No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no...
Spike was in his room, curled up in his bed, with a thin, yellow blanket pulled over his head. He
knew it was his room. He knew it was his bed. He knew it was his yellow blanket. His soft
blanket. Soft, soft, soft. He liked the blanket. It was a nice blanket.
The little witch had come and taken him away from Buffy. Real Buffy. Unreal Buffy. Real,
unreal, real, unreal, real, unreal. He had been put in a car he didn't recognize and had been driven
home. Then the little witch had called the little werewolf and the little werewolf had green hair
and had put him to bed. Then the sun went up and down and up and down...
"Spike, are you awake?"
His mum had told him if he couldn't see the monsters, the monsters couldn't see him. He pulled
the blanket tighter over his head. If he didn't move, maybe she would go away. Away. Fly
away little Buffy.
"I saw you move. Why don't you come out from under the blanket and talk to me?"
Her voice was like wind chimes. Chimes that sang in the wind. He had wind chimes once. They
were pretty. She was pretty. Pretty as a picture. Pictures weren't real. She wasn't real. Why
wasn't she real?
Buffy, Buffy, Buffy, Buffy, Buffy, Buffy, Buffy. Such a silly name. Silly little Buffy. So tiny, so
soft, like his blanket. Soft, soft, soft. If he pulled her up against him, he could hold her softness
like his blanket. He liked his blanket.
Spike slowly pulled the yellow blanket away from his face so he could peek out. He saw Buffy
sitting on a chair next to the bed. Real? Unreal? Real?
"Slayer?" His voice was barely a whisper, small and timid. It held no arrogance, no confidence,
no cockiness. His blue eyes, hidden by the shadows of the blanket over his head, were filled with
nervousness and uncertainty. Knees pulled up to his chest, he looked more like a scared, little
boy than a strong, powerful vampire.
Buffy leaned forward on the chair and gave him a small smile. "Hi," she said softly.
"You real?" Spike asked.
"Last time I checked," she replied. Spike shrank back when she reached out to touch him and
her hand hovered neared the blanket before she retracted it. "What's wrong, Spike? How can I
Help. Help, help, help, help, help. His mum had told him that big boys didn't need help. Big
boys didn't cry. Big boys didn't wet the bed. Big boys didn't leave food on their plates. Big
boys didn't talk back to their mums.
"Buffy, she's here."
That was the little witch. He liked the little witch. And the little werewolf with the green hair.
And little Buffy.
"Ok, have Angel bring her in, then you guys should go."
He knew an Angel. He hated Angel. He loved Angel. Hated, loved, hated, loved. Just like his
little Buffy. Hated, loved. Did she love him? Did she hate him? Love, hate, hate, love. Real,
unreal, unreal, real. Nothing made dollars, nothing made sense.
Spike watched as Buffy stood and pulled a stake out of her waistband. His eyes grew round and
he began to tremble. He pulled the blanket back over his face and pulled his knees closer to his
"Hurt him, I hurt you."
His little Buffy sounded mean. It was her Slayer voice. Mean Slayer. She was scary when she
was mean. He'd seen big boys cry when she was mean. Big boys weren't suppose to cry, his
mum said so.
Spike pulled the covers away from his face when he heard the familiar voice. In the chair where
Buffy had been sat Drusilla. She was wearing black and red, his favorite colors, and her hair was
pulled off of her face with the combs he had gotten her long ago.
"Dru?" he asked, his voice wavering.
"My poor Spike," Drusilla said, leaning forward to touch him. He shrank back, just as he did
with Buffy, and pulled the blanket tighter around him. She sat back again in the chair. "Your
little head's all messed up, like mummy's."
His mum's head had been messed up. He messed it up himself. She made such a pretty sound
when she died. Like a burbling brook. Burble, burble, burble, burble.
Drusilla looked past him with an angry expression. "Who did this to my Spike?"
Dru. Lovely princess. He had missed her loveliness. He had missed her love. He loved Dru. He
loved Buffy. Buffy, Buffy, little Buffy, so very real, so very unreal. Was his Dru real?
"I should be asking you that."
"Well, he flipped the same night she came to town. You do the math, Angel."
One plus one was two. Two plus two was four. Four plus four was eight. Eight plus eight was
sixteen. Sixteen plus sixteen was sixteen-sixteen...
"Spike," Drusilla said.
Spike peered at her through the shadow of the blanket around him and bit his lip. He bit it harder
when he saw Buffy come up behind her. What was she going to do?
He watched, wide-eyed, as Buffy slid her arms around Drusilla's neck and down the front of her
body. She looked at him and winked, then began to nibble on Drusilla's neck. In response,
Drusilla lifted one arm and slid it around Buffy's head, caressing her. His princess then turned
her face and caught Buffy's mouth in a passionate kiss.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no...
Spike sat up and looked wildly around the room. He shoved the yellow blanket off of him and
scrambled to the end of the bed. The blanket got tangled around his legs and he fell, face first, off
the edge. He smacked his chin on the carpeting, causing his jaw to snap closed, his teeth biting
into his tongue. He felt someone's arms go around him and he fought them off. His elbow shot
back, clipping whoever it was.
On the floor now, Spike half crawled, half-ran forward, trying to get away from what he saw.
Then a pair of strong arms clamped around his waist, hauling him up off of the floor and
swinging him around onto that someone's lap as they sat down on the bed. He tried to squirm
away, but they held fast, and soon all the fight left him.
He wanted it to stop. Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. That wasn't real. Not real, not real. His little
Buffy and Dru did not like each other. His little Buffy and Dru would never do that. Never,
He felt himself rocking, slowly back and forth, back and forth. The strong arms around him held
him close to a solid chest. He knew those arms, he knew that chest, he knew whose lap he sat in,
rocking back and forth, back and forth.
Spike raised his face and found himself looking at a neck. A strong, pale neck. He felt his face
change and nuzzled into that neck. He could smell the blood beneath the surface of the skin.
Sweet blood. And he was hungry. So hungry.
"Angel, Spike hasn't fed in days. He may-"
"It's ok, Buffy."
Spike opened his mouth and sank his fangs into the strong, pale neck. Blood flowed freely,
tasting sweet on his tongue, powerful. He fed greedily, making noises of pleasure, until he felt a
hand in the back of his hair, pulling him away. He tried to stay, but the hand pulling on him was
"That's enough, Spike."
Spike whimpered slightly in protest. He was then lifted and deposited back into the bed. Angel
was looking down at him, blood pooling from twin puncture marks in his neck. He turned his
head and saw Drusilla still sitting in the chair, a worried frown on her face. He felt the bed move
and turned the other way. Buffy had sat down on the other side, her face showing equal worry.
"Real?" he asked, confusion in his voice.
"We're all real, Spike," Buffy answered. "And we're all worried."
"Can you tell us what's wrong?" Angel said. He sat down on the edge of the bed beside Spike.
Spike closed his eyes and concentrated. Wrong, wrong, what was wrong? Two wrongs don't
make a right, but three lefts do. The little witch told him that witchy joke. He liked the little witch.
She was sweet and real. Real, unreal, real. That's what was wrong.
"I can't...," he started. He opened his eyes and frowned. "I don't know...real, unreal,
nightdream, reality. All jumbled. Nothing true, nothing false."
"My Spike," Drusilla said. "Are you seeing things?"
Spike nodded. "Real, unreal, love, hate, Buffy, Buffy, Buffy, silly name, silly little Buffy..."
"His thoughts are fragmented," Angel said.
"He said something about not being able to tell what was real and what wasn't the other night
when he went weird," Buffy said. "Giles said that's why he went on vacation and why
Talking, talking, talking. So tiring. So tired. Sleep. Need sleep. Need Buffy. Need love. Need
real. Love, real, real, love.
"He loves you," Drusilla said. "You're the one doing this to my Spike."
"I don't think so, sister," Buffy said. "I would never hurt him."
Sleep, sleep, going to sleep. Fading, sinking, drowning, falling. Where was his blanket? He liked
his blanket. It was soft. So soft. So real.
"Come on, he's falling asleep. Let's discuss this in the other room."
Spike felt the bed shift and then a soft blanket being put over him. He curled up into a ball and
pulled the blanket up over his head.