The single piece of paper had been folded in quarters, and was curled slightly from being gripped in a sweaty hand. It would have been perfectly nondescript, but for the pretty script that labeled it- 'For Angel'. After all this time, she still couldn't call him by his true name. Angelus loved this- that she was still unable to see the true evil in him. It made it easier, it made her more fragile. It clouded her judgement, and he wondered if his sire was planning on making another Drusilla.
The thought of a Slayer turned Vampire was enough to set his hair on edge. It had been done, a long time ago, but hardly anyone spoke of it now. It was said that any Slayer that was turned would awake completely insane, with twice the energy and power of any vamp. The Slayer had that had been turned made quite a mess before she was staked. All in all, it wasn't a good idea, and it was just the type of plan Angelus loved to come up with.
Aware that his company was scurrying around, banging cupboards and boiling water, Spike shook himself out of his thoughts and began to read the letter.
Tell me. I might as well say lie to me, don't speak, walk away. The result will be the same. I can feel you. Did you know that? I can feel you at night, in the shadows, even during the day. I don't know what you've done to me, but I know you've done something.
Tell me. Speak those words. We both know it won't be over, can't be over until we've destroyed each other completely. I just hope you go through the same torture I do. I can bear it that way. I can stand the pressure of the world if I know I'm not alone.
Tell me. I want to know what you're waiting for, what you want. You've had your chance to end this, but you didn't. I want to say it's over, go away, go home. But I know I'd be wasting my breath. It itches. Knowing you're out there, I mean. I can feel my hand twitch, wanting to reach for my stake.
Tell me. Tell me what you want. For Gods sakes! Tell me or leave me alone! Go back to your princess and your Gothic Castle! Go to the far ends of the earth and leave me be! I'm leaving myself open, I know. But it gets to be enough. Just enough to push me over the edge. And that's what you've been waiting for?
Tell me. Whisper your dreams, aspirations, plans for world domination, anything. This silence is deafening. I want to bury myself, I am burying myself. I can't decide if I'm drowning or smothering, and I don't want to listen to my thoughts. But there's nothing else. Nothing else. This silence is deafening.
So tell me. Tell me why. Tell me why the man I loved so much has turned into a thing that's making me die inside.
Just tell me anything.
Spike carefully set the letter on the kitchen table and stared at it. It was true. He hadn't wanted to believe it, but here was the proof right in front of him. She was breaking, slowly but surely. In a way, it reminded him of when Dru... but the Slayer was so much stronger than that. Or had been. He imagined his sire reading the letter with a cruel smile. Imagined Angelus paying the Slayer another visit, chipping more of her spirit away. "Are you sure Angelus didn't see that?"
Joyce nodded anxiously. "He's ruining her, isn't he?"
"Angelus was always one for mind games." He sipped his hot chocolate. "Buffy does not want Angelus to find that letter. She might have thought it was a good idea, but it would have told him exactly how well he was doing."
"I never liked him." Spike looked at her. "I know that's what people always say, but I never did. Even before I knew he was a vampire."
"Will you watch out for her Spike? Please?"
He smiled. It wasn't a tough decision. He'd already decided to do what he could for the Slayer, but he was glad Joyce trusted him enough to ask him. It was strange, but Joyce was kind of a mother to him. She was one of the few really kind (if not quite bright in some areas) he had ever met.
Spike had always liked the Slay... Buffy. It was the kind of like that came from a mutual respect. Sometimes, when they'd be fighting, it would seem he'd be about to finish her. Whenever he thought he was winning, a light would spark in her eyes and she'd resume the fight with new vigor.
He couldn't imagine her without that spark in her eyes, without that spirit. It seemed wrong somehow. Suddenly he realized that Joyce was still waiting for his answer. She was sitting across from him at the table, having some dreams of her own. The overhead light emphasized the dark circles under her eyes and the pallor of her skin. She knew, she knew exactly what the rat bastard was doing to her daughter. Every parents fear was being played out for her, everyday. Her baby needed her, and she couldn't do anything to help.
Quietly, Spike tilted her chin up to look at him. "It'll be okay, pet." Immediately he regretted those words. Who was he to comfort this woman? And here he was, a demon giving empty promises to the mother of his sworn enemy. But he said them because he wanted for Joyce a moment, when she didn't feel helplessness and sorrow.
Awkwardly, he drank the last of the chocolate in his mug before and stood up, putting the letter in his pocket. Not looking at her, Spike offered- "I'll do everything I can. I promise."
Impulsively, she hugged him, and he felt tears seep through his shirt. "Please bring my daughter back to me."
He wrapped his arms around her, and rested his chin on her head. "I'll try."
"I'll do everything I can. I promise."