Aphrodite’s Avatar

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Here’s my contribution. What I’ve been working on, I ended up putting aside. It was just going to take too much to make it a whole story. Possibly, I’ll be offering it on my second posting day.

I wrote this one today. Forgive me if it has typos. If you see something, comment, and I’ll fix it. This is set somewhere in Season 7.

“Tell me a story. Just like old times. Remember? When you used to tell me about all the people you killed when you were evil.”

“Still evil, bit. That never goes away.”

“Yeah, right. So, what’s the most evil thing you’ve done lately?”

“Never mind.”

“Ha! You can’t think of anything.”

“Not easy being evil with this chip in my head.”

“Buffy’s off with Willow on some sort of retreat with most of the girls. And Xander and Anya are upstairs pretending nobody knows they’re doing it again. Giles is off at the library. It’s just you and me for a change. Come on, Spike. Tell me a scary story. Like you used to.”

Spike took a drag on his cigarette and leaned his head back against the basement wall. The chains on his wrists jingled a bit when he moved. Dawn sat next to him on the cot, cross legged.

“OK, a story. Let me see…”

“A scary story!”

“OK, I’ll tell you one that scares me. That should be scary enough — I mean, I’m the big bad. What scares me ought to terrify you.”

“I can take it…”

So, I was out back of Willie’s one night. It was back last year when your big sis and I were keepin’ secrets. But she wasn’t with me then. I’d had a belly-full of Willie’s rot-gut. I stepped out back to have a smoke.

So, I’m out there lightin’ up, and I see two vamps having a go at this old, homeless guy. The old bugger looked like he was done for. One of them had his fangs into his neck and the other was grabbing for an arm or leg. Not that there would have been much in an old guy like that.

Dunno what got into me. I mean, yeah, I was dustin’ vamps pretty regular, but usually only when the Slayer was around to see it. No point otherwise. And what’s the point of savin’ somebody who’s so old he’s going to kick it soon anyway?

But there was somethin’ pitiful about two vamps having a go at some old sod who couldn’t run and couldn’t put up a fight.

So, I went and slapped the forehead of the vamp who was in the guy’s neck, and brought his head up so I could twist it off. He never knew what hit him. The other one backed off right away. When I got up close I could see he was just a fledge. He hesitated, lookin’ at me with this deer in headlights look.

“Run, moron!” I told him, and he did.

So, the old man is all in a heap down at my feet. I helped him up. Funny thing — he wasn’t even bleedin’ much. There was a little bit of ooze on his neck, but as deep as that vamp had his fangs, it should have been gushing. He was an odd old thing. His eyes were all milky, like he was blind, but he kept looking at me, and I knew he could see clear as anything. He had this long, tangled beard that looked like it might have bugs in it, and he smelled like a garbage dump.

“Your reward,” the old guy says. He reaches into the pocket on his ragged, filthy coat and brings out something, mostly hidden in his hand.

“Whatcha got, grampa?” I asked.

“Your heart’s desire,” he says. “But be certain you want what you want.”

“Don’t talk in riddles, grampa. What is it?”

“Give this to your lady and she will be yours completely.”

He drops a little gold chain with a charm on it into my hand.

“Not that you got to give me anything,” I said, hastily. “But if you want to, who am I to turn you down.”

I gave the bauble a look. The charm was a little naked statue of a woman. Tiny, but very detailed. It was a quality piece.

“How do you know I have a lady?” I asked.

He just looks at me, like, of course you do.

“OK, well, thanks. I guess she’ll like this. It’s kind of cute.”

He puts his hand on my arm to keep me from going.

“Be certain you want what you want. Place this token upon her wrist and she will belong to you heart and soul. It is Aphrodite’s avatar. Who wears it loves completely and without reservation.”

“Who wouldn’t want that?” I said.

He just gave me another look. Then I pulled away from his hand, and turned to go. I turned back to say something else to him, and he was gone. Poof! Like he’d never been there in the first place.

“This doesn’t sound very scary!”

“Hold on, I’m not to the scary part, yet.”

So, after that, I went back to my crypt. I was still pretty pissed.

“What? What were you mad about?”

“Pissed, bit. Not mad, drunk.”


Anyway, I went back to my crypt to sleep it off. I was down below, where I used to have my bed, when your big sis lets herself in and comes down to join me. She was all frustrated and angry. Seems you were giving her a pain — skipping school and stuff. And everybody else was getting’ on her nerves. And Red was not fit company ’cause she was all under the weather.

So, Buffy comes to me to … for companionship.

“You don’t have to pussyfoot around. I know what Buffy came to you for.

“Whatever, it’s not proper to talk about with her little sis.”

“You are such a wimp, Spike.”

Anyway, I’ve got the little bracelet on my nightstand, and I gave it to her.

“Cute,” she says, and she’s about to drop it in her purse.

“Let me put it on you,” I said.

So, she held out her hand and I put it around her wrist.

At first, I thought nothing happened. No big deal. I had no reason to expect anything to happen, really. I hadn’t gone out looking for the thing.

But in a few minutes, your sis, she was completely different. I mean, she wanted to kiss me and never stop. I know she would have kissed me anyway — like you said, you know what we were up to. But this was different. She was really kissing me. Not just kissing me to keep me going so I’d give her what she wanted. She was kissing me like I was the most important thing in her life. Like she wanted to taste every bit of me and remember forever what it was like to touch me.

I’m not going to go into detail, bit. Wouldn’t be right. But, suffice it to say, Buffy was mine that night — like she never had been before. There was that one time — when Red cast that spell that made us want to get married — but even that wasn’t like this. This was real. She really loved me.

We were resting, and she was talking about the future — about how she was going to break it to everybody about us, about how I had to move out of the crypt and come here. And about how we were going to be partners, and fight evil side-by-side.

It made me so happy. I’d thought about us being together so many times, but I’d always thought about getting her into my world. About her giving up the goody stuff, and embracing the dark. But she was talking like I was going to become like her — good — and I could see it. I could see myself becoming this crime-fighting, good vampire. And I could see my self at her side, her right-hand man, for as long as she lived.

“But that’s what you’ve done. You got your soul. You are good now.”

“Yeah. But I didn’t have a soul then. I was still evil. I thought I was the big bad — just on hiatus because of the chip.”

Then, it started to bug me. I started thinking, how is this going to work? How can she tell everybody she loves me? How can I go live with her? This is all insane. And it started to bug me that she was only saying all those things because she was wearing the bracelet. She didn’t really love me. It was just a spell.

Stupid, I know. There I was with everything I desired and more. And once it was in my hand, I couldn’t stand having it. She was too good for me. I could never be all that she needed. She’d never know she was settling for less than she ought to have because of the spell.

So, when she wasn’t looking, I broke the chain on her bracelet and took it back. It wasn’t ten minutes before she was angry at me for something. She never knew about the bracelet. She wasn’t mad because I’d messed with her. No, she was just mad because I’m me, and I always managed to say or do something that displeased her. I knew I was right to take it back, then. I couldn’t really make her happy. It was just an illusion, and I’d always know it was fake.

When she missed the bracelet, I said it must have just fallen off somewhere. I told her if she liked it, I’d get her another. But, she didn’t really care. She just shrugged. And she went home like she always did.

“This still isn’t scary.”

“Yes, it is, bit. It’s scary because somehow, soulless as I was, I loved her so much that I couldn’t let it be a lie. I realized I only wanted her if it was real.”

“Spike, she does care about you. You know that, don’t you?”

“I know, bit. I know. But, it’s not … the way that would make it right.”

“What did you do with Aphrodite’s Avatar?”

Spike shrugged.

“It was a little thing. I guess I just lost it.”

“Bull shi…”

“Don’t talk like that, bit. Makes you sound common.”

“You didn’t lose it.”

Dawn reached over and pulled the gold chain out of the neck of his shirt. The girls liked to laugh about Spike’s pimp jewelry. But a thought occurred to Dawn. She turned the plain chain around to find the tiny charm, a statue of a naked woman — no more than a half-inch tall.

“Who wears it loves completely and without reservation,” Dawn said quietly.

Spike smiled.

“OK, you got me. The old man gave it to me. But it was up to me to figure out how to use it.”


Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/5693.html