quinara: Spike dressed up and looking down, trying to be sexy. (Spike thinking)
[personal profile] quinara
This part ritually abuses things from all over the place, as you will see, including scripts by David Fury, Drew Goddard, Doug Petrie, the Joss himself, Jane Espenson and Stephen DeKnight, as well as all the wonderful people who've ever put transcripts up on Buffyworld.com. The formatting has not been fun...

And - she says after putting it together - I don't know what to say, people, but my footnotes don't work! I'll see if I can get them to work on AO3, but it seems the DW at least strips id attributes out of tags or something, so I can't make links around the page. I've left the links in to show you what I mean, though. I've got the footnotes to work!!!! Who knew cut tags could be so fun to abuse?

[start of fic and notes]

'I love you' is a thing you say to people who are dying

by Quinara


Season 7. Buffy/Spike. Some Watchers survived, because sometimes people do.

[breakfasts IV]

PART THREE (intermezzo)

I submit the following report that on the 26th February, 2003, I held a mental interview with William Aurelius, also known as William the Bloody and also known as Spike. The interview was conducted in Sunnydale, California, at the house of the Slayer Miss Buffy Summers, 1630 Revello Drive, and was supervised by Althanea Travers, a Friend of the Council. At the time of writing, I have reduced access to appropriate reference works, not least on the approved format for such reports. However, the below presents the encounter as clearly as I am able, including events seen as they were called to mind by the subject, our verbal discussion and more documentary memories I came to acquire. I have offered commentary where pertinent.

L.E. Chalmers, February 2003



INT. LONDON TOWNHOUSE – 1880 – DAY

WILLIAM stands across from a frail, sickly, elderly woman, sitting on a large upholstered chair in the upscale, elegantly furnished parlour; a handkerchief is clutched in her hand. This is Spike's mother, ANNE.

WILLIAM
(reading)
Yet her smell, it doth linger, painting pictures in my mind.
Her eyes, balls of honey. Angel’s harps her laugh.
Oh, lark. Grant a sign if crook’d be Cupid's shaft.


Anne listens raptly, a gentle smile on her face, her needle-point lying on the arm rest next to her. A jug of water and a glass are on the end table beside her.

WILLIAM
(continuing)
Hark, the lark, her name it hath spake.
“Cecily” it discharges from twixt its wee beak.[1]


He pauses, then glances up at Anne, indicating he is finished. She stares at him a moment.

ANNE
Oh, William....

WILLIAM
It’s just scribbling.[2]

ANNE
Nonsense. It is magnificent.


He eyes her sceptically, shaking his head. Then, enthusiastically pleased, he sits on the sofa beside her.

ANNE
(continuing)
I wonder, though. This Cecily of whom you write so often...

WILLIAM
Oh.

ANNE
Would she be the Underwood's eldest girl?[3]

WILLIAM
(embarrassed)
Oh, no. Oh – no. I do not presume.

ANNE
She's lovely. You shouldn't be alone. You need a woman in your life.


He looks at her.

WILLIAM
I have a woman in my life.

ANNE
(intrigued)
But you ne—
(understanding)
Oh...[4]

WILLIAM
Well, do not mistake me. (I still have hopes that one day there will be an addition to this household.
But I will always look after you, mother. This, I promise.[5]


Anne smiles, looks at him with love.
Anne begins to COUGH. She covers her mouth with her handkerchief. William jumps to his feet and brings her the glass of water, helps her as she gasps it down, soothing her tortured throat. It is then he catches sight of the blood stain on her the handkerchief in her hand.

WILLIAM
Should I send the coach for Doctor Gull?[6]

ANNE
(recovering)
I'll be all right. It's passed. Just sit with me a while, will you?

WILLIAM
Of course.


He sits on the floor at his mother's feet, resting against her legs. Anne picks up her needle-point again and starts to resume her work as she begins to sing, softly, sweetly...

ANNE
(singing)
Early one morning, just as the sun was rising, I heard a maid sing in the valley below.
“Oh, don't deceive me. Oh, never leave me. How could you use a poor maiden so?”[7]


William closes his eyes and listens to his mother sing.




I saw a fair maid dance not that so far away
and I, a wastrel, caught her eye a kismet time
to ask her name. To make this girl one of mine
would take me years, and nonetheless I say
that moment was the very death of me.
We danced in grime and empty shadows dark
like cinders, ash that broke my very breath apart
and set all this forgotten wonder free.
This girl, she cured me of my ills, and yet
too many thousands more I found begot,
those times we fucked and I forgot
the way a lack of soul can yet forget.
The want that burns inside a lonely heart,
it scrapes at goodness, burns it all to black.




It’s always difficult to know the truth of everything,
the way your heart’s desire might right now seem
against what’s come before and yet is still to be.
This sense you always have of that unbroken string
of selfhood tears, and rips you into two.
The reconciliation all remains a dream,
one part of it lies; the other part of it true
as hope all glimmers bright and subtle gleams,
bewitching as my heart’s long empty beats .
Buffy; Buffy; my heart cannot entreat
with any stronger feeling to our troubled past
when I am on my own, my eyes downcast,
this old, ragged soul’s no more a panacea
than your every word of comfort I might yet hear.




I know the way you feel inside,
your tender heart and silken blood
as it drains down my throat. Not sure I could
find the hollow, wormy words to fully describe
the symphony of you bound up with me.
For so many years I’ve tried to craft what I’ve had
with you; it’s drove me mad
to long for something that I thought couldn’t be.
There’s nothing else, as far as I can see;
there’s nothing more, to physically know
or to long for in some ardent dream.
And yet, I’ve got these hopes, one, two and three,
for you to love me, let that feeling grow,
and tell me, make it like it’s never been.





Your mother clearly means a lot to you. What do you remember about your father?

What, Henry the Pratt? Not much. The bloke was a waste of space. His father, my grandpapa, he made a load of cash for himself in the new world – and fair play to him – and then he died young, the way people in industry did in those days. That left Henry and Grandmama with not much to do but bore New York for a few years, before one of them got the bright idea to send HPP over for an English university education. He met Mother, she went back with him, and they had me in the ‘50s. I had one sister who died in infancy, but otherwise he didn’t seem that bothered to flesh out the family tree.

I think he was a poof, if I’m honest. I reckon Gull knew and he kept the secret, which is how I came to be named after him.

And to each his own, I suppose, but I always felt badly for Mother, even if I never figured it while I was alive. I tried all that once anyway, and it didn’t seem that special. It was around the Wilde trials, whenever that was, late ‘90s? Angelus was in it for the Irish bloke taking on the toffs; I was in it for his early poems, which I had rather favoured during life. We thought a bit of gross indecency would suit us quite well. It was all political. The four of us were tanked up on absinthe and opium most of the time, gearing up for the fin de siècle, and Dru kept moaning about Paris, so the sex hadn’t been great for a while. Of course, this bit with Angelus did even less for me and Darla acted like we were being children. I left the opium for tobacco after that, and that got me through to the 1960s, by which point I’d forgotten Dru was not fun on drugs, but mostly what you saw were these deep, ragged scars inside her that fucking hurt to look at. I think we had our best times in Florence, you know, right before. Should’ve stayed there.

But my father never saw anything of Europe. He didn’t know what to do with culture, or numbers or conversation. I read Classics to spite him. By the time I left school, he was starting to worry the money would run out – and of course he’d done nothing to make sure he would know what was up and what was down with investments – so he wanted me to get myself yoked to the prospect of his later dotage, fix it so he could cop it on a velvet cushion. Never mind that Mother had started showing signs and he wouldn’t even make the boat trip.

Thankfully I had some chums who had it all sorted without Father even needing to know. Shrewsbury might have been a brutal place, but they looked after you. I missed Mother fiercely, and even Grandmama’s more laconic outbursts – Father was ashamed of her, but she’d grown up on a farm and was bloody brilliant sometimes. Once when I was about six we had this woman round the house who made a big fuss about a fly in her soup or something equally trivial, and Grandmama’s response was this line, ‘But in the end it’s all swill for swine, ain’t it?’ I never forgot it; she swapped their plates and ate the soup, which did more to shut this woman up than trying to make her happy. There was none of that at school, but they fed you, housed you, fucked you up until you knew nothing better. They had nothing on Grandmama with a switch, of course. I had enough aristos in my house to figure out what needed to be done with capital. Years after they looked back on me like I was a fond memory; I missed some of them in London. Never missed Father.

Do you think your mother lived a happy life?

I think she did all right, at least before I killed her. I was never much use to the women around me.

What makes you say that?

What, you want me to spell it out?

Yes.




EXT. SOUTH AMERICA – 1998 – NIGHT

An outdoor café. SPIKE, in classic red and black, looks miserable. He is irritable and smoking up a storm. DRUSILLA, in cream and gold sits at a red taverna table, her rage contained, but not for long.

SPIKE
(at the end of his tether)
You're the one who keeps bringing her up! I haven't said a word about the bloody Slayer since we left California. She's on the other side of the planet, Dru![8]

DRUSILLA
(to her feet; finally losing it)
But you're lying! I can still see her floating all around you, laughing.


Drusilla comes closer, resting her hands on Spike’s chest. The moment softens.

DRUSILLA
(continuing)
Why? Why won't you push her away?

SPIKE
But I did, pet. I did it for you. You keep punishing me. Carrying on with creatures like this.


Standing to one side is a CHAOS DEMON. All slime and antlers.[9]

The demon speaks, the very picture of soft spoken reason.

CHAOS DEMON
Okay, you guys obviously have a thing going on here…


They ignore him.

DRUSILLA
I have to find my pleasures, Spike. You taste like ashes.

SPIKE
So this is my fault now?


He gestures, “go away.” The demon heads out – but stops once and addresses Spike.

CHAOS DEMON
I didn't know she was seeing somebody. (off Spike's look) I should take off.

SPIKE
Yeah, why don't you do that?


The demon blows a kiss to Drusilla, then walks off.

DRUSILLA
You can’t blame a girl, Spike. You're all covered with her. I look at you... all I see is the Slayer.

SPIKE
(defensive)
And whose fault is that? No sooner than he walked through the bleeding door… Sodding Angelus.


Drusilla turns away. It’s clear Spike doesn’t get it.

SPIKE
(continuing)
Hardly a surprise there’s nothing left of you on me, is it? You’ve barely touched me since…

DRUSILLA
(to herself and the stars)
Oh, love, there’s nothing I can do for you now. Ever since… There’s been three of us.

SPIKE
(losing it again)
Will you not come off it, Dru! You’re not Princess Di. You want to bring up my mother again, is that it? She’s been dead a hundred years!


This is a familiar argument, but Drusilla is ready to have it again. She turns back.

DRUSILLA
And you’ve never let her go! Not for me. Spinning spiderwebs all around your heart, you let me watch them fade and wither, but it’s the Slayer who’s…


Spike reels, surprised by this level of venom.

DRUSILLA
(continuing; gathering steam)
I can see her! You let her pull on you, whisper in your ear. One thread after another on everything that was ever good inside you. Fish and eels swimming.


Spike is clearly baffled, if not a little terrified. Drusilla shakes her head, distraught before she SEES SOMETHING in the distant future. Spike approaches to comfort her, but she backs away – “don’t touch me.”

DRUSILLA
(in the grip of a vision)
No, no no… All of it’s floating, dandelion seeds; it can’t – ! Blood, so much blood it burns on stone… She’s there,[10] all this time, shielding you from darkness. You think it was you but it wasn’t, it should have been me. He’s burning up the edges so the smoke spins into rock. And the Slayer, the Slayer is laughing, she’s laughing as she twists those final strands into dust, lets you out, lets it all fade away.[11]


She won’t allow Spike close to her. As the vision ends, she appears devastated.

SPIKE
(not comprehending)
Dru… Love – what?

DRUSILLA
(you traitor)
Get away. (stronger) Get away. (crying) GET AWAY!


He’s spooked, but he can see he’s being banished. He makes for his car, taking out his rage on the door before he casts one look back at Drusilla. He knows his destination.




I love Dru. I always loved Dru. I’ll love her till I’m dust. Didn’t tell her half as often as I should have, but she was so batty that most of the time she wouldn’t have understood it. Probably the last time I told her, it was right before the end of it, in Prague. We’d been staying at this hotel, having a grand old time of it, and we’d been planning for the last night where we were going to go next. We’d given them the details of a lifted credit card, and thought we’d do our usual and walk out to see what would happen. Of course, what we’d actually find was a mob waiting for us right on the square, but the joke was that this time around – for all our planning of a bloodbath – we decided we’d had a nice enough stay that we’d leave the place standing. So we could come again, you know?

I told her on the balcony of our suite, after she’d pulled in Miss Edith from where she was having her first punishment of hanging. Came out later that the doll hadn’t even spoken out of turn; Dru was in for months of agony from that night onwards. In that moment, though, it was all charming and balmy European nights, and I’d never met the Slayer, and I loved this girl at my side.

She didn’t say it back, Dru. Of course not. What she said was, ‘I love you’s a thing you say to people who are dying’. Or something like that. Haughty. I can never do her voice right.

I should have seen it then, of course. All the stuff she comes out with has a habit of making sense after the fact, but I never quite got the hang of figuring it out in advance. I’ve never known what she meant, whether she was talking about the mob or about Buffy and my feelings for her. She could have meant a hundred things, but she was so sad, right then, and I know it was my fault. In her mind, I always hurt her first. I’d abandoned her before she’d even met me.

That seems quite unreasonable.

It’s not unreasonable. It’s the way she sees the world. On the balance of things, when you’re immortal, what’s the greater betrayal? A fling with a demon that’ll never go anywhere, not when chaos demons are vegetarian and you have a taste for human viscera, not when no matter how you dress him up he’s not taking you up the Wolseley? Or the one where you fall for the killer of your kind, abandon your very nature and get yourself a soul? It burned at the time when she left me, but from my perspective now I figure that she’s right.

The part with her and Angelus… Well, it might take two to tango, but considering he practically nailed her feet in those dancing shoes with the thighbones of all her family, it takes a harder man than me to hold the full of that against her.

What about Buffy? Equally wedded to Angel, if you pardon the expression; would you say she is in equal need of your care? Have you equally failed her?

You want me to count the ways I’ve failed Buffy? Let’s see, I stalked her, I built a robot fetish of her body, I helped her sis raise a zombie version of her mum, I made her feel gratitude towards me, I made her weak, I made myself weak, I let Doc knock me off the tower, I let her hide from her friends, I let her hide from her misery, I beat her up, I showed her how to make sex something nasty, I pushed her, I degraded her, I wouldn’t let her go, I threatened her, I assaulted her, I made myself a burden to her, I asked for her help, I made her come and find me, I made her need me, and just recently I’ve sucked her blood from her veins. And that’s all after I fell in love with her.

Dru never needed my care any more than my mother did, any more than Buffy does. I’m a parasite that preys on kindness, the sort Buffy and Dru are both expert at burying deep inside. She’s beautiful, Dru, when she’s kind, like some sort of sprite lighting fires with her fingertips, the stars dancing in her eyes. Buffy, just… She doesn’t even know it, what she has inside her.

One might say we are all parasitic on the people we love. But we’d be missing something. Are you suggesting that these women received nothing from you in return?




INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE – DOWNSTAIRS – 2001 – NIGHT

The hero of the hour, BUFFY, is watching silently as a lowly vampire, SPIKE, retrieves weapons from the chest in her living room. The weight of the world is on her shoulders; Spike has just been reinvited and acting nervous.

Once he’s found what he needs, Spike returns, a couple of axes in hand like an offering.

BUFFY
(hesitant)
I'm counting on you – to protect her.

SPIKE
(committed)
‘Til the end of the world. Even if that happens to be tonight.

BUFFY
(I’m glad that’s agreed.)
I’ll be one minute.


She starts up the stairs, but Spike isn’t done.

SPIKE
I know you'll never love me.


She turns, says nothing.

SPIKE
(continuing)
I know that I'm a monster. But you treat me like a man, and that’s...
(stops himself; this is pathetic)
Get your stuff. I'll be here.


She pauses for the briefest of moments before she goes up.

At the top of the stairs, however, she doesn’t turn onto the landing. The pause becomes real.

BUFFY
You get this is a losing game, right?


Spike says nothing, and she turns back to face him.

BUFFY
(continuing)
I don’t just mean this, with Glory.[12] I mean me.

SPIKE
(you’re an idiot)
I’ll be here. Get your stuff.


Contrary as ever, Buffy takes a step back down towards him.

BUFFY
You could go anywhere. Do anything.

SPIKE
Yeah. (scoffs) And when your Scoobies cock it up and I’m out there in Hawaii, watching the world be sucked into darkness…


She takes another step down the stairs.

BUFFY
I mean it. You don’t owe us anything. You don’t owe me anything.

SPIKE
Well, no. Don’t make it a habit to rack up debts.

BUFFY
I remember what you did for us, before.[13] This is… Bigger.

SPIKE
It’s nothing. You know how I feel. I…


He’s been on the backfoot, but this thought gives him comfort. She pauses on the stairs.

BUFFY
Don’t say it.

SPIKE
(refusing to avoid it)
I love you.


It’s clear Buffy has no idea what to do with this. She avoids looking at him; says nothing. They both feel the intimacy of this moment, for the first time.

SPIKE
(continuing)
I don’t know what it is. What I could say to make it easier. But that’s the truth of it, why I’m here. Why I’m not going anywhere.

BUFFY
(I’m counting on you)
I don’t want anything from you.

SPIKE
(I know)
And yet you’ve got it.


They look at each other for one long beat.

Flustered, Buffy turns away and quickly takes the last few stairs again.

BUFFY
(trying for casual)
I’ll only be a minute, I promise. Stay right here.


He watches her go.




INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE – FOYER – 2001 – NIGHT

SPIKE is standing in the entryway as DAWN comes downstairs. He's just recovering from near-panic.

SPIKE
(to Dawn)
Thank God. You scared me half to death... or more to death. You – I could kill you.

DAWN
Spike.

SPIKE
I mean it. Could rip your head off one-handed and drink from your brain stem.

DAWN
Look.


He sees BUFFY coming down the stairs behind Dawn.

SPIKE
Yeah? I've seen the bloody bot before.[14] Didn't think she'd patch up so--


He stops. Stunned, staring at Buffy. For a very long beat.

DAWN
She's kind of-- She's been through a lot, with the ... death. But I think she's okay.


He’s still staring.

DAWN
(continuing)
Spike? Are you okay?





INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE – FOYER – 2002 – NIGHT

The house is empty, quiet, but the lights are on. SPIKE looks up at the stairwell ahead of him, then back to the front door behind him, as if he isn’t sure how he came to be there. He looks down at himself, sniffs and recoils from the smell.

SPIKE
(muttering to himself)
And why are you acting so strangely, William?[15]


There is the CREAK OF A FLOORBOARD upstairs. Spike is distracted, knowing who that must be. In an attempt to make himself presentable, he wrestles out of his coat and dumps it over the bannister. He sweeps a hand through his hair; rests it on the newel post; steels himself.




INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE – FOYER – 2002 – NIGHT

SPIKE stands at the bottom of the stairs, hand on the newel post. Beside him, over the bannister, is the blanket he was wrapped in earlier. He’s staring at it. The Scoobies are in the living room, out of sight. Their voices are hushed, but just about audible.

WILLOW (O.S.)
I guess the question’s whether he remembers anything.

ANYA (O.S.)
Yeah, and whether he’s gonna talk about it if he does.

DAWN (O.S.)
I still don’t get it…

XANDER (O.S.)
Dawn, d’you guys have any saran-wrap? Or maybe plastic sheeting? There’s tape in my car, but…


The continued conversation is covered by the noise of BUFFY coming back downstairs. She’s hurrying, pulling to a halt just ahead of Spike, a little flustered and out of breath. Spike looks surprised to see her, but doesn’t much react.

BUFFY
Sorry. I guess that was longer than a minute.


Spike says nothing. Buffy looks embarrassed, apparently not just about keeping him waiting.

BUFFY
(excusing herself)
I don’t get that much time to tidy my room and I wasn’t expecting a…


She trails off; they both realise this conversation is inappropriate. Spike moves his hand to the blanket. It’s shaking.

SPIKE
(hating himself)
You shouldn’t have to do this.


In the sudden grip of action, he turns to leave –

BUFFY
Hey.


– but he doesn’t get far. She comes down the last step, reaches out a hand, maybe grazes his shoulder.

BUFFY
(continuing)
We’re gonna figure this out. (as Spike hesitates) Come on.





OMITTED[16]




INT. BUFFY'S HOUSE – UPSTAIRS BATHROOM – 2002 – NIGHT

SPIKE flies across the room shoulder first, smashing midway up the opposite wall, cracking the plaster and crashing to the floor. BUFFY struggles to her feet by the bathtub, clutching her robe around her and trembling with fear, but spitting with fury.

BUFFY
Ask me again why I could never love you.


He looks up at her, realising how far he just crossed the line.

SPIKE
Buffy, my god... I didn't --

BUFFY
Because I stopped you. Something I should have done a long time ago.


Spike can muster no response, the weight of his actions crushing down on him. Buffy doesn’t move; a loose tear makes its way down her cheek.

The silence that follows is long. Spike stares into the distance while Buffy stares down at her attacker, but the initial shock slowly, surely passes. By the end of it, Spike barely has the strength to hold himself. Of course Buffy remains wary, but she is in control, more like the Slayer mid-battle than the woman mid-trauma.

They speak as though they have aged years.

SPIKE
(to the middle distance)
I’m sorry. Christ, I’m sorry.


Another tear escapes Buffy’s eyes. She recognises that vacant stare, but wishes that she didn’t.

BUFFY
I know.


Spike is petrified. It shouldn’t be possible. Buffy knows that too.

BUFFY
(continuing)
I –


This moment of understanding is interrupted as we hear –

XANDER (O.S.)
Buffy!


And the spell is broken. Both start like wounded animals. Spike pulls himself to his feet, clutching the wall behind him. Buffy jerks backwards as she glances over her shoulder. This thing is still happening and they have seconds.

BUFFY
(panicked; to Spike)
You can’t be in here.


For a moment, Spike can’t move. He’s just caught a glimpse of what he in fact came here for and now Buffy is rejecting him again. His face clouds with frustration, even rage.

XANDER (O.S.)
I found Warren.[17]


Buffy is terrified, partly by the look on Spike’s face, partly by the confrontation yet to come. She is tearful and trembling – again – yanking her robe back into order.

BUFFY
Get out! God damn you – get out.


She turns to the door, imagining Xander on the stairs as she orders herself. The instant she’s tightened her belt she spins back – towards the other threat.

But Spike has vanished. In a burst of vampire speed he has escaped through the window – which is now open so the blind SKITTERS IN THE BREEZE.

Buffy moves towards it, to check he’s gone, but her legs won’t carry her more than a few steps. She’s overwhelmed. She reaches out blindly to the wicker unit by the sink and ultimately slumps down next to the bath, just so she can hold on to something solid.[18]




I was angry.




Well. We are not here to discuss Buffy. We came here to discuss your mother. So?

Sod off.




INT. LONDON TOWNHOUSE – 1880 – NIGHT

WILLIAM is on the verge of tears, while ANNE pushes closer to him.

WILLIAM
No!


He shoves her. Hard. She stumbles back. Grows cold.

ANNE
Fine. Then gather up your tears and
get out of my house.

WILLIAM
Mother--

ANNE
Get out!




I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.





That’s not by me, by the way. That’s Blake.

Of course. A Poison Tree, from Songs of Experience. 1794.

Get you. My mother loved Blake.

And you?

I hated half his metres.

What of the message?

Didn’t give a toss. I was eight.




I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.





Indulge me. What relevance does this have to our current conversation?

She’d have liked that I remember it.

Our aim is to release you from the First Evil’s hold. The trigger. The apple borne of suppressed feeling.

Does Buffy know you’ve read Giles’ diaries? That he published her after she died? Are they the reason you’ve got a problem with her? Because frankly, my dear, that’s not very fair.

I do not have a problem with Buffy. I am a professional and she is the Slayer.

I had no idea what I was doing, you know, when I turned Mother. Not a bleeding clue. I knew I had to drink her, because that how Dru had done me, but that was as far as I understood it. The whole business was new to me; I didn’t understand what the bite meant, why Dru was so disgusted. She was jealous, of course she was, and she got off on calling herself my mum for years before and since, but it wasn’t the same as sharing that experience of beautiful death with your own flesh and blood.

She helped me because it was what I wanted. I panicked when I had a dead body in my arms but she told me what to do, tore a nail through my wrist. It had to be my blood, you see, because I’d drunk her. It’s the mingling of blood that does it, and I’d read enough Donne even then to know what that meant, but I did it anyway because I was a child and I didn’t know any better. I’d never had a whole human before and my head was crackling, everything in my body tingling with it, and I was a murderer, and it was my mother who’d given me this. It was gross indecency but I did it anyway. All I had wanted in life was to see my mother well again and have her with me, see the world with her so the smile would reach her eyes. It never did, and she so longed to travel. The bonds of her illness, of finances, of responsibility – Dru had released me from them and so I hoped to release her too.

I was a child. I’d never even met a Slayer; never even heard of them. I was a child and I didn’t know the way of things. Darla would be the one to teach me History; until then I thought I was some sort of Marquis de Sade, leading the French Revolution through scandal and bloodshed which could not be ignored. I didn’t know the truth of things.

When I fed her my blood, I thought it would be all right. It was sexual, when she drank from me, but I was inexperienced enough that I associated the feeling more with becoming a vampire than with what shouldn’t have been. Drusilla shouldn’t have let me, really, but she was only just not a fledge herself and mad as all get out. Back then Angelus could still set her gibbering for months. He liked to relive his glory days, like a fucking football hero, and Darla was willing to roll her eyes and make the tea come to us while he tortured her inside and out, made her think she was good again just so he could make her bad. She didn’t know it either, what it meant; it wasn’t her fault. She was kind to me, because she knew it was what I wanted. I knew what I was, from that night on, but it took her years to see it; she only wanted a protector. She didn’t understand what that kindness meant.




INT. CEMETERY CHAPEL – 2002 – NIGHT

SPIKE is walking towards a huge crucifix altarpiece. BUFFY watches, still in shock.

SPIKE
She shall look on him with forgiveness, and everybody will forgive and love. He will be loved.


He pauses.

SPIKE
So everything's OK, right?


Slowly, Spike embraces the crucifix, resting one arm over each side of the cross bar, and resting his head in the corner of the vertex. His body is sizzling and smoke is rising from where it touches the cross.

SPIKE
Can—can we rest now, Buffy? Can we rest?


For a long beat, Buffy is still caught up in her shock, watching. Then on the flick of a switch she runs forward, wrestling Spike down.

BUFFY
What do you think you’re – doing?


They stagger backwards as Spike throws her off. He turns around, his chest heaving. It’s raw, blistering, peelings; the last thread of smoke trails behind him back to the cross. He screams at her.

SPIKE
NO!


Buffy has no idea what to do. She is shaking.

SPIKE
(continuing)
You can’t do this! Don’t make it real!


He sobs, but it doesn’t quite work and becomes a laugh instead.

BUFFY
(losing it, but not without pity)
Stop it! Stop acting crazy!

SPIKE
(forcefully; afraid now)
She shall look on him with forgiveness, and everybody will forgive and love. He will be loved – and then from beneath you… From beneath you it devours.





INT. BASEMENT AT SUNNYDALE HIGH – 2002 – DAY

SPIKE is sitting hunched against a chainlink fence, talking to BUFFY. She kneels very close to him. He seems lucid.

SPIKE
I don’t trust what I see anymore. I don't know how to explain it, exactly. It’s like I've been seeing things.


She nods compassionately.

SPIKE
(continuing)
Dru used to see things, you know? She’d always be staring up at the sky watching cherubs burn or the heavens bleed or some nonsense. I used to stare at her and think she’d gone completely sack of hammers. But she’d see the sky when we were inside and it’d make her so happy. She’d see showers. She’d see stars. Now I see her.





Stop this. You are being melodramatic.

If you wanted a stiff upper lip you should’ve stayed in your own bloody head.




Forgotten ashes fall on hyacinths
to wrest asunder soul from mortal heart.
I wait, I wait for you to recognise
the ragged scars my kindness cuts on yours.
Too kind you were to greet me with a kiss
while I still burden you, will not depart.





I went to a girls’ school. Boarding. This is worse than any of our diaries.

Well, then, get out, why don’t you?

Do you not realise how ridiculous this is? Every time you convince a woman you love to do you kindness, you do something wrong and destroy their love for you? No, not actually.

What –

You transformed your mother into a demon. At some point you must face up the fact that this was not an act of kindness, but an act of murder, which inevitably darkened your mother’s personality. Drusilla is quite mad, and you seem content to believe that she responds to events which have not yet in fact occurred – how, then, your actions may be found at the source of any chain of causality I do not know. Buffy, as far as I can appreciate, spends more time starring in the narratives of your imagination than offering any verbal cue as to her feelings. I should concern yourself less with taking responsibility for her actions and worry more for your own delusional fantasies.

So this is it, is it? All the wisdom of the Watchers’ Council and this is what you come up with?

You experienced trauma. All vampires do. A woman rejected your love and you found strength, a new life, a higher purpose. At the same time, the woman who had loved you unerringly was left dead by your hand and another demon found its deliverance. So the cycle repeats. So the gentle soul Drusilla found to be her salvation turned his back on her and decreed his mistress too dark and broken to love. So vampirism promulgates. So psychologically damaged people are divorced from their conscience and left to roam the world with nothing but bloodlust and superpowers.

Aren’t you the one who thinks I’m special?

If you had read my thesis you would realise I discuss your biography as the microcosm for a theoretical examination of soullessness during the Victorian crisis of faith and ensuing growth of secularism in the British Isles. You are paradigmatic, not exceptional. It was my examiners who thought the opposite.

Tear a bloke down, why don’t you…

You are not incapable of charm, when you are not psychologically transparent.

Ta, pet.

But will you stop imagining your mother as the project of your own sin and try to see things from her point of view?

I… What?

[The interview terminates.]



  1. Like much of William Pratt’s poetry, it is clear that this composition resists quantitative metre and relies instead on an irregular four-beat pattern, principally anapestic in nature with the stress at the end of the foot. The pattern of caesurae is reasonably regular, in a manner familiar from P’s other poems. Notably, however, the beloved’s name disrupts this, marking her significance as the only fully reversed foot. It may be scanned thus:

    Yet her smell,/ it doth lin/ger, || painting pict/ures in my mind.
    Her eyes,/ balls of ho/ney. || Angel's harps/ her laugh.
    Oh, lark./ Grant a sign/ || if crook’d/ be Cupid's shaft.
    Hark,/ the lark,/ || her name/ it hath spake.
    Cecily”/ it dischar/ges || from twixt/ its wee beak.
    (Dactyl, anapest, anapest, anapest.)


    One may confer the sestet of P’s final sonnet (after Percival 1881), which is principally iambic:

    My soul/ is wrap/ped || in harsh/ repose;
    Midnight/ descends/ || in ra/ven-coloured clothes,
    But soft,/ behold!/ || A sun/light beam
    Cutting/ a swath/ || of glim/mering gleam.
    (Trochee, iamb, iamb, anapest.)
    My heart/ expands,/ || ‘tis grown/ a bulge in it,
    inspi/red by/ your beau/ty, || effulgent.


    Again it is the intervention of the beloved’s beauty which disrupts the iambic metre. Work remains to be done on this habit of P’s prosody. ^^

  2. As the latest research on memory shows, one does not remember the precise reality of the past, rather one’s recollection of that moment, and so on and so on. Among vampires this has often been found to produce rather anachronistic memoires, including moments of contemporary discourse such as this. Cf. Giles (2001b:42ff; 2001e:78ff.) for discussion of William the Bloody’s interest in ‘railroad spikes’. ^^

  3. Cecily Underwood is of course unknown to records of births, marriages and deaths of the late nineteenth century. See Chalmers (1995:52ff.). pace Hamilton (1980:62f.), the hypothesis that Cecily Underwood was the alias of the vengeance demon responsible for the Aitken incident remains likely. The question remains whether it was by prophecy, bad luck or an earlier episode yet unknown that P suffered from so many supernatural creatures in 1880. Oladapo (forthcoming) provides crucial further discussion of the congruence in supernatural activity which may be found throughout the historical record. ^^

  4. Giles (2001b:302) hypothesises that the relationships between William the Bloody and Drusilla Aurelius was the cause of many irregularities during the former’s initial period of terror in Sunnydale, 1997-1998. Despite the analysis of Hamilton (1980 passim), it certainly seems the case that Drusilla was B’s committed companion throughout much of the twentieth century (see Chalmers 1995:96f.). The influence of P’s mother on this relationship remains difficult to assess, though of course many have remarked on the role of carer which structured B’s relationship to D, including Hu (1982 [1900]) and Giles (2001b), both passim. As analysed by Hlavaček (1998), D has long been recognised to refer to vampiric relationships in human terms, connoting sire to father or else mother and so on; it seems reasonable to surmise, therefore, that B would have been imagined by D to hold much the same position as P did his mother when he was in the care of her. This upholds Hamilton’s Oedipal analysis of B’s antagonism towards Angelus, but one must be wary of retrojecting such psychological insight into B onto P. Whether B has been able to resist such analysis is naturally uncertain. ^^

  5. In the introduction to Giles (2001e:ii), the author remarks that B remains in Sunnydale ‘because he promised Buffy [Summers], apparently, that he would look after Dawn [the Slayer’s sister] until the end of the world’. Whether this is a reference to the literal or figurative apocalypse is unknown, but it is worth noting this parallel declaration of care for ‘always’. As I will discuss further below, again, it certainly seems that P’s relationship to his mother may be seen to structure a number of B’s relations to women or else female companions. ^^

  6. After the painstaking analysis of Hamilton (1980:18ff.), it seems that Gull was an acquaintance of P’s father at the University of London, 1838-1841. Although P was to study at Cambridge (Pembroke College, 1871-1874), Henry Pratt never seems to have reached the same heights of society as Gull. As I discuss in Chalmers (1995:xi ff.), P almost certainly spent his early life in New York prior to his attendance at Shrewsbury School, 1866-1871. One may surmise that the families remained in close acquaintance, and P was a relatively close contemporary of Gull’s daughter Caroline Cameron (1851-1929). ^^

  7. Cf. Chappell (1840:77), in which Early One Morning is the eighty-third ‘national English air’. Without question, this folk song is familiar from anthologies which date back into the eighteenth century, so it is impossible to know how it came into Anne Pratt’s knowledge. However, it is tempting to imagine that Anne took Chappell’s volume with her as a comfort during her relocation to America, which would identify the song as one which expresses the concerns of national dislocation as well as Henry Pratt’s apparent later disinterest in Anne, as led to her relocation into Shropshire and finally London. ^^

  8. The source of this altercation may be adduced from Giles (2001c:84f.), in a discussion of B’s return to Sunnydale late in 1998. It is believed that B and the Slayer established an informal truce during the Acathla incident, which among other things allowed B access to the Slayer’s home residence and conversation with her mother, Joyce Summers. He used this privilege in November 1998 for what seems to have been ‘no more than cocoa and sympathy’. It is reasonable to suggest that this kind treatment of S’s mother follows from B’s and P’s fondness for Anne Pratt. Unfortunately I was unable to follow up this line of enquiry during the interview. ^^

  9. The most extensive discussion of the δαίμων ἄκοσμος may be found in Grimm’s Almanac (1907). ^^

  10. This must be P’s mother, Anne. ^^

  11. It has long been speculated, not least by Hlavaček (1998), how frequent Drusilla’s visions are, or else if she receives any true visions as a vampire, rather than relying on fanciful description to confuse her prey. One might posit that clear visions are relatively rare: most seers report that they more commonly perceive a sense of things to come, hunches and insight, rather than a full sensory experience of a future event. Indeed, such visions frequently only occur once or twice in a seer’s lifetime. See Travers (1979). ^^

  12. For discussion of the goddess Glorificus, see the report by Higgins (2001). ^^

  13. This reference is uncertain. ^^

  14. For discussion of the robot facsimile of the Slayer, see Giles (2001e:i f.; 214ff.). ^^

  15. It is rare for B to refer to himself as P, though there is little evidence to suggest he sees P as a different entity from himself. One might hypothesise that B is speaking in quotation here, although it is only possible to speculate of whom. ^^

  16. The subject’s memories are too distorted here to suggest any reliable account. On his request I have not included the scene in my report. ^^

  17. It is possible this is a reference to Warren Mears, the creator of two android robots. See the discussion I referenced above on the robot of S, Giles (2001e:214ff.). ^^

  18. This is, of course, speculation. ^^


.

[PART FOUR (bodies)]
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