|Return to You by Thianna|
|Chapter #11 - 11 - Hiding|
|Disclaimer: The characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and Fox studios. This story is not meant to infringe upon anyone's rights, only to entertain. |
Chapter 11 - Hiding
Spike stared out at the blinking nightlife and silently wished he wasn’t cooped up in Buffy’s apartment. It had been two weeks since the little “accident” and no one knew what really happened to him. Buffy had called Giles to inform him of the situation but none of his symptoms made any sense. He still had his strength and heightened senses but his reactions to sunlight and holy relics have decreased. He still craved blood, yearned for the taste of it, but he found out through trial and error that his stomach could only take a certain amount of blood, which of course made him very anxious. The demon wanted the taste but the body couldn’t handle it.
For all intents and purposes he was technically still human and still alive. Both he and Buffy were trying their best to adjust to these changes. They had decided to keep his status a secret to everyone else. To them he was still Collin not Spike, though there were times that Spike wasn’t sure if he was himself. It was getting more and more difficult to differentiate his memories from that of Collin’s. Maybe it was because he wasn’t that different from him -- his rebelliousness, his light disregard for authority, his sense of individuality all appealed to Spike. Or maybe it was really the other way around. He had skimmed through some of his books and even took a peak at his journals. Spike saw his name mentioned so many times that one could only conclude that Collin was either obsessed or haunted. And it all started with a kiss.
Spike slowly caressed the now healing vampire bite and secretly wished that things weren’t so complicated. He just wanted to be with Buffy. But of course being with Buffy meant complicated. He turned around, his back leaning against the balcony railing as he watched Buffy talking on the phone. Just looking at her made him smile. When she finally put the phone down, Spike could sense that something had upset her. As he opened the sliding door to go back in, Buffy looked at him pensively.
“What’s wrong, love?”
“That was Giles on the phone.”
“And? Does Rupes have a better idea exactly what happened?”
“Well, he’s kind of stuck. Based on the description we gave him of that demon that attacked you, he found out that it was parasitic.”
“Parasitic in what way?”
“In the, I will implant myself then devour your soul kind of way.”
“Ok, so I have something chomping up my soul. Wonderful…”
“Well that’s the problem. Giles thinks that if that was the case, then you should still technically be Collin. Unless…”
“Unless what love? You know I’m not one for suspense when it comes to me.”
“I told him about what Angel told you. Giles said that since it has been three years and the fact that you didn’t die, then there was no way you could be turned. But that maybe the vampire lay dormant within you and it only woke up when your body was fatally wounded.”
“Ok … that doesn’t really explain anything.”
“He’s suggesting that we go to England to get all of this straightened out. He says he has a couple of ideas but that you needed to be there so he can run tests.”
“You said we, you planning on coming with?”
“To keep you out of trouble.”
“Wait… I can’t leave. What about Emily?”
“Giles is sending another Watcher to take your place.”
“Not good enough. You know I can’t leave her.”
Buffy knew all to well how protective he was of her. This was one of the reasons why they had to go to England to sort this all out. Collin was in there somewhere… he had to be, if he wasn’t then why would Spike care so much about Emily. “Spike, she’ll be fine. She’s moving along as a Slayer and the others will be with her. They’ll keep each other safe. Besides, this isn’t the Hellmouth.”
She was right. They would take care of each other. But Spike knew that all any demon or vampire needed was one good day. He just hoped that that day wouldn’t come when they were away.
Spike found himself sitting in the receiving room staring at the portrait of the woman that looked so much like Buffy. He had done this before.. just stare at her visage for hours on end. He would trace the brush strokes with his fingers.
“She’s beautiful isn’t she.”, Spike heard from behind him.
Spike turned around to see Collin dreamily looking at the painting. “And he speaks. I thought you had gone mute on me, child.”
Collin gave him a smirk in defiance, “It’s not really easy to speak when you don’t want me to.”
“Enjoyed being back too much. Couldn’t get enough of seeing the Slayer.”
“I know.. I don’t really blame you.”
Spike raised an eyebrow. “Really now, that’s not exactly what I heard.”
“She’d never love me … I can’t give her what she needs.” Collin said with a sigh.
Spike couldn’t help but start laughing. “Believe me mate, no one can figure out what she bloody wants or needs.”
“I shouldn’t be thinking of myself anyway. I need to think about Emily. I need to protect her, and right now, with your powers, you can do that for me.”
“So what? I’m your bloody mercenary now? Don’t make me laugh. You mean to tell me that all your soddy cussing, hating and brooding just like Peaches was so that I could protect your sister? Please, how pathetic is that?”
“I didn’t know what to make of it… didn’t understand how one man could enjoy such death and mayhem. I wanted to know more about you.. everything about you but all I had was images and dreams. What that woman said didn’t help any… telling me that I was you… which meant that I had the same capabilities, same tendencies. I didn’t want that… didn’t want to turn. You are evil.”
“Well thanks for saying it mate!”, Spike replied with a grin.
“I hate you. Hate everything you’ve done, hate these dreams swimming in my head. I want you out of me, out of my head. I want all the bloody nightmares to stop. But now I’m stuck, eh? I need you. Need your power to protect the ones I love.”
“Nightmares … it still burns… still burns.” Spike said lost in thought.
“Does it get any easier? Did yours ever stop?”
“Stop? It’s there, always… and it hurts, and it burns… But you cope, you try and hope that by doing something good, that you can get some sense of peace.”
“She’s calling you.” Collin said, looking behind him through the receiving room doorway.
“Buffy. She’s calling you. Guess it’s time for you to wake up.”