Disclaimer:  I own nothing.  Everything belongs to Joss Whedon, etc.

Spoilers:  Takes place a few months after "Beneath You"

Karma

By

Anessa Ramsey

         They say that I'm not supposed to be grieving.  He died a long time ago.  He was just a demon walking around in a man's body.  Sometimes I wish I could believe it had been that simple. 

         He loved me you know.  Once upon a time, he thought I was the world.  There are days I wish I believed that I was worthy of that kind of love.  I'm not.  I know that.  Angel was quick to point that out when he came to claim Spike's ashes.

         He died protecting Dawn.  'Til the end of the world.  The world didn't end, but he died anyway.  He stepped right in front of an arrow that was headed for her heart.  He knew exactly what he was doing.  That's what hurts the most.  He knew it would kill him and I don't think he cared.

         Ever since he came back I waited for some declaration of love but it never came.  I got my wish.  He didn't love me anymore.  I remember that night in the church.  I don't think I realized until that moment how he'd come to think of me.  "Got to service the girl."  Those words made me realize exactly what I'd done to him.  I used him over and over until there was nothing left.  And when he was broken, I just tossed him aside like he was trash.

         They all know what I did, but they say it wasn't my fault.  I wasn't myself and it's not like he was human.  His feelings about it didn't matter.  It wasn't like he really loved me.  I hate when they say that.  They trivialize everything I did, brushing it off because I was brought back from the dead and had trouble adjusting.  Dawn's the only one who blames me.  When she looks at me I can see it in her eyes.  I took away yet another person in her life.  She loved him.  He was the only person she could really talk to.  She doesn't speak to any of us anymore unless she has to.  Xander doesn't understand, but I do.

         Xander doesn't understand a lot of things.  He still clings to that black and white world where there is only good and evil.  It doesn't matter to him that his ex-girlfriend is a vengeance demon that doesn't do vengeance and his best friend is a murderer.  Willow is still good in his mind, while Anya is evil now that she's a demon again.

         I tried to cling to the same world view, but I was forcibly dragged out of it when Willow told me she knew exactly what she was doing when she went on her rampage.  I wanted to believe it wasn't really her, but she was quick to correct me on that idea.  The only reason she didn't tell Xander was because she didn't think he could handle it.  Xander may be the heart of the Scoobies, but he's also the weakest.  Believing in a gray area would break him. 

         I wear Spike's duster now.  He took it off a slayer and now a slayer wears it again.  Don't get me wrong, it upsets me that he took it from a slayer, but that's not why I wear it.  I wear it because it reminds me of him.  I can still smell him on the aged leather.  He always smelled of peppermints and cigarettes.  It's the only thing I have left of him.

         There are days when I want nothing more than to go back and change everything.  It takes all my strength not to make a wish in front of Anya.  Unfortunately I know the consequences of doing that.

         What pains me the most is that I'll never see him again.  Demons don't go to Heaven.  Souls do, and maybe William is up there, but I don't love William.  I don't even know him.  I love Spike and he wasn't Heaven bound when that arrow pierced his heart.

         I love Spike.  That's irony for you.  I can finally admit only he's not here to admit it to.  It doesn't matter though.  Even if he was here, he wasn't Spike anymore.  He was Will and I didn't know him.  He didn't love me.  Dawn calls it karma. 

         Karma.  That sounds right.  What goes around comes around.  God I miss Tara.  I could have told her all this.  I could have gone to her for advice.  She wouldn't have judged me for loving him.  Instead I'm stuck here having to hide that fact that I love him, just like I hid my use of him.  I swore that I wouldn't keep secrets from them anymore, but how can I tell them this?  I'll just keep it to myself and pretend like I don't love him.  I'll go on slaying and raising Dawn.  Maybe I'll even love again one day.  But I will never forget him or my love for him.  I'll keep him in my heart and memory.  And when I die, I'll pray that he did enough good, and loved well enough, to earn a place in the light.  I'll pray that I'll see him again.