34 Reasons I Never Called You

Total Chapters: 1

After Not Fade Away. A list of excuses from Spike.

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To: Buffy
From: Spike
Date: June 23, 2004
Re: 34 Reasons I Never Called You

1.  Okay. First. It was my first thought.  I came back and wanted to tell you. Wanted to see you.  Wanted to know that you were all right.  Angel said it right away that you were all right.  The rest. Well.

2.  Turns out I was a ghost. Incorporeal. Whatever.  Walked through walls. Walls walked through me.  Couldn’t dial a phone.  Angel made sure no one would dial for me.

3.  Maybe Fred would have. If I asked her. But I felt, you know, emasculated enough as it was. Not able to touch anything. Not able to hit anything.  Felt like a ponce, only not so solid. And anyway, she was helping as much as she could, trying to find a way to make me physical again.

4.  I started working out.  I mean, I started focusing on touching things. Pretty soon I could knock things off shelves.  Once I punched this demon killing Charlie.  But it took a lot out of me.  Concentrating like that. You know I’ve never been any good at concentrating.  But I tried to dial a phone and couldn’t get past the third digit before my finger would start going through the phone, and the desktop too.  Not like I could hold the receiver anyway.

5. Yeah, I know. There are other phones. Voice-activated.  Speaker phones.  Not sure how I was going to get access to them.  And by the time I realized maybe I could find one, I’d figured out a phone call wouldn’t be enough.

6. Not to mention I started thinking about how I was going to explain the ghost problem.  Started thinking about how you’d react.  Pity.  Yeah.  I didn’t want to be pathetic to you, know what I mean?  Tried that before, when I was crazy. Didn’t work. Thought I’d wait maybe until Fred figured out how to solidify me again.  Till I could be some use to you.

7.  And my, what do you call it, self-esteem was kind of taking a battering.  Being a ghost, bad enough.  Worse was Angel.  Kept telling me I was bound for hell.  He thought he was being kind or something, warning me. Plus he made sure to say he was going to hell too, like that was a big consolation.  He spent all those years saying I was nothing like him, and then all of a sudden, I was just like him. Hellbound.  I look back and think, “Clinical depression, that’s what was wrong with him.”  Some prozac, that’s what he needed. But it was more fun, I suppose, to just spread the gloom around.

8. I keep blaming Angel.  So one more reason has to do with him.  He kept saying you didn’t love me. That you loved only him.  If I hadn’t seen you with him that night in the crypt, when you killed Caleb, hadn’t heard you try to get him to say he’d wait for you…. Well. Anyway. I kept telling him he was wrong, that you loved me, but hell, I didn’t believe it when you said it, so why should I believe it when I said it?

9.  So why the hell did you say it, anyway? Still don’t believe it.  Okay. Sometimes I believe it a bit.  Believe you felt something some might call love. But you know and I know it wasn’t real love. Not that kind of love anyway.  So why the hell did you say it?  I didn’t need to hear it.  It’s like an insult almost– you thought I was weak. That I needed the lie.  But I didn’t. Lived a long time without you loving me. Got used to it.  Okay with it. Rather have the truth between us.

10.  So anyway, I was a ghost.  A hellbound ghost, mystically bound to this bloody clinically depressed grandsire who hated me.  In this evil lawfirm.  I’d wander around all night, walk through walls. Feel the evil all around me. In me.  It was disspiriting. Sometimes I’d go up to Angel’s flat, just for some company, and he’d be sitting there, listening to requiems on the CD player, wrestling with his demons.  He’d have his head in his hands and he’d groan like Scrooge’s buddy Joseph Marley.  (He was a ghost too. Joseph Marley. Not Angel.)  I decided to wait around till I got solid and then put the poor bastard out of his misery.  Finally– a purpose for me.

11. Then I wasn’t a ghost.  Wasn’t Fred’s doing, but a box of flashy.  Hey, don’t ask me. I never did figure it out.  Some bird called Eve and some nutcase named Lindsey did it. Or maybe it was the Senior Partners. Or maybe it was the Powers. I never got that sorted. But all of a sudden, I was solid.  I was also, you know. Horny.  And there was this secretary. Okay. It was Harmony.  Didn’t finish though.  Got about halfway through and stopped. Still felt guilty though. Like I’d cheated on you.  Ashamed to see you.  Afraid Harm would say something.

12. Okay. I got about halfway through and had to stop because Harmony started bleeding from the eyes.  Nothing I’d done!  Something to do with – who knows. I never got that sorted either.  The Eve-Lindsey duo made everyone go crazy and start attacking everyone who wasn’t crazy.  And made their eyes bleed too.  So I didn’t stop because I felt like I was betraying you.  Stopped because she was trying to kill me. Might as well tell you the truth.

13.  Felt guilty afterwards.  But I had to go fight Angel. (I won– it was a great fight. Wish you could have seen it.  You would have loved it.  I did this great jump.  And I hit him with a cross.  Kind of symbolic, see, because he was always crucifying himself.) I won. Did I already say that?  So I won this Cup of Perpetual Torment.  Now I look back on it and wonder why I fought him for that. I mean, he’s in perpetual torment anyway, and why would I want to join him?  But it was just the macho thing.  I wanted to beat him.  And I did.  I probably already told you that. Hey! I didn’t tell you that I staked him, only I put it through his shoulder, not his chest, so he wouldn’t dust.  Oh, and I hit him with a rebar.  It was pretty tight.  A great battle. I won.

14.  Oh, yeah, the Cup of Perpetual Torment turned out to be Mountain Dew, which tastes bloody bad, but not Perpetual Torment bad.  But I won.  Set me up right pridefully, it did, even if it was all a hoax.  (I stole his car too.  What can I say, baby? I’ve always been bad.)  But he kept telling me all along that I wasn’t good enough for you. Trying to demoralize me, you know.  I wasn’t good enough for you, the soul was worthless, you didn’t love me.  All that. I wouldn’t have believed him, except it was probably all true.  Felt true.  But it got me mad so I beat the pulp out of him. Did I tell you that already?  You shoulda seen him.  Okay, I looked just as bad, but I won.  So I felt better than he did.  Except for the demoralization.  Felt really bad and low and hellbound and unlovable and all that.

15. And there was this whole destiny crap.  You know how Angel’s always talking about his destiny.  Well, beating him for the Cup of Perpetual Mountain Dew meant I got his destiny. Or so we thought. Turned out it was all a big hoax, but for a little while there, I was worried. Don’t want a destiny.  But if I had one, I thought maybe I shouldn’t drag you into it.

16.  Made up my mind to go. Bought boat ticket to France. Didn’t know where you were, but I figured I’d find out when I got there.  I really meant to go, pet. But my courage failed. Ugly thing, cowardice.  Anyway, I couldn’t afford anything more than a freighter, and so even if I took the damned voyage and somehow managed to get blood from somewhere without killing the whole crew, I’d be getting there about now.  Since then I’ve learned about this new-fangled invention called the aeroplane.

17.  That bloke Lindsey.  He was trying to get me away from Angel.  He pretended he was this guy who got visions from the Powers, visions of people getting hurt so I could rescue them. Yeah, I know it sounds stupid.  I was really drunk when he told me all this.  I’d heard about Cordelia getting visions like this, so I thought, who knows. I mean, I won the Perpetual Mountain Dew, and the destiny, so maybe I’d won the visions too.  Like I said, I was really drunk.  But he was all right, other than turning out to want to kill Angel (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and all his vision crap being a big lie, and using me and that. I never really trusted him, but he did have some visions and I saved some people. Now I’m thinking maybe he set it all up, even the attacks on these people, but maybe not. He had all these mystical runes tattooed on him, so maybe he did get visions.  Anyway, he wanted to draw me away from Angel’s crew.  Couple of them came to me, trying to recruit me back, because they were getting disenchanted with Angel. But I didn’t like that. Reminds me of when Faith kicked you out of your own house and tried to take over your army.  Angel was being a total prat, but he was their leader, and they shouldn’t have been going behind his back trying to recruit another champion.  So what I’m saying is, I felt like I had a mission. Or a purpose. A reason for existing. Whatever.  There in LA.

18.  See, Angel kept saying that everything I did in Sunnydale was to get into your pants. (Never did explain how I was going to get in your pants if I was dust. Well, I guess I could sort of seep in through the waistband. Up through the cuffs. Get you all dusty. 🙂 It wasn’t true, you and I know that, but it was true a bit. Everything I did was to get you, one way or another. I did good, yeah, but it’s because I wanted to impress you, and being evil wasn’t accomplishing that.  And I saved your friends because I wanted you to be happy. And I died to save the world so you wouldn’t have to die again.  It was all about you.  Not about doing good for goodness sake or altruism or even about saving other people so they could go on living.  It was all for you.  And that’s okay as a reason, I guess, except there I was in LA, and you weren’t, didn’t even know I was there, and I couldn’t be always depending on you to give me meaning.  So I thought I’d better learn to do good for other reasons than you.  Otherwise I might start doing bad.  So I felt like I was doing some good there.  Gave me a reason to stay there.  Yeah, maybe I was looking for reasons not to leave.  I was worried about them. Angel especially, but the others too. It was like they didn’t even notice how they were being drawn into this evil place.  I was the outsider, so I could see what they wouldn’t see, how it was all corrupt, how it was corrupting them.  Everytime I thought about leaving… don’t know. It all went to shit even with me there. Always have overestimated my worth, huh?

19.  Then that psycho slayer cut my hands off. You probably heard about that.  They put them back on, my hands I mean, but– but I think maybe I was a little traumatized. Didn’t think it then, but all the guilt about the killing years came back to me.  Not to mention the terror of the whole maiming thing. Woke up, see, and saw her with those knives, and my hands were lying on the floor, couple feet away from my elbows. Had a lot of  nightmares about that.

20. I want you to understand that the only reason she could beat me was because I was trying not to hurt her.  If I’d let loose like I did with those other slayers, well, she’d never have been able to drug me like she did.  She’d be Number Three. If you ever see her, you might tell her– no. Forget that.  It’s okay.  Probably best not to remind her. She had some serious demons too.  Hope she’s doing better.  And don’t mean you to think I’m still having nightmares about it.  Maybe once a fortnight, that’s all. When my arms hurt. That’s all.

21.  I forget what happened after that.

22.  Oh, yeah.  Everything was just falling apart. The centre cannot hold, you know?  Fred kind of died.  A god-king replaced her in her body, but Fred was gone.  Loved her. Not like I loved you, but she was kind to me, and always had a smile, and then she was gone.

23. Didn’t mean right there that I don’t still love you.  Past tense was inaccurate.

24.  Wesley was about to commit suicide. Tried to kill Gunn first.  Or at least hurt him real bad.  It was all falling apart.  I couldn’t hold it together for everyone, but I tried.  Christ. What a bad time. Thought maybe I was needed. Probably wasn’t, but I felt like I was.

25.  Angel called Giles, trying to get some help getting Fred back.  Giles wouldn’t help. Didn’t trust Angel.  I understand that– feel that way myself sometimes. But couldn’t help but think we ended up on different sides, you and me. Not what I meant to happen.  But figured you’d probably show me to the door right quick.

26. So we came to Rome finally.  Debacle. Fiasco. Humiliation.  Did you hear about that? I’m sure your boyfriend The Immortal made sure to fill you in.  Never found you. Saw you dancing. Heart stopped. Fear. Desire. All that.  Angel’s acting like I’m just like him, some bloke idealizing a long-past love.  Letting go. Big advance for him, yeah.  Even Andrew’s telling me to move on.  Angel says, “Let’s go home,” and – shit. Never mind.

27. The Immortal. Jesus. What were you thinking? Did “evil, soulless thing” only count with me?  I mean, evil, well, duhh, to quote Dawn.  Soulless? Well, if he has a soul, it’s one he shares with Tony Soprano.  What about Giles?  Here he tried to have me killed, and he didn’t have any objections to the Immortal?  Didn’t you ever wonder how he became immortal?  It wasn’t for his many good deeds to the poor, that’s all I’ll say.

28. Okay. It wasn’t evil and soulless and thing .  It was just me. I get that. I was the problem. You were just using the other shit as an excuse.

29.  I– oh, bloody hell. That’s enough, isn’t it?

30.  Back again. Took some deep breaths. Yeah, that helps even those of us who don’t breathe. Look. It’s not your fault. I don’t mean that.  We want whom we want, that’s all. Can’t make it happen.  I get that.  But I didn’t want– craven of me. I didn’t want to know that. If I didn’t call you, didn’t see you, I didn’t have to know it.  I could think it and fear it and feel it. But I didn’t have to know it, that you care this much and no more, and this much will never be enough for me, and that’s my fault.

31. Anyway, Angel said he needed me there. Well, he never said it out loud.  Fact is, he tried to get me to leave, said he’d give me a private jet and an expense account and a James Bond mission and I could go anywhere I wanted. Anywhere but where he was.  That meant even to you, see. Giving me permission. He really wanted me gone. But maybe he wanted me gone to protect me. Maybe he knew what was coming down and didn’t want me there to get killed. Or maybe he wanted me gone because I was getting to him. Making him feel. Reminding him to stay on the right side.  Or maybe I’m stupid.  Yeah, that’s it.  He never said, word or deed, that he needed me.  I just heard it.

32.  But I was right.  You didn’t need me anymore. They did.

33. They don’t anymore.

34.  Time for me to sign off, pet.

The End.

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