"We were close to it all
Caught the rainbows we chased
Then we watched the sky fall
that love went to waste."
The jeep came to a squeaky halt, kicking up a red
clay dust cloud. Buffy stepped out and walked the
sixty-feet to the edge of the cliff overlooking
what had been her former slaying grounds.
Where evil comes to play. Would
have been a great motto for the town...if the town still
Now, it was
nothing more than a gigantic hole in the
ground, filled with the detritus of a population
that had disappeared, one
way or another.
The sun was close to setting, but that wasn't a problem.
No more vamps were coming out to play
this town, not ever again. The city, and the ground
beneath it, was cleared...it's gateway to hell sealed
should have made her happy. Maybe even a little
proud. After the first Hellmouth had been destroyed,
closing the others
had been a piece of cake. They knew
so much more, now. And there were so many more
slayers to deal with the outbreaks.
happiness was an elusive concept for her these
days. And pride...well, she was proud, no doubt about it.
"Spike?" she whispered, wondering if he could somehow
hear her, wishing it was so...but knowing that
Never again. She would never see him...hear him...touch
him. There was just nothing left of him to hold
on to, and
every time she remembered that, her heart broke all over
again. Painfully. So much so that she almost wanted
down and die.
Her knees were starting to shake, and she recognized
the symptoms of what was coming. She
didn't even try to
fight it. Without a second thought, she sat down on the
ground and drew her knees up under her chin.
Cried for herself...for her friends...for all the ones who had
died fighting the fight. But her bitterest
tears, the ones that
came so harshly that they made her entire body ache, were
all for him. Her champion...her hero...her
She sat on the cold ground, rocking back and forth, sobbing
like a frightened child. Wanting him back so
badly that she
would have done anything to make it happen.
They had tried to bring him back. The first few months
it was all over, Willow and Giles had done everything
they could possibly think of. They'd spent hours poring over
so thick and heavy that it almost took the both of them
to lift them on to a table. Spells had been investigated and
shamans and sorcerers had been consulted. Their
search for the answer had taken them to some of the deepest
points on the planet.
No one had been able to help. And every time they came
back from one of their journeys with
nothing new to tell
her, Buffy's heart had cracked a little more.
Two days ago, they had finally admitted that it
to let him go. Almost a year had passed, and she had to get
on with life. It was what he would have wanted,
they had told
None of their gentle persuasion had pierced her dogged
denial of the facts. She had
flown into a rage at that point,
screamed and shouted and accused them of not really
caring what had happened to him,
what he might be going
That was the fear that woke her in the early morning hours,
whenever she managed
to fall asleep. Where was he...and
what was happening to him? Was he at peace? Or, was he
being tormented in some dimension
of hell so horrible that
it defied description?
The thought was unbearable.
Even worse was the knowledge
that she had forced herself
to face;.that even if he was indeed at peace, if he had been
granted some kind of absolution
for his sacrifice...she still wanted
him back. The selfishness of it sickened her, but she couldn't
make herself feel
She loved him. It had taken her far too long to realize it, but
there it was just the same.
"What we had was the end
It could not be erased
That's the pity, my friend
that love went to waste.."
Yesterday, she had thrown her bags into the
back of the jeep and locked up her house.
stopping at the bank for money, and the post
office to drop off the letters she had written to them
all, she'd hit the
interstate that would take her back to
where it had all started.
The words she had put down on paper had been
Thanking them all...telling them all how much
she loved them...apologizing for her anger and mis-
to let her go.
'Please' she had written, 'no locating spells. No tele-
portation. Just...let it be.'
But it shouldn't have to be THIS way. Had there been a shred
of justice in the cosmos, then he would
be standing beside
He had deserved to live! He HAD, damn it all to hell! So, why
did it have to end
like this...with his death? If someone would
just tell her why, then maybe she COULD let it be. Could try and
meaning...some greater good...in this whole fucked
No one she asked could answer her question. They
understand any better than she did.
What did that signify? That there really WAS no answer?
That it was
all nothing more than capricious fate?
God, was NO one watching? Or caring? Had no one but
her seen how much he
had changed...how hard he had
tried...how far he had come?
Well, if that was true, then fate could go fuck itself!
was sick and tired of it kicking her around like a beach ball.
She was done being it's bitch!
the point of trying? If everything could be
snatched away by some fickle whim of a nebulous con-
cept, then why should
she even attempt to do the right
Was this her reward? After surviving seven years of terror
and violence...after battling the armies of hell
in the name of world salvation...after conquering even death
was all she had to get her through the night?
And if not her reward, was it her punishment? If so, then
she being punished for?
Was it for failing to take the burden onto her own
shoulders, forcing him to pick up her
ragged banner and
carry it into battle, sealing his fate?
For denying love? For arrogantly turning her back on
in righteous certainty that it wasn't really there?
Was that the reason it had been taken from her?
After all, who the hell was SHE to think she
knew better than anyone else what love was or was
If she HAD...wouldn't
she have done things differently?
"If we only could have guessed
That it wouldn't stand the test
have played it all for jest
Would have been each other's guest"
Too late...too late...too late...
The words echoed in her head like a gong, reverberating
she wanted to claw them from her brain by force.
Her lost opportunities preyed on her mind.
What she could have
done. What she should have
done. What she didn't do. None of it mattered any-
All that really mattered,
was what she did now.
The past was too sad. The present was too painful. The
future...it was an empty shell, an
aching vision of years
spent alone without her center and guiding force.
There was no place for her in it.
was too late...
"We'd have smiled and walked away
While it still was light and gay
now, here's that rainy day."
Sniffling, Buffy opened her tote bag and pulled out
a scrap of scarlet fabric.
The night before
the last battle, she had instructed
Dawn to pack up every stitch of their clothing. When
questioned, her sister had
explained that she'd
found Spike's shirt in the dryer and had thrown it in
with everything else.
was soft from frequent laundering, and
she had been happy to see it. It had been something
to remind her of him until
he arrived to reclaim it.
That was said when she'd still been certain that
he would return to her. Her stupid and
child would accept nothing less.
Spike couldn't leave her. Not ever. The very concept
of it was
ludicrous. He loved her far too much, enough
to suffer an agonizing transformation that had restored
his SOUL for God's
sake, and there was NOTHING...there
was no power on EARTH that would keep him chained.
He would come back...and
she would be waiting.
There was no statute of limitations on hope, but it had
taken a powerful toll on her, and
now she had none left.
The fire had always burned it's hottest for them. Hating,
loving, fighting, fucking...the
inferno raged, whisking them
along on Santa Ana winds.
Now, it was gone. And she would never...ever...find it
curtain had finally come down, and she was left on
How had it all gone so fast? And why was it
over before it
had a chance to truly begin?
"If we'd held back a bit
Every time we embraced
Then we might have
saved some of it
All that love went to waste.."
"No more," she whispered, unrolling the bundle she'd
made of his shirt.
Lifting it, she pressed
it to her cheek and began crying
again. Not the loud choking sobs she usually produced
when she thought of him, but
the soft and silent weeping
of hopeless resignation.
"Please...please, no more. I can't. I just...can't..ohhh,
no, no, no...no...NO!...NOOOO!"
She jumped to her feet, raising her tear ravaged face
to the evening sky.
YOU! GIVE HIM BACK TO ME!" she
screamed. "YOU CAN'T FUCKING HAVE HIM! NOT
HIM! DON'T YOU DO THIS TO ME, YOU FUCKING
I...WANT...HIM...BACK! NOW YOU
GIVE HIM TO ME! YOU GIVE HIM TO ME! YOU GIVE
All her strength
suddenly drained away, driving her
to her knees. There was no mercy being handed out
here...not for her.
peace she could find would have to come from
Her eyes blinded with tears, she picked up the shiny
that had tumbled from Spike's shirt into the dirt.
"If we had walked, instead of raced
And just made love, instead of
That lovely love might never have gone to waste.."
me, Spike. I'm coming."
The razor blade bit into her wrist, her tears mingling
with her blood.
"If we had walked, instead of raced
And just made love, instead of
That lovely love might never have gone