Another Fool

Life isn't all it's cut out to be I guess.

It's why I fell in love with her, why she refuses to get out of my head. Stubborn bitch.

I mean, I'm supposed to be killing Slayers, not loving them for God's sake! Yeah, a vampire using that kind of expression… Calling for God… Makes one laugh, doesn't it? God doesn't play any part in this soddin' mess of a world. God doesn't see, doesn't hear. Bullocks, he doesn't exist.

But I was a human once.

Enough then. I'm off to end it all, my way, always my way. I've got a loaded gun in my hands. Bugger the chip. Can't bite her, well, I'll just have to settle for shooting her. Add a name to my list of slayed Slayers.

Now, it comes down to tasteless puns, then? Always being William the Bloody. No, I stopped being that weakling a long time ago. That pathetic excuse of a man who couldn't stand up for himself. Until he became Spike. Until he became me. Then William was no more. Perished, I sent him to purgatory.

But she calls me William, sometimes. It surprises me that she does, and that she doesn't notice anything wrong with calling me William. Why? It seems so natural to her to say this long-buried name, and for me to hear it. Even Drus doesn't use it. What's in a name? What's in this name? This name is the reminder of what I was, a slice in the armour I try to hide, an anchor I cling on to, to prove I have a human core.

But why do I care that I am human? I am a vampire, a creature of darkness, forever in blackness, forever tainted, forever unredeemable. Why do I care?

Because of her, because of her. And I swear I will root out this thorn, smite it, so that I may be free from her. So that I can be free to return to my evilness, to be what I should be. Not something that doesn't know where he belongs.

Walking past the bushes in determination, I see Buffy, sitting alone on the steps to her house.

At last, this is the night I kill the one Slayer that will mean anything. For all it's worth, the last two Slayers won't bring me this much satisfaction when I see her empty eyes staring up in the black skies…

I see her tears.

And I stop. All thoughts of vengeance, death… evilness flee from my mind.

Just another fool for love. Once more.

I ask her what's wrong. She doesn't say much, but she doesn't ask me to leave either.

And so I stay.

I sit by her, slowly, carefully to not disturb her, to not make her realise this is her loathed enemy accompanying her, to not make her push me away. I put my gun aside. It is now forgotten. Buffy is all that matters now.

I try to comfort her. I never had much practice. So I just pat her back, awkwardly, tentatively at first. When she doesn't snap at me or throw me into the air, I feel comfort in turn. She doesn't reject my company.

This first time of genuine trust, of lack of scorn, touches me, moves me almost to tears. But I will not show her weakness. I will not show her that her happiness means something to me. That I care for her.

I look at her in confusion. Minutes ago, she was still that strong, bitchy woman I knew. Now, she is so vulnerable. I see her lost soul in her desperate eyes, and it burns me.

We while the night not moving from our position. We just sit there, looking out into the still surroundings. She sighs, and I sigh too, at the frustrations of life, at the feeling that no matter how hard we try, life heaps us with more problems in glee. Maybe that's why I chose to forsake life and embrace immortality instead. But it seems we forsaken creatures cannot escape reality too.

She bends forward, 'til her forehead rests on her kneecaps. I see her shudder once and weep further, before she finally slips into slumber. She looks so fragile. The image of her in tears imprints itself in my mind, leaving me saddened and bewildered.

God help me. I want to see her happy. I continue staring at her lovely head of golden hair, wondering if she is dreaming, hoping she will be fine when another day begins.

I smell the dawn approaching. How time flies, when one is given to introspection. I grimace and scoff at the air.

Buffy stirs. Straightening her back, she looks disorientated for a moment, before recollecting the events of the night. She turns to me. Her sweet, meddlesome voice that plagues me no end comes forth, "Spike?"

Ah Buffy. It is no longer William then?

She starts to stand. I follow her. She scrutinises me. She must be thinking what ulterior motives I have. Does she think I'm mocking her? Or does she think I want a favour? Money? Ah, heck, she insulted me when she threw that into my face.

But she is right. I have hidden motives. It's just that she will never guess them.

I reply with a cheery greeting, "Ain't everyday you see a Slayer crying."

She scowls and my smile broadens. People say I have a rakish smile. It doesn't impress her.

"I should go. Mum's having a scan today."

I frown and surprisingly, she explains. So Joyce is sick. No wonder Buffy is distressed. An emotion fills me, one that has eluded me so long I do not recognise it initially. Sympathy. It's something I've not felt for more than a century. I like Joyce. She's always been nice, always there for a cuppa and a drink. Joyce understands.

I nod at Buffy and wish her luck, "Don't mind me. I'm just here to check if you've got any blood supplies in the fridge."

She rolls her eyes, "Always the advantage –taker."

"Hey, money you gave me ain't enough to last. I'll take what's free."

"Yeah, whatever."

"Shouldn't you be seeing your mum?" I ask gently.

Buffy's expression dims. "Yeah," she walks into the living room and up the stairs, "Don't mess with anything. Then she disappears out of my sight.

Oh, yes, we squabble, but she still accepts me.

I chuckle, my mood lightening a bit, and go into the kitchen.

One day, she'll know.