|When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be
Author: LookingForOctober PM
Dear Buffy, If you read this, I'm dead. Season 7 AU in which the Demon Trials were only the beginning of Spike's soul quest.Rated: Fiction T - English - Spike & Buffy S. - Words: 2,132 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Published: 09-13-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8523565
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's note: I haven't actually got to Season 7 in my Buffy/Angel rewatch, so any errors or inconsistencies are entirely my fault. Apologies in advance.
No, wait, any errors or inconsistencies are because this is an AU! Much better.
Left crumpled and scattered over the dirt floor in a rented room in Africa, March 2002:
If you read this, I'm dead.
Just thought you should bloody well know, considering how this is all your fault. So far as I'm concerned, you killed me, so add another vampire to your tally. How many is that now?
Sod you! Do you have any idea what you've done to me?
Well now I'm sodding dead and I hope you're happy.
I love you. I hate you. And I'm willing to die for you. In fact I just did.
Thought you'd want to know that this Big Bad is never coming back to bother you again. Have a nice life.
I really loved you.
Burned, the ashes scattered over the dirt floor in a rented room in Africa, April 2002:
If you read this, I'm bloody insane, because only a madman would send you a letter. You might say only a madman would sodding write a bloody letter, but you're not the one sitting in a mud hut waiting for your bloody foot to grow back.
Do you miss me?
God, what a stupid question.
It's been a month. At this rate it'll be another three or four before I can run fast enough to get from here to the next town in a night. Assuming the natives don't kill me before then, or get tired of providing the ape blood. Good stuff, ape blood, better than pig by a million. Only good thing about this place.
The Demon Trials: what a bloody waste of time. We're sorry, but your prize is in another castle. Here's a map, now get. If only. That damned demon doesn't think I can do it. He laughed, but I'll show him. I'll show you. I'll show bloody everyone
I miss you.
God what a stupid
Ripped to shreds and eaten, August 2002:
I'm so sorry
I want you to know exactly what I'm doing for you. I'm doing this for you. Do you understand that? FOR YOU. Because I love you. I. Love. You. And I'm going to keep doing it because I love you and I'm killing my demon for you to make room for my bloody soul and you'd better believe that if I ever stopped and the demon got the upper hand you'd be dead. I really mean it, none of that shotgun at the ready and then I sit down and give you good pat on the shoulder because I feel sorry for you, this time it's 'D' 'E' 'A' 'D' spells Buffy time
I'd hurt you like love hurts
until you knew in your bloody guts
don't fuck with Spike
God, I want you
I'm so sorry
I don't want to forget that I love you. That's why I'm doing this, because I love you. I wanted to give you everything you bloody deserve. I'm strong enough to give you everything you bloody deserve. I'm strong enough for this. I am.
Every morning, drink a quart of holy water. Every evening, drink a quart of holy water. Recarve the symbols of the spell on my skin. They don't heal as quickly now, the demon is weakening. Meditate. Bloody hell, I'm meditating for you, Buffy. Bet you never expected that.
No blood in my veins, it's pure water now. It's the spells that're keeping me alive, that and the meditation. If you call this living. But I'll kill that bloody demon inside me if it's the last thing I do. It might be the last thing I do.
God Buffy, I love you. And do you appreciate it?
Of course you don't. Why the hell should you? I can't give you what you deserve, I'll never be able to. I love you with all my heart and soul, I want the best for you, and the only thing I can do to give you the best is stay away. That's what you deserve.
I'm so sorry
Burned, ashes scattered from the roof of Buffy's house, September 2002:
It's finished. My demon is dead. Or as dead as it's gonna get, stuffed down inside me where it can't even scream. It doesn't want any more. I don't want to kill. I DON'T WANT TO KILL.
I could kill you for doing this to me.
But only metaphorically. Bloody hell. Even the chip didn't take this much. And this time I did it all to myself, day by bleedin day, drop by bloody drop. I did it for you.
I love you, and I have a soul. It wiggles and jiggles and rankles inside me. Just like burning coals, he swallowed a soul!
Don't know what else I have left. Weak as a kitten, can't sleep, can't heal, but covered in enough magic to levitate a small skyscraper. I can even walk in sunlight, so long as it's a little cloudy. No pulse. No breath. Not a monster. Not a man.
I don't know what I am any more. Not the same Spike I used to be, that's for sure.
I still love you.
I can't face you. Not like this. This isn't what you deserve.
I'm not strong enough.
Mailed to Buffy Summers, September 2002:
What were you thinking, letting that Brugghig Demon inside your guard? You could have been killed.
Take better care of yourself.
By the way, I know you've got a copy of Sarlock's Compendium. The way things are going around here, you might want to read it.
Buffy rushed forward, pushing through the crowd toward the guy who wasn't actually anything like Spike at all, and besides - she glanced up at the cloudy sky - it was daylight. When she looked back, the guy was gone, leaving her with an infuriating memory of brown hair and a blue jacket. And just for a second, something predatory about the way he moved. But it hadn't been Spike.
"Typical," she muttered. "You make me so mad."
Left where Buffy will find it, March 2003:
I'm sorry. Wish I knew something better to say, but that's all I've got.
There's a big fight coming, and I've got an idea about your final showdown. Let me help you.
"You've got an idea?"
"It's been known to happen. And they're not all rubbish, so don't start, Slayer."
"Hey, I'm the one who's letting bygones be bygones in this situation, Spike. My town, my rules."
"Do I have something on my face? Quit staring and start sharing, Spike. Sometime before the sun comes up."
Buffy sighed. "You've got an idea..."
"Right. I tracked down this amulet, see-"
"It's pretty, if you like that sort of thing-"
"Powerful, if you like that sort of thing. And I do. According to ancient prophecy, recorded in dusty tomes-"
"I know you, Spike, and since when did you become an expert on dusty tomes?"
"It's not always about fighting and killing-"
"Who are you and what have you done with-"
"Yeah, I can't fool you. It's all about fighting and killing. Grr. And this amulet, it's all about strength, sort of like the Gem of Amara, remember that? Tracked that down through the ancient tomes better than any vampire before me. So when I tell you-"
"I'm supposed to realize that you're Spike of the researchy goodness."
"Will you let me finish?"
Awkward pause. "Okay. Finish."
"The amulet's meant to be worn by me. No doubt about it, all the prophecies agree. And it'll help you in your battle. I want you to let me help you. I want to fight with you."
"Are you done?"
"Okay, my turn. Why should I trust you, Spike? Give me one good reason. You're supposed to be gone, never come back, you left and that was the end of it, and now suddenly I'm supposed to let you in on the most important battle of my life? How do you even know about all this anyway?"
"I've- I couldn't leave. I've been around."
Really long pause. "Oh my god, you're the one who's been sending me all the letters from a friend. And patrolling, you've been patrolling, haven't you? I almost caught you a few months ago, but then recently you've been gone."
"Tracking down the amulet. Got it in one."
"You make me so mad. Why didn't you ever tell me?"
"You deserved for me to leave, and that be the end of it. Next best thing, not telling you."
The silence stretched.
"Those letters from a friend, they've been keeping me going. Sometimes I felt like you were my only friend, all the times when I really needed a friend. If I'd know it was you..."
"Good thing you didn't, innit?"
"Yes! No! You should have..."
"Fine. I'm going to let you do this. Don't you dare let me down, Spike."
Delivered to Buffy by Clem, after the destruction of Sunnydale:
If you read this, I'm dead.
Bright side to everything: if you read this, you're alive, and that's all I ever wanted, ever since I got me my soul. Never guessed, did you? I wanted it that way. I couldn't bear to have you trying to figure it out, vampire with a soul, what does that make him? How can he live with all that anguish and remorse? How can he love after everything he's done?
Well, it wasn't like that. I killed my demon, I didn't have to live with it inside me, soul and demon in a constant struggle like that brooding ponce Angel. No curse. My soul came to me gently.
Too gently. There's no monster left, no rage, no joy, no certainty, or not enough to matter, and I couldn't bear to have you judging me. You always liked some monster in your men, as long as there was enough man too. And me, I'm just a creature of extremes. One or the other, monster or man, but never just right for you. Fate's a funny thing, innit?
Maybe I was just a bloody coward, pretending I was still the old Spike, but I didn't want you to think I was weak, without my demon. I'll prove I can still be strong. For you.
Don't blame yourself that I'm dead. I know you will, you always want to save everyone, you even had sympathy for the evil demon I used to be, but I won't have you taking responsibility for my death. My death is mine. My choice. My bloody responsibility. Mine. I've been working my arse to the bone to track down my amulet, so I can help you before I die.
Yeah, that's the other thing. Bloody fate and her ironies, I've been dying ever since I killed my demon. My soul took its place, but a soul isn't strong enough to run a vampire body for long. I'm bloody dying, Buffy, and the only thing I want is for you to be safe. If anything I did made you any safer, then I died happy. Remember that.
Now listen up, dead man's wishes here:
Take care of yourself, Buffy. Be good to yourself. Don't let life get you down.
Remember me strong, and remember me good. Remember me laughing at death. Remember that nothing is stronger than love.
And I bloody well mean this, I know vampires don't leave ghosts but I'll come back to haunt you anyway if you don't pay attention. Have a wonderful life, because you deserve it.
Guess that's everything. Goodbye, Buffy.
"Spike, you make me so mad."