Title: "Threshold"
Author: Mala
E-mail: malisita@yahoo.com
Distribution: ttk, lb, my site.
Spoilers: "The Body."
Rating/Classification: PG, Spike, angst.
Disclaimer: Grrrr aaargh.
Summary: Maudlin dreck alert! Spike...angst...blah blah...my self indulgence...don't read this, lol. I had to get it out of my system.

Sometimes, he goes right up to the closed door and leans on it. He rests his forehead on his arm, presses his cheek to the cool wood, and envisions the invisible barrier that springs up from the threshold...or is it down from the ceiling? He imagines being launched backwards...falling on his ass on the wild, overgrown lawn...banging his head on the concrete. But he can only be forced back if the door is open.

And the door is never open.

Not to him.

They don't even care enough to watch the results of un-invitation.

Not anymore.

He thinks the Niblet might've found it funny, at least, if their mum hadn't gone and died. Maybe she would've started opening the door to him again...letting him bounce off and laughing at his pain...but now the door stays firmly shut.

He used to knock.

Now he just leans. Sometimes.

And, funnily enough, he doesn't think about Her. At least not most of the time. No...he thinks about Joyce. Joyce, who thought it was perfectly normal to talk about his love life over hot cocoa. Oprah for the undead. And he thinks about Dawn, who listened to his horror stories with wide, dark eyes and something like adoration.

They'd liked him. They'd *liked* him.

*Before*.

Before it had all gone to Hell.

Damnation and Dru and Death.

He lost his allies. He lost his mind. He lost his heart.

He took a chance and lost. Lost. Lost.

And now the door stays shut.

But he can feel the barrier through it. A vibration. A thin veil of nothing that is still something. Much like him.

He stares at his bent fingers...the chipped black polish, the splintered nails...the bloodstains...and he knows he could knock. It would be easy. Two knuckles against the wood. A sharp rap.

But they won't come. They won't answer. They won't acknowledge.

The little one is in bed...crying herself to sleep.

And the older one, the Slayer--never *his* Slayer--sits in the living room. A silent vigil. Praying? Dreaming? Wishing she was dreaming?

He knows that feeling.

To want your mother back...to want everything that once was to be that way again. Safety. Warmth. Comfort. Love.

William felt that way the first few days after he was turned.

But he's Spike now and Spike wants the opposite. Danger. Cold. Torment. Hate.

Simplicity. Normalcy.

He wants those things back. He wants to stop feeling...to stop wanting...to stop *being* more than he was meant to.

The Summers' sisters want life. That is what matters to them.

It shouldn't matter to *him*. He wants death. He IS death.

And that, he knows, is why they won't let him in. Why they *can't*.

Death has visited them once all ready.

And they won't make the mistake of letting him come again.

But he still makes the mistake of trying.

Sometimes, he goes right up to the closed door and leans on it. He rests his forehead on his arm, presses his cheek to the cool wood, and envisions the invisible barrier that springs up from the threshold...or is it down from the ceiling? He imagines being launched backwards...falling on his ass on the wild, overgrown lawn...banging his head on the concrete. But he can only be forced back if the door is open.

And the door is never open.

Not to him.

Only mortals can pass through.

And ghosts.

And what might have been.

--end--

April 6, 2001.



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