It was dark inside the crypt, blackness claiming it and everything that was inside. The only light that tried to dimly illuminate the room came from a few candles placed all over the cavern. A slight colder breeze went through the crypt, deep down through the hole into the room underneath it but its coldness never reached the cold the man felt who was there; the icy coldness of the truth, a truth he’d rather wanted to be an illusion and of a rejection, more painful than he could’ve imagined it to be, that had once again now settled down inside his inner core, his dead un-beating heart and non-existing soul.
All that he’d had, he was forced to watch fall down tonight, a helpless witness to the shattering of his own life and the destruction, the debris inside his crypt a visual picture and undeniable reminder of the billions of pieces his heart and whole life had broken into. His soul cried out in pain, cried with the pain of a loss he never wanted to occur, although he did not even possess one.
Did he really not?
Then why did it hurt so badly if he truly was that soulless monster she only saw in him? How could he love her that much if he had none and his heart did not matter anything to her?
Her words had hurt more than anything he ever had to endure, were more painful than the hottest pokers on his skin or in his flesh could ever be. It felt like he was being ripped apart from the inside and Spike couldn’t understand why. He could not understand why it had happened but the harsh and far colder truth of reality came crushing down on him, burying him underneath it.
“I’m using you...I can’t love you.”
Those had been her words and they hurt, deeper than he had wanted to let them in. He had known that Buffy didn’t feel the same for him that he felt for her. She had told him that more than once before and every time it had hurt him then. But he still had had a faintest glimmer of hope that one day she might be able to feel something for him, other than disgust and disdain.
And now, he wasn’t able to hate her, for that he loved her too much and he had told her that, more than often and tonight again, repeating it this very moment. But it seemed as if it had no effect.
Buffy’s words still rang inside his mind, his thoughts as if to mock him, repeating themselves over and over again. Why wasn’t it possible for her to see that he loved her, that he would do anything for her?
He had given up everything he was, what made him, only to be able to stay with her, remain at her side until the end of time. Spike loved her more than he was able to put in words, but still he tried for it was her who brought his only light into the darkness of his life, was able to light it up. He knew that he didn’t posses a soul, he never pretended to have one but he knew also that his love for her was real. How could it ever be without a soul? That was something she had asked him countless times, always reminding him of what he was and of what he never would be for her, could be for her.
Did he need the soul to love at all? Or was his heart enough? But it never was for her.
When he could be with Buffy, he was the happiest man on earth; she made him feel like he hadn’t felt in a long time. All the time he was near her, it gave his life a purpose and allowed him to forget what he was. As long as he was with her, he felt alive, was he alive. But whatever he tried to do, it would never be good enough for her. He told her that over and over again but he never got an answer, never had and would not now either.
Spike felt her rejections crashing down on him again, as he tried to explain to her what she meant for him, to him. The last straw he was grasping onto slowly slipping away from his fingers and the waves of darkness again breaking down together over him.
“It’s killing me.”
No, that was something he had never wanted, he never wanted anything more for her than to be happy, but inside himself he secretly wished for to be the one making her happy. He loved her with his whole heart and now this love should cause her hurt and pain?
He couldn’t even put into words how deep that had hurt him to hear from her. And the same time it was shattering him from the inside.
That one tiny sentence, those small words had hit him with their full force and he staggered backwards when they too replayed now inside his mind. She was his life, everything he wanted and cherished. Spike would have lain down his life for her and then died happy to see her continue living. He would sacrifice everything he held holy for her, but that faded away unheard so it seemed, for it remained unanswered from her.
Those words had squeezed hard onto his heart, an unforgiving hand clutching at him and forcing him on his knees.
How could he have let that happen, could not have seen?
There was no answer to his question, and yet he was overwhelmed with answers for it from the silence reigning around him. It was mocking him, taunting him with a life he never would have with her, could have. The past months had been all he had ever dreamed of and yet nothing at all was like he had it imagined.
He loved her, with his whole heart, but the more he told her that, the more she had withdrawn from him. And Spike had been too stupid, too selfish to see; caught inside his dream of hopefully returned love and happiness. A happiness that apparently wasn’t meant for him.
He pleaded with her, told her that he loved her and would give her the time she needed and tried to find his hope back for the day she would be able to see more in him than the monster she was looking at.
Spike hoped for the day on which she would see the man he was and who loved her dearly, with his whole being. He might not have a soul, but his un-dead heart beat only for her, with his love for her and he wished that this could be enough for her though he knew deep inside that it never would be, never could be.
His world had shattered tonight, came crushing down onto him and buried him under its reality. Spike felt cold, the loneliness spreading out inside him as he now looked at her, seeing her for the first time like she really was. Tears began to slowly trickle down his cheeks as he silently cried for a love that he would never get and another one that shouldn’t have been possible but was.
He never received an answer from her but he didn’t expect one. He feared it too much to recognize even the impossibility of it.
Her long blond hair framed her beautiful face with her caring eyes and gentle lips. This was all he saw now, his vision blurred with the tears he shed for himself, Buffy and also for her.
She simply looked back towards him, out of her blue-grey glassy eyes, her lips forming a small smile, but there was no spark behind it. Like she had remained silent for all the time to all he had told her.
And that was all that was left from her, her head sitting on a ragged looking chair in the farthest corner of his crypt, hidden from everyone to see but him.
There were only her dead eyes staring back at him, frozen for eternity in a mixture of surprise, hope and also love, a love that did not truly exist but had somehow remained despite everything. All her feelings had been artificial, like her heart had been and she was only to be a substitute for her, built from desperation and foolishness, from a dream of a life that Spike was never to have with her.
And yet she had managed to overcome all that she was meant to be, to maintain what he had thought to be nothing more than programs and illusions created by the computer inside for him over being reprogrammed. Her heart might have been nothing more than a machine and her soul nothing more than a computer inside her, but her feelings had been true, defying everything thought possible from her, for what she was.
She had been able to love him where Buffy wasn’t. But it was her for whom he always had wished to love him, Buffy and not her. And now Spike realized that somehow she must have known it, becoming more than what she was thought for.
She still had loved him, knowing that she never was whom he loved back, nothing more than a mere substitute.
Like she was now again, only a silent watcher to his tears and mute listener to his pain, never saying a single word of comfort that wouldn’t have reached him even if she were able to tell them while he desperately tried to put back the pieces of his heart together after Buffy had left him alone in the crypt earlier.
“I’m sorry, William.”