the pearl


Perception can change an event just as surely as the event can change lives. If there are an infinite number of perceptions at an event, the event is forever remembered as an infinite number of things. A child's birthday party can be a joyous occasion, a frightful occasion, or an occasion where things finally fall into place. A death can bring on revelation, grief, horror, or grim joy.


1. Willow.

We were all in the graveyard, because there was this Proteuana demon that we were all working together to kill. Buffy went off to check out a few of the crypts, and I was with Tara, and we were searching for a place level enough to put our little camping stove so we could do a searching spell. We could've just made fire appear out of nowhere, like we do in the dorm room, but it's easier to have the stove, you know? And besides, instant fire requires some kind of kindling, and all we had were the ingredients of the spell — homing pigeon feathers, whole cloves, essence of mandrake, the usual...

So we're walking along, and I hear this noise. Not like a scream or a demon "grr" or anything like that, just this faint whimpering. I know I should call for Buffy, but then the noises stop, and I thought that, well, I'm pretty tough, I can take on what ever is over there.

So we make our way through the crypts, and they're really worse than a maze, and when I turned a corner, I saw them. It was Buffy. And it was Spike. And they were...

Well, you know. They were having sex. Against the wall. Buffy's pants were lying on a gargoyle and Spike's pants were around his knees and...and...

I knew I had to distract Riley. I couldn't let him see them like this. I remembered what it was like to see...Oz and Veruca, and I remembered what it was like to get caught, and I didn't want Buffy feeling that way... She should have told Riley that the relationship hadn't been working out...she was going to, I know she was, but she just hadn't gotten around to it...

So I ran back towards the main part of the cemetery, looking for Riley, but he wasn't there. I ran back to the crypts, and I was working my way through them when there was this scream. And I knew it was Buffy's voice. I was scared, because I thought Riley had found them, but when I got there, everyone was there.

Everyone except Spike.

But there were ashes on the ground! I asked Xander what happened, but he wasn't talking to me. I asked Giles, and he just looked away. I glared at Riley, and went right up to him and said "What did you do? What did you do to her?"

He was defensive and stepped back, saying "I didn't do anything! Someone shot an arrow at Spike!" I didn't believe him though — he was holding a crossbow in his hands!

I was going to say more to him, but then Buffy started crying — big heart-wrenching sobs, and she took all my attention. I knelt down, hugged her tightly, and tried to ignore how mad I was at everyone else. Couldn't they see that she was in pain?

Sometimes I think that I'm the only one who cares about her anymore...


2. Xander.

I was walking through the cemetery with Giles, on the lookout for this...Protagonist demon? Whatever. I had a stake, because that's all they trusted me with, Giles had a crossbow, Willow and Tara were searching for a place to do their finding spell, and Buffy and Riley had split up to cover more of the cemetery.

So Giles and I were walkin' around, and I was talking about how no one trusted me with anything bigger than a stake. I was soldier guy before Riley came along, wasn't I? Yeah, I knew things. Okay, so I didn't remember them now, but, still, I knew them!

Giles shushed me about mid-way through my rant, and I heard what he was hearing — this faint whimpering. And it sounded...

It sounded like the sounds Anya sometimes makes in bed, okay? And if that gets out, she'll kill me.

So we started moving in the direction of the sounds, and I saw Willow running away from the crypts. That got my suspicions up even more, and I ran ahead of Giles.

I was walking along the row of crypts, and there they were — Buffy and Spike.

And he was zipping up his pants and she was pulling hers on. It doesn't take a genius to put two and two together, you know, and I looked at her — I mean, really looked at her.

And I used to have this ideal of Buffy, you know? She was my hero, killing the monsters in the night, fighting for truth, justice, and the Sunnydale way and all that.

But with her wet lips, flushed skin, and slow hands sliding up her leather pants, she wasn't the Buffy I knew.

She wasn't any better than Faith. Another slut fucking and killing.

I wasn't angry, though. How could I be angry? It was her life, and if she wanted to fuck it up, well, more power to her, right? I was just...

I lost all respect for her, right then and there. To fuck over Riley like that was a new low for her, and with Spike, no less.

I was going to say something to her, start trying to talk some sense into her, but before I could say anything, there was this whizzing sound right past my ear. I turned back, saw Giles standing there, looking shocked, then heard Buffy scream.

I turned around just in time to see Spike fall into dust.

I'm not sorry he's dead. And I'll have to thank Giles.


3. Giles.

I should have seen it coming. I should have kept a better eye on Buffy, so that I could have prevented this from occurring.

We were all in the cemetery, searching for a Vervain Proteuana demon, who, when in possession of human clavicle bones of at least 100 years of age, can create portals, allowing more of its kind to come into the world. Buffy and Riley had split up to cover more ground, and Willow and Tara were searching for the appropriate spot to cast the locating spell I had discovered next to a description of the demon in the Cropredy Daemon Compendium.

I was covering the middle ground with Xander, who was complaining loudly about his former knowledge of military skills, when I heard a faint whimpering sound over by the crypts. I told Xander to be quiet, and tried to recall if a Vervain Proteuana demon had vocal cords or was ever known to sound like a young girl.

Xander ran ahead of me, muttering something about that sound, and I followed him. The voice sounded familiar, and when I cleared a row of crypts, I realized why.

Buffy stood there with Spike, and the atmosphere was...

They had been together. Obviously. And it hadn't been the first time. That was obvious as well.

I should have seen this coming. I should have realized how the danger would have been extremely attractive to her. There had been previous slayers who had developed love affairs with vampires, and all of them had ended up dead. Buffy must have believed she was playing it safe, since Spike was currently unable to attack a human, but I should have known better. I should have been able to instill in her knowledge of the danger. Angelus obviously wasn't enough of a lesson to her.

I should have never let Spike into my house and into our lives. And I was going to correct this error.

I moved forward, about to confront Buffy and Spike, when, from the left of me, a crossbow arrow went past me. It hit Spike directly in the chest, and before my eyes, he dissolved into a pile of ashes.

Xander looked at me, and I believe he thinks I killed Spike.

I wish I had.


4. Riley.

We were searching for a hostile, a Vervain Proteuana demon, in sector 13-A, the Shady Oaks cemetery on the edge of town. Mr. Giles had stated that the demon would be looking for bones of over 100 years old, and Shady Oaks had been founded in 1850.

Buffy and I split up to recon the situation, I taking the single plots and her taking the crypts. We would meet back up in the middle, where Willow and Tara were going to create a location spell. We would then go after the demon, and destroy it.

I had finished my patrol of the area, and was making my way back towards the crypts, when I saw Willow running out of a row of crypts, looking distraught. I made my way towards where Willow had come from.

And I saw...

I saw Buffy half-naked, her legs around Spike.

I knew she didn't love me, but to go this far, to cheat on me with him.

I was angry. I was furious. But I just stood there, not knowing what to do.

I stood there while Buffy had sex with Spike.

I stood there while my girlfriend fucked a vampire.

And I was still standing there when I heard her give a soft moan, the kind of moan I had heard her give when she was in bed with me. And I heard him moan, and saw him thrust, then pull away, kissing her.

She was laughing as he pulled away, laughing in a way I never saw her laugh, and as she reached for her pants, she saw me.

Our eyes met. She straightened, still looking at me, unable to look away. Spike turned to see what she was looking at, and he straightened as well, zipping up his pants as he looked at me.

There was no remorse in his eyes, and, right before me, he pulled her close to him, giving her a long kiss as he looked at me — as he fucking looked right at me, kissing my girlfriend.

Whatever was causing me to stand there suddenly disappeared. I ran at him, pulling him away from her. I was about to hit him when...

She stood between us.

She was defending him.

I've never hit a woman in anger, but, that night, I was about to. I held up my hand, and I was about to strike —

A crossbow arrow struck Spike in the chest. He looked at Buffy in surprise, then exploded into ash.

The scene turned chaotic then. Willow came running at me, demanding to know what I had done to him. When I told her that I didn't kill him, she pointed at the crossbow in my hand. I had forgotten that it was there.

Xander and Giles refused to look at anything save the ground right in front of them. And Buffy...

Buffy had fallen to her knees, sobbing. Willow went to comfort her, still glaring at me from time to time.

I walked off, refusing to talk to anyone. And I still won't.


5. Tara.

We were looking for a place to do the spell. Which looked easy, but it was hard to find a place level and calm enough — if we did the spell above a grave, it could have bad side effects.

While we were walking through the crypts, Willow heard a noise. She went to check it out, telling me to stay there.

I stood there, trying not to get a little spooked by being in a cemetery at night. I suppose I was safe, because Mr. Giles said that the demon only went for old collarbones, but, still, I was getting used to the concept of fighting demons.

I thought I saw someone in the distance, and she looked familiar, but before I could recognize her, I heard a scream. I went towards the scream, thinking that it might be Willow, and I ended up in the middle of some sort of argument, even though no one was saying a word.

Buffy was on the ground, sobbing, and Willow was holding her, comforting her. Mr. Giles and Xander weren't saying anything, and Riley had just strode off, walking away from the entire scene. I saw a pile of ash on the ground, but I assumed that was just something from the crypt until Willow, looking at me, said "Spike was killed."

"Oh," I replied. I really didn't know what to say. I mean, I knew of him, but I didn't know him. And I didn't know what else to do. So I stood there. Waiting.


6. Faith.

I missed.

This Angel/Buffy the Vampire Slayer story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at