TITLE: "Beware the Jabberwock" (4/?)
AUTHOR: Marie-Claude Danis
EMAIL: mc@verticalcrawl.com
SITE: http://verticalcrawl.com/mostly
ARCHIVE: My site - anywhere else, just ask.
FEEDBACK: Why, yes please.
DISCLAIMER: Harriet is mine, as well as the storyline. The rest belongs to Joss et al.
No infringement is intended.
RATING: this part, G.
PAIRING: S/B, bad case of angst.
SPOILERS: Through fifth season.
SUMMARY: Set seven years in the future, Spike is alone in New York, raising Buffy's

"Beware the Jabberwock"


The cold liquid feels wonderful, its bitterness sloshing down the back of my throat,
soothing. I hold the pint glass up to look at the blond froth sliding back down to cover
the golden ale. I lick at my lips, savouring the tangy mix of alcohol and blood, heavy
with iron. Ah yes. Unlife is sweet indeed.

The kid is back home, somewhat babysat by this Fred chap, a 'friend', who knows not
to upset me. I would rip the throat out of anyone who dared to even think a nasty
thought about my angel, just as I had made short work of an unfortunate fellow who
had tried his luck last week. My point was driven home effectively as the demon laid
bleeding too profusely for a fast recovery, suffering much more from his neck wound
than from whatever damage a stake could impair. I haven't had to utter so much as a
word in warning since. She is safer with Fred -- or any other member of our newfound
community -- now than were she to sit in a police precinct.

After an easy hunt and feeding. I came to the Boar & Firkin, my favourite pub,
conveniently located three blocks down from the hovel, in the 'good' neighbourhood,
where yuppies slalom their Land Rovers across countless blocks of coffeehouses and
bookstores. The place is quaint, perhaps a bit more than I'd expect myself to like, but
it has its merits, not the least of which are the fine brews. The distraction is welcome,
as I struggle with issues I haven't been forced to deal with in years.


I know I couldn't breeze through the child's upbringing without her coming up one
way or another. I've been careful. The kid hasn't much cared for her roots, and I've
cautiously fostered this attitude, believing it to be the best for all concerned. I want
her to know. I want her to know who and what her mother is... how much I did... and
how much I wanted to do for her, and for her daughter. But she'll have questions, and
I don't think I'm prepared to answer them. Why did she give her up? I don't know,
luv. I never really wanted to think about it. Most of me thinks that she probably had
good reasons, but there's also a small voice in the back of my thoughts, whispering
that maybe she was wrong, that abandoning a child for selfish reasons is inexcusable.
For the first two years that single thought enraged me so it activated the sodding chip.
Now chipless, the thought just makes me plain angry. Better to steer off this path,
and to reminisce of times where the Slayer was all I wanted, when everything I did
was either to impress her or to provoke her, as long as she looked at me. This seems
like lifetimes ago. In a sense, it is.

I haven't talked to her, or even seen her since that night I took Harriet. She doesn't
know. We could die, both of us, and she'd hear about it months or years later, when
the Council finally caught wind of the Big Bad finally biting it. Even in our nomadic
wanderings, I've carefully avoided Sunnydale, and, just to make sure, pretty much all
of the west coast.

I peer at the rumpled envelope in front of me on the polished table, downing another
cool mouthful of ale. The yellowed paper bears a hauntingly familiar address,
scribbled carefully in black with my awkward handwriting, showing off its blaringly
out-dated postage. Four years, almost five. Words, put together haphazardly,
explaining why I'd done it. Newer pages, added along the way, meaning to reassure
that her progeny was in good hands. I can't help my own nature, but she knows how
protective I can be, and that leads me to believe she trusts me. If she ever even
thinks of us.

Her daughter is being provided for. She is clothed, feed, taught to and loved beyond
words. I might not be able to provide the white picket fence and soccer practices, but
this kind of life, I find, is grossly overrated. She is happy and healthy. That's all that
matters. It's all there, written down for her own peace of mind.

But I can't bring myself to mail it. No matter what I tell myself, I'm sure we're better
off leave her out of it. We've always managed.

Why stir up trouble?