On Me - Chapter 1
Angel POV / Spike POV
Why the hell is he still staring at me?
Since he got here an hour ago, all heís done is lean against that sodding counter and stare at me. Heís such a poof. Bet itís not cus he fancies me though. Never know, perhaps he fancies the bruises and cuts. Ya know? The rough look. Yeah! He looks like the sorta ponce thatíd fancy a bit of rough these days. I mean, cashmere for fucks sake! What sorta soddiní demon wears cashmere? So, maybe he would like a little roll with the rough. Cus thatís me these days: rough as a rhinoís bollocks. Ya just donít heal on pigís blood. Ainít got the same juicy human sweetness. And ya get kinda rough living in a sodding crypt.
So, stop lookiní at me, yer nancy-boy. I donít want your fuckiní pity. I never wanted you to see me like this.
I can fool Cordelia... sometimes... I can fool Wesley... all the time.. .and, sometimes, I can even fool myself. But not now Iíve seen him. I canít fool myself now. I know why I really came here to Sunnydale tonight. It wasnít because of Cordyís vision, although thatís what I told her. It wasnít because Wesley couldnít identify the demon she saw, although thatís what I told him. And itís not because I wanted to see Buffy again, because thatís what I told myself. It was for him. I wanted to see him. Needed to see him. His memory haunts me day and night. When I turn around, he is there, grinning at me. When lie awake at night, I swear I can feel him lying there, enticing me. When I fight, he is there, fighting with me. Like he always was. Always Will. And now I canít take my eyes off him. Heís still magnificent. Should I be proud of creating a monster? Well, I am. I created that beautiful, wild childe. Heís mine. All mine.
Theyíre all here at the shop; the Watcher, the Slayer, the annoying girl who comes with the Witch, and fat boy. All here doing their usual Ďlooking-at-boring-booksí thing. God, they should get a life. I donít do Ďboring book bití; I just sit here waiting for someone to insult me, so I can earn my soddiní food. No wonder the King of Brood is still staring at me. Bet he wishes heíd just left me in that stinking alley one hundred and twenty six years ago. Hardly a childe to be proud of now, am I Angelus? And shit! I WISH HE WOULD STOP STARING AT ME! Course, I donít let him know, I know heís staring at me. Give the poof too much satisfaction, that would. Iím just sitting here pretending not to give a fuck, and trying to drink myself down to the bottom of this bottle, before the Watcher notices I stole it from his stash under the till. And why the bleediní hell is he still looking at me?
Fax. I could have just faxed Cordyís sketch to Giles. But I needed to come. I needed to see him: to see how heís been coping, to see how heís been living. And it seems to me heís coping just fine. As I look at him there, sprawled in his cocky way on the stairs, I see only an incredible survivor. Doesnít matter what you do to Will, he survives. Abandon him, break his back, chip him - doesnít matter. He survives. Even if it means coming to his mortal enemies for help. And I canít stop... donít want to stop... looking at him. Itís all I can have of him now. That and the memories.
I notice he wasnít too keen on looking at me when he first arrived. Oh noÖĎ where is Spike?í was not his first thought then. All over slutty then. All "kiss-kiss, hug-hug, angst-angst. Arenít we the doomed lovers" bit then. Nancy hair-gelled git! But even then I saw his eyes roving around the shop looking for something. And, OK, since he saw me sitting here on the steps, he hasnít stopped staring at me, but itís really pissing me off now, and I feel even more worthless than when I turned up tonight looking for my handout. So, here I sit, picking at my chipped varnish, drinking the watchers JD, and thinking about the sun and how good that warmth would feel on my cold skin. Until I couldnít feel anymore that is. But why not? Iím tired of feeling.
Just tired. And would he the fuck stop looking at me!
I just canít take my eyes off him! My beautiful Will. See how the others look at him, consult him, banter with him. Even the boy looks with respect to him now. But, of course, heís not my Will at all really. He is this new vampire, Spike, who Iíve never really had time to meet and get to know. Fucking him mercilessly in the factory, when he was in that wheelchair was not a proper introduction. I didnít speak to him, just dragged him up, threw him across any convenient surface, and stuck it to him. Ultimate domination and humiliation. And then our manacles-and-hot-pokers-session-with-Mozart. Not exactly renewing old friendships during that, were we?
Pleeease someone. Why is he still staring at me? I really wish he would stop. Itís like being a rabbit caught in headlights. I feel paralysed by that bloody intense stare. I can only imagine how much he wants to come over here and stake me. Thatís what should have happened when I got this fucking chip. Should have been staked. So come on, Angelus. Come over and finish it for me. I know itís what you want. Itís what I want.
God! I so want to go over to him and wrap my arms around him, and see if I can catch any essence of Will in there. In the body thatís beneath the leather duster, the scruffy jeans, and bizarre hair. Is my boy still in there?
Why wonít he look at me? Heís been studiously avoiding my gaze since I got here.
Do I disgust him so much?
Does he want my soul gone again, so Angelus can return for him? Doesnít he realise what one hundred years of imprisonment have done to the demon who inhabits this body? Doesnít he realise that if I let go, the demon that almost fucked him to death in that factory will be loose again? Not the old Angelus he loved and lived with, but that tortured creature that would have killed him and all who stood in his way. He canít want that!
God, these pillocks sit here oblivious to the nightmare unfolding around them. Donít they remember how I was trapped with him in that bloody chair? Donít they remember I double crossed him to help the Slayer and sent him to hell? You would think theyíd remember that I might not be too comfortable with the prat being here. But no one asks me. Iím almost a piece of the soddiní furniture to them. They talk endlessly to me of their little lives: school work, college, loves, fears, hates, blah, blah, blah. But what about me? Which one of them bloody cares that I am sitting here in the same room with my love of one hundred and twenty six years? Who cares that Iím seeing him for the first time since he buggered off and left me in Romania? Seeing him for the first time when one, or both of us, hasnít been torturing the shit out of the other. When we are both still and calm. Jesus, donít they realise how fucking-with-my-head-painful this is?
I think, perhaps, the Watcher does. He is not as fixated on those bloody books as heís pretending to be. I can see him casting anxious looks at the poof and me. Oh yes, he suspects. He suspects what itís like for me to meet my lover, my friend, my fucking all for fucking years, and find out he despises me, despises what I have become.
So, now even the bleeding Watcher is probably sorry for me. Iíve come about as low as I can come. Hey! No, maybe fat boy will be nice to me, too. Then I will walk out to the sun. That really would be, rock-fucking bottom!
Sod it! Just take another drink. Oh, bloody hell, the bottleís empty. And holy mother of all shits, the other bottles are over behind the counter! Over behind the big, fat, poofter who is STILL staring at me. Iíll have to walk over to him to get them.
Sod it! Not going.
Need a drink.
Donít want to move from this step.
Step nice! Step good!
Beginning to sound like fat boy. Shit now that IS bad.
Going to get that drink.
Heís getting up. God look at him! Look at how much weight heís lost. Heís SO thin. Donít they feed him enough Ė do they feed him at all? Christ! I never thought to ask Giles Ė who feeds my boy now he canít take care of himself? He always was thin, but now he is just bone and sinew. I feel heavy, luxurious and slow compared to him. How he must despise the easy life I have in LA; how he must despise what Iíve tried to become. A real man, living a real manís life. Why did I wear these stupid clothes today? God, how that must rub it in. Heís still wearing the same black jeans I last saw him in at the factory. The jeans I used to make him cum in when I fucked his face, never allowing him to get himself out for any pleasure. Heís still wearing his beloved duster and docs I threatened to burn if he didnít blow me just right.
Jesus does he even own any other clothes?
Where does he actually live?
How does he live without any means to support himself? He has no way to feed, let alone buy stuff. And I never even thought to ask.
But this is not the past. I am trying to leave the past behind me. I have to leave it behind me or I will go insane. I am Angel; he is Spike, and this is now. This is a new beginning.
And, oh God! That new beginning is coming towards me now.
Canít anyone else hear that my long-dead heart has started beating?
Why is he coming over to me? Does he want to start repairing bridges, too? Is he going to try and apologise for the past - ask forgiveness even? Oh! Has he been missing me too?
'Move over tosser, I need a drink.'
There! That was my best shot after one hundred and twenty six years of knowing Angelus, fucking Angelus, loving Angelus, hating Angel, torturing Angel. Still loving Angel. ĎMove over tosser I need a drinkí. Great Spike! Youíre pathetic! Definitely not one of your better come-ons. Yeah, well, Iím not at my best, matey, cus Iíve been chipped, and Iím pissed about it and, basically, Iím just fucked-up. So, serves you right for coming here. Serves you right for seeing me like this. Serves you right for despising me. Serves you right for not loving me anymore. I pour a drink, but I canít help my hand shaking, and the bottle clinks against the glass. Shouldnít have had that whole first bottle so quickly maybe.
Yes, fool yourself, Angel. Fool yourself that Spike still wants you. Fool yourself that things can go back to what they were. This is the new world boy, and youíd better get used to it. There is NO Angelus; there is NO Will. There is just us. Brood-boy and the chip. But why is his hand shaking? And why will he still not look at me? 'Will! Look at me. Please.'
I canít believe he just said that! How dare he call me Will Ė here in this place, in this time. Iím not Will any more. Not his little fuck toy, not his demon lover, not his adoring childe. Iím Spike, the fucking Big Bad who demons fear to cross. OK, humans use me as a punch bag. But I still can squeeze shit from demons. And he dares call me, Will. Dares drag up that time when we were all in all to each other. 'Fuck off, tosser!' I hiss at him. I knock back one, two shots Ė a third for good measure. Half the bottle down in one go.
'Take it easy, Spike; you may be needed later.'
Oops, perhaps not the best thing to say. The double meaning in that line, obvious even to me. I only meant that once the demon in the picture is identified, he may be needed to help kill it. Even I can see the potential for another interpretation there. And I know now he doesnít want anything like that to ever happen between these new creatures, Spike and Angel.
Needed later. The bastard. Does he realise the pain that gives me? The thought that anyone might need me again. That HE might need me again. He needed me once alright. Nothing was done without me there to do it with him. No hunting, no feeding, no playing, no sleeping, no loving, unless I was there with him. Oh yes, I was needed then. I down another shot, just to make the point, and turn to face him. For the first time tonight I look directly at him.
Heís looking at me now for the first time tonight, and I die a little in those eyes. I am falling. And itís like falling into a long-forgotten, summer sky. Iím dizzy - with what, lust? Oh yes, there is always lust for this beautiful creature. Love? I donít know yet. All I know, is that I want to take him in my arms and hold him, and whisper Iím sorry; sorry for leaving, sorry for trying to trick him, sorry for every thing psycho-Angelus did, sorry for trying to leave him behind again, sorry for the Gem, sorry for everything Iíve ever done to fuck up his life and his unlife.
But I donít; I just stare back. And I feel he is expecting me to say something. The faintest of frown lines creases his brow; his head tips slightly to one side; he is clearly waiting for some response from me, but where do you start to apologise for several lifetimes of hurt?
For the briefest of moments there, I thought I saw something good in the prickís eyes. Something that would mean we could move on from this hating of each other, but when he doesnít speak, I feel a fury rising in me that kinda just takes over and, before I can stop them, bitter words come out of my mouth, 'Marcus should have killed you, Angel. I wish he had.'
A bit of me crows in triumph at the look on his face, but oh, such a small part: much smaller than I expected. And the rest? The rest of this sorry, pathetic, undead hypocrite? Oh, the rest wishes I could take those works back, that I could fall into his arms where Iíve been the safest Iíve ever been and never leave them again. But for the first time tonight he takes his eyes off me and turns to the others. And I feel as if Iíve been left alone in the dark.
Fuck it. I DO NOT care. I donít. And another shot... bottle... or two, and I wonít care about anything more tonight.
I feel as though Iíve been punched. I know Spike hated me, but that he could have wanted that creature, Marcus, to torture me to death! That is a level of hatred I never imagined. I know now that there is no hope for us, ever. Not even friendship could survive such a history as ours. And I wanted more than friendship. I need more than friendship. But now I need to be away from this place. I need to go home to LA. I need to return to my dark places, where I have time, space, and quiet. I need to be away from this place of endless sunshine and bright, shiny childrenís expectations of me. So, I shall return alone to the place where I am used to being alone. Always alone.
I walk away from Spike to the table where everyone is working. Giles is looking up at me.
ĎNo luck, Iím afraid. There is absolutely no record of this demon in any of my books. Iím not sure the best way to proceed now, Angel.í
If I walk over to Angel, would he be able to sense my thoughts? Are we that estranged from each other that he wonít know what I am thinking? Would he know that I feel pretty damn miserable now and that I want to...
Shit! I am the Big Bad and I do NOT apologise. EVER!
But I walk over to the table anyway. The watcher is handing the picture back to Angel, and I catch a glimpse. 'Thatís a Taran Demon,' I say nonchalantly.
All eyes turn to stare at me.
'What?' I say, defensively.
'Spike, this is serious; there is no mention of this demon in over one thousand years of recorded history, but you just happen to know what it is. I find that highly unlikely and, frankly, rather suspicious.'
Giles wipes his glasses in that deliberate manner, which if I were a kid and not a one hundred and twenty six year old, very evil Vampire, would actually make me quite nervous.
'Not know, Pet, killed,' I say with a smirk.
'Killed, mate. Dru and I killed one in Brazil last year.'
'Fuck, am I speaking English here? Earth to Watcher! Yes, I ran into one of those,' I point vaguely to the sketch. 'Dru killed it.'
'Well, why isnít this demon species mentioned in any of my books then?'
'Well, the one we killed had just come through some sort of swirly green thingy, so maybe it was the first aní only.'
'I suppose by swirly green thing, you mean portal?'
'Yeah, whatever.' I really donít give a fuck about any of this anyway. I just want to finish my drink and pass out somewhere, out of the sun with no thoughts of Angel or fucking Angelus, no memory of this awful night at all. But the Watcher is still yabbering on.
'Right ho then. We must take your word for it. This is absolutely fascinating. Tell me, how did you kill it? Wait, what did it want? No! Where was this portal?'
'Look, luv, I saw it come out of a gree ... portal. It saw me andÖ.' I trail off suddenly, remembering exactly what the demon wanted and how we killed it. But that is NOT something I want to go into with them and, as I have no intention of ever seeing, or smelling, one of those demons again, thereís no point in telling that to the watcher. 'And I donít really remember much else, sorry.'
Heís hiding something. I know him. Heís shifting from foot to foot; his eyebrow has gone up, and heís put on his I-am-so-innocent-and-you-are-so-mean-for-accusing-me-of-anything-look. Yeah! I stopped believing that look two days after I turned him. He was going to say something about this demon, then he changed his mind. I wonder why. What is he hiding?
'Oh, right then. Well, Angel, you have a name, at least, and perhaps Wesley may be able to find something more about it before you go and kill it. Sorry I couldnít have been more help. I really must try and get some latest editions for my books; one canít get behind the times, you know.'
Oh, holy shit! The Watcherís words send chills down my already, very cold back. Surely he canít mean that Angel is going to face this thing alone? A very vivid memory of that night in Brazil flashes across my brain. There is no doubt in my mind that Angel will be killed if he goes after this thing alone. Well, killed after some considerable time and unpleasantness anyway.
And as much as I hate the prick, I wouldnít wish that on my worst enemy. Not even the fat kid. Have to do something about this. Donít want to face a Taran Demon again though.
Canít let Angel go alone.
FUCK it! Why do I have to be such a sodding wuss to care if that fat prick gets killed?
But I do. 'Err, wait a min there, mate. I thought this demon was going to be left alone, as we donít know much about it.'
'Spike, the demon is threatening people; I have to go and kill it. Itís what I do. You know that'.
'Well, fuck you then, pillock! But you donít know what youíre facing with this one, mate. This thing wouldía killed me if Dru hadnít have been there.'
'Well, that settles it then. Spike, you will go with Angel and sort this thing out, and then come back here and make a full report. Goodness, I may be the first person to do primary research on a new demon species. I really mustÖ.'
'No!' Shit, did that come out in a high-pitched squeak?
I try again. 'No, I am not going anywhere with that tosser, and I am not fighting a Taran demon again. No way. Not ever. And you canít make me!'