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All good things...

Rating: Pretty tame

Pairing: Mention of Anya/Xander

Warnings: Character death

This is set after Buffy's death in the last season. Buffy stayed dead.

Dedications: Thanks to Nancy for all the work that she has done with The Od. and Xander Xtreme. Thanks also to Kirsty and Leanne for their great betas.

This is just a little drabble that struck me when I was trying to do my writing course assignment....liked this one!


That's what it was, bloody glorious.

The whole thing. Even shed an effing tear at how beautiful it was. I don't think that I can remember anything so perfect as what I had the privilege of witnessing only a few hours ago.

After all that has happened in the last few months, I finally feel whole again. I've completed my inner journey to the final destination; I'm in control of my own life once again. I don't feel so fucking miserable any more. Hell, I don't even feel the need to be sarcastic and put people down all the time. Why? Quite simply because I realised that I was using my 'Spike' persona to hide behind. Putting other people off and unbalancing them first before they had the opportunity for them to do it to me. Gave myself the upper hand at each turn.

It's nice to be unshackled from the public face that I've been showing the world since I've been turned. Well... okay, I'm not quite the nancy boy I was before Dru got to me that night in the stables but in reality, I'm not really as harsh as 'Spike' is. Just a nice blend of both William and Spike. I no longer feel the need to boast and brag about all that I have done and said. I'm now content to just let people take me the way they see me.

It's taken me a while to be able to feel like this. I've had help with it all as well. It was just a few simple tapes that enabled me to change both my life and my whole way of thinking.

When I first got the tapes, I threw them out. I sneered, derided and laughed at any mention of them from the Whelp. Stupid brat got them out of the bin and decided to keep them as a bit of a joke at first. He would lie in bed at night and play them just as he was going to sleep. Not really a good idea as both he and I were too busy pissing ourselves stupid to even try and go to sleep.

Yeah, I was living with the boy a year and a half ago. Still am.

A few drunken stopovers on the way back to my crypt from the local bar and one night I didn't leave after a quick feed from the stash he had in the fridge. That one night led to another overnight stay the next week and that led to yet more. After a while, I stopped going back to the crypt altogether.

I'm living with him but not *with* him. Just sort of as a permanent 'friend' who stays over a lot. Used to the couch now anyway and its a hell of a lot more comfortable than a concrete slab. Not as if anyone really gave a shit about me stayin' on at his place anyway.

So, night after night, both me and the whelp would listen to this stupid bint go on and on about how to change your life. How you could turn your life around and actually use your mistakes to enhance your future. Night after night, the walls almost shook with our laughter. We used to compete with each other as to who could do the best imitation of her voice. I used to win the most but after a few bourbons, the boy used to come real close to being spot on.

One night, when the boy was out shagging his demon chit at her place, I was laying out on the sofa pissing myself laughing at this bloody tape when it suddenly made sense. I can't say just why it was that night, nearly twelve months ago, that I first started to really *listen* to the tapes. I mean, listen to what she was saying and not *how* she was saying it.

I spent the rest of the night playing those tapes over and over.

Listening to what was being said. The next morning, I was a true convert and I believed every word that was being said. I took a long look around and started to make changes in how I had been living. More importantly, I started making changes in how I treated other people.

At first, the Watcher and rest of the Scraggy Gang were suspicious every time that I voluntarily showed up for one of them research parties they were always having. I was embarrassed when the boy laughed at how seriously I was taking the tapes that we had once both laughed over but over a few months, they all eased up and started to treat me with new respect. I hate to admit it but with Buffy gone, I guess it was a little easier for them to dismiss the instant worry that I was planning something each time I was being nice. It didn't hurt that I had also stood with them against that Uberbitch, Glory, something that had already helped my case even before I had started trying.

I liked it and I have to admit that it was nice to be trusted. I got invited into their lives as a friend and as much as I could, I made sure to do the same. We all fell into a comfortable routine. Meetings at the Magic Box every week and dinner at the Watchers every second Tuesday while the Whelp made the dinner every second Sunday. Video nights at the witches' place; bit of late night shopping here and there, you know, that sort of thing. They all got used to me being around them all the time. Hell, that Tara twat even called me up a few times to just bloody chat, all friendly like.

Eventually, their trust led to what I'm doing now.

Watching the charred ruins of the Watcher's house still smoking.

He had come over to see how I was going with knocking down the inner walls of the house he wanted to renovate. Tried to do it himself at first but he kept pulling muscles and hurting himself, so I offered to help. And because he trusted me, he didn't think anything of it. Together, we pulled out the kitchen and totally ripped out both bathrooms. During that time, both the boy and me had to keep cleaning up the mess that local kids kept making in the empty house. Yesterday, we had to board up the windows and put deadlocks on the doors so that the new fittings weren't stolen or destroyed after we put them in.

This evening, Old Dusty had come over to see how it was going with the wall between the two bedrooms upstairs. He didn't see the extra deadlock I had put on the door to the upper hallway and he certainly didn't hear me lock it from the outside. The stupid bastard did, however, hear me start ripping up the few remaining boards to the staircase. Good thing with vamp strength, I got the steps demolished in only under half an hour, all the while I could hear him yelling to be let out from the hallway. Heard him trying to smash the door down a few times, no use even if he had been able to get through. With no stairs, there was no way he would have been able to get down and I really couldn't see him jumping from the top step. Then again, the prick might have been so bloody angry a broken leg probably wouldn't have slowed him down too much in his effort to kill me.

Threw a couple of the new paint cans up onto the narrow balcony upstairs before splashing what was left around the downstairs quarters - looked like one of those modern art murals. I threw the paint-stripper and paint thinners over the boarded-up windows and doors before ripping up the numerous drop sheets that protected the friggin' floorboards that the Watcher had fallen in love with so much. Each long strip was shoved into a beer bottle filled halfway with mentholated spirits.

With a flick of my lighter, I lit each strip and threw the bottles through the back door and listened to each whoosh of flames as they raced their way along the splashes of paint. Back door shut and locked from the outside, I stood on the back porch and listened to his fucking Highness scream and try to rip the boards off the upstairs window when he realised what was happening.

It was beautiful.

I think its one of the most exciting things I've ever seen.

I've done it. I've taken the final step and I've been able to think *around* the chip. Listening to those tapes has opened up a whole new world for me. It's been a bloody hard long slog and at times I've been tempted to give up and just wreak havoc but tonight, I've been shown just how rewarding perseverance can be.

That and patience. I've done the right thing and gotten in touch with the human I once was and I've utilised the emotions and traits that once governed my body before I was turned.

Fuck! Now I even sound like the bint. Not a bad thing really.

I'm so bloody proud of myself and I know that Harmony is going to be prouder.

I've got her to thank for this.

If she hadn't started snacking her way through all those life coaches and therapists, she would never have gotten bored and actually listened to a few of them and made her own tapes. Tapes designed for humans so that she could make some money. Got the idea from some sort of pyramid group thing while she was in LA.

She sent me the bloody things in a 'fuck you' gesture in an effort to prove to me that she could think. When we were together, I must have told her every bloody day that she had shit for brains and that dust mites had a higher IQ than she did. Guess I must have hit a nerve.

Bloody glad that it did though.

Now I have to calm myself down, put away the hard on and turn on the sorrow and grief for the rest of the Wanker Gang. I have to retain my patience and remember that sometimes, passivity is the best option and it doesn't matter how long you wait, an opportunity will always present itself.

It's fucking well setting the whole thing up that takes the time.

Doesn't matter though, as Harm says, being patient will always lead you the ultimate reward and damn if I don't want to reap my rewards.

The end.