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A follow-up to "Vessel"

BtVS summer seasons 4 - 5

Rated PG

Emptied Vessel

So why canít I sleep? Iím not hungry. I donít sense anything lurking. IímÖ lonely? Why am I lonely? I saw Buffy when she came by while on patrol last night. Resilient thing doesnít look the bit worse for wear. So Iíve talked with someone in the last twelve hours... What else could it be? Itís not Dru. Iím not missing Dru. Iím used to her being gone. Thatís one of the keys to staying alive as long as I have: adaptation. If one canít change, one canít survive. Therefore, what the bloody hell is gnawing at me?

Okay, think.

Damn, Spike, you know what it is. You feel the hole where that soul warmed you. You feel empty. Admit it.

Damn it all to sodding hell. Why couldnít I have had my flask with me? I took it out of my pocket why? Itís leaking. I need to get a new seal for it. Damn it. I had to have the brilliant idea to use myself. I thought I could  just carry it around and not know it was there. I mean, itís not my soul! I shouldnít have felt anything!

Humm. Maybe that explains Peachesí bad reaction to his soul being restored. Maybe he didnít get his own soul. Some poor get has his soul stuffed into a vampire. That would make anybody crazy.

Who am I fooling? He got his own soul and had to feel every bad thing he ever did. Just as advertised. What I feltÖ it was like it was being shown to me, on television or something. I didnítÖ relive it exactly. I was just very aware of it. Like I was being held down and made to watch while drugs made me sick. Like in ďClockwork Orange.Ē

Now thatís a cool movie. All the ultraviolence and the scene where the rival gang holds down the naked girl. 

Oh God! I hope Buffy didnít experience any of it! I hope she didnít suffer for being in me. No, no, no. She didnít. She... she never wouldíve let me stay around if she knew. I mean, I know she knows about my past. Giles has read her plenty of bedtime stories Iím sure.

Damn! Now Iím worried about the sodding Slayer and what she thinks of me.

I just  wish this empty feeling would go away and let me sleep.

**************

Contents

I feel like Iíve done something and Itís not finished, but I canít remember what. Like I put popcorn in the microwave and never went back for it. Or left a skirt at the drycleaner.

I guess thatís what being out of body does to you. Why donít they have handbooks on things like this? ďHow to Astral Travel and Not Lose Your Mental Baggage.Ē Iíll ask Giles.

No. I canít. Heíll just worry about me. As it is, he asked me all about being in Spike. Am I damaged in any way? Do I remember anything? No, Iím not and yes I do. Although I wonít tell him that. 

I remember being warm and safe and somewhere strong. I remember being not alone. I know theÖ otherness was protecting me. But it also felt guilty. I was being protected not only from the world, but from the other itself, I think. Yeah. Thatís the only way to describe it. Of course I was in Spike and he has plenty to feel guilty about.

I think Giles wants to write a paper on the whole bizarre thing. Willow told me she thought she saw him cry. Xander has been strangely quiet on the Spike front, other than a few almost token protests for the Ďvampires badí camp. Although for a while I would catch him looking strangely at the cleanly healing cuts on his hands. Didnít he say Spike helped get the glass out?

Damn that vampire. I think I have him figured and he throws me a curve.

I donít know exactly why I cooked up a reason to go see him last night. He was surly and crude as usual, but when I looked in his eyes I wantedÖ I wanted to go back. I wanted the safety and warmth that I now know lies in those blue depths. If I could dive into those sparkling, sharp blueÖ No! Bad thoughts about nasty vampire!

ÖBut the way he looks at me. I wonder. Now, I know he looked at me that way in the past. Not often, but I know Iíve seen it. I guess he just canít hide it from me now.

Why did I let him stay? Silly Slayer gone soft on the Big Bad. A guy gives you shelter for a couple of hours and you want to move in. He was all ready to swear off Sunnydale and leave us all in peace. Damn it.

Okay, feet. Why did you bring me back here? I have no desire to talk to Spike again.

Do I?

*

Sheís here again. Why has she come back? I bet she knows how it torments me. Thatís all she lives for. Kick the Spike. I best get up before she kicks her way in and finds me all mussed.

*

Oh, God. Heís soÖ rumpled. Like heís beenÖ in bedÖ Of course, vampire, day sleeper. Do vampires toss and turn in their sleep? NoÖ bad direction. Never want to know. Itís cute how he keeps running his hands over his hair and that one little bit keeps sticking up. Poor guy canít use a mirror. Damn, I want nothing more than to soothe that one bit of hair back in place. I bet itís soft without all that product in it.

*

Why does she keep looking at me like that? Sod it. I bet Iíve got a cowlick. Dru used to love to make my hair stick up every which way as I slept. Had to wet it down and start over every night. Why is she here, anyway? Why isnít she off snogging her soldier boy?

*

Huh? Why does he bring up Riley every time heís around me? Is he afraid of him? Spike? Afraid? Well, the Initiative did do a number on him. Capture, torture, chipping. He recovered well from it. He looks as healthy as any undead thing can. Oh. His shirt keeps riding up when he runs his hands over his hair. Look at that flat stomachÖ No! donít look!

*

Bugger all, Slayer. Say what you want and be gone or let me throw you down and have you! Ö

I did NOT just think that!

*

Itís no wonder he canít tuck his shirt in when his jeans are so tight andÖ Oh! Iíve got to get out of here.

*

Well that visit was a gust of pointless air. Bugger. Now I know itíll take more than a good wank or three before I can sleep.

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