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Empathy Sucks - Chapter 2

 
   

 

Heís lying. Does he think he can fool me? Trouble is, I canít work out about what. There are so many layers of lies on Angel, they are like sediment, obscuring the truth.

Itís warm in the car. The poof has turned the heating up, trying to create an illusion of warmth in this otherwise chilly atmosphere. Itís raining and the persistent movement of the washers, back and forth, back and forth, intensifies the feeling of being cut off from the world. Itís almost hypnotic. I stare out into the wet night and Iím thinking about blood.

Have you ever been to a slaughter-house?

Donít.

I guarantee youíd never eat meat again. When youíre a predator, you canít afford to slow down enough to think about the food. You need to fuck it and rip it, tear it and maim it. You need blood pouring like a river through your brain.

And the lion shall lie down with the lamb? Bet the fucker didnít want to eat lamby after that! Cus he got too cosy with Ďim.

I know. Iíve been slowed down. One hundred and twenty six years of fuckiní and ripping and tearing and maiming Ďem. Lifeís been a haze of blood. No focus. One day it all slowed. I slowed. Got chipped. And when I slowed, and the blood cleared? Shit, then the focus returned. Then I started to see them.

So, yeah! Empathy sucks. Cus I canít. Suck. Cus I donít want to. I like them. I like being with them. I like watching emotion flit over their faces. I like hearing them laugh. I like making them laugh. I like that they are alive. Iím sick of death and dead things and darkness.

But I donít know how to do this. Iím lost and I have no guide.

I canít make a connection with them beyond their fear and their hatred for me. They get to practice this connection thing. They have a childhood. Theyíre allowed to make mistakes. Iím a hundred and twenty six and I donít know how to say, ĎIím sorryí. Iím a hundred and twenty six and I donít know how to say, ĎI need youí. I donít know the rules. I frighten them.

I gave Red a Birthday present. A ring. Iíd stolen it years ago in England for Dru, but she said the Druids screamed at her from it and never wore it. So I thought the Witch would like it. But I couldnít cope with the pleasure the gift gave her. The pleasure it gave me.

Giles is suspicious of me. I know he is. He watches me with those knowing eyes of his. Protecting his children. And he has a right to be afraid. Not cus Iíd bite them. Because I may smother them. Smother them with my need. I need them to teach me. Teach me how to lie down with them. Cus I have no one else. The person I relied most on in the world, whose thigh is merely inches from mine, is effectively lost to me. He is my Sire. He was my teacher, my mentor, my friend, my lover. He was my north, my south, my east, my west. But now Iím lost. I have no reference points by which to navigate this new land. I am alone. I am scared.

Empathy hurts.

 

 

 

Iím lying to him and I think he knows that I am. What he doesnít know, is what Iím lying about. He sees through the lie about the chip. Heís not that gullible, despite what Giles thinks. What does the Watcher know? He sees only the public front Spike chooses to put out to the world. You donít get to be one hundred and twenty six years, seven months and fifteen days old, without being smart. Thatís why heís here, to see what advantage there might be to him. Despite the lies.

Heís pretending to look out of the window, into the steadily falling rain. But I know heís thinking about me. Thinking about how Iíve let him down.

Six months Iíve been waiting to have him with me again. Six months of phone calls to Giles every week, wanting to ask about him, never wanting to mention his name. Six months of needing to know. Needing to know if it was going to happen to him, too. If he was going to develop a soul. A mechanical one albeit, but still a functioning soul. That small part inside of you, where you feel affinity for others. That small part where you hear their pain and sense their despair. Gilesí phone call tonight told me that it was time.

Time for me to come for him.

I turn my head to look at him. He is still feigning indifference to this situation. I am going to tell him the truth. I donít want him to go on thinking I am going to help him with the chip. Thatís the last thing I want to do. Spikeís chip was like a gift from God, for me. It brought my Childe to join me in this new land, where empathy makes us suffer for the suffering of others.

But as I open my mouth to frame the words my cellphone rings.

ĎAngel.í

ĎOh, Angel, good. Itís Wesley. Cordeliaís had a vision. A woman, it appears to be in a park. We think weíve located it. Can you go straight there? Itís rather nasty Iím afraid.í

ĎSpike is with me.í I turn to him as I say these words and he looks back at me. Our eyes meet for the first time tonight. ĎItís work. Itís bad,í I say to him with no inflection in my voice. Let him make the first move. He just shrugs and continues to stare out of the window.

ĎAlright, give me directions. Weíll go straight there.í