No Place Like Home

by Saber ShadowKitten
Singularity 5

Spike felt dirty, and no matter how many showers he took at the university gym he couldn't wash the dirt away.

Because it was all in his mind.

Unfortunately, he couldn't take out his brain and scrub it clean, although he wished that was a viable possibility. Then, he'd be free of the dreams and the soft thoughts about Buffy Summers, the woman his rotten brain was saying he loved. Shudder.

Spike looked up at the Slayer's dark bedroom window as he took a drag off his cigarette. He'd been at the Summers' residence for approximately a half-hour, chain-smoking and staring at the window. A collection of smoked cigarette butts were at his feet by the oak tree he was half-hidden behind.

It was pretty pathetic behavior, and he really should leave before he got caught. But he wanted to see the Slayer; he wanted to see if he would be repulsed by the sight of her like he should be, or if -- please no -- he had fluffy-bunny feelings for her.

Spike's skin crawled at the second possibility. It was such a nasty feeling, he couldn't stand there any longer. He had to shower, now. He could return later to see Buffy...

Argh, when did he start thinking of her as "Buffy"? This was all so effin' wrong. Spike shouldn't be having any feelings for Summers, other than hatred. She was the Vampire Slayer. By definition they were enemies.

The chip! It had to be the cause of his sticky-sweet feelings, Spike decided as he practically ran to the UC Sunnydale campus. The chip malfunctioned, that had to be it. It had leaked battery acid and melted the portion of his brain that controlled his sanity. Because he couldn't be in love with the Slayer, no matter what his dreams said. He bloody well couldn't.

At the university gym, Spike bypassed the late night lifters in the weight-room, heading straight for the men's locker room. Pushing open the door, the smell of men, sweat, and used socks assaulted Spike's nose. The air was moist from the steam of the showers. Lockers clanged open and closed and deep voices blended together in conversation as the college students present changed into their street clothes.

Spike picked a random locker, stripped bare, and shoved his clothing inside the ugly orange storage space. He slammed the locker shut and walked nude into the shower area.

"Dudes! Did you hear?" A loud-mouthed male bounded past Spike and into the showers, addressing three similarly built jocks, who were washing up. "Singularity is playing at the Student Union next Thursday night. Ten bucks a ticket."

"Awesome," another jock cheered. There was much back and hand slapping between the students. "We are so there."

"'Black Hole of My Heart' is the greatest song."

"So is 'It's All Relative According To Einstein.'"

"And what about 'Newton's Apples'?"

The young men laughed and chorused, "'It's gravity, baby!'"

Tuning them out and ignoring the others also showering, the peroxide blond ducked under the hot spray and let the blistering water rinse away the invisible ichor on his skin. Hopefully, he'd wash away all thoughts about loving Buffy Summers, as well.