We see a basement, and hear someone humming an old folk tune. It's
Spike; he's digging up the basement floor. He looks over to where
the girl from the end of the last ep is sprawled against a cabinet.
She's dead, eyes wide and staring. He goes over to her, still humming
the tune, grabs her by the lapels, hauls her up, then drops her
into the grave he's dug. Still humming, he starts to shovel the
dirt over her.
Buffy and Xander are discussing what Holden said. Buffy says that
the chip still works, she's seen it. Xander points out that maybe
that's what Spike -wants- her to think. But Buffy still isn't convinced.
Spike is different, she can feel it, he's changed. And if he hasn't...
"The Oscar goes to..."
The door opens, and Spike comes in. Hesitates when he sees Buffy
there. "This can't be good," he says, "you here this late. In trouble?"
"No trouble," Buffy says, and then fumfuhs for a bit, trying to
come up with something that'll sound convincing. But Spike takes
it as a brush-off.
"Right," he says, closing the door. "None of my business. No worries."
He starts for his closet (which we see later could actually fit
another whole bed, by gum) but Buffy stops him.
"How was your night?" she says. It sounds lame, and she knows it.
"All right," Spike says. He's a little puzzled at the small talk,
but he's going with it. "And yours? Bag any baddies?"
"One," she says. "Vampire."
Spike looks a little uncomfortable at that.
"Someone I used to know, actually," she goes on, shrugging. "A
little. Holden." She's suddenly very focused on him, on how he's
going to react to the name. "Holden Webster." She's almost holding
But Spike's only reaction is concern. "You knew him, huh?" He steps
toward her. "Must have been a picnic." He's sympathetic, uncomfortable
for her, a little.
"Yeah," she says, very low. There's a moment of uncomfortable silence.
"Well," Spike says, averting his eyes for a second. "I'm gonna
turn in before I drop." He goes to his room, closes the door.
"Did you see that?" Xander says, "Did you see how he reacted when
you mentioned Webs? Cool as Cool Whip. What's up with that?"
Buffy says someone needs to stay and keep an eye on him, and Xander
says he has a meeting in a couple of hours. Buffy says they need
to find someone else, then.
It turns out to be Anya, who agreed on the phone before Xander
told her Spike was killing again. Xander tells her she'll be fine,
and opens the blinds to let the sun in, and goes to his meeting.
Much later in the day, Anya, bored and carrying a huge sharp stake,
sneaks into Spike's room to look for clues. Spike is asleep, obviously
wearing nothing under the sheet, which is pushed down almost to
the point of immodesty. Anya looks through his pants pockets, the
bureau drawers, then picks up his jacket and starts to go through
the pockets. Spike's hand clamps on her wrist, startling her. "Do
be specific," Spike says calmly, "and tell a fellow just exactly
what you're doing." He doesn't let go of her wrist, but makes no
move to do anything else. He's not really restraining her; she looks
as though she could pull away any time. But she's sort of frozen
by the suddenness of his waking up.
"Well, Spike," she says, pasting a cheerful, non-threatening smile
on her face, "I'm here, obviously, for, um... " For a moment she
comes up blank. But then something in the air...changes. And she's
quite sure what to say. "Sex." Just saying the word makes her shiver.
"Uh," Spike says, eyes going wide as he scoots backward, away from
her, and pulls the sheet into another layer over his lap. "Beg pardon?"
"You and me," Anya says, and she's starting to get into it. "Here
and now. Let's go. Let's...get it on, you big bad boy." There is
hair-tossing and tit-shaking and lip-licking, and she waves the
now deeply symbolic stake at him.
His eyes get wider. "Uh, wait, wait, Anya, this is not exactly..."
He notices what she's holding. "Is that a stake?"
Whoops. "Yes," she says, making the best of it. "Kinky."
"Uh, well, yeah, but why do you..."
She reaches out, puts a finger over his lips. "Shh," she says,
batting her eyes at him. "No questions. No talking." She draws her
finger down over his bottom lip. He's holding very, very still.
"I can't help it," she goes on, her breath coming just a tiny bit
shorter. "I can't stop thinking about you. About us, in our brief
but unforgettable time together." She's starting to inch her way
up the bed, and Spike is alarmed and a bit puzzled. He leans back,
trying to maintain distance between them.
"It's...I mean, why else would I be here?" She's moving closer,
and he's trying to back away. "It's not like I'm snooping around
looking for proof that you're some kind of whacked-out serial killer."
He's completely clueless as to where that came from, and it shows
on his face. She keeps advancing, her breath getting shorter and
shallower. "Why did I say that? I don't know why I said that," Anya
pants as she closes the distance between them. "It's just craziness
talking. It's just nerves. Nerves." Her eyes are half-closed now,
and he's running into the wall. She slides up his torso, not quite
touching him. "Nerves and...horniness." She's forgotten that this
is supposed to be a ruse... "Oh, just shut up, William," she moans,
"and take me. Take me now!" She flings herself onto his chest, her
mouth resting against his throat, panting. For a long moment, nothing
happens; Spike is holding inhumanly still, and it's obvious that
he's not going to take advantage of Anya's offer. She makes an embarrassed
little sound and sits up. His hands are on her arms, perhaps helping
her, perhaps holding her away from him.
They are both deeply embarrassed. Spike looks away, aware that
this is not going to do Anya's self-esteem any good. "Anya," he
"Hmm?" she replies, not looking at him.
"It's not that I'm not tempted," he says, giving her an earnest
look, "Obviously, if things were different... You're a right catch."
"I got it," she says, sitting back. "No problem, I understand."
He looks relieved. But, of course, this is Anya. "You think I'm
fat," she says, starting to puff up into outrage.
"What?" This is SO not good....
"That or you hate the haircut." She looks at him accusingly.
"R...ridiculous. The do's quite fetching." He's pitching sincere
for all he's worth.
"Oh, right, now you like the haircut."
"As a friend."
"Anya..." Gotta hand it to the man, he's trying to be patient.
"You know, you were a lot more fun when you didn't have a soul."
She's quite put out, now, and pouting.
Patience is slipping away fast. "Oh, come on, now, Anya, I've just
"All I'm saying is that soulless Spike would have had me upside
down and halfway to Happyland by now." She's definitely unhappy
about missing that train to Happyland.
Spike's jaw works, as though he were trying to keep from saying
something extremely snarky. "I need my pants," he says through his
teeth, and she picks them up from where she'd dropped them and slaps
them onto his chest.
A while later, she's sitting in the big chair, flipping through
a magazine. Spike comes out, dressed, buttoning his shirt. "I didn't
mean to hurt your feelings, luv," he says.
Anya keeps her eyes firmly on her magazine. "Who's hurt?" she says,
straining for unconcerned. "I'm fine."
"Right." Spike gives her a slightly resigned look. "Uh, got things
to do." How mad will she be if he leaves her alone?
"Don't stay on my account," she says, flipping a page. He sighs
and leaves. As soon as he's out the door, Anya picks up the phone,
dials. "It's me," she says. "He's leaving." --
The Promenade is crowded. Spike comes around a pillar where a busker,
an old man, is noodling on a harmonica. As Spike passes, the old
man begins to play the same music we heard Spike humming as he was
burying the girl earlier. His attitude changes slightly; he's not
as slouchy, a little more confident.
Buffy threads her way through the throng, looking for Spike. She
finally spots him and follows, but the crowds get in her way, and
she keeps losing him. Buffy sees him chatting up a girl, watches
him take her hand, whisper in her ear, smile at her. Flirting. It
troubles Buffy a little. Spike leads the girl away, and Buffy follows,
but once again the crowd gets in her way. She catches glimpses of
him here and there, but loses him after a moment.
Spike leads the girl into an alley, looking around carefully to
make sure they're not seen.
"So," the girl says, in what I'm sure she imagines is a sultry
voice, "What kind of name is Spike?" He doesn't answer her. "Oh,
you're gonna make me guess?" He leads her around a stack of boxes,
into the scant shelter of a doorway. "All right," she says. "I'll
guess..." She moves in, close. He doesn't stop her. "You're a little
bit bad." She's close enough to kiss, but he doesn't, maybe because
she keeps talking. "Am I right? You a bad boy?" She's teasing him
with her mouth, pretending to go in for the kiss, but she -keeps
talking.- (Ed. Note: STUPID BINT!!!!!) "Cause I don't mind. I was
getting bored waiting in that line." She brushes her cheek along
his. "I =hate= waiting," she purrs, and presses a kiss to the side
of his neck below his ear. His head goes back, his eyes close, he
takes in a long breath. "Know what I mean?" the girl whispers. He
looks at her through heavy-lidded eyes, bends to kiss her jawline,
then her neck.
Something alerts him; he looks up to find Buffy watching. He stares
at her, not sure what to do. She smiles and steps close to him.
"You know you want it," she says seductively. "You know =I= want
you to." There's a slight flicker of confusion, but he does want
it, and if it's what she wants, too...
The girl, meanwhile, is starting to get confused; she can't see
Buffy. "Um," she says, "is something...." But Spike vamps out. She
starts to scream, to struggle, but he holds her and bites her.
Buffy smiles. "There's my boy," she says, very happy. "Now, doesn't
that feel better?"
Spike finishes draining the girl and looks up. He's back in his
human face, his mouth and chin covered in the girl's blood. For
a moment he stares at Buffy. He doesn't seem quite sure of what's
going on, but the taste of blood in his mouth is unmistakable. He
lets the girl drop, horrified, and runs away.
Buffy morphs into Spike. "How could you use a poor maiden so?"
he says, with an evil smile.
Spike is asleep. Suddenly the blankets flip and he's on the floor,
"Did you kill her?" It's Buffy, and she's spitting mad.
"What??" He turns on the bedside lamp, looks up at her. What the
"The girl. Last night." She's barely willing to give him that much.
"What girl? What are you talking about?"
"I caught the first act. I missed the curtain call. Did you kill
her? Did you turn her? Is she one of your kind now?"
"Did you... Are you following me?" He gets up. He's wearing the
leather pants he had on when he went out before, but no shirt.
"Answer the question. Where is she?" Every word is clipped, sharp.
"Who knows? I talked to her, is all." This is starting to get annoying.
Why does Buffy care if he talks to girls?
"Really? Looked like more than talking to me." There's an edge
of sarcasm to her words, and maybe something else.
"Well, I certainly didn't off her," he says. Hello to the obvious...
He turns away, steps over to the chair, picks up a black tee shirt.
"God. Where are you getting all this?" He turns back to her, and
his voice wavers. "You know I can't."
"Right," she says, as though she should have expected this . "The
That hurts. Hasn't she been paying attention? "NO, not the chip.
Not the -chip-, dammit." He looks at her, wounded that she can dismiss
what he's done for her sake. "You honestly think I'd go to the end
of the underworld and back to get my soul and then... Buffy, I can
barely live with what I did. It haunts me. All of it. If you think
I would add to the body count now, you are crazy." He realizes he's
still holding the shirt, starts to put it on.
"So, what, you just troll the Promenade looking for drunk coeds
because you're hungry for conversation?" The edge of sarcasm is
much sharper, and the something else suddenly makes sense.
"Ohhhh," he says, pulling the shirt over his head. " Is that what
this is? Right." He pulls the shirt down so that he's decently covered.
Oh, not =this= again. "Don't play games. Not now."
But he's got it between his teeth, now. "You saw me chatting up
another bird, giving the eye to someone else. Touched a nerve, didn't
"Don't flatter yourself." She practically spits the words.
"It =burns=, doesn't it? And you can't admit it, so you trump up
some charge about me being back on the juice." There is scorn in
his voice. It's always about Buffy being able to deny how she feels,
"The vampire I killed told me..." But he cuts her off.
"Told you what? That I go out?" He takes a step away, and might
start pacing if there were more room. "Yeah, I talk to people. Women.
I talk to them cause I can't talk to you." He doesn't meet her eyes
as he says this.
"Oh, Spike, save it." If she were five, she'd have her hands over
her ears and her eyes squenched shut.
How can she still be denying what he feels? "As daft a notion as
soulful Spike the killer is, it is NOTHING compared to the idea
that another girl could ever mean anything to me. This chip, they
did =to= me. I couldn't help it. But the soul I got on my own. For
you." His voice breaks at the end.
The truth of that is so huge that even Buffy can't deny it, though
she wishes she could. "I know," she says softly, "But..." Spike
cuts her off again, his voice humming with pain.
"So yeah. I go and pass the time. With someone. But that's all
it is, is time. Because God help me, Buffy, it's still all about
you." The truth of it is naked in his face, blazing out of his eyes,
and there's nothing she can say in the face of it.
But there are still things she needs to know. "Spike. This vampire
told me you sired him."
She's giving credence to what vampires say now? "That doesn't mean..."
She's not having any more interruptions. "He told me you killed
him. Dumped him in a parking lot somewhere."
"And you believed him?" Hello? Is she forgetting something, here?
She breaks in on him again. "I did follow you last night," she
says. "And you know what? You didn't look lonely or casual to me.
You looked like you were on the prowl." She's daring him to deny
"You can't know that." She's willing to take a vampire's word against
"So then tell me. Tell me what happened. You talked to her; then
Ah, but that's the problem. He turns away, not happy to have to
say this. "I talked to her. That's all I remember."
"All you remember?" And isn't that just -too- convenient...
"I go out. I talk to people. Or I don't. It's boring, it all bleeds
"Well, if you seem to forget =that= much..."
"Not that." He turns, and for the first time he's completely confident,
strong. This, he knows beyond doubt. "The taste of human blood?
=That= I'd remember."
"You were camped out on the Hellmouth, talking to invisible people.
Recently. How can you be sure of..."
"NO. You are =wrong.=" Still strong. "You've got an accusation
from a pile of dust, and not a shred of proof." Perhaps there is
a tinge of bitterness that she obviously still doesn't trust him.
Buffy's lips thin. "So I'll get some," she says, and it's a promise.
She leaves, and Spike looks after her, disappointed but not really
surprised. And then his brow furrows. What if... what if she's right?
Spike is getting ready to go out. He picks up his jacket, starts
to put it on, but something's wrong. He feels the pockets. There's
something in one of them. Puzzled, he pulls it out; it's the pack
of cigarettes that the girl put on the bar in the last episode.
He has a flash of her doing it, of talking to her at the bar, of
her lying on the ground with her dead eyes wide open and bloody
fang marks on her throat. He looks at the box of cigarettes again,
trying not to be frightened.
He comes out of his room and walks purposefully toward the door.
Xander, eating a frozen dinner and watching television, jumps out
of his chair, dashes past Spike to put himself between the vampire
and the door. "No, no, no," he says, holding up a hand, "You're
not going out."
Spike is determined. "I have to go," he says.
"Buffy was very clear about the not leaving of you," Xander says.
"I know what the Slayer told you," Spike says tiredly. "It's not
true. Let me go, and I'll find a way to prove it."
Xander shakes his head. "Okay, I'm gonna list the reasons that
won't happen," he says, and holds up a finger. "One..."
Spike's fist smashes into his jaw, and Xander goes down, unconscious.
Spike immediately grabs his head and screams as the chip fires.
After a second, he shakes it off and leaves the apartment.
In the Bronze, he's asking about the girl from the memory flash.
The bartender isn't very helpful, nor is the waitress. Spike goes
up to the balcony, sits staring at the dancing crowd below, nursing
a drink alone at a table.
"One of 'em take your wallet?" It's a woman's voice. Spike turns;
there's a pretty dark-skinned girl watching him.
But he doesn't want to be bothered. "What's that?" he says. Not
"The way you're scanning that crowd," she says, "you look like
you're out for blood."
"I'm just lookin' for a certain bird I met here the other night,"
he says. The 'go away' vibe is pretty strong, and he never gives
her more than a brief flick of a glance.
"Hmmm," she says, coming closer to him, stroking his arm. "Is it
Can't she take a bleeding hint? "Sorry, love. Don't think so."
"Not even if I ask nice?" She's practically purring now as she
comes around the table.
"Friendly warning, pet," he says, and now his voice is edging over
toward dangerous. "I'm the type best left alone." He shifts his
attention back to the crowd, pointedly excluding her.
But she's too focused--or too stupid--to notice. "Oh, I get it,"
she says. "You'd rather I slip into something more comfortable."
He turns to look at her, and she shifts into vamp face. He pushes
back, out of his chair, away from her, very surprised.
"Should we pick off the crowd one by one?" she says, "Or block
the exits and ravish the place?"
His face twists in disgust. "Get away from me," he says.
"What's with the wallflower act?" she says, a little hurt. "You
didn't seem so shy when you were biting me." He stares at her, not
quite taking it in at first. She takes it for rejection. "I'm not
asking if you want to be soul mates," she says, getting a little
peeved. "Just figured you'd want to have fun." She looks down at
the crowd, sees a couple dancing, and laughs. "I'll take him, you
take her," she says. Then, taking his horrified expression to mean
he doesn't like the idea, she goes on, "Or the other way around,
whatever." Hey, she can be flexible...
He reaches out, grabs her shoulder. "No," he says, "You're lying."
"Get off!" she says, and punches him. He kicks her away, and she
lands sprawled on the catwalk. "So that's all I was to you?" she
says, "A one-bite stand?" That pisses her off, and they fight in
earnest as the musician sings. Finally she grabs up a bamboo tube
to stake him, but he takes it away and stakes her instead, knocking
her off the catwalk. Her body explodes to dust as she hits the floor.
He looks down at her ashes, and the shock of what she's told him
starts to sink in.
Spike goes to a pay phone as the singer and the band are coming
off the stage. "Man, I =hate= playing vampire towns," the singer
complains as Spike dials.
"Hello?" he says as the other party picks up. "It's me. I'm seeing...
I think I'm remembering." His voice is low, a little shaky. He's
wigged. "I think...I've done some very bad things."
"Where are you?" It's Buffy on the other end of the line.
"I need...I need to see you. There's a house, 634 Hoffman Terrace..."
"I'll meet you," Buffy says, and hangs up.
Spike hangs up and starts to leave the Bronze. As he turns, there's
another Spike standing there. "You shouldn't have done that," the
other Spike says. This is Big Bad Spike, completely in control,
cocky, sure of himself. Spike turns, sees his doppelganger. "It's
not time yet," the other Spike goes on. Not nearly. You're going
against the plan." He gives Spike an evil, knowing smile. "But we
can make it work." Spike stares at him, confused and starting to
be very, very frightened.
At the house, Spike opens a door. "Down here," he says, and goes
down steps into the basement we saw in the beginning of the ep.
Buffy stands in the door, watching him, not speaking, holding a
large stake by her side.
He stops a couple of steps from the bottom, looks up at her. You
won't come down?" he says. She doesn't respond. "I understand,"
he says. "It's a risky proposition." He takes the last two steps,
only to be brought up short by the Other Spike. They're standing
almost nose to nose.
"There's an order," the Other Spike says, with a slight air of
reprimand. "Slayer's not in order." Spike doesn't say anything.
The Other Spike smiles, as though giving the wink to some slight
infraction from a favorite. "But it can't hurt to play," it says.
"Get your claws in the mouse, you know?"
"You are NOT HERE," Spike hisses at it. It just grins at him.
Buffy starts to come down the stairs. "All right," she says, very
patient. "What do you want to show me?"
Spike looks up at her, his eyes wide. He knows how this is going
to sound, but he has to tell her. "I've been remembering," he says.
"The girl. I walked her home. The one you saw... And the one before
that. And..." He swallows, but goes on. "I think I killed her."
Buffy isn't really startled by this, given what she's suspected,
but it's still a blow. He goes on, determined to get it all out.
And I think...I think I killed the lady who lived here." The words
are hesitant and a little shaky, but he's telling her everything
he knows. "And... And there might be...others."
"Oh, my God." The full implications of Spike killing again are
starting to sink in, and it's painful.
"Here," Spike says, walking onto the dirt floor of the basement.
"I think I buried them here."
She walks over to stand beside him. "Spike, =why=?" she says. How
can he be telling her this so calmly?
"Well, I don't know, do I?" Spike is starting to get agitated.
"I don't even know =how=. I shouldn't be able..."
The Other Spike starts singing. "Early one morning, just as the
sun was rising, I heard a fair maid sing in the valley below..."
Spike's face goes blank as he listens to the music Buffy can't hear.
She senses something is going on, though. "What?" she says, "What
is it?" Spike doesn't seem to hear her, and turns to face the Other
Spike, who finishes the first verse of the song. "SPIKE!" Buffy
calls, trying to capture his attention, and with a growl he turns
back to face her, shifting into vamp face. Immediately she lifts
the stake, but he snatches it out of her hand and flings it away.
It crashes into some jars, knocking them to the floor in a welter
of shards. She punches him hard, and he goes flying into the wall.
As he gets up, he picks up the largest shard of glass and comes
"What are you doing?!?" She can't quite believe he's attacking
her, but he springs forward, slashing at her with the glass. It
rips through her sweater and cuts into her bicep. Blood starts to
flow. She throws him down onto the dirt floor, pins him down by
straddling him. "Spike, listen to me!" she says, desperate to get
through to the man. "You don't want to do this."
Spike shoves her off and gets up, coming for her again. She belts
him another one.
The Other Spike is watching with amusement. "And it's just about
to get fun," it says, leaning back to enjoy the show. A hand breaks
through the dirt--one of the bodies Spike buried, coming back to
unlife. Buffy and Spike struggle for a moment more as the other
new vampires start pushing their way out of the shallow graves.
Buffy hears the noise, turns to look. "Oh, God," she says, and punches
Spike across the room so she can take on the newly-risen undead.
Spike is groggy from the blow, and the Other Spike leans down.
"You know what I want you to do," it says. Buffy is fighting the
vamps, but they're getting the upper hand.
"They're waiting for you," the Other Spike whispers. "Take her,
taste her, make her weak." Spike gets up, in that Big Bad, crotch-first
way that looks like it oughtn't to be possible, and stalks toward
where the vamps are holding Buffy still. He's still vamped out,
and her eyes widen as she realizes what he's going to do.
"Spike, no!" she says, struggling against the vamps holding her.
He comes right up to her, almost pressing up against her, and,
with a growl that's nearly a purr, he leans in, sniffing at her
neck. It's her right side, where Angel's and Dracula's scars are;
she winces and he moves around to the other side. She watches him,
watches his intent expression, and it's probably my wishful thinking,
but maybe she looks the tiniest bit...aroused? The scent of the
fresh blood from the cut on her arm distracts him, and he moves
toward it, leans down, a little hesitant, as though it's something
wonderful that might be snatched away at any second. He puts his
mouth over the cut, reverently, begins to lick at her blood. He's
been waiting years to taste her this way... Almost immediately flashes
of memories overwhelm him--biting, feeding, burying the corpses,
and he jerks back from Buffy, the demon replaced by the man. His
eyes are wide with the shock of it.
He staggers back. "I remember," he says, horrified, and immediately
the memories slam through him again. He throws himself away from
her, gasping. She immediately takes advantage of the distraction
to extricate herself from the vampires' grip, and in a flurry of
economical Slayer grace, she stakes all six of them within as many
Spike has found a corner, and is huddled there, his hands over
his head, trembling and gasping as the Other Spike leans over him.
"You failed them," it says, as Spike rocks. "Now she's gonna kill
you. You lose, mate."
A hand bursts up through the dirt; the lady who owned the house,
who's struggling to unearth herself. Buffy comes over. "Sorry ma'am,"
she says to the vampire as she strains to pull the woman out of
the dirt, "but it's my job." She stakes the woman.
She walks over to where Spike is huddled, stops, looks down at
him. She's holding her makeshift stake down by her side. He looks
up at her. His eyes go to the stake, and he sets his jaw, pushes
away from the wall. He slides over so that he's right in front of
her, looking up at her for an instant. Then he pulls the lapels
of his jacket wide, exposing his chest. He's resigned, perhaps relieved,
to have an end to this, finally. "Do it fast, okay?" he says, giving
her a small smile; after everything they've been through, he has
the right to ask this of her. But she stands there, looking at him,
her face an unreadable, somber mask, and makes no move to stake
Why is he not dust? "He said you'd do it," he says, his voice breaking,
a tear leaking down one cheek. Doesn't she understand that she has
"Who said?" It's a terse question, but it's engagement.
"Me," he says, knowing it sounds crazy. "It was me. I saw it. I
was here the whole time, talking and...-singing-..." He puts his
hands to his head, as though to block out the echo of that music.
"What are you talking about?"
"I don't =know=," he cries. "Please, I don't remember. Don't make
me remember." He presses his palms to his ears, still trying to
block out the voice she can't hear. Abruptly he turns, looking at
something she can't see. "Make it so I forget again!" he screams.
"I did what you wanted!" He's clearly not talking to Buffy. She
looks in the direction he's staring.
"Something's here," she says. She throws down the stake, and the
noise it makes when it lands gets Spike's attention.
"Oh, God, no," he moans, "Please, I need that." He looks up at
her, his face tear-stained, pleading with her. "I can't cry this
soul out of me," he says, his voice broken and thick with tears.
"It won't come. I've killed, and I can feel them." He turns his
face away. "Every one of them..."
She sighs and sits down beside him. "There's something playing
with us," she says, and flicks a glance at him. "All of us."
He can't quite make sense of that, but...she said 'all,' she included
him in the group. "What is it?" he asks, "Why is it doing this to
me?" He's like a child who can't comprehend the evil around him.
"I don't know," she says.
He looks up at her, and a spark of hope grows in him. Maybe she
can fix it...? "Help me," he says, and then, perhaps realizing that
he has no right to ask her that, "Can you help me?"
"I'll help you," she says. The Other Spike sighs and looks put
The gang is gathered at Buffy's house. Spike is sitting a little
way off from them, wrapped in a blanket, staring out at nothing,
"And you believe him?" Anya says.
"You didn't see him down there," Buffy says softly, with a look
at Spike, unnaturally still, huddled in the blanket. "He really
didn't know what he'd done. It wasn't in his control."
"Oh, an =out of control= serial killer," Xander says, but without
his usual degree of snark. "You're right; that's a great houseguest."
Dawn looks a little alarmed. "Wait, is he staying here?"
"I don't know," Buffy says, not ready to commit to that yet. "But
I'm not letting him out of my sight, that's for sure. I can't leave
"Buffy," Willow says, very serious, "he's been =feeding=. On human
blood. That's got to do stuff."
Buffy glances at Spike again, lowers her voice. "I'm not keeping
him around just to help him. There was something there, talking
to him, making him do things."
Willow's eyes widen. "Something like what was talking to us?"
"Probably," Buffy acknowledges. "But whatever it was is screwing
with Spike big time."
Xander is starting to catch on, he thinks. "So you want him around
"Look," Buffy says, probably not for the first time, "There's something
evil working us. And if we are ever gonna have a chance to fight
it, we need to learn everything we can about it. This thing has
been closer to Spike than any of us."
Willow actually does get it. "And if you want to understand it..."
"I'm going to have to get close to Spike." Buffy doesn't sound
as though this is the swellest idea in the world.
"No," Xander says immediately, "It's too dangerous."
"Whatever this thing is," Buffy says, ignoring Xander, "from beneath
us, it's bad, and it's only getting worse." Xander can't say anything