They're angry at you.
Angry because you didn't tell them about Spike, hiding out in the basement or what used to be the basement or what still is the basement of the high school.
You don't exactly blame them. They have a point, after all. Spike is dangerous. Or was dangerous. Or could be dangerous.
But you weren't thinking that when you saw him, you were so concerned with your little sister, you just turned your back on the man (vampire) with whom you'd had a...an affair? Relationship? Let's go with relationship, it sounds better than 'bumping uglies'...for part of this year, part of the previous one. Despite the fact that he'd dragged you down to his level in an attempt to make you feel and live, that he tried to rape you in some misguided attempt to make you feel love. Right then, he wasn't important or not as important as your little sister, being chased through a dimly lit basement by a trio of ghosts who blamed you, you for their deaths.
And they'd probably be right. They all said they'd died because you weren't on duty, that they'd died maybe while you were screwing one of your boyfriends and sure, they were ghosts, but how can you be sure they weren't telling the truth anyway? Maybe they did die while you were with Angel, because in high school, that's who you were with (and if your throat catches for a second, thinking of him, you know it's better, just better that he's away in L.A. where your lives can't connect as easily any more, because what would he have said when he found out you were screwing a monster?).
But you managed to save your little sister and her two potential friends and hey, even get a job that maybe you'll be able to do and do well and be proud of, instead of that stupid fast food place where you can never wash the smell of grease and fat out of your hair or clothes or skin.
Problem was, you'd seen Spike. And you just pushed it to the back of your mind, not like he can hurt anyone, wonder where he's been all summer, since Willow (wait, don't think of her, either, hurting, dangerous, scary Will, not someone you even knew, by the time she left with Giles to go to England. Would she ever come home? Would she be the same girl you loved, that you still love, that you miss every hour of every day?) went crazy. No, you don't want to think that, thinking of Spike leads to remembering, remembering leads to recriminations, yours, his, the world's and you're so not ready for that. You don't know if you ever will be. So you left it lay that you saw Spike, thinking that he'd move on, or you'd find him first and tell him to move on, because, hello? Didn't his skanky-ho girlfriend, Dru, have that job all sewed up with her little frocks and dollies? There was only room in Sunnydale for one crazy vamp.
So you didn't tell them, and didn't tell them, and you almost convinced yourself that he'd gone back to wherever he'd gone before and he just struts into your house large as life. And you wonder, over Xander's anger and Dawn's snarls, why you didn't have Giles put that 'change the locks' spell on the house before he'd gone back to England with Willow, because damned if you aren't tired of vampires just walking back into your house, into your life without so much as a mother-may-I?
You wonder why you didn't say anything as Xander simmers and bubbles, like a witch's cauldron (no, no comparison) and Dawn snarks from her seat and that new woman that Xander found looks at all of you like you're crazy and you think, maybe she's right, 'cause here you are, in your twenties, and still keeping secrets that can hurt your family. And you wonder, what was I thinking? Am I doomed to make the same stupid mistakes over and over again?
Wait, don't answer that.
So, you have to go fight the bad guy, or bad worm, as the case may be, and you find out that Anya's done some demon wish thing and turned the strange woman's ex into some sort of demon worm who might just think the woman's next on his lunch ticket. So you have to stop him and to do that, maybe you need Spike's help, whether you want it or not. And you don't think you want it but maybe you do, your stomach and heart and brain can't come to any decision, you just know what your Watcher said once, when he didn't think you might hear, about combining strengths to keep the Slayer alive and at this point, maybe you do have a life that's worth living and nothing Spike can do (except touch you) can keep you from doing it.
And the worm's stopped, changed, how did Xander, 'cause who else could do it, talk Anya into changing him back to human? But that's not the immediate problem, it isn't even the guy that Spike shoved a piece of rebar through, it's Spike himself, even if you don't want to care. So you race after him, trailing him through the streets and finally, finally, you reach a church, a little chapel set in one of the cemeteries. You have to wonder why Spike would come here, he doesn't like hallowed ground, no vampire truly does, but the chapel looks deserted, not quite clean, so maybe it's been desecrated and Spike doesn't care.
So you step inside, all your senses alert, and he appears, like a stray moonbeam, talking about costumes and oh, God, you know what he means, since you tried on so many last year, trying to find yourself, trying to reel back from the edge. And he just rambles on, reaching for the closure of his pants and you belt him across the chapel and the pews break under his weight (which isn't much, and you wonder to yourself if he's eaten anything since the last time you saw him). A part of you would be satisfied to stake him now but a part of you listens in horror as Anya's babble starts to make sense, when Spike says Angel (your throat clutches again) should've warned him, that he went away to get himself a soul, a bright, shiny new soul to torture you with, because you've been in love with a vampire with a soul before and it's just not for you any more, you've got a sister who needs you and a world to protect and how could anyone, anyone go through whatever Spike has gone through to try to get back to you?
You hush the wail that Spike did this, Spike, and not him, because he's lost to you, has been for so many years and this is here and now and you have to deal, you have to deal, because Spike is draping himself over the cross at the front of the chapel and you can smell his skin sizzling like bacon in that stale weird air and you think, cycles, it's all cycles, because here's another secret to keep from your family, because despite everything, you can't let Spike kill himself, you can't let him rest in peace. Because you need him, even if you hate to think it and you'll never say it to yourself or to your family, because needing Spike is wrong, wrong, wrong and you're supposed to be starting this bright shiny life with a new job and everything.
You swallow your tears, your hopes for normality all over again, and pry your ex off a cross, ignoring the skin that he leaves behind, turning a blind eye to the symbology (and hey, didn't having a Psych T.A. for an ex-boyfriend come in handy, once in a while?). And as you walk Spike back to a safe place, back to his crypt, to Clem, you start making arrangements in your head for the things you'll have to do to keep your family from finding out, to keep them and your night life separated again.
And as you walk you think, this is your life, the Slayer and her vampire; allies and lovers and enemies all over again, a cycle of lies like the snake biting its own tail.
This is your inheritance.