by Vienna Xaavier

She slipped through the door to the basement, unnoticed. She was curious, about him. Buffy kept him hidden away from her and the other Potentials...

A vampire, a real one. Sure, he has a soul; just like the one she has read about in the books, Angelus. But Angelus didn't seem half as interesting as Spike, William the Bloody. Spike had had an interesting life, before he was turned, and after. He loved for a hundred years, not exactly a fling. He didn't seem as uncharacteristically evil as the rest of the vampires she'd read about even before he had the soul. Well, what she had heard anyway.

He interested her. It was a complex issue though as she thought it through. It wasn't infatuation, she knew that. It couldn't be love, she was gay. And she had Willow. She was just...curious. That was it, curiosity.

Curiosity killed the cat. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea.

"Just going to stand there all day, are you?" His voice broke through her thoughts before she realised she had stopped at the bottom of the stairs, swimming in her thoughts.

He gestured to the mug in her hand. "That for me? Or have you taken up a liking for pigs blood?"

"'s for you," she said, handing it over, nearly forgetting than she had brought it. "98.6 degrees, Fahrenheit. I think. I'm not exactly sure." Her sense of humour was still there, if only slightly.

He smiled before taking a swig. "Did Buffy send you down?"

She looked down for a moment before meeting his eyes again. "Actually, she's out. We're not allowed to come down here."

Spike sat on his cot and leaned back. "Because of the trigger."

"Because she's paranoid. You have a soul, right? How does that work exactly?" she asked, sitting down next to him and leaning back.

"I traveled a long way to get this thing..." he said, touching his bare chest. "...and I'm still not completely sure. I know that I got it because it's what Buffy deserves...because I love her. Because it was the right thing."

"That's good. To do something for someone you love because it's what they's good."


"But it doesn't sound like you were all that bad pre-soul."

"I was. I used to be, before the chip at least. I hurt people. I killed people." His voice broke; he looked away. "You should go. Buffy wouldn't want you to be down here. Because of the trigger."

"I know. And I'm still here, aren't I?"

"Do you know how many people I've killed?" he asked harshly, looking back at her.

"No. Wanna enlighten me?"

He turned away again. "Not especially, that was supposed to scare you."

"I'm being hunted by the First Evil, the evilest thing in the history of all evil...not much scares me anymore, William," she told him, sincerely, as she stood up to leave.

His head whipped around to face her. He grabbed her wrist and pulled her back. "What did you say?"

"I know about your past, Spike, before you were turned. You were different then, you were different after, and you're different now."

She pulled from his grip and hurried up the stairs, leaving him sitting there.

And he smiled.


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