Reflections (Life not Death)

He didn't know how those like the Immortal or even the Master had done/did it.

Both had literally centuries on him and yet they were still there....and neither one of them was especially mad. He knew that, if he ever lasted as long as them he'd go completely insane. Or completely lose himself.

Though, come to think of it, maybe that was what they had done. Maybe their absolute spitefulness and utter disregard for humanity and the world around them...maybe it was all a result.

A result of the thing that Spike knew was going to well and truly kill him if something didn't change--and soon.

A result of having no reflection.

Each and every time he looked in the mirror it was like some cruel voice was whispering in his ear, "You're not really here, William. There's nothing left of you. You're not really here." And it was that he believed that voice that hurt so deeply. He knew how he was here, the way he was still existing on this Earth, was wrong. He knew that. Knew it like he knew he'd never see the sun sitting high in the sky ever again.

Every time he passed by a piece of glass, a window, a mirror, anything reflective Spike caught himself looking. Each time he looked and each time he saw nothing. Saw nothing and realized how he was noting.

If he couldn't exist enough to even make a simple reflection.

Every day he got a little closer to not really being there at all.

Without a way to see one's self, without something to prove to you that you were really there, it was so very easy to just give in. To stop existing at all.

Spike knew now why he had killed all of those people, why he'd tortured so many of them so. Knew why he had relished in every scream, every shout of agony. He knew why he had savored the feeling as he drew someone's last drop of blood and their pulse ceased, leaving them nothing more than a shell of skin and bones.

The violence, the death, the mayhem, the pain, it was all his way.

His way of existing.

Every time someone cried out in pain, every time a person's pulse slowed then died, every time someone begged for him to stop their torment, he knew....

Knew he was there; knew he existed.

If he could affect the world in such a way--steal lives from it, bring countless people to their knees in pain...If he could do all of that then the world couldn't deny that he was there.

It wouldn't give him a reflection, wouldn't show him who he was, so he'd take from it, show it who he was.

And that had worked for years....years upon years. It had worked. not completely, though, not enough to take away the feeling that he was losing himself over time--that some day he truly would cease to be. Not enough for that, but enough to keep him feeling alive, feeling as if--even if for only those few precious moments while the blood flowed down his throat--he mattered. Mattered to the world.

It gave him a way to see himself. There wasn't an image of his face when he passed by a mirror, but there was the mark of his fangs, the bruising of his fingers, on a body left for dead.

The bruises, cuts, scrapes, and bite marks were all markings--markings of him. A way to prove, to himself and to everyone else, that he was there--was there enough to do that.

It had worked for longer than he would have at first expected, worked in some ways better and in some ways worse than he would have liked. It kept him around longer than he had expected, but caused him to lose himself more rapidly.

Soon he would be there, but there would be nothing left of William at all. He would

That was how it had been....before.

Now, though, now he had her.

Had Buffy to show him who he was. She was his mirror, she gave him his first reflection of himself in over one hundred years. Just by looking into her eyes for a few short moments he could see more about himself than a million dead bodies would ever have been able to show him.

She got him to understand, truly, for the first time, that he could also prove to the world that he existed by keeping lives in it--not taking them from it. Now, instead of looking at a cold, lifeless body and reveling in the fact that he had been the one to snuff out the flame of that life, he could look at a person smiling in gratitude after he had saved their life and know...

Know that he truly was changing the world. In a way that did make him matter. He'd fooled himself into believing he mattered before. He didn't. He broke mother's hearts, tore children's lives apart, ripped apart families but he never truly mattered.

It was their deaths that mattered; not him. The only ones to ever even know that he had killed that individual were usually him, the dead person, and maybe Drusilla.

But what did their knowing do for him when they were dead even as they discovered the truth?

Now....Now Buffy knew. Buffy knew, he knew, whomever he--or they--saved knew. And often times their families knew. That was mattering. That was affecting the world.

Life affected the world not death.

He saw that now. Saw it because of Buffy.

Buffy who, with her love and by just being her, had taken the dead man and shown him the importance of life. He could look into her eyes and see who he was because he was who he was because of her. Without Buffy he truly wouldn’t be anyone or anything anymore.

But with her?

With her he was everything again.


thank you for reading...and please review?

Also, anyone who isn't reading Silently Broken because it's too angsty, I'm going to have a new fic posted at least fairly soon--if not sooner. It won't be as dark as SB--just thought I'd take the opportunity to aay that some place other than in SB ;)

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