The World Is Mine
The world is mine: blue hill, still silver lake,
Broad field, bright flower, and the long white road,
A gateless garden, and an open path,
My feet to follow, and my heart to hold.
His shirt collar scraped at the scar on his neck, and Spike remembered why he hated wearing a tie. Still, he wasn't undercover anymore, and had to dress like a proper detective. But here on the Underground platform, surrounded by suits and briefcases, no one would notice him. Well, okay, everyone noticed him. He was just different enough that they all noticed him, gave him wide berth, let him move to the front of the platform.
I don't kill humans in this dimension, he wanted to tell them. But as he thought the words, he decided they wouldn't actually sound that reassuring. So he just moved through the path opened for him, and went to the edge of the platform, and looked down the dark tube into the darkness. It was hot down here, and smelled of flesh, and he loosened his tie. He ran a couple fingers under his collar and thought of his flat in Southwark, which had airconditioning and a three-inch view of the river, and the Old George down the street, where Pepys got drunk, and Shakespeare probably too. (All the old pubs in Southwark claimed Shakespeare as a former customer, and they were probably right at that.)
(They had Shakespeare here. And Southwark, and the Underground. Why didn't they have vampires?)
The train came in a whoosh of hot air. It wasn't his train, but the Central Line, and he stepped back to let the passengers out. He'd been doing this for, oh, a century or more, since his father had taken him to see The Big Dig, back when the first lines were being laid, back when
Only it wasn't this Underground, and it wasn't this
The doors started to close, and that same mechanical voice uttered the same words as in his old world: Mind the gap. It was perhaps the wisest thing anyone had ever said to him, and he was considering each word—Mind. The. Gap—when he saw her just inside the door, her slender hand tight around the silver pole, her attitude sending out "back off" signals that everyone was heeding.
"Buffy," he whispered. She couldn't have heard him, not above the roar of an approaching train, but she must have heard him, for she looked straight at him.
No. It couldn't be her. Buffy was in the other world. Buffy was safe in the other world, going to school, or dating a dozen boys her own age, or looking for him. Well. No. Not that last. Anyway, this wasn't Buffy. Buffy was in the other world. This was just a blonde girl, her Buffy-mouth shaping the word "Oh."
Just his blasted good looks. That had been his downfall ever since—well, ever since Drusilla thought he was too pretty to live. Girls didn't like him all that much in his own world—he was either too dangerous, or worse, too safe—but here, they always –
Now her mouth was shaping another word, and he heard it—only a breath, one only a vampire could hear, a breath on the rush of wind and noise as the train left the platform.
Only a word. Only one word. "Spike."
He waited there on the platform. Hours and hours. He waited. He didn't know what else to do. He waited, as train after train pulled in, disgorged passengers, and pulled out. Finally, when he had given up (but couldn't bring himself to leave, for that would really be giving up, and he never, not in this world or the last, gave up), a Piccadilly car. It opened, and everyone spilled out, and there, pushing through, was her. Buffy. Buffy.
"Buffy," he whispered, and opened his arms, and she ran across the platform to him, laughing and crying at once.
"Spike. Spike. My Spike."
Buffy. Buffy. My Buffy.