Betaed by:: iadorespike
Rating/warnings: Adult Rated (R) for adult themes Major Character Death
Characters: Not mine, Joss' - I'm just playin' with 'em
Concrits: welcome in comments
Written For:darker_spike Valentine's challenge – ficlet up to 500 words. Mine is 494 words (but was 498 pre-beta, 'cause I can't do anything short... LMAO)
"... but Spike, it's Valentine's Day. We have to go out tonight."
"Valentine," the vampire snorted. "That's a load of commercial bollocks, not playing into it."
"Awww, Spike... 'be my valentine,'" Xander teased and blew a kiss. "I'm getting breakfast from McDonald's. Bring you back some coffee... that'll give you time to decide where we're going." He shut the door before the vampire could protest.
April 12, 1981- February 14, 2006
Spike stared through unseeing eyes at the marble grave marker. So cold, for someone so warm.
Someone's hand was on his back. Buffy's? Willow's? It didn't make a difference, nothing ever could. Not now. Not when his boy was about to be put underground, and there wasn't a damned thing he could do about it.
"He went out for coffee," his voice broke. "For coffee."
The hand again, now patting him. It didn't help. It couldn't.
Spike stalked around their apartment. Hours had passed. Fine, maybe he'd been a bit rough when he knew Valentine's meant something to the sap, but that was no reason to disappear without calling.
The phone rang, and he picked it up. "It's about bloody time--- what? The telly... what?"
Spike turned on the news. The parking lot in front of McDonald's was riddled with bodies and blood. Someone had gone postal.
His heart sank to the pit of his ice cold stomach.
Someone had saved the life of a child. Someone was being hailed a hero. Spike bit his lip in frustration, if they didn't bloody well pan out and show more of the scene he was going to go mad.
And then they did. There he was, on a gurney... being wheeled toward a waiting ambulance. Just as relief flooded over Spike, a paramedic pulled a white sheet over Xander's face. The sheet didn't stay white for long.
The remote fell from Spike's nerveless fingers.
The service was short, and performed at the burial site. Spike knew the words, he'd heard them so many times over the years. But for the first time, he struggled to understand .. to find meaning in them.
I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord...
If he'd stopped Xander from going... if he'd stalled him with talk of what they'd do for Valentine's... if he'd been there to resurrect him ...
No. The words held no meaning for him. The loss had no meaning. He found no comfort in them.
Earth to earth; ashes to ashes; dust to dust.
Tears stung his eyes as friends dropped handfuls of soil over the coffin. He waited until the service was over... said he needed a moment.
"Ashes to ashes," he whispered out loud.
Willow turned back and saw the dust carried by the wind settle over the coffin. On the ground next to it, lay a wooden stake. She closed her eyes.
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