Title: Whispers and Remembrances
Author: Spike Speigel
Rating: PG-13 (Language)
Disclaimer: As usual, these characters don't belong to me because I don't have the imagination to even touch Mr. Whedon's.
Spoilers: Anything from season six thus far. Special consideration to Becoming, The Body, Forever and The Gift.
Summary: Buffy eavesdrops on Spike's conversation with Joyce. Big Bad has a troubled heart.
She had stopped by his crypt to go patrolling. While things were still strained between them, she still felt comfortable going on patrol with him. While they focused on stopping evil, they had less time to talk about what their relationship actually meant. She didn't even know. She knew that Spike loved her. She knew that she felt something for him. She also knew that the sex was phenomenal. God was it phenomenal. They actually destroyed a whole building with their lovemaking.
It felt odd, describing it with that term, but it seemed right. At least from Spike's point of view. She could see it in his eyes. Even though he had essentially ravaged her, he never took his eyes off her. He always held her gaze. When they slammed against the walls. When they rolled through the falling debris. When they screamed in ecstasy. He always looked at her. Buffy knew that she had felt something. She never lost his gaze, excluding moments of pleasure washing over her.
She had never done that before. With Angel, she lost herself in him, wanting to just focus on the feelings that he stirred in her. But she never kept his gaze. The same held true for Riley and Parker. She always let them be in control, wanting to feel what they had to offer her. It was different with Spike, though. She felt that it was almost like she was caught up in moment, that she had to prove to him that she was the better. Like they were dancing. She loved every moment of it. It was the first time she didn't have to hold back. It was the first time she was free.
But she couldn't let it go any further. He was evil. He was a killer. He was a monster. And that's when she noticed. She was referring to him in the past tense. It should have been he is evil. He is a killer. He is a monster. But she felt as though she was lying to herself. She knew that he was all those things. But now? She flung the door open, never knocking. She had grown accustomed to just walking in. Like he wanted her there. Like she was welcomed. Spike would never turn her away. So, why did she feel like this was a bad thing?
"Spike?" The stake gently moved in her hand as she surveyed the crypt. He wasn't there. "Spike?" She felt the top of the television. Cold. He hadn't been watching television for a while. Maybe he was still sleeping. After all, he could sleep pretty much through anything. She found that out when she came over to get his help in finding Dawn. Willow had taken her to Rack's place, endangering Dawn in the process. She didn't want his help. After what had happened earlier in the day. When they woke up in each other's arms. She felt so safe there, but the logical part of her said that this was wrong. So she left. Not immediately. Spike had pushed all of the right buttons. He had made her feel alive. He had made her feel normal. That was, until the Slayer crack.
He had been sleeping when she arrived. She stood there, watching him. He still had bruises from their night of abandon. He looked so peaceful, lying there. She wanted to touch him again, to hold him again. But she knew it was wrong. But, at this point, she was beginning to wonder why. She shook the image from her mind, not wanting to think about what Spike really meant to her. That's why she was here. Patrol. Slay. Avoidance of said situation. But she had to find him first before she could ignore him. Did that sound as idiotic as she thought it did? She moved to the bedroom, half hoping he was there, sleeping. The other half wasn't sure what she wanted.
She moved slowly into the lower portion of the crypt, noting that it was well lit. He had been here. Based on the made bed and the open book laying on it, he had done some reading before he left. Even his reading glasses were there, next to the book. She instinctively picked them up, slowly twirling them by the handle. She held them up to her face, and slowly put them on. She was amused to find that the strength of the lens wasn't that high. A pair of sunglasses had a higher magnification. She softly laughed. It must have been an old habit. She caught her reflection in one of the oil lamps on the bedside table. She bent down, getting a closer look. She looked kind of dignified with them on. Spike would definitely like seeing her in them. Buffy slowly pulled of the glasses, placing them back on the bed. Why did she care what Spike thought of her?
She walked outside, readying herself for patrolling solo. She felt…what? Was it disappointment? Why would she be disappointed that Spike wasn't around? She let out a soft sigh and continued into the cemetery.
It had been a relatively quiet night. A vamp here. A demon there. Nothing that she couldn't handle by herself. But, she found herself not really in the slaying mode tonight. Instead, she was going through the motions once again. With Spike, it wasn't like that. With Spike, she felt invigorated. With Spike, she felt like she had something to prove. To him. She hadn't realized where she was, but the sounds from over the hill caught her attention. She surveyed the surroundings, noting that they were definitely familiar. Buffy slowly made her way over the small incline, the sight not what she was expecting.
Spike was lying down next to a tombstone. His arms were cradled behind his head, his gaze skyward. A fresh bouquet of flowers was lying next to the headstone. Buffy finally realized where she was. She was at her mother's grave. Spike was lying next to her mother's grave. She felt uncomfortable, Spike being there. However, the look on his face lightened her mood. He looked almost sincere, kind, while he spoke. Buffy moved closer, hiding herself behind an oak tree. She needed to hear what Spike was saying. She needed to know why he was here.
"You ever look at the stars, luv? I mean, really look at 'em. God, but they're beautiful." Buffy relaxed herself when she could finally hear him. He was talking to her mother. He was visiting her. When was the last time she visited Joyce? She honestly couldn't remember. Spike spoke once again, stirring her from her thought. "Dru and I, we'd always look at them, back in the ol' days. I didn't see what was the big deal was. But Dru, she saw beauty in everything. Even the poor blokes she drained."
Buffy shuddered as Spike spoke of Drusilla. He was talking about Dru as though she was a regular person. But she was evil. She had been responsible for numerous deaths. She had been with Angelus when everything in Buffy's life had turned upside down. She had killed Kendra. And Spike was reminiscing about the good old days.
"I never much cared for them, though. But now, I can see what Dru saw so fascinating with them. When Buffy died." He was now making a parallel between Drusilla and herself. This couldn't end well. "I remembered something my mum told me once. About people dying. She said if they had lived a decent life on this ball o' dirt, they'd become a star. Even Dru said something along those lines, but hers was more like, 'Another snack, another star.' Just another pretty thing for her to look at."
Buffy noted that his light tone was becoming more serious now. She curled her legs underneath her now, her arms wrapping her chest for warmth.
"But when Buffy died, I'd look at the stars. Every night. After Dawn was asleep and the Scoobies had left from over pampering the bit. I'd go outside on the porch and look to the heavens, hoping I'd see her." Spike sat up, his hand smoothing his hair. "After all, if anyone deserved to be up there, it was her. All the good she's done for the world, God shoulda given her the brightest one out there."
Buffy held her breath, noting that Spike sounded sincere, his voice no longer showing any of his trademark cockiness. He pulled his knees closer to him, his arms wrapping around them. His coat flapped freely in the wind.
"I'd look for the brightest one. Anytime I saw it, I felt better. Knowing that she was up there. At peace." He took an unwarranted breath, being he was a vampire and all. "Don't get me wrong. There was always the part of me that would regret not showing her the man I could be. The man that would care for her. The man that would love her, no matter what. The man that would never leave her." He scoffed at this as soon as it left his lips.
"Sodding Angel." His voice was a whisper, anger tainting it. "If he only knew what he left behind." His legs lay out in front of him now crossed, his hands on either side of him, palms on the ground for balance. "He didn't love her. If he did, he wouldn't have left her." A resigned sigh now. "Even if I couldn't touch her, I wouldn't leave her. I'd never leave her."
Buffy allowed herself a small smile. He could be such a romantic when he wanted to be. Too bad he felt that it made him look weak. She thought it made him endearing. Spike spoke once again.
"Um. So, where were we, luv?" Spike looked around for nothing in particular, then continued. "That's right. Buffy." He pulled out a cigarette from his front pocket, placing it in his lips. As he brought the lighter up, he thought better of himself and placed the cig back into his jacket. "You know, I've been trying to give it up. Ever since I started looking after Dawn last summer, I did a pretty good job. I'm sure Buffy wouldn't of liked it, me giving her little sis emphysema."
So, that's why she hadn't seen him smoking recently. She just thought that he had been trying to get on her good side. But he had done it for Dawn. Her smile grew wider, as she continued to listen to Spike's narrative.
"I'm sure someone's already told you about the various Scoobies. Just in case, here's a quick rundown." Spike fiddled with his jacket pocket as though if he did it enough, the contents of the cigarette would flow into his body through osmosis. "Xander and Anya are still on the way to the ol' ball and chain. But I think Xander's having second thoughts about the whole thing." He chuckled as he spoke. "Honestly, I don't think the boy knows what he's getting into. I don't think he knows what it means to love someone. Really love someone."
Buffy softly smiled. She knew that Spike knew about love. He loved one woman for over a hundred years. He had slept with three in his whole life and one could be counted as frustration. Why he'd even pick Harmony was beyond her. If Spike ever told her that he thought of Harmony as a substitute for herself, she'd have no choice but to stake him. She stifled a laugh. But the laugh subsided when she realized that she was his latest love. She wondered how long he'd love her. Would he be like all the others? Would he leave when things got difficult? But, then again, did she really care?
"Hmm, let's see. Rupert went back to merry ol' England. Came back for a bit to check in on Buffy, but he turned tail and ran once he figured she was situated. I gotta tell ya, Joyce. You humans are good with the easy emotions. Stuff like love, happiness, anger, hatred. You people can point those out a mile away. But when it comes to more complex emotions, like sorrow, pain, indifference, and the like, you folk dismiss it as just another bad day."
Buffy knew he was talking about her. No one really knew that she was in pain when she first came back. They just assumed that she was recovering from torture from some unknown hell dimension. But Spike knew different. He knew something was wrong. And even though he didn't know how to fix it, he did offer solace. Even when her friends hadn't, he had. Even though it could have looked like he was trying to impress her, she could see it in his eyes, that afternoon behind the Magic Box. He was worried about her well-being. He was worried. That was something new for him. And he was doing it very well.
"So, anyway. Watcher man's gone. What else?" Spike had stopped fiddling with the jacket pocket, his hands now on his knees, which were bent once again. "Willow's having a tough go at it. She's into some powerful magic." He sighed deeply, as though he was feeling for her best friend. "Honestly, luv. I don't think she's gonna pull through this."
Buffy's mood had gone from one of happiness to one of worry in a matter of words. She could feel the seriousness in his words. She could see it in his eyes.
"This is an addiction, Joyce. And I don't think Red's equipped to handle addiction." Spike gave in, finally popping the cigarette between his lips. He lit it and took a long drag. One long exhale later and he spoke again. Buffy could see that this topic bothered him. "Don't get me wrong, she's a good girl, even by Scooby standards. But she's experiencing something life altering. I don't think she'll ever want to go back to ordinary Willow." He took a long breath again, the cigarette dangling between his index and middle finger, glowing embers falling to the earth. "God knows I don't want to go back to the way I was before…" He trailed off, Buffy unable to hear him. "When she hurt Dawn, I felt it in my bones. Things had got to that point. You know what I'm talking about?" Spike finally got up from the ground, now pacing slowly in front of her mother's grave. "That point where you don't care. That point you welcome the downward spiral. The point you give up."
He spoke as if from experience. His voice was now steady, his demeanor one of calm and anxiousness all at the same time. Another deep exhale of tobacco smoke and he resumed. "I saw it in her eyes. When she was pleading with Dawn. Red had that look." He dropped the remnants of the cigarette on the ground, his foot coming down on it almost immediately. "Thing that frightens me though, is that I saw that same look in your daughter's eyes."
Buffy was unsure whether he was talking about Dawn or herself at this point. They had both been mad that night at Willow. If it wasn't for Spike, Buffy was sure that she would have left Willow in the dirt, wallowing in her own pity. But Spike had stopped her. He hadn't told her to go back and talk to her. He had only looked at her. And she had known by his eyes, that everything would be okay. That Dawn would be okay.
"Buffy had the same look. She coulda cared less if Willow just up and died there." He had stopped moving, his position now directly in front of Joyce's tombstone. "I know something's wrong with her. I know it has something to do with Willow and the rest of those greedy bastards pulling her out of Heaven. But I don't know how to fix it. I don't know how to make her happy."
Buffy hadn't realized that she was crying until she saw the top of her blouse covered in water droplets. Her hand instinctively wiped away the tears from her face, but she could feel another wave swelling in her eyes. She looked back at Spike, his head now slightly tilted downward, looking down at Joyce.
"Maybe if you were here, you'd know how to fix all this." He let out a small chuckle. "You knew how to make me feel better. A good cuppa and some soap talk was all I needed for you to cheer me up. That and the fact you treated me like a man." He ran a hand through his head, as though he was trying to expel an unpleasant memory. "You were the only one that didn't care what I was. You could see me for what I was. What I am. You. And eventually Buffy. But she died the same night. That night with Glory." His hands were once again in his pockets, his hands flexing through the leather. "I don't think she sees me like that anymore, though. It feels like we're back at square one. Her hating me, me loving her. But I won't give up. Not now."
She contemplated his words while the tears slowed. Was he right? That night with Glory, she had trusted him with Dawn's life. She had trusted him with her friends' lives. Why couldn't she trust him with her own? After everything he had done. Why couldn't she let him in?
"Well. Think I've depressed you enough for one night. How about some good news, eh?" Spike's voice was still sullen even though he didn't want it to be. "Dawn's doing well. Her arm's still busted, but she'll heal. She's a tough one, the bit." His gaze never wavered from the grave. "Her and Buffy are doing better. Acting sisterly again. Again, somewhat thanks to Willow, but they're doing good." A pause. "Well, think that's it. Good night, Joyce."
A moment of silence. Buffy thought that he was done talking to her mother. He just stood there, motionless. Another long moment, then he began to walk away. However, before he got even two feet away from Joyce, he stopped.
"I know that you'd never approve this thing I have for your daughter. I know what I am. I know I'm a monster." He stood still now, his hands still tucked away in his pockets, his back to the grave. "But I promise, I won't hurt her. Her or Dawn. I love them too much." His hands were now free of the pockets, now pulling his coat closer to his body. "They're my world now. They'll be my world til the day I leave this God forsaken place. Even if she'll never love me, I promise. I'll never leave her." He took a deep breath that he didn't need, most likely to steady his voice. "I failed them once. I won't fail them again." It didn't work. His voice began to crack. "Never again."
Buffy couldn't catch her breath. It felt as though someone had hit her in the chest, all the wind being knocked out of her. Her heart hurt, her eyes watered, her body trembled. She felt as though she was stuck in the ground again, clawing her way to the surface. She looked back to Spike and her mother, Spike slowly walking away, his hand swiping his face. She couldn't be sure, the tears blurring her vision. But if she knew better, she could swear he was crying as well. Crying with her.
She slowly got up and began to walk away from the scene. At first, she wanted to go home. To bury herself under her covers and cry herself to sleep. But she knew that wouldn't help. Only he could help her. Only he understood her. She began to run, her face now determined even though tears continued to stream from her face. She needed to see him.
Spike slowly opened the door to the crypt, his eyes looking downward. It wasn't until he closed the door behind him that he noticed her sitting on top of the tomb. Her legs were dangling from the sides, her arms crossed across her chest. She was waiting for him.
"Hello, luv? Help you with something?" He moved past her, taking a seat next to her. At first, he thought that she would flinch, being this close to him. Instead, she stayed still, her head turning to him. Her eyes were red. She had been crying. "What's wrong, Buffy?"
She shook her head, unsure what he was talking about. Then his hand was on her cheek, his thumb gently caressing the side of her face. He knew that she had been crying. How couldn't he? Her eyes were most likely bloodshot. Leave it to Spike to notice something that miniscule. She shot him a meek smile. "Oh, this. Nothing. Just leftovers from the Willow fiasco." She didn't want to lie to him, but telling him that she had eavesdropped on him would make her feel worse.
"Oh. Aren't things getting better between the two gals?" Buffy felt his arm wrapping around her shoulder slowly, as though he was gauging if this was okay. She answered by falling into his gentle grasp.
"They're strained. But at least they can be in the same room now without Dawn threatening Willow that she'll have you break every bone in her body." She felt him as he laughed softly against her. "Glad you find that funny."
"Sorry, pet. But she's right. Even though I'd have a headache for the next year or so, I'd do it if it made the niblet happy." She looked up into his eyes, seeing nothing but playfulness and wickedness at the same time. She couldn't help but laugh with him.
"Well, let's just make sure you don't. Okay?" She tilted her head so it was against his shoulder. "You already do anything she asks for. If I didn't know better, I'd think you were spoiling her."
"You know it, luv. If I could give her the world, I would." His demeanor was relaxed, a smile now on his face. She knew he was telling the truth. She knew it, and she was happy.
"How about a movie?" Buffy didn't know why she said it, but it was out there. Spike looked at her quizzically.
"A movie?" She'd have to spell it out to him.
"You. Me. Dawn. Some Chinese take out. A movie. My house. Tonight." A fleeting smile played across his face before the worried look set in.
"What about Willow?" It sounded like he wanted to include her into tonight's festivities. Buffy couldn't help but smile at this. At first, he was only worried about Dawn and her. He was now worrying about the rest of the group.
"She went out with Xander and Anya. Last minute Christmas shopping. Should do her good, to get out of the house and do something normal." A look of relief washed over his face as he heard this.
"Well, that's good to hear. So, why a movie?" Buffy knew that he was still confused about the invite. After all, she was trying to avoid him. Now, she was trying everything but.
"Dawn misses you. Figured some quality family time should make her happy." Family. That had a nice sound to it. Spike was grinning now.
"Well, you've twisted my arm, Slayer. Dinner and a movie it is." They smiled gently at one another for a while before Buffy moved off the tomb. Spike followed right behind her. "So, what kinda movie you have in mind? Lots of blood and gore I hope."
"Umm, no. I was thinking something along the lines of mushy, sappy, and romantic." Spike groaned in disgust as she said this.
"Oh, luv. That stuff's so boring. We creatures of the night need something that suits us. We don't need mamby pamby topics like that in our lives." Buffy couldn't help but laugh. Somehow, the mushy, sappy, romantic topics seemed to fit Spike more and more each day she got to know him better. As she got to know the man behind the monster.
"Tell you what. We'll get one of each and let Dawn pick which one she wants to see."
"Good." They were now outside of the crypt, Spike walking close to Buffy, their arms grazing one another. Buffy felt good being here with him. "So, where were you earlier? Came by to see if you wanted to patrol. Had to do it all by myself." She was now pouting playfully. Spike countered with a gentle smile.
"Sorry, Buffy. Had to say hi to a friend." She smiled to herself. He hadn't lied to her. He told her the truth. And she knew that her mom would grow to accept him. Just as Buffy would, given time. And she knew Spike would give her all the time in the world.
"Then in that case, you're excused for tonight." She turned to him, both smiling at each other now. "Now, let's go get that movie."