Kat Lee (katleept) wrote,
Kat Lee

Too Short, Too Long

Title: Too Short, Too Long
Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Character/Pairing: Spike, Dawn, mild Spike/Dawn
Rating: PG/K+
Challenge/Prompt: beattheblackdog 133: Time and nekid_spike Themed Drabbles and Icons (Sorry it's a little long.): Sire, Alone, and Family
Warning(s): Cannon Character Death
Word Count: 1,114
Date Written: 5 November 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.

“It must be nice,” she said softly one night as they sat alone together beside her mother’s grave.

Spike looked up sharply, frowning around his cigarette. “What, luv?”

“Time has no meaning for you,” she said, tilting her head slightly to one side. “I can remember when it held nothing for me, but it’s not that way any more.” Her gentle, sad eyes fell back upon her mother’s headstone. “One day I’m going to grow old and die too.” She laughed, making his eyebrows arch slightly in surprise. “If a Vamp doesn’t get me first.”

“Long as I’m around,” he assured her, “you don’t have to worry about that, but . . . “ His voice dropped an octave or two, and he admitted quietly, “You’re wrong about the other though, pet. Time does still have meaning for a Vampire -- well, for some of us anyway. You’re right that we’re not going to grow old and die, but -- Sometimes the thought of death is appealing.” He’d never admitted that to another soul, not Angel or Buffy or even Dru.

Hurt flashed across her face. “Yeah, I . . . I understand,” she spoke softly. “I can remember, you know, sometimes, being up there,” she indicated the cosmos by looking up at the night sky. “I could watch over the humans. I could see them live their lives that seemed so short, wither, and die, but it never affected me. But this . . . “

She looked back to her mother’s grave. She knew Joyce Summers wasn’t really her mother -- she’d really been created by monks --, but she also knew she would never stop loving her like a mother, even now after she’d been taken from her for what seemed like so long though it had only been a few months. “This hurts so much,” she whispered achingly. “I’ve never hurt like this before, Spike.” She shook her head quickly, sending her long, brown hair flying around her torso. “I never want to again.”

Tears brimmed in her big, soft eyes as he pulled her back into his arms. “I wish I could say it’s gonna stop hurting, pet, but one thing I will never do is lie to you. It’s always going to hurt.” He paused a moment before making another admission to her, “When Drusilla sired me, my only friend in this world was my mum, and she wasn’t faring well. I was so excited when I became a Vampire. I wasn’t like the other fledglings. I didn’t just think about my next meal and that inescapable hunger. I thought of her. I thought of how much I would miss her and what I could give her. I could give her Immortal life. I could make it to where she never had to die, never had to hurt again. So I did.” He paused again, sucking in a breath he didn’t need. “Biggest mistake of my life.”

“What happened?” Dawn asked, looking up at him.

“The most terrible thing that could happen. She didn’t have her mind after I turned her, not the way it had been. The thing that I put into her . . . that I welcomed into my own, sweet mother was pure evil. It wasn’t her. I . . . “ He looked away, unable to bear Dawn’s gentle, loving eyes on him when he told her the truth of the most horrible thing he’d ever had to do. “I had to kill her to free her.”

“That’s horrible!”

He nodded stiffly, forcing his own tears back down. “There’s never been a night when I haven’t thought of her, Nibblet, when I haven’t regretted what I did. Yeah, time doesn’t matter to a lot of Vampires, ‘specially to the purely evil ones. But to Vamps like Angel and myself . . . those of us who know what we’ve done wrong . . . let’s just say eternity is way too damn long a time to wallow in regret.” If it hadn’t been for her and her sister, Spike knew, swallowing the tight lump in his pale throat, he would have walked into the sun a long time ago.

“You know the humans have a belief . . . “ she started.

He snorted. “They have many beliefs,” he corrected her, “many stupid beliefs. Some right, some wrong. But that’s the way it is in everything.”

“But I like thinking about what they say about Heaven.”

“So do I,” he admitted in a soft, somewhat humbled whisper after a long moment of silence had passed between them. “My Mum was a good Christian lady. I like to believe she’s up there in Heaven now, looking down at me, watching her son try to make a bloody difference after all this time.”

“You do make a difference, Spike.” Dawn turned in his arms and leaned up against him, her eyes touching his. “And I know she’d be proud of the man you’ve become.”

“I hope so,” he said, but he didn’t say what else was on his mind. That he kept to himself. There would come a time, he knew, when he would watch Dawnie die as he had Joyce, when he lose every one of the mortal friends he had now, not that he had many of them. He didn’t know if he’d be able to survive that time, if he’d be able to deny the allure of ending all his misery and loneliness in one quick, bold stride into the bright daylight. But he knew one thing: When he did die, he wasn’t ended up. Vampires were Demons. They went to Hell. He’d never get to see his mother again, or Dawn or Buffy or even Joyce. He’d never get to see any of them again.

Dawn kissed his lips swiftly, unaware of how dark his private thoughts had turned. He kissed her back, pushing his own misery away. He didn’t survive for himself. He lived for her, to lighten her misery whenever he could and to help her, her sister, and the rest save the world and pitiful, human lives wherever they could. His own misery, he reminded himself, did not matter for he had brought it upon himself for ever being so stupid and foolhardy as to follow a beautiful woman into the darkness when he’d been a meager virgin himself.

He shifted Dawn in his arms so that she wouldn’t see the look that passed over his face. She didn’t see the silent snarl of self loathing that curled his lips. She didn’t see the anger that flashed in his eyes or the sorrow that haunted his face. Instead she saw her mother’s grave again and felt him hold her through another long night of the endless time he had and the short time in which they had to share it.

The End
Tags: btvs: dawn, btvs: spike, btvs: spike/dawn
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