rain pours down in this place, masking our tears.
I never expected to have proof so soon of Spikeís growing humanity, of
the effects of his strange, imposed soul. But itís here in his tears.
It took me eighty years to stop feeling sorry for myself long enough to
feel sorry for them. Itís taken him six months.
There was a lot of pain here tonight.
We bear witness to the evil that men do. Men with souls like mine.
They must have caught her whilst she was jogging. Her torn running gear
led us to the spot where they left her, face down in the mud. Itís a lonely
spot to die. The smell of her fresh blood is almost overwhelming. Itís
drained into the mud in which she lies, washed out from her wounds by
the incessant rain. Cordelia had seen the body. Thank God she only saw
darkly and briefly. This is almost beyond words.
Spike seems as shocked as I am. His head is bent as if in supplication
to her pain. Then he looks up and his face is streaked and dark.
ĎShe wasnít killed here.í
ĎShe must have been. Look at the blood, itís only here. No trail.í
ĎBut weíre only a few yards from the road, Angel. A busy road. Someone
would have heard her screams. ThisÖí he falters and the pain is obvious
in his voiceÖíthis must have taken hours. She canít have been killed here.í
A ripple of cold dread snakes its way down my back and I know Spike can
read the fear in my eyes. I kneel in the dirt and blood alongside her
peeled body and gently turn her face to the side. What I see wants to
make me scream. Two hundred and fifty years of killing and torturing my
victims has not prepared me for the horror of this moment. I turn my face
to Spikeís, for I fear his reaction. This is too soon for him. I shouldnít
have brought him here. I see he is lost in a world of anguish and confusion
and I have to question why the Powers That Be would send us on such a
foolsí errand. There is nothing more we can do for her in this life.
isnít right. This isnít right. Demons are supposed to kill Ďem. I kill
demons. Itís so simple in Sunnydale. This is not right. I canít work out
what I am supposed to do here. Fuck, I am so lost, I donít even know how
to start lookiní for home.
There are no demons here. Only men. Men with souls. But they do this.
So what is a soul and what have I got, that I feel like this? I want to
tear this soddiní chip out of my head and bathe in their blood again.
I want to lose this focus. I want them to blur to the edges of my vision
so they are like a herd, ripe for the picking. I donít want them like
this. I donít want them in stark, individual deaths that I can witness.
I donít want this pain. This isnít right. This isnít right. But what can
I do? Thereís no help. For me, for her. No help. Oh God, this hurts too
much. Help me!
need to leave this place. Iíve called Kate and sheíll be here soon. I
donít want awkward questions about Spike. I donít want him to see the
fear in her eyes, the hopelessness. I want him to think that there will
be resolution, justice. I needed that at the beginning. Before the darkness
became habitual. I gently take his arm,
ĎItís time to go, Spike. Thereís nothing we can do here. For her. Nothing
we can do for her. Come on.í Surprisingly he allows me to lead him back
to the car. We are both soaked through and I can smell the mud and her
blood on me. On the drive home, the air in the car becomes stifling, steaming
from the dampness. I can hardly see through the screen, and find myself
wiping it incessantly trying to get it clear. All is blurry and unfocused.
When we get back, Wesley and Cordelia are waiting in the office. They
glance at Spike briefly, before turning to check my face. They donít need
words. They see it in my look. Some of it. God grant that they never know
ĎGo home,í I say gently to them. ĎWe need to wash and sleep, weíll talk
in the morning,í and I lead Spike downstairs to my apartment.
time I was here I smashed the place. No trace of the damage. No mention
either. Heís a forgiving fuck. I canít believe he left her like that.
She should have been covered or some thing. Just not right. Iím soaked
through and cold. Iím a room temperature creature and shit, itís cold
in this room.
ĎCan you heat it up a bit in here?í
light a fire. Go shower. The waterís always hot.í I always seem to be
trying to wash blood and pain off my cold skin. Never succeeding. He will
have to learn these habits if he is to survive.
ĎErr, can I borrow some stuff? Clothes and shit. I didnít have much to
ĎOf course, Iíll put some out for you on the bed.í Time was Iíd have helped
him put them on, too. Afterwards. But that was several lifetimes ago.
When we were both unfettered demons.
Some time later and the horror of the night has abated somewhat. I fed
him, heís warm and clean and all he needs now is rest. We can start with
the truth tomorrow. Tomorrow Iíll tell him why heís here. When heís ready
to hear it.
ĎThere are blankets in that box over there, Spike. Iím going to bed now.
Sleep. Weíll talk in the morning. About the chip. Everything.í
I strip and climb into my own bed. I know, though, that sleep will elude
me tonight. I never sleep after work like tonight. My soul is restless,
my demon more so. Angelus doesnít give a shit about that woman, but heíd
love to meet the men that did that to her. Inventive. He likes learning
new tricks. He enjoyed tonight. The warring and conflict between my soul
and my demon makes for a restless night. I fear to sleep in case Angelus
has his way. I donít want to enjoy the memory of her body, too. Iím good
at lying still in the dark, brooding. Iíve perfected the art. But after
a couple of hours I hear an odd noise coming from next door. If I owned
a dog, Iíd say it sounded like keening. Itís high pitched and painful
to listen to. I get up and move stealthily into the living room. Spike
is tangled in his blankets on the couch. He is asleep, but heís thrashing
his head from side to side as if, even in sleep, he is in pain. The sound
is coming from his sleeping form. Itís unearthly and sends shivers up
my spine. Like someone walking over my grave.
I move over to sit by him. I canít imagine what level of pain he has reached
for his unconscious brain to make this noise. Was I like this when I slept?
I had no one to tell me. I donít know what to do. Should I wake him? I
fear bringing this much pain into his conscious mind. Maybe it should
be left for sleep. But the decision is taken from me, for as I study his
pain-filled face, his eyes fly open. He isnít even seeing me yet. But
his lungs suddenly fill with a long-remembered but now, unnecessary breath
and he screams my name.
ĎAngellllllll.í The scream creates a wave of panic in me and I fear I
left it too late to come for him. I fear I am too late to save him.