Season 5. Begins with
‘Spiral’ in the abandoned gas station, and goes far off-canon almost
When Dawn makes the ultimate
sacrifice to save her sister, friends, and the world, Buffy’s mind
snaps. When Buffy's friends give up hope of her ever recovering, and become
afraid that she’ll turn violent and uncontrollable, they call in the Council to help.
Fearing what the Council will do, Spike, forgotten and ignored by her
friends, steps in. Will he be able to reach the Slayer when no one else could?
Will he be able to keep her out of the hands of the Council and away
from her ‘helpful’ friends? How much heartbreak, guilt, and failure can
one girl stand before her indestructible spirit finally resigns the
fight and gives up hope?
YOU for reading and especially to those of you who take the time to
email me feedback! Love hearing from everyone! Thanks also to Paganbaby for helping me with this chapter,
including her help with the illustrations/pictures. All mistakes
are mine because I can't stop fiddling right up to the last moment.
Rating / Warnings:
Content is only suitable for mature adults.
Contains explicit language, sex, adult themes, and other adult situations that
some people may find objectionable. If you are under the age of 17 or
find any of these themes objectionable – GO AWAY.
Spike pulled his duster around his body tighter, but it was
little good against the cold wind that seemed to cut straight through his bones.
Snow clung to his boots and crunched under his feet as he made his way through
the cemetery. It was late afternoon, the sun was still up, but the soupy, gray
clouds covered the winter sky like a thick blanket, allowing him to come out
early this day.
It was cold for Austin, but the last few winters had been
that way. The scientists said it was a part of the whole ‘global warming’
effect. Spike wondered how scientists kept their jobs.
“Global fucking freezing, more like,” he grumbled to
himself, kicking the hard, snowy ground, as the wind whipped his coat and
freezing air swirled around his body.
Spike stopped at the first familiar headstone he came to
and brushed away a windrow of dead leaves and snow that had been pinned against
it by the blustering breeze.
Rupert Edmund Giles
1954 – 2010
Rest in Peace
The marker was well-worn, showing the signs of too many
years in the wind, sun, rain, hail, and snow. Spike’s fingers trailed over the
cold, carved stone as he remembered …
It had only been a few days after he and Buffy had claimed
each other that Giles had shown up on the Pratt’s doorstep, hat in hand, so to
speak. Buffy had told Spike about the torture Giles had suffered at the hand of
Angelus, and the condition he’d been in when she’d found him. Despite the
Watcher apparently blaming Spike for taking Buffy away from Sunnydale and all
that came after, Spike couldn’t help but to feel some sympathy and respect for
the man to have survived at all.
Buffy and Spike had been watching TV and playing with the
babies in the living room when the doorbell rang. Buffy had still been laughing
as she opened the door, a giggling Will on her hip. Her laughter died in an
instant at the sight of the man on their doorstep.
“Giles,” she practically snarled the word, setting Will
down onto his wobbly legs and guiding him gently back toward Spike and Jade.
“Buffy,” the Watcher replied stoically, leaning heavily on
a cane, his face still a mask of yellowish-black, half-healed bruises.
Buffy folded her arms over her chest, blocking the doorway
with her body. “If you’re looking for Willow and Xander, they went shopping.”
“No, no …” Giles assured her, his eyes looking anywhere
except into hers. “I actually, errr … would like to speak with you … you and …
Spike,” he stammered.
Buffy’s brows shot up, but she didn’t move from the
doorway, standing her ground. “So? Speak.”
Giles shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other, a
grimace of pain crossing his features as he moved. Buffy simply waited,
“Yes, well, as you know, when one Slayer dies, another is
called,” Giles began after a few moments. “And, as you discovered, Faith has …
passed. The coven in England was kind enough to locate the newly Called Slayer
on my behalf.”
“Well, let’s have a parade! I hope you do a better job with
her than you did me,” Buffy interjected angrily as she stepped back and began to
close the door.
“Buffy! Please! I …” Giles protested, reaching out and
placing his hand on the door jamb – an either very brave or very foolish move,
or perhaps desperate.
Buffy stopped herself from slamming the door on his
tortured and gnarled joints at the very last moment. Jerking the door fully open
again, she glared at him. “What?!? What do you want? Haven’t you done enough?”
Leaving the babies watching the TV, Spike joined Buffy in
the doorway, standing behind her. He could feel the resentment and bitterness in
her heart for the man in the doorway, but beneath it he could also feel
heartache. He wondered if she even knew it was there, she was so mired down in
her anger. Spike could feel a yearning for the man that she had long considered
a surrogate father to tell her that he was proud of her and her family, to tell
her he loved her, to tell her that she had done well.
“I … Buffy, the new Slayer is in Oregon. I am simply unable
to …” Giles shifted again, the cane wobbling beneath a shaking hand as he bit
back a gasp of pain.
To Buffy’s surprise, Spike stepped past her and out onto
the porch, taking hold of Giles’ arm and guiding him slowly to one of the
rocking chairs that lined the wide, covered deck. Giles dropped down into the
chair with a thankful sigh of relief. He removed a handkerchief from his pocket
and dabbed at the sheen of sweat that had formed on his brow from the strain of
remaining upright for so long.
Spike leaned back on the railing, folding his arms over his
chest, and waited for the Watcher to gather himself. After few moments, Giles
gave Spike an appreciative nod and a strained smile.
“Thank you, that’s … quite a relief. I’m afraid my hips …
well, they simply will never be quite what they were.”
“Angel’s a bloody master at dislocating joints… worse than
breakin’, truth be told,” Spike agreed, unconsciously flexing his fingers as he
Giles nodded, rubbing at one hip. “Indeed.”
“So, what about this shiny, new Chosen One?” Spike prompted
as Buffy stepped out of the doorway, confusion about her husband’s actions
blanketing her features.
“She needs a Watcher,” Giles began to explain. “I simply am
unable to … fulfill that role any longer.”
Buffy snorted derisively and stepped closer, leaving the
door open so she could keep an ear on the babies inside. “So you think I
should be her Watcher? That’s rich!”
Giles glanced at her, then settled his swollen, bloodshot
eyes back on Spike. “No, as talented as you are as a Slayer, I don’t believe you
are qualified for that role. I was thinking that … William may be better suited
for that position, more capable. He seems to have done satisfactorily with you,
as you so eloquently pointed out.”
Buffy’s jaw dropped open as she looked from Giles to Spike
and back again. Spike’s brows shot up in surprise as Giles’ gaze settled on him.
“I believe I may have … misjudged you, Spike, misunderstood
your motives,” Giles admitted. “I … I believe you could offer a unique
perspective to a young Slayer, giving her the best chance at success and
survival. I would like to employ your services as a Watcher. I have the
resources of the Council at my disposal, as I am the senior-most of only a
handful of Watchers to have survived the … terrorist attack.”
Spike studied the Watcher, looking for signs of deception
or trickery, but found nothing. After a few moments he said, “This is our ‘ome …
not going prancing off t’ bloody Oregon.”
Giles shook his head. “I understand. I have contacted the
young woman and though confused, she is amenable to moving. She’s of age … her
name is Amanda.”
“Got no Hellmouth ‘ere,” Spike continued to point out.
Giles nodded. “I understand. I was hoping you could begin
her training, prepare her as fully as possible for what she will face, while I
contact some of the other Watchers to determine a final, suitable placement for
her, perhaps in Cleveland. You do, after all, have a full-time Slayer to look
after,” Giles pointed out, chancing another glance at Buffy.
Looking back at Spike, the Watcher continued, “As I said, I
believe you can offer a unique perspective for a new Slayer. It would be
exceptionally advantageous to give her the opportunity to train with an actual
vampire without the inherent risks involved in ‘on the job’ training, so to
“What the hell, Giles?” Buffy piped up, stepping closer
still. “A few days ago you didn’t want to tell me how to save him, now you’re
offering him a freaking job?”
Giles turned his bruised face to look at her. “I … it
appears I was mistaken.”
Buffy snorted out a laugh, flinging her arms out to the
sides. “And what brought on this bolt from the blue?”
Giles looked from her to Spike, then turned to look in
through the front windows at the children sitting on the floor in front of the
TV, laughing and singing as best they could along with Big Bird.
He turned back to look at her, a resigned, forlorn look in
“Willow has told me some of what happened to you and about
the life you have built with Spike.
“I’m afraid I was not a very good Watcher, Buffy. I … can
only say that I did the best I could with what I had … with what I believed to
be true. I’ve always wanted only the best for you. I … may have been mistaken
about what the best was. It appears that Spike possessed a better insight into
your psyche than I.
“I cannot blame you for your resentment and distrust, but I
assure you this is no trick or deception. I need your help, and Spike’s. I’m
asking for your forgiveness and offering my apologies, as inadequate as they may
“I’m proud of you, Buffy. Your mother would’ve been proud
of you. You’ve overcome more than any girl, any woman, should have to. And I
realize that what you said about Spike is true, that he always believed in you,
even when … even when I didn’t.”
Spike watched tears well in Buffy’s eyes, felt her heart
twist and turn in her chest, at once not willing to let go of her resentment and
anger, but at the same time rejoicing in the words, ‘I’m proud of you.’
Spike began to step toward her, to offer her some comfort
as her mind and heart wrestled with Giles’ words, but in the next moment, she
wrapped her arms around her torso and turned on her heel, putting her back to
the two men.
“Thank you,” she whispered, before striding back into the
house and closing the door behind her.
Giles gave Spike a questioning look, but Spike just
shrugged. “Give ‘er some time,” he advised. “You lot cut ‘er deep … not just
gonna heal overnight, it’s not.”
Giles nodded solemnly and began fishing a paper out of his
pocket. He extended the folded note to Spike. “Will you help me?”
Spike opened the paper and read the name and address of the
newly Chosen One. Spike looked up at Giles, curling his tongue over his teeth as
he considered the question. “Just what did ya say this gig paid … and does it
come with proper health insurance? Dental? Got a family t’ think of, ya know?”
Spike traced the year of death, 2010, with the tip of his
finger. Giles had never really recovered from what he’d withstood at the hands
of Angel. The Watcher had lived his last years in constant pain, which only got
worse as time went on. He’d dedicated himself to building a new Council, a more
benevolent, understanding Council, which viewed Slayers as people, girls, rather
Over those years he and Buffy had reconciled as much as was
possible, at least. For that, Spike was grateful. Though she wouldn’t admit it,
Buffy needed that closure, that father-figure in her life. She’d been at Giles’
side when he passed and the last words they shared were words of love and mutual
Spike sighed as he patted his hand down comfortingly on the
tombstone, as if patting Giles on the back, before moving on.
The next too-familiar grave stone he came to read, ‘Harris’
across the top in large letters, then below it to the right was ‘Anya Christina
Emmanuella’ and to the left was ‘Alexander ‘Xander’ LaVelle’.
Spike again stopped to clear the pile of leaves away from
the base of the headstone. Not nearly as old as Giles’ headstone, the fifty-plus
years since the Harris’ had passed wasn’t really evident on their marker. The
marble was still smooth and polished, the names still clear and sharp on the
“Told ya I’d outlive ya, ya bloody nit,” Spike scoffed as
he remembered, kneeling down and brushing the snowy leaves away with his bare
“Why the bloody hell are you lot still ‘ere?” Spike
demanded as he came into the kitchen one morning, a few weeks after Buffy had
healed him with the scythe and her blood.
“Not running a bloody charity, ‘ere,” he pointed out to
their houseguests as he pulled a box of Weetabix down from the cupboard.
“Bloody hell! Harris! You gormless tit! Ya ate all m’
soddin’ Weetabix again!” Spike accused, turning to look at Willow, Xander, and
Anya who were sitting at the kitchen table having breakfast.
Xander held up his hands. “Whoa there, big guy! Not me!
Talk to my stalker here,” he advised, jabbing his thumb at Anya. “She’s the one
with the taste for dull, bland, and tasteless.”
Spike quirked a brow at Xander. “Which, I reckon, explains
‘er attraction t’ you,” the vamp observed dryly.
“When the bloody hell are you lot leavin’?” Spike asked
again as he tossed the empty box into the rubbish bin. “Not sure what you’re
doin’ here in the first place.”
“Well, I can’t speak for Xander or Willow,” Anya began as
she swallowed the last bite of Weetabix. “But I’d be more than happy to leave if
you’d just make one little wish. C’mon, Spike. Don’t you wish Xander’s head
would shrink to the size of a peanut, and his testicles would grow to the size
of bowling balls and drag on the ground as he walked?”
Spike rolled his eyes to the ceiling and let out a loud,
disgusted sigh. “That and helluva lot more, but someone…” Spike tilted
his chin toward the living room where Buffy was “…has threatened life and limb
if I utter the word.”
“What word?” Anya prompted hopefully. “The ‘wish’
word? Wish, wish, wish!” she taunted. “See, nothing bad will happen. What do you
wish, Spike? You can tell me … just between us! What do you wish?”
Xander banged his hand down on the table angrily, making
all the dishes and silverware jump and clatter. “I’ve had about all I can stand
of this! You’ve asked everyone else what they wish, but you’ve never once
asked me what I wish! You know what I wish, Anyanka?” he demanded,
glaring across the table at her.
“Xander! Ixnay on the ishway!” Willow piped up, her eyes
wide with worry, but Xander just talked over her.
“I wish that I hadn’t left you at the altar! I
wish that I had married you! I wish that I had made you the happiest
woman in the world! I wish I had known how hard it would be to live
without you. I wish I’d realized sooner just how much I love you. I
wish I could take it all back. I wish I could start again. I wish
that I could erase all the hurt I caused you. I wish I could make it up
to you. I wish I could spend the rest of my life with you! That’s what
I wish! Are you happy now?!?”
The entire kitchen fell utterly silent. No one moved, no
one seemed to even breathe as Anya and Xander stared each other down.
Anya finally broke the silence with a timid, hopeful,
Xander grit his teeth and blinked back hot tears that
suddenly stung his eyes. “Really,” he affirmed, his voice thick with the emotion
he was trying to hide.
“Thank bloody God,” Spike rejoiced. “Does this mean you’ll
be prancing off into the sunset, then?”
Spike snorted at the memory. “Reckon ya got your wish,
Harris,” he observed, brushing the small snowflakes from the year of death
beneath Xander’s name: 2057. Xander and Anya had died within a few months of
each other, both passing peacefully in their sleep.
They hadn’t exactly pranced off into the sunset. They’d
reconciled, Anya had turned in her Vengeance Demon union card, and they’d moved
into the same neighborhood as Buffy and Spike in Austin.
Spike pushed up from his squat and turned to the grave
behind him. “Hey, Red. You keeping an eye on these two tossers?” he asked,
bending down to pick up a stone from beneath the dusting of snow. He carefully
nestled the smooth rock amongst the others atop Willow’s headstone.
“Give Glinda my regards,” he continued with a sad smile
before turning and heading deeper into the graveyard.
Spike’s boots crunched over the icy ground, breaking the
brittle, brown blades of grass beneath his feet as he walked. The wind had died
down, at least, though Spike kept his duster wrapped around him tightly, trying
to ward off the damp, cold air. He couldn’t remember ever feeling so cold, to be
honest. Never, either as a human or as a vampire, had he felt this bone-chilling
cold; never in the last 250 years.
He came to a waist-high, wrought-iron fence and stopped to
unlatch the gate. It was frozen closed and he had to work with it for several
moments before it finally gave to his strength and swung open with a protesting
The name ‘PRATT’ adorned the decorative, wrought-iron gate,
and Spike brushed his fingers across the name as he entered. The iron had
weathered well, considering its age, and though a light patina of rust had faded
the original black to sepia, it was still as solid and steadfast as it had been
when he and Buffy had first passed through it over a hundred years ago.
Tears filled Spike’s eyes at the memory and his throat
tightened painfully. It was the day they’d laid Joan and India to rest …
Despite the ‘irregularity’ of their request, the funeral
home had delivered the coffin to the Pratt home about ten days after the
explosion at the warehouse. It had reminded Spike of how things used to be done
long ago when funerals were held in the home of the dearly departed. Since they
didn’t have any actual bodies to put in the coffin, but only dust and
microchips, it seemed simpler for Buffy and Spike to handle it than try to
explain it to a funeral home.
The coffin was simple but nice. An eco-friendly bamboo
lined with a soft quilt made from organically-grown cotton. It was something
Buffy thought that both India and Joan would’ve liked given India’s love of the
outdoors and concern for the environment, and Joan’s no-nonsense practicality.
The funeral home had set it up on a viewing stand in the Pratt living room with
the understanding that they would pick it up in two days for the funeral which
would be held at the graveside.
Thanks to Willow and her willingness to dabble in magic,
Buffy hadn’t needed to shift through the debris in the warehouse to find all of
Joan. Using the bits Buffy had already retrieved, Willow created a magnet spell
which drew all the related pieces to them from the rubble. It had taken less
than an hour for a large cardboard box to be filled with every single, solitary
piece of Joan: every strand of hair, every microchip, every tiny bit of singed
Spike remembered Buffy coming home with the box and setting
it down next to the coffin. She’d been stoic and brave during the whole
gathering process and even during the ride home from Dripping Springs, but as
she began gently taking pieces out of the box and placing them into the coffin,
tears had welled in her eyes and she’d begun to cry, then sob uncontrollably.
“Could find the little poofter Andrew and have ‘im rebuild
‘er,” Spike had offered as he pulled his wife into his arms, hugging her to him
Buffy buried her face against his chest and wrapped her
arms around his waist as her tears flowed out like a river of sorrow. She didn’t
answer him for the longest time, simply crying against him as he tried to soothe
Finally Buffy pulled back and swiped at her tears,
sniffling and swallowing back her emotions. She turned and looked at the pile of
junk that used to be her friend and then at the urn that held what
remained of India: dust.
“What would she do without India?” Buffy asked, touching a
hand down on the edge of the cardboard box where most of Joan still lay. “She
loved her so much … she’d be … so broken.”
Spike stepped up behind his mate and wrapped his arms
around her shoulders, pulling her back against his front. “She’d get over it,
pet. Maybe the poof could erase that bit…”
“Erase India?!!” Buffy exclaimed, turning in his arms.
“Joan wouldn’t want for her to be erased! You can’t just erase people you love!”
Spike held out his hands in surrender. “Sorry, pet. Just
sayin’ …” Spike stopped talking when Buffy’s eyes flared with anger. He didn’t
need the claim to know he was treading too near a minefield. “Reckon Joan’d
carry on, heal with time, yeah? Just like we all do, pet.
“Still got us, and the bits. Ya know how much she loved
bein’ an Auntie, yeah?” Spike tried.
Buffy wrapped her arms around her torso and turned back to
look at the box of bits and bobs, her throat tightening painfully as her heart
twisted in her chest. Buffy began to sob again and Spike pulled her back into
his embrace, tucking her head beneath his chin.
“Sorry, luv. I miss ‘er too. The bits miss ‘er. Won’t be
the bloody same ‘round ‘ere without her. I dunno what the right answer is …
gonna leave it to you.”
"Do you think …” Buffy whispered against his chest. “Do you
think she’s in heaven?”
Spike bit his lip and closed his eyes, pulling Buffy even
tighter against him. Of course the sane answer, the logical answer was: ‘Of
course not! She’s just a bloody machine.’ But he knew that wasn’t what his girl
wanted to hear … not now, because Joan had become so much more than ‘just a
machine’. She’d evolved … learned, grown, changed, become her own person.
“Do you think … maybe she took some of my soul and … went
to heaven?” Buffy asked again, her voice muffled against Spike’s chest. “I feel
so empty inside, like part of me went with her. Maybe she’s with India right
Spike dropped a gentle kiss on the side of Buffy’s head,
letting his lips linger against her soft hair. “Yeah, pet, could be. She had a
Champion’s heart, no doubt.”
Buffy pulled back and looked up at her husband with
red-rimmed, glimmering eyes. “It would be wrong to pull her out of heaven … her
fight is over. It just … feels wrong … deep inside. I can’t … it hurts so
much, I miss her soooo much, but I can’t.”
Spike nodded and kissed the tears from her cheeks. “She
died a good death, pet. A Warrior’s death … a Champion.”
Buffy bit her lip and nodded, swallowing back her tears
once again. She took a deep breath and again pulled from Spike’s embrace to
resume her task.
“A Champion,” she murmured to herself as she reverently
began picking up each item from the cardboard box and placing them into the
softly-lined coffin, one by one.
Joan and India had been the first to be buried in the Pratt
family plot within the park-like Texas State Cemetery in Austin. Since India had
no living family, it seemed only right to have her there with Joan. India’s urn
was interred with Joan’s casket, within which was not only Joan, but all the
back-ups of her data that Buffy could find. Buffy also included the photos that
Joan had lined up so meticulously on her dresser: Buffy and Spike, Jade and
Will, Joan and India. Everyone that she loved and everyone that loved her were
Spike blinked back his tears as he stepped inside the
wrought-iron enclosure, leaving the gate open behind himself. He stopped at
Joan and India’s headstone and pulled two white roses from the bouquet of
flowers in his hand. Spike squatted back on his haunches and laid the flowers in
the snow under their names, his expression grim. He slowly, reverently, traced
the names carved in the cold stone with a fingertip.
“Hope the Slayer was right, I do. ‘Ope you found each other
in heaven,” he murmured to the granite. After a moment he sighed heavily and
stood back up slowly, resting his hand on the smooth marker for a long minute
before turning to the next grave in line.
Lt. Joyce Anne Dawn
2002 – 2034
“‘Ello, nibblet,” Spike croaked out, his throat tight, as
he pulled a bright yellow and red tulip, a Fire Wings tulip, from the bouquet of
flowers in his hand. He knelt down and laid the cheerful flower atop the thin
blanket of white beneath the headstone and smiled sadly.
“Reckon you’re still kickin’ ass and takin’ names. Don’t
you get yerself kicked outta heaven, pet. I reckon the devil wouldn’t take ya,
afraid you’d take over down there,” Spike teased, blinking back a fresh wave of
tears. “Or put the bloody fire out. Couldn’t ‘ave that, now, could he?”
Spike brushed the snow off the brass Austin Fire Department
insignia on the headstone as he remembered…
Spike felt like he’d just been punched in the gut, though
clearly he hadn’t. He was standing in the kitchen heating up a mug of blood –
the feeling had come from Buffy, in the other room.
Bent over with a pain that radiated from his chest down
into his stomach, making it churn and twist, he stepped from the kitchen into
the living room.
“Slayer? What the bloody hell?” he groaned out, moving
toward her slowly.
Buffy was standing like a statue, motionless; the phone at
her ear, her eyes open, but unseeing, completely expressionless.
“Buffy? Who’s on the bloody phone? What the bloody fuck?”
he asked again, but still she didn’t seem to know he was even there. He could
hear someone talking on the phone, calling “Mrs. Pratt? Mrs. Pratt, are you
Spike pulled the phone from her grip with some difficulty
and raised it to his ear. “Who the bloody hell is this?” he questioned confused,
hurting and angry.
“Who wants t’ know?”
“Mr. Pratt, this is Chief Trewalla, Battalion Five
commander. There’s been an … accident and I need you to…”
“It’s LieutenantPratt … Jade. If you could come
“How bad?” Spike interrupted again, his eyes now locked on
Buffy’s. She had yet to move, to blink, he wasn’t entirely sure she was
The Chief cleared his throat uncomfortably. “I think it may
be best if you could come down…”
“TELL ME WHAT THE FUCK’S HAPPENED!” Spike demanded, his
eyes flashing amber.
The Chief went silent for a moment and Spike could now hear
horns and sirens and people yelling in the background. “I’m sorry to report that
Lieut… Jade … has been … killed in the line of duty.
“You may have heard about the fire at the apartment
building on Delaney Street. Several of her crew, along with eight civilians were
trapped on the tenth floor. It was … she … I don’t know how she did it, but she
punched through from below, got them out, but … there was a back-draft. A window
broke just as she had gotten the others into the stairwell. The entire floor
collapsed in the explosion; she was … crushed in the fall.”
“No … no … that’s not … she’s … strong! She’s a bloody
Slay… strong! Have you found ‘er? Is she still in the building? She could still
be alive!” Spike insisted as he reached for the TV remote and clicked on the
The same sounds of sirens, horns, and people yelling came
at him from the television as was in the background behind the Chief. He
searched the TV, for what, he wasn’t sure; a glimpse of his daughter’s chestnut
curls, perhaps, the curve of her smile, the flash of her green eyes. The news
reporter was saying that they had just gotten the fire under control and that
one firefighter was confirmed dead along with seven civilians. Dozens of others
had been injured and taken to local hospitals. The name of the fallen
firefighter was being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin.
“I’m afraid that isn’t the case. I’m very sorry for your
loss. She died a hero. She saved her entire squad and the civilians, including
“No … that’s not … she’s … strong. She … can’t be ...”
Spike stammered, his eyes locking onto Buffy’s. She still hadn’t moved or
blinked or said a word.
“I’m very sorry for your loss,” the Chief repeated
solemnly. “She’s been taken to University Medical Brackenridge. If you could
Spike dropped the phone as the twisting in his gut and
chest redoubled. He grabbed Buffy, pulling her against him in a bone-crushing
hug as his heart shattered into a million pieces.
“Our bitty-Buffy … our girl … no … no … no. She’s a Slayer
… she’s strong … she … she can’t be gone. They must be wrong!” Spike insisted.
He suddenly pulled back, holding his wife at arm’s length and looking into her
eyes. “They’re wrong! She’s a Slayer! She’s just … hurt, that’s all!! She’ll
heal. They just don’t know … she’s a Slayer and they think …”
Buffy shook her head slowly, finally focusing on Spike
through the excruciating pain that seemed to burn and stab and twist every nerve
in her body.
“You don’t bloody know!” Spike screamed angrily through his
Buffy swallowed hard and licked her dry lips tentatively.
“She’s … gone. I … felt it … here,” she ground out, her voice barely a whisper.
She made a fist and pressed it to her chest hard, still shaking her head,
seemingly unable to stop now that she’d started.
“’Cos o’ what that blighter said on the phone!” Spike
insisted, his voice desperate. He kicked the phone with his boot and sent it
skittering across the floor. It crashed against the fireplace and shattered into
a dozen pieces of plastic, now held together only by colorful wires.
Buffy kept shaking her head negatively, still looking at
Spike, not even noticing the phone’s early demise. “He didn’t … say … Only his
Spike stared at her in silence, trying to comprehend what
she was saying. After a few moments, the phone in the other room began to ring,
but neither of them made any move to answer it. When the machine beeped, Will’s
voice came over the speaker, “Mom! Dad! Have you heard from Jade? Has something
happened? I … something … I don’t know what … I … feel …” Will cleared his
throat, clearly trying to compose himself. “Call me back, please,” he concluded
stiffly before hanging up.
Suddenly tears sprang to Buffy’s eyes and her chin began to
quiver uncontrollably. Her legs gave out and she would’ve fallen to the floor if
not for Spike’s grip on her arms. She began to hyperventilate, unable to catch
her breath as tears flooded from her eyes and down her cheeks as she tumbled
from her state of shock into the horror of realization.
“Our girl … Spike … oh, God … oh, God … no. Our girl …
Jade’s gone! Oh, God … oh … God … Spike … no … no, no, no …”
“Couldn’t stand t’ just fight the bloody evil o’ the world,
could ya, nibblet? Not happy just stopping bloody apocalypses, were ya?” Spike
asked the headstone, his voice sad, but also proud. “Had t’ be a soddin’ hero
fightin’ fires and whatall. All alike, you Slayers. More stubborn than your mum,
Spike punched the headstone lightly with his fist. “That’s
not a bloody compliment,” he informed the cold granite before bowing his head
and wiping the tears from his eyes.
“Miss ya, nibblet. Yer a good girl … strongest bloody
Slayer I ever met,” Spike lowered his voice conspiratorially. “Don’t tell yer
mum I said that.”
Spike laid his hand over the word ‘Hero’ on Jade’s
tombstone. The cold granite burned his bare palm, freezing him to the bone, but
he barely noticed as he said goodbye one last time to his Bitty Buffy.
After some time, he rose, a sigh falling from his lips as
he pulled away from all that was left of his daughter. Spike took a deep breath
and stepped back, then around the block of granite to the next grave in the
William Wesley Pratt, Jr.
Loving husband, father,
2002 - 2088
Spike pulled two bright, cheerful sunflowers from the
flowers remaining in his hand and laid one at the base of Will’s headstone and
the other at the grave next to his, Will’s wife’s:
Meaghen H. Pratt
Devoted wife, mother,
2002 - 2087
“Sorry, pet,” Spike apologized to Meag’s stone. They didn’t
‘ave any Gerbera daisies. The sunflower’s right big and bright though, yeah?
“You keeping our boy straight?” he continued, looking over
at Will’s stone. Spike absently brushed the snow from atop each grave marker as
his mind wandered back in time…
“But, Dad! You don’t get it!” Seventeen-year-old Will had
lamented, pointing to the most expensive corsage in the florist’s catalogue.
“Meag likes big, bright flowers – this is the best one.”
Spike sighed. “What’s wrong with this one that’s half the
price?” he asked pointing to a different one.
“Nooo!” Will whined like a five-year-old. “It’s prom! It’s
“Yeah, so I’ve heard for the last soddin’ month,” Spike
“Dad, please. Meag’s ... special. She’s … I’m gonna
marry her one day,” the boy pledged wistfully.
Spike rolled his eyes and sighed again. “I bloody well hope
I don’t ‘ave to pay for those flowers too,” he groaned.
Will grinned, his blue eyes dancing. “Does that mean you’ll
pay for these?” he pressed, still pointing to the corsage he wanted to order for Meag, the girl he’d loved since he first saw her when she’d transferred to his
high school three months ago.
Spike’s eyes rolled one last time, but he nodded.
Will ‘whooped’ and pumped his fist, his chestnut curls
bouncing around his face as he picked the book up and went to place the order
with the clerk.
“Gormless twit,” Spike muttered under his breath as he
watched his son. “That girl’s gonna break your bleedin’ heart.”
Spike snorted a short laugh as he looked down at Meag’s
grave. “Reckon a bloke’s allowed t’ be wrong once in ‘is life,” he excused.
He looked over at his son’s grave. “As yer mum used t’ say,
‘Ya done good.’” Spike looked back at Meag’s marker and added, “The both of
Images of graduations, from both high school and college,
flashed in Spike’s mind. Will and Meag had been inseparable since the prom; if
you saw one, you knew the other wasn’t far away. Their wedding looked like a
Skittles factory had exploded; large, Gerbera daisies in every color imaginable,
and even some unimaginable, were everywhere. Spike was quite happy he didn’t
have to pay for them, though he would’ve.
Meag had become a part of their family. Her bright,
lighthearted nature was the perfect complement to Will’s more subdued,
contemplative personality. Like a poet and his muse; each needed the other to
reach their full potential.
Spike brushed the accumulated snow off their headstones.
Though it appeared Will had lived another year longer than Meag, in fact, he’d
only made it a little over a month. Spike was quite certain that his son had
died from the emptiness in his heart, the same emptiness Spike felt now.
Taking a deep, calming breath, Spike turned to the most
recent grave in their family plot. The large granite slab didn’t even have the
date of death engraved on it yet, and the snow covered bare earth; no grass had
yet grown. A few stray flowers
and gladiolas –
littered the snowy ground like colorful confetti. The arrangements they'd
fallen from, like the mourners who had gathered only few hours ago, were
now all gone, leaving the grave looking lonely and barren under the dusting of
Time In A Bottle - Jim Croce
If I could save time in a
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day
‘til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you
If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you
But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with
If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you
But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with
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