Spike's poetry slam leads him to reminiscing on Buffy, of course. Prequel to "Spike's Way." Spoilers for BTVS S7 "Chosen" and ATS S5 "Not Fade Away".A/N1:
Credits ~ Pablo Neruda, “Tonight I Can Write,” Pablo Neruda Selected Poems. Ed. Nathaniel Tarn, et.al. (1970). Dialogue help from Buffyverse Dialogue Database: http://vrya.net/bdb/index.php. A/N2:
While a "prequel" to Spike's Way, this story can be read as a stand alone. Also, poetic verse and inner thoughts are indicated by italics. Disclaimer:
While I do not own neither Spike nor Buffy, I do appreciate how Joss Whedon allows me and others like me to play with his characters. Kudos to Joss!
Spike had seen the advert for the Thursday 4:00 Poetry Slams for this bar, but had yet to set foot in the place. Ever since he had been released from his ghostly sidekick hell, he had prowled the streets looking for a place that would serve up a decent game of pool, couple of shots and one of blooming onion thingies. Bloody hell, there were even times he found himself missing the Bronze.
Now, here he had found himself in this little den of inequity after General Peaches gave the band of buggered the day off to “live.” He still couldn’t believe that he found himself here of all bleeding places. Ever since that night years ago when Buffy had stormed into his crypt, slammed him up against the wall and demanded that he tell her how he offed those two slayers... that damned night when he had recalled his humiliating past before the “bloody revelation” that was Drusilla, William's poetry had begun to haunt him and refused to leave. Oh yes, he remembered the taunts that the poncey William the Bloody Awful Poet had suffered. Spike, the Big Bad, would not suffer such a reaction. Or such was the thought that had led him to the bar.
Spike had wedged himself at the bar between two burly bikers who obviously thought that lack of bathing proved they could do some violence. He smirked.
One beer and a shot later, he had made nice with the barkeep. Have to keep those nice shots of whiskey coming. Spike hadn’t even registered being pushed into the biker next to him or the reaction of the biker. All his focus was on the din of the crowd, the smell of the smoke, the heat from the amount of bodies crammed into the room... and the spotlight trained upon a microphone set on the tiny stage.
“Ahh. Nice crowd,” Spike offered to the barkeep as he was poured another shot.
The bartender replied without even glancing up, “It can get pretty ugly in here, I gotta warn you.”
Spike downed the shot. “ What I'm after. Couple more shots of courage, and I may make my presence felt.”
The Bartender just shrugged as he refilled Spike’s glass once more. “Your funeral.”
“Well, I never had a proper one.” Spike smirked, raising his eyebrow and drank the proffered shot.
After downing several more shots, he found himself swaggering onstage. With a glass of whiskey in his right hand, he grabbed the microphone in his left. “Name’s Spike,” he purred into the mic, noticing that he had captured the attention of the ladies in the crowd. Cocking his head to the side, he cooed, “Wanna hear my poems?”
The ladies called back an enthusiastic, “Yeah!”
Good enough, right then. Spike perched on the stool provided by the management, closed his eyes to block out the glare of the spotlight and the stare of the crowd, and immersed himself into William’s Ode to Cecily."My soul is wrapped in harsh repose, midnight descends in raven-colored clothes, but soft...behold! A sunlight beam cutting a swath of glimmering gleam. My heart expands, 'tis grown a bulge in it, inspired by your beauty... effulgent."
Upon completion of the poem that for over one hundred years had tortured his demon, Spike inexplicably heard a man say, “Yeah,” with applause. Spike opened his eyes to receive a standing ovation.
An unidentifiable male in the audience roared, “That was great, man!”
Spike’s inner William was beaming, and he suddenly found himself completely gobsmacked. Then, he recovered. He had an image to protect…he stood, smiled and semi-bounced, Arg, William.
“Thank you. That was for Cecily. All right. This next one’s called “The Wanton Folly of Me Mum.”
Ten minutes later.
The crowed had listened with rapt attention to three more poems Spike recited. After “Folly,” Spike recalled the dark days of Dru leaving him for that horrid Chaos demon, and then a little one about Joyce. He suddenly needed a break. He had poems of Buffy, but for some reason he had not wanted to share those with this crowd. Those were for her eyes only…and only after he was dust. But there was one poem…it seemed that he could recite; he had known the poet back in the day.
“Last poem is not my own, though it does rip the words right out of my chest. Written by a right bloke named Pablo Neruda. It’s called, “Tonight I Can Write.” This is for Buffy, always for Buffy.” Spike closed his eyes and began the poem:Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
Write for example, ‘The night is shattered and the blue stars shiver in the distance.’
The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. Through nights like this one I held her in my arms. I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.
She loved me, sometimes I loved her too. How could one not have loved her great still eyes.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines. To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.
To hear the immense night, still more immense without her. And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.
What does it matter that my love could not keep her. The night is shattered and she is not with me.
This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance. My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.
My sight searches for her as though to go to her. My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.
The same night whitening the same trees. We, of that time, are no longer the same.
I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her. My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.
Another’s. She will be another’s. Like my kisses before. Her voice. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes.
I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.
Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer and these the last verses that I write for her.
The crowd was completely silent as his words trailed off, and Spike slowly opened his eyes. What he saw amazed him. Biker men and women were holding each other with tears in their eyes. Men were passing each other bandanas. Suddenly, the crowd stood and praises could be heard, “That was so beautiful…she is so lucky…I wish he was my boyfriend.”
Spike smiled widely, nodding his head in a little bow, “Thank you. Cheers for being a righteous bunch. Now I am off. Gotta get me a decent spot of violence.” At that last bit, the crowd roared. 'Yep, I’m Spike the Bloody Champion Poet,’ he muttered to himself as he exited the bar.
As he walked back to his apartment recalling the poem he had just recited, his thoughts turned once more to Buffy, and how they had left things in Sunnyhell.She loved me. Yeah, right, she came right up, hands entwined and aflame, telling me that she loved me, but I set her straight. Told her, “No you don’t. But thanks for saying it.” That Cassie chit was off her rocker anyhow. But maybe she did. That last night, she thought we would all die. Still, I had to get her out of the ‘End of Sunnyhell Farm,’ didn’t I? Didn’t I?
But those last two nights, I believe I loved her more then... than the entire time I thought I was in love with her. Sure, after she first came back for round two… no, wait, round three, we had a bit of the rough-n-tumble. Baby sure did love to play. Yet, that first night, she just looked at me ‘til she fell asleep, feeling safe enough with me to fall asleep in her mortal enemy’s arms. I had told her she was The One and meant every aching word of it. But then she goes off and the Great Poof shows up with the Liz Taylor Bauble. Seeing her kiss that wanker....
She came to me with trinket in hand, called me a champion, and then came to me without reservation for the first time. I had tasted her skin before, kissed her in places the Whelp could only daydream about, had listened to her heart race, but I had never seen her green eyes completely open to mine. She bared her body and soul to me that night.
Seeing her in Rome, dancing. Dancing. Like the first time I ever saw her. With him. That Bastard. Ooh, the Immortal. ‘He tastes like Sunshine.’ Dru. Now Buffy. My Buffy. Could the Bastard not tell? Did she not remember? Did the fire burn it away with him? Surely, she still has them. My marks.
The golden Goddess, Buffy, had turned serious that last night, slowing her movements which caused me to remove my lips from her rosy nipple to see what was the matter. “I want you to make me your girl,” she announced suddenly.
My soul and demon sang, but I knew she would regret it. “You don’t mean it, luv.”
“Yes, I do. I want it more than anything. This may be our last night. I am yours, William. I am yours, Spike,” she whispered.
“Tell me you love me.” I demanded, shifting into game-face.
“I love you. You know I do,” Buffy said with a hint of a smile.
“Tell me you want me.”
“I always want you. In point of fact…” Buffy had repeated his exact words back to him.
“Good enough.” With that, I had descended, obliterating all previous marks on her neck with my own. I knew the crack team of Scoobs would never recognize the difference, but all other demons should. Her blood tasted like the sweetest ambrosia. “MINE.”
I had found myself lost in the sensations of her blood mingling with my own and the feel of her body. I kept lapping at her wound, nibbling and tasting, while caressing her arms, her breasts, her stomach until my fingers rested at her nest of curls. Her arousal was intense. She was so close. The bite had almost brought her to her climax. I was amazed. Then I felt it.
Teeth. Her teeth. She was biting me! Her blunt teeth tore at my flesh calling up my blood. Did she know what she was doing? I was too shocked and too far gone to stop her. Then I heard the words that still call to me every night. “MINE.”
I growled with the hardest climax of my unlife. As my seed filled her, I felt hers match mine. Her eyes once again locked onto mine as long as they could stay open.
When he had first come back, Spike had tried to call out to her through the claim, but being all Caspery hadn’t helped matters. Then he got his body back, however, by then he was too scared to try it out. What if she did regret it? He had not felt any pull from her. Didn’t even know she was getting romantic with anyone else, let alone the Smarmy One until Andrew implied it in Rome. Wasn’t he supposed to feel that? Was he different now? Did his claim die when he went up like a bloody phoenix? And here he was again, like Andrew called him “Gandalf” or some such rot. What if he was chemically changed like Buffy had been changed when she had gotten back? That thought had stopped him in his tracks for a second. Nope, not going to think that.
“If I live through this night, I will seek her out, I’ll find out one way or another,” Spike promised himself. He found himself outside his apartment building a few minutes before the Grand Poobah would begin the hashing out of assignments.
“Buffy, I love you pet…if you can still feel me in any way, know that.” With that, he entered the building.