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His hands are calloused, pale and cold when he touches her. When he does that, Illyria feels nothing.

Well, it’s obvious, for Illyria is a Goddess and he is just a dead piece of meat that happens to have a name — Spike,a once human who now is just another vampire, weak and young and eager for a fight. And no matter if her insides (Fred, it whispers to her, my name is Fred) flutter when he touches her, Illyria feels nothing.

He touches her arms, thighs, and feet, looking for scratches of explosions, magic or swords, and Illyria feels nothing.

He brushes his fingers on her chest by accident while he tends to her injuries and apologizes through the slight arch of an eyebrow — a small action that, if she was less her, (and more Fred, like Wesley always wanted Illyria to be) she would have missed — but it matters not for Illyria feels nothing.

He touches her face, ears and even the back of her neck. Illyria still feels nothing.

He gives her a delicate smile with too much teeth; pats her blue hair as if she is a child; looks inside her icy blue eyes for a (long, Fred counts the seconds) moment and Illyria feels nothing.

Illyria feels nothing because there is nothing to feel, she says to herself, trying to shush her vessel once called Fred.

Then, he stops and pulls away, content with his job of tending to her wounds and ready to move on into another adventure to save a world that does not acknowledge their existence — calling them monsters under children’s bed or good creatures for bad movies.

And Illyria feels something.

(It is nothing, Illyria says to herself, but then she hears something in the back of her head. Oh, Illyria, Fred’s voice echoes, soft and sweet, like a whisper or a prayer, you were never good at lying to yourself.)