Effulgent No Longer
Summery: Takes place in season 6 after Hells Bells. Spike confronts Halfrek/Cecily
Halfrek took a deep breath as she moved among the tombstones, nervously pulling her coat around her shivering form. This was a bad idea from the start. She knew it and D’hoffryn had known it, telling her that confronting her past as a human was bad business…especially when that past included people that were now vampires. But she didn’t listen. When she had seen him at the Slayer’s house, she had been shocked. She had thought him dead. She had thought that she’d never see him again. But obviously that was not true. He had fallen victim to a vampire attack and now not only walked among the undead, but among the Slayer’s clique as well. She hadn’t known what to say or do. But watching him tonight at the now defunct wedding…she knew what she had to do. She had to set things right for William…somehow…if he allowed her to.
She cringed as she remembered the last words she had spoken that night, when William had laid his heart out for her to trample on. “You’re beneath me.” Looking back, she regretted that statement. She had liked William back then. Really, she had. But if she had even let on that she had shared his feelings…Richard would never had let her live it down…Richard who had died from a railroad spike driven right through his head. Oh dear.
Finally she came upon the crypt that Clem thing had directed her to. William had a twisted taste in lairs it seemed. Pulling at the hem of the short dress she wore, Halfrek knocked, hoping that the vampire inside wouldn’t be too put out by her visit and wouldn’t get angry with her for wanting to dig up the past. She stood there for five seconds, waiting for him to come to the door. Impatiently, she knocked again, thinking of how rude it was of him not to answer the door straight away.
“Bloody hell! Hold on! Don’t get your knickers in a twist! I’m coming!” Spike called, the sound of his heavy boots clamping on the floor as he headed for the door.
Cecily frowned. Where did the cockney accent come from? William’s voice had an aristocratic lilt to it. Not this rough, working class…noise. The door opened to reveal the platinum haired, shirtless vampire, who glared at her recognition. So. He remembered her after all.
“What the hell do you want? Wasn’t getting me turned into a vampire enough for you? Or do you have a werewolf behind you to finish the job?”
“Hello William,” Cecily nervously smiled. She knew he had a reason to be cruel to her, but still…he should try to be a bit more civilized. What would his mother have said if she knew?
“Spike,” he snorted, walking back into his crypt, leaving the door open for her to enter.
“I don’t go by William anymore. Haven’t for over a century. I go by Spike now. Got that named from driving railroad spikes through the heads of those snooty friends of yours.”
Halfrek’s eyes widened in dismay. That was him? Oh poor Richard. If only he had watched what he said about William’s poetry…
“What do you want Cecily? I don’t have all night. Got places to go, people to scare,” Spike leaned against his fridge, lighting a cigarette in an effort to look cool as he pushed back the familiar feelings of awkwardness he had once felt when he was human and in Cecily’s presence. He felt that any minute, he would turn back into that whimpering idiot and begin spouting off poetry about her beauty. He couldn’t help but to snort as that thought went through his head. Looking at her now, she wasn’t the great beauty he had once thought she was. She definitely couldn’t hold a candle to his slayer.
Halfrek coughed, waving away the smoke that drifted in her direction. “Must you do that in my presence? It is quite unpleasant.”
“More the reason to do it,” Spike grinned, his eyes gleamed with malicious glee. Ah yes. William was not a simpering fool any longer. “Listen, Cecily. Just get to the point of this little visit then leave. You’re not one of my favorite people and the less I see of you the better.”
“Excuse me? For one, it’s Halfrek now. Cecily is a name I haven’t gone by in a century. You want me to call you Spike, then call me Halfrek.”
“Ok. Fine. Halfrek. What do you bloody want? Can’t a bloke just keep to himself without a bint from his past getting all up in his face?!”
Halfrek blinked in surprise. William certainly had changed. He was so brash and rude now. Nothing like the aristocratic gentleman that had attempted to woo her with his horrible poems. Of course, if mythology was to be believed, this really wasn’t William. Just a demon dressed up in his corpse taking advantage of his memories. But then again, she never did believe in mythology, plus the resentment coming off the creature before her was too real. No. This indeed was William. “Why…I…I came to talk to you. I wanted to apologize for my behavior the night of that party.”
Spike laughed. He laughed and laughed. So that was it. Ole Cecily was having a fit of conscious? Where was that conscious when she had so cruelly told him that he was beneath her? Where was that conscious when she stomped his heart into the ground and handed it over to Drusilla on a silver platter? “You’re sorry? You’re sorry?! Oh this is rich. This is too much! Do you know what happened after I left that party? Do you want to hear what I went through?”
Halfrek just smiled weakly, a ill feeling settling into the pit of her stomach. Something told her that she wasn’t going to like what she was about to hear. That she should just go now. Go back to D’hoffryn and prepare for her next assignment. But she couldn’t. She deserved this. She owed him this. He had been a wonderfully poetic young man, and obviously she had destroyed him beyond repair.
“I left that insipid party of yours and was on my way home. I was a simpering mess. I wanted to go somewhere dark and die alone with my horrible poems. But I wasn’t alone. She came to me out of the darkness and told me that I was meant for greater things. Seduced me with my own words she did. And when she sank her fangs into my throat, I didn‘t care. The woman I loved had rebuked me. There was no reason for me to live any longer. I welcomed death at that point. But death never came because I found myself clawing my way out of my grave, a new man. A new man out for blood,” Spike smiled, a distant look in his eyes, as if he was remembering happy times. Oh, we painted the town red that night. First visit I made was to your pal Richard. He wanted a railroad spike through his head instead of listening to those awful poems, so that was exactly what I gave him. You should have heard him, begging for his mediocre life. Apologizing and swearing that he’d do better. Bah!” Spike laughed. “I did that bloke a right favor, putting him out of his misery.”
“Oh Wil-Spike…I don’t…”
“I was going to come after you next. Wanted to get back some of my own. Almost did. But I could never get you alone and by time I did find you alone, ole Angelus, Dru’s sire, wanted to move on. Said all those killings I did were drawing too much attention. So we left London and I never bothered to go back. You just weren’t worth it.”
Halfrek stared at the ground, feeling horrified for her past actions. All of it was indeed her fault. She had sent William out to his doom. There was no way she could ever make up for it. No way at all.
“I ought to thank you and your friends though. Gave me a right suitable name. William the Bloody took on a whole new meaning,” Spike grinned, tossing away his cigarette. “I learned from Angelus himself, a right ferocious bastard. The scourge of Europe. And after he became affected with a soul, I took his place. Dru and I, we owned Europe. “
“Spike…I’m sorry. I know that what happened to you was all my fault. I destroyed the man you were and I supposed I helped create the man you are now…”
She was interrupted by laughter, deep and sarcastic. She looked at him in surprise as he paced the crypt.
“Don’t flatter yourself, Pet. You have nothing to do with the man I am today. Only one woman holds that honor. And if anyone deserves have poetry written about them, it’s her. She’s strong, brave, beautiful, and loyal. She’d never do to poor William what you had done. No pet. You could never hold a candle to Buffy.”
Halfrek’s eyes widened in amazement. Why, some things didn’t change after all. William was always reaching for the unattainable and this was unattainable as one could get. “The slayer? My goodness, you’re in love with the slayer?! The last I heard, you were killing slayers, not falling in love with them!”
Spike shrugged, lighting up another cigarette. “What can I say. She’s quite the woman. More woman then you and fluttering girlfriends could ever be.”
“Why I…I don’t know what to say..I’m sorry…”
“I’m not. Dru saved me from a life full of mediocrity, she did. If it hadn’t been for her, I would have died a simpering weakling and had never met my slayer and lil’ bit. So don’t worry about it,” Spike shrugged off the apology. He then looked at her curiously. “Now that I’ve told you mine, tell me yours. How did Miss. Cecily Wimple become a mighty vengeance demon? Some man finally saw you for the bitch you were and ran for greener pastures?”
Halfrek blinked, again taken aback by his bluntness. She had to keep reminding herself that this wasn’t her William anymore. He no longer cared about propriety. “No. That was Anyanka’s deal. Her man dumped her, she got revenge and became a vengence demon. I on the other hand…well…my children were murdered and I found their killer and enacted vengeance on him. D’hoffryn liked what he saw and now I’m here to avenge the children.”
Spike just nodded. “Well…Halfrek. I can’t say that it’s been good to see you. Just interesting. Now that you’ve assuaged you guilty conscious, you may leave now,” Spike walked to the door and opened it.
“Spike…it’s good to know that you’re happy at any rate. I’m…happy that you were able to move on. I’m sure that the slayer is a very lucky woman.”
“Yeah yeah. Get out.”
“Good bye. William,” Halfrek smiled, exiting the crypt. She turned around, just to find the door closing in her face. “Well, that was rude.” She snorted, before teleporting back to get her new assignment.
Spike in the mean time stood with his back against the wall, his blue eyes full of pride in himself. He hadn’t broken down into a simpering mess after all. He had maintained his cool and kept his air of indifference. He had shown that cold bitch what it was like to get the cold shoulder.
Effulgent? Now why did he ever think that her beauty was such a thing. Cecily wasn’t all that beautiful. She never even came close to Buffy’s, whose beauty really was effulgent. Smiling to himself, he took a step outside and looked up at the stars. It was a beautiful night for patrol. Maybe he could hook up with the slayer and they can patrol together. Maybe even slay a certain vengeance demon if they should happen upon her.
Grinning to himself, Spike headed out for the Summer’s residence, finally putting his past as William behind him.
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