Odd, Yet Normal

by Saber ShadowKitten
My Childe 16

When my Childe had screamed for me in terror, it had chilled me to the bone. I can still hear those screams echoing in my home, even though over a week has passed. It bothers me. But I think what bothers me more than whatever the nightmare had been about is the fact that Spike had called for me specifically. Not just for help, but for me. His Sire.

I taught my boy to be strong. Molded him into a powerful master vampire in my own image. Yes, he's always been more emotional and impulsive whereas I've always been obsessive and controlling. I would play games, he would just take what he wanted.

But although he looked up to me, he never looked for my help. Not even when he'd been outnumbered by another master's Childer with me in shouting distance did he seek my assistance. Instead, he'd gotten beat within an inch of his unlife and left to burn outside of our flat. If I hadn't had gone out to see where the hell he'd gotten to, he probably would have been lost to me.

Damn, that memory still makes me mad and sends a bolt of fear through my heart. My soulless alter-ego may seem like a heartless bastard, but I've always loved my beautiful Will. He's the most important person in the world to me, to both my demon and my soul.

He's my Childe.

It's funny how things can change at the drop of a hat. I'd really thought that I hated him, especially after that torturing bit he put me through to get the Gem of Amara. But when I'd thought that he'd been staked, my demon raged and my soul screamed in agony. Both unconscious reactions were brought on by the news that the vampire I supposedly hated was dust, and it wasn't until afterwards that I'd realized how deep the bond I'd made and nurtured with my William ran.

It's a very odd, yet very normal feeling. I suppose this is how fathers feel about their sons. I love him, wholly, completely, unconditionally. It's too bad it took a near tragedy for him to become a part of my immortal life again. A near tragedy that's left my wonderful boy emotionally scarred and plagued with nightmares, haunted by what had happened to him.

Spike seems fine now, though, and has been wandering around the apartment with his nose stuck in a book for the past five days. The Professor and the Madman. He's chuckled a couple of times over whatever it's about, which makes me happy. He picked it up in the history section at the library when we were there. I think it's about the making of the dictionary. If he ever looks up from it, I'll ask him.

He's also gaining his weight back. Cow's and pig's blood may not be the pièce de résistance, but it's nourishment. I've found a good supplier who doesn't ask any questions and readily doubled my order for the right amount of cash. Of course, this makes my wallet a whole hell of a lot lighter, but it's for my beautiful Childe...

"Hey, Angel, get this," Spike says as he comes into the kitchen where I'm sitting at the table, sketching a picture of Buffy.

I miss her.

Spike pulls out the chair beside me and sits, book open in his hand, a pair of glasses perched on his nose. I forced him to get a strong pair last time we were at Walgreens when I recently noticed that he squinted. I'd always thought that he was just too hyper to sit still for long to read, and it turns out he just couldn't see the words very well. He looks rather intelligent in the gold frames.

"This bloke was completely round the bend," Spike tells me, hitting one of the pages with his finger. "This guy, William Minor, was a certifiable paranoid murderer locked up at Broodmoor Institute for the Criminally Insane. And he's the git who wrote half the definitions in the English dictionary!"

"You're kidding," I say.

"I shit you not," he replies. "Some locked-up, loony American went and wrote to this chap Murray, who was one of the editors of the dictionary, with his definitions and quotes from books. And the limey used them! Cor, I'm practically gob-smacked."

"You certainly say a lot for a person claiming to be speechless." I smirk at him and he scowls at me.

"Sod off," he says, sticking the scrap of paper he's using as a bookmark into the book and closing it.

My smirk changes to a small smile, and I go back to my charcoal sketch. My phonograph is playing in the background, filling my home with the soft strains of violins. Yesterday, it was filled with that screeching my boy claims to be music. I'm getting old.

"Her nose turns up more," Spike tells me, tapping my paper.

"I think I know what she looks like, Spike," I say.

"Yeah, but her nose turns up more," he insists. "I've hit it enough to notice that sort of thing."

"Don't remind me." I shake my head and look at my sketch critically. Great, he's right. Her nose does turn up more.

I drop my charcoal and rest my head in my hands. This is depressing. My own Childe knows what the love of my never-ending life looks like better than I do.

"You got her eyes, though," Spike says. "They way they show all the horror she's seen, yet still reflect happiness."

I raise my head and look at him. He's studying my sketch with a slight furrow between his brows above the gold rim of the glasses. He rubs the pad of his finger along the Buffy on the page's hairline, smudging the charcoal a bit. "And last time we saw her, her roots were showing more."

"You like her."

Spike looks at me with a frown. "What do you mean?"

"You like Buffy," I say, unsure of whether I should laugh or kill him.

"Of course I like her," Spike says. "She saved my soddin' unlife and got me to come here where I'd feel safe because of you. So why wouldn't I?"

It was the bluntest he'd ever spoken about his feelings since he'd come to stay with me. "Why wouldn't you," I agree with a sigh.

I glance back down at the sketch, then pick up my charcoal and add a few shadows around her nose, making it turn up more. Spike picks up his book and opens it to the page he left off on.

"She's cute, too, for a Slayer," Spike says after a moment.

"That she is," I say, rubbing my finger along her cheekbone on the page. "But if you think any more about her in a non-she's-my-Sire's-woman way, I'll break both your kneecaps."

Spike chuckles. "No wankin' off to naked Slayer thoughts, got it."

I reach over and smack him across the back of his head. He grins at me, a totally carefree smile that makes me chuckle in return and lightens my heart. I reach over again and ruffle his bleach blond hair, and he smacks my arm away then returns his attention to his book.

He really does look intelligent with those glasses on.