The Basement

by Mad Vampire Poet

The basement below Sunnydale High was a labyrinth of shadows, a place that brought the most terrifying nightmares to life. It was spoken about in classes too often as they discussed what monsters might lurk right beneath, ready to prey on the souls of the living. Even the most ignorant of them knew that something was wrong… But next to none of them could guess that Sunnydale High was perched right smack bang in the middle of a Hellmouth.

It almost made Spike laugh to think of it. So many people, so blissfully unaware of what horrors were all around them. Spike knew. He knew because he was one of them, one of the beings that were mentioned in stories but nobody ever believed in. He had been one of them, at least. He hardly knew who he was any more. He couldn't be someone like Angel. He didn't try to help anyone. He couldn't. He couldn't even leave the god damned basement. He didn't feel safe, he didn't feel like himself. He felt... alone.

Yes, alone was exactly how he felt. Alone, and—he would never admit this to anyone—afraid. He hadn't felt like this in so long. It was like he was a small child again, but this wasn't the nineteenth century, it was the twenty first. He wasn't a small boy; he was century old vampire who had formerly wreaked havoc on the world, the Slayer of Slayers.

No, no, no! That wasn't helping! He needed to get those thoughts out of his head, get them away, get them away... Things would never be the same as they were back when he was human, or even before he got the chip. He wasn't William any more, that was obvious. But he couldn't be Spike either... Was he someone else entirely?

He looked up and he could see her. The Slayer. Not Buffy, not even Nikki, but that bird he'd killed years back during the Boxer Rebellion. What was her name again? He couldn't remember. Had he ever known? Here she was, striding towards him, but she couldn't be here. Even in this state he knew that. She was dead, she was never coming back, never ever, so why was she here? She'd been dead for over a century. Seeing things again, that must be it. Just his mind playing tricks on him like it did so often when he hadn't slept for ages and the guilt and grief were eating away at his mind, consuming until there was nothing left but a pathetic empty shell of who he had been...

Spike stared intently at the dead girl standing across from him. In that stillness, not a single sound could be heard. Even the rats seemed to have stopped moving about to listen in on them.

"You're not her," he said. "Not really. You can't be, because you're dead. You're nothing any more. Just a figment of my imagination."

She was dead. He knew it, he was the one who'd killed her. With that thought, the guilt rushed right back to him, filling up his head.

"Go away! Go away, leave me! Leave me alone!" he shouted.

The slayer just looked at him and he couldn't back away from her gaze. She said something after a wait of many minutes. It was in Chinese, but her tone of voice gave enough of a clue as to what she meant. She was angry at him. Who wouldn't be, after what he'd done? He was a monster. He felt it, and everyone else confirmed it. Buffy had said it so many time in the past year. Disgusting. A monster. So many things she'd said to him... They were only to make herself feel better of course, but she believed herself. He wasn't human. They all knew that, but it still hurt, somehow.

When he looked up the Slayer was gone and he was staring into an empty room once more. But it didn't seem empty. He could still hear them, all of them, filling his thoughts with their piercing screams. He'd never looked back at his victims. He'd always just wanted the rush. But now he was looking back and it was so awful... It seemed like if anyone came down to him now he would burst into tears and humiliate himself. Even if it was only the janitor, or the principal. He knew that man from somewhere, but his name escaped him... He just looked familiar. Could be nothing, of course. He probably just looked like someone he'd killed once. Obviously there was no relation.

"Spike? Spike, are you down here?"

He looked up, startled. It was Buffy. She'd come to him. What was it for this time? More of her mind games? Call him little horrible things and them come and try to comfort him later?

"I'm right here," he said, hopefully.

The Slayer threw her head back and laughed. His heart sank. She hadn't come here to be nice, then.

"You think I care about you? I'm the Slayer, Spike and you're a vampire! I was only using you, just to feel something in the hell of my life… But don't worry, it will all be over soon."

"You're not Buffy," Spike said, his voice catching in his voice. He knew it was true, but he couldn't even believe his own words...

"Way to state the obvious, Spike," She walked over to him and smiled. It looked like Buffy. But a second later it didn't. That golden blonde hair, that serious look on her face... It all changed in a tiny amount of time, to that of his dark goddess. Drusilla. Either he was imagining this, or it was some kind of magic. Wasn't like he could tell the difference right now.

"Why won't you play with me any more, Spike? Miss Edith misses you," she said.

"You left me," Spike said.

"You love that slayer… You went and got a soul for her. Not the same any more, not the same! I want you how you were."

"But I can't be! I wish that I could, but I can't!" Spike screamed back at her.

The imagined Drusilla leaned in close to him and whispered in his ear, "You can be. But you won't be. You'll never be what you want. Always running round in circles, just trying to find a place..."

Spike closed his eyes and put his hands over his ears, trying to block it all out."You're not her, you're not her..."

When he opened his eyes again, she was gone. Even the voices had stopped, and he'd never felt so alone in his life. He cried.

Okay, so I'm not really sure this is too great... Any feedback is welcome, though.