Hey there. This is somewhat related to my previous fic 'Don't Be Kind' but may or may not take place in the same universe, depending on your tastes and inclination. Just wanted to treat the topic from Buffy's perspective. A basic premise: Prophecies are poor guides to the future. A small Prophecy played out, sometime shortly after the end of Season 7.
She walked out onto the highest hill of the oldest cemetery, and the sun blazed down on her with a burning heat.
She turned her face into that bright sunlight, slowly cycling westward once more in its circles. The world was supposed to go westward, and fade like this light. It would have, if she'd not stood to stop it. If she'd lost.
But she'd won.
And so she stood here, above the crypts and cemetery stones that looked somehow smaller in the daylight. The sparrows were calling to each other in the branches.
And she reached down into her bag, and removed the box. And she paused a moment before she opened it. It had sat alone in her basement for months since it had happened. Alone-- nearly but never quite forgotten. Impossible to think about, but always in some corner of her mind. Much like the creature it had once been.
And like him, it couldn't be forgotten any longer. The world was new again-- it had survived despite the price of its safety. It shimmered with leaves and clouds and piercing sun. And it meant, somehow, that she couldn't forget. Couldn't forget his suffering, or the dark nights-- or the way he'd smile when some particularly wicked idea crossed his mind.
And suddenly those little things, the great collection of them in her memory gathered together and made him a person. He wasn't a thing at all, as she held the inanimate box in her hands with the dead ash inside it.
She didn't think it'd be appropriate to pray. She didn't know what she would say-- if she could excuse his past to the higher powers, or beg clemency-- or even if anyone would hear it. So she was silent when she turned the latch. It sprung open with a metallic clink.
And the wind gathered around her like it had been summoned, and swelled against her bare ankles and the loose fabric of her skirt. Her hair pulled away in strands from its braids and danced against her cheekbones.
She hadn't prayed when her mother died. But she talked to her. Sometimes, even now, at night, she would still talk to her. Silently, in her mind. She had let her tears speak for her when she had no more words.
And as the warm air picked up the ash and whirled it away into the distant drafts, her eyes told him everything she couldn't say before.