I thought I'd better get to you before Andrew gets back and spills the beans. I've got no illusions that he'll keep the secret, even though he said he would. The boy's mouth starts running and everything in his head spills out.
I supposed I could have called you on the phone, but you know how it is. I can never get a signal when I need it on my cell.
So, I'm writing, and hoping Andrew has to stay around here a while before he can arrange transport for the psycho Slayer.
So, here's the thing, Buffy. I'll just come out and say it. I'm not dead anymore. Well, yeah, I'm still dead, but I'm not dusty dead, if you know what I mean.
Ain't exactly clear why, but I'm back.
I know you're probably pretty ticked that I didn't contact you right away when I found I hadn't landed in the after life, but at first I couldn't. I mean, I really couldn't. Try to pick up the phone and it'd just go right through me. And after I got the solidity thing worked out, well
He looks at the paper and grimaces, shaking his head. No, it won't do, not at all. He crumples the letter up and throws it in the basket beside his table -- where it joins the other eight aborted attempts.
I can't believe you survived somehow and didn't let me know. That's right, I know. Andrew called me right after he put the girls on their plane back here. I hope you didn't think he could keep a secret. I would have called, but I can't seem to get the hang of these Italian telephones. None of the operators speak English. It's just too hard.
I don't know what to think now. Why haven't you called me? Why?
I know you think I don't love you, that I never loved you. I guess I can see why you'd think that. I never told you until it was too late. Even those last nights, when we lay together, when touching you was all that kept me from going mad, even then I couldn't shake the words loose. I know you needed to hear it. And I let you down.
But if I had it to do again, I know it would be different.
I understand you're working with Angel. I think you should reconsider that. Get out of LA, Spike. Wolfram & Hart can't be changed. It's too big, too evil. Even if you don't want to come back to me, save yourself. Go somewhere -- anywhere but there.
She looks at the paper and knows it won't do. It isn't what she wants to say. It's more of the emotionally distant crap that's been coming out of her ever since she came back. There has to be a way to say what she feels.
She crumples up the paper and drops it into the basket next to her table -- where it joins the other five attempts.
OK, I know you probably already know I'm alive. The boy would never be able to keep news like that bottled up.
I would have called, but you know, I've been really busy, what with fighting evil and helping the helpless and all. I guess you're the same.
So how's Rome? Used to know a bloke from there. He'd been a monk or some such, before he was a vamp. Decent sort, he was -- if you overlook the blood sucking
He shakes his head and crumples the paper into a ball.
How could you come back from the dead and not tell me? How could you? I've been crying ever since Andrew called. I can't believe it. I don't know whether these tears are from the joy I feel at knowing you're alive, or the pain of knowing you didn't want me to know.
OK, I guess I get it. I should have told you I loved you before you were dying. Maybe next time I'll get it right.
Please come back to me, Spike. I know you don't believe I love you, but if you'll just give me another chance, I promise, everything will be different.
She frowns. Too desperate. No, that won't do. She tears it up and drops the pieces into the basket.
Let's skip over the small talk. I'm back and have been for a while, and I'm pretty sure you know it.
Why didn't I let you know? I'm sure that's the big question you've got right now.
It's not that I don't care about you anymore. I swear. I still love you. I can't help it. It's part of me. My love for you is woven into my soul. As long as I have the soul, it's going to be reaching out to you. That's just how it is.
But for me, the question becomes, what am I going to do about it? Am I going to continue as I was, focused on nothing and nobody but you? Or am I going to turn my energies to making myself into someone worthy of your love?
When I went to get my soul, I thought that would make me worthy. After I got it, I knew there was no hope.
But you gave me hope again. You made me believe I could change what I was. Too bad it wasn't enough.
Another one for the trash bin.
After Andrew told me the news, I called Giles. I know how it was between you two before you closed the hellmouth. But really, he was glad to hear you survived.
I think you should leave LA. I realize with the whole not telling me you were back thing you might not want to come here -- to me. I think I can understand that. Maybe you want to be your own man now.
But I think it might be a lot better for you if you got away from Angel and Wolfram & Hart. Nothing good can come from that place, Spike.
If you want to go to London, Giles could use your help reorganizing the Council. He won't contact you himself. He doesn't think you'd take his call. But he's willing to take you in.
Buffy sighs. Nope, that isn't going to do it. No way is Spike going to go to London to work with Giles. Giles tried to kill him. What was she thinking? Desperation. That's what it is. Anything to get Spike away from LA, because if he gets out of Wolfram & Hart's thrall, surely he'll come back to her. She crumples up the paper and tosses it aside.
Why haven't I let you know I'm back? I've asked myself that question a thousand times now. I want you. As God is my witness, I still want you.
But I don't know that I want to be with you.
God, it's hard. I feel so alone. Every day I fight the urge to jump on a ship and make my way to you. Every day I remember what it was like when I was with you.
Loving you was like starving to death. It was hunger. It gnawed through me until I couldn't think of anything but you. That's how it was when you hated me. That's how it was when you came to me and used me. That's how it was, even when you depended on me. I was hungry and there was nothing that could satisfy me, except finding a way to make you love me back.
I'm not blaming you for the way it was, pet. Not your fault, not at all. You're a Slayer. You got a mission. You got the light of everything that's light, and clean, and good shining out of you. And there's no way you could ever love a thing like me -- a monster. You can appreciate all I tried to do for you -- all I tried to change, but the universe ain't gonna stand for you loving the likes of me.
I'm still hungry, love. But it's not so strong when I'm not around you. I'm getting by.
Bugger. Can't tell her that.
He puts his face in his hands. He can't do it. He just can't. Writing it down makes it too real. He sweeps the paper off the table angrily.
Why is this so hard? I know you're alive. I want you back.
I know what went wrong was my fault. All my fault. I took from you and never gave you anything back.
Please come back to me. I want to promise you that I'll be different, but why should you believe me?
So don't believe me. Just come back to me.
I miss you every day. You're in my thoughts, in my heart, every waking hour. It was bad enough believing you were gone and I'd never see you, never touch you again. It's so much worse knowing that you're alive, and you are staying away from me by choice.
If you have any feelings for me left, have pity on me.
She shakes her head again. It's impossible. She can't make herself put this letter in an envelope and mail it. It's too hard. She gets up to put away her pen and paper.
Feed Elsa Visit Elsa Return to Writercon Archive Main