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Distribution: The Bloody Awful Sandlot. All others, please ask.
Feedback: All replies are read, cherished, and given a good home.
A/N: Thanks to Beth for the beta!
Summary: About six years into the future. Somehow they defeated the First. Everyone's moved on, except Buffy.
It was something Willow had entrusted to her. At first Dawn was with her. Two sisters completing the rounds. But Dawn had moved on with her life as everyone else had. Now it was just her, out in the bright sunshine, going from grave to grave. She didn't know what to say anymore. So she just placed flowers and had a small moment of silence. But it didn't feel right just being silent at Tara's grave. At first she'd told Tara how happy Willow was. But now she didn't know what to say. So she would blather on about her own life.
She'd often thought it was ironic. Oz had left her and she had found Tara. When Tara had left, Willow had just gone through the motions of love until Oz had come back. Willow had had other lovers in that time. Mainly Kennedy, but it was never the same. It seemed Oz and Tara were it for her.
He'd blown back into town about six years ago, shortly after they'd defeated the First. Hadn't asked for a thing, just said he needed a place to call home again. And he watched from the sidelines as Willow and Kennedy finally called it quits. It had been over for a while, but Kennedy was nothing if not stubborn. Willow then tried seeing other girls, proclaiming she was still gay. Then one night Willow gave up and told Buffy that maybe Tara was the only woman for her, and there was only one man for her too. Buffy hadn't known how to reply, but she wouldn't have said she was surprised.
Three months later they were married. And three months after that, they'd left to find their own way in the world, with Buffy's promise to look over Tara's grave. She talked to them often. And emails and pictures were sent. Willow had been the first to walk away.
Then went Giles. He hadn't been around that often anyhow. He was busy returning the slayers in training to their homes, trying to resurrect something of a Council, recruiting new watchers. And in the middle of it all, he'd met someone. A nice lady who he settled down with and started a family. He now had a daughter of his own, someone who hopefully wouldn't disappoint him the way she had.
He always told her he was proud of her, but she could see the look in his eyes. He was disappointed in her, in the way she chose to live her life. It had begun when she had Spike's chip taken out. The look had set in when she had slammed her bedroom door in his face and refused to let him or Principal Wood kill Spike. And it had never left.
It hurt. But she knew her choices had been right. She didn't regret them.
Xander and Anya had left next. Off to start a new life. Construction was abundant in Florida, and they went to start their new family. Coming so close to dying was a wake up call for both of them. They'd dated, moved in together and then they'd eloped in Las Vegas on the way to the sunny state.
Dawn had been around until she graduated from high school. Luckily she'd buckled down in her last three years. A scholarship to Duke took her to North Carolina. She came back for the holidays, but Buffy knew she didn't want to be there anymore. And she'd be graduating in another year and Buffy was sure she would never set another foot in Sunnydale if she didn't have to.
Faith was gone days after they'd averted the First. Buffy never knew where she was, just out there somewhere in the world fighting demons. Every once in a while she'd get a phone call in the dead of the night. Collect. And they'd catch up. In between these times, postcards from around the world would arrive. Madagascar. Burundi. Dakar. Across Africa and then into Europe. Sevilla. Turin. Chisinau. Places she'd had to look up. Pretty pictures on the front, gruesome details on the back. But they let her know Faith was still alive. And she was grateful for that.
Buffy had asked her how she would know if something was wrong, if she needed her. Faith had merely replied that she would know. And Buffy found out that Faith always carried on her an emergency contact number, Buffy's number. A hospital in Paris had called her after they'd found her stabbed in an alley. Or stabbed is what the hospital called it. But she'd left a few days later, slayer healing kicking in, calling her to let her know not to worry. She was five by five.
But she wasn't alone. And everyday she was thankful of that fact. If it were up to him, she would be. Not that he had wanted to leave, but he hadn't been sure he was wanted. It had taken everything in her to go to him and ask him not to leave with Faith. All the while she was begging, she was sure he was going to walk away.
Faith had enticed him with stories of riding motorcycles and hunting demons. And he'd agreed. Proclaiming of course that he wasn't sure he had a place in Sunnydale anymore. Everyone hated him. Except for Andrew of course, who was now living in Mexico.
But Buffy didn't hate him. Couldn't tell him she loved him either. All she could do was beg him not to go and to give her time. Time to figure out what she felt, what they could have. And he took the crumb she offered. On some level she was excited he was going to stay, give her a chance. However another part of her worried. She was scared she would screw this all off and he'd go running off in the dead of the night.
They had tentatively started a relationship, their friends’ eyes on them every step of the way. There weren't any protests this time. Well no one had spoken up to her, though she was fairly positive there was a protest with signs behind her back. She liked to think that everyone knew how precious life was. They had all faced the uncertainty before them when they thought the First was going to win. And of course the soul. Didn't seem to change much for her, just helped her along.
When Willow and Oz had moved to Seattle, she and Spike were definitely a couple. Spike was living in her bedroom. And all that was lacking in their relationship was her utterance of three little words.
It had taken a near staking from Riley before she could say them. And it hadn't even been to Spike, at first. Riley'd blown back into town, to show off his and Sam's little bundle of joy. Dawn had let them in the house. And when Riley had seen Spike coming down the stairs, half-asleep, jeans not fully buttoned, and a little blood on his lips, he'd charged.
Luckily she'd been right behind Spike. She'd had Dawn take care of Spike, getting him more blood, refilling his mug, while she'd thrown Riley out of the house. And where she had let him know in no uncertain terms that he could not stake the man she loved. He got the message, as did the whole neighborhood.
She hadn't even realized at first what she'd said. What everyone had heard. But once it was pointed out to her by Dawn and then Spike, with a grin on his face, she acknowledged it. She loved him. Buffy loved Spike. And there wasn't any going back.
Over time it became easier for her to say the words out loud. At first he'd had to prompt her, sit and wait patiently for her to say it. Now it fell easily, something he heard all the time.
She could wait until darkness fell to visit everyone's graves, those with and without headstones. Spike would come with her. With Sunnydale virtually empty of any demons or vampires these days, she knew they wouldn't be disturbed. But she liked to do this on her own. Every one but her mom's. Because out here in the sun she could cry. She could feel like she’d failed them.
If he was with her, he wouldn't let her feel that way. Wouldn’t allow her to take the burdens on her own shoulders. He'd proclaim that they knew what they were getting into and they’d signed on anyway. He might be right, but it still didn't make it any easier. They'd signed up to fight with her as their leader. And each one of their deaths was a blow to her.
Everyone else thought she didn't care. They hadn't seen her cry as she buried Annabelle. Or how she had to stop because of her sobs when she'd dug Chloe's grave. And the dozens that came after. The majority thought she was cold and unfeeling. All except Spike.
But he thought there could be too much sadness, too much feeling. That over five years later, she shouldn't carry that burden anymore. And so that's why she visited them alone.
"You've been crying. Cold water and makeup doesn't hide the evidence."
He startled her. She usually didn't see him up until later in the afternoon. Pouring drinks and then hunting for the rare demon usually kept him sleeping all day. "Got something in my eye. Dust. Dirt. Did a lot of damage before I could get it out."
She glanced back down at the bills she was leafing through. They just grew and grew, being special didn't seem to make her exempt, even if she did wish very hard. She didn't want to look at the bills, reminders of how hard things always were. Her temping and Spike’s bartending covered all the necessities, but there wasn't a lot left over for frivolous things. But maybe if she concentrated on them and ignored Spike, he'd leave her alone.
"I know what day it is."
"I just needed to see them. Let them know how things were going."
"It's not going to change anything Luv."
She felt him slide onto a barstool next to her. Obviously he wasn't going to let her be. Instead, he'd most likely push and push at her, getting her worked up. Then they'd fight. She'd storm out. And he'd be left behind, because of the sun. Sometimes no matter how hard you tried, old habits were hard to break. But she would try today, again. "No. Too late to bring them back."
"And you wouldn't do that to them anyways. So don't do this to yourself."
"You don't understand. They're all alone…."
"I know. They're alone and you're the only family they've got. I do understand. I understand why you go, why you talk to them, bring them flowers. But I don't understand why you beat yourself up about it afterwards."
"I'm not supposed to be here. It's been thirteen years."
"Neither is Faith. And you think she's crying over it?"
"It just seems wrong somehow."
"How can something so wrong, feel so right? If you weren't here, my world would be over."
"Don't say that. There's still so much for you to do in this world."
"Then you better be staying around for a lot longer so I can accomplish it. You might not like it, but it's true Buffy. When you're gone, so am I."
"Why are you telling me this?" She'd heard this from him before, but it wasn't something she wanted to hear. It wasn't something she wanted to deal with, thinking that she would be the reason he would be gone from this world. And it made her think about the truth that one day, one of them would be gone and leave the other. It could be her, but it could just as easily be him. And that was definitely something she didn't want to think about, or have to deal with.
She waited for him to answer, but silence stretched across the kitchen. Picking up the mail in her hand, she got up, ready to retreat. Put the mail on the desk in the living room, and turn her back on this conversation. But he didn't let her leave the kitchen before he spoke, stopping her in the doorway.
"Because every six months you come back here after going to their graves, you're like a zombie. You have that death wish for about a month. And for that whole month I hold my breath, praying that you'll snap out of it. That you'll want to live. Because I want to live, but without you I can't. I can't go on without you."
"I don't want to die."
"Then start living. Stop thinking about the past that you can't change. Everyone else has moved on. And you've stayed, tending over their graves."
"But Tara and my Mom."
"Willow'd understand. Joyce too. They'd want you to have a life. There's hardly any activity here, bet Willow and Oz see more than we do. We can move on. You can move on."
"Can get a job tending bar anywhere, luv. Say the word and I give my notice and start hunting for where we're needed. What do you want Buffy?"
She just stood there, mail in her hand, her back to him. Sometimes it was easier to talk this way. She could pretend she was talking to herself, working things out in her head. What did she want? When was the last time she really got to answer that question? And did he want the patented answer of being normal? Or the truth? What did he want? What did she want?
Go to school like Dawn? Maybe she could figure out what she wanted to study and have a real career, instead of answering phones and filing papers. What about a family? Every once in a while she thought about what it would be to have a baby. But she wasn't willing to make that sacrifice of giving up the man she loved, just for a dream. Moving away? Everyone else did, why couldn't she? Why couldn't she see something outside of Sunnydale? Faith got to turn her back on what was expected and go off, living dangerously, having fun. Why couldn't she?
"I want to live. I want to be an aunt and see Uncle Spike change a diaper. It's just hard to let go. Let go of what's expected of me."
She placed the mail on the counter and slowly stood in front of him. He slid off the stool as her arms came around him. Her voice was muffled against him as she spoke. But that was the good thing about being in love with a vampire, you never had to worry that they wouldn't be able to hear you when you spoke.
"Help me Spike. Help me live again."
He'd swept her up in his arms and carried her to their bedroom. Some might think that sex wouldn't solve anything, just lead them back later to the same crossroads But with them, sex was everything. Whenever any important decision was made, anything important was said, it was reaffirmed through their love for each other.
His hands smoothed errant strands of hair away from her face. He'd told her once that every time he touched her, he was afraid it would be his last. His fingers would memorize the curve of her cheek. The sharp bone of her shoulder. The way her body fit snugly against his. Muscle against muscle. His hands would tangle in her hair, the silk winding around his fingers. And then he would bury his mouth in her neck. He had a two-fold purpose there. Memorize her scent and kiss the arch of her neck.
Clothes fell away as they tumbled onto the bed together. Fingers intertwined as their mouths tasted each other. She could kiss him for days. There was this thing he did with his tongue… she couldn't describe it, she just knew the way it melted her body. But his mouth left hers and his fingers slipped away.
Her fingers grabbed onto the quilt underneath. His tongue traced her. Teeth nipped here and there, providing a myriad of sensations through her body. Pulses of heat ran throughout her.
A few years before, Dawn had been contemplating sex and had asked her what it was like. After her face turning beet red and tripping over her tongue, she'd truthfully answered that she couldn't give her an answer. It was different every time.
There were those hot, sweaty moments when all they cared about was fucking. Their bodies pounding against each other, yelling for release, striving to get it over with as quickly as possible. And all they were caught up in was that moment, spending themselves, attaining their own pleasure.
Then there were sweet moments, when it seemed to take forever. Their hands caressed the other. Words of love were whispered. They would take their time, making sure that the other felt loved and cherished.
Other times fell in between. But each one was different. No two moments were ever alike. And this one, it was heaven. It was being alive. It was everything combined into one.
She lifted her hips toward his mouth, as her fingers tugged his head downward. She needed him closer. His tongue teased her, slowly dipping in, then out and racing upward to circle her clit. Over and over he repeated his actions, her body trying to keep him in one place.
Finally his lips sucked on her, teeth nibbling at the bud and she gave a strangled cry. "Oh god, Spike. Please," she cried as two of his fingers slammed inside of her and then slowly withdrew to repeat the action.
She came, hips rocking hard against his mouth, legs splayed wide open, and her body giving up a scream. He didn't give her time to recover, not even to catch her breath before he started again. His tongue licked up the sticky juice, while his thumb kept the sensations flowing through her body.
Her body lay still as the aftershocks flowed through her, except for the small twitching of her hips, looking for the pleasure in front of it. Buffy moaned, a plaintive mewl. Not wanting the pleasure pain to continue, but not wanting it to end either.
There were times it started like this and then took a different turn. She'd turn the tables, slamming her body down on his, pumping him dry, only caring about her own pleasure. Her nails would scratch down his chest, trails of blood left in their wake. Or he'd leave her wanting more and would suck on her tits, making them hard points, then abandoning them to tongue her, to lick her from her clit all the way down and back up again. Teasing, making her beg, her hips shuddering for more. Her fingers would then pull on her tight nipples, her thighs clenching him towards her, begging for more, begging him to finish.
There were moments when she'd wear a strap-on, let him feel like he was being rammed to death, his body propped up by his hands and knees, with her crouched behind. She'd ram all the way in and then pull out slowly, his body following her, not wanting to be left. And she'd slowly go faster and faster, working them both into a frenzy. Then he'd return the favor, his body curled over hers, as she'd push back towards him, begging for her ass to be filled. Begging for his hand to flick her clit.
The early days of their so called relationship weren't left behind in this new one. At night they'd be in a cemetery looking for a fight and would get all worked up. She wasn't ashamed to want him there, to have him possess her, to fuck her mindless against a crypt wall. She loved looking at him from across the table, her foot slipping out of her shoe to crawl up his leg and massage him through his slacks while they ate dinner out. No, she wasn't afraid to want him so much, to try anything with him anymore. It was all good, out in the open, and at the end of the day, she went home to him now.
Of course it hadn't always been like that between them. Not for the few months or so of their relationship. Nope, those first months had been what they liked to call vanilla sex. It was nice, him on top, her on bottom. But that's all it was. Good, but sometimes it just felt lacking. Both were afraid to give into much, go too fast, fuck too hard. She because, she just didn't think it was what people in a normal relationship did. And he, because he felt like he was treading on ice and didn't want to mess up.
One day though it had changed. Work had been awful. It had been a call center where she was temping and an irrational customer had cussed her out. And all she could do was be polite. It hadn't helped when she'd come home and found out that someone, Dawn, had left the freezer open that morning, and because of the heat wave, all the meat had thawed and spoiled.
Spike had known she was at her wit's ends. He'd given Dawn some money to go to the movies. And then he'd tried to comfort her, get her to talk about her bad day. But she hadn't wanted to. Instead she'd thrown him on the bed, jerked his arms above his head and told him to keep them there, clasped to the headboard. And then she'd pretty much had her way with him.
She sucked his cock down her throat, her fingernails gouging into his thighs, keeping him still. As her tongue ran up and down him, teasing him, she turned her body, covering his face with her quim. She rode him, his tongue inside her, lapping her juices. She'd teased him, with delicate nibbles on his balls while she ground down on his face, begging him to suck harder. She came, three times at least, probably more. But she kept riding it out, thanking anyone that he didn't have to breathe. However he was denied. Whenever he was close, she'd back away, her nails tearing ribbons into his skin to focus his mind somewhere else.
When her mouth became tired, she reversed positions. She slammed herself down on him, twisting his nipples to keep him from exploding. And she told him what she'd do if he came before she said it was time. A while later when she was losing strength, she'd given her command and he came. Came like he never had for her before. His hips bucking, driving so deep within her. And a howl came out of her mouth as he filled her, as she felt him gush. She came too. Tired and feeling boneless she collapsed on him, until her eyes registered what was in front of her.
Blood. So much blood was on his chest. From his neck down to his thighs he was covered in it. Her nails had ripped his skin open as she'd played with him. She remembered getting off of him, backing away, babbling incoherently, saying how sorry she was.
She didn't remember Dawn coming home or Spike grabbing her and the two of them showering together. The next few hours were a blur. Sometime the next morning she'd come back to herself. She was in her bed, covered in flannel pajamas, curled up with Spike's arms wrapped around her. She wanted to bolt, but he wouldn’t let her. He'd held her close and told her that what had happened was okay. He'd enjoyed it. If he hadn't, then he would have stopped her.
It had taken her a few weeks to even feel comfortable touching him again. And during that time, he'd been wonderful. Letting her know that what two people did together could be anything, as long as they both enjoyed it. And he had enjoyed it, just like she did.
It had taken time; time, talk, and tentative forays into this darker side of herself before she became comfortable. And now, years later she was comfortable with whatever they did in their own room. Whether it was sweet and loving or loud and bloody. She was able to get off on it, let her inhibitions fly out the window and concentrate only on the pleasure. She still wasn't that comfortable out of their private place. But the rush from staking a vampire helped her along. Or sometimes a drink let her be carefree out in public. But now she could be herself with him, do anything she wanted, anytime.
While she'd been consumed in her thoughts, he had repositioned their bodies. He was holding her, his hands massaging her back. Words of love, care, and adoration whispered in the darkness of the night. And she returned them. She could give in to her sordid emotions, wanting things she'd been taught to believe no normal girl would ever do. But he'd taught her that nothing was wrong as long as they both wanted it. And she did, she wanted the thrill of being caught. She wanted the feelings that loud, angry, and what many would call nasty sex gave her. But she wanted this too. The love. The feeling of being cared for, of being in perfect synch with someone.
And Spike provided that. He didn't need to breathe, but his rhythm matched hers, their chests rising and falling in perfect synch.
"You feel better baby?" he asked, placing a light kiss on her forehead.
"I want you," she replied. They were laying on their sides. Her head tucked into his neck, legs tangled, his hands still on her back. She pulled her leg out from under his, to place it on top. And slowly she drew it up. Until she was opened up to him, her inner thigh against his hip. "I want you so bad. Just slow. Easy. Loving."
She felt him at her entrance, as he slowly pushed in. He'd listened to her, making sure she felt loved. Gentle motions, his hips rocking, were all that she felt. Barely any movement to stimulate her, but the words he said did that instead.
"I feel you. Wrapped around me. So tight, so hot. Being on fire, out in the sun doesn't compare to you. I could stay like this forever. Inside you, warmed by you. Your body clenching me, holding me tight. It's what heaven is. I've never felt so loved as I do in your arms, in your body."
"I love you Spike."
"Love you too Buffy. Does it feel good for you? Do you want to live?"
"As long as I can keep doing this. Don't leave. Can't live without you."