Chp 8 Heaven can Wait
Splinters by Lilachigh
Chp 8 Heaven can wait
Spike surfaced from a sea of pain for a few seconds, plunged back in, fought again and heard a moan that he was ashamed of because he knew it was his voice and he sounded like some pitiful wanker with no guts.
He tried to open his eyes and couldn’t. A wave of panic swept over him. Oh god, he was blind! Something had sealed his lids shut. And the pain came back, like a giant wave and he went under again.
Days, hours, minutes later – he didn’t know. If he accepted the pain, he knew he was still alive….but perhaps he wasn’t. Perhaps the inevitable had happened and he was in Hell.
He had a vague memory of fighting, of jumping on the back of a dragon that was trying to eat his grandsire, fanging the scales on its neck, trying to find a softer piece of skin to tear because saving Angel was important, important to her - Then – here he was, blind and trying to stop himself screaming in agony. So, yes, Hell. He shouldn’t really feel surprised. He’d always known this was what lay ahead for him.
He wondered if Liam had survived. He doubted it – he didn’t see how anyone could have walked away from that battle. A shame. He’d wanted him to live. That had been the whole point of choosing to help him rather than return to the girl he loved. In case she would have been happier with Angel.
He fought against the agony and tried to remember her smile, the green of her eyes, the feel of her body under his. No matter what pain he was in, so far his memory was in tact. So, a plus. Wondered if she’d ever known he was alive, if she’d understood why he hadn’t contacted her. Well, it was all irrelevant now. He and Angel would never know which of them the Shanshu referred to. The world had ended, chaos, death and destruction were ruling and he had little doubt that his girl would have been fighting the same sort of battle in Europe. He didn’t imagine that the horrors he’d seen were going to respect oceans or borders.
So all gone, his love, Dawn, Red, Xander, Angel and the L.A crowd.
The darkness seemed less harsh now, softer, like velvet wrapping round him. The pain had faded a little and he felt he was floating, resting, a second’s peace before retribution began again….
“I knew you would take the easy way out!”
Oh God, there was that voice again. Darla had followed him to Hell. Or, more likely, she was already there, waiting or him.
“I told Joyce, but she wouldn’t believe me. Said you’d come through. As if!”
“Sod off, Darla.” To his surprise, he still had a voice. Well, yeah, how could they make you scream if you couldn’t speak? “I chose. I gave up Buffy. I tried to help Angel. I failed. Sorry. What are you going to do about it? Kill me? Too late, pet. Can’t I just get on with the Hell bit?”
“Do you think you’ve paid for all the lives you took before?”
Spike found he could still feel strong emotion, which was weird. Anger flooded through him. “Oh you’re really the right person to talk about taking lives, aren’t you? Wouldn’t be in this soddin’ mess if it wasn’t for you siring Peaches in the first place. Why couldn’t you just have left him to die of syphilis or liver failure or some other rotten disease?”
The words dropped like stones into the darkness and Spike tensed. Even through the agony that surrounded him, he could sense the anguish in her voice. But he refused to give her any sympathy. That had always been like rattling the bars on a lion’s cage.
There was a long silence. “Outside my knowledge, dear boy.”
“They’ll have gone straight to heaven,” Spike said with as much force as he could. “She’s been there once. She liked it. She’ll be fine. Right, let’s get started. I take it, I have to go with you, somewhere hotter than here!”
Darla’s laugh could have cut a diamond. “Not until you break your ties with this world, Spike. You’re still tethered to humanity in your mind. I know how difficult it is to let go, but that’s what you’ve got to do. Say your goodbyes, banish your thoughts and move on.”
Spike fought another wave of pain that coursed through his body. How easy it would be to let go and slip into the dark. The temptation was overwhelming. Buffy had gone, the world he enjoyed so much had gone, over-run by demons and monsters and things so horrific he didn’t even have words to describe them.
But buried inside what remained of his brain, a little worm of curiosity stirred and raised its head. Why wasn’t he ashes? If he’d died in the battle, he should have vanished. He’d thought the pain he was feeling meant he was already in Hell, but Darla made it sound as if he still had a body.
No, it was too confusing. He was so tired and the pain was bad. All he knew was that he refused to give up his dreams of Buffy. He refused to say goodbye for good.
Buffy Summers was floating, too. But she was warm and loved, wrapped in creamy velvet mist. She was sad that she’d fought and lost. Sad that so many had died and she’d failed to save the world this time. But she’d done her very best and now she could be at peace. The man she’d loved so passionately had died to save the world. Now she’d done the same. It gave her a feeling of completion in a funny way.
“Angel!” As she spoke the name, the mist cleared around her and she was standing in a bright, white space with a light that hurt her eyes burning all around. There was a dark shape coming towards her. She couldn’t see him clearly, but knew. Her first love.
“You didn’t survive,” she said softly. “I’m sorry. Looks like we all failed. An apocalypse too many, huh?“
“We’ll be OK, Buffy. We tried. We can move on now. Leave the world to the Hell creatures.”
“Yes, moving on already. Will we all meet up like this, do you reckon? Because I’m having a really bad hair day and Mom will have a fit when she sees what I’m wearing.”
“I don’t know. I’m out of the loop where the Powers that Be are concerned.”
She reached out a hand, but there was nothing to touch. But then, she thought wryly, there had been nothing to touch where Angel was concerned for a very long time.
“Wish I could see what happened to everyone. See what‘s happening back in the world,” she whispered. “I know I’m like dead and all, but you’d think I’d be allowed just a quick peek.”
“I think you have to let go, Buffy. Break your ties with the world.” The dark, weary voice that had once haunted her dreams had a persuasive note in it now.
“Oh, I agree. Letting go all the time. But Dawnie was in England with Giles when it went down. I just wondered how – well, you know. ” She turned from him and found herself sinking back into the mist. Letting go – seemed strange, but peaceful.
The dark shape that had once been her lover was moving away and she didn’t care. Only the memories of one man could still touch her heart. Even though he’d never wanted to see her again when he returned from the dead. That had hurt so much that she’d stopped all feeling, all emotion. She couldn’t even find the words to ask Angel how he’d died this time round. She didn’t want to think of him in Los Angeles, away from her. She wanted to remember them together, laughing, fighting, dancing. She hugged those memories to her and began to concentrate on banishing the world from her mind.
“Spike wanted to know about Dawn, too,” came a casual murmur from the departing figure.
“He would – he always - !” With a massive effort, she stopped herself sliding deeper into the mist. Something wasn’t right, she must have misheard, but Heaven could wait a second or two until –
“No, of course not. He’s – well – he’s - look, forget I said anything.”
“If he’s dead, why can’t he come and see me instead of you? Oh no, I forgot. Mr I will always love you, couldn’t even be bothered to ring me once he was back with you and your friends!”
“Buffy, stop fretting about Spike. Let it go. Your anger is holding you here on this plane of consciousness. You’ve both got to let go before you can move on. Neither of you can save the world. It’s not worth trying.”
Buffy pushed against the mist and with a blink she was back in the room with the white light. Angel was gone but she had the strangest feeling that she wasn’t alone.
“I don’t know who you are, but I’m not moving until I know what’s going on. How could I save the world now? I’m all dead.”
Suddenly she felt a hand stroking her tangled hair, smoothing out the knots with a gentle touch. Buffy smiled joyously. Only one person had ever stroked her head in that way.
“Mom, oh Mom, I can’t see you. I don’t understand.”
“Spike won’t let go, Buffy. He’s holding you both to the world. I always thought he would.”
“But we’re dead! Jeez, how many times do I have to say that.”?
“Not quite. Great warriors always find it difficult to pass through to the other side, especially when their work hasn’t been completed. Oh I want you with me, sweetheart. I’ve waited a long time. I thought this was the end of the world as we knew it. And it’s such a little chance, there’s no way you - ”
“A chance to save the world? Mom, the world has vanished. Humanity has gone. My time as Slayer is over.”
Joyce laughed softly and Buffy stared desperately into the blinding light, trying to make out her mother’s features. “I was told to offer Spike a choice a few months ago and he made the right one. Perhaps it’s only fair to do the same for you.”
The light faded in front of Buffy and suddenly she was standing on top of a rocky mountain top. A cold wind was blowing her hair and the air was chill and smelt of snow. Bleak and barren rocks cascaded down the precipice to her left but on her right hand side, a path ran down hill, zigzagging until it reached a green field with trees and flowers and a silver stream.
As Buffy stared, she saw her mother and father, Dawn, Willow, Xander, Giles – so many people she loved sitting on the grass, laughing up at her and waving. They looked so pleased to see her and she knew that as soon as she reached them, everything would be right. They would stand up and hug her and together they would walk on, following the stream into the lavender distance.
Eagerly, she took a step down the path, then some instinct made her hesitate; she turned and looked down the precipice to her left. There, stretched out on a jagged rocky outcrop lay the man she loved. She could see a mask of blood across his face, knew from the way his limbs were angled that the bones were broken.
In that moment she knew. That way lay pain and heartache, trials and tribulations that she couldn’t even imagine. She would be giving up Heaven, her friends and her family, perhaps for ever.
And without another thought, she leapt over the edge and went sliding and slipping towards her destiny.
To be continued
If you are under the age of 17, please use your head and do not read fics that are labeled "NC-17". Parents, I cannot control what your children are reading, so please be advised that the majority of the fics archived here are NOT suitable for those under the age of 17.
I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I am in no way making any profit from this site. This is for pure entertainment purposes only.
Concept: (c)bringonthebloodshed.com (2004), Code & Design: (c)Diabola (2006), Graphics: Selene & Always