Don't fool yourself, mate. You can't sleep. She's waiting for you in there, waiting for you to be at your most vulnerable. Do you remember the flames? How she left you? They're on you now... You can't get away from them. But look, in the flames. She's mocking you, she's got a stake in her hand and Drusilla's neck in the other. Do you hear her screams, Fella? Oh, how she's mocking you. How she's taking her time with your love. She's calling you, you bastard! You're just lying there, in the flames, in the chaos of the last minutes of your life... After this, she'll rescue you, your love will and you know it. So you won't die. You wouldn't save her, you deserved to die! So burn now. BURN!
Cold sheets creased beneath the rough clutching of a man desperate to let go. Such hideous screams. Why was he doing this to himself? It was hurting him deeply. Even more so when he woke up like this, panicked with shooting pains in his head and the desire to tear all the black curtains from the rails. Yes, it had gotten so bad he was contemplating ending the pain completely. But each day was the same. He'd wake from the same dream where the only difference was probably a hair out of place. He'd get the same urge to let the setting sun bathe him, then he'd grumble and forget the whole thing after tasting the first cigarette of the evening. This night was different. Especially this night. Spike peeled the black and crimson silk sheets off of him with a begrudging moan, cigarette perched on the corner of his thin, dry lips of which he moistened with a quick lap of the tongue. No time was wasted in standing up and roaming over to one of the three misted windows of the dimly lit bedroom. No sun came through the gaps. There was no doubt it was night outside. Joy would have to wait however because it was a summer night; the darkness would not last too long. The unlit slim cut was spat onto the bed as he pulled the varnished oak bedside cabinet drawer to retrieve a black tank top and leather pants, neatly folded. He didn't bother to close them as he hastily rushed into his clothes. The bedroom was a mess, he was a mess. He needed to get out.
For a good fifteen minutes though,he was enraged, tearing every curtain down in the small establishment before he found himself slumped over the sink with heaved breathes. The tap dripped near in sync with the flickering light above his head that gave off a tweaked electric hum. Spike looked up into the mirror. His face was distorted from the large spider web like crack that ran from the center and spread outwards, grew thinner in veins. Those unnatural screams were still whispered at the back of his mind. Grunting he rushed out of the bathroom that had a completely different look than the rest of the establishment; not of polished marble or even clean tiles. It was like the toilet's of a run down truck stop, besides the perfectly clean copper bathtub.
"A walk... This bloody place is depressing!"He uttered as he pulled on his long trench coat and knee high black Doc Martin's. He didn't care about his hair. It was the last thing on his mind, all short and wiry. His drawn face caught every shadow once he snuck onto the streets. Silence. Emptiness. Nothing. No one. Just the way he liked it. Just the way they liked it. He stunk of a sweet rum that lingered as an invisible musk on his breathe and clothing.It was the first thing Joyce, Buffy's mother, noticed as she opened the front door, a look of care and concern masking her petite face in sight of an unexpected guest.
"William? Are you okay?"
"Joyce... I can't-" Such a strong structure had crumbled in him as soon as he saw her face. Cold tears streaked his high cheeks and formed droplets on his chin before and as he broke, gave up in a heap on the ground. He looked up to her as she kneeled lovingly beside him, "I can't do this anymore, Joyce."
"William, Come on. Come in, I'll run you a nice hot bath. No one can get you here. Talk to me."
"You're so kind, Joyce. I don't think Buffy and Dawn could do without you."
Steadily she helped him off the step and into the warmth of the house. It reminded him of everything he could never have. A loving family. A beautiful home. A pulse. As long as he was there though, he felt good and wholesome and needed. Even loved. It made him want to scream his throat bloody with the tearing truth that it was always short lived whenever he felt alive, truly alive. Joyce had her hands firm on either side of his face as she wiped the tears from the corner of his eyes. She loved his eyes. Always had done. But she wouldn't let herself look into the deep pools of blue for too long. She left him on the couch after replacing his coat with a soft blanket and took herself to the bathroom upstairs to fill the bath with hot, bubbly water. Spike sighed coarsely with the adjustment ofthe blanket. He twitched the curtain to check the skies. No light.
"William! Come up here, please."
"I'll be right up..."Came a pleasant reply as he stood slowly.
"Is it alright?"
"Perfect, Poppet. I could swear you're missing a wing or two."
"Oh, stop!" Joyce flittered off the kind words with a swat to his chest.
Then she presented a pink towel. He looked at it, then to her. Than back to the bright fabric in her hand. A bit short, isn't it? He thought, Saucy Cow...
"Thanks..." The towel was thrown aside onto a heated rail, words muffled as he began to pull his shirt off.
"I don't think that would be approprie-"
"I didn't realize you were watching? Divorce can drive women to lust for the young, I suppose..." Came a lulled response witha devilishly cheeky smirk.
"Sorry, excuse me. I- I'll put a pot of tea on." Joyce grew quite red and flustered in embarrassment. She turned away and walked outin sight of him beginning to unzip his trousers.
He was alone again but not entirely. Joyce was happily busying herself in failed attempts of ridding her mind from the thought of Spike's words, the divorce. She missed her husband. But it wasn't working between them. Minutes after pouring herself tea, Spike came down from his bath, wearing his leather pants and patting his chest dry with the towel. Her previous thoughts had lost track. He gave a smile and stood beside the kitchen window, twitched the curtains like before. Deep amber streaks stretched over the black sky. It was dawning. Just an hour or so left. He would risk it for the company.
"Here's your tea. Two sugars? Eh...Umeh..." Darkness ringed her vision. The cup in her hand slipped and fell as she did soon after.
"Joyce?!" Spike saw it all slowed down, like in the movies. The glass shattering and splintering off all over the tiled flooring in a puddle of strong tea.
He caught her in time, falling back against the cupboards where he propped himself up to cradle her carefully. She wasn't responding to the light shakes or the whispers of her name. What was wrong? Why had she just gone like that? He pulled open her dressing gown to place an ear to her chest. The front door sounded. Someone had come in. That was not good at all. A moment after the door's closing, Buffy, Willow and Xander strode into the kitchen in a mutter of speech. Speech that died quick when they saw the scene. Buffy was the first to pale and grow wide eyed. She held her breathe with the other two but was the only one to step forward. Spike's jaw trembled in a struggle to say anything as he pulled the collar of the gown back.
"Get. Your. Hands. Off of my mother..." Buffy choked with tearful eyes, "Now."
"It's not what it looks like, we need to do something!" He finally shrieked in defense.
This was something he expected. As much as he loved Joyce as a mother figure, he knew that no one else would understand. Not in such a situation, that was for sure. So he did what he would usually did. He acted heartless, carefully placing Joyce flat on the ground before standing away from her to stride over to Buffy. He stood right in front of her, a nose's width apart. She said nothing. Looked to him with hateful daggers.
"I could have enjoyed myself with her, Barbie. I could have drank her dry in the state she's in. Believe me I was tempted..." He lied with a sinister tone lacing each word.
She said nothing. The look on her face, the look of fear, only grew stronger as he passed. A ghost of a smile spread itself on his face though faltered after he pushed past the other two and out of the door. He knew he would see Buffy again. She'd bring him his clothes. The skies were a tanned shade as the sun began to peek over the houses dully. He'd make it home but the next day would be a repeat. Hopefully Joyce would be well enough to explain what happened to him. No one else would...