Note: Hm... this is being sent out fairly fast and without much going over, so don't crucify me for one grammar error. It's the second of three planned ficlets, each individual, yet all three a violent dream of Buffy's, regarding Spike.

Spoilers: Selfless, and before.

Dis: I don't own BtVS.

Brick Red Blood

The setting was was so familiar, it might've been a memory. The way Buffy tossed him to the ground like paper, that was familar too.

But there was no coat this time. No slicked back hair, no fangs. Just red brick stacked into walls all around them, and the charcaol button up shirt of the day he passed her another torch. Just the feel of his waist trapped between her thighs, and her knees digging into the pavement. Just the sound of her voice as she pummeled his body, her own resplendant in white above him.

"You think you can change for me? Get a SOUL for me? How dare you?! How DARE you! You think you can EVER be good enough for ME? Look at it! It's black! It's black and ruined like everything in you!"

Her fists crushed his bones, rent his flesh, marred the lie of his physcial beauty. She had to destroy it-- had to destroy HIM. Her hands pounded into muscle and her nails bit cruelly. The fury in her continued to build, feeding on itself and breaking his body more and more until the air shimmered beside of them, and Buffy's hands ceased their assault of the vampire, her eyes caught on the intruder.

Anya stood glancing disapprovingly around the alley, hair blonder than cornsilk and eyes those of an adult reprimanding a child. She walked forward a bit, lifting her feet daintily to avoid something rotting near Spike's hand as she circled.

"Now Buffy," Anya scolded in her Bad-lil-Dawn-voice, "that wasn't a nice thing to say at all. He's got a very pretty soul. All sparkly, isn't it D'Hoffryn?"

Buffy looked from the Anya of Xander's hopes and dreams to the completely full-blooded demon now standing at his ex-employee's right. Spike's form still lay broken beneath her-- forgotten, like he always was. The supreme lord of Vengeance nodded serenely in answer. "Colorful, too. Don't you think so dear?"

Buffy followed his head this time as it turned to his right, to Halfrek. The brunette demon, her image flickering thorugh reality like a ghost, tiny flames leaping spritely from her fingertips and the ends of her hair, smiled sweetly. "Oh yes. Like stars and Christmas lights." Hallie giggled at the Slayer's stare, and glanced down to Spike's form, prone beneath Buffy's crushing pin.

"Oh William dear, look what's become of you now. All that emotion, just brushed aside." Anya nodded solemnly in agreement, Buffy's stare jockeyed back and forth between the three of them. Halfrek only laughed louder, her eyes still cast to the vampire under Buffy's hold.

"You gave your life, your soul, your demon and even your mind for love, and now look what love's gone and done to you."

Her mouth falling open, Buffy felt her eyes fall to rest on the vampire beneath her again. She expected to see his model features bruised and bloated, his face unrecognizable. But the blood took her by surprise. Her breath started to come in short gasps as she realized it was covering everything. Spike's neck, his stomach, the childish star painted in red on his forehead, the cement beneath them both. Buffy's own arms were drenched in it, as far up as her shoulders, as she raised them. And in her squeezing hands, bleeding and pulsing, there was a heart.

Her mouth was open to scream but there was no air, no voice in her. The image of the gaping cave in his chest, fringed by rib bones and stringy bits of torn muscle, and his living heart being slowly crushed by her hands atruck her like a perversion of a religious painting. It was an offering of blood held up to a deity, and Buffy felt the nausea rise up in her in a rush of sick horror.

Spike's eyes opened beneath swolen lids, the blue of the sky after dawn, and he rasped out his words for her. Not the words he always gave her, not the last words she wanted to hear from his bloodied lips.

"From beneath YOU it devours."

His hard body shimmered to dust below Buffy, and the beating in her hands slowed, then stopped. His heart, too, crumbled to nothing, slipping between her fingers like sand.

A voice-- a voice Buffy still hated like no other rang out over her head, its lilting English sound echoing in the empty brick alley.

"Silly girl, look what you've done to my knight! I gave you my favorite toy, and you broke him."

A girlish cackle, and then, a hushed sob.

"He can't be replaced, you know. I chose him because there was no other in the world with all he had to give."

Buffy woke up crying.