I am the breath behind you neck
I am the devil on your back
A little demon in your mind
I am the harvester of hate
A twilight entity of wrath
I always sneak up from behind
The dark anxiety of sin
Is always growing deep within
I am the source, it's pounding heart
I am the king of suicide
All that you've lost and tried to hide
I am the master of the art
I control you emotions
I set free your mindless - lives
I am the figment of your brain
My mission is to cause you pain
I love to do the things you hate
I am the harvester of hate
["I am" by Lefay]
He opened his eyes slowly. As he tried to move pain raced through his entire body. He flinched but clenched his teeth and got up. His gaze met several gravestones. (I'm on a cemetery. How did I come here?) He looked around in confusion not able to remember anything. Then his gaze was caught by the body in front of him.
It was a girl, her features frozen in horror. Blood was dripping from her neck and worst of all, a railroad spike stuck in her chest. (Oh my god, who would be able to do such a cruelty?) He realized the taste of blood in his mouth and the memory came back without any mercy. He fell to his knees next to the dead girl his eyes widened with terror.
In mind's eye he saw his victims, the face of everyone he had ever tortured and killed.
Spike struggled to his feet and started to run not able to bear the sight of the dead body any longer.
But he couldn't run from his memories.
"I'm not sure if he's still in town. We were searching for him for about three month. What do you think?" Buffy turned around to face her companion.
"Perhaps you're right but for what reason he would have left?"
"So you think he's still here?"
"I really don't know." Angel shrugged. Buffy's eyes narrowed as a thought came to her mind.
"Um, Angel?" She hesitated.
"Spike is your childe, right?"
"Yes. But why do you ask?" Angel gave her a questioning look.
"I thought you might be able to sense him in some way."
"Because I'm his sire?" Buffy nodded. "I can try if you want, but I'm not sure if it's going to work."
"Why not? Giles told me once every master is able to sense his children."
"Normally." Angel agreed.
"What does that mean?"
Angel's gaze focused on a point behind her shoulder and he started to explain. "I was able to sense him until Spike was about one hundred." He was silent obviously lost in memories. Eventually he sighed and continued. "Relationships between vampires are very... unusual. Especially between a childe an his sire. The sire forces the childe into submission to show his power."
"How?" Buffy wanted to know.
Angel glanced at her before his gaze drifted away again. "Violence and sex." His whisper was barley audible.
Buffy swallowed. (But I had to ask.) She took his hand and squeezed it. "Go on, please."
"I used to be more cruel than necessary..."
"Not you but Angelus." Buffy interrupted.
Angel nodded slowly and continued this time using third person narration in order to make it easier for him to speak about his past. "Angelus hurt other vampires not only to force them into submission. He liked to hear them scream in agony. Spike was his favorite victim." His gaze met Buffy's. She could see the pain in his eyes and her heart ached. Angel took a shaky breath and went on.
"You have to know that Spike wasn't always as cruel as he is today. I'm not talking about his human days but his early years as a vampire. He was the gentlest vampire I ever met. If I didn't know better I would be sure he still had his soul in these days." Angel swallowed heavily.
"His gentleness made him vulnerable therefore Angelus chose him as his favorite victim. He tortured Spike until there was nothing left in his mind but anger and hate then he broke him." His eyes met her shocked gaze.
"Yes, it's true. In some way I am responsible for the vicious killer Spike has become." Buffy wanted to say something but he stopped her. "I dominated and tortured him and he started to dominate and torture others. This went on for over a century. It was the time when he got his nickname."
"What happened then?" Buffy asked in a silent voice.
"The gypsies cursed me. As soon as Spike recognized I wouldn't stop him he left and took Drusilla with him. End of story." He shrugged. "That's why I'm not able to sense him anymore." Angel avoided her gaze. He'd seen her shock about his deeds and didn't want to see her hate.
"Angel, look at me." As he didn't move she gripped his chin and forced him to meet her gaze. Dark brown orbs full of pain and self-hatred met green-brown ones filled with love and understanding. She stroked his cheek. "I don't blame you. It was Angelus not you. You wouldn't do such things to anyone." Buffy tried to comfort him but his anger upon himself was too strong.
"Right. But I'm able to help you searching for him." He chuckled cynically.
"First I've taken everything from him and now I'm assisting you with killing him. You're right, I'm a great sire!" He spat the last words out in disgust then turned on his heels and left.
He was starving. He had not fed for over two months. He had been tempted to try as his hunger grew but had not been able to harm anyone. Not even a rat.
Spike laid on the hard floor of the old mansion, curled up into an embryonal position. He had come there because he didn't know where else to go.
He hadn't changed his position for three weeks. First he had not wanted to move anymore and by now he was too weak. He wouldn't be able to move only one inch in order to save his undead life. Actually he didn't want to save it anyway.
Buffy entered the library.
"Hi, Buffy." Willow greeted.
"And where is Angel?" she questioned as the vampire didn't appear behind her friend.
"No clue." Buffy shrugged but Willow could see the hurt expression in her face. She closed her laptop and looked at the Slayer.
"What is it?"
"Nothing." She shrugged again. Willow frowned.
"Buffy Anne Summers, don't even try to deceive me. I'm your friend and I can see something is wrong. So go on, tell me."
Buffy saw the resolute expression on the red head's face and sighed. Knowing there was no escape she started to repeat the events.
"And you're sure he was talking about Spike? I-I mean Spike's not quite kind of a person I would think about in connection with gentleness." Willow couldn't help being skeptical.
"Me neither." Buffy agreed. "But we should consider the possibility Angel's right. In fact he knows Spike for a long time so he might be able to estimate him better than we are."
Willow nodded slowly. If this was true... (Oh my god, what have I done!) She thought about the spell she had per- formed on Spike two month ago. If Buffy was right... (I punished an innocent.) The thought shocked her. (Don't be stupid! Did you forget what he's done to you?) Her evil side interrupted. (Spike an innocent victim? I don't think so.) Willow had to agree. A gentle Spike was really hard to imagine if not even impossible.
Angel sat in his apartment. Brooding.
He had not been thinking about his past with Spike for a long time. Perhaps he had tried to suppress the memories in order to let the wounds heal. But now they were tore open once again and hurt like the first time.
Caused by the mental pain his game face appeared. He laid his head back and howled. The long pain-filled tone cut the air.
A sire's cry for his lost childe.
He didn't notice his surroundings because he didn't care anymore. He was caught in his own terrorizing memories just wishing for death to come.
Suddenly he observed a change. His nerves began to vibrate and his whole body tensed in attention.
Though he couldn't hear it he felt his sire's cry.
"Angelus!" Spike's mind called out as the connection disappeared and left him in despair.
They were standing in front of the Bronze.
"Did you hear this?" Buffy nodded. "It sounded weird. I'll patrol once more. Perhaps I'll find out what makes such noises. See you later." Xander agreed and she left.
Buffy entered the Mansion. Something she couldn't name had dragged her there. (Okay, it won't hurt to look around once more.)
She didn't find anything and was leaving as she recognized the curled up creature. Even though it faced the wall she could say who it was. (Spike!)
She pulled a stake out and approached him carefully. She didn't want to kill him if it was avoidable. Sure, he was her mortal enemy but if Angel was right...
"Spike?" No reaction. She took a few more steps in his direction. "Spike, can you hear me?" Nothing. (Hm, he's definitely not himself otherwise we'd have a hard fight.)
"Buffy!" She spun around.
"Angel?" She took a step back in surprise and didn't notice the figure on the floor began to move.
He could hear it. The heartbeat of the prey.
Spike's features shifted as his demon came forth. He tried to suppress it because he didn't want to hurt anyone but it was too strong.
His yellow eyes focused on his prey as if nothing else existed then he attacked.
Buffy's slayer-instincts felt the movement behind her. She turned around. Stake raised.
The stake hit Spike's chest and punctured his heart before she could prevent it...
On the edge of paradise Tears of woe fall, cold as ice Hear my cry Renounce, have you, thy name Eternal is my pain
["The divine wings of tragedy" by Symphony X]
"NOOOO!" Angel's anguished scream echoed through the mansion.
Buffy turned to face him. The last thing she saw from the corner of her eye was a relieved expression on Spike's face.
She walked over to the other vampire in order to comfort him.
Angel had turned not able to watch his childe change to dust. As Buffy reached him she touched his shoulder and led him into another room.
Neither the Slayer nor the vampire looked back. One because she knew she'd find a pile of ashes the other because he simply couldn't.
"Angel, I'm so sorry..." Buffy started as they reached the other room. His gaze met hers. His yellow eyes widened with shock. Bloody tears streaming down his cheeks.
Buffy didn't know what to say. Actually there was nothing she could say to take the pain away. Lack of a better idea she embraced Angel as sobs began to shake his body.
"Shh", she tried to calm him down while stroking his hair.
"He was my childe." Angel whimpered. "I... I should have protected him!" He continued to cry in despair.
"I'm sorry. I didn't want to kill him."
"I don't blame you." Angel sniffed "He attacked you. You had no choice", he added his voice barely more than a whisper.
"But why?" Buffy asked. "I mean he didn't even seem to notice me. So why did he attack me?"
"He was starving." Angel mentioned to say between his sobs.
Buffy nodded. (And I was the prey.) She thought as she continued comforting the vampire.
"Angelus..." Angel pricked up his ears. This had not been Buffy calling for him. She'd never have called him Angelus.
"Angelus..." There it was again. Weaker than the first time. So even with his vampiric senses he could barely hear it.
"Angel, what's wrong?" Buffy asked as his body tensed. He didn't answer but got up. She hurried after him in order to stop him as he went in direction of the room where Spike has died. Buffy didn't want his pain to increase by seeing the remains of his childe.
She bumped into him as he suddenly stopped. As he didn't start to move again she glanced around him carefully.
Like him she was shocked.
(That isn't possible!)
But it must be because there on the floor where only a pile of dust should be laid Spike. Bleeding from the wound in his chest but alive, em... undead.
Buffy found her speech first. "Did I miss something or do vampires usually die if they were staked through the heart?" As Angel didn't answer she shrugged. (Fine, so we have another mystery caused by living on the Hellmouth. Okay, no good Slayer without a challenge... but I think this is just a little too weird.)
"Spike?!" Angel finally mentioned to say with astonishment. He moved forward and sat down on the floor next to his childe. Then placed Spike's head carefully in his lap and pulled the stake out cautiously. As he saw the blood flow from the hole in the other vampire's chest he bit his wrist and held it to Spike's mouth.
Spike's features shifted to game face as he smelled his sire's blood. He drank greedily like the starving demon he was. Eventually Angel began to feel dizzy and had to remove his wrist. He licked the wound and it healed in an instant.
He cradled his childe in his arms and looked up. "We have to get him out of here."
First Buffy didn't react because she was fascinated by the tender scene in front of her. Finally she nodded. "Okay, but where to?"
"My apartment." Angel suggested and got up. His childe still pressed to his chest.
As Spike awoke he didn't know where he was. Eventually he came to the conclusion it must be Angel's apartment.
(But why am I not dust?) His memories were not quite clear but he was sure a stake had punctured his heart. He looked down and saw the bandage around his chest. (So I didn't dream it.) He removed the bandage to be sure. There it was. A wound right upon his heart which was nearly healed and therefore didn't hurt anymore.
At this moment the anguish came back.
Spike buried his face in the pillow and started to cry. "Why didn't I die?! I wanted to die!" he whispered over and over again.
Buffy stood in the doorway. She couldn't believe what she was hearing.
"... wanted to die! Why didn't I die?! I wanted to die! Why..."
The chanting stopped and he met her gaze. He saw his mortal enemy and his body tensed in defense.
She looked at him. He was thinner than normal because of his fasting. His ribs set off and his skin had an unhealthy tinge of grey. But worst of all were his eyes. Once filled with a special kind of humor they contained nothing but the pain and agony of a deadly wounded animal by now. It was almost frightening.
Buffy couldn't bear this sight any longer so she left to tell Angel his childe was awake.
"I wonder what has happened to Spike." Buffy took a sip from her drink then glanced at Angel.
"It seems as if he's got a soul."
"Are you sure?" Buffy frowned with disbelief.
"I don't know, but his behavior is like mine was when I got cursed."
"Do you think someone cursed him, too?"
"I really don't know." Angel shrugged. "But it would be possible", he added.
"Yeah, I think with the number of his enemies it's probable. You can bet one of them will demand for vengeance sooner or later." Buffy agreed.
"It seems like sooner."
"Assumed you're right. I think we have to ask Giles. Perhaps he'll find out something."
Buffy entered the library and was relieved to find only Giles and Willow. (Fine, none of them will say something to hurt Spike. I don't believe I care for SPIKE! Weird.) Soon she was going to notice her mistake.
"Hi, Giles." Buffy greeted.
"Hello, Buffy. Are you alone?"
"No actually I'm not. Angel is with me and... someone else."
"Do we know him?" Willow asked.
"Yeah, you could say so... Oh shit, this won't work! ANGEL!" Giles arched an eyebrow at her language but said nothing.
A few moments later Angel entered the room followed by... SPIKE?! Giles was speechless but Willow didn't have such problems. "You brought this KILLER here?!" the same Willow who was known as everybody's best friend yelled with a hate-filled voice.
Spike flinched under her words as if she had whipped him. His gaze focused on the floor like there was something very interesting and he took a step closer to his sire.
"Willow!" Buffy was shocked by her friend's behavior. (I should have known it. Since Oz broke up with her and moved to New York she's not herself anymore. And after all Spike did to her...)
The redhead was furious. "How could you dare to bring him here?" she hissed.
"I..." Buffy tried to explain but Willow won't listen. Instead she got up. Stake in hand.
"I'll stake the bastard for what he's done to me!" It was obvious she was deadly serious.
Angel pushed Spike behind his back in order to protect his childe. "Out. Of. My. Way!" Willow growled her green eyes gleaming with wrath. As she tried to push him away Angel growled back at her his eyes flashing yellow.
"Stop it! All of you." Finally Giles found his speech. Everybody stopped immediately astonished by Giles' outburst. "Willow, your behavior is childish", he continued causing the red head blush.
"I have to agree. Besides staking him won't help. I know that because I staked him already."
Willow and Giles glanced at Buffy like she was insane. "It true." Angel confirmed. "Her stake punctured his heart but he didn't turn to dust."
Willow frowned and Giles had to sit down. "Would you mind to fill us in?"
"Okay. Have a seat." Buffy started as she sat down.
Angel and Willow joined her and Giles at the table while Spike crouched down in the opposite corner of the room trying to make himself as little as possible. "And there he was on the floor with the stake still in his chest." Buffy finished her report.
"Weird." Willow remarked. She had calmed down and was fascinated by the events.
"Right, but this is not the whole story." Buffy went on.
"What else could be more strange?" Giles demanded to know. His belief shook deeply.
"Angel is convinced Spike's got a soul."
"WHAT? This... I mean... Huh... I think we should do some research." Giles managed to say eventually.
Willow had to suppress an evil grin. (So the spell worked. Strike!)
While they were researching the hours went by. Nobody paid attention to Spike until it was too late...