to Los Angeles and became Angel, Vampire Detective.
Sounds like he should have his own TV show.
are the facts of his history, but it still doesn't speak to the question
of why this nancy-boy ended up being considered so special by the bleeding
Powers that toss around us around like we were dice in a crap game. Perhaps
the answer lies in his nature or personality, something which I notice
neither your thesis nor the other chronicles speaks to. Allow me to shed
a little light on this oh-so-special shy and retiring vampire from my
a bastard. Uncaring, unthinking of anyone but himself and the moments
he's happiest are divided between brooding (souled) and causing pain and
terror to those around him (unsouled). I've known him for over a century
now and I haven't seen much change since the night I first crawled out
of my grave. Well, except for the brooding. Angelus didn't brood, unless
he got good and drunk. Then he would brood. And sing. Believe me, you
don't want to hear him sing.
Angel has a positive passion for destruction and he's one of those who
happens to think sending the world to hell might actually be a good idea
(See Rupert Giles' report of the Acathla incident). Souled, he acts as
if the weight of the world rests upon his shoulders, as if a single misstep
might somehow bring down Armageddon. He was always cheap, except when
it was something he wanted, like the gel he favors to make his hair stand
straight up. I can vouch for the lemon verbena shampoo, as well as the
oatmeal body scrub. Plotting to destroy the world and he sent a minion
out to refill his supply.
the insistence on luxuries such as gel and body scrubs and complaining
if he got blood on his linen during a kill that earned Angel many of his
nicknames. If you're going to dress for a drawing room when you're going
out into the middle of a riot and then whine that you got dirty, of course
people are going to think you're a poof. Well, at least in my opinion.
I had an opportunity to peruse some of Giles' diaries (see his comments
on the Initiative and how I managed to get this stupid chip in my head),
I noted that he has, on occasion, used some of my nicknames. For the sake
of clarity, the most common ones are Poof, Poofter, Great Poof, Nancy
Boy, Soul-having, Soul-whipped, Souled One and Peaches. Most are self-explanatory,
but allow me to explain the origin of "Peaches."
were in Vienna in 1892. The trip had proved somewhat of a bore until one
evening when we attended a formal soiree in honor of a visiting ambassador.
As Angel always liked his luxury, we dressed well when the occasion demanded
it and often attended the theatre and society events. (I did see Angelus
actually weep at a ballet performance he found beautiful, proving that
there is hope even for the worst of us.) We were looking for dinner and
found nothing to our liking as the crowd was older and probably rather
tough. While it takes a great deal of alcohol to get a vampire drunk,
too much champagne on an empty stomach can make one quite giddy. Darla
had a great deal of champagne, and decided to liven things up a bit. She
dared Angel and me to go up to the musicians' gallery and drop our trousers
for the crowd. As we'd also had a great deal of champagne, we agreed.
surprisingly, wackiness ensued and we decided it was best to end the evening
early. Many a laugh was had back in our rooms but the brightest moment
came when Drusilla chose to describe Angel's appearance in her own charming
and unique way. "It was soft and round," she said, "like
the skin of a ripe peach."
was too much for Darla and I to bear and we immediately began calling
him Peaches. Not surprisingly, he didn't particularly find the humor in
the situation and we were
discouraged from using it. This is to say,
any time I wanted to set him off, the name came up.
over this, I realize I have committed the very sin I complained of earlier:
wasted far more paper and ink on the Great Poof than originally intended.
I will end, therefore, with the hope that you find this piece useful in
keeping watchers gainfully employed in searching for the meaning behind
impossible prophecies. Given all the things I've seen in this world, I
must say there's very little I would call impossible, except perhaps little
green aliens in spaceships who buzz drunken tourists on deserted desert
Angel being able to sing anything on-key.
laid the last page down, wiped his eyes once more and lifted his pint
in silent salute. He could hardly wait.
dining room was almost full and Giles spotted Lydia at a table with five
others. Perfect. Copies had been made and safely tucked away so he could
present her the envelope with the Sunnydale postmark, his address written
on the front. Setting his pace to a deceptively casual walk, he made his
way across the room. "I was hoping to see you here, Lydia."
eyes darted first to the envelope, eager and hopeful. "If you'd like
to join us
shook his head. "Just wanted to deliver this. Spike has managed to
come through at last."
practically dived for it, but kept her calm at the last moment and gracefully
held out her hand. "Spike?" one of her companions asked.
the Bloody. Mr. Giles was kind enough to give him a copy of my thesis
and ask him to make some comments on it."
subject is making comments?" Eyes all around the table lit up. Ah,
the enthusiasm of the younger generation.
leave you to it," Giles told her. "Let me know what you think."
to himself, he made his way from the room, pausing briefly at the door
to look back. Lydia was quite immersed already, with her fellow watchers
craning their necks to get a view."
in or going out, Rupert?"
was the icing on the cake. "Going out, Quentin. Just had to deliver
something to Lydia."
smiled at the man who stood behind Travers. "Hodgson, I believe there
are some things there you might find of interest."
sudden, unexpected crow of laughter came from the middle of the dining
room and Giles looked back to discover all pretense of disinterest had
been abandoned. Lydia's companions were standing now, eagerly reading
over her shoulder.
Note: This is the last entry in the series in all likelihood.
Not that I'm dried up or tired of the series (quite the contrary), but
given the events of S7 so far (through "Never Leave Me"), a
continuation doesn't seem feasible as the series was always intended to
be closely tied to what was happening on screen.
Entry 13 - Whispers in the Wind
writing sprawled across the page, little attention paid to neatness.
all buggered and gone to hell. You'll likely hear the story from the others
and I don't have time to tell it. I'm leaving Sunnydale tonight, you see.
Can't stay here as I am any longer.
chip won't let me be a monster and I'm not a man, no matter how hard I
try. I've been living against my nature and that's got to change. Where
it will take me, I don't know -- but I've never been a big one for looking
too far into the future.
is back, though I don't know how long she'll stay. Don't know if things
can be fixed between her and Harris now; things happened that none of
us intended and we have to live with the consequences.
know about me and Buffy; news came out unexpectedly and wasn't greeted
with resounding joy. I thought things were bad between us before; they're
worse and it's one of the reasons I've got to go.
planning on coming back, but I don't know when and I don't know how. I'm
supposed to be William the Bloody, slayer of slayers; since this chip
got shoved in my brain, I've been Spike the Pathetic. Time for me to take
back what's mine.
know if we'll ever see each other again or under what circumstances. Wanted
you to know so you don't go sending things to me via the Magic Box or
be expecting news. Wanted to thank you for being the only one out of the
whole sorry lot of them that was willing to listen.
envelope fluttered through the mail slot of the flat, coming to rest atop
the growing pile. Olivia would be stopping in tomorrow to pick up the
pile and put it away as she'd promised Giles in his brief, frantic phone
call. There it would wait until Giles' return.