(Not My) Dream Girl
“Wh-what was I like?”
Tara’s question had been low and soft as they all sat around the living room, researching the latest in the long line of dangers they faced in a Slayer-less Sunnydale.
There’d been no prelude, no preamble, just a girl with wide, innocent, searching eyes asking the wrong man – the wrong demon – the wrong question. Luckily, the unexpectedly hasty end of Willow’s argument with Dawn over a translation from Sumerian or Babylonian or whatever the hell dead language had them riled up meant he hadn’t had to answer.
The rest of the night had been taken up with patrol and her girlfriend hand-holding with her and he’d escaped to his crypt without having to say a word to the chit. Thank hell for small favours.
Why the devil had she asked him anyway? What use is Willow if she can’t give Tara the lowdown on the time she’d spent with her mind in Glory’s clutches? Damn Red to whatever underworld might have her, because this is not something Spike needs to deal with.
Speaking of himself, however, would it have killed one of those idiot Scoobies to fill the newest of their number in on his past? Because it’s obvious she knows bugger all about his relationship with Dru or there’s no chance she’d have come to him with her question. No, all she sees is the vamp who tells it like it is and she’s looking for… what, anyway? Confirmation that she was still Tara in spite of it all?
He doesn’t have short truths to offer. Instead he has a memory full of dreams of what could have been. Dreams of what she’d looked like – soft and fragile and babbling nonsense that sounded like music. Dreams of what things might have been like if her pet witch hadn’t been able to ‘fix’ her.
What would happen if he were to tell her? If she were to find out that when Buffy’s body lay still and broken, Spike was grieving for two ‘what-might-have-beens’? Would she believe it of him, the vampire she no doubt believes thinks only of Buffy even now? Because it’s true, dangerously so, and there are times when he wishes this chip were gone so he could tear Red’s throat out for denying him the comfort of a lost little girl to care for.
He can still picture himself brushing that long, pretty hair, bathing her, dressing her, listening to her prattle on about nothing, holding her close when the nightmares came… or when they didn’t. He can picture her beneath him, lost in pleasure. After all, she wasn’t Willow’s girl after Glory had got done with her – well, not as far as she knew.
She could have been Spike’s. Only Spike’s. All Spike’s. Like no girl had ever been. No bastard of an Angelus to get in his way – into her heart. She would have depended on him totally for everything and she would have loved him – she would. Her damaged mind might have forgotten everything, but her heart? That would have still known how to open itself up and give itself to the one who loved its owner best… because there wouldn’t have been any nonsense in her head to get in the way.
No, none of this is what Tara was looking for from him tonight. She wants what she got that day in the Magic Box when he hit her and proved she was human. She wants blunt and careless. She doesn’t want to know that she was once the girl of his darkest dreams. Because she dreams only of Willow in sunlight and she spends her days taking care of Dawn.
And he’s left with two dead loves. Mourning both. Torn in two directions as he grieves.
There’s Buffy, his shining, golden Slayer.
There’s Tara, his pale, fragile goddess.
If he could choose… if he could bring one of them back… which one, he wonders, would be in his arms right now?
He’ll never, ever answer Tara’s question.
Or his own.