Author's Note: Okay, this is just one of those spur-of-the-moment fics. And to tell you the truth, this fiction is kind of a therapy session for me in the sense that right now, I'm sort of feeling a way that I imagine is similar to how Spike felt after watching Buffy and Angel kiss like that. So yeah, like I say, this fiction is completely random; I didn't spell check it or anything, because I kind of wanted it to be just one of those things that is what it is… perfection through imperfection if you know what I mean. So yeah, if I haven't confused you too much by now, hopefully you'll continue to read, and in turn, enjoy… Oh, and by the way, reviews are highly welcome.


I thought… that things were finally starting to get better between us. I thought that maybe there was something real starting to grow between us; that maybe, just maybe, I was finally taking that one shot in a million that would make her mine, and me hers.

But it was all a lie. Every memory I have now seems like nothing more than a tattered, torn piece of tapestry, completely meaningless to anyone except for myself.

I remember how she felt in my arms that night. I remember the beautiful, electric serenity that seemed to coat my body, its connection starting at the junction where our hands were clasped together. We held on for dear life, clutching each other with every ounce of strength we possessed, and yet, everything about how our hands were joined was perfectly gentle.

I found it amazing how something so simple could create the impact it did on my heart. Holding hands. I've walked down the street before and seen little kids with their fingers tangled together in the same way, and thought absolutely nothing of it. But last night, on that bed, my body practically spooned against hers, just holding her hand had been enough to make my heart ache at the simple beauty of it. I don't think anything so divine had ever occurred to me before that point.

And God, I remember the silence, too. It wasn't a deafening, awkward silence that pressed between us. It was something much more comfortable, so much more meaningful. It was as if she was confessing her every problem, heartache, and sorrow to me without uttering a single sound. Her problems were conveyed to me not in the form of words and facial expressions, but simply by the way her foot brushed against my calf that way, or how her delicate fingers caressed that part of my palm. I could feel what she was feeling, hear every word that her betraying friends had muttered, even taste the hostile estrogen that had floated around her only a few hours before.

For the first time since I'd met her, I finally felt as if I was a part of Buffy. It seemed like my presence really meant something to her, something that went beyond physicality and even emotional dependence, something that made our souls connect. Buffy was finally allowing herself to see what I have inside of me, that if she were to give me the chance, I could prove that I'm not only a dead, vicious thing. She was beginning to see the man inside of me. And the beautiful thing is that when she realised that there was more to me than fangs and bloodlust, I was there with her, my slightly chilled arms becoming heated as they lay wrapped around her light frame.

It was almost like we'd never made love before. As if every bite, whip, and chain from last year was nothing more than a shared hallucination. Every time her skin came in contact with mine, every time her ankle brushed against my knee, a nuclear shockwave had rippled through me, barrelling upward until it struck one of the strongest chords in my heart. And God, if I could only begin to describe the beauty of her eyes. The way she seemed to slice into me every time we made eye contact, her emerald jewels seeing into my soul, and almost seeming to nurture what they saw. It was as if she could see the animal within me, the vicious vampire that I was so very capable of becoming, but she didn't care, because standing before that killer instinct had been my undying love for her, that pinprick of light that said I would do anything for her. Light my own hand on fire, stick hot pokers through my eyes; it didn't matter what it took… I would protect that woman with every ounce of my being. I loved her more than anything in the world, more than myself even; and I think that finally, after years spent trying to tell her, Buffy had finally seen it for herself.

Even more beautiful than that though is the fact that last night, I think I saw some of the same love in her eyes. She did a right splendid job of trying to conceal it, mind you; all of those emotional barriers had really created quite the powerful structure after so many years. But despite those walls she tried to put up, I could see something within her. Maybe it had only been the slightest beginnings of reciprocated love; maybe it had been virtually nothing at all. But it was something at least… something that contradicted the hate she'd professed for me infinite times since my meeting her, some sort of emotion that, if given the chance to flourish, could someday become much more than the glimmer of affection in the deep recesses of her soul that it was at the moment.

Everything about last night had been next to flawless. The way Buffy had been tenderly wrapped in my embrace, the way she'd gazed into my eyes for seconds- minutes on end without flinching away. The silent tears we'd shared, the wordless confessions she'd made; everything had been so discreetly loving, so blissfully serene.

Last night was the best night of my entire existence. I wouldn't take back a single second of the evening if it meant saving the world.

Tonight… right now, however, is slightly different. Standing here, watching her kiss him like that; it's something that fills me with more emotions than I know what to do with.

Anger. Rage. The need for absolute destruction right now. Fire rushed through my veins, exploding in my heart before I'd even realised its existence. My fingertips felt as if they were made from molten lead, my legs and arms ready to begin crashing through steel and stone in response to the absolute hatred that was building inside of me.

How could she do this to me?! That… BITCH! That selfish, spoiled, fickle fucking brat! Not more than an hour ago we'd been standing in her kitchen, she telling me that last night had meant something to her as well. She'd looked into my eyes with absolute sincerity, given me hope that all of the attention I'd devoted to her thus far, that my acquiring a soul for her, had not been futile.

And now she's got her hands and lips all over Angel, The Great Poof himself. Not five minutes after seeing him, it seems like she'd almost be ready to jump in the sack with him. "Aren't you gonna say you're glad to see me?"… FUCK! That son of a bitch! What kind of man thinks he can just walk into Sunnydale, find the woman he might have once loved, and just start… kissing her? Who the fuck does he think he is?

And her! How could she… Why would she…? I should've known she was just playing with me. That evil, sadistic bitch, always playing with a fella's mind. Oh, sure, tell Spike that last night had actually meant something to you, that maybe, just maybe, you could be with him some day.

Yeah, right. The day she gets over herself, maybe. The day she finally lets go of Angel and realises that the blighter is nothing more than an egotistical moron.

Bloody wanker.

No-good, black-hearted wench.

You know what? They deserve to be together. Neither of them can ever decide whose side they're on, can't ever decide if they're in love or if they hate each other. It's right proper that they'd be together in the end, I suppose. After all, they're never gonna be able to get over each other. They won't ever realise that their relationship was doomed and just bloody pointless from the day it began.

God I need to hit something!

But I don't know if I've got enough strength in me right now. I can't help it… Beside all of that anger and rage and volatile hatred, I'm also… broken. My soul feels like it's finally ready to shatter from the pain.

I was finally getting somewhere with her. I was finally showing her that I, not Angel, not Riley, not any bloody one else, was capable, ready, and willing to love her with everything I had. I would give myself to her utterly and completely for the rest of her existence, and never stop feeling that flame of excitement when I saw her, never stop thinking that I was the luckiest man on the planet.

I bet Angel couldn't say that. How many times has his soul actually sung at the sight of her, I ask? Did he ever actually think of getting a soul on his own just because she would love him more for it? Did he have to endure nothing less than days of torture just to have his soul reinstated? Had he even wanted the bloody thing when he'd finally lost it five years ago? No! In fact, he'd have done anything to keep it away back then.

And yet, I'll always be second best. I'll always be that creature who crawled from the gutter, the vampire whose soul isn't really all that unique.

She'll always go running back into his arms. And there's nothing I can do to stop it.

It doesn't matter what I do for her, it doesn't matter what he does to her. It'll always be Angel, and then Spike. I'll never be sufficient.

And it just… it hurts so much to know that. I can't describe the many ways my soul is wrenching, having to watch them hug and kiss and cling to each other like that. I mean, Angel doesn't love her; not really… Not anymore, at least. I'm sure he's moved on, hasn't really even thought about her in over a year. And as for Buffy… Well, we all know her story.

And yet here I stand, in the shadows, the scorned little puppy. The second course meal, the backup. I've been in the spotlight for months on end now, but the lead actor steps in for just three seconds and bam!- it's back to the bottom of the barrel for me.

I'm just so tired of it. I'm tired of having my hopes built up like this, only to have them shattered by someone like Angel. I can't… My heart it just… You know that feeling you get when it's like your heart has been shot full of Novocaine? When every piece of your body seems to go numb from the pain? How every breath you take only helps to increase the pressure, to make it feel like you're just going to implode from the pain?

Yeah, so do I.

And, you know that feeling when you're angry and confused and hurt and just exhausted with everything? Yeah… heh… so do I.

It's like, I want to be able to hate her. I want to be able to say that I'm finally done being the lap dog to that two-timing bitch, that I don't need all of her mind games. But then I look at her, and think about the way she smiles and talks and thinks and walks, and… I can't do it. I can't make myself hate her, or even really stay angry with her.

That's the trouble with being in love. No matter how badly they hurt you, no matter if they say they'd like to be with you one second, and shatter all of your hopes by going for someone else the next moment, you just can't hate them. You can't stop loving them. No matter how hard you try.

All you can do is bear the pain. You can only force yourself to plug through that numbing agony, to believe that someday it just might go away. It's not really the best solution… It doesn't even really work most of the time.

But what more can you do?

The confusion makes everything around you nothing more than a muddled mess. You don't know whether you should cherish and hang on to those pleasant moments you spent together, or focus on all the back-stabbing, hurtful things she's done to you in the past as a way of trying to make yourself fall out of love with her.

None of it works.

All I can do, I suppose, is grin and bear it. Keep living through the confusion and daily torture. I just have to hope that maybe some day, one of two things will happen… Either I'll fall out of love with her, if not just give up on my love for my own good… Or maybe she'll realise that Angel isn't all he's cracked up to be. He's not the glowing saint he believes he is, and in all honesty, she and him don't really belong together. Hey, it could happen, couldn't it? Buffy could someday see that me, Spike, her second choice man, is the one who would actually be able to say the words 'I love you' with total conviction.

Yeah, it seems unlikely, I know. But for now, all I can do is hope.


*coughs* Review? Please? Pretty please? With sugar on top? Hehe…