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Today, Unknown Tomorrow

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He can't sleep.

He probably should, but he, like the rest of the current residents of the Summers' home, is unable to. Too many tense muscles, too many nerves, too many butterflies, and who the fuck came up with that analogy anyway? It's stupid. Butterflies. Because it feels nothing like butterflies, it feels like maggots. Twisting inside, and making him want to grimace in pain and disgust and guilt and horror.

He wonders what tomorrow will bring. Wonders if he'll live. Part of him doesn't think he deserves to. More than a hundred years, and this was never where he pictured himself. If someone had told him his future twenty, thirty, eighty years ago, he would have scoffed, laughed, snapped their necks in pure defiance of the ridiculous notion that he'd be helping the Slayer stop the apocalypse, and then bathed in their blood--but this is not twenty, thirty or eighty years ago. This is now, and now is what it is, and somehow he cannot escape that fact.

He stares hard at the medallion. Thinks about his past, about everything he's said and done and seen.

"It's fully possible to conquer the world, if you want it bad enough," Angelus had once told him, as they were both playing ildly with a man's entrails, and Spike--William at the time--had believed him. Spike had eaten up every word Angelus had ever said to him.

Some odd years later, as he'd pounded a railroad spike into his dinner's head, he'd pondered that fact again. It had been long after he'd stopped waiting for Angelus to come back, long after he'd accepted the fact that Angelus was probably dead, dust in the wind, but Angelus' words were still strong in his mind. He'd paused in his actions, and taken a moment to send a silent prayer, a thanks and a curse, for his old, dead Sire, because if nothing else, he certainly left an impression on the younger vampire.

Sometimes Spike thinks he can still feel Angelus inside him, if he closes his eyes and focus hard enough. Feel Angelus move in him, cock in his ass and fangs in his neck.

It was a long time ago.

Spike has a complex relationship with Angel. There has ever only been one person he's hated more and loved so fiercely at once, and she falls into a league all on her own. Not every Slayer could have done what Buffy does.

Angelus made Spike feel inadequate and humiliated in his every action and his every word, yet Spike realizes perfectly well that Angelus is the closest thing he's ever had to a mentor, and one of very few people who has loved him--as much as Angelus was able to love anyone.

It's part of why his relationship with Angel is so complex. It's hard seeing the man, the demon, and knowing it's somehow still--not. Part of Spike hates Angel more than anything on this earth. Not even his greatest obsessions hold a candle to the searing hatred he has felt, and still feels, for Angel. Even after his soul--maybe especially after his soul. He wishes Angel would have warned him. The fact that he never told Angel his plans, doesn't matter. Angel should have warned him, and maybe if he had, Spike wouldn't have ended up insane in the basement of Sunnydale High. Maybe if he had, Spike wouldn't have unwillingly become a Champion.

It turns out, though, that this--this amulet, this little trinket--this is obviously the path chosen for Spike, and Spike is determined to walk it. Not necessarily because his soul makes him feel noble about it, because more than a hundred years of unliving changes a person, soul or no, and he's not turned into a saint, after all. But he's determined to walk it, because there is one person he's ever loved more than Angelus, and she told him to.

Spike loves Buffy. And he respects her. He hasn't always loved her, but he's always respected her. Knew from the moment he saw her that she had power, not just Slayer power, but something more--even though it took him a few months to realize exactly how great it was.

And how ironic isn't it, that for so many years, he wished to become as his Sire, but that it wasn't until after he'd stopped wanting it, he was dragged down the same bleedin' path?

He really can't sleep.

Champion. He doesn't want to be one. Hates the thought even, but in his mind, his victims scream and cry, and he pushes them away. Can't think about that pain right now, not with a world to save, and not with a dozen plus teenaged girls to protect. The guilt can come later, and maybe some part of him wants to die tomorrow, just to escape the maggots twisting inside him.

No, this isn't where he'd imagined himself ending up. He meant what he said to Buffy. That he's seen everything, done everything, but only ever been sure of her. He knows they're gonna pull through tomorrow. Knows it with the uttermost certainty. He just isn't sure if he'll be around long enough to see the end of it.

And he supposes if he does die tomorrow, it's meant to be. He's cheated death a hell of a lot times, quite a few of those times slipping through Buffy's very hands. A lucky dodge from the stakes flying at him, and a lucky distraction at the most opportune moment. But maybe this is the end of the line? He figures that's what good guys do; they keep fighting, and if they die trying, well, it's just how it is. It's a sad fact, but one he'll accept. One of the downsides--or maybe it's upsides?--to having a soul.

Yes, Spike's seen everything and done everything. He's eaten things he doesn't even wanna think about, and shagged quite a few of those too. He's had threesomes and foursomes and orgies, he's had sex in every position imaginable to man, and in a hell of a lot imaginable to demons. He's mutilated people in every way possible, he's raped and been raped several times, and he has laughed through a lot of it. He's been beaten down, burnt and tortured, and he's answered in kind, and at times nearly gone under from heartache and sorrow. None of it has beaten him yet.

For a long while a few years back, he thought Buffy would be the end of him. He thought she would finally be the one, the one Slayer he faced and couldn't take. In some ways, he guesses she's partly responsible if he does die tomorrow. After all, he wouldn't be here--wouldn't have a soul, wouldn't be a Champion, wouldn't be sitting here in this dank basement staring at a piece of jewelery--if it wasn't for her. Wouldn't even have come to Sunnydale in the first place, if it wasn't for her.

It's probably only fitting. The woman he loves being responsible for his death.

The thought isn't as upsetting as it probably should be, but then again, he does comfort himself with his memories. Thinks of her warm body pressed against his, and feels safe. Thinks about slipping into her wet heat, and feels safe. Thinks of holding her through the night, not a word spoken, and watching her sleep, grace and strength and power, and he has loved before, maybe not as strongly, but he has loved before, has felt love many times before--but she's the only one who has ever made him feel loved.

Drusilla never made him feel loved. Drusilla made him feel needed, and there's a definite difference there.

He hasn't thought about Drusilla for a long while, has tried to block her from his memory as best he can, because after The First spent hours taunting him, he no longer was sure what to believe. Which of his memories were real, and which were not. But tonight seems to be a safe night for remembering, musing, it seems to be the right night for it, so he pulls the image of her from his head. Thinks about watching her dance in the moonlight, or whisper coyly into his ear that the stars are thirsty, and allows himself to miss her insanity, just once. He wonders where she is now. Wonders if she's okay. She's probably heard the whisperings of evil long ago, and he hopes she's safe.

It's a strange combination of people that Spike has loved in his lifetime. Drusilla, Angelus, Buffy... There have been others in between, but nobody who left as big of an impact on him as them. One insane, one sadistic, and one--amazing. All different, all so different, and all part of the path chosen for him, whether he likes it or not.

Doesn't really matter what he wants, anyway. Not anymore. Someone taught him to see the big picture. He misses her already, with every fiber of his being, wishes she'd come downstairs to him. He wants to hold her in his arms, just one more time, because he's not sure he'll get the chance ever again. And if he's perfectly honest with himself, he's scared of what tomorrow will bring. Terrified, even.

Still, he'll go. He'll fight. And he'll do whatever it takes of him. Because she told him to. She told him to go. She told him to fight. And so he'll fight, and it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks. Nobody else matters. Not Angelus, Willow, not Xander, not Giles, not the bite-sized one, not the demon girl, and certainly not the little marching band of Slayer-wannabes. Screw them all, damn them to hell and back again. She is all that matters. That's why he'll fight, with everything he has, with everything he is, until there is no more, until either they win--or he's dust. Spike never does anything half-assed. He hopes Buffy knows that.

No, Spike really doesn't know if he'll live tomorrow, and he's not sure he deserves to. But he believes they'll win. He believes in them, and most of all--most of all, he believes in Buffy. She believed in him. She still believes in him. He sighs a little and puts the medallion aside, hoping for tomorrow. Hoping it'll work. Hoping it'll do some good. Hoping, whatever it does--it won't hurt too much... At least this way, he figures, if he goes down, he'll go down swinging. It's a small comfort. He wouldn't want it any other way.

He really, really can't sleep.

"It is fully possible to conquer the world, if you want it bad enough," Angelus' words echo in his head.

Spike wants it bad enough.

He can't wait for tomorrow.

End.