A/N: I have no explanation for these. They hit me while I was working on a paper, and I wrote them down before they left me (they're one of the reasons that paper took me ten hours to get through). They might not make sense, and Spike might be a little out of character, but I was in the midst of chain-and-gate imagery as it pertains to human relationships in Dickens' Great Expectations. I think that gives me some excuse.
Also, there may eventually be more. Not promising anything, but something might hit me during the next paper. You never know.
Disclaimer: I do not own Spike, or anything related to BtVS. They belong to that god-among-men Joss Whedon (may he live forever so that we may praise him always :D).
Some days, it was hard to enjoy blood. The taste of iron sliding down his throat like an oyster slipping from its shell usually delighted him. That liquid was like a taste of paradise, a drop of cool water in a desert. But sometimes it disgusted him; the sight of red made his stomach turn and the thought of his fangs sinking gently into some poor sod's flesh made him hate himself. Today was one of those days.
He watched the blood mix with the rain in the gutter, swirling and shifting like flower petals in spring. He tried not to remember where the blood came from as the roses materialized and bloomed and swirled away down the drain. He shuddered as the patterns stopped kaleidoscoping in the puddles and the water turned red. And it wasn't water anymore, but was instead pools of blood. The rain was not strong enough to wash them away.
He dropped the body in disgust, revolted by the thought of what he had done. The body groaned, but he didn't have the decency to kill what was left. He stumbled away, choking on his own tears, or maybe it was rainwater, as he tried to wipe the blood from his chin with his bloodstained hands. He tried to rip his heart from his chest before remembering that it wouldn't do any good.
He came home to Dru that night all swagger and lies, and she smiled sweetly as she licked the blood from his hands, one finger at a time. He shared a snack with her later, and left another body on the ground. He remembered that blood is life, thick, pounding, disgusting, passionate life. And he drank it down like wine, savoring the flavor, the fear, the feel of it filling his whole throat like the sickly sweet scent of blooming roses. But he kept swallowing until his stomach felt fit to burst; he drank until he could drink no more, until he had drowned the thought of roses in blood. He sighed happily as Dru kissed away the red stains on his lips.
Some days, it was hard to enjoy blood. Those days, he drank until it was easy again.
Some days, it was hard to be bad. The leather, the attitude, the absolute indifference had all become habit. He woke up every morning and slipped into his personality like putting on a second skin. A thick one that made it okay for him to not care. To never care. But every once in a while—a long while—the skin didn't fit. Today was one of those days.
Dru was sleeping, as Dru and every other vampire in the world was wont to do at noon, but he couldn't sleep. He couldn't not care. And it frightened him-he was always scared when his skin cracked. He was always afraid that he would not be able to mend the cracks, and that he would change. He had grown so accustomed to being bad that he had no idea what he would be if he weren't. If the leather and the attitude disappeared, then what would he be? He would not be a demon anymore. But he had long ago forgotten how to be a man.
He wrote poetry that afternoon. He had not written poetry in over a century. Poetry didn't fit under the leather; it itched under that second skin. He had forgotten how much he loved trying to fit words into beautiful patterns. He had forgotten how truly bad at it he was. He had forgotten words like effulgent. He had no use for such words. His attitude did not allow for pretentious words like that, and nothing glowed for him anymore. But he remembered just this once and wrote the worst poetry of his life. And he wished that his second skin would never crack, and he would never have to put himself through this again.
When Dru woke up at sunset, she found ashes on the bed beside her. She screamed until she caught sight of him through the curtain that hung across the door to the other room. He was smoking a cigarette, and looked up at her with his usual smirk when she floated over to run her fingers possessively through his hair.
"Didn't mean to scare you, pet," he said, gesturing back toward the ashes of his poetry. Burned poetry. It had burned so bright, so brilliant, so radiant. For just a moment, it had been effulgent. And then he swung his leather coat across his shoulders and slipped into the attitude that paralyzed him with uncaring. And he ignored the itch under his skin.
Some days, it was hard to be bad. Those days, he burned.