Splinters by Lilachigh
His head was pillowed on something warm and yielding – if he hadn’t known for a fact that he was completely round the twist, he’d have said it was Buffy’s lap. His memory wasn’t that bad. Some things you never forgot. The smell of the Slayer’s thighs was one of those.
Spike coughed and felt blood coat his lips. Sodding broken ribs. Did going to Hell mean your smashed bones never healed? Something gently wiped the gore away from his mouth and he could hear a voice muttering above his head. The ringing in his ears from the pain he was suffering distorted the words, but he could have sworn they were “Stupid vamp! Getting hurt so bad. Can’t trust you out of my sight.”
Oh God, he really was going batty! This was no sodding joke. He could have sworn that was his girl’s voice. But he knew she was long gone. In Heaven by now, warm and happy and finished, along with her mum and Dawnie, Red and probably the whelp as well. He’d tag along no matter where the others went.
“Spike! Spike! Try opening your eyes. Stay with me. Don’t you dare die!”
He tried to force his eyelids apart, but the dried blood held them fast. He heard a gasp, then to his amazement, what felt like a small warm tongue began to lick the blood away from his lashes, cleaning his face like a mother cat and a recalcitrant kitten.
At last he forced his lids apart and there, inches away, was the face that had haunted his every waking and sleeping moment for years. Buffy Summers.
“Thought you could avoid me by dying, did you?” she snapped but the sarcastic tone of her voice was spoilt by the tears that ran down her face and dripped onto his.
Moisture ran into his mouth and he swallowed her tears as eagerly as if they were pure cold water. “Why aren’t you in Heaven?” he managed to force out between cracked lips.
Buffy shrugged and tenderly stroked the matted blond hair back off his forehead. “Was on my way. It looked great. Pretty. Happy. Everyone’s there – waiting for me.”
Spike shifted slightly and slowly raised a hand to touch her face. “Waiting for you, eh? Bloody hell, pet, why doesn’t that surprise me? The Scoobies never go anywhere on their own. What do they want you to do – guide them through the pearly gates?”
“At least they‘re all in Heaven. You, on the other hand – ”
“Thought I was in Hell. Should be. Darla wanted me to let go of the world – or what’s left of it - and go with her to – ”
“That ho! Angel or maybe it was his ghost, was wittering on, as well, about letting go.”
There was a long pause, then, “Oh, so Liam’s dead.” Spike sighed. “Thought he would be. Big dragon! Tried to kill it, but couldn’t. You still haven’t told me why you’re here and not there.”
Buffy twined her fingers with his and a tiny yellow flame began to flicker between them. “Oh, it was one of those choicey things. You know, A -here’s an eternity of happiness with your friends and family, and oh look, here’s B - a painful terrifying time attempting to save the world with the man you love at your side. Your time starts now. No conferring. Tick one box only.”
“The man you – “ Broken ribs or not, Spike sat up, watching the flames dancing around their linked hands.
“OK, so not my fault you didn’t believe me back in Sunnydale,” Buffy said quickly. “But let’s face it, Spike, you can hardly think I’m pretending now.”
“So you chose – ”
“I chose you, Spike. As you chose me. You refused to let go of the world because you loved me. I refuse to go to heaven because I love you.”
He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close. She buried her head against his chest and for a long time they sat, the mist whirling around them, pain running through their bodies, living through an ecstasy of happiness that needed no words.
At last Spike groaned and tried to straighten a leg that if not broken was badly mangled by dragon teeth. “So we’re not dead, pet. But everyone else is, that right?”
“And we’ve got to – ”
“I think we’ve got a chance to save the world – again! Mom said there was just a chance, a little chance, but if it’s there, then I suppose we have to take it. I’m the Slayer – or one of them. There were a lot of us at the end. Not that it made any difference.”
“There’ll be fighting and running and pain – ”
“Slaying and worry and despair.”
“And no bloody way of knowing if we’re going to succeed, of course.”
Buffy found herself smiling and bent to kiss her mate. “Jeez, you certainly know how to sum up a situation. But you’ve missed out the most important thing.”
Spike raised an eyebrow.
“We’ll have each other!”
Spike laughed and watched as the little flame dancing along their clasped hands grew brighter and bigger. He struggled to his feet, leaning against the woman he loved, taking her strength and using it.
Beyond them the mist swirled around a landscape of broken rocks and barren slopes. So all these years of fighting and loving were not yet ended. Bloody hell! What did a vamp have to do to be nice peaceful dust?
He turned his head and two sparkling green eyes met his gaze. Well, not fall in love with the Slayer, he thought, and then grinned.
“Ok, pet. Let’s get going. I wonder if there’s a bottle of Scotch left in this world anywhere?”
And sliding hand in hand down the hill, they vanished into the mist - together.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who read and reviewed this story. It was the very first one I wrote and had a special place in my heart.
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