It's calove's birthday! Too celebrate, this I offer some fic! I had a rummage through my ideas folder and decided to finish this one off. I love her, I hate her – Bogwitch (Season Five, post No Place Like Home? Spike/Buffy. No beta. Spike is still a bit confused by his new feelings toward the Slayer...) He has a routine. Sundown and he’s out. First up cigarettes, nicking enough to last the night and the long day after. Hand. Pocket. Gone. He’s out of the shop before anyone sees and he’s on his way to his next stop. A few dollars from a swiped wallet buys him enough blood to get by. Picks up some TV snacks too. Strong flavours, dry stuff he can crumble into the blood, whatever he fancies. Dumps it home before heading back out with more important objectives. He tries the Bronze first or the parties around the college campus; anywhere he thinks he might be able to engineer a chance encounter with the Slayer. Finds her at the Magic Box. Waits outside, veiled in shadows, unseen, before following her out on patrol. Stays out of sight. Just watches. Keeps a close eye on her back, clearing out the stragglers just in case. Can’t risk them getting the jump on her. Lets her concentrate on the real monsters because he loves watching her fight. He admires the easy grace with which she moves, the way her sweetness belies her strength. She’s a ray of deathly sunshine cutting through the night. He wants more than anything to fight her again, to test his strength against hers. Regrets that the damn chip stops him now from giving her a tumble. Before she turns for home, he’ll reveal himself, casually saying his hello with an acerbic comment or biting insult, conveying ‘I love you’ with his eyes and hoping she’ll notice. The resulting blow to his nose feels like a kiss and he’ll return to the crypt invigorated enough to shag Harmony until she’s tired enough to sleep the sleep of the dead. Then it’s up and out again to take his position under his tree to watch out the night. He doesn’t know what he’s waiting for, a chance maybe, but he knows he needs to stay close. Can’t help himself. He has to do this. Has to be near her. Cannot bear to be away from her for a second, even if the moans from her room cut him to the quick. By his tree he can hear everything that goes on in that front bedroom. For better or worse. He squeezes his eyes shut, tuning out everything but the sounds coming from above. He tries to imagine that it's him up there in her bed, making her pulse race, making her skin tingle from his touches, but the deep animal grunts the young soldier is making make it hard to hold on to the fantasy. Too many long nights he’s spent like this, thoughts full of envy and tenderness, his love unrequited, and it is all the worse since he already knows how her glossy lips feel on his mouth. Jealousy turns over and over in his head until he can’t think of anything else. He makes countless plans, detailed campaigns of how he’ll woo her, to make her see that she needs him as much as he’s beginning to need her. Plans he knows he’ll never act upon, where he grabs her and demands that she see the love that he feels, and she always does because they’re connected somehow, twisted together by all this love and hate that they can’t help generating. Then there’s the slow way, where her love grows as time goes on. The furtive glances across the cemetery that acknowledge their attraction and lead to something more. He imagines kissing her again, making love to her in his mind, pressing her to the bed as their mouths fuse in lust. He wants to make her feel as magnificent as she really is. Many hours, many cigarettes later and he hasn’t seen anything, but he listens to the even breathing of her sleep and he’s happy just to know that she’s safe. He tries to pretend that it’s only one set of soft, sleepy breaths he hears. He doesn’t know what he’s going to do. He might be dead, but his romantic heart isn’t; yet he’s never been good at courting the women he wants. Buffy is a modern, living girl and the gaudy things that had kept Dru so sweet, aren’t what she needs. She already has a boyfriend, a lunk that can walk with her in the daylight and share her world in the sun. A heart beats as surely beneath that broad chest as his own does not. What could a vampire have to offer except a tattered crypt and the whole of his universe? It’s one thing to play out those scenarios in his head, another to face the reality of this. She’s a Slayer, he’s a vampire, and it’s wrong, wrong, wrong for him to feel like this on so many levels. But he’s crossed that line between love and hate and it’s a lonely place. He shuffles, eventually stubbing out his spent cigarette. He doesn’t know what he’s doing here – as if he had a bloody hope anyway. It’s more than time he sorted his thoughts out. I love her, I hate her, he thinks in turns and he doesn’t know from one moment to the next which one he’d choose. Knows he’s fucked either way. He’d give up, let the love hollow him out from the inside alone, but he’s not like that. It doesn’t matter that it’s a hopeless cause. Those feelings don’t go away even when he runs through all the things that annoy him about her. Funny how they can also charm him so sweetly. There’s no point denying the way he feels when she looks his way, even if it’s with contempt, because if he can’t have her love then he’ll take the passion in her punches instead. He doesn’t have a bloody clue anymore. It’s hopeless. He turns to leave. Bugger this. Then he remembers the flick of her hair that captivates him so, and he leans back again against the solid trunk of the tree and starts another cigarette. There’s still a few hours until sunrise. There’s always a chance. The End Right, back to work on my seasonal_spuffy. So nearly finished! .