All Roads Lead To Rome - Chapter Three – Thoughts
Lying in Wolfram and Hart’s infirmary bed gave Spike time to think. Too much time… too much thinking. He thought about the day’s events; Doyle’s vision that led him to LA’s Bedlam branch and his simultaneous arrival with Captain Forehead, his impulsive half-cocked rush to leap in and save the girl and the day, and the realization that this Dana was a psychotic Slayer of all creatures (and how he missed sussing that out on his own still had him floored.).
Spike’s thoughts drifted to Andrew. The little ponce had surprised him. In several ways. Showing up in the capacity of old Rupes’ Top Man was one thing, but his own reaction to being groped, fondled and cried over in front of everyone was the real kicker. Spike was touched beyond the telling of it that someone genuinely cared, and wasn’t afraid to show it. Someone who had seen the worst of him (images of his fangs sunk deeply into Andrew’s neck came to his soul’s regret)… someone who (more than) actively sought out his company… someone who took the time to talk and listen. Andrew was as close to a friend as he’d ever had, either as William or Spike. Not that he’d break down and hug the lad back… but it wasn’t as if he’d thrown him across the room, either.
Lying in Wolfram and Hart’s infirmary bed, Spike’s forearms continued to twinge, sending small frissons of pain throughout his system. He figured he should be grateful that he HAD arms to hurt at all… he’d been in serious danger of literally losing his grip on things for good. Not up on all the vamp lore, he wasn’t certain if a vampire’s amputated limbs had the ability to regenerate but he was grateful he’d not have to find out.
Angel. Spike’s thoughts drifted toward his GrandSire. What in the name of all he held dear was going on between them? Snarky repartee… check. Scowling glances… check. Not listening to each other… check. And yet? Something was changing, noticeably different. Spike had saved Angel’s unlife on several different occasions… first with that necromancer bloke (before he’d even been corporeal), and then over that sodding destiny fiasco. He’d not staked Angel, though the temptation was there… but thoughts of… no, not going there. Then, there was that scrawny bint, Eve, who had tried to turn Angel into psychedelic bug fodder. Spike shuddered at the thought of an unlifetime spent inside his own head. Too close having been lost inside his own head for comfort, that.
Spike had also been surprised with Angel’s behavior towards him. Had he actually tried to convince him that he was being reckless in going after Dana for his own safety? Not putting him down for being useless? As far as his squirrelly memory went, he remembered his enormous relief when Angel swooped in out of nowhere, like an Avenging spirit, to rescue him from the deranged Slayer. Too much pain and far too out of it to vocalize at the time, Spike knew he’d be thanking Angel for saving his arms and his unlife. See? Something had changed… neither of them had ever gone out of their way to rescue the other. They might not have been able to end each other’s existence for whatever reasons, but actively saving? A truly new development. And not as unsettling as it might have been.
Lying in Wolfram and Hart’s infirmary bed, thoughts of last night’s conversation with Angel came to mind. Hmmph.. yeah, conversation. A first, if Spike was honest with himself. The first time Angel actually spoke to him like an equal, and the first time Spike had actually listened and heard. Angel admitted his own sinful past – the enjoyment in deconstructing humans, psychologically and physically. How he went out of his way to cause torment and pain. His raison d’etre. Angel also admitted that Spike and he were different in that aspect. Spike knew himself, that he’d enjoyed the mayhem, and power… but was more a fists and fangs kind of vamp. Fight and feed, against all odds. None of this prolonged torture bollocks, especially against a child! Someone who couldn’t possibly fight back. Not that he hadn’t fed from and killed children, families, but… his head hurt from all that thought. Worse pains came from the knowledge that Dana had been tortured by an ensouled human, for no other reason than to cause pain. A ten year old child. Spike was revolted. What use was a soul, if it allowed that kind of... if it could be so easily overridden… no! Spike had to believe it all came down to choices.
Choices. He’d made some damned strange ones over the years. Yes, some by selfish necessity; showing up at the Watcher’s place after that thrice damned chip, for one. Putting himself in the hands of… damn it… not going there! Killing his own kind to satisfy his lust for violence. Backing up the Sla… again! He couldn’t believe it… every path, every decision seemed to lead to… Sighing heavily, he knew he’d have to think of her sooner or later.
Lying in Wolfram and Hart’s infirmary bed, Spike gave in to the inevitable, and let his thoughts drift to his Slayer. Yes, HIS Slayer. Always in his mind, always in his heart. Buffy might never love him as he’d wish, but in their last few days together, they’d come to an understanding. They trusted each other. Miracle of miracles. After what had gone down the previous year, culminating in that horror show in her bathroom, they’d reached a new level. They’d forgiven each other their trespasses. Fault was neither denied nor forgotten, but forgiven. Blessed forgiveness. It was worth everything.
Snorting to himself, he continued with his reverie. He’d told Andrew NOT to tell Buffy he was back amongst the living. He, himself, had not been able to go to her, call her, let her know he hadn’t perished. Truth be told, he was petrified. Petrified they’d not get back the closeness they’d only just achieved before his world-saving immolation. Terrified they’d attempt a relationship and fail, and lose each other for good. His cowardice shamed him.
He… oh gods! He bolted upright… Andrew! Who was he kidding? Andrew would NEVER be able to keep his gob shut. Spike closed his eyes, and took in a deep, unneeded breath. He could feel it. There was a disturbance in the force, and thinking in Andrewisms was proof positive.
Something was about to happen that would rock the status quo to its foundations.
Set post Damage, spoilers for pretty much everything up to and including the episode... then goes off into my own little head.
Thanks for indulging my fledgling efforts.
ETA: Now nicely beta'd for your reading enjoyment.