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Angel: early season 7
Buffy: mid-season 4
Spike & Dawn
Night times are the worst. Funny thing for a vampire to think
‘cept I’m not really a vampire, am I?
At first being a ghost was fun. Spike could look into locked places and watch people when they didn’t know he was there. But he would only find things he’d like to steal and see things going on he would like to participate in. He can not touch or smell anything. He wants to rage and smash and drink. All of this is denied him.
He is wandering the huge offices with no one to talk to. The sterile
lines of the place sometimes remind him of the time he was held captive in a
government installation. Very few people are around Wolfram & Hart all
night. Many of those who do work all night are best stayed clear of. Angel and the gang are holed
up around a big conference table in a warded room with a Banisher outside the
door. They could at least let him listen in. Maybe I can get Angel or someone
to put a little TV somewhere and leave it on for me. I couldn’t change the
channel, but it would be something to do. Maybe leave it on one of those cable
movie channels. One that doesn’t cut out the good bits.
Spike paces around the quiet halls until he finds himself outside the maintenance crew break room. It takes a full staff to clean up all the messes created at Wolfram & Hart. For a law firm, some mighty messy things go on. He hears no one inside, but he steps in through the door anyway. This is the one place he has found in this modern architecture hell that has any trace of warmth. The cleaning crew has made their tidy, windowless room a place of rest and community. No one is there, but the lights are on. A false window with lights behind it shows a poster of a ski slope. Spike has only seen this poster, but he suspects it changes. There are clean cloths on the tables and fresh flowers on the counter. On one table there is a jig saw puzzle which everyone works on. The last two were of a pile of puppies and a Monet watercolor. The water lilies took a while. Spike likes to sit with the head janitor, Carl and swap stories with him as the man works on it. Some people don’t like Spike pointing out pieces to try, but Carl doesn’t mind.
Carl is an alchemist and biochemist with a minor in forensics. There is no stain he can not get out or make go away. Natural or supernatural in origin. The portly man is so out of place with all the healthy Californians around, Spike suspects he is not completely human. Carl likes to talk about the transgressions of his youth as he eats peppermints by the handful and smokes in the non-smoking building. He is able to make the ashes and smoke vanish before they get a foot from his body.
Spike approaches the table to find a completed puzzle. It is a photograph of a sun-lit field of wildflowers which goes on forever. A beautiful woman is caught mid-twirl with her arms outstretched and her hair fanning around her. He head is thrown back to catch the sun on her face. Her eyes are closed and her smile serine. Spike himself smiles as he studies the sun glinting in her hair and the curve of her neck. Snow-capped mountains shine against a bright blue sky behind her. It is some time before he notices the note in Carl’s shaky hand on the table beside it.
Spike-We thought you would enjoy this.
Spike smiles again as he suddenly remembers a Christmas several years before.
Buffy is undoubtedly sucking face under the mistletoe with her soldier boyfriend. They all have their happy little gifts to exchange and traditions to carry out. Spike slouches in his chair watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” again because it’s the only channel he can get clearly. He is thinking about how he and Dru would violate nativity scenes and do the nasty in the mangers. That is one tradition I wish I could carry out.
Much to his surprise, there is a knock at the crypt door along about midnight. He turns off the TV and cautiously opens the door. Buffy’s little sister Dawn is standing there, holding a brightly wrapped gift. Her long brown hair is braided up with shiny red ribbons.
“Merry Christmas, Spike! I just made it before midnight!”
“Come in Little Bit. Sorry I have no Christmas cheer to offer you. Evil creatures aren’t much on the celebration of Christian holidays, you know.”
Dawn smiles and bounces in. “That’s okay. I wanted to come earlier, but everyone stayed up late. Here!”
She holds out a package with cheerily waving snowmen on it. “Thanks.” Spike carefully opens the shiny paper, not wanting to tear the snowmen.
“Come on! What are you going to do, reuse the paper?”
Actually, he wants to keep it in his memory chest, but he can’t let her know that. Spike rips the last piece off. It is a 10,000 piece jig saw puzzle. It is a picture of a white, sunny beach with a single palm tree and a bikini-clad woman basking in the sun. Her skin glistens with oil.
“I figured beach, sun, almost naked woman, what’s not to like?” Dawn smiles. When Spike just stands looking at it her smile fades. “It’s not much, I don’t have a lot of allowance…”
“No, no, it’s perfect.” He smiles at her. “It’s been a long time since anyone gave me such a well-thought out gift.”
Dawn’s sunny smile is back. “Plus, something for you to do in the day time.”
“I don’t have anything for you, but I’ll tell you a story as I walk you home, how’s that?” For all her little-girl concerns, Dawn loves to hear stories of Spike’s past evil activities.
She lets out a squeal. “Perfect. It’ll be a lot better than the lame sweater Riley got me.”
“A sweater? He couldn’t come up with anything better than a sweater? Wanker, he don’t even bother to get to know you.” Spike carefully puts puzzle and paper away in his footlocker.
“That’s what I told Mom.”
Spike remembers walking Dawn home, but not what story he told her.
The past fades and he is again studying the girl in the meadow. Thank you, monks, for making Dawn into such a sweet girl and for giving me happy memories of her. Dawn had in reality come into being almost a year later than this false memory when a group of monks made mystical energy into a young girl in order to hide it. She was new to the world, yet everyone who meets her instantly thinks she has been around all her 17 years. I miss her. Spike last saw Dawn, Buffy and all of them last a relative two months before. To him, it was less time than that. Hopefully, one day, he will see them again.
Spike shakes himself out of his blue mood and again studies the girl in the picture. He spends a little time memorizing every shine in her hair and all the colors of the flowers. Without thinking, he reaches out to take the note, to let them know he has been there and they can start a new one. Of course, his hand passes right through.
Spike sighs and wraps his arms around himself. He turns to go, making a point to have something nice done for the maintenance crew.
is out of his stuffy meeting and I can bug him now.
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