Can I Spend the Night Alone?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 7: Episode 7: "Conversations with Dead People"

Chapter 1: Spike

Spike appears in this episode but has no lines; he just meets this woman at the bar, walks her home, and kills her. I tried to get inside his head. I hope you think I somewhat succeeded.

All rights belong to Joss Whedon & appropriate networks

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Night falls / I fall / And where were you? / And where were you?

Warm skin / Wolf grin / And where were you?

I fell into the moon / and it covered you in blue

I fell into the moon / Can I make it right? / Can I spend the night?

High tide / Inside / The air is dew / And where were you?

Wild eyed / I died / And where were you?

I crawled out of the world / When you said I shouldn't stay

I crawled out of the world / Can I make it right? Can I spend the night . . . Alone?

-"Blue" by Joss Whedon and Angie Hart

I try to drown it, the whispers, like fists knocking the inside of my brain, beating my head to a sodding pulp. Avenging spirits of all the humans I've killed . . . bloody ironic really, because I'm here at the Bronze to drink spirits. Pints of them.

The liquor is tasteless, always is to me. Once you know the flavor of blood, all else is bland as water. But I'm not here for the taste anyway, just to tip the stuff down and get it in my system, glass after bleeding glass. Forget about what I've done, what I am.

A hand with cheaply-manicured nails sets a box of cigarettes in front of me. I cast a sideways glance at the woman attached to the hand. She's blonde, not a beauty in anyone's book. What jumps out most is her ugly collar, imitation leopard fur. Despite a coat of makeup as thick as Angel's hair-gel, the bird is almost as old as Joyce.

I miss Joyce, and not just on account of the little marshmallows. She never . . . judged me, probably 'cause she never saw the reeking-havoc-and-carnage, rapist-and-murderer, William-the-Bloody-side of me. For all I know, she never really got over the safe idea that I was just an abnormally pale English bloke who sang in a band with her daughter, not an undead creature of the night, lusting for blood.

The woman with the leopard-collar doesn't sod off. Point of fact, she slides her beer across the countertop and moves her stool closer to me. Do I really look like I'm in the mood for conversation? Maybe I should have stuck to my duster, might've put her off. She mistakes my silence for interest and starts to chat me up. As brassed off as I am, her prattle is more distracting than cheap American beer, so I linger and listen.

Are we even speaking words? Are we deaf and mute, just shrugging and nodding and smiling at the right moments in this conversation? I dig my hands deeper into my pockets as I escort the woman back to her apartment, mostly to guard the daft bird in case some beastie fancies a bite.

We reach her place, but she stops on the bottom step, drawn to me. She mentions some excuse that flows through my ears without making any impression, that her husband isn't home, or her roommate's away for the weekend, or some such waffle.

Whatever her reasoning, I have no doubt that she's inviting me in. Is it my body she wants, or is it that subconscious attraction she would never recognize, that alluring sense of danger in my presence? Because I'm a demon, a vampire.

Does the music start in my head, or is it outside, sung to me by the shadows? "Early one morning, just as the sun was rising . . ."

I smell her, truly smell the woman, draw her into my lungs. Her scent is all earth and cooking spices, a garden, eggnog. Visceral. And I've got to have her.

I seize her leopard collar in both fists, yank her against me, and close my jaws over the nape of her neck. Her blood spills over my jagged teeth and bubbles down my throat. She tastes of parsley and nutmeg, just as I expected. I gulp down her blood, reveling in the thick, sensual taste of her. I hear a soft, dying gasp against my ear, but the sound emboldens me, makes me bite harder and shake her roughly as I drink.

When I've had my fill, I let her drained body drop to the floor of the porch. I lick her blood from my lips, run my thumb across my teeth, each drop a conquest, a triumph, a reminder of what I am.

Bloody hell. I'm back, and I'm a bloody animal.