Six Foot Deep
By Kita (Donna M.)
Yup, just let us know where.
Spike/Buffy. Yes, Donna and Jess are writing Spike/Buffy. The
moon should be turning to blood any day now.
is a bitch.
Ummm... R? Sex. Violence. Dead squirrels. Really
gross French poetry.
"To coin a popular Sunnydale phrase, 'duh.'"
What's the Numfar of this fic? Joss is the malevolent god that owns
We all come
into this world in the same way. Naked. Covered in blood. Screaming.
No one really
remembers birth. Which is good, she supposes, because who wants to remember
violence. The feeling of alone-ness chewing up your cells.
if we are blessed, we aren't alone anymore. After, there are warm blankets
and the steady
of a heart. Milk and lullabies. The safety of being kept, the surety of
being held. This, Buffy remembers.
in her memories of Mother, she is not an infant.
She is not
made of flesh.
But she knows
She knows Peace.
She knows Heaven.
know much of anything for the first three days.
He knows he
needs a cigarette. He's stretched out in the back of Xander's car, too
battered from his ten-story
fall to sit
up straight, a blanket shielding him from the early morning sun. He needs
a fucking cigarette, and if he
can just concentrate
on the intricacies of lighting and inhaling then everything. will. be.
okay. But one of the
has pierced through his skin- he can feel blood pouring from the wound,
soaking his jeans, and
when he digs
his cigarettes out of his pocket they are soaked with blood.
There are hands-
Xander's? Tara's?- that carry him to the back room of the magic shop,
draw the shades tightly against the sunlight. Willow, her eyes distant
and hands shaking, perfunctorily examines his wounds and declares that
most of the bones that had scarcely healed from his tryst with Glory have
been re-broken in his fall from the tower. And that's when he figures
it out: it's not supposed to get better, he's just supposed to get used
then, joining the others in the shop- he can hear the low murmur of voices
making plans, deciding what Must be Done. Only Dawn stays, holding his
hand, her small, bloodstained fingers tightly clenched in his broken ones.
He can't look at her; her eyes are the same color as her sister's. He concentrates
instead on a small shard of sunlight cutting through the blinds: if he
stares at it long enough, he thinks, maybe his brain will shut the fuck
up. Maybe that voice in his head will stop screaming her name over and
over and over again. The arm that isn't fractured stretches towards
the window and his fingertips brush against the light. The burning makes
his mind stay quiet for a few seconds until Dawn reaches up and bats his
hand out of harm's way.
says softly, and there is something frightening in her voice, something
so much older than her
"Not you too, Spike. You're not going anywhere."
on you to protect her//
But it *is*
the end of the world, he thinks. Dear God, it's the end of the fucking
and Giles wakes up Dawn, who has fallen asleep on the floor next to the
vampire's makeshift pallet. "Will he be okay?" she asks sleepily as Giles
leads her away. Spike doesn't answer. The bleeding hasn't
he can still feel his ribs shifting underneath his skin, trying to knit
themselves back together without even asking his fucking permission.
It hurts too much to move. Xander pauses at the doorway, looks back at
him. There's something vaguely akin to sympathy in his exhausted, bloodshot
"What do you
need?" he asks.
his eyes shut, swallows hard, and speaks for the first time that day.
he says hoarsely. "Whiskey. Anything."
a curt nod and leaves. When Spike wakes the next morning there are three
bottles of Jose Cuervo beside him. He doesn't know, until much later, about
the hypnotic spell Willow is forced to cast on the undertaker so they can
procure a coffin without producing a body, or the grave that Giles and
Xander dig without Spike's aid. The next two days are a merciful blur.
let me help," Dawn says petulantly. "I mean, I know her fashion sense better
than anyone. I've
clothes often enough."
out the window at the late afternoon sun and tries to block out the sound
of Dawn's voice. She's
a goddamn idiot, sharing all the funeral-preparation details that Spike
would rather gargle holy water than hear, but he's not about to tell her
to shut the hell up. The funeral's scheduled for two hours after sunset,
just long enough for Willow and That Fuckhead to drive back from L.A. That
should give him plenty of time to get good and intoxicated before the event.
No way is he facing the ponce sober. No fucking way.
was all like 'but Buffy hated that dress, she'd never forgive us if we
buried her in that' and then Tara
'for God's sake, Willow, just pick out a dress already' and you should
have seen the look on Will's face.
like Tara'd slapped her or something. And then she started just screaming
and crying and stuff started flying all over the room like in *Poltergeist*
and I figured it was time to bail." She takes a sip of her first beer,
the taste, as he drains his sixth and tosses the bottle into the trashcan
behind the magic shop's
kick his ass if they knew he was giving the Niblet alcohol hours before
her older sister is to be
"Can I have
a cigarette?" Dawn asks abruptly. She looks anxious, as if he might refuse
or even reprimand her. He takes one from the pack, lights it, and hands
it to her silently.
slightly at the first drag, then smokes in silence, watching the smoke
curl around her fingers. "I feel
like I shouldn't."
"Be here. Like
I was made to open a door that's closed and locked for good." She stares
out the window and
"Kept alive to save a world that doesn't need me and wouldn't notice if
I was gone."
He stubs his
own cigarette out on an Orb of Thesula. "I know how you feel."
He hates funerals.
He can't remember his own, but remembers crawling out of the dirt to find
a tall Irishman he
standing at his graveside, smoking a cigar.
"She was supposed
to meet you here," he said dryly, "but she forgot."
*hates* funerals. Remembering human life as if it's something important.
Recognizing death as if it's
monumental. Bollocks. Fucking melodramatic humans. Just part of the
process, is all. He'll get through.
and a half, three and three-quarters and there's alcohol waiting for him
back at the crypt.
image of Buffy's funeral he might have cultivated in his mind, the event
of a disappointment. He keeps on the edge of the group, chain-smoking,
Dawn hanging on his arm, while Angel stands next to the coffin as if it's
his God-given right, and that's enough to piss Spike off from the get-go;
silly Spike, to think he has any rights in this matter when he's never
even fucked the lady in question before expediently leaving town. No, it
certainly wasn't supposed to turn out this way. In one final, humiliating
display of bad taste, they get into a fistfight at her graveside following
quite figures out who started it- too little blood and sleep and too much
tequila for three days now. He remembers- much later, when he is
sober- that Angel said he had no right. No right to have been there
when it happened,
and no right to be here now. And Spike wishes it were true. Wishes that
it had been Angel,
have fucked up.
And he realizes,
of course, that the fucker has a point, that he has no sodding place here,
but he'll be damned if he's gonna stand there and listen to that overgelled
wanker *say* so when he was a hundred miles away when it happened.
It's a really fucking bad idea, he knows, but can't bring himself to care.
Kicking Angel's ass- or getting his ass kicked by Angel, whichever it is-
makes him feel alive for the first time in three days.
He keeps expecting
Will to do her "separate" bit again, but she stares right through them
both as if they aren't even there. He punches Xander in the nose
when he and some skinny, bespectacled mini-Giles attempt to pry the two
vampires apart and is rewarded with a splitting headache to supplement
the black eye, bleeding nose, ribs cracked for the third time in two weeks.
He can hear Dawn weeping hysterically.
((not now spike
*please* not now))
Not now. Not
while it's so inappropriate, so fucking inconvenient, and she's oh so sacrosanctly
*dead.* And he never wanted this, to be the one expected to behave in front
of the children. He killed his parents and siblings well over a century
ago and he doesn't want to be Dawn's big brother now. He can't stand to
be around them anymore, to look into living, breathing faces marked with
regret and stupid Shoulds and Have Tos. Fucking wankers. He wants out,
but. He fucking *promised,* didn't he? Idiot.
Cordelia says, rubbing mascara tear tracks from her cheeks with grimy fingertips.
"He won't say so,
but he is.
He feels bad about what happened." And Spike isn't sure if she means what
happened tonight, or
that's happened for the last hundred and twenty years, but it hardly matters
anymore. In the car, the ex-Watcher mops blood off Angel's upper lip.
deserve any comfort. Neither one of them do. But- fuck it.
feels bad about something." Shuffles out his cigarette, staring at the
dirt. Lights another. He feels
Cordelia and her raccoon-smudge eyes, embarrassed to grieve in front of
someone who called Buffy a friend back when he was still trying to kill
her. Because Angel was right. He doesn't have any right to be
with you, pet. on the slayer's grave.))
He looks around,
half-curious, for someone to dance with.
here," she responds flatly, gaze sweeping across the desolate cemetery.
It's been how long
been back in Sunnyhell- a year, two? He wonders if she misses this fucking
hellhole. "There's nothing
here, especially you. Sooner or later you're gonna realize that, Spike."
She sneaks a look over her shoulder for her coworkers, then plucks the
Marlboro Red from his fingers and takes a deep drag. "This stupid town's
made up of cemeteries, you know?"
that everywhere, I guess."
"No. Not like
it is here." She takes another drag and watches a vacant-eyed Giles shepherd
Dawn into the car,
and he wonders,
briefly, if she misses Buffy. Misses gossiping in homeroom or sipping lattes
at the Bronze or
fuck it is they did in years past. He doesn't miss her, because she never
gave him anything to
but a few fading bruises and some halfassed regrets, and he's not crying
because he hasn't
cry about. He hasn't. And he really shouldn't be here.
Three. If he
can just get past today. Then it will be four and that, at least, will
be something different.
their time here waiting on each other to die," Cordelia muses. "It's such
his cigarette back and wonders what it would be like to follow. Taking
refuge with a Grandsire who
less dead or grieving than he, and they could take their pain out on each
other in spades and the hating
good, like something sharp and clean, like blood that flows in bright trickles
and never dries in dark-brown patterns on concrete or hands. Like something
that still made sense. In the car, Angel angrily shoves Wesley and his
handkerchief away, and Spike sighs and shuffles out his cigarette. He wishes
he could be like Angel, pushing love and affection away with a martyr's
complexion and an oh-I-must-be-going-now voice; surely it must be easier
to live that way, to love that way. But he can't. Spike reaches out
with both hands, grasping anything resembling love with greedy claws, and
pulls it tight to his chest, snarling at anyone who attempts to take it
away. It has always been thus, and Spike knows he won't go where he's not
wanted; he's already died once this month. "Go home, Cordelia."
"So you just-
quit on her? Is that how it is?"
your fucked-up life: defanged vampire standing in the Hellmouth's largest
grocery store with the dead
best friend's recently un-brainsucked girlfriend, arguing about your responsibility
towards a teenager who
exist. He should have fucking stayed in Prague.
"She asks about
you every day."
are fiery, her jaw firmly set. Spike awkwardly swings his basketful of
Guinness and Marlboros back
in one hand, avoiding that gaze. The witch and the Key are on aisle seven,
picking out breakfast cereals. "I can't, okay? I just can't." Can't go
back to the Summers house, full of dead memories of dead women
who gave him
ax-blows to the head and pipe organs to the spine. Can't go back to that
house where he drank
and stole sweaters. Can't.
you blame her," Tara says seriously. "For what happened to Buffy. Do you?"
He almost laughs
in her face. Because it's so ironic. In, you know, a sick kind of way.
around for her lover and then drops her voice to a conspiratorial whisper.
"I know you loved her,"
almost tenderly. "The others might not believe it, but I do."
his grip on the shopping basket and looks away, his throat tightening.
God, this was so fucking much
he was trying to kill them all the time.
"And you know
it's what she would have wanted," Tara presses. "For you to be there for
Dawn. For us all to take
care of her."
'Til the end
of the world, Spike thinks again. Even if that happens to be Day Nine.
"Fine," he says hoarsely. And thus becomes a reluctant quasi-member of
the fucking Scooby Gang.
Xander snaps, eyes blazing, "you really have the *least* right, of any
of us, to be complaining about
kicks a spool of wire out of the way and glares at Spike.
can't help myself. I love you))
"I just don't
see why we're looking for the goddamned thing."
start this program over?))
the body about an hour ago, wires tangled and twisted in heaps of rubble;
he closed his eyes against
They still can't find the head. They've been looking since nightfall.
blonde strands in a pile of wreckage awhile ago, but aren't sure which
Buffy they belonged to. Patterns of fluid on the ground from the fractured
skull. Fucked-up Rorschach that doesn't want interpreting. He
watching the broken bones shift beneath her skin as Giles carried her body
back to the car.
start this program over?))
She was dead
when she hit the ground. He *knows* she was dead when she hit the ground.
Mystical energy, Willow said a dozen times or more, like a mantra.
That doesn't make it any easier. She cracked the concrete when she landed,
frail body hitting hard enough to bounce. He saw.
start this program over?))
"We need it,"
Xander says stubbornly. He grinds his teeth and paws through a pile of
scrap metal. Nothing. Rats
"The hell we
"We can't do
this without her," he says plaintively, and Spike knows he doesn't mean
behind them- "Found it," Dawn says softly. She holds the head carefully,
wrapped in her fuzzy
sweater. "Let's take her home."
The first thing
thing he sees when he entered the living room is her head on the coffee
table, wires trailing from her neck like bright silver entrails. The body
lies sprawled on the floor, legs akimbo, plastic flesh glaring brightly
through clothes tattered from the fight. The synthetic skin has torn and
pulled away in places, exposing dull nickel and gleaming copper, snaking
along the curves of her body. As he watches, a sallow-faced Willow plugs
a cord in the back of her neck and taps the keys of her laptop until lips
twitch and eyes snap open.
head says enthusiastically.
He fights the
urge to vomit and runs headlong from the house. After that, the nightmares
get worse. It takes Dawn a week to convince him to return.
He's the bitchboy,
he knows, and can't bring himself to care. They only call him when they
need something and
otherwise. They bitch when he can't be reached; he got a cell phone for
that very purpose. Well,
stole a cellphone,
and they bitched about that, too; Slayer of Slayers, former Master of the
and the wankers
won't even let him get away with petty theft anymore. He starts baby-sitting
Dawn in mid-July,
abruptly stops filling the post. "He isn't feeling well," Willow explains
hastily. Giles is drunk. In the
thou-shalt-not-speak-of-it Scooby lexicon, it means that Giles is drunk.
Spike is very proud of the
he's falling to pieces in a much more subtle manner than the ex-Watcher
is. The vampire is, after all, Coping. Or at least the closest semblance
of it that anyone's likely to see.
They yell at
him for being mean to her, as if he's hurting her fragile little plasticene
feelings; and it's fucking ironic, he thinks, that he's the only one who
seems to remember that it isn't real. Bits of plastic and programming and
wisps of fake blonde hair and he's the only one who still realizes that
it isn't. her.
that, six months ago, Willow would have gone crying to Buffy if the Big
Stupid Vampire had hurled the better part of Joyce's crockery at her head.
Now she just narrows her eyes and deflects the pots and pans with
a light gesture
and some muttered Latin, doubtless aware that he wasn't aiming that well
on eventually, after all, and contrary to popular belief Spike isn't *that*
"I don't see
what right you have to complain about it," she says hotly. "You're getting
what you paid for, after
dish shatters inches from her head and he winces at the searing flash of
pain behind his eyes.
"Will you calm
down?" she screeches, fear starting to tremble at the edges of her voice.
"I'll reprogram your
if it bothers you that much. Just get out."
He goes home,
and there's pictures of her, and stakes, and sweaters, and goddamnit if
he can't bear to look
at those either.
Continued in II