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A battered notebook with a purple cover peeked from beneath the lacy underthings that were slithering through his fingers. This was new. It hadn’t been there before, and he’d been in the green-striped room enough to know where each and every item in it lived. Curious now, Spike lifted the notebook free of the drawer, taking a seat on the edge of the mattress to flip through the pages. Pages that were filled with Buffy’s characteristic scrawl. He frowned as he chose a page at random, letting the notebook fall open completely as he read what was written on the page.

Loving you isn’t easy, its damn hard.
Course loving anyone isn’t easy, I suppose.
Sometimes I wish I could see into your mind
Know what you are thinking, feeling,
Where your thoughts are leading.

 If I could see into your head
Learn what you conceal
Would that help me to understand?
Somehow I don’t think it would

Which leaves me adrift
 Struggling to know, learn, absorb
Struggling to love without answers
Trusting with absolute faith

Faith doesn’t come easy
Love doesn’t come easy
Understanding doesn’t either
Yet those are the things I have to trust

 If I could see into your head
Learn what you conceal
Would that help me to understand?

Spike snorted slightly. He could understand the sentiment behind the poem, but the heart surrounding the B+A at the bottom ruined it for him. He looked in vain for a date, so he could try to place the poem, but found nothing. Still, he felt it was far better than anything he’d ever written, and he flipped through another few pages to see if there was anything else she’d gotten fanciful about.

The next poem was dated after he’d taken Dru to Brazil, so he decided it must have been written after Acathla. He wondered if it was written after Angel came back from whatever hell dimension he’d been in, but he had no way of cross-referencing the dates without asking Buffy directly. He couldn’t imagine bothering her with such a query though, ultimately, it didn’t seem important, especially not when he could practically feel the pain screaming off of the page.

A swirling maelstrom of emotion,
Slides behind my eyes.
My pain hidden from habit,
So the world doesn’t know.

 Only allowing the smiles to escape,
Safely locking the hurt within,
The inner tumult rocks me,
But the world doesn’t know.

Scrambling up the slippery slope,
Only to slide back down.
Frustration is my constant companion,
But the world doesn’t know.

 Struggling to maintain hope,
Forcing a smile…
I break free—
But the world doesn’t know. 

Spike could easily understand the pain that Buffy was projecting with this bit of poetry. After all, he’d hidden his own pain and anger at Dru’s continual infidelities. This seemed to be something deeper though, something she hid from everyone. Her best friends didn’t even see the pain that Buffy expressed through the words on the lined paper in his lap.

His fingers lightly traced the ink on the page as sadness built in his chest. Regret also reared its head, but Spike wanted to know more, he wanted to chart his love through her words, and after a moment, he flipped through the pages again, looking for something a bit more recent.

She dreams of Him
Each night alone and sad
She searches for Him
Each day, steadfast

 Will she ever know
The sweetness of His kiss
The gentleness of His touch
The feel of His skin

 The dreams that fill her mind at night
Disappear with the morning light
His scent, His touch, His voice
Scattered to the winds

 Looking into the future
Turning away from her past
Seeking the guidance of Others
Her heart beats fast. 

A smile curled his lips, the date on this poem being after the now infamous “Will Be Done” spelled engagement. So the Slayer really did dream of him. That was the interpretation he was taking from the words he’d read. He refused to think that she had been thinking of Captain Cardboard when she wrote that. No, Spike was certain that she’d been thinking of him, and the naughty things they’d done while under that spell.

At least I know how he feels
At least I know it’s not real
The pain I feel

 Most would think my heart is breaking
If I told them what was said
It’s not my heart, it’s my soul

 Love is not a part of us
It never was, nor will be
This was always true

The pain comes from deep within
I am being rejected again
Unloved, Unwanted, Alone

 Sometimes I wonder what
I continue to do wrong
To be so unwanted and alone  

Tears sprang to his eyes as he read the next poem. It proved the point that she’d not loved Riley, unless the poem was about Giles, but he wasn’t even sure that made sense. Giles was a father to her, and Spike was certain that Buffy loved the Watcher. He felt for her pain, but that one line stuck with him. Why would Buffy think that anyone didn’t love her? It broke his heart to know that the woman he loved didn’t think that others loved her.

It took him several minutes to regain his composure. His tears had left wet marks on the paper, and Spike dabbed lightly at the spots with the edge of his t-shirt. Hopefully, his tears would mingle with the old stains he could detect from hers, and Buffy would never know the difference.  It tore at him, how depressing each and every verse he’d found was. He knew she’d had joy in her life, why did she not write about those times?

Spike flipped a few more pages, and abruptly stopped at a page dated the night before. That explained why the notebook had been in her dresser drawer. The print was darker – harsher- somehow, and some of the ink was smeared and the paper wavy from the tears that had fallen upon them. He brought the notebook up to his nose, inhaling deeply and smelling the pain and sorrow that still lingered on the lined pages. He didn’t want to read the words, but he knew that it was important. If it had been important enough for her to write, then it was important enough for him to read.

Time swirls by, so many things happening at once
Sometimes her heart cries out, she is so alone
Facing the world with an expression of stone
Hiding the inner turmoil with a happy smile.

 So many take her at her word
Not dreaming of her inner world
The fears that dwell deep inside
Hidden from the world outside.

 Why does she feel so alone
Like her heart is made of stone
She has a life most would envy
Yet still, her heart is heavy.

 She loves her family more than life itself
And rarely seems to think of herself
Her life is given over to them
Gladfully, Joyfully, on a whim

 Her family has always been her rock
And now it seems they have forgot
A single woman lost in the world
A daughter lost in the sands of time 

Can she ever find her way back
To the time it wasn’t black
To the time she didn’t cry
To the time before her soul died.

Fear lanced sharp and swift through Spike’s heart. She’d told him that she’d been ripped from heaven, but he hadn’t known that she felt like her soul was dead. It explained a lot about her behavior. The question was what he was going to do about it. Thin fingers danced against the page as he considered his options. Red and the Whelp were out, they would be far more focused on the fact that he’d been in Buffy’s room, and not the fact that their best friend was fairly broken. The Watcher might listen, but Spike wasn’t confident about that. He might just decide that Spike’s opinion wasn’t worth the air it was spoken with.

Glinda, Demongirl, and the Niblet were good choices, but Buffy would be angry at him if he shared her secret. She’d been very adamant that they couldn’t ever know. He huffed out a frustrated breath, a low growl escaping as his fingers continued to tap against the page. This was worse than when Dru had a vision he couldn’t decipher.  He had to do something. He couldn’t just leave it there. It was dangerous. There was a desperation, a sense of hopelessness that pervaded her poetry, and Spike was afraid what it might mean down the road.

A slam from downstairs interrupted his musings, and Spike quickly returned the notebook to where he’d found it. Until he could figure out what to do, it was better to pretend that he didn’t know about it. With all the stealth he possessed, Spike slipped out of Buffy’s room and onto the roof, before leaping to the tree and retreating to his crypt. Maybe some violence would help clear the sadness her poetry had evoked.

In the end, he didn’t have to do anything. The singing took care of the secret, and now that her friends understood what they’d done, he’d begun to hope that Buffy would heal. Not to mention…that kiss. She’d cut and run right after, but she’d kissed him. Spike was over the moon that she’d given him something, and he found himself wanting more. If it made him greedy, then he was just fine with that in this instance.

Another week passed before he could find the privacy to sneak into her room once more. It took him more than an hour to find the notebook, hidden inside the false bottom of the nightstand drawer. She really was a clever girl. Spike quickly flipped through the notebook, not a bit surprised to see that nothing else had been written. Digging in his duster pocket, he pulled out a pen, put the date on the top of the next page, and left Buffy a message.

Come, play with me, in the depths of the night
Come, play with me, in the darkness of your soul
Come, play with me, in the desires of the flesh
Come, play with me.

 Revel in the pleasures of mad passion
Delight in the joy of desire awakened
Flesh on flesh, passion spirals to sweet release
Darkness ripples, encasing in dreamless sleep

Spike was in awe when she took him up on the offer he’d left her. He knew that the first time wasn’t necessarily on purpose, but the times after that, those were a definite reply.  She was still hard around the edges, and it tore at his heart, but he had hope that with enough time, she would heal. Hope that was blossoming further due to the note he’d found on her pillow when he’d heard her leave the crypt as dawn began to creep over the horizon.

The dark place that excites
The dark place that scares
The dark place You inhabit
The dark place that resides in my mind 

Take me deeper and deeper still
My hand held safely in Your grasp
I have no fear, only trust
You have shown me I can

Descend deeper, Into the depths
Darkness surrounds a scared soul
Your whisper sounds in my ear
“Remember, trust my dear” 

Spike wasn’t sure how long this new phase in their relationship would last, and he wasn’t sure he cared. If it helped change her depression into something more life-affirming than he was willing to do it. She was his heart, and he couldn’t imagine not helping her. He’d just have to keep checking the notebook to make sure that she was doing better, and maybe leave her another poem if it looked like she needed a nudge in the right direction.

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Reviews ( 1 )

Zab Jade
October 12, 2020 13:14

Lovely poetry and a truly lovely fic. <3