Remember Me - Chapter 3
I couldn’t cope with his mental pain,
but this - this is all too familiar. This is pain of an understandable kind: deep
slash cuts on his face and arms; broken fingers and penetration wounds. This I
can cope with. Yes, I can cope with him now. Now I can lift him gently out of
the shower stall and carry his unconscious form into the bedroom. Now I can bandage;
heal; treat. Now, for this short time, he is all mine and I can help. Some of
his wounds are healing already. He must have fed well tonight. I don’t think the
fingers are broken, only dislocated. I pop them back into their sockets. He must
have put up quite a struggle, defenceless as he is.
I feel as though time has stood still in this bedroom. My reading lamp sends a soft arc of light over his inert form. He is so still and quiet and beautiful. I don’t want to think about what brought him to this state tonight, and I don’t want to think about the future. I just want to be here, now, where I am needed. That’s a sort of love in itself: to be needed. A tiny thought flitters across my mind before I have time to stop it and examine it. It seems to me that it was critical to what has been going on here over the last four days, but it’s gone before I can work it out.
However much I just want to stay here with my Childe: nursing him; holding him; loving him - I do have to face the future. We cannot go on like this. Something has to change. And from our respective positions on this bed, it seems to me that it is Spike who needs to change. He is the one half beaten to death; the one vomiting up his life’s blood into the toilet every night; the one whose beautiful face is slashed through as though someone were trying to join him from ear to ear. So I do need to think about what has brought him here to this state tonight. I need to find out what Spike has been doing and why.
I start with a phone call to Giles. I am a good actor. I keep my burning hatred for him out of my voice. I just think about the factory and enjoy the memory of his pain.
‘Giles. It’s me. I need some information.’
‘Oh, well if I can help…fire away.’
‘It’s Spike. He’s not…well. I want to know more about the chip.’
‘Well, there’s not a lot more I can tell you. As I told you, it was implanted by this pseudo-military group known as the Initiative. He wasn’t meant to escape of course. So I don’t think they had really thought through what the effect would be on a demon running around loose. They’ve made a few attempts to recapture him, which is one of the reasons we came to you. He was endangering us all. I tried to get him to leave Sunnydale, but being Spike, he refused. He had some ludicrous idea they would take it out and turn him back. As if. Quite funny really.’
‘Why did he come to you for help? Initially, when he escaped?’
‘Well I suppose he had no choice: he was starving. Who else was there?’ Quite. Who else indeed? Not his Sire, who ignores him and betrays him.
‘How was he acting? When he was with you. Was he…different? Strange? I know it’s not always easy to tell with Spike, but is there anything useful you can tell me?’
‘Well naturally he seemed odd. It was the first time I’d ever had a chance to talk to him, without fearing he was about to rip my throat out that is. He…gosh, do you know, I’ve never actually thought about this before…he seemed strangely animated…full of…life. Yes, he was full of beans. Furious about being chipped of course. But he wanted to talk…all the time, about his shows, books, his music. He was rather exhausting. But what an amazing knowledge he has of demon languages and lore. But I had a…visitor, so I sent him to Xander’s. I don’t think things went quite as well there. You know about the suicide attempt I suppose?’
‘Angel…are you still there, the line seems to have gone funny.’
‘Yes. I am still here. No. I didn’t know. Perhaps you could tell me.’
‘Oh. Well, Xander and Willow found him. He had tried to stake himself apparently. But he seemed to recover well…once he found he could still fight: demons that is. Well, until he became a target for them of course. But he certainly keeps the demon population of Sunnydale out of Buffy’s hair while she’s worrying about this new Initiative. They’re all attacking Spike instead.’
‘So how has he been living…feeding, since being chipped?’
‘Well, I fed him of course, when he was here. Then I supposed Xander must have. I never asked actually. When Xander kicked him out, I’m not sure. I know he’s living in a crypt in the cemetery. It’s a ghastly place. I suppose he has his sources of blood. I really don’t know. He still came over occasionally. He never asked to be fed, so I suppose I assumed he was fending for himself. But on reflection, he never asked any of us for anything. In fact he didn’t really talk at all. He just used to turn up, sit here for a while, then go. I’m sorry Angel, there’s not much more I can tell you.’
‘Oh, no, Giles. You’ve told me plenty.’
And he has.
I cannot imagine what life has been like for Spike since this abomination happened to him. Far better he were staked than – this. This is wanton cruelty. Like pulling wings off flies. Doesn’t matter how much you hate flies, how much more evolved you are than a fly, kill it: don’t torture it for sport. What mentality could do this to a Vampire whose whole life is feeding and blood? It’s what we are. I repress it. But it took me over eighty years of insanity to be able to. Spike can’t. It must torture him day and night. And then to find yourself totally alone…a victim of thoughtless human cruelty…deliberate demon hatred.
I wonder he is as sane as he is.
But I am beginning to have an idea what I need to do. Where I saw only darkly, I see clearly now. Where I was unsure, now I am certain. The thought I barely had comes back with startling clarity. Spike has no one. Not one person who cares for him. Everything needs to be needed. Even demons. Especially demons like Spike who has more humanity than most of the human scum I come across in LA. Spike with his human passions. Spike with his human feelings. Spike with his human capacity to love.
Oh! I know exactly what to do now. I have never been so needed and I will not fail him again.
Soon as the poof goes, I’m out of here. Fucking lack of reflection. Can feel me face healing, but I want to see how bad the mark is. Want to see if I’m respectable enough for me new friends. Don’t want to frighten them off.
He’s on the phone. I can hear a mumbled conversation. Probably trying to get the fuckers from Sunnyfuckingdale to come back for me. Not been a very good houseguest so far. Well, serves the fucker right for ordering a dead thing, who ain't even here, to stay with him
Well, I won’t be staying much longer, Mate. Got places to go. Permanent places.
Soon as I hear him go upstairs I slide out of the bed and try to find my clothes. Fuck. Where are they? I do not believe he has taken them. Fucker. I hate him. Right, what’ll fit me out of this shit?
Don’t take me long to find my way out of the tunnels into a suitable bar. It’s great coming up through the sewers: shit coming the wrong way. It’s funny. I like to laugh. Best thing about tonight though? I found some cash stuffed into the pockets of these pants, so I’m gonna have a blast before I make some new friends.
I order a bottle of something – don’t care what and prop myself up at the bar. If I drink it quickly enough I can get to work before I start to think about anything. Stay numb, stay unfocused. That’s best.
I’m onto my second bottle when I sense I’m being watched. I get up and go to the bathroom. I really need this tonight. I’m fucked up and in pain as well now: so much need. But I know it’ll all go away soon. As they all do, he agrees to my terms readily. Prick! He has no idea what I am.
What am I?
Don’t think about it…get on your knees…you are beneath us…get on your knees…take this cock…it is given for you…suck it now…hear him groan…he needs me…feel his hands rip at my hair…how much love can one Vampire take…suck some more…feel him coming…it’s his gift to me…so much love…fuck! What was that?
I feel a vice-like grip on my shoulder ripping me away. I’m flung into a corner of the bathroom. Think my new friend’s a bit upset: I had him in me teeth. I think he got a bit…torn. But he don’t seem to be hanging around to complain. Just as well, as the searing pain in me head from hurting him don't make me feel much like having to listen to complaints. Nope, he ain't hanging around for some reason.
Neither would I. Angelus is here. Or is it Angel? I can’t see much difference most of the time. One is only the other: but with a mask.
Oh…piss. I knew he was going to ruin everything.
This is nothing to do with him. I am dead. I’m not here: I can do what I like. That’s my rule. If I’m not here, nothing matters. If it mattered, that would mean I was real and that ain’t possible. Cus if I am…where the fuck have I been recently? But I ain’t in the mood to explain all this to the fucker. So I get up and face him. Got cum on my face. Good. I slowly lick it off: making sure he is watching. Want this to be yours poof? Well come over here then, my rates are real low tonight, special offer from the scar-face boy.
Woops. Fucker didn’t like me tempting gesture. He comes for me and backhands me into the wall. I bite my tongue and the blood runs freely down my chin. I steady myself and turn to face him again.
‘Bring it on, Angelus. Let’s finish this. Here: now. I’m tired.’ He gives the tiniest of nods…I’m not sure whether to himself, or in response to my words. They are the first I’ve spoken to him voluntarily in over four days. I thought he’d try to talk to me. I thought he’d want to be understanding. I thought he’d try to be non-judgemental like before. I didn’t think he’d actually take me up on it. Fuck. He’s very big. He’s very strong. But I’m not here, so nothing matters.
I hit him.
Oh. That felt good. My punch lands squarely on his jaw. He reels back against the wall. I close for a well-placed kick to his stomach before he can recover. As he falls to his knees, I bring my forearms down, hard onto the back of the neck. It’s been a violent, unexpected attack and I’ve got the upper hand now. I spin round to gain maximum momentum and kick him in the head. He goes down.
I’m feeling a lot better now. That felt very good. I turn towards the door but find myself being propelled through it. We fly in a tangle of Vampire bodies into the bar.
I’m not sure if it's the blood, the growling, or the fact we're both in full game face by now that gets the punters running. Fucking funny though.
Ain’t so funny when he starts smashing my face into one of the tables. I feel my nose mash, then my top lip split open and I’m sure my razor cut has opened up and is bleeding again. Can’t see too well for the blood now. See well enough to push him backwards over the bar with a well-placed kick to his vitals. There’s a high-pitched scream from behind the counter and I hear retching, I fling myself over on top of him and try to kick him again. He catches my leg and flips me onto my back and straddles my hips. He starts hard, repetitive punches to my face. What’s left of it. What is this obsession everyone has with my face? Fucking annoying. I reach behind and grab a bottle from under the bar and smash it against the side of his head. It connects with a satisfying crunch and…oh, whisky…yum…washes down my wrist. I jam the broken, jagged end into his face and give it vicious twist. He howls in pain and falls backwards off me. I get up and attempt to leap back over the bar, but he catches my leg and pulls me back. As I fall, I get one leg caught on the pumps and end up trapped with it - like a log ready for chopping. Oh. Not good.
Fucking hell! He jumped on me fucking leg. I distinctly hear a crack. I feel it even more distinctly. Shit. If this gets any worse I'm gonna have to come back, just to survive. I mean, I want to go. Permanently. That's what was for dessert, after me main course. But I don't want to go by the fucker's hand. I wanted his hand to do something else: once. But not a good time to think of that now. I disentangle myself and manage to get back over the bar. My leg is snapped cleanly in two, just below the knee. Hurts like hell.
Oh bloody hell! I'm flattened under sixteen stones of pure Vampire muscle.
Okay, okay. This is getting serious now. I'm gonna come back. Just for a while. Just till I send this fucking poof to hell for the second time. Wish I had me crowbar back. Now that was fun!
The Big Bad is back!
I reach up and snap the table leg in half. I twist under his weight…shit, my leg!...and ram it viciously into his…stomach. Fuck. Was aiming for the heart. Easy shot, can't believe I missed! And why are you fucking laughing?
'Think that's funny. Mate?' I roll to one side and get into a fighting crouch.
'Hello, Spike. Welcome back!'
What the fuck? Patronising git! I hit him at full force with my shoulder and propel him and his fucking grin into the wall. I rip out the stake and go again for his cold heart. He brings his knee up hard and…
Jesus! My bollocks! Oh God! Oh fuck! I'm gonna…uhhh. More vomit. Aim for his shoes. Oh yeah! That hurt him more than the stake.
This is getting unpleasant now. Slipping around in second hand cum and blood ain't nice. But you gotta go with what you got…he falls hard when I hook me hands around his legs and yank him towards me, making him slip in the muck.
'Stop laughing you bastard! I'm gonna kill you.'
'Okay, Spike. You do that. You can do anything you like little one. Now that you're back.'
Err…did I say I get Angel and Angelus confused? Maybe that was only when I was confused then. When I was away for a while. Cus this sure ain't fucking Angelus I've got pinned under me in the vomit. Angelus never called me…that. Can't believe Angel did either.
What's happening here?
I'm at a loss now. I can' t quite remember what this fight was about. Don't think I started it.
Maybe I'll just finish it though.
I snap the metal leg out from the booth nearest me and take a little trip down memory lane.
I knew the moment it worked. I saw him come back. I actually saw the blank, lost look leave his face and the animated, pissed off, loud demon I love, come back. And you know what? That damn screaming just stopped. Cut off. Like someone finally got into the right gear. Oh yes. Spike is back.
This was a risk. A risk he might not take the bait and fight me: a risk he might actually win – although, admittedly, that was only a small risk: a risk it might not work. Now all I've got to do is keep him here.
I knew in my heart of cold hearts what he was doing. There was no other way he could get in such a state every night, so much blood, so much cum. It was obvious I suppose. I just didn't want to admit it to myself. But it was still a shock. That he could be brought so low. I guess he must have been in absolute hell and no one saw it. No one cared enough to look. Hell can make you do things like that. I should know. I sucked a lot of cock in Hell. Not nice small, human ones either.
But he's back now. And pissed off enough to stay around for a while I hope. But I really don't like the look he's got on his face now and I definitely don't like the metal stake's he's waving around in front of my face. Time to end this. I flip him off me and reverse our positions. I effortlessly wrestle the spike out of his hand: his fingers still aren't that healed and his grip is pretty weak. We could be back one hundred years. I drove a spike through his wrist once. I wanted to crucify him I think, for my sins. Because I loved him and I shouldn't have done. Because I wanted him and I shouldn't have done. Won't be any crucifying here tonight.
'Hello, Spike. Remember me? I'm the one who drove one of these…' I put the jagged end of the spike against his wrist…'through here. Remember? Want me to do it again?'
'If you do, it'll be the very last thing that'll ever give you pleasure in this world. Mate.'
'Oh, I won't get any pleasure out of it, Spike. I didn't the first time. I did it because you didn't love me. And you didn't want me. And I loved you and I wanted you. I loved you: hated myself. So I just gave a little push…like this.'
'Ow. Stop that you fucker. No way are you driving that through there. And what the fuck are you talking about Angel? You have never, ever loved me. I should know. I'm the one who's suffered your fucking neglect all these years. I'm the fucking one who's been pining after you like some sodding Labrador on an airfield all these years.'
'Err…' allusion totally lost on me, but I get the sentiment…'you are lying as usual, Spike. You loathed me. When I…' God, after all these years, I still can't face it, can't face myself…'When I touched you: when I kissed you…you were revolted. Don't lie to me, Spike. I know you too well. What? Stop laughing, Spike. Shut up! Stop it!'
'You! You know me! Oh, fucking give me strength, Angel. I have loved you all my dead life. Every moment: wanting you. Every deed: done for you. But you have always been so far up your own arse you could never see it. I wanted you when you touched me. I'd have turned over for you faster than it would have taken you to say, please! Jesus Angel! When you kissed me I practically sucked your fucking tongue off. What did you actually think that was all about then?'
'You are doing it again, Spike. You're twisting the truth of the past to suit your own purposes. You know it revolted you. You used it against me. You became unmanageable, demonic.'
'Fucking hell, Angelus! I became you! I wanted to be you! I thought you'd like it! Am I being a fucking pillock here or are you totally dense? Have you thought all these years that I hated it? Oh God. Oh God, what a bloody mess. Get off me. I'm sick of vomit and you've got it in your hair. Did I tell you, your hair looks great…better tell you in case you think I hate you or something. I do hate you by the way. Let me up. Now. I've had enough. I want a shower. I want some blood. Pig's blood. I want a good night's sleep in a comfortable bed. And then I want some fun. So put that little cock substitute of yours away…oh yeah, I don’t need a degree in fucking psychology to know what driving that into me was all about…so put it away…if you're lucky and your shower is hot enough…if you're lucky and your bed is soft enough…if you're just lucky, you can drive the real thing into me tonight and I'll be sure to let you know real definite that I like it. How's that for a deal, Pet? Now let me up!
'Are you intending to stop talking at all tonight?'
'If you put your cock in my mouth later I might. But if you don't let me up we ain't ever going to get to the nice bits of Spike's road trip to LA.'
I am going to let him up. Especially as he said I have vomit in my hair. That's a very worrying thought, now nagging at the back of my mind. But not worrying enough to prevent me slowly closing on his mouth with mine. Cold hesitant lips again.
But his cold lips are anything but unresponsive.
As I release his wrists he buries his fingers in my hair pulling me softly into the kiss. His tongue thrusts into my mouth. I've imagined this act every single night since I left him. In lonely beds around the world his mouth has matched with mine. In long, boring hours of daytime inactivity, his tongue has explored my lips, forever brushing lightly: lovingly. But no imagination could have prepared me for the tingle running down my spine, the hard insistent erection that sets my balls on fire. Nothing. No dream, no memory has been as good as this. I am actually kissing Spike. And he is kissing me back. There is no mistake this time: we are kissing each other.
But I really want to get that vomit out of my hair.