Oh God it was finally over, and you wanted to die.
Only one problem mate, we're already dead - which limits our options considerable, right? Right!
Numb, you lay bleeding on the floor of the elevator, eyes swelling shut, the Buffybot sprawled nearby like the broken doll she was, listening to the Scoobies argue over what to do about you as your hearing faded in and out and the world spun 'round and 'round in black and red circles. Should they stake you? Should they take you home? The Scoobies couldn't just leave you lying there; Glory's minions would regroup, haul your broken carcass back upstairs and it would start all over again. Maybe they should just drag you out into the parking lot while your were unconcious and let the sun finish the job for them.
That was Xander's idea. Willow vetoed; Giles reluctantly seconded her. Buffy was too busy staring down at the Buffybot with open disgust to get involved.
Finally Giles and Monkey Boy poured what was left you into the back of Giles' brand new red convertible before tossing a rug swiped from the lobby over you to protect you from the sun. Within seconds, they had to drag you back out again, holding the rug over you where you huddled so you could vomit up this morning's pig's blood onto the sizzling blacktop between your broken thumbs without going up in smoke.
Glory-bitch kicked us a good one, mate... wham, bam, thank you m'am! Sent us flyin', the stroppy cow did, flyin' right out of our shackles, through the door and clean out into the hall of the posh building she lives in. We hit the wall so hard we felt our brain boomerang off the back of our dead skull. Anyway, the clear pink stuff's stopped seeping out of our ears...we think. What is that stuff anyway?
Xander found you pretty soddin' disgustin'. But you'll give Monkey Boy points for askin' Giles, "Like, maybe he needs to go to the hospital or something?"
Over the roaring buzz in your ears you heard Giles' casual reply as he started the car, "No, there's not much you can do for his kind except stake them."
The sound of you being loudly sick again forced Giles to pull over on the Interstate that cuts SunnyD in half.
Too late! You'd already puked up what you didn't puke up the last time all over the back seat and yourself by the time he hurriedly yanked open the back door, dragging you out into daylight by the feet as you began to convulse, head painfully bouncing off the pavement, hands clawing frantically at nothing, heels drumming uncontrollably. Xander smothered the flames with Giles' tweed jacket, the one he'd rolled up earlier, putting it under your head for a pillow.
Then they took what Glory-bitch left of you; dumping you inside the door of your crypt to fend for yourself.
Oh God we so don't want to be alone right now...help? ...Mrs. Summers? Joyce? Help? Please? It doesn't have to be upstairs in a bed, just let me stay in your basement? Out of the light? I promise I won't be any trouble, I promise to keep out from underfoot...I won't ask much, just a bucket and...oh God...Joyce's dead, we forgot...oh God Joyce's dead. Dru? Harm? Anybody? Help?
Ha! Like that would ever happen! Taking you home with one of them means they'd have to let you in. The Scoobies don't want you stinking up their nice, clean homes, now do they? Bleeding all over their rugs, vomiting all over their furniture, maybe later murdering them in their beds?
Chipped or not, we're still a monster. Monsters and other invisibles aren't welcome in the houses of so-called "decent people", remember?
Painfully you rolled over onto your side in your own drying vomit by the door and lay there; one big ball of stiffening misery soundlessly weeping to yourself because it hurt too much to breathe even if you didn't need to.
Oh God, it hurts, it hurts.
You knew the stench you were giving off would attract the wrong sort of attention after nightfall so you eventually got up, trying not to weep as you cleaned yourself up as best you could after pissing blood into a bucket, an agonizing necessity that made your back hurt even worse as your bruised kidneys complained. The noonday sun kept you from slipping out in search of something stronger than the entire 500 count bottle of aspirin dissolved in beer that you downed before vomiting it right back up in a pool of blood and bile.
By the time the Slayer decided to come dispose of you, you were flat out on your favorite sarcophagus, shaking, teeth chattering, trying not to roll off, trying not to throw up again, feeling your insides pull this way and that thanks to Glory thrusting her finger into your guts over and over again, stirring them like a pudding as you tried not to let her win.
So, what thanks did we get for that lit'l sacrifice? The Scoobies took away our pretty toy, letting Glory and her filthy lit'le buggers break her. The 'bot might have taken care of us, protected us so we wouldn't have to lie here all alone and vulnerable while the world spins 'round and 'round and up and down like some cheap carnival ride with us hanging on for dear...life? Hang on, we're gonna be sick again...
Yeah, right, like that would ever happen, but sur-soddin'-prise! When the Slayer came dressed in its clothing, you thought maybe Willow'd taken pity on you and fixed her. She even sounded the same, not like the real Buffy who'd just as soon as beat your face in with a brick as look at you. You were too concussed to realize that it was a real girl standing there in front of you all bright eyed and attentive.
So you said a lot of things you shouldn't have; baring your heart to what you thought was an injection-molded private fantasy, not realizing that you were on trial until it was too soddin' late.
When the Slayer kissed you instead of staking you, her warm lips wordlessly told you that she thought that what you'd tell a self-propelled sex toy; you wouldn't tell her.
Oh God, that just makes everything hurt more.
Staking would have hurt less. For a few seconds, you'd been William again, shy, diffident William, eager to please, easily hurt, easily fooled William, hungry for praise who'd just gone through the wringer on Dawnie's behalf.
How could you do this to me? I love you!
Why be surprised? People have always betrayed you when you aren't betraying yourself.
You were twenty-two and tired of nasty innuendoes. Leaving the warm safety of your mother's house in St. John's Wood you wandered aimlessly through the early spring twilight until you found yourself in Whitechapel. Awkwardly you solicited a prostitute from among the ladybirds and dollymops that swarmed the trash littered streets like fleas under the watchful eye of their cashcarriers. She was the cleanest looking one of the bunch, with a perfect oval face and dark curls.
We wanted to be sure that the sniggering wasn't true, the derision, the sheer meanness...
You gave money to her ponce, a man in a gaudily checked suit, bottle green shoes and a deplorable hat. He promised you a lovely time in a thick Irish accent, nodding at a nearby alley, "Our Luce be good in a dab up again' a wall, fron' r' Nancy." You recoiled in horror; he smirked at your fastidiousness. After giving him an entire pound note, you followed your choice up a flight of rickety outer stairs to a small room with a crucifix over the dirty little bed and a sleeping baby in a disintegrating basket beside it. There was another loudly checked suit oozing from a pile of mending. She casually slid the basket and it's wet nappy burden beneath the bed before tossing the mending onto the splintery floor. Smiling, "Luce" leaned back on her elbows on the sagging mattress, skirts hitched up 'round her knees exposing more bare female flesh than you'd ever seen in your entire life outside of a respectable art gallery.
Though the place reeked of boiled cabbage and soiled nappies you joined her on the bed, nervously trying to kiss her on the mouth. Luce rebuffed you with a coy smile, telling you that kisses were extra in an Irish accent thicker than her husband's.
So you gave her more money. She called you her sweet lad as she helped you undress, guiding your fumbling hands through the simple intricacies of her shabby corset after you gave her even more for the privilege of seeing her undressed. She was beautiful in the light of the single candle stuck to one of the bedposts as she untied the cord that went through your dressing ring and around your leg so your genitals wouldn't create a scandalous bulge in your trousers, offending the same decent people who openly laughed your dreams, your poetry and...
...our all too easily bruised heart.
You embraced her, savoring the goatish fever sweaty warmth of her body with its milk-engorged breasts as she pulled you over on top of her. She smelled excitingly dirty, like a plate of kippers left out too long on the sideboard. When you started to slide in she smiled up at you in the candlelight with black teeth like a rotting corpse concealed behind a porcelain mask.
It was so disgusting you went limp.
Chuckling, Luce gave you a whore's bath - wiping you down with a dirty wet cloth from a cracked washbasin and pitcher decorated with bilious yellow roses before sending you on your way minus all your money, the sound of the crying baby following you like a schoolyard jeer, never realizing that eyes looking out at you from behind a very different sort of mask were watching you on your way home.
Beautiful eyes, insane eyes, eyes that glowed golden as a cat's.
You spent the rest of the night on your knees throwing up in the water closet; bathing over and over again until the stench of the place finally left you, not noticing that those eyes were now peering in at you through the window.
Daybreak found you sitting in your mother's garden at the little stone table beneath the wisteria draped pergola reeking of Pear's Soap and lavender water, blindly smoking one Job after another, notebook open in front of you, virgin page untouched.
You dreamed that night of eyes that looked in at you while a little girl's voice joyfully called you by name, begging you to come out and play.
You found yourself openly staring at women's mouths while escorting your mother to Chapel as you slowly walked arm in arm with her down the street in the thin sunlight of Spring. What lurked behind those chaste lips?
Your mother confronted you at elevenses, "What's wrong dear? You haven't touched your seed cake. Are you ill?" as you sat across from her in the armchair that you dimly remembered your father sitting in with you on his lap when you were very, very small. You were staring blankly into the parlor fireplace watching the coals collapse in on themselves, notebook unopened on one knee, fountain pen dangling limply from your fingers. You started, before telling her that no, you were quite well, thank you.
Bloody hell! What we really wanted was tell her about Luce, the little room and the baby beneath the bed and that the only difference between us and them was two decades and a more desirable address but we were too ashamed. Never mind that Mum once gently told us that she and father had once loved each other very much. Even after he'd tired of her and gone back to his wife and children he'd always made sure that we never went without because he was, after all, a gentleman.
Instead you smiled at your mum with your blunted teeth, asking, did she think that you needed to buy a new collar and cuffs? Were your kid gloves clean enough? There was a concert party this coming week. You wanted to look your best for a certain someone...
No! We wanted to scream at her, "Why couldn't you have fallen in love with a man free of encumbrances so that I wouldn't have to be invisible?"
You slept badly that night, hearing a baby crying beneath your bed until dawn when you should have been dreaming of Cecily.
Your muse was the daughter of an MP; vivacious with dark curls and a perfect oval face. You met her though you never should have, through her brother, a former schoolmate of yours, who introduced you as a very bad poet. You instantly fell in love with her, blushing and spewing out torrents of your usual bad poetry, proving him right as you blushed.
Cecily tolerated you and your blushes because having you at her gatherings and parties made her daringly "Modern". Despite your scandalous origins, you had perfect manners and were always there whenever she needed something: a cab hailed, a plate of sweets, a fan retrieved. You took this as a sign that she returned your affection; never mind that she sniffed disdainfully whenever you took out your notebook and was never in when you called at her father's house the day after the dance, the dinner party, the theatre.
We bared our heart to her.
She rolled her eyes, "You are beneath me!"
Though we already knew that she'd say this even before she said it, we fled the party trailing the baby in the basket beneath the bed with death in hot pursuit.
Blinded by tears, you found yourself in the same filthy Whitechapel alley as before, tearing up your work, ready to climb the stairs and knock on a certain door when your death came out of the dark, confronting you.
She was bizarrely beautiful with her huge eyes and reed-thin body, not at all lush as a proper woman should be. You thought she was just one more whore or pickpocket. You told her to go away. But she seduced you with your own words so that when she slipped demon faced from behind her mask it was too late.
By then, we didn't care. What was one more mask?
You were "born" one dark and stormy night like the one described in the first paragraph of The Last Days of Pompeii, screaming and clawing in terror because your foot caught on a root in the shallow, messy grave that you'd been hastily concealed in. You thought you were drowning until hands grabbed you under the arms; pulling you from the mud like a noxious weed. Sobbing, you lay against someone who rocked and murmured to you in the stinging rain, gentling your earth mangled hands until a warm throat was pushed against your mouth. Blindly you tore it open, nursing greedily from the throat of the whore who'd humiliated you.
The little girl who wanted you to come out and play had sat vigil at your grave. Her name was Drusilla.
Drusilla taught you how to fuck.
Dru deflowered you in the rain beneath the open sky after helping you remove your hated dressing ring. She took you into her cool mouth, soothing the wound with her icy tongue, looking up into your eyes with what you thought was adoration, showing you what you'd been missing when she lay back, raising her skirts and spreading her pale thighs so you could wallow with her in the soupy mud of your own violated grave.
Two Bad Mice
That night, your stillborn heart sang when you threw the broken Prince Albert and your glasses into the Thames as your new muse led you bedraggled across London. After twenty two long miserable years of trying to fit in, you no longer cared what anybody thought.
Let the good people of London stare at our torn suit! Never mind that our shoes are dirty and our hair hangs in matted, filthy curls and that our dark rose's skirts are stained and torn, we dont' care! They never saw us when we were alive. Well, sod 'em all, they're going to see us now, see us and scream!
After gleefully murdering the occupants of a grand hotel suite, the two of you fucked loudly against the rattling hall door, cracking the panels. To hell with the other guests and their complaints about your indecent noise!
After stunning the porter sent up to tell you to be quiet so that Dru could feed from him, you fucked on the stairs, both up and down after tossing his body out a back window.
You fucked in the parlor breaking all the chairs, tipping over the sofa, and denting the piano before knocking over the fireplace tools in a roaring clatter. You fucked on the sideboard in a cacaphony of shattering dishes, on the dining room table, the nails in the bottoms of your shoes leaving deep gouges in its pristine teak surface, and in the bathtub where you both shared in a delicious torrent of blood and bubbles supplied by the chambermaid. Her body joined the porter's.
You would have fucked in the middle of the cobblestoned street if not for the traffic and the noonday sun.
That came later - we enjoyed finding ways of doing it in front of people in public without them ever knowing. I miss horse drawn omnibusses.
Eventually you found yourself surrounded by hundreds of lit candles and Drusilla's dolls in her bedroom, sharing a lobby prostitute who lay glassy-eyed with shock between you. You and your new playmate languidly emptied her one to a side before sending her the way of the maid and the hall porter. You didn't fuck. Instead you made love to Dru in Dru's own bed, giving yourself to her completely in joyous blood sacrifice, never guessing as you lay spent between her thighs, reverently drinking in her dark perfume with its charnel undertones, that another had already been there...
...we didn't know that we were merely a toy to be picked up and cast aside at whim by a beautiful lunatic.
Laughing over the outcry below your back window, the two of you scampered through the grand suite, playing tag with the sun as it stabbed it's way through gaps in the heavy velvet drapes, kissing, feeling, fucking. Drusilla, her skirts rucked up over her hips while you pounded away, her fingers digging into your shoulders and back, leaving furrowed bruises that you regarded as sacred reminders of your emancipation from smothering propriety.
That's when you met another mask, refusing to recognize it for what it was as you shook its hand; it was so affable, so friendly, speaking with a deplorable Irish accent which you tried to ignore because it too wanted you to come out and play when before you'd only been ignored, excluded or jeered at.
We were pathetic, like some sort of stray dog. We were so glad that somebody, anybody, had taken an interest in us that we'd follow them anywhere, do anything for them no matter how badly they treated us... we know better now...right?
Three Bad Mice
Swallowing your pride you eagerly followed your new friend through the London sewers to new digs to avoid having to answer awkward questions from the London Police about last night's three-course meal. After twenty-two years of being ignored, excluded, even the attention of some big filthy Irish oaf was welcome; never mind that socially he was barely one step above the animals in your upper middle-class way of seeing things.
Angelus showed you how fun being wicked could be when he had you and Dru pretend to be lost travelers asking for directions - any house foolish enough to let you in wouldn't make that mistake twice after you slashed through the occupants, standing red mouthed and aroused over the bodies before letting your new friend in to strip the place of valuables.
Under his tutelage there was no outrage that you wouldn't gleefully perpetuate: spikes through the heads of your tormentors, churches defiled, parties permanently crashed, sick practical jokes on the pompous that involved showing them their own entrails as you fed on them...
...raping Cecily in front of her family, bridegroom, and new in-laws on their mahogany dining room table during the wedding feast, stabbing downward into her throat with our fangs even as we viciously ripped her open from below during the fish course, smashing through her pubic bone with our first thrust. Afterwards, Drusilla ecstatically lapped our former muse's virginal blood from our shaft and belly as the two of us cavorted in Cecily's wedding bed.
Paradise never lasts long, does it? It has to end sometime, right?
Angelus stopped being an affable Irish oaf when you heard Drusilla cooing with delight behind closed doors.
Mate, we weren't her only worshipper, priest and sacrifice. Instead of there being no more rules, we merely traded one set for another!
The first said "Angelus may do as he pleases." The second one said, "You'd best not complain no matter that your cold, dead heart is breaking or you'll lose everything that means anything to you."
How could Angelus do this to us? We thought he was our friend! We wanted to rip Angelus's head off and beat him with his own windpipe, just as we'd done to a bishop the night before simply because we could.
Your goddess? Your ebon-tressed muse? Your dark and secret rose? You forgave Drusilla, ignoring the ugly glint in her eyes when she laughingly urged you to come take her away from Angelus.
What kept things from exploding right then and there was Darla coming home that ugly, ugly twilight after dancing attendance on someone called the Master.
Darla was American. You'd been taught since infancy that Americans ranked somewhere above Irishmen but below the French and slightly above Italians, Jews, East Indians, Africans of any sort, Arabs, Asians and Armenians. So you ignored her.
Darla was also a woman. Aside from your mother and Dru, who had attained sainthood in your barren protestant pantheon, you'd also been taught that women ranked above peacocks and schnauzers but below fine carriage horses and cab drivers. Her opinions didn't matter, she held no power, she belonged to Angelus. Angelus was in charge.
Wrooooooooong mate. Wroooooooooooooong! We should never have turned our back on Darla.
Too busy ignoring Darla, you didn't notice when she added ten more rules. The first one being "Don't vex Darla."
So were the remaining nine.
You learned these rules one afternoon when a rough hand pinned you to the stolen bed you shared with Dru. She was wailing in a huddle of white lace on the floor. Terrified, you looked up into the face of Angelus who'd dropped his mask for your education and edification.
We were twelve again, smaller than the other boys, cornered in the lavvy by a beloved schoolmaster who'd set aside his paternal benevolence, demanding more than a perfect recitation of Henry V's St. Crispin's Day speech. We ended up sobbing on the floor sitting in a pool of blood and shame with our short pants about our ankles... Oh God, not again!
"Nothin' personal boyo." Angelus said pleasantly as you strained up against him, "Our Darla tells me that we don' have room for another mouth right now. Hold still - this...won't...hurt...a bit!" Angleus raised a stake in his free hand. You howled as it punched through your sternum, grating off your spine, missing your heart by a hair. Getting that silver dressing ring in installed in you John Thomas by your haberdasher hadn't hurt this much. Dru came up off the floor demon faced and shrieking. Without shifting his grip, Angelus casually backhanded her into the vanity with a crash of breaking perfume bottles and powder boxes while Darla, with the face of a bored housecat leaned in the doorway, languidly puffing on a white jade opium pipe.
Disgusted, your attacker swaggered off, "'Tis no use Darla, I'll stake our Willy later when our Dru's asleep and won't raise such a fuss." The bloody stake landed in the corner with a clatter. You stared it for a long time, one hand pressed against your heart, feeling the skin, bone and muscle pull itself back into place, absently stroking Dru's tangled hair with the other after she crawled bloody nosed onto your lap and buried her face in your bloody nightshirt.
You fled with Dru to the safest place you could think of.
Your mother's house.
Ahhhhhh, good ol' mum. Of all people we would have thought our own mother was what she seemed...
Mum was overjoyed, you'd been gone a long time, a week. She was getting ready to call the police, nobody had seen you since Cecily's party... oh dear God, you're back, you're safe!
It was comforting. Somebody'd loved us, somebody'd noticed that we were gone, even if it was only our mother.
She eyed your lover with suspicion. Who was this girl, who were her people? At this, your mother's mask of genteel civility slipped, giving you a glimpse of a shrew glaring green eyed out at you before she quickly replaced it. You overlooked this, you wanted her with you, your two best girls, your mother and your sweet black opal forever and ever - you'd show them the world. So you committed the ultimate sin, you turned your mother; paying dearly for it because once the demon filled her empty shell, truths, painful truths flowed from her:
You were embarrassing, what with your boring, self-centered poetry, always spouting it in public when such nastiness should be kept in private where it wouldn't offend decent people. But mostly she was angry with you for being a snivling ninny without the courage to cut the apron strings.
...oh God, and we loved her so much!
That said, your mother made advances on you. Evil as you were, you found this far more horrifying than her real opinion of you, her only child.
You staked her.
Broke Nose Blues
Comfortless, you lie on the hard floor of your crypt having rolled off your saracophagus, landing face down like a bag of wet cement, feeling your nose go "squish" on impact".
Bloody hell, I just aligned that! Now I'll have to work it back into place so it doesn't heal crooked and whistle every time I bother to breathe.
You got over it.
Got over what? Dru betraying us, or dusting dear ol' mum?
Bloody right we did! Regret get you nothing!
Eventually Angelus got what he deserved in the shape of a convenient Gypsy curse, allowing you to run wild to your black opal's delight - ripping through China, rampaging across Africa and back into Europe with a blood trail a mile wide in your wake.
Good times, good times! Miss 'em though. Miss 'em bad.
There was nothing you wouldn't do, social graces, discretion and decorum meant nothing.
We learned our lesson, you can't trust anybody to never let you down or lie to you. Don't trust anybody? Don't get hurt, is all!
You criss-crossed the globe, killing two Slayers and what feelings you had left outside of lust, envy and rage. Bored and with an invalid Dru on your hands, you decided to settle down for a change.
You chose North America. You spoke the language, it would be a doddle to find some place, say where the law was sloppy and the people complacent, and set up shop where you could take care of Dru in style. Rumors of the Master's downfall in some flyspeck of a town called Sunneydale lured you west.
His minions would be milling around confused; you were the lad to take over and give them direction.
Should have stayed in Budapest, mate. No, that's when it all went bollocks. On second thought, should have avoided Budapest like garlic and tried Hong Kong instead, screw the Master!
Sunnydale was a pretty trap that stripped away everything you'd worked so hard for, layer by layer by layer, exposing things that you'd gone out of your way to bury...
Bollocks! It wasn't all bad - for once Dru really needed us. We liked taking care of her, gave us something to do; gave us something to strive for. We wanted to build her a kingdom, Buffy got in the way.
Buffy was harder to kill than your first two Slayers; dangerous little girls that you fell in love with sight unseen before seducing and courting them like so many picture brides, giving them your best, consummating your passion in a brilliant snapping of necks, a tearing of throats...
Dru was so jealous! For once we held the upper hand!
You gave Buffy your best moves like rare jewels. She countered them disdainfully, driving you to greater and greater heights while Dru simmered and snarled. Every blow, every counter-attack you presented as a kiss; her brutal honesty was your reward, bathing you in its warm acid.
She's hated us from day one, with no attempts to sugarcoat her feelings when it comes to us, the Big Bad. Gets us hard just thinkin' 'bout it!
Buffy was the only person you could trust. She was just as rudely direct to you as you were to her, and she never backed down. Buffy doesn't play games. All she's ever wanted from you is a pile of dust: yours. Deals only piss her off, making her want to stake you even more because she's got friends and family and some bollicky code of honor to keep her to her side of the deal, poor bint!
And no revoltin' pity- either!
Not even after Captain Cardboard and his whacky pals wired you up so that every time you want to do what you do best you still drop to your knees howling in submission long after the Initiative imploded... Before that when Dru left you for a Chaos demon? Nothing but honest disgust for a man too weak to hold onto his lover!
Lying, degrading sympathy never once left Buffy's mouth.
She always let us know that we're still a dangerous pain in the butt, letting us keep our dignity. Now that's love!
You responded by playing hard to get every chance you got, savoring each punch to the face, every taunt, every kick to the wrinklies. You still love Dru, but this is something stronger; Dru betrays you over and over, but Buffy?
We thought we could count on her!
So why did she assume that if asked, we would have lied to her?
Yeah, well, we might have held out a bit, made her work for it. Don't want to look like some twopenny ha'penny tart now, do we?
Why did she assume that you'd tell the truth to a self-propelled sex toy and not her?
Why is what we want to know, why?
What did you do wrong? What did you do to make Buffy think that she can't trust you?
You bitch! How could you betray us like this? We love you!
Author's Note 1: Never, ever get a concussion this bad.
Author's Note 2: I always found the kiss exchanged between Spike and what he thought was the Buffybot unsettling.
Author's Note 3: The slang terms for prostitutes and their pimps comes from the British Slang - Lower Class and Underworld web site. Middle-class William would have doubtlessly felt quite excitingly vulgar and dirty using these words. The living arrangements of his "dollymop" and her pimp, I got from studying Jack the Ripper.