The Man And The Demon
by Paradoqz

I knew it right then. Knew it with absolute, unshakable certainty, as it hit me, choking me with its truth and leaving me gasping for air I didn't need.

It was one of those moments when the knowledge that lay dormant in your blood, lurking in your undermind, ghosting at the back of your brain - one of those moments when it all crystallizes in one blinding second of perfect understanding.

I used to fancy myself a poet. I know these things.

She didn't take up much space. Even sleeping she didn't feel at home here; curled, taking up as little of the bed as possible. Frowning. The brows drawn together in a worried, tired expression, half hidden by blonde hair.

It was then, with the shadows of the dying candle dancing across her face that I knew, KNEW that I would not survive her.

I remember when she used to be happy, smiling in her sleep. Especially in her sleep. I looked at her for hours, a quiet watcher looking in from the outside, crouching in the murky bedroom, observing, waiting.

Every night under her window was a piligrimage. Every stolen moment inside a revelation.

She was my temple.

They called it stalking. Stalking? I was praying. Hasids drunken on God and majesty of Universe, they'd understand me.

He... no, he never smiled. He was smarter than he looked, the soldier boy. He knew how it was going to go down in the end. Knew it even then, as he lay there, his arm around her in a protective embrace, that looked more like a drowning man trying to hold on to a raft. She was happy then, smiling. He was already saying good bye. Life's like that.

I still got the bottle we split that night when his universe crumbled.

Odd world. Sometimes it feels he's the closest person in the world to me...

She was his temple too.

She asked me about it once. And whatever I said in my haste to change the topic, I can't remember now. I doubt she bought it. What use does a vampire have for a mirror, after all?

I look in the mirror and all I see her.

What does she see when she looks at me? A demon tamed? A murderer jailed? Pathetic remnants of William the Bloody? A defanged vampire who couldn't protect her sister?

I look in the mirror and the absurdity of what I am stares back at me. I am looking into the abyss, and it's chipping away at me until there is nothing left. If I'm not Spike, who am I? If I'm not a demon, am I a man?

I wonder still about that. Does she look at me and wish to see someone else? Do they? A century and more has passed and I'm still trying to outrun Peaches' shadow. The more times change...

It was a strange night. The night of angry Gods and quiet ghosts moving among us. Everything changed and everything stayed the same. It's strange the things you remember and the things you forget.

The Nibblet's widening, teary, terrified eyes as I plummeted off the scaffolding. I dream about that stare, still. The witch's voice, ringing in my ears, comes to haunt me sometimes, bringing doubts and strange thoughts. Why did I trust her. What possessed me to charge blindly into that mob on a say so from that red haired little bit. She came through, but... Why did I trust her? Or did I really not give a shit?

It's strange, that your own thoughts escape you more consistently than anything else. I don't remember. I just don't.

I remember the end though. Her body lying bloody and broken on the stones, like a sacrificial offering to the Gods of old. The sounds of a thousand Hells dying away and my eyes burning, my leg buckling.

She wasn't frowning then. Death was her gift. She finally found what she was looking for.

I still go there from time to time. It's a good place for a smoke and to look at the stars. Strange night. I remember that Red cried too, bitterly and without excuses, letting tears drop off her face into the hair of her girlfriend. We understand each other, Red and I.

Blood and tears. Nothing in this fucked up world bonds like blood and tears.

Yeah. That night would have been a good end to it all. But she came back. And she didn't need me as she left me: unsure, confused. Not quite a man, less than a monster. She needed something else, so I gave it to her. Or at least I tried to.

They are so fucking clueless sometimes. After all, it was all spelled out for them. For her. Death is her gift. But - typical. For her to accept it, she would finally have to make her bloody mind up about something. Be certain of who she is and what she wants. Can't have that. Would cut in on all that high drama shit.

Whatever guise it came at me, I accepted it. I reveled in it. Death was not my gift. It was my everything. It was my life. I was William the Bloody, slayer of Slayers. Death on two legs.

I embraced it, embraced what I was, burying the whiney little William under the mountains of corpses, drowning him in the seas of blood. Death was my reward. Death was my desiny. Death was the alpha and the omega.

Not so for her. She's in love with it, of course -- I told her as much. How can she not be? She dances on the edge and looks it full in the eyes every night. She flirts with it. She teases. And sometime... sometimes she gives in. For a bit. For a split second she decides that it's time to french the night.

She went to the Master and bared her neck. She leapt of the tower, spilling her life's blood. She gives in sometimes. Fascinated and repelled and drawn to it. The death calling out to her. Her Gift. Always there when she needs it. Dead things giving her succor, be it Angelus or me she calls into her bed.

Until she rebels. Fighting herself. Rejecting herself. Rejecting death. Rejecting us. Going back, time after time, into the world of the living. Always stronger but never thankful to that which gave her that strength. Death is her gift. But she will not accept it. She tasted it twice and turned away. She settled for the cold bodies of Death's orphans instead. And even them...

I'm not a fool. It won't last, I know that. Just as my sire, may he be damned for all eternity, knew it too..

And yet she would not accept life. The daylight is just as foreign to her. And so she sent her soldier away. Not dark enough for her. I wonder what she'll say to me when it's my turn. Too much of a monster? Not enough?

She needs a monster in her man. They all do. Helps them remember who they are. What they aren't. You walk too long in the night, you lose yourself. They all know it, in their heart of hearts. They all love it, just a little bit. They all feel the pull, all were touched by the dark and marked all time.

The boy, soon to be married to his demon. Keep her close, whelp. Keep her real close. Push to the back of your mind the fears and the doubts, of what she was and what she might yet become.

The Redhead. Oh, yes. I can smell the night on her. Growing within. I know the rites that brought back the Slayer: the blood sacrifice, the death and darkness.

I wonder how is the little witch's sleep, these days. Does she wake up screaming, clutching onto her blonde girlfriend? I bet she does. When it's dark outside, when the monsters come. When they wear her face.

They need it, a dose of the real monster to wake them up. Shake them loose from the trance. Before they take just one step closer, go just a little deeper into the dark.

And she needs it, more than the rest. The Slayer. The Killer. She needs us. Needs the dark mirror to her soul, be it her sister Slayer or a bleached vampire. She needs it. Needs something to anchor all her fears, all her doubts, all the lure of her gift. Something to measure against. Right now it's me.

Lucky Spike.

I look in the mirror and all I see is her.

Is this love? Lust? Her smell is everywhere, all around me, and once again I forget what I am, and choke on jasmine perfume. Even from here, her reflection distorted by dust and dying, flickering candle, I can see the faint beat of her pulse. Her neck bared and bronze, incongruous next to my paleness. I can feel her blood. I can feel her heartbeat roaring in my ears like a thunder of a sea storm, blocking out everything else. Calling out to me. Death is her gift. Death is my fate.

And all it would take is a quick slash.

Just a drop or two of my blood onto her lips as she bleeds her destiny out on the satin sheets.

Happy ending.

Me and Her. Forever.

She doesn't even hear me coming. And it's the easiest thing in the world to reach down and...


The pale, half naked figure froze for a moment, one arm clawing the air in quietly helpless fury just inches from the woman on the pallet.

The seconds stretched until the vampire bowed his head in wordless defeat, gently pulling the covers over the sleeping Slayer.

Minutes later the candle lost its fight against the night and the crypt plunged into darkness, illuminated only by the solitary glow of a cigarette.


I will not survive her. That much I realize. The truth of it sings inside of me, rattling my bones. But what the hell. I'm content for now. Even with gaping emptiness of the knowledge that the end is coming, inside of me.

I'm content for now, here. Sitting and watching her sleep. I'm content.

And who's to know.

One day she might just smile.


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