Summary: Set during "Lessons," we learn more about Spike, the soul, and his perceptions about Buffy when sanity was slippery at best.
A/N: Thanks to only_passenger for being my last minute sounding board on this ficlet. You're my hero.
“I dreamed of killing you. I think they were dreams. So weak. You make me weak. Thinking of you, holding myself and spilling useless buckets of salt over your… ending.” ~ Spike in "Beneath You."
Within the fever dreams he sees a girl. Slight and proud, her knowing smile and grace is as natural as the killing blows she delivers. He sees himself, too, serrated teeth on cocksure display when they circle each other for their formal introduction. His victory was always to hold her heart in his hands, a literal desire turned figurative. It was never his to have until now though. Her blows connect, but are ineffective; her puns a sad cover for her inexperience. He crows when the stumble comes and she sinks into his embrace, a tragic mimic of the lovesick Bot, except there is no steel and silicone when he steals the prize that was never his for the taking. The stem of her neck wilts with the force of the tear as he bites and sucks and drains. Her body slumps, hits the ruddy school tile and keeps falling, arms spread, flying into the blue matrix of energy where it is dashed and jerked and beaten.
The guilt of the jump still hammers loud and clear, hammers like he hammered her in the days weeks when the ambiguity of her no’s and yes’s were clearest. Rejection is all she knows and all she gives.
“Beneath him,” the thing cries inside of his head.
“Beneath her,” he cries on the alley pavement. He doesn’t hesitate with the gun this time. Big bad, big weapon and he blows a hole through her, the drop of her body on the porch like the crack of her back on the tub. The hole in her chest gurgles when she cries no, pushing at him as he forces himself in. Hand on her heart, teeth in her neck, cock in her cunt, he makes her see the real him. But she shakes her head and casts her heart away, a writhing fish out of water skidding across the floor. Only a soul can have her throat, her heart, her sex. Only a soul, only a man. It’s what she deserves, what he fights for, fights against. His devilish doppelganger won’t let him forget, and taunts taunts taunts.
The nights when the burning rages, he cuts deep into his breast, so both their chests are empty. He looks for the piece that will fit. They don’t match anymore, but he remembers when they did – her hand and his, bloody-knuckled and raw, an homage to the pain of a life returned. The nights when he saved her are washed out and blurred now; all he can see are the nights he kills her, slower faster quicker, when he didn’t feel anything, nothing clean inside, dead. Thing. Soulless.
The school basement groans, metal doors ring and her scent breaks through the din of misery. Sin or solace? What will she bring? Nowhere to hide, needs a costume, but there is nothing but the threadbare shirt, the honesty of his mutilated flesh. She took him battered and beaten once, forgave with a kiss, saw and knew his sacrifice. A blue fairy, his Buffy, is needed to declare his actions real.
When she stares at him, her shirt white like the day of the jump, he registers the shock and fear. He knows this look, seen it many times. It’s just one of the innumerable faces he dreams of in the dark.
“Spike? Are you real?” she whispers with the disbelief he felt when she stood on those stairs, fresh and new and broken.
The shard of hope dies and he knows now the futility. His manic laugh shakes him and she flinches.
Not real. Just flesh.
Flesh to her, solid through.