Remember by Lazuli Kat



“I’m sorry, I really don’t remember you.”


“I’m not trying to be difficult, I just…don’t.”

“So why’d you let me in?”

“Why shouldn’t I?  The Council doesn’t give ID to just anyone.”

“This isn’t about ID!  I just walked straight in.  Doesn’t that prove you know me?”

Xander shrugged, turning his very vulnerable back on a completely unfamiliar vampire who was apparently…well…completely unfamiliar, and basically missing Spike’s point entirely.

“I see the ID, open the door, you walk in.  I give you the information the Council wants, you take it, you walk out.  That’s how it works, pal, you new at this?”

“Talk to the girls,” Spike insisted, “they’ll tell you who I am.  What I am.”

Xander was already waving the demand aside.

“It’s the middle of the night in England, you’ll have to wait for morning.  Their morning.”

Spike groaned and slumped in his chair.  His chair, the chair he habitually sprawled in whenever he visited Xander’s Council-funded, Hellmouth-handy home.  The chair that Xander was convinced he’d never seen Spike in before, and didn’t that just burn.  It took mere moments for Spike to figure out what had gone wrong.

“That bloody demon put everything back but me.”

“Yeah, you mentioned a demon, but…”  At least this shrug was a little apologetic.  “I don’t have any memory of the one you’re talking about.  You say it looked…”

“Perfectly human.  Tall as you, dark hair.  Called itself Jesse.”

Xander instantly tensed.

“No.  Jesse was…a friend of mine.  Died a long time ago.” 

“See, that’d work: using memories of your Jesse to make you trust him.”

“If we really knew one another you’d know about Jesse too.”  Xander gestured to the door.  “Maybe you should leave until I can talk to Giles and get this cleared up.”

Spike resolutely refused to budge.

“You know me, Xander.  Remember Angel giving you away when—  You do remember Angel?”

“Well, Angel, sure.  Just not…”

“Who did he give you to at the school that time?  Who?  And you remember Drusilla?  Who wanted the love spell to get her back?  Who kidna—  Not a great example to make you trust me, I can do better.  Your parents, I know about your parents.  Tony and Jessica, made you pay to live in their shitty basement where you tied me to a bloody chair and…”

“I tied you to a chair?” Xander frowned.  “You’d think I’d remember something that hot.”

“No, I…  Hot?  Really?”  Spike reluctantly shook himself out of that particular train of thought.  “You almost married Anyanka.  Almost did, then you didn’t, and then you came after me with an axe when—  Another example I shouldn’t use.”

“You knew Anya?”

Yes.  And there was that whole Glory thing, you with the wrecking ball, and me falling, and Buffy dying, and…”

“Okay, you know stuff about my life.  That doesn’t prove I…”

“In the vineyard, who stopped Caleb taking the other eye, Xander?  Who?

Xander thought, visibly and with some discomfort as he mentally trawled that particular time in his life.

“This is weird.  I have…spaces.  Like things are missing.”

Someone’s missing.  Me.  I was there, in your mind, I promise you.  This demon…”


“It wiped me out.”

“This is ridiculous.”

“Who does Dracula owe eleven quid to?”

Xander automatically went to answer, but the name – Spike’s name – died on his lips as his ransacked mind failed him.

“I can’t remember.”

“Another gap?”


“Size and shape of me?”

“I—  I don’t know.”  Once again Xander scoured his memory, and once again he drew a blank where Spike was concerned.  “This is…  I would be so angry at this if I felt like it had actually happened.”

“It did happen.”

“So you keep saying, but…”

“…you think you don’t know me, yes, I’ve got the message.  But take a look and you’ll find me everywhere.  Spike.  Check your Council reports, e-mails from The Bit, even Rupert can’t always ignore me.”

Xander paused in thought for a second before locating his phone and checking the contacts, then the calls he’d recently made.

“Yeah,” he nodded, growing increasingly perplexed.  “Spike.  Spike.  Spike, Spike.”


“I can see, yes, but it still doesn’t make sense.  I look at you, and…nothing.  I don’t remember a thing about you.”

“The demon…”

This,” Xander interrupted, waving his phone, “earns you the benefit of the doubt.  Now…  I’ll get us both a beer and you can tell me everything in as much detail as possible.”


While Spike alternately fumed and sulked, Xander brought them both a drink and got comfortable on the sofa to listen.

“Okay.  Hit me.”

Spike winced.

“You really don’t remember me.”

“Why should…?”

Hit you.  You’d never usually make that offer, even in jest.”

“That sounds…not so good.”

“It’s old, nothing to worry about.”

“I guess I have to take your word for that.  Talk,” Xander encouraged.

Snatching his beer from the coffee table, Spike took a sip and thought about where to start.

“I was due here, it’s a regular thing.  This time when I turned up, some bloke I didn’t know from Adam met me on your doorstep and…”

“What?  He was staying here?”

“Staying here and more.  He’d taken your home, your thoughts, he’d taken…  You.”

Xander shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

“When you say…me?”

“Yeah.  Exactly what you’re thinking.  Though not the way you’re thinking it.”

“How do you know how I’m thinking it?”

“You’ve gone pale,” Spike explained quite simply.

Xander nodded.

“Okay.  Not like that, you say?”

“You believed you wanted that, wanted him.  You were happy.”

“Happy, huh?  So I shouldn’t freak out about the whole…him and me thing?”

“Looking for a reason not to?”

“Looking for a way to remain ear-deep in denial.”

“In which case…  I probably misinterpreted it,” Spike said firmly.

“There’s always Plan B: be thrilled that I got laid, even if I don’t remember it.”

“Good plan.  And where’s the problem?  Opportunistic demon, or a night on the tiles.  Even if you haven’t got a clue who you shagged, it’s still another notch.”

“Damn, you’re classy.”

Shaking his head, Xander stood and returned to the kitchen; he brought the remains of the first six pack, and another in reserve.

“Think we’ll need all that?” Spike asked.

“I’m pretty sure I will.  Talk.”

“There are things I can tell you, but back to front.  Things I didn’t know until the end, when I force—  Uh, persuaded him to talk.”

“If this is all true I don’t care how you found out, you don’t have to be delicate.”

“That’s a relief.  I only know so many euphemisms for torture.”

“The more I hear about this guy, the more I think I’ll enjoy those particular details.”

Finding it easier to think on his feet, Spike stood and prowled.  Xander watched and waited.

“He came out of the Hellmouth,” Spike began, “but he didn’t call it that.  He said there’s something called a rift stream that ploughs through this planet and beyond, and he rode that in.”

“Ah, shit, more to worry about?”

“No, I think this is exceptional, although…  We always assume, don’t we?  Hellmouth, so everything crawling out of there comes from the direction of Hell.  Now this…”

“Let’s deal with that later.  This guy, this…  Jesse, how dare he use Jesse!”

“Complete chancer, but good at his work.”

Now I’m angry.”

“Not a problem, as long as you don’t kill the messenger.”

“No, no.  I won’t.  Keep talking.”

“He came in on this rift stream, and he was weak, dying.”

“I bet I helped him.  I am such a sucker!”

“You did help him, and yes, you are a sucker.  How many times have I warned you?”

I don’t fucking remember.

Spike swallowed the grin that such typical flailing irritation from Xander inspired.

“You helped him.  The kind of creature he is, what he needed for survival was for you to know him.”


“No, I think that came later.  As, apparently did you.”


“Now you sound like you know me.”

Grumbling, Xander forced himself calm, sitting back in his seat and cradling the latest beer.  He gestured for Spike to continue.

“He existed through memory,” Spike explained once he’d juggled the explanation in his head until it sounded right.  “The more you knew about him the stronger he became, and he put those memories in your head himself.  He told me later: ‘One touch and I was in.’  Arrogant piece of shit.  As if it should be that easy. What’s it taken me?  Getting on for forever, that’s all!”

“Spike?” Xander said curiously, and Spike battened down his rising temper.

“Ignore that,” Spike sighed.  “Personal grievance.  Anyway, he made you believe that he’d always been a part of your life: you were the greatest friends, and you’d been together for more years than you could count.  He made you love him, and trust him, and when I turned up and posed a threat, he made you forget me.”

“And you and I…  Really were the greatest friends?  Even if getting there took forever?”

“Greatest, no.  Good, yes.  And there was trust, honest trust, hard earned; none of his short cuts and parlour tricks.”

“In which case, when he made me forget you, I guess you got pretty mad.”

“More like…un-pretty mad.”  Spike had arrived at the moment he’d been dreading; he made sure he was close to the exit.  “Xander, I don’t want you to be scared, but…I’m a vampire.”

The overreaction Spike was braced for never happened.  Xander once again went through the contacts list on his phone, unhurriedly reading the additional notes.

“That what you meant earlier?  About just walking in?”

“You must know me if I have a standing invitation.”

“Vampire, yes, I have it here: Spike, master vampire, souled, safe.”

Spike bristled.

Safe?  I appreciate your faith but, bloody hell, that’s hard to take.”

“Only from my perspective,” Xander explained, “which is cool.”  His expression hardened.  “Doesn’t sound like Jesse found you safe.”

“Too fucking right he didn’t,” emerged as a growl, and it was fortunate that Xander didn’t have any issues with Spike’s natural state, as the demon’s eyes flickered to gold and back.

“Wait a minute.  You remember everything as it actually was.  Does that mean he couldn’t make you believe in him?”

“First off, I wouldn’t let him near me, and if he couldn’t touch me he couldn’t force any new memories in.  While you still remembered me you had no reason not to talk to me, and I could see how wonky everything was and kept telling you things that made you question the life you were living with him.  I kept a close eye on him until I figured out exactly how he worked, I didn’t miss a thing.  Every touch, every prompt, every encouragement to remember…”  Spike spat out the last word, despising its present connotations.  “Then I got myself magicked by that geezer Willow sent us to about the giant zombie bats, a ward to protect myself from any kind of mental interference.  Worked a bloody treat, you should have seen the shock on Jesse’s face when he finally got to touch me and nothing.”

“Don’t call him that,” Xander belatedly protested.

“Then what?”

“I don’t know, just not that.  This is uncomfortable enough without…”

“All right, all right.  I’ll call him…the creature.  How about that?  Ed Wood enough for you?”

“Thank you.”

Spike paused for as long as it took him to finish a beer.

“Anyway, he tried it on with me, tried getting me to remember what he wanted, but like I said, nothing.  He couldn’t figure me out, and…enjoy this: it scared the shit out of him when I laughed in his face rather than performing the buckle and submit he was accustomed to.  Then I showed him the demon and explained what I was, told him that it was me being a vampire that prevented his voodoo working.  I hoped I could frighten him off without you getting damaged.  But you know what he said?  That I should be on his side.  That we were the same, we just had different ways of sucking the life out of our victims.”

Xander nodded thoughtfully.

“He’s…kinda right.”

“I know he’s kinda right, but it didn’t make me kinda like him any better, so…”  Spike stared at Xander for moment.  “You probably don’t want to hear this bit.”

“You hurt him?”


“Was it gruesome?”


“Was it brutal?”


“Should I be appalled?”


“Did he suffer horribly?”

“Oh, yes.”

“Then I wanna hear this bit.”

“You kinky little devil, sometimes you make my toes curl.”

Xander surprised Spike with a chuckle.

“C’mon, I wanna hear this.”

Spike helped himself to another beer, mentally reliving some of the more extreme moments with Jesse, and knowing he would have to apply censorship whether or not Xander wanted it.

“I challenged him, he went berserk, and when you defended me he fought back in the only way he could: he tore me out of your mind, expecting that, if you didn’t know me, you’d think I was talking bollocks about the threat he presented and send me on my way.”

“Did I?”

“He played right into my hands,” Spike announced smugly.  “The minute you didn’t know me I made myself charming and amiable, merely a messenger from the people you did remember, people you love and trust with your life.  People who would never put you in any kind of danger.  And with no memory of me or what I was capable of, no knowledge of me being more than a particularly gorgeous go-between, you had no reason to step in and protect Jes…the creature.”

“I believed you more than him?”

“You believed what I knew, all the things I could drop into the conversation about your girls, and about our work.”

“He didn’t try to take them away from me?  The girls, I mean.”

“By then, I wouldn’t let him near you.”

“So that left him…”

“Completely at my mercy,” Spike confirmed with grim satisfaction.

“Tell me,” Xander urged.

“You have a very appealing streak of vengeance be mine.”  Poker faced, Xander shrugged; Spike smiled.  “I’d figured out how to play his game.  With the ward in place it became nothing more than a battle of wills, and—  As you can’t remember me you’ll have to take my word on how determined I can be when I want things my own way.”

“I know a master vampire’s will is viciously powerful.”

“And he’d pissed this one off beyond all reason.  He didn’t stand a chance.”

“You broke him?”

“Into pieces.  See, a creature that relies on the memory of those around him to form him, is very susceptible to the person with the strongest impression of him.  Although you knew him better, my will being superhumanly stronger…”

“Yes!  I get it, I get it!  You made him whatever you wanted.”

“Exactly.  I remembered him weak, and he got weak; I remembered him compliant, and he yielded; I remembered his blood as being human, freely available and willingly given…”

“You drained him,” Xander whispered in shocked awe.

“Time and again, mate.  Time and again.”

“And he survived because you remembered that he would.”

Spike sat opposite Xander, leaning in, voice low and intense.

“He survived anything.  Everything.  Couldn’t help myself – not because he was some demon I could torture with a clear conscience, but because of what he’d done, what he’d taken from me.  I said earlier, didn’t I, that our friendship was hard-won?  Well, that glosses over how much of a fight it was to get you to accept me.  But I wanted it, and I fought, sometimes to a standstill, and very nearly to my last moment of existence.”

“Wow.  Wouldn’t want to be him.”

“You want me to be honest over what I did to him?”  Spike offered a wan smile.  “I can’t give you details because I won’t risk turning you against me.  Let me just say…I took my rage out on him.  My victim to beat and torture, to abase and abuse, any way I chose because, once remembered healthy and whole, that freak would be healthy and whole.  Ready to begin again.”

There was a long pause as both men considered Spike’s words, one mind full of genuine recollections, the other with an imagination running riot.

“Why did you stop?” Xander eventually asked.

“Because…” Spike said slowly.  “I wanted…normality.  I wanted to get back to my own, albeit occasionally warped, brand of goodness.  Most of all?  I wanted you back as you were, not fawning over a creature who’d made you little more than a pet.”

Another pause; when Xander spoke this time, his voice was thick.

“Thank you, Spike.”

Spike waved the thanks aside.

“I cut a deal.  I’d let him escape what had become a living nightmare, but he had to take himself out of your mind, put you back to how you were before he showed up.”  Spike frowned.  “Forgot to insist he put me back though.”

“When you say you let him escape?”

“Once you were put right I took him back to the Hellmouth, back to his rift, whatever it is.  Told him if he ever came back here I’d set him up as a vampire’s playground.”

Spike’s mind wandered to those last moments, to brutalising the creature and sucking it dry one last time before snapping its human neck and ferociously hurling it into the void of the Hellmouth.

“Where’s he gone now?” Xander’s voice interrupted his violent thoughts; he was honestly glad to be drawn away from them.

“I don’t know.  He mentioned a couple of places when he spoke about the rift.  Wales.  He mentioned Wales.”

“He can live in the sea?”

Spike tutted.

“No: Wales.  Y’know, stuck on the side of England.”

“Oh my god, how close is he to the girls?”

“Well away.”

“Are you sure?”

If that’s where he’s going, yes.”

“We should let someone know.”

“It’s Wales, Xander, what damage can he do there?  There’s only about twelve people in the entire country.  He’ll just…shag a sheep and have a sing-song.”

“Excuse me?  Mr eighties throwback?  You’re pretty free and easy with the trite stereotypes.”

“Yeah, well, the Welsh never did me any favours.”

Xander hesitated.

“Should I know about that?”

“No, no, it’s nothing.  You wouldn’t have known, let alone forgotten.”

“Damn, I hate this!  I want to remember,” Xander moaned.  “Everything you did for me, and I…  I’m so sorry, Spike, I really am.”

“Look on the bright side: if you don’t remember all the crap I’ve pulled, we can start again fresh.”

“Yeah, I appreciate that, but…I feel kinda…empty.”

“You’ll be fine,” Spike promised.  “I’ll make sure of it.”

“Hey!”  Xander snapped his fingers as a thought hit him.  He dashed into the study and brought back a photo album.  “You’ll be in here.  I can start catching up.”

Yes,” Spike enthused, hoping the party snaps were still piled in the front, showing them drunkenly friendly, if a little dishevelled.

“Yeah, here you are.  We are.  Oh.”  Xander had the decency to blush.  Oh.”

“New Year’s, not last, the one before.  We were…”


“Actually, I was going to say pissed as newts, but—”

“We were together and I forgot that?  Holy shit, how could I forget that?”

Spike was about to set Xander straight when he stopped dead and rapidly took stock of the situation.  A) Xander didn’t remember him; B) in retrospect those photographs did look positively suggestive; C) the opportunity to make the most of A and B had been handed to him on a plate; D) he was about to be honest?  He was very nearly ashamed of himself.

With a blatantly fake wistful sigh, Spike rose and crossed to the window, ensuring Xander was able to appreciate his best side as he stared enigmatically out at the evening sky.  “Maybe I’m that forgettable.  You moved on without me, love.”  Spike flinched theatrically at the endearment.  Sorry, shouldn’t call you that.”

“No, I’m sorry.  This must be so difficult for you.”

“What makes it worse?  We kept it a secret, no-one else ever knew.”

“We didn’t tell the girls?”

“Absolutely, we especially didn’t tell the girls.  So, if you forget me…”

“We’ll put this right, I swear.”

Xander tossed the album aside and rushed to Spike, pulling his emotionally wounded alleged ex into his arms for a consoling hug.  Spike settled into the warmth and fought to keep a smug grin from his face.

“Xander…” he murmured.  “We’ve always been waiting for the right moment to give us a proper go.  And now I’m here…I’m in no rush to leave.”

“I, umm…  Ah, what the hell.  Okay.  If you’ll just be patient.”

Spike drew back slightly and admired Xander’s strong, handsome, scarily sincere features.  Maybe this wasn’t so much taking advantage of the present situation, but something that had been at the back of his mind for a long time now.  Plus the fact that Xander appeared to be doing a little admiring of his own was rather pleasant.  Spike gave his potential past and future partner a reassuring squeeze.

“I can be patient.”

“No wonder you were so mad about that thing messing with my memories.  Though…it seems impossible that I could forget you,” Xander told him wistfully.

“How about…” Spike smiled, “I help you remember?”

“Yeah,” Xander nodded.  “Do that.”

The way Xander’s gaze dropped to Spike’s mouth left the vampire wondering if the something at the back of his mind didn’t have a doppelganger at the back of Xander’s.  He leant in and pressed a brief, sweet kiss to Xander’s lips.

“Remember?” he whispered.

“Uh…  Maybe next time.”

Suitably encouraged, Spike let the next kiss linger.


“Nearly.”  There was a distinct twinkle in Xander’s eye.  “Try again.”

Another kiss, and Xander’s hands cupped Spike’s head, preventing the vampire going anywhere; the kiss lasted and lasted, all tongues and depth and passion and…gorgeous.

“Remember?” Spike asked in a lustful daze when Xander finally allowed them to part.

“I’m sure I will,” Xander grinned.  “Just…  Keep going.”