Spike has a soul & Earth is ending around him; stranger makes him see something unexpected
|Once he was full. He's empty now.|
Is a part of my soul asleep today? …
Something's wrong with my soul.
My heart beats from the outside.
And I'll do anything to keep me
Inside. -Pinback “Rousseau”
(starts at Get it Done in Season 7)
Chapter One: Yet Another Arrival
Spike looked around the crowded living room. There was no seat and no floor, so he stood in the background as usual. All the potential slayers were gibbering annoyingly and he looked at the ceiling, waiting for the meeting to start. Finally, Buffy and Xander quieted everyone down.
Buffy looked enigmatic as usual, but Xander’s expression was more telling. There had to be a bad, evil, or perhaps dangerous reason that they had all been summoned. Spike had been called out of his sleep in the basement because it was about one in the afternoon.
“I’ve called you all here to let you know that there isn’t much time. Prepare yourselves, because anyone of us could die at any time. The hellmouth is active and demons are being spotted all over. They are gathering an army. Lucky for us, even though it’s supposed to be a secret gathering, they’re too stupid to hide themselves that well. The last battle is upon us. I’m predicting about a month from now or maybe a little more, we will fight our last.” Buffy finished dramatically, as always. Then Xander stepped in front of them all.
“We have been reflecting on our strategies, and we believe that now is the time for mental readiness. We are all tired, we may die any moment. So, Buffy, the others: Anya, Andrew, and Willow, and I have decided to give everyone today and tomorrow off, but Monday we will be back and training harder than ever. Take this time, and use it as your heart leads you.” He paused and added, “Man, I don’t think I’ve ever gone a whole sentence without sarcasm, this seriousness thing is kind of tiring.” He laughed and they all laughed nervously with him, all of them except for Spike. They hadn’t considered him in their decision, not that he didn’t agree with it. Ever since Buffy’s outburst about his soul making him weak, he had been almost an outcast. He felt invisible, like his reflection.
Spike went back down to the basement. He would spend his time sleeping and drinking. It was all he had wanted to do or could do after Buffy had rejected him again. He lay down on his dark lonely bed, away from everyone else. He was dead, they were alive, and there was no need for interaction.
Upstairs, the girls were chittering about what they would do during their two days of vacation. Then, the doorbell rang. Everyone stopped. The doorbell never rings at this house. Those who belong walk in and those who don’t either don’t walk out or don’t come at all. Willow went and opened the door. Standing there was a woman, about normal height, pale complected, with rich coppery hair and beautiful blue eyes. She was dressed all in black. Giles came to the door. She smiled at him as if she knew him. At first Giles didn’t seem to recognize her, but after a second of looking into her eyes he remembered.
“This is Bela, she’s hear to bring special treasures for the girls: crosses, handmade in Africa, by persecuted Muslim converts to Chrisianity. These are of special caliber. She will remain with us until the end, helping however she can.”
With that, Bela stepped into the room confidently. “I have a special purpose here that I must see to completion.”
“Well, welcome Bela, we can deal with the crosses Monday. The next two days are rest days. I guess you won’t mind since you’ll be here for a while,” smiled Willow.
“Until the end of time,” Bela said cryptically. The girls went back to their chattering. Buffy and the others went into the kitchen to finalize plans before they took their own vacation. Nobody noticed the new arrival, blending into the shadows. She moved fluidly along the wall, to the door of the basement.
Chapter Two: Struck
Spike lay on his bed, trying desperately to sleep. She won’t go away. Her hold on me is forever. Dru made me love her, she gave me life. I loved Buffy, but she hated me. Now I’m stuck in this limbo, waiting until the end or just when I get a stake in the back. No one knows pain like the immortal.
Bela moved like a shadow. She was undetectable. She walked slowly, letting him enjoy the last moments of his torment. He was sickly yet strong. His heart had defeated him and he had no hope.
Then, she was upon him.
Spike sensed someone close. He shot up, and when he turned around to look, there she was. He almost had a heart attack, if vampires had things like that. She was Dru, she was Buffy, she was his mother, and she was none of them. For a brief second a radiant light shined and he felt like he was out in the meadow on a summer’s day.
He shook his head, foolish. I will never feel the sun’s warmth on my skin again. I am forsaken by it. Sun is joy and it will never touch me. Pain is all that I can obtain. It is darkness, it hides me. It hides my deeds, my past. I feel more and more one with it everyday.
“Now, who the heck are you?!” He demanded, jumping up suddenly.
“My name is Bela. I’m here to help.”
“Bloody well you’ll help, just like everyone else.” He looked down and yelled, “Don’t they know?! No matter how many they bring, it won’t be enough. Buffy said it herself. The Earth is done, evil will win. We’re all dead. One more ‘helper potential slayer’ won’t change it!” He ran out of air and looked at his feet again. He spun around and walked to the wall. He leaned up against it, “You may be pretty and you may be strong, but what does it matter?” He began chuckling to himself, “What does it matter?” He continued to laugh, “Alright then, let’s go this way. How do you do?” He looked at her again finally.
“Very well thank you.” She stared into his eyes. He was pierced with her. It wasn’t magic, it was truth. “And how are you?”
Her eyes were the bluest he had ever seen. “Why does it matter?” He tore his eyes away, “I’m dead. No one cares about dead people.”
“That’s not true, God does.” She said it subtly, but it was said with all her being. It was like her whole existence was tied into that phrase: “God does”.
“Does he?” he growled. He shook his head, calming himself. “Now how is this to get acquainted? I suppose I should ask you where you’re from?”
“So this is where you live, sleep, eat, everyday? It’s so lonely,” Bela looked around as he showed her his ‘temporary pad’.
“That’s what you sign up for when you become a vampire,” he said casually, absent-mindedly, noticing her hair rather than her questions.
He couldn’t keep his eyes off her now. He came up behind her as she was observing the weapons on the wall and slid his arms around her waist.
The reaction he got was cold, but not rejecting. She simply turned around and stepped out of his arms. She stared deep into his eyes, into his soul, and he knew.
“That’s not what I’m here for”.
Chapter Three: Different
He looked at her, stunned. He had wrapped his arms around her, but it was different. She was different. “Who are you?”
She smiled, “I’m Bela.”
He pouted his lips in an annoyed way and his temper rose again, “I know that, what I’m saying is, what are you? You’re not what you seem.” He glared at her intensely, but she just smiled.
“You’re a clever one, Spike.”
He was about go off again when he realized that she called him by his name, he hadn’t told her it.
“You’re the reason I’m here. I know all about you. I know you’re in pain, and I’m here to help you end it” she said as she turned her back to him, “I know the way.”
Spike racked his brain, trying to figure out if he had really touched her, “So, is this the First again? I’m not going to slit my wrists just because you bring a pretty little body in here, acting all mysterious-like!”
“I’m not the First. I serve the one who is more powerful than it. He wants you to serve him.”
“Ok, all this, ‘I’m the baddest bad out there, work for me’ stuff just doesn’t intrigue me so much now that I have a soul.” He cleared his throat, “I work for good now.”
“Well, let me explain, you have the wrong idea about my master and me.”
Spike lunged at her and grasped her throat. He let go when he realized there was no pulse. “You’re not alive.”
“No, unfortunately not. I’ve been dead for about 120 years, walking the earth, seeing things.”
“Well now, that makes more sense.”
“I grew up in Scotland, decided to go to town with the girls on a summer night, and ended up kissing a boy I ought not have. He was an Irish vampire, made me his girl for a few months. Then I was left alone. I never much went for the weak ones, I sought out the strongest blood to feed on. I got to taste a slayer once, when I was in Italy.”
“You killed a slayer?”
“Yes, it was a long time ago, about the time you were born, as a vampire, that is. I wandered the globe, lonely. I was powerful in the hunt and in the kill, but I had no one. One day, I was fighting another slayer in South America, and she took my arm off with an axe. I got away, but I was devastated. I ran for miles in the jungle, until I came to a church. The missionary saw I was badly hurt, and let me in.”
“I suppose you sucked the poor sap dry?”
“I had planned on it, but then, I looked around, the place was deserted, the old missionary was skin and bones. He offered to clean my wound, or rather, my stub.”
“So where’s the stub now? How’d you get your arm back?”
“I’ll get to it. Anyways, he fixed me up, and then he gave me his last bit of food. I ate it, and then I grabbed him by the neck. He didn’t look the least bit afraid. I told him thanks for the hospitality, but I needed a little more from him. He told me to take his blood, his people were gone, and his work on earth was done. Before I killed him, he told me that if I gave myself to the Lord, he would complete me, he would give me eternal life.”
Spike laughed, “I guess he didn’t realize what was killing him.”
“I suppose not, but just before he died, he did something I’ll never forget, he kissed my hand and looked at me as a dear friend, he pointed to an old beat up chalk board, and then he died.”
“Wow, what a story, a man kisses you for killing him. What a stupid git.”
“I went to the board and read what it said. It had some scripture references in a list, all crossed out except for one, Matthew 5:44. I had eaten all there was to eat, and I was in the middle of nowhere, so being a curious woman, I went to his bible and looked it up. It said: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. That changed my life. Everytime I killed and ate, I saw that old man kiss my hand as he died and I would hear that verse in my head. It haunted me. Finally, I killed another missionary in the middle of the jungle in the Congo. I took his bible and took a look for myself. I read the words he had highlighted. I would have been in trouble if the place had not been deserted, because I read until sunrise in that thatch hut. The more I read, the more the world made sense. I had a tense feeling in my stomach, and the demon within me struggled to take me away from that book. When the day broke the demon gave up for a while. I read the whole New Testament and started on the old. I was halfway through Psalms when the day faded away into night.”
“And then you ravaged and killed every person you saw, taunting them with their own dogma?”
“No. As the demon struggled to regain control of my body, I asked Jesus to be my savior and my Lord.”
“Oh man, you really fell for that load did you? I hate to tell you this, but without a soul, you aren’t a person and God only saves people I reckon.”
“Yeah, I didn’t realize it until I had a little conference with someone important that I realized that the old missionary gave me more than I bargained for.” There were little tears appearing in her eyes, “When he gave me his life blood he gave his soul for me in a way, not that I took his, but because of his love and sacrifice I regained my own.”
More to come...