by Abbie


1. Ruler and Subject
("To govern is to correct. If you set an example be being correct, who would dare to remain incorrect?")

It used to be just pain. Now, licks of pleasure also tongue his brain when he thinks of the Initiative. The despised leash forced grey matter to thoughts of love, of respect, of joy. Of harnessing the demon with more than silicon. Of becoming more than just a fuck in the night.

The hate still sizzles though, when night winds toss lime and graveyard scents against his skin. A bone white moon casts shadows of crosses to bar his path. His homesick demon stays silent, clawing at memories of sterile places and the different sides of the same coin.

2. Father and Son
("Fathers cover up for their sons, and sons cover up for their fathers. Straightness is to be found in such behavior.")

A wicked plum, one that twists his tongue like a raw lemon, yet at the same time, delights his skin like well-worn silk. Her voice rings sweeter than crystal spheres, words circling in unknowable order. Scents of lace, tea, and dead hair on real dolls relish his skin; he cannot wash them off, nor does he try.

She's more than just the world to him.

Shattering steel wheels isn't enough for his rage. He covets his place in her universe, bundles her up, flies away.

Cities surrounded by sweltering jungle welcome them, but no place is warm without her sun.

3. Elder Brother and Younger Brother
("Tzu Li asked about how to serve ghosts and spirits. The Master said, 'Until you have learned to serve men, how can you serve ghosts?' Tzu Li then asked about the dead. The Master replied, 'Until you know about the living, how are you to know about the dead?'")

Crispy brown batter crunches like finger bones in his mouth. Sweet slippery onion underneath. Salt laying the taste buds on his tongue open wide for more of the honeyed dark brew he's swilling. Pumping music beats a heart in his chest. Scents of the 10,000 bodies that have been here and sweat, come, or cried, saturate the air.

Red-felt pool table stands like an open wound, begging to be sucked. Happily playing the white haired shark amongst the lambs. More cancerous smoke, and maybe a fight to break up the evening.


And Angel thinks he knows how to live.

4. Husband and Wife
("In one's household, it is the women and the small men that are difficult to deal with. If you let them get too close, they become disrespectful. If you keep them at a distance, they complain.")

He loved her hair, the way it clung to her face once it was slicked with sweat as she rode him. The dandelion gold fluff that it had dried to in the morning. Scents of pure girl under the chemical flower shampoo. Dark and light blended in countless streaks.

Even afterward, the soul longed to touch the dimmed strands, tug poems out of split ends, just to make her smile. She saw him, really saw him, through his defensive curls, black leather, and regret.

Yet, it was never enough. The relationship remained on paper, in spells, and through amulets alone.

5. Friend and Friend
("Do not accept as friend anyone who is not as good as you.")

Xander always smells of fear. Spike notices it first over the mold and laundry detergent perfumes from their shared residence. Lovely old tears often accompanying the bouquet when he bothers to dissect the entire scent.

Then a night out. Stories passing each other, but no words actually exchanged. Comfortable feelings though.

The scent remains.

Screaming fights over privacy and ice cream don't cover up the other scents spilling into Xander's mix.

Spike knows he should use this. Could use it. Can, but won't.

Xander isn't a friend. But he's not a not-friend either.

Spike denies wishing the boy's fear away.





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