by Elektra
The Way We Were 5

I could barely believe my ears as I heard myself admit that I loved him.

I think it was his eyes. Those wondrously crystalline blue orbs had the power to rip into my soul. As soon as he opened them, I knew what he was thinking. In all the years that I have known Spike, peaceful is not a word I would often use to describe him. But in those moments, as he lay looking at me, there was no other way that I could define his presence.

He was at peace and I knew why. He was at peace for the very reason I had followed him. Our souls, bodies, whatever you want to call it, begged for completion and in some bizarre twist of fate, the only way we seemed to find that was with each other.

I've fought against it for quite some time, always afraid to give too much of myself to anyone lest they have the power to destroy me. He could if he wanted to. He wouldn't have to kill me or torture me, he'd just have to wake up one morning and walk out into the sunrise.

I thought I was clever, making him differently than the rest. It's true, he'll never really be able to let go of me. The thing I failed to recognize is that I will never truly be able to let him go either. My first impulse upon arriving here was to take what I wanted and run. It would have been all too easy to repeat the familiar pattern of my life. After looking into those eyes, I find myself weary of the chase. Every time I run, life comes tagging along behind me. I'm never fully able to escape it, so maybe I should just stop trying.

Why stay with Spike instead of running back to Buffy?

One simple reason, Spike loves us both and Buffy does not.

Do I want to be Angelus again? No, at least not the latest incarnation of the demon. I long for the days when Angelus was a bit of a bad ass in tight leather pants, who cared. I want the Angelus that saw the potential in Spike and made sure that it was realized. I want the Angelus who loved Spike so thoroughly the night he was cursed.

I want to feel whole again.

This childe of mine seems to be the only way I can find that peace. I know being with him won't solve all of my problems. He won't make the reality of what I've done go away. Nothing can do that. What he can do, is make the pain go away, and maybe the loneliness.

This is going to be complicated. Cordelia and Doyle aren't going to understand, not to mention Buffy. They're going to assume the worst--that I've changed again. I don't know if I'll ever be able to get them to believe that I'm still whole, that the souled demon is making the choices. No, that's probably not true. Doyle will know. He'll understand. He knows how difficult it can be when someone you love can't love all of you. He understands what it means when you cannot find it within yourself to love all that you are.

I am sick of the yawning, agonizing vacuum that is my life. Sometimes I just want to fall to my knees and scream. Why God? Why us? Why him? Why?

I know that the answer exists somewhere. Will he ever let me find it? I don't know. But maybe, maybe somewhere in the lonely reaches of Spike's mind, it's there. Maybe I've been stupid all along. Maybe fighting the good fight alone isn't the smartest thing to do. Maybe that's what Doyle has been trying to tell me for the last few months. Maybe the only way to find redemption, to find some semblance of contentment in my life, is to forge bonds that run so deep and true that nothing will break them.

Lying before me, is a man who loves all that I am. He has seen the darkness and he has seen the light. When I left him that night, alone in the darkness, I lost something. I lost my innocence. Don't get me wrong, I was a bastard. I made demon after demon. I didn't care about the lives of the people I took; I just grasped for everything that I had ever wanted. But in that world, in the mindless violence, I was an innocent. I think all the masters are. We purge and destroy with the innocent nature of children. Perhaps that is why Spike has become the powerful creature that he is. He is perhaps the most childlike of my childer, save Drusilla.

They were quite a pair. In many ways, I am glad I disappeared. If I had stayed, one of them would have died. There never would have been enough room in my bed for three. They were both desperately greedy children. Eventually one would have had enough. Yes, perhaps fate dealt us the best possible of hands. If I hadn't gone through all that I've gone through over the last few years, I never would have come to understand the magnitude of my relationship with Spike. I would have taken him for granted and he would have suffered.

A rocky path lies before us. I don't know where it will lead, but I suppose that is just as it should be. If we knew everything, how would we grow?

Finally, after so many years, maybe I will find peace.

~~*~~ End of Series ~~*~~