Heart or Soul


Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy, although I think that's fairly obvious.


He felt so light. As the pain of having his soul ripped from his body faded, Spike could only dwell on the feeling of freedom that'd washed over him at being released from a weight he'd carried for far too long. No more hurt, no more crushing guilt, no more conscience. So many years since he felt uninhibited like this, so many things his demon ached to do now that it was unleashed.

Destruction. Killing. Hunting.

His every cell itched for it. He would gorge himself on blood and paint the town red.

"Hey, you okay? You want me to call 911?"

And what a convenient place to start.

He picked himself off the ground, a smirk spreading across his face as he turned to face the woman who'd approached him. "'m fine, luv. Practically feel like I could fly."

He allowed his human features to melt away, demon coming to the forefront as he sank his teeth into her neck, savoring the warm blood on his tongue, relishing the pleasure that coursed through him as the small blonde struggled. A pretty thing, and tiny, just like-

Oh, god.

He yanked his fangs from the woman's neck and threw her to the ground. His demon still ached for her, the rushing of blood through her veins like music to his ears, and it took everything he had to turn away and growl a low, angry, "Run."

He barely noticed her scamper away, his attention was so focused on trying to stop the nausea suddenly turning in his gut.

Buffy. He'd forgotten about Buffy. How had he forgotten about Buffy?

With shaking hands, Spike returned to the apartment, mind whirring as everything that'd just seemed so simple suddenly became more complicated than he possibly could've imagined. What in the hell could he tell her? That she'd shagged his soul right out of him? That giving up her virginity had made his conscience go bye-bye?

He stood near the bed, staring at her peaceful form. God, she was beautiful. Her hair was tousled adorably, the smallest hint of a smile twitching at her lips. He never wanted to wake her, to shatter the blissful happiness they'd found together the night before. Hers, or his.

Would she still love him? Still want to be with him?

He was an unrepentant killer now. Couldn't deny that. Wanted nothing more than to chase down the whore he'd let walk, to sink his teeth into her neck and finish what he started.

Did it matter that he wouldn't act on those impulses? That he'd never kill again if it was what she wanted? Because he wouldn't. Nothing to hurt Buffy. He'd never do anything to hurt his girl.

Would she believe that?

I'll kill her if she doesn't. Her friends and family, all the Scoobies. Have the most fun with Harris. Maybe bring out the railroad spikes for that one-


No, no matter what, he wouldn't do that. Wouldn't hurt Buffy like that. And… and her friends, they were his friends. He adored Willow, sweet, trusting Willow who'd been the first to accept him, who'd weaseled his love of poetry out of him and never passed up an opportunity to push him into a discussion over some new book she'd read. He liked the Watcher as well. Played chess with him, watched football, argued over the information the Council had in their stuffy little books. Wouldn't touch Joyce. She was a real lady, always treated him like a son, even though he knew she disapproved of the age difference between him and Buffy (never mind that she didn't know how significant the difference actually was).

As for Harris… Well, couldn't off the only one in the group who'd play pool with him. Not that he liked the whelp, but people didn't like fungus either, and it still grew on them.

Bloody hell, you're pathetic. The soul's gone, and… what? You're still love's bitch, still a ponce. What's the point in being set free if you're just gonna leash yourself?

Spike buried his face in his hands. Buffy was… she was his salvation, had given him what he'd always wanted, and ignoring the desire in his gut to kill, to hurt, to destroy—it was worth it for her. He only hoped, prayed she'd believe it, that she'd accept him like this. And even though the thought made him sick, made his insides shrivel and his demon snarl, he knew if she couldn't, he'd find some way to get the soul back.

If it meant keeping Buffy, he'd suffer its weight willingly. Pathetic as it was, he'd do anything if it meant keeping Buffy.

Love's bitch, through and through.

He was still scared. Scared she wouldn't let him explain. Scared that he would hurt her. Scared that she wouldn't trust him anymore.

Maybe I should pretend I still have it.

Because that'll work out well. You know it'll come out soon enough, and then any chance of her trusting you would be gone. You have to tell her before she finds out another way.

Tell her. Yeah.

Break her heart. Terrify her.

Trust her. She'll be fine. She loves you.

She loved who he had been.

Still the same. Nothing important has changed, not where she's concerned. Not where her friends are concerned.

Would she believe that?

His fear made him want to run, but he forced himself back to her side. This would scar her enough. Didn't need her waking up by herself after last night. After her first time.

Tentatively, irrationally worried he'd break her, or even that her goodness might make an evil thing like him burst into flames, Spike pulled her to him, curling his body around hers. Soon she would wake and everything would change, but for the moment he wanted only to hold her a little longer.


Author's Note:

I'm pretty sure I've seen fics based off this idea before, but I wanted to give writing one myself a try; if it looks too similar to others I promise it's unintentional. Really I don't generally even ship Spuffy, but I liked the premise and figured I might as well give it a go. Please tell me what you think.