Letters to a Friend by ginar369

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Chapter Notes: Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Some dialog taken from the Episode "Lovers Walk".

This story is dedicated to my beta: Sweetprinciple, without your help and encouragement this would never be here. Any errors or if it's just plain bad blame me. I also want to thank hulettwyo for being a beta too. I appreciate your help.
Chapter One:

He was bloody well pissed. Pissed beyond the telling. And not the good kind of pissed that came from a bottle or two of JD. When he got out of here, someone was going to pay in the most painful and creative ways he could think of.

Spike couldn't believe it. His first day back in Sunnyhell in almost a year and he gets captured by these commando gits. They didn't even take him down in a fair fight! No, they zapped him from behind with some ray gun and knocked him out like a bunch of cowardly nancy wankers. Locked him in a cage and were using him like a bloody lab rat. utting him up, breaking his bones and then not feeding him to see how long it would take him to heal.

Why he kept coming back to this soddin’ town was a mystery, nothing good ever happened to him here. Okay, that was a lie - he knew why. He’d come back last year trying to convince Dru to take him back. Oh, for months after the Acathla thing he’d listened to her tell him over and over again how he was covered in the Slayer. Ha, covered in the Slayer! Ridiculous! Sure, he might have wondered how she’d made out against the poof, but still, that shouldn't be enough for Dru to get so barmy. The pixies telling her he's covered in the sunshine. And seriously, Dru must be nuts, right? Saying how all his kills lately are petite blonds. Crazy, right? Completely sack of hammers, she is. So he didn't kill the Slayer, even helped her in the end. But that was for Dru. What good is it if the world is sucked into hell? That was the problem with Dru; she didn't see or think long term, just what her 'pixies' told her. And right now he really didn't care what the bleedin’ pixies said.

Spike paced the bright white cell, casting poisonous looks at the teenaged blonde in his mind's eye. All right, he supposed he did miss fighting the Slayer, and she did smell really good. He stopped suddenly, his eyes wide and unbelieving. Ugh, what the hell? Wasn't supposed to smell like sunshine and lust, she should smell of fear, of prey, of the third jewel in his crown. Dru's brand of crazy was rubbing off on him!

Spike threw himself down in the corner, ignoring yet another bag of drugged blood as it dropped a few feet away from him. He couldn't possibly be. No, no way! Oh, shit! Sunshine, she smelled of sunshine. No! Not possible! Dru can't be right! Oh bollocks, he was falling for the Slayer. His unlife was officially over. He had tried to do something to prove Dru wrong, but nothing he’d tried had worked. So he figured if he killed the Slayer then Dru would have to see how much he loves her, right? She'd have to take him back and this whole weird "wantin' the Slayer" thing would end. Right?

Spike sighed as the memories of last year came back to him.

Last November….

He’d searched all over the hell hole that was this town and couldn't find the blonde bint anywhere, so he’d grabbed Red. She was powerful, could smell the magic in her. Figured a good love spell and bob's your uncle. Except the little chit wouldn't stop talking. God save him from chatty women, he always knew they'd be the death of him. Red wanted to know why he needed the spell and kept at him until he spilled his guts.

"So I'm strolling through the park, looking for a meal, and I happen to walk by, and she's making out with a chaos demon! And so I said, 'You know, I don't have to put up with this.' And she said, 'Fine!' So I said, 'Fine, do whatever you like!' I mean, I thought we were going to make up, you know? Our love was eternal, you know?"

"There, there," the witch patted him awkwardly. "There, there," she said stiffly, but she'd stopped trying to pull away from him. That was what made him cry harder. Dru'd pulled away from him, too. Now he was reduced to this. This pitiful, sobbing wretch, crying on what should've been dinner, and ‘dinner’ was trying to soothe him, even as scared as she was. Could his unlife be any sadder?

Love's Bitch, that was him. Crying on Red's shoulder like a ponce. Spike, Slayer of Slayers, a Master Vamp, crying on a little girl's shoulder. It was too much, screw the spell. He figured killing the Slayer would be enough, so he'd let Red go. It was time to find the Slayer.

He’d spent another two hours looking all over town for her and finally had gone to her house. She wasn't there either, but her mum, Joyce, was. Remembered him even, and invited him inside. Nice woman, that Joyce. She offered him some hot chocolate. Next thing he knew, the whole sordid tale came spilling out again!

"She just left, Joyce. She didn't even care enough to cut off my head or set me on fire." He sniffled miserably into his cocoa. "I mean, is that too much to ask? You know? Some little sign that she cared? It was that truce with Buffy that did it. Dru said I'd gone soft. Wasn't demon enough for the likes of her. And I told her it didn't mean anything, I was thinking of her the whole time, but she didn't care. So, we got to Brazil, and she was... she was just different. I gave her everything: beautiful jewels, beautiful dresses with beautiful girls in them, but nothing made her happy. And she would fliiirt!" He sniffed in sharply, eyes red and wet as he looked at Joyce's matronly look of sympathy.

"What happened, Spike?" Joyce reached out and patted his elbow as it rested on the table.

"I caught her on a park bench, making out with a chaos demon! Have you ever seen a chaos demon? They're all slime and antlers. They're disgusting."

"I can't imagine."

"She only did it to hurt me. So I said, 'I'm not putting up with this anymore.' And she said, 'Fine!' And I said, 'Yeah, I've got an unlife, you know!' And then she said... she said we could still be friends!" Leaning over, he sobbed on Joyce's shoulder. "God, I'm so unhappy! Friends! How can we be friends? I devoted a hundred years to her!"

"There, there," Joyce murmured.

"Why the bloody hell do people insist on sayin' that? What the hell does it mean?" Joyce looked taken aback and he apologized. "Oh. Oh sod it, I'm sorry, luv. You've been more than kind. I'm jus' such a mess and…"

"From what I see, it's her loss, Spike. You spent a century loving her and taking care of her. If she can't see that or appreciate it then she’s the one who’s wrong. Maybe it's time for you to find someone who can and will appreciate you. Try living life for you, not to please someone else. Find out who you are and who you want to be…"

The kitchen door banged open, cutting her off mid conversation, and there stood Angel. He had come over to go patrolling with Buffy and had spotted Spike in the kitchen with Joyce.

Everything happened at once. Angel was screaming and yelling as he pounded on the barrier, unable to enter. "Joyce, you can't trust him! Invite me in!"

Joyce jumped up and screamed then ran behind Spike. "Don't let him in!"

Angel yelled, "Get away from him, Joyce, he's a killer, he's dangerous! Let me in, Joyce. Invite me in NOW!" In his anger, Angel vamped out, scaring Joyce even further. Spike could hear her heart rate soar and smelled the fear rolling off her.

Something woke up in him. Maybe it wasn't having Dru to protect, or maybe it was because it had been weeks since he'd been ‘needed.’ "Clear off, Peaches," Spike warned his grandsire with a sharp threat in his tone.

"Oh God, its Angelus! It's not Angel! Get away from here!" Joyce yelled at the brunette vampire. Something in Spike took over, even more than just that protective instinct. This was more. It was personal. In a flash he put a finger on it. She reminded him of his mum, a real lady, but a fighter.

More than that even. For the first time in a long time, someone had been kind to him, had been a friend to him. He hadn't had that from anyone except his mother. He turned to Joyce and said loud and clear, "Don't worry, Joyce, I won't let him hurt you." He wasn't sure if it was Angel or Angelus, but either way, Joyce seemed to be afraid of him and that was enough for Spike.

And just as he was about to get to be the hero for the first time in, well “ ever, Buffy came along and stole his glory.

Buffy had come in through the front door and heard her mother's scream and Spike's reply. As she rushed into the room she saw her mother hiding behind Spike, one hand on his arm. Spike was in a defensive position in front of Joyce, guarding her against Angel.

After doing a double take straight out of a bad cartoon, she found her voice. "What do you want Spike?" she demanded, eyes narrowing. Angel was still outside the house, yelling and pounding on the barrier that kept him out. She ignored him for the moment.

Spike watched old broody's face darken when Buffy didn't speak to him first or immediately invite him in. He wanted to snicker at that, he knew just how much it brassed off Captain Forehead to be ignored. "Came back to town to get Red to do a spell for me, but I changed my mind. So I figured I’d come here, we’d fight, and hopefully you'd put me out of my misery. Or I could put you out of yours." He nodded pointedly at the enraged Angel. "Dru dumped me, and for a bleedin' chaos demon, no less! Still brassed off about the truce, mad that her 'Daddy's' gone again. Blames me for helpin’ you take care of the big poof over there." As he was speaking, Joyce slowly relaxed but didn't let go of his arm.

"Buffy, invite me in before he attacks your mom!" Angel yelled from the doorway. His teeth clenched when Buffy still didn't react immediately. "Buffy. Listen to me. Now."

See, now if the girl had been Angel's enemy, then he'd have a right to speak to her like that, but she’s his lover. The love of his life, presumably. And well, in Spike's opinion, you don’t talk to your girl that way. Besides, attack Joyce? He'd sooner attack his own mum. Balls. Bad comparison. Spike glared him down, puffing out his smaller chest. "Listen, you bleedin' arse, I've been here over an hour now and there’s not a scratch on her, is there? That's your style, not mine, you ponce." He sneered then he turned to Joyce and gave her a wink and a reassuring smile. "Joyce here's a nice lady.” He turned to face both Joyce and Buffy as he said, “I won't hurt her, give you my word."

"Did I stumble into the twilight zone?" Buffy finally asked, looking at her boyfriend being a jerk, her enemy defending her mother, and her mother - Queen of that river in Egypt - fully participating in a Slayer-iffic event.

"No, honey, Spike and I were just talking while he was waiting for you to get home," Joyce explained gently. She saw no reason to remind anyone that it was a visit with the purpose of dueling to the death.

"Yeah, an' your mum's helped me sort that problem anyway, so I'm gonna get goin’. Thanks for the hot chocolate and the chat, Joyce, I'll think ‘bout what you said. Be seein' ya, Slayer, Peaches. Leave you two love birds alone."

"We aren't together anymore, we're just friends," Buffy announced, more for her mother's benefit than her own.

"Ha!" Spike looked at the pair of them and start sweeping toward the living room, taking the exit farthest from Angel.

"What do you mean, 'ha'?" Buffy chased after him.

"I mean, 'Ha!' You can't be friends, not anymore. You might love each other or hate each other, but you’ll never be friends. Love doesn't make sense, pet. Love isn't calm and steady. Love is love, screaming in your head, burning in your veins. That's what love is." With a swish of his coat, he was out the front door in a flash.

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