So you drink in her scent, savoring her, exploring all her secret places and spaces with your lips, tongue and hands while she lies there exhausted and oblivious to your looting.
But you always loot the bodies of your victims, don't you mate? Scavenging the leftovers like a jackal, keeping only what we can use; leaving behind that which we can't.
There are tears trickling from the corners of her closed eyes.
You love tears, crave them; even when they terrify and excite you beyond belief when they happen. So you lap them up with the tip of your cold, dead tongue, making their salty-bitter-sweetness a part of you.
From tears to throat, your lips travel, nuzzling with eyes closed to help you remember until they meet a harsh half-moon scar on the side of your lover's neck hidden by the fall of her wheat-gold hair.
You pause like someone has slapped you because you know who made it.
And it makes you angry.
And a little sick.
Like always you were looking for something new to stuff into the echoing pit that is your heart, but the prize, the secret pearl in the oyster, the holy of holies behind the freshly torn curtain, was winkled out and devoured long before you ever got a chance to press your suit.
But you did it anyway; telling yourself that it didn't matter.
Ohhhhh but mate, it does matter, it does matter! Angelus, or whatever it is he calls himself these days, beat you to it— smashing down all of Buffy's doors and taking all her secret places for himself. It's been years, but you still smell him on her.
Which is maybe why you took the bait and aimed for the brass ring anyway. You couldn't let him outdo you, even after your chip and his soul changed all the rules.
Because that's the way Spike is. Right Billy-boy?
Spike helps you survive; his face with your frightened eyes staring out from his empty eye sockets. Spike was every street urchin that your sheltered life kept you shielded from until one day you strayed from your nanny in Hyde Park and the bad boys, the rough boys in rags and tatters surrounded you, taunted you, knocked off your glasses and stamped on them laughing. A Bobby rescued you, half blind and sobbing in terror - they were monsters, worse than anything that hid beneath your bed at night.
No, they weren't monsters, they were the world outside that cushy little nest that you were born into and they saved you years later when you stole their faces because for all their casual cruelty, you envied them their freedom, their lack of fear, their daring. So when you needed me the most, I came and took your place when dealing with the hard parts of your death, ain't that so, William?
William, remember how you thought death would spare you the pain, the derision at your size, your weakness, your poetry? You were wrong.
Oy! William! When Dru brought you home to meet the family, remember how Angelus pretended to be your friend? Remember how he betrayed you? Remember how he took your pretty darling right in front of you while she smiled?
Angelus wouldn't take you seriously so I had to swagger fully formed out of you like Athena from Zeus to take your place.
And Spike being Spike, he attacked Angelus head on.
I got your arse kicked seven ways to Sunday, but at least I was strong enough to bite any foot that landed in our ribs and keep on biting even if it made the foot kick all the harder. Being me's a hell of a lot more fun than being you ever was mate, so you keep me around even though I'm bloody exhausting because anything Angelus did, I have to do harder, louder, meaner, faster. I'm one big drawn out bellow of "Look at me! Look at me!" —damned proud of it, too!
Dru loved Spike. But William, despite your innocence, you knew that in Dru your black poppy you were getting someone else's leftovers. Angelus got there first, gobbling up her original sweetness. Instead of a wedding night, Dru deflowered you while you walked in places Angelus had already trampled underfoot, rudely marking his territory as he went so that Dru always ran back to him at his slightest command no matter what you and Spike did to keep you in her mad eyes.
William, how many endless afternoons did you have to lie there alone listening to them break the bedsprings overhead while you buried your face in her pillow because even Spike didn't dare upset the status quo and risk losing Dru entirely?
That big lumbering Irish poufter getting his soul back was a right sweet "Serve you right, Peaches!" for humiliating you, wasn't it now? Remember how you 'bout laughed yourself sick when Darla came and told us all about how she threw him out into the street because she couldn't stand his whining about all the voices in his head?
You had Dru, your crazed ebon beauty all to yourself for over a glorious century until he returned and ruined everything.
Dru returned to him without even once looking back at you no matter how hard Spike screamed and strutted in front of her on your behalf.
That was when you realized that we were just something to keep Dru occupied until the real lover returned. Don't deny it, William, you know it's the truth.
God, how you hate Angelus - once again, he beat you to the prize leaving his mark on Buffy as a taunt to you.
What Angel didn't get, that bastard Riley stole. What is her fixation with huge, lumbering men when she could have supple, agile us on her dance card?
Smug, bland Riley, dispassionatly watching them saw open your skull without anesthesia because "His kind doesn't feel pain the same way we do." Even as they hardwired the chip into your brain, cutting and cauterizing with silver needles and silver blades as they went so that the undesirable parts of you, the parts of you that you loved the most, that made you you, wouldn't grow back, you recognized his scent through the pain while your body spasmed against the restraints that held you helpless on the steel table that was colder than you were. You wanted to rip his head off because he'd done this to you but all you could do was scream blindly up at the lights above the table and shit all over yourself from the pain until they shoved a gag into your mouth because they couldn't concentrate with all your noise.
The joke's on you Riley. They wired you up G.I. Joe, same as me, good ol' Spikey. Hut-two-three-four li'l tin sojer boy, let the nice doctor lady play marbles with your brain so you can sit inside your own head watching your hands and mouth do and say things you don't want them to do and say. If you behave, she' might even let you play with the Slayer!
Disoriented, you woke up in a different holding tank dimly remembering that something horrible had been done to you, and they finally gave you your clothes back— "Animals don't need clothing." Riley said as he and his soldiers tasered you to your knees and left you bleeding in the holding cell after they'd beaten you to the floor so that a team of orderlies could drug you, cut you out of your clothes, shave your head and delouse you; processing you and twenty others like cattle, but you were the only one that survived the chip. The other 19 dusted screaming as their heads exploded while Riley watched from a balcony high overhead, not knowing that he was just like you only he didn't remember.
And all the time he was banging away at our rightful prey, old son. You knew it because you got whiffs of her on him like the scent of a distant orange grove when the wind was just right as we lay there on the table being worked over like a piece of meat. You blamed that bitch for everything that was done to you because the best part of being the Slayer is cruelty. You find cruelty exciting, don't you Spikey?
You escaped, not knowing until you figured it out later that they were going to release you anyway in time, to see what you would do with a chip in your head, to see if your head would explode, to see if you would obey their commands like some meat marionette should they decide to pull your strings.
Did you ever wonder why they never pulled the strings and yanked us back? Maybe Adam distracted them for you, the big stupid bollocks. It's a wonder she didn't fall for him too, he had all the things she fancied: big hands, big feet...small brain.
In the end Buffy did for you, Spike, what you couldn't do yourself because the chip with its silver wires wouldn't let you - she ripped out Riley's heart and left it beating on his chest for him to watch. What your Slayer didn't devour ran away with its tail between its legs with a big piece of hers clenched in its broken teeth— now that's entertainment!
Between Angel, Riley and the grave, they did a pretty good job of preparing your new bride for you.
Still you cradle Buffy as tenderly as you did the others, even though you know there's not much left of her for you to harvest.
Hey William, remember how we left Dru all sticky thighed in the middle of the floor of that Buddhist temple as it burned, our first Slayer's blood singing in your ears even as you bent over the dead girl, her alien face golden in the glow of a burning Buddha? God she was beautiful beyond words!
Even dead she gave off a sacred glow, the same one that filled you and made your cock stand up with stolen blood and your head reel with possibilities every time you saw her. You took her still warm body in your arms and wrapped yourself around her in a way that Dru would have envied if she wasn't sleeping it off as China burned down to the ground.
We stalked her for months, teasing her, courting her, showing her glimpses of the dark pleasures of us should she accept our challenge and join our dance.
You clutched your prize to your stillborn heart and explored her, smoothed her, gentled her. She was your real lover that night, not Dru - you savored her because she was a virgin - you were her first and last.
You walked through untouched halls and rooms, memorizing her through her silk garments, weeping because the game was over and you missed her. She smelled of sweat and sandalwood, her heavy dark hair with its blue-black highlights releasing the perfume of blooming jasmine against the moon.
We took nothing from her, nothing but blood and the cross shaped scar on our left temple that she bestowed upon us like a blessing that we cauterized that morning with a red-hot silver spoon so it would never fade. It didn't take Dru long before she knew what we were up to, us, Spike and William. She wouldn't speak to us for a month she was so angry. It took identical twin baby girls dressed in lace freshly snatched from a Duke's nursery to convince her to let us back into her bed and between her legs.
You left her body arranged like a queen's, hair loosed from it's strangling braid and spread around her face like a dark fan, weapons laid out around her tiny frame like the warrior she was, a Chinese Boudicca on her funeral bier, as the roof began to collapse in an avalanche of tiny gilded Buddhas and dragons.
So now Buffy, who finally submitted to you after a long, grueling tango that ended up with a house litterally dropping on the both of you in the midst of consummation stirs, pressing her quietly weeping face against your silent heart, one arm going 'round your waist. Both you and William know she's not weeping over you, but Angel - even in her sleep, your cold body reminds her of what she's lost.You take your third Slayer's unresisting hand in yours, guiding it down to your uncircumcised cock and balls so that her fingers loosely cup them in gentle warmth.
Uneasily you savor the heat, the life and comfort that they radiate, to fuck with the living is always unsettling. Were you ice to her fire? What does it feel like to find frost on the branches of the Tree of Life?
You look up at the midnight sky between the shattered rafters, scenting the faraway dawn with slightly opened mouth and flaring nostrils before you one handedly light up a squashed cigarette and take a long, deep drag. What's disturbing is that Buffy took you before you could even penetrate her.
What were you expectin' mate? Remorse? Recriminations? That's not her style and you know it Willy lad. Buffy ripped us wide open, mate, pinning us down even as she devoured us.
The eater eaten.
The rapist raped.
The john johnned.
What trophy will you take from her to enshrine in that empty space inside you?
You like trophies.
They're the only way you remember anything clearly a few days after the fact, especially after the chip that makes you more "acceptable" was installed.
Speakin' of "acceptable", William, do you remember that "Prince Albert" that you had installed by a haberdasher so that your bulge wouldn't offend people? The chip's to keep you and me from killing them, same difference, right?
But you can't remove the chip like you did that stupid silver cock ring the same night you clawed your way out of your own grave. Dru helped you pull the painfully burning restraint out before she tossed it into the Thames, just like she did your glasses. It left a scar on the bottom of your cock that will never fade.
We didn't keep them as trophies because leashes are leashes and muzzles are muzzles, even if they make you more acceptible to the people around you, aren't they Spike?
After that, you started taking trophies in an endless game of one-upmanship with your grandsire, the big clumsy Irish lout.
Even after Angelus got his soul back and was cast out and you didn't need to you still took trophies. But just like Angelus with Dru, others invariably got there before you did, always dulling the edge of your triumph.
The Jersey Lily slipped from your grasp and died an old woman when you blinked and looked away only for a second. Even so, a king beat you to the prize.
Tiny Sarah, tiny bi-sexual red-haired half-Jewish Sarah whom Willow on her better days painfully reminds you of, so ambitious, so passionate, playing Hamlet onstage as a man, with the coffin that she took everywhere, where did she go? She promised to wait for you, but she lied and now fills that cofffin. You took her cigarette case, didn't you?
Elizabeth died with her tragic lips untouched by yours. Enraged at the desecration of such a delicate goddess even after your own death, you imagined yourself watching helplessly from a nearby crypt as her crass husband Dante had her grave dug up beneath the killing sun so he could reclaim his poetry from her dead grasp.You kept a cheap engraving of one of the paintings she inspired with her pre-Raphealite face folded in among your cigarettes like a hidden shrine for years until Dru found it and ate it out of jealousy.
Isadora, so beautiful, so absurd, dancing like Dru with her long silk scarves and countless lovers, died in the sunlight when one of those same scarves slipped into the axle of her car and strangled her before you could consummate.
Theda who stole Dru's sinuous moves and crazy eyes drove you mad on the silver screen; where did she go? All she left you with was a vision.
Where is fierce Margaret with her camera? By the time you caught up with her, she was dead of Parkinson's. You lost track of time and assumed she was still the gold maned lioness on the battlefield that you saw on a newsreel. Nobody missed her Zippo lighter after you slipped in and out of her empty office at Life Magazine. Even so, Faulkner got to her first.
Marilyn, golden Marilyn, the Kennedys took most of her so all you could do was hold her dying flame in your arms in her bungalow - she thought you were an angel come to claim her as she slipped away and kissed your demon face with a gratitude you will never understand. All you could do was steal a lock of her hair, just as you did later with Janis the whisky voiced nightingale whose voice echoed in the space where you soul once lived, enchanting you because her music told you she understood.
Where is Diane, who took pictures of life as you understand it, with the normalcy stripped away from it like so many layers of cheap paint? You sat beside her bed and watched her die as her beloved cameras whirred and clicked away, recording her slow suicide. There's a roll of film somewhere with your image beside her, what happened to it? Before Diane came Anne whose poetry didn't rhyme but you envied her because her words said what William so desperately wanted to say but never could - the pills too, got there before you could court her. All you have of Anne is a tattered poem cut from an old magazine. You think the Initiative took it from you like it did everything else that has ever mattered to you because you can't find it anywhere no matter how hard you look.
We courted them all Spike, but time, death and jealousy, far worse predators than we'll ever be, snatched away all of our dance partners. Still we took trophies when you could. After Diane we wooed a second Slayer.
Another got there first and gave her a son, but that other wasn't Angelus so you courted her because even if he had, the slightest hint of her on the wind made you randy. Dru your only constant left you; you didn't even notice her go.
Your second Slayer understood the dance the moment you introduced yourself; she was like a furnace, her eyes begged you for it even as her mouth snarled "No!"
You cornered her, your sweet black opal, your precious ebon darling, in a subway car one cold, dark winter night far underground.
You lovingly snapped her neck before curling around her cooling body on the dirty gum and cigarette littered floor of the subway car, drinking in her scent in an unconscious yin and yang of light skin on dark, grieving because it was over too quickly and you'd never see her again.
She abandoned you, William. She dumped you Spike. She outgrew you both and left you behind just like all the others did.
So you drained her and took her coat, ears buzzing with lust.
Funny, you and she were both the same size. Does that mean something?
So now you've bagged your third Slayer.
Another notch on our bedpost, if only we had a bed with posts to notch, right?
The victory is sour, you're still dead and she's still alive.
Alive to scorn us William - because we can't hide what we are from her no matter how hard we try.
You stub out the cigarette among the shattered bricks before you nuzzle your face against hers, feeling her skin like a rose petal against your plaster dust gritty beard-stubbled cheek in quiet blasphemy. Like a stolen kiss, you and Spike breathe in her sacred perfume with open mouth and closed eyes, memorizing, always memorizing.
So, Spikey, what will we take, seeing as this time she's taken us as her trophy? That wasn't how it was supposed to turn out, was it William?
You shift around on the rubble just enough to somehow slip out of your boots and jeans without waking Buffy because she took you fully dressed, yanking your fly open and greedily going down on you in her impatience for the kill. You akwardly stuff her discarded panties in one of the back pockets of your jeans before one-handedly rolling them up and using them as a rough pillow for both of you.
God, you love her.
God you hate her.
Because when you finally beat Buffy at the game, she won.