Kat Lee (katleept) wrote,
Kat Lee

In the After World

Title: In the After World
Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Character/Pairing: Spike/Buffy, Willow(/Tara), Xander
Rating: PG/K+
Challenge/Prompt: sunnydalescribe Thursday Threes: Sun, Spell, Sweet
Warning(s): Character Deaths, AU, Future Fic, [Spoiler (click to open)]Suicide
Word Count: 858
Date Written: 16 October 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.

“This is really sweet, Red,” Spike murmured softly, turning his face up to the sun. It had been so long since he’d felt the true caress of sunlight with nothing between it and his skin. He’d tried to remember the warmth, but even his brightest memories of taking his mother for walks in the park when the temperatures were just beginning to warm up after the cold, hard Winters in London were pale comparisons to the true feeling. Nothing had ever felt so warm, not even Buffy’s hand in his. The memory sparked tears that were never far away these days.

“I -- “ Willow cleared her throat, licked her lips, and tried again. She knew her tears wouldn’t help the matter, and Spike had every right to deal with his grief in whatever way he chose. She was certainly no one to tell anybody how to grief. She remembered the pain she’d felt after Tara, how she’d wanted everything else to just end . . . Spike had never come at her to stop her. He’d intervened occasionally on Buffy’s and Dawn’s behalfs only, but he’d never tried to tell her that she had to live without the woman she loved. She wouldn’t do that to him. “I just thought it might be nice,” she said finally, “to, you know, actually feel the sunlight for a bit before -- “

“Mmm hmm,” Spike replied softly. He knew she was fighting her emotions. They all were, but losing Buffy and Dawn simultaneously was just too much for him to even want to try to bear. He’d survived Buffy’s first death because she’d left Dawnie behind, and he’d promised her he would take care of her sister. But now they were both gone. A tremble passed through his body. He’d failed to slit their killers’ throats in time. The bastard was dead now, but it wouldn’t bring them back. Nothing would bring them back this time.

“Are -- Are you sure -- ?” she asked tentatively behind him.

He nodded, his eyes closed as his face remained bathed in the warm, Autumn sunlight. “Yes. Did anybody ever ask you that after Tara?”

“Yes,” she answered, pausing only after she’d answered. “But I swore I wouldn’t do that to you. I’m sorry.”

“No need for apology, Red. Just . . . good luck keeping the rest of them going, and . . . Thank you.” Still facing the sunlight directly, Spike opened his eyes. He could feel the spell’s effects beginning to wear off. His skin was beginning to itch and was slowly turning to fire. His old, survival instincts kicked in, but he didn’t cower to them. He didn’t want to survive without Buffy and the Nibblet. He only wanted to be with them.

At one time, he would have thought death for him meant going to Hell. He’d been there -- twice, actually --, but Buffy believed in him. One of the last things she’d told him was what a good man he had become and how she was proud to be his wife. He looked down at his fingers and touched his wedding ring. He’d be with her again soon, and the children they’d tried to have but had never succeeded in keeping alive for long, and his own sweet mother, who would no longer be the monster he’d foolishly turned her into when he hadn’t been one long himself . . . Death was everything he wanted. He waited patiently, his eyes fixated on the gleam of their wedding ring.

Behind him, Willow cleared her voice again. “Hum, tell her . . . “ She started and then stopped as big tears wept silently down her forlorn face.

“I’ll tell ‘em all you miss him,” Spike spoke, his last words on the Earth being gentle ones, “and I’ll tell her you still love her, Red.”

“I always will.”

“Just as I’ll always love Buffy.” He didn’t scream as the explosion took him. He went without a further sound.

Willow waited a few minutes before pushing herself up to her feet. She walked over, bent, and picked up the gold ring that had landed on the hard ground after Spike’s explosion. She looked at it for a moment, then cupped it in the warmth of her hand. As her fingers closed around it, she looked up to the sky. She hadn’t believed in Heaven for years, but Buffy had told her that she’d been in Heaven. There had to be some kind of afterlife waiting for them, somewhere where peace and love reigned, somewhere where Tara was waiting and Spike was even now reuniting joyously with Buffy and Dawn. Willow wiped away her tears, wished them all the happiness in the world, or whatever lay beyond it, forced herself to turn away, and continued life such as it was.

When she got home, she was surprised to find Xander waiting for her, two glasses of wine in his hands. He didn’t say a word. He just put the glasses down, embraced her tightly, kissed the top of her head, and then gave her the wine. It was just the two of them now, but they continued trying to build a world of which all those they’d loved and lost would be proud.

The End
Tags: btvs: spike/buffy, btvs: willow, btvs: xander
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