Author's note:

Although not a particular fan of the Buffyverse, I became intrigued with the character of Spike from a fanvid of a friend and have subsequently become hooked. I am an avid fan of the anti-hero and he is a perfect one. Also one of the more well-developed ones I have seen. And the romance between him and Buffy is just epic. His story was just begging to be elaborated on and, being the hopeless romantic I am, I decided to do it. This is the first installation in what I hope will eventually be a well-rounded story, mostly in canon, except for where its not (which is after the finale's of both Buffy and Angel. Totally didn't like the whole story arc from there on.)

For those little acquainted with history and the Victorian era, a few notes:

From what we have seen in flashbacks, it is quite obvious that William was well-to-do. The home we see him in would have belonged to upper class Londoners and also his accent is RP or Received Pronunciation. Essentially, proper British speech. Which he would only have had if he had been upper class and well-educated. This is also born out in later episodes where he is able to read Latin, something an educated man of his time would have known. There would also, of course, have been personal servants in their household. And only a wealthy family would have had a personal coach to send anywhere. In order to have been in attendance at a party with members of the nobility, which has been established, he would have to have been of at least the gentry class, which is essentially untitled nobility. Lesser members need not apply as class consciousness was still quite in evidence in that culture so no one, unless they were fabulously wealthy, (and then usually only Americans), would have been accepted.

OK, so enough with the history lesson and on to the story. If you likey, please drop a note. Encouragement is always appreciated.

Anne sat, as she so frequently did these days, sewing in the parlor and contemplating her son. He lounged comfortably across the chaise in front of the fire, reading, Lord only knew what. Most likely the poetry he so favored.

She sighed and bent her head to her work, examining him through her lashes as she did so, so as not to draw his notice to her silent consideration.

She was worried. She knew within herself that she was growing steadily worse. Her condition was deteriorating apace and she knew that her days would not be too very many more.

And her William was still alone.

It was her greatest fear, leaving him alone. He was not a man made for being alone. He needed someone to love; someone to be with and care for, it was his nature. He was all that was devoted in a son, but he needed more than that, more than her, he needed a woman of his own, children of his own, someone to turn to when the inevitable happened and she left this world.

But so far, there had been no likely candidates.

So, she studied him.

She tried to look at him from a strictly non-maternal, womanly point of view. While he had always shown a certain disregard for how he was dressed, so long as it fit and was comfortable, she could not see that as an obstacle to marriage. Lord knows, many women had to take in hand their husbands wardrobes. Men simply did not think of such things.

She continued her silent perusal.

Backlit as he was by the fire, it threw his features into sharp relief. Again, she could find no cause for complaint. He was as handsome as his father, sharing the strong jaw and sculpted features of the men of their family. She did not particularly care for the hairstyle he was currently affecting but he insisted it added to his poetical air. Too curly by far too be worn so carelessly. It does detract somewhat from him…but not THAT much.

He was intelligent, well educated, well-mannered, and a good steward. The monies her husband had left upon his death had done well under William's care and they were very comfortable.

No obvious reason why he could not attract a good match.

She knew he was attracted to women. She had for a short time worried that he might be a, well, hmm. But she had seen him around women and had also happened to find some interesting reading material of his once while supervising the servants spring cleaning and was therefore comforted in her knowledge that he did, indeed, find the opposite sex appealing. She knew also he tended to be somewhat shy and awkward around women, but many men were uncomfortable with the opposite sex. She found it rather endearing herself.

It grieved her immeasurably to think that he might not ever find someone with whom he could share that beautiful soul of his.

Her William had always had such a sweet, sensitive spirit, even as a child. Always thinking of others first, always willing to share, to give, even at his own expense. He had forever been giving his pocket money to whatever little street urchin caught his eye.

At times it became quite vexing, but she never scolded him

Her thoughts were abruptly interrupted by his rousing.

"Well, look at me. I've been quite dozing these past few minutes. I think perhaps tis time I retired for the evening." He leaned up and, retrieving the book he'd been reading from where it had slipped onto the carpet, placed it on the small sidetable. He rose then, stretching, and ambled over to where she sat.

"Do you go up as well, Mother?"

She smiled up at him. "No dear, I think I shall try to finish these last few stitches before I retire. Do go ahead."

He smiled back, "As you wish," he leaned forward and dropped a kiss onto her forehead, "goodnight then."

She watched him walk out and up the stairs and then slowly turned her gaze back to the fire and her thoughts to the man who had just left.

She mounted the stairs slowly, too breathless to do it any other way, really. Ah, how she loathed this feeling! Finally gaining the top, she stopped and leaned against the newel post, trying to regain a more regular breath. Finally, after a few agonizingly slow moments, she felt more the thing and continued on toward her room. She paused for a moment outside William's room and, giving in to impulse, quietly eased the door open and observed him

She gazed upon his sleeping form with fondness as he sprawled across his bed. The soft lights from the gas lit hall behind her cast a faint golden glow into the room, just enough, when coupled with the moonlight filtering in through his windows, to see him. He was still, at one and thirty, quite a fine figure of a man. But, then again, so had been his father. Enough, she thought, to quite tempt any woman to sinful thought if only she got a good look.

Anne sighed. Sometimes, the ache of missing her Charles was quite acute. And William was, in so many ways, quite like him. And not just physically. He had that same romantic nature, the same way of tilting his head when puzzled or curious, the same expressive face, one could read everything he was thinking or feeling on his face. Oh, so many things!

However, he was also quite different. She couldn't place her finger on it. It was a quality that he had quite apart from either her or his father.

A, restlessness, was as best she could describe it. A hunger, but for what, she had no idea. She didn't think he did either.

She walked quietly into the room to stand by the bedside. She looked down at his peaceably sleeping face. Unable to resist the urge, she reached out and brushed the hair away from his face.

A fleeting smile came and went across his face. Just like when he'd been a boy. She used to spend hours when he was a baby and small boy petting him in his crib, wondering if he'd smile every time she did that.

He always had.

Oh God, please don't let him be alone. He has so much to give.

It was the prayer uppermost in her mind now. She had prayed it so often, wondering if she was even being heard.

He would be such a good, devoted husband. Loyalty, devotion, passion. He had these traits in abundance, just waiting to be bestowed upon a worthy recipient.

Why couldn't he find one?

She turned and silently made her way out, shutting the door softly behind her.

Cecily Addams, she pondered as she continued slowly on to her room.. His latest inamorata. She had seen her a time or two. A haughty miss. And there was just something, something not quiet right about her. She could not quite place her finger upon it but the young woman just seemed…off.

She truly hoped that she did not have to welcome that one as a daughter. William could do better…if he would. But he had always had a tendency to desire the unattainable.

And if ever a woman was that, she thought, it would be her. Perhaps that is why I dislike her. That attitude of I am better than you .William doesn't need a woman who will constantly think herself better than him…and anyone else around her.

She entered her room and Harris, her maid, rose from her place by the fire and came forward.

"Was beginnin' to worry bout you, mum." Harris chided softly as she began to help the older lady ready herself for bed.

"Oh, you needn't have. Just a little late sewing…and thinking," she answered vaguely.

"Well mum, you need your rest, if you don't mind me sayin. So let's just get you tucked in all righ n' proper," Harris bustled away to the bed and turned it down, then began to prepare her nightly medications.

Anne looked at them and sighed. Nasty stuff, that. But it does help keep the cough abated enough for me to sleep…some.

Anne dutifully took the cup and drank it down, unable to repress a shiver of disgust, and then climbed into bed.

Harris dimmed the lights and then dismissed herself for the night, leaving her mistress shrouded in thought and moonlight.