Epilogue. Have Fun?
Through Time to Me:
It was dark inside The Magic Box. The small light on the table shone down on the pages of the book Buffy was reading. She glanced up occasionally, shuddering as the light gleamed off glasses and jars full of weird and sometimes revolting - things.
Anya and Xander had taken Dawn to the cinema. She didn’t know where Willow was. Not that she wanted company. This was something she needed to do herself.
The cold draught of air on her face warned her that the door to the basement had been opened and she didn’t need the wriggle of the hairs on the back of her neck to tell her who had just walked up the stairs.
“Go away, Spike. I’m busy.”
“And a very good evening to you, pet. I trust I find you well?”
Buffy sighed. ‘What is it about the words, ‘I am busy’ that you don’t understand?”
The vampire threw himself into a chair and stretched his legs out in front of him, tapping his boots together in an extremely irritating fashion. He lit a cigarette, the flame of the lighter turning his pale face golden for a second.
Buffy looked up and glared at him. He raised an eyebrow. So, the Slayer was still in a strop. She’d been like this since they’d arrived back from their time in Tudor England – irritable, impossible to please, randy as hell. Oh no, wait, she’d been just like that before their time travel adventure!
She’d said very little when they’d been whirled back into his crypt. She’d been too busy hunting for a pair of jeans she insisted he’d stolen once and secreted away as a keepsake. He’d given in, finally, and given them back to her because she seemed seriously uptight.
He’d watched as she pulled them on over the dark green hose she’d worn for her visit to Greenwich Palace to save the Queen. The doublet passed as some sort of wayout jacket and she’d gone into the glowing morning without another word.
Since then she’d been back a couple of times – for sex – but she wouldn’t talk about what had happened to them.
He stared at the piles of ancient books on the table in front of her and frowned. Research had never been the Slayer’s strong point. She was more for the hunting and killing. But he had a very good idea what she was researching for…
He leant over suddenly, took the book from her hands and snapped it shut.
“What the ….?”
“You don’t want to know, luv.”
Buffy looked away, her eyes nervous. “Don’t want to know what?”
“You don’t want to know what happened to Maria?”
She laughed, but it wasn’t a happy sound. “ Hey, you could make a song of that. How Do You Solve a problem like Maria? Give it a catchy tune, could be a hit!”
Spike ignored her. Anything to do with nuns brought back very bad memories!
“You know exactly what I mean, Slayer. There’s no point looking through the books to find out when she died. That’s what you’re searching for, isn’t it?”
Buffy winced. How was it that of all the people in her life, this one, the one with no soul, understood her the best. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t right. But it was certainly the truth and she was brave enough to face up to the fact.
“She was so young, Spike! I know I’ve been kinda detached since I got back, but when I looked at Maria…I just wanted…you said she’d be dead by Christmas. I thought there might be a record…it would tell me what had happened. How long she lived after we left.”
He put the book down, reached for her hand and watched as her fingers twined round his, warming the cold flesh.
“You said once that the Watchers’ Records just stop when a Slayer dies,” he said quietly. “What good will it do to know that she survived to the New Year, or even bloody Easter, pet? She was a Slayer and you gave her a chance to be a better one. That’s all that matters.”
“She was so young,” Buffy whispered. “I should have done more…said more…we
could have brought her with us, then another one would have been Chosen -
perhaps an older one.”
He pulled her to her feet and wrapped his arms round her. It wasn’t often she let him hold her without the heat of passion enveloping them. For a couple of seconds she resisted, her body stiff and unyielding. Then with a sigh she relaxed and rubbed her face against the soft cotton of his T-shirt.
“There wasn’t time to think.” Spike was savouring the moment. He knew it wouldn’t last. “We had to come back to this time.”
He glanced down sharply at the blonde hair so close to his mouth. “Well, I suppose we could have stayed. I could have given Will some more hints and tips. Made bloody Hamlet less of a poufter. Hey, I could have acted on stage at the Globe.”
“And what would I have done?” Her voice was dreamy and he felt the tension draining out of her.
“Oh, slain vampires, protected the Queen, sorted out soddin’ Lord Travers and the rest of the Council. Had fun.”
“Fun?” There was a query in her voice, as if the concept had long escaped her. “And all the while our bodies would just stand there in your crypt and no time would pass in this age.”
With a sigh, Buffy pushed herself out of the safety of his arms and busied herself with tying her hair back severely from her face. “Silly dreams. I don’t get to have dreams. You know that. ”
“How about fun, then?”
There was an odd note in his voice and Buffy looked up, her eyes widening. The vampire was standing there, eyebrow raised, tossing in the air a familiar black glass ball.
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