All About Spike

Be Forever
By Mala

Spoilers: "The Gift" (episode, not fic)
Rating/Classification: PG-13, B/S-ish, angst, character death.
Disclaimer: Grrr aargh.
Summary: Buffy's dead, Spike's grieving, etc...

"No reason left for living
Still there's a lot to do
New tears to cry
Old songs to sing
And feel forever blue.
And be forever blue."
-Chris Isaak, "Forever Blue."

Dawn is a beautiful thing. The first rays of light streaking across the sky. The beginning of a new day. He thinks he could watch it unfold forever...moment to a flip book. At least for a few seconds. He could breathe in the blush pink and gold. Memorize it. And then everything would be permanent night.

He would welcome permanent night.

He would welcome it more than the feel of blacktop beneath his palms...than the tiny rocks digging into his skin as he raises his hands and cries, helplessly, into them. He would welcome it more than the sobs that bow his shoulders and tighten his throat and rain saline down his unlined cheeks.

He always thought his last words to her would be "Do it, Slayer." That his last vision of her would be as he was pinned beneath her, waiting for the stake to fall. And he'd be watching her eyes go from brown to green to amber...fighting the emotions that were telling her *not* to 'do it.' And then she would. She would bring the stake down and all would be dust. All would be right. And it wouldn't be would be twilight. Forever.

But his last words to her were something like "Wield the hammer well, Pet. I don't fancy losing me skin." Maybe something even more "Hurry up." He doesn't even remember. It hasn't been that long, but he doesn't remember.

Because his last vision of her is still before his eyes. And it is all he can see. All he can taste and hear and smell. But not touch...oh, no, he can't touch. He can't bear it. White sweater, dark pants. Broken limbs. Sightless eyes that will not change color, will not war with emotion any longer. That will never look at him again.

The night they spent spellbound flashes through his mind. A year ago but closer than yesterday. Always closer. He remembers seeing her love him. That pure, innocent passion meant only for him. A sparkle. Brighter than sun or stars. He had it once and then never again...but he thought he would always have hope.

Now, he doesn't even have that.

He knows he is sobbing for the Slayer...he knows he is weak and spineless and everything a vampire shouldn't be. But she always treated him like a man...and he loved her like one. LovES. "And that's enough," he chokes into his hands, finishing what he couldn't tell her on the stairs. "You always treated me like a man and that's enough for me."

The sky is blushing with rose and crimson and the palest gold. All the colors of her mouth and skin and hair. He tilts his head back, staring up at the light blue. Yes, that is the color that he can't tear his eyes from.

Because blue is the color of her mouth now.

The color of her skin now.

He knows everything up until the black of permanent night will be forever blue. Blue and then black. Like bruises. Bruises on his nonexistent soul and the nonexistent heart that lies dead and broken just a few feet away.

A hand curls gently around his shoulder. And, for just a second, he allows himself to believe it is hers. That she is not before him dead and cold, but behind him...vibrant and pulsing and living. And she will whip him around and punch him in the face and tell him she needs his help.

But he only believes that for a second. Maybe just a little bit more.

"Spike...? Spike, you need to get out of the sun."

He rocks back on his heels, shakes his head. In the periphery, he can hear the witches crying. He can see Giles methodically cleaning his glasses. Over and over. Until there are scratches in the lenses. And Xander is still cradling Anya like she weighs nothing. Because the burden of love living is much lighter than the burden of love dying.

"No," he whispers, hearing the rusty gears in his vocal cords grind against each other. "No. I've got to stay right here."

"You can't!"

"I can and I will, Lil' Bit. She needs me. She needs my help."

"Spike!!!" A strangled cry. "You'll DIE."

"I will at that," he agrees, softly.

She whips him around. Punches him in the face and his head falls back, bouncing like a blow-up clown. In a few years' time, she'll be as deadly as her sister. His cheek her eyes. Huge and bright and bluer than sky or skin.

"*I* need you. *I* need your help!" she hisses.

She shakes him once. Twice. Three times before it sinks in. Her long dark hair surrounds him, spills around him like a cloud of mountain heather, and he buries his face in it as she crawls into his lap and they rock together. He clutches her tight that she can't move...can't slip away.

Dawn is a beautiful thing. The first rays of light streaking across the sky. The beginning of a new day. He thinks he could watch it unfold forever...moment to a flip book. At least for a few seconds. He could breathe in the blush pink and gold. Memorize it. And then everything would be permanent night.

And Dawn is a beautiful girl. The first rays of life fanning out over the stillness of death. The Slayer's sister, the beginning of a new existence. He thinks he could watch her grow forever...moment to a flip book. At least for a few years. He could breathe in the scrubbed peach of her face and golden brown silk of her hair. Memorize it.

"Can we go now?" she wonders, as their tears dry on each other's cheeks. As everyone closes in around them. "P-please?"

"Yeah," he chokes out, allowing himself one long, last, glance over her shoulder as he gentles his grip on the back of her head. One long, last, glance at what he will never hold, what he will never have. Her sister...pale and a marble angel. Beautiful. Singular. Gone. But never forgotten. Never that. This isn't 'good-bye', he thinks. This is 'see you soon.' This is a temporary reprieve. "Yeah, Baby, we can go."

And, together, they take the offered hands that will lift them up...

Together, they walk towards the shadows.

All will be right.

And it won't be permanent won't be twilight either.

It will be Dawn.


For a while.

For now.

For Buffy.


May 23, 2001.

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