by Nostalgia &kbk

Eventually, you will go back down to the basement and unpack the unassuming cardboard box. You will pull out handfuls of polystyrene pieces until you uncover your own face and your own body, and then you will pull yourself, unresisting, into the musty air. One of you will cough as the dust of several weeks hits your lungs; the other one will do nothing. The other one will only move after you reach around, feeling the curves of your own body from an unfamiliar angle, and hit the switch in the pressure point behind your right ear.

She will look exactly like you. And when her silicone lips move and she says "Hello, I'm Buffy. You look like me! Are you a mirror?" she will sound like a tape recording of your voice, unfiltered through the roof of your mouth. You will think, again, that she sounds too squeaky.

You will not smile at her innocence, nor will you answer any of her questions. You will simply lay your finger across your lips, her lips, and when she tilts her head in confusion, you will cup her cheek with your hand. Is this you? Is this what you are? Do you move the way she does? If you kill her, smash her to pieces, will another one arrive to take her place?

You will kiss her, gently, somehow amazed that you do not have to tilt your head up in submission. She will return the pressure of your lips with perfect imitation, smiling as she does so. If you closed your eyes you could be Angel, so you will keep them open. As your fingers brush her cheek you will be startled by the warmth of her artificial skin, by the way it yields under your touch. You will think of her as a more perfect version of yourself. She will reach her arms around your waist, sigh without a breath.

You will keep your sighs inside as you trace your lips down and along her jawline, down the arching curve of her neck, over the jugular, pausing when you find that she has no scars. You will wonder if Spike was jealous of the others who had tasted your blood and deliberately asked that they should not be replicated, or if he simply hadn't noticed them. They are not as visible as you always think. She looks the way you would have, if you had lived another life. The thought will made you shudder, make you pull away from her embrace. "Did I do wrong?" she'll ask, and you will smooth her synthetic hair and tell her no, tell her she is perfect.

She will not notice as your thumb trails behind her ear, and switches her off. She will simply stop, and slump forward. You will catch her, feeling the pressure of her breasts against your own, and then you will lift her, marvelling at how delicate and yet how strong you are. You will place her back in her box, covering her over with soft packing, and leave.


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