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TITLE: Just Like You

AUTHOR: Ragna (Obsessive-Compulsive Spike)
DISTRIBUTION: Sure, just tell me!
DISCLAIMER: Everything except what comes out of my pretty little head belongs to Joss and Mutant Enemy. The song belongs to Spacehog.
SPOILERS: Uh...Angel left Sunnydale. That's about it.
FEEDBACK: Wanted. Needed. SEND IT!
AUTHOR'S NOTES: An answer to Gilly's challenge.


"Sometimes, they threaten you with something--something you can't stand up to, can't even think about. And then you say, 'Don't do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to so-and-so.' And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn't really mean it."

"But that isn't true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there's no other way of saving yourself and you're quite ready to save yourself that way. You *want* it to happen to the other person. You don't give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself."

--from the George Orwell novel "1984"


I reread that quote over and over. It fits so perfectly.

I've moved into the mansion, and for the first time since I've been back I've gone upstairs. God...when it was night, and I was in the wheelchair, Dru and my stupid sire used to go upstairs to one of the darker bedrooms to shag.

And the worst part is they thought I didn't know.

Were they that daft?

The thunder clapping seems to make me think they really *were* that daft. Shaking my head, I shut the door and head back downstairs, thinking of all the pain I wished on the two of them, all the bloody anger I had for them, all the contempt and the spite I felt when I saw them together...

I didn't think anything would really *happen* to them. I wanted them to feel like I did, but it was just a want, not a wish.

But it came true. Dru got cursed with a soul and Angel had to leave the Slayer.

I think that's why I feel bad. Not for Angel, but for Buffy. I only held the normal amount of vampiric contempt for the Slayer, and I even have a great amount of respect for her. Something most vampires wouldn't admit.

But she got hurt and I feel bad because I believe in some roundabout way it was my own bloody fault.

Suddenly I hear music over the thunder and pounding rain, and I rush down the stairs to see the Slayer sitting in front of my stereo messing with my CDs. No one *ever* does that...

"Slayer, hands off the Spacehog CD. And the Radiohead one. And the Garbage one and the Blur one and the Sex Pistols one and especially the Stabbing Westward one."

She puts her hands up in a mock "I surrender" gesture and I resist the urge to laugh. "Juuust looking," she says, shaking her head. "Can I put in the Spacehog one? I have my Semisonic one in now."

I shake my head. "I'll put it in, love." Walking over quickly I take her CD out and put mine in, forwarding it to my favorite song.

"I vaguely remember this song," she said, nodding her head a bit in time to the beat. I just watch her for a few seconds until she stares right back at me. "What? Do I look bad or something?"

This is how we spend the time after her little hunting sessions: bickering and listening to music. I occasionally help her with her studies, or we spar.

Not a bad way to spend an evening. Better than a boring human date...

"Hello? Spike, is there anything in that head of yours?" The hit upside the head finally brings me back to reality. That and the thunder crashing at the exact same moment.

"Cor, Slayer, I was just thinking. I can do that, you know."

"I know you can, but I'm getting bored. You're not verbally amusing me, we're not sparring, I'm sure as hell not studying...what's going on it that head of yours?"

"Thinking about the past and things like that. It's too depressing to talk about."

"Dru, right?"

I grit my teeth at the name. "Yeah, Slayer. I was thinking of Dru."

"Wow...we're not so different. I've been thinking about Angel most of the time. Who would have thought that our lives would be so damn similar?"

"You mean your life and my afterlife, don't you?"

She shrugged, a smile on her face. "Always correcting me...anyway, here we are, single and pathetic. And don't say anything about that because we *are*."

I just nod, waiting for her to continue.

"And both of our former lover's are cursed with souls. If I'm with Angel there's a chance he could loose his soul and then I really *would* have to kill him. And Dru...well..."

"She won't talk to me and she believes I'm truly evil because I won't get a soul, I know. Damn, you'd think she was back to being Catholic again."

Buffy smiled. "Yeah, that's basically your sitch. So what do we do? We spend all our down time together, arguing and the like."

"Are you going somewhere with this, Buffy?"

She looks at me with a strange look. "Did you just call me by my real name?"

"No, I didn't, Slayer. You must be hearing things," I say, mentally smacking myself for saying it.

She continued to look. "Anyway...we've been doing this for almost a year now. And I've've never tried to take advantage of me. Ever." She took a deep breath. "I want to know why."

The thunderstorm is starting to ebb, I can hear it. "Cor, Slayer...I really don't know..."

That's a bloody lie. I respect her, I don't want to hurt her...

...I care for her. I think I might even love her.

"That's a lie if I ever heard one," she muttered, shaking her head. "I think it's just because you don't like me." She started gathering up her items and I panicked. I didn't want her to leave. I didn't want to be alone.

"I care about you a lot."

Did I just say that? Holy shit... I watch her stop and turn around slowly. " about *me*?"

I just nod like the idiot I really am.

" you want me to leave?"


She just stared at me. "All right, I'll stay," she said so quietly I almost missed it.

And just to show how idiotic I really am, I started to grin. When she caught sight of my face, she did the same, sitting back down next to me and being all nervous. I put my arm around her shoulders and pull her towards me, hoping I can make her happy.