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Return to You by Thianna
7 - Holding On
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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 7 - Holding On

Collin heard the sound of the large front door closing as it echoed throughout the house. Emily was home. Glad that his sister was back, he pushed the sheets off and got out of bed. He walked down the hallway and headed to her room to see if she was alright. She was face down on her bed, shoes still on, her body half off the bed, already asleep out of exhaustion. Collin gave her a quick once over and saw her right upper arm covered in crusting blood. Adrenaline rushed through him as he hurried checked the wound. He calmed down and breathed a sigh of relief seeing that it was already healing. He looked at her and smiled, moving to her feet to remove her shoes. He then headed towards the bathroom to get a towel and clean the blood from her arm. As he wrung the excess water from the towel he looked up into the mirror, sensing that he wasn’t alone in the room. But there was no one there. He took a deep breath, letting it out slowly as he cursed himself softly at being so jumpy. Then he heard the slightest of cackles behind him.

“We’re a little jumpy today, aren’t we?”

Collin looked up again at the mirror and strained to see around the dimly lit room but saw no one.

“You sure are making me laugh today. Can’t really have a reflection in my current state. Thought all you Watcher blokes knew that.”

He quickly turned around and saw platinum blond hair, blue eyes and a cocky grin staring right back at him. Collin took a few steps back in surprise, almost hitting the sink.

“You’re uhm…. You’re”, Collin stuttered.

“Bullocks! I swear for a Watcher I’d thought you’d be used to these things.”

Collin could only shake his head in disbelief. He was definitely going insane now if he was seeing… he stopped himself before thinking it. He didn’t even want to justify what he thought with a name. Seemingly able to read what was on his mind, Spike gave him a mockingly hurtful look. “Now now, you’re the one that’s been calling me, pet. Go ahead say my name. Think of it as some form of bloody release and if you must know you’re not bloody insane. Well, maybe just a little.” he said with a toothy grin.

“Assuming you are real, how did you get in, no one invited you.”

“And why in the world would I need an invitation for my own house?”

Collin looked at him with a confused look. Shaking his head, Spike looked around the bathroom then quickly stepped outside back into Emily’s bedroom. He stopped a few feet from the bed, quietly watching the fledgling Slayer sleeping peacefully. Collin quickly followed him and protectively pushed his way between his sister and the vampire. “Don’t you even dare!”, he said crossly under his breath. Spike could only roll his eyes in amusement.

“Slayer blood does do wonders”, he said playfully licking his lips. He pushed Collin out of the way, and moved closer to the sleeping Slayer. He gently stroked her head, his fingers playing with her hair.

Collin pulled Spike away from her sister, giving him a deadly glare. Spike just chuckled, stuck his hands in the pockets of his duster and headed out the room towards the stairs. Not wanting to lose sight of him, Collin quickly followed and hurried down the stairs. He found Spike in the receiving room staring at the portrait of the woman. There was a somewhat sad smile on his lips as he reached up and traced the woman’s visage with his fingers. Collin watched him from a distance, unsure of what to do. For more than a year, he had been searching for anything and everything about William the Bloody and here he was in front of him but no questions would come to mind. He bore a multitude of emotions against him – fear, hatred, confusion, yearning yet the only thing he could feel now was strangely enough comfort.

“Is she happy?”, Spike said breaking the silence.


“Is she, Buffy, happy.” Spike said again.

“Happy? I guess. Seems like she enjoys working with the kids. But…”

“But?” Spike said turning around to face him.

“I think she misses you. I don’t know. I’m not a bloody therapist but I’ve caught her almost calling me by your name.”

“I’m just so unforgettable, mate.”

Collin responded him with a smirk. “Unforgettable my arse. I have your bloody face.”

“I knew there was something about you I liked.” Spike said flashing him a toothy grin.

“It hasn’t exactly been a party you know. You’re damn memories running on playback every night. Would be bloody nice of you if you’d take them back or at the very least enlighten me as to why I have them.”

But Spike wouldn’t give him an answer. He just shrugged his shoulders then turned around to stare at the painting again. Minutes seemed to pass as the vampire took in the painting of the blond haired woman before him. “How long do you stare at her?”, he said finally breaking the silence.

“Uhm… well”, Collin didn’t know what to say. He was a little embarrassed to tell him the truth.

“Come on. You can’t tell me that you don’t spend hours on end looking at her. I would, heck I could stand outside her window and wait all night just for a chance to see her. Man, I sound like a ponce.”

But Collin knew that Spike was right. He had looked upon that face ever since he was a boy and had fallen for her. And now the situation wasn’t really any easier. But at least he could see her, hear her, watch her. He wished he could hold her in his arms, but that hasn’t happened again since that night when they danced.

“You love her too.” Spike declared “ I can tell. But you haven’t done a thing about it have you? You just watch her from afar… watch her and wonder … you’re pathetic! So are you going to spend the rest of your life doing that. Staring at this painting and pinning over her? Guess what? I’ve been there… I’ve done that and it ain’t a bloody picnic. But that’s it isn’t it?” Spike said as he calmly made his way to where Collin was standing. “You like holding on to pain. You like to wallow in it, because it makes you feel. For someone with as much talk as wanting freedom from his life, you sure hold on to suffering. Just like that kiss mark you wear like a bloody cross.” Spike reached out to expose the vampire bite.

Instinctively Collin stepped away from him and pulled his shirt opening closer together to hide his secret.

Spike gave Collin a look of disappointment. “You’re getting boring and I’m getting hungry! Let’s play.” And with that, eyes turned from blue to yellow as the demon came forth and lunged at Collin with a menacing growl.

Collin stepped back, but couldn’t find his footing and fell back with a thud. His arm instinctively went up to defend himself but there was no one else there. He looked up trying to figure out where he was because the room didn’t look like the receiving room. Books lined the walls and a large chair was to his right, still rocking as if someone had just been on it. He picked himself up and slowly let out a long sigh. It was just a dream. He ran his fingers through his hair, trying to put his curly locks back in place. He sat back down on the chair he obviously fell from when he dozed and looked at the book that was laid out on the table. It was a journal, the pages yellowing and the ink no longer black. He stared at the page that was open to find a rough sketch of a woman. Her shoulder length hair looked like it was being blown by the wind but what was strange about it was that she wore men’s clothing and held a wooden stake in her right hand. His eyes scanned the page for a date and found it. It said January 20, 1882.

“What were you thinking Uncle? What was plaguing you?”

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