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Life Lessons

A ficlet for this month's prompts. Hope you enjoy.

Setting: Mid BtVS season 5
Rating: PG
For the prompt: The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was
300 words

Life Lessons



He's never really understood fear.

When he was a kid - privileged little ponce that he'd been - he'd had servants to be afraid for him. Don't let Master William near the fire. Don't let Master William run in the park. Don't let Master William have any fun. Might hurt himself. Might get you the sack.

All right, so he was nervous that night at the party when Cecily - bitch!- confronted him about the bloody poem, but afraid? Not really. Never occurred to him she would turn him down, did it?

And when he saw Dru's true face for the first time, he'd felt more curiosity than terror. Never occurred to him to run for his sad little life either.

Angelus had tried to teach him fear. Like most things about the old man, the lessons hurt. Funny thing was, though, the more Angelus knocked him around, the less afraid he was of him.

Do your worst, you bloody bastard.

In the end, Angelus was reduced to threatening him with the Slayer, and all that did was arouse his interest in her.

He can't remember a single moment with either Slayer he killed when he actually thought he might lose. But even if he had, what a way to go.

There's death, there's glory, and sod all else, right? Nothing to be afraid of there.

But now, finally, after a century and counting, he gets it.

As it happens, fear looks a lot like a tiny blonde girl with green eyes and an expression of withering contempt whenever her gaze meets his.

He's so afraid of that look. Would give anything not to see it directed his way ever again.

Can't bloody live without it either.

So he understands fear at last.

Turns out, it's another name for love.

Comments

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
treadingthedark
Jun. 18th, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! and OUCH!
shapinglight
Jun. 20th, 2013 09:11 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
brutti_ma_buoni
Jun. 18th, 2013 04:02 pm (UTC)
This pays off beautifully. Great last line.
shapinglight
Jun. 20th, 2013 09:11 am (UTC)
Thanks so much. :)
rahirah
Jun. 18th, 2013 04:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's a good one!
shapinglight
Jun. 20th, 2013 09:11 am (UTC)
Thanks. Sometimes they work okay. :)
kikimay
Jun. 18th, 2013 05:33 pm (UTC)
Beautiful!
shapinglight
Jun. 20th, 2013 09:12 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)

Edited at 2013-06-20 09:13 am (UTC)
velvetwhip
Jun. 18th, 2013 05:51 pm (UTC)
This is really lovely!


Gabrielle
shapinglight
Jun. 20th, 2013 09:13 am (UTC)
Thanks so much. Glad you liked it. :)
rebcake
Jun. 18th, 2013 05:58 pm (UTC)
Hoo boy! This is...accurate. Love is terrifying. Of course, with Spike's love of a challenge, it makes sense he choose the scariest of all possible targets for his love.

Very well done.
shapinglight
Jun. 20th, 2013 09:14 am (UTC)
Thanks, love. He does like to make things difficult for himself, I think. :)
hello_spikey
Jun. 18th, 2013 06:38 pm (UTC)
*GUSH*
This is just gorgeous. Poignant. True. Lovely.

Kinda like Spike. :D

*MWAH*
shapinglight
Jun. 20th, 2013 09:14 am (UTC)
Aww, thanks so much. :)
gillo
Jun. 18th, 2013 08:11 pm (UTC)
Splendid - and the ending is so true. He has come to redefine a lot since falling in love with her.
shapinglight
Jun. 20th, 2013 09:15 am (UTC)
Yes, he really has. :)
zanthinegirl
Jun. 18th, 2013 11:02 pm (UTC)
Very clever writing, and brilliant characterization. ::loves::
shapinglight
Jun. 20th, 2013 09:15 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. :)
spuffy_luvr
Jun. 19th, 2013 02:16 am (UTC)
Oooh, fantastic!
shapinglight
Jun. 20th, 2013 09:15 am (UTC)
Thank you. Glad you liked it. :)
baudown
Jun. 19th, 2013 02:58 am (UTC)
Really lovely.
shapinglight
Jun. 20th, 2013 09:16 am (UTC)
Thank you. Glad it worked for you. :)
beloved_77
Jun. 19th, 2013 03:53 am (UTC)
Could be hormones, but the last line made me teary. Never thought of it that way, but it's definitely an accurate assessment. :-)
shapinglight
Jun. 20th, 2013 09:16 am (UTC)
Glad you thought so. Thank you. :)
chasingdemons
Jun. 19th, 2013 04:52 am (UTC)
Wow. You just nailed it. That was awesome, Deb!
shapinglight
Jun. 20th, 2013 09:17 am (UTC)
Thanks so much, love. Glad you liked it.
slaymesoftly
Jun. 19th, 2013 11:31 am (UTC)
Oh, this is just perfect. Wonderful Spike voice.
shapinglight
Jun. 20th, 2013 09:17 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! :)
oni_9
Jun. 19th, 2013 03:46 pm (UTC)
Marvelous story!
shapinglight
Jun. 20th, 2013 09:17 am (UTC)
Thank you. That's very kind of you. :)
waddiwasiwitch
Jun. 24th, 2013 07:20 pm (UTC)
Ooh - this was beautiful.
shapinglight
Jun. 25th, 2013 10:22 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
sibilant
Jun. 27th, 2013 08:26 am (UTC)
Oh, I like this!

Edited at 2013-06-27 08:27 am (UTC)
shapinglight
Jun. 28th, 2013 12:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Glad to hear it. :)
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )

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