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Not This Time

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“Why do you hate the Slayers so much?” Spike raised his battered head to look at the First. “Sure, they stop you, but they bring as much evil and misery as they stop.”

Taste the blood and bitterness there, ol’ boy, his demon sneered. You ought to be able to answer this question yourself. You hated her more than anyone. A part of you hates her all the more for loving her.

“She’s as demon as any of us.” Spike voiced the reason for his own hatred, offering a smile full of spite. “Otherwise why would you wear her face?”

“That’s just it, Spike.” The First crossed her arms in front of her chest. “She is as demon as any of you. More than so many.” Her full lower lip jutted out. “She should have been mine.” She looked down at Spike through Buffy’s blue eyes. “Instead she cowers behind a Watcher and protects the herds of human cattle.”

The First’s face changed, thinning, becoming that of Joyce Summers. “What kind of a mother would I be if I didn’t punish her?” Thick curls disappeared into the cap Spike’s mother used to wear. “Or you for that matter, William?”

“Stop that.” He shouldn’t let it get to him. He shouldn’t. He still hated seeing the First wear his mother.

“Still sensitive about your mum, sweet William?” She became more slender, ruffles and petticoats disappearing into Drusilla’s sleek curves.

The First raised bare arms above her head only to bring them down into a billowing black coat. “Poor Spikey!” Angelus laughed at him, dark eyes sparkling in the pleasure he took in his suffering. “Always a mama’s boy for no daddy wants you. At least not for long.”

“Shut your garb!” Spike lunged at the First, knowing he was insubstantial, there was no point in trying to hit the thing, but he had to try, didn’t he?

He ended up smacking his head against the wall.

“That’s the problem with wearing Angel.” The First turned to face him, still sporting the damned caveman brow and a wistful smile at the waste of it all. “He makes you suffer like no one else, but somehow he rouses your will to keep fighting.”

‘Angel’ shrank down, becoming small, slender, and blonde. “She, on the other hand, drains your will to fight.”

“That’s not true.” Spike picked himself off the floor. “I’ve fought her. Fought for her.”

“Can you keep fighting for her?” The First cocked her head to the side. “Will you? Once that Slayer strength which once captivated you is gone?” ‘Buffy’ crouched down beside him. “She’s just a girl, no different than all the rest. You’ll see.”

“She’s never been that.” Spike forced another smile through his teeth. “You’ll see.”

The First vanished, seeming to devour the form it had taken to decieve or hurt those it appeared to.

Only it hadn’t succeeded. Not this time. Spike kept smiling.