Remember Me - Chapter 4
I’m actually nervous. I’m…embarrassed.
I have never taken a shower with anyone before. Although I’ve been naked in
front of Spike a thousand times - although he’s seen me with Darla, with Dru,
with human victims - although he’s seen me in every imaginable position - I’m
embarrassed now. This is just ridiculous. I’m supposed to be taking a shower
but in all the confusion of getting back, I’m not sure whether he said he was
going to join me or not. And now I don’t like to ask. In case he thinks I’m
pushing things or something. I’ve learnt over the last four days to assume nothing
about Spike and what he is likely to be thinking. He is a law unto himself.
The trip back was…different. Spike was…variable. One minute he seemed his old self – complaining, vocal, rude, funny, sexy as hell – but the next he was moody and quiet. I didn't sense that awful, vacant Spike returning though, more the old Spike I knew: quiet. He seemed to be trying to puzzle something out. But what with his leg, my stomach and a few miles of rotten sewer to negotiate, I was too occupied to ask him what.
That’s why I should go out now and ask him directly. So there will be no misunderstandings between us anymore.
It's gotten quiet now. Oh god! Why does this never get any easier? I thought I had this all sorted in my mind. I thought I knew what I wanted. But I don't. Not really. What am I doing even contemplating taking on this troubled, damaged demon? I am supposed to be on a path to redemption: to becoming human once more. Where the hell is Spike supposed to fit into that plan? He is hardly going to aid my redemption – more like damn me to hell again. And if he doesn't; if I do get my, 'prize', what then? How could we have anything together, me human, him still demon?
This is just a fantasy. This is something I have thought of through long nights to keep me sane. This is not real. It's dangerous to try and make fantasy: reality. You end up ruining one and losing the other. What are we going to do? Live here, like…Vampire lovers? As if the Powers That Be are going to let that go unchallenged. He is still basically evil. I wonder what he would do right now, if I were able to take that chip out for him. I somehow don't think he would go back to Sunnydale to thank everyone for being so kind to him. Well, he might but the 'thank you' would probably be a little messy.
So this is not going to work. I cannot give up what I have strived for…for him. I gave up Buffy for this chance at redemption. If I don’t pursue my aim, I will end up insane. The guilt of my evil will drive me mad – I will be back in alleyways, chasing rats. I have to atone. I need to be forgiven. And if that means giving up this chance of happiness: so be it.
But how to tell Spike!
I wrap a towel around my waist and take the longest most painful journey of my life. I'd rather walk back through the gates of hell. If I find him naked, coming towards me, I will be damned. I will play out my fate till I am either staked or insane, but I could not turn him down.
He's sitting fully dressed in the kitchen, sipping some coffee.
Before I can speak he looks up and I almost think I can see tears in his eyes. Can't be. This is, Spike. Spike, has never cried to my knowledge in all the years I've known him. But as he so vocally pointed out tonight: I don't seem know him all that well.
'I'm not staying, Angel. I'm going back. Home.'
I was supposed to start this. I was supposed to tell him that this wouldn't work. He was supposed to fling himself on me, rip away this towel, kiss me and…make love to me. I was supposed to give in and beg him to stay. That's how this was supposed to go. It's how this always goes…in my shower fantasy. I decide my redemption is too precious. I come out – always dressed in this towel – to tell him to go, but he wins me round with those eyes, that mouth, those hands. And this time it was going to be for real. Not once, in all my fantasies, has Spike ever initiated this conversation and told me he was leaving.
'I'm not sure as I understand it meself, Mate. But this…' and he waves his hand vaguely around the apartment…'this ain't any more real for me than…you know…what I've been doing. It seemed like a good idea when you were sitting on me: in the bar. But I was thinking about it all the way here. What am I going to do, Angel? What am I going to be? Besides some kind of fuck toy. Sorry, Pet…I know that's not what you'd be thinking about me…but it's what I'd be thinking about meself. It's as if I've been doing that recently for someone…I don't know, it's all hazy and unreal, but I need to be sure. '
'Don't do this, Spike.' I sit down opposite him at the table. Has it suddenly got cold in here, or is it just that I am still wet? I've started to shiver, so it must be cold. 'This is ridiculous. You'd be yourself. Nothing more: nothing less.'
'Uh huh. Well maybe you can tell me who that is then, cus I'm sure as hell I don’t know. Cus I'm not really back am I, Angel? I'm not, William, I'm not, Spike – not with this chip. I'm someone new: post-Spike, I suppose. But whatever – whoever - I am, I need time to find that out. And being here with you would be too…easy. I'd just lose myself again. And as much as I enjoyed not having to listen to that fat git, Harris, I really don’t want to start disappearing again.'
'I'm not acquiescing to this rubbish, but, playing Devil's advocate, where would you go?'
'There's only one place really.' He looks up with an expression that tears my dead heart in two, 'Sunnydale.'
'Spike! For God's sake! It was being there, that got you like this. Why there of all places?'
'You know why.'
And I suppose I do. He can't find himself anywhere else. Because that's where he got lost. But, oh…this is more than I can bear.
'I'm coming too. You are not going back to live in a damp crypt, with no one. We'll get somewhere. I'll…' but before I even finish my sentence he stands up and with the saddest of smiles, starts walking over to the stairs.
'There is no place there for you anymore, Angel. You know that. That is fantasy. This is the real world. I've been trying to escape it, Mate. But it don't go away. It's always going to be there when the fantasy ends. I need to go back alone and I need to…oh god…am I actually going to use this phrase…I need to find myself again.' He pauses on the bottom step. 'Don't follow me, Pet. It'll only make it more difficult. And I've beaten you up enough tonight…you are getting on a bit you know. I'll be in touch. See ya.'
And with that: he leaves. What did I think about the Powers That Be not approving? I feel like screaming to them, very loudly and very clearly: fuck you!
I'm so fucking grown up I'll be buying a cardigan soon. I don't really believe I just did that. Specially as I've no fucking car and no bloody money for a bus. Sodding hell. Why didn’t I just stay one night, fuck a car out of the poof and then leave. I never think things through. Must be something to do with the sight of Angel in that towel. I knew if I didn’t leave there and then, I'd be sitting in that chair forever. And regardless of all his so-adult reasoning and playing Devil's whatnots, I would be his fuck toy. That's what his pet humans would think. That's what I'd think. Fuck. What did I really think I was doing even contemplating staying with him? This isn't…then. This isn't me, and him, cutting a swath through Europe: Vampire lovers. That's the fantasy. That's what I wake up hard to every morning. This is working-Angel who pretends to be human and the chip boy. I don't want to fight demons for a living. I don’t want to hang around that apartment all day waiting for the high and mighty Angel to decide to come down and stick it to me cus he's bored and the in-tray's empty. I want me, and him. Cutting a swath. Vampire lovers. Shit: Vampire fuckers – I'm not fussy. Nah…who am I kidding? Vampire lovers.
Oh, but it's a fucking long walk back to Sunnydale. Wonder if I changed me rates…to a ride, I could…hum, now's there's a thought.
Fucking lorry drivers. Just cus they have big, 'trucks', they're still dickhead lorry drivers in my book.
Nice to be home. Not. Smells even worse than when I left. I think a major redecoration is in order with this place. Tomorrow. Yeah and maybe the fucking-sun'll-come-out-tomorrow as well.
What was my reason for coming back to this shit hole? Why didn't I want to stay with Angel in his nice LA apartment? Why did I give up free blood and sex with Angel? Am I the stupidest sodding demon on the face of this sorry planet? Except for Angel that is.
I'm right back where I started before I started to disappear. I feel solid enough now though. Pissed off with myself, but real enough. Fucking hell, I hate my life. And what is that sodding noise? Oh, no! Don't tell me it's me again. Don't tell me I've starting fucking whining again…cus that was just embarrassing.
What is that noise? Ain't me. Sure of that. That's human. That's a human baby: crying. Ahh, ignore it. It's cold outside…it won't be crying for long.
Fuck! What the hell just happened there? I'm just standing here…not hurting anyone…chip shouldn’t be going off. And shut up you stupid baby…I'm in pain here.
Again! Why is this sodding chip going off? Shut up! Fuck you…will you SHUT UP!
OW! OW! OW!
All right. Where are you? I'm coming. Jesus it's cold out here. Well, for California it's cold…should try Sunderland in February. Come on little fucker where are you? Ahh, here we are.
For God's sake. A baby girl is sitting on the damp, cemetery ground, crying piteously. Well, I ain't gonna pick you up. I've got things to do.
Ow! Oh no you don't!
Ow! Ow! Oh, God, stop!
All right! I'll pick you up. Ow! Gently…picking you up gently! Okay?
Oh God. I can see the headlines now…Vampire kidnaps baby for bizarre satanic rituals…this, is not good.
I carry the little fucker into the crypt. At least swearing at it don’t set me chip off, so I enjoy that for a while.
Oh sodding hell…what is that? Is that snot on my duster? This duster has survived earthquakes, floods and bullet holes. I do NOT want snot on it!
I wipe the little fucker's face with a rag. At least it's stopped bloody crying. It's sitting in my armchair staring up at me. I have no idea how old it is. It don't seem to be able to walk.
I was supposed to be finding myself tonight, and I had a whole plan worked out. Well, all right, I was just gonna go to sleep and hope everything would be better in the morning. But that was a plan of sorts. Better than some I've had. I wanted to think about the last few days. I wanted to think about Angel, and that is in the…biblical sense of thinking about Angel. I wanted to…shit, did I want to brood? Nah. Can't have.
But I did not want to be babysitting. THAT was definitely not in me plan.
Its eyes are the colour of the ocean at midnight, under a bright moon. Its eyelashes frame them like delicate strokes on a Japanese scroll. Damp with its tears, they glisten like jet.
I squat down in front of her.
'Where have you come from, eh, Pet? And what am I supposed to do with you? Can't stay here, Luv. Don't think you'd like living with Spike too much. It's horrible here. Cold and damp and full of dead things. Like me.' But she seems to like the idea, she stands up and starts…bouncing. Too bad baby, you can't stay here. I've got to get you back where you belong. I'd take a bet someone, somewhere is missing you.
'Come on, baby. We're going to Uncle Giles'.'
I'd rather suck Harris' cock than go crawling back to the Watcher's, but I have to get little blue-eyes here back where she belongs.
She's as light as a feather and clings to me as I carry her through the cemetery. I cover her with my duster – just so I don't get stopped and asked awkward questions. No other reason.
Soon as the old git opens the door I blurt out, 'Don't stake me…she's nothing to do with me…I just found her…and, oh, by the way, I'm back.' No need to tell them just how true that is.
Trust my luck all the fucking children are here too. Don't they ever do proper teenage stuff…like shagging and drugs! Jesus! Oh well, baptism by fire. I'm back, so they'd better get used to it.
'Well, come in then…and give her to me.'
Soon as he tries to take her from me, she lets up a howl of protest and the bloody chip goes off again.
'Oh, God…stop. Leave her! I'll hold her. Let go! I'll hold her till you find her bleeding parents.' I ignore the stares of the children and plonk myself down on the couch and get little lady comfortable. She stands on me, peering balefully at the Watcher over my shoulder. She starts bouncing again. Little dancer this one.
The girls, of course, are all over me now. Should have tried this, years ago. Only, didn't have a good track record with bringing Dru babies: she tended to eat 'em! Harris is spitting mad. I give him an irritating grin behind their backs.
'Baby suits you, Spike. Maybe you should think about having one. Oh…duh!…my memory…you can't, can you? You're dead!'
Now, few days ago, I'd have been a tad upset about shit like that from him. Think he was the first person I stopped hearing when that fucking screaming started. Now though? He's just a greasy, fat, irritating git whose gonna be dead when I'm still here, still fighting and fucking and still beautiful.
'Why don't you shut the fuck up, Harris, and go do something useful like buy some milk and some nappies for 'er.' He's about to protest but the girls give him outraged looks that he didn’t think of it himself. He folds under their combined, feminine wrath and stomps off complaining to himself.
Little un's gone very still and very quiet on my shoulder. She's asleep. She's incredibly warm and soft and her blood is so fresh. I inhale deeply into her neck. Just to smell the blood of course.
The girls are tiptoeing around me, bringing me stuff, so I don’t have to move. Good this. Last time I was here they didn't even see me. Watcher's making phone calls about the baby. I almost turn round and tell him not to bother till she's awake. That she can't go when she's asleep. But it's too late. He comes over with a look of satisfaction on his face.
'I have a very strong feeling that we are going to be having visitors in an hour or so. Seems our little friend here was a 'tug-of-love' victim. She was kidnapped by her father two months ago apparently. Last week he was found, murdered. She's been missing ever since. Her mother and her…lawyers I think…are coming here with the police as soon as they can. She's thirteen months old apparently, and called Daisy.'
Daisy. Huh. I haven't seen one of those since I was human. Or haven't noticed. Daisy. Tug-of-love? That ain't love. That's just greed. That's just spite. I'm a bloody demon and I know more about love than that.
But don't even think about Angel here, now. Don't think about Angel while I have this warm baby in my arms. Don't think about Angel when I can smell her soft hair. That's just not fair. As usual, fate decides to choose this moment to give me a swift kick in the balls. The phone rings.
'Yes, hello. Rupert Giles here. Oh, Angel…it's you again. Yes, he is here now actually, he arrived about ten minutes after your last call. Funny coincidence. No, I'm sorry he can' t come to the phone he's rather occupied. Okay, I'll try.' He stretches the phone over to me and I find myself, in the middle of this bizarre event, talking to Angel. With the whole fucking Scobbie gang listening in, including fat boy who has just got back.
'Hello. How are you?'
'Err…about the same as when I saw you a few hours ago. I'm at the Watcher's and the Slayer is here. With Red and…all of them.'
'Why couldn't you come to the phone? How did you get back to Sunnydale? I suddenly realised you didn’t have your car. Why did you go? When are you coming back? Why are you at the Watcher's. What's happening, Spike…talk to me.'
'Yes…as I said…I'm at the Watcher's, Mate. They are all here. Listening.'
'Oh. Well, do you need me?'
How do I answer that? Yes, Angel, I need you like I need blood, like I need my eternity. 'No, I'm okay, I'm handling things.'
'Oh, so you're not thinking about me at all?'
'Guess what I'm holding.'
'I give up…is this going to be rude?'
'A baby…Angel…Angel, you still there?'
'Okay, Spike, I'm staying really calm. Did you say, a baby?'
'You have never held a baby in your entire life. Why now?'
'I found 'er, outside me crypt…she's a missing person sorta…well, not now, cus I found 'er. She's going home soon.'
'What's she like?'
'Oh. I miss you. I've sent you something. I've sent it to Giles'. Can you collect it from there?'
'Guess so, what is it?'
'It's a surprise.'
'Oh. Is it rude?'
'Are they all still listening?'
'Sort of…so it is?'
'Sorry, no. I just want to tell you I miss you and I…want you. Right now. As in…want you!'
'Oh…not a good time to do this, Angel. Cus I do too now. You. And like I said…audience!'
'Shall I come up there? Please say, yes.'
'You wouldn't like my crypt much.'
'Would you be in it?'
'Then I'd love it!'
'Okay then, if you…Oh My God…what is that? That smell? Fucking hell!'
'Spike…Spike, what's wrong?'
'Oh…I've got to go. I'll ring you back. Later. Okay?'
I drop the phone. 'Help, someone, get her off me.' I've smelt decaying plague victims I'd rather have asleep on my shoulder than…oh God!
'Someone take her. Now!'
'I thought your chip went off every time we took her away from you?'
'It can frazzle me brain to sweetmeats for all I care…just take 'er and…decontaminate 'er.'
'Oh, goodness, I see what you mean. Buffy…your department, I think!'
'I'm a Slayer, Giles. I don't do diapers!'
'Oh, for goodness sake…give her to me…I'll do it.'
'Well done, Will. Hey you could use magic to do it!'
I don’t care if Red calls down all the powers of Satan, as long as I don’t have to smell, that, anymore. I take the opportunity to have a stretch. And wrap my duster a little more discretely over my rather obvious bulge. Wonder what Angel is doing with his. Not hiding it, I bet. I'm tempted to phone him up and ask him. But I need a lot more privacy than this!'
Life turns on tiny incidents. The Watcher's just offered me a drink. I take it from him as if I were a man, a friend: alive.
'Thanks.' Hardly adequate: he has just helped me find a little piece of myself.
Red brings a fresh, clean and now, very wide-awake baby back into the room. Wide awake and missing…'Ow! Give her back. Now! Ow! Stop laughing, Harris! Ow!'
So I baby-sit for a few more hours. But eventually she has to go. I slide quietly away into the bedroom and leave through a window. No point trying to explain anything about me to cops, or frantic mothers. Giving her to the Watcher was…painful. Just as well she heard her Mother's voice, and the chip didn't go off.
So I'm rather at a loss now. Dead tired. But, kind of lost. The crypt looks even less appealing than it did a few hours ago. Colder; damper; gloomier. For the first time, I think I'd rather be at the Watcher's. As much as I loath them all: I kind of like them too. Some of them.
I get down as far as I can under the covers of my old bed. I wonder what Angel is doing now. I forgot to phone him back. Guess he'll be worried. If I'd stayed in LA we'd be in bed together now. It would be his hand reaching down to brush against the tip of my cock…like this. It would be his hand I'd guide to fondle my aching balls. His strong grip would take my swollen shaft and pull the foreskin back, then squeezing it up, milk these drops of precum.
Oh, God. If I close my eyes I can picture him lying alongside me. This time there would be no disgust, no fear, no reason not to…ah, he has taken my cock in his mouth. The cold is not so noticeable, it's not so dark in here anymore cus I'm seeing lights going off behind my closed lids. I'm not lonely anymore, cus he is here. And when I come, in a rush of endless, cold seed, it is his tongue taking it off my hand.
As I come down from the intense orgasm, I can't keep the fantasy going, but I know, with a certainty borne of shared blood and passion…I know that in LA, Angel has just come too and in his mind, my hand was on his cock. And I know that now, his thoughts are on me too.