Cupid, So Unkind
Being someone else. Someone who wasn't a chipped demon, the Slayer's sex toy, a dirty secret, beneath...everyone.
It started as a game. A game for two lonely, desperate addicts.
"What do ya say, Red? It'll be fun. Way to take our minds off things, anyway."
"You want to pretend...?"
"That we're just two normal people who meet and go out for coffee, yeah."
"Because...because forgetting who you are isn't always such a bad thing."
There was a look on her face that made Spike's gut clench. He knew she understood. He forgave her.
They introduced themselves. She was clumsy and awkward at playacting, but she got better. They both got better.
That was the first time.
Will, the struggling writer, and Danielle, the software designer, met for coffee again two nights later.
Then again the next night.
Stories about a novel he wasn't writing and a job she didn't have became something else.
"I wish I had a family. I mean...a real family that spent time together and cared about each other and stuff. My parents didn't even know I was dating my first boyfriend for almost a year. And now...now, I'm not even sure where they are."
"I wish my mum could have met you. She'd have liked you right off."
The clench in Spike's gut stayed for hours this time.
They met the next night. And the night after.
He was in bed with Buffy when he realized it, when, for the very first time, he closed his eyes while he was inside her, when the name he almost cried out wasn't hers.
Will and Danielle met again for coffee the next night.
"I have to tell you something."
He wove the story of his "not really friends with not so beneficial benefits" relationship with Buffy into the fabric of Will and watched as the girl across the table slowly changed. She wasn't Danielle anymore. He'd killed Danielle and he mourned her death like no other he'd caused in all his unlife. This hadn't been what he'd wanted at all. He'd wanted her to know that this thing between them was real to him, special. But she didn't see.
"I love you."
She said nothing, just walked away.
He would give anything to know how to cast that spell, to make her forget what he'd told her, to get his Danielle back.
It was only later that he realized it had been Valentine's Day.