Title: Stupidity and Laundry
Summary: Spike and Buffy think about each other and themselves. Short ficlet written from Spike’s POV and then Buffy’s. Set in Season 7 sometimes (yes, a favourite season of mine :P )
Maybe that’s unfair. But then again, maybe it isn’t. She isn’t stupid in the classic sense of the word – she wouldn’t win at Mastermind but she’s no dimwit. What frustrates me right to the bloody core is the way she pretends. Pretends like she doesn’t feel. And I don’t just mean for me. Of late the Slayer has been just that – The Slayer. Capital ‘T’, Capital ‘S’. Straight to business, cold as stone, hard as nails. She’s pushing herself further and further back behind those walls she has. I can see them when I look at her. I’ve always looked closer than most and now is no exception. I’m just subtler about it.
She hardly ever catches me looking anymore.
In fact, Buffy barely acknowledges me at all. Makes a conscious effort to ignore me. But then she’s always done that. We all have our habits, I suppose. Shame hers is so detrimental to my self-esteem, or whatever. I’m used to it though. It’s my habit to be used to her disregard. I sometimes think that if she were to look at me the way she looks at her mates I might disintegrate on the spot from shock.
Now I’m just being a tosser.
Still, this is my mind, my thoughts, so I’ll say – or rather, think – what I bloody well like. Problem with that is that I’ve had a recent spell of insanity so my thoughts might very well be my undoing. Yes, even I have my flaws, I’ll admit. My flaw even has a word for it – ‘soul’. Ever since I got the pillocking thing it’s been nothing but trouble. Sent me off into a period of listening to Radio Ga-Ga, or so to speak. Drove me round the bend and back again. And now there’s this.
Not too sure what ‘this’ is but it seems to be some kind of holding pattern. I am a good boy and I wait. Again, not sure what I’m waiting for exactly, but still I wait. I’m immortal so I have the time. Unless Buffy finally does shove a stray chair leg into my chest.
She could kill me any day she likes and I wouldn’t try and stop her. Slayer literally holds my life in her hands. In a way it takes a burden off me, not being the master of my own destiny and all that. I don’t think she likes being responsible for me but she feels she has to be. Thinks that because I’ve got a soul now I’m worth saving. I got the soul for her but the things I do, the things I don’t do anymore – they’re for me and I hope she knows that.
I spend far too much of my time thinking about Buffy sodding Summers. Does she think about me even a fraction of that time? I don’t know but I doubt it. Take now, for example. Here’s me sitting in her living room, surrounded by her minions as they all talk strategy, but my ears don’t hear it, my eyes don’t really see them – only her, sitting across from me.
I watch her and she pretends she doesn’t know I watch.
Then she stands, they all do. The meeting adjourned and I’m the odd one out, sitting and solemn. I avert my gaze as she walks past. She puts her hand on the back of the chair to move around me and in doing so the tip of one finger brushes just barely against my shoulder. And that touch, that mistake of a touch, will keep me sustained for days. Maybe even weeks. Time passes oddly for me now.
I continue to sit in the empty room. I’ve nowhere else to be. If her gang needs me they’ll call for me. They never need me. So, I sit. I sit and I look out of the living room window at the silhouette of the tree outside. The tree I used to stand beside whilst watching the Slayer. The tree where we’d once ‘gone alfresco’ or so to speak.
I don’t know how long I sit there but when I do finally stand my legs ache and the light outside suggests the sun is rising. I leave the room intending to descend into my dank basement – which isn’t truly mine, but hers, like everything else – but my route is blocked.
Buffy stands outside the basement door, hand pressed against it as if feeling for a heartbeat. I frown. She shakes her head and turns to go, jumps practically ten feet in the air when she sees me.
“Spike!” she exclaims needlessly – after all, I know who I am. Most of the time.
I arch an eyebrow. I’m good at that. “Everything alright?”
She nods vigorously. “Yeah, great. I was just getting laundry! From the basket. Which is in the basement.”
Her hands are empty.
“Well, anyway, I’m going to bed,” Buffy tells me as she moves around and past me, up the stairs. “’Night.”
I just nod. A short while ago I’d have made some comment about joining her but the words wouldn’t even leave my lips nowadays. I don’t have the heart for that kind of talk anymore. Not that the heart has much to do with it.
Sighing I start for the basement door.
Who the hell needs their laundry at dawn, anyway?
+ + +
Spike creeps me out.
Which isn’t so strange, I know, considering he’s a vampire and therefore is fairly creepsome by definition. But it’s not the vamp in him that creeps me out. It’s the man. Or maybe it is the vampire too. Hell, I think it’s the whole package. It’s just Spike.
He’s so hard to pin down. Not in the physical sense – I can do that pretty easily and have done in preparation for staking him repeatedly in the heart…or other purposes – but in the other way, the emotional way, I can’t read him.
Spike used to be pretty open with how he was feeling, to the point where I actually wanted him to shut up. But now he’s different. He’s not talking. He’s not telling me what’s going on in that brain of his.
So, I’m sitting here trying to listen to whatever it is Xander is saying but my mind is on the vampire across from me. He’s watching me like he always does. And I’m acting like I don’t know, like I always do. It’s a weird routine we’ve gotten ourselves into but I can’t think of a way to break it. Nothing that isn’t as scary as hell, in any case.
Not that I can really complain about Spike being stoic guy. I’m hardly free and easy with how I’m feeling, but then I never have been. Slayer’s gotta have some reserve or everyone she cares about dies. I’ve learnt that the hard way. So, I keep myself to myself now. Which I guess is what he’s doing too.
We’re so similar. I wonder if that makes me creepy too.
Out of nowhere everyone starts to stand up and so I do too. Conformity, thy name is Buffy. The talk is over and I’ve heard none of the words. I guess it doesn’t matter too much, no-one asked my opinion at least. Maybe they think they already know it, or maybe they sense I’m disinterested. I think the yawning may have given me away.
I hustle out of the living room, curving around Spike who remains rooted in his chair. His face is blank, all sharp lines. I long for some kind of expression from him. I haven’t seen one of his new-romantic pouts in forever. I kind of miss them.
The next thing I know I’m lying on my bed staring up at my ceiling and wondering what exactly is missing. I’ve got my friends, I’ve got Dawn. Sure, the apocalypse is coming but when isn’t the apocalypse coming. All in all, I don’t have that much to complain about. But still. Still.
I think I’m turning into one of those pathetic girls who needs a boyfriend. How tragic. Even worse, what if it’s not a boyfriend I need but just sex? The horror, the horror. Just sex. I think there’s no such thing as ‘just sex’. Sex always leads to other things. Good things and bad.
But no, it can’t be a sex thing. I’m not that fickle. I’m not. Really.
I’m restless, I always am. I haven’t slept properly since…I can’t remember when I last slept properly. Can’t remember if I ever slept properly. So, I get up. I walk around. Check in on Dawn. Check in on the Potentials.
When I find myself descending the stairs I know where I’m headed but I’m powerless to stop myself. I reach the basement door and then just stand there like a statue. I listen but don’t hear anything. Not that that means much, Spike can be pretty damn quiet when he wants to be. That’s another creepy thing about him.
I’m going to go down there. No, I’m not. I have nothing to say. Well, no, that’s not true. I’ve plenty of things to say to him but none of them will ever be said. I don’t have the stones for it, as he once said. He has always known I’m a coward when it comes to this kind of thing.
I turn to leave and he’s there. Of course he’s there. He’s always there. Damn him and his Secret Squirrel-esque ways! As I recover from having a heart attack he arches an eyebrow. I think I amuse him. Great.
“Everything alright?” he asks.
I nod over and over like a moron. “Yeah, great. I was just getting laundry! From the basket. Which is in the basement.”
My hands are empty. He notices. Crap.
“Well, anyway, I’m going to bed,” I announce whilst simultaneously bolting past him and up the stairs. “’Night.”
Once I’m safely secure inside my room I let out a sigh.
The laundry, Buffy? You idiot. You absolute idiot.
+ + +
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/157614.html