Day of the Dead
by Lesley

Spike's got used to being the only ghost haunting Wolfram and Hart, so a gorgeous brunette walking through the walls is a shocker and no mistake. But he's not falling for some ghostie's parlour tricks a second time, even if this one is a real looker, so he covers the fear of hell-fire in snark. "You missed Halloween, pet, it was the other night."

"Hey, Sid, it is still the Day of the Dead - the one day those in Hell get that mental health day to visit their loved ones." Under the snark, she twists her scarf compulsively and he can see tears fighting and being beaten back from falling from eyes that have seen too much.

He can't help wanting to help, to connect. "Guess yours didn't go so well then, love?"

"You could say that." She swallows hard, and he knows he's lost the scents of the world with his body, but he'd swear he can smell Chanel and sadness in her hair. It's certainly in the smoke of her voice. "I knew he wanted the twig, and I knew things would be different after... but I didn't think it would be so soon. Or that he couldn't see me."

It's his greatest fear if his greatest wish of getting his body back ever comes true. "Know that feeling all too well, pet."

She looks at him with the strangest half-sad half-dangerous smile he's ever seen, and he's seen the top of the range. "I know."

"Nothing worse than feeling invisible, I reckon." It's the force of centuries of habit in tending to hurting women, and he knows that's there'll be nothing, that's he's become nothing but an echo of what he once was, but he can't help reaching out to stroke her hair.

It's the shock of centuries when he feels hair tickling his fingers and the soft skin of her face in his hands. It's more than he's dared believe possible for so many long months when a beautiful woman pulls him to her. The feel of her lips closing on his, the taste of her, the passion and the pain, it's perfect. It's everything he's been craving for what feels like forever.

It's only moments before they dissolve through each other like proper ghosts are supposed to. And that feeling, the absolute knowledge of her within him, of feeling utterly within her, it's everything. It's a sublime dissolution that's everything the light promised and was stolen from him. It's almost enough, it's almost everything - and it's snatched away as she fades from his sight.

The last thing he hears is, "I'll be seeing you soon, Spike."

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