Happy Birthday, Mate

by Saber ShadowKitten
Absence Diminishes Little 2

They don't fucking understand. They just don't bloody fucking understand. I wish they would leave me in peace so I can act like a freaked ninny without an audience. I'm this close to losing it as it is. Why won't they "Just go already!?"

Oh that's just swell. You've started the 'Spike's a great big nancyboy' show early, old chap, good for you.

"Jeez, can you be any ruder?" Buffy says. She looks at me with her normal contempt.

Blow me, bitch.

"Maybe we should go, Buffy," Willow says. She looks at me with trepidation. Good girl. You've learned that I've still got bite even without the actual biting part.

"It's not like I actually wanted to be here in the first place," Anya adds with her usual bluntness. "Can't you see that Spike doesn't want our help?"

Duh. I want their help like I want another implant in my head.

"The Gilesmeister told us to help the biteless one look, so we look," Xander says. He doesn't even bother to glance in my direction as he scuffs his shoe over the grass. "Although it would help if we knew what we were looking for."

Sheah, like I'm going to tell you that. "Will you twits just leave? I don't need your soddin' help," I tell them for what seems like the billionth time. If only Giles would have kept his gob shut about me searching around his place for it. Cor, what I wouldn't give to kill these idiots and be done with them.

"Come on, guys," Buffy says. "It's still early enough to hit the Bronze."

Yes, go. Please go.

Willow looks at me, then purposely links her arm with Buffy's. "I'm all for Bronzing. Bronzing is good. It's fun. I hear there are other people there, and sometimes even a band."

Anya latches onto Xander and starts to drag him away. "Goodnight, Spike," she says over her shoulder to me. "Good luck finding your thing."

"And I hope you stay up too long searching for it and burn to death in the sun," Buffy adds, and she and Willow leave, too.

Thank the bloody Lord.

I glance up at the sky, briefly wondering if my Sire were to do the same right at this moment, what would be the chances that we'd been looking at the identical star. Sounds pretty sappy, when I think about it. If this were a movie, I'd be breaking out into the lyrics of that little Fievel mouse song right now.

Dropping my eyes to the grass, I roll my shoulders and sigh. I swear, I'm turning into the trotting nonce more and more every night. I guess it goes to prove that the Childe always follows in the Sire's footsteps.

Why couldn't he stay evil? Why did he have to go after that Rom bitch? Why couldn't he have found a normal, non-gypsy chit to fuck with? Why do I even fucking care?

After I quickly glance around to make sure they really are gone, I drop to my knees and begin to search once again. I know it has to be around here somewhere. It wasn't at Giles's and it wasn't in my awful-but-at-least-it's-not-Xander's-basement home, so it had to be out here. It had to be.

Damn, what if someone picked it up already? It's not like the thing is ugly. Lots of people like stuff like that. Or someone could have hawked it. Oh bugger, what if someone did sell it, and now some sleazy pawn bloke is passin' it on to some git who was going to give it to his cow of a woman, with her hairy pits and sweat rolling off her huge fucking body like waves.

Now that was a mental image I could have done without.

My hands run back and forth over the soft grass, and again I wonder why I'm even bothering to look for it. It's not like it actually means something to me, just like the dark-haired idiot who gave it to me doesn't mean anything to me. For bloody's sake, I hate the fucking pillock and the power he still has over me after all this time. I hate him, I hate him, I hate him.

And if I keep telling myself that...

My hand brushes over an object and I quickly focus on that spot. Relief washes over me and I'm pissed at myself almost instantly. It's only a stupid chain. A worthless bunch of links to hold a ridiculous, round medallion. Cheap, too, because it broke right at one of those little links. It figures the sod would give me something with such shoddy craftsmanship. It's just like our non-relationship -- piss-poor in quality and worth less than nothing.

My fingers close over the chain, making it press hard into my palm. Now that I found the bloody thing, I don't want to lose it again. One humiliating experience of having the Slayer and friends knowing that I have something that's important enough to me that I searched for hours to find it is too much as it is.

I look at my closed hand and tighten my fist until the chain bites into my skin. Cor, I am such a wanker. A bloody, fucking wanker who should have tried a second time to end my worthless unlife. It's not as if anyone really cares.

I raise my eyes and fall right into the stripping gaze of my Sire. I jerk my head back in surprise. "Fuck, Angel," I gasp. I hadn't even realized he was here.

He's crouched in front of me, a smirk on his lips from my reaction. Of course, this royally ticks me off. "Bloody hell, you sod," I growl at him. "I hate you."

If anything, his smirk grows.


"What are you doing here?" I glare at him. "Don't you know you're not welcome in Sunnyhell?"

Instead of answering me, the prick reaches out and brushes his thumb over my scar. I move my head to the right, away from his touch, ignoring the strong desire to nuzzle into his hand. What the bloody fuck is wrong with me anyway? Didn't I humiliate myself enough the last time he was here?

His fingers brush down over my cheek until he cups my chin and makes me look him in the eyes. I hate his eyes. They're all soft and brown and capable of reducing me to a quivering, emotional sod.

"Happy birthday, William," he says in a quiet, almost loving tone.

Then before I even process the fact that it is my birthday as well as the day I was made into a fun-lovin', creature of the night, my Sire kisses me.

I think my heart is somewhere around my toes and my brain has leaked out my ear.

His lips are firm and soft against mine, and he's taking his bloody sweet time exploring my mouth with his tongue. I should be protesting or pulling away or biting his tongue, but all I seem capable of is kissing the pillock back, and I can't blame the alcohol this time.

The kiss is tender and sweet and wonderful and everything comes crashing down on me. Tears prickle behind my closed eyes. Oh god, I needed this...this...this.

I make a pathetic little whimper-purr sound in the back of my throat because my emotions are overwhelming me. I've been so fucking miserable these past few months, despite finding out I'm at least able to kill demons. I've realized how alone and pathetic and worthless I really am, and no one showed me they otherwise disagreed. The red-haired witch only stopped me from offing myself was because she would feel guilty if she didn't, not because she wanted me to keep living.

Cor, aren't I the shiny example of evilness?

I think my Sire senses my pitiful desperation to have some contact -- any contact -- with someone in a caring way. It could also be because my empty hand is clamped around his arm and my fingers are digging into him as I try to pull him closer to me.

I feel him move and I'm suddenly being held close. One of his hands is behind my back under my duster, the other is cupping the back of my head as he continues to kiss me. He doesn't change the kiss, however. It stays slow and nice and is turning me into a crybaby.

God, how can I hate him and need him so much at the same time?

I'm completely fucked in the head. There's no other explanation for it. Losing Dru twice and now hanging around with the Slayer on top of the implant in my head has sent me 'round the bloody bend.

When he starts to pull away from me, I make that silly noise again, once more proving how pitiful I am. His lips leave mine despite my whimpered protest, and he presses a brief kiss on my forehead. I don't open my eyes, even though I can feel him studying me. My face is wet from my tears, testifying that I've sunk to an all-time low -- I'm crying in front of my Sire.

And then he's gone, just like that.

I sink back on my heels and wipe my cheeks with the back of my sleeve. I'm such a pansy-arsed nonce. It takes me a few moments to gather myself back together, and when I open my eyes, I almost lose it again.

There's a tiny, wrapped package sitting on the ground in front of me.

With two fingers holding the chain he'd given me for Christmas pressed to my hand, I pick up the small object and set it on my lap. I don't know if I want to open it or not. They say that good things come in small packages; but they also say to beware of enemies bearing gifts.

Fuck it, it's my bloody birthday, even though I didn't remember and haven't celebrated it since Angelus had disappeared on me and Dru some hundred years before. The trotting git giving me a gift after all this time is probably his idea of a sick joke. Or it's a way for him to make himself feel better and relieve some of that guilt he's carrying around with him. Not like he really cares about me or anything, except when it comes to making a mess of my unlife.

I unwrap it quickly, tearing at the paper while holding onto the chain tightly. Under the wrapping is little box, and I pull the lid off without hesitation, wondering if a bunch of soddin' snakes are going to jump out at me. Instead of them, though, I find a business-type calling card with a picture of a demented bat on the face of it.

Frowning, I take it out of the box and study it. An address and a phone number are printed on the bottom corners of the card, but there's no other words. It's probably for a shrink. The jerk.

I turn the card over and glance at the back and stop myself from tossing it away like I was going to. There is something written on it in that smooth, flowing script that I recognize as my Sire's. A second phone number is scrawled across the bottom, but it's the words that cause my throat to close up again.

I'm nothing unless needed by you.

God, you stupid fucker, I hate you so bloody much.

I stand and head back to the hole in the ground I call my home, the chain and medallion he'd given me for Christmas clenched in one hand...

"Happy birthday, mate. Right."

...And the card clenched in the other.

End 1