Phantasms

Sometimes it was Buffy who came and sat beside him. She listened, and offered advice, and Spike liked it when it was her. Not just because he loved her, but because she would sometimes turn into a real girl. He didn't even have to be in the middle of a conversation with her -- sometimes he'd just be staring at the walls or talking to the voices in his head who didn't have faces, and she'd walk in and he'd know it was really her because the other faces in the room would get all wavy, or vanish entirely.

The others never did that, and he suspected that it was because they were all of them not real. He still liked talking with them some of the time -- talking to the witch had been all right, until she'd gone and been real anyway. It was almost like having a guest. Sometimes it was the other one, though, and she was soft and quiet and glowed and made his eyes hurt. Once it had been Dawn, but he'd told her to not be here, it wasn't safe, and he remembered his promise to watch out for her. Right now all he could do to keep her safe was not let her be around him where the dangerous things lived.

He'd had arguments with the Watcher, even, and that had been a real eye-opener, especially when they'd argued in Latin. He still didn't know if that one was a dream, or the voice in his head -- because he only knew Latin from school, and it was the voice in him who remembered school. But the Watcher had argued from the other side of the room and it was possible that he'd actually not been there. Or actually been here?

He couldn't actually remember, now, which way he prefered it.

Once had been his mum, offering him a cup of tea and inviting him into her house. He'd bitten her, and wailed for an entire day on the bars, because she'd scolded him both before and after and it wasn't the sort of thing he thought he needed to do.

Dru never came. The one person who could talk to him, and maybe understand him, and she didn't come.

Angelus came, but he never talked, only walked back and forth like he was pissed he'd been brought here to be a madman's dream. The demon girl came as well, and asked him questions he couldn't answer and didn't understand. He didn't really mind, but he hadn't even noticed when she left so he didn't think she'd be back. Or maybe she had, and he hadn't realised it. Sometimes he didn't notice when they showed up.

Sometimes he would realise that someone was there and had been there for -- he didn't know how long. He couldn't tell time, except for the screaming of the sun that marked the days. Buffy did that, sometimes, sitting on a box and listening to him for hours with him noticing she was there.

But the other one never said a word. He never appeared, either, except when Spike's eyes were closed and he was trying to get something like sleep, or something like oblivion. Spike would be crouched in a corner and whispering softly and trying to not be there, and he'd realise someone was touching his hair, softly. He'd open his eyes but not look up, and he wouldn't move and he wouldn't talk, and there would never be anything to hear. After a while, Spike would close his eyes again and sometime later when he wasn't paying attention, the touch would vanish.