Spike decided he needed a break. He got up and, putting the manuscript
under his arm, he left the office not knowing where he was going. He started walking, enjoying how it felt to stretch
one’s legs. He had spent what felt like an eternity in a ghost-like state and now he was just getting used to
being able to use his muscles again.
Spike thought that maybe he was wasting his time here in Los Angeles.
Now that he was whole again, he could go anywhere. He considered going to Rome to catch up with the Slayer, but what
would he tell her? Sorry, love, been a ghost for a short spell, but here I am ready to catch up. Hey, remember when you
said you loved me? Would Buffy even want to see him? Would she feel like he had somehow betrayed her by not dying
in a fantastic burst of light? Maybe it would be better if she never found out that he was back. But he missed
her. Her and the little bit and even her more annoying hangers on.
Deciding not to think about it any more for the time being, Spike went to
the company snack bar. He ordered some pig’s blood and sat down in a chair to continue finding out more about
the former demon.
Fights, Breakups and Squabbles
Xander and I continued to work on building our relationship. I would
often call him at night and hope that he be the one that answered, so I wouldn’t have to talk to his disagreeable mother
or his uncle who smelled of candy cane and old spice. His father never answered, which I was glad for, because, later
the man would cause me nothing but problems.
Xander and I were kind of kindred spirits. Neither one of us had a lot of
focus in our lives at that time. Xander went from job to job and I tried to be supportive. After he finished working
for Giles, he decided he wanted to be a bartender. That job lasted less than a week. Apparently there was some
problem with his friend Buffy getting drunk and becoming a total bitch. I’m not sure of the whole story, even
though Xander went on and on about it.
So I would call Xander at night when I thought that he might be home and his
relatives would be passed out, I mean asleep. I would go to his basement and we would have hot, delicious sex.
I spent my days at the Sunnydale public library. I must have read every
book they had on relationship building. Ever since Xander told me that relationships took work, I decided to make ours
my life’s work. I learned many things from these self-help books. For one thing, I learned
that it was important to listen to your mate. So I tried to listen as Xander told me about his life, but it was often
hard, as I just wanted to tear his clothes off.
Xander told me about Buffy being dumped by some guy she had slept with.
He told me how Willow had been dumped by her werewolf boyfriend. He told me about his new job selling hotdogs on a stick.
He told me how much of a loser Giles was becoming because he didn’t have a job. He told me about some weird commando
guys that had been spotted around Sunnydale. And on and on he went.
I listened as best I could. He described my listening ability as anti-Troi.
I’m still not sure what that meant, but I took it as a compliment. I listened so long, I often wished that my
ears would fall off which isn’t such a bad thing, as Van Gogh’s mistress can tell you from a visit I once made
to her. I listened, but that wasn’t the only thing that I started doing to help my relationship along.
Another insight the books had was that a good mate should become friendly
with her partner’s friends. Besides the Watcher and the absentee werewolf, all of Xander’s friends were girls.
I tried to become closer to them, but it was often difficult. Buffy and Willow were both in college and had their own
interests. Willow was dabbling in witchcraft and Buffy was busy being the slayer. At that point in time all they
seemed to want to do was whine about their broken relationships. Now, had I still been a vengeance demon, those would
have been my favorite times. But since I was just a human, I just sat there and pretended to be interested.
Besides the books on relationships, I decided to learn more about sexual
intimacy. Each day, I would find information about a new position, and at night Xander and I would test it out.
I found Xander to be open to pretty much anything and he really seemed to be enjoying every aspect of that part of our lives.
So each night we would change it up and, as the books called it, we successfully “spiced up” our sex life.
After Xander was fired from the hot dog place, he spent a few days moping
around his dank, depressing basement. I would come over and keep him company. We would watch cartoons on his tiny
television. (I did make him move the rabbit ears where I couldn’t see them). Then Xander got a new job doing
some digging for a new construction at the university.
I went to the site on the day they were supposed to begin digging.
I liked to watch Xander work. I had spent a lot of time in the mall food court watching his back as he put sticks in
hotdogs. Every time he’d turn around, I’d wave at him and he’d waved back. When he got fired,
he was told that he had too distracted to work in such a fast-paced job. I never found out why he was distracted.
So I was standing there when Buffy and Willow showed up. Continuing
with the plan to becoming friends with Xander’s friends, I did not tell them to leave (as was my first instinct).
“Look at him,” I said, gazing at Xander as he stood next
to a platform holding a shovel. “Have you ever seen anything so masculine?”
“So much sexier than the outfit from his last job,” Buffy
She was right. Polyester pants and shirt do not look good on anyone,
but Xander in a tank top and jeans… “I’m imagining having sex with him right now.”
Willow kept interrupting my imaginings by talking about the evils of
celebrating Thanksgiving. Blah, blah, blah.
Buffy and Willow debated a little and occasionally I would interject
my opinion. Chit-chatting is a learned behavior and I tried desperately to participate; however, my thoughts were on
Xander’s large arms and glistening shoulders.
Then, to my distress, I noticed that some lady who’d been on the
stage talking way too much started digging.
“What’s she doing? Xander said he was going to dig.
I want to see Xander dig.”
“That part’s just ceremonial,” Buffy explained to
“Well, it bites. She’s not rippling at all.”
Then Xander started digging and I started imaging having sex with him again.
All of a sudden, Xander fell into a hole that opened up.
“No!” I screamed as I ran to the hole.
“Xander, are you broken?” I yelled down the hole.
He told me he was all right. The other construction workers lowered
a rope down to him and pulled him up. His boss gave him the rest of the day off and I walked him home.
The next morning, I went to the site to watch him dig some more, but
he wasn’t there. I went to his basement and confronted him.
“Xander, what are you doing?” I asked. “I went
to watch you dig and you weren’t there doing it.”
I noticed that he looked sweaty, but not in that good way like he’d
get after an evening of experimentation. I felt his forehead. “Your head is moist.” Then I realized
he was sick. “You can’t go to work. You’re pasty and wet and disgusting.”
“I don’t feel so bad,” he lied to me.
“I inflicted a lot of putrefying diseases on men,” I told
him, “and you look like you’re getting all of them.”
“I’ll stay,” he said, giving in to logic. “But
you should go. You could catch it.”
“We’ll die together,” I told him. “It’s
Now, when I explained about reading about relationships in self-help
books, I didn’t include the fact that I found many of those books in the paperback section of the library. They
had pictures of well-muscled men and large-bosomed women on the cover, and really explained a lot about how romance was supposed
to work. Relationships had to overcome many obstacles before the happy ending, but there was always a happy ending.
Like the Ascension, I believed that Xander’s illness was another obstacle that would bring us together in the end.
“You’re a strange girlfriend,” Xander said as I undressed
him. It was the first time he had ever called me that, so I new that this relationship was really building. All
my work had not been in vain.
I lay down with him and spent the rest of the day taking care of him.
That night, as Xander was tossing and turning and sweating very profusely,
the phone rang. I answered it and it was Giles. He went on and on about a couple of murders and Buffy finding
a Chumash guy whose spirit had been released. I tried to relate his story to Xander, but he was barely lucid.
The next morning, when Xander’s condition didn’t improve,
I took him to the emergency room. After waiting an endless amount of time, the doctor finally saw him. He ran
test after test and finally told us that Xander had a lot of different symptoms that didn’t connect. He sent Xander
home with some pills and instructions to get some rest.
Xander insisted that we go to Giles’ for Buffy’s Thanksgiving
dinner. I tried to dissuade him, but as I would learn later, Xander’s loyalty to his friends always came first.
I knocked on the door and Giles answered.
“Xander, you look like death,” he said.
We told them about the visit to the doctor and how his symptoms didn’t
Buffy realized that the symptoms in fact were connected to this Chumash
warrior spirit that Xander had accidentally disturbed when he fell into the hole. He was apparently the recipient of
various diseases that many of the warrior’s tribe had suffered. Xander started panicking when he found out that one
of the diseases was syphilis.
“It won’t kill you,” I told him trying to calm him
down. “It will make you blind and insane, but it won't kill you. The smallpox will.”
Willow and Giles started debating, trying to decide whether to try and
kill the demon or how to stop him.
“He’s a vengeance demon,” Xander said, “You
don’t talk to a vengeance demon. You kill him.”
I was completely taken aback by that. I couldn’t believe
that Xander was prejudiced. That one statement began our first argument.
“I didn’t know you felt that way,” I said. “A
demon has to do what a demon has to do.”
“Oh, right,” he said sarcastically, “defend the evil.”
“Sometimes vengeance is justified,” I explained.
“You know I didn’t mean you,” he said.
“You’re just saying this because you’re intimidated
by me,” I said.
I knew that couples were supposed to argue, so again I considered this
a step in the right direction. It was hard to hear each other as Giles and Willow argued about how to defeat the warrior.
Then all of a sudden, Buffy interrupted all of us.
There was a bang at the door and a vampire named Spike begged to come in.
They allowed him to enter because he claimed to have information on the commandos.
As Buffy tied him to a chair, I did what I could to help with the meal.
I didn’t mind as long as it benefited my bond with Xander.
Giles realized that the warrior was taking out authority figures and it was
decided that someone should warn the college dean. Willow volunteered first. I decided to go as well, just to
get away from Buffy’s irritating party obsession. Poor, sick, syphilis-ridden Xander decided to go as well.
The three of us made our way to the dean’s house. Willow rang
the doorbell and the dean answered.
“Everybody got both ears?” I asked, making sure that the warrior
hadn’t been there already.
Between the three of us, we tried to tell the dean that he was in danger.
Xander and Willow were as vague as possible about what kind of danger the dean might be in. Whenever I would try to
be forthright about it, Xander would pull on my arm, indicating for me to keep quiet. The dean looked at us as if we
were crazy and his wife gave us pie as they ushered us out the door.
Outside, a large man appeared, glowering. It was Angel, whom Xander
and Willow had told me about. Apparently he and Buffy had had a relationship that went wrong. Honestly, if I were
still a demon, Buffy could have kept me on retainer.
He told us that all the Chumash weapons from the cultural center had been
stolen. We explained why we were at the dean’s house and Angel figured out that the warrior may have gone after
The three of us procured some bikes and made our way to help Buffy.
We got there in what seemed like the blink of an eye and found several Chumash warriors attacking Giles’ house.
Xander hit one of them on the head with a pot and they came after us. Willow
and I grabbed shovels and we began hitting one of the warriors. No matter how hard we hit him, he wouldn’t go down.
All of a sudden, Angel swooped in and saved us. We went inside to help the others, and, I have to admit, I don’t
know if it was the adrenaline or what, but I was really enjoying all the hitting.
Xander distracted the chief and Buffy was able to kill him. The other
warrior spirits faded away into nothing.
We sat down and had our nice dinner.
With the warriors gone, Xander’s mystical illnesses finally left him
and life went pretty much back to what had become normal.
A few days later, Buffy and Willow met Xander and me at the Bronze.
After Willow disappeared, Buffy told us that the werewolf had sent for his stuff and that Willow was really upset. I
told her that if I had my powers back I would liquefy his entrails. Willow came back to the table completely intoxicated.
To me, it has always been interesting that often when humans ought to feel
the need for vengeance, they tend to hurt themselves instead. Willow was trying to dull her pain with drink, when she
should have gone after him and hurt him in many different ways.
Buffy finally dragged Willow out of the Bronze. Xander and I went home
and had some more incredible orgasms.
The next day, Xander and I were trying to spend some alone time together in
his basement, but his mother kept coming in with fruity snacks. It bothered me, but becoming close to your partner’s
family was another building block for good relationships.
From out of nowhere a Separvo demon showed up. Xander stupidly tried
to strangle it. Why didn’t this demon-fighting team ever work on the basics? What did they do during all
their time together? If they were going to be fighting demons, they needed to know what it took to disable and kill
them. I told Xander that it had to be drowned or it wouldn’t die. As Xander dunked his head in water, another
demon crashed through the window.
Xander and I ran all the way to Giles’ with more and more demons right
behind us. When we got there, we found that Giles was blind and that Buffy and Giles’ pet vampire were getting
married. It was quite a surprise for me because I didn’t even know they were dating. I was a little jealous
of their coming nuptials.
Xander seemed to have an idea about what was going on. He thought it
had something to do with Willow.
“I’m so, so tired of her mood swings,” he said.
Ecstatic, I said, “So I don’t have to be nice to her any more?”
He didn’t answer, but later when I asked, he told me I still had to
be nice to her.
Xander and Buffy realized that Willow had performed a spell that apparently
had gone wrong. Of course, I could tell you from personal experience that this seemed to be an ongoing problem for her.
Buffy, Xander, the vampire and I went to the dorm to find her.
When we got there I was shocked by what I saw. The floor was burnt in
a circle and I immediately knew what that meant. I told them that D’Hoffryn had opened a portal there.
They asked me who D’Hoffryn was and I told them how he had made me a vengeance demon 1120 years prior.
D’Hoffryn had apparently decided to offer Willow an opportunity to be
one of his legion. He was going to replace me with Willow! I couldn’t let that happen, so I led the others
to the crypt from where I could open a portal to Ahashmaharr.
Outside of the crypt, more demons attacked us. We ran into the crypt
and the others started barricading the door as I tried to summon D’Hoffryn. I began the incantation, but was flummoxed
when I realized I couldn’t remember it.
The demons made their way in and started attacking Xander. I went to
help and was quickly knocked out of the way.
Willow appeared and performed a reversal spell. She kept telling us
how sorry she was and all I could think was how unfathomable it was for her to turn down the life of a vengeance demon.
She was offered the life I had most wanted and chose instead to live through her misery. Idiot.
So Xander and I continued our relationship. I would spend the days learning
more about relationship building and spend the nights with Xander. I came across a book one day about equanimity in
relationships. It described how one person alone cannot make a relationship works. Both parties needed to participate
in the growth. As I read it, I realized that I was the only one working on the relationship.
I went to Xander’s to tell him about my newfound information.
He was going to Giles’, so I followed.
“You’re using me,” I told him. “I’m working
around the clock on this relationship, just like you said I would need to do, and all you do is use me.”
“What?” he asked. “When did I tell you to…?
“A couple of months ago,” I told him, “you told me that
relationships take work. I’ve read all the books about what it takes and you were right. They do take work.
Only, it seems like I’m the only one doing the work.”
“I don’t get where this is coming from,” Xander said.
“Well, what am I supposed to think?” I asked.
“How could you say I’m using you?”
“You don’t care about what I think. You don’t ask about
Xander lamely said, “I care about you.”
“How much?” I asked. He didn’t answer. “What
do I mean to you?”
Xander stammered, not able to answer
“This isn’t a relationship,” I said getting angrier. “You
don’t need me. All you care about is lots of orgasms.”
We were by that time inside Giles’ apartment and Xander started complaining
about me taking our private conversations in public. I went ahead and stayed quiet until Giles told me why he’d asked
Xander to come over. He wanted us to take his vampire for a couple of days. He told us that he had an orgasm friend
coming to town for a little frolicking.
Xander conceded and it angered me because we were supposed to have a romantic
dinner that night. In anticipation of my confrontation with Xander, I had made reservations at one of the most romantic
restaurants in Sunnydale. I’d read that the best thing about couples arguing was the make-up sex.
I left Giles’ alone and went back to my apartment. I called and
canceled the reservations. If it weren’t for Giles’ need for sex, Xander and I could have been making up.
I went to bed, trying to figure out where I had gone wrong.
When I woke up the next morning, I went about my morning routine. As I was
heading to the library, I saw that there were people roaming the streets looking distraught. What’s wrong with
these people, I thought. When I got to the library I noticed that it was closed.
“What in the world?” I tried to ask aloud. However, nothing
came out of my mouth.
I tried for several minutes, but apparently I had completely lost my voice.
I soon realized that that was why people were distraught. I wasn’t the only one. No one could speak.
It was very disconcerting.
Xander, I thought. I need to go see Xander.
I was half-way to his house when I heard a car horn. I turned at the
noise and saw Xander’s car. Xander leapt out of his seat and came running to me. He put his strong arms
around me and held me close for several moments.
We made our way to Giles’. The Watcher didn’t seem to know any
more than we did.
His friend was sitting in a chair with a drink in her hand. Xander and
I joined her, sitting on the couch nearby. The television was on and we half-paid attention to it.
I became more and more frustrated at our inability to talk. I wanted,
no, needed to talk to Xander about what had happened the previous day. I felt bad that we had argued, but really wanted
to know what Xander thought his contribution to our relationship was. Since we couldn’t talk, we just sat there
and stared at the box.
Buffy and Willow arrived with message boards hanging from their necks.
They looked ridiculous, but I wished that I had thought of buying one.
Xander noticed that there was a news brief about Sunnydale and he turned the
TV up. The broadcaster said that it was a kind of laryngitis that had infected the city and that it was probably brought
on by a flu virus. I knew this was just a cover, because no one seemed to have any other flu symptoms.
After several hours of waiting around not doing anything, I decided to leave.
I went back to my apartment and, unable to find anything else to do, I turned on my rarely-used computer. After hours
of aimlessly surfing through the Internet, I fell asleep.
I woke up the next morning when I heard the alert from an instant message.
It was from someone named WitchHacker031.
VengiAnya: Yes? I typed not knowing who was contacting
WitchHacker031: It’s Willow.
Giles sent me an e-mail.
VengiAnya: Okay? I typed, not understanding
why it concerned me.
WitchHacker031: He thinks he may know what’s
VengiAnya: Oh. That’s good.
WitchHacker031: Can you go get Xander and
meet us at the university?
After a few moments, I decided that figuring out what was going on was
a means to an end… finishing the conversation Xander and I had begun.
I got up, changed clothes and went to Xander’s. I opened
the door to find Xander asleep on his bed, face down. Spike was tied to a chair, watching the TV.
I woke Xander up and somehow communicated that we needed to meet Giles.
Xander found a scrap piece of paper and wrote, “Need to take Spike. Mom’s doing laundry.”
We untied the vampire and decided to drop him off at Giles’ on
the way. We made our way one of the college’s lecture halls after stopping at the student center to get some popcorn.
Once everyone was there, Giles began explaining with transparencies
his theory on what was going on. I half paid attention. My thoughts kept going to the fact that Xander’s
basement was empty right then and I was longing to be in his arms. We had been with each other every night since we started
dating, but now it had been two nights in a row apart.
After the overhead slide show, Xander and I went back to Giles’
to help with research. I lay on the couch with a book in my hand, pretending to search for The Gentlemen. The
author of that particular book was a former watcher who went on and on detailing every single thing. For a moment I
thought I’d picked up an Anne Rice novel.
Xander left to get some snacks from his parents’ house and I forced
myself to stay awake. Eventually, though, I succumbed to fatigue and fell asleep.
A thump woke me. I opened my eyes and saw Xander punching the
Watcher’s pet vampire, whose teeth were bared. I grabbed Xander’s arm to get his attention. He looked at
me and then at Spike. Apparently he thought that Spike was trying to feed off of me. I mouthed that I was all
right and he hugged me and kissed me more passionately than he ever had.
Xander had fought for me. He really did care for me. Maybe
he was working on our relationship too, but in a different way. I let him know that I forgave him and wanted to have
the make-up sex I’d read about with a simple gesture. We left together, hand in hand.