Timeline: After the episode School Hard.
Wow...Spike was a toughie. Just like a lot of boys, heís got so much to prove. Iím so proud of Mom and I hope it embarrassed him. Iíve never chopped so many vegetables in my life and he really messed it all up....well, sort of. Itís cool the way Mom dealt with it. Iím really going to have to get around to killing that guy. He gets on my nerves. Maybe itís the accent, although it works for Giles.
Angel came to my room again last night. Iíd finished getting ready for bed and I was thinking about how to get Momís new shining opinion of me to last longer than a week. I was putting fresh polish on my toenails when I heard the soft knock and saw him sitting on my windowsill.
"Hi," I said.
"Spikeís not done," he said, "Donít underestimate him,"
"Nice to see you, too," I said, getting back to my little toe, "Come on in,"
"Sorry," he said, "But this is important,"
"You know him," I had smeared my polish again. I always have trouble with my left little toe, I always have to do it over like three times.
He was silent. I sighed, finished getting the polish just right, and looked up at him.
He had that familiar look on his face, the one where heís holding in darkness.
"We go back," he said.
"So-heís killed a few Slayers,"
"I should dust him just for them,"
"Just be careful. Heís almost as vicious as I used to be,"
His eyes were like a room right after you turn the lights off, dark in a startling way, an almost shocking dark. It was unnerving. I was thinking about a certain amazing kiss the other night, and I wanted him to lighten up. I held out my foot to him.
"I can never get my little toe right," I said, "And since youíre so good with hair-"
"I have to go," he stood up.
"Why?" What had gotten into him?
His eyes went over me. I was wearing shorts and his glance crept slowly up my legs. Well, at least he still noticed me. His eyes hit mine and they were full of sadness and something like fear.
"I canít be a weakness for you," he said.
I looked at him for a minute. Finally I said, "Well, so far, you really havenít been. So far, youíve bailed me out, youíve watched my back, youíve helped me. Youíve helped me when I was too stupid to know I needed you. From the outside it might even look like you make me stronger,"
He turned and looked out the window, "Thereís-thereís a lot of human in me," he said.
"Iíve noticed that. Makes you Slayer-friendly,"
"This is serious," he wheeled on me, his voice had dug itself lower, almost into a growl, "You canít allow yourself to be distracted or weakened by anything. One weakness leads to others. You get lazy, you get sloppy, you let one thing throw you off and thatís all it takes for someone like him to kill you,"
"And that one thing would be-you?"
He really was upset. His head was lowered a little, he was almost glaring at me.
"When have you made me sloppy? When has your being there thrown me off the kill? Have you ever even slowed me down? Just one example would be nice, because Iím not getting this. It sounds like an excuse," I said.
A look that was almost a snarl crossed his face, and he turned toward the window. I jumped up and grabbed him by his belt. I sort of hate to brag, but only the Masterís reflexes have ever been in the same ballpark with mine. Well, so far. I pulled him back into the room, a little harder than I needed to. We bumped right into each other. He leaned over me for a second, he looked down at me and something else came over him. I thought for a minute he was going to put his arms around me. He jerked himself back and put his hands in his pockets, quickly.
"Whatís up with you?" I said, looking him in the eye. "What arenít you telling me?"
"Please be careful," he almost whispered it, it was like a plea. It spooked me.
"Careful of what? Is there another prophesy?"
I reached up and touched his cheek. He shied away with a liquid movement, animal-quick. That made me angry.
"Itís probably been a while since you hung out in a younger circle, right? Let me bring you up to speed with a new hip one-liner: ĎHoney, I need more space,í. What that does is give the girl a dignity warning, and you the reputation as a decent guy, because at least you told her-"
"He wouldnít kill you quickly," he blurted, "Heíd do it slowly, over years, heíd have you chained up and show you off, heíd sap the life out of you over decades,"
"Heís not the Master," I said, maybe a little arrogantly.
"Heís not garden-variety either,"
"So-now I know that,"
"Itís my fault," he said it so softly to himself that I almost didnít hear him. Almost.
"Is that why you wonít touch me now?" I asked him, "Because Spike coming here is supposed to be your fault? He makes his own decisions, doesnít he? I mean, heís not your child, is he?"
"I made him," he stalked across the room, as far as you can stalk in my room, itís a kind of small for big, tortured strides. He sat on the windowsill again, swinging one leg over and looking out.
"OK," I went over and sat on the windowsill, dangling both my legs out the window. I looked down and realized that I still had cotton between my toes. I reached down and started plucking the cotton out. "So, a dysfunctional family member shows up. Does this make for a moral conflict?"
His head snapped around to look at me.
"Something else is going on here," I said, "But I have the feeling youíre in your man-cave or something, so Iím done interrogating you," I dropped the cotton balls on the floor.
I sighed, "Never mind... self-help subculture reference,"
He took his lower lip in his teeth and narrowed his eyes at me. His eyes traveled down my arm and stayed fixed on my hand. He seemed to be struggling, and then he took my hand in his. He laid his other hand on top, sandwiching mine between his, and held his hands up to his mouth. My fingertips were just barely poking out between his hands. His kissed my fingertips and closed his eyes. I leaned foreword and pulled his hands away from his mouth and kissed him. He shuddered all over. I kissed him again, a little wetter this time, I slipped my tongue in a long stroke between his lips. Both his arms wound around me and suddenly I was in his lap, he was holding my face in his hands and kissing me full strength. I sighed, my whole body went liquidy-soft, I wrapped my arms around his neck. He held my head in his big hands and kissed me as if I was a river and he was dying of thirst.
One of his hands slipped around my back and he crushed me up against him. My nipples were hard from being in the cool night air on the windowsill, and I know he could feel them even through my t-shirt and his shirt, he made a yearning noise when they came up against his chest. I rubbed myself against him, making it worse, loving making it worse. His hands moved all over me, almost mauling me, over my face, stroking my lips with his thumb, through my hair, up the back of my neck, down my back, sliding over my arms, rubbing my hands. He reached down swiftly and took one of my feet in his hand and brought it right up to his mouth, planting a big, wet, tickly kiss all over the bottom of it. I almost shrieked, I made a high sound but I managed to cut it off. He ran his tongue over my toes, and I fell backward, holding my hand over my mouth because it was just too much not to scream or to laugh or both.
He reached out to catch me and suddenly we were in a really scarey position: he was holding me right up against him and one of my legs was way up in the air, I was practically doing a split on his chest. He craned his head back, squeezing his eyes shut, and he carefully lowered my foot and then released me. We both sat there for a minute, recovering, and then he was on his feet.
"I have to go," He growled.
"I know," I was panting, literally.
"Be on the lookout for Spike. Heíll turn up when you donít expect him. Heís powerful, heís probably already got minions of his own here now, a workforce,"
"I," He swallowed and looked at me with so much longing that it turned my legs into jello, "I-Iíll see you soon,"
He was gone.
Iíll dust Spike, itís just a matter of time. I do have other things to think about. Like an exchange student, and a dance, and a vampire that Iím afraid Iím falling way too hard for.