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05/18/17 04:16 am
pj! I remember wishing one of your stories would be finished seriously about a decade ago. Amazing. I just tried an old password I used to use and amazingly got in too. Memories!
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10 yrs later, i finally rem my username and password. Pari, you rock. Hope you are well.
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And anyone else who loves this site, it's worth mentioning there's a nifty little "Donate" option just below the shout box here! ;)
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Author's Corner

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Banner by xoChantelly

Authors Chapter Notes:
Warnings for: Graphic M/F sex, graphic violence, murder scenes, adult language, character deaths. If that hasn't scared you off yet, bravo! ; )

* Huge thanks to Tiana for beta'ing me!
** Thanks to xoChantelly, Edgehead, gattaca, Lauren, Joy, and Magz for beautiful banners! I just love them!
*** Songs used in this fic: 'Safety Dance' is by Men Without Hats; 'Groove is in the Heart' is by Deee-lite; 'I Want You (She's so Heavy)' is by The Beatles; 'Into the Mystic' is by Van Morrison

Joss and ME own everything, I own nothing.

Spike walked slowly through his bedroom.

He was a handsome man, 19 years of age. The age when people are just starting out in their lives.

He wore a pair of faded, holey blue jeans with a black leather belt, a Sid Vicious t-shirt and black combat boots. His long-fingered hands were decorated with silver rings; he wore a padlock necklace on a chain around his neck; his nails were painted black, the polish was chipped. White-blonde spiky hair shone in the light like a beacon. His soulful, dark blue eyes were kohl lined.

Sunlight streamed through the second-floor window. Millions of tiny dust motes danced in the golden shafts. He put his hand through one beam, disrupting the motes momentarily before they built back up again.

"Well, that's enough fun for one day," Spike drawled sarcastically.

Everything looked the same as always. Nothing different. Nothing changed. Nothing ever happened.

He crossed to the window and looked out at the jungle-like vegetation of the front yard and sighed. His eyes scanned the yard for the -- how many times had he looked at it? It had to have been at least a thousand times. He absently flicked at the tatty white drapes framing the broken window.

"This is what I'm reduced to..." Spike said sadly. "Watchin' a bloody garden for entertainment..."

He was so tired of this place. Why couldn't he just leave again? He couldn't remember. It was frustrating. He'd be about to remember something, something important, then it would slip through his grasp. Maybe he would try to leave...later. Right now, he just wanted to look out the window.

Would his cousin Darla call him downstairs for lunch soon? No...he remembered then. Darla was dead.

"I'm dead," Spike said to the empty room. "Everyone's dead."

That's right. He forgot that sometimes. He forgot that a lot, actually.

He knew that there were others like him in the house, disembodied spirits. He saw them sometimes, going from room to room, sad and pained expressions on their faces. They usually didn't seem to notice him. He would call out, desperate for someone to talk to, for some companionship, but they would continue on their way, not even stopping to glance at him. Some were raving, having gone mad long ago, but most just glided through the halls projecting pain and despair.

Weren't they lonely too? Didn't they want to talk to another person? Occasionally, one of the others would stop and look at him. They didn't seem to know what to make of him. They would whisper their words, making it difficult to carry on a conversation with them.

How long had he been here? Probably a long time. It felt like a bloody eternity.

He sighed again. He was so alone, so utterly alone. But...something told him to keep it together. Something would happen, something would come for him or to him. Whether it was good or bad, he didn't know. But something would happen...eventually. He just had to be patient and wait.

His body became increasingly more transparent until he faded away completely.

A week later…

Buffy Summers pulled up in front of the dilapidated house in her red jeep.

Buffy was 21-years-old and an aspiring artist. Art had always been a passion for her. Her mother Joyce had instilled a love of art in her from an early age. That was what she wanted to do with her life, and thanks to a good-sized inheritance from her late Aunt Prudence, she was free to follow her dream.

She quickly got out and looked at her new property. The house was run-down, the paint was peeling, the shutters were either gone all together or hanging on by a thread, and the grounds were overrun with vegetation.

But she smiled like she was looking at the Taj Mahal. When she Willow and Xander bought this place, they knew they'd have a major fixer-upper on their hands. That's what they wanted.

Buffy couldn't believe their luck. She remembered the day that they found this place. They were driving through the country on their way back to L.A. They had been looking for a place to buy together for a few months with no luck. All the places they'd seen didn't leap out at Buffy, didn't grab her. Willow and Xander were getting impatient, ready to take anything. But Buffy held firm.

Then she'd seen it from the road as they drove by. Buffy had scared the crap out of Xander by shouting for him to stop the car. They stopped and Buffy got out, walking quickly up to the open front gates. Willow and Xander joined her, staring at the old mansion.

Buffy had felt something click in her head when she set eyes on the place. This was their house. This was the house she had been waiting to see. Something about it called out to her. Buffy had seen this place before, in her dreams. Only in the dreams it was immaculate. She needed to make it look like that again. She felt driven.

The house was a Tudor-style mansion, built sometime in the early 1900's as a mission, according to the real estate agent, Warren Mears. He had been unenthusiastic and downright rude until Buffy told him they wanted the house. His face had lit up and he became very cordial and friendly. Willow had asked why such a big and formerly fancy place hadn't been sold in 25 years. Warren explained that the house needed so much work that less adventurous people were afraid to take it on, and he thought that they had the 'right stuff' to get the job done. He was clearly stroking their egos. The guy was a weasel, but Buffy was determined to buy that house.

Now, it was hers. Well, hers, Willow and Xander's. It was perfect. Buffy would have peace and quiet to paint and sculpt, Xander would be able to fix the place up with his carpentry skills and Willow could work on the computer software programs she was developing. And when it was all finished, they would have a beautiful mansion to call their own.

"This is gonna take awhile," Buffy said out loud. "But it's so going to be --"

She halted when she noticed some movement in an upstairs window. Buffy stepped into the overgrown front yard, squinting up at the window. Was someone in there? Whatever she had seen, or thought she'd seen, wasn't there anymore.

Buffy laughed nervously. "Take it easy. It was just the breeze blowing curtains around. No one's in there. If I'm going to spend the whole night here alone, I'd better get a helluva lot tougher."

She went back to the jeep to get her gear and some supplies out of the back.

Spike stood by the window, as he usually did at this time of day.

A jeep pulled up in front of the property. He cocked his head to the side. Not many people stopped here. It was pathetic that he was getting so excited about the new element in his day. His life (or afterlife) was so predictable and lonely that even a looky-loo who would probably just get right back in their car, made him happy.

A blonde woman got out of the jeep and approached the house. She looked pretty. That was nice. Spike rarely saw anything beautiful. He sighed, wishing he could say 'Hello' to her, and ask her not to leave.

The woman looked up at his window. Spike was startled at first. Could she see him? Some ghosty instinct told him to hide, not to let her see him. He moved away from the window, his phantom heart beating wildly in his chest. After a minute, he chanced another peek out at her. She was returning to her car.

Spike felt like crying. She was leaving and would never come back. No one ever did. But then...she was coming back! She had a big sleeping bag rolled up under one arm and carried a box in the other. She was going to come in the house. He could at least have the company of a warm, live soul for the night.

Spike wanted to be near her, to feel her life-force, and just to look at her. The closer she came to the house, the more lovely she became. She was beautiful. The sunlight played in her hair, making it look like spun gold. A memory tickled the back of his mind. There was something familiar about this woman...but he couldn’t remember what it was. Hopefully, it would come to him.

He wondered if the others would bother her tonight. He wouldn't want them to scare her off, he wanted this girl to stay as long as possible. Spike decided to run interference and keep the other ghosties away from her.

This was an unexpected treat for him and he intended to make the most of every second that the girl was here.

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