Simpleton, nincompoop, booby, fool, nitwit, dunce, ninny, dolt, imbecile, numskull, ignoramus,
Spike looked up and out over the town of Sunnydale. The matching red terra cotta roofs that
sloped down the valley made the town picturesque, homey, a good place to raise a family. No
one would ever know that Sunnydale was the home of the Hellmouth and the evil that decided
Washington, D.C. was getting too scary. No one would ever know that there was a two hundred
year old vampire sitting outside of the mansion on Crawford's Street looking down at the town.
That's what he was -- pitiful. He was sitting outside of the mansion he hated, overlooking the
town he hated, acting like his sire -- whom he hated. He'd also gotten beat up by his sire and
what could be more pitiful than that? Well, aside from waking up in the morgue with a toe tag on
his foot a few days ago. A few days of avoiding the Slayer and her cohorts, because he knew they
would make fun of him unmercifully.
However, not seeing Buffy did not stop the nightdreams. He was having up to four or five per
day, ever since he'd gone to Los Angeles. Sometimes he knew they were nightdreams, other
times, they were so real, he was unsure of whether or not they ever ended. She always looked so
real in them. So very, very real.
Moping, sulking, lamenting, moody, glum, morose, unsociable, withdrawn.
Spike laid back on the hard ground and put the open book over his face. Maybe the answer he
was seeking would seep into his brain through osmosis. It was worth a try. Nothing else had
worked. No matter how many times he'd asked the Buffy he knew was a nightdream, she
wouldn't tell him. The other Buffy's he'd seen had looked so very real, he didn't know if he was
in a fantasy world or not. Everything about her was so very real.
He was at wit's end, at the end of his rope, at the edge, on the brink, one step away from letting
the sun to come over the horizon at the edge of the scenic town and fry him. He felt as though
whoever was in charge of writing his unlife was purposely not allowing him to figure it out. He
knew he wasn't the brightest bulb in the box, the sharpest tool in the shed, the quickest draw in
the West...or was that the fastest? Either way, he still couldn't piece together what he was
suppose to tell the Slayer.
He heard footsteps approaching, but he didn't move. Maybe whoever it was would put him out
of his misery.
"Spike, what are you doing?"
Or make him more miserable.
"The lambada, Slayer," Spike answered sarcastically. "What does it look like?"
"You're not up here to see the sunrise, are you?" Buffy asked. "I so don't want to go through
Spike lifted the book off his face and sat up. So real. "Go through what again?"
Buffy sat down beside him and pulled her knees to her chest. "Never mind."
He studied her for a moment. She looked very real. She was wearing jeans and a t-shirt with a
long, black leather coat over the top. Not her typical fare. Not her usual attire. Not her normal
accouterments. Not her ordinary dress.
Imaginary, fake, false, illusion, fictitious, hallucinatory, deception, nonexistent, fantasy.
Spike put the book on the ground next to him, reached over and poked Buffy on the arm. She
turned her head and gave him a puzzled look. He patted all the way down her arm and her brow
lifted. She looked very, very real.
"What in the world are you doing?"
"Trying to discern if you're real or not," Spike replied. So very real looking.
"Why wouldn't I be?" Buffy asked.
Spike inhaled purposely and sighed. "I can't bloody tell anymore," he admitted. To him, she
looked very real. He tapped his forehead. "Something's not connected right up here."
"I could have told you that," she said with a grin.
He scowled at her. "You're a regular riot, Slayer."
"I know," Buffy agreed. She returned her gaze to the scenic overlook.
"So are you real or not?" Spike asked bluntly. She looked so very, very real.
"I guess you'll never know."
Irritated, resentful, annoyed, exasperated, bothered, disturbed, confused, perturbed, agitated,
unsettled, confounded, disconcerted, rattled, upset...
Buffy reached over and took the book from his hands. She looked at the cover. "Have I ever
told you that you are the weirdest vampire I've ever met?"
"Constantly," Spike replied. He tried to snatch it back from her, but she eluded his attempts.
"Give that back."
"In a minute," she said.
Spike sighed in defeat and laid back down again. He crossed his ankles and put his hands under
his head. The stars were twinkling happily in the night sky above him. So very real. He moved
one hand up, took aim and pretended to shoot one. Then he brought the hand to his temple and
pretended to shoot himself.
Mad, cracked, screwy, nutty, nuts, looney, schizo, loco, wacko, batty, unglued, touched, crazy.
He put his hand back behind his head and closed his eyes. Maybe, if he was really lucky, a UFO
full of Scottish engineers would come along and beam him up. Anything was better than not
knowing if the Buffy beside him was real or a yet another nightdream, as well as his inability to
figure out what the hell he was suppose to tell the real Buffy. She looked so very, very real.
He could always just kiss her. If she punched his lights out, he'd know that she was the real
Buffy. If she didn't, he could chose to have a nice little tete-a-tete on the hilltop. Why didn't he
think of that before?
Spike sat up, grabbed the Slayer around the waist and hauled her onto his lap.
"Spike!" Buffy exclaimed, the book falling out of her hands.
"Here goes nothing," Spike muttered. So real. He slid his hand up into the back of her hair and
Torrid, burning, fiery, flaming, blazing, scorching, searing, scalding, carnal, sensuous, stimulating,
arousing, exciting, orgiastic, passionate, inflaming. Words that he didn't need to find in the
thesaurus he'd been reading to described what kissing Buffy was like. Very real.
Spike broke away from her mouth gradually, reluctantly, not wanting to find out she wasn't real,
yet not wanting to find out she was real and was disgusted by him kissing her. She looked real.
He licked his lower lip, then rubbed his lips together, savoring the tingling sensation her mouth
had left on his. He took a purposeful breath and let it out slowly before opening his eyes.
She was staring at him, her hazel eyes wide and unreadable. Her breathing was rapid and he
could hear her heart pounding beneath her breast. Her lips were slightly red and swollen from
kissing. Her skin was flushed a light pink. She looked so very real. So very, very real.
"Slayer?" Spike said quietly, uncertainty tinging his voice. Very, very real she looked.
"Why did you kiss me?" Buffy asked.
"I...," he trailed off and swallowed. For some reason, telling her he was only trying to see if she
was real or a figment of his imagination wasn't the response he wanted to give her. Real. He
dropped his head as he tried to think of an answer and saw that the book was sitting open in her
Adored, fancied, infatuated, charmed, enamored, yearned, enraptured, enchanted, desired,
besotted, smitten, passionately devoted...
Spike's head shot up and his eyes snapped to hers. He didn't hesitate or mull over it or take the
time to call himself names because he didn't realize it sooner. He didn't stop to worry that she
might be another figment of his imagination. So very, very real looked she. He just raised his
other hand and cupped her cheek and told her what he knew was the truth.
"I love you."
Spike tensed when he heard the muffled sound of his name being called. He stared at the Buffy in
his lap. She looked so very real. So very, very real. She couldn't be a nightdream, he didn't
want her to be another nightdream, not after what he figured out. So real. He moved his arms
around her waist and pressed his face into her neck. He began rocking slightly back and forth.
So very real she looked.
"Please no, please no, please no, please no, please no...," he began repeating over and over. He
couldn't take it anymore. He couldn't let her not be real. So very, very real.
"Spike?" a quiet, confused voice said.
He squeezed his eyes shut and tightened his arms around her. She very, very looked so real. His
rocking became more pronounced. "Please no, please no, please no, please no, please no, please
"Spike! Are you here?! It's an emergency!"
"Please no, please no, please no, please no, please no, please no..." Real. So real. Very real. So
very, very real.
"Willow! We're up here!"