Rating: PG-13 // FRT
Characters: Spike, Sera
tamingthemuse Prompt: Transformation
24hour_themes Prompt: 23:00 ~ Coping with drastic change in a positive manner.
fic_variations Prompt: cajole (#3)
Content Warning: N/A
Summary: Spike never wanted to be human.
Author’s Note: Backstory for my crossover verse. Just something I wanted to try and run with.
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything you recognize. It all belongs to Joss. I’m just borrowing and I will put everything back where I found it.
Spike never wanted to be human.
He was content with his lot in life as a vampire. Sure, it had it’s ups and downs, pros and cons, but he’d been one for so long that it was like he’d never been anything else. Plus, he had a soul now, so it wasn’t like he was running around killing people. He was okay with where he was. In fact, he’d only wanted the prize at the bottom of the prophecy because Angel wanted it, and he’d gotten over that months ago. That was more of a responsibility than he was willing to carry. He didn’t want to save the world, he just wanted to do his part to fight on the right side, for once.
Only problem was, Angel the Idiot signed his lot in the prophecy away before the whole thing even got started. He also neglected to mention this to Spike until after the Apocalypse was over and Spike was panicking over the fact that there was all these glowing white lights and oh, yeah—he needed to breathe.
The remembering to breathe part was a problem for a while, actually.
The only joy he managed to get out of this was the fact that Angel was pissed as hell that of all the vampires in the world, Spike was the one that got it, and he couldn’t even show it because it was due to his own stupid move. Even though he knew that it was a matter of logic—there were only two ensouled vampires in the world and if Angel was out of the running that only left Spike—he was still very, very put off that Spike had got it, regardless. And that made the first few months when Spike was trying to put back together the pieces and figure out where to go from there as a human just the tiniest bit easier.
Once he was feeling well enough to travel and had located a suitable vehicle, he was gone, wanting to get as far away from the wreck that was Los Angeles as possible. He headed up first, to Seattle, which was where he found Lorne. He hadn’t been intending to find him, but it was pretty fortunate that he had. If there was anyone who needed their destiny looked into at the moment, it was him. After a quick promise that he wouldn’t tell Angel where Lorne was and quiet rendition of Mötley Crue’s “You’re All I Need” and he was on his way, not feeling any more certain than he had before, but at least having a direction to go in. And that was at least a step in the right one.
Being human had a way of making a person feel incredibly fragile. It was something that had always thrilled him when humans were prey—their fragility and the number of ways he could kill them made things fun. Actually being that fragile one, with a heart that needed to beat and lungs that needed to breathe was a whole other story. He didn’t account for the fragility of mind, either. All the emotions and insecurities that came rushing in the minute he was flesh and blood again was a whole other feeling for him. He’d experienced maybe half of what he was dealing with now when he had a soul. Now he was getting the whole thing, and needless to say, it was a lot.
That and his alcohol tolerance was shot to hell. That he wasn’t fond of either.
He had figured that out in Caritas the second. It was probably why he wound up singing Mötley Crue. All he had was a couple drinks (he thinks), and the next thing he remembers is he’s passed out on a bed in the side room of the bar. And those hours he’d spent passed out were the easiest he’d had since he became human. Even before he’d heard his destiny, he already had plans for how he was going to spend the rest of his human existence. In fact, he’d even managed to find a way to make it shorter. He wasn’t stupid, he didn’t drink and drive, but he knew that once he landed somewhere, he’d be good to go.
Spike wouldn’t say he found God in the bottom of a liquor bottle, but he found something else instead. Something he could consider God-like—inner peace. Not that he had actually reconciled anything with himself, but the alcohol made him stop thinking about it. With humanity came a conscience, and his conscience was not fond of the things he had done. It had the wisdom of experience and age to rebuke it, but it just didn’t want to listen. A good bottle of whiskey helped shut it up very quickly.
When he landed in New York City, he was sober long enough to find a place to squat and after that it was weeks before he could actually remember anything. That something, came in the form of Sera. In his hung over haze, he was relatively certain that she was an angel. He was aware of how ridiculous and cliché the thought sounded, but it was there before he could rebuke. That thought also might have been caused by the bright white of the hospital lights behind her.
“Bloody hell, ‘m dead, aren’t I?”
She laughed. Normally it would be the kind of sound that would have made him cover his ears and wince, but from where he was standing—or sitting, as the case may be—it was probably the prettiest thing he’d ever heard. Possibly the prettiest thing he’d ever seen as well. Long blond hair, blue eyes, and the kind of charming smile that probably would have made him smile along with her, if he didn’t feel like absolute shit. He was also, relatively certain that angels didn’t have a sense of humor, either, so that was another point for still breathing.
“Not dead,” she said softly. “But you were pretty close, for a while there.”
Not close enough. He groaned a bit as she started to shift his weight upward, so that he was moving into a sitting position. He was grateful for the pain, at least. Another thing that helped shut up the nagging voice in the back of his head.
“I’m Sera,” she said softly after a while, extending a hand to him for him to shake. He watched her carefully for a moment, before moving his hand forward and shaking it.
“Spike.” He was quiet for a second, before glancing around more, getting a better feel for his surroundings. “Where ‘m I?”
“Trinity General, in Manhattan. You had a pretty bad case of alcohol poisoning.”
He rubbed his eyes for a moment, trying to get them to focus a little better so that he could read the clock—eleven PM, not even midnight—that was sitting on the far wall. “Yeah, ‘n’ I was hopin’ it would stick.”
She raised an eyebrow, arms crossing in front of her chest. “C’mon. Life can’t be that bad.”
“Don’t know me that well, pet,” he sighed, finally finding the button to shift around the level of the mattress, before leaning back against it. “You don’t know what I’ve been through.”
“Maybe. Maybe not. What I do know is that Jack Daniels isn’t going to help you make things better.”
“You’d be surprised. Ol’ Jack is very knowledgeable. ‘Specially if you’ve got him when he’s nice and aged.”
Sera gave him a hard look before pushing herself up. “Trust me,” she said softly, pressing a card into his hand. “I’ve been there.” He glanced down for a moment, looking at the two numbers written side by side—one for her, and one for AA. “Just keep it in mind. And remember that I could have left you on the sidewalk to die.”
He probably would have remembered, if she ever managed to let him forget it. Sera had a way of staying on his case, even if he was reluctant to let her at first. It took a few weeks for him to even set foot in a meeting—he wasn’t sure why at the time, probably more out of curiosity than anything else—and a few weeks after that before even considered getting up to speak. Speaking meant that he was actually doing this, actually committing to stopping something, and that wasn’t something Spike usually did. More to the point, he was actually talking a positive step towards actually coping with his humanity, he wasn’t sure if that was a positive or negative yet.
Mostly, he was surprised that he was feeling comfortable enough to talk to these people. His entire speech would be a series of half-truths and vague references to his life as a member of the undead, but he wanted to do it. It was because these people would understand. There was something about the atmosphere there, something about the fact that all these people were trying to be better, which was really all Spike had ever tried to do with his life. Maybe not always good, but he certainly always wanted to be better.
He didn’t go first. He waited until the absolute last minute, when they were about to finish up, before raising his hand and volunteering himself, and when he was finally standing in front of those people, he suddenly found himself unsure of what to say. He never had a plan. He just went with his gut, and right now his gut was saying—
“Hi, name’s Spike, and ‘m an alcoholic.”
The resounding sound of his name being thrown back at him was a little startling, but he swallowed a bit. There had to be something there. Some words that would get him going until he wasn’t sure he’d be able to start. Considering that confession was the first step to progress, it only made sense to say the next thing about himself that came to mind.
“I’m not a good person.”
A pause as he swallowed. So far, so good.
“I’ve hurt a lot of people—innocent people, who didn’t deserve it, but I’ve hurt a lot of people that did too, and ‘m comin’ t’ find that neither of ‘em are good things, really. I was still hurtin’ people—people with souls and lives who didn’t deserve what I did to ‘em.”
“It wasn’t because of the drinkin’. I did that ‘fore I was a drunk, and I’ve been regrettin’ it for a while now, but that doesn’t change the fact that I did ‘em. And now I’ve been givin’ a second chance—one, ‘m not quite sure I deserve—and I’m not sure what t’ do with it. But I guess that’s what ya try and figure out with second chances. What t’ do with it. How t’ make it better than the last one.”
Which he would try, at least. To make it better. To make these (hopefully) forty or fifty years make up for the last one. Maybe the good carried just that much more weight. Maybe.
Spike was starting to get sick of the maybes.