TITLE: Concerning Flight
EMAIL: seraphcelene@yahoo.com
SPOILERS: Bargaining
RATING: PG-13 for implied violence and sexual situations
ARCHIVING: Essential-Imperfect, Buffy Fiction Archive. All others please ask.
SUMMARY: He said "Let's fly, pigeon" in that snarling voice that you love; and you did.
NOTES: AU. Without a soul and Buffy to impress, I wondered how long Spike's altruism would last.
FEEDBACK: Is like air and highly addictive. In other words, yes please!
DISCLAIMER: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Warner Brothers Company, UPN, et al. I'm just taking them out for a little exercise.
THANKS: To Moonwhip for the beta. Also thanks to Diachrony for last minute saves.

"Love is not of the same sort as other evils."
-- The Queen, Eneas

Concerning Flight

He said "Let's fly, pigeon" in that snarling voice that you love; and you did.

You left with him on the night Sunnydale burned. That's what you like to say when you tell people how it all happened. You took his hand, jumped on his motorcycle and the two of you roared away while Sunnydale burned in the distance.

There was no reason to stay. Mom died and The memory of Buffy throwing herself off a tower because of you is a wound that never quite healed. It is an image forever impressed on your brain. You dream her jumping, brilliant sunrise ripping reality at the seams, her arms thrown wide to embrace the coming dawn. In the small hours of the night you are sure it was a mistake. She loved you. You are sure. Sometimes, you are very sure that she must have fallen.

You burn what's left of your journals, calling back wishes and dreams. Being an only child doesn't seem as crucial as it once did. You are alone. Willow haS your beloved Tara; Xander has Anya, and Giles left you for the promise of England with Olivia. So, you left with him.

Spike is all that seems real to you. The steadiness of his hands betrayed only by the quiver in his voice. Angry and hurt, he mourns for a myth of a girl. His light-side creation; but you know the reality. Petty, mean, broken-hearted girl. Loyal, loving, dedicated and lost. Spike never quite gets it -- why she didn't want him. Why she could never *really* want him. But you still love him. Tease him. You recognize the heat in his eyes and offer yourself: a gift, a thank you, a sacrifice. He pushes you away and calls you "Nibblet," reminding you that you are the young one. Soft Child. Baby Sister.

You never remind him that your blood can destroy worlds.

Spike leaves you alone for days in dirty motel rooms you are too afraid to leave. Ever in pursuit of what was lost, until finally, he finds someone to remove the chip.

Sometimes you wonder why he stays if he is never going to touch you. At night you wake to the chill of him curled into the heat of your body, smelling of sweat, sex, and whiskey. The blonde hairs clinging to his skin, you know, are not his.

One day, lonely, you finally choose a boy with sweet, brown eyes and unruly hair that falls across his forehead. Spike brings you his eyes in a jar when he finds out what you have done. The news anchor, perfectly manicured and appropriately somber, says his name was Justin. You remember he had a birthmark at the base of his spine.

Spike takes you, then. Finally defeated by the crack of your palm against his cheek, he is on you before you can move and it is ravenous and painful. Even though it hurts, you whisper into his ear: "Harder. Faster. Yes. More." Always more.

But more is never enough.

The boy in Denver is tall, pretty and wears a madras shirt and Levi's 501 jeans. He tells you his name is Hank and you laugh. "I used to know a Hank." You touch the corner of his mouth. "That's such a hick name."

He blushes, a beautifully warm rush just beneath his skin. He says he was named after his father, Henry, and invites you to watch his band play at The Broken Barrel later in the evening. You promise to come but don't. The next day Spike brings you his tongue wrapped in a page from the morning paper.

"You can't do this," you cry as Spike spills you off his shoulder. The coffin is warm, dusty and it's hard to breathe. Two days later the stars look as though they have never shined brighter.

"You make me crazy." Spike holds you tightly. "I love you."

He tells you he adores your eyes, big and blue.

"I thought you preferred green eyes," you tease, sometimes only a little serious.

"Blue is a beautiful color," he says. "Beautiful."

The ache of belonging touches you and you forgive him.

You always forgive him.

He strokes your hair gently and touches your face. The tips of his fingers skim lightly across the purple blossoming tenderly beneath your left eye.

"Dawn. I'm sorry. I love you." He seldom calls you by name, preferring a wealth of sweet, soft endearments: 'Bit, Pet, Little One. Dawn is the name for his remorse.

This is his nature, you tell yourself. He is only acting according to kind, and he is your kind. The thought of Buffy broken on the ground reminds you that you are a monster, too.

He says he loves your hair, thick and dark, and the scent of you on his skin.

"I thought you liked blondes," you whisper, your breath catching as his hand slides beneath the abbreviated hem of your skirt.

"Brunettes are better," he growles into your ear. "I loved Drusilla for a century."

Later he tells you he loves your porcelain perfect skin.


And still later, he tells you he loves to see you bleed. He pricks the curve of your breast, the inside of your thigh and you make love, skin slick with sweat and blood.

It is a ritual. You crave the sharp edge of his teeth sliding into a vein at your throat before you can come. It is like dying and you wonder if it felt as good for Buffy.

"A little blood never hurt no body," Spike says, sullen. You don't respond, spitting red into the sink instead.

He lounges languidly in bed, a sheet casually draped across his lap. In the mirror opposite the bed all you see is the burning tip of a cigarette as he inhales. Gently you caress the impressions his fingers left on your throat. You remember the panic and the breathlessness, and you wonder: How did I come to this?

You meet Jeremy in Phoenix. He smiles at you as he pours your coffee.

Spike touches your cheek, gently. "A gift," he says, slyly, watching you open a gaily wrapped box.

In Las Vegas Colin wants to take you to dinner. His insistence makes you nervous.

Spike brings you eyes: blue, brown, green, and grey. Some are jewel bright, others are clouded with age.

Jack is from Seattle. He falls, smiling, when Spike snaps his neck.

This time his gift is the delicate tip of a finger, a calloused knuckle.

"You belong to me," Spike hisses into your ear, his hands trapping you on the bed.

"Stop," you say breathlessly cradling your aching ribs, but Spike only laughs and the next morning there is a box tied with a yellow bow on a chair by the door.

High noon, you decide, is the best time to run.

But, he catches you in Atlanta. Breaking stained glass is harder than you thought it would be, and you cut your thigh crawling through the window. New Orleans is a close call but the nuns at St. Elizabeth's are not unprepared. They give you a bag full of stakes and holy water. Sister Mary Esther brushes a kiss across your cheekbone before gently closing your fist around her rosary. There is a tiny silver Christ hanging from the beaded end.

Catching up with you again in Sunnydale, Spike corners you in an alley.

He presses close, his hands crushing the bones in your wrists. You feel his breath and the flick of his tongue against your throat. "Maybe, if I feel generous, I'll turn you."

Shivering with pain, pleasure and dread, you close your eyes tightly. You can feel tears welling against your eyelids. There is a knot in your throat.

Spike brushes his mouth across yours. Leaning into you, he places a kiss below your ear.

"Sweet," he whispers before lapping at the pulse pounding in your neck.

But the pressure of his teeth at your throat, the sting of a vein opening, the dizzying rush of his feeding never comes. Instead you feel lightness and a sudden drift across your skin. You open your eyes just as Spike shatters into dust.

Behind him, a stake gripped tightly in one fist, a girl with beautiful, familiar green eyes meets your startled gaze. She takes a step forward and lightly touches your face. Carefully pulling you into her arms, Buffy raggedly breathes your name.