Chapter 6 - Spike Brain, Brain of Spike
Saturday, May 4th, 2002
'Bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bloody bitch!'
Spike pulled a pack of cigarettes and his lighter from underneath the corner of his pillow. Flicking the pack open, he pursed his lips around one of the exposed butts, pulling it from the packet. A brief blue-orange flicker of flame provided unnecessary illumination as he indulged one of his rapidly dwindling number of vices.
It was still only just after full dark. He'd got back to the crypt just after sundown, whilst it was still light. He'd cast the spell straight away and gone directly to bed in an effort to make up for the absence of sleep the previous night. An hour later, he was awake again.
'All that bloody bitch's fault. unless of course you believe in karma, in which case it would be all my fault for how I treated Harm, and I'm still due a staking.' He picked up his jeans from the floor and pulled them on, rummaging in a casket on the floor for a clean T-shirt, shirt and socks.
'And, if she is a bitch, whose fault is that? God knows she had her moments, like in that alley, "beneath me", but she was never the Wicked Witch of the West before. So if she's turned into superbitch it's no more than you deserve. If you'd kept your promise. Anyway she's your superbitch, so what are you complaining about.
'Cause she isn't, not really, and even if she was I'd still rather never have her and see her happy, like she was before Glory. I haven't seen her laugh in years, but I made her smile. Not often, but now and again on the back porch, I made her smile.'
Images from his dreams came back to him as he prepared to head out on patrol.
'Okay, Doc and the tower, I get. Three hundred and forty two days and I'm still occasionally coming up with a new twist on what I could have done to save her. And yeah, can't say the bit at the end isn't obvious, but Cecily or Halfrek or Hallie or whatever the hell she's calling herself these days? Where the hell does she fit in?
Right next to the slayer.
No, Cecily was just some spoilt upper-class bitch who couldn't see anything except the fact that "society" would never approve if she were to even consider a suit from someone with fewer resources than her family. I was a damn sight better off once I realised that.
And except for not being upper class and it being the vampire thing instead of money, Buffy's different how?
Face facts. No woman has ever thought it was worth the effort to get to know you. Dru saw straight through you like a sheet of glass the minute she met you, and in her own darling demented way she loved you for eleven decades, even if you were second best, she at least loved you. She knew you better than you knew yourself and she still loved you. There's not one other woman who even tried. Well Harm, but there was as much chance of her understanding you as there is of a chimpanzee understanding nuclear fusion. But she tried.
Yeah, Dru knew you. She knew you never really tried to kill her. Yeah, slayer throws you through walls and you keep fighting but one little tap with an axe from her mother and you call it quits. It's not like slayer strength's hereditary. The slayer could kick you harder than Joyce hit you with that axe. And you knew that going in a day early would cock up the Annoying One's plans for St. Vigeous, and if they had worked. and the big scaredy run away at Halloween. and, yeah, of course you would have still given Dru the bits of the judge if you actually believed he would really come back together and destroy the world. Nothing to do with the fact you thought the whole thing was a total crock. and Acathla. and the little na-na-na-na "It's the ring" speech.
Hell, you make it sound like I was in love with her the minute I saw her. Make me sound like that bloody child-molesting Ponce. I gave up on little girls once I hit eighteen so who are you trying to kid?
No, you probably fancied Joyce more at the start, especially after she had the balls to thump you with that axe, but you were always attracted to what she had the potential to become. Especially once you met her mum. You do at least realise that the traits they get from Joyce are the ones that make you love them all. You never wanted to kill her. Except in a bloody pissed-off, lasts for five minutes kind of way. Most of the time killing her was just an excuse to come back. Dru was just a bit premature about saying you loved her, but then sometimes she had a better grip on the future than she did on the present. Can't really blame her for being a bit confused.
Okay, so why that night with the eggs? Why do I keep coming back to that?
'Cause that's the closest you ever got to not being just another Riley. In her bed, well, in her arms, at least, but never in her heart. That was the one time she let you in, before her and Cardboard screwed the whole thing up between them. Still don't know which is worse, if I'd never had any part of her, or having her body while her mind and her heart stay shut up in ice.
It's all her fault anyway. What the hell are you meant to do when your bimbo girlfriend kills your poker buddy's mate in the middle of nesting season? Surprised he didn't just string us up there and then. Mated for seventy years and then 'cause some bint doesn't open any of her watcher's books long enough to tell the difference between a species that's perfectly peaceful if occasionally grumpy when losing at poker and gets a bit territorial when they're nesting and your average psycho sewer dweller, I get shafted again.
And it's not like I can play her little trick and tell everybody she's not my girlfriend 'cause - demons - they can smell her all over me. So I end up stuck in a room with a guy that's wife's just been killed by my "never be my girl"-friend for no good reason other than the fact she can be as thick as two short planks from time to time. If he tells me that I'm looking after his bloody eggs while he's out of town, it's not like I can say, "let their mother look after them" is it? And I mean God had we heard about those eggs. He'd been happily anticipating eating all his young for weeks. Bloody good job he didn't make it back to town 'cause even I'd feel guilty if I had to kill him, and he'd definitely want to kill me, now. I don't think the two that fitted in the icebox would be much consolation. I'll have to clear them out some time.
But will she let you get a word in edge-ways to explain? No, just gives the ex a helping hand to beat me up, and I mean, as if the wanker would dare face me one on one without this chip in my head. Listens to all his little stories as if they're gospel cause human equals good. Demon equals evil. The fact that the soldier boy and I have detested each other from the second we were aware of each other, well, I suppose really from the point he realised I wasn't "a friend of Xander's", up until then it was a bit one-sided, that wouldn't have any influence on anything he said. Wouldn't make him believe some pile of crap somebody feeds him in Willy's, a bar I can't even drink in any more, thanks to my association with little Miss Prissy Britches. And of course he'd never just make stuff up himself just to see me shafted, no-o-o. Course not. Only the evil soulless demon would lie to precious little Buffy.
And, yeah even if they did hatch, it's not like a dozen baby Nevlon's are such a threat they warrant blowing up somebody's bedroom. Never seen Nev go for anything bigger than a kitten. Half the bloody albums they wrecked were older than either of them. Bitch. Wanker. Whichever. Don't really want to know which of the pair of them did it. Doesn't matter, it'll probably still cost a good few grand to replace half the albums, and the other half just can't be replaced.
Probably work out cheaper renting a place, buying a PC, subscribing to broad band and downloading everything than trying to replace them on vinyl or CD. Not the same though. Hell of a lot of good memories went along with those albums. Bitch. Hate not having music. but not a hundredth as much as you hate losing her. not even a thousandth.'
Spike's internal monologue (or should that be dialogue because he did seem to argue with himself a lot) rumbled on through his head as he patrolled through all twelve cemeteries, and Buffy heard every word of it. She thought he'd been being melodramatic when he claimed that he dreamt about her, and thought about her all the time, that he was drowning in her. Now she knew it was nothing but the truth. Well except for the half-hour he spent wondering what he'd missed on Passions while he was holed up in the mansion.
Buffy was beginning to wonder if you could get a headache when you didn't have a head. Spike's brain seemed to whirr constantly, and fascinating as the insight was in places she was wondering if he would ever shut up. And she wasn't thick as two short planks, whatever that meant. and boy was she going to have words with him about his ice-box. if she ever got her mouth back.
"Okay, so Buffy is catatonic, yet again. Anya is missing, last seen at the Bronze with Spike and Xander hasn't rung, so we're assuming he hasn't made it home from work yet." Willow summed up the situation.
Dawn looked across the room at the only members of the Scooby gang she'd been able to round up, Tara and Willow. She hadn't wanted to leave Buffy on her own and by the time Willow had made it home it was too dark to go looking for Spike without back up. Tara had come over once she got a message on her answering machine.
"That's about it, except for the fact there's no food in the house and if we order pizza it'll use the last of the money in Buffy's purse." Dawn added.
"I'll cover us for pizza for tonight." Tara offered, "and if Buffy's not any better tomorrow I'll do some grocery shopping and I'll cook. Everything's going to be okay, sweetie. We'll make sure you're okay."
"I think I'd rather have Buffy back, no offence."
"I know, Dawnie, but I don't know yet if there's anything we can do." Willow put in her ten cents worth. "We have to work out what's causing it, and what is actually going on in her head before we can find out what we have to do. But I'm not even sure that that should be our number one priority."
"How can you say that?" Dawn squealed. "She's supposed to be your best friend."
"Dawn, whatever else Buffy is here at least in body. No one knows what's happened to Anya or even Xander for that matter. We know that Buffy saw Xander this morning and that Spike hadn't come home. If Xander met up with either or both of the others after he left Buffy, there's no saying what might have happened given the mood he was in when he left here last night. I mean, do any of us know for sure that Spike's chip is still working?"
"Spike wouldn't hurt anyone even if his chip did stop working." Dawn refused to even contemplate the suggestion. "He might give Xander a black eye or two but nothing serious and he wouldn't do anything to Anya or to Buffy."
"Besides, I know it was working a couple of weeks ago," Tara added quietly.
"How do you know? Did he try to hit you or something?" Willow asked.
"No, nothing like that. Buffy told me. unless. Buffy wanted me to check up on the resurrection spell, because Spike's chip wasn't picking her up as human. It still worked on other people, but not on her. Maybe it's nothing to do with the spell; maybe it's some sort of gradual failure in the chip. We don't know what criteria the chip uses to decide who's human and who isn't. If Buffy was when it started to go wrong maybe there are more and more people 'falling through the net'."
"I'm not saying you're wrong about the chip, but Spike wouldn't hurt any of us whether his chip worked or not." Dawn was adamant.
"But you weren't the one he kidnapped or threatened with a broken bottle or tried to drain." Willow interjected.
"I don't think he would either, sweetie," Tara replied to Dawn, "but right now, we haven't a clue what's happening and we have to consider all the possibilities.
Why don't you try ringing Xander again? Maybe he's got back and he just hasn't noticed that he's got a message. I'll go up and have a look at Buffy. I might be able to pick up some clue as to what's going on by having a look at her aura. If we can get hold of Xander then maybe a couple of us can go look for Spike, unless Xander has any news that helps us out.
Otherwise, I think maybe we should all stay together. It might not be coincidence that people who help Buffy are disappearing at the same time she's incapacitated. That is if you girls don't mind me sleeping on the couch?"
Both the other girls shook their heads, Willow most vehemently not having any objection.
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