Summary: Spike finds himself connecting with Illyria in an unusual way.
She's not Fred.
That's Spike's first thought. She looks a little bit like Fred, but she's not. She's just this blue…thing. She's not even human.
But then, neither is Spike.
He can't handle humans. Not in that way. It's why it seemed so much easier to seduce Buffy after she "came back wrong." Why it seemed so much easier to do Anya after she became a Vengeance Demon again. He had loved Fred. He really had. She respected him, cared for him in a way that no-one else seemed to want to. But in the end, she was human. He likes a lot of the things that are human. Football. Booze. But he needs something superhuman if he really wants to connect. Someone like him.
Not entirely like him, of course. Illyria can wipe the floor with him – has already done so on a number of occasions. She's strong, and yet, at the same time, so very weak. Not human. Doesn't understand human conventions. Doesn't understand the need to love, the need to feel. Neither did Spike, for a long time.
The first time he tries to kiss her, she throws him across the room. It hurts like a bitch, and he's wincing for a while afterwards, but she doesn't kill him. That's something. Then she wanders off, talking about how the plants are singing to her.
She seems so lost sometimes that it's easy to forget that she killed Fred.
She doesn't feel remorse for it – not in the conventional way. Not at first. Death and destruction are something of a lifestyle for the Old One. Or at least they had been, thousands of years ago.
He tries again, after they've neutralized her powers. She's still strong as hell, but now he's a little more evenly matched. They fight until they're both exhausted, and bruised, and bleeding (at least as much as they can be bruised and bleeding). She kisses him then, which comes as a surprise, because even in this depowered, more humanized state, she doesn't seem the type for physical intimacy.
She pushes him up against the wall, then, and they go a little further than kissing, and it feels good – strange, but good. She leaves quickly, a little confused, and he finds himself wondering if she's ever actually had these kind of feelings before.
Love and lust don't mean that much when you're a giant tentacled monster, intent on enslaving the human race. They don't mean much when you're a soulless vampire, though, too, and Spike had gone and proved that theory wrong. They're human inventions, after a fashion, but they're not human exclusive.
He walks past her in the hallways of Wolfram and Hart the next day, and if not for the superhuman senses the vampirism gives him, he would have thought he was hallucinating when she gave him the smallest of smiles.
She's not Fred. Not Fred, not human. A little more than human.
Just like him.