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In your favourite darkness
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Subject:living on your breath/feeling with your skin...
Time:11:53 pm
Glinda and I had a good chat this morning. Sort of funny, really, that we can get on. Wouldn't have thought Tara was the sort of bird who'd like me, but of all the Scoobies she'd always been the most tolerant of me. Well, her 'n Anya, but Anya was too hung up on what that git Xander thought to really become my friend. Shame, really, cos she had a bit more going for her than Red or the boy. But yeah, Tara and I talked a few things over. Didn't get too into everything, but we cleared the air a bit. I don't think she trusts me completely, and she shouldn't, but she... seems willin' to give me a chance, which I reckon is more than I deserve. We sort of agreed I can stay here for a bit. Not exactly a long term solution, cos what am I going to do, sleep on the sofa forever? I know there's a bedroom free, but the thought of sleeping in Buffy's old bed every night, surrounded by her stuff... Too much to bear, I reckon.

After breakfast I went back into the sitting room. Watched a bit of telly, drank the rest of the pig's blood Tara had given me. No need to tell her that I can hunt now. Don't think she'd treat me so warmly if she knew. I heard Dawn get up and go out. She didn't come in to see me, which I sort of expected. So I watched some daytime TV, and then fell asleep on the sofa for the afternoon.

I woke up in the early evening, just as the sun was setting. Tara was out, probably grocery shopping or something. Dawn wasn't in the house either. And I was hungry, and restless. It felt strange, having spent this time in a domestic setting. I wasn't used to it. Talking to people wasn't something I'd done much of over the last four months. Drinking and passing out in my car, yes, and murdering a lot of people - that I could do. But bein' civilised was difficult. So I needed to let off a bit of steam.

I found a girl, but for the first time in months she wasn't blonde. The girl I spotted was tall, slim, and brunette. Her hair hung in a long brown sheet down her back, the way Dawn used to wear hers before she got all hardcore, and she was wearing a neat little skirt and jacket. When I got closer to her I found she smelled of grape lipbalm and cherry shampoo. She looked up at me with wide eyes and made a silent "O" with her mouth before I grabbed her.

When I was done with her, I found she didn't look much like Dawn at all, and I felt vaguely sick. I dropped her body in an alley and went to a 7-11. I drank a six pack of beer sitting on a park bench, and then I took a bottle of whisky and a packet of smokes home with me.

I came into the house quietly, through the back door. I could hear Tara moving upstairs, but I didn't feel like company. Maybe she sensed that, because she didn't come downstairs. Or maybe it was the sort of time she usually went to bed. I didn't know, or frankly care that much. Instead I opened the bottle of Jack and got myself a tumbler and sat at the breakfast bar, smoking my way through a pack of fags. I kept the kitchen door open to let the smoke out, and I breathed in the night air. I'm not sure how long I sat there, drinking whisky, but I was feeling comfortably numb when I heard footsteps.

((Open to Tara and Dawn.))
comments: 23 slaves will leave me lying here Share

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Subject:A small moment of normal…
Time:06:43 pm
”Willow, I can’t. I can’t watch you like this anymore.”

“Tara, baby.” Her voice was pleading with me. I can still hear it clear as day. “I know we can work this…”

“No, we can’t,” my tone was flat and no amount of begging was going to make me change my mind. I couldn’t do it anymore. I needed something stable. Dawn needed something stable and Willow and I together…that was far from stable.

“I’m…” I sighed, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. Dawn’s known Willow a lot longer than she’s known me. I could pack my bags before Dawn gets home and I’ll find an apartment close by and come check on Dawn whenever I needed – or well knowing me I’d be here every day – to make sure things got done…

Taking a deep breath, I finally spoke. “It’s over.”

It felt like years ago, but it’s been nearly two months. Things didn’t go how I thought they would, Dawnie asked me to stay and Willow was the one that left. After that it was just the two of us, Anya and Xander spent more and more time away from us, I wasn’t even sure if they were in town anymore.

That was then, this is now, and I was doing what I have been doing for weeks now; looking after Dawn, worrying about Dawn and taking care of the house. Now that Dawn was the only living Summer’s the house was hers and I lived here to take care of her, I did it because I wanted to, not because I had to. I worry that she thinks that I feel stuck here; I don’t. To be honest, I do get lonely sometimes and I miss having someone to share little things with; but I know what has to be done and what doesn’t and the things I do, I do because I want to.

Dawn is family and you take care of family. Even if I get scared watching her spiral into darkness on a daily basis. I know it’s been hard for her, I know that things have been so far from normal that I don’t think any of us remember what it’s like.

Love and support is all that I can give her and she knows that I will always be there for her – come heaven or hell. I just had to hope that she leveled out before things got really bad, all I can do is support and guide. But that doesn’t keep me biting my tongue all the time, she wasn’t eighteen yet and she had to have some rules, even if we both didn’t like them.

I wasn’t sure what time Dawn came home, but I heard her sneak upstairs quietly. I didn’t want to crowd her or have her think I was restricting her or anything, it was a weekend and I knew she knew how to be safe. It didn’t stop me from worrying quietly though and I did plan to have a talk with her in the morning, I bought her a cell-phone with the money I got after I returned all of my books and resigned from UC Sunnydale, she needs to use it now and then.

*~*~*~*

The sun crept up through the windows and started to pull me out of my sleep, nightmare dreams filled with memories of my mother, some good and some I just wish I could escape.

I couldn’t dwell on myself right now; I had Dawn to look after.

Stretching slowly I crawled out of bed and made my way into the shower, washing my hair and turning the water hot to wake me up. I brushed my teeth and washed my face before padding into my room in my robe to find clothes. I found a simple baby-doll shirt and slipped it on before pulling a pair of old comfortable jeans from the dresser and pulling them on as well.

I brushed my hair out and kept it loose down my shoulders and back before making my way down stairs. Peaking in on Dawn she was curled up in bed sleeping, her face was peaceful and relaxed; it made me wish she could be like that when she was awake. We were too haunted for that to happen.

Humming softly I made my way down the stairs to make breakfast, deciding to make eggs and pancakes like I did every weekend. I reached the bottom of the stairs and heard movement in the living room, biting my lip I tensed up and started to make my way in there slowly, grabbing an umbrella for protection before walking over the threshold.

“What…” My eyes were wide when I spotted Spike sleeping soundly on the couch, his clothes rumpled but still on. I blinked a few times and watched him sleeping, wondering how and when – not to mention why – he was here in the house.

I knew that Willow uninvited him months ago before he left after Buffy…after. I knew that Dawn must have invited him in and that was ok with me, he might be a vampire but it was Spike and he would never hurt Dawn; ever.

Sighing I put down the umbrella and headed into the kitchen to make tea for myself like I did every morning. I had a cup before I started making breakfast and hopefully Dawn would be up before noon; but she was out late so I doubted it. If anything it would be Spike and I for breakfast, if he woke up sometime soon.

After I poured the water for my tea I reached into the back of the fridge and pulled a container of blood and pulled the lid off slowly before setting it into the microwave and reaching up for a mug.

Pulling the container out of the microwave, I poured the blood into a mug before heading quietly out to the living room.

Spike was still sleeping on the couch and I set the mug down on the table, pausing and looking down at him. I know that vampires don’t age but he looked older since I’ve last seen him, even though it wasn’t that long ago. I guess we’ve all changed, I know Dawn has and I have since…since everything.

I’m not sure what brought him back here but it was nice to see a friendly – or well, a kinder face – around here in Sunnydale again.

With a sigh I walked over to the window and pulled the second set of curtains to make sure the light would stay out. Glancing around the room I turned and headed back into the kitchen to make breakfast like I did every morning, no doubt eating alone again as well.

[Open for Spike, Dawnie later]
comments: 12 slaves will leave me lying here Share

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Subject:Watch me fault her/you're living like a disaster/she said kill me faster/with strawberry gashes
Time:11:54 pm
Twenty twenty twenty four hours to go
I wanna be sedated…


I’d had the Ramones on full volume all the way down the coast to Sunnydale, car shaking, seats stinking of alcohol and cigarettes. My skin was burned in places where the paper over the windows wasn’t stuck right. I was wound so tight I felt like I might bloody well explode. I wanna be sedated, too right. But now the cd player had cut out at last and the radio switched on. Green Day. Not too bad. They know bugger all about punk, but…

I fell out of the car and looked up at the familiar green and white sign. Sunnydale. I tilted my head, listening to the lyrics of the song. I couldn’t help laughing. The sound had a bark to it. Like it hadn’t been used in a while. My mouth tasted bitter.

“Welcome to Paradise, yeah,” I said. Then I passed out.

*

So it had taken me a bottle or three of Jack Daniel’s to get me to this point. So bloody what? I sat up, rubbing the back of my mouth with my hand. I was beginning to sober up now. Not a pretty feeling. It was one I’d avoided for a couple of weeks – cos the last time I was sober was when I’d come up with this genius plan. Head back to the town that had whipped me, where no one respected me, and where what I reckoned was the love of my undead life had gone and topped herself. That sounded like a right good plan, alright.

Course, a thing or two had changed since I left town last. Yeah, there were a couple of surprises I had up my sleeve for that git Xander and his uptight chum Red. Then we’d see who was running who out of town. I let myself smile. Like my laughter it had a weird feel to it. Like a mask that didn’t exactly fit. Sort of stung a bit – but I quite liked that.

And, of course, there was the Bit.

After Buffy – After that, Dawn and I had looked out for each other a bit. I tried to be the kind of man I’d promised Buffy I could be. The responsible sort. The sort of man who would’ve got up that tower two minutes earlier and - Yeah. The kind of man who’d not let bad stuff happen to Dawn. Not again. And I liked being with her. Alright, she was a pain in the arse at times – fifteen year olds have that knack – but she didn’t patronise me, or tell me that what I was feeling wasn’t real. That my grief didn’t matter, not compared to the grief of people with a pulse. Dawn didn’t tell me that I hadn’t really loved Buffy. Maybe it’s cos she knew she didn’t exactly come from human roots that she had a bit more sympathy for me. Or maybe it’s just that a year old ex-ball of energy makes a better human being than Xander Harris. I dunno. What I do know is that, for the first couple of months after… she died, looking out for Dawn held me together a bit. Gave me something to think about besides the remorselessness of my own conscience. Could I have been quicker, better, all that useless shit that I couldn’t seem to shift. And I reckon having me around did the Bit some good too. I didn’t baby her like the others. Well, the others ‘cept Glinda. Blonde witch has a bit of sense, I think. Knew what was what. I think she was at least half on my side.

lots more backgroundCollapse )

I got myself cleaned up so I didn’t smell quite so much of stale booze and fags. I pulled on a fresh t-shirt and then chucked on my duster. I ran my fingers through my hair, and paused. Twisted it up. Scrabbled in my dashboard for a kohl pencil. Drew a rough line around my eyes. Not quite how I used to look back in the day… But not quite like how I used to look in Sunnydale, either. A bit rougher, I reckoned. I parked the car, not even bothering to lock the doors. No one was going to nick that, I didn’t reckon. Not after several thousand miles of me living in it and the windows all covered in newspaper.

I headed into the Bronze. Where else? I wasn’t quite ready to step back onto Buffy’s porch. And you never knew, Dawn might be here. Giggling with some girly pals, drinking a Pepsi. Or p’raps the Scooby gang. I could give them a bit of a scare.

Grinning, I headed into the club. Felt my body move with the crowd, moving between them, like a hunter again. It felt good to be stalking through the crowd. My blood was high and there was anger and frustration in my belly, just waiting to strike at something like a fist. One covered in nails.

I lay quiet
waiting for her voice to say
"Some things you lose
and some things you just give away"
Scold me
Failed her
If only I'd held on tighter to her pale
white skin that twisted and withered
away from me away from me

Watch me lose her
It's almost like losing myself
Give her my soul
and let them take somebody else
get away from me
Watch me fault her
”You're living like a disaster”
She said
“Kill me faster
with strawberry gashes
all over”


The music thrummed a hard song in my empty veins and I was just on the right side of thirst, the itch beginning to burn in pleasant-pain, and then I smelt something. A scent I knew. Her.

I started to move through the crowds, quietly, quietly, to the dance floor.


((open - principally to Dawn, but don't have a problem with Tara joining later))
comments: 23 slaves will leave me lying here Share

In your favourite darkness
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