Remember Me - Chapter 1
Angel POV / Spike POV
Itís gotten quiet at last. Itís been hectic since they arrived. All of them: Giles, Buffy, Xander, Anya, Willow, and...Spike. They didnít tell me all of it Ė not the parts about Riley, her new love. I already knew that though, Cordelia had told me. And I could smell himÖin her. But I sensed real fear from Buffy. And that frightens me. Nothing has ever frightened her before, but this...Initiative...seems to have. She claims they set her up: that they are trying to kill her. They needed a place to hide, to get away while they plan, so they came here, to LA.
It was just bad timing I suppose, that we ended up having one of our regular LA blackouts. Suddenly, the whole apartment plunged into darkness. Too dangerous for them to go out, I insisted they all stayed over night. So here we all are, in the dark, trying to sleep.
The girls took my bed, the three of them huddled together for comfort. Giles and Xander are trying to sleep, sitting on the couch with feet propped up on my coffee table. Giles looks suddenly very old and worn. This new danger is something of this world. Something human: beyond his knowledge.
I am lying on my training mat in the corner, not sleeping.
And Spike? He ignored my offer of one side of this mat, preferring apparently to sit the night out. He is perched on the side in the kitchen where he has been since he arrived. Not moving. Silent. Except that is, for the screaming that it seems only I can hear.
Looking at him, so still and so silent, you might think he was uncaring. You might think his external appearance indicated a resigned acceptance of his fate. Maybe it's because I'm his Sire that I can hear it. All Vampires give off imperceptible sounds; low, warning growls when angered, soft silken purrs when aroused, but I have never heard this sound in any other Vampire before. It is like an engine being shredded at high speed, in low gear, an incessant keening sound. It is a terrifying sound of something under incredible pressure, about to snap.
When they first arrived they were all full of Sunnydale and the Initiative, all talking at once, all trying to tell me their parts of the story. Except for Spike. He went over to the corner where he is sitting now and just stayed there, inspecting a hole in the back of his duster. Not moving. Silent. Except for the screaming of course.
Giles told me about the chip. Just in passing, while he was talking about the work of the Initiative, ĎThey seem to be chipping demons to stop them feeding. Spike got one. They have extensive facilities...í Spike didnít even look up, as though the conversation was about another Vampire, not him. He just sat there, not moving. Silent. Except for that awful screaming.
When deciding on sleeping arrangements, Xander joked that they could chain Spike in the bathtub. Again. Just a joke. Spike stayed in his corner. Not moving. Silent. But for the screaming, which rose in volume.
Willow told me about a spell sheíd just done. She thought it was funny. It had made her hair stand on end. To stop the Initiative finding Spike through the tracer they had shot into his back. While Giles dug it out. Without anaesthetic. But she added that as an afterthought while pouring herself some juice. Spike didnít react. He stayed on the counter. Not moving. Silent. But for screaming that by now, made my demon enraged.
So...Spike has been chipped, chained up and shot. And no one thought to tell me. I guess I played my not-caring-about-Spike game a little too well.
I can dimly see his outline from here. I can see his blond hair, see his pale face and hands. The rest of him, clothed in his habitual black, blends into the total darkness in this room. The humans are all asleep now. I can hear their individual breathing patterns: smell their blood. The apartment has never been so full of blood. It calls out to me.
Now he knows they are asleep, he slides silently off the counter and comes over to the mat. He lies quietly down, folds his arms over his chest and like me, proves that he is dead. No breathing. No warmth. No blood. Just a cold, white figure lying next to me. Not moving. Silent. Except for the deafening scream, that only I can hear.
Two hours more have passed of this long, dark night. I can smell the human bodies now too. They have started sweating their individual scents into the air. The room is full of them. Invading my space. Spike lies six inches from me and makes no presence at all.
I wonder what he is thinking about.
Does he think I have let him down in some way? Does he think that I should owe him more than this? This total disinterest in his welfare that I have shown since he came to Sunnydale. I wonder if he has any inkling of the real reason behind my apparent indifference. I wonder if he remembers our life together after his turning. He never shows any sign that he does.
I turned him because I could. I turned him for Dru. For her to have a distraction. I had no interest in him. He was just there. When I fed, he came along and fed too. When I took Dru, he was there too. When I took Darla and Dru in a tangle of bodies and blood, he took them too.
I had thought that the body of a man in the same bed as me would revolt me. And it did: at first.
But, oh! How distinctly I remember the first time. The first time when having come in a rush into one of those cold, female bodies, I had stretched out a hand in the dark to caress a soft breast, and found my hand, instead, on a hard, cold chest. The erect nipple under my hand grazed my palm slightly. I remember that. So I must have left my hand there long enough to feel that much. Before I snatched it away with a hiss of displeasure.
He was silent. I pretended to myself it hadnít happened. But the next time, later that night, it was more difficult to dismiss. Inside one of them, Dru, Darla, it didnít matter, they were one and the same then, I reached up to ravish and bite cold lips and found he was already there. His lips on hers: his soft tongue in her mouth. He pulled back fractionally, waiting to see if I would let him continue. And I donít know why I did it. It was not how I saw myself. But I moved fractionally to one side too and kissed him, instead. It was a passionless kiss at first. Cold hesitant lips: on cold unresponsive ones. But something in the total illicitness of the act found response deep in my bowels. I became frantic in my thrusting, desperate to reach release.
And then he opened his mouth to me.
I came in deep, heaving waves of cum in one body, but it was another body I was thinking of.
The next day, I could not face him. On waking, I pulled away from his touch and caressed the women. I buried my need in their bodies, ignoring him.
I should have kept that resolve and stopped it then. Should have. Tried. Couldnít. Because that touch of his chest, that one intense kiss had set up a desperate need in me for more. I couldnít wait to pull the girls into bed but became frantic if he did not come too. And when there? It was his body I watched. I watched him as he entered Dru. I studied his face when Darla lay sucking his swollen, hard cock. I watched and waited for the moment when under the pretence of moving down to lick and nuzzle in their soft folds, I could lay against his arousal, smell his scent, feel his skin without their notice.
He noticed of course. He always noticed.
It went on for months. Every day, long hours, passing the daylight time. Three of them: only one that mattered to me. Sometimes I resisted. Then I felt strong and clean. Sometimes I didnít. Sometimes I gave in to that intense desire to have it his hand I was holding, his lips I brushed with mine, his chest I sank my head onto when I was done and spent.
But he became increasingly...cocky. His personality began to change gradually from the William who was just...there, to the confident, arrogant Vampire who called himself Spike. I should have said something to reassert my position. My role as his Master, his Sire. I tried once. Hiding in a mine shaft because of his excess, I challenged him with his growing lack of control. I challenged this new, strange 'Spike', persona. He laughed, and for the first time, called me a poofter. So I never challenged him about it again. He had a power over me because of myÖdesires. My self-loathing knew no bounds. Both my demon and my memories of a human life, revolted by my perversion. I was a powerful Master Vampire who wanted another male body. I had been a devout Catholic, but I wanted to sin. I could almost hear my Father's derision, ringing in my ears.
I was a coward too, because I could not faceÖher. My Sire. I could not face herÖbelittling of me. I could not face her disgust. I could not face her delight in my weakness.
So although after that challenge he never again openly took advantage of the situation, I nevertheless felt the balance of power shifting between us. He knew what I wanted, and he used that knowledge. How he must have hated me. My abuse of the power I had over him. How his skin must have revolted to at my touch.
So sometimes, in that communal bed, when he put himself deliberately in my way, deliberately made sure it was his soft skin I caressed, his body I fell asleep against, I knew what he was doing. He was tempting me like the very devil he was becoming. And as I didnít admit it was happening, he could do as he wanted. In that bed he had the power and the control and I became his victim.
And then, that was it. I left. I didnít see him again for nearly one hundred years. A long time to forget. To forget that part of myself which I couldnít face. Time to try and become like a human male, with a human girlfriend.
Then he came back.
But by then I could do nothing anyway, for fear of hurting Buffy. I was offered a girlís soft kisses. I was offered a girlís arousal. I was offered a girlís passion. And in a desperate attempt to be what I thought I should be, I took them all.
And it seemed to me that he did not remember anyway. That he did not remember me and our soft, stolen kisses, our embraces in the dark under the pretence of other, allowable embraces.
But I notice he never misses the opportunity now, to call me poof. I notice he treats me with derision. I notice he never turns to me. He never comes to me as his Sire. Even being chipped and chained and shot. Not to me.
So perhaps he is lying here in the dark remembering too. And hating me still.
The irony is, I don't think it matters now that I do want Spike. I left my Catholic superstitions very far behind. My demon is suppressed. Darla gone. I don't think Buffy would even know. I lived with Spike and Dru in the factory and Buffy never questioned it. Vampires live together. Like wolves. I am in LA: she is Sunnydale. All the things that chained me to a way of thinking, of being, gone. Now I face no one's wrath, no one's derision or disgustÖnot even my own.
So I lie here wondering if his body has changed at all. I wonder if the hollows around his collarbone are still as deep. I wonder if his ribs still show, proud and sharp round his chest. I wonder if he is still scarred. From me, and my teeth on him. I wonder if his body would respond the same to my touch. If that nipple would be hard and taut again under my touch. What does it feel like to touch someone? I think I have forgotten. But it makes me hard to think of it. I wonder what his body would feel likeÖthose parts I haven't felt. I wonder what his body would taste likeÖthose parts I haven't tasted. I wonder what his body would be like to be inÖthat body I have never entered.
I don't want to be alone anymore.
I wonder what he is thinking.
The alarm clock I plugged in alongside the mat, to alert me to the return of power, suddenly comes on. But needing resetting, it starts blinking, on and off, on and off, on and off. Even with my eyes tightly closed I can see the ghostly light, on and off, on and off. It's torture and I let it torture me. The irritation creeps under my skin making me frantic. But I plugged it in next to the wall and now Spike is lying between it, and me. If I stretch out my left arm, from this angle I am sure to touch him. To use my right arm I need to turn on my side facing him.
I haven't been able to face him for over one hundred years. I donít want to start tonight.
On and off. On and off. I think I will go mad.
I turn and stretch out my arm and pull it out of the wall.
I would have lain back down and resumed my quiet waiting. I would have, but as I stretch across his still, deathly form, my hand does brush against his chest.
I feel my cold, dead heart stir to life again and all things seem possible.
I can feel his nipple, taut and erect under his shirt.
So this time, I leave my hand there a little longer. I leave it there through the long night. Until the sun comes up. He does not move. He stays silent. Except for that scream, that by now almost splits my soul in two.
When the others are ready to go, they look towards him. 'Come on Spike, get moving, we're going. Chivvy that little Vampire butt of yours.'
I look at Spike.
I look at them.
He does not move.
And remains silent.
But the screaming is worse.
If I could have driven that stake through my heart, I would have done. I have been brought low. So low I canít even see myself. So low I just let them order me around, tell me where to go, tell me what to do. Iím nothing but a fucking joke now. If I remind them I am still bad, they just laugh and offer me their necks. What a great joke: Spike canít bite. They chained me in his sodding bath for fuckís sake. Me. I have no defence against life anymore. And you need defences, when you are dead.
Sometimes I feel so desperate I think the cable anchoring me to this unlife will just...snap. I have been fighting for over one hundred years. Iíve fought everything and everyone to stay at the top of the food chain, and whatís it all been for? So I can sit chained in the foodís bathtub and be fed their disgust. Sometimes I think, if I turn my head quickly enough, that I can hear a high-pitched screaming. I sometimes wonder if itís coming from me. But Iím not here. So it canít be.
And now they have brought me here: to him. This is the worst. This is the lowest I have ever been. He is the very last person I would have come to for help.
I hate him.
I wonder what he is thinking about, lying beside me in the dark. I wonder if he remembers. I wonder if his body is yearning towards mine, as mine is to his. As it has been for over one hundred years.
He made me what I am. Not by turning me. That was just a whim. Something he felt like doing one night cus he was drunk and cus he could and cus I cried and begged him not to.
No, he made me in one touch.
He touched me one night, in his passion, in his thrusting and he did not immediately withdraw his hand. I thought that he had felt it too. I thought he must have felt my need for him because he did not withdraw his hand. I thought he must have loved me too, because he did not withdraw his hand. Not till I had felt his palm graze my nipple. Not till I felt my world turn upside down because the beautiful Angelus had touched me, not them. And if I doubted his desire even then, I was made sure of it later that night when I felt his lips on mine. I let him know my desire, I opened my heart to him and I thought he had responded.
I felt myself stretch into his love, his notice. I became bold. I found myself. I thought I was his love. I mirrored myself on him, his extravagance, his power and his flamboyance. The most beautiful creature I had ever known, wanted me. Wanted my body, my caress, and my arms to hold him when he was done and spent.
Sure, he seemed to want to keep it secret. We never spoke of it. But that was okay too. Cus that made it all for me. I didnít have to share his love, like I had to share him.
But every fucking night I wanted more than he would give me. Every night, trying to get more, trying to get closer, trying to make it my body he was touching. My body he was entering. But he never would. Never did.
And then, that was it. He left. I didnít see him for over one hundred years. I thought he would remember. I thought he would remember what he was to me. But he didnít. He has ignored me ever since.
I want to sayÖremember meÖbut I don't know whether it would be a question or an imperative.
So Iím not so sure now that he did love me. Iím not so sure now that he did want me. Itís all so long ago. So much has happened since, that I canít separate what was, from what I wanted it to be. I think now, and I think about this a lot, I think he never wanted me. I think now, that he never loved me. I think now, that it was the prelude to the great joke I have now become. And looking back on that time, from this great distance, I think now that that was when I started toÖfade. His denial of me made me less. And the rot set in.
Now I am so pathetic they talk about me as if I wasnít here. Why didnít he say something? When they told him about the chip. When they told him they had chained me in a bath and made me drink pigís blood. When they told him I had been shot. I was listening. REAL carefully. I was listening to see if he would be mad, if he would defend me. But nothing. As if I wasn't there.
So I think I am actually disappearing. I feel as if I am. No reflection in a mirror. No impact on people. When I go, there will be no trace of me at all. So if I make no impact now, and I'll leave no trace on going, then I canít be here at all. I can only define myself by othersí reactions to me. So there is nothing to prove I am actually here. If I stay still enough and quiet enough, perhaps I justÖwon't be. Would anyone remember me when I am gone away, gone far away into the silent land?
I wonder what he is thinking now.
I hate myself more than any of them could hate me. More than even he must hate me.
I've tried not feeding. To make them guilty. To make them try to make me. But they didnít even notice and the clawing hunger was so bad I started taking my own blood, from small deep cuts.
But they didnít notice that either. So I stopped.
Then I had to beg. Then I had to perform. So I act for my supper. The Big BadÖtell us a joke, do something funny and we'll give you a cookie. Run a little errand for us and we'll give you some money to buy your disgusting blood. Cus even though you're a joke, you're still disgustingÖdonít ever forget that. You are beneath our notice. But they even tired of that.
So I got myself a new little game. Oh yeah, Iíve got a real nice hobby now, and I can do as I fucking like, if Iím not really here.
I had no choice to come here with them. They feed me, they pay for my smokes and I can't live without either. So I had no choice except for the sun. But I kinda wanted to see what he would say. I wanted to see him rise in fury in my defence, to lash out at them for their treatment of me. But I guess he is not the Sire I have made up in my mind and I am not the Childe he remembers.
He's not asleep. I wonder what he is thinking.
The fucking alarm clock has been flashing for the last five minutes. I know heís not asleep, why doesnít he do something? I canít, cus Iím not here.
Oh. Apparently I am. Cus Angel has just laid his hand on me. Again.
Now I am not only their errand boy, and a joke. Now I am to be his whore as well. Well itís as good a way as any of earning your blood. Better than some. And who cares? Iím not really here. So I donít. Care. I donít.
When itís day I move silently over to the couch. Iím not here, but they fucking notice me anyway. Fat boy, who I would kill in an instant and rip his heart from his body and suck him dry and dance on his cold dead shell and vomit his essence to the stars, speaks. I donít listen. The screaming has gotten louder and covers his words so I donít have to hear them.
But I hear Angel.
He wants his little fuck bunny to stay.
Thisíll be fun.
Iíd say something.
But Iím not here.
So I donít.