Exaggeration and Blank Verse

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William wrote a poem about Angelus, once.

Demonically corrected vision and newfound blood-lust, Drusilla's teasing glances and maddening hands, the discovery of what superhuman strength and a length of cold iron could do to a human body...these things said that he was vampire, he was Spike, a foolish lovesick mortal no longer. But his eyes still sought out patterns of beauty, and he still ached for the words to hold them; so place a pen in his fingers and he was William again, scribbling furtive poems down in the dark.

The lifestyle of the pack- ever hunting, ever moving, often fleeing- wasn't meant for keeping scraps of paper. So he put the poems to memory, the same way a young man of decent family was expected to put his times tables and the kings of England to memory. By repetition and repetition until it sank into the blood and the bones.

He sang his poems to himself in the long daytimes, just loud enough to hear, fingers tapping a soundless rhythm on the sheets or the hay or wherever they slept, giving order to the words. Dru didn't mind; she had her own choirs and conversations to keep up when the sun held sway. Drove Darla half-mad, though; Angelus could bear the noise of "the children" with remarkable tolerance, but the blue-eyed shrew was always threatening to rip out their tongues or go away and leave them forever- the very idea of which sent Dru into a fit every time...

He'd written a poem or two for Darla as well, but none worth remembering. Turned out that "syphilitic whore" was even harder to rhyme than "glowing."

But Angelus, oh, Angelus...hard to find words to hold him, to fix him in verse for eternity. Hard, but possible for a poet born and trained.

Shoulders six fathoms broad. Eyes that glinted with all the arrogant madness Spike worked so hard to find in himself. Oh, yes, he could wrap words around Angelus.

"What are you doing that for?" Drusilla asked him, peering over his shoulder at the paper under his pen, where he labored to turn blankness into words into grandsire.

"To give him immortality," he told her.

She ran her fingernails up his cheek. "Blood's better for that."

"You're right," he said, and it wasn't long after that he gave up words and poetry altogether and dedicated himself to fashioning his legacy in blood and tears.

But he still sang Angelus's poem to himself each daybreak until it sank down into memory and blood and bone.

Strange, the things that would come bubbling back up from within to play across your mind when you ran to meet your destiny in the rain.

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