Okay… the muse is having fun and this is going muuuuuuuuuuuch longer than expected. Sorry, gang. The rest will be posted in my LJ over the next few days.
Now… onto the fic! Ratings and Disclaimers and Author’s Notes are all the same as before.
When he comes to, Spike is back on the steps in front of Buffy’s flat. His mind is awhirl with memories and the information from the Seer. And that’s the thing that’s tormenting him the most. He was the instrument of her change. If he hadn’t brought Dru to Sunnydale, Buffy would still be Buffy. Now she’s … not Buffy.
NotBuffyNotBuffyNotBuffy. It ran around his head like a crazy horse. Bits and pieces of the information from the Seer flashed through his mind. The look on Buffy’s face as she sent Angel into the hell dimension with Acathla. The torment in her eyes when she ran to L.A. The thought that she was wanted for murder in Sunnydale. The belief that her mother didn’t want her in the house anymore. The hurt that none of her friends had managed to track her down when she was in L.A. All of it culminated to leave her open to a psychic attack. And all of it his fault. His. If he hadn’t had that crackbrained scheme.
Dark princess needed to be healed though. But she couldn’t be healed. Too broken, that one. Wounded bird, her. And he wounded her too. Couldn’t be what she wanted anymore. Couldn’t get free of the Slayer. Slayer. Buffy. Autumn eyes. Get lost in those eyes. Pretty eyes. Empty eyes. Saw right through him. No… different eyes… not those eyes… those eyes burned. Burned straight to his soul. A soul! Back in this body. Why? Why? Why? Girl. Had to save the girl. Girl is in trouble. Door. Knock on the door. Buffy! Buffy!
He begins to bang on the door. The first fingers of day creep up over the horizon and pluck at him. He begins to singe.
Buffy bolts up in bed. There’s a pounding – loud, insistent. And someone calling her name from the street. Spike? No! She told him to go away, leave him alone. But there it was again, the pounding. Out of bed now, she dragged a robe on and looked into the hallway. Neighbors poke their heads out of their doors, too. Grumbling and complaining starts. It’s barely dawn. Someone should call the guard. Obviously a drunk at the wrong flat. Alarmed that her secret may be discovered if the authorities are called in, Buffy rushes down.
“I’ll take care of it,” she shouts. “Send the fool on his way.” She practically flies down the steps to the front door.
There’s some harrumphing above, but the sound of doors shutting as she opens the front door. And there he is. Spike. But not the Spike she’s used to. This Spike is disheveled, hair rumpled, eyes wild. And he’s starting to smoke in the sunlight. She yanks him into the foyer.
“I told you to leave me be, Spike,” she hisses.
“Can’t. Can’t leave. Gotta protect the girl. Protect her from the nasties trying to destroy her. Can’t leave. Can’t leave. Not without the girl,” he babbles as she leads him up the stairs.
She shushes him. “People are trying to sleep. They’re safe inside. You need to be quiet, Spike.”
They arrive at her door and she ushers him in with a reluctant invitation. Once inside, she closes the door. Spike huddles in a corner and gibbers to himself. She catches one word in three, “Seer… Slayer… attack… fault… “ The same words over and over, with her real name thrown in for good measure. But she’s so disjointed from Buffy, from who she was. She can’t quite connect what he’s saying with her reality. She crouches down in front of him. Maybe it will help her understand him better.
“Save the girl. Stop the attack. Reverse the spell. Fix the girl,” he mutters.
Fix the girl? she thinks to herself. What’s to be fixed?
“Fix who, Spike?” she asks, afraid that she knows the answer already.
He raises her face, looks into her eyes. “You. Attack. Spell. Need to reverse the spell. End the attack.” His head cocks to the side and he leans closer to inspect her face. “Same as Buffy. Glows like Buffy. But not Buffy. No. Different from the attack. New name now. New life. But not right life. Has a destiny this one. Yes. Yes. Destiny!”
Buffy leans back on her heels and lets out a soft exhalation. This is getting them nowhere. She needs to find a way to tap into what he knows and find out why he’s gone this way. Maybe direct questions…
“Spike, what attack?”
“Attack on Buffy. Psychic attack. Oh! My fault! My fault!” He descends into groveling. “Forgive me, please. My fault you’re here. Not at your appointed post. My fault. Forgive me. Forgive. My fault! They found you. Hunted you. Trying to twist your thoughts. Trying to keep you away from Sunnydale. Need to turn the attack. The attack! My fault! All my fault! Oh, God!” He cowers in the corner again, arms wrapped around his head.
Buffy reaches out instinctively to comfort him. Then she recalls that he’s a vampire, one of Them. Her fingers curl in towards her palm and she withdraws her hand. Comfort is not for his kind. And yet… something in his words, as incoherent as they are, tugs at her, triggers a memory. Sunnydale. She knows that place. It’s from Before. Her mind shies away from the memory, but not before a fragment breaks through. Her mother, angry, disappointed. Not her home anymore. Silently, she stands from her crouch, leaving Spike gibbering in the corner. She begins to pace.
“NotBuffyNotBuffyNotBuffy.” It takes her a minute to understand what he’s saying and then it clicks. This vampire finally understands she’s not the person he thinks she is. He understands that she’s different. Maybe he’ll leave then, when the sun goes down. In the meantime, what to do with him.
I’m for bed now, folks. I promise there will be more over the next few days. Feel free to friend me so you can read the rest.
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/151542.html