Rating:  PG for some language 

Feedback:  Thank you.  Melpomenethalia@aol.com

Spoilers:  Through season seven's "Help," episode four.

Distribution: The Warren and Fanfiction.net.  If you're interested, please let me know.

Summary:  Spike asked Buffy to sit with him to keep the monsters at bay.  Here's my take on what might happen if someone stayed with him.

Disclaimer: All characters are owned by Mutant Enemy (Joss Whedon), a wonderfully creative company whose characters I have borrowed for a completely profit-free flight of fancy.  Kindly do not sue me, please, as I am terrified of you.  Thank you.

Author's Note:  This is the seventh and last in a series of vignettes, all occuring on the same day.  I figured, what with the time and all, it was kind of appropriate to post this one today.  Happy new year to all!

12:00 a.m.

Busy day today.  Lots of coming and going, coming and going, back and forth, up and down, coming and going.  Round and round the mulberry bush the monkey chased me, but I'd already been caught, you see, and the lash is here and there and everywhere.  Sometimes it's Mother who plies it, and sometimes it's one of them, and sometimes it's the thing here with me, but most often, it's my shadow.  It lurks about all the time now.  Hushing.  Shushing.  And I don't want to hear.  It says ugly things.  I miss beauty.

            Know why they all went down here.  Aren't looking for poor old William, no, except maybe for the one who fed me.  Can't remember his name.  It's like a song or a poem or some holy word I don't dare to speak, for I've had a dirty, bad mouth, and nothing pure can be in it again. 

            And there was the other witch, the one who's gone away, floatin' behind the scarlet one's shoulder.  Said she's feeling better, she did.  Glad of that.  Big, nasty gaping wound she had.  They had.  I have.  I will have.  I'm cold.

            I know why they were here, though.  Know they came to see themselves and fear it and hate it.  Nothing left to fear from me.  Can't hurt them anymore.  Just me.  Hurt me lots.  Not enough, never enough, pain and agony and dripping sorrow and fear like teardrops of acid on my skin.  Fear of what is and what's to come and what this thing is inside me, and sometimes I'm not sure if I'm more afraid of the demon or the candle flame.  Shouldn't they consume each other?  Shouldn't that bring me peace?

            Of all things I could have become, it's funny, so funny that I shudder and weep and scream, that a vampire should become a mirror.  I am untrustworthy.  Useless.  Cruel.  Guilty.  Heartless. 

            And son.